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September 16, 2004
Kerry Rewrote History In 1971 Testimony

CQ reader Cwiregrass e-mailed me with an intriguing perspective on John Kerry's Senate testimony in 1971. While we all know that Kerry testified that American soldiers and their command routinely participated in atrocities, accusing the US of "murdering" 200,000 Vietnamese every year, what we missed was an early example of Kerry's penchant for rewriting history. In another foreshadowing of Kerry's campaign style, anti-war activist Kerry transferred a sentiment from Great Society Democrat Lyndon Johnson to centrist Republican Richard Nixon.

John Kerry testified to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the U. S. Senate on April 22, 1971 accusing U. S troops of Vietnam of war "crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command," The entire official transcript of this hearing is available on C-Span.

In addition to this infamous unsubstantiated war-crime statement, with great certainty Kerry also testified that Republican President Nixon had the following impure and egotistical motive for justifying an increased buildup of troops in the Vietnam War, which resulted in more casualties:

Mr. Kerry: Someone has to dies [sic] so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war."

The truth is, this particular justification for escalating the Vietnam war was made by a Democrat, President L. B. Johnson.

Some say that Kerry could not possibly have known that Johnson said this before Nixon, that it only came out after Johnson's White House tapes were released and transcribed. However, multiple sources had heard it directly from LBJ on a number of occasions. It was hardly a state secret. Mr. John A. McCone, former Director of the CIA, 1961-65, under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, emphasized this quote as a major part of President Johnsons rationale for the troop buildup in Vietnam. This position is referenced in his interview by Harry Kreisler on 4-21-88, as part of the Conversations with History; Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley.

Reflections on a Life in Government Service: Conversation with John A. McCone

[Harry Kreisler] What did Johnson tell you?

[John McCone] President Johnson's attitude was very much different from mine. He felt that he had a war on his hands, and he had to win. As he told me personally, not once but a number of times, "I'm not going to be the first American president to lose a war."

Mr. Kerrrys habit of rewriting history to support his political ambitions, not only in this false Senate Testimony, but also in the exaggeration of his role in Vietnam during the three months that he was in a combat zone, is troubling.

These combat exaggerations are enumerated and documented in the just released, well researched, best-selling book Unfit for Command, which was written by Swift Boat Officer John E. ONeill and author Jerome R. Corsi, who received his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Mr. Kerrys habit of rewriting history to further his political ambitions is disturbing to the American public.

UPDATE: Fixed typo on dates, hat tip to Infidel. (But I swear Johnson sent me to Nicaragua in 1987!)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 16, 2004 8:55 PM

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