Presidential candidate John Kerry is firing back at his military detractors.
Kerry’s offensive just has found its way to the Federal Election Campaign. Bush could find himself on the receiving end.
It has been an interesting week-end here in America. John Kerry’s former commanding officer has surfaced. The Green Beret that John Kerry saved has surfaced. Others in the flotilla of the swift boats that John Kerry was in have surfaced. They are all telling the same story, that John Kerry is telling the truth about his military service in Viet Nam.
This leaves Mr. Thurlow, Kerry’s most vocal antagonist, mostly standing alone in his accusation that Kerry lied. However, Thurlow’s story is being weakened by information found in his own 201 file.
Bush has never once denounced the attacks on Kerry’s war record. Why, is the question? Then there is the matter of a $100,000 to the group detracting Kerry from Bush supporter Bob Perry. The ad where the group swift boats for truth, is part of a $600,000 buy, funded primarily by Republican contributors from Texas, according to federal records. Is Bush using others to do his dirty work is another question that is being discussed.
James Zumwalt, who had been a member of the swift boats for truth group has recently said “I kind of have mixed feelings" about the tone of the group's attacks. "I would not try to question the awards given to him [Kerry] or his service."
What seems to be irritating to some Viet Nam veterans is the fact that Kerry changed views about the American involvement in Viet Nam after he returned. Kerry now opposed the war and there are veterans who see this as a stab in the back, and now are seeking retaliation.
Another vocal critic of Kerry’s war record is Tony Gisclair. Mr. Glisclair also adds "I wasn't there at the time that happened".
Probably most disturbing to Kerry’s detractors is the Kerry gave testimony about some of the atrocities that were happening in Viet Nam at the time. Atrocities that have been documented, photographed and recorded – but, kept quietly under wraps. I can remember being told we could not cut off the ear of a Viet Cong any more because the press had found out about it. There was a picture of Viet children and women running from their village after it and they were napalmed – that picture was in Life Magazine. Are the attacks on Kerry an attempt to distract the American public from the wounds of a war not yet healed?
The officers of the other swift boats involved in the incident that John O'Neill is stating Kerry lied, vouch for Kerry’s actions under hostile fire.
The tactic that was used that day was to turn into the enemy fired, isolate its source, and neutralize the threat. Rear Adm. Roy Hoffmann, the task force commander, fired off a message congratulating the three Swift boats, saying at one point that the tactic of charging the ambushes was a "shining example of completely overwhelming the enemy" and that it "may be the most efficacious method of dealing with small numbers of ambushers."
Hoffmann is now claiming Kerry acted impulsively on that day and under mines the tactics that he had praised.
The late Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, then commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam, wanted aggressive action such as the tactics that Kerry and his fellow officer used. Kerry gave the higher command the type of action they wanted to see.
This should bring Bush’s service back into question. Military pay records mean nothing. At that time, the reserve and guard forces used a form called “1379’ to record attendance of the members. It is the 1379 that should be examined, not pay records.