From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

October 21, 2004 10:24 AM

have finally uncovered the truth about John Kerry's military service. Watch their latest ad in Quicktime, Windows Media, or Real. Thank you Swift Boat Vets!

More from the archive in John Kerry.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (10.21.2004)

Next Entry: Political ads as greeting cards (10.21.2004)
Previous Entry: Coming up short for the "all volunteer" Army (10.21.2004)

Read the 44 comments.


So they're all a bunch of liars, huh? And the old "They didn't serve with him!" fable, too.

So in the famous picture of George Washington crossing the Delaware...the only men who actually "served with Washington" are the ones in the same boat?
The fellows who are in the boats 20 - 30 feet away from Washington's boat - they didn't actually "serve" with Washington? They were in NO position to see what George Washington's boat was doing?

So you're on a jury trying a vehicular manslaughter case....using your rationale, any independent eyewitnesses to what happened are absolutely NOT to be believed because, after all, they weren't in the actual vehicle that crashed, right?

Who do you suppose has a better view of the stern of a Swift boat - the OIC up forward in the wheelhouse, or the crew of the boat 20 yards astern?

Thu Oct 21 2004 10:55 AM

Independent Jones:

Here's the thing. The men who did serve under Kerry, on the same boat, don't seem to have a problem with him. Reconcile that.

Thu Oct 21 2004 11:34 AM


Used to be Republicans respected military service and the people who put their lives on the line for our liberty. How times have changed.

Thu Oct 21 2004 11:40 AM

Independent Jones:

This may not be terribly civil of me to say, but my father faught in Vietnam. He got shot in the knee and watched his friends burn to death in a helicopter crash. If he were to speak out against the war and the lost cause of the whole affair and someone were to react like the swift boat vets have reacted, I would punch that person right in the face. Kerry's life was put on the same line as everyone else's in Vietnam. Who cares if he came back with a changed heart. War can do that to you, especially one that was a much of a waste as Vietnam was. At least the dude had the balls to enlist. I'm sure he had other options. He could have stayed state side and protected Texas from the Viet Cong.

Thu Oct 21 2004 11:53 AM

Right Wing Robby:

By doing what Paul, calling members of your own army war criminals while they get beat on a daily bases by the vietcong? Thats honor.

Thu Oct 21 2004 12:00 PM

Right Wing Robby:

If someone called my dad a baby killing murderer who should be brought up on war crime charges while my dad was being beaten on a daily basis by the vietcong, I'd do alot more than just punch them in the face.

Thu Oct 21 2004 12:05 PM


Independent Jones:

How did your father like being called a murdering rapist who committed acts of atrocities on a daily basis?

Thu Oct 21 2004 12:37 PM

Red Ghost:

War is a terrible thing. The Vietnam War was a terrible thing. The Viet Cong did terrible things. The United States did terrible things.

RWR, try a search on Agent Orange. Or the My Lai Massacre. These have real places in history.

Again, Kerry's words from

"I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.

It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam, but they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."

(Full testimony at )

I'm still looking for "baby killing murderer." I did, however, find a similar allegation leveled at John Kerry.

"Chapter Four of the book opens with a quotation from William Franke, a swift boat veteran (and today an attorney-businessman): 'I will tell you in all candor that the only baby killer I knew in Vietnam was John F. Kerry.'"

Who should do the punching?

Thu Oct 21 2004 12:45 PM

Right Wing Robby:

My bad, no baby killing just....

personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan..."

Sorry for the putting the incorrect information up there. I guess cutting off heads is more acceptable to you?

Thu Oct 21 2004 1:01 PM

Red Ghost:

Please, please, PLEASE read:
"They told the stories at times they had personally..."

How do you not get that? He RECOUNTED stories and testimonies.


Where the hell are the Comment Police when you need them?

Thu Oct 21 2004 1:10 PM

Right Wing Robby:


If you were in prison camp being beaten everyday I wouldnt say anything that would make it worse for you. Would you do that to me?

Thu Oct 21 2004 1:26 PM


Actually every "story" that was told in Detroit turned out to be false. John Kerry's Winter Soldier "investigation" was a complete fraud. Two investigations into his claims (one senate and one by the navy) found ever single documented "statement" to be made by a fraud or a poser. Not one had seen combat service (cute word "service") in Vietnam and some had never even served in the military. The few serviceman who had actually seen combat in Vietnam turned out to be names assumed by posers within the VVAW.

Thu Oct 21 2004 1:39 PM


Ok. Bush slandered McCain in the republican primary for 2000 just like theyre doing to Kerry...atleast try to attempt to be so sadly partisan---disagree with his politics, whatever---but this is just wrong

Thu Oct 21 2004 1:42 PM



The movie Jim posted is slandering all the veterans in it.

Thu Oct 21 2004 1:46 PM


"By doing what Paul, calling members of your own army war criminals while they get beat on a daily bases by the vietcong? Thats honor."

Some of our soldiers *were* war criminals. It's a fact.

I would certainly say that the majority of Vietnam soldiers served honorably, but the fact remains that some soldiers committed horrible atrocities, and Kerry was brave enough to step forward and say so.

If you think that Kerry should have kept his mouth shut about what he knew, then that says a hell of a lot about your (lack of) morals.

Thu Oct 21 2004 1:59 PM


I stand corrected, not every single claimant was found to be a fraud or a poser. Of those found to actually have been real combat verterans from Vietnam not a single one was willing to cooperate with either investigation even with blanket immunity for anything that the investigations might uncover. This after signing statements admitting to murder, torture and other crimes against humanity.

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:00 PM


wrong wing,

"If someone called my dad a baby killing murderer who should be brought up on war crime charges while my dad was being beaten on a daily basis by the vietcong, I'd do alot more than just punch them in the face."

This is not about your dad. This is about American soldiers committing gross atrocities. Nobody is saying anybody's dad participated.

You are attempting to whitewash or stalinize the historical record and *pretend* that these atrocities did not occur. I have nothing but *contempt* for your ideology, which has no regard for truth, but only for the history which you *want* to believe.

Please don't tell me that you teach history.

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:08 PM


For got his opening line:

I would like to say for the record, and also for the men behind me who are also wearing the uniforms and their medals, that my sitting here is really symbolic. I am not here as John Kerry. I am here as one member of the group of one thousand, which is a small representation of a very much larger group of veterans in this country, and were it possible for all of them to sit at this table they would be here and have the same kind of testimony.

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:08 PM


From the link I provided above:

"Three Blade reporters won the Pulitzer Prize - journalism's highest honor - yesterday for uncovering the atrocities of an elite U.S. Army fighting unit in the Vietnam War that killed unarmed civilians and children during a seven-month rampage."

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:11 PM


"For seven months, Tiger Force soldiers moved across the Central Highlands, killing scores of unarmed civilians - in some cases torturing and mutilating them - in a spate of violence never revealed to the American public.

They dropped grenades into underground bunkers where women and children were hiding - creating mass graves - and shot unarmed civilians, in some cases as they begged for their lives.

They frequently tortured and shot prisoners, severing ears and scalps for souvenirs.

A review of thousands of classified Army documents, National Archives records, and radio logs reveals a fighting unit that carried out the longest series of atrocities in the Vietnam War - and commanders who looked the other way.

For 41/2 years, the Army investigated the platoon, finding numerous eyewitnesses and substantiating war crimes. But in the end, no one was prosecuted, the case buried in the archives for three decades."

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:14 PM


"Dennis Stout was a soldier caught between the ethics of his job and surviving in an unforgiving Army.

As a military journalist, he watched platoon soldiers force 35 women and children into a pasture in the heart of Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

As the people huddled - some crying-the soldiers moved the villagers into small groups and led them to the edge of the field.

Then came the gun shots, with bodies falling.

"They just killed them - mothers, with little kids and old people," he recalled.

Though he wrote for an Army newspaper, he said he was banned from reporting about the killings that July day in 1967."

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:19 PM


"Former soldiers have pointed to the case of Sam Ybarra. By September, 1967, the point man was already known for cutting off ears and scalping prisoners, but he became even more vicious after his best friend, Kenneth "Boots" Green, was killed by a North Vietnamese sniper that month.

"After Boots died, he [Private Ybarra] got creepy," former Private Kerney said in a recent interview. "He had his mind made up that he was going to kill as many people as possible and nobody was going to stop him. Nobody.''"

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:22 PM


"After watching Tiger Force soldiers execute an unarmed villager, Sgt. Gerald Bruner did the unthinkable.

He raised his rifle with his own threat: He would kill anyone who tried to shoot any more civilians.

The soldiers backed down.

For his efforts, he was berated by a commander for turning on other soldiers - and told to see a psychiatrist.

But his actions in the village near Chu Lai in August, 1967, was the only known time a platoon member threatened to shoot one of his own to stop the brutality, Army records show.

He complained to superiors about the attack on the farmer, but nothing happened.

Seven years later, he complained to Army investigators looking into Tiger Force atrocities. Again, nothing happened.

In the end, the sergeant was unable to bring justice to a case that troubled him to his grave, said family members."

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:30 PM


"But platoon members weren't just executing prisoners: They began to target unarmed civilians.

In June, an elderly man in black robes and believed to be a Buddhist monk was shot to death after he complained to soldiers about the treatment of villagers. A grenade was placed on his body to disguise him as an enemy soldier, platoon members told investigators.

That same month, Ybarra shot and killed a 15-year-old boy near the village of Duc Pho, reports state. He later told soldiers he shot the youth because he wanted the teenager's tennis shoes.

The shoes didn't fit, but Ybarra ended up carrying out what became a ritual among platoon members: He cut off the teenager's ears and placed them in a ration bag, Specialist Carpenter told investigators.

During the Army's investigation of Tiger Force, 27 soldiers said the severing of ears from dead Vietnamese became an accepted practice. One reason: to scare the Vietnamese.

Platoon members strung the ears on shoe laces to wear around their necks, reports state.

Former platoon medic Larry Cottingham told investigators: "There was a period when just about everyone had a necklace of ears."

Records show soldiers began another gruesome practice: Kicking out the teeth of dead civilians for their gold fillings."

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:34 PM


"When Mr. Dao crossed the river, he ran into Sgt. Leo Heaney, who grabbed the elderly Vietnamese man with the gray beard.

Immediately, the 68-year-old carpenter dropped his shoulder pole with baskets on each end filled with geese.

"He was terrified and folded his hands and started what appeared to me as praying for mercy in a loud high-pitched tone," Mr. Heaney told Army investigators.

He said he realized the man posed no threat.

Sergeant Heaney said he escorted Mr. Dao to the platoon leaders, Lieutenant Hawkins and Sgt. Harold Trout. Trembling, the man continued to babble loudly, witnesses said.

Immediately, Lieutenant Hawkins began shaking the old man and cursing at him, witnesses recalled. Without warning, Sergeant Trout clubbed Mr. Dao with the barrel of his M-16 rifle.

He fell to the ground, covered with blood.

In a sworn statement to investigators, Specialist Carpenter said he told Lieutenant Hawkins the man "was just a farmer, and was unarmed."

But as medic Barry Bowman tried to treat the villager's head wound, Lieutenant Hawkins lifted the man up from where he was kneeling and shot him in the face with a Carbine-15 rifle.

"The old man fell backwards on the ground, and Hawkins shot him again," Specialist Carpenter said in a sworn statement. "I just knew he was dead as half of his head was blown off.""

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:37 PM


"Villagers recently interviewed said they dug dozens of mass graves after the soldiers moved through the valley.

Nguyen Dam, 66, recalled the grim task of burying neighbors and friends whose bodies were left in the fields.

"We wouldn't even have meals because of the smell," the rice farmer said. "I couldn't breathe the air sometimes. There were so many villagers who died, we couldn't bury them one by one. We had to bury them all in one grave.""

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:39 PM


"The platoon - broken into groups of four to six soldiers - began attacking villages with a vengeance, according to former soldiers.

"Everybody was blood thirsty at the time, saying ‘We're going to get them back. We're going to go back there. We're going to even the score,'" former medic Rion Causey said in a recent interview.

He said he watched as soldiers took out their aggressions on unarmed civilians who refused to leave their homes.

"I've never seen anything like it. We just came in and cleared out the civilian population," said Mr. Causey, 55, now a nuclear engineer in California. "It was a day by day by day thing."

In some cases, the Army dropped leaflets into villages warning people to go to relocation centers.

If the people didn't leave, "they would be killed," Mr. Causey said.

To cover up the shootings, platoon leaders began counting dead civilians as enemy soldiers, five former soldiers told The Blade.

A review of Army logs supports their accounts.

For 10 days beginning Nov. 11, entries show that platoon members were claiming to be killing Viet Cong - a total of 49. But no weapons were found in 46 deaths, records show."

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:40 PM

Right Wing Robby:


The reason it matters is because this is not just an election of ideas, but of men. To make a judgement of that man I ask this question.

If I was getting beaten everyday by the vietcong, would you stand up and say something to the world that would cause me further beatings?

Kerrys answer was YES! And men were beat. Not far off men in the distant past. They were our fathers, our brothers and our sons. They were the men in that slander video Jim posted.

How should I measure that man? As someone who looks our for the welfare of our troops? Dont think so.

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:40 PM


"During the rampage, the soldiers committed some of their most brutal atrocities, Army records show.

A 13-year-old girl's throat was slashed after she was sexually assaulted, and a young mother was shot to death after soldiers torched her hut.

An unarmed teenager was shot in the back after a platoon sergeant ordered the youth to leave a village, and a baby was decapitated so that a soldier could remove a necklace.

During the Army's investigation, former Pvt. Joseph Evans - another Tiger Force soldier - refused to be interrogated. But in a recent interview, he said many people who were running from soldiers during that period were not a threat to troops.

"They were just running because they were afraid. They were in fear. We killed a lot of people who shouldn't have been killed.""

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:41 PM


"It wasn’t just Tiger Force.

During his five months as a press officer, he said soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division - the larger unit that included Tiger Force -were committing atrocities.

He watched 22 paratroopers rape and execute a woman, he said, and a medic pump swamp water into the heart of a prisoner before he was fatally shot by soldiers.

Mr. Stout said he told a master sergeant, but was ordered to forget the

killings. He confided to a chaplain but was warned to keep quiet.

After leaving the Army in 1969, he complained to Army officials who promised to investigate.

But for three decades, the Pentagon refused to say what happened to his case - and the detailed records he provided to agents.

"I just thought it disappeared," he said.

In fact, the Army sent two letters to Mr. Stout in 1997, saying officials were "unable to locate" records of his complaints.

But documents at the National Archives tell a different story.

Records show that the Army conducted an investigation for two years of his complaints beginning on Dec. 16, 1969.

Known as the "Stout Allegation," the inquiry focused on eight specific atrocities passed on to agents by Mr. Stout, including the Tiger Force executions of villagers in the field.

It can’t be determined if anyone was charged because hundreds of documents, including sworn witness statements, are missing from the case, according to senior archivists.

It was during his stint as an Army journalist in the Song Ve Valley that he began to observe mass executions, Mr. Stout said.

The unit leading the charge was Tiger Force, he said.

"They just shot everybody," said Mr. Stout, 58, now a building contractor who lives in Phoenix. "There were no civilians they ever let go. They killed everybody they could find."

He said his job was to write positive stories about soldiers in battle. But after witnessing assaults on villagers in the Song Ve, he said his faith was shaken in the military. "They just lined people up and shot them.""

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:46 PM


"In just 41/2 hours, the U.S. Army's 11th Brigade went on a rampage that shook the American military to its core.

When it was over, about 500 people lay dead - unarmed men, women, and children - some herded into a ditch and sprayed with bullets, their bloodied bodies stacked on top of one another.

Much has been written about the slaughter on March 16, 1968, that helped turn the American public against the war. The assaults spawned books and magazine articles - with stark images of women and babies in a mass grave.

Thirty-five years later, the My Lai massacre shares powerful parallels with the Tiger Force war-crime case."

Thu Oct 21 2004 2:49 PM


The extensive investigation conducted by the Toledo Blade, which earned the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize, detailed not only the atrocities, but also that the U.S. Army turned a blind eye to them, despite the brave actions of many soldiers to step forward and report the atrocities to their superior officers.

Only when soldiers like John Kerry, true American patriots and heroes, stepped forward and made the information public, were events such as the My Lai massacre investigated. Anyone who thinks it's wrong to point out war crimes and atrocities has a perverted understanding of what patriotism and morality *really mean*.

Thu Oct 21 2004 3:02 PM

Right Wing Robby:

So if it was your father who was tortured and beaten more and worse because of those words, you'd be fine with that?

Thu Oct 21 2004 3:05 PM


"After a 4 1/2 -year Army investigation concluded that at least 18 Tiger Force soldiers committed war crimes, the matter was dropped by the Army. The official files were buried in the Army's archives since 1975, and to this day military officials continue to withhold them from the public."

Thu Oct 21 2004 3:05 PM

Red Ghost:

Further down the rabbit hole...

So, dhermesc's argument is that the Winter Soldier testimonies were fake. RWR's argument is that anyone who criticizes / voices opposition to a war / war activities directly contributes to the negative treatment of POWs. Got it.

An explanation of the Winter Soldier Investigations:

And an excerpt from the site on the authenticity of participants:

"As confirmed by the subsequent investigative work of Burkett, Lewy and others, there were many imposters and liars who joined the ranks of the anti-war movement, and, in some cases, falsely claimed to have witnessed war crimes and atrocities in order to get attention and sympathy. In one documented case, a particularily convincing fraud was able to obtain medals and honors. The organizers of the Winter Soldier Investigation were acutely aware of this, and took several steps to guarantee the validity of the participants...

As noted in VVAW records, each veteran's authenticity and testimony were checked after the hearings by Nixon's 'plumbers.' Charles Colson was assigned the task. In a CONFIDENTIAL 'Plan to Counteract Viet Nam Veterans Against the War', Colson wrote, 'The men that participated in the pseudo-atrocity hearings in Detroit will be checked to ascertain if they are genuine combat veterans.' At one point, the Nixon team suggested in a memo about VVAW, 'Several of their regional coordinators are former Kennedy supporters.' With the exception of an attack on non-participant Al Hubbard, revealing that he had lied about his rank (Staff Sergeant E-5 instead of Captain), nothing worse was ever produced by these investigations.

Despite this meticulous documentation, several of the Midwest papers and news organizations, such as the Detroit News, tried to discredit the hearings by questioning the authenticity of the veterans who testified. Discharge papers were closely examined; military records were checked against the Pentagon records; with all their digging, not one fraudulent veteran was discovered. The Detroit Free Press reported daily of participants that had been confirmed by the Pentagon as veterans.

However, NBC News did later discover that VVAW executive and Winter Soldier co-organizer Al Hubbard had lied about being an officer. William Overend had met him the previous day and been introduced as being a former Air Force captain. Overend later learned Hubbard was only an E-5 Staff Sergeant. Hubbard did not testify at Winter Soldier.

Fritz Efaw, a Chapter Representative of VVAW, explains: 'The claims that the WSI hearings contained falsified testimony from men who were not veterans is an old one, and it's definitely false. The testimony was startling even at the time it took place: startling to the general public, startling to the military and the Nixon administration, and startling to those who participated because each of them knew a piece of the story, but the hearings brought a great many of them together for the first time and provided a venue in which they could be heard for the first time. It's hardly surprising that those on the other side would set out almost immediately to discredit them.'

I don't think I'll be able to find anything to contribute to RWR's theory. Sorry. My head hurts. I'm taking a timeout.

Thu Oct 21 2004 3:47 PM


The Winter Soldier testimonies where false. Not one has been proven. They also have nothing to do with Tigerforce, not one of the "Winter Soldiers" claimed to be a member of Tigerforce. The popular claim of the day was to have been a member of the Phoenix Project. All Winter Soldier did was cheapen ANY REAL ACCOUNTS made by real veterans.

As for John Kerry in his opening statement he says ANY VIETNAM veteran would give the same testimony he was about to give. But he was mistaken, some men tell the truth.

Thu Oct 21 2004 3:57 PM



Much as I despise you, your laziness and your ignorance, I feel compelled to respond, since you feel it necessary to attack the honor of men who put their lives on the line so your sorry ass could be free.

Here's your second opportunity to read this, which I posted above.

"It wasn’t just Tiger Force.

During his five months as a press officer, he said soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division - the larger unit that included Tiger Force -were committing atrocities."

Now, there may be some testimony at Winter Soldier which was disputed, but if you're going to blanket call the soldiers who participated in the Winter Soldier Investigation liars, then you'd better pony up some evidence or STFU.

Thu Oct 21 2004 4:46 PM

Dave E.:

*Idealism Alert*
*(possible Elitism alert, as well)*

There are some serious lost causes on Jim's blog. Why have they settled here I wonder? Maybe it's the nice pastels the site uses which subtly appeal to their severely suppressed feminine sides.

The squadron of Karl Rove Youth on this site is just plain baffling. Most of the conservative posters seem to bend and twist both logic and fact to conform to whatever conservative talking points are popular that day - sometimes verbatum. In my estimation, nothing of value can be gained from trading posts with some of them.

When the goal becomes shoving your idea of liberal or conservative utopia down my throat and making me like it, constructive discourse is dead. Nobody's gonna learn a thing about other perspectives than their own. Whatever happened to centrism!! That's how sh!t gets done in politics.

Of course, I'm not changing anyone's mind in here. All I can do is laugh at those doofuses that may scowl at me because they just wasted time reading this post. And that gives me a certain amount of satisfaction.

By the way...I thought lessons learned from Vietnam were to recognize bad foreign policy early and to also keep politics out of war planning? It shouldn't matter where you are on the political continuum to agree with that. Most of the critics of Kerry are mum to speak of the Vietnam war itself, seemingly forgetting that it was an absolute heart-breaking failure in almost every regard.

Are people actually crucifying Kerry for having the smarts to recognize and speak out at this epic failure? What, did he just speak out too early? When is too early? How long should we support flawed policy? After X amount of dead soldiers, does it finally become OK to speak out?

This is the disconnect I'm talking about with those (left or right) that choose to not put effort into understanding, they just regurgitate political hardline tripe.

Thu Oct 21 2004 5:03 PM

raging red:

Dave E., you had me going there at the beginning of your post, when I thought you were about to rally all of us sensible people (i.e. those of us who do not speak in talking points or lists of out-of-context quotes) into a revolt wherein we all vow to quit acknowledging those few who seem to be here just to piss people off.

I was ready to join you in the revolt, since I have vowed many times to ignore certain people, but like Pacino in the Godfather - "just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in!"

Anyway, if you ever want to do that revolt thing, just let me know. I'm in.

(P.S. I will issue myself a ticket for being off-topic.)

Thu Oct 21 2004 7:12 PM


April 18, 1971 -- John Kerry and Al Hubbard appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" to allege widespread atrocities by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. Hubbard is introduced as a former Air Force captain who had spent two years in Vietnam and was wounded in action. Kerry admits to committing war crimes, saying, "There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50 calibre machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages."

Fri Oct 22 2004 6:14 AM

Independent Jones:

The prevailing right wing position here seems to be that atrocities did happen, but that it was speaking out about them that was the bad thing.

I wonder what Bush would have said after returning from Vietnam? I suppose if there was a republican campaign to work on over there, we would know.

Fighting a war and changing your mind and speaking out is shame over actions of fellow soldiers is just terrible, isn't it. Nobody should ever say anybody did anything wrong again, 'cause we wouldn't want to hurt morale.

Fri Oct 22 2004 7:03 AM


Sen. Mark O. Hatfield, asked the commandant of the Marine Corps to investigate the many crimes, particularly those perpetrated by Marines. The Marines turned the investigation over to Naval Investigation Service. The Nixon "plumbers" only went after the leadership and left the investigation of the testimony given to the Defense Department.

"The results of this investigation, carried out by the Naval Investigative Service are interesting and revealing," said historian Guenter Lewy in his book America in Vietnam. His history of the war was one of the first to rely on previously classified documents in the National Archives. "Many of the veterans, although assured that they would not be questioned atrocities they might have committed personally, refused to be interviewed. One of the active members of the VVAW told investigators that the leadership had directed the entire membership not to cooperate with military authorizes.

One black Marine who testified at Winter Soldier did agree to talk with the investigators. Although he had claimed during the hearing that Vietnam was "one huge atrocity" and a "racist plot," he could provide no details of any actual crimes. Lewy said the question of atrocities had not occurred to the Marine until he left Vietnam. His testimony had been substantially "assisted" by a member of the Nation of Islam.

I'm not saying by any streatch of the imagination that atrocities never occurred in Vietnam, but the ones that Kerry testified to have been debunked for some time by investigations conducted by NIS.

As for Paul telling people to shut the fuck up, please stay on subject. The issue being discussed is the VVAW, Swift Boat Veterans claims and John Kerry. The Tiger Force issue was never addressed at the Winter Soldier hearings. If it had it might have lended some credance to their claims. When such a large visible group perpetrates a fraud of such magnitude upon the American people it calls into question the credentials of anyone presenting the same claims - real or not.

Fri Oct 22 2004 7:20 AM

Dave E.:

I recall the point being made that most of the vets refused to cooperate or be officially deposed because they didn't want to be scapegoated after basically signing their own confession. Indeed, recent history has just shown that the "just a few rotten apples" explainer is used to maintain the pristine sheen of integrity the military likes to placate us citizens back home with. After all, nothing bad happens in the Fog of War and if it does, it's just a few rotten apples.

Dhermesc, just a suggestion: when copy/pasting articles that you clearly didn't write, it's universal protocol to cite back to the author. If you are the author of the piece, then bravo.

Fri Oct 22 2004 8:46 AM


Dave E

Due to the limited fonts available on this site correct footnoting is not possible. In my last post historian Guenter Lewy is credited with his information, no link is posted because not everything comes from the WW.

Fri Oct 22 2004 2:58 PM

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