Review: Unfit for Command–Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry

5 Star, Biography & Memoirs, Leadership, Politics

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5.0 out of 5 stars If 5% is true, it's over–wake up call for future wanna-bees,

October 11, 2004
John E. O'Neill
I agonized over this book. It is assuredly a destructive mean-spirited, politically-motivated revenge sort of book, and one is tempted to put it in the fire bin with the grossest sort of pornography, satanic writings, and other forms of trash without which we can do quite nicely (see my review of “Forbidden Knowledge”).

However, as a retired Marine, as a crusader for Dean (one of the 20% of the moderate Republicans ready to jump ship), and as a proponent for public intelligence as a means of keeping honest both the secret intelligence producers and their White House masters, I have to come down in favor of this book for two simple reasons:

1) If just 5% of this book is true, and I think at least 50% is, then Kerry–whatever his merits–took conniving and mis-representation to levels never before achieved, and is, as the book suggests, unfit for command. When I look at the genuine bleedling and pain that goes with most purple hearts (Zinni and Franks, for example), the blatant gamesmanship that this book documents, against the medal created by George Washington for the heroes of Valley Forge and other key battles, just makes my blood boil.

2) This book–and the many books dissecting Bush and Cheney–should also serve as a wake-up call for wanna-be Presidents. Hilary will never be President–the Secret Service retirees will surely publish what they know.

There are two bottom lines here: morality matters as a fundamental aspect of character and consistency; and there are no secrets anymore whenever more than one person is engaged in acts that are ultimately not in the public interest.

As we go into the election, we have more than one evil to contend with. Kerry is unfit to command; Bush picked or got hijacked by some truly dangerous neo-conservatives and inherently dishonest corporate cronies; and the Republican and Democratic party leaderships have both conspired to keep the best men (John McCain and Howard Dean) away from the candidacy, while illegally blocking the Green and Reform Presidential candidates from sharing the debate forum on television (see my reviews of three books: Running on Empty, Doing Democracy, and Gag Rule).

This book is a form of “capstone” that represents rock-bottom in American politics. It makes it clear that we are all voting for the least of all weevils (pun intended), and that this is one little weevil that should not make it to the White House. It makes me angry that this great Nation should come down to this. It makes me angry that we get the government we deserve, and the books we deserve, and this book captures all of that, America at its most base–this book *is* America, consequently every American should be ashamed that we have allowed it to get to this abyssmal point.

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