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March 25, 2004

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Laurence Simon

Wait. Kerry was in Viet Nam?
Why haven't I heard this before?

Buddy Larsen

He met with the communist enemy in Paris, FRANCE, while the war was still on, while the boys were still fighting? Has anyone ever seen the 50s movie with Sinatra and Harvey, The Manchurian Candidate? The North Koreans set him an incident that made their plant an American Hero, which vaulted him into presidential politics. At any moment their brain-washed-in signal to the normal-seeming but hypnotized agent, who didn't even know he was an agent...oh, just go rent the movie. No, I don't think John Kerry is a Manchurian Candidate. That would be crazy, right ???

TM

LOL.

Ooops, that is an Amish "LOL" aimed at the first comment.

Pat Curley

Thanks for keeping on top of this story; I've added you to my Blog Royalty section so that I remember to come here on a daily basis.

bushgirlsgonewild

War, when not conducted in self-defense, is murder; Hitler murdered or caused the murder of many people, so did Mao, Stalin, and yes, from time to time, the US government. No reasonable person today views the Indian Wars as anything less, but they occurred so long ago that they can be called what they were without the view being labeled 'Un-American'.

Some day the Vietnam War will be looked upon with the same disgust as murderous events of 'ancient' American history. Vietnam was wholesale murder—at least in America we have the chance of learning from it and not letting our government repeat that kind of atrocity. I don't think Iraq is as bad as Vietnam, but it is a mistake and I think any thinking Republican has to begin to wonder "Did Bush intend to go to war with Iraq from day one of his administration?"

Pat Curley

So the Vietnam war was just as bad as the assassination plot that Kerry was involved in?

TM

Well, only because it's the Bush girls, I will point out that maybe it was Day -1 for going to war.

Here is the transcript of the second Presidential debate in 2000 (the one with with heavily sedated, agreeable Al). It ranks as a comedy classic for a couple of reasons - Al himself, the complete non-mention of terrorism, Bush discussing his hopes for a "humble" foreign policy... oh, I don't want to spoil it. Here is the bit in question:

VICE PRESIDENT GORE: ...I think that we also have to keep a weather eye toward Saddam Hussein, because he's taking advantage of this situation to once again make threats, and he needs to understand that he's not only dealing with Israel, he -- he is dealing -- he's dealing with us, if he -- if he is making the kind of threats that he's talking about there.

Hey, he brought it up first - who's obsessing now? But here is the key bit:

MR. LEHRER: -- how you would handle Middle East policy. Is there any difference?

VICE PRESIDENT GORE: I haven't heard a big difference right -- in the last few exchanges.

GOV. BUSH: Well, I think -- it's hard to tell. I think that -- you know, I would hope to be able to convince people I could handle the Iraqi situation better. I mean, we don't --

MR. LEHRER: With Saddam Hussein, you mean?

GOV. BUSH: Yes, and --

MR. LEHRER: You could get him out of there?

GOV. BUSH: I'd like to, of course, and I presume this administration would as well. But we don't know -- there's no inspectors now in Iraq. The coalition that was in place isn't as strong as it used to be. He is a danger; we don't want him fishing in troubled waters in the Middle East. And it's going to be hard to -- it's going to be important to rebuild that coalition to keep the
pressure on him.

MR. LEHRER: Do you feel that is a failure of the Clinton administration?

GOV. BUSH: I do.

Al Gore goes on to talk about supporting local insurgents. My point is, we knew (or should have) that Iraq was going to be tackled early on by Bush, after what was viewed as a failed, drifting Clinton effort.


Back on Kerry, it may be "murder", in some justifiable sense, but I would love to hear him explain that to Tim Russert. As if!


HH

Look for my bombshell book about Gore's obsession with terrorism... way back in (gasp!) 2000, BEFORE Bush got into office! Stunning details to come...

HH

Obsession with Saddam, that is. Damn, there goes that punchline. I will also note however that he was obsessed with Saddam and never mentioned terrorism. Shocking!

Redman

What's going to be interesting on JFK is when the wind starts to blow the smoke away from his Purple Hearts. He won't agree to release his military records.

JorgXMcKie

re: bushgirlsgonewild, of course, Marxists "insurgencies" or similar stuff is not murder because they were attacked first, right? Pol Pot's carnage was all defensive. Saddam was just practicing preventive defense when he invaded Kuwait. Hoo, boy.

Cecil Turner

"My point is, we knew (or should have) that Iraq was going to be tackled early on by Bush, after what was viewed as a failed, drifting Clinton effort."

We should have expected it anyway, since it had been law for more than two years:

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."--Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338), signed into law October 31, 1988.

Pouncer

"MR. LEHRER: You could get him out of there?

GOV. BUSH: I'd like to, of course, and I presume this administration would as well. "

That shrill tone. That utter hatred. The blind-eyed fury that drove him to oppose every gesture of Democratic policy. If Gore had declared the sun would rise from the East into a blue sky the hatred and contempt Shrub held for his opponent would have risen as foam in his mouth and spewed in bilous venomous spittle ...

Oh. No. Wait. Sorry, that didn't happen.

In the 2000 elections, anyhow.

Hesiod

"Asked about the appropriateness of the President using cocaine in the early 1970's, the President's campaign spokesman said President Bush used a controlled substance he deems inappropriate.'"

I'm still trying to figure out why this is a big deal.

Let's see...Kerry is being attacked because he either:

A) Didn't know about some vitriolic plan by a radical in VVAW to assassinate some senators, and is being held responsible for it simply because he was at the same four day meeting at which he resigned from the organizations, or...

B) Even though he denounced the plan, was instrumental in getting it stopped, and resigned in protest...he's a "criminal" for failing to report it to the FBI, even though they alreday KNEW about it from informants.

I don't blame Kerry for wanting this embarrassing episode to go away.

But the only thing he's guilty of, is not quitting VVAW soon enough, and believing that he could moderate the radicals for too long.

My little jokey parody above, points out the dangers of being too obsessed with what people did in their youths.

Once Buhs is out of office, I guarantee you there will be a flood of stories from people who witnessed his cocaine use.

Right now, they are all too intimidated to open their mouths.


megapotamus

Hmmm. Well, I'm not much on the drug war myself, I'm not sure why the government is properly concerned with what I put in my mouth or up my nose but I do have this thing about consensual government; a crazy notion that it is a Good Thing and does not prosper, perhaps does not survive when political assassinations are considered routine facts of life. In the scenario as you paint it, Kerry may not be a criminal if no "material steps" were taken in furtherance of the plan but I am pretty sure that the vote itself could be a material step that satisfies the law. But the technical legal point is not that relevant, is it? Is "no controlling legal authority" to rule over political decisions of who get to sit in the White House? Is that a principle applied evenly or just special pleading?

TM

The drug analogy would be useful if Bush was campaigning surrounded by guys he did drugs with thirty years ago.

A main point of Kerry's campaign is "I served in Vietnam"; he is not shy about the fact that he then came home and protested against the war.

Those credentials are supposed to show that he is tough on defense, but committed to a liberal world-view. Fine. Let's hear about his Band of Brothers. If they were that radical, and he left the group (the leadership, I have seen somewhere - he worked for the group for another year), let's hear about that. It is the foundation of this campaign, and his political career, so we wonder - who are these people?

Now, if he had said, years ago, that he quit the VVAW in Kansas City cause it got too weird, well, fine.

Since he forgot, everyone gets suspicious.

And to be fair, there is a circularity to the logic - Kerry would (we think) remember the assasination plot if he heard about it. But if it really was a minor thing, where Scot "The Assasin" Camil mentioned it briefly away from Kerry? Then Kansas City is not memorable (a good general rule, anyway, and I say that as a Jersey guy), and Kerry's peculiar memory is no problem.

But some people remember him speaking out against the proposal. Of course, others don't. And some remember changing venues because they wanted to avoid FBI bugging while they discussed - what? And I bet lots don't see any benefit to talking about it.

This ends quickly with a Kerry press conference (as if!). Maybe it goes away anyway, for lack of fuel.

Paul Zrimsek

Patience, Hesiod. As the DiIulio affair showed us, fired Bush staffers have a way of moving between intimidated and unintimidated status at the drop of a hat. Watch Conason's column like a hawk; it can't be long now.

HH

Clarke appears to be of two (or three) minds on how "obsessed" Bush is/was... Bush Meeting Story Version 4.0 should portray Bush as slapping Clarke into submission and physically forcing him to type the words "Iraq was behind it."

Warmongering Lunatic

One wonders why all these witnesses were so "intimidated" before Bush was elected, but will suddenly become un-intimidated after he leaves office. And I don't mean just for the 2000 campaign. Where were they in the 1994 Texas campaign?

But, hey, it's not like a calim about Bush has to have basis in fact.

Buster

I think that meeting with the commies in Paris has been misrepresented. It was actually a family reunion.

TM

It was actually a family reunion.

Or maybe a "get out the vote" rally.

WillieStyle

Huh,
Tom I thought you were more politicaly adept than this. Is this stuff about "manchurian candidate Kerry" suppossed to help Bush win?
Look the only people who buy this Kerry assasination plot stuff are people who are already oppossed to Kerry.
To those folks in the middle all that comes out of this is "Kerry fought in Vietnam, then protested the war", "Kerry fought in Vietnam, then protested the war","Kerry fought in Vietnam, then protested the war".
Considering that the general consensus is that fighting for your country is admirable while Vietnam was misguided (at best), Kerry comes out smelling like roses.

But by all means continue. I'd sell my left **** for a chance to watch George Bush (or Dick Chaney or Tom McGuire) get into a televised debate with John Kerry on Vietnam. So carry on gentlemen.

WillieStyle

It was actually a family reunion.

Or maybe a "get out the vote" rally.

John McCain: "Kerry honorable man, strong on defense"
Chuck Hagel: "Kerry honorable man, strong on defense"

Assorted Chicken Hawks who shall remain nameless: "Kerry cowardly commie, Bin Laden's sex toy".

See a pattern here folks.

Paul Zrimsek

"Chicken hawks", hey? Talk about slogans that only appeal to the already converted...

Keaton

Interest in the Kerry-VVAW conspiracy plot story is being generated by the fringe at Free Republic. This can be documented, beginning in February.

For about the last month, one man has generated dozens of stories a day about Kerry-VVAW. He's managed to acquire a group of like-minded followers, who also push the story, by calling, faxing and writing dozens of media outlets every week. The story has been regurgitated dozens of times, rewritten and republished, has ended up in other outlets like Newsmax and WND, then subsequently back onto Free Republic.

There is some evidence that he is a personal friend of Thomas H. Lipscomb's, the writer who first "broke" the story. Does Lipscomb benefit by having the story he "broke" appear over and over? By making appearances on television programs, and so on? I don't know.

Scott Camil says it was his idea to assassinate the senators. His allies claim they shouted him down, told him to sit down and shut up. He says he made some stupid comments in the heat of the moment. There is NO EVIDENCE to indicate that he is lying, or that it was anything more than what they all claim it was.

One of the most obvious mistakes that someone has made, is that Senator Helms was supposedly named as one of the potential targets of VVAW in 1971.

Senator Helms did not take office until 1973.

It's a little embarrassing to see how easily people can be conned and manipulated into repeating and even expanding stories like this, all believing they're going to break the next "big one".

arthur smith, new orleans

I'm waiting for some enterprising mainstream media type to ring up Madame Bihn for her recollections of meeting a honeymooning just-discharged U.S sailor in Paris 30 years ago.

She's still alive, around 75 years old, and very sharp. Last spotted in New York in 2003 speaking to the United Hospital Workers Union!

WillieStyle

"Chicken hawks", hey? Talk about slogans that only appeal to the already converted...

You are absolutely right Paul.
Continue diparaging Kerry on Vietnam.
Independents will take you just as seriously as vets like John McCain and Chuck Hagel.
God it's gonna be a fun year.

Pat Curley

Here's the point of the story in a nutshell:

If Kerry has nothing to hide, why did he claim to have left the VVAW in the summer of 1971? There are six witnesses who put him at the Kansas City meeting in November of that year, five of who claim to be voting for him.

Just for grins I checked out Gerald Nicosia's book "Home to War" from the library this evening. The description of the proposed assassination plot is NOTHING like Lawrence O'Donnell tried to paint it as--just a nutty suggestion that quickly got shouted down. I will have more on my blog about this in an hour or two.

John Moore (Useful Fools)

Vietnam Veteran Hawk here...

To the "Kerry protested Against the War" poster - he did a lot more than that:

Kerry:

1) Met with the enemy in Paris and then urged the Senate to accept without further negotiation the enemy condition (in other words, we should "surrender"). Kerry assured the Senate that after doing this, US troops would be granted safe conduct out of Vietnam (something you only do in a surrender). At the time, the US and the South Vietnamese were in a very strong military position and the war was essentially won. It was ultimately lost by Congressional surrender.

2)Kerry attended the assassination discussion meeting. Because of the sensitivity of the discussion, the meeting was moved to a previously unused place after FBI bugs were found (notice that it was obviously appropriate to be bugging this group - it was discussing political assassination).

Kerry claimed for years that he had left VVAW months before. Now he claims faulty memory. So he can't remember a meeting where they had to move because they found electronic bugs, because they were discussing assassinations, and where Kerry finally did emotionally and to applause announce his resignation to run for office?

3) Kerry lied under oath to the US Senate numerous times in his 1971 testimony. He accused the US government of having a policy of atrocities (while not mentioning the tens of thousands killed annually in the enemy's actually existing terrorism policy). He accused his fellow veterans of routinely engaging in terrible acts. He claimed that the My Lai massacre was approved by high levels of the military and was typical (it was actually a very unusual event, which is why it got so much pulibicity). He said that fighting communism was impossible. This 27 year old expert on war (who had spent only 4 months in country in one little area, and who left as fast as he could) lectured the Senate on our "failed strategy" of which he actually was ignorant. Furthermore, his eloquent testimony was actually written by a former Robert Kennedy speechwriter, but Kerry never mentioned this during his testimony.

Note that this war hero left when he received three Purple Heart awards for wounds. Two of the wounds didn't require any time off duty, and one, according to Kerry, required two days off. However, he refuses to release his medical records for that time to allow the public to know the details. Also, when Kerry volunteered for Swift Boat duty, it was pretty safe for combat duty, as the boats were only during coastal patrol. The mission was changed to the more dangerous river patrol when it was too late for Kerry to change his mind.

Keaton

Arthur, I'll pass your suggestion on to the lunatic fringe at FR dotty com. I know they will be mad they didn't think of looking for Madame Bihn themselves.

They'll be thrilled to have something new to contact Lipscomb about. He's in NY too. Maybe they're in the same hood.

Cecil Turner

"One of the most obvious mistakes that someone has made, is that Senator Helms was supposedly named as one of the potential targets of VVAW in 1971."

Lipscomb's story says: "Senators like John Stennis, Strom Thurmond, and John Tower were his targets." Helms isn't listed, nor does it pretend to be a quote from Camil. It does quote Camil's 1992 oral history: "My plan was that, on the last day we would go into the [congressional] offices we would schedule the most hardcore hawks for last - and we would shoot them all," and "I was serious."

Serious assassination plot? No, probably not. But the fact that such nuts held leadership positions in the VVAW gives some idea of its character. And it's newsworthy, especially considering the graphic Winter Soldier testimony (some by proven poseurs), and Kerry's strident advocacy.

TM

OK, here is the Nicosia book excerpt. Good job.

The "one nut at one meeting" theory does not survive Nicosia's telling.

WillieStyle

Note that this war hero left when he received three Purple Heart awards for wounds. Two of the wounds didn't require any time off duty, and one, according to Kerry, required two days off. However, he refuses to release his medical records for that time to allow the public to know the details. Also, when Kerry volunteered for Swift Boat duty, it was pretty safe for combat duty, as the boats were only during coastal patrol. The mission was changed to the more dangerous river patrol when it was too late for Kerry to change his mind.

I strongly recomend that Republicans run on the John Kerry is a coward who didn't deserve his 3 Purple Hearts, 1 Silver Star, 1Bronze Star in Vietnam.
Joe America: Kerry has 3 Purple Hearts, 1 Silver Star, 1Bronze Star?! Well dang that's impressive. What's Bush got?

VRWC: A merit badge from the Betty Ford Clinic.

Joe America: That's nice and all, but it just ain't the same.

Keaton

The quote regarding Helms was made by Terry DuBose:

He said: "[Terry DuBose] That was also where there was actually some discussion of assassinating some senators during the Christmas holidays. They were people who I knew from the organization with hotheaded rhetoric.

They had a list of six senators ... Helms, John Tower, and I can't remember the others, who they wanted to assassinate when they adjourned for Christmas. They were the ones voting to fund the war. They approached me about assassinating John Tower because he was from Texas."

That's how Helms was brought in to it. Without people confirming it happened, and without any bodies---it has not been proven satisfactorily.

Who was Emerson Poe and where he was in November 1971? Working for VVAW as a regional director, like Kerry and Camil. Poe was Camil's best friend--and an FBI informant. The FBI knew there was no plot, because Camil's best friend said so.

Pat Curley

Keaton, you got any links for us? I have read everything I can find on the assassination plot story, and your comments are the first I've heard about Helms--the articles I have read mention Stennis, Tower and Thurmond.

Cecil Turner

They had a list of six senators ... Helms, John Tower, and I can't remember the others, . . .

Sounds like Terry DuBose doesn't remember much about it at all (but at least he admits it). AFAICT, the main point of his statement was to place Kerry at the disputed meeting. Without the FBI to back him up, I'd be reluctant to credit that point as well.

Pat Curley

The Nicosia burglary story gets more interesting when you consider this:.

On Sept. 18, 1972, the evening before the primary election during his second attempt for Congress, Kerry's brother Cameron and one Thomas Vallely, both part of his current campaign team, were arrested by Lowell police at 1:40 a.m. and charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit larceny. The two were apprehended in the basement of a building whose door had been forced open, police said. It housed the headquarters of candidate DiFruscia. The Watergate scandal was making headlines at this time, and it was called the Lowell Watergate.

Simply amazing, no?

archy

If the *Operation Phoenix* plan presented to VVAW was turned down by that organization, maybe someone should take a long hard look at those who brought it up, and see if they perhaps offered it as a tactic elsewhere, to some antiwar organization more enthusiastic about the idea. Then a timeline extending forward from the November 1972 meeting until at least the end of the Vietnam War on 30 April 1975 can be established with any events that might fit the modus operandi of such a project- and it'd probably be prudent to extend it forward at least a decade from that Kansas meeting.

Interesting that we haven't heard from the Kansas City-area media about this. But at least a half-dozen events to be considered on such a list come to mind.

TM

Did that close the italics?

I love the Lowell Watergate. This can not be real.

And a follow-up - didn't they only take three boxes? Why not all of them - they surely couldn't have read through all of them and picked the hot stuff.

And can't the FBI re-release it, amidst charges of political favoritism. Hmm..

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