As controversy over John Kerry’s Vietnam service holds center stage in the presidential campaign, a war veteran is about to release a television documentary with devastating testimony by former POWs of the demoralizing impact of the senators’ war-crimes accusations more than 30 years ago.
The production is scheduled to air in two weeks on the heels of a television ad by Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth, which charges Kerry with betrayal for accusing them of war atrocities during his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.
A source involved in the production, who said its makers are not prepared yet to release their names, told WorldNetDaily its title will be “Stolen Honor.”
The documentary has no official connection to the swiftboats group, the source said, but one of the POWs the film features is Paul Galanti, who appears in the group’s second ad, released this week.
Galanti, who spent more than six years in prison after being shot down south of Hanoi, says he first heard Kerry’s testimony in late 1971 when it was broadcast by his Vietnamese captors over the public address system in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”
Jerome Corsi, co-author of the swiftboat vets’ book, “Unfit for Command,” said he has seen some of the taped interviews used in the documentary.
“They are very, very powerful,” he told WND.
Corsi said the POWs in the new production tell how Kerry’s April 22, 1971, testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was “thrown in their faces.”
Corsi, noting the second half of his book focuses on Kerry’s antiwar activities, said he intends to work with all groups that want to tell that story.
Details about the new documentary are expected to be released later this week.
As WorldNetDaily reported, the swiftboat vets ad, playing in battleground states of Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, already has come under fierce attack.
Kerry’s campaign called on President Bush to denounce the ads after filing a legal complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth produced inaccurate television ads in illegal coordination with the Bush-Cheney campaign.
Yesterday, Bush, without mentioning the swiftboat vets group, said he wanted all of the independent soft-money groups to stop their campaign ads.
The new ad begins with audio and photographs of Kerry charging Americans serving in Vietnam “had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan … .”
In the 30-second TV spot, Galanti says Kerry “gave the enemy for free what I and many of my comrades in North Vietnam, in the prison camps, took torture to avoid saying. … It demoralized us.”
The Kerry campaign said the ad “takes Kerry’s testimony out of context, editing what he said to distort the facts.”
Kerry told Fox News in March he had no regrets about his service or his protest.
“Now, if some veterans still can’t accept that or they don’t like the fact that I stood up and spoke my mind, I respect them, that is their choice,” he said.
On Sunday, the Kerry campaign’s veterans organizer, John Hurley, said in an interview on Fox News Sunday that Kerry stands by his claims in 1971 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that U.S. soldiers in Vietnam regularly, and as a matter of official policy, committed war atrocities against innocent civilians.
He denied that Kerry had overstated the case against the war when he returned home as a spokesman for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
On Saturday, another former POW who appears in the swiftboat vets’ ad, retired Col. Ken Cordier, resigned as a volunteer from the Bush campaign’s veterans’ steering committee because of his participation with the swiftboat vets’ effort.
“Col. Cordier did not inform the campaign of his involvement in the advertisement,” the Bush campaign said in a statement. “Because of his involvement, Col. Cordier will no longer participate as a volunteer for Bush-Cheney ’04.”
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