Saturday, August 21, 2004
Rood Analysis: "ambush" scenario would not warrant Kerry citation
Kerry's Silver Star incident is supposed to be told with such bravado you'd think Rood could come up with something more colorful to justify its awarding. An ambush without much action and a couple-few if any more fleeing, if even that's to be believed, or even minor activity described as being from the other side of the river aside ...
Here is how Kerry's citation describes the incident (Unfit for Command pages 81-82):
On a request from U.S. Army advisors ashore, Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY ordered PCFs 94 and 23 further up river to suppress enemy sniper fire. After proceeding approximately eight hundred yards, the boats were again taken under fire from a heavily foliated area and B-40 rocket exploded close aboard PCF 94, with utter disregard for his own safety and the enemy rockets, he again ordered a charge on the enemy, beached his boat only ten feet from the VC rocket position, and personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy. Upon sweeping the area in an immediate search uncovered an enemy rest and supply area which was destroyed. The extraordinary daring and personal courage of Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire were responsible for the highly successful mission.
Here is Rood's recollection (and remember he ain't answering any questions!):
As we headed for the riverbank, I remember seeing a loaded B-40 launcher pointed at the boats. It wasn't fired as two men jumped up from their spider holes.
We called Droz's boat up to assist us, and Kerry, followed by one member of his crew, jumped ashore and chased a VC behind a hooch—a thatched hut—maybe 15 yards inland from the ambush site.
Not long after that, Kerry returned, reporting that he had killed the man he chased behind the hooch. He also had picked up a loaded B-40 rocket launcher, which we took back to our base in An Thoi after the operation.
As to be expected, since Kerry recorded all the "highlights" of his 3 month exploits in combat, the Tribune even includes a photograph of Kerry with the loaded rocket launcher.
That's what Rood says. It was a LOADED ROCKET LAUNCHER, presumably the same which he previously confirmed "wasn't fired."
That's important because it means nothing Rood can testify to was used against Kerry in his "attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire" after a "B-40 rocket exploded close aboard PCF 94", as his Silver Star states that he was rewarded for.
As for other "action", Rood asserts merely "the man Kerry chased was not the "lone" attacker at that site, as O'Neill suggests. There were others who fled. There was also firing from the tree line well behind the spider holes and at one point, from the opposite riverbank as well. It was not the work of just one attacker."
The only description he can provide is that "two men jumped up from their spider" before Kerry "chased a VC". The fact Kerry shot the wounded kid in the back or whether or not he wore a loincloth remains irrelevant. What is clear from even Rood's statement is that nothing which has been described involved "attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire" which Kerry's report of the incident suggested he should have been so rewarded.
Where are the rocket attacks Kerry's ambush citation speaks of ?
One last point of interest - there may be some deception involved on the part of the Chicago Tribune because the document they have produced (as directed to by the Kerry campaign and referenced below) and depicted as an "After Action Report" actually appears to be the follow-up from headquarters, the "Congratulatory message" Rood speaks of in his article as received "from our task force headquarters in Cam Ranh Bay."
That is not the same as the After Action report which Kerry would have filed and the likely source of the exaggerations, which even Rood has not testified to, which would warrant the description Kerry was supposedly so cited for, exactly as the SwiftVets have always indicated would likely be discovered ... if Kerry would only release all of his military records!
Thanks to BeldarBlog and Lucianne as now linked here!