Myth: U.S. used poison gas (proscribed weapons) in Vietnam and Laos and conducted secret operations to assassinate American POWs [longshadows] in Communist hands
Fact: The U.S. never shipped poison gas to Vietnam, nor were there ever any operations to assassinate American POWs
- No evidence has ever been adduced that the U.S. even shipped poison gases to Vietnam, and a Pentagon investigation confirmed that no poisonous gasses were shipped to Vietnam.
- A search of North Vietnamese records uncovered no reports of the use of poisonous gases by American troops.
- According to Pentagon records, only two individuals defected during the Vietnam War while in Vietnam. Their whereabouts was unknown. One, PFC Robert Garwood, has subsquently returned to the US and been court martialed.
- No Pentagon records exist indicating any missions were planned, much less conducted, that targeted those two defectors.
- This entire myth is based on one Special Forces operation, "Tailwind", in Laos which was alleged to have used poison gas and hunted down and killed American deserters. CNN was forced to retract the story.