MIA Facts Site

Report of the
Senate Select Committee
POW-MIA Affairs:
Appendix 6a

Archives Admiral
12/03/92 Yes, they were just kind of -- the
bureaucratic, the group we were
dealing with, were the second-
generation communists, the
bureaucratic elite. They were
inveterate note-takers, and they
would have pockets full.

Archives Childress
12/01/92 Childress: They will be very
productive in Laos and continue to
be. Archival records will give you
fate. Unilateral Vietnamese action
will give families answers.

Chairman Kerry: Well, archival
records are also going to give you
answers and oral histories are going
to give you answers. We collected
four of them in person, myself, four
answers. And they came through oral
history and archival information.

Archives Childress
12/01/92 Chairman Kerry: Well, we are now
getting access to a lot of those
shoot-down reports and to the
archival documents, obviously.

Childress: I've heard there's some
summary documents coming in... from
what I saw, that I think it's the tip
of the iceberg and I think a lot of
analysts feel that way as well.

Archives DeStatte
12/04/92 Vice Chairman Smith: What is your
sense of what we are getting? Is
there more in the archives?

DeStatte: It's too early to make any
definitive judgments on that right
now, but some things we can say.
Some of the information that we need
to resolve, questions concerning the
fate of our missing people, and
ultimately to recover the individuals
or their remains can be found
scattered in the files and archives
of individual units, local and
province commands, regional commands.

But it's also certain that elements
of the ministry of defense's general
political directorate compiled
records on U.S. POWs, and also on
many of our MIAs. Those are records
that were compiled at the central
level... if the Vietnamese political
leadership can persuade the general
political directorate to share the
information from those central
records with our joint research
teams, then we can get the quickest
possible answers on the largest
number of people. And I think that's
what we should be pressing for.

Archives Hrdlicka
12/03/92 Now, could we take a reality break
here and apply simple logic? If we
have these men, and in many cases we
know they did, where are they? If
they kept as meticulous records of
shoot downs, subsequent capture and
internment, as we know they have
throughout history, as we have
witnessed first-hand in Senator
McCain's case, if they held our men
past the end of the war, as they
historically have in past conflicts
with other powers, where are they?

Archives Schweitzer
12/04/92 Chairman Kerry: Most people assert
and there is evidence, in fact, that
documents, that they kept pretty good
records of the prison system, of the
flow of information during the war.
Is there not an easy way to unlock
the key to what might have happened
to that particular flyer or to some
other person about whom we have a
question and to recover the remains?

Schweitzer: Well, the key word in
your question is, it ought to be,
yes. 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

But in the heat of battle in the war
years where most, I think most of the
soldiers -- 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. Archives Schweitzer
12/04/92 When I told them that the documents
and photos that they had in their
archives were precious, back in 1989,
they brought them to me by the
thousands. They simply never knew
what they had. And, to quote
Benjamin Hoff, America took a thimble
to the fountain in Hanoi, and then
came home and complained that they
hadn't been given enough.

Archives Schweitzer
12/04/92 ...some people may ask if all this
information is available in Vietnam,
and if Vietnam so badly wants
relations with the U.S., why don't
they just give it all to us right
now? Unfortunately for us, as well
as for the Vietnamese, it's just not
going to be that simple.

If all this information were already
available, collected, and cataloged,
and in some warehouse in Hanoi, the
Vietnamese Government would like
nothing better than to turn it all
over to us, and then request a
lifting of the embargo and the
establishment of diplomatic ties.

However, while information on many
missing Americans is available in
Vietnam, it is not in official
Vietnamese Government hands. The
majority of this information is in
the hands of retired People's Army
Vietnam soldiers or civilians who are
scattered all over Vietnam. There is
a mountain of information out there.

But even with the fullest possible
cooperation from the Vietnamese
Government, it will take an enormous
amount of goodwill, time, and work to
locate these materials, collect them,
and then catalog them.

Even though 19 years have passed
since Operation Homecoming in 1973,
we are just now beginning this
massive undertaking which lies before
us. Nearly every day, common people
from all over Vietnam come to my
office in Hanoi with some items of
American memorabilia from the war.
The work of the dedicated American
analysts over there is just

Archives Schweitzer
12/04/92 Chairman Kerry: Well, generically,
when people say the Vietnamese have
the answers. They have all these
documents. Is there a central
depository of a whole lot of
documents that they could suddenly
take a key and unlock it and it will
answer all these questions?

Schweitzer: In the first place,
really, the Vietnamese don't know
exactly what they've got. It is not
a system, a computerized system with
an index to everything that's held in
the central government's archive
files. There may be more information
there than we know of now. I think
there's a lot of information there.

Archives Smith
12/03/92 Vice Chairman Smith: So the answer
is that nothing came back to give you
a definitive time of death from the

Otis: No.

Vice Chairman Smith: And certainly,
you would agree, that they must know,
if they are that meticulous, when he
died and how he died.

Otis: Of course they knew when he
died. They had him in captivity. As
you say, they kept great records... I
never really felt one way or the
other whether he was alive or dead.
I just know I didn't know and it was
extremely frustrating because I knew
the Vietnamese knew and they didn't
bring him back one way or the other.

Vice Chairman Smith: So you knew
nothing even at Homecoming. You had
not heard a thing, correct? Nothing?

Otis: No, I heard nothing.

Archives Tin 11/07/91 Once a POW is put in jail, he then
had his own file in which detailed
information was kept, such as what he
had to eat, if he was sick, what
medicine he used. The cadre had to
report his behavior and thought
process. And I believe that the files
are still in Vietnam.

China Mooney
01/22/92 ...in the Vietnam War, the Chinese
had opportunity and motive to take
American pilots. They were losing
their Soviet connection for aircraft,
so they were developing their own
military-industrial complex... why go
out and spend for research when you
can quantum leap with an individual?

There is very little intelligence
that we saw on the Chinese. . . They
had the opportunity to shoot them
down. They were shooting down
American aircraft. They had motive.
They were losing their technological
base for aircraft from the Soviet
Union and they had to start their own
industrial complex. Pilots with
experience would represent a quantum
leap. So the only intelligence that
we had was opportunity and motive.

Classified Andrews
10/15/92 We have willingly made all of our
documents available and we will
willingly answer all of your
questions. If we can't answer them
in open session we will answer them
in closed. We just have to do so in
a responsible manner when dealing
with sensitive intelligence or escape
and evasion matters. If we divulge
their trade craft used in either area
it may cost American lives in future

Classified Andrews
10/15/92 Much of what we have discussed in
closed meetings is based on current
intelligence sources and methods.
This is not, as some have charged, an
attempt to hide a perceived
Government failure to liberate our
POWs. Rather, it is the fulfillment
of our obligation to protect those
intelligence means and methods vital
to our global responsibilities in the
defense of the Nation. Classified Bell
11/06/91 To be honest with you, sir, except
for the 105 live-sighting
investigations that are now still
active, I don't see any reason to
classify any of the other
information... I think the only thing
that needs to be sanitized or
declassified from those reports is
the name of the individual who
provided the information.

Classified Clements
09/24/92 At that time, those classifications
were held within the services. In
other words, the Navy classified
their people, Army did theirs, and
the Air Force did theirs. I want to
make that very clear because it's
important that your committee and the
public at large understand that the
office of the Secretary of Defense
and/or the State Department and/or
the National Security Council, nor
the President had any control
whatsoever over classification. That
was strictly within the services.

 Classified Donahue
11/07/91 You see, here the problem is but one
thing. It is secrecy. The war in Laos
was a secret war. The POWs in Laos
were secret. The POW and MIA
intelligence is a secret still
classified. And the roadmap is a
secret, highly classified. Everything
is a secret and is so only because of
one thing. And that is because some
people are hiding the truth. For
them, the truth is too powerful for
this country, too destructive for the
morale of armed forces, and too
debilitating to our national honor
for it to be told.

Classified Ford
11/15/91 Our ability to continue to collect
information for the families and for
other intelligence projects requires
us to try to keep our sources and
methods protected. We've used that
more times than I would like to admit
as an excuse, rather than as the real
answer. I'm just simply telling you
that that's over. We're going to find
a way to do this.

Classified Griffiths
12/01/92 The families voted against
declassification of information under
ongoing investigation or information
that would jeopardize returning our
loved ones alive or dead. That
position still holds, and that is the
position I continue to reflect.

 Classified Kerry/
Smith Chairman Kerry: ...First of all,
there has never been an issue about
this committee seeking
declassification... So there is a
vote that is set and we have a
process in place with Senator Robb
and Senator Grassley, who are
reporting to the committee; I think a
letter is being drafted today. We
are proceeding in a responsible way
to try to figure out how to ask for
the declassification to get the
maximum declassification, but to
protect those who deserve privacy in
the process. All 12 Senators will
vote on this issue, and the chair set
out that would be an objective of
this committee the day that you and I
stood up together months ago and
announced we should do this. So
there is no new news in this call for
declassification. We are going to do
it, we have always been going to do
it, and it is going to happen.

Classified Kerry
11/15/91 ...I emphasize on behalf of the
entire committee, and we have just in
our own meeting with Senators
confirmed, our inclination to proceed
efficiently and quietly to a certain
degree in these first months with a
significant number of depositions and
a significant number of private
meetings in order to gather facts,
and separate fact from fiction, and
do the best job that we can of trying
to lay out reality here.

I will confirm that every Member
feels very strongly that no stone
should be unturned, but every Member
also feels very strongly that at the
appropriate moment, obviously it all
has to be laid out in public, or we
become part of the problem and we do
not intend to let that happen.

Classified Kerry
06/25/92 Now the Committee is going to vote
next week to declassify massively. I
will state as a guiding principle,
there is nothing the Committee does
not want declassified, with the
exception of something that can be
legitimately shown to 12 Senators as
being in current national security
interest or something that protects
sources and methods of the United
States Government. Beyond that, we
will have to have a strong showing of
cause for why it should not be made

Classified Perroots
12/01/92 Another valid criticism from my point
of view is the over-classification of
information on this subject.

Classified Schlesinger
09/21/92 ...from time to time the restriction
on intelligence simply to protect
sources is such that many who might
benefit from having that intelligence
are denied that because it would
reveal certain sources. Classified Schlesinger
09/21/92 ...from time to time intelligence is
denied not simply to protect sources
but to hold that intelligence in a
narrow circle; to deny it to those
who are outside of that circle either
for reasons of internal bargaining or
the like.

Classified Sommer
11/06/91 We actually received more hard
information from the Vietnamese than
we have from the Defense Intelligence
Agency, the Department of Defense, or
any other American entity involved
with this issue. Classified Wallace
11/06/91 Few pieces of information seem
insignificant enough to avoid the
secrecy stamp. If we are to believe
our government, we must also believe
that the POW information buried in
their classified files is so
sensitive that its declassification
would have dire consequences and
perhaps even pose a clear and present
danger to the national security.
Otherwise, why would the government
continue to classify the overwhelming
majority of the information gathered
on this most important issue?

I do not believe the government can
regain credibility on this issue or
adequately defend itself so long as
the very information needed for
honest evaluation is kept from public

Committee Grassley
06/24/92 ...expecting calm and order on this
issue os like expecting cars and dogs
to live in perfect harmony... the
Chairman and Vice Chairman of this
Committee have done next to the
impossible in terms of keeping this
Committee together, to keep it
focused and conducting its oversight.

Committee Grassley
11/15/91 The hearings have been, in my view,
quite successful and surprisingly so
to me because, Mr. President, I must
admit that at first I had
reservations about the utility of the
committee's work starting with
hearings... for fear that precious
time would be diverted from the
investigation aspects of the
committee's work.

Committee Kerrey
09/24/92 This Committee could very easily
itself have moved in a direction
where it accomplished nothing. I
believe if we ended today, which some
would argue we should -- if we ended
today, this Committee will already
have accomplished a great deal. Mr.
Chairman, I have undying admiration
and appreciation both for you and for
Vice Chairman Smith for pursuing
this, and I want to pay special
tribute to, again, Senator Grassley,
whose interest in declassification
was early, was active, was strong,
and I think has provided enormous
benefit to the American people.

Committee Kerry
11/06/91 ...the time has come for these kinds
of allegations to be laid on the
table, and for the sources not to be
hidden from the Committee, at least.
There is no way the Committee can
proceed without that kind of
information being put in front of it.
So I ask you and anyone else who has
that kind of information -- and you
can hold this Senator and Senator
Smith accountable, and I am sure you
will if something happens... we rely
on your cooperation to make that

Committee Kerry
12/03/92 That process of finding answers is
what this Committee is all about. I
can speak for every member of this
Committee when I say that
determination will continue on an
individual level and with the other
standing committees of this Senate
even after this Committee itself has
opened the doors on this issue and
has ceased to exist.

Committee Kerry
01/22/92 I hope you also appreciate that when
I push you or when I push the line of
questioning, it is without regard to
who is sitting in front of me. I am
going to push both sides as much as
possible to be able to help the
Committee make its judgments.

Committee Kerry
01/22/92 [Intelligence service employees] are
not permitted to deny information to
this committee on the basis of that
[secrecy] oath... we intend to put
them under oath and depose them, and
we will subpoena them if necessary.
So in terms of enticement, they are
invited today to come forward with an
understanding that if they do not
come forward on their own, the
greater likelihood is that the
committee is going to find an
opportunity for them to have to

Committee Kerry
01/21/92 I want people to understand, again,
that the committee is not withholding
information or deep-sixing anything.
All of it will be made public. But
the Committee feels that when it is
given a name, as a matter of
investigative integrity it is
sometimes more important for the
Committee to be able to get
investigators to the people before
they are publicly identified so that
there is less time or less capacity
for fabrication of a story, and so
that the Committee has an opportunity
to determine whether there are any
outside pressures or other influences
that might be affecting that person's
capacity to give us a straight story.
Committee Kerry
09/22/92 I know this is difficult, I wish
there was a way to make it easy, and
it is not, and we acknowledge that.
But we are not here seeking to
re-fight the Vietnam War. We are not
trying to renegotiate the peace
agreement or to reopen wounds of that
era, as difficult as it is to avoid
them... We also are not trying to
question dedication or patriotism or
commitment to the task that existed
back in 1972.

All Americans of a certain age,
whether Senators or former Government
officials, POW families, veterans, or
just plain citizens, bring to any
discussion of Vietnam a set of
emotions and memories, some of which
may be among the strongest and most
vivid of a lifetime. We cannot
ignore or deny those memories, or
simply wish them out of existence,
but neither should we let them
control or influence the purpose or
integrity of this committee's work...

We remain in the process of gathering
information and insights and trying
to understand why certain things were
done, why certain things were not
done, what options were available to
those who had the tough task of
making decisions at one of the
toughest times in American history.

Committee Kerry
09/24/92 ...folks, this issue was not created
by the United States Congress 20
years later. This issue is an issue
of grassroots momentum. There is not
a place I have gone in the last years
in this country where someone has not
come up to me and said, why are you
not doing anything on this? Where
are the answers? And the families,
particularly, have carried this with
them for these 20 years.

Now, at a time in our government when
American citizens feel that the
government has broken most bonds of
trust with every citizen, it is
hardly appropriate for us to just
turn our backs and say, this is not
relevant. I view these hearings not
just as an effort to get to the truth
of what happened. I view them also
as an effort by elected officials to
try to prove that we can do our job,
and that we can reestablish that
sense of credibility between citizens
who expect us to ask tough question.

Committee Kerry
12/03/92 I hope we not limit our focus this
morning to the past. A big part of
this Committee's job is to translate
lessons learned and experiences that
have been felt into recommendations
for future action and into our
understanding as a Committee so that
we can share that understanding with
the American people. Committee Kerry
11/15/91 I want to ensure all people who are
interested in the public aspect of
this inquiry that the fact that we
are not having a public hearing does
not mean we are hiding anything, nor
does it mean that we are not doing
anything. It means we are going to
proceed to do our homework. There
clearly will be public sessions as we
proceed, and all data that we can
conceivably make available to the
public -- with the exception of
compromising national security, as a
judgment made by 12 United States
Senators -- will be made public as we
proceed. Committee Kerry
11/15/91 This Committee is not going to
tolerate folks who want to use us as
some kind of springboard or platform
for wild-eyed, cock-eyed theories
that have no basis in fact
whatsoever. We are going to be tough
with respect to that, and we have a
process set up to try to do it -- but
we do not want at the end of this
process anybody who has legitimate
information to feel that this
committee was not receptive to it.

Committee McCain
09/24/92 ...the fact is that you and Senator
Smith have conducted these hearings
in a fair and unbiased manner... Committee Mooney
01/22/92 Most of the negotiations on this
issue have been by policy makers.
They go there with a specific opinion
and they're not going to breach from
that. For the first time, you're
going to have Senators going there.
You guys know how to wheel and deal.
You know how to compromise. Maybe
this is the proper approach... Maybe
if you would go there with this
attitude of specific knowledge and
talk to these people and show them
respect and gain respect from them,
it might open doors.

Committee Mooney
01/22/92 ...when this committee was formed,
and it was announced that this
committee would investigate the
MIA/POW issue, I had doubts, serious
doubts. Because in six years, I had
not one success. All I had was
criticism and to be debunked. When I
was asked to visit with your
committee people last week, I was
eager to come because I had to find
out for myself what this committee
was about. Was it going to be another
dog and pony show, or were you for

I was deposed for a day and a half.
It was professional, it was thorough,
it was incisive, it was tough, and in
one particular case it was painful.
But it was the best deposition or
best questioning I've had to date.
Based on that, I am sitting here to
tell you, and to tell everybody who
is watching or listening, that you
are for real. You will get to the
bottom of this issue. And I am
willing to pass the torch on to you.
I will keep the matches just in case
I have to light up again, but the
torch now belongs in your hands.

That deposition proved to me that you
will fulfill your promise to leave no
stone unturned, to find not my truth
or anybody else's truth, but the
truth. I hope those listening who
have knowledge will believe that and
come forward.

Committee Mooney
Over the years, I've had many people
call me from the business; 99 percent
of them will not identify themselves,
and they say one thing consistently:
"I will not come forward because I do
not think you can win... "They feel
they will not be believed. I think if
this committee applies its mission
with honor, with dignity, and with
clear objectives, the people will
step forward... I hope they do,
because it is that important. This is
our best chance and this is, in my
opinion, our last chance.

Committee Mooney
01/22/92 I'm just the tip of the iceberg...
You need more than people like me,
people who work in the field and who
have the first blush with
intelligence. You have to get beyond
us, you have to get up to where the
intelligence is interpreted and used
for policy and politics.

Committee Quinn
11/15/91 As a citizen, I sort of grieve over
the fact that we have this problem so
long after the war. It still is a
sore that has not healed and has not
been dealt with. I think that what
you and the Committee are doing is
going a long direction in letting our
citizens know exactly what is

Committee Smith
09/21/92 Vice Chairman Smith: The American
people, I believe, are a great
people, and I think they will accept
anything as long as they are told the
truth... There could be 500 people in
Vietnam and Laos. There could be
none. But the point is: the reason
why the Committee is in existence,
the reason why you are here, and the
reason why the debate is still raging
is because the American people do not
believe that their government has
told them the truth... Committee Steadman
12/02/92 ...Perhaps because the issue has been
so contentious over the years, maybe
Congress didn't exercise its
oversight role as strongly as it
could have. And this panel, this
Committee, has reversed that, and in
doing so you've brought the issue
squarely in front of the American
public and squarely on the doorstep
of the Southeast Asian governments.

You've also brought information
forward which allows the American
public now to make informed judgments
about this issue, and I think your
final report should state whether
Congress should continue its
investigation. You should make an
informed judgment on that, whether
investigation is required, further
investigation is required, further
oversight is required, or perhaps
both are required.

 Committee Tighe
06/24/92 I believe that you are compiling the
largest and most comprehensive body
of evidence on the subject of missing
in military action that has ever been

Committee Vessey
06/25/92 ...more needs to be made public and I
commend the Committee. I think I saw
the broadcast of your Southeast Asian
trip, those were superb. The clips
from those, that trip and the
American public desperately needs to
see the whole picture rather than
sensational tidbits that come out. So
I certainly commend the Committee for
its work and I think the Committee's
report eventually will turn out to be
one of the most important documents
we have in the public record.

Conspiracy Andrews
12/03/92 ...I believe that neither this
Committee nor the American people can
expect that the whispers of
conspiracy will ever go away. I am
convinced that no matter how many
files are opened, no matter how many
witnesses are interviewed, no matter
how many crash sites are sifted
through, there will always be those
who will see it in their own selfish
interest to inject distrust into this
issue. The antidote to this is

Conspiracy Baker
08/12/92 I cannot think of a single thing that
suggests to me that there was a
conspiracy of silence or any active
conspiracy or any other kind of

Conspiracy Bell
I don't think there's been a cover-
up, sir, but I think it's possible
that information was not acted upon.

Conspiracy Burch
11/06/91 The media have been whispered off the
track with anonymous comments that
there are no live POWs...

 Conspiracy Christmas
06/25/92 Mr. Chairman, my experience is that
most people who become well-informed
on this issue have no trouble
agreeing that the accounting for our
missing men means obtaining
information from Vietnam, Laos, and
Cambodia. Those who maintain that
there is some secret set of files
being kept by misguided U.S.
Government personnel intent on
maintaining some bizarre cover-up are
deluding themselves and the American

The answers are in Southeast Asia and
that is where the U.S. Government is,
correctly in my view, putting its

Conspiracy Clapper
12/01/92 To suggest that we are somehow part
of a conspiracy is certainly absurd,
if not insulting. I take it as a
personal insult that anyone would
suggest that I've had any part in a
conspiracy. Conspiracy Ford
11/15/91 There is no conspiracy to purge
records. The Department of Defense
does not maintain fingerprint
records. The FBI is the sole agency
with that responsibility.

Conspiracy Kassebaum
6/25/92 I am just not one who believes in
conspiracy theories, but I think
unfortunately because we have been
such a long time coming to terms with
this and doing it in a way and being
as forthright as possible we have
created and added a great deal of
sorrow and confusion to the process.

Conspiracy Kerry
11/15/91 I do not, in God's name, know how you
can begin to do this process unless
we will trust some people on the
ground in Vietnam to build some
relationships and make some judgments
about those relations. Somewhere
along the line here, somebody has got
to begin to believe that not every
American working for the United
States Government is going to become
part of some process to hide
Americans in Vietnam.

 Conspiracy Kerry
12/01/92 Chairman Kerry: ...in any of your
review or at any time that you have
been in contact with this issue, did
you find any evidence whatsoever to
suggest to you that there was a
conscious cover-up on this issue or
conspiracy to withhold it from proper
analysis and pursuit? Mr. Wiand?

Wiand: No...

Hargis: No...

Nagy: No...

Brooks: Absolutely not...

Gaines: Absolutely not... Conspiracy Kissinger
09/22/92 What has happened to this country
that a Congressional committee could
be asked to inquire whether any
American official of whatever
administration would fail to move
heaven and earth to fight for the
release of American POWs and for an
accounting of the missing? Can
anyone seriously believe that any
honorable public official would
neglect America's servicemen, and
especially those who suffered so much
for their country or, even worse,
arrange for a conspiracy to obscure
the fate of the prisoners left

Personally, I have no proof whether
Americans, live Americans, were kept
behind by Hanoi. The Vietnamese are
certainly capable of such a cynical
act, and of lying about it. If any
prisoners were held back, however,
there can be only one guilty party.

Conspiracy Kissinger
09/22/92 There is no excuse, two decades after
the fact, for anyone to imply that
the last five Presidents from both
parties, their White House staffs,
Secretaries of State and Defense, and
career diplomatic and military
services either knowingly or
negligently failed to do everything
they could to recover and identify
all of our prisoners and MIAs.

Conspiracy Lord
09/21/92 Chairman Kerry: ...But as major
public policy makers of that period
and also public servants helping the
American public understand this and
looking at this can you understand
why still today there are people who
believe that they were misled, that
the government was in a conspiracy,
that they were lied to and that they
have been led down the path over the
years after those comments, given the
evidence, is it understandable?

Lord: I think it's understandable. I
think some of the terms you used are
unfair, but I can understand why
people might harbor these doubts. Conspiracy Lundy
11/06/91 ...my father had top-secret security
clearance, nuclear, intelligence...
How could there not be fingerprints
in my father's file?... there is a
letter in his file that says,
'attached are forms and fingerprint
cards on the above subject'... This
is a smoking-gun letter that there is
cover-up in our government.

Conspiracy McCain
09/24/92 Sen. McCain: Do you believe that
there was any conspiracy to cover up
the existence of any live Americans
either in Laos or anywhere in
Southeast Asia?

Secord: No, sir, I don't. I've
never seen any evidence of that.

Sen. McCain: Do you believe that it
would have been possible, without the
knowledge of a number of military
officers and enlisted people such as
yourself who were in some way in the

Secord: No. There are so many
people in that loop that it would not
have been possible, in my opinion. Conspiracy Perroots
08/12/92 Sen. McCain: In order for a cover-up
to be successful as has been alleged,
it would have taken the active
participation of hundreds if not
thousands of military personnel?

Perroots: Yes, sir. Conspiracy Perroots
12/01/92 ...most emphatically, Mr. Chairman,
the allegation of a cover-up or a
conspiracy, [is] the most serious
invalid, criticism. Conspiracy Sieverts
06/25/92 ...a great many dedicated people...
worked on this subject for many
years, and we are well aware that the
passage of time has not healed the
wounds or brought comfort to the
families whose hopes have been
repeatedly raised and dashed.

Conspiracy Vessey
06/25/92 Sen. McCain: Have you ever seen any
evidence of any conspiracy or cover-

Vessey: No, sir, I have not.

Sen. McCain: Did you when you were
in your position as chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff?

Vessey: No, sir.

Sen. McCain: Or at any other time in
your military career?

Vessey: No, sir. Conspiracy Vessey
06/25/92 Sen. McCain: In order for there to
be a conspiracy or a cover-up of this
issue, do you agree with me that it
would have required the active
participation of hundreds of members
of the military?

Vessey: Yes, sir. And I think that's
an improbable sort of thing. American
soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines
are not conspirators. It's hard to
keep military secrets long enough to
get the operation going along without
the enemy knowing what's going on.
Even at the time when we were at low
ebb, we still had 100-and-some-odd
people involved, and those rotated.
Many of them rotated every two or
three years. So I'd say the prospect
or probability of a conspiracy being
kept without it being blown wide open
is almost zero.

 Cooperation Armitage
08/12/92 Just to sum up clearly, the
governments of Vietnam, Laos, and
what passes for a government in
Cambodia, have to open up and give
full and complete access to Americans
upon request, with no waiting
periods, et cetera, before we can
begin to put it at rest. Cooperation Bell
11/06/91 Bell: ...I think the Vietnamese right
now today are just as far along in
this issue as they choose to be.

Chairman Kerry: Does that mean they
could choose to be further along?

Bell: Yes, sir. Cooperation Bell
11/06/91 To resolve these cases, as well as
the live-sighting reports, we need to
meet with cadre who were involved in
the detention of American POWs and
also to have access to Vietnam's
wartime historical archives. We have
had access to some records and
witnesses' testimony which has
matched that obtained from witnesses
no longer under Vietnamese control.
This is a good sign, but it is
readily apparent to me, my fellow
investigators, and our intelligence
analysts that the Vietnamese can do

 Cooperation Cheney
11/05/91 Vietnamese cooperation on these joint
investigations has improved, but
despite these improvements, we are
still not satisfied with Vietnam's
performance... Too often, our office
finds that public pronouncements of
increased cooperation by Hanoi do not
produce satisfactory arrangements on
the ground. Promises to cooperate on
live sightings, improved helicopter
transportation, and complete access
to historical records remain only
partially fulfilled... If we ever
hope to achieve the fullest possible
accounting in a reasonable period of
time, Vietnamese unilateral efforts,
as well as their participation in
joint activities, will have to
dramatically improve.

Cooperation Childress
08/12/92 ...when I left, our estimate was that
the Vietnamese could account for
hundreds of cases easily. Cooperation Childress
12/01/92 Chairman Kerry: I think on the enemy
proselytizing materials, we do not
have evidence that that actually
still exists. We know they had it,
but we do not know it exists today.
Is that not accurate?

Mr. Childress: The original stories
Hanoi said was that they had no
records at all, they were eaten with
termites, they were the rest. Now,
as I said in my original testimony
before this committee, Vietnamese
dialogue with you is not evil, but
it's certainly not in the western

Chairman Kerry: Oh, absolutely.

Cooperation Childress
08/12/92 ...Now, when I say resolve easily
hundreds of cases, I mean either you
either have a live prisoner, remains,
or an explanation why neither is
possible through archival research or
the rest. And in those categories,
there are many hundreds of cases they
can resolve for us. Cooperation Childress
12/01/92 Chairman Kerry: Let me say to you
that there is no naivete on the part
of the committee about this process
and its past, you know.

Childress: Right. And we've had
many denials.

Chairman Kerry: Information has been
withheld. We have not always been
told the truth. We understand that
and we go into that with open eyes... Cooperation Childress
12/01/92 Chairman Kerry: Imagine that when
the ministry of foreign affairs in
Vietnam says, oh, yes, we are going
to get this stuff and we want to be
helpful, but you have a lot of gnomes
within the ministry of defense who
only remember fighting us and are
still fighting us and do not want to
change, that those documents are not
forthcoming. There are difficulties
in that process also, I am sure you
will agree.

Childress: I absolutely acknowledge
those and I think we're on the right
track in this sense, that the
Vietnamese agreed that they would
pursue unilateral efforts. Most of
the progress we've had in terms of
resolving cases have not come from
joint efforts, have come from
unilateral Vietnamese decisions. And
to the extent the Vietnamese mean
this and we should encourage it; we
should also be prepared to underwrite
it if needed.

Cooperation Christmas
06/25/92 Christmas: In the area of archival
research and in the area of documents
provided, there is an area where we
need help, where they can, in fact,
provide a great deal more. Our
investigators as they go out --

Sen. McCain: What do you speculate
is the reason they have not been more
cooperative in that area?

Christmas: Sir, I think it is a
matter, as Gen. Vessey, I thought,
pointed out very well; you may, at
the central government level say,
this is what we are going to do. But
when it comes down to action at the
district or province level, that may
not -- it gets the slows -- whether
or not that it is going to take
The other one where we have
difficulty is the trilateral
agreements or trilateral talks and
cross-border operations. That is at
a standstill right now, Senator, and
it's at a standstill for a number of
reasons. both the Lao and the
Cambodians have been very reluctant
to trilateral talks. The Vietnamese
based on the committee getting out
there said, yes, you can go from
Vietnam into Laos because, in some
places, that is the only way you can
get into where crash sites would have
been. The Lao have disagreed with
that and have said, no, we will not
allow that.
They have also disagreed with
trilateral talks.

So I think the point is, we are
making measured progress. Can we
make more? Sure we can. I think in
Vietnam that progress will continue
if we continue to accelerate our
operations, continue to keep our
folks in country face to face with
the Vietnamese. Cooperation Christmas
06/25/92 The key element of information is
missing: the current location of
the person or his remains. This is
why we need Vietnam, Laos, and
Cambodia to share whatever records
they possess on American prisoners
and the missing, and make available
for interview former members of their
military units. Cooperation Christmas
12/04/92 Chairman Kerry: So I take it, it is
your judgment that we are moving down
the road...

Christmas: It's certainly my
judgment, sir. If you remember, we
talked before about the agreements
that were made between Le Mai and
then Assistant Secretary Solomon --
five agreements: expanded
operations, live sighting mechanism,
archival research, and so forth. Of
at least three of those, we have had
substantial movement and substantial
progress from the February of this
year when those agreements were made.
So there has been progress, and what
we need to do, as the Admiral has
said, is just keep pressing.

Cooperation Christmas
The Pacific Command, in conjunction
with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and
the Department of Defense, has moved
quickly to capitalize on the
favorable climate of cooperation in
Vietnam. We plan to execute a
comprehensive casualty resolution
campaign on a scale which the
Department of Defense has wanted to
carry out since the signing of the
Paris Accords in 1973, but could not
because of Vietnam's intransigence.



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