Over at The Belmont Club, Wretchard brought up a video clip of unrepentant former terrorist (and Barack Obama associate) Bill Ayers, former leader of the Weather Underground, talking in 2006. In that very brief excerpt, Ayers praises Senator John Kerry:
“…have the vets come back and throw their medals back at the cou(ntry) — uh, the government that sent them there. Um, John Kerry’s finest moment, um, and then spending the rest of his life apologizing for it… um that shook the country to its core.”
That’s an interesting observation. Unfortunately, someone never bothered to tell Mr. Ayers that John Kerry did no such thing — at least, according to John Kerry.
For years, Kerry coasted on that moment of fame. Then, in the 1980’s, after he was first elected to the Senate, he was interviewed by a Boston Globe reporter in his office. The reporter noticed that Kerry had his medals on display, and asked something like “didn’t you throw those away about a decade ago?”
Kerry, meanwhile, was becoming a celebrity. Overnight, he had emerged as one of the most recognized veterans in America.
Kerry, who understood well the importance that the media placed on imagery, put an exclamation mark on events by lining up with veterans to return their medals to the military on April 23. Kerry said he suggested that veterans place their medals and ribbons on a table and return them. But he said other members of the antiwar veterans group wanted to throw the medals and ribbons over a fence in front of the Capitol, and Kerry went along with the idea.
Video footage of the scene shows hundreds of veterans angrily gathering in front of the Capitol, near a fenced-in bin with the large sign saying “Trash.”
One by one, the veterans, most of whom had long hair and wore combat jackets, threw their medals into the makeshift trash bin.
Some press reports say that Kerry “threw his medals.” But Kerry has long maintained he threw his own ribbons but someone else’s medals.
In an interview, he said that he had previously met two veterans, one from the Vietnam War and another from World War II, who had asked Kerry to return their medals to the military. Kerry said he stuffed them into his jacket.
He said that when he prepared to throw his ribbons over the fence, he reached into his jacket and pulled out the medals from those two veterans. He said his own medals remained in safekeeping.
The week’s events had unquestionable impact. At the beginning of the week, a band of 800 or so Vietnam veterans gathered to protest the war, followed by Kerry’s April 22 testimony, then the medal-tossing ceremony on April 23. By the following day, the publicity helped draw at least 250,000 people to the Mall in a massive protest.
Kerry, wearing a blue button-down shirt under his combat jacket, addressed the rally from the Capitol steps. “We came here to undertake one last mission, to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war,” Kerry told the cheering throng.
In one week, Kerry had gone from little-known former swift boat skipper to the face of the protest movement.
How entirely typical. John Kerry’s “finest moment,” the incident that catapulted him to national prominence, was a fraud.
That is, if you buy Kerry’s story. Alternately, Kerry could have simply replaced his original memos and made up the story of the other veterans who gave him their medals to throw back, and he kept his own — but didn’t mention that until someone noticed he still had his medals.
Kerry’s predeliction for wanting to have things both ways is emblematic of the Democratic leadership. I’ve talked about how Barack Obama does the same thing — his stance on the DC gun ban is astonishingly two-faced. He supported the ban, and he supported the Supreme Court declaring that ban unconstitutional. There’s no damned way you can reconcile those two positions — unless you slather it in hopey changefulness, garnish it in bullshit, and serve it up to a crowd eager to overlook such silly paradoxes.
Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t check my logic at the door.