Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 5 Num. 94

("Quid coniuratio est?")


Tom Valentine's guest on Radio Free America (shortwave 5.065 MHz, 9 pm cst, mon-fri) on August 30, 1995 was Lawrence Joladin(sp?), author of a book about Korean War MIAs -- Last Seen Alive.

The Korean War, according to Mr. Joladin, was an "example of some of the most bitter combat ever experienced by U.S. troops." The fighting was even more bitter than that of Vietnam, says Joladin, which opinion he bases on the number of casualties in 3 years of the "Korean Conflict" versus those accrued during 10 years of combat in Vietnam.

The author claims that there were four times as many MIAs from Korea as compared to MIAs related to the "Vietnam Conflict". Yet the issue of Korean War MIAs was ignored by the press at the time, even though demonstrators did march on both the U.N. and the White House, demanding answers. What is more, those who dared to ask questions at the time, who dared to question the official government line, risked being called "communists" for their efforts.

Now, however, due to what Joladin calls a "window of opportunity" in the opening up of the Soviet government's archives, the author has been able to piece together a book dealing with Korean War MIAs. During the war, we were totally dependent on the communists for information on exactly who were and where were our captured soldiers. Now, a clearer picture is emerging.

The author charges that at the close of the Korean War there were 2200 what he calls "authentic MIAs" (versus an official tally of 8200, of which 6000 were in fact dead). By "authentic MIAs", Joladin means soldiers who were alive, in enemy hands, at the close of the war.

The treatment of prisoners in Korea was quite bad compared to, for example, treatment of U.S. POWs in Germany during WWII. In Korea occurred the first massive use of psychology as a means of breaking down the individual. For example, prisoners were kept awake for long periods and were subject to other psychological tortures. Says Joladin: "The [movie] 'Manchurian Candidate' was based on some pretty accurate intelligence at the time."

According to the author, some of the Korean War prisoners were taken to Manchuria, a province of Red China, and even to Siberia where they were forced to work as laborers. Some were even turned into Soviet agents.

Although the Korean War occurred over 40 years ago, even today there are relatives of those missing who keep looking for answers and who believe that there loved ones were alive at the end of the "police action".

One interesting example was that of a family in Arkansas who, in 1992, received a postcard from what seemed to be their long-lost son, a Private Wildon East. This postcard, according to East's father, was in his son's handwriting and contained a photo and an army service number. Although cautioned by the FBI that the postcard was probably a hoax, the family is convinced it is genuine. They believe that Private East is alive in a labor camp in North Korea.

But how could the card have been sent out from a labor camp? The author suggested one possibility: Korean citizens living in Japan can easily visit their native land because they bring hard currency with them. Perhaps a politically sympathetic individual, or at least someone who was bribe-able, was persuaded to carry the postcard out.

Another interesting report, covering an entire chapter of Joladin's book, deals with the events surrounding the disappearance of one Roger Dumas(sp?), a U.S. soldier in Korea at the time of that war's end.

Roger's brother, Bob Dumas, served in Korea where, along with Roger, he was captured and served out the war as a POW. On the last day, when Roger was to be re-patriated, Chinese soldiers came along and took him out of line. That was the last time that Roger Dumas was ever officially seen, although he is rumored to have been still alive much later. The response of the government, says Joladin, "is one of extreme denial. Bob Dumas has had to fight every inch of the way for information." At first, the government even denied that Roger Dumas had been a prisoner, says the author.

A lot of people are convinced that there is an active conspiracy in the Korean War MIA issue, but not Joladin. He says, rather, that apathy plus ignorance plus a desire to save your own bureaucratic skin all adds up to a tragedy of major proportions.

If Lawrence Joladin's book, Last Seen Alive, is not available via your local bookstore, you can write for it at Inkslinger Press, 1733 20th st. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009. Cost is $18, including shipping.

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