|09-10-2004, 12:05 PM||Topic Starter|
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Vietnam POWs Slam Kerry in Documentary
WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- The presidential campaign of Democratic Sen. John Kerry suffered another blow Thursday with the release of a new documentary. The 45-minute film features 13 former Vietnam prisoners of war who tell of how they were physically tortured by their communist captors and threatened with execution for war crimes. The evidence against them was based on the testimony of Navy Lieutenant John Kerry before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.
"Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" was produced by Carlton Sherwood, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and decorated Vietnam veteran. He reduced over 20 hours of vivid accounts of physical and psychological abuse suffered in North Vietnamese prison camps to a powerful indictment of the most prominent leader of the anti-war movement, John Kerry.
One by one, the men tell their horrific stories of torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese while Kerry and his cohorts paraded through the streets of Washington, DC carrying the flag of their captors. Several of their wives appear in the film to describe the impact of their husbands' prolonged absence and their reaction to the vilification of their imprisoned spouses.
The veterans in the film make the case that Kerry's public statements and antiwar activities along with Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden delayed the end of the war and postponed their release from the prison camps. While the North Vietnamese were losing the war in Southeast Asia, they say Kerry's words helped them "win the war in the streets of America."
Several members of Congress made statements prior to a screening of the film Thursday at the Marine Officers Reserve Building. One of them, Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), who flew 116 missions over Southeast Asia during the war, said that the documentary would help to dispel the "falsehoods that have prevailed over truth for 30 years."
Pitts suggested that while it was perhaps too late for an apology from Kerry, "it's never too late to correct the record."
The group of highly decorated veterans in the film has impeccable credentials; two of them are Medal of Honor recipients. One of them, Col. George "Bud" E. Day, was held captive for nearly 6 years. He criticized Kerry for masquerading as a war hero and "casting the longest shadow" over the reputations over all who served.
He said, "Every wound and every death after Kerry's testimony in 1971 could somehow be attributed to him."
Sherwood briefly mentions in the documentary that the American media played a key role in amplifying Kerry's claims of atrocities committed by U.S. troops and failing to investigate his shocking accusations. He says that the three networks in existence in 1971 all refused his repeated requests for permission to use their footage in his film.
He said, "It's time for the press to allow these men to speak. For 30 years this story has been there, for 30 years they've kept it inside."
Sherwood referred to his work as "the story the media hasn't told you and surely this is the story that John Kerry never wanted to be told."
Talon News asked if Sherwood and the men who appeared in the documentary are prepared for a smear campaign against them.
He replied, "We are all aware of what happened to the Swift Boats Veterans for Truth and the price they had to pay for their honesty and courage. We know it's coming, in fact it's already started."
Sherwood continued, "It's disgraceful that anyone would try to impeach the credibility of these fine distinguished veterans. These are among the bravest men we have alive in our country today."
He pointed out that the men associated with the project have diverse political backgrounds.
Sherwood said, "This is not political, it's deeply personal."
The producer declared, "John Kerry ran on this, John Kerry brought this up. John Kerry has built his campaign and the foundation of his entire political career on this and we want him to be accountable."
NBC's David Shuster accused Sherwood of misrepresenting Kerry's words in the editing.
Sherwood shot back, "Why wouldn't NBC allow us to use their footage?"
NBC also denied Sherwood's requests to use footage from Kerry's appearances on "Meet the Press."
Noting that Kerry hasn't held a press conference in over a month, Sherwood told Shuster, "We're asking Kerry to explain what he did and rather than have you explain and defend him."
One member of the media had a document from a source he refused to name entitled, "5 tough questions to ask those behind Stolen Honor."
More information on the documentary is available at www.StolenHonor.com
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