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Someone Missed The Memo...

Over at The Belmont Club, Wretchard brought up a video clip of unrepentant former terrorist (and Barack Obama associate) Bill Ayers, former leader of the Weather Underground, talking in 2006. In that very brief excerpt, Ayers praises Senator John Kerry:

"...have the vets come back and throw their medals back at the cou(ntry) -- uh, the government that sent them there. Um, John Kerry's finest moment, um, and then spending the rest of his life apologizing for it... um that shook the country to its core."

That's an interesting observation. Unfortunately, someone never bothered to tell Mr. Ayers that John Kerry did no such thing -- at least, according to John Kerry.

For years, Kerry coasted on that moment of fame. Then, in the 1980's, after he was first elected to the Senate, he was interviewed by a Boston Globe reporter in his office. The reporter noticed that Kerry had his medals on display, and asked something like "didn't you throw those away about a decade ago?"

That's when the full story came out.

Kerry, meanwhile, was becoming a celebrity. Overnight, he had emerged as one of the most recognized veterans in America.

Kerry, who understood well the importance that the media placed on imagery, put an exclamation mark on events by lining up with veterans to return their medals to the military on April 23. Kerry said he suggested that veterans place their medals and ribbons on a table and return them. But he said other members of the antiwar veterans group wanted to throw the medals and ribbons over a fence in front of the Capitol, and Kerry went along with the idea.

Video footage of the scene shows hundreds of veterans angrily gathering in front of the Capitol, near a fenced-in bin with the large sign saying "Trash."

One by one, the veterans, most of whom had long hair and wore combat jackets, threw their medals into the makeshift trash bin.

Some press reports say that Kerry "threw his medals." But Kerry has long maintained he threw his own ribbons but someone else's medals.

In an interview, he said that he had previously met two veterans, one from the Vietnam War and another from World War II, who had asked Kerry to return their medals to the military. Kerry said he stuffed them into his jacket.

He said that when he prepared to throw his ribbons over the fence, he reached into his jacket and pulled out the medals from those two veterans. He said his own medals remained in safekeeping.

The week's events had unquestionable impact. At the beginning of the week, a band of 800 or so Vietnam veterans gathered to protest the war, followed by Kerry's April 22 testimony, then the medal-tossing ceremony on April 23. By the following day, the publicity helped draw at least 250,000 people to the Mall in a massive protest.

Kerry, wearing a blue button-down shirt under his combat jacket, addressed the rally from the Capitol steps. "We came here to undertake one last mission, to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war," Kerry told the cheering throng.

In one week, Kerry had gone from little-known former swift boat skipper to the face of the protest movement.

How entirely typical. John Kerry's "finest moment," the incident that catapulted him to national prominence, was a fraud.

That is, if you buy Kerry's story. Alternately, Kerry could have simply replaced his original memos and made up the story of the other veterans who gave him their medals to throw back, and he kept his own -- but didn't mention that until someone noticed he still had his medals.

Kerry's predeliction for wanting to have things both ways is emblematic of the Democratic leadership. I've talked about how Barack Obama does the same thing -- his stance on the DC gun ban is astonishingly two-faced. He supported the ban, and he supported the Supreme Court declaring that ban unconstitutional. There's no damned way you can reconcile those two positions -- unless you slather it in hopey changefulness, garnish it in bullshit, and serve it up to a crowd eager to overlook such silly paradoxes.

Thanks, but no thanks. I don't check my logic at the door.


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Comments (22)

I don't know how old you ar... (Below threshold)

I don't know how old you are Jay, but most young people seemed sort of radical in the late 60's to early 70's days as they were opposed to the Vietnam War. Bill Ayers, John Kerry and many others were not much different than most young people in those days. Look at how many 60's and early 70's songs talked about revolution in those days like Thunderclap Newman's SOMETHING IN THE AIR, The Doors' FIVE TO ONE or TELL ALL THE PEOPLE, or even The Who's WON"T GET FOOLED AGAIN, or John Lennon's POWER TO THE PEOPLE. Most young people were radicals in those days and the popular music reflected that fact.

I'm old enough that I still have my draft card from Vietnam, but was not called up as President Nixon started a phase-down and withdrawal of troops by 1973. But I actually supported Nixon's "Peace With Honor" peace proposals in those days which made me far different than most young people in those days because I was very conservative compared to most of them. But some of the most radical high school or college kids I knew in those days went on to become successful business or in one case a top heart surgeon, and not some terrorist once Vietnam went away and years passed by.

Most of your radical antiwar kids of the 60's or 70's turned out just fine in the end, very remained extreme politically or became some criminal. If you're younger than about your mid50's Jay, then maybe you don't understand the way it was in those days. But lots of kids were radical back then.

Having things both ways...l... (Below threshold)

Having things both ways...like for abortion and then against it...like amnesty, then against it..like against the tax cuts and then for them...come on..

Paul, you could not be more... (Below threshold)

Paul, you could not be more wrong. Most young people cared nothing about what was going on as most young people today don't. I was on the short list to get drafted in 1970 so I joined the Navy so at least I would be surrounded by steal. Enlistments were up at that time. Only the priviledged class of youth in most Ivy League schools demonstrated and shouted. Some made careers out of the radicalism such as Ayers and Kerry. I do not like people who profit off the crisis they created. Lack of character. Thank God most Americans noticed that in 2004. Birds of a feather with these people. ww

Bill Ayers, John K... (Below threshold)
Bill Ayers, John Kerry and many others were not much different than most young people in those days.
Not everyone was participating in bombings nor did they want to, so this remark is full of crap.
Bill Ayers, John Kerr... (Below threshold)

Bill Ayers, John Kerry and many others were not much different than most young people in those days.

What a load of crap.

"Now that we've gotten thos... (Below threshold)

"Now that we've gotten those out of the way, can we PLEASE give some attention to the REAL issues? This petty crap got real stupid real fast." - JT

Indeed, J.

max, apparently you never h... (Below threshold)

max, apparently you never heard Jay Tea's Rule #1: Bashing Massachusetts Democrats is ALWAYS appropriate.


Paul Hooson seems to be fal... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

Paul Hooson seems to be falling into the Pauline Kael trap of assuming that just because those he associated were one thing, everyone must be.

I guess the uniform radicalization of American youth explains why "Ballad of the Green Berets" was the number one song in the US for a time back in the sixties.

I was in junior high and high school during the sixties and seventies, and there were a lot of young people (myself among them) disgusted by the radicals. We just didn't get air time, and there was no Internet in those days to allow us to go around the MSM.

Mark L, you are right on. (... (Below threshold)

Mark L, you are right on. (no pun intended)

John Kerry's whole mark of fame and courage was based on a deceitful lie. How liberal of him. ww

"Only the priviledged class... (Below threshold)

"Only the priviledged class of youth in most Ivy League schools demonstrated and shouted."

Either you didn't go near many colleges, or you had blinders on when you did. Most of the state universities in the midwest had anti-war protests in the 60's and 70's. I don't remember Kent State as being part of the Ivy League.

WillieI heard a gr... (Below threshold)


I heard a great line that fits you and your pals on the far right: Conservatives love America, they just hate half the people in it.

JFO - "I heard a great ... (Below threshold)

JFO - "I heard a great line that fits you and your pals on the far right: Conservatives love America, they just hate half the people in it."

That's pretty funny stuff right there JFO.

First you make the idiotic assumption you know what WW thinks, then attempt to paint all conservatives with a very wide brush claiming we all hate half the people in the country.

Can you back that up with something other than more than hot air or another anal extraction?

Marc, ignore JFO, he is lik... (Below threshold)

Marc, ignore JFO, he is like a gnat.

Rance, talking about the radical protesters. Not the peace, love, everything is groovy students. Please read. ww

Sure I can....just read the... (Below threshold)

Sure I can....just read the crap the far right fringe like willie post. Even a dumb ass like you could do that.

Yes good ol (LIVE SHOT) lov... (Below threshold)

Yes good ol (LIVE SHOT) loves to PLAY all sides of an issue, that's his defining hack characteristic.

America has known this about Kerry for a while, but the sad/funny thing is...this BOZO keeps getting elected!!!!

In MA. lets hope Jeff Beatty can remove this phoney...

JFO you are probably too yo... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

JFO you are probably too young to remember what the 60s were like so if I were you I would STFU now. But then, I am not you and you will praddle on to infinity. Ayers was a radical who advocated killing ones parents. The man should be in prison for live.

...radical protesters. Not ... (Below threshold)

...radical protesters. Not the peace, love, everything is groovy students.

At University of Wisconsin, a mid-western, "cow college", I knew of a member of the Mother Jones Brigade who had his own heavy leather gauntlet so he could pick up tear gas canisters and throw them back at the police. He also kept a brick in his room, "just in case a riot breaks out."

Radical enough for you?

Isolated my boy, isolated. ... (Below threshold)

Isolated my boy, isolated. Gosh, liberals worry me. ww

Paul H: yeah, some grew up... (Below threshold)

Paul H: yeah, some grew up and got responsible - the rest moved to Berkeley.

"max, apparently you never ... (Below threshold)

"max, apparently you never heard Jay Tea's Rule #1: Bashing Massachusetts Democrats is ALWAYS appropriate."

I think I did know that, J. I must've forgot.
My bad.

Ragsdorf - I was young but ... (Below threshold)

Ragsdorf - I was young but not too young to be #56 in 1st year of the draft lottery and not too young to be in the army for 5 years. No, I don't remember the 60s at all.

As far as those radicals just hanging out in ivy league colleges, they must have trucked them into the small catholic university I went to so that it was those ivy leaguers who took over the administration offices in protest.

Willie, you really are a moron.

In the 1960s Wisconsin was ... (Below threshold)
Mark L.:

In the 1960s Wisconsin was not just 'a mid-western, "cow college."' It was one of those academic sargosso seas where radical detritus collected. It was a safe haven for those who kept a brick in their dorm room "just in case a riot broke out."

If Michigan State, Ball State, or Minnesota been cited, I would have been impressed.






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