CIA CONTINUES TO HIDE EVIDENCE ON VIETNAM ERA MIAs
By Senator Bob Smith
November 8, 2011
[Editor’s Note: Sen. Smith has been working with Accuracy in Media’s attorney on a Freedom of Information case brought by AIM and Roger Hall, which is referred and linked to in this column.]
On January 17, 1973 the Paris Peace Accords were signed by the United States, South Vietnam, Viet Cong and North Vietnam. They were touted as “An Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam.” The agreement did not, however, end the war and restore the peace for the hundreds of POWs and MIAs (Missing in Action) who were not returned from the war, for their families, who have waited for nearly 40 years for answers, nor for the tens of thousands of South Vietnamese who were murdered or imprisoned in “re-education camps” in the North.
“All of our American POWs are on the way home” said Richard Nixon shortly after the signing.
Soon thereafter, 527 men returned alive from the war to a well deserved heroes’ welcome. What President Nixon did not tell the American people and the families of the missing was that the American government had numerous classified documents and human intelligence that men were, in fact, still alive in Southeast Asia. We had men on our lists, that we knew had been captured alive, yet, they never appeared on the homecoming lists and were never returned. We simply accepted the “word” of the North Vietnamese that the lists were complete. On one of my frequent visits to Southeast Asia as a U.S. senator and congressman, I had occasion to speak to one of the North Vietnamese officials who was present at the negotiations in Paris. He told me point blank that “the American side handed over their list and we handed over ours and there was little discussion.” He further told me that “the POW issue was not aggressively pursued at all.”