Anti-Kerry vets not there that day
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 31
  1. #1
    Banned forever.....or not
    Reputation: MR_GRUMPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    24,236

    Anti-Kerry vets not there that day

    By William B. Rood
    Chicago Tribune
    Published August 21, 2004

    There were three swift boats on the river that day in Vietnam more than 35 years ago—three officers and 15 crew members. Only two of those officers remain to talk about what happened on February 28, 1969.

    One is John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who won a Silver Star for what happened on that date. I am the other.

    For years, no one asked about those events. But now they are the focus of skirmishing in a presidential election with a group of swift boat veterans and others contending that Kerry didn't deserve the Silver Star for what he did on that day, or the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts he was awarded for other actions.

    Many of us wanted to put it all behind us—the rivers, the ambushes, the killing. Ever since that time, I have refused all requests for interviews about Kerry's service—even those from reporters at the Chicago Tribune, where I work.

    But Kerry's critics, armed with stories I know to be untrue, have charged that the accounts of what happened were overblown. The critics have taken pains to say they're not trying to cast doubts on the merit of what others did, but their version of events has splashed doubt on all of us. It's gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were not there.

    Even though Kerry's own crew members have backed him, the attacks have continued, and in recent days Kerry has called me and others who were with him in those days, asking that we go public with our accounts.

    I can't pretend those calls had no effect on me, but that is not why I am writing this. What matters most to me is that this is hurting crewmen who are not public figures and who deserved to be honored for what they did. My intent is to tell the story here and to never again talk publicly about it.

    I was part of the operation that led to Kerry's Silver Star. I have no firsthand knowledge of the events that resulted in his winning the Purple Hearts or the Bronze Star.

    But on Feb. 28, 1969, I was officer in charge of PCF-23, one of three swift boats—including Kerry's PCF-94 and Lt. j.g. Donald Droz's PCF-43—that carried Vietnamese regional and Popular Force troops and a Navy demolition team up the Dong Cung, a narrow tributary of the Bay Hap River, to conduct a sweep in the area.

    The approach of the noisy 50-foot aluminum boats, each driven by two huge 12-cylinder diesels and loaded down with six crew members, troops and gear, was no secret.

    Ambushes were a virtual certainty, and that day was no exception.

    Instructions from Kerry

    The difference was that Kerry, who had tactical command of that particular operation, had talked to Droz and me beforehand about not responding the way the boats usually did to an ambush.

    We agreed that if we were not crippled by the initial volley and had a clear fix on the location of the ambush, we would turn directly into it, focusing the boats' twin .50-caliber machine guns on the attackers and beaching the boats. We told our crews about the plan.

    The Viet Cong in the area had come to expect that the heavily loaded boats would lumber on past an ambush, firing at the entrenched attackers, beaching upstream and putting troops ashore to sweep back down on the ambush site. Often, they were long gone by the time the troops got there.

    The first time we took fire—the usual rockets and automatic weapons—Kerry ordered a "turn 90" and the three boats roared in on the ambush. It worked. We routed the ambush, killing three of the attackers. The troops, led by an Army adviser, jumped off the boats and began a sweep, which killed another half dozen VC, wounded or captured others and found weapons, blast masks and other supplies used to stage ambushes.

    Meanwhile, Kerry ordered our boat to head upstream with his, leaving Droz's boat at the first site.

    It happened again, another ambush. And again, Kerry ordered the turn maneuver, and again it worked. As we headed for the riverbank, I remember seeing a loaded B-40 launcher pointed at the boats. It wasn't fired as two men jumped up from their spider holes.

    We called Droz's boat up to assist us, and Kerry, followed by one member of his crew, jumped ashore and chased a VC behind a hooch—a thatched hut—maybe 15 yards inland from the ambush site. Some who were there that day recall the man being wounded as he ran. Neither I nor Jerry Leeds, our boat's leading petty officer with whom I've checked my recollection of all these events, recalls that, which is no surprise. Recollections of those who go through experiences like that frequently differ.

    With our troops involved in the sweep of the first ambush site, Richard Lamberson, a member of my crew, and I also went ashore to search the area. I was checking out the inside of the hooch when I heard gunfire nearby.

    Not long after that, Kerry returned, reporting that he had killed the man he chased behind the hooch. He also had picked up a loaded B-40 rocket launcher, which we took back to our base in An Thoi after the operation.

    John O'Neill, author of a highly critical account of Kerry's Vietnam service, describes the man Kerry chased as a "teenager" in a "loincloth." I have no idea how old the gunner Kerry chased that day was, but both Leeds and I recall that he was a grown man, dressed in the kind of garb the VC usually wore.

    The man Kerry chased was not the "lone" attacker at that site, as O'Neill suggests. There were others who fled. There was also firing from the tree line well behind the spider holes and at one point, from the opposite riverbank as well. It was not the work of just one attacker.

    Our initial reports of the day's action caused an immediate response from our task force headquarters in Cam Ranh Bay.

    Congratulatory message

    Known over radio circuits by the call sign "Latch," then-Capt. and now retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffmann, the task force commander, fired off a message congratulating the three swift boats, saying at one point that the tactic of charging the ambushes was a "shining example of completely overwhelming the enemy" and that it "may be the most efficacious method of dealing with small numbers of ambushers."

    Hoffmann has become a leading critic of Kerry's and now says that what the boats did on that day demonstrated Kerry's inclination to be impulsive to a fault.

    Our decision to use that tactic under the right circumstances was not impulsive but was the result of discussions well beforehand and a mutual agreement of all three boat officers.

    It was also well within the aggressive tradition that was embraced by the late Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, then commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam. Months before that day in February, a fellow boat officer, Michael Bernique, was summoned to Saigon to explain to top Navy commanders why he had made an unauthorized run up the Giang Thanh River, which runs along the Vietnam-Cambodia border. Bernique, who speaks French fluently, had been told by a source in Ha Tien at the mouth of the river that a VC tax collector was operating upstream.

    Ignoring the prohibition against it, Bernique and his crew went upstream and routed the VC, pursuing and killing several.

    Instead of facing disciplinary action as he had expected, Bernique was given the Silver Star, and Zumwalt ordered other swifts, which had largely patrolled coastal waters, into the rivers.

    The decision sent a clear message, underscored repeatedly by Hoffmann's congratulatory messages, that aggressive patrolling was expected and that well-timed, if unconventional, tactics like Bernique's were encouraged.

    What we did on Feb. 28, 1969, was well in line with the tone set by our top commanders.

    Zumwalt made that clear when he flew down to our base at An Thoi off the southern tip of Vietnam to pin the Silver Star on Kerry and assorted Bronze Stars and commendation medals on the rest of us.

    Error in citation

    My Bronze Star citation, signed by Zumwalt, praised the charge tactic we used that day, saying the VC were "caught completely off guard."

    There's at least one mistake in that citation. It incorrectly identifies the river where the main action occurred, a reminder that such documents were often done in haste and sometimes authored for their signers by staffers. It's a cautionary note for those trying to piece it all together. There's no final authority on something that happened so long ago—not the documents and not even the strained recollections of those of us who were there.

    But I know that what some people are saying now is wrong. While they mean to hurt Kerry, what they're saying impugns others who are not in the public eye.

    Men like Larry Lee, who was on our bow with an M-60 machine gun as we charged the riverbank, Kenneth Martin, who was in the .50-caliber gun tub atop our boat, and Benjamin Cueva, our engineman, who was at our aft gun mount suppressing the fire from the opposite bank.

    Wayne Langhoffer and the other crewmen on Droz's boat went through even worse on April 12, 1969, when they saw Droz killed in a brutal ambush that left PCF-43 an abandoned pile of wreckage on the banks of the Duong Keo River. That was just a few months after the birth of his only child, Tracy.

    The survivors of all these events are scattered across the country now.

    Jerry Leeds lives in a tiny Kansas town where he built and sold a successful printing business. He owns a beautiful home with a lawn that sweeps to the edge of a small lake, which he also owns. Every year, flights of purple martins return to the stately birdhouses on the tall poles in his back yard.

    Cueva, recently retired, has raised three daughters and is beloved by his neighbors for all the years he spent keeping their cars running. Lee is a senior computer programmer in Kentucky, and Lamberson finished a second military career in the Army.

    With the debate over that long-ago day in February, they're all living that war another time.
    Copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

    I>U

    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

  2. #2
    OES
    OES is offline
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    14,484

    I'm going to set aside my usual objectivity for a minute.

    I have to say one thing: These lying bastards taking filthy Republican money to destroy John Kerry are some of the biggest a-holes I've ever had the displeasure of seeing in public life, and despite our shared history I disown them as bothers.

    There. I can't say anything harsher. And it's going to have to be my last word on the subject, or I'll blow a gasket.

    Good story by brother Rood.

  3. #3
    Coco Puff
    Reputation: rwbadley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    2,119
    The campaign to impugn the accomplishments of Kerry et al in this matter is heinous and vile. GW did similar crap to McCain four years ago. GOP funds backing Nader in hopes of a spoiler is the same.

    Just another reason I sincerely hope we are able to vote those bums out. My intense displeasure with the Bush administration is not easily transmitted via net forum. These sewer rats need to be driven out.

  4. #4

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    206

    Does it work?

    I once read something by a Republican strategist. He said the whole Dukakis thing was designed to make people so disgusted with the process that they refused to vote. I see these unqualified attacks as doing just the opposite; enraging the Democrats and pointing out the serious holes in GW's service record. I mean, it is really beneath the dignity of the office of the Presidency to do this sort of thing. I see it as a bad strategy.

  5. #5
    Banned forever.....or not
    Reputation: MR_GRUMPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    24,236

    Sewer rats is a little.............. To.......

    Wimpy.
    Scum sucking sewer rats is a little more close to the truth.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

    I>U

    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    69,526
    It's a good thing we have Kerry to return the honor to politics, he tells the truth from both faces and either side of his mouth.

  7. #7
    gazing from the shadows
    Reputation: QuiQuaeQuod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    27,005

    wow, another newbie spaz with nothing to offer!

    What a suprise! How unusual!

    So, how does it feel to be a tool of the right? Or is it just that you are a fool? In either case, if you want to play you better come with better than THAT lame crap. Bring your A game, or stay at home.

    Oh, that was your A game? Well, even in the Special Olympics doing a personal best is something to be proud of.



    Here, a cut and paste list of SOME of bush's flip flops. That's all the effort you deserve. And you only get this much because I am bored.



    Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it.

    Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it.

    Bush is against a WMD investigation; then he's for it.

    Bush is against nation building; then he's for it.

    Bush said he'll provide money for first responders (emergency services); then he doesn't.

    Bush is against deficits; then he's for them.

    Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again.

    Bush said he'll reduce Greenhouse gases; then doesn't do it.

    Bush is for a patient's bill of rights then; then he fights against it.

    Bush say that "help is on the way" to the military; then he cuts benefits.

    Bush talks about helping education; then he cuts funding.

    Bush says the U.S. won't negotiate with North Korea; then he says we will.

    Bush campaigns at racist Bob Jones University; then says he shouldn't have.

    Bush says he will demand a U.N. Security Council vote on whether to sanction military action against Iraq; then he announces he won't call for a vote.

    Bush says the "mission accomplished" banner was put up by the Navy; then he admits it was his advance team.

    Bush is for fingerprinting and photographing Mexicans who enter the US; then he's against it.

    Bush is for a state's right to decide on gay marriage; then he's for amending the constitution to prevent it.

    from the obviously partisan http://www.democraticunderground.com/
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    69,526
    Well, John will return us to the shining throne of world respect and all his commitments will have immediate deniability and escape clauses.

  9. #9
    Banned forever.....or not
    Reputation: MR_GRUMPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    24,236

    Touche'

    I guess we need more all American "Scum sucking Sewer Rats" to show us the true path to honor.................
    Just like this guy who has nothing to do with "King Rat"

    CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - A Vietnam veteran who worked with President Bush's campaign has left over his appearance in a commercial by a group challenging Democratic candidate John Kerry's war record, a campaign spokesman said on Saturday.

    Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said Ken Cordier was a Bush supporter during the 2000 election and served as a member of his a steering committee to help reach out to veterans during this election.

    "Col. Cordier did not inform the campaign of his involvement in the advertisement being run by (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth)," Schmidt said. "Because of his involvement with this 527 (group), Col. Cordier will no longer participate" in the steering committee.

    The disclosure of Cordier's involvement came one day after White House spokesman Scott McClellan and Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot denied the campaign coordinated with the group on the ads, which claim that Kerry lied about his Vietnam War service.

    Kerry has called the ads inaccurate and accused the group of being a front for the Bush campaign. On Friday the Kerry campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission seeking to force the ads' withdrawal.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

    I>U

    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Fredrico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    27,237

    A fine honest narrrative.

    That's an enlightening account of Kerry's battle experience. His initiative with the ramming tactic is consistent with why some of his superior officers wanted to transfer him out of there. Kerry may have been out-performing these commanders, making them jealous, or uptight about their authority or control--or competence.

    The people going after Kerry were shocked and insulted with his anti-war stance. To them, he turned traitor to the country. Not only that, Kerry's detailed accounts of war crimes they took as personal betrayals. Kerry was recounting what he had heard from the field while in Vietnam. He wasn't necessarily talking about them. Since then, his stories have generally been confirmed by others who were there. Bad stuff went on because the enemy was a phantom that couldn't be pinned down. It drove many to desperation, on all levels in the chain of command, like all combat does, sooner or later.

    I think the interest in this story might have to do with a desire to examine whether this man is fit to take over the reigns of war, and make an end to it, end the nightmare. The man must be brave, honest, his own man, with a strong sense of right and wrong. Kerry exudes this in spades right now. He's on a roll. Bush is the cheshire cat, soothed and nourished by Karl Rove and his murky Texan friend who finances a spin-meister to smear Kerry's war credentials, using the Swift Boat Veterans. But that's their mistake. Those yahoos aren't believable anyway. They're probably reading Karl Rove's script off teleprompters.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    69,526
    What is your point? does this point to the integrity of the Bush campaign or lack of it? Is it like beauty, in the eye of the beholder?

    The account given by the gentleman at the beginning of this thread is very similar to the one in the book. About the only difference is the level of heroism assigned to John Kerry in the incident. In all the accounts prior to now, I had the impression that Kerry's boat was alone in the action and I was not aware there were armed soldiers who acted as an assault team upon beaching the craft. I believed Kerry was the only American who left the boat and assaulted the position. Perhaps I simply missed the article with the whole story.

  12. #12
    gazing from the shadows
    Reputation: QuiQuaeQuod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    27,005

    Explain this:

    The closer people were to Kerry (as in, ON his boat) the closer their stories match with his. The closer we get in time (as in, when it happened, the military records) the closer the story matches Kerry's;

    Whose story has changed over time?

    If this were any other situation, who would you believe? Those closest to the events, with the most consistant story, or those with changing stories every time someone catches them in a lie?

    Oh, that's right. You'll believe whatever your Republican masters tell you!
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  13. #13
    Unlabeled
    Reputation: Reynolds531's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    3,720

    It will get dirtier. It's an election.

    Pretty soon a poll will show that this issue is helping Kerry. Bush can quietly tell the Vets for Truth to shut-up and maintain that he had no control over the group. Then the next independent group can fire up more ads which will get progressively more viscious.

    The Kerry campaign will continue to stoke up their minions who claim that Bush and Cheney are oil-thirsty war profiteers with no regard for the any citizens of the Untied States who have less than $100 million in assets.

    No matter who is elected, 40% of the electorate will believe the worst crap put out by the opposition. Maybe popular elections aren't so great.

  14. #14
    off the back
    Reputation: rufus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    14,816

    bush's latest flip-flop

    previously, as part of the path to an israel-palestine solution, there was an agreement that there be no new israeli construction in the west bank.

    yesterday comes the announcement that the bush administration supports some new construction in that area.

  15. #15
    Banned forever.....or not
    Reputation: MR_GRUMPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    24,236

    Bush has learned from the master of lies.

    If you tell a big enough lie, people will begin to believe it.
    I saw a poll testerday that showed the 37% of the population believe this crap about Kerry.

    In the "Believe it or not news" today

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A veteran who has disputed Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's Vietnam war record admitted on Sunday he did not have "a single document" to prove Kerry fabricated reports of enemy fire that won him two medals.

    Van Odell, a member of the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that has spearheaded a campaign against Kerry's service record, said his was one of seven eye witness accounts and he was not being directed by the campaign of President Bush (Believe it or not).

    "Our message is our message and no one tells us what to say," Odell told "Fox News Sunday." (Believe it or not)

    Odell said he had met with Republican strategist Merrie Spaeth, a public relations consultant to his group, and once bought a home from Bob Perry, a large Republican donor from Texas and close associate of Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser.
    (Believe it or not)

    He acknowledged he had no proof of his charge that then Navy Lt. Kerry, a Swift boat commander, fabricated the "after-action" report saying he faced enemy fire on March 13, 1969, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart for being wounded while pulling a fellow soldier to safety.

    "I do not have a single document," Odell said. "I have the fact that I wasn't wounded in that 5,000 meters of fire that he wrote about."

    "There was no enemy fire from either bank," he added. (Believe it or not)

    The assertion was another broadside in a debate that has been raging for weeks, and with at least one CBS poll showing the issue cutting into Kerry's support among veterans, the Massachusetts senator has accused the group of collaborating with the Bush campaign and demanded Bush repudiate the ads. (This will never happen.....It's a character issue)

    Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan added his voice to that of Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a Vietnam veteran who has also unsuccessfully urged Bush to denounce the ads. (It will never happen....because they work)

    'CHARACTER ASSASSINATION' DECRIED

    "The president should do the responsible thing and take that ad off," Levin told CBS's "Face the Nation."

    Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said that while the group had "every right" to express their opinion, "we ought to get out of the character assassination business."

    Kerry says his Republican critics are trying to sabotage growing voter support for his strategy to fight the war on terror.

    At a pair of fund-raisers outside New York late Saturday, Kerry renewed his call for Bush to pull the ads.

    "We're at war," he said. "But this is a different kind of war from any kind of war we've fought before, and it's because in the last months they have seen me climbing in America's understanding that I know how to fight a smarter and more effective war, that's why they are trying to attack."

    Kerry received the Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts for his Vietnam service, which is central to his challenge to Bush. The two candidates have been running neck and neck in key polls.

    Kerry on Friday asked the Federal Election Commission to force the group to withdraw its ads.

    The Bush campaign has denied any collaboration with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and other such groups. Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman, on NBC's "Meet the Press," played down the connection between the group and the campaign, including Rove.

    "Karl Rove is friends with lots of different people," he said. (While laughing so hard that he blew snot out of his nose)

    On Saturday, the Bush campaign said Ken Cordier, a Vietnam veteran who worked with it on veterans issues, would no longer do so after appearing in a Swift Boat Veterans for Truth commercial. (He's already completed his assingment)

    Bush spent the war in the United States serving in the Texas Air National Guard. Some Democrats accuse him of going absent without leave, citing gaps in his attendance record.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

    I>U

    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

  16. #16
    Unlabeled
    Reputation: Reynolds531's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    3,720

    This isn't working for Bush

    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY
    If you tell a big enough lie, people will begin to believe it.
    I saw a poll testerday that showed the 37% of the population believe this crap about Kerry..
    Those 37% woud believe a pro-Bush ad with an alien spacecraft bringing back Ronald Reagan so he could endorse Bush. This has not brought anyone new into the Bush camp and has probably pushed some towards Kerry. You Democrats should be donating money to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth--give them some more rope to hang themselves.
    Last edited by Continental; 08-22-2004 at 05:30 PM.

  17. #17
    Banned forever.....or not
    Reputation: MR_GRUMPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    24,236

    And yet, another witness to the other incedent.

    Witness confirms that Kerry rescued soldier under fire

    By Seattle Times news services

    Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry yesterday picked up support in the controversy over his Bronze Star during the Vietnam War.
    Wayne Langhofer told The Washington Post that he was manning a machine gun in a Swift boat behind Kerry's and saw gunfire from both banks of the Bay Hap River as Kerry reached over the bow to pull Special Forces soldier James Rassmann into the boat, the basis for Kerry's Bronze Star.

    "Unfit for Command," a book by John O'Neill and Jerome Corsi, and a television ad by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an anti-Kerry group, have questioned circumstances under which Kerry won several medals, including the Bronze Star. They maintain that Kerry was not under fire when he pulled Rassmann from the water.

    Until now, Kerry's version of acting under fire had come only from crewmen on his boat. The Post quoted Langhofer as saying he was approached by leaders of Swift Boat Veterans several months ago but declined to join them.

    Kerry, meanwhile, urged President Bush last night to "stand up and stop" what he called personal attacks on Kerry's combat record. The Bush campaign has said it had nothing to do with the ads.

    At a fund-raiser in East Hampton, N.Y., Kerry said the attacks have intensified "because in the last months they have seen me climbing in America's understanding that I know how to fight a smarter and more effective war" against terrorists. "That's why they're attacking my credibility. That's why they've personally gone after me. The president needs to stand up and stop that. The president needs to have the courage to talk about it."

    Meanwhile, the Bush campaign said yesterday that it had dismissed an adviser on veterans issues after learning that he is a member of the Swift Boat Veterans and appears in an anti-Kerry ad to be aired next week.

    The Bush campaign said retired Air Force Col. Kenneth Cordier served in a voluntary position on Bush's veterans steering committee. A Bush spokesman said Cordier had not informed the campaign that he had been involved with the group.

    Kerry's running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, demanded earlier in the day that Bush call for the ads to be pulled because they are lies funded by Bush allies.

    "This is a moment of truth for George W. Bush," Edwards told a cheering crowd in Roanoke, Va. "We're going to see what kind of man he is and what kind of leader he is. ... We want to hear from the president of the United States. We don't want to hear rhetoric. We want to hear three words: 'Stop these ads!' "

    The Kerry campaign also unveiled an Internet advertisement featuring a segment of a February 2000 debate between Bush and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during the South Carolina primary in which McCain took Bush to task for playing host to an event at which the leader of a "fringe" veterans group questioned McCain's military service in Vietnam.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

    I>U

    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

  18. #18
    Bored beyond belief.
    Reputation: sn69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,257

    It seems that the only legit. criticism is about Kerry's actions afterwards,

    specifically after he resigned his commission and returned home.

    I've spent this weekend (another drill weekend presumably "serving" our drilling reservists, but really just trying to make them feel loved and wanted), reading through volumes of accounts, all of which are posted on something called the Early Bird--a gov't web news compilation that you folks don't have access to.

    In almost every case, the primary gripe(s) is (are) with Kerry's behavior after he returned home, specifically those actions he took with the Hayden/Fonda group. Hell, even Ed has voiced his disagreements with Kerry on a lot of those issues and on the seperate but related issue of blue-blood convenient involvement. Peronsally (and having listened in person to Stockdale), I wouldn't give to squirts to Fonda...even if she was on fire.

    Utlimately, I have to defer to the McCain argument. The good senator is an unapologetic critic (and that's stating it mildly) of those who sought to profit from inaccuracies portrayed by the anti-war movement. Incidentally, the Senator is also a regular speaker at Navy SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape) seminars. His temperment can get, shall I say, animated on the subject. He doesn't speak ill of Kerry. Not at all. ...Nor does he speak ill of the other Kerry. I doubt this is a Navy loyalty issue; rather, I think it's the "been there, done that" quality that these people, Ed most certainly included, share.

    That said, I am a conservative and I doubt the sincerity, honesty and integrity of the people who are criticizing LTJG (ret) Kerry's service during Operation Game Warden. Kerry might be a lot of things, but he was there. My current and my last commanders in chief were not. I wasn't there. Very few of us were. He gets points in my book for that if nothing else. ...And, to quote our elder statesman/biker/bourbon drinker/dog lover from the Great State of Kentucky, anyone who takes issue with THAT can kiss my [email protected]@.
    Scott Needle

    No one respects the flame quite like the fool who's badly burned

  19. #19
    gazing from the shadows
    Reputation: QuiQuaeQuod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    27,005

    ONE problem with these claims.

    In the commercial, which has not yet been shown but has gotten huge free play on news shows, they cut off the part of Kerry's congressional testimony that says "The winter soldiers told me..." (paraphrasing), and make it sound like KERRY was making these accusations on his own.

    Even those that disagree with what he said and how he said it should recognize just how much courage it took to join the antiwar movement and speak as he did. What's the biblical quote? Speaking truth to power?

    If they had just attacked him for this it would be a very different story. But they didn't.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    69,526
    If Kerry was only repeating the reports of others, isn't that sort of like the argument that one had to actually be on HIS boat to know the truth? How can we be sure about unsubstantiated claims by unknown individuals at that period in time? Al Hubbard was the leader of Kerry's group and it turned out he was not an officer as claimed, was not wounded in Vietnam as he claimed and had never been assigned duty in Vietnam.

    Kerry also claimed to have taken part in attrocities during his time in Vietnam. His stance was popular at the time he was making all his claims to the various news groups and the Senate. What would display courage is if he were to run on that part of his record today. He may not run on it but we are at last going to hear more about it rather than just his chest thumping hero message. Who knows, this may be a winner for him.

    I have great respect for John McCain but I feel he would be very reluctant to be publicly critical of any service in country in Vietnam, regardless of his personal views.That would be proper, given his own service and prominant position in national politics.

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    2,706
    kerrys either a war criminal for taking part in and not reporting attrocities or he's a liar. the libs can pick which one they endorse for president.

  22. #22
    Opus was just napping
    Reputation: thatsmybush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    20,642
    Quote Originally Posted by bill105
    kerrys either a war criminal for taking part in and not reporting attrocities or he's a liar. the libs can pick which one they endorse for president.

    I have decided to endorse the "WAR CRIMINAL."
    If I wanted to endorse a liar I would just vote for Bush.
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    2,706
    Quote Originally Posted by thatsmybush
    I have decided to endorse the "WAR CRIMINAL."
    If I wanted to endorse a liar I would just vote for Bush.
    BUSH LIED, BUSH LIED!!!!! LOL!

  24. #24
    OES
    OES is offline
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    14,484

    A big dose of the truth.

    Wonder if you can handle it? At the very least, you need to read it instead of relying on the misleadingly edited, out-of-context sound bites (i.e. intentional deceptions, i.e. lies) in the illegal Bush ads.

    I know it's a long cut-and-paste, but given the fact that a whole of people are talking passionately about something they have zero direct knowledge of here (I mean Kerry's testimony, although there seems to be a lot of passion with zero direct knowledge hereabouts) I thought it should be on the record.


    Lieutenant Kerry's Senate Testimony

    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. Not isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with a full awareness of officers at all levels of command. It's impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit. The emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam. But they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.

    They told the stories of times that they had personally raped, cut off the ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in the fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

    We called this investigation the Winter Soldier Investigation. The term ?winter soldier? is a play on words of Thomas Paine's in 1776 when he spoke of the "sunshine patriot and summertime soldiers" who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough. We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now.

    We could come back to this country and we could be quiet. We could hold our silence. We could not tell what went on in Vietnam. But we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not reds, not red coats, but the crimes which we are committing are what threaten it, and we have to speak out.

    I would like to talk to you a little bit about what the result is of the feelings these men carry with them after coming back from Vietnam. The country doesn't know it yet, but it's created a monster. A monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence and who are given the chance to die for the biggest nothing in history. Men who have returned with a sense of anger and a sense of betrayal which no one has yet grasped.

    As a veteran and one who feels this anger, I would like it talk about it. We are angry because we feel we have been used in the worst fashion by the administration of this country. In 1970, at West Point, Vice President Agnew said, "Some glamorize the criminal misfits of society while our best men die in Asian rice paddies to preserve the freedoms which those misfits abuse. And this was used as a rallying point for our effort in Vietnam. But for us, his boys in Asia, whom the country was supposed to support, his statement as a terrible distortion from which we can only draw a very deep sense of revulsion and hence the anger of some of the men who are here in Washington today.

    It's a distortion because we in no way considered ourselves the best men of this country. Because those he calls misfits were standing up for us in a way that nobody else in this country dared to. Because so many who have died would have returned to this country to join the misfits in their efforts to ask for an immediate withdrawal from South Vietnam. Because so many of those best men have returned as quadriplegics and amputees and they lie forgotten, in Veterans' Administration hospitals in this country, which fly the flag, which so many have chosen as their own personal symbol. And we cannot consider ourselves America's best men when we were ashamed of and hated what we were called on to do in Southeast Asia.

    In our opinion, and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen, that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos, but linking such loss to the preservation of freedom which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy. And it's that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart. We are probably much more angry than that, and I don't want to go into the foreign policy aspects because I am outclassed here.

    I know that all of you have talked about every possible ? every possible alternative to getting out of Vietnam. We understand that. We know that you've considered the seriousness of the aspects to the utmost level and I'm not going to try and deal on that. But I want to relate to you the feeling which many of the men who have returned to this country express. Because we are probably angriest about all that we were told about Vietnam and about the mystical war against communism.

    We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever, but also we found that the Vietnamese, whom we had enthusiastically molded after our own image, were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them from. We found that most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm, burning their villages and tearing their country apart. They wanted everything to do with the war, particularly with this foreign presence of the United States of America, to leave them alone in peace. And they practiced the art of survival by siding with whichever military force was present at a particular time, be it Viet Cong, North Vietnamese, or American.

    We found also that all too often, American men were dying in those rice paddies for want of support from their allies. We saw first hand how monies from American taxes was used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by our flag, as blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. We saw Vietnam ravaged equally by American bombs, as well as by search-and-destroy missions, as well as by Viet Cong terrorism. Yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong.

    We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a My Lai and refused to give up the image of American soldiers that hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum. We learned the meaning of free-fire zones. Shoot anything that moves. And we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Orientals. We watched the United States falsification of body counts. In fact, the glorification of body counts. We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons against ?oriental human beings? with quotation marks around that. We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in a European theater or let us say a non-third-world-people theater.

    And so, we watched while men charged up hills because a general said that hill has to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons, they marched away to leave the hill for the reoccupation of the North Vietnamese. Because ? because we watched pride allow the most unimportant of battles to be blown into extravaganzas because we couldn't lose and we couldn't retreat and because it didn't matter how many American bodies were lost to prove that point. And so there were "Hamburger Hills" and "Khe Sanhs" and "Hill 881's" and "Fire Base 6s" and so many others. And now we are told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while American lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance of Vietnamizing the Vietnamese.

    Each day?(applause) [Chairman: I hope you won't interrupt, he's making a very significant statement. Let him proceed.] Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam, someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows. So that we can't say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war." We are asking Americans to think about that.

    Because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? But we are trying to do that. And we are doing it with thousands of rationalizations and if you read carefully the President's last speech to the people of this country, you can see that he says and says clearly that "The issue, gentlemen, the issue is communism." And the question is whether or not we will leave that country to the communists or whether or not we will try to give it hope to be a free people. But the point is, they aren't a free people now under us. They are not a free people. And we cannot fight communism all over the world and I think we should have learned that lesson by now.

    But the problem of veterans goes beyond this personal problem. Because you think about a poster in this country with a picture of Uncle Sam and the picture says "I Want You." And a young man comes out of high school and says "That's fine. I'm going to serve my country." And he goes to Vietnam and he shoots and he kills and he does his job, or maybe he doesn't kill. Maybe he just goes and he comes back. And when he gets become to this country, he finds that he isn't really wanted.

    Because the largest unemployment figure here in the country, it varies depending on who you get it from, the Veterans' Administration 15%, various other sources 22%, but the largest figure of unemployed in this country are veterans of this war. And of those veterans, 33% of the unemployed are black. That means one out of every 10 of the nation's unemployed is a veteran of Vietnam.

    The hospitals across the country won't or can't meet their demands. It's not a question of not trying. They haven't got the appropriations. A man recently died after he had a tracheotomy in California. Not because of the operation but there weren't enough personnel to clean the mucous out of his tube and he suffocated to death.

    Another young man just died in a New York V.A. Hospital the other day. A friend of mine was lying in a bed two beds away and tried to help him. But he couldn't. They rang a bell and there was no one there to service that man. And so he died of convulsions.

    57%, I understand, 57% of all those entering V.A. Hospitals talk about suicide. Some 27% have tried. They try because they come back to this country and they have to face what they did in Vietnam and then they come back and find the indifference of a country that doesn't really care. Suddenly we are faced with a very sickening situation in this country because there's no moral indignation. And if there is, it comes from people who are almost exhausted by their past indignancies and I know that many of them are sitting in front of me.

    The country has seemed to have lain down and accepted something as serious as Laos just as we calmly shrugged off the loss of 700,000 lives in Pakistan, the so-called greatest disaster of all times. We are here as veterans to say that we think we are in the midst of the greatest disaster of all times now. Because they are still dying over there. And not just Americans, Vietnamese. And we are rationalizing leaving that country so that those people can go on killing each other for years to come. Americans seem to have accepted the idea that the war is winding down, at least for Americans. And they have also allowed the bodies which were once used by a President for statistics to prove that we were winning this war to be used as evidence against a man who followed orders and who interpreted those orders no differently than hundreds of other men in South Vietnam.

    We veterans can only look with amazement on the fact that this country has not been able to see that there's absolutely no difference between a ground troop and a helicopter crew. And yet, people have accepted a differentiation fed them by the administration. No ground troops are in Laos, so it's already to kill Laotians by remote control. But believe me, the helicopter crews fill the same body bags and they wreak the same kind of damage on the Vietnamese and Laotian country side as anyone else. The President is talking about allowing that to go on for many years to come. And one can only ask if we will really be satisfied when the troops march into Hanoi.

    We are asking here in Washington for some action. Action from Congress of the United States of America which has the power to raise and maintain armies and which by the Constitution also has the power to declare war. We have come here, not to the President because we believe that this body can be responsive to the will of the people, and we believe that the will of the people says that we should be out of Vietnam now.

    We are here in Washington also to say that the problem of this war is not just a question of war and diplomacy, it's part and parcel of everything that we are trying as human beings to communicate to people in this country. The question of racism which is rampant in the military. And so many other questions also. The use of weapons, the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage in the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for continuation of this war when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions. In the use of free-fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search-and-destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, the killing of prisoners, accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam. That's what we are trying to say. It?s part and parcel of everything.

    An American Indian friend of mine who lives on the Indian nation of Alcatraz put it to me very succinctly. He told me how as a boy on the Indian reservation he watched television and he used to cheer the cowboys when they came in and shot the Indians. And then suddenly, one day, he stopped in Vietnam and he said my God, I'm doing to these people the very same thing that was done to my people. And he stopped. And that's what we are trying to say. That we think this thing has to end.

    We are also here to ask ? we are here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently: Where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? We are here to ask: Where are McNamara, Bundy, Kilpatrick and so many others? Where are they now that we, the men whom they sent off to war, have returned?

    These are commanders who have deserted their troops, and there is no more serious crime in the law of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded. The Marines say they never leave even their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude. They have left the real stuff of their reputations bleaching behind them in the sun in this country.

    Finally, this administration has done us the ultimate dishonor. They have attempted to disown us and the sacrifices we made for this country. In their blindness and fear, they have tried to deny that we are veterans or that we served in ?Nam. We do not need their testimony. Our own scars and stumps of limbs are witness enough for others and for ourselves, we wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service. As easily as this administration has wiped their memories of us.

    But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission. To search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war. To pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and fear that have driven this country the last 10 years and more. And so when 30 years from now our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why? We will be able to say "Vietnam." And not mean a desert, not a filthy, obscene memory, but mean, instead, the place where America finally turned, and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning. Thank you.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    2,706
    [QUOTE=OldEdScott]Wonder if you can handle it?

    truth indeed

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1077677/posts

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Kerry, Just does not have the TIime!
    By Morgan in forum Politics Only
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 07-23-2004, 12:20 PM
  2. Kerry -Edwards Platform - Confusing, Oh Yeah!
    By Morgan in forum Politics Only
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 07-13-2004, 11:22 AM
  3. Johnny gets a (self inflicted) boo boo fixed
    By bill105 in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-06-2004, 02:36 AM
  4. The other JFK and what you didn't know
    By Live Steam in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 04-28-2004, 07:28 PM
  5. Bush overpaid his 2003 taxes by $61,451!
    By Bocephus Jones in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 04-15-2004, 06:28 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.