The attack on John Kerry’s war record is a standard Republican “gray propaganda operation,” created and financed by the Texas G.O.P. machine so that the White House can deny complicity, however implausibly. The attackers lack credibility, not only because of their partisan motives but because their most important witnesses have contradicted themselves or recanted their own prior statements, while offering no substantial evidence to support their grave accusations about whether Mr. Kerry earned his battlefield honors.
The Navy’s official record—including numerous documents signed by senior officers now leading the assault on Mr. Kerry—shows that he conducted himself with exemplary courage and honor in Vietnam. That official record is confirmed by the men who served in the boats he captained, as well as by other veterans now stepping forward to speak on his behalf after many years of silence.