Kerry's Own Journal Contradicts His First Purple Heart Story

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by marcmc99, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. marcmc99

    marcmc99 Founding Member

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    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=40006


    Kerry contradicts self in his own war diary?
    At least 9 days after Purple Heart,
    wrote he had not 'been shot at yet'

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Posted: August 17, 2004
    8:00 p.m. Eastern


    By Art Moore
    © 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

    A previously unnoticed passage in John Kerry's approved war biography, citing his own journals, appears to contradict the senator's claim he won his first Purple Heart as a result of an injury sustained under enemy fire.

    Kerry, who served as commander of a Navy swift boat, has insisted he was wounded by enemy fire Dec. 2, 1968, when he and two other men took a smaller vessel, a Boston Whaler, on a patrol north of his base at Cam Ranh Bay.

    But Douglas Brinkley's "Tour of Duty," for which Kerry supplied his journals and letters, indicates that as Kerry set out on a subsequent mission, he had not yet been under enemy fire.

    While the date of the four-day excursion on PCF-44 [Patrol Craft Fast] is not specified, Brinkley notes it commenced when Kerry "had just turned 25, on Dec. 11, 1968," which was nine days after the incident in which he claimed he had been wounded by enemy fire.

    Brinkley recounts the outset of that mid-December journey, which included a crew of radarman James Wasser, engineman William Zaladonis, gunner's mate Stephen Gardner and boatswain's mates Drew Whitlow and Stephen Hatch:

    "They pulled away from the pier at Cat Lo with spirits high, feeling satisfied with the way things were going for them. They had no lust for battle, but they also were were not afraid. Kerry wrote in his notebook, 'A cocky feeling of invincibility accompanied us up the Long Tau shipping channel because we hadn't been shot at yet, and Americans at war who haven't been shot at are allowed to be cocky.'"

    The diary entry apparently confirms assertions made by Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth, a group of more than 250 vets opposing his presidential candidacy who served in the Naval operation that patrolled the rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta area controlled by North Vietnam.

    In the swift-boat group's newly published book, "Unfit for Command," authors John O'Neill, who took over command of Kerry's boat, and Jerome Corsi assert the wound for which Kerry received his medal actually was caused by him firing an M-79 grenade launcher too close, "causing a tiny piece of shrapnel (one to two centimeters) to barely stick in his arm."

    Could the "we" to which Kerry referred in his notebook entry have meant only that his crew, rather than Kerry in particular, had not encountered enemy fire?

    At least one other PCF-44 crew member was with Kerry during the Boston Whaler incident, Zaldonis, according to the Boston Globe's account of the story.

    Whatever the case, Corsi told WorldNetDaily he believes the apparent contradiction in Kerry's journal, as presented by Brinkley, deserves a response.

    "We're not interested in charges that cannot be documented," he added.

    The Kerry campaign's press staff has not answered WND's request for a response.

    Corsi contends Kerry has a "pattern" of equivocation, "distinguishing and extending" his answers to charges, including responses to alleged participation in a 1971 Kansas City meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War where a plot to assassinate seven U.S. senators was considered.

    "Finally, he said he was there, but he doesn't remember it," Corsi said.

    Last week, Kerry was forced to revise his decades-long contention he was on a secret mission in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968.

    "Tour of Duty" author Brinkley is reported to be writing a piece for the New Yorker saying it actually was January 1969 when Kerry was sent into Cambodia, not December 1968.


    As WorldNetDaily reported, the authors of "Unfit for Command claim that despite the senator's many public references to spending Christmas Eve in Cambodia – including a1986 speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate – the candidate was never in Vietnam's neighboring country. Rather, they say he was more than 50 miles from the Cambodian border at Sa Dec.

    'Dear diary moment'

    Conservative commentator and attorney Chris Horner, a defender of the swift-boats group who alerted WND to the diary entry, called it a "stunning" revelation.

    On recent television and radio appearances, he said, claims made by eyewitnesses to events surrounding the first Purple Heart have been countered by "surrogates of Kerry" who do not address the substance of the charges.

    "So finally, you have an eyewitness in a dear diary moment, saying, 'Dear diary, I still haven't been shot at,' confirming what the Swiftees have been saying," observed Horner, who has defended the group's claims in recent appearances on television news shows.

    "Admittedly the source is questionable – John Kerry – but it at last provides a witness from his camp to address the charges that his first Purple Heart resulted from a scratch borne of his own fire," Horner said.
    Kerry's journal entry indicating he had not yet been fired upon is noted in a soon-to-be released book by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, editors of the left-leaning, alternative newsletter Counterpunch. In an excerpt of their book, they write regarding Kerry's first Purple Heart, "there's no evidence that anyone had fired back, or that Kerry had been in combat, as becomes obvious when we read an entry from his diary about a subsequent excursion, written on December 11, 1968, nine days after the incident that got Kerry his medal."

    Enemy fire?

    According to "Unfit for Command," Kerry's initial requests to receive a Purple Heart for the wound were flatly rejected.

    In "Tour of Duty," Brinkley quotes Kerry as saying he and his comrades were "scared s---less" that night, thinking fishermen in sampans might be Viet Cong.

    When some of the sampan occupants began unloading something on the beach, Kerry lit a flare, causing the startled men on shore to run for cover. That's when Kerry says he and the other Americans began firing.

    Said Kerry in "Tour of Duty":

    My M-16 jammed, and as I bent down in the boat to grab another gun, a stinging piece of heat socked into my arm and just seemed to burn like hell. By this time one of the sailors had started the engine and we ran by the beach, strafing it. Then it was quiet. O'Neill and Corsi, however, claim there is no evidence whatsoever Kerry took any enemy fire that night.

    Patrick Runyon was operating the engine on the Boston whaler during the incident. "I can't say for sure that we got return fire or how [Kerry] got nicked," Runyon is quoted as saying in "Unfit for Command." "I couldn't say one way or the other. I know he did get nicked, a scrape on the arm."

    Wrote O'Neill: "In a separate conversation, Runyon related that he never knew Kerry was wounded. So even in the [Boston] Globe biography accounting, it was not clear that there was any enemy fire, just a question about how Kerry might have been hit with shrapnel."

    The book also asserts another one of Kerry's three Purple Hearts was self-inflicted.
     
  2. crawfish

    crawfish Founding Member

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  3. islstl

    islstl Playoff committee is a group of great football men Staff Member

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    December 25th, 1968:

    I made it to Cambodia. Well at least I think it's Cambodia. Not sure now. The hot poker that I purposely stuck myself in the eye with in order to get yet another purple heart has left my vision betraying me at times. Damn the air smells of death. I am sure it's because of those son of a bitchin American soldiers who probably have come through here and mamed, mutilated, and decapitated innocent victims here in Laos. I mean Cambodia, dammit.

    Oh well, enough for now. I got some scheming to do.
     
  4. SabanFan

    SabanFan The voice of reason

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    Is that the official Democrat response? How about your conditioned response: He's LYING!
     
  5. ElvisFan

    ElvisFan Founding Member

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    Too many things in this guy's story just don't add up.
     
  6. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

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    Ok, you guys are really reaching for straws, now. Having produced no evidence, the Bush camp can only offer the lame recollections of the "Vietnam Veterans for Truth" which has been exposed to be a 527 Political Action Committee working to elect George Bush, not a recognized veterans group. None of these guys happen to be Kerry's shipmates. The guy who wrote the book was not even in Vietnam while Kerry served! He lost a debate to Kerry in the 70's and has held a grudge ever since.

    Just forget the Purple Hearts. Hell, even forget the Bronze and Silver Stars. Remember this: Kerry volunteered for service, volunteered for Vietnam, and actually served there, in a combat unit in action under fire. Facts that are on the record.

    Bush joined the National Guard, checked the box "I do not want to serve overseas" on his paperwork, failed to maintain his flight status by declining to take the required physical (after drug testing was implemented in 1971), and did not even show up for duty in the last year of his commmitment. Facts that are on the record.

    There is a $10,000 reward being offered to anyone who can produce a document or a witness who can place George Bush in his assigned unit in Alabama at any time. No takers.

    Just like they did to Max Cleland and John McCain, the conservative extremists are desperately trying to sully the reputation of a decorated war veteran because they are ashamed of how it looks next to the the pathetic "military" record of George Bush. Yet all they are doing is drawing more attention to it.

    George W. Bush and John Kerry both spent their mid twenties in uniform. The similarities end there.

    Ad features vets who claim Kerry "lied" to get Vietnam medals. But other witnesses disagree.
     
  7. marcmc99

    marcmc99 Founding Member

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    To borrow a line from Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friend". Kerry wasn't all gung-ho looking to be a hero. He was attempting to hide out himself, according to his own words. Maybe he changed his mind after he decided to run for president, and realized he joined up to be a hero after all. That sounds better on a presidential resume, don't you think?

    http://www.boston.com/globe/nation/packages/kerry/061503.shtml

    As graduation approached, Kerry knew that he had three choices: be drafted, seek a deferment for graduate school, or join up and position himself to become an officer. ``It was clear to me that I was going to be at risk,'' Kerry recalled. ``My draft board . . . said, `Look, the likelihood is you are probably going to be drafted.' I said, `If I'm going to be drafted, I'd like to have responsibility and be an officer.' ''

    Kerry served two tours. For a relatively uneventful six months, from December 1967 to June 1968, he served in the electrical department aboard the USS Gridley, a guided-missile frigate that supported aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin and was far removed from combat.

    Kerry initially hoped to continue his service at a relatively safe distance from most fighting, securing an assignment as "swift boat" skipper. While the 50-foot swift boats cruised the Vietnamese coast a little closer to the action than the Gridley had come, they were still considered relatively safe.

    "I didn't really want to get involved in the war," Kerry said in a little-noticed contribution to a book of Vietnam reminiscences published in 1986. "When I signed up for the swift boats, they had very little to do with the war. They were engaged in coastal patrolling and that's what I thought I was going to be doing."

    But two weeks after he arrived in Vietnam, the swift boat mission changed -- and Kerry went from having one of the safest assignments in the escalating conflict to one of the most dangerous.
     
  8. crawfish

    crawfish Founding Member

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    Sabanfan, Who makes the best shovel?
     
  9. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

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  10. marcmc99

    marcmc99 Founding Member

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    He "ultimately opposed"? I thought he opposed it while he was there. Or did he oppose it before he went, support it while he was there, then oppose it again when he came home? Who knows, there are about 50 diiferent versions to the story. The Swiftboat Vets have their version, Kerry has the other 49. I think I'll stick with the Swiftboat Vets. Even if they are lying, at least they are intelligent enough to repeat the same lie. Kerry has proven he can't even do that.
     

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