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IMPENDING GOP BOMBSHELL (Kerry in Paris, 1971!)
NRO, The Kerry Spot ^ | 9/1/04 | Jim Geraghty

Posted on 09/01/2004 10:23:47 PM PDT by Timeout

AN IMPENDING BOMBSHELL?

[09/01 10:10 PM]

Months ago, I was chatting with a Republican who is very, very knowledgeable about Kerry and I mentioned Kerry's 1971 travels to Paris, and meetings with Madame Nguyen Thi Binh. Binh had been a member of the Central Committee for the National Front for the Liberation of the South, and was now Foreign Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) of South Vietnam. The military arm of the PRG was widely known as the Viet Cong, just as Madame Binh was widely recognized as the Viet Cong delegate to the conference.

"Yeah, I've heard about that," the Republican said. "I've heard a lot of interesting things about that, but I don't think I want to talk about that just yet."

My eyebrows were raised, but he wouldn't say more.

Well, apparently Newt Gingrich just said to Sean Hannity, very slowly, very carefully, that John Kerry traveled to Paris three times to meet with the Communist leadership in secret.

I think we now know what that Republican didn't yet want to talk about.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: binh; communists; france; gingrich; hannity; hanoijohn; kerry; kerrylies; lurch; paris; powsmias; traitor; treason
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To: HarryCaul

Uh, there are pictures of him meeting with the VC. They have been shown already.


151 posted on 09/02/2004 6:27:18 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (My Father was 10x the hero John Fraud Kerry is.)
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To: Mike Fieschko

"You think Nixon would've sent Kerry to Paris?"

No, but the V.C. might have sent Kerry to the Senate.

Which came first? Paris or the Senate testimony?


152 posted on 09/02/2004 6:27:32 AM PDT by keats5
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To: Timeout

Can you say "October Surprise"? I knew you could!


153 posted on 09/02/2004 6:27:47 AM PDT by JimRed (Fight election fraud! Volunteer as a local poll watcher, challenger or district official.)
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To: Buckhead

Good summary.


154 posted on 09/02/2004 6:28:28 AM PDT by kabar
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To: coconutt2000
Tomorrow is the very last day to file candidacy.

I admit to a lack of knowledge on this subject: The filing deadlines. Where is this written? Somebody sent me a link to various deadlines in various states, but where do you get the 9-3-2004 deadline?

155 posted on 09/02/2004 6:30:15 AM PDT by CaraM
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To: dinok

He is a Senator from a state which supports his treasonous activity. It won't fly anywhere else.

Hammer this ahole until there is nothing left but a bloody pulp. Don't give him a chance to recover from one blow before hitting him with two more.

Fear should not be our controlling emotion.


156 posted on 09/02/2004 6:30:49 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (My Father was 10x the hero John Fraud Kerry is.)
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Comment #157 Removed by Moderator

To: Conservativegreatgrandma

I give a lot of weight to things that Newt has to say. This could get very interesting.


158 posted on 09/02/2004 6:33:29 AM PDT by ride the whirlwind (Where I come from, deeds mean more than words. - Zell Miller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 146 | View Replies]

To: dinok

You need work on your nose. This is not even that new most of us already know about it.


159 posted on 09/02/2004 6:36:04 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (My Father was 10x the hero John Fraud Kerry is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 73 | View Replies]

To: Timeout

Manchurian candidate?


160 posted on 09/02/2004 6:36:12 AM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HarryCaul
Even if true, this will go nowhere.

The people who support that despicable, self aggrandizing, lying, backstabbing, seditious traitor with a huge Walter Mitty complex - Hanoi John Kerry - could not care less.
161 posted on 09/02/2004 6:36:20 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: mnehrling
The only bad part is that it is so ugly, Kerry may quit and I can only imagine the worst case scenario, Hillary riding to the party's rescue..

Some months ago, when the Republican Convention was pushed so late into the year, I was told one reason was that the powers that be wanted it to be almost too late for anyone else to file for the office. As I have always thought the plan was to push Hillary I took that to mean they had some plan to knock out whoever was the dim nominee and didn't want her to have time to fill the gap. Time (24 hours)will tell.

162 posted on 09/02/2004 6:39:40 AM PDT by HoustonCurmudgeon (If you're going to be a Democrat, be Zell Miller.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Timeout

John Corry
Sen. John Kerry: MIA COVER UP REPORT
Thu Jan 22 14:15:52 2004
64.140.158.84

Sen. John Kerry, the committee chairman, told one of the investigators that if the report ever leaked out, "you'll wish you'd never been born."
http://www.aiipowmia.com/reports/corry.html

The MIA Cover-Up

THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR "The MIA Cover-Up"
By John Corry

Seeking to normalize relations with Vietnam, President Clinton, along with supine politicians and a feckless press, would like the public to forget the MIA issue. But evidence continues to emerge that far more men were left behind than has been reported--and that some may be alive today. by John Corry

John Corry is The American Spectator's regular Presswatch columnist and author of the new book, My Times: Adventures in the News Trade (Grosset/G.P. Putnam's Sons).

As shown by the enclosed Casualty Data Summary, a total of 1,303 American personnel remain officially unaccounted-for after the completion of Operation Homecoming.... Of the 1,303 personnel, the debriefs of the returnees contain information that approximately 100 of them are probably dead. ---Defense Intelligence Agency memorandum to Deputy Secretary of Defense William Clements, May 22, 1973

The intelligence indicates that American prisoners of war have been held continuously after Operation Homecoming and remain[ed] in captivity in Vietnam and Laos as late as 1989. ---unpublished report by Senate investigators, April 9, 1992

HANOI, Vietnam (Reuter)--US. Assistant Secretary of State Winston Lord said Tuesday as conclusively as anyone can, that there are no U.S. prisoners of war (POWs) being held in Vietnam . . . . "There has never been evidence uncovered of someone being held alive," he told a news conference after talks with Vietnamese officials. --December 14,1993

A terrible truth is now emerging: Recently declassified documents and other sources show that America's MIA-POW policy has been disfigured by denials, half-truths, and evasions. More important, they also suggest that American prisoners are still crying out in Vietnam. For two decades, a cover-up has been in progress, sustained not so much by conspiracy as by government ineptitude, a bureaucratic unwillingness to draw obvious conclusions from incontrovertible facts, and a failure of national resolve. It is now certain that we left men behind in Southeast Asia-not merely the handful we now unofficially acknowledge in Laos, but in numbers reaching well into the hundreds in Vietnam. It is equally certain that American officials ignored evidence of this at the time.

To understand the moral catastrophe we must go back twenty-one years. Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, a senior member of the Hanoi Politburo, signed the Paris Peace Accords ending the Vietnam war on January 23, 1973. "We have been told that no American prisoners are held in Cambodia," Kissinger told reporters the next day. "American prisoners held in North Vietnam and Laos will be returned to us in Hanoi." One week later, however, President Nixon sent a secret letter to Premier Pham Van Dong of North Vietnam, reflecting an unpublicized understanding reached by Kissinger and Le Duc Tho. Nixon told Pham that the United States would "contribute to postwar reconstruction in North Vietnam," in an amount that would "fall in the range of $3.25 billion of grant aid over five years." He also said that "other forms of aid ... could fall in the range of I to 1.5 billion dollars."

Sen. John Kerry, the committee chairman, told one of the investigators that if the report ever leaked out, "you'll wish you'd never been born."

None of the aid was ever extended, and even the existence of the letter was not disclosed until years later. If the aid had been extended, however, Vietnam might have returned all its prisoners. The precedent was clear. The Vietminh guerrillas of the 1950s had held back an unknown number of French soldiers after the fall of Dien Bien Phu. France quietly ransomed them back with government aid. Moreover, a 1969 study by the Rand Corporation had said that "a quid pro quo that the DRV [Democratic Republic of Vietnam] is likely to demand-and one that the United States may want to consider accepting-is the payment of reparations to North Vietnam in exchange for US. prisoners."

The study went on to say that the United States could avoid the appearance of paying reparations if it publicly labeled them "part of the U.S. contribution to a postwar recovery program." Nixon's letter, of course, offered just such a contribution. The study concluded as follows:

It would be unduly optimistic to believe that the DRV and the Vietcong will release all US. prisoners immediately after conclusion of an agreement in the expectation that the United States will meet its military, political or monetary commitments. More likely, they will insist on awaiting concrete evidence of US. concessions before releasing the majority of American prisoners.


But the concessions, or aid programs, were not forthcoming. There was no possibility they ever could be. Nixon would soon be undone by Watergate, and Congress wanted no more of the war. In the delirium of the time, some thirty senators had even called for unilateral withdrawal from Southeast Asia, without the imposition of any conditions on North Vietnam. Hanoi would be trusted to return all its prisoners. When it did release 591 POWs, in Operation Homecoming in March 1973, however, it was apparent that something was wrong. Hundreds of hospital beds had been set aside for the returnees; it had been assumed many would need medical attention. The 591 returnees, though, included no amputees or burn cases; there was no one maimed, disfigured, or blind. It is reasonable to believe that the most afflicted POWs either remained in Vietnam, or were murdered.

Nonetheless, no questions were publicly raised about this or, indeed, any other substantive matter, and on March 29 President Nixon addressed the nation on television. "For the first time in twelve years, no American military forces are in Vietnam," he declared. "All of our American POWs are on their way home." Few seemed to hear what he said moments later: "There are still some problem areas. The provisions of the agreement all missing in action . . .have not been complied with . . . . We shall insist that North Vietnam comply with the agreement."

But we did not insist; for one thing, we had no "leverage" to do so. Congress had walked away from the war. In May, the Senate rejected a Republican amendment that would have allowed continued bombing if Nixon certified that North Vietnam was not trying to account for all the missing in action. Certainly, there already was evidence that men had been left behind. The Casualty Data Summary mentioned in the Defense Intelligence Agency memorandum at the top of this story, for example, notes that, besides the 1,200 or so men whose fate was unknown after Operation Homecoming, 65 were still held as prisoners: 29 in North Vietnam, 27 in South Vietnam, five in Cambodia, and four in Laos. Moreover, there was general agreement that the figure for Laos represented only a fraction of the real total. Several declassified documents suggest the number should have been in the hundreds. A March 1973 memo to the Joint Chiefs of Staff says, "There are approximately 350 U.S. military and civilian POW/MlAs in Laos." An earlier memo to Henry Kissinger says that some 215 of the 350 "were lost under circumstances that the enemy probably has information regarding their fate." No information was ever forthcoming, however, and only twelve prisoners returned from Laos.

Thus, even from the beginning, the POW issue was shrouded in ambiguity. There are, though, some salient facts. The Defense Intelligence Agency memorandum cited above says 1,303 men were still unaccounted for after Operation Homecoming, and that the debriefings of the returned POWs indicated that approximately 100 of them were probably dead. Therefore, some 1,200 might still have been alive. (A later Pentagon document gives a precise number of 1,278.) The possibility that they were alive, how- ever, was ignored, and even misrepresented. A deposition given in 1992 by Dr. Frank Shields, the former head of the Pentagon's POW/MIA Task Force, to the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs is instructive. In the deposition, Shields describes an April 1973 meeting with Deputy Secretary of Defense Clements, who had summoned him to his office to discuss the Pentagon's public posture on men missing in action:

DR. SHIELDS: He [Clements] indicated to me that he believed that there were no Americans alive in Indochina. And I said: I don't believe that you could say that ... I told him that he could not say that. And he said: You didn't hear what I said. And I said: You can't say that. And I thought he was probably going to fire me ... QUESTION: What did you interpret that to mean, "you didn't hear me"? DR. SHIELDS: That I was fighting the problem. You remember that there were a lot of people at the time who wanted to declare victory, okay? And I think that maybe at that point in time he believed that we had what we had, and that was all we were going to get, and that there was no one there.

That Colonel Hynds was captured alive seems indisputable; the Pentagon, however, has always listed a Col. Wallace Gurley Hynds as killed in action.

This meant that even though there was no evidence to prove that some 1,200 men-or, to use the exact figure, 1,278 men-were dead, the Pentagon would assume they were. Intentional or not, it was the beginning of the cover-up, and it would have a far-reaching effect. The tacit assumption that the men were dead would harden into official policy. Henceforth, all official figures on POWs and MIAs would be suspect. The grotesque part, though, is that even the figure of 1,200-or 1,278-might have been too low. As an intelligence estimate, it was worthless.

That was because in addition to the 1,278 MIAs about whom the Pentagon had no firm information, an almost equal number of MIAs had been declared dead. Most were classified as KIA/BNR, or killed in action/body not recovered. Over the years, however, a growing body of evidence has cast those early KIA/BNR figures in doubt. More men were left alive than we thought. Ironically, much of the evidence about this is now coming from the Vietnamese. In 1991, American investigators from the Joint Casualty Resolution Commission were allowed to visit a Vietnamese military museum in Vinh City in Nghe Tinh province. In their written report, the investigators say they were shown items from the museum's collection, and then given a two-page excerpt from the museum's register. Then they were allowed to examine the register itself. They took notes on information in the register that was "pertinent to significant exhibit items they had been allowed to examine." Their report continues:

The entire register was then reviewed for entries concerning additional items of interest. During this process, it was noted that a number of items mentioned in the register excerpt did not appear in the register. In addition, there were numerous gaps in the register where items that had been examined by the team were not included. This suggests that the register viewed by the team was not original as claimed by the museum staff, but in fact had been selectively recopied from an original at some time in the past. The team also noted that certain items of high interest that appeared in the register were not available for examination. Museum officials claimed that these items were not available because they had been lost, destroyed or lent to other museums.

Characteristically, the Vietnamese were trying to hide something. The investigators were shown pre-selected items. Then they were shown not the register that listed all the items, but instead an excerpt from the register. Apparently, they insisted then on examining the entire register, and when they did, they discovered it was a fake. Moreover, "certain items of high interest" that were supposed to be in the museum were missing.

The investigators, however, listed in their report the items they were able to see, literally translating the museum's own descriptions. They found, for example, "a flag used to request food used by the American colonel pilot Hynds, Wallace G., and was captured at Ha Tinh," and "bandit pilot identification card number FR 15792 of Hynds, Wallace Gouley and was captured alive in Ha Tinh on 28-5-1965."

That Colonel Hynds was captured alive seems indisputable; the Pentagon, however, has always listed a Col. Wallace Gurley Hynds as killed in action. There are six other men whose names were found in that one provincial museum who were all listed as being captured alive, although the Pentagon had declared them all dead.

The inescapable conclusion is that MIA lists were flawed from the outset. More men were captured alive than anyone thought. Recently declassified transcripts of the conversations of Vietnamese anti-aircraft gunners, monitored by the National Security Agency, reinforce the conclusion. The gunners talk of American planes being brought down, and of their pilots being captured by soldiers or villagers. The National Security Agency has correlated the transcripts with the names of the pilots. Although the Vietnamese themselves talk about the pilots being captured alive, at least some of them were classified by the Pentagon as "presumptive finding of death," or "killed in action/body not recovered."

The indications that a large number of men were left behind after 1973 have become compelling. A North Vietnamese military doctor, who defected to the South in 1971, told American officials that Hanoi was holding hundreds more prisoners than it had acknowledged. In 1979, another Vietnamese Communist defector told the Defense Intelligence Agency that in the mid-1970s Vietnamese officials had talked about holding 700 American prisoners as "bargaining assets."

The 700 figure cannot be dismissed; neither can the idea of bargaining assets. Last April, Stephen J. Morris , a Harvard scholar, disclosed that he had found the Russian translation of a 1972 report by Lieut. Gen. Tran Van Quang in Communist Party archives in Moscow. Quang said that North Vietnam was holding 1,205 American prisoners- 614 more than it released the next year. Last September, the Pentagon itself released the translation of an account of a Vietnamese Communist Party meeting held in late 1970 or early 1971. It quoted a Vietnamese official as saying that Vietnam held 735 "American aviator POWs," although it had acknowledged holding only 368.

"The total number of American aviators in the SRV [Vietnam] is 735," the official declared. "As I have already said, we have published the names of 368 aviators. This is our diplomatic step. If the Americans agree to the withdrawal of all their troops from South Vietnam, we will, as a start, return these 368 people."

The Defense Department did not try to discredit the Vietnamese document, perhaps because it attracted so little attention in the press. It said only that it could not vouch for the document's authenticity or accuracy, and that it had come "from the files of the GRU-Soviet military intelligence." On the other hand, the Quang report that Morris had found in Moscow attracted a good deal of attention, and the Defense Department reacted accordingly. When extracts from the document were published in the press, the Pentagon attempted to have the full document classified. Eventually it said that "while portions of the document are plausible, evidence in support of its claims to be an accurate summary of the POW situation in 1972 are far outweighed by errors, omissions and propaganda that detract from its credibility."

In fact, the errors were not errors; they were really the weakest of quibbles-that the 1,205 prisoners, for example, included both American POWs and South Vietnamese commandos. (Morris replied that Vietnamese Communist documents always drew a distinction between American and South Vietnamese troops.)

In Hanoi, meanwhile, Gen. John Vessey, the presidential emissary to Vietnam on POW-MIA affairs, said he had spoken to General Quang and that Quang denied he had made the report.


163 posted on 09/02/2004 6:46:44 AM PDT by Calpernia ("People never like what they don't understand")
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To: Timeout

The MIA Cover-Up
THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR "The MIA Cover-Up"
By John Corry

Seeking to normalize relations with Vietnam, President Clinton, along with supine politicians and a feckless press, would like the public to forget the MIA issue. But evidence continues to emerge that far more men were left behind than has been reported--and that some may be alive today. by John Corry

John Corry is The American Spectator's regular Presswatch columnist and author of the new book, My Times: Adventures in the News Trade (Grosset/G.P. Putnam's Sons).

As shown by the enclosed Casualty Data Summary, a total of 1,303 American personnel remain officially unaccounted-for after the completion of Operation Homecoming.... Of the 1,303 personnel, the debriefs of the returnees contain information that approximately 100 of them are probably dead. ---Defense Intelligence Agency memorandum to Deputy Secretary of Defense William Clements, May 22, 1973

The intelligence indicates that American prisoners of war have been held continuously after Operation Homecoming and remain[ed] in captivity in Vietnam and Laos as late as 1989. ---unpublished report by Senate investigators, April 9, 1992

HANOI, Vietnam (Reuter)--US. Assistant Secretary of State Winston Lord said Tuesday as conclusively as anyone can, that there are no U.S. prisoners of war (POWs) being held in Vietnam . . . . "There has never been evidence uncovered of someone being held alive," he told a news conference after talks with Vietnamese officials. --December 14,1993

A terrible truth is now emerging: Recently declassified documents and other sources show that America's MIA-POW policy has been disfigured by denials, half-truths, and evasions. More important, they also suggest that American prisoners are still crying out in Vietnam. For two decades, a cover-up has been in progress, sustained not so much by conspiracy as by government ineptitude, a bureaucratic unwillingness to draw obvious conclusions from incontrovertible facts, and a failure of national resolve. It is now certain that we left men behind in Southeast Asia-not merely the handful we now unofficially acknowledge in Laos, but in numbers reaching well into the hundreds in Vietnam. It is equally certain that American officials ignored evidence of this at the time.

To understand the moral catastrophe we must go back twenty-one years. Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, a senior member of the Hanoi Politburo, signed the Paris Peace Accords ending the Vietnam war on January 23, 1973. "We have been told that no American prisoners are held in Cambodia," Kissinger told reporters the next day. "American prisoners held in North Vietnam and Laos will be returned to us in Hanoi." One week later, however, President Nixon sent a secret letter to Premier Pham Van Dong of North Vietnam, reflecting an unpublicized understanding reached by Kissinger and Le Duc Tho. Nixon told Pham that the United States would "contribute to postwar reconstruction in North Vietnam," in an amount that would "fall in the range of $3.25 billion of grant aid over five years." He also said that "other forms of aid ... could fall in the range of I to 1.5 billion dollars."

Sen. John Kerry, the committee chairman, told one of the investigators that if the report ever leaked out, "you'll wish you'd never been born."

None of the aid was ever extended, and even the existence of the letter was not disclosed until years later. If the aid had been extended, however, Vietnam might have returned all its prisoners. The precedent was clear. The Vietminh guerrillas of the 1950s had held back an unknown number of French soldiers after the fall of Dien Bien Phu. France quietly ransomed them back with government aid. Moreover, a 1969 study by the Rand Corporation had said that "a quid pro quo that the DRV [Democratic Republic of Vietnam] is likely to demand-and one that the United States may want to consider accepting-is the payment of reparations to North Vietnam in exchange for US. prisoners."

The study went on to say that the United States could avoid the appearance of paying reparations if it publicly labeled them "part of the U.S. contribution to a postwar recovery program." Nixon's letter, of course, offered just such a contribution. The study concluded as follows:

It would be unduly optimistic to believe that the DRV and the Vietcong will release all US. prisoners immediately after conclusion of an agreement in the expectation that the United States will meet its military, political or monetary commitments. More likely, they will insist on awaiting concrete evidence of US. concessions before releasing the majority of American prisoners.


But the concessions, or aid programs, were not forthcoming. There was no possibility they ever could be. Nixon would soon be undone by Watergate, and Congress wanted no more of the war. In the delirium of the time, some thirty senators had even called for unilateral withdrawal from Southeast Asia, without the imposition of any conditions on North Vietnam. Hanoi would be trusted to return all its prisoners. When it did release 591 POWs, in Operation Homecoming in March 1973, however, it was apparent that something was wrong. Hundreds of hospital beds had been set aside for the returnees; it had been assumed many would need medical attention. The 591 returnees, though, included no amputees or burn cases; there was no one maimed, disfigured, or blind. It is reasonable to believe that the most afflicted POWs either remained in Vietnam, or were murdered.

Nonetheless, no questions were publicly raised about this or, indeed, any other substantive matter, and on March 29 President Nixon addressed the nation on television. "For the first time in twelve years, no American military forces are in Vietnam," he declared. "All of our American POWs are on their way home." Few seemed to hear what he said moments later: "There are still some problem areas. The provisions of the agreement all missing in action . . .have not been complied with . . . . We shall insist that North Vietnam comply with the agreement."

But we did not insist; for one thing, we had no "leverage" to do so. Congress had walked away from the war. In May, the Senate rejected a Republican amendment that would have allowed continued bombing if Nixon certified that North Vietnam was not trying to account for all the missing in action. Certainly, there already was evidence that men had been left behind. The Casualty Data Summary mentioned in the Defense Intelligence Agency memorandum at the top of this story, for example, notes that, besides the 1,200 or so men whose fate was unknown after Operation Homecoming, 65 were still held as prisoners: 29 in North Vietnam, 27 in South Vietnam, five in Cambodia, and four in Laos. Moreover, there was general agreement that the figure for Laos represented only a fraction of the real total. Several declassified documents suggest the number should have been in the hundreds. A March 1973 memo to the Joint Chiefs of Staff says, "There are approximately 350 U.S. military and civilian POW/MlAs in Laos." An earlier memo to Henry Kissinger says that some 215 of the 350 "were lost under circumstances that the enemy probably has information regarding their fate." No information was ever forthcoming, however, and only twelve prisoners returned from Laos.

Thus, even from the beginning, the POW issue was shrouded in ambiguity. There are, though, some salient facts. The Defense Intelligence Agency memorandum cited above says 1,303 men were still unaccounted for after Operation Homecoming, and that the debriefings of the returned POWs indicated that approximately 100 of them were probably dead. Therefore, some 1,200 might still have been alive. (A later Pentagon document gives a precise number of 1,278.) The possibility that they were alive, how- ever, was ignored, and even misrepresented. A deposition given in 1992 by Dr. Frank Shields, the former head of the Pentagon's POW/MIA Task Force, to the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs is instructive. In the deposition, Shields describes an April 1973 meeting with Deputy Secretary of Defense Clements, who had summoned him to his office to discuss the Pentagon's public posture on men missing in action:

DR. SHIELDS: He [Clements] indicated to me that he believed that there were no Americans alive in Indochina. And I said: I don't believe that you could say that ... I told him that he could not say that. And he said: You didn't hear what I said. And I said: You can't say that. And I thought he was probably going to fire me ... QUESTION: What did you interpret that to mean, "you didn't hear me"? DR. SHIELDS: That I was fighting the problem. You remember that there were a lot of people at the time who wanted to declare victory, okay? And I think that maybe at that point in time he believed that we had what we had, and that was all we were going to get, and that there was no one there.

That Colonel Hynds was captured alive seems indisputable; the Pentagon, however, has always listed a Col. Wallace Gurley Hynds as killed in action.

This meant that even though there was no evidence to prove that some 1,200 men-or, to use the exact figure, 1,278 men-were dead, the Pentagon would assume they were. Intentional or not, it was the beginning of the cover-up, and it would have a far-reaching effect. The tacit assumption that the men were dead would harden into official policy. Henceforth, all official figures on POWs and MIAs would be suspect. The grotesque part, though, is that even the figure of 1,200-or 1,278-might have been too low. As an intelligence estimate, it was worthless.

That was because in addition to the 1,278 MIAs about whom the Pentagon had no firm information, an almost equal number of MIAs had been declared dead. Most were classified as KIA/BNR, or killed in action/body not recovered. Over the years, however, a growing body of evidence has cast those early KIA/BNR figures in doubt. More men were left alive than we thought. Ironically, much of the evidence about this is now coming from the Vietnamese. In 1991, American investigators from the Joint Casualty Resolution Commission were allowed to visit a Vietnamese military museum in Vinh City in Nghe Tinh province. In their written report, the investigators say they were shown items from the museum's collection, and then given a two-page excerpt from the museum's register. Then they were allowed to examine the register itself. They took notes on information in the register that was "pertinent to significant exhibit items they had been allowed to examine." Their report continues:

The entire register was then reviewed for entries concerning additional items of interest. During this process, it was noted that a number of items mentioned in the register excerpt did not appear in the register. In addition, there were numerous gaps in the register where items that had been examined by the team were not included. This suggests that the register viewed by the team was not original as claimed by the museum staff, but in fact had been selectively recopied from an original at some time in the past. The team also noted that certain items of high interest that appeared in the register were not available for examination. Museum officials claimed that these items were not available because they had been lost, destroyed or lent to other museums.

Characteristically, the Vietnamese were trying to hide something. The investigators were shown pre-selected items. Then they were shown not the register that listed all the items, but instead an excerpt from the register. Apparently, they insisted then on examining the entire register, and when they did, they discovered it was a fake. Moreover, "certain items of high interest" that were supposed to be in the museum were missing.

The investigators, however, listed in their report the items they were able to see, literally translating the museum's own descriptions. They found, for example, "a flag used to request food used by the American colonel pilot Hynds, Wallace G., and was captured at Ha Tinh," and "bandit pilot identification card number FR 15792 of Hynds, Wallace Gouley and was captured alive in Ha Tinh on 28-5-1965."

That Colonel Hynds was captured alive seems indisputable; the Pentagon, however, has always listed a Col. Wallace Gurley Hynds as killed in action. There are six other men whose names were found in that one provincial museum who were all listed as being captured alive, although the Pentagon had declared them all dead.

The inescapable conclusion is that MIA lists were flawed from the outset. More men were captured alive than anyone thought. Recently declassified transcripts of the conversations of Vietnamese anti-aircraft gunners, monitored by the National Security Agency, reinforce the conclusion. The gunners talk of American planes being brought down, and of their pilots being captured by soldiers or villagers. The National Security Agency has correlated the transcripts with the names of the pilots. Although the Vietnamese themselves talk about the pilots being captured alive, at least some of them were classified by the Pentagon as "presumptive finding of death," or "killed in action/body not recovered."

The indications that a large number of men were left behind after 1973 have become compelling. A North Vietnamese military doctor, who defected to the South in 1971, told American officials that Hanoi was holding hundreds more prisoners than it had acknowledged. In 1979, another Vietnamese Communist defector told the Defense Intelligence Agency that in the mid-1970s Vietnamese officials had talked about holding 700 American prisoners as "bargaining assets."

The 700 figure cannot be dismissed; neither can the idea of bargaining assets. Last April, Stephen J. Morris , a Harvard scholar, disclosed that he had found the Russian translation of a 1972 report by Lieut. Gen. Tran Van Quang in Communist Party archives in Moscow. Quang said that North Vietnam was holding 1,205 American prisoners- 614 more than it released the next year. Last September, the Pentagon itself released the translation of an account of a Vietnamese Communist Party meeting held in late 1970 or early 1971. It quoted a Vietnamese official as saying that Vietnam held 735 "American aviator POWs," although it had acknowledged holding only 368.

"The total number of American aviators in the SRV [Vietnam] is 735," the official declared. "As I have already said, we have published the names of 368 aviators. This is our diplomatic step. If the Americans agree to the withdrawal of all their troops from South Vietnam, we will, as a start, return these 368 people."

The Defense Department did not try to discredit the Vietnamese document, perhaps because it attracted so little attention in the press. It said only that it could not vouch for the document's authenticity or accuracy, and that it had come "from the files of the GRU-Soviet military intelligence." On the other hand, the Quang report that Morris had found in Moscow attracted a good deal of attention, and the Defense Department reacted accordingly. When extracts from the document were published in the press, the Pentagon attempted to have the full document classified. Eventually it said that "while portions of the document are plausible, evidence in support of its claims to be an accurate summary of the POW situation in 1972 are far outweighed by errors, omissions and propaganda that detract from its credibility."

In fact, the errors were not errors; they were really the weakest of quibbles-that the 1,205 prisoners, for example, included both American POWs and South Vietnamese commandos. (Morris replied that Vietnamese Communist documents always drew a distinction between American and South Vietnamese troops.)

In Hanoi, meanwhile, Gen. John Vessey, the presidential emissary to Vietnam on POW-MIA affairs, said he had spoken to General Quang and that Quang denied he had made the report. "I have no reason to disbelieve him," Vessey said, although he had no reason to believe him, either, and indeed one excellent reason to think Quang was lying. Quang could hardly admit that North Vietnam had held more prisoners than it had ever acknowledged. The only way Hanoi could account for them now would be to confess that it had lied in the past.

Quang could hardly admit that North Vietnam had held more prisoners than it had ever acknowledged. The only way Hanoi could account for them now would be to confess that it had lied in the past.

Vessey also attempted to discredit the document itself. It said that in 1970, after American forces had raided the prison camp at Son Tay, only twenty-three miles from Hanoi, North Vietnam had dispersed POWs among other camps. Vessey said this could not be correct. After Son Tay, he insisted, POWs were not dispersed among other camps, but instead were concentrated in fewer camps. He also said that North Vietnam could not have held 1,205 prisoners because that would have required it to have a separate prison system; and neither U.S. intelligence nor the POWs who returned from Vietnam, he said, were aware of such a system.

Vessey was making a strange argument. If Hanoi kept a separate prison system for the POWs who were not returned, the POWs who did return would hardly be aware of it. Both sets of POWs would have been held in separate places. It must also be noted now that Admiral James Stockdale, testifying before respectful senators at the POW/MIA hearings in 1992, also dismissed the idea of a separate prison system. Stockdale, who survived seven years as a prisoner, thought that after the Son Tay raid, all POWs were brought into the camps in Hanoi. He also described the "tap code" that POWs used to pass messages from cell to cell; through the tap code and other means, he said, the POWs were able to keep track of one another, thus assuring that none would be lost, murdered, or spirited away without their comrades' knowledge. Stockdale, who suffered severe torture and eventually inflicted a near fatal wound on himself to convince his captors that he would never accede to their propaganda demands, was sure no POW was left behind after Operation Homecoming; he was also sure there was no separate prison system.

Stockdale, though, was wrong. It is a mark of many good men who went to Vietnam and upheld the highest standards of courage, honor, and decency that they are unwilling to believe their country might have abandoned other good men. The empty rhetoric about "healing" the wounds from Vietnam, spoken so shamelessly by press, politicians, and old peace activists, might have some meaning now if it were directed toward Stockdale and those like him.

Reports from Communist defectors and other sources make it clear that the North Vietnamese were aware of the prisoners' tap code and could manipulate it as they chose, excising the names of some POWs and introducing false data about others. Moreover, while Stockdale and the other POWs in Hanoi thought they knew the names and locations of all the American prisoners, it is obvious they did not. Nine men captured in Laos spent years in the Hanoi prison system, separated from other POWs only by the width of stone walls, without the other POWs knowing they were there.

It is on the matter of a separate prison system that government orthodoxy about POWs begins to unravel completely. The boat people who fled Vietnam in the 1980s brought with them information about a prison system that was larger and more complex than we had known. Even before the arrival of the boat people, though, U.S. intelligence agencies suspected that Hanoi had held POWs outside the known prisoner system. The known system consisted of thirteen camps-eight outside of Hanoi and five within the city. One difficulty in tracking information about them is that a camp, or prison, may be referred to one way in a DIA report, say, and another in a POW debriefing. Xom Aplo, or Xom Ap Lo N-5 1, for instance, may be called Bat Bat, after a nearby village, or Briarpatch, or even Tic Tac Toe, which refers to the configuration of some of its buildings.

But some reports are clear enough. A CIA document, only recently declassified, suggests that POWs were held in camps other than the ones identified during the war. The CIA document is handwritten, unsigned, and undated, although the content indicates that it was put together several years after Operation Homecoming in 1973. That it is handwritten is suggestive; it indicates that someone in the CIA wanted to make certain information part of the permanent record, but did not want to attract much attention when he did.

The document begins:

In response to recent human source reporting on American POWs still in North Vietnam, we conducted a photographic study of selected prison/detention facilities in the northern portion of the country. Our study concentrated on comparing known American POW camps with various other detention camps. The purpose of our study was to determine if any signatures of American presence could be found at these other camps.... Our analysis did reveal some irregularities in the North Vietnamese prison system between 1970 and 1973. The irregularities do not provide conclusive evidence of American presence at other camps; however, this possibility cannot be disregarded, and precludes drawing a firm conclusion that all the camps which held American POWs have been identified.

The CIA analyst was only being cautious. He had gone back to look at old photographs to determine how many camps had reacted to the Son Tay raid in 1970 "by constructing new defensive positions such as AAA [anti- aircraft artillery] sites, AW [automatic weapon] positions, trenching and/or foxholes." The Son Tay raiders-Special Forces troopers, Army Rangers, and Air Force volunteers-had swooped in by helicopter on Son Tay, only twenty-three miles from Hanoi, in an attempt to rescue prisoners. Unfortunately, the prisoners had been moved to another camp, although the raid itself was a victory. Hundreds of North Vietnamese regulars were killed, while not a single raider was lost or injured, and all returned home safely. They had shown that American forces could strike within reach of downtown Hanoi.

The CIA study made the reasonable assumption that camps holding POWs would react to the Son Tay raid by immediately shoring up their defenses against the possibility of a similar helicopter attack-with new anti-aircraft gun positions, trenches, foxholes, and so on. Indeed, the study found that this is exactly what six camps that were known to be holding American prisoners did. More important, it also found that seven camps that were not known to be holding prisoners-Tuyen Quang, Ba Vi, Ban Puoi, Xam Tang, Chorn Lai, Coc Mi, and Xom Giong-reacted the same way.

Judging from this reaction "and the fact that several reports have been received recently stating that Americans are still being held in North Vietnam," the CIA again said cautiously, "the possibility of a second prison system for the detention of American POWs cannot be disregarded."

Of course it cannot; the only reasonable explanation of why the Vietnamese would have fortified the camps that way is that they were used to hold prisoners. In fact, the Defense Department had speculated along these same lines before the CIA did. The CIA study was made during the mid- or late 1970s; a Defense Department report, dated July 26, 1971, adds another camp to the list of places where North Vietnam probably held prisoners. Aerial photography revealed that new gun emplacements were also constructed at the Cam Chu prison immediately after the Son Tay raid. "It is reasoned," the report says, "that Hanoi was taking steps to thwart other possible SAR [search and rescue] efforts to rescue U.S. PWs."

No American, however, was repatriated from any of these camps during Operation Homecoming.

In the appalling history of POW-MIA policy, though, nothing is more scandalous than the issue of live sightings. Since 1975, the Defense Intelligence Agency has received more than 15,000 live-sighting reports about American prisoners in Southeast Asia. Approximately 1,650 of the reports are first-hand. That means a source says he has actually seen an American held in captivity, or under conditions that cannot be easily explained. The remainder of the reports are hearsay; a source says he has been told by someone else about an American, or many Americans, held in captivity. These live-sighting reports have come from many sources- refugees, defectors, diplomats, and travelers-with the preponderance from refugees. Many of the reports, even the ones that are hearsay, are quite specific, with physical details, exact locations, and an abundance of certifiable facts.

No live-sighting reporting, however, has ever been accepted as proof by the Defense Intelligence Agency that an MIA is still alive, or ever has been alive, in Southeast Asia. This defies the laws of probability. It also moves us into the area of culpable negligence. It is permissible now to wonder if the Defense Intelligence Agency has ever been seriously interested in uncovering the truth about our missing men, or whether it has always been an instrument in a cover-up.

Criticism of the DIA, much of it from MIA family members, became so harsh and insistent in the 1980s that the agency assigned a team to investigate itself. This led in 1986 to the Director's POW/MIA Task Force Report, or the Gaines Report, after Air Force Col. Kimball M. Gaines, who was its principal author. Consider the following excerpts, both dealing with live sightings:

When a case is being worked ... it is plainly evident that the emphasis is on the investigative side of the question in most cases, where the focus rests on debunking the source more than it does on the analysis of the information itself. It should be noted with trepidation that there are some 600 hearsay reports of live sightings backlogged ... which have not had any evaluation. And there is no actual proof that this class of report has any less potential for yielding some usable information than do the first-hand sighting reports. The implications of this are obvious to the casual observer, but do not seem to be appreciated by the experts.

And:

There exists a mindset to debunk.... Within POW/MIA Division it has evolved over time as an investigative technique, whereby intense effort is initially focused on veracity of sources with a view toward discrediting them. This penchant has overridden the seeking of the corroborative data necessary to support the sighting. Reinforcing the mindset is the investigative audit trail, which has confirmed an inordinate number of originally promising sources to be fabricators.... In the main, sources who volunteer information have no ulterior motive, especially those relocated to the U.S. Sources were very young when they observed the event; others were in dire straits as a result of the war; and, in many cases, the sighting was a fleeting one. Therefore, sources should not be badgered when they volunteer information they do not recall well ... otherwise word gets around the refugee community and information dries up.

In other words, the DIA bullied those who came forth with information about MIAs; it called an "inordinate" number of them liars; it sought to discredit reports of live sightings. The Pentagon immediately classified the Gaines Report.

Keep in mind now what the report called the "mindset to debunk." It means an unwillingness to believe, and in the eight years since the Gaines Report, it has calcified into official policy. The DIA classifies live-sighting reports by category, ranging from 1A through 9B. The lower categories apply to reports still being evaluated; the upper categories apply to the final evaluations. Here are the categories for the final evaluations; no others are allowed:

4-This category represents an unresolved status. The analytical evaluation has been reviewed and approved by senior level management-no correlation or further action is possible. 5-This category is used only by managerial personnel and indicates difficulties exist in follow-up. 6-This category shows analytical evaluations reviewed and approved by senior level management which have been correlated to a known individual or incident. 6B-Analytical evaluations reviewed and approved by management which are determined to describe an unidentified individual who is not an American POW-MIA. 7-This represents camp information only. 8-This represents no POW-MIA information. At any time, the management can place a case in this category. 9-This category indicates the analytical evaluation is approved as a fabrication. 9B-This category indicates the analytical findings are approved by management as a possible fabrication.

Obviously, there is a missing category: one that accepts a live-sighting report as accurate. The DIA is programmed to discredit the possibility that anyone was left behind in Southeast Asia, or that any one remains there now. Its intellectual dishonesty has been stunning, and its investigative process a fraud. On occasion it has seemed criminal.

It is on the matter of a separate prison system that government orthodoxy about POWs begins to unravel completely.

In August 1987, a former South Vietnamese major turned up in Bangkok after being interned in Communist prisons, and was debriefed by the CIA. The major said that in December 1978, five years after Operation Homecoming, he had encountered an American in the Tan Lap prison in northern Vietnam. The American, he said, was lying down in a room near the camp dispensary where injured or sick prisoners were taken to rest. The major described the room and the building in which it was located precisely. He also described the American. According to the CIA report on the debriefing:

Source [the major] and the American were on the first floor. Source saw the American lying down inside this room. The American was alone. He was Caucasian, between 170 and centimeters tall and weighing about 70 kilograms. He had brown hair and a thick beard. He had a wound on his right ankle that was oozing blood and pus. The American wore some sort of military trousers and a dirty, tattered red and white striped shirt. Source asked the American in English, "What is your name?" The American replied, "Jackson." Jackson then said, "You will stay here a long time." When source saw Jackson's wound, source took six penicillin tablets which were hidden in the cuffs of his trousers and offered them to Jackson. Jackson took only four. Jackson added that "there were 16 of us; 15 have gone out already." . . . A vehicle came to the front of this rest area the same evening and Jackson was taken away.

The CIA station in Bangkok passed the major's story on to the DIA in Washington in August. Following bureaucratic protocol, it also asked the DIA for permission to polygraph the major. If he passed the polygraph, of course, it would authenticate his story. What happened then is detailed in the cable traffic between the defense attachÈ in the Bangkok Embassy and the DIA in Washington. Stony Beach is intelligence jargon for the DIA; SIRO refers to the CIA:

Bangkok to Washington, September: SIRO has transferred this case to Stony Beach, and strongly urges that source be polygraphed as soon as possible.... SIRO is very high on this source. The debriefer involved states source was very forthcoming, open, and seemed completely candid.... Bangkok to Washington, October: Source has expressed his willingness to be polygraphed.... If this is unacceptable ... please advise by immediate message, and if possible, provide a rationale for not polygraphing source which can be provided to SIRO.

Bangkok to Washington, October: Request your immediate attention to this case. It's possible SIRO may simply conduct the poly without your input. Bangkok to Washington, October: Can someone ...stay on top of this for us? Bangkok to Washington, October: We have been queried several times by SIRO on the status of this case. In each case we have replied we are awaiting guidance from our headquarters. After six weeks, this wearing a bit thin. Washington to Bangkok, October: Regret delay in response.... Liaison obligation ... may have forced our polygraph hand on this source.... Request major provide a complete and detailed description again of how these events ensued.... Bangkok to Washington, November: Source answered all questions in a direct manner. His answers were consistent when interviewed over a three-day period. Washington to Bangkok, November: Do not polygraph source ... on his reported live sightings until further notice. Bangkok to Washington, February, 1988: Please advise status our request to polygraph source. Washington to Bangkok, March: ... This source does not sustain the minimum level of plausibility that requires testing by polygraph....

In April, the DIA issued its official evaluation of the major's story; it called it a "fabrication." It said that former South Vietnamese commandos who had been in Tan Lap prison had never seen an American; therefore, the major could not have seen one, either. The DIA also said the man the major described could not have been wearing a red- striped shirt because "red-striped uniforms went out of use circa 1970." Furthermore, the DIA asserted:

A computer-assisted search of all missing personnel reveals only one unaccounted for individual whose first, middle or last name is Jackson; he was lost on 21 September 1969 under unusual circumstances from a medical treatment room within a hospital cantonment area in the 3d Marine Division area of South Vietnam. While we cannot preclude this individual from consideration, based on the above, it is likely that the source has fabricated his story.

Whatever the merits of the rest of the DIA's argument, the assertion that only one Jackson was missing was, if not a careless mistake, then certainly an outright lie. Besides the unfortunate Marine lost under unusual circumstances, three other Jacksons are missing in action. All three are classified as "KIA/body not recovered," and surely one of them is the man the major saw.

Tan Lap, where the major was held, has another distinction as well. It is one of five Vietnamese prisons--the others are Quyet Tien, Yen Bai, Ha Son Binh, and Thanh Hoa--where, according to reports from the boat people and others, POWs were buried in cemeteries in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The reports are credible; some are from former Vietnamese prisoners who say they dug the graves. Not one of the cemeteries, however, has been excavated by any of the teams now looking for MIA remains. Instead, the teams dig up old crash sites. The crash sites yield little or nothing; the cemeteries could yield a great deal--evidence, perhaps, about men who were murdered. It seems, though, that the Defense Department does not want to know.

The DIA's abysmal record led the six staff members on the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs who were charged with investigating intelligence reports to re-examine, in 1992, the 1,650 first-hand live-sighting reports. They dismissed the reports that seemed least plausible; they also dismissed the ones that had been correlated with known individuals, the Marine Robert Garwood, for example, who returned from Vietnam in 1979. Then they dismissed the reports in which the source said he had seen only a single man who might have been a prisoner. They reasoned that a single man, even if he appeared to be a prisoner, might have been a deserter or a straggler and not a POW.

That left the investigators with 929 first-hand live sightings, all involving two or more men allegedly seen in conditions indicating they were prisoners. The investigators then plotted the 929 sightings on a map of Southeast Asia, using pins to mark each one. Cambodia drew no pins; Laos and some areas of Vietnam drew only a few. Other areas of Vietnam, however, drew pins in clumps or clusters. In every place where there was a cluster, there was also a Vietnamese prison. The investigators, who, for technical reasons, were using live-sighting reports that extended only through 1989, drew an obvious conclusion: "that American prisoners of war have been held continuously after Operation Homecoming and remain[ed] in captivity in Vietnam and Laos as late as 1989."

The conclusion, however, was not welcomed by the DIA, or even by most members of the Senate committee. On the morning the investigators were scheduled to present their report to the senators, one senator's aide let the Pentagon know what the investigators intended to say. A team from the DIA immediately showed up to rebut their presentation. The investigators protested; their briefing was supposed to be closed to outsiders. In a remarkable display of bad judgment, however, the senators voted, 7 to 2, to allow the DIA to attend the briefing.

By all accounts, what followed was contentious. The investigators and the team from DIA shouted at each other. Several senators shouted, too. John Kerry, the committee chairman, told one of the investigators that if the report ever leaked out, "you'll wish you'd never been born." Senator Kerry wants to normalize relations with Vietnam. When the briefing was over, Frances Zwenig, the committee's staff director, ordered that all copies of the investigators' report be destroyed. She also said she wanted their computer files purged. Zwenig, who is now the executive assistant to United Nations Ambassador Madeleine Albright, also wants to normalize relations with Vietnam.

In its 1,123-page final report on the hearings, the committee reached an evasive conclusion: "We acknowledge that there is no proof that U.S. POWs survived, but neither is there proof that all of those who did not return had died. There is evidence, moreover, that indicates the possibility of survival, at least for a small number, after Operation Homecoming."

The ambiguous language moves the cover-up to a higher plane. Buried in the 1,123 pages-and in thousands more pages of unpublished depositions-are pieces of information that sit like time bombs. Ambiguous language or not, the committee report confirms that satellite imagery has picked up the distress signals, and even the names, of downed American pilots on the ground. The distress signals--combinations of letters and numbers--appear in numerous photographs taken after, not before, Operation Homecoming. Characteristically, though, the Pentagon says they are not distress signals at all. Rather, it insists, they are combinations of lights, shadows, and vegetation that only appear to form GX2527, say, or 72TA88.

(The Pentagon's word is not reassuring. In 1988, the CIA discovered a large "USA" etched in a rice paddy in northern Laos, along with what appeared to be the letter "K," a symbol used by downed pilots. A full four years later, the Defense Department sent a team to investigate. The owner of the rice paddy, it reported, said his son had "made the USA symbol by copying it from an envelope because he liked the shape of the letters.")

The satellite imagery is compelling. The GX in GX2527, for instance, are distress letters; 2527 is the secret four-digit number of Air Force Maj. Peter Matthes, who has been missing since 1969. The Pentagon says that the GX2527, which showed up on the ground near Vietnam's Dong Vai prison in a photograph taken in June 1992, was not a man-made distress signal but a photographic anomaly. However, Larry Burroughs , a retired Air Force colonel who once headed the National Photographic Interpretation Center, the government's main imagery laboratory, insists it was man-made. Burroughs, who was brought in by the committee as a consultant, also found other, previously unidentified, distress signals among the satellite images. He also found the letters WRYE. The committee's final report dutifully notes this, but without indicating that WRYE is any more than a random collection of letters. In fact, Capt. Blair C. Wrye of the Air Force, shot down over North Vietnam on August 12, 1966, is an MIA.

Meanwhile, new information about the satellite imagery has come to light. It is now known, for example, that on June 5, 1992, a satellite picked up S-E-R-E-X, etched on the ground near Dong Vai prison. Major Henry M. Serex, an Air Force electronic warfare officer, was shot down over Vietnam on April 2, 1972. The Pentagon lists him as dead. The satellite pictures in themselves do not prove that anyone is still alive; some of the distress signals may have been made years ago. On the other hand, some of them may be new, and others perhaps are being carved out or etched into the ground even now. At the very least, they are further proof that a cover-up has been, and still is, in progress. We have broken faith with men who fought for their country, and we are being blighted by an ever-widening moral stain.


164 posted on 09/02/2004 6:46:56 AM PDT by Calpernia ("People never like what they don't understand")
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To: NYC Republican
NO ONE WORKS HARDER THAN SEAN FOR CONSERVATIVE CAUSES AND TRYING TO DESTROY THE CLINTONS AND SKERRY

Yep.

165 posted on 09/02/2004 6:50:12 AM PDT by Stentor
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To: Flightdeck

None of those stories are the subject of ads directly aimed at Fraud. Fraud is in the sights and can't escape no matter how much the RATmedia tries to change the subject or deflect interest. Its scummy tactics are no longer working.


166 posted on 09/02/2004 6:52:21 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (My Father was 10x the hero John Fraud Kerry is.)
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To: Calpernia

POW/MIA ISSUES - "SOME STILL SURVIVE...BRING 'EM HOME! "




POWs IN LAOS: SOME STILL SURVIVE HELP BRING THEM HOME

There were 480 POW/MIAs lost in Laos. Colonel David Hrdlicka is one of over 60 known American Servicemen captured in Laos during the Vietnam War that were never negotiated for. American Prisoners of War (POWs) have since been reported alive in Laos for over three decades. Through thirty years of covert actions, political miscalculations, self-serving careerism, and cover-ups the US Government has been ineffective in bringing about their release. At the end of the Vietnam War the US government informed America that the Vietnamese would be responsible for all POW/MIAs including those in Laos and Cambodia. That was not true.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
Declassified transcripts of the Paris Peace Accords "Secret Negotiation" reveal that the Vietnamese negotiator Le Duc Tho would not take responsibility for POWs other than those held by the Vietnamese. He insisted that Laos was a sovereign country and that the US must negotiate with the Pathet Lao [Laotian communists] for the POWs they held. Henry Kissinger told Le Duc Tho that if the Vietnamese would neither object -- nor accept responsibility for all POWs publicly when he [Kissinger] said they would be responsible for all POWs in Indochina. -- that the US would not hold the Vietnamese to it. Laos was not part of the Paris Peace Accords; we never negotiated for POWs in Laos.

In January 1973 the US agreed to pay the Vietnamese $4.25 billion in reconstruction aid for the list of POWs in Laos. The Department of Defense (DOD) negotiators received the names of only 10 POWs captured in Laos by the Vietnamese. When the 591 POWs released from Vietnam returned and informed the Congress how they were tortured and some killed the Congress refused to authorize payment of reconstruction Aid. This confounded the problem of unreturned POWs from Laos.

In an interview with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Tom Moorer (1995)
he stated there was a rescue planned for 60 POWs known captive in Laos at the end of 1972. The rescue was canceled because of the Paris Peace Agreement. When questioned why the POWs were not rescued after the Vietnamese gave back their last returned POWs on March 28th 1973, Admiral Moorer maintains that there was no current intelligence at that time on which to the launch rescues. They could not be sure the POWs were still at the last known locations and would not risk a rescue. Following are some of these POW/MIAs that have been sighted in recent years, there are others.

SOME STILL SURVIVE
POW/MIA Colonel David Louis Hrdlicka (USAF), an F-105 pilot, was born in Minnesota and shot down in Laos. He was photographed in captivity and reported alive in the Russian Newspaper Pravda during the war. There have been numerous reported live sightings of David Hrdlicka throughout the 1980s and 1990s. His wife Carol who now lives in Kansas still seeks his return through the Defense POW Office (DPMO) and would like the Congress to use their legislative powers to require government to get him out before he dies in Laos and the government settles for his bones. She states they have done nothing constructive to locate him.

Colonel Frank Gould a navigator aboard a B-52 from the Bronx NY parachuted over Laos with the rest of his crew after being hit during a bombing run over Hanoi. He was the last man on the ground, the helicopter rescued the other crewmen. Gunfire at the helicopter and nightfall prevented his recovery. The following day rescuers could not locate him. Reports that Frank was alive and wanted to come home have come out throughout the 1990's. His wife Marie resides in California and would like to know why Congress is not exercising their oversight ability to assure the Department of Defense gets him home.

CWO William Milliner, from Kentucky, was flying a Cobra helicopter Gun Ship over Laos in March 1971 when he was last heard from. A businessman in Thailand with contacts inside Laos gave information to US officials (1989) that "Milliner" is alive and can be brought to the Thai border. When the Laotians requested a reward they were turned away. His father Joe a returned WWII POW and his mother Mary travel to Washington annually trying to get the government to bring him home. Their plea's bring no response.

Army Special Forces Sgt. Charles Huston from Ohio was on a reconnaissance mission in Laos in 1968. He was left on the ground along with Sgt. George Brown, and Sgt. Alan Boyer when their extraction helicopter came under fire and had to leave. In 1989, an oriental prisoner captured by the Vietnamese in Laos escaped and made his way to Thailand where he was interviewed by US officials. He stated that he spoke with UY-STON [Charles Huston] who told him if he ever got free to let the world know "that my name is Huston, and there are other American's held with me." His brothers John and Robert strive to have the DOD get him out.

The Defense POW/MIA Office (DPMO) has historically excluded the living unreturned POW/MIAs from constructive consideration. They either refuse to negotiate for those known to have survived, or they are completely ineffectual in doing so. The DPMO was in Southeast Asia on October 23rd and 24th, 2003 to negotiate with the Cambodians, Vietnamese, and Laotians on POW/MIA matters because these countries want improved trade relations. Individual cases, where live POW information exists was not discussed. Hundreds of classified documents on live POWs are still denied the public. The field investigators that implement POW policy don't have negotiating authority, access to senior Communist officials, or knowledge of all classified material.

WHY ACT NOW
The Laotians want improved trade relations. We previously normalized trade relations with Vietnam and a road map for an accounting of POWs known alive in communist hands at the end of the war is still not productive. It is ineffective and individual live sighting cases are ignored at the Defense POW office. The DPMO does negotiate for remains from battle and crash sites, a worthy effort in itself, but DOD always drops the live POW matter and compromises on live POWs. The DOD repeatedly falls for the communist "remains" tactics and has not made any headway on the POWs last known or reported alive. It is easier and less embarrassing to discuss dead bodies, rather that discuss who may still be alive. The DOD is not performing due diligence in accounting for live POW/MIAs; and Congress is not using their oversight authority.

The policy makers are satisfied with the quick fix accounting acceptance for remains. An accounting that does not seek out unreturned survivors distorts the truth. The POW/MIA families want action taken for recovery and POWs returned home. Do not let negotiator's come up with another road map that does not assure the return of our live American servicemen left and still alive in Southeast Asia.

YOU CAN HELP BRING THESE MEN BACK
Contact your Senators; the Senate Intelligence Committee, Armed Services Committee, and Foreign Relations Committee need to initiate legislation to require live POW negotiations. The Congress must then exercise oversight authority assuring qualified negotiators secure release and return of surviving POWs. Let the Laotians return POWs and join in improved trade relations.

What to do
Send letters to: The Whitehouse, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave Washington, DC; your Senators, the Chairman and members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services Committee. There is already a reaction from the Department of Defense to the Senate. Be part of the solution in bringing surviving POWs home from the Vietnam War. Make it happen.
Contact Roger Hall, 301/587-5055, 301/585-3361, rhall8715@aol.com For additional Senate contact and Donation information: www.powfoia.org


167 posted on 09/02/2004 6:53:14 AM PDT by Calpernia ("People never like what they don't understand")
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham

If something does come out about Kerry, the DemonRats will not talk abou the issue. They won't express the concerns over Kerry's actions and they won't address the allegations at all. The will do three things: 1. Call it a smear campaign. 2. Question the timing. 3. Discredit the sources.


168 posted on 09/02/2004 6:53:26 AM PDT by CurlyBill (John Kerry is PeeWee Herman in a Frankenstein costume)
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To: coconutt2000
Tomorrow is the very last day to file candidacy.

Since we actually vote for electors and not the candidates, what prevents an indirect switcheroo by the electors?

169 posted on 09/02/2004 7:06:59 AM PDT by bankwalker (We are having a cultural civil war and our side had better win it.)
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To: dinok
You are probably right about caution. I think everyone is just pumped over how well the convention is going and seeing the polls finally change a little.

I have wondered all along why SKerry has gotten a pass. Honestly, there are too many stories that he's told that don't pass the truth test. Did politicians believe that he really spoke for Viet Vets and didn't want to roil the waters? Or was Vietnam just so painful for everyone that they just didn't want to open old wounds? Did it have anything to do with the Kennedy's? Did he have something on someone? Could this be coming out now because the person is dead?

I just hope whatever it is they have a lot of evidence. I personally think that if they have clear video of SKerry burning our flag that will be enough.

170 posted on 09/02/2004 7:08:49 AM PDT by tiki
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To: Timeout
Lastly, as he was doing this, he was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Perhaps the reserves, but an officer nonetheless.

Forget the branch and component. He was an officer of the United States.

171 posted on 09/02/2004 7:12:23 AM PDT by jimfree (Beware the unexpected results of your actions.)
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To: Timeout

OOOOOOOOOOOh! (clapping hands & squealing with delight)
First the Swifties, then Zell, & now this!!!
This is really GRRRRRREAT!! :p


172 posted on 09/02/2004 7:26:33 AM PDT by gimme1ibertee (Kerry-About that career-dissipation light-it just kicked into overdrive!!)
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To: Calpernia

April 1992: Select Committee Delegation

On April 16, five members of the Select Committee -- Senators Kerry, Smith, Robb, Brown and Grassley -- embarked on a ten-day mission to Southeast Asia. Members of the delegation spent three days in Vietnam. Their purpose was twofold: first, to obtain the necessary assurances of cooperation from senior Vietnamese leaders; and, second, to ensure that those guarantees of access would be carried out.

The Senate delegation's stay in Vietnam demonstrated both the significant progress that had been made on the POW/MIA issue as well as the formidable obstacles which still remained to obtaining the fullest possible accounting for the 1,655 servicemen lost in or over Vietnam. The senators arrived in Hanoi on April 21, shortly after 58 JTF-FA and CIL-HI crash-site and live-sighting investigators had arrived for the nineteenth "joint iteration" and had divided into five teams to conduct 30 days of excavations and investigations in seven northern and central provinces in Vietnam.

Meetings in Hanoi. During meetings with numerous senior Vietnamese officials in Hanoi, the Senate delegation received assurances of continued cooperation on the POW/MIA issue. Initial meetings on April 21 with Foreign Minister Cam and Defense Minister Khue, while promising in tone, did not yield specific plans to advance Vietnamese cooperation. Both ministers adamantly reasserted that there were no American prisoners of war in captivity or living freely in Vietnam.

The senators repeatedly emphasized the importance of immediate access to areas of live-sighting reports, access to war-time archives and officials, better logistical support for joint investigative teams, and a resolution of the issue of warehousing remains.

Senators also met with Interior Minister Bui Thien Ngo whose Ministry controls the Vietnamese prison system. Ngo promised cooperation in providing U.S. investigators access to prisons where Americans were alleged to be held after the Operation Homecoming.

Other meetings with VNOSMP officials focused on the procedural and administrative difficulties U.S. investigators encountered in attempting to conduct thorough live-sighting and crash-site investigations. The delegation also visited the Army war museum in Hanoi where flight gear of downed American pilots is displayed.

General Secretary Do Muoi's "Breakthrough" Guarantees. Of great significance was the delegation's meeting with Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary Do Muoi and Interior Vice Minister Le Minh Huong, held on the morning of April 22. The senators received from the General Secretary direct guarantees that the delegation and JTF-FA personnel would have whatever access to places, persons and records they determined essential to resolving the POW/MIA issue in 1992. In fact, Do Muoi asked the delegation on three separate occasions to tell him exactly what the Select Committee expected from Vietnam to resolve the issue.

Do Muoi also agreed to grant U.S. investigative teams access to border sites in Laos through Vietnam if Lao officials agreed. And he steadfastly maintained that no American prisoners were kept after Operation Homecoming, and denied that Vietnam had ever warehoused American remains.

The use of U.S. helicopters in POW/MIA investigations was one concession which Do Muoi and other Vietnamese leaders were unwilling to make, citing the probable negative reaction of the Vietnamese people to the sight and sound of U.S. choppers as a reason for their refusal.

Inspection of Thanh Liet Prison

On April 21, the Senate delegation informed Vietnamese representatives that the senators wished to go to Thanh Liet prison located about 20 kilometers south of Hanoi in the Thanh Liet district. Thanh Liet had been the detention site for about 10 American POWs between 1968 and 1972, and had served as the location of three first-hand live-sighting reports of alleged American POWs since 1984. U.S. investigators had been denied permission to inspect Thanh Liet several weeks earlier.

On April 22, when the senators arrived at Thanh Liet Prison, their access initially was restricted by the camp commander to those areas where Americans were held during the war. Calls to the Foreign and Interior ministries by Vietnamese personnel accompanying the delegation won the delegation unrestricted access to all prison quarters.

Although the delegation found no evidence of Americans being held at Thanh Liet in recent years, their inspection of the prison established a precedent for the conduct of similar short-notice inspections by JTF-FA personnel.

Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Mekong Delta Visits. On the morning of April 23, Senators Kerry and Smith flew to the Mekong Delta; Senator Brown flew to Da Nang; and Senator Grassley met with Vietnamese officials in Ho Chi Minh City.

Senator Grassley and Select Committee staff talked extensively to Bui Dac Cam, a Vietnamese official involved since 1975 in the search for American MIA remains. Cam acknowledged that it is a crime in Vietnam to file a false live-sighting report and attributed many of those reports to the rumors of a two-million dollar reward for a live American. The need for communication on live-sighting reports between Vietnamese and American live-sighting investigators was emphasized.

Grassley later met with former Vietnamese "re-education camp" inmates, most of whom had been interned in North Vietnam for many years after the fall of Saigon. Several of the men said they had seen Marine Private Robert Garwood working in a re-education camp in North Vietnam. None reported seeing or hearing of any other Americans in detention camps after the war.

During his visit to Da Nang, Brown met with the KGB station chief at the Russian Consulate in Da Nang. He had been in Vietnam since 1972, and despite hearsay reports he had received, he was convinced that there were no Americans presently held prisoner in Vietnam.

Senators Kerry and Smith flew by helicopter to three sensitive military areas in southern Vietnam to further test Vietnamese commitment to short-notice live-sighting investigations. The Senators touched down on Phu Quoc Island, an active naval base; Dong Tam, former headquarters of the U.S. 9th Infantry Division, and Can Tho, a former U.S. Cobra helicopter base.

At each site there was initial local resistance to the visit which in most cases was eventually overcome. The stops highlighted several of the procedural and administrative obstacles to be dealt with if U.S. investigations of live-sighting reports are to be effective and credible.

The Senate delegation's activities in Vietnam were successful in a number of respects. First, while Vietnamese leaders steadfastly denied holding any Americans after the war, they gave specific assurances that Lt. Col. John Donovan, Chief of JTF-FA for Vietnam, and his investigators would be given access to all the places, persons and records necessary to achieve the fullest possible accounting. The delegation identified particular individuals which the Vietnamese should make available, records they should produce and places they must provide access to for the Select Committee to report favorably on Vietnamese cooperation.

Second, Senators had put Vietnam's assurances to a vigorous test, particularly the short-notice, live-sighting investigations -- more than previous delegations had attempted.

Third, the delegation identified some of the logistical problems which Vietnam must resolve to enable U.S. investigators to investigate live-sighting reports, examine crash sites and otherwise freely pursue evidence about the fate of our POW/MIAs.

Recent Developments

In April, following the Senate delegation's return the Bush Administration took the next reciprocal steps on the Road Map by allowing the commercial sale of certain products required to meet basic human needs, by easing restrictions on American non- governmental and non-profit groups working in Vietnam, and by agreeing to the establishment of telecommunications links between the U.S. and Vietnam. These steps were followed shortly by permission for Vietnamese-Americans to make direct money transfers to relatives in Vietnam.

In July, the Select Committee's staff director, Frances Zwenig, traveled to Southeast Asia to meet with Vietnamese and Lao officials. The purposes of Zwenig's trip to Vietnam were to impress upon Vietnamese officials the urgency of completing all current live-sighting investigations and to explore the possibility of holding an informal U.S./Vietnam hearing to discuss the status of unresolved discrepancy cases. Her visit to Vietnam coincided with JTF-FA Commander Maj. Gen. Thomas Needham's trip to the area.

Zwenig's discussions with Vice Foreign Minister Le Mai yielded Vietnam's agreement to an expedited schedule for investigations of prisons and military facilities on a priority list at DIA's detachment in Bangkok (Stony Beach). Further, Vietnam agreed to add a second investigator to its live-sighting team.

During this period, the U.S. was beginning to receive significant amounts of information from Vietnamese archives through the work of an American, Mr. Ted Schweitzer, who had been granted access to these records by the Government of Vietnam. Accordingly, on October 8, Acting Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney met with Vietnam's Foreign Minister Nguyen Man Cam, and the Director of the Americas Department, Le Bang, to discuss the information which the U.S. had been receiving and to work out an agreement to formalize U.S. access to this type of information.

Vietnam responded by inviting Vessey to Hanoi. Vessey departed for Hanoi on October 15; included in his delegation, at the request of President Bush, was Select Committee member Senator McCain.

McCain carried with him to Vietnam a letter from Chairman Kerry, encouraging and authorizing McCain's participation in the Vessey delegation.

The delegation arrived in Hanoi on October 17. In the first formal meeting on the following day, Vice Foreign Minister Le Mai led Vietnam's negotiators. Shortly before the meeting began, Vessey and McCain had an informal discussion with Mai, during which Mai indicated that the U.S. would receive the agreements we sought.

Progress in achieving U.S. objectives in the meeting proceeded so rapidly that the negotiations adjourned in considerably less time than anticipated by the delegation. Mai explained that the Government of Vietnam was currently collecting widely dispersed documentary evidence showing the fates of American POW/MIAs into Vietnam's military archives, where it would all be made available to U.S. investigators, and that Vietnam would sign an agreement to that effect before the delegation departed for the U.S.

Vessey then suggested that the delegations divide into teams to draft the formal agreement for access to this information and a memorandum of understanding detailing the mechanisms for that access.Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ken Quinn led the team drafting the formal agreement, and Needham led the team to draft the memorandum of understanding. All U.S. personnel involved in the initial negotiations, and in the subsequent drafting sessions remarked on the relative ease with which the agreements were concluded.

The delegation departed Vietnam on October 19. Upon their return to the United States, Vessey and McCain characterized the agreements as a "breakthrough" that had established finally the mechanism through which the United States could receive the fullest possible accounting for our POW/MIAs. In a Rose Garden ceremony a few days later, President Bush also hailed the agreements as a "breakthrough."

A Senate delegation returned to Vietnam in November 1992 to follow up on Vessey's accomplishments of the month before and to push for further cooperation. The delegation's primary objectives were:

. To accelerate the pace of joint American-Vietnamese investigations of live sighting reports;

. To press for specific answers to questions raised by the most troubling of the remaining discrepancy cases;

. To expand research capabilities within the archives of Vietnam's military museums;

. To obtain access to Vietnamese veterans of the war, for the purpose of taking oral histories; and

. To push for the repatriation of remains held by private individuals throughout Vietnam.

Senators Kerry, Daschle and Brown held three days of meetings in Hanoi with President Le Duc Anh, Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam and other officials of the Defense and Foreign Ministries, including working-level officials of the VNOSMP. Kerry delivered a letter from President Bush to President Anh encouraging Vietnam to continue to increase its level of cooperation on the POW/MIA issue.

The delegation made great progress in the area of live- sighting investigations. As discussed in greater detail in Chapter 4, the members of the delegation personally conducted investigations of six high-priority live-sighting reports and won assurances that American officials stationed in Vietnam would be permitted to conduct investigations of all of the remaining priority live- sighting reports by Dec. 10, 1992.

The members of the delegation also asked the Vietnamese hard questions about specific discrepancy cases in which it appeared most likely that the Vietnamese could provide information. In two meetings with officials of VNOSMP, the Senators discussed the factual details of several discrepancy cases and learned of archival, anecdotal and other information known by the Vietnamese about the fate of unaccounted-for Americans. Similar meetings at the working level are to continue.

The delegation stressed the great importance that the United States places upon access to Vietnam's war archives. Photographs, documents, artifacts and other materials already have provided answers to questions which have lingered for more than 20 years in a small number of discrepancy cases, and the Committee expects that more answers will be forthcoming as U.S. officials gain access to the wealth of information that exists within Vietnam's archives. In response to delegation requests, the Vietnamese promised to open new archival research offices in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, in addition to the office already open in Hanoi.

The delegation also sought and obtained a promise from the Vietnamese Government to make Vietnamese veterans of the war available to American investigators for the taking of oral histories. Both sides recognized that Vietnamese soldiers have an enormous amount of information about individual battles and other incidents which will complement archival information as it is uncovered. The Committee expects that oral histories obtained from Vietnamese veterans will answer many outstanding questions about what happened to unaccounted-for servicemen.

Finally, the delegation pressed the Vietnamese on the subject of remains. The Vietnamese assured the Senators that the Government was not holding any American remains and promised to take actions to encourage private citizens who might be holding remains to turn them in for repatriation to the U.S.

Committee Hearings

During its final public hearing, on Dec. 4, 1992, the Select Committee reviewed the status of progress in securing cooperation from Vietnam. Vessey testified that:

That long-sought agreement to get at the Vietnamese war- time archival material puts in place what I believe to be the last piece of procedural machinery that we needed to get to the fullest possible accounting. . .

I believe we now have in place the necessary agreements with the Vietnamese Government. We have correctly organized within our own Government. We have competent people working on the matter. But again I say there is a lot of work ahead. And a lot of cooperation will be required on both sides if we're to get the answers we seek.

Needham, head of the JTF-FA, told the Committee that:

In the last year, the cooperation in Vietnam has been steadily improving. . .

Recently, with the visits of General Vessey and Senator McCain, and your Committee, there's been some dramatic improvements.

I think the Vietnamese could still do more, but right now we see cooperation getting better and better every day at the central level. In the field level, cooperation is mixed. In some provinces, its better than others. In some areas, it depends on the central government team leader or the local officials as to whether it's up or down. We are still, across the board, seeing better improvement. . .

A long-standing issue in U.S.-Vietnamese relations concerns the possibility that the Government of Vietnam has stockpiled the remains of American servicemen to be doled out at politically convenient times and, if so, whether that stockpile has by now been depleted. On this point, Vessey testified:

. . . the number of remains that some people expect to be in storage is too high. It doesn't stand the sensibility check. . . we don't know whether they hold remains or not.

Needham testified:

I just don't know the answer on remains. I do know that there are many remains being held by private citizens and I've addressed that with the Vietnamese, because it's against their law. They tell me that they are trying to find a way to solve that problem. . .

I also believe that there are some remains being held by the local district and village officials, all of this in hopes that there will be some monetary reward at some point.

Mr. Garnett Bell, JTF-FA's negotiations assistance officer, testified:

There certainly was a warehouse in the Hanoi area at one time. The "mortician," I think, after he defected in 1979, he testified here in Congress that he processed some 452 remains. The Vietnamese were confronted with that information. They denied it. They indicated that they thought the mortician was fabricating.

He (the mortician) actually provided about seven different items of information. I think six of those have been verified. . .

The Vietnamese, I believe, came to the conclusion that we were confident that the man was telling the truth. Since the mortician gave his testimony, they have returned to us approximately 450 remains.

Approximately 260-269 remains have now been identified, and that indicates to me (that). . . they're telling us that we have given you those remains back and the warehouse here in Hanoi is empty.

An important perspective on the issue of cooperation and accountability was presented to the Committee by Schweitzer, an individual who is now employed by the DoD and who played a major role in gaining U.S. access to Vietnam's military archives, where he had been working for more than a year first as a private researcher, compiling information for a book and then as a DoD consultant. Schweitzer said that a great deal of evidence and information concerning lost Americans is in the hands of private Vietnamese citizens, but that those citizens have lacked a strong incentive to come forward. In Schweitzer's opinion, Vietnamese citizens will be more likely to respond to appeals for information from the central government in Hanoi and from the U.S. if they see the U.S. beginning to act more favorably towards Vietnam.

Schweitzer also questioned the degree to which the central Government of Vietnam knows more than it has told the U.S. about the fate of missing Americans:

There were orders from Hanoi throughout the war that any American who was captured or any American who was killed, there was to be a complete report made and sent to Hanoi. But in the heat of battle in the war. . . a lot of times these reports just didn't get made. Sometimes they did get made and they didn't arrive in Hanoi. . . one specific case I was told about a report was made and then before the group taking the report back to Hanoi could get there, they were all killed in a bombing attack. So that report never made it. Another case, a Navy flyer who was shot down, his airplane crashed in the sea. The Vietnamese went out with a boat and they actually pulled up the airplane, got it, got the pilot and buried him on the beach. The very next day, a bomb struck right on top of that pilot's grave where they buried him and absolutely nothing is left. Even though they had remains and pictures the remains are now completely unrecoverable. . .

Schweitzer also had some provocative observations about the slowness in getting answers from Vietnam about some of our missing servicemen:

The methods employed by the U.S. side in searching for MIAs were basically unsound. The U.S. would provide the Vietnamese leadership with a list of names of missing Americans and expect the Vietnamese to come up with information on them. The Vietnamese leadership had no idea how to approach this problem. . .

The Vietnamese archive system, such as it is, is not arranged by name, but rather by date and location of incident. Thus, if the U.S. side had requested a search of the Vietnamese archives by date and location of shootdown, many pilots would have been found, whereas a search by name would yield nothing. . .

Another factor delaying the process is the U.S. side's failure to show any interest whatsoever in Vietnam's own 300,000 MIAs. . .

Further, there is almost a religious resistance among the official and unofficial POW/MIA community and the U.S. against any serious scholarly research on dead MIAs. . .

I personally spent tens of thousands of dollars, and nearly three years of my life, trying to get someone, anyone, to believe me that there was a mountain of information on dead Americans in Hanoi. . .

December 1992: Kerry-Smith Trip

Senators Kerry and Smith returned to Hanoi on Dec. 17-18, 1992 for a final series of meetings with Vietnamese officials. The visit followed closely an announcement by President Bush that authorized American companies to open offices in Vietnam and to sign conditional contracts there; contracts could become effective upon the lifting of the economic embargo.

The delegation met in Hanoi with President Le Duc Anh, General Secretary Do Muoi, Foreign Minister Cam and several high-ranking officials of the general Political directorate of the Ministry of Defense. The purpose of the delegation's visit was to press the Vietnamese officials one final time to cooperate fully with U.S. efforts to resolve the POW/MIA issue by providing access to every source of POW/MIA-related information in Vietnam. The Vietnamese officials responded with promises of full cooperation and openness.

In a written memorandum presented to Senators Kerry and Smith at the conclusion of the visit, the Vietnamese officials described six new or expanded areas of cooperation, promising to:

. Make available to U.S. investigators all POW/MIA-related documents, files and other information, including documents in the custody of the General Political Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, the successor to the Enemy Proselytizing Division and reputed to be Vietnam's most hard-line Communist bastion: its war-time archives include debriefing records of U.S. POWs and other documents which the Select Committee expects will shed light on the fates of many unaccounted-for servicemen. The Vietnamese also promised to U.S. investigators all POW/MIA-related information received from the possession of private citizens.

. Search their files for information relating to the capture or loss of U.S. personnel along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and elsewhere in Laos and to coordinate this research with their Lao counterparts.

. Strengthen the operations of the VNOSMP by adding senior personnel from other ministries of the government.

. Grant amnesty for private citizens who turn in remains of U.S. servicemen. It is illegal in Vietnam for private citizens to hold remains, and Vietnamese officials believe that many private citizens who are holding remains have been reluctant to turn them in for fear of prosecution. The amnesty program is expected to result in the repatriation of many sets of remains.

. Permit American "MIA families" and veterans to visit Vietnam to participate in the process of obtaining the fullest possible accounting.

The Vietnamese also reaffirmed their on-going efforts to assist U.S. investigators in following up on all remaining unresolved live-sighting reports. By the end of December 1992, Vietnamese officials will have assisted in 65 live-sighting investigations in Vietnam.

Kerry and Smith both expressed satisfaction with the progress made on this final trip. All of these promises will require the cooperation of numerous officials at all levels of the Vietnamese Government, and many initiatives will take time to complete. If Vietnam's Government follows through on its assurances and provides access to all of the information and materials it has promised, there will be little more Vietnam could be asked to do to assist in accounting for missing Americans.

Laos

U.S. efforts to obtain information from Lao authorities have been complicated by the facts that Laos was not a party to the Paris Peace Accords and the United States was not a party to the 1973 Laos cease-fire agreement that pledged all sides to return captive personnel. In addition, the DoD estimates that at least 75 percent of the Americans missing in Laos were lost in areas controlled at the time by North Vietnamese armed forces, generally in eastern Laos along the border with Vietnam and near the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Although the quality of information and record-keeping in Laos is low, there is reason to believe that North Vietnamese military were instructed to recover and record all they could about downed U.S. aircraft. Thus, efforts to account for these Americans require a tri-lateral effort, involving not only the U.S. and Laos, but Vietnam, as well.

The current leaders of Laos, who are successors to the Pathet Lao guerrillas who contended for power during the war, may have some information concerning missing Americans that they have not yet shared. In general, Lao leaders have been far more reluctant than the Vietnamese to grant U.S. access to their territory to conduct live-sighting investigations and inspect crash sights. The atmosphere has improved in recent months, however, and negotiations are on-going for the establishment of a permanent POW/MIA investigation office in Vientiane, the capital.

During the Senate delegation's trip to Southeast Asia in November 1992, Senators Kerry and Daschle flew to Vientiane for meetings with Foreign Minister Phoun Sipaseuth and Vice Foreign Minister Soubanh Srithirath. The Senators reported to the Lao officials on the agreements that had been made in Vietnam and pressed the Lao officials to show a similar level of cooperation. Specifically, they asked Laos:

. To permit the U.S. to have a full-time, live-sighting investigator stationed in Laos,

. To permit U.S. crash and grave-site investigation teams to use Lao-Americans as translators during their investigations,

. To open the Laos Government's archives to U.S. investigators,

. To loosen restrictions imposed on U.S. investigative teams operating in Laos.

During the Committee's public hearing Dec. 4, 1992, Vessey testified:

Personally, I think more answers are deserved from the present Laotian Government than we are getting. I think that they need to be continually pressured for more answers.

Secondly, there's another good reason that the accounting will not be as good from Laos as it was or as it is likely to be from Vietnam. You've flown over the area. It's very rugged terrain, but the other thing is it is very sparsely populated. Compared to Vietnam, which is quite heavily populated, Laos is very sparsely populated. The second thing is that Laos is not as homogeneous a nation as is Vietnam. It's tribal ethnic groups that are split up in various places, the communication during war-time was miserable, and I doubt that it's much better today.

All that contributes to it, but I think more answers are deserved.

Later, Bill Gadoury, a casualty officer working at Stony Beach, testified:

. . . starting in 1985, I personally have seen a dramatic change in the level of cooperation that we get in the field. . . certainly it's not anywhere near where we'd like to have it in terms of being able to field multiple teams and things of that nature, but just recalling back to my first field operations in Laos, just to show the contrast of where we were then and where we are now. . .

In February of 1986, we went on our first excavation in Savannakhet Province. And our team went into Savannakhet. . . and we had to spend the night because the landing site wasn't prepared. We were put up in a hotel. They put armed guards outside the door and they advised us not to go walking around.

More recently, on the operation I came back from a few weeks ago, we were given pretty much unlimited access in the area. . . to address the cases that we had agreed upon before going out to the field. The Lao were very cooperative. . .

The Committee believes that, in general, cooperation from Laos has been disappointing over the years. Moreover, the Committee notes that the Laos Government has permitted only a handful of live- sighting investigations in the field and to date, U.S. investigators have not visited any detention camps in Laos. The Committee concurs with Gen. Vessey that more answers are deserved.

Cambodia

Cambodia was not a party to the Paris Peace Accords and no separate agreement on repatriation was reached in the aftermath of the war. The recovery of American POWs or remains in Cambodia was made virtually impossible after 1975, when the Khmer Rouge seized power and embarked on a bloody reign of terror directed at Cambodians and foreigners alike that left a million people -- out of a total population of seven million -- dead. Throughout much of the past 20 years, the U.S. has had either difficult or non-existent diplomatic contacts with the Cambodian Government. The years of struggle and chaos leave little hope that documents or records have survived that would reveal additional information about U.S. personnel.

As in Laos, however, most of the Americans unaccounted for in Cambodia were lost near the border with Vietnam in areas where North Vietnamese forces dominated. Thus, the best potential sources of documentary information concerning those lost in Cambodia may be in Hanoi, not in Phnom Penh.

The present government of war-ravaged Cambodia cannot be expected to possess documentary information relevant to the fate of missing American servicemen. Although the government has expressed its willingness to cooperate fully with the U.S. in efforts to resolve discrepancy cases, and has taken nearly every step requested by U.S. investigators -- including granting permission to fly U.S. helicopters around the country -- the Government is unable to guarantee security in areas controlled by Khmer Rouge guerrillas.


173 posted on 09/02/2004 7:37:30 AM PDT by Calpernia ("People never like what they don't understand")
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To: ProudVet77

Exactly. They wouldn't venture into this territory since the Swiftvets are already taking care of it. They have ample ammunition with Kerry's 18 years in the senate.


174 posted on 09/02/2004 7:45:31 AM PDT by Serena
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To: justshutupandtakeit
Some of the more enterprising of us bloggers are attempting to get old files from the 1970s, from Berlin, Warsaw and Prague (now that the communist regimes are gone and some things have been de-classified and can be obtained) showing East Block Communist intelligence organizations' possible coordination and input regarding John Kerry's and other VVAW's seditious trips to Paris and other places to meet the Vietcong and perhaps even representatives of Pol Pot's KHMER ROUGE.

But, enough of that here, open mike, on FR, for all the enemies and their legions of attorneys and talking heads in the media, to see and construct counter responses toward defusing this.

Believe me, they'll never know what hit 'em in late October, you can take that to the bank. There is so much dirt on this traitor weasel that is coming to the surface, and I mean "Big Time."

175 posted on 09/02/2004 7:47:02 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Kerry Predicted in 1971 "No Bloodbath in Cambodia". TWO MILLION then died: April '75 to January '79)
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To: grey_whiskers
As to your questions:

a) Who cares.
b) Never.

Enquiring minds want to know if the restaurant in question was cited either for health code violations or for impersonating a bordello.

176 posted on 09/02/2004 7:48:36 AM PDT by SAJ (Have a very detailed look at writing CLV or CLX puts, 3.00-6.00 OOM (more for the X, naturally).)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

I know that is correct.


177 posted on 09/02/2004 7:53:31 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (My Father was 10x the hero John Fraud Kerry is.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

This post, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1205397/posts?page=173#173 sounds like a purge already happened :(


178 posted on 09/02/2004 7:57:50 AM PDT by Calpernia ("People never like what they don't understand")
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To: Calpernia

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/content/?020204fr_archive03

Some excerpts:

Against the advice of his staff, who saw yet another committee as a political abyss, Kerry said yes when George Mitchell, the Senate Majority Leader, asked him to chair it. "It was not a politically rewarding thing for him to take on," Senator Kennedy told me. "And it turned out to be a true national service."

McCain, the former prisoner, was named to the committee. He had travelled to Vietnam for President Bush, in support of General Vessey's efforts. He had met with Vietnamese leaders. "They've never understood all these allegations about their keeping people behind," he recalls. "Time after time, they would say to me, 'Why would we keep them?' " McCain saw the difficulty of coaxing Vietnamese officials, for the sake of a few hundred long-missing Americans, to coöperate in the kind of investigative work that Hanoi would never be able to do for the hundreds of thousands of its own missing soldiers. He knew that Buddhists believe that an uninterred or improperly interred corpse condemns a soul to eternal wandering, so the fate of their own missing sons was far from insignificant to the Vietnamese.

"Before that committee convened, whatever harebrained and wild allegation or story came up had instant credence," McCain told me. "By the methodical work that John Kerry did . . . Americans were made much more aware of the realities." Kerry travelled to Vietnam eight times; he supervised the examination of thousands of documents and photographs; and he took testimony from family members, leaders of veterans' organizations, intelligence officials, and negotiators from the Paris peace talks. He subpoenaed several hundred people, and put under oath for the first time those who had run the war, including Henry Kissinger.

Kerry and McCain, by "pulling in the same harness," in the words of one staff member, were able to get the Vietnamese to turn over troves of P.O.W. evidence; one batch included McCain's old flight helmet. What was perhaps more amazing, they were able to get the Department of Defense to declassify a million pages of documents. Every conceivable theory was aired, every charge levelled, and every hope given expression. And what this investigation revealed, in the words of its final report—twelve hundred and twenty-three pages long—was that "while the Committee has some evidence suggesting the possibility a POW may have survived to the present, and while some information remains yet to be investigated, there is, at this time, no compelling evidence that proves that any American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia."

...

"Listen," Kerry said to me, sitting forward in his chair at his Washington home. "I defended him in those hearings when some stupid-ass right-wing idiot accused him of being the Manchurian Candidate, that somehow the Vietnamese had brainwashed him. This is the most unbelievably callous, degrading, nonsensical piece of crap I've ever heard in my life, coming from some chicken hawk out there, to hurl at somebody who spent as long as he did being tortured and standing up for his country, and caring about it as much as he did. It's incredible that people would behave like that, absolutely stunning."

Sometimes McCain was attacked by his fellow-senators and sometimes by witnesses. He was the lightning rod. I was told by a member of the committee staff that when Kerry and McCain were sitting near each other on the senators' dais, Kerry would, at such moments, unobtrusively move his hand over to McCain and place it on his arm and leave it there, a quiet gesture of what was becoming absolute mutual support. I asked McCain if he had been aware of Kerry's touch. "Yes," he replied. "He did that several times, and I'm glad he did. I'm grateful to him."


179 posted on 09/02/2004 8:12:07 AM PDT by Calpernia ("People never like what they don't understand")
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To: dinok

I doubt our government would send a 27/28 year old disgruntled veteran to Paris to represent us, knowing what they knew about him. kerry, I think, has always thought he was above, intellectually, than anyone else in this country, and he knew and knows communism is best for us. Remember, his father, though he represented us, as a state department employee, did not like the American form of government, he like the european socialist type of government.


180 posted on 09/02/2004 8:12:36 AM PDT by tillacum (Poor kerry, he's told so many flip-flops, he thinks he's running for president, is he or isn't he?)
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To: finnigan2

There was discussion of it on FR way back during the winter.

Maybe googling will bring it up, but it was discussed around here.

Not sure it got any other coverage though, and at this point I can't point you to it.


181 posted on 09/02/2004 8:13:15 AM PDT by texasbluebell
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To: Timeout

Voters sadly don't care. Focus on what he did in the Senate. That's where you hit him.


182 posted on 09/02/2004 8:16:04 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: finnigan2

Well, on googling now, I'm not finding anything on it.

Maybe it was just speculation on FR, I don't know at this point.

But there was discussion then, and someone reported that she had filed back then.

But if she hasn't filed, at least we're safe from her this year.


183 posted on 09/02/2004 8:21:29 AM PDT by texasbluebell
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To: Calpernia

Cal, I could just cry reading your posts 163 and 164.

It makes me sick.


184 posted on 09/02/2004 8:31:33 AM PDT by texasbluebell
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To: finnigan2

Be sure to read post 162...


185 posted on 09/02/2004 8:35:58 AM PDT by texasbluebell
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To: Timeout

This is old news.


186 posted on 09/02/2004 8:37:11 AM PDT by ampat
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To: Grampa Dave

No Such Agency ping


187 posted on 09/02/2004 8:39:10 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Tourette's syndrome is just a $&#$*!% excuse for poor *%$#** language skills.)
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To: Calpernia

Not to mention your other posts.


188 posted on 09/02/2004 8:40:53 AM PDT by texasbluebell
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To: ampat

Not sure what you mean. I know the Paris trip has been discussed all year...I've participated extensively in those threads. What I found new was:

1) The reference to THREE trips and

2) It appears someone's got the goods on this story and is holding his fire until Kerry is most vulnerable to a public airing of his activities.

If those weren't news to you, then I simply missed where they were discussed.


189 posted on 09/02/2004 8:42:56 AM PDT by Timeout (“If John Kerry loses, it will be the parade we never had.”--Anonymous Vietnam Vet)
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To: Timeout

If someone, anyone, can claim that he made one of those trips in a SR-71 the DEMS will have to investigate. Well, won't they? I'll wait to see that.


190 posted on 09/02/2004 8:49:14 AM PDT by FreePaul
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To: FesterUSMC
Now that is conspiracy and treason....

Yes, you know it and I know it, and taking part in a conspiracy to assassinate U.S. senators is a federal crime as well, as is stealing classified documents, but Dem'Rats don't care about the law, the press gives them a free pass, the Republicans are usually too timid to pursue these things, and the sheeple continue to pull the levers for the traitors.

The best way to make this stick is a Swift Boat Veterans-style ad campaign, which bypasses the media gatekeepers and presses issues that the GOP won't usually touch. I would be surprised if the Bush campaign makes this an issue, or the GOP in general. I saw Newt Gingrich last night talking to Hannity and was glad to see him bring it up, but I'd be surprised to see the party press the issue.

191 posted on 09/02/2004 8:55:29 AM PDT by HenryLeeII (sultan88, R.I.P.)
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To: ASA Vet

No Comment.


192 posted on 09/02/2004 8:55:55 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (https://www.swiftvets.com/swift/ccdonation.php?op=donate&site=SwiftVets)
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To: justshutupandtakeit

I hope you're right. Every time I think I've seen the ultimate in hypocrisy, dishonesty, and slime from the left, they once again outdo themselves.


193 posted on 09/02/2004 8:57:56 AM PDT by Flightdeck (Procrastinate later)
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To: Timeout
If this is an FBI records story then who had access to the FBI records? Any guesses?


194 posted on 09/02/2004 8:59:48 AM PDT by truthandlife ("Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." (Ps 20:7))
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To: Timeout

bttt


195 posted on 09/02/2004 9:03:49 AM PDT by TEXOKIE (Hanoi John is DIRECTLY responsible for the hurtful epithets hurled at our returning Viet Nam troops)
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To: Ronin
KABOOMSKI!!!!

He went to PARIS...not kaboomski...LA BOOM!!!

196 posted on 09/02/2004 9:11:46 AM PDT by Snardius
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To: Reagan Man

ping


197 posted on 09/02/2004 9:17:30 AM PDT by southland (Alabama for BUSH)
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To: Timeout
In addition to John Kerry, here's some other company that Nguyen Thi Binh kept.


198 posted on 09/02/2004 9:18:14 AM PDT by bootyist-monk (<--------------------- Republican Attack Machine)
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To: ladyinred
I heard this too, and when Hannity didn't catch on and changed the subject, Newt repeated it again.

I wasn't impressed by Hannity. Hannity's surprise at the story about Kerry in Paris talking with North Vietnamese communist laeders shows he has not yet read "Unfit for Command". How could he not be aware of Kerry's freelance negotiating behind the back of the US administration?

The big question is, How much funding did Kerry and his protesting "peace" groups (VVAW, CPUSA, etc.) receive from Soviet and North Vietnamese sources?

199 posted on 09/02/2004 9:19:51 AM PDT by OESY
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To: Timeout; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub

BTTT


200 posted on 09/02/2004 9:24:03 AM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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