Stolen Honor - A Dishonor: Vietnam Veterans oppose Sinclair Broadcast smear even in reduced format
By VVAW National Office
CHICAGO_ In a victory for Sinclair opponents, the Sinclair Broadcast
Group has reduced its plans to show anti-Kerry documentary "Stolen
Honor" in its entirety. Instead, Sinclair will air a special one-hour
"news" program that will show clips from the movie as part of a
discussion of the use of documentaries and other media to influence voting.
Barry Romo, spokesperson for the National Office of Vietnam Veterans
Against the War (VVAW) said, "The issue still at hand is that Sinclair
is presenting its program about "Stolen Honor" as news, when the company
is blatantly trying to influence the election." Romo describes Carlton
Sherwood's new documentary, Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, as "a
destructive and dishonorable smear not just on John Kerry, but also on
Vietnam veterans who stood up to tell the truth despite enormous public
pressure to keep silent."
VVAW does not endorse political candidates and has no current
association with Senator John Kerry or his campaign, but believes in
exposing lies disguised as news, whether the lies appear in a whole
movie or in clips from it or in special "news" programs. "Back in April,
1971, when VVAW member John Kerry testified before Congress, he spoke
for us; he spoke for all of the Vietnam vets who opposed the war and he
spoke the truth, but he never called fellow soldiers war criminals or
made the statements that Carlton Sherwood claims," Romo says.
Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal producer, Carlton Sherwood claims
that Kerry said, "The 2.5 million men who served in Vietnam were akin to
'Genghis Khan's barbaric hordes,' thugs and psychopathic war criminals
who wantonly plundered the Vietnam countryside, murdering, raping and
bombing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians – old men, women and
children -- each and every day."
"Read John Kerry's testimony. He never said that and anyone who claims
he did is a liar," Romo responds.
Sherwood also claims that Kerry's testimony "permanently branded in the
American psyche the image of Vietnam veterans as murderous 'baby
killers' and 'drugged out losers,' a perception that persists today, one
deeply embedded in our history."
VVAW National Staff member David Curry says, "Sherwood conveniently
ignores a little guy named William Calley."
On March 16, 1968, U.S. forces were conducting a "search and destroy"
operation against the Viet Cong and entered the village of My Lai. There
civilians, including women and children, were slaughtered by American
troops. The story first broke in late 1969 and dominated the news
throughout 1970. The Army conducted an internal investigation and the
result was that Lieutenant William Calley and Captain Ernest Medina were
brought before a court martial on the charge of murder.
On March 29, 1971, Calley was convicted of the murder of civilians and
on March 31 he was sentenced to life in prison. The conviction and
sentence produced a storm of protest. Essentially, polls showed that the
public disagreed with the conviction and sentence, believing that Calley
was only following orders, and that he was used by the Army as a scapegoat.
"William Calley exposed the unfortunate role of many Vietnam servicemen
as war criminals long before John Kerry's testimony to Congress. If
anything, Kerry's testimony washed a little blood off the image of
Vietnam veterans, it demonstrated to the nation and to the world, that
we had a conscience and that we still had a soul."
For more information:
Testimony of John Kerry, "Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in
Southeast Asia," US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (April 22, 1971.)
Sinclair Broadcasting and Carlton Sherwood's connection to the Bush
"Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths: The Series; Elite Unit Savaged Civilians
in Vietnam" - Toledo Blade
For more information, contact:
Barry Romo, 773-276-4189 (mornings)
David Curry, 314-276-3821
John Zutz, 414-372-0749
Press Releases on VVAW.org: