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“We Know the Truth” Some of Kerry’s Vietnam colleagues challenge the Democratic candidate.
National Review Online ^ | May 04, 2004 | An NRO Primary Document

Posted on 05/04/2004 3:10:44 PM PDT by neverdem

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We Know the Truth
Some of Kerry's Vietnam colleagues challenge the Democratic candidate.

An NRO Primary Document

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth released the following letter to John Kerry, signed by 189 fellow veterans of the Navy vessels featured so prominently in the senator's campaign ads. The group's organizers explain that the veterans who have signed to date represent the large majority of those who served with Lt. Kerry in Vietnam. Scores of others are expected to join up in the days ahead.

May 4, 2004

Senator Kerry,

We write from our common heritage as veterans of duty aboard Swift Boats in the Vietnam War. Indeed, you should note that a substantial number of those men who served directly with you during your four month tour in Vietnam have signed this letter.

It is our collective judgment that, upon your return from Vietnam, you grossly and knowingly distorted the conduct of the American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen of that war (including a betrayal of many of us, without regard for the danger your actions caused us). Further, we believe that you have withheld and/or distorted material facts as to your own conduct in this war.

We believe you continue this conduct today, albeit by changing from an anti-war to a "war hero" status. You now seek to clad yourself in the very medals that you disdainfully threw away in the early years of your political career. In the process, we believe you continue a deception as to your own conduct through such tactics as the disclosure of only carefully screened portions of your military records. Both then and now, we have concluded that you have deceived the public, and in the process have betrayed honorable men, to further your personal political goals.

Your conduct is such as to raise substantive concerns as to your honesty and your ability to serve, as you currently seek, as Commander-in-Chief of the military services.

It is vital that the American public have as much information as possible about candidates for President of the United States. In various ways, you have rightly called upon President Bush to be fully accountable and to provide full disclosure. In the same spirit, now that you are the presumptive nominee of your Party, we believe it is incumbent upon you to make your total military record open to the American people.

Specifically, we the undersigned formally request that you authorize the Department of the Navy to independently release your military records (through your execution of Standard Form 180), complete and unaltered, including your military medical records. Further, we call upon you to correct the misconceptions your campaign seeks to create as to your conduct while in Vietnam. Permit the American public the opportunity to assess your military performance upon the record, and not upon campaign rhetoric.

Senator Kerry, we were there. We know the truth. We have been silent long enough. The stakes are too great, not only for America in general but, most importantly, for those who have followed us into service in Iraq and Afghanistan. We call upon you to provide a full, accurate accounting of your conduct in Vietnam.

Respectfully,

Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann, USN
Captain Charley Plumly, USN (ret)

Mr. Alvin A. Horne

Mr. Bill Lannom

Mr. John O'Neill

Mr. Wey Symmes

Mr. William W. Franke

 

     


 

 
http://www.nationalreview.com/document/vets200405041615.asp
     



TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: johnkerry; kerry; swiftboatveterans; swiftvetletter; unfit; vietnam

1 posted on 05/04/2004 3:10:45 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
... and not a word from Old Media on this letter.
2 posted on 05/04/2004 3:13:46 PM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Fabrizio Quattrocchi: "Adesso vi faccio vedere come muore un italiano")
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To: neverdem
A couple of things come to mind from the press release i saw on FOX. "Requires constant supervision" and it appears that he also wastes mortar rounds killing rocks.
3 posted on 05/04/2004 3:13:52 PM PDT by cripplecreek (you tell em i'm commin.... and hells commin with me.)
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To: neverdem; Admin Moderator
you need to have the admin moderator fix your head line , its kerry not kerrey
4 posted on 05/04/2004 3:14:33 PM PDT by gdc61
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To: neverdem
If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?.

If the Bush campaign doesn't make this organization, and these people, part of the campaign strategy, they will deserve to lose in November.

5 posted on 05/04/2004 3:17:35 PM PDT by Rome2000 (Foreign leaders for Kerry!!!!!)
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To: cripplecreek
Kerry was a kid. And an ivy league kid at that. I know a lot of kids who take constant supervision at Kerry's (then) age. The problem with Kerry is he lied and deceived for political gain. Time to stop that political gain!
6 posted on 05/04/2004 3:22:51 PM PDT by gilliam
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To: neverdem
BUMP!
7 posted on 05/04/2004 3:23:37 PM PDT by jmstein7 (Real Men Don't Need Chunks of Government Metal on Their Chests to be Heroes)
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To: neverdem

8 posted on 05/04/2004 3:26:44 PM PDT by counterpunch (<-CLICK HERE for my CARTOONS)
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To: neverdem
GOOD POST!

9 posted on 05/04/2004 3:29:21 PM PDT by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh and Benedict Arnold)
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To: neverdem
Thanks for posting the actual letter. Now, how to get the squirrelhead media to pick up this story?
10 posted on 05/04/2004 3:35:13 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: neverdem
Wonder if this is the same Rear Admiral Hoffman that lived across the street from me growing up in Va Beach, VA. I'll bet it is. Good People.
11 posted on 05/04/2004 3:36:16 PM PDT by bond7
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To: onyx
Some of These guys were just on Fox news channel and they came off spectacular. If the real truth gets out about f'ing he's toast.
12 posted on 05/04/2004 3:39:11 PM PDT by rodguy911 (F'ing "I was a war hero before I became a traitor")
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To: cripplecreek
Adm Hoffman called Kerry, "a loose cannon".

Boy oh boy .. that's what we need today .. a "loose cannon" .. the movie "Dead Zone" comes to mind.
13 posted on 05/04/2004 3:43:00 PM PDT by CyberAnt (The 2004 Election is for the SOUL of AMERICA)
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To: gilliam
Kerry was a kid. And an ivy league kid at that.

Gotta disagree with you there, FRiend. He was 27 years old, college educated, a commisioned Naval Officer. The 'just a kid' thing don't cut it. A man graduates from college or the Naval Academy, gets his commission, earns his wings, and is flying F-14's, driving ships and submarines, leading Sailors, etc. way before 27 years old. They aren't kids.

14 posted on 05/04/2004 3:46:02 PM PDT by GaltMeister (This is not my tagline. It belongs to my family.)
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To: neverdem
Any idea where the list of 200 signee's are? I served with a couple of former gunners and wonder if they're involved
15 posted on 05/04/2004 3:48:07 PM PDT by Vermonter
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To: fourdeuce82d; Travis McGee; El Gato; JudyB1938; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; ...
In case you haven't seen this PING.
16 posted on 05/04/2004 3:50:42 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem
These guys are still serving their country. Getting the word out on Kerry is just as important as the work they did in the military.
17 posted on 05/04/2004 3:52:32 PM PDT by Names Ash Housewares
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To: CyberAnt
Loose cannon. Imagine a cannon rolling around on the deck of an old wooden warship as the ship rocks from side to side. That's a great description of Mr. Kerry.
18 posted on 05/04/2004 4:00:12 PM PDT by Fresh Wind (George Bush kills terrorists. Bill Clinton pardons them. John Al-Qerry will apologize to them.)
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To: neverdem
The cable media. I was annoyed when Carl Cameron gave the Kerry campaign slant when bringing up the issue at mid-afternnon. What's more, immediately following "Campaign" Carl, was the Boston Globe authors descrbing their new puff book biography (I smell the book odor again).

Surprisingly, Cindy Crawley from CNN did a better job than Campaign Carl. But things improved when Brit Hume picked up the story on his Special Report program. Carl revised his approach to be more "fair and balanced." And Brit gave it some airtime.

The big question: What does the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth do for an encore? They do have a web site you know.

http://www.swiftvets.com/Index2.htm
19 posted on 05/04/2004 4:03:01 PM PDT by MN_Mike (In Pelosi, Kerry and the Blow Fish (Kennedy) We Mis-Trust)
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To: So Cal Rocket
. and not a word from Old Media on this letter.

Never fear. This story is exploding across the Internet as I type. I certainly hope that some of the people reading it on the Web, or in their personal emails, will respond to its points in the Letters to the Editor columns of their local newspapers. The story MUST get out.

20 posted on 05/04/2004 4:05:55 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Re-elect Dubya)
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To: neverdem
Well God bless these great Americans for trying, but this will be buried where the sun don't shine after they are of course discredited as baby killing Bushbots!
21 posted on 05/04/2004 4:08:40 PM PDT by ladyinred (Kerry has more flip flops than Waikiki Beach)
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To: cripplecreek
Can't these guys release their OWN comments about Kerry?
Surely they can tell the press what they wrote up about Kerry themselves -- it's their words.

Is that against the law? If Kerry won't release the truth, maybe the people who wrote his reviews should.
22 posted on 05/04/2004 4:16:00 PM PDT by BushisTheMan
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To: ladyinred
Unfortunately you may be right--unless the Nam vets can get to the right people this story will seldom see the light of day.
23 posted on 05/04/2004 4:16:35 PM PDT by rodguy911 (F'ing "I was a war hero before I became a traitor")
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To: MN_Mike
That link you provided is the same as, or appears to be the same as, the one in the Editor's Note before the text of the letter.
24 posted on 05/04/2004 4:17:41 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: afraidfortherepublic; ladyinred; rodguy911
If the papers won't print this letter, people can print their own copies and post them on utility poles, etc.
25 posted on 05/04/2004 4:21:47 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: rodguy911
Some of These guys were just on Fox news channel and they came off spectacular. If the real truth gets out about f'ing he's toast.




On Brit's news cast, that I missed?
I'm watching Shep's now.
I HOPE he covers it.
C-Span due to play the whole
1 hour 20 minute press conference,
and someone posted that
O'Neill will be on Hannity and Lib,
but I hate that show.


26 posted on 05/04/2004 4:25:26 PM PDT by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh and Benedict Arnold)
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To: Vermonter
Not sure.

The website is really really really basic.

But, you can e-mail them at: Latch@swiftvets.com
27 posted on 05/04/2004 4:30:06 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" -- Abraham Lincoln)
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To: onyx
C-Span due to play the whole 1 hour 20 minute press conference,

If this is serious, do you know when?

28 posted on 05/04/2004 4:31:43 PM PDT by Freee-dame
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To: rwfromkansas
Thanks, I'll give it a day or so. I'm pretty sure a FReeper will dig it up
29 posted on 05/04/2004 4:32:39 PM PDT by Vermonter
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To: Freee-dame
Press Conference to be televised
CSPAN2
08:42 pm Eastern
1:20 (est.)
News Conference
Kerry Presidential Candidacy
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
30 posted on 05/04/2004 4:37:00 PM PDT by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh and Benedict Arnold)
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To: Howlin
PING for the text of the letter!
31 posted on 05/04/2004 4:39:39 PM PDT by arasina (So there.)
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To: neverdem
I saw the C-Span interview. It was very moving and informative. The group has a website now:

http://www.swiftvets.com/Index2.htm

32 posted on 05/04/2004 11:28:46 PM PDT by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: MN_Mike
Saw the Swiftcrew onn C-SPAN , it was very good.

Everyone should see those humble veterans and feel their anguish about Kerry and his lies back in 1971,
33 posted on 05/04/2004 11:54:07 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: onyx
Kerry now has a major problem, these guys are very humble and very believable!
34 posted on 05/04/2004 11:55:50 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: onyx
Vietnam vets slam Kerry

By RICHARD TOMKINS, UPI White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON, May 4 (UPI) -- Sen. John Kerry's accounts of his service in Vietnam and his statements that he witnessed atrocities were attacked as fabrications and political opportunism Tuesday by a group of Vietnam veterans who served with him personally or in the units affiliated with him during his short tour of duty in Southeast Asia.

The veterans, including some of Kerry's former commanders and shipmates, have formed an organization called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" and called on the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to authorize release of all his service records, including medical records.

"We feel it is very, very import that the American people get the actual truth about that three or four months Kerry served in Vietnam since he has made it a center piece of his biography," said John O'Neill, who took charge of Kerry's boat and crew after Kerry left Vietnam. "Second, we resent very deeply the false war crimes charges he made coming back from Vietnam. ... We think that those have cast aspersion on those living and dead.

"We think he knew he was lying when he made them. We think they are unsupportable. We intend to bring the truth about that to the American people. Third, we believe that based on our experience with him, he is totally unfit to be commander in chief."

Kerry, who commanded a river patrol boat, served about 4 months of a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam and won the Silver Star and Bronze Star. He requested and received reassignment to the United States after receiving three Purple Hearts for combat wounds, allowed under Navy regulations. The circumstances and merit of one of those awards has come into question in the campaign against President George W. Bush, leading to acrimonious mudslinging and a resurrection of the turmoil the conflict inflicted on American society.

Following his return and then discharge from the Navy, Kerry became a prominent anti-war activist and testified before Congress that he had witnessed U.S. forces committing atrocities and war crimes.

"I do not believe John Kerry is fit to be commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces," said retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffmann, chairman of the organization. "This is not a political issue. It is a matter of honesty."

Hoffman said Kerry had recently telephoned him and spent 45 minutes attempting to convince Hoffman of not proceeding with the formation of the organization, which Democrats Tuesday attacked as a shill for Bush.

Hoffmann, who debated Kerry on television in 1971 over Vietnam allegations, denied any ties to Bush or the Republican Party. The Swift boat veterans held differing political and social views, he said. "There is only one issue we all agree on, and that is the issue of John Kerry."

In a letter to Kerry signed by more than 200 Swift boats veterans, they wrote, "It is our collective judgment that, upon your return from Vietnam, you grossly and knowingly distorted the conduct of the American soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen of that war (including a betrayal of many of us, without regard for the danger your actions caused us).

"Further, we believe that you have withheld and/or distorted material facts as to your own conduct in this war.

"We believe you continue this conduct today, albeit by changing from an anti-war to a 'war hero' status," the letter said.

The veterans Tuesday were vociferous in denying they had seen or had participated in wartime atrocities and questioned that if Kerry had indeed observed any, why he didn't report it as he was required to do.

One veteran, noting the allegations were again made in a book on Kerry's war experiences, choked back tears as he related how his wife and daughter had read about the alleged war crimes Kerry spoke about in Douglas Brinkley's "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War" and asked him if he had committed them.

Spokesmen for the Kerry campaign were not immediately available for comment Tuesday, but the Democratic National Committee put out a statement attacking the public relations company used by the group as having Republic Party connections. The veterans made no comment on the allegations.

Kerry has admitted a poor choice of words in his testimony before Congress in 1971 but says he served with honor in the war.

--

35 posted on 05/05/2004 12:05:51 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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Kerry Purple Heart Doc Speaks Out
The medical description of his first wound.

By Byron York

Some critics of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry have questioned the circumstances surrounding the first of three Purple Hearts Kerry won in Vietnam. Those critics, among them some of Kerry's fellow veterans, have suggested that a wound suffered by Kerry in December 1968 may have made him technically eligible for a Purple Heart but was not severe enough to warrant serious consideration, even for a decoration that was handed out by the thousands. Whatever the case, Kerry was awarded the Purple Heart, and, along with two others he won later, it allowed him to request to leave Vietnam before his tour of duty was finished.

Kerry was treated for the wound at a medical facility in Cam Ranh Bay. The doctor who treated Kerry, Louis Letson, is today a retired general practitioner in Alabama. Letson says he remembers his brief encounter with Kerry 35 years ago because "some of his crewmen related that Lt. Kerry had told them that he would be the next JFK from Massachusetts." Letson says that last year, as the Democratic campaign began to heat up, he told friends that he remembered treating one of the candidates many years ago. In response to their questions, Letson says, he wrote down his recollections of the time. (Letson says he has had no contacts with anyone from the Bush campaign or the Republican party.) What follows is Letson's memory, as he wrote it.

I have a very clear memory of an incident which occurred while I was the Medical Officer at Naval Support Facility, Cam Ranh Bay.

John Kerry was a (jg), the OinC or skipper of a Swift boat, newly arrived in Vietnam. On the night of December 2, he was on patrol north of Cam Ranh, up near Nha Trang area. The next day he came to sick bay, the medical facility, for treatment of a wound that had occurred that night.

The story he told was different from what his crewmen had to say about that night. According to Kerry, they had been engaged in a fire fight, receiving small arms fire from on shore. He said that his injury resulted from this enemy action.

Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks.

That seemed to fit the injury which I treated.

What I saw was a small piece of metal sticking very superficially in the skin of Kerry's arm. The metal fragment measured about 1 cm. in length and was about 2 or 3 mm in diameter. It certainly did not look like a round from a rifle.

I simply removed the piece of metal by lifting it out of the skin with forceps. I doubt that it penetrated more than 3 or 4 mm. It did not require probing to find it, did not require any anesthesia to remove it, and did not require any sutures to close the wound.

The wound was covered with a bandaid.

Not [sic] other injuries were reported and I do not recall that there was any reported damage to the boat.

 
     


 

 
http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200405041626.asp
     

36 posted on 05/05/2004 12:35:06 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Kerry now has a major problem, these guys are very humble and very believable!





Honest, honorable and humble.
They're telling the truth.
Kerry is not.
AND it's obvious.
37 posted on 05/05/2004 9:31:53 AM PDT by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh and Benedict Arnold)
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To: gilliam
Kerry was 27 years old.
38 posted on 05/05/2004 9:34:54 AM PDT by MamaLucci (Libs, want answers on 911? Ask Clinton why he met with Monica more than with his CIA director.)
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To: lainde
You can view the 1:22 interview on the net with Real Player. Enter the following link there:

rtsp://video.c-span.org/project/c04/c04050404_antikerry.rm

39 posted on 05/05/2004 10:53:15 PM PDT by JohnBovenmyer (I)
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