After returning to the United States, Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). Then numbering about 20,000, VVAW was considered by some (including the administration of President Richard Nixon) to be an effective, if controversial, component of the antiwar movement. According to Nixon Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, "I didn’t approve of what he did, but I understood the protesters quite well", and he declined two requests from the Navy to court martial Reserve Lieutenant Kerry over his antiwar activity.
On April 22, 1971, Kerry became the first Vietnam veteran to testify before Congress about the war, when he appeared before a Senate committee hearing on proposals relating to ending the war.
He was still a member of the United States Navy Reserve, holding the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. Wearing green fatigues and service ribbons, he spoke for nearly two hours with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in what has been named the Fulbright Hearings, after the Chairman of the proceedings, Senator J. W. Fulbright. Kerry began with a prepared speech, in which he presented the conclusions of the Winter Soldier Investigation, and then went on to address larger policy issues.
The day after this testimony, Kerry participated in a demonstration with thousands of other veterans in which he and other veterans threw their medals and ribbons over a fence erected at the front steps of the United States Capitol building to dramatize their opposition to the war. Jack Smith, a Marine, read a statement explaining why the veterans were returning their military awards to the government. For more than two hours, almost 1000 angry veterans tossed their medals, ribbons, hats, jackets, and military papers over the fence. Each veteran gave his or her name, hometown, branch of service and a statement. Kerry threw some of his decorations as well as some given to him by other veterans to throw. As Kerry threw his decorations over the fence, his statement was: "I'm not doing this for any violent reasons, but for peace and justice, and to try and make this country wake up once and for all. " The documentary film Sir! No Sir! includes archival footage of Kerry at the demonstration: he is one of several young men seen throwing things over the fence.
Blogger Think Locally Act Globally saw Kerry speak at the protest along with approximately 35,000 others who rallied in the chilly rain in NYC back in 1972:
"The march turned east at 42nd Street and ended in Bryant Park, where a stage for speakers was set up near the southwest corner. Speakers included John Kerry, representing the Vietnam Veterans Against The War (VVAW). It was the day he and Lennon were photographed together. None of us were expecting John and Yoko – they were a surprise. I was a huge Beatles fan and was thrilled beyond words. They spoke briefly and led the crowd singing “Give Peace A Chance.”
What a difference a few decades can make.
Now Kerry appears to be pushing military intervention in Syria based on the premise that Syria bombed Syria so the U.S. must also bomb Syria. Evidence that Assad’s regime actually even carried out the chemical weapons attack has never really been provided by the U.S. government, although Kerry has called it “undeniable”. Putin has called America out for not having any evidence at all. Photos which surfaced showing Kerry and his wife casually dining with Assad in years past have clouded the issue. Over 90% of Americans are against intervention in Syria at this point. Even three-time presidential adviser Pat Buchanan is openly calling this a false flag.
As a reminder:
Photos 1: On April 22, 1971, Kerry became the first Vietnam veteran to testify before Congress about the war, when he appeared before a Senate committee hearing on proposals relating to ending the war.
Photos 2: Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at a closed Senate hearing on Syria on Wednesday at the Capitol. Kerry has said 'it's not the administration's intention to draw the country into another disastrous war'.