Friday, August 27, 2004

Death Of A Delusion

And still, despite Bush’s prissy objections, Kerry’s Vietnam gimmick continues to disintegrate.

Check out this story by Thomas Lipscomb, in the Chicago Sun-Times:

The DD214 form, an official Defense Department document summarizing Kerry's military career posted on, includes a ‘Silver Star with combat V.’

But according to a U.S. Navy spokesman, ‘Kerry's record is incorrect. The Navy has never issued a “combat V” to anyone for a Silver Star.’ Naval regulations do not allow for the use of a ‘combat V’ for the Silver Star, the third-highest decoration the Navy awards. None of the other services has ever granted a Silver Star ‘combat V,’ either...

B.G. Burkett, a Vietnam veteran himself, received the highest award the Army gives to a civilian, the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, for his book Stolen Valor. Burkett pored through thousands of military service records, uncovering phony claims of awards and fake claims of military service. ‘I've run across several claims for Silver Stars with combat V's, but they were all in fake records,’ he said.

Kerry's Web site also lists two different citations for the Silver Star. One was issued by the commander in chief of the Pacific Command (CINCPAC), Admiral John Hyland. The other, issued by Secretary of the Navy John Lehman during the Reagan administration, contained some revisions and additional language...

But a third citation exists that appears to be the earliest. And it is not on the Kerry campaign Web site. It was issued by Vice Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, commander of U.S. naval forces in Vietnam. This citation lacks the language in the Hyland citation or that added by the Lehman version, but includes another 170 words in a detailed description of Kerry's attack on a Viet Cong ambush, his killing of an enemy soldier carrying a loaded rocket launcher, as well as military equipment captured and a body count of dead enemy.

Major Anthony Milavic, a retired Marine Vietnam veteran, calls the issuance of three citations for the same medal ‘bizarre.’

Normally in the case of a lost citation, Milavec points out, the awardee simply asked for a copy to be sent to him from his service personnel records office where it remains on file. ‘I have never heard of multi-citations from three different people for the same medal award,’ he said. Nor has Burkett: ‘It is even stranger to have three different descriptions of the awardee's conduct in the citations for the same award.’

“So far, there are also two varying citations for Kerry's Bronze Star, one by Zumwalt and the other by Lehman as secretary of the Navy, both posted on

“Kerry's Web site also carries a DD215 form revising his DD214, issued March 12, 2001, which adds four bronze campaign stars to his Vietnam service medal. The campaign stars are issued for participation in any of the 17 Department of Defense named campaigns that extended from 1962 to the cease-fire in 1973.

“However, according to the Navy spokesman, Kerry should only have two campaign stars: one for ‘Counteroffensive, Phase VI,’ and one for ‘Tet69, Counteroffensive.’

“Reporting by the Washington Post's Michael Dobbs points out that although the Kerry campaign insists that it has released Kerry's full military records, the Post was only able to get six pages of records under its Freedom of Information Act request out of the ‘at least a hundred pages’ a Naval Personnel Office spokesman called the ‘full file.’

“What could that more than 100 pages contain?…Kerry, who should have been discharged from the Navy about the same time - July 1, 1972 - wasn't given the discharge he has on his campaign Web site until July 13, 1978. What delayed the discharge for six years? This raises serious questions about Kerry's performance while in the reserves that are far more potentially damaging than those raised against Bush.

“[Says] Burkett, who has spent years working with the FBI, Department of Justice and all of the military services uncovering fraudulent files in the official records…: ‘The multiple citations and variations in the official record are reason for suspicion in itself, even disregarding the current swift boat veterans' controversy.’

What’s the old saying? “If it smells like dog crap, it’s probably not filet mignon.”

Now let us go back in time eight years and revisit the tragic end of then-Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Boorda.

In 1996, a left-wing news service raised questions about two small "V" clips that the chief of Naval operations wore over two of the medals on his chest full of them. The clips are awarded for valor under fire, and there was some doubt about whether Boorda's two tours in Vietnam aboard combat ships qualified him for the awards, although the Washington Post reported that a 1965 Navy manual appeared to support Boorda's right to wear the clips. Unlike Kerry, the awards did not provide grounds for Boorda to shorten his tours of duty.

Hours before he was scheduled to meet with Newsweek reporters to discuss the controversy, the admiral went to his home at the Navy Yard and shot himself in the chest. The CNO had been in command of the Navy during a troubled period and his leadership was being criticized by its senior officers. Still, among the notes he left was one to ‘the sailors’ expressing his fear that the controversy over his decorations might harm the Navy. Boorda had lied about his age to join the Navy and was the first CNO to rise through the enlisted ranks.

What did John Kerry have to say about this?

-The Boston Herald, 5/18/96:

Veterans said yesterday that although they would take offense at someone falsely wearing a ‘V’ combat pin, they couldn't see how this could drive Navy Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda to suicide.

’Is it wrong? Yes, it is very wrong. Sufficient to question his leadership position? The answer is yes, which he clearly understood,” said Senator John Kerry, a Navy combat veteran who served in Vietnam. [my emphasis]

The Boston Globe, same day:

’The military is a rigorous culture that places a high premium on battlefield accomplishment,’ said Senator John F. Kerry, who received numerous decorations, including a Bronze Star with a ‘V’ pin, as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam.

’In a sense, there's nothing that says more about your career than when you fought, where you fought and how you fought,’ Kerry said.

’If you wind up being less than what you’re pretending to be, there is a major confrontation with value and self-esteem and your sense of how others view you.”

Of Boorda and his apparent violation, Kerry said: “When you are the chief of them all, it has to weigh even more heavily.” [my emphases]

This is not to say that Lurch should go to the back of his campaign plane and hurl himself out of the emergency airlock without a parachute, but my God, how can this man sleep at night?

The Swifties ought to be all over this one like Michael Moore on a buffet table.