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There is a straightforward way to judge whether Kerry is correct, forgetful, or a talented teller of tall tales. John Kerry himself can answer many of these questions by signing Standard Form 180 to demonstrate that his whole record is open and untouched. As August's bright days prove, sunshine is the best disinfectant.” National Review Online  (8/20/2004)

Katie Couric: “You see, that’s the problem I have with ‘you people.’”
Denzel Washington:
“YOU PEOPLE! YOU PEOPLE! Just what do you mean, “you people!?” Do you mean “You People” as in me as a Christian, or do you mean “You People” as in me as a REPUBLICAN?”  (NBC TodayShow, 8/14/2004, and later called an "urban legend' story. Right up there with untruths by Michael Moore, Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson... whose unfortunately are IN PRINT in their lying books and films. ANYBODY CARE ABOUT CORRECTING THOSE URBAN LEGENDS??? Nope. Not a single email about those just being urban legends.)

“The claim that there were so many rivers and canals, and that no one knew where they were, is ludicrous. We had detailed maps and overlays that showed everything right down to movements in fishing stakes.” – Vietnam veteran Doug Regelin, disputing Kerry’s Cambodia story. [LINK] (8/20/2004)


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 Just POlitics

from the IPW Email Bag...
Denzel nails Couric!

[ recently received this email from one of our viewers. NOTE: later called an "urban legend' story. Right up there with untruths by Michael Moore, Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson... whose unfortunately are IN PRINT in their lying books and films. ANYBODY CARE ABOUT CORRECTING THOSE URBAN LEGENDS??? Nope. Not a single email about those just being urban legends.]:

Did you see the Denzel Washington interview with Katie Couric on NBC last Friday morning (13 August 2004)? Not many people are talking about it. They are wishing it would go away and are trying to sweep it under the rug.

Meryl Streep and Denzel were on the Today Show “Live” with Katie Couric to talk about the movie, “Manchurian Candidate.” At one point Katie asked Denzel, “Have you seen Fahrenheit 9/11?” To which Denzel replied, “No, and I have no intentions on seeing it.”

Katie and Meryl were “so noticeably” taken aback! It was so cool!

Then, a discourse (or more preferably, a fight!) began between all three of them with Denzel being barraged with all kinds of anti-Bush, anti-Republican comments, but “the man stood his ground” and soon enraged the women so much that they couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

Meryl Streep turned blood red and she sat with her legs crossed and her one leg shaking up and down, fuming! Then Katie uttered the words that put the final nail in her coffin. She said to Denzel, “You see, that’s the problem I have with ‘you people.’”

She, of course, did not get to finish her sentence because Denzel pounced on her verbally by responding, “YOU PEOPLE! YOU PEOPLE! Just what do you mean, “you people!?” Do you mean “You People” as in me as a Christian, or do you mean “You People” as in me as a REPUBLICAN?”

She then tap danced her way through the next minute of the show. But Denzel went out fighting and declaring that Fahrenheit 9/11 is nothing but propaganda and lies distorted to support a cynical Democratic film director’s views.

There’s a celebrity that deserves to wear the uniform in movies and I don’t mind at all.


Vietnam Vet: “It just isn’t possible”

Vietnam veteran Doug Regelin isn’t a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, but he did drive a swift boat for a year (1969) in Vietnam. Here’s what Regelin wrote – published in the AugustaFreePressOnline – about John Kerry’s claims of being in Cambodia:

“The new version of Sen. John Kerry's Cambodia experience is also not true.

Sen. Kerry patrolled from An Thoi on the 94 boat and also from Cat Lo on the 44 boat. There was no way to enter Cambodia from the An Thoi patrol area. That patrol area started at the coastal fishing village of Ha Tien and ran parallel to the Cambodian border, but there was no way into Cambodia. Any good map will show this to be true.

From the Cat Lo patrol area around Sa Dec, it would have been possible for a boat to enter Cambodia, except there were concrete barriers, river-assault group boats and PBRs guarding the entrance.

Anyone entering Cambodia at that location would have known with complete certainty what they were doing.

It just never happened. Sen. Kerry is not being truthful, and it can be easily proven by interviewing his own selected band-of-brothers. The claim that there were so many rivers and canals, and that no one knew where they were, is ludicrous. We had detailed maps and overlays that showed everything right down to movements in fishing stakes.

I drove a swift boat for a year in 1969, and I still remember all the patrol areas.

Also, a single swift boat never went anywhere alone. It would have been way too dangerous. A second cover boat would have gone along. That means the crew of that boat would have also known they were going into Cambodia. Where are the crew members and officer of the cover boat?

Again, it just didn't happen.”

Why has the old media let this slide? Sen. Kerry will say anything if it suits his personal political agenda. His Cambodia lie is just like his atrocity lie when he came back. They served his political purpose when he said them, but neither is true.

I'm not a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which can be verified. I also will not vote for either Bush or Kerry because I'm anti-war. I don't think we should be in Iraq. However, I am for the truth.”

“Unfit for Command,” excerpt"
'Sampan Incident belies heroic image'

John Kerry invented a "war hero" persona in his private journals and in the home movies he filmed and staged in Vietnam. Playing the lead role, he developed a past intended to advance his future political ambitions.
    In reality, Kerry was regarded by his Navy peers as reckless with human life. Although Douglas Brinkley's biography "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War" recalls that Kerry used the call sign "Square Jaw" for a short time, it doesn't mention the sign he actually used for most of his four months in Vietnam: "Boston Strangler."
    Kerry portrays himself as a Swift Boat officer constantly protesting to his superiors about criminal war policies and inappropriate tactics. In reality, while Kerry constantly complained about the location of assignments to his peers, he hardly ever said a word of protest or spoke out in objection to any superior officer.
    Kerry, who skippered two Swift Boats in the Mekong Delta from Dec. 6, 1968, to March 17, 1969, often sported a home-movie camera to record his exploits for later viewing. Fellow "Swiftees" report that Kerry would revisit ambush locations for re-enacting combat scenes where he would portray the hero.
    Kerry would take movies of himself in combat gear, sometimes dressed as an infantryman walking resolutely through the terrain. He even filmed mock interviews of himself narrating his exploits.
     A joke circulated among Swiftees was that Kerry left Vietnam early not because he received three Purple Hearts, but because he had recorded enough film of himself to take home for his planned political campaigns.
    Only after returning home did Kerry argue publicly that war crimes were committed on a daily basis at the direction of all levels of command. He compared his superior officers to Lt. William Calley of My Lai infamy. Kerry's accusations typically relied on impostors who concocted incidents that, when investigated, proved to be exaggerations or fabrications.
    On the other hand, the propriety of Kerry's own conduct in Vietnam was and is the subject of serious question.
    "Kerry seemed to believe that there were no rules in a free-fire zone, and you were supposed to kill everyone," Swift Boat veteran William E. Franke of Coastal Division 11 told us. "I didn't see it that way. I will tell you in all candor that the only baby killer I knew in Vietnam was John F. Kerry."
    The evidence shows John Kerry was a ruthless operator in the field, with little regard for life. One example is the sampan incident in An Thoi in January 1969.

Kerry's account

Kerry recounts that the Swift Boat under his command, PCF 44, and another, PCF 21, were patrolling a shallow channel on a pitch-black night and continually running aground.
     For "Tour of Duty" (William Morrow, 2004), Brinkley drew his account from Kerry's journals and subsequent explanations, noting that "neither Swift's search or boarding lights were working properly."
    " 'Many minutes of silent patrolling had gone by when one of the men yelled, "Sampan off the port bow," Kerry wrote [in his journal]. 'Everybody froze, and we slowed the engines quickly. But the sampan was already by us and wasn't stopping. It was past curfew, and nothing was allowed in the river. I told the gunner to fire a few warning shots, and in the confusion, all guns opened up. We moved in on the sampan and taking one of the battle lanterns off the bulkhead, shone it on the silhouette of the craft that was now dead in the water.' "
    Critical in this account is Kerry's statement that he ordered the gunner to fire "a few warning shots." Brinkley records Kerry's self-justification of the action, one of many versions Kerry would subsequently offer to make the actions he took seem part of standard operating procedure:
    "Technically, the two PCFs had done nothing wrong," Brinkley wrote. "The sampan, operating past curfew, was undeniably in a free-fire zone; what's more, there had been more than a few instances of sampans trying to get close enough to U.S. Navy vessels to toss bombs into their pilothouses."
    In other words, Kerry is trying to establish that opening fire on the sampan (a flat-bottomed Chinese skiff propelled by oars) was justified — a pre-emptive attack in self-defense. For Kerry, it was critical to maintain that his actions were taken according to Navy policy; otherwise, he had no defense. A Nuremberg defense — "just following orders" — was and is Kerry's chosen line.
    Kerry then admitted the civilian casualties he caused, according to the Brinkley biography:
    "But knowing that they were following official Navy policy didn't make it any easier to deal with what the crews saw next. 'The light revealed a woman standing in the stern of the sampan with a child of perhaps two years or less in her arms,' Kerry wrote. 'Neither [was] harmed. We asked her where the men from the stern were, as one of the gunners was sure that he had seen someone moving back there. She gesticulated wildly, and I could see traces of blood on the engine mounting. It was obvious that they had been blown overboard.
    "'Then somebody said there was a body up front, and we moved in closer to see the limbs of a small child limp on the stacks of rice. She had already covered it, and when one of the men asked me if I wanted it uncovered I said no, realizing that the face would stay with me for the rest of my life and that it was better not to know whether there was a smile or a grimace or whether it was a girl or boy.' "

Boston Globe's find

Coastal Division 11 personnel recall at least two different explanations given for the action by Kerry, in addition to his excuses that it was the crew's fault and that it was a free-fire zone.
    Kerry has suggested that, under the rice on the sampan, there might have been a bomb that could have been thrown into the Swift Boat had Kerry allowed the sampan to move close enough.
    Additionally, Kerry has suggested that the Viet Cong used women and children to cover their actions and that there could have been Viet Cong in the boat ready to fire on them when they got closer. Another of Kerry's suggestions was that the woman might have been hiding weapons in the sunken boat.
    These are strange explanations, since Kerry also says in the Brinkley biography that during his "entire stint in Vietnam, he never found a single piece of contraband" on the hundreds of vessels he searched.
    Critically important is the fact that Kerry filed a phony after-action operational report concealing the fact that a child had been killed during the attack on the sampan and inventing a fleeing squad of Viet Cong. The operational report is one of the important missing documents that Kerry neglects to make public on his campaign Web site.
    The book written by three Boston Globe reporters, "John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography" (PublicAffairs Reports, 2004), cites a Navy report of "a similar-sounding incident."
    "In any case, while Kerry said in a 2003 interview that he wasn't sure when the boy in the sampan was killed, a Navy report says a similar-sounding incident took place on Jan. 20, 1969. The crew of No. 44 'took sampan under fire, returned to capture 1 woman and a small child, one enemy KIA [Killed in Action] ... believe four occupants fled to beach or possible KIA.' "
    Kerry was the skipper of PCF 44 at the time. The Kerry campaign was sent a copy of the report, but did not respond when the Boston Globe asked if it matched Kerry's memory of the night the child was killed.
    The Globe reporters, who unknowingly uncovered a critical piece of evidence, were skeptical there could have been two such incidents.

Eyewitness account

Gunner Steve Gardner sat above Kerry on the double .50-caliber mount that night in January 1969.
    PCF 44, engines shut off, lay in ambush near the western mouth of the Cua Lon River. The boat's own generator was operating and its radar was on, with Kerry supposedly in the pilothouse monitoring the radar.
    Although the radar was easily capable of picking up the sampan early, Kerry gave no warning to the crew and did not come out of the pilothouse. Instead, first an engine noise and then a sampan suddenly appeared in front of the boat — still no Kerry.
    The PCF lights were thrown on — still no Kerry. The sampan was ordered to stop by the young gunner, Gardner — still no Kerry.
    According to Gardner, there was no order to fire warning shots, as Kerry claimed. Indeed, there was no Kerry until it was over. When an occupant of the sampan appeared to Gardner to reach for or hold a weapon, he opened up (as did others), killing the father and, unintentionally, a child.
    Then Kerry finally appeared; he ordered the crew to cease-fire and then threatened them with courts-martial.

'Bone of contention'

Steve Gardner is the sole crewman not swayed by Kerry during his many post-Vietnam years of solicitation aimed at gaining the support of his own crew.
     Today, Gardner asks: "How can Kerry possibly be commander in chief when he couldn't competently command a six-man crew?"
    Gardner, a two-tour Swift Boat sailor who sat five feet behind Kerry in Vietnam and who saw many officers during his two years, judges Kerry to be by far the worst.
    "Kerry was erratic," Gardner said in an interview June 19. "He hardly ever did what he was supposed to do. His command decisions put us in more peril then he should have. But mostly he just ran. When John Kerry looked out the bow of the boat and he saw tracer fire coming after him, he'd turn and run."
    Gardner added: "When he should have been fighting, calling in air support, he was hightailing it. That's always been my bone of contention with Kerry — his decision-making capabilities. That's what takes him out of contention as far as I'm concerned."
    Kerry's failure to pick up the sampan on radar is hard to understand. Harder still to understand is his absence as the officer in charge during the critical part of the episode.
    The fog of war can obscure anyone's vision, but there would certainly have been an inquiry at An Thoi to determine what happened and how a small child could have been inadvertently killed. The inquiry would have focused on why the sampan was not detected early and why normal measures like a flare or small-caliber warning shot were not used.

Gardner irks Kerry

To be fair, it is likely the purpose of such an inquiry would not be to fix blame on anyone, but to avoid future miscalculation.
    And the major questions would have been: Where was Kerry? Why was there no warning? Why was a gunner's mate making the critical life-and-death decision instead of the officer in charge? Why the different accounts by Kerry?
    Kerry avoided any problem by filing an after-action report in which the dead child simply disappeared from the record and was replaced by a fleeing squad of Viet Cong, some likely killed.
    According to Gardner, Kerry threatened to court-martial those involved, even though the crew believed they had seen weapons on the sampan. Gardner strongly believes that the sight of potential weapons justified the firing.
    In their biography, the Globe reporters note that Kerry supporters have tried to discredit Gardner and dismiss his criticism of Kerry. In March, Gardner was quoted publicly for the first time about his views on Kerry, in the Globe and on Time magazine's Web site.
    In the Time article, written by Kerry biographer Brinkley, Kerry was quoted as reacting strongly to Gardner's criticism, saying that Gardner had "made up" stories. Brinkley dismissed Gardner, a supporter of President Bush, as being motivated by "one word: politics." Kerry said he couldn't remember the court-martial threat.
    Gardner denied that politics had anything to do with his comments. "Absolutely not," he said, saying he kept his feelings about Kerry to himself for 35 years and responded only when a Globe reporter tracked him down.

Kerry's report

Cmdr. George M. Elliott of Coastal Division 11 never knew of the small child's death because all he received from Kerry was the false report, which found its way up the chain of command.
    The Commander Coastal Surveillance Force Vietnam (CTF 115) Quarterly Evaluation Report of March 29, 1969, states: " ... 20 January PCFs 21 and 44 operating in An Xuyen Province ... engaged the enemy with a resultant GDA of one VC KIA (BC) [body count], four VC KIA (EST) and two VC CIA."
    This is Kerry's victory: killing in action (KIA) five imaginary Viet Cong, capturing in action (CIA) two Viet Cong (an exaggeration of the mother and baby who were actually rescued from the sampan) and simply omitting the dead child from the body count (BC) and the estimate (EST).
    Roy F. Hoffmann, then commander of Coastal Surveillance Force Vietnam, CTF 115, received Kerry's false report of probably killing five Viet Cong and capturing two others. Hoffman sent Kerry a congratulatory message.
    Upon learning of what Kerry actually had done, Hoffmann, who retired as a rear admiral, recently expressed his contempt for Kerry as a liar, false warrior and fraud.
    "I do not believe John Kerry is fit to be commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States," Hoffman said in May. "This is not a political issue. It is a matter of his judgment, truthfulness, reliability, loyalty and trust — all absolute tenets of command."
    Despite Kerry's written report, rumors of the sampan incident on the Cua Lon River circulated for years.
    The vivid memory of the small, bloody sampan haunts Franke, a Silver Star recipient and veteran of many battles.
    "Absent clear indications of danger, Swift Boat crews simply did not open fire upon such boats," Franke wrote us in March. "Rather, the vessel would be boarded, searched and let go with a warning."
    Yet in "Tour of Duty," Kerry, according to one of his own accounts, appears to have lost control of his boat after crazily ordering that "warning shots" be fired at a small sampan with heavy .50-caliber weapons, instead of the numerous small-caliber weapons on board.
    And according to the biography written by the Globe reporters, Kerry simply butchers a small sampan in a free-fire zone because it would have been dangerous to approach.

'Fire discipline'

Thomas W. Wright, another Swift Boat commander in Coastal Division 11, said Kerry "was not a good combat commander."
     Wright said he had such "serious problems" working with Kerry that he finally objected to going on patrol with Kerry. Elliott granted Wright's request that Kerry no longer be assigned to operations under his command.
    Wright remembers that Kerry would disappear without warning on multiboat operations. He recalls that Kerry's boat had poor fire discipline and would open fire without prior clearance or apparent reason.
    "John Kerry's leadership and operational style were different from mine," Wright said in a written statement in April. "I can see how his crew thought he was a hero, but it seemed like he was a hero fighting out of situations he shouldn't have been in to begin with. I had a lot of trouble getting him to follow orders.
    "You had to be right, and you had to have fire discipline. You couldn't blame something on the rules of engagement."
    George Bates, another officer in Coastal Division 11, participated in numerous operations with Kerry from January 1969 to March 1969.
    In Bates' view, Kerry was a coward who overreacted with deadly force when he felt threatened. Bates, a retired Navy captain, believed that Kerry treated the South Vietnamese in an almost criminal manner.
    Bates is haunted by a particular patrol with Kerry on the Song Bo De River in early 1969. With Kerry in the lead, their Swift Boats approached a small hamlet with three to four grass huts. Pigs and chickens were milling around.
    As the boats drew closer, the villagers fled. There were no political symbols or flags in evidence. It was obvious to Bates that existing policies, decency and good sense required the boats simply to move on.
    Instead, Kerry beached his boat. Upon his command, numerous small animals were slaughtered by heavy-caliber machine guns. Acting more like a pirate than a naval officer, Kerry disembarked and ran around with a Zippo lighter, burning up the entire hamlet.
    Bates was appalled by the hypocrisy of Kerry's quick shift to the role of a peace activist condemning war crimes upon his return home. Even today, Bates describes Kerry as a man without a conscience.

A fraud

Whether one believes Kerry's or Gardner's version of the sampan debacle, Kerry's boat was ultimately responsible. The fishing vessel could not possibly have escaped given the vast disparity in speed between sampans and Swift Boats.
    No discussion of the incident can be found on Kerry's campaign Web site, nor is there any official document of it among those Navy service records that Kerry has made public.
    Gardner's testimony and the quarterly report quoted above both indicate Kerry's PCF 44 picked up the surviving woman and her baby, whom Kerry's after-action report described as captured Viet Cong. Yet no record indicates what became of the woman or the child when Kerry's boat returned to shore.
    The squad of four fleeing Viet Cong existed only in Kerry's imagination and in his written report. It does not exist in Brinkley's "Tour of Duty," or in Kerry's statements to Boston Globe reporter Michael Kranish, or in Kerry's secret journal, or in any recollection of anyone.
    Kerry's victory exists only in Kerry's mind. Nonetheless, he succeeded in pulling off this fraud until the recent comparison of records.

“Unfit for Command,” excerpt:
'An angry dispute over a rescue in the river'

John Kerry was involved in his final "combat" in Vietnam on March 13, 1969.

The public has seen it: The incident has been the subject of more than $50 million in paid political advertising.
    The incident was featured before the Democratic presidential caucuses in Iowa, where Kerry met in tearful reunion with Jim Rassmann, the Special Forces lieutenant who he "rescued from the water."
    Here is Kerry's account of the final episode of his four-month Vietnam cameo, for which he received his third Purple Heart and a Bronze Star:
    A mine went off alongside Kerry's Swift Boat, PCF 94. Rassmann was blown into the water. Kerry was terribly wounded from the underwater mine.
    Kerry, 25, turned his boat back into the fire zone and, bleeding heavily from his arm and side, reached into the water and pulled Rassmann to safety with enemy fire all around. Kerry then towed a sinking boat out of the action.
    There is only one problem with this scenario involving five Swift Boats on the Bay Hap River, described in Douglas Brinkley's biography "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War" (William Morrow, 2004) and elsewhere: It is another gross exaggeration of what actually happened and, in several ways, a fraud perpetrated upon the Navy and the nation.
    Kerry's conduct on March 13, 1969, was more worthy of disciplinary action than any sort of medal. The action certainly does not establish his credentials for becoming the president of the United States.

Kerry's report

According to the records, Kerry claimed in the casualty report that he prepared March 13, 1969, that he was wounded as a result of a mine explosion.
    Within a short period, he presented his request to go home on the basis of his three Purple Hearts. By March 17, 1969, his short combat career in Vietnam was over.
    Notwithstanding the fake submission for his Bronze Star after this incident, Kerry never was wounded or bleeding from his arm.
    All reports, including the medical reports, make clear that he suffered a minor bruise on his arm and minor shrapnel wounds on his buttocks. The minor bruise on his arm would never have justified a Purple Heart and is not mentioned in the citation.
    This leaves only Kerry's rear-end wound. This wound, like the injury received at Cam Ranh Bay on Dec. 2, 1968, for which he received his first Purple Heart, was of the minor tweezer-and-Band-Aid variety.
    How did Kerry receive a shrapnel wound in his buttocks from the explosion of an underwater mine, as his report suggests? Many participants in the incident state that neither weapons fire nor a mine explosion occurred near Kerry.
    Larry Thurlow, an experienced, genuine hero and Swift Boat veteran, commanded PCF 51, the boat behind Kerry on March 13, 1969.
    Thurlow was on the shore that morning with Kerry and a group of Nung soldiers, who were mercenaries working with the South Vietnamese. Thurlow recalls that Kerry had wounded himself in the buttocks that morning with a grenade that he set off too close to a stock of rice he was trying to destroy.

Boston Globe's account

This rice incident is all too reminiscent of the M-79 grenade that Kerry exploded too close to some rocks on shore at Cam Ranh Bay three months earlier, causing the shrapnel in his arm that resulted in his first Purple Heart.
    The rice episode also involved Rassmann, later pulled from the water by Kerry, according to the Boston Globe.
    "At one point, Kerry and Rassmann threw grenades into a huge rice cache that had been captured from the Viet Cong and was thus slated for destruction," Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney and Nina J. Easton write in their "John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography" (PublicAffairs Reports, 2004).
     "After tossing the grenades, the two dove for cover. Rassmann escaped the ensuing explosion of rice, but Kerry was not as lucky — thousands of grains stuck to him. The result was hilarious, and the two men formed a bond."
    Very probably, the incident that Rassmann described to the Globe that resulted in Kerry's self-inflicted wound also produced the very wound Kerry used to claim his third and final Purple Heart.
    Indeed, Kerry's report for that day mentions the rice he destroyed. He dishonestly transferred the time and cause of the injury to coincide with the Swift Boat action later in the day and claimed the cause of the injury was the mine exploding during that later action.
    By March 1969, most of Kerry's Swift Boat peers at the tiny An Thoi base were aware of his reputation as an unscrupulous self-promoter with an insatiable appetite for medals. But no one actually understood what Kerry pulled off.
    When Thurlow finally realized that the sinking of another skipper's boat, PCF 3, was the same incident described by a Kerry campaign advertisement and in Brinkley's "Tour of Duty," he knew Kerry had used the mine explosion and tragedy for PCF 3's crew as his ticket home.
    Thurlow was astounded by the metamorphosis that had taken place in the explanation of Kerry's wound: from Kerry's own grenade as a cause, an incident the Globe described and which Thurlow knew about; to a grenade error by friendly forces in the absence of hostile fire (Kerry's secret Vietnam journal and "Tour of Duty" ); and finally to the mine explosion (Kerry's report and Purple Heart citation).

Adding it up

Unfortunately for Kerry, he ended up telling the truth by mistake.

On page 313 of "Tour of Duty," and evidently in Kerry's secret journal written on or about March 13, 1969, quoted in that book, Kerry relates his injury from the rice stock explosion.

However, he tries to place the time and context of the incident later in the day and tries to claim that it resulted from friendly forces (the Nungs), but at a time in which there was no hostile fire:
    "The Nung blew up some huge bins of rice they had found, as it was assumed, as always, that these were the local stockpiles earmarked to feed the hungry VC [Viet Cong] moving through the Delta smuggling weapons. '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, firing to our rear as we went,' Kerry related."
    Unless one believes in the amazing coincidence that Kerry got two wounds in the same place on the same day and from the same type of incident, then Kerry's wound of March 13 was not the result of hostile fire at all but, once again, simply a self-inflicted, minor wound about which he lied to get a Purple Heart.
    Whatever the facts of the March 13 incident, it seems incontrovertible that: (1) Kerry lied in the Bronze Star citation about having any arm wound other than a minor bruise; and (2) Kerry fraudulently secured a Purple Heart by falsely attributing his self-inflicted buttocks wound to the mine explosion hitting PCF 3 or to any other hostile action.

What happened

Kerry falsely described the incident in his 1969 operating report, in his campaign biography, in his advertising and on his 2004 campaign Web site.
    Jack Chenoweth commanded PCF 23, the boat in front of Kerry's PCF 94. His gunner, Van Odell, had a clear view of the entire incident. Dick Pease commanded PCF 3, which was blown up by the mine that day.
    None of these Swiftees recognized the incident as described by Kerry in his report, by Brinkley in "Tour of Duty" [in which, after the mine exploded under PCF 3 on his port side, Kerry recalls his right arm being "smashed" against a bulkhead when "another explosion went off right beside us"] or on Kerry's Web site. They were furious when they realized Kerry's fraudulent account.
    In reality, Kerry's boat, PCF 94, was on the right side of the river when a mine went off on the opposite side under PCF 3. The boat's crewmen were thrown into the water. The officers suffered concussions.
    A Viet Cong sympathizer in an adjoining bunker had touched off the mine. There was no other hostile fire and no other mines, according to Chenoweth, Odell, Pease and Thurlow. The boats had begun firing after the mine exploded, but ceased after a short time because of the lack of hostile fire.
     Kerry's PCF 94 fled the scene. The remaining three PCFs, in accord with standard doctrine, stood to defend the disabled PCF 3 and its crewmen in the water. Kerry and PCF 94 disappeared several hundred yards away, returning only when it was clear there was no return fire.
    Chenoweth (who received no medal) picked up the PCF 3 crewmen from the water. PCF 3's engines were knocked out on one side and frozen on 500 rpm on the other side. The boat weaved dangerously, hitting sandbars, dazed or unconscious crew members aboard.
    Thurlow, commanding his own boat, sought a secure hold so he could jump across and board PCF 3. However, he was thrown into the water in his first attempt to board, and the boat hit the sandbars. Later, Thurlow brought PCF 3 to a stop, and the boat slowly began to sink.
    Rassmann had fallen or been knocked off either Kerry's boat or the fifth boat, PCF 35. When Rassmann was spotted in the water, Chenoweth's PCF 23, with the PCF 3 crew aboard, went to pick him up.
    Kerry's PCF 94, returning to the scene after its flight, reached Rassmann about 20 yards ahead of Chenoweth's boat. Kerry did the decent thing by going to pick up Rassmann, justifiably earning his gratitude. However, the claim that Kerry returned to a hostile fire zone is a lie, according to Chenoweth, Thurlow and others.
    Meanwhile, the serious work of saving PCF 3 continued.

A sinking ship

Kerry's false after-action report, prepared to justify his Purple Heart and Bronze Star, reports "5,000 meters" of heavy fire — about 2½ miles, the same distance as a large Civil War battlefield. Not a shot of this fire was heard by Chenoweth, Thurlow, Odell or Pease.
    Kerry's after-action report ignores Chenoweth's heroic action in rescuing PCF 3 survivors and Thurlow's action in saving PCF 3, while highlighting his own routine pickup of Rassmann and PCF 94's minor role in saving PCF 3.
    When Chenoweth's boat left a second time to deliver the wounded PCF 3 crewmen to a Coast Guard cutter offshore, Kerry jumped into the boat, leaving the remaining officers and men the job of saving PCF 3. It was in terrible condition, sinking just outside the river.
    Kerry's eagerness to secure his third and final Purple Heart evidently outweighed any feelings of loyalty, duty or honor with regard to his fellow sailors. Thurlow and the other brave sailors who saved PCF 3 and towed it out did not seek Purple Hearts for their "minor contusions." Indeed, several PCF 3 sailors did not seek or receive Purple Hearts.
    Chenoweth, Odell and boatmates who fished out the sailors of PCF 3 likewise had no thought of seeking medals, but only of rescuing comrades and saving PCF 3.
    Kerry, however, portrays himself towing the disabled PCF 3 to safety after saving it. Another lie: The damage control on PCF 3 was done by Thurlow. [Thurlow was awarded the Bronze Star as a result of his actions.]
    Although Kerry's PCF 94 participated in towing PCF 3, Kerry was no longer on his boat for most of the trip. He was safely on the Coast Guard cutter.
    Thurlow and Chenoweth are certain Kerry played no role in saving PCF 3 or its crew. When they, as well as several other Swiftees who were there, first saw the Kerry campaign ads they believed the events portrayed in the ads (as well as in Kerry's campaign biography and the medal citations) had to be different and involve different people. They were horrified when they realized Kerry had received medals for the incident they remembered.
    Rassmann appeared for a spontaneous embrace of Kerry at a campaign event in January in Iowa, where Kerry's presidential campaign came back to life.
    Rassmann was understandably grateful to Kerry for fishing him out of the river, and he was evidently happy to participate in the "no man left behind" version of the story being told by Kerry in his "war hero" mode. [Rassmann went on to help introduce Kerry when he accepted the Democratic nomination last month in Boston.]

Going home

Swiftees who learned of Kerry's fraudulent citations and ads felt betrayed.
    "You've just got to make them understand," William E. Franke, a fellow commander in Coastal Division 11 and Silver Star recipient, wrote the authors. "We weren't thinking of self-promotion like him. Just survival and doing the job. We didn't want him around, and we were happy he was gone."
    Kerry has implied that he volunteered for the military right after college. But he petitioned his draft board for a student deferment. His service record indicates that on Feb. 18, 1966, he enlisted in the Naval Reserves, status "inactive," not in the Navy.
     These details are conveniently left out of pro-Kerry biographies. Brinkley, in "Tour of Duty," records that Kerry entered Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island; however, he fails to note that Kerry was seeking to be an officer in the Naval Reserves. The duty commitment was shorter, and a larger proportion of the period could be served stateside on inactive duty.
    The repeated statements that Kerry was "sent home" by the Navy ignore the fact that Kerry requested to be sent home, invoking a regulation of which most Swiftees were unaware.
    Thomas W. Wright, another PCF officer at An Thoi, discussed Kerry with other Swiftees on base after the March 13 incident. They were aware of the "three Purple Hearts" rule that sounded like "three strikes and you're out." Kerry could be sent home.
    Wright approached Kerry one night and proposed to him that several fellow Swiftees felt it might be best for everybody if Kerry simply left. The next thing Wright knew, he got the exact result he hoped to achieve: John Kerry was gone.

A postscript

A central drumbeat of the Kerry presidential campaign, as in every Kerry campaign, is that it is relevant and permissible to discuss at infinite length his short Vietnam service. Any effort, however, to examine his service by seeking out the records or truth is discouraged and resisted.
    The reality is that Kerry has consistently refused to disclose his Vietnam records, as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have urged. Instead, he has released only those service records he considers favorable while concealing, for example, his own journal and home movies from the period — except for allowing friendly writers to draw from these materials and providing video clips for advertising.
    There is a government form — Standard Form 180 — that Kerry could easily execute to permit the Department of Defense to release all his records, including the required records for receiving the Purple Heart or Silver Star.
    By selectively releasing information, Kerry has tilted the record in his favor. Self-serving journal entries can be presented to "establish" events and circumstances as Kerry wishes to portray them.
    A classic Kerry use of his private photographic cache, some of it self-staged, is his "Lifetime" campaign commercial. Kerry is depicted receiving the Bronze Star from Adm. Elmo Zumwalt III, commander of naval and Coast Guard forces in Vietnam, who later denounced Kerry.
    The ad also includes a staged clip of Kerry as an infantryman in Vietnam, in bandoliers, stalking an unknown enemy through the forest in 1969 (and violating Rule No. 1 of the infantry by pointing his weapon down).
    Who took this film? When and why? The viewer, typically unskilled in evaluating authentic military images, is left with the impression of Kerry as a fierce warrior engaged in the defense of his country.
    John Kerry's name tossed around as "president" and "commander in chief" summoned many of us Swiftees from long political slumber — from games with grandchildren or feet by the fire — to render one last service to the nation.
    That service is the hard task of informing an uninformed America — against the wishes of a media sympathetic to Kerry and his myth — of John Kerry's total unfitness to command our armed forces or lead our nation. We are our own small "band of brothers," resolved to sound the alarm.


Kerry’s Swift Boat counterattack

"More than 30 years ago, I learned an important lesson. When you're under attack, the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attack," Sen. John Kerry said

Kerry, in a strong speech before the Firefighters Union, denounced Swift Boat Veterans for Truth as a Bush front that was telling baseless lies about his heroic time in Vietnam. He announced that figuratively he was turning his boat towards them and opening fire.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan yesterday said Mr. Kerry's attempts to tie Mr. Bush to the ads were "false and baseless." McClellan did not specifically denounce the Swift boat ad, and repeated the White House assertion that all ads paid for by "soft money," large unregulated contributions to tax-exempt "527" organizations, should end.

The Democrat National Committee argued before the Federal Election Commission that the 527’s set up by pro-Democrat organizations should not be regulated as to limits of contributions. George Soros had already given $10 million and more money to other Democrat 527 organizations to defeat President Bush. Now, Democrats are upset with the under-funded Vietnam Veterans for Truth. It is a classic David versus Goliath.

A group of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- 254 Vietnam veterans who served duty similar to Kerry's on PCF (Patrol Craft Fast) boats --  have gained the attention of the nation, the press and their former veteran Sen. John Kerry. Their sponsorship of a commercial and a new book, "Unfit for Command," argues that Kerry is a liar and a self promoter. That he did not deserve decorations he received in the four months he spent commanding two different PCF (swift) boats. That the character of someone who further lied about war atrocities and defamed his fellow veterans while still in uniform should not be President of the United States. Kerry received three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star.

The Kerry campaign has an e-mail that has been sent to hundreds of thousands of their supporters from Kerry Campaign Manager Mary Beth Cahill:

Today marks the end of the dishonest and disgusting smear campaign against John Kerry and his crewmates from Vietnam. This morning on the front page of the Washington Post, one of the central figures in the effort to distort John Kerry's military service was completely discredited.

The group behind this smear campaign calls itself "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." But the truth is the last thing they are interested in.

President Bush refuses to condemn this group. He wants them to do his dirty work. But this effort to distract attention from the issues that matter most has failed.

This morning, John Kerry said he learned an important lesson in Vietnam: "When you're under attack, the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attacker." Today he took these lessons to heart, knocked down these charges, and made a firm commitment to the American people that the lies about his military service will not stop him from fighting for affordable health care, good-paying jobs, and keeping America secure.

This doesn't mean that these blatantly false attacks won't continue -- the Bush-Cheney campaign is desperate and has no record to run on. But it does mean that we are not going to let them distract us from letting people know about John Kerry's plan to make America stronger at home and respected in the world.

Prior to Kerry’s counterattack, both the Boston Globe and the Washington Post (under a Freedom of Information request) wrote about one of those who has accused Kerry of lying about the incident, Larry Thurlow, who also received a Bronze Star in the incident. The citation for the award cites that the boats came under small arms fire. The timing of these two articles from the Globe and Post have the feel of a planted, coordinated story.

The Kerry campaign posted the article from The Post on its website, along with their e-mail to supporters saying the article "completely discredited" Thurlow and "marks the end of the dishonest and disgusting smear campaign against John Kerry and his crew mates from Vietnam."

Thurlow said the citation was in error and said an administrative officer must have used Kerry's description of the events that began when one of five swift boats hit a mine. One of the consistent charges by the swift boat veterans is that Kerry pushed for medals when they were not warranted.

The veterans said they will run the commercials regardless of what Bush says, and Larry Thurlow stood by his accusation that Kerry lied about an incident on March 13, 1969, for which Kerry won the Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart. It was the third purple heart that gave Kerry his quick exit out of Vietnam... after serving approximately 4 months, instead of the full year the others served.

The Kerry campaign has produced an ad (watch ad), which states that the people who are attacking John Kerry are funded by Bush’s big money supporters. They also state that the ‘Navy’ documented John Kerry’s heroism. What they don’t report is that Kerry himself wrote up that Navy report (called the After Action Report). Which is why Americans are calling for Kerry to sign the Standard Form 180 which allows the military to release Kerry’s records – not just the portions Kerry has personally selected to show on his website. This would prove who is lying.

Jim Rassmann, who is the Army Special Forces lieutenant whom Kerry pulled out of the river on March 13, 1969, speaks on camera about the incident. He says, "It [the mine] blew me off the boat." But eye witnesses from the 5 boats involved that day say that what blew Rassmann off the boat was Kerry gunning his PCF-04 swift boat to get away when PCF 3 hit the underwater mine.

Further, Rassmann and Kerry have disagreed in past accounts regarding whose boat Rassmann was on that day – Kerry’s or a boat behind Kerry’s. And for a time, Kerry maintained he did not leave the scene when PCF-3 was hit by the mine. This week, Kerry’s story has changed and he now says he did leave the scene, temporarily.

Kerry has recently added the line that he still carries the shrapnel in his leg from his heroic action. He doesn’t tell us which action, and he doesn’t volunteer that the shrapnel piece is 1/4 the size of a beebee pellet. Vietnam Veterans for Truth believe that this tiny piece of shrapnel was from an incident earlier that day when Kerry threw a grenade in a rice bin while on patrol with Rassmann.

Rassmann himself has confirmed that Kerry wounded himself in the rice bin incident due to his recklessness.

Of course, the major problem with the incident of Rassmann’s rescue is whether there was gun fire while Kerry rescued Rassmann. In the new Kerry ad, Rassmann states that he was being shot at. Kerry and all but one of his crewmates say their boat came under enemy fire while rescuing Rassmannell.

“Not so,” say the Swiftees. And they are emphatic that there was no incoming enemy fire, only the mine that blew up the other boat – not Kerry’s boat. They also insist that it was Kerry’s fast gunning exist that knocked Rassmann off and into the river.

This is where the Kerry campaign is starting its counterattack. The counterattack began with the pre-release by the Washington Post and Boston Globe reports that the citation for a Bronze Star awarded to the commander of a swift boat, Larry Thurlow, on another boat during this action refers to "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire," contradicting Thurow’s account that there was no incoming fire and bearing out Kerry's.

The further aspects of Kerry’s counterattack is the well coordinated Kerry speech to the firefighters union, followed by the e-mail to the Kerry supporters and the new TV ad -- all in two days. There are, of course, the follow-up supporting actors like the mainstream liberal media who are now calling the swift boat veterans against Kerry suspect and liars.

Chief among them is Boston Globe editorialist Thomas Oliphant, who appeared with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth co-founder John O'Neill PBS’s The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on August 19. Oliphant stated that the reason that Kerry is telling the truth is that back in 1971 Richard Nixon’s ‘White House plumbers’ couldn’t get any goods on Kerry when he and Jane Fonda where demonstrating against the war.

The NY Times today is also joining the counterattack against the Swiftees with an article and some accompanying graphics. The title of the Times article is "Friendly Fire: the birth of an anti-Kerry, ad." This lengthy article points out the fact that over the years some of these veterans for whatever reason offered favorable comments towards Kerry. So, the question is: Why now are these veterans attacking Kerry?

The Times believes they know the answer and the answer is... Karl Rove. The Kerry campaign is clearly calling in all of its favors and providing all the leads they have to bury the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

The question arises as to whether the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- who are poorly funded and only have a few supporters -- can weather this attack. Clearly, mainstream liberal media will not offer very many interviews after this barrage of discrediting of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Most are saying that the group should not have received the attention that they have received.

And the fact that the attention the Swiftees have has Kerry freaked and attacking is a tribute to the new media and the divide in the marketplace of ideas.

There is no doubt but what Kerry has turned his boat into the fire. The question is whether he can kill his fellow veterans.


CBS Poll: Kerry’s veterans support collapsing John Kerry's support among veterans has collapsed in the wake revelations by his fellow Swiftboat veterans who say he lied about his combat record, a CBS News poll released Thursday shows.

In the three weeks since the Democratic Convention, the number of veterans who back Kerry has plummeted by a whopping 19 points, with President Bush now leading the top Democrat in this crucial demographic 55 to 37 percent. The numbers represent the worst showing by Kerry among veterans since CBS began sampling them in late May. Back then, Kerry trailed Bush by 13 points.

By July, however, Kerry had closed that gap to just six points. And after using the Democratic convention to highlight his war record, an Aug. 3 CBS poll showed that Kerry had actually edged into a slight lead over Bush with veterans, 48 to 47 percent.

Kerry's plummeting support with his fellow veterans was likely reflected in internal polls by the campaign, prompting the top Democrat to complain publicly for the first time on Thursday about the Swiftvets, whose new book "Unfit for Command" was an instant bestseller.

But Kerry's decision to personally confront the issue may have backfired: While the mainstream media had previously all but ignored the Swiftvets, their claims received extensive coverage in Thursday and Friday news cycles, including a front-page above-the-fold report in the New York Times.

Red and Blue Media

by Roger Wm. Hughes,
chairman of Iowa Presidential Watch PAC

There has been a self-absorbed media examination of whether "media objectivity" is leaving the landscape of American journalism. The answer is yes.

Clearly, there are two American media -- one for the liberals and one for the conservatives. Nothing has brought that home to me more than the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Here is a group of individuals that couldn’t get anyone to pay attention to them. So, what did they do?

They followed the example Michael Moore and wrote a book, "Unfit for Command." They also produced an ad.

Now, the Boston Globe and Washington Post started a story yesterday on Larry Thurlow and how he received a Bronze Star in the same incident for which he is criticizing Sen. John Kerry’s receiving his medal. The citation states that Thurlow received the Bronze Star in part for being under automatic and small arms fire. This, the Boston Globe and Washington Post states, proves Kerry is telling the truth and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are lying. Kerry’s campaign even cited it as proof of Kerry’s veracity.

Hence, these newspaper articles were the setup piece for Kerry to "turn his boat into those who were firing at him," metaphorically speaking.

The other great onslaught of the Blue Media centers around the fact that a lot of Swiftees are from Texas. There they have friends who know President Bush and the Bush family. They even have found a ‘godfather’ -- William Perry -- to give them $100,000 who is friends with Karl Rove, and yes, some of them know Karl Rove as well. It is interesting that the Blue Media doesn’t say that the Swiftees should have obtained their money from Barbara Streisand.

Of course, this is proof that the scurrilous White House is lying and planned for these veterans to frag Kerry.

So, why has objective journalism gone out the window? Because there are things that journalist could be doing other than offering up a graphic of which members of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have ever known or met a Bush or his supporters.

One thing that could be done is for Kerry to sign the Standard Form 180 and release his service medical records instead of offering up pieces that do nothing to prove that he had serious wounds and deserves his purple hearts.

Another thing that would go to proving whether Kerry and his small band is telling the truth (or the other side with over 250 former swift boat veterans) is to follow the paper work of how Kerry received a Purple Heart… when no in the chain of command says that they recommended him for it.

Another paper work trail would be to follow the awarding of Bronze Stars to Kerry and Thurlow. Thurlow states that it sounds like one of Kerry’s works of fiction, and he doesn’t know how the citation giving him a Bronze Star ever came to say that there was gunfire. He swears there wasn’t gunfire.

Another simply decent thing to do would be to ask the individuals who are now against Kerry why they stood up for Kerry in the past. What made them change their minds? This seems to be a common standard of objective journalism to follow before saying in the Boston Globe or the Washington Post that the person has no credibility because he switched sides. If that was the standard, then Kerry shouldn’t even be running for President, given how many times he has switched sides.

The prediction is that this will not get any better. In fact, it will only get worse.


Kerry files FEC complaint...
against BUSH!

The Associated Press reports [via DRUDGE] that John Kerry's campaign has formally alleged that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group, charging Kerry is lying about his Vietnam War hero status, has illegal ties to US President George W. Bush's reelection bid.:

In a statement released to reporters, Kerry's campaign announced it had "filed a legal complaint against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) before the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for violating the law with inaccurate ads that are illegally coordinated with the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign."

The Swiftees have released a second ad, which features the audio words of Kerry from his 1971 Senate Hearing testimony as to Vietnam war crimes by American soldiers. A POW veteran also speaks in the ad, telling how Kerry’s 1971 Senate Hearing testimony aided the Communist North Vietnamese ‘for free’, while American POW’s were being tortured and limbs broken in order to force them to give false testimony of war crimes.

Old media, such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe, have been conducting coordinated smear articles on the Swiftees in an attempt to squelch the damage already happening to the Kerry campaign... a CBS poll just released shows Kerry has lost 19 points in veteran support since the Democrat National Convention. It is believed this dramatic drop in veteran support is causing the Kerry campaign – and Old Media – to panic and take drastic action. Kerry has also called for the publishers of the book “Unfit for Command” to ban (stop) publishing it, and has contacted major retail book outlets to stop distributing and selling the book.

If president, will Kerry support book-banning? This seems inconsistent with the stance of the Democrat Party. Especially regarding the highly inflammatory “Farhenheit 9/11” by Michael Moore – attended, applauded and touted by numerous high profile Democrats. Michael Moore is seeking to publish another book. Will Kerry seek to ban it as well?

Don’t hold you breath on that one...



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