June 30, 2008

"Imagine treading water with broken arms and trying to pull the life vest's toggle with your teeth..."

"... as a crowd of North Vietnamese men all swim toward you (there's a film of this, somebody had a home-movie camera and the NV government released it, though it's grainy and McCain's face is hard to see). The crowd pulled him out and just about killed him. Bomber pilots were especially hated, for obvious reasons. McCain got bayoneted in the groin; a soldier broke his shoulder apart with a rifle butt. Plus by this time his right knee was bent 90 degrees to the side, with the bone sticking out. This is all public record. Try to imagine it. He finally got tossed on a jeep and taken only about five blocks to the infamous Hoa Lo prison — a.k.a. the Hanoi Hilton, of much movie fame — where for a week they made him beg for a doctor and finally set a couple of the fractures without anesthetic and let two other fractures and the groin wound (imagine: groin wound) go untreated. Try for a moment to feel this.... He was mostly delirious with pain for weeks, and his weight dropped to 100 pounds, and the other POWs were sure he would die; and then, after he'd hung on like that for several months and his bones had mostly knitted and he could sort of stand up, the prison people came and brought him to the commandant's office and closed the door and out of nowhere offered to let him go. They said he could just... leave.... Try to imagine it was you. Imagine how loudly your most basic, primal self-interest would cry out to you at that moment, and all the ways you could rationalize accepting the offer...."

Wrote David Foster Wallace in the essay "Up, Simba" — in this collection and as a separate book under the title "McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope."

82 comments:

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And "we" are whining about a little waterboarding. Perspective.

I bet Jane Fonda never gets an invitation to the White House if McCain is elected.

TMink said...

Wow. I did not know the details of his capture. That is horrific. And he turned down the chance to leave when he was offered it because it was preferential treatment and he would not bag his fellow soldiers.

Damn. That man is a hero in the true sense of the word.

I wish I agreed with his policies enough to vote for him, but I certainly admire him. I have no delusions that I am that tough or principled.

Trey

Gavin Sullivan said...

Seems a fair time to recall that many Vietnamese victims of US war crimes, in 'Nam, received far worse treatment than did McCain.

MadisonMan said...

Another surrogate talking. There should be a blog somewhere that only quotes the candidates. None of this surrogate stuff.

DBQ, yes what a shame about the whining. We should all allow everyone to be as brutal as the North Vietnamese! There's a standard to strive for.

downtownlad said...

McCain recorded enemy propaganda during the war. He's not a hero. He caved into the enemy and sided with them. That's why they let him go. There is ample evidence that he is a Manchurian candidate who is going to work for the enemy if he becomes President. He was clearly brainwashed.

He's not a hero. He's a traitor.

downtownlad said...

Isn't Swiftboating fun.

TMink said...

Swiftboating is telling the inconvienent truth.

You are just lying.

Trey

Beth said...

And "we" are whining about a little waterboarding. Perspective.

Yeah, we sure could learn from the North Vietnamese. They're some great role models for the shining city on a hill.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"DBQ, yes what a shame about the whining. We should all allow everyone to be as brutal as the North Vietnamese! There's a standard to strive for"

Perspective is something that you obviously lack. There is no comparison between the torture that left McCain scared for life and unable to move without pain and waterboarding which is scary and uncomfortable but isn't permanently debilitating. I don't advocate using such methods as a routine procedure, but when it comes to getting vital information that will save the lives of our "own" soldiers and citizens, I have no problemo with waterboarding.

When the rubber hits the road, I want to be on the side of survival and not lay down like a sniveling weenie and let the enemy truck run over me. You might want to do that, but I don't.

Roger J. said...

OMG--
Now DTL trots his crap out because he needs the attention and presumably revels in the hatred he seeks to engender. You, Gavin, as one of Althouses' assigned Obamabots, trots out the winter soldier stuff! Dude--that isnt a low blow; thats just plain stupid.

downtownlad said...

Actually Tmink - everything the swift boat veterans for lying has been proven to be exactly that - one big massive, slanderous lie.

Care to point out where I'm lying? FACT - John McCain recorded propaganda for the enemy Viet Cong. He's an anti-American traitor. How many American soldiers died because of John McCain's treasonous actions? A bunch I bet.

downtownlad said...

Some people can't handle the truth.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=cda_1204289488

McCain is exposed as a fraud and war hero pretender.

Col. David Hackworth is a true military hero who won an amazing 78 combat awards in Korea and Vietnam. They include 2 Distinguished Service Crosses, 10 Silver Stars, 4 Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, 9 Bronze Stars, 8 Purple Hearts and much more. This is what he wrote about McCain before his death in 2005.

John McCain is being hailed by the press as a "genuine war hero." But is he a war hero in the conventional sense like Audie Murphy and John Glenn? Or is his "war hero" status the creation of a very slick publicity campaign that plays on flag, duty, honor and country?

For sure, McCain has the fruitsalad: a Silver Star, a Legion of Merit for Valor, a Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Stars, two Commendation medals plus two Purple Hearts and a dozen service gongs.

On a purely medal count basis, he outweighs Murphy and Glenn, who both for years repeatedly performed extraordinary deeds on the ground or in the air against an armed enemy.

McCain's valor awards are based on what happened in 1967, when during his 23d mission over Vietnam, he was shot down, seriously injured, captured and then spent 5 1/2 brutal years as a POW.

In an attempt to find out exactly what the man did to earn these many hero awards, I asked his Senate office three times to provide copies of the narratives for each medal. I'm still waiting.

I next went to the Pentagon. Within a week, I received a recap of his medals and many of the narratives that give the details of what he did.

None of the awards, less the DFC, were for heroism over the battlefield where he spent no more than 20 hours. Two Naval officers described the awards as "boilerplate" and "part of an SOP medal package given to repatriated (Vietnam era) POWs."

McCain's Silver Star narrative for the period 27 October 1967 the day after he was shot down to 8 December 1968 reads: "His captors� subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly towards the eventual abandonment�" of such harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese.

Yet in McCain's own words just four days after being captured, he admits he violated the U.S. Code of Conduct by telling his captors "O.K, I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital."

A Vietnam vet detractor says, "He received the nation's third highest award, the Silver Star, for treason. He provided aid and comfort to the enemy."

The rest of his valor awards issued automatically every year while he was a POW read much like the Silver Star. More boilerplate often repeating the exact same words. An example: "By his heroic endeavors, exceptional skill, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces."

Yet McCain's conduct while a POW negates these glowing comments. The facts are that he signed a confession and declared himself a "black criminal who performed deeds of an air pirate." This statement and other interviews he gave to the Communist press press were used as propaganda to fan the flames of the antiwar movement.

Accounts by McCain and other writers tell of the horror he endured: relentlessly beatings, torture, broken limbs. All inflicted during savage interrogations. Yet no other POW was a witness to these accounts.

A former POW says "No man witnessed another man during interrogations� We relied on each other to tell the truth when a man was returned to his cell."

The U.S. Navy says two eyewitnesses are required for any award of heroism. But for the valor awards McCain received, there are no eyewitnesses, less himself and his captors. And they're not talking.

Our POWs in Vietnam were treated appallingly. The Viets would either break a POW or kill him. POWs provided info beyond name, rank and serial number or they didn't come back.

Based on these stalwart men's horrific experiences, the Code of Conduct has been changed. A POW says, "Now the training is to give them something� don't risk permanent damage to health, mind or body."

McCain refused an early release. An act of valor? Three former POWs told me he was ordered to turn it down by his U.S. POW commander and he "just followed orders."

McCain certainly doesn't appear to be a war hero by conventional standards, but rather a tough survivor whose handlers are overplaying the war hero card.

downtownlad said...

Why won't McCain release his Navy records? What is he hiding? Obviously he must by LYING about his record or he'd release them.

downtownlad said...

Isn't Swiftboating fun.

downtownlad said...

And no - I don't really believe what I've written above. But isn't it OH SO EASY to slander a guy's character.

But only assholes do that for real. Assholes like Tmink who dishonors and mocks the service that heroes like John Kerry gave to this country.

If you want the truth about the Swift Boat lies - just read the wikipedia article which is fully documented.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swift_Boat_Veterans_for_Truth

Michael_H said...

DTL-Sorry about your small brain and even smaller penis.

Now go have Kool-Aid with the other children and whoop whoop about how really smart you are.

Wanker.

I doubt you'd understand courage.

downtownlad said...

Who knew michael_h was so interested in penises.

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

McCain certainly doesn't appear to be a war hero by conventional standards, but rather a tough survivor whose handlers are overplaying the war hero card.

All the POWs who suffered through hell and refused to abandon their country are war heroes. The Communists attempted to use McCain as a propaganda tool because his father was CINC. They offered McCain freedom. He refused and suffered torture instead. Most men would have relented.

Synova said...

Gavin, you're wrong.

The argument of "hey, we did worse" even if it were true, is wrong and damaging in a variety of ways. First, it inhibits any sort of moral judgment because it *excuses* on the basis of something happening more than once! Without moral judgment we don't and can't strive to be better.

Because your argument, the argument you feel is important to make, doesn't let us call evil what it is, evil. Each time, and in whatever circumstance. It happens by itself and to the people it happens to.

Otherwise, shall we say that *we* should return horror for horror?

Because what else is your argument but that?

No possible action can excuse how John McCain was treated anymore than we can turn around and feed AlQaida prisoners their genitals before cutting off their heads just because that's what happens to Americans captured by them in *this* war.

Fair time to recall?

No. It's not.

Beth said...

When the rubber hits the road, I want to be on the side of survival and not lay down like a sniveling weenie and let the enemy truck run over me.

The "sniveling weenies" are the ones supporting torture. Brave people stick to the principles that say we have honor, and we don't sink to the tactics of brutes out of fear and hysteria.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

Actually Tmink - everything the swift boat veterans for lying has been proven to be exactly that - one big massive, slanderous lie.

wrong again DTL. The swiftboaters are still waiting to be proven false. T Boone Pickens is still waiting to collect on his bet too.

Care to point out where I'm lying? FACT - John McCain recorded propaganda for the enemy Viet Cong. He's an anti-American traitor. How many American soldiers died because of John McCain's treasonous actions? A bunch I bet.

It is true, after a month of torture, McCain did relent to recording a propaganda tape. Although, it was obvious from the recording that it was under duress(obivous from the use of words like "black criminal" and "air pirate.")

The odd thing about it is that to people like you DTL, the viet cong were not the enemny (they were the good guys), so I find it ironic that you would call anyone supporting the viet cong a traitor.

Obama has courage too. As an Illinois Senator he was the lone legislator willing to speak out against the Born Alive Act. He even devised a system to vote present to encourage others to vote no also. That legislation required a hospital to care for an aborted baby if the baby was still living after the abortion (including babies who were not handicapped). Even Barbara Boxer could not bring herself to oppose such legislation in the U.S. Senate. It was due to Obama's personal courage (as chair of the committee) that the legislation did not become law in Illinois and during Obama's tenure, Hospitals in Illinois were free to let premature babies die in the garbage room. Obama is a traitor to the human race.

Nelson M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

You might want to do that,

A ridiculous phrase right up there with Some people say.

Nelson M. said...

"The odd thing about it is that to people like you DTL, the viet cong were not the enemny (they were the good guys), so I find it ironic that you would call anyone supporting the viet cong a traitor."

Um, what history books are you reading?

Beth said...

T Boone P. is weaseling.

He's arguing over what "is" means.

Henry said...

Brave people stick to the principles that say we have honor.

Beth, well said. McCain's stance on the treatment of detainees is one reason I will vote for him.

Beth said...

It is true, after a month of torture, McCain did relent to recording a propaganda tape.

And no one with any sense gives a damn about that. POWs under duress can parrot any little script written by their captors to survive and we all know why they're doing it. The only people diminished by that are the captors. No one in their right mind would think "Oh God, McCain's gone commie!" It's a non-issue.

But Clark's right, McCain's POW experiences haven't got squat to do with this race.

Roger J. said...

Beth: the point I think may be this: of course Clark is right--but politically its a fool thing to say.

downtownlad said...

T. Boone Pickens HAS been proven wrong. And he refuses to pay up, liar that he is.

downtownlad said...

Beth - But when we torture Muslims - they always tell the truth.

Salamandyr said...

But Beth, Clark's also saying that McCain's command of a naval squadron in peacetime doesn't count either. It's ludicrous.

MadisonMan said...

You don't become a millionaire by having a mindset that allows you give away money. Even if you are supposed to. Why should anyone expect TBP to pony up cash?

Beth said...

salamandyr, I don't yet know enough about McCain's command, so I won't comment until I've had time to read more about it. Maybe it's ridiculous, maybe it's a stupid tack to take. We'll see.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gophermomeh said...

boy, a little "vetting" of McCain and everyone gets all bent out of shape. it's not as fun when the shoe is on the other foot, is it? ha.

Synova said...

I don't think that people who support waterboarding are supporting torture. What they're doing is disagreeing that it *is* torture. McCain says it is and that we shouldn't do it. I'm not so sure. On the other hand, I see no reason at all to provide religious texts or religiously sensitive meals to Muslim prisoners. Nor do I think that fake menstrual blood or an Israeli flag or making prisoners fearful or upset that they've been defiled is a bad thing to do... other than it not being an *effective* thing to do.

The whole thing makes me think of spanking, frankly. We disallow what works because it's distastefully violent and exchange it for other methods that are just as bad except drawn out over long time periods. A spanking is over quickly. Other "approved" child discipline involves a whole lot of long term low-grade misery, withdrawing favors or even affection, showing disapproval and messing with a kid's mind... but it's not *violent* so it's GOOD.

Why do we think like this?

I've read anti-waterboarding articles by interrogators who explain that a person's mind can be f*cked with over the course of years and they can reliably be broken and turned but with "nice" tactics.

How is that any less offensive at the end of it? You've still broken the person who needed to be broken. Isn't that an offense to self?

We look for so many ways to feel good about ourselves, how we're good people, without ever really considering that if we've done the same thing, it's the same thing, and it probably caused just as much distress... we just drew it out long and painfully so that we could feel better about ourselves.

Sanctions are the same. They depend wholly on the misery of the poor.

AJ Lynch said...

Has Kerry signed the form that allows the release of his military records?

And did any other Vietnam vet receive three Purple Hearts yet not spend even one night in a hospital?

And how many got 3 Purple Hearts and used them to go home?

OldGrouchy said...

Good Ol DTL has said it all, at least within his own twisted mind! So, I guess the rest of us can just STFU and allow DTL to say what he wishes, how he wishes, and when he wishes. What a person!

Guess the subject of this post is irrelevant but then perhaps we should reflect on how we may praise B Hussein Obama in the manner DTL dictates!

OTOH, DTL can get F'ked IMHO!

AlphaLiberal said...

No-one is arguing that John McCain didn't go through a horrible experience. I'm glad he recovered and was able to become a wealthy and powerful man (with the support of his wives and his well-placed Dad).

It's just not reason to entrust our nation's future to him.

downtownlad said...

Synova deserves to be waterboarded.

paul a'barge said...

Compare to this.

John Avarosis.

Remember the name.

AJ Lynch said...

Beth and Madison believe that Pickens has lost the wager but is welching?

Any links or facts to back that up?

dbp said...

AJ Lynch said...
Beth and Madison believe that Pickens has lost the wager but is welching?

Any links or facts to back that up?

Of course not. That they sincerly believe it is enough for them and should be enough for us.

m00se said...

Ah! The light! It burns my eyes!

Some more predictions:

1) Democrats will adapt swift-boatian tactics, ala DTL using the rationalization "They did it first!". Of course, you had to see that coming.
2) Obama will continue to call McCain a patriot, to distance himself from #1.
3) Somehow, growing up in Hawaii and half black will attain the same moral stature as being tortured in NVN. It will have to. If 3 purple hearts for minor wounds equates to war hero, then being in a POW camp for 5 years is just avoiding the war.
4) Somehow, this will be used against McCain, as it will be suggested that that experience "unhinged" him and he will not be able to serve as President.

Developing...

Synova said...

Since I've done nothing to "deserve" to have mind games played with my head, relentlessly, over the course of a year or more with the purpose of subverting my will, purpose and sense of self... I doubt I deserve to be waterboarded either, dtl.

But keep on thinking about how good a person that you are for taking the *long* view.

Jim Howard said...

DTL: Were you in the camp with John McCain?

I didn't think so.

The Swift Boat Veterans were in and around Kerry's boat during his brief stay in South Viet Nam. They were eye witnesses.

The Swift Boat veterans earned the right to set the record straight.

You did not.

garage mahal said...

The Swift Boat Veterans were in and around Kerry's boat during his brief stay in South Viet Nam. They were eye witnesses.

Really? I thought only one Swifty actually served on Kerry's boat under his command.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Really? I thought only one Swifty actually served on Kerry's boat under his command."

Do you not understand the meaning of the words "in and around"? There were a few people who were actually physically on the exact same boat as Kerry parked his behind. There were many others who served on other boats that worked together along side his particular boat. There were many many more others who served in the supporting facility area where the boats were moored.

In AND around. They didn't have to be standing in his hip pocket to not know what was going on. Believe me a military base or encampment is a close society.

MadisonMan said...

I said that you shouldn't expect TBP to pony up money. He's a millionaire -- they specialize in acquiring -- that's how you get your millions. You don't give it away.

I said nothing about whether he's welching on his bet.

The article that Beth linked to suggests that there is controversy as to whether he should be paying.

garage mahal said...

DBQ
So fucking what? Why are their accounts [and btw some Swiftys had previously praised Kerry's conduct] more important than people who were actually inside the boat who later all endorsed Kerry?

Cedarford said...

Gavin Sullivan said...
Seems a fair time to recall that many Vietnamese victims of US war crimes, in 'Nam, received far worse treatment than did McCain.


Another Lefty cocksucker of no evident attainment in life that seeks to diminish the accomplishments, bravery of others by attempting to rope them into the criminal actions of people they never met.
Moral equivalency. So Leftist. So insipid.

**********
Downtownlad - He's not a hero. He's a traitor.

And a regular commentor & lefty cocksucker emerges from a public restroom to make his predictable contribution.
****************
Sloanasaurus -

All the POWs who suffered through hell and refused to abandon their country are war heroes.

There is a bit too much of the cult of victimhood in transforming all suffering into an act of heroism, and a near-Fascist worshipping of any government employee who has a career of "helping others be safe".

Which leads to satire in the Onion and Scrappleface of people dying after a "cowardly fight against cancer", 1000-man ceremonial funerals for the hero-cop T-boned on duty pulling out of a Dunkin Donuts.

Or, "hero Navy dental techs" in Norfolk serving the radargal in Kuwait who serves the hero plane crew that will drop a bomb to support heroes in Iraq who are fighting other heroes willing to fight and die for their cause who in turn are served by hero IED makers who in turn are served by hero kebab makers who keep the Jihadis happy and well-fed.

There is a glut of overstating heroism as something purely according to someone by dint of suffering or their job title. The Greeks who thought about heroism a lot defined it as rare, something only exceptional human beings have. Which should only be granted to those who accomplish great things or fail greatly and nobly with a sustained bravery. Heroism that really doesn't spread out to all people that fall in war or die of disease. All KIAs are not heroes. Nor are all wounded. They should be admired for doing duty, but not extolled as heroes for displaying a millisecond of bravery by flopping on a grenade or doing a banzai charge into machine gun fire. Or transformed into an automatic hero by wearing a government-issued uniform. Or getting hit by lightning and "heroically" living...

****************
AlphaLiberal said...
No-one is arguing that John McCain didn't go through a horrible experience. I'm glad he recovered and was able to become a wealthy and powerful man (with the support of his wives and his well-placed Dad).
It's just not reason to entrust our nation's future to him.


I generally agree. Just being a suffering victim says nothing about a person's ability to lead, understand the facts and data a decision-maker must grapple with. It gives them no executive experience, no display of judgement abilities.

There is a reason why with 10s of thousands of POWs in the Civil War, WWII and 560 in Vietnam - only a few held office. Pure victimhood didn't count that much then, and POWs were regarded as just the unlucky, lumped as casualties in with wounded that had half their face shot off by a Jap bullet, died of agonizingly of infirmary gangrene or cholera in the Civil War - or the dead.

Tough titties, they said in WWII.

But combat heroes and command officers and skilled NCOs DID greatly exceed civilians odds in holding executive office.

What John McCain the POW did was display two personal attributes that by no means qualify someone for Congress or being Prez, but are important considerations: Character to stand up for yourself. Courage under great duress.

We see that lack of character as one of Clintons flaws, despite being the smartest guy in office since Nixon, Hoover, Lincoln, or Jefferson.

Not a reason, Alpha, but a partial reason. I might even agree with you that other attributes a President must have are as lacking in Mccain as in the other 559 Vietnam POWs who never went for office. Perot tried one of them, the Alpha, if you will, POW. Stockdale bombed.

I'd even go so far and say that the POW/MIA movement is a corpse recovery-obsessed delusional cult. And the veneration of POWs for "suffering" and being lauded above the dead, the maimed who suffered greatly, the ones that did duty day in and day out in danger as great as being in a POW camp is misplaced. And prolonged hero veneration of POWs above all decorated heroes by the public and media, save briefly lauded dead medal of honor winners, is seriously sick, IMO.


**********************

Synova said...

Kerry didn't directly serve with that many people. He was only there for four months.

When the swiftboat stuff first came out I went to the website and watched the interviews. What I saw there were old men sitting on sofa's beside their wives refusing to say that Kerry was not a brave man, as anyone with that duty had to be. What they said is that he was a self-promoter (not unusual in the military and generally only mildly annoying) and that he'd gone home after those four months and proceeded to defame and slander the good men that he'd worked beside.

Kerry's own words and undisputed public record. He DID testify to war crimes he never witnessed and shamelessly labeled ALL soldiers he served with as war criminals. He DID meet with the enemy in Paris. He DID participate in demonstrations and throw away combat medals and any right whatsoever to claim those as something worthy for his own self. He DID and as far as I know still DOES think it was a GOOD thing to convince the North Vietnamese that the US was about to quit and if they just hung on a bit longer they could claim victory.

What's more, he has never released all of his military records to the public. We know this because there is data we know is in it that we don't have... such as Kerry's officer candidate evaluation that is the equivalent of an IQ test. He has never released his records to the public though he vowed to do so.

It doesn't matter, really, if a bandaid boo-boo gotten in a fight was enemy inflicted or a self-inflicted oopsie... it was a bandaid. We *know* this. There is no dispute.

So what lies were proven? Is Winter Soldier a fantasy? Did Kerry never travel to Paris? Did he not appear at anti-war events? Is his recorded Senate testimony a fake like the moon-landings?

Every supposed disputed element of the Swiftboat Vets for Truth... was there enemy fire during one engagement or was there not?.. all of it could be removed and what would remain would show indisputably that John Kerry is a douche bag.

George said...

One of McCain's fellow POWs had a broken arm.

It was broken on purpose by a guard. He wanted to make an example of the man. To make him a cripple.

McCain collected sticks in the courtyard.

He took pieces of his own bandages.

Then he helped set the man's broken bone.

That's character, and under the worst circumstances.

He's been tested in ways that his opponent never has.

UWS guy said...

Isn't Gen. Clark a Clinton surrogate? Maybe it's a double reverse swiftboating. This could be the Clintons' strategy for scuttling the Obama campaign by keeping McCain's service in the limelight and forcing Obama to apologize for seemingly random democrats who try to denigrate McCain...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

As Synova says Kerry is aan opportunist who tried to launch his way to the White house based on his brief stint in Viet Nam. THIS is what started the ball rolling on the Swift Boat Vets. He tried to use them for his own gain just as he did when he used them as pinatas during Winter Soldier testimony where he accused them of being baby killers, criminals and murderers. He pretended that they were a "Band of Brothers" when it wasn't even remotely true.

Had he not done this and left his skimpy military career in the background instead of making it the centerpiece of his campaign, I doubt that these guys would have been so galvanized to action.

Roger J. said...

Dust Bunny Queen and Synova both described precisely why I, as a Viet Nam vet, was so upset by John Kerry's post viet nam antics. Sold out the viet nam vets for his own political gain. A total scumbag.

Bissage said...

I'd even go so far and say that the POW/MIA movement is a corpse recovery-obsessed delusional cult.

I didn’t know about the corpse recovery part.

I didn’t know they were that sincere.

I thought it was all just a front to funnel money to police charities so they could get away with riding straight pipes on their Harleys.

Cedarford said...

garage mahal said...
DBQ
So fucking what? Why are their accounts [and btw some Swiftys had previously praised Kerry's conduct] more important than people who were actually inside the boat who later all endorsed Kerry?


Garage, I have to disagree with you on this one. A military or private firm officer can assemble a devoted staff and keep them
fiercely on their side by doing favors over years, decades.

What counts in not Kerry's subordinates who were all in touch with the powerful Senator and many had special needs attended to over the years and while in Vietnam. They were enlisted who were in no position to evaluate Kerry's performance as an officer on a variety of performance report indices.
All too many "bosses" are loved by flunkies who wail and moan as the terrible boss is finally canned because they are clueless of how bad THEIR BOSS was in the eyes of both senior management and peer managers who knew better than they how badly THEIR BOSS was running things, and the character flaws shown outside subordinate's view.

By accounts of most of his peer officers, Kerry was a duplicitous, self-promoting scumbag. By accounts of his senior officers, Kerry as a boat commander had lied on several matters and had interpersonal reationship difficulties with his officer cadre but not the younger men he tried to pander to. Pander too much, forcing other boats to pick up his slack.

And his fellow officers were far more harsh on Kerry's speech to Congress blanket condemning his peers and the chain of command as baby-killing Ghengis Kahn-like war criminals, his meeting with the enemy in Paris, and his using his former officer position to demonize and diminish the honor and duty of those he served with.

This raw hatred of Kerry lasted 30+ years, and was felt by Swiftboat Commanders, XOs, and Command who went home from Vietnam and were lifelong Democrats before Kerry popped up as their prosepective Commander in CHief.

Most Vets in the 2004 election tracked this, Blogs were full of Vets weighing all the details and concluding that the dozens of officers that concluded he was dishonorable were more credible than Kerry or the boat crew he nourished over the years. The final vote had the majority of Vets voting against Kerry because they weighed evidence and ended up agreeing he was no war hero as Dems touted him from the Convention onwards, but a repulsive scumbag. They believed that the Swiftboat officers were telling what Kerry found to be inconvenient truths. Accounts of other Nam Vets were also supportive of Swift Boat charges - "yeah, he appears to have lied a lot" "yeah, I had an officer out to get medals not won honorably because he wanted to be able to use it in his career after the military." "Funny, we had a guy in our unit who also misled, and also had a super 8 camera and induced his subordinates to speak of how great he was and even tried to get a few fellow officers to put him up for medals for things he thought were overlooked."

Big mistake by Dems. You have a hated President and almost a lock on the election if you can get an uncontroversial, centrist Democrat like Bayh, Gephardt. So you instead get a former buddy and Malibu sleepover guest of Jane Fonda who denounced troops in front of global media as atrocity-happy monsters, who threw away his medals, treated with enemy diplomats, lied about his exploits - and have him spun up as Great War Hero Kerry at the Convention - right up to the creep saluting and saying "Reporting for Duty" at the climax of his acceptance speech.

It was too much for the average Vets, who hardly were Dubya enthusiasts in 2004 seeing a bungled Iraq possibly becoming another LBJ-like Vietnam mess, to stomach.

Democrat vets wailed on Blogs. "Why Kerry? Why Kerry? Of all people. But it would kill me to vote for the guy who dishonored us - so it's Dubya or no vote at all."

garage mahal said...

Cedarford
I agree Kerry is a douche-bag, but the SBVT was a sham. Not one Swifty was even with Kerry when he was awarded any medals or Purple Hearts. And the lone Swifty who did serve with Kerry repeatedly lied about events that never happened. I'm sure alot of vets can't stand Kerry, but none of it has to do with his actually stint in the Navy.

Pogo said...

Of course, all this specualtion would have been cleared up immediately had Kerry only released his records.

Which.
he
still
hasn't
done.

Why, one asks?

Synova said...

I think that what the SBVT was, was a bunch of men who *personally* hated John Kerry with every fiber of their being doing their very best to keep him from being elected President. That he attempted to use his military service as proof he deserved the job was only salt and lemon-juice in an unhealed wound.

O'Neill was on a personal anti-Kerry campaign from 1971 to 2004... inclusive. His arguments often seem nit-picky in the extreme. But they are honest. The hatred toward Kerry is honestly gotten. I think that the biggest howler for me is whenever anyone tries to claim that the Swiftboat vets were politically motivated... as though the animosity expressed was out of proportion to the crimes committed.

Some vet spit on Jane Fonda just last year... the *animosity* remains because the pain remains.

Memories are long because certain sorts of wounds don't heal.

Maybe it meant nothing to John Kerry to testify to congress that his "brothers" were war criminals and butcherers. Maybe it meant nothing to him. And maybe it meant nothing to his supporters. But to men who care about personal honor being slandered in that way is not a minor thing. It's not forgotten.

No doubt it seems all out of proportion to some that what really bugs me... what would have been a deal breaker for *me* if it was the only thing I knew... is that he threw away medals in a demonstration *and* that he claimed they were someone else's when his were discovered displayed in his office.

My single little medal can be who knows where in the back of some drawer someplace but he made a Grand Gesture of disrespect and then expected us all to view his possession of medals as proof he was a war hero. Grand Gestures have meaning. You don't make a Grand Gesture with someone else's medals and then keep your own so you can polish them publicly.

It reveals character.

And what is further insulting is that *they* expected veterans, Vietnam and otherwise, to have no discernment past "ooooo... shiny!" when he took them out to show them off.

Douche. Bag.

Synova said...

Pogo... he hasn't released his records because they would include his IQ score... which is lower than G.W. Bush.

His whole election campaign was based on how stupid Bush is so that would have been impossible.

Supposing he had a less than honorable discharge is romantic, but I doubt it's true.

Pogo said...

Synova,

I actually expected his records to reveal that his account of the actions for which he received medals weren't substantiated, and that he had in fact thrown out the medals, and then got them back.

Both would look bad.

Pogo said...

In any event, he could end the speculation immediately.


But he doesn't.
And he won't.

Cedarford said...

Pogo and Synova - What the people demanding release of his SF-180 were most interested in was the nature of the terms of his original discharge, not the new one signed in the 80s by Secretary of the Navy John Lehman giving him a "Good Conduct Disharge".

The suspicion is that Kerry got a General Discharge for conduct unbecoming an officer most likely for meeting with VC and N Vietnam enemy diplomats in Paris without his commander's knowledge or permission while still a serving Naval Officer.

The second theory is the Paris escapades, rumors or fake medals gained by lying about events with a rebuke letter from his CO, testimony to Congress, and finally his role as a officer propagandizing hatred against his military was all culmulative. And Kerry was offered the General just to get rid of him or he'd be sent on another tour.

AJ Lynch said...

SBVT:

Is the first group or candidate to whom I ever made a political contribution! A whopping $25! Still have the little thank you note and receipt on my fridge to drive my lib friends and family crazy!

William said...

I am a (non-combat) Vietnam era veteran. I think McCain's service honors all veterans in the way that St Francis honors all Christians. It speaks well of Christianity that this faith can produce a man of such santliness. It speaks well of us that our country can produce a man of such stubborn honor. His refusal to accept early release was more than the altruistic panic of courage. It was an act of cold blooded valor......I don't criticize Kerry for his service. Whatever puffery went into his medals, he did show up and act bravely. I fault him a great deal for tolerance of the atrocities committed by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. The horror and disgust that he expresses towards water boarding were never expressed against the interrogation techniques of the North Vietnamese....They say that without physical courage all other morals are useless. But without some type of moral vision, courage is useless. In this connection it is perhaps useful to note that Hitler was, indeed, a very brave and decorated veteran.

garage mahal said...

The 527 known as the People Around the Boat. Good times.

But this year it will be a POW 527 showing pics of McCain hugging people that drug him from the lake he crashed in, hugging people that interrogated him, his own admission violating the Code of Conduct, and his dogged loyalty to normalizing relationships with Hanoi and long history of dissing Vet "fringe groups". Not that I care of course.

veni vidi vici said...

UWS: "Maybe it's a double reverse swiftboating."


That is a brilliant turn of phrase, and insightfully humorous take on this event.

Chip Ahoy said...

Ha Ha Ha. Vanishing people is fun. You don't have see what they say thus spare yourself from being envenomated yet still enjoy everybody else's reaction the reptile. Ha Ha Ha.

The Drill SGT said...

The dirty little secret from SERE training is that everybody talks under torture. What our guys are trained to do is:

1. don't give any operational details that can cause Americans harm. e.g. hold back the important perishable data till it's overcome by events or the codes/plans have been changed. (when McCain was finally forced to reveal who his fellow squadron pilots were, he gave them the names of the the Green Bay Packer's Offensive Line)

2. everybody breaks, but don't let a momentary weakness become surrender. fight again the next day and the day after that. (McCain gave in, made a tape, then continued the fight)

3. make sure that if and when they put you on TV or make you do a "I'm a war criminal tape" that you do your best to defeat them in your manner, words or gestures. (Capt Stockdale sliced his head with a razor blade to disfigure himself to prevent photos. The Pueblo crew flipped off the (Hawaiian Goodluck sign) camera in a famous North Korean incident)

UWS guy said...

veni, vidi, vichi...I can't tell if that's deadpan sarcasm or not...

vnjagvet said...

Brava Synova and DBQ. And Bravo to Cedarford and William as well.

You four have captured the essence of the problem most of us who served in Vietnam had with Brother Kerry.

It started with his acceptance speech:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, so much. Thank you. Thank you, so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty.


Those first eight substantive words, after all of the "thank you"s, really hit me emotionally. It is why I took the handle vnjagvet and became a regular commenter on blogs.

The problem was not Lieutenant Kerry's service in RVN. It was that he left country after only four months, went home, and while still a Reserve Officer:

Denigrated his fellow servicemen and women;

Testified without personal knowledge about atrocities he had heard about from others(rank hearsay);

Threw his medals away to make a political point;

Went to Paris without authority to attempt direct negotiations with the enemy;

Cavorted and appeared the odious anti-military pro NVA advocate Jane Fonda.

These activities, while a Reserve Officer, was a total insult to those of us who served our country in a war zone.

And he then tried to gull those who had little memory of these activities into voting for him as CIC.

Those of you who criticize the Swifties have no evidence whatever tending to prove any of those indisputable facts were false in any way.

Synova has the precise description for this guy:

Douche. Bag.

For the DTL's of this world, keep up your yeoman service denigrating the one major thing that McCain has to offer the American people; the ability to prevail at great sacrifice to his personal well-being.

But I warn you. It will not serve your cause well.

Beth said...

Since it looks like the conservatives here have decided to campaign against Obama as Kerry part II, I hope I don't see any more comments from them telling liberal commenters that McCain isn't W redux.

At least they've moved on from "It's Bill Clinton's fault!" For now.

OldGrouchy said...

Speaking of Senator J. F'ing Kerry. one aspect of his military career is that it appears that his discharge came about shortly after the time when Carter pardoned all those persons who protested the Vietnam War. If memory serves correctly, that pardon, or amnesty, applied to all the Draft Dodgers and to others who protested that war. My guess is that Carter's action also pardoned military who acted against the previous administration.

If my understanding of the facts surrounding Carter's amnesty, so be and correct me with facts.

However, it is strange that Kerry's discharge came in 1978 but perhaps that timing was coincidental with Carter's amnesty.
Too many unknowns surrounding Kerry. He is, and remains, a slippy devil. Sure is sweet comparing Kerry's Vietnam related activities with McCain's.

Guess we'll never know what B. Hussein Obama's made of since his youth was spent on the political hustings; No harm and perhaps only a few major fouls.

blake said...

UWS guy said...

veni, vidi, vichi...I can't tell if that's deadpan sarcasm or not...


I doubt it, UWS. "Reverse double swiftboating" is a brilliant bit of snarkery.

veni vidi vici said...

veni, vidi, vichi...I can't tell if that's deadpan sarcasm or not...


No, it was intended as a compliment. Quite a lovely turn of phrase!

Synova said...

I don't think that anyone is arguing that Obama has any resonnance with John Kerry. I'd say he's Carter Mark Two if anything.

Kerry is a different issue and related to McCain... not Obama. Because the arguments against honoring McCain's service (even if one doesn't care for his political opinions or history) are supposedly, somehow, justified by people being less than impressed with John Kerry's War Hero status.

Because we're all supposed to have been impressed by John Kerry's War Hero status. Because, presumably, military types are mindlessly impressed with all that glittery stuff.

And because we were not, it seems, it is now quite acceptable to claim that what McCain experienced was quite ordinary... certainly no different than a four month tour, a bit of excitement and some bandaids, and possibly even less impressive because he had the nerve to go and get himself shot down and captured.

blake said...

Beth--

I don't see anybody here saying that Obama is Kerry II. In fact, the only real mention of Obama at all is Sloan's reference to his, um, love of infanticide.

There's a general admonishment that running against McCain's war experience isn't going to serve the Dems. Which would make Obama W II. Right? He's going to Swift Boat John McCain?

I think there are probably a lot more commonalities between them than either side would want to admit.

(And I, for the first time ever, will be leaving the Presidential box blank on my ballot.)

dualdiagnosis said...

The simple difference in these accounts that are brought up is this- McCain was physically and mentally tortured, including leaving him with untreated broken bones protuding out of his body and a serious groin wound before he, against his will, was made to be filmed for propaganda purposes.

John Kerry? He voluntarily, in testimony televised around the world, raised his hand and used horrific, unsubstantiated charges against the US Military and it's men.