For three years as a Military Police Lieutenant Colonel, I was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Army, Criminal Investigation Command, Washington DC. From Dec. 1971 to Jan. 1975 I was responsible for monitoring all war crime investigations conducted by the CID.
On Apr 22, 1971 Lieutenant (jg), John F. Kerry, USNR, testified to a Senate Committee concerning supposed war crime atrocities committed by U.S. Military Personnel. He claimed that we: raped; tortured; acted "in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan"; murdered 200,000 each year; and were "more guilty than any other body" of violating the Geneva Convention.
The U.S. Navy Criminal Investigative Service was tasked with investigating Lt Kerry's allegations. They found them to be baseless. Privately Naval Investigators expressed outrage at the ridiculousness of the accusations. The origins of the charges were often from supposed veterans who were found to have never served in Vietnam. It was slander that demoralized our forces, eroded our resolve, and gave aid and comfort to our enemy.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigators agreed with their Navy counterparts. With the exception of My Lai, exhaustive investigative effort found that: war crime violations were few; none rose to the level that Lt Kerry alleged occurred on a "day-to-day basis"; and never were committed "with the full knowledge of officers at all levels of command." As a field grade military police officer, I never heard of any war crimes committed by our forces during my two tours of duty in Vietnam. I did however have personal knowledge of many war crimes committed by our enemy -- horrible crimes committed as policy, but completely ignored by the hippie 60's anti-war protestors.
The very evening of Lt Kerry's address to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, NBC Nightly News revealed that Captain Al Hubbard, Executive Secretary of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War was a not wounded Air Force captain -- he was a Staff Sergeant E-5; he had a disability discharge resulting from a basketball injury; he never served in Vietnam; and was not a pilot who could have engaged in war crimes.
The Vietnamese communists cited the antiwar movement as a critical factor in their success. Commanding General Vo Nguyen Giap publicly credited it as "giving us hope to continue in the south..." and for setting conditions "resulting in the refusal of Congress to vote more aid to South Vietnam." Read Giap's book, "How We Won the War."
In the War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City, Kerry's picture hangs in a place of honor. It can be viewed among the great foreign "heroes of the Vietnamese Resistance." Benedict Arnold is not honored in the UK as much as John Kerry is honored in Vietnam.
As a Lieutenant, Kerry is honored for his contribution to the victory of the VC and NVA -- with that resume, consider his potential as our Commander-in-Chief, in our current war.