quasi in rem

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Reporting for Duty?

John Kerry's introduction to Democratic Convention speech may turn out to be his "Mission Accomplished" of the campaign season. Preceeded by declarations of support from a crew of his swift boat veteran supporters and an enlivened speech by Max Cleland, john Kerry accepted his party's nomination as a man with one important detail on his resume.

He served honorably and bravely in Vietnam.

But what happens if that plank of his platform is eroded by controversy?

Well the waves of tumult are fast approaching the candidates campaign platform.

Today a slew of stories in the mainstream media is picking up where the blogosphere began, asking questions no one on the Kerry campaign thought to ask:

Did Kerry deserve all three of his purple hearts?

Was one of his wounds self inflicted?

Did Kerry himself draft his own recomendation for his purple heart after his commander had disapproved?

If he did not deserve all three purple hearts did he deserve an early discharge after four months?

Did he ever even go into Cambodia on Christmas in 1968 like he claimed he did on the Senate floor?

While these questions may seem untoward especially since Kerry volunteered to go to Vietnam, it seems entirely appropriate to ask them when Kerry has made his Vietnam service such an integral plank of his campaign speech. If all the references to Vietnam were taken out of the conventions final nights programming:

His biographical movie would have been about 1 minute long.

His only introductory speech would have been given by his daughters and the only thing that would have been mentioned as being saved by Kerry would have been a hamster.

His speech would have come in at around a svelt 40 minutes as opposed to a rushed 55.

And most importantly, when he approached the podium he never would have said "Reporting for Duty".

Here are the links:

Tech Central Station - Swift Justice anice round up of the blogosphere.

John O'Sullivan writes in the Chicago Sun Times: Truth bound to come out on Kerry's military duty

Newsday.com has a column by James Pinkerton noting that War makes for divergent recollections

The New York Post Online Edition reviews the variety of charges made about John's service. and the specific charge about Cambodia.

The Washington Times has this report on Kerry's 'Christmas in Cambodia'

NewsMax.com, as always, chimes in for more. As does the U.K.'s Telegraph which has an op/ed titled: Nuanced? Kerry's story just doesn't add up

Of course there could be a simple explanation for his secret Cambodian adventure...it was a secret Cambodian adventure!

To this day John Kerry still carries with him a hat given to him by a CIA operative.
As reported in the Washington Post last year, Kerry says it is: "'My good luck hat,' Kerry said, happy to see it. 'Given to me by a CIA guy as we went in for a special mission in Cambodia.' "

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