Blogger Captain Ed e-mails (I’m slow to the e-mail):
“I’ve found a major inconsistency in Jim Rassman’s account of the Bronze Star incident. It appears that Rassman has told different stories about this Bronze Star incident. Story 1, January 2004 — he’s on a boat following the one Kerry commanded:”
Former Lieutenant John Kerry was reunited today with fellow Vietnam veteran Jim Rassman, who says Kerry saved his life during combat.
On March 13, 1969, Rassman, a Green Beret, was traveling down the Bay Hap river in a boat behind Kerry’s when both were ambushed by exploding land mines and enemy fire coming from the shore. Kerry was hit in the arm, while a mine blew Rassman’s boat out of the water. With enemy fire coming from both sides of the river and swift boats evacuating from the area, Kerry’s crew chose to turn their boat toward the ambush to save Rassman.
“Story 2, [yesterday’s] WSJ — Rassman was on Kerry’s boat:?
While returning from a SEA LORDS operation along the Bay Hap River, a mine detonated under another swift boat. Machine-gun fire erupted from both banks of the river, and a second explosion followed moments later. The second blast blew me off John’s swift boat, PCF-94, throwing me into the river. Fearing that the other boats would run me over, I swam to the bottom of the river and stayed there as long as I could hold my breath.
“Well, which was it? Was Rassman on Kerry’s boat at the beginning of the action, or on another boat? I would assume that the first version would be the most reliable, but it would also detract from Rassman’s contention that he “served” with Kerry.”
ME: Listen, I simply don’t know what to make of the Swift-boat controversy. But it does seem that Unfit for Command & the SwiftVets ad raise more than enough questions that the Kerry campaign should feel the need to address them–and release the records. Instead of, say, to borrow a phrase, the politics of personal destruction.
On this, be sure and read Byron York if you haven’t.