Revealed: how 'war hero' Kerry tried to put off Vietnam military duty

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Lefty Wilbury, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Lefty Wilbury
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    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

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    http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/ma...07/ixnewstop.html/news/2004/03/07/wkerr07.xml

    Revealed: how 'war hero' Kerry tried to put off Vietnam military duty
    By Charles Laurence in New York
    (Filed: 07/03/2004)


    Senator John Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential candidate who is trading on his Vietnam war record to campaign against President George W Bush, tried to defer his military service for a year, according to a newly rediscovered article in a Harvard University newspaper.

    He wrote to his local recruitment board seeking permission to spend a further 12 months studying in Paris, after completing his degree course at Yale University in the mid-1960s.

    The revelation appears to undercut Sen Kerry's carefully-cultivated image as a man who willingly served his country in a dangerous war - in supposed contrast to President Bush, who served in the Texas National Guard and thus avoided being sent to Vietnam.

    The Harvard Crimson newspaper followed a youthful Mr Kerry in Boston as he campaigned for Congress for the first time in 1970. In the course of a lengthy article, "John Kerry: A Navy Dove Runs for Congress", published on February 18, the paper reported: "When he approached his draft board for permission to study for a year in Paris, the draft board refused and Kerry decided to enlist in the Navy."

    Samuel Goldhaber, the article's author who is now a cardiologist attached to the Harvard School of Medicine, spent 11 hours trailing Mr Kerry and still remembers that the subject of the Paris deferment came up during long conversations about Vietnam.

    "I stand by my story," he told The Telegraph. "It was a long time ago, and I was 19 at the time, so it is hard to remember every detail. But I do know this: at no point did Kerry contact either me or the Crimson to dispute anything I had written."

    Sen Kerry's campaign headquarters in Washington refused an opportunity to deny the report. Despite repeated telephone calls from The Telegraph, a spokesman refused to comment. Another Democrat official said merely: "In Vietnam, John Kerry proved his patriotism beyond question. Everyone knows that."

    A senior Republican strategist, who asked not to be named, said: "I've not heard this before. This undercuts Kerry's complaints about Bush and it continues to pose questions as to his credibility among ordinary Vietnam veterans."

    He said it would fuel concerns over the way Sen Kerry made a name for himself by leading anti-war protests in Washington and Boston in the late 1960s and early 1970s after he had completed his service in the US Navy, even while his former comrades continued to fight and die.

    A newly-published biography of Sen Kerry by Douglas Brinkley, A Tour of Duty, makes no mention of the requested deferment or planned year in Paris. At the time, it was still unclear just how long America would remain in Vietnam, and it might have seemed that a year's deferral of service could render enlistment unnecessary.

    According to the Democratic Party's version of Sen Kerry's military history, he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Harvard through eagerness to do his duty, and sailed with the Navy for combat as soon as he graduated in 1966.

    Sen Kerry won a gallantry medal for his service as a gunboat captain on the Mekong Delta, and was honorably discharged with three "purple heart" medals after sustaining three wounds. He has consistently presented himself as a leader who argued against the war only after fulfilling his duty in the field. Supporters argue that his war record makes him a more trustworthy leader than President Bush, who served sporadically in the National Guard at home.

    "This means that Kerry didn't jump into all that heroic service until he was pushed, and it is a very nice piece of information," said Lucianne Goldberg, a prominent Republican campaigner.

    Republican strategists for President Bush were already investigating Sen Kerry's record of three wounds sustained in Vietnam. "We find that he had only one day off sick - with three wounds? What exactly were these wounds?" she asked.

    Mr Goldhaber recalled that, during a day spent with Sen Kerry and one assistant during his congressional campaign, he had described his involvement, service and decision to oppose the war in great detail.

    "I am not at all surprised that he wants to be president, because he exuded ambition from the word go," said Dr Goldhaber. "At the time, the idea that he tried to persuade the draft board to let him spend a year in Paris was just a detail."

    A spokesman for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign declined to comment.
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, Kerry should address this. He probably wont but he should.
     
  3. Moi
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    Moi Active Member

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    I'm not terribly sure why it's important that he wanted to defer his service for a year. That doesn't mean he's unpatriotic nor a coward. The fact that he asked and got denied, enlisted and served honorably, won medals is all well and good. Once he was denied, he went and did his duty. Of course, I think all this hoowey about Bush is just that too. Mearde. (oops, sorry for the foreign language). I'm thankful to them for their service and don't care what they did before any of it- especially since availing yourself of legal means to get out of service shouldn't make anyone angry. Just change the law if you don't like it.

    What is troubling to me, is that he spent all that energy and time telling lies to congress afterward. I question how he knew the things he supposedly testified to and why, if he saw all that, he did nothing???? There is a law in this country that if you are complicit in a crime you are just as guilty. If his fellow soldiers were that bad, and he allowed it by not following the rules of the military by turning them in, he should be prosecuted not lauded.
     
  4. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I think it should count for something the way his campaign has been denouncing Bush for his service.
     
  5. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    The attempt to defer his service is vastly less important than what he planned to do during that deferment:

    "permission to spend a further 12 months studying in Paris"
     
  6. Jayada
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    Jayada Guest

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    I am a Vietnam Veteran who along with many others would like to get a detailed look a Kerry's military records. Especially the citations for valor and wounds. Just as Kerry's people wanted the detailed records of President Bush's military service.

    He was in Vietnam for 4 months of a 13 month tour and received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and 3 Purple Hearts. It appears all wounds were minor and none required hospitalization. I was in the Marine Corps and from what I remember the wounds had to be serious enough to require hospitalization.

    Kerry used the "3 Purple Hearts Rule" to cut his tour short and return to the states. The rule was after receiving 3 Purple Hearts you could be rotated back to the States. He then got himself released from active duty 8 months early, and thus he began his anti-war activities with lies about the service men he left behind in Vietnam. Saying they were worse than the hordes of Gengas Kahn. (sp?).

    I am one of the many Vietnam Veterans who will not vote for Kerry and will work to keep President Bush in Office.
     
  7. kcmcdonald
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    kcmcdonald Guest

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    Jayada,
    I thank you for your post. MAbey in the coming months more Vet's such as your self will come around and actually question this man's service durning the war. i personally find it appaling that this man is running on his Vietnam record when he won't even release his medical records. What does he have to hide, Why was he given three purple hearts and spent 1 day off duty in a hospital(wich was for illness). What did he do to desreve those medals and why would he be so rash as to throw them away. Does he have no honor does he have no compassion for the men in uniforme who he served with. Does he not care about the memory of the 50,000+ who died in that conflict. Because acordding to Kerry we were over there rapping and pilageing. 50,000+ died to rape and ravge a people? Kerry needs to clairfy this poistion, and the media needs to ask him about it. He's getting a free pass and many Vet's might just vote for this guy because they don't know any better!!! :(
     
  8. Jayada
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    Jayada Guest

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    I would like to suggest that those interested in learning more about Kerry's service and those that question it visit the following sites.

    www.gopusa.com

    www.mensnewsdaily.com

    Look for articles by Thomas D. Segel, a 28 year Marine Corps Retiree. Served in Korea and also had two combat tours in Vietnam. He was a combat correspondent and holds two Purple Hearts.

    Semper Fidelis.
     
  9. Moi
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    Moi Active Member

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    I hope you get your answers. I also find it odd that the man was there for 4 mos. yet managed to get 3 purple hearts, a bronze star and a silver star. He was either the klutziest guy or reckless. I don't know which is worse for a president.
     

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