Kerry defenders who write to me tend to be abusive, but here’s an e-mail about my Kerry piece–written off Mack Owens’ cover piece–that’s notable for its reasonable tone: “Mr. Lowry, Perhaps you might want to read the Atlantic’s profile of the work Senator Kerry did with Senator McCain to put an end to all of the rumors surrounding POW/MIA cases. The quest that both men undertook was one they felt the country needed and put an end to the illness and pathology plaguing our society in the myths surrounding the Vietnam conflict. Senators Kerry and McCain distinguished themselves when many around them, both veterans and those who had not served, were criticizing them for their work. But in the end, they triumphed and put to rest the painful question of Americans unaccounted for in SE Asia. This was an act of bravery. Senator McCain stood beside a man he had previously harbored resentment towards and even deflected a lot of the criticism that was sent in Senator Kerry’s direction. Thus, continuing discussions about Kerry being dishonorable or that he smeared fellow veterans is patently ridiculous. In 1971, he spoke out at a time when he felt another voice needed to be heard and when he did, he spoke for many veterans who were disillusioned and deeply disturbed at what they had witnessed. How can we fault him for that?”
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