Is President Obama honoring Jane Fonda?

Sep 14 2012

This email rumor has received a little lipstick and been re-circulated due to the announcement that Jane Fonda will play Nancy Reagan in a new movie.  The majority of the content has been around for over 10 years and is mostly false.  This one has been around for so long a lot of people can get tricked into not researching it.  If you remember reading the same email rumor 10 years ago does not mean that it is true.

The version that we received:


She has now been chosen to play Nancy Reagan in her life story. I am sending this one out because so many do not know this truth… and also because she was on 3 times this week talking about her new book… And how good she feels in her 70’s… she still does not know what she did wrong.. her book just may not make the best list if more people knew… also…

Barbara Walters said: Thank you all. Many died in Vietnam for our freedoms. I did not like Jane Fonda then and I don’t like her now.

She can lead her present life the way she wants and perhaps SHE can forget the past, but we DO NOT have to stand by without comment and see her “honored” as a “Woman of the Century.”

(I remember this well)

For those who served and/or died. . . NEVER FORGIVE A TRAITOR. SHE REALLY WAS A TRAITOR!!

and now President OBAMA wants to honor her……!!!!

In Memory of LT. C.Thomsen Wieland who spent 100 days at the Hanoi Hilton [Famous North Vietnam Prison]



This is for all the kids born in the 70’s and after who do not remember, and didn’t have to bear the burden that our fathers, mothers and older brothers and sisters had to bear.

Jane Fonda is being honored as one of the ‘100 Women of the Century.’


Unfortunately, many have forgotten and still countless others have never known how Ms. Fonda betrayed not only the idea of our country, but specific men who served and sacrificed during the Vietnam War.

The first part of this is from an F-4E pilot. The pilot’s name is Jerry Driscoll, a River Rat.

In 1968, the former Commandant of the USAF Survival School was a POW in Ho Lo Prison the ‘ Hanoi Hilton.’

Dragged from a stinking cesspit of a cell, cleaned, fed, and dressed in clean PJ’s, he was ordered to describe for a visiting American ‘Peace Activist’ the ‘lenient and humane treatment’ he’d received.

He spat at Ms. Fonda, was clubbed, and was dragged away. During the subsequent beating, he fell forward on to the camp Commandant ‘s feet, which sent that officer berserk.

In 1978, the Air Force Colonel still suffered from double vision (which permanently ended his flying career) from the Commandant’s frenzied application of a wooden baton.

From 1963-65, Col. Larry Carrigan was in the 47FW/DO (F-4E’s). He spent 6 years in the ‘ Hanoi Hilton’…the first three of which his family only knew he was ‘missing in action’. His wife lived on faith that he was still alive. His group, too, got the cleaned-up, fed and clothed routine in preparation for a ‘peace delegation’ visit.

They, however, had time and devised a plan to get word to the world that they were alive and still survived. Each man secreted a tiny piece of paper, with his Social Security Number on it, in the palm of his hand. When paraded before Ms. Fonda and a cameraman, she walked the line, shaking each man’s hand and asking little encouraging snippets like: ‘Aren’t you sorry you bombed babies?’ and ‘Are you grateful for the humane treatment from your benevolent captors?’ Believing this HAD to be an act, they each palmed her their sliver of paper.

She took them all without missing a beat.. At the end of the line and once the camera stopped rolling, to the shocked disbelief of the POWs, she turned to the officer in charge and handed him all the little pieces of paper…

Three men died from the subsequent beatings. Colonel Carrigan was almost number four but he survived, which is the only reason we know of her actions that day.

I was a civilian economic development advisor in Vietnam , and was captured by the North Vietnamese communists in South Vietnam in 1968, and held prisoner 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 Banme Thuot , South Vietnam , whom I buried in the jungle near the Cambodian border. At one time, I weighed only about 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 her. I said yes, for I wanted to tell her about the real treatment we POWs received… and how different it was from the treatment purported by the North Vietnamese, and parroted by her as ‘humane and lenient.’

Because of this, I spent three days on a rocky floor on my knees, with my arms outstretched with a large steel weight placed on my hands, and beaten with a bamboo cane.

I had the opportunity to meet with Jane Fonda soon after I was released. I asked her if she would be willing to debate me on TV. She never did answer me.

These first-hand experiences do not exemplify someone who should be honored as part of ‘100 Years of Great Women.’ Lest we forget….’ 100 Years of Great Women’ should never include a traitor whose hands are covered with the blood of so many patriots.

There are few things I have strong visceral reactions to, but Hanoi Jane’s participation in blatant treason, is one of them. Please take the time to forward to as many people as you possibly can.. It will eventually end up on her computer and she needs to know that we will never forget.


USAF 716 Maintenance Squadron,

Chief of Maintenance DSN: 875-6431 COMM: 883-6343


 In an effort to help our readers separate the wheat from the chaff I am including a little extra analysis of this email to help everyone become more email rumor savvy.  Clearly someone decided to push our Patriotic Buttons when they created the original version of this email rumor.  The many versions of this email prove that invoking the name of Prisoners of War (POWs) is one way to accomplish that.

The Movie

Starting at the top, the email claims that Jane Fonda is playing Nancy Reagan in her life story.  The movie in question is called The ButlerThe Butler is about a White House butler who served eight American Presidents over the course of three decades.  This movie is not Nancy Reagan’s life story.  You can find information on this movie on the Internet Movie Data Base. 

Barbara Walters Quotes

Barbara Walters said: Thank you all. Many died in Vietnam for our freedoms. I did not like Jane Fonda then and I don’t like her now.

Barbara Walters has not made any public statements disparaging Jane Fonda.  Barbara Walters has interviewed Jane Fonda several times and had her on The View.  You can see clips of some of their interviews on YouTube.

Woman of the Century

President Obama has not honored Jane Fonda in any way.  There has been no announcement or media coverage for any Women of the Century event hosted by or involving President Obama.  It is a little premature for the President to honor anyone as Woman of the Century with almost 90 years to go before the century is over.

Jane Fonda did appear on a 1999 Barbara Walters ABC special titled A Celebration: 100 Years of Great Women.  Barack Obama was not in any way involved with this broadcast. 

The special was based on a 1998 book 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century.  The author of the book was Kevin Markey.  A Ladies Home Journal panel selected the women who appear in the book. 

Not all of the women from the book were used for Barbara Walter’s special.  Meaning, if Barbara Walters truly had negative feelings toward Jane Fonda she could have easily left her out of the televised special.

More Email Inconsistencies

The beginning of the email discusses Jane Fonda’s TV appearances for her book and claims that President Obama is honoring her as a Woman of the Century. This would be the lipstick that I was talking about.  It was added to an old email rumor long after the fact. 

Then there is an “in memory” statement referring to LT. C. Thomsen Wieland.  LT Carl Wieland was a POW during the Vietnam War.  But there is no other information about him in the email. LT Carl Wieland died in 1987.  It appears that the author tried to legitimize the email by adding the name of another POW. 

Then there is a reference to Jane Fonda honored as one of the ‘100 Women of the Century’. It is not clear if the author meant the book or the Barbara Walters special.  Either way she was included in a list of 100 women of the 20th century and it is now the 21st century.

The next section of the email starts with “BARBARA WALTERS WRITESimplying that she is the author of part of the email.  Several paragraphs later you see “I” as if the author of the email was giving a first-hand account of events in at Hỏa Lò Prison (Hanoi Hilton).  Barbara Walters was not a POW. “I” is not clearly identified.  I will discuss the signature block later.

Events at the Hanoi Hilton

This is the tricky part.  It is a documented fact that Jane Fonda went to Vietnam in 1972.  It is also a fact that Colonel Jerry Driscoll and Colonel Larry Carrigan were POWs at Hanoi Hilton.  Neither man met Jane Fonda during her visit.  Jane Fonda did not receive any slips of paper from the American POWs that she did meet during her visit.  If these events did happen there would be actual news stories and interviews. If you do an internet search for Jane Fonda betrayed POWs you will find articles from several fact checking sites followed by reposts of the different versions of this email but no actual news stories.


A Google Result for 'Jane Fonda Betrayed POWs'

A Google Result for ‘Jane Fonda Betrayed POWs’

 Now we get back to “I”

I was a civilian economic development advisor in Vietnam , and was captured by the North Vietnamese communists in South Vietnam in 1968, and held prisoner 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 .

This section of the email is actually content from a letter written by Michael D. Benge and posted online in 1999.  The letter was a response to the Barbara Walters special.  The content is presented as if it was a first-hand account of the author.

Some of the actual letter was edited out and other statements were added. 

Signature Block


USAF 716 Maintenance Squadron,

Chief of Maintenance DSN: 875-6431 COMM: 883-6343

CMSgt Sampson did not send this email to us.  He was not a POW during the Vietnam War.  He did not originate this email. His name only appears on versions of the email starting in 2004.  The two most likely reasons for this are 1. The signature block was made up to add legitimacy to this email or 2. CMSgt Sampson forwarded this email without removing his contact information and someone else decided that it added legitimacy to the email. 

Please be careful what you forward.  Your name, rank and title could be attached to falsehoods.  Once you hit send, you cannot take it back.  You lose control over how someone else decides to use your information.

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “Is President Obama honoring Jane Fonda?”

  1. ltc joe albert,reton 30 Jan 2013 at 12:14 pm

    while there is nothing good to say about Jane Fonda, except that she nicely fit into a bikini,it is too bad this keeps going round & round. What she did during an ungrateful war was disgusting, and I can think of many words to describe her, but enough is enough, she is now an old dog and let her lie…

  2. Ron Peltonon 17 Feb 2013 at 11:07 am

    The Air Force Col is described as a “River Rat” in the latest version. It is hard, if not impossible, for an Air Force Pilot to have spend enough time on a River Patrol Boat to pick up the nick name. This Naval operation carried all kinds of strange passengers, but they were not “River Rats” either. Only soldier, sailors, or Marines assigned to the boats earned the moniker. Airmen rarely wondered off their air conditioned bases.

    Jane Fonda, she is merely a rat.

    Ron Pelton
    8th MP GP
    93d MP Bn
    127th MP Co

  3. Chrison 03 Mar 2013 at 12:38 pm

    For the record, the River Rats have absolutely nothing to do with river patrol boats. It was a group of F-4 Phantom pilots during Vietnam. Now they continue to have an organization called The Red River Valley Pilots Association. Col Driscoll was a River Rat.

  4. kirkon 21 May 2013 at 11:19 am

    “Jane Fonda, she is merely a rat.”

    Right, if you stood up the Soviet Union as a Soviet soldier while they were oppressing the Afghanis you were a hero. If you stood up to the US Army while we were killing the Vietnamese you were a “rat.” Is our oppression better than others?

    We had as little business in Vietnam as the Soviets had in Afghanistan. More than this, before Ho Chi Min turned to the Communists, he sent the following telegram to our President who ignored it. On Feb. 28, 1946:

    “I therefore most earnestly appeal to you personally and to the American people to interfere urgently in support of our independence and help making the negotiations more in keeping with the principles of the Atlantic and San Francisco charters,” said the telegram.

    As an ex military officer myself I am sick of people thinking because we did something it is good and if some American opposed it, they must be bad. This country was founded by people who stood up to their government.

    690th Ambulance company
    C co, 2nd Bn, 1st Inf. (Forward)

  5. Mark F.on 07 Jun 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Many died in Vietnam for our freedoms. I did not like Jane Fonda then and I don’t like her now. She can lead her present life the way she wants and perhaps SHE can forget the past, but we DO NOT have to stand by without comment and see her “honored”.

    For those that served in Vietnam — PLEASE Sign This Petition.

  6. EnosEugeniuson 23 Jul 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Kirk, I understand that there are various and sundry opinions about Vietnam and the U.S. involvement in 1961-1975. Here’s my two cents, based not on “popular opinion” either now or in the 1960s, nor on my feelings about the matter. No opinion, just some observations.

    My father served three tours on a river patrol boat and as an advisor to South Vietnamese military. He and other Vietnam veterans who actually worked with the South Vietnamese people are universally of the belief that the average Vietnamese citizen wanted us to help them and was grateful for our military assistance.

    One of my college professors was a Vietnamese national who fled Vietnam in 1975. In his Bio, he described his fears as an educator in a totalitarian regime and indicated that his best chance of saving himself and his family was to flee his country, his job, and his friends and come to the U.S., once it became clear that America was unable or unwilling to continue to fight to protect “his” country.

    The Communists rounded up and murdered millions of actual and perceived political dissidents during and after the war. Millions. Shot, beaten, buried alive, gradually crushed under rocks and boulders in mass graves, beheaded, etc. Many because they objected to having their land taken away and given to the peasants; many because they spoke in opposition to the government or Communism; many because they were the families of those people, through the government’s “policy of isolation” in which the entire family (including the children) of an executed landlord or dissident was literally locked in their house until they starved to death; and after the war, millions of dissenters were rounded up and sent to work camps, re-education camps, etc. — where many hundreds of thousands were worked to death, or simply executed.

    I certainly would understand if you question your beliefs that America was an “aggressor” in the Vietnam war. Being fully apprised of historic facts may have that effect.

  7. fayeon 30 Jul 2013 at 8:43 am

    i think she is a disgrace to america she should be treated with the same disrespect as our soldiers were during the war. ! would hate to tell my grandchildren that they should look at her as a role model.

  8. Bob Mitchemon 31 Jul 2013 at 9:01 am

    So,even IF she did nothing that was posted on the internet,even IF she is not being honored by the President, even IF she was not handed the slips of paper with the social security numbers by the POW’s,even IF she did not turn the social security numbers over to the north vietnam guards,even IF all that has been said about Ms.Fonda’s visit to north vietnam is not true,she STILL went there,she STILL supported the enemy in a time of war,in my book that STILL makes her a TRAITOR not a misunderstood innocent little actress doing a publicity stunt.It was WRONG for her to go to north vietnam and make a show of support while men and women were fighting and dieing. AMERICA was at war,this was an enemy country.She is a TRAITOR.

  9. J Hallon 14 Aug 2013 at 6:25 am

    Right! & Jane Fonda never has been in N. Vietnam & never has protested American policy etc. etc.

  10. Trishon 25 Aug 2013 at 6:42 pm
    lots of this is not true she was not so bad

  11. Cheryl Eubankson 21 Nov 2013 at 9:01 am

    I feel the same as Barbara Walters when it comes to Jane Fonda. I did NOT like her then and I dislike her even more today. The only award she should receive is most disliked woman ever. I still don’t understand why she was not charged with treason. She could apologize for her actions in North Vietnam and I would never, ever, forgive her. Lives were lost due to her actions there!!!!

  12. J.r. Ashworthon 01 Feb 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I was a boom Opr. On a kc135 air refueling tanker in 1972 when Janie baby was in N.Vietnam setting on a AAA gun.I was flying missions out of Takhli,Thailand ,I remember our pilots where hunting for her trying to kill her,she was traiter to our country and our brothers rotting in the Hanio,Hilton.It took me a long time to forgive her,but Jesus said to forgive our enemies.

  13. vduhron 09 Apr 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Cheryl. Barbara Walters never said that about Jane Fonda, nor has Obama honored her or plans to honor her. I think many are missing the point here. It is to debunk much of the false information in the e-mail. Whether you like or dislike Jane Finda’s action is another story. If people need to use lies (and people who ignore those lies in the face of the truth) in an attempt to make a point, their opinions lose complete credibility.

  14. W. Robinsonon 28 May 2014 at 12:48 am

    Yes, vduhr, I agree with you. The article made clear that Barbara Walters did not oppose Jane Fonda, as this quote makes very clear:

    “Jane Fonda did appear on a 1999 Barbara Walters ABC special titled A Celebration: 100 Years of Great Women. Barack Obama was not in any way involved with this broadcast.

    The special was based on a 1998 book 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century. The author of the book was Kevin Markey. A Ladies Home Journal panel selected the women who appear in the book.

    Not all of the women from the book were used for Barbara Walter’s special. Meaning, if Barbara Walters truly had negative feelings toward Jane Fonda she could have easily left her out of the televised special.”

    My own belief is that even though much of these reports were false, the very fact that Jane Fonda traveled to an enemy country and posed for photo opps with their military, as well as the many things she openly stated indicate that she was and is a traitor to the US.

  15. sandy wilsonon 08 Jul 2014 at 12:27 pm

    “Jane Fonda, 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.”

    ABC and Babs Walters will undoubtedly include “Hanoi” Jane in their televised celebration because their black souls are too hardened and too imbued with an anti-American sentiment to do anything else. And ultimately, they will all answer for what they have done in their lives. SHE’S A DISGUSTING HUMAN BEING!

  16. Rocky Susshineon 16 Jul 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Hanoi Jane. to play Nancy Reagan? No way. Jane Fonda should be hung for being a trader

  17. D. Lyonon 05 Apr 2015 at 9:06 am

    ‘The rest of the story’: Jane Fonda, John Kerry and many others never knew (or chose not to see) the “GOOD” the American military was doing in South Vietnam. This is a VERY little reported side of the war that the “blame America first” believers will never tell you. For two years I was an Army Officer in charge of a Civil Affairs Detachment in the northern part of South Vietnam. (part of the 29th Civil Affairs Company). There were many such units throughout South Vietnam. We worked and lived directly with the citizens of South Vietnam. Together and actively supported by help from active combat units, we built roads, health clinics, hospitals, shelters, refugee camps, introduced Kabota tractors, improved agricultural yields, taught classes, rebuilt sports facilities, rebuilt sanitary facilities, improved forestry procedures, and much, much more. The Civil Affairs units were composed of America’s finest. I had soldiers with training and degrees in Agriculture, Public Health, Economics, Engineering, Architecture and much more.
    John Kerry and Jane Fonda will shout “Baby Killers” so you will believe they are the compassionate ones. They never worked side by side with South Vietnamese villagers to build a rural health clinic. I bet they know nothing of those who sacrificed all to help these people. However America should know about the thousands of lives saved and wonderful deeds done by our uniformed soldiers who were personally dedicated to helping others. Americans should Google “Civil Affairs in Vietnam” if they want to really know about this country. Neither Jane Fonda nor John Kerry deserve any honors; they do not love America.

  18. peedee wyreon 24 Jun 2015 at 9:57 am

    I was an Avionics tech for 2 Assault Helicopter Companies in the Mekong Delta, from mid-February 1968 (Tet) to mid-February 1969. It hurt to see Hanoi Jane sitting in an AAA-gun seat, laughing smiling or grimacing… she gave ‘aid and comfort to the enemy’ and thereby earned our disdain. BUT, to endlessly circulate/ Forward these made-up, edited, phony emails to unsuspecting credulous easily-fooled recipients who mindlessly re-send crap like this only detract from their own credibility while doing nothing meaningful re: Hanoi Jane’s low standing, but most of all, dragging President Obama into this dung-pile of misinformation reveals their prejudiv e, insecurity AND unwillingness/ inability to fact-check the crap spewed-about on the Internet… because Hey!!! If it was on That Interweb, it must be true, right?’ attitude. Bottom line: I don’t like Ms Fonda, but The Truth should be the reason why, NOT this cobbled-together, EASILY DISPROVEN screed. Just FACTS, please, just FACTS… not crap like this.

  19. Matton 24 Jun 2015 at 10:10 am

    Very well said, sir. You just expressed how I feel about so many of these messages that just keep coming around again and again. They don’t contribute to any positive step forwards in debate because they are so steeped in falsehoods that their message is lost. It angers people and pits them against others.

  20. Laurieon 04 Jul 2015 at 11:48 am

    I found this by googling because I just received another version of this to my email. I cannot believe that we continue to dwell on this. This was my response to the gentleman who sent me the “chain email”.

    Not that I agree with the things that Jane Fonda did back then, but this is just another attempt to slam her. She has already apologized for her actions, not that it makes it alright. But she is not going to be honored, and by Obama, and that is old news.

    There is a bunch of “snope/truth” sites explaining the past email scams. The first link is from the Military Officers Association of America from 2012. There are so many more sites, but I think you get the gist. Please fact check your emails especially when they are so blatantly negative. Believe me, I understand former servicemen feeling negatively toward Ms. Fonda, but I don’t believe in stretching the truth to keep negative feelings flowing.

    As a retired Armed Forces Officer, all I want to do today, and every day is honor those who have sacrificed for our country, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

    God Bless and Happy Independence Day!