Col. Geo. "Bud" Day is one of America's most decorated living warriors.
A Vietnam POW from 1967- 1973, he is the proud owner of a Medal of Honor.
Here is his letter to Joe Scarborough of MSNBC:
The major issue in the Swiftboat stories is, and always has been, what John Kerry did in 1971 after he returned from Vietnam. Kerry cast a long dark shadow over all Vietnam Veterans with his outright perjury before the Senate concerning atrocities in Vietnam. His stories to the Senate committee were absolute lies… fabrications… perjury… fantasies, with NO substance. That dark shadow has defamed the entire Vietnam War veteran population, and given "Aid and Comfort" to our enemies... the Vietnamese Communists. Kerry's stories were outright fabrications, and were intended for political gain with the radical left… McGovern, Teddy and Bobby Kennedy followers, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, and the radical left who fantasized that George McGovern was going to be elected in 1972. Little wonder that returning soldiers from Vietnam were spit upon and castigated as "baby killers".
A returned war hero said so. Kerry cut a dashing figure as a war hero, lots of medals, and returned home because of multiple war wounds… even a silver star. His Senate testimony confirmed what every hippie had been chanting on the streets..."Hey hey LBJ…How many kids did you kill today"????? He obviously was running for political office in 1971.
Until Lt. John O' Neil, himself a Swiftboat commander, spoke out before the 1972 elections against Kerry's outright deceptions, there was no one from the Swiftboat scene that could contradict Kerry's self serving lies.
I was a POW of the Vietnamese in Hanoi in 1971, and I am aware that the testimony of John Kerry, the actions of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, and the radical left; all caused the commies to conclude that if they hung on, they would win. North Vietnamese General Bui Tin commented that every day the Communist leadership listened to world news over the radio to follow the growth of the anti-war movement. Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clark gave them confidence to hold in the face of battlefield reverses.
The guts of it was that propaganda from the anti-war group was part of their combat strategy.
While the Commies were hanging on, innumerable U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Air Foce members were being killed in combat. Every battle wound to Americans after Kerry's misdirected testimony is related to Kerry's untruthfulness. John Kerry contributed to every one of these deaths with his lies about U.S. atrocities in Vietnam. He likewise defamed the U.S. with our allies and supporters. His conduct also extended the imprisonment of the Vietnam Prisoners of War, of which I was one. I am certain of at least one POW death after his testimony, which might have been prevented with an earlier release of the POWs.
My friend and roommate Senator John S. McCain denounced the Swiftboat video by John O'Neil. I have a different take on the Swiftboat tape and disagree with my good friend John.
John Kerry opened up his character as a war hero reporting for duty to the country with a hand salute...and his band of brothers...of which he was the chief hero. Most of his convention speech was about John Kerry...Vietnam hero, and his band of brothers. John Kerry's character is not only fair game, it is the primary issue. He wants to use Bill Clinton's "is", as an answer to his lack of character. The issue is trust. Can anyone trust John Kerry?? "Never lie, cheat or steal" is the West Point motto. When a witness perjures himself at trial, the judge notes that his testimony lacks credibility. Should we elect a known proven liar to lead us in wartime??
I draw a direct comparison of General Benedict Arnold of the Revolutionary War, to Lieutenant John Kerry. Both went off to war, fought, and then turned against their country. General Arnold crossed over to the British for money and position. John Kerry crossed over to the Vietnamese with his assistance to the anti-war movement, and his direct liaison with the Vietnamese diplomats in Paris. His reward- Political gain.
Senator…United States. His record as a Senator for twenty years has been pitiful. Conjure up, if you will, one major bill that he has sponsored.
John Kerry for President? Ridiculous. Unthinkable. Unbelievable. Outrageous
Barn Burner Documentary on Kerry Due Out Soon!
A new documentary will soon be released that may do more damage to John Kerry than even the devastating Swift Boat Veterans' ad.
The documentary, just weeks from release, details what his Vietnam critics say was John Kerry's betrayal of America.
In a description of the new film, the producers explain that "when John Kerry appeared before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the spring of 1971, his testimony sent shock waves throughout America and the world. ... Lt. Kerry's widely televised statements were dramatic and persuasive, made all the more credible by the fact he had been there, said he had witnessed many of these same atrocities."
The info sheet on the film continues:
"That single act earned for Kerry the lasting enmity of Vietnam veterans, especially those who had borne the brunt of his accusations, that small percentage of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who actually served on the frontlines. Many of these combat veterans would carry the scars of their service for life. Kerry's repudiation of their sacrifice represented yet another war wound, one that would never heal. As compelling as Kerry's Senate testimony was, these men knew it was lacking in one key element ... truth. They knew from their own combat experiences virtually all his allegations were lies; the U.S. military would never countenance such brutality. And, they also knew his actions were a deliberate betrayal of all of them, especially the more than 58,000 who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
"But, perhaps, more than any living group of combat veterans, it was America's POWs who suffered most, forced to endure the immediate consequences of Kerry's treacherous falsehoods. In 1971, some 700 of these men were reported as captured or missing in action, most presumed held prisoner by the North Vietnamese Communists in such places as the notorious Hanoi Hilton. Already subjected to years of torture, solitary confinement and unspeakable psychological and physical abuse, their lives were literally hanging by a thread when Kerry issued his damning testimony. In mere moments, Kerry had willingly given the Vietnamese Communists what they had spent years of torture and blood-letting to drag out of their American hostages, an unqualified 'confession' they were all war criminals."
"Stolen Honor" is being produced by Red, White and Blue Productions, Inc., an independent producer of documentaries based in Harrisburg, Pa. Carlton Sherwood, president of Red, White and Blue Productions, is a longtime newspaper and TV investigative reporter. A Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award winner, Sherwood has investigated how the behavior of John Kerry as a leader of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam era impacted American POWs.
The results are shocking and no doubt will ignite a new wave of controversy in this year's already overheated political race.
Sample Clips can be found here:
August 28, 2004, 12:10 a.m.
Purple Heart News
William Schachte speaks.
EDITOR'S NOTE:A new voice has been added to the debate over the circumstances surrounding Sen. John Kerry's first Purple Heart. William Schachte, who was a lieutenant in the Navy during Kerry's Vietnam tour — and who later rose to the rank of Rear Admiral — has released a statement describing the events of December 2-3, 1968, when Kerry received a minor shrapnel wound for which he was awarded the Purple Heart. What follows is Schachte's statement, in full. — Byron York
Statement of RADM William L. Schachte, Jr. USN (Ret.)
August 27, 2004
As was true of all "Swiftees," I volunteered to serve in Vietnam and was assigned to Coastal Division 14 for a normal tour of duty.
I was a Lieutenant serving as Operations Officer and second in command at Coastal Division 14 when Lieutenant (junior grade) John Kerry reported to us in mid-November, 1968. Lt. (jg) Kerry was an Officer-in-Charge (O-in-C) under training in preparing to be assigned as one of our Swift Boat O-in-C's.
At some point following President Johnson's announcement of the suspension of bombing in North Vietnam in March 1968, we were directed to become more aggressive in seeking to find and destroy or disrupt the enemy in our operating area. As part of this effort, I conceived a new operation that became known as "Skimmer OPS." The concept was simple. A 15-foot Boston Whaler was sent into an area where, based on coordinated intelligence, North Vietnamese cadre and Viet Cong were expected to be meeting or where, for example, concentrations of enemy forces might be involved in the movement of arms or munitions. We were to draw fire and quickly get out of the area. This would allow more concentrated firepower to be brought against the enemy forces we had been able to identify.
These operations were carried out only in "hot" areas and well away from any villages or populated areas. A Swift Boat would tow the skimmer to the general area of operations, and the ambush team would then board the skimmer and proceed to the designated area of operations. The Swift Boat would be riding shotgun and standing off, occasionally out of sight, to provide fire support and long-range communications. The Skimmer was powered by an outboard motor, and we carried an FM radio, handheld flares, an M-60 machine gun with a bipod mount, and an M-16 mounted with a starlight scope. If the night was heavily overcast, we brought an M-14 mounted with an infrared scope. We also carried an M-79 single-shot grenade launcher. In addition to our combat gear and flak jackets, we often carried .38-caliber pistols.
The operation consisted of allowing the skimmer to drift silently along shorelines or riverbanks to look or listen for sounds of enemy activity. If activity was identified, we would open fire with our automatic weapons, and if we received fire, we would depart the area as quickly as possible, leaving it to air support or mortar fire from a Swift Boat standing off at a distance to carry out an attack.
I commanded each of these Skimmer operations up to and including the one on the night in question involving Lt. (jg) Kerry. On each of these operations, I was in the skimmer manning the M-60 machine gun. I took with me one other officer and an enlisted man to operate the outboard motor. I wanted another officer because officers, when not on patrol, were briefed daily on the latest intelligence concerning our sector of operations and were therefore more familiar with the current intelligence. Additionally, at these daily briefings, officers debriefed on their patrol areas after returning to port.
On the night of December 2-3, we conducted one of these operations, and Lt. (jg) Kerry accompanied me. Our call sign for that operation was "Batman." I have no independent recollection of the identity of the enlisted man, who was operating the outboard motor. Sometime during the early morning hours, I thought I detected some movement inland. At the time we were so close to land that we could hear water lapping on the shoreline. I fired a hand-held flare, and upon it bursting and illuminating the surrounding area, I thought I saw movement. I immediately opened fire with my M-60. It jammed after a brief burst. Lt. (jg) Kerry also opened fire with his M-16 on automatic, firing in the direction of my tracers. His weapon also jammed. As I was trying to clear my weapon, I heard the distinctive sound of the M-79 being fired and turned to see Lt. (jg) Kerry holding the M-79 from which he had just launched a round. We received no return fire of any kind nor were there any muzzle flashes from the beach. I directed the outboard motor operator to clear the area.
Upon returning to base, I informed my commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Grant Hibbard, of the events, informing him of the details of the operation and that we had received no enemy fire. I did not file an "after action" report, as one was only required when there was hostile fire. Soon thereafter, Lt. (jg) Kerry requested that he be put in for a Purple Heart as a result of a small piece of shrapnel removed from his arm that he attributed to the just-completed mission. I advised Lt. Cmdr. Hibbard that I could not support the request because there was no hostile fire. The shrapnel must have been a fragment from the M-79 that struck Lt. (jg) Kerry, because he had fired the M-79 too close to our boat. Lt. Cmdr. Hibbard denied Lt. (jg) Kerry's request. Lt. (jg) Kerry detached our division a few days later to be reassigned to another division. I departed Vietnam approximately three weeks later, and Lt. Cmdr. Hibbard followed shortly thereafter. It was not until years later that I was surprised to learn that Lt. (jg) Kerry had been awarded a Purple Heart for this night.
I did not see Lt. (jg) Kerry in person again for almost 20 years. Sometime in 1988, while I was on Capitol Hill, I ran into him in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building. I was at that time a Rear Admiral and in uniform. He was about 20 paces away, waiting to catch the underground subway. In a fairly loud voice I called out to him, "Hey, John." He turned, looked at me, came over and said, "Batman!" We exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes, agreed to have lunch sometime in the future, and parted ways. We have not been together since that day.
In March of this year, I was contacted by one of my former swift boat colleagues concerning Douglas Brinkley¹s book about Senator Kerry, "Tour of Duty." I told him that I had not read it. He faxed me a copy of the pages relating to the action on the night of December 2-3, 1968. I was astonished by Senator Kerry¹s rendition of the facts of that night. Notably, Lt. (jg) Kerry had himself in charge of the operation, and I was not mentioned at all. He also claimed that he was wounded by hostile fire.
None of this is accurate. I know, because I was not only in the boat, but I was in command of the mission. He was never more than several feet away from me at anytime during the operation that night. It is inconceivable that any commanding officer would put an officer in training, who had been in country only a couple of weeks, in charge of such an ambush operation. Had there been enemy action that night, there would have been an after action report filed, which I would have been responsible for filing.
I have avoided talking to media about this issue for months. But, because of the recent media attention, I felt I had to step up to recount my personal experiences concerning this incident.
Thursday, Sept. 2, 2004 12:08 a.m. EDT
Navy Challenging Kerry's Medals
The United States Navy is challenging the authenticity of Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam War medals, in a development that could prove to be the most damaging yet to the embattled Democrat's presidential campaign.
A Navy spokesman is calling Kerry's Silver Star citation with Combat V "incorrect" as it appears on his campaign Web site, explaining in an interview with Chicago Sun-Times reporter Thomas Lipscomb that the Navy has never issued a Combat V at any time for the Silver Star.
Story Continues Below
The Navy also is questioning the listing on Kerry’s Web site of four bronze campaign stars for his service in Vietnam. The official naval record credits Kerry with just two Vietnam campaigns.
"That is sufficient for the wearing of the Vietnam Service Medal for one campaign bearing one campaign star for the additional campaign — not four," reports Lipscomb in today's New York Sun.
Kerry's campaign has repeatedly cited the Navy as the ultimate authority on the candidate's war record, saying the Navy wouldn't have awarded him medals he didn't deserve.
But with the Navy now publicly challenging Kerry's decorations, that defense has been rendered inoperative.
Noting that Kerry has refused to authorize the release of his full military records, the legal watchdog group Judicial Watch called on Kerry this week to remove any questionable citations from his Web site pending a formal investigation by the Navy.
"It is to your best interest to have your record in good order," Gen. Thomas Wilkerson, the president of the U.S. Naval Institute, told Lipscomb. "If it is wrong, you are accountable. And if you use it to advance your career, it is even more important.”
Vietnam's New Religious Ordinance Under Fire
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com Pacific Rim Bureau Chief
September 01, 2004
Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) -Vietnam's communist government is introducing a new ordinance that claims to uphold citizens' rights to religious freedom, but critics - including church leaders inside Vietnam - say the authorities are, on the contrary, trying to restrict the freedom to worship.
The move comes at a time when advocacy groups are pressing for U.S. Senate passage of legislation passed last month in the House of Representatives, which ties increases in U.S. aid to improvements in Vietnam's human rights record.
Previous efforts to get the Vietnam Human Rights Act enacted were stymied by Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate. Arguing that the move would hinder rather than help reforms, Kerry used his position as chairman of the foreign relations committee's East Asian and Pacific Affairs subcommittee to block further progress (See earlier story).
The lengthy Ordinance on Beliefs and Religions, which comes into effect on November 15, "assures citizens of their basic rights regarding religious freedom" and says these rights "cannot be violated by anyone," according to the official Vietnam News Agency.
But a commentary by three Catholic priests in Vietnam, made available by Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom, sees the document instead as part of an effort by Hanoi to "mislead the naive" into thinking Vietnam has freedom of religion.
Chan Tin, Nguyen Huu Giai, and Phan Van Loi asserted that the ordinance "violates the legal rights of all religions and the rights of all religious people," and urged the government to withdraw it.
Although article one of the document states unambiguously that freedom of religious believe is guaranteed by the state and cannot be violated, virtually every one of the 40 articles that follow threaten to do just that, they argued.
"Article one grants religious freedom, then the following articles gradually withdraw that freedom until nothing is left."
They pointed to numerous references to a requirement to register - in some cases, annually - or to seek permission, approval or recognition before carrying out religious activities.
From past experience, the priests said, "registering" does not simply mean reporting to the authorities and then going ahead with a planned activity. "It means waiting for the authorities to grant permission before you can begin anything."
And getting that approval is not guaranteed, either.
"The State grants local authorities the power to give permission or not to give permission depending on their own will, according to their own convenience, subject to their own feelings, case by case - perhaps also dependent on a bribe."
Tin, Giai and Loi questioned the legitimacy of communist officials having the power to make judgments on age-old religions.
"For centuries the world has recognized these religions while the Communist Party has been in existence for less than a hundred years," they said.
"But now the Vietnamese communist state claims the right to decide which religion is recognized and which religion is not recognized, which religion is permitted to operate and which religion is not permitted to operate. What arrogance and stupidity!"
Among the most worrying clauses for critics are articles eight and 15.
The first forbids "abuse" of religious freedom to "undermine peace, independence and national unity." It also forbids religious leaders or groups from disseminating "information against the State's prevailing laws and policies."
Article 15 provides for the suspension of religious activities deemed to "violate national security" or "negatively affect the unity of the people or the nation's fine cultural traditions."
A leading critic of Vietnam's human rights record, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), has called the religion ordinance an "Orwellian move" on Hanoi's part.
"This new law is the most capricious and arbitrary policy imaginable - designed to snare and incarcerate believers for undermining peace, independence and national unity, whatever that means," he said in a statement last month.
Smith, who is vice-chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said Vietnam "needs to come out of the dark ages of repression, brutality and abuse and embrace freedom, the rule of law, and respect for fundamental human rights."
Smith was the sponsor of the Vietnam Human Rights Act, which the House approved last July.
The Vietnamese government, which responded angrily to passage of the Act, insists that it does uphold religious and other freedoms.
Nguyen Thanh Xuan, deputy head of the government's Committee for Religious Affairs, recently told the Vietnam News daily that the Communist Party and the state "have made many efforts to ensure the people's rights regarding religious freedom."
He listed the sanctioning of nine religious organizations since 1994; the existence of six Catholic seminaries and three institutes of Buddhism; the fact that more than 300 Buddhist monks and nuns and more than 100 Catholic priests had been sent to study abroad; and the publication of nearly five million copies of religious books and Bibles over the past five years.
Plea to senators
A significantly different picture comes from Shandon Phan, advocacy coordinator for the U.S.-based Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam (CRFV).
Since 2001 -- when Kerry first blocked the Vietnam Human Rights Act -- religious repression had not only continued, but intensified, Phan said Tuesday.
The CRFV cited numerous incidents, including the destruction of more than 400 Christian churches in the central highlands, the confiscation of properties of non-conformist churches, and the detention of Buddhist leaders.
The government also "forced thousands of Montagnard to renounce their faith," Phan said, referring to the predominantly Protestant "mountain people" of the central highlands.
Phan said the Human Rights Act was significant because, unlike other congressional resolutions, the legislation provided for action if Vietnam continued to disregard international criticism.
"Many dissidents and religious leaders, who currently are imprisoned or under house arrest, have repeatedly expressed their support of this bill."
Phan saw a direct link between worsening repression in Vietnam and Kerry's actions three years ago.
"Since 2001, immediately after the bill was blocked, the Vietnam government has increasingly escalated their oppression policy since they have had reasons to believe that as it is not that difficult to reach out to Washington DC to lobby a few Senate members to block the bill."
In 2001, Kerry said that he and another opponent of the legislation, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) "are concerned that denying aid to Vietnam would actually slow human rights improvements."
Phan said it didn't make sense to speak about "constructive engagement" if the approach "failed miserably" to advance human rights.
"The House has clearly spoken out with their vote," Phan said. "We only hope that our U.S. Senators would consider our community's concern and the interest of 82 million Vietnamese people."
"The bill has become a defining issue for our community in this election time."
See earlier story:
Swiftvets to Kerry: Apologize, tell truth and we'll quit
Letter sees American Legion convention speech as chance to come clean
Posted: September 1, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Swiftboat Veterans for Truth sent a letter to John Kerry yesterday promising to call off its media campaign if the senator apologizes for his conduct after returning from Vietnam and resolves questions about his war record.
The letter notes Kerry is scheduled to speak today at the American Legion convention in Nashville. The presidential candidate reportedly will address the challenges to his Vietnam service and anger among veterans about his anti-war activities.
The letter reads:
Dear Senator Kerry:
As you prepare for your address before the American Legion in Nashville, Tennessee, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth encourages you to use this opportunity to clarify your actions in Vietnam and your statements about your fellow Veterans and shipmates when you returned home. Since you have made your four-month tour in Vietnam the centerpiece of your campaign, we respectfully insist that you be truthful. The public is owed a full and honest accounting of your actions. Veterans are owed an apology from you and an acknowledgement that there was no basis in fact for the accusations you made against them.
We urge you to:
1. Apologize for your conduct once you returned from Vietnam. Your exaggerated testimony before the US Senate; the blanket indictment of your fellow veterans; throwing away medals and ribbons; all of these actions dishonored America and the armed forces. Your rhetoric and actions were not only wrong, they aided the enemy and brought great pain to POW's, veterans and their families.
2. Clarify the conflicting accounts involving the Bay Hap River incident of March 13, 1969 (Bronze Star and 3rd Purple Heart). You have now described three different versions of this incident. In the first version of this incident presented during the Democrat National Convention, you stated: "No man left behind," suggesting to the American people that you alone stayed on the river to rescue Mr. Rassmann. Later, when forced to acknowledge conflicting eyewitness testimony from fellow swift boat veterans, you said that your boat left the scene to return moments later to retrieve Jim Rassmann from the water. Yet, in another version of the same incident discovered in the Congressional Record, you reported that your boat struck a mine and Rassmann fell off the boat. Mr. Kerry, please explain to your fellow veterans and the American people which version is the truth.
3. Affirm that the injuries for which you received your purple hearts never required any medical treatment beyond perhaps a bandage and that, in all instances, these injuries were self-inflicted and came from your own weapon. Further, that if any of these purple hearts were falsely awarded, that you would not have been eligible to leave Vietnam after serving only four months.
4. Acknowledge what your own biographer is now saying, that the Christmas in Cambodia claim is "obviously wrong,” that you were never in Cambodia over Christmas or any other time during your brief, four-month tour in Vietnam and that your statements before the United States Senate in 1986 were false.
If you undertake these steps we will be satisfied that the American public has been sufficiently apprised as to these aspects of your career, and we will discontinue the media advertisements you have sought so fervently to silence.
Please know that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are eager to close our own personal chapters on Vietnam and instead focus on the war we're currently fighting—the ongoing war on terrorism. In the absence of full public disclosure and a public apology, we will continue efforts to carry our message to an ever-expanding base of grassroots supporters.
Senator Kerry, we want to get Vietnam behind us. But, we can only do so if the truth is told.
We respectfully await your reply.
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
A Hit Record In the Making!
(With apologies to Mr. Kipling and the British Army)
Johnny went public with ‘is boasts, an’ ‘ero without fear,
“Til sudden like the Swifties say, “We got a turncoat ‘ere.”
The Libs they just ignored ‘em, sayin’ “Ah, it’s all a lie!”
Then Johnny’s outted by their ads an’ to myself says I:
Oh it’s Johnny this an’ Johnny that, ‘e’s the ‘ero of the day.
But it’s wait now, Mr. Kerry, what’s that record really say?
The horns are loudly blowin’ boys as our band begins to play,
An’ it’s goodbye, Mr. Kerry, as they blow your arse away.
Johnny goes to Cincinnati sober as a man can be,
An’ they give ol’ George a “Bravo Lad!” but John no sympathy.
They give ‘im plain their message, sittin’ silent in the ‘alls,
That when it comes to fightin’ men, they know oo’s got the balls.
For it’s Johnny this an’ Johnny that, but wait, he might ‘a lied
From the platform of his campaign train an’ on the Boston tide.
His ship is on the tide, my boys, his ship is on the tide,
An’ it’s plain as day she’s sinkin’ boys, because the turncoat lied.
Yes Johnny mocked our uniforms that guard you while you sleep.
He cheapened all our medals throwing his upon that heap;
An’ rustlin’ up his phony troops, he led them for a bit,
Until his aspirations and theirs they no longer fit.
Now it’s Johnny this an’ Johnny that, an’ Johnny how’s yer soul,
In that brave front rank of ‘eroes as our drums begin their roll?
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
An’ they’ll keep right on a rollin’ boys, ‘til we chuck ‘im in the hole.
We make no claim as ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But ‘onorable men an’ warriors fightin’ once agin for you.
An’ if your ‘ero’s record, our charges soundly taint,
That’s what we’re tryin’ to tell you blokes, your ‘ero ain’t no saint.
For it’s Johnny this an’ Johnny that, an’ “Check him out, the Loot!”
Was ‘e the “Savior of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot?
Now it’s Johnny’s turn to prove us wrong, an’ make us all out liars,
By signin’ that one eighty form an’ puttin out the fires.
Oh it’s Johnny this an’ Johnny that, ‘e’s the ‘ero of the day,
But it’s hold on, Mr. Kerry, what’s that record really say?
The horns are loudly blowin’ boys, as our band begins to play,
“Cheerio, Old Man,” to Johnny and blows his arse away.
Bring it on, John
Oliver North (archive)
August 27, 2004 | Print | Send
"Of course, the president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: 'Bring it on.'" -- Sen. John Kerry
As usual, you have it wrong. You don't have a beef with President George Bush about your war record. He's been exceedingly generous about your military service. Your complaint is with the 2.5 million of us who served honorably in a war that ended 29 years ago and which you, not the president, made the centerpiece of this campaign.
I talk to a lot of vets, John, and this really isn't about your medals or how you got them. Like you, I have a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. I only have two Purple Hearts, though. I turned down the others so that I could stay with the Marines in my rifle platoon. But I think you might agree with me, though I've never heard you say it, that the officers always got more medals than they earned and the youngsters we led never got as many medals as they deserved.
This really isn't about how early you came home from that war, either, John. There have always been guys in every war who want to go home. There are also lots of guys, like those in my rifle platoon in Vietnam, who did a full 13 months in the field. And there are, thankfully, lots of young Americans today in Iraq and Afghanistan who volunteered to return to war because, as one of them told me in Ramadi a few weeks ago, "the job isn't finished."
Nor is this about whether you were in Cambodia on Christmas Eve, 1968. Heck John, people get lost going on vacation. If you got lost, just say so. Your campaign has admitted that you now know that you really weren't in Cambodia that night and that Richard Nixon wasn't really president when you thought he was. Now would be a good time to explain to us how you could have all that bogus stuff "seared" into your memory -- especially since you want to have your finger on our nation's nuclear trigger.
But that's not really the problem, either. The trouble you're having, John, isn't about your medals or coming home early or getting lost -- or even Richard Nixon. The issue is what you did to us when you came home, John.
When you got home, you co-founded Vietnam Veterans Against the War and wrote "The New Soldier," which denounced those of us who served -- and were still serving -- on the battlefields of a thankless war. Worst of all, John, you then accused me -- and all of us who served in Vietnam -- of committing terrible crimes and atrocities.
On April 22, 1971, under oath, you told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that you had knowledge that American troops "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 country side of South Vietnam." And you admitted on television that "yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed."
And for good measure you stated, "(America is) more guilty than any other body, of violations of (the) Geneva Conventions ... the torture of prisoners, the killing of prisoners."
Your "antiwar" statements and activities were painful for those of us carrying the scars of Vietnam and trying to move on with our lives. And for those who were still there, it was even more hurtful. But those who suffered the most from what you said and did were the hundreds of American prisoners of war being held by Hanoi. Here's what some of them endured because of you, John:
Capt. James Warner had already spent four years in Vietnamese custody when he was handed a copy of your testimony by his captors. Warner says that for his captors, your statements "were proof I deserved to be punished." He wasn't released until March 14, 1973.
Maj. Kenneth Cordier, an Air Force pilot who was in Vietnamese custody for 2,284 days, says his captors "repeated incessantly" your one-liner about being "the last man to die" for a lost cause. Cordier was released March 4, 1973.
Navy Lt. Paul Galanti says your accusations "were as demoralizing as solitary (confinement) ... and a prime reason the war dragged on." He remained in North Vietnamese hands until February 12, 1973.
John, did you think they would forget? When Tim Russert asked about your claim that you and others in Vietnam committed "atrocities," instead of standing by your sworn testimony, you confessed that your words "were a bit over the top." Does that mean you lied under oath? Or does it mean you are a war criminal? You can't have this one both ways, John. Either way, you're not fit to be a prison guard at Abu Ghraib, much less commander in chief.
One last thing, John. In 1988, Jane Fonda said: "I would like to say something ... to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of things that I said or did. I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I'm ... very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to apologize to them and their families."
Even Jane Fonda apologized. Will you, John?
The New Soldier by John Kerry Now Available in PDF Format Free to Everyone at freekerrybook.com
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 26, 2004 -- James B. Davis, a private citizen, announced today that he has created a website where anyone may read, print, forward or save a PDF copy of John Kerry (news - web sites)'s book "The New Soldier" for free. Since its publication in 1971, John Kerry's book "The New Soldier" has acquired almost legendary status. Rumors abound of political operatives scrambling to locate and suppress stray copies during Kerry's House campaign in 1972. Copies now sell on eBay for hundreds of dollars.
John F. Kerry has made his Vietnam service the cornerstone of his campaign for President. But he has said virtually nothing about what he did when he came home. His activities and statements at the time painted our veterans with an undeserved bloody brush. Many believe, and statements by the North Vietnamese confirm, that the activities of John Kerry, Jane Fonda and others actually prolonged the war, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of our soldiers, and thousands of Vietnamese.
Mr. Davis stated, "Before you decide how to vote in the forthcoming election, I urge everyone to consider all the information available. I strongly believe the contents of this book are of great importance in the forthcoming Presidential election and deserve to be widely distributed." Mr. Davis has created a website at http://freekerrybook.com where anyone can read, print, forward or save a copy of the book to a PC absolutely free. No registration or sign-on is required, and no ads appear on the site.
The PDF version of "The New Soldier" by John Kerry does not include photographs, but does include all of the text contained in the original book. Mr. Davis has created this project as a private citizen at his own expense.
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James B. Davis
Kerry citation a 'total mystery' to ex-Navy chief
August 28, 2004
BY THOMAS LIPSCOMB
Former Navy Secretary John Lehman has no idea where a Silver Star citation displayed on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's campaign Web site came from, he said Friday. The citation appears over Lehman's signature.
"It is a total mystery to me. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me," he said.
The additional language varied from the two previous citations, signed first by Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and then Adm. John Hyland, which themselves differ. The new material added in the Lehman citation reads in part: "By his brave actions, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty, Lieutenant (jg) Kerry reflected great credit upon himself...."
Asked how the citation could have been executed over his signature without his knowledge, Lehman said: "I have no idea. I can only imagine they were signed by an autopen." The autopen is a device often used in the routine execution of executive documents in government.
Kerry senior adviser Michael Meehan could not be reached for comment on Kerry's records
Three Former POWs Say Communists Used Kerry's Words for Torment
by David Freddoso
Posted Aug 27, 2004
Jim Warner will never forget when he first heard of John Kerry. It was May of 1971, and Warner was a Marine first lieutenant suffering in solitary confinement in North Vietnam's infamous Skid Row punishment camp.
Since his F-4 fighter had been shot down three and a half years earlier, Warner had been tortured and interrogated regularly by his captors.
One morning--Warner thinks it was a Saturday--he was subjected to an unusually long three-hour interrogation, during which they made him read the typewritten transcript of a statement by a U.S. Navy officer, who was Vietnam veteran, speaking in the United States. The speech included a litany of American war atrocities against the Vietnamese and advocated an immediate and unilateral withdrawal from Vietnam.
"All I could think of was that this must be a really contemptible human being," Warner told HUMAN EVENTS.
Warner said he remembers well that the statement was by a Lt. (j.g.) John Kerry, who is today a United States senator from Massachusetts and the Democrats' presidential nominee. Kerry, who in 1971 accused Americans of regularly committing war crimes in Vietnam, has now made his own Vietnam service the centerpiece of his campaign.
Although it was not identified as such, Warner believes the transcript he saw in Vietnam was probably from Kerry's April 22, 1971, testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (read the full text here), in which Kerry listed dozens of gruesome atrocities he said Americans were committing in Vietnam "on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."
"I was taken out to an interrogation and presented with Kerry's testimony," Warner told HUMAN EVENTS. "The interrogator kept pointing at Kerry's words, saying, 'See? This officer from your Navy says you deserve to be punished.'"
"We can't expect the rest of the country to share our disgust at Kerry for turning on us," said Warner. "A lot of people are too young to remember that."
Paul Galanti served as Virginia co-chairman for fellow former POW Sen. John McCain's 2000 presidential bid. He also supported Democratic Gov. Mark Warner's (Va.) campaign in 2001. As a POW in the Hanoi Hilton prison camp, he, like Warner, was tormented with words Kerry had spoken back home in the United States.
Galanti says Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony was one of the many English-language radio broadcasts his captors played for him and other POWs to demoralize them and encourage them to admit to war crimes.
"They made a big deal about this guy who was a naval officer, talking about all these atrocities and war crimes," said Galanti. "They'd been for years saying, 'You're not prisoners of war, you're war criminals. You're never going home, we're going to try you after the war and you'll all be found guilty of war crimes.'"
Galanti realized only recently that it was Kerry's voice the Communists had used to torment him, when he saw a documentary on the anti-war movement and heard Kerry's unmistakable pronunciation of the words "Genghis Khan." Kerry pronounced it "Jenjis" in his testimony when, among other atrocities, he reported tales that U.S. troops had "razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan."
"Right away, I said, hey, wait a minute, that's the guy I heard in Hanoi," said Galanti.
"I couldn't believe a naval officer would do that--you're supposed to get court-martialed for stuff like that," he went on. "I really violently object to him suddenly turning into Rambo and spending almost his entire acceptance speech at the Democratic convention with this huge war-hero routine."
Galanti, Warner and others have joined forces with the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to run television ads on Kerry's Vietnam service (which many of Kerry's fellow Swiftees say Kerry has lied about) and on Kerry's anti-war activities upon his return to the United States. A new round of television ads by the group features Galanti and former POW Ken Cordier.
Tom Collins, a decorated Air Force captain whose plane was shot down in 1965, says he was also made to listen to an audiotape of Kerry's testimony by his North Vietnamese captors. He explained that the North Vietnamese were constantly trying to elicit confessions of war crimes from Americans.
"What they wanted to do was get us to make statements that they could use for propaganda, no matter what it took to get it" he said. "They would torture us, some were even killed for it. . . . For over seven years, their goal was to get propaganda out of me. And then I see somebody like John Kerry and the Vietnam Veterans [Against the War] giving them the same propaganda they want me to give them, free of charge, on American television."
"I wasn't necessarily disappointed in Jane Fonda," said Collins. "I didn't know her background, but I figured she's just some airhead Hollywood actress--so what? But then along comes this military officer. My first reaction was, this is a fake. But it wasn't a fake. This guy is a traitor. I'm very disappointed in that. . . . I expected more out of a Navy lieutenant. That's why I was so demoralized. It was far worse for him to do it."
Collins said he was also shown other VVAW propaganda, including a picture of a famous April 1971 event in Washington, in which the group's members threw what they said were their military medals over the fence. (Kerry participated in that event, and claimed in an interview at the time that he had thrown away his own medals, although it was revealed later that he had thrown someone else's medals.)
"He knew he was putting us at risk," said Warner. "And he was demanding unilateral withdrawal, which means our value as bargaining chips would be gone. And what do you think would have happened to us then?"
Galanti agreed. "I have no doubt if we had done what Kerry was advocating, we'd still be over there," he said. But for the presence of American forces in Vietnam, he said, "there was absolutely no reason to turn us back. . . . The only reason they let us go was because they got the living daylights bombed out of them by B-52s over the Christmas bombings in '72. . . . We were home 60 days later," he said.
Although it was barely covered in the press, Kerry was greeted coolly and even mildly heckled during his appearance at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Cincinnati in August. Several veterans turned their backs on him or walked out during his speech. Kerry will once again face a crowd of veterans next week at the American Legion conference in Nashville.
Kerry's campaign has been consumed in recent weeks with the controversy over his former Swiftee comrades, 254 of whom have signed a letter calling him "unfit" to be commander in chief of the United States military. The group's three television ads (here, here, and here) and the surrounding news coverage have panicked Kerry's campaign and thrown it off stride as it tries to make the case for ousting President Bush.
Kerry's lawyers and opposition researchers have used legal pressure to try to suppress the ads and even called for a ban on the book by group spokesman John O'Neill, Unfit for Command (published by Regnery, a sister company of HUMAN EVENTS).
"We can forgive and forget," said Collins. "But then when he decides to bring it up and run for the highest office in the land based upon outright lies, we're not going to stand for that."
Swift Boat Vets Fighting For Their Country Again
by Patrick J. Buchanan
Posted Aug 27, 2004
Why are the Big Media savaging the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth? Why are the Kerryites telling us to move on and debate the real issues--health care, education, the economy?
Because they know this could kill John Kerry's candidacy. Because they know this is not just about Vietnam, but also about the credibility and character of the man who would be President.
I have followed Kerry since he became famous. In 1971, I urged Nixon not to enforce Chief Justice Burger's order to remove Kerry's Vietnam vets from the Mall. We don't want another Bonus Army episode, I told the President. Kerry's vets were allowed to camp out, throw their medals over the fence, and depart.
While I thought Kerry's testimony to be execrable, I took him to be a man who served bravely. If Unfit For Command by Swift Boat vet and Kerry nemesis John O'Neill is true, Kerry is a dishonest man who slandered his superior officers and betrayed his comrades and country in wartime.
In that April, Kerry told the Senate he had met with 150 vets in Detroit who confessed to having witnessed and committed war crimes with the knowledge of their officers.
Said Kerry, they "had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wire 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."
Kerry's testimony was played back to Paul Galanti, a POW inside Hanoi's dungeons. Ted Cordier says he and fellow POWS were tortured to force them to tell the kind of lies about U.S. troops in Vietnam John Kerry told the Senate for free.
Kerry has made his service the centerpiece of his career, his convention and his campaign. He cannot evade the questions. If Vietnam was the dirty immoral war he said it was in 1971, how can he now celebrate his service in that war in 2004?
But if Kerry and his Band of Brothers were defending our country, as he now claims, why did he slime as war criminals the comrades he left behind to defend our country?
Kerry told the Fulbright committee "crimes threaten [the country] . . . not reds, but the crimes we are committing." We are "ashamed of and hated what we were called on to do in Southeast Asia." But if he was "ashamed of and hated" what he was called on to do in Vietnam by 1971, how could he be proud of it today?
"[T]o attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom," Kerry told Fulbright, "is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy." But after Saigon fell thousands of South Vietnamese were shot, thousands more sent to "reeducation camps."
Hundreds of thousands fled in leaky boats into the South China Sea where many were raped by Thai pirates and drowned. A million Cambodians were murdered in 1975 in one of the great holocausts of the 20th century. What does Kerry now think the Vietnam War was about, if not the freedom of these people from the barbarism of Asian Communism?
Kerry's credibility is now everywhere in question. Biographer Douglas Brinkley says Kerry told him he resigned by letter from the VVAW executive committee, Nov. 10, 1971, and was not at a Kansas City meeting days later, where the assassination of senators was discussed. FBI and pro-Kerry vets now say Kerry did not tell the truth. He was at Kansas City. Kerry's campaign no longer denies it.
Repeatedly, Kerry has said he was in Cambodia at Christmas 1968. Not one former commander, comrade, or any one of his Band of Brothers support his story. Kerry made it all up to portray himself as a secret suffering warrior risking his life in forbidden land while leaders like Nixon were lying by denying they had sent him there.
Now, it appears that it was John Kerry doing the lying.
In "the sampan incident," a fog-of-war episode, Kerry's gunner Steve Gardner shot and killed a man and boy and took a hysterical woman and baby off their bloody boat. The "after-action report" claimed five Viet Cong dead and two captured. Who wrote it?
Four of Kerry's five medals are now under question either for falsehoods or exaggerations. The more information that comes out, the less believable Kerry becomes. O'Neill's Swift Boat vets may be a little older, they may be a little grayer, but they still know how to fight for their country.
Kerry, in 1971, Admitted Writing Combat Reports
By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
August 26, 2004
(CNSNews.com) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's 1971 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reveals that the then anti-war activist admitted to writing many of the battle reports during his four months of combat in Vietnam.
Kerry told the committee on April 22, 1971, "...I can recall often sending in the spot reports which we made after each mission..."
Kerry also said that many in the military had "a tendency to report what they want to report and see what they want to see."
Kerry's comments about the battle reports came in response to a question from then Senator Stuart Symington (D- Mo.), who wondered about the accuracy of information from military sources.
According to the testimony , which is available in the Congressional Record, Sen. Symington asked Kerry, "Mr. Kerry, from your experience in Vietnam do you think it is possible for the President or Congress to get accurate and undistorted information through official military channels.[?]"
Kerry responded, "I had direct experience with that. Senator, I had direct experience with that and I can recall often sending in the spot reports which we made after each mission; and including the GDA, gunfire damage assessments, in which we would say, maybe 15 sampans sunk or whatever it was. And I often read about my own missions in the Stars and Stripes and the very mission we had been on had been doubled in figures and tripled in figures.
Kerry later added, "I also think men in the military, sir, as do men in many other things, have a tendency to report what they want to report and see what they want to see."
The 34-year-old testimony could shed light on the present debate over who wrote key battlefield reports that critics of Kerry say allowed him to win awards.
B. G. Burkett, author of the book Stolen Valor and a military researcher, calls the 1971 testimony "significant."
"What is significant about this is [Kerry] is readily admitting that he often submitted reports and he is implying that he himself exaggerated in those reports," Burkett told CNSNews.com.
"We have no way of knowing specifically which documents Kerry composed; and of the the ones he did compose -- did he in fact exaggerate or outright lie in those reports? That is the issue here," Burkett said.
The controversy about who authored the now controversial after-action reports arose earlier this week, when the Washington Post obtained the military records of Larry Thurlow, one of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Thurlow's military records indicated that enemy fire erupted after Kerry's boat was hit by a mine explosion on March 13, 1969.
Thurlow now insists there was no enemy fire that day. The best selling new book by John O'Neill and Jerome Corsi, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, details the groups' critique of Kerry. Kerry has denounced the book and the Swift Boat vets and accused them of being an affiliate of President Bush's re-election campaign.
Thurlow and Kerry were each awarded a Bronze Star for heroism on that 13th day of March. Kerry also received his third Purple Heart as a result of the events of that day.
At the center of the controversy is whether or not there was enemy fire during Kerry's rescue of James Rassmann from the Bay Hap River. Kerry and Rassmann and others say there was enemy fire, while Thurlow and other swift boat veterans insist there was not.
Thurlow's own Bronze Star citation states that there was "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire" directed at "all units." But Thurlow believes his citation was based on Kerry's own account of the day.
"I am convinced that the language used in my citation ... was language taken directly from John Kerry's report," Thurlow said earlier this week. "John Kerry was the only officer who filed a report describing his version of the incident," Thurlow added.
The Washington Post summed up the controversy this way: "Much of the debate over who is telling the truth boils down to whether the two-page after-action report and other Navy records are accurate or whether they have been embellished by Kerry or someone else."
Burkett believes that Kerry stated the controversy surrounding his war record.
"Kerry thought that he could make a grand presentation of his combat record, and there would be no response, obviously, from the Republicans, considering the lack of military experience on that side of the aisle," Burkett said.
"I think [Kerry] completely misjudged the anger of Vietnam Veterans collectively and their ability to organize and have an answer to John Kerry," he added.
John Kerry does not want his service record questioned. This is the reason why.
Subject: Hanoi John's Military Service
On 18 Feb. 1966 John Kerry signed a 6 year enlistment contract with the Navy (plus a 6-month extension during wartime).
On 18 Feb. 1966 John Kerry also signed an Officer Candidate contract for 6 years -- 5 years of ACTIVE duty & ACTIVE Naval Reserves, and 1 year of inactive standby reserves (See items #4 & $5).
Because John Kerry was discharged from TOTAL ACTIVE DUTY of only 3 years and 18 days on 3 Jan. 1970, he was then required to attend 48 drills per year, and not more than 17 days active duty for training. Kerry was also subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Additionally, Kerry, as a commissioned officer, was prohibited from making adverse statements against his chain of command or statements against his country, especially during time of war. It is also interesting to note that Kerry did not obtain an honorable discharge until Mar. 12, 2001 even though his service obligation should have ended July 1, 1972.
Lt. John Kerry's letter of 21 Nov. 1969 asking for an early release from active US Navy duty falsely states "My current regular period of obligated service would be completed in December of this year."
On Jan. 3, 1970 Lt. John Kerry was transferred to the Naval Reserve Manpower Center in Bainridge, Maryland.
Where are Kerry's Performance Records for 2 years of obligated Ready Reserve, the 48 drills per year required and his 17 days of active duty per year training while Kerry was in the Ready Reserves? Have these records been released?
Has anyone ever talked to Kerry's Commanding Officer at the Naval Reserve Center where Kerry drilled?
On 1 July 1972 Lt. John Kerry was transferred to Standby Reserve -Inactive.
On 16 February 1978 Lt. John Kerry was discharged from US Naval Reserve.
Below are some of the crimes Lt. Kerry USNR committed as a ReadyReservist, while he was acting as a leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War:
1. Lt. Kerry attended many rallies where the Vietcong flag was displayed while our flag was desecrated, defiled, and mocked, thereby giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
2. Lt. Kerry was involved in a meeting that voted on assassinating members of the US Senate.
3. Lt. Kerry lied under oath against fellow soldiers before the US Senate about crimes committed in Vietnam.
4. Lt. Kerry professed to being a war criminal on national television, and condemned the military and the USA.
5. Lt. Kerry met with NVA and Vietcong communist leaders in Paris, in direct violation of the UCMJ and the U.S. Constitution.
Lt. Kerry by his own words & actions violated the UCMJ and the U.S. Code while serving as a Navy officer. Lt. Kerry stands in violation of Article 3, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Lt. Kerry's 1970 meeting with NVA Communists in Paris is in direct violation of the UCMJ's Article 104 part 904, and U.S. Code 18 U.S.C. 953. That meeting, and Kerry's subsequent support of the communists while leading mass protests against our military in the year that followed, also place him in direct violation of our Constitution's Article 3, Section 3, which defines treason as "giving aid and comfort" to the enemy in time of warfare.
The Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment, Section 3, states, "No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President ... having previously taken an oath . to support the Constitution of the United States, [who has] engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."
A. L. "Steve" Nash, MAC Ret, UDT/SEAL SEAL Authentication Team -Director AuthentiSEAL Phone 707 438 0120 "The only service where all investigators are US Navy SEALs"
Bob Dole on his recent criticism of John Kerry
The former U.S. senator talks about the Swift Boat ads, being a proud Vietnam veteran, and what it's like to run for president
Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole spoke with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough about John Kerry’s war record and the swift boat veterans ad controversy, in an interview scheduled to air on tonight’s “Scarborough Country” 10-11 p.m. ET.
Dole tells Scarborough that Senator Kerry called Senator Dole after his statements on Sunday to tell him he was “disappointed.” Dole also says that he thinks Kerry should stop talking about what a “great veteran” he was, that he thinks the American people admire the “quiet heroes” and it pays to “not talk about yourself so much.”
Following is a partial transcript from tonight’s interview, which will telecast in its entirety on tonight on MSNBC.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: I want to ask, you’ve been through one of these presidential campaigns. You know what it’s like on the campaign trail. Are you surprised, as a guy who is a war hero, that John Kerry’s war record is playing such a central role in this presidential campaign this year?
DOLE: Well, I am a little surprised because I remember in ‘96, of course, Clinton didn’t have a record and the liberal media didn’t want to say much about my record. So it never really became—you know… I guess “The New York Times” may have said I was a veteran, that’s about as far as they went.
So this time you’ve got a candidate named John Kerry who had a good record in Vietnam, came back from the service, denounced the war, in effect, trashed the Americans who were still fighting there. Went before a Senate committee in April of 1971, threw away his ribbons or his medals or whatever and now is standing before the American people and saying you’ve got to elect me because I’m this Vietnam hero.
And it’s kind of hard to reconcile all of these things. So it does sort of bring up focus that I don’t think we’ve had in the past.
SCARBOROUGH: Do you think it’s important for a president to have a war record or to be a veteran?
DOLE: I don’t know. I was asked that in ‘96. You know, I said, “Well, I think I learned a lot obviously being in the service.” I think if I’m John Kerry, I’m proud of my service. Some days he’s proud, other days he’s denouncing his service. But I was proud of my service. I thought people were proud of my service.
But it’s a very fine line you walk when you’re standing before a crowd of 5,000 or 6,000 people to make a speech because out in that audience, there are going to be a lot of men and women and mother, father, whatever, who make not have served or may not know much about service in World War II, Korea, Vietnam.
And so you don’t want to go out there and say, you know: “Vote for me. I did this, this, this, this, this. I got all these medals. I got all these Purple Hearts.”
I think you can do it in a different way, John Kerry’s a friend of mine. I sent a signal about two or three months ago on television, “John, back off. You know, cool it. Don’t make the Vietnam War the centerpiece of your campaign.”
But he’s got a problem, because he spent 20 years in the Senate and doesn’t have much to show for it.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you sent a signal a few months back, and then, of course, a couple days ago you had this to say about John Kerry. Let me read the quote:
“Three Purple Hearts and never bled, that I know of. They’re such superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you’re out. I think Senator Kerry needs to talk about his Senate record, which is pretty thin. That’s probably why he’s talking bout his war record, which is pretty confused.”
Obviously, that’s a very strong statement. As a respected public figure, as a war hero yourself, that that statement was going to make news. What compelled you to make it?
DOLE: I don’t know. I’m not out trying to stir up a lot of trouble.
Wolf Blitzer is a friend of mine on CNN. He’d asked me three weeks in a row to come on the program. I ducked him. I finally said, “OK, I’ll go.” I knew what he wanted to ask me.
But this is after we’d had somebody called Vice President Cheney a coward. They’ve called Bush “a deserter” that he was AWOL, that he’s condoned torture, that he’s condoned poisoning of pregnant women. I mean, all these nasty, nasty, over-the-top attacks.
And they spent $65 million trying to defame President Bush. I told John Kerry on the telephone the next day. I said, “John, President Bush is my guy. And when I see all the people dumping on him, and all the misstatements and—and untruths, it kind of riles me up a little.” So maybe I expressed that on Sunday.
SCARBOROUGH: So you spoke with John Kerry. Did he call you, or did you call him?
DOLE: He called me the next day and said “I’m very disappointed.”
I said, “Well, John, I’m disappointed, too, in all these undeserved attacks on President Bush. If you want to question Dick Cheney’s deferment, that’s fine. If you want to question the National Guard, that’s fine. But John, these other guys, these swift boat veterans are a lot of them that have a different view of what happened than you have, and they have a right to speak. We live in the United States of America. It’s a free country. You may not like what they say, but they have a right to say it.”
SCARBOROUGH: And what did Senator Kerry say to you in response?
DOLE: He said, “I haven’t spent one dime in my campaign on a negative ad.”
Well, he doesn’t have to. He’s got George Soros, who put in $15 million. He’s got Harold Ickes up there cranking out millions of dollars of ads. He’s got his former campaign manager in Boston in another group called Bringing America Together.
President Bush to his credit, and I wish John Kerry would follow suit, said, “Let’s stop all these so-called 527 ads, all these soft money ads that have been so critical. Let’s talk about the issues.”
And the American people, they like to know that you’re a veteran, or not a veteran—you know, they actually don’t like some of the negatives and all this. But they also like to know what’s going to happen next year, not what happened 30 or 35 years ago.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Senator, we’ve been talking for the past week now about the fact that Harold Ickes was holed up in the Four Seasons in Boston with Democratic fundraisers and John Kerry’s top contributors for an entire week during the Democratic National Convention.
And yet, nobody wrote about his 527 ad and the $20 million that he raised for ACT. Nobody talked about the fact that John Kerry’s former campaign manager is running this Media Fund, which also is spending millions and millions of dollars.
You ran for president. It’s easy for me to talk about media bias, but did you see media bias in 1996? And if so, how widespread is it?
DOLE: It’s widespread. I mean, you look at the number of stories written about or on the three big networks at night and “The New York Times,” “The L.A. Times,” “The Washington Post,” all the big newspapers. How many dozens of stories they’ve reported about George Bush and the National Guard, and now they had to rush to the defense of John Kerry.
“The New York Times” last Friday had a front-page story, trying to discredit all these other Vietnam veterans, some who’ve been wounded seriously, all of whom served honorably. And many were decorated. And they’re cast as a bunch of liars or paid off by the Bush people. And that’s the kind of coverage you would get from the so-called mainstream media.
President Bush is going to go out and rebut this, for the most part, with paid advertising. He doesn’t have “The New York Times” every day. if you added up the value of all “The New York Times” propaganda, it would probably be $3 or $4 million.
Watch the full interview on 'Scarborough Country,' Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET.
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."
Direct media inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
If He Only Had a Heart
John Kerry tanks on The Daily Show.
By Dana Stevens
Posted Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004, at 9:06 AM PT
When my boyfriend and I heard that John Kerry was slated to be the guest on last night's Daily Show, we all but raced to the TiVo to set it on record. (Not that we ever miss The Daily Show anyway, but this would be one worth keeping.) What a "get" for Jon Stewart, the court jester of the 2004 election! And finally Kerry would have the chance to step down from the campaign stump and show people who are desperate for a reason to vote for him what he's really made of: his passion, his conviction, his much-vaunted (at least by his wife) sense of humor. Except, as Jon Stewart has been known to say: Eh, not so much.
From the moment the senator appeared and sat down on the gray sofa where, just last week, Bill Clinton basked in the audience's applause like a cat lapping up cream, Kerry's charisma was less than zero: It was negative. He was a charm vacuum, forced to actually borrow mojo from audience members. He was a dessicated husk, a tin man who really didn't have a heart. His lack of vibrancy, his utter dearth of sex appeal made Al Gore look like Charo. (I've always found Al Gore sort of hot, actually, like a stuffy high school principal just begging to be broken down. But I have some issues with authority.)
Watching Kerry strike out was especially heartbreaking given that Stewart was pitching not just softballs but marshmallows. Puffy interview marshmallows with rainbow sprinkles on them, and Kerry was letting them sail by as if he planned to get to first base on a walk. That may be how he hopes to win the presidency as well, but before he gets there, he'll have to jump through hoops a lot tougher than this exchange:
Stewart: […] As any good fake journalist should do, I watch only the 24-hour cable news. This is what I learned about you—
Kerry: All right.
Stewart: Through the cable news. Please refute if you will. Are you the number one most liberal senator in the Senate?
Kerry: You happy with that? (LAUGHTER)
Um, no, Senator. Should we be? Kerry seemed unclear on the concept that he was there precisely to poke fun at the recirculated sound bites of the talking-head circuit, that this was his chance to take terms like "liberal" and "flip-flop" and split them wide open. All he had to do was shoulder his rocket launcher (he's good at that, right?) and take aim at the received wisdom that has kept the focus of this campaign exactly where the Bush camp wants it to be: on who did what in a war we lost 30 years ago, rather than what to do next in the war we're losing right now. Instead, Kerry ignored every opening Stewart gave him, preferring to dust off rhetoric that's become familiar even to casual followers of his campaign: "You don't go to war because you want to. You go to war because you have to." That was a good line at the convention, but baby, the convention was a month ago! This is Jon Stewart, the king of politically savvy late-night television. You need new A-list material. Get someone on it.
The current controversy about Kerry's war service got only a glancing mention, when Stewart leaned in to murmur, "So I understand that apparently you were never in Vietnam." But Kerry's repeated vows to stay "laser-beam focused" on the "real issues" didn't keep him from milking his war record at every possible opportunity. Asked whether the Swift boat ads had affected him personally, Kerry replied pointedly, "Yeah, it's a little bit disappointing. But believe it or not, I've been through worse." And then, when the interview was over and Kerry rose to leave, he caused audible groans in my household by saluting the audience (just as he did at the opening of his convention speech: "John Kerry reporting for duty." Lieutenant Kerry, your first order is to stop saluting the audience. It makes you look like a total tool).
Luckily for Kerry, the Daily Show audience is not a swing state. It's very likely that most of the demographic that watches this show will grit their teeth and vote for him anyway. But can we really trust our future to a man who fails to see the humor in the following exchange?
Kerry: You'd be amazed the number of people who wanna introduce themselves to you in the men's room. (LAUGHTER)
Kerry: God. It—it's the most bizarre part of this entire campaign.
The struggle on Stewart's face was visible but, eager to put his distinguished (and less-than-flexible) guest at ease, he let this setup go by without so much as a dirty joke. When it comes time for the debates this fall, the Bush camp won't be so kind.
Dana Stevens (aka Liz Penn) writes on television for Slate and on film and culture for the High Sign.
Senator covered up evidence of P.O.W.'s left behind
When John Kerry's Courage Went M.I.A.
by Sydney H. Schanberg
Senator John Kerry, a decorated battle veteran, was courageous as a navy lieutenant in the Vietnam War. But he was not so courageous more than two decades later, when he covered up voluminous evidence that a significant number of live American prisoners—perhaps hundreds—were never acknowledged or returned after the war-ending treaty was signed in January 1973.
The Massachusetts senator, now seeking the presidency, carried out this subterfuge a little over a decade ago— shredding documents, suppressing testimony, and sanitizing the committee's final report—when he was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on P.O.W./ M.I.A. Affairs.
Over the years, an abundance of evidence had come to light that the North Vietnamese, while returning 591 U.S. prisoners of war after the treaty signing, had held back many others as future bargaining chips for the $4 billion or more in war reparations that the Nixon administration had pledged. Hanoi didn't trust Washington to fulfill its pro-mise without pressure. Similarly, Washington didn't trust Hanoi to return all the prisoners and carry out all the treaty provisions. The mistrust on both sides was merited. Hanoi held back prisoners and the U.S. provided no reconstruction funds.
The stated purpose of the special Senate committee—which convened in mid 1991 and concluded in January 1993—was to investigate the evidence about prisoners who were never returned and find out what happened to the missing men. Committee chair Kerry's larger and different goal, though never stated publicly, emerged over time: He wanted to clear a path to normalization of relations with Hanoi. In any other context, that would have been an honorable goal. But getting at the truth of the unaccounted for P.O.W.'s and M.I.A.'s (Missing In Action) was the main obstacle to normalization—and therefore in conflict with his real intent and plan of action.
Kerry denied back then that he disguised his real goal, contending that he supported normalization only as a way to learn more about the missing men. But almost nothing has emerged about these prisoners since diplomatic and economic relations were restored in 1995, and thus it would appear—as most realists expected—that Kerry's explanation was hollow. He has also denied in the past the allegations of a cover-up, either by the Pentagon or himself. Asked for comment on this article, the Kerry campaign sent a quote from the senator: "In the end, I think what we can take pride in is that we put together the most significant, most thorough, most exhaustive accounting for missing and former P.O.W.'s in the history of human warfare."
What was the body of evidence that prisoners were held back? A short list would include more than 1,600 firsthand sightings of live U.S. prisoners; nearly 14,000 secondhand reports; numerous intercepted Communist radio messages from within Vietnam and Laos about American prisoners being moved by their captors from one site to another; a series of satellite photos that continued into the 1990s showing clear prisoner rescue signals carved into the ground in Laos and Vietnam, all labeled inconclusive by the Pentagon; multiple reports about unacknowledged prisoners from North Vietnamese informants working for U.S. intelligence agencies, all ignored or declared unreliable; persistent complaints by senior U.S. intelligence officials (some of them made publicly) that live-prisoner evidence was being suppressed; and clear proof that the Pentagon and other keepers of the "secret" destroyed a variety of files over the years to keep the P.O.W./M.I.A. families and the public from finding out and possibly setting off a major public outcry.
The resignation of Colonel Millard Peck in 1991, the first year of the Kerry committee's tenure, was one of many vivid landmarks in this saga's history. Peck had been the head of the Pentagon's P.O.W./M.I.A. office for only eight months when he resigned in disgust. In his damning departure statement, he wrote: "The mind-set to 'debunk' is alive and well. It is held at all levels . . . Practically all analysis is directed to finding fault with the source. Rarely has there been any effective, active follow-through on any of the sightings . . . The sad fact is that . . . a cover-up may be in progress. The entire charade does not appear to be an honest effort and may never have been."
Finally, Peck said: "From what I have witnessed, it appears that any soldier left in Vietnam, even inadvertently, was in fact abandoned years ago, and that the farce that is being played is no more than political legerdemain done with 'smoke and mirrors' to stall the issue until it dies a natural death."
What did Kerry do in furtherance of the cover-up? An overview would include the following: He allied himself with those carrying it out by treating the Pentagon and other prisoner debunkers as partners in the investigation instead of the targets they were supposed to be. In short, he did their bidding. When Defense Department officials were coming to testify, Kerry would have his staff director, Frances Zwenig, meet with them to "script" the hearings—as detailed in an internal Zwenig memo leaked by others. Zwenig also advised North Vietnamese officials on how to state their case. Further, Kerry never pushed or put up a fight to get key government documents unclassified; he just rolled over, no matter how obvious it was that the documents contained confirming data about prisoners. Moreover, after promising to turn over all committee records to the National Archives when the panel concluded its work, the senator destroyed crucial intelligence information the staff had gathered—to to keep the documents from becoming public. He refused to subpoena past presidents and other key witnesses.
When revelatory sworn testimony was given to the committee by President Reagan's national security adviser, Richard Allen—about a credible proposal from Hanoi in 1981 to return more than 50 prisoners for a $4 billion ransom—Kerry had that testimony taken in a closed door interview, not a public hearing. But word leaked out and a few weeks later, Allen sent a letter to the committee, not under oath, recanting his testimony, saying his memory had played tricks on him. Kerry never did any probe into Allen's original, detailed account, and instead accepted his recantation as gospel truth.
A Secret Service agent then working at the White House, John Syphrit, told committee staffers he had overheard part of a conversation about the Hanoi proposal for ransom. He said he was willing to testify but feared reprisal from his Treasury Department superiors and would need to be subpoenaed so that his appearance could not be regarded as voluntary. Kerry refused to subpoena him. Syphrit told me that four men were involved in that conversation—Reagan, Allen, Vice President George H.W. Bush, and CIA director William Casey. I wrote the story for Newsday.
The final Kerry report brushed off the entire episode like unsightly dust. It said: "The committee found no credible evidence of any such [ransom] offer being made."
A newcomer to this subject matter might reasonably ask why there was no great public outrage, no sustained headlines, no national demand for investigations, no penalties imposed on those who had hidden, and were still hiding, the truth. The simple, overarching explanation was that most Americans wanted to put Vietnam behind them as fast as possible. They wanted to forget this failed war, not deal with its truths or consequences. The press suffered from the same ostrich syndrome; no major media organization ever carried out an in-depth investigation by a reporting team into the prisoner issue. When prisoner stories did get into the press, they would have a one-day life span, never to be followed up on. When three secretaries of defense from the Vietnam era—James Schlesinger, Melvin Laird, and Elliot Richardson—testified before the Kerry committee, under oath, that intelligence they received at the time convinced them that numbers of unacknowledged prisoners were being held by the Communists, the story was reported by the press just that once and then dropped. The New York Times put the story on page one but never pursued it further to explore the obvious ramifications.
At that public hearing on September 21, 1992, toward the end of Schlesinger's testimony, the former defense secretary, who earlier had been CIA chief, was asked a simple question: "In your view, did we leave men behind?"
He replied: "I think that as of now, I can come to no other conclusion."
He was asked to explain why Nixon would have accepted leaving men behind. He said: "One must assume that we had concluded that the bargaining position of the United States . . . was quite weak. We were anxious to get our troops out and we were not going to roil the waters . . . "
Another example of a story not pursued occurred at the Paris peace talks. The North Vietnamese failed to provide a list of the prisoners until the treaty was signed. Afterward, when they turned over the list, U.S. intelligence officials were taken aback by how many believed prisoners were not included. The Vietnamese were returning only nine men from Laos. American records showed that more than 300 were probably being held. A story about this stunning gap, by New York Times Pentagon reporter John W. Finney, appeared on the paper's front page on February 2, 1973. The story said: "Officials emphasized that the United States would be seeking clarification . . . " No meaningful explanation was ever provided by the Vietnamese or by the Laotian Communist guerrillas, the Pathet Lao, who were satellites of Hanoi.
As a bombshell story for the media, particularly the Washington press corps, it was there for the taking. But there were no takers.
I was drawn to the P.O.W. issue because of my reporting years for The New York Times during the Vietnam War, where I came to believe that our soldiers were being misled and disserved by our government. After the war, military people who knew me and others who knew my work brought me information about live sightings of P.O.W.'s still in captivity and other evidence about their existence. When the Kerry committee was announced (I was by then a columnist at Newsday), I thought the senator—having himself become disillusioned about the Vietnam War, and eventually an advocate against it—might really be committed to digging out the truth. This was wishful thinking.
In the committee's early days, Kerry had given encouraging indications of being a committed investigator. He said he had "leads" to the existence of P.O.W.'s still in captivity. He said the number of these likely survivors was more than 100 and that this was the minimum. But in a very short time, he stopped saying such things and morphed his role into one of full alliance with the executive branch, the Pentagon, and other Washington hierarchies, joining their long-running effort to obscure and deny that a significant number of live American prisoners had not been returned. As many as 700 withheld P.O.W.'s were cited in credible intelligence documents, including a speech by a senior North Vietnamese general that was discovered in Soviet archives by an American scholar.
Here are details of a few of the specific steps Kerry took to hide evidence about these P.O.W.'s.
He gave orders to his committee staff to shred crucial intelligence documents. The shredding stopped only when some intelligence staffers staged a protest. Some wrote internal memos calling for a criminal investigation. One such memo—from John F. McCreary, a lawyer and staff intelligence analyst—reported that the committee's chief counsel, J. William Codinha, a longtime Kerry friend, "ridiculed the staff members" and said, "Who's the injured party?" When staffers cited "the 2,494 families of the unaccounted-for U.S. servicemen, among others," the McCreary memo continued, Codinha said: "Who's going to tell them? It's classified."
Kerry defended the shredding by saying the documents weren't originals, only copies—but the staff's fear was that with the destruction of the copies, the information would never get into the public domain, which it didn't. Kerry had promised the staff that all documents acquired and prepared by the committee would be turned over to the National Archives at the committee's expiration. This didn't happen. Both the staff and independent researchers reported that many critical documents were withheld.
Another protest memo from the staff reported: "An internal Department of Defense Memorandum identifies Frances Zwenig [Kerry's staff director] as the conduit to the Department of Defense for the acquisition of sensitive and restricted information from this Committee . . . lines of investigation have been seriously compromised by leaks" to the Pentagon and "other agencies of the executive branch." It also said the Zwenig leaks were "endangering the lives and livelihood of two witnesses."
A number of staffers became increasingly upset about Kerry's close relationship with the Department of Defense, which was supposed to be under examination. (Dick Cheney was then defense secretary.) It had become clear that Kerry, Zwenig, and others close to the chairman, such as Senator John McCain of Arizona, a dominant committee member, had gotten cozy with the officials and agencies supposedly being probed for obscuring P.O.W. information over the years. Committee hearings, for example, were being orchestrated to suit the examinees, who were receiving lists of potential questions in advance. Another internal memo from the period, by a staffer who requested anonymity, said: "Speaking for the other investigators, I can say we are sick and tired of this investigation being controlled by those we are supposedly investigating."
The Kerry investigative technique was equally soft in many other critical ways. He rejected all suggestions that the committee require former presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush to testify. All were in the Oval Office during the Vietnam era and its aftermath. They had information critical to the committee, for each president was carefully and regularly briefed by his national security adviser and others about P.O.W. developments. It was a huge issue at that time.
Kerry also refused to subpoena the Nixon office tapes (yes, the Watergate tapes) from the early months of 1973 when the P.O.W.'s were an intense subject because of the peace talks and the prisoner return that followed. (Nixon had rejected committee requests to provide the tapes voluntarily.) Information had seeped out for years that during the Paris talks and afterward, Nixon had been briefed in detail by then national security advisor Brent Scowcroft and others about the existence of P.O.W.'s whom Hanoi was not admitting to. Nixon, distracted by Watergate, apparently decided it was crucial to get out of the Vietnam mess immediately, even if it cost those lives. Maybe he thought there would be other chances down the road to bring these men back. So he approved the peace treaty and on March 29, 1973, the day the last of the 591 acknowledged prisoners were released in Hanoi, Nixon announced on national television: "All of our American P.O.W.'s are on their way home."
The Kerry committee's final report, issued in January 1993, delivered the ultimate insult to history. The 1,223-page document said there was "no compelling evidence that proves" there is anyone still in captivity. As for the primary investigative question —what happened to the men left behind in 1973—the report conceded only that there is "evidence . . . that indicates the possibility of survival, at least for a small number" of prisoners 31 years ago, after Hanoi released the 591 P.O.W.'s it had admitted to.
With these word games, the committee report buried the issue—and the men.
The huge document contained no findings about what happened to the supposedly "small number." If they were no longer alive, then how did they die? Were they executed when ransom offers were rejected by Washington?
Kerry now slides past all the radio messages, satellite photos, live sightings, and boxes of intelligence documents—all the evidence. In his comments for this piece, this candidate for the presidency said: "No nation has gone to the lengths that we did to account for their dead. None—ever in history."
Of the so-called "possibility" of a "small number" of men left behind, the committee report went on to say that if this did happen, the men were not "knowingly abandoned," just "shunted aside." How do you put that on a gravestone?
In the end, the fact that Senator Kerry covered up crucial evidence as committee chairman didn't seem to bother too many Massachusetts voters when he came up for re-election—or the recent voters in primary states. So I wouldn't predict it will be much of an issue in the presidential election come November. It seems there is no constituency in America for missing Vietnam P.O.W.'s except for their families and some veterans of that war.
A year after he issued the committee report, on the night of January 26, 1994, Kerry was on the Senate floor pushing through a resolution calling on President Clinton to lift the 19-year-old trade embargo against Vietnam. In the debate, Kerry belittled the opposition, saying that those who still believed in abandoned P.O.W.'s were perpetrating a hoax. "This process," he declaimed, "has been led by a certain number of charlatans and exploiters, and we should not allow fiction to cloud what we are trying to do here."
Kerry's resolution passed, by a vote of 62 to 38. Sadly for him, the passage of ten thousand resolutions cannot make up for wants in a man's character.
On A Slow Day A Little Laughable Material
Bill Timmins, President
Aladdin Casino and Hotel
Las Vegas, NV
July 20, 2004
Dear Mr. Timmins:
I understand from the news reports I've read that, after Linda Ronstadt, one of America's greatest singers, dedicated a song to me from your stage on
Saturday night, you instructed your security guards to remove her from the Aladdin, which they did.
What country do you live in? Last time I checked, Las Vegas is still in the United States. And in the United States, we have something called "The First
Amendment." This constitutional right gives everyone here the right to say whatever they want to say. All Americans hold this right as sacred. Many of our
young people put on a uniform and risk their lives to defend it. My film is all about asking the questions ! that should have been asked before those brave
soldiers were sent into harms way.
For you to throw Linda Ronstadt off the premises because she dared to say a few words in support of me and my film, is simply stupid and Un-American.
Frankly, I have never heard of such a thing happening. I read that you wouldn't even let her go back up to her room at your hotel! Are you crazy? For crying out
loud, it was a song DEDICATION! To "Desperado!" Every American loves that song! Sure, some people didn't like the dedication, and that's their right. But
neither they nor you have the right to remove her from your building when all she did was exercise her AMERICAN right to speak her mind.
Of all the things that go on in Las Vegas, this is what creates the need for serious action? What about the other half of the crowd at the Aladdin who,
according to the Las Vegas Sun, cheered her when she made ! her remarks? Did you throw them out, too?
&nbs p; I think you owe Ms. Ronstadt an apology. And I have an idea how you can make it up to her -- and to the millions of Americans you have offended. Invite her
back and I'll join her in singing "America the Beautiful" on your stage. Then I will show "Fahrenheit 9/11" free of charge to all your guests and anyone
else in Las Vegas who wants to see it.
Mr. Timmins, as the song "Desperado" says -- "Come to your senses!" How can you refuse this offer? I await your reply.
Michael Moore Director,
July 21, 2004
Attention: Michael Moore,
In response to your letter dated July 20, 2004: You are correct that I had security remove Linda Ronstadt from Aladdin Casino and Hotel where the fun never
ends and everybody wins. How very interesting to learn you are such a fan of Ms. Ronstadt.
You questioned where I live and surprisingly knew Las Vegas is in the United States. You should visit it sometime. There are thousands of wonderful 'All
You Can Eat! ' buffets.
There are also a lot of casinos who's owners don't **** around. I am aware of the First Amendment and you have the right to talk about your hatred of
America but once you are on my property and you are upsetting my guests, you will quickly learn about my rights.
I can't remember if it was Jesus or George W. Bush that said, "Freedom is a two-way street." Ms. Ronstadt learned this long before I had her thrown out of
my casino. You question my actions? If you come onto my property and upset my guests, you will receive the same, if not worse, treatment than Ms. Ronstadt
received. I am sure your mere presence would upset my guests.
You claim your film, "...is all about asking the questions that should have been asked before those brave soldiers were sent into harm's way." I think your
film does nothing but aid the enemy and hurt our troops. You have bet! rayed our troops, our leader and America. I have no respect for yo u or your vision of
what America should be.
I paid Ms. Ronstadt to entertain my guests, not divide them. The half that did not leave probably thought the verse you mentioned, "Why don't you come to
your senses" was addressed to you. Maybe she should have dedicated her song, 'You're No Good' to you. I would have asked her back, had she done that.
Regarding your request for me to apologize to her, have you and her on my stage singing anything about this Country and then playing your piece of ****
film is ludicrous!
One of my workers is currently throwing away every complaint letter from brainless followers of you, claiming they will never visit my Casino. I could not
be more pleased to know my casino and hotel will always be void of the kind of people who support you. Meanwhile, my hotel has been quickly booked solid for
the rest of the year with true Americ! ans who love this Country and support our efforts overseas.
They will see a framed copy of your letter and my response in the lobby to ensure they begin their experience with a laugh.
Bill Timmins, President
Aladdin Casino and Hotel
Las Vegas, NV
The Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas and we were afloat
Somewhere in Cambodia in our little boat.
While the river was lightened by rockets red glare
No one but the President knew we were there.
The crew was all nestled deep down in their bunks,
While the Spook and I watched the sampans and junks.
Our mission was secret, so secret in fact,
No one else would remember it when we got back.
When out on the water there arose such a clatter
I leaped down from the bridge to see what was the matter.
The incoming friendly was starting to flash
And I knew that the ARVN's were having a bash.
The snap of friendly fire on the warm tropic air
Convinced me for sure no one knew we were there,
On a clandestine mission so secret it's true
That I'm still convinced only Tricky Dick knew.
While I huddled for safety in the tub on the bow,
I thought of a title, "Apocalypse Now."
To give to the films I was I making each day
To show all the voters when I made my big play.
As I sat there sweating in my lucky flight jacket,
Spook said, "Merry Christmas!" and tossed me a packet.
And what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a new lucky cap, which I still have right here.
I keep it tucked here, in this leather brief case,
Just sharing with the press its secretive place
As I regale them again with my senate refrain,
That Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain.
Don't bother to quibble with history my friend,
By pointing out Johnson was President then.
Don't listen to Swiftees who try to explain,
For I tell you that night is seared into my brain.
Down Hibbard, down Lonsdale, and you too O'Neill,
So you don't remember? Well it's something I feel.
I don't need all you Swiftvets to support my campaign,
Cause Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain,
Into my brain, into my brain, into my brain...
Judicial Watch Calls For Investigation Into Kerry’s Medals, Anti-War Actions
Formal Complaint Filed Over Senator’s Vietnam Awards, Post-Service Activities
(Washington, D.C.) – Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today filed a request with the U.S. Navy and the Defense Department for an investigation into the awards granted to Sen. John Kerry during his service with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. Judicial Watch also requested that military authorities investigate Kerry’s anti-war activities, including his meeting with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations in Paris, while a member of the Naval Reserve.
Basing its requests on a recently published book, Unfit for Command, by former Navy officer John E. O’Neill and Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D, and on news media interviews of other officers and sailors who served with Kerry, Judicial Watch notes that unresolved allegations against Kerry include: false official reports and statements; dishonorable conduct; aiding the enemy; dereliction of duty; misuse and abuse of U.S. government equipment and property; war crimes; and multiple violations of U.S. Navy regulations and directives, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the U.S. Code.
Kerry was awarded three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for “wounds” received and actions in Vietnam, but eyewitnesses refute his version of a number of the events that were the basis for receiving the commendations. Judicial Watch is asking the Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy, including its Department Board of Decorations and Medals, to look into the circumstances surrounding Kerry’s awards.
Judicial Watch also is requesting an investigation of Kerry’s anti-war activities. After he was released from active duty but while he was a commissioned officer in the inactive Naval Reserve, Kerry joined the anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War and traveled to Paris to meet with delegations from North Vietnam and the Communist Viet Cong. He held a press conference in Washington, D.C., following the meeting and advocated the “peace proposal,” which included war damage reparations, put forth by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong.
“The allegations concerning Kerry’s conduct during the Vietnam War are credible, serious and shocking,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The sooner an investigation begins, the better.”
Thurlow Will Sign:
Swift Boat Veteran for Truth Larry Thurlow, the former Swift Boat commander who is challenging the story John Kerry has told about how he won his Bronze Star, told HUMAN EVENTS this week he will sign a Standard Form 180, allowing all his military records to be independently released to the public. So far Kerry has ignored the challenge from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that he, too, sign a Standard Form 180.
Kerry Pads Résumé:
Kerry's campaign was attempting last week to respond to charges that Kerry, while serving on the Senate Intelligence Committee during the 1990s, missed three-fourths of that committee's public hearings. The campaign claimed on its website August 16: "John Kerry served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for 8 years and is the former vice chairman of the committee." Actually, it was Sen. Bob Kerrey (D.-Neb.), not John Kerry (D.-Mass.), who served as vice chairman of the committee. Kerry (without the "e") still has not answered calls to release his attendance record for the classified, closed-door committee hearings.
BROTHERS BAND TOGETHER AGAINST KERRY
John Kerry Doesn't Know His Own Mind
What does the senator believe about American troops abroad?
by William Kristol
08/19/2004 9:20:00 AM
THE PROBLEM with being an opportunist is that you can easily forget what you've recently said.
On Monday, during a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, President Bush announced that he intends to modify the configuration of American forces in both South Korea and Europe. On Wednesday, Sen. Kerry, speaking before the same audience, sharply criticized the president's decision.
Appearing on ABC's This Week on August 1, however, Sen. Kerry responded to a question by host George Stephanopoulos on Iraq. Stephanopoulos asked Kerry whether, as president, he could "promise that American troops will be home by the end of your first term?" Kerry's answer:
I will have significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops. . . . I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops, not just there but elsewhere in the world. In the Korean peninsula perhaps, in Europe perhaps. There are great possibilities open to us. But this administration has very little imagination.
Apparently, Sen. Kerry wanted to appeal to the "get-the-boys-back-home" sentiment in the country when he spoke on This Week. Yesterday, addressing a convention of veterans, Kerry was busy burnishing his credentials as a hawk by suggesting that cutting our forces in Korea "is clearly the wrong signal to send" at this time.
Who knows what Sen. Kerry believes? Does Sen. Kerry even know?
Mary Ann’s story:
Will the big media call Kerry on his lie?
SEN. JOHN Kerry visits Derry today to talk about health care. While on the subject, maybe he can explain why he is lying about a New Hampshire woman’s insurance status.
Repeatedly throughout his campaign, Kerry has held up Hudson resident Mary Ann Knowles as an example of President Bush’s failure to ensure adequate health care for all Americans (as if a President can do such a thing). Here is what he said during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last month:
“What does it mean when Mary Ann Knowles, a woman with breast cancer I met in New Hampshire, had to keep working day after day right through her chemotherapy, no matter how sick she felt, because she was terrified of losing her family’s health insurance? America can do better. And help is on the way.”
Thing is, Mary Ann Knowles did not have to work through her chemotherapy to keep her health insurance. In fact, she has great health insurance, which includes 26 weeks of paid disability leave.
Knowles chose to work through most, but not all, of her chemotherapy because her husband was out of a job. (Kerry said she had to work “every day” of her chemotherapy. His campaign chalked that lie up to “a colloquialism.”)
She and husband John did not want to take the pay cut that would have come with disability leave, so Mary Ann kept working. But that is not how Kerry tells the story. He deliberately misstates her situation, saying she would have lost her health coverage if she took a single day off.
When President Bush was given incorrect information, then innocently repeated it, the national press had a field day. In attacking the President, Michael Moore said it mattered not whether Bush knew the information was false before he repeated it; what mattered was that he uttered something that was not true. Well, here we have Kerry knowingly telling a false story in hopes of scaring people into voting for him. Where is the outrage?
We seldom hear directly from Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady Medal Of Honor recipient. Below is the guest op-ed he submitted to a veteran's newsletter in Missouri.
America has no kings or queens but we do have nobility – our nobility is called Veterans. That nobility is responsible for the bounty that is America but tragically their influence has faded in recent years and the values they died for are under attack. But this election year they are back in demand and some have said the veteran vote could decide this election. It may have put Bush in the White House. With this in mind, John Kerry is seldom seen with out his band of brothers and constantly plays the” hero” card as a cornerstone of his bid for president, indeed, as the definition of who he is. Kerry defines patriotism as “keeping faith with those who wear the uniform of this country. He also brags that he “defended this country as a young man”. If Missouri is the show me state, Veterans are the show me voters – we are not much for words, deeds are our stock in trade. Lets look at Kerry’s deeds.
Before Kerry played his “hero” card, he played the atrocity card. When Kerry came back from Vietnam he joined with Jane Fonda and in 1971 denounced “those who wear the uniform” as terrorists-like rapists and assassins who “cut off heads, taped wires … to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, shot at civilians, razed villages, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks” … and said he “committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of others”. He made these charges under oath. Kerry says today that he would have framed some of what he said in 1971 differently. But he does not say he lied, which he did, nor does he apologize. How can one properly frame the denunciations of ones comrades in arms as modern day Genghis Khans?
The very day that Kerry was calling Vietnam veterans’ war criminals the family of one of those “war criminals”, Michael Blanchfield, was posthumously receiving the Medal of Honor for Michael who had thrown himself on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades. How different from Kerry was the way this man kept faith with those who wore the uniform with him. How different from Kerry was the manner Michael defended his country.
He could have attacked the war without attacking the warrior. He could have questioned policy without supporting the communists’ claim that our soldiers were war criminals. He could have kept faith with those who wore the uniform with him. But he did not and he should be held accountable.
By every measure, the Vietnam veteran has been an exceptional citizen; but there is one disturbing statistic -- their suicide rate. In the first 5 years after discharge the rate was 1.7 times higher than non-veterans. After 5 years it was less. This may have been due to the treatment the Vietnam veteran received from the media – and the anti war movement led by Kerry -- in the early years after the war. Living with the scars of war is difficult, for some unbearable, but all veterans suffer. The Vietnam veteran suffered physically as much, perhaps more than any veteran of the past century, but no veteran has suffered the mental agony of that veteran.
What Kerry/Fonda and the media elite did to the Vietnam veteran and his family is deplorable. They opened a gash in his psyche and then rubbed salt in it. Not just the living but also those who died and their families who questioned if a loved one is a war criminal. And the POWs some who believed the Kerry/Fonda cartel extended the war, increased their torture and filled more body bags. Whether Kerry and Fonda have blood on their hands is debatable but there is no doubt they have salt on them.
Kerry’s “hero” card is based on medals he received in Vietnam and is much celebrated, and unchallenged, by the mainstream media. I know many Medal of Honor recipients who have received less publicity for their medal than Kerry has for his. But medals don’t make a hero. It is how one uses medals that make a hero. Every honest soldier knows that medals are a function of circumstance, even happenstance, but most of all the support of ones fellow warriors.
I was awarded the Medal of Honor; but my fellow soldiers who supported me in the actions and took the time to write it up earned it. I wear it for them, they own my medals. And every Medal of Honor recipient and hero I know believes as I do. Medals should be a sign of patriotism, a symbol of sacrifice, support and defense of a great nation. The highest form of patriotism is service to our youth; heroes also wear their medal for them to signal the importance of courage. Heroes do not use their medals for personal political gain. As I said they are not theirs to use.
Senator Kerry threw his medals away (or ribbons, they are symbolically the same), a political act very difficult for any veteran to understand. He must have been proud of them for he wore them even on his fatigues, in violation of all regulations. But they were not his. They belonged to those who he served. By that act he symbolically denounced his fellow veterans -- again. Does one keep faith with those who wear the uniform by throwing away their medals?
But perhaps most telling of his leadership qualities is his use of his Purple hearts to abandon his band of brothers, his command, on a technicality. Kerry may be the only person in history who took advantage of a Navy regulation that allowed him to leave his command after 4 months for 3 purple hearts none of which ever caused him to miss a day of duty. In my experience men fought to stay with their band of brothers, especially commanders. All the commanders I know would get out of a hospital bed to be with their men. Some one had to take his place; someone probably less experienced who would have to learn the ropes. That put his command more at risk than if he stayed. It is not hard to understand why those who stayed in combat for the full year are upset with Kerry.
And veterans today would be upset with Kerry’s support of Flag Burning his non-support of weapons systems and his 12 votes against military pay raises. But his use of veterans and misuse of his medals should bring into serious question his loyalty, integrity and character all of which equal leadership. He is not fit for command.
Unfit For Command
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | I stayed up late last night and read from cover to cover the book "Unfit for Command — Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry." (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) An impartial reader (if there is still such a beast in this election season) would have to conclude that either the book is a pack of lies, or John Kerry is in fact a reckless, lying man who misrepresented the facts in order to receive medals he didn't deserve, and is indeed unfit to command even a tugboat, let alone the United States military as president.
The book appears to be meticulously researched and reported. It is replete with copious footnotes, a detailed index and two appendices. Firsthand witnesses are named and quoted verbatim to support each specific, shocking charge. Each charge of false heroics is logically presented. The authors quote the official Navy citation and then present the purported eyewitness testimony that refutes the official finding. The witnesses who are summoned forth are officers and men who served simultaneously with Kerry in Coastal Division 11 and purport to be eyewitnesses to the events in question.
And yet, there is another group of men, the sailors who served directly under John Kerry on the same boat with him — his band of brothers. They have traveled around the country with Mr. Kerry and have vouched for his description of his heroic, able and selfless service to our country.
One of these groups of men are lying through their teeth. This is not a case of failed memories. In a few instances, it could be a case of honest differences of perception of events. But considering all the testimony and evidence, John Kerry is either Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. As of this moment there is about a 50-50 chance that we will elect, in the person of John Kerry, either a very fine man or a truly despicable man president of the United States.
Either group of men, if we knew nothing else, would seem to be credible, reliable witnesses. Both groups served honorably in Vietnam, gained many medals and have apparently lived respectable lives since then. Few, if any of them, have been politically active in the last 30 years.
The men making the charges are almost all of his fellow officers and the higher chain of command in Kerry's Coastal Division 11. The book points out that on John Kerry's Website he has a photo of himself and 19 fellow swift boat officers, taken while they were simultaneously serving in that unit. Of those 19 fellow officers, 11 have asked him to stop using their image with him. Of the remaining eight, two are deceased, four don't wish to be involved, and one is not a supporter of Kerry but didn't have the opportunity to sign the letter calling for the photo to be taken off the Website. Only one of the 19, Skip Barker, supports Mr. Kerry.
There has been some confusion about whether the witnesses against Kerry had an adequate view of his conduct, compared with the view of his supporters who were on his boat. The book explains that the swift boats usually moved in a pack of three or four on the same mission. They operated within yards of each other. Moreover, they all docked, bunked, ate and lived in the same camp.
If one compared their relations to an army company of men, the fellow junior officers who captained the tiny swift boats were the functional equivalent of squad leaders, each with their own handful of men under them. Squad leaders, operating on the same mission together are in excellent positions to assess the performance of their fellow squad leaders. They are covering each other's flanks. The book is filled with testimony of these men, describing what they claim they clearly saw John Kerry doing and not doing.
Of course, almost every presidential campaign has an outcropping of scandal charges. Usually it is by one or two people — a woman who claimed she met the candidate in a bar, some political opponent from a long-forgotten campaign reprieving his shopworn, uncorroborated calumny. If a book is involved in such charges, the opposing party usually finds a hack ghostwriter.
But this scandal charge is by over 200 respectable former naval officers and men. The primary author, John O'Neill, first started publicly challenging Mr. Kerry 30 years ago on the "Dick Cavett Show." The co-author, Jerome Corsi, is not a political hack, but a college friend of Mr. O'Neill, with a Ph.D. from Harvard and a distinguished writing career.
The book has the ring of sincerity to it, and the mark of careful research and writing. If they are not telling the truth, all these men have exposed themselves to financially ruinous libel actions by Mr. Kerry — who has the private resources to prosecute such actions. Even as a public figure, he might well win such an action, if this book is the pack of lies the Kerry camp says it is.
If it is not a pack of lies, the nation needs to know that, too. I would encourage some of the major voices of the non-conservative mainline media — Tim Russert, Dan Rather, Leonard Downie Jr. of the Washington Post — to do as I did. Spend an evening reading the book. If they are not struck by the damning picture it paints of John Kerry and the credibility of the presentation, forget about it. But if they judge it as I did, then let their consciences be their guide.
Silencing the swifties is an act of Dem desperation — but being done for good reason
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | In his speech accepting the Democratic nomination for vice president, Sen. John Edwards said of John Kerry, "if you have any question of what he is made of, just spend three minutes with the men who served with him then."
The Democratic National Committee is trying hard to keep you from spending a minute with most of the sailors who served with Kerry during his abbreviated tour in Vietnam, because they have unflattering things to say. The DNC is threatening to sue television stations which run a commercial produced by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
Of the 23 officers who served with Kerry, only one supports him for president. Two others are dead, and four want nothing to do with politics. The remaining 16 have declared him "Unfit for Command," the title of the book written by former Lt. John O'Neill, who took over Kerry's swift boat, PCF-94, when Kerry left Vietnam. (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)
The Swifties charge Kerry didn't deserve two of the three purple hearts he was awarded, or either of his medals for valor, the silver star and the bronze star.
According to Kerry, his first taste of combat came on his first mission, on the night of Dec. 2, 1968. He was with two sailors in a Boston whaler on a night patrol. They saw sampans, presumably crewed by Viet Cong, unloading on a peninsula. They opened fire, and the Vietnamese ran for cover. In the "engagement," Kerry suffered a scratch on his arm from a piece of metal.
Kerry's account to his biographer, Douglas Brinkley, gives the impression that he was in command of the whaler. This was not so. Lt. William Schachte, later an admiral, was the officer in charge. Shachte said the Vietnamese never fired on the boat, and the sailor who was with Schachte and Kerry said he couldn't remember any return fire.
Shachte said Kerry's scratch was self-inflicted. He had fired an M-79 grenade launcher too close to the shore. It struck a rock, and a fragment of metal ricocheted and struck Kerry Louis Letson, the doctor who treated Kerry (he put a band aid on the cut) said the metal fragment looked like a piece from an M-79 grenade.
When the next day Kerry went to his commander, Lt. Commander Grant Hibbard, and asked Hibbard to put him in for the purple heart, Hibbard threw him out of his office.
Kerry's second purple heart is uncontested. He received his third purple heart, and his bronze star, for an action on March 13, 1969. Kerry alleges he was wounded in the right buttock by the explosion of an underwater mine under an accompanying swift boat. Tom Rassman, an Army Special Forces officer, was knocked off Kerry's boat by the mine explosion. Kerry was awarded the bronze star for coming back "under heavy fire" to fish Rassman out of the water.
But sailors on the other swift boats say there was no enemy fire. "The force of the explosion disabled PCF-3, and threw several sailors, dazed, into the water. All boats, except one, closed to rescue the sailors and defend the disabled boat. That boat — Kerry's boat — fled the scene... After it was apparent there was no hostile fire, Kerry finally returned, picking up Rassman who was only a few yards away from Chenowith's boat which was also going to pick Rassman up."
Kerry's wound, moreover, had occurred not during the mine explosion, but earlier, when he tossed a concussion grenade into a pile of rice, according to Larry Thurlow, an officer who was with Kerry at the time.
Kerry's account of the action in which he received his silver star is at variance with the accounts of others who were there. Capt. George Elliott, who wrote up Kerry for the medal (based on Kerry's account of the incident) said that if he knew then what he knows now, he never would have done so. Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe wrote a story saying Elliott had recanted this accusation, but Elliott said Kranish badly misquoted him. He sticks by what he said in the ad.
Kranish's twisting of Elliott's words is a harbinger of things to come from a Kerry friendly media. This story will get much less attention than it deserves, because the Swifties have assembled too strong a case to be refuted. It can only ignored, or misrepresented.
'Unfit For Command' - - Unfit For Discussion?
David Limbaugh (archive)
August 10, 2004 | Print | Send
I can appreciate why people are turned off by dirty politics, by which I mean the unsubstantiated mudslinging against candidates designed to mislead and smear rather than inform. But I lament the level of cynicism to which we've descended that makes us turn a deaf ear to negativity that may well be true and relevant.
I'm referring primarily to the public uproar surrounding the new book "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John F. Kerry," in which a group of swift boat officers who served alongside John Kerry in Vietnam tell a devastating story that, if true, annihilates Kerry's image as a war hero.
Part of me -- the cautious and pragmatic part -- wishes that this would just go away. After all, this could easily backfire and make Republicans look desperate and petty.
One thing we learned from the Clinton era is that ironically, public officials can benefit -- to a point -- from the outrageousness and sheer volume of their library of scandals. The more outrageous the rumors that circulated about Clinton were, the less believable even the routine scandals became -- though I personally believe that even some of the outrageous ones were probably true (Juanita Broaddrick).
After a while, the public completely numbed to the scandals. Clinton could have been captured on videotape impersonating a police officer and beating Rodney King with a nightstick and James Carville and Hillary Clinton would have deflected it as "old news" fabricated by the vast right-wing conspiracy.
Some of the adverse reaction to these claims against Kerry arises from our culture's justifiable elevation of war heroes and the sacrosanct nature of one's honorable military -- especially wartime -- service. You just can't go there.
But think about it. What if the allegations are true? What if Kerry truly did self-inflict, lie about, or embellish his wounds and other aspects of his reputed heroism? What if he did videotape himself reenacting combat scenes, all with an eye toward his future in politics? What if he did actually participate in atrocities as he said he did? (He’s gotten a complete pass on this.) Would these things matter? Should they matter?
Sure, I would prefer that all elections be decided on the issues, after a thorough debate and adequate public deliberation. But have we become so jaded that a presidential candidate's character is no longer an issue -- even when it may directly bear on how he would perform in office?
Indignant Democrats can pretend otherwise, but they have been making President Bush's character an unceasing issue for the past four years. Indeed, his allegedly poor character is the main hook the Democrats are hanging their hats on in this campaign.
Despite the hype, the Democrats really don't have much else to go on this year, which is why they don't dare dissociate themselves from Michael Moore, the principal purveyor of the abominable "Bush lied" lie. So the Democrats don't have much standing to complain about "negative" campaigning.
Nor does Senator Kerry -- at least with respect to this issue. He is the one who "opened the door" by making his Vietnam service the centerpiece of his campaign. If his honorable service is relevant, so is the possibility of his dishonorable service.
This shouldn't be about "fairness" anyway, but about informing the public. If the stunning allegations in "Unfit for Command" are true, they paint a picture of a man who simply cannot be trusted to be president, much less a wartime president. So what we ought to be focused on is whether they are true.
Concerning the veracity of the charges, consider that the "Swiftees" are not GOP mouthpieces -- some are Democrats. They approached Regnery Publishing with their book proposal, not the other way around. Their account is based on their firsthand knowledge -- not hearsay -- and would be admissible in any court proceeding involving these issues.
The Swiftees didn't wait until the last minute in the campaign to raise these charges, as did those who attempted to impugn George W. Bush in 2000 the very weekend before election day. They have allowed Kerry ample time to attempt to rebut their indictment. Just release your medical records, Senator Kerry.
The Swiftees' brief against John Kerry, if true, is the opposite of dirty campaigning, because we cannot overstate its relevance to his fitness for commander in chief.
Conversely, if you want to witness a seminar in dirty campaigning, just watch as the DNC goes into action trying to suppress the story and smear those who repeat it -- anything but an airing of the merits of the charges. It's going to be ugly.
Castro Backs Kerry
Totalitarian communist dictator Fidel Castro has done an excellent job of spreading pro-Kerry propaganda in his tropical gulag. Or maybe he has just terrorized his 11 million prisoners into parroting the party line (communist and Democrat, if there's a difference) when speaking to U.S. media types.
As we have previously reported, the regime has shown stolen (snicker!) copies of the Bush-hating fantasy film "Fahrenheit 9/11" in cinemas for weeks and broadcast it on dictatorship-run TV the night of Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democrat convention.
Kerry is Havana's choice because ol' President Bush isn't soft on communism, a Los Angeles Times reporter who visited the island police state reported today.
"We know President Bush will continue to abuse us, but the other one says he will let Americans travel here," the Times quoted waitress Mayda Garcia as saying.
"The other one"? We know he's dull, but still that's mighty poor name recognition after months of pro-Kerry propaganda in the American and Cuban media.
"We hope you will be free after the election," Gray Davis' favorite paper quoted one Lisbet Rivero as saying. "We want to see millions of Americans coming here."
Really? On makeshift rafts, Lisbet?
Left Tries to Censor Veterans: Free Speech Is for Bush Haters Only
Democrats screamed for campaign finance "reform" but then immediately torpedoed it by launching multimillion-dollar Bush-hating 527 groups financed by the likes of George Soros. But now they're trying to censor anti-Kerry groups.
Three self-appointed watchdog groups filed a complaint today accusing Swift Boat Veterans for Truth of violating the campaign finance law that pro-Democrat groups are allowed to violate.
Democracy 21, Campaign Legal Center and Center for Responsive Politics claim that the veterans' $500,000 ad, running in Wisconsin, Ohio and West Virginia, violates the ban on unlimited "soft money."
"We think this is open and shut, that the only purpose of this group is to influence the presidential election," said Fred Wertheimer, head of Democracy 21. Apparently he doesn't mind that the only purpose of the Bush-hating fat cats' countless ads is to influence the presidential election.
Mike Russell, a spokesman for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, put the critics in their place. The ad is legal because it does not tell viewers which candidate to vote for, he noted.
"The ads are meant to tell the truth about John Kerry's service record so people can make their own decisions," he said.
The Associated Press reported, "The veterans group said it has at least 5,000 new contributors and has raised more than $230,000 since the ad started running last week."
'Hanoi John' Gets Unwelcome Reception From Veterans
By Robert B. Bluey
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
July 29, 2004
Boston (CNSNews.com) - Hours after Sen. John Kerry sailed into this city with his Vietnam swift boat crewmates Wednesday, about a hundred other veterans gathered near the Democratic National Convention site to protest the anti-war positions of Kerry's past.
"He's a phony and he's a traitor," said Vietnam veteran Rich Burke, 66, of Boston. "He returned from Vietnam and testified in Congress that the military were baby killers and war criminals. He abandoned and left all of his comrades to put up with that sort of statement. He's no good."
The veterans gathered near Kerry's Boston office at 1 Bowdoin St. around 6 p.m. and marched toward the FleetCenter, where the convention is taking place. Vietnam veterans were joined by Korean veterans and Vietnamese-Americans, many of them from Boston and its suburbs.
The protest was designed to counter Kerry's use of Vietnam, including his war medals, as a campaign issue. Even before Kerry's arrival in Boston with 13 veterans Wednesday, the Democrat had routinely enlisted some of his former comrades to boost his presidential campaign.
"They're in the minority," said Korean War veteran Richard Creccr, 70, of Brighton, Mass. "These are the veterans right here. We're the ones who count. We'll be the ones voting. Let's hope he doesn't make it, but in this country, you never know."
But one prominent veteran, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a one-time Democrat presidential candidate, dismissed the veterans' effort.
"What [Kerry] did was straightforward and courageous," Clark told CNSNews.com. "He received the appropriate recommendations and awards for it. That's the way it should be."
Kerry's repeated mention of Vietnam in his presidential bid has irked some veterans because of the anti-war positions he took once he returned from his four-month tour of duty. Kerry became an influential leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, aligning himself with activist Jane Fonda. One sign on Wednesday compared "Hanoi Jane" to "Hanoi John."
The future U.S. senator also testified before Congress about alleged atrocities that American soldiers had committed in Vietnam. Those memories still linger for some veterans.
"Because of people like Kerry and Fonda, Vietnam vets had to hide under a rock for 15 years," said Reg Cornelia, 60, East Hampton, N.Y. "He came back and he lied about the atrocities, and worse still, he brought guys to testify before Congress who he knew had never served in Vietnam."
Kerry turned on U.S. soldiers as a matter of "political expediency," Cornelia said. He wondered why the news media hadn't pushed Kerry on that subject.
"Mark my words," Burke added. "See how much national news coverage this protest gets. These guys are all veterans, they know his record, and they're all against him. Yet the mainstream media will probably ignore this rally so it becomes a non-event."
Some veterans said they've tracked Kerry's career. Vietnam veteran James Booth, 58, of South China, Maine, said coming out to oppose the Democrat on the eve of his prime-time speech was the right thing to do.
"We know he's a phony," Booth said. "You don't get two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star in 21 days. You don't do it, no way. I was at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] for 18 months. I got one Purple Heart. I lost an eye, part of my jaw and got hit in the arm. This guy's got three scratches and he's making a big deal out of it. It doesn't seem right."
Dems Plan Assault on Vets
There is good news and bad news. The good news is that there is a new anti-Kerry website. You can see it at wintersoldier.com. In an ongoing poll they are conducting, now up to 7786 veterans, to the question "Should a man who falsely accused American troops of atrocities serve as Commander-in-Chief ?", 98% have responded with a loud NO. This fits with the same response percentage found by "The Wall Street Journal" to an article by a Vietnam vet attacking Kerry. Also with an article just out by a San Diego editor saying the ratio in his veteran community is running 100 to 1 against Kerry. The bad news is that the national TV news, of course, is not mentioning any of this. They are campaigning for Kerry in another betrayal like the Tet Offensive type cover-up. And while attacking the Mel Gibson movie for anti-Semitism, they are not mentioning how left-liberal faculty are threatening chaos on campus by creating a tidal wave of anti-Semitism, standing by, as they did at San Francisco State Univ.,while Muslim students physically attack Jewish students. They are also not questioning the sugary nonsense that faculty is using to hide from students the truth about the lethal danger built into Islam. There is even more scary news in another poll. This one reports, on the question of what is most important in their vote for a president, 29% - economy, 16% - health care, 6%- terrorism. The media and our professors are disarming the nation.
The new book Unfit for Command will be released on August 10. Swift veteran John O'Neill presents eyewitness accounts from Kerry's fellow Swift sailors that demolish his tales of combat heroism, while Dr. Jerry Corsi draws on the WinterSoldier.com research and other new material to expose Kerry's radical activities in the VVAW.
John Kerry's photograph hangs in the War Protestors Hall of the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City -- an indication of the value the Vietnamese communists place on Kerry's support of their efforts during the Vietnam War.
Kerry Museum Photo Documented for the latest information on the Kerry war museum story.
to get your FREE copy.
In the midst of an unpopular and bloody war, our soldiers have often become samaritans, engaged in those small, selfless acts of mercy that never seem to make the headlines unlike John Kerry's description of us. This also pre dates his lie soaked Winter Soldier Hearings. This is the troops that served in vietnam, despite the Ilk of John Kerry statements to the otherwise of calling us Baby Killers.....Shame On You John Kerry.
Beyond the Call of Duty in Vietnam
BY KENNETH Y. TOMLINSON
BRAVING heavy communist gunfire one muggy afternoon in April 1969, helicopter pilot Lt. Robert Vinson picked up eight seriously wounded men deep in the treacherous Ashau Valley of Vietnam, and flew them to the base hospital. It was the end of three grueling days of combat and resupply missions for this 23-year-old from Belmont, Mass. In that time, he had seen four of his squadron's helicopters shot down and three pilots killed.
But, weary as he was, Vinson had still another mission he wanted to fly. Right after debriefing, he took a chopper 20 miles north to a village nestled among the rice paddies of the Huongdien Peninsula, just below the Demilitarized Zone. He trudged through a muddy field to a half-finished school. Surveying the work, he said to a Vietnamese builder, “We're going to need more cement, I'll have some here in a few days.”
In the last year, even while fighting communism, Vinson has been engaged in a personal war of his own - against sickness and ignorance in rural Vietnam. When he first visited the isolated Huongdien Peninsula in early 1969, three poorly equipped medical dispensaries served 34,000 people. There were only nine schools, each riddled with bullet holes, and the sole, two-room high school had to hold classes in three shifts. “This is intolerable,” he said.” “These people must be helped.”
Wherever he went thereafter, Vinson was on the lookout for surplus material. Flying a colonel to a briefing in Danang one day, he saw a large stack of two-by-fours piled next to the landing pad. “That lumber could help put 50 kids in a school,” he told a supply sergeant. The colonel was flown back to camp with lumber crammed in with him. Vinson scrounged bags of rain-damaged cement, tin and lumber from ammunition boxes. Other helicopter crewmen joined in to help, and every effort they made was matched by the people of Huongdien. After Vinson's 158th Aviation Battalion donated $1000 for an addition to the high school, the South Vietnamese district chief searched for funds for a the second building. What has it all meant to Huongdien? Five dispensaries have been constructed and stocked with medical supplies. Six new schools have been built, while the nine others have been repaired. The high school now has eight rooms - and a library. The day before Vinson left Vietnam last January, village and hamlet chiefs honored him in a simple ceremony. The district chief said, “We can never thank you enough.”
Quality of Mercy. All over South Vietnam our soldiers are engaged in similar humanitarian missions. An artilleryman from New Jersey spends a free afternoon stacking sandbags at an orphanage outside Pleiku so the children will be protected from communist mortar tacks. An Army engineer from California distributes toys he bought in Hong Kong to the Longbinh orphans his unit adopted. A Marine rifleman from Texas, on his way in from an all-night patrol near Danang, stops to treat huge sores on the back of an old Vietnamese man. The list of individual acts of mercy is unending. In fact, as one senior military officer told me, “My hardest task is keeping track of the incurable humanitarianism of our troops.”
Last year U.S. Army volunteers helped construct 1253 schools and 597 hospitals and dispensaries, contributing $300,000 from their own pockets. Personnel of the Third Marine Amphibious Force helped build 268 classrooms, 75 dispensaries and hospitals, and 78 churches, temples and pagodas. The $40,000 contributed by Marines to a scholarship fund ensured an education for 935 children. Air Force men gave personal and financial assistance to 1218 schools, medical facilities and orphanages. Air Force doctors, dentists and medics treated 390,000Vietnamese in volunteer programs. One shining example is the 120-bed Hoakhanh children's hospital, dedicated early in 1969, and one of the most modern of its kind in the Far East. Financed with money raised by combat Marines, it is an outgrowth of smaller, crowded hospitals and roadside dispensaries, where Marines and Navy corpsmen had volunteered their help to sick and injured children. There are two operating rooms, isolation facilities and a maternity ward equipped with incubators; 25 Vietnamese nurses are being trained to work in the new facilities. Last year, 16,000 children were treated at the hospital, many of whom would otherwise have died.
As I walked through the main ward earlier this year I saw a wiry boy of 11 playing games with a group of visiting Marines. Seven months before, he had been caught in a fire and brought in with burns over 75 percent of his body. He told my interpreter: “All, my life I will never forget this place and these healing people. Some way I will repay them.”
Meet some of the countless other “healing people” involved in helping the South Vietnamese:
The “new parents" of the Americal Division. When Capt. Charles Adams, a 27 year-old Protestant chaplain from Springfield, Mo., visited Binhson Catholic Orphanage in Quangngai Province in May 1969, 60 children were subsisting on one or two bowls of rice a day and sleeping on the floors of a school. The chaplain told a group of men in the Americal Division's Fifth Battalion, 46th Infantry, about the situation, and they eagerly agreed to help. “Don't worry, chaplain,” said one veteran sergeant. “Those kids have just got themselves some new parents.”
Combat troops began sacking food from captured enemy caches--sometimes as much as 500 pounds a week - and shipping it back on returning helicopters. Mess sergeants at battalion headquarters set aside surplus food. Soldiers found 40 Army cots in a salvage dump, repaired them, and for the first time the orphans slept in beds. On payday, troops in the field passed cups for contributions. Ten percent of poker winnings was earmarked for the Binhson orphans. By the end of the year an eight-room, cinder-block structure had been built to house them.
The battalion's 800 men continue to give $400 a month. They want the orphanage - just one of the 350 helped by our servicemen - to be self-sufficient by the time our troops leave Vietnam. The first small step toward this goal: 15 pigs and 22 ducks purchased for Binhson.
Servicemen who become friends of outcasts. Air Force pilots visiting a relocated (because of Vietcong harassment) leper colony on the shores of Danang Bay last year were shocked by what they saw. Some 240 lepers and their children were living in primitive huts and tents. Masses of flies swarmed around helpless lepers in a makeshift hospital. “I'm coming back to help these people,” said Lt. William Kruger, 25, an Air Force Academy graduate. His companions felt the same way.
Soon there were more weekend volunteers - Air Force, Army and Marines - than could be transported to the isolated beach, which was without a dock. Improvised building materials - lumber, sheet metal - were thrown overboard 50 yards from shore and guided in by GIs standing shoulder-deep in water. By the time monsoon rains began last fall, the men had 40 houses built for the lepers.
Quartermaster First Class Sam Lopiccolo - village builder. Soon after the U.S. Navy moved into the lower Camau Peninsula, a long-time communist stronghold, a group of refugees wanted to settle nearby for protection. Lopiccolo, 27, of Waterloo, N.Y., salvaged material to help them build a village. In three weeks 500 families had settled along the once-barren banks of the Cualon River.
All this did not go unnoticed by the Vietcong: a dozen villagers were soon kidnapped, while two others were shot when they refused to pay VC tax collectors. Booby traps were set around the perimeter of the village, and the Vietcong put a price on Sam Lopiccolo's head. Undiscouraged, he and the villagers began constructing a school. After guerrillas slipped into the village early one morning and blew up the partially completed structure, Lopiccolo and the people doggedly rebuilt it.
Sam Lopiccolo now is helping the people of a newer village downstream build a school for their children. He has twice extended his tours of duty in Vietnam and is now in his third year. “This job can't be done in one year or two,” he explains. “That's why I stay.”
Chief Warrant Officer George Railey - orphanage counselor. Working night after night while finishing his third tour in Vietnam, this Special Forces veteran built a merry-go-round for the children of an orphanage near Pleiku. (The carrousel turns on the discarded axle of a 2 1/2-ton truck. The horses are made from salvage metal. Its centerpiece is a gaily-painted gasoline tank.) During the dry season the orphanage's sole source of water was a 1200-gallon tank truck Railey drove. He used a chain saw to cut firewood for cooking during his lunch hour. Each day he picked up three teen-age orphans and took them to his shop, where he and his men trained them to be mechanics.
Railey methodically visited eight remote Montagnard villages twice each month, distributing gifts and surplus food to the often-hungry hill tribesmen of the Central Highlands. When I traveled to these villages with Railey last January, he was awaiting confirmation of a fourth year's extension of duty in Vietnam. He told me he had found new meaning in life, working with the suffering victims of war. That work tragically ended three months later. He was killed in an accident while taking presents to Montagnard refugees at Letrung.
Sgt. Richard Pellerin - medic to the Montagnards. Pellerin, 27, who joined the Army after dropping out of the University of Michigan Medical School, is one of two medics who alternate duties at Pleidjereng, one of many Special Forces camps located at strategic hot spots along the Cambodian border. One medic is always out on patrol. The other operates the camp dispensary and goes down to the primitive Montagnard village of Pleidoch three times a week to help the sick.
I watched Pellerin treat a young woman, badly burned when she had rolled into a fire a few nights before; her leprosy-deadened senses had not alerted her to the pain. A small boy waited to lead us to his sick father. Seeing the child lifted the spirit of the intense young medic. “When I got here, nearly every kid in this village had trachoma, an eye infection,” Pellerin said. “Now we would have to go looking for a case to treat.”
Sgt. 1st Class Lonnie Johnson-jack-of-all-help. When the 36-year-old Green Beret learned that a mother in the remote mountain village of Dongbathin was having difficulty in childbirth, he made his way to her home, carried her to a truck and raced to Camranh, where a Navy doctor successfully delivered the baby. After a Vietcong rocket killed eight Nhatrang civilians last September, Johnson found tin and wood to build the survivors a new home. Last Christmas he gave 1500 orphans toothpaste, soap, candy and nuts collected from fellow servicemen.
As Johnson and I sat on our bunks at a Special Forces camp at Pleiku, I asked him why he has done so much for the Vietnamese. “I was raised by my grandparents, who were sharecroppers on a farm in Alabama,” he said. “We were very poor. I got one pair of overalls to last a year. My shirts were made from fertilizer sacks. When I got to Vietnam and saw these people and their children, I remembered what it was like. I made up my mind I was going to do everything I could for them.”
Everywhere I traveled in Vietnam, I saw men like these. Yet their amazing humanitarian accomplishments are nearly always overlooked amid daily battle reports and domestic conflict over the war itself.
“The number of our GIs who devote their free time, energy and money to aid the Vietnamese would surprise you,” declared Bob Hope at the end of his latest Christmas tour of U.S. bases there. “But maybe it wouldn't,” he added. “I guess you know what kind of guys your sons and brothers and the kids next door are.”
Tomlinson, Kenneth Y., Reader's Digest, June 1970, pg 97-102.
How Kerry harmed Vietnam vets
By Uwe Siemon-Netto
UPI Religion Editor
Washington, DC, (UPI) -- Don Bendell of Canon City, Colo., who fought as a Special Forces officer in Vietnam, summed up what many veterans say when they talk about Sen. John Kerry:
"The old hurts are surfacing, and the feelings of betrayal by fellow citizens ... are breaking my heart again. ... How did we who served in Vietnam suddenly become cold-blooded killers, torturers and rapists of the ilk of the Nazi SS or the Taliban?"
What Bendell expressed used to be called the "baby-killer syndrome" two or three decades ago. It was -- and is -- a condition I observed first hand when working with these former soldiers as a chaplain intern in a Veterans Administration Medical Center in Minnesota.
This condition, a sense of dereliction that led to many suicides, was caused by reckless claims that American warriors committed unspeakable atrocities in Indochina, charges like this one:
"They (U.S. military men) 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, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside in Vietnam."
John Kerry, now a U.S. senator and presumptive presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, said this in a testimony before Congress in 1971.
Kerry, a Navy lieutenant junior grade, had served for four months in the Riverine Force, a unit whose boats patrolled the waterways in the jungles of South Vietnam.
I covered this war over a period of five years as a correspondent for German newspapers. I accompanied all kinds of units, including the Riverine Force. I was with them in heavy combat and on seemingly futile patrols lasting many days. And I have had endless frank talks with the troops over meals of C-rations in the field or drinks on some God-forsaken base.
Never in all these years have I witnessed atrocities such as the ones related by Kerry, nor have I heard a soldier describe such actions to me.
I observed one single genuine war crime -- a sergeant shooting to death a blindfolded Viet Cong; he was duly court-martialed for it. And I covered the trial of Lt. William L. Calley, whose platoon massacred 567 unarmed civilians in the central Vietnamese village of My Lai.
Like other foreign correspondents, I frequently came across evidences of acts of terror committed by Viet Cong partisans against fellow Vietnamese who happened to support the Saigon government.
At one point, I accompanied a South Vietnamese battalion entering a village that had been "visited" by the VC the night before. There, dangling from trees were the village chief, his wife and their 12 children, all disemboweled and then hanged before the eyes of the assembled residents.
This was not an aberration, such as the misbehavior of Calley's men. Rather, it was part of Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap's three-phase strategy for guerrilla warfare. Giap was North Vietnam's defense minister.
Phase II of his plan involved terror tactics such as the one whose results I observed in that village. By being forced to watch the slaughter of their mayor and his family, the villagers were to be dissuaded from supporting Saigon any further.
The antiwar movement, which I also covered, liberally used rhetoric cooked by the Soviet KGB, as Ion Mihai Pacepa, the former acting chief of Romania's espionage service, recently revealed in a National Review Online article.
The human wrecks in three pastoral care and therapy groups I directed together with V.A. psychologists in Minnesota were living testimony to the unspeakable suffering these lies caused.
Virtually all of these veterans had been called "baby-killers" in their face within 24 hours of their return from the war.
Some told us that when they entered their hometown churches with their then-unfashionable crew cuts or perhaps still in uniform, the pastor told them from the pulpit not to come back -- at least not in this attire.
Families, girlfriends and neighbors turned against these young men, mostly draftees. Marriages collapsed, engagements were broken -- all because of the general perception that America's soldiers were war criminals.
From my research in the 1980s, including interviews with VA psychiatrists, I know that many suicides and other less than natural deaths were linked to the vets' experience of "spiritual darkness," as William P. Mahedy, a former army chaplain in Vietnam, called this. This darkness has two dimensions: the rejection by the vets' fellow citizens, and the false perception that God has turned his back on them.
For decades after the Vietnam War, thousands of veterans have lived in self-imposed isolation in the woods of northern Minnesota, Washington or Oregon states, surrounded by concertina wire. One former Marine in my groups spent even the winters in a truck hundreds of miles from the nearest human settlement.
There are of course also memories of combat only the war is responsible for. One ex-Marine I counseled once shot an 8-year-old Vietnamese boy who was about to lob a hand grenade against a truck carrying the young American's platoon to combat.
Years later, he saw the dying child's face in his dreams night after night. And when the ex-Marine became a father of twin boys, and they reached the age of 8, it was their contorted faces he saw in his nightmares every day.
That wasn't Kerry's fault, or Jane Fonda's, or any antiwar protester's for that matter. That's what happens when you have spent a lot of time in combat and experience what Mahedy called "an overpowering awareness of the context of human sin."
But the suffering of the Vietnam vets is of a different nature because they are the only returning soldiers in modern history to have been discarded by a major segment of their own people.
As Don Bendell wrote to Kerry in an open letter over the Internet, "My children and grandchildren could read your words, and think those horrendous things about me. ... You have dishonored me and all my fellow Vietnam veterans."
Recently Kerry pleaded with interviewers not to hold his 1971 testimony against him because it was spoken when he was only 27.
But 27-year-old men are considered mature. They are of drinking age. Many of those spitefully called baby killers were not. They were 19 or 20 then -- and they simply couldn't understand.
They still can't. Go down to the black memorial wall in Washington, where some of them congregate every day. You'll spot them easily by the defiant look on their faces and the curious gear -- half military, half civilian -- on their mutilated bodies.
They'll tell you as Don Bendell told John Kerry over the Internet: They still hurt, they feel betrayed, especially now as all this is being stirred up again.
No-Show Senator Kerry Takes Home Full Senate Paycheck
Jonathan M. Stein
Friday, June 18, 2004
John Kerry, the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for President of the United States, has been taking advantage of American taxpayers – and he should be ashamed of himself.
Title 2, Section 39, of the United States Code clearly states that “[t]he Secretary of the Senate ... shall deduct from the [salary] of each Member ... the amount of his salary for each day that he has been absent from the Senate ... unless such Member ... assigns as the reason for such absence the sickness of himself or of some member of his family."
The plain and unambiguous meaning of this statute is that a Senator who misses work doesn’t get paid – just like ordinary Americans. Unfortunately, the Secretary of the Senate, Ms. Emily Reynolds, has improperly, and inappropriately, declined to carry out her statutory duty – i.e. to dock the pay of Senators who miss work. When pressed, Ms. Reynolds explained, in a response to a letter by David Keene of the Carmen Group, that since her predecessors in the position failed to carry out the law, she won’t either. This reasoning is absurd – and unlawful.
An officer of the Senate is bound by the law as it applies to that officer. When the law states that an officer of the Senate “shall” do something, that officer is bound to carry out the mandate of the law. If individuals were free to ignore the law as they pleased, our society would fall apart. The Secretary of the Senate is no exception – she is not above the law. Her failure to carry out the mandate of Title 2, Section 39 is a clear violation of federal law. However, ultimate culpability does not end with Ms. Reynolds.
Ignorance of the law, in American society, is never a valid defense to the commission of an unlawful act – thus, all Americans are charged with knowledge of the law. Lawyers, who are, ideally, learned in the law, should be held to a higher standard; though it sounds like an oxymoron, they are indeed held to a standard of lawyers’ ethics.
A United States Senator, charged with promulgating the law, and especially a Senator who is a lawyer, thus, must be held to the highest standard of legal and ethical conduct. John Kerry is both a Senator and a lawyer. As such, Senator Kerry is charged with knowledge of the law and must be held to the highest standard of legal and ethical conduct. In this respect, Kerry is a “miserable failure.”
John Kerry is charged with knowing that the Secretary of the Senate is to dock his pay when he fails to show up for work – and that there is no exception in the law for campaign activities. Thus, any payment made to a Senator in violation of Title 2, Section 39 is an illegal payment of funds from the U.S. Treasury and, legally speaking, theft of taxpayer money – John Kerry is presumed to know that these payments are illegal. Therefore, by knowingly accepting these illegal payments, Senator Kerry himself is breaking the law.
While, of course, this rationale applies to all Senators, John Kerry warrants special condemnation: Senator Kerry is running for President and he has the most dismal attendance record in the Senate; Kerry has been absent, without valid excuse, 87 percent of the time this session! Ergo, John Kerry is the most flagrant offender – and “everyone is doing it” is not a reasonable excuse. Further, an ordinary American who is absent from their job 87 percent of the time wouldn’t merely be docked pay – that person would be fired!
In the interest of restoring the rule of law, I have personally filed a formal ethics complaint against both Senator Kerry and the Secretary of the Senate with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, which has jurisdiction over this matter. It is quite sad that it takes the efforts of a mere law student to force a candidate for the Presidency to obey the law that, if successful, he will be sworn to uphold himself.
This matter draws yet another bright line between Senator Kerry and President Bush. When then-Governor Bush ran for President, he declined to accept his salary, as Governor, when he needed to campaign full time – even though Texas law did not require him to do so. On the other hand, though Unites States law requires Kerry not to accept his salary when he campaigns full time and cannot be present in the Senate, Kerry has opted to accept his salary illegally.
Jonathan Stein is on staff at the Hofstra Law Review and has been published in the Washington Times, Brown Daily Herald, NewsMax.com and The Committee for Justice.
John Kerry On Israel: Second To Several
By Rick Richman
Someone who read an abbreviated version of "Kerry, Carter and Israel" (myfront-page essay in the May 5 issue of The Jewish Press) wrote that he was unconcerned about Kerry, because his pro-Israel voting record was "second to none,"he had "fought" the attempt by the first President Bush in the early 1990`s to cut loan guarantees to Israel, and he had endorsed Israel`s recent actions against the leaders of Hamas.
I was intrigued by the suggestion that Kerry`s pro-Israel record was "secondto none," so I looked it up.
The Jewish Virtual Library lists Kerry`s vote on 60 Senate bills, resolutions and other matters: "Legislative Record of Senator John Kerry on Issues of Concern
to the Pro-Israel Community" (www.us-israel.org/jsource/US-Israel/kerryrecord.html).
I disregarded the 17 measures that passed with 90 or more votes (out of a possible 100), on grounds that these were not exactly profile-in-courage moments.
(That includes Kerry`s "fight" for loan guarantees to Israel, which consisted of his joining 98 other senators in 1992 in voting for Sen. Lautenberg`s resolution of
Then I discounted the 18 measures that garnered between 82 and 89 votes.You don`t get a "second to none" rating by simply hanging around with the 80-plus
I decided the best indicator of the depth of Kerry`s support would be the instances where the pro-Israel position got 60 votes or less -- by definition the most
controversial situations, the ones where Kerry`s vote mattered most.
There were 10 of those votes in the JVL list, and Kerry`s record there was . . .envelope please . . . six pro-Israel votes out of 10. So in the close-call category,
Kerry was basically a 60-40 guy.
The JVL list notes that, in connection with the FY 2000 Foreign Aid Conference Report, Kerry opposed the pro-Israel position. In 2000, he failed to join
60 co-sponsors of the "Middle East Peace Process Support Act" — a bill calling on the president not to recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state. He also failed
to co-sponsor the pro-Israel "Peace Through Negotiations Act," which attracted 60 co-sponsors.
In 1993, Kerry failed to join 55 senators signing the Grassley/Lautenberg letter to the State Department, which demanded that it include Hamas in its annual
report on terrorism.
Earlier this year, after the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin,Kerry exasperated even the Forward -- the paper that, two weeks before the New
York primary, had dutifully reported to the Jewish community Kerry`s assertion that the reason he had named Jimmy Carter as his prospective Middle East envoy was a
The Forward repeatedly sought Kerry`s reaction to the assassination, but could not get a response. On March 30, 2004, it reported that “John Kerry`s campaign last week used the excuse that the senator was on vacation in Idaho to dodge repeated requests from the Forward for a statement from him on Israel`s assassination of Hamas head Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. It is still dodging the matter.”
On April 18, 2004 -- nearly one month after the Yassin assassination -- Kerry appeared on "Meet the Press" and was asked directly about his position:
MR. RUSSERT: Israel assassinated Hamas leader Rantisi. Do you support that assassination?
SEN. KERRY: I believe Israel has every right in the world to respond to any act of terror against it. Hamas is a terrorist, brutal organization. It has had years to
make up its mind to take part in a peaceful process. They refuse to. Arafat refuses to. And I support Israel`s efforts to try to separate itself and to try to be secure. The
moment Hamas says, “We`ve given up violence, we`re prepared to negotiate,” I am absolutely confident they will find an Israel that is thirsty to have that negotiation.
Notice that he did not answer the question. (If you think he did, re-read the answer and then take this short quiz: Would John Kerry (a) support or (b) oppose an
Israeli assassination of Yasir Arafat?). And Kerry`s suggestion that Hamas need only say it has "given up" violence and is "prepared to negotiate" seems on a par with his
statement that Israel should simply pick up where things left off at Taba and negotiate.
When you combine all this with Kerry`s untrue "staff mistake" statement to the Jewish community in February, his castigation in December of President Bush`s policy on the "peace process" as part of a foreign policy gone "radically wrong" --followed less than three months later by his announcement of "complete" support of
President Bush in that area -- there is legitimate cause for concern about Kerry`s steadfastness in this area. Senate votes are easy. A consistent, candid position seems
to be a little harder.
In any event, it is not a "second to none" record -- although Kerry is campaigning as if it were. In mid-April, campaigning in Florida, Kerry assured his audience, according to the Washington Post, that his record on Israel was perfect:
“For 20 years, Joe [Lieberman] will tell you, I have a 100 percent record -- not a 99, a 100 percent record -- of sustaining the special relationship, the friendship that we have with Israel.”
His actual record is more nuanced.
A Shameful Past
by Laura Bartholomew Armstrong
The Vietnamization of the 2004 presidential campaign has unfortunately begun, thanks to the likely Democratic nominee. But John Kerry's service--Vietnam, in case you haven't heard--doesn't exist in a vacuum. His 19-year Senate record is at long odds with that short naval career, just as his vote to send troops to liberate Iraq is at odds with his later vote not to fund the mission. His supporters ask us to note his heroism in combat. We have, ad nauseam. But more important, and the thing he doesn't want discussed, is the well-documented though less well-known hypocrisy of those who use his service to further their antimilitary agenda.
I'm the daughter of Lt. Col. Roger J. "Black Bart" Bartholomew, a First Air Cavalry rocket artillery helicopter pilot who was killed in Vietnam on Thanksgiving Day 1968, when I was eight years old. I'm a former journalist with a military newspaper, a U.S. Marine widow, and I am appalled at Mr. Kerry's latest assertions that our president "has reopened the wounds of Vietnam." For months, I've heard President Bush talking about the present, while Mr. Kerry and the media want to focus on the past. I think we need to see the whole picture.
Liberal critics of American foreign policy have claimed they "support the troops"--but they're obviously hoping we have short memories. Many of us will never forget the hundreds of lawyers they dispatched to Florida in 2000 to make sure military absentee ballots did not get counted (some sources say that two out of three military voices in Florida were never heard). That was after the Clinton administration initiated rules making it more difficult to vote on overseas military bases.
Mr. Kerry and his party overwhelmingly oppose Pentagon funding and equipment, and make life miserable for our services on Capitol Hill. The liberals who sneered at the concept of duct tape keeping us safe last year are the same congressmen who find it acceptable when our brave and resourceful Marines must use it to hold together 40-year-old helicopters in combat. My brother Jay, a CH-46 pilot, used it during the first Gulf War, and our guys are still flying those same helicopters a decade later.
Mr. Kerry has tried to distance himself from some anti-war activists and surround himself with veterans, yet his anti-military voting record speaks much louder and resonates with those of us who are affected by the results.
Kerry supporters are the ones who would applaud my high school social studies teacher, a draft dodger who in 1976 banished me to the library for the duration of our Vietnam unit because I questioned his one-sided presentation of our troops as baby killers. Dare I say, these are the same people who spat on our guys back in the 1960s and disdained them in the '70s.
These were the people who in 1992 mocked Ross Perot's running mate, Adm. James Stockdale, a true hero and former prisoner of war, after his hearing aid (legacy of Viet Cong torture masters) gave him trouble during a televised debate. They downplayed Bob Dole's military service in 1996. And these are the same people who just last year yelled antimilitary slurs at dependents driving vehicles with Defense Department stickers--even picked on military kids about what their daddies did for a living. These are the Americans who love to enjoy the liberties of our land, yet have little understanding about those who actually risk their lives to ensure they exist. Until, of course, their candidate can claim that service on his résumé, and then they know all about us.
As the kid of a real war hero who did not come back, I'd like to comment not on Kerry's service, but his postservice activities. Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Mr. Kerry's organization of choice when he returned from his shortened tour of duty in Vietnam (and his springboard to fame), was known to me even as a child. The organization, while providing a place for angst-ridden vets to land after coming home, had an awful effect on those of us who lost our fathers.
It was bad enough to hear our dads criticized by those who hated the military, but to hear vets allege rampant war crimes and call their fellow soldiers evil before all the world really twisted the knife. Mr. Kerry led the way, proud in the company of Jane Fonda and others we believed had caused the deaths of good men. This group's testimony tarnished honorable actions. After taking the oath to preserve and protect, they grandstanded, throwing service awards in a show of defiance that diminished each sacrifice. Their stories dominated while the stories of thousands of honorable vets went untold. I don't hold it against them after so many years, but I'm dead sure I don't want their darling Kerry, the man who voted against funding our guys in Operation Iraqi Freedom, to be our next commander in chief.
In 2004, nothing is more important than continuing to protect America and fight terrorism. President Bush has led, not perfectly but earnestly. He has put much on the line to do what he believes is right. And he needs our continued support in the months to come.
Ms. Armstrong is a freelance writer in Atlanta and mother of two.
John Kerry Wants Taxpayers to Fund Research That Destroys Lives
by Steven Ertelt
June 13, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Continuing to violate the pro-life legacy of Ronald Reagan that millions celebrated last week, likely Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry cited the death of the former president in challenging President Bush to lift restrictions on taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.
Saying that it could lead to cures for patients suffering from Alzheimer's as Reagan did, Kerry said researchers can only find a cure "if only they are allowed to look."
Ethical questions regarding the research, which destroys the lives of unborn children to obtain their stem cells, can be resolved with "good will and good sense," Kerry said in a radio address.
Kerry said Nancy Reagan "told the world that Alzheimer's had taken her own husband to a distant place, and then she stood up to help find a breakthrough that someday will spare other husbands, wives, children and parents from the same kind of heartache."
However, two leading researchers on Friday, including a Johns Hopkins University scientist, said less controversial approaches are more likely to find a cure or reduce the effects of Alzheimer's in the coming years. Using embryonic stem cells may not yield progress for decades, the researchers said.
Scott Stanzel, a Bush re-election campaign spokesman, told the Associated Press that the president favors aggressive research as long as it is conducted "in ways that respect human dignity and help build the culture of life."
including through ethical stem cell research, yet we must do so in ways that respect human dignity and help build a culture of life," spokeswoman Alison Harden added.
In August 2001, President Bush signed an executive order prohibiting taxpayer funding of any new embryonic stem cell research conducted after that point. Scientists have complained because almost all embryonic stem cells were disqualified from funding.
Kerry said stem cells "have the power to slow the loss of a grandmother's memory, calm the hand of an uncle with Parkinson's, save a child from a lifetime of daily insulin shots or permanently lift a best friend from his wheelchair."
But that's not the case say leading observers. They point to the convulsions patients receiving injections of embryonic stem cells have gone into and say that the use of adult stem cells have shown far greater progress -- already curing some diseases and lessening the effects of others.
No patients have yet shown any benefits as a result of the use of embryonic stem cells.
Paperlessarchives.com Publishes 20,000 Pages Of John Kerry - VVAW FBI Files
Paperless Archives (www.paperlessarvchives.com) has announced the publishing of 20,000 pages of FBI Files related to Senator John Kerry. These FBI files include coverage of John Kerry's activity as a leader of the anti-Vietnam War group, Vietnam Veterans Against the War. These FBI files have been the subject of great discussion and news coverage recently, yet few have actually ever seen a single page of the documents. Paperless Archives (www.paperlessarcives.com) has now made it possible for everyone to obtain and review copies of these files.
LOS ANGELES, CA (PRWEB) June 9, 2004 -- Paperless Archives (www.paperlessarvchives.com) has announced the publishing of 20,000 pages of FBI Files related to Senator John Kerry. These FBI files include coverage of John Kerry's activity as a leader of the anti-Vietnam War group, Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
These FBI files have been the subject of great discussion and news coverage recently, yet few have actually ever seen a single page of the documents. Paperless Archives (www.paperlessarcives.com) has now made it possible for everyone to obtain and review copies of these files.
Most of this material was originally released in 1999 to author and historian Gerald Nicosia, after seeking their release under the Freedom of Information Act in 1988. This set released in June 2004, contains pages of documents not released to Nicosia in 1999.
The documents date from 1967 to 1976. They are composed of memos, reports, investigation summaries, confidential informant accounts, newspaper and wire service articles, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War bulletins and flyers. The files give broad coverage to activities of VVAW members such as Scott Camil, Al Hubbard, and the person who has become its most well known member, John Kerry
Although there were many anti-war groups at the time, The Vietnam Veterans Against the War seems to have gathered more attention from the FBI than most others. The sight of uniforms, medals, and missing limbs caused a greater stir along all sectors of the ideological spectrum of opinion about the Vietnam War. There also may have been a feeling in the FBI, that members of the VVAW were more dangerous than hippies, because VVAW members had military training and had seen combat. The files show the United States domestic intelligence infrastructure's level of concern about the possibility of subversion and sedition, among those who were strongly critical of American Vietnam policy.
John Kerry first became familiar with the VVAW through his sister Peggy, in 1969. After deciding not to run for Congress in 1970, Kerry went to Paris, site of the Vietnam War peace negotiations, and met with Viet Cong representatives. After his return, he began speaking at VVAW events. John Kerry became one the Vietnam Veteran's Against the War's most publicly recognizable figures. Especially after his appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 1971. As a veteran who was decorated with a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts, Kerry garnered attention and consideration, that other anti-Vietnam War protestors could not achieve. Kerry went on to become one of the members of VVAW's national steering committee.
The coverage of Kerry is mostly intermittently spread across memos dating from 1971. Much of the clandestine surveillance is composed of reporting made by unnamed confidential informants. The files chronicle: John Kerry's rise in status as a member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, A growing ideological conflict with the more militant direction the VVAW was heading in, Travel to Paris for talks with the North Vietnamese peace negotiation delegation, the "Kansas City" meeting, Kerry's pitched battle with VVAW leader Al Hubbard, and Kerry's dissolution as a leader of the VVAW in 1971.
Heavy surveillance of the group continues after Kerry leaves the group. The files document FBI accusations of a conspiracy to riot during the 1972 Republican National Convention and the passing of classified information to a Japanese communist leader. A member of the Connecticut chapter of the VVAW was arrested with an explosive device en route to a speech given by Vice President Spiro Agnew.
The listing for the complete set of Vietnam Veterans Against the War FBI Files can be found at http://www.paperlessarchives.com/vvaw.html
The listing for a set of selected VVAW FBI files highlighting the time John Kerry was a member, along with copies of Kerry's military records and correspondences from the CIA, can be found at http://www.paperlessarchives.com/john_kerry.html
About Paperless Archives
Paperless Archives, www.paperlessarchives.com, provides access to thousands of pages of once secret historical documents, photos, and recordings.
Materials cover Presidencies, Historical Figures, Historical Events, Celebrities, Organized Crime, Politics, Military Operations, Famous Crimes, Intelligence Gathering, Espionage, Civil Rights, Serial Killers, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and more.
Source material from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Secret Service, National Security Council, Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Justice, National Archive Records and Administration, and Presidential Libraries.
Sample pages from the 20,000 pages of John Kerry - Vietnam Veterns Against The WAR FBI Files available from paperlessarchives.com
Uploaded: Jun 8, 2004
File Name: JohnKerryFBIFiles.pdf
February 7, 2004 Hal Cranmer writes…
I would like to add my two cents about my John Kerry experience. During my career as an Air Force pilot, I spent two years flying a small twin-engine prop plane around the Pacific from my base in Okinawa, Japan.
On one trip we had to fly Senator Kerry, his congressional aide, and a Navy Captain (Vietnam, A-4 fighter pilot) who was also in Kerry's party to various locations in Vietnam and Cambodia as part of the MIA/POW talks.
When I met him, he was wearing a shirt with a picture of his sailboat on it. I told him I had a small 27 foot sailboat in Okinawa, he remarked "I never sail on anything less than 135 feet." I laughed to myself and realized this guy was no sailor.
When we first flew him into Phnom Penh, he went to the back of the airplane and grabbed the pizza that was put aside for the crew and passed it around to his staff. He was never offered any pizza because they were supposed to have lunch with the Cambodian government once we landed. The pizza would have been our only meal that day. He just never cared to ask.
Then when we picked him up in Cambodia, he was an hour late getting to the airport. We could not start the engines, and therefore the air conditioning, until he arrived. Phnom Penh at that time was over 100 degrees with 95% humidity and we were basically sitting in a greenhouse behind the cockpit windows. When he finally did arrive, we were wringing out our clothes from the perspiration. He walks out of the air-conditioned car, into the airplane and asks us "Could you guys get the air conditioning running, I'm a little warm." The other pilot had to physically restrain me from going back there and picking a fight.
Then we took him into Noi Bai airfield in Hanoi. After we picked him up the next day (he stayed the night in Vietnam, we stayed in Bangkok) we taxied out, ran up the engines for takeoff, and noticed that our prop rpm was vibrating all over the place. We taxied off to the side to look at it, but there was a good possibility that there was an engine malfunction and the engine may fail if we took off with it. Well, Mr. Senator sticks his head up in the cockpit and says 'this plane WILL take - off, I have a press conference in Bangkok in three hours!" (Maybe this is an indication of how he will run the FAA.) We ran the engines again, and did not have the problem, so we took off and made it back During the flight, he told everyone how he had taken a Cessna (a small General aviation plane) up with a fighter pilot, and the fighter pilot remarked that Kerry was one of the best pilots he had ever seen. I don't know about other pilots out there, but it's hard to imagine a little, single-engine prop plane pilot being able to show the 'right stuff.'
After Kerry left the plane, the Navy Captain came up to us, apologized and said he knows Kerry is a jerk and that we should be glad we don't have to deal with him every day... Or will we? YOU BETTER GET OUT AND VOTE!
Origins: This piece about Senator John Kerry appeared in mid-February 2004, just as the Massachusetts senator was beginning to emerge as the front-runner in the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. Although several names have been attached to the text, it is most frequently attributed to Hal Cranmer.
Independently verifying whether some informal conversations, which took place at an indeterminate time in the past, possibly several years ago, are accurate as reported is a rather difficult task. We asked the putative author if he could provide additional details or identify others who may have witnessed the events he reported, but we have yet to receive a response. If such an interaction occurred, it would have had to take place in April 1992 during Senator Kerry's visit to Southeast Asia as a member of the Senate Select Committee on POW-MIA Affairs.
One aspect of the account isn't holding up to scrutiny. Senator Kerry's purported remark of "Oh I never sail on anything less than 135 feet" is at odds with his history. In 1992 he was the skipper of 68-foot yacht American Eagle in the Opera House Cup, a race held annually off Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.
Whatever the probity of the e-mailed account, the larger issue isn't whether this specific piece is
true, but whether the sentiment it expresses; that Senator Kerry goes through life with his nose in the air, oblivious to the hoi polloi who inhabit his immediate surrounding; is accurate. In regards to that issue, we can confirm that others have reported experiencing similar encounters with Senator Kerry.
For example, humorist Dave Barry (a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist whose work is carried by more than 500 newspapers in the U.S. and abroad) concluded a 2003 article about potential presidential candidates with the following observation:
“In conclusion, I want to extend my sincere best wishes to all of my opponents, Republican and Democrat, and to state that, in the unlikely event I am not elected, I will support whoever is, even if it is Sen. John Kerry, who once came, with his entourage, into a ski-rental shop in Ketchum, Idaho, where I was waiting patiently with my family to rent snowboards, and Sen. Kerry used one of his lackeys to flagrantly barge in line ahead of us and everybody else, as if he had some urgent senatorial need for a snowboard, like there was about to be an emergency meeting, out on the slopes, of the Joint Halfpipe Committee. I say it's time for us, as a nation, to put this unpleasant incident behind us. I know that I, for one, have forgotten all about it. That is how fair and balanced I am.”
Is Senator Kerry a man who cannot be trusted around a pizza or a snowboard? In reading about him, one encounters the labels "aloof" and "arrogant" applied to him at a number of turns, certainly often enough to conclude that no matter who John Kerry really is, a great many people see him as possessing those attributes. However, the e-mail quoted above and the Dave Barry's snippet spotlights a different fault: that of the Senator's acting upon a sense of entitlement, presumably one fueled by his wealth and social position. Is that who he is, or whom we should believe he is on the basis of these two tales?
Such an assessment is hard to get to the bottom of because to do so requires knowledge of what was going through the man's head at the time of the incidents described. And, barring his telling us, we're left in the dark.
Once when I was out with my sister, she marched directly to the first taxi parked in front of a hotel, completely oblivious to the lengthy line of folks waiting patiently to one side of the entranceway. It took my stopping her in mid-stride and pointing out the queue for her to perceive others were also waiting for cabs, but as soon as she came to that realization she immediately (and shamefacedly) headed for the back of the line. Her sin was not one of entitlement (that is, she was not feeling she was a far more worthy person than those lesser beings whose duty it was to uncomplainingly forebear while she absconded with the first taxi) but of being sorely unaware of her surroundings. Yet to an uninvolved onlooker who had seen her hoof straight to the first cab, it would have appeared she was deliberately placing herself ahead of others.
While inhabiting a similar state of unawareness, my husband's best friend once helped himself to the contents of a plastic-wrapped platter of cookies I had intended as a gift for someone else. His faux pas was in presuming the home baked goodies were free for the taking and confidently acting on that assumption. In this I see a potential echo to the "John Kerry ate my pizza" story; did Senator Kerry chow down on the pizza knowing it was meant for the pilots, or did he operate under the belief that it had been thoughtfully supplied as a snack for him, a visiting dignitary?
Either, of course, would be a transgression worthy of sending Miss Manners into a fit of the vapors, but the underlying message about the character of the person involved would be different. "Fails to realize there are other people in this world" is a different shortcoming from "Knows there are others, but considers himself a higher class of critter."
Whatever the veracity of various stories about Senator Kerry or what they could potentially tell us about him, character has a way of displaying itself provided sufficient time is allotted for the viewing, and November is still a long ways off.
Barbara "time will tell" Mikkelson
Last updated: 17 March 2004
The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/politics/kerry/pizza.asp
John Kerry: He will say whatever it takes to win
By George Will
THE WASHINGTON POST
John Kerry recently stopped in Las Vegas to say: "Rest assured, Nevada. If I'm president, Yucca Mountain will not be a depository." Back to mind comes Chic Hecht, a one-term Republican senator elected in 1982, who said he opposed using Yucca Mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, as a nuclear waste "suppository."
Also to mind comes the French sovereign known as Henry of Navarre (1553-1610). More about him anon.
The problem of nuclear waste has been studied for 50 years. Twenty-two years ago Washington took responsibility for that waste - there are 49,000 metric tons of it - stored in 131 sites in the 39 states with nuclear power plants. Seventeen years ago Congress selected Nevada - the federal government owns 86 percent of the state - for the repository. Beginning in 2010, the waste is to be put 1,000 feet underground, on 1,000 feet of rock, in steel containers in 100 miles of storage tunnels within the mountain.
But in 1996 President Bill Clinton promised to veto any attempt to make Nevada even a temporary repository. That promise helped him beat Bob Dole there by just 4,730 votes, the smallest state margin that year
In 2000 George W. Bush promised not to make Nevada a temporary repository, but said "sound science" would guide him regarding establishing a permanent repository there. He beat Al Gore 50-46 (301,575 to 279,978). A switch of 10,799 votes would have made Gore president.
In 2002 Bush approved Yucca Mountain as the permanent site. Congress said Nevada's governor could veto the selection, but that his veto could be overridden by majorities in both houses. He vetoed it; Congress overrode him.
By this protracted dance of democracy the interests of an American majority - 161 million live within 75 miles of today's storage sites - prevailed, respectfully, over the objections of an intense minority, the approximately 2 million people who live in southern Nevada. Kerry's willingness to overturn this accommodation reflects a cold, and factually correct, calculation having nothing to do with the national interest: for the intense and compact Nevada minority, unlike for the diffuse American majority, this is a vote-determining issue.
Kerry's message to Nevadans - essentially, "I feel your hypothetical pain" - testifies to his readiness to do whatever it takes to win. As does his vow last week that, if elected, he would renegotiate the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
He would try to force signatory nations (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and, soon, the Dominican Republic) to adopt labor and environmental standards more pleasing to him. The ostensible purpose of this would be to improve the lot of labor in those nations. But the primary purpose of the renegotiation would be to raise production costs in those countries, thereby making imports from them less competitive with American products.
Time was, Kerry was a free trader. Now he favors "fair trade," as defined by his labor allies. But he still is a critic of what he and likeminded people consider the Bush administration's obnoxious tendency to tell other nations how to behave.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "it would be unprecedented for a newly elected president to turn his back on a major trade deal negotiated by his predecessor." Unprecedented and, in Kerry's case, inconsistent.
When Kerry and kindred spirits criticize what they consider the Bush administration's hubris and bad diplomatic manners, they often cite its withdrawal from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change. It is understandable that they do not dwell on the fact that the Clinton administration refused to submit it for Senate ratification, or that the Senate voted 95-0 for a resolution against proceeding with the protocol as negotiated. The junior senator from Massachusetts said "no one in their (sic) right mind" would favor it as it is.
Regarding Yucca Mountain and CAFTA, Kerry's comportment reflects toughness - call it Navarrean toughness - about subordinating all considerations of principle to the exigencies of winning power. Someone in the White House has naughtily said that Kerry "looks French." The scalding truth is that he wears Hermes neckties, which are French, and, worse still, he speaks French. But his real French connection is his spiritual kinship with Henry of Navarre.
Henry was raised a Protestant but converted to Catholicism - twice - for political reasons. His explanation still resonates with those politicians - a large tribe - who believe, as Kerry does, in doing whatever is necessary: "Paris is well worth a Mass."
FBI Files Show Kerry Met With Communists More Than Once
Marc Morano, CNSNews.com
Saturday, June 5, 2004
Newly released FBI files reveal that presumed Democrat presidential nominee John Kerry attended a second meeting with North Vietnamese communists in Paris in the early 1970s. Kerry has previously admitted to meeting only once with the North Vietnamese delegations in 1970.
According to the FBI files, Kerry met with representatives from the North Vietnamese government in Paris in 1971 in an effort to secure the release of captured American prisoners of war. Kerry has previously acknowledged meeting "both delegations" of Vietnamese communists in Paris in 1970, but has said nothing of the 1971 meeting.
Researcher and author Jerry Corsi, who began studying the anti-war movement in the early 1970s, believes Kerry is hiding key aspects about his anti-war past from the public as he seeks the presidency.
"Kerry has admitted to one meeting with Madam Binh. Now we have reason to believe there was a second, so let's press them to admit the second," Corsi told CNSNews.com.
"Kerry needs to explain to the American people why he directly went into negotiations with communists." Corsi has written an essay on Kerry's dealings with the Vietemese communists on the Internet site WinterSoldier.com.
According to Gerald Nicosia, a Kerry supporter and the author of the book "Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement," Kerry's second visit to Paris to meet with emissaries of the North Vietnamese communist government is documented in redacted FBI files from the era.
"The files record that Kerry made a second trip to Paris that summer to learn how the North Vietnamese might release prisoners," Nicosia wrote in an essay in the Los Angeles Times on May 23.
"After deciding not to run [for Congress] in 1970, he and his new wife, Julia Thorne, traveled to France in May to meet Madame Nguyen Thi Binh and other Viet Cong and Communist Vietnamese representatives to the Paris peace talks, a trip he now calls a 'fact-finding mission,'" Nicosia wrote.
Nicosia noted, "Kerry had tried to distinguish between his own trips to meet with the Vietnamese in Paris, which he considered necessary to fight through the lies of his own government, and actual negotiations with the enemy, which Kerry knew were illegal."
Kerry told the New York Times on April 24 that his first meeting with the Vietnamese communists in 1970 was "not a big deal."
"People were dropping in [at the Paris Peace Talks]. It was a regular sort of deal," Kerry explained to the New York Times.
But Corsi believes it was a very big deal.
"You had Henry Kissinger there trying to negotiate formally with the Paris peace delegation, and then these guys [from Vietnam Veterans Against the War] are off on their own side show, establishing back channels to the Vietnamese communists; all of this is against the law," Corsi said, referring to U.S. code 18 U.S.C. 953, which declares it illegal for a U.S. citizen to go abroad and negotiate with a foreign power.
"Exactly who was Kerry ... to have arranged these trips? He had to be in discussion with some link with the communist party of Vietnam in order to establish these trips and meetings," Corsi explained.
'What Is Really Happening' Indeed
Kerry also might have had plans to go to South Vietnam in 1971, according to a June 16, 1971 article in the communist Daily World newspaper.
"Former Navy Lt. John Kerry is planning a three-week trip to South Vietnam in July to report on 'what is really happening' to the GI's there, he told newsmen here," read the article, written by the Daily World's Ted Pearson. Kerry was attending an event in Chicago with Jesse Jackson, who at the time was head of the organization Operation Bread Basket.
It is unclear whether Kerry ever made the trip to South Vietnam in 1971. Kerry's campaign did not return several phone calls seeking comment for this article.
Nicosia has criticized Kerry in the past for not being more open about his anti-war past.
"I am in kind of an awkward position here. I am a Kerry supporter, and I certainly don't want to do anything that hurts him. On the other hand, my number one allegiance is to truth. So I am going to go with where the facts are, and John is going to have to deal with that," Nicosia told CNSNews.com back in March when the contents of the FBI files became public and caused Kerry to revise his past statements on a series of issues dealing with his past.
"I am having some problems with the things he is saying right now, which are not matching up with accuracy," Nicosia said in March.
"I think [Kerry] may be worried or the people around him may be worried that his association with VVAW is a very negative thing and they want John to back away from it," he added.
Kerry and Fonda in the Communists' Hall of Fame
Kerry's anti-war activism and his meetings with the communists had a big impact, according to Corsi.
"Vietnamese communists would not have won the war without John Kerry. They were cultivating his protest activity with the VVAW," Corsi said.
Corsi said the Vietnamese communists have shown their gratitude to Kerry by displaying a photo of him at Ho Chi Minh City's Protestors Hall of the War Remnants Museum. The photo of fellow anti-war activist and actress Jane Fonda also appears in the Women's Museum in Saigon.
"As soon as [Kerry] came onto the seen, [the Vietnamese communists] latched on to him like bees on to honey. [The communists] said, 'This is a guy who tells our story, it will undermine the sympathy for the war in America,'" Corsi added
Angry Veterans Demand Kerry Stop Exploiting Them
Attempts by Sen. John Kerry to pander to Latinos and veterans have blown up in his face.
"Kerry's presidential campaign appears to have violated copyright laws by broadcasting several photos from the Caller-Times book 'South Texas Heroes,'" the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported today.
"Two World War II veterans and relatives of four others say they want to know how photos of their relatives came to be included in the ad, and say the campaign could only have retrieved the photos from 'South Texas Heroes,' a book published by the Caller-Times last year."
Mel G. Lemos, one of three brothers whose photos the campaign is exploiting, told the newspaper: "I'm really upset. I never tell anybody who I'm going to vote for. I never gave any picture to anybody."
His brother Frank Lemos, who is now dead, voted for President Bush in 2000, said son Frank Lemos Jr. "My father was a strong Bush supporter. If he was alive today, he wouldn't have done this."
Another of the WWII veterans from Corpus Christi whose picture was misappropriated, Alberto T. Vasquez Sr., said: "How in the world did they get that? Without personal approval, I don't think that's legal."
Yet another, David De La Cruz, said he would not have given permission to use his photo because he supported the president.
Caller-Times president and publisher Larry L. Rose said: "If John Kerry allows this commercial to run, it will show the kind of person John Kerry is. That he allows his campaign team to lift Hispanic faces from a Caller-Times book, to violate copyright, and to violate the individual rights of those Hispanic veterans, is appalling. If Kerry wants to do the honest and ethical thing, let's see if he has his staff get permission from the veterans, from the Caller-Times, or, if he doesn't do that, let's see how fast he cancels his commercial."
The paper's editor, Libby Averyt, said: "It's a shame that the Kerry campaign underestimated South Texas veterans and the Caller-Times and apparently assumed no one would ever notice the use of the copyrighted material published by us with the permission of the veterans' families. It is truly disappointing that a presidential campaign would operate in this manner."
The TV commercial’s producer, Armando Gutierrez, an associate of Clintonista New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, insisted he borrowed the photos from relatives and friends of relatives who gave oral permission to use them.
The ad, targeting Latino voters in six states, might be yanked, said Kerry's "director of Hispanic media,” Fabiola Rodriguez-Ciampoli.
Swift Boat Veterans: 'Cease and Desist'
Meanwhile, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has stepped up its efforts to get Kerry to stop a different photo exploitation.
Eleven of the 20 Vietnam War veterans included in a 1969 photo the Democrat candidate is using demand in a letter sent to the campaign that Kerry "cease and desist from all uses" of the picture.
"By letters delivered to the campaign on May 17 and on May 4, 2004, their objections to the use of the photograph in his campaign and their belief that he is unfit to serve as the Commander-in-Chief were made very clear. In fact, as has long been evident to Senator Kerry, all of these gentlemen have felt anything but comradeship with him at any time since his slanderous testimony before Congress in 1971 and other pronouncements that he and they committed war crimes and atrocities," says the latest letter, dated Wednesday.
As in the case from Corpus Christi, "no prior consent was sought or obtained from any of these eleven boat officers before the release by Mr. Kerry or his associates of that photograph to Newsweek, or later to those who crafted his Lifetime ad, a calculated invasion of their privacy rights for personal political gain. None of these officers, at the time of the unauthorized release or any subsequent use of the photograph by the campaign of their images were public figures, as that term is understood within the law. We all know of the aspiring politician who seeks to be photographed with whomever they think is the 'Great One' of the time. In this case Mr. Kerry has reversed the ploy to suggest a favorable relationship different than the truth. In no way do these gentlemen seek any limelight not now required by the Senator's distortion of the past and his wrongful claim to the American public that these men are his band of brothers."
"The Deck of Weasels"
Exclusively from NewsMax.com
Chirac Frets That Kerry Is a Toasted Baguette
Chief French quisling Jacques Chirac and fellow Saddamite weasel Gerhard Schroeder of Germany are in a dither that President Bush will defeat Sen. John Kerry in November.
The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto today noted several signs of the president's strength. Among them:
A Rasmussen poll shows that 54 percent of voters would consider voting for Bush, compared to 49 percent for Kerry.
The Iowa Electronic Markets is trading futures on the election. "As of yesterday's close, a contract paying $1 in the event of a Republican victory was selling for 55.4 cents." A Democrat contract was cheap: 44.9 cents.
Best of all ... "If the New York Times is to be believed, the Bush-loathing leaders of France and Germany seem to be banking on Bush: 'Officials in both countries say that their leaders have come to conclude that Senator John Kerry's campaign to defeat Mr. Bush has not caught fire and that they may have to coexist with Mr. Bush for another four years,' the paper reported Monday from Paris."
Is Kerry’s Rhetoric Better Off Than It Was 4 Years Ago?
“If I’m President we’re going to repeal that phony [prescription drug] bill." (Sen. John Kerry, “Ending The Era Of Special Interests,” Remarks In Nashua, NH, 1/21/04)
4 YEARS AGO, KERRY SAID MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT WAS URGENT PRIORITY (TODAY, KERRY OPPOSES BIPARTISAN MEDICARE LAW)
In 2000, Kerry Criticized Senate For “Missing A Historic Opportunity” To Provide Prescription Drug Benefit For Seniors. “We are missing a historic opportunity in the Senate in terms of our legislating process. The fact is, we have an opportunity to provide 14 million senior citizens, who lack prescription drug coverage, with that coverage. … Increasing costs coupled with the lack of coverage force 1 out of 8 seniors in our country to choose between buying food and medicine. Unless we act, we can only expect these numbers to increase. … We cannot afford to allow this problem to continue.” (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 4/5/00, p. S2148)
4 YEARS AGO, KERRY OPPOSED LETTING MEDICARE NEGOTIATE DRUG PRICES (TODAY, KERRY SAYS HE’LL ALLOW MEDICARE PRICE NEGOTIATION)
In 2000, Kerry Co-Sponsored Democrat Legislation That Prohibited Medicare From Negotiating Drug Prices. The bill, which was introduced by Senator Daschle and co-sponsored by Senator Kerry, included this provision: “NONINTERFERENCE.--In administering the prescription drug benefit program established under this part, the Secretary may not-- (1) require a particular formulary or institute a price structure for benefits; (2) interfere in any way with negotiations between private entities and drug manufacturers, or wholesalers; or (3) otherwise interfere with the competitive nature of providing a prescription drug benefit through private entities.” (S.2541, Introduced 3/10/00; S.2541, Thomas Bill Summary, Introduced 5/10/00; Julie Rovner, “GOP, Dems Spar Over Negotiating Language In Drug Law,” National Journal’s CongressDaily, 2/10/04)
Kerry honored at communist museum
Photograph hangs in section devoted to war protesters
Posted: June 1, 2004
12:14 p.m. Eastern
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
A Ho Chi Minh City museum that honors Vietnam war protesters features a photograph of Sen. John Kerry being greeted by the general secretary of the Communist Party, Comrade Do Muoi.
A snapshot of the display in the Vietnamese Communist War Remnants Museum – formerly known as the "War Crimes Museum" – was acquired over the weekend by Jeffrey M. Epstein of Vietnam Vets for the Truth, a group opposing Kerry's campaign for the presidency.
A spokesman with Kerry's national campaign did not return a call from WND seeking comment.
The snapshot of the display, which depicts a July 1993 meeting, was forwarded to Epstein by Bob Shirley, one of more than 200 members of Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth who signed an open letter questioning Kerry's fitness to serve as commander in chief.
Epstein said the picture of the display was taken by Bill Lupetti, a Swift Boat Veteran who currently is visiting Vietnam.
Epstein said the display photograph's "unquestionable significance lies in its placement in the American protesters' section of the War Crimes Museum" in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon.
"The Vietnamese communists clearly recognize John Kerry's contributions to their victory," he said. "This find can be compared to the discovery of a painting of Neville Chamberlain hanging in a place of honor in Hitler's Eagle's Nest in 1945."
Below the display photograph are explanatory placards in English, French, Vietnamese and Chinese.
The English placard reads: "Mr. Do Muoi, Secretary General of the Vietnamese Communist Party met with Congressman and Veterans Delegation in Vietnam (July 15-18, 1993)."
Epstein's group says the exhibit refutes Kerry's insistence his anti-war protests did not render support to the enemy in time of war.
"The Vietnamese communists clearly feel that the American anti-war protesters were a very important force in undermining support in the United States for American war efforts, a force that contributed materially to ultimate communist victory in 1975," the group said in a statement.
Vietnam Vets for the Truth says it was established to organize a rally publicizing "Kerry's lies" during the "Winter Soldier" hearings in the U.S. Senate in 1971. The rally, called "Kerry Lied," will be held on Capitol Hill Sept. 12.
The Swift Boat Veterans also have called on Kerry to stop unauthorized use of their images in national campaign advertising.The group says only two of the 20 officers in one photo support him and 11 have signed the letter condemning the candidate.
One veteran in the photo, William Shumadine, said Kerry's use of the photo "is a complete misrepresentation to the public and a total fraud."
Important Related stories:
Monday, May 31, 2004 10:53 p.m. EDT
FOREIGN LEADERS FOR KERRY
Diplomat Hans Blix - the United Nation’s version of the hapless Inspector Clouseau, who did his damnedest to keep the U.S. out of Iraq and Saddam in power - issued his endorsement this week in the presidential contest. “I place my trust in the multilaterism of Democratic candidate John Kerry,” the Swedish meatball said, adding that he thought the whole world should be able to vote on November 2 in the U.S. election. Responded the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Kerry remarked in March that foreign leaders were privately supporting his candidacy. Mr. Blix has now revealed the kind of foreigners he was referring to.”
Kerry 'Flips Off' Vietnam Vet
Former Congressman John Leboutillier reports on a Memorial Day confrontation between Sen. John Kerry and a fellow Vietnam veteran:
Democratic senator - and certain presidential nominee - John F. Kerry gave the middle finger to a Vietnam veteran at the Vietnam Memorial Wall on Memorial Day morning, NewsMax.com has learned.
Ted Sampley, a former Green Beret who served two full tours in Vietnam, spotted Kerry and his Secret Service detail at about 9:00 a.m. Monday morning at the Wall. Sampley walked up to Kerry, extended his hand and said, "Senator, I am Ted Sampley, the head of Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, and I am here to escort you away from the Wall because you do not belong here."
At that point a Secret Service officer told Sampley to back away from Kerry. Sampley moved about 6 feet away and opened his jacket to reveal a HANOI JOHN T-shirt.
Kerry then began talking to a group of schoolchildren. Sampley then showed the T-shirt to the children and said, "Kerry does not belong at the Wall because he betrayed the brave soldiers who fought in Vietnam."
Just then Kerry - in front of the school children, other visitors and Secret Service agents - brazenly 'flashed the bird' at Sampley and then yelled out to everyone, "Sampley is a felon!"
Kerry was referring to an incident 12 years ago when Sampley confronted Sen. John McCain's chief aide, Mark Salter, in a Senate stairwell after McCain repeatedly offended POW families at a Senate POW hearing. Sampley, whose father-in-law at that time was MIA in Laos, followed Salter into the stairwell and, when they emerged, Salter had a bloody lip and a broken nose.
Sampley's group, Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, has garnered huge national attention and has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post and on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country." Tens of thousands of Vietnam vets have registered their opposition to Kerry through Sampley's group.
Clearly Sampley has gotten under Kerry's skin once again.
McCain: Don't Probe Kerry's Atrocities
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who says the Bush administration needs to come clean about the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal as quickly as possible, said Monday that he didn't think it was a good idea to investigate Sen. John Kerry's admission that he committed war crimes in Vietnam.
"I just hate to keep going back and revisiting the Vietnam War over and over again," McCain told radio host Sean Hannity when asked if Kerry and his supporters weren't being hypocritical in calling for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's dismissal over the Iraq prison flap.
"The very people who are so up in arms who are calling for Don Rumsfeld's head are supporting a guy who admits to burning down villages of innocent civilians," Hannity pressed. "So, I mean, is there an inconsistency there?"
McCain responded meekly, "I'm sure that there is."
After listening to audio from a 1971 interview where Kerry admitted he violated the Geneva Convention in Vietnam, McCain said he didn't think the issue was worth investigating given the strife it would cause.
"There's still so many of our veterans who feel so emotional about this issue that it digs up all of this controversy," he explained.
The Arizona Republican was far less timid about questions on whether Secretary Rumsfeld knew that Iraqi detainees were being abused at the Abu Ghraib prison.
Asked if he didn't agree that Rumsfeld had been a strong defense secretary, McCain equivocated.
"I agree with all of that but there is one strong caveat, OK?" he told Hannity.
"And that is let's find out what the chain of command was, who gave the orders, who, if anybody, instructed these guards, what was their relationship with the interrogators, what was the story with the private contractors - all of those things have to be cleared up."
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