Today a group of Vietnam veterans called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth held a press conference and published a letter in which they denounced John Kerry as unfit to be Commander in Chief. The group, totalling several hundred, claims to include a majority of all swift boat veterans who can be located, a number of men who served with Kerry, and the entire chain of command above Kerry in Vietnam.
Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann, the group’s chairman, said:
I signed this letter because I do not believe John Kerry is fit to be the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States. This is not a political issue. It is a matter of his judgment, truthfulness, reliability, loyalty and trust – all absolute tenets of command.
This group is, needless to say, Kerry’s worst nightmare. Given his conduct following his hasty departure from Vietnam, Kerry’s “band of brothers” routine can charitably be described as fraudulent. If Kerry had not chosen to make his Vietnam experience the centerpiece of his campaign, a group like the Swift Boat Vets might have had little impact. Most voters would have had relatively little interest in the events of the 60’s and 70’s. But, in view of Kerry’s current advertising campaign and his inablility to talk for five minutes without mentioning his military service, no one can question the legitimacy of the Swift Boat Vets’ critique.
The vets’ website is here; it has just opened for business and is still under construction, but should be worth watching.