Saturday, August 21, 2004
The background for the new SwiftVet ad is depicted in the writing "Skid Row" in Unfit for Command and available free via Human Events
Marine First Lieutenant Jim Warner had had a rough time, even for a POW in the gulag of North Vietnam in the spring of 1969. Having been interrogated and tortured for four months by the North Vietnamese, who threatened to hold him after the war for trial as a war criminal, Warner (once the proud backseat navigator of a Phantom jet) had just been transferred by the North Vietnamese to the "place for punishment" outside Hanoi known by the prisoners as "Skid Row." Just as things didn't seem that they could get much worse, they did.
An interrogator confronted Warner with testimony from his own mother and father asking for his return at John Kerry's Winter Soldier Investigation hearings. He told Warner, "Even your parents know you are a war criminal." The interrogator showed Warner a large piece of cardboard with photographs of John Kerry and news clippings related to Kerry's Senate testimony and demonstrations and said that "everyone knows you are a war criminal." Warner had resisted beyond caring, but he hoped that the North Vietnamese had made it all up. Upon reviewing his mother's testimony in The New Soldier, Warner asked: "What kind of ghoul would exploit my mother and family to claim I was a war criminal while I was in a North Vietnamese prison? How could someone do something like this for political advantage?"