Shame on Jane
By Michael Benge

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 rebar placed on my hands, and beaten with a bamboo cane every time my arms dipped.  Jane Fonda had the audacity to say that the POWs were lying about our torture and treatment.  

Now ABC is allowing Barbara Walters to honor Jane Fonda in her Feature "100 Years of Great Women."  Shame, shame on Jane Fonda! Shame, shame on Barbara Walters!  Shame, shame on 20-20.  Shame, shame on ABC.   And, shame, shame on the Disney Company.

I had the opportunity to meet with Jane Fonda for a couple of hours after I was released [in 1973].  I asked her if she would be willing to debate me on TV.  She did not answer me, her 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 antiwar 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 antiwar 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!

Respectfully,
Michael D. Benge

cc: Mr. Eisner, Walt Disney Co.

Mike Benge was a civilian POW from 28 Jan 68 - 5 Mar 73

 

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