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Please note: this is a rush transcript. I would edit the diary and fill in the few words I missed and/or misheard as time permits. As it stands right now, though, I think it is substantially accurate. Expect only very minor updates, if any.

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

SHERWOOD: In other wars, captured Americans, subjected to the hell of an enemy prison, were considered heroes. In other wars, they were not abandoned. In Vietnam, they were betrayed.

    FILM TITLE ("Stolen Honor")

[more after the fold]

SHERWOOD: My name is Carlton Sherwood and I am a journalist. As an investigative reporter I have written about corruption in government, corporations and the military. I have helped to expose doctors who were actually ordering the starvation of handicapped infants, and charlatans who preached faith from the pulpit, but who practiced greed and deception in their personal lives. In every case the guilty party dishonoured their professions and they were made to answer for the hurt they caused.

Tonight's report is cut from the same cloth. Only for me, it's a lot more personal.

    VIETNAM ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD: It's about a war I've fought in and what I saw happening when I got back from it. It s about a treachery that was in its own way, as frightening as the hand-to-hand combat that I experienced as a young marine. It's about what I felt when I first saw and heard this:

    KERRY PICTURE FROM TESTIMONY

KERRY VOICEOVER: "We are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions, in the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, the killing of prisoners, accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam."

SHERWOOD: Wait a second, I asked myself, did I hear that right? Was I or my fellow marines being accused of the same atrocities John Kerry had committed? Later in his testimony he claimed that American soldiers in Vietnam were guilty of even more heinous acts of barbarism:

      KERRY PICTURE FROM TESTIMONY

KERRY VOICEOVER: "...they had personally raped, cut off ears, cot off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam."

SHERWOOD: As I heard John Kerry speak I could feel an inner hurt no surgeon's scalpel could remove. I felt the honour of fighting for my country decomposing just as surely as if all the battle ribbons have been stripped from my chest, leaving only torn patches where once the dignity and sacrifice had been.

    VIETNAM ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: If the words I heard dishonoured the dead and the wounded, what must they've meant for my comrades still in battle, or even worse, those in the prisons and the torture chambers of the enemy? It is to the American POW in Vietnam that this report is dedicated [...] from their lips that the bitter truth would long last be heard.

    VIETNAM ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: The decade-long war in Vietnam was the longest America ever fought, and the only foreign war America never won. Not that we didn't try. At its height, 540,000 American troops went to battle. More than 58,000 were killed and more than 300,000 wounded. Twice as many bombs were dropped on the enemy than the combined US-British bombing of Germany in World War II. The price paid in treasury exceeded 150 billion dollars. The price exacted from the national spirit still being paid today.

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: In a cause lost more at home than on the battlefield, the reason for containing communism first enunciated by President Truman and later implemented by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, was undermined by voices at home that screamed protest and urged withdrawal. The only monuments to this war would be the dead, the maimed, the despairing and the forlorn, an anonymous source is quoted as saying. This despondency not only divided our citizens, but encouraged our enemies to inflict even greater atrocities on American POW.

    POW ROSTER

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: People like: Kenneth Cordier, John Jack Fellowes, Ralph Gaither, Paul Galanti, Carlyle "Smithy" Harris, Gordon "Swede" Larson, Thomas McNish, Robinson Risner, Jack Van Loan, James Warner, Ronald Webb, Leo Thorsness, recipient of the Medal of Honour.

    VIETNAM PRISON FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: What was home to many prisoners 30 years ago was this place - a prison built by the French before they were run out of the country by the Vietnamese. Our prisoners called it "the Hanoy Hilton". No one ever dared to call room service, since a knock on the door usually meant a beating, or a sadistic interrogation. The cells were damp, barren, and shuttered from the sunlight. Communication between them was accomplished by a tap code the prisoners had invented. But mostly the cells were solemn places, with the fore-boding silence broken often by screams of pain, and there was plenty of that to go around.

GORDON LARSON: They'd bend you over double and pass a rope around your body and then jump up and down your back pulling that rope tighter and tighter and tighter, cutting off all your circulation... and after a short time it became extremely painful. Then they had other types where they'd have "yubuls".. they rode a bar through your legs and put a weight of a heavy bar through these "yubuls" , through your ankles and the weight of it would cut-off circulation and create an intense pain. But the rope was the worst, it had lasting effects sometime as they'd tie your arms with the rope so tight [..] they would cross my elbows behind my back  It cut-off circulation, sometimes it'd be days before you get your feeling back in your hands. There.. everyone reached a point [sigh] you had to bend to their will, just couldn't take it anymore.

JACK FELLOWES: Oh, they they'd... great torture to extract a confession out of you. I've spent 14 hours in a rope trip, and when I came out I couldn't move my arms. And, they want me to run, I can't run, I can't move. And I spent the next six months or so [..] back. I couldn't move from the shoulders down. And they wanted a confession. They wanted me to confess my crimes against the people, and this was going on all the time.

TOM MCNISH: Interestingly enough when I got through torturing [,...] that would under, that you would write something or do something, whatever they were after, the last thing they'd always ask for was asked, as for demanded, was that you write in a statement saying "I have been well treated by the lenient and humane people of the Democratic Republic of North Vietnam". This was after they tortured you to get whatever else they wanted.

LEO THORSNESS: I was told by them the penalty was death... execution, and I was threatened at one time, I will never forget it, they said that "unless you confess to crimes, tomorrow morning you would be executed".  Tomorrow morning came and I heard some guards march up, umm, obviously the execution didn't come but it, umm, it gives you pause for thought.

KEN CORDIER: They had a standard torture technique that was used on almost everyone. And that was to put your hands in maniculls (?), not hand-cuffs, maniculls, which are clamps that you can't move in behind you, behind your back and then put ropes around your upper arms and tighten up on them and till the elbows touch.

    DRAWING OF WHAT IS DEPICTED SHOWN

KEN CORDIER: And then they just go away and leave you until you scream loud enough and long enough, and they come in and loosen the ropes and resume the interrogations. The first time that happened to me they released the bonds and continued the interrogation.. I started giving them some answers they quickly deduced were largely false. And so they put me back in the ropes and as they were tying me up again I yelled at the interrogator (I was still pretty brave at this point) - I said "you are barbarians, you are torturing me and I am injured and I need to see a doctor not be tortured, what is wrong with you". And I said "my back is broken I am in a lot of pain". Well that was a big mistake, because in addition to put me in the ropes they hog-tied me - pout a rope around my neck and my ankles....

    DRAWING OF WHAT IS DEPICTED SHOWN

KEN CORDIER: ... and arch my back, uh, backwards. And then I found out later that this is also standard treatment. Every guy that had an injury, they tortured the injury to break him quick, more quickly.  A broken arm would be twisted behind his back, or broken leg, put him in his chair and twist the leg behind him. That was standard treatment. Very pragmatic, uh, it made the guy break quicker.

TOM MCNISH: Those who resisted torture to the point where they became.. they lost control of their mental faculties became totally psychologically separated from reality, developed extreme phases of psychosis.. The Vietnamese would just allow them to starve themselves to death rather then keeping them as ever-lasting mementoes of their inhumanity

    VIETNAM ARCHIVAL POW FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: And dozens of Americans were killed in captivity, but the true number may never be known. If such brutality was not severe enough on an average day, it was even worse when Jane Fonda...

    JANE FONDA ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: ...Tom Haden, and other anti-war activists came to visit. The Vietnamese wanted to exploit their condemnation of America, and our prisoners were expected to be a responsive audience. They were ordered to behave, if not applaud, and were guaranteed the best seats in the house for every performance.

RON WEBB: Jane Fonda, when she came there, made tapes that were played in our cells. I never saw her face to face but she made tapes hat indicated that we were criminals, and that any punishment we were receiving from the North Vietnamese was legitimate and we deserved it. And that we should be punished.

GORDON LARSON: One of our biggest problem.. hang-ups was how in the world could our government allow these people to come over there, without a visa, without authorization, against the law, visit a country that we're fighting and give aid and comfort to them while we were still languishing in their prison cells.. it's hard to fathom.

JIM WARNER: They'd draw a circle on the stone floor, with a piece of chalk, and I was to stand there in that circle.. and I lasted 97 hours, but when I finally gave it up of course I got into it with a guard and I got beaten up pretty bad after that broke some teeth. But while I was in that circle I was able to see the front gate and I saw Tom Haden enter the camp and I saw Mary McCarthy enter the camp. And of course they were hyped at that time as being visitors to North Vietnam and.. [I] never met them face to face but I was allowed to see this activity coming through the gate of the camp, I guess, to influence me that Americans were obviously opposed to the war, and that I ought to be also.

ROBINSON RISNER: I was in pain a lot of the time. I was being treated inhumanely. It was difficult for me when the Vietnamese, although the Vietnamese would try to get us to [..] and I know that we had more than one person coming to Vietnam who was, the Vietnamese told me, these people said, they were winning the war into the streets of America. I certainly didn't approve of that.  I, I didn't think it was right for an American to come over and bolster the Vietnamese' morale.

GORDON LARSON: In the case of Jim Stockdale, of Admiral Stockdale, they wanted him to meet the delegation, and he came up with the idea of blackening his own eye to keep from meeting that delegation. He picked up a stool and smashed the stool at his face twice to blacken his eye so that he would not have to meet that delegation. As a result he was severely tortured and didn't meet the delegation but he went through hell for his actions.

    POW FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: American POW like any other Americans, were, if nothing else, ingenious. They found ways in the most dire of circumstances to confound the enemy and knock its best-laid deceptions off-stride. As when Admiral Jeremiah Sherton blinked the word "torture"...

    FOOTAGE FROM FILM SHOWING THIS

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER:...in Morse code, while being forced to make a false confession by his captors.

CARLYLE HARRIS: I happened to have found about a tap code that was usually [..] in WWII, and I shared it with the other guys. And because this was so early on, we were all the early shoot-downs, that, when we got back to ourselves [...] we immediately started using that tap code. And it had not been taught to everyone, and it was the code that we used from then on out, through our incarceration to communicate between the cells.

For a long time, you know we heard it and I guess I didn't pay much attention to it. We finally realized that we really were able to communicate and, and in some places they demanded absolute silence, but we just found other ways to communicate by flashing a hand or a piece of paper under the crack that someone could read across the way or to use coughs and sneezes and hacks for one through five, uh, we just found more secure ways they could not identify as tapping, to communicate. And they never shut us down.

    AMERICAN ANTIWAR PROTEST FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: Little that the American POW imagined that half way around the world events were conspiring to make their precarious situation even more desperate.

    WAR PICTURE OF KERRY + SWIFT BOAT CREW

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: That an American Naval lieutenant after four-month tour of duty in Vietnam was meeting secretly at an undisclosed location in Paris with a top enemy diplomat. That the same lieutenant joined forces with the anti-war efforts

    PICTURE OF KERRY SITTING 2 ROWS BACK FROM FONDA

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: ...and was the spokesman for the so-called Vietnam Veterans Against The War, many of whom would later be discovered as frauds, men who had never set foot on the battlefield or left the comfort of the States, or even served in uniform, except in mock contempt of the military.

    KERRY PICTURES; ANTIWAR PICTURES

Their lurid fantasies of butchery in Vietnam were ceased upon by John Kerry to help him organize the so-called Winter Soldier Investigation - the template he would use to brand all Vietnam veterans.

    ARCHIVE FOOTAGE FROM WINTER SOLDIER INVESTIGATION:

KERRY: Is there something that you could say [..] in terms of the crimes that had happened.. What brings you here, what makes you say "I want to testify"

VET: I almost need a book to answer that, man, it's like, uh, just so many things bothered me about, about just that short period that I was over-there.  

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: Never mind that many of the horror storied seem made up on the spot:

QUESTIONER/VET(?): You may be able to come up with a, I was trying to find somebody that knew something about a village (?) called Quang Tree (?)

VET: Right, I got that because I was in the area..

SAME VET?:.. and was to set the example to show that we weren't [bleeped] around .. the thing we do is, we burn don the village and kill everybody.

ANOTHER: [cut] whenever they are questioning me they would get me to elaborate on that, uh, I forgot all about that one

ANOTHER: How could you forget it, I remembered it and I wasn't even in on it.

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER:  This was the "evidence" John Kerry would swear to before the US SENATE. Testimony that would quickly travel half-way around the world to convince our prisoners that back home they stood accused and abandoned.

    PICTURE FROM SENATE HEARING

KERRY VOICEOVER: "The country doesn't know it yet, but it's created a monster. A monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and trade in violence and who are given the chance to die for the biggest nothing in history. Men who have returned with a sense of anger and a sense of betrayal which no one has yet grasped." "And we cannot consider ourselves America's best men when we are ashamed of and hated what we were called on to do in Southeast Asia."

    KERRY FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: Enemy propagandists have found a new and willing accomplice, and for some prisoners consequences were swift and deeply personal.

JIM WARNER: The interrogator showed me a transcript of a testimony that my mother had given at something called The Winter Soldier Hearings. I read her testimony and it wasn't damning

    SHOT OF TITLE PAGE OF VIRGINIA WARNER TESTIMONY (MOTHER OF JIM WARNER)

JIM WARNER: But then I saw some of the other stuff that had gone on at this Winter Soldiers Hearing, and I wondered how did somebody get my mother, persuaded her to come and appear in something like this. And then uh, shortly thereafter he showed me some statement of John Kerry. I know that he did talk to her and he talked to my sisters. And, uh, I really don't know what was in their minds to participate in this, but I do know this, and that is, you know, it is really, it is really a contemptible act to take a grieving old lady...

    PICTURE OF KERRY

JIM WARNER: ...and use, uh, prey upon her grief and manipulate her grief for, purely, for the promotion of your own political agenda.

    KERRY AT HEARING

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: If the Kerry accusations weren't disturbing enough, the timing of them raises even more serious question about the motive and character of the accuser.

    VIETNAM FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: In 1971 when Kerry delivered his "stop the killing end the war" manifesto, the war had all but ended - less than half of our army remained in Vietnam. A year later they too would be gone. Yet to the average American combatant having been branded by Kerry as a demon and a murderer, getting out of Vietnam alive was a high-risk adventure.

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: But in 1971 there were also 700 prisoners still being held in Hanoy. Mostly American pilots, now pawns in a deadly international game of face-saving. Their lives hung by a thread, their fate entirely in the hands of a pitiless enemy which held no compunction about inflicting pain, torture and death on their defenceless captives. Now their nightly tap codes on prison cells not only spoke of reprisals from a ruthless enemy, but the new peril that threatened your chances of ever returning home again - the damning words of an American Naval lieutenant they once called their own.

    PICTURE OF KERRY BEING AWARDED A MEDAL

JIM WARNER: The interrogator went through all of these statements from John Kerry, he starts pounding on the table see, hear this Naval officer, he admits that you are criminal and that you deserve punishment. Well, look, they told us this is a camp for punishment. We are in solitary confinement. When the guy starts pounding the table and, and you can spot this in him when they start, uh, the voice starts to rise, the face gets red, that's usually a sign that something bad is about to happen.

LEO THORSNESS: The things he said were just devastating because he is using words like "war criminal" and that kind of stuff.  As a POW, we were being told we were war criminals, and we would be tried for war crimes, and unless we confess and ask for forgiveness and bad-mouth the war and take their side of the war, we'll never go home. I mean, you talk, and then here's a guy at home, he's been in Vietnam so he has some respect for the peers(?) over there and now he swaps to the other side and he is  saying the same things we are being tortured to say. That was a very difficult time.

KEN CORDIER: Well my reaction to the Kerry testimony, the perjurer's testimony at that Senate hearing committee in April of 1971m ah, I was outraged, and still am. That he willingly said things which were untrue, the very same points that we took torture not to write and say. They, they uh they tortured us and made us write war crimes confession to be used later... where we admitted, confessed to committing war crimes and that we condemn our government's policy of being in Vietnam. And that we ask their forgiveness. And there was gall in my mouth to write these words but I couldn't take any more of the torture. And for someone to do that, willingly, and, and to, for someone to pass himself off as representing all veterans in Vietnam..

    KERRY PICTURE

KEN CORDIER: ... and saying these outrageous things that were totally untrue.. it just uh... To me it's , it's the measure of the man.

LEO THORSNESS: Every military combat guy I've talked to from Vietnam said their greatest fear was not being killed but being a POW. And as you know there were people captured in South Vietnam were literally skinned alive and so, most brutal... And Kerry is giving the capturers ammunition to treat people like that if they are captured. These are people he knew, where in the world is his loyalty to the people of the military.    

SHERWOOD: But what about the allegations themselves? How true were they? How many were out-and-out fabrication, lies, designed to shock America, throw one last spotlight on he waning anti-war movement? And how many were driven by one man's personal political ambitions?

PAUL GALANTI: When he came back and told those lies about these atrocities that he personally witnessed, and ,uh, ears being cut off - he never saw anybody's ears being cut-off - he knew, or should have known those guys he was with were frauds, they were just outright frauds.

JACK VAN LOAN:  To say that we were rapists, we were murderers, we were pillagers, is absolutely, is absolutely a lie, there's just no two ways about it.

JIM WARNER: As to whether I believe that Kerry had actually seen these things.. no.. uh.. we understand something happened at My Lai. Uh, frankly, I certainly, if you have told me the Marines have done this I wouldn't believe it because I can't comprehend that we would have let an officer get away with something like that. But that's beside the point, uh, the My Lai massacre happened, but the guy Kelly was punished for it. Uh, these things did not go on all the time.

    VIETNAM PICTURES

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: Yes, all America cringed earlier, in 1969,  when Lieutenant Kelly's actions at the massacre at My Lai hit the front pages. But wasn't this an isolated incident? Were not the cruelties of My Li exposed by the soldiers there - American soldiers, who refused to participate - whose revulsion compelled them to tell of the horrors they've witnessed?

    KERRY PICTURES

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: Was not John Kerry taking the exception and making it the rule? More than that, wasn't he saying that Americans, by their nature, were a murderous horde, unrestrained by accepted rules of combat or even the most basic forms of human decency?

    KERRY PICTURE FROM TESTIMONY

KERRY VOICEOVER: "We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a My Lai and refused to give up the image of American soldiers that hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum..." "We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shoot anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Orientals."

SHERWOOD: Intended or not, Lieutenant Kerry painted a [..] portrait of Vietnam veterans, literally creating an image of those who served in combat as deranged drug-addicted psychopaths, baby-killers. And that odious image has endured impressed upon a popular culture for more than 30 years.

Nearly every book and motion picture produced about Vietnam since 1971 echoes the litany of atrocities John Kerry laid at the feet of men who served there, especially those in front-line battle positions who bore the brunt of suffering and death. It was his evil American soldier on a bloody rampage that filled the screens and lined the pockets of producers of films like Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and Casualties of War.

He wrote the first draft of history, not of Vietnam, but of those who fought there, and his was a history of shame and cruelty, dishonour and unspeakable barbarity. But was it the truth, or were all Vietnam veterans slandered, their honour stolen?

TOM MCNISH: All of the contacts that I've had with veterans from South Vietnam have straight-out said that that did not happen, those were point-blank lies.

JACK FELOWES: I'm also horrified by the fact that all these people were doing it and .. and couldn't produce anybody that had actually done it. Then he adds on that he did it, which automatically means that he is a war criminal... if he says which I believe he said that he did it too. It was... We just don't do that, we are Americans and, and not that we try to conceal things, but certainly wouldn't come out and start talking about things that aren't even true. And that really.. and I thought he'd be more accountable for it, I really did.

JIM WARNER: If he had actually seen these things, would he say that on television, risking the chance that somebody would say "why the hell didn't you stop it?"

LEO THORSNESS: Yeah, when John Kerry talked about the atrocities and war crimes, that was so contrary to the war that I knew - example - in the air war in North Vietnam if there were a sand site which would ...shooting us down, their missile sites, their flat guns (?)  they were within two miles of a pagoda, we couldn't go within two miles of a pagoda, we did, uh, we had to fly on certain headings, because the bombs if they hung on the airplane for too long  and we gave them every advantage to shoot us down, because of the many rules that McNamara, Johnson, that people had put on. We were not committing war crimes, we were fighting that war with one arm tied behind us.

RON WEBB: It was understandable that people opposed the war. It was understandable that [...] the young people that didn't want to participate in it. It was a long and ugly war and it was wronged by the politicians and it wasn't permitted to be won by the military and so consequently the country was dragged through an enormous, uh, 10-12 years of heart ache. But to have former military people actually come up and testify against our activities in Vietnam and to accuse us of being war criminals, was devastating.

JIM WARNER: He was saying "we had done these things". And he was saying things that he knew to be false, and knew would harm us. That means he abandoned his comrades, he burned up his brotherhood, band of brothers, membership card, when he did that.

    FAMILY PICTURES OF POW AND WIVES

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: The wives of POW are no less adamant about their convictions. Louise Harris waited 7 years for her husband to return from the war. Mary Jane McManus was married just 3 days before her husband Kevin left for Vietnam. It would be nearly 6 years before she saw him again.

LOUSIE HARRIS: I believed that Smithy believed in what he was doing or he wouldn't have been doing it. And I knew him to be a man of conscience. And I knew a lot of the fellows that were along there with him. As a matter of fact so many of our squadron were over there and Hanoy, including Roby Brasner who was the squadron commander. And I knew the quality of these men. And I knew what they were saying was not true. And it, it was terribly upsetting to me that nobody covered anything except that kind of  wrong thinking. As if Americans would truly go into countries and rape the women and kill the babies and do horrible unspeakable things to the people.

We were there to help those people, and I believe that with every fibre of my being. And whether or not the exact conduct of the war went as we wanted it to, I knew in my heart that men like Smithy and most of the people that I knew would not do the kinds of things that John Kerry was saying were being done, I didn't believe it.

MARY JANE MCMANUS: I knew he was getting publicity, but I didn't believe that the American people were gonna fall for what he was saying. They couldn't = they had sons, brothers, husbands over -there fighting. They were war criminals, coming back - they weren't. They were good men, who because of Kerry's testimony, later, came back and were spat upon. They couldn't even wear their uniforms in the street.

I'm not gonna say all the wives were thinking, but a vast majority of them, that Kerry was, obviously as my husband says ruining the reputations of those who already died, ruining the reputations of those who were still serving, of whom my brother [..], and worst of all, killing any chances for our husbands to get home, from Vietnam.

SHERWOOD: And that, perhaps,  more than any other issue, still haunts and angers many of these men and their families. Were john Kerry and his fellow anti-war activists responsible for lengthening their imprisonment, and in doing so, causing the deaths of men who may otherwise have survived? Their answers are unequivocal and chilling.

TOM MCNISH: They unquestionably lengthened by untold number of months, maybe years my time required to spend there. And had anybody acted upon their recommendations, to the extent that they requested, and basically capitulated and withdrawn our troops from Vietnam, we would have been committed to a death in North Vietnam either over a long period of time from old age or immediately when the Vietnamese found us no longer useful.

LEO THORSNESS: Without question, we were held captives longer because of the anti-war people. From the Kerrys to the likes/names (?) of Fonda and Haden, the ones we knew over there, they encouraged the enemy to hang on.

JACK VAN LOAN: It took the anti-war movement to help them [..] to win, so those people who participated in that anti-war movement they delayed the war, they caused additional American casualties, and incidentally, by the way, they kept me in jail longer, none of which I appreciated.

JACK FELLOWES: We stayed 2 more years because of him. John Kerry, Jane Fonda and all that crowd, the anti-war movement, [..] 2 years.

RALPH GAITHER: I am convinced that Kerry's and his fellow anti-war people caused the war to be extended for at least 2 more years. Throwing medals over the wall, speaking against our country in time of war, he knows it's going to extend the warm it's going to delay , it's going to complicate things. And it's probably hurt a lot of people, a lot of prisoners like Mike Sayeth (?) [...] I am convinced had the war been over 6 months earlier he would have been home alive today, but he is not.

    BOB DOLE PICTURE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: Former senator Bob Dole, a decorated war veteran himself, recently called on Senator Kerry to apologize to all Vietnam veterans for his actions in 1971. Will an apology heal the wounds Senator Kerry has re-opened?

LEO THORSNESS: I would like to see John Kerry say "I was wrong. We did not ,as policy, commit atrocities, commit barbarities over there,", as he described. It just isn't so. And if he were to admit that he did that just for political gain or to get attention or to make a point in exaggerated [sic], I'd have a lot more respect for him.

JACK VAN LOAN: What Senator Kerry did is irreparable. You can't repair that kind of damage. You can't , you can't get up and tell a bald-faced lie.. and that's when he said we were rapists, we were murderers, we were pillagers, et cetera, et cetera, that was a bald-faced lie. There's nothing you can do; you cannot apologize for that, you can't say "what I really meant was this", there, there's nothing that you can do, it is irreparable.

JIM WARNER: Frankly, an apology is not going to do anything for me now, because he doesn't owe an apology to me, he owes it to all those who served in Vietnam, and for that matter to everyone who has ever served in he Armed Forces, peace time or war time, from the beginning of the country; he turned his back on all of us.

    COMING HOME FOOTAGE FROM WWII

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: When a war ends, those who fought it can expect to hear the praise of a grateful nation - honoured for their sacrifice, remembered for their valour. But those returning from Vietnam experienced none of that. Instead, they were vilified...

    FOOTAGE POST VIETNAM

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: ..condemned, made to feel unclean, called sick, and even spat upon.

    FOOTAGE OF GEORGE "BUD" DAY

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: For men like colonel "Bud" Day who spent 67 months as a POW, and survived to become one of the most decorated veterans of the last century, including the nation's highest award for valour, the medal of honour, for distinguished veterans like Colonel Day, the damage done to those who served in Vietnam can never be reconciled.

GEORGE DAY: I was also outraged to learn that my fellow soldiers and marines who had come back and gone through some of those reception areas and being spit on, and they told them "don't wear your uniform", uh, on the airplane, don't subject yourself to all this abuse, all of these people had honourable service and to have been mistreated the way they were when they came back from the war having done the very best [..] in the jungles of Vietnam, this was truly an outrageous thing.

And right to this day, 2004, we still have not recovered our good name. The thing about the Kerry comments back in 1971 was that they were so sensational, they were so outrageous, that they were precisely the kind of thing that a propaganda expert and (in?) the news media were looking for. We went to that war with good intentions, we fought it under honourable conditions, we fought it under Geneva conventions, and he has blackened the entire history, not just that day, not just for a few months, not for just a year, but now we are looking at 3 decades.

He has destroyed the good name of all Vietnam veterans. This man committed an act of treason, he lied, he besmirched our name, he did it for his own self-interest, and now he wants us to forget. I can never forget.

    VIETNAM WAR FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: The Vietnam War is not an experience most Americans can [...] choose to relive. Those who fought it and those who fled it would both prefer to consign its painful memory to history and move on. But Senator John Kerry won't let us.

    KERRY PICTURES

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: By making his actions during and after the war the corner-stone of his political career...

    VIETNAM WAR FOOTAGE

SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: ... he forces us to feel again the agonies and regurgitate all doubts. And because of that, the long road from the hell of Vietnam has grown even longer, and those of us who were there seem condemned to condemnation he and others have rested upon us. Perhaps it will take a political debate in an election year to finally cleanse away the persistent stain of that war and drive off the demons that haunt our culture.

Perhaps films like "Apocalypse Now" which reflects John Kerry's view of a murderous American will no longer be made because the dishonesty of it has been exposed. Perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, the media would own up to its complicity in allowing the Kerry testimony to remain relatively unchallenged and give the voices you have heard tonight a hearing throughout the land.

Our American POW in Vietnam feel betrayed and unjustly accused, as do untold thousands of Vietnam veterans who served honourably and well. They believe too much has been made of the hand that helped the soldiers back onto a [..] and too little written about how one man drowned the hopes of thousands, dishonoured their sacrifice, and robbed them of their heritage, their place in history.

They don't want a belated apology. They want John Kerry to be finally accountable for his disgrace (?), the harm he inflicted on an entire generation of good soldiers. Simply put, they want the truth, not parades or a hero worship. Just the plain truth, and their dignity and honour restored.

I'm Carlton Sherwood, I know a lot about Vietnam, and the men who fought and bled there. They didn't throw away their decorations or their honour. Perhaps the man who did would come forward and set the record straight. Good night and Godspeed.

END TRANSCRIPT

Originally posted to dr z on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:03 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  trick or treat.. (4.00)
    ..I suppose I should put up one of these.
    •  I don't know if you can get in trouble for this (none)
      but thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Idea:No Blood for Oil. Action:I use Biodiesel. site blog

      by KumarP on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:06:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so this is a joke? (none)

      "I don't want to wake up on Nov 3 with George Bush still president and ask myself if there was anything more I could have done." -- Moby

      by lapis on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:07:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  These POW's complaing about Kerry make me sick (none)
      They obviously only care about them selfs.  They keep trying to argue that Kerry's statements gave the enemy ammo - but don't seem to care about the countless number of Americans that would have been killed or tortured had Kerry and others not stood up to stop a pointless war.

      Were watching try to potray Kerry in the same light concerning Iraq.  The day we are not allowed to speak our minds and fight againt a war that is unjust is the day we loose our America forever.

      When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil. - James Carville

      by sgilman on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 07:27:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  that... (none)
      is one helluva lot of work, and will no doubt come in handy.  Thanks for all that effort, and for subjecting yourself to this movie for what must have been hours on end.  

      "Next time you see Me comin' you better run." - God (via Bob Dylan)

      by deolmstead on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 09:21:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  so where is all the ruminating (none)
    over the place of documentaries in political campaigns? Isn't that part of what we were promised yesterday?

    How did it come across: affecting or over-the-top?

    "I don't want to wake up on Nov 3 with George Bush still president and ask myself if there was anything more I could have done." -- Moby

    by lapis on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:06:57 PM PDT

    •  are you kidding.. (4.00)
      The "documentary" "Stolen honor" is a ruthless hit-job. Absolutely, no question about it, no holds barred, no lies spared. However, I don't know exactly what would be shown in the remaining minutes, live or recorded, nor would I have a trasncript for it.

      This trasncript is of the whole "documentary" called "Stolen honour, 42 minutes long. Sinclair will air probably around 30-35 minutes of it, i.e. most everything you see here, and then follo-up (they say) with some live and/or recorded commentary - by the same guys, I would think, plus Sherwood.

      •  Dr. z (none)
        this diary entry really should put you in the dKos hall of fame. Now I don't have to watch this shameful crapfest. I appreciate it to no end!

        Idea:No Blood for Oil. Action:I use Biodiesel. site blog

        by KumarP on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:31:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I realize it's a hit job (none)
        Some hit jobs are effective, others are so obviously over-the-top that they defeat their own purpose. I was wondering which one you thought this fell into.

        And I had no way of knowing whether or not you'd seen the final cut -- I thought they started airing it in certain locations tonight...not to mention the fact that more than a few people on this blog often get early news "scoops."

        "I don't want to wake up on Nov 3 with George Bush still president and ask myself if there was anything more I could have done." -- Moby

        by lapis on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 06:48:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  if you suspend judgement.. (none)
          ..and logic, and ignore (or are ignorant) of the lies and distortions (as in omitting " They said they.."), and only go by emotion, it is fairly effective. Except towards the end, when Day's statements get more and more bombastic which each sentence.

          You also have to ignore that the logic of Kerry prolonging the Vietnam war by protesting it (supposedly because of boosting enemy's morale) only works if America won the war - as in "we could have won it earlier if Kerry didn;t aid the enemy". But America lost! How is this crazy argument about Kerry's prolonign the war by wanting to stop it even internally consistent, never mind plausible?

          If you really want an answer, I'd say the film has the same effectiveness as that of the swift liars for Bush 30-second ad, only is 84 times longer. So I guess it is more effective in a way.

          Another point, all the torture talk sounds really awkward because of Abu-Ghraib (some of which was even worse, yet "torture" is not a good term to use for what America did in Iraq, right). It would remind people of that and juxtapose it.

          Shame on these people and their lies and ignorance. What a stain on their conscience.

          •  propaganda so blatant it undercuts its objective (4.00)
            I admire the fortitude it took to transcribe this -- I'm sorry, but I could only read parts and scan a great deal of the rest. The possibility of damage to Kerry from Sinclair airing this is less than I anticipated because Sherwood's writing and editing are so indulgent. Apart from the manipulations like leaving out "They said...", he piles it on so heavily that he, and they all, begin to sound ridiculous. It reads as such an obvious hit job that only the converted could sustain interest. It commits the worst sin on TV: it's boring.

            It's hard to believe this guy was once a legit journalist, this seems like it was made by a self-obsessed junior high school student. Speaking of legit journalism, I've only heard Chris Matthews mention ONCE to one of these anti-Kerry viet Nam vets that the Toledo Blade did a Pulitzer-prize winning story about atrocities committed by US soldiers in VNam. He said it, it dropped, no one picked it up, and the swift boat liars were never again confronted with this hard and ugly reality:

            Article published Sunday, September 5, 2004

            TIGER FORCE
            Ex-officer may face justice for atrocities
            Army lawyer calls for war-crime charge

            By JOE MAHR
            BLADE STAFF WRITER

            Three decades after an Army platoon repeatedly executed unarmed civilians and prisoners in Vietnam, a military lawyer has recommended the unit's former commander be brought up on a war-crime charge.

            In what would be an unprecedented event, retired Maj. James Hawkins could face a military court-martial regarding his actions commanding a platoon known as Tiger Force that killed hundreds of unarmed men, women, and children 37 years ago, The Blade has learned.

            As the scope of war crimes in Vietnam becomes a key question in the presidential election, the military lawyer recommended this spring that Army officials charge Mr. Hawkins, who led Tiger Force between July and November, 1967.

            The recommendation came during a broader Army review of Tiger Force prompted by a four-part series in The Blade in October. The series revealed the platoon's seven-month rampage through Vietnam's Central Highlands in 1967.

            http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040905/SRTIGERFORCE/409050410

            •  My thoughts exactly (none)
              It seems the whole premise is "American forces never committed atrocities in Vietnam, therefore Kerry was/is an evil liar."  But I think that the fact that American forces DID commit atrocities & war crimes in Vietnam has been securely incorporated into the CW and public consiousnes that most people should be immune to this hit job.

              That said, it's an ugly piece of work, and may be effective on an emotional level.  I hope not.

    •  This is not the Sinclair program that will air... (none)
      is it? This is the actual film, from which they're planning to manufacture a "news" program. This is not a transcript of what they've actually agreed to air if I understand correctly. Right?
      •  from the comments on the thread (none)
        it does appear to be the complete Stolen Honor film and not the rendition of it that will air on Sinclair stations. I'm sure, though, that most of the film will air along with a few throw-aways about the "controversy."

        "I don't want to wake up on Nov 3 with George Bush still president and ask myself if there was anything more I could have done." -- Moby

        by lapis on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 07:43:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Carlton Sherwood (none)
    Info on Calrton Sherwood from Wikipedia.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

    by Lestatdelc on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:08:47 PM PDT

    •  From Media Matters (4.00)
      Some more on Sherwood:

      Stolen Honor producer Sherwood falsely claimed Winter Soldier investigation "utterly discredited"

      Referring to a 1971 investigation organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in which Vietnam veterans described atrocities that they had witnessed or participated in, right-wing film producer Carlton Sherwood (producer of the anti-Kerry film Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal) falsely claimed that "everything that came from the Winter Soldiers hearing has been utterly discredited through volumes and volumes of books." In fact, research by Media Matters for America has uncovered no evidence that any witness testifying in the 1971 Winter Soldier Investigation in Detroit has had his story discredited.

      Sherwood was disputing claims by VVAW member and Winter Soldier witness Kenneth J. Campbell on the September 9 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. Campbell said that testimony by him and other Winter Soldier witnesses formed the factual basis for Senator John Kerry's 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. When Sherwood attempted to discredit the Winter Soldier investigation, Campbell defended himself and the other veterans who testified:


      SHERWOOD: And as far as what Ken said, everything that came from the Winter Soldiers hearing has been utterly discredited through volumes and volumes of books and not one...

      CAMPBELL: That's untrue.

      [...]

      There was only one person in the Vietnam Vets Against the War that was uncovered as having been a sergeant when he said he was a captain. Otherwise, the rest of the folks, we all brought our DD-214s [a document issued to military members upon separation from active service] that day. I brought mine today, in case you challenged my credibility. And we were not frauds. And we did do or see or participate in what we said we did.

      As MMFA has previously documented, conservative historian Guenter Lewy claimed in his 1978 book, America in Vietnam, that a Naval Investigative Service report into the Winter Soldier allegations had discredited many of the witnesses and accounts, and in some cases impostors had assumed the identities of real veterans who were not present at the investigation. But Naval Criminal Investigative Service public affairs specialist Paul O'Donnell told (registration required) the Chicago Tribune: "We have not been able to confirm the existence of this report, but it's also possible that such records could have been destroyed or misplaced." And Lewy himself admitted to The Baltimore Sun that "he does not recall if he saw a copy of the naval investigative report or was briefed on its contents." Apart from Lewy's allegations, a search by MMFA turned up no other reports of evidence that any Winter Soldier witness was an impostor.

      MMFA has documented Sherwood's previous smears against Kerry.

      Contact:
      Carlton Sherwood
      Red, White and Blue Productions
      C/O Quantum Communications
      123 State St.
      Harrisburg, PA 17104
      Phone 717-213-4955

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

      by Lestatdelc on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:14:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More from Media Matters (4.00)
      Hannity & Colmes gave Stolen Honor film producer Carlton Sherwood a forum for more smears of Kerry

      One day before the opening of his film (subscription only), Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, Carlton Sherwood appeared on the September 8 edition of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes and smeared Senator John Kerry, falsely accusing the senator of "label[ing] all of them [POWs] war criminals."

      Sherwood (author of the pro-Unification Church book Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon) appeared on Hannity & Colmes alongside Paul Galanti, a member of the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth who was interviewed for Stolen Honor. During their FOX News Channel appearance, Galanti joined Sherwood in attacking Kerry by accusing him of treason for "[a]iding and abetting the enemy in a time of war" -- yet no Kerry supporters were brought forth to make the debate "fair and balanced." Moreover, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, in his 1971 Senate testimony, Kerry was simply relating the personal experiences of other Vietnam veterans who had come forward and told their stories; Kerry focused blame on the leaders at that time, not the soldiers, for the atrocities they claimed to have committed or witnessed.

      Sherwood's book Inquisition, which defends Reverend Moon and his controversial religion against what Sherwood deems religious persecution, was published in 1991 by Regnery Publishing. In 2004, Regnery published such books as John E. O'Neill's and Jerome R. Corsi's Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry; Robert Patterson's Reckless Disregard: How Liberal Democrats Undermine Our Military, Endanger Our Soldiers, and Jeopardize Our National Security; Michelle Malkin's In Defense of Internment: The Case for "Racial Profiling" in World War II and the War on Terror; and David Horowitz's forthcoming Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left.

      As blogger Kevin K. noted on Catch.com, PBS's FRONTLINE: The Resurrection Of Reverend Moon (aired on January 21, 1992) indicates that Sherwood's connections to Moon go far beyond those of a neutral observer who witnessed religious persecution. Sherwood has written book reviews for the Moon-owned Washington Times as recently as February 2004 FRONTLINE noted that Regnery president "Alfred Regnery was told by Carlton Sherwood that the Moon Organization would purchase 100,000 copies of Inquisition -- at least according to former Washington Times editor James Whelan, another Regnery-Gateway author. But Alfred Regnery denies it." FRONTLINE then documented evidence suggesting that Moon played a significant role in shaping
      Sherwood's book:


      One week after talking to Regnery, FRONTLINE obtained a copy of a letter addressed to Sun Myung Moon. The letter was written by James Gavin, a Moon aide. Gavin tells Moon he reviewed the "overall tone and factual contents" of Inquisition before publication and suggested revisions. Gavin adds that the author "Mr. Sherwood has assured me that all this will be done when the manuscript is sent to the publisher." Gavin concludes by telling Moon, "When all of our suggestions have been incorporated, the book will be complete and in my opinion will make a significant impact. ... In addition to silencing our critics now, the book should be invaluable in persuading others of our legitimacy for many years to come."

      Although he refused an on-camera interview, Carlton Sherwood told FRONTLINE that the Unification Movement exerted no editorial control over his book.

      Sherwood is president of Red, White and Blue
      Productions
      , which produced Stolen Honor; he is also executive vice president of the wvc3 group, a firm focusing on homeland security and counterterrorism. In 1980, while working for the Gannett News Service, Sherwood won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting on "financial contributions to the Pauline Fathers, a Catholic religious order based in Pennsylvania" (Associated Press, 4/14/80). There is also a media award named in his honor.

      As Catchegory documented, Pennsylvania Insider editor Al Neri noted in the June 2003 Insider that Sherwood is "a former [Secretary of Homeland Security and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom] Ridge confidant and administration official" who was "tapped to create and manage a new Fed website -- www.firstresponder.gov -- a key Bush Administration public outreach program directed to the more than 8 million police, fire, EMS and emergency management personnel nationwide." (Firstresponder.gov is not yet operational. According to the American Public Works Association, it was supposed to be live by March 2004, but it has apparently been delayed.) In February 2002, Ridge heaped praise on Sherwood at a National Press Club luncheon.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

      by Lestatdelc on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:40:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IT'S A BIG, VICIOUS KORESHIAN-ESQE CIRCLE FOLKS.. (none)
      From Wikipedia's entry:

      Sherwood authored a book on Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Sherwood concluded that Moon and his followers "were and continued to be the victims of the worst kind of religious prejudice and racial bigotry this country has witnessed in over a century." Sherwood himself had previously worked for the Washington Times, owned by members of the Unification Church. In a story on this book, the PBS television series Frontline obtained a copy of a letter addressed to Moon. The letter was written by James Gavin, a Moon aide. Gavin tells Moon he reviewed the "overall tone and factual contents" of Inquisition before publication and suggested revisions. Gavin adds that the author "Mr. Sherwood has assured me that all this will be done when the manuscript is sent to the publisher." Gavin concludes by telling Moon, "When all of our suggestions have been incorporated, the book will be complete and in my opinion will make a significant impact.... In addition to silencing our critics now, the book should be invaluable in persuading others of our legitimacy for many years to come."

      BIG SURPRISE HERE.. THE GUY WHO DIRECTED STOLEN HONOR IS A MOONIE.

  •  The "honorable" vets? (4.00)
    First of all, thanks for the work giving the transcript!!

    Let's look at some of those prisoners and see if there is ONE who does not have a partisan agenda to get Kerry. (All POWs names from "Stolen Honor" website, add'l info researched via "google"):

    People already know the producer as a Moonie, neo-con hack (as exposed on "Frontline") and Galanti as someone benefiting from a Homeland security contract. Kenneth Cordier was already caught working for both the Swiftees and as a Bush veterans affairs advisor.

    Leo Thorsness - That's Republican Sen. Leo Thorsness, -Seattle

    Ronald J. Webb - He has served as an official with the FAA during the Bush Admistration.

    Thomas M. McNish - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi today announced the membership of a 12-member panel that will advise him on issues affecting former prisoners of war. The panel is headed by Thomas M. McNish of San Antonio, a physician and POW during the Vietnam War. - Same committee that Cordier resigned from when he was connected to the Swiftees.

    Ralph E. Gaither - Author, "With God in a POW Camp" - Wouldn't be on the religious right would he?

    Gordon Larson - "I soon learned about affirmative action. The blackboard that I used in school, was now a chalkboard and a Negro was now a black man and not a colored man. It was not easy adjusting and it did not occur overnight. Since my departure from the Air Force, I have been involved in many things. . . I had a neighbor who knew of an oil prospect south of San Antonio but didn't know anything about drilling for oil. (Neither did I but knew I could learn!). I was intrigued and found a man to walk me through the process and drilled my first shallow oil well. It was not long before I was up to my eyeballs in drilling and operating a small oil company. They were shallow wells, which didn't make us rich, but we had a good time with them. I ended up drilling almost 30 wells and when oil prices dropped, I got out of the business." - Actual quotes.  So, racist AND ties to the oil bidness . . . GWB gets a twofer!

    George E. "Bud" Day - John McCain's "room mate," he disagrees with McCain on Kerry. In his statement regarding Kerry he complains about what Kerry did, but NEVER asserts that he was tortured with it while in Vietnamese custody. He is invloved with litigation protecting Veterans Health Care Benefits. In his spare time he enjoys hunting. - Suppose there is an NRA connection here?

    No partisan axes to grind here . . . .

    Remember too that POW Phil Butler said this is all a bunch of bull.

    When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

    by foolrex on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:15:16 PM PDT

  •  Good God (none)
    ... where to start?
  •  Hack-aholics Anonymous (none)
    "My name is Carlton Sherwood and I am a journalist."

    CROWD: "Hi Carlton Sherwood!"

    * FREEBIRD! * Kerry/Edwards 2004 * GO ASTROS!

    by JimTXDem on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:36:48 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry but... (4.00)
    For these guys to accuse Kerry and the Winter Soldiers of having had some kind of agenda to hurt other soldiers is absurd and tragic. I grieve for the irrational grudge these guys hold against those who talked honestly about their terrible experiences in the war, and worked to end the war. The little bit I understand about why so many vets hate Kerry only confirms for me how dysfunctional and misguided that feeling is.

    The fucking horrible Vietnam War tore into their bodies and hearts, and they scapegoat anyone who interfered with their coping mechanisms of rationalizing its and their own righteousness. Thus it's not the war or Nixon or even the Viet Cong torturers who hurt them--it's Kerry, for saying it was fucking horrible!

    •  I agree with your comment.... except for one thing (none)
      "The little bit I understand about why so many vets hate Kerry only confirms for me how dysfunctional and misguided that feeling is."

      Elizabeth, don't believe it... my husband was a Vietnam Vet, and he certainly didn't hate John Kerry.  If you want to know who the Vietnam Vets really despised I can spell it out for you with just three letters: LBJ.

      Regards

  •  Don't forget (none)
    there is an MSNBC HardBall transcript of Phil Butler saying that was in the same POW camp as that of
    Paul Galante, Jim Warner, Bud Day and Robert Shoemaker.

    Hardball transcript

  •  ..they said they (4.00)
     Why is it every single time i see the footage or the quote of Kerry saying the "raped, cut off ears, cot off heads,..." line they always omit the first part of it?

     Because leaving the "they said they" part changes whole context of that quote from an accusation to reporting.

     I don't have to read this transcript any further than this to know that this is strictly a hatchet job on Kerry.  It takes this kind of mindset to go out of their way to deliberately cut one second off the beginning of that quote.  This is nothing more than people lying to try to change history.

    •  cutting off one second... (none)
      ...just like the endlessly played clip from Kerry's debate answer on homosexuality always omits the first part, "We are all God's children." They go right for the mention of Cheney's daughter. Including the reference to God might make him a bit less scary to the Christian Republicans watching...

      "We -- even we here -- hold the power, and bear the responsibility." --A. Lincoln

      by uffdalib on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 07:15:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have you passed this on? (none)
    This should be sent to Media Matters and American Progress...

    Visit the Diary of the Lying Socialist Weasels, for commentary from the Original Progressive Web Warriors!

    by Jonathan on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 05:56:03 PM PDT

  •  I'm Confused (3.80)
    I'm a bit confused by all of this.  I just finished reading the transcript, and what puzzles me is that repeated assertions that no atrocities were ever committed by any Americans in Vietnam.

    That's absurd.  The evidence is overwhelming.  It's like denying the holocaust.

    Isn't it?  And I ask this with all seriousness.  I'm 26 years old, and I've grown up knowing Vietnam as a war that we lost badly where young American men were dropped into a hell -- some cracked under the strain, some tolerated until they got out, and some performed valiantly.  All in all, though, it was a pit to which we sent young men to die, in the name of fighting communism, which is apparently evil for reasons never fully explained to my generation, to which communism seems sort of quaint.  My knowledge of the Vietnam War comes from books --  like The Things They Carried -- and movies -- such Apocalypse Now -- and never have I seen an account of the war that does not include references to or explicit descriptions of the atrocities committed by some American soldiers.

    So again, I ask: Is there any question that these atrocities were committed?  Is there any basis for these assertions in this documentary?

    -Waldo Jaquith

    •  Yes, atrocities (none)
      The draft ended the year before it would have got to me, but my cousin went and there was plenty of nasty stuff on all sides. Another friend of mine was fighting in Cambodia back when we weren't officially there yet. He's still a bit psychotic.

      I don't know if our ground troops went berzerk on the Germans as we went in in WWII (our airforce had certainly had fun with firebombing non-military "targets" before then), but all wars, all wars ever, between peoples of markedly different civilizations (as compared to America - an essentially Germanic culture as the Angles and Saxons were both German tribes - and Germany) have included vile acts on all sides.

      For that matter, the reason the holocaust is viewed as horrific by most Americans is because Jews were accepted into the White tribe here (in opposition to the Native Americans and slaves) in a way that never quite happened in Europe - thus we see Israelis as "us" just as much as we see the British as close cousins - while most Europeans would as soon see Isreal fall to Muslim bandits.

      There's probably no way we can continue in Iraq without continuing in atrocities there, for that matter. If we avoided them in the first Gulf War, that was only because it was brief and without much civilian engagement.

    •  Thoughtfully and beautifully written.... (none)
      Waldo,

      Your questions here really moved me. I'm 38, so I was too young to remember Vietnam first-hand as well; but, I worked years ago with a Purple Heart vet (battling cancer he'd received from being exposed to Agent Orange). He told me the best book on the subject of Vietnam was A Bright Shining Lie : John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam by Neil Sheehan.

      I figured, if anyone would know what book to recommend, it would be someone who was there in the thick of it. It's beautifully written (something, judging by your own writing, you would admire) and it won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1989. I can tell you it helped me to better understand what went wrong in Vietnam than any other piece I've ever come across since.

      The atrocities did occur. These people are merely trying to re-write history -- and we must not let them get away with it.

      Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Meade

      by ilona on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 09:16:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Atrocities (none)
        My brother told me how after Vietnam, his old gang gathered on the back porch of his friend's place.
        His mom came out after hearing these veterans talking and she wept saying it seems like only yesterday you were all kids hanging out here. My brother didn't see combat since he was maintaining B-52's but one of his friends was grieving over the time his company fired upon some movement in the elephant grass. They killed
        some children. This was an atrocity to the Vietnamese. My brother's friend never recovered
        from it and his life went to pieces upon his
        return.
    •  Toledo Blade series on US atrocities won Pulitzer (none)
      yes, there were atrocities. How many, I can't say, I'm no historian. but I'm 50 and remember a lot from the time.

      And I remember the horror of 4 dead in Ohio -- the song and the reality. 4 Kent State students, peacefully protesting, shot dead by the National Guard. These Swift Boat Liars are bizarre -- trying to rewrite history and justify an unjustifiable war. Why do they not attack the men who created the war?

      It was very clear at the time that those who fought to end the war, like john Kerry, were doing something very courageous and heroic. as I mention in the post above, check out the Toledo Blade Series, only mentioned once (then dropped) by Matthews on Hardball. No one confronts the Swift Boat liars with this brutal reality.

      http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040905/SRTIGERFORCE/40905041

      •  more (none)
        some further discussion here - including audio of war crimes testimony.
        the point is that what we're talking about here is the internal investigations of the U.S. army - these right-wing groups don't even deny this information, they just ignore it and hope that no one would notice.

        Marge Simpson: "That's a pretty lousy lesson." Bill Clinton: "Well, I'm a pretty lousy president."

        by nimc on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 11:20:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't assume young people know much about Vietnam (none)
      As James Loewen points out in his book, "Lies My Teacher Told Me" (an in-depth study on how history books teach an inaccurate, ideological, and boring American history), the Vietnam War is usually not taught extensively in American public schools. It gets as much time as the War of 1812.

      High school students never see the canonical photographs of Vietnam: the napalmed girl running down the street, the execution of the suspected Viet Cong sympathizer, a monk lighting himself on fire, the American helicopters evacuating our embassy.  All too controversial. So is learning about most recent events: parents with strong viewpoints or politics might be upset.

      Dr. Loewen also says that most of his college students never learned the terms "hawk" or "dove" in high school.  One year, four of them said that they thought the Vietnam War was fought between North and South Korea!

      The book's getting a little old (1995), but it's still an enlightening read.

    •  Vietnam and Nanking (none)
      I'm like you, Waldo... 28 with my impressions of Vietnam mostly coming from its perception in pop culture since the 1980s.

      It's odd if somewhat understandable how countries hate to confront their own atrocities.  There was just some recent stink about this in Japan... a cartoonist depicted the Rape of Nanking, and he was roundly denounced and his publisher cancelled him, because Japan still totally denies it ever occurred.

      My impression is that the atrocities depicted in the movies were very much based on reality.  I recently found Sy Hersch's articles on My Lai on the internet and if that could happen, who knows what else went on.  So I think it's the same old phenomenon of total denial by many that we ever could have done anything so bad.

      The only real example I can think of of a society confronting its own atrocities is Germany since WWII.  Wouldn't it be nice if we were capable of the same self-reflection?

  •  Unbelievable (4.00)
    SHERWOOD: Was I or my fellow marines being accused of the same atrocities John Kerry had committed?

    He tries to get people believe that Kerry said he had committed the very worst things he talked about, when in fact Kerry said he hasn't personally seen most of it happen. Kerry's own experiences were of free fire zones and search-and-destroy missions.

    SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: That an American Naval lieutenant after four-month tour of duty in Vietnam was meeting secretly at an undisclosed location in Paris with a top enemy diplomat.

    He asked about the treatment of POWs! He asked whether there was any chance of getting them back!

    The presentation also gives the false impression that the Paris meeting came before the other stuff, when in fact it was the other way around.

    Their lurid fantasies of butchery in Vietnam were ceased upon by John Kerry to help him organize the so-called Winter Soldier Investigation - the template he would use to brand all Vietnam veterans.

    That's a lie. It wasn't Kerry's idea nor was Kerry one of the main organizers. He participated in the WSI as an observer.

    CORDIER: to, for someone to pass himself off as representing all veterans in Vietnam..

    Kerry never passed himself off as representing all veterans in Vietnam.

    THORSNESS: And Kerry is giving the capturers ammunition to treat people like that if they are captured.

    The amount of torture didn't increase one iota because of what Kerry said. The POWs were tortured before Kerry spoke out and they were tortured after it, too.

    GALANTI: he personally witnessed, and ,uh, ears being cut off

    Kerry never said this.

    VAN LOAN:  To say that we were rapists, we were murderers, we were pillagers, is absolutely, is absolutely a lie, there's just no two ways about it.

    The claim - oft repeated in this 'documentary' - that Kerry was accusing the POWs of war crimes is wrong. Beyond that, murdering and pillaging have been well documented. I suppose one could dig up instances of rapes, too. It happens in just about every war where soldiers are in contact with an enemy population.

    WARNER: but the guy Kelly was punished for it.

    "Calley".

    SHERWOOD VOICEOVER: Yes, all America cringed earlier, in 1969,  when Lieutenant Kelly's actions at the massacre at My Lai hit the front pages. But wasn't this an isolated incident?

    No.

    Were not the cruelties of My Li exposed by the soldiers there - American soldiers, who refused to participate - whose revulsion compelled them to tell of the horrors they've witnessed?

    Did not the military try to cover it up before Ridenhour went straight to the press?

    SHERWOOD: Intended or not, Lieutenant Kerry painted a [..] portrait of Vietnam veterans, literally creating an image of those who served in combat as deranged drug-addicted psychopaths, baby-killers. And that odious image has endured impressed upon a popular culture for more than 30 years.

    Killing babies is something Kerry never mentioned. What's more, I believe the infamous chant was "Hey, hey, LBJ..." When Kerry came back to the US, Nixon was the president. This presents a problem for the theories that assert that Kerry somehow single-handedly destroyed the image of Vietnam veterans.

    JIM WARNER: If he had actually seen these things, would he say that on television, risking the chance that somebody would say "why the hell didn't you stop it?"

    Obviously Kerry did say "it" on television. "It" here refers to the things Kerry said he personally witnessed, i.e. free fire zones and search'n' destroy missions. He did do something to stop it - he talked to his superiors while in Vietnam and talked about his experiences openly when he got home.

    LEO THORSNESS: we had to fly on certain headings, because the bombs if they hung on the airplane for too long  and we gave them every advantage to shoot us down,

    It sounds like this guy serves in the Air Force. No wonder he doesn't know what went on on the ground.

    WARNER: And he was saying things that he knew to be false,

    How does Warner know what Kerry knew to be false? Kerry had heard his fellow soldiers tell their stories. Where does Warner get off claiming that Kerry knew their accounts to be false? Where does Warner get off claiming that the accounts were false?

    he burned up his brotherhood, band of brothers, membership card, when he did that.

    So how come the people who served on Kerry's boat stand by him?

    SHERWOOD: Were john Kerry and his fellow anti-war activists responsible for lengthening their imprisonment, and in doing so, causing the deaths of men who may otherwise have survived?

    No. The opposite, in fact.

    MCNISH: And had anybody acted upon their recommendations, to the extent that they requested, and basically capitulated and withdrawn our troops from Vietnam, we would have been committed to a death in North Vietnam either over a long period of time from old age or immediately when the Vietnamese found us no longer useful.

    Kerry says in his testimony:

    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 it has been stated time and time again, and was stated by Senator Vance Hartke when he returned from Paris, and it has been stated by many other officials of this Government, if the United States were to set a date for withdrawal the prisoners of war would be returned.

    I think this negates very clearly the argument of the President that we have to maintain a presence in Vietnam, to use as a negotiating block for the return of those prisoners. The setting of a date will accomplish that.

    In any case, return of POWs would have always been on the cards in any peace deal.

    THORSNESS: Without question, we were held captives longer because of the anti-war people. From the Kerrys to the likes/names (?) of Fonda and Haden, the ones we knew over there, they encouraged the enemy to hang on.

    The enemy wasn't "hanging on". The idea that the US could have won the war two years before it eventually withdrew isn't supportable. What's more, the one thing the North Vietnamese didn't need was further encouragement. They lacked many things, but motivation to continue the struggle wasn't one of them.

    "I don't understand 'proving to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.'" -- Condi

    by Fleischer on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 08:29:10 PM PDT

  •  Watch what is going to happen (none)
    Between now and election day (and the machine is already gearing up with Hannity giving them pre-show airtime...they are going to do the same thing they did with the Swift Boat stuff....even if discredited, they will keep on repeating it.  The Swifties were discredited by Nightline, but that didn't bother O'Neill...he just claimed ABC got all of its story from a "closed society" and didn't read the books he kept holding up.

    People see books....they hear Kerry is trying to cover up the story....they watch a show in which, as has just been noted, film clips are carefully edited to show you one part of a statement wh ich completely alters the meaning....

    and between now and election day, like Mary Cheney, like "global trust," like "letting other nations decide our fate", and now like "proposing a program of socialized medicine", they will lie and twist and keep saying it over and over and unless we fight back hard....they will try and swing people's minds and create mistrust of Kerry.....

    This may be a place where the Big Dog can provide some cover and tell the American public that they are watching the last desperate efforts of a President who has no program, no clue and absolutely no morals.

    There is hard work ahead.....

  •  wow (none)
    it is truly amazing that these people have the audacity to say that john kerry's actions extended the war in vietnam.
    not kissinger, not nixon, not LBJ, but kerry.
    that'd be like saying that dennis kucinich is prolonging the war in iraq...

    Marge Simpson: "That's a pretty lousy lesson." Bill Clinton: "Well, I'm a pretty lousy president."

    by nimc on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 11:26:09 PM PDT

  •  Will McCain do the right thing again? (none)
    We need to keep the pressure on Sinclair's advertisers but I get the impression Sinclair is hell-bent on airing this trash. So the question is, will McCain do the honorable thing as he did with the Swift Boat liars, and call this dishonest and dishonorable?
    •  Phfffffft! (3.66)
      I don't eexpect John McCain to do the right thing at all.  Nothing he has done lately shows that he isn't anything but a sleazy hack pol.

      I'l bet anything he'll just stand by and let it happen to his friend.  At most, he'll wag his little finger in their general dicrection.

      But, I tell you what I intend to do, is go after Sinclair with a vengence.  We all need to do this without end.

      If they get away with this unscathed they are emboldened. Believe it.

      Let's destroy Sinclair along their shit candidate of choice.

      Now I've got to wash that filth from my eyes.

      You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

      by mattman on Thu Oct 21, 2004 at 02:15:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm really (none)
      getting tired of the whole, "Will McCain do the right thing?" idea. McCain is way up Bush's butt and there is no way he has any credibility.

      McCain is such a spineless loser. After what Bush did to him in 2000, McCain could have assisted in getting rid of Bush this year. Instead he actually has campaigned with Bush. At the very least McCain could have stayed out of it. No one would have said a thing. But he has gone over into the Bush camp.

      McCain has no balls. Political balls. He's playing for the nomination in 2008.

      Don't even try to misunderestimate me.

      by pox vopuli on Thu Oct 21, 2004 at 05:27:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So many lies, it's sickening (none)
    Oh god -- this would be way worse for Kerry than F 9/11 would be for Bush. Because all of these things are lies, damned lies, disgusting lies. I only read a portion before getting sick to my stomach. For this Sherwood asshole to accuse Kerry of smearing all veterans and POWs is atrocious.

    Kerry was talking about MILITARY LEADERS who ordered soldiers to disobey the Geneva conventions.  We cannot let Sinclair air this, or any portion of it.

    EVERYONE CALL ADVERTISERS! CONTINUE TO COMPLAIN!!!

  •  documentary (none)
    on the bright side, by the time this airs there will be very, very few undecideds left, and less than that will even watch the film.

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. -Emerson

    by fitzov rules on Thu Oct 21, 2004 at 02:27:50 AM PDT

  •  Way over the top crap (none)
    Honestly, while this documentary is a complete piece of crap, I think the effect it has on the race will be basically a wash.  I think it will turn off as many people as it influences.  It is just so far over the top in what it accuses John Kerry of.  

    According to these guys, Kerry apparently caused all the casualties in Vietnam after 1971, was personally responsible for POW torture, and actually lost the war for the Americans, who mind you, were only in Vietnam to pour out their saintly love on the angelic Vietnamese children and did not even use real bullets in their guns for fear of injuring civilians.  I don't think this type of portrayal is going to stick with that many people.  I think there are even odds that this backfires.  

    Next week's Sinclair special:

    "How I performed abortions and married my gay lover while smoking marijuana with Brezhnev, Chairman Mao, and Ché Guevara (The John Kerry Life Story)"

  •  I really think that we need to be ready to (4.00)
    to go to battle on these charges much in the same way that the debate situation was handled, mobilize, organize.  Considering how the press handled the SBVT stuff, do you really expect them to debunk this stuff without pressure from us?  I'm afraid that whatever they show is going to taken control of the media the last week before the elections.  

    Hopefully the broadcast won't get much  attention from the mainstream media, but I wouldn't bet on it.  I think the Sinclair boycott  shouldn't be the focus if we see this happening  -  voicing our displeasure and getting the facts out there should be.  Of course this is just my opinion and everyone has one.  

    Sinclair should not continue to keep licenses on all their stations, but once they show the documentary, the focus should be on debunking the facts and voicing out outrage that they are allowed to lie like this to mainstream media outlets. I'm convinced that every mainstream media organization should be flooded with emails, especially if they don't bother to do a proper job on debunking this crap (and once again I really don't have high expectations that they will take their duty as the fourth estate seriously).  

      Apparently the polls indicate that at LEAST half of us are with Kerry, it's time to let the mainstream media know that we're not going to take it anymore.  

    I am so sick of their bias. Things like CNN averaging polls together in order to give Bush a     lead, instead of highlighting how different polls were.  CNN on Judy Woodruff yesterday, having Republican strategist Ken Duberstein labeled on the screen as a Democratic strategist (I already wrote them on this, it is corrected in the transcript) who then went on to slam Kerry for running such a negative campaign!, etc., etc.  

    Sorry I started ranting.  I'm just trying to point out that it's up to us.  The Sinclair boycott proves that we have power, we need to use it, loudly and often.

    There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by otis704 on Thu Oct 21, 2004 at 06:31:05 AM PDT

    •  This is a good idea (4.00)
      Since we already have the transcript above, would it work to divide it into sections and have volunteers choose a section to write a full debunking (to have it ready for tomorrow night)?  Of course, there will be some other material in the Sinclair program that is not here that will have to be debunked real-time, just like in the debates.  That doesn't mean there shouldn't be an organized effort to start debunking what we already have above.
      •  I think that's an excellent idea. (none)
        I think we definitely need to be very, very proactive about this just in case, hindsight being 20-20.    Should someone start a diary maybe tomorrow or?  

        There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by otis704 on Thu Oct 21, 2004 at 08:03:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What a Whopper! BK pulls ads (none)
    This just in from Reuters:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hamburger chain Burger King said on Wednesday that it would not run its commercials during a controversial program about U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry to be aired by Sinclair Broadcast Group.  http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=6562267

    •  BK pulls ads (none)
      wuhu!!! After General Mills's phony 1st amendment argument as a cover for its smarmy cowardice, this is welcome news. We need mainstream advertisers, especially, to take a stand. More will then follow.

      Btw, your Reuters link doesn't work, gives an error message. this happened to one of my links in this thread too, but not sure why since it's the same as posted earlier in the thread, which does work. thanks for the update.

    •  No one is running commercials during the broadcast (none)
      Given that the program is supposed to be commercial free---that was one reason that stock-holders were worried about it---assurances that BK won't run adverts during the program are no big coup.  I've gotten several responses from Sinclair advertisers along these lines, assuring me that they won't run commercials "during the program".  I email them back and say the boycott is still on: either Sinclair doesn't run the program, or else I'm going to permanently boycott any company that ever advertises on Sinclair.
  •  I'm old enough... (4.00)
    to remember Viet Nam.  I protested the war as a teenager in high school--remember Moratorium Day, wearing the black arm band with the peace sign--and all my friends did, too.  This "documentary" not only accuses John Kerry of prolonging the torture of POW's but ALL OF US IN THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT.  Remember how many of us there were back then?  Maybe not at the beginning, but eventually, the "pro-war" folks were in the minority.  We've grown up now, are middle aged, and we KNOW we were NOT WRONG to have opposed the war, and are VERY PROUD that our actions forced the government to end U.S. involvement.  Fuck Sinclair and this hack "journalist" for trying to re-hash their own guilt about those days.  They were wrong then, and they're wrong now.  This wound will never heal because they insist on picking it 'til it bleeds!
  •  Thanks so much, man (or wo-man) (none)
    I made use of your effort and emailed all my friends about it.

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