We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The Kerry kerfuffle

Well, since people don’t want to talk about the really big issues (the mainstream media v. blogdom cage match), we might as well give ’em what they do want: the Kerry kerfuffle.

For agonizingly detailed analysis of the blow-by blow, then either Power Line or Captain’s Quarters is probably the place to go.

My take:

Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass what Kerry did as a soldier in Viet Nam all those years ago, just as I don’t really care what George Bush did as a pilot in the National Guard. Both seem to have served adequately well, and I would be perfectly happy to let sleeping dogs lie. I am perfectly willing to stipulate that nothing either man did as a soldier has any relevance to their race for President.

End of story? Not really, because the Kerry kerfuffle is not really about what John Kerry did as a soldier. As far as I can tell, the Swifties are not accusing him of war crimes (Kerry handles that all by himself, not that anyone believes him). They are not even accusing him of incompetence, really. Even by the Swifties’ account, he brought all his men home, killed a few bad guys, and generally carried out his mission as well as most young officers. Plenty good enough.

No, the current controversy is not about what Kerry did as a soldier, its about what he has done as a politician. Kerry’s career as a politician predates and encompasses his brief military career. He was an anti-war activist before the war, something of a glory hound during the war, returned to anti-war activism after the war, and has been a professional politician just about ever since.

Once you put the Swifties’ attack on Kerry in this context, they raise some very troubling questions. Kerry’s entry into the military, framed as it is by anti-war and anti-military activity, begins to look like opportunistic ticket-punching. His medals look like more of the same, especially when you look at how they have been used by him as props for his political career ever since (he famously pretended to throw them over the White House fence, only he did not, and now hangs them on the wall of his office). Indeed, Kerry has built his career on the foundation of his four months in-country, and has done so in a way that highlights what many see as fundamental character flaws. Kerry has very characteristically tried to straddle the fence on Viet Nam, claiming on the one hand to be a war hero and on the other to be an anti-war activist.

The Swiftie attack is not on his service as a soldier, it is about how he has used that service (cynically and opportunistically, in their view) to advance his political career. The Swifties are saying that the anti-war side of the straddle disqualifies him from leading America in the current war, which is a purely political argument that does not touch on Kerry’s service as a soldier.

They are also saying that the war hero side of the straddle is a fraud. Note that their quarrel is not really with what he did on the ground, it is with what he claims he did (in the military paperwork that resulted in his medals, and in his admittedly exaggerated accounts since then). What happened in the actions that resulted in his medals will be hard to sort out, but I would say the Swifties have landed some telling blows. Principally, Kerry has abandoned “Christmas in Cambodia,” the critical turning point that allowed his brave soldier and anti-war activist personae to co-exist.

Good lawyers know that nothing is more important than framing the debate. The Swifties, in their rage at Kerry for, in their view, stabbing them in the back, have not done a very good job of clearly framing this debate as being about Kerry the Cynical and Opportunistic Politico, rather than being about Kerry the Brave and Noble Swabbie. That will probably, in the end, rob their campaign of much of its power.

The folks who want Kerry to take power want to frame the debate as being about Kerry’s service as a soldier, so they can delegitimize and confuse the issues raised by Kerry’s career as a politican. Just because the mainstream media, who are pretty comprehensively in the tank for Kerry, are falling for and enabling this strategy, does not mean you have to.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

49 comments to The Kerry kerfuffle

  • R C Dean

    Two predictions:

    First, this post will be grossly misunderstood, and people will (continue to) want to argue about his service as a soldier, rather than his career as a politician.

    Second, I will be accused of having bought the Swiftie line, even though I never say anything of the sort.

  • I pretty much hate everything that Kerry stands for, save one thing.

    I believe his anti-war stance after returning from Vietnam was not merely correct but actively laudible.

    And no, I’m no supporter of the communists who took over Vietnam. I do, however, believe that the French produced an utter mess via their colonialist policy, and we attempted to take over for them by proping up a corrupt anti-democratic regime in the South that was frankly doomed from the start. Many people with short memories forget that the government in Saigon wasn’t merely far from the libertarian ideal — it was actively bad.

    The Swifties can attack Kerry’s anti-war stance for being a “betrayal” or whatever else they like, but Kerry was not anti-soldier, merely anti-war, and his anti-war position was perfectly reasonable. Since then he’s espoused many wrong-headed statist policies during his long career in politics, but that does not change the fact that he’s being criticized by the Swifties for perhaps the only thing he’s done right in his time as a public figure. How do you, indeed, ask a man to be the last person to die for a bad idea?

    I wish more people were asking that same question about our foolish adventure in Iraq.

  • I think Bill Maudlin said it best in one of his WW II cartoons.

    Willy goes up to the medic at sick call, “Just gimme a couple of asprins, I already got a purple heart.”

  • Bill Dooley

    Kerry accused all American servicemen in Vietnam of systematic war crimes, and he wasn’t anti-soldier? Some people have such flexible minds.

  • Kerry lost me the first time he mentioned his service in Vietnam, precisely because I recall him saying that service in wartime however many decades past should not be a consideration. That was back in ’92 when the Republicans were attacking Bill Clinton for fleeing to Oxford to avoid the draft.

  • EddieP

    I don’t particularly care about Kerry’s Vietnam service, but he won’t let me forget it. I was tired of Vietnam when the DNC was bashing Bush for his TANG service. But Poopdeck Johnnie throws it in my face everyday. He did it again today with his Max Cleland stunt. Why didn’t Kerry take his own letter to Crawford and demand the president receive it. That would have involved a little political risk for a great photo-op, but at least shown some political cahonesl

  • Bill Dooley

    You guys over there have a problem with Mr. Tony Blair. He’s such a brilliant speaker, yet so many of his political instincts are off. Even so, you don’t have to endure the ponderous pronouncements of a Mr. Kerry. Count your blessings

  • Perry M. writes:

    How do you, indeed, ask a man to be the last person to die for a bad idea?

    I wish more people were asking that same question about our foolish adventure in Iraq.

    But Perry–no one wants to hear, “This is a pointless and squalid war.” Not now, not then, not ever. To say such a thing is even worse than continuing to fight a pointless and squalid war. Unpatriotic, you know.

  • Bill Dooley

    Yes, of course. Let them hit us whenever they take it into their fevered brains, and then whine that it’s our fault.

    Merciful Mother of God.

  • “Kerry accused all American servicemen in Vietnam of systematic war crimes…”

    If you could provide a citation for that claim, I would be MOST grateful.

    Unless, of course, you want to admit you’re lying…

    All Kerry did in his congressional testimony and afterwards was state that soldiers told him of atrocities they had committed.

    Nowhere and at no time did Kerry tar ALL soldiers with that brush.

    Unlike yourself, who seems to have no problem with spreading a GOP talking point/lie.

    Got your GOP Team Leader totebag, yet?

    Hang down your head, Bill Doole. Hang down your head and cry,
    Hang down your head, Bill Dooley. You went and told a lie!

  • Bill Dooley

    Another Clintonista parsing the meaning of “is”.

  • Bill D. wrote:

    Yes, of course. Let them hit us whenever they take it into their fevered brains, and then whine that it’s our fault.

    Who are “they?” Would “they” by chance have anything in common with “they” whose ascendancy in Viet Nam would, we were assured, plunge the world into chaos and darkness?

    Look. Islamofascists are scum. Communists are scum. What they did in southeast Asia was beyond despicable. I eat meat; I heartily approve of judiciously applied violence, even lethal violence. I have no problem with war, nor even with preemptive war. I do have a very serious problem with persisting in stupidity; and I am enraged by foolishly chosen battles and the fools who choose them.

  • Julian Morrison

    I doubt anyone opportunistically ticket punches in a live war. Not unless they were real sure they wouldn’t be assigned to anywhere dangerous.

  • Bill Dooley

    I don’t know about Chris Tucker, but I have no party connections. I just sit here in my crappy little apartment in Reno, NV, trying to understand what the hell is going on in the world. It’s never been harder.

  • I doubt anyone opportunistically ticket punches in a live war. Not unless they were real sure they wouldn’t be assigned to anywhere dangerous.

    Very true. And I can assure you that no one goes through special forces training thinking, “Boy, this is gonna look great on my resume.”

  • Bill Dooley

    You have a good point, none.

    Kerry, regardless of whatever faults some of us may find in him, did place his personal ass on the line, in mortal danger, and for that he deserves our gratitude.

    I would never take that away from him. It’s more than I did.


  • R C Dean

    Bill, I agree completely, as I believe I stated above. I am not knocking his service as a soldier. I believe, however, that saying so is completely consistent with saying that he is soulless, opportunistic politician who enlisted solely to further his personal ambitions, in the branch of the service least likely to encounter direct danger. Perfectly honorable service.

    However, he realized that being a Viet Nam – era vet who spent the war floating out of sight of Viet Nam would not have nearly enough cachet to float his career in politics. So he volunteered for the Swifties, where he could at least get his boots muddy, at a time when they weren’t seeing much in the way of live fire at all. As soon as they get stuck on the pointy end, he began collecting Purple Hearts as quick as the paperworkl would clear, because they were his ticket out (and also very useful to an ambitious young man on the make).

  • Bill Dooley

    RC Dean –

    Actually, it is I who agree with you. I wouldn’t vote for the bastard if he had a gun to my head, and I wouldn’t put it past him to try.

    Be nice now. I’m trying very hard myself.


  • john jay

    You are right that Kerry’s Vietnam record is largely unimportant, but the public often seems to make decisions on rather unimportant aspects of a candidate. My impression is that the Swift Boat vets are simply trying to take the “I served in Vietnam” platform from Kerry. They aren’t really interested in a resolution, or, in the short term, swaying the electorate. They just want Kerry to be unable to wrap himself in the flag and say he was a proud and noble Vietnam Vet.

    In the big picture, they’ve got a vital but only supporting role in the Republican arguement against Kerry. The actual discussion of whether or not Kerry is fit to be president will happen soon enough; the Swift Boat Vets are simply cutting off Kerry’s standard avenue of retreat and expecting the Official Bush Campaign to actually complete the work of dismantling Kerry’s image.

    Strategically, the Vets have done a terrific job so far. They kept their powder dry until after the DNC–after Kerry made his Vietnam service his most important presidential qualification, and after the Democrats couldn’t choose someone more likely to succeed. For months the S.B. Vets knew that Kerry was the nominal candidate, and it must have galled them awfully to hear him trot out his mythical service at every whistlestop, but they held off until he was a confirmed nominee and had put his weight entirely on that carefully recrafted military history. Kerry apparently firmly believed that he was as well respected by his peers as any other famous military hero. And the Democrat voters, foolishly underserved by a fawning liberal media, eagerly appointed a man with no strong qualifications and a fragile image of bravado.

    Now, Kerry’s valor looks hollow and the Democrats are panicked because they have no backup. This horse has to make it to the finish line. The Kerry campaign is going to have to come up with a completely new reason to get out the vote, or rely completely on Bush-bashing. Neither approach inspires confidence.

  • Hank Scorpio

    “So he volunteered for the Swifties, where he could at least get his boots muddy, at a time when they weren’t seeing much in the way of live fire at all.”

    Not even so much muddy. Kerry volunteered for swift boat duty when they were still doing offshore patrols. This was before Adm. Zumwalt came up with his riverine patrol strategy. So as far as he knew, he was going in for fairly serene duty.

    It’d certainly explain his urge to rack up the purple hearts for minor boo boos and get his ass out of country; itself a fairly crappy act. Most officers worth their salt wouldn’t want to leave their troops behind by cutting their tour short.

  • However, he realized that being a Viet Nam – era vet who spent the war floating out of sight of Viet Nam would not have nearly enough cachet to float his career in politics. So he volunteered for the Swifties, where he could at least get his boots muddy, at a time when they weren’t seeing much in the way of live fire at all. As soon as they get stuck on the pointy end, he began collecting Purple Hearts as quick as the paperworkl would clear, because they were his ticket out (and also very useful to an ambitious young man on the make).


    Can I buy some pot from you? You must have some really good stuff to even THINK that kind of thing.

  • And if you want to talk about Kerry as a politician…


    John Kerry BCCI

  • Sandy P

    I called the media. . . . I said, ‘If I take some crippled veterans down to the White House and we chain ourselves to the gates, will we get coverage?’ ‘Oh, yes, we will cover that.’ ”
    –John Kerry, testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, April 22, 1971

    “Kerry is sending to Crawford former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, a frequent companion of Kerry’s on the campaign trail and a fellow Vietnam War veteran who lost three limbs during the war. Cleland . . . will try to deliver a letter protesting the [Swift Boat Veterans for Truth] ads to [President] Bush at his heavily guarded ranch, Kerry aides said.”
    –Reuters Aug. 25, 2004

    From a poster at Roger L. Simon’s place:

    Kerry brought those charges knowing full well they were false. In fact, he helped coach some of the “veterans” who spoke at VVAW appearances.

    Not one of the 150 charges the VVAW brought was ever confirmed.

    NOT ONE.

    In fact, the leadership of the VVAW was proven, documented to be lying about their nonexistent military and Nam service — at least those who faced public scrutiny. Many of them, like Chicago Rood, refused to answer questions about their statements.

    Kerry lied. Knowingly and willfully. For his own advancement and no other reason. And he poisoned the lives of two and a half million Americans with his lying.

    He met w/the VC in Paris while he was on inactive status in the Naval Reserves in 1970, IIRC. Winter Soldier testimony was 1971.

  • Sandy P

    Also visit Captain’s Quarters for more Kerry info:

    So Vietnamese-Americans over 40 got passed over by UMass-Boston and the Joiner Center on behalf of two Vietnamese Communists with an axe to grind. They started protesting the university’s management of the research grant in June 2000 and throughout the summer and fall, finally filing suit on several grounds on October 27, 2000. When the protest hit the local press, it provoked a negative reaction in Boston. The controversy made Joiner Center management uncomfortable, and they decide they need political cover from as high up as they can get it.

    This is where Senator John Kerry makes his appearance in this case.

    Kerry wrote a letter to Kevin Bowen, director of the Joiner Center, dated September 27, 2000, in order to praise both his research and his selection of scholars for fellowships. This is the final paragraph in Kerry’s letter to Bowen supporting the hiring of Communist nationals from Viet Nam over hiring Americans who escaped and survived the persecution of the government which these two ‘scholars’ represent:…

    And what about Kerry’s handling in 1991 of POWs possibly still in Nam? He headed the committee, IIRC. It’s in the Village Voice from Feb(?) 04.

  • If you’re going to recycle the stale old fairytales from wintersoldier.com, the least I can do is present the rebuttal from vvaw.org.

  • Jacob

    R C,
    “However, he realized that being a Viet Nam – era vet who spent the war floating out of sight of Viet Nam would not have nearly enough cachet to float his career in politics. So he volunteered for the Swifties, where he could at least get his boots muddy…”

    Julian Morrison:
    “I doubt anyone opportunistically ticket punches in a live war. Not unless they were real sure they wouldn’t be assigned to anywhere dangerous.”

    Julian is right here. People are not as calculating and machiavellian as R C says. Don’t forget Kerry was young then. Young people seek combat duty for adventure, bravado, romanticism. We see another trait of Kerry here – he went in, volutarily, for whatever reason, then flipped and got out as soon as possible under feeble pretextes.

  • The definition of a ‘Ticket Puncher’ in Viet Nam was a Junior Officer who went into combat for a short period to get a Combat Infantry Badge and a couple of medals and then went back to West Germany or where ever with enhanced career prospects.

    The system was screwed up, thanks largely to MacNamara and Westmoreland. Kerry seems to have expertly gamed it like so many careerist junior officers.

  • R C Dean

    Jacob, I think the question is whether Kerry is as Machiavellian and calculating as I say. I know of no other explanation for his behavior that accounts for all the known facts. As spacer points out, Kerry’s swift boat tour is a textbook case of ticket-punching, and repeats in miniature, if you will, his decision to join the Navy in the first place.

    Kerry’s story-line of noble soldier disillusioned by events turned on the hinge of “Christmas in Cambodia”, which has been shown (and admitted) to be a lie. Maybe my professional association with politicos has made me cynical, but I have met people who are every bit as calculating as I have made Kerry out to be, some of them as young as he was. They make me nauseous, but I assure you they exist.

  • ernest young

    It gets to look more like a script for the Manchurian Candidate every day;

    Resume of J.Kerry

    The argument over his Swift Boat service is the least of his treachery, the handling of the MIA Senate Select commitee, of which he was the Chairman, is far more scurrilous. And then there is the cover-up of the BCCI wrongdoing and ultimate bankruptcy.

    His ultimate treachery will be his surrender to the UN, should he be elected in November.

  • syn

    Kerry himself open the deep wounds of lies he inflicted upon the American soldier and the American people these past thirty years. His self-inflicted nightmares have come back to haunt him.

    Liberating 50 million people from oppressive regimes is either pointless nor squalid, and to believe that the adventure in Iraq is foolish, is itself a repetition of Kerry’s Winter Soldier lies which had, in fact, aided in allowing the slaughter of millions upon millions of Cambodian lives.

    I will not support John F Kerry’s Vietnam mistake with regard to Iraq or Afghanistan.

    By the way, I suppose those who support today’s anti-war stance are comfortable with the knowledge that hundreds of thousands of Black Muslims and non-Muslims in Darfur are, as we speak, being slaughtered by ‘lighter-skined’ Arab Muslims who celebrate their victorious genocide. Why is THIS act justified, but the liberation of 50 million lives in Afganistan and Iraq is condemned?

    I suppose today’s anti-war stance are also quite comfortable with the knowledge that Iranian Islamic theocracy publically executes 16 year old females by hanging. Why is THIS act justified, but the liberation of 50 million lives in Afghanistan and Iraq is condemned?

    I understand why today’s anti-war stance support Kerry, after all, he has been very comfortable these past thirty years with the knowledge that his words and deeds led to the slaughter of millions upon millions of Cambodian lives. That his words and deeds dishonored and disgraced those who fought, and fight today, to save the oppressed from mass genocide and from having to live life under brutality.

    To the anti-war voices, the deaths in Darfur are upon your heads and are stains upon you souls.

  • llamas

    Chris Tucker – you asked for a citation of Senator Kerry’s assertions that all American soldiers in Vietnam committed systemic war crimes.

    From his 1971 testimony before the Congress, this is what Kerry said:

    ‘I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command….’

    You claimed ‘All Kerry did in his congressional testimony and afterwards was state that soldiers told him of atrocities they had committed.’

    The record says otherwise. He took the testimony of individual soldiers from the “Winter Soldier’ investigations and presented it before the Congress as evidence for his clear assertion that these sorts of atrocities were widespread (‘not isolated incidents’), continuous (‘day-to-day basis’) and carried out with the full knoweldge of the entire chain of command (speaks for itself).

    You misread his testimony – he does not say that the 150 at the Winter Soldier investigations testified to war crimes that they had committed themselves. He says that they testified that war crimes wer committed, but not by whom. Nice way to try and draw a boundary around his accusations, though.

    To be sure, he did not say ‘each and every US soldier in Vietnam, individually, has committed multiple war crimes.’ But only a fool or a hopeless partisan could read his words and not take away from them the impression that he was asserting that war crimes by US soldiers were widespread and systemic. And the fact remains that, despite what you may now claim he said or meant the impression which was spread by what he said was exactly what Bill Dooley said it was – that US soldiers committed widespread, systemic war crimes. And Kerry never did anything to dispel that impression, indeed, he embellished it, later testifying that he and his crew personally committed atrocities against innocent civilians.

    Just another Kerry flip-flop. in 1971, US servicemen, including himself, were war criminals. Now he’s ‘reporting for duty!’, and we’re supposed to respect his service enough to elect him President, and forget what he himself said in the past.

    Doesn’t the prospect of a candidate for US President – a Democratic candidate at that – trying to get a book withdrawn from publication – doesn’t that bother you even a little bit?



    So your attempt to explain away what he said as ‘

  • Amelia

    I heard this morning that Kerry’s 1971 testimony will be on C-SPAN tonight. Chris Tucker might want to catch it.

  • Kerry’s Lie is the sand that Political Correctness is built on top of, and the Leftist Press has been enabling it.

    Leftists claim “moral superiority” based on Kerry Lies. This is the unspoken heart of the issue. See

  • syn wrote:

    To the anti-war voices, the deaths in Darfur are upon your heads and are stains upon you souls.

    Nonsense. People are responsible for their own actions. And what makes you imagine that anyone here has argued that human butchers are at all justified in what they do?

    My point is that not all battles can be won right this minute. Some cannot be won at all. It is foolish not to choose battles carefully, particularly when those battles help rack up debt in sixteen figures BEFORE the decimal point. Nitwits throughout history have squandered money and human capital on stupid wars. Unfortunately, we have another bunch of them running things now.

  • David Gillies

    There’s been a lot of hoo-hah about whether one or more of the wounds Kerry received were ‘self-inflicted’. Actually that has no bearing on his eligibility for a Purple Heart. A self-inflicted wound is eligible if it was received under combat conditions. One arm of the Swift Boat Veterans’ attack on Kerry is that the incident for which he received his first Purple Heart was not during combat. Of course ‘self-inflicted’ here implies ‘unintentional’. No one-is saying he hurt himself on purpose.

    The attacks on his post-Vietnam actions are the second arm of the SBVT’s attack. But they can’t be seen in isolation from each other. The SBVTs are trying to make a compelling portrait of Kerry, rather like a prosecution lawyer will attempt to create a negative depiction of the accused. It’s ‘a persistent pattern of behaviour’. If they can plant the idea that Kerry is untrustworthy in enough peoples’ minds then they’ve done their job. The indications are that so far it’s working.

  • R C Dean

    David – in addition to the requirement that the injury occur in combat, a Purple Heart should only be issued for injuries that require treatment be a medical officer (typically a physician, I believe).

    There is some question about whether some or all of Kerry’s injuries met that threshold, but of course he refuses to release the medical records that might cast light on this issue as well.

  • Jacob

    Seems there are now two groups active: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and Swift Boat Veterans for Kerry.

  • Some more proof that the SBVfT are just all lieing liars:

    August 26, 2004

    Navy Report Supports Kerry’s Account

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (AP) — A Navy report filed five days after a disputed mission in Vietnam supports Senator John Kerry’s version of the incident and contradicts critics who say he never came under enemy gunfire when he won two medals.

    A weekly report from the Navy task force overseeing Mr. Kerry’s Swift boat squadron reported that his group of boats was fired on in the March 13, 1969, mission. Some of Mr. Kerry’s critics, including several men who were on other boats that day, say there was no enemy gunfire in the incident, for which Mr. Kerry won a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart.

    The March 18, 1969, report from Task Force 115, which was located by The Associated Press in a search of Navy archives, is the latest document to surface that supports Mr. Kerry’s description of the event. Crew members on Mr. Kerry’s boat and a Special Forces soldier Mr. Kerry pulled from the water that day insist there was enemy fire. The task force report twice mentions the incident and both times calls it “an enemy-initiated firefight” that included automatic weapons fire and underwater mines.

    Task Force 115 was commanded at the time by Roy Hoffmann, the founder of the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has been running advertisements challenging Mr. Kerry’s account of the episode.

    A member of the group, Larry Thurlow, said he stood by his assertion that there was no enemy fire that day. Mr. Thurlow, the commander of another boat who also won a Bronze Star, said task force commanders probably relied on the initial report of the incident. Mr. Thurlow says Mr. Kerry wrote that report.

    The anti-Kerry group has not produced any official Navy documents supporting its claim.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company | Home | Privacy Policy | Search | Corrections | RSS | Help | Back to Top

  • Now, however did THAT happen? No link!

    Try again: N.Y. Tmes story

  • R C Dean

    Uh, Chris, the Swifties have already said that the stuff in the after-action reports was probably put there by Kerry, so it hardly supports his credibility.

    For that particular event, the damage logs for the boats may be more revealing. They show a shitload of damage to one boat (the one that hit the mine), but, mysteriously, no bullet holes (or maybe only three, I get them mixed up) to the others. Considering the boats were supposedly immobile in a stream barely 75 yards across, it is very difficult to imagine enemy fire of any significance missing all of them.

    But, I suppose if Kerry would release all of his records and his diaries, that might help settle the apparently inconsistent Navy accounts. As it is, I chalk it up the conflicting accounts to the fog of war, although I might give damage reports a slight edge in credibility over after-action reports written with medals in view.

  • “Probably put there by Kerry”.

    Damn, you ARE gullible, aren’t you.

    Considering that the Swift Boat liars have been discredited six ways from Sunday, ANYONE who gives them any credence whatsoever lacks any manner of credence himself.

    Or, as an old Texan I know has said in e past, “It’s damn near impossible to get the truth and a Texan in the same room at the same time”, you pretty much prove that saying 100%.

    Come on, just admit it, you love Bush and his neocon “philosophy”, and you can’t stand the idea that Kerry is going to whup his candy ass all over America in November.

    Keep spreading the lies if it make you feel better, but come November 3rd, you are going to have face reality.

  • Shawn

    And what “neocon” philosphy would that be Chris? The right to defend your country after the worst terrorist atrocity in US history? Yes, such nasty stuff. Why didint he just surrender to the nice Islamists like a good little liberal would?

    By the way, if you had any brains at all, you would realise that Kerry is dead and done already. The reason? Apart from his dismall poll ratings, the fact that he has a large corncob inserted up his ass labled ‘Euro-weenie French speaking Socialist’ thats just gonna go down sooo well with middle America.

  • Shawn

    In a way though Kerry’s loss in November will be a shame for one reason. I was so looking forward to seeing what a “sensitive” war on Islamic terror looked like.

  • llamas

    Chris Tucker asserts that the SBVFT are all ‘just lying liars’, based upon a Navy after-action report.

    But if we take ourselves back to the testimony of John Kerry before the Senate on April 22nd, 1971 (how useful his own words are) we find this exchange between Kerry and Senator Symington.

    ‘Sen. Symington “Mr. Kerry, from your experience in Vietnam do you think it is possible for the President or Congress to get accurate and undistorted information through official military channels.[?]”

    Kerry “I had direct experience with that. Senator, I had direct experience with that and I can recall often sending in the spot reports which we made after each mission; and including the GDA, gunfire damage assessments, in which we would say, maybe 15 sampans sunk or whatever it was. And I often read about my own missions in the Stars and Stripes and the very mission we had been on had been doubled in figures and tripled in figures.”

    Kerry “I also think men in the military, sir, as do men in many other things, have a tendency to report what they want to report and see what they want to see.”

    As far as that last paragraph is concerned – seldom were truer words spoken, or at least as it pertains to the self-reported naval career of Senator Kerry.

    Who are the “lying liars” here? Well, Senator Kerry has asserted many times, in the strongest possible language, that he was illegally in Cambodia at Christmas, 1968. Trouble is, when he was fact-checked, it was found that he was not, and he has now quietly withdrawn that claim.

    Senator Kerry repeatedly denied, in the strongest possible langauge, being at the infamous VVAW meetings where the assassination of US Senators was discussed. Trouble is, when he was fact-checked, turns out that he was there, and he has now quietly modified his position.

    Senator Kerry has long nurtured the image of himself as a gallant, wounded combat veteran, based upon his medals. Trouble is, when he was fact-checked, turns out that his first Purple Heart was not earned in daring combat with the enemy, but as a result of a stupid, self-inflicted injury – eligible for a medal, to be sure, but not quite the image of heroic bravery that he has spread for 30 years. He has now, quietly, modified his previous claims.

    You may hope that Kerry wins in November, in fact, I’m pretty sure that you do. But who’s the lying liar here? Who won’t release his full military records to the public? Who is so afraid of his own words becoming public that he refuses to allow a reprint of his 1971 book ‘The New Soldier’ – which, incidentally, when fact-checked, turned out to be filled with fantasies and fabrications, but which he used as the basis for his Congressional testimony? Who is so afraid of dissenting opinion that he wants a book critical of him withdrawn from publication? Who is so afraid of dissenting opinion that he lodges a criminal complaint against an organization which broadcasts material critical of him?

    And how does this bode for him as a President? What’s he going to do to combat global terror? Sue the terrorists? How will he deal with his critics? Try and silence them? (Again, I ask – doesn’t the idea of a candidate for President trying to suppress the publication of a book give you pause?) Do we really want a President to whom telling lies to make himself look better apparently comes so naturally? Do we really want a President who is such a narcissist that he cannot admit to something so simple as a fall on the ski slopes, but must find someone else to blame for it? And – coming back to the whole SBVFT issue – do we really want a President who sought a deferment from Vietnam, didn’t get it, went to the war anyway, came back and denounced the war, consorted with the enemy, committed war crimes and then denounced his comrades-in-arms as war criminals, spent 20 years telling anyone who would listen untruths about it, and now stands up and wants us to elect him because he’s a war hero? ‘Reporting for Duty’?’

    No, thanks. I have a lot of issues with President Bush, and he’s not my ideal candidate by any means. But given the choice between him and a lying liar – I know which one I choose.



  • R C Dean

    CHris, although you find it incredible that I would believe that Kerry wrote up the after-action reports that are now supposed to prove his crediblity, Kerry himsel(Link)f stated that he wrote ’em up when he testified in Congress, and further noted that only a fool would rely on official military records.

  • JohnD

    Kerry is so utterly pathetic.

    Trying to have it both ways always , waffling endlessly on every issue, lying/excaggerating about his creditendials, boring, arrogant, etc, etc, etc

    I can’t wait for Nov 2 to cast my vote this year. I am really looking forward to see Kerry’s concession speech on Nov 3.

    Hopefully we’ll never hear from him again after that.

  • John D, you misspelled George Bush up there.