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Transcript: John Kerry's 1971 Senate Testimony

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posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 12:19 PM
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I thought I'd share Kerry's senate testimony w/anyone interested in giving it a look.



OPENING STATEMENT

The committee is continuing this morning its hearings on proposals relating to the ending of the war in Southeast Asia. This morning the committee will hear testimony from Mr. John Kerry and, if he has any associates, we will be glad to hear from them. These are men who have fought in this unfortunate war in Vietnam. I believe they deserve to be heard and listened to by the Congress and by the officials in the executive, branch and by the public generally. You have a perspective that those in the Government who make our Nation's policy do not always have and I am sure that your testimony today will be helpful to the committee in its consideration of the proposals before us.
www.truthout.org...




posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 12:35 PM
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EastCoastKid I posted a thread awhile back with a link to my audio file of Kerry's senate testimony, so I hope you don't mind me posting in your thread also. If you do let me know and I will remove my link.

Audio File Of Kerry's senate testimony declaring me and all other Vietnam vets rapist, murders, and in general just out right terrorist. Hear it for yourself and you decide, as a Nam vet I already know what he meant and why he did it, and that's why I'm not voting for John Kerry this November.


photos.imageevent.com...



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 01:22 PM
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Interesting read. I took the liberty of excerpting a few paragraphs and using the find and replace feature of Word to “update” it a bit.


I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Abu Garib , not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.

It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Iraq, but they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.

They told the stories at times they 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 Iraq 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.

We call this investigation the "Winter Soldier Investigation." The term "Winter Soldier" is a play on words of Thomas Paine in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriot and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough.

We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country; we could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what went on in Iraq, but we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out.

In our opinion, and from our experience, there is nothing in Iraq, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Iraq, by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart.

We are probably much more angry than that and I don't want to go into the foreign policy aspects because I am outclassed here. I know that all of you talk about every possible alternative of getting out of Iraq. We understand that. We know you have considered the seriousness of the aspects to the utmost level and I am not going to try to dwell on that, but I want to relate to you the feeling that many of the men who have returned to this country express because we are probably angriest about all that we were told about Iraq and about the mystical war against terrorism.

We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever, but also we found that the Iraqese whom we had enthusiastially molded after our own image were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them from.

We found also that all too often American men were dying in those rice paddies for want of support from their allies. We saw first hand how money from American taxes was used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by our flag, as blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. We saw Iraq ravaged equally by American bombs as well as by search and destroy missions, as well as by Vietcong terrorism, and yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the terrorist .

We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a Faluja and refused to give up the image of American soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum.

We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Arabs .

We watched the U.S. falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts. We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons against "Arabhuman. beings," with quotation marks around that. We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater, or let us say a non-third-world people theater, and so we watched while men charged up hills because a general said that hill has to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons they marched away to leave the high ground for the reoccupation by the Iraqibecause we watched pride allow the most unimportant of battles to be blown into extravaganzas, because we couldn't lose, and we couldn't retreat, and because it didn't matter how many American bodies were lost to prove that point. And so there were Falujas and Najafs and Sadar City and so many others.

Now we are told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while American lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance of Iraqizing the Iraqi

Mr. KERRY. Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Iraq someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can't say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President Bush won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war."

We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Iraq? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? But we are trying to do that, and we are doing it with thousands of rationalizations, and if you read carefully the President's last speech to the people of this country, you can see that he says, and says clearly:

"But the issue, gentlemen,the issue is terrorism, and the question is whether or not we will leave that country to the terrorist or whether or not we will try to give it hope to be a free people."

But the point is they are not a free people now under us. They are not a free people, and we cannot fight terrorism all over the World, and I think we should have learned that lesson by now.

We have come here, not to the President, because we believe that this body can be responsive to the will of the people, and we believe that the will of the people says that we should be out of Iraq now.

Mr. KERRY. Well, Senator, frankly it does not appeal to me if American men have to continue to die when they don't have to, particularly when it seems the Government of this country is more concerned with the legality of where men sleep than it is with the legality of where they drop bombs. [Applause.]

Mr. KERRY. Well, Senator, this, obviously is the most difficult question of all, but I think that at this point the United States is not really in a position to consider the happiness of those people as pertains to the army in our withdrawal. We have to consider the happiness of the people as pertains to the life which they will be able to lead in the next few years.

If we don't withdraw, if we maintain a Korean-type presence in Iraq, say 50,000 troops or something, with strategic bombing raids from Guam and from Japan and from Thailand dropping these 15,000 pound fragmentation bombs on them, et cetera, in the next few years, then what you will have is a people who are continually oppressed, who are continually at warfare, and whose problems will not at all be solved because they will not have any kind of representation.

The war will continue. So what I am saying is that yes, there will be some recrimination but far, far less than the 200,000 a year who are murdered by the United States of America, and we can't go around -- President Kennedy said this, many times. He said that the United States simply can't right every wrong, that we can't solve the problems of the other 94 percent of mankind. We didn't go into East Pakistan; we didn't go into Czechoslovakia. Why then should we feel that we now have the power to solve the internal political struggles of this country?

We have to let them solve their problems while we solve ours and help other people in an altruistic fashion commensurate with our capability. But we have extended that capacity; we have exhausted that capacity, Senator. So I think the question is really moot.





[edit on 27-8-2004 by HowardRoark]



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by HowardRoark
Interesting read. I took the liberty of excerpting a few paragraphs and using the find and replace feature of Word to “update” it a bit.


Oh that's great. If one lie doesn't do enough damage. Change it just enough to apply it to completely irrelevant circumstances. How irresponsible can you be?

[edit on 04/8/27 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 01:40 PM
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HR's redo should be a must read for all Gulf I and II vets who then will be more able to feel as the "Nam" vets do about Kerry, majority



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott

Originally posted by HowardRoark
Interesting read. I took the liberty of excerpting a few paragraphs and using the find and replace feature of Word to “update” it a bit.


Oh that's great. If one lie doesn't do enough damage. Change it just enough to apply it to completely irrelevant circumstances. How irresponsible can you be?

[edit on 04/8/27 by GradyPhilpott]


My god, man Chill out.

“Irresponsible?” Sheesh

Since you totally and completely missed my point, which was as obvious as can be, I don’t see any point in continuing this discussion.

I will leave you with this:

”Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
George Santayana

[voice=JacobMarley]Doomed . . . Doomed[/voice]



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 01:59 PM
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That's the first time I read the full testimony; in seeing that he was referencing those fellow Vets from the Detroit meeting, the blanket statement misrepresentation, that he said it was all vets that he's been accused of, no longer hold water.



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 02:16 PM
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"They told the stories at times they 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."

"They told". Assuming this transcript is genuine and hasn't been altered, it is clear he didn't accuse all vets of being rapists, murderers, etc. He was relating what he had heard other vets state. I don't see the problem with him being against the war, a lot of people were and thought we should get out. I thought his testimony was very good, and far from discrediting the vets, it actually went more toward giving the government a black eye for what was happening to the soldiers and the deplorable conditions over there. Hitting the media for their biased reporting. Hitting the government and society in general for not giving the returning vets the treatment and help they should have gotten.

I'm neither a Bush lover nor a Kerry lover. All in all I thought this was predictable and well-presented testimony from a veteran who wanted his government to pull the troops before more got killed needlessly. He went, saw what was happening, talked to others about their experience, and then came back and tried to get those guys out of harm's way and taken care of properly. I just don't see the problem with this.



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 02:24 PM
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Torque,
You got it! What he said was "they told" you can hear it in the audio and that is the problem. The Swift Boat guys seem to cut that part out in their commerical. They don't want you to hear that part, he was relating a story. Had it been testimony in a court of law it would have been hearsay.

You know I have long had a special place for veterans from Vietnam. My father being one. These guys are forcing a lot of people to relive a very painful part of their lives so they can make a point. A point that is just not as important as others. Those who defend them and nasty about it, using it to say Kerry is a bad comander in chief, would hurt our military. What a bunch of crap is that. At least he knows what war looks like first hand.

I personally believe if the swift boat complainers had not pushed this the whole Kerry/Vietnam connection would have faded after the convention and we would have moved on the more important issues. Instead they are forcing us to deal with this over and over for really no reason. I know there are others who say he lied. Maybe he did, like the current president never lied? Never exagerated his past? Who cares!!!! Let's elect a leader based on how they will run this country, what plans they have for our nation and how they will fight the war on terror.



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by Firebase
EastCoastKid I posted a thread awhile back with a link to my audio file of Kerry's senate testimony, so I hope you don't mind me posting in your thread also.


Not a problem.


Audio File Of Kerry's senate testimony declaring me and all other Vietnam vets rapist, murders, and in general just out right terrorist.


This is the crux of the problem right here. He did not say ALL. He said such and such happened. You know what, that shyte did happen over there. Not everyone was guilty. But SOME were/are. To say it didn't happen is to LIE to yourself and to everyone else. If you served honorably, then you should not be remotely offended by his statements. I think a lot of folks who are still pissed off about it probly are guilty of cutting off ears and killing civilians etc. Why else would they get so enraged? The truth burns.



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 05:03 PM
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Originally posted by EastCoastKid

Originally posted by Firebase
EastCoastKid I posted a thread awhile back with a link to my audio file of Kerry's senate testimony, so I hope you don't mind me posting in your thread also.


Not a problem.


Audio File Of Kerry's senate testimony declaring me and all other Vietnam vets rapist, murders, and in general just out right terrorist.


This is the crux of the problem right here. He did not say ALL. He said such and such happened. You know what, that shyte did happen over there. Not everyone was guilty. But SOME were/are. To say it didn't happen is to LIE to yourself and to everyone else. If you served honorably, then you should not be remotely offended by his statements. I think a lot of folks who are still pissed off about it probly are guilty of cutting off ears and killing civilians etc. Why else would they get so enraged? The truth burns.




Slam dunk.



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 05:19 PM
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the only vets that should be offended by someone having a problem with the worst acts of vietnam are those that commited them... they did happen.. no question, it is a matter a fact as well as being the basis for many movies that documented those actions... now let us place ourselves in that era, and try ot understand how any american could do such terrible things... well, it probably starts with the fact that many people serving in veitnam didn't want to, (when you draft, you get some scum that you wouldn't want serving). Then take the good ones, and show them a couple of there best friends dead with there own genitals shoved in there mouths, and they might get a little mad... so mad that they might take it out on the little boy that might well have been a vietcong...or might have been an innocent civilian... are you starting to see, nope probably not even close to seeing the horrors that many of our vets had to live through, and no have to relive thanks to people questioning the americanism of Kerry. he was a true patriot who spoke truthfully about topics that most wouldn't touch. We should respect a man who withstood critism to say the truth in a time when it was unpopular to do so. At least he served where others ran, or were drafted instead of voluntering. full kudos to anyone who served in vietnam, and if you were one of the ones who did those dispicable actions but shhhhh, speak softly lest you show your colors...



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 05:57 PM
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Originally posted by torque
"They told the stories at times they 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."


Kerry took the words of these individuals who have since been proven to be liars and some of whom never served in Vietnam or did not serve at all, and repeated them before Congress as though they were true and he, who was a Vietnam veteran should have known that these allegations were false. But, he didn't care. He was only concerned about his own image.

You can't whitewash what Kerry did. Let's face it. There might have been some good Democratic candidates for President, but Kerry ain't one of them.



posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott


Kerry took the words of these individuals who have since been proven to be liars and some of whom never served in Vietnam or did not serve at all,


Do you have proof of this?



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 05:06 PM
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I consider Kerry's speaking out on behalf of his fellow vets to be an act of courage and patriotism, equal to that of his combat service. If I had seen atrocities being committed, I would have spoken out, too. We have a duty to uphold truth and honor. Without that, we have no greater moral authority than any other government.

My best friend is a Vietnam vet and he witnessed men proudly displaying the ears they had cut off, among other atrocities mentioned. It effected him deeply. He waited till his enlistment was up, but then spoke up every chance he got.

His and Kerry's sole purpose was to point out how wrong it all was and to put a stop to it. To speak truth to power. To bring our boys home. They both supported the troops completely. To say they were speaking out against the troops, smearing them, is a bald-faced lie. Why would one speak out? To defend those still over there who do not have a voice to protest. I know what that's like for sure. When you're in uniform, you have no voice. And you honor and obey that requirement.

Putting those brave men and women into harm's way, be it Vietnam or today's Iraq is our gravest national sin. We have condemned them to the meat grinder, second only to hell. For no good reason. It's like someone said a few posts back, let them see the horrors - their buddies getting their heads blown off by them aYeRabs/Gooks and they come unglued. Not all, but some. Their minds and souls are devastated and they, in turn, become the monsters we sought to slay. War is nothing less than a nightmare. It's a wonder so many actually come home in one piece mentally. I was not traumatised by it, thankfully, but I assure you, a day has not passed that I have not thought about it. Nothing has ever consumed my mind like war and the men and women I fought with. They were some of the finest I have ever known. This is why I so strenuously argue for our troops. They are our nation's finest.

I thought I'd share this one w/ya'll:



Kerry's Medals were Deserved, Says Widow of Slain Comrade
By Jessica Vascellaro
The Boston Globe

Friday 27 August 2004

Husband was swift boat skipper

WASHINGTON -- Lieutenant Donald Droz knew more about John F. Kerry's service in Vietnam than most men. By Kerry's side when he earned both the Silver and Bronze Stars, Kerry's fellow swift boat captain and friend spoke often of his admiration for the Yalie he called "a real fine guy."
www.truthout.org...



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 02:10 PM
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The real problem with this is that it should have remained a non-issue because Viet Nam is still a very very touchy subject, and I don't care how many First Blood or Born On The Forth of July movies come out about it.

I don't know the 150 vets he was referring to in his testimony. I imagine he would have taken their word for it and not doubted fellow vets as he seems to be constantly doubted. So if they talked about it in good faith, then he probably took it as such.


My mom knew several vets, and as much as she loved them and remained friends with them, she was disappointed in what had happened to them. We used to sit and listen to them drink and talk, and if anyone believes the vets were spotless over there, they're being naive. Not only did some have ears and other "tokens" harvested, but many had pictures too. One friend of hers in particular was haunted, not because he did anything, but because he did nothing when confronted with photographs of what a bunch of his fellow soldiers did to a woman before finally killing her. He said it was like being with junkyard dogs or in another world. Something that would be a billion percent out of place in the U.S. was just routine there for some of the men. It followed him a long time because he did nothing, but felt he couldn't because if they'd do that to another human, maybe they'd do that to him. He said there are many guys who didn't do anything, but knew it was happening and knew some of the guys who were doing it. All this constant Viet Nam rehashing and rehashing stirs things up. Stirs up emotions that have been dormant, if not laid to rest. Stirs up the possibility of more investigations which could result in someone's old "activities" coming to light.

Kerry should have been content saying "I've been in active duty" or something equally informative, but left it at that. People need to leave this Viet Nam thing alone and just stop. McCain has the right idea.



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 02:39 PM
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why should we leave Vietnam alone, when Kerry placed it front and center during his convention. He "reported for duty," he wanted to use Vietnam to show his ability to lead. He wanted to have both ways.



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 03:16 PM
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Because Kerry isn't Viet Nam. He's one of a lot of people who went. Whether all of this hurts or helps him isn't the point. Anybody who refuses to vote for him because of his Viet Nam status is, in my opinion, just as blind as anyone who DOES vote for him because of his Viet Nam status.

This country is already divided. It doesn't need further division encouraged by rehashing Viet Nam YET AGAIN. It drives wedges in where no more are needed. I see more military people here and outside the computer having these pissing contests about who was where, who had it harder, who served a lot and who never served, blah, blah, blah. Military people telling civillians they have no right to an opinion because they never served, civillians telling military people that they didn't have to serve to know it was wrong to go there. Name calling. Older folks telling the young ones they don't know what they're talking about because they weren't there. It's rediculous and is effectively smoke-screening the important issues. Like what are either of these guys going to DO for us when/if they are elected. I don't care if Kerry was there. Don't care if he got shot, shot himself or shot everybody around him. Don't care if Bush was there, here or in a bar in Texas hiding in drag. I just don't care about this decades old nonsense. I care about what the hell is going to be done to secure this country and provide a better standard of living for all of its citizens. The Viet Nam Misdirection is divisive, non-productive, and ultimately harmful. Not just to the election, but possibly in a more long term way.

[edit on 30-8-2004 by torque]



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 03:18 PM
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I'd love to see Kerry and Bush face real questions about their service during the debates. Bush would melt into a pile of stuttering goo.
Kerry would be standing tall in the knowledge that he volunteered, he met the challenge, and came home a man transformed by it.



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 03:24 PM
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... whereas I'd hope no time would be wasted in the debates over this at all. I want to hear where Kerry's team thinks they're going to get the money for everything they've said they're going to do. I want to hear when Bush is going to produce bin Laden and what he will do about the job situation. I don't want to hear records and map coordinates. I want to know what these men intend to do as President.

Having said that...

One thing I think goes in favor for Kerry is the way he presented himself during the testimony in question. He was concerned about how fast the government could enact something, wanting extreme measures in the face of what he considered an emergency of national importance, about how much power the President actually holds. Service or not, if he's managed to keep any of that "stick up for the regular guys" attitude in the ensuing time, it's a positive on his side.



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