Bruce Franklin as POW (2 responses)

Fri, 12 Sep 1997 15:23:55 -0400


Subject: Re: Bruce Franklin as POW

To the best of my knowledge not only is Bruce Franklin not a POW, he was
not in any position to ever have been a POW. He was a navigator for a
short period of time and in air force intelligence, but he did that in the
Strategic Air Command! His entire military career was barely 3 years in

I believe this is a spectacular example of how legendry is created. It is
the process of mythopoesis that permeates Vietnam War related discourse
since about 1986. It is often in the form of "if one writes in a certain
way with a certain authority about something then that person becomes the
thing itself." Bruce has written and published about jailed inmates and
he did the book to which Kim refers. Collapsing the two into a captivity
narrative with Bruce as the protagonist is wonderful to behold. His
slightly noticable limp is due to a chronic back ailment not anything
related to war or violence.

I will check the facts, but I believe when I tell Bruce about this
particular take on his existence listmembers will be able to actually hear
the outward rush of air from an astonished Bruce's lungs Could Kim or
anyone else who attended the now famous Notre Dame Conference tell me under
what circumstances they heard about Bruce being a POW. I was there, too,
but I didn't here the story. Bruce was there, too, and he didn't hear it -
but I will check.

John Baky


From: Susan Brownmiller <>
Subject: Re: Bruce Franklin as POW

Excuse me, I think the speculation about Bruce Franklin as a POW is crazy.

According to the flap copy on "M.I.A. or Mythmaking in America" he reports
that he served for three years as a navigator and intelligence officer in
the Strategic Air Command.

As someone who has worked so effectively to scotch the nutty POW myths of
the Reagan-Stallone era, Franklin would get a good laugh from the
Sixties-L disinformation.

--Susan Brownmiller