Thursday, August 05, 2004

In the Navy—Kerry Tales, Part XLII

Candidate Kerry's Navy colleagues have spoken--to devastating effect. A new video created by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth features Navy vets (officers and EMs, apparently all now retired) who were present (though not on the same boat) during Kerry's Vietnam encounters with the enemy. The 30 second ad (mirrored here; script here) casts grave doubts on the Senator's claimed heroics as well as his fitness to command. Some excerpts:
  • Louis Letson [Lt Cmdr, medical officer]: "I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury."

  • Van O'Dell [Gunners Mate 2nd Cl.]: "John Kerry lied to get his bronze star ... I know, I was there, I saw what happened."

  • Jack Chenoweth [Lt J.G.]: "His account of what happened and what actually happened are the difference between night and day."

  • Bob Hildreth [Lt]: "I served with John Kerry . . . John Kerry cannot be trusted."

  • Adrian Lonsdale [Cmdr]: "And he lacks the capacity to lead."

Kerry's response? His campaign (and the DNC) already have threatened to sue TV stations who run the ad--albeit without disputing a single accusation. As Instapundit notes, "[I]f Bush had threatened legal action to block Michael Moore's film from showing, I know what people would say."

The Senator himself claims his values were formed "on that gunboat patrolling the Mekong Delta." These veterans say Kerry's a liar who can't lead. Kerry's reaction suggest he's a hypocrite and dissembler as well. Can America afford such values in the White House? (Via Drudge)


The buzz in town is that the Swiftboat vets ad could be huge. Conservative Polipundit has reconsidered:
Yesterday, I played down the potential significance of the Swift Vets ad. . . But now I'm thinking things over. . . . [T]hose vets are running an unconventional, but savvy campaign, which bypasses the lying liberal media. By making such a shocking ad, they've drawn attention to their cause. And unlike most political campaigns, which climax with harsh advertising, theirs has just begun.
(via Instapundit)

James Lileks discounts debates about Vietnam, but still suggests liberals are clueless:
Revisiting Vietnam in 2004 seems about as useful as debating the Philippines war while the troop ships are sending Doughboys to the trenches in France. We have more pressing issues, I think. The news today noted that the men arrested at the Albany mosque were fingered by some documents found at Al-Ansar sites in Iraq, of all places. Iraq! Imagine that. I would sleep better if I could snort sure, it's a plant and tell myself that it's all made up, it's all a joke, a phony show designed to make us look the other way while a cackling cabal of Masons and Zionists figure out how much arsenic they can put in the water next year. (Arsenic: the fluoride of the left.) But no. I am one of those sad little pinheads who think it's really one war, one foe, with a thousand fronts. And I want us to win.
As I've said before, we need a President committed to win, not quit, the war.

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