Patterico's Pontifications

8/17/2004

Christmas in Cambodia Story Hits the L.A. Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 1:43 am

The L.A. Times has finally broken its silence on the “Christmas in Cambodia” aspect of the Swift Boat Vets’ story, in an article titled Veterans Battle Over the Truth. The article also contains what purports to be a comprehensive analysis of the factual basis for the allegations of the Swift Boat Vets.

The article is pro-Kerry spin, pure and simple. The strategy of the article is apparent: before actually setting forth a single detail of the Swift Boat Vets’ allegations, the article carefully lays the groundwork to prepare the reader to be skeptical. The article accomplishes this in multiple ways — many of them misleading, and all of them prime examples of the fine art of slanted rhetoric.

First, the allegations are described early on as “staples of conservative talk shows and Internet sites” — code language telling readers that the allegations need not be taken seriously.

The story then uses several misleading turns of phrase to suggest that the veterans really don’t know what they’re talking about, and that Kerry has been forthright about his Vietnam experience:

What military documentation exists and has been made public generally supports the view put forth by Kerry and most of his crewmates — that he acted courageously and came by his Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts honestly. This view of Kerry as war hero is supported by all but one of the surviving veterans who served with him on the two boats he commanded.

The article doesn’t say that “[w]hat military documentation exists and has been made public” is only what John Kerry has chosen to make public. In fact, John Kerry persistently refuses to release his complete military records. Yet, far from acknowledging this fact, the story falsely suggests that Kerry has released all of his records:

The Kerry campaign has launched a vociferous defense, denying the charges raised in the ad. It also denounced the group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, as a Republican-backed effort. His staff has directed critics to the Massachusetts senator’s military records, which have been posted on his website.

This creates an entirely false impression. Unless a dramatic change has occurred in the last few hours, Kerry’s complete military records are not on his site. This is wildly deceptive.

The article continues:

None of the critics quoted in the ad actually served on the boats with Kerry.

This phrasing is highly misleading, as the bolded language refers only to the two boats that Kerry actually commanded — not to the several boats nearby. The article thus falsely suggests that none of the veterans quoted in the ad were in a position to witness Kerry’s actions on the swift boats.

This impression is reinforced by a quote from Kerry’s campaign manager, which falsely states — without immediate correction by the Times — that none of the men quoted in the ad served with Kerry:

“The Swift boat ad is full of lies. Thirteen men who never served with John Kerry lie about knowing him and viciously attack his record,” said Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill in an e-mail to supporters last week. “It is a new low for the Republicans.”

You have to read much further down in the story to learn that:

  • The ad indeed quotes at least one percipient eyewitness from a nearby boat;
  • Several other members of the group in fact did serve on nearby boats, and dispute Kerry’s version of events in several respects — including his claim that he braved hostile gunfire to save another boatman’s life; and
  • One member of the Swift Boat Vets organization served on a boat with Kerry and disputes significant aspects of Kerry’s account of his Vietnam experience — including the claim that Kerry was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve in 1968.

But these facts do not emerge early in the story. Rather, the early portions of the article are devoted to tidbits such as the fact that a prominent Republican has funded much of the initial ad buy, as well as a warning that some of the Swift Boat Vets have “have given contradictory accounts and offered conflicting recollections.”

When the story later mentions (as it must) that Kerry himself has also given contradictory accounts, we are told that Kerry’s contradictions have varied only “subtly.” We are (again) reminded that his critics have provided conflicting recollections, and the whole set of contradictions is blamed on the fog of war:

“War is by definition chaotic, and people are not taking notes in battle,” said Jeffrey Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. “In terms of the type of evidence that might be ideal for making a convincing case, there probably are some holes. They give an opening for people who want to say Kerry was embellishing.”

So, at the outset of the article, the reader has been told that the allegations are staples of conservative talk shows and the internet, made in an ad funded by Republicans, and leveled by people who weren’t even percipient witnesses, and can’t keep their stories straight. Meanwhile, Kerry has released all of his military records, and if he flubbed a minor detail or two, that’s the nature of war.

Much of this is not true. And it all comes before the paper provides a single shred of detail regarding what the allegations actually are.

I’ll leave it to others to parse the details of the paper’s treatment of the actual allegations. There’s plenty of spin there as well, much of it easily refuted. The paper strains to find contradictions in the accounts of people like Kerry’s commanding officer Grant Hibbard, where no real contradiction exists. Meanwhile, we read almost nothing of the not-so-subtle contradictions in Kerry’s accounts of Vietnam, which have been discussed by so very many commentators in recent days.

But what does any of this matter? The details of the allegations will mean little to most readers, who have just been told at great length why they needn’t take the Swift Boat Vets’ allegations seriously in any event.

UPDATE: The dead-trees version of the paper has arrived on my doorstep, allowing me to see exactly what portion of this article made it onto the front page. (Times editors know that most people don’t bother to read past the jump to the back pages, so what appears on the front page is critical to most people’s impressions of a story.) Here is the portion of this story that appears on the front page today:

Veterans Battle Over the Truth

An ad calls Kerry a liar. His Vietnam crew sees a hero. Memories, and agendas, are in conflict.

By Maria L. La Ganga and Stephen Braun, Times Staff Writers

A television ad that has aired in three key battleground states and a new book have created a political furor over John F. Kerry’s Vietnam War record, calling into question his character, credibility and a central tenet of his campaign — that his combat experience helps qualify him to be president.

The ad, the book and the people behind them have become staples of conservative talk shows and Internet sites. The claims — that Kerry lied about his war experiences, didn’t deserve his medals and betrayed soldiers everywhere by protesting the war after serving in it — also have been recited in the mainstream media, along with denials of the allegations.

What military documentation exists and has been made public generally supports the view put forth by Kerry and most of his crewmates — that he acted courageously and came by his Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts honestly. This view of Kerry as war hero is supported by all but one of the surviving veterans who served with him on the two boats he commanded.

None of the critics quoted in the ad actually served on the

and here the story jumps to page A16, where this incredibly misleading sentence ends: “boats with Kerry.”

What you just read is all that most people will ever bother to read of this story. Cutting the story where they did allows the editors to create an even stronger impression that the Swift Boat Veterans never served with Kerry or witnessed his actions in Vietnam.

Shameful.

UPDATE x2: Thanks to Lucianne and Instapundit for the links. I hope new readers will bookmark and/or blogroll the site, and remember to come back again.

This post is cross-posted at “Oh, That Liberal Media,” a group blog to which I contribute that focuses primarily on leftist bias in the print media.

UPDATE x3: Thanks to Greg Ransom at PrestoPundit for alerting me to the story.

UPDATE x4: Beldar picks up where I left off, and examines in depth the Times‘s treatment of the specific allegations against Kerry. As I said, there’s spin a-plenty.

UPDATE x5: Once again, it’s worth remembering how this same paper treated the “Bush was AWOL” story. Here you can read an examination of how the liberal media subtly words stories like this one, in order to promote a leftist agenda. And finally, further thoughts about how none of this should really have come as a surprise, here.

86 Responses to “Christmas in Cambodia Story Hits the L.A. Times

  1. Prior to the internet, stories like this one in the LA Times could pretty much go unanswered. I don’t think we’d even see this much were it not for real truthseekers who keep deconstructing the obvious spin we get from the Kerry propaganda folks. I became very suspect of Kerry’s claims when I kept hearing over and over again about them. It would be like me telling people over and over that I was an All-State football player thirty some years ago in high school, as if that carried some weight to what I was doing today. It only seems he’s talking about it to such an extent because he’s so vulnerable on military matters. Except now, with word from so many who are willing to go out of their way to make his veracity an issue, and with more and more stories that make his four month heroics seem less and less likely, it’s not his service that’s at issue, it’s his truthfulness. Thanks for pointing out the obvious holes in this spin.

    Mark (cabec8)

  2. I think Kerry is almost happy to have this argument about the Swiftees. His real problem is all those tapes showing how he protested against those vets that he served with when he came home. We can only hope that W will make a huge issue of all those speeches Kerry made against our country. He has been a senator for 20 years because of his actions AFTER he came home…..not for the 4 months in Nam. I would love to see how much he has used his 4 months service in Nam in his senate races previously. And the only thing the Kerry people can argue is that it is a Rebublican smear!

    Linda (d5e9c2)

  3. The single most important fact you need to know about voting during the
    upcoming election for
    president is that John Kerry committed serial acts of treasons during the
    1970s. Treason is the
    sine qua non of baseline criterion measures that trumps all other
    considerations and beyond which
    nothing else matters. Someone who commits treason cannot be president.

    Kerry led the Vietnam Veterans Against the War when it voted on a plan in
    1971 to assassinate
    members of Congress who supported the Vietnam war. This act alone
    constitutes a planned coup
    d’état that would have led to an attempt to overthrow the U.S. government by
    violent means.
    Kerry also participated in numerous antiwar, anti-American protests with the
    likes of Jane Fonda
    and other traitors and participated in numerous speeches and radio and
    television broadcasts
    against America. His congressional testimony is classic treason. There is
    no doubt that these acts
    of treason gave aid and comfort to the enemy during war, the definition of
    treason, but North
    Vietnam’s General Giap’s statement of appreciation to the VVAW confirms this
    point.

    Wayne Trieschmann (a81a62)

  4. Despite the obvious spin some news agencies are putting on Kerry’s campaign, lets look at the big picture here: Kerry served.

    When Bush’s “service” came under fire, there was hardly a soul who surfaced to come to his side to vouche for the stories.

    If your point is that there is a spin that exists with both Kerry’s campaign and the media, you are absolutely correct. If he is less of a candidate for that spin, in my opinion you are wrong. Let’s not forget we were “spun” to believe we had to invade Iraq to win the war on terrorism.

    Michael (f22a6b)

  5. It would be like me telling people over and over that I was an All-State football player thirty some years ago in high school, as if that carried some weight to what I was doing today.

    Are you referring to Al Bundy, who once scored four touchdowns in a single game?

    Nobody Important (5772c0)

  6. Right on! Stick it LA Times! Do you reckon they’ll see this criticism? It’s pretty devastating. Good work!

    BJ (77759a)

  7. I did not read this article on the LA Times Website because I am not registered there. My law school professor Glenn Reynolds directed me here. Now I have the whole story. I hope more people get to experience our new freedom of the press.

    Thanks to Al Gore for inventing the Internet. I love this country.

    TschmereL (d0951e)

  8. Lets look at the big picture here!

    The big picture here is that the senator came back from Vietnam and lied about what was going on. This is documented. He has lived on lies for a good part of his career. Remember the CIA supporting drug dealers to supply the ghettoes in America – guess who supported that myth in the congress and refused to retract his statements when it was proved false. What did that do for race relations. Remember his comments regarding Cambodia. He used them to make a point. But maybe he lied.
    What else has has he lied about. Your talk of spin is a childish attempt to pass off problems with Senator Kerry’s past. We seem to have forgotton what values mean.

    David (bc9d74)

  9. Everyone growing up in the Viet Nam era knew there were several strategies to “manage” your millitary liability. 1) Student Deferement, 2) Join the Reserves, or 3) Join the Navy or Air Force. Of course, you could do nothing and risk being drafted into the Army or Marines.

    Both Bush and Kerry did 2 of 3. Bush joined a TAG unit that was deployed in Viet Nam at the time he enlisted; Kerry joined the Navy and volunteered for service on a destroyer (and later Swift Boats) patrolling the coast of Viet Nam. As luck would have it, Kerry, whose choices were probably less likely to result in combat, ended up in the thick of it.

    Neither man’s choices, at the time, were more or less honorable than the other’s. To claim that Kerry served and Bush didn’t is wrong. To claim to know that Kerry’s choices were part of some political calculation is also wrong.

    Both men served. If Bush failed to meet his obligations in the National Guard, we deserve to know. If Kerry lied about his actions in Viet Nam and falsified action reports we need to know that also. The investigation into the AWOL charges aginst Bush has been persued vigorously by the press. We need to see the same level of effort applied to the charges against Kerry.

    Dan (0a4f98)

  10. “When Bush’s “service” came under fire, there was hardly a soul who surfaced to come to his side to vouche for the stories. ”

    This is, as liberal Democrats will tell you, because Republicans are rich but stupid and evil. A rich and smart Republican activist would have bribed a few — less than a dozen — former TANG personnel and pilots to lie in favor of the candidate; providing the electorate a positive upbeat optimistic fiction. But a rich, STUPID activist, instead, wastes the money to bribe several dozen — several score; two gross! — SWIFT personnel and officers to lie against the other candidate; imposing upon the voters a negative, downer, bummer, pessimistic attack on the patriotism of not just John Kerry, but on the entire military, which, after all, awarded those Purple Harps and those Gold (some metal, I forget) Stars. It’s Republican money now descrating the flag, the military, and the heros of VietNam who, like John Kerry, defended America’s freedoms while shirkers like GW Bush were loafing around on golf courses. It’s EVIL how little respect the two hundred and some veterans show for the millions of their “band of brothers” who so honorably burned villages, heroically participated in free-fire zones, bravely raped, nobly pillaged, self-sacrificingly terrorized peasants, and then came home to speak truth to power about what war crimes they had been ordered to committ. EVIL, I say! Kerry heroically slaughtered those chickens, pigs, (uhm, refering to LIVESTOCK here, not cowards and cops — I know with all these flashbacks to 35 years ago it gets confusing!) he killed those filthy animals in order to save the village, and then when he confessed what he and two million like him had done every day fog the past years in Vietnam, Laos and YES, dammit, Cambodia; the man who ordered it done, Tricky Dick Nixon, sent new orders to procure a hitman — John O’Neill! John Kerry bravely heroically nobly, etc etc — with just three of his fellow VVAW protestors — faced down and shouted out O’Neill at their first meeting, but O’Neill orchestrated (as Republicans ALWAYS do — “orchestrate”, I mean) a unfair undemocratic one-on-one debate in which he accused Kerry of misrepresenting how many veterans he and VVAW spoke for. What a typical Republican tactic! As if the actual numbers had anything to do with it– but they’re at it again, as if 250 SWIFT boat veterans outweight the half dozen band-of-brothers crewmen who actually served UNDER Commander (or Lieutenant, whatever those stupid ranks are, and who cares?) Kerry. But Kerry rose above O’Neill’s attacks then. “I have nothing to gain by speaking truth,” he courageously declared — before going on to run for Congress, and winning election as Attorney General of Massasschusetts, Lt Governor of that state, and four terms as Senator. “Nothing to gain” he honestly and forthrightly declared, winning the unfair one-on-one debate, and sending O’Neill back into the hellish obscurity (and Texas wilderness) such scum deserve. There O’Neill lurked, hatred smoldering, for three decades, festering, metastasizing, ensnaring by bribery blackmail and deceit allies in Nixon’s on-going war. Now, NOW he springs forward again, to ambush the kindest, gentlest, smartest, tallest, most loving, French-looking liberal Senator who ever by the way served in Vietnam! Outrageous! LIES! All of it LIES, DECEPTION, UNTRUTH, AND FALSEHOOD. And all REPUBLICAN lies, TEXAS lies, from the cabal that imposed on us ENRON, HALLIBURTON, and GLOBAL CROSSIN — oh, nevermind. TEXANS, orchestrating, ORCHESTRATING, I tell you, a veritable SYMPHONY
    of LIES LIES LIES LIES L*I*E*S!!!!

    BUSH LIES, PEOPLE DIE! And BUSH was A.W.O.L.! Why can’t you idiots wrap your feeble Republican minds around that simple concept. It doesn’t MATTER what else happened, the man betrayed his country by dodging the draft and joining the Texas Golf Force and then BROKE HIS PROMISE TO SERVE EVEN THERE!!! HE LIES. BREAKS PROMISES!

    HE TALKS FUNNY! Can’t you even HEAR it? He fakes a Texas accent and he’s from Connecticutt!
    EVERY WORD OUT OF HIS MOUTH IN THAT FUNNY ACCENT IS FAKE, UNREAL, and UNTRUE!

    This election has NOTHING to do with what John Kerry did or didn’t do, where he was or was not, thirty years ago. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE OIL — and the oilMAN. We have to destroy Bush, don’t you see? Not merely pull him down from his pedestal, NO! DESTROY HIM. Drag him out of the Oval Office and draw and quarter the bastard! Burn the body parts and scatter the ashes!!! Then drive a stake thru the heart of the scorch marks just to be sure. CRUSH, KILL, DESTROY!

    If not, we’ll all — gays, Jews, atheists, blacks, rich widows from Mozambique- ALL! — be marched to gulags by the theocrats who pull the puppets strings. Concentration camps that make Abu Gharib and Gitmo look like some kind of FUKING DISNEYLAND, do you understand? Theocracy! They’ll abolish the constitution, ban Napster and Kaaza, and censor movies and record companies! They’ll poison the drinking water, burn the spotted owl forests and INVADE IRAN. THEY HAVE TO BE STOPPED!

    IT’S! NOT! ABOUT! *K*E*R*R*Y* !!!! BUSH is the EVIL, BUSH is the TERRORIST, and BUSH MUST BE DESTROYED.

    Thank you very much for the opportunity to address the “Christmas in Cambodia” issue calmly and rationally.

    Pouncer (36a42f)

  11. The LA Times printed this article in response to widespread criticism of the mainstream media that they were ignoring the story. They obviously stretched the truth (and outright lied) to support the Kerry position.

    I think the bigger story is the all out blatant attempt by the media to control this election. They’re not even subtle about it any more and I truely believe that the American people are catching on. I sincerely hope so.

    J Green (2fb3e7)

  12. Thanks for clearing that up Michael.

    It’s not about Kerry its about Bush — errr rrright.

    When Bush’s service was attacked — by one guy — two hundred folks who served with him did not back up the claims — with affadavits.

    Oh, and Bush released all his service records.

    Release your records Senator Kerry!

    Jim in Chicago (838e46)

  13. Pouncer,

    Hilarious.

    Haven’t I see your work at DU, Atrios, etal?

    Oh, right, those guys are serious.

    Jim in Chicago (838e46)

  14. Pouncer….great one….you had me worried there for a minute! You ever notice that liberals have NO sense of humor?

    Linda (d5e9c2)

  15. The ‘hat’ story is true. They have even located a picture of Kerry with the CIA guy that gave it to him.

    Natalie (9d99db)

  16. I will agree that Kerry owes it to release service records. Whatever they may reveal.

    As far as Pouncer’s comments are concerned, I thank him for making me laugh this early in the morning. It’s usually hard to get a rise out of me before three cups of coffee.

    My point isn’t fighting the typical anti-Texas, anti-neoconservative stereotypes Pouncer so eloquently (!) describes. Let the record show I’m in the middle of Bush country (Lubbock, Texas). The real issue here is we have two people playing spin games with their service, and as usual, we’re left trying to figure out which one is less evil: The guy who may or may not have dove into water to save another soldier, or the one who bravely defended the skies over Waco and Mobile from the throes of communism.

    Michael (f22a6b)

  17. Don’t assume that the full records are damning to Kerry.

    Consider the option that they are a card he is holding.

    Either way, they should be released. Has any presidential candidate not released his records and been elected?

    I guess I should google that.

    John (6479e1)

  18. Pouncer, I’m sorry to say that you need professional help. Do you seriously think you could threaten the life of the leader of any other country and live to talk about it, much less write about it.

    You liberals think nothing about aborting a human life, but put people in jail for hurting an animal.You have more laws to protect animals than you have to protect a human life.

    You cry about Bush’s wealth, when you could have it too if you people would put your foot down on illegal immigrants who come to this country and live off of it and not give back.Your taxes support their families, the schools they attend, the hospitals they go to and the roads they drive on to go to work, illegally. Do they give back, no, they pay no taxes, no healthcare coverage and send their money back to their own countries.They suck money out of all of our pockets, if you want to come here, come legally.

    The hate in your letter is so sad. This President is protecting your ass from the terrorists who want to destroy your way of life and my way of life. They don’t care if you’re democrat or republican or independent, your American and that is reason enough to kill you in their book.They have been planning these attacks for years and years.

    You should direct your hatred to the terroists. Who gives a crap about Kerry and his war record. My dad served as a medic in NAM for two years and didn’t get squat for any medals, even though he saved lives everyday.

    I don’t hate Kerry, he served our country. Bush did too, maybe not in the manner you liked but at least he joined the service unlike Bill Clinton, who wimped out and ran off to another country rather than serve the one he was born in.

    Direct your anger at the terrorists and be an American and support your President during this time of war, show your feelings at the ballot box.Didn’t anyone think that now that we have freed Iraq from a tyrant that they will always be grateful to us, unlike France. Then when Iran threatens us, we now have an ally to help us.

    War is just part of life and history and will be part of the future. It is man’s genectic makeup to fight, if he feels threatened. Being sensitive will get us all killed. People in other parts of the world do not understand our way of life and we do not understand theirs. That is life, but I promise you that President Bush isn’t out to make your life miserable and he doesn’t have a personal vendetta against you. He is wealthy and doesn’t have to be President, he does it because he loves this country.

    Democrats love people like you because they would have us all completely dependent on the gonernment with all of their social programs and share the wealth attitude. Democracy isn’t a socialistic way of life, it is going to school or working your way to wealth. It isn’t staying home and having babies and getting a check in the mail.

    Don’t let politics put hate in you so deep that you can’t function. Appreciate it and look forward to going to the ballot box to express yourself, something America invented. That is what we are about, free to express yourself. That is what America is about, whether your democrat or republican.

    Lisa (a08cd6)

  19. Lisa…I think Pouncer was being sarcastic in response to my post about Bush’s dismal service record. He was acting out a stereotype of democrats that perpetuate neo-cons. Then again, he could just be a ranting idiot.

    Michael (f22a6b)

  20. There is some possibility that if John Kerry releases the rest of the records that they won’t prove a thing. Kerry has been obsessed with his medals since he ”volunteered” in Vietnam with the goal of grabbing as many as possible and getting the heck out of there. If you check what is posted on his website, you will note that the Bronze Star and Silver Star presentation sections are signed by John Lehman, Sec of the Navy under Ronald Reagan. Why would those documents be signed 16 years or so later? Because Kerry apparently had them re-presented. Just guessing, but this was probably done because, years later, it was to his political advantage to show off some medals and they would look good in the shadow box on his senate office wall, where they are now, according to eyewitness reports. Remember, he supposedly threw the orignal medals over the fence in protest. Then note that Kerry apparently cleaned up his records again when planing to run for President. His DD214 was amended by DD215 to make a minor change to the wording of the Vietnam medal. Check it out on the Kerry website. How many veterans out there would do such a thing? None that I know of, and I am a Vietnam ERA vet. When the purple heart ”documentation” was posted, the URL calls the document a ”citation” when it is obviously a transmittal letter, military style. Kerry has been tampering with his military records for over 40 years now, which (at least to this veteran) shows some obsessive compulsive behavior and some insecurity about what the records reveal.

    Cook (d326c1)

  21. Kerry is a glory hound and a fraud. That’s why the Democrats like him.

    leah (9fad3e)

  22. You guys are pathetic. John Kerry deserved his medals. This is your logic: you are choosing to ignore the words of John Kerry, the navy records, the men who served under him on the swiftboats, the words of George Elliott and Hubbard in 1969 and the fact that none of these guys never spoke up about any of these alleged “frauds” as they were occuring and instead are believing the words of ostensibly angry veterans 35 years later who apparently have the best memories in the history of human civilization. How on earth would a doctor, who’s name incidentally does not appear on nary a medical record of Kerry, remember in specific detail a small insignificant wound that occured more than 35 years ago?

    The Navy is not run like an arcade. You can’t lie and say that the machine ate your token, can I have a new one. It doesn’t work like that. The Navy is thorough. And basically what you’re asking people to believe is that Kerry, in cahoots with the men that served under him, actively sought out to trick the Navy into getting medals.

    Karma is a bitch. And when this backfires, who will the voters punish?

    bigjesus (24f8f3)

  23. Um … Lisa need more coffee. See, Pouncer’s diatribe was a joke ( and an excellent one!)

    As for bigjesus: sorry to say that the Navy IS an arcade as is most of service life in any of the branches. Yes, I was in Viet Nam (USMC 1966-67) and I saw incidents similar to what the Swiftees are alleging. And yes, 35 years later, those events are seared, seared!, into my memory. (sorry: couldn’t resist that.)

    fritz (5caf7d)

  24. Hey BigJ,

    Who do you believe, nearly all the officers who served with JFinK, none of whose charges have even been grappled with yet, or JFinK, who we already know distorted his record — however seared, seared it may have been in his memory?

    Thanks tho for repeating last week’s talking points about the doctor who treated Kerry’s “wound.”

    Cheers.

    Jim in Chicago (838e46)

  25. “Who do you believe, nearly all the officers who served with JFinK”

    Well for one, the officers weren’t on the boats on any of those days. So what evidence can they provide to rebut the official Navy records?

    “none of whose charges have even been grappled with yet”

    Actually, they have. They are called Official Navy Records and also, the men who served on the boat along side Kerry.

    “distorted his record — however seared, seared it may have been in his memory”

    True, Kerry apparently seared the wrong memory in his head. I am not like you, I can come to a conclusion that isn’t dripping with partisanship. However, Kerry corrected the account in both the Boston Globe book, and Tour (before anyone knew anything about the SBVfB) – stating that he was 50 miles away from Cambodia on that day – as do the men who were on the boats. Also, along with the men who were on the boats, Kerry noted they ventured into Cambodia the next year.

    bigjesus (24f8f3)

  26. “and I saw incidents similar to what the Swiftees are alleging”

    Nice statement devoid of any real commentary.

    bigjesus (24f8f3)

  27. “Thanks tho for repeating last week’s talking points about the doctor who treated Kerry’s “wound.” ”

    Well, it was a wound for which he recieved a purple heart. I guess John Kerry is not a real wounded war hero like Bush who bravely scraped his knee in the Alabama Air National Guard.

    bigjesus (24f8f3)

  28. Bingo, we have another talking point:

    Ye olde “they weren’t “on” the boat with Kerry.”

    Will BigJ go for the trifecta?

    Incidentally, I’m waiting eagerly for the Official Navy Records, since Kerry hasn’t released them all yet.

    Release your records Senator!

    And it’s not at all clear that Kerry ever went into Camboia in his Swift boat, despite what he and his dwindling “band of brothers” say.

    Jim in Chicago (838e46)

  29. Yes we have the trifecta!

    It’s all about Bush!

    Jim in Chicago (838e46)

  30. Big J

    Do you mean that the swifties didn’t serve with Kerry like this?

    http://dogsnot.net/mt/images/served_defintion.jpg

    Loren (449c4c)

  31. I’m guessing you are referring to the Alston did not serve on Kerry’s boat lie. Key emphasis on lie. You guys have provided nothing to refute the Official Navy records. But I thank you guys for allowing Pro-Kerry talking heads to bring up Kerry’s heroism in war. It stacks up well against Bush’s (or lack thereof).

    bigjesus (24f8f3)

  32. bigjesus (8:40am), you wrote:

    However, Kerry corrected the [mistaken] account [of his patrolling in Cambodia on XMas Eve] in both the Boston Globe book, and Tour (before anyone knew anything about the SBVfB) – stating that he was 50 miles away from Cambodia on that day – as do the men who were on the boats. Also, along with the men who were on the boats, Kerry noted they ventured into Cambodia the next year. [emphasis mine]

    For me as for some other commeters here, what Kerry did 35 years ago as a young man in Viet Nam would not be all that important. But now it does matter, because he has made his wartime service the centerpiece of his qualifications for the Presidency. And what matters more is how he has conducted himself in the years since he left active duty in 1969. For example, if/when he was mistaken, has he clearly and forthrightly issued a correction?

    You claim that he has set the record straight regarding his “seared” Christmas Eve memory; this point would be important to me. Could you (or another reader) provide a citation, as a hyperlink or a page number in the Boston Globe biography or “Tour”?

    In my opinion, “stating that he was 50 miles away from Cambodia on that day” by itself wouldn’t count as a correction. Nor would, by itself, Kerry noting that he had “ventured into Cambodia the next year” (what date? Was this that “seared” memory or another, different event?)

    AMac (3cb088)

  33. They mention the Christmas in Cambodia story in the 72nd (!) paragraph; Jimmy Hoffa should be buried that deeply. And even then they say it’s consistent with Kerry flack Michael Meehan’s comments last Thursday, when they admit he lied.

    The media are in the tank with Dukakis’ Lieutenant Governor.

    BTW, we broke the Christmas in Cambodia story way back in May.

    Pat Curley (099d93)

  34. Alston?

    No one was referring to Alston.

    Jim in Chicago (838e46)

  35. Fritz;
    Maybe Pounces’ comments are a joke but, I don’t consider treatening the life of our President a joke and I bet the Secret Service doesn’t either.

    My dad served in Nam 1968 and 1969 first with the Alpha Company, 1/12, 3rd Marine Division and the remainder D company, Medical, 3rd Marine division. He wrote a book called ‘MERCY WARRIORS’. You can access the Mercy Warriors web site at http://www.xecu.net/jodoco. He actually served in the Navy but was stationed with the Marines. His nic name is DOC. He would love to hear from his fellow vets.I think this war has created a new found respect for the Vietnam vets, who got no respect when they came home.

    I remember my dad getting spit on,threatened and yelled at. I’m afraid John Kerry’s testimony on Vietnam hurt my dad even more. He went to war swearing he would never kill another human being, that is until his friends were killed by the VC. Then he decided he had to kill to protect his friends. He killed 6.

    War was different then, Dad went because he was forced to go. He didn’t kill for his country, he killed for his friends. Now we kill for our country to protect our family and friends, because if we don’t go to them, they will surely come to us.

    I’m sure John Kerry is a fine person, but I’m going on his record. He voted against every single bill that was designed to protect this country and our soldiers. That scares the hell out of me. Does he seriously think he can change these people, who have known war for hundreds of years and fight over religion.

    There is nothing we can do to make peace with these religous zellots, short of converting to the Muslim religion, taking all females out of schools and jobs, putting burkas on them and keeping them in the house all of their life. They are not aloud to shave, show any skin, walk about without a escort or be stoned to death.

    Our news would be edited and no music and we would have to pray 8 times a day for 30 minutes. You would be killed for expressing any concerns about the Government, much less the leader of the country.If Kerry thinks he can change their way of life or just tip toe out and hope they leave us alone, he is dreaming.

    They declared religious war on all who do not believe in ALLAH. Saddam was a threat and proved he was, he attacked other countries and why wouldn’t he attack us. We could not take a chance. If he killed his own people, why is it so hard for those nay sayers to believe that he wouldn’t hesitate to attack the U.S.

    Vietnam started with JFK, who by the way, pissed off Castro and he’s still not over it.epublicans believe we have the right to make as much money as we want, and spend it the way we want.

    I was a delgate from Ohio for Kennedy at the DNC in 1980 in NY.I grew up a Democrat and became a Republican after a friend of mine quit her job at a fortune 100 company to go on welfare and have babies. She didn’t want to work and our social programs aloud her the luxury to do just that and guessed who worked and contributed to her lifelong vacation? ME! It came out of my paycheck every two weeks in the form of TAXES. That cured me of democrats and their social (Whats yours is mine) programs.

    My husband is a pilot for American Airlines and Bin Laden’s sick and twisted attack on the U.S. for religious reasons affected all of us financially. My husband’s pay was cut 40%. He pays 800 dollars a month just for social security taxes and about 1500 dollars for Fed. taxes. Then we pay about 700 dollars a month in property tax. we are taxed to death. After all of these taxes are paid, we just barely make it by. My husband came from a small town in Iowa and went to college and joined the airforce. He worked his way up in the world the hard way, he has never lived off the government. I hate what these radical Muslims have done to our country.

    We need to have controlled burning in forrests to prevent these fires. We need to free the restrictions on obtaining our own oil so we won’t be so dependent on foreign oil.We need the ACLU to sue the leaders of countries who abuse their people, instead of suing a small city or school district for some religious symbol.Why don’t they take their money and go after Al Queada for forcing their religion on us or go after the countries that teach hate and killing to their children in school.Maybe these radical Muslims would respect us more if we stand behind our religious beliefs like they do theirs.Or if we respected our bodies by not showing so much nudity and violence on T.V. or in ads.I’m just happy to be able to express myself because I’m free to do so.
    I love my country and I love my people, whether democrat or republican, I love my right to vote how I want or watch what I want. I’m not upset by anyones choice of religion or religious symbols. I’ll fight to the death to protect these rights for myself and my children. I hate taxes because I have to pay them but like it or not, at least I have the freedom to express my dislike of it.

    Lisa (a08cd6)

  36. This all goes back to the way the media is NOT covering this story with the same enthusiasm that they dig for any info on President Bush that might…MIGHT….show him in any controversy. I once heard that if this were a story about Bush’s records, and his proclamation as a leader…they would have so many “journalist” on this there wouldn’t be anyone in the media left to do the weather & sports! Read the BOOK! Research the points made…then if the Swiftees are wrong, I want to know! Why can’t they do their job anymore!!!

    Linda (d5e9c2)

  37. Re. the question on Kerry’s correcting the record that I asked of bigjesus at 9:40am today:

    This earlier post of Patterico’s links to a Telegraph article in which Kerry biographer Douglas Brinkley explains that Kerry was mistaken about Christmas in Cambodia. This may be what bigjesus (8:40am) was referring to as Kerry’s correction.

    Patterico discusses why Brinkley’s statement doesn’t wholly clarify the matter. And it wouldn’t be the instance of Kerry setting the record straight.

    AMac (3cb088)

  38. Here’s commentary bigj: medals, including purple hearts, were awarded for political and/or motivational purposes as well as for valor and sacrifice. Surely this rarely occurred but it happened. An example among many: In 1966, I saw the LT’s favorite chopper mech get a purple heart because a chopper blew a pebble in his eye when the chopper was taking off for an operation. (Although he was in a combat area, there was no hostile fire at the time.)

    I’m not judging whether this award is right or wrong. Guys who lost limbs (or even their lives) also received the purple heart. My point is that every incident must be put in context with disclosure of the award’s circumstances. Because each received the same award, until and unless one knows the the details, one must equate the mech’s purple heart with the one received by a guy who lost his leg while pulling patrol.

    This is the reason ALL of Senator Kerry’s records should be released immediately.

    fritz (5caf7d)

  39. Amac, here’s a pretty thorough discussion of the Christmas Eve story from Tour of Duty in the first ever post in the blogosphere about Kerry’s fanciful tale. Contrary to bigjesus’ claims, there is no recantation of the story in Tour or the Boston Globe book; in fact, the Globe book repeats Kerry’s claims. Tour just ignores the prior story and settles for claiming that Kerry was “near” Cambodia. Well, somebody in Newark is “near” Long Island as well, but you’d be hard pressed to convince me that it’s an honest mistake.

    Pat Curley (099d93)

  40. Sen. Kerry may have a Silver Star and several Purple hearts but he is a coward. How many of the Swift Boat Captains served only for four months. For that matter, how many men only served four months in Vietnam. I believe a minimum period was one year. Kerry would be a disaster as Pres; He can’t make up his mind no matter what the occassion. ie “I voted for it before I voted against it.” (Funding for the Uraq War.} The guy would sell out his own mother if he had one. His wife supports many Muslim causes and anti-American causes. Is this the kind of backing we’d get from the first lady? Vote Repiblican for Bush and help save America.

    GD Maalcolm (1302d9)

  41. If you want to see what a true leader is all about check out http://www.republicangear.com/

    This is what this election IS about…and the democrats would rather pick a fight about the Viet Nam war..hoping voters are all forgeting that this little thing happened to us on Sept. 11!

    Linda (d5e9c2)

  42. Pat Curley (12:35pm):

    As you point out, the discussion of “Tour of Dury” at kerryhaters(sic).blogspot.com doesn’t identify a clarification or correction by Kerry of the “seared” Cambodia story. Perhaps another reader knows of one.

    GD Maalcolm (12:59pm):

    Your comments are, er, intemperate. Posts like that won’t be changing many minds.

    AMac (3cb088)

  43. no one is seriously considering this stuff against kerry because it is *maybe* a conspiracy theory at best. You all need to take your patriotism and use it to *think* … Is preemptive a good policy? Is “realist” thinking being subverted by NeoConservatism?

    Just because you’re “right-winged” doesn’t mean your, well, *right* … If you find the ultimate justifications for things to be because they are Christian (does that make you above God to decide yourself?) or “right” … well… You’re just echoing what the republican party has broadcasted to all of the right-wing radio hosts in this country. They get the “good information” because the republicans give it to them… plain and simple.

    Keep digging you people!

    craigslistanon (2cb4f1)

  44. Lisa…yeah, I’m sure if we didn’t invade Iraq we would all be speaking Arabic by now and our women would be being savagely raped by the ne’er do wells. And I’m also sure everyone on welfare does it for fun, because welfare pays SO much doesn’t it? It’s such a glamorous life.

    When Bush flies over Alabama, then dedicates his life to robbing his business partners in Midland, he becomes a hero. (Not to mention killing a thousand of America’s youth for virtually no good reason, then hides behind blind patriotism for it). No one has done more to take money and benefits from veterans, firefighters, cops, and our current soldiers than Bush. Period. His only brilliance comes in presenting information to people like you who believe it, despite ALL logic that states otherwise.

    Kerry does his time in Vietnam, and he’s a fraudulent al-Qaeda sympathizer? Your arguments read like you depend on the simple but distorted and shameful rants of Bill O’Reilly. DO yourself a favor and turn off the boob tube. Pick up a book or go back to school.

    Gotta love conservatives.

    Michael (f22a6b)

  45. Craig’ s List Anon (2:34pm) wrote:
    “…You all… Just because you’re “right-winged”… You’re just echoing… you people!”

    Michael (2:39pm) spiced his ad hominem attacks on Bush with:
    “…people like you who believe it… Your arguments read like you depend on the simple but distorted and shameful rants… DO yourself a favor…”

    The second person plural is, surely, enjoyable to use, but can mask a certain absence of clarity. You (Craig and Michael) must not be mad at Patterico alone (or at all?) because he is a singular. Who, then? Me? I can try to address relevant critiques and logical, fact-based arguments.

    If you make them.

    AMac (3cb088)

  46. As a baby boomer I am so thoroughly disgusted with this constant rehashing of who did what to whom during the Vietnam War that I am convinced my generation will never achieve anything of any long-lasting historical significance because we can’t get past that stupid war. Some very good people were on BOTH sides of that argument–if we had given the military what they needed,if we had not had the protests at home and supported the soldiers we would have won it. But on the other hand it was probably not a war we should have been involved in to begin with. Get over it and let’s make decisions based on what’s happening today, not what happened 40 years ago.

    woodsinfall (cda2c4)

  47. Why was John Kerry mistaken about Christamas eve in Cambodia? Because poor John’s brain was seared. He has never been the same since. He said so himself.

    What is the War Hero Afraid of?

    Form 180. Release the records.

    M. Simon (a643f5)

  48. woodinfall,

    My generation turned the microprocessor from a toy into a consumer appliance. It brought you modems. It brought you sattelites and fiber.

    This is nothing to sneeze at.

    ========================

    What is the difference between Walter Mitty and John Kerry? Walter Mitty was a totally fictional character.

    What is the War Hero Afraid of?

    Form 180. Release all the records.

    What is the War Hero Afraid of?

    Form 180. Release all the records.

    M. Simon (a643f5)

  49. Did I mention the internet? I had a small part in the chain that led from the first PCs (8080/Z80) to what sits on your desk today. So I know a little about the history.

    ==============

    Why wasn’t Kerry reprimanded for throwing chickens against the wall?

    Because he didn’t throw the chickens. He used a machine gun.

    What is the War Hero Afraid of?

    Form 180. Release all the records.

    M. Simon (a643f5)

  50. the big j says:

    “You guys have provided nothing to refute the Official Navy records.

    You know that statement is absolutley correct. There is a reason:

    Kerry will not release all his records. In fact he has pulled some from his site. Why would he do that? Something to hide?

    ===========================

    Why did Kerry run on his Vietnam record?

    Because sleeping in the Senate for twenty years doesn’t sound near as good as shooting a boy in the back.

    What is the War Hero Afraid of?
    Form 180. Release all the records.

    M. Simon (a643f5)

  51. “Woodsinfall” has an interesting point. Let’s not overlook the interesting possibility that the reason Viet Nam became the only major U.S. military failure to date is because it was the only major conflict fought largely by boomers, the most disorganized, clueless, self-absorbed, morally-bankrupt generation of American adults ever.

    Frankly, after watching John Kerry as a Senator and candidate I can’t say I’m real surprised that he and his band o’ brothers got their collective asses kicked by the Viet Cong.

    Studebaker Five (db48c2)

  52. Michael, Bush volunteered to fly in Viet Nam, but lacked the flight hours to qualify before the program ended, as F-102s weren’t in much demand over there. So he protected Alabama, which is still a stable democracy, whereas John Kerry won himself a place of honor in Hanoi’s war museum, while the South sits groaning under totalitarian communism, which in 1971 John Kerry said was just a valid a form of government as democracy.

    Of course he won’t release his records, because even his own accounts have more holes than Swiss cheese.

    George Turner (debfa9)

  53. Has there really been any change to the witnessing/realizing that our current appointed President was AWOL during Vietnam AND that he and his Adinistration might be currently involved in multiple acts of treason by lying serially and draining and endangering our land? Get off the BS people and the stupid stories of John Kery haircuts and all your, for lack of a better phrase, evil verbal attack swill. Attack dogs simma down now … Patriots come to the help of our country.

    God Bless and Save The United States of America

    Tom
    NYC

    Tom (8c29e7)

  54. Tom, Bush was never AWOL, and in fact that would be physically impossible anyway. The press dropped the AWOL charge when they realized it boiled down to this

    “So ladies and gentlemen of the jury. It’s true that a host of witnesses has come for the say they saw then Lt. Bush on base during the time in question. It’s true that medical records and his doctor confirm that he was at the base during the time in question. It’s true he’s provided his records that confirm he served there, and yes, it’s true that all documentation shows he was on the base and put in the hours for the months in question. Hoooooowever! I assert that despite his airtight alibi Bush COULDN’T have been on the base because I’ll present an Alzheimers patient willing to testify that he DOES NOT recall seeing then Lt. Bush!!!!!” *jury gasps in shock*

    Yep. Bush’s commanding officer, an Alzheimers patient, didn’t specifically recall Bush, yet the press jumped all over it and won’t let go. Meanwhile 250+ veterans dispute Kerry’s claims in the strongest possible terms and the press gives it a pass, because they weren’t there. They were not only there, some of them were in the water swimming with Jim Rassman, and they say there was nobody shooting at them. That’s probably a good thing considering their were five boats sitting there trying to hook up a tow line to limp back with the boat that hit the mine. But of course what does the press care, THEY WEREN’T ON KERRY’S BOAT! They were just sitting were Kerry’s boat would’ve been if he hadn’t, by his own account, shot several hundred yards down river before returning to the scene.

    George Turner (9ae2af)

  55. Excellent job, Mr. Patterico! This illustrates the principle that the internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it.

    The Sanity Inspector (95a46d)

  56. http://www.awolbush.com/kerry-vs-bush.asp

    God Bless and Save The United States of America

    tom (8c29e7)

  57. The FACTS state Bush had a poor attendance record while serving in the Champagne Unit. The media slowed coverage on it because there are so many larger faults of Bush’s that are more important to address, like the fact we invaded the wrong country.

    Where Kerry was on Christmas Eve is a red herring issue birthed by cons. No matter what records Kerry will produce, you would be able to find something that stacks up to nothing more than heresy or rumors to hold against him, so it doesn’t really matter. Even now, many of you have stooped to blame media bias on the Bush’s staggering campaign and weak platform. That’s such a stale argument.

    What many neo-cons posts (and rhetoric) share is a sick and bitter desperation because the end of Bush’s administration is very near.

    Michael (f22a6b)

  58. I have had enough of the lying press. Their deception is so unAmerican. It borders on the criminal. It is time to do something about it. The black out of the Swiftees story is the last straw. A petition won’t due. Appealing to their better angels is fruitless. They presently own the second most powerful force in the world, the US Press. However, there is one way to bend them. Attack the people who advertise with them who are thereby directly supporting their lies and omissions. To do this I need help. If you are interested write me at ramcdonald@aol.com. You can access my blog at dickmcdonald.blogspot.com

    Dick McDonald (60ce10)

  59. Dick, take a Valium. That the press is becoming more outrageous is evidence that they’re drying up, like pond scum in the sun. Look, readership of newspapers and viewership of network news is dropping every year, right? And who d’ya think is leaving first, huh? Clearly people who can smell a rat. Conservatives, moderates, people with brains, judgment, imagination, etc. And who is left behind? Who makes up an increasing percentage of their reader/viewership? Crazed ex-communists, loony socialists, paranoid conspirazoids of the left, and so on. Are you really surprised that as their supporters shrink to the core group, they become more hard-core?

    Angus MacPhorque (88bfdf)

  60. It’s easy to pick nits about any story, including this one in the Times. But if a more thorough, balanced account of competing versions of the truth appears anywhere in the blogosphere I haven’t found it. Can someone tell me where it is?

    David Crisp (1d9ffb)

  61. Michael @ 6:35

    I read your post with some degree of agreement, until your closing position, where you wander off into the intellectual hinterlands.

    As an Air Force vet from that era, I would suggest your graph should have been a little more inclusive of reality, such as: (italics mine)

    The real issue here is we have two canditates for POTUS, one of whom is playing spin games with his service record, and as usual, a few people are left trying to figure out which one is less truthful: Kerry, as it turns out who may or may not have pulled a soldier out of the water, after returning to the scene where several other boats were doing same, or Bush who served in the Texas Air Guard, flying one of the most dangerous airplanes in the US inventory, for the previous version of homeland security, and has never claimed it was heroic, and does not emphasize his service as a reason to vote for him.

    You are clearly grasping.

    geoffg (500b76)

  62. Thats my point exactly Geoff. The service record of either candidate is kind of moot consider the real issues we need to be looking at. But as long as cons want to bring up the service record issues, like some are on this thread, the more Bush is going to look pretty sad next to Kerry.

    Michael (53892e)

  63. Let’s start here, Patterico, if you please:

    The article doesn’t say that “[w]hat military documentation exists and has been made public” is only what John Kerry has chosen to make public. In fact, John Kerry persistently refuses to release his complete military records.

    Really? Says who? Where’s your proof that John Kerry has military records in his possession that he is deliberately withholding? (And I know it’s ‘Tu Quoque’ to say it, but for the record, I must have missed your posts decrying the unavailibility of your beloved president’s military records.)

    Tom (07a9ef)

  64. “The service record of either candidate is kind of moot consider the real issues we need to be looking at.”

    The records would be moot if the Vietnam war was over.

    The war is NOT over. Open questions:

    Accounting for MIA. A Senate commission — including John Kerry — assures us that, based on the documetns (which we’re not allowed to see) and the best recollections of the folks who were there (and we KNOW how reliable such memories are) that no P.O.W.s remain in custody in VietNam. But there remain MIAs lost. Are the remains and the evidence still in Cambodia? Were there secret missions we still have no documentation of? Senator Kerry suggests that is so. IF so, shouldn’t we be asking how many men were sent on how many missions, when, on what rivers, to do what — so that we can begin to account for the missing?

    War crimes. Even FIFTY years after World War II war criminals were dragged from Brazil, Argentina, and SPain to face charges of atrocities and genocide for acts committed in Nazi Germany. Justice was slow, but the pursuit of justice was never forsaken. In the mere 30 years since the last American soldier left Vietnam there have been many new and surprising accusations and revelations. Even Medal of Honor winner Senator Bob Kerrey (who I do not confuse with Purple Harp winner John Kerry) was accused of — and admitted to — questionable acts during the war. John Kerry generally referred to war crimes he himself saw, and committed, in VietNam. Have we had due-process, full investigation, and judgement on those acts? Has justice been served? (And here I leave aside the real and burning issue of bringing Viet Cong and North Vietnamese officials to justice for THEIR OWN war crimes…)

    Settlement of refugees. Again, John Kerry has been involved in the US and UN efforts to “settle” the issue of refugees. Kerry’s approach has been to send the people who fled their homeland BACK to the mercies of their conquerors. Hanoi has solemnly pledged the returnees would not be harmed, and would be treated fairly. Has Hanoi kept that bargain, any better than they kept the bargain stuck by Kissinger and Le Duc Tho? And what of Hmong and like groups from inter-border areas of Laos, Cambodia, and Burma? Are all those who fled the chaos of falling dominoes circa 1975 to date — chaos that was predicted by men like John O’Neill — safely settled in secure lands today? Is the war over for them?

    Finally, a question of “rightness” remains. However badly the war turned out, however imperfect the tactics, the strategies, the implementation of policies, or even the rapid changes of policy — the question remains: was the US right to attempt to intervene in VietNam, to resist communism, to ally with the heirs of European colonial powers in pursuit of Western-style civilizations in what used to be called Indochina. Or, was the US fundamentally wrong to attempt to impose Western, modern, free-market values upon peoples unlike ourselves?

    History hasn’t closed the book on the questions of Vietnam. Much less revealed, from the back pages, any answers.

    But John Kerry presents us the opportunity take a closer look at these questions again, questions we’d rather ignore, questions we MUST address before we face other POW/hostage situations, before we loose more men in secret and unofficial actions behind forbidden borders, before we create more refugees, and before we ever again can unite behind one common (Western, capitalist, democratic) ideal.

    John Kerry, tell us, how do you address the open questions of VietNam? Do you propose to use the powers of the presidency — if we entrust them to you — to provide answers? Or will you shred the last documents, intimidate the last witnesses, inter the last refugees, ignore the families of men still missing, and try to pretend that it never happened, nobody saw it happen, whatever happened wasn’t your fault, and nobody can prove anything?

    John Kerry, you’re running on the record of VietNam. This is your last chance — and our nation’s last chance — to revise and correct that record. Do you take your opportunity? Do you grant us ours?

    Or do you continue to lie?

    (I note in passing that GW Bush is an ignoramous who has no knowledge of anything that happened in Vietnam and has no capacity to make any contribution to this discussion whatever. GWB was either flying an obsolete jet over the Gulf of Mexico 12,000 miles away from events, or AWOL. In either case he has never attempted to clear up OR cover up questions of VietNam. He is NOT running on his record on that question.

    His record on Afghanistan and Iraq is fair game.)

    Pouncer (36a42f)

  65. Tom,

    If you have something showing that the complete records (including relevant after-action reports) have been released, I assume you’ll let me know. Otherwise, a quick search reveals this, for starters. It’s from the Kerry-hating Boston Globe.

    Patterico (d52905)

  66. Thanks. (There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? And from the liberal media, no less!)

    Tom (07a9ef)

  67. From the byline you can tell the truth was gangraped.

    J_Crater (554a58)

  68. Next on the agenda ..
    John Kerry’s Senate record .. whooops .. nothing there.
    Guess we will be talking about this stuff till the next election.

    J_Crater (554a58)

  69. Fisking the new LAT’s article, “Veterans Battle Over the Truth”
    The Los Angeles Times

    BeldarBlog (af7df9)

  70. No Cheering In The Press Box?
    CQ reader (and frequent e-mailer of late) Tamsey sent over a very interesting alternate view of the UNITY conference of minority journalists, at which both George Bush and John Kerry appeared. It gives an insight into the kind of coverage…

    Captain's Quarters (9bd2a3)

  71. The Meta-Story
    As I’ve said before, I don’t much care about Kerry’s Vietnam War record; he’d be a pretty appalling President whether he served on a swift boat with honor, or self-inflicted wounds to get out early. The lie about being in…

    The Waterglass (2d1d7a)

  72. IT’S ABOUT TIME
    Pat here at KerryHaters broke the Christmas in Cambodia lie back in May. Then other bloggers pick it up, and now the LA Times. However, Patterico warns us to beware the spin!

    Kerry Haters (28eb22)

  73. Swift Boats vs. the Media: Part II
    Patterico’s Pontifications expertly deconstructs an LA Times left-wing propaganda piece “article” in Christmas in Cambodia Story Hits the L.A. Times.A must read that you’d better get to before his server goes down under the load: he is the “Blogtruth f…

    AlphaPatriot (07cc50)

  74. Kerry in Cambodia Coverage
    There is a reason I no longer subscribe to the Los Angeles Times. But this morning, I was off to the gym before my copy of the other Times arrived, so I fumed for twelve minutes reading this load of…

    BoiFromTroy (96766d)

  75. Patterico’s Pontifications

    The Key Monk (044bd7)

  76. No big-media bias?
    Via L.A. Times” href=”http://patterico.com/archives/002573.php”>Patterico’s Pontifications The L.A. Times has finally broken its silence on the “Christmas in Cambodia” aspect of the Swift Boat Vets’ story, in an article titled Veterans Battle Over the …

    democrats give conservatives indigestion (02c0b8)

  77. LAST NIGHT THE LA TIMES
    broke with the Swift Boaters story — I went to bed, Patterico wrote this: L.A. Times” href=”http://patterico.com/archives/002573.php”>”Christmas in Cambodia Story Hits the L.A. Times”. Highly recommended….

    PRESTOPUNDIT -- "Kerry in Cambodia" Wall-to-Wall Coverage (84db7a)

  78. The Damn Breaks
    The Swift Boat/Cambodia story has made the LAT. (thanks for Prestopundit and Patterico–the latter with some analysis.)

    Legal XXX (28eb22)

  79. Censor and MoveOn™
    If MoveOn.org hasn’t hit the bottom yet, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. In a single, 30-second ad, they exhume the tired “Bush was AWOL” lie, impugn the credibility of almost all swiftboat veterans whose last names aren’t Kerry, and call on Pres…

    damnum absque injuria (2c5473)

  80. THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
    has a full length report on the Swift Vets vs. John Kerry and his often differing accounts of what happened in Vietnam and Cambodia. “An ad calls Kerry a…

    PRESTOPUNDIT -- "Kerry in Cambodia" Wall-to-Wall Coverage (84db7a)

  81. Word Choice
    It’s funny that Joan Vennochi, claiming that Bush has no credibility, claims that Bush told us that Iraq posed an imminent threat, when he explicitly told us on national TV that the threat was not yet imminent. But that is…

    Kalblog (e5f904)

  82. Is Vennochi trying to float or sink Kerry?
    Christmas in Cambodia hits the MSM in today’s Boston Globe, but not as a news item, instead it comes in the form of an Op-Ed from Kerry partisan, Joan Vennochi, who urges the Senator to speak out for himself. The…

    Solomonia (29e3db)

  83. Don’t Touch This Fishwrap Without Your Gloves On
    L.A. Times”>Patterico’s Pontifications: Christmas in Cambodia Story Hits the L.A. Times Patterico is turning into the go-to guy for deconstructing the techniques of liberal media…

    Daily Pundit (f342d6)

  84. Letters From La-La Land
    I have nothing to say about the L.A. Times’s puff piece on John Kerry The War Hero that Patterico and Beldar haven’t said already, so I’m not going to try. All I will say is that if you haven’t read both Whole Things, do. I’m going to take on a …

    damnum absque injuria (2c5473)

  85. Kerry’s Cambodia Story Update
    There was some movement on the Christmas in Cambodia Story yesterday that I wasn’t able to get to. Plenty of good bloggers were all over the developments though so I will just summarize and provide links.

    New England Republican (28eb22)


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