ACCESSION NUMBER:246653 FILE ID:EPF417 DATE:10/08/92 TITLE:POW PANEL TO EXAMINE SATELLITE IMAGERY, COVERT OPERATION (10/08/92) TEXT:*92100817.EPF *EPF417 10/08/92 * POW PANEL TO EXAMINE SATELLITE IMAGERY, COVERT OPERATION (Article based on Select Committee news release) (230) By Jane Morse USIA Staff Writer Washington -- Markings on buildings and the terrain in Southeast Asia will be evaluated as evidence of possible links to American POW/MIAs at hearings on October 15 and 16, Chairman John F. Kerry, (Democrat of Massachusetts) and Vice Chairman Bob Smith, (Republican of New Hampshire) announced October 7. The Committee also will examine a covert operation mounted on the basis of such information. The witnesses, yet to be announced, will include DIA and JSSA intelligence analysts and others. Portions of the October 15-16 sessions will be closed, including the portion dealing with the covert operation. Decisions about what information must be examined in secret are made by the Executive Branch. The Committee says its members have worked to keep the hearings open, and they will meet with reporters following the hearings to answer whatever questions they can, within the rules governing classified information. At issue are markings examined by the DIA and the CIA in 1973, 1976, 1980, 1987, 1988, and 1992 to determine whether they could be distress signals. Number and letter codes were given to pilots during the war to help recover downed pilots and identify possible detention sites. Typically, these codes were classified and changed periodically. NNNN .