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POLITICS: Kerry Critic's Service Record Supports Kerry's Story

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posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 03:50 AM
Larry Thurlow, one of the Vietnam War swiftboat veterans who served with Kerry recently swore that Kerry was not "under fire" during an action in which Kerry won a Bronze Star. Thurlow's service record has been obtained and shows that he was in fact under heavy fire during the incident, along with Kerry.

The newly obtained records of Larry Thurlow show that he, like Kerry, won a Bronze Star in the engagement and that Thurlow's citation said he also was under attack, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Thurlow, also like Kerry, commanded a Navy Swift boat during the Vietnam War. Thurlow swore in an affidavit last month that Kerry was "not under fire" when he rescued Lt. James Rassmann from the Bay Hap River.

Thurlow's records, obtained by the Post under the Freedom of Information Act, include references to "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire" directed at all five boats in the flotilla that day. In his Bronze Star citation, Thurlow is praised for helping a damaged Swift boat "despite enemy bullets flying about him."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

How weird is that? Apparantly Thurlow lost his own Bronze Star citation many years ago, for reasons not clear from the article.

[edit on 8-19-2004 by Valhall]

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 04:52 AM
I wonder if this makes a news. Thanks for taking it to this place!

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 05:04 AM
Moving this to the discussion board was a real hard decision. I had two options, rewrite your words in order to make it an article, or move it here.

Here's the problem.

I'm not ready for ATSNN to call some one a liar, when the statements of fact so far don't bear that out. Now, let me be specific in what I mean. Kerry's version of this story is backed up by this veteran's medal citation record. So, this is great news for Kerry.

BUT, a medal citation application is not typically written by the individual receiving the medal. So, for AP to state this man is lying is a step across a line. The man even stated that "he would consider his own medal fraudulent" if he found that it was based on a statement of them receiving fire.

If you don't mind re-writing this, or letting me, so that we can point out that Kerry's story is currently backed by the records, that's fine. But you can't make the statement that "this man is lying". Because the same individual who wrote Kerry's citation application most likely wrote this one.

I'm hoping you see my point.

[edit on 8-19-2004 by Valhall]

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 10:25 AM
This story begs laughter in its incompleteness and spin.

Kerry's words as quoted by Ron Fournier, AP (campaign spinner?) reporter,

In remarks to cheering firefighters, Kerry said, "More than 30 years ago I learned an important lesson. When you're under attack the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attack. That's what I intend to do today."

What Kerry really did on March 13, 1969 according to vets Chenoweth, Odell, Pease and Thurlow.

From "UNFIT FOR COMMAND" page 90

In reality, Kerry's boat was on the right side of the river when a mine went off on the opposite side, under PCF-3. The boats crewman were thrown into the water. The officers of PCF-3 were injured and suffered concussions. A Viet Cong sypathizer in an adjoining bunker had touched off the mine. Besides the mine exploding under PCF-3, there was no other hostile fire and there was no other mines, according to Chenoweth, Odell, Pease and Thurlow.
The boats had begun firing after the mine exploded, but they ceased after a short time because of the lack of hostile fire.

Despite the absence of hostile fire, Kerry fled the scene. The remaining PCFs,in accord with standard doctrine, stood to defend PCF-3 and its crewman in the water. Kerry disappeared several hundred yards away, returning only when it was clear that there was no return fire.

As you can see Thurlow is not alone in claiming no enemy fire occured after the mine explosion under PCF-3.

More words as quoted by Ron Fournier, AP (campaign spinner?) reporter,

Thurlow told the Post that he got the award for helping to rescue the boat that was mined. He said he believed his own award would be fraudulent if it was based on coming under enemy fire.

He speculated that Kerry could have been the source of at least some of the language used in the citation.

From "UNFIT FOR COMMAND" page 91,

Kerry's false after action report, prepared to justify his medals,
reports "5000 meters" - about two and a half miles - of heavy fire, about the same distance of a Civil War battlefield. Not a shot of this fire was heard by Chenoweth, Thurlow, Odell, or Pease. Kerry's false after-action report ignore's Chenoweth's heroic action in rescueing the PCF-3 survivors and Thurlows action in saving PCF-3, while highlighting his own routine pickup of Rassman and PCF-94's minor role in saving PCF-3.

Addressing the March 13th "third purple heart wound", from "UNFIT FOR COMMAND" page 87,

Larry Thurlow, an experienced, genuine hero and PCF veteran, commanded the boat behind Kerry on March 13, 1969. Thurlow was on the shore with Kerry and a group of Nung soldiers that morning of March 13, 1969. Thurlow recalls that Kerry had that morning wounded himself in the buttocks with a grenade that he had set off too close to a stock of rice he was trying to destroy......................
......................Page 88,
Very probably, the incident Rassman describes that resulted in Kerry's self inflicted wound is the very wound that Kerry used to claim his final Purple Heart. Indeed, Kerry's report for that day mentions the rice he destroyed. He dishonestly transferred the time and cause of the injury to coincide with the PCF action later in the day and claimed that the cause of the injury was the mine exploding during the action.

So we have Kerry's PCF-94 on the other side of the river preventing the mine from being a cause of his injury. We have not just Thurlow saying there was no enemy fire after the explosion under PCF-3 but also three others present that day. We have Kerry running for the hills and not returning until it is absolutly safe, completely contradicting his recent words to the firefighters group. We have Thurlow quoted in the AP article (spin) that he disavows any commedation based on facing enemy fire that day. We have Kerry giving false reports to embellish his record, which reports are probably the basis for Thurlows commendation. This AP story actually bolsters the Swiftie case for those who know more of the facts than average.

The AP needs to dig into the actual after-action reports of all the skippers involved in the action on 3-13-69 to obtain a true picture of what happened.
It is also relevent that none of the other PCF craft involved have no reports of damage from enemy fire such as bullet holes for this date, it common and normal to report such damage in maintenance reports.

IMHO the AP article stinks to high heaven of spin and bias attempting to discredit the entire Swiftie effort to get the truth known to the public about a veteran that has based his campaign on a four month stint in Vietnam.

Words in bold by Phoenix for emphasis.

As an update I am including Larry Thurlows response to the AP story,

Statement By Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Member Larry Thurlow

I am convinced that the language used in my citation for a Bronze Star was
language taken directly from John Kerry's report which falsely described the
action on the Bay Hap River as action that saw small arms fire and automatic
weapons fire from both banks of the river.

To this day, I can say without a doubt in my mind, along with other accounts
from my shipmates-there was no hostile enemy fire directed at my boat or at
any of the five boats operating on the river that day.

I submitted no paperwork for a medal nor did I file an after action report
describing the incident. To my knowledge, John Kerry was the only officer
who filed a report describing his version of the incidents that occurred on
the river that day. ..........................
.............................Kerry campaign spokespersons have conflicting accounts of this incident-the
latest one being that Kerry's boat did leave but only briefly and returned
under withering enemy fire to rescue Mr. Rassmann. However, none of the
other boats on the river that day reported enemy fire nor was anyone wounded
by small arms action. The only damage on that day was done to boat three-a
result of the underwater mine. None of the other swift boats received damage
from enemy gunfire.

And in a new development, Kerry campaign officials are now finally
acknowledging that while Kerry's boat left the scene, none of the other
boats on the river ever left the damaged swift boat. This is a direct
contradiction to previous accounts made by Jim Rassmann in the Oregonian
newspaper and a direct contradiction to the "No Man Left Behind" theme
during the Democratic National Convention.

These ever changing accounts of the Bay Hap River incident by Kerry campaign
officials leave me asking one question. If no one ever left the scene of the
Bay Hap River incident, how could anyone be left behind?" target="_blank" class="postlink">SBVT Website

[edit on 19-8-2004 by Phoenix]

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