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Navy: Iraqis Know MIA Pilot's Whereabouts
Friends Working to Free Scott Speicher Inc. ^ | (09-08) 08:55 PDT | Friends Working to Free Scott Speicher Inc.

Posted on 09/08/2005 9:21:43 AM PDT by Calpernia

A Navy pilot shot down over Iraq in January 1991 may have been captured by Iraqi forces, and members of the former Iraqi government "know the whereabouts" of the officer, the Navy has concluded.

A Navy board of inquiry concluded that there is no credible evidence that Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher is dead, and it reaffirmed his official status as "missing/captured," according to the board's final report.

The board also recommended that the Pentagon work with the State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the Iraqi government to "increase the level of attention and effort inside Iraq" to resolve the question of Speicher's fate.

Navy Secretary Gordon England approved the report on Wednesday, according to Lt. Erin Bailey, a Navy spokeswoman.

The Iraqi government under President Saddam Hussein maintained from the start that Speicher perished at the site where his F/A-18 fighter jet crashed in the desert. No evidence to contradict that has surfaced since the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, but the new Navy inquiry concluded there was no credible evidence of his death, either.

"In view of the above findings, the board concludes as to the current whereabouts and status of the person that the person missing/captured," the report said. A copy of the report was provided to The Associated Press.

After the fall of Baghdad, a team of U.S. investigators searched for evidence of Speicher's fate, but reported finding nothing conclusive.

The board of inquiry noted that years after the shootdown, which happened on the opening night of the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraqi government turned over a flight suit and other items associated with Speicher's aircraft.

That fact "leads us to conclude that elements of the former Iraqi regime know the whereabouts of Captain Speicher," the report said.

The board of inquiry also said that a March 2005 U.S. intelligence report on the Speicher case contained unanswered questions, and it recommended that a POW/MIA analytical cell continue its efforts to resolve those questions. It did not provide details on this, noting that the March report is classified secret.

The Navy has changed its position on Speicher's status over the years. Hours after his plane went down, the Pentagon declared him killed in action. Ten years later, the Navy changed his status to MIA, citing an absence of evidence that he had died. In October 2002, the Navy switched his status to "missing-captured," although it has never said what evidence it had that he was in captivity.

A Pentagon team assigned to search for evidence of Speicher after the fall of Baghdad completed its efforts in May 2004. In congressional testimony shortly afterward, Marine Brig. Gen. Joseph J. McMenamin, who led the search team, said all in-country leads regarding the pilot's fate had been exhausted.

McMenamin also said, however, that some leads could not be fully pursued because of the security threat from the Iraq insurgency. Another problem, he said, was that nomadic Bedouin tribesmen who may have information of value are difficult to find. And some who might have information about Speicher may be intimidated by the threat of retribution by members of the former Saddam regime who are still at large.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iraq; mia; michaelspeicher; scott; scottspeicher; speicher

Navy pilot Michael Scott Speicher was shot down over central-western Iraq in Jan., 1991.

That fact "leads us to conclude that elements of the former Iraqi regime know the whereabouts of Captain Speicher," the report said.

1 posted on 09/08/2005 9:21:46 AM PDT by Calpernia
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To: Pukin Dog; ducks1944; Ragtime Cowgirl; Alamo-Girl; TrueBeliever9; maestro; TEXOKIE; My back yard; ..
Navy pilot Michael Scott Speicher was shot down over central-western Iraq in Jan., 1991.

That fact "leads us to conclude that elements of the former Iraqi regime know the whereabouts of Captain Speicher," the report said.

2 posted on 09/08/2005 9:22:49 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia

God Bless Scott Speicher and his family.

And I've got a pair of pliers that are dying to find out where he is.


3 posted on 09/08/2005 9:24:46 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: Calpernia

More prayers for Scott Speicher.


4 posted on 09/08/2005 9:26:34 AM PDT by abner (Looking for a new tagline- Next outrage please!- Got it! PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS LOST IN THE USA!)
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To: Calpernia

This story has interested me for years. The thought that this guy might be alive and being held is frightening. However, I keep asking one question:

What would be the end game of those holding him?

Clearly, if he was being held, he had some value at that time. He has never been used as a chip -- and I fear that while he may well have been cptured alive, he has probably long ago ben murdered or died.


5 posted on 09/08/2005 9:26:49 AM PDT by Iron Eagle
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To: Calpernia

Wow. This would be an amazing story. Prayers he's still alive and we find him.


6 posted on 09/08/2005 9:27:16 AM PDT by colorado tanker (The People Have Spoken)
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To: Calpernia

He's either in Syria or in Russia.

Just a hunch.


7 posted on 09/08/2005 9:28:14 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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To: Calpernia

What is the consensus on his fate?
Is there any chance that he is still alive?


8 posted on 09/08/2005 9:28:41 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (The Democrat party is the official party of the Morlocks.)
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To: Calpernia

God Bless him and his family. Praying for a miracle so we can bring him home.


9 posted on 09/08/2005 9:31:34 AM PDT by Landry Fan (Rehnquist (RIP))
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To: Calpernia

Thanks for the ping!


10 posted on 09/08/2005 9:32:02 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Calpernia

They just took him the route they took the downed Nam fliers. Russia.


11 posted on 09/08/2005 9:35:05 AM PDT by Spirited
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http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1209454/posts?page=191#191

Search continues for last MIA from '91 Iraq war BY ROGER ROY The Orlando Sentinel

(KRT) - Investigators have yet to prove that missing Gulf War pilot Capt. Scott Speicher was ever held in the Iraqi prison cell where his initials were found etched in the wall, the head of the Pentagon's search for missing Americans said Wednesday.

Speaking to members of the American Veterans convention meeting in Orlando, Jerry D. Jennings, deputy assistant secretary of defense, vowed to continue the search for Speicher, the only American still missing from the 1991 war with Iraq.

The hunt for Speicher remains a top priority for American forces in Iraq, where a $1-million reward is being offered for information about the missing pilot and special teams of U.S. investigators are following every lead, said Jennings. "We will not cease these efforts until we ?have recovered him alive or have his remains," Jennings said. A Navy pilot based in Jacksonville, Speicher, then 33, was flying an F/A-18 Hornet on a bombing run the first night of the 1991 Gulf War when he was shot down over Iraq. He was declared killed in action, but his body was never recovered. He left behind two children and a wife, who has since remarried.

In the years after the war, military officials gathered information suggesting Speicher likely survived ejection from his jet and may have been captured.

In 2001, Speicher's official status was changed to missing in action, and last year to missing/captured.

The search took on new momentum after an Iraqi defector claimed to have seen Speicher alive in Iraq as late as 1998. And in April, at the close of the war with Iraq, investigators found the initials MSS etched in the wall of Hakmiyah prison in Baghdad. Speicher's full name is Michael Scott Speicher. But military officials now question the reliability of the defector's account. Investigators were searching for any source of DNA in the prison, which could be compared with samples from Speicher to prove he was there.

Jennings would not say whether DNA was found in the prison cell. But he said there was still no proof putting Speicher in the cell.

There were several sets of other initials carved into the cell walls. And within the "MSS" initials was another letter not part of Speicher's initials, leading some investigators to question the tie to Speicher.

So far, Jennings said, "There's no evidence that he was ever held in that room."

Because the Iraqis denied capturing him, Speicher may have been held outside the normal channels, Jennings said.

"There's just no end of places he could be held," he said. "As long as there's territory that hasn't been investigated, we've got leads to pursue."

--- ©© 2003, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).


12 posted on 09/08/2005 9:36:07 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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13 posted on 09/08/2005 9:36:49 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Iron Eagle

He was used as a chip. See post 13


14 posted on 09/08/2005 9:37:23 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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15 posted on 09/08/2005 9:38:16 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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16 posted on 09/08/2005 9:38:54 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: HereInTheHeartland

Only info released is there is no proof of his death and there was recent intel that some Iraqi's might know his more.


17 posted on 09/08/2005 9:41:42 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: RinaseaofDs; Cap Huff; Coop

Syria is my guess.


18 posted on 09/08/2005 9:42:50 AM PDT by Dog
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To: nuconvert; Straight Vermonter
That fact "leads us to conclude that elements of the former Iraqi regime know the whereabouts of Captain Speicher," the report said.

They don't mention him in the past tense...he's alive... IMHO.

19 posted on 09/08/2005 9:46:21 AM PDT by Dog
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To: Dog

They could be referring to his body or his remains.


20 posted on 09/08/2005 10:39:06 AM PDT by nuconvert (No More Axis of Evil by Christmas ! TLR) [there's a lot of bad people in the pistachio business])
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To: nuconvert

He's alive.


21 posted on 09/08/2005 10:40:20 AM PDT by Dog ( We haven't forgotten you Capt. Michael Speicher)
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To: nuconvert
>>>A Navy board of inquiry concluded that there is no credible evidence that Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher is dead, and it reaffirmed his official status as "missing/captured," according to the board's final report.<<<<

I will remain optimistic.
22 posted on 09/08/2005 10:41:10 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia

Prayers for the Captain and his family.


23 posted on 09/08/2005 10:42:33 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: RinaseaofDs

"He's either in Syria or in Russia.

Just a hunch."


My thoughts as well if he is still alive.


24 posted on 09/08/2005 10:42:51 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Calpernia

Great posting and reporting here.


25 posted on 09/08/2005 10:44:09 AM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, in small groups or in whole armies, we don't care how we do it, but we're gonna getcha)
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To: Pukin Dog

Ping


26 posted on 09/08/2005 10:44:50 AM PDT by sargunner
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To: Calpernia
If members of the former government of Iraq know the whereabouts of a missing USN aviator, they why haven't we started pulling finger nails, applying hot pincers, and shoving cattle prods up their various orifi until they tell us where he is?
27 posted on 09/08/2005 10:50:15 AM PDT by Little Ray (I'm a reactionary, hirsute, gun-owning, knuckle dragging, Christian Neanderthal and proud of it!)
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To: Little Ray; SJSAMPLE

I don't believe 'we' news followers actually know or will ever know the details of how this investigation has been run.

So don't rule out the the cattle prod. And if you do, SJSAMPLE will lend you his pliers.


28 posted on 09/08/2005 10:55:56 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia

For those who are still crowing about "no WMD's found" one of the unconditional demands made to Saddam before the Iraq War was the return of Michael Speicher. I know that the left couldn't care a fig for the life of one Navy pilot but the President and most patriotic Americans do.


29 posted on 09/08/2005 10:58:26 AM PDT by Inwoodian
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To: Calpernia
Keeping fingers crossed.

Prayers for Scott and his family,and all POW/MIA families.

30 posted on 09/08/2005 11:00:15 AM PDT by smoothsailing (Qui Nhon Turtle)
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To: Dog

I hope you're right


31 posted on 09/08/2005 11:20:13 AM PDT by nuconvert (No More Axis of Evil by Christmas ! TLR) [there's a lot of bad people in the pistachio business])
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To: nuconvert; ASA Vet

I'm right about Osama right ASAVET....:-)


32 posted on 09/08/2005 11:21:26 AM PDT by Dog ( We haven't forgotten you Capt. Michael Speicher)
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To: Calpernia

I have prayed for such news for so long now. I hope this all pans out and MSS is alive and well and that his hiding spot will soon be revealed by a member of the old Iraqi guard. His family must be in absolute agony over all these ups and downs...


33 posted on 09/08/2005 11:37:17 AM PDT by Donna Lee Nardo
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To: Calpernia

Yes indeed. God bless Scott Speicher and his family....


34 posted on 09/08/2005 2:03:31 PM PDT by Paul Ross (Definition of strict constructionist: someone who DOESN'T hallucinate when reading the Constitution)
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To: Dog

I trust your guess more than I trust mine.


35 posted on 09/08/2005 3:05:12 PM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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