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A Review of8 National Intkjlugence Estimate on POW/MIA Issues and the Charges Levied byritical Assessment oe the Estlvute


Maniuto Deputy Impeclor General Department of Defense

L BriU Snider

Inspector General

Central Intelligence Agency

flf'ROVlDflllUUU Ml iU fill






Structure of


Operation Homecoming and the End of the

The House Select Committee on Missing Persons in


Progress on POW/mia

Carter Years

Reagan Years

Busb Years

The Road

Senate Select


Four Key

Certification/Determina tlon Of Coopera

Intelligence Community

CIA Tarns to Department of

Intelligence Priorities and Standing

Evolution of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel2

DoD Agencies Supporting POW/MIA

Joint Task Force-Full

Central Identification Laboratory,


RoleRussia Joint Commission on



Standard NIE



Request for POW/MIA Estimate: Political

Negotiation of Terms of Reference




SSCI Response and Final

The Issue of

Senator Smith Meeting With

Research, Analysis,ebruary



DPMO Withdraws from

Meetings with DPMO

Examining the DO

Other Contributors of

Review and Coordination (February-March

First and Second Draftsndebruary




IC Coordination



MIB and NFIB Meetings (April

Another Round of


Two More Outside


Criticism of

Senator Smith Meets With NIO/EA (June

Release ofCrlllcal Assessment (November

MIB and NFIB Meetings (January





A Question of Political

Refusal to

Mistreatment of

Recovery and Repatriation of

Manipulation of

Repatriation of

The Saga of the

Numbers of POW/MLAj5

Two Distinct


Historical Setting of

Historical Setting of5

A Point of

Assessment of Comments by Russian Sources on



Validity and

Separate or Second Prison

Alleged Transfers of POWs from Vietnam to the

The Russian

The Central Committee



The McDonnell

Circumstances of


The Vietnamese

Captain McDonnells Status




Specific Allegations of

DoD Testimony (March and June



Charges of Politicization in


IC Analysis: Timing of

Charges of Improper

General Charge of



Quality of NIE

A Final



ummary of Selected Prior Reports

ethodology Used in Examining Charges in the Critical Assessment

ntelligence Community Publications Reviewed by National Intelligence Estimate Drafter

ecovery and Remains Documentation Reviewed by NIE Drafter

omments by Russianase Reviewesults of Compelling Caseaptain McDonnell Caseistribution List



Onhe President's National Security Adviser indicatedetter to the Senate Majority Leader that he would direct the Intelligence Community toational Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Vietnam's cooperation with the United States on Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) issues. Terms of Reference for the estimate were formulated by the National Intelligence Council and coordinated with members of the Intelligence Community and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The draft estimate was presented to the Military Intelligence Board and the National Foreign Intelligence Board for approval innd, "Vietnamese Intentions, Capabilities, and Performance Concerning the POW/MIAas published in1

Senator Robert C. Smithritical Assessment'of the NIE in8 and asked that the Military Intelligence Board and the National Foreign Intelligence Board retract the estimate for reasons cited in his assessment. Inhe Director of Central Intelligence advised Senator Smith that both boards had voted unanimously to let the estimate stand, describing it as an accurate assessment of current knowledge and understanding of the POW/MIA issue. Senator Smith continued to demand that the estimate be retracted and, onhe Senate Select Committee on Intelligence requested that the Inspectors General of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense examine the estimate and the charges made in the Critical Assessment. Weoint inquiry in

1 The NTE has been dccUsilfled tor release and is available on the CIA public website atwwi3ia.ucia.gov or by writing to Information and Privacy Coordinator, Central Intelligence Agency.

The Intelligence Community was asked to address two key issues inhe extent to which Vietnam has cooperated with the United States7 to achieve the fullest possible accounting of American personnel missing in action during the Vietnam conflict and the credibility of5 documents, acquired from Russian archives, which raised questions about whether all American prisoners of war were released

by Vietnam2 The estimate stated that Vietnam has become more helpful in. efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting, but that unresolved issues suggest the need for continued close attention by. Government. It concluded that5 documents probably had been acquired in Vietnam by Soviet military intelligence, but that many of the details in the documents are implausible, particularly those dealing with (he numbers of prisoners of war allegedly held by Hanoi in the.

Senator Smith's Critical Assessment challenged the estimate's conclusions on both key issues. On the subject of Vietnamese cooperation. It cited numerous Instances where the estimate's analysis was "factually inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, shallow, and seriouslyith respect to5 documents, the Critical Assessment stated that the estimate's judgment cannot be accepted because it Is "replete with inaccurate and misleading statements, andeasonably thorough and objective foundation on which to base itshe Critical Assessment urged Congressntelligence Community to examine the role policymakers responsible for advancing the Clinton Administration's normalization agenda with Vietnam may have played In Influencing judgments in the estimate.


2ore detailed description of these document, see pagef the report

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence asked us to examine the Critical Assessment's charges that the estimateremeditated effort to discredit relevant information, inadequate analysis, and possible politicization. Our objective was to assess the validity of those charges In order to evaluate the estimate's analytical vigor, objectivity, accuracy, and completeness.


Based on our review, we conclude that:

estimate drafter and members of the Intelligence Community who participated in the preparation of the estimate made no effort to discredit relevant information. The drafter had access to and reviewed relevant documentation.

The estimate drafter Is vulnerable to criticism that he did not pay sufficient attention to7 documentation, relying on finished intelligence products for analysis ofata. The issue of the period of time the estimate would cover was never resolved.

Delay in the completion of the Terms of Reference from July tohe Senate Select Committee's additional requirement that the estimate reassess5 documents; and the introduction ofew National Intelligence Officer for East Asiaew drafter contributed to misunderstandings about estimate objectives.

We searched for documentation as far back as the document trail allowed. None of the information we reviewed contradicted the conclusions or changed the judgments reached by the estimate.

overall quality of the estimate is high- The argumentation is vigorous and logical, and the conclusions are well-documented. At the same time:

withdrawal of the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office from the estimate process Inhibited analysis. Whileember of the Intelligence Community, that office possesses most of. Government's data and expertise on POW/MIA issues.

analytical mistakes made in the estimate could have been prevented had the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office reviewed the draft estimate None of these mistakes affected the conclusions or Judgments of the estimate, however.

The estimate's judgment that Vietnam's performance in dealing with POW/MIA issues has been good in recent years is properly cautious, particularly given the caveat that unresolved areas of Vietnamese cooperation warrant continued close attention by. Government.

The Intelligence Community did not conduct an In-depth re-evaluation of5 documents The Intelligence Community also did not undertake an independent review of the numbers of prisoners of war held by the Vietnamese. Instead, the estimate accepted both4 Intelligence Community position related to the legitimacy and accuracy of the documents and. Government analysis of the numbers of prisoners of war and missing in action. We reviewed both in considerable depth.

We determined that the estimate's evaluation of5 documents remains valid. The documents are genuine, but the information contained in them related to numbers of prisoners of war held by the Vietnamese is Inaccurate.

Our analysis of discrepancy or compelling cases for which verified remains have not been returned determined that, at most, three of the cases and, in all likelihood, noneistrovided by Senator Smith to the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs2 remain compelling today.

estimate failed to capture the intricacies of the story of the mortician who worked on the remains of American prisoners of war in Vietnam. It mislabeled the mortician an unreliable source when in fact he was reliable with respect to remains he had actually worked on: his estimate of stored remains that he had not worked on was less accurate.

estimate overstated its case that there is no evidence the Vietnamese currently are storing the remains of American prisoners of war.

The estimate did mention, however,epartment of Defense study on the subject would provide additional Information.

That study, issued inoreear after publication of the estimate, concluded that there Is strong evidence in two cases involving five remains that remains were collected and taken to Hanoi, but not repatriated, investigation continues.

We found no credible evidence to support the thesisecond prison camp system for prisoners of war existed or that American prisoners of war were transported out of Vietnam to the former Soviet Union or elsewhere.

We found no credible evidence that any member of the Clinton Administration tried to influence the estimate or that the Administration tried to influence intelligence reporting on POW/MIA issues related to5 documents. On the contrary, the concern expressed by policymakers was that the Intelligence Community not appear to be dismissing or debunking information from those documents.

Smith and his staff did have an impact on the estimate. Theyole in framing the final Terms of Reference. Senator Smith expressed his opinion on issues to be addressed in the estimate to members of the Intelligence Community, and he said that he was not confident that the Clinton Administration would not interfere in the estimate process.

Members of the Intelligence Community as well as outside readers of the draft estimate were keenly aware that ihe estimate would be criticized by those who believed the Vietnamese were not cooperating in good faith on POW/MIA matters and those who believed that American prisoners of war were left behind In Vietnam and elsewheret numerous stages in the production of the estimate, these intelligence officials and outside readers successfullyoftening of the tone to placate those who might be critical. These interventions did not change the judgments of the estimate.

Finally, while we were not asked to address this issue, we did nutingle factual thread thatinding contrary to that reported to the Speaker of the House of Representatives by Congressman G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery inollowing his Committee's investigation of POW/MIA issues. He conveyed the committees belief that "no Americans are still being held alive as prisoners in Indochina, or elsewhere,esult of the war in. Administration6 has agreed with this conclusion, and we found nothing in the course of Lhls inquiry that suggests otherwise.



Onetter to the Senate Majority Leader, the President's National Security Adviser indicated that he would direct the Intelligence Communityoational Intelligence Estimaten Vietnam's cooperation with the United States on Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA)e said that the IC should "consult" with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) on the estimate's Terms of Referencehe TOR were formulated by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and coordinated with the IC and the SSCI. The NIE draft report was presented to the Military Intelligence Board (MIB) and the National Foreign Intelligence Board (NFIB) for approval In. "Vietnamese Intentions. Capabilities, and Performance Concerning the POW/MIAatedas issued in

1 The IC Is composed of the Central Intelligence Agencyhe National Security Agencyhe Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INRJ. the National Reconnaissance Officehe National Imagery and Mapping Agencynd intelligence elements of the Department of Justice, the Deparimem of the Treasury, the Department of Energy, and the Military Services.

* NIEs are produced by the NIC They are prepared for the President and other senior policymakers on Issues that have strategy implication* for thees They are the must authoritative mitten assessments of the DCI and the IC because they present the coordinated views of senior officers of the IC.

1 POWs arc persons known to be. or to have been, held by the enemy as live prisoners or lost seen under enemy control MlAs are persons removed from control of US. forces due to enemy action, but not known to be either prisoners of war or dead.

Senator Robert C. Smithritical Assessment ofnetter accompanying the Critical Assessment he requested the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and the Director. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to convene meetings of the NFIB and the MIB. respectively, to consider his request that the NIE be retracted for reasons cited in the Critical Assessment The MIB met on9 to review the matter in detail and the NFIB convened four days later. The DO advised Senator Smith that IC members had voted unanimously to let the estimate stand, describing it as an accurate assessment of current knowledge and understanding of the POW/MIA issue.

Onhe SSCI Informed the Inspectors General (IG) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) that Senator Smith "continues to assert thatroduct of either "shoddy research or possible politicization, which mayremeditated and deliberate effort to discredit relevanturther, the SSCI said. Senator Smith believes the NIE should be retracted and that policymakers should disregard the conclusions. The SSCI requested that the IGs conduct an inquiry to determine the NIE's "analytical vigor, objectivity, accuracy andoint CIA/DoD Inquiry began in


Our objective was to examine3 and address the charges levied in the Critical Assessment that there had been:

A premeditated effort to discredit relevant information;

Inadequate analysis; or

Possible politicization.

Our approach was to review the process of producing the estimate and assess the validity of the Critical Assessment's specific charges. By so doing, we could evaluate the NIE's analytical vigor, objectivity, accuracy, and completeness.

Structure of report

Our report is presented in six parts, including the Introductionart II provides an historical perspective of the VieUiam War POW/MIA issue. Part in describes the standard NIE process and the process followed for. Part IV examines the specific, substantive charges levied In the Critical Assessment.ddresses the Critical Assessment's charges of politicization. In Part VI. we provide our conclusions.escribes the methodology we used In preparing our report, andummary of previous reports and reviews related to topics addressed in this report.escribes our methodology In addressing the Critical Assessments charges against the NIE.. Government publications reviewed by the drafter of the NIE.ummarizes the interviews of Russian officials

concerning the validity of5 documents found in the archives of Soviet military intelligence (GRU) and the credibility of the information In those documents relating to numbers of POWs held by the Vietnamese.escribes the methodology we used in conducting our review of selected discrepancy cases, andupplies the supporting matrix of information relating to that review. In Annex I. we detail the process used toingle case. MIA.ontains our distributionist of commonly used acronyms is at the front of our report.


Operation Homecoming and the End of the War

During the period. military involvement in Southeast Asia, nearly three million American military personnel servedore0 were killed andere wounded. At the time of Operation Homecoming in1 US. prisoners were repatriated. The fate of moreervice personnel, however, had not been. efforts to resolve cases Involving those still missing have continued and have been the subject of considerable debate, ranging from high praise to strong criticism. The Issue of the number of servicemen still unaccounted for also has remained controversial.7

Onepresentatives from the United Stales, the Republic of Vietnam, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Northnd the Provisional Revolutionary Covemment of the Republic of South Vietnam ('Vietigned "The Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace Inlso known as the Paris Peace Accords.) of the Accord stated:

The parties shall help each other to get Information about those military personnel and foreign civilians of the parties missing In action, to determine the location and take care of the graves or the dead so as to facilitate the exhumation and repatriation of the remains, and to take any such other measure as may be required to get Information about those still considered missing in action.

The Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC) was established3 to help the Military Services:

6 The Indochina War Era covers the period9 throughhe term "unaccountedn all-inclusive term which includes Americans initially listed as POW/MIA. Killed in Action- Body Not Recovered (KIAr asresumptive Finding of Death (PFOD)

esolve the status of United States missing/body notthrough the conduct of operations to locate andsites and recover remains, as appropriate,Asia

The JCRCelationship with. Army Central Identification Laboratory, which was charged to examine and Identify any remains recoveredesult of JCRC searches or unilateral repatriation of remains by the North Vietnamese. The JCRC and the Army Central Identification Laboratory moved to Hawaiihe latter became the Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii (CILHI).

The House Select Committee on Missing Persons in Southeast Asia

In. House of Representativeselect Committee on Missing Persons in Southeast Asia, headed by. (Sonny) Montgomery; the committee was tasked toull and complete investigation and study of:

problem. servicemen still identified as missing in action, as well as those known dead whose bodies have not been recovered,esult of military operations in Indochina; and

need for additional international Inspection teams to determine whether there are servicemen still held as prisoners of war or civilians held captive or unwillingly detained.

The committeemonth investigation. Its final report, issued inoncluded that 'no Americans are still being held alive as prisoners in Indochina, or elsewhere,esult of the war inalf of the ten committee members voiced displeasure with that conclusion as well as other Judgments and recommendations In the report.

Progress on POW/MIA Issue


Early in his Administration. President Carterresidential Commission headed by Leonard Woodcock, the President of the United Auto Workers. The purpose of the Commissiono obtain the best possible accounting for MlAs and the return of the remains of ourhe report of die Presidential Commissionhere is no evidence to indicate that any American POWs from the Indochina conflict

remainhe commission recommended that normalization of relations with the Vietnamese should be pursued through the resumption of talks In Paris. Several members of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and Pacific Affairs strongly criticized the report in hearings conducted in

Direct talks aimed at normalization between the United States and Vietnam took place in Paris ininle progress on the issue of missing Americans was made, however. Several congressional delegations traveled to Hanoi and members of the JCRC visited Hanoi0 for technical discussions with officials from the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Personsut the exchanges were largely unproductive. Inn interagency group was established 'to review and assess current events and policies [and| to consider future direction/policy to resolve the POW/MIAembers of the group included representatives from the Departments of State (DoS) and Defense, the National Security Councilhe Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia.


Infter President Reagan designated ihe POW/MIAatter of the highest national priority, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defenseelegation to Vietnam to discuss cooperation. Vietnamese officials indicated that thereonnection between their cooperation on the MIA issue and. attitude toward Vietnam.2everal. Government delegations visited Vietnam to discuss expanded cooperation, and technical meetings between JCRC. CILHI and the Vietnamese were conducted.

earlyears after Operation Homecoming, resolution of the POW/MIA issueistant possibility. In an effort to energize the issue. President Reagan appointed General John W. Vessey. Jr. {USAs his special emissary to Vietnam inneneral Vessey met with the Vietnamese Foreign Minister for three days of talks In Hanoi. The Foreign Minister committed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) to resuming efforts to resolve the MIA Issue and agreed to address the most urgent cases, those In which the missing jjerson was last known by the United States to be alive but who did not return during Operation Homecoming. These became known as the Vessey discrepancy

cases. Both parties also agreed to resume technical talks. The resulteries of technical meetings In Hanoi between JCRC/CILHI members and the VNOSMP to work on casualty resolution and other meetings to discuss the provision of prosthetics with SRV public health and social affairs officials. Ineneral Vessey met the SRV Foreign Minister In New York to review the progress made since their initial meetinghe level of cooperation improved to the extent that six technical meetings were conducted in Hanoi. teams participated for the first time in joint investigative activity in Vietnam. Ineneral Vessey visitedecond time to discuss casualty resolution progress.

An "Inter-Agency Report of the Reagan Administration on the POW/MIA Issue in Southeastssued ononcluded that "we have yet to find conclusive evidence of the existence of live prisoners, and returnees at Operation Homecoming3 knew of no Americans who were left behind inhe report went on to say that:

Nevertheless, based upon circumstances of loss and other information, we knowew instances where Americans were captured and the governments involved acknowledge that some Americans died in captivity, but there has been no accounting of them.


In an exchange of letters between General Vessey and the SRV Foreign Minister inhe General pointed out that, after some initial positive results regarding the POW/MIA issue, "progress has become painfully slow, in fact, almostnd that there waseal need forhe Foreign Minister disputed the General's assessment. He stated that more thanears had elapsed since the war ended and that "Vietnam continues its efforts to solve this humanitarian Issue. Including the seeking of war-timehe Foreign Minister Invited General Vessey to return to Vietnam to clarify remaining issues. General Vessey did not return to Vietnam untilut that visit was noteworthy because agreement was reached to. liaison office in Hanoi. The purpose of the office was to improve the coordination between SRV casualty resolution officials and the United States and to speed Joint investigative fieldwork. The liaison office opened in

The Road Map

esultSRV meetings inhe Bush Administrationolicy ofVietnamese actions in accordanceoad map that had three major sets. objectives:

Support for the United Nations peace process in Cambodia;

Release of re-education camp detainees; and

Assistance in achieving the fullest possible accounting of POW/MIAs.

At intermediate points along theoth parties would take specific actions, such as the lifting. restrictions on the travel of American business and veterans groups to Vietnam. Later,. trade embargo would be lifted. opposition to international lending to Vietnam would be halted. Vietnam would accelerate its efforts to account for. personnel.

Senate Select Committee

enate resolution established the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. The committee requested and received unprecedented access to the recordside range. Government agencies, including intelligence agencies and the White House. It solicited the sworn testimonies of "virtually every. military and civilian official or former official who hasajor role in POW/MIA affairs over the pasthe committee reviewed procedures for accounting for POW/MIA and. intelligence activities in relation to these issues. Its report issued oncknowledged that "there is no proof. POWs survived, but neither is there proof that all of those who did not return hadhe report suggested that there was evidence that indicated the possibility of survival, at leastmall number after Operation Homecoming.

Clintono date) Four Key Areas

Although the Clinton Administration does not use the term, its policy has been based on the road map developed by the Bush Administration. President Clinton asked General Vessey to conduct another mission to Vietnam in3 to seek further progress.resident Clinton announced that:

Progress [on POW/MIA] to date is simply not sufficient to warrant any change in our trade embargo or any further steps toward normalization. Any further steps inrelations will strictly depend on further progress by the Vietnamese on the POW/MIA Issue.

President Clinton's statement set out four key areas In which the United States expected to see greater efforts by Vietnam:

Concrete results from efforts by Vietnam to recover and repatriate American remains;

Continued resolution of the remaining discrepancy cases, and continued live sighting Investigations and field activities;

Further assistance in implementing trilateral Investigations with the Lao of POW/MIA cases along the Lao-Vietnam border; and

Accelerated efforts to provide all POW/MIA-related documents that will help lead to genuine answers.


A Presidential delegation that visited Vietnam later in3 reinforced the commitment to the fullest possible accounting for POW/MIAs and made it clear that the United States must see tangible progress in the four key areas. Vietnam representatives Indicated that they were committed to helping the United States resolve the issue and pledged

lo make every effort to achieve progress, but cautioned not to expect dramatic breakthroughs. Inhe Senateon-binding resolution urging the President to lift the trade embargo againstove supporters hoped would assist inull accounting of Americans still listed as missing in the Vietnam War.resident Clinton announced the lifting of the trade embargo and. one announced normalization of relations with Vietnam, saying that the time had come to move forward and bind up the wounds from the war.. Embassy in Hanoi was opened innongressman Douglas "Pete"ormer POW. was confirmed as the. Ambassador to Vietnam since the end of the war and the first to be posted to Hanoi

CertiHcation/Determmation Of Cooperation

ongress prohibited the use of appropriated funds to. diplomatic post in Vietnam or Increase the number of personnel assigned to the mission beyond the level existing on5 unless the President certified withinays, based upon all information available to the United States Government, that the Government of the SRV was "cooperating in full faith" with the United States in the four areas related to achieving the fullest possible accounting for American POW/MlAs from the Vietnam War. The four areas were those laid out by President Clinton' In8 iteration of that law. Congress changed the wording to certification that Vietnam is "fully cooperating in good faith."

1 Till* VI.. of the Departments of Commerce. Justice. State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act as containedhe Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act6 (Public Law 1WIMJ. and the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act7 (Public

President Clinton issued Presidential Determinations on66 that Vietnam was cooperating "in fullresidential Determinations9 declared that Vietnam was "fully cooperating in goodhe President Issued determinations in lieu of certifications, slating that the Department of Justice had advised him that it was unconstitutional for Congress to require him to certify because It "purports toondition on appropriationseans to direct my execution of responsibilities that the Constitution commits exclusively to thehe President

stated that he had decided to issue the determinations not because he was legally required to do so but ratheratter of inter-branch "comity."

The decision to certify or to determine that Vietnam is cooperating *in full faith" or "fully cooperating in good faith" on the four key issues related to POW/MIAsolicy decision. While the IC does not participate in that decision, the responsible policy agencies have available to them all the relevant intelligence information. Two policy directorates, the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Officen coordination with the Joint Task Force-Full Accountingnd the DoS, Office of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, are the major contributors to the NSC on this issue. The DoS establishes the policy position for annual certificationnd the DPMO reviews the proposal for accuracy after consultation with JTF-FA. The Director for Indochina, Thailand, and Burma. Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) also coordinates on the draft certification (determination) proposal. DoS. Bureau of Intelligence and Researchn IC member, reviews the draft proposal for accuracy only.


CIA Turns to Department of Defense

Inhe then-DCIemorandum to the NFIB. stating that he was establishing an Interagency Committee on Vietnam POW/MIAs under the aegis of DIA. The purpose of the committee would be to:

xhaust all intelligence within the Community regarding the location and identification of Americans who might be held or interned [sic| in Southeast Asia.

The DO asked that the appropriate NFIB agencies nominate representatives to serve on the committee and that all Intelligence 'presently held within the Intelligence Community" be given to the committee. In the years that followed, the DCI memorandum was interpreted to mean that DIA had been designated the lead agency for POW/MIA affairs and that other agencies wouldupporting role in that effort.

Subsequently, (he DIA Special Office for POW/MIA Affairsiglier profile. The Special Office handled technical investigations or specific cases and debriefings of refugees and other sources: It collated the information, then disseminated reports. Other government agencies provided support.

he DPMO was establishedeparate office outside of DIA. DPMO was designed to consolidate POW/MIA Issues (analytic, policy, and operations) under one umbrella. While this arrangement is unusual, it is not unique. DoS and DoD have both policy and operational missions, but they maintain elements that perform Intelligence analysis. In that regard, elements of the IC that address the Vietnam POW/MIA issue include the analytical components of DPMO and analysts in other agencies who are experts on Vietnam and who have worked the Issue in the past.

Intelligence Priorities and Standing Requirements

Presidential Decisionhich provides overall guidance for the IC. does not explicitly Include POW/MIA issues. The DCI Guidance on Intelligence Priorities, dateduilds ony addressing worldwide priorities in the context of the President's guidance. POW/MIA issues are included under support to military operations, and the IC has standing requirements that cover POW/MIA Issues.

Evolution of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office

The Secretary of Defense established the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) in3 to provide centralized management of POW/MIA affairs within the DoD The DPMO was headed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Regional Securityow the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Securityreation of the office brought together four disparate DoD offices that had been working POW/MIA issues:

* Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defensehis office was established1 within the office of the Secretary of

Defense to. and DoD policies on POW/MIA Issues The Deputy Assistant Secretary continued as the Director. DPMO, reporting to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Securityffice of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy;

DIA Special Office for POW/MIAs. This office was established during the Vietnam conflict to support operational commanders by collecting information on American service members classified as POWs or MIAs;

Documentation Office. This office was established by the Secretary of Defense1 to review and declassify materials pertaining to American POWs and MIAs lost in Southeast Asia. The office reported to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence |ASDnd

Force Russiahis office was established by the Army2 to supportRussla Joint Commission on POW/MIAs.

6 Defense Authorization Act directed that DoD establish an office for missing persons. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Affairs was designated as the Director of the newly restructured and renamed Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Officehe DPMO mission is to exercise policy, control and oversight within the DoD of the entire process for investigation and recovery related to missing persons (including matters related to search, rescue, escape andoordinate for the DoD with other departments and agencies of the United States on all matters concerning missing persons; and establish procedures to be followed by DoD boards of inquiry and by officials reviewing the reports of such boards. The DPMO maintains and gathers data on POW/MIA affairs for World War II, the Korean War. Vietnam, and the Cold War. The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy provides authority, direction and control over the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense reports through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for

International Security Affairs and serves as the principal assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy for all prisoner of war and missing in action matters. The primary responsibility of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense is developing and coordinating policy on such matters and representing the DoD in interagency processes. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense also ensures that the DoD effectively conducts efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting for US. personnel not yet accounted for from the Vietnam conflict.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs is assigned the collateral responsibility to serve as the Director. DPMO. This was done to ensure that the activities of the DPMO are fully integrated with the Office of the Secretary of Defense POW/MIA policy direction. The Director serves as the DoD focal point for all POW/MIA matters Including representing the DoD during negotiations with foreign governments. DPMO customers include the DoD. the Congress. POW/MIA families, and veterans organizations.

While the DPMO is not an Intelligence organization, it incorporates intelligence reporting into its all-source analysis of POW/MIA issues and individual cases. DPMO systematically requests that CIA. DIA. NSA. and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) provide required information. In fact, the National Defense Authorization Act8 (Public.. states that:

The Director of Central Intelligence, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall provide intelligence analysis on matters concerning prisoners of war and missingo all departments and agencies of the Federal Government involved In such matters.

Further, the Act directs the Secretary of Defense to:

nsure that the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office fakes into full account all Intelligence regarding mailersrisoners of war and missingn analyzing cases involving such persons.

DoD Agencies Supporting POW/MIA Mission

Joint Task Force-Full Accounting

Inhe Commander in. Pacific Command (USPACOM) formed the JTF-FA, at. Smith. Hawaii. The JTF-FA replaced the JCRC as the primary organization focused on full accounting for. personnel. The JTF-FA mission is to resolve the cases of Americans still unaccounted foresult of the Indochina War through investigations, archival research, and remains recovery operations The JTF-FA is structured to conduct the wide range of operations necessary to obtain the fullest possible accounting in Southeast Asia. The JTF-FA has four permanently deployed detachments In Southeast Asia to support JTF-FA teams that perform investigations and recovery efforts:n Thailand,n Vietnam.n Laos, andn Cambodia.

Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii

The Department of the Army Is designated as the executive agent for the Joint Mortuary Affairs Program. As the executive agenl. the Armyentral Mortuary Affairs Office and CILHI for processing remains from past conflicts. The CILHI mission is foremost humanitarian and requires deployment of Its personnel throughout the world, CILHI supports the full accounting mission by providing the personnel who make up the remains recovery teams deploying to Southeast Asia and by conducting forensic analysis of recovered remains.

Stony Beach

IA supplemented the JCRC effort bymall group of language-qualified personnel the task of gathering information related to possible live sightings of American POW/MIAs in Indochina. The Stony Beach program collects Information and performs analyses on alleged live sightings. POW/MIAs. Stony Beach operations are conducted exclusively in support of the POW/MIA issue.

RoleRussia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs

The DPMO supportsRussla Joint Commission on POW/MIAs. established2 by direction of the Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation. The commission servesorum through which both nations seek to determine the fates of tttelr missing service personnel. Americans missing from the Vietnam. Korean and Cold Wars and Russians lost in Afghanistan. The commission consists of representatives from the executive and legislative branches of. and Russian Covemments.. side of the commission Includes members of Congress, senior DoS and DoD personnel,epresentative from. National Archives. Within the DPMO. the Joint Commission Support Directorate (JCSD) functions as the sole collection, research, analytical, and administrative support element to. side ofRussia Joint Commission.

Private Groups

The wifeOW held captive in North Vietnam formed the National League of Families of Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asiahe League was formally structuredtax-free,nonpartisan, humanitarianhe League's bylaws specified that only family members of prisoners, missing, or killed-ln-action personnel were eligible for membership. In the beginning, most leadership positions were held by wives of POWs and MIAs. Operation Homecoming changed the composition and character of theew Executive Director liberalized membership requirements, and leadership evolved to parents away from the wives. The category of family members eligible for membership was expanded to include blood or lawful relatives of an American whorisoner or missing in Southeast Asia.

he Executive Director of the League was given access to POW/MIA classified information.or the firsteague delegation traveled to Vietnam and Laos to meet with government officials. The Executive Director wasull member of. Interagency group that discussed POW/MIA issues. The Executive Director has testified before congressional committees and has been

included In numerous government proceedings with Southeast Asia government officials.

Traditional veterans' organizations have shared interest In the POW/MIA issue. Including the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, and the Vietnam Veterans of America.rought the emergenceew organization, the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen. World War II-Korea-CoId War-Vietnam. It Is the only organization. servicemen from all wars and their families.


a National Intelligence Estimateompendium of basic judgments, accompanied by some supporting detail, that represent the collective viewpoint of the Intelligence Community. It is not an exhaustive compendium of every conceivable alternative explanation on every point of1 detail, slanted toarticular point or view. The operative word Isver which disagreements are common.

Senior DIA official

Standard NIE Process

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) Is an Intelligence Community (IC) entity, responsible for producing coordinated interagency papers. The NIC. which reports to the DCI in his capacity as head of the IC. consistshairman, Vice Chairman, National Intelligence Officersnd several staffs and production committees The NIOs interact regularly with senior intelligence consumers to assess and support their long-term needs. In addition, they actively consult with experts from academia, the corporate world, and think tanks in producing estimates and other coordinated IC products.

The NIC manages the IC's estimate process, bringing together expertise from inside and outside the government. The NIC Is one of the few bodies which speaks authoritatively on substantive Issues for the IChole. National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) are prepared for the President and other senior policymakers on Issues that have strategic impUcations for the United States. They are the most authoritative written assessments of the DCI and the IC because they present the coordinated views of the senior officers of the IC.

* The NFIB principals are the DCI. the Deputy Director. CIA Director. DIA. Director. DoS. INK. Director. NSA. Director. FBI. Director. NIMA: and Director. NRO

Typically, an NIOroposal for an estimate to the Chairman of the NIC. who presents it to the DCI for approval. The NIO prepares Terms of Reference (TOR) that are reviewed by the NIC. coordinated with IC representatives, then submitted to the National Foreign Intelligence Board (NFIB) principals'1 The NIO may serve as the drafter for the estimate or mayrafter from CIA or another IC

member. The NIO and the drafter prepare an outline of the prospective NIE. meet to coordinate both the TOR and the outline with IC representatives, then send the final TOR to the NFIB principals. The drafter conducts research for the topic and drafts the report, frequently with support from members of the IC. The draft is then coordinated by IC representatives and sent to the NFIB for final approval.

Intelligence/Policy Nexus

To reduce the possibility that policy considerations will influence intelligence analysis, the estimate process is kept separate from Its consumers in the policy community. Members of the policy community may request an estimate and may convey interest in having certain issues addressed: the drafter may even consult with the customer to ensure that all customer concerns are being addressed. During the research phase, policymakers may be asked to provide input in areas where they have specific knowledge or expertise. To ensure that they do not influence the judgments or conclusions of the esLimate. policymakers do notole in coordinating either the TOR or the report Itself. Permitting such close involvement would increase the risk of politicization of intelligence.

Interagency Participants

All IC agencies may be involved in the production and/or coordination of an estimate. In practice, agencies having no stake in the issue often withdraw from the process. On occasion, agencies outside the IC may be asked to participate in the process, either by contributing information or by attending coordination sessions as 'back benchers" whose input is considered relevant and useful but who have no vote at the table.

Request for POW/MIA Estimate: Political Environment

A number of aspects of the process followed In the production of the NIE addressing the Vietnamese POW/MIA issue were unusual, reflecting the political environment that spawned it. The estimate had its genesis in the policy debate concerning normalization of relations with Vietnam. President Clinton announced his Intention to normalize relations innd. Embassy in Hanoi opened the following month. In May andhe President issued "determinations" that the

Vietnamese were "cooperating in full faith" on POW/MIA matters. By so doing, the President opened the way for Increasing the personnel assigned to. Embassy in Hanoi, including the appointment of an ambassador. He nominated Congressman Peterson for that post.

Inhe SSCI asked the CIA toopy of the IC assessment that had informed the Presidential determinations. CIA responded that, because the DPMO was responsible for intelligence bearing on the issue, other elements of the IC had not been formally involved in the process leading to the determinations. Several Senators, including the Majority Leader, indicated that they would hold up Congressman Peterson's confirmation unless the IC undertook Its own, independent, analysis of Vietnamese cooperation on POW/MIA issues.etter to the Majority Leader onhe President's National Security Adviser stated that he would direct the IC topecial NIE on the subject. He also agreed to ask for an 'updated assessment from the Intelligence Community" on5 documents acquired from the Russian archives. The National Security Adviser went on to say that "we will consult" with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the SSCI on the TOR for the estimate. He expressed hope that the Senate would confirm Congressman Peterson as soon as possible. Ambassador Peterson was confirmed the same day.

Negotiation of Terms of Reference

Initial Drafts

From the start, Senator Smith and his staffey role in shaping the TOR. using the SSCI to runnel requirements to the NIC. According to one of Senator Smith's legislative assistants, the Senator particularly wanted an updated assessment of the "Russian documents" because he did not believe the IC assessment of the documents, releasedas thorough. The Senator wanted the IC to look at5 documents and wanted that assessment to be part of the estimate.emorandum that he sent to an SSCI staff member onpril. Senator Smith's legislative assistant with responsibility for POW/MIA matters wrote that:

5 Documents

he United States received copies of twoin the archives of Soviet military intelligence (GRU) indocuments are Russian translations of purported policyby senior VieUtamese officials 'In the.. TheVietnamese language documents have not been located. Thedocumentsreat deal of attention because they indicatedthe number of American POWs held in North Vietnam was greaterthe number officially.acknowledged by Hanoi. The documents are5 documents.

i ocument dating from late0 or earlytated that the number of American pilots imprisoned in North (Vietnam, notcknowledged by the VietnameseThe document implied that the unreported POWs wouldsed as leverage during peace negotiations with the United States. The

ocument, dating fromtated5OWs were being held In North Vietnam. The document indicated that

the officially published listmerican pilots was part of5

figure and stated that the 'rest are not acknowledged."

The IC issued an assessment of5 documentsiscounting Hanoi's claims that the documents were fabrications and concluding that the documents appeared to be genuine. The assessment made the distinction between the documents being genuineRU ranslationietnamese speech) and the information in those documents being accurate. The IC assessment stated that the numbers iven in5 documents were"inconsistent with our [understanding of how many Americans would have survived the eventshich they were losttobecomecapUyes,"^ >

At the time of its ass^meht;the IC had the5 document only two pages ofthat. POWs. Thus, the Critical Assessment stated thatremainder ofeporthad "never been formally assessed byCommunity."

Per ourn forwarding to you input to consider during the required consultation between SSCI and NSC and IC on tasking, which as you know, was coordinated with Senator Smith.

The NIO for East Asiaho served from5 untilegan work on the TOR after being notified by the Chairman of the NIC and the NSC about the agreement to produce an estimate. His draft TOR focused on the commitment of the Vietnamese leadership to cooperate with the United States to achieve the fullest possible accounting of American personnel missing in action and the extent to which Hanoi was able to deliver on its commitment. The NIO/EA envisioned separating Vietnamese cooperation from the issue of the Russian documents; he planned tomall group of Vietnam analysts to examine whether the IC conclusions reached on the documents4 were still valid. The draft TOR dealt with the issue by posing the general question.as there been any change in the assessment of the5 document'5 document from the Russian archives?"

ay. the NIO/EA took the draft TOReeting that included the SSCI Staff Director and Minority Staff Director as well as majority and minority staff members. Agreement was reached that the SSCI staff would provide questions and comments for consideration by the NIO/EA in fulfillment of the agreement to consult with the SSCI. Onay, the SSCI suggested changes to the TOR. asking that the NIE address numerous additional points relating to the POW/MIA Issue. The points raised were extensive and appeared to require more substantial research than did the original TOR.

The NIO/EA was concerned that the suggested changes would require months of detailed research as welleview of the work done by DPMO and other agencies. He revised the TOR, then coordinated them with the NSA, INR. the CIA's Directorate of IntelligencePMO. and the DIA. The revised draft TOR were forwarded to the SSCIhe NIO/EA told the SSCI thai he had tried "to accommodate as much as possible the suggestions in your letter ofe stated that he had expanded his original estimate question to include the Issue of performance but that "it would be inappropriate* for an NIE totandard for 'the fullest possible accounting' against which to identify measures the SRV could take; he argued that thatolicy decision. He went on lo say that he had collapsed the various questions on SRV personnel, records, and artifacts Into two secondary questions In the TOR and expressed confidence that these questions would cover all the issues raised in the SSCI letter ofay.

SSCI Delays

Despite repeated requests by the NIO/EA. conveyed by the CIA's Office of Congressional Affairshe SSCI did not provide its formal response to the draft TOR until lateCA indicated that the initial delay was caused by the fact that the SSCI Chairman, who wanted to look at the TOR and discuss them with senior staff, had departedorld tour and would not return until the end of August. The SSCI staff reported to OCA that It was working on the issue during September and October. During this period. NIO/EA research on the estimate was put on hold, pending approval of the TOR.

Changing Actors

Between July andll of the major actors Involved in the POW/MIA estimate at the CIA and the NIC changed. Both the NIO/EAl analyst who was to have provided support In research and drafting departed inew Chairman of the NIC arrived in October and was briefed on the background of the estimate by the Deputy NIO/EA. who had been designated to carry on the project: the deputy left in November.

The new participants in the process arrived with different backgrounds and perceptions. The newly appointed NIO/EA returned from the NSC Ins the Deputy NIO/EA in the, he had been the drafter of4 IC assessment of5 documents. Senator Smith, who disagreed with that assessment, expressed his displeasure with the NIO/EA's involvement In the NIEeeting in November. No Deputy NIO/EA would be appointed during the drafting of the estimate, and the DI would not provide another analyst to support the project. Inhe NIO/EAIA East Asian specialist and veteran NIE drafter to draft the NIE.

SSCI Response and Final TOR

In its letter ofctober responding to the TOR sentuly, the SSCI requested an expansion of the TOR question. "Has there been any change in tlie assessment of the5 document'ocument' from the Russianhe SSCI suggested that the issue

be rephrased and added to the 'Key Questions" portion of the TOR as follows: "What is the intelligence community assessment of the' document and' document from the Russianhe SSCI went on to say that:

f the intelligence community Judges these documents to ben their characterizaiion of the number of American POWs held by North Vietnam, then it should answer the following question: 'What is the likely range of numbers of American POWs under the control of the communist side when the Paris Peace Accords were signed In*

The SSCI's suggested changeignificant shift in parameters for the estimate. The original task had been limited to determining If the IC had changed its assessment of the documentshe new phrasing required that the IC assess the documentstart from the beginning and evaluate theirhe SSCI then stipulated that, If the IC determined Lhe documents to be accurate in assessing the numbers of POWs held in North Vietnam, the estimate should address the number of POWs held in Vietnam3 These were the issues that the former NIO/EA originally had intended to assigneparate group of analysts for in-depth research.

The CIA responded to the SSCI onnclosing the "final terms of reference" for the NIE. The draft TOR had been revised to reflect the SSCI suggestions, thus expanding the scope of the estimate. At the same time, the number of individuals supporting lhe project had decreased from two to one. and the time allocated to complete the estimate had remained the same (abouthe final TOR were approved6 November IC coordination meeting, and the NFIB concurred at its meeting on

This level of involvement In the estimate process by both the SSCI. Senator,ember of lhe SSCI. in the negotiation of the TOR is unprecedented. The SSCI was given coordination authority over the TOR, Implicitly by the President's National Security Adviser and. de facto, by the NIC. The then-NIO/EA believed that he could not proceed with the estimate until the SSCI had responded to each version of his TOR. resulting in accumulated delays of almost six months. None of the more thanndividuals we interviewed knew of an instance, other than this one. in

which coordinationOR by an organizationember of the IC had occurred.

The Issue of Timing

The Issue of the period of time the estimate would cover arose early in the process. The original TOR explicitly stated that the estimate would cover the period. that is. the period since the most recent estimate on the subject (Special National Intelligence EstimateHanoi and the POW/MIAublished In. The original TOR had note evaluation of the Russian documents; rather, it had askedecondary question whether there had been any changes to the analysis of those documents.e-evaluation (as opposed to an updated evaluation) of the documents was included in the TOR. the parameters shifted because the documents dated from the. At the TOR coordination session inhe INR representative suggestedearch for new materials might need to go backhe NIE drafter never focused on this shift

The Introduction to the estimate indicated that It would cover the periodn fact, the drafter2 as the cut-off date, explaining that the periodas covered extensively2 CIA study. 'Vietnam: Adjusting Its Strategy on the POW/MIAhe NIE drafter said that the IC "will be asked to accept that study as definitive" The IC would do as he asked, but the Critical Assessment would take him to task for not having covered the time period as defined in the TOR.

Senator Smith Meeting With NIO/EA

Before the final approval of the TOR, Senator Smith met with the new NIO/EAhe purpose of the meeting was to have the NIO/EA provide an update on the NIE process to Senator Smith. According to notes taken at the meeting. Senator Smith expressed his views on POW/MIA issues. He criticized the Clinton Administration for its POW/MIA policy and for its failure to fully analyze the documents found in the Russian archives. He stated that the documents had surfacedime when they could have complicated policy and claimed that "we all know" the documents are legltimaie. He accused the NIO/EA. who

had written4 analysis of these documents, of having treated him poorly.

The NIO/EA assured Senator Smith that an analysis of5 documents would be included in the estimate. He also stated that, because of his past service at the NSC and his previous work on POW/MIA issues, he would leave substantive responsibility for the NIE to the drafter so there would be no doubt about the integrity of the process. The NIO/EA said that he would not impose his views and would indicate his Input In footnotes should he differ from the drafter. He pledged that the estimate would be "fair andenator Smith again emphasized his views of the Russian documents and said he was nol confident that the Clinton Administration would not interfere In the estimate process.

Senator Smith suggested that it would help if the SSCI and other staff were involved in the estimate process. Senator Smith's legislative assistant urged the NIO/EA to "reach out' to the Senate, warning that the DPMOhe NIO/EA said that the analytic process needs distance from both the policy community and the Congress. The legislative assistant stated thatRussla Joint Commission on POW/MIA Affairs was also an "Intelligence repository" and that the drafter should talk to the Senate as well as to DPMO. The SSCI majority staff member who attended the meeting told the NIO/EA that the SSCI planned to 'review" the estimate.

Research, Analysis, and Drafting

The NIC isepository of data. The drafter of an estimate must rely on other elements of the IC to provide information and analysis, and this was true in the case of the POW/MIAonsiderable number of documents had been turned over to the former NIO/EA during the six-month period when the TOR were being negotiated. The CIA analyst assigned to help the NIO/EA had provided DI files, and DPMO hadackage of material. At the7 IC coordination meeting, the consensus was that much of the material the NIE drafter would need was located in DPMO flies. Other potential sources of Information included the CIA: DoD organizations involved in POW/MIA mattersTF-FA andNR: NSA; DIA. to include Stony Beach; and policymakers dealing with Vietnam to resolve POW/MIA issues. In

addition. Senator Smith and the SSCI held documents that were relevant to the project

Role of DPMO

Policy/Analytic Dichotomy

DPMO Is the primary organization responsible for supporting policy on POW/MIA matters and is also the primary repository of Information concerning POW/MIA matters. Analysts familiar with that information reside in DPMO. having moved there from DIA when DPMO was createdecause of this policy/analysis connection, critics question DPMO's analytic objectivity and argue that the IC should refocus on the POW/MIA issue in order to provide an independent view.

Within DPMO. JCSD functions as the sole collection, research, analytical, and administrative support element to. side ofRussia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs. JCSD's position and responsibilities are unusual because it reports to two distinct organizations with two distinct missions. While JCSD is within the DoD chain of command, its officials respond to the requests and Interests of the members of the commission, which focuses on collecting information in Russia. POWs and MIAs. This dichotomy has created tension between JCSD and the rest of the DPMO. particularly its Research and Analysis (RA) Division.

A major source of contention between JCSD and RA has been the analysis of the documents found in the Russian archivesnd5 documents) that refer to numbers of POWs held by North Vietnam before Operation HomecomingA has argued that, no matter what the validity of the documents, die numbers are wrong because they are far higher than the numbers of POWs that could have been held. JCSD has focused on trying to determine the credibility of the documents, arguing that, if the documents are valid, the numbers contained in them must be taken seriously and the RA analysis of the numbers should be reviewed.

Many critics. policy toward Vietnam argue that Vietnam may have continued to. POWs after Operation Homecoming and that some may still be alive or may have been held aliveumber of years.

Some mainlain thai POWs may have been transferred to the former Soviet Union. These critics question. Government's assessments of the numbers of POWs held by the Vietnamese. Because DPMO. RA is the government organization responsible for these assessments, they question the reliability and objectivity of RA analysis. One of Senator Smith's objectives in seeking an intelligence estimate on the issue was to gain an independent IC review of the Russian documents, followed by an independent analysis of the numbers of POWs held by Vietnam. Neither the NIC nor other members of the IC conducted such an independent review and analysis. Instead, they accepted the IC assessment4 as the basis of their review of the Russian documents, and they accepted DPMO's analysis of the numbers of POWs held by Vietnam.

DPMO Withdraws from Process

DPMO leadership decided that It would not participate formally in the estimate process because of challenges to its ability to produce objective analysis. When the estimate was proposed, the DIA official with responsibility for the issue told the Acting Director, DPMO that DPMO should draft the estimate because DIA did not have the capability. The Acting Director declined, arguing that, if DPMO were to take the lead, the issue would quickly become political. He said DPMO would cooperate by providing information and support as needed; by remaining unlnvolved, he argued, DPMO would benefit from an outside, objective review that would test its analysis. Thus, the organization that was the repository for information on POW/MIA matters and had the main corps of analysts dedicated to the issue was removed from the formal NIE process.

Meetings with DPMO Analysts

The NIE drafterumber of meetings with DPMO analysts, both in RA and in JCSD; he received briefings from both groups andonsiderable amount of data. The meetings began in7 and continued intohen the initial NIE draft was completed. During these sessions, the drafter encountered and had to deal with the commonly held perception within RA and the DPMO that JCSD may not have been abiding by applicable security procedures In providing classified Information to the Joint Commission. The drafter experienced this problemCSD analyst responsible for Vietnam matters insisted that he must report on meetings with the drafter to the Joint

Commission. The drafter disagreed, stating that JCSD should not be sharing discussions and Information with outside parties, particularly before the estimate was finished. The JCSD analyst indicated that he would figureay to discharge his obligations to the commission without compromising sensitive information.

Examining the DO Files

The Directorate of Operations (DO) is the CIA component responsible for maintaining records of all clandestine foreign Intelligence and counterintelligence activities and operations conducted by the CIA involving human assets. In the, in accordance with Executiveeclassification and Release of Material Pertaining to Prisoners of War and Missing in2hat ordered declassification of POW/MIA records, the DO conducted an unprecedented search of its files. It declassified and released most of the CIA holdings on POW/MIA issueshese documents were funneled through DPMO to the Library of Congress.

A number of documents were not declassifiedariety of reasons. The NIE drafter told us that he had reviewed these documents, and the DO continued to provide him with reports collectedccording to the DO officers and managers we Interviewed, the NIE drafter had access to all DO reporting on the POW/MIA issue. The drafter told us that he is confident he had access to all these documents We reviewed the available material as well as the material in the drafter's possession at the time the estimate was drafted. We believe that the drafter did have access to the relevant DO documentation.

Other Contributors of Data

In the course of his research, the drafter visited organizations within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. DIA, DPMO. INR. and NSA and interviewed key officials associated with and knowledgeable of POW/MIA affairs. He also traveled to Hawaii and Southeast Asia, where he held discussions. officials.

Review and Coordination

First and Second Draftsnd

The NIE drafter finished the first draft of the estimate in earlyhile he Indicated that both the NIO/EA and the Chief of the NIC's Analytic Group (AG) had the draft for review, only the latter commented in writing. If the NIO/EA did review the first draft, his views either coincided with those of the Chief. AG or were not factored into the changes made to the second draft. Noting that he had read the draft from "the perspectiveostilehe Chief. AG indicated that, "from that vantage point, there are some points of vulnerability" that should be addressed. These included assessments that appear to be inadequately supported by evidence and judgments that could give rise to suggestions that "we have been unjustifiably credulous" about the motivations behind Vietnamese actions. Each modification to the second draft introduced language that was more skeptical of Vietnam's motives and behavior. For example:

Removal of 'humanitarian grounds'riving factor in Hanoi's increasing cooperation with the United States on POW/MIA issues;

Introduction of language conveying skepticism about Vietnam's explanations for Instances of non-cooperationess acceptance of "sovereigntyalidnd

Qualification of judgments. After stating that "our research suggests' that areas where Vietnam refuses to conduct joint field activities are genuine sensitive facilities, the new draft adds, 'We cannot be sure, however' Whereas the first draft had stated that. "We think Vietnam has been fully cooperative on thesehe later version reads. "We think Vietnam has. for the most part, been cooperative on these cases."

Onebruary, the NIC sent the revised draft estimate. officials In Hawaii and Southeast Asia. The drafter then traveled to those locations, holding discussions with relevant officials and sending comments back to Washington for consideration In the next stage of drafting. The NIO/EA accompanied him on part of this trip.


Numerous changes were made to (he next draft Most were factual additions rather than modifications of data. While many of (he changes are difficult to evaluate in terms of their impact on the tone of theumber served to further reinforce skepticism about Vietnamese cooperation. For example, in the section of the draft dealing with 'Instances of Vietnamese Non-Cooperation:"

The lead sentence had said thai "We found no instances in which Vietnamese authorities have flady refused US requestThe new version was changed to. "We found fewnd

Sentences were addederies of instances dealing with Vietnamese explanations for non-cooperation to the effecte cannot ensure they have providednd" We cannot absolutely verify suche cannot verify this information."

Some changes tended to strengthen judgments challenging the credibility of5 documents; the alleged transfers of POWshe Sovie( Union: and the alleged interrogation of POWs by Soviet officials. For example:

Theebruary draft stated (hat. while the documents are probably authentic GRU-collected intelligence reports, 'We nevertheless also concluded that the documents were factually inaccurate' Thearch draft states that they are probably authentic GRU-collected intelligence reports, "but they are not what they purport to be. We concluded that the documents contain significant Inaccuracies and anomalies:"

The original text stated that. 'In viewontradictions, we cannot definitively conclude that US POWs were not interrogated by Soviets' The new languagee doubt that American POWs were directly questioned bynd

original text said that, "we have equally convincingclaim US POWs were not transferred out of Vietnam."language says that, "we have more convincing

The drafter met with. Ambassador to discuss the draft. In the section of the draft dealing with Vietnamese refusal to provide Politburohrase Indicated that Vietnam would not provide such documents, "any more than foreign governments, such as the United States, would open their sensitive records to Vietnameseandwritten note by the drafter Indicates that "the Ambassador wants thisot only was the Ambassador's request rejected, the entire phrase eventually was deleted.

The NIO/EA showed thearch draft to the Acting Director. DPMO onarch. The drafter recalls that the Acting Director read the draft, disagreed with language in one section of the report, and provided written comments. The Acting Director recalls reading part of the draft at the request of the NIO/EA. but told us that he made no comments. The NIO/EA recalls that the Acting Director read part of the draft, but does not recall what his reaction was or whether he provided comments to the drafter. We found neither written comments nor an annotated draft attributable to the Acting Director. DPMO. No changes were made in the text of the section mentioned by the drafter.


The changes made to thearch version of the estimate are modest and do not move the tone of the draft in any consistent direction. In the "Keyhe comparison of Vietnamese sensitivities to those of the United States (previously mentioned) is removed asentence stating that. "We think US high-level attention to the POW/MIA issue as one component of the overall relationship will be helpful" Changes in the "Discussion" section also are minimal:

several points dealing with Vietnamese non-compliance. requests forodifying phrase has been added that emphasizes the positive In terms of cooperation: 'Although Vietnam has provided thousands of documents to the USietnam has provided0 documents to US"

In several places, language questioning Vietnamese claims that had been added to thearch version has beene cannot absolutely verify suchnd "Again, we cannot absolutely verify this information."

In one area, language has been toughened: rather than "some elements of Vietnam's bureaucracy fell short old desire for fullhe text now reads, "some elementsid not favor fullnd

The much-changed language dealing with reports that POWs had not been transferred to (he Soviet Union has been changed from, "we have more convincing reportsto "we have credible

These changes do notlear indication of an effort to shift tone or judgment.

Outside Readers

Thearch draft was sent to the IC representatives, with notificationoordination meeting would be held onarch. At the same time, the draft was provided for comment to two outsideormer Deputy Chairman of the NIC and East Asia specialistormer National Security Adviser, who had held that positionhen the original analysis of the Russian documents was undertaken. We found written comments from the NIC Deputy Chairman, but not from the former National Security Adviser in the NIC files.

The primary concern expressed by the former Deputy Chairman of the NIC. who provided his comments onarch, was that the tone of the "Key judgments" was "overlyhat created two problems, he said. The first was that, before having read the body of the estimate, those readers "who are already doubters will turne said that some of the adjectives could be softened and the NIE would still carry the message that there has been improvement in Hanoi's performance. The second problem was that the draft identifies many cases of non-compliance, thus undercutting the "rosy hue" of the "Keye went on to raise several other issues, particularly the degree to which Hanoi's senior leaders have delegated authority for POW/MIA issues. He said that, if true, this is

one of the chief changes for the better and should be in the "Keye noted, however, that this judgment rests on the testimony of one listed source. He also recommended that the draft highlight the fact that the principal cause of Vietnamese non-compliance is the regime's wish not to reveal past brutalities.

In responding to the comments of the outside readers, the NIE drafter referred to the recommendations of the former Deputy Chairman, NIC; these Included changing adjectives throughout to say that Vietnam has become "more" cooperative rather than 'increasingly cooperative and putting more emphasis on the reasons why the Vietnamese have not cooperated more completely, such as "their sensitivity about the historical record on their handling ofis only specific reference to comments made by the former National Security Adviser was to say that he was concernedist of SRV officials involved in the POW/MIA issue did not include any officials who were not cooperative.

IC Coordination Meeting

The IC representatives met onndarch to coordinate the estimate, working with thearch version of the draft. In their reports of the sessions, they indicated that there was little disagreement and that no major problems had emerged. They noted that both the outside readers and DIA had argued that,ew instances, the draft was "too apologetic* to the Vietnamese or "unduly charitable in rating Vietnam'sore circumspect, but still basically positive, appraisal had emerged froin the coordination sessions. One representative stated that both outside readers had suggested that modifying the language would "makeore persuasive paper" and "would not immediately set off critics of Vietnam's record of cooperation on thisnother indicated that the new language would stress that Vietnam cooperates mainly because to do so is in its larger interest, but that "long-standing secreUveness and suspicion of the United States will continue to limit itshe NIO/EA suggested several changes to the draft that reflected the suggestions of the former Deputy Chairman of the NIC and the recommendations of the IC representatives; these changes reinforced skepticism of Vietnam's motives and performance.


Thearch draft reflected these suggestions. Vietnam's 'Increasing cooperation was changed to 'more cooperative approach' and showing 'increasing flexibility was changed to showing 'more' flexibility. The conclusion that Vietnam's performance on. POW/MIA issue "has improved significantly' was changed to "has definitelyumber of additional, but minor, changes served to further reduce the "overly rosy" tone criticized by the former Deputy Chairman of the NIC.

MIB and nfib Meetings

The Director, DIA convenes the MIB to be certain that he Is representing the coordinated military intelligence view when he attends an NFIB meeting to approve an estimate. Onarch, the DIA Associate Director for Estimates suggested that the DirectorIB in this instance because of the "politically-charged nature of this particulare further recommended that, while DPMO should not be part of the coordinationPMO official might attend the meeting to help "clarify issues" relating to POW/MIA matters. The background paper prepared for the Director. DIA noted that the estimate "will almost certainly be Judged inadequate by some SSCI members and staff. Senator Smith, and POW/MIAt also saidPMO official would attend the MIB session to address questions "on the POW/MIA Issuehole, but not issues specifically related to the SNIE [slc|."

When the MIB metpril, the Director. DIA began by mentioning that he hadall two hours earlier from Senator Smith. The Senator asserted that he wanted the Director to be aware of his concerns, which were significant. Senator Smith charged that the IC had notood Job of examining all the documents and attendant information on the POW/MIA issue. He claimed that thereocuments available at the SSCI, but that no one had come to review them. If the IC published the NIE without reviewing those documents, Senator Smith said, thenan't believe inn addition, the Director said that he hadax from the Executive Director of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing In Southeast Asia. In which she said that she looked "forward to reviewing the results" of the estimate and that the League was relying on him to ensure Its "objectivity andhe Director said that POW/MIA Issues were

emotional, but that the Important thing was to "deal as objectively as possible with the intelligence facts athe MIB recommended approval of the estimate by the NFIB; all members concurred. The DPMO official said that, while he had not read the estimate, he had no problem with the major judgments as they had been presented. He said that it did seem that the IC wasittle hard on the Vietnamese on the issue of their cooperation with live sighting investigations.

The NFIB. chaired by the DCI. met onpril to discuss the estimate. The Chairman of the NIC reported that there were no major substantive differences within the IC on the NIE. The NIO/EA stated that he had removed himself from the process because of accusations that he had "politicized3 [sic] report to which Senator Smith takese said that the IC had agreed to the main judgments of the estimate and there had been no controversies. After the Deputy Director. DIA raised the issue of Senator Smith and the documents, the DCI directedeam visit the SSCI to read the documents before the estimate was published.

The NFIB members debated language concerning the alleged transfer of POWs to the USSR. The DCI did not like the use of the worde argued that, because the IC does not know whether these events occurred, it should not make the judgment that it doubted this had occurred. It should use language indicating that there are contradictory reports and that the matter requires further investigation. Both the NIO/EA and the drafter argued that evidence that transfers did not occur was persuasive. The principals agreed to change the language to, "Although we doubt that POWs were transferred to the USSR, we also conclude that the books remain open onhe net effect of the debate on these issues, initiated by the DCI, was to further modify the judgment made in the NIE on alleged transfers.

Another Round of Review

The SSCI Documents

In earlyhe SSCI hadetter to the CIA. OCA. offering to provide material for the estimate and listing the documents in its possession. In earlyhe NIE drafter noted that, while most of the material was already in the possession of the IC, he would like

copies off the documents; this request was passed to the SSCI. That was where this issue stood at the time of Senator Smith's call to the Director. DIApril and the DCI's directive onprileam review the SSCI holdings.

When the CIA, OCA contacted the SSCI majority staff member holding the documents onpril to set up an appointment to review the documents, the staff member asked that the NIE drafter call him personally. He subsequendy told the drafter that he would give him access to specific documents but not to the entire collection which, he said, was notingle location. He suggested that the drafter review the list again. After consulting with the DIA representative, the drafter addedocuments to the original list ofe had requested inemorandum for the record, he explained in detail why more documents had not been selected. Onpril, the drafter and the DIA representative visited the SSCI to review the additional documents. In reporting back to the DCI onpril, the NIO/EA explained that the team had reviewed the documents and found that the vast majority of the documents in the SSCI files had been seen in other IC archives and that the review "did not uncover any new information bearing on judgments or analysis in the Estimate* (details of the SSCI document Issue are discussed In Part IV. Critical Assessment Charges: Substance, under "Relevant Documentation").

Two More Outside Readers

Following the NFIB meeting, at the direction of the DCI. the NIC provided the draft to two more outsideormer Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policyormer DCI. Both commended the draft and said they had no major problems with it; eachew suggestions. The former Defense official recommended that the draft provide more quantitative data to demonstrate the improvement in Vietnam's performance; that it emphasize the weaknesses of GRU reporting and sourcing; and that it analyze what it would take to reverse the current positive trend In Vietnamese behavior. In the end. none of these suggestions was taken.

The former DCI said his suggestions were "intended to strengthen our case against the minority of readers who would be reflexivelye recommended that the estimate acknowledge that Vietnam's archival capabilities were probably not good; that the estimate speculate on the

origins of the Russian documents and why the Vietnamese prepared them; and that the drafter remedy the fact that the characterization of the Russian documents was different in the text and the annex. He said that the above points, if addressed, "would simply strengthen the text againstn the end, the draft was revised to incorporate several of his revisions for clarity.

Neither of these readers made suggestions designed to alter the substance or judgments of the NIE draft. While the former DCI indicated that his comments would help deflect criticism, his suggestions were modest and probably not sufficient to have had an impact on the tone of the estimate or on reaction to it.

DCI Input

In early April, the NIC sent the DCI talking points on the NIE. laying out the key judgments: that the Vietnamese are cooperating to help the United States achieve full accounting of POW/MIAs and that5 documents are neither accurateood foundation for judging Vietnamese performance on the POW/MIA issue. The talking points indicated that the judgments would be politically controversial because some elements within DPMO believe that Vietnam is withholding material and believe the CIA is part. Government cover-up on the POW/MIA issue. Furthermore, the talking points stated. Senator Smith probably will not like the conclusions because he and members of his staff have been strongly critical. Government handling of the issue.

Afteropy of the estimate onpril, the DCI Indicated that he wanted to delete sentences that included the phrase. "Wee instructed the NIE drafter simply to state what we do and do not know. He also indicated that he wanted toevised draft that included the comments of the second set of readers. In his reaction to this note, the NIE drafter stated that, while the DCI was not remembering accurately what had been agreed to at the NFIB about language expressing doubt, it would be best to reword the language to say that "there Is no persuasive evidence that POWs were transferred to Russia or other countries."

The NICevised copy of the draft to the DCI onpril, describing the comments made by the additional readers and explaining why most of their suggestions had not been adopted. In his response on

pril, the DCI Indicated that he did not necessarily agree that the suggestions of the outside readers should not be incorporated; he was particularly interested in the recommendations to add quantitative Information and more speculation regarding the "inaccurate" Russian documents. In the end, however, he was persuaded that it was not advisable to add either. He did argue strongly and successfully, however, that the order of paragraphs in the "Key Judgments" be shifted; he wanted to put the relevant evidence first, rather than leading with the judgment that Vietnamese cooperation had improved. Neither the Deputy Chairman of the NIC nor the NIO/EA agreed with this change in the ordering, but both recommended accommodating the DCI.

In the draft that went back to the DCI onpril, the evidence was put first, followed by the judgment that the Vietnamese were cooperating. Onpril, the DCI returned the "Key Judgments' to the NICandwritten comment saying that the paragraph regarding Vietnamese cooperation should be removed because it was "toohe paragraph read:

Consequently, we judge that Vietnam has become more helpful in. efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting of American personnel missing in action during the Vietnam conflict.

In the end, the DCI was persuaded that, because this paragraph specifically answered one of the two key questions in the TOR andey judgment of the estimate, it should remain. The effect of the change recommended by the DCI would have been to further modify the language of the "Key Judgments."

he DCI approved the NIE. Although the date on the NIE ist was not published and disseminated until early May. Onay, the NIE drafter met with members of the SSCI staff to brief them on the NIE. The SSCI majority staff member challenged the analytic techniques used by the drafter: he particularly wanted to know why the estimate had not analyzed the number of POWs held by the Vietnamese. The drafter responded that this had not been part of the TOR and that the IC does not have the resources or capability to conduct that analysis.

Criticism of Estimate

Senator Smith Meets With NIO/EA

as provided to the SSCI and then to Senator Smiths office innhe Chairman of the NIC and the NIO/EA were invited to speak about the estimate to members of. side ofRussia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs; among the participants was Senator Smith. The Chairman of the NIC outlined the origins of the estimate, describing the NIE as "unconventional" because it looked to the past rather than the future andeview of archival materials, ihe NIO/EA thenackground briefing on the methodology used by the NIE drafter and the IC coordination process.

Senator Smitheries of questions to the NIO/EA. challenging the Judgments of the estimate and indicating that it wasredible intelligence product. He provided his own views, including the question, "so does that not mean that there areases of Americans where we do not have evidence that they died in theiresult, he said, you cannot dismiss5 document based on the numbers as "they are trying to do here in thise charged that the estimate was 'totally misleading and frankly it Is an effort to discreditenator Smith went on to say that. "Thiserrible Job

and not an Intelligence estimate atIs full of erroneous


Release of Critical Assessment

Senator Smith issued his Critical Assessment ine sent the assessment with an accompanying cover letter to members of the MIB and the NFIB.equest that those boards meet to consider and approve his request that the NIE be retracted. He sent copies to Congressional leaders,equest that oversight hearings concerning the NIE be conducted. In addition, he sent copies to officials:

ho may rely on the NIE. such as US. policy makers with responsibility for US. relations with the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) and US. military officials with responsibility for POW/MIA accounting efforts in Southeast Asia with the admonition that they not rely on the judgments of the estimate for the reasons died in the Cnikal Assessment


The Critical Assessment took issue with all the major judgments of the estimate. It stated that, because the NIE had failed to distinguish between Vietnam's improved assistance with field operations and its stonewalling in providing full disclosure of documents, the judgment of an overall "good" SRV performance on the POW/MIA problem is not reliable. Moreover, it states:

here are numerous (emphasis In originall instances, also detailed in this critical assessment, where the analysis in support of the NIE's judgments of SRV cooperation is factually inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, shallow, and seriously flawed.

The Critical Assessment states that:

he NIE's judgment on5 documents cannot be accepted with confidence because it is replete {emphasis In original) with inaccurate and misleading statements, andeasonably thorough and objective foundation on which to base itsurther conclude, basedeview of. data, that many of the statements contained in5are indeed supported or

Finally, with respect to the politicizing of intelligence, the Critical Assessment says that:

Congress and the leaders of. Intelligence Community (IC) need to examine what role the White House, Its National Security Council, and. policymakers responsible for advancing the Administration's normalization agenda with Vietnam may have played in Influencing or otherwise affecting the judgments of the IC as reflected in the NIE.

MIB and NFIB Meetings

The DCI responded to Senator Smith's letter ontating that he had directed that the evaluation of the NIE be put on the NFIB agenda scheduled forhe MIB met onanuary, before the NFIB. and recommended that:

The IC stand by the NIE and reject the request for retraction;

TTve DCI reject charges of 'politicization;-

IC avoid point-by-point rebuttals of the Critical Assessment; and

IC be prepared for congressional hearings.

All MIB members concurred with lhe recommendations.10

The NFIB convened on9 to consider Senator Smith's criticism of the estimate and made several decisions:

" The MIB consists of DIA. lhe Military Departments to include the Marine Corps: the UnifiedSA: MM A. NRO. joint Staff. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Intelligence)

US. Forces Korea: Coast Guard: Associate. DCI for Military Support: and Defense Information Sysinns Agency.

The Board would not engageolnt-by-point rebuttal of the critique:

The DCI would respond to Senator Smith on behalf of the IC. stating that the NFIB principals stand firmly behind the NIE. He would acknowledge that there are "unresolved mysteries with respect to die POW/MIA issue and that the Intelligence Community will continue to work to resolveinally, In his letter, the DCI would refute Senator Smith's claim that the NIE reflected "shoddy research"pre-determined strategy to discredit relevantnd

The Director, DIA, speaking on behalf of the uniformed military, wouldeparate letter to Senator Smith in concert with the DCI letter.

In his response lo Senator Smith,he DCI reported that ihe NFIB had voted unanimously to let the estimate stand. He acknowledged critical gaps in intelligence and assured the Senator that NFIB members would provide any new information collected to those responsible for dealing with the POW/MIA issue. He stated that NFIB members had again commended the analyst who drafted the NIE and the "rigorous interagency process" that made the NIE an IC product, not the workingle author. He said that he accepted the word of those who worked on the draft and coordinated It that "there was at no lime any effort to distort judgments from outside or inside the Community."


We evaluatednd the Critical Assessmentomparative approach (seeor discussion of the methodology used in thishe Critical Assessment took issue withIE statements (excluding politicizatione examined the criticisms levied against the NIE and grouped them into specific topics for discussion as follows:

Relevant Documentation;

Vietnamese Cooperation;

Mistreatment of POWs;

Recovery and Repatriation of Remains;

The Saga of the Mortician;

Numbers of POW/MIA:5 Documents;

Assessment of Comments by Russian Sources on5 Documents;

Separate or Second Prison System; and

Alleged Transfers of POWs from Vietnam to the USSR.

In addition to these topics, we reviewed two issues not specifically addressed in either the NIE or the Critical Assessment. We evaluated each of the cases. personnel listed by Senator Smith2 for whom verified remains have not been returned by Vietnam. We undertook this task because, according to Senator Smith's legislative assistant, the Senator had expected the drafter of the NIE to do so and he did not; we agreed with Senator Smith thateview is relevant to an analysis of the POW/MIA issue and that it should be conducted by independent analysts. In addition, we examined one particular MIA case, that of Captain John T.

. Army, to demonstrate both the polarized nature of the MIA Issue and the difficulty of making determinations of fate.

Relevant Documentation

The Critical Assessment questions why any NIE:

ould make judgments In areas if there Is no sizable body of Intelligence reporting within. Intelligence Community

It goes on to say that:

asedisting of documents complied by my (Senator Smiths) offke. scanning [sic! thirty plus years, there does, in fact, appear to be significant intelligence reporting.

The assessment repeatedly criticizes the NIE drafter for failing to use information made available to the IC and cites several letters that addressisting of documents" that contain "significant Intelligencee begin our discussion of the use of relevant documentation and the alleged discrediting of relevant Information by the NIE drafter with an examination of those letters.

enator Smith, through his legislative assistant, transferred document holdings to the SSCIcomplete response to meet his pledge to make any relevant information available to the drafter of the NIE, from his holdings and from the Senate Select Committee.he next day. the SSCI Chairman and Vice Chairmanist of those holdings to the drafter of the NIE. That list consistedine Hems (the term "line items" is more accurate than the term "documents" since one line Item may contain one or more documents) in two parts. The first partine items held in binders by the JCSD to assist its work in support of the VWWG ofRussia Joint Commission. Senator Smith chairs that working group. The second partine items that represented the contents of the growing files of Senator Smith as held for him by the SSCI asecember. That listine items represents what the NIE drafter thought was the relevant material held by the SSCI.

enator Smithetter to the Director, DIA, in which he stated:

I believe there are currentlyocuments on the POW/MIA topicI hope you will not hesitate to ask SSCI to review any of this material that may not already be readily available to DJA.

Senator Smith is referring to an expanded list that includedine items passed directly to the NIE drafter by the JCSD during the course of several Joint discussions and an additionaline items added to the growing Smith files during the period8

enator Smith called the Director, DIA. and referred0 documents available at the SSCI for people that want to reviewenator Smith stated that "no one has ever come to review these documents. If the IC published the NIE without having reviewed thesean't believe inenator Smith's call caused the DCI to halt the NIE process and direct the NIE drafterIA representative to visit the SSCI to review documents of concern to Senator Smith.

The body of Information Senator Smith referred to inpril call differs from the body of Information officially made available to the drafter of the NIE. Moreover, the body of information to which Senator Smith referred contained considerable information already reviewed by the drafter well before the Senator's call. By the time of Senator Smith's call, the drafter of the NIE had considered,inimum.ocuments on Senator Smith's new list: theassed to him by JCSD andhat he had selected from the list passed to him by the SSCI

The Critical Assessment refers58 letter from Senator Smith to the Director, DIA, in which he refers to the documents held by the SSCI. We have been unable to locate this letter. According to Senator Smith's legislative assistant, there58 memorandum from him (the legislative assistant) to the Director. DIA.SCI staff member was to deliver the next day. The legislative assistant gaveopy of that memorandum. The SSCI staff member iold us that he took the memorandum to DIA on or abouteither the Director. DIA's executive correspondence office nor his POW/MIA policy office has

a record of any correspondence from Senator Smith or hLs staff dated

The SSCI staff member did hand the updated document list,over memorandum, to the drafler of the NIE and the DIA representative onuring their document review visit to the SSCI. According to the NIE drafter, 'on arrival, the staff assistant handedew list of documents in SSCI's possession that he said we should looke did notopy of the8 cover memorandum in the NIE drafter's files. Further,9 we showed theopy of the memorandum and he stated that he had never seen It.

We reviewed the SSCI holdings related to7 letter. We also reviewed the document holdings of the NIE drafter. The drafter's holdings, coupled with files provided to him by other organizations far exceeded the SSCI holdings. Moreover, the NIE drafter had extensive folders pertaining to specific topics Not only did the drafter have access to relevant intelligence Information but he also made multiple visits to DPMO, both RA and the JCSD. to acquire documents held by those two key offices. Further, he had an extensive network of informal sources including academia. We found that the NIE drafter considered relevant intelligence information7 onwards, as specified in the TOR. Based on his reading of previous IC publications, however, he did not specifically review raw data dating from7 (seeisting of IC publications reviewed by the estimate drafter).

In our review of CIA. DO files, centrally gathered for the govemment-wide POW/MIA document declassification effort in the, we found that relevant intelligence information concerning the POW/MIA issue prior to that time was available and that the NIE drafter had reviewed those files. Further, the DO manager responsible for those documents told us that he personally assisted therocess thateview of the draft report We also found that the drafter's boxes of information contained documentation going back to. We believe that the NIE drafter considered relevant information but. by design, focused on the7

Senator Smith's legislative assistant told us that, given the emergencee-evaluation of5 documentsey

question, the TOR obligated the NIE drafter to consider information back to. We cannot reconcile these two divergent points of view. We note, however, the delay in the completion of the TOR; the addition of5 documents to the "Key Questions" of the TOR: and the introductionew NIO/EAew NIE drafter, neither of whom had been involved in the negotiations of the TOR. Whereas the former NIO/EA had intended to treat5 documentseparate project, the new NIO/EA and drafter accepted the final TOR with its expanded focus without changing the time frame on which the research should focus. In conducting this review of the NIE and the Critical Assessment, we found it necessary to search as far back as the document trail allowed.

Vietnamese Cooperation

The Critical Assessment claims that the NIE did not consider information available to the IC In assessing Vietnamese cooperation on POW/MIA mailers. At issue are the NIE statements that "Vietnam has become more helpful in. efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting of American personnel missing in action during the Vietnam conflict* and that Vietnam's overall performance in dealing with the POW/MIA issue "has been good In recenthe Critical Assessment asserts that the NIE judgment of Vietnam performance as "good" is not reliable and argues that the judgments on cooperation are "factually inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, shallow, and seriously flawed."

For example, one of the key questions in the NIE tor and "Scope Note" is:

To what extent7 has the leadership of the SRVommitment to cooperating with the United States to achieve the fullest possible accounting of American prisoners missing in action during the Vietnam conflict?

The Critical Assessment claims that the NIE makes no mention of SRV leadership intentions, performance and capabilities on the POW/MIA issue7 and the, as required by the key question in the TOR. Itact that the "Key Judgments* of the NIE address only the period since the, stating dial, since the, there has been evidence of increased Vietnamese cooperation in terms of strengthened

staffing, increased responsiveness, and growing professionalism. In its "Discussion" section, however, the NIE addresses the question of Vietnamese cooperation7 in some detail. It includes highlights from the 'Key Judgments" of the2 CIA Assessment, 'Vietnam: Adjusting Its Strategy on the POW/MIAhat describe Vietnamese cooperative gestures during the7

The Critical Assessment argues that the NIE "Key Judgments' glaringly fails to define what constitutes progress on the POW/MIA issue

from Hanoi'sThe Vietnamese define progress on the

POW/MIA issue almost solely in terms of progress in improving the political relationship between the United States and Vietnam and the amount of money the United States Is investing in Vietnam. While the estimate does not say this in soay. the "Key Judgments' stateetter ties to the United States are in Vietnam's own security and economic development interests and that normalization requires progress on the POW/MIAhe "Discussion" asserts that Vietnam has become more cooperativeariety of reasons,esire for engagement with Washington, particularly since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which hadey ally of Vietnam. Further, the NIE contends that Vietnam considers cooperation with the United States essential to enhancement of its economic and security objectives, explaining that Vietnamese leaders recognize that Washington willey power in the region and that American businessotential major source of investment. Also, the NIE mentions that the Vietnamese understand that cooperation on POW/MIA issues is likely toetter bilateral relationship with Washington.

The Criticalharges with respect to the NIE's treatment of Vietnam's cooperation on POW/MIA issues are not supported by the facts. The assessment asserts that the NIE does not deal with certain issues when it does, albeit not necessarily In the manner or in the terms preferred by the Critical Assessment.

A Question of Political Sensitivity

In another area related to Vietnamese cooperation, the Critical Assessment disputes the NIE claim that the POW/MIA issue no longer has the political sensitivity that it once had within the Vietnamese leadership The assessment argues that, if anything, the issue has become more

politically sensitive, not less, because of. interest. The Critical Assessment indicates that the appointment of General Vessey as the Special Emissary to Hanoi, the establishmentenate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, and creation of1 road map to normalization of relations demonstrate. Interest.

The2 CIA assessment, cited in the NIE. argues thai the Vietnamese were wrestling with their foreign policy in the. The report states that thererowing body of evidence that suggested Hanoi's leadership was debating the pace and scope of improving relations with the United States. Using2 CIA assessmentackdrop, (he NIE drafter researched documentation and discussed Vietnamese political sensitivity with both members of the IC and operational entities that work POW/MIA issuesegular. military official staled that the President of Vietnam clearly understood that the POW/MIA issueatter of high priority for the United States Another senior official indicated that, as operations became more routine, the Vietnamese had become more comfortable with the United States. Thus, overore trusting relationship developed between the two countries and the need for high-level interaction on POW/MIA issues diminished. The NIE drafter was told that operational POW/MIA issues have long been entrusted by the Vietnamese leadership to the VNOSMP and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The drafter of the estimate had sufficient evidence to conclude that the POW/MIA issue no longer lias the political sensitivity It once had in the Vietnamese leadership.

Refusal to Cooperate

The Critical Assessment takes issue with the NIE regarding additional statements related to cooperation. Including the NIE claim that incidents of outright Vietnamese refusal to cooperate. investigators have decreased and instances wherein the Vietnamese raise objections to POW/MIA activiUes have diminished. The NIE drafter reviewed DoS documents; the results and impending actions of the Presidential Special Emissary to Vietnam (Generaleporting: DPMO records; and USPACOM, JTF FA. CILHI, and Stony Beach documentation. He also conducted interviews with numerous government officials who had knowledge of Vietnamese cooperation on POW/MIA issues. Using the time frame mandated in the TOR. the NIE concludes that, even though Instances of refusal to cooperate. investigators have decreased, the

Vietnamese continue to object. POW/MIA activities on occasion. The NIE explains that Vietnam's political system is secretive and distrustful of foreign influences and that Vietnamese officials fear that divulging information could undermine governmental authority. Also, according to the NIE. defending Its sovereignty and protecting its secrets might be the major reasons why Vietnam has not been completely forthcoming with respect to POW/MIA Issues.

Given that background, the NIE cites several "significant examples* where Vietnam has hindered activities, including refusing requests to sec Politburo documents; denying interviews with some senior retired military officials: and refusing to allow joint field activities In "classified" military areas. Even though several documents reviewed by the NIE drafter and interviews he conducted revealed that significant progress had been made in Vietnamese cooperation, the NIE concludes that there are limits to what the United States could expect to achieve.

The NIE suggests that much remains to be accomplished in terms of Vietnamese cooperation on the POW/MIA issue. We believe that the NIE drafter appropriately used both relevant documentation and interviews with knowledgeable officials in reaching the conclusion that Vietnam's performance in dealing with the POW/MIA issue has been good in recent years and that incidents of refusal to cooperate have declined. That conclusion did not come easily, but, taken in the aggregate and coupled with the chronicle of continuing cases of uncooperative behavior, we believe the overall NIE judgment is sufficiently balanced and cautious, particularly given the caveat that the unresolved areas of Vietnamese cooperation "suggest the need for continued close attention by. Government."

Mistreatment of POWs

The Critical Assessment discussed mistreatment of POWs as part of the record of Vietnamese cooperation; we treat it separately here because of its importance. The assessment claims that the NIEoor example of Vietnam's lack of forthrightness on certain POW/MIA issues by stating that Vietnam continues to deny. POWs were mistreated while in captivity and that full disclosure of that information would prove embarrassing to the regime. The Critical Assessment argues that other

embarrassing examples, such as "the holding back of any unacknowledged American POWs after Operation Homecoming" would have been more relevant Use of the mistreatment example, according to the assessment, "is not only disappointing, but very misleading to the NIE reader concerning the scope of knowledge the SRV may still possess concerning unaccounted for POW/MIAs."

During the8 briefing on the NIE provided to the US. side ofRussia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs, Senator Smithuestion to the NIO/EA: if the Vietnamese regime would be embarrassed to provide torture information, he asked, would it not be just as embarrassed to admit that American POWs were held back after the war? The response was 'I suppose ithe two issues are very different in nature, however.

There are countless, first-hand accounts of Vietnamese mistreatment of VS. POWs.. Ambassador toormer POW. told the NIE drafter thatiscussionietnamese official he had described how he had been dragged aroundogope around his neck. The Vietnamese official denied that the incident occurred. Congressman Sam2 book. Captive Warriors, and8 book. Honor Bound The History of American Prisoners of War in

Southeast prepared at the request oformei Deputy

Secretary of Defense, graphically describe POW mistreatment at the hands of Vietnamese captors. The NIE states that Vietnam would never provide documents to the United States that reveal mistreatment of POWs because such disclosure would be extremely embarrassing. The DPMO has never raised the issue of mistreatment of POWs because that office considers the issue particularly sensitive: if the issue were raised. DPMO believes, it wouldounterproductive Vietnamesehe DPMO claims that the subject of mistreatment is irrelevant to "our accounting effort, and we have not requested documents that might bear directly on thesehile requests for such information may not be relevant to the DPMO, the NIE raises the issue to advise the reader that Vietnam has not been forthcoming because divulgence would prove embarrassing to the regime.

While instances of torture are well documented, virtually all studies, dating back to6 report of the House Select Committee on Missing Persons in Southeast Asia, conclude that there is no evidence to indicate that any American POWs from the Indochina conflict remain alive. The3 Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs report concluded that there was no. POWs had survived in North Vietnam after Operation Homecoming, while acknowledging that there also was no proof that all of those who did not return had died. The committee report indicated that it could notegative, but concluded that there is "no compelling evidence that proves that any American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia."

The NIE indicatesive sighting investigations have been conducted and none has generated any credible evidence of American POWs left in Vietnam. We confirmed this. officials who work with the refugee program. The Senate Select Committee report3 suggests that, if efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting of Vietnam-era POW/MIAs are to be effective and fair to the families, "they must go forward within the context of reality, nothe reality Is that there is no credible evidence that American POWs remained behindhe alleged holding back of POWs is not an appropriate example of Vietnam's lack of forthrightness on POW/MIA issues.

Recovery and Repatriation of Remains

As with other topics discussed under cooperation, the Critical Assessment, in discussing repatriation, refers to Information available to the IC that allegedly was not used. The assessment takes issue with the NIE judgment that Vietnamese cooperation on the recovery and repatriation of remains. personnel is excellent Charging that the NIE judgment is based solely on information providedon-IC organization, the Critical Assessment contends that additional evidence was not factored into the judgment. The drafter of the NIE collected documentation on recovery and repatriation of remains and interviewed key officials in organizations involved in POW/MIA matters. While these organizations are not all members of the IC, they are consumers of information from the IC. The IC gathers and analyzes information from all sources, including non-inielllgence entities to provide comprehensive assessments and judgments to decisionmakers. The JTF-FA and CILHI are. Government organizations most closely associated with recovery and repatriation of

remains and, even though not part of the IC, their documented experiences were of legitimate import to the NIE drafter.

Inhe drafter of the NIE met. officials dealing directly with POW/MIA issues. During those sessions, participants stated that die Vietnamese had approached the issue of repatriation more seriously2 and that Vietnamese cooperation in recovery and repatriation of remains2 has been excellent. The NIE drafter took those views into consideration, balancing them with document holdings. In addition, he examined numerous publications that addressed recovery and repatriation of rernains (see

Manipulation of Witnesses

The Critical Assessment describes NIE Judgments regarding recovery and repatriation of remains as "especiallyecause, it says, there is evidence that Vietnam has manipulated witnesses and evidence at crash sites and has recovered remains that have not been repatriated. The NIE drafter was told by. officials thai, in the past, an unknown number of witnesses had been coached, but that this no longer occurs. Similarly, other officials indicated that they were aware of only oneitness was coached. We also conferred with. officials and learned that,8he team leader forf the firstoint field investigations saw no evidence of witness manipulation and did not see tampering with any crash site. The team leader told us that Vietnamese national level officials wanted to knowitness would say before meeting the Americans because they did not want to be surprised, but in no way did Vietnamese officials interfere with the recovery process. The team leader said that, during early joint investigations, Vietnamese officials were suspicious. intentions because they believed the Investigations were related to Intelligence collection activities. After those Initial suspicions were allayed, however, they became more supportive.

Repatriation of Remains

The NIE slates that there Is no evidence the Vietnamese "presently are storing remains of Americant indicates that the Vietnamese did collect and store remains during the war. but "we do not know howhe Critical Assessment argues that it is misleading to say "categorically that there is no evidence" the Vietnamese are storing remains, citing discrepancies in numbers of collected and stored remains provided by DPMO andreview of evidence available to thend the testimony of the "mortician."

The NIE overstated its case that there is no evidence that the Vietnamese currently are storing die remains of American POWs. The5 zero-based comprehensive review concluded that there had been some cases Indicating that specific remains recovered by the Vietnamese Government had not been turned over The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Misslng Personnel Affairs report. "Vietnam's Collection and Repatriation of Americanublished in9 and reviewed by knowledgeable senior analysis in the IC. concludes that, "Based on available information. It is not possible to confirm independentiy whether Vietnam has repatriated all die American remains itccording to the report Vietnam last repatriated stored remains In09 report indicates that there is strong evidence in two cases involving five remains that the remains were collected and taken to Hanoi but not repatriated. Discussions on those cases with the Vietnamese Government continue. Furthermore, the report states that, on two occasions. Vietnamese officials provided information that it had remains that had not been repatriated. While the events cannot be refuted or confirmed, investigation continues.

The Critical Assessment mentions that, in8 (the NIE is dated, CILHI reported that. remains repatriated by Hanoi since the end of the war showed signs of storage. The assessment then concludes that, based on the DPMO estimate that "Vietnam collected and storedemains, vicesserted by7 Special National Intelligencehe resulting0) makes the NIE assertion that Vietnam's repatriation record is excellent 'extremely inaccurate."

CILHI foundemains, returned unilaterally by the Vietnamese, exhibited forensic evidence of storage. Ast hadf those and continued to analyze the others. Independent of the CILHI determination. DPMOemains that had signs of storage. Of those. DPMO saidad been identified and that CILHI was analyzing the others. The disparity in numbers is the result of the different criteria and methods used by DPMO and CILHI. While DPMO analyzes documentation, testimony, and other source reporting to reach its findings. CILHI bases its numbers on the examination of remains. In9 remains study, CILHI states that, "the examination of skeletal remains can yield considerableut not as much as desired. There are real limitations to the data that can beurther. CILHI cautions that its judgments on storage are subjective and imprecise because there are no tests, measurements, or means of standardization to arrive at determinations.

The estimate mentioned that DPMO, in conjunction with CILHI. was investigating the question of Vietnamese storage of remains and that further conclusions had to await the results of that investigation.9 remains report, issued more than one year after publication of the estimate, determinedase-by-case analysis of all remains repatriated revealed that,0ietnamese central authorities had collected andets of remains. The report claims the disparity ofoetween that number and the number estimated to have beens smaller than had been thought previously and that "we will continue to seek more data about the extent and limits of Vietnam's effort to collect American remains."

The NIE overstated its case on the lack of evidence regarding storage of American remains; it did not factor in the evidence suggesting that remains may not have been repatriated in two cases involving five remains. It did, however, indicate that an in-depth study on the issue was being prepared and that conclusions should await publication of that report.

The Saga of the Mortician

The NIE makes no claim regarding (he number of stored remains. It does report that7 SNIE had suggested ihat there was evidence Vietnam was storingets ofhat judgment was retracted In6 by IC, "Vietnamese Storage of Remains of Unaccounted US.he NIE states that7 judgment was retracted by6 Assessment because it was based on 'the unsupported testimonyingle unreliablehe mortician.

The Critical Assessment takes the NIE to task on the subject of the mortician, calling for "an accurate review of evidence available to thehe assessment argues that the NIE rationale regarding6 IC Assessment retractionudgment made In the7 SNIE about the storageets of remains, is "egregious" and misrepresents the facts. While the NIE correctly cites6 Assessment as the basis for the retraction, we do not agree with the NIE rationale that the retraction was made because the source of the information was unreliable and his testimony insupportable. Our judgment is basedomprehensive examination of the source of the storage of remains issue, the mortician.

The mortician, an ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese citizen, worked in his family's funeral business in Hanoi. In the, the government assigned mortuary personnel to public service and the mortician worked for the Director of Cemeteries, where he was responsible for grave digging as well as preparing and interring remains. Beginningo was assigned the duties of preparing skeletal remains of Americans.e was arrested and deported to Hong Kong. While residingefugee camp in Hong Kong, he attracted the attention of. Defense Liaison Office by alleging that he personally had inspected the remains ofAS. military personnel that were in secret storage in Hanoi.

. Governmentolygraph examination of the mortician prior to expediting his resettlement to the United States. His responses to the following three relevant questions resulted in an indication of deception:

4id you inspect the remains of morees;

Did you make up the story about the remainsmericans being stored ino; and

Did you personalty see three live American soldiers in Hanoies.

overnment adjudicated the results of the polygraph examination and determined that the examiner had made the "correcthe mortician was brought to Washington, where he was interviewed and given another polygraph examination, this time administeredrivate company. We could not determinerivate examiner was hired to perform the second examination. The responses to the following three relevant questions in the second polygraph examination Indicated no deception:

When you left Hanoi. Vietnam, were skeletal remains of Americans being kepi

At the time you left Vietnam, was the Vietnam Government keeping skeletal remains. military personnel at Hanoi like youand

the Vietnam Government force you to leave Vietnam like you

The private companyhird polygraph examination. The relevant questions focused on whether the mortician had seen three Americans49 in Hanoi. He responded affirmatively and no deception was indicated.

The mortician's claim to have seen three Americans was investigatedive sighting report. One of the individuals, always seenietnamese escort, was determined to be Roberthe other two individuals, seen unescorted, were determined to be cither journalists or Russian military advisers. In. Government addressed the inconsistencies in the previous polygraph examinations of the mortician. Its assessment concluded that the polygraph examination results should not have been the sole or primary basis for assessing the mortician's story and that the mortician's story was true.

The number of remains. military personnel stored In Vietnam and the veracity of the mortician's statements remain subjects of continuing debate. During his0 testimony before the House Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the mortician claimed to have processed,f these remains, thatere turned over to the United States; that leavesave seen0. officials used the moreigure in public statements. The3 report of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs states that,he mortician testified that he hadets of remains.

arine Corps PFC Roben Garwood was first listedOW by USnever by thee rccurned to the United States voluntarilye was convicted of collaborating with the enemy.

7ddressed the storage of remains. military personnel. Without further explanation. It states that, 'We estimate that the Vietnamese have already recovered and are warehousing6 IC Assessment mentions that IC participants in7 SNIE deferred to the principal drafter on the number of warehoused remains because die drafter's agency (DIA) had the responsibility and expertise for assessing technical aspects of the remains issue. The drafter of7 SNIE. since retired, told us that he could not recall usingigure. He said that, while he was convinced that storage of remains had occurred, lie was not certain there was sufficient evidence to determine the numbers involved. Both the Director and Deputy Director. Special Office for POW/MIA Affairs. DIA at the Lime, told us that they had no direct knowledge as to the rationale for using

igure In7 SNIE. Both speculated that the numbers were extrapolated from the mortician's estimate on the number of boxes he believed he saw.

6 IC Assessment states that the mortician;

arefully differentiated between the sets of remains he said [emphasis in original] he worked0) and what he bthnwd [emphasis In originall was the total number of. He arrivedigurey combiningoxes he estimated in the room (warehouse)7 and two other groups ofets) that he worked on that could not have been In the room

These figures coincide with those in the detailed interview DIA conducted with the mortician inust prior to the second polygraph examination.6 Assessment concludes that7 SNIE statement regardingets of remains was based on limited direct evidence whose reliability was open to question. It further concludes thatigure was notrecise point estimate" andigure was based on "uncorroborated hearsay evidencehe result of questionable extrapolation."

The drafter of8 NIE grappled with the differences of opinion on the mortician and discussed those differences at length during IC coordination sessions leading up to formulation of the draft report. IC participants agreed with the language that appeared in the NIE that the storageets of remains was retracted from7 SNIE by6 IC Assessment because the information turned out to have been based on the "unsupported testimonyingle unreliableany factors. Including possible mistranslation of testimony and Interviews; confusion on the part of the mortician and interviewers and translators; diverse polygraph examination questions: differences in what the mortician actually observed (remains he worked on) and what he speculated; and the drafter's contention that the information provided by the mortician that appeared in7 SNIE was erroneous convinced the NIE drafter that the mortician and his Information were unreliable. According to the drafter,8 NIE did not discuss the numbers of warehoused remains because the mortician was considered an unreliable source.6 IC Assessment did not discredit the mortician and his

Information, however. It claimed that7 SNIE numbers were based on limited direct evidence whose reliability was open to question.

08 memorandum for the Director. DIA. the DPMO argued that6 Assessment characterized the evidence rather than the source as unreliable, describing the0) as rough estimates not firm enough to serveaseline. policy. The DPMO found information provided by the mortician reliable, and. "dueling polygraphsstimated that the number of remains collected and stored in Hanoi is "well within the range of acceptable error for the rough firsthand estimates provided by thisPMO analysts explained that the 'range of acceptable error" wasigure detailed in6 Assessment. Those were the numbers that the mortician processed or worked on rather than the moree perceived or believed to have been stored. The DPMO concludes that Vietnam collected and stored. remains rather thanescribed in7 SNIE.

We believe that the NIE language reflects misunderstanding of the meaning of6 IC Assessment. That assessment outlined the rationale behind the decision to judge7 SNIE statement that Hanoi hadets of remains as based on "limited direct evidence whose reliability was open toe believe that the mortician was truthful in explaining his knowledge of warehoused remains, but that his information regarding the numbers of remains was not accurate. The second polygraph examination, in-depthomprehensive post-polygraph Investigation, and. Government's conclusion in4 concerning the mortician's truthfulness provide ample evidence and justification for our position. Had the DPMO been involved in coordinating8 NIE. the "unreliable" and "unsupported" language might have been challenged and the statement on the mortician might have been explained more fully.

We cannot explain why. Government contracted for two private commercial polygraph examinations of the mortician. Nor can we explain why. Government believed additional polygraph examinations of the mortician were necessary. We are confident that4 acceptance of comprehensive post-polygraph investigation of the

mortician arc sufficient justification to conclude that he was truthful, but not completely accurate In his assessment of the number of remains in question. We agree with6 IC Assessment claim that the mortician "carefully differentiated between the sets of remains he said he worked on and what he believed was the total number of boxes."

The NIE incorrectly claimed that6 IC Assessment retracted the statement in7 SNIE that Vietnam wasets of remains because the information was based on the unsupported testimonyingle unreliable source, the mortician. The misreading of6 IC Assessment on the mortician does not change the basic thrust or key judgments of the NIE nor does the misread make the NIE statement regarding the source of stored remains an "egregious and unsupported misrepresentation ofs claimed by the Critical Assessment.

Numbers of pow/mia:5 Documents

Two Distinct Methodologies

On the issue of numbers of American POWs In Vietnam, the Critical Assessment claims that the IC has not reviewed all relevant documentation. In addition, it asserts that. "It Is simply unacceptableetailed analysis of the numbers is not presented in theefore we address the issue of the numbers specifically, it is important to understand that two different accounting methodologies have been used to support arguments that there either are or are. MIAs still alive in Southeast Asia Since Operation Homecoming. Government has based its accounting on the cases of individuals who were expected to be repatriated, but were not. Over the years, these have been termed discrepancy or priority cases. The Senate Select Committeef those as the "Vessey Discrepancyyear, DoD accounting history has focused on these discrepancy cases In the remains recovery effort; as ofhe cases DoD considered to be still unresolved had been reduced

The alternate methodology, which has run parallel to the DoD accounting system in at least rudimentary form since Operation

Homecoming, considers all MIA. regardless of sub-categoryilled in Action-Body not Recoveredver water, non-hostile) to be potentially alive, unless 'fullest possible accounting* has occurred. Fullest possible accounting is defined as either verified repatriation of remains or returnive person. Based on that approach there remainersons not accounted for, all potentially live MIA. Supporters of this methodology do. however, tend to accept. Government's KIA-BNR accounting. Accepting KIA-BNR reduces the number of potential MIAs of

3 Senate Select Committee POW/MIA report stated that Senator Smith hadist of "compelling" cases, reducing the number of MIA4 still unaccounted. personnel from the Vietnamenator Srnitii did not describe his methodology but did say that he considered his listorking document" and "at bestased on verified remains relumed of those on his list. die list has been reducedames

The dichotomy between the two methodologies was not resolved during the work of the Senate Select Committee. POW/MIA Affairs. In its final report, die Committee created an "Appendix of Casend simply reported two lists of cases, the government's discrepancy list and Senator Smith's list of compelling cases.

IA-BNR rrlrrv to persons known to have been killed in action, but body or remains not recovered by US. forces, eg an aircraft exploding in midair or crashing,erson with unquestionably terminal wounds and not recovered due to enemy action, or being lost sea.ff theerm used to refer to aircraft losses in Southeast Asia, primarily In Laos, whereircraft low occurred outside of radar coverage and ihenknown.nlyllUary member Roben Garwood, has rttumtd allv* from Vietnam.

The U. S. Government's case methodology factors out both those cases that the DoD determined to be KIA-BNR and those cases In which there was evidence of death. The methodology also factors out cases that arc considered to be over water orhe total numlier is reduced as remains are recovered and Identified or when Individuals arehe methodology considers only the remaining cases to be MIA. There is no POW category in this methodology because. Government believes there are no remaining POWs.

The alternate methodology considers the above methodology to be flawed and bases its accounting on total numbers. While it also factors out KIA-BNR, returnees, and remains recovered and identified, it includes cases in which there Is evidence of death, over water cases, and off-the-scope cases The methodology considers all remaining cases to be potential POW as well as MIA and uses the terminology POW/MIA.

Apart from consistent treatment of KIA-BNR and remains recovered and identified, the two methodologies have different evidentiary bases. The discrepancy-based methodology relies on real-time incident reporting, results of search and rescue efforts: chain-of-command actions: the Presumptive Finding of Deathhichilitary Services and DoDnd the ongoing work of JTF-FA. It is driven by operational reporting.

The total numbers-based methodology Is also based on real-time incident reporting and results of search and rescue efforts. It discounts chain-of-command actions and PFOD determinations, however. It is driven by single source intelligence, interviews, and other one-rtme reports. In order to account for its numbers of missing personnel, itecond prison system and the transfer of individuals to the former Soviet Union. Since the work of the Senate Select Committeet has relied heavily on the two Russian archival documents,5 documents, which were acquired after the Select Committee finished Its work.

We opted neither to compare the two methodologies further nor to accept one over the other. Instead, we went back to an unfinished thread in4 IC report. "Recent Reports on American POWs in Indochina: An Assessment" That assessment contained the following statement, without amplification:

ls PFOD Is an administrative finding by the appropriate Military Service Secretary, after statutory review procedures, thato current evidence lo indicateerson previously listed as MIA or POW could still be alive.

Finally, analysis noted lhatocument" andocument* are Inconsistent with each other by any accouni Ing. To haveS pilots in captivity byanoi would have to have held far morey

That incomplete analysis, combined with the Senate Select Committee's decision not toosition on the two methodologies, persuaded us to evaluate those sections of5 documents dealing with numbers. POWs.

The Documents

We compared5 documents to each other using the Fulbright/Kennedy and Vessey listsasis (the lists will be described ase focused on those sections of the documents that address the number of POWs held by the Vietnamese because It Is those sections thai are relevant to the POW/MIA Issue. This methodology allowed us to proceed without questioning either the authenticity of the documents or the accuracy of those sections in each document that are not relevant to the POW Issue. This approach precludes questions concerning the bona fides of either purported author, his location and position at the time of each report, or the intended audience. It also sets aside consideration of South Vietnam. Laos or Cambodia and focuses solely on the North Vietnamese prisonlose examination of the portions of5 documents that address the POW issue reveals that both cannot be true. They are4 IC assessment concluded. The relevant portion of at least one of these documents, if not both, is demonstrably false.

Historical Setting ofocument

On. official representing Senators William Fulbright and Edward Kennedy wasist: "Hanoi." The cover sheet was headed. Ministry of National Defense. Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and titled. "US Pilots Captured in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam fromo" The listn the North Vietnamese prison system.eceased and nine released.

We can assume that senior Vietnamese officials familiar with the issue would have been aware of both the numbers provided to the United States in the Fulbright/Kennedy list and the breakdown of those numbersiving POWs andndividuals who had died or had beenothnd5 documents are attributed to senior Vietnamese officials. Both documents, In referring to the number of living American POWs that the Vietnamese had "acknowledged" to be In captivity, used the. This was not the true number of live POWs, and these officials would have known it.

In0 orietnamese agricultural official purportedlyrimarily agricultural report that was found in GRU archives in the summerhat report became known asocument. The GRU acquired document indicates that the Vietnamese official briefly addressed the POW Issue twice in the report.ection titled Situation in the Vietnamese Workers'he report states. we published the namesmerican pilots who were shot down and taken captive in the territory ofater,ection titled, "Situation in South Vietnam. Laos, andhe report states that:

The overall number of American pilots imprisoned in. V..lready slated, we published the namesilots. This is our diplomatic move. If the Americans agree to withdraw their troops from South Vietnam,an we will returnen to them.

If the reporting official (or any other senior Vietnamese official) had beenosition to give an authoritative report on this subject and to use the, he also would have known thatf the men whose names were on the published list could not be returned to the United States because they had either been released previously or died in captivity. The acknowledged number of live POWs who could have been returned.

In the meantime,. officials were unintentionally institutionalizing the incorrect number.he Secretary of Defense forwarded the Fulbright/Kennedy listemorandum,0 PW List from NVN" to the Secretaries of the Military Departments. In the text, the Secretary referred toistervicemen who are or have been prisoners ofn5 book.

Imprisoned or Missing tn Vietnam. Lewis M. Stern, commenting onocument stated. The document, which stated that Vietnam. aviators as POWs1 instead ofhose names the Vietnamese

had publiclyStern has been involved with DoD

policymaking on the POW/MIA issue since9 and accompanied General Vessey to Hanoi five times. Currently he is the Director for Indochina, Thailand and Burma, International Security Affairs. Office of the Secretary of Defense. He did not questionigure inocument when we Interviewed him.

On the other hand, the figure cited by the Vietnamese0 has been accurately reported, implicitly if not explicitly, at least five times: twice in the POW/MIA literature, twice by Senator Smith, and once by the IC. In6efinitive History of die American Prisoner-of-War Experience in. John G. Hubbell stated. "Inembers of Hanoi's delegation to the Paris Peace talks handed over to representatives of Senators William Fulbrlght and Edwardistmerican POWs in Northn3. or Mythmaking in America, (expanded and updated edition) H. Bruce Franklin stated that, "The following month [December] Northrovided what it officially certified as the 'full and complete' list ofrisoners it held

Senator Smith has accurately referred to the number of living POWs cited in the Fulbright/Kennedy document on two occasions. In hisAn Interim Analysis of2 Translation of5e stated. "On. the North Vietnamese delegate to the Paris Peace talks, Mai Van Bo, released to representatives. Senators Kennedy andist of the namesOWs.f whom were listed as having died, and nine of whom had previously beenenator Smith repeated that same information later in his analysis.

In the Critical Assessment. Senator Smith stated,ist itself consistedir Force and Navy pilots and crew members currently inuch personnel previously released, anduch personnel listed ase went on to say that. "The status ofen listed as

captives was already known to thethis was the

first 'official' acknowledgment of their status bye repeated the

Information againritical Assessment,ages later.

In the Critical Assessment, Senator Smith hypothesized that only one of two conclusions could be drawn; eitfter the Vietnamese hadull accounting or they had decided not toull accounting, asocument alleges. Senator Smith referred back to The Secretary of Defense's memorandum and stated that, 'I do not accept itist)omplete list of all the prisoners held In North Vietnam."

he IC was on the verge of focusing on the Vietnamese figureiving POWs and the implications of that number, but missed the opportunity.33 DoSietnam-INR Comment onhe Acting Chief, INR stated:

The report says Hanoi had "published the namesliers shot down and captured on the territory of the DRV* and that these would be relumedtart" when the US "agreed" to withdraw.re inconsistencies in this statement. True, inanoi passed to Senators Fulbright and Kennedyames purporting to be all the airmen captured over Vietnam. Butere still livingwere deceased,ad been released years earlier. [The author's! purported statement that once the US had agreed to withdraw "we will,tart, return to themeople* is curious sincerisoners remained.

Finally, handwritten notes taken during an IC discussion (DoS. DIA. Task Force Russia. CIA. NIO) after the surfacing ofocument contain two illuminating comments. First,Number isnd5 can't both behere is no evidence that these INR and DIA comments were ever pursued. Neither the drafter of4 IC assessment nor the drafter oficked up on this discrepancy.

igure cited in the second relevant section ofocument cannot be an informed North Vietnamese statement. For internal consumption, the figure had toecause the Vietnamese knew thatfervicemen they were referring to had either died or been released. For external consumption, the figure could accurately have been no more8 less the nine known by the world to have

beenased on the actual makeup ofist as known to both. and North Vietnamese Governments inhe second paragraph inocument relating to American POWsalse number.

Historical Setting of5 Document

On. bombing halt north of> parallel went into effect. Onomplete bombing halt was ordered. That hall, excepting sporadic retaliatory strikes90 and again from February toemained in effect until authorization was given for attacks on southern North Vietnam MiG basesperation Linebacker, including mining of North Vietnamese ports, began2 and lasted until

Accounting. Military Personnel Lost in Southeast Asia


! .

Two sets of statistics provlde'compreheiisive-lisis. military personnel lost in Southeast Asia by date of loss. Onehronological name list that was maintained by the Assistant Secretary of Defenseased on information provided by the military services. The otherhronological reference document maintained by DPMO. The5 Comptroller's list and thePMO listange of at). losses in Southeast Asia between the dates of5 documents, the end of0 and2 respectively. The Comptroller's list is limited to military personnel unaccounted for in specific categories, such as KIA-BNR, while (he DPMO list accounts for every loss regardless of category and includes returnees. We deleted foreign nationals. civilians from the DPMO list to maintain consistency with both the Comptroller's list and the contents of5 documents.

The5 Comptroller listilitary personnel who were either captured or missing in Southeast Asia during the period1 throughased on these figures,5 documents cannot both be accurate: the additionames is far less thanifference betweennd5 numbers.

16The L'niieaS'.aies unilaterally recovered the bodies uf IB peisonnei.fdtose3

A higher figure is provided in the7 DPMO list whichilitary personnel whose date of incident/loss occurred during the period1 tossuming thatocument is accurate and given the impossibility thatersonnel becamehe highest possible POW total at the time of5 document would haveonversely, assuming that5 document is accurate, the lowest possible total at the time ofocument would have.

Thus, opportunities for. pilot population in the North Vietnam prison system to grow were limited between the release ofist in0 and the purported2 date of5 report.

. Government, just prior to the surfacing of5 document incknowledged the detailed makeup ofames on the Fulbright/Kennedy list and its relationship to what the United States knew. In its final report, released inhe Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs stated that:

Byhe number of confirmed American prisoners had risenthree months beforepeech) On.

North Vietnam provided Senator Edward Kennedyist

Inhe [Japanese news Agency)ist. POWs. DIA analysis foundf the names on this list had been acknowledged previously as POWs by theere individuals already released.ere servicemen the DRV had reported earlier as dead, andere new names, all airmen lost over North Vietnam between0 and. By the fall2 |tbe time of5 documenti. the list of confirmed US. POWs held by North Vietnam had risen to more

The Vessey documents are germane at this point. The Vietnamese provided General Vessey seven documentswo of those documents are lists of American prisoners. The first of theseopyandwritten spreadsheet in the Vietnamese language that accounts for American accessions into the North Vietnamese prison system since the capture of Lieutenant Everett. Navy, who was shot down over North Vietnam In4 and became the first entry on the list. The second documentisting in English that isontinuation of the listames provided to Senators Fulbright and Kennedy inhe Vessey documentsay to extrapolate the number of Americans in the North Vietnamese prison system relevant to5 document, as shown In Table 1.

The listmericans who the North Vietnamese claimed had entered their prison system remained static untilhen six. prisoners entered the system. Beginning onhe list increased rapidly,igurey the date of5 document. During that time, however, three more prisoners were released and two more died. Therefore, the figure relevant to5 document of US prisoners in the North Vietnam prison system8 minuseceased and. That is the figure that knowledgeable North Vietnamese would have used for internal consumption.

Concerning the.5 document states:

5 American POWs kept In the prisons of North Vietnamarge number. For now. we have officiallyist ofOWs. The resl are not acknowledged.

As discussed earlier, the figure of. POWs citedenior Vietnamese official to his leadership at this time should have beenor consistency withocumento be consistent with the numbers in the Vesseyat leastOWs had either died or been released. Therefore, the reference in5 documentOWs is inaccurate.5 document also notes that, "The work with American prisoners of war has always been within the field of vision of the Politburo and has been reflected In itsf that is true, then the Politburo would have been aware of the increases and attrition cited previously.

Further,5 document states. *We haveviators in Northhat figure directly contradictsigure. Byigure would have increased to at5 plus theame increase toist including deceased and releasedn sum.5 document does not track withocument, and Itigure that knowledgeable Vietnamese would have known was inaccurate. Therefore. In our Judgment, the POW/MIA section of5 document is also false.

The Russian position on the numbers in5 document has been communicated toRussia Joint Commission on at least two occasions.04 letter to Senator Smith, the Chief of the GRU stated that. "We cannot confirm the correctness of the number of American) mentioned in the report, inasmuch as this data was not relevant for us and was nothe new Chief of the GRU repeated that statement to Senators Smitfi and Shelby and Representative Johnsonoint Commission meeting at the Russian Ministry of Defense. He concluded by saying that. 'I do not have anything more to add concerning what [my predecessor] said."

A DoS analysis of5 document in3 raised two additional points that should have been addressed by the author of5 document but were not. DoS argued that the document should have referredecision made two weeks earlier by the Vietnamese to release three additional pilots whose families were due in Hanoi onecondly. DoS noted that5 document did not address the increased number of prisonersesult of the. bombing campaign of2 and the resultant Vietnamese propaganda exploitation of POWs.

The JCSD files support the assessment that Vietnamese leaders would have been accurately Informed about the numbers of American POWs being held. Those filesFR QCSD's predecessor) undated assessment.is the Russians: Analysis of5n reference to the author of5 document, the TFR document states that, he "cited the continued interest of the Politburo in the question of American prisoners ofis speech strongly suggested ongoing discussion and debate within the Politburo regarding the disposition of American POWs

Therefore, updated information on the number and disposition of POWs must have been discussed by the Vietnamese Politburo within the time frame of5 document. The TFR analysis also states that:

Given the many inconsistencies and contradictions of5 document, this type of analysis will allow the burden of proof to be placed on those who are holding backhe Russians and Vietnamese. This may alleviate the need for the US. Government toefinitive truthartial plere ofdo not have enough information to know what5 document really means.

The Critical Assessment supports the view that accurate information would have been provided to the Vietnamese Politburo by senior Vietnamese officials. In addressing the NIE statement that 'none of the Russians claimed that the figure5 POWs washe assessmentRU officer (as ofs stating during an Interview that:

he Vietnamese would not have deceived themselveslosed Politburo session; they might have provided inaccurate information In press releases on their negotiations wlih the Americans, but they would have no reason to do so within closed sessions of their political leadership.

A Point of Logic

It does not matter whether5 documents are genuine GKU documents or whether the contents not dealing with POW numbers are accurate. An analysis of the statements in the Critical Assessment devoted to proving that, because the documents are genuine and elsewhere accurate, the sections about POW matters are accurate as well Is not warranted. It does not necessarily follow thatocument is genuine and two of its three parts are plausible that the third part Is also plausible. Conversely, because one of three partsocument Is not plausible does not necessarily mean that the other two parts arc also not plausible or that the document Itself is not genuine.

Much effort has been expended to prove the bona Odes of5 documents and their respective authors. The pursuit thus far has been fruitless. As one member of the JCSD team conducting interviews

with Russians on the documents told us. "the process Is more important than the results because there are noor does it matter. We accept the authenticity of the two documents, and we accept the accuracy of some of the contents of the documents. We do not accept references in the documents to the numbers of POWs held by the Vietnamese.

Nevertheless, because so much has been made of the testimony of and interviews with Russian sources, we reviewed the statements of Russian sources who have been interviewed by JCSD. including those mentioned in both the NIE and the Critical Assessment, to determine their opinions of5 documents.

Assessment of Comments by Russian Sources on5 Documents

The NIE uses the results of five Russian interviews In Its discussion of thessessment of5 documents. Based In part on those interviews, which the NIE categorizes as 'newhe NIE concludes that "none of the new information helps to confirm the accuracy of5 report" and that the IC assessment of5 documents released in4 "remains valid."

A large portion of the Critical Assessmentetailed analysis of the NIE's assessment of5 documents. The Critical Assessment refers to four of the five Russian sources cited in the NIE and concludes that:

heudgment on5 documents cannot be accepted with confidence because it is replete [emphasis in origmall with Inaccurate and misleading statements andeasonably rlwrough and objective analytical foundation on which to base Its Judgment.

Our Approach

Both the NIE and the Critical Assessment refer to Russian sources, but cite them differently. We reviewed statements ofussians made during interviews with JCSD analysts or in meetings. personnel. To assess the statements, we first defined the level of access that each individual had. We established three levels of access based on the

individual's level of responsibility and the nature of his assignments as follows:

1expectation that the official had knowledge of policy and could have had access to documentation:

expectation that the official had knowledge of policy and could have had access to documentation; and

or no expectation that the official had knowledge of policy and could have had access to documentation.

We next reviewed the statements to establish how each Russian source rated the validity of5 documents as genuine GRU acquisitions and the credibility of the Information in each document concerning POW numbers.

Validity and Credibility

Thirteen of theussianercent) considered the documents valid. Further, when only medium and high access levels are considered,fercent) considered the documents valid. None of the Russian sources considered them not valid, and some had no opinion.

Five of theussianercent) considered the documents credible.ercent) considered them not credible. Thus,fercent) made no judgment. Only two ofndividualsigh level of access believed that the information in5 documents was credible. One Individual based his judgment on his belief thai the GRU had the means to collect suchon validation of the information by other means. The other said that, if the Vietnamese claimed theymerican POWs. that was more than the Soviets had estimated. Three of nine individuals with medium access thought live information was credible.avy Captain in the GRU who had no direct knowledge of5 documents, stated that the numbers cited In them could not be confirmed; he believed that Russia had no interest in having these numbers confirmed. The secondyear veteran of the Soviet intelligence and security servicead no direct

knowledge of the documentation and said he never saw any information indicating POWs were detained after the Vietnam War The third individual, the sole KGB representative to the Soviet Embassy in Hanoi5ommented that the documents confirmed his personal opinion that not all POWs were released. Not one of the five Russians who found the information credible had any independent means verification.

Two Russian sources with high access believed the information was not credible. The Russian Ambassador in Hanoi46 questioned the credibility of the information because at no time during his tenure as Ambassador did he learn of any American POWs being held after the war. Another highly placed diplomat who worked on political issues concerning Vietnam at the Central Committee36 never saw or was made aware of the existence of5 documents. One source with medium access who served in the Russian Embassy in Hanoi when the two documents surfaced stated that5 document could be in error due to inaccurate GRU reporting, translation errors, or mistakes by the purported author and his staff.

Previously, we stated that we accept that5 documents were genuine acquisitions. Statements made by Russian sources reinforce that acceptance. Furthermore, we found that one section ofocument and the section of5 document pertaining to POW numbers were both false. Based on the statements made byussian sources, that finding stands No estimate of credibility concerning numbers. POWs cited In5 documents can be made based on theussian sources.

The Critical Assessment claims that the NIE statement that the new information from the Russian interviews does not help to confirm the accuracy of5 documents is "factuallyhe assessment Indicates that the Information providedumber of GRU officers helps to confirm that5 document was *an accurate representation of the political military situation in North Vietnam* Further, the assessment states that.he GRU has expressed its confidence in both the authenticity and the reliability of the information in5e reviewed the statements made by the GRU officials and found that none of them supports the POW-related contents of5 document

The Navy Captain claimed that the GRU had no interest In the POW issue nor did It perform an analysis of5 document. In his opinion, the only value in5 documents was the description of North Vietnam's internal political situation. Another GRU officer claimed that the Soviet estimate of the number. POWs in Southeast Asia2 was far short of the purported figure In5 document. JCSD concluded that, "the Soviet assessment supports the POW-rclated content of neitheror5he former Chief of the GRU said that the GRU could not confirm the accuracy of the number of American POWs In5 document because the information "was not essential" to the Soviets. His successor said that he had nothing more to add to that statement.

The Critical Assessment claims that the GRU "has expressed its confidence in both the authenticity and the reliability of the information on5t does not mention, however, that the GRU sources do not support the POW-related content of the documents.

Separate or Second Prison System

The NIE stated that, if there were additional POWs. the IC would have known of them unless Vietnameparate prison unknown to the POWs who returnedhe estimate concluded that, 'we have uncovered no reliable evidenceeparate prison system existed for certain POWs; nor do we have such indicators as plausible site locations."

Concerning the issueeparate or second prison system, the Critical Assessment refers to 'substantial information and evaluations originated by or made available lo. Intelligence Community both during and/or after the Vietnamhe assessment asserts that, based on5 documents, the large number of POWs not repatriated had to have been heldeparate or second prison system. Included in the evidence cited in the Critical AssessmenteferenceIA study in

6 that concluded, 'die possibilityecond prison system for the detention of American POWs in North Vietnam cannot be disregarded/

A more expansive quotation from the so called CIA study appeared8 book. Code-Name Bright Light. The Untold Story. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War, by George Veith:

An analysis ofamps not known to have contained Americans revealed inconsistencies in the various camps' reaction to the Son Tay

. Some camps reacted defensively to the raid, others did not

Only selected camps reacted initially to the. The reason for this inconsistency in the various camps' reactions to the raid is not known. Because of thishe possibilityecond prison system for the detention of American POWs cannot be disregarded.

In an end note. Veith sourced his quote to the:

Senate CongressJona/ Record... Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire Is quoting fromajusideclassified CIA photographic study of selected prison facilities in North Vietnam. The study was done

Weopy of the CIA prison camp study referred to by the Critical Assessmenr from the SSCl's holdings. The "study" is an untitled, undated, handwritten draft, apparently containedile folder titled "CIA PW Camphe draft somehow survived the archival process and was includedine Item onage transmittal recordorwarded by the DIA POW/MIA Office to the Federal Archives and Records Center. An extract of the transmittal recordopy of the handwritten draft were forwarded to Senator Smith on3 by the Acting Deputy Director. DPMO.

Weecond copy of the handwritten draft in the archives of the DIA Special Office for POW/MIA Affairs. Included with that undated draft marked 'Working Paper*ix page, undated DIA informal review of the draft The DIA conclusion was that:

None of lhe finding (sicj presented in this study provide (sic) any evidence to support the presence of US. PWs in the "Other Camps" orecond prison system was maintained in North Vietnam for the purpose of holding US. PWs not released at Homecoming.

DPMO analysts told us that, in. DIA pursued lhe possibilityecond prison system, ruling out the possibility for three reasons:

Returned POWs did notystem of collection and evacuation that wouldegment of the POW flow from the North Vietnamese prison system;

Extensive source reporting inid notecond prison system; and

Reporting from former South Vietnamese commando returnees asked about contact with or observation of American POWs in the prison system in which they were held. There was no such contact or observation.

We found work relevant to the draft "study" in the holdings of CIA's DO held POW/MIA-rclated information. Two folders in that collection contained documents associated with the search for POW camp information. None of the documents we reviewedonclusion about the presence of American POWsarticular camp based on imagery alone. Forypical document entry was. "Imagery alone cannot determine camp schedules, patterns of activity and nationality and dress of prisoners andositive identification of the presence of American POWs was made only when human source information was also factored in. Typically, the imagery analytical conclusion was either, "there is no sign of any activity Indicating [that] the buildings an? being used to house Americanr 'There is no sign of any activity that could be associatedOW detention camp.*

The DO documents revealed that CIA, Office of Imagery Analysis (OIA) had systematically searched for POW camp information since at leasteginning In atormal standing requirement was levied each year, worded, "Identification of Installations in Southeast Asia Which May Contain American Prisoners.'

Relevant work for the CIA prison camp study mentioned in the Critical Assessment was done by three individuals whose signatures were on several project-related memoranda. We interviewed the action officer for the study; he verified that he was the author of the handwritten draft that survived the archival process. He could not confirm which draft (first, second, final) had been archived because his practice had been to rewrite by hand each draft after management review. He said the task had been based on the premise that we "knew about the knownhe camps that held Americans) and hadumber of detention facilities not known to hold Americans. The requirement was to determine, using imagery, additional camps that might hold Americans The methodology was to use the aftermath of the0 Son Tay raid to determine what changes In security had taken place at the camps not known to hold Americans. Having determined those changes, the analytical question became, "could we use that change to provide evidence of Americanlthough he drafted the wording quoted by the Critical Assessment, the action officer said that:

there was no way! could prove It: the change as determined from imagery was In Itself not proof. There were no other sources of Information.

The Director, OIAtatus report on the sludyate6 memorandum to the CIA. Deputy Director for Intelligence, that stated:

e havetudy ofrisons/POW Camps in northern Vietnam in an attempt to identify some method of analysis or signature to indicate the presence. POWs. Our study consistedomparative analysis of six confirmed American POW camps andlher prisons using photography dated prior to and after the0 raid on Son Tay. We found that all six of (lie known POW camps andf therisons had new defenses addwi between

0 andlthough this mayossible Indicator, it is noi conclusive evidence of an American presence.

The Chief, Land Forces Division signed the completed studyIA internal memorandumhe study was based solely on imagery and focused primarily on the presence or absence of defensive positions, lhe handwritten draft which the Critical Assessment cited contained the following statement, in context:

This Inconsistency [different patterns of post reaction to the Son Tay raid) and the fact that several reports have been received recently stating that Americans are still being held in North Vietnam, the possibilityecond prison system for the detention or American POWs cannot be disregarded.

That statement did not survive the CIA review process. The final assessment made in the CIA internal memorandum was:

Although ihcse may be possible indicators. It Is not conclusive evidence of an American presence We searched the official DoD files on therisons to correlate any reporting of an American presence with our photographic analysis. No correlation coukl be made

In other words, the CIA. OIA. in the aggregate, followed the same logic it had used for individual camp assessments. Imagery alone (without all-source reporting, in this case the addition of human source information) cannot be usedeterminant.

In critiquing the original language, the Deputy Division Chief. OIA asked the imagery analyst If he was trying to sway the readerertain conclusion, perhaps not supported by the evidence. The analyst told us that,anted to find some newnd In consultation with the supervisor he recalled that perhaps he had not been 'standing back and taking an unbiasede said heunior analyst at the time and might have been off the analytical track He summarized by saying that,ill have to say that [his) work, based solely on imagery, is even today,ith one exception he never saw anything in his entire career that supported the statement he had made in the draft of the memorandum. The one exception was that he thought at one time there

"might be something"amp calleda that he recalled was in the Haiphong area. Nothing was ever substantiated. The imagery analyst was shown the signed internal memorandum: he said it accurately reflected his unbiased analysis.

We interviewed the CIA. DO counterintelligence analyst responsible for evaluation of the North Vietnamese security services and the North Vietnamese prison system. He held that analytical account continuously5he first seven of those years working for the Chief of Station in Saigon. He stated that he was constantly attuned to the thesis that there mighteparate or second prison system, and he continuously looked forystem. He never found any evidence of the existence ofystem.

In sum. there never was an all source CIA "Prison Camp Study-Instead, the CIA. OIA provided an internal. Imagery-based assessment to the DO. The coordinationandwritten draft of that assessment with DIA resulted in the archiving of the handwritten draft by the DoD. That archived draft was assumed, erroneously, by researchers ino be an IC product. It was neither an IC productIA product; it was the preliminary workunior imagery analyst that stated that the evidence from imagery was inconclusive.

au.eced Transfers of POWs from Vietnam to the USSR

On the issue of the alleged transfers of POWs to Russia or elsewhere, the Critical Assessment states that:

he books must definitely remain open on the transfer issue based on more pressing information previously made available to the IC but inexplicably not referenced in the NIE under the heading of unresolved transfer

The assessment differs with the NIE. particularly with respect to statements madeate Russian General, who servedilitary adviser to President Yeltsin and was the Co-Chairman of the Russian side ofRussia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs,ormer USSR Central

Committee Secretary. The Critical Assessment claims that the NIE accounts of information provided by the two officials are "inaccurate or lacking in importante reviewed the statements made by those individuals and other Russian officials, and we examined evidence associated with the possible existenceecond prison camp system. We agree with the NIE assertion that, becauseack of conclusive evidence disproving transfers, the "books should remain open" on the issue. To date, however, most, if not all. reporting avenues have been explored with negative results. Our review of the transfer issue, with particular emphasis on the comments of the late Russian General and the former Central Committee Secretary, follows.

The Russian General

The NIE states that the General toldRussia Joint Commission on POW/MIA Affairs that his delegation had uncovered no evidence. prisoners had been transported from Vietnam to the USSR. The Critical Assessment argues that the fact that the General did not uncover evidence of transfer does not constitute proof that such an event did not occur. The assessment cites astatement the General made to the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs onn which he said, "Hypothetically, we cannot dismiss the possibility that several individual American servicemen were taken to the Soviet Union fromhe Critical Assessment does not mention, however, that, in concluding that thought, the General said, "But, again, we have no precise information about such cases. It can only beossibilityelieveery strongn the same testimony, he claimed that there were no archives in Russia that he did not have access to and added:

. citizens are currently being detained within the territory of the former USSR. The conclusion is basedhorough analysis of all archival documents, interviews with witnesses, and on-site Inspections of possible American housing sites.

We examined several documents issued prior to this testimony that support the General's statement that. citizens were being detained.he Interrepublic Security Service, successor to the former KGB Second Chief Directorate, told. Government that it had undertaken "an exhaustive search of available information and resources.

and had come up with no indication of such presence in the USSR past orhe lnterrepublic Security Service advised the US. Government that. "On our part, we also do not have any information about American military personnel located on the territory of the USSR who were missing in action during the course of military activities ininally,02 letter to President Yeltsin, the Russian Minister of Security said that:

The Security Ministry, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and ihe Russian Communist Party Archive do nol have inaterials about the retention of American POWs on the territory of the former USSR. An analogous response was received from the Ministry of Defense and the GRU of the General Staff. OVS (Unified ArmedNG (Commonwealth of Independent States),

In spite of that, when asked62 "Dateline" interview about rumors that American POWs from the Vietnam War were transferred to the former Soviet Union, President Yeltsin responded that:

Our archives have shown that this is true. Some of them were transferred to the former Soviet Union and were kept in labor camps. We don't have complete data and can only surmise that some of them may still be alive. That is why our investigations are continuing. Some of them may have ended up in psychiatric asylums.

President Yeltsin's statement contradicts information provided to him by his Minister of Security barely one month prior to his "Dateline" interview. In late. Co-Chairman of the US-Russia Joint Commission said that President Yeltsin "misspoke" when he. POWs might still be in the former Soviet Union. And. oneeting with President Bush, the Co-Chairman said that he had found no evidence in Moscow that any living American POW was being held against his will in the former Soviet Union.

2 interview with ihe Russian newspaper. Nezavlslmaya Gazcta. the General said that President Yeltsin had been mistaken and that archives showed no sign of any such prisoners ever being held In the former Soviet Union. During2 hearings before the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIAetter signed by President

Yeltsin was entered into the record. The letter mentions evidence of Americans "staying in camps and prisoners of the formernd says that some had been executed by the Stalinnd that others may still reside in the former Soviet Union. Yeltsin concluded that there were no Americans being held against their will in Russia. The IC has no information to support the claim made by President Yeltsin. POWs from the Vietnam War were held in Soviet prison camps; certainly, none was executed during the regime of Stalin, who died

The Critical Assessment asserts that, after his2 testimony before the Senate Select Committee, the Russian General said in an4 autobiographical sketch that he hadvery serious indication"ransfer. POWs to the USSR may have taken place in the. The Critical Assessment does not mention, however, that he goes on to say that, after discovering the "sensational document" aboutransfer, he immediately brought it to the attention of the Director of Foreign Intelligence. The Director's staff searched for any indication that the plan referred to in the document had been implemented. The General then said.xpected, they did not find the indications. They said the mission was not carriedhe autobiographical sketch concludes by stating. The regime (Soviet) was such at the lime that It was possible to contemplate the wildest scenarios.*

The Central Committee Secretary

The NIEormer Central Committee Secretary for Maintaining Ties with Other Socialist Countries as an example of an official who served in Vietnam during the war and would have reason to know. POWs were transferred to the USSR. The NIE reports that the Secretary served In Vietnam and told interviewers that he would have known if transfers had occurred; he believed no such transfers had taken place.

The Critical Assessment asserts that, although the Secretary traveled to Hanoi once to negotiate an agreement with North Vietnam, he did not serve in Vietnam. We found no information suggesting that the Secretary served In Vietnam. The Critical Assessment also states that. side ofRussia Joint Commission frequently hears the claim. 'i would have known" during routine interviews with former Soviet officials who display

an Inflated view of their importance. We agree. We found several statements by former Soviet officials who claimed to beosition to know about certain events, but whose claims we cannot prove or disprove without more evidence.

The NIE used the interview with the Secretary to point out that certain former Soviet officials did not believe that transfers of POWs to the USSR had occurred The Secretary was just one of several possible examples. The NIE could haveetter example than the Secretary. For example, one official served In Vietnamnd again, when he was an adviser to the Soviet Ambassador; he worked for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the International Department dealing exclusively with Vietnamese issues7 interview, the official stated that such transfers would not have taken place without the Politburo's knowledge and consent, and that ifecision had been made, he would liave known about it. The NIE also could haveareer GRU Colonel who served in Hanoi.6 interview, the Colonel, commenting on the credlbUlty of reports of transfers, said.ill tell you quite frankly that the staff of the military attache was not involved ino not knowingle incident" He added.ever heard of this during my four yearslso knew people In other services, and they would have told me."

Despite the statements of Soviet officials who had served in Vietnam, which die NIE drafter might have cited, the lack of conclusive evidence disproving transfers led to the NIE's conclusion that "the books should remain open on this issue" and. tiiat "until some of thes clarified, we cannot say definiUvely that no POWs were transferred fromheComprehensive Report of. Side ofRussia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs" bolsters the argument that while the "books should remain open* on the issue, most, if not all. avenues have been explored with negative results. The report states that:

A four-year Investigation into the activities of Soviet officials In Southeast Asia during the years of the Vietnam War has found no first-hand, substantiated evidence that American prisoners of war were taken from Southeast Asia to (he Former Soviet Union.

6 report reveals that the American side of the commission had been told "in definitive terms" that the Soviets "did not at any time' transfer American POWs to the Soviet Union. The report went on to state that the commission had interviewed moreoviets who had served in Southeast Asia during the war and that:

very witness, without exception, stated that he had not known or heard of any operation to transport American prisoners to the Soviet Union

According to the report, every senior Soviet official interviewed said that, if transfers had occurred, he "would have known abouthe report also mentions that, during debriefings of theeturned POWs. none suggested that American POWs were transferred to the Soviet Union. Finally, among Uie documents collected by the commission, none contained information on transfers of American POWs to the Soviet Union.

Case Assessments

The final TOR fortipulated that:

r the Intelligence community judges these documents5 document) to ben their characterization of the number of American POWs held by North Vietnam, then it should answer the following question: 'What is the likely range of numbers of American POWs under the control of the communist side when the Paris Peace Accords were signed In'

The IC determined that5 documents were not accurate In their characterization of the number of POWs held by North Vietnam and therefore did not pursue the issue of numbers of POWs held by North Vietnam at the time of Operation Homecoming. Senator Smith and staff members of the SSCI had anticipated thatould address the issue of the number of POWs held by the Vietnamese at the time of Operation Homecoming and that it would look at the related issue of Ml As still unaccounted for from the war in Southeast Asia. It did not do so.

3 report of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs left the Issue of the discrepancy cases unresolved. Senator Smith

had continuing questions about the cases andistingames which he titled.. POW/MIAs Who May Have Survived in2 Repatriated remains reduced the number of namess of our review. In5 time frame, DPMO prepared case assessments (two- to four-page summaries) of each missing person file.

Senator Smith's legislative assistant told us he had expected that the drafter of the NIE would review the case assessments pertaining to Senator Smith's compelling cases. No one reviewed (hose cases. DPMO confirnied that the drafter of the NIE did not review the case assessments and no one -other thanvalidated or attempted to validate Senator Smith's list. We obtained from DPMO the case assessments forases on Senator Smith's listames for which verified remains have not been returned. We undertook the task of reviewing these cases, and we haveramework that others can use to assess them (seeiscussion of our case assessment methodology).

Our Methodology

We believe that these cases are at the heart of the controversy over POWs in Vietnam and that an effort to evaluate them is essential. We therefore conducted our own assessment of the casesanner that can be replicated. Each member of our three-person review team independently evaluatedases without consultation or collaboration. The team was unconstrained in the time required to make an informed assessment and score each of the cases (seeor results of our compelling casehe she factors evaluated were:

Is there evidence the individual survived the incident?

Is there evidence the individual could have been taken captive?

Is there evidence the individualrison system?

Can any of three governments (Vietnam. Laos, and Cambodia) account for the Individual?

Was the case compelling prior to2 (date of Senator Smith list) based on information available at that time?

the case compelling today based on Information received since

Other than to simply makeno" or "inconclusive' entries in each of the six columns for each case, no further scoring was done undl the three individual assessments were completed. We judged "compelling" twice, because the files available to us contained updated information since the publication of Senator Smith's list inhe word 'compelling' needs to be clarified because it was undefined by Senator Smith. We accepted the term as being similar to the term "discrepancy" as used in the Vesseyor our purposes, compelling meant that there was something more to be known about the fate of the individual.

We decided to present the dataay that provides the strongest possible support for Senator Smith's list. POWs who may have survived in captivity. We extended the range of each of the six factors listed above by scoring Ihe data as follows:

If all three reviewersactor "yes"iven case, we counted thatnanimous group response, and

If one revieweractor 'yes" and at least one other reviewer scored that same factor either "yes" or "inconclusive" we counted thatonsensus group response.

Based on that two fold scoring, the results for the first four factors of our independent reviewases listed as compelling by Senator Smith are:

a General Vessey's discrepancy cam are Owse POWswere expected to be repatriated, but were not. Inhat number. as ofhe cases still not resolved had been reducedenator Smith's list of cases has been referred to as "compelling" by Advocacy and Intelligence Index for Prisoners of WarMlMlntr In Action (All POWnd we use it here to distinguish it from the Vessey list. Based on verified remains recovery, the compelllTiR case lis: had been reducedames at the lime of our review


leastnd as many asfndividuals could have survived the incident of loss:

Al leasind as many asf those Individuals could have been captured;

At least six and as many as nine of those individuals could haverison system; and

One of the current Southeast Asia governments may be able to account for at leastnd as manyfndividuals

Further, concerning the "compelling" factor both2 and today, the results of our independent review ofases are:

At least one and as many asfases was compelling based on Information available Innd

At most, three cases are compelling loday. none unanimously. None of these losses occurred in Cambodia. Laos, or North Vietnam; all occurred in South Vietnam.

Each member of the review team evaluated the files for each of these cases and made independent evaluations. These evaluations are intuitive, but the methodology can be replicated by others. We describe one particular case, that of Captain John McDonnell, that illustrates the difficulty of making such evaluations.

The McDonnell Case

The case. Army Captain John T. McDonnells complicated and has been reviewed repeatedly since his helicopter went down9 The case reflects the polarization that exists concerning the MIAetailed discussion of our rationale for selecting the case and the steps we took to understand it is in Annex I.

3 Senate Select Committee POW/MIA report portrayed the McDonnell case as follows:

Onaptain McDonnell was the pilot (sk) of an AH-IG Cobra helicopter hit and downed by hostile fire In Thua Thlen Province.

His crewirst Lieutenant, was rescued alive on Marchut was unable to provide any information on (he fate of Captainearch mission was also unsuccessful.

Captain McDonnell was declared missing and. inas declared dead/body not recovered.. POWs were unable to shed any light on his fate.

U.S. Invesdgators In Vietnam during1 Interviewed witnesses who described the capture of an American pilot in the area where Captain McDonnell disappeared. They reported heroken and bleeding arm when taken prisoner and broughteople's Army of Vietnam regimental headquarters which received instructions to transport him to the Tri Thicn Hue Military Region Headquarters. He died en route, was buried, and the US. field team was shown his purported burial site. The site was excavated but no remains were located.

A different story was contained29 posting on the Internet by the Advocacy and Intelligence Index for Prisoners of War-Missing in Action (AHn article entitled. "Captain John T. McDonnell United States Army. ONE OF THE MEN WE LEFTegan:

The next time someone asks you to name one American serviceman left behind in Southeast Asia, name just oneLook them straight In the eye and say Capt. John T. McDonnell. United States Army, last known duty station Vietnamese Prison Camp Location Ba To, Quang Ngai Province. SourJi Vietnam. Last seen In mid to late

The All POW-MIA analysts observed that:

Examination of the downed helicopter revealed that Capt. |sic| McDonnell's seat belt and harness were open and placed neatly on the seat:

Onorth Vietnamese ralller reported that he observed. Prisoners of War with the North Vietnamese Army in Laos on three different occasions, between May and

Onorth Vietnamese defector reported that2 he saw an American Captain at theW Camp who wasaptured American artillerynd

Atudy concluded thereossibility that as many asmericans could be alive. Captain McDonnell is included among


There are only two verifiable facts concerning this case. First, Captain McDonnell was last seen alive9 enteringobra AH-IG helicopter. Second, onaptain McDonnell's military identification card was located in the Hue Military Museum. All other information related to determining his fate is contained in the results of interviews. No intelligence information or other official reporting factually correlates to Captain McDonnell.

Circumstances of Loss

Sworn testimony takenissing Person Board convened shortly after the loss revealed that Captain McDonnell was the team leaderlight of two helicopter gunships. the Aircraft Commander of his gunship, and sat in the gunner's position on the day of his Incident He was not the pilot that day. His pilotocket run from which he could not recover and the gunship crashed into the sideountain. There was initial confusion as to whether the loss was due to hostile fire. The pilot of the other gunship reported no hostile fire. In an unsigned statement. Captain McDonnell's pilot reported hostile fire.

Accordingertified extract of the Official Log,*" Airborne Divisionhe wreckage was found9 and appeared not to have been disturbed. The front seat and safety harness were intact. An officer of the ground troops conducting the search reported that the wreckage had not been disturbed by the enemy. The position of the seat belts and safety harness indicated that the gunner (McDonnell) unbuckled himself and left the wreckage.

Additional sworn testimony taken by the board indicated that Captain McDonnell's commanding officer thoroughly searched the wreckage and the Immediate area. The gunner's compartment was completely open with no evidence of damage to the seat. (According to9 edition of Jane's All The World's Aircraft, the gunner's position of an AH-IG Cobra helicopter is located in the front, lower compartment. The aircraft is flyable from both positions,he shoulder harness was not broken and the seat belt was unlatched. The commanding officer said that:

t was not possible to csiablish that the helicopter had been hit by ground fire. Although portions of the tail boom and main body showed no evidence of being penetrated, so much damage was Inflicted by the crashositive determination could not be made.

The Vietnamese Account

JTF-FA reports of interviews with Vietnamese indicate that Captain McDonnell survived the crash and. while attempting to evade the enemy, was shot in the arm and captured. He was taken to the command post of the People's Army ofegiment. The regiment contacted the region headquarters for instructions and was directed to evacuate Captain McDonnell to the region hospital. Captain McDonnell did not survive the evacuation. The regimental commander forwarded Captain McDonnell's identification card to higher headquarterseport concerning his capture andenior district party official received the report and the identification card and forwarded them to provinceue museum curator stated that Captain McDonnell's identification card was turned over to him by the senior district party official sometime after


Captain McDonnell's Status Changes

Initially, the Missing Person Board determined that Captain McDonnell was missing, not missing in action. The board apparently did not consider the helicopter pilot's unsigned statement about hostile fire persuasive.ater signed statement, the pilot said that:

I broke left wc received lire and simultaneously entered the low clouds. The cyclic went limpould not turn theemember pulling pitch. Ihen awoke laying |sic| on the ground on my chest protector.

Based on that statement. Captain McDonnell's status was changed from missing to missing in action.

Inaptain McDonnell's next of kin petitioned the Department of the Army toeath certificate. Onhe Army's Adjutant General found Captain McDonnell "to belag/general officer-level review convened by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs, assisted by two DPMO analysts and the Intelligence Officer, JTF-FA.confirmation ofhe Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense voted for the confirmation, despite advice from DPMO analysts to the contrary, and the case was removed from the discrepancy list.

Threeiscrepancy Case

4 removal of Captain McDonnell from the discrepancy listyear history of that case having been singled out three times as unresolved.

PROJECT X:tudy initiated in5 by the Commanding Officer. JCRC to "evaluate the possibility of any of the unaccounted for beingaptain McDonnell was included in the resultant list ofndividuals. The Commanding Officer concluded that, "Thereossibility that as many asmericans could be alive, although it is highly probable that the number Is much smaller, possibly zero;"

Discrepancy Case; Because Captain McDonnell was last seentestimony included in the Missing Person Board review confirmed tliat he entered the gunship the day of thecaseiscrepancy case, consistent with. Government's methodology; and

Compelling Case: Because Captain McDonnell was allegedly correlated to two separate live sighting intelligence reports, his caseompelling case, consistent with the full accounting methodology.

Our Assessment

Viet Cong policy, based on US POW returnee experience and information in CIA files, was that any American who survived his immediate capmre and transport would have entered the prison system or. if wounded, the liospital system. The report of the evacuation of Captain McDonnell is consistent with that policy. Intelligence reports from at6 consistently state that Vict Cong policy concerning American captives was to evacuate them expeditiously to higher headquarters. While an evacuation of Captain McDonnell was ordered, he was never seen In the Vietnamese detention system.

All POW-MIA argues tliat two live sightingone filedCRC tag line that "records indicate the source probablyPI John T. McDonnell.Captain McDonnell's status as POW/MIA. The other report was possibly correlated to Captain McDonnell or one other individual, but no JCRC determination was made. There is no reason to link either of the two reports to Captain McDonnell. Both reports describe an American In collaborative circumstances. None of the files we reviewed suggest that Captain McDonnelleultiple-tour, decorated Vietnam veteran, post-facto promoted to the rank of Major.

We believe there is no factual Information to support the contention that Captain McDonnell was left behind alive in Southeast Asia. There is. however, circumstantial evidence of his fate (seeecause that evidence is circumstantial, the case is likely to remainontinuing example of the polarization that has consumed the POW/MIA

Issue. The DoD believes thai all POWs arc accounted for. All POW-MIA does noL

The McDonnell case is typical of several that we reviewed. Despiteears of continuous effort, there is no independently verifiable evidence of Captain McDonnell's fate The information that has been collected, however, supports the conclusion that Captain McDonnell died in Vietnam after his capture.


In addressing assertions of possible politicizatton made in the Critical Assessnmu, we have examined both the assessment's specific charges and its overarching implication that political pressure was applied to the estimate process by the Clinton Administration. The general charge of politicization is the more serious allegation becauseharge, even if vague and unsubstantiated, tends to gain credibility if it is repeated frequently. Indeed, the fact that many within the community of POW/MIA families believe that politicizatton exists Is reflected in letters and memoranda written to government officials by the Executive Director of the National League of Families of Prisoners and Missing In Southeast Asia.'" This perception has been fed over the years by accusationsovernment conspiracy to cover up the contention tliat American POWs were abandoned in Vietnam after Operation Homecoming3

We have examined each phase of the production of. from the lime It was requested in7 through its publication ino determine whether parties outside the IC attempted to Influence the estimate's substance, judgments, or tone and. if they did. to what extent they succeeded. Because the Critical Assessment also implies that there was politicizattonrior IC publication4 assessment of5e have reviewed the process of producing and releasing that document looking for similar evidence of political pressure.

Attempts by policymakers to Influence intelligence analysis are risky because they contradict the stated mission of intelligence and the professional ethic of the intelligence officer. Intelligence managers and analysis may react strongly if they believe that they are being pressured to slant or repress intelligence. We have made the assumption that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible,olicymaker to exert influence on the ICeriod of time without producing, at the very least, resistance and resentment by those intelligence analysts and managers whose analysis was being manipulated. For that reason, in our

ullcr to the DCI onhe Executive Direcioi said that lhe product ul DPMO analysis hud been "spun, covered wlih pollltinl documents, dtstoned in pulillr siatcnivnts mid unconscionably delayed due to political considerations relaied in normaluallon of relation* wilh Vietnam. Timll documentable and wellhe Executive Directorlhe DCI to prodiHr another NtF ihai is "clear, objective, and does not pull punches'


interviews with those Involved in the production of NIEe raised berth the question of political pressure and the issue of the integrity of the plot ess arid the pioiluct.

The general reference to possible politicization made by Senator Smith in the Critical Assessment is that:

Congress and liie leaders ofntelligence Community (IC) need lo examine what rok- ihe White House, its National Security Council, and rrflain US policymakers responsible for advancing theormalisation agenda with Vietnam may have played In influencing or otherwise affecting the judgmenls of the IC as reflected in the NIE.

The assessment states that, if improper communication or influence took place, immediate steps should be taken "to determine how this could haveeview Is critical. It says, to ensure "that the IC is providing objective and independent analysis to itsur review will look first at the specific charges made In the assessment to support this general allegation, then returniscussion of the broader assertion of politicization of NIE

Specific Allegations of Politicization

I)oD Testimony (March and

Tlie Critical Assessment connects the timing of the NIE's preparation and publication and the Clinton Administration's determination in8 that Vietnam was 'fully cooperating in good faith" with the United States on the POW/MIA issue. President Clinton. It says, told Senator Smith that Ihe results of the NIE "would be taken into account as we continue to advance our agenda with Vietnam" But, the assessment states, the President issued8 determination that Vietnam was fully cooperating In good faithone month prior to the NIE's official dissemination.'

1 lavinguxtaposition of events, the Critical Assessment describes several incidents that imply that political influence was exerted on the estimate process through the DoD. This presumed chain of influence runs from the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs through his Principal Deputy through DPMO to the NIC. 'Hie evidence supporting the

implication involves congressional testimony given by the Under Secretaryhe day after the President issued his determination, and by the Principal Deputy onhe assessment states that the testimony of the Principal Deputy undermined assurances provided by the Under Secretary and casts doubts on assurances from the DCI that "at no stage was there higher level or other Intervention io change or shape the body or judgments of the NIE.'

arch, the Under Secretary appeared before the Senate Committee on Armed Services (of which Senator Smithn response to questions posed by Senator Smith, the Under Secretary said dial he was aware that the POW/MIA estimate was being prepared, but thatwas "notosition to comment on what information was obtained from the IC in connection with then his interview with us. the Under Secretary re-confirmed his testimony. He said that he had had no association with thehe never saw it in draft, was never asked to comment on it. and never talked with anyone about it. He reaffirmed llvat he did not know- what information the DoD may have provided the President on the issue of certification. Furthermore, he stated, his testimonyarch had nothing to do with POW/MIA affairs; rather. Senator Smith had 'branched off into that subject.19

The Under Secretary was testifying befuir the Committee on Armed Servxv-s. ihe subject was Ihe Role of the Department uf Defense in Countering the Transnaimnal Threats to the II* Century. Including Terrorism. Marcoeapon* of Mass Desuut Hon '


In his appearance before the House Committee on International Relations onune to testify on POW/MIA matters, the Principal Deputy was asked by die Chairman of the Committee what role the DoD had played in the Presidential determination. When the Principal Deputy responded that the Department had indicated that Vietnam was fully cooperating, the Chairman asked whether the Principal Deputy had before him the NIE on POW/MIA affairs at that time. The latter responded that. "We were actually working on it at die same time, because we were working with the Central Intelligence Agency on that issue, and so it was Concurrent,e went on to say that the estimate was not issued until8 and that, while he did not have the final estimate before him in March, "we certainly knew what was in it. and we were involved in the preparation of thehe Chairman then asked him

if "he would have had the occasion to see what the report said at the time you made yourhe Principal Deputy responded. 'Yes.'

The Principal Deputy's testimony reveals that lie did have knowledge of the contents of the draft NIE by early8 In our interview with him. however, he indicated that he had not actually seen the estimate prior to its publication in8 and that his positive response to the question of his having seen it had beene stated that he was not directly involved In the estimate, but knew that the process was ongoing and that the NIC was working with DPMO When he testified that "we" were working on the NIE. he meant lhat DoD analysts were working with the drafter. He stated that the Acting Director, DPMO kept him advised of the progress being made; when the certification issue came up in March, he asked the Acting Director. DPMO If the developing NIE was consistent with certification and was told that ite said he thought he would have known what the key judgments were going to be and what the findings might be, although he did not see them in the drafting phase.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, to whom lite Principal Deputy reports, does not remember being involved in the estimate process. He was aware the NIE was being done and remembers seeing It when it was finished, but he is positive that he did not see it in draft. He told us that DPMO would almost certainly have helped prepare both the Under Secretary and the Principal Deputy for testimony lhat involved POW/MIA issues. As noted previously, however, the Under Secretary had not expected to be testifying about POW/MIA issues before the Senate Committee on Armed Services

The Critical Assessment asserts that the testimony of the Principal Deputy casts doubt on the reliability of assurances that there was no higher level intervention to change the substance or judgments of the NIE. In fact, the testimony does not imply that there was intervention lo shape the judgments of the NIE. At the most, it reveals thai the Principal Deputy had knowledge of the contents of the estimate before it was published. It is very likely and hardly surprising that he did have such knowledge and that his information came from the DPMO. as he explains. The first tiraft of the estimate had been completed by early February, and the drafter had been communicating with DPMO analysts since the beginning of the process. Furthermore, the draft had been sent lo organizations that work


closely with lhe DPMO. There is little doubt that DPMO had knowledge of lhe basic judgments of the draft estimate by early March. The draft report was not forwarded to the DPMO. however. We believe that the draft estimate was seen for the first rimePMO official onarch, when the Acting Director wasopy by the. We found no information suggesting that the draft was seen by DoD policymakers In DoD before it was released. Nor did we find information to support the charge that any intervention was made on the part of DoD policymakers to Influence the estimate.

The Critical Assessment makes one more assertioninkage between the DoD and the preparation of the NIE. It slates that the XIO/EA. in his briefing to. side ofKussia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs. and the Principal Deputy, in his testimony beforeouse Committee on International Relations, both of which occurred onune, used the same phrase to characterize Vietnamese cooperation on POW/MIA matters. Both indicated that there had been 'improvedecause this "exact phraseology" is not found in the NIE. the asst-ssment charges, and because these two individuals used the same language "on the same day in response to the samehis raises "more questions about additional collaboration between the National Intelligence Council and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense forhe phrase 'improvedation" is commonly used phrasing, however, and is so close to other language used to define Vietnam'sore" cooperation or "Increased" cooperation) that the Critical Assessment charge Is unconvincing.

Outside Readers

The Critical Assessment states that the NIC selected four individuals from outside the IC "with expertise on the Vietnam POW/MIA Issue' to review the draft and provide comnwntary. The assessment cites as its source the briefing provided by the NIC to. side of the US.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs onn that briefing, the NIO/EA stated thai the NIC had reached out to people outside the IC who had expertise "in thisf the four outside readers, two had expertise in Southeast Asiaone had specific expertise on the Vietnam POW/MIA Issue: and two had no expertise in either Southeast Asia or the POW/MIA issue.

The Critical Assessment asks whether one or more of these individuals may have been employed in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, which includes"office which. policy that Vietnam is fully cooperating in good faith on the POW/MIAone of the four outside readers was from DPMO or from any other DoD office, although one had served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Bush Administration. Ihe draft estimate was shownifth "outside* reader, however, the Acting Director, DPMO.

To determine what impact the outside readers may have had on the substance, judgments, and tone of the NIE, we examined annotated copies of draft reports as well as messages and memoranda addressing the comments and suggestions of various readers. In addition, we reviewed the draft reports, comparing them for changes tliat affected substance, judgments, or tone. Because the assessment expressed particular concern dial DPMO may have influenced the NIE. we have included an analysis of the changes made to the draft after the Acting Director. DPMO reviewed It

The NIO/EAopy of thearch draft estimate to the Acting Director, DPMO onarch. The Acting Director was not one of the four outside readers: rather, he was shown the draft because of his background knowledge of the POW/MIA issue. The Acting Director reportedly expressed an opinion on the draft's language concerning Vietnamese mistreatment of POWs. As indicated previously, the DPMO position on this issue differed from tiiat reflected in the NIE. No changes were made in the text on this subject. Changes made to thearch version of the estimate arc modest and do not move the estimate in any consistent direction. There is no indication that the review by the Acting Director, DPMO resulted in any changes to the draft.

Thearch NIE draft was provided for comment to two outside readers The suggestion of dieormer Deputy Chairman of the NIC. was to soften die tone of the estimate, which he called "overlyn order to avoid antagonizing those "who are alreadye have some concern about the selection of the second reader, both because he liad been National Security Adviserhen the original IC analysis of5 documents was undertaken, and because he had been involved in the Clinton Administration's policy of normalizing relations with Vietnam. He had Utile comment on the draft, however: he did

express concern that the box listing SRV officials involved In the POW/MIA issue did not Include any officials who were not cooperative.

There was little disagreement at the IC coordination sessions, held In late March. According to the accounts of representatives lo the meetings, the first two outside readers and DIA had Indicated that,ew instances, the draft was 'loo apologetic" to the Vietnamese or "unduly charitable in rating Vietnam'soth outside readers had suggested that making the language more modest would 'makeore persuasive paper* and 'would not immediately set off critics ofecord of cooperation on thisore circumspect, but still basically positive, appraisal of Vietnam's performance emerged from the coordination sessions.

Following the NFIB meeting ont lhe request of the DCI. the NIC provided the draft to two more outside readers. In his comments, the former DCI said his suggestions were 'intended to strengthen our case against the minority of readers who would be reflexivelyhe suggestions he made included adding data and analysis to bolster Judgments made in the estimate. In the end. however, the suggestions of these readers were not reflected in the draft.

The Critical Assessment's implication that the outside readers influenced either the body or judgments of the NIE Is unfounded. None of the outside readers made suggestions designed to alter either. Several readers did, however, recommend changes designed to modify the tone of the language to deflect lhe anticipated negative reaction of those who were critical of Vietnam's record of cooperation on the POW/MIA issue.

Policy Contacts

The Critical Assessment emphasizes that, In the course of preparing the estimate, the Nil: drafter interviewed the US. Ambassador to Vietnam and the Director for Indochina, Thailand, and Burma. Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. The assessment describes these two men as the Clinton Administration's "biggest advocates for continued expansion of US relal ions withhe implication is that these two officials may have Influenced lhe views of the drafter and the judgments in the NIE.

The drafter met with. Ambassador to Vietnam inhe only clear indicationoint the Ambassador wanted to make occurred In the section of the NIE draft dealing with Vietnamese refusal to provide Politburohrase in theebruary draft that was reviewed by the Ambassador indicated that Vietnam would not provide such documents "any more than foreign governments, such as ihe United States, would open their sensitive records to Vietnameseandwritten note by the drafter states that "the Ambassador wants thishile the Ambassador did try to influence the draft in this instance, his request was rejected; in fact, the entire phrase was deleted from the estimate. Thearch version of the estimate, which would have reflected Ihe Ambassador's views, showed no change in language that could be considered more supportive of Administration policy; in fact, the changes tended to reinforce skepticism about Vietnamese cooperation.

The drafter met with the Director for Indochina. Ihalland. and Burma, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs early in the research phase of the process The Director told us that they discussed the early history of the issue; key decision points for both the Vietnamese. leadership; specific questions concerning5 documents; and the structure of Vietnamese organizations dealing with the POW/MIA issue. Other than providing background information and suggesting documents that tlx- drafter should read. Ilie Director stated that he had no contact with the drafter and did not contribute to the NIE; nor did he see the estimate until it was released Interviewing policymakers who have specific knowledge or expertise is neither unusual nor out of line during the research phase of an estimate. In the case of this estimate, the drafter makes it clear that he consulted. policymakers in order to gather information on Vietnamese cooperation.

Charges of Politicization

The Critical Assessment maintains that the questions It has raised about the politicizing of intelligence with respect to the NIF. are relevant in view of "indications suggesting that such actions took place during the current Administration on the same issues being reviewed in Ihe currentt thenumber of assertions aboul die events leading up to the DoD release In4 of an unclassified Interagency intelligence analysis of5 documents.

NSC Tasking

The Critical Assessment .states that, onhe then-Deputy National Security Adviser, having been briefed on the discovery of5 document, tasked the IC to analyze the implications of the following hypothetical scenario.

Assumeocumentenior North Vietnamese Army officialhai onhe North Vietnamese were5 American prisoners ofhe North Vietnamese were deliberately concealing the true number of prisoners they weie holding from the outside world. the Tate of these prisoners was under consideration by the Hanoiftocumem were deemedhat are the implications of this information generally, what are the Implications in light of Vietnam's obligations undci I'.iris Peace Agreement?

The assessment goes on to say that:

in* phrasing of this While Housefocument

were deemed reliable, what are thehe inlerpreled

as politicizing of intelligence, because ll opens the door for an Administration judgmentocument is not reliable if II Is deemed to haveimplications for planned US policy toward Vietnamese If it is judged toemphases in original] reliable

Byey portion of the tasking (in bold below) andalse continuous sentence, the Critical Assessment has created an out-of-context quotation that distorts the meaning of the language In fact, the tasking listed the various conditions of the documenthe North Vietnamese were5 American POWs. concealing the true numbers, and deliberating theirhe tasking thenew paragraph which asked:

Ifocument were deemed reliable, how would ihb information conform with our existing knowledge of American POWs? [emphasis added| Wliat are the implications of this information generally? What are the implications in light of Vieinam's obligations under the Paris Peace Agreement?

While the wording of the tasking may be awkward, it is not asking what the Implications are. policy as the Critical Assessment implies. It

does not appear to be pre judging the conclusions of the analysis it is requesting. Nor does it imply lhat the Administration plans to judge (he document as not reliable if il is deemed lo have negative implications for. policy. The tasking appears to be raising questions of legitimate interest and concern to policymakers, particularlyeriod when the Clinton Administration was trying to establish its policy toward Vietnam. In any event, it isrerogative of polit ytnakers both to task the IC and then to do what they want with the information and analysis they receive.

In its response to the tasking, the DIA Office for POW/MIA (the predecessor to DPMO) discussed the implications ofhat the North Vietnamese were5 American POWs ins cited In the Critical Assessment, the DIA response piovides hypothetical conditionsact might implyhat the Vietnamese would have lieenore POWs than we were aware of at that time: that these POWs would have to have been spirited away from the point of capture and placedompletely separate prison camp; and that some of these men would have survived to then addition, the DIA response analyzes these hypotheses and conditions, concluding that, "the undisputed evidence provided byears of intelligence collection refutes the hypothesis."

IC Analysis: Timing of Release

The Critical Assessment states tliat the interagency analysis of5 documents was disseminated to the media onthree days prior. Senate vote on whether to urge the lifting of. trade embargo on Hanoi, and one week prior lo the President's announcement of his determination to lift thet ierms the timing of the release suspicious, because the study had been prepared and forwarded to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy In an unclassified format seven months earlier and because the President had stated on3 that he intended lo release the analysis as soon as possible. According to the Critical Assessment

Clearly, the release of this unclassified document of information prepared with major input by elements of tin- Intelligence Community, had been delayed for political purposes in order to obtain maximum ffTwi on decisions being made and/or announced within the Congress and Oh-White House.


The Critical Assessment is correct in asserting that there was an unexplained delay in the release of the report and that it may have occurred for political reasons. The delay was not as long as the assessment implies, however. Onhe Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs requested that an interagency study of5 document be prepared; he noted that several agencies had done analyses of the document and published initial findings, but that the findings should be combinedoordinated document. He noted that the outcome of the meeting wouldinal paper that DoD could release and that would serveosition paper for testimony, media inquiry, and other scrutiny, lhe Deputy NiO/FA agreed to chair an IC panel to assess5 document.

Much of the work for the interagency study already had been done. DIA. INR. and the Deputy NIO/EA (drawing on both the Dl and the DO) had analyzed5 document separately. Each had concluded independently that, while It probablyalid GRU document, the information it contained on American POWs was not valid. The Deputy NIO/EAraft and sent it to the IC representatives in earlyhe draft's "bottom line judgment" was that 'the document is not what it claims to be. and the information suggesting moredditional POWs were held in Vietnam is nothis judgment would not be disputed by any IC member and would be the judgment of the paper released to the public in4 by lhe DoD. Two coordination meetings were held to discuss the study, and minor changes were made.

The coordinated study was sent to the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs in latee did not release it publicly at that time. The Acting Deputy told us that he thought tike assessment was fair and straightforward, but that he knew it would draw criticism because it had political implications. He said that politics might haveonsideration in his reluctance to release it to the public.

ortions of the second GRU document,. were made public, and DoD again requested an IC assessment. The Deputy NIO/EA gathered the same Interagency group and updated the original study to include an analysis of the available portions ofocument. The study was sent to live Acting Deputy, who "again chose not

to releaseccording to the Deputy NIO/EA. who went on to say that the Acting Deputy "had complained that some of the pointsit to |sic|

The study also raised concerns in the NSC. The Acting Deputy was not alone in arguing that the analysis of the documents was too sharp. According to several accounts, the National Security Adviser indicated that lie wanted the analysis "flattened* In the study that was going to be released to theember of the NSC staff confirmed that the National Security Adviser considered the study "too dismissive" of5 documents and wanted the drafter to state that the books would not be closed on these reports. Ihe Deputy NIO/EA wrote on4 that:

he White House is perhaps oversensitive to( wi arc "debunking" these reportsind appears to want to hold out ai least the possibility lhai they may be valid.

According to the Deputy NIO/EA. the Acting Deputy believed that "we have to call them as we seen addition, the Acting Deputy indicated that DPMO analysts were resisting the changes that 'flattened" the language and might insist that tliey be restored. Ihe Deputy NIO/EA would have had no problem restoring the original language: he argued that the critics are going to "dive bomb the Administration no matter whai and cannot be assuaged withhe political Issue thai held up release of the unclassified study, at least at this stage, appears to have been pressure from the National Security Adviser to "flatten" die lone of the language to make it more palatable to those who accepted ihe validity of5 information, combined with reluctance on the part of the Acting Deputy totudy that would be attacked by critics of Administration policy. We found no evidence that the delay was linkedecision on lifting the trade embargo as the Critical Assessment alleges.

Ihe unclassified interagency analysis of the Russian documents was released by the DoD onhe analysis and conclusions were the same as those in the separate DIA. INR. and Deputy NIO/EA studies as well as those in the coordinated draft studies. The tone of the study, however. Is somewhat more conciliatory; the door is open to new information that may shed more light on the validity of Ihe information in the documents. While the drafter of the IC study did not feel political


pressure from the Clinton Administration to change judgments, he did feel pressure to soften the tone of the report to make it more compatible with (he views of those who believed that5 documents contained valid information on the number of American POWs held by the Vietnamese

Charges of Improper Direction

At the end of its section on politicizatton ofrocess, the Critical Assessment implies thai, on several occasions, improper comments were made or directions given that constituted politicizatton. The first is said to have occurredhite House meeting with the President. Vice President. National Security Adviser, and two other DoD and DoS officials Involved with POW/MIA accounting efforts The assessment indicates that this meeting occurred before the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy formally requested that an assessment of5 document be prepared for release to the public (the DoD tequest was made in. During the meeting, according to the Critical Assessment, the President reportedly stated that he "did not want5 document to get in the way of normalization of relations withhe implication is that the President's statementecision to produce and release to theoliticized study that would dismiss5 document.

We interviewed two senior officials who met with President Clinton on3 to discuss lite POW/MIA Issue. One indicated that he had heard the President utter the statement exactly as quoted above, but that it would be inappropriate for him to comment further about the meeting. The other senior official, read the following excerpt from his notes of the meeting:

He [llic President! wanted to mow forward [withut Vietnam had to take the initiative with the fullest possible accounting of Ml As: must have tangible progress to resolve5 document |slr|.

This official said that he did not recall the President saying anything about not letting5 document get In the way of normalization or any words to that effect.

In the aftermath of the meeting ofpril, the Presidents Special Emissary to Vietnam. General John Vessey. traveled to Hanoi. Both his talking points In preparation for the trip and his news briefing after the trip

l in

indicate that resolution of questions related to5 documentajor issue during his trip. At his news briefing onpril, General Vessey stated that he had come away from meetings with the President before his trip and after his return from Vietnam with the view that, "the fullest possible accounting for missing Americansigh prioritye said that the President had "made it clear to meent to Vietnam, he made it clear to me todayenior official who served on lhe NSC during this period told us that, while there was natural concern that5 document would have an impact on policy, there was never any indication that we should not do everything necessary to follow up on it.

In the months that followed, the Clinton Administration reaffirmed its commitment to the fullest possible accounting for POW/MIAs and continued the trade embargo against Vietnam pending further progress on POW/MIA accounting. President Clinton announced the lifting of the trade embargo infter the Senateon-binding resolution urging that he do so. In5 (more than two years after his alleged comments on5resident Clinton announced the normalization of relations with Vietnam.

We found no credible evidence that the Clinton Administration tried to pressure the IC to ignore or dismiss5 documentather, the evidence available to us suggests that the Administration's political concern was just theit not appear to be dismissing or debunking5 document; this concern would be expressed again8 asas being prepared.

The final allegation in the Critical Assessment is that, at the first meeting to discuss preparation of4 assessment of5 document, the Deputy NIO/EA:

eponedly announced to those gathered that5 was not reliable with respect. POWs. and that was the operating assumption under whichoD-released product was consequently prepared.

This charge is not supported by the facts. The first meeting to discuss the interagency study was heldfter the Deputy NIO/EA had disseminated his rough draft which included the analysis that5 document was not reliable with respect to numbers. POWs and after each of the participating agencies had disseminated separate reports that


independently arrived at the same conclusion on POWs. All participants had reached the conclusion that the information on POWs In5 document was not reliable before coming to the interagency meeting: it wasonclusion dictated to them by the Deputy NIO/liA.

The Critical Assessment acknowledges that the evidence brought to bear on specific charges of poliilcizatktn ise found only one incident raised by the Critical Assessment that is supported by our evidence and that suggests political considerations affected Intelligence reporting on the POW/MIA issue; that instance is the DoD delay In releasing the unclassified interagency study on5 documents. While It Is not Ihe right of the pollry maker to change the substance or judgments of an intelligence product, it is the prerogativeolicymaker to request that an intelligence product be declassified for release and to decide whether and when to releaseroduct. While the decision of the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs to delay publication probably was influenced by political considerations. It was within his authority to make. The handling of the matter did not affect the findings of the intelligence product.

General Charge of Pomtici/ation

The general allegation lhat tite Clinton Administration lias politicized Intelligence on the POW/MIA issue and specifically on ME3 certainly will persist. It stems from the belief that the VS. Government is covering up the fact that American POWs were abandoned in Vietnam alter Operation Homecomingn this section, we will address Ihe allegation thatas politicized by reviewing Instances of attempted influence on the process.

We interviewed more thanndividuals in the IC and Ihe policy side of the Executive Branch to understand the steps involved In the process of preparing, coordinating, and approving. These interviews uncovered no instances of pressure from the Executive Branch of. Government to influence the body or judgments of die estimate. Ihe National Security Adviser requested that the NIC produce the estimate and that Ihe TOR be coordinated with the SSCI. After that, neither he nor any other member of ihe NSC played any role In the production of the NIE. The DoD's Involvement included the data and

analysis from DPMO. CILHI. Slony Beach, and JTF-FA and draft coordination by DIA and the members of the MIB At no time did any DoD policymaker attempt to influence the body or substance of the estimate. At the DoS. the INR analystole In coordinating the draft estimate. Aside from the request by. Ambassador to Vietnamoint in the draft estimate be emphasized, there was no attempt by DoS policymakers to influence the body or substance of the estimate. Similarly, in its meeting to approve the NIE. the NFIB. which is made up of Hie most senior members of the IC. made no attempt to Influence the body or substance of the estimate.

We found unusual interest and involvement In the estimate process by parties outside the IC. however. Both the SSCI and Senator Smith had an impact on the estimate process, beginning with the negotiation of the TOR. The NIO/EA believed that he could not proceed until the SSCI had responded to each version of his TOR. This resulted In accumulated delays of almost six montlis. It also resulted in some confusion alx>ut the actual scope of the estimate and the time frame it would cover. None of the individuals we Interviewed knew of an instance, other than this one. in which coordination of TORon-IC organization had occurred.

Senator Smith and his staff alsoey role in shaping the TOR The NIO/EA at the time the TOR were being negotiated intendede-evaluation of5 documents wouldeparate research study. Senator Smith wanted the re-evaluation to be part of the NIE and Uiis view was conveyed to the SSCI staff; the SSCI suggested changes to the TOR in late7 tliate-evaluation of5 documents as one of the two key questions to be addressed in the estimate.

In his7 meeting with the NIO/FA. Senator Smith went further, telling the NIO/EA what conclusions lie thought the NIE should reach. He expressed his views about the key Issues involved, particularly on the subject of5 documents, and he said that he was not confident that the Clinton Administration would nol interfere in the estimate process. His legislative assistant offered to participate In the estimate process itself.

On the eve of the MIB and NFIB meetings ofenator Smith raised the issue of the documents held at the SSCI. staring that no

one had reviewed them and that, if the IC published the NIE withouteview, he could not "believe inis concern resultedelay in publication of the estimate. The DCI directedeam visit the SSCI to read the documents and that two more outside readers review the draft NIE. In addition, the DCI became more involved in questioning the language of the estimate.

While we found no evidence that any member of the Clinton Administration made any effort to influence the substance, conclusions, or judgments of. members of the IC as well as outside readers of the estimate were keenly aware that the NIE would be criticized by those who believed that the Vietnamese were not cooperating In good faith on POW/MIA matters and those who believed that American POWs were left behindt numerous stages in the production of the estimate, readers urged that the tone of the estimate, but not Its fundamental conclusions, be softened to placate potential critics. The result was an estimate which softened Its language on issues Involving Vietnamese cooperation; the alleged transfer of American POWs to the USSR; the assessment of5 documents; and the charge that American POWs were left behind following Operation Homecoming.

From the beginning. Senator Smith had an Impact on the estimate process:

TOR process was delayed;

over the scope of the estimate and the time frame it would cover was never fully resolved.

DPMO and the NIO/EA. who had been criticized by Senator Smith, withdrew from formal participation in the preparation of the estimate. These decisions weakened the substantive and analytic expertise brought to bear on the subject; and

Smith's insistence that the SSCI documents be reviewed delayed final NFIB approval and release of the NIE.

In addition, while Senator Smith's interventions did not directly affect the substance or fundamental judgments of the estimate, concern about his

reaction and ihai of other Administration critics did have an impact on the tone of the report. The language of the estimate was repeatedly modified, thus conveying less confidence about certain issues than the IC actually had.

If politicizatlon of NIE3 occurred, it was In softening the tone of the NIE to placate likely critics, rather than in supporting the foreign policy objectives of the Clinton Administration. The IC responded to Senator Smith's expressions of his position and to the cumulative advice from members of the IC. including the DCI. and from outside readers to modify the language of the estimate to avoid criticism. The body and the fundamental judgments did not change, but repeated modifications of language did soften the tone of the NIE.



Wc have studiednd its production to determine whether the drafter of the NIF failed to use all relevant documentation, sought to discredit relevant Information, or engaged in faulty analysis. We have examined the process of producing the estimate to determine whether politicization occurred or was attempted. Finally, we have analyzed the speciFic charges made In the Critical Assessment, cross-walking those charges to the relevant NIE statements in order to assess their validity These approaches have enabled us to assess the NIE's analytical vigor, objectivity, accuracy, and completeness, as requested by the SSCI.

We conclude that:

I he draftei had access tot-levant dixum-nuiion

There was no attempt to discredit relevant information:

The drafter used appropriate methodology and sound analysis in producing the estimate;

No official of the Clinton Administration put pressure on either the drafter or other members of the IC to influence the substance or fundamental judgments of the estimate.

Senator Smith and his staff had an influence on the tone of the estimate:

Members of the IC reacted to their perception that Senator Smith and other critics of Administration policy would he critical of the NIE. Concerned that the estimate mighto be dismissive of the concerns of critics, reviewers at all levels recommended modifying the language of the NIE:

These modifications produced softer language than the NIE drafter and the IC originally had proposed:

The fundamental substantive Judgments of the NIE were not altered:


Overall, (he NIB denumsti ales analytical vigor, objectivity, accuracy, and completeness; and

Several decisions made by the NIC and the NIE drafter created openings for criticism, and some of the analysis in the NIE is flawed. Neither these decisions nor the analytic shortcomings affected the judgments of the estimate.

Relevant Documentation

No effort was made by either the NIE drafter or other members of Ihe ICiscredit relevant information, and no repository of information was overlooked. On the contrary, the NIE drafter pursued relevant information and was given complete access to that information. This included documents and/or complete lists of documents from DPMO. both RA and JCSD; CIA; organizations within the Office of the Secretary- of Defense: DoS; DIA: NSA; JTF-FA; and CILHI. In addition, the drafter met with knowledgeable officials to review the information and make sure lie was not missing anything. Given die amount of time lie liad lo complete the estimate, ihe NIE drafterredible job of reviewing available information held by the IC. in particular, andovernment, in general.

The NIE drafter is vulnerable, however, to criticism lhat he did not pay attention loocumentation. Ihe issue of the period of lime the estimate would cover arose early in the process and was never resolved. Ihe drafter made It clear to us that his understanding of the tasking and the TOR was that he should cover the periodn addition, he and the IC agreed to2 CIA study as having covered the period72 in its analysis. While the original TOR explicitly slated that the estimate would cover the periodhey did note-evaluation of5 documents. When re-evaluatlon. as opposed to an update of4 assessment of the documents, was included in die TOR. the parameters shifted. Senator Smith's legislative assistant told us that re evaluation of5 documentsey question for the NIE obligated the drafter to search as far back as die document trail allowed.

We. have not attempted to reconcile these two divergent points of view, whichegitimate disagreement based on differing perceptions of the tasking. Wc note, however, the delay in the completion of the TOR (the SSCI held the draft TOR from early7 until the end of; the addition of5 documents to the "Key Questions" of the TOR; and the Introductionew NIO/EAew NIE drafter, neither of whom had been involved in the negotiations of the TOR The former NIO/EA had intended to treat5 documentseparate research project The new NIO/EA and the NIE drafter accepted the final TOR with their expanded focus without changing the time allocated to complete the NIE. the time frame on which the research would focus, or their perception of the scope of the project.

In our review of the NIE and the Critical Assessment, we did find It necessary to search for documentation as far back as the document trail allowed. The information we reviewed provided new insights into many of the issues treated in the NIE and the Critical Assessment. None of this information contradicted the conclusions or changed the judgments reached by the NIE drafter and the IC.

Quality of NIE Analysis

We found the overall quality of analysis In the NIE to be good, lhe argumentation is vigorous and logical, and the conclusions are balanced and well-documented. On the subject of Vietnamese cooperation on POW/MIA matters, the drafter used relevant Information and interviews with knowledgeable officials in reaching the conclusion that Vietnam's performance in dealing with the POW/MIA issue has been good in recent years. The NIE Judgment is properly cautious, particularly given the caveat that unresolved areas of Vietnamese cooperation warrant continued close attention by. Government.

On the subject of the NIE's re-evaluation of5asic misunderstanding developed about what the NIE was to accomplish Whereas the former NIO/EA planned to address5 docuntentseparate research study. Senator Smith wanted these issues addressed in the NIE; according to his legislative assistant, he wanted an independent review of5 documents as well asindependent analysis of the numbers of POWs held by Vietnam.

Whereas Senator Smith expected an in-depth analysis of5 documents and related Issues, the assumptions of the NIC. the NTE drafter, and the IC were quite different. They assumed that the NIK would reflect tlie best judgments of the IC as developed by knowledgeable analysts; they did not plan to undertake bask research and analysis.esult of his perception of the task, the drafter of the NIK did not undertake an In depth re-evaluation of5 documents. Instead, he accepted the IC position on the legitimacy and accuracy of the documents as well as. Government's position on the basic question of numbers of POWs held by the Vietnamese. The combination of this acceptance of previous positions and the limited time allocated to completing the project prevented the NIE drafter fromresh lookumber of contentious issucs.

The NIE did not come to grips with the issue of the numbers of POW/MIAs not accounted for and the impact of5 documents on that issue. No organization or person felt compelled to do the research and analysis necessary to illuminate and challenge the polarized interpretations that have developed over the years. We took on that task, an unusual undertaking for statutory oversight organizations, because we wanted to determine whether there was evidence that might have affected the NIE if it had been taken into account. It took us nearly three months of research and analysis to understand that neither of the mutually exclusive accounting methodologies was sufficient That being said, the NIE's judgments on this issue remain valid;5 documents are genuine GRU documents, but the information contaitted in diem related to numbers of POWs held by the Vietnamese cannot be reliede two documems arc mutually in< oaslsteniial regard

esult of our analysis, we can conclude with far greater confidence than did the NIE that the numbers of POWs reported in5 documents are Inaccurate. We accept that the documents are genuine and that other information contained in them is valid. But the information on die numbers cannot be accurate.

Because of the existence of competing methodologies and polarized positions, we also undertook an independent analysis of the discrepancy or compelling cases. This issue had been avoided by the Senate Select Committeend only DPMO had analyzed the cases. Senator Smith's legislative assistant told us that he had assumed that the NIE

drafter would conduct such an analysis, but he did not. Once again, we believed that It was our responsibility to determine whether relevant information existed that might have affected the judgments of the NIE. We obtained the case assessments forases on Senator Smith's listames for which verified remains have not been returned Our review suggests that, at most, three of the cases (and. in all likelihood, none) remain compelling today. We do not claim to have resolved any of tiiese cases. We believe, however, that our methodology can be replicated andar better understanding of the remaining number of compelling cases might be achieved.

The withdrawal of DPMO from the estimate process inhibited analysis of POW/MIA issues. Several of the mistakes made by the drafter could have been prevented had DPMO analysts been more closely involved in coordinating the estimate. Whileemlier of the IC. DPMO possesses most of. Government's data and analytic expertise on POW/MIA Issues. NIE deliberations frequently include ihe participation of non-IC members who are particularly knowledgeable as 'back benchers' In our view, the decision by DPMO management, accepted by the IC. to exclude DPMO was unfortunate

One of die mistakes DPMO could have prevented was the NIE's characterization of the mortician and his information. The NIE failed to capture die intricacies of the mortician's story and its implications. Since that storyajor point of disagreement between the SNIE7 and the NIEhe story had to be told accurately and completely. The NIE did not do that and exacerbated the issue by not taking into account the conclusion reached in6 IC Assessment The IC Assessment did not discredit the mortician. It claimed that the numbers in7 SNIE were based on limited direct evidence whose reliability was open to question. The NIE mislabeled the mortician an unreliable source. The DPMO argues that the mortician was reliable with respect to the remains he had actually worked on. but that his estimate of stored remains that he did not work on was less accurate. We agree with the conclusions of6 IC study and the DPMO.

Another area in which DPMO might have helped the NIE drafter is on the issue of Vietnamese mistreatment of POWs. The NIE's approach to this issue is limited and does not directly address the problem the issue causes for both Vietnamese. policymakers. There Is substantial


evidence thai mistreatment occurred; there also is substantial evidence that the Vietnamese will not admit that mistreatment occurred. US. policymakers are concerned that emphasizing this point to the Vietnamese can only undermine efforts to achieve full accounting.

The NIK overstated its case that there Is no evidence that the Vietnamese currently are storing the remains of American POWs. The Nil-did indicate, however, tliat the DPMO in conjunction withas investigating the question and that further conclusions had to await publication of that study. The DPMO remains report was issued inore than one year after the NIE was published. The study concludes that remains may not have been repatriated in two cases involving five sets of remains. That conclusion was not factored into the NIE. but those prcjxiring the remains study may not have made that determination by the lime the NIE was published In addition, the5 zero-based comprehensive review concluded that there were some cases where the Vietnamese Government did not turn over recovered remains. That conclusion also was not factored Into the NIE.

The Crltkal Assessnieni challenges the NIE's Judgments with respect to the possible existenceeparate prison camp and/or the possible transfer. POWs to the former Soviet Union. lhe assessment6 CIA "study" that concluded that the possibilityecond prison system "cannot bee found the alleged study and determined that it was an internal CIA draft based solely on the preliminary workunior imageiy analyst. The Junior analyst hoped to find evidence of live POWsecond prison camp system, but that hope was not realized. The CIA desk officer who had responsibility for evaluadng the North Vietnamese prison system52 never found credible evidence of the existence ofystem. In our review of documents and statements made by Russian officials and others, we found no credible evidence to support either the existenceecond prison camp system or the transfer of American POWs from Vietnam to the former Soviet Union or elsewhere.

None of our criticisms of the estimate affects its basic substance and judgments: these stood up to rigorous examination. We found that the IC understanding of tin* Issues was sound and thatF judgments were accurate.


We found no indiraiion thai any member of the Clinton Administration attempted to influence the NIE in any way. Nor did we find support for charges that the Clinton Administration tried to influence intelligence reporting on issues relating to POW/MIAhen the first IC analysis of5 documents occurred, with the exception of the efforts of some to make the lone more acceptable to anticipated critics. The concern expressed by Administration policymakers was that the IC not appear to be dismissing or debunking the information contained in those documents

We did find that Senator Smith had an impact on die estimate process and the tone of theeole in framing the final TOR. ensuringe evaluation of5 documents was included as one of the key questions. In his meeting with the NIO/EA in earlye expressed his opinion on issues to be addressed in the estimate and implied that any differing conclusion would be the result of pressure from the Clinton Ad ministration. He and his legislative assistant tried to Insert themselves Into the estimate process. Senator Smith called the Director. DIA before the MIB meeting oftating that the NIE drafter had failed to review documents held by the SSCI and indicating that he could noi accept the estimate if the documents were not reviewed.

Members of the IC. as well as outside readers of the estimate, were aware that the NIE would be criticized by those who believed that the Vietnamese were not cooperating in good faith on POW/MIA matters and those who believed that American POWs were left behindt numerous stages in the production of the estimate, they urged that the tone of lhe estimate be softened to placate those who might be critical. The result was an estimate with modified language on issues relating to Vietnamese cooperation and lo5 documents.

We are concerned by Ihe Criticalverarching implication that political pressure has been applied lo the intelligence process by the Clinton Administration.harge, even if vague and unsubstantiated, tends to gain credibility if It is repeated. Many in the community of POW/MIA families have come to believe that politicization exists. This perception has been fed by persistent accusationsovernment conspiracy to cover up the contention that American POWs were abandoned In Vietnam afteromccomingo such conspiracy exists.

We found caring and sensitive people working on the POW/MIA issue at all levels of the government. Addressing the issue is especially difficult for those who must put emotion and personal considerations aside in pursuit of factual information. To demonstrate the difficulty in doing so. we cite two of these professionals: the recently retired Director. DIA and an imagery analyst who worked on the prison camp issueunior analyst in.

The Director. DIA told us that, after meeting with Senator Smith ine was convinced that. Government had not done enough. He said that he wanted to believe that American POWs had been left behind after Operation Homecoming. DIA senior staff oftVeis confirmed that the Director was persistent, persuasive, and peisonally driven to ensure that analysis of the POW/MIA issue was correct. Ultimately, as Chief of the MIB. responsible for the analytical position of lite entire military intelligence structure, he concluded that the facts demonstrated that he was "wrong in Ms heart" There was no credible evidence to support the position diat live POWs had been left behind in Vietnam, Similarly, the then-junior Imagery analyst told us he had wanted to find Americans alive after Operation Homecoming and that he never lost that personal focus during hisyear career. He never found evidence to support what his heart told him. The facts simply were otherwise.

Altogether we formally Interviewed more thanndividuals and contacted aboutthers who had relevant information. Without exception, we found dedicated professionals searching for the truth as best

they could. We found diligent Senate staff members who wanted the government and especially ihe IC to hide nothing. We found dedicated Support personnel who held nothing from us. We found exjierieiiced intelligence operatives who had worked the POW/MIA issue their entire careers; they had asked the hard questions over and over again but had found no information to support the hypothesis that live American POWs remained In North Vietnam after Operation Homecoming. We found analysts committed to two sound analyticalno stone unturned and letting the facts speak for themselves. We found policymakers attempting as best they could to deal openly andtraightforward manner with an emotional and difficult issue.

Wenique platform from which to review the relevant policy and intelligence information. No document in its original form was withheld from us. No document in its entirety was refused us. No marginalia, desk note, sticky, or other scrap of information was excluded from files we asked for. to include those held by the SSCI.

We were not asked to determine whether thereovernment conspiracy to cover up the contention that American POWs were abandoned in Vietnam after Operation Homecomingiven the fact that there are those who continue to believeonspiracy exists, however, we emphasize that we found not one factual thread in all the thousands of pages of documentation we reviewed to indicate thatonspiracy exists today or ever existed. To the contrary, we found no reason to challenge the finding reported by Congressman Sonny Montgomery to the Speaker of the House of Representativesuarter century ago:

the results of the investigations and informaiinn gathered duringmonth tenure have led this committee to the belief that no Americans are stiltld alive as prisoners in Indochina, or elsewhere,Mult of the war in Indochina.

ANNEX A: Methodology

Wc used an historical researchethodology that seeks to reconstruct the past objectively and accurately. We augmented that approach with contrast and comparison, and quantitative and replication methodologies where appropriate. Our design hadomponents:

Review all the research files of the drafter of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE);

Identify and review previous studies. In particular those conducted by non-Executive Branch entities;

Review other relevant document holdings, including those of Senator Smith and the CIA. the Directorate of Operations, to Include construction of data bases:

Interview persons with first-hand information or expert knowledge;

Review contemporary literature. The Defense Technical Information Centerailored search of its various databases at our request to identify relevant documents and publications:

Search the world wide web;

Conduct our own analysis of the data collected because the drafters of the NIE and the Critical Assessment used fundamentally different and mutually exclusive approaches;

Analyze and compare the content of each draft of the NIE to assess the impact or influence on the text of various readers;

tructured sample of official case assessments of persons unaccounted for In Southeast Asia as maintained by the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO);


ero-based reviewissing in Action (MIA) case:

and compare interviews and statements of Russian sources from the perspective of both the NIE and the Critical Assessment, and

from the Russian language portions of5 documents relevant to the POW/MIA issue.

We used an iterative approach to synthesize the data and other Information collected. Interviews were primarily open-ended narrative accounts with follow-on questions and sessions. If required For example, we met three times with the drafter of the NIE and three times with Senator Smith's legislative assistant for the Critical Assessment. We met with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) staff point of contact on four different occasions, twice to review relevant documents. We reviewed on several occasions the material provided to us by the drafter of the NIE. We requested specific document searches by the Office Of the Director. Defense Intelligence Agencyhe DPMO, various offices of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and the Department of Stateureau of Intelligence and Researcho assimilate documents obtained from diverse sources, weaster database and then constructed analytical flies in two ways, one chronologically and one functionally.ross check, each agency (CIA and Department of Defenseuilt its own functional files and performed parallel analysis of key issues. We reviewed0 pages of responsive information.

We Interviewed more thanurrent and former officials of DoS and DoD. the National Security Councilhe CIA, the DIA. lhe National Security Agencyhe SSCI. and the office of Senator Smith. Specifically, we interviewed:

DoS: the. Ambassadors to Vietnam and Cambodia; the Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs; the Director. Office of East Asia Analysis. INR;ormer member of INR;

DoD: the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Assistant Secretary aiKi the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

for Internaiicnial Security Affairs: two former and the current Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs: the Director. Indochina. Thailand. Burma. Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense. International Security Affairs; and the Assistant Director for Polygraphs. Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command. Control. Communications, and Intelligence):

At CIA: the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, two former National Intelligence Officers for East Asia,ormer Deputy NIO for East Asia; former and current senior officials, reports officers, and analysts from the Directorates of Operations and Intelligence, the Office of Congressional Affairs, and the National Counterintelligence Center and the drafter of;

Atormerormer and the current Director and the Vice Deputy Director. Policy Support: the Deputy Intelligence Officer for East Asia and Pacific, the former Director and former Deputy Director. Special Office for POW/MIA Affairs; the Chief. Security. Investigations and Polygraph Branch: and representatives from the Office of the Executive Secretariat:

At DPMO: the Director; the Deputy Director; Chief of Staff; Chief. Plans and Policy; Director. Research and Analysis (RA) Directorate; the Chief. Joint Commission Support Directoratend senior officials and analysts within RA and JCSD;

Former President ial emissary to Vietnam and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

lhe Chief. Central Identificationawaiind other CILHI officials;

lhe Chief. Special Projects. Joint Task Force-Full Accountbig:

The former Chairman of. side of the US-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs:

The. Air Force Polygraph Program;

ANNEX B: Summary of Selected Prior Reports

Since the conclusion of Operation Homecominghe Prisoner of War/Missing In Aclion (POW/MIA) issue has been the subject of numerous reports. Listed below, in chronological order, are those reports that were relevant to our research.


Americans Missing in SoutheastReport Together with Additional and Separate Views of the Select Committee on Missing Persons in Southeast Asia.. House ofongress, 2nd session. House Report) (The report was reprintedouse Committee Printh Congress, 2ndouse Select Committee sought toull and complete investigation and study of the problem of United States servicemen still identified as missing in action arnl those known dead whose bodies have not been recovered. The report concludes that no Americans are still being held as prisoners andotal accounting is not possible and should not be expected. Finally, the report suggestsartial accounting is possible and that the most effective means of obtaining this accounting Is through direct governmental discussions,


Presidential Commission on Americans Missing and Uttaccounted for in Southeast Asia Report on Trip to Vietnam and Laos3ffice ofWhite House Press Secretary. The Commissions mandate focuses on obtaining an accounting of missing Americans in Southeast Asia. The report concludes that the resumption of talks in Paris. and Vietnam officials and the normalization of relations are required in order lo afford the best prospect foruller accotinling of missing personnel.

ihe Tighe Task Force Examination Review of DIA Intelligence Holdings Surrounding Unaccounted for United States Military Personnel in Southeast Asia.he Director. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) asked die Task Force to evaluate the evidence regarding unaccounted for US. military personnel in Southeast Asia and to provide an evaluation of DIA conclusions on the POW/MIA issue. The Task Force also reviewed pertinent files and the handling of those files, looking for any Indication or(emphasis inmong Its conclusions, the Task Force found no evidencecover-up" by DIA. The Task Force also concluded that:

A large nu mber of MIAs may never be properly accounted for and that" alse hope should not be offered to thoseotal accounting of POW/MIAs;*

DIA holds information thatstrong possibility' of POWs being held in Laos and Vietnam; and

. Governments handling of the POW/MIA issue is "constantly harassed by phonies andhich probably jeopardizes the lives of Americans


. Hanoi and the POW/MIApecial National Intelligence Estimatehe resolution of the fate ofmerican servicemen still unaccounted for In Indochinariority humanitarian issue for. Government, which believes that the fate of the servicemen should be treated separately from other political and economic concerns. The report states that Vietnam publicly characterizes the accounting of servicemenumanitarian issue, but also uses the POW/MIA issueeans to influence public opinion in the United States to acliieve broader political objectives. The report concludes that Hanoi sees the solution to the POW/MIA issue to be in its greater long term interest, but sees tactical benefits in manipulating the issue in the interim.

An Examination. Policy Towards POW/MIAs by. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Republican Staff,. Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations. The minority staff interim report concludes that the "internal policy" of. Government Is to act upon the presumption that all MIAs are dead. The report charges that any evidence"IA might be alive is "uniformly and arbitrarilyurthermore, the report charges that all efforts are directed towards finding and identifying remains of dead personnel, even. Government techniques of Identification are "inadequate and flawed.'


Vietnam: Adjusting Its Strategy on the POW/MIA Issue. EA.irectorate of Intelligence. This Central Intelligence Agency report examines Hanoi's evolving attitude toward the POW/MIA issue. The report concludes that,Vietnam has become "more cooperative" in resolving questions. military personnel reported as possible POWs/MIAs during the Vietnam War


POW/MIAs,. Senate. The Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA' Congress First Session. Reporthe Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs wants the United States lo meet its obligation to the missing and to the families of those yet to be accounted. The report details testimony and evidence regarding POW/MIA accountability Issues involving World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Cold War. and Vietnam, lhe report states that the Committee's work helped to create the Joint Task Force Full Accounting andRussia Joint Commission. The report stresses that the quest for the fullest possible accounting of Vietnam-era POW/MIAs must continue but to be effective and fair to families, these accounting efforts must go forward within the "context of reality, not fiction."

Report to Ambassador Malcolm Toon. Chairman of the US. Side of theSRusstan Commission on POW/MIAs. Senator Hob Smith. Commissioner,ffice. Senator Bob Smith The report is subtitled "An Interim Analysis of2 Translationorth Vietnamese Report. POWs Discovered3 In the Archives of the Former Soviet Union and Subsequently Provided to. Side of the Joint US/Russian Commission onhis report asserts tliat North Vietnam "withheld the total [emphasis in original] number and Identity of American POWs in Vietnam. Laos, and Cambodia over whom It had direct control' Furthermore, the report rejects Vietnam's claim that the Russian translation is 'pure fabrication" and states the. Government should stop believing that It knows the fate of just aboutinally the report asks the American public to study the facts, even If it means revisiting old issues.


Recent Reports on American POWs in Indochina: An Assessment, is an unclassified, coordinated. Interagency intelligence analysis ofnd Dang Tan Reports documents. The assessment concludes that5 document, discoveredoviet archive by an American researcher, maygenuine" Russian document, but the accuracy of Its rendering of the POW situation2 is outweighed by errors, omissions, and propaganda.ocument, also discovered in anotlier Soviet archive, asserts that theremerican fliers held in Hanoi innd is also determined toenuine Russian document. As with5 document, similar questions are raised regarding the accuracy ofccounting. Furthermore,nd5 documents arc inconsistent with each other. The Dang Tan Reports, which document the claimsorth Vietnamese defector lhat inanoi held "more" pilots as POWs. are assessed to be "embellished" with hearsay and rumor. In an overall statement, the assessment. In reviewing all three documents, encountered the same problems experienced since the beginning of the conflict ininconsistencies, exaggerations, and fabrications.

Zero-Based Comprehensive Review of Cases Involving Unaccounted foe Americans In Southeast Asia,epartment of Defense. The report provides the resultsero-based comprehensive review of all cases involving unaccounted for Americans in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia resulting from the Vietnam War. Leaving "no stonesing evidence as well as Southeast Asian cultural and historical practices and operational realities, the report concludes lhat ofases undertill have investigative leads to pursue. The report concludes that ihe acquired conclusions and judgments make it possible toork plan comprised of the best steps to move rases toward resolution.


Comprehensive Report of. Side ofRussia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs.. Established onRussia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs focuses on determining

If any American POW/MIAs are still being held in the former Soviet Union against their will;

The fate of unaccounted-for members of. Armed Forces who were located on the territory of the Soviet Union or about whom the Russian Government may have information; and

Facts pertaining to Soviet personnel missing from the war In Afglianistan and from the Cold War-era loss incidents.

The report states lhat. citizens are currently being detained within the territory of the former USSR. This conclusion is basedhorough analysis of all archival documents. Interviews with witnesses, and on-site Inspections of possible American housing sites.


Vietnamese Storage of Remains of. Personnel.ntelligence Community Assessment. The report was prepared in conjunction with the declassification review for7 SNIE on POW/MIA issues. The report reviews what was stated in7 report and how the authors determined that Hanoi had collected and storedemains. The report concludes that altliough the Vietnamese Government collected and stored remains it is not possible to estimate the number of American remains involved. Furthermore, the rangeemains contained In7 SNIE is not supported by subsequent evidence.


ollection and Repatriation of American Remains,efense POW/Mlssing Personnel Office. The report provides an analysis of Vietnam's remains collection and repatriation process. The report examines questions such as, 'How many remains did Vietnamow many remains has Vietnamnd Are there any more remains stillhe report concludes that the Vietnamese authorities collected and storedemains, ofave been repatriated The report draws no conclusion regarding the 'discrepancy' ofoemains, but It does suggest that tlie discrepancy may be attributable to incomplete data used to formulate the storage of" remains.

ANNEX C: Methodology Used in Examining Charges in the Critical Assessment

We studied each of thexceptions taken by the Critical Assessment to determine If we could identify actionable criticisms against the National Intelligence Estimateriticisms with enough clarity to be assessed. There was. however, no one-to-one correlation between each NIE statement at Issue and criticism of that statement. Further, with minor exceptions, argumentspecific NIE statement did not readily lead to actionable criticisms. For example, an argumentarticular NIE statement might contain no specific criticism or It might contain the thread of several criticisms. We decided that an approach based on specific criticisms by the Critical Assessment was insufficient. Next, we cross-walked, line by-line, the NIE statements at issue in the Critical Assessment back to the NIE. Initially, we noted that the NIE statements selected for argument in the assessment appeared to lend themselves to grouping or categorization. This approach was not fruitful either, once again because there was no one to one correlation.

In pursuing our line-by-line comparison, however, we found that the Critical Assessment contained significant methodological shortcomings. Some of its arguments on their face have little merit, and nearly all of the NIE statements at Issue had been taken out of context, which distorted their meaning. While these observations did not produce an effective evaluation approach, we believe it is important to document what we found. Following are examples of arguments that lack merit:

* lite NIE contains only two photographs, both provided by.

Army Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) inThe

Critical Avsessmem questions why

e arc treated to pictures which hardly seem directly germane to the estimate's terms ofind surhartioti by the NIC troubling, especially when there is no precedent for surli action will) resprtl lo other Nibs.

We cannot comment. The Inclusions (or exclusions) of such photographs arc an author's prerogative. The second such argument is:

"In some instances. Vietnamese on recovery teams liave willingly worked beyond the terms of tlietr contracts to successfully complete operations. Cultural reasons contribute to this record"or local officials, participation in joint field activities can be financially profitable. People in their villages can earn much [emphasis added by Critical Assessment] more by working on the activity than they could in their normal work" "lhe Critical Assessment says that these statements conflict and questions why they are cited Ins indicators of Vietnam's cooperative intentions. Again, we have no comment except to note that the emphasis on the word "much' was not in the NIE.

We selected one out-of-context argument as Illustrative. |Note: One complete NIE section Is provided; it includes the two Critical Assessment extracts al issue. One extract is bolded and italicized, the other Is bolded and underlined. Original NIE text noj extracted by the Critical Assessment is not bolded. italicized, or underlined!.

Moreover, althougherformance generally has improvedrnpeet to the VS POW/MIA issue, we think Hanoinot been completely furthcoming on certain POW/MIA mattery

write Instances, we believe full disclosure would prove embarrassing to the regime. For example. Hanoi continues to rlenv that US POWs were mistreated while in captivity In the North.

think Vietnam Mill hn records it cuuld nuke available In ISin vnImi li would discredit inistreatment.

A few reports of transfers of US POWs to Russia and other iountrles are unexplained, and thr hooks remain open.

ive-sighting Investigations have been ranted oui by US learns, none has generated any credible evidence of American POWs left In Vlelnam. Hanoi protests having to invesllgate such cases, but reporls appear regularly and established procedures for resolving them continue to be in effect

Although Vietnam's overall performance in dealing with the POW/MIA problem has been good in recent years, the

unresolved Issues noted above suggest the need for conilnord close attention by the US Government

This out-of-context extraction is so convoluted that it needs to be repeated for clarity. The two resultant statements in the Critical Assessment are:

performance generally has improved with respert to Ihe US

POW/MIAoverall performance in dealing with the

POW/MIA problembeen good in recentnd

we think Hanoi has not been compleiely furihiumlnj; on certain POW/MIA maUrrv In some instances, we believe lull disclosure-wuuld prose embarrassing lo the regime For example, Hanoi continues lo deny thai US POWs were mistreated while In captivity in the North We ihink Vietnam si lit has records it could nuke available lo IS Investigators lml which would discredit its denials orew reports of transfers of US POWs in Russia and oilier countries are unexplained, and the hooks remain open."

The first out of context extract contains two qualified clauses that are prefaced with the word 'although" in the original; the second extract is lifted from the NIE text between those two qualified clauses. We cannot address any argument that derives from that type of selective quotation. While we selected only one such example of an out-of-context quotation, similar methodology is used throughout the Critical AsscssnKnt and was noted as it applied to specific issues.

We considered several approaches based on sampling to evaluate the Criticalrguments against the NIE statements. Weniversal approach which would have involved evaluating each of the arguments agalnsl allIE statements; this would have been a

massive undettaking with the net result beingn approach already shunned by the National Foreign Intelligence Board and the Military Intelligence Board as counterproductive. Moreover, as previously discussed, the approach was not doable In any rigorous sense. We alsoandom approach because we did not want to risk omitting important substantive Issues.

In die end. wetructured approach that involvedubset of the arguments against theIE statements. To assist In defining that approach, we scanned the Critical Assessment and the NIE Into databases that we could search. That step revealed an underlying structure to the Critical Assessment that we could evaluate effectively. The persistent, repetitive theme of the Critical Assessment is that its arguments are based on information provided to or made available to both die drafter of the NIE and lhe Intelligence Community. In three instances, the Critical Assessment makes footnote references to specific letters of transmittal of that information For clarity, we referred to the persistent messages in the Critical Assessment and its footnotes as "thematic statements.'

Overall, we identified thematic statements involvingf theIE statements at Issue in the Critical Assessment Even though there were no explicit thematic expressions related to die otherIE statements at issue, the repetitive theme that the drafter did not review relevant documentation is implicit in the Criticalanguage on those statements as well.

ANNEX D: Intelligence Community Publications Reviewed by National Intelligence Estimate Drafter

Special Nationallntelligence. "Hanoi and the POW/MIA

Central Intelligence Study. "Vietnam: Adjusting Its Strategy on the POW/MIA

Senate Select Committee. POW/MIA Affairs Keport.3

Intelligence Community (IC) Assessment. "Recent Reports on American POWs in Indochina: An44

A Zero-Based Comprehensive Review of Cases Involving "Unaccounted for Americans in Southeast3

IC Assessment. 'Vietnamese Storage of Remains of Unaccounted US

ANNEX E: Recovery and Remains Documentation Reviewed by National Intelligence Estimate Drafter

The2 CIA Intelligence Assessment, "Vietnam: Adjusting lis Strategy on the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Issue.

3 Interagency Working Group on Vietnam policy review paper stating that cooperation on witness interviews, area searches and site excavations had increased dramatically8 and that,ietnam had allowed expanded geographic coverage and frequency of joint field activities.

3 Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office assessments that conclude, "the return of remains from Vietnam, while increasing, has not kept up.owever, overall, "when compared to the absence of progress that was the norm previously. Vietnam cooperation is to be commended."

ational Security Council (NSC) Principals Committee meeting report.

etter from the Secretary of Defense to the Chairman, House National Security Committee that states that during the first two years of the Clintonets of remains had been repatriated from Vietnam and Laos andets had been identified.

The5 Depart ment of Defense Zero- Based Comprehensive Review lhat mentions that Vietnam has shared the results of its own Investigations; provided wartime records on POWs. aircraft downlngs. and other engagements in which Americans became unaccounted for; and turned over records of deaths and burials, and photographs

The Department of State input to the NSC for8

Presidential Determination on Vietnamese cooperation stating thatoint field activities had been conducted that resultedets of remains recovered. Twenty-two sets of remains were returned


I !

: -

. j




ANNEX G: Case Review Methodology

For each case answer ihe followingno)inconclusive):

there evidence the individual survived the incidentloss, fire fight, or accident)?

there evidence the individual could have been taken captive7

there evidence the individualrison system?

any of three governments (Vietnam. Laos, andfor the individual. documentary or

PMO Reference Number. Last Name -

YYear and Month of incidents specified in the case- Question D

Compelling Decase considered compelling prior2 Smith list.

Compelling Post Decase considered compelling after

2 Smithes or No

Record responses on the attached spreadsheet by case IREFNO| and Name.

There is inconclusive evidence that Adams, an alrciew member,8 combal Incidenl and there is no evidence thai he was taken captive orrison system. Documentary evidence lias been provided which establishes his fate prior to ihe2 Smith listeasonable doubt, thus the case is not compelling.

ANNEX H: Results of Compelling Case Review

The results of the three Independent reviews of thecases' are summarized in thisase number can refer to more than one Individual: accordingly there may be more than one entry per case number. For each case number, six areas of concern were addressed. For each area of concern, each reviewer's response wases; "IN" indicates inconclusive,lank indicates no.

For each area of concern, the scoring was tabulated to determine whether thereonsensus X"nanimous "U"onsensus required one of three reviewers to vote yes and at least one other reviewer to score the same factor eitheryes'" or asU" required all three reviewers to vote "yes."



ii I


til illt II


1 1

L t


- I

' Hi j

Ii fl in II I

II Ml!

1 1


" 1


ANNEX I: Captain McDonnell Case Review

We specifically selected Captain McDonnell's case for review because the Advocacy and Intelligence Index fin Prisoners of War Missing in Action (All) posted its version of the case on the Internet concurrent with our review of die Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) assessments of Senator Smith's compelling cases. That Juxtaposition of events became the raison d'Ure for adding one case review to our methodology

We initially understood that DPMO was established to be the "one-stop shop" for POW/MIA issues. The Deputy Director. DPMO. told us Ihe Senate Select Committeedefinitive finding* in3 report that the process for keeping the families informed was nol adequately supported. The families had to query too many places to obtain information. The committee report recommended creationne-stop

The DPMO is chartered by the Department of DefenseDefense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Officeatedart of the DPMO mission is to 'exercise policy, control and oversight of the entire process for investigation and recovery related to missing persons and to establish procedures to be followed by Department of Defense boards of inquiry and by officials reviewing the reports of suchPMO functions include:

Serving as the DoD focal point for POW/MIA matters;

Assembling and analyzing informal Ion. military and civilian personnel who are. orrisoners of war or missing in action; and

Maintaining data bases. military and civilian personnel who are. or were, prisoners of war or missing in action.

We found lhat DPMO isne-stop repository. Further, no one organizationepository of information necessary to understand this particular case. We reviewed the files of threeArmy Casualty Affairs Office. Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA) -and consulted three additional holdings before we understood the case sufficiently to write credibly about it.

The DPMO file only goes back toaptain McDonnell was losthe first item In the Fileeport of interview with the executive officer of McDonnell's unit. That reportisunderstanding that exists to this day- that McDonnell's seat belt was "neately [sicle found that, with respect to the McDonnell case, the DPMO file primarily holds intelligence information and some administrative information: it lacks operational information

. Army Casualty Affairs file holds two relevant folders. One folder contains relevant correspondence because the Army's appointed casualty assistance officer is the family's official point of contact for case matters. The second folder holds original operational information concerning the search to locate Captain McDonnell. That folder contains original sworn testimony takenissing Person Board convened to determine Captain McDonnell's status. We found that, with respect to this case, the Army file holds primarily administrative information and original operational information; it lacks intelligence information.

The JTF-FA file is the most complete andummary of information prepared for the4 flag/general officer review of the McDonnell case The following quoted information is relevant:

JTF FA Level of Effort: The case was investigated during four jointVietnam) operations. The teams pursued all witnesses and archival leads identified by Headquarters JTF-FA and DPMO. They conducteditness interviews and two excavations. The Oral History Program team Interviewed two former Peoples' Army of Vietnam officers and two authors identified as possible sources for the case. Joint teams visited the Hue Military Museum three times In an attempt to determine the provenance of Captain McDonnell's military identification card;

oin! Field Activity: Officers inlerviewed three witnesses who provided consistent, credible information concerning the capture of an injured American hcliropter pilot inhe pilot later died while being evacuated to higher headquarters. The American's body was reportedly buriedtream One of the witnesses claimed to have participated in the burial: and

Recommendation: Fate determined for Captain McDonnell.

We found two additional aspects of the JTF-FA files noteworthy. First was the summation of the interviews about Captain McDonnell's fate and the chain-of-custody of his Identification card. Second was the inclusion of two documents updating information from Individuals who had testified during the Missing Person Boardeither document was found in the DPMO or Army files: both provide new perspective:

Inhe gunshlp pilot was re-interviewed. He said that "Captain McDonnell probably removed (him| from his seat and placed him next to theaptain McDonnell was nor present when the pilot woke up four or five hours later; and

Inhe pilot who coordinated die air search for McDonnell and whoworn statement to the Missing Persons Board recalledaptain McDonnell) had told me in safety briefings that he believed the best solution wasevade and escape]rash site. Our battery policy was lo get away from the crashhe pilot,eneral officer concluded that McDonnellrave officerelieve was killed by the enemy shortly after he was captured."

We found that, for this case, the JTF-FA file holds all operational and most intelligence information; it lacks administrative information.

The comprehensiveness of the JTF-FA files caused us to review the DPMOecond time lo ensure we had not overlooked information important to the McDonnell case During that review, we examined color photographs of Captain McDonnell's identification card and determined

lhat the card inue museum is bona fide. We also reconfirmed that no SIG1NT reporting pertained to the case.

We examined three additional holdings. First, we reviewed the microfiche file maintained by the Library ofeview which revealed lhat DPMO files were not sufficient to understand the McDonnell case. Second, because Allentioned intelligence Information reports that we had not previously seen, we reviewed theolumes of uncorrelated intelligence reports held by the Pentagon library and found the referenced reports. Finally, we reviewed the CIA Directorate of Operations files for information on Vict Cong policy concerning the handling of POWs.

Information In the JTF-FA file supports the4 decision to remove Captain McDonnell from the discrepancy list. Information in the DPMO fries does not. We believe that explains why the Director. DPMO voted against his analysis' recommendation in the4 review of the McDonnell case. The JTF-FA position was based on operational and intelligence files; the DPMO position was based primarily on intelligence files. We found the DPMO files not suitableomplete and accurate understanding of Ihe McDonnell case.

ANNEX J: Distribution List

Chairman and ranking minority member of each of die following congressional committees:

Senate Appropriations Committee

Senate Armed Services Committee

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

House Appropriations Committee

House Armed Services Committee

House International Relations Committee

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Chairman. President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board

Office of the Secretary of Defense:

Secretary of Defense

Deputy Secretary of Defense

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control,

Communications, and Intelligence) Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) Assistant Secretary of Defense (Legislative Affairs) Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) General Counsel of the Department of Defense Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Intelligence) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Prisoner of War/Missing

Personnel Affairs) Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Intelligence Oversight)

Secretary of the Army

Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. Department of the Army

Secretary of the Navy

Director of Naval Intelligence

Secretary of the Air Force

Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and. Air Force

. Marine Corps

Assistant Chief of Staff. Marine Corps

Commander in. European Command

Director of. Luropean Command

Commander in. Pacific Command

Director for. Pacific Command Commander. Central Identificationawaii Commander. Joint Task Force-Full Accounting Inspector General

Commander in. Forces Command

Director of. Forces Command

Commander in. Southern Command

Director for. Southern Command

Commander in. Central Command

Director of. Central Command

Chairman. Joint Chiefs of Staff Director Joint Staff Director for Intelligence

Director for Command. Control. Communications and Computers.

Joint Staff Inspector General

Director, Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Director for Policy Support Director for Intelligence Operations Chief. Slony Beach Inspector General

Director. National Imagery and Mapping Agency

Director, National Reconnaissance Office Inspector General

Director. National Security Agency Inspector General

Director of. Special Operations Command

Director of. Space Command

Director of. Strategic Command

Director of. Transportation Command

Assistant Chief of. Forces Korea

Assistant Commandant for. Coast Cuard

Deputy Director of Operations. Defense Information Systems Agency

Central Intelligence Agency:

Director of Central Intelligence

Deputy Director of Central Intelligence

Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support

Chairman. National Intelligence Council

Vice Chairman, National Intelligence Council

Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Community Management

Executive Director

Deputy Executive Director

General Counsel

Director of Congressional Affairs

Director of Public Affairs

Deputy Director for Intelligence (DI)

Deputy Director for Operations (DO)

National Intelligence Officer. East Asia

Director of Asian Pacific and Latin American Analysis. DI

Dl/ Politicization Ombudsman

Chief, Central Eurasia Division, DO

Chief. East Asia Division. DO

Department of State:

Secretary of Slate

Assistant Secretary of Slate, Bureau of Last Asian and Pacific Affairs Assistant Secretary of Slate. Bureau of Intelligence and Research American Embassy. Bangkok Americananol American Embassy, Moscow American Embassy, Phnom Penh American Embassy. Vientiane Inspector General

Director. Federal Bureau of Investigation

SEP 27

Honorable Richard C.


Solace Committee on intelligence United States Senate

Washington,. S

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Attachedlarifying comment that should go with the unclassified version of our Joint Report entitled,eview of8 National Intelligence Estimate or pow/mia Issues and the Charges Leviedritical Assessment of the Estimate 1ated

Additionally, an earlier modification, with the attached clarification, will be sent to all recipients of the classified report through appropriate Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency secure channels. Your Committee is one such recipient.

This concludes our efforts on this issue requested by you on

A similar letter has been provided to vice Chairman Bryan.


L. Britt Snider Inspector General Central Intelligence Agency

Acting inspector General Department of Defense



Honorable Richard H. Bryan Vice Chairman

Select Committee on Intelligence United states Senate Washington,- 5

Dear Mr. vice chairman:

Attachedlarifying comment that should go with the unclassified version of our Joint Report entitled,eview of8 National Intelligence Estimate on POW/MIA Issues and the Charges Leviedritical Assessment of theIG)ated

Additionally, an earlier modification, with the attached clarification, will be sent to all recipients of the classified report through appropriate Department of Defense and central intelligence Agency secure channels. Your Committee is one such recipient.

This concludes our efforts on this issue requested by you on March

A similar letter has been provided to Chairman Shelby.


l. Britt Snider Inspector General Central Intelligence Agency

Donald Mancuso Acting Inspector General Department of Defense


Clarifying Comment


The Unclassified Version



By way of clarification, the matterossible security violation was outside the scop* of our review. It should be noted, however, that during the time that we were researching this report, we discovered no information Lhat supports the perception that the Joint Commission or its support directorate within DPMO violated appropriate security regulations. Additionally, we did not consider the appropriateness of the relationship between the JCSD and the Joint Commission, created2 by the United States and the Russian Federation, as it also was outside the scope of this review.

Original document.

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