While a swift-boat commander in Vietnam, Sen. John Kerry filmed re-enactments of combat which Democrats plan to use in the official video introducing their presidential nominee tomorrow night in Boston.
During the Vietnam War, Sen. John Kerry filmed re-enactments of combat scenes with a home camera.
A new book, “Unfit for Command,” written by John O’Neill, who took over Kerry’s swift boat, PCF-94, charges the Massachusetts senator carried a home movie camera to “record his exploits,” according to the Drudge Report.
The convention video is directed by James Smoll, who works with Steven Spielberg.
Tedd Peck, who piloted PCF-94 before being wounded and turning over command to Kerry, told WorldNetDaily the footage taken in Vietnam is “phony.”
Kerry’s 8-millimeter films show him with grenades hanging from a flack jacket, but Peck says the members of the swift-boat crew were not ground troops — being told never to leave the boat — and never were issued grenades because of the chance of them ricocheting when lobbed from the deck.
“He found [the grenades] and wanted to make himself look like a gungho John Wayne,” said Peck, who said he didn’t like Kerry from the start. “That’s what it is, Hollywood.”
Peck said he and his colleagues thought it was odd that Kerry took the camera with him on patrol.
“He was carefully getting his heroics down,” Peck said.
O’Neill’s book says Kerry “would revisit ambush locations for re-enacting combat scenes where he would portray the hero, catching it all on film. Kerry would take movies of himself walking around in combat gear, sometimes dressed as an infantryman walking resolutely through the terrain. He even filmed mock interviews of himself narrating his exploits. A joke circulated among Swiftees was that Kerry left Vietnam early not because he received three Purple Hearts, but because he had recorded enough film of himself to take home for his planned political campaigns.”
The Boston Globe reported in 1996, noted Drudge, that the Kerry home movies “reveal something indelible about the man who shot them — the tall, thin, handsome Naval officer seen striding through the reeds in flak jacket and helmet, holding aloft the captured B-40 rocket. The young man so unconscious of risk in the heat of battle, yet so focused on his future ambitions that he would reenact the moment for film. It is as if he had cast himself in the sequel to the experience of his hero, John F. Kennedy, on the PT-109.”
Thomas Vallely, a fellow veteran and one of Kerry’s closest political advisers and friends, told the Globe, “John was thinking Camelot when he shot that film, absolutely.”
In his new book “Reckless Disregard,” author Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson, details one of the claimed Kerry reenactments for film:
“On February 28, 1969, now in charge of PCF 94, Kerry came under fire from an enemy location on the shore. The crew’s gunner returned fire, hitting and wounding the lone gunman. Kerry directed the boat to charge the enemy position. Beaching his boat, Kerry jumped off, chased the wounded insurgent behind a thatched hutch, and killed him. Kerry and his crew returned within days, armed with a Super 8 video camera he had purchased at the post exchange at Cam Ranh Bay, and reenacted the skirmish on film.”
O’Neill, an attorney, is head of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an organization opposing Kerry’s candidacy for president. As WorldNetDaily reported, O’Neill’s organization stated last month Kerry was a “loose cannon” in Vietnam and is unfit to be commander in chief.
After Kerry requested an early dismissal from Vietnam, O’Neill took over command of his boat.
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth includes the entire chain of command above Kerry during his tenure in Southeast Asia, as well as enlisted men.