"Hanoi Jane--"Are we honoring a TRAITOR?

  1. A friend who spent many years in the Air Force, and served in both the Vietnam conflict and The Gulf War, forwarded this to me. (I was a Navy corpsman, '73-'78.)

    I remember the "Hanoi Jane" controversy, but never heard all these details until now.

    I admire Jane Fonda as an actress, but not for acts like this.

    Now I understand why, when I was in college after getting out of the Navy, my political science professor led a HUGE protest on our campus when Jane Fonda was invited to be the commencement speaker in '79.

    I wonder why this information has never been available to the public until now?

    Doesn't this constitute TREASON?

    Kevin McHugh, I would especially be interested in your comments; indeed, I would like everybody's viewpoint, but particularly those of military veterans.

    Semper Fi! God bless America.

    Oh, one more directed to USMC vets, fondly:

    "The Marine Corps already has their few good men--Navy corpsmen."

    KEEP THIS MOVING ACROSS AMERICA "HONORING A TRAITOR " . This is for all the kids born in the 70's that do not remember this, and didn't have to bear the burden, that our fathers, mothers, and older brothers and sisters had to bear. Jane Fonda is being honored as one of the "100 Women of the Century." Unfortunately, many have forgotten and still countless others have never known how Ms. Fonda betrayed not only the idea of our country but specific men who served and sacrificed during Vietnam.

    The first part of this is from an F-4E pilot. The pilot's name is Jerry Driscoll, a River Rat. In 1978, the former Commandant of the USAF Survival School was a 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 Ms. Fonda, was clubbed, and dragged away.

    During the subsequent beating, he fell forward upon the camp Commandant's feet, which sent that officer berserk. In '78, the AF Col. still suffered from double vision (which permanently ended his flying days) from the Vietnamese Col.'s frenzied application of a wooden baton.From 1963-65, Col. Larry Carrigan was in the 47FW/DO (F-4Es). He spent 6 -years in the "Hilton"- the first three of which he was "missing in action". His wife lived on faith that he was still alive. 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 SSN on it, in the palm of his hand. When paraded before Ms. 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 of papers. Three men died from the subsequent beatings. Col. Carrigan was almost number four but he survived, which is the only reason we know about her actions that day.

    I was 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. I spent 27 months in solitary confinement, one year in a cage in Cambodia, and one year in a "black box" in Hanoi. My North Vietnamese captors deliberately poisoned and murdered a female missionary, a nurse in a leprosarium in Ban me Thuot, South Vietnam, whom I buried in the jungle near the Cambodian border.

    At one time, I was weighing approximately 90 lbs. (My normal weight is 170 lbs.) We were Jane Fonda's "war criminals."

    When Jane Fonda was in Hanoi, I was asked by the camp communist political officer if I would be willing to meet with Jane Fonda. I said yes, for I would like to tell her about the real treatment we POWs received different from the treatment purported by the North Vietnamese, and parroted by Jane Fonda, as "humane and lenient." Because of this, I spent three days on a rocky floor on my knees with outstretched arms with a large amount of steel placed on my hands, and beaten with a bamboo cane till my arms dipped.

    I had the opportunity to meet with Jane Fonda for a couple of hours after I was released. I asked her if she would be willing to debate me on TV. She did not answer me.

    This does not exemplify someone who should be honored as part of "100 Years of Great Women." Lest we forget..."100 years of great women" should never include a traitor whose hands are covered with the blood of so many patriots. There are few things I have strong visceral reactions to, but Hanoi Jane's participation in blatant treason, is one of them.

    Please take the time to forward to as many people as you possibly can. It will eventually end up on her computer and she needs to know that we will never forget
  2. 42 Comments

  3. by   live4today
    From what I can tell, Jane Fonda is a totally different woman today since maturing and gaining a lot of positive and well needed wisdom from the "school of hardknocks" that often comes with growing up into adulthood. We've all done things during our youth that I'm sure most of us would acknowledge today as being carelessly disrespectful and unthoughtful towards people. Part of life is "living and learning through it all"......Jane Fonda is no exception.

    I believe in forgiveness because I come from a Creator who believes in forgiveness. I forgave Jane years ago for her immature contributions of speech during the Vietnam Conflict....and I was married to a man who served in Vietnam in 1968 to 1969, and an only brother who served in Vietnam from 1970-1971.....not to mention the various first cousins who served there as well. Yet....I have compassion for ALL mankind.....Jane is part of mankind...and she is alright in my book today.

    I exercised several times a week to her exercise videos...even watched movies and television shows she acted in. I've made it a point to follow her to this day to see how she has changed and matured....and she's come a very long way, so I commend her for making changes in her life where in her reflections of her past, shamed even her.
  4. by   mario_ragucci
    I don't know. Im gonna throw my two cents in here and assert that Vietnam was a People's struggle. I know tens of thousands of Americans died there fighting with the people who lived there. Jane Fonda probably saw herself as a "jesse Jackson" or "jimmy carter" who dabbled in appearances abroad. There were AMericans at home who saw the Peoples army of Vietnam worthy of respect, since they were obviously engaged in war with a superior enemy. There was no patriotic ferver, because Vietnam wasn't trying to assert itself onto us. Though the Vietnamese were enemies of US soldiers in country, many Americans did not see Vietnamese as enemies, so Jane Fonda appealed to them. The Vietnamese were not terrorists, were they?
  5. by   indeed
    I shall not comment about what I think of Jane Fonda but...this page may be of interest... http://www.snopes.com/military/fonda.htm

  6. by   kmchugh
    Simple. I, like most military veterans, have nothing but utter contempt for Hanoi Jane. No matter what anyone thinks of the Vietnam war, what Fonda did fits the bill of Treason under the United States Code perfectly. She actively gave aid and comfort to an enemy of the US in time of war. If there were any justice, she would still be in prison.

    I like and respect Renee, but on Jane, I have to respectfully disagree. Jane has shown no remorse for her actions, even though it is pretty well proven that her actions caused some American servicemen to receive additional beatings. Her apology was anything but an apology. Mostly, she tried to make her actions look less objectionable with the distance of time.

    To honor Jane as one of America's great women is a slap in the face of all military members, past and present. It is a particularly galling insult to Vietnam Veterans.

    She's not a hero. She's a traitor.

    Kevin McHugh
  7. by   prn nurse
    Kevin, we agree on something !!

    I saw Jane Fonda on television. Any idiot would have refused that trip. Any idiot would have known our young men were dying over there as she spoke and cheered and laughed with and embraced and defended the enemy troops.

    She was old enough to know better.

    I have never purchased a ticket to a Jane Fonda movie, nor purchased one of her exercise video's or rented a movie video. (Even tho I wanted to see "On Golden Pond")..... I survived the sacrifice... with convictions and personal pride intact.

    I refuse to ever increase her personal wealth.

    She was and remains - in my view- a disgusting American.
  8. by   stevierae
    I agree with Kevin, as a veteran. I am not one to post inflammatory things on the Internet--but reading this nearly made me fall out of my chair when it was passed on to me. I think people need to hear the truth about her actions there.

    She may have gone there with good intentions--at least that's what I thought, originally--but she could have saved lives by simply palming and surreptitiously pocketing that little stack of the POWs' social security numbers that were passed on to her. The POW camp, and others like it, might have been liberated by turning those numbers over to the American military. At the very least, families who thought their loved ones were dead could at least have a glimps of hope that they might be returning alive.

    Instead, she passed them on to the Vietcong commmander of the POW camp, and 3 men were beaten to death as a result; others were severely tortured. How a fellow American could do this, and live with it, is beyond me. What else would you call it BUT treason?

    The fact that she has never apologized tells me that she is not remorseful, or deserving of any honors.

    Thanks, Kevin.
    Last edit by stevierae on Sep 3, '02
  9. by   donmurray
    Since Larry Carrigan, "quoted" in the slips of paper incident, was actually there, and consistently denies that it ever happened, I think we can discount that particular myth.
  10. by   rncountry
    From snopes2.com, a site regarding urban legends.

    The most serious accusations in the piece quoted above -- that Fonda turned over slips of paper furtively given her by American POWS to the North Vietnamese and that several POWs were beaten to death as a result -- are proveably untrue. Those named in the inflammatory e-mail categorically deny the events they supposedly were part of.

    "It's a figment of somebody's imagination," says Ret. Col. Larry Carrigan, one of the servicemen mentioned in the 'slips of paper' incident. Carrigan was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967 and did spend time in a POW camp. He has no idea why the story was attributed to him. "I never met Jane Fonda."

    The tale about a defiant serviceman who spit at Jane Fonda and is severely beaten as a result is often attributed to Air Force pilot Jerry Driscoll. He has repeatedly stated on the record that it did not originate with him.

    The story about a POW forced to kneel on rocky ground while holding a piece of steel rebar in his outstretched arms is true, though. That account comes from Michael Benge, a civilian advisor captured by the Viet Cong in 1968 and held as a POW for 5 years. His original statement, titled "Shame on Jane," was published in April by the Advocacy and Intelligence Network for POWs and MIAs.

    The unknown author of the "Hanoi Jane" e-mail appears to have picked up Benge's story on-line and combined it with fabricated tales to create the forwarded text. Some versions now circulate with Benge's name listed; others quote his statement anonymously.

    In fact, Fonda carried home letters from many American POWs to their families upon her return from North Vietnam, and rumors that a POW was beaten to death when he refused to meet with her were nothing more than rumors. Still, legally treasonous or not, Jane Fonda's actions merit the contempt felt towards her, and her inclusion in ABC's 30 April 1999 "A Celebration: 100 Years of Great Women" rightly angered many who failed to see what was so "great" about this woman. She didn't go to North Vietnam to try to bring about peace or to reconcile the two warring sides or to stop American boys from being killed; she went there as an active show of support for the North Vietnamese cause. She lauded the North Vietnamese military and citizens while she denounced American soldiers as "war criminals" and urged them to stop fighting, she lobbied to cut off all American economic aid to the South Vietnamese government even after the Paris Peace Accords ended U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, and she publicly thanked the Soviets for providing assistance to the North Vietnamese. And she did all this not as a reckless youth who rashly spouted ill-considered opinions now best forgotten, but as a 34-year-old adult who should be expected to bear full responsibility for her actions.

    In 1988, sixteen years after denouncing American soldiers as war criminals and tortured POWs as possessed of overactive imaginations, Fonda met with Vietnam veterans to apologize for her actions. It's interesting to note that this nationally-televised apology (during which she attempted to minimize her actions by characterizing them as "thoughtless and careless") came at a time when New England vets were successfully disrupting a film project she was working on. It's also interesting that not only was this apology delivered sixteen years after the fact, but it has not been offered again since. More than a few have read a huge dollop of self-interest into Fonda's 1988 apology. (Finally, in an interview in 2000, almost thirty years after the fact, Fonda admitted: "I will go to my grave regretting the photograph of me in an anti-aircraft carrier, which looks like I was trying to shoot at American planes. It hurt so many soldiers. It galvanized such hostility. It was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done. It was just thoughtless.")

    Whether the war was right or wrong, those who risked (and gave) their lives fighting it deserve respect, and for Fonda to brand men who were held captive and tortured as "liars" and "hypocrites" (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary) in order to defend her political views was and is unpardonable.

    Last updated: 21 June 2000
  11. by   CATHYW
    There is another thread along this line, somewhere. I agree with Renee that Jane has matured and changed, but it does not change the fact that what she did was treason. She was NOT on an antiaircraft CARRIER, but in a North Vietnamese antiaircraft machinegunner's nest, complete with helmet, with her hands on the machine gun. It certainly appeared as though she would be willing to use the gun. For giving verbal aid and comfort to the enemy, she should be considered treasonous-a traitor.

    Also, Mario, the North Vietnamese did do a FEW terroristic things. You could ask a former boyfriend of mine about their "houseboy" who planted a mine in the metal lunch trays at Cu Chi, and managed to kill 4 people and injure many more. Or, those who were sitting peacefully drinking or eating in cafes in Saigon when they were suddenly firebombed, or strafed. I am sure that any Vietnam Vet wouldn't mind at all telling you about the tiger pits that weren't for tigers, or the tunnels with the poisonous snakes in them-just ask one!:stone
  12. by   fergus51
    I wasn't alive when Jane did her Hanoi stuff, so maybe that's why I can understand honoring her for good things she has done since. I guess I think anyone can better themselves after 30 years and she has done some good work, especially around womens and childrens issues. I tend to think some of the anger directed at her should also be directed at the gov't that sent those boys over there to fight an unwinnable and unjust war in the first place.
  13. by   NurseDennie
    I know that parts of the email are incorrect and parts of it are correct.

    The part that is a bit misleading is that she is no longer up for the woman of the Century. That happened years and years ago, so there's no reason that you need to keep sending this to friends so they can protest honoring this person.

    P.S. I don't recall whether or not she won. I think no.


  14. by   prn nurse
    RN Country: She Never apologized. She danced all around the issue and gave explanations out the kazoo. She has never apologized.