|Questions and Observations|
Let me be the first to bring this up before MK Ultra or his buds do. ;)
Tom Maguire has a concern about whether the good admiral is a non partisan.
While he stated he is is an independent he did give money to a bunch of republicans.
He did however give money to one
SPRATT, JOHN MCKEE JR ID: H2SC05052
Office Sought: House
so there may be truth to his statement, however expect that as the main attack on his statements as a way of completely discounting the eyewitness testimony of the good admiral.
Posted by: capt joe at August 27, 2004 12:14 PM
Schachte could have given an interview to the NY Times and the Washington Post and given his version wider coverage. Who told Schachte to wait and who leaked Schachte's readiness to talk to to Novak?
A big problem with this saga, like rightward blogs, is that it is so self-referential. Letson hadn't recalled Schachte until he heard from someone else and when Schachte called to help him keep his story straight. Odell, Elliot, Thurlow, Gardner, French, Peck all say they are testifying in part to others' testimony. How many Swifts are actually testifying here? A half dozen? The rest are just repeating what the indoctrination session told them. With additional accounts backing up Kerry in some of these cases, what's the real count so many people like to recite? 15 support Kerry, 6 don't? It's a far, far cry from 250 witnesses.
"In other words, all skimmer missions were all Schachte's missions. It was his technique and it was only used, per Schachte, when he was aboard the skimmer." So in all of Vietnam, there was only one skimmer mission at a time. It must have been a difficult technique for a trained crew not to employ without Schachte. What were they being trained for?
Plus Schachte refuses to name the third crewman. Runyon says he was manning the engine. Zaldonis says he opened fire on Kerry's order. What was Schachte doing this whole episode? Manning the engine? Giving orders? Firing his weapon? It sure would be helpful if he could account for more than the talking points. Who told him what to say?
Runyon says he was contacted by the private investigator and submitted his story. It was returned edited for signing. How many affidavits have been similarly edited? How many people are testifying to edited accounts of others? Are there any unvarnished original accounts?
Posted by: Wm D at August 27, 2004 07:13 PM
The definitive deconstruction of the Swiftboat Vet accusations is at: http://swiftvets.eriposte.com/
Here we find that Mr. French, who just happens to be an Oregon D.A., was forced to admit that he committed perjury because his affidavit was based on hearsay rather than personal information and belief.
To date every single accusation boils down to the swiftboat vets versus U.S. Navy records. In the latest accusation from Admiral Schachte he claims he was on every skimmer mission. Wouldn't that put him aboard on one of the other instances when Kerry was awarded a medal? Or maybe Schachte was only aboard the missions when Gardner was the third man, who also was never a witness to any of the missions in which Kerry was awarded a medal.
Did Kerry receive all of his other awards from his missions on PCF-94? It seems like Schachte and Gardner were only aboard PCF-44 with Kerry. If that's true and Schachte is correct that crews were always two officers and an enlisted man, then Kerry, Schachte and Gardner must have been on an awful lot of other missions as a three man crew.
Posted by: Gary Boatwright at August 29, 2004 06:08 AM
If you're going to ask questions, Gary, you need to keep up.
A skimmer is not a swift boat. Swift boats are 50 feet long. A skimmer is 15 feet long. Swift boats have a crew of 6. Skimmers had a crew of 3.
Only Schachte ran skimmer missions. Kerry was on exactly one of them while he was in training soon after getting to VN. Schachtewas on all of the skimmer missions since he was in charge of the skimmer and it was required by his commander, Hibbard, that he do so.
He always configured the crew on the skimmer with two officers and one enlisted. The only medal in question here is Kerry's first Purple Heart which, per Schachte, was a result of Kerry's negligence and NOT hostile fire.
Posted by: McQ at August 29, 2004 10:44 AM
Do I need to keep up to ask questions or should I ask questions to keep up?
I'm sorry McQ, but I've been following this fairly close and your response still left me confused. Does that mean that Kerry never commanded a swiftboat? PCF-44 and PCF-44 are both skimmers or are they both swiftboats? This is the first time I've run across a distinction between skimmers and swiftboats, I'm only too glad to accept your superior expertise and welcome enlightenment.
My very possibly false impression was that PCF-44 and PCF-94 were both three men crews. Were they both six men crews? Then the skimmer mission where he has "awarded" his first purple heart was the only three man crew he "sub-commanded"?
I guarantee McQ, if I'm not keeping up then the media certainly isn't either. Did you see or hear about the CNN bimbo who was filling in for Paula Zahn and asked a couple of swiftboat vets a question about Kerry's first "purple star"?
Posted by: Gary at August 29, 2004 04:55 PM
Does that mean that Kerry never commanded a swiftboat?
PCF-44 and PCF-44 are both skimmers or are they both swiftboats?
I assume you mean 44 and 94. Both are swift boats.
This is the first time I've run across a distinction between skimmers and swiftboats, I'm only too glad to accept your superior expertise and welcome enlightenment.
No problem, Gary. A swift boat is a 50 foot boat with a crew of 6 and twin diesel engines. A skimmer was a 15 foot boat (a Boston Whaler) with a crew of three and an outboard motor. Vastly different. The way it was deployed was by being towed into position by a swift boat and deployed with the crew of 3.
My very possibly false impression was that PCF-44 and PCF-94 were both three men crews. Were they both six men crews?
Then the skimmer mission where he has "awarded" his first purple heart was the only three man crew he "sub-commanded"?
Yes. And "sub-commanded" is correct. Schachte was in command of the skimmer.
No doubt Gary ... I've blasted their lack of expertice concerning military affairs for years.
"Purple Star" ... good grief.
Posted by: McQ at August 29, 2004 05:17 PM
Thanks for the clarification McQ. I'm going to have to bookmark the threads I post comments to. I'm having trouble navigating this web site.
I've got another discussion going with Jon over at Busting the McCain Myth and he says this is a neo-libertarian site. Do you have some links to articles or think tanks that I could peek at? I'll be frank, I was about half way through "America Alone" when "Running on Empty" arrived so I'm switching back and forth. I've got a rather dim view of neo-con foreign policy and the Bush administrations fiscal policy.
I'll be casting an institutional vote for gridlock. The republicans will fillibuster Kerry's spending programs and Kerry will veto extensions of Bush's tax cuts.
It's difficult to see how Kerry could do a worse job of implementation on foreign policy. The kindest view I can muster for Bush is John Stewart's comparison of Bush to an aluminum siding salesman. You can't blame him for selling you siding you may not have needed. That's what aluminum siding salesmen do. You can hold him accountable for the shoddy installation.
I'm not sure if the neo-cons mucked up the execution or if they got exactly the results they wanted; a permanent military presence in the middle east. I heard on the radio that we have 18 bases there now. I haven't confirmed that, but it doesn't look like we have an exit strategy that includes leaving anytime soon.
Posted by: Gary at August 29, 2004 07:47 PM
I have a question.
Posted by: vwall7 at August 30, 2004 04:22 PM
vwall7: terrific question. I asked it in another post. If I'm not mistaken the skipper of the PCF which towed them out was a Lt. Voss. Haven't heard a thing from or about him. Don't know if he survived the war or not. But that would help settle it (and the crew of that PCF might do so as well).
Posted by: McQ at August 30, 2004 04:50 PM
I have noticed that only Rassman of Kerry's band of brothers is allowed to venture out on his own to say anything. None of the others are allowed to speak unless it is cleared through the campaign.Why aren't reporters asked them anything? Now we find out that Alston who talked like he was there when Kerry got the Silver Star was not even on the boat with Kerry until the March 13th incident and was with Kerry for only one or two weeks before Kerry left. And, the impression given by the testimony at the DNC was that Kerry's boat did not flee that day.
Posted by: vwall7 at August 30, 2004 04:52 PM