- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign got backing from Hollywood yesterday as actress-activist Jane Fonda made a televised defense of the Massachusetts Democrat’s anti-Vietnam war stance.

Miss Fonda called a photograph of her and Mr. Kerry at a 1970 antiwar rally, which appeared yesterday on the front page of The Washington Times, a “big lie” and a propaganda ploy by Republicans.

She blamed “a narrow, extremely conservative, right-wing segment” for publicizing the photo as part of an “attempt to smear” Mr. Kerry.

“Any attempts to [connect] Kerry to me and make him look bad with that connection is completely false,” the 66-year-old actress told CNN yesterday, saying of the rally in Valley Forge, Pa., where both were featured speakers: “I don’t even think we shook hands.”

Her defense of the Democratic presidential front-runner came as veterans angrily denounced Mr. Kerry — a decorated Vietnam veteran — for appearing with the actress long derided as “Hanoi Jane.”

On CNN yesterday, Miss Fonda defended Mr. Kerry as a patriotic “hero” for protesting the war. She said that the photo of her and Mr. Kerry at the rally represents “the kind of big lie that’s coming out of this current administration that I think the American people are sick of.”

A Kerry campaign spokesman Tuesday said the senator was “just acquaintances” with the actress. Miss Fonda said she “never really met” Mr. Kerry until a few years ago, when she and then-husband Ted Turner attended an event with the senator.

“How can you impugn, how can you even suggest that a Vietnam veteran like Kerry or any of them were — are not patriotic?” Miss Fonda said. “He was a hero there.”

Mr. Kerry, who was wounded three times while serving on a Navy gunboat in 1968-69, later told a Senate panel that U.S. troops committed “war crimes” there.

American soldiers “raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, cut off limbs,” and committed other atrocities “in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan,” Mr. Kerry said in sworn testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 21, 1971.

Mr. Kerry’s appearance with Miss Fonda at the 1970 rally shows that Mr. Kerry is “two-faced” for touting his Vietnam service in campaign ads and speeches, said one veteran who spent nearly seven years in prisoner-of-war camps.

“Seeing this picture of Kerry with [Miss Fonda] at antiwar demonstrations in the United States just makes me want to throw up,” said Rep. Sam Johnson, Texas Republican.

Miss Fonda is “notorious and hated by veterans,” said Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, California Republican, who was an ace pilot in Vietnam.

Miss Fonda became notorious in 1972 when she traveled to Hanoi, where she posed for photos astride a North Vietnamese antiaircraft gun and denounced U.S. military action in a Radio Hanoi broadcast.

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