Despite the numerous statements by public officials from President Obama to Secretary of State John Kerry to General Stanley McChrystal to the effect that America does not leave its soldiers behind, one author who has studied World War II and the Cold War extensively claims such statements are factually untrue. In fact, she argues that such statements bely multiple horrific episodes from American history indicating that thousands of American soldiers have in fact been left behind.

Diana West, author most recently of the controversial ”American Betrayal,” wrote an article this weekend titled “No Men Left Behind,” in which she argues this point based on research associated with her book and her study of work by two experts on U.S.-Soviet relations.

President Obama speaks at the White House and is joined by parents, Bob and Joni Bergdahl. (Image source: White House/YouTube)

President Obama speaks at the White House and is joined by parents, Bob and Joni Bergdahl. (Image source: White House/YouTube)

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West writes of a 2002 book by Joseph D. Douglass, Jr. — who held positions at the Department of Defense and various national defense corporations and taught at among other schools the Naval Postgraduate School, and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies – titled “Betrayed” that:

focused my [West's] attention on the most ghastly betrayal of all: the betrayal by the U.S. government of literally thousands of American POWs and MIAs who were left behind in Communist prisons after every war America fought in the 20th century, from World War I (against the new Bolshevik regime) to Vietnam.

In assessing the available research, including a landmark 1991 report by the Republican minority staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Douglass concluded that as many as 2,000 Americans were left behind after the Vietnam War, 5,000 to 8,000 after the Korean War, 1,000 throughout the Cold War, and, staggeringly, between 15,000 and 20,000 after World War II. (I discuss this gruesome subject in my book “American Betrayal.”) [link added by TheBlaze Books]

Relying on the work of another credible expert on the U.S. POW/MIA situation in the Soviet Union:

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    breakthrough of sorts came in 2005 when Norman Kass, the American chief of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs, told CNN that he would be “comfortable” acknowledging that “hundreds” of American servicemen in the 20th century had actually ended up in the Soviet-era slave-labor camps known as the Gulag Archipelago. [link added by TheBlaze Books]

    American Betrayal

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    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee report from 1991 is a data point that West argues” is representative of her thesis  in “American Betrayal:” that in the U.S. government’s relations to the Soviet Union prior to and during the Cold War, there is a parallel to America’s ignorance, willful blindness and/or complicity with Islamic supremacists today, replete with the suppression of information and smearing of individuals who would do damage to the government’s official narrative.

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee report indicates a harrowing history of America not pressing its case against Communist regimes during the Cold War to force such governments to release our soldiers, largely out of political expediency, which speaks to West’s claim. As the late Senator Jesse Helms writes in the report’s forward [emphasis ours]:

    readers will find in this report something which has never before been attempted: An historical analysis of the fate of U.S. POW/MIAs in the hands of the Bolshevik regime after World War I, the Soviet regime after World War II, the North Korean regime after the Korean War, and the Vietnamese regime after the Vietnam War.

    In each case, the same dismaying scenario appears: On the Communist side, the regimes denied holding U.S. prisoners, contrary to may credible reports, while in fact they were holding the U.S. POW/MIAs as slave laborers and as reserve bargaining chips to get diplomatic recognition and financial assistance. On the U.S. side, our government downplayed or denied the report of POW/MIAs, and failed to take adequate steps to prove or disprove the reports, while elements in our government pursue policies intended to make diplomatic recognition and financial support of the revolutionary regimes possible.

    The notion that Americans were held as POW/MIAs in World War II and subsequent wars is also addressed in the Senate’s 1993 Report by the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, chaired incidentally by current Secretary of State John Kerry, which you can read about here.

    A summary of publicly available documents on the Select Committee’s findings is archived here.