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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Judicial Watch calls on DoD to investigate Kerry and possibly revoke his medals

An alert reader emailed me this morning with this link to a press release from Judicial Watch yesterday entitled "Judicial Watch Calls For Investigation Into Kerry’s Medals, Anti-War Actions:  Formal Complaint Filed Over Senator’s Vietnam Awards, Post-Service Activities":

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today filed a request with the U.S. Navy and the Defense Department for an investigation into the awards granted to Sen. John Kerry during his service with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam.  Judicial Watch also requested that military authorities investigate Kerry’s anti-war activities, including his meeting with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations in Paris, while a member of the Naval Reserve....

"The allegations concerning Kerry’s conduct during the Vietnam War are credible, serious and shocking," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  "The sooner an investigation begins, the better."

The formal complaint filed by Judicial Watch can be viewed here in .html format, or here as a .pdf file.

Amazingly, although both the press release and complaint are dated yesterday, my quick Google News search on "'Judicial Watch' Kerry" turns up no media references to this complaint; nor have I seen it yet elsewhere in the blogosphere.

My emailer notes that Judicial Watch is "an equal-opportunity defender of the people's rights.  I happen to disagree with them about Cheney's records — but that insulates them to cries of partisanship."  "Insulate" may be too optimistic a word, but it's certainly true that in the past, Judicial Watch has gored both red and blue oxen.

My quick skim of the complaint suggests that it doesn't raise any revolutionary new factual allegations, and indeed, that it piggybacks extensively and without apology on the evidence and allegations gathered by the SwiftVets and by John O'Neill's just-released book, Unfit for Command.  Three things strike me as significant, however:

  • Judicial Watch is a "player," and while its complaint is calling for an investigation — rather than explicitly predicting what the results of that investigation will be — the fact that it treats O'Neill's and the SwiftVets' allegations as being credible enough to warrant a formal DoD investigation may itself influence some folks who are still undecided about whether this whole controversy is a "thin partisan smear" or a "real deal."

  • Although not based on new factual allegations, the Judicial Watch complaint swings a bigger spotlight onto young Kerry's post-war conduct — in particular, his meeting with representatives of the North Vietnamese government and the Viet Cong while he was still a commissioned officer in the US Naval Reserve.

  • I've commented before on the possibility that O'Neill and the SwiftVets might be employing a "tar baby" strategy, hoping that the Kerry campaign and/or the DNC would overreact and make good on their threats to sue for defamation in the hopes that (a) the SwiftVets could thereby gain access, through court-ordered pretrial discovery, to documents that Kerry has thus far refused to release (e.g., the diaries used by biographer Brinkley, his full medical records, the backup for his commendations, a full set of after-action reports), and (b) the debate might play out in court, with rules of evidence and orderly manners of proceeding that are missing in the political arena.  The quasi-judicial proceedings in the DoD which Judicial Watch now seeks may offer at least some of those same benefits for Kerry's critics and risks for Kerry.

The Judicial Watch folks have polished up their complaint with references to the appropriate statutory and regulatory provisions that could authorize the investigation they seek.  This is not an amateurish effort.  I haven't dug into those authorities, and as of now I can neither confirm that they create the authority that Judicial Watch claims, nor offer any predictions as to what the proceedings might be like (and in particular, how fast they might move and to what extent they might be able to compel disclosures of records or other evidence that Kerry would just as soon keep under wraps).

The one thing I am sure of, however, is that this can't be welcome news for the Kerry camp.

Posted by Beldar at 12:29 PM in Politics (2006 & earlier), SwiftVets | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Judicial Watch calls on DoD to investigate Kerry and possibly revoke his medals and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» Kerry: Bush Lets Groups Do 'Dirty Work' from Outside The Beltway ™

Tracked on Aug 19, 2004 12:54:59 PM

» DO WE really need from PRESTOPUNDIT -- "Kerry in Cambodia" Wall-to-Wall Coverage

Tracked on Aug 19, 2004 2:12:11 PM

» Clocked from Right on the Left Beach

Tracked on Aug 19, 2004 10:00:51 PM

» More Kerry Discrepancies? from I love Jet Noise

Tracked on Aug 20, 2004 7:35:20 AM


(1) kevin whited made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 12:36:30 PM | Permalink

When Judicial Watch "harassed" the Clinton Administration, they tended to be referred to as partisan and only got fringe coverage. When they started pestering the Bush Administration, they became nonpartisan and got more coverage. Now that they are pestering the Kerry folks, they just don't get any coverage? Nice.

(2) A real vet made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 12:38:26 PM | Permalink

SwiftVet Lies

By Michael Dobbs, Washington Post Staff Writer

Newly obtained military records of one of Sen. John F. Kerry (news, bio, voting record)'s most vocal critics, who has accused the Democratic presidential candidate of lying about his wartime record to win medals, contradict his own version of events.

In newspaper interviews and a best-selling book, Larry Thurlow, who commanded a Navy Swift boat alongside Kerry in Vietnam, has strongly disputed Kerry's claim that the Massachusetts Democrat's boat came under fire during a mission in Viet Cong-controlled territory on March 13, 1969. Kerry won a Bronze Star for his actions that day.

But Thurlow's military records, portions of which were released yesterday to The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, contain several references to "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire" directed at "all units" of the five-boat flotilla. Thurlow won his own Bronze Star that day, and the citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged Swift boat "despite enemy bullets flying about him."


(3) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 1:05:06 PM | Permalink

"A real vet," I've edited your post to put your quote into blockquote form and to convert the URL you listed into a hyperlink (the long text strings blow my sidebar graphics). I've seen the WaPo report you quote from, and will be commenting on it — and on Mr. Thurlow's response (reprinted by PrestoPundit, if you can't get the SwiftVets' site to respond) — shortly in a new post, time permitting.

(4) Corrie made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 1:28:53 PM | Permalink

ARV, you missed the part of the story where Thurlow hasn't seen his medal citation in 20 years, and recently has sworn an affadavit - putting him at legal risk if he IS lying - that there was no enemy fire that day. The article also quotes him as saying that if HIS medal was awarded based on the presence of enemy fire, then it was fraudulent. Others have also similarly sworn that there was no enemy fire during the incident.

If the after-action report was written by Kerry, then that's what the text of the citations would be based on.

Thurlow should also be included in JW's investigation. That's only fair. Perhaps Thurlow could make a show of returning his medal, if he feels that strongly about it.

(5) digitalbrownshirt made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 1:40:14 PM | Permalink

Once again, we have moral equivalence. Kerry builds an entire political career on phony events in Vietnam -- Bush lands an airplane on a carrier in full view, a deed which no one denies, and the left cries for both actions to be condemned equally. Unbelievable.

(6) Brennan Stout made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 1:41:17 PM | Permalink

There is an interesting comment over at Reason's "Hit and Run" blog. Reader Rick Laredo, at 1:19PM, says that Kerry's Silver Star was actually signed off for by John Lehman when he was secretary of the Navy. That means that for action in 1969 John Kerry was still receiving medals as late as 1981-1987.

Interesting to say the least, why was John Kerry trying to obtain more medals after he threw his, or someone else's, into the Potomac?

(7) Veto made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 1:48:28 PM | Permalink

You expect people to believe that Thurlow can recall exact details of the incident over three decades ago, especially whether John Kerry's boat was shot at by the enemy, but he can't remember why he was awarded a Bronze Star for in the same incident and has been walking around for the last 30 something years not knowing why they gave it to him!!! And just because he swears out some type of affadavit were supposed to believe him. My god, corrie, I wasn't born yesterday.

(8) only_truth made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 1:57:07 PM | Permalink

Just take a look at Kerry's campaign website. In it, you see that he filed for and received an amendment to his DD 214 (dept of defense form 214 -- personnel file). The date on it was 2001 (the request/granting of the amendment). The only thing I see is that he wanted his separation date to be 1970 and not 1972. His own website proves that he was in the US Navy Reserves through 1972, wasn't discharged until 1978 from the inactive reserves. This means that his testimony before the Senate in April 1972 was while he was still an officer in the Reserves...

Now why would he request an amendment to his personnel file in 2001. That is a REAL question that needs to be answered.

Check out the link:

The original DD 214 – separation date (from active duty) 01 Mar 1970. It further states that his obligation for service to the reserves is until 17 Feb 1972. This one lists his Silver Start/Bronze Star and 3 purple hearts. It also states that he was released from active duty and was transferred to the Naval reserves.


The amended DD 214 (dated Mar 12, 2001 – why then) – gives an amended discharge date of Mar 01, 1970. It also curiously says “delete Vietnam service medal and add Vietnam service medal with 4 bronze stars). ?Now he was 4 bronze stars?


(9) Gary B. made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 2:07:56 PM | Permalink

Thurlow says he received his metal about 3 months after he left the navy? He also says he didn't put himself in for the medal and he didn't really know what it was for when he got it. And if being under fire was the reason then the metal isn't his. I see a pattern developing here that will end up coming down on Kerry like a brick wall. Kerry, release the records. Or haven't you finished fabricating all of the corrections yet?

(10) Mick McMick made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 2:15:33 PM | Permalink

If this were a trial, my verdict would favor the Swiftees. They have been more consistent, they have less motive to lie, they have more witnesses, and they haven't been caught in outright fabrications and shifting "seared" memories.

All Kerry's handlers can do, apparently, is attack the swiftvets personally, and make slanderous swipes at _their_ military service, and for some reason the press has no outrage when the shoe is on the other foot.

Why won't Kerry just release his damn records, like his minions pressured Bush to do (based on a vicious lie)? I think we all know why. This is one onion that really stinks the more you peel it.

Kerry invited everybody to examine his record. He shouted out "Bring it on!" But he really didn't mean that, did he?

(11) Veto made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 2:22:10 PM | Permalink

"he didn't really know what it was for when he got it."

And you don't find that a little hard to believe? For thirty years, he's never known why he recieved a Bronze Star. I think alot of people are being purposely naive about this guy, especially when this sort of revisionist history calls into doubt the awards and honors recieved by all veterans.

(12) Tom Holsinger made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 2:25:26 PM | Permalink

There is no chance whatever that Senator Kerry will bring a libel suit on any of this. Politicians remember what happened when Pat Robertson sued Pete McCloskey for libel and McCloskey pleaded truth.

(13) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 2:36:35 PM | Permalink

How many stories is Rassman going to tell anyway? Here he is at the Dem. convention according to an Oregonian reporter:

"The former Green Beret remembered sitting on the deck of the pilothouse of Kerry's boat, eating a chocolate chip cookie, when an explosion under a nearby boat blew him into the Bay Hap River and caused Kerry to smash his arm."

Here he is on CNN with Judy Woodruff:

"Mr. Thurlow's recollection of what occurred is not accurate. We had the boat hit the mine to our left. And John immediately had his driver, Del Sandusky (ph), turn to the left and head towards it.

"And it was at that time that our gunner on the bow got his gun knocked out and he started screaming for another weapon. I ran another weapon up to me, and we hit something or something hit us. There was an explosion, and I was blown off the boat to the right."

Then we have Rassman's Wall Street Journal Op-ed:

"While returning from a SEA LORDS operation along the Bay Hap River, a mine detonated under another swift boat. Machine-gun fire erupted from both banks of the river, and a second explosion followed moments later. The second blast blew me off John's swift boat, PCF-94, throwing me into the river. Fearing that the other boats would run me over, I swam to the bottom of the river and stayed there as long as I could hold my breath.

"When I surfaced, all the swift boats had left, and I was alone taking fire from both banks."

The last one is a physical impossibility regardless of which of the three versions is correct. He could not be ALONE IN THE RIVER. There were others in the water too, as well as the Swift Boats that had gone to the aid of PCF-3. All three of his stories have him in the water almost at the same time as the others.

There's another falsehood that is easy to spot in the Oregon news article:

" 'He [Kerry]dropped to his hands and knees, and he reached over, and he pulled me aboard,' Rassmann told the group. 'The fighting continued until we got out of the kill zone, and we managed to get out to the Gulf of Siam.'"

Definitely not true. PCF-3 was disabled and Kerry's boat helped keep it afloat. In fact, Kerry's boat was the towboat that got it back home.

(14) Veto made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 2:38:07 PM | Permalink

'He shouted out "Bring it on!" But he really didn't mean that, did he?"

More than George W. Bush did. George just meant "Bring it on" for other people's kids cause he doesn't do his own fighting or dirty work. Its beneath him. That why he didn't go to Nam but supported the war. He too rich and important to risk his own skin, but he really, really believed in the cause. Just not enough to die for it. His kind never do.

(15) Deb made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 2:49:33 PM | Permalink

There should be a final DD214 somewhere in his records that details all his service, not just active duty, not just reserve duty active or inactive... all duty. That document is not on Kerry's site.

(16) chuck made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 3:15:01 PM | Permalink

As far as I know, Larry Thurlow is not a candidate for President, for what it's worth.

(17) M. Simon made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 3:30:46 PM | Permalink


There is a simple explanation of why Thurlow can't remember events as described in the citation:

The never happened that way. Which I believe is what Thurlow is saying.

Do you know how John Kerry got a piece of shrapnel buried in his leg?

You don't?

That is all right. Neither does John.

What is the War Hero Afraid of?
Form 180. Release ALL the records.

(18) Alfonso made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 3:32:38 PM | Permalink

Veto tries to spin Thurlow: "he remembers specifics of that day but can't remember why he received the bronze star"--as if his story had changed, and memory selectively failed, but it has not:
"I believed then as I believe now that I received my Bronze Star for my efforts to rescue the injured crewmen from swift boat number three and to conduct damage control to prevent that boat from sinking. My boat and several other swift boats went to the aid of our fellow swift boat sailors whose craft was adrift and taking on water. We provided immediate rescue and damage control to prevent boat three from sinking and to offer immediate protection and comfort to the injured crew."

(19) Bethl made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 3:33:22 PM | Permalink

John Kerry had his award citations rewritten that is why the last ones are signed by John Lehman. The only differece I can find in the last Bronze star citation adds the phrase ...and complete dedication to duty reflected great credit upon himself...
What kind of person has someone rewrite a citation just to add that line. Very Strange.
When Thurlow received his Bronze Star he was out of Viet Nam. He had rescued and gave first aid to injured sailors and I suppose at the time
it didn't matter much what the citation said--if he paid any attention to it at all. However he should attempt to obtain the original write-up-----see if Kerry did write it.

(20) M. Simon made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 3:44:57 PM | Permalink

Now that Kerry is boxing shadows - fighting charges that are only on televised ads in a few states and no coverage in the MSM, he will soon be confronted with a reporter who is going to ask a question or three. Then the dam will break.

About two to three weeks more max. My target date 3 or 4 Sept.


When was John Kerry Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as the Democrats have claimed? When he still had some intelligence left. That is: never.

What is the War Hero Afraid of?

Form 180. Release ALL the records.

(21) Deoxy made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 3:48:34 PM | Permalink

Nice topic change, Veto.

Care to answer the actual qustion now? About what "Bring it on" meant when Kerry said it vs what Bush mean when HE said it?

Since you obviously won't:

Let's see, Bush meant something along the lines of "You're wusses if you don't show up to fight us in Iraq." Considering the honor/shame culture of OBL, et al, that's a perfect way to get the enemy to fight you where YOU want to fight and on your timetable.

Kerry apparently meant something along the lines of "My record is perfect, and don't you dare actually look at it or question me, or I'll get upset."

THAT is what is being compared. The Vietnam experience may also be compared, of course, but that's not what this question was about.

(Of course, the Vietnam comparison doesn't turn out too well for Kerry either, since Bush volunteered for service in a unit that had pilots flying combat missions in Vietnam when he served, and Kerry only volunteered after he found out that he was going to be drafted, and he requested what, at the time, was considered a very safe position.)

(22) J_Crater made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 3:52:57 PM | Permalink

Thurlow indicates that he "submitted no paperwork for a medal nor did I file an after action report describing the incident".
So where do the documents the WaPo got vis FOIA come from ? Thurlow gives a hint that the medal citation "was language taken directly from John Kerry's report which falsely described the action".
Perhaps an investigation is required.

What exactly is "duking a document" ?

(23) M. Simon made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 3:53:59 PM | Permalink

If you count when the Cambodia lie was uncovered it took about 11 to 15 days before the MSM broke.

Once the MSM broke two to three days later Kerry is answering changes never made and failing to explain known lies. Like Christmas in Cambodia.

So the drill is surrogates change the lying story - Kerry tells no further lies. Except shrapnel in the leg.

Kerry tries to pre-empt the next argument by trumpeting favorable news slant. Which unfortunately will turn out to be a fabrication.


Why did John Kerry nominate himself for a medal?
Who else would know just how heroic he was?

What is the War Hero Afraid of?
Form 180. Release ALL the records.

(24) jim made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 3:54:31 PM | Permalink

Thurlow ends the discussion. You chose not to read it. I suspect these people anticipated every contingency and were prepared to address every challenge. Individually, forthright and honestly. Not through layers upon layers of mouthpieces, character assasins, diversionary tactics and cheap operatives. BRAVO ZULU.

Statement: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Member Larry Thurlow

Swiftboat Veterans for Truth
Press Release
Thursday, August 19 2004 @ 09:00 AM PDT

I am convinced that the language used in my citation for a Bronze Star was language taken directly from John Kerry's report which falsely described the action on the Bay Hap River as action that saw small arms fire and automatic weapons fire from both banks of the river.

To this day, I can say without a doubt in my mind, along with other accounts from my shipmates -- there was no hostile enemy fire directed at my boat or at any of the five boats operating on the river that day.

I submitted no paperwork for a medal nor did I file an after action report describing the incident. To my knowledge, John Kerry was the only officer who filed a report describing his version of the incidents that occurred on the river that day.

It was not until I had left the Navy -- approximately three months after I left the service -- that I was notified that I was to receive a citation for my actions on that day.

I believed then as I believe now that I received my Bronze Star for my efforts to rescue the injured crewmen from swift boat number three and to conduct damage control to prevent that boat from sinking. My boat and several other swift boats went to the aid of our fellow swift boat sailors whose craft was adrift and taking on water. We provided immediate rescue and damage control to prevent boat three from sinking and to offer immediate protection and comfort to the injured crew.

After the mine exploded, leaving swift boat three dead in the water, John Kerry's boat, which was on the opposite side of the river, fled the scene. US Army Special Forces officer Jim Rassmann, who was on Kerry's boat at the time, fell off the boat and into the water. Kerry's boat returned several minutes later -- under no hail of enemy gunfire -- to retrieve Rassmann from the river only seconds before another boat was going to pick him up.

Kerry campaign spokespersons have conflicting accounts of this incident -- the latest one being that Kerry's boat did leave but only briefly and returned under withering enemy fire to rescue Mr. Rassmann. However, none of the other boats on the river that day reported enemy fire nor was anyone wounded by small arms action. The only damage on that day was done to boat three -- a result of the underwater mine. None of the other swift boats received damage from enemy gunfire.

And in a new development, Kerry campaign officials are now finally acknowledging that while Kerry's boat left the scene, none of the other boats on the river ever left the damaged swift boat. This is a direct contradiction to previous accounts made by Jim Rassmann in the Oregonian newspaper and a direct contradiction to the "No Man Left Behind" theme during the Democratic National Convention.

These ever changing accounts of the Bay Hap River incident by Kerry campaign officials leave me asking one question. If no one ever left the scene of the Bay Hap River incident, how could anyone be left behind?



(25) Veto made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 4:27:52 PM | Permalink

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Bronze Star Medal to

for service as set forth in the following:


"For heroic achievement while serving with Coastal Division ELEVEN engage in armed conflict with Viet Cong communist aggressors in An Xuyen Province, Republic of Vietnam on 13 March, 1969. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY was serving as Officer-in-Charge of Inshore Patrol Craft 94, one of five boats conducting a SEA LORDS operation in the Bay Hap River. While exiting the River, a mine detonated under another Inshore Patrol Craft and almost simultaneously, another mine detonated close aboard his Inshore Patrol Craft knocking a man into the water and wounding Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY in the right arm. In addition, all units began receiving small arms and automatic weapons fire from the river banks. When Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY discovered he had a man overboard, he returned upriver to assist. The man in the water was receiving sniper fire from both banks. Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry directed his gunners to provide suppressing fire, while from an exposed position on the bow, his arm bleeding and in pain and with disregard for his personal safety, he pulled the man aboard. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY then directed his boat to return and assist the other damaged Inshore Patrol Craft. His crew attached a line and towed the damaged boat to safety. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY's calmness, professionalism and great personal courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY is authorized to wear the combat "V".

For the President
Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy
Commander U. S. Naval Forces, Vietnam

(26) Chris made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 4:30:17 PM | Permalink

Calling Judicial Watch non-partisan, even with caveats, reveals your desire to leap at opportunites that support your conclusion.

I mean, just note the level of intelligence in their press releases. Here's an exceprt from one of my favorites:



“Judicial Watch is fiercely non-partisan, but it will not countenance illegal methods to smear and destroy conservatives with techniques reminiscent of Karl Marx. It therefore will help those who, during the nomination process, are branded as racists by Jesse Jackson and other ultra leftist revolutionaries,” stated Judicial Watch Chairman Larry Klayman. “This is not Russia in 1917. These latter-day ‘Bolsheviks’ must be stopped,” added Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.


No one that is "fiercely non-partisan." gets this breathless over Senate confirmation hearings. By establishing JW as non-partisan, Beldar gets to complain later when no one pays attention to their silly lawsuit.

Just look at who you guys have to align yourselves with to make a point.

(27) Andy made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 4:46:07 PM | Permalink

Watching the "equivalency spin" defense is a clear indication that the ABB crowd has no clue. Bush has been bashed for almost 5 years over the missed meetings. No equivalency was ever offered. Full disclosure of records has been made.

Kerry is weird, sad and dangerous. If his Walter Mitty-Heart-of-Darkness penchant arrives in the White House, there is no telling what tales will be told, what bravado will be blustered, what actions an enemy will take on the words of a Hollow Man.

We have seen how enemies, stock markets, allies, bankers, and analysts galore pin their plans and scenarios on the few words of a President. Imagine what they will do with a Make Believe War Hero.

ABB mentality will create the truth of "Kerry Lied, Americans died" Whose neighbors will be next? The war is coming to a neighborhood near you.

(Oh yeah, huh? We are at war!)

(28) bethl made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 4:51:55 PM | Permalink

The Bronze star citation was rewritten and the new one signed by John Lehman--both on Kerry's web site under Bronze Star.
Thurlow says he will sign a form 180

(29) James Walling made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 5:08:32 PM | Permalink

Veto, in case you missed the point it was John Kerry's after action report that is in question. Since there is clear evidence he likes to embellish his exploits, can we say Cambodia, all documents he submitted including the after action report he submitted that earned him the Bronze Star, is in question. Maybe the Navy is just too trusting of its officers. Too many on scene witnesses contradict the report. I believe in a court of law, and I could be wrong, if more than two witnesses disagree with a report filed by another witness doesn't that report become questionable. Then if the filer has a known and proven history of lying doesn’t that bring the report into more question. If there is no physical evidence, like bullet holes from small arms, doesn’t that also bring the report into question. So it appears the Navy received bad info from one officer, John Kerry, and then to made a bad judgment. The whole thing needs to be re re-investigated and other supporting documentation and witnesses on the scene investigated.

Have you served in the military, I am. I have seen people seek medals and game the system, and most of their colleagues look at him/her with disdain and go on with life, while the person continues their game. Most of his/her peers look at it this way, it is not hurting me so if he wants to dishonor himself in his peers’ eyes go ahead and let him. I have actually received a medal I didn’t deserve, fortunately I filled out the long length of paperwork stating why and had it removed. So, with the great bureaucracy mistakes happen and awards are given that are not deserved. It is a matter of honor and some, fortunately a small group, just don’t have any and are worried more about the own opportunistic self.

(30) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 5:20:58 PM | Permalink

Veto: I've deleted your last comment. Opposing viewpoints are genuinely welcome here. But stay civil, or take your comments elsewhere. This is my blog, and them's my rules.

(31) Larry (USAF ret) made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 5:21:03 PM | Permalink

I have some decorations. The citations bear no resemblance to any events I can recall. That is, I have no idea which specific missions spawned them. I can, however, recall numerous "hairy" missions and many of their details are seared into my mind. I'm confident, without assessing his veracity, that Thurlow can recall the events. The written recommendation for decoration is based on after-action reports. In the USAF of the Vietnam era, citations were submitted with the recommendation as if the C. O. who approved the decoration had written it. Citations always use hyperbole. Don't ask me why.

(32) Peter made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 6:14:18 PM | Permalink

Onlytruth, those four bronze stars that have you confused are not the same as the Bronze Star. I know it doesn't make sense but it's the United States Government we are dealing with here. There are two kinds of device used for the second and subsequent awards of a decoration. Little bitty bronze stars and oak leaf clusters. Every time we came and went from the war theatre we got a little bronse star to pin to the ribbon of our Viet Nam Campaign ribbon
I'm not sure how Kerry got four of them, it took most of six years for me to get three.
Rule of thumb...little stars on the 'I was there' ribbons, oak leaf clusters on decorations for valor or achievment.
There are one hell of a lot of decorations passed out that have little to do with heroism. Especially in that war.

(33) M. Simon made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 6:22:30 PM | Permalink

Actually "veto" - Thurlow says Kerry wrote up that stuff and he lied.

Which seems to be pretty consistient these days. Lies on lies.
I don't believe a man with a character like John Kerry's could be a war criminal. I believe he lied to the Senate in 1971.

What is the War Hero Afraid of?

Form 180. Release ALL the records.

(34) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 6:29:34 PM | Permalink

Folks wishing to comment specifically on the WaPo story about Thurlow may want to do so on my promised, newer post specifically on that topic.

(35) 4moreyears made the following comment | Aug 19, 2004 7:33:33 PM | Permalink

Letter from President & CEO of Judicial Watch, Mr. Fitton

(36) Marc made the following comment | Aug 20, 2004 5:01:43 AM | Permalink

This is for "only truth" up thread a ways who said "It also curiously says “delete Vietnam service medal and add Vietnam service medal with 4 bronze stars). ?Now he was 4 bronze stars?"

The 4 bronze stars are refering to the Vietnem service medal, they would be worn on that award. That is completly different than THE Bronze Star award.

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