by John Hawkins | August 19, 2004 12:26 am
I know that there are some of you out there thinking, “Yeah, maybe John Kerry lied about what he did in Vietnam, but that was so long ago. So do the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth really matter?”
Folks, not only do the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth matter, they matter A LOT. Let me explain why…
Let’s say there’s a guy who’s trying to get a job with ABC company. We’ll call him…let’s say, John Terry. The boss of “Faceless Corporation, Inc.” interviews John Terry, sees that he has requisite experience for the job, and asks why he should hire him. John Terry tells the boss,
“You should hire me because of the great job I did as an accountant at XYZ company. I’m telling you, I did the work of 5 people. I was the guy in charge of our budget, I did payroll, I did price quotes for sales, I’m telling ya, there was no better accountant in the company. Just ask my references, the guys in my department.”
So, the boss checks with the guys in John Terry’s department and they all have nothing but good things to say about him. So, he starts to seriously consider Terry for the job…then, something odd happens. He runs into a guy from sales at XYZ company and this guy says,
“Oh, Terry was the worst accountant we had. Not only was he a jerk, he was constantly late with the price quotes we gave to customers. I bet you his screw-ups cost us $100,000 last year”.
Suddenly, the boss is confused. What the salesman is telling him is exactly the opposite of what all the guys in Terry’s department were saying. So the boss checks around and he actually runs down every single boss Terry had at XYZ company and they all say the same thing,
“This Terry guy was a creep and he was terrible at his job. Hiring him would be the biggest mistake you ever made”.
Well, the boss keeps checking around and he finds that for every guy in Terry’s department who had good things to say about him, there are 20 guys from different departments at XYZ company who all say Terry was a walking disaster. He hears things like…
— “Terry was constantly claiming to have done work that he really never completed.”
— “This guy has done nothing but talk down the company to anyone who’ll listen since he left. I can’t stand him.”
— “Don’t even get me started on this Terry guy. I wouldn’t hire him to help run my kid’s lemonade stand.”
Now, after hearing all of this, does John Terry get hired? My guess is that most people would say “no”.
Well, this is roughly the same situation we have with John Kerry. Kerry has been trotting out his “band of brothers” and bragging about being a war hero since he started campaigning for the presidency. In fact, he has in essence said to the American people,
“Forget about war protestor days, forget about my time as Lt. Governor to Mike Dukakis, forget about my mediocre 20 year career in the Senate, vote for me because I went to Vietnam for 4 months and won medals”.
But now, late in the game, because the mainstream media has given Kerry a free pass on his Vietnam war days, the public is starting to find out John Kerry’s time in Vietnam wasn’t the John Wayne movie he made it out to be.
Not only did Kerry lie about his record (Christmas in Cambodia anyone?), but he is overwhelmingly opposed by other Swift Boat Vets including all of his commanding officers and a large majority of the men who fought side by side with John Kerry in other boats. That in and of itself should make people think twice before pulling the lever for John Kerry.
Moreover, the stories that are starting to come out from these vets don’t paint Kerry in a flattering light either. For example, there are relatively unimportant tales like this one that paint Kerry as someone who wasn’t particularly well-liked or respected by his fellow soldiers…
“When Kerry was dispatched to go to An Thoi with Lt. Tedd Peck (who would retire as a Navy captain), Peck told him: “Kerry, follow me no closer than a thousand yards. If you get any closer, I’ll teach you what a real Purple Heart is.”
But, there are also much more disturbing stories like this one…
“George Bates, an officer in Coastal Division 11, participated in numerous operations with Kerry. In UNFIT FOR COMMAND, Bates recalls a particular patrol with Kerry on the Song Bo De River. He is still “haunted” by the incident:
With Kerry in the lead, the boats approached a small hamlet with three or four grass huts. Pigs and chickens were milling around peacefully. As the boats drew closer, the villagers fled. There were no political symbols or flags in evidence in the tiny village. It was obvious to Bates that existing policies, decency, and good sense required the boats to simply move on.
Instead, Kerry beached his boat directly in the small settlement. Upon his command, the numerous small animals were slaughtered by heavy-caliber machine guns. Acting more like a pirate than a naval officer, Kerry disembarked and ran around with a Zippo lighter, burning up the entire hamlet.
Bates has never forgotten Kerry’s actions.”
All I can say at this point is that John Kerry invited all of this scrutiny of his war record by making it the centerpiece of his campaign. So now that other Vietnam Vets who served with him are pointing out that he played fast and loose with the truth about his time in Vietnam, he has a big dilemma.
The old, “Aww, this stuff happened 35 years ago so it’s irrelevant” line won’t work because Kerry has been RUNNING on what he did 35 years ago. Furthermore, the Kerry camp can’t use the other tactic they love so well, poo-pooing what their critics have to say because “they didn’t serve” against other Vietnam Vets. Last but not least, it’s hard to make the argument that vets who are critical of Kerry’s service have no right to speak when John Kerry has been using vets who praised his time in Vietnam at campaign stops. What’s good for the goose should certainly be good for the gander, right?
So if John Kerry ends up going down in flames because of the Swift Boat Vets for Truth, which is looking more possible almost by the day, then he’ll have no one to blame but the Massachusetts billionaire he sees when he looks in the mirror every morning…
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