Status of War Prisoners

Archive Report

Repatriation Issue and U.S. Politics

Charges that Captive Offer Excuse for Bombing

The fate of American prisoners of war in Indochina is moving into the political arena this year—a full eight years after the first U.S. serviceman was captured there. According to Defense Department figures issued April 20, 492 Americans were prisoners. It is also assumed that some of the 1,054 missing in action may also be captives. The group of men is relatively small compared with the number of Americans killed (45,000) or wounded (300,000) in the war. Yet the emotionalism surrounding them is so strong that virtually every politician in quest of national office, regardless of his views on the war, calls for a speedy repatriation of war prisoners.

President Nixon has broken the virtual ...

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