Morning Briefing: December 5
December 5th, 2011
08:08 AM ET

Morning Briefing: December 5

The 1600 Report's daily roundup of what the White House is reading this morning online and in the papers:

Time to Google difference between ‘apology’ and ‘condolence’ [NYTimes]

White House courting black voters [POLITICO]

Can Newt hold it together for four more weeks? [NYTimes]

Scoring Cain’s endorsement will help [POLITICO]

Dems promising payroll tax ‘compromise’ [CNN]

Obama’s unemployment comeback? [WashPost]

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Howard

    Barbara Walters said:

    Thank you all. Many died in Vietnam for our freedoms. I did not like Jane Fonda then and I don't like her now.

    She can lead her present life the way she wants and perhaps SHE can forget the past, but we DO NOT have to stand by without comment and see her "honored" as a "Woman of the Century."

    (I remember this well)

    For those who served and/or died.. . .


    and now President OBAMA wants to honor her......!!!!

    December 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Howard

      Jane Fonda is being honored by BARACK OBAMA, as one of the '100 Women of the Century..'

      Unfortunately, many have forgotten and still countless others have never known how Ms. Fonda betrayed not only the idea of our country, but specific men who served and sacrificed during the Vietnam War.

      The first part of this is from an F-4E pilot. The pilot's name is Jerry Driscoll, a River Rat. In 1968, the former Commandant of the USAF Survival School was a POW in Ho Lo Prison the ' Hanoi Hilton.'

      Dragged from a stinking cesspit of a cell, cleaned, fed, and dressed in clean PJ's, he was ordered to describe for a visiting American 'Peace Activist' the 'lenient and humane treatment' he'd received.

      He spat at Ms. Fonda, was clubbed, and was dragged away. During the subsequent beating, he fell forward on to the camp Commandant 's feet, which sent that officer berserk.

      In 1978, the Air Force Colonel still suffered from double vision (which permanently ended his flying career) from the Commandant's frenzied application of a wooden baton.

      From 1963-65, Col. Larry Carrigan was in the 47FW/DO (F-4E's). He spent 6 years in the ' Hanoi Hilton',,, the first three of which his family only knew he was 'missing in action'. His wife lived on faith that he was still alive. His group, too, got the cleaned-up, fed and clothed routine in preparation for a 'peace delegation' visit.

      They, however, had time and devised a plan to get word to the world that they were alive and still survived. Each man secreted a tiny piece of paper, with his Social Security Number on it, in the palm of his hand. When paraded before Ms. Fonda and a cameraman, she walked the line, shaking each man's hand and asking little encouraging snippets like: 'Aren't you sorry you bombed babies?' and 'Are you grateful for the humane treatment from your benevolent captors?' Believing this HAD to be an act, they each palmed her their sliver of paper.

      She took them all without missing a beat.. At the end of the line and once the camera stopped rolling, to the shocked disbelief of the POWs, she turned to the officer in charge and handed him all the little pieces of paper...

      Three men died from the subsequent beatings. Colonel Carrigan was almost number four but he survived, which is the only reason we know of her actions that day.

      I was a civilian economic development advisor in Vietnam , and was captured by the North Vietnamese communists in South Vietnam in 1968, and held prisoner for over 5 years.

      I spent 27 months in solitary confinement; one year in a cage in Cambodia ; and one year in a 'black box' in Hanoi . My North Vietnamese captors deliberately poisoned and murdered a female missionary, a nurse in a leprosarium in Banme Thuot , South Vietnam , whom I buried in the jungle near the Cambodian border. At one time, I weighed only about 90 lbs. (My normal weight is 170 lbs)

      We were Jane Fonda's 'war criminals....'

      When Jane Fonda was in Hanoi , I was asked by the camp communist political officer if I would be willing to meet with her. I said yes, for I wanted to tell her about the real
      treatment we POWs received... and how different it was from the treatment purported by the North Vietnamese, and parroted by her as 'humane and lenient.'

      Because of this, I spent three days on a rocky floor on my knees, with my arms outstretched with a large steel weight placed on my hands, and beaten with a bamboo cane.

      I had the opportunity to meet with Jane Fonda soon after I was released.. I asked her if she would be willing to debate me on TV. She never did answer me.

      These first-hand experiences do not exemplify someone who should be honored as part of '100 Years of Great Women.' Lest we forget....' 100 Years of Great Women' should never include a traitor whose hands are covered with the blood of so many patriots.

      There are few things I have strong visceral reactions to, but Hanoi Jane's participation in blatant treason, is one of them. Please take the time to forward to as many people as you possibly can.. It will eventually end up on her computer and she needs to know that we will never forget.

      USAF 716 Maintenance Squadron,
      Chief of Maintenance DSN: 875-6431 COMM: 883-6343

      December 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  2. Steve


    What are your sources for these charges?

    First of all, Jane Fonda did not commit treason. All but one of the Viet Nam myths has been debunked a myriad of times. However, some of her actions during that time are seen as dispicable and her subsequent public apologies, self-serving.

    Second, the purported statement from “RONALD D. SAMPSON, CMSgt” is a fabrication.

    I can't find a credible source for Barbara Walters' statement criticizing Fonda. If you have one, I'd like to confirm it.

    Next, the program hosted by Walters honoring Jane Fonda aired on April 30, 1999 – that's 1999. Honorees were selected by a panel for Ladies’ Home Journal.

    It is unknown who started this urban legend on her.  This disinformation on Jane Fonda may have came from Jane Fonda's supporters SINCE IT WAS VERY EASY TO PROVE IT TO BE FALSE (emphases mine).  By doing so, Jane Fonda becomes the victim and truthful statements about Jane Fonda would now come into question.

    …. none of the seven veterans who met with Fonda in Viet Nam reported her betraying their attempts to slip her information about themselves (there would have been no reason to conceal such activity in the first place, as the North Vietnamese allowed Fonda to openly carry home messages and letters from the POWs to their families).

    Some of the POWs who did meet with Fonda have spoken out on the record to disclaim the apocryphal story about her alleged betrayal:

    ~ “I don't know who came up with [my] name. The trouble that individual has caused me!" said Air Force pilot Jerry Driscoll, referring to the time he has spent repeatedly denying the persistent myth. The false stories claim Driscoll is the defiant serviceman who spit at Jane Fonda and was severely beaten.

    ~ "It's a figment of somebody's imagination," said Ret. Col. Larry Carrigan, the vet named in the “slips of paper story.” “I never met Jane Fonda.” In 2005, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported he's “so tired of having to repeat that he wasn't beaten after Fonda's visit and that there were no beating deaths at that time that he won't talk to the media anymore."

    ~ "The whole [e-mail] story about Jane Fonda is just malarkey," said Edison Miller, 73, of California, a former Marine Corps pilot held more than five years.

    ~ Mike McGrath, a retired Navy pilot and [then] President of NAM-POW, also stepped forward to disclaim the story:

    Exerpts: This is a hoax story placed on the internet by unknown Fonda haters.

    I have spoken with all the parties named: Carrigan, Driscoll, et al. They all state
    that this particular internet story is a hoax and they wish to disassociate their names
    from the false story.

    McGrath's complete statement: Please excuse the generic response, but I have been
    swamped with so many e-mails on the subject of the Jane Fonda article (Carrigan,
    Driscoll, strips of paper, torture and deaths of POWs, etc.) that I have to resort to
    this pre-scripted rebuttal.

    The truth is that most of this never happened. This is a hoax story placed on the
    internet by unknown Fonda haters. No one knows who initiated the story. Please
    assist by not propagating the story. Fonda did enough bad things to assure her a
    correct place in the garbage dumps of history. We don't want to be party to false
    stories, which could be used as an excuse that her real actions didn't really happen
    either. I have spoken with all the parties named: Carrigan, Driscoll, et al. They all
    state that this particular internet story is a hoax and they wish to disassociate their
    names from the false story.

    ~ The one story widely accepted as true concerns POW Michael Benge. He was a senior agro-forestry officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) who was working in South Vietnam when he was captured by the Viet Cong in 1968 and held prisoner for five years:

    He was at a Hanoi prison in 1972 when a political officer he hadn't seen before
    asked whether he would like to meet Fonda. "I said yes," he wrote in a 1999 letter
    that protested the Fonda honors, "for I would like to tell her about the real
    treatment we POWs received and how different it was from the treatment purported
    by the North Vietnamese."

    Benge said he doesn't know who pilfered his story from his letter and attached it to
    the Carrigan and Driscoll fictions.

    In the 1972 incident, "I think I had maybe a little smarter-than-the-average bear
    [political officer] who knew I was being cynical," Benge said recently. Benge said he
    spent the next three days kneeling on a rocky floor with a steel bar on his
    outstretched hands. Whenever his arms dipped, he was struck with a bamboo cane,
    he said.

    North Vietnamese guards might be the only people able to verify Benge's torture
    account independently. But, McGrath said, Benge's account is "consistent with
    [North] Vietnamese policy and conduct about people who didn't cooperate."

    The next time you think about posting something inflammatory, please make sure it's true. Otherwise, your credibility is suspect if you post accurate information another time.

    Regards, Steve

    February 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm |