Examining the Myths of the Vietnam War
SESSION 8 (Transcript)

The Uncivil War

[Opening Unintelligible]

Max Friedman: I like to show people documents, the things that I have got, which will support my position. You know, I can read them, but at least there are in the physical, you can put your hands on it. [Anything my wife can do to get my files out of the house . . . .unintelligible] I brought a lot of stuff that is 37 years old, some even older than that and I had specialized in the antiwar movement as a journalist. This was after having spent a year inside them, basically doing the graduate paper we are talking about and what I found was actually very interesting, because the theme of discussion basically is “What was the antiwar movement? What were they about? Who were the leadership? How were they organized? How were they funded?” There is an article here about what I said about the antiwar movement, ‘war pros considered inviting Nixon to speak.’ I didn’t say that. It was in my testimony, but was inaccurate. What I said was that the organized peace movement that I was dealing with, the various mobilization committees and the war in Vietnam were completely controlled by the Communists, American Communists of various factions. How do I know? A, I was in it, but then there was Rene Davis, David Dellinger, so all they had done was address certain meetings with lot of people. I formed the Washington Peace Council. I have been the head of it, basically because these people are so disorganized; I had to figure out a way to get the names of everybody. Formed the Washington Peace Council of the all the groups, got the names of the individuals and somebody said we want you to become the head of it. Okay, that is great, FBI will really appreciate this, and as I have been looking at this also as a student, again and again going back to the papers with general public opinion and when you join an organization, you know, you find about the pecking order is, especially if you want to do anything in it, and you got to know who the head is, who is the power, who not to piss off and who to buddy up to sometimes. So here I come as a kid, I am interested in peace movement, you know, give me something to do. What I saw was that what the media was perceiving as a peace movement, the general movement, was not what was actually being done. What was being done at a very quiet, _____ of cases, subversion and covert level was at the Communist Party of the United States, in confrontation with the Trotskyite Communists, a Socialist Worker’s Party, set up and took over the general outline in the antiwar movement.

 

Bob Turner: Hello? David?

 

David Horowitz: Yes. Absolutely.

 

Max Friedman: Hello, David.

 

David Horowitz: Hi.

 

Bob Turner: Hi.

 

Max Friedman: Hello David, Dave, love, he is one of my former enemies. Dave, this is Max Friedman, one of your contributors of Front Page Magazine.

 

Steve: Dave, you can't be on the line.

 

David Horowitz: I am good talking to your back.

 

Steve: So you want to let David go first?

 

Max Friedman: So Dave, we are talking about what was the peace movement, how was it organized?

 

Unidentified Audience Member: Telephone is too loud.

 

Max Friedman: Who?

 

David Horowitz: Well, I am jumping right there. I helped to organize the first so-called antiwar demonstration against our presence in Vietnam at 1962 at the University of California, Berkeley. We organized a picket of President Kennedy who was there to take an honorary degree and our slogan was “Kennedy’s Three R's -- Radiation (refering to nuclear tests) Reaction And Repression.” We were all Marxists who organized this demonstration and this, of course, was in 1962 and there were only like 16 American advisors; we really were not involved in the war. We were just attempting to defend the government of South Vietnam from an aggression organized by North Vietnam. The Communists controlled the northern half of the country, as we now know, because as soon as the war ended, there has been a lot of information divulged. The North Vietnamese Communists had divisions in the South. It was an aggression. The National Liberation Front, which was the alleged representative of the South Vietnamese people, was a tool and a complete construction of the Communists and of the North and when . . . .

 

Bob Turner: Dave, let me interrupt you for just a second, Bob Turner here. If you can move back about three quarters of an inch from the mike, it is booming in here and they cannot hear.

 

David Horowitz: I am on a telephone, so.

 

Bob Turner: Then move your mouth a little bit away from the mike and you still be a little louder.

 

David Horowitz: Right, is that better?

 

Bob Turner: It is much better. Thanks.

 

David Horowitz: In any case, the Left, the so called antiwar movement presented the Vietnam War as a struggle for self-determination of the Vietnamese, much the way Michael Moore is presenting the struggle of the terrorists in Iraq, calling them patriots. We referred to Ho Chi Minh as the father of his country, the George Washington of his country, which was another lie. He was a tool of the Comintern. In any case, the antiwar movement was not really about the Vietnamese people because as soon as the United Sates withdrew, which was in 1973, and the oppressors became Communists, the Left in America, the so called antiwar movement completely forgot about the Vietnamese. There were no demonstrations against the executions of a 100,000 South Vietnamese citizens by the Communists after America left. There were no demonstrations against genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge which was also supported by the Left and the so called antiwar movement. They killed 2 million people, but there was not a single demonstration in the United States protesting this and, in fact, the leaders, the intellectual leaders, of the antiwar movement, people like Noam Chomsky, defended the genocide and pretended that it didn’t exist.

I, in those years, I thought of myself as a Marxist and a revolutionary. I was very uncomfortable when Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden went to North Vietnam and collaborated with the enemy. Jane Fonda as you know incited, she went on Hanoi Radio, and incited American flyers, in particular, the American troops to defect, asking to treason along with her, against their own country. Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally were the notorious traitors of the Second World War, did less than Jane Fonda did, actually, I mean, they made similar kinds of broadcasts. When Jane Fonda organized the Winter Soldier Investigations of alleged American atrocities in Vietnam, but of course, no Communist atrocities, I also, even though I was a Marxist, even though I wanted America to lose in Vietnam, was very uncomfortable because I knew what she and Hayden were doing was promoting Communist propaganda, but I was a New Leftist and therefore I understood that the Communist regime in North Vietnam was a totalitarian regime and it was one I did not support.

John Kerry, again, I am not qualified to say anything about his war service, which seems to have been very brief or his Purple Hearts, but the fact is that the minute he got himself out of the service early and came back to the United States, he joined forces with the worst elements of the Communist Left. He embraced Jane Fonda and the War Crimes Tribunal, accusing his own comrades in arms of atrocities. If he had witnessed these atrocities, he was culpable himself for it. In effect he is on record saying that they were systematic. Oh, if they were systematic then he had to have been part of them. So he himself is either a war criminal or collusive with war criminals. In fact, an awful lot of the Winter Soldier Investigation testimony was made up and had no basis in reality and Kerry has never, to my knowledge, come up with a specific instance of a specific act. But what he did was to leave the field of battle and come home and stab his buddies, his comrades, soldiers who had served beside him, in the back. In my view, this is even worse than betraying your country because your country can be an abstraction and there can be, you know, these are large issues involved in these things and what looks like criticism of the war to one person can look like betrayal to another, but what John Kerry did was to betray the people who fought with him, what he did was to serve North Vietnamese Communist propaganda and there is a place, they have a museum on the war in Hanoi and he was a place of a hero for the other side. If he were to be elected President, it would be totally unprecedented to have somebody who stabbed his country and his fellow soldiers in the back and is a celebrated hero for an enemy power in the White House. I, you know, if we are talking just about this election, John Kerry is a smart politician and he is running a very clever and fairly deceptive campaign pretending to be in the middle of the road and it is not really Kerry himself that I would be concerned about so much, as the people he will bring with him to the White House. Sandy Berger who is now under investigation for violating the espionage act, was Clinton’s National Security Advisor. Clinton met him in the antiwar movement and, of course, in the antiwar movement, you get a whole spectrum of people, you get die-hard Communists, of which there are many in the anti Iraq War movement, but you also get ignorant people and well-meaning people who do not have a proper understanding of who they have joined in the battle but Kerry’s wife, Teresa Hynes Kerry, is a huge funder of the worst Left Wing causes and the Left, I think that the Michael Moore phenomenon shows where the Left is. Michael Moore had said, compare the terrorists in Iraq to America’s Minutemen, to American patriots. People like Michael Moore are supporters of the enemy. They hate America and want to bring us down and they are deeply imbedded in the Democratic Party. The Moveon.org web site which has two million activists, members, who are the main funders now of the Democratic Party and this includes a union movement which is now led by ‘60’s radicals, Andrew Stern, the head of the SEIU, which is one of the government unions, the Social Service Employees Union, is putting 64 million dollars into the Kerry campaign. Andrew Stern was antiwar, anti-American activist. He was a SDS member, and he was part of the antiwar movement. People like this now have a stranglehold on the Democratic Party. That is the force behind these Howard Dean campaign, it was this group of people. Their agendas are anti-American and they will dramatically weaken us in the war and terror. Sandy Berger, who Bill Clinton met in the antiwar movement and who was his National Security Advisor, what he was stealing from the archives was reports that showed that he had vetoed, as the National Security Advisor, he had vetoed four attempts to kill Osama Bin Laden. If I may offer a friendly criticism of Republicans, their political tactics are incredibly lame, in that have allowed four years to go by without attacking the Clinton administration for its dereliction in the war and terror. 9/11 is Bill Clinton’s legacy. His inability and unwillingness to attack the terrorists or to provide just the airport security that would have prevented 9/11 is a product of the people who surround him, because the people who control the Democratic Party these days are Leftist, you know. There is an area of the Democratic Party that is controlled by the trial lawyers and other assorted crooks, but the heart and soul of the Democratic Party is now in hands of the Left, the Left which organized the war against, actually it was a war against the war in Vietnam. The antiwar movement is the essence of what passes for a revolutionary movement in America these days. And if you doubt that people hate this country enough to want it to lose in the war on terror, you need to put in your mind Michael Moore and his statements, the writings of Noam Chomsky who went out after 9/11 into Islamic countries, Pakistan and Northern India, and on the front pages of the Muslim Press they have proclaimed and that this was why our troops were in the field of Afghanistan that the United States was the greatest terrorist state in the world and was plotting a genocide, of 3 to 4 million Muslims in Afghanistan. I am talking, this is my end, that is treason and that too these people are.

 

Bob Turner: Yeah. Let me bring you back to Vietnam. That [mike] is not on, let me have this one. Can you hear me? Oh, okay, hello, can you hear me David?

 

David Horowitz: Yes.

 

Bob Turner: Okay. Bob Turner again. Let me bring you back to Vietnam. Your comment about the effect of Kerry’s betrayal, or whatever you call it, of veterans. I was just starting my second tour in January of 1971 and remember very well reading about the Winter Soldier Investigation and also his April testimony and being just livid about it, but on the antiwar movement, you know, Lenin teaches your foreign bonds, temporary alliances with as many groups as possible. You know, no one has too few friends or too many enemies so, you know, in his in 1919, 1920 assay on Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder, he talked about making temporary alliances, setting up friends and so forth which would be, you know, standard tactic. In Vietnam, one of the ways they swelled their ranks obviously was by getting young men and their girlfriends of draftable age out protesting the war. Is it significant in your view and am I right in facts that as soon as the draft ended, the protest marches decreased in size about tenfold. Was there a single major protest?

 

David Horowitz: Yes. Most of the antiwar protesters were people evading the draft. When you are young and you live in a …

 

Bob Turner: Can you move away from the mike a little bit because the people are holding their ears; it is really booming in here.

 

David Horowitz: I am sorry.

 

Bob Turner: It is not your fault. It is a problem we got to deal with.

 

David Horowitz: Most of the people in the antiwar movement who marched on the actual demonstration were people evading the draft, the young men and they were evading the draft. In a democracy, when you are young in particular, but for anyone in a democracy where there is so much opportunity where life is so good, risking your life for your country is a difficult task. So in 1972 around, it became clear, in 1971 really, it became clear that Nixon was going to end the draft and the antiwar movement just died. In 1969-1970 there were a million demonstrators at national demonstrations. The following year, the most that they could muster was 30,000. So it was a dramatic decrease. The really worrying thing, Bob, and I learned quite a bit of what I know about the aftermath of the Vietnam War I should say in a conference that Bob Turner organized at the University in Virginia, almost what was that, 20 years ago. What’s worrying about the War on Terror and Iraq War is that these demonstrations, which were pretty massive, may be they got out half a million people were in the absence of the draft and for an enemy that did not even share their agendas of so called social justice. Social justice is the code words for Socialism and Communism in effect, the totalitarian agenda, but I think anybody looking at the ‘60s and now, has to be really disturbed by how powerful the hard Left is, how deep it reaches into the Democratic Party, how many people join it in the streets, how openly Hollywood, for example, which is not a brave community by any means, it is willing to go out from not just Hollywood, but even somebody like Terry McAuliffe, behind a propaganda film that Michael Moore did, that is worthy of Lili Reifenstall, this is naked hatred of the United States and its effect is powerful support for the terrorist. I understand, I have seen an e-mail letter from a soldier in Iraq saying that the Michael Moore film has been distributed in DVD; is being distributed and is demoralizing the troops. Michael Moore is much more powerful propaganda for Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and Zawahiri than is Al Jazeera TV. And now for the first time in American history, this Left has penetrated the American mainstream Democratic Party and, of course, like good Leninists, I guess, the convention that were now seeing is entirely deceptive; it is pretending to behind Kerry who is pretending to be for the war. That will change if he is elected.

 

Bob Turner: Let me pass to get you back to Vietnam and ask you a question.

 

David Horowitz: Yeah.

 

Bob Turner: Somebody has passed up a note; it says what about Ramsey Clark broadcast in POW Camps, any thoughts or information on that?

 

David Horowitz: Well, Ramsey Clark is not, you know, he is somebody who went off to deep end 35 years ago and has been, as you know, supporting the Ayatollah Khomeini, Milosevic, because every enemy in the United States has, but he used to be an extremely marginal figure that nobody paid attention to, but people like Ramsey Clark and International ANSWER and the Worker's World Party and these Communist sects are now playing on the big stage and their broad agenda, sort of the United Front Agenda which will include both die-hard Bolsheviks but also people, even people who ought to know better, is pretty powerfully arranged against us and our national security. I mean it might take, you know, another atrocity killing 10 or 100,000 people to wake Americans up.

 

Bob Turner: Any more questions for David? David, thank you very much for joining us.

 

David Horowitz: I appreciate it, thank you.

 

Bob Turner: Okay, thanks.

 

[APPLAUSE ]

 

Bob Turner: Should I go ahead with my slides now or what do you want to do?

 

Max Friedman: Let me set the stage.

 

Bob Turner: All right.

 

Max Friedman: Can you hear me without the mike?

 

Audience: No.

 

Max Friedman: No, sometimes I have said that.

 

Bob Turner: They probably can't at the back either because they are recording it at the back room.

 

Max Friedman: They are recording it, okay.

 

[Testing microphones].

 

Max Friedman: Okay. I am going to go back to where I was inside the antiwar movement. I am looking around and the one thing about the Left, the ideological Left, is they like to badmouth the other guys. The Stalinists would badmouth the Trotskyites, the Trotskyites would badmouth the Stalinists and if you listen, you will learn. And what I learn is fascinating because I am able to watch it later on, on a national organization. Peace movements do not start spontaneously. You may have a little group here and little group there, but in order to get a national organization, it takes planning, it takes people with skills, propaganda skill, organizational skills and a lot of commitment in time and money. You and I can’t do it. We have jobs; we have families. As much as you would like to devote 24 hours a day to talking about the history of Vietnam, we just can’t do it. We are the normal working people. When you looked around at who was in the antiwar movement, you had several types, you had Steve’s [Davids’s] early group from, Berkeley. It was somewhat of a rag-tag group of Red Diaper Babies; children whose parents have been Communists or hardcore Socialists who inherited the ideology of the Left. Not all of them were Communists and not all were necessarily Marxists. There is a lot of shades, you have few anarchists in it (Mario Savio was actually more of an anarchist than anything else of the Free-Speech Movement) but the Communist Party had a lot of good people who were good in organizing other people to do what they wanted, and during the ‘50s they had beginning to emerge from underground from the trials in the 1940s and they were resurrecting front organizations as their means of reaching people. Some of which actually will figure into the things that went on in the ‘60s and the ‘70s, or their successors. And all of a sudden, you had Woman Strike for Peace and SANE and other groups dealing with nuclear issue. When I looked at people like SANE I saw a broad spectrum of people with a wide variety of views from the Far Left to religious people, the scientists who were concerned about nuclear weapons spreading, and all of a sudden you begin to see groups such as Free-Speech Movement on campus and certain names began to pop up, Mike Myerson, Mike Tiger, who is in the News today, and others and also political organizations like SLATE and then the anti-HUAC demonstration. Names kept popping up over, over, and over until ‘65 was the first really big anti-Vietnam movement, which was actually a Trotskyite operation, the Workers World Party, but they were small, they were a small splinter faction in the normal Socialist Workers Party, but they were able to pull in the hardcore Left and make themselves visible. By becoming visible, you attract other people, who are sympathetic to your goals, even if they don’t agree with all of them. So the idea was, the Trotskyites were very hard, very direct, this particular group. Other groups came up with softer sounding goals, self-determination for the people of Vietnam, let them determinate their own future themselves, observe the Geneva Accords, etc, etc, etc., we have no specific interest in this area. That led to 1967 with the Spring Mobilization Committee on the War in Vietnam and that group became the National Mobilization Committee, which I joined in 1968. I helped found the successors in New Mobilization Committee in 1969 and that went on to two splits in 1971, the Trotskyites had National Peace Action Coalition, the Communist Party and their allies had People's Coalition for Peace and Justice. So what I was looking for was, where was the leadership in the organizations that I had contact with, especially National MOBE. David Dellinger was there, Rene Davis from Chicago Seven; other people just popped up. Abe Bloom from Washington, Jean Gladstone from California. I didn’t know most of these people other than Abe Bloom was the head of the Washington section of the Mobilization Committee. One of Trotskyites tell me Abe was an old CPer, old Communist Party member, and this basically all he said, but the guy who told me was the head of the Young Socialist Alliance Chapter in Washington, so he knew who his enemy was within the Movement and basically what was in the Movement stayed within the Movement. There were very few reporters who had the historical knowledge and skills to delve into the antiwar movement as a phenomenon and actually report in detail what was in it. They were saying, there were religious groups, the traditional Peace-Church groups, the students such as SDS who were rising, there were mothers who were concerned about nuclear war, there were some veterans who were against getting involved in another war, etc. What I have on this table is a collage of Congressional hearings which show over time, including two of the mine, tracing these organizations and how they operated. We have information on individuals -- the Worker's World Party study in about 1974 and this pamphlet even from 1980 by Larry Holmes are the leaders of the antiwar movement today, a group known as ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Eradicate Racism). Their predecessors, International Action Center, which came out with a group in the Gulf War, all led and somewhat funded by Ramsey Clark who is a total lunatic, but this Communist faction got to him by having one of their people on his legal staff in New York and they knew he was a Leftist because his whole record since he left the Justice Department was way Far Left, supporting Communist causes and terrorists groups. They sucked him in. That brings you are up to today. A couple of one other thing, the Vice Presidential candidate for the Green Party is Peter Camejo. In 1976, Pete was the leader of the Socialist Workers Party running for President and I knew them vaguely, I had talked to him. I liked the guy, in fact, I wrote a little piece about him in the Washington Times a couple of weeks ago. These guys are still around after 25, 35 years, just in different forms. They [their organizations] keep changing their names. And then you had Vietnam Veterans Against the War, which everybody in interested in. One of my congressional testimony, especially the 1971 and in some other publications I wrote there was an individual group called Veterans For Peace. It had a number of starts and stops since at least the 1950s, but in 1967, it was controlled by the Communist Party. There was a small handful of people out in Chicago. They are the ones you know find that in represented in Larry McDonald’s testimony on a group that was anti-intelligence. They had a meeting and they set up the basis for Vietnam Vets Against the War and what they did was, they gave these people contacts, especially in New York where the Trotskyite Communist landlords who was with the Fifth Avenue Peace Parade and they got VVAW an office up there. You know, the guys who founded VVAW to my knowledge were not Communists, that found no ties despite the fact that people mix up, Representative McDonald said about the founding of VVAW as a structure, as a shell, as opposed to who actually put it together as an organization. But we look today, we know about the history, most of the guys who were originally 6, 10 founders of Vietnam Vets Against the War are not there. They disappeared within a year or two of the movement. Only Jan Crumb stayed around or Jan Barry, as he called himself, to stay within the movement and they were a very small group until the Winter Soldier Investigations. And what happened was, they got a boost from Jane Fonda and Mark Lane and Donald Sutherland and a few other people. But they were separate operations; Jane Fonda was coming out of a bad marriage at every leftist she could find. To me, she is a political airhead, I have met her; not a really original brain in her head, so she is easily to guide because she is an actress. You give her a script, she can do it very well. She teamed up with Tom Hayden who, to me, was the brains behind the antiwar movement in this country. He came out of SDS. He formed the Indo-China Information Project which was getting church money, that’s over here, actually they were getting it from the youth project and then other church groups and they became the Indo-China Peace Campaign which is one that led the final onslaught against aid to South Vietnam in Congress. They also sponsored a lot of trips to Hanoi. This pile is nothing but contacts, newspaper articles and things of American civil peace activists going in to Hanoi or the PRG in Paris or Bratislava to the World Peace Council to the Soviet operation. As I said, there is lot of money involved in this, a lot of organization, so you had a lot of things going on. We know we had SDS who was sort of going off on the Student Radical movement and they split into various factions. You had the Trotskyites seizing the student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam and turning out the Communist Party Youth Group. You had Mobilization Committee as the blanket organization to handle all the antiwar demonstrations and fronted the big ones, not the small level ones, and they seized control or established the major chapters in San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Detroit, New York and Washington. Fortunately, there were several undercover policemen, especially in Chicago and then a couple of journalists in New York, who were bringing back information to the Government as to who was actually running it, and when I went to the founding Convention of the New Mobilization Committee in July 1969, at Case Western Reserve, I was taking notes because it was a bad habit of mine from college. (Teachers said, take notes and you might pass and that sounded pretty good because my parents were paying for my education.) And someone got up and spoke and made a proposal, I wrote down the guy’s name and who he represented. Out of 150 people at the conference, only one was from the Communist Party and he was the true red herring, Arnold Johnson, publicity director for the Party. He got up and, ‘here I am, I am your local Red,’ but everybody who stood up from the regional organizations were members of the Communist Party because when you went into Congressional Hearings you know back in the ‘50s, there were sworn identifications of these people, as well as, sometimes party documents listed in these people’s names. Then when you have begun, you get from the newspapers that these groups are printing out, you got other names and you check them against Congressional Hearings or you can check them against Communist Party publications; plenty of same names, student note shows up in the Young Socialists Alliance or in the Socialist Workers Paper, where names show in the Communist Party Paper and I began to draw a picture; that was what my testimony was about. So when you send that the organized anti-Vietnam movement was controlled by the Communists, I was not talking about; I said, I am talking about 95 percent of honest people out there who have opinions about Vietnam and wanted to express them. These were the dupes, these were the fools, these were sometimes the pacifist who didn’t care about peace, about the consequence of what they were doing, but the leadership, the ones who made the decision, the ones I would see at 2 o’clock in the morning at the windows of the building, who were all identified Communists from very several different Communist factions and they were who, the ones that ran the show. But you had side groups. VVAW came in as a side group; they were never a major factor until the Winter Soldier Investigation up in Detroit and then the Valley Forge operation, Operation Dewey Canyon III. They were the image people and this becomes important because John Kerry was nobody in the organization. Al Hubbard who was the leader was a fraud; most of the Press did not get it. He actually had admitted to Press that he was a fraud and then he did some pieces and they found out that basically he was not a Vietnam veteran; he was not in a plane crash, he was not shot down in a plane crash, etc. Kerry had good credentials, he looked well, he spoke well, he had Adam Walinsky as one of his speechwriters, he had contacts on the Hill, such as Fulbright, and those are in the documents here too. So there was a new faction, some young guys from Vietnam, many of whom were legitimate Vets and many whom had turned against the war for various reasons, expressing their anger. Kerry was the front man. He was the spokesman and damn good at it, but behind him were lot of others and I promised you a surprise or two. I am a collector of papers, newspaper clippings, stolen files, you name it and I think I have got it here, and as names would pop up, I would try to put them into context. Thomas Urgo, Philip Bangert, some of the guys would recognize their names, Abe Bloom I have mentioned. (Turns out 30 years later, Abe Bloom admits he had been a member of the Communist Party, he tells to Washington Post. He lied to the Government when he was a government employee at the National Bureau of Standards. Washington Post reporter actually did some decent work on the history of the Communist Party in Washington. Boom! There Abe Bloom pops up, verifies what I knew, but I could not to testify to it in Congress because that was only hearsay. I could give it to them, as information in the executive session, but they could not print it, which really would have bolstered in my case in 1969.)

And then there is a great one here, I’ve got to find this, because a lot of publications, this is War Resistor’s League but basically they were an old line pacifist group. Somebody in there ripped the Trotskyite Communists apart on a meeting they held at Cleveland and they named names. The guy that came in, expecting to have a role in the peace movement and the guy sounds pretty moderate, I do not know him but his analysis of how the Trotskyites manipulated the conference and kept people out and passed their own resolutions is devastating, so I would say I would rather have something that somebody on the inside of movement publishes than something that I go out and write as an analysis piece which is also sitting on the table. So I keep looking around, here we go. Larry McDonald in 1975 was on a hearing on Subversion of Law Enforcement Intelligence Gathering Operations. He talks about the history of founding of Vietnam Vets Against the War. There is only one paragraph. It’s a little confusing but some of the names that showed up were Joe Urgo, Barry Romeo, Skip Delano, Joe Bangert etc. 20 to 30 years later, you are finding them in Vietnam Vets Against the War -- Anti-Imperialists, which is the Maoist split off.

One of the great sources on Vietnam on what the so-called Peace Movement was doing was called Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). These were radio broadcasts that the CIA monitored and published on a daily basis around the world. They were also available as principal reports, out of JUSPAO, but from the September 8th printing in 1971, Tokyo, Kyoto in English September 5th 1971 Americans report impressions of a visit to DRV. The Americans were Joe Urgo, a member of the Vietnam Vets Against the War, David McReynold of the People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice, and also War Resisters’ League and Socialist Party sympathizer and Judy Learner, Women’s Strike For Peace; she is an old SDSer from the West Coast. Urgo and the others keep popping up in Communist operations. We jump forward to July 1st 1990 and there is a paper from the Revolutionary Communist Party and I think that is the only one I bought that day, it is a great paper. These guys are totally nuts and if you want to meet Communist nuts these are, and I am reading through it. I am looking to see if there is anything interesting and there is a section called “Speaking Out” and these are quotes from people concerning the flag burning case. Timmy Johnson had burnt the American Flag in Texas; a friend of mine countered sued him, which moves the minority to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court ruled that burning the flag was protected by the First Amendment. So on the press conferences these groups were holding, there is one Joe Urgo, a revolutionary Communist in Vietnam and this is 1990 and he is saying, 19 years ago I was on the steps of this capitol. I was one of the organizers and leaders of Vietnam Veterans Against the War when 2000 of us stood on the steps and lined up for hours to throw our medals at the Congress. The nature of the system is to exploit people and when they have other solution and they clamp down. That is why this battle around the flag is so important, because they have nothing else; they have nothing they can deal with their profound problems and the crisis that the imperial system faces. In that context, the only solution I see is revolution and that is why I am out here. Well, guess who he was with as a coordinator of the demonstrations, Vietnam demonstrations in April 1971. JFK, and that is not the President. So here we have Urgo in 1990 saying that he was the leader of Vietnam Veterans in 1971, in the fall of ‘71 he is bopping up to Hanoi to go to meetings with the Communists and he keeps appearing in meetings all over the world; you find him in the Congressional Record, you find him in the Hearings, you find him in the publications.

Now there is one example of how the Communists were able to infiltrate in an organization, which really started out as a non-Communist protest organization; it is a microcosm of what happened on the national level and with the other organizations and there were Congressional Hearings that got no coverage. My testimony, other than the ridiculous article got no coverage, it is about seven volumes, very detailed including internal memos, international communications, all kinds of stuff and I talk about stealing things; actually I found something in the trash at the Organization, the Indo-China Resource Center which was the no bloodbath theory, the PRG is a nice bunch, a group of lobbyists; they were funded by church money, led by Gareth Porter reported that Bob has taken on, I have taken on many times. The Hue massacre was the result of B-52s killing the people in Hue and my question was, I said we had the best damned pilots in the world because they could get out of a bomber at 20,000 feet, come down here, tie the hands of those people, shoot them to the back of the head, bury them and get back on their planes. Needless to say the reporters didn’t really go for that, but it is indicative that they were number of groups within the Movement who represented a far left anti-American and mostly pro-Communist orientation. So the Communist Party and Trotskyites controlled the overall movement. VVAW had a very strong Maoist faction that eventually took it over, that is one of the reasons Kerry was leaving. After tests besides politics, he saw that the Reds were making a push and may be getting stronger and more radical and it just happened there was a political seat that might be open in Massachusetts so he bailed out in towards the end of 1971, but he knew the handwriting was on the wall because Urgo was one of his buddies from the original 1971 protest; that does not look good on your resume as a reference. Other groups were also doing things, Tom Hayden’s group was actually growing in strength while the street demonstration groups were somewhat stagnating, about half a million in 1969 to a quarter million to a 100,000 to 50,000 in 1972. Hayden got a hardcore group of young radicals, made contacted with the North Vietnamese. He flew over there a number of times and they were telling him what they wanted and he was telling them what all they could help him do. How do I know? I went to one of his conferences in 1970, that is where I met Lady Jane and her son Troi who was named for a Viet Cong assassin and the conference was held up for a week in October 1970, because Jane and Tom had gone to meet the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong in Paris and they said they were coming back with instructions on what the anti-war movement was going to do and those, the organizational sheet, is sitting here on this table and they did it. They went out and they lobbied. They got Representative Dellums to give them a room on a Hill, they started giving classes on imperialism and how to vote against the war and they had a tremendous impact because it shows up in the Congressional Record that Congressmen are sponsoring bills that they wrote on, not only to set the date but also cut off all funding for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos in Southeast Asia. And that became a basic part of legislation that was later passed, not the original, but you had people like Bella Abzug doing this. They were holding hearings, this is their tactic; they will put the material in a Congressional Record to support the antiwar movement rather than finding who these people were. Then they would have hearings and they were subcommittees chairmen; they call could a hearing with the blessing of the Chairman and usually the Democrats controlled the committees. I remember I called on all the Leftists on one issue, the Human Rights violations in Vietnam and nobody who could speak can say this is not true. Then they would publish a hearing and people would get anything; that’s the gospel, people don’t understand about hearings; hearings only reflect not even everything is said at a hearing. It is up to the Chairman to determine what actually gets printed, what sent to the GPO. So they were using the Congressional Record and Congressional Hearings with propaganda operations, they using the Hill for propaganda operations, they are using street demonstrations, they shield themselves. Probably Hayden never organized any of the national demonstrations; Fonda was the member of these groups. She went to speak on her own with her own little group, but you had four, five, six, seven different currents going against the United States, against the American Public. The Communists and they brought their material in here, was saying that the battlefield was here. Bill Clinton once wrote a book, was it “the fun is everywhere”, the Communist understood that the hearts and mind of the American people was a battlefield that they had to win and they knew they were not going to win on the battlefield in Vietnam. The American technology and power was too much. They had to undermine the will back here and they would use anybody and everybody to do it, including sincere people who were too stupid to realize that they are being used and when being told, said you are just exaggerating, to those who knew exactly what they wanted but I never heard anyone in the leadership of the antiwar movement say, “I want a Communist victory other than Walter Teague who was an absolute Communist nut and he is still alive. They would say, all we want is for the self-determination of the Vietnamese people, to let them decide for themselves, to let them hold free elections, we have no business being there, let us get out, we can get them reconstruction aid afterwards and that was it, they were smart. They did not want to tip their hands. Other guys like Hayden and Fonda were “blatant.” In some of the headlines they said, “the war is over, come celebrate the victory of peace and the people.” Well, you have Dave Dellinger who everybody says was a nice pacifist. We got Norma Becker fitted out in a peace parade who was one of the people who helped VVAW get founded. Cora Weiss, this gets into funding; her father is Samuel Rubin who was exposed in Business Week many years ago not only as a Communist Party member but as a Comintern underground member which was something I did not know. I went back to the elector records and registration in 1940 in New York and there was Samuel Rubin listed as an elector for the Communist Party, there was actually three Samuel Rubins, but I was able to identify which one it was. He set up Samuel Rubin foundation, as he was the chairman of Faberge. He had a ton of money. You know I am talking millions to probably about 100 million dollars at some time. He funded the Institute for Policy Studies, I know damn well that he gave his daughter Cora money for the antiwar movement under the table. She married Peter Weiss, who was a National Lawyers Guild attorney, who was the partner with William Kunstler, who had very strong party ties. They also had business funds and the money went under the table, but once in a while they made a slip. When Dellinger and a couple of the others wanted to go to Hanoi to pick up some POWs, they gave an interview with Los Angles Times and that is over here too, and somebody asked them, who is paying for your air fare? And he said, “Anniversary Tours,” you know, travel agency; Ding! Open up a copy of Communist Party paper, open up a copy of their theoretical journal, there is a big Anniversary Tours on “see the Soviet Union’ “come see the Volga,’ it was a Congressional identified inside the Communist Front. So you had Communist money paying for trip for Dellinger and maybe Weiss and a couple of others to go to Hanoi to pick up American prisoners; that was the first public link I had ever seen of that type of funding. When I went into the checks that New Mobe and PCPJ and NPAC were signing off on various expenses during the demonstrations in 1971 and 1972, I got these, these were in the National Archives; I got the bank authorization slips with the names of people who had the rights to draw money or to deposit money in an account. So you had New Mobe was Abe Bloom who is now an identified Communist Party member, you had Sid Peck from PCPJ, who is also identified Communist Party member and his writings are on this table where he talks about having an anti-imperialist socialist system in the United States; he is very blatant about it, and then you go over to NPAC, you had Sid Stapleton who I knew and Patricia Grogan was known as a Socialist Workers Party. Then I see who is giving them checks, sending donations and I recognized and I saw the checks that they were writing, and these were members of mainly Socialist Workers Party. These were the worker ants. They also gave 250 dollars to an undercover FBI operative which was very nice of them, but by putting all this together plus the fact that you had not only have Madame Binh encouraging US protests and I have captured documents in field, VC to cultivate US antiwar groups, and you find out some of that in my testimony. You get a tremendous picture of what they were doing and the media totally fell down on identifying them. There are few good journalists, Ron Cosiole, Bill Cling, Gold Edwards and Ed Montgomery, these are the guys who specialized in internal security and I did some writing myself. We could not get published by and large in any of the major liberal publications; Manchester Union Leader used my material, the other guys over at Chicago Tribune and San Francisco Herald (it was conservative at that time). LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post did not cover this with the one exception, the one exception was the Congressional Committee identified the Communists in an organization, so what. If a smart reporter had said, “Chief, this is interesting; this sounds like subversion, infiltration” it would have been a great story for somebody to develop and they did not do it. You did not see it on TV, I am willing to bet, you never saw this on television. So, it is a puzzle and I like puzzles. You give me 500 pieces of paper and I will tell you what is in them. You can have 400 stories I will find what the stories are, one of my abilities is to pick out something, I have not received a tree but I can tell you what kind of trees are within the forest, and I guess, hey, this is also a forest. That is what I have been doing as a writer and investigator, trying to put it all together to try to make sense. So when you were getting leaflets in Vietnam and this will be my last thing, Bob, you were getting one and we have some of them there, we printed it. The rights of the GIs to refuse combat duty in Vietnam has been recognized in the state of America, talking about new law passed by the state house of Massachusetts on March 15th allowing residents were allowed to challenge in court when they are transferred to a war zone. You also had “End the War Now,” you had opinion of the Senator McGovern on Vietnam Moratorium Day, outstanding American support to Vietnam Moratorium Day, Mansfield, Spock, Coretta King, Charles Goodell and here is one addressed to the American servicemen in Vietnam, and don’t know if you saw these out in the field. They were actually about half the size of a page on some beige paper, printing was good, this one, we also have them in Vietnamese. Viet Cong defectors were talking about supporting it. They were counting on the antiwar movement to help them give them support. So there has been a basic negligence on the part of the media, as well as, in some cases, a cover up on the part of media as to the fact that the so called anti-war movement and we are talking about the ones controlled by them, was actual arm of the International Communism, especially with the North Vietnamese, to undermine morale here, to destroy the morale in the military and to work to cut off aid to our allies and also to portray the Communists as land reformers and a better form of government than the Thieu, corrupt Thieu regime, Thieu clique in Saigon etc., etc. and it worked.

Despite what Dolf and others and Bob and a whole bunch of other people tried to do, we were outnumbered, we did not have any of the money that the church groups were donating to these organizations, tax-exempt money often laundered through its other tax exempt organizations which was used for lobbying, which was illegal. You had the money; you use it to fund the trips. It is all here and that when we talk about being stabbed in the back in America by so-called Americans, this is the knife, as it tells you what happened.

 

Bob Turner: Thanks Max. Very good presentation and a very good source.

 

[Applause]

 

Bob Turner: A good introduction for my part of the program. Let me start off, I say start off with humor. I do not have humor but I have a bit of trivia that I bet most of you do not know that you might find of interest because it also fits -- the camera is over here I see -- it also fits into what Max has been saying and you know the so called “peace sign,” you know the circle what the line in it and the two lines coming down; anybody know what it means? That didn’t talk to me last night.

 

Audience: Anti-nuclear sign

 

Bob Turner: That is right, but what does it symbolize?

 

Unidentified Audience Member: Semaphore code.

 

Bob Turner: Got it, yeah, it is an international semaphore code, the yellow Navy code for ND, nuclear sign, but it was all Communist front set up in London and its purpose was to undermine the nuclear deterrent because the Soviets had such a tremendous superiority in tanks and artillery and you know and so forth conventional things and they were afraid that nuclear weapons would male it harder for them to commit aggression. So they set up groups say, do you want to burn in a nuclear explosion and so forth. The irony is nuclear weapons kept peace in Europe for longer than it had in 100s of years because we did have a deterrent, but the other reality is that the overwhelming majority of people that joined CND and joined these various groups and belonged to the churches that gave money to these groups had nothing to do with Communism, had no interest in Communism at all. You can they were duped, they were fooled, they were deceived or whatever, but the reality is they bought a set of facts that were wrong. They were lied to, they accepted it, they believed their government was evil, was doing evil, was promoting dictatorships, was opposing free elections, was standing up against things like that and what I want to do is spend a few minutes looking at just a small number of the myths that swelled the ranks of Vietnam protesters, that has caused an awful lot of very good decent people to believe that their government was doing horrible things. And I can tell you, if I honestly believed that our government was half as evil as these people said it was, I am not sure I would not have been out there protesting too. I don’t want my government propping up dictatorships and blocking democratic elections and promoting human rights abuses and anybody who speaks out for peace gets thrown into a tiger cage and so forth. That was a very persuasive game and it tells us a little bit -- and we should be proud of this -- about what Hanoi thought about the American people because they did not make issues, arguments of self interest for the most part. Mostly they made arguments of moral suasion. They told us, you know, don’t you believe in democracy and human rights and peace and justice and they were right, we did, and those who bought their lies -- and they were lies -- were swayed by them and you know the very few of them had evil intent. The sadness is because they allowed themselves to be duped, they had horribly evil results. We are talking about millions of people losing their lives because John Kerry in the peace movement and Jane Fonda and all the others managed to persuade Congress to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but let me go on and just use a few examples and I am in a awkward position if I am going to stay on the screen because I cannot see the slide behind me but may be I can turn this and get an idea.

Okay. I want to just say a few things. One, Hanoi from the very, I do not how much, my main presentation is tomorrow and I have got a few slides and I am getting talking about my background, but I spent awful lot of time very seriously studying the other side. I did a 500 plus page book when I was at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. It was the first major English history of the Communist movement in Vietnam. I read their stuff when I worked for the Embassy twice over there; I followed it as a student and you know my book was praised in the American Political Science Review, the American Historical Review and other sources as a landmark work in the subject and one thing that is very clear is the leaders of Hanoi were well trained. They understood Leninism and they understood political warfare and from the very beginning they expected to defeat the United States just as they had defeated the French, which was not on the field of battle. We can talk about Dien Bien Phu if you want in a later period, but Dien Bien Phu was overwhelming a political victory not a political [military] victory. Indeed if you count out the losses, the Communist suffered far more than twice as many losses, deaths and so forth, as the French did. But what they did was bring down the French Government and bring into power of Mendes-France, who said I will have peace within 30 days or I will give up my job and that was the end of that. So let’s just look at a few of the examples. Truong Chinh who was Secretary General of the Dang Lao Dong Viet Nam, the Vietnam Workers Party until he was disgraced during the land reform protests, which were quite intentional. They brought in Chinese advisors; they picked up Chinese slogans, they wanted to kill class enemies, but when they did it, it so angered the people that they actually had a revolt in Ho Chi Minh’s home Province of Nghe An and thus in order to get the people back behind the party they said, “oh, these were terrible mistakes made at the local level and Truong Chinh made a public self-criticism. This is why after Ho Chi Minh’s death, I wrote a piece in 1970; it was published in 1970, saying that Le Duan was going to come out in top in the Politburo when I later learnt that CIA and DIA were saying Truong Chinh was; well, Truong Chinh was a very powerful figure but he had too much bad vibes or baggage if you will with the Vietnamese people to be put in that position, besides the fact that Truong Chinh means “Long March” and comes from his long associated with Mao in China and a lot of Vietnamese weren’t nearly as fond of Mao and the boys as Ho and Truong Chinh and some of the others were. Anyway, back in 1946 and ‘47 Truong Chinh wrote a couple of pamphlets or small booklets; one called The Resistance Will Win and the other one called The August Revolution which was the first and in the resistance were when he talked about the importance of acting in such a way that the French people will actively support us. He said the French people and soldiers should oppose the war by every means, oppose the sending of troops to Indochina, oppose militaries expenditures, demand peaceful negotiations, and so forth. It was a very successful program; it gave them a victory in the First Indochina War and when they came to the Second Indochina War they had exactly the same strategy. Indeed, Stanley Karnow, writing in the New York Times in 1965 said correctly, “Communist hopes of victory now turned more on American withdrawal through exhaustion or in response to the pressure of public opinion rather than unconventional military success.”

I saw thousands of captured documents. You guys that were out in the field, when you captured or, you know, killed a VC and you found a notebook in his shirt, you had to put the date-time group in the corner and remember to send it up and if there were leaflets, you had to send two of them through your intelligence channels, those eventually made their way pass my desk and I used to read them. And time and again we got the message. They were being told, you do not have to defeat the Americans on the battlefield. All you have to do is inflict causalities on them and tie them down and over time the pressures of the progressive forces of the world, the peace movement, will result in the American Congress bringing the war to an end. They were talking about this years before it actually happened. I have got a resolution on strategy here from 1963, the same kind of stuff, the party says we need to make every effort to motivate various peace organizations and so forth in asking US imperialists to end their aggressive war, withdraw their troops and so forth. We must win the sympathy and support of the people of the national and imperialist countries, the United States, France and England. It goes on international support and solidarity are important factors in our victory. We must step up our diplomatic troubles for the purpose on here. That they kept telling their people, we are not going to win the war in Paris. Though pay no attention to that, do not assume that it is going to be a seize fire or an end to the war. The only purpose for going to Paris is to get up and get the hopes up of the other side and to tie them down to try to gain our People’s Victory. He says we much isolate the warmongers and gain the sympathy of antiwar groups in the United States, take full advantages of the dissension among the imperialists, classic, classic Leninism.

Here is an example. Hanoi put out a real nice fancy booklet with scores about 100s of photographs showing how wonderful life was in the liberated areas of South Vietnam and one of the things they wanted to point out was that there was of course freedom of religion and so they had a Catholic procession here. This is what one, I got this in several languages, but this one is in English and it calls it ‘a Catholic procession in the liberated area of Ben Tre Province, and some of you will know the VC call Kien Hoa Province that was Ben Tre that is where they say the Viet Cong was formed, the revolution began. It is in some ways their most important province in the Meking Delta. Any Catholics in the group there, you don’t have to identify that, but take a look at that, see anything usual about that picture of this Catholic procession? Ever go to a Catholic procession where one of the priest was walking down the aisle sucking on a cigarette. Uh-Uh. Uh-Uh. Take a look at that guy’s face. He is a good friend of mine. At least he later became and he is Bui Cong Tuong. He was, I think, the most senior defector we had from the Viet Cong in the entire war. I spent hours and hours with him, traveled over the delta with him. Here’s a photograph when we were down Ben Tre and he is over here, I am over here, here is Nguyen Van Be, one of the most famous, actually there was a statue of him dealt in Havana I was told; he was one of the emulation heroes, actually they thought he had died, he had the right class background, so they made him a hero, turned out we found in a POW Camp and had some wonderful fun with leaflets, but Bui Cong Tuong was playing the priest, that much you can tell, recognize the features or not. He said nobody told me that Catholic priest didn’t smoke when they walked down in these formal processions. I have got several of these kinds of photos, some of them that, when you look at them, you see the shadows are going in different directions. There is one of a woman holding a baby confronting soldier and say, “please do not burn my home,” you know, but when you look at it, it is staged, it got still spotlights on both sides lighting it, and he was involved in that too and he said, “yeah, yeah, we realize that, but you know what can you do, we were on a low budget.”

Now let’s talked about one of the great myths of all -- Ho Chi Minh was the George Washington of Vietnam; he was just a Nationalist, a patriot, who wanted freedom for his country. Yeah, he accepted some money and arms from the Soviets, but that is only because Woodrow Wilson would not help him and he couldn’t get help from the OSS and the Americans and so forth. Dr. Spock says, you know one of the great experts on Vietnam, Benjamin Spock, Ho was sometimes called the George Washington of Vietnam. This is a French Sūreté photograph of Nguyen Ai Quoc. In my book, I think have 26 or 28 pseudonyms, nom de guerre, whatever, that they use over the years. Nguyen Ai Quoc. Nguyen is the most common name in Vietnam, it is way over half the population; it is like Smith, Jones, Brown, you know, whatever. ‘Ai’ means to love or affection, whatever. ‘Quoc’ means country. So Nguyen Who Loves His Country, Nguyen the Patriot, Smith the patriot, whatever you want to call it, anyway he left Vietnam in 1911, wound up in Paris, joined the French Socialist Party, voted with the French Socialist Party in December of 1920 when they voted to become part of the Third International of the Communist International or the Comintern. He spoke out in favor of behalf of the, you know, the Asian or the oppressed peoples and thus he was in reality a co-founder of the French Communist Party. Here is a photo of Ho in the Soviet Union. He attended a Comintern conference and then traveled around the Soviet Union from commune to commune giving speeches and another dear friend of mine, Bertram Wolf, who has been dead now for 20 some odd years; Bert was the Mexican representative for the Comintern during that period and traveled around with Ho Chi Minh and said he was one of the most militant Leninists you know and Stalinist he said that he had ever known. He said he was totally dedicated to the communist camp, it was not just a convenience thing. Bert later became an anti-Communist and a prize winning author and scholar about that period. There is a new book out, actually I have been reviewing it for the Harvard journal of Cold War History that has gotten a hold of Soviet Archives and French Archives and they document what Ho was doing in that period during the ‘20s up until 1941, ‘20s and ‘30s. When I was speculating and going on some reports we had in my book, and my book actually looks pretty good after that; indeed if I were rewriting it today and it is now been over 30 years since I wrote it, I don’t think I would change more than a few paragraphs, but at any rate she confirms, you know, that he actually there was a Soviet passport on her cover picture. He traveled around the world being paid by the Soviet Union and a Soviet passport doing assignments for the Communist International. Ho returned to Vietnam and established the Viet Minh Front in 1941. He was well known as a Comintern agent as Nguyen Ai Quoc, so he takes the name Ho Chi Minh or Ho Who Inspires to Enlighten.

I have a slide of this. I cannot find it but I know I scanned it. I took one of the many North Vietnamese biographies of Ho and there is a section in it where they say when Ho showed up in 1930 at Macao for the establishment of the Vietnam Communist Party, he was present as the official agent of the Communist International. He was not there as a Vietnamese Nationalist, you know, part of a faction. He was Moscow’s agent there to tell them what they were going to do and one of his instructions was you are not going to be the Vietnam Communist Party, you are going to be the Indo-Chinese Communist Party; what the hell was Indochina? Oh, that was a term the French used for all its territory in that part of Asia they conquered and grouped together. It is not, you know the Cambodians did not make it themselves, it was Indochinese, the Tonkinese were not Indo-Chinese but that was convenient because it allowed Moscow to sort of control all the groups in the areas, those little yellow people that are such a pain sometimes. Ho did not set foot inside Vietnam between 1911 and 1941 when Moscow sent him in to set up a National United Front in Vietnam. No, this is not Bob Turner speaking; this is confirmed in a dozen biographies and official accounts in Hanoi. If you read my book, most of the cites are the North Vietnamese sources.

An excellent source on a lot of Vietnam, I am quite convinced that nobody in the Nixon administration bothered to read the Pentagon Papers when they went to such efforts to suppress them. What they should have done is said, well, there are may be harm done by releasing this but if you are going to do it let us point out a couple of things; one, every argument that the antiwar people are using out there or just about every argument is refuted in the Pentagon Papers. That is a very good source because they had a lot of original documents, I used them for a little while.

Here is what they say about Ho Chi Minh -- and this is Leslie Gelb writing, this is not some you know right wing screwball, this is mainstream liberal people. Ho was an old Stalinist, how could you call him a Stalinist? Well, years after Stalin had been purged in Moscow and throughout almost all of Eastern Europe, you know, his statues had been crushed and so forth, his picture was still displayed well into the ‘60s in North Vietnamese public buildings. They did not dislike Stalin, to heck with this purging Stalin. Ho was a colleague warden in Canton because he was a Comintern agent and was a man who presumably spoke with authority within the upper echelons of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Now one of the real popular argument how the US first got involved, trying to reimpose French colonialism and thus everything we have done since then is corrupted by that evil intent. Howard Zinn, as an undergraduate, I did a book review of Zinn’s book and Tom Dodd, the original Senator Dodd from Connecticut put in a Congressional Record and it, I just took 2 or 3 pages and pointed out error after error after error. He didn’t use footnotes, but he did say scholar Ellen Hammer notes this. Well, then I showed what Hammer actually said. He says, you know, she praised the free elections in the North. I quote where she talked about how corrupt the elections were, you know. There usually was only a party candidate running for office and there were soldiers there to assist the people in marking their ballots of course because there was some illiteracy problem in the country and you have to be really illiterate to vote against the party when you got soldiers there watching how you vote. Anyway Zinn says, “what was US policy? The claims that we were there to support self-determination and independence are illuminating and troubling. The US fully supported the French effort to maintain its power against the Nationalist struggle for independence. Bill Lederer wrote an excellent book, 'The Ugly American' went to Vietnam to research his book. A little known fact is he got sicker than a dog by eating the wrong foods, spent most of his trip in the hotel, I am told in the john in the hotel, had a few days there, where he was let around by a Communist Party agent in a bar who took me around and said, “You see those wooden crates over there? Well, those were filled with so and so and tonight our truck is going to move them out and it is all part of the black market.” May be, all he really saw was some boxes and he got a story with it and he was taken it. US self-deception began in 1945 when we started helping the French to regain their Indochina colonies. What do we know about the facts? Pentagon Papers tell us that President Roosevelt said Indochina should not go back to France, it should be administered by an international trusteeship. France has had the country for nearly a hundred years and the people are worse off then they were at the beginning and that for sure is true; the French exploited the hell out of the Vietnamese and that was one of our biggest problems; they fear that we were there to do what the French had done to them. It took us a while to get them to understand that we were different and then while on the whole, what we do? We betray them totally in the end, but that’s another subject.

The French Commander, Ho Chi Minh invited the French back in March of 1946. He told the Vietnamese people to welcome them back. Why? Because after the war, the Nationalist Chinese, the Kuomintang had taken over North of the 16th parallel and the Kuomintang had Nationalist groups, the VNQDD and another groups who were patterned after the Chinese groups and they were the ones, they were the Nationalists that were going to wind up in power, if the Chinese, if Chiang Kai Shek’s people had anything to do with it and so the Party had to controls, so the first thing you do is get Chinese out of there so we can slaughter the Nationalist opposition. How do you do that? Well you invite the French back and say, “we have worked it out, everybody get out of here, get the British out in the South and get the Chinese out of the North and we will take care of our own internal problems” and then of course they combine with the French, French and Viet Minh forces went out and crushed the Nationalists as enemies of the peace. Here’s Pentagon Papers talking about the US policy. The US steadfastly refused to assist the French military effort, forbidding American flag vessels to carry troops or war material. US, in its representations, urged meaningful concessions to Vietnamese nationalism; however, because of Ho’s Communist affiliation, we always stopped short of endorsing Ho or the Viet Minh. Diplomats were instructed to apply such persuasion and/or pressure as is best calculated to produce the desired result for France’s unequivocal (and prompt) approving the principle of Viet independence. France was notified that the US was willing to extend financial aid to the Vietnamese Government that was not a French puppet. Another section of the Pentagon Papers, the rationale for decision to aid the French in 1950 was to avert Indochina sliding into the Communist camp rather than aid for France as a Colonial power, a fellow NATO ally. The reading of the National Security Council memoranda, the French-American diplomatic dialogue indicates Washington kept its eyes on the ultimate goal of the decolonization of Indochina; indeed it was uncomfortable finding itself forced by the greater necessity of resisting Viet Minh Communism in the same bed as the French.

And again in 1954, when the French wanted our help at Dien Bien Phu; they had done something dumb at Dien Bien Phu, knew that they had done something dumb; we did not, we underestimated Vo Nguyen Giap and his ability to get the large supply of Chinese material that Mao was sending over the border. We said, “yeah, we know he has got artillery, but you cannot get into those mountains, so it’s irrelevant.” Well, they built new roads, they took the artillery apart and strapped it to bicycles and pack animals and people and they carried it in on the front side of the hill. So many guys had some military experience, you understand you are down a little valley, you are too far away for effective small arms fire but you put a couple of artillery pieces down and they are on the face of the hill in a the direct fire role and nobody is going to want to land an airplane on to the airfield; and it is amazing what three potholes do to an airfield when you are trying to land; it is worse than the Washington Beltway.

All right, anyway, so what do the Pentagon Papers tell us? We talked to the French about maybe helping them, but one of our conditions was the British had to join this, it had to be an international group and the Brits would not join us and that killed it. Our other conditions included the French had to agree to indispensable conditions including a French guarantee of complete independence for the Associated States, that is the States of Vietnam or South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, including an unqualified option to withdraw from the French Union at any time -- real freedom. That is what we insisted upon as part of our conditions.

I was not going to mention this; but it came up last night. Did Eisenhower actually say that Ho Chi Minh would have won a free election if we had allowed the elections to occur under the Geneva agreement? I was in over a hundred debates, panels, teach-ins and similar programs in the 1960s. I would bet money that they weren’t three of them where somebody on the other side did not mention the famous quote. Indeed, early on, in about 1965, I wrote to Eisenhower and I said, “I think you are being misquoted. People are saying “it seems to me you said so and so,” I did not get a letter back from Eisenhower, but I had a letter back from his publisher. Interestingly, referring to General Eisenhower, not President Eisenhower, “has asked me to respond to your letter. You are correct, he is being misquoted,” you know and so forth, and I used to carry a copy of that around with me in my case; I would carry the book with me and during the debate I would get up and read the quote and I would slide the book down to my opponent and then I would read the letter and I would slide that down too. I mean when I was finished talking, he had a stack about 3 feet high of documents and not infrequently, Carl Oglesby, the first President of SDS, when I finished with him, got up and said I have nothing further to say when he was supposed to give his rebuttal and sat down because I had actually destroyed his position. He could not say you are lying because I said, “look show me, you know, here’s Ho Chi Minh, Selected Works, Volume III, here is what he says; explain how am I’m wrong, take a look at this; he could not do it and he would not debate again and Renee Davis would not debate again. None of the major leaders would debate more than once and after a while I think word got around because they would not debate at all and I showed up at a number of SDS co-sponsored debates only to learn the SDS people weren’t going to come. I got some of nice clippings out of it any way. So let’s take a look at what really happened; here is what we hear and we hear it and we hear it and we hear it, and by the way, who ever said it last night, this is not a criticism of you. Almost everybody believed this because a thousand people said it, why not believe it? “I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections being held,” -- and now this next part is important -- “at the time of the fighting” --that is prior to July of 1954—“possibly 80% of the population would have voted for the Communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader.” Amazingly they never finished the sentence, which says, “rather than Chief of State Bao Dai.” Anybody remember Bao Dai? The man who had lived on the French Rivera with his whores and concubines and so forth; If you don’t remember, here is a cartoon that reminds you of this guy. Who the hell wanted to vote for Bao Dai? He was an absolutely corrupt puppet. He was fat and ugly to boot. Okay, that is what Eisenhower was talking about, and between ‘54 and ’56, Hanoi had conducted this land reform purge that killed somewhere between 50,000 and 500,000 human beings, including starving to death small children because their dads were “land owners” which did not mean vast estates, it meant a few hectares of land, but they wanted to destroy this class and they wanted to get the people involved so they felt guilty, so they would all say we helped kill the landlord; now if the other side comes back we will be held accountable, we must support the Viet Minh. Let’s go on, Eisenhower goes on to say, “indeed the lack of leadership and drive on the part of Bao Dai was the factor in the feeling prevalent among Vietnamese, they had nothing to fight for.” In other words, it is not that they love Uncle Ho, it’s that they got no choice because the other guy is a corrupt pig.

Yeah, I have already mentioned that I wrote to Eisenhower and it was confirmed that he was being misquoted. Senator Mansfield also said that Diem might well have won if free elections, like he said you would have wanted free election had it been held in 56. If it could have been a free election. Yes sir?

 

Unidentified Audience Member: Now, does any of that mean they can, that _____ in North Vietnam or all of Vietnam?

 

Bob Turner: You are ahead of me but I have got it here, stick with me and I will cover that just a second here. Okay, here is the Pentagon Papers talking about this. It is almost certain that by 1956 the proportion, which might have voted for Ho -- in a free election against Diem -- would have been much smaller than 80%. Diem's success in the South had been far greater than anyone could have foreseen, while the North Vietnamese regime had been suffering from food scarcity, and low public morale stemming from inept imitation of Chinese Communism -- including a harsh agrarian program that reportedly led to the killing of over 50,000 small-scale "landlords." From my own investigation and I spent a lot of time, and I talked of the defectors, POWs, and others who had been in the North in that period; I asked them tell me about the land reform your village. How many people in your village, how many were killed and so forth. I did not get complete information; it was a small sampling, a dozen people or so, but the figures were consistent and if you extrapolate those figures countrywide it came to something closer to 500,000 people then 50,000 people.

And then the Pentagon Papers say, “the basis for the policy of both South Vietnam and the United States in rejecting the Geneva elections was convictions that Hanoi would not permit "free general elections by secret ballot," and that the International Control Commission would be impotent in supervising the elections in any case. Now what was the ICC? This was a group chaired by India with Canada and Poland as members, that for some reason Molotov suggested, let them make decisions on substantive issues by unanimous vote. You know, lets all get along. Ergo the Poles had a veto, ergo the ICC did nothing that Moscow and Hanoi didn’t like. It was absolutely useless.

Did we violate the Geneva Accords or another question is, where we bound by the Geneva Accords? This is from the Pentagon Papers. “The Associated States, South Vietnam, had on 4th June been recognized by France as a fully independent and Sovereign State in possession of all qualifications and powers known in international law. Therefore France could no longer enter into treaties and bind South Vietnam by that act. Through out the conference, South Vietnam protested over being totally excluded from the Vietnam-French Military talks. Those, of course, were negotiated by the French and the Communist totally screwing over, you know, the French hated the South Vietnamese Nationalists. South Vietnam protested partition; they said even though you say it will be be temporary, it will be permanent like Germany and Korea and called for UN supervised elections when the UN concluded that situation was that fair elections could be held. At the final session of the conference on July 21st, the delegation headed by Dr. Tran Van Do and I spoke with him at great length in Saigon in 1970, and he had been their chief negotiator. He had had a falling out with Diem, but we talked a lot about this period. He was a man of very high integrity and now the government of the State of Vietnam wishes the Conference to take note of the fact it reserves full freedom of action to safeguard the sacred right of the Vietnamese people to territorial unity, national independence and freedom. So they signed nothing, they agreed to nothing, they reserved complete freedom of action. Now, Walter Bedell Smith, the American delegate, the US played a peripheral role. We didn’t like the way the Conference was going, the Communists were getting too much and, but he did show up with this and he said at the final session, “As I stated on July 18th, my Government is not prepared to join in a declaration by the Conference such as is submitted.” Now Geneva produced two documents and more than that, but two relevant to Vietnam: A cease fire agreement purely between the Viet Minh and the French military that is obviously irrelevant to us and a final declaration that was not signed by anyone and clearly had no legal status. It was a statement of sort of political intent or you know one of these political statements. Yeah, sort of like a party platform, exactly. “However, the United States makes a unilateral declaration of its position in connection with the statement of the Declaration concerning free elections in Vietnam, my government wishes to make clear its position which it has expressed in a declaration made in Washington by Ike [Eisenhower] on June 29th. In the case of nations now divided against their will, we shall continue to seek to achieve unity through free elections supervised by the United Nations to insure that they are conducted fairly.” Now that is my emphasis, not his, I italicized it for the record, for those scholars in the room. Now, so were we bound by anything in Geneva? No. We will get back to this in a minute to see what the British and others said about it.

Now one of the greatest myths of all, I had worked in the Senate for 5 years as National Security Advisor to a member of the Foreign Relations Committee from ‘74 to ‘79, and I would sit in the Senate floor and watch Ted Kennedy get up time and again and talk about how the State Department was lying when it said the National Liberation Front was not an independent South Vietnamese resistance movement, that it was and you know all those darned liars in the State Department. Anyway, as an undergraduate, I looked at the stuff. I did my honor thesis on Vietnam and I did a little reading about Leninism and so forth. I said, how the hell can anybody not see this is a classic Leninist front? But professors Kahin and Lewis, two relatively left wing scholars, Lewis went on to, I knew him, when we are at Stanford together, Kahin ran a Southeast Asian Center at Cornell, the only thing like that in the whole country so he became the nation’s leading authority on Vietnam. Only problem was, his expertise was not on Vietnam, I do not think he had ever been to Vietnam, he was an Indonesia specialist. But hell, you know, they all look alike, what did I just say here? Anyway, so he started spouting off and he said the National Liberation Front is not Hanoi’s creation. It has manifested independence in the southern insurrectionary activities against the Saigon Government began in the South, not as a consequence of any dictate from Hanoi but contrary to Hanoi’s injunctions, abundant data had been available to Washington to invalidate any argument that revival of the war in the South was precipitated by aggression from the North.” The quote here is because that was the title of the state department white paper that documented some of the aggression that was going on.

I’ve have got a few things here I am not going to spend much time on, but this is a wonderful little pamphlet that Lenin wrote back in, I want to say 1919, 1920, but it is a classic statement of Leninist theory, the idea of United Fronts, and of making temporary accommodations and making as many friends as you can. It is the old mob motto, no one has too many friends or too few enemies, and the idea is to get as many as groups as you can, you try to attract them by putting in, you know, when you read their programs, they do not have Leninist or Marxist programs in most of these countries. They don’t say we are going to collectivize land, take away your land and destroy your religion. No, they promise freedom of religion, land to the tiller, freedom of speech, you know freedom of the press, all of the political prisoners are going to be released, there will be justice, higher wages for cab drivers, what’s your business? we will put something for you too. It is like the Republicans and Democrats, nobody takes their platforms very seriously but these guys were pros at it and these quotes you see all the time in North Vietnamese, in the Communist writings of the Vietnamese and after talking about this importance of taking advantage of the smallest opportunity of gaining a mass ally, getting a union or somebody to sign up for your team and the Struggle. Even though it be temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional, still, bring them over, you can crush them later, but you want to get as many people as possible in the broad Front and hide the Communist participation. He says those who fail to understand this, fail to understand even a particle of Marxism or scientific modern socialism in general. Mao had a more colorful expression in discussing this. He said that such people are of less value than water buffalo excrement because that can at least be used for fertilizer.

Here’s another -- Mao’s writings, you know, the importance of a National United Front, I mean this is not something, you had to be a rocket scientist to pick up on. Le Duan, here’s a classic, Hanoi nobody published several volumes of the Proceedings of the Third Party Congress in 1960; I found them in my university library and I read them, and what did I find out? Well, Good old Le Duan in September 1960, no it is not either, it was May 1960, it says September, it was in 1960, I am sure it was May, this is both two typos, I was probably writing those late at night. The party passed, no, Le Duan gives a speech and he says, “to ensure the complete success for the revolutionary struggle in South Vietnam, our people there” and what’s antecedent of the pronoun “our,” this is a Communist Party meeting, “our people there under the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist Party,” you get that again? May be it is a little bit of the Communist Party, on “the working class must strive to bring into being a broad National United Front directed against the US and Diem based upon the worker-peasant alliance. The Front must carry on its work in a very flexible manner in order to rally all forces that can be rallied, win over,” -- this is classic Leninism – “win over all forces that can be won over, neutralize all forces that should be neutralized and draw the broad masses into the struggle.” This is classic Leninism. They publish this in English for us, my God. Any scholar of this that did not follow it. Here is a picture of Le Duan and Ho Chi Minh at the Third Party Congress. The Party passes a resolution to ensure the complete success of the revolutionary struggle in South Vietnam, our people there must try to bring into being a broad national united front. All right, anybody getting a hint what is going to happen? All right, what do we get now? Oh yes, the Vietnam News Agency announces in January of 1960 that a National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam was recently formed in South Vietnam by various forces opposing the Fascists. Fascists, remember that? Because John Kerry used exactly that description, it is not an accurate description. One of the amazing things that nobody has picked up is how much of John Kerry’s testimony included Communist cant. I mean he picked up their terms of art. He picked up at least half of the 10 point program of the Left, strange things that had nothing to do with what veterans said we shouldn’t be there, like saying we should pay reparations to Hanoi by saying we should insist upon a coalition government; the classic Communist tactics. Nobody wanted coalition government, they knew what they were. You know what a coalition government is, of course, that is what you share power, the Communist get control over the police and the money and the army and the intelligence and we are going to give you the forestry service and you get tourism and you get, all of a sudden for some reason they got all the guns and all the money and your guys start dying and pretty soon you got a Communist government. This was done time and again and again and if John Kerry did not learn about it at Yale, he sure as hell shouldn’t have been talking about it when he appeared before Congress.

Anyway, classic thing, oh, we do not know anything about this, but Reuters tells us this thing was set up. This is why I have lot of fun with, I used to carry a copy of this around with the translation when I went into debates and when I debated Carl Oglesby, he got up and said, “you know the Vietnamese just want peace and freedom and justice and they do not care about the US-Soviet quarrels and things like that and I got up and I said, “you know what is interesting is Mr. Oglesby does not think the Communist care about this, but it is even more interesting what they say about it and I have here the -- it was in May 1966 issue of Hoc Tap, the theoretical -- it’s called Studies, the theoretical journal of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Dang Lao Dong Viet Nam and it says, “on the basis of keeping firm in strategy, our party cleverly applied its tactics.” On the one they cowardly took advantage of the regional temporary contradictions of the enemy, to sow division among them and on the other hand, it united with anyone who could be united, won over anyone who could be won over, neutralized anyone who should be neutralized, completely isolated the imperialist and their dangerous lackeys. An examples, the policy of founding the Viet Minh Front, this was 1941. “Oh, who founded that?” Oh, the Party founded that. Yeah in 1951 the decision of signing the 6th March 1946 preliminary Accord, we could talk about that if you want to during Q&A. That’s is the one when Ho invited the French back to Vietnam. The present National Front for Liberation of South Vietnam policy of upholding the models of independence, democracy, peace, and neutrality and so forth; all of these are typical examples of the clever application of the following instructions of Lenin. It is possible to defeat a stronger enemy only -- that is the one I was giving you earlier. Now again, you do not have to be a rocket scientist, you just have to read the papers and stuff to figure this out and yet there was virtually no scholar in this country who would speak out and point this out. I went around the country as an undergraduate debating professors and using this stuff and they tried to say, “never heard that before,” you know. And there were professors that knew it. There were a number of professors who knew enough about this to know what was happening. And you know why they did not, they did not want to get involved because if you get involved, these bearded smelly protesters are likely to throw a pie at you or take a punch at you or call you a baby killer or something like that, nobody wants to be called a baby killer, nobody wants to be held accountable for the mistakes of war so let us sit this out and let the government handle it, and of course, the government, the State Department said, oh they need a speaker out in Des Moines at the university. Oh, they are going to probably throw really bad stuff on him. Who has really screwed up? Well, Joe over here in European Affairs, send him over there and let them nibble at him for a while. Whats your next request, you know. The Communists were putting their best and brightest into political warfare. You know, I was in JUSPAO, North Vietnam Affairs, you know who we put into psychological warfare I got in there, real gung-ho, I had studied this, I thought I knew all about it and I got in there, I looked around. What branch would you think would be put in political warfare? Would it surprise you to know that the most prevalent branch, at least the ones I worked with was Air Defense Artillery? You know why? Because Hanoi wasn’t flying South. Couldn’t use those guys for anything useful. Hah, put them in Psywar. You know they did go in there and say, duh, what do we do? You know at about you know 8 or 10 months later when they started to get the hang of things and then they had to start getting packing to go home, it sure was nice. And I do not mean to be putting down Air Defense Artillery men or the guys that served with me, who worked like hell to do a good job. Most of them, came in with no training at all, no understanding of what Leninism was all about, no understanding of the enemy and they were trying to compete with the very best people Hanoi had and our guys, I think it was John Paul Vann who said we do not have 13 years of experience in Vietnam. We had one year of experience 13 times. That’s not totally true. There were a number of people here that were more than one tour. We had a guy yesterday that was there about five tours or something like that, but I bet he wasn’t in Psywar and the reality is we got to take this as a more serious business; it is not a game, and it is why we lost the war. And again, I found all the stuff as an undergraduate. This is not something you had to be a rocket scientist to find. Go to the damn library and look it up and read it. And yet almost nobody was doing that.

Another one I did was a lot of fun. I had a copy of the North Vietnamese English language translation of the 1955 Fatherland Front Program -- that was their Front to keep the Socialist and the other sort of Left Wing groups that weren’t really Communist in the system. They would always get a couple of seats in the National Assembly which just rubber stamped anyway, the way the system worked and I had a copy of the North Vietnamese published September 1967 program of the NLF and I had a lot of fun reading them one after the other and lo and behold the entire paragraphs were verbatim, every single word exactly, the same word in Hanoi’s own translation. Well, these guerillas now in South Vietnam and the Delta sitting out there struggling with their pens, you know, they say you got an infinite number of monkeys and infinite number of typewriters and infinite amount of time and they will recreate Hamlet for you at some point and maybe they just happened to come up with exactly the same points or maybe there was a connection there.

Anyway, in my book, it written in 1973 but published in 1975, I have a long discussion of Resolution 15, May 1959, Party Congress in which they make a decision to liberate the South. This was again, I talked about that in my undergraduate honor thesis, this was not that hard to find. Finally, after the war was over, this is an article from Encounter [Economist] Magazine. Vietnam has at last come clean. In half a dozen sentences, says in a French TV documentary, the North Vietnamese military commander, General Vo Nguyen Giap and his colleague General Vo Bam have demolished some of the myths which helped to swell the anti-Vietnam war movement from San Francisco to Stockholm. According to General Bam, a decision to unleash an armed revolt against the Saigon Government was taken by a North Vietnamese Communist Party playing them in 1959. When in 1959? May in 1959. Anybody remembers seeing documents about the 559 Transportation Battalion coming down the Ho Chi Minh trail? Anybody ever wondered what is 559 mean. You put a brake in between it, 5/5 not May 19; oh, yeah, this is a hard one here, got to go on Jeopardy. All right let’s go back there and see what we are doing here. This was a year before the National Liberation Front was set up in South Vietnam, so much for the myth the Viet Cong was a autonomous southern force which spontaneously decided to rise up against the oppression of Diem and General Bam should know as a result of the decision, he was giving the job of opening up the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the South. The article was in the Economist, it was called “We lied to you” in 1983 but again nine years before that, I wrote about it in my book and before that back in 1966 I had written about it.

Now, another real popular one. When I worked in the Senate, I do not think a week passed when I did not get an expletive deleted delegation of Peace-Loving People that wanted – and these were not bad people. I mean there were a small member of Communists that giving them ammo for these people to suck it down, you know, what is it, hook, line and sinker or something like that. Anyway and they believed it, and they said, of course our government is a horrible evil government, it is suppressing people and violating it. You know, one of Kerry’s favorite things was he saw a photograph of a South Vietnamese prisoner in a prison bed being treated and his leg was manacled to the bed, to the metal bed, with a pair of Smith and Wesson handcuffs and that you talk about human rights abuse. Now, this guy could have been a mass murderer, we do not know, but they used Smith and Wesson handcuffs, so you know what big brother Kennedy did? He put in an amendment in to make it illegal for the US to provide any prison assistance to South Vietnam. Obviously those handcuffs must have been brought in by an Americans, go pick up people at the bed and beat them with a stick or some. So what happened? Well, of course the South Vietnamese let everybody go from their prisons -- not. No, they brought out the old rusty French handcuffs and shackled people with those and in a minute I will talk about prison conditions, but one of things I had real trouble explaining was to the head doctor in one of, I think it was Chi Hoa Prison who could not understand why Senator Kennedy had such anger against the Vietnamese prisoners that he would take away all the medical supplies to treat them when they were ill. Ah yeah, that is what he did. He passed a law that said no US money can go to the prison system, that means no food and no medical supplies, no trading, no advisors who might tell them to be a little bit more human in their treatment and that was the consequence of it. The prisoners suffered tremendously because they couldn’t, for some reason, the South Vietnamese preferred to give their medicine to their orphanages and their refugee camps and their soldiers rather than to their prisoners. So these guys were left outside and it was all good old Teddy Kennedy’s effort to do the right thing for human rights. He chaired the Human Rights Subcommittee or one of the committees.

So let’s look at some Human Rights myths here. Freedom of the Press, real common one. You know Jane Fonda told Johnny Carson, if you even use the word “Peace” in Vietnam they throw you in prison. It was just horrible. Here is a piece by one of the best journalists in Vietnam, he was a good friend of mine at the time Dan Sutherland and he may have been other than Dennis Warner the Australian, Sutherland may have been the fairest that I knew over there. He was a Christian Science Monitor Bureau Chief and he wrote an article entitled “Free-Swinging Press Keeps Saigon Ducking.” Under its new Press Law, this was in 1970, South Vietnam now is one of the Freest Presses in Southeast Asia and the daily paper with the biggest circulation here happens to be sharply critical of President Thieu. Since then new Press Law was propagated nine months ago, the government has not been able to close down Kim Sang which was that biggest paper or any other newspaper among the more than 30 now being published in Saigon. Now how many independent papers you think are published in Saigon today? Well, there is no Saigon, it is Ho Chi Minh City, but if you thought zero, you are smart people, but of course, you all have been there so that is an unfair question.

Okay, the streets of Saigon corners were filled with these little stalls where little mama san would sit behind and pull out copies of various different papers, usually two or three, and every now and then, they had no prior restraint, but every now and then the government did have the power to seize copies of a paper if it had articles in it that they thought were contrary to national security, and every now and then the little white mice would come by and say I have to take this one and they would walk and they would get about six steps and mama san puts out two more copies and business goes on as usual. The point being to the extent South Vietnam tried to protect its national security interest, it was a hell of an inefficient process of doing it and you know in so many different areas there was a mild harassment of some of the political opposition, but when I went over there, I wanted to meet with the main political opponents, the legit ones. I looked them up in the phone book, called them up, said I would like to come over and talk to you, nobody questioned me on the way, nobody stopped me, I went in and spent, in one case, hours, and I went back in and did my thing.

Here are two excerpts I picked out in, it must have been in late . . . because that is what they did not want about two week period or 10 day period in 1970. The Vietnamese people had become fed up with the senseless war, consequently, it is high time that all foreign influences be withdrawn, let the Vietnamese decide their own fate. Now that is right out of the Communist Party, that is one of their main themes -- let the Vietnamese decide their own future. To save human lives here for the American Imperialist only means American lives, our people are living in Hiroshima. Now imagine how many countries in a situation of war would allow that. Israel certainly would not have, they had much tougher Press restriction, with prior restraint. The United States would not have in most of our wars and yet Vietnam did; they did not shut these papers down. Here is a cartoon that actually the VC reprinted it in one of these rice paper leaflets, Chiu came out of his famous four “No’s” in response to Hanoi’s various 4 point and 10 point so forth programs. So Kim Sang has a cartoon that shows Thieu in the form of a pig saying “no, no, no, no.” You know again, back in the Civil War some people did things like that about Abe Lincoln and they got arrested and locked up with no trials or anything else, but you know these fascist pigs over here they let them keep publishing.

I have dozens, if not hundred of photos that I took of bookstalls in the Saigon area. I do not know why I was interested because I had heard how corrupt it was. You would not believe how many books, now a lot of these books, American GIs either bring or mama sends them over there and they get time to rotate, they read it, and they toss out, and mama san takes it down and gets you know 20 piastres for it or something like that, some of them are Vietnamese, some of them are in French, some of them are in English, it varied from place to place. There is another one, various type of them, you see them all over the place. Here is a book I actually bought, the “complete something of Che Guevara. You remember him? Yeah right, oh, here is one, Vo Nguyen Giap’s ‘People’s War, People’s Army.’ I have got several different pictures of different editions of this. I have got Ho Chi Minh on Revolution in English and in French. You know these things were widely available, I have got Wilfred Burchett, one of his books on how wonderful North Korea was, I think I even have one of Kim Il Sung’s writings, I am not sure, but it was just amazing, you know this stuff was widely available. I thought I had another one, I guess I dropped it, but there was a story in Stars and Stripes about how Time and Newsweek had been banned because they had articles harmful to the national security that criticized helicopter maintenance in South Vietnam. About two days later, I happened to be down in front of the City Hall Building in Saigon and saw the both books openly on sale. You know, again this is not heavy scale corruption.

But let’s go on, let’s look at the issue of the so-called political prisoners. The story, the earliest reference I have seen to 200,000 political prisoners came from Vietnam Courier, a North Vietnamese publication. (By the way when I was at a teach-in at Queen’s College in about I think 1965 some sweet young girl brought, shouldn’t say that, but some nice young woman brought up a little rice paper thing saying if you want to know more about the American Imperialist Policies against the people of Vietnam write Citizen’s Committee for Peaceful Relations with the American People, Box so and so, Hanoi. I said, ah, what the hell. So I said I copied their address, please send me more information about this and for the rest of war, two or three times a year, I would get a pack about so big filled, I got Ho Chi Minh complete selected works, I got books on agriculture, you know, all kinds of things. I got a subscription to Vietnam Carrier, I got a subscription to all of NLF publications for some reason, I guess my message must have gotten lost in the mail, it went down there to Ben Tre or something like that. Anyway, it started out as a Communist Party propaganda campaign. Then I went over there and Father Chan Thien, this wonderful little Catholic priest, had been telling everybody there are 202,000, of course this is a little later, they probably picked up a few more, and I sat down with him in my most charming demeanor, turned on my tape recorder, got my little camera up and I said I would really like to know more about this because people back in Washington are very interested, had him talking, and I said, “well, how did get your figure of 202,000?” And he said, “Well, I talked to some former prisoners and some relatives of prisoners and I asked him how many they thought they were and you know then I _____ and you know.” Yeah, this was just B.S., you know he made it up. Can you imagine you go into the DC prison and you start saying how many people here are political prisoners? You know, that is like say how many of you are Vietnam veterans. Didn’t mean I got two Medal of Honor. Yeah, you know that is not a scientific way to take a poll. Actually I do not have a slide on it, the embassy did a thorough head count of all the prisons in South Vietnam. I was there when Ambassador Graham Martin -- he was a wonderful man, I was greatly fond of him; he lost a son in the war -- when Graham Martin told the Foreign Relations Committee about it, they found they were little over 36,000 prisoners in all of South Vietnam in all of their prisons. I want to say about 5 to 6,000 were political criminals. Why that term? They meant somebody goes by and tosses a grenade at a bus but as you are working for the VC he just became a political criminal. Somebody goes up to a farmer and says give me 20% of your crop or I am going to murder your kids, he is a political criminal. We call him extortionist, we even put him in jail in this country even their motive isn’t political, but still Chan Thien was a great tape, I actually transcribed the tape and gave a copy of Graham Martin and I sent one to him from Laos and he was very grateful for it. He had fun using it up with the Foreign Relations Committee. Then I went up the see Ngo Ba Thanh the great third force leader who had standing offers to teach at the Sorbonne or the Columbia Law School and she was, I have gone to one of these, talking about all the horrible political prisoners and so I just talking to her. I said, “I am trying to understand what you mean by political prisoner here, you know, are you talking about people arrested because of things they had written, you know articles they had published or something like that or for example Sirhan Sirhan, the man who killed Bobby Kennedy, his motive, it was not sex or greed or something like that, it was political, he did not like his politics. Would you call him a political prisoner? She said, “Yes, of course, his motive was political.” Well, that changes things a little bit. You know, you blow up the New York World Trade Center because you have a political grievance with the United States, most Americans do not think you ought to get a free pass to go back to Afghanistan or Baghdad or wherever it was that you came from. I had fun with her too. She was smart but I think she thought I was on her side. A postscript, after the fall of Saigon, Chan Thien and several other Catholic priests turned out were part of a VC underground in Saigon, they presented themselves as exponents of the Third Force, writes Oriana Fallaci, a very famous Italian journalist, but in reality they were part of an operation whose purpose was to back up the struggle of the National Liberation Front. This is in Guenter Lewy’s excellent book. I actually helped him on that. He was writing, I had planned on writing a sequel to my book that was going to be a smaller, fewer footnoted, popular book, but then I got tied up, just was overcommitted and Lewy showed up one day and it turned out he was writing the book I wanted to write and I said, “hey, I got a whole bunch of files here, go at it and he wrote rather a superb book. I tried to get him to come up here, but he could not do it. He has getting old these days I think and probably did not want to get involved in something that might be misunderstood as having political motivation.

Anyway Fallaci is an interesting guy; he was one of several pro NLF journalists from Europe who were invited back to visit the liberated areas in South Vietnam after the war. And when they returned home, they all wrote scathing articles, did not say there was repression. Le Monde had an editorial called the Vietnam Gulag and it really upset the Communists when they realized these people were really sincerely duped and weren’t in fact good old Communist Party loyalists.

Now let’s talk about the Tiger Cages of Con Son Prison because this is one, they actually had a model tiger cage built up in front of the Capital Building, bamboo cage, may be the size of this table and I could not fit it in it and this where they said we put anybody who used the word ‘peace’ or criticized the government. And here is one from the American Friends Service Community, it is one of those religious groups that really loves, want to see a Communist Vietnam. The tiger cages were jail cells, underground level, was iron bars at the ceiling instead of on the side; the ceilings are constructed so low the prisoners cannot stand up so many lose the ability to use their legs or Fallaci said there were small pits lodged in the earth and covered with iron grading, the prisoners could not move their legs, atrophied and became frightful sticks of skin and bone. Alfred Hassler, director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the cages were too short for even the small Vietnamese to lie full length in them and the ceilings were so low, the inmates can barely stand. Well, now either the inmates are getting shorter or may be they have flexible thighs or something like that. Let’s look at the Tiger Cages of Con Son. Here is the outside, above ground, entrance here on the top, you go upstairs and you look down. Now that is guy I used to know, had hair in those days named Bob Turner and he is reaching out with a measuring device to see how tall these things are so no Vietnamese can stand up and it turns out they were booked by the French in 1941, not by the CIA as the Left said, and they were 1 ½ meter wide, 3 meters long and let’s say 3 meters high which is just under 10 feet high, 10 feet long and 5 feet wide, isolation cells, more square foot than some American isolation cells, still nobody should want to go for a vacation, but I know about let’s see, 7 foot 4 inch basketball player but he even he would have a few feet of head room in this thing and most Vietnamese, you know the idea that somebody cannot stand up in the side of this thing is silly, but people bought it. Now this is not to say there were no tiger cages in Vietnam. There were, Nick Rowe made this drawing of the cage in which he was kept in South Vietnam and after, and you should read Nick’s account of this because he talks about the gut-wrenching feeling he had that knowing that fellow Americans had researched his background and given the Communists the names of his family and his military history and all sorts of stuff. They had laundry call and they take all his clothes and send them off to be washed and then they changed him inside this cage in the Mekong Delta. Now, those of who that went to Delta, remember the mosquitos? You know, I remember one proper side they are looking at you, you saw a KC-135, but it feels like a B-52 and he said I wondered how those damn mosquitoes got started. Anyway, sorry that was a bad joke, it did not really happen, but this did happen and Nick Rowe really was kept chained in there for the mosquitoes to gnaw on for days as part of his punishment and then they sentenced him to death. They did not kill him but he was very lucky and that is because good old members of the American Peace Movement, probably good Church-going people who were really convinced that he was over there, denying people their freedom and violating their human rights, he was just drum and storm trooper or as Kerry put it, acting like Ghengis Khan, they wanted to stop their government and those horrible soldiers from doing those evil things, and in this audience I do not have to talk about the way it made us feel to be portrayed in that way, you can imagine it.

Just before, I should stop that for a sec, just before I went over, I talked to the one of the leaders of, Fred Branfman was his name, I hadn’t thought of that name in 20 years, but the leaders of one of the anti-war groups and I said, “you know I am going the Vietnam next month and they told us we will get to go to Con Son Island” and he said, “Oh no, no, no, no, because Con Son is all cleaned up now. Now the really bad stuff is in Chi Hoa Prison in Saigon.” So we went the Con Son and wouldn’t want a vacation there, but again, you know, it was not what they said it was and what happened was Senator Tom Harkin, as a House staff member, had been working with the Left and learned about the so-called tiger cages and he had taken a Congressman there as a staff delegate and sold his pictures to, was it Life Magazine, Life Magazine. He used a 135 millimeter lens, we have a photographer here somewhere, that compresses distance. When you look at Life Magazine, it looks like those people could easily touch the bars and may be not even could stand up because that is what telephoto lens do, but you could use a wide angle lens and it would like it was an amphitheater. But anyway, so we got there, we had dinner with the Minister of Interior _____ was it _____ was that the Minister of Interior? _____ remember, I am sorry. For flashback to 30 years you should be just the right age to remember that, but the Minister of Interior in South Vietnam was a Berkeley graduate named, I think it was Hoang Duc Nha and he welcomed us and said nice things and so forth and being a real pain in the butt, I said, he talked about Con Son, and I said, “yes sir, but the critics in the States say that Con Son is not what the problem is, the really problem now is Chi Hoa and he says, “oh, well, it is too bad your delegation is leaving the day after tomorrow because we would certainly would have liked to have had you visit Chi Hoa.” Now what he didn’t know was that when the rest of them were going back to States, I was going on to Cambodia and Laos because I was going to try to get into North Vietnam and so I said, “Well, actually, I could stay another week if necessary. When can I do it?” His staff behind him, I can see it for the first time I thought, “Hey, you know, may be I should have a brought a gun this trip,” but he said, “we will contact you,” and I said, you know, fat chance, but you know I tried.

The next day, Friday, I got a call saying there will be a car to pick you up at 9 o’clock in the morning outside your hotel. My mission was to find some part of that vast prison they would not let me go to. I finally found one locked corridor and they said, “oh, we do not know where the key is, it is not in use, and I said, “I need to get in there, go find the key.” They looked at each other and they went off and 45 minutes later somebody brought that key, they opened that, I went in there, there were cobwebs, you know somebody had done a hell of makeup job if that had not been abandoned for months. I talked to American prisoners there, several former military, who had come back and gotten involved in drugs or whores or whatever and were in prison and these guys, sometimes you wonder, you talk to a POW in Hanoi Hilton, he is not likely to tell you, “oh you will get beaten every night and then you know, he is not likely to say anything negative because he knows you are going to leave and they are going to come in here and deal with him. Well, these guys were not like that, I mean they were bitching about everything, the Vietnamese lawyers who were ripping them off, the damned. The way their prison system works over there, you get a minimal amount of food but they expect your family to bring in most of your food, so they will keep you alive, but if you want be happy have your family bring in the food. I got a picture of one big fat guy, I think he Chinese, sitting at a table with two buddies, they had a banquet there he had a gut bigger than mine and he obviously was well connected on the outside. Well, the Americans did not like it and they were, you know what the complaint was? All the embassy gives them is C-rations, embassy people and the lawyers are ripping us off and then I asked, “well, do you hear people screaming at night or did you hear rumors of torture?” No, no. So they did take away our basketball privileges when we had a fight. The favorite one, I won’t mention any names, I did bring back messages to their families and they tried to treat them humanely but the favorite one was that was a young former soldier, I met all of them, I met them one at a time, but while you are away, they could have bugged the room, but there were no guards around us really, and I said, “Well, son, what are you in here for” and it is usually how they accused me of drug running or prostitution or this or that and as one guy said, what are you in here for? He said, “for killing someone” and I kind of you know took half a step back and say, “well, what are the conditions like?” It is better than Leavenworth. You were in Leavenworth? What for? Killing someone. I take two more steps back, but again, yeah, you know these guys they did not come across. I have dealt with people who had canned speeches, you meet five guys and they have all been briefed in the same bullet points, they not only tell you the same things in the same order, I am good at that. And these guys weren’t doing that. And so, I came back. But it was not, nothing to be, here is just an example of the one room. I went in with my little measuring device to measure everything and so. This is not, you know, we want some abnormal behavior, I guess, it is kind of crowded but again, this is not some torture chamber or something like that and again most of the people I talked, I found nobody who said anything about witnessing or hearing of or hearing any screaming to suggest torture. I did find people that had complaints, most of them seemed to have this sort of resigned attitude of, well, it is not a lot of fun here, we are bored a lot of the time, but you know “can’t-do-the-time, don’t-do-the-crime” kind of an attitude.

Anyway, Let’s just go back to the ‘56 elections because it is such a central argument. Here is a one from ‘65 teach-in by George Kahin again. With American encouragement, Diem refused to permit the elections of 1956 and by encouraging Diem to defy the central provision of the Geneva agreements -- Now, it is interesting to confuse this political document that had no legal effect with the signed ceasefire agreement that did not provide for, it did not even involve anyone, but the French and the Viet Minh -- The United States reneged on the position it had taken there in its own unilateral declaration. Civil war became inevitable. Others say, well of course, because we violated this, it was legal for North Vietnam to invade its neighbor. You know they did not go to law school, didn’t go to my law school. All right. David Schoenbrun, a leftist journalist who claimed to be teaching the only course in the country at a college on Vietnam; he writes, Washington and its supporters still claim today that free elections could not have been held in North Vietnam. They may well may be right. The fact is, they never once raised such a contention in the course of Geneva Conference. The fact is they never held a single meeting or put forward a single proposal to impose the conditions of free elections or put the Communists to the test and expose them. Since the elections were not held, the entire agreement was null and void, ergo the UN charter was also void and it was all right for Hanoi to invade its neighbor. Again, he was not teaching international law because if he knew as much about that as he did about Vietnam, he would be in trouble.

All right. I have probably gone over my time. Let me get a sense. Should I try to cut this down a couple of more minutes? What’s your pleasure? Five minutes?

 

Steve Sherman: Five minutes.

 

Bob Turner: Okay, I will try to go five minutes and we will stop at that. Okay, let’s talk about the elections. May of 1954, Pham Van Dong, the Viet Minh representative, proposed supervision of post Geneva elections by local commissions. We would not want any interference in the internal affairs. Well, North Vietnam had more people, what do you think they might do? Well actually we had an idea of what they might do. Well, actually we had an idea of what they do, because they had a few elections. 10 May 1960, 99.85 present of the voters turned out in Hanoi; it was only 97% overall. Bernard Fall observed, there were no electoral booths or other means of ensuring secrecy of voting. Ballots were written out in full view of all persons in the polling station, at open tables, with aides standing ready to help the comrades who had difficulty in marking their ballots or in making out their ballots. Ho Chi Minh got 99.91%; that was very typical in all the elections, he never got below 99.9% and given the illiteracy rate it was good to have those comrades there to help people mark their ballots. Other key Communist leaders, the worst any of them got was 98.75% of the vote. Now again they have got a much larger population, they turn in a 98% vote, South Vietnam can cheat and have a 110% vote all for the same guy and they’re still going to lose. Victor Bator wrote a quite good book on Vietnam and especially the Geneva Conference and he says, it appears obvious that the unification of Vietnam to be achieved by referendum type elections in 1956 could not have been seriously contemplated. Among other things, he says, “hey it is only a two-year cease fire. Why have hundreds of thousands of people moved from one zone to the other, I mean you know, they already had Korea and Germany and they knew it was going to happen. Pham Van Dong says of these elections according to Honey, “You know as well as I do, there won’t be any elections.” Ho Chi Minh on the day after the Geneva Conference, “We demand a French Government should correctly implement the agreements they have signed with us.” Now, they signed one agreement and then they voted for another, but they had already have given complete independence to South Vietnam. Pham Van Dong, again, on New Year’s Day of 1955, 6 months later, “It was with you, the French, that we signed the Geneva Agreements and it is up to you to see they are respected.” Again, fat chance. The French hated Diem, Diem hated the French. The French weren’t real popular among the Vietnamese for some reason after a hundred and some years of exploitation. Ho Chi Minh in Selected Works, this was ‘62 was the publication, I do not know the date, but it was somewhat near it, it was probably about ’55, “We demand the Southern authorities correctly implement the agreement. France, a party to it, must honor her signature and fulfill her duty.” Again, she had no power in South Vietnam and Ho by implication here recognizes South Vietnam was not a party and was not legally obliged to do anything. The New York Times had several editorials leading up to the elections. Free Vietnam has never endorsed the idea of such an election, it is unlikely to do so until there is evidence it could be really be free. To attempt to settle the fate of the free Vietnamese without even consulting them is monstrous. To suggest a `free' election in a Communist territory is to presume the possible existence of conditions and safeguards for which there is neither assurance nor precedent.” That was a different New York Times that we dealt with in the 60s. The British, again a New York Times article on 11 April 1956, ‘As co-chairman of the 54 Geneva Conference’ -- the Soviets were the other co-chair – ‘Great Britain sent a note to the Soviets on 10 April complaining that since the conference, the South Vietnamese Army have been reduced by 20,000 men while the North Vietnamese Army increased from seven to twenty divisions. It also recognized that South Vietnam was not legally bound by the armistice agreements since it had not signed them, it had protested against them at the Geneva Conference.’ I used to read this to the leftist, they said, “oh, not that is not true, you know, the guy from the party told me that we signed them and we are violating them and I know it has to be true.” Yeah.

All right, Pentagon Papers, why we oppose the elections. The basis for the policy of both South Vietnam and the United States in rejecting the Geneva elections was conviction that Hanoi would not permit free general elections by secret ballot and the International Control Commission wouldn’t be impotent in supervising the elections in any case. Again, obviously, the ICC had no power, it could do nothing that Poland did not agree to. Poland in those days took orders from Moscow.

Now, other than illegal war, was it based upon a lie or was it not authorized by Congress -- very popular themes. This is one of the photographs of the North Vietnamese PT boat in the August 2nd attack. Now, there is serious question about whether the attack of August 4th occurred or not. What is not in doubt is that the Captain and people on the ship reported they had been attacked. The issue has to do was they had primitive radar or sonars, inexperienced sonar operators and they might have been interpreting the wake from other ships and stuff as a sign of a torpedo boat or even torpedoes in the water. Also, there was a high phosphorus content in the water which can cause streaking. If you are out there and you are scared to death and you are on watch and you see a line going through the water, that’s not phosphorus, that is a damn torpedo for sure. What we know is LBJ acted on the basis of what he was told. The first attack, Hanoi has admitted to doing, that’s not an issue. They celebrate August 2nd as Navy Day in Hanoi. But LBJ was mad at Hanoi or else he provoked it and again that is just silliness. The Naval History Center, you know, looks at all the classified documents and debriefs the people; they say American leaders did not seek to provoke a North Vietnamese reaction in order to secure cassis belli as has often been alleged and that an attack occurred on August 2nd is beyond contention. Both physical evidence, then Communist around taking from administrators, superstructure, photographs and so forth. In addition, the North Vietnamese subsequently acknowledged the attacking the Mattox. Anyway, Congress then passed a law, a Joint Resolution, I read this earlier. Again the US is prepared as the President determines to take all necessary steps including the use of Armed Force to help South Vietnam or Cambodia defend its freedom. All right, very simple. Let’s see, the Tonkin Resolution, I see clear, this is not just about the Tonkin incident. These attacks are part of a deliberate and systemic campaign of aggression. Hanoi has now admitted they made a decision in 1959 to liberate the South, you know, and they talked about this. It was not even called the Tonkin Resolution. It was called the Southeast Asian Resolution.

________ in discussing it, “My own impression of what happened was, most everybody said while the President wants to see a resolution and he should have it.” It had relatively little to do with the so-called incident, the so-called Gulf of Tonkin incident. He was Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a later period. Now some of you will remember, all of you probably remember, the Brinks Hotel, at least many of you will. We used to have steak dinners on the top of it and listened to bad music together. Right, two VC terrorists back in ‘64 got in uniforms as a Major and driver, drove up said, we are here to see, you know, some American officer that they knew had just left the country. The guys said, oh you park your car over there. He is not in his room, you know, so forth. They park their car full of explosives, di-di mau out of there and it blows up. Kills two Americans, injures 58 Americans; we get some great footage of people with blood running down their white suits and so forth. If we wanted an excuse to go to war, that was a better one than the Gulf of Tonkin incident. I mean, the point is, there were all kinds of attacks on Americans by the Communists and, if that is for me, I am out of here. Anyway, John Kerry, this is an interesting point here. This is just a small fraction of it but when you go through Kerry’s testimony to the Senate, you know having spent years reading the North Vietnamese press, propaganda, leaflets, all of them, I kept seeing terms of war and Communist expressions and I actually sat down with a 10 point NLF program and I realized, “hey this is pure party line drivel where he where he talks about there should be a coalition government, there should be reparations for the people of Vietnam,” read once we give up you admitted to Communists were going to take over, pay Hanoi for their aggression and we should “allow the South Vietnamese people to determine their own future. Here is the 10 point program in one of the leaflets, you will recognize the date time code up there in the corner, but lets see, how much I can see here, here we go, right here. Let’s see, the question of the Vietnamese Armed Forces in South Vietnam should be resolved by the Vietnamese parties among themselves. There is another one here I think where also it also says let the Vietnamese people, here it is. Yeah, the people of South Vietnam settle themselves their own affairs without foreign interference. South Vietnam, oh, there is no North Vietnam, there is certainly no China, there is certainly no Soviet right. Okay, you know, where were these guys were in War II? You know, how dare we interfere in Europe? Why should we let the Europeans settle their own internal affairs? Right. Here is just a bunch of leaflets that make the same point. Letting the Vietnamese people settle themselves their own affairs, the Vietnamese will settle themselves their own affairs. Let’s see, let the Vietnamese people settle themselves their own affairs, right down here. Now, you have seen a lot of these. Here is a Christmas 67 one, letting the Vietnamese people settle themselves their own affairs. These guys were in kind of a rut here it looks like, I do not where that one is, but trust me it is up there. Anybody doubts it, you gotta have five bucks, I will find it for you so call me afterwards. Here is one letter from the South Vietnam People’s Committee, let the South Vietnamese people settle their internal affairs themselves, that is closer to Kerry’s language, he must have worked from one of those. Here’s one, Vietnamese affairs should be settled by the Vietnamese themselves, let the Vietnamese people settle their own affairs themselves. We can go on and on, letting the Vietnam people settle their own affairs. Anyway I could go on with the whole of others.

If you are interested, two sources; one, the best single source that I have found on the Press in Vietnam was an article by Robert Elegant. All you have to do is go to Viet-Myths, the web page that Steve has set up and I do not which one is on but I sent Steve a copy of this and he scanned it and put it on his web site. It is hard to find. Elegant was one of the best foreign correspondents in America. He had won the top foreign correspondent award from the National Press Club, I think, twice. He talks about, he wanted to go report on Vietnam and he would get calls from Time or Newsweek or major publications say, “Hey, we want you to go cover China for us and he says I would rather do Vietnam” and they would say, “Bob, your views on Vietnam do not agree with those of our managers, we are not going to send you to Vietnam, but would you do China for us?” He talks about stories of journalists going out with American troops and then daring a soldier to cut off the ear of a dead VC and loaning him a knife so that they can get a picture of it or a story about it. He talks about Peter Arnett -- I am not allowed to use expletives here -- that gentleman of questionable ancestry who lied through his teeth time and again. I was in Ben Tre in 1968 after Tet. He allegedly quoted a Major as saying we had to destroy the village to save it. They did not come close to destroying the village and further more, there is more there is some real doubt about whether there was such a Major, although I am told somebody says, yeah, there was a Major, but that is not he said, it was taken out of context or something like that. Yeah, he talks about a story of another journalist who got a query back from his bureau, “can we get sued for this “from this unnamed Admiral you have used” and he jokes with other journalists in the Press Center, says, “we are not going to be sued, I made it up.” You know, it really ought to be required reading for anybody wants to understand how we lost Vietnam.

If you want to know more about these myths, in 1972 when I was at the Hoover Institution, I wrote a short monogram of about 60-70 pages something like that for the American Friends of Vietnam. I had just read the Pentagon Papers and realized, hey, they do a beautiful job of shooting down all these arguments. So I take, I do not know how many, but a lot of their core arguments, more than we talked about here and use the Pentagon Papers and others sources to show how silly they are, and I was down to the very few copies of that. I gave some just, who did I give a copy of that to? You happened to have it with you, just hold it up, no problem. Anyway, Steve scanned it, put it on the web site so it is there. If you want it, you can print it, and again, it is not too long and has a lot of stuff and this is stuff that should have been available to anybody who spent a little bit of time doing their home work, but of course, the Communists, you know, they knew the facts, they were trying to deceive us and the peace people were so angry they did not want to read these things, they wanted to stop that horrible abuse, so that they could pave the way for what happened which we will talk later.

Tomorrow, I am to be talking about, was there an alternative to the outcome? This came from Dan Ellsberg and Steve at a meeting and Dan said, “look if we had stayed there another 10 years, nothing else would have happened” and I am going to talk about what might have happened had we acted differently at various phases of the war and in the process I am going to talk a little bit of what actually happened when Congress made it illegal for us to protect the people that John Kennedy had promised to pay any price to save, and that brings to a conclusion my presentation here. Let us take a quick break and get on with the show.

[Applause]

Steve Sherman: Break about five minutes. [Unintelligible]

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