[Presidential Decision Directives - PDD]

Declassification of POW/MIA Records
Presidential Decision Directive PDD/NSC-8
10 June 1993

President Bush issued Executive Order (No. 12812) on 22 July 1992 requiring that all government agencies declassify and publicly release without compromising U.S. national security all documents, files and other materials pertaining to POWs and MIAs. In 1993 President Clinton reiterated that order in Presidential Decision Directive PDD/NSC 8, requiring that all agencies complete their review by 11 November 1993 [Veterans' Day]. Procedures were established for the Department of Defense through the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office ("DPMO") to coordinate assembling the documents, and the Library of Congress (National Archives and Records Service) was designated the final repository of all publicly releasable materials.

10 June 1993
SUBJECT: Declassification of POW/MIA Records

In accordance with my Memorial Day Announcement of May 31, 1993, all executive agencies and departments are directed to complete by Veterans Day, November 11, 1993, their review, declassification and release of all relevant documents, files pertaining to American POW's and MIA's missing in Southeast Asia in accordance with Executive Order 12812.


William J. Clinton

Statement by Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers:
10 November 1993

Last Memorial Day, President Clinton pledged to the American people that the US Government would complete by Veterans Day this year the review and declassification of all documents relating to the Vietnam War and American POW/MIA's in Southeast Asia. That work has been completed by relevant U.S. Government agencies -- the Departments of State and Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Council -- in accordance with orders to make these documents publicly available, with a few specific exceptions.

In all, approximately 1.7 million pages of documents were reviewed, declassified and approved for release. Among other subjects, the documents cover individuals held as prisoners or missing in action, U.S. policies pertaining to POW and MIA issues, and U.S. negotiations with Vietnam and Laos at the Paris Peace talks. Those talks involved the release of known POWs and pressed for a full accounting for personnel missing in action in Indochina during the hostilities.

The small proportion of documents not declassified pertain to sensitive foreign policy discussions and currently active negotiations; intelligence sources and methods; ongoing clandestine operations; and privacy issues related to returnees and the families of POWs and MIAs.

Arrangements are being made to sort and index the released documents to make them more convenient for public use. We remain committed to the review, declassification, and public release of newly obtained information at the earliest possible time. (end text) NNNN