Covert Ops: The CIA's Secret War In Laos

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Macmillan, Nov 15, 1997 - History - 272 pages
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Uncommon war. Uncommon bonds.

In 1972, U.S. soldiers battle the North Vietnamese. Behind the headlines, a secret war rages in Laos. Sky, a close knit cadre of daredevil CIA agents, spearheads a daring operation. These gutsy secret agents direct a fearless force of Thai mercenaries and native Hmong tribespeople-- fighting the enemy toe-to-toe.

Now Sky veteran James Parker-- codename "Mule"-- reveals the untold story of the covert war in Laos. Parker takes you inside the often mind-boggling world of extraordinary men living and dying on the edge. Covert Ops captures the brutal training and ferocious land and air battles of Air Force Ravens, Air America, and young Hmong pilots. Above all, this first-person account shows the remarkable bonds formed between American soldiers and a courageous people-- who valiantly fought their fierce enemies to the very end.
 

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Contents

Whats a War Worth?
1
CIA Recruiter
7
Knuckle Dragger U
15
Indoor Work
29
Battle for the PDJ
58
Mary and Joseph
65
Hang
80
Village Militia
108
Changes in the Valley
154
The Christmas Season in Laos
170
F111 s and Hmong Talkers
187
Hmong New Year
197
The Politics of War
204
Bragging Rights to the Hmong
213
Epilogue
219
Glossary
224

Barbecued Pigeons
120
Return to the PDJ
132
When a Raven Falls
145

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About the author (1997)

James E. Parker, Jr., was born in North Carolina in 1942. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he served as a U.S. Army infantry platoon leader in South Vietnam from 1965 to 1966.

In the summer of 1970 he was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency's clandestine service and sent to fight the covert war in Laos. After Laos he was assigned to the CIA unit in the delta of South Vietnam. Prior to the April 1975 closing of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Parker helped evacuate Vietnamese CIA agents and was one of the last Americans out of Vietnam. He continued as an intelligence officer, working abroad in Africa and Asia. Now retired, he lives in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

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