Friday, February 06, 2009

POW/MIA - National Security Act of 1947

I'm spending my free time at the local law library trying - more or less hopelessly - to do research for the NSA appeal. I stumbled on a bit related to POW/MIA in one of the books I was reading today on National Security Intelligence.

Makes me wonder, if information is unintentionally acquired prior to the disappearance of someone, but it's later determined that the information might be useful in determining what happened, under whose authority does the information then fall? It's unclear, especially since it wasn't originally collected for investigative purposes.

But that's a separate side issue and unrelated to the appeal at hand. At least, not at this point.

National Security Act of 1947 as amended. Unclassified.

SEC. 117. (a) REQUIREMENT - (1)The Director of Central Intelligence shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, establish and maintain in the intelligence community an analytic capability with responsibility for intelligence in support of the activities of the United States relating to individuals who, after December 31, 1990, are unaccounted for United States personnel.

(2) The analytic capability maintained under paragraph (1) shall be known as the 'POW/MIA analytic capabiltity of the intelligence community'.

(b) UNACCOUNTED FOR UNITED STATES PERSONNEL - In this section, the term 'unaccounted for United States personnel' means the following:

(1) Any missing person (as that term is defined in section 1513(1) of title 10, United States Code).

(2) Any United States national who was killed while engaged in activities on behalf of the United states and whose remains have not been repatriated to the United States.
What exactly is a 'missing person'? To find out, it's necessary to visit the United States Code, Title 10 - Armed Forces, Subtitle A - General Military Law, Part II - Personnel, Chapter 76 - Missing Persons. I've covered this before, but it never hurts to take a look at the information again.
U.S. Code Title 10 § 1513

In this chapter:
(1) The term “missing person” means—
(A) a member of the armed forces on active duty who is in a missing status; or
(B) a civilian employee of the Department of Defense or an employee of a contractor of the Department of Defense who serves in direct support of, or accompanies, the armed forces in the field under orders and who is in a missing status.
Such term includes an unaccounted for person described in section 1509 (b) of this title who is required by section 1509 (a)(1) of this title to be considered a missing person.
(2) The term “missing status” means the status of a missing person who is determined to be absent in a category of any of the following:
(A) Missing.
(B) Missing in action.
(C) Interned in a foreign country.
(D) Captured.
(E) Beleaguered.
(F) Besieged.
(G) Detained in a foreign country against that person’s will.

(3) The term “accounted for”, with respect to a person in a missing status, means that—
(A) the person is returned to United States control alive;
(B) the remains of the person are recovered and, if not identifiable through visual means as those of the missing person, are identified as those of the missing person by a practitioner of an appropriate forensic science; or
(C) credible evidence exists to support another determination of the person’s status.
Additional Reading - just for fun:

National Security Investigations and Prosecutions
By David Kris, J. Douglas Wilson, West Thomson, 2007

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