Appearing as a guest on FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, FOX News Channel host Oliver North claimed that atrocities “did not happen” in the Vietnam War. But another anti-Kerry Vietnam veteran, Jere Hill, admitted just moments later that they did occur. Hill turned his back on Senator John Kerry (D-MA) in protest during the senator's August 18 speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 105th Annual Convention in Cincinnati.
From the August 25 edition of Hannity & Colmes:
DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST BOB BECKEL: Yes or no, Ollie. You were in Vietnam. Did or did not these atrocities happen in Vietnam? To your knowledge, did they or did they not?
NORTH: They sure -- to my personal knowledge, they sure as hell did not in my rifle company, and I was over there two times.
BECKEL: Wait a minute. Ollie, Ollie --
NORTH: They did not happen.
BECKEL: Ollie, you had never heard nor seen of anything about rape, about murder of villagers? First of all, Lieutenant Calley was convicted of that. You never, ever heard of any of these things? Now I'm asking you yes or no. You never heard of this?
NORTH: Sure, I heard about the Calley case. I went back over there and testified in a court --
COLMES: There was a Tiger Force.
BECKEL: And you never heard about rape or burning villages?
NORTH: No. Look, when I was there as a rifle platoon and company commander in Vietnam, not one single Marine that I led or a single soldier that came and bailed me out of a couple of fire fights participated in those kinds of activities. Not one.
CO-HOST SEAN HANNITY: Did you know anybody in Vietnam -- we were talking about this with Ollie [North] -- that committed any atrocities?
HILL: Well, you put me on the spot with that one.
HANNITY: Does that mean yes?
HANNITY: You do know. Were you a witness to it?
HILL: Not during the performance of it. Afterwards.
HANNITY: You had heard about it?
As Media Matters for America has noted, in addition to Hill's admission, there are detailed reports of atrocities committed by American forces in Vietnam. Besides well-documented accounts of the infamous My Lai massacre, three Toledo Blade reporters recently won the Pulitzer Prize for journalism for a series of articles titled “Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths,” which uncovered atrocities committed by Tiger Force, an elite U.S. Army fighting unit in Vietnam. And in an August 3 appearance on Hannity & Colmes, retired General Tommy Franks referred to Kerry's 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which Kerry related other Vietnam veterans' personal stories about atrocities committed in Vietnam, saying, “I'm not sure that -- that activities like that didn't take place. In fact, quite the contrary. I'm sure that they did.”