How Kerry Quit Veterans Group
Thomas Lipscomb has a rather breathless report in NY Sun on the matter:
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. BarnesÃ¢€™s 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.
There are at least two other independent corroborations that the antiwar group Vietnam Veterans Against the War, of which Mr. Kerry was the most prominent national spokesman, considered assassinating American political leaders who favored the war.
Gerald NicosiaÃ¢€™s 2001 book Ã¢€œHome To WarÃ¢€ reports that one of the key leaders of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Scott Camil,Ã¢€œproposed the assassination of the most hard-core conservative members of Congress,as well as any other powerful, intractable opponents of the antiwar movement.Ã¢€The book reports on the Kansas City meeting at which Mr.CamilÃ¢€™s plan was debated and then voted down.
Mr. NicosiaÃ¢€™s book was widely praised by reviewers as varied as General Harold Moore, author of Ã¢€œWe Were SoldiersÃ¢€; Gloria Emerson, who had been a New YorkTimes reporter during the Vietnam War, and leftist Howard Zinn. Mr. Kerry himself stated in a blurb on the cover that the book Ã¢€œties together the many threads of a difficult period.Ã¢€ Mr. Kerry hosted a party for the book in the Hart Senate Office Building that was televised on C-SPAN.
The rest of the piece goes on to show that there are no records proving that Kerry resigned from the group shortly after this vote, as he claims.
While I find this rather amusing after the long flap where President Bush couldn’t quite produce enough proof of his National Guard activities from the early 1970s, the question strikes me as ridiculous. Kerry is rather leftist and certainly became rather strident in his anti-Vietnam War zeal. Still, does anyone really think he took part in a plot to assassinate key Republicans? There’s nothing that I’ve seen in his character that would indicate any such proclivities.