Newsmen anxious to get into Laos and see for themselves the current situation, claim they are the victims of a deliberate attempt by the military to keep them out and prevent them from seeing what's going on the other side of the border with South Vietnam.
SV Press correspondents play cards on hilltop. (2 shots) Quang Tri province.
TV Reporters sitting on ground Ham Nghi (2 shots)
SV Reporters talking to soldier.
LV Helicopter taking off with supplies (three shots)
CU General Lam talking to reporters.
SV Reporter sitting on ground.
SV General Lam talks to reporters.
GV Supply aircraft arrives at Khe Sanh.
CU Soldier checks supplies.
CU Loading supplies.
SV Supplies onto truck.
SV Tents with US Flags flying over.
CU US Marines digging in (2 shots)
CU US Marines build runway.
Orig on 2515/71
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Background: Newsmen anxious to get into Laos and see for themselves the current situation, claim they are the victims of a deliberate attempt by the military to keep them out and prevent them from seeing what's going on the other side of the border with South Vietnam.
Groups of reporters and cameramen, among them an NBC crew have been waiting dejectedly for a chance to hitch a ride in one of the many helicopters which regularly fly to where the action is. They were promised a facility trip aboard an American helicopter, Instead they were stranded at Ham Nghi in Vietnam, a forward command post for the South Vietnamese Army. The American helicopters are under the command of the South Vietnamese, and General Hoang Xuan Lam, in command of the Laos operation, said it was too dangerous for the pressmen to make the trip. Some reporters claimed that although he might have their welfare at heart, his refusal to let them to may be rooted in a desire to keep them from seeing things which, according to the correspondents "might embarrass" the South Vietnamese Army and the Nixon administration's Vietnamisation Programme.
At Khe Sanh the situation's somewhat different. A huge base is being built on the site of the place which, in 1968 was blasted for 77 days non-stop by an estimated 20 000 North Vietnamese troops. 5,000 U.S Marines were pinned down there. The new base is almost completed, and has fewer troops than it did three years ago, but they are prepared for any action which might develop although things are peaceful enough at the moment.