Communists Had Infilitrated the VVAW when John Kerry Was a Member

Roundup: Media's Take

Marc Morano, in the Cybercast News Service (April 1, 2004):

The 1970s anti-war group that included John Kerry was "heavily infiltrate[d]" by individuals dedicated to the teachings of Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-Tung and to the use of violence, if necessary to achieve their goals, according to a historian friendly to Kerry.

"The RCP (Revolutionary Communist Party) was already beginning to heavily infiltrate the [Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971]. They eventually took it over around '73 and basically pushed out all the real veterans and brought in all the RCP functionaries and destroyed the organization," Gerald Nicosia, author of Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement and a Kerry supporter, told

"Even in 1971, there was an RCP presence ... [RCP is] a crackpot organization, very violent, extremely violent, far left Maoist organization," led by a man named Bob Avakian, Nicosia said.

"[In 1971] they were trying to take over and eventually did take over VVAW," he added.

Nicosia said Kerry was aware of communism's increasing presence in the VVAW operations and it was one of the factors that led to his resignation as one of the leaders of the group in November 1971.

But even though Kerry resigned from the group's leadership in November 1971, several published news accounts cite Kerry as a representative of VVAW into 1972.

The RCP's efforts to control VVAW came to a head in 1978, when the communist factions split off to form their own group called Vietnam Veterans Against the War - Anti-Imperialist (VVAW-AI.) This group still exists today and refers to the U.S. as "AmeriKKKa" on its website.

Other radical factions influenced VVAW, according to Nicosia.

"There were guys that were not Maoist, but guys who were like Scott Camil," Nicosia said, referring to the man who allegedly advocated the possible assassination of U.S. senators still supportive of the U.S. war effort in Vietnam. "They were veterans and still believed in the U.S and still saluted the flag, but believed this government was all wet and wanted to get rid of it," Nicosia said.

"There was Al Hubbard, who was a Black Panther who was also pushing the organization toward violent confrontation," Nicosia added. Hubbard, who had appeared at Kerry's side in April of 1971 on NBC's Meet the Press , was later shown to have lied about his military record.

Current VVAW member David Cline dismissed the communist presence in VVAW during the time Kerry served as the group's spokesman.

"Some people had philosophies of varying types. There [were] people who were driven by religious views ... there was one guy who was involved in Veterans for [the George] McGovern campaign. So there [were] people coming from different areas," Cline told . "Anytime you are going to get a big organization, you are going to get a lot of different views."...

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