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|Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 17:29:27 -0400|
|Subject: fwd: Shame on Jane
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 17:29:27 -0400
From: MIKE BENGE <mbenge@USAID.GOV>
To whom it may concern:
I was a civilian economic development advisor in Viet Nam, and was captured by the North Vietnamese communists in South Viet Nam in 1968, and held for over 5 years. I spent 27 months in solitary confinement, one year in a cage in Cambodia, and one year in a "black box" in Hanoi. My North Vietnamese captors deliberately poisoned and murdered a female missionary, a nurse in a leprosarium in Ban me Thuot, South Vietnam, whom I buried in the jungle near the Cambodian border. At one time, I was weighing approximately 90 lbs. (My normal weight is 170 lbs.). We were Jane Fonda's "war criminals." When Jane Fonda was in Hanoi, I was asked by the camp communist political officer if I would be willing to meet with Jane Fonda. I said yes, for I would like to tell her about the real treatment we POWs were receiving, which was far different from the treatment purported by the North Vietnamese, and parroted by Jane Fonda, as "humane and lenient." Because of this, I spent three days on a rocky floor on my knees with outstretched arms with a piece of steel rebar placed on my hands, and beaten with a bamboo cane every time my arms dipped. Jane Fonda had the audacity to say that the POWs were lying about our torture and treatment. Now ABC is allowing Barbara Walters to honor Jane Fonda in her Feature "100 Years of Great Women." Shame, shame on Jane Fonda! Shame, shame on Barbara Walters! Shame, shame on 20-20. Shame, shame on ABC. And, shame, shame on the Disney Company.
I had the opportunity to
meet with Jane Fonda for a couple of hours after I was released. I
asked her if she would be willing to debate me on TV. She did not
answer me, her husband, Tom Hayden, answered for her. She was mind
controlled by her husband. This does not exemplify someone who
should be honored as "100 Years of Great Women." After I
was released, I was asked what I thought of Jane Fonda and the anti-war
movement. I said that I held Joan Baez's husband in very high
regard, for he thought the war was wrong, burned his draft card and went
to prison in protest. If the other anti-war protesters took this
same route, it would have brought our judicial system
Jane Fonda, on the other
hand, chose to be a traitor, and went to Hanoi, wore their uniform,
propagandized for the communists, and urged American soldiers to
desert. As we were being tortured, and some of the POWs
Michael D. Benge
cc: Mr. Eisner, Walt Disney Co.
|Testimony of Michael D. Benge before the House International
Relations Committee Chaired by the Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman,
November 4, 1999.
My name is Michael D. Benge. While serving as a civilian Economic Development Officer in the Central Highlands of South Viet Nam, I was captured by the North Vietnamese during the Tet Offensive on January 28, 1968. I was held in numerous camps in South Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos and North Viet Nam. I was a POW for over five years, and spent 27 months in solitary confinement, one year in a "black box," and one year in a cage in Cambodia. I served for almost 11 years in Viet Nam. I was released during Operation Homecoming in 1973. I am a Board Member of the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen. And, I am a POW/MIA activist; that is, I am one who is actively seeking the truth regarding the fate of our Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.
I was not tortured by the Cubans, nor was I part of the "Cuban Program." There were 19 American POWs that I know of who were tortured by the Cubans in Hanoi during the Vietnam War. These brave men include Colonel Jack Bomar and Captain Ray Vohden, who will testify, and also Commander Al Carpenter, who is with us today. They named their torturers "Fidel," "Chico" and "Pancho." The torture took place in a POW camp called the Zoo, and the Vietnamese camp commander was a man they called the "Lump." He was called that because of the presence of a rather large fatty tumor in the middle of his forehead.
No, I was not tortured by Cubans in Vietnam, but I was interrogated by the "Lump," and a person who appeared to be a Latino and who spoke a few words of Spanish to the "Lump" during my interrogation in the early part of 1970. Upon my return to the US, I was shown a picture taken in Cuba of the "Lump," who was with an American antiwar group. Yes, it was the same person who had interrogated me in 1970. I was told by a Congressional Investigator that he was the man who was in charge of funneling Soviet KGB money to American antiwar groups and activists, such as Jane Fonda. After researching my paper, this made more sense, for who would be better suited to liaison with the Cubans. This was my first piece of the puzzle......
For efforts in rescuing several Americans prior to capture, he received the State Department's highest award for heroism and a second one for valor. He also received three of South Vietnam's highest medals for civilians.