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May 27, 2006

Comments

PeterUK

Clarice,
Rules of evidence,this is Winter Soldier Redux

clarice

I think Surber's fisking was great..

PeterUK

Ooops,Sorry Bob,books are in the post,on the bright side you were first so you only get one,please foreward the rest to RLS.

PeterUK

Clarice,
There was a very Soviet air to Winter Soldier,reminiscent of the Bolshevik and Stalinist denunciations,serving military personnel were accused of crimes they neither committed nor were aware of.

Gary Maxwell

accused of crimes they neither committed nor were aware of.

Is this the Franz Kafka book "The Trial"?

PeterUK

Kafkaesque in the extreme Gary,the totalitarian impulse to control men's minds with fear, denunciation and betrayal,what better organisation to do it?

clarice

Why do you think post-adolescents are so attracted to that clunky 30's Marxist terminology like "the masses","military machine" "imperialism"? It makes them look absolutely idiotic.Kind of like "Those aren't my SUVs, they are the family's" Utter jibberish.

PeterUK

Clarice,
Many of them are simply groupies of any counter establishment figures,one up from refusing to clear their room....but John Kerry???

kim

See Peter's NYT editorial link and Nolan's monomaniacal explication of the horrors of war, and you've seen the snake shed it's skin, yet again. Apparently the NYT bet so hugely on our loss in Iraq that they can't report the Iraqis' victory. They now have their oil and their country. There's something discordant in Blue Country and I can hear the gnashing all the way over here.
==================================

Lurker

back from the Texas Republican Convention. A good convention. Hottest topic was immigration. Most want a physical wall. They have the ability to talk the talk but don't have the votes to walk the talk. Perry says, "Eliminate the Californian and New England Republicans...is the conservative majority but not enough to make sweeping changes. Noonan's article about the 3rd party just won't solve it.

Anyways, the biggest question that I have:

If Kerry signed the F180 but released to specific journalists / media, why have they been quiet about it? Surely, if the F180 supports Kerry's stories, the MSM / LSM would be braggadocio about it.

PeterUK

Kurker,
I it had been good they woild have made it into a T Shirt.

PeterUK

An excellent take on the Vietnam Syndrome by Mark Steyn Has he been reading this thread?

clarice

PUk, foreign service types of his father's ilk were so sophisticated they bought utterly into the internationalist theme song--tha t is to say thaey considered European interests more significant than our own. They're dying out now, but for years I ran into the old Georgetown foreign service crowd all of whom disbelieved Alger Hiss was guilty. After all he went to the right schools.

PeterUK

Clarice,
Not a few of our old foreign service types actually were on the other side.I think the lure of communism was like a flame to a moth for the bureaucratic elite,after socialism is for the little people,the mandarins are always with us.

PeterUK

-after all socialism-

clarice

Yes. Mark Steyn once did a marvelous piece about one of those guys. He was Jackie Kennedy's cousin and, in fact, while on the US payroll was a Soviet spy who suffered not at all for his perfidy.

Ditto for Philby et al..Just to special for real democracies to be appealing.

One of the best things Rice has done as SoS is to order our foreign service offices on Western Europe to be cut drastically and the officers stationed in the hellholes of the Third World (far from the nearest Gucci and near to the real action).

clarice

**ToO special***

and*****foreign service offices In Western Europe********

PeterUK

Talking out of school here Clarice,but the last time I saw an expression like the one Kerry wore at WSI was on the face of Kim Philby.

clarice

I never saw Kim Philby. Tell me all about it, honey.

Sara (The Squiggler)

The Truth, John Kerry, and The New York Times

Kate Zernike's story on the front page of the Memorial Day Sunday New York Times, "Kerry Pressing Swift Boat Case Long After Loss," is an unfortunate reminder of the Times's embarrassingly poor coverage of Kerry in the face of the Swift Boat Veterans' for Truth charges in the 2004 election. Now as then, the Times acts as if the issues involved were between Kerry's latest representations of his record and the "unsubstantiated" charges of the Swift Boat group. The Times used the term "unsubstantiated" more than twenty times during its election coverage and continues to make no discernable effort to examine any of the charges in detail. But there was plenty of evidence in the work of other news organizations that some of the charges, and the Kerry military records themselves, were worth examining seriously. I found numerous problems with Kerry's records on his website in my own reporting for the Chicago Sun-Times: a Silver Star with a V for valor listed that the Navy stated it had never awarded in the history of the US Navy, three separate medal citations with some heavy revisions in Kerry's favor signed by former Navy Secretary John Lehman who denied ever signing them, to name two.
Sara (The Squiggler)

The NYT’s Can’t Handle The Truth

KeithNolan

To RLS: many thanks for the calm, reasonable, and rational message. (Whaddya doin' HERE?--this place ain't rational!)

I've met many individuals like yourself over the years (that is, men who did their duty, and did it well, and did not descend into brutality), and have written many a book about such individuals. It has been an honor to do so.

I really don't have any argument with you. If I'm reading you correctly, you don't doubt all the Winter Soldiers, but want much more proof than has been offered before you're going to trust the bulk of what they had to say. Fair enough. Though I have verified some of those Winter Soldier stories, to include reading a CID report that verifies one of the worst massacres desribed, and though many more of the stories simply ring true based on what I've been told about the units and time periods cited, much more research would be required to verify (or disprove) every one of the hundreds of stories told at the Winter Soldier Investigation. I'll check back with you guys in a couple years!

By the way, I'm fairly convinced that one of the Winter Soldiers might indeed be a liar, or at least a helluva embellisher. I won't mention his name because I don't have any proof either way. In any event, even if this guy is full of schitt, I don't think one suspected liar discredits 130 veterans.

A reminder: a lot of what the WSI guys said wasn't even horror-show stuff. For example, former platoon leader Scott Moore, 9th Division, 1968-69, testified that the American public was being misled about the progress of the war because enemy body counts were grossly exaggerated. In fact, the heavily-padded body counts from the 9th Division at that time were an open scandal. Moore wasn't the only former officer to speak about this. (Read the 9th Division chapter from ABOUT FACE by David Hackworth.)

I mention this simply because it is another reason I tend to believe the Winter Soldiers: I don't know Scott Moore, but, man, what he talked about sure rang true based on what I do know about the 9th Division, circa 1968-69.

One other thought: I have discovered over the years that veterans who served with some of the better units (say a Marine reconnaissance battalion) just can't fathom the kind of stuff that went on in some of the more run-of-the-mill units. Just as guys who served during the 1965-68 period have a hard time believing the stories of fraggings, racial violence, dope-smoking, etc., that began surfacing in 1969 and went over the edge in 1970-71.

As you know far better than I, TLS, Vietnam was a very personal war, and experiences varied greatly depending on your time of service, unit, etc. A Marine rifleman who landed in Da Nang in 1965 and an Americal Division grunt, circa 1971, might as well have been on different planets.

Before I take off, one last thought: in 1970-71, General David Shoup, USMC (holder of the Medal of Honor from WWII), and Congressman Paul McCloskey (R-CA) (who had earned the Navy Cross and Silver Star as a Marine platoon leader in Korea) met with John Kerry and the Winter Soldiers. I mean that unlike anyone at this board, they met these men face-to-face at the time of the infamous Senate speech, listened to their stories, asked questions, etc., etc., etc.--and then publicly offered their support for Kerry and the VVAW.

If those guys passed muster with General Shoup and Congressman McCloskey, well, that means a lot more to me than the half-baked frauds-and-liars meme handed down by Nixon and reanimated by the SwiftVets.

Anyway, RLS, I'm not a fan of Kerry, I don't agree with the overarching philosophy of the VVAW--but I do respect Vietnam Veterans of all political stripes, including those who joined unpopular organizations like the VVAW. I think a lot of people here think that being in the VVAW was cool or something. Actually, a lot of the members were down-home country kids and middle-class college students. They weren't exactly from Berkeley, you know. They weren't Red Diaper Babies. Most quite when the VVAW went Far Left and guys like Al Hubbard wrote poems about the evils of Amerikkka. Most of these guys were earnest and patriotic. And some of these down-home guys took a lot of shit from family members and friends for turning against the war. I can tell you about one shot-to-shit country-boy Marine (permanently disabled) who got hate mail from his neighbors ("you traitor, commie," etc.) once a local newspaper printed an article about his involvement in a VVAW protest.

Maybe this doesn't make sense to you guys, but, RLS, I will tell you that if a bunch of far-left nutjobs went after John O'Neill and the SwiftVets on the grounds that they weren't veterans (they're liars, man, they weren't even IN Vietnam!), I would be just as ticked and just as loud at whatever websites supported that argument.

Like I've said about a million times by now, go ahead and boo the Winter Soldiers as being unrepresentational (or hippies or whatever), but smearing them as frauds and liars guys who earned CIBs and CARs in Vietnam makes me wanna puke.

Keith Nolan

Bob

"Like I've said about a million times by now, go ahead and boo the Winter Soldiers as being unrepresentational (or hippies or whatever), but smearing them as frauds and liars guys who earned Cribs and Cars in Vietnam makes me wanna puke."

Keith Nolan


Well Keith all I can say is if you are this "dense" when it comes to doing research for your books, then qualifying them as "history" is a stretch. The stories you have heard and wrote about are certainly examples of atrocities committed by a group of Vietnam soldiers, but that's not the issue here. The issue is this. These same men you put up in such high regard, did one thing wrong. And this one thing was getting involved in the Winter Soldiers as a means to tell their story. They knew that the lies that Kerry would use to prove the WS claims, were exaggerated and in many cases fabricated. They were used only to boost Kerry's political ambitions. If they didn't then they've had ample opportunity to set the record strait, and expose Kerry for the liar he is. Nobody is calling these Vets "frauds or liars"... we are simply holding them accountable as a "group" called the Winter soldiers, and for their actions after they returned from Vietnam. They should have been more selective in who joined, and more importantly who they put in charge. And once these guys saw the bull shit being thrown at their fellow soldiers, they should have protested even loader. They are guilty by association... another of life's simple lessons. But maybe if they admitted that the WSI was over the top, then maybe we could view them as honest men.

If you can't separate out the individual soldiers of WS from the Winter Soldiers Investigation, then you are blinded by your agenda. And furthermore you are just as guilty as they are for trying to "write" history that only fits into your personal viewpoint.


Oh and "unrepresentational" is not a word... I believe you meant to say nonrepresentational...

Cecil Turner

(Whaddya doin' HERE?--this place ain't rational!)

Nice smear job. And ya know, I'm getting a little tired of your collective insults of everyone who posts here. (Much like I'm less than happy with Kerry's characterization of American servicemen.) I'm also less than impressed with lessons on martial morality from someone who never served.

much more research would be required to verify (or disprove) every one of the hundreds of stories told at the Winter Soldier Investigation

No kidding. They're virtually . . . uncheckable! (Unlike Kerry's fantasies, which is one reason they're worth tracking down.)

I don't think one suspected liar discredits 130 veterans.

Just one, eh? Besides, I think John Kerry did exactly that.

Anyway, RLS, I'm not a fan of Kerry . . .

Which would explain the extensive character references above, perhaps?

I will tell you that if a bunch of far-left nutjobs . . .

I like the cutesy way of calling us all far-right nutjobs. Nice.

. . . went after John O'Neill and the SwiftVets . . .

You mean like the "SwiftBoat Liars" meme? Better get started, lad. You've got lots of work ahead of you. Unless, of course, you aren't really serious.

. . . but smearing them as frauds and liars guys who earned CIBs and CARs in Vietnam makes me wanna puke.

Except for that one "suspected liar" eh? (And are you sure you can't find another if you dig hard enough?) Your selective outrage is entertaining, but not terribly convincing.

kim

Looks like the 'Patriot Project' fell on it's big fat patootie. Hey, that net under your high wire act is Kerry's 180 information.

Watch your step.
======================

Lurker

Obviously, KN hasn't witnessed the anti-war protests, political polarization, the MSM / LSM reporting of the Vietnam war, treatment of our Vietnam War vets upon their return to the states.

Otherwise, he wouldn't be making his own statements.

KeithNolan

To Cecil Turner: if you think the loudest voices here (PeterUK, Kim, and Sara the Squiggler) are rational, well, we'll have to agree to disagree.

There is obviously some very lock-step, pile-on mentality at threads like this: PeterUK, Kim, and Sara say some nutty damn stuff, but since they are on your side, you offer no rejoinder. In case you didn't notice, PeterUK has basically declared that anyone who didn't fight in WWII from beginning to end isn't really a veteran. Apparently, it takes several years of "total war" to qualify. When he mocks Kerry for a mere four months of combat service, or Robert Kruch for only being sporting enough to put two months in the bush before getting medevacked, he is really writing off a hell of a lot of veterans: you know, like all the veterans of the Mayaguez, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Desert Storm, Somalia, and, of course, all those who ended up with a bullet in the brain one step up the beach of Tarawa. (Didn't even finish the day out, mate? Bah!)

This does not seem irrational to you? I didn't know that one had to serve a PUK-approved length of time before one's combat service could be stamped "valid." (I need to tell my dad: I mean, his father only spent three months as a draftee rifleman in the ETO in 1944 before being killed during a night reconnaissance patrol. All this time, my dad was under the impression that his father had served his country. But, good God, his father was in France only a bit longer than Robert Kruch was in Vietnam, and LESS time than Kerry was pleasure-boating around in IV Corps, RVN. Doesn't really count. My dad will be relieved to know that because his father's professional-soldier brother spent almost a year as a Japanese POW after the fall of Bataan before succumbing to dysentery, PUK will indeed allow that such service passes muster.)

Anyway, you don't seem stressed by the put-downs both subtle and not-so-subtle that PUK and Sara throw down about veterans whose politics they disagree with. I remain amazed at the contempt shown at these kind of websites for veterans, and how veterans like you let it all slide. (I might suggest you read Bill Rood's article about how the SwiftVet charges against Kerry have had a certain splatter effect on those like Rood and his crew who served alongside Kerry.)

Enough. I think it's fairly obvious that we are at loggerheads on all this; since I truly do not arguing with a veteran; since I feel that you ignore the meat of my arguments for whatever snark you can apply to the edges; and since I find you to be full of outrage as selective as you think mine, I will offer you no more long-winded explanations, rebuttals, counterarguments, etc.

You find me an ignoramus and a pretentious moralizer. Perhaps even a fabulist, the kind who, you imply, isn't willing to go where the evidence takes him if that evidence means proving one of the Winter Soldiers a liar. Please bear in mind that I volunteered the opinion that one of those guys really was a liar, a point that actually reinforces your position not mine. Please also bear in mind that what you suggest could easily cause offense: you're basically implying that I'm a liar. So be it, but, please, your outrage at my apparent incivility is really one of those pot-and-kettle situations.

As noted, my impression is that you are neither well-read nor particulary interested in the history of the Vietnam War, but have joined this debate out of pride of service, professional loyalty, and political inclination. The SwiftVets say what in your marrow you want to believe, thus you believe.

The Winter Soldiers said what in my marrow I did NOT want to believe, but which some digging, interviews, and reading have forced me to believe. Study my track record: you think I LIKE talking about My Lai and Son Thang and all the other low moments of the U.S. military's record in Vietnam?

I don't know who you are. There is no way for me to know. To know me, all you'd have to do is read RIPCORD or OPERATION BUFFALO or HOUSE TO HOUSE. I doubt that you will. Hell, I suggested you just read the reviews of OPERATION BUFFALO (at least down to the one from the CO of K/3/9 Marines) to get a better feel for where I'm coming from, but you apparently shrugged off that suggestion.

Just as you have shrugged off my question as to how you guys could be so right about Kerry and the Winter Soldiers, but General Shoup and Congressman McCloskey, whose combat credentials are impeccable and who actually KNEW the men in question, could be so horribly wrong.

KN

KeithNolan

To Kim: what is the Patriot Project? I'm sure it's been referened here before, maybe even linked to, but I didn't follow any such links, and don't know this organization. Apparently they're pro-Kerry, or you wouldn't be smiling so widely at their apparent demise.

To Lurker: for reasons too personal to describe here (especially to this hostile crowd!), the war in Vietnam and its veterans were intertwined with my formative years. I was pretty much a pint-sized eyewitness to a lot of the anti-vet nonsense of the early-1970s. Sara peviously described an anti-war kook taking out her anger about My Lai (or John Kerry's testimony, to believe her version) on her child. Yeah, I remember that shit. I'm probably the same age as Sara's child, and I remember the phone calls from the local Black Panther types to my mother about how they were going to throw acid in her kids' faces because my father (a hardcore conservative former Marine officer) had confronted them during some anti-war/anti-white/anti-everything/tear-down-the-flag protests at the college where he taught U.S. and Asian History.

Yeah, I remember those times well.... and my dislike of the Left doesn't have a goddamn thing to do with the veracity of the Winter Soldier Investigation.

Funny thing is: I used to be a hardcore conservative myself until John O'Neill taught me that my side is just as willing to use propaganda and guilt-by-association as was the Hard Left.

For what it's worth,
KN

KeithNolan

Oh, Bob, give me a break: so I typed unrepresentational instead of nonrepresentational! Sorry!

You know, I'm typing this stuff at about a million-words-a-minute between living and working and raising a child (ever notice that I usually post when everyone else is asleep) because I'm trying to answer questions and comments coming from about a half-dozen people; in other words, I'm trying to take you all seriously--and you want to quibble about typos and such?!

Shit, if you looked harder, you could probably find dozens of typos, misspelled words, tangled-up sentences, and the likes.

Maybe you should give PeterUK's grammar a thorough going over.

KN

boris

I used to be a hardcore conservative myself until John O'Neill

I used to be a space alien until Mulder and Scully ...

lurker

I'm a rambler at times. Ha!

In spite of the hardcore right-wing propaganda, I remain hard-core conservative because I believe in those principles. If you were hard-core conservative because you believe in those conservative principles but later swayed because of the propaganda, then you've lost your principles.

There's propaganda on both sides but you gotta stick to your principles and by that, you gotta stick to one side.

Funnily how some people consider themselves liberal; yet, their principles ring conservative. A niece-in-law called herself a "liberal" but she believes in small government, less taxes, controlled spending, etc. Right....

Problem is that the conservatives are unable to walk the talk. They don't have the majority.

Cecil Turner

. . . if you think the loudest voices here (PeterUK, Kim, and Sara the Squiggler) are rational, well, we'll have to agree to disagree.

Loudest? And what's with the broad-brush insults? Isn't that exactly the sort of thing you're complaining about?

There is obviously some very lock-step, pile-on mentality at threads like this . . .

Funny, exactly what I think about the various lefty types who spew insults. (Even down to the disclaimers.) "Crazy," "angry," "nutjob" . . . yada yada whatever.

This does not seem irrational to you?

Your rather silly summary certainly was. Of course, that wasn't exactly what he said, now was it? And hey, is that kinda like a certain Senator's statement in front of his future compatriots? If you could bring yourself to admit the nuttiness of those statements, I think I'd have more time for your opinion of others'.

I remain amazed at the contempt shown at these kind of websites for veterans . . . [more suggested reading]

I find liars contemptuous. And frankly, none of that supposed contempt comes within an order of magnitude of the disrespect shown for veterans by John Kerry.

I feel that you ignore the meat of my arguments for whatever snark you can apply to the edges . . .

Gee, I wonder why? If you could make it halfway through a post without insulting me, I might return the favor. (And here's a little clue for you: when you call everyone here a "nutjob," you get some on me.) Further, after spending more than 20 years in the service of my country, a calling I consider both respectable and moral, idiots claiming US armed forces are made up of reprobates and moral midgets also get some on me.

I will offer you no more long-winded explanations, rebuttals, counterarguments, etc.

Oh nonsense. How many times are you going to renege on this one?

Please bear in mind that I volunteered the opinion that one of those guys really was a liar . . .

Oh big deal. To some degree, all men are liars and these types of stories are more prone than most . . . ("What's the difference between a fairy tale and a war story ?") That admission is so far short of the least possible reality as to be meaningless. (Much like your "criticism" of John Kerry.)

As noted, my impression is that you are neither well-read nor particulary interested in the history of the Vietnam War . . .

Your impression is wrong. (Stupidly so: what do you think some kid who signed up right after Vietnam was reading?) And though I probably couldn't write a book about it, I know a helluva lot more about warfare than you ever will. (Enough so, for example, if someone says they aren't sure if they saw muzzle flashes at night, I know they're idiots or liars. Or that if they say a free fire zone is an example of higher headquarters telling them to commit war crimes, that they don't know what they're talking about. Or that if they say "leader among peers" is a great fitrep bullet, that they've never written any.) Note, please, that those aren't the total of the false notes, or the things I think might be wrong--I know those are BS. You apparently swallowed 'em whole.

. . . but you apparently shrugged off that suggestion.

Actually not, but that's the last time I follow one of those without a link. And yet again, your mindreading sucks.

Just as you have shrugged off my question . . . [re: Gen Shoup]

Since I have no idea what Gen Shoup actually said, and you didn't feel it worthwhile to quote him, it's hard to make an intelligent comment. And a quick google didn't turn much up. I know he called for a pullout of troops toward the end of the war, but that's not really on point.

maryrose

Keith NOLAN:
Did the Winter Soldiers have the right to protest-yes.
Does Kerry if he hopes to be president need to be associated with them -no
The reason for this is You end up alienating the very voters you need to win:specifically the South. And Kerry in his ever present arrogance Dismissed the South and paid dearly for it in the 2004 election. Does his plan to further smear the other HONORABLE veterans; The Swift Boat men that disagree with his recovered memory syndrome help in 2008?- Duh NO because it continues to annoy people and discourage them from voting for him. Did the Winter sOldiers have the constitutional right to threaten to kill 6 senators NO because that infringes on their right to life ,liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

KeithNolan

To Cecil Turner: if you say that your snark is a result of my snark, then you have my fulsome apologies. (I always thought I had singled you out as someone whose service I respected, and as being someone of a different cut from the PUKs and Saras. I obviously did not make this point strongly enough.)

Regarding General David Shoup, USMC, and holder of the Medal of Honor from WWII: as you know, the Winter Soldier Investigation was held in January-February 1971. The next major John Kerry/VVAW activity was Operation Dewey Canyon III in April 1971, during which time the now famous (or infamous) medal-toss took place on the steps of the Capitol.

In March 1971, John Kerry held a press conference to put out the word about the impending Operation Dewey Canyon III. From HOME TO WAR by G. Nicosia: "General Shoup came in person [to the press conference] to announce his 'wholehearted support' for the upcoming action; moreover, he backed the VVAW completely in their demand that Congress set a date for complete United States pullout from Vietnam."

Regarding Congressman Paul N. McCloskey (R-CA)(holder of the Navy Cross and Silver Star from his duty as a Marine platoon leader during the Korean War): following the Winter Soldier Investigation, McCloskey contacted Kerry and the VVAW to offer his support, then physically accompanied the VVAW during Operation Dewey Canyon III. I've seen news footage of him from that protest, praising Kerry and the ex-grunts of the VVAW.

In the Summer of '72, journalist Richard Boyle (who had gone to Vietnam a hawk and returned both wounded and an anti-war radical) published FLOWER OF THE DRAGON, which reprinted testimony from the Winter Soldier Investigation.

Congressman McCloskey wrote the forward for Boyle's book; in that forward, this former Marine lieutenant and holder of the Navy Cross set a tone even more negative than Kerry did in his speech to the Senate: "We use napalm, cluster bombs, B-52s, and gunships to destroy rural peasant hamlets and rice fields. We increase the saturation bombing of populated areas in order to kill or cut off the support for young Vietcong and North Vietnamese soldiers who doggedly fight on and die for a cause in which we have long since been unwilling to risk the lives of our own sons [a reference to the U.S. withdraw that began in 1969]. Are we any different from that other proud people of a generation ago who watched in passive acquiesence as their leaders ordered the coldblooded extermination of six million Jews?"

Agree or disagree with General Shoup and Congressmen McCloskey, their military credentials are impeccable; as such,their support for Kerry and the VVAW cannot be shrugged off as easily as can be the opinions of a snarky, ignorant, pretentious, and ill-mannered neophyte like myself.

Keith Nolan

Cecil Turner

I always thought I had singled you out as someone whose service I respected . . .

You have insulted everyone here, as a group, repeatedly. Are you now claiming that was unintentional? Or that it wasn't meant to be inclusive? If so, I will gladly allow there are exceptions to the "frauds and liars" brush for the WSI crowd. All happy now?

"moreover, he backed the VVAW completely in their demand that Congress set a date for complete United States pullout from Vietnam."

I know who Gen Shoup was, and that he called for a pullout toward the end. But again, that's not on point. And that's not a quote (of his), and it's written by an activist long after Shoup's death. Sorry, but like the K Co C.O. who liked your book, this doesn't do much for the subject at hand.

Agree or disagree with General Shoup and Congressmen McCloskey, their military credentials are impeccable;

McCloskey's death camp analogy is rather silly. (Perhaps an "ends justifies the means" moment?) And if I now come up with three exemplary credentialed veterans who disagree, do I win? (That certainly wouldn't be hard.) I don't think you really want to take a poll as to how veterans in general view Kerry and WSI . . . because I'm confident I represent the rule, rather than the exception.

BTW: things that make you go "Hmmm?": an author who conflates "forward" with "foreword."

Bill

Burden of proof:

The burden of proof is on the accuser in this case the "Winter Soldiers" would have that what they said happened actually happened.

Now, how could they do this?

First: How many prosecutable cases came out of the "Winter Soldiers" investigation?

Second: How many cases were confirmed by the military to have happened but didn't result in a prosecutable case?

Third: How many cases were investigated by the press after the "Winter Soldiers" investigation and confirmed to have happened by them?

Where's The Beef?

John Kerry (Fulbright tetimony, 1971):

"I am here as one member of the group of one thousand, which is a small representation of a very much larger group of veterans in this country, and were it possible for all of them to sit at this table they would be here and have the same kind of testimony."

However, of the thousand(s) of individuals Kerry had mentioned in his testimony, only 46 had made the sort of allegations that provided sufficient cause to investigate further. That's less than one-half of one percent -- at best.

And although 31 of the accusers agreed to be interviewed by the military, none of them were capable of, or willing to, assist investigators in nailing the alleged war criminals.

Apparently none of the other thousand(s) of accusers stepped forward to support these allegations with testimony and corroborative evidence.

If these accusers saw what they claimed to have seen, they failed to report their accusations up the chain of command.

Waiting for stateside investigators to knock on your door is hardly a demonstration of readiness to seek justice for crimes you have witnessed. Providing nothing for investigators to pursue is hardly a sign that the alleged crimes were "real". Telling hearsay stories about what others might or might not have seen or done, well, that is hardly well supported by the observation that the stories "reflect" what others did, and were punished for doing, in other documented instances.

KEITH NOLAN: The question is what standard do you expect the country to hold *anyone* -- in uniform or not, veteran or not, active or inactive, articule or not, schooled or not, lefty or righty, and so forth -- *anyone* who would make accusations of war crimes? Does that standard not apply to the Winter Soldiers who have let Kerry's testimony stand as representing their own account of this country's military training, war policy, and enforcement record?

I think you need to hold the Winter Soldiers to a higher standard than you have done here. They were not merely playing a child's game of "telephone" with the leaders and spokesmen of this organization. Kerry was their bullhorn.

If you are able, please respond to the first category of war crimes that they, through Kerry, claimed: 200,000 murders per year by US military personnel.

Then we can move on to the other 3-4 categories of crimes that were presented on behalf, and direclty by, the Winter Soldiers.

clarice

So, what are we saying here--that Walinski was a better speechwriter than a mathematician? A better progagandist than a chronicler of the truth? *wink*

Sara (The Squiggler)

To Cecil Turner: if you think the loudest voices here (PeterUK, Kim, and Sara the Squiggler) are rational, well, we'll have to agree to disagree.

someone of a different cut from the PUKs and Saras

here is obviously some very lock-step, pile-on mentality at threads like this: and frankly, yPeterUK, Kim, and Sara say some nutty damn stuff

And you wonder why people who lived through the experiences we lived through despise your ilk so much ... nutjobs, irrational, yep, that's the way you argue:

A perfect examplie of RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." Followed up by RULE 12: RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

Sorry, Brucie boy, intimidation that worked against us in 1971-72 won't work today. I know that bothers you big time, but now we know what your real problem is ... Marine Daddy was a little too tough on little Brucie and now he is going to get even. Talk about wanting to puke.

kim

Out of my head and over yours, Sonny Boy. You haven't explained, Keith Nolan, why you suppo0rt that coward and fraud, John Kerry. If you were a scholar you would decry his hiding his record. And if wishes were horses, gentlemen would ride.
===================================

KeithNolan

To Cecil Turner: if, like Bob, you are concerned over typos and other grammatical errors (switching "foreward" for "forward") by someone who (as noted in response to Bob) is typing this stuff as hastily as possible in quick moments between real life, well, I think you are concerned about the wrong thing. I would almost say you are being petty.

I gave you what you asked for (evidence of Kerry and the Winter Soldiers being supported by those whose service I thought you would respect), and you focus in on grammar. Or the fact that the quote from General Shoup was from a book, and not sourced from the actual contemporary news account which informed the book in question. Are you saying that the quote is in error? That General Shoup did NOT stand beside Kerry to offer his "full support"?

Anyway, before I got here, some of your cohorts (like PeterUK, who sounds like a lovely man), had no trouble verbally abusing Doug Reese (who, unlike me, is all that those here profess to respect: former officer, decorated for heroism, veteran of an EXTENDED tour in Vietnam).

When I dropped in (making clear from the second paragraph of my first message that I was not speaking from first-hand knowledge, but from interviews and research), the insults immediately began flying.

This is a rough crowd. Doug Reese never took the bait. (Not that his calm and level-headed replies ever earned him any respect from the likes of PeterUK.) I did take the bait, and got snarky in return. Like you, when smacked upside the head, I tend to take it badly. When I replied to PeterUK and Sara's snark, you decided (despite the fact that I always excluded you from my intemperate replies) to decide I was swinging at you, too. So be it. I might ask if you are really comfortable with the level of personal invective that your compadres like PeterUK and Sara bring to the table?

This conversation has gone so far afield as to no longer have anything to do with the subject at hand.

I have tried to be honest with you at this thread. When you use the vet card to trump my argument about what happened in Vietnam, I have always said, yes, I respect your service in Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, or Iraq (or wherever it was), but do not think such service is germane to what happened, say, west of Hill 29 in Quang Tin Province in 1968-69. In response, you don't claim to know what happened west of Hill 29 in Quang Tin Province in 1968-69, you simply say "crap," and point out the fact that I don't know the nitty-gritty about FitRep language, or that the Vietnam Veterans you knew in the USMC hated the anti-war movement, or that grammatical errors can be found in my messages.

I ask this in all sincerity: on what are you really basing your arguments about what happened at the time and places described by the Winter Soldiers?

I know that you were trained upon entering the service by men who had fought in Vietnam as Marine officers and NCOs. I know that you have said that these individuals hated fellow travellers like Jane Fonda. (Did Kerry's name really come up in those conversations?) I know that you said that you've also read some of the literature about Vietnam, to include A RUMOR OF WAR and FIELDS OF FIRE (both about Marine officers like yourself, hence, I suppose, your attraction to those books).

When I say that I didn't think you seemed particularly interested in the history of the Vietnam War, it was because I thought you said that you had NOT read books like THE MILITARY HALF, BRENNAN'S WAR, THE OFFERING, TRIAL BY FIRE, SON THANG, and FOUR HOURS IN MY LAI--all of which I'd say were vital to putting the Winter Soldier Investigation into context.

You even said that you picked up a copy of TIGER FORCE, and then put it down as over the top--even though it offered the exact kind of fulsome and confirmed details about war crimes that you demand from the Winter Soldiers. I find it puzzling that when given what you wanted from the authors of TIGER FORCE, you dismiss the information as over the top.

Maybe some over the top stuff happened in Vietnam?

Anyway, with respect, but with regret at the level to which this argument has descended....

KN

Sara (The Squiggler)

and Sara's snark

I was snarky? Hmmm. I thought I was being as honest as I could be. I refused to be drawn into the service record of Kerry or his supporters as I wasn't in Vietnam. I have constantly attempted to keep my part of the discussion focused on the damage done to those of us left at home who suffered from the blowback of the Winter Soldiers and their cohorts. I guess honesty isn't something you, Bruce, understand. You are a very blind individual, who, in my humblest of opinions, appears to have no heart to understand the suffering of millions of Vets and their families. Oh well.

BTW, if you want real SNARK, bring it on. I'm not in a very good mood today and I'd love to blow off some steam.

Sara (The Squiggler)

Sorry for Larwynning the thread.

RLS

Keith,

As you can tell from the titles of these posts, this is basically about John Kerry, and to a person here (regulars) Kerry is personna non gratis. That Kerry is linked with WS and WS's most notable link is John Kerry is indisputable. That the organizers of VVAW and WS have been discredited as frauds does cast a shadow on the testimony of the participants. It, as one would say, places an additional burden of proof on those making allegations. Fair or not, that is the way it is.

I do not try to speak for everyone but I would bet real money that most everyone here would agree that some "bad things" by "bad people" (Lt. Calley, et al) happened during the VietNam conflict. I don't think we can dispute that. Where I think you are cross ways with the people here is your implicit defense of Kerry in your impassioned defense of some participants of WS. As you have said, the voices of those of WS, as vets, should be respected. By that same token the voices of over 250 vets (SBVT) should also be respected by you; and those vets that were POW's during the early 70's.

General Shoup is certainly entitled to support Kerry, whatever his basis for doing so, but just because he is a decorated veteran he does not have any more "moral authority" than, say, Bud Day.

I'll join you in your defense of the 30 some WS participants who cooperated with the Army CID annd the NCIS. I would be interested in analyzing those reports.

That being said, I resent the fact that you give more weight to the WS testifiers than you do to the almost 3 million Viet vets that have served honorably. I realize that the "story" is that which is not the norm and the good does not always make for an interesting story. But the mundane is the "norm". Soldiers and Marines doing their jobs, obeying the rules of engagement, most always in touch with their humanity.

John Kerry has been proven to be a liar, several times. He is a man that does not live up to his word and the code of the Service. I can't disassociate my disgust for Kerry from the statements that he made during the Fulbright hearings as well as Kerry on the floor of the U S Senate, relating his fabulist tale of "Christmas in Cambodia" in order to influence US foreign policy.

In summation, I think if you divorced the WS's from Kerry you would have better reception here.

Where's The Beef?

Kerry took to the political stage on the basis of his service in uniform, he wore his decorations, and he accepted the deference ordinarily due a war veteran.

He said he represented Winter Soldiers and thousands of others who would have said what they had told Kerry.

If he told fabrications, as he surely has done regarding widespread atrocities, then, those who he represented have no less a duty than he to set the record straight. It is a choice now as it was then and during the intervening years.

The Winter Soldiers did not fully cooperate with the military investigators. It was the policy of this organization to not offer such cooperation. If there were specific crimes that they had reported to the authorities, they have not been authenticated.

Please remember: in 1971, John Kerry claimed to have been convinced, somehow, by the Winter Soldiers that their stories were indeed representative of the experience of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of US veterans. Kerry did not have history books on his lap as he testified or did interviews for tv shows and newspapers. He had the testimony (and letters, he claimed) of veterans who would have said what he said if they had the opportunity on the big stage.

He described the US military -- in the form of millions of his fellow comrades as -- as a monster which was more guilty of violating the Laws of War than was the enemy. He said our treatment of civilians was reminiscent of Genghis Khan. It is hard to believe that he was not describing the prevalent conduct of the Viet Cong rather than, as Kerry claimed in the Q & A, "the best of a generation" of fellow Americans.

Kerry has yet to retract, narrow, or otherwise correct his Fulbright testimony and he still operates as if the country should take the smears and false accusations as factual and truthful. Worse, he continues as if his performance was something of which he deserves commendation and admiration.

So. Are the Winter Soldiers frauds and liars? Do they support the frauds and lies of John Kerry? Do they commend and admire his Fulbright testimony and his continued claim to speak on their behalf on this matter?

Thusfar, KEITH NOLAN, you have answered in the affirmative. You have not documented the hundreds of thousands of alleged murders (and identified the murderers and accomplices).

The next category of alleged war crimes from Kerry's Fulbright testimony:

Putting aside the claim of hundreds of thousands of murders, let's look at the allegations of the categories of misconduct that are clearly against the customary laws of war.

Kerry's claimed that the following crimes were endemic among the U.S military in South Vietnam:

1. rape
2. cutting off ears
3. cutting of heads
4. electrocuting genitals with live portable telephone wires
5. cutting of limbs
6. blown up bodies

How many such instances, ballpark? Remember, repeating a seondhand or thirdhand or mythical story does not make it an authenticated instance of such severe misconduct. Repeating the names of your books or the books of others, does not provide the basis upon which Kerry, and the Winter Soldiers, could have the claims in 1971. What convinced these testifiers, including Kerry, that these crimes actually occured on the scale and with the full knowledge up the chain of commnd? That this was military policy and troops were trained on such policy?

KEITH NOLAN, thusfar, I think you have said that these were rare incidents, not routine incidents, and that the Winter Soldiers you defend here would disagree with Kerry's testimony.

Please name some such men who have done so in the past or currently. I think silence on this matter will amount to a tacit support of frauds and liars.

Calling the misrepresentation mere "exageration" would not stand up to the first test of plausibility, let alone the rigors of historical research and analysis.

Where's The Beef?

Tom Maguire, thank you for hosting this discussion, again.

Kerry's stories about Cambodia are emblematic, I think, of the role he played in the political defeat of the US in a ware that we had all but won militarily.

It seems some would hope to repeat that debacle in another struggle today.

Lurker

I think it's time to close this thread and continue this topic in a new thread.

KeithNolan

To RLS: I appreciate your post, and I generally agree with you.

I think whatever disagreements I have are relatively minor: for example, though Al Hubbard generally gets credit from the SwiftVets for organizing the Winter Soldier Investigation (since he was indeed a fraud and a liar and can be used to cast a shadow across the entire event), the main organizer was really a former rifle platoon leader named Scott Moore, who was an erudite and level-headed guy who never appears in the SwiftVet literature precisely because he was a real veteran with a reasoned position, and not a bomb-thrower like Al Hubbard, the fake who hated Amerikkka. Scott Moore did not hate America. In fact, I would argue that he was earnest and patriotic, and that he earned his bitterness with the war the hard way.

These are minor quibbles indeed. I would also say that though I think John O'Neill to be a propagandist and a white-washer (or ate least a very one-way dude), I have nothing but respect for his actual combat service. Nor do I have anything but respect for the actual combat service of those 250 SwiftVets who lent their name to John O'Neill's attacks against John Kerry. My understanding is that when Kerry carried the stories of the Winter Soldiers to the Senate, those 250 took those stories as a personal attack even though those stories came not from veterans of their unit but from ex-grunts who had been with the 4th and the Americal and the 1st MarDiv and so on.

I suspect you probably feel the same way. And, why not? You served with the 3d Recon Battalion, 1968-69. I don't think I've ever heard a whisper about your unit being involved in the kind of brutalities described by those ex-grunts at the Winter Soldier Investigation.

I don't think I've ever come across a negative word about the 3d Recon Battalion from any source at any time. Obviously, an excellent unit. Better trained, better led, better motivated than a lot of the units that produced the Winter Soldiers. Were there more than two or three veterans of the 3d Recon Battalion who ever joined the VVAW? I don't think so, and I don't think they joined because they saw bad stuff, but because they had turned politically against the Vietnam War. Which was their right. As it is your right, obviously, not to agree with that political turning, and to offer the opinion that such individuals unwisely lent their support to an organization you feel did much more harm than good.

Anyway, I think I understand why individuals like yourself would have your teeth set on edge when John Kerry broke out the wide brush during his speech to the Senate and basically tarred everyone. As noted, I do indeed think he was too angry, too strident, and too over the top.

On the other hand, I think I can also understand where the Winter Soldiers were coming from. General Westmoreland used some rough tactics, literally scorched-earth at times (see Task Force Oregon, 1967). The results were sometimes ugly, and I can only say that I wish there was some sympathy on the SwiftVet side of the aisle for those grunts who saw some nasty stuff, and unable to process that nasty stuff as the kind of things that happen in all wars (which is how most vets I know who saw nasty stuff have put it behind them), felt the need to unburden themselves at an event like the Winter Soldier Investigation.

As noted, some of those guys went to the Winter Soldiers Investigation with mixed feelings: bothered by what they saw, but queasy about ratting on the very guys with whom they had served in combat.

And very few of those who went to the Winter Soldier Investigation really knew who John Kerry was. They did not elect him as their spokesman. They did not have a hand in how he took their stories and crafted them into his speech to the Senate. I don't think most of them were even really active in the VVAW after the Winter Soldier Investigation--and certainly those who were generally stepped back and away from the VVAW when the Al Hubbard types took control during 1971-72.

Funny thing is that when you sit down and talk to a Winter Soldier, they really just sound like any other Vietnam Veteran: they'll tell you about good leaders and bad, heroes and guys too shook up to be heroes, those among their comrades who turned brutal and those who stayed true to their humanity, etc., etc., etc..

I think this is the big difference between the Winter Soldiers and those others from those units who saw the same nasty stuff but did not join the VVAW: the Winter Soldiers could not process the nasty stuff and come to peace with it, and their compadres could.

Small difference indeed, says I. I know a VVAW guy who still has nightmares about heads he saw chopped from the bodies of dead VC. Another non-VVAW veteran from the same unit, who showed me photographs of the heads being held up, said those headless VC got what they deserved for fighting a war of snipers and boobytraps while hiding behind villagers.

I can understand both points of view. I also understand that discussing these kind of incidents does a disservice to the majority of Vietnam Veterans.

As I've said, I wish the meme against the Winter Soldiers from Nixon, O'Neill, Burkett, Swett, etc., had always been that they saw the worst, not the norm--not that they were a pack of liars and frauds.

If that had been the case, you wouldn't have heard a peep from me. If you ever read my stuff, you'll see that I write in a positive way about the U.S. infantryman in Vietnam. I mostly just use my books as a conduit for guys to tell their own stories about their experiences and their units and their buddies and what they saw and did.

Oh, finally: I post here in case any disinterested observer happens by, looking for answers to this endless debate. Always nice to provide another point of viewer. The issues are really not quite as clean cut as the SwiftVet supporters tend to claim.

I don't think it is possible to get a reasoned debate going at a partisan website like this. In my estimation, you are the only reasonable and rational debater here (with Cecil Turner coming in second) who doesn't try to make the argument personal. (I mean, shoot, you've got PeterUK linking to photographs of me, and making snide comments about personal appearance. What's that all about? Issues decided by how someone looks?)

Except for you (and Cecil Turner, sorta), well, I don't mind throwing a little snark their way. Though they howl and shout, I don't think they have a bit of information one way or the other about the Winter Soldier Investigation.

And please bear this in mind: when Doug Reese showed up here (Doug Reese, a real veteran, and a level-headed guy who never offered a rude word to anyone), they piled on him just as voraciously as they piled on me (who actually was a bit of a smart-ass).

This is a no-win kind of place to be when in the minority. You are the only one with the grace to give a little and try to see other points of view even while offering the argument that the other point of view is wrong.

Anyway, like I said, I'm pretty much in agreement with your point of view anyway.

Thanks,
Keith Nolan

Sara (The Squiggler)

I agree this thread needs to be closed. I'll leave you with one thought ... many have come out in defense of Duke University saying how unfair it is to smear the entire student body or even alumni because of one questionable charge of rape. We are supposed to feel sorry for these LaCrosse players who either lost their season or who have been tarred with the accusation brush.

The same mindset that says we don't dare tarnish all Duke undergrads or the alumni, think it is okay to tar an entire generation of Vietnam vets with people like Bruce Nolan leading the charge.

Cecil Turner

I gave you what you asked for (evidence of Kerry and the Winter Soldiers being supported by those whose service I thought you would respect), and you focus in on grammar. Are you saying that the quote is in error? That General Shoup did NOT stand beside Kerry to offer his "full support"?

Unless I missed it, you didn't quote Shoup, you quoted Nicosia. Pretending otherwise is sloppy. And since I still have no idea what Shoup said, I still can't comment intelligently. Did he say there were no frauds or liars at VVAW? (If so, he was sadly mistaken.) And I'm sorry if you took the "foreword" bit badly, but that's just not a mistake I'd expect a professional writer to make. And as I don't know you from Adam . . .

This conversation has gone so far afield as to no longer have anything to do with the subject at hand.

No kidding. And since you obviously have no wish to discuss the original thread subject (Kerry and the SwiftVets), but merely to complain about various folks' treatment of VVAW and their supporters, I'm at a loss as to why you continue.

I ask this in all sincerity: on what are you really basing your arguments about what happened at the time and places described by the Winter Soldiers?

I'm basing it on Kerry's story having more holes than swiss cheese. What are you basing it on? You talked to some vets? So did I. Unlike you, however, I have some professional expertise to evaluate those stories. And back on subject, what do you think about Runyon's and Zaladonis's claims of the night in the skimmer? How about Kerry's? Don't want to talk about that stuff, do you? Why not? Perhaps because it's obvious they're BS? And dude, your complaints about fitreps are pretty silly, you are the one who claimed it was an important point:

During that duty, he was twice decorated for valor, wounded (superficially) three times, and awarded glowing fitness reports for his leadership and aggressive conduct under fire ("recognized leader among his peers" and all that).
And sorry, though you'd like to limit the discussion to a particular set of witness statements, that's really not the subject. And if you want to leave Kerry's risible nonsense out because it's indefensible, I understand, but I'm not going to let you get away with it.

I thought you said that you had NOT read books like THE MILITARY HALF, BRENNAN'S WAR, THE OFFERING, TRIAL BY FIRE, SON THANG, and FOUR HOURS IN MY LAI--

You might try rereading that bit (I liked Son Thang). I prefer official reports where I can get them, so a My Lai expose doesn't really hold much attraction, and I prefer books on operations to those on atrocities. And I am not sure why it's pertinent. If you'd like to claim more knowledge to make an argument from authority, I'm not going to buy it. Besides, I don't think our view of wartime atrocities is markedly different (except some things you apparently think are, such as Colin Powell's description above, aren't). As there were hundreds of convictions, there certainly had to be at least that many.

I find it puzzling that when given what you wanted from the authors of TIGER FORCE, you dismiss the information as over the top.

Happily, someone at Amazon had pretty much the same reaction I did. I didn't see that "knew in his heart" bit, but that matches my own reading. Too much detail added for color, "descent into the abyss" type stuff that the authors couldn't possibly know. Personally, I think that kind of thing detracts.

Maybe some over the top stuff happened in Vietnam?

Like My Lai? But, back on topic, was Kerry's statement perfectly accurate? And you were all okay with it until John O'Neill's propaganda changed your life? Seems to me that's the main difference of opinion, and me reading a couple more books won't answer.

As I've said, I wish the meme against the Winter Soldiers from Nixon, O'Neill, Burkett, Swett, etc., had always been that they saw the worst, not the norm--not that they were a pack of liars and frauds.

Seeing as how Kerry was very insistent that the opposite was true, I'm having a bit of a hard time seeing your point. Unless you're willing to admit he lied (or misrepresented, mischaracterized . . . take your pick).

KeithNolan

NOLAN TO TURNER: "I ask this in all sincerity: on what are you really basing your arguments about what happened at the time and places described by the Winter Soldiers?"

TURNER TO NOLAN: "I'm basing it on Kerry's story having more holes than swiss cheese. What are you basing it on? You talked to some vets? So did I. Unlike you, however, I have some professional expertise to evaluate those stories."

Okay, NOLAN TO TURNER here in real time: I ask this in all sincerity: which specific stories from the Winter Soldier Investigation raised your professional hackles? Have you ever actually spoken to any Winter Soldiers or those who were with them in those specific units?

As noted, there was one guy who I'd say was a gimme in the liar-or-embellisher category, but lacking evidence either way, I'm not going to name him. When you finish reading their testimony, he'll jump out at you. If you see the first of the two documentaries made about the WSI, he will be even more obvious.

But, more generally, what got your goat from what they said? Which guys would you suggest that I start digging into to find some liars. You point me in the right direction, and believe me, I will dig. I tend to go where the evidence points regarding individual stories from the Vietnam War.

Oh, regarding that negative amazon.com review about TIGER FORCE, I believe the reviewer betrayed a certain bias when he said that the book only covered a small time frame in the history of the Tiger Force, and he was outraged that so good a unit that fought for so many years was being condemned because of what happened during a limited two or three month period. His review sounded like the argument here: yes, bad shit happened, but to focus on that bad shit gives the wrong overall impression.

Agreed, by the way. Just as I agree that Kerry was too hepped-up on rage and bitterness when he spoke to the Senate.

Agreed, agreed, agreed......

By the way, Gen (?), Col (?), LtCol (?) Turner: if you count me as a military ignoramus who shouldn't be sticking his nose in this business, wouldn't about 99% of the people who post at these kind of message boards be disqualified? At the risk of activiating your snark-detecter, I might suggest that I might, maybe, know just a bit more about the U.S. infantry in Vietnam than PeterUK.

And, finally, though this heart of this website is to attack John Kerry, the Winter Soldiers were thrown out by your side as evidence of Kerry's black heart. I jumped in among the piranhas to say, hey, quit dissin' on a bunch of veterans you don't know, and about whom very little real research has been done.

I didn't come here to argue about how many guys were in Kerry's Boston Whaler in December 1969. How would I know? As far as I have followed that bit of Monday Morning Quarterbacking, this seems to be the scenario: a new lieutenant and a rookie crew saw something move in the dark, opened fire, and with the adrenaline flying (this was the first time any had been in this kind of situation) couldn't even say afterwards if anyone was shooting back as the tracers flew and ricochets flashed off the rocks along shore. In the midst of this confusing situation, Kerry got nipped in the forearm, and like any other Brown-Water Sailor would have under similar circumstances, got pinned with a Purple Heart.

And though I will defer to you regarding the hidden meaning of FitReps, the question remains: if Lt (jg) John Kerry was all the things John O'Neill says he was in 1968-69, he should have been drummed out of the Navy (or court-martialled, or fragged, or set adrift in the South China Sea), not decorated for valor and handed a middle-of-the-road FitRep which probably compares favorably with his fellow junior officers.

John O'Neill didn't say, oh, give me a break, John Kerry, you were just one of the guys back then, nothing special, and, shoot, you didn't even do a whole tour with the unit. So where do you get off with all this Reporting for Duty nonsense?

That's not what John O'Neill said. What he said was that Kerry was a coward who fled in the face of battle, an incompetent who put his boat in harm's way, a fraud who faked after-action reports and wounds, a sadist who burnt hootches and slaughtered livestock without orders, and a war-criminal responsible for the death of a child on a sampan.

That's pretty tough stuff. If true, why didn't Hoffman and Elliott hang this swine out to dry when they had their chance?

Keith Nolan

Cecil Turner

But, more generally, what got your goat from what they said?

They? HE! John Kerry. Why do you keep trying to steer this away from Kerry's testimony? And I can't believe you honestly don't understand why it's offensive.

His review sounded like the argument here: yes, bad shit happened, but to focus on that bad shit gives the wrong overall impression.

I think you missed the point. Excessive detail added for color, the worst offenders conveniently dead, and suspiciously akin to previously debunked reports. Believability problems, not a focus issue.

Just as I agree that Kerry was too hepped-up on rage and bitterness when he spoke to the Senate.

You're almost there. Now discuss the accuracy of the word picture he presented. Accurate? Or not? "Not" leaves us in total agreement.

. . . couldn't even say afterwards if anyone was shooting back . . .

Incredible. (As in: not credible.) I have no way of knowing if Schachte was there, but his statement was the only one that made sense on the point.

That's not what John O'Neill said. What he said was that Kerry was a coward who fled in the face of battle, an incompetent . . .

I certainly didn't read it that way. (But I don't have a copy handy, and though I don't recall any "cowardice" accusations, I'm not sure.) Yes, he criticized Kerry's continuing down the Bay Hap, but that was a judgment call under fire. He very pointedly attacked Kerry's integrity, from puffed-up reports to claims of doing things he hadn't. But unfortunately for Kerry, there are some obvious problems with his stories. Personally, I think Unfit for Command is more believable on most of the contentious points (1st and 3rd PH's, Bronze Star, Cambodian Christmas).

Sara (The Squiggler)

... Lt (jg) John Kerry ..., he should have been drummed out of the Navy (or court-martialled, or fragged, or set adrift in the South China Sea), not decorated for valor and handed a middle-of-the-road FitRep which probably compares favorably with his fellow junior officers.

First truthful and intelligent thing you've said in the whole thread. My sentiments exactly. The thing is, since his records have apparently been tampered with? or changed?, for all we know he was drummed out.

JM Hanes

"Now discuss the accuracy of the word picture he presented. Accurate? Or not?"

LOL! Good luck with that. Even this guy's snark sounds scripted.

Where's The Beef?

KEITH NOLAN:

Acknowledging that some crimes had been committed in South Vietnam (as unfortunately happens in most wars) is not the same as claiming, as did Kerry, that rape, mutilation, and electrocution, were the norm in this particular war rather than rare and exceptional and subject to disciplinary actions as per military training and policy.

It appears that you expressly agree on that point.

The storytellers could have taken their accusations up the chain of command as far as it took to right the wrongs. With the support of the Winter Soldiers, Kerry clearly meant that all levels of command were knowingly implicated in widespread criminal behavior.

The military record does not support Kerry's testimony.

In fact, the V.V.A.W. is on record as having discouraged the storytellers from revealing the sort of details that could have aided military investigators. This effectively obstructed military policy.

So please clarify if you are able: What was the Winter Soldiers policy toward cooperation with the military investigators?

And why have none come forward to correct the record as per Kerry's testimony?

* * *

Next, the means by which the US Military conducted warfare which were described by Kerry as illegal.

1. Free fire zones.
2. Aerial bombardment.
3. Use of 50 calibre machine guns.
4. Search and destroy missions.
5. Harrassment and interdiction fire.

That the US Military used these means is not contested by the SwiftVets. However, they have claimed that Kerry wrecklessly mischaracterized how these were actually implemented in US Military policy and applied in training and in the field on a day-to-day basis. While there may have been incidents that went against policy, those were exceptions and far from the norm.

KEITH NOLAN are you prepared to offer documented evidence that the SwiftVet claims against Kerry's testimony on these points are unsubstantiated?

On this category of alleged illegalities, did the Winter Soldiers include themselves in Kerry's claimed support among thousands of veterans -- including many who were wounded or killed in action?

Did any Winter Soldier dissent from the general support of Kerry's testimony on this category of illegalities?

---

The overall point I have been asking you to comment on:

Thusfar this discussion has produced not one instance where Kerry defenders have met the challenge they, and the MSM, have pretended they had won back in August 2004. It would appear that Kerry had merely been amplifying the propagandic claims of the North Vietnamese enemy -- whether as a naive dupe or as a craven fool.

Since this last category of alleged war crimes is often the last retreat for defenders of Kerry's outrageous testimony, we might consider evidence on these points to be critical to the defence of Kerry. It must be this evidence, if nothing else, that had convinced his current defenders that the SwiftVets had made unsubstantiated claims. The merit of this evidence, if it exists, must be such that they imagine it overshadows the false allegations that Kerry told the nation. Can this critical evidence be produced in this discussion?

If not, then, in fairness the Kerry defenders might concede honorably and, then, urge their man Kerry to apologize as best he can.

Where's The Beef?

Calling the misrepresentation *mere* "exageration" would not stand up to the first test of plausibility, let alone the rigors of historical research and analysis.

You said that Kerry's testimony was "too angry, too strident, too over the top" is one thing.

What do you say of the Winter Soldiers who allowed his testimony to stand as THEIR account of the US militalry's actions and policy and training?

Do they not hold great responsibility for the strident, angry, over the top, "exagerations"? Either to support or to correct? Either as individuals or as a group?

The very concern you have expressed regarding the honoring of veterans who went through combat, that very concer, Keith Nolan, ought to be expressed today to correct the "exagerations" that Kerry continues to offer the country as if his part was honorable and truthful.

In sum, the Winter Soldiers are frauds and liars if they do not make a stand with the SwiftVets against the fraud and lies of that Kerry told in THEIR name.

I would hope you would agree on that point even if you might quibble about what parts of Kerry's testimony (and his Q & A) need to be corrected.

What say you?

KeithNolan

What say I? I say that John Kerry doesn't think we should have dropped any bombs on Vietnam, and John O'Neill doesn't think we dropped enough, and that every argument being discussed here stems from that fundamental split..... Good night, KN

kim

What say the dead Cambodians and Vietnamese who perished under Stalinist holocaust after people of Kerry's stripe convinced us to leave?
================================

KeithNolan

Kim, I hate to tell you this, but President Nixon began pulling U.S. combat units out of Vietnam TWO YEARS before John Kerry spoke to the Senate. Any chance of "Victory in Vietnam" ended at that moment. You don't win by retreating. You don't signal resolve to your enemy by retreating.

President Nixon began pulling out U.S. combat units not because "people of Kerry's stripe convinced us to leave," but because many hundreds of thousands of guys with AK-47s and RPGs had worn down the willingness of the American public to continue pouring lives and treasure into what seemed an unending war of attrition in Vietnam.

The writing was already on the wall when Kerry and the VVAW did their thing.

Remember, the VVAW felt like they had failed completely with the Winter Soldier Investigation and Dewey Canyon III: the Nixon Administration changed its foreign policy not a wit based on Kerry's speech, the return of the medals, the talk of war crimes, etc., etc., etc.

When the VVAW essentially fell apart in 1971-72 (that is, when its membership dropped away as the radicals took charge), Nixon's bombing of Indochina was continuing apace.

You think Nixon listened to Kerry? When Nixon decided to unleash the B52s over Hanoi in December 1972, do you think he hesitated even a fraction of a second as he pondered Kerry's speech to the Senate.

How does Kerry end up being responsible for foreign policy decisions made by the Nixon Administration?

Had the American public believed in the Vietnam War, had the ARVN been better led, had Saigon not been such a cesspool of corruption, well, yes, maybe the communist flag would not have gone up over Saigon--but none of these factors have anything to do with Kerry and the VVAW.

Please quit conflating the Cambodian holocaust with communist repression in "reunified" Vietnam after 1975. Saigon ruled with brutality. So too Hanoi, though I'd argue that Hanoi enjoyed the support of its common people more than Hanoi. The Khmer Rouge, on the other hand, were psychotic murderers.

The American ground war in Vietnam (1965-72) was against the VC and NVA, not the Khmer Rouge.

And the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge hated each other. You seem to forget it was the communist Vietnamese who finally crossed the Cambodian border in the late-1970s and knocked the Khmer Rouge out of power.

KN


kim

The AK-47's had not worn down the willingness of the USmilitary to fight the Stalinism behind the holocausts in Vietnam and Cambodia. People like Kerry had worn down the willingness of the people and politicians of the US to fight the Nationalism that also inspired the resistance in Vietnam.

Your historical revisionism will not alter the fact that we should have stopped the Stalinists in Southeast Asia.
=================================

kim

Cute that you distinguish three kinds of Stalinist suppression in Southeast Asia after we left. Which is your favorite? Or do you conflate them all in your admiration?
===============================

KeithNolan

Well, yes, Kim, the willingness of the VC and NVA to die by the millions in their war to reunify Vietnam and drive out the foreigners did indeed wear down the willingness of the U.S. military to fight the war in Southeast Asia.

I've already found myself forced here to haul out all the negative stuff about My Lai, My Khe, Son Thang, etc. Must I now also have to haul out all the negative stuff about the breakdown in morale and discipline in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, circa 1969-72?

If you would, Kim, please outline how President Nixon should have won the war in Vietnam: how was he supposed to rally public support for a confusing war on the other side of the war that the average American did not think was worth the cost, clean house among the corrupt and self-defeating leaders in Saigon, turn the ARVN into Spartans, defeat the VC and NVA (and then defeat them again when they rose from the ashes, as they always seemed to do), etc., etc., etc., etc.?

It's self-evident that democracy is superior to communism, but, you know, sometimes even the good guys bite off more than they can chew. I'd suggest that's what happened to the U.S. in Vietnam.

And why do you keep referring to both a Cambodian holocaust and a Vietnamese holocaust? The communist victors in Vietnam were repressive (their counterparts in Saigon hadn't exactly been nice guys), but the Khmer Rouge were insane murderers who destroyed their own country after winning their war. Hanoi was never as psychotic, self-defeating, or bloody-minded as Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

You seem to think the Killing Fields were in both Vietnam and Cambodia.

Quick question: what are your thoughts on the fact that it was the Vietnamese communists who finally toppled the Khmer Rouge?

KN

Lurker

It was the politicians and MSM that caused Nixon to pull the troops out early. The politicians and MSM took advantage of Kerry's testimony. The fact that Nixon pulled the troops out two years prior to Kerry's testimony proved that Kerry encouraged the politics of this war.

We WERE winning before the politicians and MSM decided to politicize and polarize this war...then we lost it.

Too bad that today's politicians continue to try SO HARD to politicize and polarize the Iraq war and do NOT recognize that the war against Iraq is over. Kerry is playing this game.

Lurker

How does Kerry's action in Kansas City for supporting a resolution to ASSASSINATE six senators simply because they supported the Vietnam War versus those claims of the John O'Neill lies?

My gut feeling is that John O'Neill were repeating statements made by Kerry. My gut feeling was that because of their objectives, John O'Neill HAD to play some propaganda to get the real story out and get more people to understand exactly what Kerry did so many years ago. Remember that John O'Neill got all of those affidavits signed by each and every one of those vets. Why did they sign those affidavits? Because they did not believe Kerry should be our CinC.

Now I see Canadians whining about "Why us?" in spite of their efforts to repeal all anti-terrorism laws.

kim

Are you trying to make the Vietnamese Stalinists good guys because they stomped on the Cambodian Stalinists? They were both evil, and their rule illegitimate. Why do you support them? And why do you support that coward and fraud, John Kerry?
======================================

Cecil Turner

LOL! Good luck with that. Even this guy's snark sounds scripted.

You sure called that one. Now we're apparently going to refight the war, with the victor getting to claim he's on the side of truth and right.

Keith, if you take a little jaunt up to the top of the thread, you'll note the subject is a dispute between Kerry and the SwiftVets over what actually happened in a couple incidents, the veracity of Kerry's later statements, and how it was [mis]represented in the press. It's not really about the quality of his supporting evidence (unless you'd like to try to demonstrate his statements were actually true, which you--wisely--avoid). Since you obviously have no intention of discussing any of that, I'm afraid your contributions fall mostly into the category of sanctimonious pro-Kerry pablum. And despite repeated denials, it's obvious that you have every intention of continuing with verbose tangential moralizing (without ever addressing the topic at hand); and are a die-hard Kerry supporter. At this point, it isn't just Kerry's integrity that's in doubt.

Bob

"And why do you support that coward and fraud, John Kerry?"

Kim, it's because Mr. Nolan has invested too much of his writing career in such nonsense, to admit he was wrong about many of his assumptions. He feels that being a "good listener" qualifies one to be an historian and author. From what I've read about Mr Nolan, he has been writing about Vietnam since he was 17. This may explain a lot. When young people start to early into a career, they can loose precious perspective and insight into just how the "real" world works. Kerry is cut from the same cloth...

I don't doubt Keith's dedication to writing about the War, I just don't think his life experience is broad enough to give him the correct context. As RLS, Cecil, and WTB have stated, having been there gives them the advantage of knowing what is the truth and but is just self glorification. That's why Keith struggles here. He tries desperately to convince us that by speaking with a few good soldiers, that spoke of their horrible experiences, that that is enough to slander other millions of Vets who saw something totally different.

And If he can't see his own bias against O'Neil and the other Swifties, then there is no hope of him opening his mind to what most of us are saying here.

Finally:

"Oh, Bob, give me a break: so I typed unrepresentational instead of nonrepresentational! Sorry!"

I accept your apology. As an engineer, I am far from the right person to correct others spelling and grammar. But I do wonder when people who earn their living writing, make such poor excuses as to the poor quality of their work.... you show us no respect. And I hope the next time you fly in an airplane, all those engineers who designed your plane, didn't have the same attitude about their craft.

lurker

And now we see Somalia under Sharia rule, which means that its women are required to wear Burkas and the non-Muslims are required to pay Dhimmitudes.

The GWOT continues as long as the supporters against Sharia remain around. If Kerry was in the office today, no telling whether this country will fall to Sharia, especially based on his recent "off-the-record" comments in Hollywood. These people do NOT understand why we must fight against terrorism and Sharia.

Sue

1468...

...the number of posts this thread has generated. Do you guys know how long it takes to load 1468 posts on dial-up? Geezakomonda...

...carry on...or should I say...bring it on? ::grin::

lurker

Remembering Reagan

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.


Ronald Reagan


1911-2004"

This is one of the biggest reasons why we're fighting. I personally think that Bush will go down in history to join Reagan, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest presidents for this country.

Doug Reese

"Remember that John O'Neill got all of those affidavits signed by each and every one of those vets. Why did they sign those affidavits?"

He has affidavits signed by 38 people, in case you were thinking that all 254 Swift Boat Veterans for "truth" signed them.

That's close to the number, out of those 254, who actually saw Kerry in Vietnam.

As far as I know, only a few (3-4?) have been made public. If I am wrong, I'm sure someone here will correct me.

If we knew what was in them, we might have a better idea as to why they signed them.

Doug Reese

lurker

I was thinking of those in the photos and film(s) as depicted at the Swift Vets for Truth website. If all but the merry band of brothers in those photos (and films) of 38 signed, then yes, that's what I'm thinking of.

Think the Reagan quote of freedom would be obvious. As supplanted by the Mary Cheney interview with Hugh Hewitt as following question and answer:

"HH: Well, good work on keeping that under wraps. Mary Cheney, you have done two national campaigns, and I love this book, because it is very unguarded. I have read a lot of political memoirs, and you just let this stuff out there. So I'm going to start with a very unguarded question. If...let's eliminate Joe Lieberman...

MC: Okay.

HH: Because I can tell you have some respect for Senator Lieberman, and so did your dad and your mom. But let's talk about John Kerry, John Edwards, and Al Gore. If one of those three had to be president...you've observed all three of them. Which one would you choose?

MC: Oh, man, that is a tough...I'm not even sure how you can make that choice. Can I go back and pick Joe Lieberman?

HH: No, you can't...I knew where you'd go if I gave you all four. But you only get one of those three.

MC: I would probably either not vote or write somebody in.

HH: But it came through you did not care for any of these men on both personal levels and on policy levels. But which one at least could have governed better, do you think?

MC: Quite honestly, the thought of any of those three men having their finger on the nuclear button, being the commander in chief, being the person who's responsible for our military, for keeping this nation safe, quite frankly, is a scary thought on any levels. But I guess we're going to have to pick one...instead of picking one that I would vote for, how about picking the one that is even most scary to me.

HH: Yes.

MC: It would be John Edwards.

HH: I thought that might be what you would say. Now why is that?

MC: Because quite frankly, I was just so unimpressed with him. As I...there's a chapter in my book called The Running Mate, where I talk about...I start off the chapter saying John Kerry should have picked Dick Gephardt as his running mate. John Edwards...what qualifications does John Edwards have to be President of the United States? He was a one-term Senator from North Carolina who had absolutely no record in the U.S. Senate. His hometown newspaper started calling him Senator Gone. I mean, he had no qualifications other than really good hair."

The question is:

"Quite honestly, the thought of any of those three men having their finger on the nuclear button, being the commander in chief, being the person who's responsible for our military, for keeping this nation safe, quite frankly, is a scary thought on any levels."

And, in my opinion, this is why the Swift Vets for Truth came forward with their "your so-called" propaganda. Most, if not all, did not feel comfortable with Kerry having that finger on the nuclear button.

Most of them felt that Kerry will give this country away.

lurker

The Mary Cheney interview can be found at radioblogger.com.

kim

Hey, Doug, how about an affidavit from Kerry? Or Alston?
=======================================

kim

Gephart/Kucinich would have won Missouri and Ohio and not lost a blue state. The fools.
=====================

MayBee

I don't think Kucinich would have won Ohio. He may represent his corner of Ohio, but he doesn't represent Ohio.

But Gephart would have been a great choice. He's a real old-time Democrat's democrat.

Gephart/Lieberman. Sigh.

Cecil Turner

He has affidavits signed by 38 people, in case you were thinking that all 254 Swift Boat Veterans for "truth" signed them.

Dang, what do all those others have to hide? Hey, by the way, how many Winter Soldiers provided sworn affidavits?

kim

Even Lieberman/Gephart.
=================

kim

But, no, they gotta stumble over themselves capitulating to authoritarianism and nihilism.
=====================================

JM Hanes

Doug

"If we knew what was in them, we might have a better idea as to why they signed them."

And if John Kerry had actually released the entirety of his record, instead of maintaining the obvious fiction that he'd already done so thoughout Campaign '04, maybe folks would be more sympathetic to his complaints.

I, for one, have never really cared whether Kerry deserved his medals or not. A guy who insists he deserves a Purple Heart for the kind of "wound" you can get putting up bookshelves, just isn't my idea of Commander in Chief material. You may disagree, but if we were handing out PHs and sending guys home early for nicks & cuts, it's a wonder there was anybody left to serve in country at all, don't you think? At the very least, it hardly compports with the tales Kerry was to tell about the level of vicious brutality demanded of our troops by the Brass.

Kerry rode into office on the backs of painfully damaged anti-war vets, then turned around to make his truncated tour in VietNam the centerpiece of his presidential bid. In a final irony, he has persuaded himself that the SwiftBoat Vets cost him the election. In reality it was but another powerful instance of the emblematic against-it/then-for-it about face that defines the man. I've begun to think those bizarre 4 months comprise the totality of Kerry's real world experience.

So, will the real John Kerry please stand up? Was he lying then or is he lying now? You're here testifying to the heroic. Do you have any atrocities to share? Any ideas on where & when Kerry picked up the personal knowldege he claimed to possess? Does it bother you that the men he served with are obviously implicated? That would include you, wouldn't it?

Where's The Beef

KEITH NOLAN:

"What say I? I say that John Kerry doesn't think we should have dropped any bombs on Vietnam, and John O'Neill doesn't think we dropped enough, and that every argument being discussed here stems from that fundamental split..... Good night, KN"

Rather than permit your contribution here to be squandered as a complete waste of pixels, could you do the readership the courtesy of responding to the substance of what I have spelled-out for you here?

Kerry misrepresented the experiences of those you defend, you said.

1. Have the Winter Soldiers dissented from Kerry's Fulbright testimony? Individuals or as a group? Or do they silently endorse the "exagerations" you have identified?

* * *

You seem to have completely missed the point of Vietnamization which was a success in South Vietnam. The MeKong delata was a great example of the fighting ability and the morale of the South Vietnamese people. Our presence bought them the time they needed to stand firmly against the invaders. But when Congress abandoned material support of that population, the North Vietnamese Communists rolled in.

Many, many, many swifboats carried the "Boat People". We don't know what happened to those left behind who had fought alongside us. But the testimony of the survivors tells us plenty about Kerry's horrible judgement and analysis of what he called "the biggest nothing in history".

You spoke of anger earlier. Imagine the anger of those veterans -- especially Swiftees -- when they connected the dots and realized that Kerry was the guy who "won" a 3-PH jump in record time and that he was the guy who had been slandering them for all this time. That Fulbright testimony brings tears of rage to many hard men's eyes. The role of Kerry was to bullhorn the stories of the Winter Soldiers. If the Winter Soldiers are not in common cause with the Swiftees, then, the explanation you offer is implausible.

Kerry's testimony was fraudulent. Do the Winter Soldiers endorse *that*? If they do, then, they might well fit the label of liars and frauds TODAY, if not (as per your claims) as young messed-up men in 1971.

* * *

I do not presume here to speak for others. However, I doubt I am alone in what I have to say about Kerry and his medals.

When it comes to the medal controversies, I draw a line that is broad and bright. For the Swift Veterans for Truth, Kerry has crossed a line by placing his medals front and center in his campaign. For me, that a person has served -- in combat or not, winning medals or not -- is sufficient. I have taken that view with colleagues, friends and neighbours, and all presidential candidates in all elections. The bizarre Vietnam motif of Kerry's run for the presidency is unprecedented in its brazen exploitation of medals. Still, the controversies do not affect me as deeply as it does the men who served on swift boats.

Had Kerry linked his Cambodia story to medals, I can imagine feeling differently. As it is, his representation of his service, and of the service of his fellows, does matter to me. And his throwing away of medals (ribbons, ribbons and medals, his, or someone else's) was forgivable behavior by a young man (in his mid twenties) at a time of political unrest. I don't condone what he did in that protest. I detest the symbolism. But the behavior itself could be put aside if Kerry had done any number of things to set things right.

He wore his ribbons when addressing the Senate Committee in 1971 and that symbolism was also detestable. I took it personally. And all these years later, my feelings have cooled somewhat but that does not blind me to the facts. Not only were his accusations false and his analysis profoundly flawed, his words had reprecussions that are still felt today in how men and women in uniform are stereotyped. Especially those who served in Vietnam.

So for me, silence on the medal controversies does not mean I condone Kerry's defenders nor his detractors on those issues. I'd rather the Swifties focused on the post-service actions of Kerry. But I also empathize with their argument with him about the medals. This means I have nothing I wish to contribute to the discussion of his actions in getting medals in Vietnam.

Today, especially, we are in a global war in which many volunteers are doing their country proud. Not all of them will come home with medals. Not all of them will come home in one piece. And not all of them will come home. Kerry can set things right in how he represents his service and that of others. He has a long way to go before he convinces me that he has a clue about the people who have served, and do serve, our my country in uniform.

The Winter Soldiers could also set things right in how THEY represent their service and that of others. They, too, have a long way to go.

KEITH NOLAN, if you are still writing about Vietnam and about the Winter Soldiers, please take this exchange between us to heart.

To readers here, I hope this discussion has at least shed a cleansing light on the stain that Kerry's testimony has left on honorable men.

Thanks, again, Tom, for starting this thread and for keeping it open as long as you have.

KeithNolan

You guys brought up the Winter Soldiers, the Cambodian Holocaust, and all manner of issues not directly related to Kerry's actual combat service--then get ticked when I pop in here to discuss the Winter Soldiers and (at Kim's insistence) the Cambodian Holocaust. Suddenly, all that matters is how many guys were in that Boston Whaler with Kerry in December of '68, and if I can't speak to that, then what am I doing here anyway?! Fine. But you guys were sure buzzing about the Winter Soldiers before I got here.

And, sorry that the typos and mangled words inherent in working fast (and I've got to work fast here to try to keep up with all your comments and questions in the quick moments I actually have for this blog) have suddenly become a hot topic. Petty, my friends, just plain petty.

Oh, Major Turner, I see that you've gone from being rude ("crap," "more crap," "dumbass") and informing me that I'm "surprisingly ignorant" to questioning my "integrity."

Yes, I agree: anyone who sees the world differently than you must be afflicted with "integrity" issues. No other possibility exists.

Still, I don't understand your claim to expertise about the Winter Soldier Investigation. You served in the USMC well after the Vietnam War, and were in a night firefight during Operation Desert Storm. You talked to some Vietnam Veterans during your career in the Marine Corps, and you've read A RUMOR OF WAR and FIELDS OF FIRE, and SON THANG, too.

Correct me if I'm wrong (and this question is really for all of you), but you haven't actually done any research into the specific Winter Soldiers, have you? Do you really know anything about the units and time periods discussed by the Winter Soldiers? Might I ask if you've even seen the two documentaries on the subject? Have you actually read all the testimony? (I asked if you had a gut instinct based on your service as to which specific individuals were lying: you ignored the question.)

I count myself lucky, though. Rude, snarky, dismissive, and now insulting you may be, Major Turner, but I apparently never really got your goat. When you're really mad, I discovered when reading your other blog entries to try to determine where you're coming from on all this, you throw down the fact that you were a Marine tactics-and-weapons instructor and offer to "kick the crap" out of people who offend your view of things.

I'm sure you could "kick the crap" out of me, too, if you wanted. Don't make you right, major.

Anyway, too many experts here for me. And not only are you guys experts about things of which you have only second- and third-hand knowledge (Kerry's service in Vietnam), but you are also experts about things which you have never spent one moment researching (the veracity of what was said by the individual Winter Soldiers).

Anyway, I'm not a veteran, I'm not a nice guy, and I don't mind being snarky with people like PeterUK, who you all should be embarrassed to have as an ally. As such, you feel justified in coming on strong with me, to the point of questioning my "integrity."

But, remember, you guys meted out the same shabby treatment to the always-modest, always-polite Doug Reese, who is all that you profess to respect: former officer, decorated combat infantryman, and veteran of an EXTENDED tour in Vietnam.

Anyway, gotta run before the major offers to kick the crap out of me.

KN

Cecil Turner

Oh, Major Turner, I see that you've gone from being rude ("crap," "more crap," "dumbass") and informing me that I'm "surprisingly ignorant" to questioning my "integrity."

Why not explain to me one more time how:

I will offer you no more long-winded explanations, rebuttals, counterarguments, etc.
Or:
I'm not here to support John Kerry.
Because from where I sit, those are absolutely unbelievable. And yes, I'm questioning your integrity.
Further, I don't feel any real need to be excessively polite to people who lie to me.

Still, I don't understand your claim to expertise . . .

Shall we add that to "angry," "neither well-read nor particulary interested," "irrational" and "nutjob"? Why do you feel the need to resort to ad hominem? Can't you make a coherent argument based on actual, you know, facts?

You served in the USMC well after the Vietnam War, and were in a night firefight during Operation Desert Storm.

Heh. Now we see why responding to your transparent information trolling wasn't really warranted, don't we? And of course your readings and interviews makes you vastly more qualified, eh?

Correct me if I'm wrong . . .

Incomplete, of course, but what's new? And no, I don't really want to help you ad hom me some more (I actually am a fair tactician, and boy are you obvious).

Anyway, gotta run before the major offers to kick the crap out of me.

Promises, promises. Sling a few more insults while you're at it, and then whine about the result. Call the Swifties liars a few more times as well, and then profess outrage that anyone could call a vet like Kerry or the Winter Soldiers the same. I find it vastly amusing (and quite reminiscent of your hero). Toodles.

Where's The Beef?

KEITH NOLAN, again, two civil question that you have not directly answered though you've had ample opportunity to expend pixels on a response:

You said that Kerry "exagerated" the experiences of those you defend.

1. By what criteria does exageration become falsehood when an anyone allegates wartime atrocities on the scale and type asserted by Kerry on behalf of the Winter Soldiers?

2. Have the Winter Soldiers dissented from Kerry's Fulbright testimony; either as ndividuals or as a group; in other words, do they endorse the "exagerations" you have identified in Kerry's testimony?

There is honor at stake, as you have promised, and the men you defended here have a voice. Unfortunately, I think, that voice is the bullhorn known as John Kerry.

JM Hanes

You're right Keith, you should avoid arguing with vets. Makes you look green as grass. So does trying to hide behind Doug Reese.

The rate at which you've misstated and misinterpreted the comments here, and then topped up with your own tedious assumptions about allies & groupthink, doesn't inspire much confidence in your powers of discernment where the Winter Soldiers are concerned. Your attempted end run around Kerry's testimony, among other substantive questions posed in this thread didn't go unnoticed either. You can set the terms of your own engagement here, you just don't get to set anybody else's, so please, spare us the violins.

JM Hanes

"you've had ample opportunity to expend pixels on a response"

Nolan seems to prefer time spent rearranging the paragraphs he's already written. Apparently, it's also easier to take offense at perceived rudeness from others than to acknowledge questions like those you've been patiently posing for most of the thread.

RLH

The problem with the Internet is that when the original source is wrong, and that information is quoted by multiple media outlets and then spread over the Internet, it further spreads wrong information.

Case in point, who wrote the after action reports, also known as Market Time spot reports on 13 Mar 1969?

Here is an example:
___________________________________________________________

[For a serious rebuttal to Lipscomb, try here - this looks like a well-researched site debunking the Swiftees. An excerpt (to aid future Googlers):
O'Neill has cited an October 1, 2004 article by Thomas Lipscomb based on the research of Troy Jenkins. [Chicago Sun-Times] This article is a fantasy. It sets out to prove that Kerry wrote the after-action "spot" report on March 13. In reality, however, it demonstrates two things. First, Droz was the officer responsible for the report on February 28. Second, Thurlow was the officer responsible for the report on March 13.
The first part of the argument presented in the article is based on a misreading of the "designators" used in the header of the report:
"... The last "1" indicates someone other than the commander of the mission. If the report had been submitted by the mission commander, in this case Thurlow, according to the operations order, it would have begun with a "C" for commander of the Task Element, and the sender would have been "CTE 194.5.4.4."

Two points need to be made here. First, the missing "C" in the "Market Time Spot Report" line is an error.
Just look at the "FM [From]" line at the top of the report, where it clearly indicates "FM CTE ONE NINE FOUR PT FIVE PT FOUR PT FOUR".

Second, the "/1" at the end of the line indicates "first report." Both of these points are easily demonstrated by looking at any number of these reports from January/February/March 1969. In no case, ever, does the "Market Time Spot Report" line end with "CTE 194.5.4.4"—there is always a "/1" or "/2" at the end. Only very rarely is there a second report, indicated by a "/2"—for examples, see the reports that were filed for Sea Lords missions 326 and 270. [PCF-94_spot_reports.pdf, pp. 11-13, 18-20] [NOTES]
___________________________________________________________


Captain Hoffman put the whole designation of the proper format of a spot report in an order via Order number 201-69.
It states on page C-I-A-2:
___________________________________________________________

“5. Format. The following general format will be used for the MARKET TIME Spot Report:

FM: (Unit or activity making report) (note a.)

CLASSIFICATION (Note a.)
MARKET TIME SPOT REPORT ___/___/___/___ (Note c.)
1. (Originator of report)/all units involved.

Notes:

a. Precedence and classification will depend on urgency, content of the report, and the degree of sensitivity. Use area call sign, or task designation. CSC will transmit unit name on TTY. For special operations involving more than one unit, the OTC will submit combined report.

b. The blanks following the Spot Report on the subject line are the Spot Report Identifiers (SRI). The first blank is the day of the month, the second is the consecutive number of incidents reported by the reporting unit that day, the third is the name of the unit making the report, and the final blank is the SITREP number for that incident with the initial report numbered one. 28/2/WARBLER/3 would be the third SITREP on the second incident reported by the USS WARBLER on the 28th day of the month. _________________________________________

SITREP is short for Situation Report.

The FM in the report really only means the Unit or Activity making the report, and not the originator of the report, as claimed. Whether the missing “C” from the March 13 report was a typo or a transmission error really doesn’t matter. That blank was for the name of the Unit making the report not the person who wrote the report. The fact that all reports in that timeframe in the MARKET TIME SPOT REPORT line end in “/#” is part of the normal format used to designate the situation report number for that incident of that day.

What matters is line 1 in the report. The report from March 13, 1969 states “CTE 194.5.4.4.” That means the person who wrote that report on March 13, 1969 was whoever was designated as CTE for unit 192.5.4.4 on that day.

RLH

Opps, my bad! In my typing of Capt. Hoffman's order, "note b." should read "note c."

Where's The Beef?

On topic, I think:

Winter Soldiers Never Die
http://www.americanprowler.com/dsp_article.asp?art_id=9140

>> It's a surefire bet for frustrated liberal nostalgia. A 1972 war protest film is playing at an artsy theater just blocks from the White House [on Veterans Day]. And not just any antiwar film. It's Winter Soldier, documenting the Winter Soldier Investigation, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War event on which Sen. John Kerry based his infamous 1971 Senate testimony.

[...]

>> The scene was predictable. Like a college "teach-in," the film would display one point of view, then the "experts" [of the post-film panel] would convene, earnestly cluck their tongues about modern failures to learn from the past, practice a little group-think with the audience, and congratulate themselves on their moral superiority. It did not disappoint.

[...]

>> Like the investigation depicted, the purpose of showing Winter Soldier wasn't actually to investigate and prosecute war crimes. It was to show that atrocities are commonplace, part and parcel with war per se. In this telling, war criminals are victims of war, morally equivalent to everyone involved: civilian leaders, military leaders, our troops, and enemy troops.

[...]

>> All wars being equal, attendees hoped that Winter Soldier catalyzes an American retreat from Iraq. "If the Swift Boat attacks during the presidential campaign were a grenade in the culture wars," Sanho Tree said, "this is the H-bomb..."

lurker

Hard to defend John Kerry as the Winter Soldier and the debunking site after this, huh?

Bob

Hey, who left the lights on?

Al Gore is gong to be mad!

bob

you asholes, you think it matters a fuck? you helped sink this guy over some BULLSHIT and let that blundering asshole Bush get in a a result. Look what hes done since. Bankrupt america and waged a fake war based on lies and bullshit and made america a much more dangerous place to be. Great fuckin work, assholes.

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