Are the Swiftees pissed at Kerry because he supposedly lied in his Senate testimony, or are they pissed because he told the TRUTH (thus breaking the unspoken code of slience among brothers-in-arms)?
Well, it seems that at least ONE of the Swiftees — actually, one of the group’s organizers — had no problem ordering the execution of Vietnamese civilians.
Means, a 55-year-old investigator for several Bakersfield law firms, was particularly annoyed by the words of one retired admiral. Roy F. "Latch" Hoffman, one of the co-founders of the pro-George W. Bush group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, had publicly criticized Kerry, a former Swift boat commander, for having brought back stories about alleged war crimes by U.S. forces — often carried out, Kerry said in 1971, "with the full awareness of officers at all levels."
Seemed to him, Means said, his own Swift boat crew had come close to committing a war crime themselves one day. A senior officer, hitching a ride up the coast aboard their Swift boat, had ordered the crew to fire on a small group of unarmed Vietnamese fishermen working their nets in unrestricted waters, Means said. The boat’s commanding officer had refused to comply.
Was that the way the boat’s commander remembered the incident too, all these years later? Means had to know.
So he got on the Internet and hunted down Thomas W.L. "Tad" McCall, the retired Navy captain who’d commanded Means’ boat, PCF 88, as a newly minted ensign. Means called him.
Not only did McCall remember the day in question, and that confrontation off the coast of South Vietnam, he remembered the name of the officer who had given the command to shoot: "Latch" Hoffman himself, then a Navy captain in charge of the entire Swift boat task force in Vietnam.
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Yup. They don’t like Kerry . . . because Kerry spoke the truth to power.