ABC News is reporting that John Kerry defends his record
. Of course, like all the MSM "reporters", they can't even pay attention, much less think logically. Here's what Kerry said:
A revved up Kerry addressed Vietnam first retorting, "All the guys who were with me on my boat absolutely document what I've said...you're now hearing about the lie. I am absolutely telling you the God's honest truth with regard to what happened over there."
I can excuse Kerry for defending his record. After all, at this point what else can he do? (The honorable thing to do would be to withdraw from the race, but Kerry is not an honorable man.) But when he outright lies, you would expect
that real journalists would know that and call him on it.
Steve Gardner was the tub gunner on PCF-44, Kerry's first boat, and as anyone who has been paying attention at all
to this controversy knows, Gardner has been front and center in the media representing the Swiftvets. How could the media miss this? Easy. They just ignore it. It doesn't "push" their story. The pro-Kerry crowd will crow about this, I'm sure. If the Swiftvets are smart (and so far they have been very smart), this statement by Kerry will show up in their next ad - right before Gardner saying, "I served with John Kerry, and I know he was a poor leader. I sat just feet above him, in the tub gunner position, and observed him longer than any other vet that served with him."
In another AP story "proving"
that the Swiftvets are lying, a "new" vet has been interviewed. Robert Lambert, who was a radarman on Thurlow's boat (and thus directly behind PCF-3 when the mine exploded) stated, "I thought we were under fire, I believed we were under fire,", which is not exactly the same thing as "We were
under fire", but no matter. The AP will milk this tenative statement for all it's worth.
Later in the same article we read:
Rassmann, who is retired and lives in Florence, Ore., has said repeatedly that the boats were under fire, as have other witnesses. Lambert didn't see that rescue because Kerry was farther down the river and "I was busy pulling my own boat officer (Thurlow) out of the water."
...and also this...
Lambert retired in 1978 as a chief petty officer with 22 years of service and three tours in Vietnam. He does not remember ever meeting Kerry.
There are several points of interest here.
First, Lambert's recollection doesn't refute the Swiftvets' testimony about enemy fire, irregardless of the headline and main thrust of the AP article. Lambert simply says he "thought" and "believed" they were under enemy fire. O'Dell's testimony is much more compelling since he was sitting in the tub gun able to survey 360 degrees of the scene, and he says, directly, repeatedly and convincingly, "There was no enemy fire."
Second, Lambert doesn't even remember "meeting Kerry". Apparently Kerry's actions that day weren't even memorable enough for Lambert to recall him. How does that square with Kerry's heroic account of saving a man while braving "heavy automatic weapons and small arms fire"?
Finally, Lambert confirms the Swiftvets' version that Kerry fled the scene. He "didn't see [Rassmann's] rescue because Kerry was farther down the river
". This damns Kerry completely. If he was farther down the river he could not know if the other boats were under fire or not and
he could not have any knowledge of what was going on far behind him. Nor could any of his "band of brothers". Nor could Rassmann.
Furthermore, Lambert confirms that Kerry left the scene when his comrades-in-arms were in trouble, injured and in danger of drowning. There can be no greater condemnation of a brother-in-arms than that, when the chips were down and men were in trouble, he abandoned them. This is the worst kind of cowardice.
This is the man who says he should be President because he is a war hero.
UPDATE: There's a much more complete account
of Lambert's interview here. With regard to the issue of enemy fire, they report:
"He and another officer now say we weren't under fire at that time," Lambert said Wednesday afternoon. "Well, I sure was under the impression we were."
So Lambert still
isn't saying there was
enemy fire - just that he thought there was.
We also learn that he was in the pilot house, therefore not in the best position to know if there was enemy fire.
Then there's this:
Anytime you are blown out of the water like that, they always follow that up with small arms fire," he said.
So Lambert was expecting
enemy fire. This makes it much more likely that he would "think" or "believe" or have the "impression" there was enemy fire when there wasn't.