For Prisoners Of War/Missing In Action Inc.
Bob Necci and Andi Wolos
THE POW/MIA E-MAIL NETWORK (c)
Fonda's Tears Won't Wash
Hanoi Jane Regrets Too Little Too Late Say Vietnam POWs
By RICHARD SISK
Daily News Washington Bureau
They Dangled POW Dave Hoffmann From The Ceiling By His Broken Arm Until He Agreed To Listen To Jane Fonda In 1972
So He Was A Bit Short Of Sympathy For Her "Hanoi Jane" Regrets Last Week
"I Tried Not To Look At Her," Hoffmann Said Of His Forced Encounter With The Actress
"And All I Could Think Was, 'What In Hell Does She Think She's Doing?'"
Jane Fonda Wears The Helmet Of The North Vietnamese
Hoffmann And Other American Prisoners Of War From Vietnam Professed
Astonishment That Fonda Still Seemed Unaware Of The Mental And Physical Pain That They Endured Because Of Her Actions
This Despite Her Apologies In The Latest Issue Of Oprah Winfrey's New Magazine
"She's Just Pitiful; She Has To Be An Airhead," Said Retired Navy Capt. Everett Alvarez
He Was Shot Down Over North Vietnam In August 1964
He Was The Longest Held POW To Return
Fonda First Offered Her Apology In An ABC-TV Appearance 12 Years Ago
But She Expanded On Her Apology In The Oprah Interview
"I Will Go To My Grave Regretting The Photo" I Posed For
During A Two-Week Tour With Antiwar Activists Of North Vietnam In July 1972
In The Photo She Wore A Helmet
She Sat At The Controls Of An Antiaircraft Gun With Her Eye To The Aiming Sights
"It Was The Most Horrible Thing I Possibly Could Have Done," She Said
"It Was Just Thoughtless"
The Photo Became Emblematic Of The Bitter Divide That Remains In The Boomer Generation Between Those Who Served Those Who Protested The War And Those That Avoided The Draft
Fonda Did Not Mention Her Equally Controversial Propaganda Broadcasts Over Radio Hanoi To Which The POWs Were Forced To Listen To In The Camps
Fonda Points To Photos Of POWs During A News Conference In Paris In 1972
Then Navy Lt. Cmdr. Hoffmann Whose F-4 Phantom Jet Was Shot Down In 1971
He Was Among A Small Group Of American Prisoners Who Were Forced To Attend Fonda's Broadcast
"We Knew She Was There" Hoffmann Said
"The North Vietnamese Were Really Playing It Up
So They Came To My Cell And Told Me I Had To Go To This Thing With Her
I Told Them No"
Hoffmann Had Broken His Arm Ejecting From His Aircraft And It Was Still In
The Guards Tied A Rope Around The Cast Looped It Through A Hook In
The Ceiling And Lifted Him Off The Floor
"They Had Me Hanging From That Hook
My Feet Were About 6 Inches Off The Floor" He Said
It Was A Brutal Coercion Technique Often Used On The Pilots By The Guards
Future Sen. John McCain R-Arizona Who Had Suffered Arm And Collar Bone Injuries When He Ejected Also Was Subjected To It
Hoffmann Did Not Recall How Long He Endured The Excruciating Pain
But Said His Captors Held Him Aloft "Until I Said I'd Go" To See Fonda
Hoffmann And The Others Were Made To Sit Across From Fonda While She Sspoke Into The Microphone
"She Was Looking Directly At Us
She Was Blathering On About What A Terrible Thing Was Happening To The Wonderful Vietnamese People," Hoffmann Said
"She Was Giving Aid And Comfort To The Enemy
You Don't Feel Too Good Having A Well Known American Do Something Like that"
He Said He Refused To Speak To Her Despite Being Goaded By The Guards
When Asked Whether Fonda Had Any Response To Hoffmann And The Other POWs
Her SpokesWoman In Atlanta Said, "We Can't Really Talk About That"
According To A Transcript Of Fonda's Broadcast On File With The House Of
She Called Then President Richard Nixon A "True Killer"
She Spoke Of Her Admiration For The North Vietnamese In Their Struggle Against "US Imperialists Who Are Bombing Their Country"
McCain A Navy Pilot Who Spent More Than Five Years As A POW
Was Among Those That Heard Fonda Over The Prison Camp Loudspeakers
In A Subdued Statement McCain Said He "Appreciates The Fact That Ms. Fonda Would Acknowledge Her Mistake"
His Prison Camp Buddies Were Less Generous
Retired Marine Col. Orson Swindle Said
"I Can't Tell You How Little Respect I Have For The Lady
She Now Calls Herself A Christian And As A Christian Myself I Suppose I Can Forgive But I Cannot Forget"
Mike McGrath A Navy Lieutenant Commander Whose A-4C Skyhawk Was Shot Down In June 1967
Said Fonda's Propaganda Broadcast Had It's Effects In The Camps
"Mentally Everybody Was Demoralized From Having To Listen To It," He Said
"It Was Just A Dumb Jerk Thing She Did
In A Way I Feel A Little Sorry For Her"
The Two Largest Veterans Organizations The American Legion And The Veterans Of Foreign Wars Said Fonda's Apology Wouldn't Wash With Vietnam Vets
Steve Van Buskirk A VFW Spokesman And An Army Enlisted Veteran Of Vietnam Said
"I Don't Think This Will Have Any Impact With The Vets Who Loathe The Ground That She Walks On
They Won't Accept It As Sincere"
Legion Spokesman Steve Thomas Said
"Fonda Should Put Her Money Where Her Apology Is
There Are A Lot Of Vets Out There Who Are Hurting
She Has The Financial Resources To Do Something About That"
"For You Jane Fonda
We Wish You Black Dead Roses"
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