Skip to comments.John Kerry: The Chameleon Senator (Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs history)
Posted on 08/11/2004 2:34:01 PM PDT by Libloather
John Kerry: The Chameleon Senator
By Ted Sampley
U.S. Veteran Dispatch
October-December 1996 Issue
In 1991, the United States Senate created the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs to examine the possibility that U.S. POW/MIAs might still be held by the Vietnamese. As chairman of the Select Committee, Kerry proved himself to be a masterful chameleon portraying to the public at large what appeared to be an unbiased approach to resolving the POW/MIA issue. But, in reality, no one in the United States Senate pushed harder to bury the POW/MIA issue, the last obstacle preventing normalization of relations with Hanoi, than John Forbes Kerry. (Remember the middle name "Forbes").
In fact, his first act as chairman was to travel to Southeast Asia, where during a stopover in Bangkok, Thailand, he lectured the U.S. Chamber of Commerce there on the importance of lifting the trade embargo and normalizing relations with Vietnam. During the entire life of the Senate Select Committee, Kerry never missed a chance to propaganderize and distort the facts in favor of Hanoi.
Sydney H. Schanberg, associate editor and columnist for New York Newsday and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist veteran of the Indochina War whose book, The Death and Life of Dith Pran, became the subject of the Academy Award-winning film The Killing Fields, chronicled some of Kerry's more blatant pro-Hanoi biases in several of his columns.
In a Nov. 21, 1993 column, Schanberg wrote, "Highly credible information has been surfacing in recent days which indicates that the headlines you have been reading about a 'breakthrough' in Hanoi's cooperation on the POW/MIA issue are part of a carefully scripted performance. The apparent purpose is to move toward normalization of relations with Hanoi.
"Sen. John F. Kerry, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, is one of the key figures pushing for normalization. Kerry is currently on a visit to Vietnam where he has been doing two things: (1) praising the Vietnamese effusively for granting access to their war archives and (2) telling the press that there's no believable evidence to back up the stories of live POWs still being held. "Ironically, that very kind of live-POW evidence has been brought to Kerry's own committee on a regular basis over the past year, and he has repeatedly sought to impeach its value. Moreover, Kerry and his allies on the committee - such as Sens. John McCain, Nancy Kassebaum and Tom Daschle - have worked to block much of this evidence from being made public."
In December of 1992, not long after Kerry was quoted in the world press stating "President Bush should reward Vietnam within a month for its increased cooperation in accounting for American MIAs," Vietnam announced it had granted Colliers International, based in Boston, Massachusetts, a contract worth billions designating Colliers International as the exclusive real estate agent representing Vietnam.
That deal alone put Colliers in a position to make tens of millions of dollars on the rush to upgrade Vietnam's ports, railroads, highways, government buildings, etc. C. Stewart Forbes, Chief Executive Officer of Colliers International, is Kerry's cousin. Kerry was portrayed in The New Yorker as a proud Vietnam veteran and "war hero" who, as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, dared to take on and defeat the "mendacious POW lobby."
In its 1993 final report, the Select Committee determined that live U.S. prisoners of war were left behind in the hands of the Vietnamese after the end of the war. The committee also claimed it found no "compelling" evidence proving the POWs remain alive today. Kerry's committee stopped there without answering three of the most profound questions of the entire Senate POW/MIA investigation: What happened to those U.S. prisoners of war who the Select Committee said were alive and in the hands of the Vietnamese but not released at the end of the war? If they are dead, where are their remains? Who is responsible for their deaths?
No doubt most of the Establishment press will continue to obscure from the public and themselves the raw truth about Kerry, the communist Vietnamese and the POW/MIA issue because it is politically convenient. There is also no doubt the POW/MIA families and Vietnam veteran activists know the truth and recognize Kerry for what he truly is--a traitor, hypocrite, liar and chameleon.
As someone who followed that whitewash committee's work, the above is the key question. The committee concluded that there was a strong likelihood that men were left behind and held by the North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao. It further concluded that there was no compelling evidence that any were alive as of 1992-93.
The committee strikingly failed to ask what happened to those men. Instead the committee chair Kerry and the press said "oh, no sign that any are alive, move along, no story here" and threw these men and their families into an Orwellian memory hole.
I knew Kerry was a part of this farcical committee but I didnt know McPain was on the Committee, things about Mcpain not attacking Kerry are becoming clearer.
If I recall correctly, this committee involved shredding lots of documents...one of those "clean slate" lies. I think that Ross Perot's outspoken opposition to the actions of this committee won him many votes.
Why did Reagan do nothing in 8 years? We know how devious McCain (the Canary in prison) and Kerry (self-inflicted Purple Hearts) are.
I think the Republicans abandoned the issue. The Demonrats have always been Quislings.
THis is an issue that MUST be developed further. It in itself could sink Kerry. Let's face it: Kerry kissed the MIAs goodbye in return for a lucrative contract for his in-laws! Shame on him, and shame on the media that this issue has not gotten the attention that it deserves.
There were some very odd happenings early in the Reagan Administration, including an aborted rescue attempt. There was a report at one point from National Security Advisor Richard Allen that the Vietnamese offered a reparations for live prisoners deal in early 1981.
Allen later recanted, but a Secret Service agent present at the meeting was willing to testify to the offer. But the majority of committee members, spearheaded by McCain, refused to subpoena the agent (Kerry opposed the subpoena as well, but voted in favor of it once he saw the subpoena motion would not get a majority vote).
My belief is that top people in the Reagan Administration thought that a public campaign to jawbone Vietnam into releasing prisoners that the Reagan Administration couldn't prove for sure were held was risky given the Iranian hostage crisis.
The aborted Delta Force rescue mission (aborted after it leaked out) actually was the inspiration for the Rambo film, though it wasn't going to be a cartoon character one man assault. The reason for the rescue mission was an intercepted message in December 1980, when the NSA intercepted a Pathet Lao message about the moving of "U.S. and Thai POWs". Authors Mark Sauter and Jim Sanders, in "The Men We Left Behind", claimed that the CIA demanded plausible deniability and no direct American involvement, which stalled the operation and the story was leaked to the Washington Post, which ended the operation.
Thank you. It makes me very sad to think of it.
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