FINALLY! The Washington Post gets some answers… They were stonewalled at first but the ever vigilant Post would not be denied! They did some major league sleuthing to get the story…
Military records counter a Kerry critic
Fellow skipper’s citation refers to enemy fire
WASHINGTON – 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.
…Thurlow’s military records, portions of which were released yesterday to The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act…
Heavy, Heavy, Sigh. What exactly is Thurlow running for? Do you think maybe *just maybe* the WaPo might actually take the time to do a Freedom of Information Act request for the guy who might be President of the United States?
Too much to ask I know.
I’d like to comment on the meat of this story but apparently the WaPo was not looking for answers, only to smear a Swift Boat Vet as they leave several key questions unasked.
The basic crux of the issue is that Thurlow says they were not under fire the day Kerry received his Bronze star but Thurlow got a Bronze star also that day and his citation says they were under fire.
This would be far more compelling if Thurlow had written the accounts of the day. Curiously (or not) the Post did not address who actually wrote Thurlow’s citation. Presumably the same person who wrote Kerry’s. The closest we get is this:
The Bronze Star recommendations for both Kerry and Thurlow were signed by Lt. Cmdr. George M. Elliott, who received reports on the incident from his base in the Gulf of Thailand. Elliott is a supporter of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and has questioned Kerry’s actions in Vietnam. But he has refused repeated requests for an interview after issuing conflicting statements to the Boston Globe about whether Kerry deserved a Silver Star.
Heh- The last line is a lie and the Post knows it. (or they would if they read Wizbang!) The Boston Globe says Elliott changed his story. Elliott denies he changed his story and challenged the Globe to release the transcript of his interview which the Globe has refused to do. But I digress.
Back to the
meat tofu of the story, we don’t know who wrote the citation (or the recommendation) so holding it up as proof Thurlow is lying seems a stretch. But this is interesting:
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.
There have been many of reports of Kerry making sure his versions of events were taken down. If Kerry wrote the language for his own citation and the rest of the flotilla disputes his account, including a guy who benefitted from his account, this would be a whale of a story — but the Post seems strangely disinterested in who wrote it.
From the Post’s report it seems that Thurlow might have not have even heard the text of the citation until recently. I don’t know enough about how the citations were given then to know if that seems plausible or not. The Post makes it sound reasonable.
“It’s like a Hollywood presentation here, which wasn’t the case,” Thurlow said last night after being read the full text of his Bronze Star citation. “My personal feeling was always that I got the award for coming to the rescue of the boat that was mined. This casts doubt on anybody’s awards. It is sickening and disgusting.”
Thurlow said he would consider his award “fraudulent” if coming under enemy fire was the basis for it.
As well he should.
We may genuinely never know the truth about what happened 30 years ago in Vietnam. 4 guys on Kerry’s boat say the whole flotilla was under fire, the rest of the flotilla says they were not.
I’m really not sure why the Post thought this so compelling if looked at realistically. If Kerry’s citation said they were under fire it seems rather obvious the others issued for that day would say the same thing as well.
My BS detector tells me that someone knowing this pointed the Post to this but who knows.
What we DO KNOW is that the Washington Post is far more interested in discrediting Kerry’s critics than they are checking Kerry’s stories. We also know that the Post got at least one major fact wrong that was easy to verify.
I guess the Post decided if they do a hatchet job on 1 Swift Boat Vet then the other 249 are discredited by association. Or maybe they just have 249 more Freedom of Information Act requests still pending.
All things considered, I’m glad the Washington Post is checking all these Vietnam stories out… Now do you think they can check some of the stories the guy running for President is telling? Please? Please?