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Posted: 8/26/2004 8:23:22 PM EST
The opinion editor of a newspaper in my state published the following editorial yesterday:

Records push Swift Boats onto Beach

A draft of my response is as follows (some of the arguments used here have been put forth by me in other threads):



Tom Dennis’ August 26th editorial puts forth the proposition that it is improper to question John Kerry’s wartime service because of “the American tradition of trusting military records and letting them speak for themselves.” I was under the impression that it was the business of journalists to seek the truth, no matter how unpleasant that truth might be. I do not know whether Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s version of the events in dispute is more accurate than John Kerry’s. I do, however, believe that they have every right to speak their piece about how they believe that John Kerry lied about his military service and betrayed them after he returned to the United States.

My father was in Vietnam as a company commander with the 1st Cavalry Division when Lt. Kerry arrived “in country.” He was still there when Lt. Kerry decided, four months later, that he had enough and left. It was my father’s second tour of duty in Vietnam. My wife’s father and uncle also served in Vietnam, and all three comported themselves with honor and integrity. John Kerry’s perjurious testimony before Congress that war-crimes and atrocities were “standard operating procedure” in Vietnam slandered them and the thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who did their duty and returned home only to be spit upon by Mr. Kerry’s supporters. I can well imagine that his fellow swift-boat veterans find it especially galling that, after all of his efforts to tarnish their reputations and destroy the morale of American servicemen in Vietnam, John Kerry would have the utter audacity to make the centerpiece of his presidential campaign his record as a “war hero.”

It is certainly proper to examine the veracity of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s claims, as well as Mr. Kerry’s record as a “war hero,” which he seems to be leaning on so heavily in his quest for the White House. Tom Dennis’ admonition to “let it alone,” however, does a disservice to both Vietnam veterans and to Mr. Dennis’ chosen profession.



Comments, suggestions?
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:06:37 AM EST
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