Skip to comments.Admiral speaks out, disputes Kerry's account of 1st wound
Posted on 08/27/2004 2:43:43 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
NEW YORK -- Retired Rear Adm. William L. Schachte Jr. said Thursday in his first on-the-record interview about the swift boat veterans dispute that "I was absolutely in the skimmer" in the early morning on Dec. 2, 1968, when Lt. (j.g.) John Kerry was involved in an incident that led to his first Purple Heart.
"Kerry nicked himself with a M-79 [grenade launcher]," Schachte said in a telephone interview from his home in Charleston, S.C. He said, "Kerry requested a Purple Heart."
Schachte, also a lieutenant junior grade, said he was in command of the small boat called a Boston whaler or skimmer, with Kerry aboard in his first combat mission in the Vietnam War. The third crew member was an enlisted man, whose name Schachte did not remember.
Two enlisted men who appeared at the podium with Kerry at the Democratic National Convention in Boston have asserted that they were alone in the small boat with Kerry, with no other officer present. Schachte said it "was not possible" for Kerry to have gone out alone so soon after joining the swift boat command in late November 1968.
Kerry supporters said no critics of the Democratic presidential nominee ever were aboard a boat with him in combat. Washington lawyer Lanny Davis has contended that Schachte was not aboard the Boston whaler and says the statement that Schachte was aboard in Unfit for Command undermines that critical book's credibility.
Schachte until now has refused to speak out publicly on this question and agreed to give only two interviews. One was a television interview with Lisa Meyers of NBC News, for broadcast Thursday night. The second was a print interview with me, for publication today.
Schachte described the use of the skimmer operating very close to shore as a technique that he personally designed to flush enemy forces on the banks of the Mekong River so that the larger swift boats could move in. Around 3 a.m. on Dec. 2, Schachte said, the skimmer -- code-named "Batman" -- fired a hand-held flare. He said that after Kerry's M-16 rifle jammed, the new officer picked up the M-79 and, "I heard a 'thunk.' There was no fire from the enemy," he said.
Patrick Runyon and William Zaladonis are the two enlisted men who said they were aboard the skimmer and did not know Schachte. However, two other former officers interviewed Thursday confirmed that Schachte was the originator of the technique and always was aboard the Boston whaler for these missions.
Grant Hibbard, who as a lieutenant commander was Schachte's superior officer, confirmed that Schachte always went on these skimmer missions and said, "I don't think he [Kerry] was alone" on his first assignment. Hibbard said he had told Kerry to "forget it" when he asked for a Purple Heart.
Ted Peck, another swift boat commander, said, "I remember Bill [Schachte] telling me it didn't happen" -- that is, Kerry getting an enemy-inflicted wound. He said it would be "impossible" for Kerry to have been in the skimmer without Schachte.
"I was astonished by Kerry's version" [in his book Tour of Duty] of what happened Dec. 2, Schachte said Thursday. When asked to support the Kerry critics in the swift boat controversy, Schachte said, "I didn't want to get involved." But he said he gradually began to change his mind when he saw his own involvement and credibility challenged, starting with Davis on CNN's "Crossfire" on Aug. 12.
The next time he saw Kerry after the first Purple Heart incident, Schachte said, was "about 20 years" later on the U.S. Senate subway in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building. "I called, 'Hey, John.' He replied, 'Batman.' I was absolutely amazed by his memory." He said they "talked about having lunch" but never did it.
Schachte said he never has been contacted by or talked to anybody in the Bush-Cheney campaign or any Republican organization. He said he has been a political independent who votes for candidates of both parties.
Knife twisting in the wound. :^0
And now we hear from Hoffman that the day before Kerry wrapped up the nomination back in March, Kerry calls him up and asks him why they are doing what they are doing and practically begs Hoffman to stop, trying to give him Kerry's personal secretary's private number, asking him to speak to Douglas Brinkley, asking him to help "correct" the record.
Game, set, match.
Take that and "Shove It" Lanny!
Thank you, CW. What a wonderful article to read first thing in the morning. Great way to start a Friday!
Is this what Kerry had in mind with "BRING IT ON?"
Somehow, I think not.
Bookmarking for talking points today.
From "Bring It On" to "Make it Stop".
Kerry could have ended this so easily but Signing a Form #180. But he won't do that because he's got something to hide.
Certainly the forces of good and honesty will have Larry Flynt getting his xxx rated photographs of Admiral Schachte polished up and before the public, thereby allowing us the opportunity to see, with our very own eyes, just what an unreliable and perverted man the Admiral is.
The beauty of this appearing in a Novak column is that the leftstream media can't spike it. This will get into print, in hundreds of newspapers around the country.
It also adds Novak to the list of 250 Republican liars that Kerry's press lackeys at the AP and Reuters routinely slime.
This ought to hit reporters over the head with a Clue Stick: any reporter who had picked up the phone and started calling around might have found this Admiral. But none of them wanted to do that. None of them wanted to investigate the charges. They wanted to slime the Swifties, because they personally want Kerry to win.
So now they're all on record calling the Swifties liars, but without having bothered to check first. And now that the checking is going on anyway, it's turning out that maybe Kerry is the one lying. Well, him and the reporters at the AP and Reuters and the New York Times.
BIG ditto! Thank you!
Lanny's been replaced..haven't seen/heard him lately..Why?
Let me play Hillary's advocate here for a second. Why would he be firing his weapon if not under fire? Was this std operating procedure to fire into the shore after they send up a flare? I honestly don't know. Anyone?
OUCH...that's gonna leave a mark!
Green newbies in-country tend to fire at mouse-farts.......
Gee, let me see. The Democrats continue to state that only his "band of brothers" were on the boat with Kerry and no one else.
Another brick in the wall for horseface is the old watergatism - "it's not the crime it's the coverup".
So now we learn that not only is Kerry lying - we now know that he knows he's lying and working on covering it up - as evidenced by the calls to the admiral to "get on board" and to "correct the record".
And all this from a reluctant witness who is a retired admiral who has obviously wrestled with his conscience before coming forward.
The MSM can spin all they want to about how "we'll never know what really happened all those years ago" and "conflicting versions by several witnesses" but in this case you have Kerry repeatedly trying to get a key witness to change his story. I'm sure the MSM and the Kerry campaign will find a way to spin this too, but it probably won't pass the common sense test.
Ahhhh. I see the truth in that.
Of course Kerry remembered the man who could turn a purple heart black.
It's big and the MSM can only try to change the subject.
Doesn't Kerry's own dang diary dispute Kerry's account of enemy fire for pete's sake?
Even his fellow comrades in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War figured out he was a phony.
On October 10, 1971, the first source advised that Kerry's speech was received by local VVAW supporters as a clear indication that Kerry is an opportunist with political aspirations.
Therefore, the source advised, support has been withdrawn from the New York City office in general and John Kerry in particular.
If you think that is amazing, just listen to his "seared" memories of Cambodia !
Doesn't wash does it? If his memory is that good, there is no way his Cambodia story is a "mistaken recollection"
He is just a BALD FACED LIAR !
We're bringing it on for him. Here's an alternate link to the article in case the main URL is jammed: http://www.orthodoxnet.com/news/Admiral_Disputes_Kerry_2004-08-26.php
bump TO SUPPORT THE NEW SWIFT VETS AD AND GEORGE BUSH... http://swift2.he.net/~swift2/gardner2.mpg
He claimed the Cambodia incident was SEARED, I repeat SEARED in his memory. Kerry is an obvious Pathological LIAR. If this is the best the Democats have to offer the country, it speaks volumes of the ethical decay and corruption in this failed party.
OMG - ROTFL
Of course it does. But the diary didn't serve with Kerry, so it's lying.