Mr. Gerald M. Levin Chairman/CEO
Time Warner, Inc.
Time Warner Building
75 Rockerfeller Plaza
New York, New York 10019
It has been several days and I have not, unfortunately,
received a reply
to my last letter of 7 July l998. Time is passing, our positions are
hardening and we continue to grow in strength daily as more and more
individual veterans and veterans groups call in to offer their support. This
situation becomes even more critical if, as I read in the Drudge Report, that
you have demonstrated your pleasure on the good work that CNN is doing to
bring this matter to a just conclusion. We do of course, take exception. The
actions taken to date by CNN and Time only serve to further enflame this very
delicate problem. This so called retraction which essentially states, We are
sorry, but only because we can’t prove the story has not sold. The lie still
stands and the liars continue to defend their printed and broadcast lie.
I firmly doubt that you and your board fully understand
the gravity of this
situation. This is not just another fluff piece that once aired and printed,
will be quickly forgotten and go away. This story branded every veteran,
living and dead as a war criminal. It likens us to Hitler’s SS and their very
effective policy of using poison gas to eliminate the Jews during WWII. Do you
really comprehend what your representatives have done? Have we so quickly
forgotten the Nurinburg trials? You have said to the world that soldiers of
the United States willfully used poison gas to kill other Americans citizens.
It states we launched an attack to kill these Americans yet not once did you
even allude to the possibility that these same Americans could have been
Missing in Action or Prisoners of War. Are you saying that we would even
contemplate and an action which would have such horrific results? You would
have the world believe that because they were Caucasian, we went in to kill
them. Worse, this blatant lie than essentially tells the world that all can
now use these deadly agents because we, the United States have already done
so. I am sure Iraq is laughing up its sleeve with sheer joy. One such charge
already exists on the CNN Bulletin Board. You should read these entries, they
are very informative. Have you listened to the voice of the veterans, and
yes, your customers and the customers of your sponsors. They are angry,
frustrated and yes, very determined to see that justice is done. They demand
that this stain removed from our collective honor. Has CNN and Time not
listened to their own employee’s who have already expressed their outrage at
management? Have you listened to your competitors, radio talk shows, the
printed media etc.? Not a day goes by that your collective enterprise is not
castigated and made the joke of journalism. I have read your web page. Where
are those journalistic ethics that are so extensively discussed. No Mr. Levin,
this insult is to great, the hurt to deep, the damage to extensive to just go
away without some proactive step on the part of Time Warner. Where, at least,
is one righteous slap on your part to those who so vilified our veterans and
so besmirched the good name of Time Warner. Inc.?
Private citizens have defended this land from
its birth with their blood,
fortune, hardships and with their very lives. Throughout our history, these
citizen soldiers have served with honor and great distinction. To be sure,
there were some bad apples. This rotten fruit, however, unlike CNN and Time,
was quickly identified, punished or eliminated. In all the wars that marred
the tranquillity of this great land, these citizen soldiers stood tall, fought
and died so that we can all enjoy the freedoms that are available to every
citizen and asked nothing more than the honor they so richly deserve.
Suddenly, for whatever reason, CNN and Time, in an effort to launch a new
production, in an effort for sensationalism, to maximize the bottom line,
heaped such filth and lies upon the Armed Forces as to injure it to its very
soul. What a foul and disgusting thank you.
As noted in my previous letters, this insult will
not be allowed to stand.
Time Warner is a large company, seemingly insulated from the rabble (their
customers) they so easily insult and slander. No company in this land is to
big to feel the wrath of those who now collectively cry out for justice.
Alone as a private citizen, you can ignore me. As part of the collective body
of veterans numbering in the millions, I with them become a force to be
reckoned with. You should know that this is not a lark to occupy our time.
We are taking this very seriously. You may already be aware of the mass
mailings both by mail and E-Mail to your sponsors requesting that they remove
sponsorship from your broadcasts. Thousands of letters and mailings are going
out daily requesting all veterans and veterans organizations to boycott your
sponsors. We are studying the best method to communicate with your
stockholders, especially the large mutual fund companies that have large
holdings of Time Warner to garner their support. We are contemplating
demonstrations at all Time Warner, CNN and Time offices to demonstrate our ire
to the world by inviting your competitors to cover the story. If that is
enough, we will address the issue of legal action to keep this issue before
the American people well into the future. No expense is to great to right
this wrong. If necessary, we will ask donations from corporate heads,
foundations, each veteran and yes if necessary we will even go to the
homeless veteran on the street that you insulted to ask for one more
sacrifice, his one spare dime to assist our efforts. Mr. Levin, we are ready
for the fight. Is Time Warner?? Is it worth the cost to keep on the liars, to
refuse to say I am sorry and to publicly say that this story was a lie?
To insure that you understand our demands,
may I take the liberty of
address them one more time. It is not difficult, but it must be done if you
want this problem to go away.
- Insure that all guilty parties who had a hand in the production
of this lie
be discharged immediately. This includes Mr. Arnett and possibly Mr. Kaplin.
- Host a totally neutral airing of a program that tells the
whole story as it
existed. It should be under the expert hand of an independent arbiter with
the single criteria that the truth is told and let the chips fall where they
may. The Special Forces and Special Operations Associations can provide any
number of formerly classified documents, the crews of the fighters,
helicopters and those who participated on the ground. Any and all expert
witnesses can be aired who have competent knowledge of chemical warfare,
weapons, tactics and use. It would be especially useful to hear the testimony
of the confidential witnesses that Ms Oliver so lavishly uses to justify her
- That a complete copy of the transcripts, out takes, and all other
information held by CNN and Time be provided to the Special Forces and Special
Operations Associations for inspection.
- That a public, on air apology be made to this nation, its citizens
many veterans who have fought and died in its defense to right this grievous
Mr. Levin just do the right thing and put this ugly
situation behind you.
Return to the collective body of veterans, living and dead, the honor and
respect they so richly deserve. To do less will forever mark Time Warner and
its affiliates, as one unworthy of trust and an enemy to every veteran who
honorably served to defend this great country.
Richard E. (Jim) Laritz
LTC (Ret) US Army Special Forces