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Hanoi Jane

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The following is an edited e-mail item that was sent to http://www.marinefamily.com/ and is also listed on other Internet sites.

Hanoi Jane Fonda was recognized and interviewed as one of the 100 Women of the Century during the Barbara Walters special in April 1999.

Unfortunately many have forgotten and still countless others have never known how Fonda betrayed not only the idea of democracy and our country but the servicemen who served and sacrificed during Vietnam. There are few things that anyone could have such strong visceral reactions to, but Fonda's participation could be described as blatant treason. These convictions comes from exposure to those who suffered from her individual campaign against the United States.

One story is told by Jerry Driscoll, an F-4E pilot, who was a River Rat and a former POW in Ho Lo Prison-the "Hanoi Hilton." Dragged from a stinking cesspit of a cell, cleaned, fed, and dressed in clean PJs, he was ordered to describe for a visiting American "Peace Activist" the "lenient and humane treatment" he'd received. He spat at Fonda, was clubbed, and dragged away. During the subsequent beating, he fell forward upon the camp Commandant's feet, accidentally pulling the man's shoe off-which sent that officer berserk. In 1978, the Air Force colonel still suffered from double vision (which permanently ended his flying days) from the frenzied application of the wooden baton.

Col Larry Carrigan spent 6 years in the "Hilton"--the first three of which he was "missing in action". His group, too, got the cleaned/fed/clothed routine in preparation for a "peace delegation" visit. They, however, had time and devised a plan to get word to the world that they still survived. Each man secreted a tiny piece of paper, with his social security number on it, in the palm of his hand. When paraded before Fonda and a cameraman, she walked the line, shaking each man's hand and asking little encouraging snippets like: "Aren't you sorry you bombed babies?" and "Are you grateful for the humane treatment from your benevolent captors?"  Believing this HAD to be an act, they each palmed her their sliver of paper. She took them all without missing a beat. At the end of the line and once the camera stopped rolling, to the shocked disbelief of the POWs, she turned to the officer in charge...and handed him the little pile. Three men died from the subsequent beatings. Col Carrigan was almost number four.

A civilian economic development advisor in Vietnam, and was captured by the North Vietnamese communists in South Vietnam in 1968, and held for over 5 years.  The advisor spent 27 months in solitary confinement, one year in a cage in Cambodia, and one year in a "black box" in Hanoi.  The North Vietnamese captors deliberately poisoned and murdered a female missionary, a nurse in a leprosarium in Ban me Thuot, South Vietnam.  These were some more of Fonda's "war criminals." When Fonda was in Hanoi, the advisor was asked by the camp communist political officer about meeting with Fonda. He said yes, because he wanted to tell her about the real treatment POWs were receiving, which was far different from the treatment reported by the North Vietnamese, and parroted by Fonda, as "humane and lenient." Because of this, he spent three days on a rocky floor on his knees, with outstretched arms and a piece of steel placed on his hands, and beaten with a bamboo cane.

For years after their release, a group of determined former POWs, including Col Carrigan, tried to bring Fonda and others up on charges of treason.  Her obvious "granting of aid and comfort to the enemy," alone, should have been sufficient for the treason count.   Fonda, on the other hand, chose to be a traitor, and went to Hanoi, wore their uniform, propagandized for the communists, and urged American soldiers to desert. As POWs tortured and murdered, she called them liars. After her heroes-the North Vietnamese communists-took over South Vietnam, they systematically murdered 80,000 South Vietnamese political prisoners. May their souls rest on her head forever.  However, to date, Fonda has never been formally charged with anything and continues to enjoy the privileged life of the rich and famous.   This is shame on us, the American Citizenry. Part of our shortfall is ignorance: most don't know such actions ever took place.  Fonda should be viewed as one of the "Least Respected Women of the Century."  This doesn't even go into the arguments of why we should even consider renewing diplomatic relationships with Vietnam until the Vietnamese "war criminals" are put on trial for their prominant roles with Hanoi Jane Fonda.

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