Senate Select Committee on POW/MIAs

On August 2, 1991, the United States Senate approved a resolution introduced by Sen. Robert Smith providing for the creation of a Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs to serve during the remainder of the 102nd Congress. In October, 1991, a Chairman (Sen. John Kerry), Vice-chairman (Sen. Robert Smith), and ten additional Members were appointed to the Committee. A resolution providing funding was approved. The hearings began on November 5, 1991.

The Committee's task was to investigate the events, policies, and knowledge that guided U.S. Government POW/MIA-related actions over the previous 20 years and to do so in order to advance the following goals:

1) To determine whether there was evidence that American POWs survived Operation Homecoming and, if so, whether there was evidence that some may have been alive in captivity;

2) To ensure the adequacy of government procedures for following up on live-sighting reports and other POW/MIA related information;

3) To de-mystify the POW/MIA accounting process so that the families and the public can better understand the meaning behind the numbers and statistics used in discussions of the issue;

4) To establish an open, comprehensive record, and to provide for the broad declassification of POW/MIA materials in order to enable both the Committee and the public to make informed judgments about questions of policy, process, and fact;

5) To lend added weight to Executive branch efforts to obtain cooperation from foreign governments in Southeast Asia and elsewhere in accounting for missing Americans;

6) To review the activities of private organizations who participate in fundraising and educational efforts related to the POW/MIA issue; and

7) To examine, to the extent time and resources permit, unresolved issues pertaining to missing Americans from World War II, Korea, and the Cold War.

The Committee’s Final Report was issued on January 13, 1993.

US Senate Select Committee Hearings on POW/MIA Recovery and Accounting

2009, April 2, POW/MIA Recovery and Accounting, Panel 1, Part 1

2009, April 2, POW/MIA Recovery and Accounting, Panel 1, Part 2

2009, April 2, POW/MIA Recovery and Accounting, Panel 2