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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Kerry goes for fourth Purple Heart

Adm. Bill Schachte, as interviewed by NBC's Lisa Myers, on the events on 02Dec68 that led to Kerry's first Purple Heart (boldface mine throughout):

My [M-60 machine] gun jammed after the first burst and as I was trying to clear my weapon — John's [M-16 rifle] apparently jammed too because he wouldn't fire anymore — I heard the old familiar, "thump" — "POW!."  And I looked, and John had fired the M-79 grenade launcher. 

We were receiving NO fire from the beach.  There were no muzzle flashes.  The water wasn't boiling around the boat as it were — and the only noise was the noise we were making.  So, I told the boat operator — the motor operator — to, you know, "let's leave the area." And we did, went back to port, eventually — went back to the swift boat and went back to port.  And that morning, I went in and debriefed my commanding officer — our division commander, then Lieutenant Commander [Grant] "Skip" Hibbard.

And I told him what happened.  And I told him I was NOT going to be filing an after-action report, which is required if you have enemy action, because we had no enemy action.  And I also after giving him all the details and I said, "Oh, by the way —" and I don't remember my exact words — "John nicked himself with the M-79."  Those M-79s, by the way, have a kill radius of about five meters.  A  little over five yards.  But, there is a shrapnel area beyond that.  And that's what happened.  And I was upset because that could have gone in somebody's eye and so on and so forth.

Some people never learn.  Here's Sen. John Forbes Kerry, Democratic nominee for President, while trap shooting in Edinburgh, Ohio, on September 4, 2004, to impress the gathered reporters and photographers with his manliness:

No eye protection, no ear protection.  No fourth Purple Heart, but not for lack of trying.  From the applicable regulation regarding eligibility for Purple Hearts:

When contemplating an award of this decoration, the key issue that commanders must take into consideration is the degree to which the enemy caused the injury.

If metaphorical enemy fire counts, Kerry's campaign is now under considerably heavier fire now than he ever was on 02Dec68:

Asked about the polls as he wrapped up a round of trap shooting in Edinburg, Ohio, Kerry wrinkled his face, turned up his palms, shrugged and walked away without responding.

Well, hell, he didn't respond because he couldn't hear the question!  His ears were still ringing!  Now, I'm not worried about him wrinkling up his face — Botox works wonders, and he can afford it.  But doncha know that if he'd put his damned fool eye out, he would've claimed it was Dubya's fault?

So how was his shooting?

Later yesterday afternoon, Mr. Kerry stopped at a farm near Edinburg for a backyard barbecue. After milling around the crowd for a few minutes, Mr. Kerry and former Ohio Sen. John Glenn stepped down the hill for some trap shooting in front of the three busloads of reporters traveling with him.

After practicing his shooting stances with several different guns in front of the cameras, the Massachusetts senator chose the 12-gauge over-and-under shotgun. After a couple of rounds, Mr. Kerry had hit four and missed six while Mr. Glenn had hit eight and missed three.

(Sen. Glenn, by the way, turned 83 last July 18th; Kerry's 60.) 

If the "practicing his shooting stance" comment leaves you with any doubts about Sen. Kerry's motivations — sport versus photo op:

Should a man who's a menace even to himself with loaded weapons be trusted as Commander-in-Chief?  Next thing you know, he'll be running somewhere with scissors, trip, and put in for the Navy Cross.

(Hat-tip InstaPundit and Sine Qua Non.)

Posted by Beldar at 08:18 PM in Humor, Politics (2006 & earlier), SwiftVets | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Kerry goes for fourth Purple Heart and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» Submitted for Your Approval from Watcher of Weasels

Tracked on Sep 8, 2004 1:38:59 AM

» The Council Has Spoken! from Watcher of Weasels

Tracked on Sep 9, 2004 10:51:18 PM


(1) Todd made the following comment | Sep 7, 2004 8:49:22 PM | Permalink

Bill, you sell Mr. Kerry short. Stabbing himself with scissors would surely be worthy of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Of course, the other story here is Kerry's comment about not being allowed to take the gun to the debate. If Bush had made such an utterance, Terry McAuliffe would have gone apoplectic and accused Bush of fostering "hatred" and "division." I can only imagine the editorials on the pages of the Post and Times.

(2) Marc made the following comment | Sep 7, 2004 8:53:59 PM | Permalink

But wait there is more, as they say. Another shotgun, is it a semi-automatic like the one given to him by the mine workers in West Virgina.? If so it raises a question.

Rather than attempting a lame joke about not taking that semi-automatic shotgun gun to the debates. The correct sound bite should have been, "See this gun I made an honest attempt to outlaw its possession."

Kerry co-sponsored Senate bill S.1431 during the 108th Congress. (Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003).

Under Sec. 2B hii

`(H) A semiautomatic shotgun that has--

(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

(ii) a pistol grip;

(iii) the ability to accept a detachable magazine; or

(iv) a fixed magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds.

Does either of these "Kerry toys" fall under the definition of "pistol grip?" It's close enough for me.

(3) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 7, 2004 8:58:41 PM | Permalink

Yup, Todd and Marc, InstaPundit has lots of links and discussion about the new shotgun, and Kerry's quip on receiving it, at that same post that I hat-tipped. I believe these pictures predated his receipt of his new "toy," however.

(4) Charlie made the following comment | Sep 7, 2004 9:49:17 PM | Permalink

John Kerry joined the Navy reserves, inactive, his unit was called up, President Bushes wasn't.

John Kerry's lies to congress about the winter soldier testimony caused all returning veterans to be shamed by the American public.
John Kerry caused the phrase "baby Killer," to be connected to all turning american heros from the vietnam war.
Now Kerry proclaims loudly he is a decorated American hero when he is personally responsible for denying returning heros at the time, their just reward and hero status.

(5) ncoic6 made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 7:11:24 AM | Permalink


Has it been established exactly how Kerry went from Navy Reserve to active duty? Did he volunteer? Was his unit activated? Was the procedure for officer candidate to include initial placement in the reserve?

(6) Tom D made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 8:05:36 AM | Permalink

I think you're being a bit unfair making fun of Sen Kerry's marksmanship. He is used to crawling around the woods on his belly with his trusty shotgun hunting deer.

(7) Mike Thomas made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 10:58:53 AM | Permalink

I'm sure if Kerry had worn goggles and ear plugs you would have mocked him for how silly he looked and accused him of being a wimp for wearing all of the protective gear.

Tell me, Beldar, why did Bush blow off his flight physical in '72?

(8) Anachronda made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 11:24:16 AM | Permalink

Anyone know if John Glenn was wearing eye and ear protection? Just curious; the only pics I've seen have been of Kerry.

(9) Tom D made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 11:31:00 AM | Permalink

Yea boy, that missed physical thing is really going to turn the tide. Can't wait to see the Kitty Kelly book so we can get some real facts.

(10) Steverino made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 11:40:02 AM | Permalink

Tell me, Beldar, why did Bush blow off his flight physical in '72?

I'm not Beldar, but I'd be happy to tell you: Bush wasn't assigned to a flying unit at the time, so there was no reason for him to take a flight physical.

Pretty simple, huh?

(11) Chris made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 12:14:01 PM | Permalink

Steverino, you might want to take another look at the facts. Bush was still assigned to his Texas unit, since his request for transfer (which he submitted 9 days AFTER he moved) was denied. Try again.

(12) Mike Thomas made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 12:24:00 PM | Permalink

Yes, Steverino, very simple. And very wrong.
Bush still had an obligation to maintain his readiness as a pilot. He just walked away from his duties and because he was the priviliged son of a Texas congressman everyone just looked the other way.

(13) Russ made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 1:04:29 PM | Permalink

Bush was still in the TANG though he had permission to go to Alabama and the Alabama ANG let him attend meetings there to get duty credit.

If the timeline from Cronwatch (sic?) is correct, his TANG unit was converting to another aircraft in 1972, the war was winding down with returning USAF pilots getting priority, and the shortness of his remaining enlistment made it a reasonable decision to "ground" him (rather than sending him back to training) and even let him leave the TANG early. If he was grounded, and the circumstances seem to indicate he'd have little chance of getting back on flight duty, there was no reason to take/request a flight physical.

And, if the TANG did return him to flight status, potentially after many months of no flying, he'd probably have to take a flight physical anyway and maybe even get checked out [again] in the F102.

I suppose he could have been "hardcore" and demanded a flight physical while he was on non-flying status, but that is up the individual and their view of the situation.

(14) DaveDube made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 1:25:36 PM | Permalink

I thought this thread was about Senator Kerry and his excellent handling of an M79, errr...shotgun, but apparently it has drifted towards unkindly remarks about President Bush missing a flight physical.

It amazes me how many folks there are that are pitchin' spitballs these days. Underhanded at that.

(15) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 1:44:48 PM | Permalink

Mike, why would I mock someone for using safe practices in connection with firearms? Why would I mock someone for using the same gear I've used myself every time I've done any target shooting? I've mocked Kerry, for instance, for his rudeness on the ski slopes to the Secret Service personnel who were there to protect his life, and (although I don't think I've posted about it) for his fashion choices while skiing, but not for using safety straps or other runaway-ski protection (having been hit a time or two by a runaway ski myself).

When one's inclined toward pure humor, there's plenty to mock about Sen. Kerry. The same is true, I would immediately concede, about President Bush — and so does he, most recently at the RNC. Best recent Bush example:

While discussing malpractice lawsuit reforms in Poplar Bluff, Bush said that "too many OB/GYN's aren't able to practice their love with women all across the country."

Latest Kerry counterpart:

"Everybody told me, 'God, if you're coming to Canonsburg, you've got to find time to go to Toy's, and he'll take care of you,'" Mr. Kerry said, dropping the name of a restaurant his motorcade had passed on the way in. "I understand it's my kind of place, because you don't have to - you know, when they give you the menu, I'm always struggling: Ah, what do you want?

"He just gives you what he's got, right?" Mr. Kerry added, continuing steadily off a gangplank of his own making: "And you don't have to worry, it's whatever he's cooked up that day. And I think that's the way it ought to work, for confused people like me who can't make up our minds."

Even bright, well educated people are going to get caught on tape or film or in print saying or doing something goofy when they're under a constant spotlight. The way they react to others' mirth says more to me than the fact that they've made a verbal or physical gaffe.

No, if Kerry had worn the proper protective gear, I wouldn't have mocked him for that. I might have chuckled about a man twenty-three years his senior outshooting him — but probably wouldn't have bothered to post about just that, or if I had posted, it would have been as a tribute to Glenn (who's a bit of a hotdog himself, but whose war-hero and astronaut bona fides are nevertheless quite sound).

And this post about Kerry is only partly mocking. At least one, and probably two, of his Purple Hearts were from accidentally self-inflicted injuries. If you doubt that he was careless with his M-79 on 02Dec68, you might find that flying shotgun shell on 04Sep04 pictured above at least slightly probative. My recollection is that the last President to attempt to personally lead American forces in combat was James Monroe, so it's not that I think he's likely to get himself or our military personnel killed or injured through his carelessness. But he is demonstrably careless with firearms, and that's a part of his war-hero record that the SwiftVets have pointed up.

(16) d made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 1:55:47 PM | Permalink

Kerry claims he hunts deer by crawling around on his stomach. Only a person who has never hunted could make such a statement.

When will Kerry release copies of his hunting licenses? Perhaps he is stonewalling on this topic because there are no records to release.

Another Kerry scandal is brewing.

(17) ed made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 2:03:07 PM | Permalink


"Bush still had an obligation to maintain his readiness as a pilot. "


With no plane, and no flight time available whatsoever? Now that's a laugh.

This stuff used to amuse me but now it just bores me. If it were witty I might feel differently, but it's gotten far too old.

So ....

Since Kerry didn't get officially discharged from the USNR until 1978, what did Kerry do to maintain his fitness to serve?

Come on. Entertain me.

(18) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 3:14:29 PM | Permalink

Put on a PFD and went for a swim in his bathtub?

(19) Chris made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 3:39:06 PM | Permalink

Beldar, spare us the innocent routine. You know full well you've mocked Kerry for physical gaffes, so it's no surprise that this post offers an undertone of the same.

Because of people like you, politics no longer permits principles to triumph over appearances: witness Dukakis and the infamous tank appearance; Bush's awkward smirks caught by the media; and your posting of less-than-flattering Kerry pictures such as Kerry in the bunny suit or the freeze-frame of him catching a football.

Granted, you are far from the worst offender, but if you want to be exempt from accusatory barbs, then cut it out altogether and take the high road. Right now you're still part of the problem.

DaveDube, your unintentional irony is hilarious.

(20) Todd made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 3:53:20 PM | Permalink

Yeah, Beldar, stop dragging the level of politics down. You've caused John Kerry to have to waste time defending himself from unfair attacks and he hasn't had enough time because of people like you to come up with his 3,483,216th position on war in Iraq. I demand you stop mocking him!

(21) Mike Thomas made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 5:18:19 PM | Permalink


My apologies for assuming that you would have ridiculed Kerry had he worn goggles and ear protectors while shooting at clay targets. I was remembering the photo you had on your site for so long of Kerry wearing the decontamination suit while taking a tour of NASA facilities.


Where did you get the notion that there were no planes and no flight times available? There were two F-102s at the Alabama Guard facility, and the latest records uncovered by the AP reveal that Bush’s unit was still flying the F-102s well into 1974.

“Records show Bush's Texas unit flew the F-102A until 1974 and used the jets as part of an air defense drill during 1972....
“...the unit joined a "24-hour active alert mission to safeguard against surprise attack" in the southern United States beginning on Oct. 6, 1972, a mission for which Bush was not present, according to his pay records...
“As part of the mission, the 147th kept two F-102A jets - the same type Bush flew before he was grounded - on ready alert to be launched within five minutes' warning.”

For people who are so hypercritical of every aspect of John Kerry’s service in Vietnam, y’all are remarkably willing to give Bush a free pass on his pathetic, no-show performance in the National Guard.

(22) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 5:26:24 PM | Permalink

Geeesh, Mike Thomas. Every aspect of Kerry's Vitenam 'service'? With barely 130 days of service to play with there, you'd think Senator Kerry could get at least a few days right. Should we start with Christmas in Cambodia, 1968, or were you thinking of some other day?

Ouch. Let me put a BandAid on that one for ya.

(23) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 5:42:46 PM | Permalink

Mike, you're right — the clean-suit picture from NASA that I had in my previous banner was pure ridicule. I change the picture in that space from time to time as the whim strikes me. The current one of Kerry and Teddy Kennedy at the Dewey Canyon III protests in 1971 isn't nearly so silly, but I leave it to my readers to decide whether it says anything else meaningful about Sen. Kerry and his history.

Re Dubya and TANG: By 1972, TANG had far more pilots than it had planes for them to fly. Dubya had already had his chance and had flown the missions for which he was needed; TANG was actively downsizing its pilot roster; and it would be grossly misleading to suggest that a plane went unmanned or a mission unfulfilled as he finished out his TANG service. The situation in the Swift Boats in March of 1969, however, when Kerry collected his third Purple Heart and boarded the "Freedom Bird" for his admiral's aide job, was a bit different.

(24) Chris James made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 6:07:18 PM | Permalink

I do wish you guys would lay off of Kerry regarding his position changes on Iraq.

Didn't you listen to Giuliani at the convention? He clearly said "At this rate, with 64 days left, he (Kerry)still has time to change his position four or five more times."

Well, Kerry is proving Giuliani is indeed a liar! Kerry has changed his position at least twice since the convention, and at this rate (let's say three changes a week) will utterly prove Giuliani is a liar by achieving no less than 24 changes in position before the election!

Also, I hereby denounce the scandalous behavior of the Republicans regarding the debates! They are making preposterous demands, the most outlandish being their unfair and unjust attempt to limit Sen. Kerry to just one chair! Surely the Senator is entitled to a chair for every position on an issue he will be defending?

(25) vnjagvet made the following comment | Sep 8, 2004 6:21:03 PM | Permalink

Chris again is making powerful arguments about totally irrelevant issues. If that's the best they can do, they will keep persuading a smaller and smaller group of potential voters.

Veterans are now about 75% to 80% against Kerry. TANG issues aren't bringing them over. Basically, no one else cares except the strongly committed Moveon crowd.

It's fun defending the high ground with superior weapons.

Those who never served in the armed forces at all don't understand the concept.

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