Q&A with historian and author Nick Turse
Investigative journalist and historian Nick Turse has augmented his body of work with his historical nonfiction book, “Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.” Turse will be at Flyleaf Books Sunday to discuss “Kill Anything That Moves,” which reveals the extensive violence against Vietnamese civilians, ultimately leaving 2 million dead, 5.3 million injured, and 11 million displaced.
Staff writer Jaleesa Jones spoke with Turse about his hard-hitting expose.
Daily Tar Heel: Describe the moment when you first discovered the documentation of these war crimes in the basement of the U.S. National Archives?
Nick Turse: It was brought to my attention by an archivist there. I was working on a different project about post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans and I was hitting one brick wall after another as far as research went. I was exasperated and I went to him and I said, ‘Look, I just need a lead — something to bring back to my boss.’ And he thought about it for all of five seconds and he asked me a question that ended up changing my life. He said, ‘Do you think that witnessing war crimes could cause post-traumatic stress?’ I told him I thought it was an excellent hypothesis and I asked what kind of war crimes, and he told me about these files and pulled them for me. Within an hour, I was leafing through about 30 archival boxes filled with the military’s own investigation of massacres, murder, rape, torture, assault, mutilation…horrific crimes reported by active duty G.I.s and recently returned veterans. And I knew almost immediately that this was a very signification collection that almost no one knew about....
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