Senator Thomas J. Umberg Denounces Online Lies and Harassment by Vietnamese Communists

April 13, 2021

For Immediate Release: April 13th, 2021
Contact: Jonathan.Davis@sen.ca.gov, (714) 473-3072

SACRAMENTO – Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D – Orange County) is denouncing online attacks to his social media pages, in particular, that surfaced overnight. His Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts have all been “spammed” with lies perpetuated and directed by the Vietnamese Communist Government under the guise of Học viện phòng chống phẚn động (the Anti-Reactionary Academy).

Senator Umberg, a retired Colonel with the United States Army, asserts that he is being targeted due to his long and storied career with the military in which he has both fought and prosecuted communists and those who would work to undermine democracy.  The Senator was the Army’s Chief of Anti-Corruption efforts in Afghanistan and one of the military’s top prosecutors of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.

Earlier this month, Senator Umberg presented Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 (SCR 2) on the California State Senate floor to proclaim the month of April as Black April Memorial Month. “Black April” is the term used to refer to the April 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, in 1975. The resolution specifically honors those that lost their lives in the Vietnam War; including American, South Vietnamese, allied veterans of the war, and the refugees that fled towards American shores in search of freedom.

His office concurrently issued a press release and statements on social media noting that, “Black April is both a time to take actions to bring democracy to Vietnam and a time of mourning and remembrance, not just for the lives lost during the war, but the lives of Vietnamese people in their historic struggle for freedom and human rights. SCR 2 not only marks these tragic losses, but also celebrates the Vietnamese people’s resilience and strength to prosper in the face of adversity.”

Last night, Học viện phòng chống phẚn động deliberately changed those statements to falsely claim an American Senator was asking Vietnam to stop celebrating Black April in an effort to provide national harmony. The group then directed its membership to “spread the word” and to spam him in an effort to make him appear as though he supported communists.

This is a complete reversal and blatant lie about the Senator’s platform.

“This is not the first time I have been targeted by anti-democratic forces,” said Senator Umberg, “and I’m sure it won’t be the last.” He went on to say that:

“The Communist Party of Vietnam and its supporters should be ashamed of themselves and embarrassed for perpetuating blatant lies. It’s tactics like these in the era of political misinformation that actually working to drive people away from the extreme factions in both countries. I have spent my life working to secure democracy throughout the world and I am honored to represent a large percentage of California’s Vietnamese refugee population – those who call Little Saigon home.

This past year with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese community rallied around families and neighbors with a sense of responsibility and a spirit of mutual support unlike some others. Many Vietnamese Americans came together to provide food assistance, donate masks, and volunteer at testing and vaccination sites, and have also joined forces to combat AAPI hate crimes in our community. I commend the Vietnamese American communities in California who contribute to America's diversified culture and economy today and I will continue to celebrate the victories and holidays of the Vietnamese people in America.”

Senator Umberg’s original press release and statement can be found here.
YouTube video of the Senator’s SCR 2 presentation can be found here.
A compiled document of screen shots from the Senator’s social media pages is attached.

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Senator Thomas Umberg represents the 34th Senate District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Midway City, Orange, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, and Westminster. Umberg is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, former federal prosecutor, and small businessman. He and his wife, Brigadier General Robin Umberg, USA (ret.), live in Orange County.