Sunday, August 15, 2004

What Is Going On Here?

The Rev. Alston addressing the Democratic National Convention.

The respected Captain's Quarters blog tells us that the Rev. Alston, pictured above, did not actually serve on John Kerry's swift boat. Can this really be?

Here is a link to the transcript of the Rev. Alston's speech at the convention. Among other things, he states:

Manning the deck guns, most of us got wounded sooner or later, including Lieutenant Kerry. It would have been easiest, in an ambush, to simply rake the shore with return fire and roar on down the river to safety. But LieutenantKerry was known for taking the fight straight to the enemy. I can still see him now, standing in the doorway of the pilothouse, firing his M-16, shoutingorders through the smoke and chaos.

Once, he even directed the helmsman to beach the boat, right into the teeth of an ambush, and pursued our attackers on foot, into the jungle. In the toughest of situations, Lieutenant Kerry showed judgment, loyalty and courage. Even wounded, or confronting sights no man should ever have to see, he never lost his cool.

And when the shooting stopped, he was always there too, with a caring hand on my shoulder asking, "Gunner, are you OK?" I was only 21, running on fear and adrenaline. Lieutenant Kerry always took the time to calm us down, to bring us back to reality, to give us hope, to show us what we truly had within ourselves. I came to love and respect him as a man I could trust with life itself.

I am a man of faith, and I did not come here tonight to glorify what we did. I came here to share my personal knowledge of a young naval officer who rose to the
challenges and responsibilities of leadership, and who has always shown the
courage to speak truth to power.

And now, people who have investigated the matter carefully are making the astonishing claim that Alston was never on a swift boat with Kerry.

Can this really be? Frankly, I don't want this to be true. It's really quite a terrible thing to contemplate.

Maybe an investigation of this will be the lead story on "60 Minutes" this evening. Maybe Don Hewitt and Dan Rather and company will realize that after all the pounding they did on Bush (remember Richard Clarke and his star turns on the show?), it's time to pound on Kerry a little.

Yeah. And maybe pigs will start flying at about the same time.


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