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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Remembering to thank God

Mayor Giuliani from his remarks at the RNC 8/30/04:

"At the time, we believed that we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Without really thinking, based on just emotion, spontaneous, I grabbed the arm of then-Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and I said to him, "Bernie, thank God George Bush is our president."

I can remember so vividly my frustration during the 2000 election watching the Democrats trying to litigate their way into office. Was a recount in Florida appropriate to ask for by Algore? Absolutely, but not that seemingly unending nightmare unfolding on the TV screen each night. I had this sick feeling the whole time. I was working for San Diego PD at the time and there were these 2 liberal lesbians on my team who actually filed a EEO complaint against me for creating a hostile work environment because I was so adamant about Bush's victory and I could not contain myself from talking about it incessantly. Then it ended. Relief. Joy even.

9/11: I had just worked the evening shift on 9/10 and was sleeping in. My wife came into the bedroom and said that I should get up, that something had happened. There I stood in front of the TV in my boxers, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes in disbelief watching the first tower collapse. The first words out of my mouth were, "Thank God George Bush is President."

You better believe it. That scene was repeated across America millions of times that day, that week, that year! I mean, if you made a campaign poster with an image of the burning towers with those words under it, I think that would just about sum up the entire campaign. Of course, the media elites would demagogue that into oblivion and endlessly batter the President for exploitation, insensitivity, etc. But when you boil it all down, that is why he must be re-elected. These psychos are still out there plotting to destroy us, and the only solution for the survival of our nation and culture is the total annihilation of the islamofascist terrorists across the planet. Period.

Who is going to keep our boot on their necks? Who has the stomach to trample them underfoot? These phrases may seem repugnant to many in an age of political correctness, but that is the task at hand. Dirty work is being done and it had better continue getting done or we will be in a world of hurt. OUT

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Barnes Storming

Former Democratic Lt. Gov. of Texas Ben Barnes has been resurrected from the ash heap of politics for one last shot at the President. This guy is claiming that he personally got the President appointed to a commission in the Texas Air National Guard ahead of hundreds of more qualified candidates as a favor to President Bush 41. He said something to the effect of, "I thought it was my job to get wealthy kids in the Guard to avoid service in Vietnam. I am sorry I did so."

Bush 41 was elected to Congress in 1966 from Texas. What are the odds that the Democrat Lt. Gov of Texas is going to take care of a Republican Congressman's son during the height of the Vietnam War? I'll tell you. Zero. Barnes didn't even take office until 1969, and by then Bush 43 was already in the Guard!

Nice Try.

Insert this

I have noticed some of our more nuanced colleagues out there trying to debunk my contention that Kerry never inserted SEALs into Cambodia. This point is essentially moot, as it is widely acknowledged that Kerry never went into Cambodia at all. Nevertheless, I have been challenged and I will provide the critical nuance that was lacking before. I wrote:

The general mission template is what you would expect for craft with the size, capability and configuration of a PCF. The PCFs would tow the MSSCs or LSSCs up the big rivers in order to save fuel and extend the range of the smaller boats, and to provide on call fire support in the case of a hot extract.

A good analogy to describe this would be the glider troops during the D-Day invasion of France. As you may know before the troops landed at Normandy, the 101st, 82nd, and other Brit airborne units parachuted behind German lines in order to delay reinforcements on the Norman coast. Amongst these brave paratroopers were several glider troops who were towed across the English Channel and released over France where they crash landed in the dark amidst the hedgerows. The cargo planes were like the PCFs and the MSSC/LSSCs would be like the gliders. Those cargo planes as well as the Swift boats were clearly at risk and conducted a dangerous mission to be sure, but it wasn't the same mission.

Is it possible that UDTs and SEALs got directly inserted by Swift boats from time to time? Absolutely, but the Swift boats had there own interdiction/fire support mission and SEALs generally inserted deep into enemy controlled territory in small, quiet, shallow draft, jacuzzi drive boats that were designed by the SEALs for that use. Did SEALs participate in larger unit operations in the Mekong Delta in support of some larger objective or effort? Sure they did, but they were'nt happy about it, because they felt that those operations were compromised by disloyal S. Vietnamese officers before they ever started.

As I have stated, I was not in Vietnam, I have never been in combat, but I have been a SEAL for 12 years now and I know how SEALs think. SEALs are repulsed by the idea of participating in an op as a piece of a bigger pie. We want to do our own stuff and not rely on others and have others rely on us. SEALs are unorthodox in their approach to just about everything and this is actually a point of pride. We do not conform, we are not the Army! One motto is "If you're not cheating, you're not trying." SEALs will take advantage of every possible situation in order to exploit it for mission success. We rarely have more than 16 guys operating together at a time and during Vietnam it was more like 8. SEAL mission success is balanced on 3 pillars: Stealth, Surprise, and Violence of Action. That's it. That's all we have. One of my favorite COs told us once that you cannot plan on the margins. Meaning, if your plan relies on something outside of your control to go your way, then your plan will fail.

Even today, SEALs are being asked to do something that they are not trained to do in Iraq, and they hate it! The top 5 Iraqi officials are currently under the protection of the SEALs. President Bush personally appealed to the guys a few months ago basically saying that he understood that this was not their primary job, but that it was absolutely critical that these Iraqis not be assassinated. He told them that they were the best he had, and asked for them to do their duty and they are, but not liking it.

I mention this to say that everyone in the military is operating outside their designated parameters as is the case during war. But believe me when I tell you that any Cambodian incursions done by SEALs didn't happen on John Kerry's boat.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Empire Strikes Back

Looks like the elites are not going to let their boy wither on the vine. According to CBS News the former Democratic Lt. Governor of Texas Ben Barnes "got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard... and I'm not necessarily proud of that, but I did it," Well, well, well, imagine that. Hey Barnes, you got any documentary evidence of that laying around? No, you say. No problem, you're not a war veteran, you're a has been democrat from Texas so I'm sure you word is as good as gold.

CBS came strong with this story right out of the box with no build up, no pressure, no reason to do it except to protect their candidate. Then the gravelly Susan Estrich started flinging this video of Barnes at the beautiful and witty Ann Coulter on Fox News tonight. Susan was in full victim mode tonight, calling the Swift Vets ads gutter politics, and assuring the adoring masses that her party would never, and I mean never stoop to such lowly and shameful tactics. Got 2 words for you Susie, Bill Clinton.

Let me get this straight, George Bush's family got him a cushy ANG slot during Vietnam, so therefore he is unfit to serve as CINC. But, Bill Clinton, an admitted draft dodger was one of the greatest Presidents in modern history. Ok, sounds good to me.

I love how the media pretends that the Kerry war story is as simple as "Kerry go Vietnam, Bush chicken, Kerry gooder than Bush!" The real story is Kerry join Navy to avoid draft after deferment rejected, Kerry join Swift boats when he think they not in combat, Kerry finagles way out of Vietnam in 4 months, Kerry come home and back stab fellow vets, Kerry use notoriety gained by his duplicitous lies to launch political career.

Its the story of a scheming opportunist willing to do or say anything to obtain power and position. Kerry is not a hero. Bush is not a coward. If Kerry's family could have gotten him into the Guard they would have, but then Kerry would never have had the springboard (bent backs of POWs) of his service to elected office.

This is the ultimate Kerry nuance, and the media pretend that they don't get it. They got the meaning of the word "is" just fine, and anybody paying attention intuitively knows the difference between service and self-service.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Blue Falcons wearing Purple Hearts

I was watching MSNBC (looking for Olympic coverage) and ended up seeing NBC reporter Lisa Meyers interview Admiral Schachte about Kerry's first purple heart. He said that Kerry launched a 40mm grenade from an M-79 and got fragged by shrapnel from his own shot. I have read elsewhere that Schachte was the originator of the tactic employed during that operation. Apparently, he would take the Whaler up river on point in an effort to present an easy target of opportunity for the VC and then call in the PCFs for fire support once engaged. Furthermore, this was Kerry's first real world operation and it is unthinkable that he would be sent out to command what amounts to a decoy boat on his first op in Indian country. Like all of the other Swift Boat Vets, he comported himself extremely well and came off as a very credible witness to those actions. Did I mention that this man is a retired ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY? You would think that as such, this man ought to be afforded the credibility he spent a lifetime of service earning. You would be wrong.

Meyers then in a conversation with host Joe Scarborough said that his claims cannot be proved because the Admiral failed to provide any documentation to substantiate his charges. This is a common theme for the press in this episode, which is to claim that the documents support John Kerry's contentions and not those of the Swift Vets. Well, I should think so. John Kerry has refused to execute a SF180 which would release all documents related to his service including his medical records. How is it the Swift Vets responsibility to produce substantiating documents when only John Kerry has the authority to do so?

This has become a tautology. Swift Vets have no documents to prove Kerry is lying, but only Kerry can authorize the release of the documents that prove that he is lying! The absurdity of this position the media has taken would be funny, if it wasn't so blatantly partisan. I really think that this will become very clear even to people who aren't particularly interested in politics. These Swift Vet ads ring so true, and accurately reflect my impressions of Kerry and his service. The claim of no documents by the media is already beginning to sound outrageous in light of the Presidents forthrightness in this area only months ago.

As a sailor, I have always found it implausible for a man who behaves like Kerry and believes in things that he has said over the years, to be a heroic Naval officer. It just never fit him. Many Vietnam SEALs I have spoken to immediately discount his decorations as impossible to obtain in such a short period of time. The Navy SEALs were the most highly decorated unit in Vietnam per capita. That is a historical fact. I have never heard of any SEAL over there getting 3 purple hearts, a silver star, and a bronze star in four months and still be walking around. Kerry's demeanor has never correlated with those of other war heroes. One of the most striking attributes of any war hero that I have ever spoken to is their humility. Humility borne of the knowledge that there but by the grace of God go I.

Real Heroes

When I was attending the UDT/SEAL Reunion this past weekend, I had occasion to speak with some of the "old guys" there who had fought in Vietnam. While I was trying to get some details on Swift boat/SEAL operations, I ran across some remarkable stories from some of these men. I met one man who had served 7 tours in Vietnam (SEAL tours were 6 months long, but very intense). He told me about one of his Bronze Stars and I could tell that this man was being forthright, by the effect of the story on his countenance as he told it.

His squad had just conducted a VC prisoner snatch and were boarding a helo in a small clearing under intense enemy fire. He said that they were basically surrounded. The pilot said that he could not lift off with all of the occupants aboard from such a tight Landing Zone (LZ). This man just decided in an instant that he had to get off the helo so that the prisoners would be taken for interrogation. He and 3 other SEALs jumped out of the helo, and it lifted off. He told me that the first thought that occurred to him at the time was, "Well, that was stupid, now I'm going to die." He and his comrades returned fire, while he prayed to his "Foxhole God". Moments later, a dark cloud descended on the LZ dumping rain and obscuring visibility. A few minutes later, a helo that had heard of their situation from the other helo landed in the midst of the fog not 10 yards from where they lay. Once aboard, and out of danger, the helo ran out of fuel and crash landed 8 miles away from where the battle took place.

By the end of this telling, the man was on the verge of tears, and visibly shaking. I put my arm around him and thanked him for sharing such a personal story with me. But he wasn't done. He then told me about coming home from one of his tours and being greeted with scorn and disdain. The man's own father was a war protester, and when he returned home, his father told him he did not want anything to do with a baby killer. Where do you think he got that idea?

John Kerry left his comrades in Vietnam 8 months early only to come home, tout himself as a war hero, call his "brothers" war criminals, and used the notoriety he gained as a launchpad for his political aspirations. I can tell you that this man I met at the Reunion did not want these memories to be dredged up again. He went to Vietnam because he wanted to defend America and serve as a Navy SEAL. He retired from the Navy in the 1980's and went on with his life with many proud memories, and many terrible and horrifying ones as well.

Real Heroes don't take advantage of their exploits for purposes of personal gain. They take the lessons of their service and the character developed under fire and use those experiences to be successful in life. I am not a combat veteran, but as a Navy SEAL myself, I have seen people who have hyped there experience as a frogman to make money or gain personally. Of course, that pales in comparison, but it is frustrating nonetheless.

John Kerry joined the Navy not to serve in combat in Vietnam, but to avoid exactly that. If he wanted combat, he would not have requested deferment, or he would have become a SEAL like Bob Kerrey or a pilot like John McCain. Kerry has also admitted that at the time he volunteered for Swift boat duty, the PCFs were not in combat and had no plans to become engaged. To ask his CO for a Purple Heart for what amounts to a self-inflicted, minor wound is an incredible act of either hubris or cowardice. By asking for the PH for an action occurring in the presence of a senior training officer Lt. Schacte, clearly indicates that Kerry had no regard for how his comrades felt about him. His only concern was getting out of there as quickly as possible.

Consider the idea that you were hired as a construction worker and while you were being trained by a supervisor, you hit your thumb with a hammer. Then you went to the general contractor and asked to get a worker's comp disability claim based on a minor injury occurring on your first day of work. You would probably get it, because in PC America the threat of lawsuits is very real. But your coworkers would know that you are gaming the system, and a supervisor present during the injury is not going to stick up for you since he barely knows your name.

To add insult to injury, literally, Kerry then actually made home movies in order to document his service for posterity. Why? Does he break out the old movies when his old buddies come to Boston on business trips? No. He breaks em out for the Democratic National Convention and political ad campaigns. I don't know if he deserved his awards for valor, but I do know that officers are routinely more highly decorated than enlisted men even to this day in the Navy. But this does not matter in the context of this campaign for President.

Making a big production of your heroism in war is a very unnatural thing to do. Bob Kerrey was a Congressional Medal of Honor winning Navy SEAL whose leg was blown off below the knee in Vietnam! I don't remember him prattling on about it in 1992. John McCain and Bob Dole were both grievously wounded in combat and acknowledged by many to have been very heroic as well. They ran on their achievements in elected office, not their war service.

John Kerry seems to me to be an opportunistic guy who felt that having used his service and his opposition in Vietnam successfully to catapult him into elected office, decided that he had basically done enough to get himself elected President when the time was right. He rested on his laurels and the considerable laurels of two wealthy women, and cruised for the last 20 years, enjoying the fruits of his position while avoiding its labors.

Well, I don't think that is going to cut in the United States. I think that the American people intuitively know that, and John Kerry is going to find it out in November.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Flight of the Blue Falcon

Blue Falcon: a version of the military acronym BF which stands for Buddy F*&%er. That is what someone who behaves in a manner which elevates his personal needs or desires above those of the unit to which he belongs. i.e. John Kerry. Let me let you in on a little secret. Not everyone in the military is a selfless, heroic, patriot. No matter where you go or what you do, you will always run into that 10% of people that are completely self absorbed idiots. This is just as true in the SEAL Teams as it is at your workplace. People squeak by, they finagle, they schmooze their way into a position of responsibility or trust that they do not deserve. Or they may go into a situation with good intentions, but when the heat is on they just can take it. Either way the results are the same, somebody else has to pick up slack because Mr. 10% is not shouldering the load. Usually the ones with good intentions realize that they are not cut out and remove themselves from the herd, but the other ones, the schemers will milk the system for all its worth and get away clean with a legitimate resume bullet that the average Joe could never dispute.

I had one of these guys in my last SEAL platoon, his name was Joe actually and he was one of the schemers. Joe was a large body builder type covered in tatoos with an attitude to match. I met him as a new guy fresh out of BUD/S trying hard to make himself a reputation as a hardcore operator and all around bad ass. Joe started out by letting everyone know that he was in the Israeli Defense Forces before he joined the Navy. He would never get into what it was he did there, but he was content to float that out and let people think he was some kind of war hero. Well, Joe spent his work days shirking his responsibilities in the platoon, and his nights kissing up to anyone he felt would be able to advance his career. His efforts didn't carry him very far in the platoon where we knew he was Blue Falcon, but sucking up to the XO got him a ticket to sniper school, which afforded him the cool guy title of Navy SEAL Sniper. No matter that he was a lousy operator, was unreliable, tactically unsound, a poor shot, and a weak swimmer. He had his ticket punched, and now he's a Blackwater contractor making $1000 a day. But the rub is that Joe isn't happy, and as long as he remains a Blue Falcon and not an upstanding citizen he never will be. I saw him last weekend at the reunion and he revealed as much in our 5 minute conversation. Once people like Joe and John see that their phony exploits and machinations actually can be used to an advantage for a time, they become dependent upon them. So long as nobody looks at them too hard, they'll get a way with it and come out on top. But the damage is done on the inside, and I wouldn't trade anything for success at the expense of integrity. There are mirrors all around us, and you can't turn away forever.

Usually, people like this cruise through life on their phony resume and only manage to ruin a few lives that directly intersect with their own miserable existence. But every once in a while one of these people really reach for the stars on backs of colleagues they have stabbed. John Kerry is one of these very elite few. By inflating the heroism and honor of his service he knew that he would have the solid credentials to put him into public office someday. But apparently, someday was too long to wait. So he wiggled his way out of completing his duty in Vietnam on a technicality. Sure, he had the 3 PHs to go, but to have the stones to invoke it 4 months in to a 12 month deployment with nary a scratch is breathtaking Blue Falconry. Screw the brothers, those saps could carry his load while he went home to lay the foundations for his monument to me. Obviously, the piece de resistance was his absolute and total betrayal of not just his fellow vets, but ultimately the people that he said we were exterminating, the South Vietnamese. He had to know that the torturers in Hanoi would use his words to menacing effect against his own countrymen. Even if every word he said to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was true, which of course it wasn't, stating it publicly from his position as a decorated vet will go down in history as one of the worlds greatest acts of political narcissism. And then, 35 years hence, after flinging his decorations in a symbol of shame and defiance, to once again ride on the backs of the veterans he stabbed into the Oval Office is staggering. Chew on that thought for a moment, I mean really breathe it in. Has any stench of hypocracy and betrayal ever smelled worse? Not to my nose.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

UDT/SEAL Reunion Debrief

Well, I'm back from the Reunion this past Friday night and Saturday, and I came away from it feeling such a tremendous sense of pride in my community past, present and future. Admiral McGuire gave an extraordinarily motivating and extremely sobering status brief to the assembled attendees. Let me just say that I was surprised by how few people I saw from my era who are still on active duty Friday night. I found out why on Saturday morning from the Admiral. At this time, and for the foreseeable future, individual SEALs will be deployed for at least 12 out of every 18 months. This is a tremendous hardship for SEAL families and deserve our support by contributing to the Naval Special Warfare Foundation , the UDT/SEAL Association, and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. These organizations give financial assistance and scholarships to SEAL families, and preserve the great heritage of the Sea Commandos from WWII to the present.

I told my mother in law that I wanted to talk to some of dad's Vietnam buddies so that I could find out what kind of operations were conducted with the Swift boats, and what their general thoughts were regarding John Kerry. She took me around to about 15 different guys and hounded them into telling me everything, it was kind of embarrassing, but it worked. I did find several SEALs that operated with the Swift boats while they were stationed aboard Sea Float. The general mission template is what you would expect for craft with the size, capability and configuration of a PCF. The PCFs would tow the MSSCs or LSSCs up the big rivers in order to save fuel and extend the range of the smaller boats, and to provide on call fire support in the case of a hot extract. One of the men told me a story about being chased by several VC boats out of a small tributary. The lightly armored MSSC was shooting astern at several VC in hot pursuit, meanwhile they called in a PCF det and they met up in opposite directions and ambushed the pursuers as the MSSC sped behind the PCFs. That is a classic mission that SEALs and Swifties participated in. And obviously, many a SEAL's bacon was saved by the brave Swift boat crews that supported them.

Very similar types of missions occurred in conjunction with PBRs as well. One man told me that they sometimes inserted directly from a PBR, but they didn't like to because guys got hurt jumping off the bow which was so much higher than the MSSC/LSSC. So they rigged it with a net when doing this. One man described to me in detail how the insertions from the MSSC/LSSCs were performed. The boat would travel upstream at a constant rpm (slowly) and nose the bow into the jungle at an angle and the platoon would quickly disembark. Maintaining that rpm level, the coxswain would turn away sharply and drift back downstream to find a place to lay up and wait for the extract. This is important because if anyone heard the boat they would not be able to tell that it had done anything but continue on by. This was a difficult evolution when performed with a PBR and the SEALs didn't prefer it. But look at this picture of a PCF, and tell me how that platoon was going to quickly disembark from the bow of this craft. The platoon would be blocking the wheelhouse, totally exposed, and much higher up than a PBR. It just doesn't make sense that PCFs were directly inserting SEALs in a clandestine manner. I talked to a few guys that had experiences exiting different craft from astern, but PBRs, MSSCs, and LSSCs were all water jet drive boats with no propellers. Now I have jumped off the back of many prop driven boats in my day, but that was at high speed, and not just above idle in a small tributary. It would obviously be very unsafe to hop off the back of a PCF at slow speed.

Anyway, I think that this Cambodia nonsense can be well and truly put to bed at this point. One other issue I'd like to address is general impressions of the Vietnam SEALs of John Kerry. I did find 2 guys that told me upfront that they were democrats and therefore supported Kerry, but this was the exception. Even one of the democrats, who had spent 42 months in Vietnam all together as a SEAL, felt that it was peculiar that somebody driving Swift boats would be that highly decorated in 4 months, more highly decorated than him! This sentiment was nearly universal, that there was simply no way that someone could get 3 PHs in 4 months and still be walking around to talk about it. Ditto for the Silver Star. They were by and large strong Bush supporters and considered Kerry to be a Blue Falcon (Buddy F#$@er). Well, chew on that for a while, and I'll be back later this week with my comments regarding Blue Falconry.


Thursday, August 19, 2004

bomb, bomb, bomb...bomb, bomb Iran

The nerve of these people is incredible.

"America is not the only one present in the region. We are also present, from Khost to Kandahar in Afghanistan; we are present in the Gulf and we can be present in Iraq (news - web sites)," said Shamkhani, speaking in Farsi to the Arabic-language news channel through an interpreter.

"The US military presence (in Iraq) will not become an element of strength (for Washington) at our expense. The opposite is true, because their forces would turn into a hostage" in Iranian hands in the event of an attack, he said.

This is a quote from the Iranian Defense Minister on Al Jazeera recently. This guy is admitting that Iran is aiding al Qaeda/Taliban in Afghanistan, and we are well aware of Iranian support for Mookie al Sadr. He went on further to threaten an attack on Israeli nuclear reactors if Bushehr is leveled by IDF aircraft. These people are clearly feeling the squeeze between Iraq and a hard place (I couldn't help myself).

Unfortunately, the Iraq campaign has been used by the President's enemies in the media to effectively neuter him until he is re-elected. What are John Kerry's intentions in the event of Iranian aggression? Call the French? Bring our boys home? Diplomacy? How about a massive and sustained bombing campaign? The effectiveness of American airpower in Afghanistan was limited only by the lack of significant targets. Iran has plenty of targets, and we don't even need CCT guys calling for fire this time. We have no strategic interest in a ground invasion especially if we can eliminate WMD sites and Revolutionary Guard barracks on Day ONE.

It was Iran in 1979 that started the Global War on Terrorism, it is high time that they be held to account for it. I know that its not going to happen any time soon, but these idiots are the reason that missile defense is very important. More and more of these 3rd rate dictators are going to go nuclear in the next 10 years. I want to have some ICBM defense in place when that threat fully matures. If I were Europe, right now, I'd be kissing some U.S. ass!


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I will respond to some of this post now.


Interesting post. I have a detailed response that I'd like to post here...But before I do could you or your father-in-law clarify a few Vietnam terms for me so I don't make any stupid mistakes.

1. What would "CTE" stand for? Could it be a SEAL unit? Any idea what the letters/numbers stand for?

2. What would "ATC 131.9" stand for? Is that a type of boat?

3. Did you father-in-law ever have any mission along the RACH GIANG THAN or KINH VINH TE waterways? Any details?

4. What unit was your father-in-law assigned too? Was that typical of most SEALs in the Mekong






I have been authenticated.....

At 08:19, Richard said...

Too bad there isn't a site like AuthentiSEAL to check out John Kerry's "exploits". Oh wait, there is. It's called Unfit For Command!

Official Reply - AuthentiSEAL


Thanks for checking with us - we appreciate your interest in upholding the honor of the US Navy SEAL Teams.

I take great personal pleasure in verifying that "Heidt, Matthew" is indeed listed in our database. The man is a certified, card-carrying member of our UDT/SEAL community; a U.S. Navy SEAL, a US Navy sailor, and a graduate of what some say is not only the toughest training programs in the US armed forces, but the toughest and most demanding Special Operations training in the world today.

You should be aware that most REAL SEALs will NOT be upset with you for checking their credentials. They are aware of the massive number of people making false SEAL claims, and are genuinely pleased when "civilians" take an interest in exposing the phonies.


Gregory Platt
UDT/SEAL 1970-1974
SEAL Authentication Team - Investigator

I hope this clears things up for any doubters out there

Monday, August 16, 2004

What's is gonna be John?

The one thing that really steams me with regard to Kerry using his military exploits as the focus of his campaign is that you just can't have it both ways. If you served and were awarded for valor, then God bless you, brother wear with pride the symbols of your honor. But, if you chucked your awards (literally or symbollically I don't care) over a fence as a sign of your disdain for the war and your shame for having participated in it, then you don't get to tout your service anymore! Your'e done! Shut up about it, identify yourself as a protester, and live with it. You can't just pick and choose when you want to disavow or trumpet your service. John, you made your bed in 1971, so now you have to lie in it. If protesting the war and calling your fellow veterans war criminals is an act of conscience for you, fine, listen to your conscience! Your conscience is not supposed to change with the political winds, my friend. When your conscience changes with the situation, then it no longer functions. That is a conscience that is SEARED-SEARED, Mr. Kerry.

BUD/S Class 184

Good point, Chief, we don't need anymore people misrepresenting their military qualifications!

By the way, to further elaborate on PBRman's comment, PBRs are jacuzzi drive boats and are much smaller than Swift boats, I believe. This is an important distinction because the danger of fouling props in a river with vines, mud, reeds, and general debris is real. Obviously, this is a very hazardous situation particularly in the event of an ambush or hot extraction.

One more craft that was used by SEALs extensively in the river, particularly during high risk, deep penetration missions was an indigenous sampan. This is what Tom Norris and a Vietnamese SEAL used to exfil BAT 21 in North Vietnam earning Norris the Congressional Medal Of Honor.

PBRs are appropriate craft for certain missions where the platoon might be inserting and expecting to need enhanced firepower on station quickly.

The point is that Swift boats were assaulters in their own right. They were larger, heavily armed boats capable of doing some damage on some of the larger rivers and tributaries. That is what makes some of these claims so stupid. Swifties have plenty to be proud of, and they fulfilled a critical mission of interdiction and ambush on the larger rivers. Isn't that enough? Why does there have to be some kind of "secret mission to Cambodia" angle?

The answer is that Kerry has callously used this cock n' bull story to his political advantage. He wanted to maximize the political return on his investment.

SEALs & Swift boats

Apparently, the latest version of Kerry's Cambodia Chronicles includes the insertion of Navy SEALs by Swift boat into Cambodia in the early part of 1969. Well, I am a former Navy SEAL that served in the 1990s, my father in law is a former SEAL and he served in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam in 1970. I spoke with him about the likelihood that this story could be correct. My contention was that Swift boats were too large to be routinely used as an insertion platform for SEALs.

SEALs typically used the Medium SEAL Support Craft (MSSC) or the LSSC. My dad's platoon, had one of each assigned. These boats were designed by SEALs and specially built for the Teams to use on clandestine riverine insertions at night of usually no more than 8 operators. Swift boats operated in groups as independent entities, and not as insertion/extraction platforms for small units.

Jim Rassman's ODA was probably on there because SF A teams don't have organic boat assets and were using the Swifties because they had no other means of getting where they needed to go. Also, it is my understanding that the engagement with Kerry getting the Bronze Star took place during the day, which leads me to believe the insertion mission was either a large infantry force led by the SF guys, or a civic action type mission for which SF is well known.

Waterborne infiltrations done illegally into a "neutral" country if performed would be done by small groups of operators (less than 8), at night, in a small tributary, by a boat with a very shallow draft and jacuzzi, not propeller drive. To do otherwise, would be ridiculous.

SEALs also did not trust anyone outside of their immediate peer group. They developed their own intel by snatching high ranking VC out of their beds in the middle of the night. They did not share this info outside the platoon, boat guys, and Seawolves helo crews (close fire support assets). They learned early on that passing intel up the chain was a sure way to be compromised on future operations.

In order to get permission to conduct an illegal incursion into Cambodia by Swift boat the following must occur: 1. Extremely fresh intel of a high value target (think U.S. POW, or VC chieftain). 2. Take that intel outside the group and up to intel at a higher level (risking compromise) in order to obtain boat support from the Swifties to go into Cambodia. That is extremely unlikely to the point of absurdity.

Furthermore, neither myself or my father in law knows anyone who was inserted anywhere by a Swift boat during Vietnam. It just wasn't done. It wasn't something SEALs wanted, and it wasn't something Swifties did.

Bottom Line......Kerry is a liar.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Albany al Islam

An interesting development in the debate about how Iraq is a HUGE distraction from the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and Homeland Security is the recent arrest of the "Commander" from the "House of Peace" in Albany. This peaceful cleric was arrested for money laundering related to the acquisition of shoulder-launched missles. Apparently, this guy was listed in the Ansar al Islam phone book in northern IRAQ! The entire basis for targeting this individual was derived from our SOF assault on terrorist training camps in IRAQ! Question: does this not indicate that a terrorist plot was directly interdicted as a result of US intervention in Iraq? Question: how many other operations are ongoing in the US resulting from the recovery of the terrorist yellow pages? Question: is the Bush administration going to make political use of this clearly favorable result of the Iraq invasion?

Nevertheless, it seems evident that the tired refrains of "No blood for Oil", "Distraction from the GWOT", and "Bush Lied" can be said to have been refuted by the recovery of the phone book, and countless other documents and interrogations from Iraq.