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[Emperor's Clothes]

"The target for 1969 calls for the elimination of 1800 VCI per month...." - 'Vietnam Information Notes,' published by the U.S. State Department in July 1969. [Note: 'VCI' means 'Viet Cong Infrastructure.' 'Viet Cong' was Washington's psychological warfare term for the National Liberation Front of Vietnam.]

Bob Kerrey: A Phoenix Program hit man?
by Ken McCarthy [2 May 2001]

Unfortunately for the reputation of Mr. Kerrey and his Vietnam SEAL team, they appear to have overlooked at least one witness to their visit to Thanh Phong 32 years ago, a 12 year old girl.

According to this witness (and one of Kerrey's own men), civilians there were not killed accidentally, but rather were systematically murdered in cold blood, gangster-style. The goal: to cover their tracks.

"Until Saturday, Bui Thi Luom had never heard the name Bob Kerrey. She had no idea that he served as governor of Nebraska and U.S. senator and once ran for president.

"But she did know that 32 years ago, seven American commandos sneaked into her village in the Mekong Delta and killed 15 members of her family--all women and children. Luom, wounded in the knee, was the only one to escape. She was 12.

'"They killed people in cold blood,' she said Saturday as she recounted the incident to journalists for the first time. 'They should have been punished.'

"Kerrey, now 57, was the leader of an elite Navy SEAL unit that attacked Thanh Phong on Feb. 25, 1969...The Americans had killed 20 civilians, including 13 children and a pregnant woman, during the two-stage attack." ('LA Times,' April 29, 2001, see )

Missing from accounts so far is an informed description of the particulars of the mission Kerrey and his men were on. There's a good reason for that:

Kerrey & Co. may have been a political assassination team working on behalf of the CIA's Phoenix Program.

According to reports, they were in Thanh Phong looking for "a Viet Cong leader (who) was operating in the village."

The purpose of their search? To "take him out." Clearly this was not a "fire fight" with enemy troops.

Who was the leader they were seeking with the intent to kill? Before you jump to the conclusion that he was a "military" leader, realize that "a Viet Cong leader" could well mean the hamlet's mayor or head man. Or some other civilian authority.

In other words, this man may have been targeted for assassination for his political opinions.


"The Phoenix or Phuong Hoang Operation was originally designed to 'neutralize,' that is assassinate or imprison, members of the civilian infrastructure (VCI) of the National Liberation Front (NLF).

"In a document entitled Vietnam: Toward Peace and Prosperity, published by the Saigon Ministry of Information [i.e., the pro-U.S. regime in Saigon] the GVN states that 'The Phoenix program was launched on August, 1, 1968, in order to eradicate the communist infrastructure, with the following results;...Killed--40,994.'

"[Phoenix program and later CIA director William] Colby himself testified that Phoenix had resulted in the deaths of 20,587 persons as of May 1971. This number, [made] proportionate to population, would total over 200,000 Americans deliberately assassinated over a three-year period, were Phoenix in practice in the United States." (See 'Operation Phoenix' by Ralph McGee, at

Given the artfully vague media descriptions of Kerrey's mission, it is entirely possible that he and his men were doing their dirty work for the CIA's Phoenix Program which carried out the assassination of thousands of 'Viet Cong' (National Liberation Front) civilian leaders. Oliver North cut his teeth in this Program, a fact mostly obscured during coverage of the Iran-Contra Hearings.

Participation in the Phoenix program appears to have been good career move for those involved.

SEALs were a favorite source for Phoenix Program personnel. More often than not, Vietnamese military refused to participate.

Meanwhile, Kerrey and company are working overtime getting their stories straight. I'm sure they're getting plenty of behind-the-scenes help.

"The counterattack launched by former senator Bob Kerrey against The New York Times and CBS over the weekend was planned, you could say, like a military operation. Kerrey had the five ex-members of his SEALs squad who support his version of the tragic events in Vietnam transported here Friday from all over the United States. I understand they were put up (along with staffers from the Washington PR agency that's doing damage control for Kerrey) at the swank Lowell Hotel - the Upper East Side inn where stars who don't want to be recognized often stay under phony names. Then, at about 8 p.m., the party traveled to the Manhattan home provided for Kerrey by the New School University, where he is the newly installed president. The group met until 2 a.m., thrashing out a consensus of what they say happened in the hamlet of Thanh Phong in 1969. By late Saturday afternoon, Kerrey was emboldened enough to claim that sections of the media were involved in a conspiracy against him." From 'Page Six,' 'NY Post,' emphasis added. To read article in full, go to

"Thrashing out a consensus..." That is, rehearsing a believable lie.

Related: See footage from the film "Panama Deception" of US Marines raiding the homes of and arresting Panamanian labor and political leaders during the US invasion. Had there been a desire to kill them, that could have been arranged just as easily.

Irony: The banner ad over the International Tribune story about Kerrey's work leads here:

13 children killed. 13 children killed. At least some who were there, and who have no apparent reason to lie, say they were killed execution-style. No accident.

All in pursuit of silencing an opinion...


About the author: Ken McCarthy is a tireless researcher and analyst . His Website is His email posts feature the following quotation: "...if only the press were to do its duty, or but a tenth of its duty, this hellish system could not go on." - William Cobbett, "Rural Rides", 1830


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