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When John Kerry's Courage Went M.I.A.

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  • #2
    More lies.

    The rapprochement with Vietnam was a turning point in Kerry's life and political career. In 1992, he took on the politically risky duty of chairing a select committee investigating the whereabouts of missing soldiers in Southeast Asia. At the time, rumors of secret prison camps abounded, fed by a relatively small but dedicated cast of businesses and nonprofit organizations cashing in on the hopes of POW families. Bogus photos of American prisoners appeared, even in the mainstream press.

    Politically, Kerry's mission was a potential "tar baby," he recalled, that his advisers warned him to avoid. His new friend McCain was branded by extremists in the POW-MIA community as a traitor, a brainwashed "Manchurian Candidate." "Things were said about him that I find . . . beyond cruel," said Kerry. At hearings where McCain's anger at his critics flared, Kerry would reach over and place his hand on McCain's arm to calm him down. "I remain grateful to him for doing that," McCain acknowledges.

    Kerry suspected the Nixon and Ford administrations, in their haste to cut American losses, had left some captured soldiers behind, but he was dubious about the existence of secret camps. Nevertheless, he doggedly investigated even the wilder theories, and made a dozen forays to Southeast Asia to ask the Vietnamese for better cooperation. Ultimately, he crafted a report stating that while there may have been POWs unaccounted for and possibly left behind, no proof existed that Americans were still being held.

    Together, McCain and Kerry then led the effort to normalize relations with Vietnam. "The work John Kerry and John McCain did" is "truly one of the most extraordinary events we have had in the last 50 years," says Edward M. Kennedy, who has served in the Senate since 1962.
    http://www.boston.com/globe/nation/package...ry/062103.shtml

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    • #3
      Here are details of a few of the specific steps Kerry took to hide evidence about these P.O.W.'s.

      He gave orders to his committee staff to shred crucial intelligence documents. The shredding stopped only when some intelligence staffers staged a protest. Some wrote internal memos calling for a criminal investigation. One such memo—from John F. McCreary, a lawyer and staff intelligence analyst—reported that the committee's chief counsel, J. William Codinha, a longtime Kerry friend, "ridiculed the staff members" and said, "Who's the injured party?" When staffers cited "the 2,494 families of the unaccounted-for U.S. servicemen, among others," the McCreary memo continued, Codinha said: "Who's going to tell them? It's classified."

      Kerry defended the shredding by saying the documents weren't originals, only copies—but the staff's fear was that with the destruction of the copies, the information would never get into the public domain, which it didn't. Kerry had promised the staff that all documents acquired and prepared by the committee would be turned over to the National Archives at the committee's expiration. This didn't happen. Both the staff and independent researchers reported that many critical documents were withheld.


      Another protest memo from the staff reported: "An internal Department of Defense Memorandum identifies Frances Zwenig [Kerry's staff director] as the conduit to the Department of Defense for the acquisition of sensitive and restricted information from this Committee . . . lines of investigation have been seriously compromised by leaks" to the Pentagon and "other agencies of the executive branch." It also said the Zwenig leaks were "endangering the lives and livelihood of two witnesses."


      A number of staffers became increasingly upset about Kerry's close relationship with the Department of Defense, which was supposed to be under examination. (Dick Cheney was then defense secretary.) It had become clear that Kerry, Zwenig, and others close to the chairman, such as Senator John McCain of Arizona, a dominant committee member, had gotten cozy with the officials and agencies supposedly being probed for obscuring P.O.W. information over the years. Committee hearings, for example, were being orchestrated to suit the examinees, who were receiving lists of potential questions in advance. Another internal memo from the period, by a staffer who requested anonymity, said: "Speaking for the other investigators, I can say we are sick and tired of this investigation being controlled by those we are supposedly investigating."


      The Kerry investigative technique was equally soft in many other critical ways. He rejected all suggestions that the committee require former presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush to testify. All were in the Oval Office during the Vietnam era and its aftermath. They had information critical to the committee, for each president was carefully and regularly briefed by his national security adviser and others about P.O.W. developments. It was a huge issue at that time.


      Kerry also refused to subpoena the Nixon office tapes (yes, the Watergate tapes) from the early months of 1973 when the P.O.W.'s were an intense subject because of the peace talks and the prisoner return that followed. (Nixon had rejected committee requests to provide the tapes voluntarily.) Information had seeped out for years that during the Paris talks and afterward, Nixon had been briefed in detail by then national security advisor Brent Scowcroft and others about the existence of P.O.W.'s whom Hanoi was not admitting to. Nixon, distracted by Watergate, apparently decided it was crucial to get out of the Vietnam mess immediately, even if it cost those lives. Maybe he thought there would be other chances down the road to bring these men back. So he approved the peace treaty and on March 29, 1973, the day the last of the 591 acknowledged prisoners were released in Hanoi, Nixon announced on national television: "All of our American P.O.W.'s are on their way home."
      Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

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      • #4
        The Village Voice...........

        Those Right-Wing propagandists.............
        AKA reddevil
        AKA davel a devil

        [COLOR=red'][/COLOR]

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        • #5
          Yes, the Bush team smeared McCain with this same conspiracy theory in GOP primaries, and now they're going to smear Kerry, even though much of what is alleged against Kerry was protecting Republicans from investigation:

          He rejected all suggestions that the committee require former presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush to testify.
          This is like the Simpsons where Sideshow Bob accuses Mayor Quimby of being soft on crime because he released Sideshow Bob from prison!

          "Look - Kerry didn't even go after the culprits who were covering up the POW's: Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush! He's a patsy, and we need someone who can really stick it to those guys - George Bush! "
          2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

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          • #6
            Lazy ... I read the article twice. I also read other things the person has written.

            This is a hot button issue for the writer, but I couldn't find anything that stand out as a herring.

            Do I think this showed a lack of courage on Kerry's part? No. I think he was doing what any politician would. This spoke the loudest to me:

            A number of staffers became increasingly upset about Kerry's close relationship with the Department of Defense, which was supposed to be under examination. (Dick Cheney was then defense secretary.) It had become clear that Kerry, Zwenig, and others close to the chairman, such as Senator John McCain of Arizona, a dominant committee member, had gotten cozy with the officials and agencies supposedly being probed for obscuring P.O.W. information over the years. Committee hearings, for example, were being orchestrated to suit the examinees, who were receiving lists of potential questions in advance. Another internal memo from the period, by a staffer who requested anonymity, said: "Speaking for the other investigators, I can say we are sick and tired of this investigation being controlled by those we are supposedly investigating."
            Do I think it once again shows his ability to change his views on issues to benefit himself? Yes.

            I found it interesting that Kah focused on including a republican in his response instead of looking at this issue alone and how it affects Kerry. It's the same way he handles most issues related to Kerry.

            I don't like where this election is going at all. It's going to get ugly and has a one way ticket to the gutter stamped. It's already started.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Trigfunctions@Mar 10 2004, 12:07 PM
              Yes, the Bush team smeared McCain with this same conspiracy theory in GOP primaries, and now they're going to smear Kerry, even though much of what is alleged against Kerry was protecting Republicans from investigation:
              Trig ... can you point me to any indication that this was a republican deal?

              The Village Voice is a left sided publication.

              I read all the author's other stories linked at the bottom. None of them seem to be pro-republican.

              Granted, this is a hot button issue for the author, but why can't you look at this from a Kerry only perspective?

              Signed,

              Puzzled.

              Comment


              • #8
                wow, i'll be calling TVV, I wonder if this is true.
                Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's hard work countering GOP lies.

                  Senator John McCain (Republican of Arizona), who himself was a POW in Hanoi
                  for eight years (1965-1973), devoted a large portion of his remarks to
                  defending Senator Kerry against allegations that Kerry destroyed some
                  documents that were part of the committee's deliberations. McCain also
                  decried those "deranged" individuals who "have convinced themselves that
                  there is a massive conspiracy to prevent the return of our POWs.

                  "We do not have a shred of evidence of a conspiracy," McCain said. Such
                  allegations, he said, "libel hundreds, if not thousands of uniformed
                  members of our armed services, whose complicity would be necessary to
                  effect this."

                  http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/libra...94-77497524.htm

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                  • #10
                    What was the body of evidence that prisoners were held back? A short list would include more than 1,600 firsthand sightings of live U.S. prisoners; nearly 14,000 secondhand reports; numerous intercepted Communist radio messages from within Vietnam and Laos about American prisoners being moved by their captors from one site to another; a series of satellite photos that continued into the 1990s showing clear prisoner rescue signals carved into the ground in Laos and Vietnam, all labeled inconclusive by the Pentagon; multiple reports about unacknowledged prisoners from North Vietnamese informants working for U.S. intelligence agencies, all ignored or declared unreliable; persistent complaints by senior U.S. intelligence officials (some of them made publicly) that live-prisoner evidence was being suppressed; and clear proof that the Pentagon and other keepers of the "secret" destroyed a variety of files over the years to keep the P.O.W./M.I.A. families and the public from finding out and possibly setting off a major public outcry.

                    Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We do not have a shred of evidence of a conspiracy," McCain said. Such
                      allegations, he said, "libel hundreds, if not thousands of uniformed
                      members of our armed services, whose complicity would be necessary to
                      effect this."

                      Nice article from 2 years ago............


                      What's his response to the latest............
                      AKA reddevil
                      AKA davel a devil

                      [COLOR=red'][/COLOR]

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                      • #12
                        lazydaze, I'll see your lies, and raise you...

                        While Kerry was in the middle of the BCCI muck, Senate majority leader George Mitchell asked him to assume another difficult task: investigate the unaccounted-for Vietnam POWs and MIAs. For years so-called POW advocates, like billionaire Ross Perot, had claimed American GIs were still being held in Vietnam, and the highly charged POW/MIA issue was the main roadblock to normalizing relations. Working closely with Senator John McCain, a Republican who had been a POW, Kerry got the Pentagon to declassify 1 million pages of records. His committee chased after rumors of American soldiers being held. He took fourteen trips to Vietnam. This was a hard mission: How could his committee say there were absolutely no POWs still captive in Vietnam? Yet anything less could keep the POW controversy alive.

                        On one trip to Hanoi, as Douglas Brinkley notes in Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, Kerry insisted that he be allowed to inspect the catacombs beneath Ho Chi Minh's tomb, where, according to a persistent rumor, the remaining POWs were being held. Permission was granted, and with conservative Republican Bob Smith by his side, he inspected the tunnels and found no signs of POWs. In January 1993 Kerry's POW/MIA committee released a 1,223-page report concluding that there was "no compelling evidence that proves any American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia." Some POW die-hards howled. (Journalist Sydney Schanberg has accused Kerry of covering up and destroying evidence that POWs were left behind.) But the report mostly settled the issue. President Bill Clinton was able to drop the Vietnam trade embargo and normalize relations.
                        http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0227-07.htm

                        This is a pretty pathetic smear attack.

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                        • #13
                          Davel,

                          It's the same charge. Should he address each time it comes up?
                          His mind is not for rent, to any god or government.
                          Pointless debate is what we do here -- lvr

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                          • #14
                            If you think the soldiers left in vietnam to be torutured and never reunited with their loves ones is pathetic...
                            Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lazydaze@Mar 10 2004, 12:34 PM
                              If you think the soldiers left in vietnam to be torutured and never reunited with their loves ones is pathetic...
                              Except that it's total bullshit. But nice try.

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