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John Kerry Does NOT Speak For Vietnam Veterans
Useless-Knowledge.com ^ | 8/2/04 | Bruce Kesler

Posted on 08/02/2004 5:29:48 PM PDT by USMCVIETVET

John Kerry Does Not Speak For Vietnam Veterans

By Bruce N. Kesler Aug 2, 2004

In April 1971, John Kerry and a small group of purported and real Vietnam veterans camped out in Washington to protest the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. They received extensive publicity to their vastly overblown charges of pervasive brutality and war crimes by U.S. forces. The antiwar Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Fulbright, featured Kerry at a televised hearing. This one-sided protest and publicity demoralized many citizens, and lastingly blackened the reputation and sacrifices of other Vietnam vets that made our reentry into peaceful civilian life unwelcome and harsh.

At the time, I had recently returned to civilian life after service with the Marine Corps in Vietnam. I was outraged and hurt by Kerry’s grandstanding falsehoods. I wrote a long letter of protest about it to the then editor of the New York Times op-ed page, Harrison Salisbury (a respected journalist and historian, and an opponent of the war). Mr. Salisbury edited my letter and published it as a New York Times op-ed on May 13, 1971. In it, I wrote: “…the overwhelming majority of Vietnam veterans and Americans bitterly resent the charge from the left that they are all war criminals….It is not a crime to be American and young, but it is if one adds to that ignorant, foolish or irrational dialogue as citizens of a democratic government. The antiwar veterans are not ignorant of the facts; they merely use them to form an army of young people marching to their drums, exploiting issues, fears and people for their own ends. That is the crime.”

I received supportive calls from many other Vietnam vets, saying let’s do more to clear our reputations. One of the callers was a Vietnam veteran who had been a river boat commander at about the same time as John Kerry, John O’Neill, who was to soon leave the Navy and who had been denied an opportunity by Senator Fulbright to rebut Kerry. Other Vietnam veterans represented hundreds of thousands of Vietnam veterans in student and local veterans clubs around the country. We formed the Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. I borrowed money for airline tickets, some double-up rooms at the YMCA in Washington, rented a space at the National Press Club, sent out amateurish press conference invitations and sat in a phone booth at the Y for 24-hours begging newspaper and TV reporters to come to our meeting on June 1, 1971. Many did. We received national press for our rebuttal to Kerry and his gang. John O’Neill effectively debated and rebutted Kerry on Dick Cavett’s late night TV show.

Kerry’s launching pad to a political career now has him contending for President. Kerry never recanted his slurs of 33-years ago. Instead, he asserts his military service makes him more qualified than President Bush to lead the nation in war. We, who proudly served must serve again, to demand honesty.

Kerry denies calling us war criminals. Kerry did, testifying before Congress in April 1971: “Several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.”

The publicity to Kerry’s charges permanently scarred the reputation of those who served in Vietnam. Studies statistically rebut his claim: American “atrocities” in Vietnam did not differ from any other American war. Yes, bad things happen in war, which is why we hate war. But, Kerry did not stop with that, then or now. Kerry accused all Americans who served in Vietnam of being war criminals, led by war criminals, and Kerry continues that lie. The U.S. prosecuted the exception of My Lai perpetrators, and has done so when atrocities have come to light.

Kerry’s fellow Vietnam Veterans Against the War, like the 150 he praised, refused to prove their claims attacking the honor of Vietnam veterans. Exhaustive studies exposed their stories as bogus, and many were imposters who had not served in Vietnam. Even Kerry’s favorable biographer recently said: “The chickens are coming home to roost, and unfortunately he is starting to backtrack.”

Kerry testified in 1971, “We are angry because we feel that we have been used in the worst fashion by the administration of this country.” In his testimony, Kerry boasted of meeting in Paris with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations at the peace talks, and that he supported their proposals. It seems Kerry was more useful to our enemies than used by the U.S. administration. Former POW Senator McCain complained in 1973 that Kerry’s testimony was “the most effective propaganda [my North Vietnamese captors] had to use against us.” Senator McCain, a nice guy, has lately forgiven Kerry. What about other POW’s, like Paul Galanti who last February said that Kerry’s charges, repeated by his captors during his torture, “jeopardize[d] those still in battle or in the hands of the enemy.” Galanti went on to say, “The Vietnam memorial has thousands of additional names due to John Kerry and others like him.” Sydney Schanberg, exposer of Cambodia’s Killing Fields and critic of Bush, documents that in the early ‘90’s Kerry’s U.S. Senate special committee squelched evidence of POW’s not released by the North Vietnamese.

In April 2001, Kerry wrote, “We returned home to an America that was indifferent, even hostile. There were no parades, only nightmares.” Yet, Kerry takes no responsibility for creating a negative atmosphere against Vietnam veterans. The truth of how Vietnam veterans felt emerged from a comprehensive 1980 survey by the Veterans’ Administration which reported 91% of those who had seen combat in Vietnam were “glad they had served their country;” 80% disagreed with the statement that “the U.S. took advantage of me;” and nearly 2/3rds would go to Vietnam again, even knowing the outcome of the war. The overwhelming majority of Vietnam veterans are proud of their service, not of Kerry’s treachery and lies.

John Kerry served in Vietnam for several months as a Navy Lieutenant, over 35-years ago. After three “band-aid” Purple Hearts (veritable scratches), he opted to leave Vietnam. That brief service, and his record since, hardly qualifies him as a hero or military expert qualified to run a world-wide war against terrorists. Indeed, his perfidity then, his refusal to apologize or recant since, and his many other areas of flip-flops and evasions, hardly qualifies him to lead the world or be depended upon to be steadfast in protecting Americans, our interest in a terror-free world, or American soldiers.

------------

About the author: Bruce Kesler volunteered for the Marine Corps after graduating college in 1968, served as an enlisted man and was honorably discharged after serving in Vietnam. Since, Kesler has been a financial executive for Fortune 100 companies, and currently owns an employee benefits firm.


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: kerry; kesler; oneill; veterans; vietnam; vietnamveterans; vvaw; vvjp
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1 posted on 08/02/2004 5:29:49 PM PDT by USMCVIETVET
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To: USMCVIETVET

Semper fi!


2 posted on 08/02/2004 5:31:12 PM PDT by PeterFinn
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To: USMCVIETVET
The defeat of JFKerry is symbolic for me that we WON the Vietnam WAR!
3 posted on 08/02/2004 5:33:35 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: USMCVIETVET

I wish he would take his Broads advice and "shove it!"


4 posted on 08/02/2004 5:35:40 PM PDT by Joee
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To: USMCVIETVET

 
 
Click HERE for

The Kerry/Edwards Files
-at-
The CouNTeRPuNcH Collection

5 posted on 08/02/2004 5:38:35 PM PDT by counterpunch (The CouNTeRPuNcH Collection - www.counterpunch.us)
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To: USMCVIETVET
Yes, bad things happen in war, which is why we hate war. But, Kerry did not stop with that, then or now. Kerry accused all Americans who served in Vietnam of being war criminals, led by war criminals, and Kerry continues that lie.

This is Kerry's unforgivable sin to all of us Vietnam Veterans. May he rot in Hell for this.

6 posted on 08/02/2004 5:47:41 PM PDT by afnamvet (USAF Tuy Hoa AFB RVN 68-69..NOT FONDA KERRY!)
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To: Just mythoughts
The defeat of JFKerry is symbolic for me that we WON the Vietnam WAR!

Amen.

7 posted on 08/02/2004 5:49:26 PM PDT by LisaMalia (In Memory of Sgt. James W."Billy" Lunsford..KIA 11-29-69 Binh Dinh S. Vietnam)
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To: afnamvet

Thank you for your service to our country.

Lisa


8 posted on 08/02/2004 5:50:31 PM PDT by LisaMalia (In Memory of Sgt. James W."Billy" Lunsford..KIA 11-29-69 Binh Dinh S. Vietnam)
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To: USMCVIETVET
Here is one Viet Nam Vet whom John Kerry does not speak for and I have not found one honest to God Viet Nam Vet yet for whom John Kerry does speak for. There are not a large group of Viet Nam Vets with qwhom I associate but the ones I do know laugh at John Kerry's quest for the presidency based on his war record. We all know what a sham it is and how impossible it is for one who served such a short time in Viet Nam to have accomplished what he is edged to have done. It is all bullshit and we know it. I was just an average working Joe like most GI"s and I certainly did not rate any special medals. Neither do 90 percent of those who serve. Kerry should stop whining about his war record, get a hairlcut and tell his stupid wife to shutup. Maybe then he could gain some ground but I doubt it.

P.H. Eaton
SCPO USN, RET
9 posted on 08/02/2004 5:50:57 PM PDT by Squire Eaton
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To: Squire Eaton

Thank you for your service to our country.

Lisa


10 posted on 08/02/2004 5:54:05 PM PDT by LisaMalia (In Memory of Sgt. James W."Billy" Lunsford..KIA 11-29-69 Binh Dinh S. Vietnam)
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To: LisaMalia
Thank you for your service to our country.

Thank you very much Lisa. It was very much appreciated.

Roger

11 posted on 08/02/2004 5:55:06 PM PDT by afnamvet (USAF Tuy Hoa AFB RVN 68-69..NOT FONDA KERRY!)
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To: USMCVIETVET

BTTT


12 posted on 08/02/2004 5:57:27 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: USMCVIETVET

Thank you for your service to your country.
As my husband and I watched Kerry speak at the convention (with lots of grit), Kerry lauded his 'welcome home.' Then my husband had to leave the room and parted with "Yeah, and you and the buddies you hung out with gave me MY welcome home." It breaks my heart to realize the unforgivable treatment US soldiers suffered not only then, but now. I am a firm believer that a soldier's action to fight for his/her country -- whether in Iraq, Vietnam, or any other 'conflict' -- is no less heroic than those great soldiers in WW2. The day-to-day in Vietnam did not have a great plan, but the bigger picture of you fighting for others to know liberty and justice are most noble.


13 posted on 08/02/2004 5:57:47 PM PDT by Abynormal
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To: Squire Eaton

Amen brother!


14 posted on 08/02/2004 5:58:06 PM PDT by USMCVIETVET (Kerry No Special Friend to Jews or Israel)
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To: DMZFrank; ALOHA RONNIE; tet68; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

ping


15 posted on 08/02/2004 6:02:24 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: afnamvet

You are more than welcome.

My older brother served in the AF, he joined in 1969, went to basic training in San Antonio (Lackland AFB), spent a few months in Denver (Laughlin AFB) and finished his tour in Minot, ND.

I guess if there's one good thing about this Kerry fiasco, it's that you and other Vietnam Veterans are finally getting some of the appreciation that you so deserved at the time for being in harms way for our country. I only wish I could do or say more.

My goal is to fight the good fight, and donate all my available time to make sure John Kerry is defeated in November.




16 posted on 08/02/2004 6:05:06 PM PDT by LisaMalia (In Memory of Sgt. James W."Billy" Lunsford..KIA 11-29-69 Binh Dinh S. Vietnam)
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To: USMCVIETVET

Former POW Senator McCain complained in 1973 that Kerry’s testimony was “the most effective propaganda [my North Vietnamese captors] had to use against us.” Senator McCain, a nice guy, has lately forgiven Kerry.

It is beyond me how McCain can forgive him for that.


17 posted on 08/02/2004 6:06:05 PM PDT by Mr. Rips (Europeans - too weak to lead, to proud to follow)
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To: Squire Eaton

My husband stands with you. He will NEVER forget the welcome he got when he came home and will never forget John Kerry.


18 posted on 08/02/2004 6:11:48 PM PDT by Merry
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To: USMCVIETVET

Please also accept my admiration and thanks for your service to the nation. God bless you!


19 posted on 08/02/2004 6:14:08 PM PDT by TheGeezer (If only I had skin as thick as Ann Coulter, and but half her intelligence...)
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To: USMCVIETVET

I salute those who served. My class was the last one drafted and I missed service by a matter of months. I am glad to see more Viet Nam vets speaking up before it is too late. The guy is the biggest fraud I have ever seen. He wouldn't know how to defend this country if he really needed too. I keep asking..."What has he done in the Senate to warrant a promtion?" How could this man get three purple hearts in 4 months when it sounds as if they were scratches or "self promoted" wounds.


20 posted on 08/02/2004 6:16:30 PM PDT by cmiller623
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To: USMCVIETVET; All
I'm John Kerry and I approve
the desecration of the American Flag.



21 posted on 08/02/2004 6:17:29 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Hanoi Jane and Hanoi Kerry sitting in a tree F-R-E-N-C-H-I-N-G)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Thanks Tonk....that just got me to DEFCON 1!


22 posted on 08/02/2004 6:21:31 PM PDT by afnamvet (USAF Tuy Hoa AFB RVN 68-69..NOT FONDA KERRY!)
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To: afnamvet

I've been there since he got the dims nod.


23 posted on 08/02/2004 6:23:52 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Have you said Thank You to a service man or woman today?)
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To: USMCVIETVET; MeekOneGOP; potlatch; devolve; Happy2BMe; Boazo; OXENinFLA; Grampa Dave; Lady Jag; ...

24 posted on 08/02/2004 6:25:01 PM PDT by Smartass ( BUSH & CHENEY IN 2004 - Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió.)
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To: Smartass
My feelings EXACTLY !
25 posted on 08/02/2004 6:27:50 PM PDT by afnamvet (USAF Tuy Hoa AFB RVN 68-69..NOT FONDA KERRY!)
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To: Squire Eaton

See www.wintersoldier.com for all the dope on Kerry in and after Vietnam.
Also, see Unfit For Command by John O'Neill, published by Regnery, due out 8/10. Go to Amazon.com to order now.


26 posted on 08/02/2004 6:27:55 PM PDT by USMCVIETVET (Kerry No Special Friend to Jews or Israel)
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To: Squire Eaton
I have not found one honest to God Viet Nam Vet yet for whom John Kerry does speak for.

Somebody ought to ask Kerry's boat crew that support him if they were with him when he committed those war atrocities he testified to and if so did they help him and if not why they din't stop him

see what kind of BS answer they come up with
27 posted on 08/02/2004 6:29:14 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: Smartass

28 posted on 08/02/2004 6:32:25 PM PDT by Boazo (LOSE THE TAG LINE)
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To: Smartass

29 posted on 08/02/2004 6:34:50 PM PDT by Lady Jag (Used to be sciencediet (aka Tad Rad) but found the solution)
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To: Boazo

Love the shoes!


30 posted on 08/02/2004 6:35:20 PM PDT by Lady Jag (Used to be sciencediet (aka Tad Rad) but found the solution)
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To: USMCVIETVET

Welcome to FR. Thank you for your service to our country!


31 posted on 08/02/2004 6:37:45 PM PDT by Lady Jag (Used to be sciencediet (aka Tad Rad) but found the solution)
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To: Lady Jag
CPR on a hamster...What BS!


32 posted on 08/02/2004 6:40:04 PM PDT by Smartass ( BUSH & CHENEY IN 2004 - Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió.)
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To: Howlin; eddie willers; cajungirl; wirestripper; Southflanknorthpawsis; Peach; prairiebreeze; ...

Vietnam Vets v. Hanoi John ping...


33 posted on 08/02/2004 6:40:11 PM PDT by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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To: Lady Jag
CPR on a hamster...What BS!


34 posted on 08/02/2004 6:40:19 PM PDT by Smartass ( BUSH & CHENEY IN 2004 - Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió.)
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To: Lady Jag

Thank you Lady Jag !


35 posted on 08/02/2004 6:41:17 PM PDT by Boazo (LOSE THE TAG LINE)
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To: afnamvet
Deciding who to vote for is NOT rocket science


36 posted on 08/02/2004 6:41:23 PM PDT by Lady Jag (Used to be sciencediet (aka Tad Rad) but found the solution)
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To: USMCVIETVET

John Kerry speaks for Ho Chi Minh.


37 posted on 08/02/2004 6:43:54 PM PDT by TET1968
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To: Boazo
CPR on a hamster. One of the phoniest DNC convention jokes of the night!


38 posted on 08/02/2004 6:44:02 PM PDT by Smartass ( BUSH & CHENEY IN 2004 - Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió.)
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To: Smartass
CPR on a hamster...What BS!

AND HE DIDN'T EVEN USE HIS MOUTH


39 posted on 08/02/2004 6:44:33 PM PDT by Lady Jag (Used to be sciencediet (aka Tad Rad) but found the solution)
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To: Lady Jag
Would love to apply an EXTREME MAKEOVER to the "gentleman" on the right of the photograph (I'm trying to post nice to avoid banishment).
40 posted on 08/02/2004 6:47:09 PM PDT by afnamvet (USAF Tuy Hoa AFB RVN 68-69..NOT FONDA KERRY!)
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To: Joee

Kerry is letting his ass do the talking for him. He should have been awarded the VC medal of honor for his traitorous actions. Kerry a disgrace to every, Real American Veteran. A gigilo living off his med-head spouse and should back up to the payline when drawing his senate pay check. Bush/Cheney 2004


41 posted on 08/02/2004 6:55:26 PM PDT by No Surrender No Retreat (These Colors Never Run( 7.62))
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To: Lady Jag

Is there a transcript of the Buckley/Kerry debate?


42 posted on 08/02/2004 6:59:01 PM PDT by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1/5 1st Mar Div. Nam 69&70 Semper Fi http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.com)
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To: USMCVIETVET

Great article. The several months you refer is actually 4 months an 12 days. I was serving in Nam while Kerry was committing his treasonous acts and spewing his stories about atrocities. When returning to my hometown in upstate NY, I was labeled a baby killer by many. I didn't know JF'n by name, but knew of his close friend and associate Hanoi Jane. That was a very perplexing time for the Viet vets, but after learning the true role that Kerry and Hanoi Jane played, it's hard to "forgive and forget" with these folks. I find it difficult to understand how McCain was able to do it.


43 posted on 08/02/2004 7:00:41 PM PDT by conshack
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To: Lady Jag

FOFL!


44 posted on 08/02/2004 7:02:04 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (John Kerry sucked face with a rodent.)
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To: CONSERVE

ping #39!


45 posted on 08/02/2004 7:02:39 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (John Kerry sucked face with a rodent.)
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To: Squire Eaton

Kerry should stop whining about his war record, get a hairlcut and tell his stupid wife to shutup. Maybe then he could gain some ground but I doubt it.

Perhaps it's better if he keeps on about his war record and his wife keeps babbling. If the lefty media would talk about his sham medals and his wife keeps sputing off in tirades, maybe some of the dim dimocrats will actually figure these folks out for what they really are, charletons, whores traitors and socialists.


46 posted on 08/02/2004 7:05:13 PM PDT by conshack
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To: kellynla
There likely is a transcript. I got the pic from Winter Solder and they have been collecting Kerry material. Look there.
47 posted on 08/02/2004 7:05:15 PM PDT by Lady Jag (Used to be sciencediet (aka Tad Rad) but found the solution)
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To: USMCVIETVET

I was trying to think of an expletive for John SKerry and couldn't come up with one vile enough. Traitor, murderer, commie, gigolo, leech...?


48 posted on 08/02/2004 7:06:04 PM PDT by tiki
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To: USMCVIETVET

" One of the callers was a Vietnam veteran who had been a river boat commander at about the same time as John Kerry, John O’Neill, who was to soon leave the Navy and who had been denied an opportunity by Senator Fulbright to rebut Kerry."

Fulbright must have had a lot of power to hold a Senate committee hearing so that we could listen to a wet-behind-the-ears O-3 with four months in-country tell lies about the conduct of the war. Watching Kerry in his unkept utility uniform, improperly displaying ribbons, with non-regulation haircut testify in front of the senior legislative body of the United States made the Senators in attendence look like clowns. That was a sad day in our history and brought discredit on the thousands of military personnel that served their country honorably. I will not forget.


49 posted on 08/02/2004 7:06:14 PM PDT by Ben Hecks
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To: afnamvet

You want him out of there? I won't banish you if you have to freepmail me.


50 posted on 08/02/2004 7:06:38 PM PDT by Lady Jag (Used to be sciencediet (aka Tad Rad) but found the solution)
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