Senator Seeks Back Pay For Vietnamese Commandos

The Pentagon should live up to its word and pay up to $11 million to hundreds of Vietnamese commandos who were recruited by the United States in the 1960s, then declared dead when they were captured, a senator who served in Vietnam says.

Kerry said he would work with the Senate Armed Services Committee to “quietly and properly” pay the secret agents for time spent in a North Vietnamese prison and for their help in getting 88 fellow commandos out of Vietnam.

As a last resort, Kerry said he would offer an amendment to the Defense Department authorization bill to allocate about $11 million for the agents.

The agents were used in a covert operation to infiltrate North Vietnam starting in 1961 by the CIA and taken over in 1964 by the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, The New York Times reported Sunday.

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