Kerry vs. the Vets

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As the Washington Times runs its third and final excerpt from the anti-Kerry tome Unfit for Command, The New York Times publishes a story about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

As is often the case in these sorts of things, more information rarely helps to clarify much. The NY Times story documents that the SwiftVets have a lot of ties to Republican powerbrokers but I'm not sure it undermines the credibility of the anti-Kerry crew. That's partly because of statements like this:

George Elliott, one of the Vietnam veterans in the group, flew from his home in Delaware to Boston in 1996 to stand up for Mr. Kerry during a tough re-election fight, declaring at a news conference that the action that won Mr. Kerry a Silver Star was "an act of courage."…

In an evaluation of Mr. Kerry in 1969, Mr. Elliott, who was one of his commanders, ranked him as "not exceeded" in 11 categories, including moral courage, judgment and decisiveness, and "one of the top few"—the second-highest distinction—in the remaining five. In written comments, he called Mr. Kerry "unsurpassed," "beyond reproach" and "the acknowledged leader in his peer group."…

Mr. Elliott, who recommended Mr. Kerry for the Silver Star, had signed one affidavit saying Mr. Kerry "was not forthright" in the statements that had led to the award. Two weeks ago, The Boston Globe quoted him as saying that he felt he should not have signed the affidavit. He then signed a second affidavit that reaffirmed his first, which the Swift Boat Veterans gave to reporters. Mr. Elliott has refused to speak publicly since then.

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  1. my answers to thoreau’s poll:

    1) I believe the allegations against Kerry.
    2) Bush did nothing unexcused by the military establishment and ultimately finished his 5-year stint with honor. Not bad for a well-connected someone who never claimed to be a ‘hero’.
    3)n/a
    4) I care about what happened in Viet Nam since, as a result of Kerry’s post-service treachery, it’s one of only 5 remaining communist countries–a gross tragedy in light of American and Vietnamese sacrifices for individual liberties.

  2. Shannon Love,

    You are being slightly disingenous when you make statements like the following:

    I mean of the 30 (by my count) officers in Kerry group and chain of command, 4 are neutral, 25 actively oppose him and only 1 brave soul is willing to stand up and tell the truth. I mean what are the odds that so many corrupt liars would end up in same unit as Kerry?

    Here you directly imply that 25 people have some actual factual opposition to Kerry’s war record, when indeed that is not the case. However, if you watch the original commercial itself (as opposed to the new one – which perpetrates an outright lie) you will see that (a) there are only two factual claims made in it, (b) that there are only a handful of people involved in these factual disputes, and (b) that one of the claims is made by a third-hand “witness” to the events at hand. Every other statement in the commercial by the other Vets is mere opinion, and are similar to statements like these (which are taken from the original commercial):

    “John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam…”

    “John Kerry betrayed the men and women he served with in Vietnam…”

    (1) One of the factual claims comes from from Louis Letson who states in the commercial that: “I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury.”

    The Los Angeles Times states that Letson “…learned from some medical corpsmen that other crewmen had confided that there was no exchange of fire and that Kerry had accidentally wounded himself as he fired at the guerrillas. Letson said he didn’t know if the crewmen giving this account were in the boat with Kerry or on other boats.” Furthermore, Letson is not listed as the man who treated Kerry for his wound.

    (2) The other statement that actually addresses a factual issue comes from Van O’Dell: “John Kerry lied to get his Bronze Star. … I know, I was there, I saw what happened.”

    Nobody disputes that (a) Kerry plucked Rassman from the water or (b) that mines had gone off. Kerry says the rescue happened under fire. O’Dell and a few others who were in boats nearby say it didn’t. Rassman backs up Kerry’s version, as does Del Sandusky, a crewman on Kerry’s boat, and the Navy’s official after-action report.

  3. Why are we still talking about this?

  4. OK, I know I gotta be missing something. Doesn’t this basically mean. He loved Kerry, until he ran against Bush, but then the disonance he is having due to loving Kerry, and hating him for Bush’s sake is making him nuts?

    Isn’t this the run down?

    1. Served with Kerry (no politics involved) LOVED HIM!

    2. Kerry running against Bush. Elliott feels betrayed that anyone who could serve honorably would oppose Bush, who to use the National Reviews word, was a bit of a DRAFT AVOIDER.

    3. Elliott is in complete freak-out mode as he becomes his own worst nightmare (and what I heard from a local reporter here in Chicago) that the Repub operators are leaning on him full court press, ala Nixon dirty trick squad. Remember, Bush does have one of these. Back when McCain adopted a baby from Bangledesh, they called folks before the primary and said “HE”S GOT A BLACK BABY”. (or has everyone forgot that?)

  5. …because we have yet to find the source of the odor.

  6. I guess we’re covering it because republican hacks were insisting that the librul media was hiding this story. As it falls apart I imagine they will regret this insistence. The Swift Dudes was never meant to be a story you actually investigated the truth of, it was just a push poll done on the tube. Make some negative unverifiable claim and then disappear, hoping some mud will stick.

  7. What is the point of affidavits?

  8. Poor John Kerry, I cannot believe this man’s bad luck! He landed in a statistically unlikely cluster of corrupt evil people willing to lie through their teeth in mass in order to derail his campaign.

    I mean of the 30 (by my count) officers in Kerry group and chain of command, 4 are neutral, 25 actively oppose him and only 1 brave soul is willing to stand up and tell the truth. I mean what are the odds that so many corrupt liars would end up in same unit as Kerry?

    One would normally expect to find a ratio something like 3 to 5 that support him, 10 to 14 that are neutral and another 3 to 5 that oppose him. It should look like a bell curve with active supporters and opponents at each end. Kerry’s bad luck ended up with the overwhelming preponderance of witness being individuals willing to lie in order to throw a presidential election!

    Fortunately for Kerry, he has repeatedly made a claim that he was at specific place at a specific time i.e. Christmas-in-Cambodia. It will be easy for him to produce witnesses from his band-of-brothers, his own diary, Vietnam histories and other forms of evidence to back up the claim.

    Fortunately, for Kerry, our nobel and neutral major media is on the case. The New York Times wisely spends the first half of their story not on the allegations of the Swiftvets but on the shocking and surprising information that they are backed by, hold on to you hats, REPUBLICANS! I mean, who would have thought? I mean it’s not like our political system relies on ones political opponents attacking hammer and tong to uncover deceit and corruption.

    Like Lenin said, the motives of the persons making the allegation is more important than the substance of the allegation itself.

    The media is also brave in bringing out the contradictions of George Elliott. I mean why shouldn’t we blindly accept the uncorroborated assertions of a reporter with long involvement with Kerry over some baby-killing Vietnam vet? I guess we have to follow the media like sheep. It’s not like we have time to google up Elliot’s two affidavits or anything.

    I’m sure the all of Kerry’s brother officers save one are craven baby-killing lying war criminals just like Kerry always claims. I am sure he will prove his Christmas-in-Cambodia story any day now but.

    But just in case keep your fingers jammed in your ears, read only major media sources and for god’s sake don’t look at any original source materials!

  9. Isn’t this Thoreau’s favorite topic?

  10. Weren’t the affidavits composed by O’Neill/Team Rove, faxed out, signed, faxed back? That would explain the lyin’ then/lyin’ now dichotomy. Here’s the story, now stick with it. Got it?!? I don’t think these guys are telling their own stories.

  11. Just wonder how Senator Kerry will respond to the latest ad.

  12. If I didn’t read the alternative internet press, my first exposure to this story would have been the Boston Globe’s story trying to discredit it.

    The second time was when I was forwarded a bunch of articles — from an in-law — trying to discredit the story from some website that thinks it’s the only leftist voice in the media. (I’m not sure my wife and I can ever have kids with this much mental illness in our genes.)

  13. Evil Joe, I just read that Chad Clanton of the kerry campaign has call on the Swifties publisher to stop printing the book. I believe this is kerry’s response, BAN THE BOOK, screw the 1st Ammendment. /R

  14. Slow Boat raises the interesting question:

    What is the point of affidavits?

    Good question. If you make an affidavit for use in court, and in the affidavit you intentionally lie about some fact material to the proceeding, then you can theoretically be prosecuted for perjury. Making a false statement in an affidavit unconnected to any judicial proceeding would not seem to be prosecutable.

    At best, making such an affidavit can be read to suggest that you have such strong confidence that the claims you are making in the affidavit are true that you would be willing to testify in court to that effect. Alternatively, the affidavit is just window dressing.

  15. Indeed, this is my favorite topic. I think Presidential elections should be based on what the candidates did 30 years ago.

    Quick poll:

    1) How many of you believe the allegations against Kerry?

    2) Of those who believe the allegations against Kerry, how many of you believe that Bush did absolutely nothing wrong in his National Guard duty?

    3) Of those who DON’T believe the allegations against Kerry, how many believe that Bush went AWOL from the National Guard?

    4) How many don’t give a flying fuck what happened in Vietnam?

    My answers:
    1) I don’t care.
    2) Not applicable to me because I don’t care.
    3) Not applicable to me because I don’t care.
    4) I don’t give a rat’s stinky ass.

  16. Incidentally, somebody will probably point out that “Well, I don’t ACTUALLY care what happened in Vietnam, but Kerry made it his signature issue, so it’s fair game.”

    Half right. The very fact that Kerry made it his signature issue makes him look bad in and of itself. Nothing more needs to be said.

    And yes, I realize that he was probably thinking it would innoculate him against the standard litany used against Democrats: “Pinko commie hippie peacenik who won’t defend America!” Look, there’s a difference between innoculating yourself and then moving on, versus beating the issue to death. Kerry went way beyond “I served, I care about national defense, now let’s talk about the national security threats of TODAY!”

    I’m voting Badnarik. Why? Because I have no clue what he did during the Vietnam War and he hasn’t made a point of mentioning it.

  17. grylliade writes: “None of these factors had anything to do with losing the War in Vietnam. It was all due to Kerry’s actions after he came home.”

    Well, the Communist North Vietnamese certainly think they owe Kerry a debt of gratitude. John Kerry’s picture is hanging in the War Crimes Museum (now War Remnants Museum) in Ho Chi Minh city, formerly Saigon. This was discovered by Bill Lupetti, a former Navy corpsman who had been stationed in Viet Nam. He made some sort of personal pilgrimage back to Viet Nam just before Memorial Day of this year, found the photo at the museum lionizing Kerry for his “heroic” contributions to the North Vietnamese communists cause, photographed it and went to an Internet Cafe in Ho Chi Minh City. From there, it was posted on the Internet and can be seen at: WinterSoldier.com

    The Kerry display at the War Crimes Museum is found in a room titled “The World Supports Viet Nam in its Resistance,” and is placed in the American protesters section. Lupetti is quoted in Unfit for Command: “that particular hall has photos of war protesters…There are posters and banners from antiwar groups around the world who supported the Vietnamese communists in the war…It’s a propaganda museum…They’re honoring Kerry as being one of the guys who helped them. Kerry is a hero to the Vietnamese communists. He was a hero to them during the war and he is a hero to them now.”

    And of course, there are the POWs who say their communist torturers tormented them with Kerry’s “admission” that the U.S. military was entirely constituted of depraved war criminals. After all, Kerry and his VVAW were disseminating flyers like this: http://611.mystarband.net/images/VVAW06.jpg

  18. rick laredo,

    Evil Joe, I just read that Chad Clanton of the kerry campaign has call on the Swifties publisher to stop printing the book. I believe this is kerry’s response, BAN THE BOOK, screw the 1st Ammendment.

    How would this be a “ban,” and how is the 1st Amendment implicated? If the Kerry campaign asks the publisher to pull the book and the publisher complies with said request that is a private actor’s decision; thus the 1st Amendment is not implicated (you don’t a right to publication in other words). Of course a contract might have been violated, but that still doesn’t the 1st Amendment. As to it being a “ban,” I just don’t buy that argument. A ban in the sense that you appear to be using it in generally entails some government edict – here none exists. Finally, if the publisher did pull the book from publication the author would likely be perfectly able to find other avenue for publication.

  19. That John Kerry must be an overpowering personality.

    He went to Vietnam and behaved atrociously. Yet his commanding officers mentioned none of it in his service records – clearly under direct orders from Kerry, because why else would they have rated him so highly knowing that he lied to get medals? He awarded himself the aforementioned medals, forcing witnesses and his commanding officers, all who knew that his account was fraudulent, to go along with the charade.

    When he came back home to the US, he, through the magnetic force of his personality, made fellow veterans lie about atrocities they had witnessed or even committed in ‘Nam, so he’d have better material to use when he single-handedly poisoned the minds of the American people against the war. Many don’t remember the time, but it’s a well-known fact that before Kerry strong-armed those Vietnam vets to lie, everyone in the US (and Vietnam) saw the war as the noble conflict against evil, domino-playing Commies that it truly was. He even managed to make people think that he accused Vietnam veterans of being babykillers without ever accusing them of being babykiller, the bastard.

    Now he’s working his black mindcontrol magic again by a) forcing the people who served with him on the same boat to support his campaign, b) making the Navy falsify not only his records but those of his accusers so that their citations agree with his fraudulent account of the events, and c) controlling media coverage like a latter day Stalin. With mojo like that, I bet he could even get European leaders to send more troops to Iraq!

    Shannon Love writes:
    I cannot believe this man’s bad luck! He landed in a statistically unlikely cluster of corrupt evil people willing to lie through their teeth in mass in order to derail his campaign.

    It’s not that bad. The majority are making non-specific, unfalseable statements about him because they don’t like his anti-Vietnam War activism. It comes through quite well in the Washington Post piece to which someone was kind enough to post a link. Some have made specific charges about his Vietnam service – and all of them, with the exception of the Cambodia story, have been shot down in flames by a combination of actual witnesses and Navy records. This, of course, means that the more sentient Bushmen will henceforth try to forget all about the medals and concentrate on the all-important question of whether he was in Cambodia on a given date, like he has claimed a handful of times in the past thirty years.

    Christmas-in-Cambodia

    Whoop, there it is.

    The New York Times wisely spends the first half of their story not on the allegations of the Swiftvets but on the shocking and surprising information that they are backed by, hold on to you hats, REPUBLICANS!

    As the title of the story made clar, it was about the roots of the anti-Kerry ad, so it behooves the Times to state who are behind the ad – namely friends and acquintances of the Bush family and Karl Rove. The story did take aim at many of the claims made by the SBV”T”, too. I especially liked the takedowns on Thurlow (magic bullet holes, disappearing citations, after-action reports penned by KJW, and all) and Schachte (“Me and Bill aren’t that smart…” is an instant classic). Heck, one would think that a SBV”T” supporter like you would have preferred that the story by Ms Zernike and Mr Rutenberg had left those bits out.

    Just wonder how Senator Kerry will respond to the latest ad.

    So far his people have pointed out that one of the vets appearing in it, Ken Cordier, is a member of the Veterans for Bush-Cheney ’04 steering committee. (He was also one of the vice-chairs of Veterans for Bush Cheney National Coalition during the 2000 campaign and was named to the Veterans Affairs POW Advisory Committee.)

    Ammonium writes:
    If I didn’t read the alternative internet press, my first exposure to this story would have been the Boston Globe’s story trying to discredit it.

    My congratulations on not watching cable news shows and listening to talk radio. Those are good choices that will get you far in life.

    rick laredo writes:
    Evil Joe, I just read that Chad Clanton of the kerry campaign has call on the Swifties publisher to stop printing the book. I believe this is kerry’s response, BAN THE BOOK, screw the 1st Ammendment.

    That sounds quite a bit like what happened to “Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President”, which was dropped by its first publisher and later published by a smaller press. Since Regnery is a right-wing publishing house that had no problem printing lies about Bill Clinton, I doubt the SBV”T” have anything to fear on that front.

    Gary Gunnels writes:
    Kerry says the rescue happened under fire. O’Dell and a few others who were in boats nearby say it didn’t. Rassman backs up Kerry’s version, as does Del Sandusky, a crewman on Kerry’s boat, and the Navy’s official after-action report.

    Also, two other Bronze Star citations handed out because of the incident refer to enemy fire. Thurlow’s boat’s battle damage report mentions three bullet holes.

    Mona wrote:
    Captain Adrian Lonsdale, and George Elliott, did indeed come to Kerry’s defense when he was being accused of war crimes in his ’96 campaign. They said Kerry was being accused of the sort of atrocities he himself in ’71 had argued were pervasive, and it was not true.

    Oh, Elliott and Lonsdale have said more than that. Elliott was quite complimentary of Kerry’s Vietnam service:

    “In a combat environment often requiring independent, decisive action, LTjg Kerry was unsurpassed,” Elliott wrote in 1969. He went on to rate Kerry as “calm, professional and highly courageous in the face of enemy fire.”

    Elliott added: “(Kerry) emerges as the acknowledged leader in his peer group.” In 16 categories on Kerry’s officer efficiency report, ranging from professional knowledge to moral courage to military bearing to reliability, Elliott gave Kerry the highest possible rating – “is not exceeded” – in 11 categories, and the second highest, “one of the top 10” in five other categories.

    Elliott in 1996 supported Kerry in his re-election campaign for the Senate and during an appearance in Boston declared that Kerry had earned the Silver Star “for an act of courage.”

    According to the 1996 version of Lonsdale, Kerry “was among the finest of those Swift boat drivers.”

    Mona writes:
    John Kerry’s picture is hanging in the War Crimes Museum (now War Remnants Museum) in Ho Chi Minh city, formerly Saigon. […] [Bill Lupetti] found the photo at the museum lionizing Kerry for his “heroic” contributions to the North Vietnamese communists cause, photographed it and went to an Internet Cafe in Ho Chi Minh City.

    The plate under the picture says, “Mr. Do Muoi, Secretary General of the Vietnam Communist Party met with Congressmen and Veterans Delegation in Vietnam (July 15-18, 1993)”. Kerry was there with the delegation to to try to find out the fate of unaccounted-for American POWs and MIAs. If the picture was in the museum to “lionize” Kerry’s anti-Vietnam War activities, don’t you think the Vietnamese would, you know, mention his name or something?

    (This is one of the favorite smears of Jerome Corsi against Kerry, so you really should have guessed that there was nothing to it.)

  20. If you want to understand the motives of the Swift Vets, watch their May 4 Press conference here: http://www.c-span.org/search/basic.asp?ResultStart=1&ResultCount=10&BasicQueryText=swift

    About a third of the way through, you will see disabled vet Joe Ponder hobble to the podium, and barely be able to speak as he holds back tears. He says among Kerry’s many lies, is the allegation in Tour of Duty that 17 swiftees were injured in the combat that left Ponder largely paralyzed from the waist on down, and Kerry indicts the command, especially Admiral Hoffmann, for this “massacre.”

    In fact, 3 were wounded, Ponder being the first, and he greatly respects the men who commanded him. Choking back sobs, he says his wife and children read Tour of Duty and asked him whether he committed the atrocities Kerry describes therein via his hand-picked biographer.

    And Gary: Dr. Leston was the only physician at that medical base — medics often signed routine medical reports. If Kerry saw a physician there, it had to be Leston.

    Captain Adrian Lonsdale, and George Elliott, did indeed come to Kerry’s defense when he was being accused of war crimes in his ’96 campaign. They said Kerry was being accused of the sort of atrocities he himself in ’71 had argued were pervasive, and it was not true. But then, lo, his campaign bio comes out and he is again claiming massive atrocities and indicting the whole chain of command. They thought he was done with all that, and are royally outraged.

    Kerry is also losing support from from former crewmates on the U.S.S. Gridley, including Phil Carter who had contributed to his campaigns in the 90s, and basically liked him. But having read Tour of Duty he finds it replete with falsehoods and the hyperbole causes “an uncontrollable urge to giggle.” His acid assessment is that Tour “seem[s] to show a deliberate effort in his writings of the time to build a mystique for a future political career showing him as a great leader, father confessor to the ship and astute analyst of political and military happenings.”
    You can read all of his remarks here:
    http://home.nycap.rr.com/pwcarter/the%20kerry%20page.html

    The MSM is beginning to take the Swift Vets seriously. WaPo is running this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20242-2004Aug20.html

    This story, and the claims of the Swift Vets, are not going away. CBS is now reporting that Kerry has lost huge support from veterans in the last few weeks, and this is before the devastating second ad starts running. The one featuring former POW Paul Galanti indicting Kerry for giving to the Communists who were holding him what he refused to give under torture, namely, an admission to being a war criminal. Galanti, BTW, was John McCain’s campaign manager in Virginia, and participated in a group of veterans supporting the Democratic governor of that state. He is no Rove zombie. He simply detests John Kerry.

  21. GG the use of BAN THE BOOK and the reference to the 1st Ammendment reflects my opinion of what we can expect from a kerry administration.
    Hope that clears the water for you. /R

  22. Fodderstompf:

    Kerry will not release all of his war records, but of those that he did, knowledgeable reading of his fitness reports conforms to what the Swift Vets are saying. Even of those he cherry-picked for release, they are telling. From the Swift vets’ site, about an Elliott Fitrep:

    “In his FITREP for his combat tour as Officer in Charge of a SWIFT Boat -? arguably the most important FITREP among those released by the Kerry campaign ?- Kerry is not dinged but slammed in command, seamanship and ship handling and in all major leadership traits (28 JAN 69 ELLIOTT). To Kerry and perhaps to other junior officers, it is an okay FITREP. To detailers and selection boards, it is a negative fitness report that borders on the adverse. LCDR Elliott ranks him well below the norm in traits essential for command: force, industry, analytical ability, judgment and more.”

    Their entry on how to read a fitness report is here:

    http://www.swiftvets.com/staticpages/index.php?page=Fitreps

    Additionally, Elliott and Lonsdale now say they did not understand that because Kerry was apparently submitting all the after-action reports (he won’t sign a Form 180 so we can read his records and such questions can be definitively ascertained), and no one thought twice about believing them, that they may contain fabrications or exaggerations. Based on what has come out in the past year, and in Tour od Duty, Lonsdale and Elliott are now entirely prepared to believe that Kerry rouinely lies.

    Until Tour of duty Came out this past year, and vets who served with him read it and were amazed, they had not communicated amongst themselves as to the bizarre deviations from truth reflected in Kerry’s versions of many events. And it is not just the Swift Vets, some who served with him on the U.S.S. Gridley sound the same criticisms– one who had supported Kerry in ’96 now basically calls him a self-aggrandizing fantasist.

    As to the honor Communist Viet Nam has bestowed on John Kerry:

    The plaque describing the personages like John Kerry whose photographs hang on the wall in the War Crimes Museum reads thus: “We would like to thank the communist parties and working class countries of the world, national liberation movements, nationalist countries, peace-loving countries, international democratic organizations, and progressive human beings for their whole-hearted support and strong encouragement to our people’s patriotic resistance against the U.S. for national salvation.”

    So, Kerry is among those whom communist Viet Nam wishes to thank for his “whole-hearted support and strong encouragement to our people’s patriotic resistance against the U.S. for national salvation.” He was so useful to them when promiscuously raving about pervasive atrocities and war crimes our men were supposedly committing; they used his words against our tortured POWs. Yes, a true and fine Commander and Chief he would be, one who elicits gratitude for helping enemy resistance to the U.S., as he so supremely did.

    As for Cordier being a Republican, so is one of Kerry’s handful of “band of brothers” traveling with him a Democrat, one who was a delegate to the DNC convention. And? Paul Galanti was with “Veterans for Warner,” during the successful Mark Warner (Dem.) gubernatorial campaign in Virginia, and he is featured in the POW ad. You are going to find some vets who are GOP, and some who are not, in the vets anti-Kerry camp. John O’Neill, the primary author of Unfit for Command, voted for Gore in ’00, and over the course of his life has given 3 times as much to money to Democrats as to Republicans.

    Clearly, the issue for this uprising of hundreds of vets is John Kerry himself, and not pure politics.

    –Mona–

  23. And Fodderstompf, Kerry has come under great criticism for his efforts to supposedly find missing POWs/MIAs. I assume you would agree that Sydney Schamberg and The Village Voice are not tools of the GOP’s vast right wing conspiracy:

    http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0408/schanberg.php

    Families of POWs/MIAs have organized against Kerry for what they argue was a politically motivated cover-up, that included document shredding, so that Kerry could please his friends in Viet Nam. Apparently he did please him, because they chose a photo of him from that context, thought the basis for their gratitude extends back much further than that.

    –Mona–

  24. rick laredo,

    GG the use of BAN THE BOOK and the reference to the 1st Ammendment reflects my opinion of what we can expect from a kerry administration.

    Whatever. That’s a cock and bull story. You wrote nothing in your original comment about some future Kerry administration; your original comment was presentist in nature. Quit trying to bullshit me.

    For your edification, here is your original statement:

    Evil Joe, I just read that Chad Clanton of the kerry campaign has call on the Swifties publisher to stop printing the book. I believe this is kerry’s response, BAN THE BOOK, screw the 1st Ammendment.

    Nothing in this statement comes remotely close to the meaning that apply to it after the fact. So either you’re the worst writer of prose in the history of man, or you’re a liar – I pick the latter.

  25. Mona,

    About a third of the way through, you will see disabled vet Joe Ponder hobble to the podium, and barely be able to speak as he holds back tears.

    Arguments from emotion don’t compel much sympathy from me.

    Choking back sobs, he says his wife and children read Tour of Duty and asked him whether he committed the atrocities Kerry describes therein via his hand-picked biographer.

    Did the book state that they or he specifically committed atrocities? Its not clear that it does from the statements that you’ve made. Indeed, what seems to be at dispute here is not the issue of atrocities, but how many Swift Boaters were harmed on a particular day.

    And Gary: Dr. Leston was the only physician at that medical base — medics often signed routine medical reports. If Kerry saw a physician there, it had to be Leston.

    Which still means nothing because he came to the claim THIRD-HAND. He had no first-hand knowledge of how Kerry was injured, yet his statement in the commercial doesn’t mention this.

    They said Kerry was being accused of the sort of atrocities he himself in ’71 had argued were pervasive, and it was not true.

    Actually, Kerry stated what the Winter Soldiers stated; that’s what is in the new commercial. Kerry’s statements before were not first-hand accounts to my knowledge, but were indeed testimony about the statements of others.

    But having read Tour of Duty he finds it replete with falsehoods and the hyperbole causes “an uncontrollable urge to giggle.”

    Examples please?

    The MSM is beginning to take the Swift Vets seriously. WaPo is running this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20242-2004Aug20.html

    Can you leave your mere opinion out of this.

    CBS is now reporting that Kerry has lost huge support from veterans in the last few weeks, and this is before the devastating second ad starts running. The one featuring former POW Paul Galanti indicting Kerry for giving to the Communists who were holding him what he refused to give under torture, namely, an admission to being a war criminal.

    Kerry never admitted to being a war criminal; again, the commercial leaves out some rather crucial information – that Kerry was quoting the statements of the Winter Soldiers. Quit parroting a falsehood.

  26. Mona,

    “In his FITREP for his combat tour as Officer in Charge of a SWIFT Boat -? arguably the most important FITREP among those released by the Kerry campaign ?- Kerry is not dinged but slammed in command, seamanship and ship handling and in all major leadership traits (28 JAN 69 ELLIOTT). To Kerry and perhaps to other junior officers, it is an okay FITREP. To detailers and selection boards, it is a negative fitness report that borders on the adverse. LCDR Elliott ranks him well below the norm in traits essential for command: force, industry, analytical ability, judgment and more.”

    Apparently Kerry wasn’t that great of a junior officer, nor perhaps were many other junion officers that great either (see internal evidece I bolded above). However, this statement in no way substantiates what the Swift Boat Vets have made the heart of their claim – that he lied in order to garner some military medals. Nor does it substantiate their non-factual claims.

    Based on what has come out in the past year, and in Tour od Duty, Lonsdale and Elliott are now entirely prepared to believe that Kerry rouinely lies.

    So what? Substantiate the claim.

    Until Tour of duty Came out this past year, and vets who served with him read it and were amazed, they had not communicated amongst themselves as to the bizarre deviations from truth reflected in Kerry’s versions of many events.

    Again, so what? Substantiate the “bizarre deviations.”

    As to the honor Communist Viet Nam has bestowed on John Kerry:

    This is beside the point; Kerry cannot control what the government of Viet Nam does; and calling into question Kerry’s stance on the war after he returned Viet Nam is also beside the point (though its really the heart of the entire matter). If you don’t like the fact that Kerry disliked the war after he returned from the war so be it; but it has NOTHING to do with Kerry’s actions during the war itself.

  27. Mona,

    Oh, just to throw water on your subjective analysis about the mood of the country vis a vis Kerry’s war record, read the Rasmussen report:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/Kerry%20Military%20Service.htm

    August 21, 2004–A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 47% of America’s Likely Voters have a favorable opinion of John Kerry’s military service. The survey, conducted as the Kerry campaign began fighting back against charges raised by the Swift Boat Veterans, also found that 36% have an unfavorable view of the Senator’s tour of combat duty.

    As you would expect, there are significant partisan and ideological divides on this topic. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Democrats have a favorable opinion of Kerry’s service along with 22% of Republicans and 46% of unaffiliated voters.

    Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Americans have read, seen, or heard news stories about “a group of veterans raising questions about John Kerry’s military service.”

    The Rasmussen Reports survey also found that 76% say Kerry’s political career since Vietnam matters more than his career in Vietnam. In terms of Election 2004 voting decisions, only 9% take the opposite view and say that Kerry’s combat experience is more important.

    Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Likely Voters believe that Kerry is telling the truth about his time in Vietnam. Another 31% believe he is exaggerating the truth. Only 15% say that he is lying about his experiences.

    Among those not affiliated with either Republicans or Democrats, 34% believe Kerry is telling the truth, 33% believe he is exaggerating the truth, and 15% say he is lying.

    Related survey data showed that despite Kerry’s service in Vietnam, most veterans plan to vote for Bush in November.

    A Rasmussen Reports survey conducted earlier this year found that 46% believed George W. Bush had told the truth about his National Guard service while 25% disagreed. That same survey found that 43% believed Bush was more honest and trustworthy than Kerry. Thirty-five percent (35%) named Kerry as the more honest candidate.

    ___________________________

    Apparently Veterans have always perferred Bush, so implying as you have that there is some groundswell against Kerry by Veterans is a bit silly:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/Veterans%20Vote.htm

  28. Mona,

    And to add more fuel to the fire:

    PITTSBURGH – An American journalist who commanded a boat alongside John Kerry in Vietnam broke a 35-year silence Saturday and defended the Democratic presidential candidate against Republican critics of his military service.

    Weighing in on what has become the most bitterly divisive issue of the 2004 campaign for the White House, William Rood of the Chicago Tribune said the tales told by Kerry’s detractors are untrue.

    “There were three swift boats on the river that day in Vietnam more than 35 years ago — three officers and 15 crew members. Only two of those officers remain to talk about what happened on February 28, 1969,” he wrote in a story that appeared on the newspaper’s Web site Saturday.

    “One is John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who won a Silver Star for what happened on that date. I am the other.”

    Before now, wanting to put memories of war and killing behind him, Rood had refused all requests for interviews on the subject, including from his own newspaper. “But Kerry’s critics, armed with stories I know to be untrue, have charged that the accounts of what happened were overblown.” he wrote.

    “The critics have taken pains to say they’re not trying to cast doubts on the merit of what others did, but their version of events has splashed doubt on all of us.

    “It’s gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were not there,” he added.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5771731/

  29. Gary writes: >>Kerry never admitted to being a war criminal;

  30. Gary, yes, I read about the Rood piece this morning. It will not surprise me if at least one or two of the recollections of the Swift Vets turn out to be incorrect. (They are not all going to be as golden as Xmas in Cambodia.) Of course, with regard to that incident they have now pinned Kerry down on his previous denials that he fled the explosion scene and then returned. It is now clear that he did. But Rood does support that Kerry came under gunfire.

    Keep in mind, the Naval Archives only released six documents to WaPo pursuant to their FOIA request. Those same archives say there exist another 100, and no one can see them unless and until Kerry executes Form 180. If he had done so last spring, when he said he would, a lot of the conflicting debate would have been resolved.

    –Mona–

  31. Gary, you may find it “silly” that the Swift Vets have had an impact on veterans, and I can only offer you this:

    “WASHINGTON – Mr John Kerry’s support among military veterans has fallen as his Vietnam War record comes under attack, according to a CBS News poll. Just after last month’s Democratic National Convention, during which Mr Kerry played up his credentials as a decorated Viet veteran, he tied with President George W. Bush at 46 per cent each among veterans, CBS said on Thursday. But Mr Bush now leads Mr Kerry by 55 to 37 per cent. — AFP ”

    –Mona–

  32. Mona,

    “There are all kinds of atrocities, and yes, yes, I committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free-fire zones…I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Convention and all of this is ordered as a matter of written policy by the government of the United States from the top down.”

    “We established an American presence in most cases by showing the flag and firing at sampans and villages along the banks. Those were our instructions, but they seemed so out of line that we finally began to go ashore, against our orders, and investigate the villages that were supposed to be our targets. We discovered we were butchering a lot of innocent people, and morale became so low among the officers on those ‘swift boats’ that we were called back to Saigon for special instructions from Gen. Abrams. He told us we were doing the right thing. He said our efforts would help win the war in the long run. That’s when I realized I could never remain silent about the realities of the war in Vietnam.”

    I stand corrected then; of course, these mere statements are hardly damaging to Kerry’s credibility; after all, its well known that Americans committed atrocities in Viet Nam, and thus its perfectly credible that he and other committed some himself.

    What John Kerry told the Washington Star was a lie. What he said on Meet the Press was a lie. Or, if he was telling the truth, he is a war criminal.

    You’ll find that war criminals abound in wars; its the nature of warfare. And if Kerry was merely being truthful about his war time experiences, more power to him. And again, you’ve yet to demonstrate that Kerry is actually lieing in these statements.

    He was their representative and spokesman…

    True; and if the ad were truthful it would relate that the viewer; instead it selectively and leaves out that information and implies that these are Kerry’s experiences when indeed they are not. Quit avoiding the reality of that Mona.

    Among Kerry’s bizarre deviations from truth you can read are found at the link to Phil Carter’s assessment of Tour of Duty.

    Then do provide examples of such; its not my job to do research for you.

    Gee, ya think they might just begin to get an inkling the man is a pathological liar?

    Even if the Cambodia incident were lie that does not make one a pathological liar. To be frank, the one thing you’ve got against Kerry is that one particular claim (which remains ambiguous and explainable). That’s it and that’s all.

    Finally, it is unseemly that you would discount the effect on Joe Ponder…

    No, its quite logical; again, arguments from emotion are fallacious. Whether Joe Ponder was upset, happy, etc. has absolutely no bearing on the issue at hand. That you try to milk his emotional state is more of a statement about you than anything else.

  33. Mona,

    It will not surprise me if at least one or two of the recollections of the Swift Vets turn out to be incorrect.

    Again, there are two basic actual factual claims against Kerry in the Swift Boat commercial (the original one); I already dismantled and discarded both of them for the crap that they are.

    Of course, with regard to that incident they have now pinned Kerry down on his previous denials that he fled the explosion scene and then returned. It is now clear that he did. But Rood does support that Kerry came under gunfire.

    So what if he left and came back? Makes perfect sense to me. He got his boat of danger and then came back to help his comrades. I mean really, even Shannon Love doesn’t buy your spin.

    Keep in mind, the Naval Archives only released six documents to WaPo pursuant to their FOIA request.

    At this point it wouldn’t matter how many documents they released; you would still doubt Kerry’s story no matter what those documents said.

    Kerry’s poll numbers amongst veterans dropped prior to the commercial being aired. So you have some causality issues in your claim. See the website I pointed you to.

    Let me qoute it in part:

    Thursday August 05, 2004–A Rasmussen Reports survey shows that military veterans prefer George W. Bush over John Kerry by a 58% to 35% margin. Those with no military service favor Kerry by ten percentage points, 51% to 41%.

    Keep in mind that this poll was conducted over three days – so from approximately August 3-5. The barest details of the ad – since it was only played in three states originally – were known on August 5th (remember that was the first day that McCain attacked the ad, which McCain hopped onto immediately after it came out). Again, you’ve got some causality issues.

    Here is the URL: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/Veterans%20Vote.htm

  34. Mona,

    In sum, and to be blunt, you appear to be awfully willing to discount or minimize the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the Swift Boatsmen’s stories, while pouncing on those that can be found in Kerry’s. The former don’t appear to require any serious comment from you, while the latter make Kerry into a “pathological liar.” What gives? The only explanation I have for this is that you don’t give a shit about the so-called “truth” (if there is indeed any to be found in these conflicting stories) and this controversy is mainly an avenue for you to beat up a candidate you already disliked in the first place.

  35. You know, I’ve followed these threads just enough to see that each side has allegedly documented refutations to accusations from the other side. For every person who supposedly said one thing there’s supposedly a record of him saying something else in the past, or a piece of paper contradicting him, or evidence that he was never present for some event. And for every refutation there’s supposedly some evidence that he WAS in fact there, or else a document showing that somebody else actually made the contradictory statement, or whatever.

    Now, undoubtedly, one side or the other is right. If I sat down and collected all of the evidence I could probably piece it together one way or the other.

    But I have to ask myself a question: Do I really want to spend that much time piecing together evidence that will lead to one of the following conclusions:

    1) John Kerry, a politician, has been lying about his past. (Gee, stop the presses…)
    2) John Kerry, a politician, isn’t lying about this particular thing, but he’s undoubtedly lied about other things in his political career.

    Neither one of these revelations seems worth the time and energy. Now, I do believe that as a citizen in a system of representative government I should put some time and energy into being informed about the issues. But this just doesn’t seem like one of them. I think the time and energy would be better spent poring through evidence on matters like trade, taxes, the war in Iraq (you know, the war that’s actually happening RIGHT FRIGGIN NOW!), Medicare, environmental issues, the situation in Afghanistan, etc.

    Don’t get me wrong: We’re all entitled to our hobbies. God knows I have plenty of ways of wasting time (this, for instance ;). For those who enjoy it, by all means continue to dig for the truth of what happened in Vietnam. Hobbies are great for their own sake.

    But not every hobby is relevant to the question of whom we should elect this November. If I ever learn to juggle 5 balls at once, or 4 balls in a crossing pattern, or idle on my unicycle by rocking it back and forth, that will have absolutely zero relevance to the election, even though it will make me a happier person.

  36. Mona,

    From the Post – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21239-2004Aug21.html?nav=hcmodule :

    Critics Fail to Disprove Kerry’s Version of Vietnam War Episode

    Much of the debate over who is telling the truth boils down to whether the two-page after-action report and other Navy records are accurate or whether they have been embellished by Kerry or someone else. In “Unfit for Command,” O’Neill describes the after-action report as “Kerry’s report.” He contends that language in Thurlow’s Bronze Star citation referring to “enemy bullets flying about him” must also have come from “Kerry’s after-action report.”

    O’Neill has said that the initials “KJW” on the bottom of the report “identified” it as having been written by Kerry. It is unclear why this should be so, as Kerry’s initials are JFK. A review of other Swift boat after-action reports at the Naval Historical Center here reveals several that include the initials “KJW” but describe incidents at which Kerry was not present.

    Other Swift boat veterans, including Thurlow and Chenoweth, have said they believe that Kerry wrote the March 13 report. “I didn’t like to write reports,” said Thurlow, who was the senior officer in the five-boat flotilla. “John would write the thing up in longhand, and it would then be typed up and sent up the line.”

    Even if Kerry did write the March 13 after-action report, it seems unlikely that he would have been the source of the information about “enemy bullets” flying around Thurlow. The official witness to those events, according to Thurlow’s medal recommendation form, was his own leading petty officer, Robert Lambert, who himself won a Bronze Star for “courage under fire” in going to Thurlow’s rescue after he fell into the river. Lambert, who lives in California, declined comment.

    In a telephone interview, the head of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, retired Adm. Roy Hoffmann, who commanded all Swift boats in Vietnam, said he believed that Kerry wrote the March 13 after-action report on the basis of numerical identifiers at the top of the form. He later acknowledged that the numbers referred to the Swift boat unit, and not to Kerry personally. “It’s not cast-iron,” he said.

    Some of the mystery surrounding exactly what happened on the Bay Hap River in March 1969 could be resolved by the full release of all relevant records and personal diaries. Much information is available from the Web sites of the Kerry campaign and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and the Navy archives. But both the Kerry and anti-Kerry camps continue to deny or ignore requests for other relevant documents, including Kerry’s personal reminiscences (shared only with biographer Brinkley), the boat log of PCF-94 compiled by Medeiros (shared only with Brinkley) and the Chenoweth diary.

    Although Kerry campaign officials insist that they have published Kerry’s full military records on their Web site (with the exception of medical records shown briefly to reporters earlier this year), they have not permitted independent access to his original Navy records. A Freedom of Information Act request by The Post for Kerry’s records produced six pages of information. A spokesman for the Navy Personnel Command, Mike McClellan, said he was not authorized to release the full file, which consists of at least a hundred pages.

  37. thoreau,

    I think people are perfectly entitled to let the election stand on whether Kerry is fibbing about his actions in SE Asia (BTW, I’ve always maintained that he might be – however, I’ve also taken Shannon, Mona, etc. to task for claims that aren’t remotely as proof positive or relevant as they think that they are). Anyway, your criteria may differ from those of others, but so what?

  38. Gary, should Kerry sign Form 180 and let us all see his war records?

    –Mona–

  39. Gary writes: “I stand corrected then; of course, these mere statements are hardly damaging to Kerry’s credibility; after all, its well known that Americans committed atrocities in Viet Nam, and thus its perfectly credible that he and other committed some himself. ”

    There is no statute of limitations. Shall we prosecute John Kerry?

  40. Gary writes: “I stand corrected then; of course, these mere statements are hardly damaging to Kerry’s credibility; after all, its well known that Americans committed atrocities in Viet Nam, and thus its perfectly credible that he and other committed some himself. ”

    Let Gary et al. sell to the public that they live amidst hordes of war criminals.

  41. I care about what happened in Viet Nam since, as a result of Kerry’s post-service treachery, it’s one of only 5 remaining communist countries–a gross tragedy in light of American and Vietnamese sacrifices for individual liberties.

    Yep. All due to Kerry. Has nothing to do with incompetence in the White House and Pentagon, saddling the soldiers there with impossible rules of engagement. Has nothing to do with the incompetence of the brass there in Vietnam, who won every single battle of the war but lost the war. Has nothing to do with popular perception of the war, since the Tet Offensive effectively destroyed the Viet Cong yet was perceived as a victory for the Viet Cong here in the US. None of these factors had anything to do with losing the War in Vietnam. It was all due to Kerry’s actions after he came home.

  42. Mona,

    Should Thurlow let us see all his records? Should the vet who claims to have written everything down is diary, yet won’t produce said diary, produce such? Again, you are ignoring the inconsistencies of the Swift Vet side and expecting Kerry to act in a way his accusers won’t act. But yes, it would likely be profitable for Kerry to release all of his records. Will it matter to you? I seriously doubt it. You’re like those damn Florida Democrats.

    There is no statute of limitations.

    Are you sure about that? I’ve seen that statement bandied about a lot of blogs lately and asked for clarification and have yet to get any. I suspect you’re just parroting the comments you found in your particular echo chamber.

    Shall we prosecute John Kerry?

    If he and others comitted atrocities in Viet Nam? No, because the military was more than willing to ignore well known atrocities in Viet Nam by American soldiers, even after their own internal investigations demonstrated such atrocities occurred. I point you to incidents committed by Tiger Force for example.

    Let Gary et al. sell to the public that they live amidst hordes of war criminals.

    A criminal is an individual convicted of a crime; if they have not been convicted of a crime they are not war criminals. What you have done is of course spun the term “atrocities” into “war criminal.” Anyway, you can try to spin away American atrocities in SE Asia, but they occurred and good deal of American personnel were involved in them; hell, you ought to know this just by what little knowledge you should have of the setting up of “strategic hamlets” in Viet Nam, or the the indiscriminate bombing of Cambodia by the US Air Force. Now quit trying to bullshit us.

  43. Mona,

    BTW, I note that you failed to challenge me on the vast majority of points I made; I’ll take that as an abdication of your position.

  44. Mona,

    But you call for Kerry, who is running for President on his Viet Nam record, to release all his war records. I’m with that! The rest should too, but they are not running for office on their Viet Nam record.

    That’s bullshit; if they are going to accuse Kerry of being a liar they ought to be completely open to any and all investigations. Indeed, if anything, since they are the accusers, they have more a responsibility to release their records, than Kerry does, who is the object of the accusation. To make the victim of the accusation the primary carrier of the burden of proof is absolute non-sense in other words.

    Good. Let us take that to the electorate. Tell them that Kerry was right about their boys and command being nothing but war criminals. You go, Gary! That will win!

    I am afraid that he was, and all your attempts to obfuscate and otherwise explain away American actions in SE Asia won’t make it go away. BTW, argument by popularity is fallacious – in other words, whether the truth of American actions in SE Asia does not depend on whether a majority of Americans accept that as so.

    I’ll again note that you failed to challenge me on the vast majority of points I made; in light of your failure to do so a second time, I’ll take that as further evidence of your abdication on those points.

    thoreau,

    But I am free to observe that these issues are far less important than more contemporary matters.

    To you perhaps and to others not. To some issues of “character” are all that count; and if Kerry did indeed fabricate out of whole cloth much of his experience there, then that would be a character issue. However, it looks like full weight of the accusations against him can’t muster the proof needed to undermine Kerry’s claims (perhaps with the exception of Cambodia).

  45. I don’t know if the Swiftboat Vets For Truth are in fact correct in their allegations. But, if they are correct, one thing is clear: These guys have no idea what it means to hold a grudge. If I were one of them, and I knew from personal experience that the allegations against Kerry were true, I would have gone after him when he ran for Lieutenant Governor in the 1980’s. I wouldn’t have waited for him to run for President in 2004, I would have destroyed his political career in the 1980’s when the record was somewhat fresher than it is now.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold, but make sure you serve it before freezer burn sets in.

  46. The Swiftees have increasing credibility. Bob Dole on CNN questioned Kerry’s 3 Purple Hearts and challenged Wolf Blitzer to investigate them. Of course, for Blitzer or anyone else to meaningfully do that, Kerry would have to sign a Form 180 and release the hundred documents related to his service that are in the Naval Archives. FOIA requests have yielded only six documents, and these do not answer all the questions.

    Bob Dole would not be publicly associating himself with the Swiftee’s claims unless The GOP Powers That Be had decided they were sufficiently credible that it is safe to do so.

    –Mona–

  47. Gary about the Rood thing, the Swiftees are not concerned becuase Rood backs up what is Unfit for Command in many essential details that Kerry has denied:

    By Joseph Farah
    ? 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

    WASHINGTON — The co-author of the best-selling book “Unfit for Command” says today’s statement by a Chicago Tribune editor and former swift boat commander does not substantively contradict his findings about John Kerry’s Silver Star.

    William Rood, 61, said he decided to break his silence today about the Feb. 28, 1969, mission because recent reports of Kerry’s actions in that battle are incorrect and darken the reputations of veterans who served with Kerry, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

    However, the account of the incident is different from the one presented in “Unfit for Command” by John O’Neill and Jerome Corsi more in tone than in substance.

    According to Rood, Kerry told him and another officer that, in the event of an ambush, the three boats would turn into the attackers and beach their crafts. This is not at odds with the “Unfit for Command” story, which explains that the tactic was pre-planned and coordinated with other crew members and officers.

    Rood also confirms that it was another of three swift boats touring together that day that actually beached at the ambush site, not Kerry’s boat. It was Doug Reese and other troops, not Kerry, who disembarked, killed some Viet Cong and captured some weapons.

    None of the participants from Reese’s boat received any Silver Stars.

    Rood also agrees with the book’s account that Kerry’s boat, along with his own, continued downstream until it was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.

    The only significant difference in the accounts is that Rood believes the young Viet Cong attacker, killed by Kerry, was a grown adult, not a teen-ager as other eyewitnesses report in “Unfit for Command.”

    “Nothing Rood says regarding how the action develops calls into question the main conclusions we reached in ‘Unfit for Command,'” Corsi, co-author of the book, told WND. “Nothing in Rood’s statement disputes the structure of how the event developed as recounted in ‘Unfit for Command.'”

    The authors of “Unfit for Command” also question the wisdom of the tactic of beaching the small boats, because it left crewmen helpless in the event of a larger attack and rendered useless their most effective weapons ? 50-caliber machine guns ? because they could not be used for fear of hitting beached crewmen.

    Corsi added: “We are pleased Rood has come forward and we welcome complete disclosure and debate on all details of Kerry’s military service. Many of these questions could be answered if Senator Kerry would only sign Standard Form 180 and authorize the full and complete release of his military records as we have requested.”

    Corsi said his co-author John O’Neill, who was traveling today, is still studying the Rood statement. Corsi said he was responding as the book’s editor and the man who interviewed the Swift Boat Vets.

    Rood said allegations that Kerry’s accomplishments were overblown are untrue and that Kerry developed an attack strategy that was praised by their superiors.

    But the main point of the book is that Kerry’s superiors relied exclusively on after-action reports written by Kerry.

    The Kerry campaign has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, alleging the Swift Boat Veterans group is coordinating its ads with the Bush campaign. The Bush campaign has denied the claim and has refused to condemn the book and the group’s TV ads.

    Rood wrote that Kerry recently contacted him and other crew members, requesting that they go public with their accounts of what happened that February day.

    Rood declined interview requests even from reporters from his own news organization.

    When the Tribune asked O’Neill for his response to Rood’s account, O’Neill said the former swift boat skipper’s version of events is not substantially different from what appeared in his book.

    Meanwhile, early press reports by the Associated Press and Reuters are wildly misrepresenting the facts outlined by Rood. The Associated Press report confused the incident, for which Kerry was awarded the Silver Star, with another one for which he won the Bronze Star. Reuters stated Rood’s account “said the tales told by Kerry’s detractors are untrue.” In fact, Rood is dealing with only one very small part of the case against Kerry.

    Reuters’ report also attributed the Swift Boat Veterans’ criticism of Kerry to “Republicans.” In fact, the vets have said repeatedly many in their ranks are Democrats and independents.

    ________________________________________

    Then there is this, excerpt and link:

    To the contrary, for those who’ve paid close attention to what the SwiftVets have actually alleged, Mr. Rood’s new memoir actually supports their main contentions regarding Kerry’s fitness for the Silver Star, because they show that Kerry was not charging alone, through overwhelming enemy fire, into a dense concentration of the enemy when he hopped off PCF-94 that day.

    http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2004/08/chitribs_willia.html

    –Mona–

  48. The Swiftee’s are reveling right now in stuff like this, byRuss Vaughn, who wrote this piece, is a former member of the 2nd Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division who served in Vietnam in 1965-66

    Twas the night before Christmas and we were afloat
    Somewhere in Cambodia in our little boat.
    While the river was lightened by rockets red glare
    No one but the President knew we were there.

    The crew was all nestled deep down in their bunks,
    While the Spook and I watched the sampans and junks.
    Our mission was secret, so secret in fact,
    No one else would remember it when we got back.

    When out on the water there arose such a clatter
    I leaped down from the bridge to see what was the matter.
    The incoming friendly was starting to flash
    And I knew that the ARVN’s were having a bash.

    The snap of friendly fire on the warm tropic air
    Convinced me for sure no one knew we were there,
    On a clandestine mission so secret it’s true
    That I’m still convinced only Tricky Dick knew.

    While I huddled for safety in the tub on the bow,
    I thought of a title, “Apocalypse Now.”
    To give to the films I was I making each day
    To show all the voters when I made my big play.

    As I sat there sweating in my lucky flight jacket,
    Spook said, “Merry Christmas!” and tossed me a packet.
    And what to my wondering eyes did appear,
    But a new lucky cap, which I still have right here.

    I keep it tucked here, in this leather brief case,
    Just sharing with the press its secretive place
    As I regale them again with my senate refrain,
    That Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain.

    Don’t bother to quibble with history my friend,
    By pointing out Johnson was President then.
    Don’t listen to Swiftees who try to explain,
    For I tell you that night is seared into my brain.

    Down Hibbard, down Lonsdale, and you too O’Neill,
    So you don’t remember? Well it’s something I feel.
    I don’t need all you Swiftvets to support my campaign,
    Cause Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain,

    Into my brain, into my brain, into my brain…

  49. Investors Business Daily wants answers from Kerry: http://www.investors.com/editorial/issues.asp?v=8/23

    Credible people and organizations are now listening to the Swiftees; Bob Dole, a seriously wounded vet and respected man, has publicly signed on to their challenges.

    Garry, I strongly suggest you read the book, so that you know the full and devasting extent of the Swiftees many, many count indictment. And learn why it is going to be enormously difficult for Kerry to duck.

    –Mona–

  50. washingtonpost.com
    Dole: Kerry Should Apologize
    Former Senator Suggests Kerry Should Apologize for Congressional Testimony About Vietnam War Atrocities

    By Pete Yost
    The Associated Press
    Sunday, August 22, 2004; 4:42 PM

    CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) — Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole suggested Sunday that John Kerry apologize for past testimony before Congress about alleged atrocities during the Vietnam War and joined critics of the Democratic presidential candidate who say he received an early exit from combat for “superficial wounds.”

    Dole also called on Kerry to release all the records of his service in Vietnam.

    Separately, President Bush’s re-election campaign continued to deny links to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an anti-Kerry group running ads in three states, after the resignation of a campaign volunteer who appeared in the group’s new ad.

    With Kerry taking a break from campaigning, running mate John Edwards said Bush needs to tell the group to pull its ads, a step the White House and the Bush campaign refuse to take. The White House and Bush’s campaign note that Kerry has benefited from more than $62 million worth of similar advertising against the president.

    “This is the moment of truth for President Bush,” Edwards said in North Carolina. “The American people have to hear directly that these ads need to come off the air.” Kerry also fought back in another new ad.

    Dole told CNN’s “Late Edition” that he warned Kerry months ago about going “too far” and that the Democrat may have himself to blame for the current situation, in which polls show him losing support among veterans.

    “One day he’s saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons,” Dole said. “The next day he’s standing there, ‘I want to be president because I’m a Vietnam veteran. “Maybe he should apologize to all the other 2.5 million veterans who served. He wasn’t the only one in Vietnam,” said Dole, whose World War II wounds left him without the use of his right arm.

    Dole added: “And here’s, you know, a good guy, a good friend. I respect his record. But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of. I mean, they’re all superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you’re out.”

    Kerry’s supporters rose to his defense.

    “Senator Kerry carries shrapnel in his thigh as distinct from President Bush who carries two fillings in his teeth from his service in the Alabama National Guard, which seems to be his only time that he showed up,” John Podesta, former chief of staff in the Clinton White House, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    Bush served stateside in the Guard during the Vietnam years. Podesta’s reference was to the White House’s release of documents earlier this year showing Bush’s dental visits during his Guard years after questions arose about whether he had always reported for duty.

    Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman also blamed Kerry for the ongoing debate, complaining on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “Kerry himself has attacked the president for his service during the Vietnam years,” while the Republican’s campaign has “so strongly praised” Kerry’s tour of duty in Vietnam.

    The Bush campaign also said the Federal Election Commission should immediately dismiss what it termed a “frivolous” complaint by Kerry’s campaign alleging coordination between the re-election effort and the Swift Boat group.

    The White House and the Bush campaign for weeks have denied any connection to the Swift Boat organization, whose early financial support came largely from a prominent Texas businessman with longtime ties to the state’s top Republicans, including Bush.

    The group’s latest ad includes a Bush-Cheney volunteer, retired Air Force Col. Ken Cordier, condemning Kerry’s 1971 congressional testimony that Dole spoke of. Cordier was a prisoner of war during Vietnam.

    “Colonel Cordier did not inform the campaign of his involvement in the advertisement,” a Bush campaign statement said. “Because of his involvement Colonel Cordier will no longer participate as a volunteer for Bush-Cheney ’04.”

    A new Kerry TV ad urged the president to “denounce the smear” and ‘get back to the issues” because America deserves better.” The 30-second commercial, to air in the same three states as the Swift Boat group ad — Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin — compares Kerry’s situation to the 2000 primary campaign when “Bush smeared John McCain.”

    McCain has condemned the ads and called on the president to do so, too.

    In response, Bush’s campaign released a copy of a letter it was sending to television station managers on Monday defending itself from the claims in the new Kerry ad.

    Questions mounted over the motives of Kerry’s critics, two of whom had praised his service in 1996, even as Kerry’s supporters faced questions about the candidate. Among the allegations is that Kerry lied about being in neutral Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968.

    “I don’t think anyone knows for sure whether or not they were in Cambodia that night, but they were near Cambodia on Christmas Eve,” John Hurley, who heads a pro-Kerry veterans group, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He was five miles into Cambodia on a different occasion.”

    Another allegation is that Kerry was not under enemy fire as after-action reports say he was, an incident for which he received a Bronze Star, one of five medals earned in Vietnam.

    “The after-action reports were written from Kerry’s spot reports from that day,” said Kerry critic Van Odell, also appearing on the same program. “None of us knew he even got the Bronze Star until more recently.”

  51. Mona,

    The Swiftees have increasing credibility. Bob Dole on CNN questioned Kerry’s 3 Purple Hearts and challenged Wolf Blitzer to investigate them.

    Bob Dole is a Republican; I mean, come on, “duh!” Of course he’s going to “challenge” Wolf Blitzer to “investigate” the allegations. Its meaningless political theatre.

    As to the article you qoute in full, it is meaningless, since it in no way addresses the main charges made against Kerry in the commercials. Again you keep spinning up details that are beside the point.

    Garry, I strongly suggest you read the book, so that you know the full and devasting extent of the Swiftees many, many count indictment. And learn why it is going to be enormously difficult for Kerry to duck.

    Mona I strongly suggest that you address my arguments. You are spinning bullshit again.

    The Dole article is also beside the point.

    Now I went through a blow by blow analysis of the commercial, which set out the main allegations against Kerry; now I’d like you to actually address my comments or move on. Either chuck your fevered TBism, or simply accept the fact that you’re too biased to rationally address my comments.

  52. Tut tut Gary.I am not going to jump to your demands that I refrain from expressing my opinions, or that I answer every argument you put forward. I control what I post.

    No doubt we will be crossing swords again here, as the issues raised by the Swift Vets continue to make news. See ya.

  53. Mona,

    “One day he’s saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons”

    I am afraid that American service personnel did do this and worse in SE Asia; see the Tiger Force example I gave you. BTW, I believe Dole here is confusing the Winter Soldiers testimony for Kerry’s.

    BTW, what exactly did your posting of that entire second article add to the discussion? Or are you merely posting massive amounts of material as a means to blow people over & induce them to end the discussion?

    thoreau,

    I think the timing of their efforts does rightly lead to a suspicious attitude. If they were indeed so ticked off about Kerry, they ought to have gone after hime hardcore when he was running for Senate. Heck, a “moderate” Republican might have been elected that way.

  54. Mona,

    I am not going to jump to your demands that I refrain from expressing my opinions, or that I answer every argument you put forward. I control what I post.

    Sure you do; and your’re also an intellectual coward to boot. What is exactly the point of this conversation if your main means of attack is avoidance and dragging up articles and the like which do not address the main factual issues at hand, indeed the ONLY factual issues at hand, because every other claim by the Swift Boaters is at best a personal assessment of Kerry that can be neither proven nor disproven. For example, you throw out those statements by Dole as if they demonstrate something – they don’t; they are typical political theatre.

    No doubt we will be crossing swords again here, as the issues raised by the Swift Vets continue to make news. See ya.

    Ducking out is exactly what I expect from the likes of you.

  55. Gary, I hope Kerry does sue; recall how well that worked out for Alger Hiss:

    Sunday, Aug. 22, 2004 3:44 p.m. EDT
    With Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff

    O’Neill Dares Kerry: ‘Sue Me’

    Swiftboat Veterans for the Truth spokesman John O’Neill dared Sen. John Kerry on Sunday to sue him for libel if, as Kerry’s presidential campaign maintains, key claims in O’Neill’s book “Unfit for Command” are not true.

    “I invite him to sue me for libel,” O’Neill, who co-authored the overnight bestseller with Jerome Corsi, told WABC Radio’s Monica Crowley.

    “If he was actually in Cambodia on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day he should sue me. If, in fact, those other five [Swift]boats, on March the 13, [1969], if they all fled like he did, instead of staying like he knows they did, he should sue me.”

    O’Neill continued, “If he didn’t wound himself with a grenade, causing sort of a rice-fanny wound, and then reported it to the Navy as a water mine – if he didn’t do that on March 13th he should sue me.”

    O’Neill issued the challenge after noting that Kerry’s campaign has gone to extraordinary lengths to suppress the information in “Unfit for Command.”

    “On our first [Swiftvet] ad, he had two huge law firms send letters to every [TV] station, threatening to sue the stations themselves” if they ran the ad, the former Swiftboat commander told Crowley.

    “The next thing he did was challenge the book’s publisher, Regnery, indicating he would sue them if they continued printing the book,” he added.

    The bestselling author said that while Regnery declined to stop printing “Unfit,” it offered to republish Kerry’s 1971 book “The New Soldier,” which chronicles the top Democrat’s anti-war protests with a group bankrolled by Jane Fonda.

    Kerry has declined to have “New Soldier” republished over the years and reportedly bought up most of the available copies in 1972, after his opponent in a congressional race used it to paint him as anti-American.

  56. Gary-

    People are of course free to decide their vote based on this issue. They’re also free to decide based on Bush’s alleged misbehavior with the National Guard. For that matter, people are free to decide it based on which candidate has the more affable personality, or whether they think snowboarding or clearing brush is a better way to spend a vacation.

    But I am free to observe that these issues are far less important than more contemporary matters.

  57. Gary writes: “Again, you are ignoring the inconsistencies of the Swift Vet side and expecting Kerry to act in a way his accusers won’t act. But yes, it would likely be profitable for Kerry to release all of his records. Will it matter to you? I seriously doubt it. You’re like those damn Florida Democrats. ”

    O.K. That’s me.

    But you call for Kerry, who is running for President on his Viet Nam record, to release all his war records. I’m with that! The rest should too, but they are not running for office on their Viet Nam record.

  58. Gary writes: “If he and others comitted atrocities in Viet Nam? No, because the military was more than willing to ignore well known atrocities in Viet Nam by American soldiers, even after their own internal investigations demonstrated such atrocities occurred. I point you to incidents committed by Tiger Force for example”

    Good. Let us take that to the electorate. Tell them that Kerry was right about their boys and command being nothing but war criminals. You go, Gary! That will win!

  59. Tsk, Tsk GG. Having a bad day are you.
    Here’s one for you. Due to the increased pressure to sign SF 108 John Kerry has decided to remove himself for the Democratic ticket. Hillary Clinton immediately offerd to fill his position.

  60. Mona,

    Gary, I hope Kerry does sue; recall how well that worked out for Alger Hiss:

    Learn something about libel law. Kerry will never sue them because Kerry is a “public figure” and the standard for determining that libel has occurred are so high as to make Kerry’s case quite difficult. In other words, this is more meaningless political theatre. One of these days Mona you’ll grow a backbone and address my earlier statements.

    BTW, if you actually compare Rood’s statements in full (aren’t the one going on and on about detailed research?) with what the Swift Boaters responded with, you’ll see what the latter said is very weak.

    Rood’s Statement:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/elections/chi-040821rood,1,7693317,print.story?coll=chi-news-hed

  61. Mona,

    More off-base, beside the point, political theatre crap?

  62. My final take on the matter:

    Kerry’s critics have failed to prove that Kerry is lying (they did draw out some inconsistencies concerning the Cambodia “visit,” but they have yet to demonstrate that he NEVER went there, only that the X-Mas visit was unlikely) with regard to the factual claims that they have brought up. As the other claims in the ads are merely personal assessments, they can be neither proven or disproven are thus are ultimately unresolveable.

    However, I am not convinced that EITHER side is being completely honest, but I am convinced that the Swift Boaters’ inconsistencies with the written record as well as the recollections of others along, along with their obvious motives, does make it seem likely that they are indeed fibbing, and that in doing so they’ve flushed out of the Kerry camp some of their disingenuousness and inconsistencies. Nevertheless, it is ultimately up to the Swift Boaters to demonstrate their allegations and not merely spread suspicion; they have yet to do the former and since that’s the case Kerry remains a viable candidate (at least with regard to this particular issue).

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