To compound the tragedy for the program's participants, documents declassified in 1996 revealed that the U.S. government had lied to the families of the commandos by declaring all of them dead and paying their "widows" $50 gratuities. Sedgwick Tourison, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who has written about the commandos, has identified some 360 survivors.
John C. Mattes, Quach Tom's lawyer, sued in federal court on behalf of the commandos and lobbied Congress and President Bill Clinton for legislation to provide compensation. Congressional hearings were held in 1996 and Senators John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and Bob Kerrey (D-Nebraska) introduced legislation to provide some $20 million to the former commandos, about $40,000 each. Spencer C. Tucker
Tourison, Sedgwick D. Project Alpha: Washington's Secret Military Operations in North Vietnam. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997.
Spencer C. Tucker