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Potential Kerry bomb incoming...

Election 2004 John Kerry 2004

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#1 Rov Judicata

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:20 AM

http://www.cnsnews.c...E20040503a.html

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(CNSNews.com) - Hundreds of former commanders and military colleagues of presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry are set to declare in a signed letter that he is "unfit to be commander-in-chief." They will do so at a press conference in Washington on Tuesday.

"What is going to happen on Tuesday is an event that is really historical in dimension," John O'Neill, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy as a PCF (Patrol Craft Fast) boat commander, told CNSNews.com . The event, which is expected to draw about 25 of the letter-signers, is being organized by a newly formed group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

"We have 19 of 23 officers who served with [Kerry]. We have every commanding officer he ever had in Vietnam. They all signed a letter that says he is unfit to be commander-in-chief," O'Neill said.

Quote

"We are going to be presenting a letter that deals with Kerry's unfitness to be commander and chief that has been signed by hundreds of swift boat sailors, including most of those who served with Kerry," O'Neill explained.

"The ranks of the people signing [the letter] range from admiral down to seaman, and they run across the entire spectrum of politics, specialties, and political feelings about the Vietnam War," he added.

Among those scheduled to attend the event at the National Press Club and declare Kerry unfit for the role of commander-in-chief are retired Naval Rear Admiral Roy Hoffman, who was the commander of the Navy Coastal Surveillance Force, which included the swift boats on which Kerry served.

Also scheduled to be present at the event is Kerry's former commanding officer, Lt. Commander Grant Hibbard. Hibbard recently questioned whether Kerry deserved the first of his three Purple Hearts that he received in Vietnam. Hibbard doubted both the severity of the wound and whether it resulted from enemy fire.

"I've had thorns from a rose that were worse" than Kerry's wound for which he received a Purple Heart, Hibbard told the Boston Globe in April.

Now, as we've noted, O'Neil is partisan. We'll see if this pans out. If it does, I'd say it's a massive downer: Kerry has been using his Vienam service for everything-- he literally brings it up in questions about healthcare and the death penalty-- and if it can become tainted in the war of public perception, he's potentially in big trouble.

Again, we'll see. I'm skeptical about O'Neil's claims; if it does occur, however, it's another setback for the increasingly unimpressive Kerry campaign.
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#2 Godeskian

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:23 AM

i'm a little unsure how someone casting doubt on an injuries origins makes on unfit to be CIC

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#3 Rov Judicata

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:31 AM

Cyberhippie, on May 3 2004, 09:21 AM, said:

i'm a little unsure how someone casting doubt on an injuries origins makes on unfit to be CIC
Nobody would care, really, if Kerry hadn't made Vietnam a cornerstone of his campaign. That being said, the technical merits of the purple hearts are largely irrelevant; it'll be far more interesting to see what his shipmates have to say about his actual service.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#4 Godeskian

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:36 AM

fair enough. I wasn't aware he'd been so heavily relying on his record. Believe it or not, the US election isn't actually front page news int he UK :)

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#5 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 03:38 PM

Discrepancies noted in Kerry's record:Ex-skipper says website wrong

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Vietnam combat records posted on John F. Kerry's campaign website for the month of January 1969 as evidence of his service aboard swift boat No. 94 describe action that occurred before Kerry was skipper of that craft, according to the officer who said he commanded the boat at the time.

Quote

However, Edward Peck, who was the skipper of the 94 before Kerry took over, said combat reports posted by the campaign for January 1969 involve action when he was the skipper, not Kerry. Peck, who was seriously wounded in fighting that took place on Jan. 29, 1969, said he believes Kerry campaign aides made a mistake in claiming Kerry as skipper of the 94 at that time.

Kerry I think opened a big can of worms…

Quote

CH: i'm a little unsure how someone casting doubt on an injuries origins makes on unfit to be CIC

People who served in the military and those that really support them don’t take it very kindly when there are accusations of honors that were not rightly earned…  If there is any hint someone didn’t potentially earn those honors you can guarantee they will right after him or her.  Having someone wearing a PH who never earned it throws a taint on that honor and everyone who wears it.  The Purple Heart has a long history going back to General Washington and is the oldest decoration for the US Military.  So the doubts about Kerry on this one will mean a lot to them.
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#6 Rommie's Ronin

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 03:47 PM

As far as I'm concerned, niether Kerry nor Bush are fit to polish my boots, let alone lead the military as CinC, but who am I? :D

Claiming decorations that weren't earned is a big no-no.  IIRC, Admiral Boorda of the Navy took his own life when it came out he was wearing some stuff he didn't earn.
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#7 MuseZack

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:21 PM

CJ AEGIS, on May 3 2004, 08:36 PM, said:

People who served in the military and those that really support them don’t take it very kindly when there are accusations of honors that were not rightly earned…  If there is any hint someone didn’t potentially earn those honors you can guarantee they will right after him or her.  Having someone wearing a PH who never earned it throws a taint on that honor and everyone who wears it.  The Purple Heart has a long history going back to General Washington and is the oldest decoration for the US Military.  So the doubts about Kerry on this one will mean a lot to them.
Except there aren't any acctual doubts, just a few partisan hacks bleating and making noises.  Nobody's claiming Kerry wasn't wounded that first time, it's just his former CO griping that it looked like a fingernail scratch (what kind of fingernail scratch involves a piece of metal being taken out of your flesh?).  But Purple Hearts were and are given out for minor injuries all the time, including ones that don't draw blood-- one veteran recounts being awarded a Purple Heart for having a side of beef accidentally dropped on him during an air raid.  Bitching at Kerry for not being wounded enough is just churlish, and actual veterans know it...which is why even the ones who hate him generally don't complain about his actual service, but the protests afterward.

And Rov, it looks like one of the people behind this group, Marrie Spaeth, should be quite familiar to your boss.  From Joe Conason in Salon.com:

In 2000, Spaeth participated in the most subterranean episode of the Republican primary contest when a shadowy group billed as "Republicans for Clean Air" produced television ads falsely attacking the environmental record of Sen. John McCain in California, New York and Ohio. While the identity of those funding the supposedly "independent" ads was carefully hidden, reporters soon learned that Republicans for Clean Air was simply Sam Wyly -- a big Bush contributor and beneficiary of Bush administration decisions in Texas -- and his brother, Charles, another Bush "Pioneer" contributor. (One of the Wyly family's private capital funds, Maverick Capital of Dallas, had been awarded a state contract to invest $90 million for the University of Texas endowment.)


When the secret emerged, spokeswoman Spaeth caught the flak for the Wylys, an experience she recalled to me as "horrible" and "awful." Her job was to assure reporters that there had been no illegal coordination between the Bush campaign and the Wyly brothers in arranging the McCain-trashing message. Not everyone believed her explanation, including the Arizona senator.

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#8 G1223

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:28 PM

Mine was from my thumb while working a lathe at a cousins shop . I was filing and a a piece of metal entered the side of my hand. it stuck out enough that we were able to pull it out and after washing it clean applied a bandage and moved on.
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#9 GiGi

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:43 PM

G, there is a difference, you were not in a place where someone was trying to kill you on a daily basis. 'Nough said.



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Who has been listening to the war stories of her Vietnam Vet neighbor (said neighbor does not trash either Bush or Kerry for their Vietnam service)
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#10 G1223

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 12:17 AM

And his may not have been related to combat.  He could have pushed for the purple heart so he could get out. But if that is the case playing up his heroics  while jumping at a chance to get out seems a bit two faced.
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#11 MuseZack

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 12:22 AM

G1223, on May 4 2004, 05:15 AM, said:

And his may not have been related to combat.  He could have pushed for the purple heart so he could get out. But if that is the case playing up his heroics  while jumping at a chance to get out seems a bit two faced.
Nobody contests that the wound was related to combat, they just don't know if the shrapnel was enemy inflicted or caused by friendly fire or even a piece coming off of Kerry's own M16 rifle-- but it's irrelevant to the award itself.  And as for Kerry being eager to get sent out, this was a guy who specifically asked to be sent to Vietnam, and then again specifically asked to be transferred from a relatively safe berth on a destroyer to an extremely dangerous one on a swift boat-- he didn't have to be there at all, and he asked to be transferred out after he earned three purple hearts, which was his right.  So what's the problem?
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#12 Rommie's Ronin

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 12:28 AM

Egads.  :wacko:

Here's the history and the purpose of the Purple Heart here.

The Purple Heart was essentially  created by Washington to give a moral boost to his troops.  As you can read on this site, the awarding of the PH for combat wounds didn't start until it was revived in 1932.  It is intended for those wounded in combat at the hands of the enemy thus:

Quote

The PURPLE HEART is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.

Italics mine.
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#13 MuseZack

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 09:35 AM

Rommie's Ronin, on May 4 2004, 05:26 AM, said:

Egads.  :wacko:

Here's the history and the purpose of the Purple Heart here.

The Purple Heart was essentially  created by Washington to give a moral boost to his troops.  As you can read on this site, the awarding of the PH for combat wounds didn't start until it was revived in 1932.  It is intended for those wounded in combat at the hands of the enemy thus:

Quote

The PURPLE HEART is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.

Italics mine.
We've covered this before.

For the record, Purple Hearts are given for the following enemy-related injuries:

a) Injury caused by enemy bullet, shrapnel or other projectile created by enemy action.

b) Injury caused by enemy-placed mine or trap.

c) Injury caused by enemy-released chemical, biological or nuclear agent.

d) Injury caused by vehicle or aircraft accident resulting from enemy fire.

e) Concussion injuries caused as a result of enemy-generated explosions.


Examples of injuries or wounds which clearly do not qualify for award of the Purple Heart are as follows:

a) Frostbite or trench foot injuries.

b) Heat stroke.

c) Food poisoning not caused by enemy agents.

d) Chemical, biological, or nuclear agents not released by the enemy.

e) Battle fatigue.

f) Disease not directly caused by enemy agents.

g) Accidents, to include explosive, aircraft, vehicular and other accidental wounding not related to or caused by enemy action.

"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#14 Gefiltefishmon

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 10:15 AM

Not Fit to be Commander In Chief? WHO are they kidding?!

Wow, It's just amazing to me how non-issue oriented the republicans have become these days. Could it be they know they don't have an issue leg to stand on? Could it be due to the fact that their carefully constructed house of lies is beginning to fall down and to distract our attention they keep coming up with stuff like this rather than addressing the treasonous behaviour of Karl Rove and others in the administration? Now we are reduced to arguing the merits of a Purple Heart - which begs the question, where are Bush's awards for bravery? for Combat? For leadership? Oh yeah, that's right, he hasn't got any...

Did anyone else watch Meet the Press this past Sunday with Ambassador Joe Wilson?

Here is the transcript in case you missed it     http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4880116/

Read it yourself - besides raking Kofi Annan over the coals for the corruption and lies perpetrated by the UN(always a fun way to spend a sunday) - we get a long conversation with Joe Wilson - who knew the president was lying when he told the nation during his state of the union speech that Iraq was attempting to get uranium from Niger - who knew Rice was lying when she said last June that nobody had checked the facts - who knew Cheney was lying in May of last year - How did he know? He was the man who investigated the claim a year prior - and what did the Bush administration do? Exposed Joe Wilson's wife as a CIA operative - which, if I recollect - and Joe Wilson does as well, Bush senior called a "treasonous Crime" - or something like that....EDIT - Bush senior called people who reveal the identities of CIA agents to the press "INSIDIOUS TRAITORS" - QED our Current Administration - and nobody is even investigating this...... WOW - endedit

Interesting - and now out of the woodowrk crawl "all" these people who declare that Kerry is unfit to be CinC. Which is laughable - at least he KNOWS what combat is - what has George Bush ever done combat with except his own demons, common sense and the truth?

And since when is fitness for being CinC a prerequisite for the job? Clinton was clearly unfit to be CinC but he got elected (actually by the people, not by whim of the republican members of the supreme court) TWICE! How was Reagan fit to be CinC - from starring in War movies? PLEASE! all this farglecarb about fitness is ridiculous and is merely another attempt by partisan warriors to distract the public from the issues which the Bush administration has failed utterly on.

Edited by Gefiltefishmon, 04 May 2004 - 10:25 AM.

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#15 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 03:31 PM

Quote

Zack: For the record, Purple Hearts are given for the following enemy-related injuries:

That means that if Kerry’s M16 or a friendly shell was the source of his wound he doesn’t qualify for the Purple Heart.  In those cases it would be either friendly fire or a faulty weapon.  

Quote

GF: besides raking Kofi Annan over the coals for the corruption and lies perpetrated by the UN(always a fun way to spend a sunday)

Yes the Oil for Weapons and Kickbacks program wasn’t the least bit corrupt.  :blink:

Quote

Zack: So what's the problem?

Nothing except his former CO says his war records are misleading and claims he was in command when he was not
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#16 Rhea

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 04:12 PM

Gefiltefishmon, on May 4 2004, 07:13 AM, said:

Not Fit to be Commander In Chief? WHO are they kidding?!

Wow, It's just amazing to me how non-issue oriented the republicans have become these days. Could it be they know they don't have an issue leg to stand on? Could it be due to the fact that their carefully constructed house of lies is beginning to fall down and to distract our attention they keep coming up with stuff like this rather than addressing the treasonous behaviour of Karl Rove and others in the administration? Now we are reduced to arguing the merits of a Purple Heart - which begs the question, where are Bush's awards for bravery? for Combat? For leadership? Oh yeah, that's right, he hasn't got any...

Did anyone else watch Meet the Press this past Sunday with Ambassador Joe Wilson?

Here is the transcript in case you missed it     http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4880116/

Read it yourself - besides raking Kofi Annan over the coals for the corruption and lies perpetrated by the UN(always a fun way to spend a sunday) - we get a long conversation with Joe Wilson - who knew the president was lying when he told the nation during his state of the union speech that Iraq was attempting to get uranium from Niger - who knew Rice was lying when she said last June that nobody had checked the facts - who knew Cheney was lying in May of last year - How did he know? He was the man who investigated the claim a year prior - and what did the Bush administration do? Exposed Joe Wilson's wife as a CIA operative - which, if I recollect - and Joe Wilson does as well, Bush senior called a "treasonous Crime" - or something like that....EDIT - Bush senior called people who reveal the identities of CIA agents to the press "INSIDIOUS TRAITORS" - QED our Current Administration - and nobody is even investigating this...... WOW - endedit

Interesting - and now out of the woodowrk crawl "all" these people who declare that Kerry is unfit to be CinC. Which is laughable - at least he KNOWS what combat is - what has George Bush ever done combat with except his own demons, common sense and the truth?

And since when is fitness for being CinC a prerequisite for the job? Clinton was clearly unfit to be CinC but he got elected (actually by the people, not by whim of the republican members of the supreme court) TWICE! How was Reagan fit to be CinC - from starring in War movies? PLEASE! all this farglecarb about fitness is ridiculous and is merely another attempt by partisan warriors to distract the public from the issues which the Bush administration has failed utterly on.
What she said. If George W. Bush is fit to be C in C, then Kerry is just dandy.
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#17 Delvo

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 04:44 PM

"Fitness" to do a job and experience at a smaller version of it are not the same thing. The knock against Kerry coming from these vets is about his decision-making and leadership abilities, as much as some of his supporters try to make it be about the way he got one or two of his Purple Hearts.

#18 MuseZack

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 06:17 PM

Delvo, on May 4 2004, 09:42 PM, said:

"Fitness" to do a job and experience at a smaller version of it are not the same thing. The knock against Kerry coming from these vets is about his decision-making and leadership abilities, as much as some of his supporters try to make it be about the way he got one or two of his Purple Hearts.
Given that these vets either didn't actually serve with Kerry or are directly contradicting the things they said in Kerry's own written evaluations (which are uniformly glowing), why should we give their election year complaints any credence?  Here's what Kerry's commanding officers wrote at the time:

October 19, 1967, evaluation from Captain Allen W. Slifer:
          A top notch officer in every measurable trait. Intelligent, mature,  and rich in educational background and experience, ENS Kerry is one of the  finest young officers I have ever met and without question one of the most  promising.
          
  September 3, 1968, evaluation from Captain E.W. Harper, Jr.:
          LTJG KERRY is an intelligent and competent young naval officer  who has performed his duties in an excellent to outstanding manner.
          
  December 18, 1969, evaluation from LCDR George M. Elliott:
          In a combat environment often requiring independent, decisive  action LTJG Kerry was unsurpassed. He constantly reviewed tactics and lessons  learned in river operations and applied his experience at every opportunity.  On one occasion while in tactical command of a three boat operation his units  were taken under fire from ambush. LTJG Kerry rapidly assessed the situation  and ordered his units to turn directly into the ambush. This decision resulted  in routing the attackers with several enemy KIA.
  LTJG Kerry emerges as the acknowledged leader in his peer group. His bearing  and appearance are above reproach. He has of his own volition learned the  Vietnamese language and is instrumental in the successful Vietnamese training  program. 
  During the period of this report LTJG Kerry has been awarded the Silver Star medal, the Bronze Star medal, the Purple Heart medal (2nd and 3rd awards).          
          
  Evaluation co-signed by Joseph Streuli and George M. Elliott on January 28, 1969, and March 17, 1969, respectively:
          ... exhibited all of the traits of an officer in a combat environment.  He frequently exhibited a high sense of imagination and judgment in planning  operations against the enemy in the Mekong Delta.
          
  March 2, 1970 evaluation from Admiral Walter F. Schlech:
          ... one of the finest young officers with whom I have served in a long naval career.



And of the actual sailors who really did serve with Kerry, all but one are effusive in their praise of him.


          
Stephen Gardner, a gunner's mate on PCF-44, spoke out for the  first time last month after hearing conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh  question Kerry's war credentials. Gardner, who says "this country's in a world of trouble" if the Democrat is elected president, calls Kerry a "hesitant"  commander who shunned danger.
          
  Gardner, 56, claims Kerry retreated during a firefight under the pretense  that he wanted to get Gardner medical attention. "It was a panic run," says  Gardner, who calls his wound superficial. While he refuses to call Kerry a coward, he recalls "a guy who was protecting himself most of the time."        
          
  That view does not square with the recollections of eight other enlisted  sailors who served with Kerry and were interviewed for this story. Kerry and other PCF-44 veterans say the shooting was over when they turned back to base.
          
  "I never saw John back down from anything," crewmember Bill Zaladonis says.          
          
  "I have no idea where he's coming from," Kerry says of Gardner.
          
          Rassmann also dismisses the idea of a cautious Kerry. He says  he is alive today because of Kerry's courage during a vicious battle in March  1969. The special forces soldier had been blown off PCF-94 by a mine that  also injured Kerry's right arm. Swimming in the river while being strafed  from both banks, Rassmann was convinced he was about to die before Kerry's  boat returned. As the soldier struggled to climb scramble nets draped over  the boat's bow, Kerry reached down with his uninjured arm and pulled him on board.
          
  "He was frankly nuts coming up to the bow and exposing himself" to the barrage  of bullets and mortars, Rassmann says.

"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#19 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 06:35 PM

^ You seem to be forgetting Edward Peck who is calling Kerry's records into doubt.
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#20 MuseZack

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 06:57 PM

CJ AEGIS, on May 5 2004, 11:33 PM, said:

^ You seem to be forgetting Edward Peck who is calling Kerry's records into doubt.
Which appears to have been an innocent mistake by the people who put together Kerry's website and didn't know the date he took over.  Even Hibbard, who hates Kerry, calls it that.


My mistake, the person appears to have been Kerry and Peck's ex CO Michael Elliot, not Hibbard.

Edited by MuseZack, 05 May 2004 - 07:25 PM.

"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Election 2004, John Kerry, 2004

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