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Wed, 12 May 1999
Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 05:38:09 PDT

Subject: Letter to the LHJ

Dear :

I received the following from Jim Ray yesterday. It is a copy of the message he sent to the Ladies Home Journal (LHJ)in reference to "Hanoi Jane" Fonda being named one of the greatest 100 American women of the past 100 years. I was so moved by it that I sought and received his permission to reprint it here.

System Administrator


From: James Ray <>

Dear Ms. Blyth [editor of Ladies Home Journal];

Why Jane Fonda?  I PROTEST and COMPLAIN!  And I had held your magazine, Ladies Home Journal, in high regard heretofore.  Why would you choose her?

Let me lead with my personal identification so you can verify and validate who I am, and confirm that my complaint is legitimate and accurate, and not some "anonymous source" fabricated by some journalist or other activist with an agenda or some hidden partisan political connection:

James Edwin Ray, xxx-xx-xxxx, Colonel, U.S Air Force (Retired) Vietnam Veteran;  F-105D Pilot;  POW, May 1966 - Feb 1973 (6 yrs, 9 mos, 4 days!)(409) [xxx-xxxx];  E-mail:  jimray@xxxxxx.   Please contact to confirm.

While I make no presumption to speak for anyone but myself, I firmly believe, from my continuing interaction with retired and active duty servicemen and women, that approximately 85% toward 100% of all military veterans of the Vietnam conflict, and approximately the same percentage of those currently serving, who know the full story of Jane Fonda's visit to Hanoi, would generally concur with the sentiments expressed below.  If anyone can give me credible evidence to the contrary, i.e., without political pressure upon the careers of current servicemen and women to refute this, I would gladly consider revising my estimate.

Why Jane Fonda?  ... a woman who fulfilled the dictionary definition, as well as centuries of legal precedent, of TREASON, by giving aid and comfort to the enemy, during active hostilities, while I and several hundred other American and Allied POW's were being abused just a few blocks away in the "Hanoi Hilton," the infamous Hoa Lo Prison!  She conducted press conferences condemning U.S. and Allied policy and actions;  POWs were abused and forced to attend a press conference with her, and were punished badly for not following the communist script.

She posed for pictures in communist uniform and hat on an anti-aircraft gun, and said personally that she'd like to get a Yankee mercenary air pirate (an American pilot) in her sights (to shoot him down or kill him!)  Her actions prolonged the war and caused many additional casualties (on both sides) by giving aid, comfort, and encouragement to the enemy.

Why Jane Fonda? ... when we were honorably repatriated in 1973, and we duly reported the torture, the exploitation, their use of us as hostages at known targets, the further torture of POWs (one of whom died!) by visiting Cubans, and other violations of international law, that same Jane Fonda publicly called us "liars!"  I challenged her to a public
debate, or even a private visit, to see the rope burn scars (from the torture we called "the rope trick"), still visible on my arms after more than six years of captivity.  Paul Harvey took note of my challenge, but few others in the media would;  I was predictably ignored by the Fonda-Hayden followers.

But we POW's and our mistreatment in that gulag were not the only, nor the most significant reason I'm writing IN PROTEST.  Many others earned as much or greater relevance than we.  The dedicated service and sacrifices of millions of American citizens who loyally served, and put their lives on the line, in Southeast Asia, at the request of their Congress and their President, earned that same respect ... and in even greater measure, those who lost their lives, and those who lost their loved ones.  All of them Ms. Fonda also BETRAYED!  But they are not the major issue here, either.

That the war allegedly became "an unpopular one" (according to a very vocal minority in the media, in Hollywood, and in academia, where many cowardly draft dodgers found refuge, is not the issue (though the radical left would try to make it so).  Despite all the hired activists, the manipulated draft-eligibles, the media cheerleaders, and the
provocative demonstrations, the silent majority overcame that theory when they elected, and re-elected (by a landslide) President Nixon, and the Representatives and Senators who prevailed in attempting to prosecute the war to a just and honorable end.  Falsely alleged or unfairly exaggerated popularity polls are not the issue!

That the war was "undeclared" is no excuse either, though that seems to be the most frequent excuse mantra the media megaphone uses in Jane Fonda's defense, while muzzling and spiking any stories by those who would rightfully condemn her actions.  Neither Constitutional language nor historical precedent requires that a war or hostilities be
"officially declared" in order to define, or convict for, treason!  No, that's not a major issue, either.

The Constitution of the United States of America and the rule of law, and citizens duties and responsibilities thereto, are the key issues at stake!  The issue is that a de facto TRAITOR, for complex political reasons, was never held accountable, de jure, for her dictionary defined, legislatively defined, and historically precedented acts of TREASON.  Civilizations ignore, or lightly excuse such actions at great peril to their continuance and survival.

Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon led our involvement in Vietnam. The US Congress, expressing the will of the American people, using the Constitutionally mandated due process of discussion, deliberation, debate, and legislation established the legitimacy of our involvement, and the draft, and funding to support it.  No; "right or wrong (to be in Vietnam),"  "popular or unpopular," "freedom of speech," "right to dissent," "principled opposition," etc., are not the issues.  That it was the law of the land, enacted by due process, and that Ms. Fonda
willfully disobeyed the law, the will of the Congress, and the policy and leadership of the Commander-in-Chief, and that her actions did great harm to American citizens duly engaging an enemy in time of war, while giving aid and comfort to that same enemy, is the issue: a prima facie case that she committed TREASON.

Why do you want to honor, or even recognize, Jane Fonda, a de facto TRAITOR?  Why do media seem so uninterested in offering a fair opportunity to give honorable, loyal, brave, patriotic citizens a fair voice to make our case (as above) before the court of public opinion? Does her talent as an actress absolve her betrayal?  Does her current husband's status as a media mogul override principle?  (Wasn't Ms. and Mr. Fonda-Turner's CNN sufficiently exposed and discredited by the Time-CNN "Tailwind" story for such bias against Vietnam military
veterans that they also betrayed legitimate standards of journalism?)

Why would you want to give her/them cover or rehabilitation (much less Honor) when they have not sincerely apologized for their obvious mistakes?  Is it money?  Is it power?  Is it celebrity?  Is it ratings? Do any or all of these override principle, character, integrity, loyalty to our Constitution and the rule of law ... the things we should be teaching our young people?

I most respectfully urge you to retract Jane Fonda from your list honorees.  If you have made irrevocable commitments that now make it impossible to do so, I urge you to allow veterans and citizen soldiers, so many of whom share the views and principles expressed above, equal time in an equivalent forum.  I ask that you allow us to inform the American people who and what we believe Jane Fonda really is! ... and why!  For example, please print this letter, (you may omit my identity, if you wish ... I'm not seeking celebrity), in your next edition, and let your readers react to the reality of what she did, and what so many military servicemen and women think of her.

Even if you personally do not agree with the case I've made, I ask you to print this, out of respect for the sacrifices I and so many other veterans made in loyal, patriotic obedience to our Constitution, our Congress, and our Commander-in-Chief.  Then let your readers decide for themselves, instead of doing their thinking for them by selective spiking.  That's what communists and fascists do, and what we were fighting against, for you and for your (and others') freedom of the press!

Jim Ray
College Station, Texas

P.S.  If you and your staffers and editors choose to ignore this, you might want to add Monica Lewinski, Susan McDougal, April Oliver and the women on the O.J. jury (the ones that voted for acquittal) to your list of honorees;  and for great men of the century:  Peter Arnett, Jack Smith, Ramsey Clark, Harrison Salisbury, and the men on that same O.J. jury (who voted for acquittal).