Best of the Web skewers Kerry for his past slandering of the troops. They recite his most infamous lies about the troops from 1971:

hey had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

This wasn’t a one-off attack on his fellow troops. Kerry’s honorable ship mates had the goods on him in 2003.

On June 6, 1971, John Kerry described the work of the Swift boats to the Washington Star as follows:

We established an American presence in most cases by showing the flag and firing at sampans and villages along the banks. Those were our instructions, but they seemed so out of line that we finally began to go ashore, against our orders, and investigate the villages that were supposed to be our targets. We discovered we were butchering a lot of innocent people, and morale became so low among the officers on those ‘swift boats’ that we were called back to Saigon for special instructions from Gen. Abrams. He told us we were doing the right thing. He said our efforts would help win the war in the long run. That’s when I realized I could never remain silent about the realities of the war in Vietnam.

What John Kerry told the Washington Star was a lie.

Contrary to Kerry’s claim, our consistent policy was to take every precaution to avoid harming civilians. On many occasions we did this at the cost of suffering additional casualties ourselves. We have interviewed hundreds of veterans who served on the Swift Boats or supported them, and there is simply no justification for Kerry’s statement. Several members of our organization addressed the issue of atrocities during our May 4 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

John Kerry also completely misrepresented our meeting with General Abrams and Admiral Zumwalt. Far from being a pep talk for officers distressed by their butchery of civilians, the purpose of this conference with the two highest-ranking American officers in Vietnam was to announce a new Swift boat mission: to drive the Vietcong out of the Ca Mau Peninsula. The goal of Operation SeaLords was to dominate the rivers in this area, and to eventually establish a permanent presence in the Cua Lon River, an effort later named Operation SeaFloat. This was to be done publicly, with the full participation of the media, to negate the claim of North Vietnamese negotiator Lee Duc Tho that Henry Kissinger could not legitimately represent South Vietnam because the U.S. did not control these areas.

We succeeded in that mission. We returned to Anthoi and drove the Vietcong out of the region, and soon the North Vietnamese and Vietcong representatives in Paris returned to the negotiating tables.

Given that history, it seems likely that Kerry meant what he said the first time around. The revised “joke” is even worse. Here’s what he was going to say before he said what he said:

I can’t overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.

But didn’t Kerry vote for the war before he voted against it? And didn’t President Bush, the man who got us “stuck in a war in Iraq” win two elections against the likes of John Kerry? And didn’t Bush get an MBA from Harvard? I don’t recall Kerry getting into Harvard Law School?

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