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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Thu. 03/04/04 07:45:19 AM
The "Winter Soldier Investigation" Deceit
Information you'll never get from the New York Times.
In 1971, the year VVAW held the "Winter Soldier Investigation", John Kerry testified on their behalf to a US Senate committee, and Al Hubbard was the organization's executive director. Hubbard claimed to have been an Air Force captain, to have served in Vietnam, and to have been wounded there.
William Overend, then a CBS reporter, now working at the Los Angeles Times, tried at the time to get his research into Hubbard's background published in a variety of mainstream publications. Only the conservative National Review would do it, as related in this CNS article yesterday (emphasis in original):
.... Overend's investigation into Hubbard revealed that Hubbard not only lied about his Air Force military rank, but also about his alleged war injuries and whether he even served in Vietnam.
"As a liberally-oriented newsman, sympathetic to the Vietnam vets and impressed by Hubbard's leadership qualities, that came as something of a jolt," Overend wrote in 1971.
Overend's story ended up appearing in the conservative National Review magazine because, he said, several prominent liberal publications turned it down.
"As a liberal, it had occurred to me that raising questions about Al Hubbard might hurt the anti-war movement, but as a journalist, it didn't seem that should be a factor. I was wrong. No one would touch the story. Not David Sanford of the New Republic; not any other editor of any liberal publication I contacted," Overend wrote in his article titled "Who is Al Hubbard" in the June 1, 1971 issue of National Review.
In an interview with CNSNews.com, Overend said the liberal magazine The Nation also refused to run his piece.
"I tried to write it for The Nation initially. But Carey McWilliams, who was the editor then, basically, said 'Why should we run it? We're on the other side,'" Overend recalled....
CNS ran a companion article, also yesterday (emphasis, brackets, and quoted ellipsis in original).
.... Hubbard's deceit, which he later admitted, continues to cast doubt about the truthfulness of the anti-war group's allegations more than three decades after they were leveled. Kerry has yet to either defend or criticize Hubbard during the current campaign. But he continues to stand behind the allegations lodged by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, many of which were included in a book Kerry authored in 1971. Hubbard was executive director of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) when he appeared with Kerry on NBC's Meet the Press on April 18, 1971. Meet the Press host Lawrence Spivak introduced Hubbard as a former decorated Air Force captain who had spent two years in Vietnam and was wounded in the process. But just days after the Meet the Press program was televised, NBC News, acting on an anonymous tip, began investigating Hubbard and found his military background to be fraudulent....
In an interview with CNSNews.com last week, Overend recalled that Kerry acted "real cagey" regarding Hubbard's lies.
"I talked to Kerry at that time about Hubbard and Kerry was already real cagey and diplomatic in his handling of whatever questions I was asking him," said Overend, who is now a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times .
Hubbard's falsehoods were not confined to his military rank, Overend told CNSNews.com. Hubbard "had no record of any service in Vietnam ..." Overend said.
Overend stated in his 1971 National Review article that, "Not only was there [Hubbard's] word for it that he'd lied about his rank, now the Defense Department was announcing it didn't have any record of his having served in Vietnam at all." Overend wrote that the Defense Department did allow for the possibility that Hubbard had been in Vietnam for short periods loading and unloading cargo planes.
Overend's investigation also later revealed that Hubbard had never been awarded either a Purple Heart or a Vietnamese Service Ribbon as he had claimed, even though, according to Overend's investigation of Pentagon procedure, the service ribbon could have been "rightfully claimed by any member of an air crew serving in Vietnam, even briefly." ....
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