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Vietnam War (1955-1975)
Fred Branfman dies at 72; exposed U.S. bombing of Laos
Fred Branfman dies at 72; exposed U.S. bombing of Laos

In 1969, Fred Branfman, a young American aid worker, wandered into an ancient pagoda in the Laotian capital of Vientiane. Instead of a tranquil sacred site, however, he found it packed with refugees whose stories horrified him. They told Branfman that they had fled the country's northern plains because American bombs were turning whole villages to ash, killing thousands of Laotian civilians. Branfman had been in Laos for more than two years. How, he wondered, had he not known about this? As he soon discovered, the war in Laos had been an exceedingly well-kept secret. In the United States, no one outside the highest levels of President Lyndon Johnson's administration knew that...

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