Iraq: One Year Later: A Defector in Kerry's Camp

Rand Beers says he has taken two big risks in his life. The first was in Vietnam in May 1967 when, as a desk officer at a Marine command post, he extended his tour of duty on the condition he be given a frontline rifle company to lead. "I thought I was immortal," says Beers, now 61. He survived the experience and returned to Washington in the early 1970s to settle into a long, safe career as a national-security bureaucrat.

It was political cross fire, not real bullets, into which Beers stepped when he took his second big risk, nearly 40...

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