John Kerry: Unfit for Command

This post is a continuation of a subject I've mentioned before here, here, and here. From now on, instead of creating new posts on the subject I'll update this one and move it to the top of my blog anytime I run across something else relevant.


Actually, "war hero" John Flipper Kerry was against the Vietnam War before he was for it, before he was against it again. According to a 2-18-1970 article in the Harvard Crimson:

At Yale, Kerry was chairman of the Political Union and later, as Commencement speaker, urged the United States to withdraw from Vietnam and to scale down foreign military operations. And this was way back in 1966.

When he approached his draft board for permission to study for a year in Paris, the draft board refused and Kerry decided to enlist in the Navy.

I don't guess I can complain too much about Kerry having joined the Navy to stay out of the Army. I joined the Air Force for the same reason. After 6 months in 'Nam I got bored with pushing paper, volunteered for an Aerial Port Mobility Team, and found enough genuine excitement to last me a lifetime. Kerry on the other hand, ended up on the sharp end of the stick by accident. From a 6-16-03 Boston Globe article, (which cheerfully tells Kerry's version of some things a lot of people who knew him back then remember differently [no one has disputed this portion of the article]):

Kerry initially hoped to continue his service at a relatively safe distance from most fighting, securing an assignment as [a] "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. ...

So, when Kerry ended up in combat despite his best efforts, he gritted his teeth and performed admirably, right?

Not according to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who produced the video everyone's talking about.

Not according to John O'Neill, a U. S. Naval Academy graduate who took over command of ("Swift Boat") PCF-94 after John Kerry "earned" three Purple Hearts and was allowed to terminate his Vietnam tour early. Mr. O'neill told The Wall Street Journal:

He doesn't deserve to be commander in chief.


Today, America is engaged in a new war, against the militant Islamist terrorists who attacked us on our own soil. Reasonable people may differ about how best to proceed, but I'm sure of one thing -- John Kerry is the wrong man to put in charge.

John O'neill's and Dr. Jerome Corsi's new book Unfit for Command ... is currently #1 on Amazon.com's Best Sellers list.

Among numerous other questions raised about Kerry's performance in Vietnam, there are also questions about whether he was honestly entitled to all of the three Purple Hearts that enabled him to come home early.

In an excerpt from their book made available in a a Human Events Online article Mr. O'neill and Dr. Corsi say:

Kerry sought a Purple Heart after he fired a grenade from too-close range into a shoreline where it exploded, sending a small piece of shrapnel back to slightly wound his arm.

Purple Hearts are not knowingly awarded for injuries that do not result from enemy action. Again quoting from the Human Events Online article:

Kerry's boat did not come under enemy fire the night Kerry received this minor wound, the authors say. Kerry did not require hospitalization or even a single stitch for it. And Kerry's commanding officer refused Kerry's request that the officer recommend Kerry for a Purple Heart as a result of the incident.


Retired Navy Commander Grant Hibbard, who headed the Naval division to which Kerry was assigned, also spoke to the authors on-the-record. ... "The next morning at the briefing, I was informed that no enemy fire had been received on that mission." said Hibbard.


The authors asked Hibbard if Kerry wanted Hibbard to recommend him for a Purple Heart. "Yes, that was his whole point," said Hibbard. "He had this little piece of shrapnel in his hand. It was tiny. I was told later that Kerry had fired an M-79 grenade and that he had misjudged it. He fired it too close to the shore, and it exploded on a rock or something. . . . I told Kerry to 'forget it.' There was no hostile fire, the injury was self-inflicted for all I knew, besides it was nothing really more than a scratch. Kerry wasn't getting any Purple Heart recommendation from me."

When asked how Kerry did get a Purple Heart for the incident, Hibbard told the authors: "I don't know. It beats me. I know I didn't recommend him for a Purple Heart."

I realize there are always two sides to every story. The best way I know to point that out in this case is this Snopes article.

For an interesting (to say the least) take on the action for which Kerry was awarded his Silver Star, check out this link.

The always fair and ever prolific Prof .Glenn Reynolds posts updates on this topic every day or two, and is always worth a visit.


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