here's some good background on kerry's service and the claims of the 'swift boat captains for truth.' (it's a seattle times rehash of a washington post investigation, fyi.)
it's just...utter bullshit. i can understand being angry with someone who has claimed publicly that an endeavor in which you were involved was wrong, but i'm having a very difficult time fathoming the depths of personal insecurity, guilt and willed blindness necessary to mount this particular attack at this particular time. there were human rights abuses by americans. the war was unsuccessful. just...admit it, already.
and then again, there's the fact that bush never went to vietnam because he was too rich. if i were a veteran (yeah, i know, i don't so much get to make this argument. oh well.) i'd be a lot more pissed off at the people who sent me into [moral and physical] danger on false pretenses than at the people who later complained of being sent into danger on false pretenses. i have some sense that the psychological disaster of an interminable, bloody guerilla war could lead to some pretty nasty acts. just ask bob kerrey. (and read this interesting and prescient pre-9.11 column.) i have no sense that the appropriate way to deal with all of that is to claim that the war was great in purpose and execution and that kerry's a traitor.
in conclusion: fine. kerry's not, like, nathan hale. fine. likewise, george w. bush is no john kerry.