Swiftboat vets hammer Kerry
Aug. 20, 2004: One day after strong condemnation from John Kerry, the veterans group challenging the senator's war record launched another television ad, this time charging him with betrayal for accusing them of war crimes.
The ad was the second issued in August by Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth, a group of 254 vets who served with Kerry and signed a letter contending he is unfit to be commander in chief.
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The ad begins with audio and photographs from Kerry's dramatic testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 1971 in which he charged Americans serving in Vietnam "had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped 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 in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."
Joe Ponder, who was wounded in November 1968, says, "The accusations that John Kerry made against the veterans who served in Vietnam were just devastating, and it hurt me more than any physical wounds I had."
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