Tiger Force Allegations
We have requested a complete investigation surrounding the allegations publish by the Toledo Blade. Investigation is now on going and if the allegations are found to be true, those who committed crimes be punished. But if the story is found to be false, that The Toledo Blade print a retraction of the story, remove the reporters and apologize to all members of The Tiger Force, the 327th Infantry Regiment, the 101st Airborne as well as all Vietnam Veterans and their family members.
Below is the response received to date:
I am the Public Affairs action officer working the Tiger Force issue with the Toledo Blade reporters and other media interest their series has generated. Below are the the reply-to-query answers we have developed, staffed and been using:
Issue: Tiger Force Alleged Vietnam War Atrocities
1. Does the Army plan to reopen this case?
2. What were the findings of the investigation?
3. Why wasn’t anybody prosecuted?
Absent new and compelling evidence, there are no plans to reopen the case. The case is more than 30 years old. Criminal Investigation Command (CID) conducted a lengthy investigation when allegations surfaced four years after they reportedly occurred. The CID findings were submitted to proper authority – the suspects’ commanders. Those commanders considered the CID findings and acted within their authority in deciding there was insufficient evidence of alleged crimes to successfully prosecute in a court-martial trial.
Supporting Talking Points:
Army took the allegations seriously when they were first brought to light more than 30 years ago. The Army Criminal Investigation Command spent more than four years investigating the allegations that surfaced four years after the alleged offenses were reported to have occurred and collected almost 400 sworn statements.
Tiger Force was a reconnaissance unit of the 101st Airborne Division, a platoon of about 45 men that often broke into smaller teams to observe and ambush the enemy during the Vietnam War.
The alleged war crimes included murder, rape, aggravated assault, mutilation and failure to report a war crime. The offenses were reported to have occurred between May and November 1967.
All alleged offences except murder would be barred by the statute of limitations under Article 43, which was 2 years at the time of the alleged crimes.
The Army is taking a close look at at what the Toledo Blade reported in their series and comparing it to the evidence contained within the CID original report. Specifically, we are looking for any new evidence not previously considered. At this point, it is too early to speculate as to what the Army might or might not do beyond that.
Media Relations Specialist
Office of the Chief of Public Affairs
Wk: 703-697-7487 DSN: 227
Fax: 703-697-2159 DSN 227