Secretary of State John Kerry’s 1971 testimony before a Senate panel claiming American troops in Vietnam regularly committed war crimes against civilians was a product of a Soviet KGB disinformation campaign, according to the highest-ranking Soviet-bloc defector.
“Although Kerry never fully revealed the source of the accusations, I recognized them as being a product of another KGB disinformation operation,” says Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa in a new documentary produced by WND Films.
Pacepa is featured in “Disinformation: The Secret Strategy to Destroy the West,” which immediately shot to the top of the Amazon bestseller list for film documentaries within days of its June 25 release.
The film is accompanied by the new book “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism,” co-authored by Pacepa and Ron Rychlak.
As a Soviet bloc insider who worked face-to-face with KGB chief Yuri Andropov to develop disinformation campaigns during the Vietnam War era, Pacepa understood that the U.S. was defeating an inferior enemy in a proxy war in Vietnam with the Soviet Union.
The only way North Vietnam and its communist ally, the Vietcong, could win was to demoralize Americans.
Kerry’s testimony was based on the “Winter Soldier” investigation in Detroit earlier that year in which his group, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, heard stories of alleged atrocities committed in a climate said to have been created by the U.S. government and military command. Kerry also claimed to have committed and witnessed war crimes on a regular basis.
But some of the men who presented horror stories at the Jane Fonda-sponsored Winter Soldier probe had misrepresented themselves as Vietnam War vets – even using the names of other veterans who did not attend the hearings. Several veterans provided sworn affidavits that others spoke in their names. One of the featured speakers has now sworn that Kerry coerced him into testifying and that all of his charges were lies.
Testifying to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 22, 1971, Kerry claimed war crimes were being “committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command”:
“They told the stories at times they 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, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”
In the new documentary, retired Lt. Gen. William Boykin, an original member of the U.S. Army’s Delta Force who spent 36 years in the Army, challenges Kerry’s testimony.
“He never saw those things. He was perpetuating the myth of the left about our young men and women who served in Vietnam,” Boykin says.
Boykin recalls Kerry throwing his war medals over the White House fence in protest.
“It was all a ploy to increase his status and draw attention to him,” Boykin says.
“I think it’s high time for Senator Kerry to come clean and apologize for what he did,” he charges.
WND Managing Editor David Kupelian, a co-writer of the documentary, explains on camera the power of disinformation.
He points out that if Kerry’s anti-American rhetoric were delivered openly by the Soviet Union, it would not have the same impact, because Americans would expect their communist enemy to talk like that.
However, he says, “We don’t expect this from a person like John Kerry, and that message was carried forth by the so-called mainstream news media in the U.S.”
The Soviet Union made deception a major tactic, the documentary says, in its effort to advance internationally an ideology that snuffed out the lives of 150 million people in the 20th century, twice the combined death toll of the two world wars.
Disinformation is insidious, because it’s a lie spread not by the liar but by a legitimate source people trust, making it not only harder to discern but giving it an endless life.
“The lie thus becomes a rewritten history.”
Alluding to the Kerry testimony, the documentary postulates that during the Vietnam War, if the Soviet Union had put out a story that American soldiers were carrying out atrocities “reminiscent of Genghis Khan,” the free world would recognize the claim as misinformation or propaganda.
But if a U.S. soldier were to spread it and a U.S. newspaper were to carry it, then many citizens might believe the slander and question America’s involvement in the war.
As WND reported when Kerry ran for president in 2004, a combat veteran who testified of war crimes during the 1971 Winter Soldier investigation filed an affidavit claiming Kerry and other leaders of Vietnam Veterans Against the War coerced him into making false claims.
Steve Pitkin, who was 20 at the time, has retracted his testimony.
“Everything I said about atrocities and racism was a lie,” he said. “My unit never went out with the intention of doing anything but its job.”
Pitkin said he “had no inkling” that VVAW leaders were meeting with North Vietnamese and Vietcong representatives or that the VVAW consistently supported their positions
The group of former Navy colleagues who challenged Kerry’s claims about his Vietnam War service and highlighted his anti-war activistm, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, as WND reported, ran an ad during the 2004 presidential campaign that featured former POWs telling how they were demoralized when they heard Kerry’s charges as they suffered in a Vietnamese prison.
The chief spokesman of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, former Swift Boat captain John O’Neill, spoke with Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel last November about Kerry’s 1971 testimony as Kerry was being considered for the position of secretary of state.
“You know, Sean, we lost 58,000 people in Vietnam. I knew a fair number of them, a lot of them from my class at the Naval Academy. They were the best people we ever had.,” O’Neill said. “To describe them as the army of Genghis Khan for political advancement is typical of Kerry’s whole career, and it didn’t stop.”
See co-author Ron Rychlak comment on “Disinformation”:
In “Disinformation,” readers will discover:
- How destroying the reputation of good leaders has been developed into a high art and science.
- How Pope Pius XII – a generation ago the world’s most high-profile Christian leader, who personally saved countless Jews from Hitler’s Holocaust – was transformed, through the magic of disinformation, into a Nazi sympathizer.
- How Christianity and Judaism have been targeted for constant denigration and defamation through an ongoing campaign of disinformation.
- How the Soviet bloc planted 4,000 agents of influence in the Islamic world, armed with hundreds of thousands of copies of the most infamous anti-Semitic book in history, to fan the flames of ancient Arab resentments against the U.S. and Israel and sow the seeds of anti-Semitism that would later bloom in the form of violence and terror toward Jews and Christians.
- How supposedly respectable institutions like the World Council of Churches have long been infiltrated and controlled by Russian intelligence.
- How much of the world came to believe that the U.S. government itself masterminded the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
- How the Soviet Union has been transformed into the first intelligence dictatorship in history.
- How disinformation is still very much alive in the age of Obama, remaining a powerful engine in the ongoing socialist transformation of America.