web counter Media Lies: Brinkley and <i>Tour of Duty</i>

Thursday, August 19, 2004

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Brinkley and Tour of Duty

Both Captain's Quarters and Hugh Hewitt have called Brinkley on his role in Tour of Duty, accusing him of incompetence and being a Kerry sycophant (my words.) I have to agree. Reading Tour this evening, I came upon this on page 190 --
John Kerry's war jounals about his command of PCF-44 may provide the best documentation of the activities of any Swift boat in Vietnam. Some thiry-five hundred American sailors served on Swifts during the Vietnam War, but what each of them did cannot be ascertained, as no deck logs were kept on the boats. Only commissioned U.S. Navy vessels -- ships with names, such as battleships and destroyers -- keep books. Or at least only those books are kept by the U.S. Navy, which discarded the reports PCF officers in charge were required to file with their division commanders after every river mission in Vietnam.
Setting aside the pompous nature of this statement, which I suspect reflects Kerry's thinking not Brinkley's, the claim is preposterous, as a simple scan of the records on Kerry's own website will show.

What Brinkley refers to here are the after action reports. Whether Brinkley got the idea that they didn't exist from Kerry or assumed it himself, the fact remains that he should have checked. That he didn't now haunts the Kerry campaign, which has to deal with the stark reality of documents that clearly contradict the Senator's own inflated accounts of his heroics.