the Myths of the Vietnam War
SESSION 3 (TRANSCRIPT)
Session 3: Winter Soldier Investigation
Scott Swett: Hello and welcome to the after lunch siesta session. Unlike most people who are here, I never served; I am not a veteran. I describe myself as an aging military dependent. My dad flew in B-47s, was a navigator during the Cold War and I grew up on SAC bases. So I did grow up with a certain appreciation for what the military is and what it does. I was 12 when my dad went to Vietnam where he was a navigator on the C-130s [C-123s] for a while. He was active in some of the civic action programs, so when he came back, I had a little more perspective on the events there than my contemporaries and I was fully aware that the media portrayal of what had happened in Vietnam bore no resemblance to the actual facts on the ground.
The way I wound up creating this thing [points to display screen], which is WinterSoldier.com, was, back in January I was prospecting around a web site called FreeRepublic.com, which is a conservative site that analyzes articles and political events. There was a thread discussing the book by John Kerry and Vietnam Veterans Against the War called The New Soldier. It described this book as being extremely difficult to find, so that Kerry and his minions had attempted to suppress it during political campaigns going back as far as the early 1970s. This aroused my interest, and I looked around on eBay a bit and discovered that you could get a copy for about $400. It seemed like an excellent bargain. So I thought to myself, why if you can buy a copy for $400 you can certainly sell one. So I thought, I will buy one, scan the whole thing, slap up a web site, sell it for the same $400 and basically be out the postage. So that is what I did, but I kind of got sidetracked along the way by a larger research project.
Once I started looking through The New Soldier, I was curious about what it was exactly that these veterans were doing and why. Here are some of the shots from the book.
This is the famous or infamous cover photograph of members of the VVAW during an April 1971 protest called Dewey Canyon III -- Washington, D.C. that lasted for about a week and here they are essentially mocking the flag raising at Iwo Jima, the upside down flag. So I wanted to know what these guys were doing, why were they throwing their medals away and why were they planning, why were they pretending to murder civilians and those questions led me to, as I said, a considerably larger research project than the one I originally contemplated.
So most of the stuff that we are going to go through today are shots from the site [shows shot of VVAW protestors] nice example of the communist fist-salute which we saw recently on TV. Here we have one of the tacticians of the event; a somewhat younger Mr. Kerry.
And I did go ahead and put pretty much the whole book up on the web site. The book itself is kind of a schizophrenic document. Its a photo essay book, which centers around the Dewey Canyon III protest. The Dewey Canyon reference, as many of you will know, was to two earlier military operations into Cambodia [Laos], which were intended to interdict the Ho Chi Minh trail. Once was conducted by American forces and one by the South Vietnamese. After the war, the leaders of North Vietnam admitted that perhaps their greatest fear was that we might be able to cut off the supply of materiel down the Ho Chi Minh trail. It appears that the Vietnam Veterans Against the War shared this concern with the leaders of North Vietnam as they did many other concerns.
This gentleman is Al Hubbard who was the executive secretary of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He is the man who brought John Kerry into the organization in the summer of 1970. Hubbard himself was a former Black Panther and a member of the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice, an umbrella of organization that included a number of antiwar groups, the Citizens Commission of Inquiries which did a number of so called war crime tribunals, the VVAW itself and the Communist Party, USA. Kerry became the first member of the executive team of the VVAW to join the organization without any sort of vote. He was basically put there by executive fiat by Al Hubbard.
Hubbard had claimed to be an air force pilot, a captain, who had been wounded flying a transport plane over the North. It came out in the spring of 1971, shortly after he was on Meet the Press with John Kerry, that in fact he was a supply sergeant, had never been a pilot and, in fact, had never been assigned to Vietnam. One would think that this might have dented the VVAWs credibility with the Press but that appeared not to be the case.
Thats not the button I wanted to hit. Well, we will just amble through a few of the photographs taken from The New Soldier to get a feel for the sorts of things they did.
Here they are in the Capitol pretending to murder civilians. This is one of my personal favorites, an action shot with a toy weapon showing just how they did it back in The Nam. It turns out, of course, that probably a majority of the people in Vietnam Veterans Against the War were not veterans, and of those who were it seems that relatively few were ever actually in combat. John Kerry was extraordinarily useful to them because he was without any question a decorated combat veteran and he was extremely articulate and he was able to put an appealing face on the movement, which was very much made up of fringe individuals. The VVAW itself was formed in the summer of 1966 by six men. By the summer of 1970 when they started upon the year or so which included their greatest achievements -- if you want to phrase it that way -- it was still not a large organization. This event, the Dewey Canyon protest in DC, various estimates place the number of people there between about 700 and 1100. That is not a big protest in DC. You know, 2.6 million American served in Vietnam. The VVAW tried very hard to portray themselves as representing most veterans, the opinion of most people who served. Consider of course that Rolling Thunder brings between 1 and 2 hundred thousand people downtown to DC every Memorial Day. Nonetheless, they met with a very sympathetic Press and managed to get themselves in front of Congress in the person of John Kerry.
So let us take a look at some of the things he had to say. I am going to have to bounce around the site a bit.
[Video clip: John Kerry testimony before the Senate on April 22, 1971]
We call this investigation the "Winter Soldier Investigation." The term "Winter Soldier" is a play on words of Thomas Paine in 1776 when he spoke of the sunshine patriots and the summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough.
We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be Winter Soldiers now. We could come back to this country; we could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not Reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out...
...when we are ashamed of, and hated, what we were called on to do in Southeast Asia
most people didnt even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their country apart
the question of racism, which is rampant in the military, and so many other questions also, the use of weapons, the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage in the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation of this war, when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions, in the use of free fire zones, harassment/ interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, the killing of prisoners, accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam. That is what we are trying to say. It is part and parcel of everything.
Scott Swett: You can see that in addition to his skills of elocution that Mr. Kerry at that point also had certain gifts as a ventriloquist from the way his mouth did not move in relation to what he was saying.
I mentioned that The New Soldier was a schizophrenic book. All of the photos, nearly all the photos, were taken from Dewey Canyon III protest, but the rest of the book is a series of essays, the vast majority of which come from Winter Soldier Investigation itself which was held in Detroit in early February of 1971, at which about 120 purported vets testified for three days to an array of heinous atrocities which they said they had either participated in or witnessed.
To give you one example of that is a fellow named Joe Bangert who said the following. He said, The first day I got to Vietnam I landed in Da Nang Air Base. From Da Nang I took a plane to Dong Ha, I got off the plane and hitchhiked on Highway 1 to my unit. I was picked up a truckload of grunt Marines with two company grade officers, first lieutenants. We were about 5 miles down the road where there were some Vietnamese children at the gateway of the village and they gave the old finger gesture at us. It was understandable that they had picked this up from the GIs there. They stopped the trucks; they didn't stop the truck, they slowed down a little bit, and it was just like a response, the guys got up, including the lieutenants, and just blew all the kids away. There were about five or six kids blown away and then the truck just continued down the hill. That was my first day in Vietnam. And then he is responding to a question from a moderator asking him about finding; quote, crucified bodies hanging on barbed wire fences. As far as the crucified bodies, they weren't actually crucified with nails, but they would find VCs or something, and they would take them and string them out on fences, on barbed wire fences, stripped, and sometimes they would take flesh wounds, take a knife and cut the body all over the place to make it bleed, and look gory as a reminder to the people in the village.
So this is representative of the kind of quote, testimony that John Kerry based his own testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations upon which he seemed to -- to understate the case, he failed to deal with these accounts with what might have been considered an appropriate degree of skepticism.
One of the things that happened after I started the Winter Soldier site earlier this year was I started getting a considerable amount of correspondence from Vietnam veterans. One guy wrote in about Bangert as follows: Anybody who believes these tall tales is awfully gullible. Bangert worked for a Light Observation Squadron, very little combat. The men worked like coolies, often 16 hours a day, seven days a week, servicing planes, refueling, re-arming, preparing, cleaning, and maintaining. Usually they did not fly. They did not get to wander off on secret CIA missions, - which is another thing Bangert claimed he had done. They did not participate in the CAP program. These were separate small units who lived permanently in villages protecting the villages from the VC. They did not get to wander around Quang Tri looking at deformed kids, -- that is a reference to a claim that Bangert made that he had seen large numbers of Vietnamese children who had been born deformed because we were putting thalidomide in Agent Orange. Thats one of the claims from the Winter Soldier Investigation. He states that on his first day, he sees a bunch of kids murdered on route 1. This, the main thoroughfare through the area, not some remote area. Can you image the Press coverage? He says the Press saw the crucified bodies but were wooed with booze and did not report on this. Come on, get real. He describes Bangert as leading a rich fantasy life suitable for Stephen King.
Heres another clip from the Winter Soldier Investigation.
[Video clip: Jim Weber, Americal Division:]
I got drafted into the army and it, it made quite a big change because I was waving flags all the time that I was on my train, you know, down to South Carolina where I got my Murder Training. And I...okay, I went in there, and my complete moral worth was completely destroyed. I mean I was a worthless human being. The worst thing that you can be in the military is to be called a civilian. And so they had to completely re-socialize us, which they were very effective at doing. I didn't agree with everything, but I went along with it. Then I was sent on to Advanced Genocide Training down at Fort Polk, Louisiana...
It so hideous I mean we've gone into barracks and we've had like pictures of...well, they weren't pictures, they were like cartoons, with slant eyes, you know. Everything was a slant eye and these little hats on the top, you know. And these were the people you were hating. They were positioned right above the gun racks, you know. No uniform or anything, just, just simply the profile of one, or maybe the face, full face of another... by the time I had left Fort Polk, Louisiana, I wanted to kill my mother...
Scott Swett: Yeah, this was the guy you would want next to you in a firefight.
Dave Dolby: Fort Polk had a fortified village; Fort Polk was a different training, at the time of the Vietnam War. Fort Polk, Louisiana, they set up a fortified village, it was trying to [inaudible] I Corps. The rest of the Army got trained differently in Fort Polk and that is why he is saying what he said.
Scott Swett: He is talking about two different events, Fort Polk and Fort Jackson.
Dave Dolby: I just wanted to add that Fort Polk was a special kind. They had a fortified village set up as part of your training since you are going to Vietnam.
Scott Swett: Thank you. Is Dr. Alan Hopewell here yet? He is not yet. He wrote in after seeing this film clip on the site and noted that he was at Fort Jackson as the psychological officer, not at the time but just a couple of years later and he explained that, We at the Mental Hygiene Clinic had formed a brigade consultation unit which worked closely with the training brigades as well as the Reception Center; effectively overseeing every single one of the thousands of recruits entering, training, graduating, or being discharged from Fort Jackson. In this capacity and in working literally with hundreds, probably thousands of both training cadre as well as recruits, I never heard one single statement similar to those Weber, -- this is Jim Weber you heard -- claimed of his training. And, since we formed the mental health team and also worked with the Chaplains, we eventually would have learned of anything like this. He notes that training was specifically designed to enhance the recruits esteem and moral worth, and to teach the highest level of professionalism. Any recruit who developed an obsession with killing his mother would have been referred to me personally for a mental exam, probably for subsequent hospitalization or discharge.
Lets bounce back to the Dewey Canyon III. You are all familiar with the Medal Toss. I was able to glean from some of the VVAWs own film clips a couple of minutes of that event.
[Film clip: Only the Beginning April 1971 VVAW protest in Washington, DC.] [VVAW protestors shout into a microphone before throwing medals over a fence]
My name is Bruce Stennager [ph] from New York, and I have a Vietnamese campaign ribbon, Vietnamese service ribbon, National Defense Ribbon, and Purple Heart.
Andrew Bobocek [ph] from New York. I have the Vietnamese ribbons and a Bronze Star.
My name is John Morrow, and heres a bunch of bullshit!
My name's Peter Brannigan, and I've got a Purple Heart here, and I hope I get another one fighting these motherf***ers! (loud cheers)
Robert Jones, New York, and I symbolically return all Vietnam medals and service medals given me by the power structure that has genocidal policies against non-white peoples of the world. (shouts of Right on! Power to the people!)
This is for the brothers and sisters at Kent!
For the brothers and sisters this year!
Second Battalion, First Marines. [gives clenched-fist salute]. Power to the people!
22nd Cavalry Squadron in Da Nang, and I hope they realize this is their last Goddamned chance! (cheers)
Paul [inaudible], Spec 4, Army, retired. Im taking in nine Purple Hearts, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, and a lot of other shit. This is for my brothers!
We don't want to fight any more, but if we have to fight again it will be to take these steps! (loud screams of approval)
[Audio: sound of automatic weapons fire]
Scott Swett: The automatic weapons fire at the end is courtesy of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. A lot of people know that John Kerry threw his medals over a fence in protest. Very few people among the general public realize what kind of a protest that was. They dont realize that the group that he was a primary leader of was threatening the United States with violence and revolution during this event. So Id like to see that film clip be somewhat more widely distributed and since we have 900,000 hits on the site I think that might be in the process of happening.
Participant: Was that at the White House?
Scott Swett: That was at the Capitol, they were preparing for a much larger rally that weekend. There were something like 500,000 people who came into town for a huge event and so they had built temporary restraining fences around the Capitol Building and so they picked that location to stage the medal toss and threw the medals that many of them apparently had purchased at local stores over the fence. It was brilliant political theater and they played all Uncle Walter [Cronkite] played them all week long and gave them a huge amount of publicity across the country. It was at some point fairly early into investigating the stuff that I got kind of a prickle up the back of my neck at about 2o clock one morning and realized these were the guys that did this -- these are the guys that formed the image that the movies picked up and amplified as we heard earlier today that of the Vietnam veteran as psychologically disabled, prone to extreme violence, killing without mercy or reason, all of that stuff was what this small group of people intended for the American public to think that our soldiers in Vietnam War were. Their purpose for doing this was so that civilians would withdraw support not only for the war, but for the military itself.
They did this not in isolation but a part of a larger effort, which had international cooperation. In 1966, Bertrand Russells International War Crimes Tribunal opened in Stockholm, Sweden. The members of the tribunal were well known supporters of North Vietnam. The evidence presented at that tribunal was supplied largely by the Soviet KGB and other communist sources. It came as no surprise when the participants concluded that American forces were engaged in massive exterminations of South Vietnam and were committing genocide in the strictest sense. Later, researchers were able to confirm neither the evidence nor the conclusions, but then that wasnt really the point of the exercise.
Also operating in Stockholm was the Stockholm Conference on Vietnam, described by former Soviet Bloc spy chief Ion Mihai Pacepa as, a permanent international organization to aid or conduct operations to help Americans dodge the draft or defect, to demoralize its army with anti-American propaganda, to conduct protests, demonstrations, and boycotts and to sanction anyone connected with the war. This operation, according to General Pacepa, was staffed by Soviet Bloc undercover intelligence officers and received about 15 million dollars annually from the Communist Partys International Department; all delivered in laundered cash dollars. Between 1966 and 1972, it generated thousands of documentary materials in all of the major Western languages describing abominable crimes committed by American soldiers against civilians in Vietnam, along with counterfeited pictures. Indeed, according to General Pacepa, KGB priority number one at that time was to damage American power, judgment, and credibility. One of its favorite tools was the fabrication of such evidence as photographs and news reports about American war atrocities. In the United States, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War was a key component of that international propaganda effort. They used a series of very effective protests, some of which you have seen, to taint the image of Americas military by recounting, dramatizing, and publicizing alleged atrocities.
So that is what they did, they went around and attempted to portray what they wanted people to think that the American military was about. General Pacepa himself in referring to John Kerrys testimony said, That sounds exactly like the stuff I was cranking out on behalf of the KGB during the three years before 1971.
One of the events in the VVAWs series was called the RAW March -- for Rapid American Withdrawal -- that was a 90-mile march to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Along the way, they did their usual trick of demonstrating the atrocities that they wanted people to think had occurred. Here were going to see them roughing up some compliant Quakers. More theater
[Film clip: Operation RAW (Rapid American Withdrawal)] [VVAW video shows a man in fatigues holding a knife to the throat of another man who is tied by his wrists to a tree branch]
Protestor: String him up tight. Get him up there.
[Protestor tears open victims shirt, hold knife to his chest]
Protestor: How many VC? Beaucoup VC? Beaucoup? Huh? Beaucoup VC?
[Scene shifts to a second victim, blindfolded, being marched along by protestors, then knocked down to the ground]
Protestor (screaming): How come you dont have ID?
Victim: You took my ID.
Protestor: Bullshit! Where are you from? Who are you working with!
[Protestor pulls up victims shirt and holds a knife to his throat]
Protestor: I know what you want!
[General noise and confusion]
Protestor: We want to know what your unit is! Who are you with?
Victim (yelling): Im with nobody!
Scott Swett: One wonders what exactly the Quakers got out of this. They kind of trooped along with them and led them near various villages and allowed the VVAW to pretend to commit atrocities upon them. Somebody with a little deeper psychological background than myself might be able to explain that in more detail. The idea of marching to Valley Forge is a part of the classic leftist tactic that was adopted by the entire anti-war movement, but in particular that part that dealt with the military, in which they attempted to adopt the heroic symbols and images of the country they were trying to subvert, very much as Uncle Ho had done many years before in North Vietnam.
Another example of that was the decision to create to name the Winter Soldier Investigation itself. If I can find my quotes. The Winter Soldier Investigation was named after the quote from Thomas Paine in referring to the Summer Soldier as those who fade away when the chips are down. So again, they attempted to appropriate one of the symbols of the American Revolution. Shortly after the RAW March, the VVAW leadership agreed to send Executive Secretary Al Hubbard on a speaking tour of college campuses in conjunction with Jane Fonda to raise money for the organization, primarily to put on The Winter Soldier Investigation itself and to launch new chapters. It was during this tour that Jane Fonda was quoted in the Detroit Free Press as telling University of Michigan audience, I would think that if you understood what communism was you would hope, you would pray on your knees, that we would someday become communist. She was also quoted saying the peace proposal of the Viet Cong is the only honorable, just, possible way to achieve peace in Vietnam. The VVAW also found very few, in fact, I can find no occasions in which they disagreed with any of the policies that were put forth by the North Vietnamese. They generally represented their positions. Some people have attempted to defend Kerry against an association with Jane Fonda by noting that well, Fonda hadnt yet been to Hanoi, that was not going to happen till the summer of 1972, but I think it is fairly clear from these quotes that she is already very much a part of the communist cadre.
Okay, lets amble back over to the web site. I dont know if you could read this and I am not sure I can. But this is one of the flyers that the VVAW handed out along the way to Valley Forge as they went along beating up Quakers. It says, a US infantry company just came through here, and after that the eye test begins. It says, If you had been Vietnamese, we might have burnt your house, we might have shot your dog, we might have shot you, we might have raped your wife and daughter, we might have turned you over to your government for torture, we might have taken souvenirs from your property, -- that one doesnt seem to fit in very well -- we might have shot things up a bit, we might have done all these things to you and your whole town. If it does not bother you that Americans soldiers do these things everyday to the Vietnamese simply because they are gooks then picture yourself as one of the silent victims. And the tag line is, Help us to end the war before they turn your son into a butcher or a corpse. So that is the constant drumbeat through of all of the stuff is that Americas presence in Vietnam is racist genocide. They hit it over and over and over until by repeating the line enough people came to believe it, and they also took the atrocities that did occur which, of course, occur in every war, and tried to make them seem typical. They carefully ignored the many, many atrocities from the other side as part of essentially aiding the North Vietnamese effort.
Here is another piece of testimony from Winter Soldier Investigation which features John Kerry as a moderator.
Scott Swett: This is supposed to be video. I guess were just getting audio.
[Film clip: VVAW Winter Soldier Investigation, January 31, 1971:]
John Kerry: Is there something that you really kind of want to say in terms of the crimes and why they happened? What bothers you most? What sort of makes you what brings you here? What makes you say, I want to testify; I want to say something?
Steve Pitkin: Id almost need a book to answer that, man. Its like, just so many things bothered me about just that short period that I was over there. In the whole two years that I was in the Army. I didnt like being an animal, and I didnt like seeing everybody else turn into animals, either. I just sort of hope that in a way I can sort of relate what I saw over there to whats happening here, because no matter how much we as veterans can relate to the press, or to the public, until youve grasped it, man, youre not going to end that war. Because its too distant. The man on the streets too busy making a buck here, and hes too worried about getting antifreeze for his car. Im just getting to a point that its sort of making me quiet. You know? Sort of making it like I dont know what to say any more. Theyve all heard it, and they all know its happening, but its like nothings happening. You were supposed to feel sorry for American wounded, but you werent supposed to feel sorry for the enemy wounded, or dead. I just felt sorry for the whole thing. But I guess that doesnt mean anything, just feeling sorry. I think what Id really like to testify about is that its just hurt a whole generation of Americans and Vietnamese, and thats the biggest atrocity.
[Note: Steve Pitkin later filed a legal affidavit stating that John Kerry and others coerced him to testify about non-existent atrocities at the Winter Soldier Investigation. See Yesterdays Lies: John Kerry and the Winter Soldiers for details]
Scott Swett: Thats from the Wow, man! school of atrocity testimony. A somewhat more articulate example can be found here.
[Film clip: John Kerry interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" April 18, 1971]
Crosby Noyes: Mr. Kerry, you said that at one time or another that you think that our policy in Vietnam were tantamount to genocide. Can that be the responsibility, or does it all change with command over there? Do you consider that you, personally as a naval officer committed atrocities in Vietnam or crimes punishable by the law in this country?
John Kerry: There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used .50 calibre machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals.
Tim Russert (in 2004): Thirty years later, you stand by that?
Kerry: I don't stand by the genocide. I think those were the words of an angry young man. We did not try to do that. But I do stand by the description -- I don't even believe there is a purpose served in the word "war criminal." I really don't.
Scott Swett: Shortly after the Winter Soldier Investigation, the VVAW issued a proclamation, which we have dug up in the 21,400 pages of FBI files which the FBI accumulated during about a 7 or 8 year period during investigations of the VVAW. We have thoughtfully posted all of them on WinterSoldier.com and so your homework assignment for tomorrow is to... okay, never mind. Here is what they said, We, as veterans of the war in Vietnam, give notice that if Laos is attacked, -- again, that was a particular concern of North Vietnam at the time, -- we will respond at once. We call for mass civil disobedience to take place all over this country. We will call for industry to shut down. We call upon the students to close the schools. We call upon our brothers who are still in uniform to close the military bases throughout America and the world. We call on the anti-war movement to shut down the major cities of America.... If this be a threat, let us make the most of it... We have been trained to fight. If need be we will use the knowledge we have gained against those who are seeking to extend this war."
And as I am sure most of you are aware, in November 1971, the leadership of the VVAW went so far as to hold a vote on whether they would attempt to assassinate six pro-war United States Senators. It is recorded that although John Kerry was at the meeting that he voted in the negative, which is certainly to his credit.
That was really pretty much it though for the VVAWs glory year. They went on to take over the Statue of Liberty towards the end of 1971 and did so a second time later as a sort of exercise in nostalgia. They caused a fair amount of commotion at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 1972, but were fairly well contained by the various law enforcement agencies that were there.
The common theme that connected the various events that the VVAW participated in and those of Jane Fonda and the Communist Daily World, which reported enthusiastically on Kerry and the VVAWs activities, as Dr. Jerry Corsi is going to point out shortly, the PRG, Viet Cong, and the Soviet KGB was the relentlessly repeated lie that it was Americas presence in Vietnam, rather than the war of aggression initiated by the North, that was characterized by systematic war crimes and atrocities. The intent of that propaganda campaign was to turn the American public against the war by inspiring disgust and horror at Americas own armed forces, and its ultimately successful goal was never peace, but rather to help a communist regime conquer our former allies in South Vietnam.
I am going to give the last word to Norman Podhoretz, author of Why We Were In Vietnam. Normally to side with the enemy in war time is considered an act of treason, but it was one of the many bizarre features of Vietnam War that Americans were able to side with the enemy with complete impunity. Demonstrators marched under Viet Cong flags, organizations urged soldiers to throw down their arms and desert. Americans even visited North Vietnam and broadcast from there endorsing enemy propaganda, all without being subjected to any legal penalty or even much public censure. On the contrary, in the intellectual community, the people who did these things were often treated as heroes and even patriots, while those who criticized them were excoriated and ridiculed. I think we will probably take a 5-minute break while we get set up for Dr. Corsi, but first if you have any questions, I will be glad to take them.
Participant: I have one. I went online this morning and I found out VVAW still exists including non-veterans and people from Grenada, people from the Gulf War. Do you know much about what theyre. . .
Steve Sherman: I dont know what happened to our VVAW representative here this morning. He seemed to have escaped already.
Link: http://www.wintersoldier.com/index.php?topic=Timeline (bottom of page)
Scott Swett: I dont know if you can see this. If you look where I am pointing here at 1978, the original VVAW split when a minority group formed the Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist. The VVAW still exists as you noted, and so does the VVAW-AI, which is right here.
They spell America with three Ks and they consider America to be Imperialist and in great need of being destroyed.
R. J Del Vecchio: How many people were in these organizations?
Scott Swett: It is unclear and even if you ask them, they would lie to you.
Max Friedman: You looked it up through the web site or is that just one of your . . . .
Scott Swett: This is live, this is WinterSoldier.com, but I played the clips off from local disc because it takes so long to download.
Max Friedman: All right. In looking at VVAW on line, on the anti-imperialist site, you dont get much detail on the AI faction, which are really the hard-core members who came out with the original VVAW. The VVAW is still in existence with the, you know, more moderate of those extremists, it is there, but it is nothing like it used to be and one of the problems in tracking this, Ill have something in my session if you want to get into it, because I have a few documents with me, is that people moved in and out of organizations so often had two or three interlocking memberships, not only for VVAW but Veterans Of Peace, The old Veterans Of Peace, The new Veterans Of Peace, ten different Vietnam Veterans Against the War for peace that preceded the Kerry group, all of whom were independent of each other, just using the same or similar names, then they would die out and people would move on to a successful organization. So the original founders of Vietnam Vets Against the War, as you are talking about here, really dont show up later on in the antiwar movement as the hardcore leftists. I think for various reasons they dropped out, Jan Crumb stayed around, but not in the organizational capacity that the more radical people did. And it is fascinating history because there are things that you cant find on them, and that is where the skeletons are hidden, and I have a key for tomorrow.
Scott Swett: Nice teaser, Max. Yeah, there were internal tensions and struggles within the VVAW that did eventually lead to their split. They were in the process of being taken over by hardline communists in 1971 and that probably occurred in 72 and 73.
Participant: Yes, this is a little aside. I have an old copy of Kerrys book, The New Soldier and I just saw last week on ABE books it is selling for $2500.
Scott Swett: You can get it a lot cheaper than that, I hate to disillusion you, but you can probably get it on e-Bay for $300 now.
Participant: Yeah, but somebody is trying to buy them up and destroy them I think, he wants to rid of them.
Scott Swett: They are not that hard to find and besides they are out there, the whole book is up on WinterSoldier, all the text and all the photos.
Mike Benge: VVAW is still very active in the anti-war movement in Iraq and they have been marching with the communists and was a big part of the Washington marches and they regularly put out anti-war, anti-Iraq, anti-Bush, bulletins and everything all of the time.
Scott Swett: Yeah that is true. You can see some of what they are doing right now. I wanted to add one more comment about the internal struggles of the old VVAW. One of the lines of defense that John Kerrys supporters have used to try and inoculate him from criticism, basically being on the other side in the war against United States, was that he was a moderating influence. You see this in all of the... you see this in Home to War and the various other descriptions of the soldiers anti-Vietnam effort, and I think it is fair to characterize being a moderate member the VVAW in 1971 as being similar to being a moderate member of the KKK. It isnt that much of a character recommendation. Who is next?
Bob Matthews: We are from North Carolina, Del Vecchio and myself, but you know, we are in the situation where John Edwards has been selected as the running mate.
Scott Swett: Id heard that.
Bob Matthews: You did, I knew you did. A couple of questions with this as part of defense in the classroom. A couple of years ago, when I started this I had a lot of gifts, I advertised in a newspaper for people to bring in memorabilia from the Vietnam effort where we could display it for kids to touch and see, whatever memorabilia, and one of the nice gifts given to me was about a 4 x 4 blown up photograph of Jane Fonda sitting behind the machine gun with a helmet on. So we displayed this in the classroom as well as other propaganda, good and bad, and made it like an open forum. I have two questions. The first one is, can you shed any light on the fact that did Jane Fonda and John Kerry conspire together or were they friends, did they meet, or were they just thrown in the pot together?
Scott Swett: Jane Fonda was the primary financier of The Winter Soldier Investigation. She had the title of Honorary Chairperson or something of the sort. I dont know if they had yet gotten to the politically correct designation, but she was one of the real movers and shakers behind the event. Kerry was at that time one of six members of the executive committee of the VVAW. He signed off on the paper work that sent Al Hubbard on a collegiate tour that went to some 50 colleges in the fall of 1971 [actually 1970]. There is no question that they were together. I think that focusing on whether they appeared in photographs kind of obscures the main issue, which is that they were on the same team working for the same results at the same time.
Bob Matthews: You have answered both questions, thank you.
Participant: To what extent was the VVAW funded by Cora Weiss and the Rubin Foundation? My understanding that they got quite a bit of their money from those folks.
Scott Swett: I havent been able to find much about the actual funding of the VVAW. Most of what I have focused on and with considerable help now from other researchers is what they did and when and what the documentation reveals about them. I have very little on their funding but I think Max might have some more of that later on.
Max Friedman: I will give you another teaser, because you something up on here, which is good on your chronology. You mentioned Romesh Chandra from the World Peace Council. World Peace Council was a Soviet operation run by the Center Of Committee of the Soviet Communist Party and the KGB. Chandra was the head of the Communist Party of India. At one time, he was on the executive committee, he moved up, so you have KGB money flowing in cash, which is really not traceable unless there are intelligence operatives in there, who can find it or who defect as in this case of Pacepa, and tell you about it. There is a book that John Barron put out called Operation Solo which is on the Soviet funding of the Communist Party and other operations in the United States by cash. The FBI was fortunately getting some former Communist Party members to go back in, they went very high up in the ranks, they had dinner with Khrushchev, they had dinner with Castro, and they came home with bags full of cash that were sent through the Communist Party in the United States. One of those people was Stanley Levinson who was a financial advisor, who also became Martin Luther Kings private financial advisor. The other person around Dr. King was Jack O'Dell, son of Fitz ODell, another party operative, who may have also been Ikes suspected Soviet agent of influence. So you have money coming covertly to a man who was very much attached to Dr. King and you have another operative, I would say, who is a Communist Party organizer. What you have is people with cash. You have people going out, when you have a hundred thousand demonstrators and put out a bucket, a lot of buckets, you come back with a hell of a lot of cash thats not traceable and I can tell that tomorrow but. . . ..
Scott Swett: I have to try that sometime.
Max Friedman: But there were canceled checks from a lot of the organized peace movements by people who were identified Communist Party members. With these donations coming in and things being paid out. You never saw what went on under the table, but what little physical evidence there is from conventional hearings shows you who controlled the finances, we call it the open finances. You never saw what went on underneath the table and if you look at traditional Soviet operations, they always had covert money flow, covert disinformation program, all these types of meetings around the world were basically Soviet operations run through local groups in Sweden, it might be the Swedish Peace Council (Anita Graden), in Czechoslovakia, the Bratislava Conference and the others. You never saw the money.
You always saw appeals for money, but you never really saw any financial accounting, the traditional bookkeeping accounting of the money and this is important because the movement ran on money. The movement hired people, hardcore leftists, to be their cadre and then they went out and got the foundation grants, so this is where the movement foundation, the field foundation, vote comings and some of the others come in because once they set up package organizations, you have got tens or thousands or hundred of thousands or even over the years millions of dollars coming into these groups, paper stamps, offices, press, communications; where do you think they got all the money to travel around the world? Look at all the people who went to the World Peace Council meetings, the World Peace Assembly meetings; $500,000 at a shot, thats a hell of a lot of money for these little grassroots organizations. I have some figures that I will show you tomorrow, but you have to think like a Communist. You have to think like a subversive. I dont want to be caught doing my operation. How do I hide it like the Mafia? You launder money. You put in bags, you put in legitimate businesses, you invest it in funds, you create tax-exempt organizations who raise more tax-exempt from that money through legitimate organizations who dont know where that money is going. As you see how these various coalitions against the war etc., you always see them make a donation to United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, Stewart Mott Foundation. That money is then laundered through the parent organization into very specific organizations. It is almost untrackable because the churches dont have to file a tax report. Fortunately, we have friends inside some of the churches who were able to get some documents. Dave Jessops American Federation of Labor got the United Methodist Church donations list and it was devastating. He put out a book on this, so what you are seeing here, how much does it cost to pay for an ad? One time is $5,000 New York Times $10,000, $25,000.
Scott Swett: If I can jump in, this particular ad was free. This appeared in Playboy in 1971 and that was a donation from Hugh Hefner to Vietnam Veterans Against the War that led to their greatest burst in recruiting during their history.
Max Friedman: And this was actually a very effective ad. Plus they hit a mens magazine, plus they got it for free, but when they had to go to the New York Times or New York Post with all of these full time ads, it priced them out. You could call about how much would it cost for a full page and it started out in the late 60s at about $5,000 a page printing on paper up to $25,000 a page and you would often see fliers, saying we have raise $25,000 in order to put ad in X number of papers. That is a lot of money.
Scott Swett: Yeah, it is. We are going to, I think, need to proceed. Do you want to take a 5-minute break or you want to just jump in? We are scheduled till 3, so we have got about a half hour for Dr. Corsi. If you want to just jump in and play with the web site?
Jerome Corsi: Why dont you navigate that for me?
Scott Swett: Okay that is fine.
Jerome Corsi: So we just continue that, Steve? Just continue, that way so we dont lose any time?
Jerome Corsi: Im Jerry Corsi and like Scott, I am not a veteran. At the time of the Vietnam War, I was deferred and I went to Harvard where I got a PhD. Now, what I did during the war was, I had worked extensively on the antiwar movement, studying it both for universities and the government. When I was pretty young, I started publishing on it. I did two major studies of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in the 70s, and by the 80s I had published a computer model that predicted the outcome of terrorist events, and I published in the Journal Of Conflict Resolution at Yale and I got a top secret clearance from that, and I trained US Embassy people on hostage survival for a number of years.
So my background came at this whole question of John Kerry and the Vietnam War from having known the protest side from the inside. Now, the other association I have is that I knew John ONeill very well. John ONeill who is the head of the Swift Vets for the Truth, which is the group of Swift vets organized against John Kerry. John ONeill and I went to college together and we had been close friends, he at Annapolis, me at Case Western Reserve, and when I saw his debate with John Kerry rebroadcast, 1971 debate on the Dick Cavett Show, I called John and we began working together. I said, John, you have got one side of the story, which is John Kerry in Vietnam, and I have got the other side, which is the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. We combined and we have now written the book, which is called, Unfit For Command and it will be out on September 1st with Regnery Press, and Regnery and we think that thats going to be a major book to help defeat John Kerry. That book is now, we wrote it very quickly. We are very pleased with it and I think it is going to make a major impact. I have also been working with several of you here. Scott and I started working back in March when Scott was putting this site together and I have contributed several pieces of research here which are going to show up in the book. Max Friedman, Max has contributed very significantly to the work we have done and his research is also contributed to the book and Jug Burkett has also contributed. Jug had done some of the very early research showing that the Winter Soldier Investigation was a fraud, that the people who testified at it were in many cases not even veterans, let alone not in Vietnam and the stories that they presented were made up.
Now the theme that I want to develop in this time goes to the research which has been suggested by both Scott and Max, which is, if you looked at the impression of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, what Kerry would like to portray today, is that this was just a legitimate and electoral exercise of protest, that these people had decided that the war was not a good cause to pursue and were speaking out, to present a mistake to the American people and to prevent further lives being lost in the mistake.
In fact, from Kerrys testimony that is probably the one line that survives, when he testified to the Fulbright Committee in 1971 during the Dewey Canyon III protest. Kerry asked, Why would you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake? How would you ask a man to be last to die for a mistake? Now Kerry presented that line as if he himself had written it. I am going to show you here that this has been really a large coordinated effort on the part of the Left with significant communist backing that Kerry knowingly, since he came out of Vietnam, participated in assisting to advance the causes of the North Vietnamese communists to win the war, and to support the other Communist parties around the world who were united in this effort.
On John Kerrys protest, which he has attempted to hide, while he was in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, he was yet a Naval Reserve Officer. He had not resigned his commission until 1972. So all his protest activity was in direct contravention to the Uniform Code Of Military Justice, because Kerry was yet Naval Reserve, yet being paid, had not been discharged, at the same time was engaging in a variety of protest activities.
Now Scott, you can go first of the article we did on Madame Binh.
We noticed in the testimony of Kerry, and I had been aware of it since the 70s, John Kerry, supposedly on his honeymoon, went to Paris in 1970, and when he went to Paris in 1970, he met with the Communist delegations to the Paris Peace Convention. As a private citizen, a naval reserve officer, he met with two very prominent people, Madame Binh who was the delegate of the Viet Cong. She was the foreign minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government and as you recall, the Provisional Revolutionary Government was this fiction that the North Vietnamese set up of a government-in-waiting, supposedly the legitimate government according to them, of South Vietnam, that was going to take over once the Americans were defeated, and Madame Binh was their Foreign Minister.
By the way, after 1975, when the Vietnamese Communists took over, Madame Binh became the Foreign Secretary, actually became the Vice President, the number-two person in the government in Vietnam, so she was very prominent. Now, Kerry met with her and he also met with the North Vietnamese delegation at that time, for he says he met with both parties, the North Vietnamese government delegation, and Madame Binh of the PRG. Now, his purpose in doing this was to establish coordination with the Vietnamese Communists before he came back over and got actively involved in the VVAW. He has never disclosed, in fact, he denied, initially Michael Meehan denied, one of his top spokespeople, that Kerry had met with Madame Binh. And then we produced additional documentary evidence, going back to when I was doing the work and the studies that I did on the VVAW, we had access to intelligence reports and we had access to internal government documents, and subsequently many of the FBI reports have just recently been released and I was able to go back and recover some of them. After we presented documentary evidence back to the campaign, the campaign Michael Meehan came out and reversed their position, they didnt admit that they lied, but they admitted they had now discovered that, in fact, John Kerry did meet with Madame Binh. Now they say, nothing substantive was discussed, it was just for fact finding.
Scott Swett: Tea and cookies.
Jerome Corsi: Tea and cookies. Okay now, if youll scroll back to the top of that.
Scott Swett: Well, there are two articles. Do you want the one on the Paris Peace Talks or the other one?
Jerome Corsi: I just want to get up to the top of the . . . I want to show the picture at the top.
Scott Swett: Okay.
Jerome Corsi: Okay, we have a picture on the site. At the time the VVAW was sending spokespeople over to meet with the communist delegations in Paris and, in fact, while that photograph is not a meeting that Kerry attended, but it was one of the subsequent meetings, which is the VVAW delegates in discussions with the North Vietnamese delegations to the Paris Peace Talks. Now, in this FBI document, we have this on the site and we have it in the book, Al Hubbard, who you remember earlier, the African-American who had made up his Vietnam veterans credentials -- fake -- came to tell the VVAW and openly discuss it in the steering committee that Kerry attended, that he had just returned from a meeting in Paris with the Communist delegations and there were negotiating the release of POWs to the VVAW -- not to the US government. Now this is completely in contradiction to the US code, I believe it is 18 US code 953, which says that US citizens should not negotiate, are not permitted to negotiate with foreign governments and, of course, Article Three Section 3 of the Constitution defines treason as giving aid and comfort to the enemy during time of war.
Now, Al Hubbards trip to meetings such as this, he openly discusses, was funded by the Communist Party of the United States. As Max pointed out, the money to make the trip came from the Communist Party of the United States which paid the bill, and John Kerry knew this, sitting in the meeting. John Kerry discussed in that meeting, we are going to send additional delegations to Paris, and the attempt was to engage in very active working relationships with the Vietnamese [Communist] negotiators. Now, this is at a time when Kissinger is attempting to negotiate with the delegations a successful end to the war and it comes at a critical time in the negotiations when much of this happens.
In 1971, Le Duc Tho came to take over the negotiations on behalf of the North Vietnamese. Now, he was a very influential friend and partner of Ho Chi Minh and went way back into the foundation of the Communist Party in North Vietnam. When he came to Paris, very shortly after that, Madame Binh developed what she called an 8-Point Peace Proposal, which was a very important proposal, because it suggested that our POWs would be released as soon as we set a date to withdraw from Vietnam. Now that meant we declared that we lost, we paid war reparations, etc. Now, if you can find, Scott, the article, and then lo and behold, we find John Kerry holding a press conference in Washington DC in which he advocates to President Nixon to accept Madame Binhs peace proposal. So now John Kerry is assuming the role of being a spokesperson for the Vietnamese Communist delegations in Paris, advocating their peace proposals to the United States government.
There he is at the press conference, that is the New York Times article covering John Kerry at his press conference supporting Madame Binhs peace proposal in 1971. All of this was done in 1971. The date of that was on July 22, 1971, when he gave his press conference.
Okay, now John Kerry will make attempts now to disassociate himself from active involvement with the Communists, but clearly these efforts were giving aid and comfort to the enemy, as we heard this morning, even Admiral Denton made that point quite abundantly clear, and is putting pressure on our POWs who were being tortured in North Vietnamese prisons to sign statements admitting to war crimes that John Kerry was, without any pressure, admitting that we were doing.
Here we had men being tortured, honorably resisting the effort to get them to sign lying statements and here is John Kerry lying on their behalf, saying that those war crimes were true and that we should concede the war and accept Madame Binhs peace proposal. Okay, thats in-depth on just one chapter of John Kerrys involvement with the VVAW that goes beyond the pale of just legitimate protest. Its not quite like writing an article in an academic journal saying that he disagrees with some of the policies in Vietnam or well do the war different way. He has crossed the line. He is supporting the enemys position in a time of war, openly, having worked with them in Paris and coordinating the result.
Okay, now lets go to the museum in Vietnam. Now, as John and I were developing the book, John ONeill, we were working with Jeff Epstein and Larry Bailey of the Vietnam Veterans for the Truth. Their web site is KerryLied.com and they are going to be holding a rally on September 12th in Washington, actually a fund raising dinner on the 17th of August in Connecticut, very active group. Now, we put out a call for photographs to see if anyone had any photographs of John Kerry that had not come to light and lo and behold Bill Lupetti, who was a medic working in An Thoi and helping, supporting the Swift boat veterans actually in 1969, I guess, in Vietnam and he was a war veteran. He was back in Vietnam visiting in Saigon, thats today, so he just a couple of months ago, Bill Lupetti this year was in Saigon. He had gone to the War Remnants Museum, a Communist museum in Saigon, which was originally called the War Crimes Museum, it is dedicated to demonstrating that America committed war crimes in Vietnam, and this museum consists of several buildings with captured tanks and airplanes in the courtyards and each of these buildings has a theme. One of the buildings is dedicated to The World Supports North Vietnam in its Resistance. That is a war protest wing of the museum. And lo and behold, Lupetti found a photograph of John Kerry in this Communist museum with the Communists honoring John Kerry as one of their heroes of the Communist resistance.
The photograph specifically is John Kerry meeting with Do Muoi that was taken in July 1993, which was the time when attempts were being made to resolve POW issues. Kerry at that time was doing everything he could to bury the POW issue. Kerry was doing everything he could to normalize relationships with Vietnam and to make sure the Congress did not pass any Human Rights amendments or any Human Rights legislation in favor of Human Rights within Vietnam. He was very actively opposing that. In fact, one resolution had gotten through the House of Representatives in something like a 410-10 vote in favor of that resolution, 410-1 and John Kerry made sure it did not come to vote, wouldnt permit it to be presented in the US Senate, very actively, because North Vietnam or the Vietnamese Communists did not want it obviously presented and developed and John Kerry did their work for them.
Now, we put this up on the web site on WinterSoldier.com and got some considerable publicity on it, but the Kerry campaign began circulating a report -- that is the internals of the museum. Bill Lupetti took about 40 photographs of it all together. Now he went back to the museum many times. I was talking to Bill by telephone in Vietnam. He was going back and photographing and documenting -- that is Bill in 1970 in Can Tho in Vietnam when he was a medic -- and at some risk, because he was being now watched by the police and was not supposed to go into this museum and photograph, not repeatedly, like he was doing. We asked him to go back and to document that the photo was still there.
Can we have the second article up there, with the newspaper?
So, what Bill Lupetti did is, he went back into the museum and held up a Saigon newspaper which is dated the second of June 2004, and thats the issue, and he brought it home with him to show that the photograph of Kerry was still on the wall of this museum. Okay, so now we are going to have the Presidential Candidate of the Democratic Party as being honored by the Vietnamese communists as one of their heroes in their museum currently. Let us go down a little bit further. This will be in the book by the way and the book is going to be in every bookstore in America, with some major promotion.
This is a photograph in the Womens Museum. Bill Lupetti found that they were also honoring Jane Fonda. By the way, that is Jane Fonda with Madame Binh and that is in their Womens Museum in Saigon today. Scroll down just a little bit more? The exhibits around it are just to make sure the context of the Kerry photo is understood, this hall shows, it says Vietnam is our conscience in Italian; it was one of the war protest banners from Italy. Here are some German. These are right across, like across the way, from Kerrys photograph, and just scroll down just a little bit more, those are US peace protest banners; they have had this as The World Supports the Communist Resistance Movement so you can see, scroll down a bit more there, banners from India in this hall. This is actually directly across from Kerrys photograph, which is a tray of banners; we will show you couple of those in a minute, some banners that said -- this is again right across the corner. See that, the left star from the Netherlands or the flag, the top banner was in the previous picture. This is a good one. This is David Miller who was burning his draft card in 1965. That was the first draft card burning and the Vietnamese communists acknowledge the significance of that because it inspired a whole wave of draft card burnings in 1965. Down a little bit further. These are the posters that were in that case. The banners were in that case right across from Kerry. That is a FALN banner from Venezuela. This is Al Fatah, which is the radical organization, Palestinian organization. This is the photograph right next to Kerrys. This was a group of OSS officers who returned to pay a visit to Vietnam. They had been there to train the Viet Minh against the Japanese and they are equally honored with John Kerry. That is General Giap in the middle of it, the group, looking nice in the importance of these people who helped him win the war. This is the War Remnants Museum sign that is right outside. We have another photograph. Do you have the CD with the photographs by any chance?
Scott Swett: It is set up.
Jerome Corsi: Okay. Weve got about 35 of these and they will be reproduced in the book as well. They have different wall plaques, which make it clear that Vietnam is honoring the worlds people who have helped them to win the war. There is a photograph of Robert McNamara when he went there. He is, of course, being honored especially after he wrote his book and said that fighting the war was a mistake. He is suddenly an honored hero. So the Kerry camp has refused to acknowledge that these even exist. They refused to discuss the issue. It has been ignored, they are hoping it will not come into the mainstream Press and the American Public will not begin asking questions as to why the Vietnamese Communists so admire him. The attempt will be made to say, Well, Communism to John Kerry is just another flavor of ice-cream, it is really not an enemy, it is just we have normalized relationships, so why not be a hero? We pressed Kerry when Kerry testified to the Senate and lied, accused the Vietnam military of committing crimes like Genghis Khan, cutting off ears, raping women, all that litany of crimes which, as Scott pointed out, were first developed by the KGB.
And all of that, when Kerry gave the testimony, he said that if the Vietnamese Communists won, there may be only two or three thousand people that would be killed or otherwise inconvenienced, and as you know the re-education camps, the millions of people that were killed as the communists from Vietnam spread their revolution throughout the other countries of Southeast Asia. The millions that were killed in Cambodia, Laos, some two million boat people who were desperately were trying to leave and come to the United States; obviously not happy to remain under this glorious Communism that today is just another flavor of ice cream.
So, as we have pointed out in terms of directly countering the myths of what Vietnam, the war, was about. The contrast here is, the Democratic Party wants a policy choice. You have got here John Kerry who actively opposed the war to the point of undermining the war, working actively with the Communists, supporting their agenda in the Senate and honored by them today in their museum in Saigon. Compare that to other Americans, such as Ronald Reagan who saw Communism as Evil. You dont see John Kerry saying, Take this picture out of here. Reagan said, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! Kerry is not saying, Tear down this hall. Let this hall stay. There is a clear policy choice between an American such as Kerry who perceives no problem in doing all of this while he was yet a Naval Reserve Officer. He wants to hide it from the American Public and will not answer it in the mainstream Press. And Americans such as Ronald Reagan who confronted the Communism directly, even as was pointed out earlier by Admiral Denton, Richard Nixon, who was determined and had finally had a strategy to win the war militarily; all of which the American people have not realized nor have the American people really been told clearly the tragedy that Communism has meant to Southeast Asia after the United States left -- a tragedy, which today John Kerry continues to want to ignore. So these are key points of the research, key points of the book, and key points which in September and October, we are going to make every human effort we know how, to bring this to the attention of the American people. Max?
Max Friedman: as we scroll down the end of this, I think this is where Kerry talks about 2 or 3 thousand people will be killed at the end of the war. This should be really in the last section of the speech.
Jerome Corsi: Thats in the question and answer. We just came into the question and answers, I think is in part two.
Scott Swett: I dont have an immediate search, but I think I know where it is.
Jerome Corsi: Okay, you will find that in second.
Max Friedman: Because youve hit on something which I think is extremely important, actually it is more important to the men in this room who served in Vietnam, especially those who lived with the South Vietnamese and the Montagnards because the men in this room knew the people who fought against the Communists and who paid the penalty should they lose and this goes to a question, and normally I think I mentioned before I am not a political person, I really dont get involved in campaigns, but there is a morality issue here that is important. And if I dont say it tomorrow, I am going to say it today; I come from a Holocaust family. My grandmother lost all of her relatives, scores, in Auschwitz and Belsen and if you dont have a moral basis of concern for your fellow man, then to me, you are just not the kind of person I want to be associated with.
In Kerrys statement, where he talks about only a few thousand who paid the penalty, I think that is the word he used, it was not his words because it pops up in Communist propaganda earlier than that, but you cant make up a figure like that. How did Kerry know how many people will be potentially on a target list. He could say, well, theres so many government officials or such, or theres so many police. He doesnt know, it wasnt his job -- he was serving in the Navy -- to know who would be a target unless he actually saw the people who were being killed and in that case he would not be in the position he was in. So I think that okay, right there.
He doesnt give it damn about the South Vietnamese people. There is a total lack of moral concern for these people. People who he had fought with, and supposedly were helping and he turns his back on them and I was just thinking, if this were a Republican saying the same thing or a Conservative, they would be called a racist, they would be called inhumane, they would be called supporter of genocide, they would be called a psychopath or a sociopath, uncaring, and this is what happens. I mean you look at that and having done a study for the Senate called The Human Cost of Communism in Vietnam where I had to deal with the figures and the photographs of the cost of Communism. I see faces. I see bodies and, what youre going to see tomorrow is something that other people have not seen. It is going to give you the human face, not 3,000, not 10,000, maybe 100,000 after the war. But somewhere between, say, maybe a quarter million or a half million people during the war, not including soldiers, and that to me is disgraceful that somebody would say this and say I am walking away and letting these people, even 3,000, be killed.
Scott Swett: Max, there is one more line in here that I think should be underscored and thats this one, and it has not been widely published that John Kerry accused the United States military right here, in front of, in his congressional testimony before the Fulbright committee, of murdering 200,000 a year in Vietnam. That is an accusation of genocide.
Dr. Robert Turner: [inaudible]
Jerome Corsi: Yes, please. Absolutely.
Dr. Robert Turner: I dont have your copy, but I have got a copy of the actual Senate transcript of this and theres much more damning material that nobody has picked up on Kerry, and...
Scott Swett: This is the whole thing.
Dr. Robert Turner: This is on page 194 of his testimony. Yours is not labeled; so I cant tell you where to go, but let me just read just a few extra. He is talking to a response to a question from Senator Case, who I remember well from having worked for the Foreign Relations Committee at the end of the war. Kerry is saying, On the question of getting out with some semblance for peace, as a man who has fought there, I am trying to say this policy has no chance for peace. You don't have a chance for peace when you arm the people of another country and tell them they can fight a war.
Now put that in World War II context, you know, obviously you cant have peace if we help the French or the British. He goes on to say, That is not peace, that is fighting a war, that is continuing a war, that is even criminal in the sense that this country, if we are really worried about recrimination, is going to have to someday face up to the fact that we convinced a certain number of people, perhaps hundred of thousands, perhaps there will be several million, that they could stand up to something which they couldn't and ultimately will face the recrimination and the fact that their lives, -- whose lives? Perhaps of millions of people -- in addition to all the lives at this point, will be on our conscience.
So Kerry is saying -- and now at other points he says, maybe 200,000, but here he is saying there may be millions and recriminations and their lives will be on our conscience, but it is our fault for telling them they could resist something they cant resist and repeatedly in here, one of his themes is, Communism was no threat to us, the Communists are not going to take over our McDonalds hamburger stands, ha, ha, ha, if we lose this war. The real parallel here is a contrast between John Kerry getting in bed with the Communists, violating [committing] felonies by going to Paris and negotiating with the Communists repeatedly and saying we cant resist Communism. He says in here, We shouldnt fight Communism everywhere, it is none of our business. He makes a moral equivalence argument. He says, you know, Whatever you call the government, the question is, does it meet the needs of the people? If you call it a Communist government or a benevolent dictatorship or democracy, the real issue is does it meet the needs of the people. He apparently saw no difference.
Thats the one side. The other side is the Ronald Reagan paradigm saying, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! and showing you can stand up to Communism, and the other side if we are going to make something more of a two-sided figure, is what really happened after the war, which is to say the one thing John Kerry got right in his testimony was that millions of people lost their lives because of what he persuaded Congress to do. That is, Congress passed the law making it illegal for the United States to fight combat operations. As a direct result of that the North Vietnamese conquered their neighbors by overt invasions. In South Vietnam they followed, you know, columns of Soviet tanks. They took over the country and they, meticulously in Cambodia, murdered about 2 million people. The figures in South Vietnam are harder to predict, but I talked to several people who said those who were actually killed were numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The UN estimated another half million died, as boat people trying to flee. They said roughly half of the boat people, either drowned at sea, starved at sea, were raped and murdered by pirates, you know, or lost their lives in this process. We are talking about millions of human beings dying and if you go back and read this guys testimony, he is saying, hey, we shouldnt have told these people they could resist Communism. You cant resist Communism and it is our fault and whatever happens to them cant be our concern. And if you really want a parallel for the American people to look at, it is Ronald Reagan on the one hand versus John Kerry, Jane Fonda and their ilk, saying we shouldnt be resisting Communism.
Jerome Corsi: That is excellent. One quick thing to this gentleman. When you start getting through all of this with Kerry, two things; remember he was doing all this while he was in the Naval Reserve and American POWs were being tortured and forced to listen to this testimony in Vietnamese prisons -- shown these words as evidence that America no longer supported them. And you begin to raise with someone who is anti-American at one time like this, what position would he take given Americas current enemies. We have two gentlemen -- yes sir, and then, yes.
Fred Rice: I have a question directly concerning the release of your book.
Jerome Corsi: Yes.
Fred Rice: I think that is something that is going to do a tremendous job, but my question is, you are saying that it boils down to one or two key points that you got to get across and your book itself is a good way to illustrate this. How many places do you think you are going to be able to get it out and get it in prominent display at the front of a bookstore? Recently I think everybody is aware of the fact that there was just a spate of liberal books that were trying to bash Bush and there were a couple of other, one or two conservative books that had come out at about the same time and all of a sudden when you went around any of the book stores, B. Dalton, Barnes & Noble, any of them, what they did is they took the conservative books off of the front row display, put it in the back of the store and when you walked by in the front of the store all you saw was everybody from Hillary Swank to whoever. Now how are you going to overcome this?
Jerome Corsi: Well, it is. . . . Do you want to do it first, Scott?
Scott Swett: Well, I just wanted to make a note. That is a topic that has come up repeatedly at the Free Republic web site, and we have kind of a guerilla operation of people that go into bookstores and say, Where the heck is this conservative best seller and why arent you showing it? and if they get a lot of flak, they talk to managers. Now, there are people that have noticed what you have observed and are taking actions to try, you know, because ultimately they are the business of selling books and typically the people that are playing the games are not the ones who are really calling the shots.
Fred Rice: I will say just one thing parenthetically, one thing that my wife does. She and her sorority sisters from college, one of them lives in California, another one lives in Minnesota, what they do is just, it is a kind of lark for them but it kind of illustrates what you have to do. When they go into a bookstore they surreptiously go in and turn Hillary Clintons book around every place they see it.
Scott Swett: Thats an act of public service. Were over time; we are going to have to maybe take just one more question.
Jerome Corsi: This gentleman, then Jug, okay. Yes?
Participant: I want to go back to the museum for a second.
Jerome Corsi: Yeah.
Participant: Now, you mentioned in your book. I was in the museum twice over there and did you mention how many photographs you have in your book?
Jerome Corsi: Theres going to be about 25 photographs, I think, maybe 20.
Participant: Are there photographs of the body parts in the jars?
Jerome Corsi: We chose not to put those in, they have the body parts and they have Thalidomide babies, and it is a pretty gruesome museum.
Participant: Yeah, so that is not in the book?
Jerome Corsi: No, we decided that we didnt want to be sensational. That would just cross the line a little bit.
Participant: Okay. There is just one more little thing then. How long do you think that picture and John Kerrys picture have been up at that museum?
Jerome Corsi: How long?
Participant: How long.
Jerome Corsi: I am not sure how long. We just know it is there now.
Participant: Okay, thanks.
Jerome Corsi: But I think it has probably been there for some period of time. I dont think it is recent.
B.G. Burkett: John, just a quick comment on the book, on your question about the display. Having involuntarily ended up in the book business, most liberal books are produced by large publishers. Most conservative books tend to be smaller publishers and those displays are not voluntary by the branch manager or the bookstore manager. It is actually bought by the publisher. They buy the space to put the book out.
Jerome Corsi: Let me just quickly comment. Jugs right. The book is being published by Regnery, which is probably one of the largest conservative book publishers, and a major effort is going to go into this book. The Swift Boat Veterans have been. . . we were in Washington a couple weekends ago. They have been filmed. There is going to be about 4 million dollars of PAC money instantly going into running television commercials in key states with the Swift Boat Veterans saying, I served with John Kerry and I think he is unfit for command.
So there is going to be a major campaign there. Number 2, Regnery is going to put a major promotional effort into this and the PR firm who has had the most success getting conservative issues into the mainstream has been hired to get this forward. I think John ONeill and I will be on television and radio, we are planning on a very strong campaign in September and October. And I think there will be a fight to get it into having to be recognized, but if we are going to go on talk radio extensively and work with the... various of the reporters in the mainstream Press who will come forward and assist, we are going to make a major campaign to do it with money behind it. You can also be of assistance. We will take any suggestions and efforts that you have to contact the media. Max?
Max Friedman: Let me give you a present from the far Left and you are going to like this one. Michael Moore wrote a book, who was a fat ugly white man. It wasnt selling very well, and the word was that the book was going to into remainders. And there is a little column, I think John McCaslin had it in the Washington Times about this, that a librarian in New Jersey, named Ann Sparanese, who was a leftist, got the American Library Association chapters around the country to order that book for their libraries. What it did was, it put a demand on the publisher to take it away from the remainder and start selling it and as word got out among the Left, it became a bestseller. Nobody ever told you that Ann Sparanese was a member of the Venceremos Brigade, she was also a supporter of the Weather Undergrounds above ground front, the July 4th Coalition, and she recently, if you read FrontPage Magazine on the web site, was one of the heads of the American Librarians Association, I think, Executive Board or Committee that voted not to support the Cuban librarians who are in jail in Cuba today.
But by her act of getting other chapters of her organization to buy the books, they gave it a new life. Each person here who belongs to a VFW or American Legion or any Vietnam veterans group or professors, teachers organizations, can call into a book store and say I want 25 copies of this book. Do you have it? No. Would you get it for us? And we know it is published by Regnery, and, you know, all you have to do is start putting in those orders. Youve got people in this room who can probably generate 2, 3, or 5,000 books worth of sales around the country in these orders. Once you start doing that and other chapters pick up on this, we could have the same success with this book that Sparanese gave to Michael Moore and if she hadnt done that, Michael Moore would just be another fat slob.
Scott Swett: Are there any librarians in the room? [Laughter] Okay, we are going to have to wrap up right now. Let me just say one more thing. You can do the same thing, of course, by e-mailing the people on your e-mail list and telling them about the web sites, getting the word out around the media. They cant stop us that way.
Fred Rice: Can you come up with a simple recipe type subset of sequences, into everybodys hands and getting it some place where we can all. . .
Jerome Corsi: We can put it up here.
Scott Swett: I am going to put a stack of cards on the table. All you do is go to the link, send the link to your friends and let them look at it.
Steve Sherman: Let me make a few administrative announcements here. They will, tonight only, serve supper up til 6o clock in the cafeteria.