Director of Research - (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"It is God's job to forgive Osama bin Laden.
It is the Armys job to arrange a face to face meeting."
"It is God's job to forgive Osama bin Laden.
It is the Marines job to arrange a face to face meeting"
Variations of a popular e-mail circulating on the Internet
American Casualties - To the family of Johnny Micheal Spann, Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis, Sgt.
1st Class Daniel Henry Petithory, and Staff Sgt. Brian Cody Prosser, we offer our deepest sympathy.
From Secrecy News Nov. 30th - "The death of CIA officer Johnny Micheal Spann in Afghanistan was acknowledged with dignity and eloquence on November 28 by Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet.
In an extraordinary departure from past practice, however, the CIA issued a press release about Spann's death:
Why did the Agency take this unusual step? CIA spokesman Bill Harlow told Reuters that "Some circumstances will permit you to identify people who have given their lives for their country and for the Agency and when we can do so, we do." But this is not a satisfactory explanation or an accurate description of CIA disclosure policy.
There is a stubborn, irrational resistance to disclosure of such information, author Ted Gup found in his recent study "The Book of Honor: Covert Lives and Classified Deaths at the CIA." The Book of Honor refers to the record of those CIA officers who were killed in the line of duty (of which there are now 79), nearly half of whom are still not identified by name but only by an engraved star.
"Douglas S. Mackiernan was killed on the Tibetan border in 1950," wrote Gup last year. "His star remains nameless. So, too, does that of Hugh Francis Redmond, who died in 1970 after nineteen years in a Chinese prison. In both instances the Chinese knew they were CIA spies. Only the American public did not."
This practice is not only an injustice to the memory of those who died, it is also bad policy because it erodes the already shaky credibility of CIA classification actions.
It is possible to do better. Thus, in the course of his investigation Ted Gup learned the identity of "a young woman [CIA officer] who died a violent and selfless death in 1996" but did not reveal her name because "The Agency made a compelling case that to identify her would put others at risk...."
"...According to a CIA spokesman, Johnny Micheal Spann's middle name is properly spelled "Micheal" and not, as New York Times editors and others have emended it, "Michael."
National Alliance of Families extends our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Liam Atkins, who passed suddenly this week.
Former Soldier Flees to South Korea - Associated Press November 24th - "SEOUL, South Korea -- "A former South Korean soldier who was captured during the 1950-53 Korean War has returned home after fleeing the North, the government said Saturday."
"The 67-year-old man recently arrived in South Korea with 18 North Koreans who had fled hunger and other hardships, the government's National Intelligence Service said in a news release. It did not identify him."
"The man was taken prisoner during a battle in central Korea. He spent most of his life in the North toiling in coal mines, the intelligence agency said. It did not reveal other details, such as the former soldier's escape route."
"Over the years, 23 South Korean prisoners of war have returned home after fleeing the North. South Korea believes North Korea still holds 300 Southern soldiers, but Pyongyang denies it."
"The former soldier and the 18 North Korean defectors lived in a third country before coming to Seoul, the agency said. Most North Korean defectors arrive through China, but South Korean authorities usually don't identify China out of respect for that country's relations with North Korea..."
Again, we ask the same question - why not Americans? If South Korean POWs can survive in North Korea, Why Not Americans?
Support Our Servicemen and Women - From the Department of Defense, November November 28, 2001, - "ANY SERVICEMEMBER" WEB SITES ANNOUNCED - The Department of Defense announced today an alternative to the "Any Servicemember" and "Operation Dear Abby" programs, which were suspended indefinitely in the wake of anthrax mail attacks.
The Navy has developed a Web-based alternative to benefit members of all Services. The program can be reached at the Navy LIFELines Services Network at
Those who want to send a message of support or holiday greeting to military service members will find a simple process for delivering messages at these sites. The "Any Service member" program allows participants to select from one or all branches of the military.
To receive a message of support, service members will log onto the Web site and choose messages for their branch of Service and home state. Those sending a message who wish to receive a response may include a return e-mail address. Since all messages are viewed on the Web, the military's regular e-mail service is not affected.
"Operation Dear Abby" was founded by the newspaper advice columnist and has delivered mail to servicemembers overseas during the holiday season for more than 17 years. The "Any Servicemember" mail program began during Operation Desert Storm in 1990, and continued to grow during operations in Bosnia, starting in 1995.
Lawsuit Filed To Release Presidential Papers - From Reuters, by Deborah Charles - "Washington - Nov 28th - "A government watchdog group filed suit in federal court on Wednesday to overturn an executive order issued by U.S. President George W. Bush that lets presidents block the release of a former president's papers."
"Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, filed suit in Washington on behalf of several historical associations, a nonprofit group dedicated to publishing declassified documents, a reporters' group and two presidential historians."
"The suit seeks to compel the National Archives to abide by the terms of the Presidential Records Act and to release to the public some 68,000 pages of records of former President Ronald Reagan, which should have been released last January, 12 years after President Reagan left office," Public Citizen said."
"Earlier this month, Bush issued an executive order allowing either an incumbent or a former president to block the release of a former president's papers. The order, which alarmed historians, would require applicants to show a "specific" need for many types of presidential records."
"It would also give Bush control over access to Reagan's papers, including any involving members of Reagan's Republican administration who now work for Bush."
"Bush's executive order violates not only the spirit but the letter of the law," said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. "We will not stand by while the administration tramples on the people's right to find out about their own government. The president should not have the ability to arbitrarily withhold public information to hide wrongdoing or avoid embarrassment."
"Under the Presidential Records Act, passed in 1978 in response to disputes over the records of former President Richard Nixon, the records of presidents and vice presidents are public property and the National Archives must make them available to the public after a president leaves office."
"Former presidents and vice presidents can restrict access to some categories of records, including confidential communication with their advisers, for up to 12 years. After that the materials must be made public except for classified documents that could damage national security."
"The 12-year restriction on Reagan's presidential documents expired this year. Although Reagan issued a broad order in 1989 governing the release of his documents, the White House began drafting its own order after receiving a request for a large volume of documents. "
"Bush's executive order gives a former president 90 days to decide on all but "unduly burdensome" requests. The incumbent president is to decide whether to concur and is to defer to the wishes of a former president unless there are "compelling circumstances."
"The White House said those circumstances could include current national security issues a former president might be unaware of. "In effect the executive order makes the release of records dependent on the good graces of the former president," said Public Citizen attorney Scott Nelson."
"The whole point of the Presidential Records Act was to take control of access out of the hands of the former presidents," he said. "By giving the presidents back the power to cover up inconvenient demands, the executive order has inevitably made people wonder what they may be trying to hide."
Nelson said the government had 60 days to respond and he expected briefs to be presented in U.S. District court early in 2002.
Remains Identified - From the Department of Defense, December 6th -- "The remains of an American serviceman missing in action from the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to his family in the United States. Identified is Navy Cmdr. John A. Feldhaus, of Lawrenceberg, Tenn."
"On Oct. 8, 1966, Feldhaus took off from the carrier USS Oriskany in an A-1H Skyraider on an armed reconnaissance mission over Thanh Hoa Province, North Vietnam. As he and his wingman entered heavy clouds, Feldhaus radioed that he had been hit by enemy ground fire and his right wing was on fire. His wingman never saw Feldhaus' aircraft again, but he did report seeing a fireball on the ground which he believed to be an aircraft crash."
"The wingman and another aircrew searched the area of the crash without success. They saw no parachute and heard no emergency radio signals. The visual search was hampered by enemy ground fire and deteriorating weather. Electronic surveillance continued on the succeeding days, but revealed nothing."
"In October 1993, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team led by Joint Task Force-Full Accounting conducted an investigation in Thanh Hoa Province where they believed the crash occurred, but they found no aircraft debris or remains. Between 1996 and 2000, another four investigations or excavations were conducted in Vietnam, yielding aircraft debris, pilot-related artifacts, personal effects and remains."
"Among the forensic tools used by the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (CILHI) to confirm the identification was that of mitochondrial DNA, in which DNA from a skeletal fragment was matched to that of a Feldhaus family member...."
Report From Ground Zero - Early last week the Medical Examiners Office of New York City announced that they had misidentified the remains of one of the firefighters recovered from Ground Zero Remains originally identified as firefighter Jose Guadalup were disinterred, when it was confirmed that the remains were actually firefighter Christopher Santora.
The Medical Examiners Office acted swiftly to correct their error and dealt with the families in an honest manner.
CIL-HI Take A Lesson......
Why Does Johnnie Webb Still Have A Job??????????
Plan Ahead - The National Alliance of Families 13th Annual Forum will be held June 20 - 22, 2002. Details to follow.
"Increased Need to Trust Government Drives Seismic Shift in Public Opinion" - From Fox News - WASHINGTON - "The Sept. 11 attacks and the Bush administration's response have driven up the public's trust in the government to levels not seen in more than three decades."
"That trust comes at a time when Americans are more willing to accept government censorship for national security, strict security measures that curb the rights of terrorism suspects and a terrorism war that could include high American casualties...."
"....Pollsters, historians and social scientists are watching closely to see if the increased trust in institutions that came after the terrorist attacks will be long-term, like some public opinion shifts during earlier wars, or will quickly temper. They tend to agree the length of positive sentiment towards the government is related to the duration of security threats and the government's performance..."
"...The number of Americans who think government can be trusted to do what is right most of the time has risen to six in 10, according to a recent Gallup poll. That's a level not seen since the 1960s, before a steady drop in public trust with Vietnam, civil unrest and the Watergate scandal."
"By 1980, only 25 percent of the public felt government could be trusted most of the time, and by 1994, only 17 percent felt that way. By the late 1990s, the number who trusted government had rebounded to about 40
"Those who closely monitor public opinion caution such attitudes can change rapidly, depending on the progress of the war on terrorism and the economy. But they also said the terror threat may have changed something fundamental about how the government is perceived. Earlier wars caused long-term shifts in public opinion, most notably World War II, when Americans grew more comfortable with the idea of women in the workplace and a peacetime draft. They also shifted from an isolationist view of the world to widespread acceptance that the United States has an international role, said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press."
"...Attitudes on things that are directly related to terrorism or the government, anything related to the government or government leaders has changed significantly," said Frank Newport, executive editor of the Gallup Poll. "The real question is whether this represents a real realignment or is a temporary shift."
"The increased trust probably will last as long as the country needs to keep its focus on national security, Newport said."
"Right now, people have to trust the government," he said. "It's the only entity that can provide security...."
"...The increase in the trust of government cannot be extended beyond the government's response to these security concerns," said Stephen Wayne, a professor of government at Georgetown University. "I don't think the people trust the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the IRS or the Social Security Administration any more than they did."
Even the trust in government may be tempered as "Congress gets back to a more combative role," said Karlyn Bowman, polling analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.
That high level of trust in government probably includes a degree of wishful thinking.
"There is a very thin line," sociologist Robinson said, "between the trust people have of government in this national security crisis and the hope they have that government will succeed."
At this difficult time, there is indeed a increased need to trust our leadership. However, can we really afford blind trust. Anyone involved in the POW/MIA issue knows there are valid reasons for distrust. So, how do we strike the balance.
Can we continue to criticize the actions of past and present administrations, for their failures in the POW/MIA issue, while we support out government actions against terrorism and the decision to send another generation to war?
Can we continue to criticize Marine Command for "cooking the books" and lying to POW/MIA families about the Marines lost at Con Thien, while we wholeheartedly support our Marines searching the caves of Afganistan, for bin Laden?
Can we continue to criticize CILHI for their multiple misidentification, as flag draped coffins are being returned to the United States?
Can we continue to criticize the decisions and decision makers that left men behind in past wars, knowing that many of those individuals are at this moment making the decisions in our war against terrorism?
These are a few of the many questions we've asked ourselves since September 11th. After much thought we've come to two conclusions.
The first - those who believe in the LIVE POW/MIA issue are knowledgeable enough in this issue to differentiate between our criticism of command decisions that resulted in the abandonment of Servicemen from World War II, Korea, Cold War, Vietnam and the Gulf War and our complete support of the men and women in the field.
The second - It is our wholehearted support of our active duty personnel that compels us, in part, to do what we do. Never again, at wars end should there be a Michael Speicher, Charles Shelton, David Hrdlicka, John McDonnell, Roger Dumas, Richard Desautel, Ronald Van Wees, Samuel Busch, Jack Lively, or any of the hundreds and perhaps thousands left behind in enemy hands, at wars end.
So, come January 12th, the gloves are, once again, off.
We wish you all the Merriest Christmas, the Happiest Chanukah and all the best for the New Year. Now, more than ever we need the joy of the Holiday Season.
To our Troops Deployed - You are in our prayers, stay safe and may you all be home soon
To our POW/MIA Families - What can we say, that has not been said over the last 28, 48, or 56 years. Japanese POWs have made it home from World War II. South Korean POWs have made it home from the Korean War. Someday, with God's help, the next man out will be an American. We all pray for that day. We pray for each of you, that you will have the strength carry on the fight for another year.
To the Veterans and Activists who support us - We thank God for you every day. We couldn't do it without you.
For this holiday season, we would like, once again, to share a favorite poem with you.
"Though we've come a long way, there is much, much more to be done.
the deck is stacked against us. Our adversaries are well-entrenched
and well-financed and scared of any change in the status quo.
In the long run, we will prevail.
We hold the trump card, folks and when the dust clears, and
the dense morning fog burns off,
when we clear our wire of sappers, and the gunships go home,
by God, we'll still be there, because what we seek to do is right."
--- Author Unknown
TRUTH, JOY, AND PEACE TO US ALL IN 2002.
Dolores, Lynn and the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Families
"Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord: and they shall come again from the land of the enemy; and there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border." JerMIAh 31:16--17:
See you all in January
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