Why Do I
|Through the 1970s into the late 1980s, US search teams had limited access to the battlefields of SEAsia; the Vietnamese returned to us remains that they had recovered; US intelligence agencies continued to collect and analyze information; and, returnees were debriefed and that information was analyzed.|
|Beginning in the late 1980s, US search teams have had excellent access to the old battlefields and we have been able to search loss incident sites; US researchers have been stationed in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia where they have had excellent access to our former enemies wartime records.|
The fact is that the former SECDEFs testified to what they knew at the time they held the office of SECDEF and that time was 20 to 30 years ago. They did not know what we have learned in the past three decades and that information has led to the conclusion of a lot of previously uncertain loss incidents -- in every one of these, the individual's death has been established without a doubt. We know more now than they did then.
Ditto for General Westmoreland.
Mr. Rifenberg and the rest of the "MIA activist cult" prefer to live in the past, thats why they constantly dig up reports from 30 years ago, testimony from old SECDEFs, and the like. They prefer to ignore recent information because that information refutes their favorite fairy tales.
Mr. Rifenberg then claims that former CIA Director Bill Casey stated that he knew US POWs were left behind in Vietnam. This is not a true statement it is one of the favorite lies of the "MIA activist cult." This story originates from former congressman Billy Hendon. A few months before Casey died, Hendon met with him in an attempt to get Casey to support one of Hendons wacky schemes. Casey heard him out then sent him on his way. After Casey died, Hendon announced that Casey had said to him that he (Casey) "knew" we left men behind.
There were two CIA officers in the Hendon-Casey meeting, one of whom was taking notes. Both of these men testified that Casey never made such a statement and that he never said anything to Hendon that was even close to Hendons claim.
I doubt that anything I say will dissuade Mr. Rifenberg from his pursuit of fairy tales thats the way the "MIA activist cult" works.
By the way, Mr. Rifenberg makes some silly comments about how the SECDEFs and Casey were in a better position than I to know the truth. Mr. Rifenberg has never served a day in uniform, never served with the CIA, and has not a clue as to what he is talking about. Just where does Mr. Rifenberg think that Secretaries of Defense, the CIA Director, and other very senior people get their information? Does he believe -- as he seems to -- the the Secretary of Defense and the Director of CIA spend their time reading every report that comes into their organizations? Hardly.
Heres a news flash for Mr. Rifenberg: These guys know what people like me tell them. Its the action officers and the analysts majors, lieutenant colonels, GS 12/13/14s who read and analyze the reporting; who direct collection; and who write the position papers, the information papers, and the decision papers that the Secretary, Deputy, Under, and Assistant Secretaries depend on for their knowledge. And its the colonels who command the action officers and who decide what goes up the chain of command.
Rifenberg says "They were all in a better position to know the actual truth, don't you think ? What could you possibly know that they didn't ? " No, they were not in a better position than I because they knew what we on the staff told them.
I can hardly wait for Mr. Rifenberg's next dumb, uninformed comment.