Quotes from Congressmen
"My remarks are aimed at
the lack of adequate planning and the lack of adequate contingency planning for
the protection of such a vessel on such an important mission. I start with the
assumption these missions are highly important to the national security of the
we should have a 12.3-knot ship handling this critical responsibility.
I question whether our plans for air cover, and our contingency planning, were sufficient to meet the kind of circumstances that arose. I raise the question whether we had adequate protection afforded ships that were on this mission by other naval vessels.
I hope and trust that the obviously inadequate contingency planning for these missions has now been corrected.
The point is very simply this: If we had had sufficient contingency planning to prevent the seizure of the men and the ship, it would not have happened. But once the ship and the men had been seized, our Nation's options were very, very limited. So my criticism of the administration and of the Defense Department is aimed at their insufficient [timing] and their inadequate contingency planning to prevent the seizure of the men and the ship."
Congressman Gerald Ford of
"The world shall know
"…We went through all the
motions of a bluff. We sent the U.S.S. Enterprise, one of the mightiest
warships in the world, steaming toward
If we had threatened the
Now that the time for force
has long since passed, let us take any steps necessary to effect the return of
those men. We keep hearing about secret negotiations between the
"Mr. Speaker, I want to
join with all Members of this body in assuring the families of the men of the
I assure the Members of this
House that your Committee on Armed Services, the committee you have charged
with, overseeing the military affairs, has not forgotten the
….some time ago, I had a meeting with the Secretary of Defense, and following our discussion of the subject, arrangements were made for the families of the men of the Pueblo to travel on a "space available" basis on military aircraft. This was done. This was very important, as some of them were changing their residences following the capture of the ship by the North Koreans.
This very week we will bring
to the floor of the House a bill to provide hostile-fire pay for the crew of
I might also point out that
under a bill passed late last year by our committee, Public Law 90-122, the
dependents of men captured or in a missing status or unable to take part in the
savings deposit program provided by armed services personnel overseas will be
taking part in this even if the men have not previously made deposits to the
program. The dependents of the
We in the Committee on Armed
Services, Mr. Speaker, continue to be concerned about the welfare of the men of
The U.S.S. Pueblo was in
international waters in the
of the North Korean mainland. All of the information I have received from the
Defense Department confirms this. The boarding of this ship was an act of the
most outrageous piracy committed by these savages known as the North Koreans.
There were 83 men aboard the
We shall never forget the
Congressman Mendell Rivers of South Carolina
"Mr. Speaker, every
American share the resentment and the sense of outrage
Unfortunately, the unpleasant
but hard facts are that it is not immediately possible. An attack on
The families of the imprisoned men, united in their anguish, grieve for their loved ones, and they wonder, as must the men themselves, why a mighty nation such as this should be powerless to pluck the men from their prison.
We are not dealing with a civilized nation which abides by accepted rules of conduct, however. We are dealing with a nation which has not hesitated to send assassins to attempt to kill the president of a neighboring state. It is a nation which would not hesitate to execute prisoners in the event of an attack, a nation which indeed has taken those prisoners only by reason of its willingness to violate internationally accepted codes of conduct.
Our Government, sharing as it does the feelings of the people, bears the burden of responsibility. for preserving the lives of the crew members as far as it is possible to do so. With this responsibility a foremost consideration, this Nation will take every possible step to bring about their release at the earliest possible moment."
Congressman Van Deerlin
"…What do we find now
It is tragic that 82 Americans--one of the crew died from wounds at North Korean hands, three others were wounded are still being held by a 10th-rate power. I have been in almost daily contact with the State Department over their efforts to rescue the men and return the ship. It was discouraging to have them admit the other day that they do not know with certainty where the men of the ship are even located at the present time.
We all witnessed the frustrating display of confusion in the days following the January 23 seizure. Our State Department ran around like a chicken with its head cut off, flapping in circles. First it was claimed that were were in international waters. Then It was hinted that we might not have been. Then the United Nations, that fangless international watchdog, was called in, and produced, nothing but its customary quota of meaningless debate.
In a belated show of force, and in effort to douse the question of how the ship was allowed to be vulnerable, Secretary of Defense McNamara sent units of the Pacific Fleet into nearby waters. The insincerity of this effort was unmasked on February 13, when Navy pilot Lt. Joseph P. Dunn was shot down by Red Chinese MiG's 5 miles off the coast of the Island of Hainan. When the skipper of one of our aircraft carriers asked permission to rescue Dunn, It was denied and the Navy now lists him as missing in action…
It is heartrending for
parents, wives, relatives, and children of the courageous Americans who. serve in our Armed Forces to realize that their Government
seems not to care for the lives and wellbeing of all of our servicemen today.
It is outrageous that Uncle Sam has become a modern Gulliver, tied down by
Lilliputian foreign governments who burn our flags, destroy our missions, kill,
and kidnap our citizens with impunity. They cannot help but ask how it is
possible that President Johnson could send 30,000 American troops into the
The Pueblo is a symptom of a
grave national illness. Fortunately, it is reversible. The public this year
will [sic] have the opportunity to restore the strong pulse of
(All from the Congressional Record, July 22, 1968)
Prepared by Harry Iredale
1999 - 2010 USS