Fred Branfman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fred Branfman
Fred Branfman.jpg
Born (1942-03-12)March 12, 1942
New York City, New York, United States
Died September 24, 2014(2014-09-24) (aged 72)
Budapest, Hungary
Nationality American
Occupation writer
Known for Project Air War, documenting bombing of Laos

Frederick Robert Branfman (March 18, 1942 – September 24, 2014) was an American anti-war activist and author of a number of books about the Indochina War who exposed the covert bombing of Laos by the US. Working as the Director of Project Air War in 1969 he wrote about the U.S. bombing in Indochina, which he claimed was directed at civilians.

Life[edit]

Branfman was born in New York City in 1942. He received in bachelor degree from the University of Chicago in political science and his masters degree in education from Harvard University.[1] Branfman worked as a policy advisor for former California governor Jerry Brown, Gary Hart and Tom Hayden. Branfman was working as an educational advisor for the U.S. government in Laos, when in September 1969 thousands of refugees fled into the Laotian capital of Vientiane. Working as a translator for international media, he began to interpret thousands of villagers' stories, telling of planes dropping bombs.

Told by U.S. officials in Laos that Americans had nothing to do with the bombs, Branfman became consumed with the desire to understand what was happening. Gathering details, he journeyed to Washington and spoke at a special session of the U.S. Senate Committee on Refugees, exposing the U.S. government's covert activities.

In his last years, Branfman worked as a writer, living in Santa Barbara and Budapest. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper's Magazine, Playboy, Salon and The New Republic. He contributed to the Glendon Association and worked with Robert W. Firestone. He also contributed to the traveling exhibition Legacies of War, that was created to raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos. In the acclaimed 2007 TV documentary, now released on DVD, Most Secret Place On Earth: CIA's Covert War In Laos Branfman is one of those who speak to camera.

He died in Budapest, Hungary, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2014 at the age of 72.[2]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]