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Swift Boat Veterans for Reven...uh...Truth

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The name seems kinda inappropriate, seeing as how these guys are neither truthful nor entirely swift. The other night I saw a John Kerry campaign video from 1996 with one of the vets who claims Kerry is lieing about his service. He was actually telling a crowd about how Kerry turned his boat into enemy fire to save a fellow soldier in Vietnam. And today a lawyer for the Bush campaign stepped down when it was revealed that he was working with the group. One has to wonder why since he's already 'condemned' all 3rd party ads, Bush won't denounce this one specifically. This group did the same thing to Max Cleland who lost BOTH LEGS AND AN ARM IN VIETNAM and to John McCain who spent 6 years as a Vietnam P.O.W. One word to describe all this: bullshit

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Those swift boats mother f'ers should just shut their traps.


Is their anything MORE INSIGNIFICANT in the political race for the future of the world than what these 2 dorks did 30 years ago??? I realize it does matter, since Kerry is running partly on his "heroic" war merits, but it should just stop now.


How about some talk on the ISSUES? Bush must loves all this because it deflects attention from all his BS. Better to be criticized for not condemning these ads than be criticized for all the other stuff i don't have to mention he's done wrong.


4 years ago i liked Bush. the last year i've soured on him alot but defended him for some unfair criticize on the war. But now i realize the guy is the most arrogant politician this side of Jean Chretien. Time to gut the mofo and his admin.

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If they're wasting so much time on Kerry's past, then why aren't people focusing on Bush's past? I'd love to hear these question asked: "Is it true that you were an alcoholic until age 40?" or "Have you ever used cocaine?"

But I also agree with Moonlight_Graham in that they should move forward and focus on the future and the issues of today.


John Stewart's the man!

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i'll add another nod to John Stewart being the man.


Also, they have definately attacked Bush on his "Vietnam" record with him serving (or not-so-serving) in the US National Guard. But he isn't running on his 30-year old war record, and there aren't any swiftboat-like ads out now criticizing him and creating a big media buzz.


Hopefully this is just the media flavor of the month, and all this stuff will be gone shortly after the Republican Convention...which will create some new interesting stories for people to pounce on. Cue John Stewart!!!

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Kerry denounced the ads attacking Bush's National Guard record when John McCain asked him to.


On another note, Max Cleland tried to hand deliver a note to Bush at his ranch but was turned away.

So Bush ignores Cleland, and looks like a boorish classless ass by snubbing a war hero triple amputee. If Bush comes out and accepts the letter, he looks weak and outclassed.


The best course of action would've been to send a rep to invite Cleland, and only Cleland (no entourage or media) for a private meeting in the ranch. If Cleland declines, it is he who appears without class. If he accepts, Bush appears gracious, even with the opposition. Thankfully, Bush blew it.

- Daily Kos
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john stewart is harsh the man....


and it may just be political bandying but Kerry was preaching a preference to deal with the issues rather than continuing the mud slinging...

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Oh God. You can smell the hypocrisy rising.




Register as bakersfieldisreally and password oklahoma.


Reconstructing one day on a Swift boat


By ROBERT PRICE, Californian staff columnist

e-mail: [email protected]


Posted: Saturday September 4th, 2004, 9:30 PM

Last Updated: Saturday September 4th, 2004, 9:30 PM


Bill Means needed to talk to me, he said. Right away.

I didn't ask why; I figured it had something to do with Vietnam. We'd talked briefly a couple of months earlier about the war and about Swift boats. Thirty-five years ago, as a Navy seaman, Means had patrolled the southern coastline of the South China Sea and the mangrove-dense rivers of the country's interior -- 12 months in all, mostly spent in the pilot house of one of those 55-foot, aluminum-hulled Navy fighting boats.


About a week ago, we made tentative plans to talk again. Then I didn't hear from him until he called abruptly, urgency in his voice.


We sat down together and, agitated and emotional, he laid it all out for me.


It bothered him, seeing Vietnam brought back into play as a political game piece. The left had done it to war veterans three decades ago. Returning servicemen had been vilified -- spat upon, in fact, as if they'd been the architects of U.S. foreign policy rather than just the young men and women obligated by law and duty to carry it out.


Now the right had seized upon the Vietnam War, too -- specifically the role, in uniform and out, of Sen. John Kerry. And to Means, it seemed just as wrong.


Means, a 55-year-old investigator for several Bakersfield law firms, was particularly annoyed by the words of one retired admiral. Roy F. "Latch" Hoffman, one of the co-founders of the pro-George W. Bush group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, had publicly criticized Kerry, a former Swift boat commander, for having brought back stories about alleged war crimes by U.S. forces -- often carried out, Kerry said in 1971, "with the full awareness of officers at all levels."


Seemed to him, Means said, his own Swift boat crew had come close to committing a war crime themselves one day. A senior officer, hitching a ride up the coast aboard their Swift boat, had ordered the crew to fire on a small group of unarmed Vietnamese fishermen working their nets in unrestricted waters, Means said. The boat's commanding officer had refused to comply.


Was that the way the boat's commander remembered the incident too, all these years later? Means had to know.


So he got on the Internet and hunted down Thomas W.L. "Tad" McCall, the retired Navy captain who'd commanded Means' boat, PCF 88, as a newly minted ensign. Means called him.


Not only did McCall remember the day in question, and that confrontation off the coast of South Vietnam, he remembered the name of the officer who had given the command to shoot: "Latch" Hoffman himself, then a Navy captain in charge of the entire Swift boat task force in Vietnam.


The next morning Means told me the whole story. Then I called McCall myself.


McCall, now 60, remembers March 14, 1969, because it was his 25th birthday. He'd only been running a Swift boat for a few weeks, having arrived in Vietnam in January 1969, the same month as Means.


At the time, McCall said, the Navy was having trouble finding qualified officers to command those hazardous-duty patrol boats; lieutenant j.g.'s were in increasingly short supply. McCall, the son of Oregon's sitting governor, Republican Tom McCall, was only an ensign. That, the Navy was beginning to realize, would have to do.


"I was really green," said McCall, who joined the Navy as an enlisted man in 1967 and retired in March 1992 as a captain and a JAG, or military attorney.


McCall's crew was supposed to be off duty that day. But McCall was told Hoffman needed a ride up the coast to the base at Nha Trang to visit a seriously wounded Navy SEAL.


"I was excited, nervous and kind of pleased we were going to get to take the commander of the task force up the coast, an hour and a half each way," McCall said. "A beautiful trip, an honor for us. The crew didn't think it was an honor, though. They thought it was a pain in the butt."


Hoffman got to the boat at mid-morning, a distinguished-looking officer in brown camouflage.


From the start, Hoffman made it clear the trip would be no pleasure cruise. He wanted to search every Vietnamese boat they passed, it seemed. McCall protested mildly; he knew many of those boats from having patrolled those same waters almost daily.


Then Hoffman set his attention on a small cluster of fishing boats, four small vessels with perhaps 10 fishermen, about 1,000 yards offshore. "We had seen them in the water there many, many times," McCall said. "They were fishing at a good fishing place ... in traditional fishing waters. 'Another patrol is coming up behind us soon,' I told him. 'We're taking you for a ride, not patrolling.'"


But Hoffman ordered a crewman to hail the fishing boats on a bullhorn. The fishermen didn't respond. So Hoffman ordered a crewman to fire his M-16 in their direction, splashing the water around them. The fishermen, perhaps not understanding what they were supposed to do, still didn't respond.


"Shoot closer," McCall remembers Hoffman saying.


"I can't shoot closer, sir, I'll hit them," the crewman said.


"Well, do it," Hoffman said.


The meaning of those words were clear to everyone aboard PCF 88, McCall said. Hoffman was ordering the fishing party destroyed, the fishermen killed.


The officers argued policy; McCall realized it was ultimately his call.


He ordered his men to stand down, leave the fishermen alone and move on. He sent Hoffman below deck, and the captain, cursing, complied.


"From that day on," said Means, who witnessed the exchange from his post at the wheel, "McCall was our hero."


When McCall got back to the base at Cam Ranh Bay, he was told he would receive an administrative punishment -- a 30-day benching known as being "in hack," for which official records were not kept.


"There was no animosity afterward," McCall said, noting that when Hoffman left Vietnam, the sailors at Cam Ranh Bay threw him a party.


"I think, if I remember right, he gave me a hug," McCall said. "He was a rascal, a colorful guy. We had an amicable parting of the ways. I just thought his leadership at the time was misguided."


Hoffman did not return my e-mail message asking for his comment.


After leaving the Navy, McCall served as a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force, a civilian post, from 1994 to 2001. Since that time he has worked as a consultant to the Army on environmental matters.


He has been approached by representatives of the Kerry campaign about telling his story, he said. He's not particularly political, so he's not interested.


Means feels the same -- to a point.


"We weren't Republicans and Democrats on those Swift boats," he said. "We were (expletive) trying to stay alive. (Things) happened, but we can't go back and reconstruct it from 35 years ago."


But if others, whatever their motivation, insist on trying to do so now, Means is willing to try too. In his view, his commanding officer did the right thing 35 years ago by speaking up. Speaking up himself, Bill Means believes, is the least he can do today.

Edited by no yu begin wher i end
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