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#1 Saw the Senate Select committee on this issue years back. Friend of mine asked how come Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone knew this stuff before the government did.
One case, in Laos where somebody stomped out a "rocking K", a designated authenticator for downed aircrew, in a padi field got my attention. The gummint investigator said some kid there was trying to impress his girlfriend. The Senators nearly came over the table at him. Another case of such signaling was laid to somebody getting a letter from the US. To a peasant village in Laos.
Eric Haney, in his book on Delta Force, speaks of gearing up to go after POWs in Laos twice, each time having to stand down because the op was burned.
Talked to a WaPo reporter who outed an upcoming POW raid into Laos. Said the photos taken prior to the raid date didn't show anything useful so he figured there shouldn't be a raid.
Yup. The powers that be abandoned these guys.