In an Afghanistan policy speech, [h/t Instapundit] John Kerry evokes a famous phrase from his infamous testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 22, 1971.
David Sanger mentioned that in 1971 I asked the Foreign Relations Committee “how do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”
I think it relevant to the contemporary debate to recall what else he said in that testimony:
I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.
It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam, but they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.
They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.[emp added]
Just to be clear, the Winter Soldier “investigation” was shortly proven to be wholly fraudulent.
The worst charges were laid by people subsequently proven to have either never seen combat in Indochina or never served in Indochina, and in many cases had never even been in the armed forces. Kerry et al never even took the elementary step of reporting the details of the supposed crimes to military, civilian or international authorities so that they could be formally investigated. (Kerry was a U.S. Naval reserve officers at the time, so his failure to report was a court martial offense. He accepted a Presidential pardon in 1977 in order to avoid the consequence of this crime.) Today, not a single serious historian of the war believes the hysterical claims of routine war crimes had any merit. Kerry laid the foundations of his political career on a gross lie.
Let me ask Senator Kerry a question: How do you ask a man to die in a war knowing that people like Kerry will casually slander his memory? How do you ask a man to die in a war knowing that people like Kerry are perfectly willing to piss away every victory for their own short-term political gain? How do you ask a man to die fighting under the command of a party who regards John Kerry as an elder statesman and Presidential material?
I have skin in this game. My cousin’s half brother was killed by an I.E.D. in Iraq. Three close high-school friends of my daughter served in Iraq. One of them is headed for Afghanistan as I write. My son-in-law would have gone to Iraq but he was injured in a training accident. My 17-year-old son is giving serious thought to joining the Army as a combat medic. The thought he might die on some godforsaken mountain in Afghanistan is my greatest nightmare.
The only thing that could be worse would be for him to die, and then have people like Kerry smear his memory and then throw away all that he fought for so that his death would bring no good to the world.
[Note: If I have time, I’ll cover the meat of Kerry’s speech in a subsequent post. I was just gobsmacked that he would reference his 1971 testimony as if he had nothing to be ashamed of. ]
7 thoughts on “You Really Want to Remind Us of That, John Kerry?”
Even by Senatorial standards this is a very stupid man.
Renminbi: I could not have said it better myself.
Thank God this moron doesn’t represent me.
I have Alan Grayson for that…./sarc off
Kerry is just a product of a 1 party state. With EMK now residing in the underworld he knows that even if he were caught with a live boy he would still get elected so he can say this nonsense with impugnity.
I had begun to read a highly recommended book by Thomas Barnett, Great Powers, America and the World After Bush, who is a Pentagon consultant. After a few chapters, I came to a place where he discussed why Kerry would have been a better president than Bush. I couldn’t finish the book. I have a lot of criticism of Bush, but Kerry ?
The man is an empty suit.
Ask someone under 50 what Winter Soldier was. Then ask them where “last to die for a mistake” comes from and they will say it’s the title of a Bruce Springsteen song from two years ago (unless they’re too young to have heard of Springsteen).
Liberals are quite comfortable with the Winter Soldier testimony and John Kerry’s role. Check out wikipedia:
I’m sorry for the loss and suffering of your relatives, and I think there is a serious danger to the troops from statements like Kerry’s.
But I doubt that Kerry is taking much of a political risk using the line again.
Liberals are quite comfortable with the Winter Soldier testimony and John Kerry’s role
I agree but you can make them squirm. Just ask them why when the left got almost total power following Watergate, they never did anything about the tens of thousands of the men and officers who supposedly committed all these war crimes. Why did they let all those Nazi-like lieutenants and captains free to pursue their military careers to become the generals of today?
Regardless of whether they believe the war crimes happened or not, the behavior of Kerry et al was criminal and amoral. If the crimes didn’t occur then Kerry slandered a generation of service people, damaged the cause of freedom and helped the communist win a victory that led to mass democide. If the crimes did occur then Kerry is responsible for (1) never reporting the details of the crimes to competent authorities and (2) not pursuing the perpetrators when he and his cohorts gained political power.
We are expected to believe that Kerry has sat in the Senate across the table from men he believes to be morally little better than Nazi stormtroopers and yet he has never lifted a finger to bring them to justice. We are expected to believe that he expects such Nazis to humanely carry out the policies he endorses in Afghanistan. If that is true, he is the worst of monsters.
No matter how you cut it, Kerry is an abomination.
I served with people like him, a year or so later, and watched them come aboard and leave while I stayed and did my job.
Problem is that JFK thinks he is so smart, so above the rest of us who attended state or Land Grant schools, that he doesn’t know when he is out of touch with reality. He doesn’t know that he is despised by so many veterans, and thinks his paid-for ‘band of brothers’ actually think he was a good J.O. Personally, I think they liked the lime light, and disregarded any of JFK’s perfidy for that adulation and attention.
Maybe his memory is just as full of swiss cheese as is HRC’s. Christmas in Cambodia, ‘the hat’, and more stories that just don’t touch reality put him in the same class as ‘ducking bullets’ in Sarajevo or wherever. Looney tunes…
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