LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The rest of the story on Libby, Kerry and treason

In his letter to the DSN of Aug. 31 (“True treason”), Mr. Paul Donnelly accused Scooter Libby of treason. It is incorrect to label Mr. Libby’s acts as treason, other than to say that no foreign government was involved. It is true that President Bush pardoned Libby to the extent that Libby did not have to serve 30 months in prison, but he was still required to pay a fine of $250,000 and suffered the loss of his bar license. Obviously, Mr. Donnelly does not know the definition of “treason.”

Mr. Donnelly contrasts Mr. Libby’s situation with [that of] a “true hero,” John Kerry, the current secretary of state. But Mr. Donnelly omits a few important facts. First, while it is true that Kerry served in Vietnam, it is also true that he served only four months and 12 days, about one-third of a normal tour. Part of that time was served in training at Cam Ranh Bay, one of the safest places in South Vietnam at the time. After that, Kerry joined a patrol boat fast unit and was “injured” three times while serving in the unit. Three wounds qualify for early return to the United States if the injured service member wishes to return. The three wounds must be serious enough to qualify for a Purple Heart, and the injuries must have been incurred as a result of enemy action.

The doctor who treated one of Kerry’s wounds stated later that it could have been treated with a Band-Aid, hardly sufficient for a Purple Heart.

Another wound was the result of Kerry firing a grenade launcher into a rock on the shore of a river. The blowback of that round hitting the rock caused Kerry’s injury. That was not the result of enemy action, and again, did not qualify for a Purple Heart.

I am not suggesting that Kerry was a coward and therefore wanted to leave Vietnam early, although some may believe he was a coward. In any event, his leaving Vietnam early was despicable,

Mr. Donnelly mentions that Kerry “spoke” to Congress upon his return from Vietnam, supposedly because he believed that the war was immoral. The war was not immoral, and Vietnam veterans should take offense at Donnelly’s remarks. The immoral acts were Congress’s refusal to provide aid to an ally and the protests by some of the American people, influenced by the mainstream media.

As Mr. Donnelly notes, Kerry testified before a congressional committee. Mr. Donnelly states that this was a matter of free speech. That is absurd. Kerry lied to the committee when he said he had witnessed acts of torture by American troops. He later stated that he did not see such acts, but that he was told such acts occurred! He was not engaging in free speech; rather, he was committing perjury.

Mr. Donnelly also states that some of Kerry’s fellow Vietnam veterans lied about Kerry’s Vietnam service, what little there was. How does he know that? Many of his fellow Vietnam veterans (I will not dignify Kerry by saying they were his fellow comrades) criticized his service. Some were high-ranking Navy veterans who served complete tours in Vietnam. Did they all lie? Why?

Kerry lied to the congressional committee, not necessarily because he was treasonous, but because, like many liberal Democrats during that time, he believed that America was not worthy of “greatness.” No wonder he feels comfortable working with Obama in trying to limit our power.

Want to consider real treason? In 1970, Kerry, a private citizen and a Navy Reserve officer, traveled to Paris and inserted himself, without authority, into the Paris Peace Talks. He met with the communist, but not the American, delegation. We do not know how his actions affected the outcome of the negotiations that led to the demise of South Vietnam, but we do know that Kerry violated a federal law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Federal law, known as the Logan Act, forbids any private citizen from negotiating anything with a foreign power. Therefore, Kerry, a private citizen, violated the Logan Act and should have been charged with that violation. In addition, because Kerry was still an officer in the reserves, he was subject to the UCMJ. He could have been charged by the Navy.

Treason is defined in the Constitution as “levying War against them [the United States], or adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

Kerry gave aid to the Vietnamese communists by lying to Congress about atrocities that did not happen and by meeting with the enemy in Paris. Even some of the North Vietnam officials praised Kerry for his work in ending the Vietnam War in North Vietnam’s favor! An honorable man would apologize and resign his post as secretary of state.

Franklin M. Ward

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