Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell says it’s time for Vietnam veterans to quit firing at one another. A group called “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” has been running ads critical of democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Boswell, a Vietnam veteran, says he knows something about swift boats because he worked in concert with swift boats on the rivers in Vietnam as he flew assault helicopters. Boswell brought up the subject during a speech at a Labor Day event on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Boswell says “it’s time for us to move on. To have veterans against veterans in this country is absolutely abysmal. It should not be allowed. It’s gotta stop.” Boswel says Karl Rove, President Bush’s key political advisor, should probably be congratulated for creating the “diversion” in the campaign as the “Swift Boat” group disputes Kerry’s account of pulling a Green Beret from a river onto his swift boat while under enemy fire, an act for which Kerry received a Purple Heart. Boswell says “don’t you let anybody ever tell you…that wasn’t valor.” Boswell says he served 20 years in the military, and he knows of “nobody who ever put themselves in for an award.” Boswell says it’s “the great diversion” on the part of republicans because if they talk about their own record, Boswell says “they lose.” Boswell says “we’re sick and tired of the veteran talk. We all respect veterans and John Kerry was valorous. He did his job and somebody else put him in for those awards.” Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards, spoke at the event after Boswell, and thanked him for defending Kerry. Mrs. Edwards says “every word in those ads is a lie”, and “this President who tells us constantly he knows good and evil, apparently doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie.” Boswell won two distinguished Flying Crosses and two Bronze Stars during his tours of duty in Vietnam.
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