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Kerry’s War Record

Hal Crowther’s essay, With Trembling Fingers :

You say you vote for the president because you’re a conservative. Are you sure? I thought conservatives believed in civil liberties, a weak federal executive, an inviolable Constitution, a balanced budget and an isolationist foreign policy. George Bush has an attorney general who drives the ACLU apoplectic and a vice president who demands more executive privilege (for his energy seances) than any elected official has ever received. The president wants a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage from homosexuals, of all things.

Seymour Hersh on Tiger Force Atrocities:

From May through November of 1967, the Blade reported, the Tiger Force, while operating in and around Quang Ngai province, in South Vietnam’s fiercely contested Central Highlands, murdered hundreds of noncombatant men, women, and children. Some victims were tortured and mutilated. Some were shot while begging for their lives. Some, hiding in bunkers, were killed by hand grenades flung inside. Soldiers collected ears as souvenirs, along with a few scalps and gold teeth.

If you read more, you see that through a series of mishaps the investigation didn’t take place and when it did, it investigated the wrong thing. Now for Michael Kranish on Why Kerry’s faulty memory about being in Cambodia isn’t important. He writes:

Nobody has yet picked up on the single most incredible thing in Kerry’s war story about being in Cambodia on Christmas Eve, 1968: he has been saying for years, unchallenged, that South Vietnamese troops were celebrating Christmas by shooting into the air…But nobody has attacked #3 — which is the part that makes the least sense. AND it’s the part that most strongly suggests Kerry is essentially telling the truth. ARVN, the South Vietnamese Army, was overwhelmingly Buddhist. (It was a Buddhist general. Big Minh, who had knocked off Diem, the Catholic, in 1963 and plunged us into the mess.) So they would have been most unlikely to be loudly celebrating Christmas — which, in fact, is rarely if ever celebrated anywhere by firing off guns into the air. But TET is celebrated with loud noises.

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