Hendon, Bill 1944- (William Martin Hendon)

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Hendon, Bill 1944- (William Martin Hendon)


Born November 9, 1944, in Asheville, NC. Education: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, B.A., 1966, M.S., 1968.


Home—McLean, VA.


University of Tennessee, Knoxville, instructor; worked as a businessman, Asheville, NC, 1969-80; North Carolina Republican Party, Eleventh District chairman, 1979-80; served in the U.S. House of Representatives 97th Congress, 1981-83, Pentagon consultant for POW/MIA Affairs, 1983; served in the House of Representatives 99th Congress, 1985-87, served on Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Committee on Veterans Affairs, and as ex-officio member of the House Task Force on POWs and MIAs. American Defense Institute fellow, Washington, DC, 1987; POW Publicity Fund (nonprofit), chairman, 1987-91; Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, intelligence investigator, 1991-92.


(With Elizabeth A. Stewart) An Enormous Crime: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2007.


Bill Hendon of North Carolina served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, during which time he also served on the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA (prisoner of war/missing in action) Affairs and acted as a consultant to the Pentagon. He traveled to South and Southeast Asia thirty-three times representing the interests of American POWs and MIAs. Hendon is a foremost authority on intelligence regarding the issue of these American servicemen and women, as well as on the prison systems of Vietnam and Laos.

With Elizabeth A. Stewart, Hendon wrote An Enormous Crime: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia. Stewart, an attorney who has an MIA family member, has also spent decades researching the intelligence on American POWs and MIAs. The authors allege that in 1973, the United States abandoned hundreds of POWs in Vietnam and Laos, and that every administration since has covered it up. They allege that this has been done to avoid paying the billions of dollars in war reparations demanded by the North Koreans of President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger at the Paris Peace talks. Kissinger cited violations of previous agreements as the reason for withholding monies, as well as agricultural, housing, transportation, and other aid, thereby closing the diplomatic channels necessary to repatriate approximately 2,000 servicemen being held.

In reviewing the book for the Vietnam Veterans of America Web site, Marc Leepson noted that Hendon provides evidence that shows that officials in the administrations of Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush "have worked systematically to cast doubt on virtually every live-sighting POW report that came their way. The conspiracy, Hendon claims, reaches into the CIA, the Pentagon's POW/MIA Affairs Office, the DIA, Congress, and the White House." Hendon holds responsible others from both political parties, including Senators John McCain and John Kerry, both combat veterans, General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State George Schultz, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The authors note that none of the POWs they suspect remained have either been released or rescued, and if any of them escaped, they never survived to return home. Hendon and Stewart write that the POWs, many of whom had crossed the Demilitarized Zone before the Tet Offensive, and others who were downed pilots, were used as human shields. They offer stories of families who tried to locate their loved ones.

Jeanine Notter reviewed the book for the New American, writing: "The book will likely face criticism because a good number of identities are protected in the book, and omitting the names of refugees and others that have come forward with information on our POWs/MIAs may cause some readers to question the soundness of the work. Most, however, I'm sure, will appreciate the sensitive nature of the subject and look past the fact that certain names were withheld. The authors' bona fides ought to also assuage any fears that the research may be unsound." The authors include sightings, the last having occurred in 1992. The book's Web site contains additional supporting documents.

"Much of the authors' evidence is circumstantial, but there's an awful lot of it," commented a Kirkus Re-views contributor who concluded by describing An Enormous Crime as "a convincing, urgent argument."



Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2007, review of An Enormous Crime: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia.

New American, September 17, 2007, Jeanine Notter, review of An Enormous Crime, p. 31.

Publishers Weekly, April 9, 2007, review of An Enormous Crime, p. 42.


An Enormous Crime Web site, http://www.enormouscrime.com (December 21, 2007).

Conservative Voice,http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ (June 20, 2007), Henry Mark Holzer, review of An Enormous Crime.

Prisoner of War 2007 (newsletter of the Web site of the British National Ex-Prisoner of War Association), http://www.prisonerofwar.org.uk/ (December 21, 2007), review of An Enormous Crime.

Star-News Online,http://www.starnewsonline.com/ (December 21, 2007), Estes Thompson, review of An Enormous Crime.

Vietnam Veterans of America Web site, Web site, http://www.vva.org/ (December 21, 2007), Marc Leepson, review of An Enormous Crime.

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