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WASHINGTON – A John Kerry veterans’ organizer lived in Hanoi for five years in the 1990s, testified that American troops skinned and crucified Vietnamese in the 1960s and joined the presidential candidate at an infamous 1971 meeting of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War executive committee in which the assassination of U.S. senators was debated, Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin reports.
Joe Bangert, a Massachusetts English teacher and longtime friend of the junior senator, has campaigned with Kerry in several states and serves the campaign as a veterans’ organizer.
Joe Bangert in Vietnam (photo: VietnamSongbook.org)
At the Winter Soldier Investigation, sponsored by Jane Fonda and the VVAW in 1971, Bangert told some of the most hair-raising stories, reveals a report in the latest issue of the premium, online intelligence newsletter published by WorldNetDaily.
The former Marine who claims to have served with the Marine Observation Squadron with the First Marine Air Wing in 1968 said the atrocities he witnessed began on his first day in country.
“I was picked up by a truckload of grunt Marines with two company grade officers – first lieutenants,” he told the Winter Soldier hearing in Detroit. “We were about five miles down the road, where there were some Vietnamese children at the gateway of the village and they gave the old finger gesture at us. It was understandable that they picked this up from GIs there. They stopped the trucks – they didn’t stop the truck, they slowed down a little bit, and it was just like response, the guys got up, including the lieutenants, and just blew all the kids away. There were about five or six kids blown away, and then the truck just continued down the hill.”
He also testified about observing South Vietnamese troops under U.S. command torture a woman prisoner by shooting her repeatedly, then disemboweling her and skinning her. He also claimed Vietnamese suspects and civilians were crucified under U.S. command.
Bangert, who lived in Hanoi for about five years in the 1990s and still travels to the Communist totalitarian capital, in 2001 called Jane Fonda a “heroine” for her controversial visits to North Vietnam during the war, according to G2 Bulletin.
In fact, Bangert, like Kerry, traveled to Paris to meet with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations. Bangert recalled the highlight for him was getting to sing “The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh” for the assembled guests. He boasts of having performed the ballad more than a thousand times in public. Bangert wore a shirt for the occasion emblazoned with the Viet Cong flag.
“She was a heroine to visit Vietnam under B-52 bombardment in July 1972, and this needs to be said aloud,” he wrote about Fonda in the VVAW publication.
In 1997, Bangert was one of three former VVAW members to pay tribute in Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh on his birthday. Bangert joined Chuck Searcy and Eric Herter May 19 – which was also the 30th anniversary of the founding of the VVAW.
Bangert worked for Kerry throughout the primary season in New Hampshire, Missouri and South Carolina.
When Kerry gave his victory speech in New Hampshire on the night of the primary, Bangert stood on stage between the presidential candidate and former New Hampshire Governor Jean Shaheen.
And that should be no surprise given Bangert has worked for Kerry in most if not all of his campaigns, including his first run for the Senate going back to 1984.
Kerry first adamantly denied attending a November 1971 VVAW executive committee meeting in Kansas City at which the assassination of several U.S. senators was debated. Later, when the Kansas City Star tracked down 32-year-old FBI records affirming Kerry’s attendance, his campaign explained that he “had no personal recollection” of the meeting. Bangert was there, too.
“We were rebelling,” he explained. “We were decompressing from our time in Vietnam. We were incapable of doing violence.”
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