From the mixed-up files of John Kerry

Under the heading of “Political torture,” James Taranto noted yesterday in his OpinonJournal Best of the Web Today column that John Kerry “has the dubious and perhaps unique distinction of being a presidential candidate whose speeches have actually been used as an instrument of torture against Americans.” Taranto was of course referring to Kerry’s notorious 1971 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Taranto linked to yesterday’s Los Angeles Times story on the impact of the testimony on the men who served the United States in Vietnam. The Times story introduced us to Paul Galanti: “Paul Galanti learned of Kerry’s speech while held captive inside North Vietnam’s infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison. The Navy pilot had been shot down in June 1966 and spent nearly seven years as a prisoner of war. During torture sessions, he said, his captors cited the antiwar speeches as ‘an example of why we should cross over to [their] side.'”
The invaluable Hugh Hewitt assigned his producer Duane Patterson the task of tracking down an audiotape of Kerry’s testimony. Tape in hand, Hugh promptly put it on the air and devoted the entirety of his show to calls from Vietnam-era vets commenting on it. Listening to Kerry’s patronizing monotone is unpleasant under most circumstances, but hearing it applied to the defamatory lies and leftist cliches of the era’s hate-America crowd is chilling. (Kerry’s faux-JFK accent is also striking in the taped testimony; Kerry lugubriously inquires, “How do you ahhsk a soldier…”.) Hugh reflects on the tape in his Weekly Standard column “The Kerry files, part 2.”


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