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BLOG: John Kerry?

The president is traditionally given considerable deference in appointing his cabinet, but this appointment is out of bounds.

John Kerry is an inappropriate choice for Secretary of State.

During the 2004 presidential election, we learned about Senator Kerry's activities as a soldier, and as an anti-war activist in the Vietnam war era.  His activities generated considerable controversy, and for good reason.

Our military has strict rules about criticizing the chain of command because such criticism can be used during wartime by the enemy and cost American lives.  Criticism can be considered insubordination.  It may not be hyperbole to call it treason, depending on tone, content, and target.

In the case of John Kerry, he did quite a few things that generated lots of press, but arguably were at minimum insulting to his chain of command and unacceptable for a member of the military.  He made the following comments on Meet the Press in 1971, while he was a naval reserve officer.  I find it particularly egregious.  When asked if he had personally committed atrocities, he said:

I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals.

If Mr. Kerry believed that his chain of command. including his commander in chief, was guilty of war crimes, why did he not push to prosecute?  If he changed his views, he owes his chain of command, and his fellow soldiers an apology.

There may well be ways that John Kerry can continue his public service, but as the international face of the United States, I find his choice to be highly inappropriate.

Absent an explanation or apology for his behavior, I find his appointment as Secretary of State unacceptable.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

mike savick February 06, 2013 at 11:31 PM
It took a lot of courage to go and fight in Viet Nam when well off Americans, notable current Republican leadership found reasons for deferments. It took more courage to speak out against the war he participated in. He has my vote for Secretary of State.

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