Monday, August 30, 2004

It's sure hard to keep up

With Lurch's Vietnam war stories that is. Retired Rear Adm. William L. Schachte Jr. confirms that Lurch's first Purple Heart was the result of the newbie officer blowing up the landscape and wounding himself. "There was no enemy fire." I guess we have to chalk that one up with the rice grenade that Lurch wounded his butt with for his 3rd Purple Heart. It's no surprise that a clumsy new guy (FNG) makes mistakes with weapons and injures himself. What is amazing is that he was so handy with the typewriter in applying for medals.

And speaking of handy with typewriters, what's the deal with all his "redos" of his medal citations:
Why are there three -- THREE! -- separate and differently worded citations for Kerry's Silver Star award. On Saturday, former Navy Secretary John Lehman denied that he ever signed that third, generously worded citation, which Kerry has posted on his website.

Why has Kerry claimed that he was awarded a "Combat V" for his Silver Star, when such an award has never been awarded?

Why are there two separate, differently worded citations for Kerry's Bronze Star? Again, with the second officially reworded by Lehman?

Why did Kerry seek a revision in 2001 to the number of campaign stars on his Vietnam service medal? Kerry's website claims Kerry had four, when the Navy says that he deserves only two. These stars are critical, because they indicate the number of military campaigns a soldier served in.

All these are issues are unrelated to the ongoing Swift Boat Veterans for Truth controversy, and raise similar questions about Kerry's apparent manipulation of his service record in recent years as he was seemingly positioning himself for a run at the presidency. Many of the changes appear to have occurred after 1986, when Kerry would have begun to mull his political future.
But while it's fun holding the poseur's feet to the fire, we're getting to the really serious stuff:
Kerry served -- briefly -- as a Swift boat skipper in Vietnam. He neither won nor lost a single skirmish or battle. His service in Vietnam had no significance to the war. But when he came back and became a leader of the radical Vietnam Veterans Against the War, his service in America against the war was very significant.
Kerry's problems with the vets are growing, not shrinking. The Swiftees, having made their points on Kerry's war record, are now shifting to the post-war Kerry, the radical protester. Other groups are ahead of them. One, Vietnam Veterans for Truth, is rallying in Washington on 12 September under the banner, "Kerry Lied While Brave Men Died" ( Organizers say there will be 5,000 or more at the rally. It will be the seminal event for the non-Swift boat vets, those who will never forgive or forget that it was they whom Kerry labeled "war criminal" thirty-three Aprils ago.
James Taranto in today's WSJ:
One veteran quoted in "Unfit for Command" puts the matter pungently: "In 1971-72, for almost 18 months, he stood before the television audiences and claimed that the 500,000 men and women in Vietnam, and in combat, were all villains--there were no heroes. In 2004, one hero from the Vietnam War has appeared, running for president of the United States and commander in chief. It just galls one to think about it."
It does indeed.