What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Drudge Continues to Smear Kerry

Matt Drudge's campaign against John Kerry continues, with Drudge yesterday posting highlights from a book called Unfit for Command by a group of bitter Swift Boat vets. This sort of personal attack usually has no actual basis in reality, and a group like the Swift Boat vets are going to count on the ignorance of civilians in their claims. Let's look at some of the charges made against Kerry:

-- All three of Kerry's Purple Hearts were for minor injuries, not requiring a single hour of hospitalization.

I've lost count of how many times this particular charge is brought up. The fact is, the severity of a wound is not the main criteria for being awarded a Purple Heart. It has everything to do being injured as a result of combat. That does not necessarily mean one is hospitalized for any period of time. A soldier getting a concussion would be eligible for a Purple Heart. The Columbia Journalism Review has investigated media coverage of Kerry's Purple Hearts, which can be read here. The Navy's criteria for awarding a Purple Heart is also covered in the piece.

-- A "fanny wound" was the highlight of Kerry's much touted "no man left behind" Bronze Star.

This is a lie. Kerry's Bronze Star citation can be read here, and it says nothing about a "fanny wound" and also describes heroic action on Kerry's part. You can believe the Swift Boat people or believe the actual DOD citation. I'm going to go with the citation, awarded by the President of the United States to John Kerry.

-- Two of John Kerry's three Purple Heart decorations resulted from self-inflicted wounds, not suffered under enemy fire.

I don't even know where to begin with this one. Someone doesn't get a Purple Heart by asking for one. Being awarded the Purple Heart requires an examination by a doctor, and I think a doctor serving during the Vietnam conflict would know the difference between a self-inflicted wound and a wound as a result of combat. To suggest a fellow vet injured himself on purpose to get a Purple Heart is just despicable. Of course, issues of morals and ethics have never stopped right-wingers from engaging in their attacks of personal destruction.

And keep this in mind: while John Kerry put his ass, and life, on the line, George W. Bush was in the United States, skating through his tour of duty where the most dangerous thing that could happen to him would be...well, nothing. Maybe getting killed in a drunk-driving accident, or a drug overdose. Or dying from the boredom of leaving active duty to work on the political campaign of a Bush family friend. Bush never put himself in harm's way. John Kerry did.


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