08 Jul 2008

Still Unfit For Command

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The mainstream media responded to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s successful criticism of John Kerry’s military record and subsequent statements as anti-War activist by transforming their very name into a verb referring “to smearing the reputation of a candidate, to making political attacks using false charges.” The falsehood, of course, consisted of the manner of leftwing media’s use of that name. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s charges were true.

A recent story in the New York Times attempted to transform the indignation of Navy veterans who served on Patrol Craft Fast (PCF) boats at the slanderous use of the name of their vessel into a supposed anger against the Swift Boat Veterans who opposed Senator Kerry’s candidacy.

The Times’ story represents yet another posthumous attempt to re-write the history of the 2004 Presidential Campaign, and another pretence that John Kerry was telling the truth or able to refute anything then, or now.

In the American Spectator, Mark Hyman responds:

Kerry’s Silver Star:

Throughout his political career, Kerry has long offered a John Wayne Kerry version of the February 28, 1969 events that led to his being awarded the Silver Star. Eyewitnesses offered a far different account. The core of the dispute is the details surrounding the killing of a suspected Viet Cong guerilla by Kerry. The heroic version of events offered by Kerry was presented in his 2004 campaign book Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War. This version described a guerrilla “standing on both feet with a loaded rocket launcher, about to fire” before Kerry shot first and killed him.

Kerry buttressed his version of events with a narrative of the events in the Silver Star certificate signed by Navy Secretary John Lehman. The problem is that Lehman served as Navy Secretary under President Ronald Reagan and this certificate promoted by Kerry on his presidential campaign website was generated 16 years after the 1969 awarding of the Silver Star.

Shortly after he was elected to the Senate, Kerry contacted Lehman’s office, alleged he lost his Silver Star certificate and requested a new one. A staff member in Lehman’s office told me that Kerry offered language for the replacement certificate. The staffer recognized the sensitive politics involved in the request: Kerry was a sitting U.S. Senator. The Secretary’s office treated the use of Kerry’s proffered language as harmless since Kerry had left military service a decade earlier. The Navy quickly issued a replacement certificate utilizing Kerry’s language. The problem with this turn of events was that a copy of Kerry’s original Silver Star certificate existed and could have been easily found. Because an award certificate is a public record I quickly obtained a copy from Navy archives.

While the overall tone of the two certificates is similar, the 1986 version contained superlative language not found in the original certificate signed by then-Vice Admiral Elmo Zumwalt in 1969.

Kerry’s first Purple Heart:

There were two very critical documents that were generated during the Vietnam war when someone was wounded by enemy fire. The first is a combat casualty card, a 3×5 inch typewritten card. This card contained the main facts such as the wounded serviceman’s full name, military service number, rank, branch of service, the date and description of the wound and the prognosis for recovery. Navy officials described combat casualty cards as “valuable as gold” and they are “protected like Fort Knox” because they are a key record often used to determine disability benefits after military service.

The second required document was a personnel casualty report. It is a mandatory report transmitted to Washington, D.C., with the details of anyone wounded as a result of enemy action.

Combat casualty cards and personnel casualty reports exist for the wounds resulting in John Kerry’s second and third Purple Hearts. However, Navy officials have never located a combat casualty card or a personnel casualty report for Kerry’s injury for which he received his first Purple Heart. In fact, no Navy record has ever been unearthed documenting that there was any hostile action that occurred that specific night involving Kerry and the Boston Whaler. Officers in Kerry’s chain-of-command recall turning down Kerry’s request to be given a Purple Heart for his scratch.

The possibility certainly exists of Navy officials losing a combat casualty card or personnel casualty report. According to a Navy archivist, the possibility of losing both documents for the same individual and for the same event is “virtually impossible.”

As a back-up to his claim, Kerry could make public his Navy medical records detailing the extent of his injury from the night of December 3, 1968, and the subsequent medical treatment. Kerry did not respond when given the opportunity to provide a copy of his combat casualty card, personnel casualty report, or the release of his medical records in order to bolster his claim he was wounded by enemy fire in December 1968.

Read the whole thing.

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The left has never recognized that it was not exaggerations resulting in medals that sunk Kerry’s candidacy, or even lies about Christmas in Cambodia. It was the Swift Boat Veterans reminding the public that the John Kerry “reporting for duty” at his nominating convention and glorying in the role of combat veteran and war hero was the same John Kerry who came home early in order to build a personal political career on anti-War activities, and who thus not only stabbed his comrades-in-arms still fighting in the field in the back, but who also viciously slandered them, by spouting a pack of lies to the US Senate, testifying that Americans had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam.

Once the voting public heard afresh that infamous statement, delivered in John Kerry’s snotty and self-infatuated St. Paul accent, the 2004 election was over.

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