Phillip Butler is a 1961 Annapolis graduate who was shot down over North Vietnam in 1965. He spent eight years as a POW, so his opinions ought to carry some weight.
He has an excellent opinion piece on Military.com about his POW experiences at the infamous Hanoi Hilton, and the fact that, despite the lies spewing forth from a small group of rightwing ideologues among his fellow POWs, the truth was that their captors never told them about John Kerry's anti-war activities. Butler was in the Hanoi Hilton with three former POWs who now claim the opposite.
"I remember. I was there," Butler says, echoing the statements made by the Swifties during the 2004 campaign against John Kerry (the difference being, of course, that Butler really was there).
As a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, I read with great sadness a recent article authored by retired Air Force Col. George E. "Bud" Day, and released from the "Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation," a group that was formerly known as the infamous “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." They may have changed their name, but they have not changed their tradition of lies and distorted facts.I agree with Butler: Those fuckers in Swift Boat Liars for Bush or whatever the fuck they are calling themselves these days DO NOT speak for me, and they DO NOT speak for the vast majority of the Vietnam veterans I know. Even John McCain has called the Swifties and their ilk "dishonest and dishonorable".* * * * *[We were] stunned and sickened to see a small number of our former cellmates enter the political fray with the negative Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against John Kerry. Regretfully, many of us remained silent as a multi-million dollar political smear campaign diminished and denigrated Kerry's service in Vietnam.
BTW, I am proud to note that Butler is also a fellow member of Veterans for Peace. If you are a veteran who is fed up with the war machine and everything that goes along with it, please consider joining us. Not a veteran? No problem, we'll take you, too.