John Kerry addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars this last Wednesday. Noteworthy of the speech was the fact that significant numbers in the hall stood with their backs to him as he addressed them. Noteworthy also was the less than overwhelming reception he was given. His speech was a bit of a rehash of his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Like a typical Kerry speech, much of it was largely forgettable.
There were however a handful of items I thought very useful and I aired them on my show and planned on writing this column about them. Because I wished to specifically quote his exact words, I went to the Kerry website to look at the transcript of the speech. The only problem was, much of what appeared had been altered, and significant passages of things Kerry said were missing.
Because I had the audio, it was easy enough for me to go pull out what I felt was the most egregious quote of the day:
Let me make this clear … for 35 years I have stood up, and fought, and kept faith with my fellow veterans … as president I will stand with you to complete that mission.
I played this quote on the show and allowed folks to react to it.
I also allowed them to hear part of that 35-year history and his “standing with, and fighting for, and keeping faith with” his fellow veterans – from 1971:
Yes, I committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed …”
What kind of atrocities did he mean? Also from 1971:
The country doesn’t know it yet, but it has created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence, and who are given the chance to die for the biggest nothing in history …
… They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.
Kerry, standing before the VFW, tried to rationalize some of these more radical statements away. The veterans were not buying it. But the astounding aspect of all of this is that Kerry’s website is scared to put up his exact comments.
Just before this quote, Kerry also talked in a rather awkward way about his term of service, and he awkwardly tried to mask his anti-soldier activism he carried out upon his return home. The whole explanation was so odd, I half expected him to break into telling his “Christmas in Cambodia” story as a way of diverting attention from it.
On the website version of the Kerry speech, there is no reference to his passage on his “uncomfortable time” after returning from Vietnam. And as for the quote of “standing up, fighting for, and keeping faith with his fellow veterans” it is also missing (much like many of the military records he now refuses to release that would answer other claims of people like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth).
So in a baldfaced attempt to deceive the veterans he was speaking in front of, he tells them “he has kept faith with them,” even though after his mere four months in Vietnam, he immediately turned on them accusing thousands – even millions – of atrocities.
And in an attempt to completely deceive those who read his speech on his campaign website, he deletes all the references to such controversial and baldface lies all together.
Since the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have substantively documented outright lies that Kerry has told over four decades – like his “Christmas in Cambodia,” or the fact that there was no hostile fire when Kerry received medical treatment for his first Purple Heart (and, in fact, the wound was the equivalent of a splinter and self-inflicted from his own use of a grenade launcher) – it will be imperative from this point hence to double-check everything Kerry does say on the campaign trail.
On Brit Hume’s broadcast earlier this week, swiftboat author John O’Neill said this, “John Kerry knows that history will treat him kindly – because he is the one who writes it.”
So keep those recordings handy. Most likely the “transcripts” of what he says will end up curiously edited for posterity by the time he publishes them and the audio record may be the only true record of what John “Flapjack” Kerry has actually said.