John and Jane

So the photo of John Kerry standing next to Jane Fonda making a speech turns out to be a fake. (The earlier photo showing him sitting five rows behind her at a rally is genuine, but it isn’t really very impressive.)

No surprise there. Kerry’s one great accomplishment in the Senate (in partnership with John McCain) was getting the non-tinfoil-hat segment of the populaton to accept that there aren’t any American POW’s left in North Vietnamese hands, thus putting a serious crimp in the highly profitable POW-MIA racket, and one of the major racketeers is going after him, just as the same racketeer went after McCain, accusing him of having been “brainwashed” by the North Vietnamese. (McCain, to his credit, is defending Kerry.) That con-artist has this beautiful fake (showing Kerry seated in front of a North Vietnamese flag) on one of his websites. The John-and-Jane photo is from an unknown source, but seeems to be part of the same campaign.

But as we will no doubt hear more about Ms. Fonda and Mr. Kerry, it’s worth bringing up a small matter of timing.

The Vietnam Veterans Against the War had some small involvement with Ms. Fonda, and she and Kerry on at least one occasion spoke at the same rally. But all of that was two years before her utterly disgraceful mission to Hanoi, in which she contributed to the North Vietnamese practice of torturing their American prisoners by denying that the torture was taking place.

Ms. Fonda has since sortakinda said she was sorry for collaborating with the enemies of her country in torturing some of her fellow-citizens — whom she denounced, in a speech given in the enemy capital, as “war criminals — but as far as I know she has never done anything to suggest that she understands just how unforgiveable her actions were, for example by making amends to her victims.

But it is simply dishonest to attribute her actions — which just barely skirted the edges of the Constitutional definition of treason — retrospectively to those who participated in rallies with her two years or more before her trip to Hanoi.

As far as I know, John Kerry never stepped across the line that separated those who opposed the war in Vietnam because they loved their country from those who opposed the war in Vietnam because they hated it. The predictable White House attempt to marry Mr. Kerry to Ms. Fonda deserves to fail.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “John and Jane”

  1. Kerry and Fonda

    Mark Kleiman makes an important point I've failed to note:But as we will no doubt hear more about Ms. Fonda and Mr. Kerry, it's worth bringing up a small matter of timing.The Vietnam Veterans Against the War had some small…

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