John Kerry is running as a Vietnam veteran. The Kerry campaign Web site states: "When John Kerry returned home from Vietnam, he joined his fellow veterans in vowing never to abandon future veterans of America's wars. Kerry's commitment to veterans has never wavered and stands strong to this day." But Kerry's resume tells a very different story.
Kerry's actions in Vietnam were heroic, but his actions upon his return were inexcusable. Kerry associated with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, a rabid anti-war group that defamed United States soldiers and often protested under the banner of the Viet Cong.
Kerry testified before Congress that American soldiers had "raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs ... poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam." He has never named anyone who committed these atrocious acts and admits that he never witnessed these war crimes. Kerry's words certainly contributed to fortifying Viet Cong morale and promoting Viet Cong interests.
Kerry's abandonment of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam wasn't over yet. When he became a senator, Kerry continued to stab Vietnam soldiers in the back. Kerry began pushing normalization of trade with Vietnam. To that purpose, he founded the Senate Select Committee for POW/MIA Affairs. Kerry became chair of the committee. In order to normalize trade, the Vietnamese government would have to prove that its hands were now clean with regard to POW/MIAs.
Kerry tried to erase the possibility that prisoners of war were still alive in captivity in Vietnam. I spoke Monday evening with Mike Benge, a POW/MIA activist. Benge was a civilian POW held from 1968 until 1973 by the North Vietnamese Army; he spent 27 months in solitary confinement, one year in a "black box," and one year in a cage in Cambodia. Benge accuses Sen. Kerry of shredding key papers documenting "live sightings of POWs in Vietnam and Laos" during the POW/MIA hearings. According to Benge, Kerry attempted to shred all copies to prevent leaks and future declassification of the materials.