Vietnam War air force general posthumously exonerated

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The disgraced commander of US air operations during the Vietnam War has been posthumously exonerated after secret files reveal the Nixon administration ordered him to carry out "rogue" air strikes.

John D Lavelle was demoted and forced to retire in April 1972 after being relieved of duty for violating presidential restrictions on aerial bombing during the Vietnam War.

He maintained his innocence during congressional hearings held after his dismissal and died in 1979.

Declassified documents and transcripts of President Richard Nixon's Oval Office audio tapes now show that more aggressive bombing in North Vietnam had been secretly authorised in early 1972....

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