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Sen. Kerrey's Confession an Unusual Move

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Monday, April 30, 2001

Sen. Kerrey's Confession an Unusual Move

You don't hear many members of Congress confessing weakness or doubt about something they've done. That's why Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey is unusual for speaking of his role in the killing of women, children and old men during an attack against suspected enemy troops in Vietnam 32 years ago. The Nebraska Democrat told ROTC students in a Lexington, Va., speech a few days ago that he and his Navy SEAL unit were returning fire on a moonless night. What they discovered was that they killed civilians.

Kerrey denied an account by another member of the team, who says they just rounded up the civilians and shot them. He said, "There are seven guys with seven different stories."

All I would add is that if this were a Republican senator, Democrats would be clamoring for an investigation. They would invite the other members of Kerrey's unit to testify and they would search for witnesses to the attack and interview them. Of course, if Republicans did this, they would be mean-spirited and guilty of re-fighting the Vietnam war. That's the way the game is played here.