Archive for Monday, August 23, 2004

Smear tactic

August 23, 2004


To the editor:

The Journal-World prominently printed a story Aug. 19 about Sen. Kerry's Vietnam War service. It's unfortunate information from the article appearing in the Aug. 19 Washington Post about one of the men critical of Kerry wasn't included in this story.

The man involved is a Kansan named Larry Thurlow. As the Post article makes clear, Mr. Thurlow's assertion he "never heard a shot" on the day Kerry won a Bronze Star for saving the life of a Special Forces officer under fire is contradicted by official Navy records including Mr. Thurlow's own citation for service under fire on that day. When questioned, Mr. Thurlow asserted he couldn't find a copy of his citation and refused to authorize release of his military records, but the Washington Post obtained copies anyway.

I've read them and I served in the Navy in Vietnam. Sen. McCain is right. This smear by Republicans connected with George Bush and Karl Rove is "dishonest and dishonorable." It's also clear from the statements of many of the people involved in this smear that what bothers them most about John Kerry is not so much what he did in Vietnam but what he did when he returned and spoke out against the war. In addition to having a First Amendment right to do so, he also earned that right in combat.

Gil Zemansky,


Editor's note: Additional Washington Post information on Thurlow was included in a follow-up story in the Aug. 20 Journal-World.

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