By the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Republican Staff, May 23, 1991
   After examining hundreds of documents relating to the raw intelligence, and interviewing many families and friends of POW/MIAs, the Minority Staff concluded that, despite public pronouncements to the contrary, the real, internal policy of the U.S. government was to act upon the presumption that all MIAs were dead. As a result, the Minority Staff found, any evidence that suggested an MIA might be alive was uniformly and arbitrarily rejected, and all efforts were directed towards finding and identifying remains of dead personnel, even though the U.S.government's techniques of identification were inadequate and deeply flawed.
   The Gulf War is not yet history, but the brief span of fighting provided several examples of the inability of the U.S. Government to cope with the problems of accounting for the missing-examples which are still fresh from the newspapers.
   History shows that Soviet and Asian Communist regimes view POW/MIAs, living or dead, not as a problem of humanitarian concern but as leverage for political bargaining, as an involuntary source of technical assistance, and as forced labor. There is, therefore, no compelling reason in Communist logic to return POWs, or their remains, so long as political and economic goals have not been met. The logic of the Vietnamese position requires them to conceal, to dissimulate, to titillate, and to dole out actual information grudgingly, piece by piece, but always in return for very practical results.
   World War II was a great military victory for the United States Armed Forces. In both the European and the Pacific theaters, the enemy unconditionally surrendered. However, despite the total victory in Europe by Allied forces, thousands and thousands of U.S. soldiers -- perhaps as many as 20,000 -- were never repatriated from prisoner of war (POW) camps, prisons and forced labor and concentration camps.
   After KOREA the fate of the more than 8,000 men listed as MIA who were administratively found to be "presumed dead" is a mystery. No rebuttal was ever made to General Van Fleet, who stated in the fall of 1953 his belief that a large percentage of the 8,000 American soldiers listed as missing in Korea were alive. "A large percentage" translates into thousands of U.S. soldiers who were never repatriated by the Communist forces after the Korean war. At the conclusion of operation BIG SWITCH, the United States Government failed to pursue vigorously credible reports and left U.S. citizens, held against their will, in custody of the North Koreans, the mainland Chinese, and the USSR. Whether any of these men are still alive is --tragically--unclear.
   "A full accounting of all Vietnam POW/MIAs as described in the Paris Peace Accords could have been achieved if Congress and the American public had known of Nixon's Secret Letter[ $3.25 billion in war reparations-hand delivered by Kissenger to NV Prime Minister],and if Congress had been given all information on MIAs possessed by the U.S.government, instead of a cover-up."
   "In the light of what appears to be a compelling need on the part of DOD to uphold the "no evidence" policy, the Minority Staff believes that, if even one POW who was detained in South East Asia is still alive, no resources of the U.S.Government should be spared to locate him and effect his return to the United States if he so desires."