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HJR 9: Requesting the governor to file suit in the United States Supreme Court against the United States government alleging violations of the civil rights of Americans listed as prisoners of war or missing in action in Southeast Asia, demanding that documents concerning these individuals be released; and requesting the other states to join in this suit.

00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 9                                                                                            
01 Requesting the governor to file suit in the United States Supreme Court against                                         
02 the United States government alleging violations of the civil rights of Americans                                       
03 listed as prisoners of war or missing in action in Southeast Asia, demanding that                                       
04 documents concerning these individuals be released; and requesting the other states                                     
05 to join in this suit.                                                                                                   
06 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
07  WHEREAS  there is continuing controversy concerning Americans who were listed                                          
08 as Prisoners of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA) while serving in the Southeast Asian                               
09 nations of Vietnam, Laos, and Kampuchea (formerly Cambodia); and                                                        
10  WHEREAS the United States government has stated that all of our POWs have been                                         
11 returned; and                                                                                                           
12  WHEREAS a top secret Vietnamese report dating from 1972 by General Tran Von                                            
13 Kwang, Deputy Chief of Staff for the North Vietnamese, Army reported that in September of                               
14 1972 Hanoi held 1,205 American prisoners, and Vietnamese nationals who have moved to the                                
01 United States have reported the appearance of American prisoners still being held in Southeast                          
02 Asia; and                                                                                                               
03  WHEREAS only 591 American POWs have been released under the 1973 Peace                                                 
04 Settlement, which means that, based on General Kwang's own report, at least 614 POWs were                               
05 not returned or accounted for ; and                                                                                     
06  WHEREAS Boris Yeltsin, President of Russia, let it be known that the Soviet Union                                      
07 took members of the American armed forces into the former Soviet Union during the Vietnam                               
08 War and that there is no adequate explanation of the whereabouts of these Americans; and                                
09  WHEREAS there are still hundreds of documents concerning this issue held by the                                        
10 United States Department of Defense that have not been released to the public, yet individuals                          
11 within the federal intelligence agencies have tried to discredit information concerning the                             
12 existence of American POWs instead of demanding a full accounting from Vietnam, Laos,                                   
13 Kampuchea, North Korea, China, and the former Soviet Union; and                                                         
14  WHEREAS there are two missing and unaccounted for servicemen in Southeast Asia                                         
15 from Alaska; and                                                                                                        
16  WHEREAS the right to liberty--that inherent and inalienable right endowed by our                                       
17 Creator, as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United                            
18 States--is being denied to any American being held prisoner as a result of the Vietnam War;                             
19 and                                                                                                                     
20  WHEREAS the executive branch of the federal government has not even attempted                                          
21 to negotiate the release of Americans that may still be held prisoner as a result of the war in                         
22 Southeast Asia and is not actively searching for remaining Americans; and                                               
23  WHEREAS the lower courts of the federal judiciary have not granted relief to                                           
24 American soldiers listed as POWs or MIAs; and                                                                           
25  WHEREAS the United States Supreme Court is the last bastion that an American                                           
26 citizen has for redress of grievances and protection of constitutional liberties; and                                   
27  WHEREAS the United States Constitution in art. III, sec. 2, states, "In all Cases                                      
28 affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Counsels and those in which a State shall                             
29 be a Party, the Supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.";                                                       
30  BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the                                             
31 governor to authorize suit in the United States Supreme Court against the United States                                 
01 government, especially the Department of Defense and the intelligence agencies, and against                             
02 the ambassadors or other public ministers and counsels of the governments of Vietnam, Laos,                             
03 Kampuchea, Russia, North Korea, and China, alleging violations of the civil rights of the                               
04 people of Alaska, and especially alleging the violation of the right to life, liberty, and the                          
05 pursuit of happiness of Thomas E. Andersson, USMC, and Howard M. Koslosky, USN; and                                     
06 be it                                                                                                                   
07  FURTHER RESOLVED that the lawsuit demand that the Department of Defense, the                                           
08 intelligence agencies, and the governments of Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, Russia, North                                   
09 Korea, and China be ordered to turn over all documents concerning Americans listed as POWs                              
10 or MIAs as a result of the Vietnam War; and be it                                                                       
11  FURTHER RESOLVED that the lawsuit is not intended to solicit a ruling or an                                            
12 opinion definitively declaring the POW/MIA issue moot, but rather that it is intended to                                
13 mandate that the fate or location of all Americans listed as POWs or MIAs be determined as                              
14 missing beyond a reasonable doubt and on an individual basis; and be it                                                 
15  FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the                                           
16 other 49 states of the United States to join in this action on behalf of their citizens being held                      
17 in captivity as a result of the war in Southeast Asia.                                                                  
18  COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the                                
19 United States; the Honorable Al Gore, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and President                            
20 of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Strom Thurmond, President Pro Tempore of the U.S.                                     
21 Senate; to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and                              
22 the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in                                       
23 Congress; and to the governors and the presiding officers of the houses of the legislatures of                          
24 each of our sister states.