The Not so Swift Boat Veterans?

take a look at this

Lots of news stories have been popping up refuting the claims too. The connections to Bush are IMO kind of weak, just showing that it is funded by wealthy Texan Republicans, most of which would have some sort of link to Bush.

It also shows that the statements made by the men that appeared in the ad contradict previous statements that they made, also that the claim of the doctor was apparently a complete fabrication, etc etc. It shows that these ‘honorable’ vets are in fact not so honorable. That they are common slanderers. It points to an agenda that has little to do with truth.

I hope that it blows up in their faces. It really is a very “low-blow” slam to any of the people who served in Vietnam, and to all those names on the Wall. Every person who is willing to serve in the military, particularly in combat, is justifiably “a hero” to his or her country, and I think we should let it go at that. (Just like the cops who are somehow willing to run the risk of stopping a bullet for a complete stranger for $15 an hour. Spend two years in their shoes, then you have room to talk.)

It’s especially a mockery when the person who is fueling (or at least, benefiting from) the hoopla … took a cushy stateside job with the National Guard specifically to avoid military service overseas.

If GW had any brains he would repudiate these guys, but they probably represent a lot of Texas money. %|

Most of those quotes don’t show a contradiction.

George Elliott
“John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam”
“At a Kerry news conference in 1996, he said of Mr. Kerry, 'The fact that he chased an armed enemy down is not something to be looked down upon, but it was an act of courage. And the whole outfit served with honor.”
“In 1969, Mr. Elliotte wrote in Mr. Kerry’s fitness report: 'In a combat environement often requiring independent, decisive action Lt. j.g. Kerry was unsurpassed… During the period of this report Lt. j.g. Kerry has been awarded the Silver Star medal, the Bronze Star medal, the Purple Heart medal (2nd and 3rd awards).”

My comments:
It is true that John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam. He claimed in Congressional testimony that atrocities were committed, but finally admitted that he didn’t witness any and was basing his comments on what other people (in the U.S.) said. His story about being in Cambodia has changed a number of times. He has admitted that, contrary to his initial claims, he wasn’t in Cambodia on Christmas Eve. The news conference report can still be true. The single incident of chasing down an armed enemy should not be looded down upon. There have been some other claims about that incident. None of the vets are looking down upon it, some are saying the after action description was overblown. Having written fitness reports, I would never use those as a source of information. The reports are grossly inflated. It is rare that you will see anything negative written in one.

Roy Hoffmann
“John Kerry has not been honest.”
“In a June 2003 article in the Boston Globe, he recalled the actions that led to Mr. Kerry’s Silver Star, saying 'It took guts, and I admire that.”

My comments:
Same as above. The ‘contradiction’ is a comment regarding 1 specific incident not his overall service and comments after the war.

Louis Letson
“I know that John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury.”
“Dr. Letson’s name does not appear on any of the medical records for Mr. Kerry. Under ‘person administering treatment’ for the injury, the form is signed by J.C. Carreon, who died several years ago. Dr. Letson said it was common for medics to treat sailors with the kind of injury that Mr. Kerry had and to fill out paperwork when doctors did the treatment.”

My comments:
Where is the contradiction? That is a common practice. The Doctor would have someone else sign the form, or the Doctor would do the treatment and the medic that checks the patient out would sign the form.

Adrian Lonsdale:
“And he lacks the capacity to lead.”
“At a Kerry news conference in 1996, he spoke of the ‘bravado and courage of the young officers that ran the Swift boats’ and said: 'Senator Kerry was no exception. He was among the finest of those Swift boat drivers.”

My comments:
The full quote from Mr. Lonsdale is not provided. I believe he was referring to leadership as Commander in Chief. Just because someone is a ‘fine Swift boat driver’ that doesn’t mean he would make a good Admiral. Being skipper of a Swift boat did require bravado and courage.

Van Odell
“John Kerry lied to get his Bronze Star. I know. I was there. I saw what happened.”
"While Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claims that the boats did not come under enemy fire, Mr. Kerry’s Bronze Star citation says, “All units began receiving small arms and automatic weapons fire from the river banks.”. The damage report for another boat present shows it received three bullet holes, suggesting enemy fire.

My comments:
Wow! 5 boats receiving fire and only 3 bullet holes. Those enemy shooters must have been lousy. BTW, the boat with the bullet holes DID receive fire earlier in the day and a damage report listed bullet holes. Everyone agrees that a mine exploded. The first reaction is to start firing at the riverbanks immediately. It would take a while to verify that there is no return fire. The report was written by Kerry, so it makes sense that it agrees with his version. Odell has admitted that he didn’t like to do the paperwork and let LJG Kerry write the after action reports.

Kerry received a Bronze Star for pulling the guy out of the water. During the initial explosion, subsequent explosion (according to Kerry) or other maneuvering of the boat, he was thrown agains the side and bruised his arm. This is the “wounded arm” he had when he pulled the guy out of the water.

Earlier in the day, Kerry and another soldier threw 2 grenades in a hole to blow up a stash of rice. The other soldier claims Kerry didn’t get far enough away from the explosion and was hit in the “buttocks” with some rice or shrapnel. This was treated and was 1 of the Purple Heart wounds. There is often confusion in media claims that he was wounded with shrapnel on the boat.

The Silver Star was for chasing down and shooting a wounded Vietnamese with an RPG. This is Kerry’s version. The are some contradictions whehter the RPG was loaded or not. That doesn’t matter. He was a combatant and wasn’t surrendering. The commander that signed off on the medal said he wouldn’t have recommended the award if he knew the facts (1 wounded enemy running away). Kerry wrote up the after action and did a good job – providing a good write up is often what gets medals awarded.

Another Purple heart was awarded for a shrapnel wound in the arm. I’m not sure if it was during the chase for the Silver Star or a different incident. Kerry threw a hand grenade and ran after someone. He received shrapnel in his arm. The soldiers in the area said the enemy was shooting, but no grenades. The only shrapnel would have come from a friendly grenade – probably Kerry. This is the wound that the doctor said he pulled 1 small piece of shrapnel from Kerry’s arm. No blood, no bandage (I don’t even think he put a bandaid on it). He applied some antiseptic ointment and that was it.

At least a couple of these guys have been contradicting Kerry LONG before George Bush came into the picture. It is just that the media has picked up on it since Kerry has used it as his sole qualification for running.

There is a strong tendency for anyone who has served in the military to support other veterans. Any disagreements are kept ‘in house’. It is ok for members of the community to disparage each other, but they will come together when an outsider tries to make claims. That is part of what makes the Swift Boat Vets statements so powerful.

George Bush can’t contradict, repudiate, or tell this group to stop. The campaign rules require that there be no coordination. If told the group to stop that would be coordination and would be a violation of campaing laws. This is one of those "unintended consequences
from the ridiculous McCain Feingold legislation.

p.s. I get sick and tired of the media reporting saying Kerry “won” his medals. Nobody “wins” a combat medal. They are awarded for valor or service. The are not a contest prizes.

imo they show enough inconsistency to thouroughly discredit the swift boat veterans. good enough for me.

What have been the inconsistencies with the Swift Boat Veterans?

Modron: but if you read blenderanim’s entire post he makes a pretty stern arguement, a counter-arguement this good I’ve yet to hear.


It’s especially a mockery when the person who is fueling (or at least, benefiting from) the hoopla … took a cushy stateside job with the National Guard specifically to avoid military service overseas.

This bothers me from time to time, but then I remember that most of the people spitting this garbage out are/were clinton supporters. (I’m not assuming, nor accusing you of being one, just stating that most people who say this are) Clinton didn’t have the balls to do anything, at all. Thus he dodged the draft all together. Which indeed makes that whole arguement of bush is a coward a quote, “low-blow slam”, unquote, as you put it.

There’s a lot of politics and BS on both sides, I’m not goig to drink anyone’s koolaid until I see some cold hard facts. And yes, scum can be in the military, just because they served willingly doesn’t make them good or honerable people, simply defending someone because they served voluntarily isn’t very smart. You are right, it takes more than the average person to go into the military, but that doesn’t by any means mean we should simply forget or ignore the mistakes they’ve made, esp. when they’re about to take on the single most powerful position in the world.

BTW-modron, lovin’ the dude model in your avatar :wink:

I haven’t seen these ads, but I’ve read about it. From what I can tell, both sides are discredited. Looks like Kerry’s ‘wounds’ were not only minor, but self-inflicted.

Not that it matters. Lots of veterans have been wounded before. Whether by the enemy or self-inflicted, being wounded does not qualify a person to be president. Nor does military service itself. Nor does having someone else pin a ribbon on your shirt.

If someone can prove that Kerry served due entirely to his ‘selflessness’ to serve his country, then I’ll ad that to the ‘pros’ list for Kerry. Otherwise, I’ll assume he did it for one of the same reason most veterans did:

  • For the money.
  • Because they were forced to. (Drafted.)
  • To gain US citizenship.
  • As a career.
  • For the familly. (Family tradition.)

I’m a veteran myself. Big f*cking deal. I even have some ribbons. Yeah I felt special at the time to get ribbons. I don’t feel special now, and I don’t feel qualified to be president because of it. I’ll vote for Kerry or Bush based on their current qualifications, not whatever they did some 30 years ago.

Kerry was there, Bush wasn’t. Nothing else matters.


  1. kerrys initials not on alleged report
  2. kerrys alleged doctors sig not in alleged report.
  3. bullet holes in boat were in report.
    aside from that, just a couple of other things,…
  4. none of this ‘evidence’ has come to light until this election campaign.
  5. bush has condemned the swift boat vets.
  6. mccain has condemned the swift boat vets.

1, 2, 3 read blenderanim’s post, it doesn’t seem like you have because those 3 things are discredited in his post.

4, because it’s quite pertitent right now. Here’s a quote from my earlier post: You are right, it takes more than the average person to go into the military, but that doesn’t by any means mean we should simply forget or ignore the mistakes they’ve made, esp. when they’re about to take on the single most powerful position in the world.

5, he’s got to, or he’s sunk politically.

6, what’s mccain got to do with anything? He’s a moderate republican who’s attempted to be a thorn in bush’s side for 3 and half years now. He’s served too, but AFAIK he never servied with Kerry, so he doesn’t really know what happened. The only stuff we’ve got to go on is the arguements from Kerry and those who now support him and served with him, and those who don’t support him and served with him. And ofcourse much of the media is now in bed with kerry too, regardless of how much they know.

Wow, that’s quite an observation. Bush isn’t behind these ads, or atleast not directly. AFAIK most of those who have come out have nothing to do with bush, bush didn’t tell them to say these things, bush didn’t make this up. So saying that makes no sense. And if people think Bush lies, how come Kerry can’t/hasn’t lie(d), and has supposedly told us the entire truth about what happened? Kerry was there, sure, but if soemthings happened that he doesn’t want made public then he can, by all means lie to heart’s content. So can Bush, but somehow you’ve made the case (however lacking in details) that kerry hasn’t/won’t/isn’t lying. In two sentences.

[edit]deleted sarcastic comment, was unwarrented and only raises thread temperature[/edit]

I don’t think anyone disputes that Kerry volunteered to join the Navy. I respect him for that. He volunteered for the patrol boats (although at the time they were not being used in combat).

George Bush was a pilot (Air National Guard). I respect that. Pilots get hazardous duty pay for a reason.

…but this isn’t about Bush. Kerry is the one that has been using Vietnam as his sole qualification. It is mentioned in every single speech. He even reenacted a swift boat landing to arrive at the nominating convention.


  1. Kerry’s initials not on the report? Then whose initials are they? It sounds like you are referring to the Bronze Star after action report. But, so what? 3 bullet holes noted in a boat that was attacked earlier in the day?

  2. Kerry’s doctor didn’t sign the report? Have you read the doctor’s statement. It sounds like the doctor didn’t sign it because it was so minor. His commander and the doctor said he didn’t deserve the Purple Heart. They don’t know how he got it.
    “There was no report of hostile fire that day (as would be required), nor do the records at Cam Ranh Bay reveal such hostile fire. No other records reflect hostile fire. There is no casualty report, as would have been required had there actually been a casualty.
    To the surprise of both Schachte and the treating doctor, Louis Letson, Kerry managed to keep the tiny hanging fragment barely embedded in his arm until he arrived at sick bay miles away. Kerry was examined by Letson, who never has forgotten the experience and related it to his Democratic county chairman early in the 2004 primary campaign.
    Letson, observing Kerry’s unimpressive scratch, asked in surprise, “Why are you here?”
    Kerry answered, “I’ve been wounded by hostile fire.”
    Accompanying crewmen told Letson that Kerry had wounded himself. Letson used tweezers to remove the tiny fragment, which he identified as shrapnel like that from an M-79 (not from a rifle bullet), and put a small bandage on Kerry’s arm.
    The following morning, Kerry appeared at the office of Cmdr. Hibbard and applied for the Purple Heart. Hibbard turned down the award.”

The doctor’s account
Kerry somehow “gamed the system” nearly three months later to obtain the Purple Heart that Hibbard had denied. How he obtained the award is unknown, since his continued refusal to execute Standard Form 180 means that whatever other documents exist are known only to Kerry, the Department of Defense and God.
Only a treatment record reflecting a scratch and a certificate signed three months later have been produced. There is no “after-action” hostile fire or casualty report. This is because there was no hostile fire, casualty, or action on this “most frightening night” of Kerry’s Vietnam experience.
Letson agreed with Hibbard, in a statement the doctor gave us in April, that Kerry’s injury was minor and probably self-inflicted:
"The incident that occasioned my meeting with Lieutenant Kerry began while he was patrolling the coast at night just north of Cam Ranh Bay, where I was the only medical officer for a small support base. Kerry returned from that night on patrol with an injury.
“Kerry reported that he had observed suspicious activity on shore and fired a flare to illuminate the area,” Letson continued. "According to Kerry, they had been engaged in a firefight, receiving small arms fire from on shore. He said that his injury resulted from this enemy action.
"The story he told was different from what his crewmen had to say about that night. Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a grenade round at close range to the shore. The crewman who related this story thought that the injury was from a fragment of the grenade shell that had ricocheted back from the rocks. That seemed to fit the injury I treated.
“What I saw was a small piece of metal sticking very superficially in the skin of Kerry’s arm. The metal fragment measured about one centimeter in length and was about two or three millimeters in diameter. It certainly did not look like a round from a rifle,” Letson continued.
"I simply removed the piece of metal by lifting it out of the skin with forceps. I doubt that it penetrated more than three or four millimeters. It did not require probing to find it, nor did it require any anesthesia to remove it. It did not require any sutures to close the wound. The wound was covered with a Band-Aid. No other injuries were reported and I do not recall that there was any injury to the boat.
“I remember that Jess Carreon [Letson’s corpsman, now dead] was present at the time, and he, in fact, made the entry into Lieutenant Kerry’s medical record.”
Letson also said: "Lieutenant Kerry’s crew related that he had told them that he would be president one day. He liked to think of himself as the next JFK from Massachusetts.

  1. Bullet holes in the report? Not exactly. The bullet holes were mentioned in a damage report, not the After Action Report. At least 1 bullet hole was mentioned from the action earlier in the day. Again, 5 boats come under fire and at most there are 2 bullet holes with nobody hit?

4)None of the evidence has come to light until this camaign? Actually, a lot of it came out in 1971 when Kerry was confronted with it. There is a lot of coverage because of Kerry’s emphasis on his service. Not many people in other states will be concerned with a junior senator’s campaign in another state.

  1. Bush has condemned the Swift Boat Vets? Not exactly. He has come out against all of the ads from outside groups and has asked Kerry to do the same, e.g., Micheal Moore, Soros, etc.

6)McCain has condemned the Swift Boat Vets. Yes, he has. He was in a Vietnamese prison camp when Kerry was serving his 4 months.

depends on which source you trust i guess. personally i am not likely to trust an organization that the GOP claims to have no ties to, yet there literature is distributed in GOP headquarters in austin texas. also adding to that,…as you can see, the swift boat veterans are recieving a healthy ammount of funds,…all tied to the GOP. so, frankly i am not inclined to give much credibility to anyone who supports this bogus organization.

What difference does any of this make?

I served as a truck driver in the US Army. Now I’m a network administrator. Why would I put on my resume that I was a truck driver in the army, when that has absolutely nothing to do with being a network admin?

Why is Kerry making such a big deal out of being in the navy 30 years ago, when none of that has anything to do with being a president of the United States? Clinton didn’t serve one day in the military, yet he was president for 8 years.

Why does Kerry need to be seen as some sort of hero? Is there something lacking in his credentials that he feels the need to pad his record with irrelevant fluff? Especially when said fluff is now in question?

Because people look at Bush as some sort of valorous hero who brought us up from the ashes of 9/11 and conquered Iraq… he is a war president, and Kerry needs to show that he knows war too.

News article:
Bush refuses to denounce anti-Kerry ads

In the United States, the President George W Bush today refused to specifically denounce a campaign advertisement which accuses the Democratic nominee for President, Senator John Kerry, of lying about how he got his Vietnam War medals for bravery.

Instead the President, who did describe Senator Kerry’s military service as “admirable”, called for all negative ads, being run by outside groups, to be withdrawn.

… and even though I don’t like the guy, it’s righteously so. It’s quite hypocritical to demand that Bush denounce anti-Kerry ads and not say anything about Michael Moore and the dozens of big name anti-Bush groups.

Bush calls for the denouncing of all negative ads, which I think is a good idea. Mudslinging is bad politics, they should be focusing on their own aspirations. We all know what Bush has done and/or hasn’t done… all of us who would make up our minds because of it, anyway.

Interesting link. It looks like all of the articles in the U.S. (the ones I saw earlier today) are headlined, “Bush denounces anti-Kerry ads” or some variation. You have to read the quotes in the articles very closely to find that he denounced all the adds from the 529 groups. Oh well, I don’t think anyone ever claimed the US media had their act together.
[edit - added the link below]
Title of the article “Bush Criticizes Anti-Kerry Television Ad”

That whole ‘Campaign Finance’ legislation was supposed to make everything clean, fun and wholesome. Instead, it has forced money to groups that aren’t allowed to say (by law) positive things about candidates. Gee, I wonder why there are negative ads?

I live in South Carolina and even went to a McCain rally. I didn’t see any of the “unfair, dirty tricks, negative attacks, etc.” on McCain in this state. My biggest reason to not support McCain was the poorly thought out Campain Finance Legislation he was pushing.

As far as “not believing a group because it is tied to the Republicans”. What do you expect? Groups that oppose Kerry will be supported by Republicans. Groups that oppose Bush will be supported by Democrats. That doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Instead you should look at the information and decide if it is worth believing.

As far as “not believing a group because it is tied to the Republicans”. What do you expect? Groups that oppose Kerry will be supported by Republicans. Groups that oppose Bush will be supported by Democrats. That doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Instead you should look at the information and decide if it is worth believing.

yes that was my point. i’m not saying i don’t have a fundamental distrust of republicans but that isn’t what i was trying to convey. :wink:

Got an idea for these guys: “You go ‘over there.’” Make sure that you get into plenty of situations where people are firing real guns at you and throwing real explosives at you. We’ll sit back here in our comfortable couches, watching the 6:00 news and suckin’ on our six-packs and voting on how well you did.

Talk about “armchair quarterbacks!”

Now, mind you, I don’t have any respect for either one of these clowns and I have no intention of voting for either one of them … but that’s low. That’s “scum scrapin’ the bottom” low. And it’s an insult to the thousands of people who have already come back from Iraq with arms and legs blown off, with radiation poisoning from uranium bullets. And to the thousands more in body bags. To all of those names on The Wall. To all of those stars in the WW2 memorial.

What we should be talking about are the policies and foolish, business-oriented decisions that enable the politicians to put those soldiers in harm’s way. I find it supremely ironic that we are pandering about a politican’s “bravery in battle” while completely ignoring the fact that we find ourselves in another needless war that is very, very much like Vietnam for exactly the same sort of flawed reasons. The question should be, “how did we get into this mess (don’t just say ‘9/11’…) and what are we going to do to get out?” “What does America stand for?” “What should her foreign policy and military policy be?”

I expect that many of you will have found those last sentences provocative, and are itching to press the Reply button. Press away! It’s called “Freedom of Speech” and that’s what it’s properly used for. These are the opinions we hold, the decisions we care about, and the person we are to elect will make them. We’d better be quizzing those people closely, putting them on the hot-seat, not just listening to 6:00 drivel.

These are the decisions that will become the purview of the future Chief Executive Officer just as they are now the purview of the present one. And that is where the public debate should be focused.