Little SaiGon, June 30 2002
On June 30, 2002, the Alliance Vietnamese Conference was held at the Anaheim Conventer Center. With more than 6,000 attendees, all filled the convention center hoping to share their beliefs and hopes of a free and democratic Vietnam.
The opening ceremony started with United States anthem and a moment of silence for all who sacrificed their lives in the fight for freedom and liberty.
International Lawyers prepared to submit to the International Criminal Court cases of human rights infringement acted upon the communist regime in Vietnam. Andreas Mueller, an international lawyer, confirmed the rights and needs to submit a legal document to the ICC persisting to the heinous acts of the Vietnam government.
Mr. Nguyen Huu Chanh presented his reasons for his refusal of the position as the Prime Minister of the Government of Fre Vietnam, as his time will be reserved to approach and promote human rights in Vietnam. Dignitaries from different delegations, religion leaders, and international supporters from Thailand, Germany, and Italy approached the podium to request Mr. Nguyen to accept the final decision.
Emotion was building up as Mr. Nguyen again asked for understanding from the Executives Council of the Conference to allow him to fullfil his devotion in his fight for democracy. But after the strong request, Mr. Nguyen announced his acceptance
The Executives Council, according to the wishes and the unanimous votes of the convention, officially announced their dicisions:
Unanimously elected Mr. Nguyen Huu Chanh as the Prime Minister of the Government of Free Vietnam.
Stated the Vietnamese Alliance Conference to be the Vietnamese National Convention.
Executives Council, by the order of the Vietnamese National Convention, to form a Representatives Council as the highest leadership body of the Government of Free Vietnam.
Vietnamese National Convention adjourned around 8PM, ending a 3 days convention of intent for a democratic Vietnam.
VIETNAMESE NATIONAL CONVENTION
On June 30, 2002, the Alliance Vietnamese People Conference was held at the Anaheim Convention Center. With more than 6,000 attendees, all filled the convention center hoping to share their beliefs and hopes of a free and democratic Vietnam. READ MORE >>
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Prior to April 1975, I, myself a CIA and also was a member of US Special Forces, was fighting side by side with the soldiers of The Republic of South Vietnam.
After South Vietnam had fallen into the hands of the Vietnamese Communist, I had a chance to meet many of my friends, who served under The Republic of South Vietnam, here in United State of America.
After 20 years, I continually monitored the activities of the Vietnamese community abroad, until I finally met Mr. Nguyen Huu Chanh and Government of Free Vietnam, I was determined to join The International Committee for GFVN. As Chairman of this international organization, I would like to state the following:
Mr. Nguyen Huu Chanh and Government of Free Vietnam are motivated individuals determined to fight against the VC’s to the end.
Mark Smith, a Major US Army (retired), currently working for Veteran’s Affairs Committee. He actively involved in MIA program, which searching for POWs after Vietnam War ended.
Mark Smith was not a CIA. In recent time, Mark Smith was badly influenced by those who jealous of Mr. Nguyen Huu Chanh’s success and he baselessly made allegations against Mr. Nguyen Huu Chanh.
I do hope that the Vietnamese Community Abroad quickly identifies the malicious motive of the VC. Vietnam is sending out secret agents to disrupt the motivation of the Vietnamese Community Abroad.
These words carry with them honesty and responsibility.
Florida, July 1st, 2001
International Committee for GFVN
GOVERNMENT OF FREE VIETNAM
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR GFVN
From the desk of The Chairman
I, Edgar Foshee, Chairman of International Committee for Government of Free Vietnam, have a privilege to forward this letter to The Vietnamese Community abroad regarding to Mark Smith’s allegation, which adversely affected Mr Nguyen Huu Chanh and Government of Free Vietnam reputation.
Chairman EDGAR FOSHEE
I, Edgar Foshee, Chairman of International Committee for Government of Free Vietnam, have a privilege to forward this letter to The Vietnamese Community abroad regarding to Mark Smith’s allegation, which adversely affected Mr Nguyen Huu Chanh and Government of Free Vietnam reputation. ... READ MORE >>
Aloysius Duy Hung Hoang, Esq.
17135 Grey Mist Dr.
Friendswood TX 77546
Cellular phone 281-788-8486.
Attn, Mr. Gary Van Eerde & Anthony L.Yanketis
505 S. Flager St. #500
West Palm Beach FL 33401
RE: Case number 99- 55320 LRJ
Southern District of Florida USA, Criminal Complaint Vs. Gary J. Pierce
Dear FBI, especially to Mr. Gary Van Eerde and Mr. Anthony J. Yanketis:
My name is Aloysius Duy Hung Hoang, an attorney in Houston Texas. I write to inform you some serious problems concerning the above case and Mr. Chanh Huu Nguyen, aka Tony Nguyen, who is the main character in the above case and style; however, he has escaped away from your hands just because of his lie when he made the affidavit that he had no knowledge of the bond.
Mr. Chanh Huu Nguyen, who conspired with Mr Gary. J. Pierce to misrepresent the value of the bonds and the certificates to the Vietnamese communities all over the world deceiving the innocent Vietnamese people to buy these bonds and certificates. Mr. Chanh Huu Nguyen represented to the Vietnamese communities that Mr. Arthur Suchesk is an FBI agent, and Mr. Gary J. Pierce is a CIA agent and both FBI and CIA are behind the curtain to support the Government of Free Vietnam whose head is Chanh Huu Nguyen, and because of this matter. Two years ago, in the above case and style, when Chanh Huu
Nguyen was questioned by FBI and he denied under oath that he had nothing to do with the bonds and certificates, many Vietnamese people did not testify because they were afraid of Mr. Chanh Huu Nguyen revenge. Now, they are willing to testify in these matters, and I have a couple of the bonds and certificates with me.
Not only Mr. Chanh Huu Nguyen deceived the Vietnamese people about the worthless bonds, he also deceived the Vietnamese people of many other matters to collect money. Anybody who raises his or her voice opposing Chanh Huu Nguyen’s treacherous scheme, he sends gangster to threaten the lives of the opponents.
I also have the witnesses in Thailand that Chanh Huu Nguyen is printing counterfeit US dollars and other countries’ counterfeit money in Bangkok. To me, whatsoever Mr. Chanh Huu Nguyen is doing is and embarrassment to the Vietnamese people, and I have to stop it in the best of my capacity.
Right now, Mr. Chanh Huu Nguyen’s headquarter is:
Government of Free Vietnam
12755 Brookhurts St. Suite 104
Garden Grove CA 92840
I will gladly help you a hand in this matter, Right now I am in the Southern California, so, please give me a call at my cellular phone number 281-788-8486
Aloysius Duy- Hung Hoang, Esq.
Press Release on Communist trial of 37 anti-communist activists in Vietnam
California, May 29, 2001. – On May 29, 2001 a Communist court of Vietnam issued sentences to jail 37 people after accusing them of “planning terrorist attacks against the state as part of an international network” and “smuggling of thousands of anti-communist leaflets and South Vietnamese flags into Vietnam” for propaganda purposes.
According to media news based on Communist court, “Judge Nguyen Duc Sau imposed jail sentences ranging from 30 months to 20 years, saying the accused belonged to a network that included agents in the U.S., Thailand and Cambodia”.
To clarify this matter, we, the liason office of the Government of Free Vietnam (GFVN) hereby declare that:
We are hereby calling all Vietnamese people in Vietnam and overseas to continue struggling against Communist regime to restore human rights and democracy for Vietnam.
We also ask governments of free world, media and human-rights organizations to further investigate this matter and demand the Communist regime to give all political prisoners fair treatment during their detainment.
For more information about GFVN’s activities and comments please contact:
GFVN Liason Office
9701 Garden Grove Blvd,
Garden Grove, CA 92844
Phone (714) 656-4747
Government of Free Vietnam (GFVN) is an international-networked organization of freedom fighters struggling to restore human rights and democracy for Vietnam -- not a terrorist organization as Communist court has charged.
Our policy is to overthrow Communist regime by all peaceful possible means but certainly not aiming to create any casualties to Vietnamese people, including communist members.
We have recognized 7 of 37 persons were put on trial are GFVN’s members. In order to prevent any further interrogation and harassment to prisoners we are not identifying the names as well as past activities of detained members.
We strongly deny the charges accusing us of smuggling explosives and arms from and/or through Campuchia to Vietnam. We do accept responsibility in distributing propaganda materials such as thousands of anti-Communist leaflets, video, cassettes and South Vietnamese flags into Vietnam.
We have never solicited public donations to finance our activities. Our own members have voluntarily sponsored our activities in and outside Vietnam.
Due to recent acts of Communist regime in seriously oppressing religious leaders and peaceful human-rights activists in Vietnam, GFVN’s network and its collaborative organizations in Vietnam will continue to carry out its campaign for a total uprising against the Communist regime. To prevent acidents might cause from regime over-reaction we want to advise all tentative travelers to Vietnam in the next coming months to delay tentative traveling plan as long as possible.
Vietnam Sentences 3 Convicted Terrorists
By MARGIE MASON
The Associated Press
Friday, November 10, 2006; 1:57 PM
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam -- Vietnam defused a political storm Friday by issuing light sentences to three Vietnamese-Americans convicted of terrorism, preventing the closely watched case from clouding President Bush's visit next week.
The defendants had been held since September 2005 without charges after being accused of plotting to take over radio airwaves in their native country to call for an uprising to overthrow the communist government.
They, along with four Vietnamese nationals accused of the same crime, were sentenced by a judge to 15 months in prison, with credit for time served. All will be released in one month, and the Americans will have 10 days to leave the country.
The case had attracted Washington's attention just before Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice planned to make their first visit to Hanoi, for the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. It's Vietnam's biggest-ever event.
The seven faced punishments ranging from 12 years in prison to death by firing squad. Prosecutors instead sought lesser terms, saying the defendants had repented and had no previous criminal records.
"I am certainly pleased that they will be sent home," said U.S. Ambassador Michael Marine. "These individuals have been held for quite some time. That is allowed under Vietnamese law, but 14 months without being brought to trial is a long time for anyone. So, we're glad to see that portion over with."
Marine spoke just a few blocks away from the French colonial-style courthouse in southern Ho Chi Minh City where the sentences were read. He was attending a ceremony in which Intel Corp. announced plans to increase its investment in a planned chip assembly and testing plant to $1 billion from an initial $300 million, positive news that followed Vietnam's invitation to join the World Trade Organization on Tuesday.
But much of that glow had already been overshadowed by headlines detailing the uncertain fate of Thuong Nguyen Foshee, 58, of Orlando, Fla.; Le Van Binh, 31, of Tampa, Fla.; and Huynh Bich Lien, 51, of San Gabriel, Calif.
"We are in contact with the government of Vietnam to arrange their return as soon as possible," U.S. State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper said Friday.
Washington had pressured Vietnam to hold a speedy and fair trial, and the issue would likely have spilled over into APEC without Friday's conclusion. The case had also attracted attention from Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who raised the issue with the Bush administration and reportedly vowed to block a key vote in Congress that would normalize trade relations between the former foes.
It is highly unusual for Vietnam to give a lenient sentence for national security crimes, especially in such a high-profile case. But Presiding Judge Vu Phi Long told reporters after the one-day trial that outside pressure did not influence the decision.
"I know that Vietnam is about to host the APEC summit, and I know that the U.S. Congress is about to debate giving (normalized trade relations) to Vietnam," he said. "But when we judge, we follow Vietnamese law and we judge independently."
The trade vote is of great importance to Vietnam. Without it, U.S. companies will not be able to enjoy all the benefits of Vietnam's new WTO agreement. Bush had been hoping to get the bill approved before he came to Hanoi for the APEC summit. Resolution of the terrorism case might increase his chances, although Congress will be in session only briefly before he departs next week.
Carlyle Thayer, an expert on Vietnamese politics at the Australian Defense Force Academy, said he suspects the country decided to proceed with the trial to send two messages. One is an internal warning that Vietnam must remain vigilant against potential dangers.
"The second one is, 'Come on United States, we've given so much away to get into the WTO because of your pressures, we're bending over backward to accommodate you on the war on terror _ be consistent with us,'" Thayer told The Associated Press by telephone.
Hanoi wants the United States to take action against Vietnamese living in America who are viewed as terrorists by their homeland, Thayer said.
An indictment said the plan to take over radio airwaves was hatched by the Government of Free Vietnam, a California-based organization that the Vietnamese government considers a terrorist group.
It is one of many anti-communist groups founded by Vietnamese refugees in the United States. Many of its leaders are soldiers of the former South Vietnamese Army who fled Vietnam after the war ended in 1975.
The Government of Free Vietnam group is run by Chanh Huu "Tony" Nguyen, who is wanted in Vietnam for failed plots to bomb the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand and buildings in Vietnam.
Nguyen, a permanent U.S. resident, was arrested at Vietnam's request in April while traveling in South Korea. He was held for three months before being released to the U.S.
In addition to the Americans, Vietnamese nationals Tran Dat Phuong, 65; brothers Ho Van Giau, 59, and Ho Van Hien, 38; and Cao Tri, 35, were convicted and issued the same sentence. Cao Tri is also a U.S. resident.
Under questioning from the judge, some of the defendants acknowledged carrying radio equipment to Cambodia on behalf of the Government of Free Vietnam, while others described themselves as employees at an adoption agency.
By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 11, 2006
After a one-day trial, a Vietnamese court yesterday sentenced three U.S. citizens accused of terrorism to relatively short prison terms, which, including time served awaiting trial, ensures they will be released and deported by the end of the year.
The case had complicated the White House's efforts to pass a major trade deal with Vietnam before President Bush arrives in Hanoi next Friday for an Asian economic summit. The president has named the legislation -- which would give the two countries their closest trade ties since the end of the Vietnam War -- as one of his priorities for the lame-duck Congress that convenes on Monday.
Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) had blocked the trade bill from coming to the floor of the Senate until one of the U.S. citizens, a Republican activist from Orlando, was released. In a statement yesterday, Martinez indicated that he was still not satisfied with the resolution of the case against Thuong Nguyen "Cuc" Foshee and would continue blocking the trade bill.
"I will continue to do everything in my power to expedite Mrs. Foshee's release and safe return to U.S. soil. As that has not yet occurred, I continue to use every tool at my disposal," Martinez said, referring to the "hold" he placed on the bill. "I feel the Administration is working diligently and at the highest levels of the State Department to resolve this issue and remain hopeful the Vietnamese government will do the right thing."
Vietnam, the fastest-growing market for U.S. products in Asia, recently was accepted as the 150th member of the World Trade Organization. A bill granting Vietnam permanent normal trade relations is necessary for U.S. companies to benefit from the low tariffs that Vietnam will introduce as a WTO member.
Seven defendants, including four Vietnamese nationals, were accused of plotting to broadcast anti-communist radio messages under the direction of an anti-government group based in California. Vietnam considers the group -- called the Government of Free Vietnam -- to be a terrorist organization. One member of the group, Vietnamese-born U.S. resident Nguyen Huu Chanh, has been suspected of planning bomb attacks of Vietnamese embassies. Chanh has been detained in South Korea but a Seoul court has refused to extradite him to Vietnam.
Foshee, 58, and the other defendants were arrested in September 2005, but they were charged only after Martinez's efforts to block the bill received wide attention.
The State Department had watched the case closely and had urged Vietnam to charge the defendants and then grant them a speedy and fair trial.
"We are pleased to report Ms. Thuong Nguyen 'Cuc' Foshee and two other American citizens will be returning home to the United States soon," said Kurtis Cooper, a State Department spokesman. "We are in contact with the government of Vietnam to arrange their return as soon as possible."
Foshee's daughter, Elizabeth McCausland, said that because of a misunderstanding, she was first told yesterday that the court had ordered her mother deported immediately and found it "heartbreaking" to discover Foshee would need to stay in Vietnam another month. "I'm glad that there is a resolution and that she has some idea of when she will be home," McCausland said. "But I was hoping she would be home sooner."
The defendants admitted they broke Vietnamese law but denied any link to terrorism. Foshee told the court: "I very much regret my participation in Nguyen Huu Chanh's organization. I had lived outside of my country for nearly 40 years, so I didn't understand my country and the laws in Vietnam."
McCausland, a lawyer, said that Vietnam defines "terrorism" broadly to include anyone who opposes the government. "It's hard to read that your mom is convicted of terrorism," she said.
Foshee was born in Vietnam and came to the United States after marrying a U.S. Army Special Forces master sergeant. She was active in protests in the United States against the communist government of Vietnam.
Vu Phi Long, president of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court, sentenced the defendants to 15 months with credit for time served, relatively light sentences for charges that can sometimes result in the death penalty. Long also ordered the U.S. citizens to be deported within 10 days of completing their sentences. Prosecutors had sought sentences of 18 to 24 months.
Long told reporters that he was aware the trial was taking place shortly before the summit and just as Congress was poised to debate the trade bill. "We carefully considered the case before announcing the verdict to make it suitable for the present situation," he said.
3 Are Sentenced in Vietnam
Thuong Nguyen "Cuc" Foshee of Orlando smiles after a Vietnamese court sentenced her to 15 months, meaning she should be sent home next month.
(By David Longstreath -- Associated Press)
A US citizen recently jailed on terrorism charges in Vietnam has been deported from the country after being released early on health grounds.
Nguyen Thuong "Cuc" Foshee was among three US nationals and four Vietnamese to be jailed for 15 months on Friday.
The seven were found guilty of trying to broadcast anti-communist messages.
Vietnam is in the world spotlight at the moment, as it prepares to host the leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific nations for their annual summit later this week.
US President George W Bush is due to arrive in the country on Friday.
The US-based rights group Human Rights Watch accused Vietnam over the weekend of detaining homeless children, to improve the appearance of the capital, Hanoi, for visitors.
Ms Foshee had already been in prison for 14 months before her trial.
But she was released four weeks early, reportedly after she wrote to the authorities asking to return to her family for medical care.
A court official told the Associated Press that she suffered from high blood pressure and heart problems.
Her brother told reporters that he had taken her to Ho Chi Minh City airport as soon as she was released, for a flight to the United States.
Local press reports have linked the seven defendants to a California-based anti-communist organisation called the Government of Free Vietnam.
They are said to have brought transmitters and other equipment into Vietnam from neighbouring Cambodia.
They were hoping to take over local radio stations and broadcast anti-government radio messages, according to the BBC's correspondent in Hanoi, Bill Hayton.
The charges carried punishments ranging from up to 12 years jail to execution, but prosecutors said their more lenient sentences reflected the fact the defendants had repented and had no previous criminal records.
US citizen deported from Vietnam
Foshee had spent over a year in prison before her trial
Vietnam Deports American Convicted of Terrorism Ahead of Bush Visit
October 31, 2009 9:11 PM
Vietnam has deported an American woman convicted by a court last week on terrorism charges. Her early release from prison comes days ahead of President Bush's visit to Vietnam for a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders.
U.S. Embassy officials here in the Vietnamese capital confirmed Thuong Nguyen "Cuc" Foshee was on an early Monday flight out of Ho Chi Minh City after a court ordered her immediate deportation - about a month ahead of her scheduled release.
Vietnamese officials cited humanitarian reasons due to the 58-year old Foshee's health problems.
Her repatriation comes as Vietnam prepares to host President Bush and other Asia-Pacific leaders later this week.
Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Dung says the move should smooth bilateral relations.
"I think it's good for her and good for the relations between Vietnam and the United States," Dung says. "They are interested in this case."
U.S. officials had been in discussions with Vietnam on the cases of Foshee and two other Americans of Vietnamese decent sentenced Friday. A court found them and four Vietnamese guilty of plotting to broadcast messages against Hanoi's communist government.
The court ordered them to spend 15 months in prison on terrorism charges, but took time served into account and said they would be released in December. The group was arrested in September of 2005.
The Foshee case has been a stumbling block to better trade relations. Foshee's Senate representative had been holding up passage of legislation granting Vietnam permanent normal trade relations.
Vietnam counts the United States as its top trading partner and just this month was admitted to the World Trade Organization.
Analysts say Hanoi does not want any issue to eclipse its quest to be a responsible player in the global trading system. William Case, an expert on Asian and International studies at the City University of Hong Kong, says the Foshee case gave Hanoi a good opportunity to demonstrate its resolve.
"Vietnam is trying to generate a more liberal imagery, one that is more accommodating to APEC and the W.T.O. It's trying to encourage foreign investment," Case says. "It wants to engage in the global economy and in consequence wants to send the right political signals."
Vietnamese authorities accused Foshee of working with a U.S.-based exile group that the communist leadership considers a terrorist organization.
U.S. officials Monday said they were pleased by the release and are continuing to try to help the other Americans who are still jailed.
SUMMARY OF THE “JUST CAUSE” CONVENTION CEREMONY AT GARDEN GROVE, CALIFORNIA,
JANUARY 25 AND 27, 1997
The “Just Cause” Convention was a presentation of The Vietnamese Government in exile namely the Revolutionary Government of Free Vietnam, to the majority of Vietnamese people in Orange County, Southern California, including the presence of more than 200 staff leaders in the government structure, that came from many countries around the world, marking an important turning point in Vietnamese history.
The Ceremony took place in 2 days, January 25 and 26, 1997. The pre-convention was held at Ramada Inn, city of Garden Grove, at 1:00 PM on 01-25-1997 with more than 600 social and political activists. On January 26, 1997, more than 3,000 Vietnamese people, in addition to a number of foreign guests, along with a number of American officials, were gathering at the Salgado Community Center, 706 N. Newhope Str., Santa Ana, CA 92703, to witness the event.
After the inauguration ceremony, and after the expressions from some American officials, Mr. Nguyen Huu Chanh, Secretary General of the Central Executive Committee in the Revolutionary Government of Free Vietnam, was delivering his speech: “… It’s time for the Vietnamese people to unite and stand up in order to change the political status of the Communist authorities into a democratic country and steer Vietnam on the right direction of freedom, democracy and prosperity. The “Just Cause”, the Democracy and the Freedom of our people must be decisively vanquish. Our ancestors said: "when our country is at risks, people must take responsibility." Therefore, everybody should have his right and duty to take part in the mission of saving his country. Establishing a Government is the only way that we could obtain the supports from all people, all religions, all political parties, etc. Only such a government could unite the strength of the people and depict the will and the need of the people. We have been fighting for the Freedom and Democracy, and against the demagogic doctrine of the Communists. We look forward to your cooperation, national saviors to lead us. During more than 20 years, I have not yet gone back to Vietnam, while the situation of our people has been getting worse day after day, our people are becoming more and more miserable under the brutality of the Communist regime. There is not any other way, but the establishment of a Revolutionary Government of Free Vietnam. We expect those who are still concerned about the Vietnam country and bear the responsibility for the Vietnamese people to cooperate with us in the mission of restating our national yellow flag that represents a free and democratic regime.
The applauses were echoing at the site and many congratulation letters were read to the audience.
The ceremony ended at 6 PM in a warm atmosphere and a formal dinner was offered at the Chinese Feast Restaurant to more than 400 guests while a Press Conference also took place at the same time, focusing on the mission of the Revolutionary Government of Free Vietnam.
The Vietnam country must be governed by a democratic constitutional authority. Vietnamese people must have human rights. The frontiers of Vietnam either on land or sea must be entirely protected. All Vietnamese people must enjoy democracy, freedom, well-being and happiness. Vietnam must be glorious and prosperous.
RE: Case number 99- 55320 LRJ
Community's anti-communist tensions linger
Little Saigon confrontation shows enduring enmity years after Vietnam conflict.
By JOHN GITTELSOHN
The Orange County Register
WESTMINSTER – Call it the battle of anti-communists, an afternoon of mudslinging and street theater between two veterans of the Vietnam conflict, a war that seemed to rage anew Wednesday in Little Saigon.
In one corner, wearing pinstripes and a stars-and-stripes necktie, was Mark A. Smith, 56, retired U.S. Army special-operations officer and former prisoner of war with shadowy intelligence connections in Thailand.
In the other was "Tony" Chanh Huu Nguyen, 52, self-styled prime minister of Garden Grove-based Government of Free Vietnam, a group Smith accused of terrorism and communist leanings after last year's botched plots to bomb Vietnamese embassies in Manila and Bangkok.
RILED UP: A crowd grew rowdy outside a news conference in which a retired Army special-operations officer accuse the leader or Government of Free Vietnam of communist leadings.
Bruce Chambers / The Register
"The day that his people threw a bomb in downtown Bangkok, Tony Chanh had to be a communist," Smith said at a press conference in the offices of Vien Dong, a Vietnamese-language newspaper. "The only ones who benefited were communists."
Nguyen's face reddened at being tagged with one of the worst epithets in Little Saigon, a bastion of anti-communism 27 years after South Vietnam's defeat. Nguyen said Smith's accusations were slanderous and he was considering a lawsuit.
"There's no reason to say I'm a communist double agent," he huffed. "Where's the evidence?"
Nguyen crashed the press conference, accompanied by his attorney, a phalanx of bodyguards and about 200 supporters clamoring to see Smith. Most of the crowd was barred from entry, so they rallied on Moran Street, chanting and clapping in support of Nguyen.
Smith said he researched the Government of Free Vietnam at the request of the Thai government and concluded the organization was pro-communist. He said Nguyen did business with communist officials in Vietnam in the early 1990s and later arranged for communist Cambodian soldiers to pose as his personal guerrillas in fund-raising videos.
"You are what you lie down with," Smith said. "If you lie down with dogs, you get fleas."
Nguyen said he has always fought communism. Last year, Vietnam convicted 38 alleged Nguyen followers of subversive and terrorist activities ranging from bomb plots to anti-government leafleting. Two brothers loyal to the Free Vietnam Movement, Vo Van Duc and Vinh Tan Nguyen, have been arrested for botched plots to bomb Vietnam's embassies in Manila and Bangkok. Vo is being held in Los Angeles while fighting extradition to Thailand. His brother is awaiting trial in the Philippines.
Nguyen said the brothers acted independently and that his group discontinued anti-communist paramilitary operations in Thailand after the FBI warned him that he risked violating laws barring Americans from trying to overthrow a friendly nation. Nguyen also said he stopped questionable fund raising after 1998, when the California Department of Corporations ordered the Government of Free Vietnam to cease selling gold reserve bonds backed by a mine in Chile.
Smith also has a questionable record. He once claimed he knew of 572 American soldiers missing in action and abandoned in Vietnam. He sued President Reagan in 1985 for covering up the MIAs but lost the case. Critics accused Smith of preying on the families of missing soldiers, enriching himself while raising money for bogus Rambo-style schemes to rescue the MIAs, a charge Smith denied Wednesday.
"The only time I solicited money in my name was for the case of Mark A. Smith versus the President of the United States," he said.
Outside, a mostly pro- Nguyen crowd chanted and shoved as 20 Westminster police officers and Orange County sheriff's deputies tried to keep order.
Police arrested a woman who gave her name as Bich Nguyen for misdemeanor assault after she struck a man videotaping the action. She was cited and released, Sgt. Jack R. Davidson said.
Did Smith win? Did Nguyen? Few people in the crowd outside could say. "I still want to know the truth," said Sonny Lu, 55, a furniture deliveryman from Hawthorne who joined the hubbub on Moran Street. "It will not be clear until the communists in Vietnam are brought down. Then it will be completely clear."
He might have a long wait.
CONTACT US: (714) 796-7969 or
The Truth about Mark A. Smith
Mark A. Smith, an activist for the MIA community, is army retired and have been living in Thailand for the pass 16 years. He claims that there are missing POWs in Vietnam, but for the pass 16 years, famous authors and Agents from the POW-MIA affairs have accused him of cheating the people with the hope of having their family member return from Vietnam. ... READ MORE >>
GOVERNMENT OF FREE VIETNAM
Open Letter from the desk of the Chairman EDGAR FOSHEE
THE GOVERNMENT OF FREE VIETNAM INAUGURATION CEREMONY