It seems that the New York Times is going back into Vietnam to rehabilitate John Kerry's stellar combat record. Specifically, the assertion that he inserted CIA operators or Navy SEALs (both?) into Cambodia, and that one of the guys-BEFORE conducting a cross border mission- decided to give Kerry his hat as a hardy thanks and well done for commanding a boat that he just rode in on. Ostensibly, if you bothered to bring the phreakin' hat with you on what would be an extraordinarily dangerous and certainly top secret operation into a country with which the US was not at war, you probably thought you'd be needing it. And by needing it, I don't mean as a piece of swag to hand out to some effeminate junior officer like a rock star tossing T-shirts into a crowd. Notwithstanding the fact that the CIA and the SEAL Teams each had their own boats with which to insert into a classified location (so they wouldn't have to tell 20 people at the Swift Boat det where they were going) it could have happened... but it didn't.
Well folks, this is the issue that launched Froggy Ruminations and rocketed me to blog superstardom... more or less. Anyway, at the time Kerry was peddling his Cambodia story there were no Swiftboat Veterans for Truth. So I called my father-in-law up in Florida (who is a SEAL Vietnam Vet) and asked him how many times he got inserted ANYWHERE by a Swift Boat. His answer was none, but that is only one Frogman in a large conflict so I decided to ask around.
I went to the UDT/SEAL West Coast Reunion and my mother-in-law took me around to all the "old guys" and I spent the day interviewing a series of Vietnam era SEALs about their interactions with the Swift Boats and their opinion of John Kerry. As I expected, their answers fit my dad's descriptions with some amplification, and with the exception of two guys, they all could hardly stomach Kerry.
Talk about an "Inconvenient Truth". John Kerry's fabrications, phony awards, chicken$hit purple hearts, and slander of the US military cannot be explained away by a fawing NYT piece and selectively released (still!) military records. Sorry John, you ARE going to get "Swiftboated" again if you try another run in 2008.