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Frankie
10-15-2004, 06:07 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Vote2004/story?id=166434&page=1

What Happened in Kerry's Vietnam Battles? 'Nightline' Speaks to Witnesses of Disputed Firefights

By ANDREW MORSE

Oct. 14, 2004 -- Oct. 15, 2004 - In the controversy over Sen. John Kerry's service in Vietnam, Americans have heard from Kerry, from the crew of the Navy Swift boats he commanded and from other Swift boat veterans who question the official account of a 1969 incident for which Kerry was awarded a Silver Star. But there is one group they have not heard from: the Vietnamese who were there that day.

According to the military citation, Kerry was awarded the medal for his actions during an intense firefight on Feb. 28, 1969, during which he shot and killed a Viet Cong fighter who was armed with a rocket launcher. Members of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group have charged that the Viet Cong fighter was a teenager who was alone, who was not part of a numerically superior force, and who was already wounded and running away when Kerry shot him.

"Nightline" traveled to Vietnam and found a number of witnesses who have never been heard from before, and who have no particular ax to grind for or against Kerry. Only one of them, in fact, even knew who Kerry is. The witnesses, all Vietnamese, are still living in the same villages where the fighting took place more than 35 years ago. A "Nightline" producer visited them and recorded their accounts of that day. The accounts were subsequently translated by a team of ABC News translators.


A Village Unchanged
Life along the Bay Hap River in southern Vietnam has changed very little in those years. The river is lined with small hamlets and isolated shacks reachable only by boat. They are surrounded by marshland, separated by winding canals, and concealed by thick walls of vegetation.

The canals lead to Tran Thoi village, the coordinates of which are publicly available in the U.S. military's after-action report on the 1969 battle. The Vietnamese government initially rejected "Nightline's" request to visit the village, saying it did not want to somehow influence the U.S. presidential election. Once "Nightline" explained that the intention was to simply find out what the Vietnamese people remember and think of what happened there, permission was granted.

On Feb. 28, 1969, a convoy of three American Swift boats came up the river under the command of Lt. John Kerry, arriving at the village of Tran Thoi. According to Kerry's medal citation, the boats "came under intense automatic weapons and small arms fire from an entrenched enemy force less than 50 feet away. Unhesitatingly, Lieutenant [junior grade] Kerry ordered his boat to attack."

The Swift boats, which were transporting a group of the Americans' South Vietnamese allies, turned into the ambush and beached. According to the after-action report, the South Vietnamese troops stormed ashore, overwhelming the local insurgents.


More Fighting
The fierce firefight at Tran Thoi was just the beginning of the day that has become so central to Kerry's biography. Kerry's boat, PCF 94, and one of the other boats continued upriver. The ABC News team took the same route to the site of the second deadly incident that day.

According to the Navy's official report, following the initial ambush, Kerry's boat and another Swift boat continued up the river to an area where gunshots had been reported.

Less than a kilometer upriver is Nha Vi, a small hamlet. Vo Van Tam, now 54, was a local Viet Cong commander during the war. According to him, the area was a hotbed of guerrilla activity. They had recently been reinforced by a 12-man unit, supplied with small arms and one B-40 rocket launcher. He said the reinforcements had been dispatched from provincial headquarters specifically to target the Swift boats.

According to Vo, there were at least 20 Viet Cong soldiers at Nha Vi there that day. "There were 12 soldiers from the provincial level and eight from the district level," he said.

His wife, Vo Thi Vi, 54, said Feb. 28, 1969, is a day that the villagers of Nha Vi hamlet will never forget. "Everything was destroyed," she said. "There's no houses left. They leveled everything. There was no leaves left. The fighting was very fierce."

According to the citation for Kerry's Silver Star, when the boats approached the hamlet, "a B-40 rocket exploded close aboard PCF 94" -- Kerry's boat. He "personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy," the citation says, before commending Kerry's "extraordinary daring and personal courage" for "attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire."

That account is disputed by Swift boat veteran John O'Neill, author of "Unfit for Command," who maintains in his book that the statement "is simply false. There was little or no fire."


Different Accounts
Villagers say this is what they saw:

"Firing from over here. Firing from over there. Firing from the boat," Vo Thi Vi told "Nightline."

She was only a couple hundred yards away when a Swift boat turned and approached the shore, she said, adding that the boat was unleashing a barrage of gunfire as it approached.

"I ran," she recalled, "Running fast. ... And the Americans came from down there, yelling 'Attack, Attack!' And we ran."

Her husband, Tam, said the man who fired the B-40 rocket was hit in this barrage of gunfire. Then, he said, "he ran about 18 meters before he died, falling dead."

Was the man killed by Kerry or by fire from the Swift boat? It was the heat of battle, Tam said, and he doesn't know exactly how the man with the rocket launcher died. But he knows the man's name -- Ba Thanh. He was one of the 12 reinforcements sent to the village by provincial headquarters, and after he died, the firefight continued, according to Tam.

"When the firing started, Ba Thanh was killed," Tam said. "And I led Ba Thanh's comrades, the whole unit, to fight back. And we ran around the back and fought the Americans from behind. We worked with the city soldiers to fire on the American boats."

According to the after-action report, after beaching the Swift boat, Kerry "chased VC inland, behind hooch, and shot him while he fled, capturing one B-40 rocket launcher, with round in chamber."

None of the villagers seems to be able to say for a fact that they saw an American chase the man who fired the B-40 into the woods and shoot him. Nobody seems to remember that. But they have no problem remembering Ba Thanh, the man who has been dismissed by Kerry's detractors as "a lone, wounded, fleeing, young Vietcong in a loincloth." (The description comes from "Unfit for Command," by Swift boat veteran John O'Neill.)

"No, this is not correct," Nguyen Thi Tuoi, 77, told ABC News. "He wore a black pajama. He was strong. He was big and strong. He was about 26 or 27."

Tuoi said she didn't see Ba Thanh get shot either, but she and her husband say they were the first to find his body. They say they found him a good distance from his bunker, though she could not confirm that Kerry -- or anyone else -- had pursued him into the bush.

Her husband, Nguyen Van Ty, in his 80s, had a slightly different account of how Ba Thanh died.

"I didn't see anything because I was hiding from the bullets and the bombs," he said. "It was very fierce and there was shooting everywhere and the leaves were being shredded to pieces. I was afraid to stay up there. I had to hide. And then, when it was over, I saw Ba Thanh was dead. He may have been shot in the chest when he stood up."

He also said the Swift boats were coming under attack from the Viet Cong fighters on shore. "We tried to shoot at the boat," he said, "but we didn't hit anything."

Kerry's citation says he "uncovered an enemy rest and supply area, which was destroyed," but according to the villagers, the Americans missed the military supplies. In fact, Vo Ti Vi said, just a few weeks after the attack, the Viet Cong raided a U.S. base stealing weapons and ammunition. The weapons remain in Nha Vi all these years later, she says, buried under her garden.

Back in Tran Thoi, villager Nguyen Van Khoai said that about six months ago he was visited by an American who described himself as a Swift boat veteran and told him another American from the Swift boats was running for president of the United States. Nguyen said the man was accompanied by a cameraman.

"They say he didn't do anything to deserve the medal," Nguyen said. "The other day, they came and asked me the questions and I said that the recognition for the medal is up to the U.S.A."

He said that, after they met, the Swift Boat veteran and the cameraman turned around and went back down the river. "Nightline" has not been able to identify the men.


Campaign Issue Arises
His awards should have been the most unassailable part of Kerry's record. But then came those campaign ads from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. "He is lying about his record," said Ensign Al French in one ad.

Most of the charges in the ads were general: "When the chips were down you could not count on John Kerry," said Lt. j.g. Larry Thurlow. "John Kerry is no war hero," said Lt. Bob Elder. Some of the charges referred to the anti-war testimony Kerry gave before Congress.

But John O'Neill, the officer who took over command of Kerry's Swift boat after Kerry left Vietnam, raised some specific questions about the incident for which Kerry received his most significant award, the Silver Star:

"In the Silver Star incident, John Kerry's citation reflects that he charged into a numerically superior force, and into intense fire," O'Neill told ABC News in an August 2004 interview. "But the actual facts are that there was a single kid there who had fired a rocket, who popped up, and John Kerry with his gunboat, with or without a number of troops, depending on who you talk to, plopped in front of the kid. The kid was wounded in the legs by machine gun fire, and as he ran off, John Kerry jumped off the boat and shot the kid in the back."

Copyright © 2004 ABC News Internet Ventures

Bwana
10-15-2004, 06:13 PM
:bong:

stevieray
10-15-2004, 06:16 PM
:bong:
That's what you do, you discredit the SBV's, and give credulence to Vietnamese witnesses.

Joe Seahawk
10-15-2004, 06:17 PM
Statement from John O'Neill

While I have a tremendous amount of respect for Ted Koppel and ABC News I was appalled to learn that ABC News would go to the lengths of traveling to Vietnam to interview three Viet Cong communists in yet a third attempt by ABC to corroborate John Kerry’s version of the events that took place on February 28th, 1969.
I would only ask the American people: "Who do you trust more, three members of a communist regime that tortured and killed our American troops or a group of more than 280 highly decorated American veterans, who proudly served their country and are now responsible members of their respective communities?"

The number of veterans who support John Kerry’s accounts of his military service would not fill one Swift Boat. But instead of sitting down to interview some of the 280 plus members of our Swift Boat organization, ABC News chose to travel to Vietnam taking extraordinary and highly suspect steps to find someone to corroborate John Kerry's story.

ABC News Nightline has now dedicated three separate programs to this one incident while ignoring John Kerry's now discredited Senate testimony that he spent Christmas in Cambodia, his receiving a purple heart after all three of the officers required to approve such an issuance rejected his application, or his constantly changing account of the circumstances surrounding his remaining medal, a bronze star.

Further, one has to wonder why ABC News will not address the serious questions as to why John Kerry only received an honorable discharge through the act of then President Carter, seven years after his discharge, and had to have all of his military citations reissued, on the same day, when he became a United States Senator in 1985. And, finally, why has Nightline found it of no interest to permit any POWs to come on their program to explain why they believe John Kerry betrayed their nation, caused them to be incarcerated for an additional two years and caused them tremendous additional hardship and suffering.

-- John O'Neill

RINGLEADER
10-15-2004, 06:24 PM
Ask Kerry to talk about his Bronze Star. The one that says he was wounded and was bleeding from his arm (while he now admits that he had a bruise). The one that Kerry said, in 2000 to the congressional record, began with his boat hitting a mine and being thrown 2 feet into the air (his boat didn't hit a mine according to Kerry support Del Sandusky). The one that Kerry said led to all the boats in his patrol fleeing in the midst of a firefight (when the Washington Post discovered that it was only Kerry's boat that traveled up to a mile down river before returning). The one that Kerry now says led to Jim Rassman being knocked off his boat by an explosion (contradicting what he said in 2000 when he said that Rassmann fell off when he made a high speed maneuver). The one that Kerry won a purple heart for even though Rassmann now says the injury cited in the report for that day that mentions Kerry receiving shrapnel actually occured in the absence of the enemy earlier in the day when he and Kerry blew up enemy rice.

And don't take my word for it Frankie...all of this info comes from Kerry's own mouth by way of the congressional record (during a eulogy for a friend on that mission), from the Washington Post, and from Kerry supporters Del Sandusky and Jim Rassmann.

The Pedestrian
10-15-2004, 06:33 PM
Wait, I think I understand what really happened.... There was heavy fire, but not from the VietCong...Kerry had been acting like an arrogant jackass (probably more so than now), and his crew started firing near him so he would get scared out of his mind and shut up.

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 06:35 PM
So a Viet Cong enemy has more validity than an American Soldier?

DanT
10-15-2004, 06:38 PM
Who wrote the citations for John Kerry's medals? Was that the American military?

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 06:49 PM
Who wrote the citations for John Kerry's medals? Was that the American military?
Who wrote the recommendations and medical releases?

Raiderhader
10-15-2004, 06:49 PM
So a Viet Cong enemy has more validity than an American Soldier?


Hasn't that always been the case with these people?

DanT
10-15-2004, 06:52 PM
Who wrote the recommendations and medical releases?

From what I know of the process, it was members of the American military, not Viet Cong.

stevieray
10-15-2004, 06:54 PM
From what I know of the process, it was members of the American military, not Viet Cong.

Then why the need to interview VietCong now?

penchief
10-15-2004, 06:57 PM
That's what you do, you discredit the SBV's, and give credulence to Vietnamese witnesses.

Are these the swift boat veterans on Kerry's boat or the ones with an axe to grind?

If the discussion is about what happened on that river, and specifically Kerry's boat, then I tend to believe the people that were there, and on his boat

If the discussion is the hatred stirred by Kerry's protestation of the war after he returned home, then I understand their contempt.

But to confuse the two or distort the truth to unfairly malign someone for reasons other than those stated is slimey, IMO.

Joe Seahawk
10-15-2004, 07:00 PM
If the MSM really wanted to seek the truth, wouldn't they at least interview the swift vets? It appears to me that the MSM is more interested in trying to vindicate Kerry than to actually investigate the issues..

It's a joke.. They'll investigate every lead to the fullest extent if it could harm the President.. I'm amazed that some people can't see that..

God, I hope I'm not that blind..

Raiderhader
10-15-2004, 07:03 PM
If the MSM really wanted to seek the truth, wouldn't they at least interview the swift vets? It appears to me that the MSM is more interested in trying to vindicate Kerry than to actually investigate the issues..

It's a joke.. They'll investigate every lead to the fullest extent if it could harm the President.. I'm amazed that some people can't see that..

God, I hope I'm not that blind..


Well this is ABC, and we already know that they have two sets of standards for reporting on Bush and Kerry as is evidenced in one of their own memos.

The Pedestrian
10-15-2004, 07:04 PM
Are these the swift boat veterans on Kerry's boat or the ones with an axe to grind?

If the discussion is about what happened on that river, and specifically Kerry's boat, then I tend to believe the people that were there, and on his boat

If the discussion is the hatred stirred by Kerry's protestation of the war after he returned home, then I understand their contempt.

But to confuse the two or distort the truth to unfairly malign someone for reasons other than those stated is slimey, IMO.

Keep in mind that most of the people involved with this had been on Kerry's swift boat during a mission....very few of his supporting veterans, however, had been on the swift boat during that particular mission. Those against him had mostly been on the boat during that mission while some of the others had been on nearby boats, perfectly capable of seeing what had been going on with Kerry's troops.

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 07:17 PM
From what I know of the process, it was members of the American military, not Viet Cong.
It's a shame it is easier to get an enemies testimony than your own country records, isn't it?

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 07:18 PM
Are these the swift boat veterans on Kerry's boat or the ones with an axe to grind?

If the discussion is about what happened on that river, and specifically Kerry's boat, then I tend to believe the people that were there, and on his boat

If the discussion is the hatred stirred by Kerry's protestation of the war after he returned home, then I understand their contempt.

But to confuse the two or distort the truth to unfairly malign someone for reasons other than those stated is slimey, IMO.
Some were on his boat. You are just being prejudicely selective in your decision as to which to believe.

penchief
10-15-2004, 07:19 PM
Keep in mind that most of the people involved with this had been on Kerry's swift boat during a mission....very few of his supporting veterans, however, had been on the swift boat during that particular mission. Those against him had mostly been on the boat during that mission while some of the others had been on nearby boats, perfectly capable of seeing what had been going on with Kerry's troops.

From what I understand, those that were on his boat stand by him. That means a lot to me.

I still can't believe this is even an issue in this campaign. Here we have a man that volunteered to put himself in harm's way for his country. He was in harm's way. He easily could have been killed. On the other hand, the dirty secret nobody wants to discuss is GW's gratitude to a nation that allowed him to use his influence to not only avoid combat but to reneg on the deal he made to avoid the war.

How the one man who avoids his patriotic duty can be heralded and the one who honors his country can be defiled is not only mind-boggling but chickenshit.

I, for one, am beginning to lose faith in the fairness and good judgment of the American people. When political victory at all costs trumps integrity and honesty then it is a sad time for America. When a segment of the American public know they have been lied to about the most important of national matters and don't care, something is wrong.

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 07:21 PM
From what I understand, those that were on his boat stand by him. That means a lot to me.

I still can't believe this is even an issue in this campaign. Here we have a man that volunteered to put himself in harm's way for his country. He was in harm's way. He easily could have been killed. On the other hand, the dirty secret nobody wants to discuss is GW's gratitude to a nation that allowed him to use his influence to not only avoid combat but to reneg on the deal he made to avoid the war.

How the one man who avoids his patriotic duty can be heralded and the one who honors his country can be defiled is not only mind-boggling but chickenshit.

I, for one, am beginning to lose faith in the fairness and good judgment of the American people. When political victory at all costs trumps integrity and honesty then it is a sad time for America. When a segment the American people know they have been lied to about the most important of national matters and don't care, something is wrong.

#1. He volunteered after his deferrment was denied. He volunteered because he didn't want to be a ground grunt.

#2. The Swift Boats were not dangerous duty or "in harms way" when he signed on. He admits that himself

#3. This wouldn't be an issue if some dumbass didn't come to his convention in a swiftboat, would it?

The Pedestrian
10-15-2004, 07:23 PM
From what I understand, those that were on his boat stand by him. That means a lot to me.

I still can't believe this is even an issue in this campaign. Here we have a man that volunteered to put himself in harm's way for his country. He was in harm's way. He easily could have been killed. On the other hand, the dirty secret nobody wants to discuss is GW's gratitude to a nation that allowed him to use his influence to not only avoid combat but to reneg on the deal he made to avoid the war.

How the one man who avoids his patriotic duty can be heralded and the one who honors his country can be defiled is not only mind-boggling but chickenshit.

I, for one, am beginning to lose faith in the fairness and good judgment of the American people. When political victory at all costs trumps integrity and honesty then it is a sad time for America. When a segment of the American public know they have been lied to about the most important of national matters and don't care, something is wrong.

Just because he didn't take his physicals during that time doesn't mean that he avoided his duty. We have all of the forms in order, and remember that the one CBS produced last month was the fake.

Michael Michigan
10-15-2004, 07:23 PM
Who wrote the citations for John Kerry's medals? Was that the American military?

Who is John Kerry?

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 07:26 PM
Who is John Kerry?
For 600.00 under the I am for the military that I am against category, you are correct.

penchief
10-15-2004, 07:29 PM
#1. He volunteered after his deferrment was denied. He volunteered because he didn't want to be a ground grunt.

#2. The Swift Boats were not dangerous duty or "in harms way" when he signed on. He admits that himself

#3. This wouldn't be an issue if some dumbass didn't come to his convention in a swiftboat, would it?

1. understood

2. understood

2. understood

It still doesn't change anything. He defended his country in a combat zone and earned the respect of his shipmates while Bush didn't even appreciate his chance to serve without really serving. But nobody wants to talk about that. How can Kerry be a bad guy for serving while Bush was pursuing his own selfish gratification?

This is what I dislike about republican politics the most. It is never about the issues. It is always about their slimey opponent. Karl Rove could make Mother Teresa look like Pee Wee Herman while his own candidate has nothing to offer the American people other than sloguns and manipulation.

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 07:35 PM
1. understood

2. understood

2. understood

It still doesn't change anything. He defended his country in a combat zone and earned the respect of his shipmates while Bush didn't even appreciate his chance to serve without really serving. But nobody wants to talk about that. How can Kerry be a bad guy for serving while Bush was pursuing his own selfish gratification?

This is what I dislike about republican politics the most. It is never about the issues. It is always about their slimey opponent. Karl Rove could make Mother Teresa look like Pee Wee Herman while his own candidate has nothing to offer the American people other than sloguns and manipulation.

I applaud Kerry going overseas. As to "pursuing selfish gratification", that is silly to complain about when your own candidate attempted the same thing, isn't it?

I vehemently despise Kerry for speaking against ALL American combatants and playing both sides while tossing select medals onto 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue while keeping others. He made a mockery of every single decent American in the service when he did so.

DanT
10-15-2004, 07:37 PM
Who is John Kerry?

Oops! I spelled it wrong. I meant Jon sKerry! ;)

Frankie
10-15-2004, 07:48 PM
That's what you do, you discredit the SBV's, and give credulence to Vietnamese witnesses.

Ummm.... No. Pay attention: You should give credulence to people who were there and discredit those who WERE NOT! Especially those with a big axe to grind. If you believe "Vietnamese witnesses" are somehow less human and not to be credited, then you are suffering from Archiebunkeritis.

DanT
10-15-2004, 07:48 PM
Then why the need to interview VietCong now?

The need to interview the VietCong (or whoever it is that ABC News interviewed) was felt by ABC News, presumably because they see it as a newsworthy angle on the controversy between the claims of the members of the Swift Vote Veterans for Truth versus the Pentagon's official citation reports.

Michael Michigan
10-15-2004, 07:50 PM
Oops! I spelled it wrong. I meant Jon sKerry! ;)

Ha! I had Jeopardy on in the background.

I believe in at least two of the cases, John Kerry "wrote the citations for John Kerry's medals."

Michael Michigan
10-15-2004, 07:54 PM
The need to interview the VietCong (or whoever it is that ABC News interviewed) was felt by ABC News, presumably because they see it as a newsworthy angle on the controversy between the claims of the members of the Swift Vote Veterans for Truth versus the Pentagon's official citation reports.

Or perhaps it was this...

...An internal memo written by ABCNEWS Political Director Mark Halperin admonishes ABC staff: During coverage of Democrat Kerry and Republican Bush not to "reflexively and artificially hold both sides 'equally' accountable."

http://www.drudgereport.com/mh.htm

penchief
10-15-2004, 07:55 PM
I applaud Kerry going overseas. As to "pursuing selfish gratification", that is silly to complain about when your own candidate attempted the same thing, isn't it?

I vehemently despise Kerry for speaking against ALL American combatants and playing both sides while tossing select medals onto 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue while keeping others. He made a mockery of every single decent American in the service when he did so.

This is another thing that bothers me about republican politics and the Iraq war. You can't speak out against governmental policy or questionable behavior by our troops. If Abu Grahb can happen in Iraq today, why couldn't these atrocities have occurred in a war that would have been much harder to report on or prevent.

Just like today, a citizen can't protest this administration's policy in Iraq without being accused of not supporting the troops. It is just plain chickenshit.

From what I understand, Mr. O'Neill was not a saint during his duty in Viet Nam. In fact, he confessed that he was not sufficiently pissed at Kerry until he saw how he was portrayed in Douglas Brinkley's book, "Tour of Duty." By the way, Brinkley is a historian, not a political hack. Brinkley contends that O'Neill doesn't like the fact that his conduct has been cast in a negative light and has been taking it out on Kerry. It was after the release of "Tour of Duty" that he formed SBV.

Anyway, when I talk about personal gratification I'm not talking about goals in the way you do when you call into question Kerry's ulterior motives, I'm talking about partying. At least Kerry was putting it on the line instead of anxiously waiting his next line.

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 07:55 PM
Ummm.... No. Pay attention: You should give credulence to people who were there and discredit those who WERE NOT! Especially those with a big axe to grind. If you believe "Vietnamese witnesses" are somehow less human and not to be credited, then you are suffering from Archiebunkeritis.
Archiebunkeritis? You mean we should believe the enemy? The people who are still our enemy?

More like Mike Stivicitis, don't you?

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 07:58 PM
This is another thing that bothers me about republican politics and the Iraq war. You can't speak out against governmental policy or questionable behavior by our troops. If Abu Grahb can happen in Iraq today, why couldn't these atrocities have occurred in a war that would have been much harder to report on or prevent.

Just like today, a citizen can't protest this administration's policy in Iraq without being accused of not supporting the troops. It is just plain chickenshit.

From what I understand, Mr. O'Neill was not a saint during his duty in Viet Nam. In fact, he confessed that he was not sufficiently pissed at Kerry until he saw how he was portrayed in Douglas Brinkley's book, "Tour of Duty." By the way, Brinkley is a historian, not a political hack. Brinkley contends that O'Neill doesn't like the fact that his conduct has been cast in a negative light and has been taking it out on Kerry. It was after the release of "Tour of Duty" that he formed SBV.

Anyway, when I talk about personal gratification I'm not talking about goals in the way you do when you call into question Kerry's ulterior motives, I'm talking about partying. At least Kerry was putting it on the line instead of anxiously waiting his next line.
penchief - He spoke out against ALL troops. He stated ALL troops committed atrocities. And what was worse was that he first stated he also committed the atrocities, then he retracted that statement.

Had he said "look here is a man killing innocent Vietnamese children", I would be right beside you. But we both know that is not what he did. He used a broad brush and stroked every single military unit who served honorably when he testified with a yellow streak. It is not a forgiveable offense.

penchief
10-15-2004, 08:03 PM
penchief - He spoke out against ALL troops. He stated ALL troops committed atrocities. And what was worse was that he first stated he also committed the atrocities, then he retracted that statement.

Had he said "look here is a man killing innocent Vietnamese children", I would be right beside you. But we both know that is not what he did. He used a broad brush and stroked every single military unit who served honorably when he testified with a yellow streak. It is not a forgiveable offense.

If that is the case and that is how you see it then I can appreciate your point of view. But this issue is such a non-issue and so typical of republicans to continue to play the politics of personal destruction instead of focusing on the issues that are truly critical for our times.

DanT
10-15-2004, 08:12 PM
Or perhaps it was this...

...An internal memo written by ABCNEWS Political Director Mark Halperin admonishes ABC staff: During coverage of Democrat Kerry and Republican Bush not to "reflexively and artificially hold both sides 'equally' accountable."

http://www.drudgereport.com/mh.htm

Thanks for the link, Michael Michigan. Here's the www.factcheck.org entry on the Swift Vote Veterans' previous ads:

http://factcheck.org/article.aspx@docID=231.html

KCFalcon59
10-15-2004, 08:17 PM
John O'Neill whipped Tom Brokaws ass. Made him look extremely stupid. It wasn't even close.

Frankie
10-15-2004, 08:17 PM
Archiebunkeritis? You mean we should believe the enemy? The people who are still our enemy?

More like Mike Stivicitis, don't you?

We re-established relations with Viet Nam in the '90s. If they are "still our enemies" then so is Japan.

Joe Seahawk
10-15-2004, 08:18 PM
This from the artricle in the topic.

But they have no problem remembering Ba Thanh, the man who has been dismissed by Kerry's detractors as "a lone, wounded, fleeing, young Vietcong in a loincloth." (The description comes from "Unfit for Command," by Swift boat veteran John O'Neill.)

"No, this is not correct," Nguyen Thi Tuoi, 77, told ABC News. "He wore a black pajama. He was strong. He was big and strong. He was about 26 or 27."




Kerry's account in the boston Globe taken from his book "Tour of Duty"

Beach the boat, Kerry ordered, and the craft's bow was quickly rammed upon the shoreline. Out of the bush appeared a teenager in a loin cloth, clutching a grenade launcher.

An enemy was just feet away, holding a weapon with enough firepower to blow up the boat. Kerry's forward gunner, Belodeau, shot and clipped the Viet Cong in the leg....

In an interview, Kerry added a chilling detail.

"This guy could have dispatched us in a second, but for ... I'll never be able to explain, we were literally face to face, he with his B-40 rocket and us in our boat, and he didn't pull the trigger. I would not be here today talking to you if he had," Kerry recalled. "And Tommy clipped him, and he started going [down.] I thought it was over."

Instead, the guerrilla got up and started running. "We've got to get him, make sure he doesn't get behind the hut, and then we're in trouble," Kerry recalled.

:shrug:

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 08:18 PM
We re-established relations with Viet Nam in the '90s. If they are "still our enemies" then so is Japan.
I would put them closer to the USSR than Japan. But you look at it as you choose.

DanT
10-15-2004, 08:49 PM
Ha! I had Jeopardy on in the background.

I believe in at least two of the cases, John Kerry "wrote the citations for John Kerry's medals."

Hey, Michael Michigan, I think I misunderstood your earlier post. I thought you were making fun of my spelling, but now I realize that you were answering my earlier post when you are said that you believe that John Kerry wrote the citatations in at least two cases in which he won medals.

Which two cases are those?

Hel'n
10-15-2004, 10:40 PM
penchief - He spoke out against ALL troops. He stated ALL troops committed atrocities. And what was worse was that he first stated he also committed the atrocities, then he retracted that statement.

Had he said "look here is a man killing innocent Vietnamese children", I would be right beside you. But we both know that is not what he did. He used a broad brush and stroked every single military unit who served honorably when he testified with a yellow streak. It is not a forgiveable offense.


I will play my violin for ya... :rolleyes:

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 10:44 PM
I will play my violin for ya... :rolleyes:
I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. Of course, that statement applies to 90% of your posts.

Taco Bell
10-15-2004, 11:16 PM
Well this is ABC, and we already know that they have two sets of standards for reporting on Bush and Kerry as is evidenced in one of their own memos.

Absolutely.

the Talking Can
10-15-2004, 11:29 PM
Where do people come up with this ignorant notion that Kerry was speaking against all the troops? Read his testimony for (. x. )(. x. )(. x. )(. x. )s sake, his love of his fellows soldiers is overwhelming. He saw the war in explicitly moral terms, and felt that the leaders of our country had literally placed the soldiers in hell. You don't have to agree, and if you served you certainly could feel just as strongly as Kerry that the war was just and purposeful, and that he dishonered you....but when Kerry calls Vietnam the "biggest nothing in history" he's referring to the judgements of our elected leaders.

testimony before congress (http://www.nationalreview.com/document/kerry200404231047.asp)

Mr. Kerry: Senator, if I may interject, I think that what we are trying to say is we do have a method. We believe we do have a plan, and that plan is that if this body were by some means either to permit a special referendum in this country so that the country itself might decide and therefore avoid this recrimination which people constantly refer to or if they couldn't do that, at least do it through immediate legislation which would state there would be an immediate cease-fire and we would be willing to undertake negotiations for a coalition government. But at the present moment that is not going to happen, so we are talking about men continuing to die for nothing and I think there is a tremendous moral question here which the Congress of the United States is ignoring.
-----------------------------------------

Where is the Leadership?
We are also here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? We are here to ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatric and so many others. Where are they now that we, the men whom they sent off to war, have returned? These are commanders who have deserted their troops, and there is no more serious crime in the law of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded.

The Marines say they never leave even their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude. They have left the real stuff of their reputation bleaching behind them in the sun in this country.

Administration's Attempt to Disown Veterans
Finally, this administration has done us the ultimate dishonor. They have attempted to disown us and the sacrifice we made for this country. In their blindness and fear they have tried to deny that we are veterans or that we served in Nam. We do not need their testimony. Our own scars and stumps of limbs are witnesses enough for others and for ourselves.

We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped their memories of us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission, to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbarous war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and the fear that have driven this country these last 10 years and more and so when, in 30 years from now, our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say "Vietnam" and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory but mean instead the pace where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning.

Thank you. (Applause.)
---------------------------------------
Senator Pell

Finally, in connection with Lieutenant Calley, which is a very emotional issue in this country, I was struck by your passing reference to that incident.

Wouldn't you agree with me though that what he did in herding old men, women and children into a trench and then shooting them was a little bit beyond the perimeter of even what has been going on in this war and that that action should be discouraged. There are other actions not that extreme that have gone on and have been permitted. If we had not taken action or cognizance of it, it would have been even worse. It would have indicated we encouraged this kind of action.

Mr. Kerry: My feeling, Senator, on Lieutenant Calley is what he did quite obviously was a horrible, horrible, horrible thing and I have no bone to pick with the fact that he was prosecuted. But I think that in this question you have to separate guilt from responsibility, and I think clearly the responsibility for what has happened there lies elsewhere.

I think it lies with the men who designed free fire zones. I think it lies with the men who encourage body counts. I think it lies in large part with this country, which allows a young child before he reaches the age of 14 to see 12,500 deaths on television, which glorifies the John Wayne syndrome, which puts out fighting man comic books on the stands, which allows us in training to do calisthenics to four counts, on the fourth count of which we stand up and shout "kill" in unison, which has posters in barracks in this country with a crucified Vietnamese, blood on him, and underneath it says "kill the gook," and I think that clearly the responsibility for all of this is what has produced this horrible aberration.

Now, I think if you are going to try Lieutenant Calley then you must at the same time, if this country is going to demand respect for the law, you must at the same time try all those other people who have responsibility, and any aversion that we may have to the verdict as veterans is not to say that Calley should be freed, not to say that he is innocent, but to say that you can't just take him alone, and that would be my response to that.

...Mr. Kerry: I understand that, Senator, but I think it is a very difficult thing for the public to think through faced with the facts. The fact that 18 other people indicted for the very same crime were freed and the fact among those were general and colonels. I mean this simply is not justice. That is all. It is just not justice.
---------------------------------

it goes on....whatever you think of him, he testimony is far beyond the characature presented by republicans looking to steal a few votes in the election....but, they were outraged about "nuisance" too....so we know what that outrage is worth...

Frankie
10-15-2004, 11:35 PM
Where do people come up with this ignorant notion that Kerry was speaking against all the troops? ...

I give you two clues to the answer you seek:

1- It starts with 'R'
2- It ends with 'ove'

KCWolfman
10-16-2004, 08:13 AM
I give you two clues to the answer you seek:

1- It starts with 'R'
2- It ends with 'ove'
Did Karl Rove have his hand up Kerry's ass and make him repeatedly say "we" and "millions" to Congress while he testified on April 22, 1971?