Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Swift Boat Veterans For Truth

I don't even want to comment on this because I think that it needs to stand on it's own:
Watch the movie & explore the sight ....
http://www.swiftvets.com/

This is a tri-partisan group: Democrats/Republican/Independants.

26 comments:

Ron Brynaert said...

On May 17, 2004, Matt Gunn shares a segment from Joe Conason's recent registration-required Salon "uncovering" of "yet more 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' Republican ties, as if there weren't enough on record already" [Gunn comments]:

"When the 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' launched its campaign against John Kerry 10 days ago, leadership and guidance were provided by Republican activists and presidential friends from Texas -- notably Houston attorney John E. O'Neill and corporate media consultant Merrie Spaeth.

"On closer inspection, the ostensibly nonpartisan 'Swift Boat Vets' seem to have another pair of significant sponsors with deep and long-standing Republican connections in Missouri. Both are officers of Gannon International, a St. Louis conglomerate that does lots of overseas business in, of all places, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

"Ties to Gannon can be traced via the Swift Boat Vets Web site ... On April 14, the site was registered under the name of Lewis Waterman, Gannon's information technology manager, at 11301 Olive Boulevard in St. Louis, the firm's headquarters address. Although Waterman wouldn't discuss why he had set up the Web site, he didn't deny that his boss, Gannon president and CEO William Franke, had asked him to do so.

"Conason identifies "veteran corporate media consultant and Texas Republican activist Merrie Spaeth" as being behind the group. Spaeth, "listed as the group's media contact," is the widow of Tex Lezar, "eternal Kerry antagonist and Dallas attorney" John E. O'Neill's law partner.
Conason says that Spaeth is not "as well known as" Karen P. Hughes but yet is "among the most experienced and best connected Republican communications executives. During the Reagan administration she served as director of the White House Office of Media Liaison, where she specialized in promoting "news" items that boosted President Reagan to TV stations around the country. While living in Washington she met and married Lezar, a Reagan Justice Department lawyer who ran for lieutenant governor of Texas in 1994 with George W. Bush, then the party's candidate for governor. (Lezar lost; Bush won.)"


Tripartisan?Why Are We Back In Iraq?

ALa said...

Rab_I am not worried about where they got their money ...I am worried about their message and as a 'liberal' you should be too. Why was all the screaming about Abu Gareab and underpants on someone's head and no screaming about the fact that your candidate has admitted to comitting war crimes and now more are being uncovered? Seems a bit dishonest to me...

Ron Brynaert said...

They have no message. All they say in that stupid commercial is "Kerry Lied" but they offer zero examples. It's just rhetoric. And the commercial seems to suggest that all the people that fought beside Kerry believe this. What about the "band of brothers" - vets that actually did sail on the same boat with him - that are actively campaigning for him.

As for your "underpants on the head" comment. You damn well know that far worse atrocities than that took place at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. The military is investigating close to one hundred deaths. Women were raped. Children were raped. Prisoners were threatened with rape. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for making light of all that.

"more are being uncovered" - What Kerry war crimes are you alluding to that are being uncovered? The excerpt from the June 6, 1971 Washington Star from his FBI files....I've done a search online and I can't find the entire article...so it's kind of ridiculous to call him a war criminal on the basis of one paragraph that is taken out of context....

Your so-called tri-partisans contend that there were no war crimes committed by anyone in Vietnam. That Kerry was lying when he told the Star that the boats indiscriminately shot upon villages and sampans from the water. You can't have it both ways.

Even if I believed that Kerry committed war crimes when he was following orders as a United States soldier...the fact that he came back to congress and testified about it and marched against the war would and should override it.

Besides....as a "liberal" (as you put it...I would put it as a LIBERAL!!!!) I want to see Bush voted out of office and investigated for countless crimes and treasonous actions so I will support the candidate that has the best chance to beat him. Especially, since "as a LIBERAL! I've never had the opportunity to vote for a liberal candidate for the Presidency since there has never really been one...No matter what you and the Ann Coulters and the Sean Hannitys of the world want to rant about.

But I ask you...as a "conservative" how could you vote for somebody who is responsible for the largest budgets and deficits ever?

ALa said...

As a 'compassionate conservative' I am OK with the extra spending on education and RX cards for medicare --we have always had deficits when there was a war and of course they will be larger because 9/11 really did happen.
No one has been charged with rape or murder -innocent until proven guilty right --or is that only for Mumia? -oh, right...he was proven guilty... I have only seen PROOF of underwear. PROOF of dog leashes. And PROOF of nakedness. I am sure that Senator Robert KKK Byrd did way worse to blacks, when he was the leader of the W. Virginia KKK, than is depicted in any of those pictures -and he is your senior Senate leader...go figure...
As for Kerry:
# Two of John Kerry's three Purple Heart decorations resulted from self-inflicted wounds, not suffered under enemy fire.

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

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

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

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

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

Listen -honestly there is really NO point in going back and forth. I have looked at your page before (after you were on CB's site) and as far as i am concerned you might as well have 40 heads...you are so alien to me -as I am sure that I am too you. You will vote for Kerry and I will vote for Bush --and nothing either of us will say to each other will change that.

spaceCADETzoom said...

I got nothing to contribute about this debate. I don't care one way or another about these swiftboat vets "outing" Kerry. For the purpose of this comment, I am not for or against Kerry or Bush.

But I take note with rab's comment. rab said: "Even if I believed that Kerry committed war crimes when he was following orders as a United States soldier...the fact that he came back to congress and testified about it and marched against the war would and should override it."

Kerry wasn't a merely a soldier. (He was a sailor...but semantics ain't the problem). He was a comissioned officer. "Following orders" may fly if you're a private or seaman (emphasis on *MAY*), but it certainly doesn't stand for jack as an officer. 21 year old ensigns (or 2LT's) are responsible for thier men. Everyone from generals to 0-1's have responsibilities beyond themselves or thier peers. Non-military folk don't get the whole "responsibility" thing involved with officers. Comissioned officers can be prosecuted for things they did, things they didn't do, things they didn't prevent, and things they didn't even know about, but should have.

Read up on Japanese war crimes. With specific examination of the fact those prosecuted were almost without exception officers. Even if it was enlisted doing the specific crime in question...the officers had responsibilty. Even the specific crimes my great-aunt was a sworn witness to in the trials...an officer was prosecuted, not necesarily the Japanese soldier who comited the act. (I had a huge post about old family stories on my blog the other week)

If Kerry was part of some war crime, he should be sent to jail. Protesting war after the fact doesn't "override" anything. He doesn't have to be prosecuted for taking part of a crime itself, but if he knew about it, as an officer in the US Navy, he had a responsibilty to do somehting about it. *That's* prosecutable itself.

I'm not saying he was involved in any war crimes (in fact, I doubt he saw one).

I guess it's hard to explain what comissioned officers are. I'm sorry if I'm not clear.

Just, please, don't go off spouting about what negligible and/or criminal acts are permissible or what can be "overriden." It cheapens it all, and is ignorant in general.

Thanks. No disrespect intended to you.

leftyjones said...

I won't use up all your space here to smack you down, dear friend. I already issued your challenge on my page. Happy backpeddling!

this we'll defend said...

ALa71, if you can't tell the truth in campaigning for your candidate maybe he isn't worth campaigning for? Just a thought.

THE TRUTH:
McCain Condemns Anti-Kerry Ad

7 minutes ago Add Politics - AP to My Yahoo!


By RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer

WASHINGTON - Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad criticizing John Kerry (news - web sites)'s military service "dishonest and dishonorable" and urged the White House on Thursday to condemn it as well.

The White House declined.

"It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me," McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press, comparing the anti-Kerry ad to tactics in his bitter Republican primary fight with President Bush (news - web sites).


The 60-second ad features Vietnam veterans who accuse the Democratic presidential nominee of lying about his decorated Vietnam War record and betraying his fellow veterans by later opposing the conflict.


"When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry," one of the veterans, Larry Thurlow, says in the ad. Thurlow didn't serve on Kerry's swiftboat, but says he witnessed the events that led to Kerry winning a Bronze Star and the last of his three Purple Hearts. Kerry's crewmates support the candidate and call him a hero.


The ad, scheduled to air in a few markets in Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, was produced by Stevens, Reed, Curcio and Potham, the same team that produced McCain's ads in 2000.


"I wish they hadn't done it," McCain said of his former advisers. "I don't know if they knew all the facts."


Asked if the White House knew about the ad or helped find financing for it, McCain said, "I hope not, but I don't know. But I think the Bush campaign should specifically condemn the ad."


McCain, chairman of Bush's campaign in Arizona, later said the Bush campaign has denied any involvement and added, "I can't believe the president would pull such a cheap stunt."


White House spokesman Scott McClellan declined to condemn the ad. He did denounce the proliferation of spending by independent groups, such as the anti-Kerry veterans organization, that are playing on both sides of the political fence.


"The president thought he got rid of this unregulated soft money when he signed the bipartisan campaign finance reform into law," McClellan said. A chief sponsor of that bill, which Bush initially opposed, was McCain.


In 2000, Bush's supporters sponsored a rumor campaign against McCain in the South Carolina primary, helping Bush win the primary and the nomination. McCain's supporters have never forgiven the Bush team.


McCain said that's all in the past to him, but he's speaking out against the anti-Kerry ad because "it reopens all the old wounds of the Vietnam War, which I spent the last 35 years trying to heal."


"I deplore this kind of politics," McCain said. "I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is, none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crew have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam. I think George Bush served honorably in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War."


Retired Adm. Roy Hoffmann, head of the Swift Boat group, said they respected McCain's "right to express his opinion and we hope he extends to us the same respect and courtesy, particularly since we served with John Kerry, we knew him well and Sen. McCain did not."


McCain himself spent more than five years in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp. A bona fide war hero, McCain, like Kerry, used his war record as the foundation of his presidential campaign.


The Kerry campaign has denounced the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, saying none of the men in the ad served on the boat that Kerry commanded. Three veterans on Kerry's boat that day — Jim Rassmann, who says Kerry saved his life, Gene Thorson and Del Sandusky, the driver on Kerry's boat, said the group was lying.





They say Kerry was injured, and Rassmann called the group's account "pure fabrication."

Hoffmann said none of the 13 veterans in the commercial served on Kerry's boat but rather were in other swiftboats within 50 yards of Kerry's. The group claims that there was no gunfire on the day Kerry pulled Rassmann from a muddy river in the Mekong Delta and that Kerry's arm was not wounded, as he has claimed.

Ron Brynaert said...

"I have only seen PROOF of underwear. PROOF of dog leashes. And PROOF of nakedness."

You haven't seen any proof of Kerry's alleged war crimes...but you have no trouble accepting them as facts.

I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the latest lie: that in Vietnam Kerry shot a teenager dressed in a loincloth in the back.

"Listen -honestly there is really NO point in going back and forth. I have looked at your page before (after you were on CB's site) and as far as i am concerned you might as well have 40 heads...you are so alien to me -as I am sure that I am too you. You will vote for Kerry and I will vote for Bush --and nothing either of us will say to each other will change that."

At this time, I do plan to vote for Kerry. Except that I reserve the right to change my mind (or vote for Nader or for the Green candidate). That's the difference between the Ann Coulters and the Michael Moores of the world. Liberals don't slavishly follow their party's candidates.

And you better believe that I'll be back to comment on this site the next time you post unsubstantiated allegations and malicious slanders.

Heck...I even plan to post a link to your repugnant site.

As for Mumia. He was convicted in an unfair trial largely based on suspect witnesses trying to make deals and false testimony by police officers who claimed they heard him confess but didn't report it until months later. I've taken the time to read the transcripts to his trial...and there is no doubt that - at the very least - he deserves a new trial.

As far as spacecadet zoom's comments...I take back what I said about "following orders"....because a war crime is a war crime...and there is no absolution for the low men or the high men on the totem. But - at the same time - just because Kerry was an officer...doesn't mean that he didn't follow orders during the war. How absurd. Do you really think each and every officer determines their own war plans?

I'm really starting to dig the "this we'll defend" blogger...same goes for you, lefty

peace to all
even the fascist blondes of the world
Why Are We Back In Iraq?

spaceCADETzoom said...

"just because Kerry was an officer...doesn't mean that he didn't follow orders during the war. How absurd. Do you really think each and every officer determines their own war plans?"

I didn't say that. Re-read please, and lose the defensiveness chip on your shoulder. I wasn't tearing into Kerry. I was tearing into misconceptions of officership.

Shooting civilians is not "war plans". I think you think that officers are somehow incapable of making moral decisions...when in fact, that is thier job. If some 4-star general were to say "shoot that baby." The 21 year old Lieutenant platoon leader is responsible if one of his privates does so. (as is the general, et al.) There was nothing "absurd" in officer responsibility other than your ignorance of it.

Keep in mind I never said Kerry comited any war crimes. My contention was in your wrong conlusion "if he had".

spaceCADETzoom said...

Rab, to make use a better hypothetical example:

A 22 year old 2LT platoon leader is on trial because one of the soldiers in his platoon killed a baby. For the sake of illustration let's make the killer a 30 year old sergeant named Doe. The defense attorney for the officer (the LT) has limited choices in defense. One defense: the LT was incapable of knowing or preventing the act. This would require the LT to be completely new...having just rotated in, and is new to the platoon...for example, he just got to the platoon as the act was taking place. "Captain so-and-so, the company commander, said to kill the baby," is NOT a defense for this LT. Neither is an adequate defense that "SGT Doe killed the baby without my order." Indeed, even the "new to the platoon" argument may not work. Japanese General Yamashita was hung even though most of the atrocities that he was prosecuted for happened *before* he arrived.

If the LT *should* have been able to prevent the crime, he is guilty. Such is the responsibility of officership.

spaceCADETzoom said...

Furhtermore, cases like that have happened. To keep using the Japanese examples...young 20-seomethings, Japanese junior officers, were sent to jail for the beheading of American POW airmen. Even though they were "ordered" to. There are cases where junior officers in the same position, having been ordered to behead a POW, being sent to jail even if they hadn't the stomach for doing the beheading themselves. Some MAJ or COL wanted a beheaded POW, the LT doesn't want to do it...some NCO does it. The LT is still cashiered as a criminal all the same.

91ghost said...

Mumia is going to get what he deserves: a reservation in hell. He's a fuckng cold-blooded cop killer shamelessly playing the race card game. If he was white he would have been executed by now. He is the racist--not the "system." You've listend to those priviliged Harvard boys (Rage Against the Machine) a bit too much.

91ghost said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
91ghost said...

The above comment (which oddly posted twice) is addressed to Rab.

justrose said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
this we'll defend said...

Rab, as long as you make outlandish statements such as Mumia was innocent I would rather you not "dig me." Most of your post seemed reasonable, especially your charge of unsubstantiated allegations and malicious slanders, but then you bring up Mumia as if it were an undisputed fact that he was railroaded. It is a fact very much in dispute. Bad example my friend. You seem guilty of making unsubstantiated allegations and maliciously slandering our justice system and the officers involved in that incident. Don't barrage me with cites and facts about Mumia - my point is that it is not at all a foregone conclusion that he is innocent, and good people can disagree. I myself think he is guilty as hell - and I've had some training in the law while Rage Against the Machine has not.

Ron Brynaert said...

this we'll defend said...
"Rab, as long as you make outlandish statements such as Mumia was innocent I would rather you not "dig me.""

What outlandish statement?

I wrote: "As for Mumia. He was convicted in an unfair trial largely based on suspect witnesses trying to make deals and false testimony by police officers who claimed they heard him confess but didn't report it until months later. I've taken the time to read the transcripts to his trial...and there is no doubt that - at the very least - he deserves a new trial."

Nowhere did I write that he was innocent...I wrote that he was convicted in an unfair trial...and that at the very least he deserves a new trial.

And I read the transcripts which are available online...I didn't base my words on a rage against the machine song.

Kat said...

I don't have much to add to the argument except that people should read the book, un fit for command, before trying to debunk their claims. Further, just because somebody wasn't ON the boat with Kerry doesn't make them unreliable if they were in the same action on another boat. Again, read the book.

Having read part of it, so far, I would say that parts of it are probably true and other parts seem to be "interpretation" based on the persons own experience or feelings on the action. doesn't make it any less true than Kerry's rememberance. Although, he is well disputed on his alledged illegal action into Cambodia. As previously posted by a current soldier in Iraq, it is not uncommon for some soldiers to wonder why another got a medal when they didn't think the action warranted it.

In regards to the filming his little re-enactments. I'm not sure if they were purely for personal rememberance, but I had an uncle in Viet Nam and he indicates everyone took pictures of some sort, although, his were mainly of him and his buddies on the base or goofing off. He says that there were some guys that took 8mm video and sent it home. However, he doesn't recall anyone filming re-enactments of their exploits. This is the part that leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth.

Frankly, the book hasn't made me think any more or less of Kerry. It's his current behavior that is in question for me, although his post war actions certainly put an interesting touch on his character.

My main reason for getting on here is that, as a red haired fascist, I feel it is my duty to come to the aid of my blonde haired fascist friend.

Rab...you are a delusional jackass. And since you come to the defense of some character like Mumia, I have to think that you are an anarchist (if we must throw some labels around).

And you should have your freaking details correct. The "rapes of children" you are quoting are stories about criminals inside the jail committing them on teenagers, who by dent of picking up a gun or an RPG, had to be considered as combatants. Hardly innocent 10 year old babies. As you well know, that kind of crap goes on in any constrained population where the main group is hardened criminals.

As for the women, you also know that the alledged photos that came out with that theme were doctored porn pictures from the west.

So..take your garbage and go back to your little ANSWER friends. I'm sure they have some really good shit that you can smoke amongst yourself and continue to believe that the whole world is after you and the rest of the poor down trodden, unwashed masses.

Red Haired Fascist Out

91ghost said...

Well, I was going to say more, but This We'll Defend and Kat said it for me.

~Jen~ said...

Is it time for you to get back yet?!?!?! Sheesh. You've been gone forever and ever.

I'm like the little kid in the back of the car saying "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet"....only I am saying to my computer..."Is she back yet? Is she back yet? Is she back yet?"...

justrose said...

Is it Monday? She should be home tonight.

~Jen~ said...

***looks at watch***

***looks at computer***

***looks at watch***

***looks at computer***

Bathus said...

Read this, and all your questions will be answered.

http://www.swiftvets.com/article.php?story=20040808144320243

MrMalcolm said...

We really don't allow such name calling as "fascist blondes" and the like. I'd be willing to bet that if forced to take either Ala71 or Kat on, either one would royally kick your ass. If they couldn't, I would.

Kat said...

ALa71...you're welcome. Glad I could be of service. We "fascist" have to stick together. It's in the oath and the pre-amble of our orgnizations constitution...

"...One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

"We the people, of the United States of America...."

Bigandmean said...

Ala71,
You're right. It does no good to respond to nut cases like rab. People like him are so filled with hatred that to try to reason with him is just a waste of time.

One thing is interesting about the exchange - the viciousnous of his name calling and personal attacks compared to your reasoned and graceful response. Keep up the good work.