November 23, 1999
(202) 628-2700 Ext. 158
VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA VIEW EXTENDED RELEASE DATE
OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS AS UNACCEPTABLE
Vietnam Veterans of America's National President George Duggins denounced
as completely unacceptable the Presidents decision to extend the date for
the scheduled completion of review of documents for declassification by
federal agencies an additional 18 months beyond the April 2000 deadline.
Executive Order 12958, Classified National Security Information (signed
17 April 95, Effective date 180 days later) sets a timeline of automatic
declassification after 25 years. Extending the deadline is especially disturbing
because documents which may hold valuable information on determining the
fates of service members who remain unaccounted-for from World War II,
Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War. It denies to those federal agencies
charged with the mission of “fullest possible accounting,” the opportunity
to review these documents which have been hidden from them far too long.
It also does a disservice to the families and the memory of their missing
loved ones that, once again, the government is delaying and denying them
information they may have,
It is the obligation of federal agencies to implement and enforce the
law. In failing to discharge their mandate, it is the public's right to
call for oversight by an outside agency. VVA strongly recommends that this
be immediately examined by an outside agency, such as the Department of
Justice, and its findings released to the public in a timely manner.
- END -
VVA's point of contact for additional information is Scott D. Campbell
at (202) 628- 2700 Ext.158.
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's
only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated
solely to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA's
founding principle is "Never again will one generation of veterans