Vet to Obama: Don’t Choose Kerry

Ron Edmonds / AP Photo

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry gestures toward President Bush during the first presidential debate in Coral Gables, Fla., Thursday, Sept. 30 2004.

Having sought to undo vilification against Vietnam vets, why is President Obama considering John Kerry—one of the most polarizing figures in the Vietnam narrative—for secretary of either State or Defense? Former vet Seth Lipsky poses this question in The Wall Street Journal on Friday, writing that Kerry, a Navy lieutenant during the war, “did so much to tarnish the reputation of American GIs and exploit the misdeeds of a few for the benefit of the antiwar movement.” Lipsky revisits Kerry’s scandal with the Swift Boat vets, who “torpedoed” his 2004 presidential campaign and debunked the senator’s “claims to heroism.” If Kerry is to be considered for either post, Lipsky concludes, perhaps he should testify on his role in the war beforehand.