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Kerry’s former commanders and coworkers speak out against him

  1. Jul 5, 2004 #1
    Not that this is relevant 30 years later - it isn't IMO - but *IF* 'serving' in Vietnam is part of what 'Campaigner Kerry' is running on ------ NOW, then his war record is also an issue in this campaign. If 'Campaigner Kerry' wants to be judged on his war record, if 'Campaigner Kerry' wants to run a "War Hero" campaign, than it should be the entire war record and not only the portions
    acceptable to him or his handlers. Here that record is disputed.

    Linked is the swift boat veterans site and the almost unanimous criticism of John Kerry by his commanders along with over 200 former swift boat personnel. This probably will not get any 'real play' in the TV media ---- yet I wonder if would be the case if the tables were turned, and it was Bush on the receiving end of this.


    Here's the letter from the swift boat vets -

    Signed by over 200 swift boat veterans – (signatories’ names available at the linked site)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2004 #2
    Note that they don't actually say anything bad about him, they merely circle around and drop hints which can't be classed as libel, with the intent of letting readers imagine the worst.
  4. Jul 5, 2004 #3
    Good grief. I had a look around that website's forums. I've never seen a bigger collection of flag-waving hillbilly idiots.
  5. Jul 5, 2004 #4
    This is the sort of stuff those people say:
    As you can see, they are morons.
  6. Jul 5, 2004 #5
    Are you talking about the swift boat vets? Or are you talking about somebody - anybody posting on one of the boards located at the site????
  7. Jul 5, 2004 #6


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    Just out of curiosity-

    Adam, are you sorry that the Muslim bombers are brainwashed into believing they will receive 72 virgins in Paradise?
  8. Jul 6, 2004 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    I didn't spot the actual letter. Where is it?

    I am struck by two things: First, the general feeling is that Kerry is unfit to be commander and chief. Next, they resent Kerry for his actions after he returned from the war.

    I don't know about the first objection. Even if true, we already know about Bush. No doubt I would really like another option.

    I have known many people who fought in Vietnam. From everything that I have been told by those involved, the horrors did happen. These guys at Swift boat would have us belive otherwise. The horrors happened because that's what happens in wars. When are people going to get it!!!

    A free fire zone was an area in which you shoot anything that moves: Women, children, little old ladies... I have heard first hand accounts by those who were there; in fact nearly every one of them that fought as foot soldiers. It's not like Kerry stood alone with these claims.

    In some units at least, when you killed a Vietnamese soldier you cut off his ear and kept it on a string.

    There is no such thing as civilized killing.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2004
  9. Jul 6, 2004 #8
    I have a feeling once Kerry is president, its gonna be the other way around here on these forums. People like Adam and Nommos will be defending the actions of the american government.
  10. Jul 6, 2004 #9
    After clicking past the main page look to the menu at the left. Click on “Media” and this list of options will appear at the next screen – Among that group is ‘Letter to Kerry’ – click. The menu explains itself --

    Press Releases
    Media Contact - media@swiftvets.com

    · SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH FORMS ORGANIZATION Goals are to restore honor of Vietnam vets; Rebut John Kerry’s unanswered lies; Bring the truth about Kerry’s service to the public

    · Letter to John Kerry
    · List of Signers
    · Military Records Release Form (PDF Format)
    · SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH CALL ON JOHN KERRY TO STOP UNAUTHORIZED USE OF PHOTO: Kerry Fraudulently Using Picture of Swift Boat Vets who Condemn him in National Advertising
    Audio/Video Of Press Conference
    · Audio of Press Conference
    · Video of Press Conference Part 1
    · Video of Press Conference Part 2
    Press Conference Remarks
    · Richard Brant
    · Steve Gardner
    · Roy Hoffman
    · Charlie Plumly
    · Joe Ponder
    · Richard O'Meara
    · David Wallace
    · Bernard Wolff
  11. Jul 6, 2004 #10


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    That site has been discredited. The people on that site were not his commanders. Most never served with Kerry. Unlike Bush, Kerry has released his records. His commanders all universally praise him. It is amatter of public record. The worst thing they say is that they are disappointed he was leaving the navy. The vast majority of those who served with him respect him greatly - even those who dislike him.

  12. Jul 6, 2004 #11
    Than Kerry committed war crimes --- and Bush didn't?? I'm not sure what your point is -
  13. Jul 6, 2004 #12


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    Here are Kerry's military records in the entirety:


    If you don't trust his site, you can send a FoIA to the DoD to get you own copies.

    You can not do that to get all of George Bush's records, because he does not want you to see them.

  14. Jul 6, 2004 #13
    You have any reputable source that supports that claim? A link and a related quote will do for starters --
  15. Jul 6, 2004 #14


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    That's not how it works. You find one of Kerry's commanders on that list, and I'll shoot it down.

  16. Jul 6, 2004 #15


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    Of those on the list, only Hoffman, Lonsdale, Plumly, Elliot and Hibbard were in Kerry's chain of command.

    Hoffman, Lonsdale and Plumly probably would not have recognized Kerry on sight. They never evaluated him. There is no evidence that they knew of his existance before he started his anti-war activities.

    Hibbard's evaluation was essentially that he did not see enough of Kerry to evaluate him.

    Elliot gave Kerry an incredible evaluation. Check out page 22 of this link:

    None of these men had anything bad to say about him until they knew his politics.

  17. Jul 6, 2004 #16
    I'm sorry if you believe all that rubbish. Well, no I'm not, but you should be.
  18. Jul 6, 2004 #17
    How about a group with some real credentials and grasp of the issues making a statement:
    Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change

  19. Jul 6, 2004 #18
    Here it is ---- 19 of the 23 officers who worked with you and over 200 swift boat colleagues say you're not fit due to perform the duties of Commander in Chief to character issues speaks for itself ---


    In addition, they want Kerry to grant third parties access to his records, as requested in the letter, rather than having the Kerry people go through and post them without oversight. This was as of May 7th –

    So ----- if Kerry and his handlers want Campainger Kerry to be judged on his 'War record,' then these allegations become germane. Kerry doesn't get to call himself a War Hero, talk about his medals, and then catch a free ride out of Dodge – especially when allegations such as these come from those who were there.
  20. Jul 6, 2004 #19
    If such a large group of 'War Hero' Kerry's peers and superiors in Vietnam are against him now, their stories should be, at a minimum, given a voice. Here are the signatories as of today (7-6-04)

    Roy Alexander
    Kenneth J. Andrews, Lt.
    Dan V. Armstrong, BM2
    Ray Lewis Ballew
    Alexander Bass
    George “M.” Bates
    Richard Beers
    Paul L. Bennett, Cdr., USN
    Edward J. “Lord Mort” Bergin, Capt., USNR Ret.
    Henry “Buddy” Berman, QM2
    Barry Bogart, EN2
    Bob Bolger Cdr., USN Ret.
    M.T. Boone
    David Borden
    Vern Boyd
    David M. Bradley, LCdr.
    Robert “Friar Tuck” Brant ,Cdr. USN (Ret.)
    Kenneth Briggs
    Carlyle J. Brown , EN2
    Kenneth “Buck” Buckholz, GMM3
    Michael C. Burton
    Joe Cahill, Jr., Lt.
    Jack L. Carlson, Lt., USNR
    Billy Carwile, EN3
    Jack Chenoweth
    William Colgan, RD3
    Bill Collins
    Daniel K. Corbett, Lt., USNR
    James M. Corrigan, QM3
    Terry Cosstello
    John H. Davis, Lt.
    William K. Daybert, Cdr.
    James Deal
    John Dooley, Cdr., USN, Ret.
    Dale Duffield , BM1, USN, Ret.
    Robert G. Elder, Lt.
    George M. Elliott, Capt. USNR, Ret.
    Wallace Benjamin Foreman, QM1, USN, Ret.
    William T. Ferris, Capt. USNR, Ret.
    William E. Franke, LT.jg
    Robert L. Franson, BMCS (SW)
    Alfred J. French, III, Capt., JAGC, USNR, Ret.
    Paul F. Fulcomer, RD3
    Ray Fuller, GMG3
    Steve Fulton, Cdr., USN, Ret.
    Mike Gann, Capt., USNR, Ret.
    Steve Gardner
    Bill Garlow
    Les Garrett
    Tony Gisclair
    Robert Gnau, QM2
    Donald Goldberg
    Morton Golde, Cdr. USN, Ret.
    Kenneth Golden
    Gerald L. Good, Lt. USN
    John C. Graves
    Charles E. Green, ENCM, USN Ret.
    Dennis L. Green, GMG
    H.C. Griffin, Jr., Lt. USNR
    I.B.S. (Boyd) Groves, Jr.
    Charles R. Grutzius, Capt. USNR, Ret.
    F.L. Skip “Mustang Sally”
    Gunther, Lt. USN
    Bill Halpin, Lt. USNR, Ret.
    Don C. Hammer, Lt.
    Rock Harmon
    Keith C. Harris, RD2
    Stewart M. Harris, Lt., USN
    Gene Hart, RD3
    Bob Hastings
    Curt Hatler
    John Hecker , RD3
    Chuck Herman, RD3
    Raul Herrera
    Tom Herritage
    Grant (Skip) Hibbard
    Rocky Hildreth
    Roy Hoffmann, Adm., USN, Ret.
    William P. Holden, Capt., USN Ret.
    Wayland Holloway, Lt. USNR
    Robert Hooke, Lt.
    Andy Horne
    John Howell
    Warren Hudson
    Charles W. Hunt, EN3
    Robert Hunt
    Gail E. “Ike” Ikerd, Cdr. Ret.
    John Paul Jones, QM3
    Tom Jones
    Eddie Kajioka ENCS, USN Ret.
    John L. Kipp, Cdr., USN, Ret.
    Thomas H. Klemash
    Kenneth Knipple, EN1
    Robert Koger, QM2
    Mike Kovanen, RD3
    Bob Kreyer, GMG2
    Jack K. Lane, GMG3
    William T. Langham
    William Lannom
    Joseph R. Lavoie, II CWO2 (BOSN), USN Ret.
    Louis Letson, LCdr., USN, Ret.
    Jim Madden, RD3
    William S. Mann, Jr., LT.jg
    Jim Marohn, GMG3
    Douglas Martin, Lt. USNR
    Tom Mason, Lt.
    Donald Matras, EN2 Ret.
    Thomas Mason, Lt.
    Louis Masterson
    Richard McFarland, Lt. USNR
    Kenneth B. McGhee
    James McNeal, ENC
    Larry Meyer
    Jack Merkley, Lt.
    James M. Miller
    Martin Miller, ENC, Ret.
    Marc Milligan, GMG2
    Benjamin A. Montoya, QM3
    Bub Morgan, LT.jg
    Edgar (Ed) M. Morrill, Jr.
    Tom Morrill, EN3
    Wayne H. Moser
    Kurt Moss, Lt. J.G.
    Frank Mueller
    Marc Mulligan, GMG2
    Ed Mundy
    Richard Olsen, Lt.
    John O’Neill
    Albert Owens
    Tedd Peck, Capt. USNR, Ret.
    Robert Phalen, GMG2
    Joseph L. Ponder, GMG-2, USN Ret.
    Charles Plumley
    Chuck Rabel
    Bill Rogers , Lt.
    Jennings Rogerson II, Capt. USMC Ret.
    Patrick Sage GMG3
    Gary W. Sallee, BM2
    Joe Sandoval, GMG3
    Jimmy W. Sanford, RD3
    Robert “Bob” Sattergood
    Jim Schneider, EN2
    Clair J. (Pete) Schrodt, Capt. USN, Ret.
    Jack Shamley
    Patrick Sheedy, Cdr., USN, Ret.
    Paul Shepherd, QM2
    Robert B. Shirley, Lt.jg
    William Shumadine
    Stanley G. Simonson, GMG2
    Darryl Skuce, GMG2
    John J. Skura
    Gerald H. Smith
    Roy Smith
    B. Tony Snesko BM2
    Mike Solhaug
    Jack Spratt, LCDR
    Stirlin Harris, BM2
    Fred E. Stith, USN, (Ret.)
    David R. Stefferud, Capt., USN Ret.
    James Steffes
    Lawrence Stoneberg, Lt. USN Ret.
    Weymouth Symmes
    W.P. (Sonny) Taylor
    James P. Thomas
    Eldon Thompson, LT.jg
    Charles R. Tinstman, ENC
    Gary E. Townsend
    William F. Trainer
    Michael Turley, BM2
    Chris J. Vedborg, RD3
    Jeffrey M. Wainscott, LT. jg
    David Wallace
    Greg Ward, EN2
    Larry J. “Waz” Wasikowski,
    Cdr. U.S. Naval Reserve
    Pete Webster
    Robert T. Wedge, Jr., QM1, USN Ret.
    Steven Weekley, GMG, QM3
    George H. White, II
    R. Shelton White, Lt.
    Gary K. Whittington, EN3
    James D. Wiggins
    Dennis D. Willess, EN3
    Thomas A. Withey, Lt.
    Barnard Wolff
    Thomas W. Wright , Cdr., USN Ret.
    John Wyatt, GMG
    John Yeoman, Lt.
    Ex Officio:
    Verne DeWitt
    David P. Marion , CPT Infantry, US Army
    Benjamin A. Montoya, QM3
    Cordelia Ogrinz, in memory of her brother Alexander J. Ogrinz, III, Lt.
    Rex Rectanus, VADM, USN, Ret.
    Skip Ridley
    Emmett Tidd
    James M. Zumwalt in memory of Elmo Zumwalt, Sr. and Elmo Zumwalt, Jr, his father and brother
  21. Jul 6, 2004 #20


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    First, it is laughable to say that Kerry only served with 23 other officers.

    None of them had anything bad to say about Kerry before he started protesting the war. They just don't like him because he protested the war, and, more importantly, because he aired the dirty laundry of the US military.

    None of these people can make any factual claims that impugn John Kerry's character. They just believe that no one who opposed the Vietnam war is fit to be president. Their condemnation of Kerry after the fact says more about them than it does about Kerry.

    They are defensive about the US loss in Vietnam. They can not blame the military, or a conservative president, so they must blame someone else. They blame protestors, and John Kerry was one of the most visible. It is the same irrational rantings that we see now in Iraq. Conservatives can do no wrong. Everything going wrong in Iraq is because of bad press.

    A list of 200 bitter rationalizing men does not make John Kerry unfit for the presidency.

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