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'Hanoi Jane' Rumors Blend Fact and Fiction

Netlore Archive: Jane Fonda in Vietnam

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Jane Fonda
Viral image / Facebook

Viral postings accuse actress Jane Fonda of betraying American POWs in North Vietnam by handing over secret documents to their captors.

Description: Viral text / Forwarded email
Circulating since: Sep. 1999
Status: Mostly false (see details below)

See also: Newest version (2012)

1999 example:
Viral text contributed by Scott C., Oct. 14, 1999:

Hanoi Jane Fonda

Looks like Hanoi Jane may be honored as of the "100 Women of the Century".

JANE FONDA remembered? Unfortunately may have forgotten and still countless others have never known how Ms. Fonda betrayed not only the idea of our "country" but the men who served and sacrificed during Viet Nam.

There are few things I have strong visceral reactions to, but Jane Fonda's participation in what I believe to be blatant treason, is one of them. Part of my conviction comes from exposure to those who suffered her attentions. The first part of this is from an F-4E pilot. The pilot's name is Jerry Driscoll, a River Rat. In 1978, the Commandant of the USAF Survival School was a former POW in Ho Lo Prison-the "Hanoi Hilton".

Dragged from a stinking cesspit of a cell, cleaned, fed, and dressed in clean PJs, he was ordered to describe for a visiting American "Peace Activist" the "lenient and humane treatment" he'd received. He spat at Ms. Fonda, was clubbed, and dragged away. During the subsequent beating, he fell forward upon the camp Commandant's feet, accidentally pulling the man's shoe off- which sent that officer berserk.

In '78, the AF Col still suffered from double vision (which permanently ended his flying days) from the Vietnamese Col's frenzied application of a wooden baton.

From 1983-85, Col Larry Carrigan was the 347FW/DO (F-4Es). He spent 6 years in the "Hilton" - the first three of which he was "missing in action". His wife lived on faith that he was still alive. His group, too, got the cleaned/fed/clothed routine in preparation for a "peace delegation" visit. They, however, had time and devised a plan to get word to the world that they still survived. Each man secreted a tiny piece of paper, with his SSN on it, in the palm of his hand.

When paraded before Ms. Fonda and a cameraman, she walked the line, shaking each man's hand and asking little encouraging snippets like: "Aren't you sorry you bombed babies?" and "Are you grateful for the humane treatment from your benevolent captors?" Believing this HAD to be an act, they each palmed her their sliver of paper. She took them all without missing a beat. At the end of the line and once the camera stopped rolling, to the shocked disbelief of the POWs, she turned to the officer in charge...and handed him the little pile.

Three men died from the subsequent beatings. Col Carrigan was almost number four. For years after their release, a group of determined former POWs Including Col Carrigan, tried to bring Ms. Fonda and others up on charges of treason. I don't know that they used it, but the charge of "Negligent Homicide due to Depraved Indifference" would also seem appropriate. Her obvious "granting of aid and comfort to the enemy", alone, should've been sufficient for the treason count.

However, to date, Jane Fonda has never been formally charged with anything and continues to enjoy the privileged life of the rich and famous. I, personally, think that this is shame on us, the American Citizenry.

Part of our shortfall is ignorance: most don't know such actions ever took place. Thought you might appreciate the knowledge. Most of you've probably already seen this by now... only addition I might add to these sentiments is to remember the satisfaction of relieving myself into the urinal at some airbase or another where "zaps" of Hanoi Jane's face had been applied.

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 placed on my hands, and beaten with a bamboo cane every time my arms dipped.

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 former 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 to a halt and ended the war much earlier, and there wouldn't be as many on that somber black granite wall called the Vietnam Memorial. This is democracy. This is the American way.

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 murdered, she called us liars. After her heroes -- the North Vietnamese communists -- took over South Vietnam, they systematically murdered 80,000 South Vietnamese political prisoners. May their souls rest on her head forever. Shame! Shame! ( History is a heavy sword in the hands of those who refuse to forget it. Think of this the next time you see Ms. Fonda- Turner at a Braves game).

Please take the time to read and forward to as many people as you possibly can. It will eventually end up on her computer and she needs to know that "we will never forget". Lest we forget... "100 years of great women", Jane Fonda should never be considered.

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2013 update: Fonda to play Reagan? - A new variant of this message circulating since mid-2012 contains the additional claim that Jane Fonda has been chosen to play Nancy Reagan in a movie of Reagan's life story. This is partly true. Fonda was indeed hired to play Nancy Reagan in a theatrical film entitled The Butler), slated for release in 2013, but the script doesn't focus on Reagan.

2010 update: Barbara Walters named as 'author' of the message - New versions of this message circulating since 2010 incorrectly claim the above text was authored by Barbara Walters (misspelled "Barbra Walters" in some specimens), and that the person honoring Jane Fonda as a "Woman of the Century" is President Obama. False on both counts.

Full analysis: The text above, which began making the email rounds in September 1999 and continues to circulate more than a decade later, purports to reveal heretofore unknown facts about Jane Fonda's anti-war tour of North Vietnam in 1972, during which, as is well known, she actually did pose for photo ops with Communist troops and broadcast anti-American propaganda over Radio Hanoi.

The record shows she also participated in a staged press conference with unwilling American POWs, the purpose of which was to "prove" that American prisoners weren't being mistreated by their Viet Cong captors. Years afterward, when the then-released POWs described the very real torture and degradation they had suffered at the hands of the North Vietnamese, Fonda dismissed them as "hypocrites and liars."

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