A purported copy of the after-action report from the incident that yielded John Kerry a Silver Star in Vietnam confirms what the Democratic candidate’s critics have been charging – that the young lieutenant shot a wounded Viet Cong fighter as he fled.
As WorldNetDaily reported, in the blockbuster “Unfit for Command,” co-authors Jerome Corsi and John O’Neill, a former swiftboat skipper, write Kerry was awarded his Silver Star “by killing a lone, fleeing, teenage Viet Cong in a loincloth.”
The Silver Star, they write, “would never have been awarded had his actions been reviewed through normal channels. In his case, he was awarded the medal two days after the incident with no review. The medal was arranged to boost the morale of Coastal Division 11, but it was based on false and incomplete information provided by Kerry himself.”
According to television commentator Mark Hyman of the Sinclair network of television stations, he obtained a copy of the incident’s after-action report from the U.S. Navy archives. The report, written by Kerry himself, shows he indeed shot the enemy fighter as he fled:
PCF 94 beached in center of ambush in front of small path when Viet Cong sprung up from bunker 10 feet from unit. Man ran with weapon towards hootch. Forward M-60 machine gunner wounded man in leg. OINC [officer-in-charge] jumped ashore and gave pursuit while other units saturated area with fire and beached placing assault parties ashore. OINC of PCF 94 chased VC inland behind hootch and shot him while he fled – capturing one B-40 rocket launcher with round in chamber.
Writes Hyman in his “The Point” commentary: “Death is a reality of war. Events occur that are not for the faint of heart. Yet, John Kerry’s account of killing what turned out to really be a wounded man while he fled continues Kerry’s pattern of lies, exaggerations and embellishments.
“Killing a wounded man while he retreated from battle is not an action that most servicemen would brag about. But then again, most servicemen would not return home and attack the very country they were supposed to fight for.”
Besides the controversy over the event itself, there is dispute over why the citation for the medal was reissued twice. Researchers say the double re-issuance is “unheard of” and served to expunge from the record the shooting of an enemy solider in the back and upgrade the signer from an admiral to the secretary of the Navy. The original citation noted Kerry killed the man, but did not use the phrase “while he fled,” as does the after-action report.