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BEST-TREATED POWs?

December 09, 1990

Your review of "Bouncing Back" by Winston Groom (Sept. 30) was so far off base as to border on the absurd. Groom continues the myth that the North Vietnamese tortured and abused POWs.

Military science measures treatment of POWs by death rates while in captivity. By this measure, those held by the Chinese and North Koreans during the Korean War were the most mistreated American POWs of any detaining power in history.

Contrary to Groom's statements regarding treatment by the "Nazis," the POWs held by the Germans during WW II were the best treated until the Vietnam conflict. According to the death rate while in captivity, the POWs detained by the North Vietnamese were even better treated. One only has to remember the obvious good health of these men when they were released amidst much fanfare and flown back to the United States.

Let's set the records straight: Since the Vietnam War was unpopular, unjustified, and a loser, we had to whoop it up for some aspect of it.

RICHARD P. FOX

LOS ANGELES

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