Saturday, August 21, 2004

Now Reuters and a Chicago Tribune Reporter

Navy Commander, Journalist, Backs Kerry on Vietnam

By Carol Giacomo

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - An American journalist who commanded a boat alongside John Kerry (news - web sites) in Vietnam broke a 35-year silence on Saturday and defended the Democratic presidential candidate against Republican critics of his military service.

Weighing in on what has become the most bitterly divisive issue of the 2004 campaign for the White House, William Rood of the Chicago Tribune said the tales told by Kerry's detractors are untrue.

"There were three swift boats on the river that day in Vietnam more than 35 years ago -- three officers and 15 crew members. Only two of those officers remain to talk about what happened on February 28, 1969," he wrote in a story that appeared on the newspaper's Web site on Saturday.

"One is John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who won a Silver Star for what happened on that date. I am the other."

Before now, wanting to put memories of war and killing behind him, Rood had refused all requests for interviews on the subject, including from his own newspaper. "But Kerry's critics, armed with stories I know to be untrue, have charged that the accounts of what happened were overblown." he wrote.

"The critics have taken pains to say they're not trying to cast doubts on the merit of what others did, but their version of events has splashed doubt on all of us.

"It's gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were not there," he added.

Kerry, a former Navy lieutenant, is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, and his war service is essential to his ability to challenge President Bush (news - web sites) on issues of national security and leadership in the face of the Iraq (news - web sites) war and terrorism threats.
Increasingly, veterans opposed to Kerry and allied with Bush -- led by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- have tried to undermine Kerry's service record and credibility and the justification for his medals.

In the face of a new CBS poll showing Kerry's support among veterans has slipped since the Democratic convention, the Massachusetts senator has launched an aggressive counterattack.


vrangel said...

From another article at Boston Globe :

"The Kerry campaign removed a 20-page batch of documents yesterday from its website after The Boston Globe quoted a Navy officer who said the documents wrongly portrayed Kerry’s service. Edward Peck had said he — not Kerry — was the skipper of Navy boat No. 94 at a time when the Kerry campaign website credited the senator with serving on the boat. The website had described Kerry’s boat as being hit by rockets and said a crewmate was injured in an attack. But Peck said those events happened when he was the skipper. The campaign did not respond to a request to explain why the records were removed."

None of it matters though. I pretty much assume Kerry did nothing wrong in Vietnam.

He began his POLITICAL career as a war protester. He remained that way ever since. That's why he is a democratic candidate.
Of course dems understand he cannot be elected on peacenik platform these days so they repainted him as a war hero.

People making their choice need to be told what he did for 35 YEARS after 4 1/2 months in Vietnam.

ALa said...

That makes 14 against 254...if you like those odds you should move to Philly and be an Eagles fan!

this we'll defend said...

The 35 years since Vietnam is fair game - so why isn't that Bush's attack focus?

14 against 254? This shown how much you really desperately want to believe the charges. The "14" are all men who served under Kerry's command except for an Army Special Forces officer whose life Kerry saved under fire.

The 254 are a fringe group, many of whom have axes to grind because of their unflattering portrayal in Kerry's autobiography.

One of whom (the admiral who got the ball rolling was censured by the Navy for exercising undue influence over Judge Advocate General proceedings, showing he has always been ethically challenged by the truth.

Many others are contradicted by their own words.

The group is not credible and yet you still think where there is smoke there is fire. Their statements have been contradicted by official Navy records, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and every man who served under John Kerry save one member of the group (14 - 1 and more veterans are coming forward to side with Kerry everyday), yet George Bush refuses to condemn their tactics. Through his silence George Bush is approving their action. In fact, Bush campaign officials in Florida are even promoting events for this front group.

And that is ok with you.

Think about it. If Kerry were the lying, scheming coward that the Swiftvets for Mudslinging claim, wouldn't his own men be the most likely to say so? Especially the registered Republican ones?

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Recently the Kerry campaign filed a complaint at the Federal Election Commission saying the Swiftboad Vets are a defamatory attempt at influencing the outcome of the election.

And yet, Kerry filed no such complaint against Michael Moore. I guess one is to do as the Democrats say, not as the Democrats DO.

Paul G. said...

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files

Come on make sense just once ok?
I watched F911 5 times, Nothing was ever mentioned about Kerry.

Paul G. said...

There were 3 swiftboat commanders involved in the action that day.
One is Kerry
One is dead
One agree's with Kerry.

Do all the math you want folks, 1+1=2.
Everyone else is the peanut gallery, now shut up and get back to describing the great job Baby Bush has done and how he's gonna keep us all safe and unemployed (oops sorry the economys getting better any day now.. any day now... any day now...)

Bush to Taliban: (Give us Osama or we invade)
Taliban to Bush: (We don't know where he is)
Bush to Taliban: (Here we come)

Bush to Pakistan: (He moved to your country)
Pakistan to Bush: (So he has, We can't get him)
Bush to Pakistan: (We'll come get him)
Pakistan to Bush: (No)
Bush to Pakistan: (Ok, I'm too busy in Iraq right now, I'll get back to you in October maybe)

this we'll defend said...

Paul: cool.