The release of John Kerry’s military records has led to a predictable split among pundits and politicians. Democrats are saying we told you so and pointing out that Kerry made the decision to serve, did so with valor, and left the military as a well-decorated leader.
Republicans don’t quite see it that way. They have questioned Kerry’s decision to join the military (was it all politics?) and the validity of his medals. They’ve even questioned the seriousness of his injuries, demanding to know just how deep the shrapnel went into Kerry’s buttocks (and whether it was far enough to warrant a Constitutional Amendment). Kerry has also been attacked for his post-service behavior and has been accused of everything from aiding and abetting the enemy to joining forces with Jane Fonda.
I hate to give Republicans more fodder for this campaign to discredit Kerry’s military service (clearly he should have been snorting coke and driving drunk stateside where he belonged). But in the spirit of fairness, we should take a closer look at the picture of Kerry on his swift boat to further analyze his so-called tour of duty.
1. While we’ve been led to believe that this photo was taken somewhere along the Mekong Delta, a closer analysis of the water leads one to the almost certain conclusion that this is actually Pine Acres Lake in Windham County (interestingly, not all that far a drive from Yale).
2. Big mistake here. Check the watch. Look at the glare of the sun. Folks, we’re definitely talking eastern standard time.
3. The hair is a dead giveaway. Anyone who can tell the difference between a blow-dryer and a flat-iron can plainly see that this is the early work of soon-to-be stylist to the stars Jose Eber.
4. That doesn’t look like tobacco to me.
5. The belt, the camouflage pants. All very convincing. Unfortunately, the wardrobe consultant offers us just another example of laziness. To this very day, anyone can buy a pair of the same pants at Old Navy.
6. The thickness of these glasses suggest that this guy would never have been eligible for service. In fact, many in the Bush administration now believe that the guy wearing the glasses was actually a professional photographer in charge of the shoot who set the camera on timer and then ran over to get in the shot.
7. Behind Kerry’s hip, we see the most obvious giveaway. Behind the fake ammo, we can see (using the latest viewing technology) a picnic basket filled with champagne, baguettes, brie and truffles.
I hate to be the journalist to break this story. But I think they really may have caught Kerry on this one.