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WASHINGTON – A blistering new TV commercial produced by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth quotes John Kerry’s Vietnam comrades calling him a liar, questioning his honor, accusing him of misrepresenting his actions for medals and attacking his character.
The ad begins with Kerry’s vice-presidential running mate, John Edwards, speaking: “If you have any question about what John Kerry’s made of, just spend three minutes with the men who served with him. …”
“Here’s what those men think about John Kerry,” reads a message on the screen.
That quote is followed by brief testimonies of 13 men explaining they “served with John Kerry.”
Lieutenant Commander George Elliot: “John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam.”
Ensign Al French: “He’s lying about his record.”
Lewis Letson, lieutenant commander, medical center: “I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury.”
Gunner’s mate Van Odell: “John Kerry lied to get his Bronze Star. I know. I was there. I saw what happened.”
Lt. Jack Chenoweth: “His account of what happened and what actually happened is the difference between night and day.”
Rear Admiral Roy Hoffman: “John Kerry has not been honest.”
Cmdr. Adrian Lonsdale: “He lacks the capacity to lead.”
Lt. Larry Thurlow: “When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry.”
Lt. Bob Elder: “John Kerry is no war hero.”
Lt. Cmdr. Grant Hibbard: “He betrayed all his shipmates. He lied before the Senate.”
Lt. Shelton White: “John Kerry betrayed the men and women he served with in Vietnam.”
Gunner’s mate Joe Ponder: “He dishonored his country, he most certainly did.”
Lt. Bob Hildreth: “I served with John Kerry. John Kerry cannot be trusted.”
No details are available on when and where the commercial will be shown, but talk radio shows are already picking up on the audio track and cable television news shows are bound to follow. The Swift Boat Vets for Truth are also taking donations on their website to help pay for spots.
The commercial, personalizing the testimonies of so many of Kerry’s comrades and juxtaposing them with Edwards’ words has great impact. It is the second major blow to the Kerry campaign since excerpts of an upcoming book by the man who succeeded Kerry as commander of his swift boat leaked from the publisher.
The book by John O’Neill and Jerome Corsi charges two of Kerry’s Purple Hearts were for self-inflicted wounds. In “Unfit for Command,” scheduled for release Aug. 15, O’Neill, the former swift boat commander, and his co-author Corsi say two of Kerry’s three Purple Heart decorations resulted from self-inflicted wounds.
All three of Kerry’s Purple Hearts were for minor injuries, not requiring a single hour of hospitalization, as O’Neill has previously explained.
The book reportedly relates how Kerry turned the tragic death of a father and small child in a Vietnamese fishing boat into an act of “heroism” by filing a false report on the incident.
During the Vietnam War, a searing image in the anti-war movement was one of American GIs torching huts with cigarette lighters. It turns out, according to “Unfit for Command,” that Kerry did just that – entering an abandoned Vietnamese village, slaughtering domestic animals and burning down their homes with his Zippo lighter.
As O’Neill has reported on Joseph Farah’s WorldNetDaily Radioactive in several appearances recently, it was Kerry’s reckless behavior that convinced his colleagues he had to go – becoming the only Swift Boat veteran to serve just four months.
O’Neill tells of a joke circulated among his colleagues 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 book charges “Kerry would revisit ambush locations for re-enacting combat scenes where he would portray the hero.”
Kerry ended up playing some of that film at the Democratic National Convention last week.
O’Neill, an attorney, is spokesman for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a coalition of more than 200 vets familiar with Kerry’s service who oppose his candidacy for president based on their judgment of his character. 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.
The group includes the entire chain of command above Kerry during his tenure in Southeast Asia, as well as enlisted men.
The group has called on Kerry to stop unauthorized use of their images in national campaign advertising.
Only two of 20 officers in one photo Kerry has used support him, they say.
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