(It’s strange how much this “Viet Cong suspect” resembles an old man.)
Over the course of the Vietnam War, tens if not hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese were detained by U.S. and allied South Vietnamese forces. For some it was only a minor inconvenience: they were held for a few hours, questioned, and then released. Some were forced to spend a day baking in the sun, often with a burlap sack over their heads, but still escaped relatively unscathed. For many other Vietnamese, though, being detained would quickly turn into a nightmare ordeal of slaps, punches, kicks, sexual assaults, electric shocks, and the “water-rag” treatment or water torture — known today as waterboarding.
I’m reeling from a exceptionally flattering review in BookForum by national security expert (and former military-intelligence case officer in Vietnam) Jeff Stein who calls Kill Anything that Moves “Astounding… Meticulous, extraordinary, and oddly moving.”
One of a group of “lime gatherers” in South Vietnam’s Binh Long Province killed in August 1970 by soldiers from the U.S. 25th Infantry Division. Photo from:
Midtown Manhattan - December 1943.
Photo: Bill Meurer/NY Daily News
Bryan Stevenson’s effort began with detailed research: Among more than 2,000 juveniles (age 17 or younger) who had been sentenced to life in prison without parole, he and staff members at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), the nonprofit law firm he established in 1989, documented 73 involving defendants as young as 13 and 14. Children of color, he found, tended to be sentenced more harshly.
“The data made clear that the criminal justice system was not protecting children, as is done in every other area of law,” he says. So he began developing legal arguments “that these condemned children were still children.” - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.
Photograph by: Steve Liss
Ed note: Our American Ingenuity Awards page has more on Bryan Stevenson and the other inspirational winners.
60 years since the great smog of London - in stunning pictures
On Friday 5 December 1952, a thick yellow smog brought the capital to a standstill for four days and is estimated to have killed more than 4,000 people. London’s air may appear much cleaner today, but is still dangerously polluted. The coal pollution that caused the infamous ‘pea soupers’ has been replaced by invisible pollution – mainly from traffic fumes – resulting in 13,000 early deaths each year in the UK and 4,300 in London