Discussion in 'Politics' started by Annie, Sep 26, 2004.
Why do I get the feeling that beldar will find very few takers?
He may get some takers, but they will come "armed" with rhetoric, sound bytes and talking points. They will, as usual, be remarkably short on facts.
Did Kerry earn (Bay Hap River 1969) his Bronze Medal of Valor which is given
"For Heroic or Meritorious Achievement of Service, not involving aerial flight,
in connection with Operations Against an Opposing Armed Force."
Larry Thurlow was piloting a swiftboat at the same time Kerry was when one of the swiftboats hit a mine and was disabled. Kerry sped away and returned to pick up a green beret (John Rassmann) who was riding on Kerry's boat prior to the explosion.
Two others Van O'dell and Jack Chenoweth back this up.
Van O'Dell, a former Navy enlisted man who says he was the gunner on another Swift Boat, states in his affidavit that he was "a few yards away" from Kerry's boat on March 13, 1969 when Kerry pulled Rassman from the water. According to the official medal citations, Kerry's boat was under enemy fire at the time, and Kerry had been wounded when an enemy mine exploded near his own boat. O'Dell insists "there was no fire" at the time, adding: "I did not hear any shots, nor did any hostile fire hit any boats" other than his own, PCF-3.
Others in the ad back up that account. Jack Chenoweth, who was a Lieutenant (junior grade) commanding PCF-3, said Kerry's boat "fled the scene" after a mine blast disabled PCF-3, and returned only later "when it was apparent that there was no return fire." And Larry Thurlow, who says he commanded a third Swift Boat that day, says "Kerry fled while we stayed to fight," and returned only later "after no return fire occurred."
Thurlow was adement that there was no enemy fire.
Thurlow received a bronze medal of valor for his heroic actions that day of aiding the disabled boat while under enemy fire. This is on his citation for the medal.
The official record states that Thurlow earned his medal.
All three, O'Dell, Chenoweth, and Thurlow say there was no enemy fire.
Thurlow, Kerry, and Lambert all received a bronze medal of valor for their actions that day.
http://www.factcheck.org/UploadedFiles/Thurlow Award Recc.pdf
If there was no enemy fire, neither earned the medal.
Thurlow said Kerry gave the official account and that's why the official account included enemy fire.
THURLOW: For one thing, I did not know that John had been put in for a Bronze Star, a Silver Star or, for that matter, a Purple Heart on that day. I did not see the after-action report, which, in fact, was written by John. And as the years went by, John was not running for the highest office in the free world.
This Thurlow said after Rassmann, the green beret, said:
RASSMANN: There were definitely rounds hitting the water around me. If Mr. Thurlow feels that what his story is purported to be was the case, he had ample opportunity 35 years ago to deal with it. He never did, nor did anyone else. John Kerry did not tell this story. I told this story when I put him in for a Silver Star for coming back to rescue me. The Navy saw fit to reduce it to a Bronze Star for valor.
On a boat behind Kerry another person gave an account of eneny fire.
On Aug. 22 the Washington Post quoted a new eyewitness in support of Kerry's version. The Post said it had independently contacted Wayne D. Langhofer, who manned a machine gun aboard PCF-43, the boat directly behind Kerry's, and that Langhofer said he distinctly remembered the "clack, clack, clack" of enemy AK-47 assault rifles.
Langhofer: There was a lot of firing going on, and it came from both sides of the river.
From Thurlow's boat, Cheif Petty Officer Robert Lambert said:
PORTLAND, Ore. - A Swift Boat crewman decorated in the 1969 Vietnam incident where John Kerry won a Bronze Star says not only did they come under enemy fire but also that his own boat commander, who has challenged the official account, was too distracted to notice the gunfire.
Retired Chief Petty Officer Robert E. Lambert, of Eagle Point, Ore., got a Bronze Star for pulling his boat commander Lt. Larry Thurlow out of the Bay Hap River on March 13, 1969. Thurlow had jumped onto another Swift Boat to aid sailors wounded by a mine explosion but fell off when the out-of-control boat ran aground.
So its really Rassmann's account versus Thurlow's as Rassmann gave the official account as he put Kerry up for a silver medal of valor. Lambert and Thurlow both received bronze medals of valor for their actions under enemy fire. The navy reduced Kerry's medal to a bronze medal of valor for his actions of pulling the green beret from the water under enemy fire.
If enemy fire was not there that day, all of the three bronze medals would not have been earned.
As Lambert suggests, Thurlow was most likely too busy being a hero to notice. We should applaud his actions.
I just find it so hypocritical that the media will ignore the story these men have to tell and rush to try and discredit them..but run to put on a story that some mythical Lucy Ramirez hands to Burkett under the cover of darkness, who then makes copies, burns the originals to hide forensic evidence, then faxes them over from Kinkos to CBS...
So lets recap; Some 200+ decorated veterans are liars, but mythical Lucy Ramirez is credible.....
During the short 4 months kerry was in Vietnam, how many of the 200+ were there?
Of the 30, How many had contact with Kerry?
Of the 17, Thurlow is discredited because he either accepted a bronze medal of valor under false pretenses or he lied. Either way, he lacks the integrity to say that kerry didn't earn his bronze.
The facts are there! I used official Naval documents, the testimony of Thurlow and his supporters, the testimony of Rassman and his supporters. I did not use Kerry's testimony because you wouldn't accept it.
You can choose to accept them or disregard them. The song remains the same.
Truthfully, I have no problem with Kerry's medals. I do have a problem with his actions AFTER he got back from SE Asia and the his accusations regarding atrocities and war crimes.
Still doesn't address why the media completely ignored the swift boat vets but chose to blindly accept Burkett and a woman who can't even be validated as real??
Even if it is only 30 or 17 that still beats 0 unless my math is wrong.
See the problem with accepting Kerry's claim here is that he refuses to disclose his military documents. The whole matter could have been settled within 24 hours if Kerry's version is true. But rather than actually deal with the details you try to decide to attack the credibility of these men.
Kerry could have ended the debate immediately. the question is why not end it then by doing what Bush did and releasing the records? What is Kerry hiding?
Instead Kerry decides to threaten litigation against the news media to shut the story up. And then tries to keep bookstores from publishing "Unfit for Command"
Even if we bought your argument that the stories are equally credible, Kerry's reaction to them is what really raises the question to his account.
Quite frankly i couldnt care less what happened in Vietnam. Whether Kerry earned his medal or not is irrelevant to the fact that he came home and betrayed his fellow troops. It doesnt change the fact he has time and time again voted to make our military and inteligence communities weaker while at the same time voting to take more and more of our money. It doesnt change the fact that despite being the richest Senator in the US, he is only chartible with other people's money.
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