According to the US Department of State, the honorific “The Honorable” is the appropriate formal manner of addressing a cabinet officer, particularly the nation’s chief diplomat, the Secretary of State. In the case of Secretary-designate John F. Kerry, the term “honorable“ is anything but appropriate.
This is not about Kerry’s brief – very brief – tour of duty in Vietnam. It is not about his discharge from the Navy. Nor is it about his less than honorable activities when he returned to the US. And it is not about the medals he threw over the White House fence (they were his own!) Instead this is about his activities as a US Senator and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIAs. And the Americans still held captive who he shamelessly abandoned to their captors. From the February 17, 2004 edition of The Village Voice, hardly a rightwing rag.
Senator John Kerry, a decorated battle veteran, was courageous as a navy lieutenant in the Vietnam War. But he was not so courageous more than two decades later, when he covered up voluminous evidence that a significant number of live American prisoners—perhaps hundreds—were never acknowledged or returned after the war-ending treaty was signed in January 1973.
The Massachusetts senator, now seeking the presidency, carried out this subterfuge a little over a decade ago— shredding documents, suppressing testimony, and sanitizing the committee’s final report—when he was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on P.O.W./ M.I.A. Affair
Over the years, an abundance of evidence had come to light that the North Vietnamese, while returning 591 U.S. prisoners of war after the treaty signing, had held back many others as future bargaining chips for the $4 billion or more in war reparations that the Nixon administration had pledged…
The stated purpose of the special Senate committee—which convened in mid 1991 and concluded in January 1993—was to investigate the evidence about prisoners who were never returned and find out what happened to the missing men. Committee chair Kerry’s larger and different goal, though never stated publicly, emerged over time: He wanted to clear a path to normalization of relations with Hanoi.
Read the whole thing.
More information on the captured Americans abandoned in Laos, including a list of names and source materials is here.
John Kerry’s whitewashing of the Vietnam POW/MIAs issue, in effect leaving those men in Vietnamese and Pathet Lao captivity as if they never existed, may just be the most cowardly and dishonorable thing he has ever done, which is certainly saying something. And it is one of the principle reasons that so many of us Vietnam veterans opposed his 2004 bid for the White House. On July 4th of that year, he was chased away from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by former Green Beret, Rolling Thunder co-founder, and POW/MIA activist Ted Sampley. Today Senate Republicans announced that there is growing consensus to hold up Kerry’s Secretary of State confirmation until the Obama regime comes clean on Benghazi. Kerry doesn’t deserve even that consideration.