Revisiting John Kerry (on his Swift Boat)

I’m starting this thread here because I really am looking for answers. If it ends up in GD or the Pit, that’s fine, I guess.

I’m asking, of course, about all the mud that was slung at John Kerry during the last election, by groups with names like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and in books with titles such as Unfit For Command. The premise of these detractors was that, instead of the decorated and presumably brave Navy officer we originally thought him to be, he was in fact a liar and a coward who exaggerated his exploits, falsified official reports and did all manner of other dastardly deeds.

Now, I’ll fully admit that during the campaign I assumed it was all just bullshit, meant to tear Kerry down and draw attention away from the glaring gap between the two candidates’ military records. However, in a recent conversation with my uncle (who is Vietnamese, and one of the few Vietnamese sailors to do a full five years on the Swift Boats), I found out that he knew Kerry and thought very pporly of him, for the reasons named above. In fact, it turns out he was quoted in Unfit For Command – I saw his copy and read some of it.

So, my question is this: after the initial wave of attacks on Kerry’s military record, what were the rebuttals by the Kerry camp? Was there any real fact-finding done, by neutral parties or otherwise?

I did a search under “kerry swift boat rebuttal”, but didn’t find where he had personally rebutted the stories. I think he probably felt that to do so would dignify the attack and possibly lead to even more vicious lies. I did find this article, an investigative report by the Washington Post, a paper that most would accuse of leftist sympathies. That said, I’m not sure is such a thing as a “neutral party” when it comes to politics.

I worked with guys who were wounded that I couldn’t stand on a day-to-day basis, but I would never take away from their Purple Hearts or other earned decorations. What was done in the name of politics in the past two election cycles was shameful, nothing less. I despise George Bush more than any other president to sit in the office in my lifetime, but not for dodging the draft. Had I had the influence to stay out of combat, I would have gladly used it. But for the right to attack the record of someone who served in combat while pretending their candidate didn’t use that influence to stay out of it was just plain wrong.

Sorry for the soapbox.

The short reply is that those who were physically closer to where Kerry was in action, tended to agree more with Kerry’s account of the combat he saw. Those who disputed Kerry’s account of combat tended to be physically further away from Kerry at the time.

The big problem was that his handlers made him stress his service “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty”. That set him up for totally bogus charges. If he had an “aw shucks” attitude when other people talked about his record it would not have been as easy to sling mud and have it stick.

Do you have an unbiased cite/site for this comment?

[]Here is a well-documented website.

Annenberg Political Fact Check

The enlisted men who served directly under Kerry supported him, ten to one.

I got there from here

CMC fnord!