On Memorial Day, May 31, 2004, Vietnam Vets for the Truth broke an extraordinary story about a photograph hanging in the Vietnamese Communist War Remnants Museum (formerly known as the "War Crimes Museum") in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The photograph, displayed in a room dedicated to foreign activists who contributed to the Communist victory over America in the Vietnam War, shows Senator John Kerry being greeted by Comrade Do Muoi, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Jeffrey M. Epstein of Vietnam Vets for the Truth acquired the photograph during the Memorial Day weekend in response to a general request for photographs and records detailing Kerry's activities on behalf of the enemy.
Vietnam Vets for the Truth has now further documented the photograph. Photographer Bill Lupetti returned to the War Remnants Museum in Saigon on June 2 at the request of Dr. Jerome Corsi, co-author of the original article, and photographed a current edition of the "Viet Nam News" next to the display honoring John Kerry.
Dr. Corsi also contacted Dan Tran of the Vietnam Human Rights Project, who asked associates in Saigon to go into the museum to make sure the photograph of John Kerry was actually there. Mr. Tran's contacts confirmed that the photograph is still in the museum.
"Mr. Do Muoi, Secretary General of the Vietnam Communist Party met with Congressmen and Veterans Delegation in Vietnam (July 15-18, 1993)"
"Camarade Do Muoi -- SecrCFCB)taire General du Parti Communiste du Vietnam -- recevait une dCFCB)lCFCB)gation de SCFCB)nateurs et Anciens VCFCB)tCFCB)rans du Vietnam le 18 Juillet 1993"
Bill Lupetti, who had served as a Navy corpsman working with Swift Boat sailors in An Thoi, was in Vietnam and happened upon the Kerry photo display while visiting the War Remnants Museum. Mr. Lupetti posted the photo to an album maintained on MyFamily.com by Swift Boat veteran Jim Deal that contains hundreds of Vietnam War era photos posted by participating Swift Boat veterans. One of those veterans, Bob Shirley, forwarded the Kerry photo to Jeff Epstein of Vietnam Vets for the Truth in response to an Internet request for photographs documenting John Kerry's activities as a Naval officer and as an antiwar protestor.
According to a AP newswire report carried in The Chronicle-Telegram of Elyria, Ohio, on July 17, 1993, a US delegation headed by US Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Hershel Gober, was in Vietnam on a mission sent by President Clinton, to deliver to the Vietnamese microfilm of some 3 million captured Vietnam War documents that pertained to finding American POWs and MIAs. The newspaper states that the mission was scheduled to meet with Communist Party General Secretary Do Muoi.
The reports do not confirm that Senator Kerry was part of the US delegation; however, in his press release of July 2, 1993 announcing the formation of the delegation, President Clinton mentioned John Kerry and noted that "Members of Congress and representatives of veterans groups have traveled to Vietnam to press for the goal" of resolving the fate of American service personnel who did not return from Vietnam. There is ample documentation that John Kerry has met with General Secretary Do Muoi. The Far Eastern Economical Review of February 11, 1999 notes that Senator Kerry met with Do Muoi when he visited Hanoi in December 1998. In a speech given on the Senate Floor on April 29, 1992 Senator Kerry discussed in detail a meeting he had recently had with Do Muoi in Vietnam to discuss the fate of American POWs and MIAs. A photo widely circulated on the Internet shows John Kerry formally posed with Do Muoi. The two men are seated with a statue of Ho Chi Minh in the background.
The existence of photographs showing Senator Kerry meeting with General Secretary Do Muoi is not in question. In the course of pursuing the POW and MIA issue, it is reasonable that Senator Kerry would seek to meet with the communist leaders of Vietnam. The critical issue is that the Vietnamese communists have chosen to honor Senator Kerry in their War Crimes Museum for his assistance in helping them achieve victory over the United States. The sign outside the entrance to the room where Kerry's photo is displayed reads: "The World Supports Vietnam in its Resistance." Also exhibited inside the room are protest banners and emblems from various nations and photographs of international leaders who supported North Vietnam's cause.
John Kerry helped North Vietnam and the Vietcong win their war against America. More than 30 years later, the Vietnamese communists still recognize his contribution to their victory.
Jeffrey M. Epstein
Vietnam Vets for the Truth