The nation’s most highly decorated living veteran told a hometown audience in Sioux City, Iowa, Democratic Party presidential candidate John Kerry “will go down in history as the Benedict Arnold of 1971.”

Col. George “Bud” Day, an Air Force pilot who spent 67 months in a North Vietnamese prison and was awarded the Medal of Honor among other decorations, visited Sioux City to campaign against Kerry.

“The notion that his guy would think he is qualified to be president of the United States when he has already pledged his allegiance to North Vietnam makes absolute zero sense,” Day told the Sioux City Journal. “My view is he basically will go down in history sometime as the Benedict Arnold of 1971.”

Day said Kerry dishonored the country by accusing his fellow veterans of war crimes and atrocities and for meeting with America’s communist enemy leaders in Paris.

While Kerry was denouncing U.S. troops for “war crimes,” Day was brutally tortured by his North Vietnamese captors. He is one of several former POWs featured in some of the latest Swift Boat Veterans for Truth TV ads. The anti-Kerry group has spent more than $10 million trying to subvert Kerry’s chances of becoming president. In one of the spots, running in key battleground states, Day directly addresses Kerry: “How can you expect our sons and daughters to follow you, when you condemned their fathers and grandfathers?”

Day also is interviewed in “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal,” a documentary about the effects of the anti-war movement on American POWs in Vietnam. Parts of the controversial film aired last week on a network of local stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Democrats condemned the documentary and broadcasts as one-sided and a veiled contribution to President Bush’s re-election campaign.

Day, whose plane was shot down over North Vietnam Aug. 26, 1967, was the only POW to escape from North Vietnam. He was recaptured two weeks later, within two miles of freedom.

Day said Kerry’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his other anti-war activities encouraged the North Vietnamese to continue the war and mistreat the POWs.

The Florida resident is a celebrity in Sioux City. He was honored by his hometown when local officials renamed Sioux City’s airport Sioux Gateway Airport/Col. Bud Day Field.

Kerry has been dogged by criticism from Vietnam vets throughout his campaign. Yesterday, the Special Forces Veterans who served in Vietnam released an open letter to Kerry opposing his candidacy.

“He slandered and dishonored all Vietnam veterans in false and exaggerated testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” the group said in its statement.

The veterans demanded that Kerry sign the Standard Form 180 to release all his military records so the public could determine, before the election, whether or not he is telling the truth about his service.

Of 377 Special Forces Vietnam veterans who reviewed the letter, 365 endorsed it in solidarity with the Swift Boat Vets.

“When Kerry chose to make Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign,” said Steve Sherman, the letter coordinator, “it awoke smoldering opposition from two-and-a-half million Vietnam veterans who understood how Kerry had used secret meetings with enemy leaders and propaganda hearings to start his political career at the expense of men under fire, POWs and those who served honorably.”

Those secret meetings with the enemy were the subject of a WorldNetDaily exclusive yesterday revealing the first documentary evidence that Vietnamese communists were directly steering John Kerry’s anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

One freshly unearthed document, captured by the U.S. from Vietnamese communists in 1971 and later translated indicates the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese delegations to the Paris peace talks that year were used as the communications link to direct the activities of Kerry and other anti-war activists who attended.

Kerry insists he attended the talks only because he happened to be in France on his honeymoon and maintains he met with both sides. But previously revealed records indicate the future senator made two, and possibly three, trips to Paris to meet with Viet Cong leader Madame Nguyen Thi Binh then promote her plan’s demand for U.S. surrender.

Jerome Corsi, a specialist on the Vietnam era, told WND the new discoveries are the “most remarkable documents I’ve seen in the entire history of the anti-war movement.”

“We’re not going to say he’s an agent for Vietnamese communists, but it’s the next thing to it,” he said. “Whether he was consciously carrying out their direction or naively doing what they wanted, it amounted to the same thing – he advanced their cause.”

Corsi, co-author of the Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth best-seller “Unfit for Command,” and Scott Swett, who maintains the group’s website, have posted a summary of the discovery on the website of Wintersoldier.com.

Corsi says the documents show how the North Vietnamese, the Viet Cong, the People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice, the Communist Party of the USA and Kerry’s VVAW worked closely together to achieve the Vietnamese communists’ primary objective – the defeat of the U.S. in Vietnam.

“I think what we’ve discovered is a smoking gun,” Corsi said. “We knew when we wrote ‘Unfit for Command’ that Kerry had met with Madame Binh and then promoted her peace plan.”

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