The new ad by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is the most disgusting and despicable political attack I think I have ever seen.
The men in the ad claim to have served in Vietnam with Kerry and then question his veracity, his honor, his leadership and just about everything else. As it turns out, none of these veterans who claim to have such intimate knowledge of Kerry's service in Vietnam were actually on his boat or under his command at any time. The ones who actually did serve side by side with Kerry have all vouched for his heroism and are supporting his campaign for the presidency.
Atrios and Kos have done a lot of the heavy lifting already to expose the ads as false and malicious.
Sen. John McCain has also come out in Kerry's defense.
And it is especially galling that Republicans feel they can make points by attacking Kerry's service in Vietnam when their own guy not only avoided going to Vietnam by using family connections to secure a cushy slot in the Texas National Guard, but he didn't even bother to show up for a five-month period in 1972.
What makes me the most angry about all of this, however, is that if these people can get away with smearing Kerry by calling into question whether he truly deserved or earned his medals, then they could do the same to anyone who fought for their country and received a commendation. As I've noted before, my father was a Vietnam veteran who recieved a Silver Star for valor the same as Kerry. Everytime I hear these shameless Republican drones attack Kerry, the same way they attacked Max Cleland and John McCain, I imagine them doing the same thing to my father and it makes my blood boil.
Kerry has released all of his military records and they show glowing testaments from his commanding officers and his medals and commendations are all documented. If that is not good enough then nothing ever will be for these people.
If these veterans want to say that they don't agree with Kerry's political philosophy or his economic and foreign policies then that is fine. But saying that Kerry did not serve honorably in Vietnam and alleging that he did not deserve his medals is the lowest and slimiest political stunt I have ever seen.