NORFOLK - A Navy pilot initially declared dead after getting shot down the first night of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, actually lived and was secretly kept captive in Iraq for up to14 years. That’s the premise of a new book from a Norfolk author and historian.
Amy Waters Yarsinske has written her second book about Navy pilot Scott Speicher. The new tome, published this week, is called “An American in the Basement, the Betrayal of Captain Scott Speicher and the Cover-up of his Death.”
“The betrayal in the title of the book comes immediately from the people he would’ve thought would’ve been all over trying to get him back, and that would include his chain of command, the Navy itself at that time in the theater of operation,” said Yarsinske. “They left him on the ground to die.”
Yarsinske contends the cover-up reached all the way to the White House, through the administrations of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
“This is an issue that would’ve gone all the way to the president of the United States and successive presidents of the United States,” said Yarsinske. “It would not have just stayed within the secretary’s office, the Secretary of Defense. It would’ve gone all the way.”
Speicher was initially declared dead following the 1991 shoot-down and crash of his F/A-18 Hornet jet. In 2001, his official status was changed to “missing.” And in 2002, it was changed to “missing/captured.” His remains were found in the Iraqi desert in 2009.
WVEC-TV reached out to the Navy’s Chief of Information’s office at the Pentagon for reaction. The TV station received no response.