Powered by TypePad

« Brown Books From The Folks In, Hmm, Earth Tones | Main | A Good Comment In Defense Of Kerry's Bronze Star »

August 09, 2004

Comments

GT

On the Cambodia thing I simply don't care much. Given how many times Bush has 'embellished' things and how difficult it is to remember correctly things from decades ago I don't see this as a big deal.

capt joe

So, because you think Bush lied, then no one ask about Kerry's public utterances!??

Bill
Given how many times Bush has 'embellished' things and how difficult it is to remember correctly things from decades ago I don't see this as a big deal.
This is just pathetic. Care to give an example of those 'embellish'ments? Of course you don't, the comparison would make you look absurd.

But of course, you're right, it's so hard to remember what happened so long ago. If only the experience had been 'seared' into Kerry's memory somehow......

GT

capt joe,

You can ask him what you wish. All I'm saying is that I don't care. Bush has also exaggerated (to be charitable) and on much more important things in my mind.

Policitically I think this is a plus for Kerry. His accusers have been pretty discredited and their accusations are loony to begin with.

capt joe

Ok, if you don't care, then....

Bill asked for examples of these "charitable" acts. care to present

Sure, it may be exactly the sort of thing to break the log jam and get Kerry the sympathy vote. But maybe it will not change anything.

I haven't seen anything to bolster your case for "pretty discredited" nor do I think that 21 of 22 of Kerry's former swift boat commander colleagues could all be loony. All of them?

Off course, I know that this is your tactic. Say they are loony and discredited, maybe find someone with a foul mouth. After a while, once you have said it enough, you start quoting your own quotes as "someone said" to give it weight.

Jay Duffy

This Swift Boat business has to be the most disgusting of all the attack ads I've seen yet. Mike Barnicle called it Political Pornography, and I'd have to agree. What your guys are saying is:

1. The Navy gives out medals without investigating them, calling into question ALL medals, including those of the guys accusing Kerry.
2. A guy who runs behind his daddy's legs to join the National Guard, and then doesn't even show up all the time, then spends the next few decades drinking and running businesses into the ground is more "FIT" than a guy who volunteers, serves, protests the war as American free speech honorably permits us to do, and who then is elected to high office. That's logical.

Why don't you guys just say you don't like what he did after the war and leave it at that? This smear campaign disgusts all fair minded people, including Kerry's good friend, John McCain, and only adds to the public impression that Bush is a political dirtbag when it comes to campaigning.

Bill

If Mr.Kerry hadn't based his entire campaign for President on those 4 months in Vietnam you might have a point. But the fact is, he did. He can't talk endlessly about it and then complain when anybody questions him.

Oh, and flying F102s and being one of the best pilots in his unit is hardly 'running behind his daddy's legs' and the fact is George Bush showed up at his unit as often as was required of him. Your desperate peddling of long-discredited canards suggests a certain degree of desperation.

Partisan

Re: Jay Duffy

Kerry is running on his Vietman record. If he lied about it, wouldn't it be important to know that?

Point #1. The Navy typically trust officers to be honorable and truthful. Kerry most likely generated the paperwork that started any decorations and it would be up to his Chain of Command to disapprove them. The argument is about Kerrys medals and any lies mistruths associated with them. Even if all medals are suspect what would that say about a man that is using them as props to become president?

Point#2. You're changing the subject, this is not about Bushs NG service. I would however like JFK to release all his Military Records as he promised to in April.

It is not a smear campaign, this group of veterans did their duty and went back to their lives. They have a point of view and are exercising their First Ammendment rights.

Partisan

Re: GT

"On the Cambodia thing I simply don't care much."

He recalled this incident on the Senate Floor on March 27 1986 which would be about 17 years after the fact. His latest biography states he was 55 miles inside Vietnam on that day.

Draw your own conclusions about which statement is true.
Draw your own conclusions about the fact that Kerry himself has two different versions of where he was that Christmas.

Jay Duffy

Exercise of First Amendment rights does not include the right to libel a fellow citizen, whether they're running for office or not.

I'd tend to believe these guys a little more if they had come forward a lot earlier, like when Kerry first came to prominence protesting the war. Also if they weren't misrepresenting themselves as "serving with John Kerry" when most really did not. The "doctor" who treated him appears on none of his service records and just "remembered" all this in 2003. Many of these guys previously wrote glowingly of Kerry, so they were either lying then or lying now. Either way, they're liars. And no, they're no more honorable or deserving of respect as medalled veterans than is John Kerry, the man they are libeling.

As for changing the subject, I don't think I am. These gentlemen are coming out in public because Kerry is running for President they say. Well, if it's all in the context of a Presidential run, then it seems the other candidate's fitness is very much part of the equation. Does alcoholism, deserting, nepotism and lying about HIS military record in some way make Bush more FIT than Kerry? I think it's a perfectly valid question, and if you don't think this question arises in the minds of the public every time they see this piece of political pornography, you're kidding yourselves.

furious_a

We know why you really don't care, don't we, GT?

Because if Kerry is lying about his "service" in Cambodia, what else could he possibly be lying about? Hmmmm? You seem awfully incurious about that.

Oh, and to anyone in particular -- aren't Kerry's service records the property of the US gov't, and not John Kerry? Isn't it up to the gov't, under FOIA, and not the Kerry campaign, to release those records, or not?

--furious

furious_a

Jay Duffy:

Mike Barnicle? What a coincidence -- he was forced to resign from the Boston Globe for fabricating material for columns he wrote for them.

The Globe, currently with credibility problems of its own for doctoring quotes from one of the Swiftvets, and you offer as a defense a columnist it had to fire for faking columns?

Delicious...are we now arrived at the point yet where you wingnuts beging citing each other's nonsense as substantion?

Hilarious.

--furious

furious_a

"Exercise of First Amendment Rights...no right to libel...", etc.

By all means, Jay Duffy (and GT), let's get everyone under oath, before a Federal District Court Judge, and with all relevant service records provided under subpoena.

After all, if the Swiftvets are nothing but bought-and-paid-for-by-RNC liars and charlatans, then the best cure is sunlight, is it not?

In fact, instead of threatening TV outlets with lawsuits for running the Swiftvets' ad, the Kerry Campaign should be encouraging these stations to investigate the drummed-up allegations (and the accusers!) because the Kerry Campaign will know that they will be proven false, the great fraud will be exposed, and the whole escapade will backfire badly on the Bush Campaign.

I mean, assuming you're correct, and all...

--furious

Paul Zrimsek

Is the Jay Duffy who's going on (inaccurately) about libel in this thread the same Jay Duffy who's saying things like "*cough* cocaine *cough*" about the President in a different thread? Just wondering.

Jay Duffy

Yes, the same one. Sure we don't know he failed his physical because of cocaine. But we know he failed it, and he hasn't seen fit to release the RECORDS about it. And we also know he swears he never used any narcotics AFTER 1974, leading one to infer...well, whatever they want to before 1974.

Personally, I don't care what he did. I think his basic incompetence is about a lot more than his substance abuse problems. But the point is you guys think it's perfectly legit to just spew garbage that can never be proved, 30 years after the fact...as long as it's not on your boy.

And no, furious, no one's going to waste any more taxpayer dollars on this nonsense. Like I said, pull your heads out of Texas and find out what the rest of the world thinks this is: Dirty disgusting politics, of the type Bush and his cronies are famous for. Even Fox News is backing off so fast they're tripping over themselves. And did you happen to catch Tommy Franks' recent interview where he answered whether Kerry was fit to serve: "Absolutely!"

Wake up, boys, no one cares. Just me, because its fun to watch jealous old coots chase their tails in an echo chamber.

TM

From Jay:

I'd tend to believe these guys a little more if they had come forward a lot earlier, like when Kerry first came to prominence protesting the war.

well, I have good news, Jay - John O'Neill, co-author of "Unfit for Command", debated Kerry on the Dick Cavett show in 1971, taking strong objection to Kerry's characterization of his fellow officers and enlisted mean as war criminals.

Is that soon enough after Kerry came to prominence for you to gain some confidence in him?

And if I could bother you to read the post on which you have been kind enough to comment, could you please tell me which of the four lies I have cited involvs Kerry's medals?

Jay Duffy

I'm familiar with John ONeill, TM. He was hired by Tricky Dick's White House staff of criminals to go for Kerry's throat early on, and nothing to do with his medals being earned dishonorably. Just his contentions about atrocities. And I know he's had a bug up his butt for Kerry ever since. Seems he could have found a more useful way to spend his life.

Did you know Colson apologized to Kerry for defaming him, and that Nixon and Kerry expressed their mutual admiration a year before Nixon's death? Real men of real accomplishment seem to be less blinded by rage and jealousy than Mr. O'Neill unfortunately has been.

I'm sorry I can't find your original post, TM. I was responding to the numerous others who claimed lies were involved in the medals. I find many of my points don't get responded to as well, unless it's convenient. I apologize.

Slartibartfast

But we know he failed it, and he hasn't seen fit to release the RECORDS about it.

Cite, please. How do you know that he failed the physical, if (as you claim) the records haven't been released?

Jay Duffy

Because his flying privileges were revoked for failing the physical. This is a fact. Can't cite it at the moment, but look it up. The suspicions have always been drugs or alcohol, as it's also common knowledge that he has "the problem".

Apparently that doesn't make one unfit to command though. Neither does years of unemployment, failed businesses where he rarely reported to work,or baseball teams bought on taxpayer dollars.

Unlike military service in a combat zone, or serving as district attorney or Attorney General or US Senator. Now THOSE things show a lack of character.

I know you guys don't want to lose. But this is truly pathetic. Really shameful and disgraceful. Let them have a fair fight. Your boy still has a chance. Let him win or lose it fair and square. It's high time Daddy, Jebbie and the Texas Mafia stopped doing W's dirty work.

TM

OK, Jay, let me get this straight - you wish some of these guys had come forward earlier, not to criticize Kerry on the atrocities charge, but to criticize Kerry's medals. This, of course, was before any of Kerry's records had been released (although I imagine a Sliver Star citation is public record) - maybe this would have been the attack of the psychic critics (darn, can these guys detect WMDs?).

However, critics who focussed on the atrocities charge years ago go *down* in your estimation (and contrary to your previous point), since they have a bug up their rear area, and need to get a life.

So, they're either opportunistic, publicity seeking hacks (I guess), or obsessive, Javert-type wackos. But ignore them.

John O'Neill has his name on a well regarded law partnership in Houston, so I guess he has not been a total failure while obsessing about Kerry.

Meanwhile, Kerry spent four days of his national convention talking about four months in Vietnam that took place thirty-four years ago. Should he also get over it, and get a life?

Slartibartfast

Because his flying privileges were revoked for failing the physical. This is a fact. Can't cite it at the moment, but look it up.

No, it isn't. I suggest you recheck your "facts" and get back to us.

Jay Duffy

Since you've got the proof, slartibartfest, why don't you enlighten me?

ed

Hmmm.

Ok here I go again:

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

If you can't refute the allegations against Kerry then you've lost. If you keep on attacking Bush to the exclusion of adequately defending Kerry, then you've also lost.

2. Bill Clinton.

Draft dodger. No military experience. Ran away to England. Elected President twice as a Democrat.

Hey. At least Bush served right? He could have run away to England like Bill Clinton.

GT

No furious, I don't care because it's meaningless to me. Bush has lied plenty of times. In fact I can't think of a politician who has not played footsie with the truth at some pount or other.

I am going to vote for Kerry first and foremost because I am socially liberal and I do not like the kind of nation that the Southern GOP leadrship seems to want to impose in this country. I don't think there will be huge differences in foreign policy and Bush has been a fiscal disater so anything is an improvement over that.

Given all of that Cambodia is utterly meaningless to me.

ed

Hmmm.

1. "No furious, I don't care because it's meaningless to me. Bush has lied plenty of times."

Really? The 9/11 Commission stated that he didn't lie. So you got something to back that assertion up? Or you just pulling it from a nether region?

2. "I am going to vote for Kerry first and foremost because I am socially liberal and I do not like the kind of nation that the Southern GOP leadrship seems to want to impose in this country."

Glad to know that the War on Terror is so important to you. No doubt you'd be the first one to scream about Bush if there's another attack.

3. "I don't think there will be huge differences in foreign policy and Bush has been a fiscal disater so anything is an improvement over that."

ROFLMAO!

If you want fiscal disaster then you're picking him. Kerry want's to provide a tax cut to small businesses. He wants to raise taxes on people making, for the moment at least, $200k. Quite a few of the people making $200k are small businesses filed as an LLC or an S-Corp.

Now that's fiscal insanity.

Then there's that nationalized healthcare. Right now America spends more on the 40 million uninsured Americans than Britian does on it's 60 million population under NHS (National Healthcare System). The low-ball projection on the cost of an American NHS, provided by Kerry's campaign, is $650 billion per year. Since that's a low-ball number, and not credible, let's bump that up to at least $1 trillion per year.

Oh yeah. Taxing everyone who makes $200k+ a year is going to pay for it.

ROFLMAO!!

Yeah. RRrrrrriiiiigggggghhhhhttttt.

4. "Given all of that Cambodia is utterly meaningless to me."

Now that's even more amusing to me. Given that you've spent the past weekend busily pumping away that this blog.

So it really doesn't mean anything to you?

Must mean you've lost the debate completely and now you're looking to CYA.

GT

You see ed, only I get to decide what is important for my vote. Not you.

Furious asked and I responded. If you are socialy conservative and want to vote for Bush that is your prerogative.

Slartibartfast

Since you've got the proof, slartibartfest, why don't you enlighten me?

Because it's your point. Do you really expect me to make your argument for you?

Jay Duffy

Well put, GT.

I'm voting for Kerry for much the same reasons. I don't want to live in a country where right wing idealogues, corporate welfare recipients and Radical Christian Fundamentalists call all the shots. That doesn't sound like the kind of open democratic society our kids are being killed and maimed to protect. I live in New York. I don't need any of you texans telling me what I think about the War on Terror. Just give us our cops and firemen, and keep your bogus terror alerts to yourselves.

I also want to know who the President is. I know Bush is only a front for Cheney and the Neocons who did an end run on our democratic process and got themselves appointed. I believe Kerry is intelligent and accomplished enough in the process of our government and in international relations that he will keep us safe. I also believe that in the meantime he won't destroy our Constitution and our freedoms, he won't hand our environment over to the corporate polluters and he'll do what all Democrats do, try to balance the budget.

Like it or not, these things matter to a lot of Americans. If you've looked at the polls recently, more than half. And we are America too. The part I want to live in.

Slartibartfast

I also want to know who the President is.

I suggest that this isn't really your problem, only a symptom.

Jay Duffy

So you really do believe that this guy who doesn't read the newspapers and never held a real job until he magically became Governor of Texas is NOT a front for the neocon brain trust?

Cheney knew he could never be elected. But he found Georgie, got him dried out, and started a Machiavellian quest that historians will be writing about for many years to come.

Slartibartfast

You know, the very first thing I do when I believe I've got a solid set of arguments is change the subject when challenged.

Not really, but I thought you might be feeling a little lonely.

capt joe

Jay,

So what was Kerry's real job before he became a senator and marrying rich women doesn't count.

magically elected governor? Was Dumbledore involved or was it professor snape?

The VRWC foam and lather just runs right off the top of your posts, doesn't it.

When I read your stuff, I am reminded of all those bozos who believe that Vince Foster was murdered by Klintoon.

Is that were you want to be?

just asking.

Dan H.

Just to set the record straight on Bush and his medical:

Bush did NOT fail his flight medical. He didn't bother to take it, BECAUSE HE WASN'T FLYING AT THE TIME.

Now, if you let your medical lapse, you are 'grounded'. This is not a punishment of any sort, and you can get your wings back simply by taking the medical.

I speak as a pilot who has let his medical lapse on several occasions. If you're not flying, there's no sense in putting yourself through the inconvenience.

If he had gone back on flight status, he would have just gone in and got a medical, and he would have been fully re-established.

This is another one of those smears against Bush that simply have no basis in fact, and which knowledgeable people just shake their heads over.

Bostonian

Jay Duffy,
I know a lot of people feel like you do. It's really a great shame that Kerry, of all people, was the guy who got the nomination. He doesn't seem very well prepared for all this, does he?

I'm socially liberal myself but am now a one-issue voter. I wish, I really really wish, the Democrats had chosen someone who is not an opportunistic self-aggrandizing liar. (To tell the truth, I could even live with that. Kerry has made it pretty clear that he would cut & run in Iraq, which is why I would never vote for him.)

Jay Duffy

Bostonian, there's no way Kerry can cut and run in Iraq. It will be a miracle if we get out of that hellhole in a generation.

If that's your only reason to vote against him, I think that's pretty short sighted. People seem to be forgettting we still live in THIS country. Do you want a country where Bush appoints the next Supreme court justice? Where radical Christian fundamentalists are allowed to turn our education system back to the Victorian era? Where the middle class lives in a capitalist jungle, while the corporations enjoy state sponsored socialism? Where we never bother to develop alternative fuels, but instead sacrifice our young people in endless militaristic scenarios to control a finite resource owned by people who loathe us?

What happened to the American values that I learned about in school? Seems like to the Bushies all they are is a propaganda tool to justify endless warfare and corporate greed.

Our system is very stable. The framers of the constitution were inspired to create a method to make an Imperial Presidency impossible. Now we have guys in power who see the Constitution as a political plaything, and who would like nothing more than to accrue imperial powers unto themselves. Listening to right wingers, it often strikes me how much they despise opposition, to the point I think they'd prefer there be no political party other than their own. They scare the hell out of me, a thousand times worse than terrorism does.

kendall harmon

Jay Duffy: If it is not a big deal then why was it covered by the Guardian and Mark Steyn and Michael Novak in commentary today?

Why is Nightline running with the story tonight?

Jay Duffy

I haven't read any of that commentary, kendall. it will be interesting to see what take Nightline puts on it . These days, the right wing has the media running pathetically scared, but this thing has pretty much everyone holding their noses.

Just as these guys say Kerry brought these questions on himself by promoting his Vietnam background, so also these guys have made themselves fair game.

As for the general public, I can attest that not one person in my family or at work has noticed a word about any of this, and could care less. It's going under the radar of pretty much all but the news junkies amongst us.

If it makes it to the Daily Show, THEN people will talk about it. And no one skewers the right wing hypocrites and panty sniffers better than Jon Stewart.

Jay Duffy

I haven't read any of that commentary, kendall. it will be interesting to see what take Nightline puts on it . These days, the right wing has the media running pathetically scared, but this thing has pretty much everyone holding their noses.

Just as these guys say Kerry brought these questions on himself by promoting his Vietnam background, so also these guys have made themselves fair game.

As for the general public, I can attest that not one person in my family or at work has noticed a word about any of this, and could care less. It's going under the radar of pretty much all but the news junkies amongst us.

If it makes it to the Daily Show, THEN people will talk about it. And no one skewers the right wing hypocrites and panty sniffers better than Jon Stewart.

Beldar

Jay Duffy wrote,

I'm familiar with John ONeill, TM. He was hired by Tricky Dick's White House staff of criminals to go for Kerry's throat early on, and nothing to do with his medals being earned dishonorably. Just his contentions about atrocities. And I know he's had a bug up his butt for Kerry ever since. Seems he could have found a more useful way to spend his life.

You obviously are not familiar with John O'Neill — his military, academic, or career records, or his actual involvement in speaking out in opposition to Kerry in 1971.

O'Neill was not hired by Nixon or his staff. A Naval Academy graduate, O'Neill had served in the same Swift Boats unit as Kerry, and indeed took over command of Kerry's boat after Kerry took his three bandaide wounds and his 8mm home movies back to a stateside post as an aide to an admiral. O'Neill was quite understandably offended by Kerry's "baby-killer" and "war criminal" claims as the most prominent "veteran against the war" activist, so O'Neill had tried for weeks to get Kerry to agree to a face-to-face debate. It was only after O'Neill had already lined up the debate with Kerry on The Dick Cavett Show that he came to the attention of the White House — and when he accepted Nixon's invitation to come by for a visit, he shocked Nixon by telling him that he'd voted for Hubert Humphrey in 1968!

From 1973 to 2003, O'Neill has been almost completely out of the political arena, and was only drawn to re-enter it by his strong conviction that Kerry isn't fit to be Commander in Chief. (O'Neill is reported to have said that he probably would have voted Dem in 2004 if John Edwards had been at the top of the ticket.) O'Neill has had a fabulous career — first in his class at Texas Law School, clerkship on the U.S. Supreme Court, extremely successful courtroom lawyer for more than three decades in Houston. What he has not been is an example of Lawyerus Politico — no campaigns for office or service as a political appointee himself, no stints managing others' campaigns, no campaign fundraising, no op-eds or public speaking for candidates. The man's own political contributions have only been in local races; the only proof Joe Conason could come up with to even paint O'Neill as a Republican is that he voted in a Republican primary in 1998. That, of course, wasn't a presidential election year — but if a lawyer wanted to cast a meaningful vote on local judges, that was the only vote that would count, given the current GOP lock on Harris County elected offices.

Tom, I apologize for so much link-whoring back to my own blog, and you've been very kind to link me yourself (more than I deserve), but I can't resist once again linking back to my post on my first-hand experience with John O'Neill, when he was an opposing expert witness whom I cross-examined in a huge securities fraud trial. As I concluded there:

I had every incentive to discredit O'Neill, but I couldn't. He had every incentive to fudge his testimony in order to sink my client, but he didn't.

O'Neill played it straight, even though the end result allowed me, in effect, to turn him into an expert witness for my client. In 24 years of practicing law, I've never seen a more impressive or credible witness.

ed

Hmmm.

"You see ed, only I get to decide what is important for my vote. Not you."

*shrug* like I care.

I also noticed you avoided responding to my points. I win.

joseph

Shameful to see how people who so enthusiastically support the bending of the rules of engagement in the current war are completely shocked to find that in 1968 some commanders sent some boats past the border, and--shocking!--are reticent to discuss the action subsequently.

In war, the bulk of the lies originate with the commanders, even originating in the Pentagon itself; these end up as real actions undertaken by foot soldiers. Of course, they are declaimed by all except the most heroic.

jeanneb

Just to respond to the earlier comment that Kerry's "Cambodia" comments don't matter.

In the context he uttered these statements, they mattered a great deal. Kerry was a sitting Senator giving personal testimony to the dangers of U.S. policy in Nicaragua. He used his "Cambodia" story to give himself personal standing in that debate. And it worked...he became the media's "go-to" guy on Nicaraguan issues (not to mention Noriega's water carrier).

So this wasn't some innocent braggadacio at a high school reunion. It was done in an official capacity on matters of national security.

(As to why the vets waited so long, ask yourself how much anyone outside the Boston political elite knew about his claims prior Kerry's run for president. I sure didn't. Then came Brinkley's book. That was the first time Kerry's versions of events were diseminated in detail and nationwide. That's what those guys responded to.)

jeanneb

Oops. Not "Noriega", in above post. Make that Ortega.

Beldar

Until early 2004 when Howard Dean's campaign collapsed, the notion that John Kerry might become Commander in Chief was highly improbable. And notwithstanding the candidate's mention of his Vietnam service in about every other sentence, it wasn't until the Democratic National Convention that it became clear just how much Kerry intended to rely upon his military record for credibility.

Beldar

Also re timing: There are over 200 veterans in the Swiftvets organization. It's obvious that they've made a comprehensive effort to find as many veterans as possible who've served with Kerry and have first-hand information on him — on his combat activities and on how he came to get the medals that got him a ticket outcountry after only four months. They obviously have gathered as much documentation, including affidavits, as possible before releasing the video and finishing O'Neill's book. All of those things took time.

Bostonian

Jay Duffy,
If you think the right wing has the media running scared, you're pretty far left. And you sound desperate.

Bill
Does alcoholism, deserting, nepotism and lying about HIS military record in some way make Bush more FIT than Kerry?
Interesting question. Does repeated child molestation make you less fit to post on this web site? The question is about as germane. Do you even know what desertion means? You appear not to. For that matter, you appear not to know what libel is either, otherwise you wouldn't engage in so much of it.
Slartibartfast

And no one skewers the right wing hypocrites and panty sniffers better than Jon Stewart.

Wow. And I just thought he was a comedian. Little did I know, he's the second coming of Edward Murrow!

If no one does it better, then no one's doing it very well. If at all.

HH

"I don't need any of you texans telling me what I think about the War on Terror. Just give us our cops and firemen, and keep your bogus terror alerts to yourselves."

Of course on September 10, there was a "bogus terror alert" far more vague than the alerts we receive now which the anti-Bushies have screamed about almost ever since

Ally

Okay, there's just so much that annoyed me here, and I didn't feel like copying and pasting all night, so these are sort of laundry-listed instead (it's poor style, and for that I apologize):

1.) As far as the "9/11 commission said Bush never lied" thing, even if all the WMDs, etc, was not a technical lie, I've got one for you. (It's not the only bold-faced lie I could cite; it's just my absolute favorite, the "greatest hits" chart-topper as you will.) Vintage George W. Bush circa 2000, the campaign: "I think gay marriage is a matter for the states, and I would never try to impose any Federal law on that issue." Bush today: leading the charge for a Constitutional Amendment against gay marriage. Hmm..... Now, he says 9/11 changed a lot of his campaign promises, but I'm not seeing how it changed gay marriage.

2.) As to the snarky comment of what was John Kerry's real job before he became a Senator (and "marrying rich women doesn't count"). Well, he actually has been a Senator for twenty years or so, but before that, he went to college, left for Vietnam, ran for a House seat in Massachusats (and yes, he lost), went to law school, became a Prosecuter for the state of Massachusats, and then he became Lieutenant Governor of the same state. After that, he ran for the Senate, won, and has served in that legislative body ever since. (He also owned a small business at one point -- a small, successful candy shop in Boston, which he later sold and which is still operating today under new ownership.)

3.) As to all the media remarks here: I personally don't think the media is running scared because of the right. I just think they're lazy. Nobody seems to fact check anything; they simply report that someone SAID something -- they don't even bother to find out or say whether it's true. If it's said, it's news. The talking points become "facts" even when they aren't facts. It's a widespread problem. I don't think it's a right-wing conspiracy, although the right is certainly more adept at their propaganda than the left. Jon Stewart occasionally brings truth to the front with comedy in a very masterful way, and he is a pretty brilliant satirist in my opinion.

4.) As to the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" thing that got this whole thread started. The three main charges have been disproven already. The first was that Kerry didn't deserve his third Purple Heart; the guy that states this says "I treated him," yet he's not the guy that signed the medical sheet. The second was Kerry's Bronze Star, which he recieved for saving Jim Rassman's life (Rassman, a Republican btw, says Kerry is a hero, as do all the men who were actually ON John Kerry's boat); the guy that says there was no enemy fire during this period and therefore Kerry does not deserve his medals was also given a Bronze Star for bravery during the same action (so, he must have taken an erroneous medal too -- because there has to be enemy fire to get a Bronze Star, apparently). The third accusation is my personal favorite. The commanding officer first awarded Kerry the Silver Star, then supported him until 1996, this year, he signed an affadavit saying he changed his mind, Kerry didn't deserve the Silver Star, a few days ago, he said he was wrong, Kerry did deserve it, now he's back to "Kerry's a lying liar" --- I think he's just lost all credibility on this matter.

None of these guys were on the boat. The guys on the boat say that Kerry's service and leadership was honorable. Grasp at straws all you want (and I'm sure you will), but this ad is mean spirited and it is libel. If someone ran an advertisement similar to this against President Bush, I would condemn that as well. I deplore this kind of politics, and it has Karl Rove written all over it (smells just like McCain in 2000..... I wonder why).

5.) As far as your assertations against Kerry in this post, they're all fairly minor. The "Send Me" criticism is based on Kerry's motivations for going, which is speculation and in no way constitutes a lie.

The Cambodia thing I've never heard before, and there are no real sources to back it up either way (by "real" I mean sources I actually trust), so it's a little thin. The missing years thing is odd to me because I've actually heard it reported that he got out of the Guard just a year after leaving Vietnam (and never went back), so there are several clashes on that. I'm not sure if you can blame that all on the Kerry camp or just the "telephone" nature of the media. As far as the records, I believe all but a few private medical records have been released, so I'm not sure what you mean there.

These are tiny allegations, even if they were true (which I kind of doubt they really are) and there are plenty larger ones on the Bush record if you want to get into issues of truth and character.

I think that criticizing Kerry's politics is fine (if you truly believe Bush can do a better job, I don't understand that at all --- I'm inclined to quote Teresa Kerry's statement "They want four more years of hell" here ---but I respect it, or at least I respect your right to believe it). However, criticizing Kerry's war record without a true basis just seems like dirty tactics. The advertisements are misleading. These men act as though they were on the boat with John Kerry, as though they were closest to him. And here's the thing I will never understand: why does the soldier who was 50 yards away know better than the guys that were on the boat? Those guys endorse him wholeheartedly, and some of them are even registered Republicans.

Just a hodgepodge of ramblings for y'all to either ignore or slash apart at your leisure. I apologize about the grammer/spelling, which I'm sure is atrocious today, but I'm trying to get it typed out quickly.

Ally

Kieran Lyons

Tom, you have an interesting post here, but you may want to edit it on a few minor points for accuracy. You have a line that says

we are still waiting for the after-action report from Dec 2, 1969

where the year should be 1968. By that date in 1969, Senator Kerry was out of Vietnam.

In addition, you point out

they might ask about after-action reports for March 18-19 of 2004. Kerry missed a couple of days after being wounded on March 13, but was back in full service mode by the 17th, and seems not to have left until the end of the month. The Command History shows his boat went out on March 18 and 19, burning structures and destroying enemy bunkers, but not reporting enemy contact.

I'm fairly sure that in March of 2004 Senator Kerry was busy running from his authorization for war with Iraq. It should be easy to confirm via Google. However, his conduct during March of 1969 might be germane to your post.

As an off topic point, I have to think that attacks on Senator Kerry's medals are probably counter productive in the political arena if you are a Bush partisan. If the medals are an issue, one of the concerned parties should have addressed their concerns to the DOD or the Department of the Navy contemporaneously. To whack him now on the medal issue sounds like either sour grapes or blatantly partisan character assassination.

I'm one of those undecided voters that wishes the Democrats had nominated a 'War Against Islamosupremicists' hawk such as Senator Lieberman (not that my vote in California would make a bit of difference). I find the Cambodia issue far more distressing for me than anything about either GWB's or JFK's service back when I was a child. Sniping over decades old youthful activities is rather pointless. In contrast, a verifiably false (which hasn't been actually proven false yet!) but repeated fabrication indicates a serious character flaw, not a memory failure or youthful but excusable unseriousness.

In addition, I know from my reading of the history of the Vietnam war that the SWIFT boats were moved to inshore duty when many of the PBR boats that previously did that duty were moved upriver to an interdiction mission on the border with Cambodia. It seems unlikely to me that the big, blundering, noisy SWIFT boats would have been assigned to infiltration missions into Cambodia when small and fast PBR's were already nearby and available.

I don't know if the Kerry campaign can or will address these issues, but that is the real thing we should be looking for, rather than engaging is partisan sniping.

ed

Hmmm.

"As an off topic point, I have to think that attacks on Senator Kerry's medals are probably counter productive in the political arena if you are a Bush partisan."

Actually, for me, it's all about respect.

I have a very deep respect for people who have been awarded these medals for their courage and sacrifice. It really deep-down offends me that someone would game the system to gain these medals. And then brag about the circumstances in such a disrespectful fashion for so many years.

If Kerry had never talked about it ever again after 1969, when he left Vietnam, then I wouldn't care as much. If Kerry had never brought up the issue at all in either the Primary or the Presidential campaign then I would be aggravated but no angry.

But his actions just make me angry beyond measure.

Frankly I'm a Conservative, not a Republican. At the moment they are somewhat the same, but not really. If I were offered an alternative candidate, such as Lieberman, I would abandon Bush in a heartbeat. My biggest concern is the WoT and border control. I'd be willing to live with almost anything else as long as those two were dealt with properly. That Bush as done singularly poorly on border control is amazing to me. Especially considering the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the WoT.

I don't really care how this affects the elections. I want the truth and the whole truth at that. I want all records released and I want the opportunity to sift through them and make my own judgements. And if it shows that Kerry is a grandstanding liar who gamed the system then he should be condemned and forced permanently from public office.

Jay Duffy

Ally, you did a better job than I've been doing here, but don't expect much response. You made your points too sensibly.

The reason behind this place seems to be a miasma of Kerry hatred based on his anti Vietnam statements as well as on the cultural repulsion that the redneck conservative segment of our society feels towards an educated New Englander with liberal political positions.

People seem to forget liberalism is one of the great political traditions in this country, not something anyone need to be ashamed of or defend. In a political context, given the bludgeoning nature of political coverage, liberals have to be careful not to ignite the wrath of the right wing pundits who have hijacked news coverage and who activistly preach their opinions as news.

As for Jon Stewart, sorry, old boys, he pulls the underpants off you neo cons night after night...and he's got an audience of 18-30 year olds who will likely be voting in far greater numbers this year. Nothing like the threat of being drafted for a pointless war to get those kids activated.

And since this IS America, we have a vibrant culture that in reality isn't exemplified by redneck faux-Christian chickenhawks...You boys have to deal with the reality that your grudges and jealousies aren't going to be able to control the direction our nation takes quite as much as you would probably like to.

Jay Duffy

Ally, you did a better job than I've been doing here, but don't expect much response. You made your points too sensibly.

The reason behind this place seems to be a miasma of Kerry hatred based on his anti Vietnam statements as well as on the cultural repulsion that the redneck conservative segment of our society feels towards an educated New Englander with liberal political positions.

People seem to forget liberalism is one of the great political traditions in this country, not something anyone need to be ashamed of or defend. In a political context, given the bludgeoning nature of political coverage, liberals have to be careful not to ignite the wrath of the right wing pundits who have hijacked news coverage and who activistly preach their opinions as news.

As for Jon Stewart, sorry, old boys, he pulls the underpants off you neo cons night after night...and he's got an audience of 18-30 year olds who will likely be voting in far greater numbers this year. Nothing like the threat of being drafted for a pointless war to get those kids activated.

And since this IS America, we have a vibrant culture that in reality isn't exemplified by redneck faux-Christian chickenhawks...You boys have to deal with the reality that your grudges and jealousies aren't going to be able to control the direction our nation takes quite as much as you would probably like to.

Slartibartfast

he pulls the underpants off you neo cons night after night

I guess that explains a few things, but I seriously didn't think he bent that way. I am a little curious as to who you think you neocons are. Having been a Republican my entire adult life, I can positively state that that particular shoe doesn't fit.

That little bit of trivia aside, are you still tap-dancing to distract us from your failure to substantiate the claim that Bush failed a physical, or is this a purely reflexive, unthinking change of subject? For a guy with an inherent intellectual superiority over pretty much everyone to the right of center, maybe you shouldn't hide your light under a bushel basket quite so much.

Jay Duffy

Go to www.awolbush.com, slartibarti. They have all of Kerry's and Bush's military records there to see, side by side. I was wrong to say he failed the physical. In army-speak, he "failed to accomplish" his physical. Not sure what that means, leaves it open to interpretation.

They have other interesting stuff in his records also. His poor attendance, failure to progress in training, suspension of flight privileges, request to avoid combat and failure to report are all there in black and white. Enjoy!

Oh, yeah, and Kerry's complete records are there also. Makes quite a startling comparison.

Jay Duffy

Just some more information for those who would scoff at Jon Stewart. More 18-25 year olds watched his coverage of the convention than watched Fox, CNN, and MSNBC combined. His ratings are up 21 % over last year. Kids today (I have two in this age group) are overwhelmingly anti BUsh, and they will move heaven and earth to get themselves to the polls this year, despite being a group that in the past, didn't bother all that much.

Last night Stewart did take on the Smear Boat Vets. Pointed out that the "doctor" who "treated" Kerry appears nowhere on any of the paperwork, and wonders how a doc who served in Vietnam managed to remember (30 years later, for the first time!) how incredibly minor Kerry's injuries were. Did he remember under hypnosis, this one tiny wound amongst the slaughterhouse of violence he must have witnessed? Stewart also showed a possible ad from the Air Force National Guard vets who served with Bush...an empty stage.

Then he went on to express outrage that the same folks who thought Clinton's FILEGATE and TRAVELGATE were scandals that blighted our nation don't seem to mind a bit that Halliburton had to pay a multimillion dollar fine for accounting fraud (while under Cheney) or that they've been given no bid contracts by the USA, paid for with IRAQI oil profits, that the USA is able to assign to Halliburton because...?

People can accuse me of changing the subject, but not putting this subject into some perspective is the real outrage. This country spent TEN TIMES more investigating Clinton's sex life than it did investigating 9/11. Our priorities are so far off right now, it's becoming surreal.

If the right wing had candidates of moral integrity and if they practiced honest election campaigns, they'd have some standing to be criticizing Kerry. As it is, I can't imagine why you think anyone should be taking any of these obvious smear campaigns seriously.

Slartibartfast

Not sure what that means, leaves it open to interpretation.

Only if you're devoted to doing so. Seems pretty clear to me.

They have other interesting stuff in his records also. His poor attendance, failure to progress in training, suspension of flight privileges, request to avoid combat and failure to report are all there in black and white. Enjoy!

Already seen multiple times, elsewhere. Little of it is of any consequence or in any way unusual. But I'd be extremely happy to examine all of their records side by side, as you say, as soon as Kerry's released all of his. Until then, total waste of time.

So, startling, in that one of the candidates has released his entire record, and the one, who's actually running on his record, hasn't.

Jay Duffy

Slartibart, whats missing? Please enlighten.

Slartibartfast

By the way, a much more complete, coherent, and entirely spittle-free set of records is available here. Enjoy.

Also, the photocopies seem to be of much better quality.

Jay Duffy

So, slarti, I take that to mean you have no idea that any of Kerry's records are missing. It's all just part of the usual demonization/conspiracy theory crap? His records are right there. What's missing?

Slartibartfast

What's missing is Kerry's authorization (via Standard Form 180) to release his entire record. What he's given is just what he's decided to dole out. Specifically, what's missing? Well, there's a substantial set of after-action reports that don't appear in the Kerry Collection, for one.

Slartibartfast

Try googling "Kerry military record" and see how many sites offer up the official release. Kerry's refused to release the complete record to more than one newspaper.

I don't know all of what's missing, just as Bush's critics didn't know what was missing. Gosh, it sucks when equal standards are applied, doesn't it?

Jay Duffy

No, Slarti, applying equal standards would be quite a relief.

If Bush and Kerry's careers were held to equal standards, we wouldn't have sites like this one. We wouldn't spend $70million investigating oral sex and only $7 million investigating a national catastrophe. We wouldn't have Martha Stewart going to jail while Dick Cheney runs for re-self-appointment.

This site has heartened me somewhat though. My first pass through here, you guys had me wondering if I'd been less than diligent in choosing my candidate. Now, observing the rampant hypocrisy and foamy mouthed hatred here, I am more convinced than ever that the radical right wing in America has to be uprooted before it can destroy our fundamental ideals any further.

Slartibartfast

And your assertion that Kerry's released his records? Fell through the cracks, did it?

Your change-of-subject kungfu, though, is formidable.

Slartibartfast

Now, observing the rampant hypocrisy and foamy mouthed hatred here...

I don't hate anyone, Jay. Have I given you a reason to think I harbor hatred toward anyone at all?

Jay Duffy

Slarti, my contention is that Kerry HAS released his records.

But more importantly, today the Wall Street Journal published the following on its Op Ed page:

Shame on the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush
by Jim Rassmann

I came to know Lt. John Kerry during the spring of 1969. He and his swift boat crew assisted in inserting our Special Forces team and our Chinese Nung soldiers into operational sites in the Cau Mau Peninsula of South Vietnam. I worked with him on many operations and saw firsthand his leadership, courage and decision-making ability under fire. . . . Does this strategy of attacking combat Vietnam veterans sound familiar? In 2000, a similar Republican smear campaign was launched against Sen. McCain. In fact, the very same communications group, Spaeth Communications, that placed ads against John McCain in 2000 is involved in these vicious attacks against John Kerry. Texas Republican donors with close ties to George W. Bush and Karl Rove crafted this 'dishonest and dishonorable' ad. Their new charges are false; their stories are fabricated, made up by people who did not serve with Kerry in Vietnam. They insult and defame all of us who served in Vietnam.

******

You people should be ashamed of yourselves. You are a disgrace. And slarti, if hate isn't what motivates you then I don't know what does. Certainly not love of country, or you wouldn't insult it this way.

Slartibartfast

Pardon? In what way have I insulted my country? By requiring Kerry to release his records (official records, mind you) just as Bush was required to?

If this is insulting to you, I suggest you reexamine your own code of ethics for flaws.

Jay Duffy

Slarti, your support and promotion of these Smear Boat Rats is what insults our country. Anyone who encourages this gutter level of political discourse when our country is in such grave peril is insulting our country.

Read Rasmann's commentary again. And hang your head in shame.

BTW, boys, Kerry is leading in all the polls again. And in most Battleground States. People know what corrupt crooks the Bushies are. They know without a doubt who's behind this. You're not fooling anyone.

After the phone campaign to whisper that McCain had a black baby, after the ads implying he was a Communist turncoat or had gone insane, after the ads linking Max Cleland to Saddam Hussein because he didn't back Bush's porkbarrel Homeland Security bill...The American people aren't ALL fools. We know how low Bush can sink, we aren't surprised anymore, and we aren't fooled.

Slartibartfast

I find the juxtaposition of:

Slarti, your support and promotion of these Smear Boat Rats is what insults our country.

and:

Anyone who encourages this gutter level of political discourse when our country is in such grave peril is insulting our country.

tells me much more about you than perhaps you intended.

I don't know about you, but when I find the word of one Vietnam vet directly contradicted by the words of quite a few others, I get a little curious as to whether there's a story here. Evidently, you're as intellectually incurious as Bush critics insist he is.

Jay Duffy

By that line of thinking, libel isn't libel if it's done by a group then. Somehow in this asinine situation, the testimony of the ACTUAL eyewitness and person directly involved in the inciden is being outweighed by one guy who was 50 yards away during a battle and who is questioning the very circumstances that led to his own medal, a bunch of other guys who crewed on nearby boats but never directly with Kerry, some superior officers who were no where near the scene, a bunch of other guys who were on boats similar to Kerry's but not when he was in Nam, and a doctor who outright lied.

What you've all taught me here is how the right wing has learned to manipulate the media and the press for greedy political advantage, trashing American principles and ideals underfoot every step of the way.

Slartibartfast

By that line of thinking, libel isn't libel if it's done by a group then.

No, libel isn't libel if it's not libel. One could wait and see what pans out, or one could insert earplugs and don blinders and refuse to think further. I know which way I'm going.

What's got me shaking my head is, you're smearing the messengers, and then complaining that they're smearing Kerry and Rassman. Here's a quarter...

Jay Duffy

The burden of proof is entirely on the accusers. Entirely. That's the whole point of this nonsense. Kerry isn't going to stop in the middle of a political campaign against the most cutthroat, unethical political party in our history to answer to scurrilous charges that have been refuted numerous times in the past.

The calls for him to drop everything and take these rats to court is disingenuous. You can almost see the smirks on all the fat Limbaugh clones when they make that call.

However, once this election is over, regardless of the outcome, I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few of these fellows don't end up regretting their willingness to libel a fellow citizen in the service of their Lord Bush. Hopefully it will be a lesson to others who might follow in his footsteps to the utterly ignominious place in history this lowlife President is headed for.

Slartibartfast

The burden of proof is entirely on the accusers.

Oh, I agree. Has anyone you've run into disagreed?

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.

J Murphy

Ally,
My basic belief is that Kerry should release all the pertinent records he has (and authorize release of all government records he does not possess), and the Swift Boat Vets should be able to explain themselves. I think we need to examine the facts.

Nightline last night did a “report” which managed to avoid the one question I thought was pertinent: What is the evidence that Kerry has misrepresented his service? I have read the response the Swift Boat Vets put together to respond to the DNC/Kerry efforts to silence them. If their allegations, which are made under oath, are true, it is devastating to Kerry. Let’s examine the evidence, drop the ad hominem attacks, and find the truth the best we can.

Your argument about the doctor is a strawman. The form was signed by a Hospital Corpsman (an E-6 named Jesus Carreon, I believe). There was no other doctor assigned to that command than the one who says he remembers the incredibly slight wound. As even civilians must know, doctors have others in their office do some of the paperwork. In the military, enlisted men (like Petty Officer Carreon) certainly are expected to do paperwork for the officers (such as the doctor).

Another strawman is to claim that the Swift Boat Vets lied when they said they “served” with John Kerry. Lannie Davis shouted this about a dozen times last night on Hannity and Colmes. The feebleness of this argument, the volume at which it is delivered, and the anger with which it is made tells me a lot about the dearth of facts to support the Kerry story.

Actually if the Swift Boats Vets DENIED serving with Kerry, they would be lying. Saying these officers and men did not serve with Kerry is like saying the USAF Thunderbird pilots never served together. After all, they couldn’t be on two airplanes at once. Pay attention to the stock TV footage of the swift boats, note how they operated together, just like the Thunderbirds operate together.

Also, it is not true that all the men who served under Kerry (five man crew) support him on all of Kerry's claims. One of the enlisted men in the ad, I believe, is from Kerry's boat. Also, none of the crew members from Kerry's boat served under him for more than 5 weeks, while some of the Swift Boat Vets served with him longer.

I don't find Mr. Rassmann's recollections totally irreconciable with the Swift Boat Veterans who were there. Rassmann was in the water, quite properly scared out of his wits that he would be run over by one of the several swift boats racing about to rescue the four men in the water, while he was thinking he was caught in an ambush.

He says he stayed underwater as long as he could, repeatedly submerging himself until he could hold his breath no longer. Of all the persons at the scene, he was in the worst position to know what was happening on the surface. It certainly would have been extremely chaotic with the concussion and possibly debris flying from the mine explosion. Mr. Rassmann suddenly finds himself underwater, fighting for his life trying to simultaneously avoid drowning and being run over by 50-foot boats racing around in a small area.

Kerry's peers, commanding the other boats, immediately moved to save the men in the water, and would need to defend themselves (return fire) if fired upon. On this particular issue, the men in the other boats whose own lives depended on returning fire, if fired upon, were in a superior position to witness the events than Mr. Rassmann. In addition, the Swift Boat Veterans point to a lack of physical evidence (only the boat which hit the mine was damaged) to dispute the "under fire" claim.

This does not mean I think Mr. Rassmann is lying. I don't. My point is I think it is silly to immediately dismiss the Swift Boat Vets stories, because they were on other boats, etc. etc. Let's get all the facts.

The DNC/Kerry response has been to "lawyer up" to gag the vets. I want to hear what they have to say, in detail, and want Kerry to tear their story apart if it is false.

J Murphy

I need to make a correction to my last entry. I have now seen conflicting information if any of the men in the ad served on Kerry's boat. The best I can tell none did. There is one former Kerry crewman who disputes other Kerry claims, but that crewman is not in the ad, apparently.

In some ways this emphasizes my main point; Let's get the facts 'on the record," get documents, cross-examine witnesses.

Jay Duffy

J Murphy, no one is going to stop a Presidential campaign to cross examine witnesses. You couldn't even bring a case that quickly. As you have yourself noted, these stories are full of flaws, misrepresentations, rumors and innuendo. The fact that these men swore oaths means nothing. Kerry and Rasmann could swear out oaths, and then where would we be?

The purpose of this smear campaign is not to get at any facts. It is to plant suspicion in the minds of voters that will never be resolved, and is never intended to be resolved. It is far easier to tell a lie than it is to disprove it. These tactics worked on Max Cleland and on John McCain.

Have you read the bigoted rantings of one of the Unfit for Command authors - Jerry Corsi. Where he calls Catholics Sodomites and boy buggerers, insults women, Catholics, Jews and Muslims in the crudest and most disgusting language? We are not talking about men of principle here. We are talking about the lowest common denominator in American politics and I am shocked that it has gotten this far.

The Republicans intend to rule this land as a one party system where they intimidate, ridicule and threaten their opponents. It is very terrifying. I am heartened by all the evidence that the American people are no longer buying it.

Jay Duffy

J Murphy, no one is going to stop a Presidential campaign to cross examine witnesses. You couldn't even bring a case that quickly. As you have yourself noted, these stories are full of flaws, misrepresentations, rumors and innuendo. The fact that these men swore oaths means nothing. Kerry and Rasmann could swear out oaths, and then where would we be?

The purpose of this smear campaign is not to get at any facts. It is to plant suspicion in the minds of voters that will never be resolved, and is never intended to be resolved. It is far easier to tell a lie than it is to disprove it. These tactics worked on Max Cleland and on John McCain.

Have you read the bigoted rantings of one of the Unfit for Command authors - Jerry Corsi. Where he calls Catholics Sodomites and boy buggerers, insults women, Catholics, Jews and Muslims in the crudest and most disgusting language? We are not talking about men of principle here. We are talking about the lowest common denominator in American politics and I am shocked that it has gotten this far.

The Republicans intend to rule this land as a one party system where they intimidate, ridicule and threaten their opponents. It is very terrifying. I am heartened by all the evidence that the American people are no longer buying it.

Bill
The Republicans intend to rule this land as a one party system where they intimidate, ridicule and threaten their opponents.
-Jay Duffy's last words before he ran screaming, drooling, and naked into the wilderness, never to be seen again....

Seriously, why does anybody respond to this troll? Don't feed him, he just craves attention. He also seems to have some kind of fixation with 'panty-sniffers'. Seriously Jay, way more than we needed to know about your personel life.

Jay Duffy

The Republicans spent $70 million of our taxpayer dollars sniffing panties, Bill, or did you think that was money well spent?

And thanks again for proving my point. Do the Republicans have anything to offer the political dialogue in this country other than ridicule and contempt for other opinions? I heard the RNC is going to be a field day of Repugs mocking their countrymen. Should be quite a spectacle of patriotism.

Jay Duffy

The Republicans spent $70 million of our taxpayer dollars sniffing panties, Bill, or did you think that was money well spent?

And thanks again for proving my point. Do the Republicans have anything to offer the political dialogue in this country other than ridicule and contempt for other opinions? I heard the RNC is going to be a field day of Repugs mocking their countrymen. Should be quite a spectacle of patriotism.

Slartibartfast

Do the Republicans have anything to offer the political dialogue in this country other than ridicule and contempt for other opinions?

The level of irony in this statement is staggering. A simple review of your comments in the Kerry-related threads on this blog reveal that you're a much worse offender than the rest of us put together.

Ally

Ally,
My basic belief is that Kerry should release all the pertinent records he has (and authorize release of all government records he does not possess), and the Swift Boat Vets should be able to explain themselves. I think we need to examine the facts.

The Swift Boat Veterans “for Truth” (sorry for the quotations, not trying to be snarky, but the way these things get named really makes me feel like I’m reading Orwell’s 1984 sometimes) have not tried to explain themselves. I haven’t read the whole book, but what I have read (snippets) is extremely sensationalized rhetoric, barely backed by facts at all, and the commercials are the worst of it. The commercial doesn’t actually *say* anything: it just basically says “he lied” over and over and over again. If there was an actual case against his medals that could be backed with proper documentation, they would have not only brought it up back in 1971 (or when he ran for Senate the first time, or the second time, or the third time, or the fourth time, or when he was in the Democratic Primaries last year) but they would have actually proven it then and the military would have taken action on it.

My basic belief as far as records go is that medical records are private, even for the President or a candidate for President. I’d say (and have said) the same for President Bush, who also withheld some records of his service (not all of which were medical). The only records I can conclusively see that Kerry has withheld were medical records, and he – and every citizen, no matter what job they wish to hold – has that right.

He has documentation for every claim I have ever heard him make as far as his war record. When you get into obscure articles, etc, that sort of, kind of say conflicting things that may not have happened (i.e. Cambodia), it’s hard to argue that definitively because this all did happen quite some time ago, and some things cannot be and will never be fully documented. There’s no real proof either way on that, and as far as the “Nixon wasn’t President thing” – the rhetoric in those lines doesn’t actually imply that Nixon sent him or was President at the time, so that could be the case. (This is what I do, I study language, so I always look at things in terms of that.)

The “facts” are almost overwhelmingly on Kerry’s side. When you look at “the facts,” however you also have to look at “the source,” and that’s why it’s okay to dissect the source (even if they are people) and their motivations. That’s a basic tenet of research.

Nightline last night did a “report” which managed to avoid the one question I thought was pertinent: What is the evidence that Kerry has misrepresented his service? I have read the response the Swift Boat Vets put together to respond to the DNC/Kerry efforts to silence them. If their allegations, which are made under oath, are true, it is devastating to Kerry. Let’s examine the evidence, drop the ad hominem attacks, and find the truth the best we can.

Well, first of all, what constitutes misrepresentation. I would say that every Presidential candidate in the history of our nation was misrepresented at some time (for better or worse, their own fault or the media’s). Now, if he lied – that is said something that is the opposite of what is true (not embellished or exaggerated or gave it fancier rhetoric to make it sound prettier) – then that’s a problem, but there is no conclusive evidence that he lied, and until there is conclusive, hard evidence that he lied, it is incorrect to speculate about that, just as it is incorrect to speculate that George W. Bush “lied” about things we do not conclusively know he lied about.

So, even having that debate is a bit dishonest because it implies that somewhere there is some proof that Kerry lied, which there is no real proof of at this time.

I don’t blame the DNC for trying to “silence them.” See, everybody reads the article. Nobody reads the retraction. That’s the American way – people believe something because it is said, and they don’t wait to hear if it’s really true or not.

Your argument about the doctor is a strawman. The form was signed by a Hospital Corpsman (an E-6 named Jesus Carreon, I believe). There was no other doctor assigned to that command than the one who says he remembers the incredibly slight wound. As even civilians must know, doctors have others in their office do some of the paperwork. In the military, enlisted men (like Petty Officer Carreon) certainly are expected to do paperwork for the officers (such as the doctor).

No, it’s called “examining the evidence.” This guy says he treated Kerry, but he cannot prove it. Furthermore, he remembers treating Kerry decades later, despite the fact that he must have treated dozens of men that same day? All he has is his word, and you cannot attack someone’s character with your word alone. If he could provide any kind of documentation – i.e. to show conclusively that he treated Kerry – it would not necessarily make it so, but it would be at least a step towards credibility.

At best, this is gossip. At worst, it’s libel.

Another strawman is to claim that the Swift Boat Vets lied when they said they “served” with John Kerry. Lannie Davis shouted this about a dozen times last night on Hannity and Colmes. The feebleness of this argument, the volume at which it is delivered, and the anger with which it is made tells me a lot about the dearth of facts to support the Kerry story.

You’re the one who’s so big on misrepresentation. I’m not sure if I said they “lied,” but if I did, I apologize; that’s not what I meant. (I wrote the original post at like 2AM, so cut me a little slack.) I mean they misrepresented the case. I’ve seen the commercial – at one point, it shows pictures of Kerry’s actual crew, and then it shows men, who are not his crew, and they’re calling him, “a liar.” That is representing that his crew is calling him “a liar,” which they are not; these men were not in his crew. I don’t think that’s lying – I think it’s misleading advertising.

Actually if the Swift Boats Vets DENIED serving with Kerry, they would be lying. Saying these officers and men did not serve with Kerry is like saying the USAF Thunderbird pilots never served together. After all, they couldn’t be on two airplanes at once. Pay attention to the stock TV footage of the swift boats, note how they operated together, just like the Thunderbirds operate together.

Yeah, but I’m inclined to believe the guy who was five feet away before the guy who was 50 yards away.

Also, it is not true that all the men who served under Kerry (five man crew) support him on all of Kerry's claims. One of the enlisted men in the ad, I believe, is from Kerry's boat. Also, none of the crew members from Kerry's boat served under him for more than 5 weeks, while some of the Swift Boat Vets served with him longer.

No, the one whose “from Kerry’s boat,” did serve on the same boat, but he served months after Kerry had left Vietnam. None of them served on Kerry’s boat WHEN Kerry was there (so, unless he’s channeling something from the boat itself that clairvoyantly tells him what Kerry’s service was like, he’s the most misleading man of all).

They may have served with him for a short time, but they were right there. I’ve never been in combat, but I’m thinking that – like in all times of crisis – you get to know each other pretty quickly. I also think that being right on the boat with Kerry, not only would you get a better view, but you’d also be less predisposed to allow your prejudices (I’m not talking racial here; we all have a prejudice of someone every time we meet them, based on their actions, their voice, their last name, whatever: we think about what they are like, without actually *knowing* what they are like) to override your view of reality.

For instance, I work in a department store part time (I’m a graduate student), and the people who actually work in my department – even the newest girl, who has only been here three weeks – know me better than the people who have worked in other departments for the length of time I’ve been there (a year and a half). There are many people in the other departments that dislike me for reasons that are not my fault, or who like me for reasons that are not my fault, based on the general “presence” I give off, which is misleading (as is most people’s first impression).

I don't find Mr. Rassmann's recollections totally irreconciable with the Swift Boat Veterans who were there. Rassmann was in the water, quite properly scared out of his wits that he would be run over by one of the several swift boats racing about to rescue the four men in the water, while he was thinking he was caught in an ambush.

He says he stayed underwater as long as he could, repeatedly submerging himself until he could hold his breath no longer. Of all the persons at the scene, he was in the worst position to know what was happening on the surface. It certainly would have been extremely chaotic with the concussion and possibly debris flying from the mine explosion. Mr. Rassmann suddenly finds himself underwater, fighting for his life trying to simultaneously avoid drowning and being run over by 50-foot boats racing around in a small area.

Kerry's peers, commanding the other boats, immediately moved to save the men in the water, and would need to defend themselves (return fire) if fired upon. On this particular issue, the men in the other boats whose own lives depended on returning fire, if fired upon, were in a superior position to witness the events than Mr. Rassmann. In addition, the Swift Boat Veterans point to a lack of physical evidence (only the boat which hit the mine was damaged) to dispute the "under fire" claim.

Well, the people ON Kerry’s boat agree with Jim Rassmann’s account that Kerry saved his life. I’d say they were in a pretty good position as well. So do some of the men who were on the other boats (these are not ALL the men on the other boats) btw.

The Swift Boat Veterans can point “to a lack of evidence” all they want, but they have the burden of proof in this case. Kerry has the medals, which the Navy determined he deserved and he has eyewitness accounts already on his side, so they are pointing out merely circumstantial evidence. The judgment on this was made years ago, and they have to prove that it is untrue; it’s not on Kerry to “prove” anything in this case.

This does not mean I think Mr. Rassmann is lying. I don't. My point is I think it is silly to immediately dismiss the Swift Boat Vets stories, because they were on other boats, etc. etc. Let's get all the facts.

The DNC/Kerry response has been to "lawyer up" to gag the vets. I want to hear what they have to say, in detail, and want Kerry to tear their story apart if it is false.

I’ve already addressed this, but it is so important and so obvious to me I’m going to say it again. Everybody reads the article; nobody reads the retraction. Ignoring that fact is ignoring the world we live in. If you’re charged with something, and you do not immediately strike it down as best you can, but rather let it ruminate, it does not matter if truth is on your side – you will lose. That’s what the media does today; they’re bored by the time they get to the facts.

Ally

robert0

A conservitive notes:

"... Yet in 2004, Republicans find themselves supporting a candidate, George W. Bush, with a slender and ambiguous military record against a man whose combat heroism has never (until now) been disputed. Further--and here we'll let slip a thinly disguised secret--Republicans are supporting a candidate that relatively few of them find personally or politically appealing. This is not the choice Republicans are supposed to be faced with. The 1990s were far better. In those days the Democrats did the proper thing, nominating a draft-dodger to run against George H.W. Bush, who was the youngest combat pilot in the Pacific theater in World War II, and then later, in 1996, against Bob Dole, who left a portion of his body on the beach at Anzio.

Republicans have no such luck this time, and so they scramble to reassure themselves that they nevertheless are doing the right thing, voting against a war hero. The simplest way to do this is to convince themselves that the war hero isn't really a war hero. If sufficient doubt about Kerry's record can be raised, we can vote for Bush without remorse. But the calculations are transparently desperate. Reading some of the anti-Kerry attacks over the last several weeks, you might conclude that this is the new conservative position: A veteran who volunteered for combat duty, spent four months under fire in Vietnam, and then exaggerated a bit so he could go home early is the inferior, morally and otherwise, of a man who had his father pull strings so he wouldn't have to go to Vietnam in the first place.

Needless to say, the proposition will be a hard sell in those dim and tiny reaches of the electorate where voters have yet to make up their minds. Indeed, it's far more likely that moderates and fence-sitters will be disgusted by the lengths to which partisans will go to discredit a rival. But this anti-Kerry campaign is not designed to win undecided votes. It's designed to reassure uneasy minds."

Raven

A curious thing here. During the 1971 anti-war protests, President Nixon targetted John Kerry as a political enemy. As Joe Klein reports,

Years later, Chuck Colson - who was Nixon's political enforcer - told me, "He was a thorn in our flesh. He was very articulate, a credible leader of the opposition. He forced us to create a counterfoil. We found a vet named John O'Neill and formed a group called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. We had O'Neill meet the President, and we did everything we could do to boost his group."
According to the Boston Globe,
... Colson's memos, in storage at the National Archives, show that he tried mightily to discredit Kerry. ... In short order, O'Neill became the centerpiece of the Nixon White House strategy to undermine Kerry.
[photo caption:] John O'Neill, selected to debate John Kerry about the Vietman War, in the Oval Office with President Nixon and White House aide Charles Colson.

Excerpts from Nixon White House tapes (including from Nixon's meeting with John O'Neill, June 16, 1971).

It was certainly well within Nixon's power (and character) to have dug up every speck of dirt on Kerry, including irregularities in his military record, if any existed.

Given that, why are these allegations only coming out now, even from John O'Neill — who, as TM emphasizes, had opposed Kerry back in 1971 — and not earlier?   Why are some of the same people who now accuse Kerry also on record in recent years as saying the very opposite about him?

It seems like the only thing that's changed is that now Kerry is running against Bush — who has a track record of smearing opponents, even denigrating their decorated military histories. (John McCain, anyone?)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame