During the Vietnam War, Special Forces often worked with the CIA on covert intelligence gathering missions. One of those units was Project GAMMA. On 6 August 1969, the commander of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and 7 other Green Berets were arrested and charged with the murder of a Vietnamese double agent.
There’s a common image of a red and white sign for Area 51 you can find
Murder in War? The Green Beret Affair. Vietnam. 1969.
The Green Beret Affair and the
Execution of a Double Agent
During the Vietnam War, Special Forces often worked
with the CIA on covert intelligence gathering missions.
One of those units was Project GAMMA. On 6 August
1969, the commander of 5th Special Forces Group
(Airborne) and 7 other Green Berets were arrested and
charged with the murder of a Vietnamese double agent.
GAMMA was responsible for running intelligence
gathering teams into Cambodia, initiated in 1967.
It’s estimated GAMMA produced 65% of usable
intelligence on Cambodia and 75% on South Vietnam.
Because these missions were technically illegal since
Cambodia was off limits to the US, these missions were
supervised by the CIA. GAMMA was careful not to allow
the South Vietnamese military in on these ops as they
were known to be deeply compromised with enemy
In 1969, GAMMA teams were getting ambushed on a
regular basis. As if the NVA knew the ops ahead of
time. A picture was captured from an NVA base camp
and it showed on of GAMMA agents, Thai Khac
Chuyen, with North Vietnamese intelligence officers.
Chuyen was brought in for questioning and a polygraph.
He was also administered Sodium Pentothal. It was
discovered Chuyen was working as a triple agent, not
just supplying intelligence to the NVA but also the South
Vietnamese about GAMMA’s operations.
GAMMA reported the problem to its CIA handlers in
Saigon. The response was “terminate the agent with
extreme prejudice”, a term that has moved into our
Several SF personnel drugged Chuyen, took him on a
boat into Nha Trang Harbor, and executed him.
They wrapped his body in chains and threw it into the
sea. The cover story was that he’d disappeared on a
Unfortunately, Chuyen’s handler, not a Special Forces
soldier, became fearful for his own safety and reported
the incident. It reached General Abrams, the
commander of US Forces in Vietnam and no fan of
“Get up there and clean all those bastards out!”, General
Abrams ordered. He had Colonel Rheault, the Group
Commander (and later the model for Colonel Kurtz in
Apocalypse Now) and seven other Green Berets arrested,
confined in Long Binh Jail, and charged with premeditated
Reporters found out about the arrests and the story
went public. The sentiment was that the Green Berets
were being made scapegoats by the CIA and the Army.
After all, isn’t it a soldier’s job to kill the enemy?
The defense made a motion to dismiss, given there was
General Abrams, in the midst of the war, diverted naval
assets to drag Nha Trang Harbor and divers to search
for the body.
The key problem for all the politicians, the Army, and
the CIA was that at the same time, President Nixon was
conducting illegal, covert B-52 bombing of Cambodia.
This was so secret that nuclear Fail Safe bombers were
diverted from that mission to conduct the bombing.
Fearing the political fallout, the Secretary of the Army
dismissed the charges against the Green Berets. This
was done, but the careers of all were ruined. Colonel
Col. Robert Rheault upon returning to the US with his
then wife in 1969.
Daniel Ellsberg is reported to have been motivated by
the Green Beret Affair to make his decision to release
the Pentagon Papers to the media.
In New York Minute, the main character, William Kane,
participated in a fictional event based on the Green
This has had large implications in his life, even as the
story begins in New York City in 1977.
He’d been arrested, dishonorably discharged and
Things heat up, especially when the CIA handler from
the Affair shows up at his apartment.
The last time former Green Beret Will Kane was involved in killing
someone it made the cover of LIFE Magazine.
New York City, summer 1977.
It begins when he takes a compromising picture as part of the job. As
the long hot summer boils, so does Kane as the mob, the CIA, the
IRA and other forces are brought to bear on him. What they all seem
to have forgotten, and Kane wishes he could, is that he is a highly
trained and experienced warrior.
A skilled killer.
What should a good man do when faced with evil that the law can't
On 13 July 1977, the Blackout occurs and Kane explodes.
Free downloadable Powerpoint
slideshows on survival, history
writing, and interesting information
are available HERE
THE GREEN BERET PREPARATION AND SURVIVAL GUIDE
New York City. 1970s.
Jack Reacher meets the Equalizer
by NY Times Bestselling Author,
West Point graduate
and former Green Beret
One of the top five new series of the year.
About the author: Bob Mayer up in the Bronx, New York
City; graduated West Point, served in the Infantry
including leading a recon platoon in the First Cav
Division, and then Special Forces (Green Berets),
commanding an A-Team and other assignments. After
leaving active duty he studied martial arts in the Orient
and was brought back for numerous ADSW (Active Duty
Special Work) tours in Special Operations.
He’s lived on an island off the east coast, an island off
the west coast, in the Rocky Mountains, the hill country of
Texas, the hills of New England, the Appalachians and
They haven’t caught up to him yet.
He is the New York Times bestselling author of over 80