dislogue

Books, culture, fishing, and other games

August 09, 2004

Close Reading a FitRep

I just downloaded the fitreps that Mssr. Kerry's campaign has released and studied them for a while with a crib sheet on reading fitreps in one hand. Not very impressive, on the whole, but I do admit I was very impressed with the writing skills of the Admiral for whom Kerry served as aide. The man has a real command of the art of being disingenuous bureaucratically. What he wrote sounds so good when you first read it you think, "Wow, Kerry is impressive." Then you do a double take.

Let's see if I can decipher this: [my reading in brackets]

LTJG [What? still? after all those medals?] Kerry is one of [one of all the rest of] the finest [satisfactory, good, excellent, outstanding... where does fine fit in again?] young [he's immature] officers with whom [the Admiral knows his grammar] I have served in a long naval career [and I have seen a lot of young officers]. His combat records prior to becoming my personal aide speaks for itself [read it, I'd rather not have to write about it] and is testimony [the evidence is in] to his competence [okay, he'll do if we can't do better] and courage at sea [he's fine well offshore, it's close in on the rivers where he has problems]

As my personal aide he could not have been more effective [I'm sure he could have been less effective, but more effective wasn't possible for him]. In every instance he has displayed tact [he's very good at keeping himself wriggle room], judgment [sometimes good, even, so I won't say it's always been bad], foresight [he knows how to game the system] and energy[and worked hard at it]. He is particularly adept [deft, skilled, practiced!] in his relations with [manipulations of] people both [sexes] military and civilian from all strata [he bullshits with the best and if it moves, he'll screw it, and he's a big time social climber]. I have given him personal speaking assignments [keep him out of my sight!] which he has performed in an outstanding manner to the credit of the Navy [on the Navy's tab, and be knows how to spend it] and himself [no, really, the guy can bullshit, but he brags a lot].

This young [did I mention he's immature] man [he's not really officer material] is detached at his own request [whew] to run for high public office to whit the Congress of the United States [straight faces, please]. The detachment [not discharge] of this officer [he's still "one of us" I'm afraid] will be a definite loss to the service [can't we discharge him so he won't reflect as badly on us? That would be a gain.] He is the dedicated type [you know, that type, he has an agenda] that we should retain [I'm not sure we should turn him loose on the unsuspecting public] and it is hoped [by some, I've given up] that he will be of further [um, use? no... let me think] perhaps earlier [than he would be to the Navy] greater service [okay, he's worthless to us, but if we stay on his good side and he DOES get elected, maybe he can do us some good] to his [I'm not sure it's the same as my] country, which is his aim in life [he has delusions of grandeur... did I mention his initials are JFK? He did. 17,453 times.] at this time [he's really not paying attention to his duty anyway].

Okay, I am taking some liberties for the sake of fun, but I really do get the impression that the Admiral didn't have much respect for LTJG Kerry. I'd say he might feel Kerry was lazy, overbearing, self-absorbed, and focused on things other than his Navy duties too much, but a good speaker who could be gotten out of the way usefully by sending him off to do talks at ladies' teas. As the Admiral would say, "to whit:"

"Yes, mahhm, ah was in Viet Nahhhm. See these medals on my blouse? This one was the time I beached my swift boat right in the middle of a whole brigade (that's a lot) of screaming Viet Cong shooting at us with machinguns, grenade launchers, and tanks. Yes, mahm, it was fairly hot that day. I saw one of my crew take a bullet right in his leg. That got my temper up a few degrees. His blood was splattered right there on my brand new jungle boots. I reaching in my wheelhouse (I'd been standing firmly planted on the deck outside where I had a better view, of course) I picked up my trusty 12 gauge shotgun (you know, it's the gun I feel most comfortable with, I hunt deer with it back in Mass.), I pumped a load of double-ought buck into the chamber and slipped down onto my belly, and slithered my way right into that town and blasted until I was lying on a pile of empty brass bigger than a sampan full of rice. Yes, mahm, it was an interesting day. Some claim there were two dozen little Viet Cong freedom fighters, pahdon me, mahm, gooks with double-ought buck perforations lying about."

"What, this purple thing? Yes, mahm, that's a Purple Heart. Those are for wounds in action. How did I get it, mahm? Oh, it was just a little misunderstanding with a grenade, mahm. When it dropped at my feet I quick flipped it into a bag of rice and saved my buddy from sure death, mahm. I was a bit close, mahm. Where, mahm? I'm sorry, mahm, it would not be polite to say in this lovely company. How bad, mahm? A mere scratch mahm, nothing to keep me from my duty as United States Naval baby-killer, pardon me, officer, mahm."

Posted by dan at August 9, 2004 11:26 PM | TrackBack
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