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Kerrey in Vietnam

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com Bob Anderson
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2001
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com


      Bob Anderson <top_view@...>

      4.30.01
      Kerrey SEALs Dispute Slanderous, False Account of Viet Deaths
      -- Unit was responding to fire


      One Gerhard Klann, who has severely maligned Bob Kerrey publicly by
      claiming Kerrey ordered his Vietnam SEAL squad to deliberately and
      cold-bloodedly execute defenseless civilians at point-blank range 32
      years ago, is clearly assisting and fronting for other hidden
      parties/interests (and their covert agendas); such as any who might
      wish
      to completely assassinate Kerrey politically regarding any further
      attempts to run for President.

      Does the Bush International Crime Empire seems a likely suspect? Hell
      YEAH!

      We'll say it again: get OFF Bob Kerrey's back, people!
      - - - - - - - - - - - -

      http://www.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/04/29/politics.kerrey.reut/index.h
      tml
      Members of Kerrey's SEAL team rebut report on Vietnam deaths



      April 29, 2001
      Web posted at: 11:38 AM EDT (1538 GMT)

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Former
      U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey Friday met with
      five other members of the Navy SEAL
      unit to discuss in detail their attack
      on a village in Vietnam 32 years ago
      that cost at least 13 unarmed civilians
      their lives, the Washington Post
      reported Sunday.

      Preempting publication of the incident in the New York Times Magazine
      and on CBS News' "60 Minutes II," Kerrey had issued a statement on
      Thursday, saying that he could not justify, militarily or morally, the
      1969 encounter in the Mekong Delta between his troops and Vietnamese
      civilians.

      But Kerrey has insisted his troops were returning fire in the
      village, a
      version of events supported by all but one of the other Navy SEALS on
      his team in a statement issued after their meeting on Friday,
      according
      to the Post.

      In their unanimous statement, the six men denied rounding up women and
      children and shooting them at point-blank range, a charge leveled by
      the
      seventh member of their team, Gerhard Klann, in an article in Sunday's
      New York Times Magazine.

      Kerrey told the Post in an interview on Saturday that six of the seven
      members of his SEAL unit met at his New York home for about five hours
      on Friday evening to discuss what they remember about the attack.

      "At the village we received fire and we returned fire," the six men
      said
      in their joint statement.

      "One of the men in our squad remembers that we rounded up women and
      children and shot them at point-blank range in order to cover our
      extraction. That simply is not true. We know there was an enemy
      meeting
      in this village. We know this meeting had been secured by armed
      forces.
      We took fire from these forces and we returned fire. Knowing our
      presence had been compromised and that our lives were endangered we
      withdrew while continuing to fire," the statement continued.

      Kerrey, a 25-year-old lieutenant at the time, was awarded the Bronze
      Star for his role in the incident, which occurred in an isolated
      peasant
      hamlet called Thanh Phong in Vietnam's eastern Mekong Delta on Feb.
      25, 1969.

      The Nebraska Democrat retired from Congress in January and now heads
      New
      York's New School University. He had considered a run for the
      presidency
      in 2000, but decided against it.

      Kerrey has said his Navy SEAL squad was in a high-risk, free-fire zone
      where they believed a military meeting was taking place and where
      there
      were no civilians. He said his unit was returning fire when the
      civilians were killed.

      But the seventh Navy SEAL told the New York Times Magazine that Kerrey
      ordered the women and children killed for fear they would alert enemy
      soldiers. Klann was not invited to the Friday night meeting.

      The Times article carries both men's versions of events, as well as
      that
      of a Vietnamese woman in the village.

      Klann was quoted in the Times article as saying the Kerrey commandos
      slaughtered the villagers so the SEAL team could escape. "Our chances
      would have been slim to none to get out alive," the Times quotes Klann
      as saying.

      But Kerrey told the Post: "No one else in the squad has that memory.
      We
      did not round up women and children and execute them."

      He added that the village was controlled by the Viet Cong, and during
      the war, "gender and age distinctions were not always reliable
      indicators of who was a threat to your life."

      The Times Magazine article also quotes Klann as saying that as the
      team
      neared the village, it encountered an isolated house in which Kerrey
      helped Klann kill an old man. "Kerrey put his knee on the man's
      chest,"
      the article quotes Klann as saying, "as Klann drew his knife across
      his
      neck."
      In their statement the six SEAL team members acknowledged
      using "lethal
      methods to keep our presence from being detected" at an enemy outpost,
      according to the Post. But the paper said Kerrey twice denied playing
      a
      role in killing the old man.

      *****

      John Judge on Kerry
      Wed, 2 May 2001
      Thomas, Kenneth F. <kennthomas@...>

      Friends,

      The breaking of the story by Kerry is causing a massive spin rush by
      the
      mainline media. They are acting outraged that anyone asked him
      hardball
      questions about keeping his medal, or investigating war crimes in
      Vietnam. They have stepped up with the usual cant about "old men
      hiding
      guns in their clothes" to completely justify anything Kerry and his
      unit
      did, when even he realizes and admits it was wrong. "Don't worry about
      it buddy, they were just Gooks anyhow, and you were doing your sacred
      duty!" I wonder if anyone has compared all this to the recent flaps in
      German towns when anti-fascists have uncovered old war crimes, or even
      in France when the collaborationist issues were raised? Kerry is
      obviously putting his own spin on a story of slaughter that was about
      to
      break anyway and forced his hand. But, the good thing is that if it
      had
      only come from his men it would have been ignored, when he fessed up,
      it
      opened the floodgates, at least potentially, for others to come
      forward.

      The deathly silence around these crimes, imposed in large part by
      non-veterans and the Pentagon dominated media, has taken an awful toll
      on veterans and citizens alike over these decades. These were not
      isolated incidents, this was a policy and a genodical war. I recall a
      book that drew entirely on published press reports of the war, that
      compiled war crimes committed by the US, section by section from the
      international code. It should be Kissinger and the war planners
      answering these questions, not a second lieutenant. But the press
      wants
      to forgive Kerry, even to the point of exonerating him for any excess,
      and the rest of us in the process, of course. They also want to put a
      lid on it. We should be working to keep the discourse alive, to invite
      veterans to speak finally about the horror they were part of, and to
      make America face its unassessed crimes of genocide, ecocide and
      ethnocide in Vietnam and since. This is the only way that veterans and
      Vietnamese can possibly heal, that the country can get past the walls
      of
      denial after all these years, and that there can be any hope to stop
      the
      continuation of such crimes in the future. Timothy McVeigh knew the
      irony of his use of "collateral damage" in relation to the deaths of
      children in the McMurtaugh building in the Oklahoma City bombing, it
      is
      the sanitized term that the Army that trained him uses to denote
      civilian deaths that result from ostensibly military operations. We
      are
      no less callous. I still recall the Chaplain during the Gulf War who
      counseled an objector "Don't worry, son, the people you will be
      killing
      are not Christians". The Pentagon and the reactionaries still want the
      only moral issue around war to be whether a person submits and takes
      part in their "duty", certainly not the nature of the war or the
      killing
      that goes on. Our current military weapons and anti-personnell killing
      capacities make the Nazi Hohenzollern machine look like a rubber band
      affair, we have escalated genocide to a techno-art now. And yet the
      ghosts of Vietnam still linger, haunting us because we will not face
      them, and even Kerry admits he still sees their faces, because
      veterans
      take the dead with them, a dirty little secret the Pentagon would
      rather
      not let out. The fellow veterans closed ranks around Kerry, protecting
      themselves from the condemnation that rests on all their shoulders,
      but
      that really belongs elsewhere. John Kerry was an early leader in
      Vietnam
      Veterans against the War, though he was kicked out soon for his
      liberal
      politics by the other veterans. Coming Home to War by Nicosa is a
      recently released study about the GI and veteran resistance, and VVAW
      specifically. David Harris, the famous draft resister who was once
      married to Joan Baez, did a book a few years back called Our War, and
      was arguing that the discussion remained unfinished between veterans,
      non-veterans and resisters, and he called for forums then. And another
      book, Desertion in the Time of Vietnam, tells the personal tale of a
      GI
      who went to Canada and his friends who were killed and shattered by
      the
      war. If we are ever to have any hope of healing the moral cancer
      Vietnam
      created, it has to be faced now, and Kerry has given us a crack in the
      door if we take it. We live in a country where some still hate
      a "draft
      dodger" more than a war criminal. I keep thinking of Nazi Germany, I
      wonder why.

      John Judge

      *****

      Wed, 2 May 2001
      SendMeHack


      THE HORROR THAT WILL NEVER GO AWAY
      DAVID H. HACKWORTH

      Ex-Sen. Bob Kerrey's admission about a 1969 Vietnam atrocity might
      have
      generated a media feeding frenzy, but it's not news to me.

      Nine years ago at Newsweek, I got a call from a man who claimed he
      was a
      "former SEAL" and whispered last week's headline news. But after some
      picking
      and shoveling, editor Maynard Parker and I walked away. Years later,
      another
      Newsweek reporter, Gregory Vistica, came up with the same story, and
      it, too,
      was spiked.

      We never ran with my story because:

      * The allegation couldn't be backed up. Participants had conflicting
      recall,
      common among warriors even immediately after a fight and especially
      decades
      later. No big surprise. Most eyewitnesses to a traumatic experience --
      battle-related or civilian -- remember it differently.

      * The whisperer couldn't explain why, since military law was on his
      side, he
      didn't stop the massacre. You know, "Lt. Kerrey, cease/desist or I'll
      shoot
      you." Or why he didn't immediately report the "war crime" per Navy
      regs. Or
      why he then sat on it for so many years.

      Another reason was based on my almost five years in Vietnam, where,
      during
      that shameful war, there were thousands of such atrocities. My
      parachute
      battalion's first big "kill" in 1965 was a night ambush at An Khe that
      destroyed a tribal family who hadn't gotten the word about the
      curfew. The
      draftee unit I skippered in 1969 -- as I've recently discovered while
      doing
      interviews for a new book -- had at least a dozen such horrors. Most
      were
      reported at the time as "enemy killed." Thirty-two years later, the
      participants say: It was the easy way out; we couldn't handle the
      shame; the
      command was constantly pushing the body-count figure.

      Everywhere our young men fought in Vietnam, where there were
      civilians, there
      was carnage. Especially in the Mekong Delta -- where Kerrey's
      commandos were
      hunting and being hunted by an armed enemy who was everywhere.

      Most of us have heard of William Calley's My Lai massacre, where
      hundreds of
      noncombatants were cut down in a bloodbath led by a madman. But ask
      anyone
      who fought in the Delta, where 35 percent of Vietnam's population
      lived, if
      civilians got caught in the middle of the cross fire -- and the
      answer has to
      be yes.

      Few innocents were killed on purpose. But it was a war with no front,
      and few
      of the enemy in the Delta wore uniforms or fought by the rules of
      war. Also,
      many women, children and old men were "freedom fighters" not unlike
      Americans
      during our War of Independence.

      My division in the Delta, the 9th, reported killing more than 20,000
      Viet
      Cong in 1968 and 1969, yet less than 2,000 weapons were found on
      the "enemy"
      dead. How much of the "body count" consisted of civilians?

      John Paul Vann told me in April 1969 when he was in charge of
      pacification in
      the Delta that "at least 30 percent were noncombatants" and that he'd
      spoken
      to President Nixon about having the 9th immediately pulled out of the
      Delta.
      A month later, the division got its marching orders.

      Gen. Julian Ewell, who commanded the 9th, never ordered his soldiers
      to kill
      civilians. Nor did I. Nor, in my judgment, did Bob Kerrey. Nor did
      most of
      the scared young men -- lying out in the mud night after night
      thinking every
      sound was an enemy who'd soon take their lives -- purposely kill
      civilians.

      The Vietnam War was a 25-year running sore in which more than 5
      million
      Southeast Asians died, nearly half a million Americans bled and
      millions of
      others still bear the pain and the shame and the scars.

      This week, Vistica finally presents his sensational story of events
      long ago
      in print, followed by Dan Rather on television. But neither was on
      that op;
      neither has been a combat grunt. Vistica never served; Rather did
      have a go
      at becoming a Marine but never completed boot camp. As far as I'm
      concerned,
      neither is qualified to pass judgment on soldiers or sailors.

      Matter of fact, neither of these frequent military bashers is fit to
      shine
      Kerrey's one jungle boot -- the other having been left behind in
      Vietnam with
      his foot in it while he bravely answered his country's call.
      ***
      (c) 2001 David H. Hackworth
      Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.

      **http://www.hackworth.com is the address of David Hackworth's home
      page ~ if
      you haven't visited lately, check it out; it's been redesigned by a
      volunteer
      ~ Christopher Humphrey ~ and looks/functions awesome! I (Judy) have
      great
      appreciation for his efforts as my youngest daughter (age 14) sits by
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      hour and works on web-building. Sign in for the free weekly Defending
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      Send mail to P.O. Box 5210, Greenwich, CT 06831.

      --2-- HACK NOTES

      Busy times. The Navy recon plane...defending Bob Kerrey...and for
      that
      matter as an extension all of those brave, young men who fought in
      Vietnam,
      who thirty odd years later are still being called "baby killers."

      And there's the final polish of the new book HOPELESS TO HARDCORE
      which
      ironically takes place only a few miles from where Kerrey's beat up
      occurred and during the same period. Incidentally, we have how heard
      from
      over 200 guys from the Hardcore and their supporting units -- Black
      Hawks
      and the Boomerangs, etc. If any of you served with those units in
      1969,
      please contact Deborah at admin@... (or
      hwadmin@...)
      and schedule an interview. You've probably got another month to get
      your
      story in.

      Still many people write long, long email letters. Please understand I
      cannot answer them all. It's impossible for this two-finger Charlie,
      but I do read them all and I try to reply with a "thks" or an "Amen"
      just
      to be courteous. Too often this effort gets me in the beating zone
      with
      some of you for my not showing the appropriate attentiveness. So,
      please,
      keep the como short and sweet and understand I get over 500 emails a
      day.

      Soldiers For The Truth is blistering the Pentagon and the
      fat cats who are self-serving top brass. Please keep the
      contributions
      coming to Zimm and crew. They're doing a wonderful job. Zimm still
      operates
      out of his living room and we've got to get him into an office with
      some
      help. This takes money. So reach into your pockets and send him
      some dough.
      He translates your dough into bullets and then whacks the targets
      that you
      want shot down. Just don't bitch, pitch in and help make the change.

      Keep five yards,
      Hack

      --3-- How To Unsub/Undupe, Change eMail Addresses, Ask Questions

      As usual, this mailing goes to Hack's personal email contact list.
      To
      unsub, change email addresses, notify of duplications, or ask a
      question;
      send a message to as "SendMeHack" has no incoming mail capability.

      I'll still attempt to research most types of information you're
      looking for ~
      personal or military. Don't bother to ask Hack cuz he has neither
      the time
      nor Internet snooping ability to get/give a good answer.

      I've had an increase in requests to delete addresses that are NOT in
      the
      mailing list. Hey, I'm good, but not magic. If you had an older
      address
      that now forwards, I need to know what it was. If you NEVER
      subscribed in
      the first place, you're getting redirected or forged mail, so just
      delete it
      if your system has no block/filter capabilities cuz I have absolutely
      no
      control over the use of such functions by third parties. Judy


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