August 06, 2004

The Media are covering the DNC's attack on the Swift Boat Vets ad.

And you can find that all over.

What you might not be able to find all over, is the Swift Boat Vet's response.

You can here.

I should also note, however, that LCDR George Elliott, who approved, then later disavowed, Kerry's Silver Star, is retracting his disavowal. I'm standing by what I said earlier, which is that I'm not going to argue about Kerry's medals, it's his actions that I am concerned with - as I have posted elsewhere on this blog. But I will give space to Swiftvets to defend themselves, without necessarily endorsing all they say.

Clements, O'Neill, Pierce, Wilson & Fulkerson A Registered Limited Liability Partnership Attorneys At Law Wells Fargo Plaza 1000 Louisiana Street, Suite 1800 Houston, Texas 77002-5009 __________________________ (713) 654-7600 Facsimile (713) 654-7690

John E. O'Neill
(713) 654‑7604

August 2, 2004
Dear Station Manager:


The purpose of this letter is to present some of the factual support for the advertisement "Any Questions?" produced and used by Swift Boat Veterans For Truth ("Swiftvets"), an organization properly registered under Internal Revenue Code § 527, and which has filed all required reports. Swiftvets is an organization led by Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann, USN (retired), Commander of all Swift boats in Vietnam during the period of John Kerry's four-month abbreviated tour in Swift boats between late November 1968 and mid-March 1969. A list of the 254 members may be found on A large majority of those who served with John Kerry in Swift boats in Vietnam and whose location is known have joined the organization. Thus, for example, sixteen of the twenty-three surviving officers who served in Coastal Division 11 with Kerry (the place where Kerry spent most of his time) have joined the organization, together with most of Kerry's Vietnam commanders and 254 sailors from Coastal Squadron One, ranging from Vice-Admirals to Seamen.

The purpose of Swiftvets is to present the truth about John Kerry's post-Vietnam charges of war crimes and John Kerry's own Vietnam record. Swiftvets is uniquely positioned to do so since it includes most of the locatable sailors and officers who served with John Kerry in Vietnam.

John Kerry has made his Vietnam record the central focus of his presidential candidacy, depicting purported Vietnam events in nearly $100 million in advertising. Copies of ads such as "Lifetime" and "No Man Left Behind" may be found on Kerry's website. Kerry's authorized campaign biography, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, by Douglas Brinkley (New York: HarperCollins, 2004) ("Tour"), centers on his short Vietnam tour and contains Kerry's account of these events. Additional accounts by Kerry of his Vietnam experience may be found on his website.

The remainder is in the Flash Traffic.

The Advertisement

A true and correct transcript of the advertisement entitled "Any Questions?" is attached as Exhibit 1. Affidavits are attached (as Exhibits 2 through 14) from each participant in the advertisement, except from John Edwards, the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, whose often-repeated invitation to learn about John Kerry by speaking to the men who served with him begins the advertisement. The filmed comment of Senator Edwards has been made so many times as to be general knowledge.

As described in the attached affidavits, Al French (Exhibit 2), Bob Elder (Exhibit 3), Jack Chenoweth (Exhibit 7), Larry Thurlow (Exhibit 10), and Bob Hildreth (Exhibit 14) were all officers in charge of Swift boats in Vietnam in Coastal Division 11 with John Kerry. Coastal Division 11 was a small naval unit with about one hundred sailors and fifteen or sixteen boats which operated in groups of two to six boats. Each of these boat officers operated directly with John Kerry on numerous occasions. Van Odell (Exhibit 6) is a retired Navy enlisted man who also served in Coastal Division 11 on the Chenoweth boat, a few yards from John Kerry during Kerry's March 13, 1969 Bronze Star action.

Captain George Elliott, USN (retired), (Exhibit 4) was John Kerry's direct commander in Coastal Division 11, while Captain Adrian Lonsdale, USCG (retired), (Exhibit 9) was Kerry's administrative commander. Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann, USN (retired), (Exhibit 8) commanded all Swift boats (including Kerry's) in Vietnam. Each of these commanders interacted on numerous occasions with Kerry and, for example, are discussed for many pages in Kerry's own authorized book, Tour.

Dr. Louis Letson (Exhibit 5) was the doctor in Cam Rahn Bay who treated Kerry's first Purple Heart "wound," while Commander Grant Hibbard (Exhibit 11) was John Kerry's commander at Coastal Division 14 where Kerry claimed to have suffered the wound. Finally, Joe Ponder (Exhibit 13) and Shelton White (Exhibit 12) are veterans of Coastal Division 11 who were badly wounded near the Song Bo De River where Kerry served most of his short tour.

The Kerry campaign has utilized a revolving group of eight veterans from Coastal Division 11 (none of whom served with Kerry as much as two months). In stark contrast to this small stable of supporters, the veterans on "Any Questions?" have intimate knowledge of John Kerry or (in the case of Ponder and White) of the falsehood and injury of his false war crimes charges. Although many more of the over 250 signers of the Swiftvets' letter served directly with John Kerry, it would be hard to locate people with more detailed and first-hand knowledge of John Kerry's short Vietnam stay than those in the advertisement. They are well-suited to respond with first-hand knowledge to Edward's invitation. Their sworn affidavits are attached (in order of appearance in the advertisement) as Exhibits 2 through 14.

Kerry's obtaining of three Purple Hearts permitted him to leave Vietnam some 243 days short of the normal one-year tour. See Exhibit 20, Thrice Wounded Reassignment. Whether or not he fraudulently obtained these awards (the Purple Heart being among the most sacred of all awards) is critical to his true Vietnam story.

A. March 13, 1969: "No Man Left Behind" Incident

Attached as Exhibit 15 is Kerry's account of "no man left behind" where, in Tour of Duty, Kerry repeats his now-familiar story of returning, wounded by an underwater mine, to recover a Special Forces soldier, Jim Rassman, in a hail of fire pulling Rassman from the water with his bleeding arm. Tour, at 313‑17. The story of Kerry's return to save Rassman, under fire and wounded from the mine, has been told in many millions of dollars of Kerry advertising. See Kerry website; see also, e.g., Kerry's full-page advertisement in The New York Times, which is attached as Exhibit 16.

Kerry's after-action report for that day is featured on his website. See Exhibit 17. KJW identifies the report as Kerry's. Likewise, Kerry reported his shrapnel wounds to the Navy in an injury report:

"LTJG Kerry suffered shrapnel wounds in his left buttocks and contusions on his right forearm when a mine detonated close aboard PCF‑94."

Exhibit 18. Exhibit 17 likewise identifies Kerry's "injuries" as contusion right forearm (minor) (i.e., a small bruise) and a shrapnel wound left buttocks.

The regulations for the Purple Heart are attached as Exhibit 19 and, of course, exclude accidental injury and self-inflicted wounds (except non-negligent wounds in the heat of battle). Although Kerry's "minor" bruise could never entitle him to a Purple Heart, Kerry's reported shrapnel wound to his "buttocks" (although minor according to the treating physician) from an enemy mine would have entitled him to such an award (had he not been lying about its origin). Receiving the third Purple Heart, within three days Kerry had requested reassignment from Vietnam on the basis of three Purple Hearts ‑‑ some 243 days early. See Exhibit 20.

(i) The Purple Heart Lie

Kerry's third Purple Heart was his ticket home. It also was much of the basis of his Bronze Star, repeating "his bleeding arm" and shrapnel wound from the mine story. The problem is that his operating report was a total lie since Kerry's shrapnel wound "in the buttocks" came not from a mine at all as he falsely reported, but at his own hand. Larry Thurlow, an officer on shore with Kerry that day, recounts that Kerry's shrapnel wound came not from any mine, but from a self-inflicted wound when Kerry (with no enemy to be seen) threw a concussion grenade into a rice pile and stayed too close. See Exhibit 10, ¶ 3. This "brown rice" incident with rice/shrapnel lodged in Kerry from his own grenade is also recounted by James Rassman, a Kerry supporter and "the no man left behind" on page 105 of John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography By The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, by Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, and Nina J. Easton (New York: Public Affairs, 2004) (the "Kranish book"). See Exhibit 21.

Most surprisingly, John Kerry himself (while falsely reporting to the Navy and public that he suffered a shrapnel wound from a mine explosion so as to get a third Purple Heart and go home) reflected in his own journal that his buttocks' wound came, not from any mine but, rather, from a grenade tossed into a rice cache by himself or friendly troops (in the absence of any enemy fire). "I got a piece of small grenade in my ass from one of the rice bin explosions." Exhibit 15, Tour, at 313; see also Exhibit 15, Tour, at 317. "Kerry . . . also had the bits of shrapnel and rice extracted from his backside." See also the sworn statement of participants that there was no hostile fire (Exhibits 6, 7, and 10). It also should be noted that the rice extracted from Kerry's backside could hardly be the result of an underwater mine, as Kerry claimed in his operating report.

The conclusion is inescapable: that Kerry lied by reporting to the Navy that he had been wounded by shrapnel in his backside from an enemy mine when in reality he negligently wounded himself and then lied about the wound in order to secure a third Purple Heart and a quick trip home.

(ii) The Bronze Star Lie

As recounted in the attached affidavits of three on-scene participants (and verified by many others present) Kerry's operating report, Bronze Star story, and subsequent "no man left behind" story are a total hoax on the Navy and the nation. As recounted in the affidavits of Van Odell (Exhibit 6), Jack Chenoweth (Exhibit 7), and Larry Thurlow (Exhibit 10) (and verified by every other officer present and many others), a mine went off under PCF 3 ‑‑ some yards from Kerry's boat. The force of the explosion disabled PCF 3 and knocked several sailors, dazed, into the water. All boats, except one, closed to rescue the sailors and defend the disabled boat. That boat ‑‑ Kerry's boat ‑‑ fled the scene. After a short period, it was evident to all on the scene that there was no additional hostile fire. Thurlow began the daring rescue of disabled PCF 3, while Chenoweth began to pluck dazed survivors of PCF 3 from the water. Midway through the process, after it was apparent that there was no hostile fire, Kerry finally returned, picking up Rassman who was only a few yards from Chenoweth's boat which was also going to pick Rassman up. Each of the affiants (and many other Swiftees on the scene that day) are certain that Kerry has wholly lied about the incident. Consider this: How could the disabled PCF abandon the scene of the mine? Why did Kerry have to "return" to the scene?

Kerry's account of this action, which was used to secure the Bronze Star and a third Purple Heart, is an extraordinary example of fraud. Kerry describes "boats rcd heavy A/W and S/A from both banks. Fire continued for about 5000 meters." Exhibit 17. In other words, the boats went through a double gauntlet at about 50 yards distance that was 3.2 miles long (comparable to Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg on two sides), and yet none of the other boats within feet of Kerry's boat heard a shot or suffered an injury after the PCF 3 mine explosion, except for John Kerry's buttocks rice wound of earlier origin.

Clearly, Van Odell is right when he says, "John Kerry lied to get his Bronze Star . . . I know. I was there. I saw what happened." As Jack Chenoweth swore, "his account of what happened and what actually happened are the difference between night and day." Most poignantly, Larry Thurlow, whose brave actions saved the PCF 3 boat that day after Kerry fled, has the right to say, "When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry."

B. December 2, 1968 Purple Heart

On February 28, 1969, John Kerry received his first Purple Heart for an incident three months earlier, on or about December 2, 1968. Kerry's account of the incident is contained in Tour of Duty, pages 147 and 148 (Exhibit 23). Kerry claims to have been with two crewmen, Zaldonis and Runyon. See Exhibit 23. Neither Kerry, Zaldonis, nor Runyon claim to have seen any hostile fire. See Exhibit 24 (Kranish book, pp. 72‑73). A Purple Heart cannot be given for a self-inflicted wound under the attached regulations.

Unmentioned in Kerry's Tour Of Duty version are the actual surrounding facts. Kerry, Lieutenant William Schachte, USN, and an enlisted man were on the whaler. Seeing movement from an unknown source, the sailors opened fire on the movement. There was no hostile fire. When Kerry's rifle jammed, he picked up an M‑79 grenade launcher and fired a grenade at a nearby object. This sprayed the boat with shrapnel from Kerry's own grenade, a tiny piece of which embedded in Kerry's arm.

Kerry managed to keep the tiny fragment embedded until he saw Dr. Louis Letson. Dr. Letson's affidavit is attached as Exhibit 5. When Letson inquired why Kerry was there, Kerry said that he had been wounded by hostile fire. The accompanying crewmen indicated that Kerry was the new "JFK" and that he had actually wounded himself with an M‑79. Letson removed the tiny fragment with tweezers and placed a band aid over the tiny scratch. The tiny fragment removed by Letson appeared to be an M‑79 fragment, as described by the personnel accompanying Kerry.

The next morning Kerry showed up at Division Commander Grant Hibbard's office. Hibbard had already spoken to Schachte and conducted an investigation. Hibbard's affidavit is attached as Exhibit 11. Hibbard's investigation revealed that Kerry's "rose thorn" scratch had been self-inflicted in the absence of hostile fire. Hibbard, therefore, booted Kerry out of his office and denied the Purple Heart.

Some three months later, cf. Exhibit 22, after all personnel actually familiar with the events of December 2, 1969 had left Vietnam, Kerry somehow managed to obtain a Purple Heart for the December 2, 1968 event from an officer with no connection to Coastal Division 14 or knowledge of the December 2, 1968 event or of Commander Hibbard's prior turn down of the Purple Heart request. All normal documentation supporting a Purple Heart is missing. There is absolutely no casualty report (i.e., spot report) or hostile fire report or after-action report in the Navy's files to support this "Purple Heart" because there was no casualty, hostile fire, or action on which to report. The sole document relied upon by Kerry is a record showing the band aid and tweezers treatment by Dr. Letson recorded by deceased corpsman, Jess Carreon.

There are no witnesses who claim to have seen hostile fire ‑‑ necessary for a Purple Heart (even a rose thorn Purple Heart) ‑‑ that day. At least three witnesses, Dr. Letson (who spoke to the participants and removed the M‑79 fragment), Lt. Bill Schachte (on the boat), and Cmdr. Grant Hibbard (whose investigation revealed Kerry's application for a Purple Heart to be fraudulent), are able to testify directly or based upon contemporaneous investigation that Kerry's first Purple Heart was a fraud. Thus, Lewis Letson's statement that "I know John Kerry is lying about a first Purple Heart" is conclusively established by the evidence. Like the third Purple Heart, Kerry's first Purple Heart was essential to his quick trip home.

C. Christmas In Cambodia

If there is a consistent[1] repeated story by John Kerry about his Vietnam experience, it is his story about how he and his boat spent Christmas Eve and Christmas of 1968 illegally present in Cambodia and, listening to President Nixon's contrary assurances, developed "a deep mistrust of U.S. government pronouncements." See Exhibit 24, Kranish book, p. 84. The point of his story was that his government and his commanders were lying about Kerry's presence in Cambodia on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. During a critical debate on the floor of the United States Senate on March 27, 1986, Senator John Kerry said:

Mr. President, I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia.

I have that memory which is seared ‑‑ seared ‑‑ in me . . . .

Exhibit 25, Congressional Record ‑ Senate of March 27, 1986, page 3594.

By way of further example, Kerry wrote an article for the Boston Herald on October 14, 1979:

"I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real."

See Exhibit 26.

The Christmas in Cambodia story of John Kerry was repeated as recently as July 7, 2004 by Michael Kranish, a principal biographer of Kerry from The Boston Globe. On the Hannity & Colmes television show, Kranish indicated that Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia was a critical turning point in Kerry's life.

The story is a total preposterous fabrication by Kerry. Exhibit 8 is an affidavit by the Commander of the Swift boats in Vietnam, Admiral Roy Hoffmann, stating that Kerry's claim to be in Cambodia for Christmas Eve and Christmas of 1968 is a total lie. If necessary, similar affidavits are available from the entire chain of command. In reality, Kerry was at Sa Dec ‑‑ easily locatable on any map more than fifty miles from Cambodia. Kerry himself inadvertently admits that he was in Sa Dec for Christmas Eve and Christmas and not in Cambodia, as he had stated for so many years on the Senate Floor, in the newspapers, and elsewhere. Exhibit 27, Tour, pp. 213‑219. Sa Dec is hardly "close" to the Cambodian border. In reality, far from being ordered secretly to Cambodia, Kerry spent a pleasant night at Sa Dec with "visions of sugar plums" dancing in his head. Exhibit 27, p. 219. At Sa Dec where the Swift boat patrol area ended, there were many miles of other boats (PBR's) leading to the Cambodian border. There were also gunboats on the border to prevent any crossing. If Kerry tried to get through, he would have been arrested. Obviously, Kerry has hardly been honest about his service in Vietnam.

D. War Crimes

Returning to the United States, Kerry made speeches charging that U.S. forces in Vietnam were "like the army of Genghis Khan," that "crimes were committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of all levels of command," and that our officers in Coastal Division were like Lieutenant Calley. Kerry met on least two occasions with the North Vietnamese in Paris and is, in fact, honored as a hero in the war museum in Ho Chi Minh City. See pictures on and Joe Ponder is a widely quoted disabled vet from Coastal Division 11 who saw no war crimes but knows that Kerry dishonored our unit. Exhibit 13. Shelton White, a badly wounded Coastal Division 11 veteran, likewise saw no war crimes and remembers Kerry's betrayal. Exhibit 12.


As set forth at length, there is not only a reasonable factual basis for the statements in the ad; they are virtually conclusively established by the documentation.

Thank you for your kind consideration. Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions.

Very truly yours,

Original signed by John E. O'Neill

John E. O'Neill



Index Of Exhibits

1. Transcript of "Any Questions?" Advertisement, July 2004

2. Affidavit of Alfred J. French III, dated July 21, 2004

3. Affidavit of Robert G. Elder, dated July 21, 2004

4. Affidavit of George Elliott, dated July 21, 2004

5. Statement (notarized) of Dr. Louis Letson, dated July 21, 2004

6. Affidavit of Van Odell, dated July 21, 2004

7. Affidavit of Jack Chenoweth, dated July 21, 2004

8. Affidavit of Roy F. Hoffmann, dated July 22, 2004

9. Affidavit of Adrian L. Lonsdale, dated July 22, 2004

10. Affidavit of Larry Thurlow, dated July 22, 2004

11. Affidavit of Grant W. Hubbard, dated July 21, 2004

12. Affidavit of Shelton White, dated July 30, 2004

13. Affidavit of Joseph L. Ponder, dated July 21, 2004

14. Affidavit of Robert Hildreth, dated July 30, 2004

15. Pages 313 through 318 from Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, by Douglas Brinkley (New York: HarperCollins, 2004)

16. Advertisement entitled "He Asked What He Could Do For His Country. Then He Did It," The New York Times, May 11, 2004, p. A13

17. After Action Spot Report for March 1969, pages 2 and 3 (obtained from

18. March 1969 injury report (4 pages)

19. Regulations governing award of Purple Heart

20. Thrice Wounded Reassignment, dated March 1969 (obtained from

21. Page 105 from John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography By The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, written by Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, and Nina J. Easton (New York: Public Affairs, 2004)

22. Citation for Purple Heart #1 (obtained from

23. Pages 147 and 148 from Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, by Douglas Brinkley (New York: HarperCollins, 2004)

24. Page 84 from John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography By The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, written by Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, and Nina J. Easton (New York: Public Affairs, 2004)

25. Congressional Record ‑ Senate, March 27, 1986, pages 3593 and 3594

26. Pages 398 and 399 from John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography By The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, written by Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, and Nina J. Easton (New York: Public Affairs, 2004)

27. Pages 213 through 219 from Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, by Douglas Brinkley (New York: HarperCollins, 2004)


[1]The three instances here of Kerry's fraud upon the Navy and the public are solely by way of illustration. There are many examples of equal gravity.

John | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack (18) | Politics
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Comments on The Media are covering the DNC's attack on the Swift Boat Vets ad.
Chris Van Dis briefed on August 6, 2004 02:02 PM

I am listening to Rush Limbaugh as I type this, so take it as you will. But apparently the Boston Globe reporter that wrote about LCDR Elliot's original "retraction" is also the reporter tasked with covering the Kerry-Edwards campaign. No big deal there. But he was also paid to write a book detailing the campaign's plans and goals, as well as giving brief biographies of the candidates. If that is true, there is a major conflict of intrest at work there.

To be honest, it matters not a bit if Kerry deserved his medals or not. I don't care about his serving or not. But his actions and words since his return have shown him to be unworthy of my trust, unworthy of my vote, and generally not someone I would want working for me as a burger flipper much less in a position to make national policy. But since Kerry decided to run soley on the basis that he went to Vietnam and Bush did not, I don't have an ounce of sympathy either.

Don Myers briefed on August 6, 2004 02:53 PM

Sen. Kerry served in an unjust, immoral, seriously FUBARed war---and came home to speak the truth about it. Naturally this pisses a lot of people off.

BTW Chris, did you know that swiftvets isn't and 'independent group'---it's a smear attack funded and operated by professional GOP operatives? John O'Neill has been a professional dirty trickster since the Nixon years, and Mr. Franke is a major GOP fundraiser.

It's no wonder Sen. McCain is so pissed off...not only is this the same kind of shit he had to face in 2004, it's some of the same people doing it.

John of Argghhh! briefed on August 6, 2004 03:08 PM

A few quibbles, Don.

1. There is no such thing as an un-FUBAR'd war. No plan, much less war plan, survives contact with the enemy. Even good ones.

2. Kerry may have spoken a truth about the war. I reject the notion that he spoke 'the' truth about the war.

As I noted in different posts - my objection to Kerry stems from the how and why of his departure from the zone. Had he truly the courage of his convictions, and the 'best interests' of him men at heart, he would have refused to fight and resigned (which would not have been accepted) and faced the consequences. THAT would give him the moral authority he assumes. It is that aspect of it (as I remain generally neutral on the whole medals thing) that pisses off many of us military types - especially officers.

Don Myers briefed on August 6, 2004 04:04 PM

Quibbling your quibbles, John:

1). You're right about that, of course...but the Vietnam experience was so spectaculaly, inbelieveably FUBARed that it's worth mentioning. It also probably stems from being immoral, unjustified, and a really bad idea from the get go.

2). Also true, but not helpful. Kerry spoke out against the war and the atrocities there and he was right to do so. The professional smear artists are trying to paint him as a traitor for telling a/the truth---and anyone with an inch of conscious needs to stand by Sen. Kerry on this.

Had he truly the courage of his convictions, and the 'best interests' of him men at heart, he would have refused to fight and resigned (which would not have been accepted) and faced the consequences.

Here I think you're holding Sen. Kerry to an impossibly high standard (especially when the bar for Pres. Bush is set so low). Bush showed the courage of his convictions by pulling strings to get in the Nat'l Guard, and then blowing that off.

John of Argghhh! briefed on August 6, 2004 04:19 PM

Don, suffice it to say I don't agree totally in re Vietnam. But there's room for disagreement there.

I discuss my view of Bush's Guard time here:

and here:

and Kerry, here: (and down in the comments I have some more thoughts on Bush's Guard time.)

and I'm afraid I'm not holding him to an impossibly high standard. I'm holding him to the standard that the comissioning oath (which still binds me as a retired regular) holds all of us. Your willingness to cut him slack on that and my unwillingness to do so is probably one of *the* defining differences between us politically, since I'm not as right-wing as you might think.

xCavTrooper briefed on August 6, 2004 06:51 PM

The LCdr's retraction may have been manufactured or "misquoted" by a reporter paid for by Kerry:

Calliope briefed on August 6, 2004 06:59 PM

Who pays for the ad is a Red Herring argument. It makes no more or less difference who is paying for the SBVFT ads than it does who is paying for move-on's ads, or NARAL's ads, or anything else.

Just as Bush has to deal with the content of move-ons ads regardless of their funding, so Kerry will have to deal with the actual veracity - or the lack thereof - of the SBVFT ads.

I have no idea what's true about any of it. I know on the left oriented sites I've visited I've seen a lot of talk about them being "lunatics" and GOP stooges. The seem very sincere and sane to me.

It doesn't help Kerry's case that rather than coming out and confronting the charges directly ("that's a damn lie and they know it. I challenge them to prove it") instead he's chosen to attempt to stifle them with his lawyers. To me...that action speaks very loudly.

Dean Esmay briefed on August 7, 2004 01:11 AM

Fascinating that there were no calls from the Bush haters to stop the slanderous smears about Bush being AWOL without a shred of evidence, the slandering lies about Halliburton and Harken, and so on. Now Kerry, who openly invited anyone to "Bring It On," is under attack by people who are actual eyewitnesses to events in many cases, and they're furious?

Note that these people started their work very early this year, while the Democratic primaries were still going on. They had a major press conference in Washington around the time of the Democratic debates in May, and you can see extensive C-Span footage of it here:

To say that this is new would be simply untrue. To say that these guys held fire until Kerry was nominated would also be untrue: they tried hard to prevent Kerry from getting the Democratic nomination.

Kerry said "Bring It On" to anyone who wanted to question his service record. It's been brought. Trying to spin this as merely a "dirty trick" when over 250 combat vets are on board, and when the major spokesmen are all from the same unit Kerry served in and are in the photo that the Kerry campaign used for its own purposes, speaks volumes. You either think they're all liars, or fools, or crazy. Or they're telling the truth, or are just horribly mistaken.

Either way, trying to distract attention from all this by simply pointing out that two members of the group have done some work for Republicans in the past is a nice try, but it won't wash.

Bithead briefed on August 7, 2004 11:11 AM

Let me pass along the writing result of what I found on this topic last night; it may open a few eyes:

So, lemme see if I've got all this down.

We have a paper.
It's called the Boston Globe.
The paper is owned by the New York Times.
The Times is known for being rabidly leftist.
The Boston Globe has a guy working for it as a journalist.
The guy's name is Mike Kranish.
Kranish is assigned to cover John Kerry and his presidential bid.

Kranish writes a bit today which the Globe prints, with inaccurate information in it, the object of which is to tear down the Swift Boat vets and their statements about John Kerry.. a leftist, who as it happens, hails from Boston. This story is exposed as a lie when the subject of the story comes out with a statement calling Kranish's writeup 'misleadning'. This subject then goes on to suggest he'd told Kranish exactly the opposite of what Kranish printed.

The subject, one George Elliott, in fact goes on to re-state and reaffirm his original statement... a very harsh criticism of the fitness for the office of President of John Kerry... or, more correctly, the lack thereof

Now, we find out that this Kranish person also has been Hired by the Kerry team to write a nice forward to the official Kerry-Edwards campaign book. The book was to be published by Times Publishing.

Now that all this case come out, Kranish has been removed form the project, AFTER the initial printing went out. Second pressings are going out sans Kranish.

Hmmm. Oops, huh?

Am I not to take this as indication of a corrupt press willing to lie and anything else it has to, to get their fellow leftists elected?

Am I not to question what else Kranish has falsified for money?
Am I not to question who else has similarly been corrupted?
Am I not to wonder why Kranish has a job at all?

Since this action of the Democrats is also outright stupid, perhaps fatally so, are we not to accept this as further proof of the desperation of the left?

And given all of this, can we trust anyone connected with either the so-called mainstream press OR with John Kerry and the Democrats?

Don Myers briefed on August 8, 2004 10:58 AM


Fascinating that there are no calls from the Bush haters to stop the slanderous smears about Bush being AWOL without a shred of evidence, the slandering lies about Halliburton and Harken, and so on.

That's because they aren't "slanderous smears"---they're stone cold facts, verified by enough sources to convice anyone but the most blind, true believing, FoxNews-addled partisan hack.

You are, as usual, completely wrong. Not in possesion of the facts. Incorrect. Ill-informed.

In fact, this ugly attack ad uses men who were not on the same boat as Kerry, and more than one has retracted his statements. That's why Sen. McCain (who has been at the recieving end of this kind of Karl Rove smear campaign himself) denounced it within hours. Check out for yourself, if you dare.

Stix briefed on August 8, 2004 04:20 PM

When he got his third purple heart, that evening, and we didn't particularly care what it was for, we knew that he had three. That evening, I and two other people went in and told him that we felt that he should go home. It was something that he could do ... He told us that he didn't want that, it was his intention to serve his country, and the next morning he was gone. And we were happy and didn't worry about it. (

Doesn't sound like he was liked that much. These guys may have not been on the same boat with him, but the patrols had at least 3 boats that went out with eachother. So they knew what he did and how he acted. Most of them thiught he was a "cowboy" nad a "loose cannon" and thought he was just doing stuff to further heis political career when he got out of the service.

And tell me what evidence you have that Bush was AWOL. He was honorably discharged. He was working on a capaign for a few months and later finished all of his madatory military service.

Kerry joines the swift boats thinking they would be a acke walk. When he joined the swift boats never waent close to shore, they patrolled the coast where there was not as much action. Only after he jioned did they go into the riveres to tranport troops inland.

My da joined the military during Vietnam becasue he was a doctor. when you join you have some say in where you go. My dad got stationed in Korea because he enlisted. He choose Hawaii, amoe palce in the US I forgot where and Korea. His best friend got staioned on a medical boat that went way up the rivers and was under fire alot. He never recieved a Puple Heart or any other medals. But he was ther for his tour and came home. And I think both my dad nad his friend are heros, not Senator Flipper.

Don Myers briefed on August 8, 2004 06:09 PM

And tell me what evidence you have that Bush was AWOL. He was honorably discharged. He was working on a capaign for a few months and later finished all of his madatory military service. has links to hundreds of news stories and analysis, plus pdfs of the primary documents---actual copies of Kerry and Bush's service records. Read the documents and look at the big gaping holes in Dubya's records, and you'll have to admit that the sumbitch owes the TANG at least ten months. You can deny it if you want to, but the evidence is right there in front of your eyes so you can't plead ignorance any more.

An honerable discharge is NOT evidence of completed service in and of itself. Anyone who tells you so is lying.

Doesn't sound like he was liked that much. These guys may have not been on the same boat with him, but the patrols had at least 3 boats that went out with eachother. So they knew what he did and how he acted. Most of them thiught he was a "cowboy" nad a "loose cannon" and thought he was just doing stuff to further heis political career when he got out of the service.

I'm sure lotsa guys "didn't like" their CO. So what?

RC briefed on August 8, 2004 06:13 PM


From your comments on Vietname, Haliburton, Kerry and just about all the rest of your comments I've read you should be more careful using the "F" word (fact). As it seems you aren't very familiar with what they are.

Facts generally refer to things that are true and not subject to subjective definition (redefinition). All of the "Facts" you have commented on here are no such thing.

And if you think only Fox News puts out some of this information you are sadly mistaken, sometimes even some of the left and way left leaning sources spill too much and a really objective person can tell when they are either being lied to or the real facts are being spun like a washing machine on spin.


John of Argghhh! briefed on August 8, 2004 06:26 PM

An Honorable Discharge on a DD214 is prima facie evidence of a discharged obligation. Like it or not.

Doesn't mean the TANG didn't screw up the paperwork, lord knows there's enough problem with that around - but a DD214 with an "Honorable" characterization is *the* legal document where the gov't says your obligation is discharged. Period. I know - I have one, and it's the entry document to the VA, and as a disabled vet... well, let's just say I keep my eye on that ball!

Don Myers briefed on August 9, 2004 09:21 AM

You asked me for evidence of the hinky nature of Dubya's honorable discharge, which will take more time than I have a the moment (I'm at work, but I'll get back to y'all on this). But we can start with this: a pdj of his actual discharge paperwork:

Note that box 32 reads in part: "Officer has a six year service obligation under the provisions of the 10 USC 651...and has completed 5 years, 4 months, and 5 days toward this obligation."

Also note that the box that Dubya was supposed to sign reads "Not available for signature." That's right...Dubya was already gone, gone, gone when the TANG decided to give the son of a powerful Senator a free pass.

Now I gotta go to work for the man...

ed briefed on August 9, 2004 12:59 PM


1. It's not about Bush, it's about Kerry.

And nothing you say Don Meyers can change that. You liberals have had 4 years to hack away at this and you've accomplished nothing. So I'm not going to bother answering any allegations against Bush. You don't like it? Your problem.

It's not about Bush, it's about Kerry.

I'd suggest people repeat that endlessly. If nothing else it'll drive some people nuts.

2. If you're going to complain about the funding source of a 527 groups, the Swift Vets, then I expect you to complain about the $62 million spent so far by the DEMOCRAT 527 groups.

So on the one hand we've got $62 million spent by Democrat 527 groups.

On the other we've got $150,000 spent by one (1) Republican 527 group.

Yeah. Keep talking. That'll convince people.

Here ya go: It's not about Bush, it's about Kerry.

Don Myers briefed on August 9, 2004 01:32 PM

Ed, for me it IS about Bush, rather than Kerry---it's about replacing the most incompetent, greedy, and corrupt regime our nation has endured since Reagan.

StinKerr briefed on August 10, 2004 06:43 AM

"-it's about replacing the most incompetent, greedy, and corrupt regime our nation has endured since Reagan."

That "regime" was replaced in January 2001.

Gerry briefed on August 11, 2004 02:01 AM

It is about Kerry & his total lack of character. He is running for President on his Viet Nam service so he opened the door. He could open his military record & show us the truth. That would clear it up one way or the other. Apparently he has something to hide.
George W. Bush opened his records.
The bottom of my DD214 says 'Report of TRANSFER or discharge' so if you haven't seen the last one issued you don't have all the facts, good buddy. And, you probably don't have a DD214 yourself.

You only have the rights you are willing to defend. Semper Fi.

Rick briefed on August 20, 2004 07:42 PM

Ok I am just going to look at this on a personal level: I dont trust the MAN, not the liberal, not the senator, not the self proclaimed HERO:

Read the following article:

War Criminals Backstab Kerry
In an style reminiscent of Genghis Khan, Vietnam War criminals have come out of the woodwork to attack the character and good name of decorated war hero, Sen. John Kerry. Taking a break from burning villages and raping livestock, Kerry's former "boatmates" have betrayed their own bretheren for thirty pieces of gold, accusing a fellow soldier of fabricating his war record and committing horrible attrocities. It's almost too repugnant to believe: After taking shrapnel THREE TIMES while protecting his men, then coming home to defend them tirelessly in Congress, Kerry was viciously stabbed in the back by a bunch of ungrateful, genital-electrocuting baby killers.

John Kerry bravely defended this country in a pointless war of aggression against helpless farmers, and I am sick of traitorous right-wing shills trying to turn his service into something dirty.

My feelings about KERRY:

1. Did he not make a speech against the WAR and his military bretheran. (If you have experienced war then you can definitely express your view point (notice the word YOUR, view point, which does not make it a fact, simply how you see it)
and Branding them and villifying these viet-nam vets forever on record and in front of the world.

2. Did he not make a point of throwing away his medals in protest of the war (only to find out later they were not his)

3. Do you really believe that 250 men would sign a petition and testify interview after interview
all of them with a secret agenda? Men who served this country in one of the most hated times we've ever experienced and lived thru that hate proudly. To come home to what Kerry helped promote to the world as fact.

I am a vet and currently in the ARMY Guard and I would not trust this man to lead our troops or our country. Now he wants to make a stand as a war hero, and expects us to rally around him. On an emotional level that is way to much to ask or even expect. I have no respect for someone like this. I would have more respect for him if he just kept to his original stance against war, but never have trusted him.
The article above just proves why it is dangerous to elect such a man as a leader.


Maggie briefed on October 12, 2004 07:20 PM

I not only can't trust Sen Kerry, I believe that he has desecrated the many men who have died for this country. Any man that would do what he did while we had prisoners of war is just unthinkable. I guess the ad that he tried to run with the black sack over the head of the Statue of Liberty only proves to me, he still hasn't grown up. This ad was shown once that I saw, but he did have an ad that ran with the Statute's head covered with a black bag on the head. This occurred right after the scandal at the prison in Iraq where they showed prisoners of war with black bags over their heads. Now is this the man we want to lead this country - one who has no respect for prisoners of war, for the medals that young men and women have bled to receive so that we can remain free and then to turn around and desecrate the symbol of freedom. No this man is not the man I want in the White House. For him to sit as president would be a desecration to all Americans.

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