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http://www.drudgereport.com/ufd1.htm

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU AUG 04, 2004 10:14:25 ET XXXXX

VETS CHARGE: KERRY KILLED FLEEING TEEN; LIED FOR MEDAL

Slaughters Animals, Burns Down Tiny Village

**Exclusive**

A veterans group seeking to deeply discredit Democrat John Kerry's military service will charge in the new bombshell book UNFIT FOR COMMAND:

"Kerry earned his Silver Star by killing a lone, fleeing, teenage Viet Cong in a loincloth."

"And if Kerry's superiors had known the truth at the time, they would never have recommended him for the medal."

The book also claims to detail how Kerry personally ordered the slaughter of small animals at a small hamlet along the Song Bo De River.

MORE

The book, set for release next week, hit #1 on the AMAZON hitparade after the DRUDGE REPORT revealed details of the book -- a book the Kerry camapign believes is the"the dirtiest of all dirty tricks ever played on a candidate for the presidency."

The Kerry campaign is planning to vigorously counter the charges and will accuse the veteran's groups of being well-financed by a top Bush donor from Texas.

The vets have launched a blistering new TV commercial questioning Kerry's honor and calling him a liar.

MORE

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.

MORE

UNFIT FOR COMMAND, DRUDGE has learned, claims Kerry "earned his Silver Star by killing a lone, fleeing, teenage Viet Cong in a loincloth."

ARE THE VETS TELLING THE TRUTH?

"They hired a goddamn private investigator to dig up trash!" charged a top Kerry adviser traveling with the senator late Tuesday. "This is pay for play... How low can they go?"

Kerry supporters are comparing the effort by the veterans to the Arkansas State troopers tell-all against Bill Clinton.

MORE

John O'Neill, co-author of UNFIT FOR COMMAND, believes that "Kerry's Star would never have been awarded had his actions been reviewed through normal channels. In his case, he was awarded the medal two days after the incident with no review. The medal was arranged to boost the morale of Coastal Division 11, but it was based on false and incomplete information provided by Kerry himself."

According to Kerry's Silver Star citation, Kerry was in command of a three-boat mission on the Dong Cung River. As the boats approached the target area, they came under intense enemy fire. Kerry ordered his boat to attack and all boats opened fire. He then beached directly in front of the enemy ambushers. In the battle that followed, the crews captured enemy weapons. His boat then moved further up the river to suppress more enemy fire. A rocket exploded near Kerry's boat, and he ordered to charge the enemy. Kerry beached his boat 10 feet from the rocket position and led a landing party ashore to pursue the enemy.

Kerry' citation reads: "The extraordinary daring and personal courage of Lt. Kerry in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire were responsible for the highly successful mission."

Here's what O'Neill and the Swiftees say: "According to Kerry's crewman Michael Madeiros, Kerry had an agreement with him to turn the boat in and onto the beach if fired upon. Each of the three boats involved in the operation was involved in the agreement." O'Neill writes that one crewman even recalls a discussion of probable medals.

Doug Reese, a pro Kerry Army veteran, recounted what happened that day to O'Neill, "Far from being alone, the boats were loaded with many soldiers commanded by Reese and two other advisors. When fired at, Reese's boat--not Kerry's--was the first to beach in the ambush zone. Then Reese and other troops and advisors (not Kerry) disembarked, killing a number of Viet Cong and capturing a number of weapons. None of the participants from Reese's boat received Silver Stars.

O'Neill continues: "Kerry's boat moved slightly downstream and was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. . . .A young Viet Cong in a loincloth popped out of a hole, clutching a grenade launcher, which may or may not have been loaded. . . Tom Belodeau, a forward gunner, shot the Viet Cong with an M-60 machine gun in the leg as he fled. . . . Kerry and Medeiros (who had many troops in their boat) took off, perhaps with others, and followed the young Viet Cong and shot him in the back, behind a lean to."

O'Neill concludes "Whether Kerry's dispatching of a fleeing, wounded, armed or unarmed teenage enemy was in accordance with the customs of war, it is very clear that many Vietnam veterans and most Swiftees do not consider this action to be the stuff of which medals of any kind are awarded; nor would it even be a good story if told in the cold details of reality. There is no indication that Kerry ever reported that the Viet Cong was wounded and fleeing when dispatched. Likewise, the citation simply ignores the presence of the soldiers and advisors who actually 'captured the enemy weapons' and routed the Viet Cong. . . . [and] that Kerry attacked a 'numerically superior force in the face of intense fire' is simply false. There was little or no fire after Kerry followed the plan. . . . The lone, wounded, fleeing young Viet Cong in a loincloth was hardly a force superior to the heavily armed Swift Boat and its crew and the soldiers carried aboard."

DRUDGE learns from UNFIT FOR COMMAND that if Kerry's superior officers knew the truth, they would never have recommended the award:

"Admiral Roy Hoffmann, who sent a Bravo Zulu (meaning "good work"), to Kerry upon learning of the incident, was very surprised to discover in 2004 what had actually occurred. Hoffmann had been told that Kerry had spontaneously beached next to the bunker and almost single-handedly routed a bunkered force in Viet Cong. He was shocked to find out that Kerry had beached his boat second in a preplanned operation, and that he had killed a single, wounded teenage foe as he fled."

"Commander Geoge Elliott, who wrote up the initial draft of Kerry's Silver Star citation, confirms that neither he, nor anyone else in the Silver Star process that he knows, realized before 1996 that Kerry was facing a single, wounded young Viet Cong fleeing in a loincloth. While Commander Elliott and many other Swiftees believe that Kerry committed no crime in killing the fleeing, wounded enemy (with a loaded or empty launcher), others feel differently. Commander Elliott indicates that a Silver Star recommendation would not have been made by him had he been aware of the actual facts."
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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19,433 Posts
I have my doubts that any of this will make a difference with the undecideds.

My sense is that the general public, for the most part, does not care.
 

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here is some exerpts from Swift boat vets for truth.

Can you read this and tell any of these 18 men they are wrong about John
Kerry. This man shouldn't even be a Senator ~ he should be
court-martialled. Quotes about John Kerry


.



"We resent very deeply the false war crimes charges he made coming back from
Vietnam in 1971 and repeated in the book "Tour of Duty." We think those cast
an aspersion on all those living and dead, from our unit and other units in
Vietnam. We think that he knew he was lying when he made the charges, and we
think that they're unsupportable. We intend to bring the truth about that to
the American people.

We believe, based on our experience with him, that he is totally unfit to be
the Commander-in-Chief."

-- John O'Neill, spokesman, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

.



"I do not believe John Kerry is fit to be Commander-in-Chief of the armed
forces of the United States. This is not a political issue. It is a matter
of his judgment, truthfulness, reliability, loyalty and trust -- all
absolute tenets of command. His biography, 'Tour of Duty,' by Douglas
Brinkley, is replete with gross exaggerations, distortions of fact,
contradictions and slanderous lies. His contempt for the military and
authority is evident by even a most casual review of this biography. He
arrived in-country with a strong anti-Vietnam War bias and a self-serving
determination to build a foundation for his political future. He was
aggressive, but vain and prone to impulsive judgment, often with disregard
for specific tactical assignments. He was a 'loose cannon.' In an
abbreviated tour of four months and 12 days, and with his specious medals
secure, Lt.(jg) Kerry bugged out and began his infamous betrayal of all
United States forces in the Vietnam War. That included our soldiers, our
marines, our sailors, our coast guardsmen, our airmen, and our POWs. His
leadership within the so-called Vietnam Veterans Against the War and
testimony before Congress in 1971 charging us with unspeakable atrocities
remain an undocumented but nevertheless meticulous stain on the men and
women who honorably stayed the course. Senator Kerry is not fit for
command."

-- Rear Admiral Roy Hoffman, USN (retired), chairman, Swift Boat Veterans
for Truth

.



"During Lt.(jg) Kerry's tour, he was under my command for two or three
specific operations, before his rapid exit. Trust, loyalty and judgment are
the key, operative words. His turncoat performance in 1971 in his grubby
shirt and his medal-tossing escapade, coupled with his slanderous lines in
the recent book portraying us that served, including all POWs and MIAs, as
murderous war criminals, I believe, will have a lasting effect on all
military veterans and their families.

Kerry would be described as devious, self-absorbing, manipulative, disdain
for authority, disruptive, but the most common phrase that you'd hear is
'requires constant supervision.'"

-- Captain Charles Plumly, USN (retired)

.



"Thirty-five years ago, many of us fell silent when we came back to the
stain of sewage that Mr. Kerry had thrown on us, and all of our colleagues
who served over there. I don't intend to be silent today or ever again. Our
young men and women who are serving deserve no less."

-- Andrew Horne

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"In my specific, personal experience in both coastal and river patrols over
a 12-month period, I never once saw or heard anything remotely resembling
the atrocities described by Senator Kerry. If I had, it would have been my
obligation to report them in writing to a higher authority, and I would
certainly have done that. If Senator Kerry actually witnessed or
participated in these atrocities or, as he described them, 'war crimes,' he
was obligated to report them. That he did not until later when it suited his
political purposes strikes me as opportunism of the worst kind. That he
would malign my service and that of his fellow sailors with no regard for
the truth makes him totally unqualified to serve as Commander-in-Chief."

-- Jeffrey Wainscott

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"I signed that letter because I, too felt a deep sense of betrayal that
someone who took the same oath of loyalty as I did as an officer in the
United States Navy would abandon his group here (points to group photo) to
join this group here (points to VVAW protest photo), and come home and
attempt to rally the American public against the effort that this group was
so valiantly pursuing.

It is a fact that in the entire Vietnam War we did not lose one major
battle. We lost the war at home ... and at home, John Kerry was the Field
General."

-- Robert Elder

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"My daughters and my wife have read portions of the book 'Tour of Duty.'
They wanted to know if I took part in the atrocities described. I do not
believe the things that are described happened.

Let me give you an example. In Brinkley's book, on pages 170 to 171, about
something called the 'Bo De massacre' on November 24th of 1968... In Kerry's
description of the engagement, first he claimed there were 17 servicemen
that were wounded. Three of us were wounded. I was the first..."

-- Joseph Ponder

.



"While in Cam Rahn Bay, he trained on several 24-hour indoctrination
missions, and one special skimmer operation with my most senior and trusted
Lieutenant. The briefing from some members of that crew the morning after
revealed that they had not received any enemy fire, and yet Lt.(jg) Kerry
informed me of a wound -- he showed me a scratch on his arm and a piece of
shrapnel in his hand that appeared to be from one of our own M-79s. It was
later reported to me that Lt.(jg) Kerry had fired an M-79, and it had
exploded off the adjacent shoreline. I do not recall being advised of any
medical treatment, and probably said something like 'Forget it.' He later
received a Purple Heart for that scratch, and I have no information as to
how or whom.

Lt.(jg) Kerry was allowed to return to the good old USA after 4 months and a
few days in-country, and then he proceeded to betray his former shipmates,
calling them criminals who were committing atrocities. Today we are here to
tell you that just the opposite is true. Our rules of engagement were quite
strict, and the officers and men of Swift often did not even return fire
when they were under fire if there was a possibility that innocent people --
fishermen, in a lot of cases -- might be hurt or injured. The rules and the
good intentions of the men increased the possibility that we might take
friendly casualties."

-- Commander Grant Hibbard, USN (retired)

.



"Lt. Kerry returned home from the war to make some outrageous statements and
allegations... of numerous criminal acts in violation of the law of war were
cited by Kerry, disparaging those who had fought with honor in that
conflict. Had war crimes been committed by US forces in Vietnam? Yes, but
such acts were few and far between. Yet Lt. Kerry have numerous speeches and
testimony before Congress inappropriately leading his audiences to believe
that what was only an anomaly in the conduct of America's fighting men was
an epidemic. Furthermore, he suggested that they were being encouraged to
violated the law of war by those within the chain of command.

Very specific orders, on file at the Vietnam archives at Texas Tech
University, were issued by my father [Admiral Elmo Zumwalt] and others in
his chain of command instructing subordinates to act responsibly in
preserving the life and property of Vietnamese civilians."

-- Lt. Col. James Zumwalt, USMC (retired)

.



"We look at Vietnam... after all these years it is still languishing in
isolated poverty and helplessness and tyranny. This is John Kerry's legacy.
I deeply resent John Kerry's using his Swift boat experience, and his
betrayal of those who fought there as a stepping-stone to his political
ambitions."

-- Barnard Wolff

.



"In a whole year that I spent patrolling, I didn't see anything like a war
crime, an atrocity, anything like that. Time and again I saw American
fighting men put themselves in graver danger trying to avoid... collateral
damage.

When John Kerry returned to the country, he was sworn in front of Congress.
And then he told my family -- my parents, my sister, my brother, my
neighbors -- he told everyone I knew and everyone I'd ever know that I and
my comrades had committed unspeakable atrocities."

-- David Wallace

.



"I served with these guys. I went on missions with them, and these men
served honorably. Up and down the chain of command there was no acquiescence
to atrocities. It was not condoned, it did not happen, and it was not
reported to me verbally or in writing by any of these men including Lt.(jg)
Kerry.

In 1971, '72, for almost 18 months, he stood before the television audiences
and claimed that the 500,000 men and women in Vietnam, and in combat, were
all villains -- there were no heroes. In 2004, one hero from the Vietnam War
has appeared, running for President of the United States and
Commander-in-Chief. It just galls one to think about it."

-- Captain George Elliott, USN (retired)

.



"During the Vietnam War I was Task Force Commander at An Thoi, and my tour
of duty was 13 months, from the end of Tet to the beginning of the
Vietnamization of the Navy units.

Now when I went there right after Tet, I was restricted in my movements. I
couldn't go much of anyplace because the Vietcong controlled most of the
area. When I left, I could go anywhere I wanted, just about. Commerce was
booming, the buses were running, trucks were going, the waterways were
filled with sampans with goods going to market, but yet in Kerry's biography
he says that our operations were a complete failure. He also mentions a
formal conference with me, to try to get more air cover and so on. That
conference never happened..."

-- Captain Adrian Lonsdale, USCG (retired)

.



"I was in An Thoi from June of '68 to June of '69, covering the whole period
that John Kerry was there. I operated in every river, in every canal, and
every off-shore patrol area in the 4th Corps area, from Cambodia all the way
around to the Bo De River. I never saw, even heard of all of these so-called
atrocities and things that we were supposed to have done.

This is not true. We're not standing for it. We want to set the record
straight."

-- William Shumadine

.



"In 1971, when John Kerry spoke out to America, labeling all Vietnam
veterans as thugs and murderers, I was shocked and almost brought to my
knees, because even though I had served at the same time and same unit, I
had never witnessed or participated in any of the events that the Senator
had accused us of. I strongly believe that the statements made by the
Senator were not only false and inaccurate, but extremely harmful to the
United States' efforts in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.
Tragically, some veterans, scorned by the antiwar movement and their allies,
retreated to a life of despair and suicide. Two of my crewmates were among
them. For that there is no forgiveness. "

-- Richard O'Meara

.



"My name is Steve Gardner. I served in 1966 and 1967 on my first tour of
duty in Vietnam on Swift boats, and I did my second tour in '68 and '69,
involved with John Kerry in the last 2 1/2 months of my tour. The John Kerry
that I know is not the John Kerry that everybody else is portraying. I
served alongside him and behind him, five feet away from him in a gun tub,
and watched as he made indecisive moves with our boat, put our boats in
jeopardy, put our crews in jeopardy... if a man like that can't handle that
6-man crew boat, how can you expect him to be our Commander-in-Chief?"

-- Steven Gardner

.



"I served in Vietnam as a boat officer from June of 1968 to July of 1969. My
service was three months in Coastal Division 13 out of Cat Lo, and nine
months with Coastal Division 11 based in An Thoi. John Kerry was in An Thoi
the same time I was. I'm here today to express the anger I have harbored for
over 33 years, about being accused with my fellow shipmates of war
atrocities.

All I can say is when I leave here today, I'm going down to the Wall to tell
my two crew members it's not true, and that they and the other 49 Swiftees
who are on the Wall were then and are still now the best."

-- Robert Brant

.



"I never saw, heard of, or participated in any Swift boat crews killing
cattle, poisoning crops, or raping and killing civilians as charged by John
Kerry, both in his book and in public statements. Since we both operated at
the same time, in the same general area, and on the same missions under the
same commanders, it is hard to believe his claims of atrocities and poor
planning of Sea Lord missions.

I signed this letter because I feel that he used Swift boat sailors to
proclaim his antiwar statements after the war, and now he uses the same
Swift boat sailors to support his claims of being a war hero. He cannot have
it both ways, and we are here to ask for full disclosure of the proof of his
claims."

-James Steffes
 
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