JOHN F. KERRY,
SPEECH BEFORE THE
ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (22 April 1971)
Shawn J. Parry-Giles
When the Swift Boat Veterans for
Truth aired their political attacks against Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA) in the
summer of 2004, they not only challenged the veracity
of the presidential candidate's war record and his allegations of
Of course, the contestations over the
memories of the Vietnam War merely reflect its turbulence in real time. Veterans
returning from the war embodied the discord over the U.S. involvement in the Southeast
Asian conflict, as evidenced by the formation of one prominent anti-war group in
the late 1960s--Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW)—an "organization [that]
would put Richard Nixon into a panic, provoke FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover into
breaking the law in order to destroy it . . . and bring to prominence at least
one leader of national stature, John Kerry."
For many returning soldiers, the decision to denounce the war represented a "search
for redemption"--"a struggle to find meaning...in the human
experience" and to "narrow the gap between the ideals and the reality
of American society."
Yet for the Nixon administration, VVAW's actions
challenged the veterans' loyalty to the nation, which raised questions about
the veterans' patriotism as
The issue of Kerry's authenticity and the authenticity of the anti-war veterans loomed large not only in 2004 but also in the early 1970s, reflecting the cultural preoccupation with questions of authenticity by countercultural groups like the New Left. As Doug Rossinow explains, the New Left's "quest for authenticity" meant "[o]vercoming alienation," necessitating the discovery of a "common human identity... [and] joining in collective action." Many anti-war protesters were inspired by the notion that citizens had to take "personal, individual responsibility for one's government's actions." Such sentiments revealed the tensions surrounding notions of authenticity in the 1960s, which was at once centered in notions of individualism and "self-fulfillment," yet simultaneously concerned with collectivism and the "duties of citizenship" in support of the nation's goals. The preoccupation over image-politics and the genuineness of that image also attracted considerable attention during the rise of television, which further complicated perceptions of authenticity.
It is within the cultural struggle over questions of political authenticity that John F. Kerry's anti-Vietnam War speech and the Nixon administration's response to the VVAW is situated. As eyewitnesses to history, the veteran soldiers of the VVAW, including its most visible spokesman, John F. Kerry, garnered increased levels of credibility that attracted presidential, congressional, and public praise and scrutiny. VVAW's arguments, as expressed by Kerry, exhibited tenets of authenticity that empowered the individual as an agent of change; veteran soldiers, thus, worked to expose the "truth" about Vietnam in order to save fellow soldiers from harm and to recapture the morality of the nation. In response to the VVAW's and Kerry's calls to end the Vietnam War, the Nixon administration worked to infiltrate the organization, disrupt its political power, and ultimately, to challenge the authenticity of the protesters' public image. Exhibiting an authenticity that privileged the ideals of the country over the individual grievances of the disgruntled soldiers, the Nixon administration questioned the soldiers' war records, their veterans' status, and Kerry's political motives in addition to challenging their patriotism. In the end, the case study demonstrates that within this wartime context, a rhetoric of political authenticity exhibited commitments to a moral search for personal and community redemption in response to individual and cultural trauma of those veterans who fought in Vietnam War and returned to protest it. Yet, ultimately, the patriotic expectations of the Nixon administration overwhelmed notions of personal and national "truths," leading to a focus on the inauthenticity of those questioning the morality and legality of the nation. This historical debate, then, helps to explain why, even some thirty years later, concerns over John Kerry's authenticity as a loyal American and trusted leader still haunted him during the 2004 presidential campaign. Before turning to the examination of Kerry's 1971 speech to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Nixon administration's response to the VVAW protests, the essay will explore the historical and contemporary debate over matters of authenticity.
Conceptions of authenticity are often grounded in questions of morality, truth, individualism, and culture. Although Plato exhibited concerns over discerning the "genuine" from the "fake," Charles Taylor situates authenticity's "starting point in the eighteenth-century notion that human beings are endowed with a moral sense, an intuitive feeling for what is right and wrong." Many of the earliest theories of authenticity were linked to the individual, yet, changes in the concept began to emerge during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the post-Industrial Age. As Hanno Hardt maintains, anxieties about authenticity derived from the psychological and social problems associated with nineteenth-century industrialization. Miles Orvell references the gradual and overlapping shift between a nineteenth century "culture of imitation" and a twentieth century "culture of authenticity." Within the twentieth-century, many theorists moved toward a more psychological-social understanding of authenticity. Marshall Berman, for example, discusses Rousseau's philosophical assumptions that "the personal needs and the aspirations of the individual man could not be fulfilled except through political activity and involvement."
The interplay between the
cultural and individual understanding of authenticity is reflected in the
social and political turbulence of the 1950s and 1960s. Berman calls "the problem of
authenticity" one of "the most politically explosive of human
impulses" in contemporary
The goal of man and society should be human independence: a concern not with image of popularity but with finding a meaning in life that is personally authentic....This kind of independence does not mean egotistic individualism….Human relationships should involve fraternity and honesty….human brotherhood must be willed…as a condition of future survival and as the most appropriate form of social relations.
course, inherent in the SDS philosophy was the notion that personal authenticity
is integrally connected to civic participation. Debates over authenticity in
politically contentious contexts like the 1960s, often divided those seeking
political change (e.g., New Left) against those promoting more traditional
The intensifying power of
television in the 1950s and 1960s exacerbated questions over the genuine, raising
uncertainties over what constituted "the real," particularly in
Within this essay, three
different yet overlapping conceptions of political authenticity are evident. To
begin with, political authenticity
represents a "symbolic, mediated, interactional,
and highly contested process" involving political actors, their opponents,
and at times, the news media in assessing public policy positions, the role of
The first conception of political authenticity attends to the authenticity of the individual. It is vested in the will of the individual and his or her relationship to the nation as (s)he searches for personal truth, individual redemption, and moral rejuvenation due to perceptions of individual and cultural alienation. Political participation becomes the means by which individuals transcend such personal alienation, working collectively with others to help produce a more authentic nation.
The second notion concerns the authenticity of the nation. Such arguments position the nation instead of the individual as the locus of power in matters of authenticity. For the authentic nation, the ideologies (e.g., patriotism) that define the nation frame the individual's role as citizen. National myths dominate at the expense, arguably, of notions of competing "truths," which are often politicized as thwarting the political and moral mission of the country. Patriotism, thus, represents a higher order value than individualism, especially when involving acts of protest, which are often viewed as self-serving, wayward, and even traitorous, potentially jeopardizing national interests.
The final notion of
political authenticity takes the "image turn" in
All three types of
political authenticity are exhibited within the debate over the VVAW, John
Kerry's 1971 speech, and the Nixon administration's response. Because returning
veterans were not typical anti-war protesters, they complicated the public deliberations
over the war, their perceived level of patriotism, and their status as
authentic citizens. Donald A. Ritchie explains the complications: "commentators
often tend to portray those who fought in
Veterans as War Protesters
Authenticity issues, New
Left philosophies, the
The genesis of the VVAW is
rooted in the interactions of six returning
From the outset, the
organization had to address the image obstacles associated with the more common
"baby killer" label attached to returning vets, which derived from allegations
By the time that Kerry
became involved with VVAW, he had served in the Navy for almost four years (February
1966-January 1970). Once he completed naval officer training in
Kerry's profile did not match
those of the other VVAW members, which helps explain his rise to prominence within
the VVAW as well as the controversy surrounding the authenticity of his image. Born
Even though he
volunteered for active duty, Kerry's propensity to challenge the war was
foreshadowed early on as he expressed ambivalence over the war's mission. In a
letter home to his wife (Judy) after learning of a close friend's death in
everything is so hollow and ridiculous….I feel so bitter and angry and everywhere around me there is nothing but violence and war….if I do nothing else in my life I will never stop trying to bring to people the conviction of how wasteful and asinine is a human expenditure of this kind….my own effort must be entire and thorough and that it must do what it can to help make this a better world to live in.
Such sentiments epitomized the notions of authenticity expressed by the New Left. As Rossinow explains, "To the extent that they still felt they suffered from alienation, they located the affliction's cause in the surrounding culture," moving forward during the Vietnam War in a "joint search for an authentic and democratic society, the fused quests for personal and social transformation."
Following Operation RAW,
Kerry and the VVAW continued the focus on
The CCI launched the
investigation into the
The Winter Soldier
Investigations were inspired, in part, by the controversy surrounding
In order to build on the
successes of the Winter Soldier Investigations, the VVAW immediately planned
their next event--Dewey Canyon III--which
involved a five-day protest in
The Nixon Administration's Preparations for Anti-War Veterans
While the Winter Soldier
investigations did raise some public awareness of wartime atrocities, they
attracted even more scrutiny from the Nixon administration. Prior to the rise of the VVAW, both the
Johnson and Nixon administrations portrayed war protesters as unpatriotic rich
kids from college campuses who were merely acting out against authority and
lacking in genuine conviction.
Yet the status of
To begin with, the VVAW
came under surveillance by the Nixon administration as the FBI infiltrated the
group. In the early days of the Vietnam War, the FBI and the CIA engaged in
domestic surveillance of anti-war groups under the code name CHAOS, violating
the restriction on the CIA's authority to international affairs only. The FBI
allegedly kept files on the VVAW and used its Counter Intelligence Program
(COINTELPRO) to track anti-war activities and to infiltrate organizations,
particularly those groups suspected of ties to the Community Party. The
In response to the threat that the administration felt the VVAW posed, numerous counter measures were considered and developed to lessen the impact of the April 1971 protests. Although this plan was rejected, the Nixon administration worked to undercut the protests by announcing a troop withdrawal in April, 1971, to coincide with the protests and in anticipation of the 1972 presidential campaign. As the week of the protests neared, the Nixon administration also worked to pressure Republicans in Congress to withhold any support for the anti-war veterans. Colson, for example, wrote of a conversation with Senator Edward Brooke, III (R-MA) in which he urged Republican members of Congress to "hold off for 30 days from any further criticism of the war" and to "quiet some of the 'dovish' colleagues."
Many within the Nixon
administration and other Republicans expressed scorn for the veteran
protesters. More tepidly, a staffer of Patrick J. Buchanan (Special Assistant
to the President) talked of Nixon portraying the protesters publicly as "strident
critics" who "lost the sense of perspective and proportion," inviting
"pity" more than "indignation."
More stridently, the Republican National Committee wrote of the "depth and
insidiousness of the enemy plot" in a memo to Colson, suggesting that President
Nixon offer to meet with the "bleeding hearts"--the veteran
Challenging the authenticity of the veteran protesters, Colson also expressed
to Haldeman the need to portray the VVAW as a "front
for a lot of Peacenik kids."
The Nixon administration believed, Hunt alleges, "that
the most effective method of discrediting the organization was to raise
questions about the credibility of its members." John
Kerry--the leader who took center stage during the events of April 18-
Veterans as Eyewitnesses to History
The veterans continued
with protests and guerilla theater performances throughout the area, including
a protest in which toy rifles were smashed on the steps of the Capitol. Although
VVAW members met with congressional leaders, some meetings were disrupted by
VVAW representatives yelling at members of Congress. Some members of Congress
left town to avoid further confrontation. A few Senators, including Ted Kennedy
(D-MA) and Jacob Javits (R-NY), a liberal Republican
and member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, visited the
campgrounds and talked directly with protesting veterans. Some of the veterans
were eventually arrested, including 108 who were taken into custody at the U.S.
Supreme Court for acting out prisoner of war scenarios. The events came to a
close on Friday with the somber return of the veterans' war medals at the steps
of the Capitol--an event that raised questions about Kerry's authenticity
because he returned his ribbons but not the medals themselves. Of the symbolic
Although John F. Kerry’s
Kerry's address revealed
the integral connection between the veterans' private search for redemption and
the need to become involved politically in changing
Before beginning his formal remarks to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Kerry aligned himself with his veteran peers. In demonstrating the camaraderie of wartime, Kerry prefaced: "… my sitting here is really symbolic. I am not here as John Kerry. I am here as one member of the group of 1,000, which is a small representation of a very much larger group of veterans in this country." He reduced himself, thus, to the status of messenger in "representing all those veterans."
After establishing his
credentials as the VVAW's voice, Kerry immediately
turned to the Winter Soldier Investigations. Recalling that eyewitness
testimony, Kerry did not portray the veterans as heroes for their military
service but instead boldly testified to the war crimes they reportedly
committed. In one of the most memorable
lines from the speech, Kerry recalled the testimony in
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. (3)
relayed the eyewitness accounts from the Winter Soldier Investigation, the catharsis and pain were clearly evident: "It's
impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in
The public responsibility
to speak out against the war, Kerry suggested, was also predicated on a sense
of selflessness exhibited by the valiant veterans and other anti-war protesters.
Their heroism derived not from their military service but from their acts of protest.
He asserted: "We could come back to this country; and we could be quiet;
we could hold our silence.” Yet the crimes that they had committed, Kerry
continued, necessitated that they "speak out" (5). Finding their
voices in order to confront the immorality of the war seemingly represented the
path to authenticity after participating in a corrupt war. Kerry also valorized
the student protesters because they were standing up to the
The veterans' heroism,
thus, derived from their protests even though their military service
legitimated their credibility to challenge the nation's war policies. And although
they admitted to crimes of war, the ultimate responsibility for their actions,
Kerry suggested, rested with the political officials who sent them to war. Detailing
the atrocities of war, Kerry asserted that the crimes were committed "with
the full awareness of officers at all levels of command" (1). Shifting the
responsibility for such actions, Kerry depicted the veterans as victims who "relived
the absolute horror" of
Throughout much of the
speech, Kerry continued to shift the burden of responsibility for the immorality
of the war to
Kerry extended the morality
focus by suggesting that the war was antithetical to
For Kerry and the VVAW,
their mission in part was to confront the immorality of the war, but also to
then encourage congressional leaders to right the moral wrongs, end the war
immediately, and regain a sense of national idealism. Kerry spoke of the
"very sickening situation in this country" that erupted from a lack
of "moral indignation" over the number of people dying in
foreign policy commitments, thus, reflected the tenets of "humanitarianists," who Jon Western characterizes as "staunch
believers that American foreign policy should be guided chiefly by the
promotion of the right to self-determination, individual liberties, and human
their belief that
[to] search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and the fear that have driven this country these last 10 years…so when, in 30 years from now, our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say 'Vietnam' and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory but mean instead the place where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped in the turning. (41)
The Inauthentic Veterans
Kerry received considerable praise for his speech from members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) exhibited great foresight when told his colleagues: "I have a very high personal regard for him [John Kerry] and hope before his life ends he will be a colleague of ours in this body." Concerning VVAW's positions on the war, Pell noted: "This war was really just as wrong, immoral, and unrelated to our national interests 5 years ago as it is today, and I must say I agree with you." Senator Javits also reinforced the importance of the veteran's eyewitness accounts, concluding: "Your testimony about what you know and what you see, how you feel and how your colleagues feel, is entitled to the highest standing and priority," particularly in relation to the "impact … on the conscience of a country." Speaking about Kerry in particular, Senator Fulbright proclaimed: "You certainly [have] done a remarkable job….I can't imagine their [VVAW] having selected a better representative or spokesman."
Years later, Kerry's speech continued to receive considerable acclaim. Adam Walinsky, former speech writer for Robert and Ted Kennedy, recalled: "'The moment he finished talking, there wasn't the slightest doubt about it. It was a real star turn…. [Kerry] grab[ed] the attention of virtually the entire country.'" Todd S. Purdum of the New York Times also suggests that Kerry "electrified" the Senate with "his passionate testimony against the war," launching Kerry's public career.
Yet others were not so positive.
Some in the news media challenged the authenticity of Kerry's image as a
protest leader more than they engaged his arguments against the war. The Detroit News, for example, compared Kerry to Melville L. Stephens,
a returning vet who also testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations with considerably less fanfare. The Detroit News noted that not only was Kerry "wealthy," he "slept
in a clean bed at one of
Of course, raising doubts
about the image authenticity of the anti-war protesters was a key strategy for the
Nixon administration. As part of this counter-strategy, the Nixon
administration created a media team to target news outlets with competing portraits
of Kerry and the VVAW. There was ample evidence that Colson worked directly
with journalists. He knew about the impending publication of Ter Horst's article, which negatively compared
Kerry to Stephens, noting that "the terHorst
piece" was being "done about Kerry this weekend."
Demonstrating the further collusion between the White House and Stephens, the
latter is identified as a "White House Staff" member in a memo from
the President's Office Files that summarizes a meeting which took place with
Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Stephens, and John O'Neill, another
Even more so than Stephens, John O'Neill played a major role in the
Nixon administration's plan to counter Kerry's image as a heroic veteran. O'Neill
headed a pro-Vietnam veterans group--Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. O'Neill's
involvement with the administration was apparent from a summary of the same
meeting between President Nixon and O'Neill where Colson wrote to Haldeman: "O'Neill went out charging like a tiger, has
agreed that he will appear anytime, anywhere that we program him and was last
seen walking up West Executive Avenue mumbling to himself that he had just been
with the most magnificent man he had ever met in his life."
In public appearances, O'Neill often championed Nixon's Vietnamization
plan, yet his connections with the White House were not always transparent,
especially at first. On
The Nixon administration also
raised questions about the image authenticity of VVAW members. In a story
published by the UPI on
To further denigrate the
VVAW, the Nixon administration worked with other veteran organizations to cultivate
widespread support for the war. As early as February of 1971, the White House
created a preliminary blueprint for counter strategies in the aftermath of the
Winter Soldier Investigation, entitled "Mobilization of Vietnam Veterans."
The goal was to obtain "highly visible support for the President's
The theme of patriotism
was prominent in the anti-VVAW discourse, upholding the image of an "authentic
nation" where veterans endorsed the ends of
The Legacy of
The legacy of the debate surrounding the VVAW, John Kerry and the Nixon administration's response was most visible in the presidential campaign of 2004. To differing degrees, the debate over John Kerry and his Vietnam War service and protest reveals the confluences of the three notions of political authenticity apparent in the 1971 debate--authenticity of the individual, authenticity of the nation, and the authenticity of the image. Just as in 1971, Kerry's individualized war experience enhanced his credibility as a presidential candidate in 2004, given his eyewitness accounts to history and his acts of military service and bravery. Yet, in the end, opponents challenged the authenticity of his war hero image by raising doubt about his war service and suggesting that his allegations of war crimes revealed a lack of loyalty to the very nation he aspired to lead.
Early in the 2004 campaign, Kerry
tried to gain credibility by championing his war experiences and his protest
actions in what many believed was a mistaken war, featuring the testimony of
Yet Kerry's service in
the war, combined with his anti-war opposition to fuel allegations of his inconsistency,
which in the world of image-making politics resulted in a perception that he
was an inauthentic "flip-flopper" on matters of
While perceptions of Kerry's
inauthentic political image rested in part on perceptions of his policy
equivocations, his military service itself was questioned by political
opponents who disputed his military heroism and called his allegations of war
atrocities traitorous. Offering a
different view than the Band of Brothers, Vietnam veterans aligned with the
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth maligned Kerry's political image as a war hero, raising
questions about "the authenticity of his status as a highly decorated 'Nam
Others explicitly raised doubts about Kerry's loyalty. Larry Thurlow, another swift boat commander, called Kerry a "'liar
and a phony'" who he considered a "'traitor'" because of the
impact that Kerry's 1971 speech "'had on people still on the field in
On the one hand, Kerry
benefited from the authenticity debates over his own individualized military
heroism. His war service credentialed him
as the next commander-in-chief in a wartime election. On the other hand, the legacy of the inauthenticity charges dogged him throughout the general
election. Most visibly, this study demonstrates that political authenticity in
the service of
Last Updated—September, 2006
Parry-Giles is an Associate Professor of Communication and the Director of the
Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership at the
 Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, "Any Questions?," Political Advertising Resource Center, Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership, University of Maryland, http://www.umdparc.org/AdAnalysisAnyQuestions.htm.
 Gary Gerstle, American Crucible: Race and Nation in the
Twentieth Century (
 Gerald Nicosia, Home
to War: A History of the
 Andrew E. Hunt, A History of
 Vietnam Veterans Against the War, n.d.,
Nixon Presidential Materials Project (hereafter cited NPMP), White House
Special Files (hereafter cited WHSF), Staff Member and Office Files (hereafter
cited SMOF), H.R. Haldeman, Alpha Name Files
(April-May 1971), Chuck Colson April, 1971-Don Rumsfeld
April, 1971, Box 77, National Archives and Records Administration--College
Park, Maryland (hereafter cited as NARA--CP), 1. W. Richard Howard served as
Staff Assistant to Charles W. Colson in the Nixon White House. Howard
communicated directly with media and public opinion outlets to bolster positive
public images of the president and his policies. See "Special Files: W.
Richard Howard," NPMP,
 Charles Colson to Dick Howard, May 3, 1971, NPMP,
WHSF, SMOF, Charles W. Colson, Vietnam--Various Groups, Vietnam Veterans
Against the War (VVAW), Box 123, NARA--CP, 1. Charles Colson often worked as a
liaison between the Nixon administration and various special interest groups
(veterans, labor, farmers) in an attempt to gain their support on presidential
policies. He also targeted media outlets to garner additional public support
for Nixon administration policies. See "Special Files: Charles W.
 Doug Rossinow, The Politics of Authenticity: Liberalism,
Christianity, and the New Left in
 Charles Taylor, The Ethics of Authenticity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992), 43-44, 40.
 Elsewhere I've argued that within
authenticity-centered debates, political actors attempt to "articulate a
'real' or genuine political image" of self while their "political
opponents attempt to inauthenticate that image"
as a means of challenging the viability of contentious policies. The news media
often enter the political fray as the self-appointed "arbiter[s] of
political authenticity." See Shawn J. Parry-Giles, "Political
Authenticity, Television News, and Hillary Rodham Clinton," in Politics, Discourse, and American Society:
New Agendas, eds. Roderick P. Hart and Bartholomew H. Sparrow (
 Alexander Nehamas, Virtues of Authenticity: Essays on Plato and Socrates (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999), xxxii.
 Hanno Hardt, "Authenticity, Communication, and Critical Theory," Critical Studies in Mass Communication 10 (1993): 52.
 Miles Orvell, The Real Thing: Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture, 1880-1940 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989), xvi, xv.
 Marshall Berman, The Politics of Authenticity: Radical Individualism and the Emergence of Modern Society (New York: Atheneum, 1970), 216.
 Berman, The Politics of Authenticity, xv, xix. (emphasis in original).
 Rossinow, The Politics of Authenticity, 4.
 Students for a Democratic Society,
"The Port Huron Statement,"
 For the purposes of this study, my views of
nationalism reflect those of Linden Lewis, who argues that nationalism
"serves as the ideological vehicle through which the nation attempts to homogenize
dissimilar social elements into the nationalist project. Indeed, there is no
singular conception of the nation." Yet, the actions exhibited by the
leaders of a nation often work to "reproduce the many and diverse human
groups as a common community of individuals. Nationalism is also a phenomenon
which manifests itself, at both the political and cultural levels, as a
movement for the creation of the autonomous, sovereign space and unique
 Corey Anton, Selfhood
and Authenticity (
 Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in
 David Greenberg, Nixon's
Shadow: The History of an Image (
 Greenberg, Nixon's Shadow, 108.
 Parry-Giles, "Political Authenticity," 214.
 Parry-Giles, "Political Authenticity," 214.
 Donald A. Ritchie, "Foreward," in Richard Stacewicz, ed., Winter Soldiers: An Oral History of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1997), ix.
 Richard Stacewicz, Winter Soldiers: An Oral History of the
 Jan Barry, "'We're Backing the Wrong Side,'" in Winter Soldiers, 89.
 See Hunt, The Turning, 2; and Milton Viorst, Fire in the Streets (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979), 187.
 For more on Operation RAW, see Hunt, The Turning, 44-54; and
 David Halbfinger,
"Kerry Role in Antiwar Veterans is Delicate Issues in His Campaign," New York Times,
 For more on Kerry's war background, see Douglas
Brinkley, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and
the Vietnam War (
 Brinkley, Tour of Duty, 27-34, 459.
 Hunt, The Turning, 48.
 Barry, "Dewey Canyon III: 'A Limited Incursion into the Country of Congress,'" in Winter Soldiers, 242-243.
 Hunt, The Turning, 89.
 See Kerry's letter reprinted in Brinkley, Tour of Duty, 82-83.
 Rossinow, The Politics of Authenticity, 206-207.
 Hunt, The Turning, 55.
 Stacewicz, Winter Soldiers, 73, 5.
 See Hunt, The Turning, 55-76; and Stacewicz, Winter Soldiers, 5.
 Joe Urgo, "The Winter Soldier Hearings," in Winter Soldiers, 235.
 To read more about Seymour M. Hersh's
 Joseph Goldstein, Burke Marshall, and Jack Schwartz,
eds., "The Limits of Law: On Establishing Civilian Responsibility for the
Enforcement of Laws Against War Crimes," in The
 Michal R. Belknap, The Vietnam War on Trial: The My Lai Massacre and the Court-Martial of
Lieutenant Calley (
 Marvin E. Gettleman, Jane
Franklin, Marilyn B. Young, and H. Bruce Franklin,
 Gary D. Solis, Son Thang: An American War Crime (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1997), 4-5.
 The name Dewey Canyon III was inspired by the code
name of a military excursion into
 Hunt, The
Turning, 77-84. The name Dewey Canyon III was inspired by the code name of
a military excursion into
 Hunt, The Turning, 57.
 See Becker Research Corporation Public Opinion Poll, April 6, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, H.R. Haldeman, Alpha Name Files (April-May 1971), Chuck Colson April, 1971-Don Rumsfeld April, 1971, Box 77, NARA--CP, 1-2. Even though the Becker Research Corporation represented a private polling firm, it is clear they were working on behalf of the Nixon administration. The president of the company (John F. Becker), concluded his letter in the following way: "I am sure you will let me know of any new developments regarding our proposed work."
 See Chuck Colson to H.R. Haldeman,
April 1, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, H.R. Haldeman, Alpha
Name Files (April-May 1971), Chuck Colson April, 1971-Don Rumsfeld
April, 1971, Box 77, NARA--CP, 1. H.R. (Harry Robbins) Haldeman
was President Nixon's chief assistant and chief of staff from
 Stacewicz, Winter Soldiers, 316.
 See Hunt, The Turning, 5,
 See Barry, "'We're Watching You,'" Winter Soldiers, 319; and Mike McCain, "'We're Watching You,'" Winter Soldiers, 325.
 See Ronald H. Walker to W. Dewey Clower,
April 6, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, H.R. Haldeman, Alpha
Name Files, Coverage of Presidential Activities—Decorating/Construction, Box
121, NARA—CP, 1-2; and "Veterans' Actions Against the War," April 8,
1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, H.R. Haldeman, Alpha Name
Files, Coverage of Presidential Activities--Decorating/Construction, Box 121,
NARA--CP, 1-2. For more information on John D. Ehrlichman,
see "Special Files: John D. Ehrlichman,"
 In early April, a memo to Colson suggested the
possibility of having Nixon embrace the protests, demonstrating support for the
peace movement and seeking a dialogue with the leaders as a means "trap
them into the one situation they do not want and cannot control." The plan
was ultimately rejected. See F. Leonard to C. Colson,
 See Charles W. Colson to H.R. Haldeman, "Vietnam Veterans," April 2, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, H.R. Haldeman, Alpha Name Files (April-May 1971), Chuck Colson April, 1971 [Part 2 of 2], Box 77, NARA--CP, 1-3; and Ken Khachigian to Patrick J. Buchanan, March 29, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, President's Office Files (hereafter cited POF), March 16, 1971-May 10, 1971, President's Handwriting [File], April 16-April 30, 1971, Box 10, NARA--CP, 1.
 Charles W. Colson to President Nixon, April 15, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, POF, March 16, 1971-May 10, 1971, President's Handwriting [File], April 1-April 15, 1971, Box 10, NARA--CP, 1-2. Senator Brooke was the first African American senator elected to office by popular vote. See a biography of Senator Brooke at "Edward William Brooke, III," Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=B000871.
 Ken Khachigian to Patrick
 F. Leonard to C. Colson,
 Charles W. Colson to H. R. Haldeman, April 14, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, Charles W. Colson, Memoranda File, HRH Memos--January-June, 1971, Box 2, 1-2.
 Hunt, The Turning, 84.
 See M. Well, "Viet Veterans to Protest
 Hunt, The Turning, 96-108.
 See Hunt, The Turning,
 Moser, The New Winter Soldiers, 116.
 J. William Fulbright, "Opening Statement," in Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 92nd Cong., lst sess., 1971, 179-180.
 Hunt, The Turning, 109.
 Nancy L. Zaroulis, and
Gerald Sullivan, Who Spoke Up?: American Protest Against the War in
 John Kerry, "Statement of John Kerry, Vietnam
Veteran Against the War," Legislative
Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia, U.S. Senate Committee on
Foreign Relations, 92nd Cong., lst sess., 1971, 180. All of the remaining passages from
 Amitai Etzioni, The Active Society: A Theory of Social and Political Processes (New York: The Free Press, 1968), 633-634.
 See Benedict Anderson's definition of "nation" as "an imagined political community." See Imagined Communities (London: Verso, 1983), 6.
 Jon Western explains that "the hallmark of
liberal democracies is that state action is the product of a dynamic and
complex interaction between elite groups and the public." Kerry suggested
that the actions taken by Soviet Vietnam leaders violated the will of the
people, thus, exhibiting an abuse of power, which the
 Western, Selling Intervention and War, 13.
 See George P. Fletcher, Romantics at War: Glory and Guilt in the Age of Terrorism (
 See Claiborne Pell, "Growth of Opposition to War," Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia, 191; Jacob Javits, "Witness Credentials," Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia, 210; and Fulbright, "Closing Statement," Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia, 210.
 Todd S. Purdum,
"Stories Past, Golden Resume, but Mixed Reviews for Kerry," New York Times,
 Todd S. Purdum,
"In '71 Antiwar Words, a Complex View of Kerry," New York Times,
 J. F. Ter Horst, "2
Vets with Medals, 1 with Silver Spoon,"
 Nick Thimmesch,
"Playing Fair: Another Side," Newsday,
 George Frazier, "Blend of Calm and
 See Charles W. Colson to Dick Howard,
 See Memo for the President's File,
 Charles Colson to Van Shumway, June 8, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, Charles W. Colson, Memoranda File, Van Shumway  to Ron Ziegler , Box 12, NARA--CP, 1.
 Charles Colson to Van Shumway, June 15, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, Charles W. Colson, Memoranda File, Van Shumway  to Ron Ziegler , Box 12, NARA--CP, 1.
 Charles Colson to DeVan Shumway, May 14, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, Charles W. Colson, Memoranda File, Van Shumway  to Ron Ziegler , Box 12, NARA--CP, 1.
 See Memo for the President's File, June 16, 1971, 1; and Charles Colson to H.R. Haldeman, June 17, 1971, A-Z June-July 1971, Lyndon K. Allin June, 1971-Bruce Kehrli June, 1971, Charles Colson, June 1971, Box 80, NARA--CP, 1.
 See summary of a UPI story: DeVan
L. Shumway to Herbert G. Klein,
 John E. O'Neill and Jerome R. Corsi,
Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans
Speak Out Against John Kerry (
 DeVan L. Shumway to Mr. Colson, April 22, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF,
H.R. Haldeman, Alpha Name Files, A-Z March-April
1971, Jonathan Rose March, 1971-Chuck Colson April 1971, Chuck Colson April
1971 [Part 1 of 2], Box 76, NARA--CP, 1-3. The Washington Post reported on
 See "Tentative Plan--Vietnam Veterans," n.d., NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, Charles W. Colson, Memoranda File, HRH Memos 1969-1970 to HRH Memos--1971, January-June 1971, Box 2, NARA--CP, 1; and Colson to Haldeman, February 23, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, Charles W. Colson, Memoranda File, HRH Memos 1969-1970 to HRH Memos--1971, January-June 1971, Box 2, NARA--CP, 1-2.
 Charles Colson to H. R. Haldeman, May 28, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, Charles W. Colson, Memoranda File, HRH Memos 1969-1970 to HRH Memos--1971, January-June 1971, Box 2, NARA--CP, 1.
 National President to National Mailing List, F.R.A., May 27, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, Charles W. Colson, Memoranda File, HRH Memos 1969-1970 to HRH Memos--1971, January-June 1971, Box 2, NARA--CP, 1-3. (emphasis in original)
 "Plan to Counteract Viet Nam Veterans Against the War," n.d., NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, Charles W. Colson, Vietnam--Various Groups, Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), Box 123, NARA--CP, 1.
 National President to National Mailing List, F.R.A., 1-3. (emphasis in original)
 Bruce N. Kessler, "Veterans
 Larry Higby to Chuck Colson, April 13, 1971, NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, H.R. Haldeman, Alpha Name Files, A-Z April-May 1971, Chuck Colson April, 1971-Don Rumsfeld April, 1971, Chuck Colson April 1971 [Part 2 of 2], Box 77, NARA--CP, 1-6.
 Hunt, The Turning,
 "Vietnam Veterans Against the War," n.d., NPMP, WHSF, SMOF, H.R. Haldeman, Alpha Name Files, A-Z April-May 1971, Chuck Colson April, 1971-Don Rumsfeld April, 1971, Dick Howard April 1971, Box 77, NARA--CP, 1.
 Paul Farhi, "
 Bill Lambrecht,
"Vietnam Etched Kerry's Outline," St.
 John Hartley, The Politics of Pictures: The Creation of the Public in an Age of Popular Media (London: Routledge, 1992), 144.
 David Brooks, "Those Were the Days: No Wonder
Kerry is Running on
 See Glen Johnson, "Gingerly, Kerry Plumbs Politics of Guyhood," Boston Globe, October 22, 2004, 2, online at Lexis Nexus Academic, July 16, 2006; and Alex Russell, "Kerry A Walking Contradiction to the End," Ottawa Citizen, November 3, 2004, 2, online at Lexis Nexus Academic, July 16, 2006.
 Purdum, "Storied Past," 2.
 Leigh Paatsch, "Going
Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry," Herald
 Richard Tomkins, "Some Vets Question Kerry's Anti-War Past," United Press International, 1, July 28, 2004, online at Lexis Nexus Academic, January 4, 2006.
 Jed Babbin,
"The Kerry Spectator; The POWS Speak," The American Spectator, April 2004, 1, online at Lexis Nexus
 John Kifner,
"For Kerry, Bonds Forged with Wartime Crews Hold Strong," New York Times,
 Jason Zengerle, "The
Vet Wars," New York Times,
 Tomkins, "Some Vets Question Kerry's Anti-War Past," 2.