September 01, 2004

This Doesn't Surprise Me

This doesn't surprise me. Does it surprise anyone?

Columbus swift boat vet angry about letter - Swift boat veteran Bob Anderson of Columbus is ticked. It bothers him that Sen. John Kerry's swift boat history has become such a political hot potato. But he's even more irritated that his name was included - without his permission - on a letter used to discredit Kerry. "I'm pretty nonpolitical," the 56-year-old Anderson said Tuesday. So, when he found out last week that his name was one of about 300 signed on a letter questioning Kerry's service, he was "flabbergasted." "It's kind of like stealing my identity," said Anderson, who spent a year on a swift boat as an engine man and gunner.

The letter, which was posted on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Web site, claims the Democratic presidential candidate has "grossly and knowingly distorted the conduct of the American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen of that (Vietnam) war." The letter also criticizes Kerry for trying to change his image from a critic of the war to a war hero. "After reading the letter," Anderson said, "it kind of got under my skin. I had never come across a situation where someone used my name without my support or approval. It's not a very comforting feeling." What's worse, he said, he disagrees with the letter. "Had they asked me to use my name, I wouldn't have allowed them to," he said.

Anderson, a 1966 graduate of Chinook High School, describes himself as a naive Montana kid who was smacked by the reality of war soon after arriving in Vietnam in 1967. "It's not a very pleasant way to grow up," he said. He served on a swift boat about the same time Kerry did. However, the first time he met Kerry was during a reunion of swift boat vets in Norfolk, Va., in March 2003. Anderson said he cannot dispute or verify Kerry's experience. In fact, he's forgotten much of his own. "You remember the simple things," he said. "The rest is what you don't want to remember."

He does, however, support Kerry's right to state his opinion. "We say we're protecting democracy. That's why we go to war. As Americans, we can have our opinions, right?"

Posted by DeLong at September 1, 2004 08:04 PM | TrackBack

Damn F**king straight. No one who was in combat talks about it. Not my uncle or any of his friends who were in Nam. I think it is too painful. My grandparents were appalled by the pictures he sent home. So why are these jerks brining this up now? if they are not being paid to do it?

Posted by: bakho at September 1, 2004 08:13 PM


This is another tip of the Swift Vet vs. Swift Vet iceberg.

Here's a full Swiftie vs. Swiftie collection...


Posted by: TR at September 1, 2004 09:56 PM

The Prof is not being shrill enough on this. There were three people mentioned in that article who were contacted via e-mail from the group about the letter several months ago, and who did not respond. All of their names ended up on the letter.

Here is the most interesting extract:

"I can't seem to get a response when I reply to their e-mail," Wedge said.
"They come back undeliverable."

Anderson said he first learned about the situation last week when he received an e-mail from a third party. The e-mail, from a Tom Pyle, said Pyle had contacted a dozen men whose names showed up on the list. Of the dozen, three said they had not given permission, Anderson said.

"That leads me to believe that as many as 25 percent of the names are fictitious supporters of that group," he said.

Anderson does not know how the Swift Boat Vets for Truth got his name, but it appears exactly as it has appeared on rosters at swift boat vet reunions. He suspects the list was pulled from the Swift Boat Sailors Association, a nonpolitical, not-for-profit organization linking swift boat veterans.

Wedge said he's known about the list for several months. Unlike Anderson, he remembers receiving an e-mail asking if he wanted to sign the letter in support.

He speculates that his name was automatically added to the list when he opened the e-mail.

Might turn into a big story, if true.

Posted by: jml at September 1, 2004 10:11 PM

The more energy put into contacting the 200+ Swiftvets, the better. This is a hoax group pu together by a few Republican vets plus a PR team and a lot of Republican money. One of the rather few so-called Swiftvets with any direct knowledge, George Elliott, changed his story three times in a few days and then refused further interviews.

The so-called "affidavits", as far as I understand (I'm still waiting for someone else to weigh in)-- weren't affidavits. They were faxed around for people to sign, but as far as I know weren't notarized or even witnessed. I wish someone would look into this. Most of them also attested to hearsay, which if it isn't false swearing (I don't know if it is), is just meaningless. You can't swear to hearsay.

The Swiftvet from Oregon in the ad, French, did NOT testify that "X told me that Kerry did Y", which I believe might be a valid affidavit. He swore to knowing that Kerry did Y, which is false swearing (by my guess).

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at September 1, 2004 10:15 PM

Not that I'm defending the SBVT, but isn't there a remote chance Bob Anderson has a case of mistaken identity? When it comes to names, I'd bet Bob Anderson is more common than, say, Thrasymakhos.

Posted by: Dragonchild at September 2, 2004 02:09 AM


so true aobut not speaking about it. I used to work with a marine. We went to night school together and worked in the finance area together and for TEN years he would not say anymore thatn he was a marine and in Nam. After 10 years he finally talked a little and told me about being in Cambodia, yes Cambodia.

I would be curious to see if any of the swifty liars actually served more than Rove. I am a vet and like most vets and active duty hate Bush. They jsut drafted another 57 year old retired officer, saying he didn't really retire, and are sending him to Irqaq. 40,000 people under stop loss orders are Conscripts, drafted by Bush. Do you believe for a minute he has their support or their families support? All this while he cuts veteran benefits and closes VA hospitals.

I won't elaborate on the guard and reserves that signed up to for hjurricane duty and not repeated active duty in hopeless wars.

You will notice that none of Bush's advisors or the republican leadership served, except Powell and Rumsfeld.

Posted by: me at September 2, 2004 06:59 AM

Ahh forgery, lying's ugly cousin.

And the slime machince claims another innocent bystander.

Posted by: Clayton at September 2, 2004 08:12 AM