[Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg, taught me that sometimes the truth is hidden in plain sight. In this case, all I had to do was open a book, and some of the truth spilled out. Bolded text is my emphasis.]


[Gen. Ngo Dzu]


One night in mid-January 1967 Colonel Chau had me over to dinner at his house to meet his new boss at the Joint General Staff, General Ngo Dzu. … Dzu said that poor morale throughout the ARVN stemmed from lack of confidence in and respect for top GVN leadership. Each level – from squad leader to division commander and above – saw that its superior officers were engaging in corrupt practices or political maneuverings and took this for license to do the same. Until there was reform at the top, the troops would continue to alienate the population by their practices of theft and maltreatment. These malpractices by both troops and officers, he said, reflected directly their feelings that “the long war, of which they have grown very tired, cannot be won by the type of national government and leadership now in place.” … Corruption, he went on, reflected this mood of despair. “When you see, from the nature of our leadership, that there is no hope of any progress, nothing you can achieve in your province or division, militarily or politically … you turn to doing what you can do, which is to take care of your family.”