December’s Bits N Pieces and House Res. 111 Update

mattposter.jpg
SSGT Keith “Matt” Maupin
Will he be the next generation of forgotten Servicemen?
Not if we can help it!

 I hope you all are enjoying the blessing of the Season and I am sure we all look forward to the hopes of 2008.  As the end of the year is just around the corner, I wanted to share the following with you ~

 First, as of the date and time of this post, we are at an amazing 256 co-sponsors for House Resolution 111.   Congratulations to all who are working so hard on making this Select Committee a reality!  I know there are some big steps left to get this bill to the floor of the House but, I have supreme confidence is what we all can do collectively.   So as not to reiterate what Lynn has in this edition of Bits N Pieces, there is still some work to do.  Together we can make this happen.

And now, the most recent Bits N Pieces, from the Research Director of the National Alliance of Families, Lynn O’Shea ….

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National Alliance of Families

For The Return of America’s Missing Servicemen

World War II – Korea – Cold War – Vietnam – Gulf Wars

Dolores Alfond – 425-881-1499

Lynn O’Shea — 718-846-4350

Web Site http://www.nationalalliance.org

email lynn@nationalalliance.org

December 22, 2007

A Christmas Story – This past week a father and his three children became lost in a California snowstorm while searching for the perfect Christmas tree. They were rescued after three days in the woods. As CNN reported “A few seconds could have made all the difference in the fate of a family who spent three days lost in the snowy California woods, according to the helicopter pilot who found them.”

“The father of the family, Frederick Dominguez, came running out of the culvert where they had sought shelter when family members heard the sound of the California Highway Patrol helicopter Wednesday afternoon. “Had he not been moving, we would not have seen him, because the tree line was very dense and he came climbing out of the culvert,” helicopter pilot Steve Ward told CNN on Thursday. “We were just very lucky.”

“Dominguez had arranged branches to spell the word “help” near the culvert, but rescuers didn’t see that until they were turning the helicopter around after spotting Dominguez.”Imagine what DPMO would have said had they spotted that “help” signal. Shadows…. Snow drifts…. An Anomaly…. Spelling Snow…..####################

256 Co-Sponsors and Counting – As of this writing H.Res 111 calling for the formation in the House of Representative a Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs has 256 co-sponsors This gives us more then enough votes for passage. Unfortunately, H.Res 111 remains bogged down in the Rules Committee. While more co-sponsors will be helpful, we must focus efforts on Speaker of the House Nancy Peolsi and Chairperson of the House Rules Committee Louise McIntosh-Slaughter.After the holiday rush, please call the toll free number 1-866-727-4894 for the Capitol switchboard. The first call is to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Ask Speaker Pelosi to request a mark up of H. Res 111, in the Rules Committee to provide for, at minimum, a full two-year review of all POW/MIA matters and direct upon completion of mark-up that H.Res 111 be sent to the House floor for a vote. The second call is to Rules Committee Chairperson Louise McIntosh Slaughter. Again, ask that H. Res 111, be marked up for, at minimum, a full two-year review of all POW/MIA matters and send H.Res 111 to a vote.

Letters should be faxed to:

Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                                     Honorable Louise McIntosh-Slaughter

United States House of Representatives                         United States House of Representatives

235 Cannon House Office Building                                    2469 Rayburn House Office

BuildingWashington, D.C. 20515                                       Washington, D.C. 20515

Fax: 202-225-8259                                                             Fax: 202-225-7822

We are the voice of the voiceless. Let’s make our voices heard.

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This will be the last Bits N Pieces for 2007. During this Holiday Season, please keep a special spot in your heart for Scott Speicher, Matt Maupin, Ahmed K. Altaie, Alex Jimenez and Byron Fouty held as Prisoners of War somewhere in Iraq, for the American’s reported alive in Southeast Asia in 1998, and all our POWs and MIAs in North Korea, China and the former Soviet Union, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

To our Troops Deployed – You are in our prayers, stay safe and may you all be home soon.To our POW/MIA family members, veterans and concerned citizens, we wish you a Happy Chanukah, a Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year.For this holiday season we, once again, share our favorite poem and Bible verse with you.

“Though we’ve come a long way, there is much, much more to be done.

The deck is stacked against us. Our adversaries are well-entrenched

and well-financed and scared of any change in the status quo.

 

In the long run, we will prevail.

We hold the trump card, folks and when the dust clears, and the dense morning fog burns off,

when we clear our wire of sappers, and the gunships go home,

by God, we’ll still be there, because what we seek to do is right.”

— Author Unknown

“Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping,

and thine eyes from tears;

for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord:

 

and they shall come again from the land of the enemy;

and there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord,

that thy children shall come again to their own border.”

JerMIAh 31:16–17:

Let us all work together in the New Year to make the words

 

“I’ll be home for Christmas”

 

more than just a dream for our POW/MIAs.

TRUTH, JOY, AND PEACE TO US ALL IN 2008.

 

Dolores and Lynn and the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Families

 

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POW/MIA Insider: Another attempt to fleece the Issue

james-webb.jpg  I really have to wonder, is the Webb family just out to get us?  Althought it has been made clear that the infamous Johnie Webb at JPAC and James M. Webb, a retired investigative team leader who worked on the ground in SEA in both Detachment 1 and 2 from 1989 to 2003, are not related, they both obviously have the same goal – to make a living off of us for as long as they can.

 Johnie has a record that those who know the Issue do not need to hear again, and still today he continues to quietly mislead family members and make excuses for investigative shortcomings.  Yet now, we have a new nemesis in James M. Webb.  It would appear that now he has retired from active military service and did a stint in the Middle East, this adrenaline junkie wants to cash in on the POW/MIA Issue, that means cash in on us.   He along with a few others have marketed the following website, http://www.powmiainsider.com/ as “the untold story”.   They have an e-book available, The POW/MIA History 101, which, interestingly enough you can download but not print for easier reading, an instant red flag.  The information in the e-book is nothing new to any of us and unless you are looking for a refresher course, it is old news.  They are also selling, for the low, low price of $29.95 plus shipping and handling, a 3 DVD interview with James M. Webb himself which advertises as “The Untold Story”.   The DVD also eludes to a book that will soon be published, “Last Known Alive”, as well as the JTF-FA Team Commander’s Handbook.

I had some preconceived notations before viewing the DVD, expecting it to be as riveting and well made as the Dumas production of “Missing Presumed Dead”, I was sorely mistaken.   As the title of this entry states, this is just another attempt to fleece those who hold the Issue near and dear to their hearts.   The entire interview takes place in Tailand in front of an elephant herd carved in stone with a small cocktail table as the setting for the approximate two and a half hour interview.  Neither the interviewer or Webb move from this site nor is there any additional footage, maps or even photos shown to the audience.  It is merely these two men talking into the cameras for the whole length of the presentation.  The interview seems contrived at times and at other times it appears that the questions weren’t even really discussed in details beforehand.  The general topics were obvious but the viewer gets the sense that both the interviewer and the guest are constantly searching for words and that very little prep time was spent on the interview. 

The actual content of the interview has literally nothing that even the newest POW/MIA activist wouldn’t already know and much of the information has no bearing on the issue either.  Webb is simply telling stories about his time in SEA.  He comes across as unpolished and somehow thinks that his stories about his time in the field have some real bearing on the Issue.  Aside from wearing a suit, which he appears to be very uncomfortable in, this interview would have been much more appropriate taking place in a bar, unscripted.

He makes no mention of specific cases and gives the impression that each of these missions he refers to were simply that to him, missions, devoid of the human element that drives those of us, family members in particular.  He does speak about the Garwood case specifically but gives no new information or insight that isn’t out there already in books like “Spite House” or “Kiss the Boys Goodbye”.  He also give some detail to the shredding incident which he took part in but really doesn’t appear to be all that broken up about the lives that were lost and the families that were destroyed by such a callious act.  He gives the impression that due to the fact that the new Detachment head didn’t really know what was in those files, it was a rookie mistake.  Yet the version he tells of the story gives an almost Lorel and Hardy touch as the shredding was ordered, then stopped, then started again, then stopped.  The Ambassador was even in on the mixed orders.  It should be noted here that his take on this shredding incident is that they were only following orders.   The simple fact that such total and complete disregard was taken with sensitive documents that pertained to the cases of our loved ones and in particular live sighting reports, makes the excuse of “only following orders” one that I personally cannot accept. 

In closing, don’t waste your time, money and effort purchasing the DVD and there is even some question as to the status of the “Last Known Alive” book that the website makes reference to.  The sooner we can shut down Webb’s fleecing operation, the better it will be for the Issue as a whole.  He expresses no real passion for the Issue and his infrequent references to how much the Issue means to him were telling indeed.

Until Next Time,

The POW Warrior