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August 10, 2004

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RiverRat

You're missing the point I think. Please look at page 212 of Tour of Duty regarding the night of 24 Dec 68. This is confirmed by Steve Gardner who is opposed to Kerry.

The Bernique was in a completely separate division in 68. Christmas in Cambodia was miles from there.

Just to be clear. Sa Dec is about 56 miles from the Cambodian Border. That's about 3 1/2 hours by Swift boat. They were not close to the border but 56 miles away.

Brinkley's book and Kerry's journal are a lie. Not as big as the 1986 Senate floor lie...but still a lie.

RiverRat, BM1 USN Riverine Forces, Nov 68 to Nov 69

Brainster

Brinkley's book certainly contains lies and mistakes, but it is apparent that even he found Kerry's Christmas Eve story unbelievable, and so he does not back it up in the book. There is an indication somewhere (Drudge, IIRC) that three of Kerry's five crewmates on that date did not back up Kerry on the story. Which means that this is NOT just the SBVfT; some of the guys who were up on the podium with Kerry would not back him on this story.

Lanny Davis

You people just don't get it.
The remaining few independent voters don't have the knowledge or the inclination to verify the truth.
The truth is what they hear most, loudest, and last.
The Media is the source of truth for the majority of Americans, and money is the source of truth for the Media.
The best part of the internet is random blogs are inconsequential.
America doesn't know it, but a 'nuanced' version of the truth is enough smoke and mirros for the masses to remain blissfully enraged at the current administration until November.
Happy blogging, peons.

Ripper

As promised here's the microfilm of Kerry's Senate report on his 1991 visit, which mentions his previous "visits" in the intro.

http://free.prohosting.com/cyberdog/c.jpg

http://free.prohosting.com/cyberdog/p1.JPG

No further relevant mentions found later in this report or in the next trip report.
---

July 1991

Trip to Thailand Cambodia and Vietnam

here's the relevant part on page 1
"... During the war, military operations had carried me throughout many of the waterways and coast lines of southern Vietnam and even, occasionally, into Cambodia. "


Here's the reference info, so you can make your own copy.

1750.
Author: Kerry, John, 1943-
Title: Trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam report to the Committee
on Foreign Relations, United States Senate.
Publisher: Washington : U.S. G.P.O. :For sale by the Supt. of Docs.,
Congressional Sales Office, U.S. G.P.O., 1991.
Description: v, 16 p. ; 24 cm.

Doc. Numbers: GPO Item No.: 1039-A, 1039-B (MF)
Govt Doc No.: Y 4.F 76/2:S.prt.102-40.

TM

River Rat - based on Brinkley's account, Kerry's patrol did sail towards Cambodia from Sa Dec, then back again. How close they got, I don't know, but they sailed for more than the "few minutes" often cited.

The three crewman who do not support Kerry are mentioned by Drudge, and in Chapter 3 of the Unfit for Command excerpts.

Wasser is one of them (now its my turn for an IIRC), and he does not support Kerry in Brinkley's book, either.

Bonus Idea - maybe "Christmas in Cambodia with Nixon" represents a conflation of "Christmas near Cambodia" and "St. Patricks in Cambodia with Nixon" (since Op Menu started Mar 18.)

Critics will reply, release the records!

And I am fairly sure (sorry I don't have time to re-read it) that even on the Mar 18, 1969 trip Kerry does *not* describe crossing the border.

Brainster

Nice job, Ripper! So Kerry's lies even made it into official reports that he submitted to the Senate!

ed

Hmmm.

"River Rat - based on Brinkley's account, Kerry's patrol did sail towards Cambodia from Sa Dec, then back again. How close they got, I don't know, but they sailed for more than the "few minutes" often cited."

Except that Kerry constantly states that he was in Cambodia. Not near, not close, not almost. He was in Cambodia.

So how does he explain bypassing all those patrolling PBR's that were there to prevent anyone from entering Cambodia?

Hey if this is all a reprise of Apocolypse Now could I play Dennis Hopper?

ed

Hmmm.

Or should it be renamed to "Apocolypse When"?

Brainster

Good pointer that the SBVfT book revealed the names of the three; they are Bill Zaldonis, Steven Hatch, and Steve Gardner. Interesting, because Gardner is the only one of the three who's not supporting Kerry's candidacy. The book also reports that the other two crewmen at the time declined to be interviewed for the book. Which means that as far as we know, NONE of Kerry's crew is backing him up on the Cambodia story.

My post is here.

Thanks for all the links, Tom. Somehow we keep missing the Instalanche, but we get second generation Instalanches via your posts and the No Oil for Pacifist post.

Peter Carroll

OK, maybe I'm naive but I have to ask: Surely that isn't really a post from Lanny Davis, THE Lanny Davis, the former White House Counsel and spin-meister, who also appeared on Hannity & Colmes last night, spinning more frantically than ever before, on the subject of the Swift Boat Vets???

john

Is that the lanny david who's a lawyer or something for the clinton's. Well, thanks, lanny, for a forthright example of the unvarnished cynicism that characterizes you, yours, and this whole Kerrey campaign, apparantly.

Dan

Keep in mind, that as of yesterday the Kerry campaign admitted Kerry was not in Cambodia, claiming that he never said he was "in", only "close".

Dan H.

Unfortunately, I don't think this story is going to get much traction. It's just too obscure for the average person, and the 'conventional wisdom' on Vietnam is that all kinds of wacky stuff happened that no one will own up to anymore.

For yucks, I ran this story past some Kerry supporters, and these are the types of reactions I got:

"Of course his chain of command denies it. The orders were illegal!"

"Everyone knew the U.S. was operating in and out of Cambodia! They also knew it was being covered up. Kerry is brave to tell about it, and the officers denying it are the cowards."

"So what if Kerry's crewmen dispute it? They know they weren't supposed to be there, so why would they admit to it? They're probably under orders not to talk anyway."

"CAMBODIA? You want to talk about Cambodia in 1968? Who cares whether Kerry was there or not? This is nitpicking of the worst sort."

See, some of us remember how critical the charges were of U.S. incursions into Cambodia, but for most people it's just a trivial detail of a long-ago war. They can't figure out who's lying or telling the truth because they don't trust the military's accounts of what happened anyway (largely because of false testimony of people like Kerry, but I digress.).

Lying about medals might have traction. The Cambodia thing to me seems like the more serious charge, because he used the story to influence U.S. policy and discredit the armed forces during a time of conflict. He has also repeated the story over the years, which tells me something about his character. But I just don't think the average person knows much about it or cares.

Diggs

Kerry lied to the Senate for the greater good, you have to accept that.
He may not have actually been in Cambodia on Christmas Eve, but damn it, it makes a very poignant story that needed to be heard.
And he's to be admired for having the guts to "tell it like it is, or at least should be."

Santa Claus

Yes, Peter, that comment was from the REAL Lanny Davis.

RandMan

Are you the REAL Santa Claus? LOL

SysAdmin

Real men died, Kerry lied

Khris Kringle

That comment was NOT from the real SANTA CLAUS, RandMan. I am considering legal action.

Peter Carroll

OK, so let's assume it WAS the real Lanny Davis. The reply e-mail was 'media@dnc.org', so it could have been. Let's look at what he said:

"The remaining few independent voters don't have the knowledge or the inclination to verify the truth. [Hmmm: Democrat contempt for the average US voter?] The truth is what they hear most, loudest, and last. [This belief on his part would explain his performance on Hannity & Colmes last night as well as all the previous times I've seen him spinning from set-piece talking points.] The Media is [are?] the source of truth for the majority of Americans, and money is the source of truth for the Media. [Not sure what to make of that, apart from the grammatical slip. Is it another dig at Rupert Murdoch? No, too subtle.] The best part of the internet is random blogs are inconsequential. [Huh?] America doesn't know it, but a 'nuanced' version of the truth is enough smoke and mirro[r]s for the masses to remain blissfully enraged at the current administration until November. [An admission that his spin is 'nuanced' enough to keep the ignorant masses in the dark with respect to the truth?] Happy blogging, peons."

No, I can't believe it was the real Lanny Davis. As nasty as he can be, he always seems to know what points he wants to make - - and then to make them (often over and over again). And the frankness of these admissions is something a lawyerly spin-meister would never countenance.

No, Lanny Davis, call your office. Someone much less intelligent than you has accessed your laptop at the DNC and is sending out e-mails over your name.

Peter

Jay Duffy

What a desperate bunch of loonies!!!!

You are honestly expecting the American public to care about what a 25 year old kid said THIRTY YEARS AGO while trying to end this country's most ignominious war...Instead of the fact that the Bushies HYPED a BOGUS terror alert for political publicity just TEN DAYS AGO, then leaked the name of a precious Al Queda mole to try and cover their butts, in the process destroying all the invaluable intelligence this fellow might have produced.

There are lies and there are damn lies, boys. And even though in your minds this is some grand evil plot by the demonic Kerry, to the American public it's gobbledygook that bears absolutely no relevance to their daily lives.

We have real live liars and crooks in office right now. Telling us about the lies of a grandiose youngster thirty years ago isn't making them look any cleaner.

ed

Hmmm.

Well isn't this dandy!

"WASHINGTON Aug. 10, 2004 — Three campaign finance watchdog groups filed a complaint Tuesday accusing a group of Vietnam veterans of violating the campaign finance law by airing an ad that challenges Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's military record."

http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20040810_843.html

So they're complaining about, at most, $500k by an anti-Kerry 527 group but they're completely ok with $100,000,000 spent by pro-Kerry groups?

If the FEC rules against the SwiftVets I'm going to be really f-ing pissed off. I'm going to head down to Washington to scream at somebody that's for damn sure.

TM

Dan H - I partly agree with you that the specific of the Cambodia story will not grip the average American.

However, it is worth pinning down for a couple of reasons"

(1) maybe we can pin this down - some of the other stuff is really just "he said, they said".

(2) IF Kerry lied about this, it opens the door to wondering what else he lied about (the credibility roll-up);

(3) Once the press buys into a story (like with Al Gore the perpetual exaggerator), they look for examples of it everywhere, and pounce remorselessly (each reporter wants to be the one to "advance the story", whatever it is - in this case (we hope), that Kerry makes stuff up. So we need something to start the ball rolling.

That view of the press is straight Bob Somerby, as his admirers will point out to me anyway.

Mark in Mexico

"Kerry lied to the Senate for the greater good, you have to accept that."

Hmmm. "...lied to the Senate for the greater good...". Hey, Diggs, how many more years before you graduate from the third grade?

Lying to the United States Senate "for the greater good" of whom, exactly? I don't expect my Senators nor Representatives to lie to me or their fellows for any reason at any time about anything. If they do, and get caught, then they should pay a heavy price. Not the least of which would be a frank and honest confession and apology. And you talk about lying to the Senate. He lied to reporters, he lied in his books, he lied to his ex comrades-in-arms, he lied to his superior officers, he lied to the United States Senate as a witness under oath and he lied to the United States Senate and the American people as a Senator on the floor of the Senate. I consider myself to be multiple levels above blood-sucking parasites, and, as such, able to handle the truth.

Jay Duffy

Good summary, TM, of the style of media propaganda the fright wing has gotten so good at in recent years. It has served them well, but there are plenty of signs that the public is on to the con now, and are starting to angrily realize how foolishly we've been played.

Slartibartfast

Self-parody? Self-caricature? I'm torn.

Forbes

Jay D-

Either it's a bogus terror alert, or it's a precious mole, can't be both. I think you've confused your logic. But then that's the whole point of a troll--to change the subject.

And you don't follow the story well, either. It's about what Kerry said while in the Senate, and not as a 25 year old, that is being discussed.

Why don't you play in your own sandbox, since you don't play well with others.

Steve Cormier

John Munchausen Kerry, is all I can say. Soon we'll be hearing about how he won the cold war.

Is Munchausen's Syndrome a fundamental democratic trait (e.g. Al "Love Story" Gore?) At least Clinton's lies were reasonably pragmatic and defensive, not loopily self-aggrandizing.

Steve Cormier

Uh, Jay, he's still repeating the lies.

In fact the lies are the core of his campaign.

It's really embarrassing in a way, to make the goofy dishonest stuff you did when you were a kid the basis of your life at 59.

Buster

Actually, Kerry did venture into Cambodia at that time. He was hauling Al Gore, who was laying wire after inventing the Internet.

Mitch H.

Wasn't Kerry one of the people yelling about the Reagan officials who lied to Congress over Iran-Contra?

I'm nearly as bad as Alanis Morissette when it comes to recognizing irony. Does lying in a Senate floor speech about the Contras and Nixon-era lies followed by denouncements of White House staffers for Iran-Contra era lying to Congress topped off with an entire presidential campaign predicated on misleading the public about contemporary instances of alleged Republican misrepresentation count, or have I just gotten myself turned around?

junkie

"The best part of the internet is random blogs are inconsequential."

--If they are inconsequential why are you taking the time to respond with a post of your own?

Jay Duffy

Forbes haven't confused the logic at all. The specific terror alert was bogus, based on 4 year old intel. Clearly it was bogus, since Bushy sent his precious womenfolk into the heart of the Stock Exchange.

However, they also did out a precious mole. I mean, don't you neo cons even read the papers? This Pakistani guy, Khan, had been turned by the Pakistani, and was communicating with Al Queda operatives, setting up stings. The White House leaked the name, to give themselves credibility, and destroyed the usefulness of the mole.

Once again, you're so hung up on your damaged pride from 35 years ago, that you refuse to recognize the shocking incompetence and mendacity of the administration that is destroying our security RIGHT NOW.

Steve Cormier

junkie--

He's getting himself off, that's all.

Steve Cormier

Jay

Yeah it was 4-year old info the way Kerry was near Cambodia.

It was info just discovered on a laptop. It was originally created 4 years ago (do you ever update old files with new info?). It was then updated in January. The administration coupled this with the possibility of attacks during the republican convention and some other classified sources and decided to let people in the targeted buildings know they should be alert.

How phony and political and terrible!

If they didn't and there was an attack, I can imagine the recriminations.

The dems these days remind me of an old Groucho Marx routine where someone says "either" pronouncing it "eether"--Groucho corrects them saying "eyether", at which point they dutifully correct themselves and say "eyether" to which he replies "no, eether".

Today's democratic party slogan--"Whatever it is, I'm Against It!"

Jay Duffy

Steve, I live and work in New York. If the Feds didn't know these particular buildings were potential terrorist targets, then they know nothing. They HYPED the alert, putting roadblocks up all over the place, cop cars everywhere - all of which are basically gone now , by the way, guess we're safe now. They had Tom Ridge announce this like it was an imminent threat, withholding the fact that it wasl old intel, and had him add a little kiss to his Bushy on top of that. Then we had the specatacle of Laura and the twins on the floor of the stock exchange. It was pure and total bs. Believe me, here in NYC, that kind of crap doesn't fly. We know a ringer a mile off, which is why Bush is public enemy no. 1 around here.

Yes, this guy had important info on his computer, about how they case these joints, etc. and it was important that the Pakistanis found him. Tell me then, does it not bother you then that your boy had to destroy his value completely in order to cover his own butt.

Does ANYTHING this President does bother you? You're outraged over 35 year old events, and don't care a bit about what's going on right here and now. Maybe that''s the luxury of being an armchair warrior, who doesn't live in a terrorist bullseye and who can watch all this stuff like it's just a spy novel.

Jay Duffy

Steve, I live and work in New York. If the Feds didn't know these particular buildings were potential terrorist targets, then they know nothing. They HYPED the alert, putting roadblocks up all over the place, cop cars everywhere - all of which are basically gone now , by the way, guess we're safe now. They had Tom Ridge announce this like it was an imminent threat, withholding the fact that it wasl old intel, and had him add a little kiss to his Bushy on top of that. Then we had the specatacle of Laura and the twins on the floor of the stock exchange. It was pure and total bs. Believe me, here in NYC, that kind of crap doesn't fly. We know a ringer a mile off, which is why Bush is public enemy no. 1 around here.

Yes, this guy had important info on his computer, about how they case these joints, etc. and it was important that the Pakistanis found him. Tell me then, does it not bother you then that your boy had to destroy his value completely in order to cover his own butt.

Does ANYTHING this President does bother you? You're outraged over 35 year old events, and don't care a bit about what's going on right here and now. Maybe that''s the luxury of being an armchair warrior, who doesn't live in a terrorist bullseye and who can watch all this stuff like it's just a spy novel.

Steve Cormier

Jay
Wow your post was so good you had to post it twice--just kidding.

First, yes there are numerous things Bush has done that I don't like--I vote republican mostly, but I'm actually an anarcho-capitalist (voluntarist?)

I don't like that Bush has not made a big deal about the size of government and the percentage of GDP it takes (taxes/tax cuts mean nothing--only percent of GDP taken by government means anything). I don't like Bush pandering to Mexico and I don't see the AIDS epidemic in Africa as a problem we have to pay for (black American pandering there).


I should also point out that I think the administration hyped the WMD issue to a degree, trying to get the oil-for-food wing of the UN to kill their own cash cow. I don't really fault them for this, I fault them for pandering to the UN too much (did Bill need the UN's permission for Bosnia?) Bush and co created the expectation that we would get the UN with us, thus giving them a power they should never have had. Consequently, he had to try to give more urgent reasons than were necessary for the war.

There was only one real reason for the war, and if you don't understand this, I feel sorry for you. The middle east has to be reformed, converting it from a medieval heroic age tribal cesspool boosted to prominence by oil wealth to an enlightened modern capitalist region on par with the rest of the world. There is a trajectory or primitivism relative to technological advancement that will determine the fate of the world. If the primitives are not brought to civilization, they will eventually get their hands on the matches of technology and burn the world down. Bush knew this--the administration learned this 9/11--that's why we liberated Afghanistan and Iraq--WMD be damned.

As to New York, Bush and co are now scared to death not to warn people on the slightest provocation--I think if you went through what they did and had the responsibility they do, you might do the same, and everyone would then accuse you of political manipulation.

Jay Duffy

Thanks, Steve, for the civil response.

I'm most interested in your next to last paragraph, i.e. the reasons for war. I think that basically IS the neo con position as I understand it, that the US has an obligation to control the direction of other civilizations as a means of protecting ourselves. Do you see anything problematical in that at all? It sounds imperialistic to me, as well as paranoid, and not a very coherent fit for a nation founded on the principles of self determination. It assumes that there is no other way of defending ourselves other than armed domination of "primitive" cultures, and assumes uncategorically that we have the right to do so. The recent allliance of conservatism with Christianity seems to have even graced this philosophy with a messianic cloak.

I think an interesting way to evaluate it would be this: We live in a nation of laws, of and by the people. Do you think if you put that philosophy up for an informed vote (in an actual clean political campaign) to the American people, asking them to donate generations of their youth and their wealth to the systematic domination of Arab cultures, would the majority agree to do that? And if they didn't, which I believe they most certainly wouldn't, would you advocate imposing this philosophy upon them also by force? In other words, the Americans who know what's best for the rest of us, will take care of us and tell us what to do. Does that still resemble any form of democracy, or would we perhaps need to embrace an authoritarian style of government? For our own good, of course, as determined by the neo cons and only by the neo cons.

When you say WMDs be damned, you're saying telling the truth be damned, you're saying enlightened democracy be damned. You're saying the end justifies the means, even if the means involve complete subjugation of our democratic principles.

I think one of the things separating Democrats and Republicans now is that Democrats really do venerate the founding principles of our forefathers and our Constitution to a much greater degree. Whereas to Republicans they have become inconveniences in the need to endlessly protect ourselves from perceived threats, as they define them.

Jay Duffy

Thanks, Steve, for the civil response.

I'm most interested in your next to last paragraph, i.e. the reasons for war. I think that basically IS the neo con position as I understand it, that the US has an obligation to control the direction of other civilizations as a means of protecting ourselves. Do you see anything problematical in that at all? It sounds imperialistic to me, as well as paranoid, and not a very coherent fit for a nation founded on the principles of self determination. It assumes that there is no other way of defending ourselves other than armed domination of "primitive" cultures, and assumes uncategorically that we have the right to do so. The recent allliance of conservatism with Christianity seems to have even graced this philosophy with a messianic cloak.

I think an interesting way to evaluate it would be this: We live in a nation of laws, of and by the people. Do you think if you put that philosophy up for an informed vote (in an actual clean political campaign) to the American people, asking them to donate generations of their youth and their wealth to the systematic domination of Arab cultures, would the majority agree to do that? And if they didn't, which I believe they most certainly wouldn't, would you advocate imposing this philosophy upon them also by force? In other words, the Americans who know what's best for the rest of us, will take care of us and tell us what to do. Does that still resemble any form of democracy, or would we perhaps need to embrace an authoritarian style of government? For our own good, of course, as determined by the neo cons and only by the neo cons.

When you say WMDs be damned, you're saying telling the truth be damned, you're saying enlightened democracy be damned. You're saying the end justifies the means, even if the means involve complete subjugation of our democratic principles.

I think one of the things separating Democrats and Republicans now is that Democrats really do venerate the founding principles of our forefathers and our Constitution to a much greater degree. Whereas to Republicans they have become inconveniences in the need to endlessly protect ourselves from perceived threats, as they define them.

ter0

Ripper --

Nice work; raw images like this are very powerful. It's this kind of research that will reveal the truth.

Adding light to the sum of light.

capt joe

funny, but surprising relevant as to the leftward reaction

http://www.allahpundit.com/archives/000786.html

Greg F

"… that the US has an obligation to control the direction of other civilizations as a means of protecting ourselves."

The logical opposite would be we can only protect ourselves as long as we don’t try to “control the direction of other civilizations”. What if those “other civilizations” wish us harm?

“Do you see anything problematical in that at all?”

Do you see a problem in that the U.S. controlled
“the direction of other civilizations” such as Nazi Germany and Imperialistic Japan?

“It sounds imperialistic to me …”

Then you don’t know what imperialism is. I highly recommend reading this:

http://vodkapundit.com/archives/006406.php

Harry in Atlanta

And themthing is; Nixon wasn't even President during Christmas 1968.

ed

Hmmm.

"I think one of the things separating Democrats and Republicans now is that Democrats really do venerate the founding principles of our forefathers and our Constitution to a much greater degree."

Really? The founding principles and all that? You mean the founding principle that judicial activists should manipulate the court system to enact laws that otherwise would never make it through the legislative process? That founding principle?

Or is it the founding principle that forcing, forcing I say!, the Kerry campaign to release out-of-context chatroom quotes as an attack against SwiftVet members?

Perhaps it's the founding principle that "Bush=Hitler"? Or "Bush=liar"? Or that the ends justifies the means?

Perhaps an arguement could be made that Democrats have indeed grasped a fundament. But principles? Hardly.

ed

Hmmm.

1. "'When you say WMDs be damned, you're saying telling the truth be damned, you're saying enlightened democracy be damned."

I won't answer for another person but I would suggest, upon reading Steve's post, that you've mistaken his point pretty much completely.

"WMDs be damned" Means that the whole issue of WMDs is utterly irrelevant and not worth discussing. This doesn't have anything to do with law, democracy, mom, apple pie, 4th of July or vanilla ice cream. It means, literally, that current existence of WMDs, or their presupposition of existence, are irrelevant.

The terrorists are simply too dangerous under any circumstances whether with, or without, WMDs.

I'm sure Steve will be able to clarify it better, but I'd suggest you reread his post as he actually wrote it, and not what you think he wrote.

2. It's not about Bush, it's all about Kerry.

Jay David

Greg, I'd hardly say the US controlled the direction of either Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. We allowed the rise of Nazism and Fascism, some of our more prominent leaders even enabled it, including Mr. Bush's grandfather. And Imperial Japan was of little importance to us when it was pillaging East Asia. Once they attacked us, we responded, and then went to the aid of our allies being attacked. We fought against specific nations, to defeat specific leaders, for specific reasons. It is impossible to compare that to today's global scenario. In this case, we attacked a nation, Iraq, to defeat a movement, terrorism, that was in no way specific to that nation. Bush wasn't able to sell the world on his WWII dreams of grandeur during the DDay celebrations...and neither will the neocons be able to pull that scam.

And yes, ed, it is important when you tell the people you are going to war because WMDs pose an imminent threat to our nation, that that be the truth. In an enlightened democracy , it's important. In a dictatorship, not so much. I would very much like to hear one of you explain the extent you would undermine our democratic process in order to accomplish these goals of world domination. I'd also like to hear where all the money and all the young bodies are going to come from...not from the neocons we know. Rich people in Bush's America don't pay taxes or fight in wars.

Steve's argument sounds suspiciously like the one put forth by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al years before 9/11 where they argued the US must use military domination to control the Mideast, starting with Iraq, but noted that the American people would require a "Pearl Harbor type" incident in order to agree to it. I'm not suggesting they engineered 9/11, but this makes very clear, a fact backed up by facts in Bob Woodward's book and the testimony of administration officials, that they saw this great national tragedy as personal political opportunity. This is a political scandal that history (if we are still allowed to write honest history in the neocon future) will judge very harshly.

I believe absolutely that Democrats venerate our founding principles to a greater degree than Republicans at this point in time. For argument, you bring up activist judges? Are you one of those patriots that think gay marriage is more critical to our future than Congressional power to declare war (on honest information), separation of church and state, the writ of habeas corpus, etc.? This argument is part of what terrifies progressive Americans, that those who preach about national security seem at the same time obsessed with the minutiae of other people's

Jay David

Greg, I'd hardly say the US controlled the direction of either Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. We allowed the rise of Nazism and Fascism, some of our more prominent leaders even enabled it, including Mr. Bush's grandfather. And Imperial Japan was of little importance to us when it was pillaging East Asia. Once they attacked us, we responded, and then went to the aid of our allies being attacked. We fought against specific nations, to defeat specific leaders, for specific reasons. It is impossible to compare that to today's global scenario. In this case, we attacked a nation, Iraq, to defeat a movement, terrorism, that was in no way specific to that nation. Bush wasn't able to sell the world on his WWII dreams of grandeur during the DDay celebrations...and neither will the neocons be able to pull that scam.

And yes, ed, it is important when you tell the people you are going to war because WMDs pose an imminent threat to our nation, that that be the truth. In an enlightened democracy , it's important. In a dictatorship, not so much. I would very much like to hear one of you explain the extent you would undermine our democratic process in order to accomplish these goals of world domination. I'd also like to hear where all the money and all the young bodies are going to come from...not from the neocons we know. Rich people in Bush's America don't pay taxes or fight in wars.

Steve's argument sounds suspiciously like the one put forth by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al years before 9/11 where they argued the US must use military domination to control the Mideast, starting with Iraq, but noted that the American people would require a "Pearl Harbor type" incident in order to agree to it. I'm not suggesting they engineered 9/11, but this makes very clear, a fact backed up by facts in Bob Woodward's book and the testimony of administration officials, that they saw this great national tragedy as personal political opportunity. This is a political scandal that history (if we are still allowed to write honest history in the neocon future) will judge very harshly.

I believe absolutely that Democrats venerate our founding principles to a greater degree than Republicans at this point in time. For argument, you bring up activist judges? Are you one of those patriots that think gay marriage is more critical to our future than Congressional power to declare war (on honest information), separation of church and state, the writ of habeas corpus, etc.? This argument is part of what terrifies progressive Americans, that those who preach about national security seem at the same time obsessed with the minutiae of other people's sex lives.

And yes, ed, it is very much about Bush. If you haven't noticed, he is absolutely loathed by half of this country. In my mind, Kerry has to be one of the bravest men on earth to take on not only his infamous smear machine to win election, but then to have to clean up the gigantic global messes this idiot has created.

Pouncer

Jay: "I'd hardly say the US controlled the direction of either Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan."

But we sure as hell controlled the direction of the post-war Federal Republic of (West)Germany and the constitutional (symbolic) monarchy of Japan.

In 1941 (or 1942, if you'd like to quibble) we went to war without any thought, much less plan, for peace. We destroyed the government, infrastructure, and means of self-defense of two (more!) sovereign nations -- and a few years later, we owned up to the debt WE owed THEM, and began "Marshall Plan" type planning to "win the peace".

And we really didn't do it for humanitarian reasons -- we did it to prevent the commies from doing it first and taking over.

So?

Maybe that's true. Or maybe George Marshall planned for a post-war peacetime reconstruction all along, and maybe we would have done so even if the Iron Curtain had not dropped across Europe.

Either way, the US most certainly DID plan for, direct, fund, and maintain military forces in occupation supporting OUR goals for Japan, (Taiwan, Korea, the Phillipines...) and Germany (Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain...)

Where ever we directed the post-WWII outcome, there are prosperous societies that feed their peoples and trade, profitably, with the US. Where we did not -- other things happened.

Arguably we didn't plan broadly enough. How much better might the world be today had the US decided to occupy and direct the development of North Africa, Palestine, Persia ... ? Or Indo-China, Burma, East-and-West Pakistan ...?

I mean, it isn't at all obvious to me that the Brits and the French had humanitarian democratic goals in mind, nor executed their various plans for whatever goals they MIGHT have had well enough to achieve whateverthehell it was they wanted. Instead we got festering sore spots like the Gaza Strip and East Timor and Bangaladesh ... and Viet Nam.

If the US did not control the Germans and Japanese redevelopment -- who did?

Pouncer

Jay, and others : What fraction of the U.S. voting public do you estimate loathes John Kerry?

BigBird

ALCON,

Why do you keep saying there were no WMDs?? I am in Iraq, I have seen them with my own eyes. The AIF even tryed to use one as a IED in June. Guess that wasn't in the news too much, might take a little wind out of the Liberal sail. And I don't want to hear it was only one. If that is all, how about letting terrorist's set it off at your house??

Clinton lied like a rug for 8 years, we don't need another liar.

Also, please keep in mind. JFK is the one who brought his Heroic History with WAR to the platform.

Bird

PS: Life is Good

ed

Hmmmm.

1. "And yes, ed, it is important when you tell the people you are going to war because WMDs pose an imminent threat to our nation, that that be the truth."

And yet again you show your incredible ignorance. Bush has never, ever, said that the danger from Iraq was "imminent". He stated that **WAITING** until it was "imminent" was irresponsible because then it would be too late.

If you're going to debate, make sure of your statements.

2. "I would very much like to hear one of you explain the extent you would undermine our democratic process in order to accomplish these goals of world domination."

What utter tripe.

Have the jackbooted thugs come to YOUR house to carry you away? I hear a lot of people ocmplaining, at the top of their lungs or on TV, how their freedom of speech has been thwarted. Yeah. Right.

How about you show me what proof you've got that your freedoms have been restricted? How about you prove to me that any damage has been done to the democratic process.

As far I as I can see you Democrats have been pretty busily fabricating bullshit for the last 4 years and none of you have been imprisoned or killed. Hell some of you have rebuilt careers on this crap.

That was a nonsense statement by you. Even deigning to answer that poppycock makes the assumption that you're right in some way. Well you're not. America is just as democratic as it has always been and we're winning the WoT. The only difference is that the biggest strength of the DNC, the captive partisan press, is not as powerful as it once was.

3. "I believe absolutely that Democrats venerate our founding principles to a greater degree than Republicans at this point in time. For argument, you bring up activist judges?"

Prove it. While you're at it why don't you explain to everyone here about federal Judge Friedman in NY. This is a judge that basically created a brand new tax for homeless people. This is a judge that has forced NYC to spend billions of dollars a year on homeless people because SHE found a "right" in the consitution to free housing.

Gay Marriage? Where in the Consitution is that?

Abortion? Where in the Consitution is that?

You know why the DNC, and it's owners, are so afraid of this coming election? Because with only a few more wins in Congress and the Presidency we'll be able to put a lot of staunch Constitutionalists on the bench.

Yeah. You're "venerate our founding principles" all over the place. I never read that it was a founding principle for a small group of unelected judges to rule over Americans with an iron fist. In fact until recently the courts didn't have that power. But that has been subverted for years.

It's time to impeach some of these activist judges and I believe that is coming very soon.

The government is supposed to rule based on the will of the people. That's the founding principle. Not as our owners.

4. "Congressional power to declare war (on honest information)"

Interesting you mention that. So you're in favor of chastising Clinton for lying to Congress and America? Because not one thing Bush has said that Clinton AND Kerry haven't already said many times before.

Google is a bitch ain't it? try using it.

5. "separation of church and state"

Yeah because it's such a demeaning thing to have anyone call "Winter Holiday", Christmas. How interesting that this supposed "separation" only applies to Christianity. It certainly doesn't apply to anything else. Only nativity scenes are verboten.

How about in California where a Democrat federal judge rules that it was ok for a grade school to FORCE it's students to live like muslims? Hmmm? Many parents complained but the judge ruled that this didn't violate the "separation". Interesting that anything Christian is somehow able to violate this.

Interesting that these students had to wear the appropriate clothing. Had to study the Koran. Had to abide by the muslim diet. etc etc etc. The little girls had to wear those traditional robes and the headcoverings. How very ecumenical of you Democrats.

Too bad Chrisitianity is such a bad influence eh? All those damn Baptist suicide bombers?

What a crock.

6. "the writ of habeas corpus"

Because what we really need is a more "sensitive" War on Terror right?

Here's a bet for you. I'll bet you $100. All you have to do is spend 1 hour locked in a room with a hardcore terrorist from Gitmo. You have nothing but the clothes on your back and he's got a nice big sharp knife.

If you survive and don't get your head chopped off, I'll give you $100.

Because as long as you Democrats remain so completely unserious about the WoT that's the Devil's bargain you're forcing on the rest of us. In case it hasn't sunk in quite yet, these people think nothing of chopping heads off.

Or haven't you been watching the news?

7. "And yes, ed, it is very much about Bush. If you haven't noticed, he is absolutely loathed by half of this country. In my mind, Kerry has to be one of the bravest men on earth to take on not only his infamous smear machine to win election, but then to have to clean up the gigantic global messes this idiot has created."

Now this is even more nonsense.

If Bush is hated by half of the country then so is Kerry and the DNC. And what "hate" there is, is unreasoning hate. There's nothing in what Bush has done that deserves an iota of it. You can spew whatever bullshit you want, but the days of 9/10 will never come back. You think Bush is responsible for this?

You're full of it. **CLINTON** is responsible for it. He's responsible for not having responded adequately to provcations by AQ/UBL that emboldened them. He's responsible for placing a barrier between law enforcement and intelligence. He's responsible because AQ/UBL were active for 8 years on his watch and he did NOTHING.

HAHAHA! Kerry? Brave? You must be joking!

Have noticed what this thread is about? It's about Kerry's lack of substance. His lack of consequence. His lack of courage.

A courageous man wouldn't need to make shit up to get a medal. A coward does.

"Clean up" LOL! That's a laugh.

If Kerry got into office he would immediately abandon Iraq and end the WoT. And that will convince every f-ing terrorist in the world that it would be ok to attack America.

All I can say to you and the rest of you Kerryites:

LOSER.

Ally

If Kerry got into office he would immediately abandon Iraq and end the WoT. And that will convince every f-ing terrorist in the world that it would be ok to attack America.

What on earth has John F. Kerry ever said or done that would make you believe he would do either of these things?

He was talking about terrorism and global crime back in 1997 before it was popular. He even wrote a book on it. It's not a perfect work and is incomplete in face of the things we currently face, but it was written four years before 9/11.

I personally think there is no such thing as a WoT, and even President Bush has said that it was misnamed (although he wasn't very convincing in his statements, and the crowd --- minority journalists --- laughed at him); basically, you can't declare war on a tactic. I think terrorism is a new wave of crime and should be fought that way, and John Kerry pretty much said that --- and many other things in The New War: The Web of Crime That Threatens America's Security back in 1997.

He has said we will not pull out of Iraq, that nobody wins from a failed Iraq; he has never said anything that means that we will "immediately abandon" it; in fact, he's widely criticized by anti-war lefties for not taking that position.

To say Kerry would immediately abandon either Iraq or the (poorly named) "War on Terror" and just say "come and get us" to terrorists (wait... didn't Bush already say that? ;) kidding... I'm just being cheeky) is based on nothing remotely resembling fact.

Ally

Ally

Note: the book I mention is not solely *about* terrorism, but addresses it.

Wasn't trying to be misleading.

Ally

Raven

From Kerry's Fitness Report of 28 Jan 1969 (page 24 of this PDF):

LTJG Kerry was assigned to this division for only a short time but during that time exhibited all the traits desired of an officer in a combat environment. He frequently exhibited a high sense of imagination and judgement in planning operations against the enemy in the Mekong Delta. Involved in several enemy initiated fire fights, including an ambush during the Christmas truce, he effectively suppressed enemy fire and is unofficially credited with 20 enemy killed in action. Though relatively new to the PCF he is thoroughly knowledgeable of all aspects of his boat and PCF operations. He was instrumental in planning of highly successful Sea Lords Operations. He was cited for his performance during action against the enemy by Commander Task Force in his message 080807Z Jan 69.
Note that "performance during action" doesn't sound like his only participation was "planning".

Now to add that "Sea Lords Operations" involved incursions into Cambodia.

As to whether it's implausible that a SWIFT boat might go into Cambodia and drop someone off there, note: "The fellow on the right was a freelance journalist and photographer that had caught a ride into Cambodia on a US Swift Boat. He asked to be dropped off on the shore to proceed on his own. It is hoped that he found what he was looking for and survived to tell about it."

Sure doesn't sound like that was a "physical impossibility", as Steve Gardner claimed.

In fact, the Navy said Swift boats were involved in those Cambodian incursions:

An acronym for "Southeast Asia Lake, Ocean, River, Delta Strategy", SEALORDS started on October 18, 1968 when a Navy Swift boat (PCF) reconnoitered the entrance to the Cua Lon River on the Gulf of Thailand side of the Ca Mau Penisula. Following this mission, Swift boat crewmen conducted a series of incursions along the southern rivers and canals upsetting base camps and cutting Viet Cong supply and communication lines.
So Gardner simply lied about it being a "physical impossibility" for a Swift boat to enter Cambodian waters.

Yet it was on the basis of Gardner's (now disproved) claim that Kerry was called a liar.

Since the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Vietnam said Swift boats were going into Cambodia starting in October 1968, and Kerry's Fitness Report says he was "instrumental" in that operation, it seems Kerry's story does have some official corroboration. But his accusers are now proved liars.

Kerry was based at Sa Dec. This was a base for Navy river boats patrolling the Cambodian border and conducting incursions — in fact, it was later made the headquarters of Swift Boat Coastal Division 13 because of its advantageous position.

That is, it wasn't the Swift boats' "northernmost patrol area", but the place they went from to do patrols and incursions, and returned to afterwards.

The Fitness Report refers to "an ambush during the Christmas truce", which indicates that the attack happened in the field, on a mission or patrol, not "an attack on the base". So this had to have been at least toward Cambodia from Sa Dec, since missions & patrols from Sa Dec went either along or across the Cambodian border. In fact, Kerry's contemporaneous journal entry of that Christmas firefight refers to going back toward Sa Dec after the incident. If Sa Dec had been his "northernmost patrol area" and not his base, he'd have been going away from Sa Dec at the end of his patrol.

TM

Huh?

I would focus on this from the fitness report:

[Kerry] frequently exhibited a high sense of imagination...

Look, the link to a US Navy press release for Oct 19, 1968 ought to be a bit of a clue. The Navy was not broadcasting the news that it was operating in Cambodia - that would have been a major diplomatic faux pas. The Navy was engaging in operations on the Vietnamese side of the Cambodia border.

Or, from another of the very interesting links you provided:

...As SEALORDS gathered steam in late 1968 and 1969, and with the Swifts joining the other river forces in the push to take the interdiction operations closer to the border of Cambodia, the YRBMs also became "forward bases" for the PCFs operating out Cat Lo and eventually, in 1970, out of Sa Dec and Vinh Long.

Some of the longest patrols conducted by the Swifts were from the YRBMs. It was not unusual, as the interdiction effort moved right up to the borders on the Mekong, Bassac, and Vinh Te riverways...

Anyway, Brinkley's account makes it clear that Kerry left Sa Dec, headed towards Cambodia (as you correctly note), but never crossed the border (as critics have noted).

Now, I will accept your point that he may have been a lot closer than the fifty miles some folks are citing. But over the border? Not this time.

Raven

TM writes, Look, the link to a US Navy press release for Oct 19, 1968 ought to be a bit of a clue.

Except that the release was dated Oct 18, 1969, looking back over the preceding year.

Now, if Kerry should be accused of horrible dishonesty over whether he got a date wrong by a month... what should you be accused of for getting the date wrong by a year?   [gasp, shudder, swoon]   ;)

But back to your point.   You write, The Navy was engaging in operations on the Vietnamese side of the Cambodia border.

Perhaps you missed the paragraph about "a freelance journalist and photographer that had caught a ride into Cambodia on a US Swift Boat".

That doesn't say he was dropped off in Vietnam, and walked into Cambodia on his own.   It doesn't say the boat went there just to take him.   It doesn't say this was the only (or first) time a Swift boat ever went into Cambodia.

Read the story of "Bernique's Creek", and how crossing into Cambodia and engaging the Viet Cong there — in October 1968 — got Bernique a Silver Star... despite the "major diplomatic faux pas".

Patrick R. Sullivan

"Perhaps the culmination of the SEALORDS campaign was inclusion of US and Vietnamese naval forces in the incursion into Cambodia to finally take the interdiction efforts of the allies directly to the source of the movement of arms, material and troops into the southern areas of Vietnam. The total Cambodian operation was authorized by President Nixon and carried out starting in May of 1970."

Which blows your theory out of the water. Kerry has been home for over a year by this time, and off active duty for 5 months.

Similarly, the story you cite about the freelancer getting a ride into Cambodia happened in 1970, not when Kerry was there.

Patrick R. Sullivan

"So Gardner simply lied about it being a 'physical impossibility' for a Swift boat to enter Cambodian waters."

No, you've taken his words out of context. Here's the entirety from the Hugh Hewitt interview:

-----------quote------------
HH: OK. When you were on the boat, did you ever go into Cambodian waters?

SG: Absolutely not. That was a physical impossibility to go inside Cambodian waters.

HH; Why?

SG: They had four or five, at all times, boats, plus they had it wired with wire, they had concrete pylons down so that the only time they could get through it was at high tide, and that was just so the sampans and the people that trafficked back and forth could get through.

-------------endquote----------

It was "physically impossible" because of man made barriers that existed in 68-69--while Kerry and Gardener were together.

Patrick R. Sullivan

"Read the story of 'Bernique's Creek', and how crossing into Cambodia and engaging the Viet Cong there..."

Raven, you really ought to try reading your own cites (they're actually quite interesting). For instance:

"Mike was called to Saigon to explain his unauthorized conduct and to answer a diplomatic protest by Cambodian Prince Sihanouk that he had fired across the border into that supposed neutral country."

There's even a map at your source that shows Bernique's Creek is IN VIETNAM. He didn't cross over into Cambodia. Sihanouk's protest was that he'd fired over the border into Cambodia FROM VIETNAM.

Raven

Patrick R. Sullivan writes,

It was "physically impossible" because of man made barriers that existed in 68-69--while Kerry and Gardener were together.

Which makes it very interesting that both Admiral Elmo Zumwalt II and his son (Elmo Zumwalt III, who'd been a Lt. and Swift Boat captain in Vietnam) wrote that III took his boat into Cambodia in 1969, and was not the first to do so. As the Admiral commented, "at the operating level we realized it was done with some frequency both by our boats and aviators."

Raven

Swift Boat Writer [John O'Neill] Lied on Cambodia Claim (AP)

Who is Steve Gardner?   Swift Boat Vet "eyewitness" was not present for events leading to Kerry's medals or Purple Hearts   ... "Yet in repeated media appearances, conservative hosts have presented Gardner as an eyewitness to key Kerry events. And in at least two interviews, Gardner has falsely claimed that he was present for the incidents leading to Kerry's receipt of awards." ...

Kerry and the swift boat snipers   "So far, Kerry's critics appear far more inconsistent in their stories than Kerry. Not only do their accounts contradict military records, they often contradict the critics' own previous statements. As more witnesses come forward, Kerry's version of the handful of events in question gets more backing."

Swiftboat Crewman: Kerry Boat Took Fire  (AP)
Retired Chief Petty Officer Robert E. Lambert joins in supporting Kerry's version of events

Swift boat memories:   Eagle Point vet who was there backs Kerry's assertion that bullets were flying the day he won two medals on a river in Vietnam   (Jackson County [Oregon] Mail tribune)

Ads anger Colorado vet:   Telluride man says he saw Kerry rescue soldier from river   (Rocky Mountain News)   "Retired Navy lieutenant Jim Russell, 60, backed up Kerry's version of an incident more than 35 years ago."

Navy records appear to support Kerry's version   (MSNBC)
Swift Boats came under fire, task force reported

Kerry-Loathing Swift Boaters Sinking Facts   (NY Observer)

Assault on Kerry Dishonors G.O.P.   (NY Observer)

These Charges Are False ...   It's one thing for the presidential campaign to get nasty but quite another for it to engage in fabrication.   (LA Times)   "No informed person can seriously believe that Kerry fabricated evidence to win his military medals in Vietnam.   His main accuser has been exposed as having said the opposite at the time, 35 years ago.   Kerry is backed by almost all those who witnessed the events in question, as well as by documentation.   His accusers have no evidence except their own dubious word.   ...   These charges against John Kerry are false."

And finally,

Bush Dismisses Idea That Kerry Lied on Vietnam   (NY Times)

Gerald

The fact remains, Kerry lied before the Senate on March 27, 1986. Pure and Simple

Raven

Take it up with Slate's Fred Kaplan:

Holiday in Cambodia: The "Christmas Eve" attack on Kerry is cheap and almost certainly wrong.

Cecil Turner

Kaplan's defense is insufficient. Being "near" Cambodia is completely irrelevant if the claim is to've been on the wrong side of the border: "I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there . . ." The fact that the good Senator can't even remember who was president is another problem with his war story, and also completely discredits the main thrust of it.

Your earlier headlines of multiple eyewitnesses to enemy fire in the Bronze Star incident would be more convincing if some bullets had actually hit any of the boats. Absent physical evidence (especially where you'd expect to see some), and with several witnesses claiming there wasn't fire, that's going to remain a "he said--he said." On the other hand, there's no longer any doubt about Alston's version of the Silver Star incident . . . he wasn't there (the same can be said of Kerry's stump speeches describing Alston getting wounded). And the first and third Purple Hearts are at best questionable--based on Kerry-friendly eyewitnesses who don't recall any enemy fire.

The funny thing is that Kerry's record is quite creditable--there's absolutely no need to puff it up. And everyone's memory is fallible, there's no sin in getting it wrong thirty years on. But defending a totally implausible version of events isn't doing him any favors.

Raven
"I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there . . ."

The fact that the good Senator can't even remember who was president is another problem with his war story, and also completely discredits the main thrust of it.
The above quote doesn't mention Christmas, and the Kerry campaign has said he ran missions into Cambodia in January and February 1969 — at which time Nixon was president — so there's no "problem with his war story", at least in the text as you've quoted it.
Your earlier headlines of multiple eyewitnesses to enemy fire in the Bronze Star incident would be more convincing if some bullets had actually hit any of the boats.
Aside from the .30-caliber bullet holes mentioned in the damage report?   The purpose of laying down suppressive fire — which the US Swift Boat crews did — is to keep the enemy too busy hiding or running (or dying) to be very good at aiming and shooting.   You'd be amazed how bad your own aim would become if you were keeping your head down to prevent it getting shot off, and trying to put only the barrel of your weapon around a corner or over the edge of a foxhole.   The .50-caliber Browning machine guns mounted on a Swift Boat had an effective range (2000 yards) far greater than the enemy's AK-47s (435 yards), so the success of suppressive fire shouldn't be surprising.   (AK-47s had a faster rate, 600 rpm vs the Browning's 450-550 rpm, but only a 30-round clip.)   Which weapon would you rather be firing?
... with several witnesses claiming there wasn't fire....
Except they weren't claiming that, until this year.   Why didn't they ever go on record to that effect between 1969 and 2003?
Cecil Turner

"The above quote doesn't mention Christmas . . ."

That's because I trimmed it for brevity. Here it is with the previous sentence left in:

"I remember Christmas of 1968, sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia."
"Aside from the .30-caliber bullet holes mentioned in the damage report?"

One boat (Thurlow's) had 3 bullet holes, suffered during the previous engagement. (Incidentally in the same operation where Rassmann said Kerry caught a grenade fragment from blowing up a rice bin.) Kerry's, despite sitting essentially motionless while picking up Rassmann in what was supposedly a hail of gunfire, had none.

"You'd be amazed how bad your own aim would become if you were keeping your head down . . ."

No, actually, I wouldn't. But I also wouldn't hang around and wing ineffective rounds at a well-armed enemy in the face of effective suppression. Nor is there any credible evidence the enemy did.

"The .50-caliber Browning machine guns mounted on a Swift Boat had an effective range (2000 yards) far greater than the enemy's AK-47s (435 yards), so the success of suppressive fire shouldn't be surprising. "

I'm not sure why you're touting the .50 cal's range. For a jungle firefights, where average visibility is less than 100m, it's not terribly germane.

"Except they weren't claiming that, until this year. Why didn't they ever go on record . . ."?

Were they ever asked? Did they ever claim something different? Why would the subject even come up?

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Wilson/Plame