While watching tonight's episode (7/9/07) of your new season, I suddenly found myself being informed that John Kerry's record as a Viet Nam veteran had been "smeared," perhaps causing him the Presidency. It suggests that there are several things about his war record that you may want to investigate, because there is so much there that is mysterious to all of us.
For example, maybe you can investigate why Kerry never signed what we veterans call the "Form 180," authorizing the release of his records and exposing the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth as liars - assuming, of course, they were lying. Why cost oneself the Presidency, when that major obstacle to its achievement could be obliviated with the strike of a pen? I'd love to see you tackle that one.
Or perhaps you can look into why Kerry would tell a national television audience in 1971 that he had to struggle for weeks with the decision to leave his crew behind in Viet Nam, after winning his third Purple Heart (and thereby winning a Get Out Of Viet Nam Free card), when other records show that his transfer request was in Washington within days of his award of that last medal? Or why he would cite his supposed intention to "return home and demonstrate against the war" as his reason for leaving ASAP, when returning home got him nothing but a safe desk job in Brooklyn for the remainder of his term of service (It's one of those silly rules the military has: You can't demonstrate against the government while you're still on active duty.
So many mysteries here! Come on, you're the investigator! Maybe you can talk him into signing the damn thing, and finally get him to clear his name after that "smearing." What an episode that would be.
P.S. My expectations have been exceeded!
Dear Mr. O'Sullivan,
Thank you for your interest in and feedback on HISTORY DETECTIVES.
Prompted by a number of viewer responses as well as feedback by PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler on July 13, 2007, we have revised the interstitial following the GAR Photograph story in HISTORY DETECTIVES episode 503. Specifically, we’ve modified the reference to the Swift Boat Veterans and John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
REPLACEMENT LINE: "THE GROUP QUESTIONED KERRY’S MILITARY RECORD, AND ACCORDING TO SOME ACCOUNTS, HELPED CONTRIBUTE TO HIS DEFEAT IN 2004."
INITIAL BROADCAST: "FUNDED BY A WEALTHY REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN DONOR, THE GROUP SMEARED KERRY’S MILITARY RECORD, AND POSSIBLY COST HIM THE ELECTION."
This episode was refed to stations on Tuesday, July 31; it is the only version that will be aired from here forward.
Thank you for your feedback and understanding.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Co-Producer of HISTORY DETECTIVES