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