KERRY’S FIDELITY REDUX

A pair of his fellow Vietnam junior officers, Stephen Sherman and Mackubin Thomas Owens, have some damning things to say about John Kerry the war protestor. Both reference B. G. Burkett’s book Stolen Valor, which apparently has much more on the topic.

The pieces are worth reading in full; I won’t excerpt them here. The basic charge is that Kerry knowingly misled Congress, used witnesses who were in fact not actually veterans or who were lying about the nature of their service, and otherwise fabricated much of the evidence used to paint an ugly picture of the Vietnam war. As Craig Henry observes,

For a long time the popular media image of Vietnam veterans was as drugged out losers who were haunted by the atrocities they were forced to commit. Gullible journalists helped create this image by retelling the fictions of fake veterans. If Burkett is correct, Kerry was an early enabler of this big lie and willingly smeared his fellow veterans for political gain.

Indeed.

I find this troubling but would like to know more about the situation.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. jen says:

    For a long time the popular media image of Vietnam veterans was as drugged out losers who were haunted by the atrocities they were forced to commit.

    My Vietnam veteran father has long asserted that this picture was largely false. The men he served with were honorable and did their jobs as well as they could despite the lack of real support from the homefront.

  2. SwampWoman says:

    I remember reading an expose a few years ago about the homeless drug-abusing Vietnam vet myth. The vast majority of Vietnam vets are productive employed citizens. The drugged-out loser types that *claimed* to be Vietnam vets who were investigated were found never to have done military service at all, let alone in Vietnam. I’m not going to claim that there are no drugged-out Vietnam vets; however, service in Vietnam seems to be no more of a predisposition to being dysfunctional than working for the IRS.