Well, well, well...isn't this iiiiinteresting!
Newly obtained military records of one of Sen. John F. Kerry's most vocal critics, who has accused the Democratic presidential candidate of lying about his wartime record to win medals, contradict his own version of events.Meanwhile, Kerry fires at Bush for not denouncing misleading attack ads sponsored by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
In newspaper interviews and a best-selling book, Larry Thurlow, who commanded a Navy Swift boat alongside Kerry in Vietnam, has strongly disputed Kerry's claim that the Massachusetts Democrat's boat came under fire during a mission in Viet Cong-controlled territory on March 13, 1969. Kerry won a Bronze Star for his actions that day.
But Thurlow's military records, portions of which were released yesterday to The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, contain several references to "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire" directed at "all units" of the five-boat flotilla. Thurlow won his own Bronze Star that day, and the citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged Swift boat "despite enemy bullets flying about him."
"This group isn't interested in the truth -- and they're not telling the truth. They didn't even exist until I won the nomination for president," Kerry told a few thousand firefighters at the International Association of Firefighters meeting here. "They're funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They're a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the president won't denounce what they're up to tells you everything you need to know -- he wants them to do his dirty work."Conversely (via Blah3.com), Kerry was quick to denounce an ad critical of Bush's military record after a similar request from McCain.
Bush campaign officials have said they have no connection to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, but the White House has refused to denounced the ads despite a plea from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a Vietnam veteran.
"I agree with Senator McCain that the ad is inappropriate," Kerry said in a statement released by his campaign. "This should be a campaign of issues, not insults."