I also came across another article about Kerry from 1996:
John Kerry: The Chameleon Senator
By Ted Sampley
U.S. Veteran Dispatch
October-December 1996 Issue
the prayers and wishful thinking of POW/MIA families and Vietnam
veteran activists, Sen. John Forbes Kerry, the "chameleon" senator from
Massachusetts, was re-elected to the Senate in the 1996 election.
Apparently Kerry's well publicized history as a longtime radical
supporter of the Vietnamese communists and a recent flap about whether
or not he is guilty of a war crime meant very little to the voters in
Sen. Kerry, the "noble statesman" and "highly
decorated Vietnam vet" of today, is a far cry from Kerry, the radical,
hippie-like leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in the
early 1970s. After Kerry, as a Navy Lieutenant (junior grade) commanding
a Swift boat in Vietnam, was awarded the Silver he found it
advantageous to quit the Navy, change the color of his politics and
become a leader of VVAW. He went to work organizing opposition in
America against the efforts of his former buddies still ducking
communist bullets back in Vietnam. Kerry gained national attention in
April 1971, when he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, then chaired by Sen. J. William Fulbright (D-AR), who led
opposition in the Congress against U.S. participation in the war. During
the course of his testimony, Kerry stated that the United States had a
definite obligation to make extensive economic reparations to the people
Kerry's testimony, it should be noted, occurred
while some of his fellow Vietnam veterans were known by the world to be
enduring terrible suffering as prisoners of war in North Vietnamese
prisons. Kerry was a supporter of the "People's Peace Treaty," a
supposed "people's" declaration to end the war, reportedly drawn up in
communist East Germany. It included nine points, all of which were taken
from Viet Cong peace proposals at the Paris peace talks as conditions
for ending the war.
One of the provisions stated: "The
Vietnamese pledge that as soon as the U.S. government publicly sets a
date for total withdrawal [from Vietnam], they will enter discussion to
secure the release of all American prisoners, including pilots captured
while bombing North Vietnam." In other words, Kerry and his VVAW
advocated the communist line to withdraw all U.S. troops from Vietnam
first and then negotiate with Hanoi over the release of prisoners. Had
the nine points of the "People's Peace Treaty" favored by Kerry been
accepted by American negotiators, the United States would have totally
lost all leverage to get the communists to release any POWs captured
during the war years.
Kerry was fundamental in organizing
antiwar activists to demonstrate in Washington, including the
splattering of red paint, representing blood, on the Capitol steps.
Several hundred of Kerry's VVAW demonstrators and supporters were
allowed by Fulbright to jam into a Senate Foreign Relations Committee
hearing in 1972 and to chant "Right on, brother!" as Sen. George
McGovern (D-SD), then the only declared Democratic presidential
candidate, accused U.S. troops of committing barbarisms in Vietnam.
became even more of a press celebrity during a highly publicized
"anti-war" protest when he threw medals the press reported were his over
a barricade and onto the steps of the Capitol. Kerry never mentioned
that the medals he so gloriously tossed were not his own. The 1988 issue
of Current Biography Yearbook explained: " . . . the ones he had
discarded were not his own but had belonged to another veteran who asked
him to make the gesture for him. When a 'Washington Post' reporter
asked Kerry about the incident, he said: 'They're my medals. I'll do
what I want with them. And there shouldn't be any expectations about
them.'" Kerry's medals have reappeared, today hanging in his Senate
office, now that it is "politically correct" for a U.S. Senator to be
portrayed as a Vietnam War hero. Alas, so much for integrity.
Kerry became extremely defensive when David Warsh, an economics
columnist for The Boston Globe, questioned the circumstances for which
Kerry was awarded the Silver Star. Kerry, who was in a close re-election
battle with Gov. William F. Weld, a Republican, quickly gathered his
former crew from his Swift boat days to rebuff the "assault on his
According to the official citation accompanying the
Silver Star for Kerry's actions on the waters of the Mekong Delta on
February 28, 1969: "Kerry's craft received a B-40 rocket close aboard.
Once again Lieutenant (j.g.) Kerry ordered his units to charge the enemy
positions. . . Patrol Craft Fast 94 then beached in the center of the
enemy positions and an enemy soldier sprang up from his position not ten
feet from Patrol Craft 94 and fled. Without hesitation Lieutenant
(j.g.) Kerry leaped ashore, pursued the man behind a hootch and killed
him, capturing a B-40 rocket launcher with a round in the chamber." In
an article printed in the October 21st and 28th 1996 edition of The New
Yorker, Kerry was asked about the man he had killed.
either going to be him or it was going to be us. It was that simple. I
don't know why it wasn't us--I mean, to this day. He had a rocket
pointed right at our boat. He stood up out of the hole, and none of us
saw him until he was standing in front of us, aiming a rocket right at
us, and, for whatever reason, he didn't pull the trigger--he turned and
ran. He was shocked to see our boat right in front of him. If he'd
pulled the trigger, we'd all be dead . . . I just won't talk about all
of it. I don't and I can't. The things that probably really turn me I've
never told anybody. Nobody would understand," Kerry said. In the
column, Warsh quoted the Swift boat's former gunner, Tom Belodeau, as
saying the Viet Cong soldier who Kerry chased "behind a hootch" and
"finished off" actually had already been wounded by the gunner.
wrote that such a "coup de grace" would have been considered a war
crime. Belodeau stood beside Kerry and said he'd been misquoted. He
conceded that he had fired at and wounded the Viet Cong, but denied
Kerry had simply executed the wounded Viet Cong. Dan Carr, a former
Marine from Massachusetts, who served 14 months as a rifleman sloshing
around in the humid jungles of I Corps, South Vietnam, questioned
whether or not Kerry deserved a Silver Star for chasing and killing a
lone, wounded, retreating Viet Cong. "Kerry is certainly showing some
sensitivity there. Most people I knew in Vietnam were just trying to
pull their time there and get the hell out. There were some, though, who
actually used Vietnam to get their tickets punched. You know, to build
their resumes for future endeavors," Carr said.
In 1991, the
United States Senate created the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA
Affairs to examine the possibility that U.S. POW/MIAs might still be
held by the Vietnamese. As chairman of the Select Committee, Kerry
proved himself to be a masterful chameleon portraying to the public at
large what appeared to be an unbiased approach to resolving the POW/MIA
issue. But, in reality, no one in the United States Senate pushed harder
to bury the POW/MIA issue, the last obstacle preventing normalization
of relations with Hanoi, than John Forbes Kerry. (Remember the middle
In fact, his first act as chairman was to
travel to Southeast Asia, where during a stopover in Bangkok, Thailand,
he lectured the U.S. Chamber of Commerce there on the importance of
lifting the trade embargo and normalizing relations with Vietnam. During
the entire life of the Senate Select Committee, Kerry never missed a
chance to propaganderize and distort the facts in favor of Hanoi.
H. Schanberg, associate editor and columnist for New York Newsday and
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist veteran of the Indochina War whose
book, The Death and Life of Dith Pran, became the subject of the Academy
Award-winning film The Killing Fields, chronicled some of Kerry's more
blatant pro-Hanoi biases in several of his columns.
In a Nov.
21, 1993 column, Schanberg wrote, "Highly credible information has been
surfacing in recent days which indicates that the headlines you have
been reading about a 'breakthrough' in Hanoi's cooperation on the
POW/MIA issue are part of a carefully scripted performance. The apparent
purpose is to move toward normalization of relations with Hanoi.
John F. Kerry, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA
Affairs, is one of the key figures pushing for normalization. Kerry is
currently on a visit to Vietnam where he has been doing two things: (1)
praising the Vietnamese effusively for granting access to their war
archives and (2) telling the press that there's no believable evidence
to back up the stories of live POWs still being held. "Ironically, that
very kind of live-POW evidence has been brought to Kerry's own committee
on a regular basis over the past year, and he has repeatedly sought to
impeach its value. Moreover, Kerry and his allies on the committee -
such as Sens. John McCain, Nancy Kassebaum and Tom Daschle - have worked
to block much of this evidence from being made public."
December of 1992, not long after Kerry was quoted in the world press
stating "President Bush should reward Vietnam within a month for its
increased cooperation in accounting for American MIAs," Vietnam
announced it had granted Colliers International, based in Boston,
Massachusetts, a contract worth billions designating Colliers
International as the exclusive real estate agent representing Vietnam.
deal alone put Colliers in a position to make tens of millions of
dollars on the rush to upgrade Vietnam's ports, railroads, highways,
government buildings, etc. C. Stewart Forbes, Chief Executive Officer of
Colliers International, is Kerry's cousin. Kerry was portrayed in The
New Yorker as a proud Vietnam veteran and "war hero" who, as chairman of
the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, dared to take on and
defeat the "mendacious POW lobby."
In its 1993 final report,
the Select Committee determined that live U.S. prisoners of war were
left behind in the hands of the Vietnamese after the end of the war. The
committee also claimed it found no "compelling" evidence proving the
POWs remain alive today. Kerry's committee stopped there without
answering three of the most profound questions of the entire Senate
POW/MIA investigation: What happened to those U.S. prisoners of war who
the Select Committee said were alive and in the hands of the Vietnamese
but not released at the end of the war? If they are dead, where are
their remains? Who is responsible for their deaths?
most of the Establishment press will continue to obscure from the public
and themselves the raw truth about Kerry, the communist Vietnamese and
the POW/MIA issue because it is politically convenient. There is also no
doubt the POW/MIA families and Vietnam veteran activists know the truth
and recognize Kerry for what he truly is--a traitor, hypocrite, liar
The husband of a Staten Island woman who vanished on vacation is headed to Turkey to look for her — but he isn’t telling his two young sons about their mom’s disappearance.
Steven Sierra, 40, is determined to find his 33-year-old wife Sarai
Sierra, who arrived in Istanbul Jan. 7 and was supposed to return home
She never showed up for her return flight.
Sierra, along with his wife’s brother, were poised to fly Sunday night
to Turkey, where they will meet with American embassy officials.
Their sons, ages 9 and 11, are staying with a family friend and being kept in the dark.
“They don't know what's going on and I don't want them to,” Steven Sierra said. “We’re doing our best to hide it from them."
Sarai Sierra developed a passion for photography in recent years, and
was headed to Turkey to photograph graffiti and to meet up with
strangers she met online through Instagram, her family said.
A friend was supposed to accompany her to the former Ottoman Empire, but the pal backed out at the last minute.
“Sarai was so excited to go, she just continued with the trip,” her
husband said. "We were all nervous and scared that she was going to go
alone, but you want to be supportive and encouraging."
The day before her return flight, Sierra texted her sister that she was
looking forward to coming home. She planned to register for classes at
College of Staten Island, where she studies psychology part time.
"She was in contact with us every day while she was out there,” her husband said.
“Everything was fine until the day before she was supposed to arrive home. That’s strange."
The landlord of the hostel where she was staying in the pleasant
neighborhood of Beyoglu found her belongings in her abandoned room,
including her passport, iPad and the Samsung Galaxy phone she took
Cops are checking hospitals, police stations and other institutions.
Steven Sierra plans to join the search when he arrives Monday.
“If I don't go then I haven't done everything I can to find my wife — and I can't live with that,” he said.
“I’m hoping this is very quick, that we all come home, and it's a beautiful story in the end.”