Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
To know him is to loathe him?
Published on July 29, 2004 By Draginol In Democrat

John Kerry and his supporters have made a lot of noise of his 4 months in Vietnam on a Swift boat. But what do the men who actually served with him think? http://www.swiftvets.com/

Overwhelmingly, they reject him. Described variously as a glory hound, he apparently took a home movie camera with him in which he reinacted various events in front of the camera in an effort to glorify what he did.

I don't know enough on this to know how much of it is usual political propaganda or not.  However, I think it is very telling that so few people who served with him have any respect for him. That is very counter to the normal way of things between men who served together in combat.

Even his Purple Hearts have some dispute about them:

(USA Today)
Criticism Of Kerry’s Purple Heart Is Just

…”I was the commanding officer to whom Kerry reported his injury on December 3, 1968. I had confirmed that there was no hostile fire that night – and that Kerry had simply wounded himself with an M-79 grenade round that he’d fired too close.
He wanted a Purple Heart – and I refused**. Louis Letson, the base physician, saw Kerry – and used tweezers to remove the tiny piece of shrapnel, about 1 centimeter in length and 2 millimeters in diameter. Letson also confirmed that the scratch was inflicted with our M-79.” …

“Kerry orchestrated his way out of Vietnam – and then testified under oath before Congress that we, his comrades, had committed horrible war crimes.
This testimony was a lie – and slandered honorable men. We who were actually there believe he is unfit to command our sons and daughters. “

Grant Hibbard, retired commander U.S. Navy, Gulf Breeze, Fla.

Which wouldn't matter one bit to me except that Kerry has made such a stink about his Vietnam service. For all the sewage they've poured onto Bush for "only" flying aircraft in the states for the guard and unsubstantiated postfacto claims of "desertion", Kerry seem to have been living in a glass house all this time.

And that is what is so odd about this.  Kerry has made his Vietnam service such a center point of his campaign.  And yet, at the end of the day, what actually was that service? 4 months in Vietnam with a crew that almost universally despises him as a liar and show boat.  He takes advantage of the fact that most people think of Purple Hearts as being medals for serious wounds when, in his case, 1 of them may have been self-inflicted and the other 2 were for minor injuries.

That isn't to say that he has anything to be ashamed of. But given the war records of Bush Sr. and Bob Dole, neither of whom made anywhere near as much noise about their military career, it is rather stunning that all the valor noise coming from Kerry and his supporters is based on so little.


Comments (Page 1)
on Jul 29, 2004

BTW, before any right-wingers start emailing me anti-Kerry stuff, please be sure to read the Snopes accounts on these:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/kerry/service.asp

on Jul 29, 2004
The problem is he also has a lot of vets he served with in his camp who laud his heroism.

I think this is going to be one of those taboo subjects, not unlike questioning someone's "patriotism" and the minefield that becomes. If anything, it has to be a grass-roots effort to get at the truth, because if anyone on the Bush side utters a word about military service the floodgates open about his own.

I think it is pretty obvious, though, that Kerry's experiences in Vietnam weren't traditional. All the "I'm the next JFK" stuff is creepy. But with his medical records off-limits, and Bush in no position to throw stones, I think this sleeping dog will have to lie...

on Jul 29, 2004

I don't know enough on this to know how much of it is usual political propaganda or not.

considering how well and thoroughly you vet other groups and how emphatically you castigate those who are seemingly stuck in 'attack for the sake of attack' mode, im surprised by your nonchalance regarding swiftboats for truth.   

cbs evening news' (5/13/04)  take on the so-called swift boats for truth group is representative of professional journalists who've researched the organization and its honorary chairman, ret adm roy hoffman--whose evaluations of kerry while they were both in vietnam were very favorable.  (hoffman was the ranking commander in charge of the swiftboat campaign while kerry was in vietnam.):

"But if you think this just a group of concerned veterans, think again. Some of the organizers have a track record of going after Democrats and Republican opponents of President Bush.

"We believe, based on our experience with him, that he is totally unfit to be the commander in chief," said veteran, John O'Neill.

That's the same John O'Neill who debated Kerry about Vietnam on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1971. Back then he was handpicked by the Nixon administration to discredit Kerry.

The press conference was set up by the same people who tried to discredit John McCain when McCain faced George W. Bush for the Republican nomination in 2000.

It's the same strategy used to go after Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, who lost three limbs in Vietnam.

"That sticks in my craw, and it ought to stick in yours, because if you don't go to war, don't throw rocks at those who did," said Cleland."

one cant help but wonder about swiftboats for truth a disturbing record of attacking their brothers in arms to support a candidate who kept himself out of harm's way by playing the system and his running mate who, when asked about his 5 deferments, said "I had other priorities in the '60s." [McGrory, Washington Post, 7/27/00; Geyer, Chicago Tribune, 2/6/04; Arizona Republic, 1/22/04].   regrettably the group behind that site seems so motivated by rabid political partisanship they're willing to trash the reputations and service records of three men who served--and suffered as a consequence--their country honorably in time of war.

on Jul 29, 2004
Afrter a cursory glance through the site, I didn't see any evidence that "overwhelmingly, they reject him," merely that the members of this particular organization reject him. What in particular were you thinking of when you said that?

From what I've read, of the people that served under him in his swift boat, all but one thought highly of him. That last one disliked him intensely. I don't know what his fellow officers thought.
on Jul 29, 2004

 

However, I think it is very telling that so few people who served with him have any respect for him.

if by 'who served with him' you mean the entire set of vietnam era military personnel, you'd be correct in that statement. if you mean men who actually were under his command and personally saw action with him, you're mistaken.

the surviving members of his crews will be on stage with kerry tonight.   here's what one of them, fred short, had to say yesterday about kerry after a firefight: "I had to sit on my hands, I was shaking so hard…. He went to every man on that boat and put his arm around them and asked them how they're doing. I've never had an officer do that before or since. That's the mettle of the man, John Kerry."

today's la times reported:

Jim Wasser, the radar man on one of the Swift boats Kerry commanded, offered perhaps the most vivid testimonial when he hushed a raucous veterans' caucus this week by saying: "If John Kerry would come up to us today and said that he had one more Swift boat mission, and we were going to hell, he would have a full crew."

on Jul 29, 2004
Brad,

I appreciate this article, but I personally think you lose a little punch at the end when you compare his service to Bob Dole and Bush senior (both of whom were true war heroes), given the fact that neither of those two men are running.

Granted, Kerry has used his military career as his ace in the hole, but so have many other presidents through history (Kennedy, Eisenhower, U.S. Grant, Andrew Jackson, to name but a few). That is simply the nature of politics.
on Jul 29, 2004
Granted, Kerry has used his military career as his ace in the hole, but so have many other presidents through history (Kennedy, Eisenhower, U.S. Grant, Andrew Jackson, to name but a few). That is simply the nature of politics.


Maybe so, but this is more like his pair of threes in the hole, whereas Kennedy et al. were sitting on at least pocket Jacks and in some cases a flush or a full house.
on Jul 29, 2004
The telling bit is that he wanted a purple heart for a self-inflicted wound. This guy was laying political groundwork even then. When he came back to the US he immediately began to parley all of this into political capital anyway he could. To the hawkshe was "a 3 purple heart awardee" to the anti-war crowd he said he "committed atrocities" and "threw away his medals" (or others medals depending on which interview he was in). This guy is 90 faced puke.
on Jul 29, 2004
May be I am missing something here, so please help me get to the bottom of why this makes a differences. After three and half years in and out of Viet Nam (1966-1969) and a full year in country (Dec 18, 1968 to Dec 17, 1969) all I came home to was a nation who wanted nothing to do with this war. A nation that was looking for a way out regardless of how bad we looked. At the time it was truely depressing to most of us who volunteer to serve for something we (not all) thought at the time was the right thing to do. Some of us learned as the years rolled by that this was a war that should not have been. That doesn't mean we are sorry for serving only that this war was something that should not have been fought by U.S. Military personnel.

So please expleain by a war that was without a doubt totally wrong and unpopular should, or can mean so much during an election that is taking place almost thirty years after it ended. Also, didn't we just have a president that served not time in the military, "William Jefferson Clinton.?"

Lee
on Jul 30, 2004

That doesn't mean we are sorry for serving only that this war was something that should not have been fought by U.S. Military personnel.

absolutely no need for apologies on your parts.  those who should have done it never would and never will i guess.

im not sure bout the relevance of that war to this election because there arent many direct similarities with these exceptions: its been driven by the same sort of stubborn hubris and inability to see the world in anything other than black or white.

on Jul 30, 2004
I appreciate this article, but I personally think you lose a little punch at the end when you compare his service to Bob Dole and Bush senior


I think Dole and Bush Sr. are relevent because many of the same people who are arguing that Kerry is a superior candidate because of his war record are the same people who said that Clinton's lack of military service shouldn't be used as an issue when he was running against Bush Sr. and Dole. (John Kerry was one of those people.)
on Jul 30, 2004
If someone wants to question one of kerry's purple hearts, then how do they explain away the other ones or the medals he received for bravery. For that matter, how did he get any kind of shrapnel wound without being in harms way. Besides, isn't it true that he still walks around with shrapnel in his leg to this day.
on Jul 30, 2004
As Madine said, this appears to be yet another reason not to vote for Kerry. You can't pick and choose what is relevant as a matter of convienance. I don't care if you're running for president or electing a prom commitee. Stick by your guns or get the hell out!
That's probably my biggest problem with Kerry. He's too iffy at best and tries to vote what's popular at the time..I don't want a blade of grass, subject to the whims of wind to be president.
Sometimes you have to do what is upopular.
on Jul 30, 2004
Kerry has a history of not telling the complete truth. read this..... http://slate.msn.com/id/2079783/
This ios what Jihn Kerry is all about, take from a citizen of the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts
on Jul 30, 2004
Kerry has a history of not telling the complete truth. read this..... http://slate.msn.com/id/2079783/
This is what John Kerry is all about, take from a citizen of the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts