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Nguyen Ngoc Loan
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Military Personnel
    (December 11, 1930-July 14, 1998)
    Born in New York
    Former Brigadier General for South Vietnam
    National Police Chief
    Photographed shooting a captured prisoner during the Tet Offensive (February 1, 1968), which became one of the most famous images from the Vietnam War
    Died of cancer in Burke, Virginia
    While defending Saigon during the Tet Offensive, he diverted his troops from the American Embassy to the Presidential Palace, angering the US.
    The summary execution of his prisoner violated South Vietnamese law.
    The executed prisoner may have been Le Cong Na, a minor political operative.
    According to a NBC cameraman, after the execution he said, 'These guys kill a lot of our people and I think Buddha will forgive me.'
    He claimed that the prisoner was Nguyen Van Lem, the head of a Viet Cong 'revenge squad' that had killed dozens of civilians.
    After he was wounded in battle, an Australian hospital refused to treat him because of his controversial reputation.
    He operated a pizzeria in Virginia until publicity about his past led to a sharp decline in business.
    Vandals scrawled, 'We know who you are' on the walls of his restaurant.
    Photographer Eddie Adams apologized for taking the photo, saying 'The general killed the Vietcong. I killed the general with my camera.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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