Kerry's medals raise questions with vets

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by AAAintheBeltway, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Just so no one gets the wrong idea, I'm not discounting the fact that Kerry served honorably or faced real danger. I do think his service is being blown out of proportion, I find some elements of his record very curious and I think he is misusing his service to avoid legitimate criticism. I just received the following email from some national security types, who apparently have some doubts of their own:

    > Subject: FW: Kerry and the Swift Boats
    > From my old colonel in Hawaii....a real Silver Star winner. v/r [name deleted]
    > Thanks [name deleted],
    > Actually I had heard some similar stuff from USMC contacts, but nothing
    in this detail or with this credibility.
    > [name deleted]
    > I was in the Delta shortly after he left. I know that area well. I
    > know the operations he was involved in well. I know the tactics and the
    > doctrine used. I know the equipment. Although I was attached to
    > CTF-116 (PBRs) I spent a fair amount of time with CTF-115 (swift
    > boats), Kerry's command.
    > Here are my problems and suspicions:
    > (1) Kerry was in-country less than four months and collected, a Bronze
    > Star, a Silver Star and three purple hearts. I never heard of anybody
    > with any outfit I worked with (including SEAL One, the Sea Wolves,
    > Riverines and the River Patrol Force) collecting that much hardware so
    > fast, and for such pedestrian actions. The Swifts did a commendable job.
    > But that duty wasn't the worst you could draw. They operated only
    > along the coast and in the major rivers (Bassac and Mekong). The rough
    > stuff in the hot areas was mainly handled by the smaller, faster PBRs.
    > (2) Three Purple Hearts but no limp. All injuries so minor that no
    > time lost from duty. Amazing luck. Or he was putting himself in for
    > medals every time he bumped his head on the wheel house hatch? Combat
    > on the boats was almost always at close range. You didn't have minor
    > wounds. At least not often. Not three times in a row. Then he used
    > the three purple hearts to request a trip home eight months before the
    > end of his tour. Fishy.
    > (3) The details of the event for which he was given the Silver Star
    > make no sense at all. Supposedly, a B-40 was fired at the boat and
    > missed. Charlie jumps up with the launcher in his hand, the bow gunner
    > knocks him down with the twin .50, Kerry beaches the boat, jumps off,
    > shoots Charlie, and retreives the launcher. If true, he did everything
    > wrong.
    > (a) Standard procedure when you took rocket fire was to put your
    > stern to the action and go balls to the wall. A B-40 has the ballistic
    > integrity of a frisbie after about 25 yards, so you put 50 yards or so
    > between you and the beach and begin raking it with your .50's.
    > (b) Did you ever see anybody get knocked down with a .50 caliber
    > round and get up? The guy was dead or dying. The rocket launcher was
    > empty. There was no reason to go after him (except if you knew he was
    > no danger to you just flopping around in the dust during his last few
    > seconds on earth, and you wanted some derring do in your after-action
    > report). And we didn't shoot wounded people. We had rules against that,
    > too.
    > (c) Kerry got off the boat. This was a major breach of standing
    > procedures. Nobody on a boat crew ever got off a boat in a hot area.
    > EVER! The reason was simple. If you had somebody on the beach your
    > boat was defenseless. It coudn't run and it couldn' t return fire. It
    > was stupid and it put his crew in danger. He should have been relieved
    > and reprimanded. I never heard of any boat crewman ever leaving a boat
    > during or after a firefight.
    > Something is fishy.
    > Here we have a JFK wannabe (the guy Halsey wanted to court martial for
    > carelessly losing his boat and getting a couple people killed by running
    > across the bow of a Jap destroyer) who is hardly in Vietnam long enough
    > to get good tan, collects medals faster than Audie Murphy in a job where
    > lots of medals weren't common, gets sent home eight months early,
    > requests separation from active duty a few months after that so he can
    > run for Congress, finds out war heros don't sell well in Massachsetts in
    > 1970 so reinvents himself as Jane Fonda, throws his ribbons in the dirt
    > with the cameras running to jump start his political career, gets
    > Stillborn Pell to invite him to address Congress and Bobby Kennedy's
    > speechwriter to do the heavy lifting, winds up in the Senate himself a
    > few years later, votes against every major defense bill, says the CIA is
    > irrelevant after the Wall came down, votes against the Gulf War, a big
    > mistake since that turned out well, decides not to make the same mistake
    > twice so votes for invading Iraq, but oops, that didn't turn out so well
    > so he now says he really didn't mean for Bush to go to war when he voted
    > to allow him to go to war.
    > I'm real glad you or I never had this guy covering out flanks in
    > Vietnam. I sure don't want him as Commander in Chief. I hope that
    > somebody from CTF-115 shows up with some facts challenging Kerry's
    > Vietnam record. I know in my gut it's wildy inflated. And fishy.
    > Keep smiling,
    >[name deleted]
  2. At least Kerry has medals to question.....
  3. I have not decided who I am going to vote for in the election....generally I am not a fan of New England democrats.

    But if it had been me in Vietnam (I only missed the draft by a few years), I would have been scared shitless about being shot at. I would have put in for a medal everytime I nicked myself shaving. Only someone crazy plays a Rambo type. Politics aside, you can't blame any person for wanting out of that hell hole.

    About the time Kerry came back, demonstrations and anti-war rallies were the flavor of the day. No story there.

    Kerry served his country, did his time, and lived to come home.

    End of story.
  4. Touche!
  5. As I recall, they meant so much to him that he pretended to throw them away to impress Jane Fonda and the media.

    The problem is he acts like he's the only person ever to serve or get a medal. I don't blame him for anything he did, but I think his tactic of waving his medals at anyone who questions his voting record is unseemly. It also invites closer examination of what exactly he did to earn those medals. It turns out to be not much compared to most of the combat vets.
  6. How funny that you see Kerry as smug but not Bush as smug.

    Perhaps it is just a Yale thingy.

    You are on some witch hunt here, and you will fail.

    You would be better off attacking his voting record, as the Democrats will attack Bush's presidential record.

  7. I am not a decorated combat vet so apparently under the "Kerry rules" I'm not allowed to criticize his voting record. It's ok for a sleazeball like Terry McAuliffe to call the President a criminal however.

    This should be an interesting election. Kerry has a lot of stuff in his background as a war protestor and pro-Hanoi activist that will sicken the average voter. It will be a challenge for the Republicans to use it and sidestep the inevitable media criticism.
  8. The average voter is not sickened by the spin of right wing extremists that paint Kerry's support of the peace movement as some act of treason.

  9. Well, that's the issue I'm trying to posit. I think the Republicans will be very happy to style this election as the President versus Hanoi John. The Democrats appear to me to be trying their best to foreclose that angle by waving Kerry's medals at every opportunity. If Kerry is so proud of his anti-war days, why try to hide them? Why not give Jane Fonda a prominent role in the campaign? A lot of people seem to like her.

    Leaving aside the polemics for a moment, I just think this could be a fascinating campaign from the standpoint of strategy. Bush clearly has problems and people are lukewarm about him. Kerry has strengths but has to deal with a very liberal voting record and the anti-war history. As a political observer, I anticipate a very entertaining campaign.
  10. I agree with the campaign being both interesting and dirty. Much like watch a soap opera.

    Given the polarity that continues from the 2000 election, if I were running the campaign I would proceed as follows:

    I would take all the money they have and not spend it on ad campaigns like the traditional media.

    The key votes are the ones undecided. Most of the undecided won't be changed by the ads on TV.

    Take the money and go into the poor communities and make sure all the poor are registered to vote.

    Then make sure they are driven to the voting booths on election day.

    I still believe that most people who voted for Gore in 2000 will not vote for Bush now, so the Dems have to swing the undecided.

    The republicans just need to juice the economy.

    #10     Feb 26, 2004