PEN­TAGON SUED FOR POW/MIA FILES

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD - ● Con­tact Bill Gertz on Twit­ter at @Bil­lGertz.

A group of fam­ily mem­bers of ser­vice mem­bers who went miss­ing dur­ing the Korean War and Cold War is su­ing the Pen­tagon over doc­u­ments that could shed light on the fate of miss­ing mil­i­tary per­son­nel.

The Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency re­cently de­nied a re­quest from POW re­searcher Mark Sauter for 14 doc­u­ments that — de­spite be­ing more than 60 years old — are be­ing kept clas­si­fied at both the Se­cret and Top Se­cret level.

Other re­cent clas­si­fied doc­u­ments also have been with­held that could shed light on the po­ten­tial sur­vival of pris­on­ers of war from the Korean War and Cold War.

The Pen­tagon’s De­fense POW/MIA Ac­count­ing Agency, the lead unit for re­solv­ing miss­ing per­son­nel cases, re­mains with­out a di­rec­tor af­ter the of­fice’s chief, Michael Lin­ning­ton, quit in June 2016.

Rus­sia has re­fused to re­lease files from the KGB po­lit­i­cal po­lice and in­tel­li­gence ser­vice and the GRU mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence ser­vices on U.S. POWs held there. China as well has failed to sup­ply files on Amer­i­cans held by Bei­jing and known to be alive but never re­turned

— af­ter the Pen­tagon paid China more than $100,000 for POW/MIA files that were never turned over.

The fam­ily mem­bers also are de­mand­ing that Pres­i­dent Trump and Congress pres­sure both Moscow and Bei­jing to help re­solve the cases of miss­ing ser­vice mem­bers, the group said in a press re­lease.

“We’ve run out of pa­tience and we’re run­ning out of time,” said Bob Moore, whose brother, Capt. Harry Moore, was shot down over North Korea in 1951 and ap­par­ently taken to the then-Soviet Union with other Amer­i­can avi­a­tors.

Data on Harry Moore was dis­closed in de­clas­si­fied U.S. in­tel­li­gence records and for­mer Soviet of­fi­cials.

“We’re ask­ing our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives to stand up for mil­i­tary fam­i­lies who’ve sac­ri­ficed so much for our coun­try,” Bob Moore said.

Washington lawyer Mark S. Zaid, who has spe­cial­ized in clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion mat­ters, is rep­re­sent­ing the fam­i­lies.

“It is as­ton­ish­ing the U.S. gov­ern­ment is still keep­ing in­for­ma­tion clas­si­fied on these lost he­roes, from in­tel­li­gence doc­u­ments with­held as Top Se­cret just this year to op­er­a­tional files from the 1950s,” said Mr. Zaid, said. “We hope this law­suit will help com­pel the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to fi­nally bring these men home.”

The groups are sup­ported by POW ac­tivist groups; the Coali­tion of Fam­i­lies of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs; the Korea-Cold War Fam­i­lies of the Miss­ing, Inc.; and the Na­tional Al­liance of Fam­i­lies. Mem­bers of the groups are in Washington for an an­nual brief­ing from Pen­tagon of­fi­cials.

The law­suit is seek­ing the de­clas­si­fi­ca­tion of files held by the Pen­tagon, State De­part­ment, Air Force, NSA, CIA and Na­tional Ar­chives.

“We want the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment to show the same faith to our miss­ing loved ones that they showed to the U.S. gov­ern­ment dur­ing their ser­vice,” said Pat Dick­in­son, brother of Jack Dick­in­son who went miss­ing with fel­low crew­men when the air­craft they were fly­ing in was shot down by the Sovi­ets.

“There may not be much chance our loved ones are still alive, but there re­mains hope we can still find out what re­ally hap­pened to them,” she said.

A Pen­tagon spokes­woman had no im­me­di­ate com­ment.

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