Below is a link that will take you to 54 separate articles, notes, or typewritten pages that have been selectively culled from a variety of newspaper sources, etc., that pretty much expose most of the U.S. Government actions via the CIA during the so-called Secret War in Laos and surrounding countries up through the 1970's. Like the above article, they provide a plethora of names, places and dates of the participants, usually without providing names, places and dates of the information providers. Most are written and presented in a slight media bias as they chose to deliver the information through a prism of not necessarily approving what was going on rather than just reporting the news. As with the above article, for example, I think of Tony Poe totally differently than he is presented. Plus, after the fact selectivity doesn't help things. It's a lot different when you are there and deep in the quagmire feet-first during the time when what was being done was being done. Scroll down the page that comes up and a click through the list, in blue, for any or all of the articles. All are expandable for a much larger size. Pleasant reading.
You will note that most of the articles, like the one above, emphasize it was Laotian reconnaissance teams being inserted, implying that the teams were made up exclusively of indigenous personnel with no teams having a few Americans or for sure, no teams made up of all Americans. That may have been the way it was sold to higher ups and those in position to grant permission to go into China, but that's not the way it went down. The following is from Footnote  of a paper titled Sheep Dipped linked below, starting with what had been discussed in the main text of the paper, the existence of "An ill-defined group of US Air Force and Army personnel who happened to be on the ground," the ill-defined group on the ground being in Laos and a total disregard for borders, China or otherwise:
"An ill-defined group of US Air Force and Army personnel who happened to be on the ground in the vicinity of air strikes, had radio contact with strike aircraft, and were able to give some information concerning target location."
Colonel Theodore Leonard, USA, Commander of US Special Forces in Vietnam during the period, speaking to the advent of early U.S. covert operations in Laos, provided the following comments as it appears in the once classified above secret, but now unclassified, MACVSOG DOCUMENTATION STUDY Appendix D, Cross-Border Operations in Laos:
"We were told that we would launch indigenous teams only. Although we could train the reconnaissance teams we would not be allowed to accompany them in. I told Mr. McNamara I didn't feel that we could assure any tangible results unless our own people participated. He said, 'I agree With you; however, Mr. Rusk does not at this time feel that we should risk the exposure of American forces in an area that they're not supposed to be in.' I was told by Mr. McNamara that we could not discuss this with the Joint General Staff of ARVN until we got a final clearance from Washington after his return there, then we should be prepared to go within 30 days of his green light. His message to MACV was about three days later. We were told then to get with ARVN and be prepared to go within 30 days. I don't have the exact figure for the dates but it was about mid-May at the time we finally were told that we had the approval."(source)
What Colonel Leonard is saying is that initially he was told, at least with a wink, that going into Laos could only be done with teams made up of indigenous personnel (i.e., no American forces), primarily because of Secretary of State Dean Rusk indicating that at the time 'we should not risk the exposure.' Three days later Leonard was told to "get with the ARVN" and be prepared to go in 30 days, his concerns that 'we could not assure any tangible results unless our own people participated' ameliorated, with approval to do so (i.e., use Americans, just not American forces) granted Leonard says, about mid-May 1964.
It should be noted the ill-defined group that happened to be on the ground was not, and I say again, not part of or associated with the WATERPUMP detachment on the ground from Udorn. The ill-defined group were there for other reasons, other more top secret reasons.
"Look! Up in the sky!
"It's a bird.
"It's a plane.
"Yes, it's Superman, strange visitor from another planet who came to earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands. And who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and the American way."
MEDIA COVERAGE: CIA, LAOS AND THE SECRET WAR THROUGH 1970'S
IN AS A BOY,- OUT AS A MAN
THE DRAFT, ACTIVE DUTY, ACTIVE RESERVE
MEETING WARLORDS, ET AL
NAM YU: LIMA SITE 118A
WIRETAPPING THE VIET CONG
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.
One of the most notorious operatives of the whole Secret War in Laos was a man by the name of Anthony Poshepny, also known as Tony Poe. He was there from the very beginning of Long Tieng (Lima Site 20A) circa 1961 training Hmong troops and going into the field with them. As the years went by, being there for such a long time and deeply immersed in the culture, even marrying a Hmong 'princess' and having children, he almost forgot who he was. The following is from the link below the paragraphs and recollects a time only a few years into Tony Poe's deployment in Laos:
"Almost the very second Poe and I made eye contact we recognized each other, Poe asking, 'What the hell are you doing here?,' with my response at nearly the exact same instant being, 'I thought you were in Tibet.'
"The last I saw Poe was in 1959 or 1960. He was in Colorado at an old onetime World War II U.S. Army facility called Camp Hale, training covertly off the books, a bunch of Tibetans to fight the Chinese. At the time I was a real civilian yet to be drafted, working instead for a small offshoot of a a major aerospace company involved with the then super-secret U-2 project. The person I worked for directly, called Harry the Man, was the top high altitude breathing equipment person in the world.
"Apparently in October of 1959 it was confirmed that China, with Soviet assistance, had established a nuclear test base at Lop Nor with all intentions of testing a nuclear device. U-2 flights over China were becoming extremely dangerous, so powers that be thought if they could put a monitoring station on top of some Himalayan mountain with a clear shot towards Lop Nor they could gather all the information they needed. Before a decision was made as to what mountain would be selected, it was a given it would be at a very high altitude. The same powers wanted to ensure that already existent equipment necessary to accomplish the mission could be modified, if need be, to operate in the rarified atmosphere OR if equipment could be designed to allow it to do so without modification. Enter Harry the Man. We were both atArea 51 at Groom Lake when the call came through for Harry to meet with some people at Camp Hale. I went along and while there met Tony Poe."
THE MONASTERY: HUNTERS OF THE WHITE MONK
THE CIAs SECRET WAR IN TIBET
--------------(please click image)
Sometime around I think, June of 2000 or so, and with me not knowing he was edging towards the end of his days, I drove to Northern California to see Tony Poe --- for no other reason than to just offer him my overall well wishes and thank him for some advice he had given me once many, many years before. To say the least I was a tad set aback from the robust young man he had been when I saw him last and how he was. How he was, was in bad shape, although holding on. A compound of aggregate conditions caused by heavy drinking and diabetes began to add up and to take their toll, even to the point he had to have a leg amputated. Toward the end it got to the point he was scheduled to have his remaining leg amputated as well, but died just prior. Even though we talked and he was cordial I know he didn't remember me, just another faceless G.I. that had passed through his life at one time or the other and I felt a sort of emptiness about it because I listened to the advice he gave me and always felt a great sense of gratitude. Yet, when I sat there across from the old warrior looking into his eyes, talking to him and expressing my appreciation for what he had done, I knew he had no idea who I was or how once upon a time, however briefly, I fit into his life. It was a long drive home.
Poe had dropped out of high school to join the Marines when World War II started. He finished high school via a correspondence course and after the war graduated from San Jose State in 1950 with a degree in history and English, although in how he presented himself you would never know it. We crossed paths at Camp Hale, but it was later in Long Tieng --- and I have been told Poe never offered sage advice to anybody --- he told me to get out of this shit while I still had a chance and never look back. Go to college, make something of yourself, don't fuck up your life like I have. Your'e a cartoonist. Draw pictures. Make people laugh. Within four months of my discharge I started college and the following happened, of which I have always attributed to Tony:
"I settled in using Redondo as a central base of operations while commuting back and forth to college attempting to grab off an undergraduate degree on the G.I. Bill, and of which I was eventually able to do.
"After receiving a B.A. along with a California Secondary Teaching Credential, which required an additional fifth year beyond a bachelors as well as student teaching, I matriculated into graduate school."
THE WANDERLING AND HIS HIGH SCHOOL CHUMS