Kept Hidden From History
originally posted -- 2008-05-18 11:19:54 -- bumped, cho
I was just surfing a few sites, reading a few articles when I came across the following, Mass Killings In South Korea In 1950 Kept Hidden From History, at of all places the Huffington Post.
This Aug. 2007 photo, released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, shows the remains of some of 110 victims of 1950 executions of political prisoners at Cheongwon, Chungbuk, south of Seoul, South Korea. The commission, which excavated the site, is investigating that and other mass killings in South Korea in 1950-51. A commission chief investigator estimates up to 7,000 were killed in the central city of Daejeon alone, and tens of thousands elsewhere. (AP Photo/ The Truth and Reconciliation Commission)
I hadn't heard about this South Korean Atrosity, as the article states:
Fifty-eight years ago, at the outbreak of the Korean War, South Korean authorities secretively executed, usually without legal process, tens of thousands of southern leftists and others rightly or wrongly identified as sympathizers. Today a government Truth and Reconciliation Commission is working to dig up the facts, and the remains of victims.
How could such a bloodbath have been hidden from history?
And apparently U.S. Military and Government officials knew this was going on and played into the silence of!
So I did a search of the South Korean 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission', something else I had not known about.
The first thing I found was at the United States Institute of Peace.
On October 17, 2000, President Kim Dae-Jung inaugurated the Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths to investigate the death of citizens opposed to past authoritarian regimes in South Korea. Earlier that year, on January 15, the enactment of the Special Act to Find the Truth on Suspicious Deaths created the commission and established its mandate to investigate deaths upon the request of petitioners, to report its findings and recommendations to the president, and to identify human rights perpetrators for prosecution. The commission received 80 petitions by the deadline of January 2, 2001 and has until April 20, 2002 to complete its work.
The commission is composed of nine members led by law professor Yang Seung-Kyu. Appointed as commissioners were Kim Hyoung-Tae, Mun Deok-Hyoung, Lee Suk-Young, Ahn Byung-Ook, Pak Un-Jong, Lee Yoon-Seong, Lee Won-Young, Baik Seung-Hun.
Sources: Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths, (February 25, 2002).
Back at the search site I followed one link which brought up a number of reports from 1 hour to 4 hours ago, apparently this is just hitting the wires.
Here's one AP report from 4 hours ago:
Shooter grew 'speechless' at 1950 Korea killings
The prison guard scanned the trench full of bodies, under orders to shoot anyone still alive, when he heard a cry from below that still echoes in his mind: "Mr. Chief! Please shoot me."
The 25-year-old guard, Lee Joon-young, complied with a squeeze of his .45-caliber pistol's trigger, ending the suffering of one victim of the mass executions carried out by South Korean authorities in the early days of the Korean War.
In just a few weeks in mid-1950, the military and police killed thousands of known leftists and suspected leftist sympathizers, as well as ordinary convicts and peasants wrongly caught up in anti-communist sweeps. South Korean leaders feared they might help invading troops from communist North Korea.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Korea, a state fact-finding body, is now investigating these wholesale slaughters, which commissioner Kim Dong-choon says took at least 100,000 lives.
This from one hour ago:
Thousands killed by US's Korean ally
Grave by mass grave, South Korea is unearthing the skeletons and buried truths of a cold-blooded slaughter from early in the Korean War, when this nation's U.S.-backed regime killed untold thousands of leftists and hapless peasants in a summer of terror in 1950.
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.
The one at the top, from Huffington, came in an AP report four hours ago that closed with this:
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.
Some U.S. officers — and U.S. diplomats — were among others who reported on the killings. But their classified reports were kept secret for decades.
There are other pictures at this last link along with the one directly above and the one at the top.