The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
July 28, 2004
Kerry | New Book: Kerry Acted-Out Vietnam Footage For His Own Camera



Naval Officer John E. O‘Neill reveals in his new book, “Unfit for Command,” that John Kerry acted-out footage of himself in Vietnam, after the underlying events were over, for the benefit of his own Super 8 video camera

In “Unfit for Command,” Naval Officer John E. O‘Neill reveals that John Kerry acted-out footage of himself in Vietnam, after the underlying events were over, for the benefit of his own Super 8 video camera and his anticipated political career.

Similar reports have been made by New York Times bestselling author Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson, author of “Reckless Disregard.”

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A bombshell new book written by the man who took over John Kerry’s Swift Boat charges: Kerry reenacted combat scenes for film while in Vietnam!

The footage is at the center of a growing controversy in Boston.

The official convention video introducing Kerry is directed by Steven Spielberg protégé James Smoll.

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Smoll was given hours of Kerry’s homemade 8 millimeter film to incorporate into the convention short, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

“Kerry carried a home movie camera to record his exploits for later viewing,” charges a naval officer in the upcoming book UNFIT FOR COMMAND.

“Kerry would revisit ambush locations for reenacting combat scenes where he would portray the hero, catching it all on film. Kerry would take movies of himself walking around in combat gear, sometimes dressed as an infantryman walking resolutely through the terrain. He even filmed mock interviews of himself narrating his exploits. A joke circulated among Swiftees was that Kerry left Vietnam early not because he received three Purple Hearts, but because he had recorded enough film of himself to take home for his planned political campaigns.”

UNFIT FOR COMMAND will be unleashed next month by REGNERY. [It ranked #1,318 on the AMAZON hitparade Wednesday morning.]

The films shot by Kerry’s own Super 8 millimeter hand-held movie camera have the grainy quality of home movies.

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“John was thinking Camelot when he shot that film, absolutely,” says Thomas Vallely, a fellow veteran and one of Kerry’s closest political advisers and friends.

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson in his new book RECKLESS DISREGARD, details one of the claimed Kerry reenactments for film:

“On February 28, 1969, now in charge of PCF 94, Kerry came under fire from an enemy location on the shore. The crew’s gunner returned fire, hitting and wounding the lone gunman. Kerry directed the boat to charge the enemy position. Beaching his boat, Kerry jumped off, chased the wounded insurgent behind a thatched hutch, and killed him. Kerry and his crew returned within days, armed with a Super 8 video camera he had purchased at the post exchange at Cam Ranh Bay, and reenacted the skirmish on film.”

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Via the Drudge Report.

The link to the nikita demosthenes post is here.



Posted by nikita demosthenes at July 28, 2004 01:51 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Can it get more bizarre than this? Probably, although I can’t imagine how…

Posted by: CERDIP [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 02:13 PM

Now here’s a warrior so wrapped up in the danger of the moment and the instensity of the cause, that he can think of reenacting key events for the camera.

Great of him to provide proof at the Convention. Can’t get much more damning than that.

This guy is a self-absorbed empty shirt. It is a shameful day for the Navy.

Posted by: Limpet [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 02:16 PM

Uh oh…

This is going to get ugly I’m afraid. Kerry has reopened a lot of old wounds among a major portion of the Viet Nam era vets (of which I’m one) about how the politicians messed with and helped destory the military’s ability to wage an more effective campaign. (This is a common perception reinforced by frequent facts and incidents to which many individual Vets can attest as contributing to our failure there.)

Kerry’s use of the Viet Nam conflict to further his own post military political career has always been a quiet wisper in the background. If the Dems really trumpet his Viet Nam combat record, these wispers will become a rolling thunder of angry voices from many Vets who are not that impressed with his and the Democrats use of a war they largely loath and hold up as a rallying call for the anti-war, peace activists in their midst.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 02:17 PM

For those of you who actually watch Boston Boredom, The Series, you might have noted the “sermon on the mount” by the “Reverend David Alston”. Most “True Beleivers™” will accept the Kerry Campaigns image of Mr. Alston without asking anything about him.

Reverend David Alston
Columbia, South Carolina
Vietnam Swiftboat Crewmate of John Kerry

He was an enlisted (E-3) stern gunner on PCF 94 (Swiftboat) with a total of of 6 weeks of service with Kerry in 1969.

During what is referred to as “MedalGate”, by Vietnam Veterans who are not members of John Kerry’s “Band of Others”, in February and early March of 1969, Kerry put Seaman Alston in for a Navy Commendation Medal with combat “V” for what appears to be no more than “being there”!

The “Reverend” beleives that six weeks knowledge, thirty five years ago, entitles him to judge the character of the potential CIC.

Posted by: ET [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 02:18 PM

Would it shock you to hear that the raising of the flag on Iwo jima was staged?

Posted by: symptomless [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 02:19 PM

Yep,

Charachter, wisdom, values, that’s Kerry.

Chads

Posted by: Chads [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 02:27 PM

I always wondered about the Kerry Vietnam films, anyway. They LOOK staged. Certainly this is the only explanation I’ve ever seen for where they came from. And it fits. I don’t think it’s credible to suggest that Kerry’s crewmates were sitting around with cameras at-the-ready, just waiting to film him.

Kerry had his own men film re-enactments in Vietnam over 30 years ago. Knowing the Left, some will say, “so what?”

I don’t care if Kerry was faking films 100 years ago. It reveals basic, fundamental, character flaws: dishonesty and hubris.
I mean, he was having guys film his play-acting re-enactments in a war zone, for Pete’s sake. Not very safe. He was placing his own ego over the safety of his own men. To suggest that this isn’t relevant for this year’s election is mind-boggling.

I don’t care how long ago it was - it was wrong, and it reveals a fundamentally dishonest and grandiose personality that we should let nowhere near the White House.

If Kerry is asked about this conduct, and if he admits that he did it, and if he admits that it was wrong - then that might be a beginning. But he will never do this. And this failure on his part will only again reveal the relevance of these Kerry character flaws - dishonesty and hubris - for this year’s election.

And, yes, Iwo Jima was staged too. The commanding officer involved in that staging was wrong too. I recently saw a History Channel report that the commanding officer at Iwo Jima insisted that his men go back up the hill at Iwo Jima to get him the flag that had been raised. That commanding officer - and Kerry - both placed their own personal ambition and ego over the safety of their own men. It doesn’t get much worse than that.

Posted by: nikita demosthenes [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 02:40 PM

Symptomless -

Second one was, first one wasn’t. Somehow, I don’t think they would have redone the battle scenes on the beaches, though, so the guys that were in them could get some good film for the folks back home.

Why do I keep thinking of that Carly Simon song, “You’re So Vain” whenever I hear about stuff like this with Kerry?

J.

Posted by: JLL3 [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 02:42 PM

Drudge is claiming this as a “world exclusive,” but the news has been around a long while.

I excerpted some interesting passages from the 1996 interview here:

http://www.andunie.net/mt-archives/000170.php

Original post date was March 24.

Posted by: Anthony Perez-Miller [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 03:03 PM

????

Is there anyone now(besides Don) who doesn’t thing that Kerry’s Vietnam “service” was a political stunt? I’ve never seen anyone who wears it so openly on their sleve as him.

Chads

Posted by: Chads [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 03:06 PM

Did Kerry film this before or after his torrid affair with the intern. Oh, wait, that never happened. I doubt this did either. My point: get a more credible reporting source than the Drudge report. This is pathetic. Yes, there are a lot of Vietnam vets getting a lot of attention by bad-mouthing Kerry. But aren’t they pissed at him because he said some unflattering things about them 30 years ago? And they now seek revenge by trashing his service. Nice vicious circle. Remember boys: shit splatters.

I see this as a lot of salt being poured in old wounds, and Kerry has become the lightning rod for a wide variety of unsettled grudges that have nothing to do with him. No doubt there is a great deal of unresolved anger, which I don’t fault them in the least. But trying to sell books is a different matter. This is very unbecomming of the military values I was taught, admittedly post-Vietnam.

Even if all this was true, I am gonna say it: so what. Big surprise that someone whom might be drawn to politics has an ego. This just goes to show what George Will said many years ago: no one who would make a good president will ever run for that office because of this type of crap you have to wade though to get there.

This “story” is utter bullshit, but classic Drudge. Neocons have got to get over the fact that they have lost the military service card in this election. Even if Kerry was reinacting these events in Vietnam, the Bushies can never overcome the fact that Kerry actually was in Vietnam doing things that were worthy of reinacting. Bush was statside missing guard duty, getting drunk, and “working on campaigns”. Whose more fit now to be commander in chief? Bush obvioulsy fails because he puts our military men and women in harms way for desireable economic reward rather than necessary strategic advantage. I’m not buying that Kerry is unfit because he reinacted heroic events. I’m not buying the speculation that he put his men in harms way. There is a big difference in a general ordering other people to go back up Mt. Suribachi and the general leading the charge ordering someone to follow with a camera.

True believers of the neocon ilk may buy this crap, but this post is devoid of credibility.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 03:39 PM

Ohferpete’seffingsakes!

Did any of you clowns serve in Viet Nam?

In the midst of the fray, who was going to waste their time or expose themselves to fire to take pictures? No one — that’s who!

I have pictures in my files of my friends posing for the camera — sometimes serious, sometimes clowning around. Hard as this may be for you to comprehend, save for the combat cameramen from the news networks or from the Army, No One took pictures of Actual Combat. If they did, they were paying attention to the Wrong Things.

My battalion commander, West Point Colonel and all, put a heavy fire team (that would be three gunships) into the air with orders to strafe a Free Fire Zone so he could take movies to send back home to his family. He got his adjutant in a D model flying alongside to come in close so there could be a picture of him at the controls while doing the shooting. A couple of CW3s ran a couple of runs along a river, firing at Nothing whatsoever for the same purpose, but taking pictures of each other, which were later admired in the officers/NCO club. I rode gunner in the battalion smoke ship several times, when we laid smoke on Nothing At All, so the guys in the unit could get some good shots — movies and stills — of The Action they were in.

So — were these “lies?” Not that I can see. I happen to be personally aware that these selfsame folks had actually Done such things previously and afterwards, so while the specific photos were not of Real-Time Combat Action, they were nonetheless an accurate picture of what Real-Time Combat Action really was, and that they had participated in.

Seems to have been the case with Kerry as well, in this instance.

OTOH, I know of No One who Ever took pictures during an actual CA or during a rocket attack on the base. It.simply.never.happened. No one had the time — they were busy attending to other more important matters.

The better question is, did the shots that were taken during Non-Combat actions accurately reflect the sorts of action that folks took during Real actions? Yeah — most of the time, they were pretty close. Anyone who did the re-enactments was more than pleased to run them for their friends in the units when the film came back from PACEX processing.

But some were not. I have pictures of several “combat clerks” in web gear, helmet and with rifle, with their very best attempt to have a James Dean look on their face and a cigarette dangling Just So from their mouths, so they could send them home to the family. Several even didn’t shave for a couple of days, and smeared some dirt on themselves to add to the realism of it.

I have sent in several such pictures to a helicopter unit site on the Net, several of which were taken while on base. (You can fine them if you search for them. Google is your friend.)

What did all that prove? Mostly that a bunch of kids in their mid 20’s wanted to have photographs and movies of themselves as Warriors. A bunch of them actually Were warriors at that. My neighbor three doors down has some WWII pictures the same way — of a tank shooting off some rounds. He was in an armor unit. He told me a decade ago that he had staged the whole thing, but that it was still accurate anyway. A buddy across town has some 8mm film done the same way of his time in Korea.

Big deal, sez I.

The practice doesn’t even come Close to being Wrong enough to make an issue out of it. It was reasonably common ion Viet Nam, especially amongst the command types. But it was by no means limited only to them.

The films are what they are. The actual engagements with the enemy didn’t get filmed — but they are simultaneously Real and Far more important.

But then, y’all need something to complain about, and this is as good as any, it seems.

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 03:40 PM

The second raising was not staged Symptomless. Read Bradley’s “Flags of Our Fathers.” They wanted a bigger flag and they put it up. A nice photo was taken, unbeknowenst to all.

Couldn’t Kerry have been doing something to help his troops and not himself with his spare time? This is one more piece in a long pattern.

Posted by: jones [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 03:55 PM

Don’s right: let’s complain about kerry’s testimony upon his return from Viet Nam shall we?

Posted by: skip [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 04:00 PM

S&J: You complain as you will. It’s your very best thing.

Meanwhile:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/politics/main632555.shtml

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 04:06 PM

And also:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0729/p11s01-uspo.html

Just to keep things in perspective. It’s so easy to lose perspective in the blogosphere.

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 04:09 PM

If I wasn’t bound by the rules of civility, I’d have at you for this one, because it is TYPICAL of your minimalist Lefty Spin - “S&J: You complain as you will. It’s your very best thing.”

Of FAR MORE importance than any FakeNewsFootage that Kerry may or may not have staged is that he would spew about how we were all ‘Monsters and Babykillers’, and then run this footage. That makes a lot of sense, Don… Of course there’s also the dismissive and pompous tone that goes right along with the Lies, or at least your attempt to deflect any criticism of this guy for any reason, even if it is legitimate. That sorta fits your WarHeroImage, don’t it?

The italicized portion Posted by: Don at July 28, 2004 04:06 PM

Posted by: Cap'n DOC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 04:22 PM

Don, Todd and Skip:

Yes… many of us so-called “clowns” served and saw the same BS as you so now consider typical. The only difference is that these other “clowns” (as you like to call other vets so lovingly) are not trying to portray them as something that they are not and are not running for President.

As for the following:

“This “story” is utter bullshit, but classic Drudge. Neocons have got to get over the fact that they have lost the military service card in this election. Even if Kerry was reinacting these events in Vietnam, the Bushies can never overcome the fact that Kerry actually was in Vietnam doing things that were worthy of reinacting. Bush was statside missing guard duty, getting drunk, and “working on campaigns”. Whose more fit now to be commander in chief? Bush obvioulsy fails because he puts our military men and women in harms way for desireable economic reward rather than necessary strategic advantage. I’m not buying that Kerry is unfit because he reinacted heroic events. I’m not buying the speculation that he put his men in harms way. There is a big difference in a general ordering other people to go back up Mt. Suribachi and the general leading the charge ordering someone to follow with a camera.”

True believers of the neocon ilk may buy this crap, but this post is devoid of credibility.”

The military of today is very much in President Bush’s camp… I’m afraid that it is wishful thinking to believe that the Republicans have somehow lost the military card because of a young Ensign’s commendable but somewhat suspect activity in Viet Nam 30 years ago. Most of us do vividly recall the post Viet Nam anti-war image and his current weather-vane attempts to depict himself as a post 9-11 warrior chief. This has a more lasting effect on our judgement as to whom the title of commander-in-chief best fits.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 04:25 PM

Steve: Do read what’s written. The “clowns” referred to are clearly Not Vets, or Only Vets. The referent was more specific than that.

Though “the military of today” may be in Dubya’s camp, it is far from being monolithic, and in fact a raft of them aren’t in his camp at all.

More to the point, the veterans (whom we might well describe as the “military of yesterday”) are sharply divided over supporting Dubya. And the trend is not currently in his direction.

“Commendable but somewhat suspect.” What does that mean? If it was commendable, what’s suspect about it? His service during wartime seems, according to the OERs that have been made public, actually quite good! How did it suddenly become “somewhat suspect” after thirty years?

Though Kerry was the one who finally had the courage to step up and tell this nation some of the unpleasant truth about Viet Nam, it wasn’t that this truth was unknown previously. What’s reprehensible is that the folks like Rusk, McNamara and Kissinger, who knew about it well Before Kerry ever said anything were just too damned cowardly to tell Americans what they already knew.

Holding Kerry responsible for the telling of it hardly seems reasonable in that context.

Kerry’s anti-war stance after he got out was Precisely what a reasonable, knowledgeable and thinking person at the time ought to have done. If some of his methods now, in the hindsight of 30 years, seem Less Than Perfect, that’s just part of the Human Condition. Hindsight works that way. It’s what folks do in the fray that really matters.

Kerry’s testimony before the SRFC was Precisely what needed to be said, precisely where it needed to be said. The only really major problem with it was that it was about three or four years too late, seems to me. But then, three or four years earlier, Kerry couldn’t have made it. He’d not yet had his own experience with it, nor had he heard from others.

The folks who could and should have said it were busily covering their own asses three or four years earlier.

The result of their collective cowardice may be found on The Wall.

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 04:42 PM

Whose more fit now to be commander in chief? Bush obviously fails because he puts our military men and women in harms way for desireable economic reward rather than necessary strategic advantage.

If this is the Todd with whom I have enjoyed debating previously,

Those of us who enjoy a good debate and enjoy hearing the Dempcratic side of things expect more from you than a pedantic “Bush Lied People died No Blood for Oil” rhetoric.

C’mon dude, you can do better than that. That’s just….weak.

Posted by: johnnymozart [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 04:47 PM

Todd:

Nice try, Todd. But - nahhhh - noogies for you, Todd!

Sorry - your comment won’t fly.

The Kerry fake film story is confirmed by not just John E. O‘Neill (and you’ve given no reason to question O’Neill’s credibility in any event) but also Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson AND Thomas Vallely, “a fellow veteran and one of Kerry’s closest political advisers and friends.”

Drudge is just reporting what they said. What a novel concept! Hmmm - mabye it’ll catch on at, say, CNN. I‘m just saying…

I always wondered about the Kerry Vietnam films, anyway. They LOOK staged. Certainly this is the only explanation I’ve ever seen for where they came from. And it fits.

I don’t think it’s credible to suggest (as you appear to be) that Kerry’s crewmates were sitting around with cameras at-the-ready, just waiting to film him.

Try again, Todd. Try, “It was over 30 years ago, so it doesn’t matter! Wahhh!” Whoops - I addressed that above already.

The really interesting thing is going to be watching Kerry lie to the huge audience tomorrow night, by in effect, saying “here is film of my heroic exploits in Vietnam.” The fact that it was all staged … well, maybe Kerry doesn’t even understand how wrong that is. Kind of like the William Hurt character in Broadcast News. I don’t want someone so morally-challenged (whether it’s conscious or unconscious) anywhere near the White House.

Posted by: nikita demosthenes [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 04:51 PM

Steve,

I wish you would be more precise in your retorts. I have witnessed it is a common trait of neocons to lump everyone who doesn’t agree with them under a derogatory “liberal” umbrella. But please be fair. I never referred to any one, much less a Vietnam vet, as a “clown.” The only negative thing I said was pointing out a greed bias of the origins of this spew. I think the vets have every right to be upset with Kerry. I just disagree with their method of execution because it engages in tactics for which they denounce Kerry.

I have no doubt that, if polled, the current members of the military would favor Bush over Kerry, but that wasn’t my point. My point was that the Republicans have lost the military service card in this election: they can’t go toe to toe with Kerry on his record by heralding the accomplishments of Bush because, as everyone knows, Bush does not have a distinguished military career. So the tactic is to take petty swipes at Kerry. And that is exactly how it looks: petty.

But I’ve got one for all of you folks, particularly Cap’n Doc: If staging FakeNewsFootage disqualifies one from being commander in chief, y’all better demand Bush’s resignation. Remember this little ditty:

U.S. Videos, for TV News, Come Under Scrutiny
By Robert Pear
The New York Times

Monday 15 March 2004

WASHINGTON, March 14 ? Federal investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists praising the benefits of the new Medicare law, which would be offered to help elderly Americans with the costs of their prescription medicines.

The videos are intended for use in local television news programs. Several include pictures of President Bush receiving a standing ovation from a crowd cheering as he signed the Medicare law on Dec. 8.

The materials were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, which called them video news releases, but the source is not identified. Two videos end with the voice of a woman who says, “In Washington, I’m Karen Ryan reporting.”

How’s that for deceptive. As Don has aptly pointed out, no one who actually served would have believed that the Kerry footage was “live” anyway. The Bush Administration tactics were clearly meant to deceive seniors into believing that these were authentic testimonials.

Pot-Kettle-Black.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 04:58 PM

I’m just amazed that Kerry’s shipmates went along with any of this, as it seems a bit risky and incredibly selfish and stupid.

But since Don is a veteran and he thinks its perfectly normal, I guess we shouldn’t worry about the fact that our Hero of the 4-month Tour and the Band-Aid-treated Purple Heart is being characterized by men who served with him as a self-promoting fraud.

Posted by: TL [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 05:05 PM

Todd:

Dishonesty is always wrong.

You’d be more credible if you could bring yourself to admit that dishonesty practiced by a Democrat is wrong too.

Come on. I know you can do it.

Posted by: nikita demosthenes [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 05:27 PM

JohnnyM,

Aye, it is I.

But I have to object to your unfair indictment. Admittedly, I used a shorthand phrase to refer to an extensive debate that is, to this thread, off topic, but vitally important. I must say that your dismissal of my point as “pedantic “Bush Lied People died No Blood for Oil” rhetoric” is, well, weak. This is not exactly what I said and it is hardly pedantic, although there are pedantic and non-pedantic persons making claims that could be grouped, pedantically, under this banner.

So, I’ll elaborate. Given what we know now about the colossal intelligence failures of this administration, and Bush’s rush to war with Iraq, and its strategic incongruities with the overall war on terror, I am left wondering why he charged head-strong into a war that could at least have been delayed until he was better prepared if not avoided all together. But that didn’t coincide with the election cycle. So, I’m left wondering why he moved forward down this ill-advised path. I believe that, among other things, Bush lacks the fundamental mental acuity and responsibility to critically assess the situation and find creative, nuanced, and principled policies. No surprise he took faulty intelligence and, instead of analyzing it critically or having a back up in case it is wrong, he intentionally exaggerated the intelligence and deceived the American public about it. Second, he is beholden to Saudi Arabia and the Bin Laden family. Third, he, and to a greater extent, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest of the hawks are beholden to the defense industry. It sickens me that good men and women have died because the lot of them will get filthy rich when they leave government. My only solace is that they will leave sooner rather than later.

But, alas, this is not the subject of this thread. I must fend off such intellectually heavyweight rhetoric as “noogies for you” backed by the unsubstantiated warrant that “this won’t fly.” Well, ND, from my experience on these pages, and particularly with your posts, I don’t think anything resembling a reasoned debate would ever fly with the neocons. So here is my response. I agree with you in principle that dishonesty is bad. Intentional deception is even worse. Inadvertent deception irresponsible but excusable. But I don’t recall Kerry trying to pass this footage off as actual footage, like the Bush Administration did with its “news reports.” And I agree with you on another point. People as morally challenged as Bush and his administration do not deserve to be anywhere near the White House. You have no grounds lecturing me on credibility after posting this kind of spew supported only by the Drudge Report.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 06:17 PM

Don and Todd:

I apologize if my words appear to be mean-spirited and incorrect. I obviously reacted to a derogotory name “clowns” wrongly. Derogatory names have a way to doing that, just as calling or classifying me as a “neocon”. My first reaction is anger, but I suppressed that in the more effective approach that Todd just as incorrectly assumed I am a neocon, which I’m not.

From the way that many of us are responding to this particular news item, it is apparent that we have not come very far from the divisive and painful discourse that existed in our youth during the Viet Nam era. The wounds run way too deep and the memories of real and alleged wrongs by the “other side” keep clouding our judgment and actions. Even with my own personal experience from the brutal backlash caused by Kerry’s and the other anti-war vets at the time, I have to try harder to assume that for most of them, they really thought they were doing the right thing for the right reason. For every Vet and person affected by that war and its protests, I pray that the Good Lord gives us the ability to go half way and forgive and forget the pain. Our future is more important than fighting over disagreements in our past. Fortunately my experience with today’s military show that these fine young men and women think of Viet Nam as something you see on the History Channel and not relevant to their lives and mission today.

Let me be the first to drop my stone to the ground instead of wanting to throw it. For anyone I have angered or wrongly accused, I apologize. For anyone I may have given encouragement to attack or be further divisive, please forgive me and know that I am wrong if my actions and words make this so.

We have serious disagreement on which candidate can best serve our own, our family and our nation’s interest best. But we can try to discuss these differences without an apparent or percieved slight or hurt to the other person or their candidate.

Facts can be presented and challenged in a dispassionate and more civil tone. We can disagree and know that there are some things that will not change. I am quite positive that all of us love this country and worry about it future path. We can take heart that in over 200 years, no single chief executive has had the ability to cause permanent or irreparable harm nor change the course of world events. When all is said and told, it is the very people (us) who both elect and vote against them that have the real power… and so far, we can commend our collective judgment and the results.

We are facing a real enemy who cares not for disagreements, political labels or our national ambitions. We need to focus on that threat and not any internal discourse as our real problem. As for me, a conservative and military veternan of Viet Nam, Beirut, the Gulf War and a survivor from the Pentagon attack on 9-11, I sincerely hope your candidate does well and has a well deserved opportunity to lead our nation… no matter what party platform or lable he may have. I assume any disagreement or policy that the eventual winner in November may create will be neither bad nor damaging. I have high hopes for this country and know that we can build better bridges than walls.

Steve

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 06:32 PM

Kerry is beginning to truly creep me out. It’s startling to hear quotes from many of those who served with him acknowledging that Kerry was behaving with an eye toward someday running for President 30 years ago.

He’s beginning to make Redford’s “The Candidate” look like Chance the Gardener.

:jackson

Posted by: jackson zed [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 06:32 PM

ForCryin’OutLoud… I don’t know how in Hell I missed this -

“Did any of you clowns serve in Viet Nam?”

Yes. And I don’t like being referred to as a Clown, so knock it off.

“So — were these “lies?” Not that I can see. I happen to be personally aware that these selfsame folks had actually Done such things previously and afterwards, so while the specific photos were not of Real-Time Combat Action, they were nonetheless an accurate picture of what Real-Time Combat Action really was, and that they had participated in.”

I don’t know where you were, but I was there at the same time that Kerry was there, and I wasn’t plyin’ a GunBoat. There is no ‘accurate picture’ of combat when it is ‘recreated’, Don. They are FAKE, just like this WarHero you’ve decided to defend.

“OTOH, I know of No One who Ever took pictures during an actual CA or during a rocket attack on the base. It.simply.never.happened. No one had the time — they were busy attending to other more important matters.”

Uhhh. You are full of crap. I’ve seen pictures taken at Khe Sahn that were taken by ACTUAL. REAL. MARINES. WHO. I. HAD. THE. PLEASURE. OF. SERVING. WITH.

“The better question is, did the shots that were taken during Non-Combat actions accurately reflect the sorts of action that folks took during Real actions? Yeah — most of the time, they were pretty close. Anyone who did the re-enactments was more than pleased to run them for their friends in the units when the film came back from PACEX processing.”

SO. WHAT. They were fake as well.

“Big deal, sez I.”

SO. SAY. I. ALA EVERYONE who views them understands THEY. ARE. FAKE.

But then, y’all need something to complain about, and this is as good as any, it seems.”

The minimizing the fakeness of your WarHero is SPIN.

The italicized portion Posted by: Don at July 28, 2004 03:40 PM

And I ain’t done….

““Commendable but somewhat suspect.” What does that mean? If it was commendable, what’s suspect about it? His service during wartime seems, according to the OERs that have been made public, actually quite good! How did it suddenly become “somewhat suspect” after thirty years?”

Yup. According to the OERs that have been made public. Why don’t you ask your WarHero to release ALL of his Military Medical Records, Don? Seems there’s a couple (including the Band-Aid Purple Heart) that he’d just as soon NOT release. But yet, his DemoDerby ‘friends’ demand that ALL of President Bush’s records be ‘released’. Or at least found.

“Though Kerry was the one who finally had the courage to step up and tell this nation some of the unpleasant truth about Viet Nam, it wasn’t that this truth was unknown previously. What’s reprehensible is that the folks like Rusk, McNamara and Kissinger, who knew about it well Before Kerry ever said anything were just too damned cowardly to tell Americans what they already knew.”

Just exactly what ‘truths’ are you pouncing on now? That the testimony Kerry provided before Congress came from REAL™ soldiers who were in Vietnam in REALTIME™, or the spewage he actually provided from NON-SOLDIERS?

“Holding Kerry responsible for the telling of it hardly seems reasonable in that context.”

REASONABLE??? When what he provided was by his own admission, “Over the top”? Mind you, he didn’t admit it was fake testimony, he didn’t admit it was a bunch of Lies, and he made a point of saying it occurred on a daily basis. He’s as full of crap now as he was then.

“Kerry’s anti-war stance after he got out was Precisely what a reasonable, knowledgeable and thinking person at the time ought to have done.”

NO. IT. WAS. NOT. It was not then reasonable, nor is it now.

“If some of his methods now, in the hindsight of 30 years, seem Less Than Perfect, that’s just part of the Human Condition. Hindsight works that way. It’s what folks do in the fray that really matters.”

Right. Don’t spoil a good thing while you’ve got it. You are saying that such things (the filming) happened all the time, so where is all of this footage of the atrocities? How about the BabyKilling? Oooooh. I forgot. That testimony has ALL been proven to be Fake! Which means him running footage of himself playin’ FootSoldier is now just mere WindowDressing, RIGHT?

“Kerry’s testimony before the SRFC was Precisely what needed to be said, precisely where it needed to be said.”

You want to make another run at that one, Don? Or maybe you ought to just quit while you still have a few unflamed words left to utilize. You are admitting that his lies were acceptable, his untruthful testimony of individuals who had never been in Vietnam and never even been in a uniform was acceptable. I find your perspective totally unaceptable, ESPECIALLY because you claim to be a Vietnam Vet - which I accept, BTW.

“The only really major problem with it was that it was about three or four years too late, seems to me. But then, three or four years earlier, Kerry couldn’t have made it. He’d not yet had his own experience with it, nor had he heard from others.”

See my reference above about all that Kerry ‘heard’.

“The folks who could and should have said it were busily covering their own asses three or four years earlier.”

So. ‘Those folks’ should have repeated the lies, only they should have done it earlier. I get more pissed off by the moment with your POV…

And this last one, I’m going to take you to task for, and if I get banned, so be it. I’ve had it with reading this kind of crap from you —-

“The result of their collective cowardice may be found on The Wall.”

Those who I give voice to can no longer stand up for themselves and say that they are not ‘Monsters’, for their names are on that Wall. They did not consider themselves ‘BabyKillers’ or ‘Monsters’. Those are the things that your WarHero said about them, and about me. There are many things that Senator Kerry could have said, and that I myself could have said, or any number of the Millions who did their time InCountry could have said that would have made a difference.

And I would never have considered the assassination of Congressman. After all, I ain’t a Monster.

The italicized portion Posted by: Don at July 28, 2004 04:42 PM

Posted by: Cap'n DOC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 06:35 PM

Steve,

Well put. COnsider my stone dropped, too. You articulated much more eloquently than I a point I was trying to make.

I apologize for the neocon comment. That was reckless.

And I agree that when we get beyond the name calling and the stone-throwing, which was my major objection to this post, is when we really start to discuss the direction of our country.

“I am quite positive that all of us love this country and worry about it future path. “

True, true.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 06:50 PM

A couple of observations -

Not having seen th Super 8 footage, it’s a bit tough to determine if it is showboating and/or grandstanding. If the events were staged, so be it, with the exception of combat cameramen, nobody’s first thought during periods of combat is ‘grab the camera!’. It is the presentation of the material, the context, that matters. Is it being presented as Combat footage? It was mentioned earlier about helicopter jocks staging home movies - fine and dandy, if the traffic will bear it - but - were any of those movies presented as ‘actual’ combat (i.e. someone actively shooting back), or just as a demo of the firepower and activities the were involved with?

When I reflect upon Kerry’s Vietnam, and post Vietnam service and record, I am not impressed. No, I was not in Vietnam. At 43, I’m a bit too young, and didn’t join the military until 1979 (pre-hostages, thank you very much). One thing that I’ve learned about determining a man’s true worth to his comrades, is to listen to all of his contemporaries - and weigh the balance of who sings his praises, and who doesn’t. If it’s unanimous one way or the other, it’s simple. With a split - well, what do most folks say? Most folks that were his contemporaries doen’t seem too impressed.

Once back in the world, however, there is enough of a record of Kerry’s activities that it isn’t necessary to rely upon simply testimonials. And the record of what he did upon his return is absolutely disgusting, in my opinion. Opposing the war on policy grounds is one thing. The ability to openly Question, and disagree with, the policy of the government is a sacred American right. It is another thing entirely to willfully and knowingly promote a lie, particularly a lie that bismirches the character and honor of men who not more than a handful of months before, John Kerry had inherently vowed to lay down his life to support and assist, expecting no less in return from them. His actions, which were disguised as sober and considered disagreement with the policies of the government, but just oh so coincidentally served as an excellent catapult by which John Kerry vaulted into attention of national prominence, were dastardly, a betrayal his comrades in arms, and most certainly worthy of nothing but contempt.

The rationalization or justification that promoting the lies he told was ok because it helped end the war is nothing but the basest of ‘ends justifying the means’ distraction.

And that is just the problem I have with the man’s actions BEFORE 1973. I don’t care to continue my dissection of his actions in a comments thread, actions which in sum total do cause me to have very, very serious doubts about this man’s patriotism - in that what he describes as examples of same being not much more than a thin veneer to cover or rationalize his own self aggrandizment.

Whine and quibble about the margins if you will. The central picture is too well in focus, and it is an ugly one.

Posted by: Wind Rider [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 06:56 PM

Todd,

Thanks for the positive repsonse… I was somewhat cautious and concerned about how you all would view my willingness to drop the “stone” of attack. It is hard for an ol’ Marine to check fire sometimes.

And besides, this type of civil approach will just drive our nation’s real enemies crazy… but what better example and longer lasting gift can we give to the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East than showing how a true democracy works.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 06:59 PM

Steve,

Again, well put. From one Marine to another, I respect your integrity and candor. You have raised the issue that is crucial to making our country, and the world, a better place.

This country is filled with positive forces. And we have a lot more to gain by channeling that toward a positive end. And we will need everything positive we have to defeat violent extremeism, wherever it may lurk.

The divisive kind of rehtoric from Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh weakens the country but makes them rich. We deserve more, and will only get it if we demand it. Quite frankly, we deserve a helluva lot more than Kerry or Bush.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 07:13 PM

Todd, Todd, Todd:

Being verbose AND ignorant is nothing to flaunt, dude.

Just saying that you don’t trust the Drudge Report is not an arugment - it’s a substitute for an argument.

Anyway, I already covered this once above. Read the other comments - geez.

The Kerry fake film story is CONFIRMED by not just John E. O‘Neill, the author of the book I linked to (and you’ve given no reason to question O’Neill’s credibility in any event), but ALSO Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson AND Thomas Vallely, “a fellow veteran and one of Kerry’s closest political advisers and friends.”

Drudge is JUST REPORTING what THEY said. What a novel concept! Hmmm - mabye it’ll catch on at, say, CNN. I‘m just saying…

I linked to O’Neill’s book and everything. I tried to make it easy for you. Then again, I know you’re only whining “Drudge” because you can’t refute O’Neill’s AND Patterson’s AND Vallely’s representations on the merits.

I always wondered about the Kerry Vietnam films, anyway. They LOOK staged. Certainly this is the only explanation I’ve ever seen for where they came from. And it fits.

I DO NOT think it’s credible to suggest (as you appear to be) that Kerry’s crewmates were sitting around with cameras at-the-ready, just waiting to film him.

Posted by: nikita demosthenes [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 07:15 PM

ND,

Dick Clarke wrote a book too. Most of what he says has been verified. Does that mean you now agree that Bush completely screwed his exectuion of the war on terror at a crucial time? So what does that make you? Exactly: verbose and ignorant. Dude.

I have no doubt you subscribe to that “fair and balanced” newsreporting found on Fox where simply saying something over and over again makes it so. Your post sucks, man. Sorry, but it does.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 07:35 PM

Todd:

You say above that you’re a Marine. So, although I stick by all my arguments above, I’ll dial back the tone a little. I have a very high respect for all soldiers - and especially United States Marines.

The bottom line is that staging footage like Kerry did is wrong. It evidences both dishonesty and hubris.

If Kerry is honest and says that these are just re-enactments, or keepsakes he made on his own camera, that would be not quite so bad.

But that disclaimer is never made. The footage is just presented as straight-forward, man-in-the field film.

And - on that level - such film is just basically dishonest and egotistical. And worse - it was unsafe. He was having his own men create publicity film for him in a war zone. Not very safe. Not very mindful of the safety and best use of his own men. And is this what Uncle Sam was paying them for?

An honest question: did you ever see the movie “Broadcast News”? If so, did you think the William Hurt character’s “acting” on a news piece was unethical (like the Holly Hunter character did)? If you think that was unethical (like Holly Hunter and I did) then Kerry’s behavior was, and is, unethical for the same reason.

Kerry staged this material - but is now presenting it as “real life.” That’s dishonest. That’s egotistical.

And he’s still peddling this material. Heck, he prominently displayed it in a campaign ad. And millions will be sold this snake-oil again tomorrow night at the Democratic Convention.

These are basic character flaws: dishonesty and hubris. We shouldn’t let this guy anywhere near the White House.

Posted by: nikita demosthenes [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 07:42 PM

Todd:

P.S. As to the accuracy of the story itself, hopefully some reporter will ask the campaign about how the Vietnam film was made. And hopefully the reporter will dig past the campaign’s inevitable milque-toast response. And hopefully the reporter’s story will actually be reported in the mainstream media.

But, as I discussed at length above (twice): (1) the staging story fits, to my mind (how else would this stuff get made?), (2) Drudge is just reporting what others have said, so just dumping on Drudge doesn’t get you anywhere, and (3) this story comes from three separate seemingly reliable souces, O’Neill, Patterson, and Vallely. Until these 3 retired United States soldiers are challenged, I’m going to believe what they say. Why wouldn’t you?

Posted by: nikita demosthenes [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 07:59 PM

ND,

I’ll scale mine back too; I’m a little purturbed by divisive forces, and this post got the brunt of it.

You don’t want Kerry to use footage of him in Vietnam beacuse it was staged. Well, his being in Vietnam was not staged, and that says a lot.

But look, if dishonesty an hubris disqualifies soemone from the White House, then few, if any, politicians are qualified, the current occupant included. What the Bush administration did for the medicare “news stories” went beyond dishonest to deceptive.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 08:00 PM

That ain’t the topic of this thread is it, Todd?

A lie always begets another lie.

If he or the Campaign chooses to use this FauxFootage and somehow claim this is an accurate portrayal of his Service, someone is bound to call them on it - Big. I have some rather larger bones to pick with Senator Kerry, and this Reel of Super8 is hardly on my ShortList.

MOF, it ain’t even close to the RadarScreen.

Posted by: Cap'n DOC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 08:19 PM

Todd

You replied above.

“Bush lacks the fundamental mental acuity and responsibility to critically assess the situation and find creative, nuanced, and principled policies.”

Isn’t it possible that all the creative, nuanced, principled policies are what got us into this crapshoot in the first place? With a little less “nuancing” by Clinton and Co. NK wouldn’t have nuclear reactors. How creative did we have to get to have had Mogadushu, Beirut, and the Khobar towers. I don’t think a lot of the problems at hand today can be “nuanced” away. Sometimes the most creative solutions are the most direct. The ME and terrorrism have been festering for quite some time. There had to be a point in time to lance the boil. Bush chose now. You don’t agree with that, that’s fine. Hell, let’s “creatively get rid of some of the easy problems, like Haiti the dominican republic and Cuba, before we try to get overly creative with the ME.

Chads

Posted by: Chads [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 11:04 PM

Re-enactment, re-eshmackment.

From the Boston Globe, Author: Charles Sennott, Globe Staff Date: October 6, 1996 Page: A31 Section: National/Foreign

“Kerry says he shot his war footage on a Super 8 camera he bought at the PX in Cam Ranh Bay. Asked how he filmed in the heat of battle, he demonstrated, gripping an imaginary ship’s helm and thrusting his camera hand out to the side. “I’d steer, or direct, or fire my gun, and hold onto it when I could,” Kerry says. “Sometimes the other guys would pick it up.

Watching the film and listening to Kerry’s narration is to take a strange journey inside the war. There is Kerry in cutoff shorts, working on his suntan next to a Viet Cong prisoner bound and blindfolded. There are the splashes of incoming rocket fire. There is a mortar blowing a thatch hut into oblivion. Through the silent footage, there is a sense of a young man turning against the war as he filmed it.”

The Boston Globe article is available here, until July 29.

Posted by: CERDIP [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2004 11:31 PM

Oh well… so much for a quiet voice in the wilderness calling for rational discussion… but I’m encouraged by the occassional lapses in the angst by someone who says they will tone a reply down.

We can correctly assume that some of us see Kerry’s Viet Nam in a way that justifies his actions during and after. Others see a political opportunist who betrayed all his fellow veterans. The real truth is probably a little bit of both.

That makes us all correct in some sense or another.

Now, what would be a more welcome discourse would be how this does on does not help qualify him for office IN YOUR EYES OR OPINION and not that your opinion is more right than someone else’s.

Unless I’m wrong… we all benefit from the knowledge exchange and most likely will not be able to change the other person’s mind significantly.

However, there is the outside chance that some of you may just be persuaded to change your view or modify your love/hatred of one man or the other just a bit. Admit when one of the posted notes is good and well presented, even if you disagree with the message. This will go a long way for all of us in getting through this election in one All-American piece. I want to whip the terrorists who are really bent on our distruction… not a fellow American who only disagrees with me on how we can best win.

Historical note: Charles Lindberg was a reknown anti-war, anti-interventionist, isolationist as was approximately 70% of Americans leading up to December 1941. He even resigned his Army Air Corps commission to support his view. Like many who decided that after Pearl Harbor, the die had been cast with or without their permission, the hero of American civil aviation threw his heart and soul into working with the Army Air Corps to ensure our aircraft were best and most reliable that our young men could fly into combat. On one secret mission in the Pacific (the Army rightly so did not want the Japanese to know that Lindberg was flying in the combat zone), he flew a mission with our best P-38 pilots to get their feedback on and see first hand the various shortcomings of that aircraft in combat type flying. Surprisingly, they were jumped by Japanese aircraft and Lindbergh reportedly shot down one and damaged another. He requested that no mention of that action ever be told, however years later some of the pilots who knew about the event shared it at various reunions. The moral of this story… even a reluctant American eagle can use its talons if necessary so don’t assume reticence to fight with the ability to do so if the situation warrants.

Enough preachin’ (which comes easy to a Southern Baptist Marine.) Thanks…

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 29, 2004 12:22 AM

Posts by “Cap’n DOC” and “Wind Rider”

You’ve said it all - and very well!

Posted by: Jim [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 29, 2004 10:44 AM

I think Kerry’s facing a tough row to hoe with the entire Viet Nam record.

I expect the RNC to blast his testimony and record 7/24 and let people decide for themselves.

Some wannabe pundit here advised us to face the “fact” that Bush has lost the military vote. Uh, based on what data can this “fact” be supported?

Kerry will try very hard to run away from his record and the RNC will spend millions making sure that it’s always front and center. Kerry is A back east UN liberal and no amount of extreme make over will change that.

So I expect the TV ads to pound away at Kerry’s record and I expect the chattering classes that populate the old media to whine about negativity.

So the party of Hate Bush will complain about negativity when their candidates record is used as a campaign issue. Does that upset them? Well, well, leave me see is there a box of tissues handy.

Posted by: skip [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 29, 2004 11:48 AM

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