The Green Beret Affair began in June 1969 when a group of American Green Beret officers, believing that one of their attached Vietnamese personnel was a double agent, summarily executed the Vietnamese man and disposed of his body in the ocean. Following an investigation, the Green Berets involved were arrested. The charges were later dropped amid controversy as to whether a murder had been committed or the killing of the Vietnamese operative was no different from actions taken during search and destroy missions in the Vietnamese countryside. American public opinion was divided, some considering the incident to be evidence that politicians exerted such influence on the conduct of the war that American troops were unable to fulfill their mission and win in Vietnam. On the other hand, the incident prompted Daniel Ellsberg to go public with the Pentagon Papers.
During WWII, the unique civilian organization did much to boost the morale of soldiers at home and abroad.
Acclaimed General Lloyd Fredendall lost his command after the debacle at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass.
The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, benefited from the firsthand observation of spies on Oahu.