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August 27, 2004

New Kerry Silver Star Problems

Believe it or not, new flaws in Kerry's medals keep being discovered! There are some new problems with the Silver Star--- (a) the official record lists it as the "Silver Star with combat V," a medal which doesn't exist, and (b) there is not just one "citation" saying why the medal was given,but three,by three different bigwigs, and only one of them mentions the "chasing and killing the Viet Cong" incident-- the other two are just awards for managing the mission overall. Here is much of the article from
the Chicago Sun-Times, which reports on the findings of fakehunter B.G. Burkett, author of Stolen Valor.

The Kerry campaign has repeatedly stated that the official naval records prove the truth of Kerry's assertions about his service.

But the official records on Kerry's Web site only add to the confusion. The DD214 form, an official Defense Department document summarizing Kerry's military career posted on johnkerry.com, includes a "Silver Star with combat V."

But according to a U.S. Navy spokesman, "Kerry's record is incorrect. The Navy has never issued a 'combat V' to anyone for a Silver Star."

Naval regulations do not allow for the use of a "combat V" for the Silver Star, the third-highest decoration the Navy awards. None of the other services has ever granted a Silver Star "combat V," either.

B.G. Burkett, a Vietnam veteran himself, received the highest award the Army gives to a civilian, the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, for his book Stolen Valor. Burkett pored through thousands of military service records, uncovering phony claims of awards and fake claims of military service. "I've run across several claims for Silver Stars with combat V's, but they were all in fake records," he said.


The second oddity is the varying citations.

Kerry's Web site also lists two different citations for the Silver Star. One was issued by the commander in chief of the Pacific Command (CINCPAC), Adm. John Hyland. The other, issued by Secretary of the Navy John Lehman during the Reagan administration, contained some revisions and additional language. "By his brave actions, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty, Lieutenant (j.g.) Kerry reflected great credit upon himself... ."

But a third citation exists that appears to be the earliest. And it is not on the Kerry campaign Web site. It was issued by Vice Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, commander of U.S. naval forces in Vietnam. This citation lacks the language in the Hyland citation or that added by the Lehman version, but includes another 170 words in a detailed description of Kerry's attack on a Viet Cong ambush, his killing of an enemy soldier carrying a loaded rocket launcher, as well as military equipment captured and a body count of dead enemy.

Maj. Anthony Milavic, a retired Marine Vietnam veteran, calls the issuance of three citations for the same medal "bizarre." Milavic hosts Milinet, an Internet forum popular with the military community that is intended "to provide a forum in military/political affairs."

Normally in the case of a lost citation, Milavec points out, the awardee simply asked for a copy to be sent to him from his service personnel records office where it remains on file. "I have never heard of multi-citations from three different people for the same medal award," he said. Nor has Burkett: "It is even stranger to have three different descriptions of the awardee's conduct in the citations for the same award."

So far, there are also two varying citations for Kerry's Bronze Star, one by Zumwalt and the other by Lehman as secretary of the Navy, both posted on johnkerry.com.


Here are the three Silver Star citations, from the Kerry Campaign website. Indeed, the later two omit the story of charging the Viet Cong soldier with the rocket launcher. Could it be that there was no corroboration of that story,i.e., that Kerry's claim was the only evidence, and somebody noticed later?

Also:

Reporting by the Washington Post's Michael Dobbs points out that although the Kerry campaign insists that it has released Kerry's full military records, the Post was only able to get six pages of records under its Freedom of Information Act request out of the "at least a hundred pages" a Naval Personnel Office spokesman called the "full file."

What could that more than 100 pages contain? Questions have been raised about President Bush's drill attendance in the reserves, but Bush received his honorable discharge on schedule. Kerry, who should have been discharged from the Navy about the same time -- July 1, 1972 -- wasn't given the discharge he has on his campaign Web site until July 13, 1978. What delayed the discharge for six years? This raises serious questions about Kerry's performance while in the reserves that are far more potentially damaging than those raised against Bush.


and

Burkett, who has spent years working with the FBI, Department of Justice and all of the military services uncovering fraudulent files in the official records, is less charitable: "The multiple citations and variations in the official record are reason for suspicion in itself, even disregarding the current swift boat veterans' controversy."


There's nothing on this yet, it seems, at
Swiftvets.eriposte.com, a useful website for giving the strongest possible defense of Kerry. In fact, I haven't noticed much updating there in response to all the stuff that's come out in the past week. Maybe it's just responding to Swiftvet charges-- most of the new stuff is not from Swiftvets, but from independent webloggers and people like Burkett who read the documents carefully.

Posted by erasmuse at August 27, 2004 03:31 PM

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