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March 22, 2004

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Pouncer

Thank you for sharing that.

I somehow get the impression this whole election is shaping up as Kerry's challenge to Richard Nixon. "The president lied, the war is unjustified, the body bags are piling up, the world condemns us, the puppet regime that we have created is as bad or worse than the guys we'r fighting ..."

It is hard not to wonder if this isn't all just another tragic case of a Vietnam veteran suffering "flashbacks".

rivlax

I notice that the LA Times, which did a big story on Kerry and the VVAW today, did not mention the assassination-plot discussion. What does that tell you?

ken

The New York Sun was covering this on March 12 and again on the 19th. Unfortunately, the links to those stories seem to be dead. Two details there...

One the campaign recently contacted Scott Camil, the "mastermind" of Project Phoenix. Camil said they were asking him to work with the campaign. The Kerry campaign didn't deny making contact with him.

Two, Kerry backed off his denial of being at the meeting, saying basically if the FBI files showed him there, maybe he was there.

ken

Um, somehow I missed the very first paragraph of the excerpted material. Sorry. So scratch detail two of the above comment. You already knew that.

bushgirlsgonewild

FLASHBACKS; I agree! It’s hard to know with this administration if it’s 1971 or 2004.

We have a presidential campaign that is concocting lies, engaged in cover-ups, and an administration intimidating those who disagree with them. We have a group of mostly has-beens surrounding the president—people who haven’t had an original idea since the 70’s. There’s also a president who’s lying about a war we can never win without losing much more, a president whose obsessive character blinds him to the truth and will be his ultimate downfall, causing him shame.

Hesiod

This story will go nowehere for a number of reasons:

1) CNN, which DID report the "assassination" discussions, cited the FBI files claiming Kerry had no "link" to any violent anti-war group. That means J. Edgar Hoover and his minions must be in on the Kerry cover up for your theory to get any traction.

2) Curiously, the FBI never arrested anyone in connnection with the alleged "plot." Not even the guy who supposedly brought the idea up: Scott Camil. They DID arrest Camil a year later prior to the Republican Convention in Miami, alleging that he and seven others VVAW members were going to "disrupt" the convention.

But he was acquitted of those charges before the defense even made it's case.

For some reason, there was no mention of this "plot" by the prosecutors in an already trumped up case. Why would they leave that out?

3) Kerry, far from acquiescing in the scheme, seems to have vigorously opposed it, opposed radicalism in the organization generally, and even went to far as to challenge the crdibility and credentials of the very same Al Hubbard you are all crowing about. As a result of the VVAW's radicalism, among other things, Kerry resigned his leadership post.

So, what are you left with? Kerry as a moderate, opposed to the radicals in the VVAW, and cleared of any wrongdoing by the highly suspicious, rightwing J. Edgar Hoover FBI.

In other words, you got Bubkus.

Hesiod

This story will go nowehere for a number of reasons:

1) CNN, which DID report the "assassination" discussions, cited the FBI files claiming Kerry had no "link" to any violent anti-war group. That means J. Edgar Hoover and his minions must be in on the Kerry cover up for your theory to get any traction.

2) Curiously, the FBI never arrested anyone in connnection with the alleged "plot." Not even the guy who supposedly brought the idea up: Scott Camil. They DID arrest Camil a year later prior to the Republican Convention in Miami, alleging that he and seven others VVAW members were going to "disrupt" the convention.

But he was acquitted of those charges before the defense even made it's case.

For some reason, there was no mention of this "plot" by the prosecutors in an already trumped up case. Why would they leave that out?

3) Kerry, far from acquiescing in the scheme, seems to have vigorously opposed it, opposed radicalism in the organization generally, and even went to far as to challenge the crdibility and credentials of the very same Al Hubbard you are all crowing about. As a result of the VVAW's radicalism, among other things, Kerry resigned his leadership post.

So, what are you left with? Kerry as a moderate, opposed to the radicals in the VVAW, and cleared of any wrongdoing by the highly suspicious, rightwing J. Edgar Hoover FBI.

In other words, you got Bubkus.

Eric

One question I'd like to ask in relation to this skeleton, and also Dubya's: How, exactly, is this info coming to light? Who is digging, and how are they finding this stuff? I'd be able to take a lot of this stuff more/less credibly with some background.

Ben Coates

Aren't the results of FOIA requests public record? Wouldn't they be posted at foia.fbi.gov? Where are these documents?

Patrick R. Sullivan

Another Kerry Motto Lotto entry:

"called for political assassinations"

John Bigenwald

"So, what are you left with? Kerry as a moderate, opposed to the radicals in the VVAW"

I guess with that standard it is very easy to be a moderate...

Kerry is so moderate that he doesn't remember being at a meeting where a topic of discussion (recorded in the minutes) was the assassination of US Senators. If voting against the proposal is "moderate" does that make doing your duty and calling the cops reactionary?

Lance

Hesiod,
I am afraid I will disagree with your analysis of your own piece. I think your final quote “So, what are you left with? Kerry as a moderate, opposed to the radicals in the VVAW, and cleared of any wrongdoing by the highly suspicious, rightwing J. Edgar Hoover FBI,” is essentially correct though Kerry was moderate only compared with parts of the VVAW. However, the problem isn’t that Kerry endorsed the most radical aims of VVAW, but he has not disavowed them. Kerry is fence straddling as usual. Kerry wants the support of those who still romanticize such people (I finally got over that around 1982) but still portray himself as a strong, patriotic veteran. Hardly a new tactic (though this group and Kerry’s close ties to it violates even my tolerance for the pervasiveness of triangulation) but given our present International situation I won’t give him a pass this time. In addition, Mr. Camil is involved directly in his campaign as is Joe Bangert. These men did not just oppose the war; they actively sympathized with the North Vietnamese and discussed a plot to assassinate US Senators. In the case of Mr. Bangert he still believes in and supports the Communist Party of Vietnam. It is one thing to oppose the war, another to actively support vicious, blood soaked regimes such as Vietnam long after its true character is known. Mr. Bangert isn’t just spouting ignorant opinion; he has worked and lived there as recently as 1997.

Now I don’t mind that Kerry has kooks in his campaign, it is unavoidable. I can somewhat tolerate that they work in his campaign. I can even avoid retching that such people are also long time friends. That he became their friends while members of a subversive, traitorous, totalitarian sympathizing organization that contemplated a plot to kill US Senators tells me the resignation while possibly sincere, wasn’t in as much shock at what those radicals believed and espoused as in my opinion one should be. Where were the impassioned speeches condemning those who he felt had betrayed the ideals of patriotic resistance to the war? Where was the shock at friends and colleagues openly supporting a Communist dictatorship, not just then but for years later? And the key complaint, why didn’t he inform on these men who agitated for the plot?

The fact is that Kerry was actively involved then and later with individuals and organizations that would disturb most Americans, including most patriotic liberals. I’ll be willing to give him a pass when he says he regrets his association with VVAW, and men such as those I have listed. He should acknowledge his youth at the time, kick such men from leadership positions in his campaign and admit he should have reported many of their activities to the authorities. I’ll forgive him if he takes those kinds of actions given that it was a long time ago. Of course he still has to explain his lie about being at the meeting.

I know Bush has people in his campaign with objectionable pasts and philosophies, but he wasn’t a member himself of, for example, a Klan front group, and if he had been I would expect an apology a disavowal of such groups and people and a symbolic effort to purge his campaign of anyone he personally had a connection with associated with that group. Only then could I have any confidence that he could be trusted. Luckily for Bush I haven't had to consider any such thing, and even then it wouldn't be directly on point on the major issue of the day, his fitness to lead us in the fight against terror.

Jim Peterson

I am assuming that the mainstream media will not pick up on this discussion. All you guys are doing is talk, talk, talk.

Why does corporate America tolerate a liberal media? Is it part of a long term strategy that these nutcases should control what most people here? If not, why don't capitalists make sure the major media does NOT support leftism?

Jim Peterson

I have to admit that I love Russia, where liberals are not given a voice in a media controlled by those who like Putin. That is perfectly fair. The opposite happens in the west. Why? Is it fair? Not really. Only to the liberals. But then we idiotic conservatives give the liberals a pass when we condemn the Russian elections as anti-democratic because Putin "controlled" the press but assume the Spanish elections were at least democratic although the Spanish media is leftist. Huh? Until we conservatives wise up and realize that there is no such thing as democracy when the media is controlled by leftists...we are doomed to a future Democratic administration possibly soon.

arthur smith

Listening to C-SPAN's replay of the 1971 Senate appearence, Kerry distinctly mentions visiting Paris while the peace talks were underway with the North Vietnamese. Could he have been meeting with "foreign leaders" back then? Curious. We haven't seen any word on Kerry's overseas travel.

arthur smith

Listening to C-SPAN's replay of the 1971 Senate appearence, Kerry distinctly mentions visiting Paris while the peace talks were underway with the North Vietnamese. Could he have been meeting with "foreign leaders" back then? Curious. We haven't seen any word on Kerry's overseas travel.

Hesiod

"Listening to C-SPAN's replay of the 1971 Senate appearence, Kerry distinctly mentions visiting Paris while the peace talks were underway with the North Vietnamese. Could he have been meeting with "foreign leaders" back then? Curious. We haven't seen any word on Kerry's overseas travel."

Kerry never traveled to Hanoi or to Paris in relation with his anti-war activities in the 1970's.

He has, of course, visited paris for other reasons. And, I believe he went to Hanoi as part of the POW Senate investigation several years ago.

Hesiod

"Kerry is so moderate that he doesn't remember being at a meeting where a topic of discussion (recorded in the minutes) was the assassination of US Senators. If voting against the proposal is "moderate" does that make doing your duty and calling the cops reactionary?"

1. There is no evidence that Kerry knew about this plot. Why? Because the Kansas City meeting lasted FOUR days.

2. The meeting was called on an "emergency" basis because of Kerry's serious conflict with Al Hubbard, who Kerry wanted kicked off of the leadership committee for lying about his service record and (I suspect) for being way too radical. One VVAW member described Kerry as "anticommunist." Hubbard, was a member of the Black Panther party, and was a Maoist.

3. Therefore, it is almost certain that the first order of business at the meeting was Kerry v. Hubbard. I believe Kerry might have resigned immediately thereafter.

4. So, it is entirely possible that the whole "asassination" discussion came up AFTER Kerry walked out of the meeting and away from the VVAW.I'm not saying it DID for certain...but it ceryainly is plausible.

Second, who says Kerry didn't inform the authorities? Maybe he did? Maybe that's buried somewhere in his FBI file? Frankly, it wouldn't have surprised me a bit, and that jibes with the FBI's "clearing" Kerry later on. [And it jibes with Kerry's very establishment liberal sensibility and politics, even in 1971].

In addition, why would the FBI clear Kerry if he HAD, in fact, been present at a meeting where assasinations were discussed? If he did nothing, as you all ASSUME without evidence, then they would have used that against him, right?

I think, in this case, the fact they didn't suggests he DID rat out the kooks in VVAW.

And, Camil was under surveillance and prosecuted as partof the Gainesville 8 the following Summer. So, maybe there was a connection?

Finally, why didn't the FBI ever prosecure Scott Camil for this "plot?!?" This was taylor-made for the Nixon White House and the FBI to discredit VVAW. You'd think they'd use this info for something.

This is just a theory of mine, mind you. But at least I have the integrity to label it a THEORY and not as fact.

bushgirlsgonewild

WHAT LIBERAL MEDIA? In this country? You've gotta be kidding.

If there was ANYTHING Nixon/Hoover could get on Kerry back then, it would have been used. In fact, I'm surprised they didn't make something up (it did happen to a lot of people Nixon or Hoover didn’t like).

TM

Hey, Hesiod, I actually stopped by your very fine blog over the weekend - the photo of Kerry snowboarding was pretty funny.

Working backwards, here - Gainesville Eight:

World Net Daily on Scot Camil; the Tinker 12, a possibly similar story of entrapment (nod to the BBGW); and CCR on the Gainesville 8 trial. Man, does everyone know this stuff but me?

Anyway, the evidence that Kerry did know about this plot would come from Lipscomb's March 16 article:

Mr. Musgrave specifically remembered Mr. Kerry's attendance and his speaking against the murder plot against the senators.

However, others remember it differently.

My free advice to the Kerry side - I would be veeery slow to concede that maybe Kerry ratted out his band of brothers. It looks like a hideous flip-flop, and is he tight with these guys now.

My spin would be, Scott Camil was all talk, and we talked him out of this. No meaningful conspiracy, the later Gainesvile plot was also government BS, it was a non-violent group, nothing for Kerry to tell the FBI.

Personally, I would still pay extra to see Kerry answer those questions on live television.

arthur smith

"Kerry never travelled to Hanoi or Paris.." Please see page 186 of the transcript. Kerry: "I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government..."
Later on, Kerry says his visit may be pushing the limits of private citizen diplomacy. Again, there should be a record of this somewhere outside of his testimony.

bushgirlsgonewild

TM: Thanks, I had forgotten about the Gainesville 8 trial; they were the most famous of the many attempts Nixon made to shut-up or discredit critics of the war.

Kerry did go to Paris; he's a portion of his testimony:
"Mr. Chairman, I realize that full well as a study of political science. I realize that we cannot negotiate treaties and I realize that even my visits in Paris, precedents had been set by Senator McCarthy and others, in a sense are on the borderline of private individuals negotiating, et cetera. I understand these things. But what I am saying is that I believe that there is a mood in this country which I know you are aware of and you have been one of the strongest critics of this war for the longest time. But I think if we can talk in this legislative body about filibustering for porkbarrel programs, then we should start now to talk about filibustering for the saving of lives and of our country." [Applause.]

APPLAUSE. Goddamn good for him! The Founding Fathers would be proud.

Robert

At a minimum, doesn't it strike you as suspect that Kerry can't remember the circumstances of his departure from VVAW, a group he led?

He can't also conveniently can't recall whether he attended a meeting where political assassination was discussed.

Coincidence?

And what else can't Kerry remember?

arthur smith

Speaking of Kerry's selective memory, I'd love to hear his "memoirs" of hanging out at the Paris peace talks in '71. Or was he making up that visit too? And the run-for-cover whine about "Joe McCarthy did it too." Can anyone cite an example of McCarthy negotiating directly with any foreign leaders?

HH

TM, the Kansas City Star link is broken.

TM

Thanks, I am going to put in a new one. We'll see how long that lasts.

Jim Thomason

No one seems to have come up with IMHO the most likely reason that Kerry (or Camil) was never connected with the assassination plan - the FBI simply didn't know about it. What evidence is there that they did?

This explains why Camil was never arrested for it, why it was never introduced at his later trial - and would also explain why Kerry was "cleared".

We know that they knew they were under surveilance. We know that they moved the meeting in which they were first going to discuss it after finding listening devices. So if none of the FBI's infiltrators were at that meeting, then Hoover & Co. had no way of knowing about it.

Hesiod

"Please see page 186 of the transcript. Kerry: "I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government..."
Later on, Kerry says his visit may be pushing the limits of private citizen diplomacy. Again, there should be a record of this somewhere outside of his testimony."

What transcript? Are you talking about the Senate Foreign Relations Committee transcript? Do you have a link to it? Do you have a copy of it?

There is NO record of John Kerry going to Paris, let alone, Hanoi, during his time in VVAW that I am aware of.

I'd be interested to see the source. Is there a copy of the transcript posted online somewhere? Anmd why does everyone seem to have a copy of it?

Hesiod

"At a minimum, doesn't it strike you as suspect that Kerry can't remember the circumstances of his departure from VVAW, a group he led?

He can't also conveniently can't recall whether he attended a meeting where political assassination was discussed.

Coincidence?

And what else can't Kerry remember?"

I'm sure he can't remember George W. Bush showing up for National guard duty in Alabama either.

TM

I'm sure he can't remember George W. Bush showing up for National guard duty in Alabama either.

Actually, my last update touched on that parallel:

O'Donnell was loudly protesting that no one can remember what they were doing 33 years ago, so why would anyone focus on what Kerry did in 1971? Youthful indiscretion! Youthful indiscretion!

It would have been nice if liberals like O'Donnell had tried that line when the networks were doing 63 stories on Lt. Bush's dental records and other minutiae of his National Guard service.

It was only a little while back that folks were astonished that no one could come forward and saw "I remember that I served with Bush in Alabama in 1972".

Now, Kerry can't remember where he resigned from the group that he was instrumental in founding, and it is just a normal memory lapse.

Cecil Turner

I'd be interested to see the source. Is there a copy of the transcript posted online somewhere? Anmd why does everyone seem to have a copy of it?

The testimony is available here. It's probably well-known because of UPI's recent story on attack ads, which contained that quote:

Another site, Wintersoldier.com, places records from Sen. Kerry's anti-war protests online, including the transcript of the full question and answer session before a U.S. Senate committee, where the young Vietnam veteran detailed, among other activities, his trip as a civilian to the Paris Peace talks involving the U.S., South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese governments.

"I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks -- that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government," Kerry said during testimony on April 22, 1971, before the Foreign Relations Committee, according to the transcript posted on the site.


I can't vouch for the accuracy of the transcript, but UPI apparently accepted it.

TM

Hesiod, it's only because we love you, and we are trying to run a full service blog here.

This looks like an anti-Kerry site, but they have a transcript here, in which I find:

Mr. KERRY. My feeling, Senator, is undoubtedly this Congress, and I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but I do not believe that this Congress will, in fact, end the war as we would like to, which is immediately and unilaterally and, therefore, if I were to speak I would say we would set a date and the date obviously would be the earliest possible date. But I woUld like to say, in answering that, that I do not believe it is necessary to stall any longer. I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government and of all eight of Madam Binh's points it has been stated time and time again, and was stated by Senator Vance Hartke when he returned from Paris, and it has been stated by many other officials of this Government, if the United States were to set a date for withdrawal the prisoners of war would be returned.

Same quote appears at C-SPAN">http://www.c-span.org/vote2004/jkerrytestimony.asp">C-SPAN transcript.

Cecil Turner

Oooh, serious duplication of effort. (And you even got an authoritative source.) I'm outta here!

TM

No, the plot thickens - for some reason, the Boston Globe has a story on this today. Geez, my commenters are way ahead of the newsies here; let's give some props to Arthur Smith.

So my question - why is this news now? Or is it just more pot-stirring over the VVAW thing?

arthur smith, new orleans

Gee, gang, the Boston Globe. I feel like the butterfly that flapped its wings. I'm really new to the blogoshpere. What are "props"?

Cecil Turner

It's a good thing. The definition was only added to the OED a couple of years ago:
PROPS - prAHps (n. pl.): (a) Stage requirements (theatrical slang), short for properties. (b) Accolades or kudos, as in Mad props to my peeps!. An expression of appreciation.

Pouncer

"Mr. KERRY. My feeling, Senator, is undoubtedly this Congress, and I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but I do not believe that this Congress will, in fact, end the war as we would like to, which is immediately and unilaterally and, therefore, if I were to speak I would say we would set a date and the date obviously would be the earliest possible date."

Who sez Kerry isn't consistant? I would not, for, were I to speak, I would say, in fact, that John Kerry's ability to formulate long sentences - and by "long" I mean to say not simply sentences containing many nuances, but instead to declare, forthrightly, I would say long sentences with a great deal of unnecessary, repetitive, and an extra redundancy of digressive phrases and ideas as well -- which ability, to my perceptions, awareness, etc etc seems to have persisted for three decades. Or so I would say the first time you asked; though if many top editors from major news outlets were to gather with me and coach me through the process of conducting a press briefing -- each offering me several attempts to convey my meaning in response to the queries they poised -- then I would say, without much fear of contradiction, that I would say fewer words to convey more meaning -- though perhaps fewer nuances.

Were I to speak, so to speak.

TM

People are blaming Kerry's endless elocutions on fatigue, and we can already see that the vacation helped. "I don't fall down - the son of a bitch knocked me down" was pithy and pointed.

Oh, I liked last week so much better...

ABADABA MENSA

I am very interesting to see Kerry on the throne of presidency.we stand by his side

 Chien Si My Ban cua Phap

I am one of the VVAW members mentioned here. I was in Paris. I met with both the PRGSVN (VC) and the DRVN (NVA). As a veteran it was important to try and see peace through in Viet Nam as from my perspective- the fucking war had to end like this fucking war has to end in Iraq!

I know Kerry personally, and he is much better attuned to running our affairs as well as reach out to the wider world then the present moron named GWB.
VETS VOTE! SMART VETS VOTE KERRY! ;-)

BAU CU CHO KERRY!

 Chien Si My Ban cua Phap

I am one of the VVAW members mentioned here. I was in Paris. I met with both the PRGSVN (VC) and the DRVN (NVA). As a veteran it was important to try and see peace through in Viet Nam as from my perspective- the fucking war had to end like this fucking war has to end in Iraq!

I know Kerry personally, and he is much better attuned to running our affairs as well as reach out to the wider world then the present moron named GWB.
VETS VOTE! SMART VETS VOTE KERRY! ;-)

BAU CU CHO KERRY!

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