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Swift Boat Group Offers To End Ads

Sean Hannity is reporting the the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth have offered to end their media campaign, if Senator Kerry meets a few criteria.

The main point is that Kerry apologize to the nation and veterans for his 1971 Senate testimony.

The Swift Boat Vets press release site doesn't have it yet, but you can catch the audio on the Sean Hannity online broadcast.

Update: The official letter is now available. For your convenience, the text of the letter is shown below.

August 31, 2004
Senator John Kerry
901 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Senator Kerry:

As you prepare for your address before the American Legion in Nashville, Tennessee, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth encourages you to use this opportunity to clarify your actions in Vietnam and your statements about your fellow Veterans and shipmates when you returned home. Since you have made your four-month tour in Vietnam the centerpiece of your campaign, we respectfully insist that you be truthful. The public is owed a full and honest accounting of your actions. Veterans are owed an apology from you and an acknowledgement that there was no basis in fact for the accusations you made against them.

We urge you to:

1. Apologize for your conduct once you returned from Vietnam. Your exaggerated testimony before the US Senate; the blanket indictment of your fellow veterans; throwing away medals and ribbons; all of these actions dishonored America and the armed forces. Your rhetoric and actions were not only wrong, they aided the enemy and brought great pain to POW's, veterans and their families.

2. Clarify the conflicting accounts involving the Bay Hap River incident of March 13, 1969 (Bronze Star and 3rd Purple Heart). You have now described three different versions of this incident. In the first version of this incident presented during the Democrat National Convention, you stated: "No man left behind," suggesting to the American people that you alone stayed on the river to rescue Mr. Rassmann. Later, when forced to acknowledge conflicting eyewitness testimony from fellow swift boat veterans, you said that your boat left the scene to return moments later to retrieve Jim Rassmann from the water. Yet, in another version of the same incident discovered in the Congressional Record, you reported that your boat struck a mine and Rassmann fell off the boat. Mr. Kerry, please explain to your fellow veterans and the American people which version is the truth.

3. Affirm that the injuries for which you received your purple hearts never required any medical treatment beyond perhaps a bandage and that, in all instances, these injuries were self-inflicted and came from your own weapon. Further, that if any of these purple hearts were falsely awarded, that you would not have been eligible to leave Vietnam after serving only four months.

4. Acknowledge what your own biographer is now saying, that the Christmas in Cambodia claim is "obviously wrong, that you were never in Cambodia over Christmas or any other time during your brief, four-month tour in Vietnam and that your statements before the United States Senate in 1986 were false.

If you undertake these steps we will be satisfied that the American public has been sufficiently apprised as to these aspects of your career, and we will discontinue the media advertisements you have sought so fervently to silence.

Please know that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are eager to close our own personal chapters on Vietnam and instead focus on the war we're currently fighting - the ongoing war on terrorism. In the absence of full public disclosure and a public apology, we will continue efforts to carry our message to an ever-expanding base of grassroots supporters.

Senator Kerry, we want to get Vietnam behind us. But, we can only do so if the truth is told.

We respectfully await your reply.

Sincerely,

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth


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Comments (9)

If Kerry does decide... (Below threshold)
John "Akatsukami" Braue:

If Kerry does decide to apologize, I have a wakizashi that I'd be happy to give him.

According to the news earli... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

According to the news earlier (6 pm on Fox if I recall correctly - just saw the screen without volume) they want him to 1. apologize for his statements about men still fighting in Vietnam and throwing his medals away; 2. Explain the actions around his Bronze Star and the rescue of Rassman; 3. Tell the truth about the Cambodia thing and 1 more that I forget.

The person running the smar... (Below threshold)
Jumbo:

The person running the smartest campaign, by far, is John O'Neill. The man continually boxes Kerry in. Impressive, if for nothing more than the sheer tactical brilliance of the issues, content of ads, sequence and timing of ads, the way he challenged Kerry to bring a defamation suit if he thinks it's a lie, etc. Powerful. .

Is there anything to a rumor that Gardner is supposedly hinting at about an even MORE devastating release yet to come?

How about they apologize fo... (Below threshold)
nitroburn:

How about they apologize for being so dishonest first?

http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&tts=1&display=rednews/2004/09/01/build/state/25-swift-boat.inc

"Anderson said he first learned about the situation last week when he received an e-mail from a third party. The e-mail, from a Tom Pyle, said Pyle had contacted a dozen men whose names showed up on the list. Of the dozen, three said they had not given permission, Anderson said.

"That leads me to believe that as many as 25 percent of the names are fictitious supporters of that group," he said. "

those freaking swift boat liars for falsehood.

"those freaking swift bo... (Below threshold)

"those freaking swift boat liars for falsehood."

Nitroburn, I didn't realize Kerry had a swiftboat group.

I don't think they should g... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

I don't think they should give up their ads. Their site has been hacked so many times, it's ridiculous! Sure if you find one you can hear a commercial but they finally found a temporary home on US Paratroupers site. When they first started, they had many pages but Hackers (Kerry's people maybe?) and if you go to vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry you might also find some info on them. Kerry/Edwards has tried to shut them down so many times and there is only one reason for that - you can't get that many people to lie.

We are in serious trouble if Kerry wins this election.
Since he does not show up for work in the Senate, I wonder how often he'll show up for work in the White House? And to think we'd have to listen to his monotone voice whenever he gives a speech makes me want to gag. God help us all.
~C

I'm sorry, did a Bush suppo... (Below threshold)
Sam:

I'm sorry, did a Bush supporter just bash Kerry for not showing up to work? Seriously? Your boy goes on month-long vacations when the world is falling apart, and you want to criticize KERRY?

You're really scrambling now. Bravo on alerting everyone to his voice, that's certainly the first thing on my list of requirements for geopolitical heavyweights. We'll put "be able to name at least 5 foreign countries" far enough down the list that W can still qualify.

Classic, really. "If I think it, no matter how completely nutjob it is (Kerry employs hackers now), it must be relevant!" Keep it up.

"Sam" -- Kerry campaign may... (Below threshold)
-S-:

"Sam" -- Kerry campaign may not be able to be found to "employ" hackers but the Left certainly has hackers and they're very busy...Indymedia even has a dedicated site for hackers of the Demo kind (let's see, Soris and TIDES fund Indymedia, so there's wiggle room to try to continue to persist in the "Kerry isn't related to the 527's" bit, despite the fact that no one believes that anymore).

I've yet to read about hackers who are conservatives. Mostly because, I'm thinking, the two are contrary characteristics, at least as to the damaging sort of activities that the Indymedia permuation of hacking for the DNC (that'd be the "not Kerry campaign" DNC hackers, I guess if you are to be believed) is responsible for.

In my own experience, I can simply tell you that the hacking experiences I'm familiar with were left wing criminal sorts, all of whom, I am sure, will not be voting for Bush's re-election, and I'd be really surprised if they weren't voting for Kerry.

It's a foolish argument based upon speculation, however, but I do know that Indymedia has an organized effort to "hack" conservative websites and sources. And, the worst of the noticed hacking activities of late have alll been by "Liberals" about...let's see, nearly anything and anyone who supports President Bush.

This stuff is utterly shame... (Below threshold)
resw:

This stuff is utterly shameful. As many of the vets who actually served on Kerry's boat (unlike these guys) have said, this sort of rhetoric dishonors all of them. Kerry has ALREADY admitted he said some things as a young guy that were less than tactful, and HE ALREADY HAS apologized (though he stands by his political assertions). However, while Kerry has matured in his perspective and learned to try to let old wounds heal, these guys have drastically regressed. They are more bitter, cynical, manipulative, and in my opinion shameful and unpatriotic, than anyone. No one seriously believes they are just running ads out of the blue. We all know they are politically motivated. And they are doing to Kerry far worse than Kerry every did. He never singled anyone out specifically and ran down exactly why they did or did not deserve their medals. If there was a partisan investigation into every medal awarded, you could probably come up with a perfectly good reason that virtually none of them were deserved. But this really should not be considered a priority for our nation. It does no one any good.


William Rood: "The critics have taken pains to say they're not trying to cast doubts on the merit of what others did, but their version of events has splashed doubt on all of us. It's gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were not there."


John McCain said the ads are "completely nauseating."

"If they question Kerrys medals, they question everybody's medals. All those men who found it so hard to come home, who found so little gratitude for their sacrifices when they got here, are going to feel mistreated again. The families of the people whose names are on the monument in Washington will feel wronged, too. The painful wounds we all worked so hard to close will all be reopened. We've got to get that garbage off the air as soon as we can."

McCain called the ad "dishonest and dishonorable," and said, "It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me" in 2000.


McCain used to have a few complaints with what Kerry said too, and he did the honorable thing and worked to bridge the divide with Kerry. Now the two are good friends. McCain realizes he was extreme, and Kerry realizes he was extreme, and they have both moved on and become wiser for it. The Swift Boat Vets for "Truth" have no such goal to try to build bridges or heal old wounds.


A Swift Boat Vets for Truth spokesman has a pang of guilt: "I still don't think he shot the guy in the back. It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words."

At this point George Elliot had switched his position at least twice. He then switched again.

In 1969 Elliot had ranked Kerry "not exceeded" in 11 categories, including moral courage, judgment, and decisiveness, and "one of the top few" in five more. He called Kerry "unsurpassed," "beyond reproach," and "the acknowledged leader in his peer group."


Roy Hoffman, one of the ones who's leading the charge for the Swift Vets for "Truth", said of Kerry in March 2003, "I am not going to say anything negative about him. He's a good man."

He spoke approvingly of Kerry's efforts in attaining his Silver Star: "It took guts, and I admire that."


Adrian Lonsdale, another Vet for "Truth," supported Kerry, saying Kerry exemplified the "bravado and courage of the young officers that ran the Swift boats." He said, "Senator Kerry was no exception. He was among the finest of those Swift boat drivers."


Meanwhile, the guys supporting Kerry -- the ones who were actually in his boat for awhile -- have stood by their words from the beginning.


James Rassmann, a lifelong Republican: "What these people have said is not true... These gentlemen appear to be making this up as they go along and they are not keeping their stories straight."

Rassmann said, "John Kerry saved my life."


Fred Short: "The Bush campaign has nothing to talk about, so they resort to these dirty tricks."

Short has said that if not for Kerry, "I wouldn't have been here talking to you."


Charles Gibson: "Every day you wake up and say, 'How the hell did we get out of that alive?' Kerry was a good leader. He knew what he was doing."


Larry Thurlow, Swift Boat Vets for "Truth": "The old wounds have been reopened, and they still bleed."


That's great. Thank you very much for reopening the old wounds. Very patriotic.




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