Koppel admits that there were no Vietcong
witnesses that Lieutenant John Kerry actually killed "Banton", the
lone Vietcong soldier who fired a rocket at the Swift Boats in the
Cambodian River Delta, among which was one Kerry was piloting,
although many of those soldiers did witness "Banton's" death from
gunboats returning fire, not from Kerry. Nor was Kerry's
account even seemingly remotely accurate.
Locals recalled Kerry attacking the village unopposed by any enemy soldiers, accompanied by South Vietnamese regular army. Only after civilians were wounded by collateral fire after "Banton" (the rocket firer) was killed, then and only then did 7 or so hidden Vietcong soldiers attempt to engage the numerically superior Swift Boat and South Vietnamese forces, and they were unsuccessful, as the Swift Boat Vets and South Vietnamese soldiers not only outnumbered them, but they beat a hasty march back to their boats and were already leaving when the 7 got up the courage to attack them, too late.
One Vietcong wife, referring to Kerry and others, said "We became angry that the soldiers attacked the village: fire from several boats had killed 'Banton', who alone had fired the rocket at them, missing them completely. After being hit by return fire from a number of boats, he ran 18 yards and died. They had no reason to attack the village, consisting of elders, women in rice paddies (myself) and children. One South Vietnamese soldier shot me, wounding me, handed me a gun saying it was my husband's gun. I insisted my husband, a Vietcong, was not a Vietcong and had run away. The South Vietnamese soldier insisted someone was attacking them, which had only been 'Banton', the lone VC with the rocket. I could not understand this.".
According to the Vietcong, the village was attacked by South Vietnamese soldiers and some of the Swift Boats, with no armed soldiers visible and no VC fire, right after the rocket fire incident, which missed the boats. The boats had returned fire killing "Banton", the lone VC who fired the rocket.
One former VC soldier added: "without success, in anger, 7 of us, who had been sent to live in the village for the purposes of attacking Americans and South Vietnamese, after seeing 'Banton' fleeing the gunboat fire, getting hit and dying, and then the spontaneous attack on the civilian villagers, waited a while, and then tried to attack the South Vietnamese soldiers from the rear after they attacked the village, though they had already run back onto their boats and left up river with the Swift Boats, ignoring us".
Kerry clearly falsely claimed he single handedly chased down and shot the rocket firer, "Banton", claiming falsely again that he was 'up against numerically superior forces'. That account is clearly imaginary.
The official "after action report" would suggest that local brass and Kerry glorified the entire incident (as was sometimes common during Vietnam), that instead only a single Vietcong solder wildly firing a rocket and missing, and then being hit by gunboats returning fire, not Kerry and his Colt 45. All else was apparently embellished to look heroic, with Hollywood-like praise of Kerry making him look like a "John Wayne" figure in his Silver Star award letter.
Yet, after researching BOTH the Vietcong, South Vietnamese Army we located who were present, AND the Swift Boat Vets, some of whom were present, we have found only one story in common: John Kerry did not chase down anyone, he did not shoot "Banton", the VIETCONG who fired the rocket missing the boats, and the only "numerically superior forces" anyone can find, were a bunch of non-com civilian villagers busy tending to cattle and rice in paddies. They were attack by several groups of South Vietnamese and a number of the Swift Boat crews, without provocation, apparently in retaliation for "Banton" sniper firing the rocket at the boats. The South Vietnamese initiated the assault, followed by several Swift Boat crews, one of whom, Kerry's, allegedly beached to land and assist the South Vietnamese regulars.
Upon wounding several civilians, and insuring there was negligible if any resistance remaining, the American/South Vietnamese forces withdrew and as they left, several Vietcong soldiers who had fled the onslaught, returned as they were leaving and fired at them, hitting nothing in particular. That account has been recalled by villagers, former Vietcong, South Vietnamese regulars, and Swift Boat crews. The expression used in the book "there simply was no firefight", appears accurate as to the interaction with "Banton", the rocket sniper.
Afterwards, the corroborated accounts from all sides say that after "Banton" was killed by gunboat fire blindly aimed at him after he shot off the rocket, that a confrontation with villagers resulted when the crews and South Vietnamese, angry over the rocket, attacked the village thinking it was involved in the rocket attack. That is not an unlikely account to accept, it is consistent with the pattern of events, and with the accounts of all parties. Even John Kerry has admitted to a lone VC with a rocket, in subsequent reports, despite the fact of his Silver Star award which claimed he single handedly, up against "numerically superior forces" chased down the sniper, an account which appears entirely incorrect. The South Vietnamese reprisal attack on the village "account", appears much more likely, particularly on the face of a lone VC who sneaks to the riverside and shoots off a rocket at the Boats, marking his own position and potentially bringing an angry response down on nearby villagers.
From analyzing the seperate witness accuonts, we have concluded that the only apparent return fire aimed at the Americans and South Vietnamese, was after they were already leaving the scene. It appears that 7 Vietcong who emerged on the scene as the Swift Boats and South Vietnamese were just leaving, encouraged by the swift retreat, began firing but hit nothing. We believe THAT is what happened. The only damage to equipment and personnel at the scene, besides "Banton" and the villagers, appears to be minor damage to the boat nearest the rocket's detonation. Further, the only account this explanation disagrees with is that of John Kerry on the "after action report" and the acts of superiors with whom he filed his report with that evening, who apparently decided to turn the event into a "Kodak moment" for them and for Kerry. Everyone else agrees with our above analysis, even John Kerry to some extent contradicts the details given in his Silver Star award. Nonetheless, worthy or not, Kerry has rode that Silver Star into office like John Wayne on "old Gray" into Dodge City. Kerry has compounded that with numerous other accounts that are inter-contradictory. A later "sampan" incident appears to suggest that in a panic, Kerry and others on his crew may have killed civilians in a sampan, and panicked almost losing a member of his crew in the course, injuring himself sufficiently to earn a Purple Heart, his third for minor injuries, leading to his return to the US on a discharge after only 90 days as a Swift Boat Captain.
The author of "Unfit for Command" who took over his boat, apparently got an earful of complaints about him from crew in that squadron, and after learning of Kerry's other efforts in the Anti-War movement and meetings with the Vietcong leadership in Paris, was morally outraged sufficiently to author the book. O'Neil, author of UFC, is (no offense) not a very well equipped public speaker and his high pitched confrontation with Ted Koppel was difficult, at best. But his point about Koppel's report that it elected only to interview one small perspective on the Kerry incident, was nonetheless valid. Koppel baited O'Neil to attempt to make him appear in a bad light, and devoted so little time to dialog, being intensely insulting to O'Neil, that we conclude Koppel and ABC (again, a part of the legendary Rockefeller network of businesses, Disney and Cap Cities), are simply trying to plough a left wing field in support of Kerry. Nonetheless, we believe the incident report by Koppel actually FULLY SUPPORTS O'Neil's account, not Kerry's. We would admonish Mr. O'Neil to look into our analysis above (and to try not and let skilled, lifelong journalists like Koppel with strong debating skills and an editor willing to clip such press coverage into a pro-Kerry viewpoint, despite it's anti-Kerry findings, bust his chops, life is too short to be harassed by a Ted Koppel, who could use a lesson or two about honesty and integrity, himself).
We do not believe the account in John Kerry's "after action report" which led to his receiving a Silver Star. We believe the gunboats themselves killed "Banton" and that it was a natural outcome of having a rocket fired in their general direction, an event that occurred hourly in the Rivers of Vietnam. We do not believe Kerry showed any form of Stand-alone or standout heroism, but that he ultimately embellished the account to his own benefit, and that this pathological tendency to embellish his own record and his own actions and abilities is A KEY FLAW IN JOHN KERRY'S PERSONALITY.
We do not blame Kerry for trying to leverage his involvement in the incident by seizing an opportunity to receive an award for heroism. But on the grand scale of battles in Vietnam, we'd characterize the entire action, when compared with Hamburger Hill, or many, many other violent firefights in which dozens of American casualties occurred and men, wounded, crawled to their injured comrades sides with blown off limbs and guts exposed, and dragged their peers to safety, nearly giving their lives in the process: if we composed a scale of "relative significance" of the incident above, of 1 to 100, the "Banton fires a rocket at the Swift Boats" incident would rate a 5 and that would be very generous.
It takes courage to do any battle in any war, and clearly Kerry exhibited some bravery in being there at all, but we note that he has revealed a side to himself that has complicated his own image: by then turning that "some bravery" into "John Wayne takes the entire brigade single-handedly armed only with his service revolver", which he later made a central issue in his political career, Kerry has pointed out that he is a "dramatizer" and "embellisher" and in some Courts, a liar and credit taker. That simply was not the right thing to have done, it was shabby and it was dishonest. We believe he did similar such pathological attacks on the war during his anti-war period.
We fear that John Kerry will (as he has in the Senate, claiming to have authored 600 bills that lowered taxes all by himself - a bold faced lie, he authored NONE that lowered taxes in all of his 20 years in the Senate, we checked!) self aggrandize his own acts with fantasy, would fail to assess opponent strategies in global political competition, were he to ever be elected President. We believe he is simply a snide opportunist wearing a many colored cloak. We fear his turning his then office into a squalor of fantasy accomplishments of no real substance, with loads of public relations to prove it, backed by little or no actual doing, the classic "Walter Mitty" like behavior of a politician with a hidden agenda, an agenda we believe is inconsistent with National Security and inconsistent with the proper future advancement of America. John Kerry is a CLASSIC Carpetbagger, someone who sees nothing wrong in hiding a looter's agenda behind a friendly smile and warm handshake.
We are not to criticizing his navy service in battle itself, btw. We just feel that by comparison, it wasn't John F. Kennedy in PT109, FAR, FAR FROM IT: Swift Boat Captain John F. Kerry was no PT109 Captain John F. Kennedy, not by a long shot!
But there are forces in the Democratic party so hungry for power, they'd like very much to falsely make him look that way, as if he personally swam a half dozen survivors from his sank boat to safety while injured. That is what Kennedy did. Kerry, on the other hand, rode along for 90 days, was peripherally wounded and sent home. There is little else to report other than a desperate effort by a feeble boat captain to hug the spotlight, which when that didn't work, and he ended up home, broke and in the middle of a surge of antiwar sentiment, turned into an effort to leverage a far more willing and naive medium and spotlight, the medium of the Anti-War movement.
Again, the pathological side of John Kerry emerged, attacking his fellow soldiers and bearing false witness to alleged atrocities (beheadings, rapes, mass murders) which not only did not happen, but which Kerry concocted at a higher and higher level anew upon each new spotlight "Kodak moment" that emerged in this new public limelight he found himself able to emerge within. Stars before his eyes, and dollar signs ringing in his ears, John Kerry manufactured a litany of war time events he never participated in, never witnessed, never even conjectured of until the opportunity presented itself in the offer from anti-Republican movers in the Democratic party who saw the war THEY'D CREATED under Lyndon Johnson as a "vehicle of attack" on Republicans who'd taken the White House only shortly before. John Kerry's current campaign has been tailored along the exact same lines, blaming the Republicans for a terror attack and war that actually commenced with any real momentum during the Clinton Administration on the Democratic Party's watch, emerging during an administration under Bill Clinton which did little effectively to halt the rise of terrorism against the USA.
There is an epilogue timeline we doubt will ever happen, we doubt the American People are as gullible any more as the Democratic Party seems to believe. Nonetheless, let us comment on "that" potential timeline. As we warned before, were Kerry ever to get into office, which we simply don't think will ever happen, he'd be treated the same way as was John Kennedy, assassinated by some dark force, and John Edwards left in his place like Lyndon Johnson was... A literal political novice would inherit the most powerful job in the Free World, leaving America in a very dangerous spot.
There is another chapter to the "John Kerry Fan Club" we'd all like more information about. Only a few months later, after being discharged from the Navy (Kerry only saw 90 days of duty in Vietnam), John Kerry would take up the anti-war movement as his "political stepping stone", later to be awarded a "Hero of the North Vietnamese Conflict" award from the Communist North Vietnamese Government for his role played providing antiwar propaganda speeches used to force POWs to confess to imagined war crimes, in order to avoid being beaten to death; for Kerry's attacks on the reputation of his fellow soldiers before Congress in 1971, and for holding treasonous meetings with the North Vietnamese Communist Military leaders to plan out anti-war strategies from Paris in 1971, among other things, in his effort to gain political leverage in the antiwar movement of the Left Bank of the Democratic Party.
We believe this entire un-American activity of John's needs to be completely aired in all of it's details, including witness statements and a declaration by POWs who had to, in isolation and between beatings, listen to John Kerry's statements calling them war criminals, guilty of rape, beheadings and mass murder, being read or played to them over and over, trying to force confessions out of them, most of whom were downed Air Force pilots, by the way, with very little involvement in anything but over-flying and bombing. We would like full testimony on exactly what John Kerry agreed to do for the North Vietnamese and what political and business forces may have been allied with him in undertaking a backdoor mutiny against his own Military Command.
In spite of his tendency to exaggerate, which became quite apparent during the debates, his unwillingness to tell the truth from time to time, in the second debate it became clear he was lying about whether or not he would have to raise taxes on the Middle Class to fund all the programs he claimed he would design once he supposedly got into office, or else he'd have to break all those promises, his tendency to say exactly the wrong thing about Women and Gay Women, greatly irritating Mrs. Dick Cheney by improperly misattributing sympathetic reasoning to Cheney's daughter, calling her a "lesbian" (a suicidal, politically incorrect thing to do on National Television) and admitting he takes himself way too seriously, claiming he "really married up" when he married Teresa Heinz (we don't hold a lot of likelihood as to any endurance to that marriage, it looked to us like Mrs. Heinz-Kerry was about ready to kill her husband at the end of debate number 3 as he stepped on just about everyone's toes and, getting desperate, started inventing fantasies about his own senate record...) - in spite of the fact that he did vote against doing away with partial birth abortion, a barbaric practice, that he did vote against equipping the soldiers with vests and armored Humvees and weapons when he tried to vote down a supplemental for the Iraq war, that he lied on a number of occasions about President Bush's accomplishments in office, falsely accusing him of reducing funding for education, which is exactly the opposite of the truth, and many other falsehoods issued by John Kerry, who apparently revels in maligning his opponents with lies and smears, in spite of his illegal use of 527 Programs to campaign without Funding Regulations overseeing him, his use of organized crime backed figures like Michael Moore and Rob Reiner (who is an ally of the Tobacco Road Mob, by the way, and lobbies for the rights of cigarette smokers to smoke in public places), in spite of it all - we still believe that the central issue is his Traitorous behavior in meeting with the Vietcong leadership while smearing the reputation of the American Soldiers.
We are forced to conclude that the following
things are true about Kerry's character:
c) Politically, like any person with "alternating current", he flips back and forth from being a pathological liar to portraying a high integrity and committed honest public figure. But the fact is, he is the pathological liar, not the honest public figure, that is simply his "role", a game he plays to see how far he can push the system on appearances, so as to gain popularity to attain greater power, so he can manipulate more monetary gain for special interests for whom he works.
d) As a choice for President, John Kerry is a
misfit, he is incapable of properly assessing the simplest of
command decisions on that level, he would make the worst political
decisions in the history of the White House, and we hope there will
never come a day America has to learn the hard way: the man is
on the payroll of the Chase Manhattan Bank, the biggest four Oil
Companies, and their vast network of businesses, he is their pawn,
and his pathological nature makes him the perfect Simon Legree, to
proxy their economic benefits, one with a loud and steady voice, and
an unerring ability to gauge the extraordinary naiveté of his fan
club, voters who might back him in his election tries, because they
are blind to his flaws, which vastly outnumber his abilities.
BTW: to Mr. Ted Koppel, ACSA gives the "turning a Sow's Ear into a Silk Purse in Journalism Award for 2004" over this story, which proves Kerry had no evidence supporting his Silver Star award other than his own claims which did not coincide with the events recounted by anyone else at all.
While we respect the Silver Star Kerry may have received, we do not even question his service, we simply question his account of events which sound so unlike Vietnam and so like a movie that it leaves his Star award smack in the midst of exaggeration and unproven circumstances. We suggest that perhaps he should never have received it, not for lack of service, just lack of proof of his description of the action.
No one seems to remember the events his way, not even the Vietcong. And certainly not the Swift Boat Vets. Just his superiors who had only his word. Which simply does not hold water. It appears we have all been had by a deception fraught by a conspiracy of low level brass hats and a later use of that "conspiracy of silence" to turn John Kerry into a political battering ram against his political opponents, both during the antiwar movement and after. We don't wonder at the Swift Boat Vets anger any longer.
Nor do we wonder where the real funding for various 527s and F911 came from. We have those most influential Rockefellers and Kennedys to thank for that. It all brings back memories of Chappaquiddick and the Ludlow, Colorado Coal Minder's Strike of Easter, 1914: the machine gunning of innocent striking miners and their families by Fuel & Iron Corporation (Rockefeller hired company gunman) in the dark of night.