Tuesday, August 24, 2004

First Purple Heart

OK..I stayed up to re-watch the report (to verify that I didn't imagine it in the fog of pain).

August 23, 2004

Special Report with Brit Hume

Reporting: Major Garrett

The first Purple Heart was awarded for taking hostile fire on December 2, 1968.

Kerry's own journal entry (which is recorded in his book by David Brinkley) states on December 11, 1968 (9 days after the 'incident') that they had yet to take any enemy fire.

Garrett goes on to say that the "Kerry campaign now says it is possible that this Purple Heart was awarded for an inadvertently self-inflicted wound"

****(I am sure that no one is accusing him of shooting himself -I would think this may be that incident where he threw a grenade into a barrel and a piece flew up and hit him)****


OK, now I feel better and can go to bed. I didn't want to present false information -I wrote it down word-for-word this time...

31 comments:

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Maybe the journal entry just meant that they had yet to take on any non-Top-Secret-CAMBODIAN fire? While wearing magic hats?

And maybe Martin Sheen's character told him not to mention any of the Playboy bunny action that resulted in his arm scratch from a time before "no means no" was the dating paradigm?

Surely James Carville will sort this all out in his non-biased fashion on CNN.

Paul G. said...

Yea you knew I was coming.
-----
'Mr. Kerry was transferred to Cat Lo on the Mekong Delta and assumed his first command of a swift boat.
In his biography of Mr. Kerry, "Tour of Duty," Douglas Brinkley reports on page 189 that soon after Mr. Kerry turned 25 on Dec. 11, 1968, he headed out on his first mission:
"[The crew] had no lust for battle, but they also were not afraid. Kerry wrote in his notebook,
'A cocky feeling of invincibility accompanied us up the Long Tau shipping channel because we hadn't been shot at yet, and Americans at war who haven't been shot at are allowed to be cocky'. "
----

I take this to be [The Crew], and as a crew they had not been shot at yet.

What are you folks going to do next, start reading through Kerry's journal using 'Bible Code' techniques?

this we'll defend said...

And maybe somewhere in all this we are forgetting that Kerry was in Vietnam, not Texas, that Kerry was shot at despite possible confusion in the dates, that he did earn purple hearts (which can, by the way, be awarded when injuries are a result of friendly fire - any injury due to actual enemy contact suffices), that it was certainly not cowardice that led him to find himself in Vietnam rather than a cushy NG slot, and that any account of anything 35 years later will find inconsistencies but that doesn't disprove that he was deservedly decorated and that the MANY inconsistencies of the Swiftvets (inconsistencies which aren't 35 years old but which take place sometimes on their own webpage) discredit any credibility they might have had.

In short - you want to believe because you hate Kerry. I don't want to disbelieve because I support him, I did an investigation and posted my findings. As did everybody else who looked into this, including non-partisan groups and anti-Kerry folks like Fox News.

So carry on all you want. You know in your heart that it is false and wrong to attack Kerry for serving in combat, but you simply will say or do (or believe) anything in order to win the election.

Let's say the Swiftvets are right that his first two purple heart (which Kerry, for the thousandth time, has always described as mere "scratches" and "nothing, really") were probably quite minor. How about the third, which left shrapnel in his body he still carries? Well, lets say it is minor too - it sure as hell came from the enemy, and there is no way in hell the enemy could reach out to Texas. But by changing the focus from comparing Bush to Kerry to questioning Kerry's courage you take Bush out of the equation - even though volunteering for combat alone should have set him apart from Bush in that respect regardless of whether he ever made contact with the enemy or not.

So 35 years later there are "inconsistencies." Duh. If you describe what you did 35 hours ago a good lawyer will find inconsistencies in your story.

Shame on you.

redleg said...

Ala71

It is for his first wound, suffered in "firefight", the one where the Medo said he did not deserve the Purple Heart. The first one was allegedly awarded from a fragment of an M79 grenade that exploded in the water prematurely as he fired it. The third award was for a bruise he suffered during the mine explosion and for some light fragments he received when he placed a grenade in a stack of rice. Both would be left up to the judgement of the awarding officer. We had a lieutenant in the aftermath of a large ambush on the Pakistan border who came back to basecamp after we had suffered 2 dead and 7 wounded who found fragments in his hand and thigh. He never felt them and they were just barely lodged in his skin from grenade. He was awarded the purple heart along with his FO. Bottom line it was the judgement of the medical officer. Sometimes it is a no brainer, but there is no criteria for the severity of the wound, just that you be wounded in combat action with an armed enemy. If there was no enemy action that is a wholly different story. You still cannot get away from the he said-he said of 35-36 years later.

If Kerry's first award happened under those conditions or circumstances now, he would not have received the Purple Heart. Bottom line, I can't see the Kerry camp admitting that even if it was true. It would sink their campaign and their candidate. I just don't think we can second guess the award of medals 35-36 years later. Max Cleland said he didn't deserve any of his because they were caused by his own grenade. He was awarded them anyway and should keep them. I know a private seriously burned in a HMMWV accident in Iraq, burned over a good portion of his body, when he was rushing to respond to an IED attack. He did not receive the Purple Heart as his wounds were not a result of enemy contact. A horrible accident, regrettable, but not caused by the enemy.

If Kerry, who has staked his candidacy on his Vietnam Service, knowingly falsified documents to get himself his first Purple Heart, he is done for as regards the military vote. His only claim to fame is Vietnam. If his campaign lets go of that, this will be a short race in November. My prediction is that the attacks against SBVT will grow and denunciations of Bush (despite saying that all 527s are bad and we should get rid of them) will continue. There were no DNC denunciations of the 527 ads about Bush being AWOL and Kerry has repeated the untrue rumors in them again recently. But they will continue. The DNC got dirty first in this campaign and now wants to complain that the mud is splashing on them. It is regrettable that Vietnam Veterans who have honorably served are going at it against each other in theis way, but Kerry brought this upon himself by making Vietnam and his service in it the centerpiece of his candidacy. And he did this despite knowing he turned his back on his fellow veterans when he returned. Throwing his medals away and then proudly displaying them in his office. The hypocracy of the man never fails to astound me. Bill O'Reilly said it correctly yesterday, "you reap what you sow." Don't like agreeing with him even some of the time, but Kerry made this possible. After slandering Bush's service and remaining mute until Moveon associated Bush with Hitler, his camp has the nerve to complain when the crap splashes on him for perfectly reasonable doubts most veterans have about his service.

I was trained by Vietnam Veterans. Their bitterness about that war is still evident today, and most will only talk about what happened there among themselves or when making a training point they think their younger soldiers could learn from. It was a bitter time and it divided the nation deeply. The bitterness persists. Kerry had an opportunity to bring all sides together-- those that fought and those that protested or didn't fight. So far he has brought back only division, and with a vengeance.

John Kerry seems to be a man of words, any words you want to hear. He doesn't seem to be a man of principle. I believe he served in Vietnam and was courageous to the extent he needed to be to win the Silver Star. He cut short his tour after being awarded the Purple Heart three times. Fact. He did not feel much connection with his crew at the time, or he would not have left them to train up a new commander while he went home. I know I would have felt guilty doing the same thing. Any more than that I cannot say. I take issue with what he did when he returned home and his votes in Congress when he consistly voted against military action in any form until after 9/11. And then he voted for the use of force but not the money to fund the troops in battle.

His medals are beside the point and the SBVTs should leave them alone. They should get to the heart of the matter- Kerry's betrayal of Vietnam Veterans by trying to have his service both ways...as a protestor of a war he was ashamed to have fought in and as a courageous hero proud of his service. That's the dichotomy I can't get over.

ALa said...

I have no idea what the criteria for a Purple Heart is -I have no idea if the average Joe requests his own awards...I was just letting you all know what the report said. I assume that with all the scrutiny that Fox is under from the mainstream press -they aren't going to attribute words to the Kerry campaign that aren't theirs. Also it was on Brit's show -who won News Anchor of the Year (or some award of the like)last year and regardless of what you think of Fox, he is very professional. Anyway, these are not my words or opinions --just what the report said...
TWD: I have no burning desire to believe any of this...I was perfectly fine before I knew any of this thinking he was an inept buffoon based on his Senate record, his glaring lack of acheivements and his Fonda-like pro-communist activities ---it seems that Mr. Kerry has always 'been on the wrong side of history'...

redleg said...

Ala71

I believe your report. I just think that there is no way the Kerry camp will admit to admitting it now, or allow it to pass without debate. The bottom line of it is that the award was no investigated past the norm when it was given and it is too late to creditably question it now. He presented himself to the Medo, who examined him and the report and the award was processed. I believe Fox News when they reported it, and I like Brit Hume. Bill O'Reilly makes me think deeply about both sides of the matter and I often disagree with his opinion, but not with his attempts to get both sides of the matter on the air, unlike many news programs.

Soldiers don't normally write their own valorous awards, but often the meritorious ones (Bronze Star or Air Medal without the V Device for valorous action) are written by the individual (most often officers), simply because his superiors do not wish to write it up and direct their subordinates to do it. One of the SBVT guys even said, Kerry usually wrote up the After Action Reports because he didn't like to do paperwork. And officers sometimes wrote their own because it was expected that you wouldn't ask your boss to do it. Sometimes you would be told to write yourself up. I always felt that if it wasn't worth a superiors time to write an award, the award was not justified in his mind. But that is my opinion. No regulation says a soldier or sailor cannot write himself up for any medal. Because the soldier or sailor cannot approve it. I would have a problem if Kerry wrote his own citation and award for the Silver Star or Bronze Star, but he simply wrote the AAR of the event. If the recommender of the award used that AAR to base the award on, a legal and supposedly objective document, that is not Kerry's fault. It is the fault of the recommender for not investigating thoroughly. Purple Hearts have to be endorsed by a Medical Officer or have some form of medical documentation before they are awarded. Once the Doc has signed off on it, the award is usually always presented. If they had a problem with it at the time, they should have raised it at the time.

My issues have always been what he did when he came home. If he believed that all soldiers were war criminal and forced by policy to commit war crimes on a daily basis with the full knowledge of his leaders. That makes him, by admission, a war criminal himself. His espousal of this rhetoric and refusal to recant it, is what makes him repugnant with his current passion-play of him as the hero vet of Vietnam. I don't doubt his service and I credit his bravery, but he is not the man he is acting like now. And that's the problem that the SBVTs have with him. It's the problem many vets have with him. And because of his choosing this as his issue, he will sink or swim his campaign on it.

ALa said...

Redleg --the story is on the front page of DRUDGE today...

"Kerry's campaign now says is possible first Purple Heart was awarded for unintentional self-inflicted wound..."
www.drudgereport.com

ALa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
redleg said...

ouch. That one is going to hurt.

My apologies for doubting your veracity. Now the medal issue is just never, ever going to go away. I can't believe they admitted it. Got to go check it out.

Tom said...

Ala71:

Ouch. That's gotta hurt.

this we'll defend said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

TWD, it's interesting to see the full complement of your double-standards unfold.

It's "shameful" for anyone at all to question particular inconsistencies between Kerry's claims about events in Vietnam (which at least KERRY deemed important at one point in time), and the facts.

And yet you find no shame whatsoever in Kerry's own slander of all his fellow veterans on the Senate floor, accusing them of war crimes with far less evidence proferred than what the Swiftboat Vets are offering today. You find no shame in his giving aid and comfort to the enemy. You find no shame in his having pitched onto the white house lawn, those same medals he now proudly displays for all to see as if he's somehow closer to George S. Patton than Abbie Hoffman. You find no shame in saying that something "seared" into his memory has had to be "unseared" several times already until his handlers could finally pick a set of dates that would make all the inconsistencies start to work. You find no shame in his having been a war hero to the Communist Vietnamese. You find no shame in his stating that the "threat of terrorism is overblown". You find no shame in his having tried to squash people's First Amendment rights. You find no shame in his party having spent 30 times as much on moveon.org and Michael Moore as any Republicans anywhere ever spent on the Swiftboat Vets.

With all this shame you fail to find, do you expect any thinking people to really pay much attention to your definition and use of the word "shame"?

redleg said...

TWD

you can't possibly let it go at that... but I understand. I can't figure out how they could make a gaffe like that.

Good for CB, you knew he wouldn't be down for long

ALa said...

TWD: Did you hear him on NPR? That's so cool --does he talk like a skater dude? Yeah, I knew his name...my husband and I made and sent him some CDs.

this we'll defend said...

Cigsmokman: you do the typical "lie - get proven a lie - pause - repeat same lie."

Kerry did not "slander" anybody. He spoke truth. Everything he said in his Senate Testimony in 1971 was truth. I'll repeat the same challenge to you that I made to TYAAPA: show me where he "slandered" or lied about anything at all in his Senate testimony in 1971. Be very careful because misquotes and partial quotes taken out of context will be corrected in full.

So there is your challenge: show where he lied in his testimony you call "slander." The more people that read the entire speech (as opposed to bits and pieces taken out of context) the more people will realize that his act of "betrayal" was actually an act of patriotism and moral courage, and his respect and love for his fellow warriors was clear while his intense anger toward those who misused them was righteous.

Go for it - or you could look back through this blog and read the entire debate with TYAAPA. Part of it is at http://mobyrebuttal.blogspot.com/2004/08/humid-summer-night-musing.html.

Here is one comment (and only one, there is lots more):

I expected you to merely repeat the everyday lies floating around right-wing blogland, and so you have.

You say:
In his 1971 appearance, Kerry testified under oath that the war crimes committed in Southeast Asia were "not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at ALL levels of command.” [emphasis added].

Yes. Except the 'emphasis added' suggests that if Westmoreland himself wasn't aware then Kerry is a liar. So how is this: Westmoreland himself was aware. That should make it easier for you to prove me wrong. For those who don't know, Westmoreland was the senior military officer in Vietnam during most of the war - the "Centcom" commander of his day. We know he was aware because he knew about the Tiger Force investigation as well as the My Lai Massacre as well as being briefed on UCMJ investigations throughout his command.

What was Tiger Force? It was a commando unit of the United States Army, which fought in Vietnam, from May to November of 1967; as part of the Vietnam War. The unit, consisting of 45 paratroopers, has since been accused of committing various warcrimes, including indiscriminate attack, mutilation, and torture. Some reports state that the soldiers wore necklaces composed of human ears. In 2002 the Toledo Blade newspaper received a tip about unreleased Army records of an investigation into warcrimes during the Vietnam war. The newspaper spent eight months investigating the story and in October 2003 ran a series of feature articles on atrocities committed by the Tiger Force unit. The Blade reported that the Army investigated the actions of Tiger Force for four and a half years, from 1971 to 1975, and that the Army substantiated many of the allegations of warcrimes but filed no charges. See more at http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=SRTIGERFORCE. Westmoreland knew.

You continue and say that "He had no proof of that and based it totally on the hearsay obtained during the bogus Winter Soldier investigation in which men later revealed to have never served in combat passed themselves off as combat veterans who were either ordered to commit atrocities or committed them with full knowledge of their superiors." Interesting way to twist the facts - as if Kerry were attempting to report firsthand so that you can use "hearsay" as an accusation.

In fact, Kerry said: "I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago, in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents..." Notice, dear readers, how Tom "missed" that initial attribution. Kerry started his testimony by saying "here is what some other people said." He thus was quite clear that this was hearsay - and Tom later attacking him for basing his testimony on hearsay is a subtle trick. But wait, I'll get to the main point. Don't worry.

Later investigations revealed that some "veterans" weren't veterans but fakers. The co-founder of VVAW was a faker. According to the investigative work in Guenter Lewy's 1978 book America in Vietnam and B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley's Stolen Valor (Verity Press, Inc., Dallas, Texas there were many imposters, liars, and plain nutjobs who infiltrated the ranks of the anti-war movement, and, in some cases, testified to war crimes and atrocities that never occurred in order to get attention, sympathy, and, in one documented case, medals and honors. This is what most attempts to cast Kerry as a liar are based upon.

It is also true, as noted by author Gerald Nicosia in his authoritative history of the Vietnam Veterans Movement "Home to War" that those discredited voices were never key witnesses in either the Winter Soldier Investigation or in subsequent war crimes investigations such as the congressional Dellums Hearings of 1971 (Don't get me started on Dellums - he was a freak but his hearings brought out many terrible stories). You can read that testimony at http://members.aol.com/warlibrary/vwch1.htm. Neither of the books America in Vietnam or Stolen Valor refutes any of the testimony given during the Winter Soldier Investigation.

This was also all AFTER Kerry's testimony. But even if all of those at the Winter Soldier hearings were lying (ALL, not some) it doesn't change the fact that hundreds of known war crimes violations were prosecuted by the military. The massacre at My Lai (and subsequent cover-up by the chain of command) was best-known. Perhaps some of the stories Kerry heard were untrue, but that eliminates the force of the argument: Despite the possibility that some testimony may have been falsified, the evidence of atrocities committed on both sides in Vietnam is irrefutable, and we have verifiable, documented examples such as My Lai as examples that bad things did happen. Vietnam was a war, and war is hell. There's no rational reason for doubting this testimony. And Kerry testified first-hand about his experience in free-fire zones, zones that violated the Geneva Convention.

My Lai, for the unitiated, was a massacre of hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians by US soldiers on March 16, 1968. It prompted widespread outrage around the world and reduced public support for the war in the United States. Under the orders of Lt. William Calley, the soldiers killed hundreds of civilians – primarily old men, women, children, and babies. The precise number killed varies from source to source, with 347 and 504 being the most commonly cited figures. The soldiers also engaged in torture and rape of the villagers. According to a South Vietnamese army lieutenant to his superiors, it was an "atrocious" incident of revenge. See http://explanation-guide.info/meaning/My-Lai-Massacre.html.

Often little noted is that the massacre was halted by a US Army scout helicopter crew who landed their vehicle between the attacking American troops and the remaining Vietnamese who were alive. The pilot, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr., confronted the leaders of the troops and told them he would open fire on them if they continued their attack on civilians. While two members of the helicopter crew — Spc. Lawrence Colburn and Spc. Glenn Andreotta — brandished their weapons at the men who had participated in the atrocity, Thompson directed an evacuation of the village. The crewmembers were credited with saving at least 11 lives. Exactly thirty years later, the three were awarded the Soldier's Medal, the army's highest award for bravery not involving direct contact with the enemy. I had the privilege and honor of hearing one of the aviators speak at Fort Benning. In the 60s and 70s they were called "traitors" for telling the truth and "betraying" their fellow soldiers, but they got a standing ovation at the infantry school. I guess if one of them ran for president he would be blasted by the right-wing just as Kerry is today.

Note that Kerry didn't say officers "ordered" crimes (although they sometimes did - Calley was an officer) but that they were "aware" of them. He also didn't say all or most soldiers were war criminals, but that war crimes were taking place and that the public was being kept in the dark. He was right. Army investigations were known to the chain of command, and soldiers were prosecuted, but also some atrocities were covered up and the military failed to prosecute many criminals. The cover-up of My Lai by the chain of command was an egregious example. Only Calley was convicted, of premeditated murder in ordering the shootings and initially sentenced to life in prison; two days later, however, President Richard Nixon ordered him released from prison. Calley served 3½ years of house arrest in his quarters at Fort Benning, Georgia.

As for "isolated incident," while no one involved with the Winter Soldier Investigation, and subsequent Senate hearings, ever accused "all" servicemen of misconduct - it was obvious the problem had grown beyond "isolated incident" status. Even the other Kerry in the Senate, Sen. Bob Kerrey (Medal of Honor winner and former Navy Seal) have admitted to involvement in war crimes. It wasn't that US soldiers are criminals, it was the nature of the conflict.

The problem was perceived by Kerry as epidemic, and was seen as ignored and even condoned by leaders at all levels in the military and government - hence the coverups. Kerry sought to finally bring national attention to this situation, and to expedite the end of America's participation in the Vietnam conflict. I think it's also important to note that the mention of these atrocities is a very small part of Kerry's testimony. The bulk of his testimony was spent questioning the motives for the war and wisdom of continuing it. The wisdom of asking young men to "die for a mistake", as Kerry put it. This is hardly slanderous.

You say that "following from that lie" (what lie? I've shown there was no lie) Kerry stated "... the torture of prisoners (was) accepted policy in many units in South Vietnam.”

You misquote (not surprising). He actually said "in the use of free-fire zones; harassment-interdiction fire, search-and-destroy missions; the bombings; the torture of prisoners; all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam." Wisely, you focus only on torture of prisoners. Read a little more on Tiger Force, on "tiger cages" and on the Dellums commission and return when you have done your homework. I'll be happy to blast you again. The current ass-kicking of your lies is getting too long already.

You say that "In order for Kerry to believe that such actions were "accepted policy" so as to be able to testify truthfully to it, Kerry had to have evidence that such actions were encouraged, condoned or at worst even ordered by everyone in the chain of command. NCOs and line officers do not make policy for the American military." I think Kerry's point (I KNOW his point) was that it was not and should not be accepted policy, and that by covering it up, by not prosecuting violators, that it was being condoned. Given that it was President Nixon that ordered Calley released, a man who shamed the uniform I am so proud to have worn and who should have been shot by the US Army (and lots of proud soldiers would have volunteered to do it), I will let readers decide how high up such a policy went.

So other than US Army reports, Senate testimony, undisputed accounts by veterans, newspaper exposes as recent as 2003, and actual pictures of the My Lai massacre showing heaps of dead babies, I really don't have any "actual evidence" to support Kerry's contentions that war crimes were occuring throughout Vietnam and that the military and the government weren't correcting the problem. Just the truth, that's all I have. Which he was telling.

I've already corrected the false assertion that Kerry backtracked on Meet the Press. He said he was proud but would have worded some things better - not that he was wrong. Again, he stood by what he said. I won't go into the details again. Look it up on Ala71's blog, it is here somewhere. So you were wrong about that too. Flake.

I think it all comes down to two points of view:
An article in the LA Times where Vietnam veteran Dewey Brown is paraphrased:

"Good soldiers do their duty and keep their mouths shut. They don't come home to criticize their country's mission while others are still fighting. But that, in his view, is what Kerry did."

I couldn't disagree more. John Kerry did his duty as a soldier, and he did it honorably. He then came home, and did his duty as a responsible citizen of this country. He spoke out. I think Dwight D. Eisenhower put it best:

Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, we may never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.

There is a book floating around called the New Soldier - it's now out of print. It was an inflammatory tract that contained much commie nut-bag rhetoric and anti-american crap. The anti-war movement did attract many subversives, but that does not mean that all anti-war protestors were subversive any more than today. Kerry was known to be an effective and moderating influence on the movement, and disassociated himself from the subversives and kept the faith with his nation and his fellow veterans. The right-wing whisper-mill is that it is Kerry's book (thus alleging he agrees with everything in it). In fact, Kerry's contributions to The New Soldier seem to be pretty innocuous, at least to me. For example, the final paragraph of his epilogue says:

"I myself went into the service with very little awareness of the people in the streets. I accepted then and still accept the idea of service to one's country. But because of all that I saw in Vietnam, the treatment of civilians, the ravaging of their countryside, the needless, useless deaths, the deception and duplicity of our policy, I changed. Traditional assumptions and expectations simply were not enough. I still want to serve my country. I am still willing to pick up arms and defend it -- die for it, if necessary. Now, however, I will not go blindly because my government says that I must go. I will not go unless we can make real our promises of self-determination and justice at home. I will not go unless the threat is a real one and we all know it to be so. I will not go unless the people of this country decide for themselves that we must all of us go."

What a traitorous liar he was, huh? And where was Bush while Kerry was "betraying" this nation by speaking out about deceptions, lies, mis-management, and mistreatment of American soldiers? While Kerry was standing up for what was right? He was somewhere in Alabama, right?

I love that line: "I will not go unless the threat is a real one and we all know it to be so. I will not go unless the people of this country decide for themselves that we must all of us go."

Whether you agree or disagree with me this election is important, and if you are concerned about Kerry's testimony I suggest readers read the entire thing for themselves rather than getting it through such partisan twist-factories such as instapundit or Tom's blog. Think for yourselves! It is one of the great speeches of all time, and can be read in full at http://www.pbs.org/greatspeeches/timeline/j_kerry_s.html.

this we'll defend said...

I went to the drudge report and say a headline that said "Kerry's campaign now says is possible first Purple Heart was awarded for unintentional self-inflicted wound..." no link, no story, just the headline and "developing...". Gosh, from such an unimpeachable source as Drudge too. He's NEVER wrong. Well, that settles that I guess. If Drudge said it, with no details or verification from anywhere, it must be true.

And note that, while of course this "claim" is another unverified and probably soon proven false claim, it is actually possible that Kerry's wounds came from friendly or even accidentally self-inflicted fire. I watched a company from the 82nd Airborne "ambush" the OPFOR one night at the NTC. The battle went on all night, with pretty good fire-team rushes and use of fire and manuever. At the end the company reported about 25 OPFOR casualties and 12 from their side. Only problem was I was in the OPFOR and we were watching from the top of a hill as they engaged themselves. Nobody lied. It is just confusion and chaos sometimes. Neat, though, that nobody asks "did Kerry even go to Vietnam" because that is indisputable and the real issue after all. So if his purple heart came from the enemy or not it was due to enemy contact and justified.

But the claim was that the Kerry campaign admitted the wound "might" not have been the result of enemy fire (which instapundit and free republic and other nutjobs will turn into a "self-inflicted wound" as if he was shooting himself out of cowardice). Where, please, is something to back that up? OTher than a single Drudge report headline and no (repeat, NO) details?

this we'll defend said...

More facts to dispute known and slimy liars for Bush - I mean swiftvets for "truth":

1. SBV CLAIM ON THE CAUSE OF THE INJURY THAT LED TO KERRY'S THIRD PURPLE HEART

[via FactCheck.org]: The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth further says Kerry didn't deserve his third purple heart, which was received for shrapnel wounds in left buttocks and contusions on right forearm. The affidavits state that the wound in Kerry's backside happened earlier that day in an accident. "Kerry inadvertently wounded himself in the fanny," Thurlow said in his affidavit, "by throwing a grenade too close (to destroy a rice supply) and suffered minor shrapnel wounds."

[O'Neill via Media Matters]: The third Purple Heart is the deal where he threw a grenade into rice. He caught some rice in his butt. He then attempted to attribute it to the incident involving the [PCF] 3 boat and thereby left Vietnam.

FACT
This claim is grossly misleading because it does not tell the whole story. The shrapnel wound was only part of the reason for Kerry's purple heart, the other being a separate arm injury from a separate explosion.

REFERENCES
FactCheck.org:

The grenade incident is actually supported by Kerry's own account, but the shrapnel wound was only part of the basis for Kerry's third purple heart according to official documents. The evidence here is contradictory.

Kerry's account is in the book Tour of Duty by Douglas Brinkley, who based it largely on Kerry's own Vietnam diaries and 12 hours of interviews with Kerry. "I got a piece of small grenade in my ass from one of the rice-bin explosions and then we started to move back to the boats," Kerry is quoted as saying on page 313. In that account, Kerry says his arm was hurt later, after the mine blast that disabled PCF-3, when a second explosion rocked his own boat. "The concussion threw me violently against the bulkhead on the door and I smashed my arm," Kerry says on page 314.

And according to a Navy casualty report released by the Kerry campaign, the third purple heart was received for "shrapnel wounds in left buttocks and contusions on his right forearm when a mine detonated close aboard PCF-94," Kerry's boat. As a matter of strict grammar, the report doesn't state that both injuries were received as a result of the mine explosion, only the arm injury.

The official citation for Kerry's Bronze Star refers only to his arm injury, not to the shrapnel wound to his rear. It says he performed the rescue "from an exposed position on the bow, his arm bleeding and in pain." The description of Kerry's arm "bleeding" isn't consistent with the description of a "contusion," or bruise.

In any case, even a "friendly fire" injury can qualify for a purple heart "as long as the 'friendly' projectile or agent was released with the full intent of inflicting damage or destroying enemy troops or equipment," according to the website of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. All agree that rice was being destroyed that day on the assumption that it otherwise might feed Viet Cong fighters.

Another major discrepancy raises a question of how close Kerry's accusers actually were to the rescue of Rassmann. Tour of Duty describes Rassmann's rescue (and the sniper fire) as happening "several hundred yards back" from where the crippled PCF-3 was lying, not "a few yards away," the distance from which the anti-Kerry veterans claim to have witnessed the incident.


2. SBV CLAIM REGARDING REASON(S) FOR KERRY'S TRANSFER OUT OF VIETNAM AFTER HIS THIRD INJURY/PURPLE HEART:

John Kerry has long insisted that using the three-injury loophole to leave combat early was his own idea, but Kerry's fellow Swift officer Thomas Wright, who served on occasion as the OIC (Officer in Charge) of Kerry's boat group, contradicts that claim. Wright reports that he "had a lot of trouble getting Kerry to follow orders," and that those who worked with Kerry found him "oriented towards his personal, rather than unit goals and objectives." He therefore requested that Kerry be removed from his boat group. After John Kerry qualified for his third Purple Heart, Thomas Wright and two fellow officers informed him of the obscure regulation, and told him to go home. Wright concluded, "We knew how the system worked and we didn’t want him in Coastal Division 11."

FACT
Wright is entitled to his opinion, but the facts from the U.S. Navy do not support his allegation. Indeed, Navy regulations required Kerry to transfer out of Vietnam unless Kerry himself requested that he be allowed to stay. Kerry did not. SBV's claim is thus, once again, misleading (to put it mildly).

REFERENCES
Thomas Lang, Campaign Desk:

The policy in question, the impenetrably-named BUPERS Instruction 1300.39, is no longer in place. During Vietnam, it mandated that any soldier "wounded three times, regardless of the nature of the wound or treatment required" should be "reassigned as having completed a full Vietnam tour with the hospital release date considered the tour completion date. They will not be ordered to Vietnam ..."

Furthermore, the official U.S. Navy document states that, "The commanding officer of an officer who is hospitalized and/or wounded under the above criteria will advise the Chief of Naval Personnel (Pers-B1) of the officer's location, duty status, and expected duration of hospitalization. Reassignment of the officer will be determined after consideration of his physical classification and on an individual basis."

An additional, virtually unreported section of the Navy code, notes that any soldier wishing to "waive reassignment under the purview of this Instruction must forward a written request to that effect to the Chief of Naval personnel (Pers-B) for final determination."

Kerry, of course, chose not to waive this order, and his commanding officers request for re-assignment can be viewed (PDF file) on the candidate's Web site.

For a complete and accurate description of Kerry's Thrice Wounded Reassignment, Campaign Desk directs its readers to the Associated Press, which, this time, gets it exactly right where others got it wrong:

After the third Purple Heart, the Navy was required to reassign Kerry out of Vietnam, and a document dated March 17, 1969, said Kerry requested duty as a personal aide in Boston, New York or the Washington area. Kerry could have volunteered to stay in Vietnam, but left the country in early April 1969.

Snopes.com:

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.

redleg said...

TWD

I appreciate your reading and rendering on Kerry's treatise of the Senate testimony but it exposes him not as a wise and noble philosopher with the moral courage to stand up for what he believed was right but as a hyprocritical ass who never once raised these items to superiors so they could act upon them. He says every soldier in Vietnam and their leaders were responsible. That makes him responsible too and he did nothing until after the fact. Did he raise the issue while in Vietnam and I miss it somewhere? Maybe while he was in Cambodia, I don't know.

The he comes before Congress and piously testifies that these polcies are being followed by all units in Vietnam. Some units were guilty but many more were not. It was a matter of indiscipline and atrocity in units with poor leaders, and sometimes reinforced by inattention from levels of high command, yes. But it was not a matter of policy for the theater. Explain the Peer report on My Lai if that is the case. Atrocities happened, that is a fact and the military did not do well enough in either recognizing or stopping it. If Kerry saw or reported these atrocities I have found nothing about it, until he discovered he could make his political dime off sacrificing his sailors that he left in Vietnam. Free Fire Zones, Search and Destroy missions and Harrassment and Interdiction fire are not against the Geneva Convention and you should be the first to know it. None of those tactics are prohibited. Read the Law of Land Warfare. It is very basic and I assure you those actions are legal and still in use (in modified forms of Roe) today. What differed was some units application of the Law of Land Warfare and both leader and soldier indisicpline. Kerry's disloyal subversion was in smearing all servicemen and the military with tar from the same brush. That is the disloyal subversion, among others, they are talking about. Meeting with NV Communists in Paris while he was still a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve. That sounds a hell of a lot like treason to me. Succoring of the enemy while a nation is at war. Pretty up a traitor as well as you like with moral courage. He still turned his back on his fellow veterans and those who were still fighting that war. Benedict Arnold was also a brave Revolutionary War hero who also betrayed his country. Can't remember what happened to that guy. These days we let them run for President.

Nixon pardoning Calley (not releasing him) did not help. Many in the military were convinced he was being scape-goated as in fact he was. His Division Commander and many leaders under him should have been relieved, not retired and court-martialed. CPT Medina his company commander was decorated with a silver star (?) and allowed to retire after 20 years. That should tell you something about the Americal Division. But military opinion at the time was a flat denial as you say. Not in an American unit. Mainly because it was so far removed from what Veterans of that war experienced. Atrocities on a day to day basis in Vietnam only happened in the movie platoon. That doesn't make it right, and that is what a lot of the ethical training we have received since Vietnam was all about. But don't say that because of Bush and Abu Ghraib the entire military effort in Iraq is committing atrocities on a daily basis. That is where extending Kerry's argument gets you. And that is what he did, by his words and deeds to Vietnam Veterans. That is why Vietnam Veterans, the real ones, hate this guy.

redleg said...

TWD

listen to those facts about getting reassigned. Thrice wounded soldiers are reassigned sure, but to cushy duty as an Admiral's aide? Bullshit. Someone (Kerry) was looking out for himself and pulled some strings. FIGMO, as they say. You poor bastards finish your tour, I am out of here. Got my medals, see you in 35 years is what it sounds like. The facts don't make your guy look any better.

Bigandmean said...

Thanks redleg. That says it all. The hypocracy of the democrats on this issue, one they created, is truly astounding.

Your personal knowledge along with a dose of objectivity make what you write more credible than the more verbose, pompous, subjective opinions filled with name calling posted by some others.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

TWD, I appreciate your passion for verbosity, but I'm going to give myself a challenge and try to make a more succinct reply with a bit more aplomb.

::show me where he "slandered" or lied about anything at all in his Senate testimony in 1971.::

The infamous quote:
"I committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of others in that I shot in free fire zones, used harassment and interdiction fire, joined in search and destroy missions, and burned villages. All of these acts were established policies from the top down, and the men who ordered this are war criminals."

The charges are:
1. Shooting in free fire zones. Since when is shooting in a "free fire zone" a war crime?
2. Harrassment and interdition fire. You're supposed to stop shooting if the enemy feels harrassed or interdicted? What kind of a panzy-ass "sensitive" war does Kerry demand on behalf of his Viet Cong allies?
3. Search and destroy missions. One is supposed to wait until the enemy searches and destroys YOU?
4. Burning villages. I don't recall anyone being tried for war crimes for the bombing of Dresden. How confident are you that nothing burned in that city?

Your client, sir, slandered Vietnam veterans with reckless disregard for not merely the truth, but reason itself.

::his act of "betrayal" was actually an act of patriotism and moral courage::

I'm sure someone with your agenda would see it that way. The more the POWs got tortured in Hanoi, the more you and your boy Kerry liked it, I trust.

::Westmoreland himself was aware::

That Kerry wasn't aware of what the VC was doing, and neither were you, shall speak for itself.

::the My Lai Massacre::

That's a handful of officers. Your hero cited "thousands", so he has a minimum of about 1,990 more officers to go, in establishing that he was not lying to the Senate.

::The unit, consisting of 45 paratroopers, has since been accused of committing various warcrimes::

All it takes is accusation, for you, to make a conviction stick? Then your hero, Kerry, is the guiltiest by far, "accused" as he is.

And even if all reports were true, that's less than fifty, making Kerry's accusation still come up short by about 1,950.

::even if all of those at the Winter Soldier hearings were lying (ALL, not some) it doesn't change the fact that hundreds of known war crimes violations were prosecuted by the military.::

That disproves Kerry's premise that *ALL* levels of command were involved. You cannot prosecute yourSELF.

::He also didn't say all or most soldiers were war criminals::

No, only "thousands". He's still short by a minimum of 1,950 thus far. How do you figure on supplying them? Random jabs at some names you'll read off of the Wall?

Accused IS, after all, CONVICTED, to you, right? Guilty until proven innocent? Repeat that mantra of yours when you take the Bar. They'll eat it up.

::Kerry sought to finally bring national attention to this situation, and to expedite the end of America's participation in the Vietnam conflict.::

He brought attention to it alright: such that it painted all soldiers with a broad brush (even though he merely said "thousands", what people heard was "all"), emboldened the NVA, expedited the torture and killing of POWs, and gave aid and comfort to enemies within our borders. He can pat himself on the back for a job well-done there.

::The wisdom of asking young men to "die for a mistake", as Kerry put it. This is hardly slanderous.::

You're indulging in the Straw Man fallacy again. Poorly, I might add.

::I'll be happy to blast you again.::

Spare your testosterone fog for the Playstation II.

::I will let readers decide how high up such a policy went.::

...seeing as you can't establish it factually. Appeal to innuendo, much?

::actual pictures of the My Lai massacre showing heaps of dead babies::

You're trying to double, triple, and quadruple-count My Lai, the straw you repeatedly grasp. You're still short at least 1,950 war criminals to establish your baseless defense of Kerry's slander of real veterans.

::He said he was proud but would have worded some things better - not that he was wrong.::

Okay, so he stands by the slander. Bully for him.

::Flake.::

Objection, your honor, badgering the witness.

::He then came home, and did his duty as a responsible citizen of this country. He spoke out.::

And promptly denied the right of others to speak out. How Democratically hypocritical of him.

::I will not go unless we can make real our promises of self-determination and justice at home.::

So he really doesn't like that whole "Constitution" thing we've got going on, does he?

::What a traitorous liar he was, huh?::

Well, yeah.

::And where was Bush::

Certainly not slandering American soldiers and American veterans. Certainly not becoming the poster boy for the Viet Cong.

::It is one of the great speeches of all time::

Right up there with Benedict Arnold's birthday toast to General Clinton (no relation).

::"The concussion threw me violently against the bulkhead on the door and I smashed my arm,"::

"Smashed" is a pretty strong term. I'm sure it required a lot of medical attention; a lot of hospital time, right?

........right?

::The description of Kerry's arm "bleeding" isn't consistent with the description of a "contusion," or bruise.::

Are you in the habit of bleeding from a bruise?

::Indeed, Navy regulations required Kerry to transfer out of Vietnam unless Kerry himself requested that he be allowed to stay. Kerry did not. SBV's claim is thus, once again, misleading (to put it mildly).::

There isn't even a conflict other than nuance and interpretation here. FactCheck.org can't profess to know what was in Kerry's mind any better than his own commanding officer did; and the whole argument is specious. It's like two ersatz philosophers arguing over the question, "how long is a piece of string?"

They've gone beyond mere "FactCheck" in into the realm of "SpeculationCheck". Bravo for discrediting them as a source, for future reference.

Okay, it may not have ended up as succinct as I would have liked it, but hopefully readers perusing this will find it less similar to watching paint dry than a certain comment a few clicks up.

this we'll defend said...

Ok, get ready for it. It isn't that hard to destroy. I'M NOT SHOUTING, I'M DIFFERENTIATING MY TEXT.

The charges are:
1. Shooting in free fire zones. Since when is shooting in a "free fire zone" a war crime?
FREE FIRE ZONES DECLARE EVERYBODY IN THE ZONE A TARGET REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE ARMED OR NOT. SUCH ZONES OFTEN INCLUDED VILLAGES WITH CIVILIANS BUT THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT TO VERIFY IF THEY WERE HOSTILE BEFORE OPENING FIRE - THUS "FREE FIRE." IT IS AGAINST THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:
a. Treaty Provision. The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of town, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited. (HR, art. 25.)

b. Interpretation. An undefended place, within the meaning of Article 25, HR, is any inhabited place near or in a zone where opposing armed forces are in contact which is open for occupation by an adverse party without resistance.

ALSO THIS:
a. Attacks Against the Civilian Population as Such Prohibited. Customary international law prohibits the launching of attacks (including bombardment) against either the civilian population as such or individual civilians as such.

2. Harrassment and interdition fire. You're supposed to stop shooting if the enemy feels harrassed or interdicted? What kind of a panzy-ass "sensitive" war does Kerry demand on behalf of his Viet Cong allies?
H&I FIRE IS RANDOM ARTILLERY FIRE WITH NO SPOTTERS. RANDOM! IT IS AGAINST THE PROVISIONS ABOVE PLUS THE FOLLOWING:
The officer in command of an attacking force must, before commencing a bombardment, except in cases of assault, do all in his power to warn the authorities. (HR, art. 26.)

b. Application of Rule. This rule is understood to refer only to bombardments of places where parts of the civil population remain.

c. When Warning is To Be Given. Even when belligerents are not subject to the above treaty, the commanders of United States ground forces will, when the situation permits, inform the enemy of their intention to bombard a place, so that the noncombatants, especially the women and children, may be removed before the bombardment commences.

3. Search and destroy missions. One is supposed to wait until the enemy searches and destroys YOU?
AS SOMETIMES EMPLOYED IT WOULD BE AGAINST THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS:
28. Refusal of Quarter
It is especially forbidden * * * to declare that no quarter will be given. (HR, art. 23, par. (d).)

29. Injury Forbidden After Surrender
It is especially forbidden * * * to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defense, has surrendered at discretion. (HR, art. 23, par. (c).)

4. Burning villages. I don't recall anyone being tried for war crimes for the bombing of Dresden. How confident are you that nothing burned in that city?
WINSTON CHURCHILL HIMSELF CALLED THAT A WAR CRIME. IS THAT YOUR STANDARD - OH, WELL, WE BOMBED DRESDEN SO ANYTHING LESS IS OK? WELL, I DISAGREE YOU LUGNUT.
EVEN IF YOU THINK IT IS OK IT IS AGAINST THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS OF THE GENEVA CONVENTION (WHICH IS ALSO US LAW BINDING ON THE ARMED FORCES):
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 25, HR, however, cities, towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which may be classified as military objectives, but which are undefended (para 39b), are not permissible objects of attack.

41. Unnecessary Killing and Devastation
Particularly in the circumstances referred to in the preceding paragraph, loss of life and damage to property incidental to attacks must not be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage expected to be gained. Those who plan or decide upon an attack, therefore, must take all reasonable steps to ensure not only that the objectives are identified as military objectives or defended places within the meaning of the preceding paragraph but also that these objectives may be attacked without probable losses in lives and damage to property disproportionate to the military advantage anticipated. Moreover, once a fort or defended locality has surrendered, only such further damage is permitted as is demanded by the exigencies of war, such as the removal of fortifications, demolition of military buildings, and destruction of military stores (HR, art. 23, par. (g); GC, art 53).

THERE IS MORE, BUT THIS IS GETTING LONG.

Your client, sir, slandered Vietnam veterans with reckless disregard for not merely the truth, but reason itself. NO, ACTUALLY HE SPOKE TRUTH.

::his act of "betrayal" was actually an act of patriotism and moral courage::

I'm sure someone with your agenda would see it that way. The more the POWs got tortured in Hanoi, the more you and your boy Kerry liked it, I trust. AHH, SO I'M A COMMIE PINKO WHO WANTED THE VC TO WIN. GREAT ARGUMENT. LOOK UP AD HOMINEM IN A DICTIONARY. ASS.

::Westmoreland himself was aware::

That Kerry wasn't aware of what the VC was doing, and neither were you, shall speak for itself. OH, SO WE JUDGE OURSELVES BY THE STANDARDS OF OUR ENEMIES? THAT IS WHY WHEN ABU GHRAIB HAPPENED SO MANY SAID "SADDAM WAS WORSE" BUT THE US ARMY (PINKO COMMIES THAT THEY ARE) SAID THIS WAS WRONG AND IS GOING TO SEND PEOPLE TO JAIL AND HAVE A FULL INVESTIGATION REGARDLESS OF WHO LIKES IT AND WHO DOESN'T. BECAUSE THE ARMY IS FULL OF PEOPLE WHO WILL TAKE THE HARD RIGHT OVER THE EASY WRONG, LIKE SAYING "WELL, DRESDEN WAS WORSE SO WE MUST BE OKAY" OR "THE VC DID IT."

::the My Lai Massacre::

That's a handful of officers. Your hero cited "thousands", so he has a minimum of about 1,990 more officers to go, in establishing that he was not lying to the Senate.

HE DID NOT SAY THOUSANDS OF OFFICERS (IS THE TRUTH THAT HARD FOR YOU?). HE SAID: "I committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of others in that I shot in free fire zones, used harassment and interdiction fire, joined in search and destroy missions, and burned villages. All of these acts were established policies from the top down, and the men who ordered this are war criminals." NOTE CLOSELY, AGAIN: "THE MEN WHO ORDERED THIS." HE SAID THOUSAND PARTICIPATED, INCLUDING HIMSELF, BUT THAT THE CRIMINALS WERE THOSE WHO ORDERED THINGS LIKE FREE FIRE ZONES AND H&I FIRE. NOT JUNIOR OFFICERS BUT SENIOR GENERALS AND CIVILIAN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP. MAN, YOU ARE REALLY OUT OF YOUR DEPTH. HE SAID "ESTABLISHED POLICIES FROM THE TOP DOWN." THINK CAPTAINS OR EVEN MAJORS OR HELL, EVEN COLONELS GOT TO DECLARE WHICH AREAS WERE FREE FIRE ZONES? OR THAT THEY WERE THE ONES WHO DECIDED TO IGNORE THE GENEVA CONVENTION? DUH. NO.


::The unit, consisting of 45 paratroopers, has since been accused of committing various warcrimes::

All it takes is accusation, for you, to make a conviction stick? Then your hero, Kerry, is the guiltiest by far, "accused" as he is. MAN, THE HYPOCRISY. HAVE YOU NOTICED THE SWIFTVETS THING? BUT ANYWAY YOU TOOK MY QUOTE AND MISSED THE FACT THAT I NOTED THE ARMY INVESTIGATIONS CONFIRMED THE WAR CRIMES. NOT ACCUSED - CONFIRMED.

And even if all reports were true, that's less than fifty, making Kerry's accusation still come up short by about 1,950. WHO SAID THOUSANDS? OH, YEAH, YOU DID. KERRY DIDN'T. HE SAID "TOP DOWN" AND "MEN WHO ORDERED IT." SO KERRY ISN'T COMING UP SHORT, YOU ARE.

::even if all of those at the Winter Soldier hearings were lying (ALL, not some) it doesn't change the fact that hundreds of known war crimes violations were prosecuted by the military.::

That disproves Kerry's premise that *ALL* levels of command were involved. You cannot prosecute yourSELF. YOU ARE HIGHLIGHTING "ALL" AND FORGETTING THAT WESTMORELAND ORDERED FREE FIRE ZONES, NOT LTJGS. AND LT'S AND BELOW CARRIED THEM OUT, NOT WESTMORELAND. THAT'S PRETTY MUCH THE WHOLE KIT AND CABOODLE MY FRIEND.

::He also didn't say all or most soldiers were war criminals::

No, only "thousands". He's still short by a minimum of 1,950 thus far. How do you figure on supplying them? Random jabs at some names you'll read off of the Wall? UH, ALREADY KICKED YOUR ASS ON THIS ONE.

Accused IS, after all, CONVICTED, to you, right? Guilty until proven innocent? Repeat that mantra of yours when you take the Bar. They'll eat it up. SWIFTVETS FOR THE TRUTH COME TO MIND?

::Kerry sought to finally bring national attention to this situation, and to expedite the end of America's participation in the Vietnam conflict.::

He brought attention to it alright: such that it painted all soldiers with a broad brush (even though he merely said "thousands", what people heard was "all"), emboldened the NVA, expedited the torture and killing of POWs, and gave aid and comfort to enemies within our borders. He can pat himself on the back for a job well-done there. WELL, LET'S BREAK THIS ONE DOWN:
ALL SOLDIERS: NOPE. THIS IS "CONVENTIONAL WISDOM" BUT WRONG. READ THE REST OF THE TRANSCRIPT.
EMBOLDENED THE NVA: OH REALLY?
EXPEDITED THE TORTURE AND KILLING OF POWS: REALLY REALLY? NO UNSUBSTANTIATED CHARGES FROM YOU I SEE. EVEN THOUGH BY 1971 ALL POWS HAVE SAID THEIR TREATMENT HAD DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED. READ NICK ROWE'S BOOK, OR HELL ANY BOOK ABOUT THE HANOI HILTON, AND THEN PLACE 1971 IN THE TIMELINE. YOU ARE FULL OF CRAP ON THIS OUTLANDISH CLAIM.
AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY: TYPICAL HORSESHIT - THE TRUTH IS HARD BUT NECESSARY. BUT YOU PROBABLY THINK THE SPC AT ABU GHRAIB THAT STOOD UP AND REPORTED THE ABUSE OF THE PRISONERS GAVE AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY. AFTER ALL THE TORTURE WAS BIG NEWS AND INFLAMED MUSLIMS EVEN MORE. BUT I THINK HE IS A HERO AND THE US ARMY DOES TOO. HARD RIGHT OVER EASY WRONG, BUDDY. DO WHAT IS RIGHT. HONOR, COURAGE, LOYALTY, AND COMMITMENT - LOYALTY TO THE IDEALS OF THE NATION AND COMMITTMENT TO OUR VALUES. BUT YOU WOULD SELL THEM OUT IN A HOT MINUTE FOR A TEMPORARY ADVANTAGE, THE SAME KIND OF GUY THAT DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHY WE DON'T TORTURE POWS FOR INFORMATION.

::The wisdom of asking young men to "die for a mistake", as Kerry put it. This is hardly slanderous.::

You're indulging in the Straw Man fallacy again. Poorly, I might add.

::I'll be happy to blast you again.::

Spare your testosterone fog for the Playstation II. HAHA. I DON'T REMEMBER SEEING YOU AT THE INFANTRY SCHOOL SON. WHEN WERE YOU THERE, SINCE YOU ACCUSE ME OF BEING A PLAYSTATION COMMANDO? HELL, MAYBE I WAS YOUR DRILL SERGEANT. NOPE, IF I WAS YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND ARMY VALUES SO THAT CAN'T BE IT.

::I will let readers decide how high up such a policy went.::

...seeing as you can't establish it factually. Appeal to innuendo, much? UHH, THAT WAS AFTER I SAID NIXON ORDERED CALLEY'S RELEASE. I SHOULD HAVE SPELLED IT OUT FOR THE SIMPLER MINDED.

::actual pictures of the My Lai massacre showing heaps of dead babies::

You're trying to double, triple, and quadruple-count My Lai, the straw you repeatedly grasp. You're still short at least 1,950 war criminals to establish your baseless defense of Kerry's slander of real veterans.

ARMY RECORDS SHOW LOTS OF INCIDENTS, ONLY SOME OF WHICH HAD COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS. I WAS MENTIONING THE BEST KNOWN SO THAT PEOPLE WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN KERRY SPOKE IT WAS ALREADY EVIDENT THAT SOMETHING WAS WRONG IN OUR NATION'S MILITARY - NOT JUST THE ONE PLATOON THAT WAS OUT OF CONTROL, BUT THE COVER-UP THAT WENT FROM LT TO CPT TO MAJ (THE ENTIRE BN STAFF) TO BDE (AND STAFF) AND THAT IS AS HIGH AS WE KNOW FOR SURE, BUT IT PROBABLY WENT HIGHER.

::He said he was proud but would have worded some things better - not that he was wrong.::

Okay, so he stands by the slander. Bully for him. WHAT SLANDER?

::Flake.::

Objection, your honor, badgering the witness. OBJECTION SUSTAINED. WITHDRAWN.

::He then came home, and did his duty as a responsible citizen of this country. He spoke out.::

And promptly denied the right of others to speak out. How Democratically hypocritical of him. UHH, WHEN DID HE DO THAT? HE IS SUING BECAUSE 527 ORGS ARE FORBIDDEN TO COLLABORATE WITH CAMPAIGNS, AND SLANDER AND LIBEL ARE CRIMES. WHAT RIGHT OF OTHERS TO SPEAK OUT IS HE AGAINST?

::I will not go unless we can make real our promises of self-determination and justice at home.::

So he really doesn't like that whole "Constitution" thing we've got going on, does he? I THINK HE DOES. IT STARTS OUT "WE THE PEOPLE" NOT "LISTEN TO THE PRESIDENT AND BLINDLY FOLLOW."

::What a traitorous liar he was, huh?::

Well, yeah. WELL, NO.

::And where was Bush::

Certainly not slandering American soldiers and American veterans. Certainly not becoming the poster boy for the Viet Cong. NO, HE WAS DRUNK IN TEXAS AND TAKING NO STAND AT ALL WHILE GOOD MEN DIED. AND YOU REPEAT YOUR SLANDER CHARGE BUT ONLY GAVE ONE INSTANCE (THAT KERRY SAID THOUSANDS OF SOLDIERS WERE COMMITTING WAR CRIMES) BUT YOU WERE WRONG ABOUT THAT. WHAT ELSE? REPEATING IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE. LIKE THE SWIFTVETS CRAP ON A STICK. JUST REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT AND THE TRUTH BE DAMNED. KERRY SPOKE TRUTH AND SLANDERED NONE.

::It is one of the great speeches of all time::

Right up there with Benedict Arnold's birthday toast to General Clinton (no relation). SO IT IS TREASON TO SPEAK TRUTH? JAWOHL, HERR OBERSTURFUHRER.

::"The concussion threw me violently against the bulkhead on the door and I smashed my arm,"::

"Smashed" is a pretty strong term. I'm sure it required a lot of medical attention; a lot of hospital time, right?

........right?

::The description of Kerry's arm "bleeding" isn't consistent with the description of a "contusion," or bruise.::

Are you in the habit of bleeding from a bruise?

YEAH, HE WAS A REAL WUSS FOR NOT GETTING HURT WORSE WHEN THE CONG WAS SHOOTING RPG'S AT HIS BOAT. PUSSY. HE PROBABLY DIDN'T EVEN BLEED ALL THAT MUCH WHEN THE ENEMY WAS TRYING TO KILL HIM WHILE HE WAS FIGHTING IN VIETNAM. NOT LIKE MANLY GEORGE DOING KEG DIVES AT FRAT PARTIES - YOU CAN REALLY GET HURT DOING THOSE. OH, AND BY THAT STANDARD ANY SOLDIER THAT HAS SEEN COMBAT AND NOT BLED IS A PUSSY. YOU HAVE TO HURT BAD TO BE A REAL WARRIOR I GUESS.

::Indeed, Navy regulations required Kerry to transfer out of Vietnam unless Kerry himself requested that he be allowed to stay. Kerry did not. SBV's claim is thus, once again, misleading (to put it mildly).::

There isn't even a conflict other than nuance and interpretation here. FactCheck.org can't profess to know what was in Kerry's mind any better than his own commanding officer did; and the whole argument is specious. It's like two ersatz philosophers arguing over the question, "how long is a piece of string?"

NO, THE SWIFTVETS CHARGED THAT AN "OBSCURE" NAVY REG WAS THE WAY TO "GET RID" OF KERRY AND THEY HAD TO "CONVINCE HIM" TO DO IT, WHEN IN FACT IT WAS WELL KNOWN AND THE NAVY HAD TO SEND HIM HOME UNLESS HE SPECIFICALLY ASKED TO STAY. YOU DON'T SEE THE DIFFERENCE?

They've gone beyond mere "FactCheck" in into the realm of "SpeculationCheck". Bravo for discrediting them as a source, for future reference.

Okay, it may not have ended up as succinct as I would have liked it, but hopefully readers perusing this will find it less similar to watching paint dry than a certain comment a few clicks up.

MAYBE "READERS" SHOULD READ THE ENTIRE TESTIMONY. IF IT WAS SO DAMAGING TO KERRY WHY WOULD A SUPPORTER LIKE ME BE BEGGING PEOPLE TO READ THE F'ING THING?

redleg said...

TWD

I know you believe this. It can be defended in hind sight both ways. I respect that. The problem is Kerry still thinks he was right. Many Vietnam vets have taken it the opposite way. They are still deeply offended by his actions. He raised the issue of him being a hero when he questioned supporting any cause in the future. I could respect it myself if he had stuck to his alleged principoles. But he hasn't.

Kerry called CDR (ret) Brant who served with him in Vietnam and sked him why all his swift boat veterans were against him. Brant explained that many guys were not able to forgive what he had done, that it was disrespectful. When asked to meet him, Brant didn't commit because he said it was obvious that Kerry was not going to try to correct the record. He doesn't get it, and probably never will. Character. He doesn't have it and probably never will.

Kerry can only see his side of it, as you do. He does not, can not see the swift boat vets side of the story.

Define for me, if you will, what better treatment means to POWs who have been held for years under the most brutal conditions. Emotional and mental torture rather than physical? Kerry didn't help, he hurt their cause. He hurt the image of the Vietnam Vet and he destroyed many futures by lending credence to the sterotype that all Vietnam Vets were criminals and baby killers. The tactics in use today are still the tactics we used in Vietnam (now Search and Attack) and H&I fire is still used. Bombing is still used. We have a greater appreciation for the legalities and technical capabilities but what you quoted from the law of land warfare does not make a free fire zone illeagal any more than the "kill boxes" used in Desert Storm. The law of land warfare is very vague for good reasons and every weapon in the US arsenal is JAG approved. It was so in Vietnam as well. The bottom line is that he used his service in Vietnam to polster the VVAW for political reasons. He didn't give a (excuse me ladies) a rat's ass about those he served with.

Kerry and Bush both served. Fact. Vietnam held divisions for this country that continue to this day. Kerry could have been a uniter and not a divider if he had an ounce of character. Bush couldn't do that with Vietnam, but Kerry could have. Please don't mistake character for political ambition and timing.

I know you believe in your candidate. I have read the testimony and he does not lie. He tells what he believes to be the truth. Just don't tell me other Vietnam Vets are not entitled to feel ashamed of his actions and deeds over the past 35 years. They have a perfect right to do so and debate him on the topic. He called them criminals and baby killers perhaps using nicer words, but true nevertheless. Now they don't have the right to debate him on the topic?

Frater Bovious said...

TWD, you made this comment regarding My Lai:
"I had the privilege and honor of hearing one of the aviators speak at Fort Benning. In the 60s and 70s they were called "traitors" for telling the truth and "betraying" their fellow soldiers, but they got a standing ovation at the infantry school. I guess if one of them ran for president he would be blasted by the right-wing just as Kerry is today."

The difference here is that they were reporting what they did during the prevention of an atrocity. Not reporting what they heard someone did someplace apart from where they were while also acknowledging that they were involved in similar activity. You can't really draw a comparison between people saying "I saw this happening and this is what I did about it." and Kerry saying "I heard this happened, I did some of this, I never did anything about it at the time, but now I am going to tell you about what some other people did, as their representative."

Your conclusion that they would be treated like Kerry if they were now running for president is a logical fallacy wherein you are attempting to validate/defend Kerry by a failed comparison to people in a similar situation. The key here is that in a similar situation they acted very differently at the time it mattered.

You can't compare them. Well, you can, but it doesn't wash.

By the way, I did not know about that part of the My Lai massacre. Thanks for pointing it out.

fb

ALa said...

TWD: Why do you assume that we haven't read it? I have read it and I have listened to the audio --more than once... In it he says freely what our POWs were being tortured daily to say..."I am a war criminal". They held out through torture, beatings, and starvation -refusing to disgrace their fellow men and utter this untruth...enter John Kerry...

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

To make this more legible, I'm going to introduce a new quoting/differentiating method.

T: TWD's text (recent)
T:: TWD's text (previous)
...and so on with each level of previous quotes adding a colon.

C: My text (now)
C:: My text (previous)
...and so on.

T: I'M NOT SHOUTING, I'M DIFFERENTIATING MY TEXT.

C: Noted. TWD isn't shouting.

C:: Since when is shooting in a "free fire zone" a war crime?

T: FREE FIRE ZONES DECLARE EVERYBODY IN THE ZONE A TARGET REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE ARMED OR NOT. SUCH ZONES OFTEN INCLUDED VILLAGES WITH CIVILIANS BUT THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT TO VERIFY IF THEY WERE HOSTILE BEFORE OPENING FIRE - THUS "FREE FIRE." IT IS AGAINST THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:
(snipped)

C: So now all Kerry has to do is establish, with proof, that free fire zones were declared in populated villages, and that at the time of such declaration, the villagers weren't warned to evacuate. Thus far you have only cited and substantiated My Lai--the incident you double, triple, and quadruple-count.

T: H&I FIRE IS RANDOM ARTILLERY FIRE WITH NO SPOTTERS. RANDOM! IT IS AGAINST THE PROVISIONS ABOVE PLUS THE FOLLOWING:
(snip)

C: So now Kerry was an artillery man? He sure wore a lot of magic hats in those days. But you see, "harassment" is not a method of fire, but a target damage criterion. The criteriae are: annihilation; demolition; neutralization; and harrassment. In other words, when you "fire to harass", you are firing, not with the purpose of wiping out the enemy, but to put psychological pressure on enemy personnel in concentrated defensive areas, command posts, and rear installations. Successful harassment fire inhibits maneuver, lowers morale, interrupts rest, and weakens enemy combat readiness. REAL harassment fire is not a "war crime" it's a valid and lawful war tactic.

C: Now, what of "interdiction"? What is that, the civilians among us might ask? Fire interdiction of advancing enemy troops occurs when the enemy deploys into battalion columns and continues until the enemy reach its assault line. Fire interdiction may include preplanned fires on chokepoints, massed fires by artillery groups, precision weapon strikes, and MRLs emplacing minefields. The goal of interdiction is to fire on the enemy (combattants) prior to them gaining the ability to deploy into their battle posture. Again, not a "war crime".

C: Source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/100-61/CH92.htm#s5

C:: 3. Search and destroy missions. One is supposed to wait until the enemy searches and destroys YOU?

T: AS SOMETIMES EMPLOYED IT WOULD BE AGAINST THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS:
28. Refusal of Quarter
It is especially forbidden * * * to declare that no quarter will be given. (HR, art. 23, par. (d).)

C: Sometimes? Kerry's damning "thousands" of his fellow veterans on a "sometimes"? Freely stating what POWs were tortured for NOT saying, based on a "sometimes"? Do you expect to become a prosecutor and convict a black suspect because they "sometimes" burglarize houses? My caps here do indicate shouting: PREPOSTEROUS!

T: IS THAT YOUR STANDARD - OH, WELL, WE BOMBED DRESDEN SO ANYTHING LESS IS OK? WELL, I DISAGREE YOU LUGNUT.

C: Personal attack (indicating referential and didactic weakness on your part) noted. But to move into the substance: it remains to be established and proven by Kerry that villages being attacked were undefended at the time they were attacked. Yes, yes, I know you will knee jerk to your one grasping straw of My Lai, but as you've been reminded repeatedly, you're still far short of the "thousands" multiplier asserted by Kerry. And even a "lugnut" knows that German cities were defended by AAA and fighter aircraft, thus disqualifying them as "war crimes" even by modern standards.

T: THERE IS MORE, BUT THIS IS GETTING LONG.

C: That never stopped you before, but I won't look a brevity gift horse in the mouth.

C:: Your client, sir, slandered Vietnam veterans with reckless disregard for not merely the truth, but reason itself.

T: NO, ACTUALLY HE SPOKE TRUTH.

C: Your assertion of such does not make it so. And Kerry's assertion of such does not make it so. I could say a ham sandwich is both Kosher and Halal, and that wouldn't make it so.

T: AHH, SO I'M A COMMIE PINKO WHO WANTED THE VC TO WIN. GREAT ARGUMENT.

C: There is no secret to the matter of how POWs were tortured to "confess" to the allegations made freely and without substantiation, by Kerry. He made these allegations in a time of war, propagandizing for the other side. I say propagandizing because of the lack of substance to the charges or evidence for them. He relied on third- and fourth-hand hearsay to espouse the propaganda position of the enemy in time of war. Not only was he baseless in his attack of his comrades, but he carried out his attack in a way that placed them into greater physical jeopardy than they would have been otherwise.

T: LOOK UP AD HOMINEM IN A DICTIONARY. ASS.

C: You have a knack for irony.

T: OH, SO WE JUDGE OURSELVES BY THE STANDARDS OF OUR ENEMIES?

C: It speaks to the alignment and loyalty of Kerry when he turned a blind eye to Viet Cong atrocities (of which the concrete proof was staggering) and chose to focus on ephemeral rumors of those allegedly commited by U.S. forces. It debunks the claim of any sense of loyalty and patriotism Kerry could possibly have had when he is not merely one-sided in his critique of war-related actions, but is willing to base his attack against his peers, on unsubstantiated rumors (outside of your well-worn My Lai example, and any quantity of anecdotes that fall short of his "thousands" claim).

T: HE SAID: "I committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of others

C: And he could only come up with a handful, even with your help.

C:: All it takes is accusation, for you, to make a conviction stick? Then your hero, Kerry, is the guiltiest by far, "accused" as he is.

T: NOT ACCUSED - CONFIRMED.

C: You previously said "accused". Now you're moving the goalposts. http://info-pollution.com/rules.htm

T: WHO SAID THOUSANDS?

C: Kerry did. Once again, the quote: "I committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of others..." This appears to be the omitted evidence fallacy, on your part. http://info-pollution.com/omitted.htm

T: YOU ARE HIGHLIGHTING "ALL" AND FORGETTING THAT WESTMORELAND ORDERED FREE FIRE ZONES, NOT LTJGS.

C: So Westmoreland adds on to your My Lai bunch, presuming you can factually establish that the free fire zones ordered by him were accompanied by orders not to warn civilians to evacuate. Then you're still far short of Kerry's "thousands".

T: UH, ALREADY KICKED YOUR ASS ON THIS ONE.

C: Macho wannabe lingo aside, you are mistaking fallacy for "ass-kicking".

C:: Accused IS, after all, CONVICTED, to you, right? Guilty until proven innocent? Repeat that mantra of yours when you take the Bar. They'll eat it up.

T: SWIFTVETS FOR THE TRUTH COME TO MIND?

C: Yes, they do, in fact. The rule you apply to Kerry's allegations, that the mere act of his alleging these things makes them true, would also have to be true for the Swiftboat Veterans. By failing to apply the same rule to them, you are indulging in the fallacy of special pleading. http://info-pollution.com/rules.htm

T: EMBOLDENED THE NVA: OH REALLY?

C: When propaganda is promulgated by a prominent veteran of the enemy side, it does have the effect of emboldening one's troops. From an NVA point of view, Kerry could be no less than a winning lottery ticket. An equivalent would be if some erstwhile member of Moqtada al-Sadr's unit decided to speak out on al-Jazeera that their uprising is wrong, runs counter to Islam, and that anyone in the Arab and Muslim world participating in it would be in danger of Islamic hellfire in the Islamic afterlife, due to alleged violations of Sharia Law which he will have said were committed by "thousands" of his fellows and he himself. It wouldn't single-handedly win Najaf for us, but it would get us tremendous mileage toward it. We'd probably even have a photo of him in some American museum (like the Vietnamese government does of Kerry), comemorating his contribution to the war effort.

T: YOU PROBABLY THINK THE SPC AT ABU GHRAIB THAT STOOD UP AND REPORTED THE ABUSE OF THE PRISONERS GAVE AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY.

C: More of your straw man fallacy and special pleading. The SPC at abu-Ghraib had specific, valid, substantiable charges, of particular soldiers gone bad. And in the process of cleaning up that interrogation "act", it ended up improving the posture of U.S. forces in the long run. It is analogous to the prosecution of the My Lai prepetrators, but not in any wise analogous to Kerry's irresponsible slander of an unidentifiable "thousands" being guilty of unspecified and unsubstantiable "war crimes".

T: YOU WOULD SELL THEM OUT IN A HOT MINUTE FOR A TEMPORARY ADVANTAGE, THE SAME KIND OF GUY THAT DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHY WE DON'T TORTURE POWS FOR INFORMATION.

C: I may have failed at Interrogator school (couldn't keep a straight face while I was supposed to pretend to be a "Chaplain" in a role-playing exercise), but I did manage to keep both eyes and both ears open when the instructors explained how under torture, a prisoner will say anything which the prisoner will estimate will have the effect of stopping the torture. It's a very good way to get very bad information. So yes, abu-Ghraib was the wrong tactic, not only morally but from a pragmatic perspective as well. And it's more straw man fallacy from you in saying that I support what was done at abu-Ghraib. I don't. Your insistence that I do will still not make it so.

T: I DON'T REMEMBER SEEING YOU AT THE INFANTRY SCHOOL SON.

C: That would be because I wasn't 11B.

T: WHEN WERE YOU THERE, SINCE YOU ACCUSE ME OF BEING A PLAYSTATION COMMANDO?

C: I accuse you of overflowing with unusual levels of testosterone. Playstation might help you expiate it and become more civilized.

T: HELL, MAYBE I WAS YOUR DRILL SERGEANT. NOPE, IF I WAS YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND ARMY VALUES SO THAT CAN'T BE IT.

C: I've seen good drill instructors and bad drill instructors. The good ones tend to understand that you don't propagandize against those who are out there defending the Constitution, to which they swore an oath. It is lawful to disobey unlawful orders and to identify and testify against war criminals, but the "value system" you have, of painting "thousands" with the broad brush of war criminal, especially in a time of war, no, that wasn't the value system taught to me by SSG Carter at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, in 1982. Maybe he didn't go to the same drill instructor school you went to?

T: THAT WAS AFTER I SAID NIXON ORDERED CALLEY'S RELEASE. I SHOULD HAVE SPELLED IT OUT FOR THE SIMPLER MINDED.

C: A release isn't a policy. Surely somewhere in your extensive non-simple-minded 11B and drill instructor training manuals, you can learn where to find POLICY?

T: ARMY RECORDS SHOW LOTS OF INCIDENTS

C: Thousands? And Kerry was in the Army now? Or was he in the JAG, investigating them?

T: WHAT SLANDER?

C: The slander of thousands, for the purpose of his treasonous and false propaganda.

C:: And promptly denied the right of others to speak out. How Democratically hypocritical of him.

T: UHH, WHEN DID HE DO THAT?

C: Demanding that news outlets not air the ads, threatening to sue them. Did Bush threaten to sue Michael Moore, or George Soros, even though they lie like rugs?

T: HE IS SUING BECAUSE 527 ORGS ARE FORBIDDEN TO COLLABORATE WITH CAMPAIGNS,

C: This would appear to be thin ice for the Democrat side to tread, considering the $60 million spent by the Soros machine. All it takes is one registered Democrat, apparently, contributing to moveon.org, and THAT 527 becomes guilty of the same violation as the Swiftboat Vets. Do they feel lucky? I don't remember if they fired five bullets or six...

T: AND SLANDER AND LIBEL ARE CRIMES.

C: One which Kerry got away with in 1971; and one which he hypocritically wants to crack down on today.

T: WHAT RIGHT OF OTHERS TO SPEAK OUT IS HE AGAINST?

C: Anyone at all who dares to air the Swiftboat Vets' charges. Bookstores won't even put "Unfit for Command" on the shelf for fear of a Kerry lawsuit. That really makes the Democrats look "pro 1st Amendment" there.

C:: So he really doesn't like that whole "Constitution" thing we've got going on, does he?

T: I THINK HE DOES. IT STARTS OUT "WE THE PEOPLE" NOT "LISTEN TO THE PRESIDENT AND BLINDLY FOLLOW."

C: He is demanding that people blindly follow HIM. He makes a baseless charge and expects that to supercede Constitutional due process (against his fellow veterans). It is safe to say that he will act similarly as President: placing his word over that of the founding fathers.

T:: And where was Bush

C:: Certainly not slandering American soldiers and American veterans. Certainly not becoming the poster boy for the Viet Cong.

T: NO, HE WAS DRUNK IN TEXAS AND TAKING NO STAND AT ALL WHILE GOOD MEN DIED.

C: Bush harmed none. Kerry harmed "thousands". As President he will have the capacity to harm billions. Not just millions, but billions.

T: YOU HAVE TO HURT BAD TO BE A REAL WARRIOR I GUESS.

C: It's more a matter that if one places great emphasis on his purple hearts, received due to scratches and bruises, one ought not be surprised if someone like Bob Dole takes a bit of, shall we say, umbrage at the big war hero parades you put on for yourself.

T: MAYBE "READERS" SHOULD READ THE ENTIRE TESTIMONY. IF IT WAS SO DAMAGING TO KERRY WHY WOULD A SUPPORTER LIKE ME BE BEGGING PEOPLE TO READ THE F'ING THING?

C: If you're quite done melting down, now, I actually did read the whole thing. He was out there grandstanding with the great grandstander, William Fulbright, trying to turn sympathy for the VC into "the new Patriotism". All based on fallacy and false accusation. On a fundamental, moral level, that's even more disgusting than his baseless slander of the "thousands of others" with whom he pretended to serve, but I tend to emphasize logical objections to his political ascendancy, rather than moral ones.

this we'll defend said...

well this is really long, so I'll just say anybody who thinks LOTs of atrocities didn't happen in Vietnam is wrong, and the Army backs me up. Anybody who thinks Kerry said ALL soldiers were war criminals is wrong, and the testimony backs me up. Lt. Calley was courtmartialed and freed, and nobody else went to jail including the many officers in his chain of command who covered it up. If that isn't condoning I don't know what is.

And: "Front lean and rest position, MOVE. Knock them out." (Armyspeak for "do pushups)

Troop, if you went through Army basic and you still call army drill sergeants drill "instructors" then you should find SSG Carter (same guy from Gomer Pyle?) and kick his ass for doing such a poor job of teaching you. Army initial entry training is conducted by drill SERGEANTS thank you very much. I wasn't a Marine, I was a soldier and taught by NCOs not "instructors" or "DIs."

"Recover." (Armyspeak for you can stop doing pushups and get back up).

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