CBS ON HERBERT
To the Editors of The Crimson:
In a March 2 article, you quote Lt. Col. Anthony Herbert claiming that the recent Sixty Minutes piece on him was a fraud: "The unedited tapes would show something vastly different than what appeared on television." Herbert also "claimed that CBS producer Barry Lando had tried to convince soldiers who supported Herbert to change their stories."
Those charges are lies.
But what disturbs me most is that The Crimson apparently made no effort to contact CBS News or myself to check out those claims, or at least ask for our views. Why? In my opinion, it was exactly such shoddy reporting that enabled Herbert to get away with his charges for so long.
The brunt of our report was to seriously question Herbert's claim that his career in the army was ruined because he tried to report war crimes and have them investigated. The conclusion we came to, after talking with more than 120 people who have known Herbert at all points in his career--some civilians, some military; man off-the-record--is that Herbert is lying. I can put it no other way.
There is no question war crimes occurred. There is no evidence whatsoever, though, that Herbert showed any interest in reporting them until seventeen months after he was relieved of command, and that relief of command had nothing to do with war crimes.
When Herbert has voiced charges against CBS or myself, other newspapers and radio stations have taken the trouble to check the story out. The Crimson was a surprising exception. Barry Lando '61