Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs:
Minority Report
Minority View

Everyone agrees that bad intelligence sources produce bad results. Therefore, if all the sightings of U.S. POWs in captivity since Operation Homecoming are erroneous, then these reports are irrelevant. But this is not the case. Even the DIA accepts that a number of the intelligence sources are credible, such as the source known as the "mortician."

The minority could not accept at face value many of DIA's final evaluations of sources. For example, the minority would not accept DIA's resolution that a live sighting was not credible when the source passed multiple polygraphs and every item of his account had been verified. Some investigators contend that it is reasonable to draw a conclusion that a source of this quality provided credible information.

More than any other document, the Brooks Memorandum of September 1985 led the minority to accept a broader, more thorough, and more all-encompassing approach to the analysis of the intelligence. Use of a cluster-map analysis enabled Committee investigators to:

. assess together both the hearsay and the first-hand live- sighting reports;

. mesh technical intelligence information with human source reporting;

. discover patterns and relationships in the intelligence not evident in DIA files; and

. establish a baseline to check the validity of the source evaluations done by DIA.

One of the clearest differences between the two approaches is seen in the results. In every instance that DIA found the source of a live-sighting report after 1973 to be credible, the DIA analysts left the resolution of the sighting open-ended, or decided that the source had to have been mistaken as to the identity of the persons seen, regardless of what the source said. In the former case, no additional analysis was evident. In the latter, none was needed.

The minority assessed that credible sources produced believable reports and credible information. Additional analysis could lead to additional results. By using cluster and other forms of pattern analysis, the minority learned, for example:

. the existence of logistic and administrative relationships among camps in northwestern Laos and among camps in northwestern Vietnam that are not reflected in DIA documents;

. evidence of a possible second set of camps in Vietnam from which no prisoners returned; and

. differences in the policies, the patterns, and the characteristics of POW incarceration in Vietnam and in Laos.

Most importantly, the cluster-map analysis created a context for interpreting and understanding the limited amounts of signals intelligence of POW movements is Laos and Vietnam, and for the photography of alleged distress signals. In every instance, the signal intercepts and the alleged distress signals coincided with a cluster of live-sighting report posted to the map. This integration had never been done before.

In conclusion, the minority believes that, based on this analysis, the intelligence indicates a strong possibility that Americans remained alive until 1989; however, we cannot prove it.

During the Select Committee's final week of hearings in early December, 1992, Vice-Chairman Bob Smith noted that:

Our intelligence agencies have confirmed the existence of, and I quote, "a below-grade infrastructure far more elaborate than one would find at a mausoleum." We have also heard from the Russian Ambassador that there is a restricted underground area beneath the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum...there is a very large underground area beneath Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum and the Citadel that certainly would have been large enough and secure enough to detain any number of American POWs in the 1980's.