Contrast and compare
Looks like the Bush campaign has finally settled on a slogan that President Chicken Run can slog his way through (“You can run but you can’t hide”) taking the place of “There’s an old saying in Tennessee. I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee, that says: “Fool me once…shame on…Shame on you…If fooled, you can’t get fooled again”. So we thought we would check the accuracy of run/hide statement.
I came to know Lt. John Kerry during the spring of 1969. He and his swift boat crew assisted in inserting our Special Forces team and our Chinese Nung soldiers into operational sites in the Cau Mau Peninsula of South Vietnam. I worked with him on many operations and saw firsthand his leadership, courage and decision-making ability under fire.
On March 13, 1969, John Kerry’s courage and leadership saved my life.
While returning from a SEA LORDS operation along the Bay Hap River, a mine detonated under another swift boat. Machine-gun fire erupted from both banks of the river, and a second explosion followed moments later. The second blast blew me off John’s swift boat, PCF-94, throwing me into the river. Fearing that the other boats would run me over, I swam to the bottom of the river and stayed there as long as I could hold my breath.
When I surfaced, all the swift boats had left, and I was alone taking fire from both banks. To avoid the incoming fire, I repeatedly swam under water as long as I could hold my breath, attempting to make it to the north bank of the river. I thought I would die right there. The odds were against me avoiding the incoming fire and, even if I made it out of the river, I thought I’d be captured and executed. Kerry must have seen me in the water and directed his driver, Del Sandusky, to turn the boat around. Kerry’s boat ran up to me in the water, bow on, and I was able to climb up a cargo net to the lip of the deck. But, because I was nearly upside down, I couldn’t make it over the edge of the deck. This left me hanging out in the open, a perfect target. John, already wounded by the explosion that threw me off his boat, came out onto the bow, exposing himself to the fire directed at us from the jungle, and pulled me aboard.
For his actions that day, I recommended John for the Silver Star, our country’s third highest award for bravery under fire.
8:45 a.m. (all times are EDT): A hijacked passenger jet, American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston, Massachusetts, crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center, tearing a gaping hole in the building and setting it afire.
9:03 a.m.: A second hijacked airliner, United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston, crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes. Both buildings are burning.
9:30 a.m.: President Bush, speaking in Sarasota, Florida, says the country has suffered an “apparent terrorist attack.”
9:43 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, sending up a huge plume of smoke. Evacuation begins immediately.
9:45 a.m.: The White House evacuates.
9:57 a.m.: Bush departs from Florida.
10:05 a.m.: The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses, plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris forms and slowly drifts away from the building.
1:04 p.m.: Bush, speaking from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, says that all appropriate security measures are being taken, including putting the U.S. military on high alert worldwide. He asks for prayers for those killed or wounded in the attacks and says, “Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.”
1:27 p.m.: A state of emergency is declared by the city of Washington.
1:44 p.m.: The Pentagon says five warships and two aircraft carriers will leave the U.S. Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia, to protect the East Coast from further attack and to reduce the number of ships in port. The two carriers, the USS George Washington and the USS John F. Kennedy, are headed for the New York coast. The other ships headed to sea are frigates and guided missile destroyers capable of shooting down aircraft.
1:48 p.m.: Bush leaves Barksdale Air Force Base aboard Air Force One and flies to an Air Force base in Nebraska.
3:55 p.m.: Karen Hughes, a White House counselor, says the president is at an undisclosed location, later revealed to be Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, and is conducting a National Security Council meeting by phone. Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice are in a secure facility at the White House. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is at the Pentagon.
4:30 p.m.: The president leaves Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska aboard Air Force One to return to Washington.
6:54 p.m.: Bush arrives back at the White House aboard Marine One and is scheduled to address the nation at 8:30 p.m. The president earlier landed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland with a three-fighter jet escort. CNN’s John King reports Laura Bush arrived earlier by motorcade from a “secure location.”
I guess the lesson here is that you can run and hide…but only for about nine hours.