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Friday, September 03, 2004

Chronological index of BeldarBlog posts re SwiftVets versus Kerry

For my own use, I've compiled, and will try to keep updated, an index listing my many posts about the SwiftVets versus Kerry controversy and, somewhat more broadly, all of my posts regarding Sen. Kerry's military record and antiwar activism.

These posts are all accessible in full-text, reverse chronological order through the "SwiftVets" archive link in my sidebar, but I hope that this index will help me — and perhaps others — more quickly navigate through them; with 73 posts to date, the SwiftVets archive has just become unwieldy on its own. I've also added a link to this index in the top-right portion of my sidebar.

Thursday, August 05, 2004 What the other Swifties say about Kerry; and another type of "war story" about Beldar's courtroom cross-examination of one of those Swifties (cross-examination of John O'Neill)
Saturday, August 07, 2004 Captain George Elliott's "retraction" and his two affidavits regarding Kerry's Silver Star
Saturday, August 07, 2004 Musings regarding affidavit drafting
Sunday, August 08, 2004 Kranish and Elliott on the phone: a fictional recreation
Sunday, August 08, 2004 More details from the SwiftVets (O'Neill's response to threat letter)
Monday, August 09, 2004 Best line I've heard today (Dinner with Kurtz)
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 John Kerry's "lucky hat" from his trip(s?) to Cambodia
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 Fisking Rassmann's WSJ op-ed
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 War heroes in the White House (Kerry thinks he's Martin Sheen)
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 Impermeable to the facts: Kenneth Baer's article "Frontal Assault" in The New Republic Online (defamation threats)
Thursday, August 12, 2004 More re John O'Neill's and the SwiftVets' "Tar Baby" strategy (Holzers' analysis of KE2004's defamation threat letter)
Thursday, August 12, 2004 Kerry's positive campaign (cartoon)
Thursday, August 12, 2004 WaPo enters the SwiftVets fray (WaPo editorial)
Friday, August 13, 2004 WaPo has the scent, but can't or won't find the meat yet in the SwiftVets vs. Kerry controversy (Terry M. Neal op-ed re 527s)
Monday, August 16, 2004 The frying pan begins to sizzle, and Sen. Kerry's getting seared, seared (Pollock WSJ op-ed and Wooten AJC op-ed)
Monday, August 16, 2004 New ad from MoveOn PAC urges President to violate campaign finance laws
Monday, August 16, 2004 SEALs smack senator (doubts cast on CIA/SEAL insertions into Cambodia)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004 Fisking the LAT's new article, "Veterans Battle Over the Truth"
Tuesday, August 17, 2004 O'Neill's debating points (when he's not shouted down) (John O'Neill's and John Hurley's Scarborough Country appearance)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004 A tale of two cities and two op-eds (Cearnal's Houston Chronicle and Vennochi's Boston Globe op-eds)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004 Kerry's Belodeau eulogy: Yet another version of the Rassman rescue, and screaming up the river "50 yards from Cambodia" in the dead of night
Thursday, August 19, 2004 Judicial Watch calls on DoD to investigate Kerry and possibly revoke his medals
Thursday, August 19, 2004 WaPo reports on Thurlow's Bronze Star citation (Dobbs article and responsive SwiftVets' statements)
Thursday, August 19, 2004 Movie daydreams (Kerry as Gollum)
Thursday, August 19, 2004 NYT late and lame to the SwiftVets controversy (Zernike and Rutenberg article)
Friday, August 20, 2004 New SwiftVets ad ("Sell-Out" — Kerry's Fulbright Committee testimony)
Friday, August 20, 2004 More O'Neill sans shouting hecklers (Human Events Online interview)
Friday, August 20, 2004 Funniest line I've heard today (Kerry "wins" any time there's a debate about Vietnam
Friday, August 20, 2004 The NYT's "Connections and Contradictions" line chart (re Bush ties to SwiftVets)
Saturday, August 21, 2004 WaPo and NYT see the blood in the water, but still won't look for its source; can't they remember the "five Ws and an H"? (Nagourney and VandeHei articles)
Saturday, August 21, 2004 Do you agree with LAT that the 2nd SwiftVets ad takes Kerry out of context? (re Fulbright Committee testimony)
Saturday, August 21, 2004 WaPo's beginning to find the meat! (White and Faler article)
Saturday, August 21, 2004 ChiTrib's William B. Rood adds context, but no revelations, about Kerry's Silver Star
Saturday, August 21, 2004 WaPo digs in on Kerry's Bronze Star and third Purple Heart (Dobbs article)
Saturday, August 21, 2004 USN&WR snarks MSM re Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia
Saturday, August 21, 2004 Who's not being careful about campaign finance disclosures, and why?
Sunday, August 22, 2004 The native superiority of lawyer-bloggers posing as journalists
Sunday, August 22, 2004 Newsweek examines Kerry's Bronze Star and the Bay Hap River action; Sandusky backtracks on enemy fire
Sunday, August 22, 2004 Sunday talking heads and guests argue the SwiftVets vs. Kerry controversy
Sunday, August 22, 2004 Funniest line I've heard today: Kerry on SwiftVets' secret motivation (the Barney Connection)
Sunday, August 22, 2004 The new Jim Russell version of the Bay Hap River action, the Rassmann rescue, and Kerry's Bronze Star
Sunday, August 22, 2004 WaPo lets new Kerry ad lie go unremarked, mocks Dole, and republishes Russell account as gospel (Romano and Nakamura article)
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 Jim Russell and other witnesses of uncertain provenance appearing from out of the woodwork
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 Flipfloppitude
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 SwiftVets update website photo, but leave honest footprints
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 Bear catches goose complaining about gander's sauce (lawyers for 527s)
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 One Vietnam vet's letter to another (Russ Vaughn letter)
Wednesday, August 25, 2004 McQ finds where NYT became confused re three bullet holes and enemy KIA and WIAs on 13Mar69
Wednesday, August 25, 2004 Staking the heart of the SwiftVets vampire
Wednesday, August 25, 2004 Funniest line I've heard today: Kerry camp on ties between their lawyers and anti-Bush 527s
Thursday, August 26, 2004 Why Kerry's Belodeau Eulogy deserves more attention
Thursday, August 26, 2004 Evidence mounts on Bush-Barney connection
Thursday, August 26, 2004 Honor and war heroes: John Kerry and Benedict Arnold?
Thursday, August 26, 2004 Batman rips Robin: Adm. Schachte disputes Kerry's 1st Purple Heart claim in new Novak column (also Lisa Myers interview)
Thursday, August 26, 2004 The third SwiftVets ad (just Kerry crewman Steve Gardner)
Thursday, August 26, 2004 Lambert/Lambeau Field: Does Kerry have SwiftVets on the brain?
Friday, August 27, 2004 Coordination between Bush and SwiftVets?
Friday, August 27, 2004 Butch Vorphal joins eyewitnesses disputing enemy fire during Kerry's Rassmann rescue
Friday, August 27, 2004 Brandishing the "liar finger" in the SwiftVets vs. Kerry dispute
Saturday, August 28, 2004 WaPo's Dobbs stumbles off track
Saturday, August 28, 2004 With friends like Doug Brinkley, does John Kerry need enemies?
Saturday, August 28, 2004 Questions I wish Lisa Myers had asked, or would ask, William M. Zaladonis
Sunday, August 29, 2004 The war-torn soul of John Kerry (Kerry's Gridley service)
Sunday, August 29, 2004 Brinkley and Kerry as students of history
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 Brinkley had in-hand the Belodeau Eulogy, but ignored it in telling the Rassmann rescue story
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 SwiftVets' fourth ad focuses on medals over the fence
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 No blogging tonight
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 SwiftVets offer Kerry peace with honor
Wednesday, September 01, 2004 Three questions from four weeks in John Kerry's calendar
Wednesday, September 01, 2004 Former counsel to the President urges Kerry to sue SwiftVets for defamation
Thursday, September 02, 2004 Occupiers versus liberators
Thursday, September 02, 2004 Preserving Lee Cearnal's op-ed
Thursday, September 02, 2004 Occupiers versus liberators, part II
Friday, September 03, 2004 Chronological index of BeldarBlog posts re SwiftVets versus Kerry
Friday, September 03, 2004 Roy Rogers, Rambo, and Rassmann: What happened to Belodeau's weapon on 13Feb69, and what replacement was Rassmann bringing him?
Friday, September 03, 2004 Kerry brought the Belodeau Eulogy to Brinkley's specific attention
Friday, September 03, 2004 Kerry apparently signed Form 180 for Brinkley, but Brinkley is cooperating in the cover-up
Saturday, September 04, 2004 WaPo's Dobbs stumbles farther off the track (Barnes/TANG story)
Saturday, September 04, 2004 Kranish book makes awful first impression
Sunday, September 05, 2004 Navy Department review of Kerry's medals and alleged misconduct
Sunday, September 05, 2004 Brinkley continues to play coy on Kerry records
Monday, September 06, 2004 WaTimes reminds WaPo to chase the smoking gun found by Dobbs
Monday, September 06, 2004 SwiftVets need computer animations to help sell their case
Tuesday, September 07, 2004 Kerry goes for fourth Purple Heart
Wednesday, September 08, 2004 With ethics complaint against John O'Neill, Houston lawyer not only barks up the wrong tree, but misidentifies the squirrel
Wednesday, September 08, 2004 Judicial Watch supplements its request for Navy Dep't investigation of Kerry medals
Thursday, September 09, 2004 More about Captain George Elliott, from one who knows him personally
Thursday, September 09, 2004 On the off chance that WaPo's Michael Dobbs hasn't already put me on his "spam" list ... (encouragement to pierce Kerry cover-up)
Saturday, September 11, 2004 On 9/11/01 plus three, I worry about John Kerry's short memory
Sunday, September 12, 2004 Vietnam Vets for Truth Rally in DC on live now on C-SPAN (with internet streaming video)
Saturday, September 18, 2004 Judicial Watch strikes out with demand for Navy Dep't investigation
Saturday, September 18, 2004 Fisking Nicholas Kristof's NYT op-ed "A War Hero or a Phony?"
Saturday, September 18, 2004 Should Dubya pardon Kerry?
Saturday, September 18, 2004 Fifth SwiftVets ad: "Dazed and Confused"
Monday, September 20, 2004 Op-ed by SwiftVets' Adm. Hoffmann
Tuesday, September 21, 2004 SwiftVets' sixth ad focuses on Kerry's Paris meeting (or meetings) with America's enemies — Did he "betray his country"?
Thursday, September 23, 2004 Van Odell debates Del Sandusky re Kerry's Bronze Star
Friday, September 24, 2004 NYT bungles description of Kerry's 1970 Paris meeting, and publishes a Brinkley gaffe
Saturday, September 25, 2004 Judicial Watch appeals Adm. Route's dismissal of its complaint
Saturday, September 25, 2004 A challenge to those who claim that the SwiftVets' allegations have been "debunked" or are "unsubstantiated"
Sunday, September 26, 2004 The two most flattering photographs ever taken of John F. Kerry
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 Seventh SwiftVets ad features POWs' wives
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 NYT corrects; Beldar takes a bow (re Kerry meeting with "both sides" in Paris)
Sunday, October 03, 2004 MSM still clueless about basic details of Kerry's military record (and SwiftVets' claims) (NYT errors re Kerry's leg shrapnel)
Tuesday, October 05, 2004 SwiftVets update (Esmay interview with Odell, Lipscombe's Chicago Sun-Times article on 13Mar69 after action report, conclusions re Kranish book intro, SwiftVets join POWs)
Tuesday, October 05, 2004 LAT repeats NYT's error on Kerry meeting with "both sides" in Paris
Sunday, October 10, 2004 Sorriest excuse for a book review I've ever read (the NYT's review of Unfit for Command)
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 Was Kerry's original discharge less than honorable?
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 Eighth and ninth SwiftVets ads feature 90 heroes, including Medal of Honor-winning ex-POW
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 Dean Esmay interview with Captain George Elliott
Saturday, October 16, 2004 Koppel vs. O'Neill: Nightline goes to Vietnam
Thursday, October 28, 2004 SwiftVets release five powerful new "must-view!" videos
Friday, October 29, 2004 Rumor mill buzzing on Kerry's discharge status
Sunday, October 31, 2004Politicians' secrets: Ryan versus Kerry
Monday, November 01, 2004Today's NY Sun article on Kerry's discharge status
Monday, November 01, 2004Former Navy Sec'y Middendorf delivers broad hints on Kerry's discharge

Posted by Beldar at 04:30 PM in Politics (2006 & earlier), SwiftVets, Weblogs | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Chronological index of BeldarBlog posts re SwiftVets versus Kerry and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» BELDARBLOG from PRESTOPUNDIT -- "It's a team sport, baby!"

Tracked on Oct 6, 2004 3:03:34 PM

» Swift Boat Veterans For Truth: Update from No Illusions

Tracked on Oct 8, 2004 2:36:08 AM


(1) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Sep 3, 2004 4:46:24 PM | Permalink

THE main reason I came here in the first place!

I think I'll hang for a tad bit. Kudos to you Beldar, for using your career skillset to lend some structure to this controversy.

(2) Partisan made the following comment | Sep 3, 2004 5:04:38 PM | Permalink

Will you be turning off the ability to add comments on old threads?

(3) jooly made the following comment | Sep 3, 2004 6:28:17 PM | Permalink

Last night after the convention, I saw Brinkley and McAucliffe interviewed together. I can't remember much of what was said but he certainly comes across as a paid party hack. Later, I couldn't sleep and got up and turned on the tv and saw Brinkley on Imus. He said everything the SBVT said was a lie. Everything. Again, I can't remember the details but it appears that Brinkley and Kerry's handlers are not going to concede any point when it comes to the SBVT and they plan to come out swinging. I would assume Brinkley will now be making a lot of appearances.

(4) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 3, 2004 9:18:34 PM | Permalink

Partisan, if the comment spambots don't persuade me otherwise, I intend to leave open the comments on all my SwiftVets vs. Kerry posts for as long as possible, perhaps through the election.

(5) Partisan made the following comment | Sep 4, 2004 4:39:11 PM | Permalink

Just wanted to make sure it was intentional :-) Thanks for all the hard work. Blogs are making history this election and you can be proud of your contributions.

(6) DGB made the following comment | Sep 14, 2004 8:49:31 PM | Permalink

Purple Hearts and Probabilities

John Kerry received three Purple Hearts in the span of four months in Vietnam and on this basis asked to be sent home early. Although these events occurred 35 years ago, one can still confidently calculate probabilities of injury based on available records of Kerry’s injuries. Naval records show that none of Kerry’s wounds caused lost time, required hospitalization or stitches or other medical treatment beyond the equivalent of Band-Aids. To be nicked even once under close range enemy action is extremely unlikely. But three times? The results shown below completely undermine Kerry’s credibility.

None of Kerry’s injuries appear to have come from hostile fire aimed directly at Kerry. According to Kerry, one mission was in total darkness. One injury involved a grenade likely aimed at the boat rather than directly at Kerry. One injury involved a mine with no preference for Kerry. Unfortunately for Kerry’s credibility the probability of being nicked can be reliably estimated even at this late date from readily available information on the location and extent of his wounds and the dimensions of the boats he was on when injured.

Because Kerry was not being aimed at directly, the probability of Kerry being nicked can be arrived at by (a) estimating the ratio of the cross sectional area of Kerry’s body where he could have received a nick to the estimated cross sectional area presented to enemy action by Kerry’s skimmer or Swift Boat, (b) observing that the probability of EITHER a nick OR boat damage by a projectile is proportional to the respective cross sectional areas and (c) observing that the sum of the probability of a nick plus the probability of boat damage is unity for any hit. Using these three relationships, i.e. (a. The ratio of areas), (b. Pertinent probabilities are proportional to areas) and (c. Probabilities of mutually exclusive events add) the probability of being nicked can be reliably calculated. See the section below, Calculation of Probabilities.

From the fact that none of Kerry’s injuries required hospitalization, stitches or lost time one may reasonably conclude all were minor injuries. Assume a typical wound was 1/16 in. deep (one medic called the wound he was treating a “rose thorn prick”). Assume Kerry, while crouched down, presented a cross sectional area to hostile fire of approximately 3 sq. ft. Assume that the perimeter of this cross sectional area where he would merely be nicked was 8 ft. long and 1/16 in. wide. Thus Kerry presented a cross sectional area to enemy action for nicking of approximately the area of 6 postage stamps. Compare this to approximately 60 sq. ft. for the skimmer and 300 sq. ft for a Swift Boat.

Thus the cross sectional area presented by the skimmer was approximately 1,500 times larger (60/0.04= 1500) than that of Kerry’s perimeter where he could have been nicked and for the Swift Boat, 7,500 times larger (300 / 0.04 =7500). This means it was approximately 7,000 times more likely that enemy fire would have damaged the Swift Boat rather than nicking Kerry. Because the boats received zero to minimal damage in the three Purple Heart incidents the chances of Kerry actually being injured are far smaller than the probabilities calculated here.

Now let’s look at the probability of this type of minor wound happening three different times to the same individual. To calculate the overall probability of three such independent events, probability theory dictates one must multiply together the probabilities of each occurrence. Thus the probability of Kerry suffering three Band-Aid type wounds is approximately one part in 1500 x 7,000 x 7,000 or one part in 7 times 10 to the 10th power or one part in 70 billion. Thus the chance that Kerry would have been slightly wounded three different times by a relatively few rounds of enemy fire is vanishingly small.

Kerry’s claims are all the more unbelievable due to the fact that the Swift Boats , which presented a target of over 7000 times larger than the minimal cross section offered by Kerry, are reported to have suffered only minor damage, if any, in the two incidents involving Swift Boats. Kerry and his boats were not subjected to a large number of hits. In fact hostile fire reportedly lasted only for a short time during each incident. That Kerry may have suffered accidental self inflicted wounds does not affect the probability analysis. The cross sections are the same for either type of projectile.

It is very difficult for me to believe that a naval officer would fake some of his wounds. However, what other conclusion can one draw from the available evidence? Are the descriptions of his injuries in error? Are the dimensions of the boats in dispute? Are the official navy records in error? Are we going to ignore probability theory and take Kerry’s word for what happened? Of course one can make different assumptions than I have made. Some may claim Kerry offered a cross sectional area of 3.5 sq. ft., not 3 as I have assumed or that the Swift Boat area was 250 sq. ft. not 300, and thus my probability estimates are way too small. Even if my area estimates are off by as much as 7 times (Kerry’s area = 3x7 = 21 sq. ft. or the Swift Boat area = 5x9= 45 sq. ft. or some combination of unlikely numbers), the probability of Kerry being nicked three separate times is still only one part in 10 billion.

All reasonable values for Kerry’s and the boats’ cross sectional dimensions lead to the same inescapable conclusion. Kerry’s claims of three superficial wounds due to enemy fire are simply unbelievable.

Calculation of Probabilities

Ratio of Areas

Let K = cross sectional area for grazing or nicking Kerry’s perimeter while he was crouched down

S = cross sectional area of the skimmer

T= cross sectional area of a Swift Boat

Perimeter of Kerry = 1’+3’+1’+3’ = 8ft.

K = 8 ft x 1/16 in x (1ft/12 in.) = 0.0417 sq. ft.

S = 15 ft. long x 4 ft. high = 60 sq. ft

T= 30 ft long x 10 ft high = 300 sq. ft.

K/S = 0.0417 / 60 = 0.0007 = ratio of areas, Kerry to skimmer

K/T =0.0417 / 300 = 0.000139 = ratio of areas, Kerry to Swift Boat

Ratio of Probabilities

The probability of an object being hit is proportional to the cross sectional area of the object to hostile fire

Let P = probability of Kerry being nicked and

P1 = probability of the skimmer being hit and

P2 = probability of the Swift Boat being hit

Thus P = q x K where q is a constant of proportionality and

P1 = q x S and

P2 = q x T

Thus P / P1 = (q x K) / (q x S) = K / S = 0.0417 / 60 = 0.0007

P / P2 = (q x K) / (q x T) = K / T = 0.0417 / 300 = 0.000139

Use the Rule that mutually exclusive probabilities add

P + P1 = 1 for a hit on EITHER Kerry OR on the skimmer

P + P2 = 1 for a hit on EITHER Kerry OR on the Swift Boat

The relationships P / P1 = 0.0007 and P + P1 = 1
can be solved for P as follows

Substituting P1 = P / 0.0007 = (1,429 x P) into P + P1 = 1 gives

P + (1,429 x P) = 1. Solving for P gives

P = 1 / 1,430 = 0.0007.

This is the probability that Kerry would be nicked IF EITHER the skimmer OR Kerry were hit by a round of enemy fire. This is equivalent to one part in approximately 1400.

The relationships P / P2 = 0.000139 and P + P2 = 1
can be solved for P as follows

Substituting P1 = P / 0.000139 = (7,194 x P) into P + P1 = 1 gives

P + (7,194 x P) = 1. Solving for P gives

P = 1 / 7,194 = 0.000139

This is the probability that Kerry would be nicked if EITHER the swift Boat OR Kerry were hit by a round of enemy fire. This is equivalent to one part in approximately 7,000.


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