Skip to comments.Vietnam is defining John Kerry's image and campaign;
Posted on 08/08/2004 7:06:08 AM PDT by Former Military Chick
Boston--A time traveler from 1972 would not recognize the Democratic Party today. The party that once opposed the war in Vietnam is now wallowing in it. The party that once spent its time championing abortion rights, gun control, and affirmative action just spent an entire nominating convention barely mentioning the issues.
Why? Because the Democrats believe they can win with John Kerry, and winning with Kerry means winning with Vietnam. No image, no theme, no message has shaped his campaign as much as the war that deeply divided this nation more than three decades ago.
Vietnam defines Kerry the man and Kerry the campaigner. He believes it shows his values (he volunteered while others ducked or dodged), it shows his leadership (he commanded troops in battle), it shows his compassion (he saved a life or two), it shows his toughness (he took a life or two), it shows his moral strength (he had the courage to later oppose the war he fought in), and it shows his vision (he has experienced the horrors of war and will not be quick to commit American troops to combat without a good reason).
It is, however, also a gamble. Americans are still conflicted over the war. Many would like to forget it, not have it thrown in their faces. And while some Vietnam vets see Kerry as their champion, others have never forgiven him for giving back his ribbons and criticizing the war while it was being fought. There is, in any case, no escaping the war in this election. When Kerry began his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention by saluting and saying, "I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty," he served notice that the war is going to be very much front and center from now until Election Day.
Often last week, the convention seemed a mere excuse to revisit the war. After Kerry landed in Boston Wednesday afternoon, he left Logan Airport by boat and was flanked by his crewmates from pcf-44 and pcf-94, the two Navy swift boats he skippered in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. And there was no shortage of convention speakers willing to define Kerry by his Vietnam service. "Kerry comes out of Vietnam being seared by that experience," Max Cleland, the disabled Vietnam vet and former Georgia senator who introduced Kerry to the convention, told U.S. News. "Seared to tell the truth and to do the right thing because he knows that that's the only way to survive."
Former general and onetime Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark told reporters, "Every decision [Kerry] is going to make concerning national security is going to be formed by his personal experience of hearing the bullets snap overhead and the thump of mortars and seeing the look in people's faces. He sees what war does. He's lived it." One of Kerry's crewmates, David Alston, gave a prime-time speech on the convention's opening night saying, "I stand here before you only because almighty God saw our boat safely through those rivers of death and destruction, by giving us a brave, wise, and decisive leader named John Kerry."
Kerry's Vietnam service also conveniently gives Democrats an excuse (as if they needed one) to bash President Bush, whose own service in the Texas Air National Guard during the war years has been questioned. "John Kerry is one of us, and George Bush is not," Cleland said. "The choices made under stress in the time of war come back to haunt George Bush and to validate John Kerry." Even Bill Clinton, who ducked service in Vietnam, highlighted the differences between the Kerry and Bush military records. "During the Vietnam War, many young men, including the current president, the vice president, and me, could have gone to Vietnam but didn't," Clinton told the delegates. "John Kerry came from a privileged background and could have avoided it, too. Instead he said, 'Send me.' " Michael Benjamin, 52, from Brooklyn and a convention delegate, said: "Kerry put himself in harm's way and now he's volunteering to do it for all of us. We're a country at war. My brother escaped the south tower on 9/11. Kerry's got a record of accountability, while Bush has never been the commander of anything. This country needs a strong leader and Kerry is a man for our time."
Basic training. Over and over again, the Democrats emphasized strength, even though voters have historically seen the Republican Party as the party of backbone. Democrats have been so closely associated with social issues instead of strength, in fact, that many political analysts see them as the "Mommy" party and Republicans as the "Daddy" party. But his Vietnam service helps Kerry look strong; and all over the FleetCenter, where the convention took place, were streaming electronic signs that read: "Stronger at Home, Respected Abroad." Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey told U.S. News, "Strong is a funny thing. We men think strong is doing it on our own. But you're not strong until you've got the courage to ask someone to help you." Strength through diplomacy was the theme at a Wednesday news conference the Kerry campaign sponsored. "John Kerry understands that we have to have many tools in our arsenal," said Susan Rice, a national-security adviser who joined the campaign last week. "This is not simply about shooting and killing and capturing. We have a long-term struggle that entails the use of all our tools: diplomatic, economic, and political, as well."
Kerry's Vietnam experience was frequently invoked to suggest that he would have been less eager to commit troops to Iraq. "If you've been in battle and lost friends, it sobers you up," said a Kerry foreign policy adviser. "When Kerry says war is not a first resort, it's a last resort--that's a part of his being." The Democrats believe nobody is a better ambassador for this message than veterans. And Democratic veterans convened a veterans' caucus for the first time in Boston that drew a thousand participants. The convention also included 500 delegates who are veterans, a record for a Democratic convention and a "basic training" workshop sponsored by the Kerry campaign and featuring Cleland and some of Kerry's crewmates instructing vets on grass-roots tactics to recruit Kerry voters.
"Nightmare." But does Kerry risk going too far by playing up his Vietnam experience so relentlessly? "I don't think he's playing it up; that's who he is," said Cheryl Rivera, a Massachusetts state representative. "People need to understand Kerry in terms of who he is, that he actively served because he thought it was the right thing to do, as opposed to Bush, who was in hiding. President Bush has no idea what it's like to go into war, to put his life on the line. But he's going to play up the fact that he sent troops to Iraq." While criticism of Bush was largely muted from the convention podium, there was no such restraint outside the FleetCenter. House Democrats gathered at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in a room full of religious art to excoriate the president. "The last four years, I've been living a nightmare," said Rep. Charlie Rangel, dean of the New York delegation. "Have you ever been in a nightmare that you're fighting to get out of? [But] there is a revolution going on; we are taking back our country." Rep. Albert Wynn of Maryland said that while Democrats will challenge the president on several fronts this fall, including the war in Iraq, education, the deficit, and jobs, it really just comes down to one issue. "This guy is incompetent," Wynn said. "Nothing good has happened on his watch."
Republicans, needless to say, see things differently, and they quickly seized upon the fact that Kerry did not use his acceptance speech to explain why he voted for the war in Iraq and then opposed funding it. "John Kerry missed an opportunity to help the American people understand his vote for the war in Iraq based on the same intelligence that the president viewed, his description of himself as an antiwar candidate, and his subsequent vote against troops on the front lines," said Marc Racicot, Bush campaign chairman. "He's right: America can do better."
What? You're saying Kerry had some connection with Vietnam?
Hunh. Think he'd mention it.
Makes him sound like a well-rounded guy. Just what I was looking for. (end sarc)
Ms. Rivera, meet George Elliott. Mr. Elliott served with John Kerry in Viet Nam, and he would like to share his story.
It occured to me this morning that all of this focus on Kerry's Viet Nam fraud is obscuring his Left of Left position on everything else.
I am sorry, can't restrain my laughter!!
It was JFK and LBJ who made that quagmire. It was the French who laid the groundwork for the unrest in that country.
It was FDR and Woodrow Wilson who refused to listen to, or assist Ho Chi Minh to free his country from the French iron fist rule, and it the Democrats in Chicago who chased the Hippies and Yippies, beating them to the ground in Chicago's Grant Park.
If you haven't already joined the anti-CFR effort, please click here.
JOHN KERRY = Enemy of Vietnam Vets
Meet "WE WERE SOLDIERS" Actor SAM ELLIOTT =
For commenary and cartoon leadin :
This week the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group (a 527 PAC) launched a 30-second anti-Kerry television ad aimed at Kerry's Vietnam record.
For the rest of the story:
"Did I forget to tell you I earned three purple hearts?"
HILLARY & TERRORISM's plan to regain the White House
The Swifties Fire Back
Captain's Quarters Blog ^ | August 7, 2004 | Captain Ed
Posted on 08/07/2004 10:20:44 PM PDT by Merry
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have hired their own lawyers in response to the Kerry/Edwards campaign's threat of ruinous lawsuits for anyone who allows the independent 527 to purchase ad time at their media outlet. For some reason, the Democrats seem to have a problem with the actual practice of free speech, even after having their party chairman, Terry McAuliffe, call George Bush a deserter and John Kerry question the quality of his National Guard service. When the shoe moves to the other foot, suddenly the Democrats switch from "Bring It On" to "We'll Sue You Into Silence," quite a difference in tone.
Does America need a President this pusillanimous? At least now we understand the reason Kerry selected John Edwards as his vice-president. I suppose that we can expect trial attorneys to attack anyone who dares criticize John Kerry during a Kerry administration, only those trial attorneys will work for the legal offices of the FBI and US Attorneys General.
At any rate, the Swifties intend to stand their ground, showing a bit more character than anyone at the Kerry/Edwards campaign. I've been forwarded a copy of their legal team's response to Kerry's extortionate threats that they have sent to media outlets in which they've made their ad buys. I'm posting the letter below, placing most of it in the extended entry. I think it aptly demonstrates the specificity of the recollections of more than 200 men who have nothing to gain and everything to lose by coming forward -- except for setting the record straight.
They've made a convert out of me.
Dear Station Manager:
The purpose of this letter is to present some of the factual support for the advertisement "Any Questions?" produced and used by Swift Boat Veterans For Truth ("Swiftvets"), an organization properly registered under Internal Revenue Code § 527, and which has filed all required reports. Swiftvets is an organization led by Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann, USN (retired), Commander of all Swift boats in Vietnam during the period of John Kerry's four-month abbreviated tour in Swift boats between late November 1968 and mid-March 1969. A list of the 254 members may be found on www.swiftvets.com. A large majority of those who served with John Kerry in Swift boats in Vietnam and whose location is known have joined the organization. Thus, for example, sixteen of the twenty-three surviving officers who served in Coastal Division 11 with Kerry (the place where Kerry spent most of his time) have joined the organization, together with most of Kerry's Vietnam commanders and 254 sailors from Coastal Squadron One, ranging from Vice-Admirals to Seamen.
The purpose of Swiftvets is to present the truth about John Kerry's post-Vietnam charges of war crimes and John Kerry's own Vietnam record. Swiftvets is uniquely positioned to do so since it includes most of the locatable sailors and officers who served with John Kerry in Vietnam.
John Kerry has made his Vietnam record the central focus of his presidential candidacy, depicting purported Vietnam events in nearly $100 million in advertising. Copies of ads such as "Lifetime" and "No Man Left Behind" may be found on Kerry's website. Kerry's authorized campaign biography, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, by Douglas Brinkley (New York: HarperCollins, 2004) ("Tour"), centers on his short Vietnam tour and contains Kerry's account of these events. Additional accounts by Kerry of his Vietnam experience may be found on his website.
A true and correct transcript of the advertisement entitled "Any Questions?" is attached as Exhibit 1. Affidavits are attached (as Exhibits 2 through 14) from each participant in the advertisement, except from John Edwards, the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, whose often-repeated invitation to learn about John Kerry by speaking to the men who served with him begins the advertisement. The filmed comment of Senator Edwards has been made so many times as to be general knowledge.
As described in the attached affidavits, Al French (Exhibit 2), Bob Elder (Exhibit 3), Jack Chenoweth (Exhibit 7), Larry Thurlow (Exhibit 10), and Bob Hildreth (Exhibit 14) were all officers in charge of Swift boats in Vietnam in Coastal Division 11 with John Kerry. Coastal Division 11 was a small naval unit with about one hundred sailors and fifteen or sixteen boats which operated in groups of two to six boats. Each of these boat officers operated directly with John Kerry on numerous occasions. Van Odell (Exhibit 6) is a retired Navy enlisted man who also served in Coastal Division 11 on the Chenoweth boat, a few yards from John Kerry during Kerry's March 13, 1969 Bronze Star action.
Captain George Elliott, USN (retired), (Exhibit 4) was John Kerry's direct commander in Coastal Division 11, while Captain Adrian Lonsdale, USCG (retired), (Exhibit 9) was Kerry's administrative commander. Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann, USN (retired), (Exhibit 8) commanded all Swift boats (including Kerry's) in Vietnam. Each of these commanders interacted on numerous occasions with Kerry and, for example, are discussed for many pages in Kerry's own authorized book, Tour.
Dr. Louis Letson (Exhibit 5) was the doctor in Cam Rahn Bay who treated Kerry's first Purple Heart "wound," while Commander Grant Hibbard (Exhibit 11) was John Kerry's commander at Coastal Division 14 where Kerry claimed to have suffered the wound. Finally, Joe Ponder (Exhibit 13) and Shelton White (Exhibit 12) are veterans of Coastal Division 11 who were badly wounded near the Song Bo De River where Kerry served most of his short tour.
The Kerry campaign has utilized a revolving group of eight veterans from Coastal Division 11 (none of whom served with Kerry as much as two months). In stark contrast to this small stable of supporters, the veterans on "Any Questions?" have intimate knowledge of John Kerry or (in the case of Ponder and White) of the falsehood and injury of his false war crimes charges. Although many more of the over 250 signers of the Swiftvets' letter served directly with John Kerry, it would be hard to locate people with more detailed and first-hand knowledge of John Kerry's short Vietnam stay than those in the advertisement. They are well-suited to respond with first-hand knowledge to Edward's invitation. Their sworn affidavits are attached (in order of appearance in the advertisement) as Exhibits 2 through 14.
Kerry's obtaining of three Purple Hearts permitted him to leave Vietnam some 243 days short of the normal one-year tour. See Exhibit 20, Thrice Wounded Reassignment. Whether or not he fraudulently obtained these awards (the Purple Heart being among the most sacred of all awards) is critical to his true Vietnam story.
A. March 13, 1969: "No Man Left Behind" Incident
Attached as Exhibit 15 is Kerry's account of "no man left behind" where, in Tour of Duty, Kerry repeats his now-familiar story of returning, wounded by an underwater mine, to recover a Special Forces soldier, Jim Rassman, in a hail of fire pulling Rassman from the water with his bleeding arm. Tour, at 313-17. The story of Kerry's return to save Rassman, under fire and wounded from the mine, has been told in many millions of dollars of Kerry advertising. See Kerry website; see also, e.g., Kerry's full-page advertisement in The New York Times, which is attached as Exhibit 16.
Kerry's after-action report for that day is featured on his website. See Exhibit 17. KJW identifies the report as Kerry's. Likewise, Kerry reported his shrapnel wounds to the Navy in an injury report:
"LTJG Kerry suffered shrapnel wounds in his left buttocks and contusions on his right forearm when a mine detonated close aboard PCF-94."
Exhibit 18. Exhibit 17 likewise identifies Kerry's "injuries" as contusion right forearm (minor) (i.e., a small bruise) and a shrapnel wound left buttocks.
The regulations for the Purple Heart are attached as Exhibit 19 and, of course, exclude accidental injury and self-inflicted wounds (except non-negligent wounds in the heat of battle). Although Kerry's "minor" bruise could never entitle him to a Purple Heart, Kerry's reported shrapnel wound to his "buttocks" (although minor according to the treating physician) from an enemy mine would have entitled him to such an award (had he not been lying about its origin). Receiving the third Purple Heart, within three days Kerry had requested reassignment from Vietnam on the basis of three Purple Hearts -- some 243 days early. See Exhibit 20.
(i) The Purple Heart Lie
Kerry's third Purple Heart was his ticket home. It also was much of the basis of his Bronze Star, repeating "his bleeding arm" and shrapnel wound from the mine story. The problem is that his operating report was a total lie since Kerry's shrapnel wound "in the buttocks" came not from a mine at all as he falsely reported, but at his own hand. Larry Thurlow, an officer on shore with Kerry that day, recounts that Kerry's shrapnel wound came not from any mine, but from a self-inflicted wound when Kerry (with no enemy to be seen) threw a concussion grenade into a rice pile and stayed too close. See Exhibit 10, 3. This "brown rice" incident with rice/shrapnel lodged in Kerry from his own grenade is also recounted by James Rassman, a Kerry supporter and "the no man left behind" on page 105 of John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography By The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, by Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, and Nina J. Easton (New York: Public Affairs, 2004) (the "Kranish book"). See Exhibit 21.
Most surprisingly, John Kerry himself (while falsely reporting to the Navy and public that he suffered a shrapnel wound from a mine explosion so as to get a third Purple Heart and go home) reflected in his own journal that his buttocks' wound came, not from any mine but, rather, from a grenade tossed into a rice cache by himself or friendly troops (in the absence of any enemy fire). "I got a piece of small grenade in my ass from one of the rice bin explosions." Exhibit 15, Tour, at 313; see also Exhibit 15, Tour, at 317. "Kerry . . . also had the bits of shrapnel and rice extracted from his backside." See also the sworn statement of participants that there was no hostile fire (Exhibits 6, 7, and 10). It also should be noted that the rice extracted from Kerry's backside could hardly be the result of an underwater mine, as Kerry claimed in his operating report.
The conclusion is inescapable: that Kerry lied by reporting to the Navy that he had been wounded by shrapnel in his backside from an enemy mine when in reality he negligently wounded himself and then lied about the wound in order to secure a third Purple Heart and a quick trip home.
(ii) The Bronze Star Lie
As recounted in the attached affidavits of three on-scene participants (and verified by many others present) Kerry's operating report, Bronze Star story, and subsequent "no man left behind" story are a total hoax on the Navy and the nation. As recounted in the affidavits of Van Odell (Exhibit 6), Jack Chenoweth (Exhibit 7), and Larry Thurlow (Exhibit 10) (and verified by every other officer present and many others), a mine went off under PCF 3 -- some yards from Kerry's boat. The force of the explosion disabled PCF 3 and knocked several sailors, dazed, into the water. All boats, except one, closed to rescue the sailors and defend the disabled boat. That boat -- Kerry's boat -- fled the scene. After a short period, it was evident to all on the scene that there was no additional hostile fire. Thurlow began the daring rescue of disabled PCF 3, while Chenoweth began to pluck dazed survivors of PCF 3 from the water. Midway through the process, after it was apparent that there was no hostile fire, Kerry finally returned, picking up Rassman who was only a few yards from Chenoweth's boat which was also going to pick Rassman up. Each of the affiants (and many other Swiftees on the scene that day) are certain that Kerry has wholly lied about the incident. Consider this: How could the disabled PCF abandon the scene of the mine? Why did Kerry have to "return" to the scene?
Kerry's account of this action, which was used to secure the Bronze Star and a third Purple Heart, is an extraordinary example of fraud. Kerry describes "boats rcd heavy A/W and S/A from both banks. Fire continued for about 5000 meters." Exhibit 17. In other words, the boats went through a double gauntlet at about 50 yards distance that was 3.2 miles long (comparable to Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg on two sides), and yet none of the other boats within feet of Kerry's boat heard a shot or suffered an injury after the PCF 3 mine explosion, except for John Kerry's buttocks rice wound of earlier origin.
Clearly, Van Odell is right when he says, "John Kerry lied to get his Bronze Star . . . I know. I was there. I saw what happened." As Jack Chenoweth swore, "his account of what happened and what actually happened are the difference between night and day." Most poignantly, Larry Thurlow, whose brave actions saved the PCF 3 boat that day after Kerry fled, has the right to say, "When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry."
B. December 2, 1968 Purple Heart
On February 28, 1969, John Kerry received his first Purple Heart for an incident three months earlier, on or about December 2, 1968. Kerry's account of the incident is contained in Tour of Duty, pages 147 and 148 (Exhibit 23). Kerry claims to have been with two crewmen, Zaldonis and Runyon. See Exhibit 23. Neither Kerry, Zaldonis, nor Runyon claim to have seen any hostile fire. See Exhibit 24 (Kranish book, pp. 72-73). A Purple Heart cannot be given for a self-inflicted wound under the attached regulations.
Unmentioned in Kerry's Tour Of Duty version are the actual surrounding facts. Kerry, Lieutenant William Schachte, USN, and an enlisted man were on the whaler. Seeing movement from an unknown source, the sailors opened fire on the movement. There was no hostile fire. When Kerry's rifle jammed, he picked up an M-79 grenade launcher and fired a grenade at a nearby object. This sprayed the boat with shrapnel from Kerry's own grenade, a tiny piece of which embedded in Kerry's arm.
Kerry managed to keep the tiny fragment embedded until he saw Dr. Louis Letson. Dr. Letson's affidavit is attached as Exhibit 5. When Letson inquired why Kerry was there, Kerry said that he had been wounded by hostile fire. The accompanying crewmen indicated that Kerry was the new "JFK" and that he had actually wounded himself with an M-79. Letson removed the tiny fragment with tweezers and placed a band aid over the tiny scratch. The tiny fragment removed by Letson appeared to be an M-79 fragment, as described by the personnel accompanying Kerry.
The next morning Kerry showed up at Division Commander Grant Hibbard's office. Hibbard had already spoken to Schachte and conducted an investigation. Hibbard's affidavit is attached as Exhibit 11. Hibbard's investigation revealed that Kerry's "rose thorn" scratch had been self-inflicted in the absence of hostile fire. Hibbard, therefore, booted Kerry out of his office and denied the Purple Heart.
Some three months later, cf. Exhibit 22, after all personnel actually familiar with the events of December 2, 1969 had left Vietnam, Kerry somehow managed to obtain a Purple Heart for the December 2, 1968 event from an officer with no connection to Coastal Division 14 or knowledge of the December 2, 1968 event or of Commander Hibbard's prior turn down of the Purple Heart request. All normal documentation supporting a Purple Heart is missing. There is absolutely no casualty report (i.e., spot report) or hostile fire report or after-action report in the Navy's files to support this "Purple Heart" because there was no casualty, hostile fire, or action on which to report. The sole document relied upon by Kerry is a record showing the band aid and tweezers treatment by Dr. Letson recorded by deceased corpsman, Jess Carreon.
There are no witnesses who claim to have seen hostile fire -- necessary for a Purple Heart (even a rose thorn Purple Heart) -- that day. At least three witnesses, Dr. Letson (who spoke to the participants and removed the M-79 fragment), Lt. Bill Schachte (on the boat), and Cmdr. Grant Hibbard (whose investigation revealed Kerry's application for a Purple Heart to be fraudulent), are able to testify directly or based upon contemporaneous investigation that Kerry's first Purple Heart was a fraud. Thus, Lewis Letson's statement that "I know John Kerry is lying about a first Purple Heart" is conclusively established by the evidence. Like the third Purple Heart, Kerry's first Purple Heart was essential to his quick trip home.
C. Christmas In Cambodia
If there is a consistent repeated story by John Kerry about his Vietnam experience, it is his story about how he and his boat spent Christmas Eve and Christmas of 1968 illegally present in Cambodia and, listening to President Nixon's contrary assurances, developed "a deep mistrust of U.S. government pronouncements." See Exhibit 24, Kranish book, p. 84. The point of his story was that his government and his commanders were lying about Kerry's presence in Cambodia on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. During a critical debate on the floor of the United States Senate on March 27, 1986, Senator John Kerry said:
Mr. President, I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by 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 . . . .
Exhibit 25, Congressional Record - Senate of March 27, 1986, page 3594.
By way of further example, Kerry wrote an article for the Boston Herald on October 14, 1979:
"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 killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real."
See Exhibit 26.
The Christmas in Cambodia story of John Kerry was repeated as recently as July 7, 2004 by Michael Kranish, a principal biographer of Kerry from The Boston Globe. On the Hannity & Colmes television show, Kranish indicated that Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia was a critical turning point in Kerry's life.
The story is a total preposterous fabrication by Kerry. Exhibit 8 is an affidavit by the Commander of the Swift boats in Vietnam, Admiral Roy Hoffmann, stating that Kerry's claim to be in Cambodia for Christmas Eve and Christmas of 1968 is a total lie. If necessary, similar affidavits are available from the entire chain of command. In reality, Kerry was at Sa Dec -- easily locatable on any map more than fifty miles from Cambodia. Kerry himself inadvertently admits that he was in Sa Dec for Christmas Eve and Christmas and not in Cambodia, as he had stated for so many years on the Senate Floor, in the newspapers, and elsewhere. Exhibit 27, Tour, pp. 213-219. Sa Dec is hardly "close" to the Cambodian border. In reality, far from being ordered secretly to Cambodia, Kerry spent a pleasant night at Sa Dec with "visions of sugar plums" dancing in his head. Exhibit 27, p. 219. At Sa Dec where the Swift boat patrol area ended, there were many miles of other boats (PBR's) leading to the Cambodian border. There were also gunboats on the border to prevent any crossing. If Kerry tried to get through, he would have been arrested. Obviously, Kerry has hardly been honest about his service in Vietnam.
D. War Crimes
Returning to the United States, Kerry made speeches charging that U.S. forces in Vietnam were "like the army of Genghis Khan," that "crimes were committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of all levels of command," and that our officers in Coastal Division were like Lieutenant Calley. Kerry met on least two occasions with the North Vietnamese in Paris and is, in fact, honored as a hero in the war museum in Ho Chi Minh City. See pictures on WinterSoldier.com and SwiftVets.com. Joe Ponder is a widely quoted disabled vet from Coastal Division 11 who saw no war crimes but knows that Kerry dishonored our unit. Exhibit 13. Shelton White, a badly wounded Coastal Division 11 veteran, likewise saw no war crimes and remembers Kerry's betrayal. Exhibit 12.
As set forth at length, there is not only a reasonable factual basis for the statements in the ad; they are virtually conclusively established by the documentation.
Thank you for your kind consideration. Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions. Very truly yours,
Original signed by John E. O'Neill
CLARITY is as...
and none too soon.
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