The Front Page

Newsletter of
Korea-Cold War Families of the Missing


August 2006 Issue 12

POW-MIA We Remember!

2006 FAMILY UPDATE LOCATIONS 2006
City selections are based on past update schedules and demographic mapping of family members' home locations.
Family Update 2006 Cities for 2006Family Update 2006 Cities for 2006
• July 22nd Syracuse , NY • August 19th Minneapolis , MN • September 16th Seattle , WA • • October 18th, 19th, 20th Washington , DC * • November 18th Albuquerque , NM
* - The Korean and Cold War Annual Government Briefings

Casualty Assistance (Air Force Personnel Center) 800-433-0048 Casualty Assistance (U. S. Army) 800-626-3317 Casualty Assistance (U.S. Navy) 800-368-3202 Casualty Assistance (USMC) 800-269-5170

National POW/MIA Recognition Day - September 15th, 2006

Secretary's Corner by Emma Skuybida:
IMPORTANT NOTICE!IMPORTANT NOTICE! Dear Members:
Our web site has been brought up to date. We now have added a section for Newsletters. If you missed any of our News from the Front Page, you may now retrieve our past newsletters on line. http://www.koreacoldwar.org/frontpage/index.html If you are wondering why some of the e-mails that you received from Korea/Cold War are repeated in our newsletter (The Front Page) that is because most of our membership is not on line and the newsletter is our only way of keeping them up to date on the issue.

Emma Skuybida
Secretary
http://www.koreacoldwar.org/



IN MY OPINION
by IRENE L. MANDRA


In the last several weeks we have read about the Israeli soldier that was taken prisoner by the Palestinians. My admiration and respect goes to the State of Israel for fighting to get their POW-MIA soldier CPL Gilad Shalit back. In no way am I taking sides between Israel and the Palestinian conflict. My comments are directed ONLY towards a Nation's responsibility and actions to secure the return of captured men and women in uniform. Israeli loyalty and protection for their men and women who serve in the Armed Forces is not only admirable but I, for one, wish my country had that type of caring for their sons and daughters in uniform.

Why does a small, new country fight for their citizens and the United States of America, which is a large and a powerful country, have a history of abandonment? When will Americans think and care for and about Americans? We certainly should and do care for all people around the globe, and our continued generosity and sacrifices have proven that. But what about Americans?

With that in mind, let us look at the Korean War. At the conclusion of the war, the United States went to great lengths to insure that North Koreans, who had been captured or surrendered and DID NOT WANT TO RETURN TO COMMUNIST NORTH KOREA, did not have to go back. The US went the extra mile to protect the lives and well-being of those men. However, at the end of the Korean War, the US did NOT do the same with respect to American POWs and MIAs. Our government decided not to push and fight for the POWs who were not returned.

Did the US have options? They most certainly did. They chose to sacrifice our loved ones to settle the conflict. The men that served in the Korean War served with loyalty and devotion to their country. They didn't protest the war, they didn't take flight. They answered the call of their country as so many did during World War II. Why does my country continue to cover up the fact that men were left after the Korean War? We have a Commission between the United States and Russia (the US-Russia Joint Commission or USRJC) to look for men that were taken into the Soviet Union. We have evidence that has been presented to the Russians, but they have not acted on it. China has been asked for their cooperation, but as yet we have gotten none. North Korea has been in such a bad state of affairs all these years, yet no one from the State Department thought enough of our POWs to try to negotiate for them. SHAME ON EVERY ADMINISTRATION.

Is it any wonder why men and woman are not joining the service. This wonderful country of ours has a terrible flaw in its makeup and that is their history of abandoning men from the Cold War, Korean and Vietnam Wars. The Pentagon can continue to try and cover up all the live sightings, but the people in this country know that we, as a nation, have abandoned our service men.

So when does the cover up stop and the real work begin? When will we get people in our government who truly care about what happened to our MIAs? When will they present the evidence of live sightings to these foreign governments and DEMAND answers? If these countries don't wish to cooperate, let's stop buying their goods. Let's stop giving them humanitarian aide. Stop trading with China. Let's hurt them in the only place that seems to get their attention... the pocket book... and watch how fast we get cooperation.

Wake up America -- when someone steals your child you don't play nice with kidnappers or murderers. We want our missing back, North Korea is holding many of our men and it's time this country did something about it. Stop placating foreign nations; stop worrying about their welfare and what they 'think' about us and start taking care of the men that were left after the wars, protecting FOREIGN SOIL, who served and continue to serve THIS nation with duty, devotion and love.

We Need Congressional Intervention, and We Need It Now!
It's been more than fifty years since our loved ones went to war. It’s been more than fifty years that we have waited for answers and closure.

Take this page and send it to your Congressional Representative and Senators. Tell them to DO SOMETHING. We need Hearings, we need better funding for JPAC and we need to know that those who we put into office represent our POWs and MIAs and their families every day and not just on National POW-MIA Recognition Day.



KOREA/COLD WAR FAMILIES OF THE MISSING
Has taken a block of rooms at the Best Western (next to Comfort Inn) 2480 S. Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA for the Annual Korea - Cold War Conference in Washington, DC - October 18th, 19th, 20th Reservations 703-979-4400 OR 1800- 426-6886

Rate is $119.00 daily.

Shuttle service to and from Reagan Airport is provided by the hotel. Make your reservation under Korea/Cold War Families, in order to receive the discounted rate.

Please be advised that the hotel is two stories high, with no elevators. If you have a problem climbing stairs, ask for rooms on the first floor.

The hotel has 75 to 80 rooms on the first floor. Make your reservations early. The deadline is September 18.

The Best Western will try to accommodate all callers, but there is no guarantee on availability if you call after September 18.

The Department of Defense (DPMO) is providing bus transportation to and from the Best Western to the Double Tree Hotel where the family forum will take place.

The Restaurant is located at the Comfort Inn, which is a few feet from the Best Western. They are offering a Continental Breakfast for $5.95 per person OR Full American Breakfast for $11.95 per person. Dinner is served between 5 and 10 PM starting at $8.95 and up. Shirlington Village is less then a mile from the hotel, which has restaurants and lounges. Cab fare will be approximately $4.00.

Please contact Irene with any questions, at imandra@optonline.net
OR www.koreacoldwar.org



"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."
Ronald Reagan



ON THE HILL
By Frank Metersky, Washington, DC Liaison
BUDGET PROBLEMS AT JPAC May 2006

This morning I spoke to the SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE and they advised me that JPAC will not be receiving any additional funds for 2006 in time to keep from further decimating investigative and recovery of remains operations around the world. They may get an additional 2 million but it will not be in time to save any effected operations. Unfortunately Southeast Asia with feel the brunt of this budget cut for 2006.

This fully confirms the fact that there is no support for the issue from Rodman's office to England's office at the Pentagon.

The Committee is fighting to restore and protect the budget for 2007 and they also are working to try to restructure DPMO, JPAC and any other entity that is involved in the POW/MIA issue into a single more intelligent operational and workable chain of command.

I hope all the Veteran and Family organizations will go public to express their outrage over the disgraceful turn of events particularly with Memorial Day just 3 weeks away. This disgraceful action by the Pentagon dishonors the men POW/MIA from all past wars who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and is a direct insult to their families.
Frank Metersky

NOTICE FROM IRENE : Dear Members - If your internet service provider (ISP) is AOL you must notify them that you want the mail that I am sending you. AOL is stopping many of the articles and information that I am sending you. It has to do with problems from spammers using cable networks to send an overwhelming amount of spam through AOL. Remember - You must tell AOL you WANT email from imandra@optonline.net

RECOMMEND READING:
A Matter of Accountability :
The True Story of the Pueblo Affair by Trevor Armbrister
The Lyons Press - ISBN: 1592285791
The Pueblo Incident : A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy
by Mitchell B. Lerner
University Press of Kansas - ISBN: 0700612963

The Cold War : A New History
by John Lewis Gaddis
Penguin Press HC - ISBN: 1594200629

Shadow Flights : America's Secret Airwar Against the Soviet Union: A Cold War History
by Curtis Peebles
Presidio Press - ISBN: 0891417680




The USSR's MIAs - A Paradox
22 June, 2006
COMMENT from Andi Wolos


The following article is a Moscow Times Editorial, lamenting the untold numbers of Soviet Patriots that remain missing from WW II, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.

On this, the 65th anniversary of their entrance into WW II, we learn that they have 4.5 million soldiers who are unaccounted-for. They have created a Russian version of DPMO/JPAC to locate, recover and identify remains.

The paradox is that the Russians have the ability to assist the US and her Allies in determining the fate of hundreds of thousands of POWs and civilian internees, yet has failed to do so. Miserably.

As we have stated, repeatedly, no one has a corner on misery. Their loss is no greater than ours, nor ours greater than theirs. We all suffer and across the globe there is an endless stream of families who continue to wait. They wait for answers, they wait for their men, they wait for their remains.

But it is imperative that we not allow those who are empowered to forget their obligations. It is very easy to stand in front of people and wail how terrible it is that so many are missing and then go home and DO NOTHING.

It is very easy to point the finger at others, other people, other nations, but sooner or later someone has to look in the mirror and say, "we can do more." And, they don't, won't or can't.

The former Soviet Union has archival repositories that hold secrets that will probably never see the light of day. They more than likely even have holdings that will allude to the location of some of their own missing. Even if they do not, they can lead, if not to the actual men or remains, certainly to the fate of untold numbers of Allied POWs who evaporated into the ether that was the former USSR and is Russia.

Unfortunately, it is the men and their families that are made to suffer, regardless of their nationality or the language they speak.

END COMMENT

"Article - Far Too Many Heroes Are Still Missing
Vedomosti

To Our Readers
The Moscow Times welcomes letters to the editor. Letters for publication should be signed and bear the signatory's address and telephone number.

Letters to the editor should be sent by fax to (7-495) 232-6529, by e-mail to oped@imedia.ru, or by post. The Moscow Times reserves the right to edit letters.

June 22 is probably the most tragic date in Russian history. World War II began on that date 65 years ago, and it will not end anytime soon, because many who died in that war have not been laid to rest.

Some 4.5 million soldiers who died in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War are officially listed as missing in action. From 500,000 to 600,000 of those confirmed dead have never been buried.

The government spent 6 billion rubles ($220 million) on the 60th anniversary of Victory Day in 2005, but it has failed to allocate enough money to deal with this statistical paradox. According to the study "Russia and the U.S.S.R. in the Wars of the 20th Century," 4.8 million people were serving in the army in June 1941, and another 29.6 million were called up during the war.

Some 12 million soldiers were killed or captured, while 3.7 million were discharged for medical reasons and more than 400,000 were imprisoned. On Victory Day in 1945, the Red Army numbered 11.8 million soldiers, 1 million of whom were in military hospitals. The authors of the study cannot account for 5.3 million men.

Since 1989, search teams have unearthed and identified some 120,000 bodies. The Defense Ministry's recently created 300-member search battalion established the identities of nine corpses during three weeks of work in the Leningrad region, a fair result according to civilian experts. But this is the only battalion of its kind.

Advocates of the iron hand of the state maintain that World War II demonstrated the country's capacity for mobilization in time of crisis. It's true that heavy industry and defense production made rapid progress in the 1930s. By June 1941, the Red Army had more than 16,000 serviceable aircraft -- four times more than Germany and its satellites. It had some 19,000 battle-ready tanks -- five times more than the enemy. But there was a chronic shortage of properly trained soldiers to operate these machines. Early in the war many pilots were still flying the obsolete I-16 and I-153 fighters. Two-thirds of the tanks in 1941 were abandoned or blown up by their crews in non combat situations because the crews were unable to fix mechanical problems. By autumn 1941, nearly 3.9 million Red Army soldiers had been killed or captured. More than 17,000 tanks and 14,000 aircraft had been destroyed.

Victory was achieved thanks to the Soviet people's capacity for mobilization, not the Soviet economic or political system. To this day, the government has not repaid its debt to the people, if only in the form of posthumous honors. This is clearly a misuse of the people's capacity for mobilization. And it is a mistake. "

A longer version of this comment appeared as an editorial in Vedomosti.
© 2006 The Moscow Times



STATE DEPT.: HOUSE PANELS HOLD HISTORIC HEARING ON NORTH KOREAN ABDUCTIONS

WASHINGTON, April 27 -- The U.S. Department of State's International Information Programs issued the following press release:

Two House panels - the House International Relations subcommittees on Asia and the Pacific and on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Relations - April 27 held the first congressional hearing focused on North Korea's abduction of foreign citizens.

Although North Korea's abductions of Japanese citizens during the 1970s and 1980s have received widespread media attention, South Korean abduction victims are far more numerous, according to Representative James Leach, the chairman of the House Asia-Pacific subcommittee.

"Of the tens of thousands of South Koreans forcibly taken to the North during the Korean War, the South Korean government estimates that approximately 600 [prisoners of war] are still alive and held in North Korea, in violation of the 1953 Armistice Agreement," Leach said.

The Republican of Iowa said that many South Korean civilians have been abducted to the North in the years since the war, and the government in Seoul, South Korean, estimates that approximately 485 remain there today. He added that reports from defectors and returned abductees have indicated that North Korea might be holding abductees from as many as 12 countries.

The hearing was the fifth the subcommittees have held focused on North Korean human-rights issues.

Leach noted that 18 months ago President Bush signed into law the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-333, October 18, 2004), which is intended to promote human rights, refugee protection and increased transparency in the provision of humanitarian assistance for the people of North Korea. (See related article :

http://usinfo.state.gov/dhr/Archive/2004/Oct/19-706197.html.)

However, Leach expressed dissatisfaction with the Bush administration's implementation of the act, noting that the United States still has not accepted a single North Korean refugee for domestic resettlement, nor has it requested a specific appropriation for any of the activities authorized by the act.

For more information on U.S. Policies, see The U.S. and the Korean Peninsula:

http://usinfo.state.gov/eap/east_asia_pacific/north_korea.html.



Chit Chat and News by Irene
August 2006


Five Hats to State Senator Kemp Hannon and State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo for their help. Senator Hannon secured equipment for Korea/Cold War Families Headquarters. Senator Fuschillo's efforts have enabled us to receive a grant from the state of New York.There are no words to thank the good Senators for their thoughtfulness. We have sent thank you letters to both Senators. Korea/Cold War Families of the Missing is so fortunate to be located in their district.

We also wish to acknowledge Congressmen Peter King and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy for their recommendation of Norman Kass for the new DASD at DPMO. I wish to thank them both for their help, again I am fortunate to have Representatives who listen and acted at our request. Bless you both.

Korea/Cold War Families wishes to extend our heart-felt condolences to the family of Katherine H. Bowman, who passed away April 1, 2006. Katherine was a friend and a long time advocate for the missing.

Our sympathy goes out to the family of Marty O’Brien, POW/MIA chairperson for the National Korean War Veterans Association and our member who has recently passed away. Author, writer and dear friend, we will miss you.

Get well wishes with lots of love to our member Kay McMahan who had a terrible car accident. You are in our prayers.

If you wish to express your concerns over the incarceration of our Marines in Iraq please drop a letter to:
Lt.General J.T. Conway
3000 Joint Staff Pentagon
Washington DC 20318-3000

I believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Is it necessary to have Americans men in shackles? Why is it when a foreign country complains about our servicemen we don't know what to do to appease the foreign country? What about when American boys are tortured and beheaded, where is the foreign country outrage? I haven't heard any.

I also wrote a letter to the Arizona Republic newspaper who desecrated the Marine Corps emblem with blood on the Marine Core Pin in their newspaper. How desperate can they be to sell newspapers? To take a symbol like the Marine Corps Pin and desecrate its image is unthinkable. I guess they forgot how many Marines died protecting this country with that pin on their vest. Shame on Mr. Benson the cartoonist.

I'm only sorry that he is not local otherwise I would have paid him a visit and then demonstrated in front of his rag newspaper.



Rumsfeld Presses China on Fate of Pilot
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
May 6, 2006


In August 1956 a newlywed Navy pilot, Lt. James B. Deane Jr., was shot out of the sky on a nighttime spy flight off the coast of China. Nearly half a century later, a famous friend found himself in Beijing with a chance to quietly press Chinese leaders for more cooperation in resolving Deane's fate.

The friend was Donald H. Rumsfeld, the defense secretary known for hardline views on communist China. He and Deane were fellow Navy fliers and became buddies while stationed together in Florida in 1954 and 1955.

Rumsfeld's personal connection to the Deane case is a coincidence of history not publicly reported until now.

The chief focus of Rumsfeld's visit to Beijing last October was his concern about China's military buildup. Privately, he also made a point of urging Chinese officials to look further into the Deane episode. Like other efforts he made on behalf of Deane's widow before becoming defense secretary, his urging yielded no new answers.

The Cold War case has been clouded in mystery and secrecy since the Martin P4M-1Q Mercator in which Deane and 15 other men were flying was shot down over the East China Sea shortly after midnight Aug. 23, 1956. Rumsfeld raised it while also seeking more Chinese openness on all cases of missing U.S. servicemen.

"I remember the good times with him and remember the sorrow of losing him," he said of his friend in an interview with The Associated Press.

China has acknowledged that its jet fighters attacked the Mercator as it scooped up electronic intelligence on military radars and other sensitive Chinese systems. But China repeatedly has denied knowing Deane's fate.

The remains of four crew members were recovered — two by the crew of a U.S. search vessel and two by China, which returned the bodies through British authorities in Shanghai. The other 12 were never found. Adding to the mystery were unconfirmed U.S. intelligence reports, in the months after the plane was shot down, that Deane and perhaps one other may have survived the crash and been taken to a Chinese hospital.

A March 4, 1957, report by the 6004th Air Intelligence Service Squadron said two survivors of the Mercator attack had been moved in late November to the residence of a Chinese government official. Identifying information for one "appears to fit the description of Lieutenant (junior grade) James Brayton Deane, Jr.," said the report, which was declassified in 1993.

The Rumsfeld-Deane link is the only known instance of a secretary of defense, whose official duties include overseeing U.S. government efforts to account for missing-in-action servicemen, having a personal link to an MIA involving China. It is a coincidence that Rumsfeld has kept out of the public spotlight in deference to Deane's widow, Dr. Beverly Deane Shaver, who until now had pursued the matter strictly in private.

Now Shaver is going public, eager to express her gratitude for Rumsfeld's support and correct what she believes has been a false U.S. government characterization of her first husband's fate.

"He was declared missing, when I'm 99.9 percent certain he was not. He was alive," she said in a telephone interview from her home in suburban Phoenix. "It almost makes a person's life a lie, and that really bothered me."

Deane was 24 years old.

"He was a big man, physically, and had a good smile and enjoyed life," Rumsfeld said in the interview. "As an aviator he was a very serious person. He was a fine, enjoyable person to be around."

A year after the plane was shot down, the Navy told Shaver that Deane was presumed dead, based on an absence of evidence that he was alive. Shaver, however, now feels she has seen enough evidence — including declassified intelligence reports — to conclude that he likely survived the attack, if not a subsequent detention.

She and Deane were married May 19, 1956, and were living near Iwakuni Naval Air Station in Japan when her world suddenly collapsed. She recalls a Navy chaplain arriving at their home unannounced the morning of Aug. 23. And she recalls thinking then of the words her husband had often used to calm her fears for his safety.

"You don't have to worry about me flying," he would say. "You only have to worry when you see a chaplain at the door."

Over the years, Rumsfeld avoided speaking publicly in detail about Deane, although he mentioned his name in a speech five years ago.

That occasion was a ceremony honoring the crew members of a Navy EP-3E Aries surveillance plane that collided with a Chinese fighter jet in April 2001 near Hainan Island. Though that crew survived and was released from Chinese custody after being held for 11 days, the incident offered haunting parallels to the Deane case.

Both involved an electronic surveillance mission gone awry and both touched Rumsfeld — the first in a deeply personal way.

At the moment he spoke Deane's name at the Andrews ceremony - "the co-pilot was a close friend of mine," he began - Rumsfeld says he pictured the 24-year-old's face. When Rumsfeld noted that 47 men from that same squadron had been lost during the Cold War - including 31 in an April 1969 attack by a North Korean fighter jet - he visibly choked up.

Deane's link to Rumsfeld had its roots in Grand Rapids, Mich., Deane's home town. A high school friend of Deane's, Jon Parrish, went on to Princeton, where he met and became friends with Rumsfeld. Deane attended Cornell.

All three were enrolled in their universities' Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps programs and after graduating in June 1954 they wound up together in Pensacola, Fla., where freshly minted officers take flight training.

Both Parrish and Rumsfeld were married. Deane was not. When Shaver, whom Deane met at Cornell, came to visit him in Pensacola, she would stay at the Rumsfeld's house, and she kept in touch over the years.

In late May 1956, just days after his wedding, Deane headed to Japan with his Mercator squadron. It was a time of tension between Washington and Beijing, which suspected U.S. efforts to destroy the communist regime that had seized power in 1949. The U.S. military regularly flew electronic surveillance missions off the Chinese, Soviet and North Korean coasts.

Richard Haver, a former senior U.S. intelligence official and Navy officer who looked into the case at Rumsfeld's request in the late 1990s, said the Navy's original investigation concluded that the Mercator's nosedive into the sea was an "unsurvivable water entry."

"Chances are really pretty slim" that Deane or any other member of the crew got out alive, Haver said in an interview.

Haver reviewed U.S. intelligence records of the case and interviewed former Mercator pilots. He concluded that Deane's fate may never be known.

U.S. officials believe the Chinese government knows more about the matter than it has said, which is very little.

Rumsfeld has had a hand in quiet, inconclusive U.S. government inquiries about Deane since 1974, when Rumsfeld was chief of staff to President Ford. At that point, just two years after Washington began to normalize relations with the communist government in Beijing, the Ford administration was using the diplomatic opening to press for information about Deane and other MIA servicemen.

"The Chinese had informed us privately that they, themselves, hold no American servicemen," Henry Kissinger, then the secretary of state, wrote in a declassified memo in January 1975. "They said they had as yet found no bodies nor had they turned up any other kind of information," but were still investigating.

When Ford met Deng Xiaoping in Beijing in December 1975, the future top Chinese leader gave Ford a memorandum that said, "The Chinese side has no information on what happened" to Deane and the other 11 missing members of his crew.

Subsequent inquiries by U.S. officials - including Rumsfeld's last October - produced essentially the same response from Beijing: We've looked again and found nothing.

Shaver, who has made two trips to China in search of answers, said that in 1999 she had indirect contact with a former head of China's air defenses in the region where Deane was shot down. He recalled the attack and said two pilots had survived. But when pressed more directly he would not repeat the claim of survivors.

Shaver has not discussed the matter directly with Rumsfeld, but says she knows he raised the matter in Beijing.

"Rumsfeld was very compassionate on this," she said.
©2006 Associated Press

Beverly Deane Shaver's daughter, Katherine Shaver, has written an extraordinary account of James Deane's loss incident and Dr. Shaver's search for answers. You may read the entire piece in our Heroes section, online at :

http://www.koreacoldwar.org/bios/deane.html



The Double Standard :
An Editorial by Andi Wolos

26 June, 2006 :: Today is "International Day in Support of Survivors and Victims of Torture"

June 26th, 2006, has been designated by the UN as such a day, appropriate because, in case no was paying attention, June is "Torture Awareness Month", so deigned by Amnesty International.

It is ironic that these two bodies, long screaming about the injustices and horrors that are meted out to international innocents by the war-mongering, torture loving United States of America, have declared June to be the month of global Torture awareness. Yet, neither has uttered so much as a peep about the horrific JUNE events of last weekend when two American soldiers in Iraq were kidnapped from their duty post during an ambush and murdered in captivity... after being TORTURED.

Admittedly, we are breaking a promise here... the promise not to discuss the deaths of PFCs Menchaca and Tucker. It was a hard decision to make, considering the families that survive these two brave young Americans. However, considering the hypocritical history of both the United Nations and Amnesty International, with respect to the issue of AMERICAN POWs and MIAs and Captives, their deaths and the subsequent events have illuminated a humongous spotlight on the double standard that Americans in uniform are faced with.

Almost 40 years ago, those of us who worked the POW-MIA issue BEGGED Amnesty International for their intervention with the Laos, the Socialist Vietnamese and the Cambodians. We KNEW men were being tortured. POWs in captivity blinked out in morse code the letters T - O - R - T - U - R - E. Early escapees told of horrific, primeval conditions of privation, starvation, beatings, TORTURE and more.

Yet, AI (Amensty International) told us they could not, would not intervene because those captured American GIs were COMBATANTS. They were the transgressors. They were not some innocent bystander swept into the horror of it all. They were not civilians subjected to and subjugated by despotism. These American POWs were the aggressors we were told, directly, and got what they deserved we were told, indirectly.

The UN, ever resentful of the United States, was equally impotent in its ability to address the issue in any meaningful way. Occasionally one would hear them mumbling about "captives" but whether or not that word encompassed AMERICAN POWs is doubtful.

Clearly the UN has, at best, a miserable track record when it comes to Prisoners of War if they had the misfortune to have been an American citizen wearing the uniform of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard. The UN's utter ineptitude was clearly demonstrated in the waning days of the Korean War (then called the Korean Conflict and if it hadn't been by Act of Congress, would still be called so today) when it failed to hammer North Korea over POW accountability.

Men were SUPPOSED to be repatriated, yet, we have an endless litany of accounts of trainloads and truckloads of POWs NOT being sent on to Peace Village for repatriation. Needless to say, these men did not return. The UN failed when it did not hold the Communist Chinese accountable for its well-known, documented participation in that war by running many of the POW camps. The UN failed when it did not go after the former Soviet Union for its contribution to the deaths of Allied servicemembers in shootdowns, or the capture of American POWs who eventually made their way to Soviet Bloc countries, never to be heard from again.

But then again, the UN, in its metamorphosis from the League of Nations into the UN, was equally useless in securing the release of hundreds of thousands of POWs and civilian internees from the Soviets after World War II.

One may argue that both of these groups have made monumental strides in bringing to our collective social conscience the plight of millions around the globe. That they have championed the impoverished, sick, and suffering. That they bring to the forefront the never ending genocides that seem to occur like clockwork in some faraway place that few have ever heard of and, sadly, most do not care about.

Yes, they have advocated for women, children, the hungry, the afflicted and the disenfranchised.

But, the UN is a paper tiger. An entity with no substance, no teeth. For all their white papers, diplomats, experts and votes, most of what they decree is unenforceable

Occasionally a stranglehold on a belligerent nation may nudge the errant government back into compliance, but, without the support of the US to do the dirty work and take on the lion's share of economical, materiel, technological and boots-on-the-ground personnel, it simply exists to make noise.

And noise it makes. The cacophony of human rights organizations damning the US and her vicious sons and daughters in uniform is enough to make one's ears ring. We are, if we listen to the propaganda they generate; selfish, greedy, war-loving, peace-hating, corrupt, insensitive, torturous, lazy, video-game-loving-sex-loving-loud-music-loving-MacDonalds-eating, spoiled and arrogant. There are certainly more adjectives, but the above gets the point across fairly succinctly.

Might we remind the human rights organizations that were it not for all of us awful Americans, the French would be speaking German, South Korea and it's loving, wonderful people and culture would be starving and just as paranoid and suffering as her brothers and sisters to the North. The global fight on the AIDs epidemic in Africa would have virtually no funding, NATO would be an auxiliary police force with one car and two walkie talkies. Without the US, everytime there was a Tsunami or earthquake or typhoon or mud slide, BILLIONS in aid would not arrive.

Without the US and her tolerant citizens the suffering of so many would continue, technology would be 30 years behind where it is today and 11 million illegal aliens would have to find a new place to live.

Lastly, were it not for the US and her pathologically-generous citizens, most of these human rights organizations, the UN included, would be holding bake sales every Sunday in the parking lot to make up the shortfall in funding.

Yet we are damned endlessly.

Are we perfect? No. Have we made mistakes? Yes. Have we done some terrible things in our history? Yes, again. Perhaps that is WHY we are so generous and why we have been so willing to shed blood for people we do not know in places we hadn't heard of before. We have always tried to right whatever wrong has been done, and give whatever it is we have been so blessed to have to others.

And still, we are damned.

And, on this, the "International Day in Support of Survivors and Victims of Torture" during Torture Awareness month, not one of these human rights organizations has the guts to stand up and say what happened last weekend was a crime. A crime against these two beautiful young men... a crime against their families... a crime against every American man and woman, and a crime against humanity.

The Torah states, "To save a life is to save the world entire."

A magnificent sentiment that bespeaks of the true nature of being engaged in humanity. That it is not enough to talk the talk, but one must also walk the walk. Something Americans know all too well by the numbers of men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice throughout our history in defense of others.

Neither the UN nor Amnesty International did anything to save two lives on a miserable, hot day in the dusty desert of Iraq. The very least they could do on this day, June 26th, International Day in Support of Survivors and Victims of Torture, is condemn the result.

God Bless America, her Armed Forces, POWs, MIAs and All the Families Who Wait



DNA collection offers family hope of recovering Korea POW's remains
by Brian Albrecht 11 July, 2006


On July 12, 1950, heavy fog shrouded the town of Choch'iwon, South Korea, where Army Pfc. Harry "Bill" Johnson of Cleveland and other soldiers of the 21st Infantry Regiment awaited dawn and annihilation.

They were among the first of the underarmed, understrength troops sent to stall an overwhelming North Korean invasion until better-equipped American forces arrived.

Five days after Johnson's unit landed and little more than two weeks after the Korean War began, the 21st Infantry was mauled by waves of North Koreans.

They came charging from the morning mists at Choch'iwon.

Many, including Johnson, were captured and brutally marched to a POW camp in North Korea. Only 262 of more than 700 American POWs survived.

Johnson, a 17-year-old who had lied about his age to join the service, lasted only five months in captivity.

He may still lie there, buried somewhere just south of the Yalu River with other GIs in unmarked graves.

But his brother, Robert Johnson, 75, of Cleveland, has more than fading photos and a box of medals to remember someone he still calls "the greatest guy you could ever know."

He also has hopes of bringing his brother home someday, via a little DNA insurance policy.

Some 8,100 Americans are listed as missing in action from the Korean War, including 457 from Ohio. The number includes POWs who died in captivity.

About 2,000 remains of U.S. servicemen recovered from battlefields in North and South Korea after the war remain unknown. Many are buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.

Efforts to identify the war's anonymous casualties involve such government agencies as the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii, which has sent body-recovery teams to North Korea 33 times since 1996, and the U.S. Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office.

Larry Greer, spokesman for the personnel office, said DNA collected from a blood sample from the maternal side of a surviving family, then filed in DNA data banks, can be an important tool in identifying both already-recovered remains and new bodies as they are found. (Each military branch has a Service Casualty Office for that purpose.)

"That little drop of blood can do wonders in terms of bringing closure to a family," he said.

Even if the remains aren't found until long after a DNA donor is gone, "at least they've left a legacy to help identify him," he added.

Also working to solve the genetic/identity puzzle are amateur sleuths like Harold Davis - a Korean War veteran in North Carolina who spent nearly two years linking the names of most of his home state's 123 MIAs to surviving families. When he locates a family, he tells them about DNA donation.

Now he has set his sights on Ohio.

Davis, 76, said during a recent phone interview that he chose this state because of its relatively high number (175) of cases where updated contact information is needed for surviving families of Korean War combatants who were captured, killed or missing in action.

He starts with last names that are unusual, figuring that distinction will narrow the number of families to check. Then he will search local phone books for possible relatives. Sometimes he contacts genealogical or historical societies and newspapers for help.

So far he has located two surviving families of Korean War MIAs from Ohio.

Davis said that when he makes a connection, the family's most common reaction is gratitude that someone remembers and still cares about their lost loved one.

“One thing you have to be cautious about is not letting families think the remains have been found and need identifying right now," he said. "I don't want to give them false hope."

Robert Johnson has provided a DNA sample, should it be needed if his brother's remains are recovered someday.

But for now, memories, not molecules, provide the strongest ties to his brother.

Johnson recently recalled their childhood - growing up as the sons of a mill worker, living on East 44th Street near Fleet Avenue, creating their own neighborhood swimming pond where his brother performed spectacular dives.

"He was a little guy, but he wasn't afraid to do nothing," Johnson said. "He was just a little daredevil."

The last time they saw each other was in Japan, when both were in the Army, just before the younger Johnson was ordered to Korea.

Robert Johnson was serving as a medic in the war when he heard of his brother's capture and death.

Years later he learned more details from a former American POW who had been imprisoned with his brother. The survivor told him how his brother had carried him during the death march to the POW camp, when a North Korean army major (nicknamed "Tiger" by the GIs) shot anyone who could not keep up.

The former POW told Johnson that his brother gave away his food to other prisoners and wound up dying of malnutrition.

For 56 years Johnson has waited and wondered, but he hasn't given up hope.

In a small section of the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Johnson has placed a headstone bearing his brother's name on an empty grave, ready for a soldier to finally come home.
© 2006 The Plain Dealer



JPAC Searches for Clues in South Korea
29 June, 2006
JOINT POW/MIA ACCOUNTING COMMAND (JPAC)
RELEASE NO. #06-24
June 28, 2006


JPAC INVESTIGATIVE TEAM SEARCHES FOR CLUES IN SOUTH KOREA

HICKAM AFB, HAWAII - An investigation team from JPAC returned June 11 to Hawaii from South Korea after researching cases related to 44 unaccounted-for military members from the Korean War.

Their goal was to gather adequate information to correlate specific sites with unaccounted-for service members.

The team investigated 15 cases relating to nine ground and six aircraft losses in the hopes of pinpointing sites for future recovery missions. A single case may involve more than one individual.

Seven of these cases involve battles that occurred near the Naktong River. Historically, the Naktong River was part of the boundary known as the Pusan Perimeter. Republic of Korea and U.S. forces incurred devastating losses there after a surprise attack from the North Korean People's Army in June 1950.

The team also searched for three burial site locations based on information provided by U.S. veterans of the Korean War.

In the course of their investigations, team members visited area villages and interviewed 80 potential witnesses.

Today 8,100 American service members are still missing from the Korean War. JPAC conducts investigation operations worldwide before recovery missions take place. Investigative teams deploy to places as diverse as Southeast Asia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Germany and France.

"Until they are home"



999 Days in China
10 June, 2006
By Topher Sanders Montgomery Advertiser


The seemingly nondescript way Roland Parks' future wife describes him the day they met says a lot about the man.

"I think he was just very normal," Dorothy Parks said of the young Air Force officer she met in 1956 at Maxwell Air Force Base.

That description was a high compliment, considering Parks was just months removed from a 999-day stay as a prisoner of war in China. During that time he was subjected to brutal beatings, unbearable living conditions and a trial as a war criminal.

However, he insists, he came out of it none the worse for wear.

"I think it did me a lot of good," said Parks, now a 76-year-old retired Air Force colonel living with his wife in Hope Hull. "I learned a lot. I learned to appreciate things. I learned to accept things. It changed my whole life, and it helped me in my Air Force career. I believe it made me a much better person than I ever would have been."

Parks' ordeal began on an early September day in 1952. A 22-year-old pilot of an F-86 Sabre fighter with 50 missions under his belt, Parks was part of a squadron escorting bombers over China when they encountered enemy aircraft.

His plane was crippled by a combination of fire from an enemy MiG and two fellow F-86s trying to shoot the MiG down. Parks had to eject from his plane and parachute into a small canyon.

He waited until dark before deciding to head east toward the coast, where he would try to get a boat ride to Korea.

"I was standing in the middle of a road trying to figure out what to do when a little Chinaman came running down the road and comes right up to me," he said. Using a communications pamphlet and a barter kit filled with gold coins, a cigarette lighter and a wrist watch, he convinced the man to take him to a nearby village.

"When we got there, he turned around and grabbed me and started screaming in Chinese, so I whacked him on the head with my 45," Parks said. "But he had drawn a crowd and out come 12 to 15 little Chinamen all dressed in black and armed with spears. So I gave the international symbol for surrender -- I raised my hands. As soon as I did that they charged with those spears coming at me."

Parks was turned over to a Russian unit that held him about a month. Then he was handed over to the Chinese at a prison compound near Autun.

"There is where the interrogations started," he said. "That's were they got really nasty. If you didn't answer their questions the way they wanted you to, they whipped you with a bamboo stick. I don't know what they wanted to know, but I couldn't satisfy them. I made up all kinds of stories."

The beatings and interrogations went on for four to five hours at a time, Parks said.
"They wanted me to sign a confession of war crimes," he said. "They said I wasn't a prisoner of war, that I was instead a war criminal."

He was fed only rice and forced to stand in place for nine hours at a time or kneel on broomsticks.

After weeks in isolation, Parks finally got a roommate, a soldier from his home state of Nebraska.

"It made a great deal of difference, and it got my spirits up," he said. "Things got a little bit better, they gave us some propaganda reading material and they gave us some checkers.

"We played a lot of chess, checkers and cards. I tell you what, I never want to see checkers or cards again."

Despite the diversions, life was still very hard as a prisoner. Parks slept on a straw mat and used a pillow stuffed with straw. His dreams, he said, escaped him.

"Sleep was a luxury in the Chinese prison," Parks said. "They kept a light right above your head and all through the night the guards would beat on the door."

Parks said he heard other prisoners go crazy and he wondered if he, too, would begin to lose it.

"The possibility was always in the back of my mind," he said. "You had to adjust and occupy your mind cause you could start feeling sorry for yourself.

When the Korean War ended in 1953, the Chinese continued to hold Parks and other Americans captive.

"They came and told us that the war was over but that we would not be going home because we were war criminals and we had to confess and have our cases worked out," he said.

Parks and three other men were found guilty of war crimes in a trial in Peking. They were given credit for time served and sentenced to be deported immediately.

"They took us to Honolulu and we stayed there for two weeks," he said. "We had a really good time, I mean a really good time. We were kind of like celebrities. My first meal was scotch and soda."

From there, Parks slipped quickly back into the life of a military officer, a life that would eventually bring him to Maxwell and a chance meeting with Dorothy, who simply saw no evidence of his past. Well, maybe a little evidence.

"I wouldn't have known about his past and I'm probably glad I didn't," she said. " But he did want to eat a lot."

© 1997- 2005 The Advertiser Co.



A Memorial and a Hope
22 June, 2006


Family of Airman James J. O'Meara is not ready to give up, but they need to say goodbye
by Francis X. Donnelly / The Detroit News

A half century after Airman Jim O'Meara went missing in the Korean War, his brothers and sisters will gather Tuesday on a verdant hillside at Arlington National Cemetery to finally say goodbye.

One sibling, however, isn't ready for farewell.

For two decades, Noreen Loper of Livonia has tried to find out what happened to her brother after he jumped from a burning B-29 bomber over North Korea in 1953. His remains have never been found.

"If we had known he had been shot or died in a prison camp, you could deal with it and move on," she said. "But not knowing -- it's not something you can live with."

The government originally told the family that O'Meara went down with the bomber but a crew member later said he saw him safely parachute from the plane.

An Air Force report released in 1997 said the airman may have still been alive when the war ended six months after the plane attack. The report didn't explain why officials believed so.

Loper, 73, has talked with dozens of people and gathered a boxful of documents and clippings, but has learned little about her brother's status.

She feels he could still be alive. At the very least, she wants to find his remains and return them to the United States.

Despite Loper's ongoing search, she and her siblings decided to hold the memorial service so they could honor their brother while they still had a chance.

The big Irish Catholic family, which once had 12 members, is down to five with the youngest being 65. O'Meara was 23 when he vanished.

"Mentally, I've buried him. I had to," said his brother, Tom, who said he couldn't stand the thought of O'Meara being tortured in prison.

Airman James J. O'Meara Jr. wasn't originally scheduled to go on the bombing mission that led to his disappearance. He wasn't assigned to a specific flight crew.

When the B-29 bomber needed an extra electronic countermeasures operator, who jams the radar of enemy planes, O'Meara volunteered, a crewmember later told the family.

The bespectacled airman smiled a lot and looked like the character Radar O'Reilly from the TV sitcom "M*A*S*H," friends and relatives said.

The aircraft, whose nose contained the slogan "Double or Nuthin'," had finished bombing a storage area near the capital, Pyongyang, when it was attacked by four MIG-15 fighter jets.

Several of the bomber's engines caught fire but the entire crew of 14 men was able to escape before it exploded, a crewman told Loper. Airman Gerry Abrahamson said O'Meara parachuted right before him.

"He let us know that his nose was at Jim's heel," Loper said.

Four members of the crew were captured by the enemy while the other nine were presumed to be killed in the plane attack, the military told their families.

That changed in 1997 with the declassification of an Air Force report from 1955. It described a dramatic attempt to rescue five members of the crew from behind enemy lines in May 1953, four months after the attack.

The rescue was aborted when the American plane came under fire.

While O'Meara wasn't one of the five crew members in the attempted rescue, the report lists him and the rest of the crew among 137 men that may have been alive at the end of the war.

The document, based on intelligence sources and comments from prisoners who had been released by Korea, didn't explain its findings.

The opening of the once-secret report buoyed Loper's hopes that her brother might still be alive.

"Somebody knows something," she said. "A black hole didn't swallow him up."

To find answers, she has contacted a long procession of pols and bureaucrats. She has used the Freedom of Information Act to petition the government for every document it has on her brother.

"I don't want to say the government abandoned him but, in reality, they have," she said. "If I let it go, I've abandoned him, too."

As for the memorial service, the military doesn't hold them on holidays so the family decided to have it Tuesday. It will be held in a section of the Arlington National Cemetery that is reserved for military personnel who were killed in action and whose remains were never recovered.

A horse-drawn caisson carrying an empty casket will lead the funeral procession. It will be followed by pall bearers in dress uniforms and white gloves. Behind that will be a flag bearer holding the black POW-MIA flag.

And behind that will be the family members, including Loper.

An honor guard will fire three volleys of seven shots. A bugler will play taps.

O'Meara's headstone will contain his name, the date he went missing and his military honors.

While the memorial service will provide closure for some of his brothers and sisters, it won't for at least one of them.

"It's not something you can let go, maybe put on the back burner," Loper said. "It doesn't go away. It's always there."
© 2006 The Detroit News



• N E W S • N E W S • N E W S • N E W S • N E W S •

June 29th, 2006 :: JPAC announces remains from 3 countries have been recovered and will be repatriated together. Remains from South Korea, Laos and Vietnam will be honored at ceremony on June 30th, 2006, Hickham, AFB.

April 28th, 2006 :: S. Korea Says at Least 5 Abductees Alive in North Korea. In a closed-door briefing, South Korea's top intelligence official told lawmakers at least five South Korean abductees are known to be alive in North Korea.

June 10th, 2006 :: POW Recognition, Finally. It was bad enough that Army Pvt. John Wayland was captured by the enemy during the Korean War, and beaten and abused before finally escaping. It seemed nearly as difficult for his government to acknowledge it happened. 50 Years later and nearly three years after his death, John Wayland will be posthumously honored as both a POW and Purple Heart recipient.

June 4th, 2006 :: At 17 years old he went missing in action during a ferocious Korean War battle, half a world away from his hometown of Springfield, Mass. And on Saturday, more than half a century later, Army Cpl. Henry D. Connell is to be buried, closing the book on one of the more unusual MIA cases from that era. His remains were returned by the North Korean government in July 1993 during a series of handovers that halted in 1995 at the U.S. government's request. But it took nearly 13 years for forensics experts to identify the bones as his - by matching a DNA sequence from a relative on his mother's side of the family.

July 17th, 2006 :: 60 Minutes on CBS featured an interview with US Army deserter/defector Charles Jenkins, who spoke of his decades in North Korea.

April 28th, 2006 :: China Returns N. Korean Asylum Seekers

April 14th, 2006 :: Seoul Intensifies Efforts to Bring POWs Back Home. The Defense Ministry is trying to determine the exact number of Korean soldiers taken to North Korea as prisoners of war right before the armistice on July 27, 1953, as part of efforts to bring survivors home. A ministry official said Friday the government is considering bringing back first POWs who were not included in the repatriation list at the time of the armistice agreement. They were captured between July 1951, when negotiations started, and July 1953, when the truce was concluded.



JPAC Release - S Korea 18 May, 2006
JOINT POW/MIA ACCOUNTING COMMAND (JPAC)
RELEASE NO. #06-17

JPAC INVESTIGATIVE EXPERTS SEARCH FOR CLUES IN SOUTH KOREA


HICKAM AFB, HAWAII - The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command recently deployed an investigative team to South Korea to research cases related to 40 unaccounted-for military members from the Korean War.

The team will investigate up to 15 cases relating to nine ground and six aircraft losses in the hopes of pinpointing future recovery sites.

Seven of these cases involve battles that occurred near the Naktong River. Historically, the Naktong River was part of the boundary known as the Pusan Perimeter. Republic of Korea and U.S. forces incurred devastating losses there after a surprise attack from the North Korean People's Army in June 1950.

The team will also search for three burial site locations based on information provided by U.S. veterans of the Korean War.

The investigative team, led by U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Keith Davis, will spend approximately 30 days in South Korea. Much of that time will be spent visiting area villages to talk to potential witnesses.

Davis, a JPAC Korean War analyst, said that witnesses often have impressive memories of specific incidents, crashes, or locations of burial sites. "The witnesses are also eager to express their appreciation for the Americans who kept their nation free," he said.

The goal of the mission is to gather adequate information to correlate specific sites with unaccounted-for service members.

The last investigative mission in South Korea, in September 2005, yielded 55 interviews. Davis said they expect that this month's mission will be just as successful.

Today 8,100 American service members are still missing from the Korean War. JPAC conducts investigation operations worldwide before recovery missions take place. Investigative teams deploy to places as diverse as Southeast Asia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Germany and France.

"Until they are home"



"American P.O.W.'s and M.I.A.'s are heroes who have gone beyond courage and beyond duty to an honored place in the souls of their fellow Americans. They symbolize the kind of singular sacrifice and devotion that has repeatedly proven instrumental in shaping our Nation's destiny. This country will never forget nor fail to honor those who have so courageously garnered our highest regard.

We shall continue to remember our missing servicemen. Our Nation must never forget them. Resolution of their fate is, and will remain, a matter of the highest national priority."

March 14, 1983
Ronald Reagan



Contact your Congressional Rep through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard
1-202-224-3121 or House Cloak Room at 1-202-225-7350 (R) and 1-202-225-7330 (D).

Congressional Contacts:
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Board of Directors and Staff:
National Chair - Irene Mandra, Family Member
Treasurer - Gail Stallone, Family Member
Secretary - Emma Skuybida, Family Advocate
Membership Chair - LuAnn Nelson, Family Member
Cold War Advocate - Charlotte Mitnik, Family Member
Washington Liaison - Frank Metersky, Korean War Veteran
Korean War Historian - Irwin Braun, Korean War Veteran
Research and Outreach - Debbe Petro, Family Member
Newsletter Editor - news@koreacoldwar.org