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August 16, 2004
The Alston Story Goes Back Farther Than First Thought

As early as May of 2002 the Rev. David Alston and Senator John F. Kerry commenced perpetrating a deliberate fraud on the American electorate a fraud to present Alston as an eyewitness to Kerrys self-reported heroics in battle. They lied about the action on 29 Jan 69 aboard PCF-94. Contemporaneous reporting from the Associated Press (Jim Davenport, 4 May 2002), The State (Columbia, S.C., John Huiett, 5 May 2002), and The Boston Herald reveals Kerry and Alston's untruthful representation of John Kerry's service in order to claim the record of an officer who was wounded in the very same action.

We know from Spot Reports, the Command history of COSDIV 11, the Alston injury and evacuation report from 29 Jan 1969 taken from John Kerrys own website, Tour of Duty (pages 261-266), John F. Kerry, The Complete Biography by Michael Kranish (pages 93-95), and Ted Pecks press quotation in April which resulted in Kerry changing the claims for January on PCF-94 that Ted Peck was the OinC of PCF-94 on 29 Jan 1969 when Alston was wounded and evacuated. There is also no record of Kerry being on PCF-94 until 30 January 1969.

Kerry, who was the guest speaker at the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner fund-raiser Friday, May 3, 2002 in Columbia, S.C., said a decision on the presidential race is months away - after his November re-election bid. Kerry went on to say:

'I was in the big branch that the Marine Corps belongs to,' Kerry said of his time in the Navy. About the time Jackson was in fire fights, Kerry was commanding a small gunboat, plying the country's waters with David Alston of Columbia, who was running the boat's dual 50-caliber machine gun turret.

'Every time we got ambushed, which was often, we relied more on this fellow to get us out than anybody else,' Kerry said of Alston. In one brush, Alston's turret ended up riddled with 100 holes. Alston suffered wounds to the head and arm but continued to fire, Kerry said. 'How he survived, I don't know.'

Alston said he remains fiercely loyal to Kerry. If Kerry ran and won, 'America would have a great president,' said Alston, now an ordained minister who works at a nuclear fuels plant. 'We were extremely exposed - always shot at first and the gunner was the first target,' Kerry told the crowd of Democrats.

The Senator from Massachusetts said nearly 100 rounds ripped into the aluminum turret where Alston, who became a preacher after Vietnam, manned twin 50-caliber guns, Kerry recalled.

'This gunman kept firing even though he was wounded - one bullet going through his helmet, grazing his head and another hitting him in the arm,' said Kerry. 'I had no idea there was a holy man on those guns.'

Their efforts culminated in Boston last month, during the Democratic National Convention. The Kerry campaign allowed David Alston to repeat the story of Ted Peck's command as John Kerry's experience on the campaign trail -- stealing from Peck's honorable service record -- fully knowing that Alston would speak falsely to the nation on Kerry's behalf. And Kerry returned the favor, allowing Alston to claim the service of the man, decorated veteran and Kerry supporter Fred Short, who replaced him in order to complete the fraud.

For instance, Alston shared this experience with the entire nation at the convention:

Once, he even directed the helmsman to beach the boat, right into the teeth of an ambush, and pursued our attackers on foot, into the jungle. In the toughest of situations, Lieutenant Kerry showed judgment, loyalty and courage. Even wounded, or confronting sights no man should ever have to see, he never lost his cool.

And when the shooting stopped, he was always there too, with a caring hand on my shoulder asking, Gunner, are you OK? I was only 21, running on fear and adrenaline. Lieutenant Kerry always took the time to calm us down, to bring us back to reality, to give us hope, to show us what we truly had within ourselves. I came to love and respect him as a man I could trust with life itself.

The 'Silver Star combat mission' commanded by John Kerry on 28 February 1969 is worthy of additiomal study but Alston wasnt one of the gunners on that mission. Alston's replacement on that mission was Fred Short, who had joined the crew of PCF-94 two weeks earlier to replace Alston who had been medevaced immediately after his injuries in combat on 29 Jan 69 under the command of Lt. Ted Peck aboard PCF-94.

This is known because GMG3 Fred Short received a decoration for his action as gunners mate during that engagement, along with everyone else on PCF-94. John Kerry won a Silver Star, and the other four crewman appear with Kerry and Short in a photograph commemorating their awards. But Alston isnt one of them.

Kerry and Alston began two years ago to publicly perpetrate a fraud on the people of America to further Kerrys aspirations to become the commander-in-chief of our Armed Forces. Its time for Americans to know what theyve done.

Copyright: 2004 by G. Thomas Mortensen and Edward Morrissey. All print and broadcast rights reserved. This article may not be distributed in physical or broadcast format without the express written consent of the authors.

Print and/or broadcast distribution rights and supporting documentation may be obtained by contacting G. Thomas Mortensen (BM2, USN retired decorated Vietnam riverine veteran) at or by calling (650) 216-9936. Neither of the authors is affiliated with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the Republican National Committee, or the Bush/Cheney Campaign other than as contributors.

(updated for minor grammatical changes, 8/16/04 20:34 CT)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 16, 2004 4:34 AM

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