August 27, 2004

“KERRY REQUESTED A PURPLE HEART,” says Admiral Schachte. The wound was accidentally self-inflicted, he says. (“‘Kerry nicked himself with a M-79 (grenade launcher),’ Schachte said in a telephone interview from his home in Charleston, S.C. He said, ‘Kerry requested a Purple Heart.’”)

That’s not malfeasance or anything, but it certainly plays to his image as an opportunist who worked the system to get out of combat as soon as possible. (“John Kerry, reporting for duty — until I can finagle a way out of here!”) More here, and Beldar has more analysis, with some interesting stuff in the comments.

That said, the medal issue is really a distraction. It’s Kerry’s postwar behavior that deserves more scrutiny. Here’s his 1971 testimony. And here’s a 1971 TV interview where he talks about throwing away his medals, and about opposing the war “right there in Vietnam,” and about how veterans, especially minority veterans, remain a menace after returning to America because they’re angry and were “taught to kill.” He backs away a bit later, in an early version of his signature straddle, but it’s still pretty damning stuff.

UPDATE: Thoughts on records that Kerry should release — from Vietnam and elsewhere — here, and a review of Kerry’s testimony here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More records questions here, in an interesting article from the Chicago Sun-Times.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: More on the Admiral here.