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I know you guys hate it when people pull from Drudge and are probably pretty sick of my warnings about the Swift liars but there is another one up now that will be getting some serious play on the Hate Radio wing. I found it while lurking over at the swift liar site.

It may be over the top enough that it gets discredited but after Gore became a verb I don't put anything past the SCLM. The swift liars are, in my opinion, more dangerous than anyone wants to admit. I've listened to them and debated them on talk radio and they are very effective liars. Especially since the hate radio wing of the GOP has no compunction with furthering lies and slander.

The claims in John O'Neill's book include Kerry's wounds being self inflicted. There are more in the extended box. We need to take these sons of bitches head on. What John O'Neill, famous Nixon creation, is claiming is disgusting and I hope Kerry is able to take care of this and destroy this pathetic excuse for a weasle.




A veterans group seeking to deeply discredit Democrat John Kerry's military service will charge in the new bombshell book UNFIT FOR COMMAND:

Two of John Kerry's three Purple Heart decorations resulted from self-inflicted wounds, not suffered under enemy fire.

All three of Kerry's Purple Hearts were for minor injuries, not requiring a single hour of hospitalization.

A "fanny wound" was the highlight of Kerry's much touted "no man left behind" Bronze Star.

Kerry turned the tragic death of a father and small child in a Vietnamese fishing boat into an act of "heroism" by filing a false report on the incident.

Kerry entered an abandoned Vietnamese village and slaughtered the domestic animals owned by the civilians and burned down their homes with his Zippo lighter.

Kerry's reckless behavior convinced his colleagues that he had to go -- becoming the only Swift Boat veteran to serve only four months.

The Kerry campaign is planning to vigorously counter the charges and will accuse the veteran's groups of being well-financed by a top Bush donor from Texas, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

"They hired a god***n private investigator to dig up trash!" charged a top Kerry adviser traveling with the senator late Tuesday. "This is pay for play, and the dirtiest of all dirty tricks ever played on a candidate for the presidency. How low can they go?"

Kerry supporters are comparing the effort by the veterans to the Arkansas State troopers tell-all against Bill Clinton.

UNFIT FOR COMMAND will not be released until August 15.

The names. The details. All on the record.

Beginning tomorrow, the DRUDGE REPORT will break the embargo.

I don't want to hear the same shit I always do about Drudge. Instead I want to hear people talk about how this can be countered by us when it rears it's ugly head on Talk Radio.

Originally posted to Mike S on Tue Aug 03, 2004 at 08:49 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Troll rate me (3.20)
    if you want but believe me when I say this will get play. I listen and call TR a lot and you would be surprised how much of their BS ends up on the 6:00 news. I expect Hannity and the rest of the Faux crew to be all over this.
  •  It's a lie (none)
    The military wouldn't lie, would they? They wouldn't claim that John Kerry is a hero and give him all those medals if it weren't true would they? After all, they say they have an exit strategy in Iraq and we believe that. Right?

    Or we could just totally ironize it.

    Kerry was also personally responsible for the illegal bombings of Cambodia and held several POWs in his Georgetown basement until John McCain freed them in 1993. Kerry, ironically, was the Viet Cong fighter who shot the missile that brought down McCain's fighter jet and led to McCain spending four years in the Hanoi Hilton.

  •  Counterattack on O'Neill and those behind the book (none)
    would be in order, of course. And this might be unprecedented, but might Kerry consider suing for libel? He probably would have a difficult time winning, as every plaintiff in a libel case does, but it might make a statement saying that this goes far, far beyond the normal smearing a presidential candidate should expect.
  •  The highlight (none)
    of the Bronze Star Kerry received was not the fanny wound but Kerry turning his swift boat around and retrieving a marine lieutenant who was left in the river in a storm of bullets.

    Kerry not only turned the boat around but when the lieutenant did not have the strength to pull himself up onto the boat, Kerry reached over, in the hail of gunfire, risking his own life, and pulled the marine to safety onto the boat.

    By that lieutenant's words, he would not be alive today but for John Kerry.

    THAT is the highlight of that bronze star. And the fact that those losers would minimize saving the man's life by saying otherwise speaks volumes for their credibility.

    Re-Defeat Bush in 2004

    by Bidabunch on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:04:32 AM PDT

  •  Nah, no biggie (4.00)
    Believe me, Kerry has faced this in every campaign he's run. Polls indicated that the earlier attempts to smear Kerry's service record badly backfired. It's way too easy to link the trash to Bush and turn it right around on the AWOL chimp. Not to mention that linking it to Bush definitely cuts into Bush's "optimism" ratings. Kerry has his generals; he's got Max Cleland; he's got his military records, which are golden; and he's got the swift boat mates.

    Buscho must really be desperate to even allow this to go forward. It's bad political strategy. It may preach some to the choir, but I don't see it doing much damage amongst middle of the road folks.

    •  These are (3.00)
      surrogates. I talked to O'Neill and this guy sounds credible. Kerry has his swift boat mates and O'Neill has his own. We can fight them and win but we need to be ready. Dismissing them is a bad idea.
      •  Oh, of course we should be ready to fight it (none)
        But I'm saying not much will come of it and it's not hard to fight. O'Neill himself may sound credible, but he has a long history that is easily exposed--and he does not have crew mates who served in Kerry's boat (possibly 1 out of the 10). I'm not saying leave the charge out there, just that this is gonna be no big deal, and has more potential to damage Bush than Kerry.
      •  Credible? (none)
        Yeah, he has his own swiftboat mates, who don't happened to have served with Kerry and his swiftboat mates.  How can they attest to what happened?  They are peddling purchased lies.

        "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine

        by Cathy on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:35:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I questioned a guy (none)
          who said he was a gunner on Kerry's boat on the Michael Medved show. I called him out on many lies and he kept on telling them and Medved expounded, misrepresented and helped the guy with more.
          •  Stephen Gardner (none)
            The gunner's mate?  He's the only one who actually served with Kerry who has bad things to say about him.

            Thanks for the links down thread.
            Cheat sheet for others just tuning in:

            1. O'Neill didn't meet Kerry until he debated him on the Dick Cavett talk show (like Hardball, only with manners and intellect).  O'Neill's beef with Kerry is ideological, and has nothing to do with his service.
            2. O'Neill was picked to debate Kerry by dirty tricks man Chuck Colson and personally prepped by Nixon.  Nixon found Kerry "effective" and wanted another veteran to smear him to prevent him from becoming prominent in national politics (much like Alan Keyes is being sent in to try to kneecap Obama).  O'Neill is still nursing a grudge from this debate.
            3. The people who say they served "on Kerry's boat" are talking about the nautical vessel itself.  Other than Gardner, none of them actually served on the boat with Kerry during the time of his service.  (Turnover was rather high, with all the casualties and such.)
            4. Kerry's fitness reports, which have all been made publicly available on his web site, are all glowing.  Bush's records?  Nuff said.
            I think the point most people start with, that O'Neill is a Bush supporter, is kind of lame.  The point is that O'Neill never served with Kerry and all of his criticism is second-hand.

            If Eggman has a copy, I certainly hope the Kerry campaign does as well and is already preparing a detailed response.

    •  right! really bad political strategy (none)
      because by calling into question Kerry's medals ("bogus...based on false reports..") the GOP noise machine is implying that the military awards system is corrupt.  

      Now how does that sound to all the other veterans out there with Purple Hearts and Bronze Stars?

      One question could shut the whole line down: "Are you (the Freeper, etc) saying that if one person got a medal, then there could be other 'phony' medals out there?"

      •  Is the honorable discharge system corrupt (none)

        "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

        by LionelEHutz on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:24:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe (none)

          I don't think they're quite as free about giving out medals as they are about giving out honorable discharges. Honorable discharges are something everyone's expected to get, after all. The Beltway sniper got an honorable discharge, and he apparently didn't have a stellar military career:

          "John Allen Muhammad, convicted last November for his participation in the D.C. sniper shootings, served in the Louisiana National Guard from 1978-1985, where he faced two summary courts-martial. In 1983, he was charged with striking an officer, stealing a tape measure, and going AWOL. Sentenced to seven days in the brig, he received an honorable discharge in 1985." -- The New Republic, 2/12/04

  •  The Capital Gang... (none)
    ...talked about this last weekend.

    Al Hunt said he talked to Bob Kerrey about this & he was VERY angry about it. He said he wanted to come out and fight these guys for Kerry.


    I wonder if McCain will stand by while these guys try to do this Kerry. Will he come out & stick up for his "friend".

    •  Probably will (none)
      as will other vets. I'm telling you, it's bad political strategy for Busco to sanction this. This isn't '88. I'm not saying attack politics can't work, but it's alot harder when you went AWOL, are a desperately positioned incumbent, and you've got folks out there who claim to decry negative campaigns--all while you're still trying to call your opponent a pessimist

      The way to hit this back is just to link O'Neill to Bush via financial donations. Then just wave the book around, "This is the kind of politics that George Bush practices. This is what George Bush thinks about the intelligence of Americans. How interesting coming from a man who deliberately avoided service to his country..."

      Sure, Fox News will run it, but O'Neill already had a news cycle, with the announcement of his organization, and it backfired when pollsters asked about it. Those polls indicated that folks admired Kerry's service and believed he served admirably--they did not feel that way about Bush.

      Kerry has generals on his side this time; he's got Max Cleland. He's got his military records that document all this. And he's got the guys who were on the boat with him.

    •  Ditto (none)
      Bob Kerrey and John McCain would immediately come to Kerry's defense and knock this one out of the park.

      I would love to see McCain stand up for Kerry against something like this.  Heck, even Bush and Cheney would be forced to defend Kerry's service.

      Bring it On!

      My Pet Goat!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      by BRockNYLA on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:13:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ignore it... (none)
    Unless it makes it to the front pages of major newspapers or on TV, this story should be ignored.  None of the accussastions are independently verifiable.  It's the same smear machine of the Clinton years.  

    Unfortunately, it seems the news media get their tips from Drudge, so it remains to be seen how this one will play out.  These particular claims seem so far fetched, however, i think they will not jump on it unless they can independently verify.  It will be a inside the beltway thing to simply ignore it just as they ignore the AWOL stuff and the claims that Bush paid for an illegal abortion for his girlfriend or that Bush I got in an accident while with his mistress when he was VP.

    My Pet Goat!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by BRockNYLA on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:10:45 AM PDT

  •  I got an email about this (none)
    today,and am at a loss how to counter it. It sounds very convincing. a lot of ex-servicemen saying things. I sent it off to a vet friend of mine for ideas but have yet to hear back.I remember hearing about Kerry's one-time commander saying one thing in a news interview and then having that refuted by military records.
      •  add the following ammuntion as well? (none)
        There have been some excellent posts and stories here, as well as some very applicable information about the Segretti-Colson-Nixon connection that I couldn't find this evening, but I know it's on here somewhere.

        Comparing Bush and Kerry's Military Records (Kos, April 21,2004)
        Chronological comparison of the two men's records from college through Kerry's second tour of duty

        Personal Profiles (DHinMI, June 12, 2004)
        Information on John Kerry as a person.

        The GOP Desperately looking for dirt (Kos, July 14, 2004)
        Report on the efforts of a private investigator Tom Rupprath to find compromising information about John Kerry

        Swift Boat Boys Dirty Tricks
        On the SBVT's treasurer William Franke, St. Louis GOP finance man whose 'creative financing' may have cost HUD $4.5 million dollars in the 1980's.

        •  thank you for the ammo (none)
          cause the people who have sent this to me are relatively sane- but have been drinkin the kool aid and didnt know it. As have so many.(sigh) and BTW --Ty for all of this thoughtful and intelligent discourse that has kept me sane for this last year. (even tho I am shy)
    •  Look (none)
      Kerry volunteered to do his second tour of duty in the Mekong delta.

      He still carries shrapnel in his leg (not his ass - that was a different wound).

      I believe that not a single person who served with him is on the side of the swift boat loons, and many of them stood with him on the podium in Boston.

      Dissing his purple hearts, his bronze and silver stars is a slap in the face of every warrior who has earned those honors.


    •  Research (none)
      Some research on this group

      Here are the 10 crewmates who served with Kerry in Vietnam. All but Steve Gardner support John Kerry and stood with him as he made his speech to the DNC. (except Tom Belodeau who is deceased .

      I'll let them speak for themselves, including Steve Gardner. The following are sourced quotes.  

      Starting in late January 1969, this crew completed 18 missions over an intense and dangerous 48 days, almost all of them in the dense jungles of the Mekong Delta. The most intense action came during an extraordinary eight days of more than 10 firefights, remembered by Kerry's crew as the "days of hell."

      David Alston
      Rev. Alston is from Columbia, SC and served in Vietnam in the Navy as a Gunners Mate on PCF-94 with Senator Kerry.

       "David Alston was the gunner atop Kerry's pilot house. Kerry, he told an audience here, was a compassionate commander. `We were in a lot of firefights,' Alston said. `You learn a lot about people. After a firefight, John would come up to me and he would put his hand on me and he'd say, 'David, are you all right?' `I didn't know then that I had a man of God on my boat,' Kerry said. `That's probably why I'm here today'." [Orlando Sentinel, 1/31/04]

      `Down in the Mekong Delta, we lived together, we fought together, we bled together and we survived together,' said Alston. `Whether we were Democratic or Republican was not the issue,' he said. `The issues at that time were trust, courage, judgment and character.' Alston attached those attributes to Kerry and introduced his friend with no further ceremony." [Providence Journal-Bulletin, 3/23/03]

      Alston is the crewmate who gave a speech at the DNC last week. The text is here

      Del Sandusky
      Mr. Sandusky is from Dunedin, FL and served in Vietnam in the Navy as the senior enlisted man on PCF-94 with Senator Kerry.

      "Kerry commanded a Navy `Swift Boat' that patrolled the Mekong delta. His crew recalls Kerry as brainy and extremely aggressive, `a good leader and a bit of a hard-charger,' says Del Sandusky from Elgin, Ill." [Washington Post, 6/2/02]
      "Del Sandusky, 58, of Elgin, Ill., and Clearwater, Fla., served under Kerry on a patrol boat in 1969. When another boat hit a mine, Kerry ordered the dead and injured brought on board and the sinking boat towed, six or seven miles, to the Gulf of Tonkin. Because Americans had died on the boat, Kerry, out of loyalty, wouldn't leave it behind for the enemy. `All the boat crew men volunteered to help in anyway we can,' with Kerry's political campaigns, Sandusky said. `Whatever he wants, we'll help him with. Because we believe in him.' " [AP, 12/6/02]

      Fred Short
      Mr. Short is from North Little Rock, AR and served in Vietnam in the Navy as a Gunners Mate on PCF-94 with Senator Kerry.

      "In 1969, I was Sen. Kerry's gun mate atop of the Swift boat in Vietnam. And I just wanted to let everyone know that, contrary to all the rumors that you might hear from the other side, Sen. Kerry's blood is red, not blue. I know, I've seen it.

      "If it weren't for Sen. John Kerry, on the 28th of February 1969, the day he won the Silver Star . . . you and I would not be having this conversation. My name would be on a long, black wall in Washington, D.C. I saw this man save my life."3
      3La Ganga, Maria L.   "Crewmates Attest to Kerry's Mettle as Wartime Commander."     Los Angeles Times.   29 July 2004   (p. A13).     Zoroya, Greg.   "Vietnam Crewmates Steady at Kerry's Side."     USA Today.   29 July 2004   (p. A4).

      Gene Thorson
      Mr. Thorson is from Ames, Iowa and served in Vietnam in the Navy as a Engineman on PCF-94 with Senator Kerry.

      In support of this grassroots deployment, 73,000 Iowa veteran households received a mailing in December from Kerry's Vietnam swift boat crewmate Gene Thorsen, of Ames, IA, rallying them to "stand up for John Kerry the same way he stands up for veterans."

      He said he knew back then that the skipper of his boat, John Kerry, was bound for high places. Almost 30 years later, Thorson got a call from Kerry asking for political help. Now, he often gives up his weekends to travel with other veterans and campaign with Kerry on his run for president.
      By: Matt Neznanski, Staff Writer July 19, 2004
      Ames Tribune

      "He took care of all of us. He really did," Thorson said.
      Des Moines Register

      Tom Belodeau is deceased, he served on PCF-94 with Kerry

      Kerry was helped by the fact that Belodeau stood beside him and said he had been misquoted."This man was not lying on the ground. This man was more than capable of destroying that boat and everybody on it. Senator Kerry did not give him that opportunity," Belodeau said. He also said that he was not sure whether or not he had hit the attacker.
      May 06, 2004 National Review Online

      Mike Medeiros
      Mr. Medeiros is from San Leandros, California and served in Vietnam in the Navy on PCF-94 with Senator Kerry.

      "He made good decisions, I believe proper decisions," said Mike Medeiros of San Leandro, Calif., who served for four months on Kerry's swift boat in Vietnam. "And the fact that we all returned alive is a good indication that they were the right decisions."Medeiros was reunited with Kerry in 1996, when Republicans were attacking his military record in a heated Senate race. Kerry's crew mates came to set the record straight at the Charlestown Navy Yard, the same place they stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the eve of his nomination acceptance.  July 28, 2004 From  AP

      Kerry captained this ship from November 1968 to January 1969. This command saw considerably less action

      Jim Wasser
      Mr. Wasser is from St. Anne, IL and served in Vietnam in the Navy as a Radarman on PCF-44 with Senator Kerry.

      Mr. Kerry took command of P.C.F.-44 with a veteran crew headed by Mr. Wasser, a radarman second class. "Always, when there's a new guy on the boat, you check him out," Mr. Wasser said. "It only took me a few days. We knew that we had somebody special that cared for us. We bonded."
      Combative and politically conservative, Mr. Wasser, from Kankakee, Ill., had a pair of American flags tattooed on his shoulder and still loathes Jane Fonda.
      NYTimes Febuary 24 2004

      What I saw back then [in Vietnam] was a guy with genuine caring and leadership ability who was aggressive when he had to be. What I see now is a guy who's not afraid to tackle tough issues. And he knows what the consequences are of putting people's kids in harm's way."
      2.   Braun, Stephen.   "Kerry's War Tour Serves as Theme, Target."     Los Angeles Times.   29 July 2004   (p. A13).     Brinkley, Douglas.   Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War.     New York: HarperCollins, 2004.   ISBN 0-06-056523-3.     Klein, Joe.   "The Long War of John Kerry."     The New Yorker.   2 December 2002.     Kranish, Michael.   "John F. Kerry: Candidate in the Making -- Part 2: Heroism, and Growing Concern About War."     The Boston Globe.   16 June 2003.

      Drew Whitlow
      Mr. Whitlow is from Huntsville, AR and served in Vietnam in the Navy as a Boatswain Mate on PCF-44 with Senator Kerry.

      "I figured with the abilities he had, he was going to go high, but I didn't have any idea about him running for president," said Whitlow, 57, wearing a cap decorated with Kerry campaign pins.
      Whitlow said he recalled Kerry as a humble seaman when he joined Whitlow's crew as a lieutenant junior grade in 1968.
      Kerry told crewmates, "I know you guys don't need me but I sure need you," said Whitlow, who served as a boatswain mate.
      "He accepted us for who we were," Whitlow said. "The decisions that he made saved our lives.
      "He never shot from the hip when it came to decisions," Whitlow said. "He'd always confront the problems head on."
      Whitlow, a Kerry campaign coordinator for veterans in western and southern Arkansas, began campaigning for Kerry in September 2003. In January, Whitlow traveled with Kerry to Iowa and New Hampshire.
      The Times Record Fort Smith, Arkansas  Thursday, July 29, 2004

      Bill Zaladonis
      Mr. Zaladonis is from Sanford, FL and served in Vietnam in the Navy on PCF-44 with Senator Kerry.

      "I never saw John back down from anything," crewmember Bill Zaladonis says
      April 13, 2004 USA Today

      Steve Hatch
      Mr. Hatch served in Vietnam in the Navy on PCF-44 with Senator Kerry.
      Stephen W. Hatch of Altoona, Pa., with four tattoos, who says he supports Mr. Kerry though he wants no part of politics.
      NYTimes Febuary 24 2004

      "He wouldn't let you go randomly down the river shooting up everything in sight," says Stephen Hatch, who served on the first of Kerry's two boats.
      April 13, 2004 USA Today

      Stephen M. Gardner
      Served in Vietnam in the Navy on PCF-44 with Senator John Kerry

      "Kerry was chickenshit," he insists. "Whenever a firefight started he always pulled up stakes and got the hell out of Dodge."    

      "I was driving down the road, and I hit that [radio] button and Rush was talking about Kerry and his campaign and how something just didn't feel right to him," Gardner recalled, his voice full of conviction. "Something about what John Kerry did or was doing, just really didn't set right with him. And you know I served with this guy, and the bottom line to it is; harsh as this may sound or as good as it sounds to any Democrat, out there, John Kerry is another `Slick Willy.' He's another Bill Clinton and that's exactly what he is. And I'm telling you right now, that if John Kerry gets to be president of these United States, it'll be a sorry day in this world for us. We can't stand another Democrat like that in there again. We'll get our asses in such a sling this time; we won't be able to get out of it. And the bottom line to it is, I don't care how much John Kerry's changed after he moved off my boat, his initial patterns of behavior when I met him and served under him was somebody who ran from the enemy, rather than engaged it. If I'd had Rush's 800 number, or known how to reach him, I would have called in."    

      "I've told a few of my friends that he was an asshole," Gardner says. "But I'm not looking to make news."    

      "Kerry sat some of them down and convinced them to buy into his side of what happened over there,"    

      "When you're as persuasive as Kerry it's not hard to make a guy change something that he saw."

      A recent interview with Gardner is at the Time link. The interview explains why he haven't been heard of until recently. All of the Gardner quotes are here and more.
      The author of the Time article states that he believes Gardner's motives are political, and after reading what he had to say I'm inclined to agree.

      Jim Rassmann was not a crewmate but I think belongs here.
      Jim Rassmann
      Mr. Rassmann is from Florence, OR and served in Vietnam as a Special Forces Officer in the Army.

      He clung to the net as bullets whizzed past. `Next thing I knew, John came out in the middle of all this,' Rassmann says. `I couldn't believe it. He was going to get killed. He ran to the edge, reached over with his good arm [Kerry had been wounded in his right arm] and pulled me over the lip.' Rassmann later recommended Kerry for the Silver Star, and was upset when the Army instead awarded Kerry a lesser Bronze Star with a `V' for valor." [Los Angeles Times, 3/13/04]

      Under [Navy Admiral Elmo] Zumwalt's command, swift boats would aggressively engage the enemy. Zumwalt, who died in 2000, calculated in his autobiography that these men under his command had a 75 percent chance of being killed or wounded during a typical year.

      Here is Kerry's request to go to Vietnam




      I have seen this website. It reminds me of the attack on John McCain 2000.

      The leader of this group, John O'Neill didn't meet Kerry until 1971.

      from the website

      "our group includes men who served beside Kerry in combat as well as his commanders."

      The only man here who served beside Kerry in combat  is Steve Gardner.,8816,599034,00.html

      Here is what his commanders said about Kerry in his fitness reports

      Lieutenant Commander George Elliott

      In a combat environment often requiring independent, decisive action LTJG Kerry was unsurpassed. He constantly reviewed tactics and lessons learned in river operations and applied his experience at every opportunity. On one occasion while in tactical command of a three boat operation his units were taken under fire from ambush. LTJG Kerry rapidly assessed the situation and ordered his units to turn directly into the ambush. This decision resulted in routing the attackers with several enemy KIA.
      LTJG Kerry emerges as the acknowledged leader in his peer group. His bearing and appearance are above reproach. He has of his own volition learned the Vietnamese language and is instrumental in the successful Vietnamese training program.  
      During the period of this report LTJG Kerry has been awarded the Silver Star medal, the Bronze Star medal, the Purple Heart medal (2nd and 3rd awards).

      Lt. Commander Grant Hibbard

      Hibbard's evaluation was brief and incomplete because Hibbard oversaw Kerry's service for only about two weeks. Kerry's duty under Hibbard included "counter infiltration operations against Viet Cong forces. Engaged in combat operations." Hibbard marked a few performance categories, noting that Kerry's initiative, cooperation, and bearing ranked among the top few. But unlike other evaluators who wrote about specific actions by Kerry, Hibbard did not do so, providing this explanation: "The short period LTJG Kerry was attached to Coast Division 14 prevents further evaluation."

      Captain Adrian Lonsdale

      In the November 4, 1996, issue of South Coast Today, wrote: "Adrian Lonsdale remembers a young John F. Kerry as a naval officer who was a good debater, even back in his days in Vietnam. "'He and I and others used to have long discussions at the officers club,' said Mr. Lonsdale of Mattapoisett, a former Coast Guard officer who commanded a division in which the Massachusetts senator was attached back in 1969. 'They were very spirited discussions about the war and the politics back home.' "'He was opposed to the war but it didn't make any difference in his performance,' said the former owner and still instructor at Northeast Maritime Institute in New Bedford. 'He was a very good officer.' "Capt. Lonsdale was among a group of former Vietnam veterans the Massachusetts Democrat brought to the Charlestown navy yard recently to rebut a Boston Globe column that raised questions about Sen. Kerry's Vietnam service, particularly the Silver Star he won. "Mr. Lonsdale was in charge of a two-division flotilla opereating [sic] out of Phu Quoc, a big island near the Cambodian border. One division was made up of Swift boats, fast 50-foot offshore boats, while the other was composed of 82-foot Coast Guard patrol boats."
      Note this is not a fitness report

      Admiral Zumwalt

      Admiral Zumwalt signed Kerry's silver star recommendation. In 1996, he defended John Kerry in the midst of a close political campaign. Admiral Zumwalt is deceased, his son  decided to speak on his behalf on the website .

      Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann
      I had a quote from Vietnam but I lost it. I will find it and out it another email.
      He did not write a fitness report.

      Captain Charles Plumly
      Kerry was under his command for a brief time. There are no reports from him about Kerry from 1969.

      J*oseph Streuli and George M. Elliott*

      Evaluation co-signed by Joseph Streuli and George M. Elliott on January 28, 1969, and March 17, 1969, respectively:
      ... exhibited all of the traits of an officer in a combat environment. He frequently exhibited a high sense of imagination and judgment in planning operations against the enemy in the Mekong Delta.

      Captain Allen W. Slifer

      October 19, 1967, evaluation from Captain Allen W. Slifer: "A top notch officer in every measurable trait. Intelligent, mature, and rich in educational background and experience, ENS Kerry is one of the finest young officers I have ever met and without question one of the most promising. "

      Admiral Walter F. Schlech

      March 2, 1970 evaluation from Admiral Walter F. Schlech:
      "... one of the finest young officers with whom I have served in a long naval career."

      Captain E.W. Harper, Jr

      September 3, 1968, evaluation from Captain E.W. Harper, Jr.:
      LTJG KERRY is an intelligent and competent young naval officer who has performed his duties in an excellent to outstanding manner.

      The last Four Commanders here are not mentioned on the website, but I think their evaluation of him belongs here. This list includes all Navy fitness reports.

      The other men on this website do not claim to have served with, commanded, or even know Kerry.

      I believe most of these men are anti-Kerry because of his activities after the war. If you read their statements, most don't even mention his service in Vietnam. The ones who do had something very different to say at the time. (except Gardner who said nothing then)
      It is their right to campaign against Kerry, but not to rewrite Kerry's service in Veitnam.

      The Commanders are career officers and I believe more likely to oppose anti-war activities

      This group has a couple big financial backers from Texas, who are not mentioned on the website. Their political donations for 2002 in Texas are noted below. They are also donors at the national level to republicans.

      Registered as a "527" organization with the Internal Revenue Service, the "Swift Boat Veterans" group can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money for campaign activities, but is prohibited from working directly with the Bush campaign or the Republican Party.

      This group has $158,000.

      $100,000  from Bob Perry he is from Texas
      Bob Perry donated $2,983,500 in fiscal year 2002 in Texas, 96,4% to republicans
      As far as I can tell he did not serve in the military, he is not mentioned on the website

      $25,000    from Harlan Crow he is from Texas
      Harlan Crow donated $323,200 in fiscal year 2002 in Texas, 86% to republicans
      As far as I can tell he did not serve in the military, he is not mentioned on the website
      He is a Trustee of the Bush Library

      $25,000    from O'Neill
      O'Neill is the leader of this group.


  •  I think that we beat the Bush AWOL drum (none)
    and encourage Kerry to crush this O'Neill piece of shit once and for all.  Kerry needs to show that he won't take anybody's shit, and can kick ass and take names.  The Swift Boat Liars seem to be a target of opportunity.

    FYI -- O'Neill is a lawyer, and if there are lies in this book, I say we go after this guys license to practice law.  Generally speaking, the ethical codes for the various state bars do require attorneys (ethics for attorneys, get real you say) to act with some degree of honesty in their other business endeavors.  

    "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

    by LionelEHutz on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:22:09 AM PDT

    •  It's about Bush, not O'Neill (none)
      You only use O'Neill as far as linking him to Bush, then show the country how Bush practices politics, and then hit the AWOL out of the park.
      •  I still think that O'Neill needs to be (none)
        dealt with at some point, even if giving him his just desserts has to wait until after the election.

        "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

        by LionelEHutz on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:33:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  One clear connection is the (none)
        Merrie Spaeth who is the groups spokesperson: her husband was Gov. Bush's counsel in Texas (and his running mate for Lt. Governor in 1994 - although he lost, gov. and lt. gov are seperate ballots).

        Also Margaret Wilson is O'Neill's law partner and also served as Gov.'s counsel to Bush and then in the commerce dept. as his political appointee.

        Mankind faces a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

        by PBJ Diddy on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:36:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ABA Model Rule 8.4 (none)
      "It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to...(c) engage in conduct invovling dishonesty, fraud, decit or misrepresentation."  

      This rule makes lawyers professionaly answerable for offenses that indicate negative characteristics relevant to law practice.  I think a well known lawyer engaging in publicity seeking libel and defamation would fall under this aegis.  It really reflects badly on the profession when practicing lawyers are engaging in this sort of over the top behavior.

      The Texas rules are probably similar.

      One thing a bar complaint might do is make one of the well known lawyers this organization like O'Neill disown certain statements in the book, thus further hurting the credibility of the Swift organiztion.  

      I agree though that something like this is probably a last resort.

      But what about when the election is over...?  

      •  That's exactly what I was thinking of. (none)
        Thanks for digging out the rule.  Texas probably has a similar rule, as most states either adopt the ABA Model rules wholesale or modify them slightly.  

        Remember, the republicans went after Clinton with a bar complaint and now he can't practice law again for at least another two years.

        At some point it will be time to bring the hammer down upon Mr. O'Neill.  

        "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

        by LionelEHutz on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 12:12:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  According to (none)
    Joe Conason (subscribe or watch the ad and get free day pass...)

    A private detective retained by "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" -- the Texas-based group seeking to discredit John Kerry's military record -- is contacting veterans who may have information about the incidents that led to Kerry's Vietnam decorations. According to a former Kerry crew member, several of the Massachusetts senator's old Navy comrades have refused to talk with the detective, a former FBI agent named Thomas Rupprath -- and some have complained that the detective tried to put damaging words in their mouths. ...

    Two months ago, their opening salvo against the Democratic presidential nominee fizzled -- in part because it was revealed that several of the same officers now criticizing Kerry had written strongly positive evaluations of him as a young lieutenant decades ago. ...

    ...several of the group's leaders have longstanding ties with the Republican Party.

    So does its most significant financial backer. The largest donor by far is Houston home builder and religious right activist Bob Perry. According to the group's latest IRS filing, Perry gave $100,000 to the "Swift Boat Veterans" on June 30. ...

     "They told me that he (private detective who interviewed Kerry's shipmates) sent them transcripts [of their interviews] and that they told him that his version was a misrepresentation of what they said."

    Conason also debunks the Swift boat veterans in general - detailing their connections to the highest levels of the republican party machine, with connections to George Bush, Charles Colson, Theodore Olsen, Kenneth Starr, and the crew that smeared John McCain in 2000.  

    Additionally, although I can't locate the cite right now, a lot of the vets they claim 'served in Kerry's unit' didn't serve AT THE SAME TIME as Kerry, so have no first hand knowledge to speak from.

    Mankind faces a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

    by PBJ Diddy on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:27:18 AM PDT

  •  Snopes says it's false (4.00)
    Claim:   John Kerry's Vietnam War service medals (a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts) were earned under "fishy" circumstances.

    Status:   False.

    Origins:   In  
    Vietnam, Lieutenant John Kerry served aboard 50-foot aluminum boats known as PCFs (from "patrol craft fast") or "Swift boats" (supposedly an acronym for "Shallow Water Inshore Fast Tactical Craft"). Despite the implications contained in the piece quoted above ("that duty wasn't the worst you could draw"), Swift boat duty was plenty dangerous:
    . . . two weeks after [Kerry] arrived in Vietnam, the swift boat mission changed -- and Kerry went from having one of the safest assignments in the escalating conflict to one of the most dangerous. Under the newly launched Operation SEALORD, swift boats were charged with patrolling the narrow waterways of the Mekong Delta to draw fire and smoke out the enemy. Cruising inlets and coves and canals, swift boats were especially vulnerable targets.

    Originally designed to ferry oil workers to ocean rigs, swift boats offered flimsy protection. Because bullets could easily penetrate the hull, sailors hung flak jackets over the sides. The boat's loud engine invited ambushes. Speed was its saving grace -- but that wasn't always an option in narrow, heavily mined canals.

    The swift boat crew typically consisted of a college-educated skipper, such as Kerry, and five blue-collar sailors averaging 19 years old. The most vulnerable sailor sat in the "tub" -- a squat nest that rose above the pilot house -- and operated a pair of .50-caliber machine guns. Another gunner was in the rear. Kerry's mission was to wait until hidden Viet Cong guerrillas started shooting, then order his men to return fire.
    It  was not at all unusual that a Swift boat crew member might be wounded more than once in a relatively short period of time, or that injuries meriting the award of a Purple Heart might not be serious enough to require time off from duty. According to a Boston Globe overview of John Kerry's Vietnam experience:

    Under [Navy Admiral Elmo] Zumwalt's command, swift boats would aggressively engage the enemy. Zumwalt, who died in 2000, calculated in his autobiography that these men under his command had a 75 percent chance of being killed or wounded during a typical year.

    "There were an awful lot of Purple Hearts -- from shrapnel, some of those might have been M-40 grenades," said George Elliott, Kerry's commanding officer. "The Purple Hearts were coming down in boxes. Kerry, he had three Purple Hearts. None of them took him off duty. Not to belittle it, that was more the rule than the exception."
    And according to Douglas Brinkley's history of John Kerry and the Vietnam War:
    As generally understood, the Purple Heart is given to any U.S. citizen wounded in wartime service to the nation. Giving out Purple Hearts increased as the United States started sending Swifts up rivers. Sailors -- no longer safe on aircraft carriers or battleships in the Gulf of Tonkin -- were starting to bleed, a lot.
    John Kerry was wounded in his first significant combat action, when he volunteered for a special mission on 2 December 1968:

    "It was a half-assed action that hardly qualfied as combat, but it was my first, and that made it very exciting," [Kerry said]. "Three of us, two enlisted men and myself, had stayed up all night in a Boston Whaler [a foam-filled-fiberglass boat] patrolling the shore off a Viet Cong-infested peninsula north of Cam Ranh . . . Most of the night had been spent being scared shitless by fisherman whom we would suddenly creep up on in the darkness. Once, one of the sailors was so startled by two men who surprised us as we came around a corner ten yards from the shore that he actually pulled the trigger on his machine gun. Fortunately for the two men, he had forgotten to switch off the safety . . ."

    As it turned out, the two men really were just a pair of innocent fisherman who didn't know where one zone began and the other ended. Their papers were perfectly in order, if their night's fishing over. The fear was that they were VC. Allowing them to continue might have compromised the mission. For the next four hours Kerry's Boston Whaler, using paddles, brought boatloads of fisherman they found in sampans, all operating in a curfew zone, back to the Swift. It was tiring work. "We deposited them with the Swift boat that remained out in the deep water to give us cover," Kerry continued. "Then, very early in the morning, around 2:00 or 3:00, while it was still dark, we proceeded up the tiny inlet between the island and the peninsula to the point designated as our objective. The jungle closed in on us on both sides. It was scary as hell. You could hear yourself breathing. We were almost touching the shore. Suddenly, through the magnified moonlight of the infrared 'starlight scope,' I watched, mesmerized, as a group of sampans glided in toward the shore. We had been briefed that this was a favorite crossing area for VC trafficking contraband."

    With its motor turned off, Kerry paddled the Boston Whaler out of the inlet into the beginning of the bay. Simultaneously the Vietnamese pulled their sampans up onto the beach and began to unload something; he couldn't tell what, so he decided to illuminate the proceedings with a flare. The entire sky seemed to explode into daylight. The men from the sampans bolted erect, stiff with shock for only an instant before they sprang for cover like a herd of panicked gazelles Kerry had once seen on TV's Wild Kingdom. "We opened fire," he went on. "The light from the flares started to fade, the air was full of explosions. My M-16 jammed, and as I bent down in the boat to grab another gun, a stinging piece of heat socked into my arm and just seemed to burn like hell. By this time one of the sailors had started the engine and we ran by the beach, strafing it. Then it was quiet.

    "We stayed quiet and low because we did not want to illuminate ourselves at that point," Kerry explained. "In the dead of night, without any knowledge of what kind of force was there, we were not all about to go crawling on the beach to get our asses shot off. We were unprotected; we didn't have ammunition, we didn't have cover, we just weren't prepared for that . . . So we first shot the sampans so that they were destroyed and whatever was in them was destroyed." Then their cover boat warned of a possible VC ambush in the small channel they had to exit through, and Kerry and company departed the area.
    The "stinging piece of heat" Kerry felt in his arm had been caused by a piece of shrapnel, a wound for which he was awarded a Purple Heart. The injury was not serious -- Brinkley notes that Kerry went on a regular Swift boat patrol the next day with a bandage on his arm, and the Boston Globe quoted William Schachte, who oversaw the mission and went on to become a rear admiral, as recalling that "It was not a very serious wound at all."

    Kerry earned his second Purple Heart while returning from a PCF mission up the Bo De River on 20 February 1969:

    One of the mission's support helicopters had been hit by small-arms fire during the trip up the Bo De and the rest had returned with it to their base to refuel and get the damage inspected. While there the pilots found that they wouldn't be able to return to the Swifts for several more hours. "We therefore had a choice: to wait for what was not a confirmed return by the helos [and] give any snipers more time to set up an ambush for our exit or we could take a chance and exit immediately without any cover," Kerry recorded in his notebook. "We chose the latter."

    Just as they moved out onto the Cua Lon, at a junction known for unfriendliness in the past, kaboom! PCF-94 had taken a rocket-propelled grenade round off the port side, fired at them from the far left bank. Kerry felt a piece of hot shrapnel bore into his left leg. With blood running down the deck, the Swift managed to make an otherwise uneventful exit into the Gulf of Thailand, where they rendezvoused with a Coast Guard cutter. The injury Kerry suffered in that action earned his his second Purple Heart.
    Brinkley noted that, as in the previous case, "Kerry's wound was not serious enough to require time off from duty."

    Kerry earned his Silver Star on 28 February 1969, when he beached his craft and jumped off it with an M-16 rifle in hand to chase and shoot a guerrilla who was running into position to launch a B-40 rocket at Kerry's boat. Contrary to the account quoted above, Kerry did not shoot a "Charlie" who had "fired at the boat and missed," whose "rocket launcher was empty," and who was "already dead or dying" after being "knocked down with a .50 caliber round." Kerry's boat had been hit by a rocket fired by someone else -- the guerrilla in question was still armed with a live B-40 and had only been clipped in the leg; when the guerrilla got up to run, Kerry assumed he was getting into position to launch a rocket and shot him:

    On Feb. 28, 1969, Kerry's boat received word that a swift boat was being ambushed. As Kerry raced to the scene, his boat became another target, as a Viet Cong B-40 rocket blast shattered a window. Kerry could have ordered his crew to hit the enemy and run. But the skipper had a more aggressive reaction in mind. Beach the boat, Kerry ordered, and the craft's bow was quickly rammed upon the shoreline. Out of the bush appeared a teenager in a loin cloth, clutching a grenade launcher.

    An enemy was just feet away, holding a weapon with enough firepower to blow up the boat. Kerry's forward gunner, [Tommy] Belodeau, shot and clipped the Viet Cong in the leg. Then Belodeau's gun jammed, according to other crewmates (Belodeau died in 1997). [Michael] Medeiros tried to fire at the Viet Cong, but he couldn't get a shot off.

    In an interview, Kerry added a chilling detail.

    "This guy could have dispatched us in a second, but for . . . I'll never be able to explain, we were literally face to face, he with his B-40 rocket and us in our boat, and he didn't pull the trigger. I would not be here today talking to you if he had," Kerry recalled. "And Tommy clipped him, and he started going [down.] I thought it was over."

    Instead, the guerrilla got up and started running. "We've got to get him, make sure he doesn't get behind the hut, and then we're in trouble," Kerry recalled.

    So Kerry shot and killed the guerrilla. "I don't have a second's question about that, nor does anybody who was with me," he said. "He was running away with a live B-40, and, I thought, poised to turn around and fire it." Asked whether that meant Kerry shot the guerrilla in the back, Kerry said, "No, absolutely not. He was hurt, other guys were shooting from back, side, back. There is no, there is not a scintilla of question in any person's mind who was there [that] this guy was dangerous, he was a combatant, he had an armed weapon."
    Another member of the crew confirmed Kerry's account for the Boston Globe and expressed no doubt that Kerry's action had saved both the boat and its crew:

    The crewman with the best view of the action was Frederic Short, the man in the tub operating the twin guns. Short had not talked to Kerry for 34 years, until after he was recently contacted by a Globe reporter. Kerry said he had "totally forgotten" Short was on board that day.

    Short had joined Kerry's crew just two weeks earlier, as a last-minute replacement, and he was as green as the Arkansas grass of his home. He said he didn't realize that he should have carried an M-16 rifle, figuring the tub's machine guns would be enough. But as Kerry stood face to face with the guerrilla carrying the rocket, Short realized his predicament. With the boat beached and the bow tilted up, a guard rail prevented him from taking aim at the enemy. For a terrifying moment, the guerrilla looked straight at Short with the rocket.

    Short believes the guerrilla didn't fire because he was too close and needed to be a suitable distance to hit the boat squarely and avoid ricochet debris. Short tried to protect his skipper.

    "I laid in fire with the twin .50s, and he got behind a hootch," recalled Short. "I laid 50 rounds in there, and Mr. Kerry went in. Rounds were coming everywhere. We were getting fire from both sides of the river. It was a canal. We were receiving fire from the opposite bank, also, and there was no way I could bring my guns to bear on that."

    Short said there is "no doubt" that Kerry saved the boat and crew. "That was a him-or-us thing, that was a loaded weapon with a shape charge on it . . . It could pierce a tank. I wouldn't have been here talking to you. I probably prayed more up that creek than a Southern Baptist church does in a month."

    Charles Gibson, who served on Kerry's boat that day because he was on a one-week indoctrination course, said Kerry's action was dangerous but necessary. "Every day you wake up and say, 'How the hell did we get out of that alive?'" Gibson said. "Kerry was a good leader. He knew what he was doing."
    Although Kerry's superiors were somewhat concerned about the issue of his leaving his boat unattended, they nonetheless found his actions courageous and worthy of commendation:

    When Kerry returned to his base, his commanding officer, George Elliott, raised an issue with Kerry: the fine line between whether the action merited a medal or a court-martial.

    "When [Kerry] came back from the well-publicized action where he beached his boat in middle of ambush and chased a VC around a hootch and ended his life, when [Kerry] came back and I heard his debrief, I said, 'John, I don't know whether you should be court-martialed or given a medal, court-martialed for leaving your ship, your post,'" Elliott recalled in an interview.

    "But I ended up writing it up for a Silver Star, which is well deserved, and I have no regrets or second thoughts at all about that," Elliott said. A Silver Star, which the Navy said is its fifth-highest medal, commends distinctive gallantry in action.

    Asked why he had raised the issue of a court-martial, Elliott said he did so "half tongue-in-cheek, because there was never any question I wanted him to realize I didn't want him to leave his boat unattended. That was in context of big-ship Navy -- my background. A C.O. [commanding officer] never leaves his ship in battle or anything else. I realize this, first of all, it was pretty courageous to turn into an ambush even though you usually find no more than two or three people there. On the other hand, on an operation some time later, down on the very tip of the peninsula, we had lost one boat and several men in a big operation, and they were hit by a lot more than two or three people."

    Elliott stressed that he never questioned Kerry's decision to kill the Viet Cong, and he appeared in Boston at Kerry's side during the 1996 Senate race to back up that aspect of Kerry's action.

    "I don't think they were exactly ready to court-martial him," said Wade Sanders, who commanded a swift boat that sometimes accompanied Kerry's vessel, and who later became deputy assistant secretary of the Navy. "I can only say from the certainty borne of experience that there must have been some rumbling about, 'What are we going to do with this guy, he turned his boat,' and I can hear the words, 'He endangered his crew.' But from our position, the tactic to take is whatever action is best designed to eliminate the enemy threat, which is what he did."

    Indeed, the Silver Star citation makes clear that Kerry's performance on that day was both extraordinary and risky. "With utter disregard for his own safety and the enemy rockets," the citation says, Kerry "again ordered a charge on the enemy, beached his boat only 10 feet from the Viet Cong rocket position and personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy . . . The extraordinary daring and personal courage of Lt. Kerry in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire were responsible for the highly successful mission."
    Kerry was injured yet again on 13 March 1969, in an action for which he was awarded both a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart. According to Kerry's Bronze Star citation (signed by Admiral Zumwalt himself):

    Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry was serving as an Officer-in-Charge of Inshore Patrol Craft 94, one of five boats conducting a Sealords operation in the Bay Hap River. While exiting the river, a mine detonated under another Inshore Patrol Craft and almost simultaneously, another mine detonated wounding Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry in the right arm. In addition, all units began receiving small arms and automatic weapons fire from the river banks. When Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry discovered he had a man overboard, he returned upriver to assist. The man in the water was receiving sniper fire from both banks. Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry directed his gunners to provide suppressing fire, while from an exposed position on the bow, his arm bleeding and in pain and with disregard for his personal safety, he pulled the man aboard. Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry then directed his boat to return to and assist the other damaged boat to safety. Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry's calmness, professionalism and great personal courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
    According to the Boston Globe, this was the only one of Kerry's three Purple Heart injuries that caused him to miss any days of service:

    Kerry had been wounded three times and received three Purple Hearts. Asked about the severity of the wounds, Kerry said that one of them cost him about two days of service, and that the other two did not interrupt his duty. "Walking wounded," as Kerry put it. A shrapnel wound in his left arm gave Kerry pain for years. Kerry declined a request from the Globe to sign a waiver authorizing the release of military documents that are covered under the Privacy Act and that might shed more light on the extent of the treatment Kerry needed as a result of the wounds.
    Back in 1969, Navy regulations specified that any soldier wounded in combat three times be automatically reassigned away from a combat zone to an assignment of his choosing (unless the thrice-wounded soldier specifically requested to stay). Four days after Kerry took his third hit of shrapnel, Commodore Charles F. Horne, an administrative official and commander of the coastal squadron in which Kerry served, forwarded a request on Kerry's behalf to the Navy Bureau of Personnel asking that Kerry be reassigned to "duty as a personal aide in Boston, New York, or Washington, D.C." Soon afterwards Kerry was transferred to Cam Ranh Bay to await further orders, and within a month he had been reassigned as a personal aide and flag lieutenant to Rear Admiral Walter F. Schlech, Jr. with the Military Sea Transportation Service based in Brooklyn, New York.

    Kerry served with Admiral Schlech until the end of 1969, when he requested an early discharge from the Navy in order to run for a Massachusetts congressional seat. Admiral Schlech approved the request, and on 3 January 1970 Kerry received an honorable discharge, six months early.

    Re-Defeat Bush in 2004

    by Bidabunch on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 01:28:01 AM PDT

  •  This will backfire or simply die (none)
    I actually hope this gets play.  The only people who'll believe this shit are the hopeless 30 percent.  The rest of the country will either ignore it or be pissed at the depths to which the other side has sunk.
  •  Well (none)
    you know him having the guys who actually served with him (republicans simply dont have access to people who .. actually served) during the Convention makes Drudgescum and these lying right wing hacks look a little stupid.. and dishonorable.. dont you think.

    "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

    by cdreid on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 02:14:17 AM PDT

  •  I think this backfires (none)
    #1:  if this book is claiming his wounds were self-inflicted that is utterly amazing to me.  John O'Neill has questioned them in the past, but I thought he'd laid off that particular crack pipe.  

    #2:  any questioning of medals.  be it purple hearts, or the merits of Kerry's other medals is idiotic..especially vis a vis shrub.

    #3:  the proper response to this is incredulity.

    ie.  if I were calling in to a radio show, my sole line of attack would be this question:

    "am I getting this straight,  you're questioning John Kerry's Purple Hearts and Silver Stars?"

    "I just want to get this straight, you're questioning John Kerry's wounds in combat"

    It doesn't matter if you win the "debate" or not...which you won't, because they only give you about half a sentence.  So...just ask the question, hang up and leave it at that.  You've made the entire argument right there.

    2004's the election, 2005's the prize...let'sTCB!

    by kid oakland on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 02:17:50 AM PDT

  •  follow the money (4.00)
    I'd point them to O'Neill's law firm's website to look at the "representative cases" that this lil' old lt. brags about.
    Imagine, the government of China looked all over the world for a lawyer, and just happened to pick John O'neill to file their first ever US lawsuit!
    it's not what O'Neill gave to Bush, but what Bush has sent to O'Neill.

    Mini Examples
    TransAmerican v. EOG Resources, Inc.
     The firm settled, under extremely favorable terms for  the defendant, this claim for $100¾million in actual damages and $300¾million in punitive damages, which involved trade secret claims, fraud, and antitrust law, and which was pending in Hidalgo County, Texas. The firm represented the client in two separate successful mandamus proceedings in the case

    Lulac   v. Clements
     Litigating pro bono through trial, two en banc decisions by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a Supreme  Court decision, and a final denial of writ of certiorari filed by              the plaintiffs, the firm successfully defended the final en banc judgment in favor of our client and the State of Texas in leading voting rights litigation contesting Texasê county-wide election of state district judges.

    Daqing   Petroleum Administrative Bureau v. Brinkmann Oil & Gas Co.
    In what we believe was the first case brought by the              government of China in a U.S. court, the firm represented an administrative  unit of the Peoples Republic of China in a successful breach of contract

    Arnold  v Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Texas, Inc.
     The firm successfully obtained remand of an HMO claim              in seminal case brought under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Act

    Basic Resources v. Elf Acquitaine
    The firm successfully represented companies controlled              by Sir James Goldsmith in litigation against the National Oil Company  of France.

  •  follow the money2 (none)
    i fixed the
  •  Simple (none)
    This one is seems pretty easy to me.

    Someone in the media asks George W. Bush for a response to these charges.

    Either way, Kerry wins.

    If Bush says "Kerry served his country well in service to this country," then that's it.  It's off the table.

    If Bush says "Well this seems credible to me, I mean it's coming from those that he worked with in the military" then within days, the issue becomes Bush vs. Kerry's service (if Kerry's people are able to flip the conversation, which won't be hard, considering AWOL's service)

    We win there too.  Bush has nothing.

  •  This will backfire (none)

    Remember, most people in the country today have never served, don't want to serve, are horrified at the thought of being shot at, and certainly would not have wanted to go to Vietnam.  Plenty of guys who did go weren't too happy about it, and as a country we've largely decided to give a pass to those who avoided going.  Bush and Cheney among them.

    So Swift Boat Veterans wants to argue that Kerry only deserved say, two medals instead of five medals?  That he wasn't wounded enough?

    Fine, that still sounds like a pretty damn good record to most of the country, and certainly sounds good in comparison to the opposition (or for that matter, to Clinton, Gore, or Quayle, the other Vietnam-era candidates we've had).

    Not tomention, that their complaints seem to be partly that Kerry was too aggressive which is a reputation that most Democratic nominees would pay good money to have!  It seems so at odds with his image now that even if Kerry really was reckless then, the charge won't stick, and it is far, far, less damaging than if they claimed he was cowardly.

    I can't imagine Rove thinks this is a good idea.  And it's the sort of overreach you'd expect from Regnery, like their books claiming that Clinton was a murdering drug-dealer who hung sex toys on the White House christmas tree.  They would be far, far smarter to focus strictly on his anti-war record, where there is some stuff to mine, like guilt by association with groups that sound not just anti-war but anti-soldier.

    So if they really want to give Kerry an opening to spend the next two weeks reminscing about commanding a boat in firefights on the Mekong, bring it on.

  •  ulcer (none)
    Reading this on Drudge I did get the beginnings of an ulcer. If this gets play of any kind, it's a sign of how rotten and corrupt our political system as become. I have no doubt that Kerry will make them eat their words, as he has shown himself to be a ruthless campaigner (Dean attack ads) if needed. O'Neil is idealogue, a right-wing hack.
  •  One thing (none)
    people forget is that Charles Colson, who worked with O'Neill on this crap, wrote Kerry a letter in 1993 aplogizing for this stuff. He said is was very wrong and asked Kerry to forgive him for all the lies.

    John Kerry-A Lifetime of Service and Strength

    by Ga6thDem on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 10:23:36 AM PDT

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