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August 18, 2004
Did Kerry Admit To Falsifying His First Purple-Heart Report?

CQ Reader Amelia picked up this intriguing report on World Net Daily, which may not be the most reliable resource on the Internet. However, this should be rather easily cross-checked, and would be if the mainstream media would ever get off its duff and started doing its job. According to Art Moore, Kerry's account of taking incoming fire as the reason for his first Purple Heart injury is disputed by his own journal:

A previously unnoticed passage in John Kerry's approved war biography, citing his own journals, appears to contradict the senator's claim he won his first Purple Heart as a result of an injury sustained under enemy fire. Kerry, who served as commander of a Navy swift boat, has insisted he was wounded by enemy fire Dec. 2, 1968, when he and two other men took a smaller vessel, a Boston Whaler, on a patrol north of his base at Cam Ranh Bay.

But Douglas Brinkley's "Tour of Duty," for which Kerry supplied his journals and letters, indicates that as Kerry set out on a subsequent mission, he had not yet been under enemy fire.

While the date of the four-day excursion on PCF-44 [Patrol Craft Fast] is not specified, Brinkley notes it commenced when Kerry "had just turned 25, on Dec. 11, 1968," which was nine days after the incident in which he claimed he had been wounded by enemy fire.

This is what Kerry's journal said at the time, according to Moore, and apparently Brinkley:

"They pulled away from the pier at Cat Lo with spirits high, feeling satisfied with the way things were going for them. They had no lust for battle, but they also were were not afraid. Kerry wrote in his notebook, '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.'"

If this is true -- and Brinkley wrote the book using Kerry's journal as a prime resourse -- it absolutely destroys his first Purple Heart claim. It shows that Kerry set out to get as many PH awards as quickly as possible, probably in order to build a political resume as a war hero. It also demonstrates that Kerry felt free to lie about his actions for the sake of self-promotion.

If it's true, it's devastating, and also devastatingly stupid, removing yet another supposed qualification for the presidency for Kerry. If it's true.

UPDATE: It appears to be true. This passage sets up the Kerry journal entry:

"On the bright side, the four-day cruise proved that Lieutenant (j.g.) Kerry -- who had just turned 25 on December 11, 1968 -- was a fine leader of his men."

That would be about nine days after his supposed combat injury on 2 December. Moore was right; the passage that Brinkley quotes from Kerry's journal directly refutes his Purple Heart story.

Compare that to the timeline at the John Kerry website:

December 2, 1968: Kerry experiences first intense combat; receives first combat related injury.

December 6, 1968: Kerry moved to Coastal Division 11 at An Thoi on Phu Quoc Island

December 13, 1968: Kerry moved to Coastal Division 13, Cam Ranh Bay

So now Kerry not only won commendations at a rate which threatened to outstrip Audie Murphy (literally) but also managed to win a combat award a week before he saw combat. Now we can understand the reluctance of his superiors to award the first Purple Heart; even John Kerry admitted in his own writing that he didn't deserve it. It takes a gross stupidity or an unbelievable egomania for Kerry to think that no one would cross-reference dates between his journal and the service record he had posted on his site in order to boost his credentials for the presidency! Not to mention a fecklessness bordering on incompetence for his biographer, Douglas Brinkley, who at last report was busy trying to rescue the Cambodian Christmas myth for the New Yorker.

Do the lies ever end for Kerry?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 18, 2004 4:17 AM

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» Developing... from QandO
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