LIFE Magazine: "Authorized" view of life in camp
LIFE MagazineOctober 20, 1967
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) considered captured United States servicemen war criminals in an illegal war of aggression. As such, they refused to grant the prisoners the rights and privileges guaranteed prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention. In 1966, prisoner Jeremiah Denton, Jr. confirmed international suspicion of mistreatment when he blinked the word torture in Morse code during a televised propaganda interview. Prisoners were subjected to severe physical beatings, public harassment, sensory deprivation, long term isolation, and more. To counteract international outrage, in 1967, North Vietnam invited a team of journalists to tour a prison. The staged photographs, published in LIFE Magazine, failed to sway public opinion to believe that North Vietnam treated prisoners of war humanely.