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August 07, 2004



You know, sometimes words just fail me. I wonder if the MSM's "professionalism" is their uncanny ability to misrepresent, mislead, misstate, etc. key information to important stories. Not to worry though, they assure us they don't have an agenda.


I swore I would not get sucked into this minutiae, but anyway:
I see no problem with the ellipsis.
In his first affidavit,which you quote,Elliott states Kerry lied, and cites certain misstatements. He then states Kerry wasn't "forthright in Vietnam. For example.."
i.e. Here's an example of how kerry wasn't "forthright": he never said he shot the guy in the back. "I was never informed" meaning Kerry shot the guy in the back, but I was never informed of this because kerry was never honest ("forthright")about it.

So if Elliot really did tell Kranish "I still don't think he shot the guy in the back," then he is definitely retracting the "example" he offered of Kerry's lack of forthrightness.

In his revised affidavit-he says he only meant that he never received a report that the Cong was shot in the back. But if his quote to Kranish is true-he did retract his earlier sworn testimony imho.

But it doesn't matter. This testimony is worthless anyway. You can only testify as to your personal knowledge. Elliot wasn't there. This second affidavit-quoting kranish quoting Kerry-is triple hearsay and actually embarrassing (as far as admissibility into court-politically-who knows/cares).

Incidentally, someone needs to follow up on Elliot's statement in the Globe that "In a hurry I signed it and faxed it [the affidavit]back."
This is quite common-unfortunately it's also fraud.
i.e. you need an affidavit signed-you fax it to a witness-he signs it-faxes you the signature-drops the original signature in the mail-you notarize the fax-make a copy- it looks like an original. Later when the signed original shows up-you notarize it-and voila-there's your original. Except the Notary and the affiant were never in the same room. So the "before me personally appeared" part is perjury.

Happens every day in America-otherwise you've got to schlep over to the Notary's office or vice versa when the damn paper is just going to be filed into the real estate records never to be seen again-so why bother-take the easy way.

Sound like that's what happened here-otherwise why would Elliot "fax it back"? Did Elliott really go to Ms. Webbs office as a oneshot deal and then faxed and mailed the affidavit to the Swifboatians or was Ms. Webb at the Swifboat HQ receiving and notarizing all these vets affidavits at a central point?

Sounds stupid-but I swear this point was raised at a Congressional hearing in connection with Whitewater. Again this is mindboggling minutiae but leave no tern unstoned.


You kind of lost me here.

There's two points in my mind.

1. First Elliot's second affidavit is a very, very weak retraction. The Boston Globe, which says that they stand by their story (and I assume they have either recordings or notes of the interview) quotes Elliot saying very specific things. For example ''I still don't think he shot the guy in the back," Elliott said. ''It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here." This is a very clear quote. Did or did not Elliot say that? It should be easy for him to deny it but he doesn't. All he says is that he was misquoted and never explains how. To me that tells me he did say that but then came to regret it.

2. The second point is that the affidavits themselves and Elliot's claims are weird. He admits he was not there and that he has no direct knowledge. But then he says that he would not have recommended the Silver Star if he had been informed of the facts. But what facts? The people that were there agree that the soldier had an RPG that could blow up the boat and that Kerry killed him. For some reason Elliot's affidavits missed that part. The age of the soldier is both irrelevant and a useless debate since no one knows. It doesn't matter what he 'looked' like. I know lots of people in their 20s than easily look like teenagers. And there is nothing wrong with shooting a fleeing soldier that does not surrender and has weapons capable of destroying you and your crew. And, of course, Kerry could not have known if there was somebody else hiding around when he started casing the VC soldier. Someone who could have easily killed him. Lucky for him that wasn't the case.

More details here:



Martin - good point about faxing the affidavit. John O'Neill is a big time Houston lawyer, and they may have subsequently executed a follow-up (Elliot would have signed, figuring it was too late now). Just how fraudulent that is, and how courts handle it, I have no idea.

GT - I had not seen your comment when I wrote my "MORE", so I am not sure if your are responding to it or not.

As a slightly different example - suppose I wrote "I made a terrible mistake when I put on a striped green shirt with an orange polka dot tie before I went off to vote for Bush"

Is it possible there are two mistakes in that proposition, and my idea of the terrible mistakeis different from yours? (Depends on your politico-fashion sense, I am sure).

Put another way, is there anything at all that makes you think that Elliott would like to retract the main proposition - Kerry accused folks of war crimes; and are we absolutely sure that the "terrible mistake" was not in picking some more clear-cut example of Kerry's untruthfullness?



I guess I read it differently than you. I agree that Elliot does not appear to be backing away from his "Kerry lied about all of us being war criminals" accusation. But I don't see that as the main point of the article. The main point IMO is that Elliot is retracting from the "Kerry should not have gotten a Silver Star" accusation.

In any case I don't see the need for an affidavit regarding the war crimes issue. Without starting a new debate on that issue it seems to me that is a question of opinion. Kerry never said that everyone was a war criminal only that some people had commited war crimes.

In the end I am left a bit puzzled as to what, exactly, Elliot is testifying to. If he disagrees with Kerry's Senate testimnoy why doesn't he highlight what Kerry said and refute or contradict it? The testimony on the Silver Star is at best confusing and at worst an attempt to smear by Elliot. I don't get it.


Martin's point that "the Notary and the affiant were never in the same room" appears to be belied by the fact that both affidavits were notarized by notaries in the state of Delaware, which is Eliott's domicile. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that the notarization was placed on the faxed copy by the recipient of the fax.


OK, the Globe stands by their story.

(a) if they had any character, they would print the original affidavit, instead of going into a legalistic "the quote is literally accurate" defense.

(b) for GT, the original story had this headline (not the writer's fault, but the Globe stands by it):

"Veteran retracts criticism of Kerry"

Did you take from that that Elliott retracted all his criticism, his main criticism, or a minor point?

Later, they do say this: "backed off one of the key contentions": were you left with the impression that he stood by his main contentions?

Did you know what his main contentions were? (I did not - I couldn't find this affidavit yesterday, and the Globe still has not printed it).

The story said:

"Meanwhile, a television advertising campaign began yesterday featuring many of the anti-Kerry veterans who are quoted in the book, including Elliott. In the ad, Elliott says, ''John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam."

Asked to supply evidence to support that statement, the anti-Kerry group provided a copy of Elliott's affidavit. Elliott said the same affidavit had been used in the production of the book.

It is unclear whether the work contains further justification for the assertion, beyond Elliott's statement."

Were you left with the impression that the main body of the affidavit was not in dispute?

I think I am OK in saying this was a misleading story.

Frank G

yeah, Elliot's the one with the flip-flopping on stories issues here..bet he was in Cambodia during 68 Christmas as well?



Sounds to me that Elliot is retracting the "he shot the guy in the back" part not "he dispatched a single fleeing VC" part. So his assertion that he wasn't told the facts and the implication that he would not have supported a silver star for that action is still accurate.



huh? The fact that it was only one armed VC is noted in the official citation. What was Elliot unaware of?


This is a question of opinion obviously but to me you are nitpicking this to the death. 99.99% of the people that read the article don't know what Elliot said originally and I doubt they have a clue as to which is the main or the secondary accusation.

The article makes clear that Elliot is recanting his "Kerry did not deserve the Silver Medal" accusation. To me thta was always, and by far, the main accusation, since the "Kerry says we all committed war crimes" is a very different beast, starting witt the fact that Kerry never said that.

I will also point out that I read your previous post, which you linked to. It is pretty strange. There is no evidence anywhere that Kerry comitted a war crime. Talk of a teenager in a loin cloth may be good for a political ad that wants to resonate emotionally but is utterly meaningless. Nobody, I repeat, nobody could know how old the VC was and in in any case it was totally irrelevant. The men that were there agree that an armed VC with a weapon capable of destroying them was escaping and not surrendering. Period. Kerry was perfectly right in killing him before he had a chance to kill them. His age, or if he had some other wound, are totally irrelevant. There is no law against shooting someone who is wounded. Only against someone who is surrendering.


There's another completely different story running in those Boston Globe pieces. What was Kranish doing writing "the official" campaign book for Kerry WHILE HE WAS A REORTER COVERING THE CAMPAIGN?!

The editor's explanation today does not cover the real question. He says Kranish did the work but withdrew from the project when the publisher signed a deal with the campaign. So: did Kranish's work get into the book? Did he get paid for it? Why did Amazon, in their description of the book include info about Kranish's long history covering Kerry? Today Amazon has removed all references to Kranish in their description of the book...but he's still listed as the "author". Barnes & Noble lists Kranish as the author and the description says, " In his introduction, the Boston Globe's Michael Kranish offers penetrating insight into the policies of a Kerry Administration, and what they could mean for America".

It sounds like the "descriptions" were submitted by the publisher. It also sounds like Kranish's work is in the book.



That story has been debunked. No need to perpetuate Drudge's lies. He's done enough damage as is.


I think more should be made of the fact that this Kranish character is basically a publicist for Kerry. He wrote the campaign book Our Plan for America "by" Kerry and Edwards and he wrote a biography of Kerry, along with "the Boston Globe reporters who know him best."

Elliot plainly didn't know who he was talking to and therefore didn't know that Kranish would cherrypick and Dowdlerize everything he said in order to put him and the Swift Boat Veterans in the worst possible light.

I also think more should be made of the fact that the Globe has retained this Kerry publicist on the reporting staff. Given the enormity of Kranish's conflict of interest, I think their best option from the standpoint of preserving their reputation is to give Kranish leave with pay until after the election.

Tom O'Bedlam

I agree that it's minutiae but I think its overstating the case to say, "his testimony is worthless anyway." Based on my own multiple-hearsay foundation of knowledge, it appears that he, as Kerry's commander, recommended Kerry for the decoration. It further appears that it's not unusual for the commander to base such a recommendation on other than personal knowledge --i.e., on the reports of others -- since obviously a commander cannot be personally present for every action at every moment taken by every subordinate he commands. He has personal knowledge of what he was told, and he's now saying that if he knew then what he knows now -- both states of knowledge being the based on the reports of others -- he wouldn't have taken an action (recommending someone for a medal) which is frequently, maybe almost always, based on hearsay knowledge by the person who makes the recommendation anyway.

And frankly, given the role played by Kerry's medals in the current campaign, that strikes me as a relevant fact. Deriding his testimony as worthless because it's "based on hearsay" when virtually all medal recommendations are based on hearsay anyway seem to me to miss the point.

It appears to me that the only contested "fact" in this tempest in a teapot is whether he was told the VC was shot in the back or not. And the affiant seems to be saying that if he had known then (based on hearsay, as was customary) what he now knows (based again on hearsay) -- namely, that the man was fleeing, etc. -- he wouldn't have recommended JFK for the medal, and while the claim about "in the back" would obviously have reinforced a decision not to recommend for a medal, its absence would not have changed the decision not to recommend for a medal.


I'm not perpetuating Drudge. I don't even read him. My comments came entirely from the Boston Globe's own article today. Perhaps you haven't read it?




That has already been proven false. Kranish did not work for Kerry.



You wrote:

What was Kranish doing writing "the official" campaign book for Kerry WHILE HE WAS A REORTER COVERING THE CAMPAIGN?!

Except that that never happened. Kranish never wrote the official campaign book and never worked for Kerry's campign.


Tom, thanks very much for the link. As to the "Filing Frenchman" moniker, I can only say — "Mips!" Remulak, of course, is the one place in France that resolutely supports Dubya and the War on Terror (which means it's mythical, like Brigadoon).

I'm intrigued by the arguments here about the affidavits, and may post something on my own blog with my comments, in which event I'll come back and post a comment with a link here and ping you a trackback.


GT: Please provide details on where the Kranish story was discredited. Everything I said came from the Globe or the two book sites. I'm not saying you're wrong...I just haven't seen it discredited. Thanks.


It's funny. IT appears that the Globe was fixing Elliot's comments for mistakes. First, they remove that part about Kerry's anti war "lies." Well Over at kausfile we learn tha Tommy Franks backed up Kerry's claims about the atrocities in Vietnam. Second, regarding the "fleeing Viet Cong." Well TM, you cleared that one up for us.

The more we hear from these guys the more it sounds like they've been holding a thirty year grudge against Kerry for his anti-war tesimony. Maybe they all have something to hide. Anyway the Globe's edits actually help make their case. Now that we see what was removed, well now I know they're just partisan hacks.



It's all in the article you linked to. Starting in the eighth paragraph.

Hugh Hewitt also reported this yesterday in his website.

Mark Amerman


"Amazon, the online bookseller, apparently contributed to the confusion
with a listing for the Kerry-approved campaign book indicating Kranish
as the author. PublicAffairs' officials said yesterday that Amazon had
agreed to revise the listing immediately."

from "The Boston Globe"

see http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/kerry/articles/

It sounds like the error originated at Amazon. Actually that doesn't
sound plausible, it seems hard to believe they would just randomly
assert Michael Kranish's name as author of the introduction of the
Kerry-approved campaign book. More plausibly the error was at PublicAffairs,
the publisher of the Kerry-approved campaign book. Most likely someone there
thought Kranish had written the introduction -- I wonder why?

It's clear that Drudge did not lie, rather that he made a forgiveable



Then Drudge should say he made a mistake, prominently.

Mark Amerman

If "GT" was aware of the context above when he wrote "No need to
perpetuate Drudge's lies," then we have right in front of us
an example of someone lying, of intentionally misleading others.


Drudge has a long history of doing this stuff.

And since he had not retracted it when I posted that, although it had been debunked for hours, yes I'd say he lied.

Mark Amerman

Well I go to Drudge's website and there it is:

"Globe: Drudge, Amazon Are Wrong..."

Follow the link and, quote:

"Peter Osnos, publisher of PublicAffairs, said both Drudge and Amazon,
the online bookseller peddling the upcoming Kerry-Edwards book,
had made a mistake in suggesting Kranish had written its

This amounts to a retraction, and it's far more prominent
than anything I've ever seen a newspaper publish and awfully
quick. As you note, GT, a matter of hours.


Arguing over at Drum's I started poking around google looking for info on claims Kranish isn't associated with the campaign book.

Here's what I wrote at Drum's. Very strange indeed.

-If Kranish had no connection with the Kerry Edwards campaign book, why does B&N list him as an author too?

Are they mistaken too?

B&N has a graphic of the book on their site. The enlarged view clearly says on the cover "With an Introduction by Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe".

Link to graphic:


From B&N site:

" Accreditation

Michael Kranish has worked for the Boston Globe for more than 20 years, including the last 16 in the newspaper's Washington Bureau. He is co-author of John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography (PublicAffairs, 2004)."

All I did was google Kranish and the first hit was the B&N page.

I don't know who paid Kranish. But either there is a huge conspiracy between book stores and book cover designers or Baron is mistaken about Kranish's association with the campaign book.

Oddly, I notice that the cover shown on Amazon is different than the one shown at B&N. No author mentioned on the graphic. They still list Kranish as an author in the book description.

Although it is too slow to load, there seem to be parts of the Kerry Edwards book available in pdf, including the intro. I wonder who's listed within.


And then this:


The book on B&N is titled "Their Plans and Promises"


Amazon has "Our Plan for America"

The difference? Who knows.

However, when I type "Their Plans and Promises" in google, second hit is the Public Affairs Book. Although google says:

PublicAffairs Books: KERRY AND EDWARDS
... Authors. PublicAffairs Books, KERRY AND EDWARDS Their Plans and Promises
www.publicaffairsbooks.com/ publicaffairsbooks-cgi-bin/display?book=1586483145

A click on the link takes me to "Our Plans and Promises" with no mention of Kranish.

Something is certainly fishy 'round here.

Covering Kranish's ass, I suspect.




Something I don't think anyone else has brought up - as of now, Elliott hasn't retracted anything himself. The Swift Boat Veterans say he has, but notice there are no quotes from him directly at all. If he was truly retracting his comments from the Globe interview, wouldn't he himself be saying something? I find that a little odd...



You seem to be confusing two books.

Kranish wrote a Kerry biography. On his own.

Then Kranish was going to write a foreword to a book about the Kerry-Edwards ticket. Again, on his own (meaning not paid for by the campaign).

The the publisher entered into an agreemnt with the campaign to write an OFFICIAL book, paid by the campaign. And Kranish was no longer part of that new project.


Check out this url that StevenAllaVinceza posted this url at Vodkapundit


Why Huge Hewitt would believe one word of what the Globe told him after that misleading piece about the retraction, I can't figure.


Sounds like the Globe's spinning furiously to cover Kranish's and the Globe's credibiity.


No Joanna, that story is dead.

The explanation is pretty simple.


Here's the cached version of the PUBLISHER'S page for the book. In other words the publisher was claiming Kranish participation as late as a week ago (the date Google grabbed the page). Drudge and Amazon have nothing to apologize for. BTW, the current page has now been stealth edited removing Kranish. Didn't the publisher know who wrote the introduction? Remember, the book has yet to be printed - deniability all around.


Okay...I'm still confused.

There's a book on B&N called "Kerry and Edwards: Their Plans and Promises", on Kerry and Edwards that on the cover says Kranish wrote it.



There's a book on Amazon called "Our Plan..." that Amazon says Kranish wrote it.

That a 1/2 an hour ago said "by Kranish"\. In fact I just searched it using ONLY the keyword "Kranish" and it popped up but cites "by Kerry and Edwards"

When I search for "Their Plan..." on google I get "Our Plan... at Public Affairs.

AND there is a Kranish biography/collection of essay that is a separate book too.



SOOOOO....the deal is Amazon WAS wrong 1/2 and hour ago and Kranish didn't write a word for the "Our Plan" book, no intro, nada?




Exactly. Kranish was going to write a foreword but once the book became a new project, paid by the campaign, he left it. I think part of the confusion is that the two books have the same title and publisher.


posted at vodkapundit by Chris Carolan

The Globe is still obfuscating.

Note these two links.

The first is to the campaign-backed Kerry book about to be published by Public Affairs which the Globe asserts Kranish withdrew his introduction from once the campaign got involved.


The second link is to a forthcoming Kranish book on Kerry listed on Booksamillion.com


Now here's the bombshell/smoking gun. The books have the same ISBN number!!!!!!!

The Kranish book is listed at 224 pages and the campaign's book is 304.

What the Globe is implying is that Kranish edited 224 pages before the campaign got involved and then they added more content, changed the title and authors (to Kerry/Edwards). The Globe wants us to believe Kranish dropped out of the project. Maybe so, but obviously he did the bulk of the work. Was he paid? Did he give back the money? Is the Globe trying to imply that the first 204 pages of a 304 page book are simply 'introduction?'


HELLOOOO, anybody out there.

The book in question (by Drudge), "The Plan..." was introduced by Kranish according to the PUBLISHER as late as July 28th . See my post above this one for the Google cache file. There is NO error on the part of Amazon and therefore by Drudge who linked to it. The PUBLISHER claimed Kranish wrote the intro. And this claim was made a week ago. This claim has now been removed on their current website (very easy to erase since the book has yet to be printed)

If there is an error, it is with the PUBLISHER (don't they know who is writing the introduction? Of course they do). And this error is contrary to what the publisher is quoted to say (i.e. a lie) in the Boston Globe rebuttal article by Milligan.


Interesting Drudge is keeping his original story up.

On second thought, I think it's a red herring to be thinking that the Globe is concerned about protecting Kranish's reputation or whatever. What's at stake here is the campaign book iteself; it is going to play a HUGE part in Kerry's arsenal and it's vitally important that not a whiff of scandal be attached to it.


Well, it's a little too late for no scandal with the book.

I've got Kranish cited as the author up in a browser now at Amazon.

Instapundit has a screen shot as well.

Also, googling "their plans and promises" brings this first hit:


Second this (cut and pasted from the google page itself is this:

... Authors. PublicAffairs Books, KERRY AND EDWARDS Their Plans and Promises
www.publicaffairsbooks.com/ publicaffairsbooks-cgi-bin/display?book=1586483145

See the title above? And the author? This was just a few minutes ago that I searched.

Some serious fishiness here.

I TRIED to get the pdf of the introduction from Kerry's site but the site kept timing out. That was about an hour ago.

Go here (at the URL below) and the image of the book cover lists Kranish as author in the graphic.


I don't know how to cache a page for future reference. Maybe someone else will.

As Joanne noted....

These ISBN numbers are identical. See the number in the Barnes and Noble search string...

See what I copied and pasted from the Amazon (kranish as author page I have open)

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Perseus Books Group; (September 1, 2004)
ISBN: 1586483145
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 2,734

Below is from the browser I have open at Amazon where K&E are cited as authors.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Perseus Books Group; (September 7, 2004)
ISBN: 1586483145
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,936



And those Amazon searches, they were BOTH just a little while ago.

What does that date indicate (the 1st and the 7th)? Their release date?


Mark Amerman

Something strange is going on:

Photocopies of "Kerry/Edwards: Their Plans and Promises," recently
sent to a few reporters and reviewers before the book's planned
release, are now collector's items.

That's because the 287-page bound manuscript, culled from the
Kerry/Edwards Web site and introduced by Boston Globe reporter
Michael Kranish, won't be published, after all, by PublicAffairs.

See http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/story/219589p-188612c.html

There's no doubt Kranish wrote the introduction to this, and
as of today one could preorder it on the Amazon and also
the Barnes and Noble site. I'm sure in fact that quite a few people
did order the book.

Why in the world would they cancel it?

And given that the material is culled from the Kerry/Edwards web
site surely the Kerry campaign approved it.

Is it really relevant that Michael Kranish wasn't paid for writing
the introduction?

capt joe

Mark, Yes, it is very relevant.

Lunatic and Joanna, very interesting indeed. It seems that if this is all so innocent as GT claims, then the publisher is really doing a misservice to the public. But that line of thought is a bit too far fetched for me to swallow.

Oh and GT, if drudge should appoligize for this when is Moore ggoing to own up for his massive disinformation? hmmmm....


You guys can't let go, huh?

Well, whatever


As promised (or threatened, depending on one's outlook), I've posted a typically longwinded piece on the notarization and personal knowledge aspects of Captain Elliott's two affidavits on my own blog. (It's also trackbacked above.)


Beldar I posted this at your site but I'll repeat it here. You keep talking of the 'shot in the back".

Who cares about that? Why does that make any difference?

The crew present at the time agrees that a VC soldier armed with a weapon capable of blowing the boat and the crew up (and one that did not surender) was chased and killed by Kerry. Who cares how he killed him? Was he supposed to play hide and seek, giving the armed enemy 30 seconds to regroup? He killed him, period. And he did so by charging after him not knowing if there were other VC hidden in the vicinity. If he killed him from the back, the front or sideways it makes no difference.


Ken: You wrote: "...the publisher was claiming Kranish participation as late as a week ago."

As I said in the first post on this subject, I saw the unchanged Amazon webpage as recently as 10pm last night. It said Kranish had written the introduction (and showed him as "author").

As of this morning, the Amazon description had been changed, deleting any reference an intro by Kramish but still showing him as author.

NOW, The book description is gone altogether and the listing says "by Michael Kramish (Introduction)".,,, OOPS! NOW (5 min. later), it says authors: John Kerry and John Edwards! LOL! Somebody's having a hard time getting their stories straight.

From all the tidbits we've gathered, here's what supposedly happened:

1) Kranish contracts with Public Affairs Publishing to write the forward to a book comprised of policy proposals mostly taken from the Kerry/Edwards website.
2) Manuscripts were "recently" sent to a few reporters/reviewers...the manuscript included the intro by Kranish.
3) Kerry/Edwards and Public Affairs signed a contract to publish the book as an "official" campaign document.
4) At this point, Kranish removed himself from the project...apparently without issuing any kind of press release or other public distancing from the book.
5) The publisher allowed the Kranish name to remain "out there" until Drudge, et al picked it up.

Questions remaining: Does the "official" book contain Kramish's writing? Did anyone pay Kramish? Why didn't Kramish and the Globe immediately publicize that he'd removed himself from the project.


GT, I've responded in the comments on my own blog. I tend to agree with you, with some small qualifications.


Tom O'Bedlam: I agree with you-my intent was to say Elliot's testimony is worthless as far as establishing whether the Viet Cong was shot in the back or not.

DC Rob I agree with you too re: the notary. However, it seems the time for cutting any one a little slack has long since passed.

P.S. Someone should propose a rigorous examination of every medal issued in the Iraq war to date-and keep this dispute from arising in campaign 2036.


Kerry's crew -- to a man -- stand up beside him and speak, in turn, of his leadership, heroism and loyalty. The spin-doctors (who are irrelevant anyway since they are the only ones who read each others' blogs and posts) have no answer to that impressive show of support. The guys who weren't on the boat and didn't serve under Kerry can jump in the Mekong (which Kerry almost did, under fire, to save one of his crew).

Maybe George Bush can find some National Guard buddies who remember him not showing up.

You guys can't let go, huh?

Well, whatever

Posted by: GT | August 7, 2004 12:30 PM

Moore people would be willing to MoveOn if Kranish had disclosed his relationship to the Kerry-Edwards campaign upfront and if the Globe had been Moore even-handed and forthcoming in its explanations.

It sounds fishy because of the dreadful way it is currently being handled -- it has that Gary Condit aura -- maybe it's innocent, but you'd never know it by the way it is explained. Or perhaps the goal is to make it confusing so that when the claim is that it has been debunked, critics throw their hands up in disgust.

In any event, reasonable people will accept reasonable explanations -- that doesn't include taking the Boston Globe's word on it absent proof.

Patrick R. Sullivan

As someone else has noted above, the isbn number is the same for both of these titles. You can look it up:

This isn't a journalistic account, it's a campaign book:

Their Plans and Promises

The Kerry and Edwards plan for America

John Kerry and his running mate, Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, have a plan: an ambitious, detailed blueprint to alter the current course of America and re-direct its future. They call it the "Real Deal." But what does it really promise? How do Kerry and Edwards plan to roll back our damaged foreign relations? How will they improve our economy, restore jobs, and manage to make America safer, stronger, and more secure? Here are their proposals:
 Restoring Jobs and Rebuilding the Economy
 Winning the Peace in Iraq
 Providing Access to Affordable Healthcare
 Defending the American Homeland
 Creating a New Era for America's Schools
 Helping to Create a Cleaner and Greener America
 Instituting a Principled Foreign Policy
 Making College Affordable for All Americans

Kerry and Edwards: Their Plans and Promises delineates issue-by-issue the promises and the plans of the Kerry/Edwards ticket. In his introduction, the Boston Globe's Michael Kranish offers penetrating insight into the policies of a Kerry administration, and what they could mean for America.

Kerry and Edwards: Their Plans and Promises cuts through the rhetoric to the details of the "Real Deal." Now Democrats and Republicans alike can judge for themselves exactly what the Kerry/Edwards ticket is offering America in what is shaping up to be one of the fiercest, most passionate political contests in generations.

GT is, as usual, routed.


Patrick, you are now in tinfoil hat territory.


I think it's been explained pretty clearly. I understand the initial confusion but to insist on this simply smacks of wanting to believe something.

As for the ISBN I suspect that since the original book was replaced with the new one they simply kept the same number. But I'm sure all the conspiracy theorists out there have a different view.


There's an ad to sell the book. The publicist is Drudge. Regenery has a distinctive publishing pattern. The backers are partisan and busy buying bulk. Come on, folks! You know what to do with disgruntled book peddlers.


Actually since I believe in objective truth, if there is a pretty clear explanation I'm all ears. I'm just not interested in "plausible deniability" explanations.

On the other hand, I'm personally more interested in topics like Kerry's "Christmas in Cambodia" -- can't wait to hear the explanation for that one.


As a Demo/Liberal/Bush-Hater, all I can ask is please keep talking about the Swift Vets. The more you talk about the fact that Kerry was in Vietnam, the better. As Dick Morris has said, you don't attack a candidate on his strongest point. And in any event, claims that Kerry shot a VC in the back do more than anything to defeat the notion that Kerry is some soft-headed Liberal. Gosh, I can think of a few wingnuts who would love nothing more than for Chimp Boy to be out there shooting a few Ragheads in the back.

Again, thank you. If you stay on this long enough, even John McCain might come to Kerry's aid. No wait, that has already happened. Even better than having him in the VP spot.


The reason the shot in the back matters is because a silver star is usually awarded under these circumstances:

The Silver Star is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The required gallantry, while of a lesser degree than that required for the Distinguished Service Cross, must nevertheless have been performed with marked distinction.
I would imagine the above applies to all services.

Kerry shooting someone in the back is not a gallant deed, though I would have shot him as well. If anything, he did not deserve a medal as it was all in a days work.

Now if Kerry had done a Matrix somersault and avoided fire and just before the VC pulled the trigger to an RPG aimed at the rest of his comrades, while still flipped upside down in the somersault shot the dude in the middle of his forhead and stopped the VC from totally killing his crew, then yes, give him the silver star. Comparing the situation for Kerry's silver star with a normal day for a troop in Iraq, by those standards, everyone should have a medal of honor.

Concerning the "not on his boat", "not under his command stuff", this is ridiculous, how many former service members can say this? You all know how platoons, formations, convoys, etc work. It was a convoy of boats, all of these people are in the same unit, they are eat, poo, and sleep together when not manning their boats. Kerry was in charge of a 6 man boat (basically supervisor role of this boat), how come he has had people on the stage speak for him as a "Vietnam Hero" when they were "not under his command" and "not on his boat" as well? Kerry was in charge of this boat, but that does not mean their boat was doing missions on their own, hello suicide, can we all remember that Kerry was not in Special Ops, he was supposed to be in a non-combative role doing patrols though it ended up being combative. A six person boat is not going to go out and conduct a major mission, they will go in a convoy, and they will all communicate together, much like the service does when you see them on the streets patrolling Iraq.

It is ridiculous to try and discredite the veterans that have come out against him, many of whom span all political Spectrums, are not political pundits and ARE true "war hero's" in every sense of the word. Award verbage is usually written by supervisor types, sometimes immediate enlisted/officer supervisors (There is that 10% who writes their own verbage as well), signed off by the company commander and given to the admin section for processing, who is to say that Kerry did not use his own signature as acting commander and had written his own award verbage for the first purple heart, it could realistically happen, especially in that environment. I am not saying that is the case, but I am saying I could see it realistically happen. I myself when in the service basically wrote my own NAM (Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal) verbage, I handed to a higher SNCO, he proofread it, gave it to the Major who added his remarks, sent to S-1/Admin and a month later I am in formation with my NAM.

Concerning the Commanders remarks, I highly doubt the Commander is media savvy and I wouldn't have put it past Kranish to trap him or bait him with paragraph long questions and what if's, I would need to see the transcript and listen to a wire tap of the conversation to take the Globe's and Elliots remarks seriously. One would have to look at a bigger question with the remarks, what is Kranish's purpose of interviewing Mr. Elliot? Is it just to get one Vet's story of why he said what he did in the ad, or is it to discredit him. Looking at his record and how pro-Kerry Kranish is, I would say Kranish's intentions were "discredit" from the outset. Very cleverly get him and discredit him, that is what it looks like to me.

This is not political to me, it is a vet thing above politics, I think the media should shut the hell up and let the vets take over. Report what happens and do the investigatvie journalism on both sides of the aisle. If you are going to discredit Mr. Elliot, you need to try and discredit Mr. Rassaman (<- SP?) as well. It is only the fair thing to do when dealing with "hero's".

Lastly, General Franks can say what he would like about atrocities, I do not doubt they existed in Vietnam, what these people are coming out about is about the atrocities commited in that unit during the time that Kerry was there. McCain and Franks and I and any other vet can say anything we want all day long about Vietnam and atrocities, etc. What the Veterans are talking about is the fact of Kerry citing what he did about his unit only. Not the whole theatre of operations. It is really not that hard to understand. These people are not political pundits and Kerry brought this on himself. I don't see a vet out there saying Kerry did not do his time in Vietnam, they are not trying to discredit his service to our country, they are discrediting his own remarks about his service and bringing it back to how it really was. Most veterans tell their "war" stories, the only difference is that Kerry is running for president, so the typical war story does not apply because the audience isn't someone in a bar, it is the nation and having them believe someone's inflated story isn't going to fly. Point blank.

In my life, I also have never heard of that many medals being awarded, 5 medals in 4 months, 3 purple hearts. Most purple heart winners spend weeks/months in the hospital, so recieving 3 of them, I think the recovery from the wounds alone should have taken more than 4 months, making his time there and the situations surrounding them a little suspicous. That is just me though. My grandfather, to rate his purple heart, went through hell and walked around with metal plates in his leg, head, had bad knees and feet for the rest of his life. That was one purple heart. The recovery took him months. Also, a story he once told me when I was younger about a fellow OSS comrade "my buddy next to me had the machine gun, he started crying and then blew off his own foot", his buddy did not get a purple heart for that, that doesn't happen with "self-inflicted" wounds.

Bruce Moomaw

Two relevant points:

(1) CNN ( http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/06/vet.kerry.reut/index.html ):

"In Friday's Boston Globe, Elliott was quoted as saying: 'It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here.'

"Elliott told the Globe Kerry did deserve the medal.

"Inundated with calls to verify the statement, Elliott grew media shy and said through his wife he would not talk. Earlier in the day, Mrs. Elliott said her husband was playing golf and would call back when he returned in the afternoon.

"Elliott later issued another affidavit -- witnessed and notarized -- this time saying he was misquoted by the Globe and reaffirming his belief that Kerry has 'not been honest about what happened in Vietnam.' "

There's nothing like a firm, self-confident witness.

(2) Mark Kleiman tells me that he sent Maguire an E-mail this morning (which Maguire hasn't yet mentioned) pointing out the tiny fact that a soldier who flees while holding a gun is quite likely to be planing to retreat to a position from which to shoot you, and that shooting him in the back is therefore not quite the same thing as shooting an unarmed person.

On another relevant point -- namely, O'Neill's reliability -- one may also see the intriguing comments on various matters by his book's co-author ( http://mediamatters.org/items/200408060010 ) -- to say nothing of the fact that said co-author worked for Charles Colson during his glory days.


In my last paragraph, I meant never heard of that many medals being awarded, 5 medals in 4 months, 3 of them being purple hearts, in that short of a time-frame.


Bruce -- the Media Matters version is spun with enough inuendo and speculation, but not even they claim that O'Neill "worked for Charles Colson during his glory days." That's just bull.

Paul Zrimsek

Come on, folks! You know what to do with disgruntled book peddlers.

The usual procedure lately has been to turn 60 Minutes over to them. Unless CBS has secretly bought out Regnery, I doubt that will happen here.

John McLaughlin

The worst duty I performed during a 20 year career as a Marine infantry office was Visitation Officer at Hine VA hospital the site of the VA's only blind center 1968-1971.

Visit today's equivilent an know why Kerry is disgraced by his claiming and accepting any Purple Heart!

capt joe

Ah, a ref from Media Matters. What happened, the LaRouche people didn't have anything to say?

Yes, an email from decorated military veteran Mark Kleinman. I agree that the guy should have been shot but Mark saying it doesn't make it any more important. ;)


Just talked to another vet who was in the navy, I asked him "Hey John, did you ever write your own verbage for any of your navy awards you received?", he responded with a head nod and a yeah. It is rather common for people to write their own verbage, and since he was in the Navy, he says that many awards are given out like candy, though I would guess something as a purple heart or above would be a little different (or so I would hope).

I am still dumbfounded how he could have rated three purple hearts in 4 months. Purple hearts are no joke, I still cannot see how in 4 months, he sustained these injuries which all rated purple hearts and recovered from each one and was back at full duty in this time frame, it is just not plausible any way I look at it. Do any other vets think this just doesn't jive.

The media has to have some of the military "analyst's" point out these situations and explain for instance convoy's and unit operations, to show that all of this does make sense to anyone with a military clue.


Bruce, thanks for the tip on the e-mail from Mark. Now maybe you can help us all by pointing out where I claimed that being shot in the back was a big deal (other than to Elliot).

Wasn't here:

Elliott seems to be focussed on the question of whether Kerry shot a fleeing Viet Cong in the back. As my earlier post demonstrates, that is hardly the only discrepancy between the Silver Star citation and the other accounts...

Elliot says the same thing I do - shooting the guy in the back is not central to his argument.

Wasn't here:

In my opinion, "Absolutely not" does not mean what Kerry seems to think it means. By his own account, the kid was wounded and running away, and being shot at from several directions. At a minimum, a different observer might have a different story as to whether the teenager was shot in the back.

Nope, I don't think I said it. My position has been, maybe it happened that way - back when Elliott seemed to think it mattered, it was worth investigating.

If I can task GT and Bruce with focussing on what I *did* say, I pointed out what struck me as a significant distinction between the Kerry account and the Silver Star account:

According to the Silver Star citation, Kerry leaped ashore, pursued the "man" behind a hooch, and killed him. That is not quite the version told either in Drudge, or by Kerry to the Boston Globe - there, another man wounded the "teenager", who fled and was shot by Kerry. Hmm, what is the age of majority in Vietnam?

That was hidden all the way down in the third paragraph, so maybe you missed it. Any chance of your commenting on the diference between Kerry confronting an armed man, and Kerry chasing a wounded (armed) man? And we can agree that yes, an armed, wounded man is dangerous - suprise me with some other strawman, please.

Elliott addressed this in his second affidavit:

...had I known the facts, I would not have recommended Kerry for the Silver Star for simply pursuing and dispatching a single, wounded, fleeing VietCong.

Bruce, if you would be kind enough to pass this response back to Mark, that would be great. Thanks.


I don't think it matters if the guy was shot, I don't think anyone is saying the guys human rights were violated by being shot, I think they are saying he was shot in that situation to prove that Kerry did not act gallantly therefore did not deserve a silver star, Kerry and friends are making themselves out parading around like Chesty Puller and General Patton, they have be put into perspective and their "war" stories have to be scrubbed.



What a whole lot of nonsense here.

Did ANYONE actually read the damn Silver Star citation? WTF?


" For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Coastal Division ELEVEN engaged in armed conflict with Viet Cong insurgents in An Xuyen Provence, Republic of Vietnam on 28 February, 1969. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY was serving as Officer in Charge of Patrol Craft Fast 94 and Officer in Tactical Command of a three boat mission. As the force approached the target area on the narrow Dong Chung River, all units came under intense automatic weapons and small arms fire from an entrenched enemy force less that fifty-feet away. Unhesitatingly Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY ordered his boat to attack as all units opened fire and beached directly in front of the enemy ambushers this daring and courageous tactic surprised the enemy and succeeded in routing a score of enemy soldiers. The PCF gunners captured many enemy weapons in the battle that followed. On a request from U.S. Army advisors ashore, Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY ordered PCF's 94 and 23 further up river to suppress enemy sniper fire. After proceeding approximately eight hundred yards, the boats were again taken under fire from a heavily foliated area and B-40 rocket exploded close aboard PCF 94: with utter disregard for his own safety and the enemy rockets, he again ordered a charge on the enemy, beached his boat only ten feet from the VC rocket position, and personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy. Upon sweeping the area an immediate search uncovered an enemy rest and supply area which was destroyed. The extra ordinary daring and personal courage of Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire were responsible for the highly successful mission. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Several days after the February 28, 1969 action, Kerry was flown to An Thoi, South Vietnam, where Vice Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., pinned the Silver Star on Kerry's chest.

"In addition to Kerry's Silver Star PCF-94's performance on February 28 also earned Bronze Stars for Tommy Belodeau and Mike Medeiros and Navy Commendation Medals with Combat V Devices for Del Sandusky, Fred Short, and Gene Thorson." - Douglas Brinkley"

Where the F-ING HELL does any jackass see anyone F-ING mention any single goddamn wounded VC running away????


If all I had was that wording then I'd have awarded the guy a Silver Star too. And if, 30 years later, I found out it was mostly bullshit and lies, then I'd be pretty F-ING pissed off too.



What these Swifties fear is that national acceptance of Kerry as President would validate Kerry's Vietnam protest criticisms and challenge their preferred mythology that keeps questions of atrocities hushed. Hannity clearly wanted Tommy Franks to repudiate Kerry's criticisms and say that they weren't true or at least were and are inappropriate for polite company -- to reinforce the myth. This is about dark secrets that don't get discussed and keeping the American family dysfunctional.

"On an earlier tour in Vietnam, one of my gallant soldiers, a draftee named Don Wallace, picked up seven Purple Hearts in less than a year without ever being hospitalized. Most of 'Ole Magnet Butt's' wounds were easily patched up by 'Doc' Holley, our battalion surgeon. But any one of them could have shut off his lights forever."


This is odd.

When accusations surfaced during Mr. Kerry's 1996 senatorial re-election campaign that he had shot the Vietnamese in the back as he was wounded and fleeing, Commander Elliott spoke in Mr. Kerry's defense, telling reporters, "The fact that he chased an armed enemy down is something not to be looked down upon, but it was an act of courage."




"When accusations surfaced during Mr. Kerry's 1996 senatorial re-election campaign that he had shot the Vietnamese in the back as he was wounded and fleeing..."

This is only odd if Elliott knew that there was only one (1) VC in that area and that was shot. If he was still under the impression that there were more VC involved then he, as I, would have discounted any criticisms on that point.

The only time you don't shoot the enemy is when they've surrendered and discarded all weapons. So I really couldn't care less that Kerry shot a wounded VC. What I care about is that this act isn't actually described in the citation and that shooting a wounded fleeing enemy is NOT an act of gallantry.

If it is then both of my uncles deserve a hatful of Silver Starsr.



"What these Swifties fear is that national acceptance of Kerry as President would validate Kerry's Vietnam protest criticisms ..."

What they fear is having a grandstanding coward who falsified after action reports, to generate fraudent decorations, elected as President. As they've written and said, if the DNC had chosen anyone else they wouldn't be saying a word.


that shooting a wounded fleeing enemy is NOT an act of gallantry.

Well, I guess you disagree with George Elliott. At least the George Elliott from 1996.



"Well, I guess you disagree with George Elliott. At least the George Elliott from 1996."

How very obtuse of you.

Again, I'll repeat myself for the person incapable of reading prior post, Elliott didn't know that there was only one (1) VC who was wounded and fleeing.

And again. Shooting a wounded fleeing VC is not an act of gallantry.

Don't be a pedantic jackass.


How on earth is this passage from the Globe story "legalese"?

Globe Editor Martin Baron released a statement saying "the Globe stands by the article. The quotes attributed to Mr. Elliott were on the record and absolutely accurate."

It sounds like they are standing by the story pretty firmly.

Here is some friendly advice: give this up. Every time you whine about Kerry's war record, it only reminds voters that President Bush spent the war playing jet jockey (when he wasn't AWOL) in Texas.

Oh, and another thing. "Mission Accomplished." Hahahahahahahaha!


Courage and gallantry are not the same thing, and Mr. Elliot may have not known anything but what was said in the citation, there is only one quote from Mr. Elliot in the article so it is hard to tell what the exact questions were and what whole answer was. Perhaps you can find that for us.

One quote doesn't tell me jack, if I said "I know some people who love Osama bin Laden", it would be in the paper as, and Mr. BL said "I ... love Osama bin Laden".

Definition of Courage:
mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

Definition of Gallantry:
the qualities of a hero or heroine; exceptional or heroic courage when facing danger (especially in battle); "he showed great heroism in battle"; "he received a medal for valor" [syn: heroism, valor, valour, valorousness, valiance, valiancy] 2: courtesy towards women [syn: chivalry, politesse] 3: polite attentiveness to women


Baghdad Bob also said that the Americans were being pushed back and not even close to the airport, if it is on the record and absolutely accurate, than releasing the transcript of the conversation between the two, the exact questions asked and the exact responses, that is the only way I am taking what they say seriously and that is the first thing I would have done had I been in the situation (someone saying I misquoted them), I would have said, oh really, here is the mp3 of our conversation and here is the transcript.


General Tommy Franks has taken responsibility for the mission accomplished thing. He was on Hannity and Colmes and stated (paraphrasing here) something to effect of there were some countries who would not come on board until the major combat operations were over, he decided to put the banner up as a way of signifying that to the other countries and to have them come on board, some of that did not materialize. At the time major combat operations were over as far as the official army of Iraq goes, so it was justified.

I will find the exact lines if you so desire.

Bruce Moomaw

That isn't the only odd thing Commander Elliott has done. Consider his remarkable behavior on the day the whole foofaraw broke ( http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/06/vet.kerry.reut/index.html ):

"In Friday's Boston Globe, Elliott was quoted as saying: 'It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here.'

"Elliott told the Globe Kerry did deserve the medal.

"Inundated with calls to verify the statement, Elliott grew media shy and said through his wife he would not talk. Earlier in the day, Mrs. Elliott said her husband was playing golf and would call back when he returned in the afternoon.

"Elliott later issued another affidavit -- witnessed and notarized -- this time saying he was misquoted by the Globe and reaffirming his belief that Kerry has 'not been honest about what happened in Vietnam. "

Well, of course it's always possible that he suddenly started refusing to talk about his initial stories and decided instead to spend the afternoon playing golf to show strength and calm in a crisis.

And, to quote Kleiman's E-mail to Maguire (which Maguire, alas, still has not done):

"I just read the second affidavit again, and it's based on the idea that since the guy Kerry shot was, according to Kerry, 'running away,' then he must have been fleeing' and that Kerry must therefore have 'shot him in the back' unless he was "backpeddling.' That doesn't make any sense. You can be 'running away' from the place from which you've taken something without having your back to the person who's chasing you, and running away with an enemy's weapon isn't the same as 'fleeing.'

"Is this really the sort of stuff you want to help spread?'

Evidently, yes. As Ed points out, according to "Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry's" quotation of the Silver Star citation, there's not a word in it about him chasing any VC, adult, teenager, wounded, nonwounded or transvestite. And in Elliott's original account of the incident (in which he defended giving Kerry the Star, which seems to be what Maguire is actually quoting -- or, rather, misquoting, according to http://www.snopes.com/politics/kerry/service.asp ), I really can't see any contradiction between "chased a VC around a hootch and ended his life" and "another man wounded the 'teenager', who fled and was shot by Kerry". An explanation from Maguire would seem called for; but I'll be glad to send his tergiversations on to Kleiman (who tells me that he's mulling over a longer post on his own website on the subject, and will, I imagine, be grateful to get the additional fuel).

Certainly this is "the kind of stuff" that SBVT itself wants to help spread. Regarding the plausibility of Adm. Roy Hoffmann (the co-founder of SBVT), see http://mediamatters.org/items/200408060011 , and note the 180-degree turnabout (on two subjects)between Hoffmann's May 6 quote and his August quotes.

And as for the rabid indignation of the SBVT members that Kerry could dare to accuse American soldiers of frequent Vietnam atrocities, the hemming and hawing that Tommy Franks did when asked about that by Sean Hannity -- finishing up with his statement that he didn't want to "deny" what Kerry had said (at which point Hannity hastily changed the subject) is also interesting. (As also pointed out by Kleiman to Maguire in that E-mail.)


there is only one quote from Mr. Elliot in the article so it is hard to tell what the exact questions were and what whole answer was. Perhaps you can find that for us.

I don't have that information, but I do have this:

In 1969, George Elliott was a 31-year-old lieutenant commander, a career naval officer commanding Coastal Division 11. Today, Elliott, a retired Navy captain, lives in Lewes, Del., where he is president of the local historical society. He is both sharp and friendly.

While saying he had not agreed for many years with Kerry's politics, Elliott remembered him as an outstanding young officer to whom he gave a glowing fitness report.

Of the citation, Elliott said: "I don't remember whether I initiated it or whether it was one of the troops who was with him. The recommendation left over my signature. I was not an eyewitness, but I stand by it.

What if the man Kerry killed was wounded at the time? Elliott was dismissive. "In combat, as much reaction as thoughtful action, lots of guys have been killed by a wounded man. I don't know what weapon he had, or if he had, but you don't have much time to think in those situations."

Can't provide a link as it is to a subscription service. Here is the info, however: David Warsh, Globe Staff. Boston Globe (Boston, Mass.: Oct 27, 1996. pg. E.1)

capt joe

Ed, PAK is purposefully being obtuse. Given that Elliot understood that Kerry's after action "report" stated that a numerically superior force was present, Kerry would have been foolhardy to chase a retreating soldier. If I had been among the enemy, I would have used that to rig a quick ambush. But, since there wasn't a numerically superior force, just a wounded loincloth wearing teenager running away, well ....

Bruce Moomaw

"What they fear is having a grandstanding coward who falsified after-action reports, to generate fraudulent decorations, elected as President. As they've written and said, if the DNC had chosen anyone else they wouldn't be saying a word."

Er, Ed. By your own statement, the Wounded VC incident didn't figure in Kerry's Silver Star citation. Nor (as Snopes.com has pointed out, and as Maguire has misstated -- that's the polite word) is there any contradiction whatsoever between Elliott's initial statement about the incident and Kerry's account of it.

Bruce Moomaw

Postscipt: Judging from Maguire's latest game of Dodge 'Em, I think it's appropriate to point out that Corsi's "snarky comments" include foaming at the mouth over "lesbos" (he seems to have a particular bee in his bonnet on that subject), Catholics and Jews. Yeah, judging from his comments (which Maguire's supporters here are free to look up for themselves via the link), I think burning his book might be entirely appropriate.

capt joe

Ah Bruce, confusing ad-hominem for argument again. If you can't argue-em, slander-em.

Bruce Moomaw

Read Corsi's comments, Capt. Joe. Then come back and tell me about ad hominem attacks and slander. Until you do, have the minimal decency (and sense) to shut up.

capt joe

Brucie, And I will believe Duncan Black because .. why?

Isn't he the same guy who insists that Glen Reynolds is a gun crazy racist. Nice guy that one.

The same guy who was hiding behind the Atrios tagline and accepting money to write propaganda for Kerry from Soros.

Nice source of credibility you have there.

So we should all just shut up and believe your stories. Yep, Moore and all. Lordie, ah av seen the light. ;)

take a chill pill Bruce. Your guy may still win.


Okay, here I go link-whoring again, but martin asked another really good question in a comment on my blog earlier tonight:

I wonder who actually drafted these affidavits. Elliott himself or is someone summarizing his testimony and sending him the afffidavit to be signed? And if so-what is being prompted/discouraged?

My longwinded answer — which is almost entirely speculation, but speculation based on my past experience (a) drafting affidavits, (b) cross-examining adverse witnesses, and/or (c) seeing my own witnesses cross-examined on an affidavit I drafted — is here.

Bruce Moomaw

I'm not asking you to "believe my stories" or Black's, mon Capitaine. I'm asking you to follow the actual links to Corsi's comments on Free Republic, as helpfully provided by Black. I did. He said exactly what Black said he said. So I repeat: until you take that little step yourself, have the minimal decency and/or brains to shut up.

(Incidentally, you're taking another flying fuck-up by jumping to the conclusion that I admire Michael Moore -- since I fully agree with Christopher Hitchens that most of his movie is garbage. The most valuable thing in it by far is the videotape showing Bush emulating a toadstool for 7 minutes after our latest war began.)

Bruce Moomaw

Really, the best sum-up of this whole thing I've seen so far is from Mark Kleiman's FIRST E-mail to Maguire (which Maguire has also -- doubtless through forgetfulness -- failed to mention so far):

"I hope you'll take a serious, sober look at your coverage of the Swift Boat stuff and ask yourself whether it's really up to your standards.

"1. The revelation that one of the co-authors of the alleged book is a certified bigot seems relevant to evaluating its accuracy, given how coy the slime squad is being about the content of that book and the fact that they couldn't find a real publisher for it.

"2. Other than the Globe reporter, no one seems to have spoken to Elliott himself. In his second affidavit, he asserts that he was misquoted, but doesn't deny saying what the reporter quotes him as saying. He seems to have issued the first affidavit based on hearsay. Is it possible that he's unduly suggestible? Not everyone is as sharp at age 67 as he was five years earlier.

"3. The guys who actually knew Kerry and were on the boat with him back his story.

"4. It's not surprising that a bunch of military guys might be pissed off about what Kerry said later, even if, as Tommy Franks points out, it was mostly true. And it's far from inconceivable that some of them would shade the truth to keep a liberal out of the White House.

"Look, some of this might turn out to be true. But the tone of your coverage seems to me unduly credulous about a group whose antecedents don't really bear close scrutiny."

Yep. I'll add that, as for today's Elliott Parsing Festival, the question still remains what he meant when he wrote in both affidavits that he would not have recommended Kerry for a Silver Star "if I had known that he had simply shot a fleeing VC in the back." What ELSE did he think Kerry had done to earn that Star? And why did he refuse to talk to ANY reporter -- and duck out for several hours, claiming to be "playing golf" -- after the Boston Globe reporter had supposedly quoted him as retracting his original affidavit, before he finally reemerged from his rabbit hole and signed that second affidavit?


Who cares what the Boston Globe says? Its a piece of trash and can't be trusted.

capt joe


So, my issue with your comments was that you wanted to reject the SBV args because of Joe Corsi's colored history.

Well, if true, then he is a nasty piece of work. That is if all the comments attributed to him are his and not someone else. Off course, there can only be one source of initials for anyone and off course blog identities are infallible. Maybe, maybe not.

Anyway, the statements have to be seen in their own light. If the entire argument for reecting them is because Joe Corsi is a bad guy well.. excuse me for wanting to know more and not wanting to slander all SBV's by the same tar brush you seem willing to spread from Corsi to the others. Your commentary is repleat with ad homs for the SBVs.

Tu n'aime pas le Monsieur Moore. Eh, Je m'excuse, J'ai fait un trompe. Vous avez repetez beaucoup de ses pointes de parler.

Bruce Moomaw

Actually, Corsi repeated today on the Free Republic blog -- for the second time -- that, yes, it's him, and he just can't understand why liberals don't appreciate his "politically incorrect humor": http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1186749/posts?q=1&&page=51#99 .

Interesting how bigots regularly defend themselves these days on the grounds that they're "politically incorrect"; but it is somewhat reassuring to see that you agree with me that he's "a nasty piece of work." Which, of course, raises the question of why O'Neill is co-authoring books with him.

As for the other SBVTs:

(1) The case of Elliott is still too ambiguous to decide anything for certain. But it remains interesting that (according to CNN), after supposedly telling the Globe reporter that his earlier affidavit had been correct, then: "Inundated with calls to verify the statement, Elliott grew media shy and said through his wife he would not talk. Earlier in the day, Mrs. Elliott said her husband was playing golf and would call back when he returned in the afternoon." After returning late that afternoon, Elliott issued the second affidavit backing up his first one ( http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/06/vet.kerry.reut/index.html ). Not, as I say, the behavior of someone absolutely confident of his position. We'll see how this one works out.

(2) In the case of Adm. Roy Hoffmann -- the co-chairman of SBVT -- we really do have a flat-out change of story, as discovered again by that dreadful "Media Matters" ( http://mediamatters.org/items/200408060011 ). Once again, there are direct links to all his original quotes to various newspapers, which I've checked out. That includes both his statement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on May 6 that he "had no first-hand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims to valor and... although Kerry was under his command, he really didn't know Kerry very much personally" -- and his three statements on Aug. 5 that he "knew him well enough to know him... We were operating within 25-50 yards of him all the time... I knew him well because I operated very closely with him..." What's Wrong With This Picture?

(3) In the case of Larry Thurlow's statement that Kerry didn't deserve his Bronze Star, we may be able to come up with something a lot more definite very soon. During Judy Woodruff's simultaneous Aug. 5 interview with Thurlow and James Rassman -- both of whom took part in the same operation with Kerry, with Thurlow calling him a total fraud and Rassmann defending him totally ( http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0408/05/ip.01.html ) -- Thurlow denied that the boats in that affair were even taking enemy fire at the time. However, in his own account of the affair (www.thehistorynet.com/ah/blkerryinvietnam/index3.html ), Douglas Brinkley says that not only did Kerry get a Bronze Star for that operation -- so did Thurlow himself. So the key question is whether Brinkley is right about Thurlow also getting a Bronze Star. If he is, then either Thurlow himself also got a Bronze Star through fraud, or he's lying through his teeth about there being no enemy fire when Kerry got his (and Rassmann is telling the truth).

Something stinks here. A hell of a lot of Vietnam vets on one side or the other in this affair aren't just wrong; they're flat-out lying. On one side we have all but one of Kerry's own crew, who say flatly that he's telling the truth (the dissenter says he has a grudge against Kerry for falsely accusing him of shooting a 10-year-old boy on a contraband boat unnecessarily), along with some outsiders like Rassmann.

On the other side we have the SBVTs, who -- quite apart from the peculiarities in their accounts that I've noted above -- did NOT serve on Kerry's boat, and a lot of whom seem to have a powerful grudge against him for saying that US solderis often committed war crimes. But Tommy Franks himself told Sean Hannity two days ago that Kerry may perhaps have been right about that. And when you read such items as the Toledo Blade's Pulitzer-winning account of the Tiger Force ( http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040512/SRTIGERFORCE/405120331 ), and Charles Lane's account of the Americal Disivion's regular activities in the Apr. 17, 1995 New Republic (http://www.tnr.com/politics/cnote/lane041795.html -- note particularly the story of the unpunished My Khei massacre on the same day as My Lai, which I'd never even heard of), then it begins to look highly probable that Kerry WAS telling the truth and the SBVTs don't want to admit it. Maybe even to themselves. That war -- like most guerilla wars in which the US has gotten involved -- went horribly wrong.

Bruce Moomaw

And, by the way, I don't speak French.


Okay, I can speculate with the best of 'em. My speculation is about how to reconcile Elliott's original affidavit, with Kranish's "recanted" story, with Elliott's rock solid (and much more carefully drafted) second affidavit a day later. Unless and until the Globe releases a tape to back up its claims as to Elliott's quotes, no one will know for sure. But my speculative version looks a lot like the way I've seen reporters and lawyers try to get a "retraction" or an admission of error in other, similar situations, using an affidavit that wasn't particularly artfully drafted in some technical respects.

Just one courtroom lawyer's take.

Bruce Moomaw

Beldar: see my Point (1) above. If I had been in Elliott's shoes and I discovered that a reporter had totally distorted me, I would NOT go "media-shy", refuse to tell any other reporters who phoned me to ask about this question whether or not the guy was a goddamn liar, and then run off and play golf all afternoon.

(But then, how normal am I? I've had people keep telling me on this site for the last two days that it was perfectly normal and excusable for Bush to go into a trance after Andrew Card told him in that schoolroom that "America is under attack", and spend the next 7 minutes doing nothing but reading "My Pet Goat" to a bunch of children. Why, most of us would surely do the same thing...)

Bruce Moomaw

The Tales of Hoffmann (con.):

From the July 5 L.A. Times:

"Hoffmann and Kerry had few direct dealings in Vietnam. A Los Angeles Times examination of Navy archives found that Hoffmann praised Kerry's performance in cabled messages after several river skirmishes...

"Hoffmann, a decorated Korean War veteran whom Navy officials chose to carry out that strategy, has not forgiven Kerry for questioning Sealords' results.

" 'He never saw the big picture,' Hoffmann, 78, said during an interview at his Virginia home. 'The key concept was to take over the rivers and work up to the Cambodian border. Well, we did that.'

" 'Plucked off a destroyer to head the Navy's effort to slash Vietcong supply routes, Capt. Hoffmann demanded initiative and obedience. A distant figure known by his code name, Latch, he popped in on missions, standing watch on deck with a .45 on his hip and a cigar clenched in his teeth. He gave officers authority to fire at will, and demanded body counts to prove their success. Favored lieutenants were cheered on with terse 'Bravo Zulu' messages that signified 'Well done.' Sometimes Hoffmann added: 'Good shooting.'...

"Kerry's charge won him a Silver Star, personally awarded by Zumwalt in a Saigon ceremony. Three days after the skirmish, Kerry and his crew also received a cable from Sealords task force headquarters.

" 'The tactic of attack and assault thoroughly surprised the enemy in his spider-holes and proved to be immensely effective in rousting him into the open,' the message read.

"The cable was from Hoffmann. Four times in February and March, he cabled Kerry and his crew, praising them and other Swift boats after skirmishes. Hoffmann acknowledged the cables, saying Kerry showed 'some pretty sharp thinking. He had courage. But he was loose. He went out on his own too much.'

"Hoffmann and several former Swift officers said Kerry's boat sometimes veered off during missions without explanation -- a criticism Kerry and his crewmen dismissed.

"There are no official rebukes in Navy archives or Kerry's available personnel file. Hoffmann's criticism is also at odds with the glowing evaluations of Kerry in his official Navy record."

Hoffmann adds that he changed his mind about Kerry after Kerry came out against the war. Apparently that was enough to make him decide that he believes the SBVT members who actually did operate close to Kerry (the "we" he keeps referring to in his August statements), and disbelieves the other men working close to Kerry who tell a completely different story. (See my speculations on the SBVTs' possible motivations above.)

Bruce Moomaw

Come to think of it, we do have that Aug. 5 quote from Hoffmann to Sean Hannity -- dug up by "Media Matters" --- that I cited above and then forgot: "I knew him well, because I operated very closely with him and, uh, many of the operations, uh, most of the operations were -- were conducted with multiple boats". That's strange, since (judging from the records dug up by the L.A. Times) he doesn't seem to have operated closely enough with Kerry to regard him as an awful, cowardly, incompetent commander until he came out against the war. Something tells me the co-founder of SBVT could get a pimple on his tongue...

Bruce Moomaw

I see I accidentally forgot to type in two very important little letters (capitalized below) in one sentence in my 1:55 blog above:

"But it remains interesting that (according to CNN), after supposedly telling the Globe reporter that his earlier affidavit had been INcorrect, then: 'Inundated with calls to verify the statement, Elliott grew media shy and said through his wife he would not talk. Earlier in the day, Mrs. Elliott said her husband was playing golf and would call back when he returned in the afternoon.' " Not that this changes my meaning.

Bruce Moomaw

Last comment for the night: I'm still trying to find out where Thurlow won his Bronze Star (no clue yet on Google). But, in the process, I have dug up one odd disparity in Thurlow's testimony. From his Woodruff interview:

"THURLOW: This is a 3-boat (ph) -- this is on the opposite side of the river of John Kerry's boat. At this point, John Kerry speeds out of the area, I assume to clear the kill zone. The rest of the boats, however, went to the aid of the 3-boat (ph), which was completely disabled. Two members of that crew are in the water, the rest are badly wounded and basically incapacitated on board that boat.

"WOODRUFF: You're basically saying he fled when there was...

"THURLOW: I am saying he fled the area on the explosion under the 3-boat (ph). "

Now consider http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-04-12-kerry-vietnam_x.htm :

"...[E]ven those who felt betrayed by Kerry for later leading Vietnam Veterans Against the War and who call themselves Bush supporters acknowledge that he showed courage under fire. 'He was extremely brave, and I wouldn't argue that point,' Thurlow says."

Well, he's certainly arguing it now where this incident is concerned.




Quoting the Boston Globe to refute the accusation that Boston Globe is responsible for misquoting and misrepresenting facts in an article?



ROFLMAO! Quoting the Boston Globe to refute the accusation that Boston Globe is responsible for misquoting and misrepresenting facts in an article?

No. I was responding to Beldar’s request for further collaboration on George Elliott’s 1996 statements that were quoted in a recent (8/7/04) New York Times article. A bit different.

In case you missed it, further upthread, I quoted an August 7, 2004 New York Times article noting that Commander Elliott had already shown some inconsistency concerning Mr. Kerry's record, especially regarding his storied encounter with the Vietcong, who was armed with a rocket launcher.

When accusations surfaced during Mr. Kerry's 1996 senatorial re-election campaign that he had shot the Vietnamese in the back as he was wounded and fleeing, Commander Elliott spoke in Mr. Kerry's defense, telling reporters, ''The fact that he chased an armed enemy down is something not to be looked down upon, but it was an act of courage.''

Here is another reference to what transpired in 1996, although there are no direct quotes.

Kerry's staff arranged a news conference at the Courageous Sailing Center in the Charlestown Navy Yard. It also flew in several people who attested to Kerry's character and his version of events.

They were retired Admiral E.R. Zumwalt Jr., who commanded U.S. naval forces in Vietnam; retired Capt. George Elliott, Kerry's commander at the time of the shooting; retired Cmdr. Adrian Longsdale, who commanded shorelineoperations at the time, and Belodeau, an electrician who is currently working in Michigan.

Providence Journal - Bulletin. Providence, R.I.: Oct 28, 1996. pg. A.05

Unless there was a mass conspiracy between the New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Providence Journal in 1996 to misrepresent George Elliott’s statements….

Bruce Moomaw

That's interesting, Ed, because over on Brad Delong's site Patrick Sullivan has just quoted Warsh's Boston Globe article in order to attack Kerry.

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