Kerry's Service Record

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Kerry's Service Record

Postby mmichaelson » Thu Aug 05, 2004 1:51 pm

So everyone is familiar with the debates about the service records of both of our two major contenders for the presidency this year. . .does anyone know how to look up the relative truth behind websites?
I have a couple that blatantly bash Kerry's Vietnam record. . .
www.scaryjohnkerry.com

http://kerrylied.com

I would like to know if these rumors about his Vietnam record are true. . my father fought in Vietnam, and (though I'm a Bush supporter anyway)
I'd like to know if these allegations are true.
Mandi, Proud Mommy to fawn boxer Sam and two tabby kitties: Chloe and Ty!
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby rwcrooks » Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:11 pm

I guess we'll see. If they aren't true, you can expect him to sue them for libel. If he doesn't sue, he's answered our questions.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby Shapley » Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:24 pm

Saxy,

I do know that at least one member of his unit has differences with him. I'll try to find information on him, and post it. There was mention in an article in the Weekly Standard about how the press was ignoring the guy, but I'm not sure what his beef is.

More importantly is the point that John Kerry has stated that he has seen atrocities firsthand committed by members of his unit. He has not offered to identify those atrocities, nor who the perpetrators were. If they were real atrocities, he owes it to the victims, and to the cause of justice, to identify them. He should not be allowed to slide by on this one.

V/R
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby rwcrooks » Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:47 pm

Shap,

I agree with you. If Kerry witnessed atrocities/War Crimes then it is his duty to come forward.

And if the atrocities were committed by members of his unit, I seem to recall it being drilled into me that "an officer is responsible for what his men do or fail to do."

Maybe he is not coming forward because of command issues?

I'd be interested in what any of our Vietnam vets on the board think of the commercial that Saxy linked to in her first link. With so many of those who served with him coming out against him, it is just a metter of time before something breaks loose.

I'm not sure why he wouldn't release his service record ... SS, BS and 3 Purple Hearts? That's quite a record if come by honestly. And if come by dishonestly, it's quite a long time to live with a lie. I seem to recall a general a couple of years back who was forced to resign/retire because he wore ribbons he wasn't entitled to.

I'm holding my judgement until his service record is released.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby Shapley » Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:58 pm

Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby haggis » Thu Aug 05, 2004 5:25 pm

"I seem to recall a general a couple of years back who was forced to resign/retire because he wore ribbons he wasn't entitled to."
If you are referring to Admiral Boorda , he was so upset that he had brought discredit on himself and the Navy, he took his own life.

I don't know and won't speculate on this latest flap re: Kerry's medals. I know that many former SWIFT boat people have been trying to be heard since Kerry began touting his service in Vietnam but couldn't get any media so went on the offensive, forming this committee that made the ad and allegations.

From the SWIFT boat veteran's website:

"For more than thirty years, most Vietnam veterans kept silent as we were maligned as misfits, addicts, and baby killers. Now that a key creator of that poisonous image is seeking the Presidency we have resolved to end our silence."
Is the SWIFT Boat Veterans' ad truthful?

I'll wait and see, but from Adm. Boorda's (and many other career military members) viewpoint, service medals are more than trinkets to throw over a wall in a pique of anger.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby rwcrooks » Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:22 am

Shap,

Although that article does center on War Crimes, it refers to Bob Kerrey, not John. They are two entirely different people.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby haggis » Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:46 am

One of the SWIFT boat Veterans has retracted his criticism of Kerry.

This is what happens when you try to dreg up 30-year-old incidents based on multiple memories. Dwelling on ancient history, whether Kerry's service in Viet Nam or Bush's National Guard record serves no purpose other than childish "he said, she said"

I have a short interest span. Tell me how my life will be better in the future if I vote for you...

Unfortunately, I also believe that Mr. Kerry’s taking the wrong approach by sicing the lawyers on this, imagine what the media would have done if President Bush threaten to sue theaters if they screened Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11??

I think just coming out and dealing with this in person is the better way, but that’s just my opinion.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby rwcrooks » Fri Aug 06, 2004 1:31 pm

Haggis,

So now we are to believe that Kerry's former CO was mistaken when he wrote out an affidavit and signed it, and then recorded some vignettes to be used in a commercial?

Seems to me like you should be pretty sure of something before you sign your name to it.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby RC » Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:34 pm

Saxy,

This website posts some actual military documents for both: web page

Don't let the name fool you, I think they're Bush Bashers ;) (facetiously)

Since I wasn't actually there, I like to try to put myself in their shoes and see if I can figure out why they feel the way they do.

If I came back from Vietnam and got the reception many did, I might be outraged at someone who promoted the reputation that caused it.

On the other hand. I'm trying to picture myself in Vietnam thinking about anything other than saving my a$$ (literally). So it's hard for me to imagine Kerry, or anyone thinking "hmmm, I think I'm going to go home and run for political office so I better see if I can get some sort of medal out of this to use to win votes" while at the same time, sustaining real physical injuries that anyone would get a purple heart for.

As to the validity of the stories behind the medals??? Ask witnesses to tell you what happened in a crisis situation and you will get as many differing stories as you have witnesses. The more personally involved they were in the situation, the more emotional their story will be.
Someone on the outskirts might think it was no big deal.

<small>[ 08-06-2004, 03:36 PM: Message edited by: RC ]</small>
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby haggis » Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:56 pm

RichC,
I don't think he was one of the ones in the ad, but I'm not sure. I heard on the radio a few moments ago that someone now says he hadn't retracted the affidavit, so who knows what's going to happen.

That's why I'm waiting till the smoke clears. "527"s ads should always be suspect until they have been more clearly vetted.

The Kerry's Campaign has criticized the Bush Campaign for not condemning the ad. Considering Sorros and the "Moveon.org’s" ads, that's a bit disingenuous.

I though the Bush Campaign call to Kerry's campaign to condemn all "527" ads was a clever bit of "one-upmanship” since by one estimate the Kerry leaning “527”s expenditures are reported to be near $67mil (I’m still trying to “tease” the exact numbers out of the FEC website) while the ad under discussion cost $100K.

I posted earlier that I thought all of this was “old history” and should not become a subject. On reflection, I’m not so sure now. Kerry has been waving his Vietnam credentials in our faces since the very beginning as proof he had the skills to lead the country in war, maybe there is an appropriate venue to examine his claims and the counter-claims.

It could all be resolved quite easily if Mr. Kerry releases his full DD Form 214 and his medical records, that he hasn’t to date will only ad fuel to the current speculation.

But, like I said, I’m waiting till the smoke clears.

As an aside and of no particular importance other than it’s uniqueness, does it strike anyone else as slight farcical that we have a democratic candidate who’s campaign is largely based on his experiences in a war that the democrats disparaged and hated for decades and the U.S. lost?

Jes’ curious
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby haggis » Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:16 pm

I certainly don't accord
Drudge anymore Verisimilitude than anyone else "blogging" on the web and I couldn't find the quote on the SWIFT boat veterans website, so believe it or not, as I said, the jury's still out.


“The following statement from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth concerns an article appearing in morning edition of the BOSTON GLOBE, written by GLOBE reporter and author of the official Kerry-Edwards campaign book, Mike Kranish.

"Captain George Elliott describes an article appearing in today’s edition of the BOSTON GLOBE by Mike Kranish as extremely inaccurate and highly misstating his actual views. He reaffirms his statement in the current advertisement paid for by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Captain Elliott reaffirms his affidavit in support of that advertisement, and he reaffirms his request that the ad be played.

“Additional documentation will follow.

"The article by Mr. Kranish is particularly surprising given page 102 of Mr. Kranish’s own book quoting John Kerry as acknowledging that he killed a single, wounded, fleeing Viet Cong soldier whom he was afraid would turn around.

"Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has more than 250 supporters who are revealing first hand, eyewitness accounts of numerous incidents concerning John Kerry’s military service record. The organization will continue to discuss much of what John Kerry has reported as fact concerning his four-month tour of duty in Vietnam."
That's a lot of mileage for $100K, though ;)
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby RC » Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:22 pm

Haggis,
I'm still here.
A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, Nothing else.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby rwcrooks » Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:49 pm

Haggis,

A DD214 is only going to list the medals, ribbons and citations, not the circumstances surrounding their award.

No one doubts that he was there (for a short while, anyway).

No one doubts that there is A LOT of controversy about his actions there.

Maybe they need to get everyone to sit down with Mike Wallace and tape an hour long give and take interview. If they can't get Wallace, maybe Larry 'King of the Softball Question' King would do it. Ahhhh, forget it, let's put them all on with Jerry Springer and his bouncers and see what shakes loose.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby haggis » Fri Aug 06, 2004 4:06 pm

"Haggis,
I'm still here:
And? have I missed a question?

RC,
"On the other hand. I'm trying to picture myself in Vietnam thinking about anything other than saving my a$$ (literally). So it's hard for me to imagine Kerry, or anyone thinking "hmmm, I think I'm going to go home and run for political office so I better see if I can get some sort of medal out of this to use to win votes" while at the same time, sustaining real physical injuries that anyone would get a purple heart for."
Actually, that was quite common in WWII. There are many stories of former Pres. Reagan and Johnson doing something similar as well as the notorious "tail gunner" McCarthy.

Until recently, Vietnam was so unpopular that outside of some former POWs, most people who served there learned that service there was considered a liability; then Mr. Kerry came along.

On a similar, but lower scale I've seen junior USMC officers do some pretty stupid things to get into a firefight so they could qualify for the Combat Action Ribbon, which they consider vital to promotion.

When I initially arrived in Somalia in 1992 I used Marines for security when my Somalia American translators and I collected counterintelligence information. After 12 patrols, and three firefights that I suspect was initiated by eager junior officers, I insisted that I would only allow Marine NCOs to command the security detail; never got shot at again until after the whole Aideed/"Blackhawk Down" fiasco.

So, while I was one of those kinds who liked a building (or a tank!) between me and those who would do me harm, the short answer is, yes, people do plan those things out, sometimes planning their careers decades out.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby haggis » Fri Aug 06, 2004 4:14 pm

RichC,
Hmmmm, you might be right, I know there are two types of 214s; the publicly available one and the other for the veteran.

I just pulled my “private” one out and noticed that there’s not much more on it except schools and TDYs, etc.

I got my father’s service records after he died and there’s quite a bit more available that Mr. Kerry has, to date, declined to provide.

Like I said, refusing to make them public is just going to continue the speculation, and I suspect that he will have to later on. I think it would be better to do so now, rather than wait till he’s forced to closer to 11/02, but, that’s just my opinion.
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby Shapley » Fri Aug 06, 2004 4:30 pm

Rich,

RE:<<
Although that article does center on War Crimes, it refers to Bob Kerrey, not John. They are two entirely different people. >>

Sorry, that's what happens when you don't read your own links.

The article on John Kerry is not available without subscription, But here is a pertinent section, from the Weekly Standard article entitled:

John Kerry's military records and more.
05/03/2004, Volume 009, Issue 32


"The segment in question began with a little film-clip gem from the program's archives--a 1971 appearance by Kerry, then a leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. "There are all kinds of atrocities," this younger Kerry was shown earnestly insisting,


and . . . I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers . . . [including] free-fire zones . . . search-and-destroy missions [and] the burning of villages. . . . All of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions, and all of this ordered as a matter of written, established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed . . . the free-fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law
that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals.

When the clip was done, Russert turned to middle-aged John Kerry and said, simply, "You committed 'atrocities.'"


First Kerry tried a lame joke: "Where did all the dark hair go, Tim? That's a big question for me." Then Kerry did his distancing business: He'd "thought a lot" about the matter, "things we said," and he'd concluded that "atrocities" was "a bad word" to use, "inappropriate," one of those "mistakes" a man makes "in anger"--"honest" but "a little bit over the top." And then--the key word here being "honest"--Kerry un-distanced himself from all this over-the-toppery:


And I think that there were breaches of the Geneva Conventions . . . and everybody knows that. I mean, books have chronicled that, so I'm not going to walk away from that. But I wish that I had found a way to say it in a less abrasive way."

V/R
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<small>[ 08-06-2004, 05:31 PM: Message edited by: Shapley ]</small>
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby rwcrooks » Fri Aug 06, 2004 4:48 pm

So, his defense seems to be "I was just following orders."

As I recall, that excuse didn't work in Nuremburg after WWII.

And as an officer, he probably gave his share of orders.

<small>[ 08-06-2004, 05:50 PM: Message edited by: RichC ]</small>
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby OperaTenor » Fri Aug 06, 2004 9:44 pm

Don't get me wrong, please, I'm not defending JK.

However, the first link alleges two of his purple hearts were earned from self-inflicted wounds. Haggis, how often are PH's awarded for self-inflicted wounds, and, won't the military revoke the medal if it's determined it was awarded under misleading circumstances?

I hate this petty mud-slinging crap. If politicians weren't allowed so much time and money to get elected, perhaps they would be more inclined to focus on issues and what's good about themselves, instead of trying to spin the other guy with so much potenially slanderous negativity.

Makes me want to puke.

:mad:

<small>[ 08-06-2004, 10:50 PM: Message edited by: OperaTenor ]</small>
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Re: Kerry's Service Record

Postby RC » Sat Aug 07, 2004 9:40 am

Speaking of the war in Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson & the Gulf of Tonkin

Listen to the audio at the link provided (it's short) and see if you think we've learned anything in 40 years.

The part that really made my skin crawl was the authorization for military action passing by 88 to 2 on faulty intelligence.
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