Thursday, August 19, 2004

I'm slow on the uptake here

The stories are circulating the blogosphere at such a pace that I can't even get in a word edgewise. Several questions have surfaced about Sen. Kerry's service in VietNam. The questions are only partly due to the efforts of the Swift Boat Vets, which raised some fairly legitimate discrepancies between records of Sen. Kerry's war-time claims and the actual documentation dealing with then-LTjg Kerry's actions in the war--the questions have gained "legs" due to the Kerryists failure to deal swiftly and honestly with the allegations.

And again, for the record: I do not believe that, in general, it is a good idea to go digging into the "service" of our uniformed men and women, especially 35 years in the future. The world looks very different in black and white than it does "where the rubber meets the road"--not to mention armchair quarterbacking now doesn't really do anything to correct the events of yesterday.

BUT. . .if that service of yesteryear is for some reason put front-and-center DAILY as the backdrop for the most critical election in our nation. . .well. . .let's just say that the facts behind that service should line-up. I don't care as much about Kerry's actions in uniform as much as what he has told me about those uniformed days since he became a leading elected representative of this country.

SO: If you've got hours to kill and you don't mind letting conspiracy theorists getting into your head, I send you to, and Over the last couple of days, they have dealt alternately with the possibility that David Alston (one of Kerry's foremost "band of brothers") and John Kerry never served together, with the definition of (and therefore possible fraudulent nature of Kerry's first awarding of) a Purple Heart award, and also with Kerry's claims of having run missions into Cambodia and how those supposed missions set him on course for his future political beliefs. Trust me, it's a lot of info--almost too much. Like I said, it's conspiracy theorizing at it's finest. . .but behind some conpiracy theories lies a truth that just doesn't seem possible to believe. Only time will tell if any one of the above trails will lead to a monumental blow to candidate Kerry's credibility.

For my part: I've seen/read some things lately that cause me to have my own credibility issues with the candidate. To be clear, voting for Kerry was never something that I seriously entertained--I'm a big fan of what Pres. Bush thinks, feels and does. But more to the issue, Kerry seems to be a master of the unknown. He speaks in general terms without giving a plan of action domestically; his foreign policy amounts to little more than an emasculation of America at the foot of other country's interests in the future. But one thing that SHOULD be known about Kerry, since he's made it so vital to his campaign, is his past as a decorated Naval Officer. It should be almost as accepted as scripture, these heroic actions of daring-do that not only saved men's lives, but also formed the foundation for Kerry's political ideologies some 35 years ago. So I have a problem with the fact that SO MUCH of the LTjg Kerry that the Dems put on the stage so prominently at their convention is at odds with the words and writings of the candidate himself. Over a series of posts, I'll try to flush out some of the inconsistencies that I, through limited research mind you, have found. Perhaps it will give you something to chew on?

FROM THE WORD "GO": Kerry's campaign has made the "volunteer" nature of his service central to describing how patriotic Sen. Kerry is. And he didn't just sign up for any job--in the words of Sen. John Edwards, Kerry's running mate: "he volunteered for military service. He volunteered to go to Vietnam and to captain a swift boat, one of the most dangerous duties you could have." The Dems have long held that Kerry CHOSE to be a Swift Boat skipper because it was the most dangerous place to be, and he felt that it was his duty to answer that call.

So as I'm looking through various accounts of Kerry's background, I come across this little gem from Michael Kranish, who ran a multi-article biography of John Kerry in the Boston Globe last summer: "Kerry initially hoped to continue his service at a relatively safe distance from most fighting, securing an assignment as "swift boat" skipper. While the 50-foot swift boats cruised the Vietnamese coast a little closer to the action than the Gridley had come, they were still considered relatively safe. "I didn't really want to get involved in the war," Kerry said in a little-noticed contribution to a book of Vietnam reminiscences published in 1986. "When I signed up for the swift boats, they had very little to do with the war. They were engaged in coastal patrolling and that's what I thought I was going to be doing."
But two weeks after he arrived in Vietnam, the swift boat mission changed -- and Kerry went from having one of the safest assignments in the escalating conflict to one of the most dangerous.

Hmm. . .that's a little bit different than the story put forth by the Dems lately, isn't it? Again, I'm not attacking Kerry's noble and heroic service on the Swift Boats--I'm just pointing to the fact that the background the Dems framed that service in is not exactly how it appears to have been framed by the candidate himself. We'll call that inconsistency #1.

More to follow. . .


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