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March 13, 2004
NY Sun: Kerry Quit VVAW After Assassination Proposal

Yesterday's New York Sun published a front-page article on a little-known chapter in the history of Vietnam Veterans Against the War -- a proposal to assassinate conservative politicians who supported the war or who opposed anti-war activities. These plans were drafted by Scott Camil and debated at the November 1971 VVAW meeting in Kansas City, which John Kerry denies attending. However, at least two people who were there -- one of which heads Kerry's veteran support in Missouri -- claim that Kerry was there for the debate:

The anti-war group that John Kerry was the principal spokesman for debated and voted on a plot to assassinate politicians who supported the Vietnam War.

Mr. Kerry denies being present at the November 12-15, 1971, meeting in Kansas City of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and says he quit the group before the meeting. But according to the current head of Missouri Veterans for Kerry, Randy Barnes, Mr. Kerry,who was then 27,was at the meeting, voted against the plot, and then orally resigned from the organization. Mr. Barnes was present as part of the Kansas City host chapter for the 1971 meeting and recounted the incident in a phone interview with The New York Sun this week.

In addition to Mr. Barness recollection placing Mr. Kerry at the Kansas City meeting, another Vietnam veteran who attended the meeting, Terry Du-Bose, said that Mr. Kerry was there.

While this may not be as damaging as some would think -- after all, according to Barnes, he resigned as a result of the debate -- it does raise the question as to why Kerry would not have alerted authorities to a conspiracy to murder duly elected members of the Senate (or anyone else). By 1971, Kerry had already run for Congress, at least publicly buying into the political process as an agent of change. So why would he cover up for potential assassins?

But Kerry's story doesn't add up at all. Kerry claims that he had resigned from VVAW months before the November 12 Kansas City meeting, contradicting his own supporter in Missouri and the biographer that his campaign relies upon to promote his Vietnam Veteran credentials, Douglas Brinkley:

Clearly there is considerable confusion about the time of Mr. Kerrys resignation.According to Mr. Nicosia,He resigned from the executive committee after a spectacular argument with VVAW leader Al Hubbard at the July national leadership meeting in St Louis. But on behalf of the John Kerry campaign, spokesman David Wade told the Sun yesterday that Mr. Kerry resigned from Vietnam Veterans Against the War sometime in the summer of 1971 after the August meeting in St. Louis, which Kerry did not attend. Mr. Wade also said,Kerry was not at the Kansas City meeting. ...

But in a footnote, Mr. Brinkley acknowledges,I could not locate Kerrys November 10 VVAW resignation letter supposedly housed at the Wisconsin archives. The quote I used comes directly from Andrew E. Hunts essential The Turning: A History of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (1999). When asked by the Sun who told him Mr. Kerry was no-show at Kansas City, Mr. Brinkley replied, Senator Kerry. Mr. Brinkley also stated that Mr. Kerry did not have a personal copy of the resignation letter either. ...

But Mr. Barnes, the head of the Missouri Veterans for Kerry, said, I dont think there was a letter of resignation. He just said he was resigning after the vote.

Despite the fact that Scott Camil has publicly acknowledged heading a conspiracy to assassinate political figures in the US, he claims the Kerry campaign has offered him a position and that he will be joining them shortly:

Another source is an October 20,1992, oral history interview of Scott Camil on file at the University of Florida Oral History Archive.In it,Mr.Camil speaks of his plan for an alternative to Mr.Kerrys idea of symbolically throwing veterans medals over the fence onto the steps of the Capitol during the Dewey Canyon III demonstration in Washington in April of 1971.

My plan was that, on the last day we would go into the [congressional] offices we would schedule the most hardcore hawks for last and we would shoot them all, Mr. Camil told the Oral History interviewer. I was serious.

In a phone interview with the Sun this week, Mr. Camil did not dispute either the account in the Nicosia book or in the oral history.He said he plans to accept an offer by the Florida Kerry organization to become active in Mr. Kerrys presidential campaign. Campaign aides to Mr. Kerry invited Mr.Camil to a meeting for the senator in Orlando last week, but they did not meet directly.

John Kerry calls Bush and the Republicans the "most crooked, you know, lying group," and then goes out and hires a man that he knew to have plotted assassination attempts on political figures. Kerry needs to explain exactly when he left the VVAW, why his own supporters in this presidential campaign recall him being a party to assassination planning if he wasn't there, and why Scott Camil is being offered a job instead of serving prison time. (via Power Line)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 13, 2004 8:09 AM

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» VVAW Assassination Plot from Mind of Mog
This article from Thomas H. Lipscomb, New York Sun, sheds some light on the history of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Apparently, this was not quite the peaceful antiwar group we had thought.The anti-war group that John Kerry was the principal spoke... [Read More]

Tracked on March 13, 2004 5:23 PM

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