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Kerry's Group The VVAW Discussed Assassinating Seven Pro-War Senators In December 1971
Winter Soldiers - An Oral History Of The Vietnam Veterans Against The War | 1997 | Richard Stacewicz

Posted on 02/18/2004 3:54:31 PM PST by Hon

Please note that the following is an excerpt from a book called Winter Soldiers--but it is NOT the book authored by John Kerry, which is called "The Winter Soldiers."

This excerpt is taken from Chapter 4 "Left Face" pages 293-295. Also note that the "JK" quoted is not John Kerry, but John Kniffin.

[Begin excerpt]

Winter Soldiers - Richard Staciewicz

JOHN KNIFFEN, TERRY DuBOSE, SHELDON RAMSDELL, LINDA ALBAND, BARRY ROMO

In the fall of 1971, tensions over the direction in which the organization was heading, as it spread out into various community activities and took on a more consciously anti-imperialist position, were becoming more evident. In November, an emergency meeting of the steering committee was held in Kansas City. This meeting was a result of the growing friction among members of the steering committee, and between new members and the old leadership.

John Kniffin (JK): There was a schism going on then between Al Hubbard and John Kerry.

Terry DuBose (TJB): What they were trying to do was keep the credibility before the media, because the media was saying we weren't veterans. John Kerry felt like he had to tell the regional coordinators that Al Hubbard had not served in Vietnam and that he had not been an officer.

Sheldon Ramsdell (SR): John was also very anticommunist. He made it very clear one night in the office.

I do these photo spreads for the Liberation News Service.... I just give it away like to the New York Press Service, and so there was a spread on VVAW in the Daily World, an American communist newspaper, and my shit got in there. We pinned it up on the wall. At that same time, Al Hubbard received a peace award from the Soviets. John went off. He says, "That's a communist newspaper. Isn't that prize a communist prize that Al Hubbard got there?" He's got his feet up on the desk and he's a little nervous, which is making him rhink, “Maybe I should leave this radical organization." But we had no political philosophy; it was just a mixed bag of rednecks all the way to Maoists.

[Stacewicz:] What did you think of Kerry and his contributions to the organization?

SR: Kerry was to me a mainstream politician basically. He was kind of using us. I said, "Go for it you're welcome to take our venue and go for it.”

Linda Alband: lt was mutual use. There was a lot of validity that John brought to the organization: being a Yale graduate, his looks, and he had access to a lot of people we wouldn't necessarily get in [with]. lt was good for both him and the organization. I always heard all the guys that I worked with talking about him. It wasn't anything bitter. They didn't think he used anybody any more than he got used, so it was like this mutual proposition. No one resented that.

Barry Romo: We didn't dislike him. He's an equivocator. He's a liberal. He's a politician. He was liberal, he was rich, he was from Massachusetts, he talked like a Kennedy, he had people cleaning his house that could have been our parents.

JK: More and more enlisted people were coming in, and they were viewing John Kerry as some kind of elitist. It degenerated into a black-white thing and into an officer versus enlisted man kind of thing.

There was a sort of an elitism in that the national steering committee, and the regional coordinators were the only ones who could discuss this. Every¬one else had to go out, and they had a closed session. This kind of upset a lot of people. We're supposed to have this democratic organization and a bunch of kings say; "Go out in the livery and wait while we decide your fate."

The whole thing boiled down to: Where does the power of the organization lay? I had a mandate from Texas that we would fight for regional autonomy and a bottom-up power structure. The power of the organization lays with the membership. The power flows from the bottorn up, not the top down. From that point on, my mandate from Tom, Rick, and Jim - and Wayne and the rest - was that when I went to the steering committee, I didn't go by myself. We went as a delegation. If we voted on something, we would caucus and we would arbitrate, and then we would vote.

Another one of the issues was an accounting of where all the money was going in the organization. The national office had raised all this money, but they didn't seem to know where it went. We sort of felt that the role of the national office, since they were raising all this money, was to distribute it to chapters and to use it as seed money to get more chapters started, to get the organization built. They seemed to feel that we were responsible for raising our own money, and moreover that any dues money we raised should be forwarded to the national office to further enrich their coffers. It got to the point where I was so pissed off at the national office when I took over as regional coordinator that I had all these membership applications laying on my table and my cat pissed on them. I guess the righteous thing to do would have been to recopy them all, but I decided the hell with it; I just bundled them all up and shipped them to the national office.

TDR: The Kansas City meeting was the beginning of the end for me. After the Dewey Canyon III thing, the media attention became so intense [and] we were getting so many members that it got to the point where all we were doing was compiling a membership list. There was a practical discussion that developed in the organization about what was more important, using energy to build a membership or spending energy to do anything that would protest the war. It was turning into this bureaucracy of building membership lists and keeping records. It felt like we weren't protesting anymore.

That was also where there was actually some discussion of assassinating some senators during the Christmas holidays. They were people who I knew from the organization with hotheaded rhetoric.

They had a list of six senators ... Helms, John Tower, and I can't remember the others, who they wanted to assassinate when they adjourned for Christmas. They were the ones voting to fund the war. They approached me about assassinating John Tower because he was from Texas. The logic made a certain amount of sense because there's thousands of people dying in southeast Asia. We can shoot these six people and probably stop it. Some of us were willing to sabotage materials, but when it came to people ... I mean, there were a lot of angry people. They had been in Vietnam, they had lost friends. This had gone on for years; some of them had been protesting for five or six years. They were cynical, nihilistic, and some of them did talk real tough rhetoric, but nobody ever got shot by any of these people. It was just talk.

When I got back from that meeting, I couldn't get up the enthusiasm any more.

The meeting in Kansas City brought in a new steering committee. John Kerry, Craig Scott Moore, Mike Oliver, and Skip Roberts resigned from their leadership positions and were replaced by several new members. Al Hubbard and Joe Urgo remained in office and were joined by John Birch, Lenny Rotman, and Larry Rottman.

At the meeting, a motion was passed to change the structure of the executive committee, making it elective: the committee members would now be elected by regional coordinators. Also, the title of those who were elected to the committee was changed: they would now be called national coordinators. Furthermore, the term of a national coordinator would be limited to one year.

This meeting foreshadowed future tensions within VVAW As new members flooded in, the political direction of the organization changed. The new steering committee wanted to raise the stakes by confronting the United States government more directly: staging sit-ins and takeovers of national monuments and veterans administration Offices, as veterans across the nation had already begun to do. In that sense, they were in tune with the more radical members of the local chapters. They were not, however, aligned with any single political ideology, nor were they ready to let their plans be overruled by democratic processes within VVAW Some of the new leaders had been involved in VVAW activities for several years and had felt that they had a firm grasp on the role of the organization and its goals.

Despite these changes, many members of VVAW still distrusted the leadership. Eventually, new members would take over the national office through democratic processes. However, before that happened the new steering com¬mittee was able to coordinate one more national action: "Operation Peace on Earth."


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; alhubbard; assassination; bookexcerpt; camil; kerry; scottcamil; vietgate; vvaw; wintersoldiers
"That was also where there was actually some discussion of assassinating some senators during the Christmas holidays. They were people who I knew from the organization with hotheaded rhetoric.

They had a list of six senators ... Helms, John Tower, and I can't remember the others, who they wanted to assassinate when they adjourned for Christmas. They were the ones voting to fund the war. They approached me about assassinating John Tower because he was from Texas. The logic made a certain amount of sense because there's thousands of people dying in southeast Asia. We can shoot these six people and probably stop it. Some of us were willing to sabotage materials, but when it came to people ... I mean, there were a lot of angry people."

1 posted on 02/18/2004 3:54:32 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
I also notice that even the VVAW spotted Kerry as an opportunist.
2 posted on 02/18/2004 3:59:21 PM PST by Miss Marple
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To: All

Available in bookstores everywhere.

3 posted on 02/18/2004 3:59:43 PM PST by Hon
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To: Miss Marple
"I also notice that even the VVAW spotted Kerry as an opportunist."

Yes, in some accounts they say that Kerry was kicked out for being a phony.

Which is pretty rich, given that many of the top people in this group were pretend veterans.
4 posted on 02/18/2004 4:01:43 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
With all the stuff coming out on Kerry, I'll be very surprised if Madame Hamhocks doesn't throw her burka into the ring.
5 posted on 02/18/2004 4:01:53 PM PST by Paul Atreides (Is it really so difficult to post the entire article?)
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To: Hon
What is it with liberals and Kerry's 'looks'? I think he is one of the ugliest, deformed, inbred sumbitches that ever graced a television screen. I suppose these same pukes think that Henry Waxman is a 'stud muffin'.

'Scuze me while I *BARF*.

6 posted on 02/18/2004 4:03:24 PM PST by Viking2002 (I think; therefore, I Freep............)
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To: Hon
So, we can say that he was too phony even for the phonies?Ha!
7 posted on 02/18/2004 4:03:56 PM PST by Miss Marple
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To: Miss Marple
I am currently skimming through two books about the VVAW. From both accounts one of Kerry's main job (if not his main job) was to get money for the group. It sometimes seems like they only kept him around for that purpose.

Speaking of fundraising, it is mentioned on page 242 of this book that Senators Hatfield and McGovern funneled $50,000 to the VVAW in April of 1971--from an unknown source in New York. --This info is from an FBI memorandum!
8 posted on 02/18/2004 4:08:21 PM PST by Hon
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To: PhilDragoo; snippy_about_it
LOL! Even the VVAW knew Kerry was a waffler.
9 posted on 02/18/2004 4:09:07 PM PST by SAMWolf (Terrorists are vulnerable to silver bullets... and any other bullets.)
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To: SAMWolf; U S Army EOD
Thanks Sam.

Ping to you EOD.
10 posted on 02/18/2004 4:14:18 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: SAMWolf
Even the VVAW knew Kerry was a waffler.

Hmmmm....does Heinz make syrup?

11 posted on 02/18/2004 4:16:27 PM PST by Paul Atreides (Is it really so difficult to post the entire article?)
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To: Miss Marple
GWB: A MAN'S MAN

JFK: A PHONY'S PHONY

12 posted on 02/18/2004 4:20:28 PM PST by Ann Archy (Abortion: The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: All
Is it just me, or isn't it at least a little shocking that there appears to have been a discussion (almost certainly in Kerry's presence at the very least) about ASSASSINATING US SENATORS?

What kind of judgment does that show on his part? Did he report this to the Secret Service or FBI? Did he even weigh in against it?

13 posted on 02/18/2004 4:21:40 PM PST by Hon
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To: Ann Archy
I don't know. I think that, in Boston and San Francisco, you could say that Kerry is a man's man. ;-)
14 posted on 02/18/2004 4:22:16 PM PST by Paul Atreides (Is it really so difficult to post the entire article?)
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To: Paul Atreides
LOL...Seattle too!!
15 posted on 02/18/2004 4:24:03 PM PST by Ann Archy (Abortion: The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Hon
NOTHING, that a liberal Dim does, shocks me. What's worse, even if he had carried it out, the faithful Dim sheep would vote for him.
16 posted on 02/18/2004 4:24:11 PM PST by Paul Atreides (Is it really so difficult to post the entire article?)
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To: Hon
And they tried to get a bunch more when the Capital Building was bombed in 1971 but everybody has forgotten about that.
17 posted on 02/18/2004 4:28:24 PM PST by U S Army EOD (Volunteer for EOD and you will never have to worry about getting wounded.)
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To: Paul Atreides

Maybe Teresa named this one after "Philandering John"

18 posted on 02/18/2004 4:29:18 PM PST by SAMWolf (Terrorists are vulnerable to silver bullets... and any other bullets.)
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To: U S Army EOD
"And they tried to get a bunch more when the Capital Building was bombed in 1971 but everybody has forgotten about that."

I have to admit I've forgotten about that, if I ever knew. Could you give me some more details if you remember any?
19 posted on 02/18/2004 4:30:05 PM PST by Hon
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To: Miss Marple
I also notice that even the VVAW spotted Kerry as an opportunist.

This was about the time that Kerry abandoned the VVAW to the Revolutionary Communist Party.

20 posted on 02/18/2004 4:30:08 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Bush Bot by choice)
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To: Hon
What you see here is how illogical the left wing was and is. How extreme it is. Vietnam started it all. They became so sure the war was "wrong" it was a short leap to killing any pro war or pro defense senators. Mainstream America does not understand how much these people hate America, or to what degree they would gladly disarm the USA and put their trust in the World's worst dictatorships. John Kerry continues to spout their misguided nonsense.
21 posted on 02/18/2004 4:30:30 PM PST by Williams
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To: U S Army EOD
Actually, some Googling refreshed my memory. Yes, the Weather Underground bombed the US Captitol back then.

BTW, the VVAW worked very closely with the Weather Underground, the Black Panthers and other like groups at that time.
22 posted on 02/18/2004 4:33:25 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
It happened shortly after the 1971 march in DC, the bomb was place in a bathroom near the Senate chamber if I remember right. I had to send a guy down to testify about it before the Senate and it was supposed to be closed door. The press was there and it hit the front page. His family was getting death threats two days after that.

During the 1971 march I spent three nights looking for bombs over the Patomic and Annacosta Rivers because we had information that our little peace loving friends had 600 lbs of explosives in town and were planning to hit one of the bridges. We found a hoax bomb on Key Bridge.

This is the main reason the DC Police reacted so fast when the march got started to shut them down.
23 posted on 02/18/2004 4:37:11 PM PST by U S Army EOD (Volunteer for EOD and you will never have to worry about getting wounded.)
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To: Williams
"Mainstream America does not understand how much these people hate America, or to what degree they would gladly disarm the USA and put their trust in the World's worst dictatorships."

This book, "Winter Soldiers", (which is meant to be very complimentary to the VVAW) has plenty of sections such as "Working For The Revolution."

You're right in how people just don't understand how deeply felt and thorough these many of these people's hatred of this country went. Al Hubbard, for instance, could never spell America without a K or two--AmeriKKa.

They didn't just stop with the war. They hated everything. They thought the US was a racist, unjust, failed society that deserved to lose the war in Vietnam which would lead to a revolution at home. This was their goal. They weren't shy about stating it.
24 posted on 02/18/2004 4:40:45 PM PST by Hon
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To: Paul Atreides
"Madame Hamhocks"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Almost spewed coffee on the keyboard!!!

25 posted on 02/18/2004 4:44:22 PM PST by Bean Counter
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To: Hon
VVAW member, Kerry....He's an equivocator. He's a liberal. He's a politician. He was liberal, he was rich, he was from Massachusetts, he talked like a Kennedy, he had people cleaning his house that could have been our parents.
26 posted on 02/18/2004 4:52:47 PM PST by tet68
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To: U S Army EOD
"It happened shortly after the 1971 march in DC, the bomb was place in a bathroom near the Senate chamber if I remember right."

In this book one of the leaders of the VVAW says that they were in constant touch with the Weathermen (as the Weatherunderground were still known as then). He says that they were told every day what they were up to. And likewise, they told the Weathermen what they were up to.

So at the very least the VVAW were probably aware that this was going to happen. Nice bunch.
27 posted on 02/18/2004 5:08:29 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon; All
I could relate many, many stories of that bunch. Before I joined FReepers I was fighting a one man war against Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Anti-Imperalist. I use to piss them off all the time. They still exist.

All FReepers, if you want to have some fun, send an email to their guy in Germany. His name is Darnell Summers and he always signs his name SP4 Darnell Summers. He is the black guy you see making all the speeches over there. He told me about his four years in the army and that he spent most of it in the stockade. What he really hates is when I have people email him that Elvis made E5 in only two years.
28 posted on 02/18/2004 5:17:00 PM PST by U S Army EOD (Volunteer for EOD and you will never have to worry about getting wounded.)
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To: Hon
Thanks for posting this.

Terry DuBose (TJB): What they were trying to do was keep the credibility before the media, because the media was saying we weren't veterans. John Kerry felt like he had to tell the regional coordinators that Al Hubbard had not served in Vietnam and that he had not been an officer.

So the media knew that some of the atrocity "witnesses" couldn't have seen what they claimed, and Kerry knew that Hubbard had not served.

Now I wonder when and how Kerry knew about Hubbard, his "Meet the Press" comrade.

29 posted on 02/18/2004 5:19:07 PM PST by secretagent
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To: secretagent
"So the media knew that some of the atrocity "witnesses" couldn't have seen what they claimed, and Kerry knew that Hubbard had not served.

Now I wonder when and how Kerry knew about Hubbard, his "Meet the Press" comrade."

I don't know if you've seen this thread:

John Kerry Gained Fame On The Shoulders Of Frauds (Bogus Vietnam Veterans)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1074451/posts

BTW, I think the White House knew at the time. It seems that everybody knew. Kerry must have. But what could he do, he was given his position by Hubbard:

Kerry's Mentor: Black Panther And Phony Vietnam Vet, Al Hubbard
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1080094/posts
30 posted on 02/18/2004 5:29:01 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
btt
31 posted on 02/18/2004 5:53:59 PM PST by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: Hon
Thanks!
32 posted on 02/18/2004 6:52:50 PM PST by secretagent
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To: Miss Marple
The phony soldiers who were real communists thought he was a real soldier but a phony communist...
33 posted on 02/18/2004 7:01:39 PM PST by JasonC
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To: Mrs Zip; BOBWADE
ping
34 posted on 02/18/2004 7:48:57 PM PST by zip
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To: SAMWolf; Hon

Kerry ran for election to the U.S. House in 1972 during which he found it necessary to suppress reproduction of the cover picture appearing on his own book, The New Soldier. His political opponent pointed out that it depicted several unkempt youths crudely handling an upside down American flag to mock the famous photo of the U.S. Marines at Iwo Jima.

Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry

35 posted on 02/18/2004 8:55:18 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: Hon
Protest: Story of The Gainesville Eight

Briggs was a partner in a waterbed store at that time (1972) and Scott Camil had asked him to order slingshots for the the VVAW. They were to be used as a defense during planned demonstrations at the summer Republican Convention in Miami. Once this was discovered by the FBI, the VVAW was charged as a subversive organization and a threat to the U.S. government. Many came to the aid of the eight who were arraigned in Tallahassee and tried in Gainesville. Among them were folk singers Pete Seeger and Phil Ochs. A more famous supporter of the eight was paralyzed vietnam veteran, Ron Kovic, whose life was later dramatized in an Oliver Stone film, "Born on the Fourth of July". The eight contended that they wanted the slingshots to lessen the chances of violence against demonstrators as had happened at the 1968 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago. Eventually all eight were acquitted of the charges and were allowed to return to what was left of their lives after they had been made martyrs for the cause.

When reached for a comment, Scott Camil had this to say:

"The conspiracy was the government's doing. We didn't want to be the 'Gainesville Eight'. The government was lying about the war. The government tried to detract from the anti-war movement by saying that protesters were unwilling to serve--that they were unpatriotic. They couldn't say that about us (the VVAW). We felt that there was a demand for people to know the truth and then they would help us stop the war."

This strife was an indication of the times. The public had found its voice through not just the uninvolved protester, but also through those who had been a part of the carnage and hysteria that was Vietnam. There are many sites that express the views of those who were soldiers during the Vietnam War and historians who have collected pictures and facts from that period in America's history.

 

36 posted on 02/18/2004 8:58:11 PM PST by Wolverine (A Concerned Citizen)
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To: Axiom Nine
ping
37 posted on 02/18/2004 9:06:12 PM PST by pax_et_bonum (Always finish what you st)
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To: Hon
http://www.oz.net/~vvawai/index.html
 
Check these links
 
VVAWAI Banner

38 posted on 02/18/2004 9:14:36 PM PST by Wolverine (A Concerned Citizen)
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To: Hon
About The War

39 posted on 02/18/2004 9:28:40 PM PST by Wolverine (A Concerned Citizen)
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To: Wolverine
Thanks for the links. I've been mining them myself.
40 posted on 02/19/2004 1:34:13 PM PST by Hon
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To: All
BTW, I just read in Winter Soldiers, that Hubbard was eager to put Kerry into VVAW's leadership that he was the ONLY person not elected to his position.
41 posted on 02/20/2004 12:53:50 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
I've been in contact with people who are going over the VVAW archives in Madison. I started looking at them about three weeks ago. There are some interesting things in there, but very little that can be tied back to Kerry.

For example, in one of the storage boxes is a mimeographed manual on how to overthrow the government. It wasn't written by the VVAW, nor was there anything on it to indicate that it belonged to them, but it was in their files. In another stack of papers was a type-written manual on how to take down telephone exchanges.
42 posted on 02/28/2004 11:39:52 AM PST by July 4th (George W. Bush, Avenger of the Bones)
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To: Paul Atreides
Madame Hamhocks

You just stole my mind. I hadn't heard that one before.

43 posted on 02/28/2004 11:44:25 AM PST by Rider on the Rain
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To: July 4th
"For example, in one of the storage boxes is a mimeographed manual on how to overthrow the government. It wasn't written by the VVAW, nor was there anything on it to indicate that it belonged to them, but it was in their files. In another stack of papers was a type-written manual on how to take down telephone exchanges."

Geez, they sound like terrorists.

No wonder Kerry has objected to the Homeland Security measures.
44 posted on 02/28/2004 11:52:52 AM PST by Hon
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To: July 4th
Did you by any chance come across a little pamphlet with a title along the lines of "Gigolo's Guide to Fleecing Rich and Lonely Heiresses?"
45 posted on 03/06/2004 2:36:35 AM PST by omniscient
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To: omniscient
BTTT
46 posted on 03/07/2004 11:01:05 AM PST by jokar (Not one dime more !!!)
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To: jokar
Some Sinators they liked...


47 posted on 03/10/2004 9:06:52 PM PST by null and void
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To: Hon
bump
48 posted on 03/13/2004 1:01:35 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Men stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing had happened." Churchill)
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To: Hon

Hi,

I was reading this old thread:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1080806/posts

And was interested in this comment you made:

"In this book one of the leaders of the VVAW says that they were in constant touch with the Weathermen"

I'd like to include this in an article I'm working on. Do you have the quote and/or page number?

Thanks,
Fedora


49 posted on 09/18/2004 7:20:02 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: Hon

PS: Meant to send that privately, but oh well, LOL!


50 posted on 09/18/2004 7:20:51 PM PDT by Fedora
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