Monday, August 30, 2004

Kerry's resume padding -- updated

Now there's information that Kerry is padding his war heroism (in addition to his serial self-promotion as a veteran). As the Sun-Times report in the title of this post indicates, there are now three additional issues with Kerry's citations.

First, he claims to have received three different commendations to accompany his Silver Star (one is the norm) and John Lehman, the Secretary of the Navy who allegedly penned one of those commendations, denies having written one.

Second, Kerry's website claimed that he received a Silver Star with combat V (for valor). But the Sun-Times report says that those were not (and are not) issued. Combat V citations may accompany higher awards, but not the Silver Star.

Third, his website carries a Defense Department form that grants Kerry four campaign stars in Vietnam. A vet gets one campaign star for each of the Defense Department "named" campaigns. But Kerry only participated in two of the 17 named campaigns (as designated by the DoD) in Vietnam.

Here's The Monk's take: I know that the military vets will decry Kerry's self-attribution of the Combat V to his Silver Star but this is a point of military minutiae that civilians won't get. More important from a political and personal standpoint is the doubling of the campaign stars. This reflects the resume-padding and self-aggrandizement that permeates the Kerry persona. Everyone understands the concept of the person who claims achievements that he did not attain. That is a cardinal sin in politics -- you have overstated your achievements, you are not trustworthy, how can you occupy the most important political office in the world?

Update: Paul at Wizbang derides the Combat V issue because the Silver Star is, by definition, an award for valor (see here for details). The Bronze Star will have a V for valor because it can be awarded for either meritorious service or heroism (see here). But that raises the question of whether the write-up is erroneous or someone made a clerical mistake. If the write-up is erroneous, and Kerry authored the written support for the combat V, then he needs to explain why he wrote his report the way he did.

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