Fiedor Report on the News
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August 21, 2004 #313
by: Doug Fiedor
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Copyright © 2004 by Doug Fiedor, all rights reserved
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KERRY FOR PRESIDENT?
John Kerry wants us to believe that he is qualified to be President of the United States and commander-in-chief of our nations armed forces simply because he was a junior lieutenant in the Navy. Oh, and, he keeps mentioning serving two tours in the Vietnam war.
Note, now, that Kerry does not want us to scrutinize what he did (and did not do) in all his years as a Senator. Kerry is running for office as a Naval officer -- as a war hero.
On Kerry's Senate web site, he clearly states: "As a Vietnam veteran, I have experienced firsthand the horrors of war. I served two tours of duty, commanding a swift boat in Vietnam's Mekong Delta as a member of the U.S. Navy. I have witnessed the sacrifices our men and women have made and the courage they have displayed in faithfully serving our country. Every day I carry with me lessons from being in combat that help me to recognize the needs of our nation's veterans and the problems they confront."
The Kerry campaign often uses much the same words. The Social-Democrat's leftist-liberal cheerleaders in the national media evidently give Kerry a free pass to say anything he wishes and they report, without fact checking, whatever he says.
Well, in this little newsletter, we try to do somewhat better. So here are a few of the facts about Kerry's "two tours of duty commanding a swift boat in Vietnam":
When Kerry graduated from Yale, he requested permission from his draft board to study for a year in France but was turned down. Knowing the North Vietnamese did not have war ships, Kerry thought the Navy would be safe. So, on February 18, 1966, Kerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy. That is, he enlisted in the Naval Reserves -- with an inactive status. That was a nice try, but it didn't quite work and Kerry was sent to Officer Candidate School and then somehow became active Navy.
Now starts Kerry's "two tours" of Vietnam service.
From June of 1967 to June of 1968, Kerry was stationed aboard the USS Gridley, which is a guided missile frigate. Let's see how that duty went:
From June 1967 to November of 1967 the Gridley was stationed off the California coast. In December of 1967, the Gridley was in the Pacific doing guard duty for aircraft operating in the China Sea and Gulf of Tonkin. Rather safe duty for the junior lieutenant, in other words.
In January of 1968 the Gridley sailed to Australia and didn't return to Long Beach again until June 8 of 1968.
That's kind of far from Vietnam, too. And, no, the Gridley did not have swift boats attached to it. Nor were there swift boats for Kerry to command around the coast of California or wandering around Australia, either.
However, in all fairness, we'll have to admit that Kerry was at least somewhere out in the ocean in the general neighborhood of Vietnam for a couple weeks in December of 1967. Probably not ever close enough to actually see Vietnam, but whatever.
So, how did Kerry get to the swift boats? Easy. He requested the duty.
As Kerry wrote in 1986 (if we can believe him): "They were engaged in coastal patrolling and that's what I thought I would be doing. Although I wanted to see what was going on, I really didn't want to get involved in the war."
At that time, the swift boat duty was easy duty, in other words. So, Kerry volunteered for it. It wasn't till late in 1968 that the swift boat mission was redefined and they started running up the rivers to interdict the enemy supply lines and whatnot.
In November of 1968, Kerry arrived at Coastal Squadron One in Cam Ranh Bay in South Vietnam -- a beautiful place to be. That is where Kerry spent his first month in Vietnam -- training to operate a swift boat.
Lieutenant Kerry, it turns out, was a poor leader who bellyached a lot. For instance, he was transferred to the An Thoi area, where the action was, and started whining that the duty was too dangerous there and he had been transferred against his will.
Kerry was in Vietnam a total of four months, when the training month is counted. He was transferred three times, simply because no one wanted to keep him.
Does this experience qualify Kerry to be president of the United States?
2. "The Vietnam Experience: A war remembered"
KERRY & NATIONAL SECURITY
Let's face it, he just wants something resembling a good reputation. But, he doesn't have one, so he can't really be blamed if he extrapolates on his own a little and also borrows parts of others. Problem is, some people are starting to notice.
For instance, the seldom read Kerry campaign web site was glanced at by an Associated Press political writer the other day and a little discrepancy was noticed. So, the AP article began: "John Kerry, Bob Kerrey. It's easy to get confused. At least that's how the Kerry campaign is explaining claims that Kerry -- the Democratic presidential candidate -- served as vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Oops. Make that Bob Kerrey -- the former Democratic senator from Nebraska who did serve as the panel's vice chairman."
John Kerry, it turns out, was a committee member from 1993 to 2001, but seldom showed up for meetings.
"It's difficult to take John Kerry's claims about his intelligence experience seriously when one of his credentials is completely made up," stated Republican National Committee spokeswoman Christine Iverson. "If he had shown up for Intelligence Committee hearings he would notice he wasn't vice chairman."
Then again, Kerry has never been much for national security. Back when he was Michael Dukakis' lieutenant governor, Kerry wrote an executive order that said the state of Massachusetts would refuse to take part in any civil defense efforts in response to a nuclear attack on America. And that, "No funds shall be expended by the Commonwealth for crisis relocation planning for nuclear war."
And remember Kerry's offhand comment during an interview with Larry King last month?
KING: "News of the day, Tom Ridge warned today about al Qaeda plans of a large-scale attack on the United States. Didn't increase the -- you see any politics in this? What's your reaction?"
KERRY: "Well, I haven't been briefed yet, Larry. They have offered to brief me. I just haven't had time."
Yeah. Just like Kerry didn't have time to attend seventy-six percent of the committee meetings when he was on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for eight years. National security is just not one of Kerry's interests. For the last quarter century, Kerry has consistently proven that with both word and deed. In fact, other than making a lot of mouth-noise criticizing every single thing President Bush does, we might never even know that John Kerry has any real idea exactly what the term National Security actually entails.
At the Unity 2004 Conference in Washington, D.C. last month Kerry said: "I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history."
Kerry means it, too. Well, for now, he probably means it. Kerry calls for a "more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations." Wonderful!
Other times, in various ways, Kerry has said that he believes in the war on terror and that, as president, terrorists attacking the U.S. would be "met with a swift and certain response."
That almost sounds like something American voters might want to hear. Except, after a moment's reflection, we realize it is not. It is not even close, in fact.
During a Fox News interview on Aug. 5, General Tommy Franks gave the only correct answer concerning fighting the war on terror: "There are only two options: 1) We fight them here. 2) We fight them over there. I think we should fight them over there."
Which, we might add, is exactly the policy of President George W. Bush.
Furthermore, as President Bush said on Aug. 3: "The best way to protect the American homeland is to stay on the offense. It is a ridiculous notion to assert that because the United States is on the offense, more people want to hurt us. We're on the offense because people do want to hurt us."
The simple fact is, based on his long term performance, John Kerry has zero interest in our national security. George Bush has proven that he does. So, if the protection against terrorism of your family, neighborhood, city, state and nation is important to you, which man shall you trust to run that show for the next four years?
ILLEGAL ALIEN PROBLEM WORSENS
A few weeks ago, Jerry Seper at The Washington Times wrote a well researched three part series titled: "FREE PASS: America's losing fight against illegals." It is still there for anyone interested in catching up on the topic.
Last week, Seper struck yet again, this time describing the "Limits sought on Border Patrol" agents.
According to Seper: "The Department of Homeland Security wants to restrict the U.S. Border Patrol's arrest of illegal aliens in the nation's interior, concerned that the recent apprehension of 450 illegals by agents in inland areas of Southern California failed to consider the 'sensitivities' of those detained. According to department sources, a formal written policy under review would limit Border Patrol arrests to areas along the nation's 7,000 miles of international border and give U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the responsibility for enforcing immigration laws in the nation's interior." As reported: "Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson criticized the arrests, saying they had not been approved by officials in Washington and violated U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policy, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol. In a letter, Mr. Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security, assured Rep. Joe Baca, California Democrat -- and other members of the state's delegation who complained about the arrests -- that in the future, Homeland Security would enforce immigration laws 'in a reasonable manner' and would consider the 'sensitivities' surrounding the enforcement of those laws in its interior-enforcement program."
"Sensitivities" surrounding the enforcement of federal laws? Congress critters who do NOT want federal law enforced? What the hell kind of deal is this? How about some "sensitivities" enforcing tax laws, environmental laws & such against the American people! What are we, chopped liver here?
Anyway, Hutchinson creates a major problem for the American people, of course. ICE only has 2,300 agents for interior-enforcement. As The Times reports, those agents are tasked to finding the "80,000 criminal aliens on the nation's streets and 320,000 foreign nationals known as 'absconders,' who fled after being ordered deported."
Which also means that no one -- not one federal official -- is bothering to round up the other few million illegal immigrants permanently camped out here and sucking up our tax dollars in services.
According to authorities, over 1.2 million people attempt to cross US borders illegally each year -- that they know about. Many of them are OTMs (Other than Mexicans). No one knows how many are potential terrorists.
The August 16 London Telegraph informs us that at least two groups of Arab males were discovered by patrol guards from Willcox, Arizona. "These guys didn't speak Spanish," said one field agent, "and they were speaking to each other in Arabic. It's ridiculous that we don't take this more seriously. We're told not to say a thing to the media." A colleague told the paper: "All the men had brand-new clothing and the exact same cut of moustache." Local ranchers have also reported a rise in the sightings of large groups of young males. Patrol agents told an Arizona newspaper that 77 males "of Middle Eastern descent" were apprehended in June in two separate incidents.
On the other hand, last week the Department of Homeland Security announced that it planned to give border patrol agents "sweeping new powers" to deport illegal aliens from the borders abutting Mexico and Canada -- without providing the aliens the opportunity to make their case before an immigration judge. Previously, border patrol agents usually delivered undocumented immigrants to the custody of the immigration courts, where judges determined whether they should be deported or remain in the United States. Which presented yet another silly problem:
Steve McCraw, the assistant director of the FBI's Office of Intelligence, stated that "the ability of foreign nationals to use [the hearings procedure] to create a well-documented but fictitious identity in the United States, provides an opportunity for terrorists to move freely within the US without triggering name-based watch lists. It also enables them to board planes without revealing their true identity." Fact is, law enforcement agencies across the south-west border are very alarmed that the US is releasing thousands of OTMs [Other than Mexicans]. Some are from nations defined as state sponsors of potential terrorism and/or even nations that have produced large numbers of al-Qaeda militants.
So, there was a small fix accomplished with those "sweeping new powers to deport illegal aliens." Even so, there are many millions of illegal aliens squatting in this country today and no one of authority enforcing our immigration law.
"Sensitivities" be damned, that must change; and soon. Else, the federal government is demonstrating to the American people that federal law is no more than arbitrarily (tyrannically) enforced suggestions.
Copyright © 2004 by Doug Fiedor, all rights reserved
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