John Kerry Smells the Pentagon Papers


I don’t know if Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry has ever met Daniel Ellsberg or not, but with this statement — which stands in stark contrast to the condemnatory comments from the White House about the WikiLeaks Afghanistan War Logs — Kerry shows he has a respect for Pentagon Papers moments.
From John Kerry’s office:

Statement By Chairman Kerry On Leaked Documents On Afghanistan And Pakistan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) released the following statement this evening in response to the New York Times story on the leak of classified documents concerning Afghanistan and Pakistan:
“However illegally these documents came to light, they raise serious questions about the reality of America’s policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those policies are at a critical stage and these documents may very well underscore the stakes and make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent.”

— Steve Clemons


24 comments on “John Kerry Smells the Pentagon Papers

  1. JohnH says:

    I wish John Kerry had been played down 40 years ago. Then we wouldn’t have to endure his eternal hypocrisy.


  2. DonS says:

    . . . or, as CNN headlines, “John Kerry plays down the significance of leaked documents. . .”
    So much for Mr.Kerry.


  3. Carroll says:

    Posted by Don Bacon, Jul 26 2010, 11:16PM – Link
    The story that “Many American soldiers returned home from the war to find they were spat upon in the streets, reviled as baby-killers, and treated as pariahs by former friends” is a complete fabrication. Never happened.
    I don’t remember any of that happening either, at least in my area. But then the South is very oriented towards the military tradition. However I will say….some friends of the family wanted to give a welcome home party for my brother but the idea was rejected by my father and brother who to the best of my memory said something about how it wasn’t necessarily ‘fitting’ to hold a large celebration in light of the nature or circumstances or something like that, of the war.
    I was a little young to get all the politics and what was involved in the war but that might have been what they were referring to. Looking back I think they just didn’t want a huge cocktail drinking fest with the usual idiotic comments, curiosity and bravado that would come from some people who never experienced a war.


  4. Carroll says:

    I wasn’t in Vietnam obviously, but based on the little my brother told me, and he was a Marine Lt. in VN who after his year in combat stayed on in an intelligence unit for 6 months, there were “rumors” of this circulating sporadically. The problem with doing anything about it was that while the war was still going on it was hard to impossible to get a soldier who witnessed anything to come out against their fellow soldiers and company officers. His opinion was that there were incidents of this but not as wide spread as now claimed…however most command didn’t place any priority on pursuing it.
    But telling about the final public reaction or maybe even some rouge military individuals perceived reaction to Vietnam, is I use to visit my cousin in Fayetteville who lived directly across the street from General Westmoreland on Magnolia Drive and his house was ringed by security and the street closed off to all but other residents on the street when he was there.


  5. Neo Controll says:

    Nadine, stick a plug in it . . .
    You don’t know shit about Vietnam, and your posturing shows you for the ignoramus you are. Those of us involved in that era recognize it is the like of you and your fellow traveller ‘conservatives’ who have twisted Vietnam into a ‘failure’ caused by liberals. Bull shit. Vietnam came to a wimpering halt when there was not one drop more of American political arrogance that could be squeezed out to support the enterprise.
    And then the fairy tales began to be constructed. The war mongers couldn’t win the war; and you can’t win the rewriting of it.


  6. nadine says:

    “So let’s stop this nonsense the the soldiers at Winter Soldier Investigation were lying.”
    So even the proven impostors were telling the truth? Talk about upholding the “fake, but accurate” standard of evidence! If that is the standard you uphold, why the hell should I believe anything YOU say? You just admitted that lying is good if the message is right.


  7. Warren Metzler says:

    Nadine, not only are you obviously a shill for Israeli intelligence, but you are; like your compatriot Alan Dershowitz; patently willing to spread information you know to be false,to malign any one you perceive as not be a total whore for Israel government propaganda. I served in Vietnam, flew a single engine reconnaissance plane throughout I Corp; an area approximately 1/5 the size of South Vietnam.
    Because of my job, I have access to all levels of command, from commanding generals to enlisted grunts in the field; to never in combat rear area support troops to Green Berets in their mountain area camps; plus Air Force, Navy, and CIA personnel.
    Vietnam was filled with torture and illegal violence. Mai Lai was in my area, I flew over that village almost every day for 8 months. Mai Lai was the rule, not at all an exception. Suspected Viet Cong were kicked out of helicopters at thousands of feet of elevation, to get the accompanying person to talk. Viet Cong had electric wires attached to their genitals, with the other ends attached to a manually wound up generator, and shocked to get them to talk. Civilians were shot in the fields by bored troops driving down the road on the back of transport trucks. Montagnards were hired by the CIA to kill North Vietnamese, and paid by the number of left ears they brought back, no evidence required to whether combat or civilian male, female, or child.
    Here are two of my favorite images while flying there, in regard to the insanity of our government’s claim we were there to provide freedom for the people of South Vietnam. I’m flying south to north, probably about a mile or two west of Mai Lai village, at about 1,000 feet. To the west of me about two miles, at about 5,000 feet, flying north to south, is a cargo plane dropping leaflet in Vietnamese, trying to convince the locals to support our side. Immediately below that cargo plane, flying through the cloud of leaflets dropping at just a few hundred feet, are two air force jets dropping napalm on the ground.
    I considered it a huge waste of money that all those leaflets were wasted by being burning up in those flames.
    But I’ll bet that the writer of that pamphlet was so convincing, that after the people on the ground bandages their wounds from the napalm, they hustled right over to the local American base to register as one of our supports.
    Second image. One of my tasks is to register artillery guns. Their shells go in such a high arc to reach their targets, that atmospheric conditions can have a big impact on accuracy. So about once a week, registration would occur. The fdc (fire direction control), who gave aiming instructions to the people who manned the guns, would pick coordinates on the ground, I would fly over those coordinates, and announce where the rounds hit, until the rounds were hitting right on the target.
    This day I arrive at the coordinates, and low and behold there are farm fields, with what must be over a hundred people farming right were our target was. I told fdc, we can’t use this target, there are civilians farming there. He replied “we don’t mind, let’s shoot”. I said no, and he then picked another target. So let’s stop this nonsense the the soldiers at Winter Soldier Investigation were lying.
    Nadine, why don’t you move to Israel, move to a settlement on the West Bank, and take up soap box preaching, where your views will really be appreciated. Do you and your intelligence handlers really believe Israeli propaganda is listened to any more, especially by readers of The Washington Note?


  8. Don Bacon says:

    The story that “Many American soldiers returned home from the war to find they were spat upon in the streets, reviled as baby-killers, and treated as pariahs by former friends” is a complete fabrication. Never happened.
    As for extensive war crimes in Vietnam, the whole war was a war crime, with sub-chapters. There were many My Lais, in other words.
    That doesn’t mean that Kerry slandered soldiers. The boy next door can do some horrible things. things that drive him crazy if he does survive them, that the government drove him to do. War crimes. Drive him over the edge, to suicide, to begging on freeway off-ramps. But you wouldn’t know about that.
    Of course few witnesses agreed to talk with military investigators, even after being assured that they would not be asked about their own crimes, nadine.
    Would you be comfortable talking about that sunlit morn in a quiet village when you fired a burst into a hooch and then went inside and saw a mother and three dismembered children, bleeding to death? Feel real comfortable reliving that terrible morning, even when you’ve been assured that you would not be asked about your own crimes? Really make you feel good to talk about it? Relive it?
    I don’t think so, nadine. You don’t know shit about what you’re preaching about.
    On average, one soldier committed suicide every day last month. Young guys, with a long life ahead of them. Blew it away. Any idea why? Think about it. And you want them to talk about it? It’s too painful.
    John Kerry is a piece of work, but not in the sense that you portray him.


  9. samuelburke says:

    so are you saying that the u.s military with the full knowledge of
    the brass knew of the operations they were running in vietnam?
    or were they crimes committed by rogue soldiers?
    or no crimes were committed?
    hell maybe the germans didn’t commit crimes or the russians either
    for that matter during WW swei.
    nadine i love think both the americans and the israelis are
    exceptional…you must be both.
    america what a country.


  10. nadine says:

    Kerry’s 1971 Senate testimony and his “Winter Soldier investigation” are so well known that I thought you must know of them, Don. Here is more information on what happened to Senator Hatfield’s investigation of John Kerry’s claims of widespread war crimes:
    ” Most of Kerry’s remarks before the committee were published later in 1971 in the book “The New Soldier,” credited to


  11. Don Bacon says:

    nadine, don’t you remember me asking for evidence? I mean, that was forty years ago, so, lenient as I am, I don’t even trust your memory in that span. But nice try.


  12. nadine says:

    Don Bacon, don’t you remember Kerry’s 1971 testimony:
    “I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command….
    They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”
    No evidence, and notice he’s not claiming isolated instances; on the contrary, he says it was routine and known to the whole chain of command. That is slander. Kerry has never apologized.


  13. DonS says:

    Once again, Warren Metzler invokes the idea of common sense, as if that is a notion known in DC. Well, no. Of course not. Virtually each and every politician and hanger on in Washington, to the extent that they have accumulated a record of acquiescing to the lies and coverups of the Iraq-Afghan-soon to be Iran wars must now in equal measure both express outrage and cover their own butts at the same time. Truly a feat only an accomplished politician could manage.
    So, you see, I am impressed that Steve comes out swinging for the ‘heroes’ who published the ‘classified’ documents’ and wait to see if this is indeed a watershed moment when the bastards and cowards and serious individuals in Congress and the Administration can expect nothing but unvarnished common sense from our host and, hopefully, a growing number of newly awoken-to-conscience souls.
    Or just a nother soon forgotten data point???


  14. Warren Metzler says:

    I can’t believe that any one believes John Kerry. Do you not know that in Vietnam he filmed each enemy encounter the next day? I was in Vietnam, and I never met any one who did that. Of course I never met any one in Vietnam who years latter ran for President, who already back in Vietnam was preparing for his nomination video. Or who bought his first house with his wife’s money in a poor Massachusetts’ town, so he could claim he was a resident in a district he believed he could win a seat in congress. Or who when with the Vietnam Veterans against the war, and at a demonstration in D.C. gave everyone present the impression he threw his medals over the fence built in front of the capital; only when running for President to claim he threw his ribbon not the medal.
    And do you note read his press release”make the calibrations needed”? What the heck are the calibrations needed. What is needed is the recognition this is an immoral war, fought only because of lies Bush told us, continued with now only so Barack can pretend he can be commander in chief; and the only practical course to take is the final one we did in Vietnam; get the heck out of Dodge. Just drop it all and leave. Kerry is a total prostitute, incapable of having an honest bone in his body, only still in politics because most of the American electorate can’t tell a scoundrel when they see one.
    I never ceased to be amazed at the capacity for people to assume that a person who has been caught in a lie repeatedly has the capacity to be honest and take actions that are genuinely oriented to the benefit of the American people.


  15. DaveR says:

    John Kerry remembers reading these papers on the
    Internet while on his patrol boat in Cambodia
    during Christmas in 1968.


  16. Don Bacon says:

    One or more examples of Kerry slandering the troops, please.


  17. nadine says:

    “John Kerry Smells the Pentagon Papers”
    Hey, maybe Kerry can slander the troops again! That seems to be what he does best.


  18. samuelburke says:

    “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” –Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823. ME 15:491
    “I am… for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents.” –Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799. ME 10:78


  19. Don Bacon says:

    Kerry made a little squeek on Iran a while back, too. Now watch him get back in line, as he always does.
    Recall his famous statement at the Grand Canyon in August of 2004, when after prodding from Bush in the campaign Kerry stated that even if he had known that Saddam didn’t have WMD’s he would have voted for war in 2002. Go back to your ketchup, John.


  20. JohnH says:

    John Kerry personally learned all about pointless, futile wars in faraway places when he served in Vietnam. He was a member of Vietnam Veterans against the War. He even testified before the Senate against the War in Vietnam.
    That was before he left everything he learned and left it on the altar of political expedience.
    Expect nothing from Kerry. He is the ultimate sell out.


  21. erichwwk says:

    rc, i’d say cc Hillary Clinton as well, but then I suspect she already knows the truth about the “sinking” of the South Korean submarine, but she seems to me a large part of the propaganda problem:


  22. Cee says:

    Start from the beginning
    Red Carpet Treatment to the Alleged “Money Man”
    behind 9-11.
    The Bush Administration had not only provided red carpet treatment to the alleged “money man” behind the 9-11 attacks, it also had sought his cooperation’ in the “war on terrorism”. The precise terms of this cooperation’ were agreed upon between General Mahmoud Ahmad, representing the Pakistani government and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, in meetings at the State Department on September 12 and 13. In other words, the Administration decided in the immediate wake of 9-11, to seek the cooperation’ of Pakistan’s ISI in “going after Osama”, despite the fact (documented by the FBI) that the ISI was financing and abetting the 9-11 terrorists. Contradictory? One might say that it’s like “asking the Devil to go after Dracula.


  23. rc says:

    Ok, well then, will someone kindly post a copy off to the UN for investigation. And ‘cc:’ the International Court of Justice as well. Maybe there is still a time and place for John Kerry as President after all.


  24. Ben Rosengart says:

    Good for John Kerry for realizing that it’s more important to get
    the policy right than it is to feel good about it.


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