Monday, May 31, 2004 10:53 p.m. EDT
Former Congressman John Leboutillier reports on a Memorial Day confrontation between Sen. John Kerry and a fellow Vietnam veteran:
Democratic senator - and certain presidential nominee - John F. Kerry gave the middle finger to a Vietnam veteran at the Vietnam Memorial Wall on Memorial Day morning, NewsMax.com has learned.
Ted Sampley, a former Green Beret who served two full tours in Vietnam, spotted Kerry and his Secret Service detail at about 9:00 a.m. Monday morning at the Wall. Sampley walked up to Kerry, extended his hand and said, "Senator, I am Ted Sampley, the head of Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, and I am here to escort you away from the Wall because you do not belong here."
At that point a Secret Service officer told Sampley to back away from Kerry. Sampley moved about 6 feet away and opened his jacket to reveal a HANOI JOHN T-shirt.
Kerry then began talking to a group of schoolchildren. Sampley then showed the T-shirt to the children and said, "Kerry does not belong at the Wall because he betrayed the brave soldiers who fought in Vietnam."
Just then Kerry - in front of the school children, other visitors and Secret Service agents - brazenly 'flashed the bird' at Sampley and then yelled out to everyone, "Sampley is a felon!"
Kerry was referring to an incident 12 years ago when Sampley confronted Sen. John McCain's chief aide, Mark Salter, in a Senate stairwell after McCain repeatedly offended POW families at a Senate POW hearing. Sampley, whose father-in-law at that time was MIA in Laos, followed Salter into the stairwell and, when they emerged, Salter had a bloody lip and a broken nose.
Sampley's group, Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, has garnered huge national attention and has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post and on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country." Tens of thousands of Vietnam vets have registered their opposition to Kerry through Sampley's group.
Clearly Sampley has gotten under Kerry's skin once again.