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June 02, 2006

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readingforfun

There isn't a single person who puts Schachte at the scene, no even the skipper of the Swift boat that took them out.

You got a cite for that?


"A potential key witness is Michael Voss, who skippered a swift boat that towed a Boston Whaler to a drop-off point at the time of the incident. But he said yesterday that he didn't remember whether Schachte went on the skimmer.

'I am not certain who was on a skimmer on a certain night 36 years ago,' said Voss, a Massachusetts resident."

Boston Globe


If you really want to know who I would beleive, it would be the man who invented the operation, who always was in the boat during these operations


A man who says he was always in the boat, but who offers no proof. Maybe if Schachte made his own records and journals available, we could find out.


whose call sign Kerry remembered 20 yrs later (the only time used w/ Kerry in that op)


Why wouldn't he? Schachte remembered too. By the way, you know what those call signs were? Batman and Robin. Big boat, little boat, or vice versa depending on whose version you read. Or guy in big boat and guy in little boat, also depending on the telling.

Any idea why two men on the same tiny skimmer needed different call signs?


the man who is backed up by the Skipper (Hibbard) another officer Peck, another officer Brown

Don't know who "officer Brown" is, but neither Hibbard nor Peck were on the mission, and neither can place Schachte on the boat.


I see that someone else has quite ably dealt with the questions of Kerry's ability to conduct a skimmer mission and the EMs' seniority.

(This may be a duplicate, the first seems to be lost in cyberspace.)

eecee

Readingforfun wrote:


However, the truth is more likely that the writer had not been shot at yet and he is projecting his feelings onto the others.

Oh that's rich. No gymnastics involved in that one, lol.


LOL indeed, eecee!


Too funny! You're right, it is more like contortions that gymnastics.

clarice

Tom Maguire

From the Novak column about Schachte:

However, two other former officers interviewed Thursday confirmed that Schachte was the originator of the technique and always was aboard the Boston whaler for these missions.

Grant Hibbard, who as a lieutenant commander was Schachte's superior officer, confirmed that Schachte always went on these skimmer missions and "I don't think he (Kerry) was alone" on his first assignment. Hibbard said he had told Kerry to "forget it" when he asked for a Purple Heart.

Ted Peck, another Swift boat commander, said, "I remember Bill (Schachte) telling me it didn't happen" -- that is, Kerry getting an enemy-inflicted wound. He said it would be "impossible" for Kerry to have been in the skimmer without Schachte.

I would think Hibbard, as commander, counts as a witness to the procedure that Schachte always went on these missions. I suppose it depends on the meaning of "on", but he certainly seems to mean "on the skimmer", not "on the support boat".

Any idea why two men on the same tiny skimmer needed different call signs?

Well, from Novak quoting Schachte:

"I called, 'Hey, John.' He replied, 'Batman.' I was absolutely amazed by his memory." He said they "talked about having lunch" but never did.

So, Kerry added the "let's have lunch" lie!

Anyway, why do we think Kerry had a different call sign - why not believe that he was on "Batman's" boat?

Here is the Globe, with Batman as the skimmer:

Kerry experienced his first intense combat action on Dec. 2, 1968, when he "semi-volunteered for, was semi-drafted" for a risky covert mission in which he essentially was supposed to "flush out" the enemy, using a little Boston Whaler named "Batman." A larger backup craft was called "Robin."

Unfortunately, Robin had engine trouble, and Batman's exit was delayed until the boats could depart in unison. The Batman crew encountered some Viet Cong, engaged in a firefight, and Kerry was slightly wounded on his arm, earning his first Purple Heart on his first day of serious action.

Is there some cite somewhere of anyone calling Kerry either Batman or Robin?

eecee


Readingforfun wrote:

Maybe if Schachte made his own records and journals available, we could find out.


Good point. It was his mission after all. Why doesn't he release his records?

readingforfun

Hibbard changes his stories with the telling; I don't know why he'd be considered a credible witness now. There isn't much reason to dispute whether Schachte actually went on the missions, but Hibbard cannot place him on the boat that night.

Peck has zero credibility in my book. Read his ludicrous account linked over at the Swiftvets site, where he completely changes the date of the mission.

And as pointed out many times, Schachte even neglected to mention the all-important fact that he on the same boat with Kerry as an eyewitness to the "firefight" he described to the Boston Globe in 2003.

Any references to Kerry being Robin? Again, depends on who's doing the telling.

"Unfit for Command," p. 36:

The truth is that at the time of this incident Kerry was an officer in command (OinC) under training, aboard the skimmer using the call sign "Robin" on the operation, with now-Rear Admiral William Schachte using the call sign "Batman," who was also on the skimmer.


Me, I don't know why Kerry would later greet Schachte as "Batman" if he was just talking about a boat. Who knows.

I do know that Schachte could probably clear up a lot if he just provided some records.

As an aside, here's a note someone put at one of your very own threads on the subject, back in 2004. I find it pretty interesting.

1. Kerry was in training for a Swift command, not for skimmer missions (which were Schachte exclusives, and sound like some form of punishment for missing meetings or whatever). The trainer/trainee relationship only implies that Schachte would accompany the mission.

2. The call signs were mission specific, not person specific. Kerry wouldn't have associated either call sign with Schachte, but would have associated 'Batman' (the skimmer) with the mission itself.

Schachte on how the call signs worked: "On the night of December 2-3, we conducted one of these operations, and Lt. (jg) Kerry accompanied me. Our call sign for that operation was 'Batman'."

The only thing that demands that Schachte be aboard the skimmer is an assertion that he was always aboard the skimmer. Never say never, I say. These skimmer missions don't sound too difficult, but maybe a bit more dangerous. Schachte may have decided to sit this one out. "Go for it, kid."

There are no solid premises that require Schachte be aboard the skimmer. Plus, the Corsi/O'Neill version is 'misstated'. Kerry could have recruited Runyon/Zaladonis to tell a fictional version. Schachte on the witness stand: "You can't handle the truth!"

3. Hibbard acquiesced to submitting medical records after receiving "some heat" from superiors (Kerry, no doubt, applied "some heat" to Saigon.) The PH was routinely awarded.

Posted by: ParseThis | September 01, 2004 at 03:53 AM



eecee

Hello Readingforfun.

Great discussion. Personally, I think Eric Rasmussen has it right when he suggests people have been looking for the paperwork for this mission in the wrong place:

PCF-60's Market Time operation that night was coordinated out of the Coastal Surveillance Center (CSC) at Nha Trang. We know that the after-action report would have been handled using protocols established by the commanders at Nha Trang. We also know that Kerry was treated at Cam Ranh Bay ["3 December 1968, U.S. Naval Support Facility Cam Rahn Bay RVN FPO. Shrapnel in left arm above elbow. Shrapnel removed and appl bacitracin dressing. Ret To Duty."]. Beyond those two facts, however, it is not clear what the actual "awards approval process" for a Purple Heart would have been under those circumstances. Presumably the command at Nha Trang would have been involved, since it was operational authority for the mission.

Truth and Unfit For Command

In other words, the paperwork for the mission itself - not just the PH paperwork - may very likely have originated elsewhere. There must be some sort of paperwork, maybe even radio transmission stuff, even if there is no after action report. Just my opinion.

But yeah, Schachte could certainly provide access to his files. After all, he's the one making the claims.



eecee

Hello Readingforfun.

Great discussion. Personally, I think Eric Rasmussen has it right when he suggests people have been looking for the paperwork for this mission in the wrong place:

PCF-60's Market Time operation that night was coordinated out of the Coastal Surveillance Center (CSC) at Nha Trang. We know that the after-action report would have been handled using protocols established by the commanders at Nha Trang. We also know that Kerry was treated at Cam Ranh Bay ["3 December 1968, U.S. Naval Support Facility Cam Rahn Bay RVN FPO. Shrapnel in left arm above elbow. Shrapnel removed and appl bacitracin dressing. Ret To Duty."]. Beyond those two facts, however, it is not clear what the actual "awards approval process" for a Purple Heart would have been under those circumstances. Presumably the command at Nha Trang would have been involved, since it was operational authority for the mission.

Truth and Unfit For Command

In other words, the paperwork for the mission itself - not just the PH paperwork - may very likely originate elsewhere. There must be some sort of paperwork, maybe even radio transmission stuff, even if there is no after action report. Just my opinion.

But yeah, Schachte could certainly provide access to his files. After all, he's the one making the claims.



Cecil Turner

But yeah, Schachte could certainly provide access to his files. After all, he's the one making the claims.

Or Kerry could provide access to his. After all, he's the one running for President.

(Full disclosure: a rare point on which I agree with the pseudonymous Kerry hagiographers--I think Schachte is mistaken on this one.)

PeterUK

Cecil,
What they are looking for is plausible deniability for their boy,isn't it pathetic though,that Kerry is basing his career of four months of his life? seems to be a good indication that he simply rose without trace from then on.

Tom Maguire

Per the extraordinary software support provided by TypePad, I happen to notice that, in addition to sharing views on this Kerry story, ReadingforFun and eecee share an IP address.

Too bad - I thought eecee was doing pretty well on the research side, but the sock-puppetry is deeply off-putting.

Cecil - is it your official editorial position that Schachte is the odd man out in this skimmer? Or is there some other point on which you think he is wrong?

Buddy Larsen

"off-putting", I'll say. Here I've been diligently digesting commentary by someone talking to himself?

Bob

Oh no, not another sock puppet!

AMac

Oh Brother--sock-puppetry? (per Tom Maguire's comment of 7:44 AM, directly above). That's a dishonorable thing to do in a forum like this, if it's being practiced (there are possible explanations, e.g. AOL IPs). Some of us have enough trouble following the issues without intentionally misleading comments.

How about this, ReadingforFun, a quick post where you say, "I am not the same person as eecee."

And the converse challenge for you, eecee.

Otherwise your credibility is zero. Both of you (singular), go away and don't come back.

Bob

Well let's give them a break. They are both Kerry supporters, so there is the chance they are just doing what they've learned from the their master.

Readingforfun could be eecee before she wasn't... or is it the other way around. hmmmmmmm....

richard mcenroe

Related press fraud — Hadith Photo Fraud

Sue

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/06/zaladonis_ex_ma.html#comment-18097625>itsme

About the only thing you need to know about Ted Peck is Kerry removed that story when confronted by Ted Peck that it was him and not Kerry in that after-action report. Does the tax fraud charge take away from that fact? If the answer is no, and it is, Kerry, not Peck, has some explaining to do. And why did Alston suddenly disappear? Again, Kerry not Peck, has some explaining to do.

DaveR

Am I missing something, or is there no real contradiction between Schachte saying he was in command of the mission, and Kerry saying that Schachte was not in the skimmer? It seems pretty clear that the "mission" involved two boats, a larger patrol boat and a smaller skimmer. Schachte, as leader of the mission, was in the larger boat and presumably submitted the after (non)action report. Kerry was with two enlisted men in the smaller boat.

So when Kerry is confronted with the accusation that Schachte says there was no enemy encounter, Kerry says "Schachte was not in that skimmer." Sounds like a way of discrediting someone with a statement that is technically true, but basically misleading - a Kerry speciality, it seems.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Well, maybe ReadingforFun and eecee are Robin and Batgirl, and share the same IP-cave.

At any rate, whatever the gender, eecee deftly avoided commenting on the substance of my post. So how about it. Doesn't the official navy report establish that John O'Neill and Steve Gardener were correct that on the Mekong there were barriers to Kerry taking a Swift Boat into Cambodia?

And, doesn't Kerry's own diary put him on patrol a little north of Sa Dec on Christmas Eve?

Patrick R. Sullivan

All the logic of the situation is on Schachte's side. It makes no sense to put three rookies into a Boston whaler by themselves for a mission they had no knowledge of. And leaving the guy who invented the mission aboard the Swift Boat (which already has a skipper).

It makes no sense to have TWO enginemen with no experience on the mission.

Hibbert discussed the mission with Schachte first and he thinks Schachte was in the skimmer.

And, there appears to be absolutely no evidence for Zaldonis and Runyon's stories.

Other Tom

I do not believe I have heard it asserted by anyone that no M-79 was fired that night. I believe the opposite is true, and that even Kerry has said that his own weapon jammed, so he picked up an M-79 and fired it, striking "some rocks," which I believe one witness described as "nearby." Enemy fire could not have been the cause of the wound, since no explosive round (and perhaps no round at all) was fired by the enemy, and it could not have been bullet shrapnel since nothing struck the Whaler.

It is certainly true that a hand grenade has a more powerful warhead than an M-79 round, but on the other hand an M-79 can reach out to 400 meters, and with great accuracy to 200.

Finally, on the subject of Cambodia, here is what Kerry wrote in his journal concerning his final patrol: "'The banks of the [Rach Giang Thanh River] whistled by as we churned out mile after mile at full speed. On my left were occasional open fields that allowed us a clear view into Cambodia. At some points, the border was only fifty yards away and it then would meander out to several hundred or even as much as a thousand yards away, always making one wonder what lay on the other side.' His curiosity was never satisfied, because this entry was from Kerry's final mission."
From Tour of Duty, as recounted in the WaPo August 24, 2004

Does that sound like a guy who has already been there?

Other Tom

Since it's so much fun, here's some more from Kerry on Cambodia: "'We were told, `Just go up there and do your patrol. Everybody was over there (in Cambodia). Nobody thought twice about it,' Kerry said. One of the missions, which Kerry, at the time, was ordered not to discuss, involved taking CIA operatives into Cambodia to search for enemy enclaves. 'I can remember wondering, `If you're going to go, what happens to you,' Kerry said."
Kerry; John Diamond, AP. June 25, 1992

When is "everyone" going to step forward and confirm being in Cambodia on a Swift boat? Hell, when is one of Kerry's own crew going to confirm it? And when did the "CIA operatives" morph into SEALs?

Brother--this guy is a piece of work.

Other Tom

Sorry, I just can't help myself...

According to Dr. Louis Letson, the MD at Camh Ranh Bay who treated Kerry's wound, the crewmen who accompanied Kerry told the doctor that Kerry had wounded himself with an M-79. Dr. Letson further said that the small piece of shrapnel he removed from Kerry's arm appeared to be an M-79 fragment. So it would appear that the assertion that no witness reported an M-79 being fired that night is erroneous.

Fresh Air

Guys, I think you need to read Schachte's statement:

It's long, but here it is, for your reading comprehension:

http://www.nationalreview.com/document/document200408280010.asp


Purple Heart News
William Schachte speaks.

EDITOR'S NOTE:A new voice has been added to the debate over the circumstances surrounding Sen. John Kerry's first Purple Heart. William Schachte, who was a lieutenant in the Navy during Kerry's Vietnam tour and who later rose to the rank of Rear Admiral has released a statement describing the events of December 2-3, 1968, when Kerry received a minor shrapnel wound for which he was awarded the Purple Heart. What follows is Schachte's statement, in full. --Byron York

Statement of RADM William L. Schachte, Jr. USN (Ret.)
August 27, 2004

As was true of all "Swiftees," I volunteered to serve in Vietnam and was assigned to Coastal Division 14 for a normal tour of duty.

I was a Lieutenant serving as Operations Officer and second in command at Coastal Division 14 when Lieutenant (junior grade) John Kerry reported to us in mid-November, 1968. Lt. (jg) Kerry was an Officer-in-Charge (O-in-C) under training in preparing to be assigned as one of our Swift Boat O-in-C's.

At some point following President Johnson's announcement of the suspension of bombing in North Vietnam in March 1968, we were directed to become more aggressive in seeking to find and destroy or disrupt the enemy in our operating area. As part of this effort, I conceived a new operation that became known as "Skimmer OPS." The concept was simple. A 15-foot Boston Whaler was sent into an area where, based on coordinated intelligence, North Vietnamese cadre and Viet Cong were expected to be meeting or where, for example, concentrations of enemy forces might be involved in the movement of arms or munitions. We were to draw fire and quickly get out of the area. This would allow more concentrated firepower to be brought against the enemy forces we had been able to identify.

These operations were carried out only in "hot" areas and well away from any villages or populated areas. A Swift Boat would tow the skimmer to the general area of operations, and the ambush team would then board the skimmer and proceed to the designated area of operations. The Swift Boat would be riding shotgun and standing off, occasionally out of sight, to provide fire support and long-range communications. The Skimmer was powered by an outboard motor, and we carried an FM radio, handheld flares, an M-60 machine gun with a bipod mount, and an M-16 mounted with a starlight scope. If the night was heavily overcast, we brought an M-14 mounted with an infrared scope. We also carried an M-79 single-shot grenade launcher. In addition to our combat gear and flak jackets, we often carried .38-caliber pistols.

The operation consisted of allowing the skimmer to drift silently along shorelines or riverbanks to look or listen for sounds of enemy activity. If activity was identified, we would open fire with our automatic weapons, and if we received fire, we would depart the area as quickly as possible, leaving it to air support or mortar fire from a Swift Boat standing off at a distance to carry out an attack.

I commanded each of these Skimmer operations up to and including the one on the night in question involving Lt. (jg) Kerry. On each of these operations, I was in the skimmer manning the M-60 machine gun. I took with me one other officer and an enlisted man to operate the outboard motor. I wanted another officer because officers, when not on patrol, were briefed daily on the latest intelligence concerning our sector of operations and were therefore more familiar with the current intelligence. Additionally, at these daily briefings, officers debriefed on their patrol areas after returning to port.

On the night of December 2-3, we conducted one of these operations, and Lt. (jg) Kerry accompanied me. Our call sign for that operation was "Batman." I have no independent recollection of the identity of the enlisted man, who was operating the outboard motor. Sometime during the early morning hours, I thought I detected some movement inland. At the time we were so close to land that we could hear water lapping on the shoreline. I fired a hand-held flare, and upon it bursting and illuminating the surrounding area, I thought I saw movement. I immediately opened fire with my M-60. It jammed after a brief burst. Lt. (jg) Kerry also opened fire with his M-16 on automatic, firing in the direction of my tracers. His weapon also jammed. As I was trying to clear my weapon, I heard the distinctive sound of the M-79 being fired and turned to see Lt. (jg) Kerry holding the M-79 from which he had just launched a round. We received no return fire of any kind nor were there any muzzle flashes from the beach. I directed the outboard motor operator to clear the area.

Upon returning to base, I informed my commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Grant Hibbard, of the events, informing him of the details of the operation and that we had received no enemy fire. I did not file an "after action" report, as one was only required when there was hostile fire. Soon thereafter, Lt. (jg) Kerry requested that he be put in for a Purple Heart as a result of a small piece of shrapnel removed from his arm that he attributed to the just-completed mission. I advised Lt. Cmdr. Hibbard that I could not support the request because there was no hostile fire. The shrapnel must have been a fragment from the M-79 that struck Lt. (jg) Kerry, because he had fired the M-79 too close to our boat. Lt. Cmdr. Hibbard denied Lt. (jg) Kerry's request. Lt. (jg) Kerry detached our division a few days later to be reassigned to another division. I departed Vietnam approximately three weeks later, and Lt. Cmdr. Hibbard followed shortly thereafter. It was not until years later that I was surprised to learn that Lt. (jg) Kerry had been awarded a Purple Heart for this night.

I did not see Lt. (jg) Kerry in person again for almost 20 years. Sometime in 1988, while I was on Capitol Hill, I ran into him in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building. I was at that time a Rear Admiral and in uniform. He was about 20 paces away, waiting to catch the underground subway. In a fairly loud voice I called out to him, "Hey, John." He turned, looked at me, came over and said, "Batman!" We exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes, agreed to have lunch sometime in the future, and parted ways. We have not been together since that day.

In March of this year, I was contacted by one of my former swift boat colleagues concerning Douglas Brinkleyπs book about Senator Kerry, "Tour of Duty." I told him that I had not read it. He faxed me a copy of the pages relating to the action on the night of December 2-3, 1968. I was astonished by Senator Kerryπs rendition of the facts of that night. Notably, Lt. (jg) Kerry had himself in charge of the operation, and I was not mentioned at all. He also claimed that he was wounded by hostile fire.

None of this is accurate. I know, because I was not only in the boat, but I was in command of the mission. He was never more than several feet away from me at anytime during the operation that night. It is inconceivable that any commanding officer would put an officer in training, who had been in country only a couple of weeks, in charge of such an ambush operation. Had there been enemy action that night, there would have been an after action report filed, which I would have been responsible for filing.

I have avoided talking to media about this issue for months. But, because of the recent media attention, I felt I had to step up to recount my personal experiences concerning this incident.

Fresh Air

Okay, notice anything interesting about Zaladonis's job description on the skimmer? Yep. He was manning the motor. This is consistent with his future job, assigned to him a few weeks later. I think we can safely say Zaladonis was there.

Runyon, IMO, is the liar who wasn't on board the skimmer, not Schachte.

Eric Rasmussen

This is a response to Patrick R. Sullivan's comment earlier in this thread. I've recently had some contact with Tom Maguire, who is well-informed and draws conclusions that are honest, detailed, and well-reasoned (which is not to say that I always agree with them). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Sullivan. His reading of the Naval study of the pre-Sea Lords development of Game Warden (up to September 1968, with a short epilogue entitled "The Situation in October 1968") is wishful thinking.

The first item Sullivan quotes is a paragraph from the very end of the study, but he omits the key clause from the second sentence:

"On 18 July, TF 116 assumed the responsibility for ..."

Why does he omit this clause? Because then he would have to admit that TG 116.5 (Upper Delta River Patrol Group, formed in June 1968) was responsible for the area along the border upriver from Tan Chau and Chau Doc. If PCF-44 participated in a patrol with two PBRs from TG 116.5 upriver from Chau Doc, which is what I suggest on my apparently "amusing" site, then there is no question that they would have had access to that area, since it was the PBRs who controlled access to it.

His second quotation is equally dishonest. The quote comes from the epilogue, but by telling us it is on the "next page" he implies that it happened after the July 1968 incident, when in fact it refers to a move that took place in mid-1967. See the last paragraph of p. 30 for the original reference. In June 1968, the Navy restored the PBR presence on the upper Delta. The July incident only reinforced the need for it. Sullivan is wrong to imply the opposite.

Finally, his third use of a quotation is another distortion. "Bernique's Creek," Rach Giang Thanh, is a small river ("rach") that flows along the Cambodian border into the Gulf of Thailand at Ha Tien. It is not the same area as the two rivers ("song") that run north of Chau Doc along the border. TG 116.5 was not responsible for Ha Tien, the Giang Thanh, or the canals the feed into it. Kerry, Wasser, and Zaladonis are all very clear that they were on a river, not a canal.

The 'the canal that ran along the border' that the study refers to is called the Kinh Vinh Te, where "kinh" means canal. It runs west from Chau Doc to Giang Thanh. It's not a river, nor could it ever be mistaken for a river. The location of the first Sea Lords barriers is a reference to one aspect of a multifaceted operation. I could go on and discuss the development of Sea Lords, but I will stop at this point.
My discussion of this, which is based on actual research unlike Sullivan's fantasy, is here.

The Game Warden study is online in three sections, here, here, and here. Keep in mind that it does not address Game Warden during Sea Lords. For that you'll have to look at the Sea Lords study I cite in my entry. You can also learn quite a bit from the monthly historical summaries, which are online:
http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/org10-8.htm [These are also available at Texas Tech]

Please also note that I have not yet read the recent New York Times article carefully. I understand it gives February 12 for the date for the Cambodia mission where Kerry got his lucky hat. All I can say is that Kerry's boat was active at that time, with documented SEAL missions on the 13th and 14th. Interesting to note here is that PCF-94 was paired with PCF-50 for both those missions. PCF-50 is Michael Bernique's boat. Thus, there is a very good chance that Bernique was the OTC for the clandestine mission on the 12th as well. I will discuss this in more detail on my site (within a week or so, maybe sooner), since both spot reports indicate they were operating on Rach Giang Thanh and the Kinh Vinh Te (i.e., "Bernique's Creek"), inserting SEAL teams and picking them up after they were done. Both reports would have been written by Bernique, who would have been CTE 194.5.4.5 (according to Lonsdale's operations order). Read the reports for more details, both of which you will find on my site, here (PDF).

RR Ryan

In response to the question posed at Instapundit: If the boat in question was in fact an eighteen foot Boston Whaler, it's hard to imagine not being able to fit four men in it. We had one of those at our cabin when I was a kid and I'm fairly certain it seated six plus the skipper, along with ice chests, etc. I'm guessing that the military limits the number of occupants to allow for higher speed and better maneuverability, but a reasonably big Mercury on the back will put three or four average people pretty close to airborn.

maryrose

Eric:
You seem sensible to me so I'm going to ask you a question. Do you really think dragging this all up again is a smart idea?
To be truthful with you -nobody cares. Tell Kerry to work on some kind of health care plan or an energy idea that's feasible. You guys are beating a dead horse with this old stuff.

Fresh Air

Amen, maryrose! John Kerry is the sorest loser I've ever seen, though Algore is giving him a close race.

Fresh Air

I'll ask another question of Mr. Rasmussen (if that's really you).

Were you really sitting on the top of the cabin eating a cookie when the mine went off?

PeterUK

""off-putting", I'll say. Here I've been diligently digesting commentary by someone talking to himself?"

Not only that,typing with one hand.

PeterUK

"How about this, ReadingforFun, a quick post where you say, "I am not the same person as eecee."

Perhaps she believes this? Now that is off-putting.

Rick Ballard

Where is the picture of Prince Sihanouk wearing a Santa costume with Lt. Kerry sitting on his lap?

That's the only thing that's going to stop the laughing at 'Seared's apologia pro mendacium sua.

Rick Ballard

Peter,

Obviously, loyalty to Kerry induces either schizophrenia or multiple personality disorders.

PeterUK

"'The banks of the [Rach Giang Thanh River] whistled by as we churned out mile after mile at full speed. On my left were occasional open fields that allowed us a clear view into Cambodia."

Swamping,waterside dwellings,boats,fishermen and a multitude of wildlife.No wonder everyone was shooting at him.

PeterUK

Rick,
I thought every Democrat go two votes?

Cecil Turner

Why does he omit this clause?

Because it was excess verbiage and he was trying to render it into English?

His second quotation is equally dishonest. The quote comes from the epilogue, but by telling us it is on the "next page" he implies that it happened after the July 1968 incident, when in fact it refers to a move that took place in mid-1967.

Oh nonsense. The quote in question: "CTF 116 had earlier deployed PBRs to the upper Mekong and Bassac Rivers and had withdrawn them . . ." clearly does not imply it happened afterward. Might want to try that bit again, cuz you lost me there.

And I think we ought not conflate Mr Rasmussen with Jim Rassmann.

Tom Maguire

Maybe if Schachte made his own records and journals available, we could find out.

I would think that the key records would be unit activity logs and the after-action reports, all of which are available to the public.

Scachte's personnel file might include a fitness evaluation lauding his great work on the skimmer ops and assuring us that he led each mission, but I would be surprised if it included the key detail - does one "oversee" these missions from the skimmer or the Swift boat, or can it vary?

Okay, notice anything interesting about Zaladonis's job description on the skimmer? Yep. He was manning the motor. This is consistent with his future job, assigned to him a few weeks later. I think we can safely say Zaladonis was there.

Runyon, IMO, is the liar who wasn't on board the skimmer, not Schachte.

IIRC, Runyon was also an engineman; per the Zaladonis account, Runyon had the engine and Zaladonis had the M-60.

That makes Zaladonis a better candidate to be voted off the boat.

Odd sidebar- Runyon is identified as having come forward in Feb 2004, before Kerry was drawing any significant flack for his medals; Zaladonis is cited in the same story.

And per the Schachte account, Schachte did not even hear from the Swiftees until March.

SO - were Runyon and Zaladonis cooking up a cover story as a bit of inspired pre-emptive staff work by the Kerry Krew? If the staff was that good, why did the wheels fall off later, when they seemed to know nothing about Kerry's record?

Or (a long-shot) - did some reporter get confused in Feb, ask Zaladonis if he was on the boat with Kerry, hear "yes", and then put Zaladnois on the skimmer instead of PCF-44. Later, Zaladonis decides to ride with it when Kerry is getting heat.

As to "who cares?" - somewhere a historiography PhD candiate is gearing up to tackle this. maybe.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Eric Rassmussen is taking advantage of the good nature of our host. I'm going to demonstrate that he is either dishonest or an extremely poor reader. He states that I've elided a quote, ala MoDo:

'"On 18 July, TF 116 assumed the responsibility for ..."

'Why does he omit this clause? Because then he would have to admit that TG 116.5 (Upper Delta River Patrol Group, formed in June 1968) was responsible for the area along the border upriver from Tan Chau and Chau Doc.'

This is total baloney. I paraphrased what I 'omitted' as:

'...on July 17, 1968 an army patrol "inadvertently crossed the SVN/Cambodia border on the upper Mekong."

'The very next day a program was instituted for 'ensuring that all U.S./Allied shipping would be alerted as it approached the border.'

It is Rassmussen who has the dishonest ellipsis, not I. Here's how it actually reads:

' On 18 July, TF 116 assumed the responsibility for for ensuring that all U.S./Allied shipping would be alerted as it approached the border. U.S. ships were not allowed to pass a point 4 n[autical] miles from the border....'

I've clearly identified the area as being close (4 nautical miles) of the border, so I'm not hiding anything.

And, I'm clearly not making up anything out of whole cloth the way Rassmussen is here:

'If PCF-44 participated in a patrol with two PBRs from TG 116.5 upriver from Chau Doc, which is what I suggest on my apparently "amusing" site...'

Which is why I called it 'amusing'. You invented a patrol that didn't take place. The reality was that, as the navy report stated, nobody was patrolling that far north, because the action was further south. Which is where Kerry was on 12-24-68 near Sa Dec.

Patrick R. Sullivan

I see that Mr Rassmussen is drawing fire from an equally knowledge source as I (aka, someone who reads the English language), so I don't need to deal with the dishonest claim that I've substituted actions from 1968 that took place in 1967, other than to show what preceded the bit about why they'd stopped patrolling the upper delta:

'It was clear by 1968...In March 1968...'

PeterUK

Rick,
I thought every Democrat go two votes?

Cecil Turner

Cecil - is it your official editorial position that Schachte is the odd man out in this skimmer? Or is there some other point on which you think he is wrong?

Hmmm, my recollection was that I thought Schachte's recounting was vague, and thus his memory was likely to be in error. But on re-reading it, I think it was my memory that was in error (and man do I hate when that happens). Never mind.

Other Tom

I'm uncertain what to make of the exchanges between Patrick R. Sullivan and Eric Rasmussen--I can't tell whether either one of them is contending that PCF's in general, or Kerry in particular, ever operated inside Cambodia. Based on my own extensive personal experience, I think it is very highly unlikely that they did so.

I was in Chau Doc with four of my PBR's in May of 1968. The town had been invaded by what was thought to be two battalions of VC coming across the border from Cambodia. We engaged them in the town, and helped the Vietnamese troops in driving them out. We were absolutely forbidden to cross into Cambodia, whether in hot pursuit or otherwise. While the border is very close to the town on the inland side, it takes a jog to the north such that on the river it is several miles upstream. At that time, PBR's were not routinely operating as far upriver as Chau Doc, as there simply was no VC activity there until this raid occurred.


The practice of inserting and extracting SEALs at ambush sites was very routine among the PBR's, and I assume it was the same for the Swifts once they came into the rivers in late 1968 and early 1969 (I left in September 1968). The fact that Kerry has produced a picture of some SEALs aboard his boat tells us absolutely nothing about his Cambodia claims. And what happened to the CIA? By the way, I brought one of those hats home myself, and still have it. I was never in Cambodia.

Patrick R. Sullivan

And, for Rasmussen's third claim: 'Rach Giang Thanh and the Kinh Vinh Te';

they're linked with one another.

In several spot reports from February 69, PCF 94 is on:

"RACH GIANG THAN/KINH VINH TE PATROL"
"MARKET TIME Spot Report..."

And, Other Tom, Rasmussen is peddling the idea that Kerry could have and likely did enter Cambodia in his Swift Boat.

I'm proving that is next to physically impossible using information you can access via Rassmussen's own website.

PeterUK

PatrickR Sullivan,
This episode seems to have taken place in the complete absence of the local population,it is impossible to walk around in the Thrid World without attracting attention,let alone sailing a 50 foot boat up main street.

Other Tom

Anyone familiar with the Swift boats knows that they are the least likely candidate for any clandestine operation--large and loud. In any case, Kerry's own version of the matter has varied so widely in his many tellings that it can't be considered anything but one of his many whoppers. First it was Christmas, then it was February; first it was a "CIA guy," then it was SEALs; first it was running guns to the Khmer Rouge [gotta love that one]; then it was seeking enemy sanctuaries.

Anybody else wonder why not a single person has come forward to confirm Kerry's story, or to tell a similar story of his own? The pregnant absence of any such persons is seared--seared, I tell you!--in my mind.

Doug Reese

Hello Other Tom . . . .

"The practice of inserting and extracting SEALs at ambush sites was very routine among the PBR's, and I assume it was the same for the Swifts once they came into the rivers in late 1968 and early 1969. . "

Yes, it was, when we finally had some Seals in our area -- specifically, our village. That happened in late Feb/early March, 1969.

Kerry and two other Swifts brought some supplies for them, and a big ole' bladder of fuel, along with some lumber for building them their very own little house, Vietnamese-style. It was a joint-venture between the Seebees and the local Vietnamese, who did the thatched-roof.

While the Seals had their own boats (their own weapons, their own this and that . .), the Swifts did insert them on a number of occasions. This wasn't in Cambodia, however, but in the vicinity of our village, which was the southernmost outpost in Vietnam.

Doug Reese

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Anyone familiar with the Swift boats knows that they are the least likely candidate for any clandestine operation--large and loud.'

Exactly, and in Tour of Duty Kerry is quoted as marvelling at how quiet are the small boats that the Seals use when they leave the Swift Boats. It sounds like the PFCs took the Seals near their mission, and they then used their quiet vessels the rest of the way, to gain the element of surprise.

So, even if the Seals had a mission to go into Cambodia in mid-February '69 when the PCF 94 was on Bernique's Creek, it's likely that they would have left the Kerry boat in Vietnam and stealthily entered Cambodia via a canal under their own power.

Leaving John, John and crew still outside Cambodia.

Patrick R. Sullivan

So, Doug, since no one, even among his supporters, will say they went into Cambodia with him, aren't we left with the conclusion that Kerry is lying about this?

Buddy Larsen

It seems pretty clear that the president-to-be and a few others worked out a few corroborating stories at some point. Wouldn't a fly on THAT wall have a story to tell. Crys out for one of those "new journalism" treatments where the author makes up what the actual people "probably" said at this moment or that.

PeterUK

"I Left My Hat "Still Outside Cambodia".
There's a song in there somewhere.

Other Tom

Hello Doug--I've been away for a week, and so missed your response (if any) to my guess that you are the Army officer who was with Kerry (or near him) in the "Silver Star" incident. Concerning the SEALs, the PBR's regularly did the insertions themselves. We were pretty quiet at low speed, and would just nudge up to the bank of the canal and they'd go off the bow. I have no idea why they didn't use any of their own boats on these occasions. One of the scariest moments of my life occurred when I put six SEALs ashore in darkness and they ran into a world of shit a few yards from where they had disembarked. Rounds were flying past our heads and thwapping into the boat, and we couldn't shoot back until all the SEALs got back aboard, at which time the twin .50's made their appearance and we got the hell out of there. One of the SEALs dropped a Stoner light machine gun in the water, which I always thought was a hell of a thing to lose. Didn't see many of those things while I was there, but I thought they were a nifty piece of weaponry.

Doug Reese

Hello Tom -- Yes, I'm one of three Army advisors with the Swifts on Feb 28, 1969.

And as for the Stoners, well, aren't they something? Wow. I had one of the Seals (we had two different teams with us in our village over several months) give me a demonstration one day.

We stood along the Bay Hap River, and from the hip, he fired at the base of a coconut tree across the river. The river is about 150 yards across, and hit hit it, multiple times. I was impressed, to say the least.

He let me have a go, and while I'm not marksman, it was a joy to fire -- really smooth.

Doug Reese

jerry

Facinating news about Bush and Condi on waynemadsenreport.com

It's going to be a long hot summer.

Bob

Oh Peter stop posting all these facts... don't you know this is suppose to be an "emotional" argument. /s

Keep this up and you'll cause another "sock puppet" to appear!

Bob

oooops wrong thread ! Meant to over on the "Bring it on" one....sorry!

Other Tom

Off topic: I just got an e-mail from Marc Ash at Truthout--those fine fellows who reported the May 13 indictment of Karl Rove. Ash says "look, man, the story is true. There are a lot of people who don't want to talk."

Patrick R. Sullivan

I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that Doug Reese didn't answer my question.

Doug Reese

Heaven forbid I should disappoint you, Patrick.

"So, Doug, since no one, even among his supporters, will say they went into Cambodia with him, aren't we left with the conclusion that Kerry is lying about this?"

You would be left with the conclusion that Kerry was lying about this if the Pope told you he went into Cambodia with him, IMHO.

My question to you is -- Do you agree that John O'Neill was lying when he said that Kerry was no closer to Cambodia than Sa Dec/55 miles?

Perhaps he thought that one good lie deserved another.

Doug Reese

Cecil Turner

You would be left with the conclusion that Kerry was lying about this if the Pope told you he went into Cambodia with him, IMHO.

That isn't an answer. And the absolute refusal by Kerry defenders to admit the obvious on this issue severely impacts their collective credibility, IMHO.

boris

no closer to Cambodia

There are many contexts where that might be true even if "never at any time" is inaccurate.

There are no contexts where Kerry's Christmass in Cambodia is true.

Gary Maxwell

You would be left with the conclusion that Kerry was lying about this if the Pope told you he went into Cambodia with him, IMHO.

Well humorous that you combine your conjecture and adhom attack into one here but lets return to the subject. We are not talking about the Pope, we are talking about Kerry. Are you aware of anyone who backs up his Cambodia on Christmas tale? Aware of any written documents that would do so? Are you aware of any Rivers of any significant depth that cross the border into Cambodia close to Sa Dec? Cuz I am to believe there is not a one.

then it would appear that your belief in Kerry is as strong as the Pope belief in... Oh wait we are back to talking about the Pope again. No evidence just faith, and not in a devine being but an extremely mortal one who has been caught in more lies and position changes than a three legged table in a dollar beer saloon.

richard mcenroe

RLS -- "NO officer in training would ever be allowed to command such a mission, let alone with an EM who was newer than Kerrry."

Why not? If we're to believe Kerry's backers, an officer-in-training was permitted (by Kerry) to write his after-action combat reports...

Patrick R. Sullivan

As Cecil and Gary have already pointed out, Doug Reese ducked answering yet again. Undoubtedly because to do so would require admitting that Kerry lied about going into Cambodia.

As to his preposterous attempt to re-phrase of the question to make it about John O'Neill: Kerry himself is claiming now only to have made it 20 miles away from Sa Dec, which is still 35 miles from Cambodia.

From reading the diary entry for 12-24-68--have you bothered to do so, Doug?--it is unlikely he got that far from Sa Dec, but so what, the story was Christmas in Cambodia.

So, for the third time, Doug, without even one person backing him up, isn't Kerry lying about being in Cambodia?

Patrick R. Sullivan

Let's make it easier for Doug Reese; Do you, Doug, believe that John Kerry, at any time from November 1968 through the end of March '69 took a Swift Boat into Cambodia?

Yes, or No.

RLS

So, for the third time, Doug, without even one person backing him up, isn't Kerry lying about being in Cambodia?

Of course he is. I think everyone knows that Kerry is lying about Cambodia. What irks me most about that particular lie is that he made that statement on the floor of the U S Senate in an attempt to influence U S Foreign policy. Typical Kerry. He could not rely on the strength of his position - he had to conjure up a personal anectdote that was anathema to his fellow Senators, invoking the disgraced Nixon, the murdering Khmer Rouge and the barbarian U S Military - conflating all to the Nicaraguan situation.

PeterUK

Yes and a junior officer was allowed to negotiate with the Viet Cong in Paris.

clarice

His dad was in the foreign service and I do think that like him Kerry's always been a resident alien in his native land. I think this out of touch quality and his political tin ear are not unrelated phenomena.

PeterUK

Clarice,if Kerry were a "resident alien" would his career then make sense?

Gary Maxwell

can we shorten that to just alien? then I can give you a resounding yes. Of course Massachusetts must be occupied by aliens. Its the only explanation that seems logical.

Doug Reese

"Well humorous that you combine your conjecture and adhom attack"

Apparently you haven't read some of the replies to my comments. They would make what I said pale in comparison.

Doug Reese

Doug Reese

"Let's make it easier for Doug Reese; Do you, Doug, believe that John Kerry, at any time from November 1968 through the end of March '69 took a Swift Boat into Cambodia?
Yes, or No."

Would that all my questions were answered, much less with a "yes/no".

But . . . if forced between those two choices, my guess (and it's just that, a guess) is yes.

Doug Reese

kim

Hey, Doug, if he released his records maybe you wouldn't have to torture yourself with a guess. Maybe he could be President, too.
===================================

richard mcenroe

Doug — You wasted all that bandwidth on a 'guess?'

Cecil Turner

But . . . if forced between those two choices, my guess (and it's just that, a guess) is yes.

Do you guess Nixon was president at the time, also? (Just trying to gauge how deep the river is.)

richard mcenroe

Jerry — "Facinating news about Bush and Condi on waynemadsenreport.com"

Is Wayne Madsen fucking insane? Just asking.

PeterUK

It is quite amazing how eventful John Kerry's four months in the Jaws of Hell were,more like a movie than reality.Between eating sleeping,"going to the bathroom",having his picture taken,regular trips to the MO for his wounds,the odd night off and routine patrolling,comanding his crew,ship maintainance,checking the guns,,making reports,popping in to give his CO a brief idea what he was doing,washing his shorts,getting his hair cut,shaving and being a war hero,he found time to spend Christmas in Cambodia.

PeterUK

"Do you guess Nixon was president at the time, also? "

Interesting how Kerry guessed that the yet unformed Khmer Rouge would be needing guns.

Doug Reese

"Doug — You wasted all that bandwidth on a 'guess?'"

17 words?

Doug Reese

Patrick R. Sullivan

That's not a guess, Doug. It's a prayer.

Other Tom

It's probably shoving shit against the tide at this point, but nevertheless I will point out that the "17 words" were true when they were spoken, and they remain true today. British intelligence was, indeed, reporting that Saddam had sought to procure uranium in Africa, and British intelligence stands by its report to this day. It's also noteworthy that Joe Wilson's oral report to the CIA on his return from Niger tended to confirm the British report.

Doug Reese

Different 17 words, Other Tom . . . different 17 words.

Doug Reese

Lurker

Thought those were 16 words?

As to whether Kerry did indeed "cross the Cambodia border", too bad that it's a guess. Kerry's answer must be declassified?

eecee

I will have to let reading know he is my puppet.

eecee

TM:

I don't dare send this to you via e-mail lest I find my home address and phone number posted here.

I'm sure that you have also noticed that RFF and I sometimes post from different IPs. Beyond that I won't go. Unlike a few I could mention here - oh well, Sara - I'm not a chatroom nutty who cares to display my or others' personal lives for the benefit of the other nutties.

I had understood you to be a fair and respectful host. My mistake.

Good luck to you.

AMac

eecee wrote:

"...Beyond that I won't go."

How cryptic. Our host noted that eecee and ReadingForFun posted from the same IPs, leading to the possibility that these identities are sock puppets--shills--and, thus, that their dialogue in this thread was staged. Of course, this could be a coincidence, easily explained.

So, asking again (ref. comment of June 03 at 9:26 AM):

How about this, eecee, a quick post where you say, "I am not the same person as ReadingforFun."

That you and RFF declined the invitation the first time around strongly suggests that you are following in the footsteps of John Lott and Michael Hiltzik.

kim

It isn't so much the identical IP addresses, it's the same dreariness of mind.
==================================

kim

Aren't you guys curious what Kerry is hiding in his records? How dreary can you get?
============================

kim

I note eecee is not only keeping track of her own IP addresses, but also that of RFF. Look, if you are two people, you really only count as one.
=============================

PeterUK

eecee,you were having such a good conversation with readingforfun,that you may as well cut out the middle man.

Cecil Turner

I had understood you to be a fair and respectful host. My mistake.

And some of us had mistaken you for a vertebrate. Consider it a learning experience all 'round.

PeterUK

"I don't dare send this to you via e-mail lest I find my home address and phone number posted here."

eecee,think of yourself as Anatarctica,everyone knows it is there,but nobody wants to go.

A former poster

Six Apart (Six Apart) said: 06/05/2006 07:33 AM

I'm afraid this situation is a case of very bad internet etiquette, as you said. Since your IP address is public information – it's available to any site you visit, anyone you instant message with, etc – it's not considered confidential or private. However, if the blog owner posts your personal contact information like your physical address, email address or phone number, then that would be a violation of our Terms of Service and we could have that removed. If this happens, please let me know as soon as possible.

You can see the TypePad Terms of Service at http://www.sixapart.com/typepad_terms, if you're interested.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Sincerely,
Alannis
Six Apart

EECEE 06/05/2006 06:12 AM

Hello -

I have a question about what your terms of service might be with regard to hosts' responsibilty toward posters at their forums.

I just had a host at a forum where I was posting reveal to the entire forum that he had researched my IP address and found it was the same as that of another screen name. (Actually, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't, but that's irrelevant.)

I find this extremely troubling. In fact, I am concerned that he may try to find my personal information.

Could you please explain to me what right of privacy I might expect to have when posting at a Typepad forum? Are your clients required to agree to terms of service that restrict their access to posters' IP addresses?

Or is it simply very, very bad form on this man's part?

Thank you.

PeterUK

Looks like eecee is a third timr loser,

"reveal to the entire forum that he had researched my IP address and found it was the same as that of another screen name. (Actually, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't, but that's irrelevant.)"

It wasn't the multiple personalities eecee/readingforfun - but not for enlightenment, it was the conversations with yourself.

Sue

Or is it simply very, very bad form on this man's part?

ROTFLMAO...I mean seriously, this from someone who used a sock puppet to bolster their argument here.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

AMacKoshi

eecee wrote (8:29 AM):

Six Apart said: 06/05/2006 07:33 AM

I'm afraid this situation is a case of very bad internet etiquette

A bit off topic and a bit off kilter.

AFAIK, the entirety of this situation is that on 06/03/2006 at 07:44 AM, host Tom Maguire commented:

I happen to notice that, in addition to sharing views on this Kerry story, ReadingforFun and eecee share an IP address. Too bad - I thought eecee was doing pretty well on the research side, but the sock-puppetry is deeply off-putting.

Now eecee quotes Alanis of Six Apart as saying that it’s “very bad internet etiquette” of TM to notice the identity of IP numbers from which the comments of two ostensibly-different posters originate. Y’know, the IP numbers supplied as a matter of routine by … Six Apart.

Or is Alanis stating that something else would, hypothetically, be “very bad internet etiquette”?

Your public accusation, eecee, now finish the job--How has Tom Maguire wronged you? With links, please.

And regarding the ever-more-credible charge of sock-puppetry, don’t (once again) forget to type this simple statement: "I eecee, am not the same person as ReadingforFun."

Consult Tim Lambert (re. John Lott) or Patterico (re. Michael Hiltzik) if you’re not familiar with the ethics of shilling.

kim

I got a feeling someone's about to offend the Typepad God. There ain't much formality yet in the Internet Book of Etiquette, but some one better be awful damn careful how they step in them pies.
=====================================

kim

Actually she didn't think she was talking to herself. She mistook the noises for an echo chamber.
===============================

readingforfun

How about this, ReadingforFun, a quick post where you say, "I am not the same person as eecee." AMac


Very well, I am not eecee and eecee is not me. Will that do or are fingerprints required?


You on the other hand sound just like someone who has Tom Maguire's pasty hand stuck firmly up his little terrycloth butt. How about it Maguire? Let's see how many in this stellar crowd share your IP address.

You have been irrevocably outed as one of those sleazoid blogmeisters who spies on the clientele, and no amount of but-but'ing will excuse or explain it. Even the most ethically-challenged bloggers tend to find that DEEPLY OFFPUTTING. Maybe you can create another cyberpersonality, eh? Just make it a little more ethical next time.

To the author(s) of the obscene e-mails, your next effort will go straight to my own provider who I assure you knows how to find your IP address.

Bye.

AMac

readingforfun,

I've never corresponded or spoken with Tom Maguire. If you genuinely suppose that I am his alter ego, email me so we can arrange a time to talk. Provided you're willing to post a civil retraction of the charge afterwards.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame