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FEBRUARY 21, 2001




In response to my February 9th essay, we have received many emails. Unfortunately, some of them have repeated a Fonda story that is untrue, and that needs to be debunked so that the many things that are true about her are not devalued.


The following comments were written by Mike McGrath, president of NAM-POW and Skip Klingman, to whom the erroneous Fonda story has been attributed.


Please excuse the generic response, but I have been swamped with so many e-mails on the subject of the Jane Fonda article (Carrigan, Driscoll, strips of paper, torture and deaths of POWs, etc.) that I have to resort to this pre-scripted rebuttal. The truth is that none of this ever happened. This is a hoax story placed on the internet by unknown Fonda haters. No one knows who initiated the story. Please assist by not propagating the story. Fonda did enough bad things to assure her a correct place in the garbage dumps of history. We don’t want to be party to false stories, which could be used as an excuse that her real actions didn’t really happen either. I have spoken with all the parties named: Carrigan, Driscoll, et al. They all state that this particular story is a hoax and wish to disassociate their names from the false story. They never made the statements attributed to them. Systematic torture of POWs by the North Vietnamese did slow down in late 1969, after Ho Chi Minh died. Some camps were devoid of torture after 1969, but several individuals continued to be brutally tortured for information and propaganda. Fonda. s visit was in [July] 1972. Treatment was starting to improve at the time of her visit, but at least one POW was hung by his broken arm to force him to go before Ms. Fonda (name withheld by request). Even the last POW shot down and captured, 1/27/73 was brought to Hanoi and brutally=2 0tortured& only two weeks before the first release of prisoners. You are welcome to forward this rebuttal to the Carrigan story, as you like. No acknowledgment of this note is required. Thank you. Mike McGrath, President of NAM-POWs,


Professor Klingman, the one who unwittingly forwarded the hoax e-mail with his name attached writes the following:


From: Charles Klingman:


First, my apologies for the misinformation. The e-mail which you received did not originate with me, and in no way involves my university. After receiving it myself in early Spring of this year (1999), I sent it to one of my friends, and wasn't aware that my e-mail "signature" was appended to it. My intent was not to have the e-mail forwarded as is stated in that document, but I didn't make that clear to my friend. He then forwarded the letter to an extensive address book without removing my name. I'm sure the fact of the name and contact information make the letter look completely valid to most people, and now the letter (with my name) is in wide circulation. Although I was in the military during the Vietnam years, I did not serve in combat, nor was I in Southeast Asia during the conflict. Many friends and acquaintances of mine did serve, and a couple didn't return. I would in no way want to diminish their contribution by making false claims.


Much of the information in the e-mail has been difficult for me to personally authenticate, but writer David Emery has apparently researched this letter quite thoroughly. Dates are incorrect in a couple of instances. One thing is true; Jane Fonda did visit Hanoi and the POW camp in 1972, and she made accusatory statements against the U.S. government and military personnel that caused servicemen and their families a great deal of anguish. The stories about the subsequent torture and beatings are not all true, and since I have communicated personally with Col. (Ret.) Larry Carrigan, I have discovered that he never even saw Jane Fonda during her visit. Most of the letter is debunked in the website below. This was sent to me by a respondent who read the Fonda e-mail with my signature. I only wish I'd seen this before I sent the letter to my friend. It was my willingness to believe the worst of Jane Fonda that caused me to send it to him.


Again, I'm sorry for the inadvertent "spamming" I've caused. I'd appreciate your sending back this information to the person from whom you received it, and I thank you in advance.



Charles Klingman