No. 027-99  
IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              November 23, 1999                    (202) 628-2700 Ext. 158 


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.    

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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 abandon another."   


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