May 30, 2006

Lying About Lying About Lying

Hatched by Dafydd

The New York Times has taken upon itself the man-sized task of resurrecting Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA, 95%) from the political graveyard... and the paper has decided that the best way to do that is to refight the war Kerry lost against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. (Hat tip to Scott Johnson at Power Line.)

Worse, the Times appears to have decided to refight that war the old-fashioned way: by lying about it.

At the linked page, on the left-hand side, under the caption Multimedia, you will see a link rather misleadingly titled "Graphic: Kerry's New Evidence." Clicking it pops up a handy chart of all the stunning new evidence that sinks the Swift Vets to the bottom of the Mekong River... at least in "Timesland."

The first point to note is that the pop-up is entirely graphic: it's impossible to copy and paste any of the text... so I must laboriously type in what they wrote in order to respond to it. Already, I'm getting aggravated.

Let's take these claims of stunning new evidence one at a time....

John Kerry Stunned

Intro Nitro

The sidebar in the Times article begins with this casually explosive claim:

Senator John Kerry's supporters have gathered new documents and photographs to rebut some of the accusations that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth lobbed during the 2004 campaign.

As so often I do, I lunged for my Webster's Third New International Dictionary by Merriam Webster. The relevant definition of "rebut" is:

To contradict, meet, or oppose by formal legal argument, plea, or countervailing proof; to expose the falsity of: contradict, refute.

So in order to refute the charges of the Swift Vets, the Kerry Krew would need to offer actual "countervailing proof." If the content of this sidebar is what the Times envisions as "proof," then the editors are in serious need of remedial instruction in rhetoric.

The Bronze Age

For example, here is the new Bronze Star photographic evidence; first, the Times "quotes" the Swift Vets' claim, then the alleged refutation:

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claimed that Mr. Kerry was "never wounded or bleeding from his arm" during the incident in March 1969 for which he was awarded the Bronze Star, but that he had a self-inflicted wound in his buttocks after he and another sailor threw grenades into a cache of rice.

Mr. Kerry says this photograph shows him celebrating with others on St. Patrick's Day -- four days after the incident -- with a bandage on his arm. [Emphasis added]

Let's begin with the nitpicky stuff. The Swift Vets claim -- as does John Kerry himself -- that the chap with whom JFK "threw grenades into a cache of rice" was none other than Jim Rassmann, the one Kerry later plucked from the water... who was a lieutenant in the Army Green Berets... not "another sailor." This obviously isn't a big deal; but it does go to show the scanty attention to detail at the Times (all those layers of "fact checking" and whatnot).

Second, when the Times writes that the Swift Vets said that Kerry was "never wounded or bleeding from his arm," they clipped off a very significant part of that quotation. Here are the two sentences in full, from John O'Neill's and Jerome Corsi's book Unfit For Command, page 87 of the Regnery hardcover:

Notwithstanding the fake submission for his Bronze Star, Kerry was never 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.

In other words, everybody agrees that Kerry was injured on his right arm; the Swift Vets say it was merely a contusion, as do the medical records (sayeth the Swift Vets). I have personally read an account by the doctor who says he treated Kerry, and that there was nothing worse on Kerry's arm than a contusion (bruise). JFK claims that his arm was wounded by shrapnel from a mine that exploded near his Swift Boat, PCF 94 (an explosion that many others at the scene do not even remember occurring).

The only dispute is how much of an injury Kerry actually suffered. And the fact that Kerry chose to wrap a bandage around his arm does not tell us who is right. If Kerry were exaggerating the extent of his injuries in order to look more heroic, bandaging himself is the very first thing he would do. Who would think to tug the wrapping off his arm to peek underneath?

Thus, this "new evidence" -- a photo that may or may not show a bandage on Kerry's arm, which pic may or may not have been snapped on St. Patrick's Day 1969 -- in fact proves absolutely nothing... which should have been apparent even to the New York Times.

The actual, complete claim by the Swift Vets is important, because it offers an easy avenue for verification: why not simply check the medical records, which John Kerry has supposedly released? If they indeed show a serious cut that would require a bandage on Kerry's arm, as the photo perhaps depicts (it could also be a sweatband, for all I can tell), then the Times would have the Swift Vets by the dingleberries, wouldn't they?

I highly doubt that the Swift Vets would make such a strong claim about being backed up by the medical records if they really weren't... because with the level of scrutiny they could expect from Team Kerry (backed up by tens of millions of dollars, some of it actually coming from a source other than Teresa), there is no way such a false claim would go unrefuted -- and when I use the term, I do actually mean "refuted."

Yet no such refutation was ever offered. Nobody ever said, "I examined those medical records, and danged if they don't show a serious laceration on Kerry's arm."

But the Times chooses not to examine the records that they, themselves must surely have picked up back during the election: instead, they leave this supposed "refutation" hanging in the air like the sulphur stink in Yellowstone. Thus, they insinuate without actually saying "the Swift Vets were liars." They win the Golden Chutzpah award. Nevertheless, this is strike one in their at-bat trying to discredit the Swift-Boat Vets.

Western Stars Light Up the Sky

The next "rebuttal" offered by the Times in its sidebar concerns the Silver Star incident, where Kerry shot somebody or other on the shore. Here is the Times' account:

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth said the enemy whom Mr. Kerry shot and killed in the incident for which he won the Silver Star was actually a wounded and fleeing teenager “in a loincloth.”

Mr. Kerry says his photographs show the body of a man fully dressed and lying face up, suggesting, he says, that the man was shot while approaching.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claimed that the boy who was shot was probably not armed and “was hardly a force superior to the heavily armed Swift boat and its crew and the soldiers carried aboard.”

Mr. Kerry says another photograph shows him holding a loaded B-40 rocket launcher that he and others say was taken from the man who was shot. In a 2001 letter to Mr. Kerry, one of his crew members recalled a photograph “at the spot where you took out the B-40.” A Bronze Star citation for another sailor for the same incident notes that the boats “came under heavy fire.”

Let's start with this: the Times' statement that "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claimed that the boy who was shot was probably not armed" is a flat lie.

The Swift Vets say no such thing. Here is what O'Neill and Corsi said in Unfit For Command, pp. 83-85:

A young Viet Cong in a lincloth popped out of a hole, clutching a grenade launcher which may or may not have been loaded, depending on whose account one credits....

Whether Kerr's dispatching of a fleeing, wounded, armed, or unarmed teenage enemy was in accordance with the customs of war....

While Commander [George] Elliott and many other Swiftees believe that Kerry committed no crime in killing the fleeing, wounded enemy (with a loaded or empty launcher)....

Not once in the entire account of the Silver-Star incident do O'Neill or Corsi say that the VC that Kerry killed was either unarmed or even "probably not armed;" they carefully express no opinion. Whoever at the Times wrote that sidebar literally made up that claim out of whole cloth.

The Times repeats the false accusation in the body of the article:

Mr. Kerry's supporters have also frozen frames from his amateur films of his time in Vietnam and have retrieved letters and military citations for other sailors to support his version of how he won the Silver Star — rebutting the Swift boat group's most explosive charge, that he shot an unarmed teenager who was fleeing his fire.

What can one say about this? That the New York Times would so casually lie to discredit Kerry's enemies -- and such an easily refuted lie! -- tells us two things:

  1. They're riding pillion behind Sen. John F. Kerry for another turn on the roundabout;
  2. They think the rest of us are complete idiots who cannot even read.

I don't know which is more disturbing.

In any event, since the Swift Vets do not claim the VC was unarmed (they even agree that he had a B-40 rocket launcher -- the only dispute being whether it was still loaded), clearly a photograph taken who-knows-when of John Kerry holding a loaded rocket launcher (I'm certainly not familiar enough with the species to tell whether it's a B-40) is as meaningless as the photo of him with an unbloodied bandage on his arm. Even if he pried it from the warm, dead fingers of the Viet Cong, it does not contradict anything said about the incident by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. So we move on.

Much is made by Kerry (and by "Pinch" Sulzberger Public Relations, LLC) about the claim that the VC Kerry shot was "in a loincloth;" but this is at least fair, since O'Neill and Corsi repeat that claim several times. The emphasis by the Times simply matches the emphasis by the Swift Vets.

We take it as read that there is some significance to the claim. What about the substance?

The "new evidence" offered by Kerry on this point shows what appears to be a dead guy lying on his back wearing clothing. All right... but so what? How do we know this is from the same incident, the same place, the same time, the same VC? We have only John Kerry's own word on that, which has been the problem all along.

As "evidence," this might be admitted in court; but opposing council would tear it to bits, as there is no indication in the photo that Kerry himself is even present!

A tall, thin man slouches in the foreground; but his back is to us. It could be Kerry; it could be somebody else. But if it is Lt.j.g. Kerry, then he changed his garments sometime between that photo and the one of him holding the rocket launcher that he supposedly grabbed from the slain VC: in the first photo, the unknown person in foreview wears a light, probably khaki shirt (it matches his trousers) under a flak jacket; in the second, Kerry is wearing a very dark sweatshirt or longsleeve t-shirt and dark, matching trousers (barely visible).

Thus, either the two pictures (a) were taken at different times, or (b) are of different people, or (c) Kerry carried a wardrobe with him aboard PCF 94 for just such occasions. The most likely explanation to me seems to be (b): the person in the foreground of the picture with the dead VC is someone other than Kerry.

Which means we do not even know whether this is the same incident. We do know that another boat was operating in the same area with Kerry's boat, and that this boat turned first into the attack from the shore. Both Kerry's boat and this other had many Army and South Vietnamese soldiers aboard; the first boat's crew and Army compliment jumped onto the beach first and pursued a number of Viet Cong soldiers, killing quite a few.

Kerry's boat turned ashore "slightly downstream" (p. 83) and was struck in the stern by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Thus, there were two distinct firefights occurring more or less simultaneously: the big batch of Viet Cong, who were routed by the troops on the first boat; and the VC that Kerry shot who toted a rocket launcher (either loaded or unloaded). A photograph taken afterwards of a dead VC could have been from either group.

As Kerry admits he brought his camera along -- snaps of bloody corpses being all the rage in Beacon Hill bean suppers that year -- it's not unreasonable to suppose that he would have taken many pictures after that engagement. Thus, we know that at least one of the dozens of Viet Cong killed that day wore clothing.

After 37 years, how could even John Kerry himself know whether that shot was of the man he killed or one of the other VC killed on that same beach that same day? As "new evidence," this is absolute rot.

Finally, Kerry claims that since the body in the picture appears to be lying on its back, the VC cannot have been fleeing when Kerry shot him.

Even assuming that VC is the same one that Kerry shot, this is nonsensical. The body is arranged very straight: legs stretched out; I cannot tell whether the arms are straightened too, because the picture (as reproduced by the Times) is too fuzzy... but it certainly would not be remarkable if someone had examined the body to see whether it was really dead and weather it had any weaponry. There is no evidence that the body in the photo has not been moved. (What would we expect... a chalk outline?)

Thus, a body lying on its back in a photograph taken some unknown time after the shooting offers us no "new evidence" that the body was shot in the front, rather than the back. Even if it is the same VC. Strike two.

Cambodia Or Bust!

The biggest piece of blarney uttered by John Kerry is unique... in that he has copped to it being false. He repeatedly claimed throughout the 2004 campaign -- and for many years before that -- that he had spend Christmas 1968 in Cambodia, in defiance of congressional mandate and putting the lie direct to "Richard Nixon's" claim that we were not in Cambodia:

So [Mr. Kerry's friends and former Swift boat crew members] have returned, for instance, to the question of Cambodia and whether Mr. Kerry was ever ordered to transport Navy Seals across the border, an experience that he said made him view government officials, who had declared that the country was not part of the war, as deceptive.

This is the incident that Kerry said was "seared, seared" in him:

In March 1986, Kerry said, during a speech on the Senate floor, that, "I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared — seared — in me...."

But Kerry had retailed the story much earlier, back at least as far as 1979 -- just eleven years after the Kerry incursion supposedly occurred -- in a review for the Boston Herald of the Francis Ford Coppola movie Apocalypse Now, released that same year; here is an account from Fox News, since I cannot get into the Boston Herald website at the moment ("routine maintenance" on their database, sayeth they):

In an Oct. 14, 1979, letter to the editor of the Boston Herald, Kerry wrote: "I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real."

The absurdity may have been real, but any proclamation by "President" Richard Nixon in 1968 certainly is not; Nixon did not become president until January 20th, 1969. But it's possible Kerry meant that Nixon, once he became president, subsequently denied we were in Cambodia... and Kerry thought it was absurd, remembering that he had been there some months earlier. That may be stretching it -- and it's rather crass to indict the Republican who wasn't yet president while ignoring the Democrat who was -- but we'll give Kerry the benefit of the doubt.

Evidently, this act of "searing" has addled his brain, because Kerry no longer claims that he spent Christmas in Cambodia; he now claims that he was about 35 miles on the Vietnam side of the border that day... but he claims that he was actually in (or maybe near) Cambodia on some other occasion in February, 1969.

So much for searing as a memory aid.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth accused Mr. Kerry of falsely claiming to have been on missions to Cambodia, in paritcular on Christmas Eve in 1968. the group said Mr. Kerry got no further than Sa Dec, about 55 miles ffom the Cambodian border. And it said Mr. Kerry had no proof that he had ever gone to Cambodia with Navy Seals.

Mr. Kerry says coordinates for his boat in archived reports show it closer to Cambodia than Sa Dec, around the area of Cao Lanh, 35 miles from the border, on Christmas Eve. Coordinates from February 1969 show the boat running missions along the Cambodian border, north of Ha Tien, and a report indicates that Mr. Kerry’s boat “inserted Seals.”

Kerry first said (in 1979, or perhaps earlier) that he spent Christmas in Cambodia; now he says he was only in Cao Lanh, which is 35 miles shy of the Cambodian border. I think I'd have to say Swift Vets 1, Kerry 0 on the claim that was seared (seared) in John F. Kerry.

But what about February 1969? Notice how artfully this is worded: first, note that the Times has only Kerry's word about these "coordinates;" he evidently didn't show them to the paper: "Mr. Kerry says" he was "along the Cambodian border." There is no indication he ever showed these supposed reports to the New York Times.

But even if he did sneak across the line, so what? His real claim is that he was ordered across... and he has never tried to show the slightest scrap of a scintilla of a smidge of evidence that anybody in his chain of command ever said, "John-Boy, why don't you pop across the border for a pint."

According to the Times, "a report indicates that Mr. Kerry’s boat 'inserted Seals.'" A report by whom? By Kerry himself, or by someone else? Can't we know who wrote it? For heaven's sake, even if this were a crime, surely the statute of limitations has run by now, nearly forty years later!

The claim by the Times also founders on the fact that at various times, Kerry has told remarkably varying stories about his Cambodian adventures. For example, his famous "magic hat" was given him, not by a SEAL, but by someone in the CIA, he claimed.

Nicely, Whizbang has a wonderful round-up of the bipolar fantasies spun by John Forbes Kerry about where he was, when he was, and why he was (and what happened when he did). Warning: reading them in rapid succession can cause brainlock.

Far from being "new evidence," Kerry's claim of having "coordinates" from a "report" that he was near-but-not-in Cambodia repudiates his own scores of earlier claims that he was actually in, not just near, Cambodia! The only new evidence here is evidence for the Swift Vets, who always claimed Kerry was lying about having been in Cambodia... and who now have John Kerry's own word to the New York Times that the Swift Vets were right all along.

Strike three, and John Kerry is O-U-T -- taking the entire Times dugout down with him.

After Action, After All

This is so trivial, I'm tempted to just ignore it. But being the completist that I am, I cannot. The last item in the sidebar:

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claimed that Mr. Kerry had drafted his own action reports and embellished them so he could win his military awards.

Mr. Kerry says his researcher pulled the original spot reports, which feature a box indicating the name of the drafter. It is not Mr. Kerry’s name but a “Lieutenant Gibson.”

Does anybody even care?

But leaving aside the mystery of the Anonymous Researcher -- who on earth is "Lieutenant Gibson?" After-action reports are (presumably) written by somebody involved in the action. Let's consider his Bronze Star engagement. The Swift Boat commanders during that incident were:

  • Jack Chenoweth
  • Dick Pease (whose boat was actually blown up)
  • Larry Thurlow
  • John Kerry

Each of these men was either a Lieutenant or a Lieutenant junior grade, entitled to be called "lieutenant."

  • In addition, Lieutenant James Rassmann was riding on John Kerry's boat (PCF 94)

So whence Lieutenant Gibson?

The only possibility is that there was a Lt. Gibson back at the Swift Boat base, and he actually wrote the report. But even if that is so, it merely means that someone told Gibson the story about how John Kerry heroically faced a hale of machine-gun fire for two and a half miles along both banks of the river to rescue Rassmann; and that someone could only have been John Kerry, because the other skippers insist they didn't... and they all dispute the account that got Kerry his Bronze Star, his third Purple Heart, and his ticket back home.

So perhaps Kerry didn't write his own after action reports. He merely dictated them.


I thought it would be amusing to examine this alleged "new evidence" that goes so far "to rebut some of the accusations that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth lobbed during the 2004 campaign." Instead, it has turned out to be sad, creepy, and pathetic... sad how an old man must cling to his dreams as desperately as he clings to life itself.

John Forbes Kerry has become nothing but a tire, old man, his face lined with years of lies and self-serving fairy tales, knowing that he couldn't even beat a president who had suffered through four years of the most relentless negative propaganda campaign since the one aimed at Abraham Lincoln. Kerry must have burned with humiliation as he realized he had done even worse against George Bush than did Al Gore -- running before the Iraq War, before Abu Ghraib, before the recession of 2000-2003, and even before Bush v. Gore (of course!)

So now, just as liberals of a certain age insist upon replaying Vietnam in their heads in response to any use of American forces anywhere, for any purpose, Kerry seems intent upon replaying the 2004 election again and again... hoping that this time, things will be different; this time, the American people will make the right choice.

Sen. Kerry... it's time for you to stand down -- and just fade away.

Kerry Adios

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 30, 2006, at the time of 5:13 AM

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Tracked on May 30, 2006 7:20 PM


The following hissed in response by: great unknown

Kerry, and those attempting to defend his dishonesty, are beneath contempt and beneath comment.
However, I did want to comment on your difficulty in cutting and pasting the graphic popup. Use a screen capture utility and save the image as a jpg file, which you can link into your post. Or am I missing something?

The above hissed in response by: great unknown [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 7:24 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

This is just the most complete destruction of a blatant Times political piece I've ever seen.

I'd LOVE to see Keller's response!

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 8:38 AM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

Liberals are absolutely convinced that the Swift Boats vets cost them the victory for Kerry. When will they learn?

Kerry lost because he was Kerry. Possibly the only politician in America that is more inarticulate that Bush. An obtuse, humorless, wealthy blowhard. The only thing that saved Bush in 2004 was Kerry. Give the man another Bronze star.

Note to Democrats - stop nominating losers like Kerry and Gore and maybe your fortunes will change.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 10:05 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Great Unknown:

Use a screen capture utility and save the image as a jpg file, which you can link into your post.

How does that allow me to copy individual sentences out of the jpeg to avoid having to retype them? I don't have OCR software that can extract the text from a graphic.

I am annoyed that the Times didn't post this sidebar as text, the way they post their normal stories... making it easy for me to quote specific passages and respond to them.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 1:18 PM

The following hissed in response by: Don

I feel sorry for both Kerry and Bush. considered objectively the two candidates in 2004 had among the strongest war records of the major politician of their generation. Neither Bush's National Guard service or Kerry's 4 month Vietnam rotation were very much to crow about, but contrast those with the records of Dan Quayle, Bill Clinton, and Al 'Combat Reporter' Gore.

Kerry's problem was that his resume was a bit - light and the more substantial parts didn't reflect a lot of credit on him (Vietnam Veterans against the War, Dukakis' Lieutenant Governor, Junior Senator from Massachusetts). Being the 'UnBush' was going to get him to about 45% at most & that's not enough to win. In fact probably not enough to get him nominated. So he was forced to make it an issue in the primary campaign where it helped him a good deal against Dean.

Kerry needed a substantial positive image builder and his rather 2nd rate Senate career wasn't going to give it to him. His antiwar activism was a big asset on the coasts but wasn't going to help at all in the Heartland, the Plains, or ther South.

But the Bush image also had to be dragged in the mud lest his several years of service in the fairly dangerous job of flying fighter jets lest that service neutralize the only completely positive asset that Kerry had.

So the MSM loyally returned to the fray and attempted again to discredit the Bush war record. Didn't work the first times they tried it because his commanding officer was dead and his family generally supportive of Bush. It almost worked when 60 Minutes II had a go in October. As it was it backfired against Kerry and possibly finished him off (what the Swift Boat guys didn't do).

It's a shame in two ways. Had John Kerry finished out his full year rotation in 'Nam I doubt if the dubious wounds and combat records would have hurt him very much. Had he kept his mouth shut about being 'seared' same comment applies. He didn't have to toss his medals but even if he had it wouldn't have hurt him the way the final clusterf**ked story did.

There was another Kerrey who should have been available. George Bush would have been in serious trouble against Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Vietnam vet with a prosthetic leg and a recipient of the Medal of Honor. I'm not sure what happened to Bob Kerrey except that he got on Bill Clinton's **** list and retired from the Senate. By 2004 Kerrey was a university president in New York and out of the running. But he would have been perfect.

[Careful of language in this last paragraph, Don. Thanks -- the Mgt.]

The above hissed in response by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 3:37 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

Gee, Monkeyboy. One this hand I have over 260 SwiftVets telling one story, on the other hand I have John Kerry telling a different one. Whom should I believe? Hmmm, that's a toughie. Let me think about it.

I linked from, the latest addition to my Jean Fraud Kerry collection,  which dates back to Oct. '04. I guess Johnny figured we all deleted our files after the election or something. Go home, Johnny; tell Mama she wants you.

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 4:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


I assume, based on this, that the Swiftboaters are what I assumed them to be in the first place...political hacks paid to lie.

That's a rather paralogical (and perhaps pathological) conclusion to draw, MB.

Letson claims to be an expert witness: the doctor who treated Kerry's trivial injuries following the "Boston whaler" incident. Kerry points to a medical report signed by a medic, but Letson notes that the medics typically signed the reports, since the doctors were busy treating injuries and wounds.

After the sliver was removed, Kerry approached his company commander, Grant Hibbard, and demanded a Purple Heart. Hibbard refused since "there was no hostile fire." (That is a quote from Hibbard.)

Yet despite being rejected by Hibbard, somehow Kerry managed to submit the request himself; the Purple Heart was issued three months later (based upon a report presumably written by Kerry himself, since no one else will cop to it and Kerry won't name names). He used that Purple Heart to get out of the rest of his deployment to Vietnam.

You may call the fact that Letson cannot prove in a court of law that he was the one who plucked the sliver from Kerry's arm a stalemate... but the fact that Letson (who is a Democrat, by the way, and not a Bush supporter) didn't have sufficient political foresight in 1968 to get a notorized affidavit is hardly proof that Letson is a "political hack[] paid to lie."

If you think it is, I don't see how conversation is possible.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 5:35 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Yet...he appeared in an ad and called Kerry a liar.

Monkeyboy, you're not helping your case. Everybody else understands the point that eludes you, whether they agree or not.

Letson says he is the doctor who examined Kerry's splinter and determined that it wasn't a wound.

Kerry said that he was wounded in action on that day and got a Purple Heart out of it (after his CO refused to put him in for one after examining the wound and talking to the senior person on that mission).

Either Letson is lying -- or Kerry is. You have chosen up sides; fine. But the fact that you, who admittedly has read none of the case presented by the SBVT, choose to side with John Kerry does not mean that therefore, Letson is proven to be a liar... let alone a "political hack[] paid to lie."

I especially wonder at your willingness to claim that Letson was paid to say what he said. Who have you allowed to make such a fool of you?

There is no evidence that the members of the SBVT and the non-members who joined in the accusations against Kerry were paid by anybody. People in the Kerry campaign, in desperation, floated that meme when they began to realize how much the testimony by Kerry's fellow PCF commanders was damaging his campaign.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 6:24 PM

The following hissed in response by: Diffus

Kerry's wound resulted from the close-in detonation of a grenade he had fired. The fact that it was accidentally self-inflicted is not in and of itself a justification for denying the Purple Heart. The award was initially denied at the time because no one save Kerry was prepared to claim that the wound was received receiving hostile fire, and that IS a requirement for the medal.

Kerry waited approximately three months, until after all in the chain of command above him who had knowledge of the episode had left. He then put himself in for the award again. It smacks of a kid who, being denied what he wants by mom, goes running to dad and asks for the same thing.

I'm not sure of the chronology, but it's possible that this Purple Heart, the first "earned," was the third awarded, and the one that allowed Kery to leave the SWIFT boats after less than a semester's worth of time. And if that's the case, Kerry has a severly different definition of honorable conduct than I do.

The above hissed in response by: Diffus [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 7:42 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

I think the folks at the NY Times are counting on 'Kerry Fatigue' to carry them through... most folks will never take a single moment to do any checking on these allegations since the NY Times is their Primary source of truth (Question the BIBLE? Moi?!?). I'll grant MonkeyBoy points for at least doing a surface skim of the information. I'll wager that most folks who even go THAT far will find SOMETHING which will resonate with their standing opinions and say "Ah HAH! I KNEW IT!" and then shut their minds off again.

This reliance on information fatigue is the motor behind the theory of the "Big Lie", and what makes it work so well.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 8:34 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


You have already announced that you have no intention of reading any of the arguments raised by the SBVT, Monkeyboy. So there's no point to this discussion, is there?


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2006 10:49 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Hehe, am I getting swiftboated now?

I don't know what that verb means. I'm not a member of the SBVT (I wasn't old enough for Vietnam); but I'm also not willing to "debate" someone who is unwilling to educate himself about the very subject under debate.

If you're really interested in this question, MB, the very first thing you should do is read Unfit For Command all the way through. You don't have to give a dime to O'Neill and Corsi; just check it out of the library.

Once you have digested their argument, then you can go back and read the arguments of the Kerry defenders. Then make up your mind.

If you're still in the mood to debate it, I'll be available.

In the meantime, nobody is kicking you off here; you can continue to post uninformed attacks on the Swift Vets... and if somebody else chooses to take you on, that's his business.

I demand very high standards of logic, rhetoric, and basic knowledge from those I debate; I'm a high-priced commodity.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2006 1:04 AM

The following hissed in response by: Diffus


Letson elaborates on his statement in a direct quote here:

Beldar did a lot of work on Kerry and the SWIFT boat veterans:

As our host has suggested, you sholuld become more thoroughly versed on the records, accounts and analyses.

Are you, by the way, suggesting that accuracy demands the presence of the person recording the events?

Oh, another BTW: Where did John Kerry spend Christmas 1968?

The above hissed in response by: Diffus [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2006 6:56 AM

The following hissed in response by: Diffus

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Letson's bases for asserting that Kerry lied about the injury are: 1) Kerry's statement to Letson that the wound was the result of hostile small-arms fire, 2) Letson's recognition of the wound as having been caused by shrapnel, not a round from an AK-47 or other small-arms weapon, 3) Letson's discussions with others familiar with the events of that night, 4) the absence of an after-action report, which would have been filed had hostile fire been received.

Regarding your claim that Odell was receiving money from the SWIFT boat group to tell his tale, Odell says, "No compensation. My expenses are covered by Swift Boat Veterans For Truth. If I have travel or out of pocket expenses they pick that up. If I fly out to Washington or need to stay in a hotel or need to spend some money on my Swift Boat Vets for Truth activities they will reimburse me for that, but nothing personal and no compensation."

You say that the huge explosion obscured Odell's view of Kerry's boat and the other events that happened on the river. Maybe water in Southeast Asia has some remarkable anti-gravity characteristics; otherwise, it's doubtful to me that anyone's vision could have been obstructed for much longer than maybe a minute.

Odell claims, "We Ddid not receive any hostile fire from either bank. Our boat picked up members of the disabled PCF-3. I continued to watch all the area for any VC activity and witnessed the majority of the events of the day.

"John Kerry received a Bronze Star for this incident, claiming that he saved Jim Rassman's life, at the risk of his own, while receiving hostile fire. That simply did not happen."

The above hissed in response by: Diffus [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2006 3:29 PM

The following hissed in response by: THE DUDE

I see there is always a monkeyboy in the crowd. I read the book and it was very detailed. I would love to get an entire swift boat issue going again just to clear the decks of Kerry. My thoughts- He was never discharged until 1976??? He was holding meetings in France while a Officer in the Navy??? He refuses to release his records(Form 180). So how does he get the "NEW" reports on his boat positioning? Does the US Navy give anyone this information from 1968 or does a $millionaire US Senator have the right to request information that no one else is entitled to! What gives here? By the way, the body on a strecher of the VC. Not only could it be any body but I have never heard of a medic unit putting a body face down on a strecher or body bag. Since there was nothing covering the face, one would assume this VC may not have been dead yet.

The above hissed in response by: THE DUDE [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2006 4:56 PM

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