Comments: Guilt by Association

CY, have you fogotten about all the "studies" that have shown that progressives are smarter, more logical, and just more downright wonderful than we conservatives are? (Okay, with the trivial exceptions of actually giving to charity, and actually freeing people from tyranny, instead of talking about it.)

Just because Taylor tried to slip past you a false logical comparison that would not fool a grade-schooler, don't assume he is ignorant, like he evidently must assume you to be. He is just dissembling, which sadly is just one more thing that liberals are so much better at than we are.

Posted by sherlock at July 7, 2008 01:20 PM

This is fully and squarely McCain's fault. He backed Kerry's anti-SBV4T pushback without any hesitation or thought. Anyone saying bad things about a vet is to be ignored and vilified, even if they are vets themselves... That is one tricky policy. McCain backed Kerry for this moronic and anti-American blather called Senate Colleagality. He was more loyal to a fellow Senator than to the truth or the interests of the nation which, regardless of what one thinks of Kerry's time in uniform, were attacked mendaciously by Kerry and his band of phony vets. Couldn't McCain 'gin up a little anger about that? Apparently not. So McCain deserves a good hard slap for that although Day, of course, does not. Maybe Day can talk sense to McC on Kerry but it seems like that train has sailed. The great mistake in politics of the last fifty years is that Americans at large have allowed the Left to use their good nature against them. This must stop. Kerry is a liar, a traitor and a fraud from top to bottom. This must be said whenever and wherever he rears his empty head. McCain let us down hard in '04 on this. I hope he can see it has brought him to this pass.

Posted by megapotamus at July 7, 2008 05:14 PM

"Anyone saying bad things about a vet is to be ignored and vilified, even if they are vets themselves" - Like Wesley Clark? Hahahahaha. Yeh right.

Posted by DirtCrashr at July 7, 2008 07:08 PM

Oops sorry - McCain's problem is his military sense of honor and loyalty is extended to Kerry (and Obazama), but it is something they have proven is beyond their reach and of which they are unworthy.

Posted by DirtCrashr at July 7, 2008 07:11 PM

A dissenting voice here, if you don't mind.

To begin with, there is no doubt that Bud Day is one of the great military heroes of the Vietnam War.

There is also no doubt that Bud Day's memories of the war are colored through a hard-right perspective. He certainly earned that perspective, but his take-no-prisoners perspective allowed him to put his name behind two falsehoods during the 2004 campaign against John Kerry.

To begin with, Bud Day and the Swift Boaters with which he aligned himself in 2004 charged that the communists used John Kerry's anti-war statements while torturing American POWs in Hanoi. Kerry made his statements in 1971. The torture of American POWs in Hanoi actually stopped after Ho Chi Minh's death in 1969.

Numerous POWs went on the record in 2004 to note that they never heard boo about John Kerry while still being held in Hanoi. Conversely, there were so many anti-war critics with military creds in 1971 (General Shoup, Rep McCloskey, etc.) that Hanoi didn’t even need John Kerry’s words.

More importantly, Bud Day signed a statement claiming that "Kerry cast a long dark shadow over all Vietnam Veterans with his outright perjury before the Senate [in 1971] concerning atrocities in Vietnam. His stories to the Senate committee were absolute lies..fabrications..perjury..fantasies, with NO substance...."

Bud Day is speaking here of the so-called Winter Soldiers who gave testimony in Detroit in 1971 about their service in Vietnam. As soon as the Winter Soldiers opened their mouths, the Nixon Administration accused them of being phony veterans telling lies about a war in which they had never served.

However, despite decades of diggging by various right-wing organizations, not a single Winter Soldier who gave testimony was ever shown to be a fake veteran. Indeed, many have proven their bonafides over the years with discharge papers, letters, diary notes, award citations, photos of themselves in Vietnam, etc.

More to the point, though a few of the Winter Soldiers were probably exaggerating their atrocity stories, many have been born out over the years. In fact, recently declassified CID reports show that Jamie Henry (B/1-35th Infantry, 4th Div, RVN, 1967-68) was telling the absolute truth when he described at the Winter Soldier Investigation the numerous rapes and murders committed by his comrades during the hard days of the 1968 Tet Offensive.

I could name numerous other Winter Soldiers whose testimony has been validated by CID and NIS reports, contemporary news accounts, official histories, etc.

Bud Day is an American Hero, but he is also a highly-politicized figure who has no problem spitting on the service of left-wing veterans with whom he disagrees.

That he threw his wholehearted support behind hucksters like the SBVFT still makes me cringe.

Best,
Keith Nolan (author of RIPCORD, OPERATION BUFFALO, HOUSE TO HOUSE, etc.)

Posted by KeithNolan at July 7, 2008 08:27 PM

When will those who disparage SBVFT ask John Kerry to explain why his Honorable Discharge required "review by a Board of Officers" and approval by the Secretary of the Navy. None of mine did! Les Zavadil, LCDR USN (Ret)

Posted by LesZavadil at July 7, 2008 10:55 PM

LCDR Zavadil, the SBVFT crowd threw a lot of mud about Kerry having received a dishonorable discharge, but never produced a shred of proof.

In fact, I've read more than a few anti-Kerry veterans at anti-Kerry blogs suggest that the whole dishonorable-discharge controversy be dropped precisely because there was no smoking gun to back up all the rumor and innuendo.

I believe the SBVFT actually dropped the issue at their website. It makes you look bad when you hurl a charge that you cannot prove.

In any event, Kerry wasn't the only former combat officer who became an anti-war activist, circa 1970-72. Some of those former combat officers did more than meet with enemy officials in Paris (as did Kerry), but actually conducted "fact-finding" missions to Hanoi, and made public statements decrying the bombing of North Vietnam.

Hell, one of those former combat officers, Barry Romo (Platoon Leader, Americal Division, RVN, 1967-68) was almost blown up by U.S. B52s during Nixon's Christmas '72 bombing of Hanoi.

Am I to believe that all of these combat-officers-turned-anti-war-activists were punished with dishonorable discharges?

Is that really how the U.S. government deals with dissenters?

Of course not. This is a free country.

Anyway, why would Kerry have been singled out for a dishonorable discharge when so many other anti-war veterans were so much more radical and pro-active?

John Kerry isn't exactly my favorite guy (I mean, he's stiff, arrogant, tone deaf, too liberal for my tastes, and talks about Vietnam so much as to be embarrassing), but I know enough about Vietnam to know B.S. when I hear it, and, sorry, but Bud Day and the SBVFT were literally swimming in B.S. back in 2004.

Best,
Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 7, 2008 11:29 PM

Hey there, Sherlock.

Let's review your comment: "John Kerry perjured himself before Congress...."

You are obviously referring to Kerry's statements about war crimes, but: what perjury? The U.S. infantrymen sent to Vietnam found themselves in a frustrating guerrilla war in which those the Americans had come to save were often in league with those they had come to fight. In such an environment, it is invevitable that atrocities took place. See: My Lai, My Khe, Son Thang, etc., etc., etc.

None of Kerry's comments about U.S. war crimes in Vietnam constituted perjery. His statements might have been overheated and one-sided, but were actually accurate as far as they went.

I know, I know, the claim has been made since Kerry opened his mouth in 1971 that all the veterans who spoke to him about war crimes, and on whose accounts he based some of his Senate testimony, were all fakes and liars and blah, blah, blah. Not true. I could cite chapter and verse on those veterans, and which ones whose atrocity stories have been verified, but that would take a lot of verbiage--and I doubt you'd be convinced, or even listen.

You continue: "... Every man in the SBVFT was and is more senior to him, more decorated than him, had more months in combat than him...."

That's just ridiculously untrue. Anyway, most of the guys in the SBVFT didn't even lay eyes on Kerry in Vietnam. Their main gripe was his anti-war activism after he returned to the United States.

You continue: "... and none of them had their picture hanging in a goddam North Vietnamese war museum as a hero...."

Neither does Kerry.

You conclude: "...John Kerry is a piece of shit."

What can I say?! He's not my favorite guy, either, but if you're going to spit on a veteran's Silver Star (as the SBVFT spit on Kerry's), you better have a rock-solid case.... and the SBVFT case was anything but. Hell, just look at what Bill Rood had to say about the Silver Star incident in The Chicago Tribune.

Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 7, 2008 11:44 PM

Neither does Kerry.

When solidly documented and time stamped (by a framing a copy of a local paper in the shot) pictures of said picture exist, to make such a statement completely undercuts anything else you say.

The picture has since been removed from the museum of course, so you can always fall back on that to save face.

Posted by Purple Avenger at July 7, 2008 11:59 PM

Hey there, Purple Avenger. Sure, Kerry once had his photo hanging in a museum in Hanoi--just like lots of U.S. politicians had their photos hung for working to establish diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the United States.

Anyway, I don't care whose portraits the commies hang up in Hanoi.

Hell, given all the anti-war statements made by General David Shoup, who earned the Medal of Honor in WWII, the North Vietnamese might have once hung his picture up for all I know.

Don't know. Don't care. We're Americans. We're free to speak our mind. If repressive governments like Hanoi want to make hay of our rights and freedoms, and select "heroes" among our dissenters, that's their business.

Anyway, care to address the meat of my comments?

Best,
Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 8, 2008 01:15 AM

Let me be more clear regarding that portrait, Purple Avenger. I'm saying that Hanoi hung Kerry's portrait, and that of other U.S. politicians, for their work in establishing diplomatic ties, not as a "hero" of the anti-war movement.... though they certainly could have, had they so chosen.

But, like I said, they could have hung General Shoup's portrait, too, or that of Pete McCloskey (holder of the Navy Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart as a Marine lieutenant in Korea), who (like Shoup) aligned himself with Kerry and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971, and who made anti-war statements almost identical to Kerry's.

Anyway, Kerry got his portrait hung up in Hanoi for diplomatic work, not for his anti-war activism.

Which makes me scratch my head about the intelligence of the commies. Personally, I'd have hung up a portrait of Kerry throwing his medals back next to a portrait of Kerry in his senatorial suit and tie!

Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 8, 2008 01:33 AM

Of course, what Mr. Nolan doesn't see, because of his ideological blinders, is that his very argument is itself confirming the original author's central thesis.

As one of the most famous bloggers would say, "Heh."

Posted by Occam's Razor at July 8, 2008 07:41 AM
LCDR Zavadil, the SBVFT crowd threw a lot of mud about Kerry having received a dishonorable discharge, but never produced a shred of proof.

The shred of proof was available on Kerry's own website.

http://www.nysun.com/national/mystery-surrounds-kerrys-navy-discharge/3107/

To disprove the notion, Kerry would only have had to release his 1978 DD214, and explain why he had a 1978 DD214 and not a 1972 one. Why do you suppose he didn't do that?

Posted by Pablo at July 8, 2008 09:36 AM

"However, despite decades of diggging by various right-wing organizations, not a single Winter Soldier who gave testimony was ever shown to be a fake veteran."

That is not so at all. Look up Al Hubbard, #2 to Kerry. I'm not sure what you mean by "gave testimony", as I recall NO Winter Soldier was ever put onduer oath. I would be interested in that testimony if it exists. As for the allegations of perjury; the reason Kerry testified before Congress, even though he was telling the same tales of electric shocks and ear-takings is that he claimed to have seen all this personally and was willing to testify to particulars. Oops, wrong again. Within the week he had climbed down from that and said the stories were not his but those of others. What atrocity claimed by Kerry that has been confirmed is mysterious to me and I read the book and the contemporaneous rebuttals. I would think if there were an incident of torture/brutality confirmed by evidence and sworn testimony we would have seen that but who knows? Maybe Keith Nolan does since he CLAIMS he does but also that it is too tiresome a chore to declaim it. Kerry is and was a fraud and a traitor. And it was General Vo Ngyuen Giap, Ike to Minh's FDR who said publicly that the war was won in the streets of America, not the paddys of VN and singled out John Kerry for especial notice. Was he lying to, what? Protect Kerry from calmnies?
And of course it goes without saying that anyone doing anything remotely similar in the hellhole Kerry did so much to protect would have suffered a summary fate that would not have allowed that person a long political career. This is what the Fondas, the Kerrys and the Haydens of this nation fought for. Miserable scum they are. As far as the Shoups and others, as far as I know of those events, those people neither lied, nor slandered their own nation or comrades or aided the Commies in prosecuting their war. Kerry... not so much.

Posted by megapotamus at July 8, 2008 12:31 PM

Oops, left out one crucial element; Kerry claimed that all these vicious atrocities being inflicted on random passersby were a matter of policy, carried out routinely and with full knowledge of superiors AT EVERY LEVEL OF COMMAND, as opposed to crimes that were punished severely when discovered. There are still men in prison for crimes committed in VN. That fact is the clay molded into the lie of Kerry's fantasies. This, of course, is the slander that angered the vets so much. What was Kerry's proof? He had none and said so publicly in short order on the Dick Cavett show. Predictably, these sorts of torurous maimings and killings WERE explicitly a tool of statecraft for the Commies. Summary executions and public degredations including torture and rape WERE employed by our adversaries and the notion that it was the US so engaged was the principle thrust of the anti-American propaganda of that day. And this one as well. Some things are evergreen.

Posted by megapotamus at July 8, 2008 12:46 PM

Hey there, Megapotamus. Okay, if interested, I'll try to offer some counterpoints to what I think are your terribily misinformed comments.

To begin with, when I noted that "despite decades of diggging by various right-wing organizations, not a single Winter Soldier who gave testimony was ever shown to be a fake veteran."

You replied, "That is not so at all. Look up Al Hubbard, #2 to Kerry."

Ah, Al Hubbard, the achilles heel of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War--the guy who most definitely lied about his military service, exaggerating his rank, exaggerating the extent of his service in Vietnam, ad naseum.

Al Hubbard was a disgrace, BUT he never made any atrocity claims, and he never gave testimony at the Winter Soldier Investigation.

You continue: "As for the allegations of perjury; the reason Kerry testified before Congress, even though he was telling the same tales of electric shocks and ear-takings[,] is that he claimed to have seen all this personally and was willing to testify to particulars. Oops, wrong again. Within the week he had climbed down from that and said the stories were not his but those of others."

This is where I believe you have been seriously misinformed. At no point did John Kerry ever say that he personally saw any one-on-one atrocities (executed prisoners, ears removed, that sort of stuff); rather, Kerry always said that his unit played too rough in a heavily-populated area (firing H&I missions all over the map, shooting up hamlets from the river without knowing exactly what they were shooting at, burning down hootches, slaughtering livestock, etc.).

Many other Swiftees have noted the same thing, you can find photos of burning villages at different Swiftee websites. That other officers besides Kerry were disturbed by these rough tactics is noted in an official navy history titled BROWN WATER, BLACK BERETS by Tom Cutler.

Kerry was always clear, especially in his Senate testimony, that the more gruesome war crimes he was addressing were described to him by other veterans at the Winter Soldier Investigation.

You, of course, doubt the veracity of the Winter Soldiers (that has been the official GOP line since 1971), and write "What atrocity claimed by Kerry that has been confirmed is mysterious to me and I read the book and the contemporaneous rebuttals. I would think if there were an incident of torture/brutality confirmed by evidence and sworn testimony we would have seen that but who knows? Maybe Keith Nolan does since he CLAIMS he does but also that it is too tiresome a chore to declaim it."

Okay, here goes.

Scott Moore, formerly a platoon leader in the 9th Division, spoke at the Winter Soldier Investigation about fake body counts. In fact, the 9th Division under General Ewell was infamous for fake body counts. (See ABOUT FACE by Colonel Hackworth.)

Robert Kruch, formerly a grunt with the Americal Division, spoke at the Winter Soldier Investigation about a hyper-aggressive battalion commander who ordered his unit not to take prisoners so to boost the body count, and also about a combat refusal that took place near FSB Center, I Corps, RVN, in August 1969. Well, the combat refusal was covered extensively by the press at the time, and I tracked down Kruch's former company commander who confirmed that, yes, their battalion commander was a little nuts, and did, in fact, put out the word that he didn't want prisoners.

Mike McCusker spoke at the Winter Soldier Investigation of a rape-and-murder incident committed by B/1/5 Marines in 1966. That incident was confirmed in the official marine history of court-martials in Vietnam by LtCol Gary Solis, USMC.

Another Winter Soldier spoke of a company commander in the 9th Marines being assassinated (fragged) by his own men in 1969. Again, that murder was confirmed in LtCol Solis's official history.

Then there's Jamie Henry, formerly a Medic with B/1-35th Infantry, 4th Division, RVN, 1967-68. Henry testified at the Winter Soldier Investigation of a long string of rapes and murders committed by Bravo Company, to include the slaughter of a dozen villagers at the behest of a platoon leader while their West Point company commander turned a blind eye.

Henry cooperated fully with the CID, which found other Bravo Company veterans who testified that, one, Henry had been a great medic under fire, and, two, that the massacre of the villagers had indeed taken place.

The CID then swept the whole mess under the rug, just as they had swept under the rug the more infamous Tiger Force atrocities.

Finally, as a researcher/writer with an interest in establishing the veracity of the Winter Soldier Investigation, I began tracking down veterans as of 2004 who might confirm or deny what was said in Detroit in 1971. Numerous veterans provided me old letters and diary entries that confirmed the atrocity tales told by the Winter Soldiers. Some of those same veterans also provided me with old photos of hamlets being burned down, villagers toyed with at gun and bayonet point, prisoners being brutally beaten, and GIs holding up heads hacked from dead Viet Cong.

I could go on and on.

In any event, history might chalk such atrocities up as "isolated incidents"--but confirmation of such incidents makes a lie of the SBVFT claim that Kerry's Winter Soldiers were a pack of frauds.

Regarding the issue of war crimes, you note that the U.S. command made sure they were "punished severely when discovered. There are still men in prison for crimes committed in VN."

Surely, you jest! Men still in prison! Who?! The military pardoned most of those convicted of war crimes within a matter of years. Hell, even infamous Lieutenant Calley just did a couple years of house arrest without ever seeing the inside of Fort Leavenworth.

More to the point, though most unit leaders were upset when they discovered war crimes being committed by stressed-out platoon leaders and grunts, their first instict was to play cover-up, lest court-martials and scandal derail their careers. See: My Lai, My Khe, Son Thang, the Tiger Force, the incident reported by Jamie Henry, the incident behind the book Casualties of War, etc., etc., etc.

As a point of fact, U.S. war crimes in Vietnam pale beside those committed by the ARVN, the ROKs, the VC, and the NVA. Kerry might have been good enough to say as much during his overheated and one-sided testimony to the Senate.... but to pretend that stressed-out American Boys didn't kill their share of innocents in Vietnam, or that their officers were vigiliant about prosecuting the offenders, is to turn history on its head.

Please recall that at certain places and certain times during the war (especially southern I Corps, RVN, 1967-69) it was official policy to burn all hamlets, destroy all rice, and slaughter all livestock in enemy-controlled territory--and to hell with the villagers caught in the middle.

Recall, too, that the U.S. strategy in Vietnam was premised on body count, body count, body count, and the pressure on unit commanders to produce bodies sometimes gave way to a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later attitude.

More later......

Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 8, 2008 01:33 PM

To continue, Megapotamus:

You write, "And it was General Vo Ngyuen Giap, Ike to Minh's FDR who said publicly that the war was won in the streets of America, not the paddys of VN and singled out John Kerry for especial notice. Was he lying to, what? Protect Kerry from calmnies?"

This claim has been floating around the internet for years, but I've never seen an actual source. Personally, I don't believe the quote.

Sure, General Giap probably did praise the anti-war movement for their assistance.... but why would he have singled out Kerry? You guys act like Kerry was the single most important anti-war activist of the Vietnam era, when he was just another voice among hundreds of articulate dissenters.

Again, why single out Kerry? Giap would have been much more impressed with the anti-war statements of General Shoup and Represenative McCloskey, guys much higher up the food chain in terms of military creds and positions in the U.S. government.

In any event, whatever praise Giap might have offered the anti-war movement, he would surely have praised all the more highly the bravery and discipline of his own troops for winning the war, as well as his own (supposed) tactical and stategic brilliance.

You don't think Hanoi was proud of its tough, never-say-die troops? You don't think the NVA were pretty damn good soldiers who loved their country, and would have fought and died for their country whatever was being said by dissenters on the American homefront?

You continue, "As far as the Shoups and others [McCloskey], as far as I know of those events, those people neither lied, nor slandered their own nation or comrades or aided the Commies in prosecuting their war. Kerry... not so much."

Again, you seem to be misinformed. General Shoup (Medal of Honor, WWII) and Represenative McCloskey (Navy Cross, Korea) were vocal supporters of Kerry and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971. Both stood behind the Winter Soldiers as real veterans telling true stories, and McCloskey's comments about U.S. war crimes in Vietnam were just as scathing as Kerry's.

Shoup, McCloskey, and Kerry were all pretty much saying the same thing in 1971.

If you consider Kerry a liar and a traitor, you need to expand your anger to take in Shoup and McCloskey, too.... which would mean you're not only accusing a Silver Star winner of treason, but also the holder of the Medal of Honor, and the holder of the Navy Cross.

Course, I thought we were all Americans, who are allowed to dissent against government policies. You.... not so much.

Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 8, 2008 01:46 PM

Swiftboating: To tell the truth about a democrat candidate, usually by using his or her own words.

Posted by Capitalist Infidel at July 8, 2008 03:01 PM

Back to the point of the post. To describe Jimmy Carter, for instance, only as an anti-Israeli author, would be literally true, but dishonest. I once heard St. Thomas Aquinas described as merely a "medieval philosopher" on Pat Robertson's show - also dishonest.

Not adding a phrase or two to put Bud Day's life in context is no different than the examples above.

Posted by Dan at July 8, 2008 04:56 PM

Mr. Nolan:

I note that you are quite diligent in defending Senator Kerry against attacks regarding his military service. You are to be commended for your tenacity.

However, I have an honest question: Would you also be as diligent in defending Senator McCain against the numerous attacks based on his military service, from Senator Rockefeller's comment about McCain dropping "laser-guided missiles" (despite the fact that laser munitions didn't exist during the Vietnam war) to General Clark's latest attack?

If you are as diligent in defending all service members against attacks on their service record, would you please provide evidence of such defense?

If not, would you please explain why you are so diligent in defending Senator Kerry but not in defending Senator McCain?

I eagerly await your reasoned, polite reply, sir.

Posted by C-C-G at July 8, 2008 06:07 PM

Keith, I have to hand it to you, I learned something there and have been relying on erroneous info for some years. Indeed, Giap did not single out Kerry for special endorsement but rather the media and leftwing groups generally. Does this let Kerry off the hook? Was he not the foremost and most public activist? Were his objections to the effects of the war on the ground and domestically not exactly the same and mendacious on the same points as the NVN line? If one wants to say the war was lost by the US rather than won by NVN, okay. The foremost antagonist to our will to win, and therefore the greatest advocate for Hanoi was Kerry. This was coincidental I guess and he only echoed the Commie line serendipitously. On other points, I protest. First off, Kerry did say in his testimony that these atrocities were pursued as a matter of policy and with the full knowledge all along the chain of command. If that is so why were there prosecutions?
So, you admit Al Hubbard was a fraud though that is tough on your arrogant challenge to point to a fraud in the VVAW. We can dissagree as to whether Kerry was a fraud. That's the one and two guys. The balance... the remainder you are saying were bona fide veterans and had been where and when they claimed? Well, if you are engaged in book research as you say you could perform a real service. The Winter Soldier pamphlet is hard to come by these days. If all these claims are legit, let's see them again in their totality. Kerry was never interested in that during the election nor since. I wonder why?
No one is claiming that NO crimes were committed during that war or any other. Were there coverups? Again, certainly. But what Kerry claimed is that the American presence was NO MORE than a horde of Mongols sweeping in. That these were practices of statecraft like Saddams rape rooms. And from this morass of savages marched, finally, a hero. John Kerry.

In that role, of course, Kerry takes on himself the burdens of counseling our enemies in the field on their best course in dealing with the US. The perpetual Kerry response that he met with "both sides" is the lie that gives it all away. Of course he did NOT meet with any western representative in Paris but with both our antagonists; the NVN and VC. I guess that is "diversity" of a sort.

As for the gentlemen you mention as alternates to Kerry; if they endorsed VVAW on the same "evidence" as Kerry they were fools. I'm not familiar enough with those events or personalities to say more. But many people fell for Kerry's shtick, sadly.

Well, as you say, it is not always productive to attempt persuasion. I have rebuttals to most of the above but, like you, I weary.

But I'll say it one more time. Kerry is a liar a traitor and a coward. He did all an individual could possibly do to end the war in a defeat not for America merely but for masses of people who were foolish enough to ally themselves with us, in opposition to the Communist invasion. Now, it's all over and we're downplaying the Commie angle. We want trade now. Whoops! But that doesn't let Kerry off the hook.

Posted by megapotamus at July 9, 2008 12:24 PM

I find Keith's Nolan's comments to be highly objectionavle because he tells me black is white and that solids and liquids are the same. Such de rigueur lying , for no intelligent person could make such assertions about Kerry or veterans without a repugnant intent.

Kerry served less than four months in Vietnam, a total exceeded by all of his critics.

Kerry left Vietnam because he exploited a loophole stating anyone wounded three times could get a transfer. He did this, explaining his valor in battle. How many others used this route to leave an early tour?

Kerry managed in three months to get three purple hearts, though he spent not one day in hospital. I believe this indicates the nature ad severity of his injuries and the sort of man who would seek a medal for the equivalent of cutting himself while shaving.

As to Mr. Nolan's assertions regarding the Swift Boat veterans not having served with him, in a tank or infantry company I may not served with someone in another platoon but I do work and know his performance. As such Mr. Nolans braying is just that, the craven droning of someone who has neither served nor has any understanding of how the military functions. It seems that most of the people who have been exposed to his impertinent and incoherent caterwauling have made similiar observations about the accuracy and intent of his toxcity.

PoorMr. Nolan cannot bother himself to research Gen. Giap's statements regarding the aid and assistance that people like Kerry and the antiwar crowd provided to Hqanoi. I suggest Mr. Nolan visit the War Museum in Hanoi to see Kerry's picture in a place of honor there. No doubt because of his extreme American patritoism.

Of course the Winter Soldier's weren't frauds, even if they never served in Vietnam nor were capable of anything other than indescriminate lying. When the Swiftboat head was in a debate with one of the lefties, Al Franken on live tv, Franken made similar claims and was shown to be a clueless liar.

Now we all realize you have mountains of evidence to the contrary so do inform us when you collect the million dollar bet made to anyone who could discredit the Swift Boat charges. Which in two years no one has attempted.

We'd all like to ee you a rich man. But it is more likely that like most Leftists we will continue to see if there is a bottom to your inspid lying.

McCloskey was a nutter much like Murtha. To mention Shoup in the same breath as Kerry is an insult to any semi intelligent person who realizes that Shoup never shared nor would stoop to the craven methods of Kerry.

Perhaps Mr. Nolan didn't realize that LBJ won the Navy Cross but this never stopped the left from describing him as a traitor nor does it stop them from describing their betters with these terms today. A medal doesn't provide a shield for subsequent treason nor constitute a free pass for actions against other soldiers, their families and the nation, unless you inhabit the echo chamber that Mr. Nolan does.

Posted by Thomas Jackson at July 9, 2008 01:03 PM

Thomas, the left have been defending those who have committed treason for decades. Remember Alger Hiss? Some are still trying to defend him even after the Venona papers have been declassified. So it doesn't surprise me that the America hating left supports and defends Kerry's lies in front of congress and his treasonous behaviour when he met with the enemy in France

Posted by Capitalist Infidel at July 9, 2008 06:08 PM

TO: CCG
FROM: Keith Nolan

Hey there, CCG. Let me respond to your message as best I can.

You begin: "I note that you are quite diligent in defending Senator Kerry against attacks regarding his military service. You are to be commended for your tenacity."

Well, thanks.... but as much as a raw deal as I think was dealt Kerry by the SBVFT (especially the way they went after his Silver Star, since no one who was on the scene with Kerry that day has ever disputed the award), I think the attacks on those young vets who long ago became Winter Soldiers is a bit more important, and has me a bit more motivated.

I mean, John Kerry is a big boy. He could have, and should have, defended himself better in 2004. Those Winter Soldiers have long ago disbanded, and disappeared into the woodwork of this country, and really had no forum to defend themselves against the charge that they were fakes who never served in Vietnam.

Someone needed to stand up for those guys, and the baseless (and disgusting) charge that young men who had been grunts and medics and squad leaders and platoon leaders in combat were really just a bunch of college kids dressed up in medals and fatigues from the local army surplus store.

You continue: "However, I have an honest question: Would you also be as diligent in defending Senator McCain against the numerous attacks based on his military service, from Senator Rockefeller's comment about McCain dropping 'laser-guided missiles' (despite the fact that laser munitions didn't exist during the Vietnam war) to General Clark's latest attack?"

Like Kerry, McCain is a big boy, and fully capable of defending himself. In any event, the SBVFT came at Kerry like the Incredible Hulk. The critiques of McCain's military service has been the stuff of gnat bites.

It's obvious that John McCain was a great American Hero for his refusal (despite torture) to take the easy way out after getting captured, come home, and hand Hanoi a huge propaganda coup.

Has anyone every seriously questioned McCain's heroism like the well-organized, well-publicized, and highly-successful SBVFT?

I know, there's a nutso figure named Ted Sampley who would have everyone believe that McCain is really the Manchurian Candidate, and I know General Clark questioned McCain's executive experience (though not his actual heroism and service). I'm sure there have been other stones hurled at McCain from various characters here and there (including Bush operatives back in 2000)--but, again, there is no SBVFT-style organization out there, smearing McCain from top to bottom with innuendo, half-truths, and outright twistings of the historical record.

McCain has few real attackers, and plenty of heavy-hitting defenders (like Bud Day); he sure doesn't need my little voice raised in his defense!

Hope that about covers it.

Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 9, 2008 09:12 PM

Keith, why do you call telling the truth about a democrat candidate a "smear?" That's always intrigued me.

Posted by Capitalist Infidel at July 10, 2008 07:14 AM

Mr. Nolan,

A few points with respect to your answer to CCG:

1) The Winter Soldiers as a whole were 'big boys' to speak out...they should be big enough to defend themselves.
2) Kerry failed to defend himself in the most forthright fashion - release his military records.
3) If the Winter Soldiers 'disbanded' and 'faded into the woodwork' why haven't at least SOME of them come forward out of that woodwork?
4) Why do soldiers of any stripe need someone to "stand up" for them if their allegations were/are, in fact, true?
5) 'Has anyone questioned McCain's service like the SBVFT did Kerry?'(paraphrase) Not yet...I expect it's coming.
6) "McCain has few real attackers,..." By your logic, aren't ANY attackers/attacks unjustified?

Posted by Mark at July 10, 2008 12:45 PM

Yeah, "the truth," Capitalist Infidel. That's what the SBVFT was dispensing back in 2004: the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

You know, true stuff about how Kerry didn't deserve his Silver Star (because all he did was shoot a mortally-wounded teenager wearing a loincloth in the back, don'tcha know)... and even more true stuff about how Kerry's compatriots in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (guys like Jamie Henry, Robert Kruch, Scott Moore, Jim Umenhofer, Barry Romo, Mike McCusker, etc., etc., etc.) weren't really Vietnam veterans, and never mind their discharge papers and photos of themselves in Vietnam.

Yeah, the SBVFT was just swimming in "the truth."

Cheers,
Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 10, 2008 04:30 PM

Hey, Mark. Yes, some few former Winter Soldiers (McCusker, Beitzel, Umenhofer, Campbell, Camil, Henry, Bangert, etc.) did emerge from the woodwork in 2004 to defend themselves as real veterans who were telling the truth back in 1971.

Saw Campbell on HARDBALL, and saw an LA TIMES story about Henry.

And that's about it. The MSM had no real interest in 2004 with doing serious investigations into the Winter Soldiers.

The SBVFT laid down the serious charge in 2004 that Kerry knowingly associated himself with fake veterans (the Winter Soldiers) and spread their lies to the U.S. Senate. Of course, the Winter Soldiers weren't fakes (if you've got proof that they were, please let me know), and many of their stories have been verified over the years.... but I really don't remember hearing any of those realities on the news, as the whole issue devolved into a he-said-she-said debate between John Kerry and John O'Neill.

I also know a few Winter Soldiers (Barry Romo, for example), who were so embittered about being called liars and phonies for so many years that they just didn't give a damn anymore.

Want me to send you a photo of Lieutenant Barry Romo standing at attention at a firebase in I Corps, RVN, and being pinned with the Bronze Star by his division commander, General Koster, back in '68?

Would that finally get you to acknowledge that those Winter Soldiers really did serve in Vietnam?

Would that be enough to knock off all the happy B.S. about the Winter Soldiers being fakes?

The easy argument could always have been made by the right-wing that the testimony of the Winter Soldiers (and thank you for your service, young men) involved the worst U.S. conduct in Vietnam, and should be taken in that context.

Instead, the right-wing took the low road, and claimed that guys with medals for valor, and Purple Hearts for wounds, had never served in Vietnam.

Disgusting. That's the kind of B.S. I'd expect out of Michael Moore, not the Grand Old Party.

Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 10, 2008 04:43 PM

Mr. Nolan,

I freely admit I don't really give a damn about the Winter Soldiers, Kerry, or any of the flap surrounding this issue (see reasons why below). I also do not remember those appearances in 2004 though, again, I really don't care about the issue. What I find interesting in your defense of the Winter Soldiers is the vehemence with which you argue.

I never stated I doubted they served in Vietnam or that I was a member of the GOP – so don’t generalize your statements to me. (FYI - I'm a registered Independent and have been except for primaries [more often than not I've registered as a D for those in my state] for the last 20 years.) I am, however, a Conservative and a proud jingoist in the classic senses: limited government, federalism, and "my country right or wrong, my country".

My beef with Sen. Kerry and the rest of the Winter Soldiers is the size of the brush they used to paint their story (you are doing the same with your defense of them - hence my beef with you). AND this is the same problem I have with the MSM wrt explosion dujour and Abu Ghraib coverage in Iraq over the last few years. With that coverage in mind, I seriously doubt your assertion about the MSM ‘not being interested’ in doing serious research into the Winter Soldiers in 2004. I suspect they, the MSM in general, did the research and found more ‘bad’ for 'their narrative' than ‘good’. Knowing that information was out there and the 'other side' would be more than willing to use it took the subject off their menu.

Atrocities in War happen. They happen on both sides. Normally, US atrocities have been multiple orders of magnitude lower than the opponents'. I even accept it is possible that gap was narrowed in Vietnam. That said, a man who calls the US military the equivalent of the Mongol Hordes in their inhumanity has earned my disdain and derision. That goes for the Winter Soldiers as a group. They may well have had gripes, truth, and evidence. However, their method of delivery and choice of spokesmen relegates them to my discard pile – honorable service or no.

You obviously have several axes to grind. Come out with your book and I’ll happily read it.

Posted by Mark at July 10, 2008 05:46 PM

Mark, sorry to hear that you really don't care about the Winter Soldier controversy, and are willing to throw those guys in the discard pile because of their political stance--and who cares if they were bonafide vets telling the truth about things they had seen in Vietnam?

At least, however, you seem willing to accept that, yeah, they might have been for real, and, yeah, given man's inhumanity to man, some of their atrocity stories probably were for real.

That's something at least.

Speaking of books, if you want to know where the Winter Soldiers were coming from back in 1971, I'd suggest reading A RUMOR OF WAR, THE MILITARY HALF, SON THANG, CASUALTIES OF WAR, BRENNAN'S WAR, FOUR HOURS IN MY LAI, COVER UP, THE EDUCATION OF LIEUTENANT KERREY, and the official USMC history of court-martials in Vietnam by LtCol Gary Solis, U.S. Marine Corps.

Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 10, 2008 06:35 PM

Keith,
Atrocities happen, as I've already said. Shall we discuss Kerry's "burning of villages...like Genghis Khan" as defacto military policy in Vietnam? Genghis didn't do much of that...until he didn't get his tribute or the city he was attacking peeved him off sufficiently. Incidentally, he was one of the foremost administrators of an Empire who understood the value of Freedom of Religion and a certain measure of Freedom of Speech. If Kerry would have claimed the US Military presence in Vietnam resembled Genghis' administrative policies, I would have taken that as a compliment. How about one of my heroes of WWII, Gen. Geo. Patton who famously said something along the lines of “I don’t want to see my troops take any prisoners.” We could debate this atrocity angle for the next few millennia and point fingers at each other as we do. I say again, atrocities happen in war – get over it.

I have actually read several of the books you listed, not for the purpose of learning about the Winter Soldiers per se, but to learn about the war my father fought in.

You miss-read the reason I am “willing to throw those guys in the discard pile”. I could care less about their ‘politics’. The true reason is they bad-mouthed their nation and their foremost spokesman did it for PERSONAL GAIN. They had other remedies at hand to deliver their ‘testimony’. They chose poorly in almost every case.

The United States military did not lose the war in Vietnam; the politicians and anti-war schmucks like Kerry, the Winter Soldiers, Jane (I’m not) Fonda, MSM of the time (Walter Cronkite especially) did. The Tet Offensive, militarily, was a disaster for the NVN. However, with the willing participants listed above, it became a HUGE PR win. That is what turned the tide in that war to the Communists’ favor.

The same thing is being done today wrt Iraq. Why has Iraq coverage has dropped to a pittance? Could it be because the tide there has changed in our favor? Could it be that Iraq is now a loser for the Democrats and liberals in general? Is it at all possible our military and our President have succeeded in snatching Victory from the jaws of their desired Defeat (albeit with many missteps in prior years)?

You seem to be reasonable enough to accept the fact the MSM is in the tank for someone or some demographic. We both know who that would be. By all means continue defending a group of men I hold in contempt – not for their message but for their method –, Sen. Kerry in particular.

Posted by Mark at July 10, 2008 08:08 PM

"about how Kerry's compatriots in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (guys like Jamie Henry, Robert Kruch, Scott Moore, Jim Umenhofer, Barry Romo, Mike McCusker, etc., etc., etc.) weren't really Vietnam veterans, and never mind their discharge papers and photos of themselves in Vietnam."

That's a flat out lie, as I'm sure you know. You have now lost all credibility. The way you just smeared 254 highly decorated military veterans is what's disgusting! You're nothing but a fraud.

Posted by Capitalist Infidel at July 10, 2008 08:21 PM

I think, Cap, that you just successfully nailed Mr. Nolan's hide to the wall.

I'm ashamed that I hadn't noticed that particular phrase you caught, as well.

A wonderful catch, my friend. You should feel proud.

Posted by C-C-G at July 10, 2008 08:56 PM

Capitalist Infidel, you lost me. What was a flat-out lie?

What 254 veterans did I smear?

I truly don't know what you're talking about, let alone how you nailed my hide to the wall.

Please explain!

Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 10, 2008 11:46 PM

Okay, Capitalist Infidel, if you aren't up for the challenge of explaining my "flat-out lie" to me, will somebody (ANYBODY!) out there explain what Capitalist Infidel is talking about?

Thanks,
Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 11, 2008 05:33 PM

Keith, being a good capitalist, I'd imagine he is, you know, working.

Not everyone can have the freedom to sit around home all day and post comments on blogs.

Posted by C-C-G at July 11, 2008 05:40 PM

Hey, CCG, since you seconded and applauded CI's charge that he caught me in a "flat-out lie," go ahead and explain the lie, please.

Nice crack, by the way, about how I'm not "working," but instead enjoying "the freedom to sit around home all day and post comments on blogs."

Sometimes people let their snark run away with them, CCG, and say things about people that they would regret if they knew the details.

Cheers,
Keith

Posted by KeithNolan at July 11, 2008 05:52 PM

Actually, Nolan, I didn't say that YOU had that freedom, just that some people do.

Are you affiliated with the Obama campaign? They had the same response after President Bush commented on appeasers, though Obama's name didn't appear at all in that speech.

Methinks someone is a mite overly sensitive.

Posted by C-C-G at July 11, 2008 06:06 PM

Enough with the B.S., CCG. You agreed with CI that I'm a "flat-out liar," and howled about "nailing my hide to the wall."

Please elaborate. In other words, what was my "flat-out lie"?

Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 11, 2008 06:14 PM

Capitalist Infidel and CCG: two days ago, you guys declared victory in this discussion, and ran off whooping about "nailing my hide to the wall."

You guys also called me a "flat-out liar."

You guys also accused me of "smearing" several hundred unnamed veterans.

You've yet to offer any explanations.

Was all that just a bunch of hot air?

Posted by KeithNolan at July 12, 2008 01:11 PM

When will those who disparage SBVFT ask John Kerry to explain why his Honorable Discharge required "review by a Board of Officers" and approval by the Secretary of the Navy. None of mine did! Les Zavadil, LCDR USN (Ret)
posted by LesZavadil at July 7, 2008 10:55 PM

----------------------------------

Really, you're a retired naval officer and you didn't know this?

Navy documents show that in 1978, he received an "honorable discharge certificate" after a board of officers convened and reviewed his record.

Navy officials say today that the board was standard operating procedure at that time for all reservists and does not indicate Mr. Kerry did anything wrong. Washington Times

Posted by skylark at July 13, 2008 02:54 AM

CCG and Capitalist Infidel, it's been THREE days since you guys charged me with lying, smearing veterans, etc.... and you still haven't explained what the heck you're talking about.

Okay, at this point, I'm chalking you guys up as nothing but hot-air balloonists.

Cheers,
Keith Nolan

Posted by KeithNolan at July 13, 2008 04:46 PM