Jewish World Review Oct. 26, 2004 / 21 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765
Thomas H. Lipscomb
John Kerry's anti-war group coordinated activities with Viet Cong and Hanoi
Two captured Viet Cong documents reveal the extent of the close coordination and cooperation between the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) and Communist Hanoi during the period John Kerry served most actively as its national spokesman and a member of its Executive Committee. One document, "The Directive" shows a detailed knowledge of such VVAW activities as the Dewey Canyon demonstration on the Mall in Washington in April 1971 right down to the "return of their medals." And the Saigon American military intelligence cover sheet dates the information in that document as being assembled in Vietnam only a week after the Washington VVAW demonstration had taken place.
FBI surveillance and his own statements have established John Kerry's two visits to Paris to meet with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations to the Paris Peace Talks in June of 1970 and August of 1971. An FBI surveillance report dated November 11, 1971 has also established that Kerry and Al Hubbard, the Executive Director of the VVAW who had brought John Kerry into the organization, planned to return to meet with them again in Paris on November 15, 1971.
A November 24, 1971 FBI surveillance report reveals that Al Hubbard had also had meetings on his own with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations in Paris. It noted that he had reported at a national meeting of the VVAW in Kansas City that the Communist Party of the United States had paid his expenses to the most recent one.
The purpose of these meetings by the two top VVAW members Hubbard and Kerry have always been assumed to be informational. But the documents show another possibility. The document titled "Circular on Antiwar Movements in the US" notes "The spontaneous antiwar movements in the US have received assistance and guidance from the friendly (VC/NVN) delegations at the Paris Peace Talks."
It also notes that "The seven-point peace proposal (of the SVN Provisional Revolutionary Government) [the Viet Cong proposal advanced by Madame Binh] not only solved problems concerning the release of US prisoners but also motivated the people of all walks of life and even relatives of US pilots detained in NVN to participate in the antiwar movement."
On July 23, 1971, The New York Times reported that John Kerry held a demonstration in Washington in support of the "seven-point peace proposal" and, according to the Times, "Mr. Kerry, who is 27 years, introduced wives, parents and sisters of prisoners to plead for support." It stated Kerry charged …"the latest Vietcong peace offer in Paris, which promises the release of prisoners as American troops are withdrawn, is being ignored by Mr. Nixon,… ."
The "Circular" goes on to state "The antiwar movements in the US are trying to find means to cooperate… . They are also trying by all means to support the seven-point peace proposal (of the PRG) [Viet Cong] and oppose the distorted interpretation made by the White House, the Pentagon and CIA."
Captured in 1971, these two documents were sent to the Captured Document Exploitation Center (CDEC) at the US MACV headquarters in Saigon. Documents like these were immediately translated into English and processed for battlefield intelligence for targeting for operations as required or filed. For example the CDEC cover sheet states the "Directive" was "acquired" on May 12, 1971 and the date of the cover sheet report is June 30,1971. CDEC titled the "Directive" as "VC Efforts to Back Antiwar Demonstrations in the United States."
The largest collection of official US documents like this outside the Federal Government itself is at the Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Originally organized by the late Douglas Pike, the Archive contains more than 20 million documents. These documents and thousands of others are available online at the Virtual Vietnam Archive. The Circular and the Directive are listed as items numbered 2150901039b and 2150901041 respectively. Their authenticity was confirmed by Stephen Maxner, Archivist at the Vietnam Archive.
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JWR contributor Thomas H. Lipscomb, the founder of Times Books, is a contributing columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The New York Sun, where a shorter version of this story first appeared. To comment, click here.
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© 2004, Thomas H. Lipscomb