Report of the
Senate Select Committee
The Committee examined hundreds of thousands of documents during
its investigation. As the Committee requested of various Federal
agencies that documents pertaining to the subject of POW/MIAs be
provided, it received a massive volume of material. In addition,
the Committee generated hundreds of documents, primarily
transcribed deposition and hearing testimony.
Committee members and staff spent thousands of hours at the DIA,
CIA, NSA, State Department, other agencies, and the National
Records Center to review classified and unclassified military
records stored there and reviewing materials and identifying
documents needed for the Committee's work. To fill the Committee's
blanket requests for materials, DoD established a Central
Documentation Office for the single point collection of material
requested by the Committee.
Much of the material was classified when investigators received it
and some of it remains classified. In compliance with Senate
procedures, all classified material was delivered to the Office of
Senate Security where it was logged in, worked on and stored. All
material still classified at the conclusion of the Committee's work
was transferred to the National Archives for permanent storage. The
material that was declassified, was redacted to protect the names
of sources and the way the U.S. collects intelligence. Both
classified and unclassified versions were sent to the Archives.
At the urging of the Committee and in response to a unanimous
Resolution of the Senate, President Bush issued an Executive Order
requiring Executive Branch agencies to declassify almost all
material pertaining to the POW/MIA issue. The result was the
declassification of more than one million documents. At
publication time, these documents were being provided to the
Library of Congress for microfilming and indexing, they will be
available to the public for a nominal service fee.
To assist the public in understanding its work, the Committee was
assisted by a specialist in archival indexing and storage. All
Committee documents will have been cross-indexed for location of
subject matter and physical location of actual documents. Excerpts
from selected documents follow:
01/11/73 Kissinger to Bunker (ironclad guarantees)
Henry Kissinger sends a message to Ambassador Bunker in Saigon.
"(Le Duc) Tho and I met for six hours...we completed the text of
the Agreement. We also completed the associated understandings.
Major ones include...iron clad guarantees on our prisoners in Laos
01/26/73 Kissinger Meeting with League at White House
Kissinger meets with National League of POW/MIA Families telling
them "Understandings on Laos are absolutely clear concerning POW
releases in a time frame similar to that in Vietnam...They cannot
hold our men for ransom...There cannot be any blackmail by
them...In North Vietnam it is almost inconceivable that they will
hold any POWs..."
01/27/73 Paris Peace Agreements
"The Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam" is
formally signed...in Paris by U.S. Secretary of State William P.
Rogers...The cease-fire goes into effect.
Article 21 - "...the United States will contribute to...postwar
reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and throughout
Article 8A - "The return of captured military personnel and foreign
civilians of the parties shall be carried out simultaneously with
and completed not later than the same day as the troop withdrawal
mentioned in Article 5. The parties shall exchange complete
lists...on the day of the signing of the Agreement."
Article 8B - "The parties shall help each... to get information
about those military personnel...missing in action,...and to take
any such measures as may be required to get information about those
still considered missing in action."
Article 22 - ...In a supplementary protocol, it is provided that
POWs will be released in approximately equal installments at 15
day-intervals during a 60 day period...
At 12:50 p.m. EST, the U.S. is handed lists from the
Vietnamese...containing 717 names of POWs, including 64...reported
as having died in captivity...
The lists from the Vietnamese contain no U.S. POWs captured or held
01/27/73 Side Understandings
On the Phrase "of the particles" in Article 3 a) and b; of the
Agreement - "It is understood...that the phrase "of the particles"
in Article 8(a) and (b)...covers all personnel of the parties and
from any other country."
The Return of Vietnamese Civilian Personnel Captured and Detained
in South Vietnam - "The U.S. reaffirms the statement of Dr. Henry
A. Kissinger...that the United States will use its maximum
influence to secure the return of Vietnamese civilian personnel
captured and detained in South Vietnam..."
Regarding Laos and Cambodia - Message in the Name of the Prime
Minister of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam,
October 21, 1972...(b)...the Americans captured in Laos will be
promptly released, before December 30, 1972...(c) ...The DRV side
has been clearly informed that there is no American captive in
"Message from the President of the United States to the Prime
Minister of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
Dated October 22, 1972:
The President notes with appreciation the message from the Prime
Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam which satisfies all
his points with respect to Laos and Cambodia as well as U.S.
01/29/73 WASAG meeting (hoping for 40-41 POWs from Laos)
WASAG meeting takes place at White House. Dr. Kissinger and
another NSC official are both advised by the Joint Chiefs of Staff
and the Defense Department that they are "hoping" for "40-41"
American prisoners of war in Laos...
02/01/73 Nixon's letter on war reparations
The North Vietnamese provide a list...which is represented as the
list of American POWs captured in Laos. The list is exchanged
simultaneously with a private communication to North Vietnamese
Prime Minister Pham Van Dong from President Richard Nixon.
The letter from President Nixon reads:
"1. The Government of the United States of America will contribute
to postwar reconstruction in North Vietnam without any political
conditions. 2. Preliminary U.S. studies indicate that the
appropriate programs for the U.S. contribution to postwar
reconstruction will fall in the range of 3.25 billion of grant aid
over 5 years... 3. The U.S. will propose to the DRV the formation
of a Joint Economic Commission... (4.) to develop programs for the
U.S. contribution to reconstruction of North Vietnam..."
02/02/73 Nixon to North Vietnam PM (Laos list is unsatisfactory)
...the following message is delivered to the North Vietnamese Prime
Minister from President Nixon...:
"The list of American prisoners held in Laos which was presented in
Paris on February 1st is unsatisfactory. U.S. record show...317
American military men unaccounted for in Laos and it is
inconceivable that only ten of these men would be held prisoner in
Laos...implementation of any American undertaking is related to the
satisfactory resolution of this problem..."
02/01/73 DIA Analysis of Enemy Lists and List of 82
Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense.
1.The enclosure provides a summary of the number of U.S. prisoners
reportedly alive and/or deceased...in terms of the Defense
Intelligence Agency status. The figures presented vary slightly
with official Service casualty statistics.
2.Figures provided are the result of analysis of prisoner files
provided...by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong representatives on
27 January 1973.
Analysis of Enemy Lists on U.S. Personnel* - U.S. Personnel Listed
as PW by DIA Who are not on Either the Alive or Dead Lists:
USA - 21; USN - 27: USAF - 22; USMC - 3; Civilian - 14; Total 87.
02/06/73 DIA Memo to Kissinger (talking points)
"There are approximately 350 U.S. military and civilians listed as
missing or captured in Laos. Of this total, approximately 215 men
were lost under such circumstances that the enemy probably has
information regarding their fate."
"The PLF list of 10 personnel captured in Laos (provided by DRV on
1 February 1973)...the list consisted of personnel captured by the
North Vietnamese in Laos rather than the Pathet Lao... The PLF list
did not state whether these men were dead or alive, or whether that
are to be released. The PLF list is incomplete..."
"There are approximately 300 crash sites in Laos...Because of the
presence of North Vietnamese forces, it can be reasonably assumed
that the North Vietnamese would have some knowledge on the fate of
missing/captured personnel in these areas."
"There is evidence that the Pathet Lao have information on
captured/missing U.S. personnel and should be able to provide a
list of alive U.S. PW's and information on the fate of many others.
"The North Vietnamese, because of their presence in parts of Laos,
should have more information than provided to date on
captured/missing U.S. personnel..."
02/14/73 Joint Communique (creating joint economic commission)
The United States and North Vietnam issue a joint communique to
create a joint economic commission to oversee rebuilding Vietnam
with U.S. dollars...The communique is a result of Dr. Kissinger's
02/21/73 Peace Agreement with Laos
The "Agreement on Restoring Peace and Achieving National Concord in
Laos" is signed...Chapter II, Article 5...provides for the release
of "all persons, regardless of nationality, who have been captured
and detained"..."within 60 days after the setting up of the
Provisional National Union Government...After all those who were
captured have been returned, each side has the duty to gather
information on those missing during the war and report the
information to the other side."
03/13/73 WASAG Minutes (Laos POW concerns)
WASAG Meeting takes place at White House.
State: "You won't complete the withdrawal until the Lao prisoners
Kissinger: "Yes, that's right."
Defense: "How many are there in Laos?"
NSC Staff: "They've told us they hold more American prisoners than
the eight on the list we received from North Vietnam."
State: "We've had contact with the Pathet Lao several times."
Kissinger: "And they have admitted they hold more?"
Kissinger: "I didn't know that. How many more?"
State: "They haven't said. They've been giving us the runaround
on the details..."
03/14/73 Kissinger Memo to Nixon (recommending bombing Laos)
On March 14th, President Nixon approves a request from Henry
Kissinger to plan "for a 2-3 day series of intensive U.S. air
strikes against the trail area of Southern Laos to be conducted
immediately after release of the third increment of POWs is
completed on March 16th"...The purpose of the bombing is
described... as a "response to continued North Vietnamese
infiltration and logistics activity in the South."
03/21 and 03/22/73 DIA to Moorer on POWs and Moorer Cables
"...The U.S. will complete the withdrawal of its military forces
...in accordance with the terms of the agreement..with the released
of all, repeat all American prisoners held throughout Indochina."
"Do not commence withdrawal of the fourth increment until the
following two conditions are met: (1) U.S. has been provided with
a complete list of all U.S. PW's including those held by the Pathet
Lao; as well as the time and place of release..." "If difficulties
arise during the process of release, then cease all withdrawals
until otherwise instructed."
"...Our basic concern is the release of the prisoners and we do not
object to the PLF playing the central role as ling as the men are
returned to us. We need precise information and understanding on
the times and place of release of the prisoners on the list
provided 1 February...For your information only, the purpose of the
above is to try to get things back on track and moving again."
03/22/73 Godley to State (Embassy believes LPF hold POWs)
U.S. Ambassador to Laos, Mac Godley, sends cable to Secretary of
State stating Embassy belief that the Lao Patriotic Front holds
more U.S. POWs throughout Laos than those names which appeared on
the DRV February 1st list. Embassy states, however, that they
should concentrate first on getting the 9 POWs back who were on the
North Vietnamese list.
03/22/73 Embassy Demarche to Pathet Lao
On the same day, U.S. Embassy in Laos sends demarche to Pathet Lao
stating they expect back more U.S. POWs than those on the February
03/22/73 Nixon Tapes
March 22, 1973, from 9:11 to 10:35 A.M.
"...Haldeman: The question, uh, with the Congress, if you go on,
I mean, Tuesday may be too soon -- from, from the Vietnam
viewpoint. If they pull the prisoners, the prisoners, where, and,
and the troops out (unintelligible)
Haldeman:Better wait and see (unintelligible)
President: The prisoners, oh, the prisoners (unintelligible)..."
03/23/73 Eagleburger Memo
"...the U.S. is prepared to accept release of the ten men on the 1
February list along with the other U.S. personnel being held in NVN
as the final condition for complete U.S. troop withdrawal.
However, there has been no accounting of U.S. personnel MIA in Laos
other than the 1 February list of ten who were probably all
captured in Laos by the NVA rather than the Pathet Lao. Hence,
assuming all the prisoners currently being held in NVN are released
by 28 March, we still have the Laos MIA question remaining
"...there appears to be need for a well-orchestrated plan for
solving the problem of our Laos POWs and MIAs. Therefore, I am
recommending below a series of diplomatic moves aimed at gaining a
proper accounting of our men lost in Laos..."
A."After the recovery of the last prisoners from NVN, Hanoi should
be advised unequivocally that we still hold them responsible for
the return of all POWs being held in Indochina..."
B."...a strong demarche should be made to the ranking LPF
representative in Vientaine...This initiative should plainly and
forcefully assert that the U.S. will no longer play games with the
POW issue in Laos...we demand their immediate release as well as an
accounting and information on all those who may have died.
Finally, the LPF should be advised that failure to provide a
satisfactory answer could result in appropriate United States
D."Shortly after 28 March, assuming the LPF have not responded
favorably, intensive and obvious tactical air reconnaissance of
North and South Laos should commence. Additionally, the movement
of a new carrier task force into the waters off Vietnam should be
"...the evidence indicates that the NVN/Pathet Lao forces have
capture U.S. personnel since 1964, and the LPF have provided no
prisoner or casualty data at all other that the ten names listed on
03/27/73 Nixon Tapes
Transcript of a recording of a meeting among the President, H.R.
Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Ronald Ziegler on March 27, 1973
from 11:10 A.M. to 1:30 P.M.
"Ehrlichman: This story and, uh, this one, uh, this, this Watergate
thing is potentially very debilitating around, but we have to
devote a large part of our time to keeping people busy in, uh...
President: I know..."
President: ...I don't believe that I should go out on national
television like tonight or tomorrow and go out on the Watergate
Commission and then come on the next day on national television on
Vietnam...My view would be to, get the Vietnam out of the way, and
maybe get this right if you could. I think that gives you time..."
04/03/73 Richardson note to Rogers (questions, but on to MIAs)
Secretary of Defense Richardson sends a note to Secretary of State
Rogers stating, "While there is still some question on whether any
of our men are still held, particularly in Laos, our attention must
now be focused primarily on the difficult task of accounting for
the missing in action."
04/05/73 Godley Cable to Rogers
U.S. Ambassador...Godley, sends cable to Secretary of State Rogers
stating they were reluctantly approaching the conclusion that the
Pathet Lao did not hold additional prisoners, and that it was time
to change the focus to accounting for MIAs as opposed to searching
04/06/73 Memo of Senator Brooke meeting with Soth Petrosy
"Senator Brooke's meeting with LPF representative Soth Phetrasy on
April 6,: Latter formally stated that LPF holds no more American
prisoners in Laos. Soth said only prisoners LPF held were the nine
who were returned to USG in Hanoi on March 28..."
04/12/73 Shields Press Conference
The Defense Department sponsors a press conference...in which Roger
Shields states, "We have no indication at this moment that there
are any Americans alive in Indochina."...Dr. Shields further states
that with interviews of returning POWs almost complete, none of the
MIAs have been changed to POW status.
Rumors that U.S. servicemen were still held in Laos "do the
families a disservice," says Shields.
Prior to the DoD news conference, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Clements states to Dr. Shields, in reference to remaining POW/MIAs,
"You didn't hear me, they're all dead."
04/14/73 Bunker to State outlining priorities
U.S. Ambassador in Saigon, Ellsworth Bunker, sends message to
Secretary of State...Bunker references "informal Washington
instructions" that first priority will be recovery of remains of
those personnel listed as died in captivity on the 27 january 1973
list. Second priority is described as "seeking information from
the other side on specific MIA persons who, according to U.S.
records, were believed captured alive... DIA has provided folders
on 80 persons in this category. Bunker lists the third priority as
negotiating a process for air and ground search of crash sites.
05/01/73 Richardson Memo (phasing out POW/MIA Task Force)
Secretary of Defense Richardson signs the memorandum proposed by
ASD Eagleburger on April 25th to phase out the POW/MIA Task Force.
05/23/73 Kissinger meeting with Le Duc Tho
Kissinger asks Le Duc Tho to have an understanding with the U.S. to
"not contradict" any U.S. public statements that article 8(b) of
the Paris accords applies to all of Indochina.
He then states..."Now we should still like a sentence from you
which I don't understand why you can't give us -- which says that
the DRV has been informed that there are no U.S. prisoners being
held in Laos -- that all the prisoners held in Laos have been
released. It would be very important for us." Le Duc Tho
responds, "I have acknowledged to you that all of them have been
released." Kissinger asks, "Then why can't you write it down?"
05/24/73 Shields to Hill
"In a DoD sponsored press conference held April 12, 1973, I made
the statement that DoD had no specific knowledge indicating that
any U.S. personnel were still alive and held prisoner in Southeast
Asia...It was a totally accurate and factual statement at the time
it was made..."
"In light of more recent events, I believe that answer is no longer
"...it should be noted that only 10 persons, nine of whom were U.S.
were released by the other side as Laos prisoners. Over 300 U.S.
personnel remain unaccounted for in Laos."
"...I believe that the DoD position regarding the possibility of
men still being held prisoner in SEA should be altered slightly..."
06/13/73 Kissinger Press Conference
"...We are specifically concerned about the following points:
- One, the inadequate implementation of the cease-fire.
- Secondly, the continued infiltration into South Viet-Nam and the
continued utilization of Laos and Cambodia as corridors for that
- Three, we were concerned about the inadequate accounting for the
missing in action.
- Fourth, we were concerned about the violations of the
- Fifth, we were concerned about the inadequate cooperation with
the International Control Commission and the slow staffing of the
Two-Party Military Commission.
- Sixth, we were concerned about the violations of article 20
requiring the withdrawal of foreign troops from Laos and
"...Under the provisions for missing in action, all sides have
pledged that they would make major efforts to help each other to
account for the missing in action throughout Indochina, and this is
a matter which is of great concern to the United States..."
06/05/73 Hill to Clements (status changes)
Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Hill advises Deputy Secretary
of Defense William Clements that "As you requested, I have prepared
for your signature a memorandum directing that all status changes
from missing in action to prisoner of war be cleared by you."
07/17/73 Clements on Status Determinations
"I am concerned that the process for equitably determining status
of the missing in Southeast Asia may be unduly influenced by
emotional factors rather that the law governing such determinations
and the facts bearing on each individual case...."
"The Department of Defense is currently following guidance that
finding in which an individual is presumed to be dead will not be
made at this time unless the incident occurred over water...It is
not our intent to write off our missing men prematurely, but at the
same time we cannot condone building undue hope for the family
members without justification."
..."the decision to change status should not be unalterably tied to
the inspection of combat sites, the recovery of remains, or the
personal desires of family members. The decision should be based
solely on a thorough study of the available information and a
qualitative judgement by the Service Secretaries...Therefore, in
the continued absence of progress in accounting for the missing,
the Military Services intend to proceed now with a status change in
those cases where it is warranted by available information."
09/07/73 Kissinger testimony to Senate on MIAs
Dr. Henry Kissinger, at confirmation hearings...for Secretary of
State, is asked by Senator Church the question of how many of the
1,300 MIAs have been accounted for to date.
Kissinger responds -- "I do not believe any of them have been
accounted for adequately. It has been one of the unsatisfactory
aspects of the implementation of the agreement...In Laos, actually
we have more reason for concern, because the ration of prisoners to
those that we have reason to believe parachuted is smaller than it
is in any other part of this area...we are extremely dissatisfied
with the results of the implementation of that part of the
agreement, and that is one of the reasons why we cannot proceed in
certain other areas such as economic aid negotiations."
09/14/73 Laos Protocols signed
Protocols to the Laos February 21st Cease-Fire Agreement are
signed...Article 18 of the Protocols states: "Within 15 to 30 days
after the date of the signing of this protocol, each side will
inform the Central Joint Commission for the Implementation of the
Agreement of the number of the persons captured and detained, and
state clearly the nationality of each person,...as well as the list
of the captured persons who died during the period of detention."
05/08/76 State to Vietnam (begin new negotiations)
The Department of State sends diplomatic note to Vietnam..."the
selective application of past agreements would not be
fruitful...the United States believes it would be more useful to
discuss issues affecting future relations between our two
countries. The humanitarian concern of a full accounting of our
missing men will be one of the primary issues of the United States
in such discussions. Until this issue is substantially resolved,
there can be no real progress toward normalization of relations."
06/19/76 Vietnam to U.S. protest (linking aid to MIA resolution)
Vietnam responds with diplomatic note stating that the "unilateral
U.S. denunciation of the Paris agreement is aimed at evading the
pledges it has solemnly undertaken...On the other hand, the U.S.
demands that Vietnam implement Article 8(b) of the
agreement...Obviously it wants to renege on its obligations under
the Paris agreement on Vietnam while demanding that the other side
implement another article of the same agreement..."
08/02/76 Habib Letter to Montgomery (Kissinger denial of offer)
Under Secretary of State for political Affairs, Philip habib, sends
a letter to the Montgomery Commission...In reference to the
February 1st Nixon letter to the North Vietnamese on reconstruction
aid...Habib states: "The President's message did not contain any
pledges of promises of aid...the letter did not specifically pledge
to seek any particular sum of money."
11/13/76 Habib to Kissinger (Vietnam is linking aid to MIAs)
Under Secretary of State Philip Habib reports to Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger, on the November 12th meeting with the
Vietnamese....he states that the core of the Vietnamese argument is
that Vietnam is "prepared to fulfill fully, and I repeat, fully,
our obligations" under the Paris Agreement to account for the MIAs,
but that the U.S. should fulfill its "obligation to contribute to
binding up the wounds of war and the reconstruction of Vietnam and
to accomplish that which was agreed on in 1973 in the Joint
12/13/76 Montgomery Commission Report (Vietnam is linking issues)
The Report of the House Select Committee on Missing Persons is
filed. The major conclusion reads, "No Americans are still being
held alive as prisoners in Indochina, or elsewhere, as a result of
the was in Indochina."..."lack of direct discussions"... has
"prevented the closing of this chapter...The U.S. wishes and serves
an accounting for the missing...The U.S. insists on an accounting
as a precondition to normal relations. The Indochinese,
particularly the Vietnamese, state that reconstruction aid must
precede their accounting for our missing."
09/25/85 Brooks Report
In a memorandum to General Shufelt, Commodore Thomas Brooks wrote,
1. "I was not at all pleased with the situation I found when I took
over responsibility for the POW/MIA issue. The deeper I looked,
the less professional the operation appeared...I found the
following to be particular problems:
a. Case files were incomplete, sloppy... and generally
b. There were no action logs in the cases or where there were
logs, entries had not been made in a long time.
c. Follow-up actions had not been pursued...obvious follow-up
actions were called for but were never taken and years had passed.
d. There was no tickler system to ensure that we followed up on
our own tasking...
4. I am not persuaded that enough assets are being dedicated to
this problem if it is the top priority problem we claim it is. In
particular, I wonder is JCRC is adequately manned...
6. I see the most important thing we must do right now is to be
cementing relationships on the Hill...It is clear that Congressman
Hendon will be using our files to discredit us...We need to ensure
that we have formed the necessary alliances...
7. I am afraid we are in for some troubled times...we will not
withstand scrutiny very well...We must make all preparations to
minimize the criticism this scrutiny will bring."
03/18/86 Gaines Report
Memo to Director from Kimball Gaines, Chief, Director's PW/MIA Task
Force. The memo states,...the "Task Force Charter was to conduct
a hardnosed objective examination of PW/MIA substantive issues and
procedures and to report findings and recommendations to the
Director within thirty days...The Task Force review revealed
serious shortcomings in every important area...Findings are as
2.Almost total lack of management - working hard but not working
3.Haphazard approach to problems and functions.
4.Too much direct exposure of the working level analysts.
5.Inadequate planning, internal communication, and written
6.Data base is a wasteland.
7.Working files unprofessional, sloppy, incomplete, no standard
8.No disciplined, coherent, collection management effort.
9.Too much detective work, not enough analysis.
10.Not nearly enough administrative and intelligence technician
11.Significant ADP deficiencies...
05/27/86 Tighe Report
Report from General Eugene Tighe to General Leonard Perroots,
Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. In the report summary,
General Tighe states, "We judge there is no cover-up by the U.S.
Government, the intelligence community, nor the Defense
Intelligence Agency...There is information, even in our limited
sample, which establishes the strong possibility of American
prisoners of war being held in Laos and Vietnam. This judgement is
based a category of eyewitness reports...allegations by defectors
and escapees... and "signals" in the refugee community probably
originating with the Vietnamese intelligence services..."
"A longstanding lapse in diligent intelligence work has produced
serious gaps in our knowledge about Vietnam's and others' behavior
relative to prisoners of war."
He continues in his conclusions that,
1."We have found no evidence of "cover-up" by DIA.
2.It is self-evident that a large number of MIAs may never be
properly accounted for. Therefore, false hope should not be
offered to those seeking a total accounting of PW/MIA's.
3.DIA holds information that established the strong possibility of
American prisoners of war being held in Laos and Vietnam...
5....major improvements in procedures and resources are required
for the DIA PW/MIA center to evaluate information properly...
12.The DIA PW/MIA center is organizationally misplaced and probably
will perform better directly under the Director, Defense
13.The JCRC forward field organization is woefully undermanned.
14.The government handling of the PW/MIA issue is constantly
harassed by phonies and profiteers..."
03/23/87 Bush to Perot Letter
Letter from then Vice President George Bush to Ross Perot in
reference to Perot's decision to get out of the POW/MIA issue and
turn over all materials and information he has to the
administration. Excerpts include: "The President determined that
Howard Baker would call you the other day,...I am sorry you feel
you have had less than full cooperation; but I do understand your
decision,...to "get out of it" and convey whatever information you
have to the new negotiator..."
"...The administration...will continue to keep this issue on the
front burner. We can do no less. We owe it to those who served."
04/08/87 Perot to Reagan Letter
Letter from Ross Perot to then President, Ronald Reagan regarding
the POW/MIA issue. He discusses his findings.
"1.We left POWs behind at the end of the war in Vietnam.
2.We knew we were leaving men behind.
3.The men left behind were held in Laos.
4.The evidence that men were held in Laos is substantial...
7.In April, 1973, the Defense Department publicly declared -- that
there were no more living Americans being held in Southeast
Asia...this was done at a time when we knew we had left men in Laos
(and probably in Cambodia and Vietnam)...
9.It is unrealistic to attempt a military rescue of these -- men...
11.There is only one realistic way to gain the release of the --
men -- through negotiation.
12.Several months ago, I recommended appointing a Presidential --
negotiator...General Vessey is an excellent choice...
25. The principal obstacle in obtaining the release of these men --
since the end of the war has been a lack of diligence and follow-
through by our government. Choosing a man of General Vessey's
stature, giving him a broad mission, supporting him with whatever
resources he needs, and having him report directly to you is the
strongest possible approach to gaining the release of these men.
Message 91922, 13 Mar 67, from Lieutenant General Wade, Air Force
Chief of Staff/
AF personnel will be reported as killed if conclusive evidence of
death exists, even though the remains are not recovered, and
consist "... of evidence so strong and so convincing as to overbear
any possibility of survival... If no such overwhelming proof
exists, the member is reported as missing in action and is carried
in this status unless and until conclusive evidence of death
becomes available... If any possibility exists... that a member
could have survived an accident, he must be reported as missing in