Kind of different than this James webb writing:
"All Things Considered," Senator Kerry and the Swifties
24 August 2004
He made me sick and I'm convinced the Swift Boat Vetrans was all that stood between him the Presidency.
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.
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.
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.
If Teddy Roosevelt had gotten all his men slaughtered, we would be condemning him today. And he definitely wouldn't have become President.
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..
May 5, 2002
Im 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 didnt earn your purple hearts (you indicated you had small scratch on your cheek that wasnt 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 wasnt 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 didnt 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 couldnt 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 youve 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 shouldnt 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 didnt tell the truth about our conversation. I dont know how you got yourself awarded the purple hearts, but I know you indicated you didnt earn them.
By the way. Im not an ingrate. I deeply appreciate the help you gave me for the last governors primary. In fact, out of respect for you, when I realized that the race was going no where, I didnt 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 (Thornburghs 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 hadnt 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 dont exist Jack because you are the one whos lying. Luckily theres 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 wont do that - because, though you may have manipulated some paperwork that says you were awarded the medals (for political purposes) you cant 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, thats what getting a purple heart requires - show me.
You may be able to take advantage of a few Washington reporters who dont have sufficient experience to understand - but you cant fool combat veterans of the Vietnam war by hiding behind Unit losses - were used to those stories. I have my orders describing my combat awards Jack - to back up my DD-214. Wheres yours? And Jack - dont ever call me a liar.
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...