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To: balch3

Kind of different than this James webb writing:

"All Things Considered," Senator Kerry and the Swifties
24 August 2004





The Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth have a point in their attack on John Kerry's Vietnam service, for by basing his campaign on his wartime credentials, he invited their response. The "Swifties" are giving John Kerry a version of what the military calls a "peer evaluation" - a hard, cool look at a fellow officer that calls him to task for being self-serving. But their conduct invites its own questions, not the least of which is one of relevance.

Should a shaky decoration for gallantry disqualify one for the Presidency? Ask Lyndon Johnson, who as a Congressman convinced Douglas MacArthur to award him a Silver Star for riding as a passenger on an aircraft fired on by the Japanese.

Do erratic tactics reveal an inability to govern under pressure? Ask Jack Kennedy, whose World War II exploits as the skipper of PT-109 began when his boat sank after colliding with a Japanese warship.

Is a highborn aristocrat condemnable when he goes to go to war to fuel his political aspirations? Tell that to Teddy Roosevelt, who recklessly risked the lives of his Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, and incessantly lobbied on his own behalf to receive the Medal of Honor once he returned.

The greater worry is that their attack on Kerry's service may harm the very people the Swifties wish to protect, for their allegations have the potential to negate the service of everyone who was on the boats. If the young John Kerry were so able to manipulate the Navy's system that he unfairly collected five decorations, the system itself has no credibility, and all awards become meaningless. Indeed, one of the Swifties has had to deny the content of his own Bronze Star citation indicating that he was under enemy fire at the same time as was Kerry, in order to further their contention that Kerry's citation was false. This confusing conduct threatens to harm the public's view of those who fought in Vietnam as much as anything that John Kerry did when he came home and turned against the war.

By contrast, Kerry's leadership of Vietnam Veterans Against the War is not only fair game; it speaks to legitimate issues of loyalty, and his actions at that time are the true core of this dispute. For most veterans it was not that Kerry was against the war, but that he used his military credentials to denigrate the service of a whole generation of veterans. The Vietnam Veterans Against the War was a very small, highly radical organization. Their stories of atrocious conduct, repeated in lurid detail by Kerry before the Congress, represented not the typical experience of the American soldier, but its ugly extreme. That the articulate, urbane Kerry would validate such allegations helped to make life hell for many Vietnam veterans, for a very long time.

But against this backdrop we are measuring a sitting President who avoided service in Vietnam altogether, using family strings to gain a spot in the National Guard at a time when the Guard was an undeniable safe haven from war. And if there are a group of former Swifties available to cross every "t" and dot every "i" of John Kerry's Vietnam service, there will be no debates about whether George W. Bush deserved a Silver Star, or earned his Purple Hearts.

The Swifties have made their point, and after thirty years of bitterness John Kerry has earned the karma that they brought him. But most veterans, like most other Americans, are ready to digest this piece of information and move on.


3 posted on 01/18/2006 12:48:23 PM PST by radar101
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To: radar101
Kerry brought the Swifties on himself by his constant parading around his 'Band of Brothers' and the pandering he did from the convention dias.

He made me sick and I'm convinced the Swift Boat Vetrans was all that stood between him the Presidency.

5 posted on 01/18/2006 12:52:02 PM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: radar101

Do erratic tactics reveal an inability to govern under pressure? Ask Jack Kennedy, whose World War II exploits as the skipper of PT-109 began when his boat sank after colliding with a Japanese warship.<<

Yes, it does.

WW 3 did not happen in spite of JFK.

DK


21 posted on 01/18/2006 1:08:27 PM PST by Dark Knight
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To: radar101

Webb wrote: "...The greater worry is that their attack on Kerry's service may harm the very people the Swifties wish to protect, for their allegations have the potential to negate the service of everyone who was on the boats. If the young John Kerry were so able to manipulate the Navy's system that he unfairly collected five decorations, the system itself has no credibility, and all awards become meaningless..."

No. Not everyone was out gunning for decorations as JFNK was. Most guys just wanted to do their job and go home.


26 posted on 01/18/2006 1:17:59 PM PST by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: radar101
But against this backdrop we are measuring a sitting President who avoided service in Vietnam altogether, using family strings to gain a spot in the National Guard at a time when the Guard was an undeniable safe haven from war.

This from Webb's previous Swift Boat article, and he does the same in the recent article.

Does anyone see the hypocrisy of how liberals disparage the National Guard and all non combat military service with their constant harping on this subject (they still standing by their hoax memo story and have yet to produce credible "family strings" evidence). And yet they claim we are disparaging military service when simple questions are asked about conflicting service stories and blocked records of public officials!

My understanding is that George W. Bush signed his Form 180 in 2004.

You know, not everybody that serves in the military goes to combat, but 6140 National Guard served in Vietnam and 101 died in combat there.
37 posted on 01/18/2006 1:37:08 PM PST by \/\/ayne (Give me Liberty or give me the ACLU)
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To: radar101
But against this backdrop we are measuring a sitting President who avoided service in Vietnam altogether, using family strings to gain a spot in the National Guard at a time when the Guard was an undeniable safe haven from war.

Webb either does not understand or simply ignores the fact that during Vietnam, the Air National Guard, of which Bush was a member, was not necessarily the "safe haven" that the Army National Guard was at that time. Many Air Guard units were called to active duty, (officers & enlisted) as well as individual pilots being activated and assigned for duty in combat. It mattered more what types of aircraft they were certified in flying than the fact that they were "weekend warriors." And unlike the Army Guard of that era, the Air Guard was required by the Dept. of the Air Force to be at combat readiness at all time and many units, including Bush's interceptor squadron, participated in daily air patrols intercepting Soviet aircraft approaching US air space. It was an active duty job preformed by part time pilots.

49 posted on 01/18/2006 2:13:14 PM PST by Ditto ( No trees were killed in sending this message, but billions of electrons were inconvenienced.)
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To: radar101

If Teddy Roosevelt had gotten all his men slaughtered, we would be condemning him today. And he definitely wouldn't have become President.


67 posted on 01/18/2006 3:07:41 PM PST by Democratshavenobrains
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To: radar101
".......digest this piece of information and move on."

Webb intentionally neglected to mention that many of the "witnesses" in the Vietnam Veterans against the War -- were not veterans, veterans of the war or in many cases not even in the military...

Many, including leaders --- made up their "military history" from whole cloth....

I disagree with Webb, that we must move on with Murtha... Murtha has used his "hero's record and two Purple Hearts" as merits to earn a lifetime career and a pension until death... I believe we taxpayers and fellow veterans are entitled to ask him to PROVE his claim and release his records to public review... He has repeatedly responded to questions about his record by say -- "I'm proud of my service", as he should be... No one is questioning his service -- I'm questioning his two Purple Hearts which he ADMITTED he didn't deserve to a fellow Congressman..

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http://www.politicspa.com/FEATURES/baileylttomurtha.htm
May 5, 2002

Dear Jack,

I’m writing on matters of joint concern. A number of weeks ago I was talking with someone who is a mutual acquaintance and your name came up. It was an unusually frank discussion and I considered it private. I did relate some opinions about you and shared some recollections about experiences with you in Congress. I was, to be honest, critical about how you misled me about ABSCAM where you convinced me you had voluntarily told federal agents about the offer of money to you and I learned later, after I had successfully defeated the ethics charges against you, that you had merely manipulated the system to cooperate with federal agents to avoid prosecution.

I also shared my recollection of when you admitted, back in our corner, that you didn’t earn your purple hearts (you indicated you had small scratch on your cheek that wasn’t even directly related to an APC that ran over a small anti personnel mine that was behind you). The other purple heart you even declined to explain.

At the time you were feeling particularly vulnerable, because it wasn’t too long after you had called me crying and sobbing, thanking me for “saving your life” before the ethics committee. There was no doubt in my mind that you were expressing to me that you did not believe you did anything sufficient to earn the purple heart, and that you didn’t want to be active in my efforts to laud Vietnam Veterans that served with us.

Given what I know about the brave men who served in the Marine Corp., I did not criticize you, but to be honest, I was shocked and disappointed in you personally. We both knew what was at issue, and we both know what happened and that you wanted to avoid the limelight. Later, we ended up having to run for the same seat. It was a good clean race and I admit I knew I couldn’t win, simply on the basis of voter turn out alone. During that time some people came to me with documents indicating you had used influence, after the fact, or had embellished your purple heart awards. I did not respond, and I said nothing. In doing so I may have betrayed my comrades in arms because I knew then what you had told me in the corner of the house - but I had told no one about that and I stood mute. But a few weeks ago my conversation was private and I was not seeking to do you any harm, though it would be ridiculous for me to infer that I have any respect for what you’ve done.

Regardless, shortly thereafter a reporter called me and I was put in a very different position. I could either deny what I said in private conversation, and thus lie, or I could fess up to the truth, or, I could take the cowards way out and stand mute. If I say something, I should either have the courage to back it up, or I shouldn’t open my mouth. Regardless it was too late, and I did not choose to lie. So I admitted to what I had said. However, I later received two calls from two different aides of yours, and later I was called a liar in the press. I am not a liar and I want an apology for the remarks you authorized that I didn’t tell the truth about our conversation. I don’t know how you got yourself awarded the purple hearts, but I know you indicated you didn’t earn them.

By the way. I’m not an ingrate. I deeply appreciate the help you gave me for the last governor’s primary. In fact, out of respect for you, when I realized that the race was going no where, I didn’t even cash the check you sent, (which I kept). Being grateful for your help, I have not sought to hurt you - but I will not betray or exploit the young men who died while fighting, with me, for this country. Never coming forward is one thing - I never have. Lying is another. Coincidentally I just settled an 11-year old law suit with Barbara Hafer where she apologized in writing for campaign defamation and admitted that federal agents (Thornburgh’s political friends) lied to her. I will not accept your falsehoods now. Enough is enough.

You clearly indicated to me in a moment of weakness, that you hadn’t deserved the purple hearts and there was no confusion on that. You may deny that all you wish - but you and I know that that conversation took place. Please apologize now. You may fool a few reporters into believing that merely because you got some perfunctory paperwork made out by a friend, that that means you earned the purple hearts. But even if you were awarded the medals later, there should be affidavits from witnesses. These things should be easy to get - where are they? I bet they don’t exist Jack because you are the one who’s lying. Luckily there’s one easy way to settle all this. Call a press conference. Explain where you were and what you were doing when you got the purple hearts. Explain who was with you and treated your wounds, but most important Jack describe your wounds or the lack thereof, as you did for me, years ago. I am absolutely certain that you won’t do that - because, though you may have manipulated some paperwork that says you were awarded the medals (for political purposes) you can’t produce the witnesses or documents to show any wounds or circumstances under which they occurred.Unless the Marine Corps gives out medals for unsubstantiated non -combat related telltale scratches, procured for use in political campaign - then show me the money Jack - because there should at least be evidence by affidavit, or record of the scratches, that’s what getting a purple heart requires - show me.

You may be able to take advantage of a few Washington reporters who don’t have sufficient experience to understand - but you can’t fool combat veterans of the Vietnam war by hiding behind “Unit” losses - we’re used to those stories. I have my orders describing my combat awards Jack - to back up my DD-214. Where’s your’s? And Jack - don’t ever call me a liar.

Sincerely,

Don Bailey

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Why must everything we hear of Murtha's "heroics" come from Murtha and those willing to take a politicians "word" for the facts?
Why would Murtha refuse to release the records?

A "civil servant" who has parlayed deeply revered Purple Hearts into a career, and then uses his "history" as justification to criticize the President -- should have to PROVE his claims..

Murtha's refusal to do so - leads most rational folks to suspect he's a liar and worse...

Semper Fi

73 posted on 01/18/2006 4:03:51 PM PST by river rat (You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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