The Things They Parried

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Vietnam remains alive and well in U.S. politics. Last evening, former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas), a decorated and badly wounded WW2 vet, lashed out at John Kerry on CNN's Late Edition, saying in part (as the Wash Post has it),

"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."

Whole account here. Remember the good old days when Dole used to rail against "Democrat wars of the 20th century"? Those were good times, too.

Earlier on Sunday, Kerry spokesman Tad Devine told Meet the Press (in the Chicago Tribune's telling,

"There's only one commander in chief of the United States who sent our troops to Iraq without the body armor they need to survive, and his name is George W. Bush," Devine said. "And if he had spent one day on the front line of a war, he never would have done it."

Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, but Democrats have questioned whether he fulfilled his duties. The White House has insisted he did.

Devine said that Kerry's boat came under fire on three occasions on Christmas Eve 1968.

"That's three times more than the president and the vice president ever have been fired upon in the course of their life," Devine said.

Whole thing here.

Also in the Tribune yesterday, journalist–and fellow Vietnam vet–William Rood says that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the anti-Kerry group, is wrong about the actions that led to the candidate's Silver Star. That story here.

A question: Is the reason why Vietnam remains such an issue simply–or mostly–because we lost that war?

An observation: You've got to hand it to the Democrats. They enter a presidential race against a guy who clearly worked to evade active service in Vietnam and manage to nominate a multiply decorated vet whose service record somehow becomes the focus of attention. Yes, there is an orchestrated attempt by the GOP to throw questions onto Kerry (a process he's abetted with his changing Cambodian story, among other things). But if anybody is wondering why the Dems are on the threshold of becoming a permananent minority party, this latest screwup is one indication of incompetence that used to be a Republican hallmark.

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  1. Gaius,
    Show me where Dick and Dubya have confessed to war crimes. I know the lunatic fringe Left and some libertarians have accused them of war crimes, but to my knowledge they haven’t confessed to them.

  2. Joe errs: “Mona, John O’Neil has donated $25,000 to Republicans over the years, in addition to working for the Nixon White House to smear Kerry 30 years ago.”

    Actually, no. that is how much he contributed to Democrats. He has contriburted about $7,000 to Republicans. He voted for Gore, and says he would have voted for Edwards had he been the Dem nominee.

    Further, O’Neill came forward on his own volition to take issue with Kerry in ’71, and was working with other vets to counter Kerry, when Nixon invited him to the White House. The Nixon tapes show the first thing O’Neill told him was that he comes from a family of Democrats and had voted for Humphrey.

    –Mona–

  3. Let’s leave aside, for the moment, the fact that I don’t care what happened in Vietnam 35 years ago.

    There’s Kerry’s story. There’s the swiftboat vets’ story. There’s the allegation that some of those SBVT people weren’t actually around Kerry. There’s the counter-claim that some of them WERE in battle alongside him. There are documents in which some of the SBVT people supposedly supported Kerry’s claims in the past. There are counter-claims that Kerry wrote the after-action reports. There are performance reviews that supposedly say Kerry was a great junior officer. There are performance reviews that supposedly say Kerry was a mediocre junior officer. There’s a doctor who supposedly thought Kerry’s wound was minor. There’s a report that he never treated the wound. There’s a counter-claim that he did in fact see the wound.

    If I really wanted to I could go to the original documents and sort this out. I’m not trying to play moral relativism or moral equivalence here, because I’m sure I could get to some sort of objective truth on this if I just went to the original documents and put some time into the matter.

    Here’s the problem: I have a finite amount of time to spend on being an informed citizen. The rest of my time is divided between work, family, and recreation (e.g. this). I have to ask myself how the “informed citizen” time allocation can be best spent. And to be honest, sorting out the events of Vietnam 35 years ago ranks right up there with finding out if W went AWOL. It may be important, but there are other things that are clearly more important.

  4. The story (true or not) resonates because it confirms the lurking suspicion Kerry is an opportunist: martial, marital and political.

    well observed, joyg.

    Like others, I am dismayed to see the election focus on war records (or the lack thereof) rather than substantive issues of real interest to voters… like how the American political process manages to produce such mediocre candidates for president.

    i think there’s fewer more obvious symptoms of a society that has declined into open militarism than this continuous rehashing of “service records”, even among candidates that have none, as though they were relevant to something. i think it far closer to the truth to say that the only importance the argument has is as affirmation to the current (re)interpretation of our mythology that casts america as a glorious warrior-state.

    that interpretation is one adopted by societies that are out to subjugate through force. it’s amazing that apparently so few americans can see such obvious cultural signals like this and call them what they are.

  5. Crap like this is why presedential election season is the one time I care less about politics then the average American. Maybe Kerry jumped off a boat under enemy fire, maybe he didn’t, maybe he tripped and fell. Scratch the idea of reaching out to the youth vote this cycle, when the apparently the only issue is something that happened before the youngest decade and a half of voters were born.

  6. joe,
    Here’s what John Kerry admitted to:

    ?I committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of others, in that I shot in free fire zones, fired .50-caliber machine [gun] bullets, used harass-and-interdiction fire, joined in search-and-destroy missions, and burned villages. All of these acts are contrary to the laws of the Geneva Convention, and all were ordered as written, established policies from the top down, and the men who ordered this are war criminals.?

    As an officer, he was one of those giving the orders.

  7. Oh, my. I see now how the use of the word “belief” undercuts the entire premise that Republicans from Texas, funded by a friend of Karl Rove, attacking John Kerry during the presidential race, could be working on behalf of the Republicans. I wish they had minds like yours on the 911 Commission.

    Ahh, and now we’ve moved on to “Irrelevant Conclusion.” Remember, the question was not whether or not the SBVFT are “Republican Operatives (TM)” but whether or notthe Democrats going anywhere near questions about Bob Dole’s story.

    I pointed out an article from The Nation.

    Lots of hand waving later and all you came up with was:

    a) “The swifties are Republican operatives at the beck and call of Karl Rove”

    and

    b) “The Nation isn’t a mouthpiece of the Democrats.”

    And your proof for each.

    a) “Well, I believe (and here’s some circumstantial evidence)”

    and

    b) “The Nation have criticized the Democrats before.”

    So far your stunning conclusions amount to no more than “Well, just because…” So let me rise to the level of your devastating logical prowess.

    “The Nation is just as ‘partisan’ and ‘operative’ as the swifties because [drum roll please] I believe so. I mean, it leans left, it has been nothing but critical of Bush (and most Republicans), the topics it covers tend to align in content and slant with the DNC… DEAR GOD, ITS SO OBVIOUS…. {blah blah blah}” quod erat demonstrandum

    Basically, you got caught with your pants down making an off-the-cuff “The Dems have never done that” and have been spinning faster than you accuse Karl Rove of to prove otherwise.

  8. joe asks: “Now, how exactly does pointing out that one of the accusers chaired a Republican’s electoral campaign help your case?”

    You conveniently omit that I also pointed out that Paul Galanti, who was tortured by North Vietnamese communists over the course of 7 years captivity, worked to elect a Democrat for governor. He had to listen to Kerry’s accusations that he and his brothers in arms were all war criminals, because his tormenters flaunted that testimony to him. I find it MORE than credible that such an experience would drive him to appear in the ad.

  9. I know the lunatic fringe Left and some libertarians have accused them of war crimes

    oh, sorry eric — you’re right — they’re unconfessed.

    but they’ve put a hell of a lot of folks to the sword, haven’t they? and for some questionable reasons.

    lol — i know, might makes right and the victors write the indictments. and i find “war crimes” to be a redundancy, a silly concept. but what the united states has perpitrated in iraq — not just abu ghraib, but the entire action — could easily be interpreted as a criminal war from any perspective other than that of an american nationalist.

    i’m sure your political affiliation doesn’t allow you to brook that notion, but most of the rest of the world views our acts there as such — and they’re not all just nuts. the notion is entirely plausible.

  10. Nothing George W. Bush did during the Vietnam War can accurately be called a “war story.”

    Lets see, there was a war on, GWB was accused of shirking what little duty he had to do to stay out of combat action…. War… Story… war story.

    So according to the World of Joe, it is perfectly acceptable for the media to pursue a story about the president where the facts are murky and have to do with the president possibly shirking his duty as a soldier (which, in Nathan’s world, is a totally acceptable and prudent thing to do),

    BUT

    It is totally unacceptable for the media to pursue a story about someone who wants to be the president where the facts are murky (in fact, he’s already admitted he wasn’t technically correct about his location one Christmas, even though it was “seared, SEARED” into him memory and just recently 20 odd pages of documents vanished from his website after The Boston Globe quoted a Navy officer who said the documents wrongly portrayed Kerry?s service. Then there’s the murkiness around his medals, his self-confessed “war crimes”) and may have been exaggerated (if not in parts made up) upon which he’s running his campaign (which, in Nathan’s world is also the totally acceptable and prudent thing to do).

    Can you say double standard? How about partisan hack?

  11. Eric writes: “As an officer, [Kerry] was one of those giving the orders.”

    Exactly. And all of the Swiftees deny that any such things happened, except for one occasion when John Kerry, on his own initiative, took out his Zippo and torched a village. Nobody else among the Swiftees ever did anything like that, that any of them can recall. But if that is wrong, then let Kerry’s small band of brothers come forward and claim all the war crimes they saw.

    I think the Kerry campaign ABSOLUTELY should announce that everything Kerry said in ’71, and inhis book “The New Soldier,” are true. He should go before veterans organizations and affirm that many or most Viet Nam vets are war criminals and that their entire chain of command was consittuted of vicious criminals. Yup, that’s just exactly what he should do.

  12. Gaius,
    “oh, sorry eric — you’re right — they’re unconfessed.”

    No problem.

    “i’m sure your political affiliation doesn’t allow you to brook that notion,”

    Don’t be too hasty in assuming what my political affiliation is or who I support. As I said in my post, I’m well aware of the war crime accusations. I just didn’t comment on the merits of those accusations.

  13. our only vietnam disgrace was not fighting to win a future for its people who, as a result, have become enslaved to one of only a handful of communist dictatorships

    in a forum dedicated to ‘free minds and free markets’ one might expect some understanding of this

  14. that’s certainly fair, eric.

  15. Hey joe: In The New Republic from more than a decade ago, by Sydney Blumenthal (remember him, a Clinton Democrat?) Excerpt from NRO and link with extensive excerpts from Blumenthal’s piece:

    “A familiar name, Sidney Blumenthal, is examining President George Herbert Walker Bush’s war record. This is a long excerpt, with a few of Blumenthals’ extraneous thoughts about Clinton, Vietnam, and Bush on the campaign trial omitted:”

    http://nationalreview.com/kerry/kerryspot.asp

  16. in a forum dedicated to ‘free minds and free markets’ one might expect some understanding of this

    an understanding that we must not stop fighting for Freedom, regardless of how many millions are slaughtered, until we’ve conquered the globe in its holy name? i personally don’t want to kill that many americans for a vague utopian notion.

    ep, i don’t mean to ridicule — but surely you can see how your logic is a neverending quest to conquer and kill.

  17. sorry qm, my view is more nuanced than that

    many vietnam decisions seem to sacrifice the freedom of the people we were fighting for in favor of political considerations

    maybe bush would’ve done better, since we’re unlikely to fail similarly in iraq

  18. Just In:

    CRAWFORD, Texas – President Bush says veterans? group should stop television ads criticizing John Kerry?s war record.

    When asked specifically whether the ads by the group “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” should be halted, Bush said: “All of them. That means that ad, every other ad. Absolutely.”

    “I can’t be more plain about it,” Bush said. “I hope my opponent joins me in condemning these activities of the 527s. I think they’re bad for the system.”

    Bush went on to praise Kerry’s military service.

    Can we get back to the issues of today?

  19. Ummm does anyone want to talk about Najaf?
    Bush? Kerry? Anyone? No?

  20. Mcwop,
    I suppose you consider elected government officials demanding the halt of ads by private groups not to be a serious issue?

  21. joe,

    I find it really disturbing how easily the Left manages to control your critical thinking. They have successfully got you to ignore any factual evidence Kerry critics put forward and instead have got you to think only in terms of their motivation. Lenin would be so proud.

    By your reasoning, I should immediately disregard all evidence about Bush being AWOL because all the organizations making the claim are supports of or affiliated with the Democrats. You will search in vain for a major media source that says that Bush was actually AWOL. They report merely that the military cannot produce the documentation confirming his whereabouts during the time in question. The only people who state emphatically that Bush was AWOL are political partisans but that does not therefor mean that Bush wasn’t AWOL.

    The motives of person making an allegation of fact are wholly irrelevant to truth or falsity of the allegation. In our political system we rely on political opponents to dig up dirt on one another. That is how the system always works. The fact that the Swiftvets are supported (by a trivial amount) by Republicans tells us nothing about the validity of their allegation. We should expect Republicans to fund and disseminate such stories.

    I am willing to wager that you do not even know what specific allegations the Swiftvets make or what independent evidence, if any, supports them. Given that one of the major contentions of the Swiftvets has been proven true it would seem that dismissing them out of hand is personally irresponsible.

  22. fedup,
    If you wish to discuss something else, feel free to visit a thread devoted to, uh, something else.

  23. You got nothing, Nathan. No ideas, no point, nothing. I’m sorry I started with you, I thought you were going somewhere with the Dole story, but you aren’t. Buh bye.

  24. This is pathetic. Pathetic. People are slamming Kerry because he accuratly recounted the Winter Soldiers testimony.

    Period. He went before Congress, and repeated what he’d been told. He’s apparently “unfit for office” for telling the goddamn truth.

    What should he have done? Lied? Stayed silent? And that would make him a good President how?

    What’s worse is some of you are still living in denial, pretending we weren’t doing some bad shit — some highly illegal shit — in Vietnam 30 years ago.

    Pathetic. You lack even the basic courage to acknowledge basic US history…..

  25. Jose, I’ll argue for universal health coverage and defend the existence of Medicaid all night. You bring a couple bottles of red, I’ll stock up on the Paul Newman popcorn. But that’s not what the thread is about.

    Mona, I am unfamiliar with such attempts to challege GHW Bush’s service. I followed the 1992 race pretty closely, and don’t recall seeing any published stories attacking his record as a pilot – just a lot of stories celebrating the youngest fighter pilot in the Pacific. Perhaps the vast distinction I’ve noticed results more from disparate treatment by the media. I note that the story you’ve managed to dig up is from a low-circulation partisan sheet (comparable to the Nation, actually). This stands in sharp dinstinction to the front page coverage from virtually all major media outlets being given to the anti-Kerry charges.

    Shannon, like thoreau, I have a limited amount of time and effort I’m willing to put into this. If a guy with fake antenna and facial tatoos wants to hand me a sheet making serious allegations against George Bush, I’m not going to read it. If you don’t use filters to weed out probable bs, you’re going to end up buried in it. I saw the debate between Kerry and John O’Neil on the Dick Cavett show, I’ve read the “follow the money” stories about SBVT, I’m now watching the right half of the polity waiving the white flag on this story (hi, McWop, what do you want us to talk about instead?) and I’m perfectly comfortable dismissing them.

  26. SBVT:527s::Ken Starr:Special Prosecutors

    Discuss.

  27. Let’s see how many people can defy partisan stereotypes. After all, this is a libertarian forum, and we’re not supposed to be a good fit with either mold. Here goes:

    How many people think that Kerry was lying about his war record AND that Bush went AWOL from the National Guard?

    How many people think that Kerry told the truth about his war record AND that Bush fulfilled his duty in the National Guard?

    I have a hunch that people in these 2 categories are rare. Please, prove me wrong.

  28. I suppose you consider elected government officials demanding the halt of ads by private groups not to be a serious issue?

    Not really. Their edicts carry no weight, and the Swift Boat folks know this.

    You got nothing…

    It will be the first time since Paul Tsongas that I’m actually going to feel good walking out of a voting booth in a presidential election year.

    joe with all due respect neither do you…you’ve bought this guy hook, line, and sinker, and if it turns out he raped a litter full of Vietnamese school girls, your vote is still going to go the same way. Don’t lie about it, you’re not voting for Kerry, you’re voting for Not Bush. For the sour taste the man has left in your mouth, Kerry seems the perfect tonic.

    Kerry has been painstakingly plotting his ascendancy since 16. He fashioned himself the heir apparent to the Kennedy legacy, and now 30 years later brings a story of heroism and valor to the table that seems to not be true. I think swing voters care more about whether Kerry is going to help them get a job, so to bring Vietnam as a “qualification” for being president, its veracity is fair game. I don’t care if he spent his tour of duty sitting on the side of a hill smoking hash, as long as the fucker is honest about it. I don’t think courage under fire is a job requirement for a president, who has a crack team of human shields in the event he comes under fire at all. So as to how many of his men he dragged or didn’t drag out of harms way, who cares. Just don’t lie about it.

    I read his “economics” workbook. Soup from a stone.

    I’ve never seen you so indoctrinated, joe. I don’t really know how to handle it.

  29. You got nothing, Nathan. No ideas, no point, nothing. I’m sorry I started with you,

    Awww… poor Joe. I apologies for not following you after your hand waving and head fake to get off of your original point. You don’t have to be such a sore loser though. Come one, I know you have some spin left in you.

    I thought you were going somewhere with the Dole story. but you aren’t.

    There was no where to go with the Dole story, since it was the destination: you said no such thing existed, I simply pointed out that it did. You were the one furiously spinning from post one.

    Buh bye.

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

  30. BTW, Shannon, if you wish to send me a check for that “trivial amount,” I will be grateful.

  31. A question: Is the reason why Vietnam remains such an issue simply–or mostly–because we lost that war?

    Many of those who backed the Vietnam War continue to blame protestors like John Kerry for losing the war; so, for them, losing the war is at least part of the reason that the war is still an issue. But I think that?s just a small part of it.

    Vietnam remains an issue today because it’s the issue by which baby boomers, both for and against the war, defined themselves and their weltanschauung.

    The animosity between those who hated McNamara, Nixon, Agnew, Reagan and Haig and those who thought a protestor like John Kerry was a traitor was incredibly intense, and there didn?t seem to be many people on the fence. The civil rights struggle may have marked the beginning of the culture war, but Vietnam gave the culture war its momentum and strength.

    Bush is in trouble if Kerry manages to split the baby boomer vote along the old lines.

  32. I’ve noticed results more from disparate treatment by the media. I note that the story you’ve managed to dig up is from a low-circulation partisan sheet (comparable to the Nation, actually)…

    Wait a minute, I didn’t think the Nation was partisan?

  33. rst, “Don’t lie about it, you’re not voting for Kerry, you’re voting for Not Bush.” I would be pleased to vote for NotBush, just as I did in 88 (well, would have), 92, and 00. This time, however, I actually get to vote FOR someone I greatly admire. Even if one of my favorite Republicans were nominated, like Dick Lugar maybe, I’d still vote for Kerry in a heartbeat.

    “I don’t care if he spent his tour of duty sitting on the side of a hill smoking hash, as long as the fucker is honest about it. I don’t think courage under fire is a job requirement for a president.” As for his record, I’m far more impressed by his activities post-war than in combat. Though I do consider his courage under fire to be indicative of a good character, it is most important to me as a prologue for the good fight he fought after he came home.

    He wrote an economics workbook? I’ve never heard of that.

    “I’ve never seen you so indoctrinated, joe. I don’t really know how to handle it.” I am not indoctrinated, I’m enthused by the opportunity to work for what I’ve learned, through my own efforts, to be a positive force for good. And you’ve seen this from me every time a thread about city planning has appeared on this page.

  34. Nick,

    Remain confident. The GOP will come back to form!

  35. Eric, Lt jg’s and Lts don’t decide what the mission will be, or what the doctrine used in certain situations were. John Kerry did not come up with those actions on his own, any more Lt. Calley.

  36. thoreau,
    Could you e-mail HitandRun@Reason.com and request your poll/questionaire be put in an easy-to-respond-to format?

    All: There is more truth to be discovered or clarified, which fact keeps getting obscured by allegations of partisanship.

  37. I’m afraid John Kerry is walking into another briar patch. How quickly we forget that Mr. “Let’s not talk about the past” just presided over a nominating convention that talked about nothing but. We were treated to Kerry arriving by boat with his ‘band of brothers’, saluting the crowd and ‘reporting for duty’, bringing his ‘band of brothers’ on stage, and in general doing his damndest to ignore everything in his record after Vietnam.

    So now he’s screaming, “Let’s just stop talking about Vietnam!” But the whole reason he needed to focus on Vietnam in the first place is because he has a MISERABLE record as a Senator. He may be the only Senator in history to serve for 20 years and not be able to point to a single significant piece of legislation with his name on it. His record of eight years on the intelligence committee shows that he missed 76% of all the public hearings – and he refuses to release his attendance records for the private ones. In the year after the first WTC attack, when the nation should have been alerted to major flaws in its intelligence and a new major terrorist threat, Kerry missed EVERY intelligence hearing. And in the same year he voted to cut the intelligence budget by 6 billion dollars, when it should have been clear that the intelligence system needed to be strengthened.

    His presiding over the POW hearings is now marked by controversy over records he personally destroyed.

    Let’s face it – the reason Kerry went to the well with his Vietnam record is because it’s all he’s got. The junior Senator from Massachussets has been one of the worst, most ineffective Senators in recent memory.

    So here’s what’s going to happen: He and the media are going to scream that everyone just ‘move on’ from Vietnam. And so they will. The Swiftboat Vets are going to start hitting him on his behaviour when he came home. They’ve already started. There will be more wailing and gnashing of teeth, and the new spin will be that what should really matter is what he did as a Senator.

    Cue Bush and the upcoming debates. Bush is going to hammer him on his Senate record and his incredibly weak record on defense and intelligence. And Kerry’s old ace-in-the-hole, in which he would have slammed Bush for not being a combat vet like him, has now been completely defanged. Kerry can’t go back to Vietnam any more. Now he HAS to talk about his record – something he’s been avoiding throughout the entire campaign. That’s the real ‘end game’ here. And Kerry’s going to get slaughtered.

  38. How many people think that Kerry was lying about his war record AND that Bush went AWOL from the National Guard?

    thoreau, that’s me.

  39. What’s astonishing about the SVFT controversy is that they have managed to tarnish Kerry’s war record without a shred of evidence other than 35 years after the fact testimony of a bunch of people who admit they hate Kerry because of his antiwar activities, and many of whom are contradicted by their own earlier statements or their own military records. Larry Thurlow claims that his own military records were wrong because they were based on Kerry’s after-action reports, an assertion for which he provides no evidence whatsoever. But the media feels required to give equal weight to “both sides” of every issue.

  40. But if anybody is wondering why the Dems are on the threshold of becoming a permananent minority party, this latest screwup is one indication of incompetence that used to be a Republican hallmark.

    The radical left targeted the Dem Party for takeover and succeeded. They are bunglers. Old-style Liberals and just plain Democrats are feeling homeless and likely will be if they don’t take back the Party.

  41. Hadayn,

    You might have had a point there except for one small, crucial point: some of the SVFT’s charges have been found to be true.

    Now, that’s no indication that they all are, nor does it prove that every SVFT’s testimony is rock solid. However, you cannot discount it as mere partisanship. Its not like Karl Rove when back in time and forced Kerry to make claims about war crimes, Christmas in Cambodia, dates of service, etc.

  42. ‘So now he’s screaming, “Let’s just stop talking about Vietnam!”‘

    Er, no he’s not. He and his campaign are trying to get their version of the story to take root, and undermine the other side’s version of the story. Where did this idea that John Kerry doesn’t want to talk about Vietnam come from?

    The only ones working to change the subject away from Vietnam are you and your comrades, Dan. Personally, I spend my free time trying to come up with new ways to work the words “silver star” into various conversations. I’m working on a sentence that incorporates “silver star” and “lost his flight privileges” – any advice?

    “Bush is going to hammer him on his Senate record and his incredibly weak record on defense and intelligence.” I can’t wait for George Bush to bring up 1) the candidate’s thin record prior to his presidential campaign, 2) his efficacy at defending the United States against those who would, say, fly airplanes into our buildings, and 3) his competance at managing the intelligence bureacracy.

    Yup, watch for George Bush to center his campaign around those themes. Poor John Kerry. Whatever will he say?

  43. Even if one of my favorite Republicans were nominated, like Dick Lugar maybe, I’d still vote for Kerry in a heartbeat.

    So really your conscience has nothing to do with it. You like Kerry, and nothing is going to sway you from voting for him. Hero worship is all Kerry ever wanted in the first place.

    And as for his economics workbook, I’m talking about the documents on his website, one of which opens, “In the 1990s, fiscal responsibility contributed to confidence in the economy, strong investment,
    and 23 million new jobs. A key factor in assuring fiscal discipline was sticking to commonsense
    budget rules such as living within spending constraints.”

    In the 1990s, our economy was boosted by fiscal irresponsibility and overvaluation. “Strong investment,” perhaps, but investing strongly in the notion that folks will pay to ship 50 lbs. of dog food? I wouldn’t call the 90’s VCs fiscally responsible. The government’s contribution to being fiscally responsible was, “shut up and listen to Greenspan.” It worked, and Clinton got the credit for it.

    Oh, and making over $200,000 a year is not even close to “wealthy”. Kerry should get a swift kick in the ass just for that.

    The guy simply doesn’t have a platform. He’s got some medals though. Didn’t Timothy McVeigh have medals too?

  44. Dan says “…His record of eight years on the intelligence committee shows that he missed 76% of all the public hearings – and he refuses to release his attendance records for the private ones…”

    Just for the record, it’s Pat Roberts’ and Jay Rockefeller’s authority to release those records.

    And GWB was on vacation 42% of the time before 911 and Cheney’s terrorism task force never met before 911.

    So there.

  45. “Just for the record, it’s Pat Roberts’ and Jay Rockefeller’s authority to release those records.”

    Not without Kerry’s permission. Last week I saw the two of them on, I believe, Meet the Press, offering to release Kerry’s attendance if only Kerry would give his approval. He hasn’t.

  46. We’re forced to talk about Kerry/Bush’s past because their “vision things” are identical.
    Kerry will be a better coalition builder, but Bush was going to be a uniter, not a divider.
    Big whup!

  47. joe et al. You really need to understand that nothing George Bush could say about the Swiftees “Little 527 that Could” will alter their activities. Nothing. There are Bush supporters among them — as well as Independents and Democrats — and many GOP have now been flocking to their message board.

    But this is about JOHN KERRY, for them.

    What follows is from O’Neill’s Unfit for Command, discussing the first reunion in 30 yrs that the Swiftees held in the summer of 2003:

    “Dan Daly, the master of ceremonies, introduced many dignitaries. They are received with polite applause. But the Swiftees who are introduced are met with cheers…When it came time for Daly to recognize Senator John Kerry…as the man ‘who may be the next president of the United States,’ deafening silence followed. Even a single clap would have sounded like a cannon. Daly, embarrassed, said, ‘I guess I laid an egg with that one.'”

    These men despise John Kerry. This is not about being pro-Bush. And they are not going away.

  48. joe declares: Mona, I am unfamiliar with such attempts to challege GHW Bush’s service. I followed the 1992 race pretty closely, and don’t recall seeing any published stories attacking his record as a pilot – just a lot of stories celebrating the youngest fighter pilot in the Pacific. “Perhaps the vast distinction I’ve noticed results more from disparate treatment by the media. I note that the story you’ve managed to dig up is from a low-circulation partisan sheet (comparable to the Nation, actually). This stands in sharp dinstinction to the front page coverage from virtually all major media outlets being given to the anti-Kerry charges.”

    Yup, Democratic hack Syd Blumenthal tried to ignite a smear of George Sr.’s war record, but it got no traction. The Swift Vets, by contrast, are finally getting tons of it, and they have already been vindicated as to one their major points, namely, the whole issue of illegal orders to go into Cambodia. You know, the Xmas foray that was “seared, seared” into Kerry’s brain.

    There is no doubt the Swiftees — greatly under-funded as compared with, say, MoveOn.org with their Soros millions– have succeeded because of the Internet. The blogosphere was consumed with this story and this eventually compelled the MSM to look at it. Those following the story online generally find the media behind events by a week or so.

    –Mona–

  49. Cheers to all for what you’ve done with little j this afternoon. Keep up the good work!

  50. Well, Joe, if I am going to spend money on a good vintage Rioja, I prefer a topic more challenging than socialized medicine. Even the leftist notion of “city planning” has better terrain for you to defend.

    Insofar as Thoreau’s question, I feel roughly the same way about Bush’s “attendance” as Kerry’s “medals.” There isn’t enough data to prove Bush was AWOL or Kerry lied… but the general impression I have is that both men have used spotty military records for political gain.

    Bush dodged Vietnam using the same process available to many men from affluent families… I find it easy to believe his ethic for attending monthly drills was about on par with his ethic working in the oil business.

    Kerry earned three Hearts and a Silver Star in a truncated four-month tour on the Boats… without any major (or even minor) injuries? I suppose if one looks at his choice in wives, one could make the argument he is (in the words of SpongeBob’s doctor) a lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky-luck boy. I find it easy to believe that some of Kerry’s “war hero” exploits were considerably fluffed for the sake of a political career.

  51. I trust no sentient being would consider Alexander Cockburn and his CounterPuch site to be a tool of rabid GOP hacks. While he takes the same anti-war and anti-military positions Kerry and some here do, his analysis of Kerry’s pre-war behavior, and actual record while serving, is much the same as that of the Swift Vets. Excerpt and link:

    -Kerry sustained a very minor wound to his arm, probably caused by debris from his own boat’s salvoes. The scratch earned him his first Purple Heart, a medal awarded for those wounded in combat. Actually there’s no evidence that anyone had fired back, or that Kerry had been in combat, as becomes obvious when we read an entry from his diary about a subsequent excursion, written on December 11, 1968, nine days after the incident that got Kerry his medal. “A cocky air of invincibility accompanied us up the Long Tau shipping channel, because we hadn’t been shot at yet, and Americans at war who haven’t been shot at are allowed to be cocky.”

    He got two more Purple Hearts, both for relatively minor wounds. Indeed Kerry never missed a day of duty for any of the medal-earning wounds.-

    http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn07292004.html

  52. “The radical left targeted the Dem Party for takeover and succeeded. They are bunglers. Old-style Liberals and just plain Democrats are feeling homeless and likely will be if they don’t take back the Party.’

    Wow, what do you think they should do? Nominate a pro-death penalty, pro-welfare reform, moderate southern governor for President? Adopt balanced budgets as a central plank in their economic platform? Tell a radical left black nationalist to shove it? Anyway, I hear there’s some interesting music coming out of Seattle…

    Mona, I’m less impressed that Kerry got the date of his forays across the border wrong than you are.

    rst, “You like Kerry, and nothing is going to sway you from voting for him.” That’s right. I know his record from way back, having followed his career with interest since he was the Duke’s running mate in the gubanatorial race. I’m not basing my opinion of him on what his campaign says, and what his opposition’s campaign says, but on a much larger base of knowledge.

    Every four years, it seems, there is one candidate who stands head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of compentancy, decency, and intelligence: Tsongas in 92, Lugar in 96, McCain in 00, and now Kerry. I just cannot believe that, this time, the token human being in the race actually managed to get nominated.

    As for the economics text book, did you not get that Kerry’s site was referring to fiscal responsibility by the GOVERNMENT? Cleaning up the Reagan-era red ink was important in sustaining the economic momentum.

  53. I have is that both men have used spotty military records for political gain.

    You know, I’d almost stop there, except Bush didn’t exactly campaign on his tour of duty in the Guard as much as he responded to the attacks with the droll acknowledgement that, like his college career, he did what he had to do and then got out. Kerry OTOH is selling himself as a candidate based primarily on that allegedly fictional war record — because it certainly isn’t that idiotic economic “plan” of his. He and Edwards called on Bush to call off the dogs in a gamble that Bush would be unwilling to do so, thus painting the group as a partisan shill. But Bush’s request and SBVT’s subsequent refusal go some ways in painting the opposite, that SBVT does not take its cues from the GOP (regardless of whether it actually does). If I may theorize, both parties knew it was a gamble the second Edwards opened his mouth. His advisors, one of whom was the genius required to get such a buffoon in office in the first place said, “wait a day or two and do exactly what he tells you, then go the extra mile and toss in the 527 routine.” And you all know Kerry’s vehement opposition to 527’s *cough* George Soros *cough, cough* MoveOn.Org *cough*, which have given Kerry a 2:1 margin in campaign funds raised. This is not about 527’s, it’s about muzzling a group which is potentially as damaging to Kerry’s candidacy as MoveOn.org might be to Bush’s.

    Kerry asked for this by pretending he was a war hero. He could have just shut up and debated issues, but it’s August and his platform is still paper-thin.

  54. Mona, from the same Counterpunch article you cite: “While Bush, two years behind Kerry, was seeking commercial opportunity at Yale by selling ounce bags of cocaine, (so one contemporary has recalled)…”

    The ONLY proven thing you can come up with on Kerry is he was in Cambodia in January instead of on Christmas. Meanwhile, you give Bush a total pass on some really serious stuff – and I’m not tallking about selling dope. You’re standards for the truth, though, would make that single reference to it a fact.

    Are you a tool or what?

  55. Joe writes: “Mona, I’m less impressed that Kerry got the date of his forays across the border wrong than you are.”

    But Joe! It was “seared, seared” into his brain! He’ll never forget being there that Xmas Eve And Day. Seared, I tell you.

    And funny thing is, not one officer in his direct, surviving chain of command, or ANY other Swift Vets, will affirm any Swift Boats crossing into Cambodia. Not even the small band of brothers on his campaign payroll. Nada, joe.

    So flip-flop Kerry, via campaign mouthpieces, has now said he was illegally ordered there in January of ’69, or alternatively, he “inadvertently” wound up there. Or, he was “near” the border. Puh-leeeze.

  56. did you not get that Kerry’s site was referring to fiscal responsibility by the GOVERNMENT?

    Yes, and it is just like a lefty government to take credit for an economic boom that they had absolutely nothing to do with. You base your notion on the observation that the boom fell apart following an era of deregulation and whatnot, as if either of those had anything to do with the end of the dot-com era. It was the dot-com boom that pushed manufacturing forward, not some silly act of Congress.

    I’m supposed to accept on faith the notion that government’s miniscule contributions to the economy between 94 and 00 were the key factors in our economic success? The government was a bystander; it’s fiscal responsibility had nothing to do with the excesses of the 90s.

  57. Gadfly writes: “Mona, from the same Counterpunch article you cite: ‘While Bush, two years behind Kerry, was seeking commercial opportunity at Yale by selling ounce bags of cocaine, (so one contemporary has recalled)…'”

    Yes, and if you think allegations that Bush sold coke should be a campaign issue, you and Kerry supporters should go for it. Myself, I oppose drug prohibition most ardently, and would not indict anyone for disobeying an obscene and immoral law.

    Gadfly continues: “The ONLY proven thing you can come up with on Kerry is he was in Cambodia in January instead of on Christmas. Meanwhile, you give Bush a total pass on some really serious stuff – and I’m not tallking about selling dope. You’re standards for the truth, though, would make that single reference to it a fact.

    Are you a tool or what?”

    Well, it may be serious to you that some fellow says Bush sold Coke. It is not to me. And Gadfly, hear this: John Kerry never entered Cambodia on a Swift Boat. Ever. Not one Swiftee, including those in his little entourage, will support him in that claim; rather, as O’Neill shows in his book, any Swiftee SOMEHOW managing to get past all the barriers at the border, would have likely been court-martialed. It was, uh, seared into them that they were NOT to go into Cambodia, and not *one* Swift Vet other than John F. Kerry says that they ever did.

    –Mona–

  58. Gadfly, the 76% figure has been looked at by factcheck. I freely admit to first hearing about this on NPR. I almost drove off the road, at first thinking NPR went conservative. But no, for just a few brief seconds they went journalistic on me.

    http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=241

    quote follows:

    However, the Bush ad’s lower figure plays it safe — giving Kerry credit for attending one hearing for which the record is a bit ambiguous. The record of that hearing, on June 22, 1999, lacks the usual list of the senators and staff members who attended. We checked the full transcript for any sign that Kerry had been there, and found no record of Kerry speaking, or anyone else noting his presence. If Kerry is counted as absent from that hearing as well as the others, he missed nearly 78%. But if he attended and didn’t speak, then he would have missed only 37 of the 49, for a no-show rate of 75.5%, which the ad properly rounds up to 76%.

    In a rebuttal to the ad, the Kerry camp accused Bush of “fuzzy math and bad stats,” saying “They rely only on whether Sen… Kerry made statements in one of a small number of open hearings.” That’s not true. Records list senators and staff members as being present whether or not they spoke, and — to repeat — the 76 percent figure actually gives Kerry credit for attending one hearing for which there’s no evidence of his participation.

  59. Re the intel meetings. There were over 300 meetings of various types during Kerry’s 8 years of service. The public ones were a small percentage of them and the record doesn’t show you’re there if you don’t speak. 5 other Republicans don’t show up much on them, either.

    As for releasing all the attendance records – beats me. Unlike our fearless leader, Kerry doesn’t strike me as a slacker. I wish he’d authorize the release. Maybe it’ll show what Kit Bond or Orrin Hatch has been doing, too.

  60. The SBVT have extensive links to Bush. Their biggest funders are Bob J Perry and Harlan Crow. Perry, a Houston homebuilder, is a friend of Karl Rove (who dodged the draft) and John O’Neill, who has represented many of Perry’s friends. Perry is also one of Texas GOP’s biggest benefactors. Crow is a trustee of the George H W Bush Presidential Library Foundation. He is a personal friend of Clarence Thomas, who was nomited to the Supreme Court by George H W Bush. The SBVT are advised by Merrie Spaeth, whose late husband Tex Lezar was John O’Neill’s law partner and ran for Texas lieutenant governor in 1996 on the same ticket with Bush. Another of O’Neill’s law partners, Margaret Wilson, was Bush’s general counsel when he was the governor of Texas and later became the deputy counsel for the Department of Commerce in the Bush administration. Spaeth was a spokeswoman for a group hilariously calling itself “Republicans for Clean Air”. The group, financially backed by Texan Bush supporter Sam Wyly, was a part of Bush’s dirty tricks campaign against John McCain – which included attacking McCain’s military service. Spaeth is a close friend of Texas senator and Rove client Kay Bailey Hutchison. When asked, Spaeth ‘forgot’ about a 2003 visit to the White House, claiming she had been there only once, in 2002. The SVBT ads are made by the political advertising agency Stevens, Reed, Curcio & Potholm, who, among other Republican clients, worked for Bush’s father’s campaign in 1988. The most recent SVBT ad featured one Kenneth Cordier, who isn’t a Swift boat veteran, but was on the national steering committee of Veterans for Bush.

    As I’ve written before, I guess Bush has plausible deniability, but people who aren’t hopelessly na?ve should be able to figure out what’s going on. And anybody who thinks the SVB for Bush wouldn’t have attacked Kerry’s service to his country no matter what he did, short of declining the Democratic candidacy for president, is hopelessly na?ve.

  61. As to Cambodia, Mona, so what? Compared to the incompetence of the current leadership I’ll take a chance on a guy who says he was in one hellhole when he was actually in another a few miles away.

    And I don’t give a darn about whether Bush smoked dope, either. It’s just an example of the wierdness of this whole discussion.

    Peace.

  62. Notice how Kerry’s defense team here slips into “well, the Republicans are just as bad and Bush is worse.”

    That is soooo inspiring, no?

    Same turd, different smell…

  63. I’m with you, Scat.
    And so, with that, I doth bid this topic a fond post-server-problems adieu.

  64. Nice late hit from the peanut gallery. At some point, though, you’re gonna have to come down on one side or another.

  65. If Kerry were truly interested in talking about his service in Vietnam (and by “his service” I mean what actually happened, not the selected narrative he has thus far presented), he could fill out Standard Form 180 to authorize the release of ALL of his military records. He has yet to do so.

  66. The Village Voice, no bastion of right-wing thinking, has this story on Kerry about his commitment to POW’s:

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

  67. I think it’s time to put the “John O’Neill is a Democrat” rumor to bed.

    Mona writes:
    O’Neill voted for Gore in ’00.

    I know he says he did, but I’d be amazed if it’s actually true. (But more on that later…)

    The Nixon tapes show the first thing O’Neill told him was that he comes from a family of Democrats and had voted for Humphrey.

    Do they, really? I’ve seen some transcripts of the meeting between him and Nixon, but they always leave out the bits said by O’Neill, like this:

    June 16, 1971: Oval Office meeting with John O?Neill

    Nixon: I really feel that what you?re doing, you?ll take brickbats, you go on some of these TV shows like the Cavett thing, you?re gonna get banged, but – you?ll get terribly discouraged and say the whole country?s – and so forth. But I think ya gotta remember, uh, you have to remember, that uh, that uh, now {unintelligible] in Vietnam should be enough, that now you would have the [unint] to get back and reassure people that those few that come back – like Kerry and the rest – don?t speak for all.

    [edit]

    Nixon: That?s great. Give it to him, give it to him. And you can do it, because you have a pleasant manner, too, because you?ve got – and I think it?s a great service to the country.

    [edit]

    Nixon: You fellows have been out there. You?ve got to know, seeing the barbarians that we?re up against, you?ve got to know what we?re doing in that horrible swamp that North Vietnam is. You?ve got to know from all our faults of what we have in this country that, that what we?re doing is right. You?ve got to know too, people are critics. Critics of the war, critics of [unint], run America down. Those that are, uh – well in every respect, either get out of Vietnam, get out of [unint], get out of the world, etcetera etcetera. You?ve gotta know that you?re on the winning s – that, that you?re on the right side.

    Now, for the prosecution, I’d like to bring up O’Neill’s campaign contributions. I mean

  68. So if Kerry’s boat came under fire on three occasions and that’s “three times more than the president and the vice president ever have been fired upon in the course of their life,” that means that Bush and Cheney have been fired upon, right?

    I’m just wondering when that might have been.

  69. I’m just wondering when that might have been.

    Suffice it to say that in the late 1960s, a DKE pledge class at Yale learned some hard lessons about which lawns are safe for stealing garden gnomes, and which aren’t.

  70. Nick – anything to show that the Swifties are being orchestrated by the Republican Party (as opposed to being supported by individual Repyublicans)? That is, you know, both (a) the main Kerry reponse and (b) a crime.

    If you are going to bandy accusations of criminal activity that happen to be talking points for one of the parties, you might pause to look for evidence.

    As for Kerry’s “service record somehow becoming hte center of attention”, perhaps that is because he made his four months in Vietnam the center of attention. When attention shifts to either (a) his antiwar activities or (b) his Senate career, I doubt he will fare much better.

  71. Isn’t Kerry’s “Karl Rove” a woman?
    Maybe that’s the reason for the screw-ups on “war” issues.

  72. Oh yeah, we keep hearing arguments that end up with, “OK, so Kerry was a justly-decorated war hero.”

    That’s some screw up.

    BTW, there were stories out in 1996 that Bob Dole got injured, and left his unit leaderless in the middle of a firefight, because of recklessness and stupidity. There were stories out in 1992 that GHW Bush bailed out of his plane too early, dooming his crew. Democrats didn’t go anywhere near those stories.

  73. Vietnam is an issue because Kerry made it one. He issued the invitation to the Swift Vets by trumpeting his own service and using it as his rationale to run for president.

  74. Krybo Amgine writes:
    If Kerry were truly interested in talking about his service in Vietnam (and by “his service” I mean what actually happened, not the selected narrative he has thus far presented), he could fill out Standard Form 180 to authorize the release of ALL of his military records.

    Right. When Kerry releases military records, the SBV for Bush cry out as one, “They don’t mean a thing! You wrote them yourself! Including Larry’s Bronze Star citation!” When he doesn’t, the very same chucklebutts wail, “Why doesn’t Kerry release all his military records? He’s hiding something!”

    Say, how come none of these people are asking Dubya to release his full military records? Bush has claimed to have released all of them, but when you look into it, he’s actually released only those that are “relevant” (as defined by him). Questions have been raised, but more documents haven’t been forthcoming. Where’s the outrage over this, people? Don’t you consider it a serious matter?

  75. Senator Dole, Kerry isn’t claiming he should be president because he served in Vietnam. He’s claiming he should be president because he’s Not George Bush.

    Demonstrating that the comported himself admirably during the war is merely one way of demonstrating his Not George Bush-ness.

  76. “Vietnam is an issue because Kerry made it one. He issued the invitation to the Swift Vets by trumpeting his own service and using it as his rationale to run for president.”

    This is pure GOP dogma. If the country is in a war, which we are, why wouldn’t a candidate bring this up? If you have a stellar war record, how stupid would you have to be NOT to use it? Since when is talking about your service record issuing an invitation to smear the military? Especially when your opponent evaded dangerous military service? It is interesting that 2 of the main GOP house organs – the Weekly Standard and the National Review – both appear to be abandoning the SBVT and attempting to focus on the issue where Kerry really is vulnerable – his post-Vietnam activities.

  77. Vanya,
    Kerry has done much more than “bring it up.” He’s running on his Vietnam service. He opened the door to the Swift Vets and they charged in. Now he’s trying to close it. Too late. He’s made this an issue – didn’t you hear his convention speech?

  78. Bobdole supported Nixon and Nixon’s Vietnam policies aggressively in the early ’70s. I guess he has never forgiven Kerry for demonstrating how morally bankrupt his boss and him were.

  79. BTW, there were stories out in 1996 that Bob Dole got injured, and left his unit leaderless in the middle of a firefight, because of recklessness and stupidity. There were stories out in 1992 that GHW Bush bailed out of his plane too early, dooming his crew. Democrats didn’t go anywhere near those stories.

    *Cough cough cough*

  80. Very disappointed by Dole’s comments. Kerry served in combat, indisputably. Beyond that, what volume of bleeding is necessary to justify gratitude for his service?

    I’m a Bushie, and I think it’s obvious JFK has slightly embellished his war stories (as many veterans have done,) but Dole’s remarks are just shameful.

  81. The economy, Iraq, terrorists, drugs, crime…all peripheral issues. What really matters in this election is whether 30 years ago you shot some VC. Because only a man who shot VC would make a good president. Somebody who dodged the draft, now he wouldn’t do at all.

    /end sarcasm.

    Will someone please remove the Ancient Rome from our politics? I really don’t care which candidate gives Wes Clark a boner.

  82. To try to demonstrate that Democrats attacked Dole’s military service, Nathan links to The Nation. How about “The Militant” or “The Daily Worker?”

    Try again, son.

  83. See, for Dubs to get reelected he needs to do two things. He has no other options:

    1) get Iraq off the freaking TV
    2) raise Kerry’s negatives

    This works quite nicely. Yeah, we aren’t talking about that Iraq place where there were some bad guys doing stuff but it’s all fixed now, right? Instead we’re talking about some guys who’ve changed their stories 3 or 4 times and Cambodia where he wasn’t in December but was in January maybe. But then there was this other guy who got a bronze star for being under fire but he wasn’t under fire because Kerry’s boat wasn’t there but it was. . . etc.

  84. Vietnam is an issue because Kerry made it one. He issued the invitation to the Swift Vets by trumpeting his own service and using it as his rationale to run for president.

    If this is something the SBVT hadn’t planned to raise in advance, then it’s awfully efficient of them to have written a book and put together a media blitz on that issue in less than a week of Kerry’s convention speech.

    If the theme of Kerry’s campaign and convention speech had been “taffy is delicious,” you can rest assured we would be talking about whether Kerry’s claims about taffy can be credited in light of the charges raised by the SBVT.

    “Hey, Kerry made it the issue by bringing up salt water.”

  85. RC Dean:

    I actually meant the term “orchestrated attempt by the GOP” in the second way you suggest. That is, it’s safe to say that any number of individual Republicans (such as Bob Dole) are working overtime to keep the issue of Kerry’s service alive–a process that the candidate has furthered by, as several posters have noted, building his candidacy around that service.

    Kerry has spoken little to nothing about his Senate record, partly because there’s relatively little to show and what there is undercuts many of his current positions (he voted for NAFTA, authorization of force in Iraq, No Child Left Behind, the Federal Marriage Act, etc–positions that fail to differentiate him from Bush).

    It’s not clear how much technically transgressive election law jim-jambering is going on, though one of the Swifties (retired Col. Ken Cordier) has left an unpaid position in the Bush campaign after appearing in a Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad.

    For the record, I don’t think it should be a crime for 527 groups and official campaigns to collaborate. More political speech is always better than less, and the recent campaign finance “reforms” are simply the latest way in which incumbents try to make it harder for voters to get as much information as possible.

  86. rst, “Will someone please remove the Ancient Rome from our politics? I really don’t care which candidate gives Wes Clark a boner.”

    Flight Suit Day. You had nothing but praise for the Boy-Emperor.

    Though the sound of conservatives yelling “Uncle” on the military/patriotic/toughness question is music to my ears.

    Frankly, I’ve never really seen a Democrat winning that argument before, and I don’t really know how to handle it.

  87. A. The Republicans made it an issue that Bill C was (to use their new euphemism) a draft avoider.

    B. They never actually expected to be rallying behind a “Draft Avoider” as they presently are.

    C. Kerry’s anti-war effort leaves the ground with many vets angry on the “if you are not with us, you are against us” platform.

    D. As Bush’s situation dims, the repubs must swing out.

    E. The Republican have run dirty tricks more often. As a tactic, at least their efforts have been much more documented back starting with Nixon. Back in W’s first run, you need to examine the attacks on McCain to see how this boy, dubya, really runs things (well, at least how his friends run things).

  88. Alright, you find the he-said/he-said controversy over Kerry’s medals unrewarding (frankly, I think the whole thing says a lot more about medal inflation in Vietnam than it does about Kerry). Call it a draw – let’s say several dozen sworn affidavits disputing Kerry’s account roughly balances Kerry’s personal recollections, and the statements of the military bureaucracy that I know our pro-Kerry posters hold in such high esteem.

    Lets, as the man says, Move On. My question is, to what?

    Kerry’s anti-war activities before and after his service stint? Hardly Presidential timber.

  89. Fodderstompf: O’Neill admits he gave $7,000 to Republicans– and $25,000 to Democrats. He tends moderate Dem but votes for the person.

    –Mona–

  90. Kerry brought this whole thing on himself. He was puffing himself up as a vietnam vet way before the democratic national convention. If he’s going to keep saying “I’m a vietnam vet who won a bunch of medals, but Bush skipped out to the guard,” it only makes sense that the people who think he doesn’t deserve those medals are going to start speaking out. If Kerry hadn’t made such a big deal out of his service, no one would be giving the swift boat guys the time of day. They probably still would have released their book, but they’d have just looked like bitter partisans looking to insult a good man. But when you start tooting your own horn, as kerry repeatedly and loudly did, you can’t be surprised when the opposition hears you.

    This whole deal makes liberals in this country look like asses. First, they push and push for campaign finance reform, saying we need to get the money out of politics. Now we’ve got an election very heavily tainted by soft money. And due to the fact that the 527’s cant endorse a particular candidate, all they’ve been able to do is criticize the other guy – leading to a viciously negative campaign. At first, the 527’s were the domain of the democrats. You had guys like George Sorros giving $15 million dollars to fund groups who ran ads comparing bush to Adolf Hitler. Then, when some dude from texas gives a mere $150,000 to a group criticizing Kerry’s service in vietnam, we hear the liberals whining about how this isn’t fair and it’s not right and how it’s just a bunch of rich republicans using their money to control politics again.

    I geuss it’s OK for liberals to bend the rules and use their great wealth to influence the outcome of the election, but it’s just evil of conservatives try to do something similar.

  91. RC Dean, you’ve got to be kidding. Every article is pointing out that the SBVT (pshaw, what a name) are 1. lying, 2. angry about the Senate testimony and not the events for which he got medals, 3. lying, and 4. oh, did I mention? lying.

    This ain’t a draw.

    You are simply wrong.

    I love how folks who attacked The Clenis for being a draft avoider now have to back one themselves.

    I love how folks who can’t find a single positive thing in the Bush record (higher deficits, larger government, reckless war) attack someone else’s record.

    I love how Mr. Mission Accomplished can say Osama Bin Laden isn’t important anymore and you people defend him. For god’s sake, if the man is a nincompoop, why do you defend him?

    Look, I don’t know why Kerry isn’t talking about the BCCI investigation (check out Washington Monthly for the story) or talking about the post-Vietnam testimony because of his sense of betrayal as a soldier, or talking about his work with McCain on the POW/MIA committee, or discussing other things like health care, tax plans, and more. Wait, some of those he IS talking about, and it’s idiots in the media on this board who refuse to find out anything.

    ciao,
    Rothko

  92. One reason Vietnam remains an issue is people like Kerry having fabricated atrocities. Phony Veterans telling horrific war stories on television, misleading photos becoming the iconic reference in the public mind…shit, the whole damned thang.

    Due to this glorious medium we here employ, we actual Veterans get for the first time our forum.

    And anyone who don’t like it can go fuck themselves.

  93. Alkali is spot on. The slime balls have been cooking this up for a long time. They were going to make this an issue and the Kerry bunch could see it coming a mile away. The rape was inevitable and they chose NOT to lay back and enjoy it.

  94. RC,

    I would be happy to watch Team Bush align itself with that fraction of the public who still believes the Vietnam War was a good idea, and the people who opposed it wrong.

    Let’s roll out the Kent State photos. Soundtrack by former Reaganite Neil Young.

    Bring…

    It…

    ON.

  95. alkali,
    “If this is something the SBVT hadn’t planned to raise in advance, then it’s awfully efficient of them to have written a book and put together a media blitz on that issue in less than a week of Kerry’s convention speech.”

    You know that Kerry has been running on Vietnam since the primaries, more than enough time to write a book and release it after the convention.

    To me, his voting record in the Senate is a better indication of how he’d perform as president, rather than his Vietnam service. But Kerry’s not talking much about that.

  96. BTW, there were stories out in 1996 that Bob Dole got injured, and left his unit leaderless in the middle of a firefight, because of recklessness and stupidity… Democrats didn’t go anywhere near those stories.

    Not so fast joe…

    I didn’t mean those democrats, idiot…

    So lets sum up:

    Swift Boats for Truth = Republican Attack Dogs

    The Nation = a publication that has not a single Democrat on staff, doesn’t hold any ties to Democrats, in fact, wouldn’t recognize any Ted Kennedy if he punched them in the face (after asking for another Chivas). Never never never never never [puts fingers in ears] la la la la la la la

    Thank you, joe, for proving yet again that you are nothing more than a partisan hack.

  97. Mr. Neyer, if you think John Kerry is sorry he drove the swift boat of his horn-tooting up the Mekong River of Vietnam memory, and drew the tv ad fire of the Swift Boat liars-Viet Cong, so that he could win the silver star of public sympathy by returning fire with the twin .50s of his own service-themed events and ads, then your political instincts are as twisted as this metaphor. Kerry isn’t running away from this; he’s turned right into the fire and is pounding away. I think we know how that turns out for the poor bastards trying to pick him off.

  98. Nathan, that’s the magaize that published Hitchens’ attacks on Clinton and Blumenthal, right?

    Yeah, The Nation, DNC house organ.

    Just because two people you can barely see on the horizon look close together to you, doesn’t mean they’re standing next to each other.

    The Swift Boat Blah Blah Blahs, on the other hand, have received large amounts of funding from a close associate of Karl Rove, and are led by a man who was hired by Richard Nixon to attack John Kerry thirty years ago.

    Yes, the SBVFT are Republican attack dogs. And yes, The Nation doesn’t take marching order from the Democrats and has repeatedly attacked them. Drawing false parallels is a big part of your strategy, eh?

  99. The Swift Boat Blah Blah Blahs, on the other hand, have received large amounts of funding from a close associate of Karl Rove, and are led by a man who was hired by Richard Nixon to attack John Kerry thirty years ago.

    That’s a different standard of association than you’re willing to apply to The Nation, joe.

  100. I find the controversy interesting and entertaining. I find it hard to imagine that anyone would contend that hard evidence that Kerry actually lied would be “old news” if it surfaces– nor would they forgive his accusers for hard evidence of fraud: either outcome would be lethal to someone (and in the latter case, at least damaging to Bush, whether he could be implicated or not).

    Kerry’s unwillingness to sign a 180 or release known and relevant documents appears Nixonian, to say the least.

    As for “moving on to the issues”, Kerry clearly doesn’t wish to debate Iraq and, I don’t know about anyone else here, but…I don’t really care to discuss how the two candidates propose to guarantee affordable health care to all adult Americans, blah, blah, blah.

    (Maybe that’s just how shallow I am? joe’s good cheer notwithstanding, it’s difficult to believe this has been anything but a nightmare for John “All-Viet-Nam/All-of-the-time” Kerry.)

  101. Flight Suit Day. You had nothing but praise for the Boy-Emperor.

    You will have to explain.

    Though the sound of conservatives yelling “Uncle” on the military/patriotic/toughness question is music to my ears.

    It’s not Uncle…I have never been impressed by the extent to which one 19-year old from my country killed 19-year olds from somebody else’s country. Neither patriotism nor toughness is measured in how willing one is to kill. If it’s a matter of credibility, that’s one thing. But this isn’t about credibility, it’s a pissing contest about crap that happened 30 years ago having zero relevance to anything occurring today.

  102. More Karl Rove mind-controled zombies who hate Kerry. Accounts of family members of POW/MIAs who say Kerry abandoned their loved ones: http://www.powmiafamiliesagainstjohnkerry.com/betrayed/betrayed.htm

    –Mona–

  103. p.s. that “Live Shot” was on a boat in a war is an insight into his history; that he was a hockey player who never passed the puck is an insight into his character.

  104. It’s Monday.
    Oil is hovering at $50 a barrel.
    Iraq is going to hell.
    The US election is going to hell.

    When will Hit and Run have server problems again?

    Zippedy Doo-Dah!!

  105. According to this story:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/03/07/wkerr07.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/03/07/ixnewstop.html

    John Kerry did try to avoid service with a deferment so he could spend more time in…drum roll….France(!), but was denied. Its implied he joined the navy after it was clear he wasn’t going to be able to avoid service entirely.

    No comment from me, just a link.

  106. That’s the magaize that published Hitchens’ attacks on Clinton and Blumenthal, right?

    Yeah, The Nation, DNC house organ.

    Indeed it is, and that, of course, makes it totally non-partison. The National Review critisized Bush as well, so I guess by your standards its no mouthpiece of the GOP either. But that’s besides the point…

    Just because two people you can barely see on the horizon look close together to you, doesn’t mean they’re standing next to each other.

    Just because two people don’t share the exact same phyiscal space doesn’t mean that have more in common than not.

    The Swift Boat Blah Blah Blahs, on the other hand, have received large amounts of funding from a close associate of Karl Rove, and are led by a man who was hired by Richard Nixon to attack John Kerry thirty years ago.

    Yes, the SBVFT are Republican attack dogs.

    Proof? All you’ve presented is some sort of Kevin Bacon “six degrees of seperation” circumstancial evidence. Interestingly enough, its exactly your reasoning for ‘proving’ the Nation isn’t partisan. So which is it?

    Drawing false parallels is a big part of your strategy, eh?

    Now that’s just damn funny. Paging Mr. Kettle…

  107. “That’s a different standard of association than you’re willing to apply to The Nation, joe.”

    OK, Josh, how about, The Nation has existed for decades, and has at various points been supportive and critical of the Democratic Party and its current nominee. The Swift Boat tools were formed during this election campaign by Republican operatives for the sole purpose of attacking John Kerry, and have done nothing but.

  108. Its implied he joined the navy after it was clear he wasn’t going to be able to avoid service entirely.

    Now this seems more inline with what you’d expect from a New England blue-blood. I always found it disingenuous to hold that an Ivy Leaguer would have taken the silver spoon out of his mouth long enough to haul ass to a recruitment office, unless the ski trips were getting unbearably dull.

    Not that I’m going to slam him for self-preservation. I will, however, slag him for pretending to be a hero.

  109. All: In the past several weeks I have immersed myself in the claims of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and initially I was horrified at the very thought of their existence, assuming it would be nothing but trouble for Bush. As it turns out, however, there is an enormous amount of substance to their claims, and they are not Republican hacks driven by Karl Rove.

    Kerry published an authorized biography, Tour of Duty, timed to be released for his presidential campaign. It is not just the Swift Boat vets who were aghast at the picture of himself and the Vietnam War that Kerry therein portrays. One of Kerry’s former crewmates on the U.S.S Gridley, Phil Carter, who had contributed to Kerry’s senatorial campaigns, has issued an acid assessment of the book and basically calls Kerry a self-aggransizing fantasist. I have linked to Phil Carter’s remarks in a thread about Kerry and the Vets below.

    John O’Neill, the primary author of Unfit for Command, was a Democrat who had voted for Humphrey when Nixon promoted him to counter Kerry’s vicious lies about our boys supposedly being nothing but a gang of depraved war criminals. O’Neill voted for Gore in ’00. Paul Galanti, one former POW who appears in the latest Swift Boat ad, served as chairman of the McCain presidential committee in Virginia, and was active in a veterans group supporting Democrat Mark Warner’s successful bid to become governor of that state.

    Tour of Duty ressurected for these vets anger and disgust with John Kerry. It caused many of them to come together after 30 years and compare notes on what they recall as really happening. For example, suddenly missing in Tour of Duty is any claim to have spent Xmas ’68 in Cambodia– yet for three decades he had been loudly proclaming that adventure as evidence of criminality and illegal orders in the military. But he still claims to have been in Cambodia at some point– thing is, not one other Swiftee, including Kerry’s small “band of brothers” will support him him in that.

    In Tour, Kerry is again ranting about pervasive atrocities and an allegedly incompetent and criminal chain of command. One disabled Swiftee, Joe Ponder, is sickened at Kerry’s rendition of what happened the day he was severely wounded, and how Kerry uses this combat incident to again indict the chain of command.

    Those who served with him, or as Swift Boat sailors at any time, know what Kerry says is not true, and they are pissed.

    Karl Rove didn’t have a thing to do with it. John Kerry is driving this group of veterans. Read Unfit for Command, as I have. (Tho it keeps selling out faster than Regnery can crank out new editions. You will likely have to reserve a copy.)

  110. by Republican operatives for the sole purpose of attacking John Kerry, and have done nothing but.

    Yep, it must be republican operatives, as distinct from plain republicans with money. It must be so because they are republicans, and as such are led by the Illuminati.

  111. The Nation has clearly been a magazine that represents the Democratic Party for decades, just as National Review represents the Republican Party. Although at times The Nation is to liberal for the Democrats and gets frustrated with them, they still cleary support them. Just as National Review can be to conservative for the Republicans but still supports them.

  112. Wow, you actually posted the “Six Degrees of Separation” talking point from the campaign’s statement.

    The basis for my belief that John O’Neil’s attack-John-Kerry group is working at the behest of the Republican White House is that John O’Neil’s attack-John-Kerry group was working for and funded by the Republican White House thirty years ago.

    Oh, and the fact that they’re funded by people who have close relationships to the Bush campaigan.

    Also, that they appeared out of nowhere in the midst of a campaign cycle, and have devoted themselves full time to undermining an important prong of the Democrat’s strategy.

    And, finally, the fact that their techniques are instantly recognizable to anyone who’s watched Republicans operate within the media for the past ten years.

  113. joe I think your boat is sinking. Kerry seems to have a self-inflicted wound in the foot on this one. Maybe he should get another medal.

  114. And, finally, the fact that their techniques are instantly recognizable to anyone who’s watched Republicans operate within the media for the past ten years.

    Can we agree that the main distinguishing characteristic of a partisan hack is the belief that his opponents are the main/only proponents of political dirty tricks?

  115. And there is this, from NRO:

    The Nation argued that Bob Dole got his first Purple Heart for a self-inflicted wound. Robert Ellis, who, like Dole 10th Mountain Division in World War II, sought to debunk the “myth” of Dole’s heroism:

    –The truth about Dole’s war record is considerably less than awe-inspiring. Yet the myth endures, and with the candidate running on the contrast between his and Clinton’s military record, his campaign isn’t eager to give a more accurate account. Dole, at the behest of his handlers, is less reticent about his service than in the past, but he mainly speaks about his wound and rehabilitation. He has passed up several opportunities to correct the exaggerated versions in biographies, and in the case of his self-wounding has even approved a sanitized account in which his maladroitly hurled grenade goes unnoted. Journalists continue to portray him as a hero, winner of two Bronze Stars. Joe Klein, for example, writes in Newsweek that Dole knows “what guns do. He also knows what politicians do, which is rarely anything quite so dramatic as leading an army into battle.” Such attempts to make political capital out of Dole’s war service go beyond the respect due him for the role he played as a soldier with the 10th Mountain Division.–

    A presidential candidate’s fellow veteran makes claims, charging the candidate wasn’t the hero his party says he was? Unprecedented!

  116. I would be happy to watch Team Bush align itself with that fraction of the public who still believes the Vietnam War was a good idea, and the people who opposed it wrong.

    Most who opposed it were wrong for what they supported.

  117. In a 1988 campaign-trail autobiography, here’s how Dole described the incident that earned him his first Purple Heart: “As we approached the enemy, there was a brief exchange of gunfire. I took a grenade in hand, pulled the pin, and tossed it in the direction of the farmhouse. It wasn’t a very good pitch (remember, I was used to catching passes, not throwing them). In the darkness, the grenade must have struck a tree and bounced off. It exploded nearby, sending a sliver of metal into my leg–the sort of injury the Army patched up with Mercurochrome and a Purple Heart.”

    Courtesy Josh Marshall.

  118. Mona, John O’Neil has donated $25,000 to Republicans over the years, in addition to working for the Nixon White House to smear Kerry 30 years ago. And as you might or might not know, a number of people (including quite a few from the south) changed their party loyalty from D to R in the period during and immediately after Vietnam. There have even been books written about it.

    I haven’t seen O’Neil’s 2000 election ballot, and neither have you. You seem to hold his word in very high esteem, to accept unquestioningly such a self-serving statement.

    Now, how exactly does pointing out that one of the accusers chaired a Republican’s electoral campaign help your case?

    “Karl Rove didn’t have a thing to do with it.” No, a close associate of his, and a big Republican donor, carried it out over his vehement protests. And just happened to run into a guy who did hit jobs on John Kerry for the Nixon White House (during the time Karl Rove worked there) at the drug store.

    You make one reasonable point, though – these people are motivated by hatred for John Kerry, based on his public and successful opposition to the Vietnam War. That’s a perfectly legitimate position to take. I wish they’d leave the smears against his impressive service record out of it. You just shouldn’t do that to a man who risked his life and served honorably.

  119. Mona, the diff is, nobody even loosely affilliated with the Clinton campaign worked to get that story into the mainstream press, or used it as a club against Dole candidacy. And the mainstream press ignored it.

    It appears that the liberal-coastal-media-elite only likes to run with war stories that undermine Democrats.

  120. Wow, you actually posted the “Six Degrees of Separation” talking point from the campaign’s statement.

    Yes, the direct link in my brain that is connected to the RNC headquarters told me to type that exactly. Because no-one could have possibly come up with such an obvious metaphore. Where was this talking point published, because I must have missed it? So what kind of person assumes everyone who disagrees with him *must* be being fed by shady, operative types? We’ll let the judges decide that one.

    The basis for my belief that John O’Neil’s attack-John-Kerry group is working at the behest of the Republican White House is that John O’Neil’s attack-John-Kerry group was working for and funded by the Republican White House thirty years ago.

    DING DING DING DING. So much for proof. We’ve now backed down to ‘belief.’ Sorta undercuts your entire arguement, doesn’t it? Yet you blather on…

    Oh, and the fact that they’re funded by people who have close relationships to the Bush campaigan.

    Also, that they appeared out of nowhere in the midst of a campaign cycle, and have devoted themselves full time to undermining an important prong of the Democrat’s strategy.

    They’ve been around 30 years, they just appeared out of nowhere… jesus, which is it?

    And, finally, the fact that their techniques are instantly recognizable to anyone who’s watched Republicans operate within the media for the past ten years.

    And we dismount with the fallocy “Begging the Question.”

    Judges Ruling: Partisan Hack

  121. joe,
    You conveniently forget that Kerry didn’t just oppose the war, he accused his fellow soldiers of committing war crimes. He also admitted to committing war crimes himself. So the Dems have a confessed war criminal on the ballot. Be proud.

  122. It appears that the liberal-coastal-media-elite only likes to run with war stories that undermine Democrats.

    Wow, those few weeks where Bush’s National Guard story was on the front page of most papers must have been some sort of mass hallucination.

  123. Oh, my. I see now how the use of the word “belief” undercuts the entire premise that Republicans from Texas, funded by a friend of Karl Rove, attacking John Kerry during the presidential race, could be working on behalf of the Republicans. I wish they had minds like yours on the 911 Commission.

    O’Neil’s been around 30 years, he was called back to carry out his shtick on national tv only after Kerry got the nomination. C’mon, you can play dumb better than that.

    Eric, I haven’t forgotten anything. I am proud that my party nominated the man who most successfully blew the whistle on our government’s disgraceful actions in Vietnam. It takes a lot of balls to do such a thing at such a dangerous time. I have a lot more respect for him than for those who tried to silence him then, and destroy him now, in the cause of keeping those actions secret. If your side wants to define itself as those who don’t think we did anything wrong in Vietnam, have at it.

  124. “I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment,” Bush told the Dallas Morning News in 1990. “Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes.”

    George Bush. Draft dodging chickenhawk.

  125. joe,
    John Kerry did his part in all that. He also helped destroy the reputations of countless Vietnam vets by falsely accusing them of war crimes, which you again fail to mention. You again overlook that he admitted to committing war crimes himself. Are you going to vote for an admitted war criminal?

  126. Nathan,

    Nothing George W. Bush did during the Vietnam War can accurately be called a “war story.”

    But yes, the media shows more respect for people who went into combat and came back injured and decorated (Dole, Kerry) than people who came from powerful families and mysteriously found opennings in overbooked stateside guard units (Bush, Quayle). Imagine that.

  127. So the Dems have a confessed war criminal on the ballot. Be proud.

    lol — so do the republicans, eric.

  128. Eric,

    Our country dishonored itself with the acts it forced young men to commit in Vietnam – young men who couldn’t have known any better, because they were being assured by their superiors that their orders were appropriate. I don’t hold the young men responsible, I hold their superiors.

    John Kerry was ordered to shoot any boats that entered areas deemed restricted by the US military. And he did that, just like everyone else in his unit. An awful lot of the dead were innocent farmers taking their wares to market. When he came home, he realized that carrying out those orders was not just distasteful, but actually illegal. And instead of just bitching and moaning, he stood up and did something about it.

    Damn straight I’m going to vote for that man. It will be the first time since Paul Tsongas that I’m actually going to feel good walking out of a voting booth in a presidential election year.

  129. As I have said before, I think the Swift Boat story has legs because many Americans find John Kerry more than a little creepy. The story (true or not) resonates because it confirms the lurking suspicion Kerry is an opportunist: martial, marital and political.

    Like others, I am dismayed to see the election focus on war records (or the lack thereof) rather than substantive issues of real interest to voters… like how the American political process manages to produce such mediocre candidates for president.

  130. Gary, yes, one additional officer has come forward to support Kerry, and the Swift Vets have changed their web picture reflecting that. Of those alive and declaring on him one way or the other, it is now 12 say unfit, 3 say he is fit.

    As for those who contrast statements made in the 90s by Swiftees who now are anti-Kerry: I have already adressed this numerous times. Kerry’s authorized bio was not yet out, and they did not know what he was specifically claiming about his medals, or that he was going to reiterate all the crap about an incompetent and criminal chain of command. ***Tour of Duty is the intervening factor.***

    Joe: No Swiftees went illegally into Cambodia during the time period at issue. That is the unchallenged truth. The sole Swiftee claiming otherwise is John Kerry.

    –Mona–

  131. Well, I find the whole thing laughable. I mean Kerry is being lauded for winning medals in a war that is now (or at least should be) thought of as pointless and evil, especially by the Dems rank and file voters. Isn’t that like saying, “hey, I won all these awards for drowning sacks of kittens!” And isn’t it kind of irrelevant if was in Cambodia or not, since we weren’t even supposed to be in the neutral country in the first place!? I’d rather not think that this entire mess is making Nam’ look good. Hell, I’d be inclined to vote for Dubya, if his draft dodging meant he were less likely to make the rest of us fight. But alas, like Clinton, as long as it’s not his pasty ass in the line of fire, the rest of us are cannon fodder.

  132. Mona writes:
    O’Neill admits he gave $7,000 to Republicans–

    Which neatly explains why according to public records he has given at least $14,250 to Republicans.

    and $25,000 to Democrats.

    That’s odd, since he hasn’t given a single donation as large as or larger than $250 to a Democratic candidate or an organization during the past decade. Maybe he has made 100 donations of $249 each to Democrats. Yes, that must be it.

    He tends moderate Dem but votes for the person.

    He lies. A lot.

  133. dee-devile writes:
    And isn’t it kind of irrelevant if was in Cambodia or not,

    GLENN REYNOLDS: “No! It’s vitally important!”

  134. Gadfly: “Dr. Louis Letson, today: “I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury.”
    Medical records, 1968: “Dr. Letson’s name does not appear on any of the medical records for Mr. Kerry. Under ‘person administering treatment’ for the injury, the form is signed by a medic, J. C. Carreon, who died several years ago.””

    Gadfly, this has been addressed MANY times. Dr. Letson was the only physician at that medical base; medics frequently signed routine reports. Initially, pro-Kerry forces were arguing another DOCTOR signed the report, until it was shown that Carreon was a mere medic. Letson often had underlings sign routine reports.

    Or is Kerry arguing that his injury was so mild it did not even require a physician’s attention. That would be o.k.

    –Mona–

  135. “Even the lowest private (or seaman recruit) is taught the basics including that no member of the military should follow an unlawful order.”

    And John Kerry is uniquely responsible for accepting his superiors’ assurances that the actions they ordered him to carry out were legal? Funny how you don’t hold his opposition – the ones who objected when he said “Wait a minute, this isn’t right” to the same standard.

    And between the dick waving and Godwin violations, you’ve pretty much made that case that you’re not worth any more of my time.

  136. Mona, the man was repeatedly hit by flying shrapnel in firefights. What the fuck is wrong with you?

  137. Jose writes: “Actually, Mr. Gunnels, my impression of Mona’s contribution to this thread was mostly that she was cutting and pasting from other sources. Perhaps you can provide the quote where she “apologize for the worst atrocities in Viet Nam committed by US soldiers.” Frankly, I missed it. I am an equal opportunity relisher.”

    Shhhh! I am delighted to see this kind of attack, and think Gary and other Kerry partisans should shout from the rooftops that the anti-Kerry vets and their supporters are apologists for war criminals, defenders of rampant atrocities our men and the command committed & etc. I hope they target veterans groups in particular with these claims. Do NOTHING to inhibit them, I command thee.

    And you are right: as I said in my initial post in this thread, I’ve been reading widely about the Swiftees for a few weeks now. My fascination grew after I encountered the Xmas in Cambodia whopper, and realized that the Swift Vets could not be dismissed out-of-hand. (Which was my first inclination, along with hope that Bush would get them to shut up and go away.) So, I’ve accumulated a lot of sites dealing with the Swift Vets, and do, indeed, cut and paste a great deal from them — but always with attribution and often with links. And, I’ve got the book Unfit for Command, and quote from it as well.

    One thing, I cannot excerpt the whole portion dealing with Swift boats and the absolute command not to enter Cambodia, during the relevant time period. It is quite lengthy. But O’Neill makes a very tight case that during the relevant time period Swift boats were not making forays into Cambodia. Of all Swiftees, only John Kerry says otherwise, and that it was “seared, seared” into his brain.

    –Mona–

  138. Fodderstompf claims: “Which neatly explains why according to public records he has given at least $14,250 to Republicans.”

    I dislike posting claims without suppport, but I still have not located my documentation — I will post it when I find what I know I’ve read, which is this: John O’Neill says some sources have doubled his GOP contributions (as you have) by attributing donations made by one of his partners with the same last name, spelled the same way.

    John O’Neill says *he* has donated $7000 to the GOP, and $25,000 to Democrats.

    –Mona–

  139. Joe spews: “Mona, the man was repeatedly hit by flying shrapnel in firefights. What the fuck is wrong with you?”

    Gosh, and Gary has me down as a “zealot” who apologizes for war criminals and atrocities.

    I do believe the Swift Boat Vets for Truth have y’all becoming unhinged.

    –Mona–

  140. “Of all Swiftees, only John Kerry says otherwise, and that it was “seared, seared” into his brain.”

    Untrue! http://www.slate.com/id/2105529/

    You’re attacking a man’s character because the shrapnel that injured him didn’t land a few inches closer to his heart, and I’M unhinged? Ger a grip, lady.

  141. In other news, John Gardner, the one member of Kerry’s crew who joined Swift Board Yadda Yaddas and didn’t stand next to him at the convention, was not on Kerry’s boat during ANY of the events for which Kerry received medals.

    The number of witnesses on Kerry’s boat that dispute his version of events is now down to zero.

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200408240001

    You can choose not to click on it because of the site, but doing so won’t put any of the Swift Boat liars on Kerry’s craft.

  142. Mona writes:
    so many of the WS witnesses have since been shown to be fraudulent (they were never in the military, they were in the military but not in Vietnam, etc.)

    Which ones? I asked this on another forum and was directed at a debunking of Mark Lane’s Conversations with Americans, not the Winter Soldier Investigation. Al Hubbard is often mentioned as a fraud, but although he was one of the organizers, he wasn’t a witness.

  143. John Kerry is not “uniquely responsible for accepting his superiors’ assurances.” He is uniquely the democratic candidate for president in 2004.

    His responsiblities as a member of the military and person are shared by every man and woman in uniform. It doesn’t matter a tinker’s damn if your superiors give you “assurances” that it’s OK to shoot unarmed civilians or do recon by fire (or abuse prisoners). By your description, the man who would be president didn’t uncover this moral gem until after he returned home.

    For reasons of my own, I have deep empathy of the moral ambiguities of combat. Perhaps it is time for a blanket amnesty for the soldiers of Vietnam, the soldiers of both sides. The men of conscience have paid some measure of the debt. The men without conscience never will.

    While Joe sulks his way to another thread, my parting comment is that I hope the presidential election will move beyond this.

  144. I am still thoroughly enjoying the collapse of joe on this thread. Thanks again.

    Mona: If the shrapnel had hit closer to JFK’s heart, it probably would have only ripped his shirt, not even stuck in his skin. Scratch one bogus medal. 🙂

    And, Gadfly, there are more than two sides for anyone to come down upon. Comedy arises from the sputterings of Kerry supporters in their attempt to maintain a belief that he is on a different side from Bush.

  145. “demonstration of evidence that proves one’s argument” is an odd definition of “collapse,” but I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Jose, I think you’re a piece of shit for thinking you are any better than the men who tried to do the right thing during their tours in Vietnam.

  146. Just as soon as you get rid of this one man who’s inconvenient for you, you’ll be ready to grant a blanket amnesty. Gee, that’s big of you.

  147. Jose, tell me what happens when a soldier wakes up one day and refuses to fight. He is sure that the war he is in is illegal and his orders to shoot peasants-by-day-charlie-by-night violate the Geneva convention.

    I’ll tell you what would happen. He would be arrested, court martialed, jailed and sent home in disgrace. He would be branded a coward the rest of his life.

    Not being a former soldier, though, I could be wrong. The Navy could agree with him, give him a promotion for pointing out this injustice and pull out of the war. Nah.

  148. Mona writes:
    I dislike posting claims without suppport, but I still have not located my documentation —

    If you don’t trust newsmeat.com, you can find the same data at opensecrets.org and fecinfo.com (no link because their search form blows goats).

    John O’Neill says some sources have doubled his GOP contributions (as you have) by attributing donations made by one of his partners with the same last name, spelled the same way.

    I have done no such thing. The contributions I have attributed to John O’Neill have been made by “O’Neill, John E” of Texas 77019. His law partner’s contributions can be found by searching for “O’Neill, Edward” of Texas 78735/77002/77056. Their names are different and so are their zip codes. The two aren’t difficult to tell apart.

    So, how come none of O’Neill’s contributions to Democrats show up in the FEC database? Is he really claiming to have made 100 or more small donations to Democrats? And why does he claim to have donated half of what FEC data shows to Republicans? Why does he claim to have voted for Perot in an election in which he donated money to Daddy Bush? Could it be that he’s – *gasp* – lying?

    Oh, and were you able to find any proof for your assertion that O’Neill told Nixon he had voted for Humphrey? – aside from O’Neill’s word, that is, seeing as O’Neill’s word isn’t worth much. I really would be interested in hearing O’Neill’s side of his discussion with Tricky Dick.

  149. joe, you’re getting desperate. First, Kerry & Co. have CONCEDED he was not in Cambodia on Xmas Eve or Day ’68. Got it? They admit it — so that Slate article speculating about how close he came, how it could have happened and yada, yada…is not what Kerry Campaign now claims. Now, the spin is that he made one or a few crossings into Cambodia, possibly inadvertently, in January or February of ’69.

    Not one Swiftee other than John Kerry says they were illegaly ordered into Cambodia, and went. Certainly none during the time period under discussion. NOT ONE. Just John Kerry. Nothing in that article places Swift Boats during John Kerry or John O’Neill’s tenure crossing into Cambodia on a Swift boat. Clear now?

    Kerry lied.

    And about his shrapnel. You mean the fanny wound because he blew up a grenade under non-combat circumstances?

    This subject will arise again, and when it does on this board, I will quote from O’Neill in Unfit on the “wounds” that were demonstrably lied about to gain medals.

    And I will also get documentation about John O’Neill’s campaign contribution history — altho this nit is silly. I mean, as if MoveOn.org isn’t funded by leftists and Democrats — does that render their ads and other propaganda false? No? I thought not.

    –Mona–

  150. I’m glad you can be so lighthearted about other people’s battle wounds, you heartless bitch. You’re saying these things about someone who bled, in combat, for his country. Who was repeatedly decorated for that sacrifice. Who received glowing reviews from his commanders, and who exposed himself to enemy fire to save the life of a comrade. What the fuck is wrong with you, that you think it’s ok to do that?

    Kerry’s campaign took down the pages because they weren’t verifiable. Funny how a secret, illegal mission (part of a series of missions called Daniel Boone, in which special ops forces crossed the Cambodian border, often being delivered by swift boats from Kerry’s unit) didn’t have complete and scrupulous records kept about it. Except now, more and more evidence is turning up that it was the absolute truth. As your preferred narrative continues to collapse, rest assured that I’ll be right here, pointing out the similarities to ravings you idiots kept putting forward about Vince Foster.

    Go ahead, tell me what John O’Neil, who contradicts the Navy’s accounts, who wasn’t on Kerry’s boat, who has a history of allowing himself to be used by Republican White Houses to attack John Kerry’s character, and who has a huge grdge against John Kerry for joining the longhairs in opposing the war, has to say about the events he didn’t personally witness.

    MoveOn doesn’t make charges that are contradicted by the public record, after thirty years of failing to dispute the story. When you are calling a decorated, wounded soldier a coward, the burden of proof is on you.

  151. From Kerry’s diary, on Christmas Eve 1968:

    “It was early morning, not yet light. Ours was the only movement on the river, patrolling near the Cambodian line…Suddenly, there is an explosion and a mortar lands on the bank near all three boats.” Then some description of the fight, including a reference to “the ridiculous waste of being shot at by your own allies.”

    A few hours later, Kerry was back at the base, where he wrote about celebrating Christmas in a combat zone. “The night for once is comforting,” Kerry wrote in his diary, “and you take a Coke and some peanut butter and jelly and go up on the roof of the cabin with your tape recorder and sit for a while, quietly watching flares float silently through the sky and flashes announce disquieting intent somewhere in the distance.”

    That’s the same passage that references the “sugar plums” and “roasted chestnuts.” Funny how the oh-so-honest Swift Boat liars didn’t see fit to mention the rest of the passage.

    Hook, line, and sinker, Mona.

  152. From the Slate article where I found the above,

    “On Christmas Eve 1968, Kerry’s Swift boat and at least two river-patrol boats were doing something unusual (Kerry wrote that he’d never been so far in-country) at least in the vicinity of the border?”near the Cambodian line,” as he put it in his diary. And Kerry had with him a book that described a Pentagon study on psychological operations against Cambodia.

    It is certain that by this time, the United States had long been making secret incursions across the border. This is from Page 24 of William Shawcross’ 1979 book, Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia:

    Since May 1967, when the U.S. Military Command in Saigon became concerned at the way the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were evading American “search and destroy” and air attacks in Vietnam by making more use of bases in Laos and Cambodia, the U.S. Special Forces had been running special, highly classified missions into the two countries. Their code name was Daniel Boone.

    The Daniel Boone teams entered Cambodia all along its 500-mile frontier with South Vietnam from the lonely, craggy, impenetrable mountain forests in the north, down to the well-populated and thickly reeded waterways along the Mekong River. We know that Kerry’s boat and two others were in those reeds on Christmas Eve ’68.

    The Cambodian special forces’ incursions?which were conducted without the knowledge, much less approval, of Congress?were escalating around that time. Just over a month later, on Feb. 9, 1969, Gen. Creighton Abrams, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, requested a B-52 bombing attack on a Communist camp inside Cambodia. (Richard Nixon, the new president, approved the plan on March 17; the first strikes of Operation Breakfast?the secret bombing of Cambodia?started the next day.) Shawcross writes that special forces were always sent across the border to survey the area for targets just before an air operation.”

    But I guess he faked these diary entries to set up his presidential run in 30 years, because he knew there would be debates about the credibility of his recollections of the war.

    The reason I don’t chase rats like the Swift Boat Yadda Yaddas down their ratholes, in that those holes almost always turn out to be dead ends, just like this.

  153. “piece of shit” and “heartless bitch”. Sturdy arguments, indeed.

    LOL

    Gadfly: That soldier may be branded a coward and possibly convicted, but would have retained his own moral integrity. Principle is often more costly than obedience.

  154. Joe,

    Dead end?

    Applying logic brings the following questions to mind:

    Why would the Navy send a then relatively inexperienced (a couple months) Swift boat commander Kerry on a secret mission into Cambodia?

    Why would they use a huge and noisy PCF boat when there were many other smaller more stelthy boat platforms from which to launch such missions?

    Why won’t any of the Kerry’s crewmates confirm that Kerry went into Cambodia?

    Why did Hurley (Kerry’s spokesman) on the Chris Wallace show backtrack on the ‘Christmas in Cambodia’ story?

    It’s all about character and Kerry got caught in this one – “seared” in his memory.

  155. Joesux (really, that’s not nice), my insightful post prompted me to dig back in some of the period pieces at hand. It seems that the conscript armed forces during the Vietnam era were a pretty scruffy lot.

    Col Heinl wrote in “The Armed Forces Journal,”
    “The morale, discipline and battle worthiness of the U.S. Armed Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at any time in the century and possibly in the history of the United States. By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains in Vietnam is in a state approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers and non-commissioned officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited where not near-mutinous. Elsewhere than Vietnam, the situation is nearly as serious.” (1971, p.30)

    Those were the days.

  156. Only John Kerry and the Swiftboat Veterans know who is telling the truth regarding the incidents in dispute. But this much has been documented:

    Kerry threw his medals over the White House fence, only he didn’t. He slept outdoors in the Mall in Washington during the anti-war protests,
    only he didn’t.

    Kerry spent the closing days of ’68 on a secret mission in Cambodia, listening to President Nixon deny a US presence there. Except Kerry now admits these “seared” memories weren’t accurate and his diary indicates he was 50 miles away at the time. And Nixon wasn’t yet President.

    He testified in Congress regarding war crimes: those he heard about from others, witnessed, or in which he participated. Yet he neither reported these crimes to his superiors, nor did he turn himself in to military authorities.

    He brought along a film crew to tape re-enacted Vietnam exploits, planning for a future run at political office.

    What we can determine from these and other troubling incidents: a pattern of untruths and fictions, all of which have been designed to advance his career, are no recommendations for the most powerful job on the planet.

  157. I, before the DNC was an independent who previously supported president Bush. After 9/11, I was behind him 100%. The he shocked me, he didn’t finish off the man responsible for 9/11. Instead he said that Osama had been marginalized and the war on terror was bigger than one person. Excuse me ? The man most responsible for the death of 3,000 Americans isn’t the most important target on the war on terror ?
    The president and his team had moved on to Iraq. I remember the news bombarding us with WMD, WMD, WMD right from the mouths of our nations leaders! Then Collin Powell the man I admire most in the administration went on TV and said that we had intelligence sources on the ground (I was thinking US special forces) that confirmed WMD mobile platforms. Turns out this resource was Ahmed Chalabi (the man I hold responsible for 966 brave American lives and 6500 casualties) and his family, who in the end betrayed us to Iran. Now, Osama Bin Laden’s camps have reopened and we have to rely on Pakistan (the former ally of the Taliban and Al Qaeda and the nation most Americans do not trust) to shut them down. What’s worse, the administration learned that Osama Bin Laden was still involved in planning the attacks. In my opinion, finishing the job does not mean establishing Iraqi democracy (when we leave, there will be a civil war, meaning we never will and then again every other Muslim nation in the area is a dictatorship or monarchy that we support) Finishing the job means we get Osama Bin Laden, that is priority #1.
    The Swift Boats Vets for Truth actually made me question for about a couple of hours whether or not I wanted to vote this year. Wow ! 254 veterans who served in the same type of boat as John Kerry were now against him. 64 are cited in the book Unfit for Command. I decided to do some homework. http://www.factcheck.org helped a lot.
    http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=231
    http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=244
    http://www.factcheck.org/archive.aspx

    This was simply a Republican ploy (just like the whispering campaign against Theresa Heinz Kerry and the radio ads claiming Kerry was against blacks). Way too many connections to the Republican party to start with, I then read the book for myself. The book Unfit for Command is based on sworn affidavits of opinion and recollections of events from 35 years ago ! The chapters themselves are based on these brief affidavits (those are the supporting documents !) that you can see on factcheck.org. 3 or 4 of them are strung together to criticize Kerry and the official Navy record !
    Then I realized 17 of 23 of his fellow officers do no support him. That many of them said Kerry was a pompous self serving individual back then. That Kerry did not deserve his medals. That they knew him the best because they bunked with him. A little bit of homework and one realizes that the navy gave out these medals not in secret but during awards ceremonies ! The swift vets for truth had to be at these ceremonies, yet they said nothing ? Why wait 35 years, then criticize, when you could have said this is wrong before, during, or right after the medal ceremonies ! Thurlow didn’t see his award citation ? Come on ! The witness on it wasn’t John Kerry, it was another gentlemen who received a bronze star. And both those records also say “small arms fire”. All of a sudden 35 years after the fact to challenge the navy record, ridiculous.
    Then there is this new commercial titled sellout which shows what the swiftees are most upset about and now feel Kerry does not deserve his medals (this is also what most of the affidavits are dedicated to). Kerry said that American soldiers were UNWITTINGLY commiting war crimes in Vietnam in his April 22, 1971 testimony. He blamed the leaders of the nation, who he said had abandoned their posts. Yet this commercial tries to say Kerry said that with a capitol T “They had personally raped, cut off ears,” He never said that. His words are being taken out of context. Kerry was anti-war, not anti-soldier. Anyone who reads the entire testimony can see that.
    He blames the LBJ and Nixon administrations ! He goes to Paris to meet with the enemy to see how we can bring the pows home early and stop the war! He asks for a ceasefire so more brave Americans didn’t have to die for the biggest nothing in history.

  158. “Why would the Navy send a then relatively inexperienced (a couple months) Swift boat commander Kerry on a secret mission into Cambodia?” Because the boat’s mission was basically to be a taxi service?

    “Why would they use a huge and noisy PCF boat when there were many other smaller more stelthy boat platforms from which to launch such missions?” Because it’s what they had at hand? Because those were the boats on the scene, and bringing in something different would have drawn attention? Because, as happend to Kerry’s boat, there was the distinct possibility of hostilities breaking out, and they needed the firepower?

    “Why won’t any of the Kerry’s crewmates confirm that Kerry went into Cambodia?” Several have confirmed that they were “near the border” or “at the border.”

    “Why did Hurley (Kerry’s spokesman) on the Chris Wallace show backtrack on the ‘Christmas in Cambodia’ story?” Because there is little in the public record to prove that the secret, illegal mission occurred (imagine that), and he wanted to be above suspicion by erring on the side of not making verifiable claims?

    These answers may or may not be accurate, but the fact that I could answer your questions plausibly, off the top of my head, without ever having seen such a boat or the area in question, might make you question whether they’re the conversation stoppers you seem to think they are.

    If, joesux, those curses were the entirety, or even a significant part, of my posts, you might have a point. But they aren’t, and you don’t.

  159. And because he embellished his record like all war veterans that I know, we should not give him a chance as commander in chief ?

    We should give President Bush 4 more years ? To do what ? What he hasn’t accomplished in the first 4 or to fix everything he’s ruined ?

    I am sick and tired of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, just like the attack on my first choice for president in 2000, John McCain. Where is Thomas Burch now ? The man who lead a a group attacking John McCain’s patriotism is now a member of the Bush administration !

    All these vets have are sworn affidavits. What they didn’t have voices for the last 35 years ? They couldn’t read their own citations or question their own medals.

    This is something the swift boat vets need to clear up for all their supporters who keep screaming about Kerry only serving 4 months in Vietnam. Did the swift vets force Kerry to leave like the book indicates ? Were they that tired of his actions, such as beaching his boat ? Something that violated protocol, is noted on his award citation, and still earned him a silver star. In fact Zumwalt wanted to give him the Navy Cross !

  160. Well, well,the Sweiftees just keep forcing admissions of lies from Kerry & Co. Swiftees just-issued press release:

    For Immediate Release
    Tuesday, August 24, 2004

    KERRY CAMPAIGN BACKTRACKS ON FIRST PURPLE HEART AWARD
    Campaign Says May Have Been Self-Inflicted

    Washington-In a reversal of their staunch defense of John Kerry’s military
    service record, Kerry campaign officials were quoted by Fox News saying that
    it was indeed possible that John Kerry’s first Purple Heart commendation was
    the result of an, unintentional, self-inflicted wound.”

    “GARRETT: And questions keep coming. For example, Kerry received a Purple
    Heart for wounds suffered on December 2, 1968. But in Kerry’s own journal
    written nine days later, he writes he and his crew, quote, “hadn’t been shot
    at yet,” unquote. Kerry’s campaign has said it is possible this first Purple
    Heart was awarded for an unintentional self-inflicted wound — Brit.”
    (Special Report with Brit Hume Aug.23, 2004)

    A recent television ad from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth featured Doctor
    Lewis Letson who treated Kerry for his minor injury and Grant Hibbard who
    served as John Kerry’s direct commander on the mission where he claimed his
    medal. Both men say Kerry did not deserve the medal given the fact that
    Kerry received a very minor wound requiring no more than band-aid treatment
    and because the wound was not a direct result of hostile fire, a requirement
    for a Purple Heart commendation.

    “When Grant Hibbard and Doctor Letson appeared in our ad, they were attacked
    and vilified by the Kerry campaign but now we see news reports saying the
    Kerry campaign is now sheepishly acknowledging that what we said was true,”
    said Admiral Hoffmann, founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. “John
    Kerry’s own journal reinforces the fact that neither Kerry nor his crew had
    seen hostile enemy action. John Kerry’s first Purple Heart medal is based on
    fiction.”

    Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is calling on the Kerry campaign to apologize
    to Grant Hibbard and Doctor Letson as the men did nothing more than come
    forward to speak the truth about the situation involving John Kerry’s first
    Purple Heart medal.

    This is not the only incident in which Kerry campaign officials have changed
    their story concerning Kerry’s prestigious war medals. The incident on the
    Bay Hap River in which Kerry received his third Purple Heart and Bronze Star
    has also been the subject of considerable waffling by Kerry officials.
    During the Democratic National Convention, Kerry used the Bay Hap River
    incident to suggest that he alone returned to rescue Jim Rassmann-a Special
    Forces solider-who was on Kerry’s boat and was tossed into the river. Kerry
    described this incident to the American people as “No man left behind.”

    However Kerry officials were forced to acknowledge that Kerry’s boat
    actually left the scene when another swift boat-operating on the other side
    of the river-was damaged by an underwater mine. Kerry officials now admit
    that Kerry’s boat returned after several minutes to pull Rassmann from the
    water while three other swift boats remained on site to render assistance to
    the injured crew of the one damaged boat. Campaign officials once claimed
    that Kerry returned to the scene under withering hostile fire to rescue
    Rassmann after all the other swift boats left. But other accounts from
    eyewitnesses of that day confirm that the other boats stayed on site and
    that Kerry returned to the scene, facing no enemy fire, only seconds before
    another swift boat was preparing to retrieve Mr. Rassmann from the water.

    “John Kerry’s stories are falling apart,” added Hoffmann. His statements
    don’t even match up with his own journal entries. We are going to continue
    telling the truth about John Kerry’s military service record so that the
    American people can make their own decisions about John Kerry’s
    qualifications to be the next Commander in Chief.”

  161. What was the April 22, 1971 Senate Testimony About?

    LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS RELATING TO THE WAR IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

    THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 1971

    UNITED STATES SENATE;
    COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS,
    Washington, D.C.

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11:05 a.m., in Room 4221, New Senate Office Building, Senator J. W. Fulbright (Chairman) presiding.

    Present: Senators Fulbright, Symington, Pell, Aiken, Case, and Javits.

    The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.

    OPENING STATEMENT

    The committee is continuing this morning its hearings on proposals relating to the ending of the war in Southeast Asia.

    Some quotes from John Kerry’s senate testimony.

    I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.

    It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam, but they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.

    They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

    (Note John Kerry was relating what he had heard weeks earlier. He did not say what swift vet commercial 2 is attributing to him. POW’s I am sorry if this hurt you in anyway, but he is not responsible for those specific words)

  162. This is so utterly excellent:

    ELECTION 2004
    Kerry stands by ’71 atrocities claim
    Campaign official insists Democrat was right about war

    ——————————————————————————–
    Posted: August 23, 2004
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    WASHINGTON ? John Kerry stands by his claims in 1971 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that U.S. soldiers in Vietnam regularly, and as a matter of official policy, committed war atrocities against innocent civilians, according to a top campaign official.

    John Hurley, national director of Veterans for Kerry, denied on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, that Kerry had overstated the case against the war when he returned home as a spokesman for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

    … Yesterday, Hurley agreed with the testimony and said Kerry stands behind it.

    “Absolutely,” Hurley said. “He’s a leader. He came back, and he spoke the truth.”

    Asked repeatedly by Wallace if Kerry had overstated what happened in his testimony in 1971, Hurley emphatically said no.

  163. joe: After this post I am not spending one more nano second responding to your absurd attempt to place Kerry in Cambodia on Xmas Eve and Day ’68. NOTHING in anything you have posted has him there, and HIS CAMPAIGN HAS CONCEDED HE WAS NOT IN CAMBODIA ON XMAS EVE OR DAY. It was seared, seared, but didn’t happen– they say so, got it?

    Why on earth you persist in defending him on a falsehod he has retracted, beats the heck out of me. But I’m done with that unless and until Flip-Flop Kerry announces that actually, now that he re-reconsiders, he WAS in Cambodia that Xmas.

  164. Yeah Mona great pull from Swiftee site. Also noted you posted there asking for help.

    Only problem is that the article you posted is still full of holes.

    First, the book Unfit for Command indicates that Kerry was forced out of Vietnam by his fellow officers, the 3 purple hearts are also said to have led to Kerry bailing out ? Was it Kerry that wanted out or was it the Swifts who forced him out ? Ask them that while you are on their site next time will ya.

    And there was fire on that day. Says show on all award citations, including Thurlows. Who didn’t bother to clear up the record during the award ceremony. I’ve listened to O’Neill, he said Thurlow was a man who served not to earn medals but because he was a patriot. Well seems to me this man got a medal for saving pcf 3 while being under fire. In addition John Kerry wasn’t his witness.

    http://www.factcheck.org/UploadedFiles/Thurlow%20Citation.pdf

    I guess when Zumwalt pinned the medal on him and read why he was getting the medal as in the case during naval award ceremonies, Thurlow was thinking of how John Kerry didn’t deserve his,yet couldn’t put it into words. I guess you need an affidavit 35 years after the fact.

    Let’s look at the official documents which Thurlow slipped up on when interviewed with the media and claimed he never saw and then lost 20 years ago.
    http://www.factcheck.org/UploadedFiles/Thurlow%20Citation.pdf
    http://www.factcheck.org/UploadedFiles/Thurlow%20Award%20Recc.pdf

    Note his eyewitness was R E Lambert ! Who was also recommended for a bronze star.

    Someone has to ask. When these guys were getting these medals, these guys who know each other SOOO well, they didn’t talk about the medals and how they got them during down time? They didn’t question why they got them ? They didn’t brag ? I mean these things weren’t given in secret.

    Oh and purple hearts for coastal division 11. Let’s take a look. John Kerry was not the only person who got 3 of them.

    http://www.johnkerry.com/pdf/jkmilservice/Command_History_Awards.pdf

    For anyone who didn’t know, Collin Powell got his purple heart for a self inflicted injury. Can anyone do the research ?

  165. Gadfly’s recounting of poor morale suggests that medals may have been awarded liberally, with little scrutiny, in hopes of keeping the boys on the line. This does not take away from actual heroism, by Kerry and many others. Kerry’s heroism is compromised by his inflations, lies, and repackaging of other acts during that war. He saved a life under fire and collected bogus medals. We can’t elect just the hero part of JFK, we have to take the liar part, too.

    Nobody said anything contradictory for 30 years because it wasn’t very important until now. Same for GWB’s records.

    I imagine a resistor/objector could win a Senate seat today. We are not ready for an antiwar President. Thus JFK campaigns on his guns rather than his promises of butter. Unfortunately for joe, Kerry’s military career has blemishes.

    (or joe’s mind, beauty marks)

  166. Why don’t you read his entire testimony Mona. This goes for everyone else. He was clearly anti-war and anti-leadership that got us into the war not anti-soldier !

    http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/index.php?topic=Testimony

    He fought for Veterans against the establishment, not against them as the Nixon administration painted so long ago ! Just by reading the first page and using it in a commercial does not make an indictment !

    When you look into it, realize that Kerry 1971 could be speaking about the war in Iraq. The Abu Gharaib debacle, the quest to install democracy, the need to stop the hidden enemy.

  167. Why don’t you read his entire testimony Mona. This goes for everyone else. He was clearly anti-war and anti-leadership that got us into the war not anti-soldier !

    http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/index.php?topic=Testimony

    He fought for Veterans against the establishment, not against them as the Nixon administration painted so long ago ! Just by reading the first page and using it in a commercial does not make an indictment !

    When you look into it, realize that Kerry 1971 could be speaking about the war in Iraq. The Abu Gharaib debacle, the quest to install democracy, the need to stop the hidden enemy.

  168. It wasn’t important joesux ? The official navy record was not important. I see. Wait. If these guys didn’t want to be honest 35 years ago, doesn’t this bring into question their integrity as well. Especially that of Thurlow and Elliot, who seem like prime time flip floppers.

    But John Kerry was soooo evil back then. It says so in the book. He beached his boat and the boats of his task force, yet got a medal ! HOW EVIL ! He took the fight right to the enemy instead of following doctrine. And yet he got a medal ! Wow !

    He went to Paris. Spoke with the enemy while being a member of the Naval Reserve to try to get the pows released sooner and ending anymore unnecessary American deaths in 1971. Yet guess what ? The Navy didn’t do a thing to him ! Eventhough he is quoted in the Congressional Record ! Do you know why ? Because the man was dead on. Vietnam was an American cemetary for nothing. We lost 55,000 brave Americans in a civil war to establish democracy while backing a dictatorship !!! Incredible. Did you know that we were the ones who said no to popular elections in the 50’s, because the democratic outcome would have been a communist state !!! For crying out loud.

    Message to veterans who still don’t get it. I love you guys. I appreciate what you have done for me. But we had no chance in Vietnam. Thank the anti-war movement for getting the jerk LBJ out of office. Thank the anti-war movement for saving American lives.

    Today, we have excellent relations with Vietnam, Laos, and China. Guess what ? They are all communists states !!!

  169. Well, it seems Kerry & Co. are getting no sympathy from the FEC in their attempt to shut down the Swiftees:

    –“For the Kerry group to be complaining” when Democratic donor-funded groups have raised much more “seems a little bit absurd,” said [Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley] Smith, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. —

    To read how wide is the disparity between anti-Bush and anti-Kerry 527s, read the whole thing here:

    http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=aIeXxo.8.2lI&refer=us

  170. I’ll make no bones about it. I’m voting for George W. Bush. Let me tell you why.

    First, I’ll agree in part — I believe it is fallacious to assume that just because someone has seen combat that they should be automatically qualified to make serious decisions of national defense, security, or assume that he or she possess the ability to efficiently run an entire nation. If you do, just imagine George Custer as President. Many of our best Presidents throughout history have had very little or no military experience. Among those are Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and James Polk. Having said that, military servitude and the past events of one’s life do lend itself to the ultimate question of “character” — an important issue.

    My problem with Kerry is that he’s an opportunist and his cronies deceive the public quite often. This conclusion doesn’t just stem from the recent allegations made from the Swiftvets. But, it’s the result of what I’ve read and observed not only from Kerry’s youth — but, throughout his entire career.

    Let’s start with his youth — Vietnam. Kerry’s camp has criticized Vice President Cheney for having sought and was granted deferments during Vietnam. But, what John Kerry doesn’t tell you is that he, himself, personally sought a deferment to study in France for a year but was turned down (Samuel Goldhaber, “John Kerry: A Navy Dove Runs for Congress”, The Harvard Crimson, 2/18/1970). Having learned that he was turned down, John Kerry decided to join the Navy (I believe this is because he idolized JFK). As soon as he returned home from having served four months in Vietnam, he joined a radical anti-war movement. In January of 1971, Mr. John Kerry, reported to Congress that U.S. soldiers in Vietnam had taken part in numerous atrocities and “generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.” He later commented that he hadn’t personally witnessed these things, but was told about them. It was later discovered that the information that Mr. John Kerry presented wasn’t truthful. The information Kerry used came from the anti-war protestor, Mark Lane, whose 1970 book entitled, Conversations with Americans, turned out to be less than honest. As a matter of fact, a harsh critic of the war, Neil Sheehan, discovered that many of the “eye witnesses” that Lane had utilized weren’t soldiers, had never been near a combat zone, or were completely fictitious. Widespread war atrocities is one of the greatest myths that still surrounds the Vietnam War. As a matter of fact, there are only two cases of war crimes that are attributed to American personnel. One was that the village of My Lai and the other was at Son Thang-4. There is one other investigation currently underway, but as of right now, it has yielded nothing of substance. The fact remains that approximately 97% of soldiers received an honorable discharge — the same percentage of honorable discharges as ten years prior to the war. Also, approximately 91% of Vietnam soldiers are glad that they had served. Another interesting statistic is that Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison than a regular civilian — only 1/2 of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes. In April of 1971, at an anti-war protest within Washington, D.C., Kerry led members of the VVAW in a protest. At this protest he hurled his medals in disgust over a fence at the nation’s Capitol. It was later revealed that Mr. John Kerry didn’t even use his own medals — he borrowed somebody else’s. Or, was it just his ribbons? You’ll have to ask Kerry this one — it changes week to week. Only two of John Kerry’s twenty-three fellow Swift boat commanders, from Coastal Division 11, support his candidacy today (Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry; Author(s) John E. O’Neill, Jerome R. Corsi; 2004).

    Kerry and his camp state over and over that Bush misled the American people about Iraq. If this is the case, then President Clinton and John Kerry both misled the American people as well. Kerry supported President Clinton’s attacks on Iraq in 1998 because, “Americans need to really understand the gravity and legitimacy of what is happening with Saddam Hussein. He has been given every opportunity in the world to comply. The president does not control the schedule of UNSCOM. The president did not withdraw the UNSCOM inspectors. And the president did not, obviously, cut a deal with Saddam Hussein to do this at this moment. Saddam Hussein has not complied. Saddam Hussein is pursuing a program to build weapons of mass destruction? (Senator John Kerry, Press Conference, 12/16/98).

    In 2002, Kerry insisted, ?The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last four years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for four years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation? (Senator John Kerry, Congressional Record, 10/9/02, p. S10171). But, I digress. I guess that now, in 2004, Bush has magically misled the American people about Iraq.

    John Kerry says that President Bush rushed to war against Iraq. But, as the war began in March of 2003, Kerry said “Saddam Hussein has *chosen* to make military force the ultimate weapons inspections enforcement mechanism? (Glen Johnson, ?Critics Of Bush Voice Support For The Troops,? The Boston Globe, 3/20/03). Let’s not forget that Kerry voted in favor of the “Iraq War Resolution.” Kerry also states that he would have gotten France and Germany on board in regards to Iraq. How was he planning on doing this? Hussein was giving oil kickbacks to these countries.

    Does John Kerry really support our troops in Iraq? When asked on September 14, 2003, if he would vote against the $87 billion (money to supply body armor, etc.) if his amendment did not pass, Kerry said, “I don’t think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That’s irresponsible.” Guess what? He voted against it.

    Just recently, Kerry boasted that he will “revamp the CIA” in lieu of the latest report that addresses the fact the CIA was ravaged by cuts to the agency in the 1990’s. Clinton gutted the agency by removing almost all of our human intelligence in favor of technology. What Kerry doesn’t tell you is that after the first WTC bombing, in 1994, Kerry proposed an amendment to cut $7 billion from intelligence funding. He also proposed to freeze their existing budgets. The amendment was defeated 20-75. Even his liberal cohort, Ted Kennedy, voted against it.

    Finally, let’s examine John Kerry’s pandering on social issues. Life begins when — and you support what? Kerry states that he believes “life begins at conception” but, that he remains “pro-choice.” So, by that rationale Kerry believes that he’s murdering innocent children and doesn’t have a problem with women murdering their children. Kerry gives me flashbacks to history class — in particular, the Civil War. Kerry reminds me of politicians during this era stating that they were personally against slavery, but because the courts supported slavery — then he must support the right for an individual to own a slave. What happened to conviction? What happened to fighting for equality and human rights? John Kerry also says he’ll fight tooth and nail for prescription drug coverage. Yes, indeed, Kerry is so concerned about healthcare that he missed one of the most important votes in history. Kerry missed voting on the “Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act” in November of 2003. The package included everything from Medicare benefits, premium caps, drug patents, drug cost coverage, cancer care, to retiree coverage. Apparently, Kerry thought it was more important to campaign for the Presidency rather than to actually vote on a bill that would aid millions of American people.

    I figure, in the end, John Kerry and his fellow loyalists will resort to throwing around conspiracy theories about Vice President Cheney and Halliburton. If they venture into that territory, people need to ask John Kerry why having had lobbied for renewed trade relations with Hanoi in 1991 — it was revealed that his cousin, C. Stewart Forbes, the Chief Executive for Colliers International, was going to assist in brokering a deal worth millions in upgrading Vietnam’s railroads, ports, highways, and various government buildings? Halliburton won its first LOGCAP contract in 1992. Halliburton put out approximately 350 oil well fires in Kuwait after the first Gulf War. It’s interesting how Democrats didn’t have a problem with Bill Clinton awarding a no-bid contract to Halliburton during the conflict within the Balkans in order to support U.S. peacekeepers. Halliburton didn’t even have a LOGCAP contract at this time — it had lost the contract in 1997. Al Gore went on to praise Halliburton for its military logistics work. In 2001, Halliburton won the LOGCAP contract yet again. Bush’s decision was logical. As the Army Corps of Engineers commander, Lt. Gen. Robert Flowers, wrote in 2003, “To invite other contractors to compete to perform a highly classified requirement [putting out oil fires] that Kellogg Brown & Root was already under a competitively awarded contract to perform would have been a wasteful duplication of effort.”

    An article written by “Sun Tzu”.

  171. AIJ Alom: I did indeed post at the Swiftee site asking for help pinning down where I had read about O’Neill’s campaign contribution history, because I couldn’t find it after a quick google. I explained why I needed to know — as I previously posted, it bothers me not to be able to find the sites to back up what I say.

    Anyway, glad you saw it, and glad it brought you here. Swiftees know Kerry partisans read their board, but I have no objection to getting anyone of any political stripe active on this board.

    –Mona–

  172. I’m sure you don’t Mona. That’s why I was banned from that discussion forum. Just like I was banned from their sister site http://www.freerepublic.com. If anyone presents anything that does not agree with the moderators, they are thrown out, even if you are not trolling.

  173. None of you get it. Kerry has always run the same campaign as a “War Hero”. That is the only song he sings and it got him elected every time. He thinks the magic will work one last time on a national scale! I think part of the strategy of both parties is to discourage as many voters ap possible so that they will not go to the polls on election day. With 70+ days left they both are doing a great job of it. No discussion on alternative energy, immigration, border security, taxes, deficits or if their is still an american dream for the middle class? All just minor things. We know they both lie it is only a matter of degrees!

  174. Oh and tell the boys from freerepublic not to attempt to hack into my system again. Using members of the US Navy to hack into a person’s system and take control is a pretty bad offense.

  175. AlJ: Sure it was important to somebody. Afficianadoes, historians, and anal-retentives probably cared the whole time. When it becomes a presidential election issue, those that really didn’t give a crap before might be propelled to investigate, rethink and sound off, no?

  176. You know in all honesty. The liberal and the conservatives are ticking us moderates off. The democrats and republicans are ticking us independents off.

    I agree that Kerry has more funds coming from 527 ad’s but Bush is obviously getting more money from corporations and the wealthiest Americans (the only campaign promise he completely kept from 2000).

    I will be backing John Kerry this year for the simple reason we cannot afford 4 more terror fears, 4 more pre-emtive wars, and 4 more evergrowing budget deficits.

  177. If the Swift Boat Vets for Truth guys are indeed all liars, then Kerry could easily end this controversy by signing a form 180 to release his military records to substantiate his claims.

    Why won’t he do this? He made this Vietnam thing the central part of his resume and he should be willing to share all of his records with the voters. (…and not the small subset posted on the Kerry web site.)

  178. AIJ inquires: “First, the book Unfit for Command indicates that Kerry was forced out of Vietnam by his fellow officers, the 3 purple hearts are also said to have led to Kerry bailing out ? Was it Kerry that wanted out or was it the Swifts who forced him out ? Ask them that while you are on their site next time will ya.”

    Actually, it indicates both. Those in his command did, indeed, prompt him out because of his performance, and he was happy to go.

    All: I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the questions that merit responses here, and just cannot do justice to them all. I have no doubt that the Swift Vets’ campaign will continue to generate controversy and will be revisited by this blog. As time and further opportunity permit, I hope I answer everyone to their reasonable satisfaction.

    –Mona–

  179. Mona,

    More Swiftees and other veterans come out for Kerry:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26519-2004Aug23.html

    I especially loved this part:

    McCann said that he tried to stay out of politics but that when he saw that the Swift boat group had identified him on its Web site as being “neutral” on Kerry without asking him, he was furious. Kerry’s commendation record “has stood for 35 years and suddenly you’ve got people coming forward saying, ‘Well, I’ve had second thoughts about this,’ ” McCann said. “That is dishonoring not only John Kerry, it is dishonoring all veterans.”

  180. AIJ writes: “I’m sure you don’t Mona. That’s why I was banned from that discussion forum. Just like I was banned from their sister site http://www.freerepublic.com. If anyone presents anything that does not agree with the moderators, they are thrown out, even if you are not trolling.”

    I’m nearly brain dead with exhaustion and not sure I’m reading you right? Are you suggesting I had something to do with banning you anywhere? I’m not a member of the Swift Vets and have no control over or affiliation with the people who moderate their board. I think I’ve posted there maybe 6-8 times.

    Further, I have very little use for freerepublic, and have never posted there. The only time I have read it is when something there comes up in a Google search.

    To my knowledge, no one at this board has ever been banned, nor should they be in my view, unless their words constitute a violation of the law.

    That all said, I fully support the heavy policing at the Swift Vets site. They are there for a sole purpose, and that is to work to expose and defeat John Kerry. Given that, it is perfectly sensible that they would be unwilling to host pro-Kerry arguments or links that undermine their very raison d’etre. Their primary purpose is NOT political debate, but rather, to expose that a particular candidate is unfit to be CiC.

    And yes, the same fellow who runs the freeper board is hosting and managing the Swift Vets site. This is hardly surprising — would you figure MoveOn.org was going to help them?

    Anyway, THIS board is fun, and I hope you take a longer look at at. For one thing, I believe you have the honor of participating in the longest thread in the board’s history. Anybody know whether this is in fact the case?

    –Mona–

  181. “It was, uh, seared into them that they were NOT to go into Cambodia, and not *one* Swift Vet other than John F. Kerry says that they ever did”

    That is false, Mona. Swift boats were used for insertion and evacuation of special forces conducting operations in Cambodia, and were later joined by helicopter insertions. Other swift boat veterans have testified to being sent into Cambodia. And who knows what other missions they were used for – they were, after all, secret missions.

    Do you realize how silly you look when you argue that our military wouldn’t have broken the law and gone into Cambodia?

  182. http://www.slate.com/id/2105529/

    Stop bullshitting about Kerry’s missions, Mona.

  183. I have to say, that press release from SBVT saying the SBVT were telling the truth, so helpfully posted by Mona, sure conviced me.

    What good forture than Mona, all ready to vote for Kerry, happened to pick up their book while grocery shopping and saw the light.

    My prediction: three more weeks, and every single charge made against Kerry will be either disproven, or shown to be unfalsifiable. Then Mona will start posting about there being a “cloud over Kerry’s record,” just like her kind did vs. Clinton. I’ve seen this movie before, I know how it ends – with the Democrat’s approval through the roof, because of the repellent spectacle his enemies make of themselves.

    Go ahead, dear. Keep slandering a decorated warrior who still carries shrapnel in his flesh. Maybe his negatives will bump for a couple weeks. Hey, what’s a decent man’s reputation when there’s a campaign on?

  184. “And yes, the same fellow who runs the freeper board is hosting and managing the Swift Vets site.”

    Oh, just as long as they’re not conservative political operatives.

    Keep sucking up to the board, hon. You’re a real pro, Mona.

    A real pro.

  185. joe, anybody who has read my many posts on foreign policy lo these past many months would be fully aware that I support Bush there. No sentient soul reading my posts could have possibly questioned that I am Bush supporter, and it would be laughable for me to depict myself as being a recent anti-Kerry convert due to the Swift Vets. And in fact, I have attempted no such depiction.

    I’ve been a Reason subscriber and reader since ’81, and have been posting on this blog almost since it started. Im a libertarian, joe, and not in love with Bush on a great many issues. But I am a hawk when it comes to fanatical and murderous Islamic jihadists and ridding the Middle East of any nation-state that promotes or protects them. Why? Because they want us dead, and have demonstrated on many occasions that they intend to act on that desire.

    I would not vote for John Kerry to manage my sewers, ’tis true. And that would be with or without the Swift Vets’revelations. I WANT someone whom radical Muslims think is a “cowboy” sitting in the Oval Office. That ain’t John Kerry.

    I am LOVING the trouble all this is causing for the vicious Anybody But Bush crowd, whose endless sanctimony that “Bush Lied!” was getting very old. Now, there is a delicious opportunity to throw a real liar in your collective faces, and yes, I admit to enjoying that so very, very much. That goes a long way to explaining my intense devotion to this issue.

    As to your wish that this will all be over in a few weeks; I think not. Among other things, a documentary will be released in September containing extensive interviews with tortured POWs discussing much, including how at the Hanoi Hilton their torturers broadcast Kerry’s testimony to them by loudspeaker. The psychological and emotional effect on these captive men will be examined.

    Me, I think that one will have boku legs. Will you watch it, joe?

    –Mona–

  186. Here’s some telling quotes from the Swifties:

    Roy Hoffman, today: “John Kerry has not been honest.”
    Roy Hoffman, 2003: “I am not going to say anything negative about him ? he’s a good man.”

    Adrian Lonsdale, today: “He lacks the capacity to lead.”
    Adrian Lonsdale, 1996: “He was among the finest of those Swift boat drivers.”

    George Elliot, today: “John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam.”
    George Elliot, 1996: “The fact that he chased an armed enemy down is something not to be looked down upon, but it was an act of courage.”

    Larry Thurlow, today: “…there was no hostile enemy fire directed at my boat or at any of the five boats operating on the river that day.”
    Larry Thurlow’s Bronze Star citation, 1969: “…all units began receiving enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire from the river banks.”

    Dr. Louis Letson, today: “I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury.”
    Medical records, 1968: “Dr. Letson’s name does not appear on any of the medical records for Mr. Kerry. Under ‘person administering treatment’ for the injury, the form is signed by a medic, J. C. Carreon, who died several years ago.”

    Grant Hibbard, today: “He betrayed all his shipmates. He lied before the Senate.”
    Hibbard’s evaluation of Kerry, 1968: “Mr. Hibbard gave Mr. Kerry the highest rating of ‘one of the top few’ in three categories?initiative, cooperation and personal behavior. He gave Mr. Kerry the second-best rating, ‘above the majority,’ in military bearing.”

    –“Then and Now”, Political Animal, Aug. 21, 2004.

  187. I have to pause a moment to enjoy the delicious irony of Joe, a devout liberal, defending the honor of his candidate… a man who has admitted committing war crimes in a conflict Joe decries. I particularly enjoy Joe’s reincarnation of the Nuremburg defense for Kerry. As pointed out by Thoreau, the “war” issue has become an easy litmus test for partisanship.

  188. Mona,

    Well, at least you admit your biases. But again I state that you’re unwillingness to question the Swift Boaters’ inconsistencies pretty much makes you a worthless political hack – on par with joe in other words.

  189. Correction: I erred in saying O’Neill denied ever being in Cambodia. Apparently, he was, in another part of the country long after Kerry had left. More on this as I figure it out.

    –Mona–

  190. Jose Ortega y Gasset,

    Do you take equal relish in the fact that zealots like Mona – who would apologize for the worst atrocities in Viet Nam committed by US soldiers (indeed she’s done so several times up to the point of lieing about it) – yet harps on Kerry for admitting that he did unseemly things in Viet Nam. Or Shannon Love for doing the same? That easy test works both ways.

  191. Jose,

    The Nurenburg Defense is the invocation of “I was following orders” to defend actions that the accused knew, at the time he was committing them, to be illegal. It is quite clear that Kerry, and the thousands like him who have to live with what they did, did not know that their actions were illegal as well as distasteful. They were told as much by their superiors “all the way up the chain of command.”

    I do not fault junior officers and noncoms for failing, in the middle of a war zone, to disobey orders in a way that could subject his command to greater danger, while their superiors (and many of their comrades, like the bastards attacking Kerry because he denounced those actions) assured them that those actions were legal and necessary. And let’s remember what is was that motivated these gems to go after Kerry in the first place – the fact that he decried these policies, called them the evil that they were, and tried to stop them.

    Vietnam sucked. We never should have gone there. And the actions people like Kerry were forced to commit were inevitable, given the nature of the conflict and the fact that our pigheaded leadership insisted that we continue to fight it. You would have to be a moral idiot to conclude that the best course of action now is to take the advice of people who continue to defend the indefensible, and assail those who said stop.

    Read Kerry’s statement to the Senate about these matters, if you’re actually curious, and not just eager to equate your political opposition to Nazis.

    http://www.atrios.blogspot.com/2004_08_15_atrios_archive.html#109310561289460214

  192. Gary: writes: “Well, at least you admit your biases. But again I state that you’re unwillingness to question the Swift Boaters’ inconsistencies pretty much makes you a worthless political hack – on par with joe in other words.”

    You are a law student, correct? Have you been involved in any complex litigation? It is *inconceivable* that when one is dealing with some 60 people’s versions of events — all of them on your side — some of the recollections are not going to turn out to be wrong and rebuttable. The issue becomes whether, on the whole, they tell a credible collective narrative.

    William Rood’s version does not reconcile with John Kerry’s in some impt particulars — does that make Kerry a liar? Does it make Rood one?

    –Mona–

  193. joe, GG read on.
    Kerry calls Swift Vet:
    Brant was skipper of the #96 and # 36 boat and spent time with Kerry in An Thoi. Kerry and Brant slept in the same quarters, and Brant used to put Kerry back to bed at night when Kerry was sleepwalking.

    Brant received a call from Kerry at his home in Virginia while he was watching the Olympics on TV.

    The call lasted 10 minutes.

    KERRY: “Why are all these swift boat guys opposed to me?”

    BRANT: “You should know what you said when you came back, the impact it had on the young sailors and how it was disrespectful of our guys that were killed over there.”

    [Brant had two men killed in battle.]

    KERRY: “When we dedicated swift boat one in ’92, I said to all the swift guys that I wasn’t talking about the swifties, I was talking about all the rest of the veterans.”

    Kerry then asked if he could meet Brant [“You were one of the best”] — man to man — face to face.

    Brant declined the invite, explaining that Kerry was obviously not prepared to correct the record on exactly what happened during Vietnam and what happened when Kerry came back.

    Read it again..I was talking about all the rest of the veterans.”
    Kerry really sucks.

  194. Mona,

    The issue becomes whether, on the whole, they tell a credible collective narrative.

    The point is that you’re not even willing to question the Swift Boater’s acounts; your mind was made up before these series of charges and counter-charges even commenced. Despite you allusion to a court room, you’re not acting with nuance; you’re not weighing the evidence; you’re acting like a partisan hack who is unwilling to address evidence which is contrary to the Swift Boater’s tale. Sorry, but please don’t bullshit me Mona.

  195. Let me guess, rick, this is as reported by one of the members of the Swift Boat Yadda Yaddas?

    Why should we believe a word they say? The only reasonably credible thing they’ve come out with is that they oppose him because of his opposition to the war, and actions our military committed. Which does little, except make their statements about his actions in battle smell fishy.

  196. “People are slamming Kerry because he accuratly recounted the Winter Soldiers testimony.

    Period. He went before Congress, and repeated what he’d been told. He’s apparently “unfit for office” for telling the goddamn truth.”-Morat

    Well, perhaps Kerry was accurately repeating what he had been told in the Winter Soldier testimony, but so many of the WS witnesses have since been shown to be fraudulent (they were never in the military, they were in the military but not in Vietnam, etc.) that it is undeniable what Kerry was repeating was untrue propaganda. Now either Kerry was a credulous dupe, or he deliberately lied in his testimony before the Senate. Take your pick, neither role is particularly honorable, or demonstrates fitness for high office.

  197. joe, I do feel bad for you having put all your trust in Kerry and now having to face the fact that kerry = LIAR.
    joe you have blinded yourself./R

  198. MJ: Now either Kerry was a credulous dupe, or he deliberately lied in his testimony before the Senate.

    So either he lied deliberately, or else he made an honest decision based on intelligence that later turned out to be faulty.

    Damn, that sounds familiar!
    Difference is: When he said what he said, Kerry was working to get the US out of an unwinnable and bloody war…

  199. From NRO:

    According to Bob Dole, appearing on Sean Hannity’s program, the Democratic candidate called Dole to talk things over.

    He said he was very disappointed, we’d been friends. I said John, we’re still friends, but [the Swiftvets] have First Amendment rights, just as your people have First Amendment rights.
    Dole told Kerry, “I’m not trying to stir anything up, but I don’t believe every one of these people who have talked about what happened are Republican liars.

    “And very frankly, Bush is my guy, and I’m tired of people on your side calling him everything from a coward to a traitor to everything – a deserter.”

    Dole said he urged Kerry, “Why don’t you call George Bush today and say, ‘Mr. President, let’s stop all this stuff about the National Guard and Vietnam – and let’s talk about the issues.”

    Dole said Kerry responded, “I haven’t spent one dime attacking President Bush.”

    But the Republican war hero shot back, “You don’t have to. You’ve got all the so-called mainstream media, plus you’ve got MoveOn.org and all these other groups that have spent millions and millions of dollars trying to tarnish Bush’s image.”

    “Don’t tell me you don’t know what some of these people are doing,” he told Kerry.

    “Everybody likes quiet heroes,” Dole added, saying he told Kerry, “John, everybody knows you were in Vietnam and the less you say about it, the better.”

    Dole said he tried to end the tense conversation cordially by telling Kerry, “I wish you good luck, up to a point.”

    –Mona–

  200. Actually, Mr. Gunnels, my impression of Mona’s contribution to this thread was mostly that she was cutting and pasting from other sources. Perhaps you can provide the quote where she “apologize for the worst atrocities in Viet Nam committed by US soldiers.” Frankly, I missed it. I am an equal opportunity relisher.

    And Joe, you said earlier:

    Our country dishonored itself with the acts it forced young men to commit in Vietnam – young men who couldn’t have known any better, because they were being assured by their superiors that their orders were appropriate. I don’t hold the young men responsible, I hold their superiors. (emphasis mine)

    John Kerry was ordered to shoot any boats that entered areas deemed restricted by the US military. And he did that, just like everyone else in his unit. An awful lot of the dead were innocent farmers taking their wares to market. When he came home, he realized that carrying out those orders was not just distasteful, but actually illegal.

    I will wager, Joe, that you have never served a day in uniform, let alone a day in combat. Even the lowest private (or seaman recruit) is taught the basics including that no member of the military should follow an unlawful order. John Kerry violated the rules of Geneva Convention, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the rules of war. To say he simply had an epiphany after his brisk four-month tour and realized his actions were illegal is a huge, steaming pile of bullshit. By the way, Joe, ask a thousand veterans what it is to kill a man in combat. I’ll wager you not one says “distasteful.”

    As an Naval officer and commander of his vessel, Kerry was directly responsible for his actions and those of his crew. If any member of crew committed war crimes, they are responsible. This is not only military law, but moral certainty. Like it or not, Joe, you are using a version of the Nuremburg defense to gloss over the actions of any enlisted men or junior officers who committed war crimes… including John Kerry.

    Yes, Joe, Vietnam sucked… and not just because you saw “Platoon” last week. War crimes are inevitable, and inexcusable. Finally, your use of the Nuremburg defense does not make you a Nazi, Joe, just an apologist.

  201. Mona writes:
    Not one Swiftee other than John Kerry says they were illegaly ordered into Cambodia, and went. Certainly none during the time period under discussion. NOT ONE. Just John Kerry. Nothing in that article places Swift Boats during John Kerry or John O’Neill’s tenure crossing into Cambodia on a Swift boat. Clear now?

    O’NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.

    NIXON: In a swift boat?

    O’NEILL: Yes, sir.

    But hey, maybe O’Neill was lying. He does that, you know.

    Kerry lied.

    Bush said he served in the US Air Force and that he kept flying jets for several years after completing his training. Are you outraged yet?

    This subject will arise again, and when it does on this board, I will quote from O’Neill in Unfit on the “wounds” that were demonstrably lied about to gain medals.

    Kerry never lied about his wounds. Now the subject has arisen, so don’t keep the board waiting.

  202. Bill writes:
    It’s all about character and Kerry got caught in this one – “seared” in his memory.

    The thing that was seared in his memory was how the president of the United States saying that there are no troops in Cambodia, when Kerry knew from personal experience it wasn’t true.

  203. Doug writes:
    He testified in Congress regarding war crimes: those he heard about from others, witnessed, or in which he participated. Yet he neither reported these crimes to his superiors, nor did he turn himself in to military authorities.

    The things he witnessed personally, as he has said several times, were search-and-destroy missions and indiscriminate shooting in free fire zones (which was what the zones were for, after all). He realized these things were illegal after he came home, at which point he talked about them publicly – which, as far as I’m concerned, showed moral courage. Good luck finding a court in the US who will convict him of those things.

    He brought along a film crew to tape re-enacted Vietnam exploits, planning for a future run at political office.

    This hasn’t been documented, far from it. In fact it’s another lie pushed by the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush. You’ve exaggerated it to the point of absurdity, too. The original story is that he brought a camera to Vietnam which he used to film reenacted battle scenes. There are no credible witnesses, no such home movies have ever been presented in public, and in fact people who have watched through his Vietnam films have said that they contain no material that would fit the Swift lies.

    Kerry spent the closing days of ’68 on a secret mission in Cambodia, listening to President Nixon deny a US presence there. Except Kerry now admits these “seared” memories weren’t accurate and his diary indicates he was 50 miles away at the time. And Nixon wasn’t yet President.

    Nothing in Kerry’s quote suggests that he heard the president deny US presence in Cambodia while he was in that country. He’s relating two memories, one of being in Cambodia and the other of hearing the president claim that there were no US troops in Cambodia – the latter of which is “seared” in his mind. And his diary places him 50 miles away that night, which means less than nothing, because he was near (or perhaps even across) the Cambodian border in the morning.

    If the SBVT have read Brinkley’s book, as the claim to have done, they know this. Yet they never mention it in their analysis of the incident. If they’re about the truth, as opposed to smearing Kerry, why do they keep repeating the misleading claim that Kerry was 50 miles aways without noting that he was, at the very least, much closer to Cambodia earlier that day?

    What we can determine from these and other troubling incidents

    …is that you’ve bought into right-wing propaganda.

  204. Paul writes:
    If the Swift Boat Vets for Truth guys are indeed all liars, then Kerry could easily end this controversy by signing a form 180 to release his military records to substantiate his claims.

    If the people claiming Bush went AWOL are indeed all liars, then Bush could easily end this controversy by signing a form 180 to release his military records to substantiate his claims. The fact that he has refused to do so conclusively proves the charges that he failed to take a medical examination because he was drugged out of his small mind. Right?

    Kerry signing a form 180 wouldn’t do anything to stop the attacks against him. The SVBT already claim that the masses of Navy records which contradict their little stories are wrong, distorted, and probably written by John Kerry himself under the dastardly pseudonym KJW. They’ll continue on their chosen course, no matter how much evidence is presented against them. As for the undecideds, there are already more than enough documents and eyewitness accounts out there to convince non-partisans that the SBVT are fibbing.

  205. Mona,

    “Why on earth you persist in defending him on a falsehod he has retracted, beats the heck out of me.” Yes, posting things that aren’t in synch with the approved message of the political operatives you support does seem to be a foreign concept to you. I calls ’em like I sees ’em, and don’t go running to propaganda outlets for the approved talking points when a question comes up.

    But more importantly, you ask if I’m looking forward to the upcoming efforts to attack Kerry on the grounds of his anti-war activism.

    Damn straight. Bring It ON.

    This will be an excellent opportunity to drive a stake through the “Stab in the Back” revisionists who continue to deny the reality of American atrocities, champion the military regime of South Vietnam as a democratic government worth the lives of 55,000 Americans, and cast aspersions on those who were right about the war too early.

    I posted some time ago that the purpose of these attacks on Kerry was not to make any of the individual charges stick (which they won’t), but to throw so much mud that there ends up being a “cloud over John Kerry’s military service.” All along, I’ve been thinking that that was the end game – for John Kerry to go into election day with the public having a vague impression that questions had been raised about the heroism and sacrifice for which his country awarded him. When actually, the “cloud” is not meant to influence the election, so much as the upcoming rehashing of the anti-war/anti-anti-war debate from the late 60s and early 70s. John Kerry was chosen as the public face of the movement because his recognized heroism in his country’s service helped innoculate him against the “commie-traitor-coward-soldierhater-effete” charges that Nixon’s brutes used to discredit their opposition. Now that those same brutes (in the case of Rove and O’Neil, literally, those same brutes) are faced with refighting that battle, they’ve put a great deal of effort into sabotaging Kerry’s armor.

    It’s actually rather brilliant, in a diabolical, Rovian sort of way. As a fan of the horse race, I’m always impressed by a clever tactical move.

    Ultimately, however, the question will come down to what John McCain does. If he joins in the chorus accusing Kerry of abetting POW’s torture, then that could very well be that. If, on the other hand, he continues to denounce the sleazy actions of these sleazy men, then any traction they gain will be no more enduring than that from the medals debate.

  206. Democrats approval throught the roof ?!!?

    Apparently joe lives in short house.

    It seems a shirker (Bush/Clinton) is much more acceptable and closer to the “common voter” than a self-aggrandizing former hero with three no-lost-time purple hearts. People understand a person not wanting to go into combat, but will likely less tolerate one who first fluffs his service then renounces the cause.

    Remember, the ballot will read John Kerry, not Not Bush.

  207. How can Joesux equate Clinton and Bush as shirkers? At least Clinton got out of Vietnam to get an education and hone his intellectual skills. Bush got out to party it up and further shirk his National Guard duties. Who identifies with that?

  208. Two new SBVT connections have come to the light in the press lately: First, Ben Ginsberg, a lawyer for the Bush campaign, has also been working for the SBVT. Ginsberg is also the chief counsel of another 527, “Progress for America”, which ‘will form “issue truth squads” that respond to Democratic attacks on President Bush.’ Ginsberg had to resign from the Bush campaign. Here’s a choice quote from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

    Ben Ginsberg, a legal adviser to the Bush campaign, specifically condemned the dual roles played by Democrats Harold Ickes and Bill Richardson, who had official roles at the convention and also within prominent friendly 527s. “They’re over the coordination line,” Ginsberg said of Ickes and Richardson. “The whole notion of cutting off links between public officeholders and soft-money groups just got exploded.”

    Second, Susan Arceneaux, treasurer of Texas GOP bigshot Dick Armey’s “Majority Leader’s Fund”, has been working for the SBVT as an accountant, according to a SBVT spokesman. She helped to set up SBVT and is the contact person for a box office the group lists as its address. She has worked for several conservatice organizations, and her past coworkers include former Bush adviser Deborah Steelman and Lee “Willie Horton” Atwater’s widow. SBVT would not say who recommended her to them.

    Meanwhile, yet another Navy record has surfaced, and still the SBVT find no love from contemporary documents:

    The March 18, 1969, weekly report from Task Force 115, which was located by The Associated Press during a search of Navy archives, is the latest document to surface that supports Kerry’s description of the event. Crew members on Kerry’s boat and a Special Forces soldier Kerry pulled from the water that day insist there was enemy fire, and they have appeared on behalf of the Kerry campaign.

    The task force report twice mentions the incident and both times calls it “an enemy initiated firefight” that included automatic weapons fire and underwater mines used against a group of five boats that included Kerry’s.

    Task Force 115 was commanded at the time by retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffmann, the founder of the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has been running ads challenging Kerry’s account of the episode.

    There’s also been a flood of old Swift boat veterans coming out in favor of Kerry: Bill Rood (eyewitness to the Silver Star incident, supports the official Navy version), Rich Baker (said Kerry was the “most aggressive officer” in charge of Swift boat and “one step above the rest of us”), Rich McCann (SBVT tried to portray him as neutral, but he says, “if I had to go up a river and come under fire, I’d want John Kerry to watch my back”), Jim Russell (eyewitness to the Bronze Star incident, said there was enemy fire)…

    Oh, and it was also revealed that Stephen Gardner, the only person to have served on Kerry’s boat and sided with the SBVT (and, not coincidentally, a Rush Limbaugh listener), wasn’t present for any of the incidents for which Kerry earned medals – this despite the fact that Larry Thurlow has claimed otherwise and Gardner is often referred to as an eyewitness. It’s all coming crumbling down.

    Anyway, Mona writes:
    Yes, apparently on the Western side of Viet Nam — which is not where Kerry or the other Swiftees who served with him were stationed — O’Neill’s boat was used to patrol the border with Cambodia in another part of the country. He could not have meant anything other than patroling the border in that area, because there were no routes into Cambodia itself there, according to one vet I’ve read. He was simply patroling the border.

    Which neatly explains why O’Neill said he “was in Cambodia” – just like Kerry.

    Since O’Neill made public that his conversation was taped by Nixon– to support that he told Nixon that he had voted for Humphrey — I’m sure he knew that discussion would be examined to the last detail.

    As far as I know, O’Neill didn’t make it public. His chat with Tricky Dick came out in the early days of the controversy, when people looked into O’Neill’s background and found out that he was an old Nixon stooge. (And I still haven’t seen any proof to support the contention that O’Neill told Nixon he had voted for Humphrey.)

  209. Fodderstompf: Yes, apparently on the Western side of Viet Nam — which is not where Kerry or the other Swiftees who served with him were stationed — O’Neill’s boat was used to patrol the border with Cambodia in another part of the country. He could not have meant anything other than patroling the border in that area, because there were no routes into Cambodia itself there, according to one vet I’ve read. He was simply patroling the border.

    I’ll post more about this as it becomes available. Since O’Neill made public that his conversation was taped by Nixon– to support that he told Nixon that he had voted for Humphrey — I’m sure he knew that discussion would be examined to the last detail.

    –Mona–

  210. Gary writes: “The point is that you’re not even willing to question the Swift Boater’s acounts; your mind was made up before these series of charges and counter-charges even commenced.
    Despite you allusion to a court room, you’re not acting with nuance; you’re not weighing the evidence; you’re acting like a partisan hack who is unwilling to address evidence which is contrary to the Swift Boater’s tale. Sorry, but please don’t bullshit me Mona. ”

    Gary, I was very skeptical of all this when I was first made aware of the Swift Vets. However, then we ran into Xmas in Cambodia, and Kerry’s conflicting tales about that over the years. Add in that not one other Swiftee who served with him at that time and place will support that any of them made forays into Cambodia, and that Kerry had conceded that that which was seared into his memory was not true, and yes, I gave these guys a huge bump up on the credibility scale. Why wouldn’t you?

    Could it be that you are no less partisan than I am, and that you are quite unwilling to concede them any credibility at all? That would certainly be the impression one could be left with from your posts on the subject.

    –Mona–

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