National Alliance of Families

For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen

+ World War II + Korea + Cold War + Vietnam + Gulf War +

BITS 'N' PIECES - February 20th, 1999




Dolores Apodaca Alfond

National Chairperson - (dolores@nationalalliance.org)

Voice/Fax 425-881-1499



Lynn O'Shea

New York State Director - (lynn@nationalalliance.org)

Voice/Fax 718-846-4350





The National Alliance of Families mourns the passing of Bereth Hubbs, wife of POW/MIA Donald Hubbs. To the Hubbs family, we offer our deepest sympathy. Cards may be sent to the Hubbs Family at 2051 Downing St., Pensacola, FL 32505

In the last edition of Bits N Pieces - we informed our readers that Norman Kass, head of the Joint Commission Support Directorate (JCSD,) had been "transferred." We also informed our readers that a "reorganization" of the JCSD was imminent and that the "reorganization" would lead to the eventual disappearance of the JCSD. In support of our position we published excerpted portions of the DPMO "Defense Missing Personnel Recovery & Accounting Strategic Plan." That plan provides no support for the JCSD and outlines an end to POW/MIA investigations as we know them.


We asked that you to act, by contacting your congressional representative and national organizations to work for the reinstatement of Norman Kass and to save the JCSD.


It is important for you all to know that DPMO responses from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs and an e-mail sent to the Veterans of Foreign War from DPMO Public Affairs Officer Larry Greer contain statements that are incorrect, misleading and in some instances outright fabrications. "Fabrications" that's a word DPMO should understand.


In a form letter sent to every organization and individual who inquired, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs stated; "There are no plans to alter DPMO's support to the U.S. Russian Joint Commission (USRJC.)" Yet, there is no explanation as to why there is no provisions for the support of the JCSD and its Executive Secretariat in the "Defense Missing Personnel Recovery & Accounting Strategic Plan."


We are not the only ones who could not find provisions for the JCSD and its Executive Secretariat, in the Strategic Plan. In a letter dated January 27th, 1999, Senator Bob Smith, Chairman of the Vietnam Working Groups of the US/Russian Joint Commission, wrote: "Nowhere in this plan is there reference to the requirement for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs to ensure that his office provides an Executive Secretariat for the U.S. Members of the U.S./Russian Joint Commission on POWs and MIAs...."


The biggest fabrication are statements made implying that Norman Kass requested his transfer.


The letters signed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs states: "...since my arrival in DoD, Mr. Kass has discussed his desire to use his Russian expertise in other areas of the Department..."


In an e-mail sent to the Veterans of Foreign War, Public Affairs Officer Larry Greer implied that Norman Kass requested his reassignment, stating; "he has expressed his desire to use his Russian expertise in other areas of the Department of Defense."


To imply that the "transfer" of Mr. Kass was at his request is a gross distortion of the facts.


We must also comment on another statement made by Mr. Greer. In his e-mail Mr. Greer stated: "I can't speak for Maj. Gen. Lajoie, but I find it interesting that suspicions and insults are being tossed toward him even before he's chaired his first meeting as the U. S. co-chairman of the commission. Looks like to me the conspiracy crowd is getting in front of its headlights."


General Lajoie doesn't need to chair a meeting for anyone who has spoken with him to know his agenda is not the truthful accounting of our POW/MIAs. In a meeting with Mr. Thomas Burch, head of the Vietnam and Gulf War Coalition and Mr. Michael Benge, member of the Alliance Board of Directors, General Lajoie admitted he just went along with the DPMO decision to "transfer" Norman Kass and restructure the directorate. As Chairman of the Joint Commission and new kid on the block, General Lajoie should have discussed any changes with the members of the commission. To our knowledge, only one commission member was consulted. That was the head of DPMO. Neither Senator Bob Smith, Chairman of the Vietnam Working Group, nor Congressman Sam Johnson, Chairman of the Korea - Cold War Working Group were consulted.


DPMO said jump and General Lajoie said "how high." We don't need to wait for General Lajoie to chair his first meeting. He has shown his colors.



We need to keep the pressure on! If you haven't called and written to your congressman, senators and national organizations, do it now. If you've already called and written do it again. Send letter to your congressman at: House of Representatives, Washington D.C. 20515. Send letter to your senators at; United States Senate, Washington D.C. 20510.


Make sure your senators, congressman and national organizations know they have been lied to.


In our last Bits N Pieces (2/5/99) we referred to the fact that DPMO has little regard for POW/MIA Family members, Veterans and Concerned Citizens. That disregard showed clearly in the Greer e-mail when he referred to those questioning, protesting and inquiring about the dismissal of Mr. Kass and the eventual dismantling of the JCSD as both "the conspiracy crowd" and "conspiracy artists."


Well, we've all done our investigating and know for a fact that Norman Kass did not, repeat did not, request a reassignment. Nor did he have any discussions with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs regarding assignments other than that of Executive Secretariat of the Joint Commission Support Directorate.


If there is any conspiracy here, it is in the DPMO effort to mislead the POW/MIA Family members, Veterans, and Concerned Citizens, into believing that Norman Kass requested his transfer and that the JCSD is safe. Neither is true and DPMO knows it.



To those who still wish to give DPMO the benefit of the doubt on this matter, we offer a stolen quote.


"When you dance with the devil, you don't change him.

He changes you."



Volkogonov Papers - was there a plan to move American POWs from Southeast Asia to the former Soviet Union? Does a Central Intelligence Agency Report dated 12 March 1982, offer corroborating evidence such a plan existed?


According to the un-redacted portion of the document summary "specially selected U.S. prisoners of war were being received into the Soviet Union circa 1970 for long term or lifetime incarceration and 'ideological retraining.' He implied the number involved to be about 2,000. The goal of the program was indefinite, but involved intensive psychological investigation of the prisoners and retraining to make them available as required to serve the needs of the Soviet Union."


The CIA thought little of this report in 1982 stating, in their Headquarters Comment; "this report should be read with caution. CIA records contain no information of the alleged intelligence affiliation of the subsource cited below, despite the source's assertion that Grigoriyev held a leading position in the KGB. Several other persons named in the text likewise cannot be identified. We have never before encountered even vague rumors among Soviet dissidents or other informants that any U.S. POWs from Vietnam are incarcerated in the USSR, much less that 2,000 such individuals are leading "reasonably normal lives" in the same region where numerous Soviet political prisoners have resided in exile. In short, while the source may be reporting his recollection of an actual conversation, we strongly believe that his report merits little if any credence from analysts. However, in light of continuing high interest in t he question of U.S. personnel still listed as missing in action in Southeast Asia, this report is being disseminated with appropriate caveats to concerned members of the U.S. Intelligence Community."


The text of the report contains several very interesting items. Knowing what we now know, perhaps this reporting source and his source needs new investigation. Here are several examples of information contained in the 1982 report.


According to the source; "In a private conversation which was held circa 1970, KGB Lieutenant General Petr Ivanovich ((Grigoriyev)) stated that many specially selected U.S. prisoners of war were being received from North Vietnam for long term or lifetime custody..."


"...the prisoners were destined for confinement at a facility near Perm..."


"Grigoriyev, who learned of the program from an unnamed high level KGB colleague, understood that Soviets rather than North Vietnamese were involved in the initial selection process..."


"Grigoriyev understood that the detention facility was not a standard prison, but rather one in which inmates could lead reasonably normal lives. During conversations Grigoriyev recalled that precedents existed for such programs in the Soviet Union and cited similar previous efforts with Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese nationals. He stated that in past programs, participants were encouraged to marry Soviet Women.


(Note: In 1998, a Japanese POW, held after World War II, by the former Soviet Union, was allowed to return to Japan. He confirmed he was allowed to marry and after a time live a "reasonably normal" life.


"Grigoriyev volunteered the information regarding the Vietnam prisoners during one of many private conversations during the late 1960's and early 1970's..."


"...The conversation shifted to Vietnam and the apparent increase in strength of South Vietnam at the time and the apparent instability in the North. Grigoriyev agreed, citing the massive U.S. commitment to the South, but added that the Soviets were also making gains. He then described the program involving U.S. prisoners."


"Grigoriyev... subsequently became critical of the recruitment policies of KGB head Valdimir Yefimovich ((Semichastnyy)) and was transferred from his position to that of KGB Security chief for Soviet Bloc nations."


(Note: The Semichastny name appears in the Volkogonov Papers, as the originator of the plan to move American POWs from Southeast Asia to the former Soviet Union. Interesting coincidence!!!!!!!)



We think its time to re-investigate this report. The subsource along with KGB Lieutenant General Petr Ivanovich ((Grigoriyev)) must be interviewed. This could be an important lead. It could help answer the question, were American POWs, from the Vietnam War, moved to the former Soviet Union?


Who do you want to follow this lead, - - Norman Kass and the JCSD

or

Bob Destatte and DPMO?????



This CIA document is one example of why the National Alliance of Families supports Roger Hall's FOIA suit against the CIA. Some 40,000 pages of CIA documentation released to the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs remains hidden. How much more POW/MIA related material remains hidden by the CIA??? If Roger is not successful in his efforts, we may never know. For more information on the lawsuit contact Roger at 301-585-3361 or e-mail him at Rhall8715@aol.com -- If you would like to make a contribution to the Litigation Fund, donations may be sent to POW/MIA FOIA Litigation Account, P.O. 8044, Silver Springs, Md. 20907-8044. This is a project we should all support!



Don't Forget - Order your copy of "One Day Too Long" by Dr. Timothy Castle - Until you read this wonderfully researched and written book, you don't know the true story of the fall of Lima Site 85 and its aftermath. Call your bookstore now and reserve your copy now!



Follow-up - In an earlier edition of Bits N Pieces we mentioned two photos located in Poland showing captured American Servicemen from the Vietnam War. The photos appear on our website and were published in the recent edition of Heart of Illinois newsletter.


While the photo of the two Army POW remains, at this point, unidentified, we have been able to confirm the identity of the Airman. He is returned POW Hayden Lockhart. In e-mail correspondence, Mr. Lockhart confirmed that the photo was taken of him shortly after his capture. We thank Chuck and Mary Schantag of the POW Network for handling the contact with Mr. Lockhart.



In Case You Missed It - A sixth South Korean POW escaped from North Korea - In an article dated January 29th, 1999, Agence France-Presse reported from Seoul - "A former South Korean soldier held prisoner of war in North Korea for more than 45 years and a defector have arrived in Seoul after fleeing the communist state, intelligence officials said Friday. The 69-year-old prisoner of war is the sixth POW to escape from the starving North since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War while the defector is the latest in a recent stream of disillusioned North Koreans to flee....


"...Former POW Lee Jong-Ho was captured during the Korean War and arrived in South Korea through an unnamed third country and sought political asylum," a National Intelligence Service (NIS) official said."



Looking For Another Job - On Thursday February 18th, Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) announced he is running for President of the United States. Senator Smith has been a vocal supporter of our POW/MIAs and their families and serves as Chairman of the Vietnam Working Group of the U.S./Russian Joint Commission. Imagine what it would be like to have a pro POW/MIA President in the White House!



Finally - Video Copies of "POWs in Communist Hands" (11TF-30-19541-3) are now available from last years Alliance Forum. Orders already placed will be shipped shortly. If you would like to order a copy of the Video listed send your check for $10.00 + $3.00 for shipping to the National Alliance of Families at the address show below.


Copies are also available of "Moscow Bound" by John M.G. Brown. To order send your check for $25.00 + $5.00 for shipping to the National Alliance of Families.



The National Alliance of Families Tenth Annual Forum is scheduled for June 17th - 19th, at the Sheraton Center City Hotel, Washington D.C. (same as last year.) Room rates at $105.00 per night. To make your reservation call 800-526-7495 or 202-775-0800. Remember to say you are with the Alliance.


Remember - contributions are needed to keep the Alliance going. Donations may be mailed to:

National Alliance of Families

P.O. Box 40327

Bellevue, Wa. 98015


Remember all contributions are tax deductible.


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