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Not saluting Jane Fonda

Posted By Jon Dougherty On 09/15/1999 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

Editor’s note: Subsequent to this column’s publication, the writer
discovered that one of the two stories about Jane Fonda related below
never actually occurred. The error was then corrected in detail in a
follow-up column,

Not saluting Jane Fonda, Part II.


When I was at Camp Pendleton receiving combat corpsman training, I noticed that the pickup truck belonging to the gunnery sergeant in charge of our training was adorned with bumper stickers containing extremely unflattering remarks about Jane Fonda. I also noticed a few referred to Ms. Fonda and Vietnam, but at the time I honestly had no idea why.

Being an E-5 and close to rank to our E-7 gunny, after a training rotation one afternoon I decided to ask him about those stickers, and what they had to do with Fonda.

He muttered a few obscenities and proceeded to tell me the story. Fonda, he said, became a traitor during the Vietnam War — a war in which “gunny” had served two tours and for which he had received three Purple Hearts (which is why he enjoyed training Navy corpsmen to be Marine Corps combat corpsmen — they’d saved his life a time or two).

The following excerpts are not “gunny’s” words, but when I received them in an e-mail recently, it reminded me of his story. And, as ABC’s Barbara Walters prepares to honor the traitorous Jane Fonda during Walters’ “100 years of great women” program soon, I thought the American people needed to hear this story again. You see, Fonda isn’t just exercise videos and the third wheel in “Nine to Five” (the movie).

“There are few things I have strong visceral reactions to, but Jane Fonda’s participation in what I believe to be blatant treason, is one of them. Part of my conviction comes from exposure to those who suffered her attentions.

“In 1978, the Commandant of the USAF Survival School, a colonel, was 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 Ms. 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 ’78, the AF colonel still suffered from double vision — permanently grounding him — from the Vietnamese officer’s frenzied application of a wooden baton.

“From 1983-85, Col. Larry Carrigan was 347FW/DO (F-4Es). He’d spent 6 [product] years in the Hilton — the first three of which he was listed as MIA. 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 Social Security number 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 notes.

“Three men died from the subsequent beatings. Col. Carrigan was almost number four.

“For years after their release, a group of determined former POWs, including Col. Carrigan, tried to bring Ms. Fonda and others up on charges of treason. I don’t know that they used it, but the charge of ‘Negligent Homicide due to Depraved Indifference’ would also seem appropriate. Her obvious ‘granting of aid and comfort to the enemy’ alone should’ve been sufficient for the treason count. However, to date, Jane Fonda has never been formally charged with anything and continues to enjoy the privileged life of the rich and famous.

“I, personally, think that this is shame on us, the American Citizenry.

“Part of our shortfall is ignorance: Most don’t know such actions ever took place.

“The only addition I might add to these sentiments is to remember the satisfaction of relieving myself into the urinal at some airbase or another where ‘zaps’ of Hanoi Jane’s face had been applied.”

And there is this account:

“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 later 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 her. I said yes, for I would like to tell her about the real treatment we POWs were receiving, which was far 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 piece of steel re-bar placed on my hands, and beaten with a bamboo cane every time my arms dipped.

“Jane Fonda had the audacity to say that the POWs were lying about our torture and treatment. Now ABC is allowing Barbara Walters to honor Jane Fonda in her feature “100 Years of Great Women.” Shame on the Disney Company.

“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, her husband (at the time), Tom Hayden, answered for her. She was mind controlled by her husband. This does not exemplify someone who should be honored by ’100 Years of Great Women.’”

“After I was released, I was asked what I thought of Jane Fonda and the anti-war movement. I said that I held Joan Baez’s husband in very high regard, for he thought the war was wrong, burned his draft card and went to prison in protest. If the other anti-war protesters took this same route, it would have brought our judicial system to a halt and ended the war much earlier, and there wouldn’t be as many on that somber black granite wall called the Vietnam Memorial. This is democracy. This is the American way.

“Jane 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 we were being tortured, and some of the POWs murdered, she called us 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.”

In the words of Paul Harvey, America, “now you know the rest of the story.”

ABC and Babs Walters will undoubtedly include “Hanoi” Jane in their televised celebration because their black souls are too hardened and too imbued with an anti-American sentiment to do anything else. And ultimately, they will all answer for what they have done in their lives. In the meantime, I don’t plan on watching anything that has Jane Fonda’s face anywhere near it. I won’t buy her videos; I won’t rent or go see her movies. As far as I’m concerned, she’s already dead to me.

Whether or not you agreed with the war in Vietnam, whether you’re a Vietnam vet or a former member of the protest movement, or whether you’re too old or too young to have been there, the behavior of Jane Fonda towards our own military men is reprehensible beyond belief. All I ask is that you think about these accounts the next time you see her. Let your conscience guide your actions from there.


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