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No. of Recommendations: 4
We seem to have a flyer still captive in Iraq. I don't think they're raping him as they did our female Army nurse prisoner but I think it's high time we got him out.

I don't really care if it is done diplomatically or by 'pressure' to convince Sadman the 'costs' of holding him are too high, just don't let him become the victim of our similar losses during the 'Cold War' where we just wrote the people off.

"FREE SPEICHER!"

An Iraqi castle a day for a month until he's returned or we start on other targets like military and secret police sites.

Please pass your views on, numbers mean strenght.

Tigerman
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No. of Recommendations: 0
What's the source on the Speicher story? I recall a documentary on him.....maybe 60 Minutes.....had to be 3 years ago at least.

Is there any really hard evidence he is still alive?

Yoda
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No. of Recommendations: 4
We seem to have a flyer still captive in Iraq.

No, in the case of Lt Cdr Michael Speicher, we seem to have some people who claim the absence of proof of death is the same as proof of life. According to the media reports (CNN and Washington Post), the reports that Iraq is holding a live POW are based on second-hand and third-hand reports from people who have financial interests in finding a live POW. It doesn't mean the reports are wrong, but it does mean we should put appropriate weight on the reports.

In Vietnam all the real POWs were returned at Operation Homecoming. There were a few defectors who stayed behind -- including ex-Marine Bobby Garwood -- until the Vietnamese threw them out of the country. Unfortunately, there were MANY bottom-feeders who preyed on the hopes and fears of surviving family members that their government had abandoned their loved ones in the jungles of Southeast Asia, and these slimy worms managed to milk money from the families for years. The same thing seems to be happening with the case of Cdr Speicher.

I don't claim the reports that Cdr Speicher is a live POW are wrong. I merely point out the evidence to support the reports is shakey at best.

One would wonder why Saddam Hussein would want to keep a live POW for 10 years. The purpose of keeping POWs is for ransom or political advantage. Achieving those purposes requires publicizing the POWs. Saddam is a serious nut-case, but I find it hard to believe that even he would want to keep a secret POW as a pet. One would think that when Iraq was balking over the UN weapons inspectors, that would have been the time to reveal Saddam was holding a secret POW.

David Jacobs
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No. of Recommendations: 2
The (Norfolk) Virginian Pilot did a 5 part special investigation on Speicher earlier this year (Jan time frame). I haven't read it in a while, as I recall they doubt he's still alive, but leave the possibility out there. It does cover the opening night of the war, the initial investigation, and the process of changing his status from KIA to MIA.

http://www.pilotonline.com/special/missing/

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No. of Recommendations: 0
This story was on CNN.com yesterday. A source was quoted as saying that he thought if Saddam had a POW, he would be parading him around, so he doubted the man was still alive.
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In Vietnam all the real POWs were returned at Operation Homecoming. There were a few defectors who stayed behind -- including ex-Marine Bobby Garwood -- until the Vietnamese threw them out of the country.

Found a website or two on this. Never heard of it before (showing my youth, now if only my knees would do the same) and found it very interesting. Are there any books on this operation? Any info on the defectors?

Binkley
*Trivia and history buff

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No. of Recommendations: 1
"We seem to have a flyer still captive in Iraq. I don't think they're raping him as they did our female Army nurse prisoner but I think it's high time we got him out."

I believe she was a female Army flight surgeon - Rhonda Cornum, (?sp)
if we're thinking of the same person.

JME sends
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Found a website or two on this. Never heard of it before (showing my youth, now if only my knees would do the same) and found it very interesting. Are there any books on this operation? Any info on the defectors?

Probably the best place to start is the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office. You can jump to their web site from this link:
http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/

Within the Department of Defense, you should look at these two web sites:

Joint Task Force Full Accounting
http://www.pacom.mil/staff/jtffa.htm

U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory
http://www.cilhi.army.mil/

Most of the veterans organizations have information on POW/MIA issues. Here's a short list you may want to pursue:

American Legion
http://www.legion.org/

Veterans of Foreign Wars
http://www.vfw.org/

Vietnam Veterans of America
http://www.vva.org/

There's a ton of organizations supporting surviving family members. Opinions vary on their value, but I think most of them are parasites. The one I regard as the least disreputable of the lot is the National League of POW/MIA Families. You can jump to their web site from this link:
http://www.pow-miafamilies.org/

The U.S. Embassies in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos; and the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian Embassies in the U.S. have information on their web sites that may interest you.

Vietnam
http://usembassy.state.gov/vietnam/
http://usembassy.state.gov/vietnam/wwwhjtf.html
http://www.vietnamembassy-usa.org/

Cambodia
http://usembassy.state.gov/cambodia/
http://www.embassy.org/cambodia/

Laos
http://usembassy.state.gov/laos/
http://www.laoembassy.com/

There are a lot of books published on POW/MIA issues over the last 25 years, and an incredible amount of junk. My POW/MIA library is in my office at work. I'll take some notes tomorrow and post a follow up to this post with a list of some of the books I regard as better books. There's one book in particular on ex-Marine Bobby Garwood that you may find interesting. There's also an "official" DoD book -- the text is fluff, but the pictures are good.

David Jacobs
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I believe she was a female Army flight surgeon - Rhonda Cornum, (?sp)
if we're thinking of the same person.


I think she was the same one as portraited by, was it Meg Ryan?, in a movie regarding the chopper that was shot down and wounded and walking wounded were involved.
We shopped in the same feed store when I lived near Somerset Texas, and the lady involved and I only exchanged small talk as I didn't think it appropriate to go into the matter. I did hear the Pat and his brother, who are the owners, and other customers discussing her bravery, strength and other noble traits.

The folks in the opposition in Afghanistan and surrounding countries have such different perspectives, none probably have even read the Geneva Conventions let alone decided to follow them and their normed behavior for conducting war outside of the direct act of shooting isn't anywhere near what we call necessary or 'right', yet some Americans and human rights groups rail about innocent casualties, collateral damage and treatment of detainees.

The Al Qaeda outsiders, non-Afghans, travel in combat with their families by their side, in some cases, they all kill their detainees and then, on the other hand, we have do-gooders not involved, people who may simply 'mean' well, crying because they're probably feeling guilty about being alive themselves , hate the "military-industrialist complex" or they're living well but feeling guilty under free enterprise and complaining loudly about how we 'treat' the detainees we capture or about those from whom we've removed their birthdays.

How can Human Rights Watch complain about detainee treatment and quibble about the enclosures they're being kept in being called cages instead of cells while never addressing the larger issues?


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I'll take some notes tomorrow and post a follow up to this post with a list of some of the books I regard as better books. There's one book in particular on ex-Marine Bobby Garwood that you may find interesting. There's also an "official" DoD book -- the text is fluff, but the pictures are good.
David Jacobs


Thanks DJ.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I don't really care if it is done diplomatically or by 'pressure' to convince Sadman the 'costs' of holding him are too high, just don't let him become the victim of our similar losses during the 'Cold War' where we just wrote the people off.

A good read is Nelson DeMille's "The Charm School"

A neat conspiracy.

JT
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I think she was the same one as portraited by, was it Meg Ryan?, in a movie regarding the chopper that was shot down

You're thinking of Courage Under Fire. Meg Ryan portrayed Captain Karen Walden, pilot of a Blackhawk that was shot down during the Gulf War. (The story is fictional, BTW)

HockeyPhool
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No. of Recommendations: 1
"I think she was the same one as portraited by, was it Meg Ryan?, in a movie regarding the chopper that was shot down and wounded and walking wounded were involved. "

TGRMN -

I've actually not seen that movie, but I don't think it was based on
her experience. Last I heard, Dr. Cornum (again, I'm probably
spelling her name wrong..) was an Army urologist somewhere.

JME sends
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No. of Recommendations: 1
There are a lot of books published on POW/MIA issues over the last 25 years, and an incredible amount of junk. My POW/MIA library is in my office at work. I'll take some notes tomorrow and post a follow up to this post with a list of some of the books I regard as better books. There's one book in particular on ex-Marine Bobby Garwood that you may find interesting. There's also an "official" DoD book -- the text is fluff, but the pictures are good.

Bibliography

For your personal library

Nguyen, Thu Xuan. Vietnamese Phrasebook. Lonely Planet Publications. ISBN 0-86442-347-0. The only book I recommend as a “must have” for your personal library. The cultural notes alone are worth the $6 cover price. The vocabulary is practical, and the book is organized for “pointy-talky” conversations.

Storey, Robert and Daniel Robinson. Vietnam. One of the travel books in the Lonely Planet series. A good all around guide to Vietnam. Also look at the Lonely Planet guide for Southeast Asia (called the yellow bible because originally the cover was yellow).


Highly recommended

Franklin, H. Bruce. M.I.A.: Mythmaking in America.

Keating, Susan Katz. Prisoners of Hope: Exploiting the POW/MIA Myth in America.

Mather, Paul. M.I.A.: Accounting for the Missing in Southeast Asia. Explains the history of United States Government efforts to resolve the fates of MIAs from just prior to the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam through just before Joint Task Force Full Accounting was created.

McConnell, Malcolm. Inside Hanoi's Secret Archives: Solving the MIA Mystery. Describes research Theodore Schweitzer did in the government archives of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.


Recommended

McMaster, H.R., Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.

McNamara, Robert S. In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam.

Moore, LTG Harold G. We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young. Basis for the Mel Gibson movie, We Were Soldiers

United States Senate. Report of the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. Report 103-1. Dated January 13, 1993. Apolitical and balanced. Since it doesn't damn USG policy, the conspiracy theorists point to it as an example of the continuing conspiracy.


Books you should peruse (because people will ask you if you've read them)

Anton, Frank. Why Didn't You Get Me Out? Describes conditions in the Viet Cong prisons. The last chapter is a nice summary of the conspiracy theory argument.

Jensen-Stevenson, Monika. Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed its Own POWs in Vietnam. A favorite book of conspiracy theorists.

Jensen-Stevenson, Monika. Spite House: The Last Secret of the War in Vietnam. Argues ex-Marine PFC Bobby Garwood, who was convicted at court-martial of collaborating with the enemy, was really a misunderstood patriot.


Other books

Rochester, Stuart and Frederick Kiley. Honor Bound: The History of American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia. GPO Order Number 008-000-00734-9. The “official” history from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Historical Office.


Magazines

Vietnam. P.O. Box 420573, Palm Coast, Florida 32142-8969, telephone 800-829-3340. $19.95 per year (six issues).


Web Sites

MIA Information
http://www.miafacts.org

Viet Nam News (English language Vietnamese newspaper)
http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn

NOTE: Viet Nam News uses special fonts. Users may download the fonts from the home page to their font directory. It only takes a few minutes, but reading the page without the special fonts is frustrating.
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You're thinking of Courage Under Fire. Meg Ryan portrayed Captain Karen Walden, pilot of a Blackhawk that was shot down during the Gulf War. (The story is fictional, BTW)
HockeyPhool


Thanks, I'd only seen bits of the movie and thought it was an actual story. I must have missed enough of it to not have seen it wasn't about the same incident.

I think when I knew her she was either still working at Ft. Sam, the 5th I believe, or she got out.

Tigerman
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I've actually not seen that movie, but I don't think it was based on
her experience. Last I heard, Dr. Cornum (again, I'm probably
spelling her name wrong..) was an Army urologist somewhere.
JME sends


Thanks JME, I posted in reply to Hockeyphool, I think, she was at Ft, Sam or she got out, back in the late 80s when I knew her. I could call the feed store and check if you're curious. Pat and Ray know everything.

Tigerman
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Thanks for the bio list.

Some 'Cold War' folks who never returned are referenced in this site some of the old spinners and grinners set up.


http://www.silent-warriors.com/

Tigerman - 'Skivvy-Niner'
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No. of Recommendations: 1
The physician in question is Rhonda Cornum who served as a flight surgeon in the Gulf. According to her oral statements and Peter Copleland's book, She Went to War: The Rhonda Cornum Story, the Iraqui were equal-opportunity rapists who did not distinguish between male and female prisoners. COL Cornum completed urology training after her return from the Gulf and as of last year she was still on active duty as chief of a urology service in an Army medical center.
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