December 17, 2008

Swiftboat

In the comments of my previous missive, and as argument with my position that the tales of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were falsehoods perpetrated in a scandalous attempt to rig an election, a gentleman calling himself Old Man states the following:

"I have yet to see any evidence to the contrary of the SBV claims. Surely there is some documentary or even anecdotal evidence refuting the charges"


I've replied in the comments section, and now I offer a letter written by some of Kerrys crewmates in response to a challenge by T. Boone Pickins. Mr. Pickins, a wealthy Texas oilman, offered $1 million to anyone who could offer evidence contradicting the allegations made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The signatories of this letter, along with the documentation supplied, more than answered the challenge.

The letter is very long so I will publish it in sections over several days. Below you will find the closing paragraphs. Tomorrow I will start from the top. Many of the documents they offered can be found at:

Mr. Pickens: You should know that even some of us on his crew differed with John Kerry when he spoke out against the war. But that has never affected our respect for his leadership as a Naval officer. We also believe that unlike some of his detractors, John Kerry earned the right to speak his mind. As Lt. Jim Russell, the Psychological Operations Officer wrote in a letter of August 20th, 2004 speaking about your group: “If they are against him for his stance against the Vietnam War, that certainly is their right, but to spread lies and malicious innuendos about his time on the rivers of Vietnam is not morally right and does a disservice not only to Kerry, but to all those who served and were wounded or died in that war.” (letter attached)

We are prepared now to come to Texas to see you, or meet somewhere else mutually convenient. We are telling you, that we will bring with us a Navy/Pentagon certified copy of Senator Kerry’s full military record and his writings and the movie footage you have requested. We will sit with you while you go through them page for page, frame by frame and answer any questions you may have. We know the truth because we were there on the boat. We believe you will find this truth unavoidable and hope you will feel the right thing has been done in keeping your promise to write a check for one million dollars to anyone who can show anything SBVT said was false. We believe it would be appropriate for this money to go to the veteran’s charity of our choice.

While our reply to you concerns principally the overwhelming evidence of many falsehoods regarding just the Silver Star events specifically, we will also bring other documentary and eyewitness evidence that prove the breadth of SBVT lies should you be interested in the full measure of your friends’ deception.

Please address your reply to us in the care of Del Sandusky, 1040 Main Street #78, Dunedin, FL 34698.

Yours in truth and honor,

Del Sandusky
Dunedin, FL
(QM1, PCF-94)
[SIGNED]

Fred Short
North Little Rock, AR
(GM3, PCF-94)
[SIGNED]

David Alston
Columbia. SC
(GM2, PCF-94)
[SIGNED]

Michael Medeiros
San Leandro, CA
(QM2, PCF-94)
[SIGNED]

Eugene K. Thorson
Ames, IA
(EN2, PCF-94)
[SIGNED]

WITNESSES IN AGREEMENT

William Hirschler
Alta Loma, CA (US Army, CPT. Participant, 28 Feb 69 mission)
[SIGNED]

Wayne Langhofer
Herrington, KS (USN, PCF-43, Participant, 28 Feb 69 and 13 March 1969 missions)
[SIGNED]

James Rassmann
Florence, OR
(US Army Special Forces. 1st LT. Participant, 13 Mar 69 mission)[SIGNED]

Doug Reese
Saigon, Vietnam (US Army, 1st LT. Participant, 28 Feb 69 mission)
[SIGNED]

Peter Upton
Unionville, CT (USN, UDT-13. Participant, 28 Feb 69 mission)
[SIGNED]

EVIDENCE APPENDED

28 February 1969 after-action report
Hoffmann congratulatory message
Kerry citation
Droz citation
Belodeau citation
Short citation
Medeiros citation
Hirschler citation
Awards ceremony picture
Rood account and accompanying photograph
Gibson account
Upton account
Lt. Jim Russell Letter to the Editor Telluride Daily Planet
Nightline, “What They Saw,” 14 October 2004
Naval Inspector General letter in response to “Judicial Watch” complaint
1996 statements of Adm. Zumwalt, et al.

cc:

Pres. George H.W. Bush
Sen. Max Cleland
Sen. Robert Dole
Sen. Jim Webb
Sen. John Warner
Cong. John Murtha
Adm. Mike Mullen

...

14 Comments:

jeg43 said...

By gosh I admire your sand. While I'm sure right down to my grits that you're spinning your wheels in the attempt to get some facts past their blinders, I do enjoy watching a man set out to prove a point. Sic 'em, sir!

Anonymous said...

Kerry created his own problems when he testified to the Senate about Vietnam as a representative of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. This testimony, and the admiration of the North Vietnamese of Kerry because of his anti-war effort, infuriated many veterans that served honorably and were insulted by the Kerry's description of wide spread atrocities:

"...They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country..."

Kerry never witnesses these atrocities, which left him in an uncompromising position when it was demanded these individuals, or their commanders, be prosecuted for these crimes, and they couldn't be proven.

The Texas term: He let his mouth overload his ass.


Jon

Mule Breath... said...

Jeg, you are correct. It is futile to attempt to open a closed mind.

Jon, please explain how your statement relates to the truth or fiction of the SBVT allegations.

Anonymous said...

Kerry made a big mistake in thinking Vietnam veterans would forget what he did in the early 70's. Payback is hell.

Jon

Mule Breath... said...

Jon, so you are saying Vietnam veterans should condone dishonesty for the sake of revenge?

Interesting, but it still doesn't answer how it all relates to truth or fiction.

Anonymous said...

Nope. I'm saying Kerry made a big mistake by testifying about things that he never witnessed and probably never happened. He crossed the line and became open game. Honor went out the door and he became a varmit. Otherwise, with many of his detracters, the end justified the means.

What's worse, he made it clear by his military record that he never made any effort to expose the atrocities he supposedly knew of and participated in.(H&I fire, which was a method of keeping the Viet Cong guessing whether their position was known, or they were just unlucky.) It was his responsibility as an officer to report such actions if they were in violation of the code of conduct.

Jon

Mule Breath... said...

Well Jon, then you are doing a good job of illustrating my point; which was that this kind of politics distracts the country from the real problems, and does harm to our Republic. Nothing you have said corroborates the SBVT allegations. You don't even address that they were mostly lies, and when challenged you do not deny it. The crux of your messages seems to be "Any action can be justified if it serves a purpose"

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." - - Thomas Paine, Dissertation on First Principles of Government, December 23, 1791.

If you are going to condem a man, at least try him with truth.

Anonymous said...

You're reading way more into my posts than intended. I'm not justifying the Swift Boat group. I might be totally on their side, but I don't have the time to research what's required.

The best analogy I can find is Kerry was a coyote. Whether he was totally justified in his efforts really has no bearing. He became the coyote when he abused the truth to promote his personal gain. So, like the coyote, and unlike the humble german shepherd, he was now branded, honorable hunting was removed, and the bait was placed.

Mule Breath... said...

The original debate has been hyjacked. I'm trying to steer it back by pointing out that your comments do not address the topic. The post that started this whole thread had nothing to do with Kerry's character or fitness for duty.

The debate concerned the use of lies, inuendo and subterfuge as political tactic. You've done an admirable job illustrating how it works.

Anonymous said...

Inuendo and subterfuge are effective political tactics. In a perfect world, they wouldn't exist, but the world is a cruel and unforgiving place that has only what little control that can be mustered by the eithics and religion of the societies that exist on our tiny sphere.

I understood your objective from the beginning. You present your facts, which have been questioned by others as not being as factual as presented. While the individuals that signed the letter may have been on the up and up, the politics and ethics of warfare sometimes cloud memories. Recollections of specific events are subjective, influenced by snippets by other witnesses, and infused with adrenalin inluenced emotional reactions that remove objective reasoning. While the recollections were commonly agreed upon by the signers of the letter, the event wasn't recorded in any way except by memory and post event reports, which like any reports, can be embellished and created to show an event as something it wasn't.

Kerry was tried in the court of public opinion. As in any trial with circumstantial and incomplete evidence, the final decision was determined by personal feelings.

Jon

Mule Breath... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mule Breath... said...

At first I thought I’d just end this because you obviously aren’t going to discuss the actual topic, but what the hell. I’ve tilted at windmills before.

I again say that the topic has been hijacked, and I’m beginning to think you might be a politician yourself, because every attempt to steer it back is met with further obfuscation.

Kerry is a coyote because “he abused the truth to promote his personal gain.” Bush abused the truth to promote personal gain. Therefore Bush is a…..???

The RNC is starting this mess over again and we can’t afford it. That is my point.

And I found a better quote:

"To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead."
-- Thomas Paine, The Crisis

Anonymous said...

The DNC, and the liberal media, did the same leading to the election. Their current love affair with Caroline Kennedy is sickening.

So, when it comes to what it takes to keep this country from destruction by the removal of wealth by confiscatory taxes; the removal of the family by welfare and abortion; the removal of rights and freedom by subverting the Constitution; the removal of reason by the corruption of the language; and the removal of personal responsibility by allowing unbridled tort, with the legislative branch(used to be it was people, not attorneys)subjugating the citizens to restrictive legislation, I'll take the side that has a tendency to avoid liberal/communistic methods.

It's a war to save the United States and your choice to automatically bring up political rhetoric, such as automatically blaming the RNC, clearly shows the side you picked. May your blog be filled with cheerleaders. They love to insult and prove their superiority over those that don't agree with them, or you.

Jon

Mule Breath... said...

Don't try to paint me with that brush. I've made it clear through this whole thing that Kerry was not my candidate. Neither was Gore. Partisanship was never the issue.

The debate is about ethics. The tactic illustrated by swiftboating is unethical. Period. Matters not which "side" uses it. Even if Bush had been my candidate I would have been just as disgusted.

Instead of swiftboat, I could have as easily picked the term "Borked", but then we wouldn't have had this conversation if the offenders were liberals, would we?

So, Jon, you're incorrect. I've not picked a side. I've picked a battle. However, you're tying of liberal to communistic shows very distinctly that you have.

The cheerleaders I will gather will be appreciated. But the chance to debate with those not sharing my views will be just as appreciated.

P.S. I don't think Caroline Kennedy is suited for a Senate seat either. If they want a young, good looking gal in that seat, Jenny Saul would be a better choice. But don't tell any of my pinko buddies I said that.