And These People
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.
Subject: "Damage Control
Memo" Falls Short Of Truthful Conclusiveness
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000
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
Amanda Y. Kidd
Relative of USAF CMSgt. James A.
Preston~ MIA~ Laos
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
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
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
< 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
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.
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
The Truth Behind The May 15th 2000
Betrayal Of CMSgt. James Preston And The Crew Of Spooky 10.
Extensive documentation and
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
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)
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.
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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
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Advocacy And Intelligence Index
For Prisoners Of War/Missing In
1220 Locust Avenue, Bohemia, Long
Island, New York 11716-2169 USA
Voice: (1-631) 567-9057 Fax:
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E-mail: BobNecci@aol.com (Bob
firstname.lastname@example.org (Andi Wolos)
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
"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)
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:
- Lying to Necci, OR
- 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
- 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?
- 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.
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.