United States. Congress. House. Committee on Natio.

H.R. 4000--Restoration of Missing Persons Act : hearing before the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the Committee on National Security, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, hearing held September 10, 1996 online

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on NatioH.R. 4000--Restoration of Missing Persons Act : hearing before the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the Committee on National Security, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, hearing held September 10, 1996 → online text (page 1 of 16)
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V



[H.N.S.C. No. 104-i6]



i (



H.R. 4000— RESTORATION OF MISSING
PERSONS ACT

Y 4.SE 2/1 A: 995-96/46



H.R. 4000-Restoration of Hissing Pe.



JNG

BEFORE THE

MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



HEARING HELD
SEPTEMBER 10, 1996







U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1997



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-054286-3



[H.N.S.C. No. 104-46]



H.R. 4000— RESTORATION OF MISSING
PERSONS ACT

Y4.SE2/1 A: 995-96/46 _

H.R. ^OOO-Restoration of Hissing Pe. . .

JNG

BEFORE THE

MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATD/ES

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



HEARING HELD
SEPTEMBER 10, 1996




^"^^ 15 1937



""mpoBt



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1997



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-054286-3



MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE

ROBERT K. DORNAN, California, Chairman
STEVE BUYER, Indiana OWEN PICKETT. Virginia

RON LEWIS, Kentucky G.V. (SONNY) MONTGOMERY, Mississippi

J.C. WATTS, JR., Oklahoma IKE SKELTON, Missouri

MAC THORNBERRY. Texas JANE HARMAN, California

SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia ROSA L. DeLAURO, Connecticut

TODD TIAHRT, Kansas MIKE WARD, Kentucky

RICHARD 'DOC HASTINGS, Washington PETE PETERSON, Florida

DUNCAN HUNTER, Cahfornia

John D. ChaPLA, Professional Staff Member

Michael R. HIGGINS, Professional Staff Member

Donna L. HOFFMEIER, Professional Staff Member

Diane W. Bowman, Staff Assistant

(II)



CONTENTS



STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

Page

Dornan, Hon. Robert K., a Representative from California, Chairman, Mili-
tary Personnel Subcommittee 1

Pickett, Hon. Owen B., a Representative from Virginia, Ranking Minority

Member, Military Personnel Subcommittee: Prepared Statement 6

Oilman, Hon. Benjamin A., a Representative from New York 8

Packard, Hon. Ron, a Representative from California 10

Johnson, Hon. Sam, a Representative from Texas 15

Prepared statement 17

PRINCIPAL WITNESSES WHO APPEARED IN PERSON OR SUBMITTED
WRITTEN STATEMENTS

Benge, Michael D., former Government Civilian Employee, United States
Agency for International Development, and Vietnam-Era Prisoner of War:
Statement 27

Burch, Thomas J., Jr., President, National Vietnam Veterans Coalition:

Statement 151

Prepared statement 156

Hrdlicka, Carol, wife of Captain David Hrdlicka, U.S. Air Force:

Statement 45

Prepared statement 54

Knox, Donna Downes, Legal Counsel, and Member of the Board of Directors,
The Korean/Cold War Family Association of the Missing:

Statement 126

Prepared statement 143

Stark, Larry, former United States Navy Civilian Contractor Employee, and
Vietnam-Era Prisoner of War:

Statement 31

Prepared statement 36

DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD

Alfond, Dolores A., National Chairperson, National Alliance of Families, Let-
ter to Hon. Robert K., Dornan: 167

Brazee, James L., Jr., National President, Vietnam Veterans of America

Inc., Letter to Hon. Robert K., Dornan: 168

Composite press report on U.S.S. Indianapolis: 3

Hall, Roger, Information Researcher, Freedom of Information Act and Execu-
tive Order Violations of Vietnam era POW/MIA Information: 169

Wright, John H., Information and Privacy Coordinator, Letter to Mr. Roger

Hall: 177

(III)



104TH CONGRESS
2d Session



H. R. 4000



To amend title 10, United States Code, to restore the jprovisions of chapter 76 of
that title (relating to missing persons) as in efTect before the amendments made
by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997



IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
August 2, 1996

Mr. DORNAN, (for himself, Mr. GiLMAN, Mr. Sam Johnson of Texas, Mr. Talent,
Mr. Allard, Mr. Archer, Mr. Armey, Mr. Bachus, Mr. Baker of California,
Mr. Baker of Louisiana, Mr. Ballenger, Mr. BaRR of Georgia, Mr. BARRETT
of Nebraska, Mr. Bartlett of Maryland, Mr. Barton of Texas, Mr. Bass, Mr.
Bateman, Mr. Bereuter, Mr. Bilbray, Mr. Bilirakis, Mr. Bliley, Mr. Blute,
Mr. Boehlert, Mr. Boehner, Mr. Bonilla, Mr. Bono, Mr. Brewster, Mr.
Brownback, Mr. Bryant of Tennessee, Mr. BUNN of Oregon, Mr. BUNNING of
Kentucky, Mr. BURR, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. BUYER, Mr. CallaHAN, Mr.
Calvert, Mr. Camp, Mr. Canady of Florida, Mr. Castle, Mr. Chabot, Mr.
Chambliss, Mrs. Chenoweth, Mr. Christensen, Mr. Chrysler, Mr. Clinger,
Mr. Coble, Mr. Coburn, Mr. Collins of Georgia, Mr. Combest, Mr. Condit,
Mr. COOLEY of Oregon, Mr. CoSTELLO, Mr. Cox of California, Mr. CAMPBELL,
Mr. Cramer, Mr. Crane, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Cremeans, Mrs. Cubin, Mr.
Cunningham, Mr. Davis, Mr. Deal of Georgia, Mr. DeLay, Mr. Diaz-Balart,
Mr. Dickey, Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Dreier, Mr. Duncan, Ms. Dunn of Washing-
ton, Mr. Ehlers, Mr. Ehrlich, Mr. English of Pennsylvania, Mr. Ensign, Mr.
Everett, Mr. Ewing, Mr. Fawell, Mr. Fields of Texas, Mr. Flanagan, Mr.
Foley, Mr. Forbes, Mrs. Fowler, Mr. Fox of Pennsylvania, Mr. Franks of
New Jersey, Mr. Franks of Connecticut, Mr. Frelinghuysen, Mr. Frisa, Mr.
Funderburk, Mr. Gallegly, Mr. Ganske, Mr. Gekas, Mr. Pete Geren of
Texas, Mr. GiLCHREST, Mr. GiLLMOR, Mr. Goodlatte, Mr. GooDLiNG, Mr.
Goss, Mr. Graham, Ms. Greene of Utah, Mr. Greenwood, Mr. Gunderson,
Mr. Gutknecht, Mr. Hall of Texas, Mr. Hancock, Mr. Hansen, Mr. Hastert,
Mr. Hastings of Washington, Mr. Hayes, Mr. Hayworth, Mr. Hefley, Mr.
HeINEMAN, Mr. HeRGER, Mr. HiLLEARY, Mr. HoBSON, Mr. HOEKCTRA, Mr.

Hoke, Mr. Holden, Mr. Horn, Mr. Houghton, Mr. Hostettler, Mr. Hunter,
Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Hyde, Mr. Inglis of South Carolina, Mr. I^ook, Mrs.
Johnson of Connecticut, Mr. Jones, Mr. Kasich, Mr. Kim, Mr. King, Mr.
Kingston, Mr. Klug, Mr. Knollenberg, Mr. Kolbe, Mr. LaHood, Mr.
LaTourette, Mr. Largent, Mr. Latham, Mr. Laughlin, Mr. Lazio of New
York, Mr. Leach, Mr. Lewis of California, Mr. Lewis of Kentucky, Mr. LlGHT-
FOOT, Mr. LiNDER, Mr. LIVINGSTON Mr. LoBlONDO, Mr. LONGLEY, Mr. LuCAS
of Oklahoma, Mr. McCOLLUM, Mr. McCrery, Mr. McDade, Mr. McHale, Mr.
McHugh, Mr. McInnis, Mr. McIntosh, Mr. McKeon, Mr. McNULTY, Mr. MAR-
TINI, Mr. Manzullo, Mr. Metcalf, Mrs. MEYERS of Kansas, Mr. MiCA, Mr.
Miller of Florida, Mr. Minge, Ms. Molinari, Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Moor-
head, Mrs. Morella, Mr. Myers of Indiana, Mrs. Myrick Mr. Nethercutt,
Mr. Neumann, Mr. Ney, Mr. Norwood, Mr. Nussle, Mr. Oberstar, Mr.
OxLEY, Mr. Ortiz, Mr. Packard, Mr. Parker, Mr. Paxon, Mr. Peterson of
Minnesota, Mr. Petri, Mr. Pickett, Mr. Pombo, Mr. Porter, Mr. Portman,
Ms. Pryce, Mr. QuiLLEN, Mr. QuiNN, Mr. Radanovich, Mr. Ramstad, Mr.
Reed, Mr. Regula, Mr. Riggs, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Rohrabacher,
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, Mr. Roth, Mrs. Roukema, Mr. Royce, Mr. Salmon, Mr.
Sanders, Mr. Sanford, Mr. Saxton, Mr. Scarborough, Mr. Schaefer, Mr.
ScHiFF, Mrs. Seastrand, Mr. Sensenbrenner, Mr. Shadegg, Mr. Shaw, Mr.

(V)



VI

Shays, Mr. Siiuster, Mr. Sisisky, Mr. Skeen, Mr. Skelton, Mr. Smith of New
Jersey, Mr. SMITH of Texas, Mrs. SMITH of Washington, Mr. SMITH of Michigan,
Mr. Spence, Mr. Solxdmon, Mr. Souder, Mr. Stearns, Mr. Stockman, Mr.
Stump, Mr. Tate, Mr. Tauzin, Mr. Taylor of North Carolina, Mr. Taylor of
Mississippi, Mr. Tejeda, Mr. THOMAS, Mr. Thornberry, Mrs. Thurman, Mr.
TiAHRT, Mr. Traficant, Mr. Torkildsen, Mr. Underwood, Mr. Upton, Mrs.
VucANOVicH, Mr. Walker, Mr. Walsh. Mr. Wamp, Mr. Watts of Oklahoma,
Mr. Weldon of Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon, of Florida, Mr. Weller, Mr.
Whitfield, Mr. White, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Young of Alaska, Mr.
Zeliff, and Mr. Zimmer) introduced the following bill; which was referred to
the Committee on National Security



A BILL

To amend title 10, United States Code, to restore the provisions of chapter 76 of
that title (relating to missing persons) as in effect before the amendments made
by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States

of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. restoration OF MISSING PERSONS AUTHORITIES APPLICABLE TO DEPART-
MENT OF DEFENSE AS IN EFFECT BEFORE ENACTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE
authorization act FOR FISCAL YEAR 1997.
(a) APPLICABILITY TO DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AND CON-
TRACTOR Employees.— (1) Section 1501 of title 10, United States Code, is amend-
ed—

(A) by striking out subsection (c) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
"(c) Covered PERSONS.^^ection 1502 of this title applies in the case of the fol-
lowing persons:

"(1) Any member of the Armed Forces on active duty who becomes involun-
tarily absent as a result of a hostile action, or under circumstances suggesting
that the involuntary absence is a result of a hostile action, and whose status
is undetermined or who is unaccounted for.

"(2) Any civilian employee of the Department of Defense, and any employee
of a contractor of the Department of Defense, who serves with or accompanies
the Armed Forces in the field under orders who becomes involuntarily absent
as a result of a hostile action, or under circumstances suggesting that tne invol-
untary absence is a result of a hostile action, and whose status is undetermined
or who is unaccounted for."; and

(B) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

"(0 SECRETARY CONCERNED.— In this chapter, the term 'Secretary concerned' in-
cludes, in the case of a civilian employee of the Department of Defense or contractor
of the Department of Defense, the Secretary of the military department or head of
the element of the Department of Defense employing the employee or contracting
with the contractor, as the case may be.".

(2) Section 1503(c) of such title is amended —

(A) in paragraph (1), by striking out "one militarv officer" and inserting in
lieu thereoi "one individual described in paragraph (2)';

(B) by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (3) and (4), re-
spectively; and

(C) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new paragraph (2):
"(2) An individual referred to in paragraph (1) is the following:

"(A) A military officer, in the case of an inquiry with respect to a member
of the Armed Forces.

"(B) A civilian, in the case of an inquiry with respect to a civilian employee
of the Department of Defense or of a contractor of the Department of Defense.".

(3) Section 1504(d) of such title is amended —

(A) in paragraph (1), by striking out "who are" and all that follows in that
paragraph and inserting in lieu thereof "as follows:

(A) In the case of a board that will inquire into the whereabouts and sta-
tus of one or more members of the Armed Forces (and no civilians described
in subparagraph (B)), the board shall be composed of officers having the grade
of major or lieutenant commander or above.

"(B) In the case of a board that will inquire into the whereabouts and sta-
tus of one or more civilian employees of the Department of Defense or contrac-
tors of the Department of Defense (and no members of the Armed Forces), the
board shall be composed of —



VII

"(i) not less than three employees of the Department of Defense whose
rate of annual pay is equal to or greater than the rate of annual pay pay-
able for grade GS-13 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title
5; and

"(ii) such members of the Armed Forces as the Secretary considers ad-
visable.

"(C) In the case of a board that will inquire into the whereabouts and sta-
tus of both one or more members of the Armed Forces and one or more civilians
described in subparagraph (B) —

"(i) the board shall include at least one ofTicer described in subpara-
graph (A) and at least one employee of the Department of Defense described
in subparagraph (B)(i); and

"(ii) the ratio of such officers to such employees on the board shall be
roughly proportional to the ratio of the number of members of the Armed
Forces who are subjects of the board's inquiry to the number of civilians
who are subjects of the board's inquiry."; and

pa _

lieu thereor"section 1503(c)(4)".
(4) Paragraph (1) of section 1513 of such title is amended to read as follows:
"(1) The term 'missing person' means —

"(A) a member of the Armed Forces on active duty who is in a missing
status; or

"(B) a civilian employee of the Department of Defense or an employee
of a contractor of the Department of Defense who serves with or accom-
panies the Armed Forces in the field under orders and who is in a missing status.".

(b) Report on Preliminary Assessment of Status.— (1) Section 1502 of such
title is amended —

(A) in subsection (a)(2) —

(i) by striking out "10 days" and inserting in lieu thereof "48 hours";
and

(ii) by striking out "Secretary concerned" and inserting in lieu thereof
"theater component commander with jurisdiction over the missing person";

(B) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c);

(C) by inserting after subsection (a) the following new subsection (b):

"(b) Transmission Through Theater Component Commander.— Upon review-
ing a report under subsection (a) recommending that a person be placed in a miss-
ing status, the theater component commander shall ensure that all necessary ac-
tions are being taken, and all appropriate assets are being used, to resolve the sta-
tus of the missing person. Not later than 14 days after receiving the report, the the-
ater component commander shall forward the report to the Secretary of Defense or
the Secretary concerned in accordance with procedures prescribed under section
1501(b) of this title. The theater component commander shall include with such re-
port a certification that all necessary actions are being taken, and all appropriate
assets are being used, to resolve the status of the missing person."; and

(D) in subsection (c), as redesignated by subparagraph (B), by adding at the
end the following new sentence: ^Tie theater component commander through
whom the report with respect to the missing person is transmitted under sub-
section (b) shall ensure that all pertinent information relating to the where-
abouts and status of the missing person that results from the preliminary as-
sessment or from actions taken to locate the person is properly safeguarded to
avoid loss, damage, or modification.".

(2) Section 1503(a) of such title is amended by striking out "section 1502(a)" and
inserting in lieu thereof "section 1502(b)".

(3) Section 1513 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new
paragraph:

"(8) The term theater component commander' means, with respect to any
of the combatant commands, an officer of any of the Armed Forces who (A) is
commander of all forces of that armed force assigned to that combatant com-
mand, and (B) is directly subordinate to the commander of the combatant com-
mand.".

(c) Frequency of Subsequent Reviews. — Subsection (b) of section 1505 of
such title is amended to read as follows:

"(b) Frequency of Subsequent Reviews.— (1) In the case of a missing person
who was last known to be alive or who was last suspected of being alive, the Sec-
retary shall appoint a board to conduct an inquiry with respect to a person under
this subsection —

"(A) on or about three years after the date of the initial report of the dis-
appearance of the person under section 1502(a) of this title; and



VIII

"(B) not later than every three years thereafter.
"(2) In addition to appointment oi boards under paragraph (1), the Secretary
shall appoint a board to conduct an inquiry with respect to a missing person under
this suDsection upon receipt of information that could result in a change of status
of the missing person. When the Secretary appoints a board under this paragraph,
the time for subsequent appointments of a board under paragraph (1)(B) shall be
determined from the date of the receipt of such information.

"(3) The Secretary is not required to appoint a board under paragraph (1) with
respect to the disappearance of any person —

"(A) more tnan 30 years after the initial report of the disappearance of the
missing person required by section 1502 of this title; or

"(B) if, before the end of such 30-year period, the missing person is ac-
counted for.".

(d) Penalties for Wrongful Withholding of Information.— Section 1506 of
such title is amended —

(1) by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (0; and

(2) by inserting after subsection (d) the following new subsection (e):

"(e) Wrongful Withholding. — Except as provided in subsections (a) through
(d), any person who knowingly and willfully withholds from the personnel file oia
missing person any information relating to the disappearance or whereabouts and
status of a missing person shall be fined as provided in title 18 or imprisoned not
more than one year, or both.".

(e) Information To Accompany Recommendation of Status of Death. — Sec-
tion 1507(b) of such title is amended adding at the end the following new para-
graphs:

"(3) A description of the location of the body, if recovered.

"(4) If the body has been recovered and is not identifiable through visual
means, a certification by a practitioner of an appropriate forensic science that
the body recovered is that of the missing person. '.

(0 Scope of Preenactment Review.—


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on NatioH.R. 4000--Restoration of Missing Persons Act : hearing before the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the Committee on National Security, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, hearing held September 10, 1996 → online text (page 1 of 16)