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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Honor and war heroes: John Kerry and Benedict Arnold?

Sen. Kerry quietly scaled back, then simply dropped the "Benedict Arnold companies" rhetoric that characterized his primary-campaign bashing of "outsourcing."  The name "Benedict Arnold" has a vivid meaning even for Americans who have only the foggiest idea of who the man was or what he actually did during the American Revolutionary War.  It's a powerful synonym for "traitor" — which is why Kerry chose to use it when he needed to be "more protectionist than thou" in the primaries, and has dropped it now that he's recrafting his image to be somewhat more of a free trade advocate.

General Benedict Arnold ... less chin, more nose, less hairNow, however, in the SwiftVets vs. Kerry controversy, it's Sen. Kerry's own war hero record that's under examination.  And one might immediately conclude that anyone who compares him to Benedict Arnold must be a flaming right-wing nutcase, slobbering rabid foam.  This post, however, on the blog dislogue, is both informative for those who don't know the details of the "real" Benedict Arnold, and thought-provoking for those who are trying to reconcile Kerry's genuine merits as a combat veteran with the current questions about his medal-worthiness and post-service antiwar activism.  There are parallels worth considering that do not necessarily label Kerry as a "traitor" in the process; and this author makes the interesting argument that while Kerry's betrayals of his comrades may have been of a lesser order of magnitude than Arnold's, the consequences, ironically, may actually have been worse.

Posted by Beldar at 02:23 AM in Politics (2006 & earlier), SwiftVets | Permalink


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(1) Glen made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 6:21:20 AM | Permalink

Exactly. I wrote this three days ago as a comment on Captains Quarters:

I took a brief timeout in the fight over the details of Kerry's Vietnam service to try and gain some perspective as to what it all means to us today. As I did so I was struck with how extraordinarily relevant Kerry's Viet Nam War performance is as a similitude to our present war.

There were two wars being fought in the late sixties. One in Viet Nam with bombs and bullets. The other at home with words and ideas. The US could win the shooting war and the enemy knew it. Their strategy was to wear us down to where we no longer had the will to fight.

Kerry fought in both of these wars. In the shooting war he fought for our country. He may have been self-aggrandizing, he may have exercised poor judgment or not, but he did physically fight for the US. Upon his release from active duty (and I should point out that he continued to be an officer in the US Armed forces during this time) Kerry then switched sides and fully aided the enemy.

Kerry's contribution to US objectives in the shooting war were minimal. He sunk a few sanpans, killed some of the enemy, blew up a storehouse of rice. Missions that contributed to, but did not alter the course of the war. However, his contributions to the North Vietnamese in the propaganda war were so significant that Kerry is in the communist hall of fame in Hanoi.

We have POW testimonies given in recent days supporting just how effective Kerry's anti-US activities were. His words were played over and over to POW's adding to their torture while providing the encouragement the North Vietnamese command needed to stay their course in the war.

This brings us to today where, once again, we are fighting an enemy in two wars. Instead of a guerilla war in the jungle, we have another war against a stealthy enemy who knows it cannot defeat us militarily and does not even target us in that way. Its plan to defeat us, once again, is to make us lose our will to fight.

John Kerry now comes to us in a time of war touting his 4 month track record in Viet Nam while obscuring his 34 year record of anti-US military activity and asks us to make him our commander in chief.

America has been presented with a clear choice. We can retain a resolute commander-in-chief who is feared by the enemy and who has proven that he will pursue their destruction to the ends of the earth. Or, we can replace him in favor of one who delivered us into the hands of the enemy in the past.

(2) M. Simon made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 7:51:46 AM | Permalink

I think this encapsulates it:

There is a big difference between William Calley and John Kerry. William Calley is a proven war criminal. For John Kerry we only have his word as an officer and a gentleman.

What is the War Hero Afraid of?
Form 180. Release ALL the records.

Video link

(3) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 8:38:38 AM | Permalink

Thanks for the perceptive and articulate comment, Glen.

I agree with entirely with your opinion — and see almost no underlying factual dispute — about the folly and betrayal implicit in his meeting with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong representatives in Paris before his Fulbright Committee speech. One can, and many do, defend his domestic protests against the war as being well-intended (which I grudgingly grant) and wise (which I deny). But in trying to bargain with our enemy to secure the release of some POWs — a worthy goal, but one put outside his or any citizen's rights, much less duties, by statute — while a US Naval Reserve officer's uniform still hung in his closet, Kerry was a willing, even eager tool of our enemies. Jane Fonda's conduct could be defended as that of an airhead (although I think she's not, and that defense fails, leaving her culpable). For a man of Kerry's education and intelligence — and for an officer still under oath to serve and defend his country — there's simply no such defense, in my judgment.

But "exposure" of the Kerry photo in the "hall of fame" is something that I think is a bit of a reach by the SwiftVets. I can understand why it was shocking and offensive to many vets. But, as O'Neill's book does acknowledge, the picture is of Kerry during his 1993 trip to Vietnam as part of the Clinton administration's normalization efforts. Those efforts, too, were and perhaps still are controversial. But the Vietnamese government could easily have found a 1971-era photograph of Kerry to display — perhaps the famous one of him in his combat fatigues with the inappropriately displayed commendation ribbons that he wore to his Fulbright Committee testimony — if their sole purpose was to "honor" his contributions to their "revolution." The photo display argument strikes me as something that's confirmatory icing for those who've already made up their minds, rather than something clear enough on its own to persuade those who haven't, and I think there's a risked perception of overreaching that could boomerang against what's an amply solid argument even without the photo.

(4) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 9:07:19 AM | Permalink

I agree that Kerry's behavior back then is far more relevant to his qualifications to be President than his combat record. Since he's repeating the same tactics right now, right down to using "crippled vets" for cheap publicity.

The only thing new is the (very) light comic relief on The Daily Show in lieu of debating his opponents on talk shows and appearances on Meet the Press.

(5) Glen made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 9:12:16 AM | Permalink

Thanks for the feedback on the photo. That is a key diffence I have noted with most of the conservative bloggers -- they fisk their own stories. As you say the matter of this photo does not invalidate the argument, but it is clear there is a dual standard in that if any element of the conservative argument, no matter how immaterial, is found to be "a reach" much less incorrect, the left is quick to brand the whole story as being a lie told by liars. Yet, they can excuse a continuous pattern of left lies if they can find any element of truth.

Have the comments quoting General Giap as to the effectiveness of the anti-war effort been verified?

(6) vnjagvet made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 9:18:15 AM | Permalink

Thanks for the link to this thoughtful and penetrating article.

Regarding your post immediately above, I would like to point out that LtJG Kerry's uniform was not "in his closet" while he was testifing. If I am not mistaken, he appeared before the senate panel in fatigue uniform with his ribbons on. Indeed that was his mode of dress (sans ribbons) in many of the pictures on the Winter Soldier site and in his 1971 book The New Soldier.

Kinda like a fidel castro/che guavara wannabe.

I wonder if the maximum leader attitude has completely left him.

(7) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 9:59:22 AM | Permalink

I meant to suggest that there was a set of dress whites in his closet while he was in Paris, actually. Here's the vivid bit from O'Neill's Unfit for Command (page 94) that put this into my mind, even though it would have been some months prior to Kerry's Paris trip:

The real Kerry "homecoming" that most Swiftees will never forget occurred at St. Albans Naval Hospital in early April 1969, where Tedd Peck, the commander of PCF 94, lay recovering from terrible wounds that he suffered on January 29, 1969. Peck was horrified when he learned that PCF 94 and his crew had been turned over to Kerry after Peck had been wounded....

Still in pain and suffering from his wounds, Peck was stunned to see a well-groomed John Kerry pop into his room, complete with dress whites and attaché cord. "Kerry, you son of a bitch," Peck said, "what the hell are you doing here? You were only there a couple of months."

Kerry replied (lying about his own request to come home), "Tedd, the Navy decided it was time for me to come home." Kerry explained that he was visiting the wounded as an admiral's aide.

(8) Dan S made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 10:20:44 AM | Permalink

That's an ouch moment, the meeting with Peck.

Glen, I agree with your comment above too. This really is another Vietnam, though not in the sense that the anti-war crowd pushes it. It's another Vietnam in that they are who they are and are deliberately seeking to fight against the war effort.

It's clear that the most successful future wars will be very fast, decisive, and we pull back out before this shrill anti-war/anti-freedom crew can get organized. Unfortunately, that means more force applied more quickly, and perhaps less discriminately than we have in Iraq. We just don't inspire enough fear as long as we're charging into the fray, shouting "oops, I'm sorry."

If the situation demands war, we should not apologise, just get it over with. Half measures hurt all parties more in the long run.

And if our enemies know we will take no half measures, they are far less apt to provoke us to the point of war.

(9) Milton made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 10:21:53 AM | Permalink


While I certainly do not think you to be a "slobbering right-wing nutcase" (far from it), and I doubt it is possible for anyone to care less about this imbroglio than I do, I tend to think terming Sen. Kerry, who I think is a complete [email protected], a traitor, or suggesting that he compares poorly with Benedict Arnold, is more than a little over the top.

(10) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 10:40:37 AM | Permalink

Milton, I knew this post might evoke exactly the reaction you had to it. Perhaps I'm guilty of too much "nuance"?

To be absolutely clear, "traitor" is a description I'd only apply in rare circumstances — I feel the same, by the way, about "fascist" and "communist."

Benedict Arnold deliberately and without question sought to subvert and overthrow the army in which he served and the government that sent it into the field. I have not, and would not, argue that Kerry did that. I think "traitor" is too strong a term to use for his betrayal and stupidity.

I suppose part of the point I was trying to make is that the strong emotional reaction people have to the word "traitor" — and to the name "Benedict Arnold" as its synonym — shouldn't prevent someone from doing a thoughtful, nonhyperbolic look at the traits that Arnold and Kerry may arguably share.

I don't think that's "over the top." But as always, I respect your opinion, appreciate the civility with which you express it, acknowledge that others like yourself of intelligence and goodwill may differ with me, and thank you for your comment!

(11) GT made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 12:07:51 PM | Permalink


A bit (not too much I hope ) OT.

This is it.

This destroys Thurlow's accusations. Lambert has come out and backed Kerry's version.

(12) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 12:55:01 PM | Permalink

GT, again, I ask in all seriousness, how did you get a Phd in economics with such a poor command of elementary logic? Lambert's memory cannot destroy Thurlow's memory. To draw a conclusion about who is correct you need something tangible to support one of them.

And, the absence of anyone earning a Purple Heart for being hit with a bullet supports Thurlow, not Lambert. How many times are you going to ignore this blatant clue. Lambert himself tells us:

"He flipped to a photograph of a bullet hole in the side of his swift boat — PCF-51.

"'That’s the bullet hole they keep talking about that they got the day before in the 51 boat — that was my purple heart,' he said, noting he was hit on the upper left arm.

"'When those bullets hit that aluminum, it was like hitting glass,' he added. 'There was shrapnel everywhere.'"

That's physical evidence for him being under fire on March 12, not March 13. Anyway, what he actually said about the latter day is pretty weak:

"'He and another officer now say we weren’t under fire at that time,' Lambert said Wednesday afternoon. 'Well, I sure was under the impression we were.'"


"'Anytime you are blown out of the water like that, they always follow that up with small arms fire,' he said."

Sounds like he's speculating, rather than actually remembering bullets. And note that he doesn't say anything about Kerry and Rassmann being under fire.

(13) vnjagvet made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 1:46:31 PM | Permalink


Got it. The Peck story is particularly revealing.

I keep coming back in my mind to what now seems to be overwhelming evidence that John F. Kerry, Lt. JG USNAR:

(1) On or about April 21, while a commissioned officer aided, or attempted to aid the Peoples Republic of Vietnam (then an enemy in active combat with armed forces of the United States) with sworn testimony before the United States Senate through which he intentionally gave the false impression that members of the United States Armed Forces committed widespread atrocities as a matter of policies authorized and condoned by their commanding officers, in violation of Article 104(1) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

(2) On or about [DAY Month Year],in Paris, France, while a commissioned officer, without proper authority, knowingly communicated or corresponded with and holds any intercourse with representatives of the Peoples Republic of Vietnam (then an enemy in active combat with armed forces of the United States), either directly or indirectly, in violation of Article 104(2) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

I would love to have a mock Court Martial proceeding from Article 32 to Trial.

Is there a Mock Convening Authority out there?

Our friends on the left have these all the time.

(14) Oscar made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 3:24:46 PM | Permalink

Several points:
The UCMJ violation is a non-starter. He was not active at the time.

Benedict Arnold was a great hero and determined leader for the revolution before he let anger at being passed over and greed affect his judgement. As I have said elsewhere recently, I think Arnold's reasons for changing are far more "honest" than Kerry's.

I just wonder what the h**l Kerry was thinking of in invoking Arnold, didn't he take any history classes at Yale? As has been suggested, Kerry's lack of planning for what has hit him as a result of his playing up Nam looks worse than Bush's lack of planning for a long running guerilla war in Iraq.

(15) Dan S made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 4:01:28 PM | Permalink

Invoking Arnold was begging for comparison.

And using Cleland so prominently is begging for more comparison that doesn't work in Kerry's favor either, in various ways.

I muddled about with that for a while today on my blog.

Does Kerry have anyone resembling a real advisor over there? Or does his personality just not allow him to listen to different views and extract from them the sensible course to sail?

The clearest planning I see in this whole race is O'Neill's!

(16) vnjagvet made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 4:03:10 PM | Permalink


Technically you may be right. I suspect however that there may be some pesky federal statutes that may apply to reserve officers whether they are on active duty or not.

(17) leaddog2 made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 4:11:37 PM | Permalink

Kerry's problems are JUST STARTING as shown by the following link. See for yourseld.

The TOTAL TRUTH about Hanoi John Kerry as told by POW's who suffered the Hell that resulted from his lies. Send it to every Military Veteran and every DECENT American you know.

Awesome Film Clips of Stolen Honor. The Truth about John Kerry.

(18) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 4:41:55 PM | Permalink

GT, thanks for the link on Lambert. I'll probably post later today about this report, which I agree with you is important and generally supportive of Kerry's position. But like so many other witness accounts I read in the press, it leaves me aching for a competent questioner to develop more details.

Leaddog2, thanks for the link on Stolen Honor.

(19) GT made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 6:23:51 PM | Permalink


I think this has been overanalyzed, forgetting that we have no physical evidence ansd that memories and records are spotty.

That's why I always tried to focus on what is the crucial point. Debates as to what boat was where and when (and basing it on the design of soem WP graphic artist) are silly and useless. We don't have and never will the full data.

In the end all this boils down to whether there was enemy fire or not. Kerry now has some 7 eyewitnesses present that day that all back him up. I think the Swift Vets have only 2.

What this tells you is that even if Kerry is mistaken he didn't lie. Several other people were mistaken as well some who have never even met Kerry.

Already you see people trying to discredit Lambert, as they did with Rassman and Russell. For some reason no one has focused on Langhofer, though.

Predictable, I guess.

(20) GT made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 7:25:03 PM | Permalink


here's more:


The conspiracy never ends!

(21) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 8:09:42 PM | Permalink

Again, thanks for the link, GT. Newsweek should be ashamed of itself, though, promoting this as if they'd found something new and different. Okay, yeah, Lambert's citation refers to enemy fire, like Thurlow's and Kerry's. Eh. They couldn't even locate Lambert, and got scooped by the local paper you linked earlier. How very lame, how typically mainstream media.

(22) GT made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 8:41:32 PM | Permalink

How so? They presented a new piece of evidence, one no one else found. No one else had seen this document.

All this does is corroborate what Lambert said and what the local paper reported.

I'm not sure I see your point. This is how research is done, one step at a time. They found a new document and they report on it.

(23) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 26, 2004 9:49:17 PM | Permalink


It's not conclusive. We have documentation of the phsycial evidence (i.e. something like a forensics report) and it still calls Kerry a liar. I note that Lambert doesn't clearly state that enemy fire occured...just that he was under the impression that it did.

I also note this as a possibility. What if a small group (2-3) VC detonated the mine under PCF-3 and then scrambled to get the hell out of dodge before they got cut to pieces by 50 cal. fire. That certainly makes sense IMHO. You might have a few seconds of ineffective fire.

This would explain all the testimony and the physical evidence except Kerry's. I also note that if my hunch is correct, Kerry is still not entitled to either the BS or the purple heart...but Thurlow is and the original citation is even correct.

Far feteched? Not really. I remind you that when you elminate the impossible, whatever is left however unlikely is probably the truth...and that is what we are interested in right?

(24) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 5:58:40 AM | Permalink


Well, I'm glad you finally stopped talking of physical evidence, of which there is none, and realized all we have are reports of physical evidence. But since you don't believe all the reports that talk of enemy fire I don't see why you believe the reports that say there were no bullet holes. For all we know the 'no bullet hole' reports were written up by some drunk sailor who coudln't care less. Once you start attacking one report all become suspect.

As for you scenario, it's nothing more than speculation. And it makes no sense at all. Why would Kerry be the only liar? Why would your scenario mean that Kerry's crew, and Rassman were not lying?

Instead of silly made up speculation why don't we listen to yet another witness:


(25) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 8:01:26 AM | Permalink


You seem to be somewhat dense. We do have what amounts to FORENSIC REPORTS. Furthermore, it is unlikely in the extreme that they would be falsified. Unlike spot (after action) reports, a falsified damage report would mean that critical damage would not be repaired and critical parts would not be sent. Likewise casualty reports would have too many witnesses not to be accurate.

Thus we should take the damage and casualty reports at face value, and they call Kerry a liar.

As for Lambert, he does NOT say there was enemy fire definatively. He says that that was his impression, nor does he recall Lt (jg) Kerry (odd for a War Hero don't you think?), nor can he specifically say that Kerry was under fire when he pulled Rasmann out of the drink.

Until you can come up with evidence to the contrary, I will stick with the forensics...and continue to say that the evidence calls Kerry a liar.

(26) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 8:33:12 AM | Permalink

Yeah, some reports are true and others false and you JUST know which are which.

Funny that, huh?

Like some witnesses say the truth and some don't and again you know which is which.

Nah Polaris, it's all some little green men in mars. They are behind all of this.

(27) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 8:38:42 AM | Permalink

Tell me, GT, when you do economic analysis do you throw out observations that don't support your pre-ordained conclusions? Because that's what you're doing here.

Mr. Lambert was kind enough to point out that bullets hitting aluminum create shrapnel, and that's how he was wounded on March 12th. Where are the wounds from March 13th?

(28) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 8:44:34 AM | Permalink

"Yeah, some reports are true and others false and you JUST know which are which.

"Funny that, huh?"

What is even funnier is that you have so little self-awareness that you don't realize you've just described what YOU say "you just know".

(29) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 8:47:21 AM | Permalink

I don't know Patrick. I'm willing to accept that everybody thinks they are telling the truth and simply have different recollections.

(30) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 9:08:32 AM | Permalink

What about you Patrick, are you willing to accept that?

(31) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 11:43:18 AM | Permalink


I am willing to grant that after 35 years people have different recollections to a point. Lambert wasn't very definative about remembering enemy shots and he certainly was about expecting them. Under stess people can remember a lot of things that just didn't happen.

That said, Kerry's account is balderdash from beginning to end. First of all, he has changed it at least twice already (which impeaches his credibility). Secondly, the forensic evidence clearly states that what Kerry is claiming simply could not have happened.

(32) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 11:44:48 AM | Permalink


I am willing to grant that after 35 years people have different recollections to a point. Lambert wasn't very definative about remembering enemy shots and he certainly was about expecting them. Under stress people can remember a lot of things that just didn't happen.

That said, Kerry's account is balderdash from beginning to end. First of all, he has changed it at least twice already (which impeaches his credibility). Secondly, the forensic evidence clearly states that what Kerry is claiming simply could not have happened.

(33) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 11:53:50 AM | Permalink

Yeah Polaris I say we blame the little green men in Mars.

(34) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 12:34:34 PM | Permalink


Why don't you accept the fact that Kerry hasn't been honest? I point out that the story he is telling now is completely different from the "no man left behind" fable he told at the DNC.

Given that, why do you believe Kerry's word (or the documents he wrote) on anything?

(35) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 1:17:46 PM | Permalink

The documents he wrote?

Is that the new line?

You sure it wasn't the little green men?

(36) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 1:36:57 PM | Permalink


Most of the Naval records of the incident would be based on the spot report. Thus (indirectly), Kerry did in fact write the official Naval record...and the US Navy is as much a victim of Kerry's mendacity as his fellow sailors.

How do we know that Kerry wrote that spot report? Not only do we have the evidence within the spot report itself (written from the PoV of PCF-94), but we also have the sworn statements by all the other OICs that they didn't write them....statements that Kerry has not challenged whatsoever. In fact Kerry has not listed another OIC that would have written the report.

But there is more: Before the Fulbright commission, Kerry admits to writing false spot reports.

However the damage reports and casualty reports are damning and they would not be falsified...too many lives rest on them being accurate...and they call Kerry a liar.

Frankly (given the number of times he has changed his story), the best evidence that Kerry is a liar is Kerry himself.

(37) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 1:43:22 PM | Permalink

Yeah, the documents that support Kerry are all lies. The documents that in your fevered imagination contradict Kerry are all true.

Funny that.

(38) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 2:04:52 PM | Permalink


Right back at you. In fact the damage and casualty reports would have the most witnesses and would be the most mission critical. There is simply no way that they would be falsified.

OTOH, the spot reports could be and often were (read Colin Powell's accounts of Vietnam as well as Gen. Frank's).

Furthermore, we have Kerry's own testimony that he did in fact falsify spot reports....and the spot report would be the document with which the Navy would write their official action logs from.

You are the one that is blinding yourself to evidence here, GT, not me.

(39) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 2:44:07 PM | Permalink

But you are right Polaris.

Kerry lied, all the witnesses in his favor have been brainwashed, all the documents that support him are forgeries and the only documents that are correct are the ones you interpret as contradicting him.

Damn, if he had only had time to make up those documents as well!

I guess those little green men goofed.

(40) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 2:52:53 PM | Permalink


Nice try, but the fish aren't biting. All the official Naval documents you refer to can trace their lineage down to one: The After Action (spot) report. Since we can be virtually certain that Kerry wrote that spot report, the offical Naval recordds come into dispute.

To wit: The veracity of the official record is exactly what the SBVT is disputing.

Thus to refer to the after action reports or any reports from that is begging the question.

OTOH, the damage reports and casuaty reports have a different lineage and would not be faked because of the immediate disasterous consequences of doing so. These count as forensic reports and they have not been challenged by the Kerry campaign. Unfortunately, they call Kerry a liar.

You are the one being blind here. There are a lot fewer eyewitnesses for Kerry than you think...and they don't support his fable nearly as much as you want to believe.

We already know that Kerry has changed his story at least twice. That autmoatically puts any presumption against him...at least in my book. [Plus his story is ridiculous even from a casual examination and casual knowledge of firearms.]

(41) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 3:06:32 PM | Permalink

Like I said, those little green men...

Ah, it would have been the perfect conspiracy!

(42) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 3:15:34 PM | Permalink


Who do you believe. Those men that were under Kerry's direct command and are now in Kerry's pay...or those brother officers that served beside him, and those officers that rated him in his chain of command.

Ask any veteran or active duty soldier, and they will say the same thing: The opinions of brother officers counts far more when detemining the character of an officer than the opinion of his men. Sometimes a good officer has to be unpopular.

(43) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 3:33:59 PM | Permalink

So he bribed them all huh?

Bad Kerry!

(44) wheeldoc made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 3:34:47 PM | Permalink

By his own admission under oath John Kerry is a war criminal and it is not a great leap to believe he is a pathological liar. It is notable that Kerry has dropped his references to Benedict Arnold as it now develops that there are too many similarities.
Even those who have legitimately obtained medals for heroism are not necessarily people you can trust in peace-time. Commanders after WWII who had some of these decorated heroes assigned to their commands were at a loss to use these "cowboys" in peacetime assignments.

(45) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 6:33:49 PM | Permalink

"I don't know Patrick. I'm willing to accept that everybody thinks they are telling the truth and simply have different recollections."

Very amusing, coming as it does from the guy who was dazzling us with such reasoning as, that if Kerry is lying everyone else who supports him is also lying. Which non-sequitur can be exposed by syllogizing it:

Major premise: Kerry is lying.
Minor premise: Kerry is everyone support him.
Conclusion: Everyone supporting Kerry is lying.

Which makes three logical fallacies alone, when you put the above together with your circular reasoning in submitting the medal citations as evidence for the medal citations, and your "little greem men" attempt at appeal to ridicule.

Quite a performance.

(46) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 6:56:44 PM | Permalink

You are a bit unhinged, aren't you?

Just a bit?

(47) J_Crater made the following comment | Aug 29, 2004 8:30:16 PM | Permalink

When the Vietnam war ended there really never was a true national debate. The anti-war protests dropped off dramatically when the draft ended, so even the anti-war folks had had enough. This Swiftee argument is the most time given to actually talking about Vietnam that most Americans have ever seen.
Maybe during the next election cycle, the Democrats can run a real abortion doctor, so Americans can begin a real discussion of a subject locked up, the way Tito locked up Yugoslavia, by the Supreme Court in 1973.

(48) J.R. made the following comment | Aug 30, 2004 8:14:45 PM | Permalink

First, the crewmen campaigning for Kerry are NOT "in Kerry's pay" :

>> Wasser briefly described Kerry’s naval history and how Kerry had served on two SWIFT boats PCF 44 and PCF 94. “We all loved John,” said Wasser. . . . ["] We are unpaid volunteers for the Kerry campaign. We’re here because we have a chance to change America. And I’m damn proud of it.” <<<


>>>Wasser said he is an unpaid volunteer for Kerry <<<<


>>>When Kerry announced he was running for president, Sandusky asked to come aboard. He has since made appearances for Kerry at the Iowa primary and has been interviewed dozens of times.

"We get requests all the time for Del to come speak at local events, and he does a lot on his own," said Matt Miller, Kerry campaign spokesman. "People call him directly and he comes and speaks to their group. But it's strictly volunteer."

The Kerry campaign or the Democratic National Committee pays for his hotel rooms and airfare. But sometimes, when he's on the road, Sandusky stays with friends. He said he pays for his food and gas himself. <<<


Second, Lambert has provided irrefutable proof that there was only one bullet hole in the boat on March 12. The damage report for March 13 shows two more.

Third, Kerry did not testify that he falsified spot reports. He testified that he saw his spot reports exaggerated:

>>>Senator Symington: Mr. Kerry, from your experience in Vietnam do you think it is possible for the President or Congress to get accurate and undistorted information through official military channels?
(Shouts of "No" from the audience.)

Mr. Kerry: I don't know-

Senator Symington: I am beginning to think you have some supporters here.

Mr. Kerry: I don't know where they came from, sir, maybe Vietnam.

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

[. . . ] I also think men in the military, sir, as do men in many other things, have a tendency to report what they want to report and see what they want to see. And this is a very serious thing because I know on several visits- Secretary Laird came to Vietnam once and they staged an entire invasion for him. When the initial force at Dang Tam, it was the 9th Infantry when it was still there- when the initial recon platoon went out and met with resistance, they changed the entire operation the night before and sent them down into the South China Seas so they would not run into resistance and the Secretary would have a chance to see how smoothly the war was going. <<<


(49) WEric Rasmusen made the following comment | Sep 4, 2004 8:33:37 PM | Permalink

As I say in my own weblog:

It is worth reminding everyone about Benedict Arnold, who compares favorably with Kerry. Arnold was a hero both genuine and major. He was a top commander in the Battle of Saratoga, perhaps the turning point in the Revolutionary War, with personal heroism in that battle that crippled his leg. Later, he tried to turn over the fort of West Point to the British, but was foiled. THus, overall, his contribution to the AMerican cause was definitely positive, and major. Kerry made at most small contributions to the American cause while he was a junior officer. Then he made a bigger contribution-- not major, perhaps, but something noted in the history books-- to the enemy cause. THus, overall, his contribution to the American cause was definitely negative.

But I can't imagine Benedict Arnold running against John Adams for President in 1796 and saying, "How dare you question my patriotism! While you were doing lawyer stuff in Congress, I was losing the use of my leg by charging Redcoats! Kill some British, and then you can comment on my war service."

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