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Summary.  If you have not read the e-mail from Steve Golding about "Were 2 Americans Abandoned in Laos in March 2000," go to this link and read it first.  Now (September 12, 2000) comes a follow-up to Golding's message. 

QUOTE

From: (Deleted)

To: (Deleted)

Subject: "Damage Control Memo" Falls Short Of Truthful Conclusiveness

Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000 12:02 AM

 

All recipients of this correspondence are being blind-copied to protect the privacy of your e-mail address. Please circulate this statement as widely as possible.

Note: I am one of the 3 supposedly "uninformed and misguided" individuals to which Mr. Necci recently made reference regarding his contact with 2 former American servicemen in Laos during the March 2000 VVA Veterans Initiative Task Force trip to Southeast Asia. 

However, if Mr. Necci will step forward and kindly "inform" and "guide" us truthfully and publicly in the honest manner which he should have done last March upon his return from Southeast Asia, then this matter can be put to rest once and for all to the satisfaction of all parties involved as well as the Veteran and POW/MIA community as a whole.

It saddens me to know that the lengths to which Mr. Necci claims to have gone to inform the VVA POW/MIA Committee, the national accountings agencies, and the National League Of Families of this incident were not equally extended to the National Alliance of Families, as well as to the Veteran and POW/MIA community through his e-mail network as well.

In the future, it would be of great benefit to all parties if Mr. Necci would be required through VVA from this point onward to establish the practice of sending out through AIIPOWMIAI a copy in its entirety of all POW/MIA reports presented before VVA National regarding such trips to Southeast Asia.

Please Read On:

September 11, 2000

Re.: "Damage Control Memo" Regarding VVA's National POW/MIA Committee Chairman, Bob Necci's March 2000 Contact With 2 Former American Servicemen In Laos

By:

Amanda Y. Kidd

Freelance Journalist

Relative of USAF CMSgt. James A. Preston~ MIA~ Laos

To All:

It was with deep regret that I watched the shameful manner in which this incident was left with no option than to be brought to the public forum of the Veteran and POW/MIA community due to Mr. Bob Necci's recent refusal to voluntarily cooperate by providing answers to simple, well-meaning questions when pressed by Mr. Dave Murray, Mr. Steve Golding, and myself during a time when such a controversy could very easily have been avoided.

However, speaking on behalf of my own knowledge of Mr. Necci's refusal to discuss this matter willingly, I have no regret whatsoever that the matter is finally "out in the open" for public discussion among all veterans, family members, and concerned activists of the POW/MIA community. It is shamefully obvious that such information would never have been voluntarily provided by Mr. Necci himself.

My personal sentiments regarding Mr. Necci's September 10th memo are two-fold in nature~ Both through which I wish to call attention to the serious need of ongoing investigation into this matter:

First, I wish to express my gratitude to Bob for finally stepping forward and making a "first step" (albeit small and still inconclusive) toward a truthful explanation regarding his contact with the 2 former servicemen in question who were referenced in Dave Murray and Steve Golding's recent Internet circulations through which public attention was initially called to this matter on September 7, 2000.

Secondly, (and quite unfortunately), I feel compelled to call attention to numerous inconsistencies within Mr. Necci's account of this incident which greatly waver from his initial recollection of the details which he recounted to me during a lengthy telephone conversation on March 12th of this year.

On that date, Mr. Necci specifically stated to me that the 2 men in question were in fact former American servicemen who had been dismissed, or "kicked out" (his quote) of military service in 1976 and had returned to Laos by way of "other channels" to reside in the country of Laos permanently with Laotian girlfriends.

Although I was never provided with details regarding the specific conduct which resulted in their alleged dismissal, I have since read numerous inconsistent accounts written by Mr. Necci via e-mail of the identities of the men. These accounts have ranged from statements describing the men as "military retirees" to others which report them to be "non-Vietnam-aged individuals", and later, borderline contradictions in which statements were made which allege that "their nationalities are in serious question, as well as their allegations."

Unfortunately, all fall short of providing the major details necessary to get to the bottom of this matter: Specifically, THEIR NAMES as well as an extensive public explanation from Mr. Necci regarding the current circumstances and living conditions under which these men now reside in Laos.

Please reference the following excerpt from Mr. Necci's March 5th e-mail below through which he notified a Mr. Randall W. Armann of his conversations during which the 2 men admitted to inner discontent with their residency there:

< We were out in the field in Laos for three days. Met with two individuals (separate locations) who said they were former American soldiers. We had long conversations with each of them. They have Lao families and seem content, but each did indicate they missed their former land and families very much. There is a heavy price to pay for their decisions.">

This excerpt was also addressed by Steve Golding in his initial public alert to this incident, however it has so far gone completely unacknowledged and unexplained by Mr. Necci and VVA National.

Due to Mr. Necci and VVA's failure to acknowledge the National Alliance of Families as one of the regular recipients of information resulting from his trips to Southeast Asia (whether VVA-funded or private), I take serious exception to the inexcusable failure (refusal??) to acknowledge the members of this particular POW/MIA family organization due to the seemingly biased loyalty to the same opposing organizations and agencies which have, for years, failed to be forthcoming with truthful, conclusive information all along~ Several of which have increasingly become more of the overall "problem" within the POW/MIA issue than the "solution".

Speaking as both a POW/MIA family member as well as an Associate Member of VVA, it would renew my personal confidence in the current National VVA administration and the Veterans Initiative Task Force if, in future trips to Southeast Asia, the Alliance could be respectfully incorporated into this group of information recipients rather than to continue in the apparent mindset that such a hardworking and long-established group of POW/MIA family members and activists are little more than the "unwelcome step-children" of previously founded family groups.

In summary, I wish to encourage Mr. Necci to come forward publicly once again and provide additional and more extensive answers and explanations to the ongoing questions that continue to keep this incident "at odds" with what I have currently chosen to refer to as his "Damage Control Memo" below.

Specifically, Mr. Necci continues to remain ultimately responsible for clarifying the confusion that surrounds the irresponsible manner in which this incident has been handled by himself, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Veterans Initiative Task Force.

In short, it is now in order that the NAMES of the 2 men in question be provided publicly so that it may be made possible for them to be checked and compared thoroughly to military records and all corresponding branch of service files which will confirm their identities beyond question as well as explain the specific circumstances surrounding their alleged dismissal from military service in 1976.

Additionally, I request Mr. Necci's personal explanation via AIIPOWMIAI's E-mail Network regarding his reference to his quote of: "There is a heavy price to pay for their decisions". If for no other reason, I wish to be enlightened myself to what "heavy price" a free individual is indebted to for making such a decision to remain in Laos by his own choice.

After these particular questions are publicly acknowledged, addressed, and clarified with truthful answers and extensive, detailed explanations by Mr. Necci himself, I feel confident that I personally can be content to accept his response as being sincere.

However I do not condone, nor will I support his or VVA's continued evasiveness regarding this matter.

Due to my personal experience with Mr. Necci's recent evasiveness, I ask that he not respond to me, Dave Murray, and Steve Golding only via private correspondence, but by allowing his e-mail network to become a public forum for discussion of this topic until all questions and contradictions are satisfactorily resolved to the content of the veteran population as well as any and all POW/MIA family members who wish to comment.

In doing so, it may more successfully corral any rumors which would otherwise remain at the mercy of the public through which the result could all too easily inflict serious damage to any and all well-intended efforts to get to the truthful bottom of this matter.

Due to Mr. Necci's notoriety for his "disclaimers" which are religiously attached to each and every copy of correspondence that is distributed via AIIPOWMIAI, I trust that such a request should not be difficult for him to fulfill, thereby having no reason to decline this request and hinder the "putting to rest" of whatever questions remain within the public realm in regard to the identities and "free or captive status' surrounding the two individuals in question.

In closing, I wish to thank the veteran and POW/MIA community for your assistance and support in this matter~ And for your patience during the time that Dave Murray, Steve Golding, and I continue to strive to obtain truthful answers from Mr. Necci and Vietnam Veterans of America regarding this extremely important, yet highly controversial incident.

I sincerely hope that it serves as a valuable lesson to us all that "Truth and openness from the beginning" is the best policy that any of us could possibly abide by within the POW/MIA issue.

As we know all too well through our many years of experience with deception, communication, and blatant "stonewalling tactics" of the numerous accounting agencies that are responsible for the resolution of this issue, the current methods being used simply do not work.

Needless to say it becomes all the more tragic, disgraceful and inexcusable when such deceptive practices spill over into one of the very organizations that was established for the good of those who fought for this nation and who desperately need the security of a reliable organization that refuses to bow to political and bureaucratic pressure.

I pray that this incident will not eventually find itself in such a predicament to be forever-remembered as yet another episode of unsuccessful, deceptive accounting methods.

My sincere thanks to all of you for your time, patience, and understanding.

God Bless~

Amanda Y. Kidd

Relative of CMSgt. James A. Preston~ MIA~ Laos

Crew of Spooky 10~ Twice-abandoned in Southeast Asia

Amanda Kidd's POw/MIA Mission Of Hope

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Camp/9276/index.html

The Truth Behind The May 15th 2000 Betrayal Of CMSgt. James Preston And The Crew Of Spooky 10.

Extensive documentation and excavation photographs.

TO BE LEFT BEHIND BY ONE'S OWN NATION IS TRAGIC~TO BE TWICE-ABANDONED IS INEXCUSABLE !!

Subj: POW: Memorandum

Date: 9/10/00 2:17:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: AIIPOWMIAI

To: AIIPOWMIAI

Advocacy And Intelligence Index For Prisoners Of War/ Missing In Action, Inc. (AIIPOWMIAI@aol.com)

Bob Necci and Andi Wolos

THE POW/MIA E-MAIL NETWORK (c)

aiisep10.00a

TO: The POW/MIA Community

From: Bob Necci

RE: "WERE 2 AMERICANS ABANDONED AGAIN IN MARCH 2000?"

DATE: September 9, 2000

The allegations, misinformation, disinformation, and suppositions recently posted on the Internet concerning myself have irretrievable destroyed a 14-year network of dedicated individuals who were investigating and following up on leads of "live American POWs," which had become known through the length and breath of the POW/MIA Community.

The uninformed and misguided have taken my silence as a sign of cover-up. When in fact, it was for the protection of those who had contributed a significant portion of their lives and financial resources to "seek the truth, "wherever it may have taken them. They were informed of this situation and all investigations were terminated.

In December 1999, I undertook a privately funded trip to Vietnam and Laos. I went to visit friends in Vietnam who had lost their homes to the devastating floods and storms and in Laos to follow up on information that had been made available to me. It was during the Vietnam trip that individuals who said they knew the whereabouts of "American POWs" in Vietnam approached me. I asked to meet with these "Americans." They said it could be arranged, but it would cost "American dollars." As is my custom, I stated that I would meet with these individuals and if it turns out that they are who they said they are, then, we would negotiate a finders fee. They agreed.

Two nights later, I was introduced to an individual. His appearance was Asian. His English was very poor. His age was not Vietnam-era and he could not answer the most rudimentary questions about the U.S. or the Vietnam War. He had also been drinking.

Following this conversation, I thanked everyone for their humanitarian concern and departed for my hotel. One of the individuals followed me for a short way asking for money for his help. I declined and continued my return to the hotel.

During my visit to Laos, I made contact with an individual [Lao Advisor to U.S. forces, his story], (from information provided to me in the U.S.) who said he knew of two former American soldiers living in Laos. I asked him if he could set up a meeting while I was in Vientiane. Several hours later, he returned to my hotel and said it was not possible at this time. I informed him that I would be returning in the February/March period as part of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans Initiative Task Force. He agreed to set up the meeting at that time.

It was at this time that he informed me of the "unknown" crash site. With great difficulty and a small sum of up front money, we departed for the field. By evening, we bedded down and left again in the early morning. By midmorning, we arrived at an area in which he was told an aircraft had gone down. I could find no visible evidence of a crash. I returned disappointed.

At the January 2000 Vietnam Veterans of America, board of directors meetings, I reported the Vietnam encounter at both the national POW/MIA Committee meeting and the Veterans Initiative Task Force Meeting.

On February 25, 2000, the Veterans Initiative Task Force flew into Vientiane, Laos. Following an evening dinner at the home of the Ambassador, the Veterans Initiative delegation returned to the hotel. All retired, except for myself. I waited for the first of my two scheduled meetings, which had been agreed to in December 1999. One to be held at the outside patio of the hotel and the other about 1/2 mile from the hotel at a small Christian church.

Both individuals did not appear to be of Vietnam era age. Their nationality could not be discerned, but they appeared to be Caucasian. They had a fair command of the English language. Their dress was counterculture. One did ask if I could give him some money. Our discussion covered many topics. The one that intrigued them the most was the work of the Veterans Initiative and why at this late date we would still be involved in this activity.

The March 5 email covered the period beginning with the December trip and intervening time, through and in conjunction with the February/March trip.

On March 9, 2000, the Veterans Initiative Team departed for the U.S. I remained in Saigon for several days to visit with a family I knew there.

My last meeting was scheduled to be held in Bangkok on my way home. Through a U.S. contact, I was to meet an individual who would provide information on "soldiers" involved in the drug trade. I waited at the designated site without contact.

At the April Vietnam Veterans of America board of directors meeting, I informed the national POW/MIA Committee and the Veterans Initiative Task Force of my meetings with the individuals in Lao. I informed the committees that I had checked the names against the Personnel Missing in Southeast Asia List, the Brightlight List and the Vietnam Casualty List, concluding that the names presented were fictitious.

It has been the policy of Vietnam Veterans of America that information, which references any family member, is to be turned over to the Defense Prisoner Of War/Missing Personnel Office, Joint Task Force- Full Accounting, the Service Casualty Officer (who forwards it to the family) and the National League of Families. The Veterans Initiative Task Force and POW/MIA Committee strictly adhere to this policy.

Information, which cannot be documented or verified, is reported to committee and the matter is then closed.

************************************************************

DISCLAIMER: The content of this message is the sole responsibility of the originator. Posting of this message to the POW/MIA E-MAIL NETWORK (c) list does not constitute AIIPOWMIAI endorsement. It is provided so that you may be informed of current information.

AIIPOWMIAI is not associated in any capacity with any United States Government agency or entity, nor with any nongovernmental organization.

**COPYRIGHT NOTICE** In acceptance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit research and educational purposes only.

[Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

Advocacy And Intelligence Index

For Prisoners Of War/Missing In Action, Inc.

1220 Locust Avenue, Bohemia, Long Island, New York 11716-2169 USA

Voice: (1-631) 567-9057 Fax: (1-631) 244-7067 TDD: (1-631) 244-6996

E-mail: BobNecci@aol.com (Bob Necci)

andi@earthlink.net (Andi Wolos)

Website: http://www.aiipowmia.com/

END QUOTE

Comment

Okay, so as I read the first message and now this one, it appears that Bob Necci went off to Southeast Asia to play spy and encountered a few scam artists who played him like a out-of-tune violin and now Steve Golding, Amanda Kidd, and a few other "activists" all have their undies tied in knots over Necci's caper. 

In the intelligence business, we have an old saying that applies here:

Intelligence is the world's second oldest profession, differentiated from the oldest profession by the number of amateurs who seek to participate in intelligence.

And that, folks, is what's happening here.  Reading between the lines, it appears that Ms. Kidd holds out some sort of belief that her cousin survived the downing of his AC-47D and is hanging around the villages of Laos, waiting to be rescued.  Then, Golding seems to think that Necci had the opportunity to rescue some Americans and blew it.  In fact, Necci willingly went on a wild goose chase.

Now that I read these messages about this bizarre foolishness, I recall that back in the spring of 2000 Steve Golding sent me an e-mail and asked if I was aware of a "rescue attempt" under way in SEAsia.  I telephoned him and told him that I had heard of no such thing and suspected that he was being led around by more rumors.   This affair must have been what elicited his question. 

What this boils down to is a cat fight among a gaggle of dunces.  But, then, it keeps them off the streets and keeps them entertained.

SEAsia is full of scam artists who are only to ready to suck in a gullible American who thinks that he/she is about to pull of the Big Rescue.  Back when I was on active duty, we would get these stories about Americans waiting to be rescued.  We would track down the story and find that the source was one of several characters who provided phony tales to refugees, to American POW hunters, and to journalists.  Of course, when I pointed out that the stories were phony and the sources were dirtbags, I was accused of debunking sources, of not being serious about rescuing US POWs, yadda, yadda.  

Did anyone stop to think that . . .

The heart of this foolishness seems to be Necci's claim in the first message:

QUOTE

"We were out in the field in Laos for three days. Met with two individuals (separate locations) who said they were former American soldiers. We had long converations with each of them. They have Lao families and seem content, but each did indicate
they missed their former land and families very much. There is a heavy price to pay for their decisions." (sic)

END QUOTE

Consider this

Now, assuming that Necci really did meet with the people he described, has no one stopped to consider what is really going on here.  The fact is that no US POWs remained alive after the end of the Vietnam war.  All captive Americans were released at Homecoming, except for those who were released earlier.  Thus, these two men could not have been POWs from the war.  With this fact in place, then these two men could only have been:

  1. Lying to Necci, OR
  2. Former soldiers who have taken up residence into Laos where they are enjoying the cheap dope -- both of which are their right.

Did any of the following thoughts ever occur to Necci, Golding, or other of these amateur analysts:

  1. Not all former American soldiers served in Vietnam.  The last US troops withdrew from Vietnam with the fall of the Republic of Vietnam in 1975.  There have been thousands of people serving in uniform since then, many in US bases in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia, any two of whom could have taken up residence in Laos.  Thus, even if these guys were telling the truth about being former soldiers, so what?
  2. If these two people really want to come home, and if they could manage to meet with Necci,  then they could just as easily haul their skinny asses down to Vientiane, stroll into the American Embassy, and ask for assistance in contacting their families -- it happens all the time.

And consider this

In 1986, I was contacted by an Israeli military officer stationed in London.  He had received a photo from a friend of his in Thailand.  It seems that the guy in Thailand had been approached by some of his Thai acquaintances who claimed to know the whereabouts of a US POW from the Vietnam war.  I told him to turn the photo over to the American Embassy in London.

Sure enough, he turned in a photo of a guy who looked Caucasian, holding up a newspaper.  The purpose of the newspaper was to prove that this was a recent photo.   We sent the photo to the embassy in Thailand who quickly identified the guy. 

He was a former Air Force troop who had fallen in love with a Thai lady, separated from the Air Force in Thailand in the mid-1970s, and had lived there since.  The embassy even had his address.  Some of our interviewers visited the guy who claimed that he had been approached by a couple of Thai who convinced him to play the part of a US POW in a scam that the Thai were running against some Aussies.

There is, then, precedent for former US military personnel to take up residence in SEAsia -- and this fact has nothing to do with missing Americans from the Vietnam war.

It's sad, really

When I see clowns like Necci, Golding, et al rolling around in the mud, calling each other names, I am reminded of an incident that occurred to me shortly after I moved into the DIA MIA office in 1986. 

I was visiting my parents and encountered a guy that I had attended high school with.   He was a Vietnam vet and we had a few cold ones together.  He asked what I was doing and when I told him that I was in charge of the DIA POW-MIA Office, he nearly choked.  He found it hard to believe that the US government was still looking for missing men in SEAsia.  Then, he told me that he thought that the whole MIA issue involved nothing but a "bunch of nut cases."  I asked what led him to that conclusion and he said that the only people he knew who had anything to do with the MIA issue were some "losers" in the local VVA chapter and a few "flakes" that he had encountered around the Wall.

Golding, Necci, Kidd, and the like do not understand that by supporting such capers, by carrying on these cat fights, they do nothing to inspire confidence in their crusade.   Sad.

Meanwhile, the only people who are doing anything to really account for missing Americans are working right along.  There is serious work going on that is finding missing Americans -- but nothing of any value is being done by Necci, Kidd, Armann, Murray, Golding, Hendon, Sampley, Smith (Senator or Mark), Alfonds, etc., etc. -- and this caper is proof of that fact.

Wait -- there's more!

Update:  September 15, 2000:  Here is the latest installment.