Wednesday, March 03, 2004
The point Col. Glenn Lackey (USA Ret.) makes is valid but I think he has his facts a little twisted. As I recall, Kerry never testified that he actually saw any of those atrocities committed. What he said was that in VVAW's "Winter Soldier" "investigation" some of the veterans who attended testified that they had witnessed those things. In short, Kerry's Senate testimony was, at least in its salient parts, hearsay. But the rules of evidence that apply in court don't apply to testimony before Congress. Pretty cagey of Kerry to get that stuff in the record without exposing himself to war crimes allegations (for failure to report them while in a position of responsibility as an officer).
Another interesting thing about Kerry's testimony: for all the egregious crimes he described, I remember no investigation by Congress or anyone else into whether they actually happened, and no attempt was made to prosecute anyone who actually committed any atrocities, with the exception of Lt. Calley's case. I don't recall any of the "Winter Soldier" witnesses whom Kerry cited being identified, or called to testify before Congress or anyone else. Ergo, I think the purpose of Kerry's testiimony and the hearings in which he gave it was solely to discredit the prosecution of the Vietnam War, and nobody involved had any real interest in finding the truth of what happened on the ground.
And as pointed out below, Kerry always talks of Vietnam as being a "Republican war" when in fact troops were initially sent in by none other than the sainted John F. Kennedy, and the war was escalated to its most intense phase by none other than Lyndon B. Johnson.
No matter how hard he runs away from his record, Kerry will never convince me he has the right stuff to handle what has to be job #1 for any President: to defend the United States as Commander in Chief of the armed forces.