Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Ex-Navy chief: Kerry earned Nam medals

BY JAMES GORDON MEEK
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON - The Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said yesterday that John Kerry "deserved" his combat medals for heroism in Vietnam, which some vets have disputed.
Sen. John Warner, an ex-Navy secretary under President Richard Nixon, particularly defended the process by which Kerry won his highest honor, the Silver Star.

"I'd stand by the process that awarded that medal, and I think we best acknowledge that his heroism did gain that recognition," Warner (R-Va.) told CNN's "Late Edition."

Kerry was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Hearts as a Navy Swift boat commander in the Mekong Delta in February and March 1969.

"We did extraordinary, careful checking on that type of medal [the Silver Star], a very high one, when it goes through the secretary," Warner said. "I feel that he deserved it." Like Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Nixon - both Navy vets of World War II whose war service was later questioned - Kerry has had to face recent allegations in TV ads from others serving near him in Vietnam claiming that he lied about his combat heroism.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a Vietnam prisoner of war, has condemned the ads - but President Bush has not.

Last week, Bush told CNN'S Larry King that Kerry served nobly in America's longest war, adding only that his Democrat opponent "is justifiably proud of his record in Vietnam and he should be."

Bush's strategy has been to portray himself as a "Sept. 12th" President who better understands the post-9/11 world than Kerry, who he implies would lead America with a Cold War, or "Sept. 10th," mentality.

Yesterday, Bush-Cheney counselor Mary Matalin became one of the highest-ranking campaign advisers to lend credence to the claims by Kerry's unhappy shipmates who believe he served dishonorably.

"Kerry ought to stop this. He's running his campaign predicated on four months of service 35 years ago in the middle of the Cold War," Matalin told "Fox News Sunday."

Originally published on August 16, 2004

3 Comments:

Blogger Pamela Leavey said...

James Carville needs to sit his wife, Mary Matalin down and have a talk with her. How she even has the audacity to perpetuate these lies is beyond me. Proof has been given that those making claims were not Kerry's "shipmates".

12:52 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

We have to be carful quoteing a right wing newspaper such as the New York Daily News. They managed to sneak in a falsehood in the guise of being objective which I see Pamela also caught.

The article says "Yesterday, Bush-Cheney counselor Mary Matalin became one of the highest-ranking campaign advisers to lend credence to the claims by Kerry's unhappy shipmates who believe he served dishonorably."

Note that the attacks on Kerry come from people who were not shipmates, and may not even have first hand knowlege of Kerry's actions. Kerry's actual ship mates are supporting him.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note that the attacks on Kerry come from people who were not shipmates, and may not even have first hand knowlege of Kerry's actions. Kerry's actual ship mates are supporting him.

By Ron Chusid, at 3:51 PM
<<

Hello Ron. Robert G. Oler here.

Warner (a former SecNav) more or less nailed it. Awards for valor in the face of the enemy are (were have been for sometime) scrubed very very hard by the Navy Department. Other awards (what most of us call attendance awards) are somewhat automatic. But ADM Bill OWens nailed it in that the credibility that is under attack is not JK's but that of the USNavy.

The irony of course is that it had to be no secret among the unit that JK was being put in for such an award...and apparantly at the time none of these folks raised anything resembling the complaints they are making now.

The further irony is that this issue is hurting Bush; particularly among the groups like vets that he is trying to court. ANYONE in the military knows the nature of those awards and see's the Swift guys for what they are.

Which is good...because it is covering the complete inability of JK to explain his vote...which fortunatly has resided as a topic.

Robert G. Oler cvn65vf94@hotmail.com

6:44 PM  

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