At the bequest of the SFA, the retired Green Berets, six of Marvin's men and one superior officer, sued for libel and lost. From what Marvin was told by insiders he and his publisher were the only ones ever to show up in court against the Special Operations' hierarchy, no doubt, as Marvin puts it, sponsored by the CIA.
"I heard their attorney say 'I didn't think Marvin would show up,'" Marvin said.
To say the least, Marvin was shattered when his own men, Green Berets who had sent him audio tapes back in 1988 with memories of An Phu to help with the writing of the book, agreed to testify against him. Those tapes were played in court to the astonishment of the jury. It took the jurors two hours on Jan. 30, 2006 to come back with a verdict denying all the plaintiffs' claims.
"I called one soldier, we were the best of friends, but his wife wouldn't let him talk to me because they had been threatened with the loss of their retirement pay," Marvin said.
The story of An Phu, suppressed for years, is about a Special Forces Commander who gets asked to volunteer for the assignment to take the Vietnam War across the border to neutral Cambodia in order to assassinate the Crown Prince and blame the Viet Cong. The hope was to scare the Cambodian people into thinking they were under attack, turning the communist-leaning neutral country into a valuable ally against the North Vietnamese. When Marvin refused the mission, a heavily armed South Vietnamese regiment was sent by the CIA to annihilate Marvin's men and about 400 Buddhists in retribution of Marvin's actions. South Vietnamese Lieutenant General Quang Van Dang interceded and ordered the regiment back to their base.
"This is not an action story, it is a story to learn from, to learn the courage, the sacrifice and the unheralded civic actions of our Special Forces, to learn the tenacity and beauty of the Hoa Hoa people (Buddhists), to learn that war is more than what is presented in history books. To learn that a country and our fighting men and women may be mislead by our political leaders," wrote Kris Millegan, publisher.