Category Archive 'Swift Boat Veterans'

08 Jul 2008

Still Unfit For Command

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The mainstream media responded to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s successful criticism of John Kerry’s military record and subsequent statements as anti-War activist by transforming their very name into a verb referring “to smearing the reputation of a candidate, to making political attacks using false charges.” The falsehood, of course, consisted of the manner of leftwing media’s use of that name. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s charges were true.

A recent story in the New York Times attempted to transform the indignation of Navy veterans who served on Patrol Craft Fast (PCF) boats at the slanderous use of the name of their vessel into a supposed anger against the Swift Boat Veterans who opposed Senator Kerry’s candidacy.

The Times’ story represents yet another posthumous attempt to re-write the history of the 2004 Presidential Campaign, and another pretence that John Kerry was telling the truth or able to refute anything then, or now.

In the American Spectator, Mark Hyman responds:

Kerry’s Silver Star:

Throughout his political career, Kerry has long offered a John Wayne Kerry version of the February 28, 1969 events that led to his being awarded the Silver Star. Eyewitnesses offered a far different account. The core of the dispute is the details surrounding the killing of a suspected Viet Cong guerilla by Kerry. The heroic version of events offered by Kerry was presented in his 2004 campaign book Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War. This version described a guerrilla “standing on both feet with a loaded rocket launcher, about to fire” before Kerry shot first and killed him.

Kerry buttressed his version of events with a narrative of the events in the Silver Star certificate signed by Navy Secretary John Lehman. The problem is that Lehman served as Navy Secretary under President Ronald Reagan and this certificate promoted by Kerry on his presidential campaign website was generated 16 years after the 1969 awarding of the Silver Star.

Shortly after he was elected to the Senate, Kerry contacted Lehman’s office, alleged he lost his Silver Star certificate and requested a new one. A staff member in Lehman’s office told me that Kerry offered language for the replacement certificate. The staffer recognized the sensitive politics involved in the request: Kerry was a sitting U.S. Senator. The Secretary’s office treated the use of Kerry’s proffered language as harmless since Kerry had left military service a decade earlier. The Navy quickly issued a replacement certificate utilizing Kerry’s language. The problem with this turn of events was that a copy of Kerry’s original Silver Star certificate existed and could have been easily found. Because an award certificate is a public record I quickly obtained a copy from Navy archives.

While the overall tone of the two certificates is similar, the 1986 version contained superlative language not found in the original certificate signed by then-Vice Admiral Elmo Zumwalt in 1969.

Kerry’s first Purple Heart:

There were two very critical documents that were generated during the Vietnam war when someone was wounded by enemy fire. The first is a combat casualty card, a 3×5 inch typewritten card. This card contained the main facts such as the wounded serviceman’s full name, military service number, rank, branch of service, the date and description of the wound and the prognosis for recovery. Navy officials described combat casualty cards as “valuable as gold” and they are “protected like Fort Knox” because they are a key record often used to determine disability benefits after military service.

The second required document was a personnel casualty report. It is a mandatory report transmitted to Washington, D.C., with the details of anyone wounded as a result of enemy action.

Combat casualty cards and personnel casualty reports exist for the wounds resulting in John Kerry’s second and third Purple Hearts. However, Navy officials have never located a combat casualty card or a personnel casualty report for Kerry’s injury for which he received his first Purple Heart. In fact, no Navy record has ever been unearthed documenting that there was any hostile action that occurred that specific night involving Kerry and the Boston Whaler. Officers in Kerry’s chain-of-command recall turning down Kerry’s request to be given a Purple Heart for his scratch.

The possibility certainly exists of Navy officials losing a combat casualty card or personnel casualty report. According to a Navy archivist, the possibility of losing both documents for the same individual and for the same event is “virtually impossible.”

As a back-up to his claim, Kerry could make public his Navy medical records detailing the extent of his injury from the night of December 3, 1968, and the subsequent medical treatment. Kerry did not respond when given the opportunity to provide a copy of his combat casualty card, personnel casualty report, or the release of his medical records in order to bolster his claim he was wounded by enemy fire in December 1968.

Read the whole thing.


The left has never recognized that it was not exaggerations resulting in medals that sunk Kerry’s candidacy, or even lies about Christmas in Cambodia. It was the Swift Boat Veterans reminding the public that the John Kerry “reporting for duty” at his nominating convention and glorying in the role of combat veteran and war hero was the same John Kerry who came home early in order to build a personal political career on anti-War activities, and who thus not only stabbed his comrades-in-arms still fighting in the field in the back, but who also viciously slandered them, by spouting a pack of lies to the US Senate, testifying that Americans had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape 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 country side of South Vietnam.

Once the voting public heard afresh that infamous statement, delivered in John Kerry’s snotty and self-infatuated St. Paul accent, the 2004 election was over.

20 Nov 2007

“Swift Boating” = Telling the Truth

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Martha Zoeller, at Human Events, on the characteristic democrat response to inconvenient truths. They lie, and accuse their opponents of unfair tactics and false statements.

Whether it is the 2000 election results, the ongoing historical revisionism about the victory of Senator Saxby Chambliss over Senator Max Cleland in 2002 or the role The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s grassroots victory over Senator John Kerry in 2004 — Democrats never think they lose a fair fight. The fix is always in and it is against them. When the 2006 midterms came around and Democrats won, of course, that was accurate. If Democrats win, it is a fair outcome, when they lose — the response is the personal destruction of anyone in their way.

Senator John Kerry had many months to dispute the claims made by The Swifties and has not taken the opportunity. On November 6, T. Boone Pickens, Chair of BP Capital Management, offered a challenge. He promised $1,000,000 to anyone who can disprove even a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads were very effective and nothing in them was ever successfully disputed. …

Hardly a day goes by that some Democrat doesn’t accuse some other Democrat of “swift boating.” This weekend, the Obama campaign charged Hillary Rodham Clinton — President Rodham to you — with mud-slinging “swift boat” politics. Ouch! That had to hurt. The leftists try to make “Swiftboating” into a verb that connotes lies and slander, but the fact is The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was a shining moment where guys with integrity stood up and told the truth. That is why it worked.

17 Nov 2007

Who’s Squirming Now?

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With characteristic intellectual dishonesty, leftist Jane Hamsher (along with the rest of the Left Blogosphere) is accusing T. Boone Pickens of reneging on a pledge made November 6th at the American Spectator 40th Anniversary Dinner. reports Pickens to have offered to bet $1 million that John Kerry could not prove “anything the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth said in 2004 was false.”

Clarice Feldman
, at American Thinker, in reporting on the events of the evening, also wrote:

T. Boone Pickens responded to John F. Kerry’s latest whining about his having been “swiftboated” by offering a million dollars to anyone who could prove wrong anything the Swiftboat Veterans charged about Kerry.

Pickens offered a $1 million bet that any of the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth’s charges cannot be disproved by John Kerry. Now, John Kerry, and his friends on the Left generally, want to collect that million dollars and claim vindication for John Kerry, if Kerry can simply make his own choice of any single proposition, and deliver a persuasive counterargument.

All arguments with the American Left descend quickly to the school yard level, don’t they?

I remember the 2004 election very well. John Kerry, in what seemed like a bizarre choice, chose to try running for president as a war hero. Since John Kerry’s political career was founded on his leftwing antiwar activities, and since he had already been an opponent of the War in Vietnam at Yale (before he enlisted in the Navy in order to avoid being drafted), there was more than a little incongruity in Kerry’s attempting to combine two completely incompatible stances.

The Swift Boat Veterans For Truth did devastating injury to Kerry’s claims to military glory with a book and a series of political ads. If John Kerry was really in a position to refute their charges, the time for him to have done so was really back during the Campaign of 2004 when the presidency was at stake.

Once the election was concluded, Kerry and his allies in the establishment media began trying to turn the tables, making “swiftboating” into a term of abuse, and depicting John Kerry as some sort of injured innocent.

Long after the votes had been counted, in June of 2005, Kerry released (some? all?) of his Navy Records only to the Boston Globe, a reliably liberal and democrat paper. The Globe dutifully obfuscated by carefully overlooking any and all of the controversial aspects of Kerry’s military record and producing a distracting and meaningless exposé of Kerry’s grades at Yale.

According to Kerry’s supporters in the MSM, that release of records to the Globe “definitively proved the baselessness of smears by the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”

In 2005, a group of unpublished and unreported records released to a single partisan newspaper supposedly sufficed to refute all the charges against John Kerry.

Now, in November of 2007, according to the Left, all John Kerry needs to do is to go carefully through John E. O’Neill’s Unfit for Command and the Swift Boat Veterans’ ads with a fine-toothed comb to find one single contention, one individual detail, one specific item in a very long bill of charges which he can decisively refute, and voilá! Kerry wins, Pickens and the Swifties lose.

Sorry, lefties, a million dollars is a serious amount of money, and the issues at stake here are serious issues, Kerry and the Left cannot really hope to win this one by a clever little last-tag children’s-game maneuver, or by skillful lawyering, or by the grace and favor of the MSM.

T. Boone Pickens responded yesterday:

DALLAS, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is a copy of a letter mailed by T. Boone Pickens in response to a letter from U.S. Senator John Kerry regarding the Senator’s military record and ads in the 2004 presidential election by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

U.S. Senator John Kerry
304 Russell Building
Third Floor
Washington DC 20510

Dear Senator Kerry:

So glad to hear from you regarding the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth political ad campaign, and an offer I made public at an American Spectator dinner in Washington, D.C. last week. I am intrigued by your letter, and am certainly open to your challenge.

My concern at the Spectator Dinner was, and continues to be, that you and other political figures were and are maligning the Swift Boat Veterans, and I want to prevent this important part of American history from being unfairly portrayed.

In order to disprove the accuracy of the Swift Boat ads, I will ultimately need you to provide the following:

    1) The journal you maintained during your service in Vietnam.

    2) Your military record, specifically your service records for the years 1971-1978, and copies of all movies and tapes made during your service.

When you have done so, if you can then prove anything in the ads was materially untrue, I will gladly award $1 million. As you know, I have been a long and proud supporter of the American military and veterans’ causes. I now challenge you to make this commitment: If you cannot prove anything in the Swift Boat ads to be untrue, that you will make a $1 million gift to the charity I am choosing — the Medal of Honor Foundation.


T. Boone Pickens

Sounds fair to me.

I’d say John Kerry has made another mistake in trying to play this game. And all the nonsense the left Blogosphere can post will not save him. If Kerry thinks he can refute the Swift Boat Veterans’ charges, he is going to have to release his personal and official records, to the entire press corps, not just to a pet hometown paper. If he refuses to do so, he may not have to pay $1 million, but he will clearly have lost this particular bet.

12 Jun 2006

John Kerry’s Skimmer Mission Revisited

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At the end of last month, for reasons of his own which are difficult for the rest of us to fathom, John Kerry launched a new campaign of press statements replying to the charges about his awards and military record made by fellow Swift Boat Veterans during his 2004 presidential campaign.

The Swift Boat Veterans’ attacks on Kerry’s record, and the associated book, unquestionably demolished Kerry’s “reporting for duty” campaign theme, and Kerry’s failure during the course of the campaign to release his military records and to reply effectively to the veterans’ charges did not go unnoticed by the voters.

More recently, Kerry seems to have decided that everyone has discarded his copy of Unfit for Command, and forgotten all the details, and he evidently thinks it’s now safe to go around striking martyred poses in front of the obliging liberal media.

Well, John Kerry is wrong. Not everyone has forgotten, and it is not safe, as Thomas Lipscomb demonstrates with a detailed review of Kerry’s first-Purple Heart-producing skimmer mission.

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