As far as I can tell from a quick look this morning, the Boston Globe has the best coverage of the band of brothers’ special fitness report on John Kerry: “Kerry’s commanders speak out against him.” Michael Kranish reports:
A group of former officers who commanded John F. Kerry in Vietnam more than three decades ago declared yesterday that they oppose his candidacy for president, challenged him to release more of his military and medical records, and said Kerry should be denied the White House because of his 1971 allegations that some superiors had committed ”war crimes.”
Kerry has since said his accusation about war crimes and atrocities was too harsh, but many of his former commanders contended yesterday that they believed the allegations were aimed at them.
”I do not believe John Kerry is fit to be commander in chief,” said retired Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann, who helped organize the news conference and oversaw all of the swift boats in Vietnam at the time Kerry commanded one of those crafts. ”This is not a political issue; it is a matter of his judgment, truthfulness, reliability, loyalty, and trust — all absolute tenets of command.”
The Kerry campaign, seeking to control the political damage on a day when a new batch of biographical ads touting Kerry’s military service was hitting the airwaves, arranged for two of Kerry’s crewmates to appear at a later news conference and declare that Kerry was a consummate leader who braved bullets and aggressively took on the enemy. The Kerry campaign also handed out documents it said showed that the news conference was handled by a public relations firm with ties to the Republican Party and President Bush.
One of Kerry’s fellow patrol boat skippers, Wade Sanders, defended Kerry and compared the statements of Kerry’s commanders to the investigations of suspected communists by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, saying the commanders should be asked, ”Have you no decency?”
There is much more of interest in the story, and you will want to read the whole thing.