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Evidence Suggests Kerry's Silver Star Was Not Earned (UPDATED and more damning)
May 11, 2004 | The Bandit

Posted on 05/11/2004 3:08:57 PM PDT by The Bandit

The events of February 28, 1969 that lead to Senator John F. Kerry being awarded the Silver Star is analyzed. Action by Lt.(jg) Kerry on the 28th of February can be broken into two distinct combat engagements, which I will refer to as events A and B.

Event A consisted of a three swift boats whose mission was to insert some 70 VN Marines (Kerry tells of 70 VN's, while Zumwalt mentions 30 VN troops per boat in the first Silver Star citation) for the purpose of sweeping an area where small arms fire were encountered by the same three swift boats the previous day.

Event B occurs 800 yards further up river from event A shortly after Kerry had inserted VN troops. It is event B where Kerry encounters a lone enemy VC with a B-40 rocket launcher and kills him behind a hooch (or so the Silver Star citation claims.)


To begin with, I did not have access or have seen the official after-action report for February 28, 1969 since it was never released as part of the other after-action reports released for February and March by Senator Kerry. Thus, I am reduced to relying on Vice Admiral Zumwalt's original signed citation for Kerry's Silver Star along with an after action description provided by John Kerry for President campaign, which may or may not be completely accurate.

The mission for the three swift boats for the 28th of February was to return to the are in which they received rocket fire from the day before, with some 70 VN troops to insert for the purpose of sweeping the area for Viet Cong soldiers and supply caches. It is clear that Kerry's mission from the beginning was to beach along the shore so troops could disembark for the operation. According to Senator Kerry's official public released version: as  the three swift boats approached the shore, "more than 20 Viet Cong troops stood up and ran" and were quickly overrun when the VN troops disembarked from the swifts that had transported them to shoreline.

Notice that Kerry refers to 20 Viet Cong troops standing up and running, which seems rather odd for VC to simply run without putting up resistance since this is their home turf and troops were still onboard the swifts (sitting ducks.) Usually because of the noise the swifts boats make, the VC would have been alerted of their presence before they would have reached the shore, giving the enemy time to flee or prepare to engage the boats. I am wondering if perhaps maybe these were simply civilians and not VC troops. Obviously if we are only dealing with approx. 20 enemy troops, one has to wonder why Kerry's Silver Star citations (there is three of them) refer to encountering "numerically superior force" since the swift boats inserted far greater numbers of VN troops then the reported number of enemy VC encountered.

In any case, "Event A" went smoothly and none of the good guys got hurt. We don't find any actions on part of Lt.(jg) Kerry that rises to "gallantry" or "Valor for this engagement since it is clear the VN troops had the situation well under control and Lt.(jg) Kerry did not play any part in the shore operations other then to transport and insert the troops and perhaps provide fire power if needed.

At some point while "Event A" was under way, Kerry claims he was alerted by an "Army advisor" to enemy activity approx. 800 yards further up river. It is unknown how the Army advisor learned that there was enemy activity 800 yard further up the stream. Lt.(jg) Kerry departed the scene along with PCF-23 to travel up river to investigate. In an April 12, 2004 USA Today article, writer Andrea Stone writes that   upon "Hearing shots ahead, Kerry headed farther up the river, where his boat was attacked a second time.

The question arises then; who was shooting at who further up river?

Upon arriving approx. 800 yards from "Event A," a grenade from a B-40 was fired and narrowly missed Kerry's swift boat. Lt.(jg) Kerry then describes how he ordered his swift boat to turn and beach itself in front of the source of the rocket attack. Upon the swift beaching along the shoreline, a VC soldier with a B-40 launcher is observed standing up from either a spider hole or ditch (crewmember Fred Short description) no more then ten feet from Kerry's beached swift boat and begins to run away.  

In an article printed in the October 1996 edition of The New Yorker, Kerry was asked about this encounter with the VC soldier:

"It was either going to be him or it was going to be us. It was that simple. I don't know why it wasn't us, I mean, to this day. He had a rocket pointed right at our boat. He stood up out of the hole, and none of us saw him until he was standing in front of us, aiming a rocket right at us, and, for whatever reason, he didn't pull the trigger he turned and ran. He was shocked to see our boat right in front of him. If he'd pulled the trigger, we'd all be dead . . . I just won't talk about all of it. I don't and I can't. The things that probably really turn me I've never told anybody. Nobody would understand," Kerry said.

Puzzling why Senator Kerry did not mention the fact the enemy soldier had already been hit and knocked down by the swifts forward gunner's M-60.  Lt.(jg) Kerry's forward gunner, Tom Belodeau, fired at the fleeing VC soldier with his M-60 and hits him in the leg and he falls. Kerry recalled this incident to the Boston Globe as follows:

"...Tommy clipped him, and he started going [down.] I thought it was over,"  Kerry said.

Two very different versions. Hard to imagine someone recalling such an event and leaving out the fact he had observed a man hit by M-60 fire and dropped. Apparently the soldier was not seriously wounded and was able to get up and continue running while still carrying a loaded B-40. It is some what confusing to understand why a wounded soldier so close to a beached swift boat - after being hit and knocked down - would choose to pick up his B-40 and continue running with it. We get conflicting versions from the witnesses to what exactly happens next.

Fred Short, as the boat's tub gunner with the best view recalled during an April 2003 Kerry campaign event in Little Rock, Arkansas, said his twin 50-caliber machine gun couldn't tilt low enough to shoot a Viet Cong soldier lying in a ditch, aiming a rocket launcher at their boat.

"We were in a small canal and normally we would have tried to exit, but Mr. Kerry ordered us to charge," Short said. "While I shot high, he [Kerry] and Tommy Belodeau charged under me, right at the guy, and we routed them. That's why Mr. Kerry won the Silver Star."

Additionally, Short recalled the following in June of 2003 to the Boston Globe:

"I laid in fire with the twin .50s, and he [VC soldier] got behind a hooch," recalled Short. "I laid 50 rounds in there, and Mr. Kerry went in. Rounds were coming everywhere. We were getting fire from both sides of the river. It was a canal. We were receiving fire from the opposite bank, also, and there was no way I could bring my guns to bear on that."

Then in a recent (April 18, 2004) Cox News Service article by Mike Williams, Short is quoted as follows:

"Mr. Kerry charged the heaviest fire," gunner's mate Fred Short recalled. "Our boat beached 10 to 15 feet from a VC who had a rocket-propelled grenade. He was too close to fire it, so he ran and dropped down in a small stream bed."  Kerry immediately jumped off the boat in pursuit, his M-16 rifle in hand, Short said.

"Bullets were flying everywhere," he said. "It was total chaos. Mr.Kerry went up to the top of the embankment and saw the guy preparing to fire his grenade launcher, so he took him out. I have no doubt that if he had not done so, I would not be talking to you today."

Now suddenly we have Kerry going up an embankment and not behind a hooch.

Apparently, Tom Belodeau was not the only one chasing after Kerry and the fleeing VC soldier because rear gunner, Michael Medeiros, indicated in a 1996 press conference with Senator Kerry (by telephone) that he was also chasing after Senator Kerry and the fleeing VC soldier and stated at the time that he did not see Lt.(jg) Kerry kill him, but had no doubt that the senator did so. "The only one that was there was Senator Kerry," Medeiros said.

But in Douglas Brinkley's new book, "Tour of Duty," Medeiros has a different version.

"With my adrenaline racing, I started following him off the boat," Medeiros recalls in Brinkley's book. "So I was right behind him. . . .As the VC guerrilla got 20 or 30 meters down the path, just about in front of a lean-to, the (future) senator shot the guy. He had been standing on both feet with a loaded rocket launcher about to fire. He fell over dead."

So now we have the VC soldier either running down a path,  running up an embankment or running behind the old hooch and meeting his fate at the hands of Kerry while out of sight from the others (according to Kerry's Silver Star citation and Fred Short.) It is odd that, Michael Medeiros, now recently has a new detailed ring-side seat to the killing of the VC soldier by Lt.(jg) Kerry. Even more strange is the fact Short and Medeiros makes no mention Kerry killing the VC soldier behind a hooch in more recent versions of their eye-witness accounts - and now suggesting it was in plain sight for all to observe. Doesn't appear Douglas Brinkley paid any attention to details of events he wrote about in his book.

Interesting that Kerry and his gunner's could disembark from their boat so quickly to give chase behind Kerry without any concern for the possibility of additional nearby hidden enemy soldiers who could have taken them all out in the open or from the fire Fred Short reported they were taking from the opposite bank.  If we believe all accounts, no one would been on the shore chasing a VC soldier with snipers and bullets flying in all directions.

The Silver Star citation describes the pursuit of this enemy VC this way: "beached his boat only ten feet from the VC rocket position, and personally lead a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy." I am assuming that Kerry's gunner(s) who had ran behind him is this so-called landing party. The trouble here is that this is against standard operating procedures for swift boat operations. Crewmembers were under standing orders to never leave their boat for any reason to engage the enemy in a combat zone.

CNN transcripts for April 24, 2001 records the explanation Senator Kerry gave CNN's Jonathan Karl for his decision to beach and disembark his swift boat:

KARL: Kerry received the highest honor awarded in Vietnam, the Silver Star, for his actions as a commander of a swift boat that came under fire on a river in the Mekong delta. The Silver Star citation says an enemy soldier sprang up less than 10 feet from Kerry's boat and fled. The citation reads, quote: "Kerry pursued the man behind a hooch and killed him, capturing a B-40 rocket launcher with a round in the chamber."

KERRY: "On that particular day [February 28th, 1969], I heard the ambush, I heard the firepower, and I made the judgment. Besides, we were very heavily weighted down. We had troops on board. We couldn't reach maximum speed. I knew that to whatever degree we were in the ambush, we were going to get hurt, so I turned the aspect of us toward it, minimizing our exposure, surprising them, and we did win. I mean, we ran right over the ambush, and it felt good to win."

KARL: And do you ever think about the person that was firing on you, who you ultimately chased down and killed and grabbed that live rocket launcher?

KERRY: Yeah, I mean, sometimes in the balance you do, but as I said, not with the sense of guilt. I mean, it was him or me, and I wouldn't be standing here today if it had been otherwise.

But this cannot be true, because during an October 1996 press conference with former crewmember, Tom Belodeau, whom appeared to defend Senator Kerry against charges he may have committed a war crime act by killing an already wounded enemy soldier - stood beside Kerry and stated "The soldier that Sen. John Kerry shot was standing on both feet with a loaded rocket launcher, about to fire it on the boat from which (Lt.(jg) Kerry) had just left, which still had four men aboard," Mr. Belodeau said.

Tom Belodeau makes it clear there was no troops - and we already know why - because the troops that were onboard Lt.(jg) Kerry's swift boat had been offloaded 800 yards down river to conduct sweep operations prior to Kerry's arrival. Additionally, it doesn't help Kerry's case to suggest he was referring to "Event A" because his mission was to beach and insert troops to engage however many enemy soldiers that may have been discovered. Furthermore, Jonathan Karl was very specific about the events he was talking to Senator Kerry about, i.e., "enemy soldier sprang up less than 10 feet from Kerry's boat and fled."  Obviously there can be no confusion in Kerry's mind over what events Karl was addressing.

It is possible Senator Kerry invented this new twist to justify violating standing orders to never beach and leave his boat in a combat zone. Whatever his reason is, we can be confident his version is flawed from what has been officially documented

After Lt.(jg) Kerry allegedly kills the lone fleeing VC soldier behind a hooch,  Kerry goes on to describe the following from his own public version of the events:

"Marines swept the area, and received fire from snipers and small arms that was suppressed with the assistance of mortars and gunfire from the swift boats. "

Where did these troops magically come from since they were busy with a sweeping operation 800 yards down river?  Did they walk or Kerry go pick them up and return with them? Unfortunately Senator Kerry has not released any official after-action reports for this operation that could clear up these kind of questions.  This of course raises another question: Why hasn't Senator Kerry released the official after-action reports for February 28, 1969?

Neither Kerry nor any of his crewmembers have ever publicly mentioned or referred to VN Marines involved in this secondary operation. At this point we can safely assert that there was no action on Lt.(jg) Kerry's part that qualifies as "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action" for the Silver Star. The only medal I see Lt.(jg) Kerry's actions called for is the medal of stupidity. Under United States Navy regulations the only thing Lt.(jg) Kerry deserved to be awarded was a general court martial for violating standing orders and by placing his boat and crew at grave risk. The US Navy was not in the habit of awarding officers the Silver Star for disregarding orders and killing fleeing wounded soldiers behind hooch's while leaving their boat beached and taking fire from all directions.

Why Was Kerry Awarded the Silver Star?

In 1996 Senator Kerry was outraged by a column questioning the circumstances of his killing of the lone enemy soldier who had pointed a rocket launcher at his boat. Writer David Warsh for a Boston newspaper, noted that such a "coup de grace" would have been considered a war crime if the soldier had already been wounded. What followed was truly revealing.

Senator Kerry arranged a news conference at the Courageous Sailing Center in the Charlestown Navy Yard. Those who attended on Kerry's behalf was very interesting. They were none other then retired Admiral Zumwalt himself, who commanded U.S. naval forces in Vietnam; Capt. George Elliott, Kerry's CO at the time; retired Cmdr. Adrian Longsdale, who commanded shoreline operations at the time; Tom Belodeau, one of Kerry's gunners who had fired at the enemy soldier and knocked him down with his M-60. Participating by phone from San Francisco was Michael Medeiros, who was the rear gunner on Kerry's boat.

Amazing how willing and quickly they came together to defend Kerry that day - but I don't believe in reality they were not there to defend Kerry per se, but to protect a 30 year old secret and themselves. Kerry's superior officer's did not follow Navy protocol in awarding him the Silver Star, and they clearly not have been making accurate statements of the allege events that lead to the awarding of the medal ever since.

It all may well have remained a secret, known only to them, if it was not for some comments by Admiral Zumwalt recorded by Associated Press writer Glen Johnson:

Mr. Zumwalt also said he wanted to recommend Sen. Kerry for an even higher medal, the Navy Cross, but approval would have taken too long. Instead, he personally approved a Silver Star and sped along the award to improve morale at a time his sailors were taking heavy casualties.

Zumwalt's comments about wanting to award the Navy Cross to Kerry makes absolutely no sense because Kerry's allege actions no-where meets the the standards for such an award. Why did he suggest this? Because I think he wanted to remove doubts that Kerry may not have deserved the Silver Star, which would had drawn attention to why the medal was even awarded in the first place - clearly something Zumwalt would not want to draw attention to since, in affect, he awarded the Silver Star to Kerry for chasing down a lone fleeing wounded VC - killing him behind a hooch - all the while disregarding every standing order he was operating under and placing his four man crew in a position that could easily have lead them to being killed.

The most telling of all is Admiral Zumwalt's suggestion that he was motivated to award Senator Kerry as a means to "improve morale." This I think is an honest appraisal of the entire Kerry Silver Star episode - Kerry was not awarded for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action" on February 28, 1969, but given the Silver Star by Admiral Zumwalt in attempts of improving moral (Kerry became his Rambo poster-boy.)

I think maybe Kerry helped his case in the eye's of his commanding officer, George Elliot and Admiral Zumwalt by returning to base with a tall tall of how he had come face to face with an enemy soldier who held the life of him and his crew in his hands while pointing a B-40 at their boat from point blank range - Lt.(jg) Kerry jumps off the boat and runs him down and kills him single handily.

It's a great story, but unfortunately most likely a false story. If indeed there really was a VC soldier with a B-40 rocket launcher encountered, it is most likely was a empty launcher because he had already fired a rocket at Kerry's boat and missed. As soon as he fired he was too busy taking cover from the incoming fire from PCF-94's gun's. The fact there was no more rockets encountered after the first rocket was fired and missed suggest this lone VC was the only enemy with a B-40, otherwise Kerry would have certainty received more rockets fired his way after he was beached on the shoreline.

There is another fact that leads me to believe that perhaps this incident was not as dramatic as Senator Kerry and his crew wants us to believe.

Reporter Charles Sennott once wrote that Senator Kerry was so "focused on his future ambitions,"  that not long after the fight, he bought a Super-8 movie camera, returned to the scene, and reenacted the skirmish on film. During their interview, Kerry played the tape for Sennott. Apparently Senator Kerry had strong reason to believe that he and his crew would not be entering an angry hornets nest of hostile Viet Cong soldiers on their return to the scene of where the lone VC soldier was encountered to film an reenactment with an 8mm camera.

Then there is Senator Kerry's own record of misinterpreting his military actions.

For example, he reported that on December 2, 1968 he received a wound from enemy activity and requested his own Purple Heart for the wound shortly afterwards to his CO,   Lt. Cmdr. Grant Hibbard. Purple Hearts are only awarded for wounds inflicted by hostile enemy actions, and the wound generally had to fairly significant before a doctor or corpsman would be willing to recommend a solder for the Purple Heart. No one wanted a Purple Heart for a band-aid wound when other's were receiving wounds that required stitches or pints of blood to treat - or worst - had died in order to receive the medal.

Consequently, Hibbard denied Kerry his Purple Heart request.

Because Kerry received a very minor piece of shrapnel from a mortar round that was fired from his boat and had ricochet back and caught him in the arm - and for which Kerry later told Douglas Brinkley in his book "Tour of Duty" that the incident in question did not qualify as combat - Kerry's wound did not meet the minimal requirements for the authorizing of a Purple Heart.

Yet Lt.(jg) Kerry persisted knowing he was not wounded by enemy fire and some four months later, through persistence, finally received the medal. Kerry told USA Today that he recall's "someone raising a question" about the award. If he asked for the award, he says, it was because he didn't realize Purple Hearts were given automatically and not at the discretion of commanders. "They decided to award it," he says. "I'm not going to rehash a judgment made by the Navy 35 years ago."

Only problem with Kerry's above explanation is this: Once Hibbard had denied him his request for the Purple Heart, Lt.(jg) Kerry would had immediately been aware at that point that Purple Hearts were in fact not awarded at the discretion of commanders. Yet this did not stop Lt.(jg) Kerry from personally pursuing the awarding of the medal to himself in the issuing months that followed. It is also odd that since Lt.(jg) Kerry was an Naval Officer that he was not aware of how Purple Hearts were awarded (but knew 3 could get him home real quick like.)

According to the doctor who had observed the wound, Dr. Louis Letson, recalled that Kerry told him during his visit to the medical tent that his crew "had been engaged in a firefight, receiving small arms fire from on shore. He said that his injury resulted from this enemy action." We know this is not the truth.

Then there is the differing accounts being told by the witnesses who were with Kerry that February 28th day. Notice in recent accounts, Kerry's crewmembers make it clear they saw the VC soldier standing up  on two feet and prepared to fire his B-40. There is a very good reason for recent account change: they are being coached.

Back in 1996, Tom Belodeau was quoted as saying "You know, I shot that guy. ... When I hit him, he went down and got up again. When Kerry hit him, he stayed down." This caused Senator Kerry to become angry and hold that press conference as described earlier to deflect allegations he may have killed an already wounded enemy soldier. Now that he is running for president he does not want this allegation to resurface - and when someone is found recalling events that suggests Kerry's actions were not Silver Star material they get a call to alter their eye-witness accounts to cast Senator Kerry's actions in a more favorable light.

This is why we find current accounts of Kerry's actions more focused on the threat of the lone VC soldier with his loaded rocket launcer then on him being hit, knocked down by someone else and finally chased behind a hooch and killed. Not a whole lot of heroism to this old version of events, especially if you are running for president of the United States.

And of course, all this does is show that the events of over 30 years ago can be edited to in the most favorable light for the benefit of Senator Kerry today - which in return, demonstrates anything about Senator Kerry's alleged combat actions cannot be trusted no matter who the source is. Look how long it took to get to the truth of Kerry's first bogus Purple Heart.

Questions and more Questions

Why hasn't Senator Kerry released the after-action reports for the events that lead to his so-called Silver Star? Where is the two witnesses statements required for the Silver Star? Where is the nomination form for the Silver Star? Was there ever an official investigation as required for a Silver Star? Why won't Senator Kerry simply sign a Standard Form 180 so anyone can obtain his military records so we wouldn't have to keep asking questions and filling in the blanks?

Why was Kerry the only one who received a medal for chasing the fleeing VC soldier? If Medeiros was really chasing behind him; then why wasn't he given a medal for risking his life behind Lt.(jg) Kerry?  Why wasn't Tom Belodeau recognize for hitting the the enemy soldier, making Kerry's job much easier (at least it slowed down the VC would not have had more time to fire before Kerry caught up)?

Was there really a VC with a rocket launcher? In that same 2001 interview with CNN's Jonathan Karl there was this exchange:

KARL: And you still have the rocket launcher?

KERRY: I do have the rocket, yes, I do have the rocket. One of the SEALs disarmed it for me, and I brought it home.

Ask Senator Kerry to immediately produce the B-40 launcher he says he has at home before the media, and perhaps asked to explain how he was able to get such an prohibited item through military customs in Vietnam in 1969. The Military was very strict with inspections and with what you could take home with you. Military Customs would confiscate even spent .50 cal shells from those who tried to sneak them home through their baggage.


TOPICS: Front Page News; Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: 2004; 229; boats; crewmembers; heart; hibbard; kerry; kerry2004; letson; medals; medical; navy; purple; silver; silverstar; star; swift; treatment; vietnam; zumwalt
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This is the latest update to my original article. More info uncovered and included.
1 posted on 05/11/2004 3:09:01 PM PDT by The Bandit
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To: The Bandit
bump for later read
2 posted on 05/11/2004 3:12:20 PM PDT by Feiny (This post ain't for everybody, just the sexy freepers.)
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To: The Bandit
Forgive me for saying so, but this seems like ancient history. I'd rather rally support for President Bush based on what the president will do in the future, and based on the scary things that Kerry has advocated during his life as a politician. Whatever happened in the 1960's (good and bad) should probably be burried, IMHO.
3 posted on 05/11/2004 3:12:37 PM PDT by 68skylark (.)
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To: The Bandit
Can we say Kerry shot himself in the foot on this one?
4 posted on 05/11/2004 3:12:45 PM PDT by Andy from Beaverton (I only vote Republican to stop the Democrats)
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To: The Bandit
Crosslinked- click the Pix:

5 posted on 05/11/2004 3:14:27 PM PDT by backhoe (--30--)
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To: The Bandit
6 posted on 05/11/2004 3:15:25 PM PDT by Mr. K (`,,`,,this is like liberal logic,,`,,`))
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To: The Bandit
Michael Moore is available to make a movie about this --
7 posted on 05/11/2004 3:18:10 PM PDT by wjersey
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To: The Bandit
Good Job! Raises lots of questions.
8 posted on 05/11/2004 3:25:14 PM PDT by FR_addict
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To: Mr. K
Clearly, Kerry wrote himself up for the award since there were no witnesses and no supervision of Kerry. While it may not make a difference in the campaign, I like to know the truth anyway. He violated SOP by beaching the swift and endangered the boat and his crew. I can only think he saw an opportnity to embelish his career for the purposes of a later campaign for office. He must have known the VC was wounded enough to make the effort and not get killed. I have a feeling the area was swept pretty clean or you would not get Kerry jumping into a tree-lined shore line in search of a medal.
9 posted on 05/11/2004 3:29:21 PM PDT by Goreknowshowtocheat
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To: The Bandit
Quite intriguing. Look, with less material Lt. Col. Hackworth got Adm. Borda to blow his brains out. Why didn't Zumwalt do likewise knowing what he did about this situation ~ which was even worse ~ giving somebody a far higher award which was not justified certainly must have preyed on his mind.

Since he didn't pass away until 2000, certainly he had ample opportunity to repent properly.

Or maybe not all the Navy guys take these awards all that seriously (Hmmmm?! ~ I am beginning to suspect) so why award anything to those people?

10 posted on 05/11/2004 3:30:30 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: The Bandit
Very interesting read.

IMHO, the only way that this dog is going to hunt is if the media brings it up (instead of the Republicans or the RNC).

You already saw how FJK responded to Gibson and GMA, snapping at Gibson, saying that the GOP was behind it, demeaning the President's Guard Service (after he defended Bubba over his lack of service, and said that who served or didn't serve was not an issue), even going as far as to say that liberal ABC was "doing the work of the Republican National Party."

I actually might have a better idea. If this slime so much as dares to try to use this guy's death to his political advantage, make sure that he gets called on it. Pool resources and get the word out. I want this slime, and those like him, defeaated by our President in a manner that will make Reagan/Mondale look like Bush/Gore.
11 posted on 05/11/2004 3:31:37 PM PDT by Christian4Bush (I approve this message: character and integrity matter. Bush/Cheney for '04.)
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To: The Bandit
read later
12 posted on 05/11/2004 3:33:21 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: 68skylark
Except as it reflects upon the charecter of the individual
involved. Any man willing to tamper with evidence--or
fabricate a record to achieve promotion or benefits not
earned at one point in life--will nost likely revert to such
practices under pressure as they get older.What Kerry claims
to have done in Vietnam matters in this campaign because he
has raised the issue of being a real war hero.If his record proves to be other than what he has claimed seems IMO indicative that such a one ought not be trusted to lead a
13 posted on 05/11/2004 3:35:54 PM PDT by StonyBurk
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To: backhoe
John I think you are a PHONY!~ Now ask me how I dare...
14 posted on 05/11/2004 3:35:57 PM PDT by JamesA ( The more you try to change my convictions the more resolved I am to keep them.)
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To: 68skylark
Whatever happened in the 1960's (good and bad) should probably be burried, IMHO.

You have a point, until you consider that Kerry has an entire history, starting before he went to Vietnam until today that is very consistent. When having a President and Commander in Chief is more important than any other time in history, it certainly helps to understand Kerry's past. People only have the history of the candidates to predict the future. On the other hand, people on FR don't need to be reminded why not to vote to Kerry or to vote for Bush. It does help to be informed to counter anyone that says that Kerry will be an better Command in Chief than Bush because Kerry served in Vietnam. People do not discount Kerry even when Bush has been Commander in Chief for nearly four years. This is exactly what the Kerry Campaign has in mind when they pose Kerry as a war hero. The evidence show exactly the opposite. Over 200 men that served with Kerry on Swift Boats say that Kerry is unfit to Commander in Chief. The liberal press is not willing to report this, so it is incumbent that people like us on FR tell our neighbors, armed with the truth, so our neighbors can tell their neigbors until there is no one except the communists voting for Kerry.

15 posted on 05/11/2004 3:37:19 PM PDT by PattonReincarnated (Rebuild the Temple)
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To: The Bandit
16 posted on 05/11/2004 3:39:41 PM PDT by jonno (We are NOT a democracy - though we are democratic. We ARE a constitutional republic.)
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To: 68skylark
"I'd rather rally support for President Bush based on what the president will do in the future, and based on the scary things that Kerry has advocated during his life as a politician. "

I TOTALLY agree with you.

"Whatever happened in the 1960's (good and bad) should probably be burried, IMHO."

In theory, I agree. Perhaps as soon as Kerry stopps digging up what should be buried, it will become a non-issue.

As we have seen, however, Kerry really has nothing else to run on EXCEPT for this. Notice every time someone questions him on anything, particularly on his own words about that time, he immediately jumps into HOOOOOOOOOOOW DAAAAAAAAAAAARE YOOOOOU QUESSSSSSSSSTIONNNNNNNNN MY PATTTTTTTTTRIOTISM! I'M NOOOOOOOOOOT GOING TO STTTTTTTTTAND FOOOOOR IT!"

So to answer your question, I think that the issue will be buried either when Kerry stops trying to run on it, or when he loses in November. Personally, I'm betting on the latter scenario.
17 posted on 05/11/2004 3:43:04 PM PDT by Christian4Bush (I approve this message: character and integrity matter. Bush/Cheney for '04.)
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To: The Bandit
Thank you for this.

Every time I see Kerry the old phrase "oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive" runs through my head.
18 posted on 05/11/2004 3:43:59 PM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: 68skylark
Forgive me for saying so, but this seems like ancient history. I'd rather rally support for President Bush based on what the president will do in the future, and based on the scary things that Kerry has advocated during his life as a politician. Whatever happened in the 1960's (good and bad) should probably be burried, IMHO.

You're right!! It is ancient history. However, it is John Kerry who brought up the Vietnam thing, keeps flogging his Vietname service and his fake Purple Hearts and Silver Star, and who keeps questioning the President's service during the Vietnam War period. If John Kerry wants us to shut up about his crappy record in Vietnam and thereafter, then he needs to shut up about it.

19 posted on 05/11/2004 3:45:55 PM PDT by Spiff (Don't believe everything you think.)
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To: The Bandit
20 posted on 05/11/2004 3:50:24 PM PDT by Stentor
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To: The Bandit
Just to add some other aspect into the mix, but, the Boston Globe series " John F Kerry, Candidate in the making, " Part 2 has this to say about the VC that Kerry dusted :

" Kerry often would go beyond his Navy orders and beach his boat, in one case chasing and killing a TEENAGE Viet Cong enemy who WORE ONLY A LOINCLOTH and carried a rocket launcher. "

Vietnamese teenagers are small. The naked teenager was 10 feet from Kerry's boat and running away.
One has to wonder why the Vietnam Super Hero couldn't catch what is basically a little kid by American standards, who was already slowed by the weight and mass of the rocket launcher.
21 posted on 05/11/2004 3:55:45 PM PDT by Wild Irish Rogue
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To: 68skylark
Absolutely. I couldn't care less if Kerry was Sgt. York over in Vietnam. What matters is his record in public office, which is lame, and what he can do to win the war on terror, which is nothing, at least judged by the comments he has given on the subject.
22 posted on 05/11/2004 3:59:10 PM PDT by ThreeYearLurker
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To: Spiff; Christian4Bush; PattonReincarnated; StonyBurk
Well if freepers like discussing this topic then don't let me or anyone stop you. FR is all about discussing topics we like.

I just think it's not likely to sway any undecided voters to Bush.

I'd rather give Kerry credit for battlefield heroism and be done with it. Let him make references to Vietnam if he wants -- he's just making himself into a running joke. No one likes a hero who keeps talking about what a hero he is, so I hope he keeps it up for all I care.

It's what he's done after Vietnam that's scary. I shudder to think what would happen if he's elected -- we'll have to ask the UN to stop terrorism. That should terrify every American.

Just my $0.02.
23 posted on 05/11/2004 4:01:27 PM PDT by 68skylark (.)
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To: All
Last week we had a thread that indicated that Kerry shot a rock that ricocheted and he got a 1 cm spinter in his finger that was treated with a band aid. This accd. to the doctor that treated him in the sick bay the next day. This week we learn that his silver stars may be black instead. Other indications are that he planned the entire, less than 4 mos in Nam "Military career", as the beginning of his political career. Any doubts at this point?
24 posted on 05/11/2004 4:12:31 PM PDT by rodguy911 (Kerry=Bubba lite)
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To: 68skylark
I totally agree. Part of the allure of this site is to encourage the expression of ideas (within limits, of course). There are some that must be thrown into the brier patch, or taken care of by the Viking Kitties, but we won't know who they are unless we let them speak.

I too think it (by itself) won't sway Undecideds to President GWB. That's why he (PGWB) doesn't dare touch it. Personally, I'm all for letting Kerry shoot himself in the foot all he long as he doesn't request a Purple Heart for it. /slight sarcasm

I agree that people should be more worried about what Kerry has done since he returned from Vietnam. Too many people have fought and died in our nation's history, so we could be separate and self-governing--

--too many have given their lives for us to now put our NatSec under the greased palms under the U-Blighted Nations. And yes, it does terrify me.

What terrifies me even more, were I to allow the thought, was that one of those four planes that crashed on 9-11 was bound originally for Los Angeles...where I live and work.

Just my $.01579683 (after JK's tax cut repeal)

25 posted on 05/11/2004 4:16:26 PM PDT by Christian4Bush (I approve this message: character and integrity matter. Bush/Cheney for '04.)
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To: The Bandit; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
bump to read later

Ping to Kerry BS stuff
26 posted on 05/11/2004 4:44:50 PM PDT by StarCMC (Please pray for the 2/7 Marines and Josh.)
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To: Goreknowshowtocheat
27 posted on 05/11/2004 4:48:20 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" -- Abraham Lincoln)
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To: StonyBurk
Shooting an injured and/or incapacitated enemy soldier pretty much testifies to his character.

Some of the cartoons I watch with my 4-year-old nephew are more believable than Kerry's ever shifting versions of what happened..."dah, dah, dah, dum"...."on that fateful day."
28 posted on 05/11/2004 4:53:38 PM PDT by hummingbird ("If it wasn't for the insomnia, I could have gotten some sleep!")
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To: The Bandit; StarCMC; All
"I’m an internationalist. I’d like to see our troops dispersed through [sic] the world
only at the directive of the United Nations."
Hanoi John Kerry, The Harvard Crimson, 1970

has a Campaign Platform
Just like the old days!

"It is a fact that in the entire Vietnam War we did not lose one major battle.
We lost the war at home and at home John Kerry was the field general"

- Bob Elder, Swift Boat Veteran For Truth

"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."

The book that Kerry
wishes would just go away. is a blog with a primary purpose. That purpose is to counter the preposterous claims of Sen. John Forbes Kerry (D-MA) that he has any legitimate claim to any sort of "brotherhood" among combat veterans of the War in Vietnam.

While it is generally supposed that his service as a Naval officer on a "Swift Boat" in that theater was adequate and honorable, there is much to question regarding his readiness to allow the accolade "war hero" to be applied to him.

Likewise, it is not at all uncommon for more senior Naval officers to raise an eyebrow at the swiftness and relative comfort by which Lt. JG Kerry attained those medals, and who is available to vouch for the efficacy of his being awarded them (since, as boat commander, it would be his own task to make recommendation for awards for all personnel, including himself, on the Swift Boat).

But most egregious was his conduct, words and associations upon his early-out (from SEA) return to the USA and discharge from the US Navy. His leadership role with the radical pro-Communist (inaccurate to deem this group "anti-war") group called "Vietnam Veterans Against the [Vietnam] War" (hereafter VVAW).

It was while climbing the social and political ladder of the pro-Soviet Left as a principle of VVAW that John Kerry found his political soul-mate in Hanoi Jane Fonda. Granted, these politically formative years for Kerry were prior to the more outlandish acts of Fonda that earned her that name, but it is easily documentable that Fonda did not under go any radical transformation in belief or character from the time she and Kerry were working the same side of the street to the time she traveled to Hanoi, NVN and entered US history as the most overt traitor to ever NOT be charged, tried and executed.

John Kerry went to his own overt extremes to demonstrate that, politically, socially and in lowness of character, there wasn't a nickel's worth of difference between he and Fonda. Thus, in the spirit of fairness and accuracy, we are reasonably certain that he will be agreeably flattered by calling him Hanoi John Kerry.

Here, testifying before the Fulbright Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is where John Kerry, spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, cemented his position and moniker as "Hanoi John" Kerry. This was the occasion where US troops still in the field in Vietnam learned from one of their FORMER brothers-in-arms that they were heinous murderers and war criminals. HJK would now like to call on them for support in his bid to be the new Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Perhaps the most preposterous hypocrisy of all.

29 posted on 05/11/2004 5:13:02 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Hanoi Kerry is a traitor)
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To: The Bandit
Thanks for posting this. Hope someone in the media pursues it. Kerry has tried to get a lot of mileage from his four months in Viet Nam.

I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt unless we have some really damning evidence. After all, he did serve in Viet Nam. No one has suggested that that is untrue.

But if it is clearly demonstrated that these medals were not obtained for legitimate actions, then I don't see how anyone except the most rabid Leftist could vote for him.

His actions after he returned to the U.S. are more clearly unfitting to a presidential candidate. And there was a theory put forward by someone on your previous thread that Kerry may have actually thrown his medals over the White House fence, although he now denies it, and then later requested replacements. Thus, Lehman's signature appears on one of his silver star documents. (
30 posted on 05/11/2004 5:15:27 PM PDT by Rocky (To the 9/11 Commission: It was Al Qaeda, stupid!)
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To: The Bandit
The brain always has difficulty in maintaining two different truths- what actually happened and what is portrayed.
31 posted on 05/11/2004 5:23:34 PM PDT by Rockitz (After all these years, it's still rocket science.)
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To: Rockitz
The brain always has difficulty in maintaining two different truths- what actually happened and what is portrayed.
When the brain changes version of events with every recollection of an event suggests the brain is in the process of fabricating and is not recalling an actual witnessed event.

I have no difficulty recalling events correctly and consistently that I witnessed in Viet Nam, because those events were actually witnessed by my brain and had an ever lasting impact.

32 posted on 05/11/2004 6:07:47 PM PDT by The Bandit
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To: The Bandit; Liz; backhoe; Shermy; philman_36; ravingnutter; All
Senator Kerry arranged a news conference at the Courageous Sailing Center in the Charlestown Navy Yard. Those who attended on Kerry's behalf was very interesting. They were none other then retired Admiral Zumwalt himself, who commanded U.S. naval forces in Vietnam; Capt. George Elliott, Kerry's CO at the time; retired Cmdr. Adrian Longsdale, who commanded shoreline operations at the time; Tom Belodeau, one of Kerry's gunners who had fired at the enemy soldier and knocked him down with his M-60. Participating by phone from San Francisco was Michael Medeiros, who was the rear gunner on Kerry's boat.

In previous threads I've raised the question of whether Kerry's pre-Vietnam contacts with William and McGeorge Bundy of the Johnson administration may have led to some string-pulling in connection with his medals. Following up on that, after reading this I thought I'd check into Zumwalt. I haven't found anything conclusive yet, but I do notice that Zumwalt is mentioned in Len Colodny and Robert Getlin's Silent Coup while the authors are discussing a spy ring within the military, the Robinson-Radford ring, which was leaking classified information to Jack Anderson of the Washington Post. Zumwalt is not named as part of the spy ring but is mentioned as being in contact with some of its members, one of whom, Robert Welander, was also linked to Bob Woodward. I'm looking for an online summary--here's a little:


As early as 1976 Admiral Elmo Zumwalt publicly made these military suspicions and resentment abundantly clear in his book, On Watch: A Memoir. "I had first become concerned many months before the June 1972 burglary," Zumwalt wrote, "[about] the deliberate, systematic and, unfortunately, extremely successful efforts of the President, Henry Kissinger, and a few subordinate members of their inner circle to conceal, sometimes by simple silence, more often by articulate deceit, their real policies about the most critical matters of national security." In a word, Zumwalt, like many within the American military elite, thought that Nixon's foreign policies bordered on the traitorous because they "were inimical to the security of the United States." This atmosphere of extreme distrust led Admiral Thomas Moorer, head of the JCS, to first authorize Rear Admiral Rembrandt C. Robinson and later Rear Admiral Robert O. Welander, both liaisons between the Joint Chiefs and the White House's National Security Council, to start spying on the NSC.").

I also note that about the same time Zumwalt appeared at this conference with Kerry, "President Clinton awarded Zumwalt the Presidential Medal of Freedom in January 1998." (Retired Adm. Elmo Zumwalt dies) There is also a little on Zumwalt in Nicosia's Home to War.

33 posted on 05/11/2004 7:01:45 PM PDT by Fedora (I'm Fedora, and I approved this message before I disapproved it)
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To: Mia T

John Kerry is Dangerous for America

Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry

34 posted on 05/11/2004 7:01:49 PM PDT by jla
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To: Interesting Times; calcowgirl
Ping on thread and my comment at #33.
35 posted on 05/11/2004 7:06:31 PM PDT by Fedora (I'm Fedora, and I approved this message before I disapproved it)
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To: Fedora
Dr. Paolo E. Coletta, "Zumwalt, An Intellectual Admiral"

THE FIRST thought that Hashed into my mind on receiving Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt's On Watch* was that it contained the author's platform for his campaign for the U.S. Senate. . .For three years, 1962-65, he learned much, as an assistant in the billet of Director of the Arms Control Division, International Security Affairs, from that great public servant, Paul H. Nitze. He acquired what he says was the equivalent of a Ph.D. in politico-military affairs that later stood him in good stead when he became Chief of Naval Operations, thus a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and principal naval adviser to the President. As Commander U.S. Naval Forces Vietnam, he faced not only "the fire of the enemy in the field but the indifference or even the contempt of an all too large segment of the public at home." (p. 34) He decried the massive American involvement in Vietnam because it consumed resources better used to support American interests elsewhere. Thus, he applauded the Vietnamization program and then cheered America's withdrawal. It was from what appeared to be a dead-end tour with the "brown water" (riverine) navy that he was called to be CNO-a surface sailor following nine years in that billet of naval aviators-and began his battles with such administration favorites as Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig and the redoubtable leaders of the congressional armed services and appropriations committees.

36 posted on 05/11/2004 7:23:34 PM PDT by Fedora (I'm Fedora, and I approved this message before I disapproved it)
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To: The Bandit
Bump - to read later.
37 posted on 05/11/2004 7:32:46 PM PDT by FairWitness
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To: Fedora
Nice digging!
38 posted on 05/11/2004 7:34:27 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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To: The Bandit
I'm sure what Kerry was really doing was collecting a war trophy. The VC shot his only round, got shot and was down long enough that Kerry though he was down for good and beached the boat. When the VC got up he chased him and shot him dead just to get his war trophy.

I bet you that all of Kerry's medals are as phony as a three dollar bill. I heard somewhere that Kerry sent in a form to get replacement medals (saying they were lost), to replace the ones he threw away. And no, ribbons and medals were not used interchangeably. Ribbons are ribbons and easy to replace, medals are significant and hard to replace.
39 posted on 05/11/2004 7:57:47 PM PDT by Revolutionary
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To: The Bandit
bump for later reading.
40 posted on 05/11/2004 8:16:31 PM PDT by abner (FREE THE MIRANDA MEMOS! or
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
That is an interesting picture on the right.
He's got ribbons. Was that a before or after "the tossing" day.
41 posted on 05/11/2004 9:10:57 PM PDT by philman_36
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To: Fedora
I do love your pings. Thank you.
42 posted on 05/11/2004 9:11:38 PM PDT by philman_36
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To: hobson; kellynla
Ping--was hoping you two might lend your insight into Kerry's military records to this thread. Please see my Posts #33 and #36 on Zumwalt; I'm interested to hear your take on his politics and relationship to Kerry. Hobson, I notice your post mentioned Zumwalt on Reference: Kerry's Medal and Wound Records:

1. "For example, the fabled and distinguished chief of naval operations (CNO), Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, told me -- 30 years ago when he was still CNO -- that during his own command of US naval forces in Vietnam, just prior to his anointment as CNO, young Kerry had created great problems for him and the other top brass, by killing so many non-combatant civilians and going after other non-military targets. "We had virtually to straight-jacket him to keep him under control," the admiral said." "Can John Kerry hold on to his lead?", W. Scott Thompson, 2/11/2004


3. Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Jr photos (I believe the person pinning the medals on Kerry is Zumwalt.)

43 posted on 05/11/2004 9:25:14 PM PDT by Fedora (I'm Fedora, and I approved this message before I disapproved it)
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To: calcowgirl
Ping on links in #43.
44 posted on 05/11/2004 9:26:52 PM PDT by Fedora (I'm Fedora, and I approved this message before I disapproved it)
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To: philman_36
You're most welcome, as always!
45 posted on 05/11/2004 9:29:12 PM PDT by Fedora (I'm Fedora, and I approved this message before I disapproved it)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Please see my #43; I'd also be interested in your take on the question I pose there.
46 posted on 05/11/2004 9:30:47 PM PDT by Fedora (I'm Fedora, and I approved this message before I disapproved it)
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To: Fedora
I'll have to get back to you tomorrow on this.
'bout ready for taps here. LOL
47 posted on 05/11/2004 9:32:24 PM PDT by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1/5 1st Mar Div. Nam 69&70 Semper Fi
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To: kellynla
I'll have to get back to you tomorrow on this.

'bout ready for taps here. LOL

I should be heading in that direction here soon, too, LOL! Looking forward to your comments.

48 posted on 05/11/2004 9:42:16 PM PDT by Fedora (I'm Fedora, and I approved this message before I disapproved it)
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To: Fedora
I'll study this and let you know.
49 posted on 05/12/2004 4:11:11 AM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Support Our Troops!)
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To: hummingbird
DO agree. I have no medals. Served 8 yrs as an Army Medic-
69-77. Spent only 68 days in the Republic of-they were still
trying to prosecute a war -and did not want my medical profile (seizure disorder,and Manic depressive) I went where
I was ordered to go--and did my best--as a Medic--But unlike
Kerry-- I have NOT claimed what I have not earned in combat.
Unlike Kerry I did not betray my peers-Nor did I give aid and comfort to the enemy.Gen.Giap ,I hear used to show our
Americans held POW photographs of the Vietnam veterans against the war--and Kerry-claiming even our own did not support that war.
50 posted on 05/12/2004 5:40:46 AM PDT by StonyBurk
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