The mass executions of many tens of thousands took place in 1950, only weeks after North Korean armies invaded the South. One mass grave was exposed by a typhoon a few years ago. Recently declassified U.S. documents showed the Americans had taken pictures of a mass killing outside Daejeon. As reported at ABC News:
With U.S. military officers sometimes present, and as North Korean invaders pushed down the peninsula, the southern army and police emptied South Korean prisons, lined up detainees and shot them in the head, dumping the bodies into hastily dug trenches. Others were thrown into abandoned mines or into the sea. Women and children were among those killed. Many victims never faced charges or trial....There are supposedly an estimated 150 mass graves around the country, yet to be unearthed. And while U.S. military and CIA documents discuss the killings, officially, the U.S. maintained executions were reportedly the work of the "murderous barbarism" of the North Koreans. But evidence now suggests the executions were ordered by U.S.-installed puppet President Syngman Rhee. (Rhee was the OSS's man in Korea during World War II. The OSS was the precursor to the CIA.) General MacArthur, leading "allied" forces in Korea, called the mass executions an "'internal matter', even though he controlled South Korea's military.
Hundreds of sets of remains have been uncovered so far, but researchers say they are only a tiny fraction of the deaths. The commission estimates at least 100,000 people were executed, in a South Korean population of 20 million.
That estimate is based on projections from local surveys and is "very conservative," said Kim. The true toll may be twice that or more, he told The Associated Press.
The Cover-Up, and What We Must Do Now
How could this have been covered up so long, you ask? A former Air Force intelligence officer tried to tell the story in a 1981 book. The late Donald Nichols told of witnessing "the unforgettable massacre of approximately 1,800 at Suwon," 20 miles south of Seoul." Another story on the subject by AP describes how reporters tried to tell the story back in 1950, only to have it denied and covered up.
British journalist James Cameron wrote about mass prisoner shootings in the South Korean port city of Busan — then spelled Pusan — for London's Picture Post magazine in the fall of 1950, but publisher Edward Hulton ordered the story removed at the last minute.These mass killings were goddamned war crimes of an immense, killing fields nature. The South Korean government and army of that time were basically creations of the United States. U.S. officers were present at some of these killings (that we know about already), and covered up what they knew -- covered up mass murder!
Earlier, correspondent Alan Winnington reported on the shooting of thousands of prisoners at Daejeon in the British communist newspaper The Daily Worker, only to have his reporting denounced by the U.S. Embassy in London as an "atrocity fabrication"....
Associated Press correspondent O.H.P. King reported on the shooting of 60 political prisoners in Suwon, south of Seoul, and wrote in a later memoir he was "shocked that American officers were unconcerned" by questions he raised about due process for the detainees.
After "shock and awe" in Iraq, the carpetbombing of Vietnam, the mass executions of the Phoenix Project, and the thousands imprisoned and untold tortured at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other "global war on terror" U.S. prisons (including the detention of thousands of minors), after these revelations and many, many more, it is time that Americans woke up and began to accept the reality of their history. That history is far bloodier than they care to imagine, and the fact that atrocities of this magnitude were done by or under the guidance of Americans is a hideous truth that we must not hide from.
More importantly, we should not let those implicated in crimes past and present escape without accountability. A civil commission of the most respected Americans -- none of whom should be from government or the military, as they are too tainted -- should be assembled to investigate the full extent of U.S. involved war crimes. This should include the evidence about use of biological weapons by the United States, as well, during the Korean War. The use of torture post-9/11 should also top the agenda.
We cannot have a clean start, a la Obama, without facing the truth, as ugly as it may be. I ask all of you: are we really a genocidal country? Do we let mass murder go unpunished? How has it come to this, that one has to even ask such questions in this day and age? Speak out now. U.S. militarism has led us to the gates of a moral holocaust. It is happening now.