Tuesday, August 10

Case Closed - Swift Boat Allegations Debunked

by justmy2 @ 8/10/2004 06:19:00 PM

I stated in an earlier post that I wouldn't comment on this much. However, this has been a huge topic of discussion and a lot of mischaracterizations have been thrown around. Therefore, I thought think that it is only right to take a look at some independent sources to get to the bottom of the allegations.

Here are three great, thorough summaries of the charges. I have excerpted a few key statements from one piece.

Please feel free to pass the link to this post along to anyone who is looking for the real story instead of speculation.

Click here to read USA Today's demolition of the accusations here.

The attack on one of Kerry's chief arguments for replacing President Bush as commander in chief -- that he was tested under fire in Vietnam and served with distinction -- has become harshly controversial. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who chairs Bush's campaign in Arizona, says the ad is dishonest and has called on the president's campaign to disavow it. Retired Army general Tommy Franks, who commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, told ABC's This Week on Sunday that Kerry is ''absolutely'' qualified to be commander in chief.

Who are these men who say Kerry didn't deserve the medals he received as a swift boat commander, a view sharply at odds with that of men who served under him? And why are they telling their stories now, more than 35 years later?

On its Web site (www.swiftvets.com), the group calls itself ''non-partisan.'' But public records show that two of its three main backers are longtime GOP contributors: Bob Perry, a Texas home builder who gave $100,000, and Harlan Crow, a Dallas real estate executive, who gave $25,000. The third major backer is John O'Neill, who put up $25,000 and is co-author of the group's book. The Texas lawyer was closely tied to Bush when he was Texas governor....

...none of the 13 men in the TV ad served on either of the two swift boats -- small, lightly armed patrol craft -- that Kerry commanded. Of the group's 254 members -- out of 3,500 swift boat sailors who served in Vietnam -- only one served under Kerry. The rest who did serve on Kerry's boats back his record.

Many of Kerry's critics commanded boats that went out on missions with Kerry. Others never met him. Most are still angry about Kerry's leadership of Vietnam Veterans Against the War after he returned home."

Click the link above for specific investigations into each person's claims. Here is an example.

Louis Letson, a doctor who says he treated Kerry. He says Kerry didn't deserve his first Purple Heart because he ''inadvertently wounded himself'' and ''there was no hostile fire.'' Medical records, however, note that Kerry was treated for shrapnel by J.C. Carreon, not Letson. Bill Zaladonis, who was on Kerry's boat at the time, says the men believed they were shooting at Viet Cong.

If that is not enough, Spinsanity details why nothing has been proven here.

And finally, FactCheck.org gives you a charge by charge account of the situation, if you still have reservations. .



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