Former Mates Allege Kerry ‘Unfit’
Via something called the Cybercast News Service: Kerry ‘Unfit to be Commander-in-Chief’, Say Former Military Colleagues
Hundreds of former commanders and military colleagues of presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry are set to declare in a signed letter that he is “unfit to be commander-in-chief.” They will do so at a press conference in Washington on Tuesday.
“What is going to happen on Tuesday is an event that is really historical in dimension,” John O’Neill, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy as a PCF (Patrol Craft Fast) boat commander, told CNSNews.com . The event, which is expected to draw about 25 of the letter-signers, is being organized by a newly formed group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
“We have 19 of 23 officers who served with [Kerry]. We have every commanding officer he ever had in Vietnam. They all signed a letter that says he is unfit to be commander-in-chief,” O’Neill said.
“In the military, loyalty between commanders and the troops serving them is a two-way street. We have here a guy (Kerry) that with all of us in the field [in Vietnam] — actually fighting the North Vietnamese — came home and then falsely accused all of us of war crimes at a time when the people in uniform couldn’t even respond,” O’Neill said.
“And he did that knowing that was a lie,” he added.
This is interesting but I’m not as excited about this as Paul. There’s nothing new here, just a renewal of the debate over the Winter Soldiers hearing and Kerry’s anti-war activities. Presumably, these things have been factored into voters’ minds at this point, to the extent anyone much cares thirty-odd years later. Further, this is in some sense the mirror image of the chicken hawk argument. Since all they’re doing is assessing purely political matters, I’m not sure why the opinion of Kerry’s former Navy mates should have any special weight.
What is relevant to the question of Kerry’s fitness to serve as commander-in-chief is his present maturity on defense matters. Given the advantage of thirty-odd years additional seasoning and reflection, what are Kerry’s views on Vietnam now? More importantly, what is his vision for the war on terror and our future in Iraq? It’s still very early in this campaign but Kerry will need to give a much more coherent view on those issues than he has so far.
Hat tip: Kevin Aylward