In a recent op-ed piece in the New York Sun , Thomas Lipscomb, founder of Times Books, publisher of Admiral Zumwalt’s best-selling book, “On Watch”, talks about Senator Kerry’s “most excellent collection of medals” ™ . Specifically, Kerry’s amassing of 3 Silver Star Citations (all for the same original metal), and, as evidenced by his DD 214/DD215, the attached combat “V”‘s.
But according to a Navy spokesman it is “incorrect”. The Navy has never issued a Combat V at any time for the Silver Star.
This is a serious issue. The chief admiral of the Navy, Jeremy Michael Boorda, (allegedly -Guy S.) committed suicide over questions raised about his right to wear a Combat V by Newsweek magazine in 1996. Boorda stated in his suicide note to his sailors that the questions raised about those he wore caused him to take his life. And that was only a Bronze Star, not the Navy’s third highest decoration.
At the time, Mr. Kerry told the Boston Globe that Boorda’s conduct was “sufficient to question (Borda’s)leadership position. If you wind up being less than what you’re pretending to be, there is a major confrontation with value and self-esteem and your sense of how others view you.”
The Navy also questioned the listing on Mr. Kerry’s Web site of a DD215 form listing four bronze campaign stars for his service in Vietnam. According to its records, the Navy credits Mr. Kerry with two campaigns. That is sufficient for the wearing of the Vietnam Service Medal for one campaign bearing one campaign star for the additional campaign, not four.
Perhaps most puzzling of all is Mr. Kerry’s display of a citation for his Star signed in 1986 by the Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman. Mr. Lehman, who recently completed his service on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, finds this, (a)total mystery. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me.”
No one knows who provided the additional flowery language concluding, “Lieutenant (jg) Kerry reflected great credit upon himself.” Well, someone certainly did.
The answer to the last is simple enough, Senator Kerry most likely penned the additional language, or as is the style now, approved it, and had it written by someone else. And to be fair, there have been many servicemembers who *did* submit the rough draft for a given medal or award. But for someone who claims any number of events were “seared, seared into him”, his memory seems to be rather vague as to what exactly happened…because each citation is more enhanced than the last.
And Newmax is reporting:
The Navy also is questioning the listing on Kerry’s Web site of four bronze campaign stars for his service in Vietnam. The official naval record credits Kerry with just two Vietnam campaigns….
…Kerry’s campaign has repeatedly cited the Navy as the ultimate authority on the candidate’s war record, saying the Navy wouldn’t have awarded him medals he didn’t deserve.
But with the Navy now publicly challenging Kerry’s decorations, that defense has been rendered inoperative.
Noting that Kerry has refused to authorize the release of his full military records, the legal watchdog group Judicial Watch called on Kerry this week to remove any questionable citations from his Web site pending a formal investigation by the Navy.
“It is to your best interest to have your record in good order,” Gen. Thomas Wilkerson, the president of the U.S. Naval Institute, told Lipscomb. “If it is wrong, you are accountable. And if you use it to advance your career, it is even more important.”
But wait there is more! Judicial Watch in a statement released today, “Pentagon Inspector General contacts Secretary of the Navy about Kerry Awards”.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, announced today that the Inspector General (“IG”) of the Department of Defense has informed the Secretary of the Navy of Judicial Watch’s “formal complaint and request for investigation, determination and final disposition of the awards granted to Lieutenant (junior grade) John Forbes Kerry, U.S. Naval Reserve.”
The Defense Department IG cited Section 8(d) of the Inspector General Act of 1978, which states: “. . . the IG of the Department of Defense shall expeditiously report suspected or alleged violations of chapter 47 of title 10, United States Code (Uniform Code of Military Justice), to the Secretary of the military department concerned or the Secretary of Defense.”
On August 18, 2004, Judicial Watch filed a complaint and request for investigation and final disposition of awards granted to Kerry with the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy, as well as the Chief of Naval Operations and the Navy’s Board of Decorations and Medals. See the complaint and the Department of Defense IG letter by clicking here .
On Tuesday, August 31, 2004, Judicial Watch called upon Senator Kerry to remove the Silver Star citation from his political campaign Internet site pending a review of the granting of the award by the U.S. Navy. Senator Kerry’s political Internet site displays a document listing a “Silver Star with Combat ‘V.'” The Combat ‘V’ device is never awarded with the nation’s third highest award for heroism. A U.S. Navy spokesperson has reportedly stated: “The Navy has never issued a ‘Combat V’ to anyone for a Silver Star.” Additionally, former Navy Secretary John Lehman was quoted with respect to the Silver Star citation as saying: “It is a total mystery to me. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me.”
“We hope this is the beginning of an actual investigation of the legitimacy of Senator Kerry’s awards by the Navy and the Pentagon,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
An honest man would seek to remove the questionable citations/paperwork from his website, and seek all available measures to correct any errors. Then get on to giving the public a better idea of his legislative history. Oh wait, if Zell Miller’s speech was any indication of what Kerry’s voting record was like, perhaps it is better he sticks with his well polished but rather dubious military past. That is, until the Navy decides it has had enough, and produces formal records or information calling his tour of duty what it really was…..an enlistment of self serving aggrandisement.
From Fox News on Friday, Sept 3rd,comes this:
“…in an exclusive interview with FOX News, former President George H.W. Bush said questions raised about Kerry’s protests against the Vietnam War were legitimate, and he saw nothing wrong with airing a TV ad assailing Kerry’s anti-war testimony by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (search), a loosely regulated, independent political action group known as a 527.
“My view is the advertisement showing Senator Kerry as a young veteran coming back and using his own words to describe atrocities committed by his own soldiers, sailors, marines or whatever it is, is devastating,” Bush said.
Bush 41 also said Kerry owes the nation and Vietnam veterans an apology.
“I think it is not enough to say, well, I made a youthful indiscretion, and I think Senator Kerry ought to apologize.”
And yet another “vet” comes out and says Kerry should apologize.
Now Wizbang is picking up on the scent. The clock is ticking …”Hey Kerry!!!! Sign the 180!!!”