Friday, April 22, 2005

TV FACE OFF COMPLETED: DuBose/Swiftie Gardner on "Heartland w/John Kasich", Saturday, 4/23.


Ok, folks, just trying to do my part for VetSpeak... but I am nervous about this one. I agreed to be a part of a live, one hour long TV show, The Heartland with John Kasich" on FOX News tomorrow evening (April 22, 2005, 8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central). I am anxious because I know how FOX News is, but I think we have to be willing to go there, if we are going to make a difference.

A not-so-Swift person, Steve Gardner, will be on the same show. He is the only not-so-Swift liar on John Kerry’s boat that did not support Kerry. He has also been caught in a lot of double-talk about John’s military service and metals… a real Minister of Misinformation.

I expressed caution about Fox News, saying that I own two copies of "OutFoxed", and am worried about it. I asked if O'Reilly would be part of it, and was assured that O'Reilly would not participate, and that it will be unedited, live. I was assured that Kasich would have a shouting match. We don't have cable so I have never seen Heartland, and am not familiar with John Kasich.

If anyone can give me any advice or cautions about what to expect and how Heartland works, I would appreciate it. I can now say that you brothers & sisters provided me with a wealth of information to debunk the not-so-Swift Liars... thanks, and good on you.So here we go, in to the breach… the “belly of the monster” as the Windbinder and Che say. Peace, Terry
2:54 PM


Windbender said...

I guess by now it is becoming quite obvious to you how much support you have in this effort from the folks back home...I love it that everyone is on message! One of the most powerful tools of the activist is their one shining quality. The inability to maintain that quality for sustained periods of time in the VVAW of The Days, was ultimately our downfall to the WSOites...or commies, as I call them. And I calls 'em as I sees 'em. So, where was I going with this? Oh, short; we will all be there with you when you are in what is indeed "enemy territory"...or, as I like to think of it; the Heart Of The Beast... Your strongest weapon is your calm demeanor and unruffled delivery of obviously well researched facts...that, and their arrogance. The audience at home will pick up on that, and even if they don't agree totally with the message; they will see a true representation of a contradiction to the NSSVs claims about who we as VVAW were, and about who we are now. Credibility! That heaped on with the arrogance of their (NSSVs) statements will plant the seed of doubt that could eventually bloom into beautiful flowers of consciousness, for some viewers. Blows against the Empire! At least, that's my take on it all. Actually, that wasn't all that short afterall, huh? Anyway...

To respond to the questions you wrote in your last E-mail, I will take them separately, below...

1. "Bill what more can you tell me about Jane's negotiations for POW release."

Truthfully, I don't recall a lot of the details of it all, and am not certain as to the actual sequence of events. What I remember, and have no documentation of, at least that I am aware of at this time, is that Jane worked with VVAW in my earliest days of activity. I first met her at what was then San Fernando Valley State, where I was attending college on the GI Bill. The LA VVAW was all around her in a security mode, a fact that would later become a mainstay issue in the remake of their relationship, upcoming in the near future.

There were speeches, and a very large crowd. It was at that, and a result of that rally, that I decided to form an on-campus chapter of VVAW...what would become known as the CSUN (Cal State Univ Northridge) Chapter. I met with the LA folks and Jane in an informal setting, after-action, and came to know her from there.

By the time that I had any real knowledge of where she fit in to everything, she and VVAW had made an agreement to disagree on a few issues, and she went on to form the Indo-China Peace Campaign. Headquartered in Santa Monica, Ca. As Regional Coordinator, I represented VVAW in a LA wide loose coalition of anti-war...and everything else...organizations. Jane represented IPC, and we worked on many actions and committees, as a result.

Somewhere in all of that it became known in our circles that she had been invited to North Vietnam, ostensibly to discuss the forever on-going Paris Peace Talks, as had been many other celebrities and political dignitaries of the time, whenever things got real bogged down around certain issues...round table, or square? There was much discussion of all of this, and while I never discussed it with her personally, the feedback that came back via meetings and social groupings were that she had decided to go because she had managed to up the ante to the point where she might be able to bring home some POWs. This, as a token of North Vietnam's willingness to make concessions on a point that the Nixon gangsters could make no headway on, and demonstrate that North Vietnam was, indeed willing to negotiate; just, not with the gangster regime of Nixon. They wanted to communicate their message of a desire for an end to the hostilities directly to the American people. We all thought; what better way, what better person? POWs were very topical at the time, and the Nixon bunch were in denial on the subject. If Jane busted a couple of them out, while Nixon and Kissinger couldn't, or wouldn't; well...that could be a very powerful blow to the power, we all cheered her on! The possibility of bringing home some POWs was at the heart of her taking the plunge into international politics. That not having been in the deal, she never would have went. But, that's just my opinion.

Priorities changed and I didn't see Jane again until the earliest work done on making Coming Home. VVAW in SoCal, never being short on distractions or challenges, was off into struggles at Wounded Knee, and having to deal with fact that several members of VVAW, up in Northern California, were also hard corps SLA members. And there was Gary Lawton, and the Panthers, La Raza; all with their own agendas of appealing issues. Not to mention WSO and the pigs. The story that I remember from these times once it had faded in intensity, was that Jane was able to secure the release of two POWs. One was a George Somenthingorother, I believe. And he wrote a book shedding a very different light on the treatment of POWs by the VC and NVA than was commonly thought to be the case, by all parties, at the time. His book was used as a fundraiser and political education tool by the entire movement in Southern California. I cannot recall any knowledge of the other fellow. But their stories were never brought to the front burner by the press, and the true details of what actually happened are lost to time, kept alive with tales around the campfire...and answering questions such as yours to someone that you can trust to see the answers when they respond. I wish that I could give you cold facts and stats and catalogued references n' stuff. But, that's my recollections on this topic. Hope I didn't bore you, or waste any of your valuable time. It's just that once I get cranking I start having associated memories that call out to be captured on paper somehow, in my efforts to make sense of it all.

2. "Also do you, or anyone here, know anything about the story that a POW gave her some folded papers that she supposedly turned over to her escort? Something tells me that may come up..."

Yes! In fact, I was watching a Hanitty & Colmes (sp) thing the other night where they had a debate going about the lowlife that spit on Fonda. One of the panelists was what the footnote on screen called FOX Political Analyst...I'm thinking analist would be more like it...his name was Col Somethingorother Hunt. He was an attack dog! He was dancing like a ballerina over the fact that this idiot had spit on Jane...although he didn't condone it; no, no, no... This guy was bouncing in his seat, literally frothing as he hammered one theme, despite what anyone else would attempt to the end, even the host was freaking out at some of his rhetoric, and his obvious venom...that theme being; that all else aside that Fonda "Did"; the AA Gun Flicks (which I never saw until years after the movement when some herein unidentified Vietnam Vets were using it to bash her, and sell urinal screen targets with her face superimposed on the bull's-eye), et al; it was what she had done to the POWs when she was there. This story is one of those propaganda tools used to demonstrate what a lowlife slut she was. It is a story that has a life of it's own on the internet, and in the mediums of the far right, but has no basis in fact. If you say it enough, it will become true (the Not-So-Swift-Vets battlecry!). It is claimed that during her time spent visiting the POWs at the Hanoi Hilton, some of them gave her notes to smuggle out and deliver to their loved ones. According to the Sleazes, at the end of the visit she turned the notes over to the Prison Officials, and that torture ensued on the prisoners after her departure, as a result of this traitorous action. So, Myth & Reality; In our world it was common knowledge that she risked great personal danger in taking those notes and smuggling them out, and it was, in fact, common knowledge amongst the SoCal movement that she had delivered a number of such messages to POW families upon her return, in addition to winning the release of a couple of POWs. Some of those very same family members joined in the antiwar movement as speakers at rallies throughout SoCal...and other places as well, I am sure. Once again; they are framing their argument with a distorted representation of our History. There are no documents that I can point to, in order bolster what I have written. But, likewise, there is nothing to document the contrary. I know that, because Truth is Truth and cannot be changed; only distorted. But there are many souls out there from those times who share these Truths to be self evident, and will ultimately join us in this quest we have taken upon ourselves. But, I am positive that, most definitely, this will be a grenade that they attempt to roll under your chair. Deflect it back at them with your foot, don't dive on it...

I hope that all of this will be of some help to you, Brother, and won't clutter up your mind at this critical point just before Jump Off. As to it being "enemy territory"; personally, I'm not worried, I've seen you at work... :-)

Semper Fi!

PeaceVet said...

There was a typo in my posting. It should have said, "I was assured that Kasich would NOT have a shouting match." Let's hope this is true.

Peace, Terry

PeaceVet said...

"I know that you are going to hear the "she gave the notes to the guards" argument as a basis of them calling her treasonous."

That is what I was afraid of, and thanks for everyone here coming with facts and talking points... I can now answer confidently that the "note" incident is a fabrication that even the POWs refuted. Thanks for everyone's help... Peace, Terry

windbender wrote:
Well; so much for the "you'll have plenty of time" part of my perspective. Their tactic in this setting, a very little time to address a very complex issue; Talk loudly and derisively, and repeat the same fallacious point over and over in as many ways as they can in the attempt to confuse the issue, malign your presence, and use up as much of the scarce time available as they can, keeping the camera off of you, and on them. I know that you are going to hear the "she gave the notes to the guards" argument as a basis of them calling her treasonous.

Semper Fi!

Bill H.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2005 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: Tonight

Hummm, it does look like a very short bit... too bad. Peace, Terry


Betty wrote:
After looking at tonight's line up, it looks like
Terry will have only a soundbite!

Everything here:,2933,137768,00.html

At the very end:
"And should Vietnam vets forgive Jane Fonda? We’ll
have both sides weigh in.

PeaceVet said...

Ok, folks, the “Heartland with John Kasich” is behind us. I don’t think we won, but we also did not lose. We learned a lot. It was on their turf, and we will have to go there from time to time.

I am going to paste some good discussion about these issues here, for all to peruse. These are from good friends who watched the show.

The first is from Greg and Brenda Olds, of Austin. Greg is a journalist, used to be the Editor for the Texas Observer… Brenda was the State Librarian, both retired now. The last is from Scott Camel. Both carry good stratigies for dealing with difficult questions.

Peace, Terry

From Greg & Brenda:

Terry - I didn't pick up on the "aid and comfort" argument as any more persuasive against your (our) position on Fonda, the war in Vietnam, or the war in Iraq. Clearly, that bothered you most - other than the nature of the forum into which you were inserted.

I Googled "aid and comfort to the enemy" and found several references, usually from right-wing sites; a couple from left-wing sites. Then I found the phrase originates in Section 3 of Article 3 of the Constitution:

Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

I'm copying Jim on this, so he may have some thoughts. I would guess that whether a person is treasonous under Article 3 depends, now, on case law, judicial interpretation as presented in courts. I think it's more than clear that Kerry committed no treason; he served, and did two tours even, not just the required one. Moreover, he didn't just serve, he led, and excelled at doing so. Moreover, I'm under the impression he didn't voice opposition to the war till he got back in the US, and was done with active military service.

As for Fonda, she said she went there trying to see about release of POWs; I didn't follow the details of her trip then, so don't know if she spoke out against our crime of being in a war over there. If she did, I'm sure she opposed what we were doing. But the Constitution provides that we not give aid and comfort to our "enemies." We never declared war, so was Vietnam an enemy? Or was this matter tended to, say, as a rider in an appropriations bill or whatever?

In any case, neither Kerry nor Fonda was even threatened with prosecution for their opposition to war. Surely, the First Amendment's support of free speech also supports a person expressing doubt against two undeclared and - by at least international law as well as any moral standard - illegitimate wars. Is dissent "aid and comfort to the enemy"? Perhaps, but I expect the two have been weighed against each other by our courts and dissent won out over aid and comfort. I'm guessing here but I bet I'm right.

But go explain all this in a few sound bites with a circus ringmaster egging on the others in center ring.

I could barely stand to watch even a few minutes of Fox last night. I think you have the aplomb of a Buddhist monk. I kept hurling things at the TV set.

We thought you did great. I couldn't have stayed calm. Within the time you were given, and serving under the guidance of a superheated circus barker and trying to get through the armor plated skull of a patriot, well, you did great. Would adore seeing you and the patriot talk things over on a one-hour show - and do it without that ringmaster.
I suppose the patriot's mention of Kennedy was a Freudian slip. And didn't Kerry hold his _expression of opposition to the war till he got back home? As if that matters. And how many medals did your opponent of last night get; does the count compare favorably to Kerry's? Did the guy even serve in combat? Etc.

Hug ol' Lucy for us and tell her to hug you back for us. You did us proud.

From Scott:

My thoughts:

Jane Fonda was a wealthy person who could have ignored the war and not been involved in controversy. She didn't have to worry about being drafted. She sacrificed her privacy to do what her conscience called for. I salute her for that.

Yes, it may have been a mistake to allow herself to be photographed behind an anti-aircraft gun. People make mistakes. I don't know any Vietnam veterans, myself included, who would not change some of the things we did in Nam. We were young.

It's more important to me what a person's motivations were rather than whether they made a mistake. I believe that Jane's motivations were pure, that she had no intentions to hurt us, the veterans. I had no intentions to kill innocent civilians, I just got caught up in the carnage.

I think we should not let the other side frame the debate. How many mistakes did our government make? They were wrong about the Gulf of Tonkin. They were wrong to violate the Geneva accords, signed and agreed to by both the French and the Vietnamese, the actual warring parties.

There were many provisions that the United States violated, sending arms, training soldiers, installing Diem and so on.

One of the main motivations for the US was to not allow the Vietnamese people to democratically elect a leader that would reunite the country of Vietnam. Why? Because we knew that Ho Chi Minh would win and that was unacceptable to us. (Mandate for Change, Dwight Eisenhower) Going to war to stop Democracy does not have any integrity. Trying to stop that war is where the integrity is.

The crimes of nixon and kissinger are also much worse than what Jane did. They lied about a secret plan to end the war. They rejected a treaty offer to end the war and then, after more than 20,000 more American lives were lost, many more wounded and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese killed and wounded, we accepted the treaty. To me, this crime so far overshadows Jane's mistake of sitting behind that gun that it is almost nonexistent in the big picture.

What's really going on is that the right wants to divert the attention away from the guilt of what our government did by starting this illegal war and its official conduct such as "Free Fire Zones", "Search and Destroy operations" and mostly using the dead as a measure of success officially known as "Body Count". They never talk about things such as My Lai.

The right also ignores things such as the use of agent orange and what that did to us and Vietnam. The right seeks to make all wars started by us just and moral and that is just not the case.

I think that on this issue we should be focused on what hell, suffering and death Jane and the Anti-War Movement were trying to stop.

It's about honest attempts by citizens in a democracy to stop an illegal war. It's about the steps that these people took to try to correct the lies being fed to the citizens of our democracy by the government to secure support for an immoral, illegal war.

When you weigh Jane Fonda's mistake on one side of the scale and the Lies, conduct of our government and motivations of our government on the other side, Jane's mistake doesn't even register.

Don't let them frame this debate.


PeaceVet said...

Another response to the "aid & comfort" issue... perhaps the best response, from our good buddy John Kniffin:
"I have taken an oath to defend the government and constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. What do I do when my government becomes the greatest enemy of the constitution?"

btxusa said...

Here's another question for everyone to consider. Every time I have read a blog about the Fonda incident, someone in the crowd says that the protests prolonged the war -- made POWs stay in prison longer.

My responses have been, "How do you KNOW it prolonged the war?" and "The protests more likely speeded up the return of our soldiers and the release of prisoners instead of prolonging the war."

I would like a good answer to that one. It appears to me that when the VVAW began to speak, everyone began to realize that it wasn't just a bunch of "peaceniks" (their label, not mine) protesting -- it was people who had a right to speak because they had been there. Your voices carried clout that no one could refute.

Windbender said...

In response to btxusa...

When someone in the crowd says that the protests prolonged the war, I say; No, actually the Nixon creature and his band of cronies prolonged the war. There is plenty of documentation of this...why it's right in Robert McNamara's memoirs, and hundreds of other tomes, right and left. They could have had essentially the same truce in 1969 as they finally settled for in 1973, Ref.,(How many lives were lost during this period?) but they opted to continue down the primrose path of self destruction. It's hard to understand how the Not-So-Swift-Vets and their ilk, have missed the fact that documented history supports our arguments, not their's. The next time they throw one of those hand grenades like "Aid & Comfort To The enemy" under someones chair, it would seem that the show stopper would be to say "Please refer me to what document or source you obtained the information from as it doesn't sound like anything that I know to be the objective and documentable truth about the situation, and I would like to research it before I can we move the conversation to more pertinant and well documented points and issues?"

And, finally; we shouldn't be allowing them to "Frame" the argument (Thanks, Scott)by, say, putting us in the role of defending Jane Fonda...although I have no problem with doing's just that the real argument is their sleaze tactics that negatively impact people's lives, and history; that they use for personal and political gain, as hatchet men for the Bush bunch...Plumbers, if you will; remember them? Same school, same party, same money, same despicable tactics.

btxusa said...

Thanks, windbender, that is exactly the information I need. I hate to admit how little I know about the ending of that war, but my lack of understanding gives everyone an idea of how little the general population knows. They need to be told what *really* happened so they don't fall for paid propaganda that they see and hear on television and radio. I'm glad this group plans to do that.

btxusa said...

If you want to find how different blogs are categorized, here is a blog directory. You may want to express your opinions on some of these as well as on this one.