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John Kerry Discussed Killing 6 Congressmen

The following is an excerpt from a book, "Winter Soldiers," by Richard Staciewicz, pp 294-295:

John Kerry appears on Meet The Press in April, 1971 with VVAW co-leader Al Hubbard. "Captain" Hubbard claimed to have been wounded in combat during his service as a pilot in Vietnam. It was subsequently revealed that Hubbard was in reality a supply sergeant who had never been to Vietnam who had injured himself playing basketball.

In the fall of 1971, tensions over the direction in which the organization was heading, as it spread out into various community activities and took on a more consciously anti-imperialist position, were becoming more evident. In November, an emergency meeting of the steering committee was held in Kansas City. This meeting was a result of the growing friction among members of the steering committee, and between new members and the old leadership…

[Terry DuBose] TDB: That was also where there was actually some discussion of assassinating some senators during the Christmas holidays. They were people who I knew from the organization with hotheaded rhetoric.

They had a list of six senators … Helms, John Tower, and I can’t remember the others, who they wanted to assassinate when they adjourned for Christmas. They were the ones voting to fund the war. They approached me about assassinating John Tower because he was from Texas. The logic made a certain amount of sense because there’s thousands of people dying in southeast Asia. We can shoot these six people and probably stop it. Some of us were willing to sabotage materials, but when it came to people … I mean, there were a lot of angry people…

The following is from Gerald Nicosia’s book, "Home To War," pp 221-223:

[Scott] Camil proposed VVAW return in force to Washington, D.C., and there apply pressure in every conceivable way to the legislators who were still voting to fund the war. After the assembly of coordinators defeated the plan, he was told it was “a closed issue at this point." Camil replied that such a tactic was "never a closed issue." He then made known an even more radical proposal, which he intended to submit to the coordinators for their approval. If undertaken, he claimed, it would guarantee the end of congressional support for the war. It was this proposal that nearly blew the Kansas City convention wide open, and which branded Camil as both dangerous and crazy for the remainder of his time in the organization.

What Camil sketched was so explosive that the coordinators feared lest government agents even hear of it. So they decamped to a church on the outskirts of town with the intention of debating the plan in complete privacy. When they got the church, however, they found that the government was already on to them; their "debugging expert" uncovered microphones hidden all over the place. An instantaneous decision was made to move again – to Common Ground, a Mennonite hall used by homeless vets as a "crash pad," on 77th Terrace. This time a vote was taken to exclude anyone but regional coordinators and members the national office. The rest of the members, even trusted leaders such as Randy Barnes and John Upton (who had earned their credibility in the mud and tears of Dewey Canvon III), were forced to wait outside on the grass, where messengers brought frequent word of what was going on inside. According to Barnes, everybody knew that the discussion in that hall "was grounds for criminal indictment of conspiracy."

Discussion was not exactly the word for it. John Upton recalls it being "a knock-down-drag-out [fight] at times." Randy Barnes remembers "people standing up on the tables yelling and screaming at one another." The proposal that fired so much anger was called the "Phoenix plan," in mockery of the U.S. government’s similar program in Vietnam. There was, in fact, good evidence that the United States Studies and Observation Group (SOG) – known to those inside it as the Special Operations Group – had used its own Special Forces, those of South Vietnam, and even South Vietnamese mercenaries to murder various Communist and Communist-sympathizing village chiefs, political leaders,­ and other influential citizens in South Vietnam. Some say as many as 10,000 were assassinated, in order (theoretically) to rebuild a more democratic infrastructure in the south. Hence the name "Phoenix": a better, stronger Vietnam was supposed to rise from the ashes of the Communist-tainted one. Similarly, Camil now proposed the assassination of the most hard-core conservative members of Congress, as well as any other powerful, intractable opponents of the antiwar movement – the ones who would rather die than see America suffer a military defeat in Vietnam. Fine, let them die, suggested Camil – in fact, help them along in that direction and once they were cleared out of the way, a truly democratic America could arise, one that would choose to be at peace with the rest of the world.

When the Phoenix plan first came before the steering committee meeting, John Upton had been standing almost next to Camil, and he recalls that "at first it was laughed off. Then he [Camil] became really irate, and some other people that were supporting that got really irate, and it got down to a really hard discussion about it. There was a time, I’m not kidding you, I was almost one of them. Especially when we moved over to 77th Terrace, a lot of people were convinced that this was the way to do it. I thought it was a novel idea, but it was not something I would support. I looked on it as doing just what we were fighting against. It was killing people for no [good] reason. I remember saying this, and somebody stood up and called me a ‘moderate’! If I went an inch more crazier than I was, I could have endorsed it one hundred percent. Scott was pissed off just like I was. He was one of those people I really identified with ­ with the anger I saw there. My whole instinct here was, `Let’s demonstrate and do these things against the fucking war, to get the word out. Let’s talk in high schools. But let’s do things legal. Let’s get the right permits.’ The Phoenix plan was like, that’s what needs to be done, but, God, we can’t really do that."

The Phoenix plan, like the rest of Camil’s proposals, was voted down in Kansas City, but its specter had only begun to haunt the organization; and, ironically enough, among those whose imaginations it enflamed were those very agents who had been charged with finding a way to destroy VVAW.

When questioned about this discussion about killing six pro-war Senators during the campaign Mr. Kerry first claimed that he was not at the VVAW’s Kansas City meeting. However subsequent research by me (and Tom Lipscomb) has shown that in fact he did attend.

It should be noted that Mr. Kerry never reported this discussion of assassinating six US Senators to any authorities.

Apparently that’s not what "smart" people do.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Sunday, November 5th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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