Skip to comments.V A N I T Y -- The reason those vets are behind sKerry
Posted on 08/06/2004 8:13:10 PM PDT by Trident/Delta
I have been puzzled about the lack of conversation about the appearance of such opposing views between sKerry's crewmen, and the Swiftvets. It just stands to reason that one of the groups is just flat wrong (I didn't say lied). It intrigued me that so many, who are against sKerry, could be ofset by so few that support him. It is almost as if the media thinks that the public would buy off on a conspiracy of such a grand scale.
I got curious about the motivation of the supporters. While many have postulated about $$$ or some plum position in a sKerry adminitration, those just didn't seem to ring my bell.
I had to ask, what could it be that these men are willing to face up to such an onslaught. If the Swifties case is proven, they (the supporters) will be derided and embarrassed. So I felt that there had to be a more underlying reason.
I think I may have inadvertantly stumbled accross the reason.
While skimming posts on FR yesterday, I came across a link to a web page that was a blog or forum. The link was to a post on the blog (or forum) from someone whose screen namr was "River Rat". Now this was NOT of FR, it was a site that was linked from a thread on FR. This post (on the other board) stated that sKerry's crew got more decorations (I recall 2 other Bronze Stars) than any other boat. This poster said that these were given to the crew (reflected glory from sKerry's Silver Star).
So, if the reason for sKerry's comendation is bogus, then so was theirs!!! Since the Bronze is kinda important to aging warriors, I can see a scenario where some sKerry operative goes to these guys and says something to the effect "If Johnny goes down, you go down too!".
Now I may be off base here, but, if I have had bragging rights to something as prestigious as the Bronze Star, and it appears that I am about to be called a phony, you bet I would try, desparately, to preserve my "legacy" (sound familiar???). That being said, maybe one of the undercover pundits that monitor FR (you listening Hugh???? What about you Sean???) should focus on the "other" awards given in conjunction to the sKerry medals and see where that goes.
I wish I had bookmarked that damn link, but, I am certain that the more talented FREEPERS will find it. I think that it could be interesting.
Actually, I've wondered for a while about a slightly different scenario...
As we know Kerry has claimed that he and most soldiers/sailors in Vietnam committed atrocities.
Well, one of the most powerful tricks your mind does to protect itself from a reality you don't want to deal with is projection. So perhaps, unlike the vast majority of our military, Kerry *did* commit war crimes as he has claimed. Kerry can't deal with what he does so he starts claiming all vets have done the same sort of things. Perhaps he and those on stage with him committed these crimes together.
It gives a powerful reason for why Kerry betrayed his comrades when he came back calling them rampaging mongols and why a small group continues to defend him.
Interesting hypothesis. I suspect these people have been worked over in numerous ways for years now, but Kerry and his staffers.
Pres. Bush is fishing. OLN
I agree, I am also somewhat confused about how the libs, who are so anti-military, could embrace this the way they are.
I saw that post too. There were several from RiverRat in that thread. Somewhat understandable, but in this situation, men of good conscience need to stand up.
Between the Boston papers, Bill O'Reilly(I will never forgive him) and Susan Estrich(please please GO AWAY!) the swiftboatvets need to get on the offense.
There are lots of little questions like yours. They did get a lot of medals - Bronze Stars with V, Navy Commendation medals with V etc....
I'd like to see their service records.
I'd like to see whose payroll they are on right now.
Sometimes and OIC can do other little favors. They only did 18 patrols in 48 days. Most patrols are less than 24 hours. Sometimes when a boat would go out on it's own, they probably didn't really patrol. They went out to take 8MM movies and smoke some pot. The crew would love that.
Also I gather as Kerry was leaving, his crew complained about being left behind and he got them transferred.
It is difficult to understand the motivations if all of this is just from their embarrasment.
All it would take would be one incident...
OREilly is going RAt on us.
He's interviewing Ben Affleck now.
Letting him get away with all the rat talking points about the economy, claiming he's an independent, BS.
I'm gonna have to log off tonight.
getting too pissed off.
One other thing bothers me.
That Green Beret Kerry risked his life to save and get the Bronze Star. Most (if not all) PCFs hard cargo nets draped over their bows. If a man is in the water and not injured all that is required is to bring the bow to him, let him hook his arm through the cargo net and get the hell out of there. No reason to stop the boat and haul him out of the water while under fire.
This is actually supported by reports from the crews of other boats on the scene that said there was no enemy fire at that time.
Someone else (the GB?) claims that Kerry was shot. Kerry was NEVER hit by a bullet.
There may be something to the "shared atrocity" theory.
I think Kerry is the liar. I'll say it to anyone.
He's hiding his military records from us. That tells me all I need to know.
I so enjoy reading posts where people are really thinking. Noticing inconsistencies, pointing them out, and trying to come up with reasonable conclusions.
There are dozens of things like this if you listen to Rassman and the other pro Kerry vets. Not much of what he's said today matches up with either what the Swift Boat Vets are saying, what Kerry has said in the past, or what's been previously reported.
Last night Rassman he said he put Kerry in for the Silver Star. Now my understanding is Kerry got that for shooting the guy, not for saving Rassman. He got the Bronze Star for saving Rassman.
Only their psychoanalysts know for sure.
And John Edwards as he does his "channeling" excercises.
I don't think they embrace it at all, it just gives them cover in their search for power and what they thought was a stark contract to Bush's military record. Kerry spent more time betraying and dishonoring his country and the military than he did in Viet Nam which probably helps the libs square his service.
To your original point, I have thought that liberals simply use the government to work out their own personal guilt or to right their karma. Their personal generosity and character rarely seems to match what they seek to take from or require of others.
How does someone maintain a 35 year relationship with five or six guys you served with for about two months? Kerry skippered two boats for about two months each, which means 10 men served under him. I believe Kerry initiated and nurtured this relationship to further hhis political ambitions. You don't go to Vietnam with your journal, camera, and a desire to accumulate medals without thinking about the future. Kerry fancied himself another JFK, by self-admission, and liked the idea of having his own version of PT-109.
Although he failed in his first run for office, Kerry used his Band of Brothers as political props for over 25 years. He used his status as a decorated war hero to intimidate his political opponents who did not serve. On the other hand, he could use his role as an antiwar spokesman, which propelled him on the national stage at the age of 27.
As Kerry rose in prominence from Lt. Gov to Senator, the Band of Brothers went along with him to experience the rarified air of being associated with a celebrity and power broker. I am sure Kerry did favors for them, as he could as a prominent politician. He must have paid their way to accompany him during his campaigns and invited them to various functions over the years. It was good to have a US Senator as a friend and supporter, especially a very rich one after he married Teresa in 1995, just a year before his toughest reelection campaign. Who doesn't like Santa Claus?
Kerry didn't maintain that same kind of relationship with his peers (except Skip Barker) because they were not his subordinates and considered him an ineffectual jerk by and large.
Kerry's Band of Brothers are held together less by friendship and more by a mutually beneficial relationship, material and psychic. I would be interested to learn more about the Band of Brothers in terms of their military records and lives since they left the military. There is a story there for anyone who wants to check it out.
"Last night Rassman he said he put Kerry in for the Silver Star."
I heard that too, figured I heard him wrong. Someone needs to run down Rassman's credentials as a Green Beret.
Also somthing I noticed today is that after training Kerry was sent to An Thoi with CD11. (I happen to be very familiar with the area) The U Minh forest was a major VC stronghold. After a week at An Thoi they send him back to Vung Tau and CD 13. Yet both of his medals read "while serving with Coastal Division ELEVEN" blah blah blah.
Huh? There are several other inconsistances at:
I agree. IMHO, kerry bought them off with undeserved medals, and now they're ashamed to admit it. Plus te full weight of the RAT goon squads is on them now.
Thanks for that link. I'll read it carefully. I wish FOX posted transcripts. We need to nail Rassman down.
His story that he just happened to see the Brinkley book on Kerry and just "happened" to open it to the section on himself is ridiculous on it's face. He just happens to show up in IA as the Kerry campaign is in full implosion mode.
I'm not buying his story. He was sweating more than Al Gore drinking iced tea last night when Sean was questioning him.
People that are being truthful don't act the way he acted.
Specifically, they got transferred out to non-combat zones.
Also, they are getting their 15 minutes of fame by association. Frankly, they are terrible at standing up to the former Swift Boat Commanders. They are average men who haven't accomplished all that much since Nam. They didn't expect to be criticized or have Kerry challenged.
I think protecting their own medals is a good point. Another thought: when a group of people have convinced themselves that something happened and they are then confronted by a larger group of people w/presence, authority and the habit of command who keep correcting their fantasy and substituting a truth that contradicts it, the ones caught in the fantasy are going to have their foundations shaken. It may even force them to really remember the past as it happened.
If one of the 2 former crewmates suddenly leaves the campaign because they are *tired* or *ill* or *want to spend time w/their grandbabies*, I'll suspect they began to remember the past as it really happened. Brainwashing can wear off.
WOW! You know: this is a movie plot!
I hope I have this right, but the guy Kerry was suppose to have saved "from the enemy" said he hadn't heard from Kerry for 35 years until one day he called him. I saw him interviewed on TV.
Where did you hear he kept in touch with them? It seems as though Kerry would be "too good" for the unwashed left overs from his youth.
When torture happened in Abu Girab, the distinction was made that it was a few soldiers, not all. It should follow, therefore, that say, 80 percent of VV vets are vociferous in that they didn't participate. It seems as if there is a collective silence and guilt, as if because they were in a unit where some did wrong things, and because they didn't report it, they are equally guilty. And it doesn't get talked about, because their silence over these years has been wrong.
sKerry actually admitted right away to the burning down of innocent villagers' houses. But he doesn't give names of those raping women and torturing. Yet he tries to sound morally on the high road by admitting to some attrocities, and then making "the war" what is evil, rather than SOME individual soldiers, including his evil self.
I would think others who are also guilty, who K knows are guilty, would support him now, as in a code of silence.
And others can't get harder on him, because he knows too much about their doings. I say, if you weren't courageous enough to do the right things back then, DO the right thing now, for the sake of the country: TELL what you know about Kerry, even though it may mean punishment for you now, because of your guilt. It would be COURAGEOUS and GOOD!!
You are correct. Rassman, a Green Beret and passenger on Kerry's boat, was not a crewman, i.e., one of the Band of Brothers. It would be interesting to learn the true circumstance of how they got together.
Where did you hear he kept in touch with them? It seems as though Kerry would be "too good" for the unwashed left overs from his youth
I remember reading it in the Boston Globe series on Kerry's life and elsewhere. Here is one report about them that seems to indicate that 1996 was the first real use of the swift boat crew, but Kerry used veterans in earlier campaigns
"For the band of brothers' dozen or so core members--including most of the two swift boat crews Kerry commanded in Vietnam--down time was hard to come by last week. Betting that his buddies' war stories will help shore up his national security credentials, Kerry enlisted them in a daily blitzkrieg of interviews, speeches, and photo ops. But while their appearance on the national stage may be new, the band of brothers has actually been 20 years in the making.
The seed for the concept was planted in 1984, during Kerry's first Senate bid, when his main primary rival, Rep. Jim Shannon, took him to task for protesting the Vietnam War. When Kerry demanded an apology, Shannon refused, saying, "That dog won't hunt." With a week to go before the primary, a group of Vietnam vets from Massachusetts barnstormed the state in Kerry's defense, helping him. He barely eked out the win--but he's been winning ever since.
All for one. Heirs to the so-called dog hunters, the band of brothers was born during Kerry's 1996 re-election bid, when he faced popular Massachusetts Gov. William Weld. A couple of weeks before Election Day, a Boston Globe columnist suggested that Kerry's role in a 1969 Vietnam firefight--for which he won the Silver Star--might have constituted a war crime. A Kerry friend tracked down five of his 1969 crewmates--none of whom had spoken to Kerry or to one another since Vietnam--and flew them to Boston. "John saved our lives, and we saved his," says former crewmate Drew Whitlow. "If you get one of us in trouble, we're going to come after you." It was just what Kerry needed. "These veterans beat back the charges," says Rob Gray, Weld's 1996 spokesman. "We couldn't change the subject back to what we wanted to talk about."
I remember that interview from the primaries exactly as you do.
I don't think Kerry has had to use all these guys before. Maybe someone from MA can tell us if he campaigned as a vet there? I bet he had PIs out finding these people and sweet-talked them into a last *adventure*. Now the fun is turning sour.
How does a GB get onto a Naval Coastal Division? I am a dumb civilian, so it just sounded strange to me. Did Rassman have some sort of military specialty that was required and not supplied by the Navy?
Rassman looked ill last night while being refuted by the former commander. He kept saying:"Why make a big deal over something that happened 30 years ago." And he reiterated the day's talking point: the Navy gave him (F'n) those medals, so they must be legit.
I think I read that for that 1st PH, Kerry had to go up the chain of command to someone in Saigon to get it signed. He's always undertood how to pull strings.
My Dachshund does exACTly the same thing Barney does. They could be such pals! James & Barney...fishin' buds.
The President is a good fisherman, and always the gentleman--making the host feel like the host is more skilled than he. What a class act!
In 1996, supporting the OinC, who was an incumbent Senator, was harmless. If the facts got embroidered into a bit of a fantasy, it was all in the interest of getting the skipper elected.
Now, the stakes are a lot higher. But the crewmen, as well as the Senator, are invested in the fantasy, not the facts.
If this is the correct thesis, Kerry's crewmen bear close watching. They're unlikely to "turn state's evidence", but they might start refusing interviews and begin drifting away from the campaign.
They're not corrupt men, necessarily. They'll want to be able to live with themselves.
On FNC Special Report (of Aug 4 Wed), Fred Barnes suggested that one side or the other was lying and much of the dispute could be resolved with research. I hope he takes his own assignment.
Gigilo John became a celebrity. His lies about his service allowed all these other to integrate their lies with his. Who, after 25 years of marginal achievement, would question anythng? But now, after lying to their kids about how they won the war with Traitor John, some one says, "BS, that's not how it was!"
In terms of the lies men tell, military for exceeds sex or wealth. Who can dispute my stories about my near death experiences behind enemy lines? My wife will gig me if I mention the blonds and my ex-wife's lawyers will get me if I mention wealth. The pro-Kerry guys have just been caught up in the lies they've been telling for 25 years.
I would suspect that Kerry's boat shot anything that moved, to prevent anything that moved from shooting them. Thats what cowards do.
Well said. Not unlike sport fans, "association" can define one's self image.
I happened to catch a cspan broadcast from DNC today. They were talking to young democrats, mentioned a strategy of "visiting message boards". I wonder if the RNC advises this to its volunteers?
That chap Rassman (sp?) who so strongly supports kerry, who was dumped overboard by kerry and for whom Kerry turned back, and whom kerry fished out of the water ... given all his other actions, I've wondered what would make jfk for once in his life act unselfishly, and risk his sense of security to do that. This brings me to the conclusion that all this support the paltry number of Swift Boat vets give could simply be because kerry, in his own sick little way, formed some kind of fraternal bond with Rassman and the other four, or however many, in the birds of a feather tradition.
By that I mean, simply, they could all be as weird as he is.
I have one more hypothesis, based on what I've learned about the Navy as a reservist and based on my reading of John Kerry's personality.
Imagine you're a sailor joining as an enlisted man. During basic training and training in a specialty, you will have personal contact with very few officers. You are taught to salute the officers and say hello, but personal interaction is discouraged beyond the formalities.
You and the other enlisted men will see the officers as living in a different world. You may respect some, and consider others jerks. But your feelings are rarely strong because of the minimal personal interaction. You do have a feeling that the officers have a world where you're not included. You understand the need for the separation, but it's always a bit of a blow to the ego.
For up to a year, you live in this world. Now, you get assigned to a swift boat. This boat is commanded by a man name John Kerry.
John Kerry at that age already knows he wants to be president. John Kerry knows it won't do any good to have a crew that mocks his command. Kerry seeks out the friendship of the enlisted men. The enlisted men, long blocked out of the officer's world, suddenly feel included. Lieutenant Kerry actually cares what I think! Lieutenant Kerry treats me as an equal!
They may have thought it was a little strange when he hauls out the camera and does re-enactments. But Kerry assures everyone it's all in good fun, and fun is a precious commodity in Vietnam. And if some beer was passed around the boat on a slow day, Lieutenant Kerry was hardly going to risk getting anyone mad.
Most enlisted men would take a great liking to such an officer. All Kerry would demand of the enlisted men is that he continue to be the center of attention. That's a small price to pay for having an officer who gives you so much respect. And Kerry probably regularly mentions how lucky you are to serve on his boat, rather than the boats of certain other officers that don't appreciate their crew as much. You believe him, and feel grateful.
But say you're a fellow officer. How would you feel about such a backstabbing prima donna? It becomes obvious to you that Kerry cares more about his ego and future political career than the safety of the fleet. Kerry figures that his fellow officers aren't going to be his route to fame, so he disdains them in favor of making his movies with the enlisted guys.
This hypothesis fits in well with what we're seeing today. Thoughts?
Isn't that the truth! I feel like up is down and down is up! Imagine how I felt when Kerry said "Help is on the way."
I feel like we're fighting the Vietnam War all over again, only this time we are getting the facts.
Some of this reminds me of the Peter Straub novel Koko...
It's interesting how the swift vets are having their financial ties investigated, yet what about the ones stumping for Kerry? I imagine they were paid room and board while they supported him. Are they also receiving per diem?
The ones supporting Kerry--particularly the "he saved me" one--seem to have just emerged from nowhere and said JK is an upstanding guy. Evidence suggests, though, that Kerry did little to get his medals.
Yet on Hannity I believe, the Rear Admiral said Kerry's was the most-decorated boat around.
Maybe it's not a shared atrocity--maybe it's that they all scratched each other's back and Kerry recommended them for medlas as long as they corroborated his story.
Recently a man who faked being a decorated Vietnam vet was found out and then commited suicide.
So what if you've been bragging to everyone you know for 35 years that you were a decorated vet, and the guy who knows the truth about those awards is running for president--are you going to defy him and have the democrat operatives reveal the truth to the papers?
Just the body language of the pic on the boat, K in the middle...they are not close to him, not leaning in to him. And we know he's a needy, touchy-feely kind of guy, but no one's close to him.
I can't believe he thought of being president back then. Taking videos, but then throwing out your medals and equating the American flag with the flags of "Iraq, Iran, North Korea" (and other evil countries)...no way he was thinking about the presidency.
There are likely several different motives at work, mutually reinforcing each other and varying from one member of Kerry's boat crew to another. Here's another motive to add to the stew: the desire to have a mark of distinction through association with a public figure.
Who would pay much attention to any of Kerry's boat crew unless they told flattering "war stories" about him? He is famous and successful and they have hitched themselves to him, like little sucker fish.
As for the swift boat vets who are hostile to Kerry, I am inclined to believe them on appearances alone. In years of opposition research work, I have found to my surprise that allegations against a candidate from people who know him almost always have an element of truth, even if murky on the facts.
For real whoppers, look to the flattering claims and stories that a candidate tells about himself and their explanations about negative information. Unless the news media dislike a candidate, they rarely give close scrutiny to a candidate's biographical claims.
Oddly, for some candidates and public officials, there is a sense of thrill and a boost to the ego in being able to tell lies and embellishments in public and get away with it. In such cases, a political career is not just something that they do but is integral to their conception of who they are.
The worst liars as candidates tend to be those who from their youth desperately wanted to be in public office and whose campaign pitch has a large element of self-praise and does not put the primary focus on issues. In the worst cases, they seem to have what psychologists call borderline personality disorder and have a nasty underside to them.
Kerry, who is living out his youthful ambition to be president, fits the profile of the self-obsessed politician. In office, his lying, dishonesty, and viciousness toward opponents would be of Clintonian proportions and potentially deadly to the country.
So far, we have a dozen or so Kerry Swift Boat comrades who support him-- they were the ones used as props at the convention.
And we have 250 or so SBV's who challenge Kerry's version of his service time in Vietnam and his fitness to be Comm. in Chief.
This has yet to play out. If Kerry is INDEED telling the truth about his service, we should expect 100's of SBV's out there to surface--maybe not as an organized group--to validate Kerry's version.
If we don't get dozens more if not 100's more coming forth in defense of Kerry, the conclusion one might draw is that the vast majority of those who served with Kerry question Kerry's version of his service experience, i.e. Kerry has not been truthful.
Or we could also conclude that of all the people Kerry served with, only 13 or so are Democrats who would vote for him anyway and the rest are Republicans who wouldn't.
I'm waiting to hear how many men who served with Kerry and support him stick their necks out like the anti-kerry SBV's have done.
The Boston Globe
June 16, 2003
HEROISM, AND GROWING CONCERN ABOUT WAR
BY MICHAEL KRANISH, GLOBE STAFF
But Kerry went back in the rivers. Indeed, it was after this meeting that he began his most deadly round of combat. Within days of the Saigon meeting, he joined a five-man crew on swift boat No. 94 on a series of missions in which he won the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and two of his three Purple Hearts. Starting in late January 1969, this crew completed 18 missions over an intense and dangerous 48 days, almost all of them in the dense jungles of the Mekong Delta.
Kerry's crew included engineman Eugene Thorson, later an Iowa cement mason; David Alston, then the crew's only African-American and today a minister in South Carolina; petty officer Delbert Sandusky of Illinois; rear gunner and quartermaster Michael Medeiros of California; and the late Tom Belodeau, who joined the crew fresh out of Chelmsford High School in Massachusetts. Others rotated in and out of the crew.
Kerry's early departure meant that he was leaving behind a crew that had suffered through many bloody battles with him. Worried that crew members would be killed, he arranged for them to receive a safer assignment. When one crew member, [Michael] Medeiros, tried to stay, Kerry "came and talked to me and said, 'I really would like you to go. . . . I'd like to know you are safe, or safer.' "
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