15 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Dishonest and Dishonorable,
This review is from: To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry (Paperback)
Joseph Goebbels once observed that "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." The authors of this book apparently channelled the former Reich Minister of Information, because this book is nothing other than a regurgitation of the lies spouted by a thoroughly discredited group to smear a man they never served with. They keep asking for Kerry to release his records, which he did. They dispute the official Navy record without petitioning the Department of the Navy with their contradictory truth. Some of them were bought off with gifts and promises, some of them were just sad, angry little men who cannot accept the truth of a conflict that cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives. I am truly sorry for them.
But, while we are calling for release of records, let's see their records, especially those of their self-styled leaders, a second rate Swift Boat Officer and his Commander. Let's have a look at their records.I am particularly curioius regarding the circumstances of Roy Hoffmann's record and the circumstances that occured during his last command at Charleston. Something to do with Courts-Martials, I believe.
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." (John 8:2-11 KJV) The authors of this book and the Swift Boat Veterans for Lies would be well advised to consult the good book before the engage in lies and false accusations.
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Initial post: Feb 17, 2008 5:35:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 18, 2008 12:59:04 AM PST
What astounds me about the excerpts and references I have seen from this book, is that they simply repeat garbage that has been thoroughly disproved, some as far back as when it was first put out in 2004. And not just by the Navy - though the Inspector General's report certainly did put the lie to SBVT claims about the source and authenticity of Kerry's citations, among other things. For example, they repeat the myth that the Winter Soldier veterans were proven frauds based on claims made in a Guenter Lewy book, though Mr. Lewy had to admit in 2004 that he could produce no proof of his claim. And neither could anyone else. This kind of stuff is sheer laziness on Swett's part, though I have to agree with Mr. Sanders that, given Swett's history, it is most likely sheer dishonesty.
Compare some of the claims made in this book with the documentation linked at these articles:
Or this site:
Posted on Feb 18, 2008 10:42:24 AM PST
Anthoi 1969 says:
Read about Wade Sanders in the book---it's a bit more candid about Wade than his post---he's a fit lifetime friend and associate for Kerry---Anthoi 1969
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 12:24:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 18, 2008 3:25:49 PM PST
A fact that anyone who read the papers or watched TV in 2004 would know.
Typically, the SBVTers would rather sling mud at reviewers than discuss the contents of the review. Which pretty much proves Sanders' point.
Posted on Feb 19, 2008 9:44:09 PM PST
While searching for a quote from the Bible to use out of context, obviously Mr. Sanders overlooked this one, which applies to John Kerry and Jane Fonda and the entire membership of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War: Ninth Commandment.: THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOUR.
Two things are obvious from former Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Navy and John Kerry campaign 2004 staffer Mr. Sanders' "review" of "To Set The Record Straight": (1) He didn't read the book even though he is mentioned on three different occasions, and (2) he is an astute student of Herr Goebels, along with John Kerry and Jane Fonda and the rest of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), in that his Goebbels' quote is the principle by which they have lived their lives -- slandering more than 2.5 million honorable Vietnam veterans, including me -- repeating the most venomous lies until they are now believed by the majority of Americans and immortalized in text books. "To Set The Record Straight" clearly explains all this, and there are some 20 pages of footnotes and sources to back up every claim. Two hundred fifty swift boat veterans, including John Kerry's entire chain of command, signed affidavits supporting their testimony, so these are not just "lies spouted by a thoroughly discredited group to smear a man they never served with". Neither John Kerry nor any of his supporters have presented one shred of evidence to refute the actual claims; they simply attack the messengers. The Swift Vets have not been discredited, and they DID serve with, along side, or over John Kerry during his abbreviated four month "tour of duty". On the other hand, neither Mr. Sanders nor any of the VVAW members served a day with John Kerry, yet Mr. Sanders calls the Swift Vets liars in the face of documentation that even had to stand up in a court of law to fend off frivolous lawsuits aimed at denying the Swift Vets and POWs their right to be heard. Further, Mr. Sanders defends a group whose Executive Director, Al Hubbard, was a complete fraud, and whose leadership, including former John Kerry 2004 Florida campaign staffer Scott Camil and John Kerry himself and the rest of the leadership of the VVAW, went so far as to actually vote on a plot to assassinate half a dozen U.S. Senators, so who was really guilty of "lies spouted by a thoroughly discredited group [VVAW] to smear a man [John O'Neill] they never served with" -- that "man" having the courage to stand in for 2.5 million other honorable Vietnam veterans? At least Steve Pitkin found the courage and integrity to admit that he had lied at the Winter Soldier proceedings and also signed an affidavit to that effect. Perhaps Mr. Sanders could use his influence as former Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Navy and John Kerry campaign 2004 staffer to convince John Kerry to show the world his REAL discharge from the Navy, the "less than honorable" one that was upgraded by President Carter, along with those of draft dodgers, deserters, and other misfits who rightly deserved their "less than honorable" discharges and other black marks on their records. Perhaps he could also explain the strange sequence of dates in John Kerry's records and the increasingly glowing accounts accompanying the reissued citations on John Kerry's medals. We are all interested in knowing how his Silver Star citation was signed by a Secretary of the Navy who didn't even serve until some 16 years after it was originally issued.
Joseph Goebbels once observed that "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
"John Kerry has released ALL of his records". "John Kerry has released ALL of his records". "John Kerry has released ALL of his records". "John Kerry has released ALL of his records". "John Kerry has released ALL of his records". "John Kerry has released ALL of his records". "John Kerry has released ALL of his records". "John Kerry has released ALL of his records".
...get the idea?
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2008 11:18:38 PM PST
I'm sure you would have been even more astounded if you had actually read the book. Much of the research is decades old, and it has not been disproved. Mr. Lewy saw the official investigative reports; he simply does not have copies now. There were thousands of military records lost in a fire at the Military Personnel Center in St. Louis, too. Do those veterans simply have to stop claiming they served just because the official records were destroyed? Cite your evidence that what Mr. Lewy documented is not true or that the claims of the Swift Vets are not true. Will you sign an affidavit attesting to any of the facts? They did. Visit the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University and you will find all the proof you need. You dismiss footnoted and documented sources and then cite someone's personal "homepage" along with "wikipedia" as "authoritative"? Some of the references go to dead links. Not too convincing. Several of us have corrected errors on wikipedia a number of times only to have them deleted and the misinformation reinstated. Use authoritative sources, not suspect, open sources or personal "homepages" if you want to prove your case. Compare the claims made on your "homepage" and "wikipedia" pages with those documented on Wintersoldier.com. You can start with the 21,000 pages of FBI files and then proceed to actual audio, video, and photo evidence. Read, view, and listen to them in their own words. Since Kerry fabricated the after action reports from which the citations were derived, the Navy simply authenticated that those reports did exist and that they described heroic acts; nothing more. They did NOT authenticate the accounts. They certainly could have accepted sworn affidavits from the Swift Vets to challenge them if they so desired. Bottom line, Kerry's medals were awarded based on lies that were never exposed until the Swift vets were forced by Kerry's own arrogance to step forward and "Set The Record Straight" when Kerry "Reported for Duty"...three decades after he gamed the system to write himself up for medals he did not deserve and then duck out of his duty in Vietnam to come home and slander better men who stayed and fought and died. Given Mr. Sanders' history, I have to agree with Mr. Swett and Mr. Ziegler. Given a book documented with pages of footnotes and citations and an index to every occurrence, I'll take an honest, dedicated, meticulous researcher and a highly respected marine who actually earned his medals over a boatload of John Kerry opportunists any day. Douglas Brinkley has had to revise "Tour of Duty" several times; Mr. Swett and Mr. Ziegler stand by their accounts. Given "Unfit for Command" and "To Set The Record Straight", so far the score is Swett's team "2", Kerry's team "0". The review by Mr. Sanders and comments supporting his review only reinforce the claims made in "To Set The Record Straight". Detractors cannot challenge the facts, so they make ad hominem attacks on the messengers. Release ALL of your records, John Kerry.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2008 1:26:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Apr 13, 2008 9:08:57 PM PDT
~~~Two hundred fifty swift boat veterans, including John Kerry's entire chain of command, signed affidavits supporting their testimony~~~
Bzzt. Wrong. Two hundred fifty men signed the original letter to John Kerry. Very few offered any sort of "testimony" at all, and only about a dozen of those signed affidavits.
And by the way, Kerry's "entire chain of command" does not belong to SBVT. See Joseph Streuhli on that membership list? How about Charles Horne?
~~~Neither John Kerry nor any of his supporters have presented one shred of evidence to refute the actual claimss~~~
Of course they have. In fact, I posted links to several sources in my previous post.
Now, how about you give evidence of a single one of their claims about Kerry's military service that SBVT has proved?
~~~The Swift Vets have not been discredited, and they DID serve with, along side, or over John Kerry during his abbreviated four month "tour of duty". On the other hand, neither Mr. Sanders nor any of the VVAW members served a day with John Kerry ~~~
Actually, very few of the SBVTers served at the same time or in the same place as Kerry. On the other hand, Wade Sanders did. You could look that up.
~~Perhaps he could also explain the strange sequence of dates in John Kerry's records and the increasingly glowing accounts accompanying the reissued citations on John Kerry's medals. We are all interested in knowing how his Silver Star citation was signed by a Secretary of the Navy who didn't even serve until some 16 years after it was originally issued.~~~
Too bad you didn't click on the links I provided in my earlier post. If you had, for instance, looked at the linked Wikipedia article, you would have discovered that information was public even before the 2004 election:
>>Some critics questioned the reason for the existence of three versions of the Silver Star citation with variations in the wording, the first being signed by Vice-Admiral Zumwalt, as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam, the second being signed by Admiral John Hyland as Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and the third being signed by John Lehman, as Secretary of the Navy.  In this connection, Mr. Lehman, who served as secretary from 1981 to 1987 , was quoted as saying he had never seen or signed the most recent citation (Kerry citation a 'total mystery' to ex-Navy chief, Thomas Lipscomb, Chicago Sun-Times, Aug. 28, 2004). However, in its October 2004 documentation of its investigation of Kerry's medals, the office of the Navy inspector general described the first, longer version as the "COMUSNAVFOR Vietnam version, signed by VADM Zumwalt" and the second version as the "official version, signed by the delegated award authority, ADM Hyland, CINCPACFLT." As to the third version, the report described it as one of several "duplicate citations" that were issued in 1985 after "considerable correspondence indicating efforts over the years to chase down various citations," and stated that the ones under Lehman's name were likely signed by machine.  In addition, in October 2004, Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times reported:
Navy officials say that there is no evidence that Mr. Kerry's Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts were ever rescinded and that there is no evidence of misconduct in his records. He did receive new medal citations in the mid-1980s. Officials say the Navy receives scores, and perhaps hundreds, of such requests each year from veterans who want a second copy or have lost the originals. The citations are simply put through a machine that implants the signature of the current Navy secretary. John Lehman's signature, via a machine, appears on Mr. Kerry's new citation for his Silver Star.  <<<
Don't take my word for it, the original documents are linked at the article.
~~~At least Steve Pitkin found the courage and integrity to admit that he had lied at the Winter Soldier proceedings and also signed an affidavit to that effect.~~~
Actually, he signed a couple of affidavits; he had to correct himself every time he was proven wrong.
By the way, he didn't testify to anything he claimed in his affidavit to have testified about. Oops.
Quite honestly, the rest of your comment is almost too incoherent to decipher, much less respond to. However, it's quite evident you have never even looked at Kerry's military records that were made public, including his discharge from the Naval Reserves, or else you wouldn't be cutting and pasting wingnut talking points.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2008 1:43:13 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 4, 2008 1:25:02 PM PST
~~~Mr. Lewy saw the official investigative reports; he simply does not have copies now.~~~
Bzzt. Wrong. Lewy can't remember if he ever even saw any report, or if he was simply told about it. Oops. Add to that the fact that no other historian has seen it, and the Navy cannot find it, and you have nothing but one guy's undocumented claim.
~~~Cite your evidence that what Mr. Lewy documented is not true~~~
That's like citing evidence that UFOs don't exist. The burden of proof is on Mr. Lewy that what he wrote is true. Even he has admitted he can't.
Of course not a single participant of the Winter Soldier hearings has been proven a fraud. Not a single individual over all these years has stepped forward to say his identity was taken by someone who testified at the hearings. Not a single one.
In addition, not a single claim made by the participants at the hearings has been proven untrue. In fact, the story told by Jamie Henry was investigated by the Army and found to be true. That fact did not come to light until the LA Times wrote an article about it recently.
"Someone's homepage" and Wikipedia?
You don't have to believe either or any of those articles. However, they link to original documentation, which you evidently haven't bothered to read. See my prior response to your bit about the Silver Star citations.
~~~Since Kerry fabricated the after action reports from which the citations were derived, the Navy simply authenticated that those reports did exist and that they described heroic acts; nothing more. They did NOT authenticate the accounts.~~~
If you're talking about my comment about the Inspector General's report, you are again displaying a comprehension problem. Go back and read the references about Kerry's multiple citations that I included in my prior response.
As to the rest:
Neither you nor the SBVTers provide a shred of evidence that Kerry wrote any after action report, much less "fabricated" anything.
On the other hand, not a single eyewitness to the Silver Star incident - including the only member of SBVT who was there - disputes what was in the after action report for that incident, which reflects nearly exactly what was in the citation that George Elliott wrote and Adm. Zumwalt signed. Of course SBVT doesn't like to mention that.
Brinkley didn't revise his book "several times." He made minor corrections in the paperback edition - in response to input from the vets themselves. That's the mark of a conscientious writer.
Scott Swett, on the other hand, doesn't bother to correct any of the numerous mistakes he made in "Unfit" (oh, you don't think he wrote that?), and instead just repeats them here. And throws in a few more pounds of garbage along the way...his "endnotes" are full of references to sources that have been discredited for years.
Of course you'll go with Swett. SBVT supporters are predisposed to believe any lie told about a man they dislike.
Posted on Feb 20, 2008 8:20:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2008 8:22:26 AM PST
Keith Nolan says:
Mr. Obermeyer, if interested, I'll post below a review I wrote about To Set the Record Straight, which Amazon refuses to post, but which touches on the sinful claim made by Scott Swett that all those young, disillusioned, half-shell-shocked, and in some cases, brutally wounded ex-grunts who joined the VVAW in 1970-71 were not really Vietnam veterans.
If you want to have an honest dialogue about the bonafides of the VVAW, let me know. Please bear in mind that I make no case for the politics of the VVAW (too left-wing for me), but also consider that those VVAW members who testified at the Winter Soldier Investigation provided not only their DD214s, but also in many cases photos of themselves in Vietnam.
Also please bear in mind that most of those who participated in the Winter Soldier Investigation did not speak of horrendous atrocities (though at least one who did, Jamie Henry, was validated at the time by the army's own CID), but of other issues like the general GI hostility against the Vietnamese, the policy under General Westmoreland of burning villages, fake body counts, poor morale during the latter years of the war, and a lot of other things that many ex-grunts could also attest, whatever their political leanings. Anyway, for what it's worth, here's that unpublished review:
If you hate John Kerry and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, you'll love this book. But please don't pretend that "To Set the Record Straight" is an impartial history, well researched, or even well written.
The book is essentially a political hatchet job in which anti-Kerry veterans are given a bullhorn, while the voices of pro-Kerry veterans are reduced to murmurs.
Worse, the authors so cherry-pick their quotes that even a pro-Kerry writer like Neil Sheehan shows up in "To Set the Record Straight" as an ally of those aligned against Kerry and his former compatriots in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Hilarious!
Not so funny is the book's contention that those Vietnam Veterans Against the War were a pack of frauds and liars who never actually served in Vietnam. It's an old argument straight from the Nixon Whitehouse, circa 1971, and an incredible insult to combat veterans like John Musgrave, Robert Kruch, Mike McCusker, Barry Romo, Scott Moore, Jim Umenhofer, James Henry, Nathan Hale, etc., etc., etc., who did, in fact, do their duty in Vietnam before joining the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
The book's contention that the Vietnam Veterans Against the War invented atrocity tales was recently undercut by an expose in the "Los Angeles Times" in which war-crimes charges made in 1971 by the aforementioned James Henry were shown to have been investigated, proven, and buried by the U.S. Army. The Henry case goes unmentioned in "To Set the Record Straight."
Nor do the authors inform their readers that both Gen. David M. Shoup, USMC (Ret), who earned the Medal of Honor in WWII, and Rep. Paul N. McCloskey (R-CA), who earned the Navy Cross and Silver Star as a marine officer in Korea, were vocal supporters of John Kerry and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War back in 1971.
Keith Nolan (author of "Ripcord," "Operation Buffalo," "House to House," etc.)
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2008 9:42:52 AM PST
Thank you both California Reader and Keith Nolan for validating the central theme of "To Set The Record Straight". Wikipedia sections written by Kerry surrogates are certainly not unbiased, objective sources, especially when corrections based on facts are disallowed. The "homepage" touts Kerry's support for "the enlisted men" but fails to mention how he dissed and mistreated his supporters during his Sun Valley retreat during the 2004 campaign. If your contentions are true, where are your affidavits, why did you not hold press conferences during the 2004 campaign to present your proofs, where are the successful lawsuits for slander, and why has John Kerry refused to sign the Standard Form 180 to allow a complete examination of his entire record by objective journalists and the public? You could be millionaires by taking up Mr. T. Boone Pickens's challenge to disprove just ONE contention. Why haven't you? Why hasn't John Kerry? Answer: you can't disprove even one. Using your logic and the sources you cite, John Kerry really did spend Christmas in Cambodia in 1968 under direct orders from President Richard Nixon (who wasn't President yet) on a mission to deliver weapons to the Khmer Rouge (the COMMUNIST ENEMY who did not yet exist) who also shot at him along with drunk South Vietnamese soldiers (who didn't celebrate Christmas and who would have been summarily executed for being drunk on duty)....do I need to continue? Step up to the issues and stop attacking the messengers. Present FACTS, document them, and stop claiming that sources in "To Set The Record Straight" or at Wintersoldier.com have been discredited when they have not. Have the veterans you cited above sign affidavits testifying that every claim they made at the Winter Soldier Investigations and in those made in subsequent revelations are absolutely true and present them for examination by official government agencies and by objective investigative journalists. So far, the investigations by the Navy and the Army and probably John Kerry's "secret CIA guy" have failed to produce a single prosecutable case based on their "testimony". The book does not claim atrocities did not occur; only that they were rare and were not official policy as the WSI frauds claimed. When discovered, they were promptly investigated and prosecuted. More crime occurs in major U.S. cities and at a higher per capita rate than occurred in any conflict where U.S. forces have been involved.I appreciate your attempts to correct what you perceive as errors in my posts. If Mr. Sanders ever served a day with John Kerry, he kept it a secret even from the Navy. Perhaps they used PCF 98 on the secret Cambodian Christmas run. Regarding the affidavits from the Swift Vets, in order to be allowed to run the TV ads, they had to present signed affidavits and pages of supporting evidence before the stations would allow the ads to be run. Kerry supporters simply went on TV shows hosted by pro-Kerry networks and show hosts and said anything they wanted, none of it supported by facts, much of it false, and when even that failed to win the argument against John O'Neill, they simply shouted him down, and the host allowed such contemptible conduct to occur....your serve.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2008 10:25:34 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2008 6:15:59 PM PST
I guess you didn't see where I said you need not believe anything in any of the articles, but encouraged you to read the original documents linked there. This seems to be a sadly typical pattern of SBVT supporters.
John Kerry already took T. Boone Pickens up on his offer, but as you possibly know, Pickens chickened out. Still waiting for Pickens to stand by his word.
Your talking point about Kerry's Christmas 1968 mission reveals again an unwillingness to acquaint yourself with the basic facts. Kerry never claimed to have been sent on a mission to Cambodia on that date, much less a mission to deliver weapons to anyone. As explained in the Brinkley and Kranish books and news articles, documented in Kerry's journal, and supported by at least two crewmembers, Kerry's boat was on a regular patrol near the border, they were ambushed, and Kerry believed they crossed the border at that time. George Elliott confirmed the ambush in Kerry's fitness report, by the way.
Also by the way, much of the South Vietnamese military at the time was Catholic. But even discounting that, both the South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese agreed to observe a Christmas truce. Do you think none of them celebrated that? Our allies "summarily executed" their own soldiers for being drunk? Alert the media...that's real news.
You are also wrong about testimony presented at Winter Soldier. As I explained earlier, the LA Times recently revealed that the Army had investigated Jamie Henry's story in the early '70s, and found it to be completely true. They declined to prosecute, and kept the investigation secret. Since you obviously aren't interested in doing your own research, here's the link to the article:
Wade Sanders kept his service with Kerry a secret? Sir, I really have to wonder where you were in 2004. Their service together is described in the Brinkley book, and numerous newspaper and TV interviews. Try hitting the Google button, for crying out loud.
Now, once again, how about you giving evidence of a single substantive SBVT claim about Kerry's military service that has been proven true?
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