John Kerry elects to bully a contributer to the Swift Boat 527:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Senate hearing that began with glowing tributes to a St. Louis businessman and his qualifications to become ambassador to Belgium turned divisive Tuesday after he was criticized for supporting a controversial conservative group.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, grilled nominee Sam Fox about why he donated $50,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 presidential race. The group of Vietnam veterans made unsubstantiated allegations against Kerry -- then the Democratic presidential nominee -- and charged that Kerry did not deserve the medals he won in the Vietnam War.
Geez, last fall Kerry promised to go after the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and "kick their ass from one end of America to the other". Is this the promised ass-kicking?
Of course, since he is no longer running for President, the ass-kicking may be on indefinite hold. However, Bruce Kesler had the same reaction to today's story that I did - when will the public, and not just three Kerry-philic media outlets, see Kerry's full military record, and when will any of us see his war diary (the WaPo asked, was rebuffed, and lost interest)?
And despite my confidence that no one in the media will make any attempt whatsoever to pursue this, let me reprise a puzzle of potentially huge headline-generating proportions which I described again last fall:
If I could pick one issue on which to see some documentation it would be Kerry's first Purple Heart. Two of the Band of Brothers, Zaladonis and Runyon, back up Kerry's account of the incident, described by Runyon as the scariest night of his life. However, press accounts do not link these two to this incident until early 2004 (I recall a February story, but can link to an April one).
And this is truly baffling - Zaladonis apparently said nothing about this incident to Douglas Brinkley when he was interviewed (repeatedly) for Brinkley's book back in 2003. Zaladonis sailed on PCF-44, Kerry's first boat, just a few days after the Purple Heart incident, yet he never mentioned to Brinkley his first encounter with Kerry, where Kerry had his first combat and earned his first medal. Does that make any sense at all?
That is some odd memory by Zaladonis and quite a ghastly interview technique by Brinkley. What did Brinkley ask, anyway - "Tell me about the second time you met John Kerry? Do you remember any dramatic events other than ones that led to medals?" How could Zaladonis have been interviewed repeatedly yet never mentioned this? If your imagination is not dark enough to provide a guess, try this - in 2003, the first Purple Heart was not a political problem for Kerry; when it became a problem in 2004, Zaladonis stepped into the breach to vouch for him with an invented story.
To compound the oddness, Brinkley makes no reference whatsoever to Kerry's War Notes in his re-creation of the night of Kerry's first combat and first Purple Heart. One might have thought Kerry would have jotted down a few thoughts, or sent a letter home, or somehow commemorated his first combat and his first medal. Yet Brinkley, Kerry's very friendly historian, relies on his interview with Kerry (and non-interview with Zaladonis) to tell this tale.
And what does it mean? Well, it may simply mean that Brinkley is an utter bust as an interviewer and historian. But *if*, I say IF Zaledonis is, uhh, misremembering his involvement with Kerry's first Purple Heart, then the credibility of the Band of Brothers takes a bit of a hit below the old waterline.
And of course, the long look away by the MSM will also be a bit of an embarrassment - how did they miss this cover-up that has been hiding more or less in plain sight for over two years? How did they fail to connect these dots? Why did they let Kerry get a free ride on his Vietnam fantasies?
Oh, why even ask. But I do have modest hopes that one day real historians will tackle this (we should live so long...).