Monday, June 12, 2006

Unlike the rest of the MSM, Lipscomb examines those pesky things called ‘the details’
John Kerry's Skimmer Scam

By Thomas Lipscomb

As the Kate Zernike front page Memorial Day weekend New York Times story indicates, a number of Kerry supporters were disappointed that Kerry had not vigorously defended himself against the charges of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 Presidential campaign. According to Zernike some "are compiling a dossier that they say will expose every one of the Swift boat group's charges as a lie and put to rest any question about Mr. Kerry's valor in combat."

That might not only be a difficult task but it could backfire badly. As Vanity Fair's acerbic columnist Michael Wolff said in the 3-minute 2-second trailer to a Kerry-sponsored (and Kerry-censored) documentary campaign film by respected producer Steve Rosenbaum, Inside the Bubble, the real problem with the Swift Boat claims was they were "largely true." And as former Dean of the Stanford Law School Bayless Manning has cautioned enthusiastic advocates, "As an attorney, you needn't worry too much about the lies told by your opponents. Your real danger is the lies told by your client." Ask the ghost of Alger Hiss…

And the wild rumpus commenced. "The air was full of explosions," Kerry and crew ran like hell strafing the shore as they went, Kerry experiences his wounding, and heads back to the Swift boat and home. Neither of his claimed crew members confirmed any enemy fire, yet they both "assumed" Kerry had been wounded by it. Curiouser and curiouser.

Kerry's summary of the mission? Here is what he told Tim Russert on "Meet the Press":
"We were in combat. We were in a very, very--probably one of the most frightening--if you ask anybody who was with me, the two guys who were with me, was probably the most frightening night that they had that they were in Vietnam... ."
Kerry in TOUR OF DUTY:
"It was a half-assed action that hardly qualified as combat, but it was my first... . ... [A] minor skirmish, but since I couldn't put my finger on what we really accomplished or on what had happened, it was difficult to feel satisfied. "
Finally, Kerry in TOUR OF DUTY a la recherche... from his "journal" nine days after "whatever" happened in Na Trang Bay:
"A cocky feeling of invincibility accompanied us up the Long Tau shipping channel because we hadn't been shot at yet, and Americans at war who haven't been shot at are allowed to be cocky."
Take your pick…

Kerry reported to Navy doctor Louis Letson the next morning after duty hours began at 8 AM. Schachte had told him, "No enemy action, no purple heart." Kerry's appeal to Hibbard brought the rejoinder "I have seen rose thorn injuries worse than that. No enemy action, no purple heart." Surely a doctor would be more understanding, not that it mattered. Only Kerry's direct commanders could approve the award.

Kerry lay down on Letson's examination table and told Letson: "We were involved in a fire fight and we received fire from shore." One of the four or five men hanging around the dispensary out of Kerry's sight lowered his head and began to wag an emphatic "no" and stifle a laugh. Letson found 1⁄4 inch fragment sticking out of Kerry's upper arm. It looked like wire about the diameter of a toothpick, he pulled it out with his forceps and flipped it with a tiny "klink" into a steel basin held by his Hospitalman, Jesus Carreon, to the applause of the appreciative audience. Letson was so amused he took a photo of Carreon holding the basin with the 1⁄2 inch fragment barely visible in the bottom of it...

This is Thomas Lipscomb’s second installment in a trilogy examining John Kerry’s four months in Viet Nam 38 years ago. I commented on Lipscomb’s first installment here.

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