Published On: Sat, Jul 30th, 2011

John Kerry’s Chief Defender Stripped of Silver Star

John Kerry sure can pick ’em. Not only did he choose the spectacularly unqualified junior Senator John Edwards as his running mate in 2004, but it turns out the very man who introduced him at the Democrat’s Convention in Boston that year has been stripped of his Silver Star by the Navy – more than a year after he started serving a prison term for conviction on child pornography charges.

Sanders speaking to the press during the 2004 campaign

The Navy didn’t strip the Silver Star from Wade Sanders because of the child porn conviction, although they would have had justification to do so.  Instead the conviction triggered an inquiry by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) into the circumstances surrounding the award which revealed administrative errors and the suggestion that Sanders himself may have been responsible for those errors and may have lied.

“Had the subsequently determined facts and evidence surrounding both the incident for which the award was made and the processing of the award itself been known to the secretary of the Navy in 1992, those facts would have prevented the award of the Silver Star medal to Wade R. Sanders,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a memo issued last August.

Sanders also received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and to be fair, military officials found those awards to be legitimate.

After his retirement from the Navy, Sanders served as assistant secretary of the Navy during the Clinton administration, and was known to be influential in Democrat party circles. Although prosecutors had asked the court for a ten year sentence, it is believed that pressure and character references from Kerry and other influential Democrats helped lower the sentence to just 37 months.

Kerry came uncomfortably close to being elected president that year, running on his record as an alleged Vietnam war hero, but many suspected that his record had been inflated to preposterous proportion.   Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, a book that enjoyed wide circulation during the 2004 campaign, criticized Kerry’s judgment in battle, his veracity, his entitlement to certain of  his awards, and his subsequent anti-war activities.  During the campaign, Sanders functioned as Kerry lead attack dog against the group, repeatedly denouncing the veterans as liars and comparing them to Nazi propagandists.

Under increasing pressure during the campaign, Kerry promised to authorize the release of all documents surrounding his time in the Navy and so clear the controversy, but critics maintain to this day that the full record was never released.

John Edward fends off the press after his indictment in North Carolina

John Edwards, Kerry’s dubious VP pick ran for president on his own in 2008, but as early as October 2007 the tabloid press began reporting rumors of an adulterous affair between Edwards and a former campaign worker named Rielle Hunter. Although he denied it vigorously at the time, Edwards eventually admitted to the affair and to fathering Hunters child, all while married to his former wife, Elizabeth Edwards who suffered from incurable cancer at the time and who died in December 2010.

Although there is no legal penalty for such monstrously bad behavior, on June 3, 2011, Edwards was indicted by a North Carolina grand jury on six felony charges related to violations of the federal election laws. If convicted, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine. Edwards has entered a plea of not guilty.

About the Author

- We made the journey from hard left to serious right a long time ago, but still have a laissez faire attitude and a finely tuned sense of the ridiculous.