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The 'Real' John Kerry
Part 2: Analysis, cont.

3. The dust-jacket of Kerry's book, "The New Soldier," features a photograph of Vietnam veterans carrying an upside-down American flag.

True. The cover of "The New Soldier," an out-of-print collection of speeches by John Kerry and other members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War edited by David Thorne and George Butler, consisted mainly of a photo of a half-dozen bearded protesters, some of whom were carrying an inverted U.S. flag. It's a safe bet the image was selected (by whom we don't know) because of its provocative resemblance to the Marine Corps War Memorial. Whether or not it constituted a mockery of that memorial, however, not to mention a desecration of the flag, is an open question. According to the U.S. Flag Code, the flag can legitimately be displayed "union down" as a distress signal, which is arguably just the symbolic meaning the protesters intended.

4. Retired Gen. George S. Patton III charged that Mr. Kerry's actions as an anti-war activist 'gave aid and comfort to the enemy.'

True. Patton uttered the remark in his capacity as a veterans' spokesman for Ray Shamie, Kerry's Republican opponent in the 1984 Massachusetts Senate race.

From the New York Times, Oct. 30, 1984:

The most heated moment of the campaign this year came when John McManus, a spokesman for the John Birch Society, and Maj. Gen. George S. Patton Jr., retired, the chairman of a Veterans for Shamie group, charged that Mr. Kerry was a Communist sympathizer guilty of "near-treasonous activity" in the Vietnam War.
From the Washington Post, Oct. 24, 1984:
Joining McManus, retired general George S. Patton, son of the famous World War II general and honorary chairman of Shamie's veterans' committee, called Kerry "soft on communism" and said that, by protesting the war, Kerry "gave aid and comfort to the enemy and probably caused some of my guys to get killed."

5. Mr. Kerry lied when he threw what he claimed were his war medals over the White House fence; he later admitted they weren't his.

Undetermined. All sources agree that Kerry played a conspicuous role in the week-long VVAW protest in Washington, D.C. in 1971, during which hundreds of Vietnam veterans "returned" their decorations to the military by tossing them over a fence in front of the U.S. Capitol. Kerry was among the tossers, though the medals he hurled weren't his own — a position he has "long maintained," according to a Boston Globe biography. In fact, I've been unable to find any clear evidence that he ever claimed otherwise — i.e., "lied."  Author Joe Klein writes in a New Yorker profile:

Earlier, in 1984, the Wall Street Journal reported that Kerry had tossed away his combat ribbons, not his medals, at the 1971 protest in Washington. Kerry had never implied otherwise (indeed, the protesters that day had tossed all sorts of things—dog tags, photographs, discharge papers, insignia), but he had complicated the story with an excess of honesty, recalling that he’d also tossed several medals that had been given him by veterans who were unable to make the trip.

6. Mr. Kerry lobbied for renewed trade relations with Hanoi.

True. It's a stance he has shared for over a decade with fellow Vietnam veteran Senator John McCain.

7. Kerry's cousin, C. Stewart Forbes, chief executive for Colliers International, assisted in brokering a $905 million deal to develop a deep-sea port at Vung Tau, Vietnam.

True. In 1993, under the direction of CEO C. Stewart Forbes (a relative of Kerry on his mother's side), Boston-based real estate giant Colliers International brokered just such a deal between an Asian subsidiary, Colliers Jardine, and the Vietnamese government to develop the port of Vung Tau.

8. Kerry prevented the Vietnam Human Rights Act (HR2833) from coming to a vote in the Senate, claiming human rights would deteriorate as a result.

True. As did John McCain.

9. He has fought harder for Hanoi as an anti-war activist and a senator than he did against the Vietnamese communists while serving in the Navy in Vietnam.

Like I said, it's an election year.

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Photo of John Kerry w/Jane Fonda
Circulating via email: a photo in which someone resembling a very young and out-of-focus John Kerry is seated in the vicinity of "Hanoi Jane" Fonda at what appears to be a '70s antiwar rally.

Sources and further reading:

John Kerry: A Candidate in the Making
The Boston Globe (series), 15 June 2003

The Long War of John Kerry
by Joe Klein. The New Yorker, 5 January 2004

Presidential Politics Plays a Part at VFW Convention
Norwich Bulletin (Connecticut), 27 August 2003

Vietnamese-Americans Rally for Vietnam Human Rights Act
Orange County Register, 9 September 2002

Deal Will Build Vietnam Port
Boston Herald, 16 June 1993

Past Fuels Present Charges
Washington Post, 24 October 1984

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