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August 15, 1972: Fonda on meeting with American POWs

FBIS Transcript #18:

Alleged Jane Fonda impressions of talk with U.S. POWbs

B171232 Hanoi in English to American Servicemen involved in the Indochina War 1300 GMT 15 Aug 72 B

Here is Jane Fonda telling her impressions after meeting captured U.S. pilots in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam:

((Follows recorded female voice with American accent b FBIS))

This is Jane Fonda speaking from Hanoi. Yesterday evening, July 19, I had the opportunity of meeting seven U.S. pilots. Some of them were shot down as long ago as 1968 and some of them had been shot down very recently. They are all in good health. We had a very long talk, a very open and casual talk. We exchanged ideas freely. They asked me to bring back to the American people their sense of disgust of the war and their shame for what they have been asked to do.

They told me that the pilots believe they are bombing military targets. They told me that the pilots are told that they are bombing to free their buddies down below, but, of course, we all know that every bomb that falls on North Vietnam endangers the lives of the American prisoners.

They asked me: What can you do? They asked me to bring messages back home to their loved ones and friends, telling them to please be as actively involved in the peace movement as possible, to renew their efforts to end the war.

One of the men who has been in the service for many, many years has written a book about Vietnamese history, and I thought this was very moving, that during the time he's been here, and the time that he has had to reflect on what he has been through and what he has done to this country, he has -b his thought has turned to this country, its history of struggle and the people that live here.

They all assured me that they have been well cared for. They -b they listen to the radio. They receive letters. They are in good health. They asked about news from home.

I think we all shared during the time that I spent with them a sense of -b of deep sadness that a situation like this has to exist, and I certainly felt from them a very sincere desire to explain to the American people that this war is a terrible crime and that it must be stopped, and that Richard Nixon is doing nothing except escalating it while preaching peace, endangering their lives while saying he cares about the prisoners.

And I think one of the things that touched me the most was that one of the pilots said to me that he was reading a book called "The Draft," a book written by the American Friends Service Committee, and that in reading this book, he had understood a lot about what had happened to him as a human being in his 16 years of military service. He said that during those 16 years, he had stopped relating to civilian life, he had forgotten that there was anything else besides the military and he said in realizing what had happened to him, he was very afraid that this was happening to many other people.

I was very encouraged by my meeting with the pilots (?because) I feel that the studying and the reading that they have been doing during their time here has taught them a great deal in putting the pieces of their lives back together again in a better way, hopefully, and I am sure that when -- when they go home, they will go home better citizens than when they left.

Last Updated Thursday, June 19 2008 @ 01:30 PM MDT; 4,693 Hits View Printable Version