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John Kerry: Not The Swiftest Boat At The Dock

Well, John Kerry has decided to pretend he's the martyred victim again and bring back to mind his sparring with the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth.

For some of you who missed it the first time around, here are a few of the salient facts about the dust-up between John Kerry and a lot of the men who served in the same Swift Boat squadron with him in Viet Nam:

1) John Kerry chose to make his Viet Nam experience one of the key points of his 2004 campaign, and not his accomplishments in the US Senate -- most likely because he doesn't really have any accomplishments in his decades in the US Senate to brag about.

2) John Kerry had a rather significant history of "fudging" the details of his personal history. My personal favorite example is his grandstanding at a protest when a bunch of veterans threw their medals over the fence of the White House. Years later, Kerry proudly displayed his medals in his Senate office. When asked how he still had them after he'd been photographed throwing medals over the wall, he explained that the medals he'd tossed belonged to another (unnamed) veteran who couldn't make it to the protest.

3) Many of the Swift Boat Veterans claimed that their recollection of events over 30 years ago contrasted starkly with the accounts John Kerry was putting forth, and sunk their time, money, and energy into publicly stating those disagreements.

4) John Kerry had to publicly retract at least one significant aspect of his accounts -- the "Christmas In Cambodia" story. Kerry said that he had spent Christmas of 1968 delivering a CIA agent into Cambodia while listening to President Nixon deny that there were any Americans in Cambodia. Lyndon Johnson was president during Christmas in 1968; Nixon would not take office for almost a month.

5) John Kerry repeatedly denied the allegations of the Swift Boat Veterans, but never offered conclusive evidence -- namely, his full service record -- to back up his claims.

6) John Kerry repeatedly promised he would sign the necessary paperwork to make his records public (including to Tim Russert on Meet The Press), he only released the full records to Kerry's biographer and his favorite reporters from the Associated Press, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. (The Globe reporter was also the author of a very fawning book on Kerry.)

7) Kerry has repeatedly accused the Swift Boats of slandering him, but never took any legal action against them. In fact, some of his critics publicly counted down the days until the statute of limitations expired, and even offered to waive the limit, in order to have the matter adjudicated in a court, but Kerry never availed himself of the chance to redeem his honor.

8) John Kerry's official discharge papers are dated 1978 -- six years after his formal obligation to the Navy ended. There is no evidence that in 1972, then-Reservist John Kerry renewed his commitment to the Navy.

9) Also, in 1970, then-Reservist John Kerry met with North Vietnamese government officials in Paris for unofficial, unsanctioned "peace talks." That was a gross violation of military law.

One theory that ties it all together nicely is that Kerry was given an less than honorable discharge by 1972, and was stripped of all benefits and honors. Then, in 1978, his discharge was quietly upgraded and his awards restored. That would also explain why his medals were "re-issued" and not "replaced" -- lost, stolen, or damaged medals are customarily replaced, as I understand it, but only "re-issued" if they had been revoked. Kerry's full, unadulterated record would clear this up quite nicely -- was Kerry's less-than-honorable discharge upgraded as a result of Jimmy Carter's blanket amnesty for Vietnam-era draft dodgers, deserters, and others who had left the military on less-than-favorable terms? -- but Kerry won't release the records.

But John Kerry would rather keep up his farce of proclaiming that the Swift Boat Veterans spread horrid lies about him, that he was too principled to stoop to their level to reply, and that their allegations have all been proven false.

One would think that someone would remind John Kerry that his election was over just over seven three years ago, and he lost. But that would go against his greatest strength: to re-write his past so it best serves his future ambitions.

It's just too bad he can't actually make his fantasized memories into reality.

One persistent troll keeps bringing up an old posting of mine, where I explained why I could not vote for John Kerry. He quotes a single line, and contrasts it with my support for Mitt Romney. Here's the full paragraph from that article I wrote over three years ago:

1) John Kerry lacks consistency. I just can't tell where he stands on major issues. If the war in Iraq was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time," then how the hell would have have "done it smarter" and "gotten other nations to help?" Is he pro-choice when it comes to abortion, or does he believe that life begins at conception? Is Israel's security fence (which has proven to be a serious barrier to suicide bombings) "necessary to the security of Israel" or "a barrier to peace?" (I want to get snarky here and say perhaps Kerry believes in killing babies and that the existence of Israel is a danger to world peace, but I'm trying to be serious here.) He voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, which blocked gay marriage, and even signed a letter supporting the rights of gays to wed one another, but denounced the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court when they struck down barriers to gay marriage. I find myself agreeing with him about half the time, but I can't trust him to stay with any position.

The major difference between Kerry and Romney is that Romney acknowledges that his positions have changed. Romney doesn't deny his prior positions, doesn't attempt to rationalize or reconcile them, doesn't spout all sorts of bullshit to show that he is not being inconsistent. He doesn't accuse others of misunderstanding his words or misconstruing his intent or taking his words out of context when they point out their inconsistencies. In brief, Romney states clearly that his positions and stances have changed and developed and evolved over time; Kerry refuses to admit that he might ever have been mistaken in the past, and deeply resents it when someone has the gall to challenge his positions.

Another major difference, unrelated to the troll's persistent nagging, is that Romney has actually achieved things in life. John Kerry has been in the Senate for over two decades, and I can recall exactly two things of real substance he has achieved in those years -- both of which happened in the 80's and early 90's.


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Comments (42)

John F'n Who?... (Below threshold)

John F'n Who?

7 years ago?... (Below threshold)

7 years ago?

A "persistent [and normally... (Below threshold)

A "persistent [and normally wrong] troll?"

Jeesh, there are so many of them it would be hard to guess.

It's also worth noting that... (Below threshold)

It's also worth noting that John O'Neill has been challenging the veracity of Kerry's claims since 1971, which belies Democrat claims that the Swifties were a group of dolts dragged out of the woodwork by evil Republican operatives during the 2004 Presidential campaign.

If there was a Hall of Fame... (Below threshold)

If there was a Hall of Fame for useless, underacheiving egomaniacal Congressmen, Kerry would definitely be in it. As it is, he has to be happy with his place of honor in the Hanoi War Hall of Fame.

He's also in the Hall Of Fa... (Below threshold)

He's also in the Hall Of Fame for gold diggers GianiD.. a crowning achiever indeed.

"I actually voted for the rich Heiress...no more penniless nights in a pup tent

What Mike said #4.... (Below threshold)

What Mike said #4.

Kerry has never successfully refuted O'Neill. Never

O'Neill is the indelible foil that will not go away...because he figured out John Kerry decades before Karl Rove ever laid an eye on him.

The liberals can whine all day about Rovian election conspiracies; O'Neill had been waiting decades for the opportunity to again show America what a fraud it was that this man wanted to sell the voters. Unfortunately for Kerry, it was the perfect media storm of blogs, talk radio, and the rise of conservative media that felled the walls of his protectors....the willing accomplices of his MSM enablers.

[Romney] doesn't attempt... (Below threshold)

[Romney] doesn't attempt to rationalize or reconcile them, doesn't spout all sorts of bullshit to show that he is not being inconsistent
Romney states clearly that his positions and stances have changed and developed and evolved over time

Jay, you're either a shill and apologist, or you're not paying attention. Romney keeps coming up with shocking personal epiphanies that explain his shifts both pro-choice and pro-life. First it was the death of a friend of the family who died from a botched illegal abortion that made him pro-choice. And then it was a conversation with a stem cell researcher that made him pro-life. (That is, after the shocking personal experience of his wife's MS made him pro-stem cell research.) There is no "changing over time" with him. Just shocking personal experiences.

He went from:

""I believe abortion should be safe and legal... I sustain and support the right of a woman to make that choice."
I personally do not favor abortion. But as governor of Massachusetts, I will keep the laws as they exist
"I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view.

Nothing "evolving over time" here. These are all opinions that turned on a dime, depending on his political situation.

Of course, the "shocking personal experience reversal" theory is so much easier for you to believe than, say, voting for a version of a funding bill that contains tax cut repeals, but then voting against that funding bill once the repeals were removed from it.

As for your comment, "It's just too bad he can't actually make his fantasized memories into reality", would that be referring to Romney "remembering" his father marching with MLK, and then recanting that fable?

It would seem, Jay, that since you were called on your inconsistent positions, you are just attempting to rationalize or reconcile them, and spouting all sorts of bullshit to show that you are not being inconsistent. Especially since your original "John Kerry lacks consistency" post contains not a single mention of how his method of inconsistency is what you don't like, whereas other methods of inconsistency are very trustworthy. This post is just one giant retcon for you.

And by the way, someone should remind you that John Kerry's election was over just over three years ago, he lost, and he's not running again. Get over him.

Jay's recycling the same ol... (Below threshold)

Jay's recycling the same old lies.

Some key findings:
In September 2004, Vice Admiral Ronald A. Route, the Navy Inspector General, completed a review of Kerry's combat medals, initiated at the request of Judicial Watch. In a memo to the Secretary of the Navy, Gordon England, Route stated [77]:
Our examination found that existing documentation regarding the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals indicates the awards approval process was properly followed. In particular, the senior officers who awarded the medals were properly delegated authority to do so. In addition, we found that they correctly followed the procedures in place at the time for approving these awards.

Kerry did not claim to have been sent on a covert mission to Cambodia on Christmas Eve, 1968. Rather, he believed at the time he had crossed the border while on a patrol near the border, during which the boats were ambushed and later came under friendly fire from South Vietnamese soldiers.[John F. Kerry, the Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, p. 84]

Based on examination of Kerry's journals and logbook, historian Douglas Brinkley placed the covert missions soon after Christmas. In an interview with the London Daily Telegraph, Brinkley stated that Kerry had gone into Cambodian waters three or four times in January and February 1969 on clandestine missions, dropping off U.S. Seals, Green Berets, and CIA operatives. Brinkley added:
He was a ferry master, a drop-off guy, but it was dangerous as hell. Kerry carries a hat he was given by one CIA operative. In a part of his journals which I didn't use he writes about discussions with CIA guys he was dropping off. [66] [67]

Swiftboat them: It has been... (Below threshold)

Swiftboat them: It has been used so many times it now means to tell the whole truth about someone and then prove it. Actually the Freakin phony Hanoi John got out of Vietnam quick. Have you ever heard of 'fragging' someone? Want to bet he was in line for that. (Vietnam Vet)

So I take it you're not gon... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

So I take it you're not gonna be voting for Romnay in November, Brian? Shoocker that is.

Number 9 should also includ... (Below threshold)

Number 9 should also include a violation of the Logan Act.

As the Vietnam War raged in... (Below threshold)

As the Vietnam War raged in the 1960s, Mitt Romney received a deferment from the draft as a Mormon "minister of religion" for the duration of his missionary work in France, which lasted two and a half years.

Before and after his missionary deferment, Romney also received nearly three years of deferments for his academic studies.


When Romney has to face the enemy we can count on him to bravely run a way to France. Way to pick'em Jay.

Yeah, Kerry served just lik... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Kerry served just like that other great American Bill Clinton!

Oh wait . . .

Come on Barney, admit now that you voted for the draft-dodger Bill Clinton.

I have a feeling that 'bravely running away to France', or Oxford, or whatever, is a plus in your book and not a defect.

So I take it you're not ... (Below threshold)

So I take it you're not gonna be voting for Romnay in November, Brian?

Well, I was going to vote for Thompson, but dammit!

Just about the last place t... (Below threshold)

Just about the last place to go for an unbiased assessment of the Swift Vet story is Wikipedia. When you see it used as a reference, you can be sure that the referer is either a.) abominably ignorant of the bias or b.) willfully contemptuous of the truth.

Nevertheless, even in that ridiculous hatchet-job purporting to be an "encyclopedic article", there are some grains of truth.

Inre the Navy IG report on Kerry's "awards", commenter BarneyG2000, not suprisingly, neglects to provide the following observation ALSO INCLUDED in the Wikipedia article...

Conducting any additional review regarding events that took place over 30 years ago would not be productive. The passage of time would make reconstruction of the facts and circumstances unreliable, and would not allow the information gathered to be considered in the context of the time in which the events took place.

In other words, the Navy PUNTED in attempting to ascertain the FACTS that would substantiate the awards. To represent the Navy IG report as anything more than tossing the political hot potato is specious and just plain ignorant.

Ah, John Kerry.Pos... (Below threshold)

Ah, John Kerry.

Possibly the only man less capable than Warren G. Harding to get close to the Presidency in the last 100 years.

I dunno, JLawson--there was... (Below threshold)

I dunno, JLawson--there was that Carter fellow a few years back who would give them both a run for least capable.

Did peanuthead ever even m... (Below threshold)

Did peanuthead ever even make it on the 'capable' scale? Its like multiplying by zero.

Don't forget T. Boone Picke... (Below threshold)

Don't forget T. Boone Pickens' challenge for a Million dollars...Kerry never took him up on it, btw.

Bottom line, Kerry wasn't in VN long enough to get a good tan let alone all the medals and PHs. A fraud and traitor is more like it; not a hero.

Hanoi John Kerry as Command... (Below threshold)
mikem Author Profile Page:

Hanoi John Kerry as Commander in Chief and the fact that the Democratic Party (who I supported for decades) nominated him and allowed him to do his "reporting for duty" mockery was the final twist of the knife in the back of Vietnam veterans. I am a Vietnam Era veteran (was not there, not even seared in my memory) and I was so pissed I almost cried. Imagine how Vietnam veterans felt. Imagine how black Americans would feel if their worst slanderer was nominated for President as a civil rights leader.

Thanks for posting this. And thank you, SBVT, for sacrificing your careers in the oh so tolerant and veteran caring liberal communities to stand up against such a gross hypocrisy.

And what a victory it was. Let the liberal media continue to bad mouth Kerry's victims. It is what they do, but they stood clearly exposed in their hypocrisy as well. It was a great lesson for the American public to learn and regardless of near future Democratic Party victories, which political cycling almost demands, that lesson will remain.

Other differences aside, JT, thanks again for raising this issue once more. Both Kerry and the SBVT deserve it, in great measure.

Kerry's medals were re-issu... (Below threshold)

Kerry's medals were re-issued on June 4, 1985 by John Lehman.

They are ONLY re-issued if they are taken away for some reason.

Kerry did NOT want to have to explain it. That would have destroyed his entire story.

9. Posted by BarneyG2000... (Below threshold)

9. Posted by BarneyG2000 | January 24, 2008 9:20 PM | Score: -10 (14 votes cast)

Ah, wikipedia.

The source that Barney can himself change.

The fact is that Kerry's medals had to be re-issued. Let Kerry explain why.

I do know why.

Nah, Joel - compared to Ker... (Below threshold)

Nah, Joel - compared to Kerry Carter comes off really well...

Carter at least TRIED, but was overwhelmed into paralysis by the office's responsibilities IMHO. But Kerry? He's got so much self-esteem he wouldn't have a clue that he didn't have a clue, and worse... wouldn't care!

John Kerry is what is wrong... (Below threshold)

John Kerry is what is wrong with our government. Anything, anything to get and stay elected. I thought he was a loser in 1970 and I still think he is a loser. He has not core. NO soul. All ego. ww

Ok, I'm a teacher, and noth... (Below threshold)

Ok, I'm a teacher, and nothing offends me more than someone quoting Wikipedia as truth. Anyone can add to Wiki, as we all well know, so it's a useless reference.

You guys know that you can ... (Below threshold)

You guys know that you can buy medals at the PX, right? So just because Kerry threw his original ones away doesn't mean he couldn't have bought replacements at a later date. He was still authorized to wear them, even after he threw them away.

Let 's give Brian a brownie... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Let 's give Brian a brownie point that Romney has changed his position on abortion. Is that a bad thing? It shows that at least he has a conscience. Many people have changed their mind about abortion, including many women who experienced abortion themselves. Many of them were marching this week.

WE have to agree with Brian that the liberal dems have been consistent on their agenda of "killing babies/not terrorists" big gov. That 's why Obama supporters brag about his 100% abortion rating and his vote against providing medical care for surviving aborted babies. Then Hillary tried to claim that she was even more extreme than Obama when it comes to killing babies.

Again, we should give credit to Brian for consistently supporting the dem agenda.

John Kerry is a known liar.... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

John Kerry is a known liar. That 's why liberals supported him. That 's a given.

BTW, this is another exampl... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

BTW, this is another example of the shameless hypocrisy of the left. These swift boat veterans have sacrificed far more than John Kerry. But these liberals are not shy to trash these veterans while shamelessly touting his brief stint in Vietnam.

"John Kerry is a known l... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"John Kerry is a known liar. That 's why liberals supported him. That 's a given."

Pretty much all the lefitist politicians are known liars. It's a job requirement. If they honestly stated their beliefs, worldview, ideas, & plans, only about 18% of the population would ever vote for them. Only the die-hard, socialist neo-comms, like Brian, Barney, & Matthew.

Unfortunately for the left, of all of them, only Saint Bill is a really good, almost believeable (if your informationally retarded), straight-faced liar. Neither Bill's wife nor Barrak rise to the level of Bill when it comes to straight-faced lying and even with the mass media as their co-conspirators things will not bode well for them this fall because of it. (At least I hope an pray that that is the case.)

"So just because Kerry t... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"So just because Kerry threw his original ones away doesn't mean he couldn't have bought replacements at a later date"

Then why did Kerry himself claim that the metals he threw belonged to someone else?

Or did he revise that seared memory also?

I just don't understand why... (Below threshold)

I just don't understand why people are concerned about whether they were his medals, or medals he bought at the PX, or someone else's medals. By worrying about such minutiae, people lose sight of the symbolism behind throwing his medals away in the first place. He thinks that military service is trash and that the honor this nation bestows on its veterans is trash. That's the real problem.

We all know what Kerry thou... (Below threshold)

We all know what Kerry thought of the military, miniturn.

We were concerned about whether they were his medals because he dishonestly tried to give the impression they were indeed his until someone saw his hanging on the wall and asked about it.

He figured he could get away with it (along with so many other things) after years in the Senate without being challenged on his record, wrongly thinking that the memories of those he maligned had faded.

Minturn, it was minutia tha... (Below threshold)

Minturn, it was minutia that John Kerry decided was an important political act.

I think we have at least on... (Below threshold)

I think we have at least one thing to thank the Swiftboaters for (that is, those of us who would consider voting for a Democrat): ensuring that John Kerry will not run for president again. Thanks Swifties!

When you think about it, Ke... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

When you think about it, Kerry based his whole campaign on minutiae, as the sum and substance of his lifetime's experinece and accomplishments amounted mostly to notheing more than minutiae.

The sole exception being that he did help the Vietnamese communists defeat his own country, but he could hardly run on that singular accomplishment.

And the sad part is the socialist frontrunners, Bill's wife and Barrak, are even inferior to Kerry with regard to acomplishments and experience. Kerry truly was the best of the left in '04 and he still is today.

Let 's give Brian a brow... (Below threshold)

Let 's give Brian a brownie point that Romney has changed his position on abortion.... WE have to agree with Brian that the liberal dems have been consistent on their agenda of "killing babies/not terrorists" big gov.

In other words, "Brian was right, so let me quickly change the subject!" Pretty much on par with your usual posts. But thanks for the admission anyway.

the liberal dems have been consistent on their agenda of ... big gov.

Oh my, you really have been asleep for the last 7 years!

Brian, You are sill... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

You are silly, juvenille, and still dishonest, unfortunately. We are adults here. We know Romney 's past position on abortion. That 's why most people here like Fred as the first choice. That 's one of the reasons. We all know about Bush 's education bill with Ted Kenneday and his medicare program (it is only half the size of the Dem proposal, but it is still big gov in conservative standard). That 's why we have "porkbuster" conservative blog(s) that held the feet of the Rep feet on fire in Congress wrt spending. That 's why the Rep lost in the last election.

What have the left done to hold the feet of the Dems wrt spending (Murtha is the king of porks now). The dem congress is the cesspool of corruption and pork spending right now. But do you know, you continue to spin and excuse their garbage.

I gave you credit for your consistency on supporting the liberal agenda of "killing babies/not terrorist" big gov and you are still not happy. Such a silly kid! Are you not going to vote for either Obama or Hillary or any Dem candidate? Please let us know.

Kerry probably lost his sec... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

Kerry probably lost his security clearance prior to his later problems. His reserve duty was at the Navy Personnel command, one of the few places not requiring a security clearance.

The most authoritative piece on his discharge status was written by Thomas Lipscomb in the NY Sun, available here: http://www.nysun.com/article/3107

Great link, Corky. Thanks. ... (Below threshold)
mikem Author Profile Page:

Great link, Corky. Thanks. I'm saving it for future reference.

That anyone thought that Ke... (Below threshold)

That anyone thought that Kerry would appeal to vets or anyone in the military is, itself, a commentary on what those people think of those who serve.

I mean, how stupid does a person have to think military people are to think that they'd feel loyalty to someone despite the Winter Soldier stuff, throwing medals away, Senate testimony, and meetings in Paris?

All that was *nothing*, absolutely nothing compared to the horror, the horror I tell you!, of a bored Lt. failing to show up on guard weekends to find make-work for unfortunate enlisted folk.

We probably would be better off if our "elite" spent a few years in uniform with the unwashed masses.






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