Medal Update

When even Newsweek agrees there is trouble with Kerry's Bronze Star story, we have a fellow commander in Kerry's Silver Star story backing Kerry's story. Well, that's all right, apparently there's inconsistencies on both sides:

The Post's research shows that both accounts contain significant flaws and factual errors. This reconstruction of the climactic day in Kerry's military career is based on more than two dozen interviews with former crewmates and officers who served with him, as well as research in the Naval Historical Center here, where the Swift boat records are preserved. Kerry himself was the only surviving skipper on the river that day who declined a request for an interview.

Even so, Captain Ed is pointing out that Rood's testimony needs work. He points out some interesting insight from the Bandit:

There are no tell-tale signs that either Rood or Kerry came under heavy, intense enemy fire that day. Both boats were loaded with at least 15 VN troops and yet no injuries [were reported] from such close range of contact in such a narrow canal. Furthermore, both boats (Rood's PCF-23 and Kerry's PCF-94) were back on patrol the very next day, which strongly suggests there was never any intense enemy fire, or both boats would have suffered multiple holes in the hull that would have required repairs and delay of patrol.

And adds his own comments:

Were they under intense fire by a numerically superior foe, as Kerry's commendation claims? Looking at all of the evidence available, one would have to conclude not. Even I could hit the side of a 50-foot boat sitting dead on a riverbank across 100 feet of water with an automatic weapon, and I'm not terribly experienced with firearms. And yet we're to believe that large numbers of battle-hardened insurgents lined on both sides of that narrow canal completely missed two or three huge targets for several minutes while they were beached, and the men aboard them?

These boats aren't small. I'm pretty sure that putting significant holes in unmoving boats isn't too hard. Yet, the next day they were towing fuel bladders up the river and received light fire...

Josh Poulson

Posted Sunday, Aug 22 2004 09:50 AM

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