Ad hominem memory

A conservative Web site accused Gannett editor Robert Hodierne of treason after the publications he edits called last month for the resignation of U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Gannett is the corporation that owns the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Hodierne is an editor at a Gannett subsidiary that publishes the Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times, the Air Force Times, and other publications that cover the federal government. After those newspapers published simultaneous editorials calling for Rumsfeld to go, accused Hodierne of treason—not for the editorial but for something that happened in Vietnam 37 years ago.

In August 1969, a badly decimated light infantry company of soldiers in the Americal Division were ordered to attack an entrenched Vietnamese position on Nui Lon Mountain for the sixth time. The men in the company refused to obey the command. The story of their refusal made news around the world. Hodierne, then with the Pacific edition of Stars and Stripes, also reported on it.

WorldNetDaily ran its attack on Hodierne under the headline “Military Times editor accused of ‘treason’ at Stars & Stripes.”

Hodierne is a documentary producer, former national editor of Newhouse News Service, and a Pulitzer Prize juror.

WorldNetDaily is noted for its attacks on critics of the Bush administration and for stories of uncertain accuracy. On Jan. 25, 2003, it published an article suggesting that United Flight 93 was shot down by a military aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001, a scenario that has never been substantiated.