Soon you'll see links to this Washington Post story everywhere, but it's just so satisfying:
Newly obtained military records of one of Sen. John F. Kerry's most vocal critics, who has accused the Democratic presidential candidate of lying about his wartime record to win medals, contradict his own version of events.
In newspaper interviews and a best-selling book, Larry Thurlow, who commanded a Navy Swift boat alongside Kerry in Vietnam, has strongly disputed Kerry's claim that the Massachusetts Democrat's boat came under fire during a mission in Viet Cong-controlled territory on March 13, 1969. Kerry won a Bronze Star for his actions that day.
But Thurlow's military records, portions of which were released yesterday to The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, contain several references to "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire" directed at "all units" of the five-boat flotilla. Thurlow won his own Bronze Star that day, and the citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged Swift boat "despite enemy bullets flying about him." ...
Heh heh heh.
Where has this documentation been? Apparently Thurlow's dog ate it:
In a telephone interview Tuesday evening after he attended a Swift Boat Veterans strategy session in an Arlington hotel, Thurlow said he lost his Bronze Star citation more than 20 years ago. He said he was unwilling to authorize release of his military records because he feared attempts by the Kerry campaign to discredit him and other anti-Kerry veterans.
The Post filed an independent request for the documents with the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, which is the central repository for veterans' records. The documents were faxed to The Post by officials at the records center yesterday.
The right-wingers aren't going to be fazed. Over at Lucianne.com, we have this comment:
So now we need Kerry's records to see if he wrote the citation report.
Here's what the Post says about that:
As the senior skipper in the flotilla, Thurlow might have been expected to write the after-action report for March 13, but he said that Kerry routinely "duked the system" to present his version of events.
For much of the episode, Kerry was not in a position to know firsthand what was happening on Thurlow's boat, as Kerry's boat had sped down the river after the mine exploded under another boat. He later returned to provide assistance to the stricken boat.
So what are these guys saying? That glory hound Kerry manipulated the system in order to write up this report -- and lied not only to get a medal for himself but to get one for for Thurlow, whose boat he couldn't see? Why would he do that?
Apparently that's exactly what they're saying:
Thurlow said he would consider his award "fraudulent" if coming under enemy fire was the basis for it. "I am here to state that we weren't under fire," he said. He speculated that Kerry could have been the source of at least some of the language used in the citation.
These guys have hated Kerry ever since he went public as anti-war protester. I think they hate him so much that they believe every word they're saying.
I don't know why the guys on Kerry's boat would be lying now. What would be their motivation? I do know that the guys attacking him despise him, and have despised him for 35 years. Their motivation to lie is obvious.