Kerry Lying About Anti-War Past, Supporter Alleges
(CNSNews.com) - A Vietnam War historian and supporter of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has told CNSNews.com that Kerry is lying about key events related to his anti-war activities in 1971.
Kerry said he hasn't spoken to former anti-war associate Al Hubbard since the two men appeared side by side on national television in April 1971, but according to author Gerald Nicosia, that assertion is wrong. So is Kerry's insistence that he did not attend a November 1971 meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), at which group members discussed the possibility of assassinating U.S. senators who were still supporting the war in Vietnam, Nicosia said.
Nicosia backed up his comments regarding Kerry's presence at the November 1971 meeting by providing CNSNews.com with the FBI's redacted files about that meeting.
Questions about events that happened 33 years ago continue to nag the Kerry candidacy as the Massachusetts Democrat's November match-up against President Bush comes into sharper focus.
Kerry faces increasing skepticism about answers he gave to certain questions as well as recent statements he made, including his claim that some foreign leaders had told him they were hopeful Bush would be defeated this year.
Among the questions surrounding Kerry's involvement as a 27-year-old anti-war protester are those about his relationship with Hubbard, the former executive director of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Kerry and Hubbard appeared on NBC's Meet the Press on April 18, 1971 to argue for an end to the war.
But shortly thereafter, Hubbard, who had been introduced on the NBC program as a decorated Air Force captain, was exposed for having exaggerated his military credentials. A separate news investigation revealed that there were no military records showing that Hubbard had either served in Vietnam or was injured there.
Last week, during a Capitol Hill news conference, CNSNews.com asked Kerry whether he was still in touch with Hubbard or whether he was willing to repudiate Hubbard because of Hubbard's fabricated war record.
"I haven't talked to Al Hubbard since that week" of the Meet the Press appearance, Kerry replied. Kerry also said he did not believe that VVAW's credibility was hurt as a result of Hubbard falsifying his war record.
But Gerald Nicosia, author of the book Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement and a Kerry supporter, disagreed with Kerry's contention that he and Hubbard saw no more of each other after the week of April 18, 1971.
"That is bull****. No, no, [Kerry] saw [Hubbard] at numerous meetings after that, including the one I talk about in my book, the July meeting in St. Louis," Nicosia told CNSNews.com .
[Kerry] saw [Hubbard] in July, and according to FBI [files on Vietnam Veterans Against the War] and the minutes of those meetings, [Kerry] probably saw him in November  too," Nicosia said.
Kerry and Hubbard had a heated argument at the St. Louis meeting in July that was "witnessed by 200 veterans," according to Nicosia.
Despite the presidential candidate's claim last week that Hubbard had not hurt the anti-war group's credibility in 1971, Kerry actually believed otherwise, according to Nicosia.
"There was a big fight with Al Hubbard in which Kerry confronted him and they were screaming at each other across the hall," Nicosia explained. Hubbard, who had ties to the radical Black Panthers group, and Kerry "couldn't have been more opposite personalities," Nicosia said.
The simmering tension between the two men finally reached a boil in St. Louis, Nicosia said, with Kerry shouting, "Who are you, Al Hubbard? Are you even really a veteran?
"So it was a big screaming match," he added.
Nicosia told CNSNews.com he was uncomfortable disputing Kerry's statements.
"I am in kind of an awkward position here. I am a Kerry supporter and I certainly don't want to do anything that hurts him. On the other hand, my number one allegiance is to truth. So I am going to go with where the facts are, and John is going to have to deal with that," Nicosia said.
"I am having some problems with the things he is saying right now, which are not matching up with accuracy," he added.
November 1971 meeting
Nicosia also disputed Kerry's denial that he was in attendance when VVAW members met in Kansas City in November 1971 to discuss the possibility of assassinating U.S. senators still committed to the Vietnam War.
Kerry was at the meeting, Nicosia insisted, pointing to FBI files and the minutes from the VVAW meeting, which he has obtained. "The minutes of the meeting -- November 12th through the15th -- it's got John Kerry there, it's got John Kerry resigning there on the third day," Nicosia said.
Nicosia provided CNSNews.com with a copy of the FBI's redacted files of that November 1971 VVAW meeting. The files refer to the fact that Kerry had "resigned for 'personal reasons.'"
"You are talking to a Kerry supporter, but I will tell you, after everything that I have heard and seen, I would conclude that he was there," he added.
Nicosia said he is not sure why Kerry is answering questions on the issue in the manner he is.
"Why didn't [former President Bill] Clinton say he [had sex with] Monica Lewinsky? It took him until he had to be confronted with the hard evidence before he said he did," Nicosia said.
"I think [Kerry] may be worried or the people around him may be worried that his association with VVAW is a very negative thing and they want John to back away from it," he added.
Nicosia concluded with advice for Kerry.
"The chickens are coming home to roost, and unfortunately he is starting to backtrack and I personally don't think backtracking is going to work because people are going to go at him and find the discrepancies," Nicosia said.
As recently as two days ago, Kerry's presidential campaign spokesman David Wade told the New York Sun that, "Kerry was not at the Kansas City meeting." Wade added that Kerry had resigned from the VVAW "sometime in the summer of 1971."
See Earlier Stories:
Kerry Says Credibility Not Damaged By Former Comrade's Lie (March 11, 2004) Kerry-Linked Anti-War Group Can't Bury Deceit (March 3, 2004) Most Media Refused to Expose Kerry's Anti-War Cohort (March 3, 2004)
E-mail a news tip to Marc Morano.
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