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Yesterday's Lies: Steve Pitkin and the Winter Soldiers ^ | September 6, 2004 | Scott Swett

Posted on 09/06/2004 8:32:59 PM PDT by Interesting Times

My name is Steve Pitkin, age 20, from Baltimore. I served with the 9th Division from May of '69 until I was airvaced in July of '69. I'll testify about the beating of civilians and enemy personnel, destruction of villages, indiscriminate use of artillery, the general racism and the attitude of the American GI toward the Vietnamese. I will also talk about some of the problems of the GIs toward one another and the hassle with officers.

-- Steve Pitkin, Winter Soldier Investigation, February 1, 1971.


Steve Pitkin never intended to speak at the Winter Soldier Investigation. He agreed to come to Detroit with John Kerry and Scott Camil in January of 1971 mostly to support his fellow veterans, but also to see David Crosby and Graham Nash perform and hopefully meet a few girls. He didn’t really have any place else to go.

Unlike most members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Pitkin had seen combat in Vietnam. He was caught in a mortar attack shortly after arriving in country as a Private First Class, and suffered minor wounds to both legs. During the months that followed his injuries became infected and "jungle rot" set in. He was eventually medivaced to an Army hospital in Okinawa, where the doctors gave him anti-fungals and antibiotics, and managed to save his feet. Specialist Pitkin would leave the Army with a Purple Heart, an honorable discharge, and a lifetime case of hepatitis C from the transfusions.

Back in the States, Pitkin did not receive a hero's welcome. At Travis Air Force Base in California he was showered with feces thrown by anti-war protestors. Later, while he waited in his Class A uniform for a plane at San Francisco International Airport, people stopped to snarl obscenities and occasionally spit. Even a World War II veteran paused to come over and call him a coward. He went back home to Baltimore, but it wasn’t home any more. Steve Pitkin was 19 years old.

"I was in bad shape," Pitkin recalls. "My family was against the war, and so were all my old friends. I had things I wanted to say, but there was nobody to listen. I was angry at our government which should have known better than to let us die in a conflict it had no intention of winning, and I was furious at the American media for making us out to be baby-killers and telling lies about what they saw."

Confused and depressed, Pitkin signed up for classes at Catonsville Community College outside of Baltimore. There he met Scott Camil, who was talking up a new organization he described as a "brotherhood" of Vietnam veterans. Pitkin started going to Vietnam Veterans Against the War meetings at the campus, hoping to find some people he could talk to about his experiences. Pitkin says he "had no inkling" that VVAW leaders were meeting with North Vietnamese and Vietcong representatives, or that the VVAW consistently supported their positions. He thought the VVAW was just an alternative to older organizations such as the VFW, where so many Vietnam vets felt unwelcome.


In January of 1971, Pitkin was invited to go to Detroit for the VVAW's "Winter Soldier Investigation," a national conference intended to convince the public that American troops were routinely committing war crimes in Vietnam. "I was just going to show support for the guys who were already picked out to testify," said Pitkin. "Fighting in the war was terrible enough -– I shot people -- but I never saw any atrocities against civilians. The Vietcong hung up tribal chiefs and disemboweled them in front of their own families –- they did that to their own people. I never saw Americans do anything like that."

The Baltimore contingent met up with other VVAW members in Washington, where they were loaded into rental vans with no back seats. It was freezing cold in Pitkin's van, and Kerry and Camil -– the two former officers -- were in the front where all the heat was, which made for a long drive. Pitkin was unimpressed with the tall, aloof Kerry, who rarely spoke to anyone other than the organization’s leaders, and tagged Kerry with the nickname "Lurch" after the Addams Family TV character. The ragtag group eventually made it to Detroit, got lost for a while, and then spent the night at somebody's house. The conference was held at a Howard Johnson’s motel, in a room Pitkin remembers as having big concrete posts and no windows, with press lights glaring down on the participants. An entourage of VVAW leaders and reporters always surrounded John Kerry, who, Pitkin thought, looked like he was running for President.

Pitkin watched for a day or so while his fellow VVAW members told stories about horrible things they claimed to have done or witnessed in Vietnam. He noticed other people, civilians, going around to the VVAW members and "bombarding them, laying on the guilt," as they told the veterans they had committed unspeakable crimes, but could make amends by testifying against the war.

On the second day of the conference, Pitkin was surrounded by a group of the event's leaders, who said they needed more witnesses and wanted him to speak. Pitkin protested that he didn’t have anything to say. Kerry said, "Surely you had to have seen some of the atrocities." Pitkin insisted that he hadn't, and the group's mood turned menacing. One of the other leaders leaned in and whispered, "It’s a long walk back to Baltimore." Pitkin finally agreed to "testify." The Winter Soldier leaders told Pitkin exactly what they wanted -– stories about rape, brutality, shooting prisoners, and racism. Kerry assured him that "the American people will be grateful for what you have to say."


Many of the vets, particularly the vets participating in this panel, have expressed the fact that they could go on and on for a long time, talking about various instances of brutality, torture, rape, everything that's been talked about here for the last two days. But one thing they felt was very important and which hasn't, in a sense, been done by many of the veterans was to say why this happened. What happens to them that this happens and how these things came about. Steve Pitkin in particular felt the need to try and express something about how these men become animals in a sense. I know several of the other vets on the panel want to mention it very briefly. So Steve why don't you start off?

-- Moderator, Miscellaneous Panel, Winter Soldier Investigation, February 1, 1971 [Note: the moderators for this session were VVAW founder Jan Crumb and Executive Committee member John Kerry]


Pitkin appears several times in the documentary film "Winter Soldier," where he comes across as vague and somewhat stunned, especially while being questioned by John Kerry in a preliminary interview. He seems overwhelmed at having to relive his harrowing experiences in Vietnam. But Steve Pitkin says today that what the film actually shows are his efforts to avoid answering Kerry’s questions at all.

During the formal hearings, Pitkin started to slam the press for misrepresenting what GIs really did in Vietnam, but a woman he believes was Jane Fonda shot him an astonished look and started to stand up. Steve could see other members of the group getting ready to cut him off, so he changed course and made up a few things he thought they would be willing to accept. "Everything I said about atrocities and racism was a lie. My unit never went out with the intention of doing anything but its job. And I never saw black soldiers treated differently, get picked out for the worst or most dangerous jobs, or anything like that. There were some guys, shirkers, who would intentionally injure themselves to get sent home, so I talked about that for a while. But the fact is I lied my ass off, and I'm not proud of it. I didn't think it would ever amount to anything."

After the 3-day conference ended, everybody piled back into the vans and headed home. Nobody had much to say to Pitkin. A month or two later he was contacted by a reporter for Life Magazine who asked about war crimes and atrocities. "I didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear," said Pitkin. Nothing he said was included in the final story.


In April, Steve Pitkin went down to Washington to check out the VVAW's weeklong "Dewey Canyon III" protest, where he "ran into a lot of guys who couldn’t answer questions about what unit they were in." At one point he met up with leftist icon Jerry Rubin, who was wrapped in a Vietcong flag. Pitkin told him to take it off. Rubin shrugged, dropped the flag, and walked away. Pitkin and two or three like-minded veterans formed a patrol, confiscating Vietcong flags and T-shirts from protestors and daring them to start something. Nobody took them up on it.

Pitkin was present for the infamous "medal toss" event on Friday, where VVAW members yelled obscenities and threats against the government into a microphone, then threw military decorations and papers over a fence in front of the U.S. Capitol. A guy with long hair stood nearby holding a bag filled with military ribbons and a few medals, handing them out. Pitkin noticed that most of the decorations weren't right for Vietnam combat veterans -– some, in fact, were from the Korean War -– and overheard remarks that the VVAW had cleaned out the local Army-Navy stores the day before. Disgusted, he grabbed a handful of ribbons and threw them, not at the Capitol, but at the throng of reporters crowding close to the microphone, and stalked away.

After Dewey Canyon III, Pitkin was no longer invited to VVAW meetings or events, which was fine with him. He soon went back into the military, joining the 5/20th Special Forces Group of the Maryland National Guard in 1974, and graduating from paratrooper "jump school" with honors in 1976, but was unable to get back on full time active duty in the Army. Pitkin joined the Coast Guard in 1978 and served there until his retirement in May 1997.

Steve Pitkin wants to apologize to Vietnam veterans for what he did and said at the Winter Soldier Investigation. "The VVAW found me during a difficult time in my life, and I let them use me to advance their political agenda. They pressured me to tell their lies, but that's no excuse for what I did. I just want people to know the truth and to make amends as best I can. I'd hate to see the troops serving today have to go through what Vietnam veterans did."

Scott Swett
September 6, 2004


Steve Pitkin Affadavit, August 31, 2004

Steve Pitkin DD-214

Steve Pitkin WSI testimony

Steve Pitkin WSI video clips -- February 1, 1971 (4:16, 1.6MB)

TOPICS: Breaking News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: actualbreakingnews; deweycanyon; janekerry; johnfonda; johnkerry; kerry; kerryandthevets; notfondakerry; phonyatrocities; pitkin; scottcamil; stevepitkin; vvaw; wintersoldier; wsi
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Much better... thanks.

141 posted on 09/07/2004 12:17:25 AM PDT by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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To: Interesting Times; xm177e2; mercy; Wait4Truth; hole_n_one; GretchenEE; Clinton's a rapist; ...


142 posted on 09/07/2004 12:19:05 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
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To: armymarinemom
You only left out the part about the media not being subject to the same rules they want the sheeple subject to.

They, of course, are superior and need not abide...(end sarcasm). Most newsreaders are disgusting, anyway.

143 posted on 09/07/2004 12:20:57 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (I'm from North Dakota--I'm ALL FOR Global Warming!)
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To: JohnHuang2

138 on propaganda.

144 posted on 09/07/2004 12:28:24 AM PDT by MEG33 (John Kerry has been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security)
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To: FesterUSMC

Good new information...and 138 on the commie infiltration.

145 posted on 09/07/2004 12:35:18 AM PDT by MEG33 (John Kerry has been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security)
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To: PhilDragoo


146 posted on 09/07/2004 12:51:03 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Contrary to belief, the artillery do not believe they're God. They just borrowed his "Smite" button)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

In case you missed this article...great info

147 posted on 09/07/2004 12:51:03 AM PDT by MEG33 (John Kerry has been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security)
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To: luv2ski
His is a really sad story. He was rejected by his family friends, even by strangers. It is awful to think about the way Viet Nam vets were treated on their return"

And Kerry is a lying snake to have used people to advance his Anti War Pro-Communist agenda. I hope all the talk shows will cover this.

It's good that Mr. Pitikin set the record straight. He should watch out though , Kerry and the lefty goons are going to trash him like they've been trashing the Swift boat vets.

I swear Kerry is the walking definition of the term "Limousine Liberal"

148 posted on 09/07/2004 1:00:22 AM PDT by fly_so_free (Never underestimate the treachery of the democrat party- Save USA,-Vote a Dem out of office)
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To: Interesting Times

I can't wait to see Rather or Brokaw cover this story....

149 posted on 09/07/2004 1:01:14 AM PDT by M. Peach (eschew obfuscation)
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To: Brad's Gramma
Is there anyway to reach Mr. Pitkin so he can see the support he has HERE!!???

Thank you Mr. Pitkin. I would like to know, how many of the Winder Soldier testimonies have been proven to be true.
150 posted on 09/07/2004 1:26:55 AM PDT by igoramus987
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To: Interesting Times

The blood on Kerry’s hands

By Jim Bancroft, Sep 6, 2004


    Every action has a reaction. We sometimes refer to Newton’s Third Law in ways that do not refer to physical science, but to social and emotional constructs, events we see or hear of, events we perceive of happening or events that we experience ourselves.


    Newton’s Third Law of Energy is plainly stated as:


"Every action has an equal and opposite reaction"


          Our actions as young adults often shape our own lives in ways we do not consider at the time, nor can we foresee the results of our actions in how they affect others in the future. A single drive in an automobile can lead to an accident due to a loss of attention on the road, having tragic consequences for those involved.


    Engaging in political activity that is riotous, angry, and controversial, can also lead to unintended consequences, events that were never planned or foreseen, nor predicted.


    The willful engagement in activity that is riotous, angry, violent, or controversial; the drawing of attention to your cause by your actions: to see that your actions encourage or embolden others to join in with your cause should bring the greatest pause in your own personal behavior, for it must be plainly seen that your actions can then bring about unintended consequences that are outside of your own personal control, involving the emotions and reactions of others who you may or may not know.


    The more violent your initial action was, the reaction may be more violent, more controversial, more confrontational. And it will be you who initiated it because of your first actions, whether the end result was intended or foreseen or not.



    In my life time, I have seen my country and our politics change in many ways. As a child, I watched the Vietnam War on television; I saw the body counts, I saw the nation fixated on the war shown on the TV screen, I cheered on the troops, and I felt sorrow when I saw the caskets and heard of our losses.


    I also saw the anti-war protests on TV. I had to have my Dad explain some words and terms used by the Police in Detroit in 1968 after the riots in how they described the actions of the anti-war people who claimed to be for peace, but seemed to only come to fight and disrupt.


    Their actions had consequences. The American people started to see our media play over and again the masses of people who looked normal sometimes, but also some that were the Hippie looking type people. Mostly, we saw abnormal behavior portrayed on television and in the news as being common.


    We saw our nation change.


    One of the people who most affected us, was John Kerry. John Kerry’s association with these anti-war groups changed our nation forever. Most people see it, those that are over a certain age anyways, maybe not the younger, the have no reference to judge by. But, I am 45, and even in my age, I see it. But, I wonder how many others do.


    John Kerry’s actions, and the actions of those who openly protested against our country during the Vietnam War, made it socially acceptable to hate the US while living here, and to falsely claim what they are doing is Patriotism. The actions of the Vietnam protester were to make the call for Socialist or Communist type changes in our government system an accepted thing.


    But that is not all. By their actions, a war was ended earlier than expected. Not in a way that was in our favor, but in a way that embarrassed our country even though we were winning the war militarily.


    The actions of the anti-war groups affected national policy. We had anti-war groups start up earlier than 1968 when John Kerry entered Vietnam, true, but their acceptance and liveliness was not noticeable. It wasn’t until after John Kerry got home and started a group called Vietnam Veteran’s Against the War, VVAW, with his friend Jane Fonda that the openly socially acceptable participation in American anti-war activity took place in common American thought.


    This was a significant group, in that, for the first time in our nation’s history that I can find, a group of veteran’s who had fought in a war, founded a group that was against national policy in calling for the war to end; not with a victory by our armed forces, but with a defeat of our armed forces. This group was calling for our own nation, THEIR own nation, to remove all troops from Vietnam, admit that our actions there were morally wrong.


    They were calling for their nation to lose against the enemy, to give up the fight against the Communist system which genuinely threatened the nation of Vietnam since the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. And because of Vietnam’s geographic location, the seaways of South-East Asia would be threatened with a puppet government run by either China or the Soviet Union in direct opposition to the United States as a nation in order to spread their communist philosophy through the end of a gun.


    And they did all this with the backing of our national media, and with all the backing of the political party that was against the President who was in power. . . who had absolutely nothing to do with starting the war in the first place.


    These peace groups, led by John Kerry and Jane Fonda and Bill Clinton and their sort, caused our government to step back away from a national commitment to our allies in the South-East Asia peninsula, abandon our war against Communism in Vietnam, and in general, stop our pro-active response to the Communist threat that was a definite reality in the world then.


    I titled this paper, “THE BLOOD ON KERRY’S HANDS” for a reason, and that reason all goes back to Vietnam and the effect that his participation in leading a group like VVAW had on the United States and the world.


    The connection between VVAW and the peace groups and the early end of the Vietnam War without a US victory against the Communist forces fighting in South Vietnam has not been explored in depth by anyone that I am aware of. There are some things that are important to remember from this time period that can only be examined in hindsight; namely, What happened to the US and it’s policy in foreign affairs immediately following the Vietnam War, and why?


    At the time John Kerry left Vietnam, it was early 1969. According to records kept by the US government, by the end of 1968, the US losses in personnel were 36,152 persons killed in action from service in Vietnam from all causes.


     This is important for one significant reason: 1968 was the TET offensive, the last gasp of the North Vietnamese, a large offensive where the American people were told by a media that the war was un-winnable. But was this the case?

    Here is a short synopsis of just what happened during the TET Offensive of 1968:

Myth: The Tet Offensive Was a Communist Victory

The 1968 Tet offensive was a total and complete miltary disaster for the North Vietnamese Communists no matter how you look at it. If you measure victory by territory gained or enemy killed, the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong failed dismally in their attacks.

The NVA and VC had counted on a "People's Uprising" to carry them to victory, however there was no such uprising. They did exactly what the American military wanted them to do. They massed in large formations that were incredibly vulnerable to the awesome fire support the U.S. Military was able to bring to bear on them in a coordinated and devastating manner.

The NVA and VC attacked only ARVN installations with the exception of the US Embassy in Saigon. Despite reports to the contrary by all major television news networks and the print media, the VC sapper team of 15 men never entered the chancery building and all 15 VC were dead within 6 hours of the attack. They caused no damage to any property and managed to kill 4 US Army MPs, and one Marine guard. The South Vietnamese Police tasked with guarding the Embassy fled at the first sound of gunfire.

The NVA/VC launched major attacks on Saigon, Hue, Quang Tri City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Kontum City, Ban Me Thout, My Tho, Can Tho, and Ben Tre. With the exception of the old imperial city of Hue, the NVA/VC were forced to retreat within 24 hours of the beginning of the offensive. In the process they suffered devastating losses among the southern VC cadres. Using the southern VC as the spearhead of these attacks was an intentional device on the part of the North Vietnamese politcal leadership. They did not want to share power with the southerners after the war, so they sent them out to what was inevitable slaughter. The NVA mainforce battalions were held in "reserve" according to Vo Nguyen Giap, in order to "exploit any breakthroughs".

In the first week of the attack the NVA/VC lost 32,204 confirmed killed, and 5,803 captured. US losses were 1,015 KHA, while ARVN losses were 2,819 killed. ARVN losses were higher because the NVA/VC, reluctant to enter into a set-piece battle with US forces, attacked targets defended almost exclusively by South Vietnamese troops.

Casualties among the people whom the NVA/VC claimed to be "liberating" were in excess of 7,000, with an additional 5,000 tortured and murdered by the NVA/VC in Hue and elsewhere. In Hue alone, allied forces discovered over 2,800 burial sites containing the mutilated bodies of local Vietnamese teachers, doctors, and political leaders.


    General Vo Nguyen Giap, the leader of the North Vietnamese Army during the war, had these comments to make concerning the efforts of anti-war protesters like John Kerry, Jane Fonda, and VVAW, which Jane Fonda was the co-founder with John Kerry; this article is reprinted from NEWSMAX:

Gen. Giap Thanks Kerry & Co. for Anti-war Protests

Celebrating the 29th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, the North Vietnamese general who led his forces to victory said Friday he was grateful to leaders of the U.S. anti-war movement, one of whom was presidential candidate John Kerry.

"I would like to thank them," said Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, now 93, without mentioning Kerry by name. "Any forces that wish to impose their will on other nations will surely fail," he added.

Reuters, which first reported Giap's comments, suggested that the former enemy general was mindful of Kerry's role in leading some of the highest-profile anti-war protests of the entire Vietnam War.

Before the British wire service quoted Gen. Giap, it noted:

"The Vietnam War, known in Vietnam as the American War, has become a hot issue in the U.S. presidential race with Democrat John Kerry drawing attention to his service and President Bush's Republicans disparaging Kerry's later anti-war stand."

North Vietnamese Col. Bui Tin, who served under Gen. Giap on the general staff of the North Vietnamese army, received South Vietnam's unconditional surrender on April 30, 1975.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after his retirement, Col. Tin explicitly credited leaders of the U.S. anti-war movement, saying they were "essential to our strategy."

"Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9AM to follow the growth of the antiwar movement," Col. Tin told the Journal.

Visits to Hanoi by Kerry anti-war allies Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and others, he said, "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."

"We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war," the North Vietnamese military man explained.

Kerry did much the same thing in widely covered speeches such as the one he delivered to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 1971.

"Through dissent and protest [America] lost the ability to mobilize a will to win," Col. Tin concluded.

    These are not insignificant statements. These North Vietnamese military men are crediting the American Anti-War movement with being the reason they held out in time of war. The obvious conflict in this statement of theirs is, if there was NO ANTI-WAR movement in the US, these North Vietnamese military men would have NOT been optimistic about the outcome of the war. They would have been approaching the US in an attitude of military weakness, not military strength.


    This is undeniable. In fact, there are some more direct quotes from General Giap on this very subject.

Gen. Giap: Kerry's Group Helped Hanoi Defeat U.S.

The North Vietnamese general in charge of the military campaign that finally drove the U.S. out of South Vietnam in 1975 credited a group led by Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry with helping him achieve victory.

In his 1985 memoir about the war, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap wrote that if it weren't for organizations like Kerry's Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Hanoi would have surrendered to the U.S. - according to Fox News Channel war historian Oliver North.

That's why, he predicted on Tuesday, the Vietnam War issue "is going to blow up in Kerry's face."

"People are going to remember Gen. Giap saying if it weren't for these guys [Kerry's group], we would have lost," North told radio host Sean Hannity.

"The Vietnam Veterans Against the War encouraged people to desert, encouraged people to mutiny - some used what they wrote to justify fragging officers," noted the former Marine lieutenant colonel, who earned two purple hearts in Vietnam.

"John Kerry has blood of American soldiers on his hands," North said.   

    Finally, what must be shown here, are the true and accurate statements of an American who was held as Prisoners of War in Vietnam, and a comment written by John Kerry’s own Executive Officer from when he served on the USS Gridley.

    This first statement below is an excerpt written to television host Joe Scarborough from Col. George E. "Bud" Day, the former cell mate of Senator John McCain in the Hanoi Hilton:

    I was a POW of the Vietnamese in Hanoi in 1971, and I am aware that the testimony of John Kerry, the actions of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, and the radical left; all caused the commies to conclude that if they hung on, they would win. North Vietnamese General Bui Tin commented that every day the Communist leadership listened to world news over the radio to follow the growth of the anti-war movement. Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clark gave them confidence to hold in the face of battlefield reverses. The guts of it was that propaganda from the anti-war group was part of their combat strategy.

While the Commies were hanging on, innumerable U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Air Force members were being killed in combat. Every battle wound to Americans after Kerry's misdirected testimony is related to Kerry's untruthfulness. John Kerry contributed to every one of these deaths with his lies about U.S. atrocities in Vietnam. He likewise defamed the U.S. with our allies and supporters.

His conduct also extended the imprisonment of the Vietnam Prisoners of War, of which I was one. I am certain of at least one POW death after his testimony, which might have been prevented with an earlier release of the POWs.

. . . .

I draw a direct comparison of General Benedict Arnold of the Revolutionary War, to Lieutenant John Kerry. Both went off to war, fought, and then turned against their country. General Arnold crossed over to the British for money and position. John Kerry crossed over to the Vietnamese with his assistance to the anti-war movement, and his direct liason with the Vietnamese diplomats in Paris. His reward. Political gain. Senator..United States.

    This next excerpt is from Captain J. F. Kelly, who as Commander Kelly was XO of the USS GRIDLEY in the period of 1967 and 1968 when Kerry was aboard.

                   Every candidate for public office probably has some excess baggage to carry around that he’d rather not have. With Senator John Kerry, it’s undoubtedly his anti-Vietnam War activism that followed his heroic naval service in Vietnam

                   Aside from a Christmas card and an aborted telephone call, I didn’t hear further from John until I read about his anti-war antics including his appearance with Hanoi Jane Fonda and the famous episode of throwing medals onto the capitol steps during a protest.

                   While he was protesting against the war, many of us were still fighting in it. Many of us felt betrayed that one of our own, a decorated hero, would give comfort to the enemy by such actions. Think what you want about the wisdom in getting involved in that war, two presidents, both Democrats, committed the armed forces they commanded to fight it. Make no mistake; actions by the likes of Fonda and Kerry were damaging to our morale, gave aid and comfort to the forces we were fighting and altered the eventual outcome in a manner less favorable to the United States than if they had kept their mouths shut. The time for anti-war protests is before the war starts. 

            There is no question that John Kerry earned his decorations and that he put his life at risk in the service of his country. There is no doubt in my mind, moreover, that he has the intelligence to serve as president. But there is also no doubt in my mind that his anti-war activities while our troops were still fighting, dying and being tortured in filthy Vietnam prisons were despicable. 

            For that reason, even aside from his anti-defense voting record in the Senate, he is one ex-shipmate that I could never support as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.



    And that is the point of this letter. The actions of John Kerry and the anti-war protesters caused American men and women to be killed in war time in Vietnam, the very war where they insisted we withdraw and claim we were at fault; where Americans were all war criminals and “baby-killers”. And it was a war we were winning.

    According to American records, a total of 58,193 American personnel died in Vietnam from all causes, with 36,152 having died by the end of 1968 when John Kerry entered Vietnam. Kerry entered the Swift Boat Service in December of 1968 and served only 4 months before being sent home after his third Purple Heart.

    In 1969, 11,616 American personnel died, and that is the year Kerry started protesting against the Vietnam war after his service. He had already made public statements against the war at the speech  he gave at his Yale graduation:

"What was an excess of isolationism has become an excess of interventionism. And this Vietnam War has found our policy makers forcing Americans into a strange corner . . . that if victory escapes us, it would not be the fault of those who lead, but of the doubters who stabbed them in the back -- notions all too typical of an America that had to find Americans to blame for the takeover in China by the communists, and then for the takeover in Cuba.

"The United States must, I think, bring itself to understand that the policy of intervention that was right for Western Europe does not and cannot find the same application to the rest of the world.

"We have not really lost the desire to serve. We question the very roots of what we are serving.''

    Kerry’s actions after the war began as early as 1969 while an Admiral’s aide:

In October 1969, while Kerry was still on active duty assigned to Admiral Schlech, Kerry was flying Adam Walinsky (Robert F. Kennedy's former speech writer), around New York state to deliver anti-war.speeches.
BY Jan. 3, 1970, Kerry had become so inspired by Walinsky's anti-war beliefs that he petitioned Admiral Schlech, "to tell his boss that his conscientious dictated that he protest the war, that he wanted out of the Navy immediately so that he could run for congress."

Admiral Schlech consented and Kerry received an honorable discharge from the Navy six months early.


    Kerry was full force into the VVAW by early 1970. The anti-war movement was well known by then and many protests were held including the ill fated Kent State incident.

    John Kerry did not just protest in the US because of his beliefs, he also traveled to meet the Communist leaders of North Vietnam in Paris.

John Kerry, in sworn testimony before the Senate in April 1971, said he met with the North Vietnamese and Vietcong delegations in Paris in May 1970. He said they discussed their peace proposals -- especially the eight points of Madam Binh. Kerry strongly recommended that the Senate accept those proposals.

I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government and of all eight of Madam Binh's points...

…I realize that even my visits in Paris, precedents had been set by Senator McCarthy and others, in a sense are on the borderline of private individuals negotiating, et cetera.”

In the ensuing months, Kerry became even more strident in his insistence that the US accept Madam Binh's (and the NVM and VC's) peace proposals.

Meanwhile, other representatives of Kerry's group, the Vietnam Veterans Against The War (VVAW ), met with the NVM and VC delegations in Paris, in March 1971. They were even photographed sitting at a table with them, as in a photo displayed in Winter Soldiers, by Richard Stacewicz, page 284. 

Subsequently, VVAW representatives met with the North Vietnamese and Vietcong delegations on numerous occasions, both in Paris and even in Hanoi.

The VVAW even signed a treaty with the North Vietnamese which included all of Madam Binh's points, as noted by the historian of the anti-war movement, Gerald Nicosia, his book Home To War:

    The FBI has recently released the files on VVAW and can be found here, documenting the knowledge of Kerry’s visit to Paris to speak with the North Vietnamese:

    These actions in meeting with foreign leaders who are directly engaged in treaty negotiations with the United States Government border on treason.

Did Navy Lt. Kerry violate The UCMJ?
August 23rd, 2004

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is a federal law, enacted by Congress. Its provisions are contained in United States Code, Title 10, Chapter 47. Article 36 of the UCMJ allows the President to prescribe rules and procedures to implement the provisions of the UCMJ. The President does this via the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM) which is an executive order that contains detailed instructions for implementing military law for the United States Armed Forces.

The UCMJ states:


Any person who--

(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or

(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly;

shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.

    John Kerry’s meeting with the North Vietnamese, the very people who are killing Americans in the war, borders precariously close to treason, enough to be investigated.

    What must be reinforced here, however, is the effect of these actions concerning the point of this paper: What did the North Vietnamese say about why they prolonged the war?

It was the American Anti-War movement.

    John Kerry was a part of that movement, a major leader of that movement.

    The North Vietnamese publicly stated that the American anti-war movement encouraged them to continue to fight.

    The next connection is impossible to avoid: John Kerry’s actions directly lead to American servicemen and women to be killed in combat because of the encouragement his actions gave to the enemy, the North Vietnamese.

    From 1970 until the end of American involvement in 1975, 9,586 Americans were killed in Vietnam. Killed because American anti-war protests encouraged the North Vietnamese to continue fighting the war.

    It is not a stretch to see that the actions of John Kerry and Jane Fonda directly lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans in the Vietnam War.

    Is this the only list of failures or deaths caused by the American Anti-war movement? Sadly, no.

    American foreign policy was changed dramatically after the Vietnam War. American military dominance was questioned, new weapons programs were held back, American intelligence operations were ended and our CIA was attacked and almost shut down, efforts to remain technologically superior were thwarted at times, and material replacement of military hardware was slowed or refused after 1975.

    American prestige was shattered globally. The newspapers of the world all spoke of the American loss in Vietnam, the movie industry put out movies showing Vietnam veterans as psychotic drug abusers or wife beaters and social misfits.

    But most importantly, it shattered American resolve to fight when necessary. The Democratic majority in Congress would enact the 1973 War Powers Resolution, forbidding the president from sending U.S. troops into combat for more than ninety days without congressional consent. Congress increasingly emphasized the limits of American power, and put a cap on the cost Americans would pay in pursuit of specific foreign policy objectives. The fear of getting bogged down in another Vietnam-like quagmire made a majority of Americans reluctant to intervene militarily in Third World countries. It caused American public opinion to sway and support a political party over another, even though the party portrayed in a negative light had nothing to do with causing the war and never received the respect it deserved with ending it without a total disaster for the American public had we followed the advice of the anti-war protesters.




    This lack of resolve showed in 1975 when the North Vietnamese invaded the South and began a slaughter, killing as many as 1 Million people, causing over 1.5 Million to 2 Million people to flee in small boats to save their very lives.

    This lack of resolve showed later that year when the Khymer Rouge began their systematic genocide in Cambodia, leaving the US powerless to intervene to stop the killing, and over 1 Million people were slaughtered.

    This lack of resolve showed even in 1979 when the American Embassy was overrun in Tehran, Iran, and then President Jimmy Carter failed to respond with forceful effort with our military in response to the new world threat: Islamic Terrorism.

    This lack of resolve showed when then President Ronald Reagan failed to fully make a military effort in Lebanon because of a lack of backing in the House and Senate.

    This lack of resolve showed when the Contras were supported for a year or two, only to have the Democrat Senate and House remove the means to provide for their actions against a Communist dictatorship in Nicaragua.

    By then, it was almost too late. American resolve was a joke. It took the efforts of Ronald Reagan to rebuild our military out of the shambles that Jimmy Carter left it. It took the efforts of George H. W. Bush in defending the nation of Kuwait in the first Gulf War.

    But, once again, an anti-war person came to the forefront, Bill Clinton, who during the 1990’s, ignored the obvious threat of radical Islam that the world was facing.

    And again, in 2001, with a lot of words, people like John Kerry started blaming someone else instead of the bad guys for 9/11. John Kerry voted for war against the Taliban, and then again voted for war against Saddam Hussein. 

    But what happened next? The Anti-War movement came out of hiding, and in a war where the enemy directly provided aide and support for terrorists who exploded bombs on American soil, anti-war activists have once again divided the American people, and John Kerry is one of their leaders . . .again.

    It is not that much of a stretch to see what happened from John Kerry’s actions in the 1960’s to today, and how people like him affected our national government policy through their activism and actions.

    By leading and organizing protests against the war, John Kerry encouraged the North Vietnamese to continue the war, and thousands of Americans died...

    Over a Million South Vietnamese died...

    Over a Million Cambodians died . . .

    American prestige was tarnished. . .

    Islamic terrorism was born and not stopped because of American reluctance to engage in combat after Vietnam, reluctance which was called the “Vietnam Syndrome” . . .

    Communism attempted to overthrow more countries in our own hemisphere . . .

    An anti-war leader, Bill Clinton, carrying on the same traditions as John Kerry, failed to stop the obvious growing threat of Islamic Fundamentalist sponsored terrorism . . .

    And now, we are engaged in a world wide terror war. The United States appears to be alone in it, too. All because of the pacifism and anti-Americanism of the American Anti-War movement of the 1960’s.

    That’s when it started in our generation.   John Kerry has blood on his hands.

Jim Bancroft is a former Marine who served in the United States Marine Corps from 1977 to 1981, and served off the coast of Iran for the Hostage Rescue Attempt of April 24-25, 1980.

151 posted on 09/07/2004 2:17:18 AM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon

"But most importantly, it shattered American resolve to fight when necessary."

152 posted on 09/07/2004 2:29:20 AM PDT by MEG33 (John Kerry has been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security)
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To: Interesting Times

153 posted on 09/07/2004 2:48:47 AM PDT by BunnySlippers (Michael Steele ... WOW!)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub


154 posted on 09/07/2004 3:04:02 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: Interesting Times


155 posted on 09/07/2004 3:04:16 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: bray
AS an ex-Braindead Liberal, this pisses me off to no end. The lying puke makes me want to scream. I believed those lies and wasted a big part of my life.

In his defense, he had been sent to a foreign land to fight a war that we weren't trying to win, he had been injured badly, and WORSE he was a pariah from society and friends when he returned, and people threw feces at him and hurled insults at him. If ever there was a situation to draw a man to evil this is one of them.And people like JOhn Kerry and his pal, Jane Fonda, knew just how to attack their tortured souls.

Telling the truth now does not excuse his past behavior, or that of the other VVAW liars. He harmed many including his fellow Vets. But he is trying to make it right the only way he can, and for that I thank him.

John Kerry is the one who has more explaining to do:

John Kerry admits he made up all his atrocity stories, now we know that John Kerry pressured other tortured Vets to make up and tell atrocity stories-- John Kerry is a man that should make any right-thinking American sick.

156 posted on 09/07/2004 3:05:39 AM PDT by RobFromGa (A desperate man is a dangerous man, and Kerry is getting desperate.)
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To: Interesting Times

It was known back then as “street theater”. It wasn’t called “lies”, but “educating the masses”.

157 posted on 09/07/2004 3:10:06 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: Interesting Times; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; PhilDragoo; Happy2BMe; devolve; potlatch; ...

158 posted on 09/07/2004 3:23:27 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: Interesting Times

Thank you IT for your work in bringing this story into the light where it can be seen by many Americans who are beginning to understand the depth of the lies we have been subjected to re: Vietnam.

If we gave them the chance they would do the same with Afghanistan and Iraq vets, they will not get that chance. I wonder how anti-War protestors would appreciate having feces thrown at THEM? Maybe they'll find out some day.

159 posted on 09/07/2004 3:24:47 AM PDT by RobFromGa (A desperate man is a dangerous man, and Kerry is getting desperate.)
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To: Interesting Times

Something still isn't right about his story...

160 posted on 09/07/2004 3:34:33 AM PDT by TaxRelief
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