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Thread: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuts View Post
    In the case of the United States it'd be something approximating to, waging war against the US or supporting the enemy or giving them aid and comfort.
    The 'aid and comfort' provision is a common element of treason, but what about the 'enemy' part?

    My recollection is that America, along with Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and others, was in Vietnam to aid the government of South Vietnam (SVN), and that none of them were formally or legally at war with North Vietnam (NVN).

    If so, how can NVN be America's enemy for the legal purposes of a treason charge, regardless of the reality that the US was bombing the crap out of NVN at the time and NVN had forces in the field against the US and others aiding SVN?
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  2. #17
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    The United States never declared war against North Vietnam, making any case against her highly charged and dubious at best. As stated in the article, while it was theoretically possible to charge her for aiding and comforting, it's also pretty clear that Nixon had no intention of doing so.

    The US had also given very light sentences to its War Criminals like Calley. So, what would have been the message? How long should she have been imprisoned for going on the radio when a 1LT got a couple of years for wiping out a village of Vietnamese?

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    The US had also given very light sentences to its War Criminals like Calley. So, what would have been the message? How long should she have been imprisoned for going on the radio when a 1LT got a couple of years for wiping out a village of Vietnamese?
    Given that much of the Vietnam war was a media and propaganda war, and given her prominent impact contrasted with Calley and Co's conciliatory 'hearts and minds' efforts being largely denied or submerged for years , I reckon she'd have been lucky to get off with elebenty leben life sentences.

    Anyone who wasn't alive and involved during that crazy time can't begin to understand it.

    And those of us who were there are often still rather confused.

    There comes a time in the affairs of all people where it's time to forget the past.

    She is highly symbolic of the divisions of the period, but so are Nixon and Kissinger, and others, who were much more invovled and who don't attract the same personal attention.
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  4. #19
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    To Nick & R S*

    That the United States never formally declared war against North Vietnam has probably a good deal to do with the UN Charter forbidding the use or threat of war in such international relations, nevertheless Congress did authorise it in the Southeast Asia Resolution.
    In such circumstances I don't think it is difficult to work out who the meaning of 'the enemy.'
    Aid & succour, (with all the propaganda and especially the media hype that brings these unpleasantnesses into the civvies' homes,) is probably not difficult to define either.

    I'm sure there were many reasons that the 'lady' concerned wasn't charged, but I think the case against her was pretty strong.

    Since the formation of the UN I'm pressed to think of an occasion when war has been formally declared.
    The effect of the Charter was brought to my attention in '82 when there was a conflict in the South Atlantic rather than a 'war.'
    (Yeah, political semantics make me wince at times too.)
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuts View Post
    To Nick & R S*

    That the United States never formally declared war against North Vietnam has probably a good deal to do with the UN Charter forbidding the use or threat of war in such international relations, nevertheless Congress did authorise it in the Southeast Asia Resolution.
    In such circumstances I don't think it is difficult to work out who the meaning of 'the enemy.'
    Aid & succour, (with all the propaganda and especially the media hype that brings these unpleasantnesses into the civvies' homes,) is probably not difficult to define either.

    I'm sure there were many reasons that the 'lady' concerned wasn't charged, but I think the case against her was pretty strong.

    Since the formation of the UN I'm pressed to think of an occasion when war has been formally declared.
    The effect of the Charter was brought to my attention in '82 when there was a conflict in the South Atlantic rather than a 'war.'
    (Yeah, political semantics make me wince at times too.)

    The United States never declared War against the North because it would have been political suicide...

    And since the US was withdrawing at the time, I doubt there was much case against her at all...no court would ever have convicted her.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Just give her 5 yrs working in a V.A. hospital,in a non glamorous location, tending to all the patients needs. She must live in the hospital, and eat what they eat, and live as they live.

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh
    Quote Originally Posted by Cuts
    To Nick & R S*

    That the United States never formally declared war against North Vietnam has probably a good deal to do with the UN Charter forbidding the use or threat of war in such international relations, nevertheless Congress did authorise it in the Southeast Asia Resolution.
    In such circumstances I don't think it is difficult to work out who the meaning of 'the enemy.'
    Aid & succour, (with all the propaganda and especially the media hype that brings these unpleasantnesses into the civvies' homes,) is probably not difficult to define either.

    I'm sure there were many reasons that the 'lady' concerned wasn't charged, but I think the case against her was pretty strong.

    Since the formation of the UN I'm pressed to think of an occasion when war has been formally declared.
    The effect of the Charter was brought to my attention in '82 when there was a conflict in the South Atlantic rather than a 'war.'
    (Yeah, political semantics make me wince at times too.)

    The United States never declared War against the North because it would have been political suicide...
    Do you mean political suicide within the US or internationally ?

    Internationally I think that Congress would have placed themselved between a rock & a hard place by making a formal declaration of war as the Charter of the UN had been signed by the US in 1945.
    I believe the United States have only ever made five of these declarations, (all prior to the ratification,) the War of 1812, the Mexican-US War, the Spanish-US War, and the two World Wars.

    Due mainly to this Charter formal declarations of war have fallen by the wayside since '45, and just because one is not made doesn't mean that the military Op is illegal, otherwise many thousands of US politicians and soldiers would be waiting for trial.
    That troops of one sovereign nation are engaged in normal Mil Ops against what it has made clear to be an opponent is normally seen as a war, unless very specific boundaries and tight ROE are obviously the case.
    As I understand you allude, political considerations may well put the mockers on an 'old fashioned' declaration of war if it could be perceived to hold the entire country responsible for the moves of it's political masters. (Hardy something anyone would wish on their worst enemy ! )


    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh
    And since the US was withdrawing at the time, I doubt there was much case against her at all...no court would ever have convicted her.
    I'm not that well up on US law so am ready to be corrected, but should this have gone to trial wouldn't the onus ave been on the prosecuting counsel merely to prove that the defendant had given "aid and comfort" to the enemy* ?
    That there my have been a drawdown in progress at the time is neither here nor there as the state of the war is not mentioned in the law.


    * 'Enemy' with reference to the Congressional authorisation.
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  8. #23
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuts View Post
    Do you mean political suicide within the US or internationally ?
    In the US. Although I'm sure you'll recall the anti-War movement was very strong in Europe and Asia as well...

    Internationally I think that Congress would have placed themselved between a rock & a hard place by making a formal declaration of war as the Charter of the UN had been signed by the US in 1945.
    I believe the United States have only ever made five of these declarations, (all prior to the ratification,) the War of 1812, the Mexican-US War, the Spanish-US War, and the two World Wars.
    Maybe. But there is significant evidence that the United States has rarely given a shit about UN Resolutions when they contravened its supposed interests...

    For instance, the US canceled elections in Vietnam and wouldn't recognize the North in 1956 (I think?) despite a UN Resolution declaring they should be held and the division was only temporary.

    Due mainly to this Charter formal declarations of war have fallen by the wayside since '45, and just because one is not made doesn't mean that the military Op is illegal, otherwise many thousands of US politicians and soldiers would be waiting for trial.
    So, US soldiers can't be tried for war crimes, but its civilians can be tried for providing aid and comfort in time of war? Sounds rather like having one's cake and eating it too to me...

    That troops of one sovereign nation are engaged in normal Mil Ops against what it has made clear to be an opponent is normally seen as a war, unless very specific boundaries and tight ROE are obviously the case.
    As I understand you allude, political considerations may well put the mockers on an 'old fashioned' declaration of war if it could be perceived to hold the entire country responsible for the moves of it's political masters. (Hardy something anyone would wish on their worst enemy ! )
    Yes, but, I think both the US and Europe has held others accountable for their war crimes in say the Baltics even when the Serbians had not only not officially declared War, but denied direct involvement in the fighting until the end...

    I'm not that well up on US law so am ready to be corrected, but should this have gone to trial wouldn't the onus ave been on the prosecuting counsel merely to prove that the defendant had given "aid and comfort" to the enemy* ?
    That there my have been a drawdown in progress at the time is neither here nor there as the state of the war is not mentioned in the law.

    * 'Enemy' with reference to the Congressional authorisation.
    The problem would have then we would have had to put the legality of the US involvement in Vietnam on trial (according to US law) and then proven that Jane had given tangible "aid and comfort." But the point is that you can't have all the benefits of an undeclared War and then try to keep your dissent in line by taking the advantages of a Congressionally declared one

    Then we would have asked ourselves if the nature of "aid and comfort" is to include freedom of speech, of which case the gov't could theoretically round up a lot of people who had never bothered to travel to Vietnam...

    The trial of 'Hanoi Jane' would have been both legally dubious at best and a political impossibility by and increasingly beleaguered Nixon regime that had failed in its challenge to prevent the "Pentagon Papers" by Daniel Ellsberg and prosecute the newspapers that published them. We could also go on and on how the US gov't was routinely breaking its own laws during that period and ignoring certain instances such as the Chicago Police Dept. "rioting" (their words, not mine) and never putting anyone on trial for that...

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    I have been notified before about posting on "old threads". Is it wrong to post on them? If so, why not just close them?

    I lived through the Vietnam era and remember a good deal of it vividly. Because of it, LBJ declined to run for a full 2nd term, and Richard Nixon got to tell us that he had a "secret plan" to end the war. He didn't. Nixon turned the phrase 'Peace with honor' into a much maligned slogan.

    With the distance of time, it seems abundantly clear that Jane Fonda was right and Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ and Nixon were about as wrong as they could be. Most of the troops (as opposed to the officers and non-coms) we sent over there were drafted (conscripts) who had no choice in the matter. They fought bravely in spite of the horrendous conditions they found themselves in. I would agree with those who say that Fonda should never have visited North Vietnam - at best it was in extremely poor taste and at worst it was very stupid, but she was hardly the only American who vigorously and loudly opposed the war. If she was guilty of 'giving aid and comfort to the enemy', then there were - literally - millions who were and are guilty of the same thing, instead of just expressing their right to express their opinions and viewpoints. This unfortunate and poorly-thought-through war was brought to an end thanks to those demonstrators.

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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    I would disagree that she was right in her actions while in North Viet Nam. Many U.S. Citizens were against that War, but unlike Hanoi Jane, they did not produce audio tapes urging U.S. troops to throw down their arms, and turn against their N.C.O.'s and Officers whom she had deemed to be criminals, or at least acting in a criminal way. nor did they upon being given messages from U.S. prisoners, hand these messages over to the Prison authorities. The photographs of her at an A.A. gun site were nothing in comparison to those other actions.
    It would be a different matter had she been told by the North Vietnamese Authorities that unless she did these things, the Prisoners would suffer even more heinous treatment, but this has never been stated as being the case. By making the tapes, and handing over the messages, she did (In my mind at least.) physically give aid, and comfort to the Enemy.
    You may hold whatever opinion you wish, but you will if you open the subject of Hanoi Jane, certainly hear mine.
    Last edited by tankgeezer; 09-06-2013 at 11:51 AM.

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    I have been notified before about posting on "old threads". Is it wrong to post on them? If so, why not just close them?
    I don't have a problem with it, personally or as a mod, if it's advancing a discussion, although some boards regard it as poor form to do it. This is, after all, a historical discussion site. It seems a bit contradictory to deny the right to revive a bit of history.

    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    I lived through the Vietnam era and remember a good deal of it vividly. Because of it, LBJ declined to run for a full 2nd term, and Richard Nixon got to tell us that he had a "secret plan" to end the war. He didn't. Nixon turned the phrase 'Peace with honor' into a much maligned slogan.
    I attended a live performance of Hair around 1970 which included actors as protesters running up the aisles with placards. The most memorable one was "Pull out Nixon, like your father should have", which deserved wider publication at the time. (I also missed the nanosecond nude scene, which was a major disappointment.)

    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    With the distance of time, it seems abundantly clear that Jane Fonda was right and Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ and Nixon were about as wrong as they could be.
    There is a huge difference between aligning oneself with and supporting the enemy, as Fonda did, and opposing the involvement or actions of one's government in Vietnam or anywhere else.

    I was at university in the last few years of the Vietnam war and, while by then like most Australians I had swung around to oppose our further involvement in it despite having been willing to serve there as a conscript a few years earlier and as a volunteer a few years before that (and thank Christ I didn't), I vigorously opposed and would still oppose the idiotic and effectively if not legally treasonable actions of student representative councils, trade unions, and sundry other bodies passing resolutions in support of and sending money to aid North Vietnam and the Viet Cong.

    Just because one's government is wrong in one's opinion at the time or in hindsight does not automatically mean that the enemy is right or deserving of support. The Viet Cong were a brutal, ruthless bunch of murdering, torturing, extortionate thugs who terrorised their own villagers and village chiefs in appalling ways to compel support for the VC and the North's cause. No VC ever stood trial, or were even charged for their countless atrocities, because it was encouraged by their leadership to advance their cause. Calley was charged (albeit only after the press and others got involved, but that in itself distinguishes America from the VC and North Vietnam), stood trial, was convicted, and was punished, and that's one of the things which distinguishes America, and Australia, from NV and the VC. And it's one of the reasons we didn't win, because we fought by different rules. Where the VC disembowelled a village chief's son in front of him and the villagers to compel compliance, America and Australia built wells and provided medical treatment and so on to encourage support. You don't have to be Einstein to work out which method was most likely to get support.

    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    This unfortunate and poorly-thought-through war was brought to an end thanks to those demonstrators.
    Partly.

    But mostly because we weren't winning and couldn't see any prospect of winning.

    And also because it wasn't fought by an all volunteer army as has been the case in Afghanistan and Iraq, which didn't generate opposition to conscription for a dangerous foreign war and bind that up with the distinct issue of whether or not one's nation should be involved in that war.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 09-06-2013 at 07:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution reads as follows -

    "Section. 3.Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted."

    It is true, however, that the effect of the passage of US legislation and issue of Government ordnances from time to time dealing with what might be described as specific areas of "treason", often drafted in somewhat vague terms, has tended to undermine the practical protection intended for citizens that appears to have been intended by the drafters of the Constitution. Recent use of the espionage legislation, not to mention the creative nonsense (in legal terms) of the establishment of an "unlawful combatant" are examples of this. Also, I would doubt whether the category of "enemies" can safely be regarded as including only those delineated as such by a declaration of war. In fact, in the Common Law tradition, the fact that the Constitution itself does not speak to that point should allow the Federal courts considerable leeway in what constitutes an "enemy" in the circumstances of a particular case.

    One very forward-looking (at the time) feature of Article III.s3 is the abolition of the obnoxious medieval relic in the British legal system known as attainder. This was essentially a procedure in which Parliament, without engaging in any judicial process, had the power to pass an Act "attainting" an individual. Attainted individuals were automatically subject to a sentence of death, their property forfeit, and their heirs and relatives subject to a number of long-term legal disabilities in the absence of a pardon (hence the provision of the Section forbidding the application of the "Corruption of Blood" concept. This barbaric practice had been used by the English Parliament as recently as 1798, but its heyday was in the medieval period when, on one occasion during the Wars of the Roses, a Lancastrian parliament attainted virtually the whole Yorkist nobility of England, only to find themselves attainted in turn by a Yorkist parliament the following year following a change in military fortunes. The "Mother of Parliaments" certainly had its peculiar features. Britain only got around to abolishing Acts of Attainder in 1870, during a major campaign of legal system of reforms undertaken there in the late 19th century. Best regards, JR.

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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    Attainted individuals were automatically subject to a sentence of death, their property forfeit, and their heirs and relatives subject to a number of long-term legal disabilities in the absence of a pardon (hence the provision of the Section forbidding the application of the "Corruption of Blood" concept.
    And, most conveniently for the Crown, the attainted subject's property was forfeited to the Crown.

    Not, of course, that this could ever have influenced any monarch's desire to see a troublesome subject attainted and his or her property forfeited to the Crown.
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  14. #29
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution reads as follows -

    "Section. 3.Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted."
    I'm not sure that this really changed anything in a practical sense by limiting attainder etc to the life of the person attainted.

    The essence of attainder etc was that it forfeited the attainted person's property to the Crown and cut off all claims by issue and potential successors in title.

    If one is attainted etc during one's lifetime, doesn't that have pretty much the same effect so far as issue and potential successors in title are concerned in succeeding to the attainted person's property which has already been forfeited to the Crown / State?

    Perhaps there was a symbolic, but probably not much in reality, advantage to the reputations of issue in not being attainted by corruption of blood from their ancestor's act of treason.
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    I see the point, RS - it is possible to argue that Congress could still have prescribed a procedure of personal attainder for the punishment of treason, even if the application of the Corruption of Blood principle was ruled out. This would, however, appear contradictory to the principle embodied in the preceding paragraph - although this itself is somewhat ambiguous, turning on the meaning of the word "convicted". (An obscure drafting compromise, perhaps ?)

    Attainder was, after all, not strictly speaking, a "conviction"; more like a declaration that "we think that you are traitor, so there !". This is shown by what happened to the unlucky (not to mention foolish) King Charles I's star minister, the Earl of Strafford. Strafford was put on trial before the House of Lords for various (in their view) treasonous crimes, but his defense of the legality of his actions in the King's service proved so good, and so vexatious to his Parliamentary prosecutors, that they dropped the prosecution, passed an Act of Attainder on Strafford, and pressured Charles to sign the perfidious document, thus throwing his most effective Minister to the wolves. Strafford's last words from the scaffold were said to have been "put not your trust in Princes". Best regards, JR.

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