Judicial Watch Sues Defense Department for Records on POWs and MIAs in Vietnam
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it sued the United States Defense Department to obtain government records from 1973 to the present regarding U.S. soldiers who were prisoners of war or missing in action in Vietnam and Laos (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:18-cv-02276)).
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the Pentagon failed to respond to two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
A May 21, 2018, request sought:
- Any and all lists of American prisoners of war/missing in action (“POWs/MlAs”) provided to North Vietnam as part of the Paris Peace Accords process seeking the return of those
- All materials used to brief President Nixon in 1973 about remaining American POWs/MIAs in North Vietnam and Laos.
A May 22, 2018 request sought:
- All live sighting reports of American POWs in Vietnam and Laos from January 27, 1973 to the present.
- All data and reports derived from data collected from the program known as PAVE SPIKE from January 27, 1973 to the present.
- All satellite photographs of possible or suspected rescue symbols seen in the territories of Vietnam and/or Laos from January 27, 1973 to the present.
- All electronic messages containing individual code numbers issued to US airmen transmitted from the ground in Vietnam and/or Laos from January 27, 1973 to the present.
“The Vietnam MIA-POW issue is a sore spot for many veterans and concerned Americans. Why is the Pentagon stonewalling our attempts to obtain information that is clearly in the public interest?” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.