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August 24, 2004

Kerry's First Purple Heart--Kerry Camp in Retreat

On the First Purple Heart, now admitted false by the Kerry cmapagn: Captain's Quarters reports that Kerry is backing off from the claim that his first Purple Heart was for an injury received in combat (no backing off yet from the claim that it was too trivial to require a medical officer's treatment). This is a doubly significant Purple Heart if it is true that he only started pushing for it (after his commander's initial refusal) when he thought it would be a way to get out of Vietnam.

A number of people have written to me overnight stating that a Kerry campaign spokesman has acknowledged on Brit Hume's Fox news show that John Kerry's wound on 2 December 1968 came from an unintentionally self-inflicted wound -- an accident, in other words. So far, I find nothing on this on the Fox web site, but they are notoriously poor at posting transcripts, or even summaries of their own programs. Can someone post the link in the comments section of this post if any confirmation can be made?

UPDATE: Here's the link to the Fox News report from Major Garrett. It mostly covers the Chris Wallace interview with John Hurley and CNN's interview of Bob Dole. Towards the end, Garrett talks about the first Purple Heart:

GARRETT: And questions keep coming. For example, Kerry received a Purple Heart for wounds suffered on December 2nd, 1968. But an entry in Kerry's own journal written nine days later, he writes that, quote, he and his crew hadn't been shot at yet, unquote. Kerry's campaign has said it is possible his first Purple Heart was awarded for an unintentionally self-inflicted wound.

Score another one for the Swiftvets, and another retreat for Kerry, this time on a key contention for both a medal (which some, including me, felt were too difficult to argue effectively) and for his truncated tour of duty. Without that first Purple Heart, Kerry would have had to stay on the Swiftboat assignment past March 17th and remain in combat. Now that the Kerry campaign seems to have retreated from Kerry's citation, the fact that Kerry pushed this award weeks later up a different chain of command takes on a great deal more significance. Instead of bravely taking on combat, he now looks desperate to get out ahead of everyone else and willing to falsify records to do it -- which is exactly the impression that his later assertions have given us.

CQ mentioned the 2 December/11 December conflict back on August 18th in this post, based on a tip from CQ reader Amelia and an article in World Net Daily by Art Moore. Today's links to the Fox News report come from CQ readers Jay Howard and Jim Leonard. Thanks to the entire CQ community for keeping the media on its toes.

(See my Kerry in Vietnam archives for more posts)

Posted by erasmuse at August 24, 2004 03:19 PM

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