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September 15, 2004
NY Post Verifies Silver Star After-Action Report

Deborah Orin -- one of this blog's favorite columnists -- verifies the after-action report from John Kerry's Silver Star action which I reviewed earlier this week:

A newly surfaced document from John Kerry's Navy record says he shot a lone, wounded enemy who was running away in the incident that led to his Silver Star, his highest military decoration.

Members of the anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth say the report vindicates their claim that Kerry didn't show the kind of valor that merits a Silver Star. The after-action report was obtained from the Navy archives by syndicated TV commentator Mark Hyman of "The Point." A Navy official confirmed its authenticity.

This report came from Bandit's review of previously overlooked documents at the Naval Archives, which the intrepid CQ contributor is still reviewing. Expect more revelations if Bandit's track record holds up, and hopefully I can help get the word out.

The Swiftvets claim vindication, and certainly this proved Kerry wrong again; the VC was wounded when Kerry chased him down. I don't like to get into qualitative arguments regarding the issuance of certain medals over others, as a civilian. The Swiftvets can argue that point without any help from me. Some have argued that chasing down a wounded enemy and killing him is a war crime, but I think that's ludicrous. He was armed with a rocket launcher by all accounts, and in a war zone he's fair game no matter which way he ran.

My issue with the Silver Star is the number of times this story has changed, both from Kerry's lips and in the extraordinary three separate citations issued for the one medal over more than 15 years. Perhaps Kerry deserved a lesser commendation, perhaps he deserved the MOH, but it's indisputable that he's repeatedly puffed up this tale and changed it repeatedly to enhance his own reputation. That, to me, is the real issue.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 15, 2004 7:13 AM

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