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-caliber 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. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant [William] Calley, are war criminals.
But it's funny you brought that up. There's scuttlebutt on why Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman's signature is on Kerry's Honorable Discharge Certificate when Lehman was Sec. of the Navy during the Reagan administration.
Kerry refused to release his SRB (Service Record Book) and Kerry's DD-214 only covers the end of Kerry's required active duty service and only Kerry's SRB would show what kind of discharge he received after his reserve service.
Some speculate since Kerry was still an officer in the Navy Reserves when he was with the VVAW and when he met with the enemy in Paris a violation of military regulation that Kerry may have been discharged with a general discharge under less than honorable conditions and applied for a upgrade under Carters amnesty.
We will never know unless Kerry's SRB are released.
1. The majority of the men who actually served with him on the Swift Boats had nothing but good things to say about him: snopes.com: John Kerry's Service Record
2. The SBVs have been proven to be lying on many occasions: Swift Boat Accounts Incomplete (washingtonpost.com)
3. The SBVs have admitted that their dislike of Kerry isn't so much based on his actions but on the success he had after the war:On the core issue of whether Kerry was wounded under enemy fire, thereby qualifying for a third Purple Heart, the Navy records clearly favor Kerry. Several documents, including the after-action report and the Bronze Star citation for a Swift boat skipper who has accused Kerry of lying, refer to "all units" coming under "automatic and small-weapons fire."
4. The military itself stood behind Kerry and conducted 2 investigations which concluded in the same fashion:Many Swift boat veterans opposed to Kerry acknowledge that their disgust with him was fueled by his involvement in the antiwar movement. When they returned from Vietnam, they say, they were dogged by accusations of atrocities. While Kerry went on to make a prominent political career, they got jobs as teachers, accountants, surveyors and oil field workers. When he ran for president, partly on the strength of his war record, their resentment exploded.
Even Republicans came to the defense of Kerry:Our examination found that existing documentation regarding the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals indicates the awards approval process was properly followed. In particular, the senior officers who awarded the medals were properly delegated authority to do so. In addition, we found that they correctly followed the procedures in place at the time for approving these awards. Conducting any additional review regarding events that took place over 30 years ago would not be productive. The passage of time would make reconstruction of the facts and circumstances unreliable, and would not allow the information gathered to be considered in the context of the time in which the events took place. Our review also considered the fact that Senator Kerry's post-active duty activities were public and that military and civilian officials were aware of his actions at the time. For these reasons, I have determined that Senator Kerry's awards were properly approved and will take no further action in this matter.
So yeah, in short, the Swift Boat Veterans are full of ****. - It's their words against the facts gathered by independent investigations as well as the military's.Originally Posted by John Warner
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK