A veterans group opposed to Sen. John Kerry’s presidential candidacy says it has further proof the Massachusetts senator is being honored as an anti-war activist by communist Vietnam at a museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
The War Remnants Museum – formerly known as the War Crimes Museum – includes a photograph of Kerry being greeted by the general secretary of the Communist Party, Comrade Do Muoi, in July 1993, according to Vietnam Vets for the Truth.
Vietnam veteran Bill Lupetti took this photograph of a display at a Ho Chi Minh City museum honoring war protesters.
A picture of the display was taken in May by Bill Lupetti, one of more than 200 members of Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth who signed an open letter questioning Kerry’s fitness to serve as commander in chief.
This month, Lupetti took more photographs of the display and museum, including one with a daily newspaper held up next to it, to demonstrate that the picture is current.
A spokesman with Kerry’s national campaign has not returned a call from WND seeking comment.
Vets for the Truth says it’s not questioning the legitimacy of Kerry meeting with communist leaders in pursuit of information about POWs and MIAs, the aim of his congressional delegation in 1993.
“The critical issue is that the Vietnamese communists have chosen to honor Senator Kerry in their War Crimes Museum for his assistance in helping them achieve victory over the United States,” the group says.
Vets for the Truth points out the sign at the entrance to the display room reads: “The World Supports Vietnam in its Resistance.”
Also exhibited inside the room are protest banners and emblems from various nations and photographs of international leaders who supported North Vietnam’s cause.
After several members questioned the authenticity of the Lupetti’s first photograph, Vets for the Truth asked him to return to the museum this month and document the section featuring the foreign anti-war activists. The group also asked Dan Tran of the Vietnam Human Rights Project to have his associates in Ho Chi Minh Citiy go into the museum to verify it.
Sign directing visitors to Ho Chi Minh City war museum.
Tran’s contacts confirmed that the photograph is still in the museum.
Some members of the U.S. media also questioned whether Kerry was in Vietnam July 13-18, 1993.
The AP reported July 17, 1993, a U.S. delegation headed by Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Hershel Gober was sent to Vietnam by President Clinton to deliver to the Vietnamese microfilm of some 3 million captured Vietnam War documents related to finding American POWs and MIAs. The story says the delegation was scheduled to meet with Do Muoi.
While the story does not mention Kerry, a White House press release July 2, 1993, mentioned Kerry and the “high-level delegation,” which included represenatives of three major veterans groups.
Epstein said the display photograph’s “unquestionable significance lies in its placement in the American protesters’ section of the War Crimes Museum” in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon.
“The Vietnamese communists clearly recognize John Kerry’s contributions to their victory,” he said. “This find can be compared to the discovery of a painting of Neville Chamberlain hanging in a place of honor in Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in 1945.”
Display at Ho Chi Minh City war museum.
Epstein’s group says the exhibit refutes Kerry’s insistence his anti-war protests did not render support to the enemy in time of war.
“The Vietnamese communists clearly feel that the American anti-war protesters were a very important force in undermining support in the United States for American war efforts, a force that contributed materially to ultimate communist victory in 1975,” the group said in a statement.
Vietnam Vets for the Truth says it was established to organize a rally publicizing “Kerry’s lies” during the “Winter Soldier” hearings in the U.S. Senate in 1971. The rally, called “Kerry Lied,” will be held on Capitol Hill Sept. 12.
The Swift Boat Veterans also have called on Kerry to stop unauthorized use of their images in national campaign advertising.The group says only two of the 20 officers in one photo support him and 11 have signed the letter condemning the candidate.