Senator John Kerry
FBI Files, Military Service Records, & CIA Files
2934 pages of Senator John Kerry's FBI Files, military service records & CIA Files, archived on CD-ROM.
John Kerry was born on December 11, 1943 in Denver, Colorado. After graduating from Yale University, Kerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy. In time, he was serving on a gunboat in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. He received a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. After his discharge from the Navy, Kerry began to publicly question the policies behind American military involvement in Vietnam. This lead him to become a spokesman for the anti-Vietnam War group, Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Later, after leaving the VVAW, Kerry founded the organization Vietnam Veterans of America. Kerry later became a prosecutor in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. In 1982, John Kerry ran for, and was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. John Kerry ran for Sentate in 1984. Kerry was elected, then re-elected in 1990, 1996, and 2002. Early in 2004, John Kerry emerged as the Democrtic Party's leading candidate to run against encumbent president George Bush in the November 2004 presidential election.
2,701 pages of FBI files dating from 1967 to the end of 1971, taken from 20,000 pages of files maintained by the FBI on the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and its members. This material was originally released in 1999 to author and historian Gerald Nicosia, after seeking their release under the Freedom of Information Act in 1988. This set released in June 2004 contains pages of documents not released to Nicosia in 1999.
The files give broad coverage of the activities of VVAW members such as Scott Camil, Al Hubbard, Joseph Urgo, Michael Oliver, Edward Damato, Larry Rottman, George Roberts, Craig Scott Moore and the person who has become its most well known member, John Kerry.
John Kerry first became familiar with the VVAW through his sister Peggy, in 1969. After deciding not to run for Congress in 1970, Kerry went to Paris, site of Vietnam War peace negotiations, and met with Viet Cong representatives. After his return, he began participating in VVAW events. John Kerry became one the Vietnam Veteran's Against the War's most publicly recognizable figures. Especially after his appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 1971. As a veteran who was decorated with a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts, Kerry garnered attention and consideration that other anti-Vietnam War protestors could not achieve. Kerry went on to become one of the members of VVAW's national steering committee.
The coverage of Kerry is mostly intermittently spread across memos dating from 1971. Much of the clandestine surveillance is composed of reporting made by confidential informants. The files chronicle: John Kerry's rise in status as a member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, A growing ideological conflict with the more militant direction the VVAW was heading in, Travel to Paris for talks with North Vietnamese peace talk delegation, Kerry's pitched battle with VVAW leader Al Hubbard, and Kerry's dissolution as a leader of the VVAW
148 pages of Senator John F. Kerry's military records. Includes: background Information, paper work dealing with his Bronze Star, Silver Star, and Purple Hearts, evaluations made by superiors, orders and duty assignments, and his discharge from the Navy. During his service in Vietnam, directing a swift boat in the Mekong Delta, Kerry was awarded the Bronze Star, the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts for wounds to his arms, legs and buttocks. He was awarded the Silver Star "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action," during an operation on the Ca Mau Peninsula.
In addition to the personnel records above, are 62 pages of Coastal Division 11 After-Action Combat reports for February and March 1969. Task Force 115, which included Coastal Division 11 and Kerry's Swift boats, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation signed by then-President Nixon, for their work from December of 1968 to March of 1969.
23 pages of CIA files. Composed of correspondences from the CIA to John Kerry concerning his work as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA affairs