2004 US Presidential Election
August 05, 2004
Kerry | Kerry 's Naval Career (By those who served with him)
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of Vietnam Vets some of whom actually served with John Kerry, have just released a damning indictment of him in the form of a Political Ad.
Louis Letson: “I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury.”
The SwiftVet.com website has it in Quicktime format and others.
A Streaming Windows media version is also available here.
A critical look at some of the SwiftVet’s sponsors is at the Disinfopedia, but even it notes :
The Swift Boat Vets for Truth include the entire chain of command above Kerry: Lt. Commander Grant Hibbard, Lt. Commander George Elliott, Captain Charles Plumly, Captain Adrian Lonsdale USCG (retired) and Rear Admiral Hoffmann (retired), as well as enlisted men, officers, men who served with Mr. Kerry, men who served in the same group of Swift boats and men intimately familiar with the operations and conduct of Swift boat operations during the war.
Another view of Kerry’s Naval Career is to be found on page 16 of the July 2004 dead-tree edition of the US Naval Institute Proceedings, which I have a subscription to for professional reasons.
From Captain James F. Kelly, USN (retired) :
John Kerry and I were shipmates in the guided-missile cruiser USS Gridley (CG-21) in 1967 and 1968. He served as first lieutenant, the officer in charge of the deck division, and I was executive officer. [ie the 2nd in command of the ship - AEB] I remember him as a serious and intelligent young ensign, seemingly mature beyond his years. The skipper and I were mightiliy impressed with him despite his inexperience.
UPDATE : the actual Quicktime File (3.4 MB) address of the SwiftVets Ad is http://www.swiftvets.com/anyquestions.mov if you have any difficulty playing it in your browser - just save, then open it.
UPDATE : More damning comments from naval personnel about Kerry. On the other hand, from the same source there’s also an analysis debunking some of the claims about Kerry’s war medals being bogus. (Hat Tip : Reader Lakhim )
Posted by Alan Brain at August 5, 2004 10:08 AM | TrackBack
I just hope they don,t overdo it.
Posted by: Chads at August 5, 2004 10:54 AM
To me their credibility is in question due to them being:
1) Still ripping pissed that Kerry was such a big celebrity anti-war protester.
2) Funded and organized directly by the Republicans.
Kerry’s fault tho for making such a HUGE GIGANTIC DEAL over his Vietnam record. At least with this many people talking about it we know he was actually there. =)
Posted by: dave at August 5, 2004 10:57 AM
How can this man , offer a war record to the American people when it is a best dubious, at worst disgraceful??
Not that a man’s actions in his youth should blight a career for the rest of his life. God help us all if that were the case. But if he screwed the pooch as badly as I suspect he did, I would be asking for forgiveness for my youthful indescretions, not boasting about my record.
The current Prsident, made quite a mess of his earlier life, no doubt about it, he admitted that, and showed that he had changed his ways. Respect the man for that.
If alternately, these critics are merely Republicans with a political axe to grind, who are seeking to destroy the reputation of a genuine American Combat Officer. Then they should be “run out of town on a rail”.
Sadly there is a great deal of evidence over where Candidate Kerry is really coming from, and it doesn’t make pretty reading.
God bless you America the choice is yours.
Posted by: max at August 5, 2004 11:03 AM
We will tell the true and unvarnished story of Hanoi John in every corner, nook and cranny of this land.
Our survival depends on the truth that NO DEMONCRAT politician has had the guts to acknowledge for the last 30 years. Demoncrats are appeasers.
Posted by: leaddog2 at August 5, 2004 11:05 AM
I was wrong. My pardon to Zell Miller. He calls the Demoncrats for what they are.
Posted by: leaddog2 at August 5, 2004 11:06 AM
This new practice of second-guessing the US military awards process and Folks Who Were There is utterly despicable. Especially coming from other veterans.
If this practice continues, then Every decorated veteran out there is subject to after-the-fact characterization when/if someone decides its convenient for their Personal Political reasons.
I figure the Guys Who Were There have the most to say, and are the most credible on the matter. If they say Kerry did what the USN confirms that he did — then that’s the correct story. The award of the PH — not a medal to be purposefully sought — does not depend on having one’s limbs blown off or being severely lacerated. It merely requires an injury suffered while under fire. A typewriter dropping on a CW3’s head during a mortar attack got him a PH in my battalion. No one bothered to question it then. The medics confirmed, as they are required to do, the injury and they submitted the paperwork. The “award” was essentially automatic after that.
Same thing with the Bronze Star. The guy whose life Kerry saved lives about 75 miles from me. I’ve met him and heard him talk. His story matters. The Monday-morning quarterbacking of these other clowns doesn’t.
Who else is in line for this partisan “Truth” Squad? Are we to assume that all such awards for Valor are to subject for questioning 30+ years after they are awarded?
If the US Military says someone is a Hero, and medals are awarded for Valor Under Fire, the incident was formally confirmed during the process of evaluating the medal award. Medals were routinely downgraded for lack of appropriate documentation in Viet Nam. I know of several. Medals were also refused for the same reason. I know of several of those as well. (The SP6 who was the Awards NCO in the battalion HQ lived just two hooches down from where I did, and we used to discuss these matters realtively frequently.)
If the USN said Kerry was a hero over three decades ago, then that pretty much covers it.
There is a process by which the award of some medals may be challenged. I ran across it in the USAR’s years ago. It’s doubtless still there. If these folks have any Real Evidence that the medals were inappropriately awarded, then the thing for them to do is file the appropriate challenge and present their evidence formally. They haven’t and they won’t. It would hurt their PR campaign.
Press Conferences and Photo Ops don’t cut it.
Posted by: Don at August 5, 2004 11:07 AM
Lying about his injuries? Burning down villages? Shooting teenagers in loincloths?
Kinda makes you wonder what war crimes he’d have committed if he’d actually been voting in the Senate all this time?
Posted by: Laurence Simon at August 5, 2004 11:08 AM
It would appear that the headline on this item changed rather abruptly, from his record being Savaged to the present one.
I suppose it would be Wrong to note that a teenager in a loincloth with a weapon was a legitimate target in Viet Nam, or that burning down a village was a routinely approved technique in hostile territory at the time? Both were SOP all over the Delta — and not just for USN forces.
But then, Those Who Weren’t There are so willing to make such content-free comments thirty years after the fact.
Posted by: Don at August 5, 2004 11:18 AM
There is NOT NOW and there NEVER HAS BEEN any Republican funding for Swiftboat Vets. These are independents who are decorated military veterans with hundreds of years of combined military experience.
If you do not believe that, then be fair and make the same statements that Demoncrat funding is being provided (to and from) anti-Americans like George Soros, Moveon.org and the World Wide Socialist Party’s ANSWER network. (ANSWER is the Communist party mouthpiece you know. They even brag about it.)
You are obviously ignorant of the military. I know of NO ONE else who has EVER been condemned by his ENTIRE CHAIN OF COMMAND (both Democrats and Republicans) as unfit for leadership. John Kerry has that distinction in American history. It will be known to all in America BEFORE the election.
Posted by: leaddog2 at August 5, 2004 11:19 AM
Dave : Even the Disinfopedia doesn’t go as far as to say ‘Organised and directly funded by the Republicans’.
Stand back a bit and think : If every single person in George W Bush’s chain-of-command, and most of his ANG squadron, had all banded together just to say ‘Anybody but Bush!’, the fact that the DNC might have given their organisation financial help wouldn’t damage their credibility too much. In fact, I’d say not-at-all, the DNC would not be doing their job if they didn’t.
And if every single person in George W Bush’s chain-of-command, and most of his ANG squadron, had all banded together just to say ‘Anybody but Bush!’, it would have made the front page of every single major newspaper and every TV network, No?
Now look at what his former superior on the Gridley said about Kerry. The bit about ‘Fitness report being an exercise in superlatives’.
It was obvious that Kerry had a political career in mind from day 1. Join the Navy - check. Get some medals - Check. Join the Anti-war bandwagon - Check. Tick all the boxes, and Zip, he’s a Senator.
I won’t go as far as to say Marry Money - Check. all the evidence I’ve seen is that John Kerry didn’t marry Theresa Heinz just for the dough. It helped, but so what, Theresa and John are as like-politically-minded as Hillary and Bill, maybe more so.
One question though - how come it took an Australian Blogger to dig up the quote from Captain Kelly? Don’t the US media have any interest in their own election? Or is it that they can’t do basic research?
I tried to keep it balanced - I’ve been very critical of Kerry in the past. Had I not been, I would have said that John F Kerry’s performance reviews were almost as outstanding as another famous American’s, also wounded in action and a ‘war hero’, a certain Benedict Arnold.
That would be unfair, unjust, and over-the-top. Kerry’s ambitious, but has the ability to back it up. As an opportunist, he’s unmatched. He actually is as intelligent and capable as he thinks he is, his arrogance is quite excuseable. The question is, does he have the minimum integrity needed? The standard for that is fairly low - look at Lyndon Johnson, who although was a disaster from a foreign policy viewpoint, was actually pretty good domestically. Or look at Bill “that depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” Clinton. Flawed, but not disasterously so (except for Al Qaeda, but we all screwed up there).
Kerry is a consumate politician. But as a leader… I as an Australian am not convinced.
Posted by: aebrain at August 5, 2004 11:31 AM
I was not there, so I tend to leave this debate to those who were.
However, as an observer, I notice one thing: Shit splatters. If Kerry’s entire chain of command is now saying he was unfit for duty, (1) why didn’t they say that 30+ years ago, and (2) why did they send someone who was unfit for duty into battle?
How do they span this vast credibility gap?
Posted by: Todd at August 5, 2004 11:38 AM
would the ad be credible if Soros funded it? Look at the substance of the ad and criticize it, if you can.
I get no video, only audio from the clip. Any suggestions.
Posted by: jones at August 5, 2004 11:39 AM
I find it amusing that John Kerry says the military is a bunch of killers and he himself has also committed atrocities and then expects to become the Command in Chief?
Don believes that anyone with any concern about John Kerry becoming the command in chief should shut up?
I don’t think so. The command in chief position is not one that you can hand over to just anyone you wish. John Kerry has not voted or supported the American Military at any point in his entire service in the Senate.
You can’t just hand over the commander in chief to someone just because you like his ideological, domestic, agenda. There comes a point where credibility and trustworthiness plays a roll.
The Swift Boat Veterans of Truth are providing the other side of the coin that many Americans won’t get to see from John Kerry’s Campaign. It is highly important that American Citizens use their vote wisely… Not as some hate infested, anti-Bush act of passion.
Posted by: Jeff MacMillan at August 5, 2004 11:40 AM
By that standard, Don, George Bush’s national guard service is beyond attack because the military looked into it and gave him an honorable discharge. I don’t remember you taking such a presumptively trusting stance on that issue.
You can marginalize these guys if you want, but Kerry has opened himself up to this by trading solely on his war record and not much else. They’ve organized themselves and put their own reputations on the line and, other than Kerry supporters, nobody is coming out saying they’re wrong or that they don’t know what they are talking about.
Posted by: TL at August 5, 2004 11:45 AM
Don : Re Headline change : I thought I’d hit ‘review’ not ‘post’. After adding the USNI stuff, I thought the current headline was more appropriate, putting the emphasis on Kerry’s Naval career from a variety of sources, not just one. Less damaging to Kerry too.
Posted by: aebrain at August 5, 2004 11:46 AM
I’m kind of with you here in the sense that I wasn’t there. But having said that, if John Kerry is going to make his service in Vietnam an issue of this campaign, and as Don said, the story of the guy whose life he saved matters, then so do the stories of those other with whom he served with and served under.
As for the credibility gap, I could be wrong about this, Todd, but as I recall, a lot of veteran did speak up at the time, quite loudly.
But no one was listening. Kerry, Jane Fonda, and many others were the ones with the microphone, loudly criticizing an unfortunate, unpopular war.
As I have said before, both Bush and Kerry can be excused for the foolish things they did as young men; I am more interested in what there voting records since then.
Nevertheless, I am not easily willing to dismiss the sheer number of men that were there, served with him, and are willing to question this now that that man stands a chance of becoming the most powerful man in the world.
Posted by: johnnymozart at August 5, 2004 11:51 AM
This ad is devastating to kerry. The issue is also devastating. I think this may be the one time in recent memory when the media’s bluff is called.
How they handle this will be carefully watched by both sides. Comparisons to the uproar about Bush’s record are inevitable. So this is a bell weather for the press.
If I were sitting in an editors office somewhere I would set as my goal an equal number of complaints from both sides on my media outlet’s presentation of this issue.
Any mention of this will result in waves of whining from the left. Any whiff of this getting less attention than the Bush deal will result in righteous indignation from the right.
So let’s see how the press handles this. This should be very telling
Posted by: skip at August 5, 2004 11:54 AM
jones : Try an alternate format. I initially got lousy quality via windows media, then checked out the original site uisng Quicktime (much better), but repeat plays had the same problem you have. Try clearing your cache.
Posted by: aebrain at August 5, 2004 11:56 AM
Don I will be very respectful, considering our shared InCountry Experience…
You have to be careful when you distinguish Medals and Awards and Honors from actually EARNING them. As I understand it, two of his three Purple Hearts are in question: No. 1 and No. 3. I have not looked into the incident for which he earned the Silver Star, nor am I questioning it.
I do however, have a number of issues regarding the Purple Hearts, because I have filled out the form (which the Doctor then signed). These are the very awards that are in question (with good reason), and the very forms which Senator Kerry will not release. If he did not EARN them, he ought not have ever had the opportunity to pitch them (or anybody’s) over a fence, implying by the act that he rejected those awards and honors.
Apparently it is okay by you that by implication the President is accused and suspected of not completing his military obligation, and because records cannot be produced (which now have been, BTW), that the accusation stands. What irritates me is that you will accept those on face, and despite the harangue from the Left that the President’s records were somehow mysteriously blackholed, you will also allow Kerry’s non-release of critical Military Medical Records to go unchallenged.
How very balanced of you…
Posted by: Cap'n DOC at August 5, 2004 01:45 PM
Combat reviews take some time. As an example, today’s deployments in Iraq are for for one year.
They were able to evaluate John Kerry and get him out of Vietnam in 120 days. That tells it’s own story! The military brass WERE ALSO in a politically unpopular war that hurt morale for years.
It is only now when Kerry can potentially damage the country drastically that these men are compelled by conscience to speak up. I suspect that like John McCain, they would also hide John Kerry’s dirty laundry, if he was NOT a Presidential candidate.
Posted by: leaddog2 at August 5, 2004 01:49 PM
His chain of command did do something about Kerry. They expedited him the hell out of Vietnam. At least that’s what several of them say. I think once he was gone they were just glad of it.
Posted by: Chads at August 5, 2004 01:55 PM
Alan, good post… the input from the USNI Proceedings was a very good insight as to how an officer can be outstanding in one job and at the same time potentially create some resentment in another capacity.
Todd, as long as people are going to hold up anti-war activists as a shining example for anything, old wounds and deep resentments will rise to the surface from many vets and others who vehemently disagree. I suspect that this is one of the major driving forces more so than some secret RNC action for the 30+ year delayed reaction. As long as the Democratic Party is seen as the primary party of choice for those members of the Viet Nam generation who are proud of their actions and deeds in the anti-war movement, the majority of those who did not support these people or their philosophy will be driven to the other party by necessity.
To others who may cite fit reps as a reliable source of performance and records, be careful… the fit rep system during that time and up until more recently was notoriously inflated and poorly managed as to quality, content and consistency in reporting. Most COs would prefer to ignore fit reps on junior officers especially and determine performance by first hand experience in different situations.
Not at all unusual for an officer to perform very well in one circumstance and quite differently in another all together more challenging setting. Being a stellar officer on board a destroyer at sea is very different than how one performs (or is perceived to be performing) while serving in a tighly knit riverine Swift boat force in daily combat.
I was not there… I can not ,and as most I know in the military today, will not judge Lt. J.G. Kerry’s Viet Nam record because of that fact. I let the record speak for itself. Just as I let the President’s NG service speak for his choice of service and performance accordingly.
As for the large number coming out to diminish Sen. Kerry’s war record, I credit it almost wholly in my view to the aforementioned points about post Viet Nam bitterness and resentlment for his anti-war activities. The Dems had to realize that they would be opening a can of worms in anyway they tried to address Kerry’s Viet Nam service without trying to alleviate the anti-war record. The high degree of backlash among some as represented by the Vets against Sen. Kerry is probably a testimony to the Dem handlers and campaign managers failing to do so effectively. The Senator’s early years in college, in Viet Nam and as a protest leader to the war is a double edge sword outside of Washington and the Democratic Party, especially among many veterans who are overwhelmingly conservative in their leanings.
I too would hope that the RNC will disavow all contacts and support with this video for the same reasons that I would have preferred that the DNC not had attacked the President on his NG duty and belittle his immediate post 9-11 performance so disrespectfully.
Posted by: steve at August 5, 2004 02:04 PM
REPORT FROM THE FRONT FINAL THOUGHTS – the Vietnam Veterans against Kerry demonstration at the DNC.
It’s now been a week since the Vietnam Vets serenaded John Kerry at the Fleet Center and in front of his house. The thing that amazes me the most is the degree to which the mainstream media has totally ignored our legitimate expressions of anger at the con job the Democrat National Committee was trying to foist on America so they could grab more power over us.
My wife, the fabulous Cindy, reminded me of PT Barnum’s favorite saying “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” The latter is what Kerry and his minions are trying to do to America this election season. Apparently they think us Vietnam Era Vets are senile by now and don’t remember his treachery that caused us to lose that war and denied us the honor we so richly earned.
I have this warning to the veterans of latter generations:
IF JOHN KERRY IS ELECTED, I PROMISE YOU HE WILL STEAL YOUR HONOR AS HE STOLE OURS.”
Back to our demonstration and march. The media was there outside the Fleet Center by the hundreds and I had hundreds of cameras in my face as we advanced our banner into their consciousness. I personally was interviewed perhaps twenty times and I saw numerous other comrades interviewed also. WHERE ARE THOSE TAPES? ARE THEY BEING HIDDEN ON PURPOSE?
I will say that Channel Five ABC in Boston did show brief snippets of our efforts Wednesday and Thursday on their eleven o’clock news and another guy handed my daughter a cell phone and a voice told her:
“You’re on the radio, how old are you?” To which she answered “Nine.”
He then asked “Why don’t you like John Kerry?” and she answered “Because he’s a liar and I don’t like his chin.”
But that was all I know of. Kerry can never win if we can get the word out that two thirds of all Vietnam Veterans dislike him intensely, but how are we going to do that if the media will ignore us?
The following links describe my experience those nights and a few pictures I took of the situation:
Posted by: Adrian Spidle at August 5, 2004 03:21 PM
I don’t know how old you are, but as one who was drafted in ‘63 (but did not go to VietNam) I lived through those times. There is some unfinished business here, and it has little to do with the anti-Kerry vets’ politics. Fonda, Kerry and their ilk, and the irresponsible media, damaged our country and led to incredible suffering and death for millions (see Pol Pot).
Kerry has made his participation in the war a central theme of his campaign, so it was he who invited the scrutiny. And it is not a matter of spin or a need to “alleviate the anti-war” record. Kerry is a fake and is being called on it.
BTW, there is probably a reason most vets are strong on national security, or even “conservative”. What do you suppose it might be?
Posted by: Jack Okie at August 5, 2004 03:26 PM
Thank you for your post and comments. You have justified questions about where I’m coming from. Some of the folks in this group already know me, but I’ll try to provide additional insight.
I am a Viet Nam era veteran, 30+ year military retiree and a conservative and I greatly despised the anti-war movement. I lost friends in Viet Nam and the actions of those who protested openly and so theatrically in public I feel diminished that loss. I know first hand as a former search, evasion, rescue and escape instructor about the cruel treatment that some of our POWs received as a result of Sen. Kerry’s and the others’ actions that spring. I personally was cursed, spat upon and had trash thrown at me by some anti-war supporters during that time merely because I was out in public in uniform. I am also a survivor from the Pentagon on 9-11.
I did not try to provide cover for the DNC or the Dems… I was pointing out that any apparent attempt to try and mitigate the risk caused by his anti-war activities must have come up short as far as most vets are concerned and thus tried to exemplify through this about the apparently significant backlash that has resulted. I do not think that this backlash was orchestrated by the Republicans per se and, as you point out, represents a reaction from the bitter feelings and “unfinished business” many of the vets and others like youself have carried around for these many years.
Still, I want to try and give Sen. Kerry the benefit of a doubt as he did serve and in combat voluntarily. The other points I suggested as consideration by others before they fall prey one way or the other to using of fitness reports or conspiracy theories to justify or spin certain facts.
Bottom line… So far, I am not convinced that Sen. Kerry would do a better job than President Bush for a myriad of reasons. The burden of proof is upon the challanger, but I am trying ot keep an open mind and focus on facts and not purely upon emotion.
I do not think that those who support the Senator really understand the level of anger, distrust and sense of betrayal that exists among many of our generation, especially among those who served in uniform during those times. It is a dangerous miscalulation in my opinion that could backfire on their whole Viet Nam service foundation.
Posted by: steve at August 5, 2004 04:02 PM
The United States Navy has a tradition of not taking a dump in it’s own nest. It is literally bred into the service. Take these accusations of Kerrys service very seriously. They were not made lightly. And they crossed all political lines within the community of Naval officers and men making them.
As yet, there are no numbers of Senior Naval Officers refuting any of these claims. Should their silence persist, you will know where the Department of the Navy stands regarding the matter of Lt.jg John Forbes Kerry.
Posted by: ET at August 5, 2004 04:13 PM
I can understand your frustration about the press NOT COVERING conservative protests. If protesters appear at a Bush event, the coverage goes to THEM. Bush was in Minnesota yesterday. A local news station’s coverage was all about the anti-Bush protesters there, and NOTHING about what Bush said.
Posted by: Max Darkside at August 5, 2004 04:35 PM
It seem disengneuous in the extreme for Kerry supporters to cheer “their” veretans’ expression of opinion re Kerry’s fitness while simultaneously decrying other veretans’ expression of opinion re the same. Not to mention their trumetting as a triumph of “free speech” the widespread disemination of provably false statements against Bush by Moore et. al.
In a related vein, though, I caution against relying on Disinfopedia for information without a healthy dose of NaCl. Besides cataloging corporate PR, industry-friendly experts, industry-funded organizations , religious groups, war propaganda and others as “shaping the public agenda” with obvious scorn and implications of ill, their loving treatment of MoveOn as a ” progressive political group” that “promote[s] grassroots advocacy” and mention only of the evils of “Corporate-dominated media” belie their tilt. Add in little clues (such as their article on how it is Michael Moore’s success that has “his political opponents to respond” and that the only article in their media watch is taking CNN task for reporting the statement of military officials and contrasting it with Al Jazeera’s report that “US troops killed innocent bystanders when they opened fire on anything that moved”. To quote Disinfopedia, “It is not the job of the media at home to justify US military operations … [this] is propaganda at its worst”. I looked for an entry on Disinfopedia, but failed to find any reference to a web site that purports to expose propaganda and disinformation while concentrating on certain groups for scorn and lauding others with praise.
Posted by: submandave at August 5, 2004 04:39 PM
Thanks for your input.
Posted by: Chads at August 5, 2004 04:40 PM
ET raises an interesting question: are there people in the service now who have had some involvement in Kerry’s service? Does the reaction of the currently serving officers say something about the view of the military? Hmmmm, interesting angle.
ET also sheds some light on the question of timing. Protecting the service is important and so I can understand that these gentlemen would be reluctant to speak out. As one of them has said Kerry was a problem for MA and nobody else.
but once the stake got higher the balance, it seems, shifted and these men were compelled based on the greater good.
This is going to be an interesting news cycle.
Posted by: skip at August 5, 2004 05:07 PM
Either Kerry is a war criminal (like so many others in his day - he claims) as he testified in ‘71 or he is not.
If he is a war criminal (as he claimed) he should be prosecuted. There is no statute of limitations on war crimes.
If not he is a liar who severely damaged his nation and the lives of millions in Vietnam with his lies.
Which is it?
Posted by: M. Simon at August 5, 2004 05:18 PM
How many men on a SwiftBoat? How many men could possible have served with Senator Kerry on his SwiftBoat?
Boats and Crews and times of service are available on the web for those who are interested in discovering who did and did not serve with him, and what did and did not happen during his 4 month+18Day Tour.
To question whether he served honorably is apparently above question - but for the nagging issue about the Purple Hearts. It ain’t like the records can’t be found (as was the case with some of the President’s until two weeks ago), but rather Senator Kerry will deny the public a view of the very records which would put this issue to rest.
I am not asking about his Post-VN activities, for they are all avialable in one form or another on the web. I’m only interested in the forms Kerry will not release for some apparent unknown reason.
If he wants to hush up a great deal of the opposition’s argument, he could simply release the records and the Veterans groups would dissolve.
I’m not inclined to hold my breath on that one.
Posted by: Cap'n DOC at August 5, 2004 05:59 PM
ET’s other $.02
It is DEVASTATING. As mentioned above, I am from a Navy family. This book is very obviously written by career Naval Officers who did not find John Kerry’s act in Vietnam at all amusing.
If the remainder of the book is even slightly as damning Kerry is on the ropes………
Posted by: ET at August 5, 2004 07:55 PM
He has got the medals. He has ALL of the men who actually served on his boat with him, including the man whose life he saved. Given those two facts, these charges can only backfire on Bush. That is why he smartly distanced himself from this ad today.
Posted by: rdelephant at August 5, 2004 08:02 PM
That is not entirely true. He has many members of his crew, but not all of them. In fact there are several members of his crew that have objected to his use of their picture with him as an implicit endorsement on Kerry’s website, etc.
He has the medals, but not the ribbons, which he chucked over the fence with somebody else’s medals in a cheap publicity stunt while fabricating stories of war crimes.
The man whose life he saved just got into it with one of the authors on CNN and he did not come off as any more credible than O’Neill. His argument was basically that O’Neill could have brought this up before, but didn’t.
Doesn’t it bother you in the least that this guy’s peers are willing to subject themselves to all the public criticism that they are getting for NOTHING? Doesn’t it bother you that Kerry could end a lot of this by releasing his military and medical records and he still won’t do it?
Somebody’s playing games here, and I’m inclined to believe it’s the guy with the filmed “reenactiments” whose lawyers are sending out misleading letters to the media threatening to sue them if they run the TV ad these other decorated veterans have put their reputations at risk to make.
Posted by: TL at August 5, 2004 09:42 PM
Games, indeed. Two of the veterans in the ad apparently flew to Boston in 1996 to support Kerry in a senatorial race.
Does this count as yet another Kerry flip-flop?
Posted by: bananas at August 6, 2004 01:44 AM
bananas: “Games, indeed. Two of the veterans in the ad apparently flew to Boston in 1996 to support Kerry in a senatorial race.”
Well, perhaps you might rephrase that to include the caveat that the claim comes from a Kerry campaign person…?
From the article:
Posted by: CERDIP at August 6, 2004 02:34 AM
As a member of another Vietnam vets group Vietnam Vets for the Truth formed to dispute Kerry’s post-war lies, I can comment a bit on some of this stuff. (but first, let me note that we are having a rally in DC on Sept 12 - see the website).
The Swifties tried another path - they had a press conference on May 5th where they pronounced Kerry unfit for command. The press buried it, even though (as noted above) it was a historic moment.
The group is not led by political operatives. It was founded by Admiral Hofman and I think that John O’Neill is the primary spokesman. It has over 250 members, officers and enlisted.
I have spoken to some of the leaders and others in the group, and they are doing this because they feel that Kerry is literally is unfit to be the Commander In Chief.
It is important to note that all of Kerry’s supporters except one were enlisted members of his crew (but one enlisted member is against him and part of the swifty group). Those accusing him include both officers and enlisted. John O’Neill comes from a Navy family - many relatives in the Navy.His father was an Admiral. Navy honor is a part of all of this - these guys take it seriously. O’Neill, a successful Houston attorny,
Those who attack the organization are attacking a grass roots orgganization of war veterans.
Those who say this is just bitterness from Vietnam are half right. Many of us are madder than hell about what was done to our war, and John Kerry was part of that. But that anger doesn’t cause people to make up allegations. Some of the allegations in the ad are about Kerry’s rather poor service in the riverine service, and some about his betrayal after he got home.
Someone provided the money for the ad. That someone has been described as a Texas Republican moneyman. Given that the only kind of moneyman who would provide money would be a Republican, I believe that.
Those who talke about RNC money going into this are clueless. It is a 527 organization and can’t come close to the Bush Campaign, or people go to jail.
Finally, their group, like ours, would vanish in a flash if there were any other candidate. I think O’Neill would vote for Edwards, for example. I would still vote for Bush, but I wouldn’t be an activist.
Posted by: John Moore ( Useful Fools ) at August 7, 2004 10:23 PM
I’d like to direct attention to this page:
which addresses many of the issues raised above directly. It refutes many of the questions being raised about Mr. Kerry’s service, the people who are arrayed against him, 3rd party assessments of available facts.
Posted by: Jatsby at August 11, 2004 06:17 AM