Why John Kerry Should Not Be Secretary of State

By:  John F. McManus
01/02/2013
       
Why John Kerry Should Not Be Secretary of State

There is plenty in the past of President Obama's nominee for Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry, that should exclude him from consideration.

There is plenty in the past of President Obama's nominee for Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry, that should exclude him from consideration.

President Obama nominated John Kerry on December 21 to succeed Hillary Clinton as our nation’s secretary of state. The president said of the Massachusetts senator that his “entire life has prepared him for this role” and that he will not “need a lot of on-the-job training.” Recalling Kerry’s past, Obama noted that his nominee for our nation’s top diplomatic post “served with valor in Vietnam.”

Obama and John Kerry don’t want the American people to know the full story of Navy Lieutenant Kerry’s three months of service in Vietnam in 1971, or how that brief deployment was surely not worthy of being described as “with valor.” Arriving with a movie camera to document his every effort for possible use in future runs for political office, Kerry managed to earn three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, and a Bronze Star in what amounted to “record time.” The problem is that his wounds and his vaunted heroism were the stuff of fairy tales. Yes, he received the medals. But, no, he didn’t deserve them.

Kerry’s “valor” and the medals he received are regularly noted by Kerry himself and by the mass media whose personnel favor any left-winger. But truth needs to be told, as it was in the 2004 book Unfit For Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry by John O’Neill and Jerome Corsi. Kerry deftly worked the system to get the awards knowing full well that three Purple Hearts meant he could leave Vietnam and get away from combat. Instead of the normal year in the battle zone expected of all who served, Kerry spent a mere three months in action during the height of the conflict.

Kerry’s service consisted of commanding what was termed a “Swift Boat,” a small but speedy craft whose crew totaled six men and whose assignment included patrolling rivers and bays in the war zone. His first Purple Heart came after he obtained a self-inflicted nick in his arm, the result of his firing a grenade at a suspected Viet Cong combatant. The grenade exploded close to Kerry himself and one of its tiny fragments hit him. There was no enemy fire, a requirement for receiving a Purple Heart. And the tiny piece of shrapnel in his arm was removed with tweezers followed by small band aid that covered the area. Not bad for wounding oneself! But he worked the system and received the award.

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John F. McManus (photo)

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