Saturday, March 20, 2004

More of Lurch's history crawls out from under a rock

On Monday I had a post titled "So when do we get to the part where he drops a dime on the moonbats?" about an expose by Thomas Lipscomb in the NY Sun of Kerry attending a meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War where a plan for assassinating a number of Senators was discussed. The Kerry campaign response was that he never attended. Well, it turns out there are FBI reports that he did attend, so now we have from Scott Canon at Knight-Ridder, Kerry hedges on 1971 KC meeting:
Confronted with 32-year-old FBI records, Sen. John Kerry's campaign all but conceded he attended a 1971 Kansas City meeting where a fellow anti-war veteran called for political assassinations.
A statement Thursday by Kerry's camp said the Massachusetts Democrat did not recall the meeting, although FBI surveillance material and the group's archives clearly show that Kerry resigned from his national coordinator post at that November 1971 meeting.

In interviews last week, the senator's campaign insisted that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee clearly remembered bolting from the group months earlier.

Responding to a request by The Kansas City Star that staffers question the candidate about the meeting, Kerry passed word March 12 that he "never, ever" attended a meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War after a heated and public argument with the group's executive secretary in St. Louis in June 1971.

In a prepared statement late Thursday night, however, campaign spokesman David Wade, traveling with the candidate in Idaho, said: "John Kerry had no personal recollection of this meeting 33 years ago. John Kerry does recall the disagreements with elements of VVAW leadership...that led to his resignation.

"If there are valid FBI surveillance reports from credible sources that place some of those disagreements in Kansas City, we accept that historical footnote in the account of his work to end the difficult and divisive war."
Quite a footnote, pal. Lurch's memory is so bad that he can't remember resigning from an organization he led because the members were planning an assassination campaign. I wouldn't remember that either.

And there's also still no word on Lurch dropping a dime on his "comrades." C'mon Lurch, surely you remember doing your civic duty.

But there's plenty of frantic spinning going on by the Kerry campaign and while Canon does his best to help, some ugly facts come through.
Last week, John Hurley, an organizer of veteran volunteers for Kerry's presidential run, called two men who were quoted in The Star as recalling Kerry attending the Kansas City meeting. John Musgrave of Baldwin City, Kan., said Hurley called him twice and in the second conversation asked the disabled veteran to contact the newspaper reporter to say he had doubts about the memory.
My favorite is VVAW member Joe Bangert:
Joe Bangert traveled from Philadelphia to the meeting and said the idea of killing was contrary to a group whose officers often closed correspondence with lines such as "peace and love and nonviolent action."

"We were rebelling. We were decompressing from our time in Vietnam," Bangert said. "But we were incapable of doing violence."
Joe's now a Kerry campaign worker, but he used to decompress by having songfests with the North Vietnamese:
Dear Sister Peggy,

Greetings from Cape Cod! My name is Joe Bangert, and I eyed your name on the email list from an email I received today from a mutual friend- Barbara Dane- and was motivated to introduce myself to you and tell you- apart from my love of both you and your brother's musical and artistic contributions to at least three generations of my family- how gratified I am to share with you my deep admiration of Ewan's 'Ballad of Ho Chi Minh'.

Sure I learned it by heart- after returning home from my stint as a door gunner on a Marine helicopter in Quang Tri, Viet Nam circa 1969. Six months later I upped and joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and later met Barbara in Paris at the World Assembly for the Peace and Independence of the Indochinese Peoples at Versailles. We had a great banquet with the diplomatic delegations of both the DRVN and the PRGSVN and later some music began- Barbara sang the 'Song of the Coats' and the only song the young boisterous delegation from the USA could all agree on singing together by heart when asked to sing 'an American worker's song' was "Mercedes Benz" by Janis Joplin.

Barbara then asked me to join her on the stage- for I had boldly decided to wear a close fitting shirt which had emblazened on the front of it- the flag of the National Liberation Front of south Viet Nam.

It was then that I belted out both "We Will Liberate the South" (Giai Phong Mien Nam) the national anthem of the NLF in Vietnamese- for I am a linguist- and ended that portion of the show with the Ballad of Uncle Ho. It was a show stopper to say these least-

Since then I have sang Ewan's delightful song over one thousand times indeed- and when I was working back in Viet Nam, in Ha Noi from 1992-1997 I had the occasion to sing it and teach it to virtually thousands upon thousands of younger Vietnamese boys and girls-

I always give Ewan the credit for penning it. I just wanted you to know that this song rocks even in 2002~!

Best Regards,

Joe Bangert
Pond scum, one and all.

But there's good news. Maybe Joe can get Lurch to give us the tune for old times' sake.

John Kerry sings The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh