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Laos: Did we leave some of our men behind?

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  • Laos: Did we leave some of our men behind?

    Over the years, I have been frustrated with our government in regards to why (if in fact we did) we left our men behind while the Pathet Lao reported on many times to be holding 'tens of tens' of US servicemen. I believe the time has come to discuss why this happened. Despite the fact that 1962 Geneva Convention rules forbid US action to take place in 'neutral' Laos, why, when everyone else knew that we were there, did we not negotiate the release of approximately 600 MIA/POW men when there have been over 10,000 related sitings of US POW's since 1975? Are these numbers real or exaggerated?
    Do I believe we still have POW's there? Not really. Not under the harsh conditions that they would have been held under. Why did our government leave them behind????
    Still makes me angry to this day thinking about it!
    Did we really leave them behind as many of us have thought over the years?
    I hope that all will examine this subject and post viewpoints for both sides of the argument - Did we or did we not, leave men there?
    Last edited by Miss Saigon; 30 Aug 12, 19:20.
    "War is hell, but actual combat is a motherf#cker"
    - Col. David Hackworth

  • #2
    Wasn't it something to do with the government not paying some big payment or was that purely in the case of Vietnam and not Laos? Mind you wasn't the US government officialy denying that there was an officlal presence in Laos. Not that helped men left behind...
    Last edited by copenhagen; 29 Aug 12, 15:50.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by copenhagen View Post
      Wasn't it something to do with the government not paying some big payment or was that purely in the case of Vietnam and not Laos? Mind you wasn't the US government officialy denying that there was an officlal presence in Laos. Not that helped men left behind...
      Men who worked 'over the fence' knew that they could be denied as having never been there. However, at some point, this was no longer a 'secret'! It was obvious to all that we were there. How can a government not look after the men that served them in such a special and dangerous way? What really happened?
      Last edited by DeltaOne; 29 Aug 12, 17:56.
      "War is hell, but actual combat is a motherf#cker"
      - Col. David Hackworth

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DeltaOne View Post
        Men who worked 'over the fence' knew that they would be denied as having been there. However, this was no longer a 'secret'! It was obvious to all that we were there. How can a government not look after the men that served them in such a special and dangerous way?
        Because governments can be complete and utter heartless

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        • #5
          In just a few minutes of my time, I have found sites that either back the thought that No POW's were left behind as well as some that say YES, we did leave POW's behind. What to believe???
          "War is hell, but actual combat is a motherf#cker"
          - Col. David Hackworth

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          • #6
            Without a doubt we left some.

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            • #7
              Just to check

              It was obvious to all that we were there.
              Just to check, Don. The 'we' in the above sentence refers to the royal "we", as in "we Americans", and you are not claiming to have ever operated across the 'fence' in Laos.
              dit: Lirelou

              Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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              • #8
                Got a beer buddy back in Canada.....ex-SF who always raises a glass to the "ones we left behind"........

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                • #9
                  Same response on this one. I've yet to see credibile evidence. My impression from reading about the war in Laos is that most pilots who survived the downing of the aircraft were summarily executed.
                  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MontanaKid View Post
                    Same response on this one. I've yet to see credibile evidence. My impression from reading about the war in Laos is that most pilots who survived the downing of the aircraft were summarily executed.
                    I have heard that before also. However, I still believe that there were prisoners that were being held in 1973. So much time has passed that I doubt there is anyone still alive. I have always thought that some were kept in order to look for something, perhaps money or arms, along those lines. When our government decided not to barter with them, I think those prisoners were possibly executed.
                    "War is hell, but actual combat is a motherf#cker"
                    - Col. David Hackworth

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The title of this thread makes the assertion that men were left behind. IT should probably be more properly titled "Did We Leave Our Men Behind", unless of course the originator has some definitive evidence that such a thing occurred. The fact is that allegations that the United States Government knowingly left men behind in Laos at the end of the war is unsupported by any factual evidence.

                      In fact all of the evidence points to the contrary, that every American serviceman held by the enemy and still alive at the time of Operation Homecoming was released.

                      To believe that there was some kind of conspiracy of silence in order to pack up our bags and get the hell out, is the stuff from which terrible movies are made - but there is no evidence whatsoever that was the case.

                      Joe Schlatter, formerly Chief, Defense Intelligence Agency Special Office for POW-MIA Affairs and later Deputy Director, Defense POW-MIA Office has an excellent website which debunks the POW conspiracy theories. Bob DeStatte who worked for Joe and is an expert Vietnamese Linguist and Intelligence Analyst used to post to this site and has the same opinion as does Joe.

                      Since the end of the Vietnam war and the normalization of relations with Vietnam, the United States has engaged in a strenuous effort to determine the fate of the 575 missing in Laos, to date the remains of 258 have been identified and repatriated.

                      It hardly seems logical that if indeed we knowingly left men behind in Laos that we would be mounting an effort for the past 30 years to locate and identify them.

                      Further: The United States Government is renown for its inability to keep a secret for long, it leaks like a sieve and given the animosity between the political parties such a secret would have been leaked long ago.

                      Perhaps we need to do an FOIA for a look at the Presidents Book Of Secrets.

                      http://www.miafacts.org/menupg.htm#how%20many
                      Last edited by nbrooks503; 30 Aug 12, 13:13.
                      Vietnam - US Army, Aug 66-Feb 68
                      Vietnam - USG Civilian, Feb 68-Aug 71
                      Special Agent/Criminal Investigator - US Customs Jan 72-Jan 2001
                      Wannabe Concert and Sports Photographer

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                      • #12
                        It is really a mixed bag. The US Government refuses to grant pensions to Air America personnel claiming they were not actually employed by the US. Any valuable Air Force personnel caught were processed and sent on to North Vietnam. I hear a few got sent to the USSR where they disappeared. I would expect that SF personnel seconded to the CIA to help the Hmong and other fighters would have been treated the same as Air America people.

                        The US Government kept up the fable of not being there because the NVA and Chinese also ignored the Peace Accords. Remember the Ho Chi Minh Trail?

                        Pruitt
                        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                        • #13
                          nbrooks503,
                          I took your suggestion and made a correction to the title of this thread.
                          "War is hell, but actual combat is a motherf#cker"
                          - Col. David Hackworth

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                            It is really a mixed bag. The US Government refuses to grant pensions to Air America personnel claiming they were not actually employed by the US.
                            Pruitt
                            They were no more employed by the US than I was when I worked for Equipment Incorporated a US govt contractor.

                            Although Air America and Civil Air Transport were owned by the US Govt, their employees were not US Govt personnel. Much as the folks in the Army and Air Force Exchange Service were not considered Civil Service, they had their own benefit and retirement systems. In order to be qualified for a US Government CSRS pension, those folks would have had to contribute to it - they didn't. In fact a lot of them just withdrew the amounts they had paid into their Air America retirement accounts when they moved on.

                            Those folks fully understood the nature of their contracts and this was just an attempt to get more. Heck, I'd love to be able to add another 6 percent to my CSRS retirement for my Equipment Inc and AAFES service - but that ain't gonna happen.
                            Vietnam - US Army, Aug 66-Feb 68
                            Vietnam - USG Civilian, Feb 68-Aug 71
                            Special Agent/Criminal Investigator - US Customs Jan 72-Jan 2001
                            Wannabe Concert and Sports Photographer

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                            • #15
                              A lot of people got wounds working for Air America and they had been told the US Government would take care of them. Nigel, I have no objections to them counting your Equipment Inc and AAFES service, but they don't listen to me!

                              Pruitt
                              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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