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March 15, 2004
THIS CAN'T BE the posture that the Kerry Campaign wants to find itself in:
US SENATOR John Kerry last night fought off accusations he was a coward and had made strategic mistakes in battle during the Vietnam War.
The Democratic challenger for the White House was embroiled in fresh controversy after one of his former crew members accused him of being someone "who ran from the enemy".
It was reported last night that Steven Gardner, a gunnerís mate on the first patrol boat commanded by Kerry in the Mekong Delta, contradicts accounts of the senatorís military career that depict him as a brave and aggressive lieutenant who won three Purple Hearts, which are a key element of his campaign against George Bush.
He personally killed a Viet Cong fighter in one action and was wounded three times, though not seriously.
However, in an interview with the Boston Globe, which contacted him about the presidential candidate, Gardner claimed:
[Kerry] did not want to engage the enemy
"He [Kerry] absolutely did not want to engage the enemy when I was with him."
More here. This sort of thing would look like old news, of course, if Kerry hadn't spent so much time telling us how relevant his Vietnam experience is to his likely behavior as President.