I've gotten some emails challenging my earlier claim that I don't think there is any credibility to the claims of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. That statement refers to their efforts to undermine Kerry's medals. Yes, the SBVT'ers have pointed to some inconsistencies in the various accounts, but given the fog of war and the passage of 30 years, this is to be expected and none of these inconsistencies has done anything to undermine Kerry's record. Also, the awarding of medals is a sometimes arbitrary process. Some receive them for little reason, while others who display greater bravery or leadership, do not. Is John Kerry the Sargeant York or Audie Murphy of the Mekong? No. But his medals are clearly justified given the testimony of the men on his boat and by the official Navy records.
I do, however, think that Kerry can be challenged on his statements after coming home from Vietnam. At the time, Kerry publicly advocated a particular course of action and made predictions about what would happen if that action were taken. I see no problem in holding public figures accountable for the statements they make, even after 30 years. On the other hand, what people don't say should also be scrutinized. For good or for ill, John Kerry was speaking out and attempting to influence policy on the most pressing public issue of the day. What was George Bush doing?