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 4)
on Aug 18, 2004
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.


Depends on who started the fire, wouldn't you think?

Cheers,

Daiwa
on Aug 19, 2004
Awww, Kripes, Daiwa, have you even read my submission in post #43 ? I would very much like your input / reaction to that post.
on Aug 19, 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?"


According to your own standards no one that wasn't on the boat has any right to differ with Kerry on what happened there. Considering the other men on Kerry's boat served UNDER him, it was his own reports that led to his decorations. Did he have a superior serving WITH him on that boat? (A boat is an unobservable vacuum unto itself, right? Surely no one that wasn't on his boat served WITH him.)

"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?"


That wouldn't have met Kerry's agenda. He walked around Vietnam with a camera, posing and saying he was going to be the next JFK. The whole "war hero" thing was part of the mystique... not that he wanted to stay very long and tempt the fates...

"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.


These boats worked in coordinated actions, and each man on the boat had a job to do. I think it is ridiculous that you think men behind machine guns had the opportunity to watch Kerry closely and those commanding the other boats didn't know where Kerry's boat was. You're still working on that "Kerry was invisible to anyone more than 5 feet away" idea. Pretty silly. No different than the idea that people that served 20 feet away and that attended regular meetings with Kerry "didn't serve with him"...

and finally... John McCain deplores the practice, and he doesn't make any judgments as to the substance of the claims. Sadly, he didn't seem to deplore it when Bush's service was called into question, as you did above. As long as Bush's service is fair game from the money-stuffed Soros machine, I think swift boat vets are well within their rights to do what they are doing.



on Aug 19, 2004
Nice Daiwa, on trying to take the high ground while yet remianing blatantly sarcastic.

There were five swiftboats that day in which Kerry's record has been called into question. Vietcong were firing on the boats from each bank, and during the firefight, Jim Rassman, one of Kerry's crew, was blown off the boat. Kerry then pulled him to safety. Out of all the people on the five boats, one man (I think his name was Chenowith), who was also under fire, declared that Kerry's boat was (amazingly) not.

Seem a little suspicious? A person on Kerry's boat is blown into the water. Vietcong are attacking from each bank. Five boats, one man (who was under fire) declares Kerry was not. I hope you find that suspicious.

And many people brought cameras to Vietnam, not just Kerry. And so what if he idolized Kennedy, who was also a war hero? More than Kerry are guilty of that.

And as for Kerry's purple hearts, he still has shrapnel in his leg. Not very superficial if you ask me.

So yes, I wouldn't mind a full investigation into each's military career. Kerry's is far more honorable. And the video was put on by a group funded with hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor from Texas. This is far from a "neutral" account of the "truth."

So please don't try and take the high road again. You're bad at it.
on Aug 19, 2004
Well, I'm flattered by your request for feedback, Deference.

I'm not certain which post is #43 since they're not numbered (at least in my SDC browser), but I'm guessing it's your lengthy one. I'll assume so for this reply, anyway. And I have not reviewed any of the material you linked in your post yet, just based this reply on your stated conclusions. When I get the chance to review that material, I'll post again if it changes my views materially.

You've quoted a number of the Swift Boat vets indicating their disappointment with Kerry. I have no doubt that many of them have long-smoldering resentment for what he did after skedaddling from VietNam. I also suspect, but can't know, that they wouldn't have given his time there a second thought if he hadn't exploited his experience so aggressively for political gain, so roundly condemned those with whom he served and showed such disdain for the medals awarded him. We have a couple of hundred swift boaters who say the kinds of attrocities Kerry claims to have witnessed went completely unwitnessed by everyone else with whom he served. Just where & when did these atrocities occur & who exactly committed them? Did Kerry sneak out in his boat alone & stumble across these atrocities? He has always refused to be specific. Interestingly, his own boatmates who are supporting him make general statements about him being honorable and support his account of rescuing a shipmate from the water during a firefight (the main thing they keep falling back on), but I haven't seen or heard any of them quoted as witnessing or confirming any of the attrocities Kerry claims to have not only personally seen but to have participated in, except to acknowledge that bullets flew wildly at times (imagine that, in a war). Please point me to the documentation of such confirmation if it exists. In any event, simply saying his accusers hold a grudge doesn't disprove any of their assertions. It should appropriately raise an eyebrow and cause us to verify any such claims, but even if some of the allegations turn out to be false, that doesn't prove all of them false.

"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)


O'Neill's backing at the time, then or now, has no relationship to the truth or falsehood of his claims or positions. Any more than moveon.org's backing has any relationship to the truth or falsehood of their claims. This doesn't rise to the level of factual refutation of anything.

The whole "they didn't serve on his boat" argument is getting very tiring. I'm surprised, frankly, that it still has any legs at all. Kerry's boat did not operate in isolation (though in order for some of his claims of witnessing atrocities to be true, one wonders). His was one of a group of boats working together most of the time. His fellow boat commanders and his superiors had ample opportunity to observe him in a variety of circumstances. To dismiss them as incapable of knowing anything about him or his service is disingenuous in the extreme. First line of defense is always to blame or kill the messenger, after all - anything to divert attention from the real issues.

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)


I feel the whole Purple Heart thing is largely irrelevant. We'll never know what his true state of mind was at the time, whether he knew the Purple Heart Hat Trick could get him out early & he consciously made an effort to take advantage of that or whether he simply felt he should be given his due for the stated injuries according to the letter of the regs and happened to decide later that he wanted out. While no sailor could get a Purple Heart without superiors confirming eligibilty, it appears many declined to be nominated for one for such trivial injuries. And it appears that Kerry may have lobbied for it at the time, possibly another source of the ill will some seem to have for him. As for Dr. Letson's involvement or non-involvement in Kerry's medical care, that's going to require third-party confirmation. Having been in the Navy Medical Corps, I can envision how in a combat setting a Medical Officer other than the one who directly treated a sailor might end up signing the encounter sheet. The fact that Letson's signature isn't on it does not automatically mean he is lying. As I said, this is a relatively unimportant part of the story, at least to me, but it has not been proven Dr. Letson had no involvement with treating Kerry's wound, despite your claim. It remains an open question.

This is powerful testimony from a Republican and a Veteran Prisoner of War.


With all due respect to the good Senator (mine, BTW) his opinion of the tactic of a negative ad in no way speaks to the facts alleged and proves nothing.

I summary, Deference, there is a lot of sound & fury in your post but no factual refutation of the allegations made by the Swift Boat vets (pending review of your linked material). Some may prove to be unfounded, but it seems unlikely that they are all pure fabrications. Sometimes even the truth has to be taken with a grain of salt, but, as with a good steak, sometimes it only improves the flavor.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Aug 19, 2004
So yes, I wouldn't mind a full investigation into each's military career. Kerry's is far more honorable. And the video was put on by a group funded with hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor from Texas. This is far from a "neutral" account of the "truth."


Burtoo -

Good to meet you, too.

Glad we agree on something. But again, attacking the money doesn't get us anywhere. Anything moveon.org puts out should be viewed with the same degree of scorn by that standard. Every campaign is going to be financed by some to whom nefarious objectives will be ascribed. Deal with it.

And I lay no particular claim to any road. Sorry if my style offends you.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Aug 20, 2004
Deference -

I said I'd post again if anything materially changed my views, so here I am.

I've had a chance to review much of the referenced material since my initial reply, almost all of which came via eRiposte.com and, while it was pretty clear from the specific site rebutting the SwiftBoat vets that there was a decided pro-Kerry bias and it was extremely repetitive, there is some very interesting information that raised real doubts in my mind about some of the allegations some of the SwiftBoat vets have made. I decided to check out who/what eRiposte.com is before settling on my opinion, however. The About Us link has a nice little paragraph describing the site as a non-partisan issues-based information repository whose owner claims to be an independent and to be devoted to presenting both sides of relevant issues and to link to additional material which might be not as independent or unbiased in the interest of a full and robust debate, etc. (paraphrasing here). A perusal of eRiposte's home page, however, pretty much tells the story - it's a BushBashing haven of the first order. Every single topic link on the home page speaks for itself - I suggest anyone interested here take a look at it. eRiposte.com simply accepts every allegation against Bush as self-evidently true and seems to unquestioningly accept that the Bush campaign is really behind the whole SwiftBoat vet thing and condones it. Since it is so blatantly a Kerry Organ, I have doubts now about how reliable a source of fact it may be; there is certainly reason to suspect that the facts presented may be highly selective and filtered.

I'm reserving final judgment pending further investigation through more objective sources, but I'll concede that some the stuff in eRiposte.com does score a few points with me, especially about the motives and unflattering backgrounds of some of the major operatives involved. The information about Jerome Corsi is particularly troubling to me. I still maintain that focusing on the messenger is not a completely valid defense, though, and that all of the "he said, she said" quibbling over details tends to obscure larger issues. And the milieu and context in which battlefield citations were awarded in Viet Nam gets somewhat short shrift from eRiposte.com, but that's probably another topic entirely. It's going to be interesting how this brouhaha shakes out but I think it will count for little in the long run.

Why? Because I don't think too many people are really that worked up about what Kerry did or didn't do and did or didn't deserve while he was in Viet Nam. It's what he's done & not done since Viet Nam that concerns me more. Whatever leadership qualities he may have demostrated in Viet Nam, his words and actions subsequently lead me to conclude he has no particular guiding principles save one - getting elected - and that he'll say anything and do anything that he suspects might serve that prinicple. One irony of this whole Viet Nam redux thing is that he has so little record of accomplishment while in the Senate that he chose to make his military experience the centerpiece of his pitch at the convention, opening the door to all this craziness.

On a brighter note, I guess we might be bored out of our skulls about now if he hadn't.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Aug 20, 2004
I think you've been doing well here on the boards, Daiwa, and it is important for other sets of eyes to go over these sources. Remind me that I owe you that favour sometime when you need it. The sources from disinfopedia are the real bedrock (they contain foonotes to specific newspapers, etc.), too bad I didn't cite them, eh? I was astonished that there was soo much material regarding this and the people involved. It would have taken me a few weeks just to go through it all and a small book to address the content. Unfortunately, real life gets in the way and I had to take as short a route as possible and the thing basically became a cut'n'paste essay but just enough to shed some light on what the whole thing is - thin soup. When I first saw the Swift Veteran's ad I thought there was some really interesting twisted story behind "Kerry in 'Nam", but no dice. I still like reading about some of the political manuevering, that is good shtuff.
on Aug 20, 2004

Two things that continue to amaze me:

1) That Democrats claim (inaccurately) that most educated people vote for Democrats even though exit polls show that the majority of people who have gone to college vote for Republicans while most of those who don't go to college vote for Democrats.  Only career students (i.e. people who get PhDs) tend to vote for Democrats and the majority of Phds given out in the US are liberal arts degrees (Psychologists, history, humanities, English, etc.). 

2) And in the same thread, someone talks about John Stewart on comedy central as a "source" for their opinions thus demonstrating what I've written countless times - most liberal debaters, for reasons I can't understand, are intellectually lazy to the point where they won't bother to research the actual data but instead rely on analysis from easily available sources (pop culture, satire documentaries like F9/11, or far left propaganda sites).

You see it over and over.  The Democrat will make broad, unsubstaniated claims and the conservative will respond with specific *precise* facts to bakc up their assertions.  Apparently not too many of those left leaning PhDs are getting their degrees in classes that involve a lot of problem solving or logic.

Getting back to the point, John Kerry is the one who has made his campaign center around his 4 months service in Vietnam.  He has no one to blame but himself for the intense scrutiny he's now receiving.  Perhaps Kerry should have spoken out harshly early on when people were fabricating the "Bush went AWOL" nonsense earlier in the year.  Bush didn't see combat but flying fighter jets isn't exactly the coward's way out either.  Once the left decided it was okay to try to smear Bush's military service, I think it was fair game to look at Kerry's.

on Aug 20, 2004

John McCain deplores the practice, and he doesn't make any judgments as to the substance of the claims. Sadly, he didn't seem to deplore it when Bush's service was called into question, as you did above. As long as Bush's service is fair game from the money-stuffed Soros machine, I think swift boat vets are well within their rights to do what they are doing.


kerry condemned the moveon.org ad about bush.  i wouldnt hold my breath waiting for bush to do the same.

on Aug 20, 2004

Perhaps Kerry should have spoken out harshly early on when people were fabricating the "Bush went AWOL" nonsense earlier in the year


the bush campaign should have done the same thing quite a bit earlier--like in 2000--when mccain was the target.

on Aug 20, 2004
kerry condemned the moveon.org ad about bush.


Which was put out, intentionally including particularly inflammatory allegations, just so Kerry could have something to condemn and thereby pretend to lay claim to the high ground. How convenient. The Bush campaign has been publicly stating and supporting Kerry's case on the allegations all along, every time they've been asked. Kerry has yet to condemn anything prior to this new rebuttal ad. If I'm wrong, please provide the references. It gets us nowhere to play the tit-for-tat game, but after months and months of being smeared with trumped up allegations & inuendo, not to mention being accused of flat lying and treason (betraying his country) by left-wing organizations funded by, gasp... Democrats, and officially by Democrats in public speeches, I'm not too damned upset that Bush himself hasn't trotted out and personally accused all the swiftboaters of lying. Some of them may be, but Kerry's camp can in no way claim clean hands. Quite the contrary, they are caked with mud. And in a long and proud tradition, dating at least to the innocent little girl picking daisy petals in a meadow, fading to a mushroom cloud (ring any bells?). So using prior campaign shenanigans as justification for what's going on now cuts both ways, kingbee.

Las I checked, this race was between Bush and Kerry, and McCain's supporting Bush.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Aug 20, 2004
"the bush campaign should have done the same thing quite a bit earlier--like in 2000--when mccain was the target."


I think it is heinous that people like Kingbee say something like this when they KNOW that the Bush campaign wasn't responsible. You said this same thing recently, it was all hashed out, and then here you are again. You know it isn't true, you just don't care. You'll use it for the rhetorical value, regardless of truth, just because it gets you a few nods.

If Bush is responsible for what was said about McCain, then Kerry is responsible for every f*cking word that Soros has funded. IF you are going to make Bush responsible for the actions of every Republican, Kerry is just as easily damned...
on Aug 20, 2004

Which was put out, intentionally including particularly inflammatory allegations, just so Kerry could have something to condemn and thereby pretend to lay claim to the high ground.


good lawd man.  thats even more dastardly than going to vietnam just so he could be president

on Aug 20, 2004

You said this same thing recently, it was all hashed out, and then here you are again.


who hashed what out?   why do you think mccain is still upset about it?  what's heinous is that anyone felt the need to stoop that low in the first place.