From his early days as an anti-war leader through his long service in far-left Massachusetts, Kerry has been a darling of the fourth estate and largely avoided tough campaigns. (For those who point to his 1996 race against then-Gov. William Weld, it was a genteel affair, and the challenger foolishly agreed to spending caps.)
From January 31 to February 2, 1971, John Kerry helped spearhead the Winder Soldier Investigation in Detroit, a media bonanza where some 100 veterans testified that they had witnessed or committed some of the worst atrocities imaginable: genital mutilation, gang rape, and intentional slaughtering of innocent civilians en masse.
Congress was spurred to action. John Kerry was an instant celebrity. But much of it was fake. Made up. When an anti-war Senator, Mark Hatfield of Oregon, tried to investigate the monstrous stories, he was stonewalled. Kerry?s group, Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), told its members to refuse cooperation.
Government inspectors, however, were able to determine that many of the names given by those who testified were names of actual soldiers?but the speakers gathered by Kerry were imposters. In other words, the real soldiers had their good names tarnished. That this could happen at an event in which Kerry was intimately involved means the man who would be leader of the free world was, at worst, complicit, or at best, reckless.
Yet he never got in trouble for something that should have ended his career.
Nor did he get caught?not until years later, anyway?when he threw someone else?s medals over the wall at a massive anti-war rally. He wanted the glory of the moment, but not at the price of parting with his precious medals.
Perversely, Kerry was eager at this time to brand himself a war criminal?including on Meet the Press, no less?all as part of a concerted effort to heighten his profile. Without ever disavowing his boasts of evil-doing, he has nonetheless ignored them in recent years.
Maybe Kerry made some questionable calls in Vietnam, but by any account, he was not a war criminal. Yet he wanted to be one?and it worked to garner him national attention.
Kerry has told many other memorable whoppers, including one in 1986 and another relating to 1986.
This August, Kerry was forced to backtrack from something he said on the floor of the Senate 18 years ago, that he was in Cambodia on December 24 and 25, 1968. Though he said it was ?a memory which is seared -- seared -- in me,? it wasn?t true. He wasn?t in Cambodia on Christmas in 1968, no matter how ?seared? it was in his memory.
Though not entirely clear, it at least seems possible that Kerry was in Cambodia or right on the border at some point?just not Christmas 1968. Without those details, however, the story loses much of its drama?and power.
The tale as told, though, made him more important and more authoritative on the subject of that day: Reagan administration funding of freedom fighters in Latin America.
Sometimes Kerry?s yarns seem almost silly, such as the fib relating to 1986. As covered in the Weekly Standard recently, it seems that, despite claims to the contrary, Kerry was not 30 yards from Bill Buckner?s famous missed ground ball in the 10th inning of game 6, where the Red Sox almost won its first World Series since 1918.
According to a contemporaneous Boston Globe report, Kerry was at a political banquet that night in Boston?a couple hundred miles from New York?s Shea Stadium. This was before he bagged a billionaire, meaning he didn?t have his own private jet to make such rapid transportation possible.
Why lie about something like that? It turns out he was at Game 7 of that series?a game nobody remembers. So he concocts something that draws considerably more attention.
Sometimes he spins stories to cast himself as Just Another Normal Guy. Enough has already been written about it (see Howie Carr?s column or the American Spectator), but Kerry?s hunting tales exist in the realm of the incredible?aside from the discomforting thought of the French-speaking boarding school product carrying a shotgun.
Or this likely lie from an interview with ESPN: ?I was screaming at the television set when Grady did not pull Pedro out.? (Referring to Game 7 of last year?s American League Championship Series when Boston Red Sox manager Grady Little famously left in starter Pedro Martinez.) Maybe this is the truth, but common sense argues otherwise. Kerry can no more scream at the television about a baseball game than Teresa can move her face.
Any of these lies alone would mean little. But taken together, the campaign issues raised continually by Kerry?trust and integrity?are seen in a whole different light. Can Kerry be trusted? The short answer seems to be no.
Seen in historical context, Kerry?s Security Council fabrication was clearly designed to make himself appear more presidential and more equipped to handle foreign diplomacy. It was deceitful, but more importantly, it was deliberate.
Although Kerry?s legion of lemmings?i.e., the mainstream media and left-wing bloggers (such as DailyKos)?rushed to his defense, his own campaign did not. They backtracked as soon as they knew I knew the truth.
In other words, the people who know Kerry best are so used to his lies by now, that this time, they capitulated before the story even ran.
Now that the election is upon us, the Democrat?s honesty matters more than ever. If he wins?and he well might?the American people had better realize fast what they?ve signed up for.
But if Kerry does, in fact, lose tonight, yet tries to claim otherwise, the media should consider his history before taking him at his word.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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