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Does Kerry’s crew really remember what they did in Vietnam?

According to “The Bandit” they are giving conflicting accounts of what they supposedly did.  The following is published with his permission.  He has granted broad permission to republish this essay.  Any republication should include his name as author.

The bandit
Experienced Member
 

Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 214

 
Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 8:04 pm    Post subject: Proof Kerry and His Supporting Crew are Making it Up
Do Americans have the right to ask if Sen. Kerry's stated qualifications are truthful and trustworthy? Absolutely they do, just as any individual or business would be within their rights to verify if a potential new hiree prior experience or education is legitimate. In the coming weeks American's will be hearing revelations from Sen. Kerry's fellow officers who served along with him, or in close proximity with, during his brief four months in Vietnam as an skipper of a swift boat. Most will wonder why if everything they have to say is true - why Sen. Kerry's crewmembers continue to support him and which side is telling the truth?

To answer why they they support him would be mere speculation at this point, but the question of who is telling the truth can easily be answered by Sen. Kerry and his crewmates own pattern of deception. Kerry and a handful of his former crewmembers have a habitual tendency to fabricate and present to the public bogus accounts of Sen. Kerry's Vietnam service. They have little regard for accuracy or the truth when they recount Kerry's service over and over again, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

This was was very apparent during the recent Democratic National Convention when fellow crewmember, Fred Short, whom was on stage with Sen. Kerry along with other crewmembers said, "I was there when Sen. Kerry got shot, and I've seen his blood on the deck of a swift boat." [1]

Problem with this assertion is that Fred Short was only present with Sen. Kerry on one mission, and that mission was on February 28, 1969 when he served as a replacement for David Alston. Kerry was never shot nor wounded on February 28, 1969. In fact, Kerry was never 'shot' during his entire four months in Vietnam. If someone was not familiar with Kerry's history they would walk away with a false impression.

Fred Short is not the only crewmember who likes to falsely assert Sen. Kerry was shot. Former crewmember, Del Sandusky, said on CNN's NewsNight that: "John, shot and bleeding, laid down and pulled up Rassmann by his belt." [2]

This is clearly another outright falsehood because Sen. Kerry was never shot or bleeding on March 13, 1969 when the incident with Jim Rassmann occurred. The Rev. David Alston, another former crewmember recalling Sen. Kerry's exploits in Vietnam recalled the events of February 28, 1969 this way: "I know when John Kerry told Del to beach that damn boat, this was a brand-new ball game. We wasn't running. We took it to Charlie." [3]

Only problem with this horribly misleading statement is that David Alston was not on Sen. Kerry's boat on that eventful date to know that Kerry told Del to beach the boat. Fred Short had replaced him as the boats 'tub gunner' that day.

Michael Medeiros, indicated during a 1996 press conference with Senator Kerry (by telephone) that he was chasing after Senator Kerry and the fleeing VC soldier and stated at the time that he did not see Sen. Kerry kill him, but had no doubt that the senator did so. "The only one that was there was Senator Kerry," Medeiros said. [4]

Sounds good, but what came afterwards during the same press conference was a totally unexpected remark by Sen. Kerry, "I was never out of sight of Tom Belodeau or Mike Medeiros," Kerry said. "I went straight out from the boat to the path so I had a line of fire. I never went behind the hootch, and this is the first time in 30 years that anybody has suggested otherwise." Perhaps Sen. Kerry wasn't paying attention when Michael Medeiros had stated the only one who was there was Sen. Kerry and that he did not see what Kerry wants to insist Medeiros saw.

Sen. Kerry Knows it is not a good idea not to have any talk about bona fide war heroes shooting wounded kids in the back as the heroism that earns them a medal. Sen. Kerry may have made a slip by telling the Boston Globe, "He [wounded VC soldier] was running away with a live B-40, and, I thought, poised to turn around and fire it." [10] So now Kerry and his "Band of Brothers" have a new task on their hands: turn the wounded VC soldier around so he is pointing his B-40 rocket launcher at Kerry's swift boat before Kerry shot him. That way it doesn't look like Kerry shot him in the back.

Mike Medeiros changed his story to better cast Kerry as a war hero by making it clear to Douglas Brinkley, in his book, "Tour of Duty," that he saw the VC guerilla standing on both feet ready to fire a rocket at Kerry's boat, and that he fell over dead after being shot by Sen. Kerry. Kerry's other crew members who were with him responded with the same storyline, such as:

"The guy was getting ready to stand up with a rocket on his shoulder, coming up. And Mr. Kerry took him out -- he would have been about a 30-yard shot. Which, we were dead in the water up on the bank, point blank. If he missed us, he would have to, you know -- there's no way he could miss us. He could've thrown a rock and taken me out." [3]

Or how about, "Bullets were flying everywhere," Short he said. "It was total chaos. Mr. Kerry went up to the top of the embankment and saw the guy preparing to fire his grenade launcher, so he took him out. I have no doubt that if he had not done so, I would not be talking to you today." [8]

Sen. Kerry went from shooting a wounded kid in the back to war hero who had saved his entire crew's life from instant death.

Even more bizarre during Kerry's 1996 press conference was his remark saying he never went behind the hootch, and that no one had suggested otherwise in 30 years. This makes one wonder if he had ever read his very own Silver Star citation, which clearly states for all to see -- that someone has indeed been suggesting for the last 30 years what Sen. Kerry is attempting to deny this simple 30 year old sentence:

". . . Without hesitation Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry leaped ashore, pursued the man behind a hootch, and killed him, capturing a B-40 rocket launcher with a round in the chamber."

The only one who would have the first hand knowledge of such an event (behind the hooch) to had suggested it so it could been included in his Silver Star citation was Sen. Kerry himself.

Another famous event which Kerry and his supporters have turned upside down over the years for maximum political mileage by throwing out the truth and replacing it with rhetoric and outright lies is the events that lead to Sen.Kerry pulling Jim Rassmann from a river. To really understand Sen. Kerry's character and deceit we should first read a eulogy given by Mr. Kerry:
 

Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed
in the Record the text of the eulogy I gave for my friend, Thomas
M. Belodeau, on November 10, 1997.

There was the time we were carrying Special Forces
up a river and a mine exploded under our boat sending it 2
feet into the air. We were receiving incoming rocket and small
arms fire and Tommy was returning fire with his M-60 machine gun
when it literally broke apart in his hands. He was left holding
the pieces unable to fire back while one of the Green Berets
walked along the edge of the boat to get Tommy another M-60. As he
was doing so, the boat made a high speed turn to starboard and the
Green Beret kept going--straight into the river. The entire time
while the boat went back to get the Green Beret, Tommy was without
a machine gun or a weapon of any kind, but all the time he was
hurling the greatest single string of Lowell-Chelmsford curses
ever heard at the Viet Cong. He literally had swear words with
tracers on them! [5]
 
 

First of all, it is truly remarkable that Sen. Kerry cannot even tell the truth while giving a eulogy for a fallen brother-in-arms.

Secondly, wonder who that Green Beret could have been Sen. Kerry is referring to? In a 2004 interview with Jim Rassmann may have answered this question. Rassmann was talking along the same lines as in Kerry's above eulogy when he recalled to a reporter of sidling along the deck next to the pilot house, a rifle in each hand, intending to give one to the bow gunner, when a second mine detonated, launching him into the water. [6]

Tom Belodeau would have been that bow gunner Rassmann was referring to. Sen. Kerry's account in Douglas Brinkley's "Tour of Duty," places Jim Rassmann on the PCF-3 and not his PCF-94 boat. But Jim Rassmann does not want to be on another boat, but wants to be known for having rode on Kerry's boat for an entire month leading up to his dramatic rescue by Sen. Kerry.[7] This of course is a false assertion in that the only time he was ever on a boat skippered by Kerry was when Kerry helped him up out of the water.

Aside from the above eulogy, neither Sen. Kerry nor his crewmembers have ever claimed their boat, the PCF-94, had ever struck a mine and blown out of the water. The only boat that hit a mine and was lifted 2-3 feet out of the water was the PCF-3 on March 13, 1969. Sen. Kerry's PCF-94 had to tow the PCF-3 after it had hit the mine because it was so badly damaged from the explosion. Why in the world Sen. Kerry would falsely claim the events that struck the PCF-3 as his own is mind boggling.

Could memory be playing tricks with Sen. Kerry? No because if you were ever on a boat that hit a mine powerful enough to lift your boat 2-3 feet out of the water you would not have any confusion of whether or not you were ever on such a boat.

It is no wonder that Jim Rassmann has gone silent on the finer details surrounding his March 13, 1969 rescue since neither him, Sen. Kerry or his supporting crew can seem to tell a consistent story. IF Rassmann claims he was riding on Kerry's boat; Kerry places him on another boat. All Jim Rassmann will say today is Sen. Kerry saved his life by pulling him from a river after being knocked off a swift boat (take your pick which one.)

How can anyone be sure they are being told an honest and truthful story of Sen. Kerry's Vietnam service? They cannot because Kerry's campaign will not allow it. Take for example when questions were raised whether Sen. Kerry had attended a Kansas City meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War where the assassination of senators was discussed. Immediately the Kerry campaign denied he was there.

John Musgrave, a disabled ex-marine from Baldwin City, Kan., who told The Kansas City Star that Mr. Kerry was at the meeting, said he got a call from John Hurley, the Kerry campaign's veterans coordinator.

"He said, `I'd like you to refresh your memory,' "Mr. Musgrave, 55, recounted in an interview, confirming an account he had given to The New York Sun. "He said it twice. `And call that reporter back and say you were mistaken about John Kerry being there." [11]

The Kerry campaign no longer denies Sen. Kerry having attended the Kansas City meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and the only reason they no longer deny it is because of FBI evidence that placed him there. It is obvious with the ease and lengths Kerry & Co. will go to discard the truth to project their falsehoods to support a bogus image of Kerry is a shocking sign of his unfitness to be President. Perhaps now that more evidence is coming forward from sources other then Sen. Kerry's tight knitted inner circle of former crewmembers will it finally lead to an truthful account of Sen. Kerry's real Vietnam record, and maybe allow us to get closer to determining just what he is all about.
 

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References
1. Veteran Supporters Rebut Criticism of Kerry, by Lance Gay,
Scripps Howard News Service, July 29, 2004
2. CNN NEWSNIGHT w/ AARON BROWN, Aired May 31, 2004
3. ABC News NightLine, June 24, 2004
4. Associated Press article by Glen Johnson, October 28, 1996
5. Congressional Record: January 28, 1998 (Senate) Page S186-S187
6. One Kerry Supporter Owes Life to Candidate by Jeff Barnard,
Associated Press Jan. 24, 2004
7. Vietnam lessons shape Kerry as a leader by Andrea Stone, USA TODAY,
4/12/2004
8. Cox News Service Article by Mike William, April 18, 2004
9. COPLEY NEWS SERVICE Article By Otto Kreisher, July 21, 2004
10. Heroism, and growing concern about war By Michael Kranish, Boston
Globe, 6/16/2003
11. John Kerry's Role as a Vietnam Anti-War Activist Poses Challenges
to His Campaign by David Halbfinger, New york Times, April 24, 2004
12. Kerry campaign struggles to make military records public by Jill
Zuckman and Jeff Zeleny, Chicago Tribune April 21, 2004
13. The Oregonian, May 02, 2004

Tom,

I just came across this little nugget:

Short, 56, wasn't supposed to be on Kerry's boat. A gunner's mate 3rd class, he was assigned to PCF 94 to replace a gunner who had been wounded. That wounded gunner, the Rev. David Alston of South Carolina, was one of the speakers at the convention Monday.

Short was with Kerry, who was called ``Skipper'' during the combat that won the man now running for president one of his three Purple Hearts and his Silver Star.

``My first day on patrol, I was in three firefights. I wondered, `What in the world are we doing here?' We're not holding any ground and it just seems to be this big firefight,'' Short said.

That could well be the 28th, the 20th did not involve more then 1 fire fight.

Also, if he wasn't suppose to be on his boat, that could mean he wasn't on it the 20th.
 

http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/beaconjournal/news/local/9260626.htm

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