Colby Award winner Bateman debates on C-Span

2004 Colby Award winner Maj. Robert L. Bateman, the author of No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Koprean War Incident will appear on C-Span on Saturday, August 28, at 10:30 p.m. and again Sunday, August 29, at 8:00 p.m., in a debate entitled, "What Really Happened at No Gun Ri." Bateman was presented with the Colby Award at the 2004 Colby Military Writers' Symposium at Norwich University in April. Named for the late Ambassador and CIA Director William E. Colby, the Colby Award recognizes a first work of fiction or non-fiction that makes a significant contribution to the public's understanding of intelligence operations, military history or international affairs

The debate, taped July 20 at the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago, features Bateman and Associated Press correspondent Charles Hanley, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Bridge at No Gun Ri: A Hidden Nightmare from the Korean War. Bateman and Hanley's books explore different historical interpretations of the event.

In July of 1950, during the first month of the Korean War, near the village of No Gun Ri, U.S. soldiers opened fire on a group of civilians gathered under a railroad bridge, allegedly killing anywhere between 50 and 350 civilians. Over 50 years later, debate continues over what really happened.

Hanley has been a roving correspondent assigned to AP's International Desk in New York for most of the past two decades, reporting from more than 70 countries. Hanley served as a U.S. Army journalist in South Carolina and Vietnam in 1969-70.

In the fall of 1999, Associated Press investigative reporters Charles Hanley, Sang-Hun Choe and Martha Mendoza broke the news that U.S. troops had allegedly killed a large group of South Korean refugees early in the Korean War. The story made headlines around the world and sparked an official investigation by the Pentagon that confirmed the allegations the U.S. military had dismissed. The three were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

Bateman served as an officer with the 7th Cavalry Regiment, was an associate professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.. He edited Digital War: A View from the Front Lines and has authored over thirty articles and essays published in scholarly and professional journals.

Compelled by suspected fallacies in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press story of the alleged slaughter of South Korean refugees at No Gun Ri, Major Bateman presents an alternate explanation of the events through the perspective of the soldiers and their commanders, the 1948-50 South Korean civil war, and the broader state of U.S. military policy and force readiness. Focusing on extensive documentation from previously overlooked sources, his book attempts to debunk the AP allusion to a widespread massacre of civilians by U.S. forces at No Gun Ri and show how veterans who allegedly witnessed this event and influenced others were not even present.

The 10th Annual William E. Colby Military Writers' Symposium will be held at Norwich University April 6-8, 2005.

The William E. Colby Military Writers' Symposium is held each April at Norwich University and in February at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Founded at Norwich in 1996, the Symposium has brought over fifty of the country's top authors, historians, journalists and filmmakers together to participate in open forums, lectures and classroom visits. The 2004 program featured Bateman and fellow Colby Award Winners MG Ray Smith, USMC (Ret) and Bing West, as well as Joseph L. Galloway, H.R. McMaster, Geoffrey Perret, Williamson Murray, and Robert Clasby, along with Symposium co-founders Carlo D'Este and W.E.B. Griffin. The Symposium's national headquarters is located at the new Pritzker Military Library in Chicago, IL.

dcaspole@norwich.edu, August 2004

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