« My Weekend reading | Main | Tony Blair's Desktop »

The London Times on SBVFT

Times Online - Newspaper Edition

..by arguing so forcefully that Mr Kerry's courage under fire 35 years ago qualified him for the Oval Office, the campaign opened the door to the subsequent vitriolic attacks on Mr Kerry from fellow veterans.
Mr Kerry, against his instincts, was persuaded not to respond personally and immediately to their charges that he had fabricated part of his glittering combat record, which includes three medals for wounds and two for bravery.

By the time Mr Kerry did, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had already succeeded in raising awkward questions about his reputation, even though most of their claims have since been disproved(my added emphasis).
But their success gave the well-funded veterans, who have links to Karl Rove, Mr Bush's chief strategist, sufficient momentum to move on to the more politically justifiable ground of questioning Mr Kerry's stance against the Vietnam war once he returned early from his second tour of duty.

Letters to The Editor (letters@thetimes.co.uk)seemed to be called for. I am sure somewhere there is a simple list of SBFVT claims and whether they have been proved (Christmas in Cambodia), appear probable (Purple Hearts 1 & 3), are a matter of debate (One or two tours), or have been disproved (?)

But certainly my impression is that the majority haven't been disproved.

Comments

Hmm. The United States NAVY is about to investigate an official complaint about Kerry's strange Silver Star with V for Valour (which does not exist anyway in the medal manuals...), his own Party have admitted he was nowhere near Cambodia when he claimed to be, and also that his first Purple Heart was more than likely a self inflicted wound and therefore not allowable. Does this mean he has to go back to Nam to finish his tour?

Dave sent this to The Times:

Yesterday you printed an article that claimed that most of the accusations
levelled at John Kerry by the Swift Boat Veterans "have since been
disproved"

The Inspector General of the United States Navy is about to investigate an
official complaint from a bipartisan organisation about Kerry's strange
Silver Star with V for Valour (which does not exist anywhere in the medal
manuals...), his OWN Party have admitted he was nowhere near Cambodia when
he claimed to be, and have also admitted that his first Purple Heart was
more than likely a self inflicted wound and therefore not allowable. He also
claimed to have served four combat tours when in fact he served only two, on
the USS Gridley some 600 miles offshore and with the Swift Boats.
Furthermore he himself in his biography admitted that he only volunteered
for Swift Boats because at the time they were not used in combat zones but
well offshore. According to his old college he also applied for a deferment
to the draft to study in Paris which was refused and since then regularly
criticises others for doing the same (although he did not mention Bill
Clinton or his running mate John Edwards by name admittedly...)

Does this mean he has to go back to 'Nam to finish his tour? Perhaps he
could spend a day in the "Hanoi Hilton" to experience what some US veterans
(including John McCain his choice for running mate) has to go through as
they were played copies of Kerry's speeches to the Senate where he accused
his fellow veterans of war crimes. And incidentally most of the witnesses he
produced to back him up had either not served in Vietnam, in combat and in
many cases were not even in the Forces. All the foregoing is easily
certified by recourse to the Library of Congress, most American newspaper
and that ubiquitous search engine "Google". Can we not expect your
opinionated reporters to at least ensure they are wholly correct before
making wild claims?

We do not want opinions based on nothing, we want news based on facts. After
all we can all do our own research and prove your experts wrong or right as
the fancy takes us now. Indeed much of this letter has been confirmed by
several of your rivals. Now surprise me and print this letter! Thank you.

Tim,
Did it get in?

Not as at Wednesday...how unusual!

I note the Kerry campaign has now dropped the Silver Star with V and transfered it to the Bronze one...

"Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan suggested that the Navy probe was a waste of time and money.

"The facts are clear, the Navy awarded John Kerry the Silver Star, a Bronze Star with a Combat V and three Purple Hearts. It is waste of taxpayers' dollars and the Pentagon's time, especially during wartime, to investigate a 35-year-old Navy clerical error," Meehan said in statement. "

But that isn't what he has been claiming is it?

Post a comment