Lipsky Column: Kerry Not Fit for State

Friday, 07 Dec 2012 12:58 PM

By Dan Weil

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Sen. John Kerry should not be named secretary of State, says former Wall Street Journal editorial board member Seth Lipsky.
 
The Massachusetts Democrat is said to be President Barack Obama’s second choice for the position after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. Current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to step down early next year.
 
“Why in the world is Mr. Obama floating the name of John Kerry for secretary of either state or defense?” Lipsky writes in the Journal.“It is hard to think of anyone who did more to besmirch the name of the GIs who fought in Vietnam than Sen. Kerry.”
 
Lipsky was referring to Kerry Senate testimony in 1971, in which he related stories of atrocities allegedly committed by Vietnam veterans that were revealed during the antiwar group Winter Soldier Investigation. Lipsky recalled how Kerry said they "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,” among other horrific actions.
 
But according to the website wintersoldier.com, which agrees with Swift Boat veterans who opposed Kerry's 2004 run for the presidency, the Defense Department investigated Winter Soldier’s charges and found they were untrue or couldn’t be proved, Lipsky says.
 
Lipsky also noted that fellow officers who served on naval Swift Boats with Kerry in Vietnam have complained that he libeled fellow American soldiers, lied about his own claims of heroism,  met in Paris with Madame Binh of the Viet Cong during the war, and later endorsed the Viet Cong's peace proposal.
 
"My view is that it is not, and never was, unpatriotic or dishonorable to take a dovish position on the war in Vietnam. There were millions of honorable people on both sides of the debate," Lipsky wrote.
 
"But there were not many, if there are any, Navy officers who, after leaving active duty, showed up in meetings with enemy envoys in Paris or went on TV and confessed to war crimes.
"So if Mr. Obama hands up Mr. Kerry for secretary of state or defense, these questions beg for answers," Lipsky concluded..

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