Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hanoi Jane, Again

By Henry Mark Holzer


Hanoi Jane Fonda’s star is ascendant once again, thanks to the anti-American Hollywood community that supported the Communist takeover of South Vietnam and cheered when North Vietnam forces entered Saigon.

She is to be a commencement speaker at the 2014 graduation ceremony of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television.

On June 5, Fonda will receive the “Life Achievement Award” from the American Film Institute.

Jane Fonda's visit to Hanoi in July 1972 and her pro-North Vietnamese, anti-American conduct—especially her pose with an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down American planes, and her propaganda broadcasts directed toward American troops— rightly angered many Americans. In their eyes, she was guilty of treason, but never charged by the American legal system. Instead, she has made millions, been the recipient of countless awards, and remained an honored American icon.

“Aid and Comfort”: Jane Fonda in North Vietnam investigates Fonda's activities in that Communist country and argues that she could have been indicted for treason, that there would have been enough evidence to take the case to a jury, that she could have been convicted, and that a conviction probably would have been upheld on appeal.

The book also considers Fonda's early life and the effect it had on her behavior and beliefs in her later years, her audience of American POWs who were forced by the Vietnamese to listen to her broadcasts condemning them as war criminals, her arrival in Vietnam and how it was viewed by American servicemen and civilians, the crime of treason throughout history, and the only Congressional inquiry into her actions, which resulted in the government's decision to take no legal action against the woman who became known as Hanoi Jane. Texts of Fonda's radio broadcasts to American servicemen comprise the lengthy appendix.