Accuracy in Media

Fresh from an interview where he questioned President Bush about his Vietnam War-era service in the National Guard, Tim Russert of Meet the Press thinks that the Democrats are going to continue hammering on the issue. They think Bush’s service in the guard on U.S. soil stands in stark contrast to Kerry going to Vietnam and serving in combat. But they ignore a critical issue. As claimed by Mike Benge, a former civilian Vietnam POW, “John Kerry has fought harder for the Vietnamese communists than he fought against them in Vietnam.”

This is the aspect of Kerry’s record that the major media don’t want to touch. They are apparently intimidated by the medals he won while fighting for the U.S. side against the communists. But there are two groups determined to get the media to pay attention to what Kerry did after he returned from service. They want the public to know that Kerry came back to America, accused his fellow soldiers of atrocities, marched with those seeking a communist victory in Vietnam, and then ran a Senate committee that gave up hope of rescuing American POW/MIAs that were left behind after the war.

The groups are Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry and Vietnamese Americans Against John Kerry. The Vietnamese Americans are angry that Kerry promoted diplomatic relations with Hanoi while failing to promote human rights in Vietnam. They are not alone. One 30-year U.S. Army veteran wrote to us saying that he is “revolted” that the media are failing to reveal Kerry’s dark “secrets.” He calls Kerry the “War ‘Hero’ Traitor” because of how he turned against the war when his fellow soldiers were still fighting and dying on the battlefield.

POW/MIA researcher Roger Hall comments, “Now that it is fashionable for veterans to promote their military status publicly?now that it is popular to be a Vietnam Veteran?Senator Kerry touts his service and medals. But in the 1970s, when it became fashionable to protest the war, he chose that issue to begin his political career and appeared to throw his medals over the fence. Now he retrieves them to flash before our eyes to distract us from his devious ways.” Hall acknowledges that Kerry performed honorably in Vietnam. But he adds, “One brave moment does not outshine a devious and duplicitous person.”

He points to something that has been documented by the Center for Public Integrity, which is hardly a conservative group. It notes that Kerry ran a Senate committee “to investigate the possibility that U.S. prisoners of war and soldiers designated missing in action were still alive in Vietnam.”

But it notes that Kerry’s participation in the committee “became controversial in December 1992 when Hanoi announced that it had awarded Colliers International, a Boston-based real estate company, an exclusive deal to develop its commercial real estate potentially worth billions.” Stuart Forbes, then the CEO of Colliers, is Kerry’s cousin. For his part, Kerry decided there were no living American POW/MIA in Vietnam and the process of restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam proceeded. Kerry later visited Hanoi to meet with its Communist rulers.

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