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10-21-02, 10:29 AM #1
For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen World War II - Korea - Cold War - Viet
National Alliance of Families
For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen
World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietnam - Gulf War
Dolores Alfond - 425-881-1499
Lynn O'Shea --- 718-846-4350
Web Site http://www.nationalalliance.org
email -- firstname.lastname@example.org
October 19, 2002 Bts N Pieces
Longer Than Some, Not As Long As Others - October 19, 2002 marks Capt.
Speicher's 4,295th day in captivity.
Status Change for Capt. Speicher - the first POW of the 1991 Gulf War, once
classified Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered, has once again been
reclassified this time from Missing In Action to Missing/Captured.
According to an Associated Press article, dated October 11th - "The U.S.
Navy on Friday declared Gulf War pilot Michael Scott Speicher was captured
by Iraq, saying there's no evidence the officer is dead. Two senators
suggested there is new, classified evidence indicating Speicher is alive
"... Speicher originally was declared dead after his F/A-18 was shot down
the opening night of the Gulf War in 1991. But the military changed his
status to missing in action a decade later, given the absence of evidence he
was killed in the crash. Iraq claims Speicher was killed, but has not
turned over any remains."
"Navy Secretary Gordon England on Friday changed Speicher's official status
to missing/captured. "I have no evidence to conclude that Captain Speicher
is dead," England wrote. "While the information available to me now does
not prove definitively that Captain Speicher is alive and in Iraqi custody,
I am personally convinced the Iraqis seized him sometime after his plane
went down. Further, it is my firm belief that the government of Iraq knows
what happened to Captain Speicher."
"A spokeswoman for Joanne Harris, Speicher's wife, said the officer's family
was pleased with the change. "We think it is about time. We asked for this
change more than a year ago," said Cindy Laquidara, a Jacksonville attorney
who speaks for Harris. "When you leave somebody behind, the passage of time
does not make a difference," she said. "It should not be up to the
serviceman to prove he is alive."
"Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said in a statement Friday he believes Speicher
is indeed alive. Roberts came to that conclusion last month after getting a
series of classified briefings on the case, said spokeswoman Sarah Ross.
"A lot of that is based on intelligence information and a general hunch,"
"Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said an Iraqi defector told officials that 11
years ago he drove a wounded American pilot to a hospital. "He was a
credible witness," said Nelson, who said the man had given information on
other topics that was correct. He had also passed a polygraph exam, Nelson
"Roberts, Nelson and other members of Congress had pressed the Pentagon to
declare Speicher a prisoner of war. England wrote that the captured
designation means that "if alive, he's a prisoner of war."
"This change in status adds credibility and urgency to efforts to secure
Capt. Scott Speicher's release," Roberts said. "It sends a symbolic message
to the Iraqis, to other adversaries and most important to the men and women
of the armed forces that we will accept nothing less than full disclosure of
circumstances surrounding the missing and captured."
"England deliberately waited to approve the change until after Congress had
given Bush the authority he sought to take military action in Iraq,
according to a defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Though not mentioning Speicher by name, Bush has referred in several recent
speeches to a U.S. pilot still missing in Iraq....."
We Take Exception - Secretary England's statement "if alive, he's a prisoner
of war," is not totally correct. If Speicher died in Iraqi custody, he is
still a Prisoner of War, a POW who died in captivity. Dying in enemy hand
does not and should not change a POWs status.
Optimism vs Pessimism - A Press Release issued by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KAN
), on October 11th stated "Roberts said he now believes Captain Speicher may
be alive and held captive by Iraq." The Associated Press reported "Roberts
came to that conclusion last month after getting a series of classified
briefings on the case, said spokeswoman Sarah Ross. "A lot of that is
based on intelligence information and a general hunch," Ross said."
Of the Iraqi defector who identified Capt. Speicher as the American pilot he
drove to a hospital Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), is quoted by the AP as
saying ""He was a credible witness..." AP also reported Nelson as saying
"the man had given information on other topics that was correct. He had also
passed a polygraph exam."
Secretary of Navy Gordon England stated: "I have no evidence to conclude
that Captain Speicher is dead." He went on to say: "While the information
available to me now does not prove definitively that Captain Speicher is
alive and in Iraqi custody, I am personally convinced the Iraqis seized him
sometime after his plane went down. Further, it is my firm belief that the
government of Iraq knows what happened to Captain Speicher."
The Secretary England's statement "I am personally convinced the Iraqis
seized him sometime after his plane went down," is extremely important. We
assume that Secretary England based this statement on his review of the
intelligence reports. Using that assumption, it now puts Scott Speicher
was ALIVE in Iraqi hands.
What we don't know is if he is alive today. However, two United States
Senators, after reviewing the intelligence reports believe Speicher may very
well be alive, today.
The prevailing attitude of DPMO is to dismissal intelligence reports and
witness statements, indicating Speicher is alive. This includes the very
source Senator Nelson stated: "was a credible witness..."
Our question - Are Senators Nelson and Roberts along with Secretary England
viewing the same intelligence as DPMO? If they are, how can the opinions
of Senators Nelson and Roberts, along with Secretary England be at such odds
with DPMO. We guess the answer is simple.... It's business as ususal at
10-21-02, 10:30 AM #2
Missing/Captured vs. POW - the term Prisoner of War or POW is no longer
Right Church Wrong Pew - We're sure many of our readers are familiar with
this phrase "Right church wrong pew." For those who aren't, it simply means
that your in the right location but just off a bit. During the year 2000,
we expressed our concern that the status designation Prisoner of War would
disappear. Based on information available to us, we believe the POW status
would be replaced by the term Isolated Personnel or Isolated Persons.
On Feb. 12, 2000, the following appeared in Bits N Pieces - "A Look Into The
Future - Bulletin... In OOTW, we have 3 IP's... Translation: In "Operations
Other Than War" we have three "Isolated Persons." That's the new
terminology. Wars are longer wars and captured Americans are no longer POWs.
They are Isolated Personnel. This terminology comes from the 1999
Department of Defense Personnel Recovery Conference Report dated October 26
- 28, 1999. A scan of the body of this report reveals the phrase
"Prisoner of War" is used only once, as is the acronym POW. The phrase
"Isolated Personnel" appears, by our count, 13 times."
We continued to express our concern over the expected discontinuation of the
POW status. Our concern elicited a response from DPMO and in our October
21st edition of Bits we reported; "On October 5th, 2000, the National
Alliance of Families received a letter from DPMO General Counsel James F.
Gravelle. The letter states: "Let me assure you prisoner of war is not
being replaced by isolated personnel. There is no initiative to do so and,
basically, prisoner of war and isolated personnel are not interchangeable.
Prisoner of war is a legal status of military personnel captured during an
international armed conflict between two countries, and entitles those
captured to humanitarian treatment under the Geneva Conventions. You may
recall this status was claimed for our three soldiers who were captured in
the Kosovo conflict in 1999. Claiming isolated personnel status for our
captured personnel would be meaningless."
Mr. Gravelle was correct. Prisoner of War was not replaced by isolated
personnel. However, he didn't tell us the plan was to eliminate the
Prisoner of War status in favor with a category of Missing titled
Missing/Captured. Nor, did he tell us, that at the time the letter was
written, the wheels were already in motion to replace the POW status, but
not with isolated personnel.
On December 18, 2002, almost two months after Mr. Gravelle's letter, the
Dept. of Defense issued Instruction Number 1300.18. Its subject: "Military
Personnel Casualty Matters, Policies, and Procedures defines the new
Casualty categories, in Section E22.214.171.124. It reads: "Casualty Category.
A term used to specifically classify a casualty for reporting purposes based
upon the casualty type and the casualty status. Casualty categories
include killed in action (KIA), died of wounds received in action (DWRIA),
beleaguered, besieged, captured, detained, interned, missing, in action (MIA
), and wounded in action (WIA)."
The following sections defines the new categories for those captured or
E126.96.36.199. Missing. A casualty status applicable to a person who is not
at his or her duty location due to apparent involuntary reasons and whose
location may or may not be known. Chapter 10 of 37 U.S.C. (reference (f))
provides statutory guidance concerning missing members of the Military
Services. Excluded are personnel who are in an AWOL, deserter, or dropped-
from-rolls status. A person declared missing is further categorized as
E188.8.131.52.1. Beleaguered. The casualty is a member of an organized
element that has been surrounded by a hostile force to prevent escape of its
E184.108.40.206.2. Besieged. The casualty is a member of an organized element
that has been surrounded by a hostile force compelling it to surrender.
E220.127.116.11.3. Captured. The casualty has been seized as the result of
action of an unfriendly military or paramilitary force in a foreign country.
E18.104.22.168.4. Detained. The casualty is prevented from proceeding or is
restrained in custody for alleged violation of international law or other
reason claimed by the government or group under which the person is being
E22.214.171.124.5. Interned. The casualty definitely known to have been taken
into custody of a nonbelligerent
foreign power as the result of and for reasons arising out of any armed
conflict in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.
E126.96.36.199.6. Missing. The casualty is not present at his or her duty
location due to apparent involuntary reasons and whose location is unknown.
E188.8.131.52.7. Missing in Action (MIA). The casualty is a hostile casualty,
other than the victim of a terrorist activity, who is not present at his or
her duty location due to apparent involuntary reasons and whose location is
A review of the entire directive finds that the phrase Prisoner or War or
the acronym POW is never used.
The fact that the terminology Prisoner of War is no longer used was
confirmed by Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England. In his 11 October
2002 memo announcing the change in status of Capt. Michael Scott Speicher
from Missing In Action to Missing/Captured, Secretary England stated:
"Although the controlling missing persons statute and directives do not use
the term "Prisoner of War," the fact supporting a change in Captain
Speicher's category from Missing in Action to Missing/Captured would also
support the conclusion that, if alive, he is a Prisoner of War."
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, call it a duck. If an
American service member is captured by hostile forces he or she is a
Prisoner of War. Why not designate them as such?
Here is our theory. Back in 1999 and early 2000, we reported that DPMO was
moving toward a reactive recovery effort for past conflicts, by the year
2004. That means they will only investigate when new information is
received, taking the recovery effort from active to reactive based on new
information. We stated that JTF-FA, as we know it, would cease to exist.
That was proven correct with the announcement, this past summer of a merger
of CIL-HI and JTF-FA. We also stated that there was a plan to eliminate the
status of Prisoner of War. Again, we were proven correct.
DPMO is gearing up for its role in future conflicts. Among their goals is
to never again be caught up in a 30, 40 or 50 year recovery operation. In
order to achieve that goal you can't leave POWs behind. To insure that
does not happen, you simply eliminate POWs.
The phrase Prisoner of War says two thing. First it says Prisoner - living
breathing human being. Second it says held by the enemy. Prisoner of War
is a phrase that inflames. America does not leave its servicemen, its
Prisoners behind. We don't leave POWs behind. At least that is what
they'd like us to believe. We know differently.
The phrase Missing/Captured also says two thing. First it says Missing -
This dehumanizes the status. Missing can be anything from your car keys to
a person. Even in law enforcement when a person disappears they become a
Missing Person not Missing/Beleaguered or Missing/Besieged or even
Missing/Captured. Second, Missing/Capture gives the implication that your
not really sure - maybe missing maybe captured and that is the key. In
future conflicts, no one gets left behind because not one is Prisoner. They
are just Missing with a slash....
The DPMO Strategic Plan we wrote about in 1999 and 2000, the plan we were
assured was dead, is alive and well. We been proven correct on too many
occasions to doubt that.
We may not always be in the right pew, but we've always been in the right
Nothing has changed at DPMO, and those who think things have need to take a
good hard look before it's too late.
10-21-02, 10:31 AM #3
Speicher Bill Passes The House - From the Associated Press, Oct. 15th -
"Congress is promising refugee status to any Iraqi who delivers to the
United States a living American prisoner of war from the Persian Gulf War
or any future conflict with the Iraqi government. The measure, approved by
the House Tuesday and sent to the president for his signature, expands a law
enacted in 2000 that gives asylum to citizens of Southeast Asian nations,
China, Russia or North Korea who bring back Americans held prisoner from the
Korean or Vietnam War...."
"The legislation, passed by voice vote, also applies to nationals of other
Middle East countries who rescue an American POW, but does not extend to
those deemed to be criminals, terrorists or threats to U.S. security.
The Senate approved the bill, sponsored by Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-
Colo., last July."
Our Thanks - to Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, for introducing this
legislation, to his staff for their dedication to it's passage and to our
readership who worked so hard gathering co-sponsors, and pushing this
legislation through the House committees.
You are all to be congratulated for a job extraordinarily well done.
Japanese Abductees - When we reported, in the Sept. 27th edition of Bits,
on the admission by North Korea that they had kidnaped Japanese citizens
during the 1970's we never thought the story would take on an added twist.
As it turns out Hitomi Soga, who was kidnaped in August of 1978, along with
her mother, is married to American Servicemen Charles Robert Jenkins. Ms.
Soga was give the Korean name and was forced to teach Japanese language and
customs to North Korean spies. Jenkins who taught English is listed by the
military as having deserted in January of 1965.
As we have previously reported an intelligence report from 1962 indicated a
North Korean plan to kidnap American Servicemen and take them into North
Korea. We have long questioned the status of Jenkins, Parrish, Abshire and
Dresnok the other American "defectors." Until each man can be questioned,
on neutral ground, we must give the benefit of the doubt to the serviceman.
This week Ms. Soga was allowed to visit her family in Japan. Neither her
husband or their two daughters, reported by Japanese media as Mika (born on
Jun. 1, 1983) and Belinda (born on Jul. 23, 1985), accompanied her and Ms.
Soga must return to North Korea. There are conflicting reports as to
whether Mr. Jenkins was offered to opportunity to fly to Japan and refused.
However, we do know that none of the children of those kidnaped were
allowed to accompany their parents.
In the October 19th edition of the New York Times, James Brooke's reports:
"Tokyo, Oct. 18 - It was the unlikeliest of marriages. Charles Robert
Jenkins, a former United States Army sergeant listed by the Pentagon as a
defector to North Korea, was teaching English in Pyongyang. "
"Hitomi Soga, a prisoner of the North Koreans, became his student, her
family says. nd, brought together by such flimsy threads of fate, she and Mr
. Jenkins fell in love. Their romance began more than 20 years ago, when Ms.
Soga, a Japanese nursing student, was one of several Japanese kidnaped by
the North, her sister said at a televised news conference here."
"The simple request to learn English ended in a wedding on Aug. 8, 1980,
said the sister. Hitomi Soga, now 43, returned to Japan this week for a
reunion with her family and friends. Mr. Jenkins told a Japanese diplomat
on Tuesday that, fearing arrest, he had declined an offer to fly to Japan."
"The last confirmed sighting of Sergeant Jenkins, now 62, was on a
midwinter night in 1965, according to an Army report released in 1996.
Patrolling the Korean demilitarized zone at 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 5 of that year
, the 25-year-old North Carolina native signaled his three-man squad to
"He walked ahead, ostensibly to check out something suspicious. Three
weeks later, the North Korean state radio announced that this well-regarded
Army veteran, a slender small-town man nicknamed Super, had defected to a
better life in Communist North Korea."
"But Mr. Jenkins's family in the United States has never accepted the
assertion that he defected. "We have never received a letter from him," Pat
Harrell, a younger sister, said by telephone from North Carolina. Excited
to hear concrete details of her brother, she said, "We have never received
a photograph of him."
"Mr. Jenkins is one of about a dozen former American soldiers thought to be
living in North Korea, according to Dolores A. Alfond, chairwoman of the
National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen
"In 1996 a Pentagon study classified four of them, including Mr. Jenkins, as
deserters and the rest as soldiers captured during the Korean War, now half
a century ago."
"For North Korea - officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea -
the deserters are a sorely needed bargaining chip in negotiations with the
Bush administration, particularly after this week's revelations about the
country's nuclear weapons program."
"The issue of Americans who defected to our side from U.S. forces units
stationed in South Korea after the war may be smoothly settled depending on
the termination of the hostile relationship between the D.P.R.K. and the U.
S.," a North Korean Army spokesman told the state news agency on Saturday."
"North Korea has never denied the presence of Americans on its soil, but it
has always maintained that they were defectors.
"American prisoner of war groups say successive American administrations
have placed a low priority on negotiating the return of Americans held by
North Korea or even access by their families."
"On Tuesday, Richard A. Boucher, the State Department spokesman, said of Mr.
Jenkins, "The United States has sought to talk to this person and other
Americans who are known to be in North Korea, but largely about whether they
had heard or knew of any others who might have been there."
"Little is known about the American, other than what Ms. Soga's family has
said: that he teaches English and has two daughters, aged 17 and 19, who
study at the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies."
"Tuesday morning a Japanese diplomat, Akitaka Saiki, met Mr. Jenkins on the
second floor of the terminal of Pyongyang International Airport. He was
sitting there quietly with his daughters, each wearing a Kim Jong Il lapel
pin. "He seemed surprised to meet me," Mr. Saiki said of his encounter
Tuesday with Mr. Jenkins. "He told he had been with the U.S. Army."
"The daughters didn't seem to speak English well," Mr. Saiki said, "so I
asked a Korean-speaking colleague if they wanted to come to Japan. The girls
said they wanted to visit Japan, where Hitomi was born. But Mr. Jenkins
said, `It might be difficult for me to visit Japan, until my situation
"The Army has long maintained that Mr. Jenkins deserted his post, citing a
farewell letter written to his family and radio broadcasts he had made in
the late 1960's. For decades the Jenkins family and their supporters have
maintained that the letter is a fake and that he and other American
soldiers were kidnaped by North Korean soldiers to win propaganda points in
the cold war and to gain native English speakers for their spy schools."
"I don't believe this bit about him being a deserter," Mrs. Harrell said,
citing a "happy" home visit by Mr. Jenkins at Christmas of 1964. "I don't
believe he walked over there freely." Her husband, Lee, added: "I think
they were all abducted like these Japanese women. They were used to teach
their men for undercover work."
"In North Carolina, Mrs. Harrell attributed her brother's nearly four
decades of total silence to North Korea's
government. Five years ago she met with North Korean diplomats at the
United Nations and asked permission to see her brother. "They were cordial
, but they never gave me any indication that would ever happen," she said.
"I gave them letters for my brother. But I am sure they got destroyed as
soon as they were handed over."
"In her letter, Mrs. Harrell, a devout Christian who had not seen her
brother since she was 15, wrote: "There's not a day that goes by that we
don't think about you and pray for you. We'll never stop praying for you."
Defector or Abductee - many questions need to be answered before a
determination can be made regarding the status of Charles Jenkins. Did
Jenkins walk across the DMZ to North Korea or was he kidnaped, like his
future wife and the other Japanese citizens. Was Jenkins and the other
American's needed for the North Korean spy school, as Ms. Soga and the
Japanese nationals were?
Why is DPMO and the Pentagon so dismissive of the possibility that Jenkins
and perhaps the others are victims of a kidnap and not deserters?
North Korea obviously has a "Charm School" in operation for many years,
snatching foreign Nationals to be used to school North Korean spies, in the
language and mannerisms of their enemies.
10-21-02, 10:32 AM #4
Recommended Reading - "The Charm School" by Nelson DeMille, listed as
fiction, perhaps this book is close to fact then anyone would like us to
North Korea Threatens Remains Recovery Operations - from the Associated
Press, Oct. 13th, by Paul Shin "SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea warned
Sunday the United States' "hostile policy" toward the communist country was
hampering efforts to recover the remains of U.S. soldiers missing from the
1950-53 Korean War...."
"...The U.S. Administration's hostile policy toward (North Korea) has
touched off bitter anti-U.S. sentiment among the Korean people, which
seriously impedes the exhumation of remains of the war dead, including the
investigation and confirmation of the burial places," the North's military
said in a statement, which was carried by the official Korean Central News
"The statement, by an unidentified military spokesman, followed the
communist country's harsh criticism of a recent visit by a U.S. special
envoy. In Pyongyang, the North's capital, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
Kelly conveyed Washington's "serious concerns" about the North's weapons
program. The visit marked Washington's first security talks with North Korea
since U.S. President George W. Bush took office in early 2001."
"North Korea accused Kelly of making "arrogant and threatening" remarks in
discussing security issues in Pyongyang and vowed not to bow to any U.S.
"During talks with North Korea in Bangkok, Thailand earlier this month, the
United States asked Pyongyang to help investigate reports of U.S.
servicemen missing from the Korean War who may be living or held captive
within its borders. The U.S. government has never conclusively found that
there are any Americans from the Korean War alive in North Korea, although a
Pentagon analyst wrote in a 1996 internal report that there were possibly
10 to 15 prisoners of war."
"Washington also pressed for access to four U.S. servicemen who defected to
North Korea from South Korea in the 1960s. The North Korean statement said
the issue of the four defectors "may be smoothly settled depending on the
termination of the hostile relationship" between the two countries."
Another take on the situation comes from BBC Monitoring of KCNA News Agnecy
in Pyongyang, on Oct.13th, "....At the recent talks on remains of US war
dead in Thailand we, therefore, presented reasonable and realistic proposals
including the question of establishing and operating a national
organization for investigation to the US side. The US administration's
hostile policy towards the DPRK has touched off bitter anti-US sentiment
among the Korean people, which seriously impedes the exhumation of remains
of the war dead, including the investigation and confirmation of the burial
"There are no American "war survivors", the issue raised by the US side
since all the US POWs [prisoners of war] were already repatriated in
accordance with the agreement between the two sides right after the Korean
War. And the issue of Americans who defected to our side from US forces
units stationed in South Korea after the war may be smoothly settled
depending on the termination of the hostile relationship between the DPRK
and the US as it is not contrary to the international law on political
exiles and the right to protect them. If the US side is really interested in
the exhumation of remains of the war dead, it should sincerely do what it
has to do.
The Lies - For years, the North Koreans denied they had kidnaped Japanese
citizens. For years they denied they were involved in developing an Nuclear
Weapons Program. Does anyone really think they are not capable of lying
about holding American Prisoners of War or the status of men listed as
deserters? Or do we believe that the North Koreans would lie about
everything but POWs and deserters?
Fool me once, shame on you.... fool me twice, shame on me.... or in this
case shame on DPMO, the Pentagon, and the State Department experts who
continually negotiate away the store, while either getting nothing in return
or being lied to.
Just To Let You Know We Haven't Forgotten....
Why Does Johnie Webb Still Have A Job!
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