TITLE:VIETNAMESE AMNESTY MAY HAVE RESOLVED A POW/MIA CASE (07/23/93)
*EPF509 07/23/93 *
VIETNAMESE AMNESTY MAY HAVE RESOLVED A POW/MIA CASE
(Article on HFRC subcommittee hearing 7/22) (470)
By John A. Miller
USIA Staff Writer
Washington -- A Vietnamese amnesty program may have helped resolve a POW/MIA
case according to testimony during a Congressional hearing July 22. In
answer to tough questioning from Congressmen, State Department and Pentagon
officials defended their investigation of documents in Russian archives
related to the POW/MIA issue.
Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on East Asia
Pacific Affairs were Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kenneth Quinn and
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Edward Ross. They were both
part of just-completed Special Presidential Delegation to Vietnam on
Rep. Gary Ackerman (Democrat of New York), who chaired the hearing, asked if
the Vietnamese government had provided maximum cooperation and what more
they could be specifically asked to do. Quinn replied that the Vietnamese
government might enhance its amnesty program. He said the program permits
Vietnamese to turn in without penalty human remains they have acquired for
possible sale or in the hope of special treatment in emigrating to the U.S.
The program has already yielded many remains and may have already cleared
up one American POW/MIA case, Quinn said.
Quinn said the Vietnamese could advertise the amnesty program more
extensively, and the U.S. has offered to pay for this. Ackerman suggested
giving the Vietnamese government a specific deadline for responding to this
In response to questions by Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (Democrat of American
Samoa), Ross said that the U.S. has provided the Vietnamese with everything
the U.S. knows about every missing serviceman. Ross added that the U.S.
has urged the Vietnamese to focus especially on 135 discrepancy cases,
because these are the best candidates to still be alive.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Republican of California) suggested that the U.S.
present the Vietnamese with a specific list of political prisoners and
others in Vietnam who the U.S. feels may be subjected to human rights
Representative Benjamin Gilman (Republican of New York) directed the
subcommittee's attention to POW/MIA-related documents recently found in
Russian archives. Quinn said that "This is, by everybody's agreement, a
1lawed document." Ross said the U.S. staff of ten working on the POW/MIA
issue in Moscow "have aggressively pursued documents." He added that he
thought there are probably many more "Russian intelligence documents of
interest to us."
When Ross said that the document in question was initially outside the
U.S.-Russian joint task force search because it involved POWs not on
Russian soil, Ackerman directed that a formal request be made to the task
force to include such documents in future searches.
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