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Henry A. Kissinger Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Plans of the War Crimes Commission of the Stockholm Conference on Vietnam and Swedish Media for Propaganda Exploitation of Released American Prisoners of War
The press and other media in Sweden have recently carried extensive coverage of the North Vietnamese Government's
e three Ancrican prisoners of war. This coverage
has included reports that the three Americans will returnUnited States via Moscow and Stockholm,ayoveroneptember.
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Moscow and possibly on to Stockholm, Sweden, if no convenient commercial flight is available. The possibility existstop en route in Vientiane, Laos, although the planners prefer to by-pass Vientiane. The stop in Moscow is intended by the planners to be heldinimum length with press coverage to be avoided if possible. From Moscow, the preferred route will be directly to Stockholm where the planners expect to arrive oneptember at the latest, but possibly as early as late oneptember.
Swedish planners hope to keep the threeStockholm for at leastours in order to carrymedia coverage of their presence and theirformer prisoners are being encouraged by members of the
KCC to speak out extensively while in Stockholm. The WCC members are telling the American prisoners that they nightorm of insurance against their being taken to the United States and secreted away from their families for long periods of debriefing. The prisoners are being told that the rationale behind such "insurance" is that if everything has been said in Stockholm, then the Pentagon cannot justify secreting the men away and classifying all that they have to report. The men are further being advised by the WCC that if they go to the United States and make remarks critical. Vietnam policy there, they will be accused by the United States military of being mentally unbalanced, thus prompting ridicule and possibly an additional long and uncomfortable confinement. Stockholm, on the other hand, is considered to be an appropriate "neutral ground'* where the Americans will be encouraged and may be willing to speak out, thus leaving the world media with little basis for accusing any participants in the publicity effort of having gotten biased statements from the menlimate of duress.
arrival in Stockholm is planned touietshort affair with little or no press conferenceis hoped that the Americans can later be made.availableand media peoplerivate home or possiblyotel.
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conjunction with the presence in Stockholm offormer prisoners, Hans Goran Franck, Chairman of theJean-Christophe Oberg, Swedish Ambassador to Northattempting toisit by Senatortockholm. The two hope to have Senator Kennedy in thethe same time as the three prisoners in order to attempta press conference or similar public activitySenator and the three former prisoners. AmbassadorFranck have been in touch with Senator Kennedy andthey believe that theyairly good chance ofpresent. The WCC expects that Ramsey Clark will beat the time of the arrival and media coverage ofprisoners. It is through him that the WCC hopes toKennedy into public involvement in the
above-described flight travel routingsince the WCC organizers of the Western mediathe best available surroundings for the event. Thusconsidered as an alternate locale for the media exposurethree Americans. In this connection, Ambassador Obergin Paris laying plans for possible activity there. has recently been in Stockholm for several weeks, has been
a. key figure in the planning due to his good North Vietnamese
contacts in Paris and Hanoi. Swedish radio and television
personnel are also being sent to Paris as well as to Hanoi for
assurance of the best possible coverage of the events. Should
tho media exposure take, place in Paris, Oberg and Franck will
attempt to get Senator Kennedy to visit Paris instead of Stockholm.
Clark first proposed to the Northon his recent trip toystem of choosingprisoners to be released. Clark's proposal was to haveof lots (among how many prisoners is not known) of cameras. Thus it was hoped to prove that thenot one dictated by the North Vietnamese. When the planClarkecond which specified thatfrom each of three phases of the war be chosen. plan was accepted by the North Vietnamese and henceis of the period of the earliest United StatesNorth Vietnam; one from the period of former
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President Johnson's buildup of United States participation in Vietnam; and the third from the latest renewal of the bombing of North Vietnam. Clark proposed this system of choice in order to have former prisoners who could report on conditions faced by all the prisoners in North Vietnam and to prove that treatment had not become worse in the face of continued American bombings.
Members of the WCC hope to achieve an impact on American public opinion through publicity of the release of the prisoners and by tying the release to North Vietnamese willingness to deal with the Democratic Party. The WCC members hope in this way to convince the American public that, if the Democratic Party wins the coming Presidential election, all the prisoners can be brought home safely.
The only other recipients of this information are Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird.