Sunday, January 27, 2013

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

Despite 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 Massachusetts.

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 of Vietnam.

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.

Kerry 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.

Recently, 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 integrity."

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.

"It was 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.

Warsh 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 name "Forbes").

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.

Sydney 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.

"Sen. 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."

In 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.

That 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?

No doubt 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 and chameleon.


Husband and brother of missing Staten Island woman heading to Turkey to hunt for her

Sarai Sierra, 33, arrived in Istanbul for vacation Jan. 7 and was supposed to return home last Tuesday, but didn't show up for her return flight

	Sarai Sierra of Staten Island, missing in Turkey.
Sarai Sierra of Staten Island, missing in Turkey.
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 last Tuesday.

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 pictures with.

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.”

Flashback: A Rare Broadcast of John Kerry’s 1971 Speech Against the Vietnam War Before the Senate


After returning from the Vietnam War, John Kerry became a prominent critic of the war. He testified before the Senate in 1971 and told of atrocities being committed by U.S. troops. He called for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. And he asked: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" We broadcast a rare recording of this historic address from the Pacifica Radio Archives.
On October 9, 2002, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry stood on the Senate floor and spoke in favor of the invasion of Iraq. The next day he voted to authorize President Bush to go to war.
Thirty years earlier, Kerry became a leading voice against the war in Vietnam.
Kerry returned from Vietnam in April 1969, having won early transfer out of the conflict because of his three Purple Hearts. He had also won a Silver Star.
When Kerry returned home, over 540,000 U.S. troops were deployed in Vietnam. Some 33,400 had been killed, and the number of protests in the U.S. was surging.
Kerry gradually became active in the antiwar movement. After working behind the scenes and making a few little-noticed appearances at rallies, he joined a group called Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
In January 1971, the organization held a series of hearings in Detroit called the "Winter Soldier Investigation." Kerry did not speak at the event, which received only modest press coverage. This is an excerpt of a veteran testifying at the hearings. He describes what it was like in Vietnam.
  • Winter Soldier Investigation documentary
John Kerry declined to speak at the "Winter Soldier Investigation" hearings, but a bigger stage awaited him.
Three months after the hearings, Kerry took his case to congress and spoke before a jammed Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Television cameras lined the walls, and veterans packed the seats.
Kerry was 27 years old and dressed in his green fatigues and Silver Star and Purple Heart ribbons. On April 22, 1971, he sat at a witness table and delivered the most famous speech of his life. It was to become the speech that defined him and make possible his political career. Overnight, he emerged as one of the most recognized veterans in America.
Pacifica Radio played his speech on the air. Today, we will play a rare broadcast of that speech. From the Pacifica Radio Archives, this is John Kerry in 1971.
*********WARNING  Some of the pictures are vivid and gruesome
The "Winter Soldier Investigation" was a media event sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) from January 31, 1971 -- February 2, 1971. It was intended to publicize war crimes and atrocities by the United States Armed Forces and their allies in the Vietnam War. The VVAW challenged the morality and conduct of the war by showing the direct relationship between military policies and war crimes in Vietnam. The three-day gathering of 109 veterans and 16 civilians took place in Detroit, Michigan. Discharged servicemen from each branch of military service, as well as civilian contractors, medical personnel and academics, all gave testimony about war crimes they had committed or witnessed during the years of 1963--1970.

With the exception of Pacifica Radio, the event was not covered extensively outside Detroit. However, several journalists and a film crew recorded the event, and a documentary film called Winter Soldier was released in 1972. A complete transcript was later entered into the Congressional Record by Senator Mark Hatfield, and discussed in the Fulbright Hearings in April and May 1971, convened by Senator J. William Fulbright, chair of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

The purpose of the Winter Soldier Investigation was to show that American policies in Vietnam had led to war crimes. In the words of one participant veteran, Donald Dzagulones,
"We gathered not to sensationalize our service but to decry the travesty that was Lt. William Calley's trial for the My Lai Massacre. The U.S. had established the principle of culpability with the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis. Following those principles, we held that if Calley were responsible, so were his superiors up the chain of command — even to the president. The causes of My Lai and the brutality of the Vietnam War were rooted in the policies of our government as executed by our military commanders."

The name "Winter Soldier Investigation" was proposed by Mark Lane, and was derived from Thomas Paine's first Crisis paper, written in December 1776. When future Senator John Kerry, then a decorated Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve (Inactive), later spoke before a Senate Committee, he explained,
"We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country; we could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out."