April 26, 2004

If George Bush wants to ask me questions about that through his surrogates, he owes America an explanation about whether or not he showed up for duty in the National Guard. Prove it. That's what we ought to have," Kerry told NBC News in an interview.

At least three more US soldiers died in Iraq over the last 24 hours. For what? The Emperor has no uniform...Meanwhile, the "US mainstream news media" has sunk to a new low in running with the bogus "controversy" about the military record and anti-war activism of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mekong Delta). Of course, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) has also sunk to a new low. This Sunday morning on SeeBS Fork The Nation, McCain had an opportunity to defend the man he calls friend, and indeed a fellow war hero, from the rapid pit bull attacks of the same Bush cabal machine that slimed his own wife and daughter in the 2000 Carolina primary, but McCain wimped out and equated the service records of JFK and the incredible shrinking _resident, saying that both "served honorable." What happened to John McCain? I do not think he is a coward. I do not think he is a fool. How can he allow this visciousness to go unchallenged from someone in the Republican Party?

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mekong Delta): "If George Bush wants to ask me questions about that through his surrogates, he owes America an explanation about whether or not he showed up for duty in the National Guard. Prove it. That's what we ought to have," Kerry told NBC News in an interview. "I'm not going to stand around and let them play games."

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http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=694&ncid=703&e=1&u=/ap/20040426/ap_on_el_pr/kerry_medals


Kerry Demands Bush Prove Guard Service
2 hours, 56 minutes ago

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

WHEELING, W.Va. - John Kerry (news - web sites), a
decorated Navy veteran criticized by Republicans for
his anti-war activities during the Vietnam era, lashed
out at President Bush (news - web sites) on Monday for
failing to prove whether he fulfilled his commitment
to the National Guard during the same period.
Conservative critics have questioned whether Kerry
deserved his three Purple Hearts for battle wounds, an
issue the Democratic presidential candidate sought to
put to rest last week by releasing his military
records. On Sunday, a top Bush adviser criticized
Kerry for leading anti-war protests after he returned
from the battlefield.

"If George Bush wants to ask me questions about that
through his surrogates, he owes America an explanation
about whether or not he showed up for duty in the
National Guard. Prove it. That's what we ought to
have," Kerry told NBC News in an interview. "I'm not
going to stand around and let them play games."


Kerry's direct criticism of Bush's Guard record
reflected an aggressive strategy to challenge the
president. It came as Vice President Dick Cheney (news
- web sites) used a speech in Missouri to question
Kerry's fitness to be commander in chief, and the Bush
campaign launched a $10 million television ad campaign
criticizing Kerry's Senate votes on weapons systems.


During the primaries, Kerry often deflected questions
about Bush's military service although when asked in
February whether Bush had fulfilled his Vietnam-era
commitment, the Democrat said, "Just because you get
an honorable discharge does not in fact answer that
question."


In 1992, as Democratic candidate Bill Clinton (news -
web sites) faced criticism for avoiding service in
Vietnam, Kerry said, "We do not need to divide America
over who served and how. I have personally always
believed that many served in many different ways."


Democrats have questioned whether Bush fulfilled his
obligations to the National Guard in spite of White
House claims that he completed his duty
satisfactorily. Bush joined the Texas Air National
Guard in 1968 and transferred to the Alabama Guard in
1972 while working on a political campaign. How often
Bush reported for duty in Alabama is unclear.


Bush supporters have tried to turn Kerry's service in
Vietnam a centerpiece of his Democratic campaign
against him even as they say they honor his service to
his country. Kerry released his medical records when
questioned about the extent of his war wounds,
including a report showing he still carries shrapnel
in one leg.


That criticism silenced for the moment, Bush adviser
Karen Hughes turned to what Kerry did after returning
from Vietnam. Hughes said Sunday she was offended by
Kerry's anti-war activities in 1971 and accused him of
not throwing back his medals when he and other
veterans protested in Washington.


"He only pretended to throw his," Hughes said in a CNN
interview. "Now, I can understand if, out of
conscience, you take a principled stand, and you would
decide that you were so opposed to this that you would
actually throw your medals. But to pretend to do so
I think that's very revealing."


Kerry has never said he pretended to throw away his
medals. For years, he has said that he threw his
ribbons over a fence at the Capitol, not his three
Purple Hearts, Bronze Star and Silver Star. He also
has said that after the protest he threw the medals of
two other veterans.


Nearly 800 veterans "gave back" their medals, ribbons,
dog tags and other military items during a protest in
April 1971. However, a tape of a television interview
Kerry gave shortly after the protest suggested he had
claimed that he also threw his medals.


In the exchange, aired Monday by ABC and published in
The New York Times, an interviewer asks Kerry, "How
many did you give back, John?" Kerry responds, "I gave
back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine." The
host then notes that Kerry had won the Purple Hearts,
and Bronze and Silver stars. Kerry says, "Well, and
above that, I gave back my others."


Kerry told ABC on Monday that the terms ribbons and
medals were interchangeable. He accused Republicans of
trying to discredit his presidential campaign with a
"phony controversy."


"The U.S. Navy (news - web sites) pamphlet calls them
medals," he said. "We referred to them as the symbols,
they were representing medals, ribbons. Countless
veterans threw the ribbons back."


Kerry was asked to reconcile two explanations for why
he didn't throw his own medals: He told The Washington
Post in 1985 it was because he didn't want to
personally, and told the Boston Globe in 1996 that he
didn't have time to go home and get them.


"I've expressed that there was great, sort of, sense
of wrenching about the whole thing," Kerry said. He
noted that the anti-war veterans were conflicted over
whether to throw them, and although they voted to do
so, "I threw my ribbons. I didn't have my medals. It's
very simple."


The controversy over the medals overshadowed the start
of Kerry's three-day bus tour of four manufacturing
states that are expected to be pivotal in this year's
election West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and
Michigan. Kerry began the tour in Wheeling, W.Va.,
with a speech accusing Bush of failing to enforce
trade rules that protect U.S. workers.

___

On the Net:

Kerry campaign: http://www.johnkerry.com



Posted by richard at April 26, 2004 10:13 PM