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Thirty-three years ago today

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The Slander that Made John Kerry a Star


April 23, 2004 -- Thirty-three years ago today, a young, unknown political activist named John F. Kerry sat down before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and unleashed a bitter verbal broadside against the war in Vietnam - and, with particularly harsh invective, against the young Americans who were fighting it.

Kerry charged that U.S. soldiers routinely committed the most gruesome of atrocities - "not isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."

The allegations electrified Washington - and made Kerry a national celebrity.

But the charges were slanderous lies.

"John Kerry's 1971 testimony slandered an entire generation of soldiers," writes military historian Mackubin Thomas Owens, who led a Marine infantry platoon into combat in Vietnam.

"He said in essence that his fellow veterans had committed unparalleled war crimes in Vietnam as a matter of course - indeed, that it was American policy to commit such atrocities," Owens writes.

The libel served Kerry well, though.

NY Post

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