Democracy Has Prevailed.

January 13, 2013

Jack Kelly Sunday

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to reintroduce you to Jack Kelly, swiftboater.

Embedded in this week's column in the Post-Gazette, we find this curious paragraph:
Mr. Kerry exaggerated his heroism to get medals, according to some naval officers who served with the senator in Vietnam. He promised to authorize release of his military records, but didn't release all of them until after he ran for president in 2004.
Jack just can't resist the swiftboating, it seems and this isn't the first time.  Who can forget this column from August, 2008 (the one that declared, a mere two months before the 2008 election that "Democrats know their man is faltering")?

I realize the swiftboat lies are more than 12 years old, but a lie's still a lie.  So let's look at them one by one.

Jack says that Kerry exaggerated his heroism to get medals - so let's start there.  Which medals did he get?  According to his Senate website, he was awarded "a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts."

A "Silver Star" is, according to the Manual of Military Decorations and Awards, "the third highest military valor decoration that can be awarded to a person serving in any capacity with the U.S. Armed Forces." And is awarded to any individual who "distinguishes himself or herself by gallantry in action."  "Gallantry" in that same document is defined as "Nobility of behavior or spirit.  Heroic courage."

Senator Kerry was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on 28 February, 1969.

A "Bronze Star" is, according to the same manual, is awarded to "any person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Armed Forces, distinguishes himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service..."

Senator Kerry was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions on 13 March, 1969.

His three Purple Hearts were awarded for events that occurred 2 December 1968, 20 February 1969 and 13 March 1969.

We can trace our way through the documents (like they have here) OR we can look to what the Navy's own Inspector General concluded 8 years ago:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Navy's chief investigator concluded Friday that procedures were followed properly in the approval of Sen. John Kerry's Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals, according to an internal Navy memo.

Vice Adm. R.A. Route, the Navy inspector general, conducted the review of Kerry's Vietnam-ear military service awards at the request of Judicial Watch, a public interest group. The group has also asked for the release of additional records documenting the Democratic presidential candidate's military service.

Judicial Watch had requested in August that the Navy open an investigation of the matter, but Route said in an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press that he saw no reason for a full-scale probe.

"Our examination found that existing documentation regarding the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals indicates the awards approval process was properly followed," Route wrote in the memo sent Friday to Navy Secretary Gordon England.
So when Jack weaselwords his way through the swiftboat smear with a cowardly "according to some naval officers who served with the senator" while omitting the part about how the official position of the United States Navy (by way of its Inspector General) is exactly the opposite, we can question both Jack Kelly's honesty and the ability of his fact checkers at the Post-Gazette to actually "check" his "facts."

Jack Kelly, Swiftboater - the Post-Gazette must be so proud.


EdHeath said...

When you look carefully at the paragraph Kelly wrote, he states it is others that accuse Kerry of lying to get medals. Then he states that Kerry did not authorize the release of records until after 2004, but Kelly says nothing about what those records contained.

Even before your detailed research vindicated Kerry, Kelly's parsing of that paragraph revealed he actually had no evidence of Kerry lying about his record.

Jack Kelly's standard for qualified to work on national security is prior support for the positions of George W Bush. The irony is that Barack Obama is quite possibly more aggressive than George Bush ever was, in the areas of drone warfare and the summary executions of accused terrorists, including (arguably) Osama bin Laden. But Kelly ignores all that Obama has done in the global war on terror, and undermines Obama with his accusations concerning his nominations.

Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Funny the same people who cite the "official position" for John Kerry do not accept the "official position" for George W. Bush being AOL from or not completing his service in the TANG.

Dayvoe said...

And yet, USNews [] says "Records appear to show that the president failed to fulfill his duty to the Air National Guard."