On January 31, 1971, members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) met in a Detroit hotel to discuss war crimes they claimed to have participated in or witnessed during their combat tours in Vietnam. During the next three days, more than 100 Vietnam veterans and 16 civilians gave anguished, emotional testimony describing hundreds of atrocities against innocent civilians in South Vietnam, including rape, arson, torture, murder, and the shelling or napalming of entire villages. The witnesses stated that these acts were being committed casually and routinely, under orders, as a matter of policy.
In April, the VVAW stormed Washington in a week-long protest. At its height, spokesman John Kerry went before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to accuse the United States military of committing massive numbers of war crimes in Vietnam. The appearance launched Kerry's political career. The charges he made shocked and sickened a nation, changed the course of a war and stained the reputation of the American military for decades.
But the mass murder of civilians was never American policy in Vietnam. War crimes were the exception, not the rule. And the Winter Soldier tribunal itself -- which John Kerry had helped moderate -- turned out to be "packed with pretenders and liars."
What happened when military investigators asked the "winter soldiers" for evidence of all the war crimes they had alleged? Mostly stonewalling, backtracking, and statements that failed to support the VVAW's claims...
See Newly Discovered Army Reports Discredit "Winter Soldier" Claims by Scott Swett for the full story.
Also check out the original summary reports of the Army's VVAW investigations.
Enemy documents from 1971 show that Vietnamese communists guided the American antiwar movement via meetings between the communist delegations to the Paris Peace talks and American antiwar activists. John Kerry and the VVAW were working toward the exact goals set forth in the communist directives.
Read about it in John Kerry and the VVAW: Hanoi's American Puppets? by Dr. Jerome Corsi and Scott Swett.
In Yesterday's Lies: Steve Pitkin and the Winter Soldiers, Scott Swett tells the story of a former VVAW member and participant in the Winter Soldier Investigation who has now filed an affidavit stating that John Kerry and others pressured him to give false testimony about American atrocities in Vietnam.
In the smash best-seller Unfit for Command, John O'Neill presents eyewitness accounts from Kerry's fellow Swift sailors that demolish his tales of combat heroism, while Dr. Jerry Corsi draws on the WinterSoldier.com research and other new material to expose Kerry's radical activities as a leader of the VVAW.
John Kerry's photograph hangs in the War Protestors Hall of the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City -- an indication of the value the Vietnamese communists place on Kerry's support of their efforts during the Vietnam War.
See Kerry Museum Photo Documented for additional information on the Kerry war museum story.
The Viet Nam News also remembers Kerry in this propaganda article featuring his claim that war crimes were American policy in Vietnam.
If you're just passing through, try the quick tour: a list of key points, some memorable quotes, and a look at the Winter Soldier Investigation's claims and their debunking.
If you packed a lunch, consider taking a crack at the entire 32-page transcript of John Kerry's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Check out our unique and growing collection of documents, clips and more. Or save yourself a few hundred bucks, and dig into John Kerry's The New Soldier.
If you've been here before, What's New lists and links our recent updates. In-depth essays are available in Special Features. Several tons of additional information on the "war crimes" propaganda effort and its relation to the 2004 campaign can be found in our news articles section.
We present a remarkable assortment of letters from readers and our own commentary in Incoming.
Our newest topics are: a time line that lays out many events in the international war crimes propaganda effort, the complete transcript of the 1971 debate between John Kerry and fellow Swift boat skipper John O'Neill on the Dick Cavett Show, and a section tracking the Swift boat veterans who organized to oppose Kerry's candidacy.
*** Now available: everything the FBI has made public concerning Vietnam Veterans Against the War ***