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 3)
on Aug 09, 2004
Well, with that Urban legends article, did you all check the sources? They didn't sound too objective to me- all were pro-Kerry. Here they are:

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.


Do these sound like the best sources for an objective article about his Vietnam service? And should someone get 2 Purple Hearts for wounds that did not impede his service?

And, about the Vietnam war, ever seen the John Wayne movie "Green Berets"? It was the first time I heard about the atrocities of the Viet Cong in detail- they tortured and killed all of the politicians who opposed them, and many of their families- equivalent to the U.S.'s every mayor and member of senate and house of representatives, both nationally and at the state level.
I know the movie wasn't totally real, but it was very much based on true stories from Vietnam, and is the first movie to say that what we did over there might have been noble.
Also, why doesn't he open his records to the public on how he got his medals?
Also, a good article on this on National Review Online, which is a conservative site, but read it anyway, because it is a good article.
Also, with the educated bit, I think many schools at the college and graduate level are very liberal, in the worst sense of the word, and that they are all democrats. It's weird, and it is found mostly in the liberal arts schools, less in the practical ones like technical schools, or places where you can get a job after graduating (engineering schools, accountantcy schools, etc...).

Peace,
Jash
on Aug 09, 2004
The claims that most of these men "didn't serve with Kerry" are based on the fact that they weren't on that particular boat with him. This discounts the people in the next boat over, the doctors that treated him, the many people he operated with, his superiors, etc.

Anyway, he asked for it, he got it. If he had dwelt on the merits of his 20+ years inthe Senate instead of his 4 months in Vietnam, he wouldn't be having this problem; or at least it wouldn't be resonating as much.
on Aug 13, 2004
I've scanned through all the comments here, and for what its worth here are mine:
1) there is a solid GOP link to the SwiftBoat group. Its public face are O'Neill and Hoffman, but behind the scenes is Ted Sampley (who engineered the McCain smear campaign in South Carolina in 2000), most funding came from 3 or 4 Texas legal/lobbyist groups with long GOP affiliations, and most of the groups leaders (including O'Neill) have donated thousands of dollars, all to GOP candidates.
2) Adm. Hoffman has changed his story. For example, on May 6th he told the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal that he "had no first-hand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims to valor and said that although Kerry was under his command, he really didn't know Kerry much personally."
And on Aug 4th, he told Scripps-Howard News "'I knew him well enough to know him."
Yet one day later (on Hannity's radio show), it was "I knew him well, because I operated very closely with him and, uh, many of the operations, uh, most of the operations were-were conducted with multiple boats."
Quite a change in just 3 months.
3) Much has been made of Kerry's 4 months in country. First, this ignores the 4 months were his SECOND overseas tour. The first was almost entirely at sea, but that was the Navy's mission at the time and certainly that isn't something that should count against him. And lets recall it was Pentagon policy that anyone receiving three purple hearts was entitled to request reassignment out of 'Nam. Again, not his fault, and can anyone seriously fault him for leaving? He'd been wounded three times in four months! Not a good indicator of possible things to come. Plus he'd become disenchanted with the war. And for what its worth, several politicians considered war heros didn't necessarily spend long times in the combat zone (ie. George HW Bush was only in theatre, I believe, 7 months before being shot down and removed from theatre - does it make his service any less honorable?).
4) I just cannot get past the reversals by many of the SwiftBoaters in 30yrs. Several of these men gave Kerry outstanding evaluations (called him top 2%, for example) THEN, submitted him for his Bronze and Silver Stars, as well as his 3 Purple Hearts. Elliott and Hoffman supported Kerry in his last Senate race, calling him a war hero. Only in the last year have they suddenly had a change of heart. A change which, as I see it, has them contradicting themselves, leading me to ask: did they lie 30yrs ago, or are they lying now, because both stories can't be true?
5) Oh, and there is serious question where Elliott actually stands. He used to praise Kerry. Then he signed the SwiftBoat affidavit. But then a week ago he told the Boston Globe it was a mistake, he shouldn't have signed it, and he has no knowledge or reason to doubt Kerry honorably earned his decorations. Yet two days ago the group insisted Elliott is still supporting their claims. Which is it?
6) When did "minor flesh wounds" gained in combat cease to qualify for a Purple Heart? They always used to...But suddenly the fact they weren't major or life threatening, to hear Kerry's critics attack him, seems to mean they weren't "real" war wounds. Even if they came from friendly fire in a firefight, they would qualify. So what is the issue here?
7) Final point - it strikes me this entire attack on Kerry's record is a slap at every decorated vet of Vietnam service. Kerry was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts. To come back 30 years later and begin claiming they weren't really earned (though real, given by the Pentagon), or could somehow be faked or rigged in some way. Well, if people who never served are happy to buy into this, do you doubt the next time they hear about any other 'Nam vet with a decoration, they won't just dismiss it as another worthless piece of metal? I mean, I understand John O'Neill earned two Bronze Stars in Vietnam. If Kerry's are worthless, why should O'Neill's have any meaning (unless, of course, the qualifier that determines if you "respect' the decoration is the subsequent political views/party of the veteran; and that strikes me as not just partisan but insulting to all those vets who earned their decorations but prefer a different political party, whichever one it is).
on Aug 13, 2004

the qualifier that determines if you "respect' the decoration is the subsequent political views/party of the veteran; and that strikes me as not just partisan but insulting to all those vets who earned their decorations but prefer a different political party, whichever one it is


exactly.  "

on Aug 15, 2004
It was a mistake for the Democratic Party's lawyers to attack the SwiftVets ad by sending an unsubstatiated claim of "slander" to the TV stations that aired the ad. John E. O'Neil, the now grown up boy who took over Kerry's swiftboat, is a very respected and very experienced trial lawyer. See his very professional answer to the TV stations in response to Kerry's lawyers letter at

http://www.eco.freedom.org/el/20040802/vets.shtml

If you know anything about how the laws of slander work, you will know that O'Neill knows his business to a T. No case claiming the ad was "slander" would have much of a chance of holding up in court.

By the way "intelligent" people don't tend to vote either Democratic or Republican. Intelligent people make a fresh decision on the issues every election. One of the things that worries ME is Kerry's stand on the disposal of nuclear waste. Kerry in Nevada waffled for "more studies". The issue has been studied to death by very competent people for all of the time that Kerry has been a Senator and neglected to push for a solution. The present nuclear waste tanks, sitting in very vulnerable places, most of them old and not reliable, are prime terrorist targets and a rupture would make a disaster like 9/11 look like a picnic. Americans, if they follow their usual band of foresight, won't notice the danger until AFTER disaster strikes. Underground in Nevada the waste is safe, even to Nevadans. Kerry doesn't seem to be aware either of the danger or the solution.

As for the importance of Kerry's image, let me quote Marshall McLuhan: "Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be." Intelligent Democrats take note.
on Aug 15, 2004
are the vet telling the truth?
on Aug 15, 2004
::SURPRISED If they are not they might fell like this!
on Aug 15, 2004


did you know john kerry's name is KERRY not KaRRY
on Aug 16, 2004
Draginol, the video is quite misleading. The group has put out many smear videos and commercials before, and has been under heavy criticism for them.

The accounts are of those who "served with John Kerry." However, by "serve with John Kerry," they mean they served in Vietnam. Most of the people have never even met Kerry, and none personally served with him in Vietnam. None.

As for the doctor who claims to have treated Kerry, that also appears to be a lie. No medical records of John Kerry's Vietnam wounds has that man's signature.

The video is a smear tactic, and a poor one at that as there is not a shred of truth in it. Kerry is a war hero; he saved his men's lives. And as far as his purple hearts go, he earned them. The US military felt that he deserved them at the time, in no way did Kerry manipulate his way into recieving them. Kerry served beyond the call of duty, and for that he should be applauded, not subjected to lies such as this video.
on Aug 18, 2004
The accounts are of those who "served with John Kerry." However, by "serve with John Kerry," they mean they served in Vietnam. Most of the people have never even met Kerry, and none personally served with him in Vietnam. None.


I suggest you read the book. You might find many of those people were closer to, and able to personally observe, Kerry than you think. To make a bald-faced claim that "there is not a shred of truth in it" is rather dismissive. Several hundred individuals in a position to know (read the book to see how) have a distinctly different recollection of events used by Kerry to establish his political bona fides and now to underpin his claim to qualification to serve as CIC. They have also obtained original military documents supporting most of those recollections.

I doubt (but admittedly can't know) that this would be a non-issue if Kerry hadn't made his Viet Nam service such a key component of his pitch at the DNC, immersing himself in that whole Band of Brothers nonsense. Given what the real Band of Brothers endured, it's an insult in the extreme to compare his experience with theirs.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Aug 18, 2004
Well, all his swiftboat crew members call Kerry a hero. And the video is an outright lie; watch a news segment or read a news article on it. John Stewart also hilariously ripped on the video last week on the Daily Show, you might be able to find it on the internet.

I find this funny. While everyone that directly served with Kerry on his boat call him a hero, others that never served with him refute that claim. It'd be like someone saving another person from a fire, and being called a hero for it, and then someone else who wasn't there trying to refute that claim. It's ridiculous.
on Aug 18, 2004
"However, by "serve with John Kerry," they mean they served in Vietnam. "


False. John Stewart posed the same lie. These are men who had face-to-face experience with Kerry. Feel free to prove otherwise, with names. You have 200 or so to debunk.

" Kerry served beyond the call of duty"


Again, false. He served 4 months or so and bailed out by accepting purple hearts for wounds that most people would have never even considered "wounds". Others suffered far more and stayed in active duty.

" Well, all his swiftboat crew members call Kerry a hero."


Meaning the handful on that specific boat, who were at their own duties and not necesarily observing his actions. Other people in other boats operating with Kerry have different opinions.

"And the video is an outright lie; watch a news segment or read a news article on it. John Stewart... "


You have a loose definition of the word "lie". At best they have differing opinions. I would suggest something other than the Daily Show for your news. What next, Saturday Night Live?

"It'd be like someone saving another person from a fire, and being called a hero for it, and then someone else who wasn't there trying to refute that claim. It's ridiculous.'


The characterization is ridiculous, and degrades the service of the men you are talking about. Kerrys boat didn't function solo, but according to you none of the other people serving at those moments were "there". Who's lying? You are. You claim these men weren't there, you claim they didn't serve with them, and you call them liars with no more authority than The Daily Show.

on Aug 18, 2004
In case you haven't read this bit, it shines light on the S.B.V.T. organization and addresses their arguments honestly and openly, please read thoroughly before judging.

There is a media storm circling John Kerry and his service. Did he deserve his medals, did he serve honorably, and are the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (S.B.V.T.) living up to their name? The answer is as murky as the waters in the ‘Nam our Swiftboats (or Patrol Fast-Craft ) patrolled nearly thirty – five years ago. It can only be held as factual as the belief the individual perceives in each dirty whirlpool every one cycles through as their search for the truth leads them. This short essay only attempts to provide a more in-depth view than that which our bloated and careless media chooses to gloss over. The people deserve more than that which is offered to them by the AP, Fox, CBS, etc. That said, let us begin exploring the organization that is S.B.V.T. .

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was officially launched on May 04, 2004 (http://swift1.he.net/~swiftvet/index.php).
“It's notable that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was formed not by a Swift Boat Veteran but by Merrie Spaeth, a Republican PR hack from Houston whose late husband ran for the office of Lieutenant Governer in Texas with George W. Bush…Suffice it to say that the money behind Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is the same money behind the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation (http://www.warblogging.com/).”

Their mission has been to call out Kerry on his faux paux’s regarding the Vietnam War and to rattle his purported account(s) on what actually occurred in those rainy days spent fighting the “man in the black pajamas”. They only want to set the record straight, they say, and allow the justice of dead men the glory they deserve, not to disgrace the men in uniform who did their duty. An excerpt of the letter the two – hundred and fifty men sent to Senator and presidential candidate John Kerry:

“It is our collective judgment that, upon your return from Vietnam, you grossly and knowingly distorted the conduct of the American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen of that war (including a betrayal of many of us, without regard for the danger your actions caused us). Further, we believe that you have withheld and/or distorted material facts as to your own conduct in this war. “

From the founding members themselves we hear these quotes;

“We resent very deeply the false war crimes charges he made coming back from Vietnam in 1971 and repeated in the book "Tour of Duty." We think those cast an aspersion on all those living and dead, from our unit and other units in Vietnam. We think that he knew he was lying when he made the charges, and we think that they're unsupportable. We intend to bring the truth about that to the American people.
We believe, based on our experience with him, that he is totally unfit to be the Commander-in-Chief."
John O'Neill, spokesman, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

"During Lt.(jg) Kerry's tour, he was under my command for two or three specific operations, before his rapid exit. Trust, loyalty and judgment are the key, operative words. His turncoat performance in 1971 in his grubby shirt and his medal-tossing escapade, coupled with his slanderous lines in the recent book portraying us that served, including all POWs and MIAs, as murderous war criminals, I believe, will have a lasting effect on all military veterans and their families.

Captain Charles Plumly, USN (retired)

"Thirty-five years ago, many of us fell silent when we came back to the stain of sewage that Mr. Kerry had thrown on us, and all of our colleagues who served over there. I don't intend to be silent today or ever again. Our young men and women who are serving deserve no less."
Andrew Horne

"In my specific, personal experience in both coastal and river patrols over a 12-month period, I never once saw or heard anything remotely resembling the atrocities described by Senator Kerry. If I had, it would have been my obligation to report them in writing to a higher authority, and I would certainly have done that. If Senator Kerry actually witnessed or participated in these atrocities or, as he described them, 'war crimes,' he was obligated to report them. That he did not until later when it suited his political purposes strikes me as opportunism of the worst kind. That he would malign my service and that of his fellow sailors with no regard for the truth makes him totally unqualified to serve as Commander-in-Chief."
-- Jeffrey Wainscott

The founding members are listed here and on the S.B.V.T. web page as these individuals, all of which have given statements in similar regard:
Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann, USN (Ret.) Chairman

Captain Charley Plumly, USN (Ret.)

William E. Franke ( a Swift Vet? )

Alvin A. Horne ( a Swift Vet? )

Bill Lannom ( a Swift Vet? )

John O’ Neill ( the officer who took over John K. Command )

And Wymouth Symmes, Treasurer

Notice a trend in the statements above? Nowhere does any honourable or distinguished veteran actually say that John Kerry did any great legal wrong. Instead they seem disappointed that John K. did not support their position on the war in Vietnam. They all went home tired and wearied, spat upon and disrespected by civilians. They seem embittered by their fellow comrade who spoke out against a war that was unfavorable by the general public, feeling betrayed, most undoubtedly. It seems that sour grapes are the order of the day, no matter how justified their feelings.

Kerry went home to organize a group known as the “Vietnam Veterans Against the War” and testified to Congress that unspeakable atrocities occurred during the war such as raping, killing of livestock and civilians. We’ve had many years to disseminate whether or not that is true, and the general public seems to be informed of such things actually occurring. Whether or not those things did occur by the fellow men Kerry served with is questionable, however, and nothing came of his accusations. The Nixon administration did feel threatened, though, and brought out a gentleman named John O’ Neill ( not to be confused with Jhon P. O’ Neill, an FBI man who died in the 9 / 11 attacks ) who debated John Kerry in an episode of the 1971 episode of the Dick Cavett show. A Nixon aid ,Charles Colson, is quoted as saying,

"'Let's destroy this young demagogue before he becomes another Ralph Nader,'” (http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Swift_Boat_Veterans_for_Truth)

Also,

"He was a thorn in our flesh. He was very articulate, a credible leader of the opposition. He forced us to create a counterfoil. We found a vet named John O'Neill and formed a group called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. We had O'Neill meet the President, and we did everything we could do to boost his group." [1]
(http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Swift_Boat_Veterans_for_Truth)

Doesn’t sound very altruistic. Sounds like dirty politics, but par for the course with that particular administration. It would seem a legacy was being passed down, but what of Mr. O’ Neill, who is he?

"His family legacy shows that O'Neill's grandfather taught at the Naval Academy; his father graduated in the early '30s, flew fighters, fought at Iwo Jima, and retired an admiral; O'Neill himself, who grew up in landlocked San Antonio, Texas, was in the Naval Academy Class of 1967 (two brothers also graduated, '57 and '59).”

O’Neill spent some time on Swift Boats before taking over for Kerry, one of them was the Woodpecker. O’Neill states that the average length of duty on a Swift Boat was twelve months, but Kerry spent only four and twelve days, possibly because he requested the tour to be cut short. (http://www.nationalreview.com/rose/rose200404211228.asp)

O’Neill did well in the debate and caught Kerry’s inability to provide evidence or specific accounts of war crimes.

“What O'Neill found particularly unsettling was that here was "a guy who believed everything we did in Vietnam was a crime" but who was now "campaigning on his record and claiming to be a war hero." In short, "the only reason I'm getting involved now is because he's running for commander-in-chief of the United States.

So there it is: a regular American — O'Neill, father of two, likes hiking, playing golf, and taking an active part in his church — not content anymore to allow Kerry and his kind to keep hijacking the Vietnam War.” (http://www.nationalreview.com/rose/rose200404211228.asp)

Watching C-Span at anytime during these election days will garner people the chance to watch the actual debate. Part of the transcript is available at the S.B.V.T. webpage. But has Kerry actually lied? Has he not been deserving of his numerous medals, and has he done anything wrong beside speak out against the actions in Vietnam? Who is lying here or are is there anything besides conjecture, opinion, and politics as usual?

“The August 4 2004 editions of Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes and MSNBC's Scarborough Country dedicated coverage and airtime to the SBVT campaign. Misrepresentations and misinformation failed to be addressed. For example, claims that SBVT members served with John Kerry on his boat in Vietnam were supported by the Hannity & Colmes broadcast, which referred to the group as Kerry's "crewmates." Only one of the members of SWVT was actually a crewmate of Kerry. Other served on boats that ran missions with Kerry's boat. (The SBVT ad and official statements by the group correctly claim only that the speakers "served with" Kerry, not that they were on the same boat.) “
(http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Swift_Boat_Veterans_for_Truth)

There has been quite a bit of dispute over Kerry’s medals and how he earned them, if he did, and to what degree. I’m thoroughly convinced that all of his medals, with the exception of one were awarded as they should be, those not in agreement should consult the following web page where I have acquired the following information regarding his first purple heart.

"...The following morning, John Kerry arrived at the office of Coastal Division 14 Commander Grant Hibbard to apply for a Purple Heart. Having already been informed by Schachte that Kerry's injury was self-inflicted rather than the result of hostile fire, Commander Hibbard told him to "forget it." Hibbard recently said of Kerry's minor scratch, "I’ve seen worse injuries from a rose thorn." Nevertheless, John Kerry managed to obtain his coveted Purple Heart for this incident nearly three months later after being transferred to Coastal Division 11.
...
Military regulations state that to qualify for a Purple Heart, an injury must come "from an outside force or agent," and treatment for the wound must "have been made a matter of official record." While John Kerry managed to satisfy the second criterion by insisting that an amused Dr. Letson provide an official Band-Aid, nicking himself with a fragment from his own poorly-aimed grenade fails to meet the first qualification."

FACT
(i) Kerry could NOT have gotten his Purple Heart without his Commander's recommendation. Indeed, regulations do not allow combatants to nominate themselves Purple Hearts or award it to themselves.
(ii) The severity of the injury is irrelevant to the award of a Purple Heart. The injury had to be sustained due to an outside force or in action against an enemy or hostile foreign force - or even from friendly fire. So SBV's claims are outrageous and without merit.”

http://www.eriposte.com/media/liars_inc/swiftboat.htm#1A

The bottom line on Kerry’s first purple heart is that, though his superior officers did believe him to be legitimately worthy of the merit, he probably should have passed in the first place. The rest of his medals are certainly worthy of the valour he expressed, so I will not bother illustrating them here. Furthermore, Doctor Louis Letson, who claims to have treated Kerry stated “I know John Kerry is lying about his first purple heart, because I treated him for that injury,” but “Letson was NOT the doctor who signed Kerry's sick call sheet and was not a Kerry crewmate. There is no proof he ever treated Kerry and he apparently started to recollect his memories of Vietnam just last year!”( http://www.eriposte.com/media/liars_inc/swiftboat.htm#1A)

So, there have been some falsehoods made by the SwiftVets. There have been questions about Kerry. Can we settle this somehow, or are we at an impasse? Sen. John (way too many Johns / Jhons this year! ) Mcain had these statements,

“It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me,"

“"dishonest and dishonorable" (in reference to the SwiftVet’s ad.)

"I wish they hadn't done it…I don't know if they knew all the facts… think the Bush campaign should specifically condemn the ad."

"It reopens all the old wounds of the Vietnam War, which I spent the last 35 years trying to heal," he said.

"I deplore this kind of politics. I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is, none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crew have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam.”

This is powerful testimony from a Republican and a Veteran Prisoner of War. Be open minded, think about it, consider that the SwiftVets may be operating incorrectly. Kerry has obviously made his mistakes. He and other hundreds of thousands of Vietnam veterans have made sacrifices to secure our freedoms, but which ones will we choose, the freedom to be as ignorant as possible about the issues, or the freedoms to decide for ourselves what is correct? In some ways, freedom is an oxymoron, it creates more a burden than what it’s definition implies. I’ve barely scratched the surface on this topic, I hope that all of you will continue to dig and enrich yourselves, reveling in the breadth of knowledge at our disposal that no other country can claim.
on Aug 18, 2004
First off, Kerry in no way manipulated his way into recieving the purple hearts. He was awarded them by the US military; are you saying the you know better than the US military as to who should get a purple heart?

Second, while it is true others stayed in Vietnam with more serious injuries, Kerry was injured three times nonetheless and had a right to go home. Would it had been better if his father used his money and influence to put Kerry at the top of the Air National Guard list so he wouldn't have to go in the first place? (if the obvious sarcasm isn't working, here you go: that's what Bush did)!

Then you claim the people on his boat weren't necessarily observing his actions, while others on different boats surely were. This is a ridiculous argument, based on fictitious suppositions.

Finally, true, the Daily Show isn't a very good news source, I was simply using it as a funny example. But honestly, go on Google and search for stories related to this topic (I'd stay away from Fox News and MSNBC as they are dismal in terms of the stories they do and their neutrality).

And finally, if you'd like a good example of how wrong this video is, read the above interview of John McCain. He himself deplores this video.
on Aug 18, 2004
Apparently Kerry supporters here want to just say, "OK, we've thrown our mud, you've thrown your mud, let's just call it a draw & not talk about it anymore."

Well... my opinion is we should let this play out, let these claims be further investigated and confirmed or disproved as the evidence determines. Same for moveon.org's claims about Bush using his family's influence and being AWOL (though I think that mudhole's been pretty much raked clean, actually). Everyone here seems to mostly be making unsubstantiated declarations as to the veracity of the allegations and as to their rebuttal, baldly asserting "facts" which have yet to be verified. Everyone's calling everyone a liar, which is not a very fruitful endeavor.

Much as I admire him, I personally feel Senator McCain made a mistake in so quickly and publicly arriving at a judgement about this. My suspicion is he did so out of his openly admitted friendship with and admiration for John Kerry. Mind you, he still feels Bush is the better qualified candidate, but I'm sure he doesn't want his friend to be falsely accused. Problem is, it's not so clear that all the accusations are false. Once the dust settles, some will be shown to be erroneous conclusions and some will be shown to be true. Just like two juries given the same set of "facts" can arrive at different verdicts, the guys in Viet Nam serving in the same units as Kerry are bound to have seen things from a variety of perspectives.

I also think it is a stretch to paint the whole SwiftBoat business as nothing but a Bush-campaign-organized trumped-up hatchet job (the Kerry folks would probably have to agree, don't you think? - they can't possibly think the Bush crowd is competent enough to pull something like this off, can they?), just like it's a stretch for those of us who favor Bush (in case you couldn't tell) to think Kerry is personally orchestrating everything moveon.org does. Certainly, in volume, frequency and sheer viciousness, the Kerry camp are slam dunk winners of the mud-slinging contest to date, and I have yet to hear Kerry or anyone in his campaign disavow or condemn Al Gore ("He BETRAYED America"), or John Mellenkamp (fellow Hoosier, really like the guy's music) or Whoopi Goldberg or any of the dung thrown out by moveon.org until after they came up with a ripost to the SwiftBoat Vets accusing Bush of benefitting from nepotism, being AWOL, etc., accusing the Bush campaign of "putting out" the SwiftBoat Vets piece, while calling on the Bush campaign to condemn & disavow the sort of tactics used right there in their own piece. It's Alice in Wonderland time, folks. And how convenient they suddenly had something they could condemn! Wash themselves clean, as it were. There's another thread here started by Draginol about how the left dishes but can't take - man, does this issue confirm that or what?

Ah, well. I doubt anyone will be swayed one way or another by my rantings, but at least things are clearer in my head and I feel better now.

Cheers,
Daiwa