Patterico's Pontifications

7/29/2008

Round and Round We Go

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:00 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama and aides have gone on the record with the New York Times to explain why Obama did not visit US military troops at Ramstein Air Base and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center while he was in Germany.

Obama’s position is that he did not want to politicize a visit with the troops:

“But two days before the visit, Pentagon officials told the campaign that only Mr. Obama would be allowed inside the medical center in his capacity as a senator. The adviser who had intended to join Mr. Obama, Scott Gration, a retired major general in the Air Force, was told he could not go along because he was a volunteer campaign adviser.
***
“That triggered then a concern that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political, and the last thing that I want to do is have injured soldiers and the staff at these wonderful institutions having to sort through whether this is political or not or get caught in the crossfire between campaigns,” Mr. Obama said. “So rather than go forward and potentially get caught up in what might have been considered a political controversy of some sort, what we decided was that we not make a visit and instead I would call some of the troops that were there.”

The Times persisted — Why didn’t Obama go alone, without any aides?

“Even him going alone would likely be characterized by some as a political event,” Mr. Gibbs said in an interview on Monday, adding, “He decided not to put the troops in that position.”

Thus, Obama’s ultimate concern was to avoid a political controversy. He didn’t want to put the troops in the middle of a political story and that’s a laudable goal.

And yet I’m still confused. How are phone calls with troops any different and less politicized than one-on-one visits with troops? I can’t imagine Obama would say something on the phone that he would or wouldn’t have said in person.

Is it more political to have your picture taken with troops than to have your picture taken talking with troops?

I think this is circular logic but if your symbol is a big O, maybe that’s perfect logic.

— DRJ

149 Responses to “Round and Round We Go”

  1. What I really loved in the Times story:

    The McCain television commercial, which asserts that Mr. Obama chose to go to the gymnasium over visiting troops, is not entirely accurate. Instead of going to Landstuhl on Friday morning, Mr. Obama also conducted an interview with CNN in his hotel in Berlin

    Well, all right, then, lol.

    oldirishpig (9b2ee6)

  2. Another case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t, for Obama. Do the critics on the right have anything of substance to discuss? I suppose if someone was really mad they could tell everyone how they were snubbed in a chain e-mail and…

    Frederick (d4bda0)

  3. Frederick,

    Another case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t, for Obama.

    In Obama’s case, he’s just damned. Full-stop.

    And, yeah, we bitter, gun-toting Bible-clingers on the right been discussing plenty of substantive (and worrying) things about Obama, but you haven’t been paying attention to them due to all those man-thrills going up your leg.

    MarkJ (7fa185)

  4. Obama? Politically motivated about anything? Heaven (*cough* bus *cough*) forfend!

    This man looks more like a Clinton clone every day. Even setting aside issues of the truth (of course he’s lying) it’s the admire-me explanation that’s never omitted, whether the actual act is innocent or not, that’s so infuriating. (Bill Clinton wasn’t selfishly trying to weasel out of a penalty for felony perjury, he was “fighting a Constitutional crisis” and “needed to get back to work for the American people!” Barack doesn’t wear a flag pin not because he just plain finds it a bother to hunt down a pin every day, but because he just has too darn much respect for patriotism!)

    Is it more political to have your picture taken with troops than to have your picture taken talking with troops?

    Right. And what about the weeks of the in-person visit – complete with cameras – staying on his schedule? Brazen lies: they’re what’s for dinner at the O ranch.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  5. Racists

    JD (5f0e11)

  6. If you want an analysis of this situation, go over and read Blackfive’s post on the topic. This was no ‘misunderstanding’

    Thatguy (2bda65)

  7. Frederick,

    Go back to your Democrat group and explain to them the constant spin, lying, and LACK OF ETHICS AND AGENDA by Obama will hurt him.

    Don’t get hung up on specifics. Obama is a dirty pig and insists on rolling in the mud of corruption.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  8. Obama bin ein beginner

    daleyrocks (24dba4)

  9. So, more flair?

    afall (573428)

  10. So what if he and his camp were worried about how the visit would be portrayed – how about doing something decent for once, like going ahead anyway and to hell what anyone thinks? This guy has no mind of his own, Axelrod and his minions tell him what to think on a minute to minute basis, apparently. Does anyone think for a moment what McCain would’ve done in the same situation? Yeah, exactly.

    Dmac (416471)

  11. On the Obama end of this, it seems to come down to he found out he couldn’t bring that one military adviser, and so decided not to go. I have no idea why that would be, and as noted it has not been explained.

    On the McCain end, it is clear that his ad is premised on a lie. It was never about the press. And the McCain campaign isn’t giving up on emphasizing that lie with Durant’s false assertion the stop “was canceled after it became clear that campaign staff and the traveling press corps would not be allowed to accompany Senator Obama.”

    Factcheck.org is following all of this, at any rate.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  12. “Even him going alone would likely be characterized by some as a political event,” Mr. Gibbs said in an interview on Monday, adding, “He decided not to put the troops in that position.”

    Obama could heal them all in his spare time and stop all the wars and end world hunger and fix global warming without speaking a word or taking a photo and it would ““Even him going alone would likely be characterized by some as a political event,” Mr. Gibbs said in an interview on Monday, adding, “He decided not to put the troops in that position.”Even him going alone would likely be characterized by some as a political event…” He made it in and out of Walter Reed and that is ” likely… characterized by some as a political event,” How is it that it wasn’t a concern until Scott Gration was told he isn’t invited? How does that possible characterization change from the conception of the visit to its cancellation?

    What a load of crap.

    Pablo (99243e)

  13. Whoops. Sorry about the C&P hash.

    Pablo (99243e)

  14. On the McCain end, it is clear that his ad is premised on a lie.

    Factcheck.org is following all of this, at any rate.

    And Factcheck says:

    McCain’s facts are literally true, but his insinuation – that the visit was canceled because of the press ban or the desire for gym time – is false.

    McCain doesn’t insinuate cause and effect. The ad simply notes that he found time for the gym, but not the troops.

    Pablo (99243e)

  15. No, Sen Obama made time for the healthy troops, but not the injured ones who would likely tell Sen Obama they wanted to get well so they could go back…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  16. “I have no idea why that would be, and as noted it has not been explained.”

    So we can assume that their explanation is a lie, correct?

    “On the McCain end, it is clear that his ad is premised on a lie.”

    How can it be clear that his ad is premised on a lie when you’ve just pointed out that the explanation from the Obama camp is not sufficiently credible?

    Dmac (416471)

  17. “The ad simply notes that he found time for the gym, but not the troops.”

    He also found time for the German reporter, who proceeded to indulge in her sexual fantasies of Der Lightworker. Reminds me of the Clinton years…eeew.

    Dmac (416471)

  18. who proceeded to indulge in her sexual fantasies of Der Lightworker

    *throws up a little*

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  19. Dmac 16: It could very well be a lie from Obama’s camp, and you can assume it is if you are inclined. To me, so it is an incomplete explanation: “We decided to cancel when we found out we couldn’t take this guy because …” without finishing the sentence. Don’t know how you finish that sentence and have it make sense, but we’ll see I suppose.

    And the ad is premised on a lie because it states that “he made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to bring cameras.” Cameras had nothing to do with the cancellation. You could argue I suppose McCain never implied that was the case, he was just noting in passing that the Pentagon never allows cameras in these situations, but . . . please.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  20. Light worker, cameras, achtung!

    Obama doesn’t need a bigger bus; he needs a shorter one.

    fat tony (7fdbf2)

  21. Now he’s throwing wounded soldiers under the bus?

    “merci beaucoup” should be “complet de merde”

    The man who wants us to teach our kids Spanish should himself be learning compassion.

    His arrogance and elitism cannot be shmoozed over. It was HIS way or the highway and when the Army wouldn’t kow-tow to HIS demands HE was outta there.

    Icy Truth (8731ef)

  22. The Messiah could have taken people with him if he had brought any of his ‘congressional’ staff on the ‘100% campaign’ trip. The only people banned were ‘campaign’ staff. With advisors whispering in his ear he screws up 50% of the time, Without advisors whispering in his ear he screws up 100% of the time, so exposure to the public was not allowed. The Messiah is an elitest snob without the ability, or knowledge of normal people, to talk to low class (democrat view) members of the military. Right now they are in CYA mode to avoid paying the entire cost of the ‘campaign’ trip as required by law. No staff, no fact finding congressional (taxpayer) funded trip.

    Scrapiron (c36902)

  23. Aplomb, a lie is when you say something that isn’t true. Like the Obama camp saying that they couldn’t conduct a private visit because someone might call it a political event, and that would somehow exploit the troops. That is sheer nonsense. The McCain ad contains no such lies, as noted by Factcheck.org.

    Pablo (99243e)

  24. If Obama were fundamentally truthful, he would admit that he has no genuine empathy for our troops, no moreso than Nancy Pelosi or the other leaders of the Democratic Party. (I’m not leveling that accusation at all Democrats, mind you; I am leveling it at the party leadership.)

    But admitting that would be political suicide. So he pretends to an empathy that he in fact lacks.

    Episodes like this one crack the pretense. That’s why they’re relevant, even though such episodes don’t have anything directly to do with anyone’s policy papers or proposed legislation (a/k/a “the issues,” as those who want to divert attention from Obama’s character naively call policy papers and proposed legislation).

    Such episodes will indeed affect some number of voters at the margin. And indeed they should.

    Beldar (0bd1bc)

  25. Aplomb @ #11 asks…
    “…he couldn’t bring that one military adviser,… I have no idea why that would be, …it has not been explained…”

    It’s quite simple, really.
    He needed the General at his elbow to explain the difference between an officer and an enlisted man to him.

    Elitist Bastard!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  26. “If Obama were fundamentally truthful, he would admit that he has no genuine empathy for our troops, no moreso than Nancy Pelosi or the other leaders of the Democratic Party”

    That 3 pointer? so mean!

    afall (d5433f)

  27. The retired General couldn’t come because his connection to Obama is Sen Obama’s presidential campaign team.

    While Obama could get in as “Sen Obama”, this guy had no excuse other than “I work tryingb to get this guy elected”, meaning it would have to be political if he was there…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  28. The army was doing Obama a favor, giving him an out.

    Obama, in his refusal to go without the retired General, proved that it was purely political…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  29. #25 Heh.

    “Look, Senator, if they salute me, you can ignore them, but if they don’t, those are the ones you get photographed with, got it?”

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  30. #23 Pablo, you are really bending it too far if you give McCain a pass here I think. Yes, each individual statement is true, but together they mislead.

    If the ad read Obama “canceled a visit with wounded troops, seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to sell marijuana to them”, or he “canceled a visit with wounded troops, seems the Pentagon bars all convicted felons from that base”, those statements would also be true and also highly misleading. Weed, felony status and cameras had nothing to do with the cancellation, as Obama never intended to sell weed, is not a felon, and didn’t intend to bring cameras in the first place.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  31. Aplomb, if I’m bending it too far to give McCain a pass, you’re twisting it into a Gordian Knot made out of a Stretch Armstrong in giving Obama one.

    The McCain ad could lead to a misunderstanding of the issue. The Obama statement is 100% horseshit, and is designed to conceal the truth.

    Pablo (99243e)

  32. I don’t feel I’m giving Obama a pass, I stated I thought the explanation incomplete, and can’t figure out how it could be completed to make sense. I’m not ready to call it a lie yet, but it could certainly turn out to be one.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  33. “canceled a visit with wounded troops, seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to sell marijuana to them”, or he “canceled a visit with wounded troops, seems the Pentagon bars all convicted felons from that base”

    Given that Obama has admitted to a criminal past involving marijuana and cocaine, these may not be so outlandish after all…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  34. McCain’s ad takes no more liberty with the facts that does Obama’s continued use of McCain’s comment about being in Iraq for 100 years.

    For weeks Obama claimed that McCain said the war in Iraq would last 100 years, and that was a blatant falsehood.

    Ads like the one McCain is running are a fact of political campaigns.

    That’s a totally different issue from the inability of the Obama camp to respond in a coherent and convincing fashion to the question of why he didn’t simply go with his security detail.

    WLS (8b22c0)

  35. Aplomb,

    I agree with your statement that his explanation was incomplete and I’m not prepared to say Obama or someone on his staff lied. It could be something as simple as Obama didn’t want to visit without taking a trusted aide who is familiar with the military. But even a simple reason like that is troubling. Obama bills himself as someone who is “willing to meet with the leaders of all nations, friend and foe.” Do our enemies have a better chance of talking to Obama than our troops?

    DRJ (0af395)

  36. The Messiah is an elitest snob without the ability, or knowledge of normal people, to talk to low class (democrat view) members of the military.

    Is that a fact or an opinion?

    (Or just talking points?)

    Peter (e70d1c)

  37. Looks like an opinion to me. What a surprise that you have a hard time telling the difference.

    Icy Truth (f54eb3)

  38. It could be something as simple as Obama didn’t want to visit without taking a trusted aide who is familiar with the military. But even a simple reason like that is troubling.

    My problem is with them attributing the decision to cancel to a desire to somehow protect the troops. That is plainly a load of horsepuckey. How, without a dog and pony show attendant, is that even a possibility? And the claim is based on “some might say…” which is also verging on nonsensical. Even if “some did say” X,Y and Z about the visit and Obama’s motivations, how does that put the troops visited in a bad spot? It doesn’t.

    Pablo (99243e)

  39. Baracky – Judgment to Lead, but only when the cameras and his campaign staff are around.

    JD (75f5c3)

  40. Just for that comment, you’re a racist!

    Dmac (416471)

  41. If I had to speculate as to the real reason, I’d go back to what Frederick said way up in #2, “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” Mixed in with some of the inherent difficulties in separating campaign events from political events when you are a sitting Senator.

    They probably planned this as a minor stop on the long trip, as a respectful thing to do and hey, if it gets reported he looks good. When the issue of the campaign staff general arose, someone probably had second thoughts and said “you know, this trip to Germany is a campaign event, not an obstensibly Senator-meeting-foreign-officials event like the Mideast. You might get criticized for exploiting the troops for campaign purposes.” So it was decided, yeah let’s not give McCain any more fodder.

    I can imagine the response if he did do the visit: “Obama has sunk to a new low. It wasn’t enough that he scheduled a big showy campaign event in a foreign country (itself improper!) but now he has to exploit wounded troops as cheap campaign props. He says it wasn’t for the press, but of course the press was on the plane to and from the hospital and knew his schedule, so he is lying when he implies he didn’t want good press from it. And the pentagon had to put its foot down to stop him from dragging along a pet campaign general, which shows his bad faith from the outset in trying to make this a campaign event. Shame!”

    I know some of you McCain supporters will reply that you would never do that, you would have no objection to Obama meeting troops under any circumstances, but come on, it’s a campaign, one criticizes the other side for everything they do. The “exploiting the troops for campaign purposes” criticism, had he made the visit, wouldn’t even be wholly invalid in my opinion. Anytime any candidate meets with troops knowing it will be reported, exploitation for campaign purposes has to be running in the candidate’s mind and that of his campaign even if unspoken. Sad but true.

    So I bet the real reason he cancelled was because of fear it would be used against him. But now that he is being criticized for cancelling, he can’t admit the real reason was he was afraid McCain would accuse him of exploiting troops, as a candidate can’t admit such things without looking weak.

    Just as an aside, I wonder what the wounded troops think of this. I’m sure they would have enjoyed a visit as a diversion, but ultimately if you asked them I bet most of them could give a rat’s ass. They have bigger problems.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  42. Aplomb,

    I imagine some of the troops are his supporters and were very much looking forward to Obama’s visit. In fact, probably everyone was looking forward to it. I’d like to meet him and any Presidential candidate.

    And I hope this was not “a minor stop on a long trip” for Barack Obama.

    DRJ (0af395)

  43. Aplomb — I think you’ve hit it on the nose. I said last night in a comment that I was having difficulty seeing any venality in the cancellation of the visit. But he would have been better off politically had he simply gone, and then responded to criticism by saying “You would have preferred that I NOT visit wounded soldiers who have gallantly served their country in a time of war?”

    WLS (8b22c0)

  44. This turd of a Senator had this visit planned for weeks. The staff at the hospital was made to plan and make accommodations when they had better things to do. BHO says he has visited Walter Reed in the recent past and seemed to be none the worse for wear. So, why was this different? Because HE, BHO, had a pang of guilt and/or regret.

    That turd said he would meet gangster thugocrats without precondition, but he refused to meet his own wounded without political operatives by his side.

    Ed (59b337)

  45. WLS:

    Aplomb — I think you’ve hit it on the nose.</i

    I agree. I wonder too if the wounded who’ve been evacuated to Landstuhl are in advanced critical condition and needing a very high degree of intensive care? I mean it would look pretty self-serving for Obama and whoever to be walking around shaking hands with soldiers who had no hands or legs, even I would get pretty pissed off and revulsed at an image like that.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  46. This has nothing to do with the topic, but I talked with Patrick after the earthquake and he and the kids are okay. Just thought everyone might want to know.

    yourlilsis (095089)

  47. Thank you, person I don’t know… :)

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  48. Obama’s not stupid. He and his staff were fully aware of what they were doing and how it would be seen by both supports and detractors. Obama is an (Extreme Left-wing) professional politician who comes with the usual range of prejudices and required positions so typical of his party and the noisy pack of mindless lap dogs (useful idiots) who support such tyrannous nonsense.

    The simple truth is that Obama dispises US troops and anyone else who doesn’t bow down and worship at the alter of his annointed wisdom. Obama’s just too busy to bother with guys who aren’t going to buy his brand of hogwash anyway. So, screw the wounded troops, he’s glad to have an excuse to shoot a few hoops with his homies, and it plays well with his base.

    In Obama’s political calculation, the decision was a no-brainer.

    Ropelight (2af3e2)

  49. I believe I read that the general was a former commander of the base. I don’t know how long ago that was but I expect most of ‘his’ troops are probably long gone. However, his picture sits, I’m sure, in at least one prominent place at the command. I can see why the base was concerned – it’s not just any old military officer coming, it’s the former base commander with his picture in a place of honor. It wouldn’t be surprising if the current commander is a former colleague too. I think the military is well served by steering clear of anything that smacks of a candidate endorsement.

    Bel Aire (2fd7f7)

  50. Bel,

    It is more because he is staff for the campaign. Obama can get by as a Senator, the retired General really can’t.

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  51. Scott,

    I think #46 is Patrick’s sister because he’s mentioned before that she reads his blog. It’s good to get confirmation that they’re fine.

    DRJ (0af395)

  52. General Gration’s biography doesn’t list him as a former commander at Ramstein but he was stationed there and he was apparently a high-ranking officer at Stuttgart when (or just before) he retired from the service.

    But that brings up once again the possibility that this was a reaction on Gration’s part. I worked at a US Air Force base when I was younger. They are terrific people but rank is more important in the military than most civilians realize. You don’t ever tell a General or a base CO what to do.

    DRJ (0af395)

  53. You don’t ever tell a General or a base CO what to do.

    And when you do, you’d better not be right. And if you’re right, it had better not have happened in front of anyone else. And if it was, you’d better have a civilian career picked out.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  54. It’s apparent that Obama’s patriotism was unable to overcome the lack of a photo-op.

    irongrampa (b9c4fc)

  55. #51 DRJ

    I figured she was his sis, but I still don’t know her…

    So I thanked the person I didn’t know. :)

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  56. I should have known that. After all, I think you’ve been here longer than I have.

    DRJ (0af395)

  57. You may be right, irongrampa.

    DRJ (0af395)

  58. Yeah, but they like you more. :)

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  59. Did someone say Big O?

    TLove (b8e7b4)

  60. I could never gt into that cartoon…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  61. If I had to speculate as to the real reason, I’d go back to what Frederick said way up in #2, “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

    Thing is, Aplomb, he’s not damned if he does. He’s pretending that he’s damned if he does. Had he just done it, Scott Gration in tow or not, his handy response to criticism is simple and devastating, and was elucidated by WLS in #43:

    “You would have preferred that I NOT visit wounded soldiers who have gallantly served their country in a time of war?”

    That’s the sort of response that makes one look like an idiot for having asked the question, which is good, because you’d have to be an idiot for trying to call him out on a quiet visit with our wounded troops. Soooo…tell me again why didn’t he do it?

    Pablo (99243e)

  62. I agree. I wonder too if the wounded who’ve been evacuated to Landstuhl are in advanced critical condition and needing a very high degree of intensive care?

    Landstuhl is where you go when you leave the ME, via Ramstein. Inpatients there are either going to be those who are stationed locally (and there are still lots of them), or those in transit from other places to the US. Landstuhl is about getting the war wounded home where long term care takes place. A stable patient is not likely to spend a long time there.

    I mean it would look pretty self-serving for Obama and whoever to be walking around shaking hands with soldiers who had no hands or legs, even I would get pretty pissed off and revulsed at an image like that.

    It would be if he made a big deal out of it. But it’s a proper thing to do if you have designs on being the “Commander of Chief” Would you be pissed off at him doing it or at him publicizing the fact that he did it?

    Pablo (99243e)

  63. Pablo:

    It would be if he made a big deal out of it.

    Everything he did on his trip was a “big deal”, if not only for those fascinated by the guy, than certainly for those putting every tiny detail under a microscope and dissecting it for possible political poison.

    I think he was damned if he did, and damned if he didn’t and strategically, if you know you’ve got to make a decision between two options, both damaging, I think choosing the one that allows you more control over variables or less variables to contend with, is usually the smarter thing to do.

    Would you be pissed off at him doing it or at him publicizing the fact that he did it?

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
    Anyone remember this photo from the Falklands war?
    WARNING: DISTURBING and NSFW (not safe for work).

    I would be repulsed at any politician or public figure shaking the hand of a soldier who was disfigured like the guy in that photo. Especially someone whose policies had led directly to the disfigurement, like Bush or any of the Neocons, but also someone running for POTUS, such as McCain or Obama.

    McCain might get away with it. But even he would be damaged and met with a hail storm of criticism and indignation at the grotesque opportunism of such a spectacle.

    As for Obama, as a Democrat- and one whose military judgment and patriotism is undergoing a constant acid bath by the right wing – would be done for. And I’d be doubly repulsed: 1. Because he did it. 2. Because it would be such a brain dead stupid, insensitive and politically suicidal thing to do.

    Obviously, he’s smart enough not to give his enemies unnecessary firepower, and regardless, I also think he’s decent and principled enough, not to use a disfigured soldier for a photo op, even if said photo op would give him political cache. Which it wouldn’t.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  64. “one whose military judgment and patriotism is undergoing a constant acid bath by the right wing”
    I don’t think that the man’s patriotism should be judged by every little gesture that he makes that doesn’t wave the flag at all times. I think it’s unfair to say that the constant critique of his military judgment is an “acid bath by the right wing.” The man wants people to believe that he would be a capable CIC and people have correctly pointed out elements of his decision making with regard to military strategy that don’t really give people a lot of confidence.

    Minister Jack X Klompus Muhammad (b796b4)

  65. Comment by Peter — 7/29/2008 @ 8:04 pm

    what does a photo op w/a severely wounded have to do w/ anything?? he knew there wouldnt be pics. he has no excuse for not going. and who would criticize him for going? who would criticize him for later talking about those brave soldiers and the hope and courage they have? and if they did WLS gave him his line. he skipped out because he couldnt exploit it, not because he was worried it would be exploited.

    chas (fe8605)

  66. Everything he did on his trip was a “big deal”, if not only for those fascinated by the guy, than certainly for those putting every tiny detail under a microscope and dissecting it for possible political poison.

    Everything he did on his trip was a “big deal”, if not only for those fascinated by the guy, than certainly for those putting every tiny detail under a microscope and dissecting it for possible political poison.

    No. Were we regaled with tales of his breakfasts? Did we get the nitty gritty on his excretions? Were we held in thrall with tales of the nature and quality of his slumber? No, no and no. Those things on his trip that were a big deal are those he wanted to be a big deal, and were the point of taking the trip. What fool is it that you suspect might make hay over him visiting wounded troops?

    But even he would be damaged and met with a hail storm of criticism and indignation at the grotesque opportunism of such a spectacle.

    Right. But then, no pictures, no problem. And there weren’t going to be any campaign photogs or journalists along for the trip. So, no pictures, no problem.

    It couldn’t be a photo op, per the rules. It was scheduled, and then it was unscheduled once the Obama camp wrapped their arms around the rules. This faux pas you suggest they’re afrad of could not have happened, by rule, and they know it. So, why did they cancel again? Because that isn’t it, nor is the “I’m protecting the troops!” lie.

    Obviously, he’s smart enough not to give his enemies unnecessary firepower…

    Apparently not, because that’s exactly what he did here.

    Pablo (99243e)

  67. #66

    Apparently not, because that’s exactly what he did here.

    Well he was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. The McCain campaign was eager to jump on this anyway you slice it.

    Should Obama have spent his trip visiting every single base and every single military outpost? Does every Army General visit every single base and hospital, in every single country within a weeks time? Does every Admiral visit every single Navy base or infirmary in a week or a month or even a years time? Or do they have to balance that with the job of dealing with a whole host of complex issues?

    Is anyone going to dispute that, the schedule of the presumptive Presidential nominee, for either party, isn’t filled with a dizzying and awesome array of duties and responsibilities? Is the man a machine that can go on and on and on without needing any downtime? So he didn’t go visit Landstuhl or Ramstein. Okay, we get it.

    Honestly is his job as President worrying about his relationship to the troops or is it to deal with the Economy, Iraq, AQ, Afghanistan, brokering a peace for Israel and Palestine, and establishing a good relationship with King Abdullah II of Jordan, who is hugely important in those talks. And that he establish relationships with the likes of Merkel and Sarkozy?

    Or on the first day in office as President, should Obama sit there and get neurotic about getting all touchy feely with the troops every chance he can possible get?

    And honestly I don’t anyone worth his salt in the military, or their families, even cares so much for all this nonsense, beyond wanting someone in office who isn’t going to send them into a senseless charnel house. What the troops and their families really need is properly funded medical care to deal with the physical and psychological problems coming back from Iraq. A functional and effective VA and Walter Reed, (which Obama visited a few weeks ago, to very little fanfare, as was appropriate). And benefits that fully pay for college as generous as the GI Bill did after WW II, w/o the foot dragging of McCain and Bush and the Penatgon on that issue. Retraining and programs to help soldiers to re-assimilate to society w/o ending up, divorced, mentally ill, homeless, unable to support themselves, addicted to alcohol or meds, or other more egregious highs.

    That’s how you truly show your respect for the troops. Walking around a hospital shaking some hands, and using them as props is an empty shameful gesture. You ask any soldier what’s more important to them and I think they’ll tell you the same.

    Who is going to look after these soldiers if, and when, they come back from Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan? The guy (McBush) now shamelessly using them for political gain whose predecessor allowed Walter Reed to turn into a shameful sh*thole, or the guy who has a comprehensive plan to allow all Veterans back into the VA, strengthen VA care, fight homelessness and deal effectively with PTSD?

    Politicians can visit all the military bases and hospitals they want to, but it don’t mean jack if they, like GWB don’t implement a plan to help soldiers and Vets and their families.

    Actually, I issue a challenge to the John McCain camp to actually schedule and carry through with a visit to Landstuhl Hospital, since he’s so big on it. And allow the Military photographers and journalists to record the whole sordid exercise as he walks around alone, shamelessly exploiting sick, wounded and grotesquely disfigured servicemen and women. Until he does, he’s got nothing to talk about and neither do any of the Obama critics.

    I guarantee you the McCain campaign won’t touch this with a ten foot pole, yet they have the nerve to criticize Obama on this?

    Puh-leeze…..

    Peter (e70d1c)

  68. Peter #66 –

    Well he was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.

    This is a nice talking point, instructing everyone to have no opinion on a Presidential candidate. That, unfortunately, is just unrealistic. Poor, poor Obama, who will be damned (how about crucified?, in keeping with the messiah theme) for any action that he takes, like the defenseless lamb that he is. He’d better learn to handle criticism and respond clearly, or he has no business being CIC.

    Should Obama have spent his trip visiting every single base and every single military outpost?
    No, just the ones he and his advisors scheduled.

    Is anyone going to dispute that, the schedule of the presumptive Presidential nominee, for either party, isn’t filled with a dizzying and awesome array of duties and responsibilities?
    I will dispute it, in that it pales in comparison to the duties of an elected President, with the caveat that the ‘theater’ of electioneering doesn’t have any actual results that affect anything other than the outcome of the election.
    “I’m tired” doesn’t cut it.

    is his job as President worrying about his relationship to the troops or is it to deal with the Economy, Iraq, AQ, Afghanistan, brokering a peace for Israel and Palestine, and establishing a good relationship with King Abdullah II of Jordan, who is hugely important in those talks. And that he establish relationships with the likes of Merkel and Sarkozy?
    Yes, those are all jobs for a President. Just not for a candidate. His job as President is to do all that and support the troops. It’s not either/or.

    . . . anyone worth his salt in the military, or their families, even cares so much for all this nonsense, beyond wanting someone in office who isn’t going to send them into a senseless charnel house.
    Agreed. But modified with the caveat that military personnel have an uncanny ability to recognize the tenuous nature of our freedoms (by witnessing firsthand their absence in other parts of the world) and also want leadership that understands the necessity of sacrifice for those freedoms and the fact that said sacrifice is paid for with blood and treasure.

    should Obama sit there and get neurotic about getting all touchy feely with the troops every chance he can possible get?

    This is just priceless – I thought what set Obama apart was his ability to be touchy-feely – hence his statement about unconditional dialogue with foreign enemies. I don’t think showing respect for people who have sacrificed greatly for this country constitutes being “touchy-feely”, I think it shows respect, as the President is their superior. The question of Obama’s respect for the troops is what this entire issue is about.

    Who is going to look after these soldiers if, and when, they come back from Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan?
    Agreed. The Bush administration (no Mc moniker necessary to show disdain) has shown shameful levels of neglect to our soldiers until negative publicity forced them to address the issue. That being said, I am always amused at Democrats calling for more DOD money. Were Obama elected, and subsequently refuse to carry out his “grand plan”, would you call for his resignation? If not, why bring up his plans at all, if they hold no meaning?

    … And allow the Military photographers and journalists to record the whole sordid exercise as he walks around alone, shamelessly exploiting sick, wounded and grotesquely disfigured servicemen and women.
    What are you talking about? This is pure fantasy. Plus, I think you may have stepped in it here, as McCain, you may choose to forget, has much more in common with those soldiers than Obama ever will. Your charges of exploitation are so off base that they are irrational and nonsensical.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  69. #67 Apogee

    This is a nice talking point, instructing everyone to have no opinion on a Presidential candidate.

    No, instructing that this one rescheduling is not definitive of Obama as a person, or indicative of a lack of respect or appreciation for the military by a long shot, and that the McCain campaign was going to shamelessly blow this out of proportion and twisted it, no matter what Obama did. Which basically, to my mind, renders it null and void, especially when bogus emails come out of Bagram from sleazy operatives Like Capt. Jeffrey S. Porter, now a discredited and documented liar (cf. Bagram Military spokesperson Lt. Co. Rumi Nielsen-Green), pull a one man swift boat operation.

    In essence, is this enough to decide one of the most important elections in our lifetimes? No way. And that is a huge understatement.

    No, just the ones he and his advisors scheduled.

    Schedules are rearranged all the time. It’s a fact of life.

    I will dispute it, in that it pales in comparison to the duties of an elected President, with the caveat that the ‘theater’ of electioneering doesn’t have any actual results that affect anything other than the outcome of the election. “I’m tired” doesn’t cut it.”

    Qualitatively you’re right, but quantitatively you’re not. The schedule of a nominee running for President, especially a packed one week tour of the Middle East and Europe, is probably breathtaking in scope.

    I concede that being tired, doesn’t cut it. (And obviously that was just an assumption on my part.)


    But modified with the caveat that military personnel have an uncanny ability to recognize the tenuous nature of our freedoms (by witnessing firsthand their absence in other parts of the world) and also want leadership that understands the necessity of sacrifice for those freedoms and the fact that said sacrifice is paid for with blood and treasure.

    I disagree that military personnel have a lock, or monopoly on the price of freedom. There are families all over this country who no longer have any ties to the military just because of that very reason. Whose grandfathers, fathers, brothers, sons etc made that sacrifice. Who’ve served either here or in other armies in the world or lived in wartime.

    The military doesn’t have a lock on living under oppression, or in poverty either. More on this after the next quote.


    I don’t think showing respect for people who have sacrificed greatly for this country constitutes being “touchy-feely”, I think it shows respect, as the President is their superior. The question of Obama’s respect for the troops is what this entire issue is about.

    I think there’s no doubt that Obama appreciates and respects the troops. His background is more in keeping with the background of most military personnel, than either McCain or Bush. Both borne to the manor, in powerful families. Most soldiers come from lower-middle class to lower class backgrounds, from broken families or immigrants looking to better themselves in life. Obama is only different in that he showed great academic promise and had a mother who saw that promise and pushed him to fulfill his potential. I’m sure a lot of those military folks from struggling backgrounds also have talent, yet didn’t have the advantage of someone to guide and nurture that talent, but they did have the drive and where withal to know the military could be their ticket out. So I categorically refuse to believe that Obama doesn’t understand and respect the soldiers, because really if he did that he’d be disrespecting his own background and origins.

    What I’m trying to say is that the military should be respected, but it shouldn’t be overly idealized. There’s a danger in that, especially in a democracy where all voices are supposed to count. (This needs way more clarification than I’m giving it here, but it’s getting way off topic.)

    Were Obama elected, and subsequently refuse to carry out his “grand plan” [for comprehensive and full veterans benefits], would you call for his resignation?

    Yeah, I would. I think there’s zero danger of that. For the reasons I wrote above.

    Plus, I think you may have stepped in it here, as McCain, you may choose to forget, has much more in common with those soldiers than Obama ever will.

    If you’re talking about McCain the man, I concede I may very well have stepped in it. If you’re talking about McCain, the caricature currently on display to the American public by a woefully tone deaf campaign manager, then maybe not. A man’s greatest strength can also be a man’s greatest weakness.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  70. Peter, that was a lot of incoherence. I especially liked where you try to claim that the Bagram email discredits the discussion of Obama’s behavior in Germany.

    Nice try but not the best exercise of logic you’ve made to date, about par for you really.

    After you boil down all your hot air, you’ve done nothing to refute the accusation that Obama abandoned a trip to visit the military hospital when denied the ability to make it a campaign stop. Absolutely nothing but smoke, mirrors and your hot air.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  71. Most soldiers come from lower-middle class to lower class backgrounds, from broken families or immigrants looking to better themselves in life.

    I hope Patterico will forgive the profanity, but:

    “What a crock of shit!”

    It’s nonsense like this (proving you have no idea about the military that wasn’t gained through Saturday morning cartoons) that prevents us from taking you even remotely close to seriously.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  72. Demographics of US Military recruits as of 2005:

    “Recruits have a higher percent­age of high school graduates and representation from Southern and rural areas. No evidence indicates exploitation of racial minorities (either by race or by race-weighted ZIP code areas). Finally, the distri­bution of household income of recruits is noticeably higher than that of the entire youth population.”

    Lots of data at the link.

    DRJ (e4b6ac)

  73. It’s nonsense like this (proving you have no idea about the military that wasn’t gained through Saturday morning cartoons) that prevents us from taking you even remotely close to seriously.

    Economically and classwise: Would you say military personnel have more in common with Obama or McCain?

    Peter (e70d1c)

  74. Why is there a disproportionate number of blacks, Latino’s and immigrants in the military as compared to the general populace?

    Peter (e70d1c)

  75. #70 SPQR:

    Absolutely nothing but smoke, mirrors and your hot air.

    You continue to be a paragon of civility.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  76. Economically and classwise: Would you say military personnel have more in common with Obama or McCain?

    What does that have to do with the fact that you were proven a fool on this issue, too?

    Why do you think that you have any right speaking for a group you clearly know absolutely NOTHING about?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  77. Why is there a disproportionate number of blacks, Latino’s and immigrants in the military as compared to the general populace?

    In a similar vein, why do things fall upwards and the sun rises in the west?

    You’ve already been proven wrong on that lie, Peter, so repeating it doesn’t make it any less a lie.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  78. #72 DRJ:

    Demographics of US Military recruits as of 2005:

    “Recruits have a higher percent­age of high school graduates and representation from Southern and rural areas. No evidence indicates exploitation of racial minorities (either by race or by race-weighted ZIP code areas). Finally, the distri­bution of household income of recruits is noticeably higher than that of the entire youth population.”

    The Heritage Foundation? It still doesn’t refute my point: Military personnel, share a background and family history, more in line with that of Obama than McCain.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  79. Only if you think Obama is not a minority and grew up in the South.

    DRJ (e4b6ac)

  80. Only if you think Obama is not a minority and grew up in the South.

    Wouldn’t you say most of these non-minorities from the south were mostly working-class?

    Any chance a significant amount of these folks, from the south, might be minorities?

    Trust me on this. I’ve known black military families, with talented kids in prestigious universities. Obama isn’t military, (although I believe his grandfather fought in WW II ), but he’s cut from that cloth. and it’s an excellent cloth too.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  81. It still doesn’t refute my point:

    Um… yes, it actually does. It not only refutes it, it specifically disp[roves your claim.

    You have to provide evidence that your assertion is true which tops the evidence being presented.

    Since their study actually uses the specific data from all recruits within a specific time frame (from before and after 9/11) with the intent of noticing any specific changes of the sort you are claiming.

    You’ve got a long row to hoe to overcome that kind of specific data.

    You also won’t overcome the facts by simply re-repeating your unsupported assertion a third time.

    Put up or let it go – you’re just looking more and more foolish as you keep digging.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  82. Wouldn’t you say most of these non-minorities from the south were mostly working-class?

    Any chance a significant amount of these folks, from the south, might be minorities?

    You sound like a brand-new defense attorney trying to provide reasonable doubt. (“But isn’t it possible that a stranger showed up and stabbed the victim?” “It would, if it weren’t for the defendant’s fingerprints all over the crime scene, in the victim’s blood.” “But isn’t it possible?”)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  83. Trust me on this.

    Not with your credibility…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  84. Put up or let it go – you’re just looking more and more foolish as you keep digging.

    You know where you can stick that shovel right?

    You seem to think just because you say something it’s true. I’m not about to exhaustively crunch the numbers on a full on demographic breakdown.

    Especially when, among other things, my point was that I think Obama has not only a great deal of respect for, but a lot in common with many military personnel. And he’s outlined a good comprehensive plan for dealing with the needs of veterans and military families coming back from Iraq. He will take good care of them as a president and that’s the ultimate sign of respect and appreciation. Not deliver empty crocodile teared speeches that are entirely full of baloney. Like Bush. Like McCain, who is currently selling his soul to the same actors that control Bush, in order to become president.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  85. Peter,

    If we’re going to ignore the statistics and just go by who we know, I know many white kids with high school and college degrees from Texas families who are currently serving in the military as enlisted personnel. I only know 1 black kid who went in the military but he graduated from West Point and is an Army officer.

    Of course, we could keep exchanging anecdotes all night or you could do what I did and find a link that supports your position but I don’t think you can. On the other hand, since you don’t like my Heritage link, how about this US Military link dated July 22, 2008:

    “In today’s military, minorities make up more than one-third of active duty forces, with blacks comprising more than 17 percent. Black representation in the enlisted forces — about 13 percent — is parallel to the amount of blacks represented in the recruiting-age civilian population overall, according to Defense Department statistics.”

    DRJ (e4b6ac)

  86. Not with your credibility…

    It’s better than yours. At least I put some thought into my comments and try to put out some interesting ideas and opinions. All you do is put people down and tear away anyone who doesn’t perfectly fit in with what is obviously a completely perfect understanding of politics, life, the world, human nature, and whatever else you deem yourself to be an expert on.

    So you play the part of a coward. You scold, insult, discredit, carry on and persist like an adderall adicted aspergers zombie who just can’t – let — go….

    About the only good thing I can say about you is that you aren’t as big of an a**hole as SPQR. And that’s not saying much. Not much at all…

    Peter (e70d1c)

  87. # 85

    DRJ please see my comment #84

    (Ignore the part about the shovel.)

    Peter (e70d1c)

  88. Peter #69 No, instructing that this one rescheduling is not definitive of Obama as a person, or indicative of a lack of respect or appreciation for the military by a long shot, and that the McCain campaign was going to shamelessly blow this out of proportion and twisted it, no matter what Obama did. Which basically, to my mind, renders it null and void, especially when bogus emails come out of Bagram from sleazy operatives Like Capt. Jeffrey S. Porter, now a discredited and documented liar (cf. Bagram Military spokesperson Lt. Co. Rumi Nielsen-Green), pull a one man swift boat operation.

    You attempt to link Obama’s avoidance of meeting wounded troops with Porter’s bogus email. Which is unfortunate for you, for as you put it, it appears that Porter, a sleazy operative, was operating on his own.
    (Which is contradictory, as operatives are part of a larger group by definition, and do not operate alone. Add to that that it was not a swift-boat operation, as that would indicate that Porter’s email was, in fact, truthful)
    Again, the Damned if he does – Damned if he doesn’t phrase attempts to re-cast a screw-up on the part of the Obama campaign as a “shameless” and “twisted” attack by the McCain campaign.

    Of course a single instance doesn’t define Obama. No single instance of any person’s life ‘defines’ them. To demand that it must completely define Obama or else be ignored renders any comment on any action moot, as it is now impossible to render an opinion on any course of action unless that action is repeated. Provocatively appealing to anyone supporting Obama, as all actions will now be seen as one-offs, and therefore off-limits.
    But there is one repetitious action that is quite defining of his character, as well as his entire campaign, and that is the ‘blank slate’ approach of treading lightly and once in all his endeavors. (Lawyer, community organizer, Senator, professor) It is the formulation that without a track record of comparators, Obama will skate in the null and void arena all the way to election. Which is why there needs to be so much damage control of diversion. As we’ve seen with respect to Wright, when Obama chooses to repeat an action for an extended amount of time, his choices are very poor.

    Yes, Schedules are rearranged all the time. It’s a fact of life. And so are consequences of actions taken or not taken – Deal with it.

    And while we’re talking about ‘scheduling’, I wonder: Did the troops want to have a visit from a Obama, a potential CIC? Did anyone ask them?
    If not, then why schedule it in the first place?
    If they did want to see him, wouldn’t wounded soldiers rate higher up the ‘re-schedule’ scale than, say, the ladies-auxilliary?

    I disagree that military personnel have a lock, or monopoly on the price of freedom.
    Me too, but then again I didn’t say that. What I did say was that they have an uncanny ability to recognize the tenuous nature of our freedoms – an ability, not a monopoly. I believe that ability comes from being involved daily in the rehearsal of the physical defense of those freedoms, and the realization that they are the ones deigned to fall first when the time comes. Sobering preparation for the defense of our lives like that is what they, police, fire, and health professionals have in common, and is what elevates not their authority, but their responsibility above the rest of society.

    As for your comments regarding the military being comprised of people who are from lower class or broken homes, and Obama’s life vs. McCain’s, I only have two things to say:
    1) Were you with the Kerry campaign in October of 2006?
    2) Yes, McCain’s had it easy!

    One other thing.
    Were Obama elected, and subsequently refuse to carry out his “grand plan” [for comprehensive and full veterans benefits], would you call for his resignation?

    Yeah, I would. I think there’s zero danger of that. For the reasons I wrote above.
    Good for you. Maybe paying attention now will prevent having to canvass so many front doors later.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  89. You seem to think just because you say something it’s true.

    Not me, pal. That would be that moron you see in the mirror.

    I think Obama has not only a great deal of respect for, but a lot in common with many military personnel.

    There you go, working without tools again.

    You can “think” it all you want, but the facts show otherwise. He has shown absolutely nothing in the way of “respect” (as displayed by his behavior in Germany and the total lack of any meetings of the veteran’s committee of which he is the chairman). His childhood was spent growing up in places that didn’t like the US very much, and he has been the child of privilege since he returned to the US.

    He will take good care of them as a president and that’s the ultimate sign of respect and appreciation. Not deliver empty crocodile teared speeches that are entirely full of baloney. Like Bush. Like McCain, who is currently selling his soul to the same actors that control Bush, in order to become president.

    More partisan twaddle and personal opinion unsupported by facts.

    It’s better than yours.

    I’m the one that proved you were a liar, in this thread. (I told you I would bookmark that page.) You really want to start talking about your credibility?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  90. I’m not about to exhaustively crunch the numbers on a full on demographic breakdown.

    Translation: “Facts? Why do I need facts?”

    When you start talking about demographics, you really need to crunch those numbers. Bad news is, the numbers will end up crunching YOU, because they prove you are lying. Again.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  91. Peter,

    We’re talking about our military and I gave you links that support my position. Your comment 84 says you don’t want to talk about numbers, you want to talk about how the candidates feel about our troops. Okay, let’s talk about that.

    I agree that our military doesn’t want someone to “deliver empty crocodile teared speeches” for them but they also don’t want or need a Daddy who will “take good care of them.” They are probably more capable of taking care of themselves than most people on the planet.

    What they need is a leader who takes the time to understand what they do and provides the financial and other resources for them to accomplish their mission. I don’t think Obama and a Democratic Congress consider funding the military a high priority and Obama has demonstrated he has other priorities than visiting them, even when it’s on his schedule. Neither are conclusive proof that Obama is bad for the military, but it’s not reassuring.

    DRJ (e4b6ac)

  92. Is it a surprise that a lib wants to talk about how somebody feels about an issue rather than the right-or-wrong of it?

    Icy Truth (b6bc11)

  93. Peter is really bringing the unsupported progressive stereotypes tonight. Look out below.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  94. Once upon a time, long ago and far behind us now, it was the established custom that only men who had served honorably in defense of the nation were considered to have earned the privilege of speaking in public on matters of national security.

    Ropelight (2af3e2)

  95. Out of fairness, with Peter living in the liberal bubble of New York City, he’s not likely to know or be exposed to either many conservatives or people in the military. That doesn’t excuse his ignorance of facts or propagation of lies, however.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  96. Once upon a time, long ago and far behind us now, it was the established custom that only men who had served honorably in defense of the nation were considered to have earned the privilege of speaking in public on matters of national security.

    That would certainly make many leftist sites much quieter. And would cut down the comments here by at least half.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  97. I dunno about that, daley…

    I find it quite possible that peter spends a great deal of time with the military during FLeet Week…

    NTTAWWT…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  98. PART 1

    #88 Apogee,

    You attempt to link Obama’s avoidance of meeting wounded troops with Porter’s bogus email. Which is unfortunate for you, for as you put it, it appears that Porter, a sleazy operative, was operating on his own.

    Yes, for reasons I’ve argued before on other areas of this blog. Porter is an operative. He acted alone, only in that he hasn’t yet been, connected to a larger effort. Let’s not be coy. We both know there is a concerted effort to smear and Swift Boat Barack Obama. It is beyond question. The McComplain campaign is only the most visible vanguard of that effort as can be seen by the tone of the attack ads they’ve begun running. And as I said before: one associate, one email, one IM, one cell phone record (and remember all the communications of American servicemen remain the property of the U.S. gov) and as I said before, that is going to be one hell of a prolonged and entertaining newscycle.


    Which is contradictory, as operatives are part of a larger group by definition, and do not operate alone.

    Would you call an AQ member, acting alone or through an nth level cell to be alone or an operative? Technically as long as he can’t be connected he’s “alone”, but in truth, he isn’t is he?

    Add to that that it was not a swift-boat operation, as that would indicate that Porter’s email was, in fact, truthful.

    We’re never going to agree on this. It’s already been pointed out to me by DRJ, that to many (most? all?) of the people here, the Swift boat political sabotage of John Kerry in 2004 is considered to be based on the “truth.”

    Even though the Swift Boat operation has it’s genesis in the Nixon administration through Nixon’s guard dog, against Kerry, John O’Neill, another Vietnam veteran who dogged, debated and attempted to discredit him i 1971, and ultimately, through as one of the chief architects of, and spokesman/lawyer for the Swift Boat Veterans for “Truth”, slayed the big bad Kerry whom Nixon and his henchmen (Colson, Haldeman et al…) were so fearful might cause Nixon some major political headaches, although as we all know Nixon did a good job of causing his own headaches and ended up having to resign in disgrace or face impeachment and removal.
    Source: Nixon tapes – via Brian Williams – NBC News.

    The Swift Boat operation with it’s connection, through O’Neill to Nixon and “Ratf*cking”, the RNC black ops used to by the CRP and written about by Woodward and Bernstein in All the President’s Men, is about as clear a subversion and corruption of the Constitution and the principle’s it was founded on as you can get.
    Rove and his new generation of ratf*ckers/Swift Boaters is obviously a devotee.

    Kerry messed up badly, fatally in not defending himself more aggressively.

    This is the legacy of the Republican Party, I’m afraid, and if I was a die hard Republican (even in the face of the worst President in the history of the country, and the dirtiest President (Nixon) in the history of the country, I’d be in denial as well about the veracity of such corrupt, undemocratic vile behavior.

    But all politicians do it I…. I’h hearing being pounded on twenty different keyboards. I say baloney. I’ll say more than that in Part 2

    Peter (e70d1c)

  99. PART 1

    #88 Apogee,

    You attempt to link Obama’s avoidance of meeting wounded troops with Porter’s bogus email. Which is unfortunate for you, for as you put it, it appears that Porter, a sleazy operative, was operating on his own.

    Yeah, for reasons I’ve argued before on other areas of this blog. Porter is an operative. He acted alone, only in that he hasn’t yet been, connected to a larger effort. It’s obvous that there’s a concerted effort to smear and Swift Boat Barack Obama. It’s beyond question. The RNC campaign is only the most visible vanguard of that effort as can be seen by the tone of the attack ads they’ve begun running. And as I said before: one associate, one email, one IM, one cell phone record (and remember all the communications of American servicemen remain the property of the U.S. gov) and as I said before, that is going to be one hell of a prolonged and entertaining newscycle.


    Which is contradictory, as operatives are part of a larger group by definition, and do not operate alone.

    Would you call an AQ member, acting through an nth level cell to be alone or an operative? Technically as long as he can’t be connected he’s “alone”, but in truth, he isn’t is he?

    Add to that that it was not a swift-boat operation, as that would indicate that Porter’s email was, in fact, truthful.

    It’s already been pointed out to me by DRJ, that to many (most? all?) of the people here, the Swift boat political sabotage of John Kerry in 2004 is considered to be based on the “truth.”

    Even though the Swift Boat operation has it’s genesis in the Nixon administration through Nixon’s Kerry guard dog/Hit man/operative/Scum bucket, John O’Neill, another Vietnam veteran who dogged, debated and attempted to discredit him in 1971, and ultimately, as one of the chief architects of, and spokesman/lawyer for the Swift Boat Veterans for “Truth.” Because Nixon’s henchmen— Colson, Haldeman et al— and Nixon himself were so fearful Kerry might cause them big political trouble, although in the end Nixon did a good job of causing his own headaches and resigning in disgrace or face impeachment and force able removal and criminal charges.
    Source: Nixon tapes – via Brian Williams – NBC News.

    The Swift Boat operation with it’s connection, back to Nixon through O’Neill and the venerated Nixon White House /CRP practice of “Ratf*cking”, the political manipulation of the American people through black ops and dirty tricks (documented by Woodward and Bernstein in All the President’s Men), is about as clear a subversion and corruption of the Constitution and as you can get.
    Rove and his new generation of ratf*ckers/Swift Boaters is obviously a devotee.

    As I’ve said before, it’s beneath contempt, no matter what your opinion of Kerry or the fact that he blundered fatally in not confronting the Swift Boat organization more forcefully.

    This is the legacy of the Republican Party I’m afraid, and if I was a die hard Republican (even in the face of two of the dirtiest Presidents in the history of the country, and in the case of the latter also the most incompetent President in the history of the country, I too would be in denial about the veracity of corrupt, undemocratic vile behavior like the so called: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

    But all politicians do it…. I’m hearing being pounded on twenty different keyboards from apologists for corruption and undemocratic manipulation.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right and It’s all in the public register. Ultimately it undercuts and weakens every single argument made by someone with the nerve to say that the Swift Boat operation was either true or justified, because it’s an inherent flaw in that person’s judgment that pretty much makes it clear any reasoning that flows from that fount is capable of the same corrupt judgment and fallacy and fatally flawed corruption of character. For one thing, it certainly makes any opinion about anyone, especially in politics, especially a Democrat completely untrustworthy.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  100. Part 2

    #88 Apogee,

    Again, the Damned if he does – Damned if he doesn’t phrase attempts to re-cast a screw-up on the part of the Obama campaign as a “shameless” and “twisted” attack by the McCain campaign.

    You call it a screw up. I call it a change of schedule. There’s not much else to derive from that that. It’s a projection and a contextual frame imposed by the Right-wing, and by the McCain Campaign and the Right wing Pundits/bottom feeders/parasites for self gain.

    Desperate…desperate….I’d say. It’s the same cr*p we’ve been living under for the last seven years. Business as usual, from a man who is tragic in is his fall from grace and the caricature he’s aloowing himself to become as a whiney, mean-spirited, petty and jealous little man: John McCain.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  101. (Scratch #98, that was an earlier version of #99.)

    Peter (e70d1c)

  102. Peter, it’s no use. When people are grasping for straws they’re grasping at straws.

    You wont convince them here, but hopefully you’ll make them think twice about spouting there nonsense to a potential swing vote outside of their choir here.

    Don’t give up the fight.

    Oiram (983921)

  103. You guys are so clueless, its comical.

    G (722480)

  104. Part 3

    #88

    And so are consequences of actions taken or not taken – Deal with it.

    The consequences of what? Lies and distortions and projections and trying to frame an issue that is the life blood of the corrupt RNC and the McCain campaign. I won’t deal with that ever. Anyone with a shred of integrity shouldn’t deal with that and speak out about it as loudly ad forcefully as possible. You deal with that.

    ([Obama:] Lawyer, community organizer, Senator, professor)

    Anyone can play this game:

    John McCain:

    Son of affluent powerful Navy family, Annapolis grad (what a stretch that was), Navy Pilot (not so good at that and another stretch, POW, husband, divorcee, Senator indicted with the Keating Five, “Maverick”(tm), Failed Presidential candidate, critic of Bush administration, apologist for Bush administration, Caricature of his former self.

    Reductio ad absurdum, add some lime, salt shake vigorously.

    This argument makes no sense whatsoever. Life is by nature episodic. What matters is how people have dealt with the great struggles in their lives and how they’ve come out of them. I see one man who is complete Obama, and another man who becomes a greater and greater parody of himself as he gives in to the system and the connections and the process that’s made him privileged all his life.

    Sobering preparation for the defense of our lives like that is what they, police, fire, and health professionals have in common, and is what elevates not their authority, but their responsibility above the rest of society

    It shouldn’t all be placed on their soldiers. It’s deeply undemocratic and dangerous to create a special class of citizens (as happened after 911). And for any party to have a special claim on that class. The Military is under the command of a civilian government. The defense of the nation rests on the shoulders of every single citizen no matter their political affiliation.

    Good for you. Maybe paying attention now will prevent having to canvass so many front doors later.

    Will you ask for John McCain’s resignation if he doesn’t fully and in good faith put into action his plans for military families and Vets? Because if he’s anything like Bush, I would act wisely now or risk a lot more body bags and a same canvassing of front doors. But that’s just the beginning really of the economic and fiscal and energy disaster that McCain portends as he is beholdent to the Big Oil Co.s. And like Bush he will blame the American people before he blames the irresponsible actions of the holy and sacred “free market.” Now in progressive, if fitful, melt down.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  105. #102 Oiram

    #

    Don’t give up the fight.

    Thanks Oiram, appreciate the encouragement. As the echo chamber gets pretty tedious.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  106. #94 Ropelight

    #

    Once upon a time, long ago and far behind us now, it was the established custom that only men who had served honorably in defense of the nation were considered to have earned the privilege of speaking in public on matters of national security.

    Yeah, that worked out really well didn’t it?

    Peter (e70d1c)

  107. Yeah, that worked out really well didn’t it?

    Actually, it did. When the expertts talked, the lay person sat, listened and learned.

    But let’s pretend…

    So under what justification does your utterly uninformed opinion carry the same amount of weight towards setting policy as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or even a brand new Boot Camp graduate (who has more of an idea what is involved in military planning that any civilian who has never served)? Why should Obama’s opinion carry any more weight, given his clear disdain for the military?

    If I were to hire someone to repair my car, I wouldn’t dare to tell him how to do his job. I would explain what Da Missus and I wanted done, and let him tell me what he needed to make it happen.

    If I were to hire a surgeon, I wouldn’t try and tell him where to make his incisions or how deep to cut. I would explain what the situation was and discuss how he was going to correct it.

    If your opinion is utterly uninformed on a given issue, you really don’t have the “right” to act as though you knew what you were talking about, rather than just spewing your standardized Talking Points Mark 1 Mod 2008.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  108. Peter – Are you saying that Nixon was responsible for both the Watergate break-in and the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth Campaign in 2004? That’s pretty neat. Have you actually read the book All The President’s Men or did you even watch the movie. Was it Zombie Nixon in 2004 or the real thing?

    Keep up the fight dude. I’ll have what you’re smoking or swallowing. It must be pretty damn strong.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  109. Actually, it did.

    Yeah, and it never leads to military coups or dictatorships, kings, puppets of foreign powers, tyrants, despots, wars, revolutions, extreme suffering, the eradication of basic human rights…

    Maybe since you’re so up on this sort of thing you care to debate the founding fathers?

    If I were to hire someone to repair my car, I wouldn’t dare to tell him how to do his job.

    Of course not. But you’d tell him when and if,ask for options, differing opinions, risks and advantages, after having gotten an estimate and a price. Of course.

    If I were to hire a surgeon, I wouldn’t try and tell him where to make his incisions or how deep to cut.

    Your denseness is endearing. See answer for car mechanic above.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  110. Are you saying that Nixon was responsible for both the Watergate break-in and the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth Campaign in 2004?

    I’m saying that John O’Neill, RNC operative and scum bag extraordinaire was involved with Nixon’s dirty tricks against Kerry and that very same John O’Neil, RNC operative and whore who sold his services to T. Boone Pickens, Oilman Billionaire who underwrote the SBVT, also led, organized and was the spokesman for Swift Boat Veterans for “Truth”.

    Same guy. 25 years later. Interesting right?

    Peter (e70d1c)

  111. Oiram & Peter #102 – 104
    You do realize your comments represent an echo chamber perfectly.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  112. But you’d tell him when and if,ask for options, differing opinions, risks and advantages, after having gotten an estimate and a price. Of course.

    You’ve forgotten which side you are arguing again.

    You haven’t bothered to do any of those things regarding the military, have repeated your claim that you aren’t going to actually argue the facts, and have tried to rewrite recent historical events, yet you endearingly spew your nonsense as though it were worth listening to.

    Your argument means that you should not be voicing an uninformed opinion, but should instead be asking those who actually have experience in these things, in order to learn from those who know.

    Obama has not done this either, and has no doubts about his experience whatsoever. He has already said – and repeated – that he will pull the troops out before the end of 2009, no matter what the generals say.

    I won’t vote for McCain because I hope that he’s telling the truth. What makes you think I would vote for Obama, only to hope that he’s lying?

    Your denseness is endearing.

    Your vapidity? Not so much.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  113. there’s a concerted effort to smear and Swift Boat Barack Obama.

    The problem being that those two terms are mutually exclusive. One suggests untruths, the other suggests truths.

    You see, the Swift Boat vets were telling the truth…

    or the fact that he blundered fatally in not confronting the Swift Boat organization more forcefully.

    He didn’t confront them forcefully because of trips to Cambodia that were seared into his memory… Trips that never actually happened.

    And frankly, I have a hard time believing he would still refuse to clear his name by releasing his full military records unless they wouldn’t, you know, actually clear him.

    You call it a screw up. I call it a change of schedule.

    Well, since there was plenty of time, the trip was already set up, and he just canceled it for what appears to most sane people to be “political reasons” (ie the inability to make it a full party with his camera crews), I’m going to have to call it a blunder.

    Business as usual, from a man who is tragic in is his fall from grace and the caricature he’s aloowing himself to become as a whiney, mean-spirited, petty and jealous little man: John McCain

    As opposed to the guy who takes longtime friends with pasts and histories we have all known for years (or that Obama should damn well have known for years in the case of Rev Wright) and chucking them under the bus (and in Wright’s case this action was pre-planned) the second hey appear to be a liability, has spent 5 of the last 10 years he’s held office running for the next highest office, displays an absolute willful inability to admit when he’s wrong, has blatantly lied or at the least exagerated his acomplishments and actions while IN office, and has actively lied and smeared not only his opponent but the netire party (branding them as racists)?

    Yeah… McCain’s so much worse. At least the guy’s run a full term in office before trying to get into the WhiteHouse…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  114. “Ultimately it undercuts and weakens every single argument made by someone with the nerve to say that the Swift Boat operation was either true or justified,”

    Peter – Is it really your argument that it is unfair and unjustified to publicize falsehoods in the track record that a candidate for the presidency of the United States is trying to peddle to the American public? Surely that can’t be what you are saying, because John Kerry has not yet had the courage to publicly confront the claims of the Swift Boat Veterans.

    If that is indeed your claim, what does it say for your activities on this blog, where you deliberately spread misinformation about a variety of topics, refuse to correct it when confronted and flat out lie about John McCain and his record. Doesn’t that make you more of a scumbag than any of the others you have already discussed buckaroo?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  115. I won’t vote for McCain because I hope that he’s telling the truth. What makes you think I would vote for Obama, only to hope that he’s lying?

    Do you walk backwards so that if you get hit by a bus, you can claim that you didn’t see it coming?

    Your vapidity?

    Remember there’s a lot more to the dictionary than just the “v” section.

    He has already said – and repeated – that he will pull the troops out before the end of 2009, no matter what the generals say.

    16 months. Depending on conditions on the ground. Confirmed by al-maliki as the proper approach to withdrawal. Repeatedly in three different translations. To the embarrassment of the Bush WH and GrandPappy McCain.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  116. Same guy. 25 years later. Interesting right?

    Peter – Exactly. John Kerry was a dirtbag whose claims needed to be challenged in 1971 and then again 33 years later in 2004. Some people learn from their experience. Kerry didn’t.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  117. Peter #’s 109,100,99
    We’ve talked about this assumption of conspiracy before, and yet, contrary to oiram’s own advice, you fail to think twice about repeating it.

    The fact that O’Neill (about whom you so eloquently add the terms ‘whore’ and ‘scumbag’ – no emotion there) doesn’t like Kerry must mean that O’Neill’s involved in a multi-decade conspiracy. (Sheesh, you’d think a little admiration for persistence would be in order) You give no possibility to the thought that maybe O’Neill intensely dislikes Kerry for his own reasons. Reasons that might have something to do with Kerry’s phony ‘genghis (genjiss) Kahn’ testimony, if not anything else.
    Let that sink in for a moment. Now imagine that, years from now, Jeb Bush decides to run for President. Would you support him? Would you expect James Carville to support him? Would you be upset at someone trying to dig up dirt against ol’ Jeb to prevent him from becoming CIC?
    Most likely not.

    So now we have the simple distillation of your current Democratic Party logic, and that is that Rebublicans are part of a conspiracy (and an evil, whorish conspiracy at that), while Democrats are simply trying to speak the truth. Except that it’s counterintuitive, and this is illustrated perfectly by your AQ analogy:
    Would you call an AQ member, acting through an nth level cell to be alone or an operative? Technically as long as he can’t be connected he’s “alone”, but in truth, he isn’t is he?
    A bit of a pickle for you to answer that one, as you must necessarily try to hide your double standard in order to fake your way through it. You see, if everyone with a similar political ideology is an ‘operative’ that doesn’t need actual contact with the group, then that must make anyone with a political ideology an ‘operative’. Which makes you an operative, unless you profess to have no political ideology. Does this also make you a Hit man/Scum bucket/whore/bottom feeder/parasite/operative?

    The use of so many unprovoked pejorative adjectives lends nothing to your arguments, sans the feeling that you are unable to approach any of these issues rationally, as you seem to be carrying a lot of emotional baggage. You see conspiracies, shadow groups, henchmen, marching orders and an allegiance to evil that would be overkill in the recent ‘Dark Knight’, and that’s a movie.

    Add to that disorder the apparent victim status of the perennially innocent Obama campaign, preyed upon by the Evil Cheneybot (you see? It’s all related!) Overlords of the McCain campaign, and we’ve got a great Barney episode on our hands.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  118. Apogee – Thanks for making the point I forgot to make. Using Peter’s own logic and statement, he is a democratic operative.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  119. #117

    You see, if everyone with a similar political ideology is an ‘operative’ that doesn’t need actual contact with the group, then that must make anyone with a political ideology an ‘operative’.

    A bit overkill that broad brush, but yes, technically I am an operative. So are you and so is anyone who expresses a political opinion or belief. But that wasn’t my usage of it.

    Carrying through with that logic, your saying that there’s no difference between a grown man firing a gun and killing someone, and someone peacefully driving a car. They’re both technically operatives.

    Main Entry:
    Operative
    Function:
    noun
    Date:
    circa 1810

    : operator: as a: artisan, mechanic b: a secret agent c: private detective d: a person who works toward achieving the objectives of a larger interest (source: M-W online).

    My usage of operative is in the sense of B and D.

    In other words: One who employs: Subterfuge, sabotage, secrecy, lies, the distortion of facts, all to manufacture false intrigue or controversy and put the opposing political team in a compromising position.

    Most political operatives work within a protected legal framework built on freedom of speech, assembly, to run for office and to organize campaign etc.

    Operative in the usage I employed means outside the legal and established political framework. And if I seem a bit emotional about it, I think I have good cause: It short circuits and weakens the democratic process. It places power in the hands of the few, the powerful, the ruthless, the dishonest, the unprincipled. In other words: Criminals.

    That is the manner in which Porter is an operative, and O’Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans for “truth” are operatives.

    [Aside: The SWBVT allegations against Kerry have been proven to be untrue.
    Factcheck. and see also: Snopes

    The allegations against Kerry seem more driven by what he did after he came back to the U.S. With Vietnam Vets against the War, than what actually happened in Vietnam. Only one of the Swift Boat Veterans, actually served under Kerry (Steven Gardner). Navy records contradict their accounts. The rest of the men who served under Kerry still speak positively about him.

    So the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign may be based on genuine feelings towards Kerry, as I said mostly as payback for his activism against the Vietnam war, but to say that the allegations of the SW Vets speak the entire truth about the character of John Kerry is not true. Regardless of if Kerry has released his Navy records or not. End Aside.]

    You see conspiracies, shadow groups, henchmen, marching orders and an allegiance to evil that would be overkill in the recent ‘Dark Knight’, and that’s a movie.

    No, you conveniently think that I see vast conspiracies and are using that to dismiss and discredit my argument. What I see is an irrefutable and real and established pattern of, at the very least —and I’m being very generous here— irregular behavior. But where there’s smoke there’s fire and my BS meter is clicking off the charts.

    If you have a suspect before a judge, what is the first thing the judge is going to look at once he ascertains the charges: He’s going to see if the suspect has a prior criminal record, because past behavior, especially behavior showing repeated criminal (or irregular, again being generous) behavior is a good indicator of, not only the suspect’s innocence or guilt in regard to the charges at hand, but is also a good indicator of future behavior.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  120. test

    Peter (e70d1c)

  121. (Sorry, Having a bit of problem getting my comment to come up…)

    [I found it in the spam filter. It’s now comment #119. I’m not sure why but it’s probably due to the links. I’ve noticed this with comments from many different commenters over the past few days. — DRJ]

    Peter (e70d1c)

  122. Thanks DRJ. Much appreciated.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  123. Peter – You’ve already demonstated your ignorance of the military on this blog. For you to guess at the motivations of the SBVT is laughable. Have you ever talked with any veterans about their opinions about John Kerry? You’re just making shit up as you’re going along again, right?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  124. I think the [Swift Boat Veterans for Truth] ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crewmates have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam.

    – John McCain

    AP interview — August 5, 2004

    Peter (e70d1c)

  125. That would be just a few weeks after McCain was “in discussions” with John Kerry for a slot as VP…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  126. Peter #119 – Nice to see you’ve cleaned it up a bit.

    As for your assertions –
    The Swift Boat argument isn’t going away. And that’s because it’s not about Kerry, and it’s not about truth. It’s an attempt to create a talking point to deflect any attempt to address real issues. The linking of the term “SwiftBoating” and “smear” as you’ve already done in this thread is the first step. The end goal is the second step: the use of the charge “SwiftBoating” to cover for discussion of anything that might be uncomfortable for candidate X. That way, your candidate can continue to be a victim of an organized conspiracy, rather than have to answer nasty questions or admit blunders.

    Talk about “weakening the Democratic proces” by “short-circuiting” debate.

    Except that your ‘link’ is unsubstantiated.

    The SWBVT allegations against Kerry have been proven to be untrue.
    That statement is untrue. If you follow your own links, you find that the allegations are given the category “multiple” on Snopes, meaning true and false portions. And if you read the sources on Snopes, you’ll find – The LA Times (hilarious given where you’re commenting), Boston Globe, Joe Klein in the New Yorker, Douglas Brinkley’s pro-Kerry book Tour of Duty, USA Today.
    Those were the sources, and they still had to admit that there was some truth to the allegations. One thing is not being disputed, however, and that is that Kerry’s ‘Genjiss’ testimony before Congress in ’71 was a lie.

    Only one of the Swift Boat Veterans, actually served under Kerry (Steven Gardner).
    You mean on Kerry’s Swift Boat? If Kerry’s such a great guy, why would this happen? This ignores that there were several other Swift Boats that patrolled along with Kerry’s, and many of the men who were in those Swift Boats – men who shared the same base, barracks and mess with Kerry – confirm the accusations made by the SWBVT.
    Also, Navy records do not fall on Kerry’s side. There are contradictions between accounts, and that doesn’t exonerate Kerry. What might, however, is his records. But he hasn’t released those.

    You then go on to say So the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign may be based on genuine feelings towards Kerry, as I said mostly as payback for his activism against the Vietnam war, but to say that the allegations of the SW Vets speak the entire truth about the character of John Kerry is not true.
    There’s that sneaky all or nothing again. They don’t have to speak the entire truth about John Kerry, because even if they speak the partial truth about him, that’s a problem. (You don’t work with creationists, do you? Because that’s a very similar argument – either evolution speaks the entire truth or it’s worth nothing.) Add these allegations to his disproven claims of secret missions and later false testimony before congress and you’ve got a lying politician who’s unfit to lead.

    Again, So the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign may be based on genuine feelings towards Kerry, as I said mostly as payback for his activism against the Vietnam war,
    So you’re now disagreeing with your own accusations of “secret agents” and “operatives” outside the legal and established political framework (How, exactly, was any of this outside any legal or political ‘framework’? It was a 527, same as George Soros’ MoveOn.org) When Kerry gave that false testimony before congress, exactly who do you think he was smearing?

    Let’s see what the SWBVT has to say:
    Swift Vets and POWs for Truth has been formed to counter the false “war crimes” charges John Kerry repeatedly made against Vietnam veterans who served in our units and elsewhere, and to accurately portray Kerry’s brief tour in Vietnam as a junior grade Lieutenant. We speak from personal experience — our group includes men who served beside Kerry in combat as well as his commanders. Though we come from different backgrounds and hold varying political opinions, we agree on one thing: John Kerry misrepresented his record and ours in Vietnam and therefore exhibits serious flaws in character and lacks the potential to lead. And we’ve been paid off as HalliBushCo’s minions in exchange for the right to stab helpless baby kittens in the moonlight wearing scary silk robes.

    I added that last part. But sometimes your rhetoric makes it seem like it could have been added by you, Peter.

    Allow me to illustrate –

    you conveniently think that I see vast conspiracies and are using that to dismiss and discredit my argument.
    Avoiding the psychological projection aspects of that statement, Peter, the conspiracy is your argument. It allows you to become emotionally upset by giving you and your ‘side’ victim status as the few, the powerful, the ruthless, the dishonest, the unprincipled.. .criminals aren’t playing within the legal and established political framework. They’re playing unfair, and you have every right to be upset, and maybe even a little mad, because your ‘side’ is righteous. It might even excuse a little untoward behavior on your part, as it’s only evening things out in your fight for the truth.

    Making accusations of an irrefutable and real and established pattern of, at the very least irregular behavior, and then backing away from them when they are indeed refuted with simple common sense causes any person paying attention to take your views as irrational and confused.

    Peter, the term irregular behavior is so vague as to be laughable, and judging from the content of your posts, you shouldn’t be using it.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  127. Well done Apogee!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  128. #126 Apogee

    They [Swift Boat Veterans For Truth] don’t have to speak the entire truth about John Kerry, because even if they speak the partial truth about him, that’s a problem. (You don’t work with creationists, do you? Because that’s a very similar argument – either evolution speaks the entire truth or it’s worth nothing.)

    You’re comparing the veracity of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to the theory of evolution?

    I’m going to let that one stand and speak for itself awhile.

    The analogical cognitive dissonance and granular freakishness of it is too entertaining.

    You really must stop trying to ham it up for the home crowd. It’s going to your head. (I think there’s only three of us who care about this thread anymore anyway.)

    (more to follow…)

    Peter (e70d1c)

  129. It’s an attempt to create a talking point to deflect any attempt to address real issues. The linking of the term “SwiftBoating” and “smear” as you’ve already done in this thread is the first step. The end goal is the second step: the use of the charge “SwiftBoating” to cover for discussion of anything that might be uncomfortable for candidate X. That way, your candidate can continue to be a victim of an organized conspiracy, rather than have to answer nasty questions or admit blunders.

    Well cry me a river. This is what happens when the ethical framework gets sullied and weakened by unethical dirty operatives and personal destruction/character assassination. If you think Swift-boating, real or imagined, is in danger of neutralizing proper debate or investigation into the character of a presidential candidate, you only have the Right to blame for brandishing it so destructively and cynically in 2004. The RNC/Rove/Bush/ The Texas millionaires and a Nixon gold digger, of all things, by the name of John O’Neil pissed in the water and stunk it to high heaven and now you have the nerve to blame the Democrats and call them guilty of a “victim” mentality? Sounds to me like you feel pretty victimized as well, except you will never ever blame it on the people truly responsible for cheapening the presidential political process. Reminds me a bit of the guy who beats his wife and when the cops show up says that she made him do it…

    So following your logic, the original “swift-boat” technique will be rendered corrupt if candidate X , specifically, you add (Nice.) my candidate X, “who must be stopped at all cost”, is allowed to squirrel away from questions regarding character and won’t be stopped in time before the American people end up putting the wrong person (i.e., Not Republican) in office.

    Let’s not mince words. “Swift-boating”, regardless of your prejudices is pure: Character assassination also known as the politics of personal destruction. There’s no justification for it, no matter what the real or imagined noble motivations.

    In addition you say that if a swift-boating attack was practiced on someone like Jeb Bush, for example, I might approve of it.

    That’s just insulting. It would be wrong no matter what party employed it. I leave that sort of moral exceptionalism to the Neocons and Republicans.

    Actually I would be pretty curious to know what in the Democratic bag of dirty tricks even comes close to stooping to the depths of swift-boating in a Presidential election. Let’s say anywhere in the last 40 years? Be specific. And have your documentation in order.

    The swift-boating of Kerry in 2004, is not based on the full story or all the facts. It’s a story based on something that looks like the truth and might even have elements of the truth in it, but is ultimately the anecdotal testimony of people with questionable motives taken and framed into a very specific narrative by some very cunning and operatives (there’s that word again definition B.) to inflict maximum damage.

    So let’s follow the money, shall we:

    This is from factcheck (same link as above):

    The source of the Swift Boat group’s money wasn’t known when it first surfaced, but a report filed July 15 with the Internal Revenue Services now shows its initial funding came mainly from a Houston home builder, Bob J. Perry, who has also given millions to the Republican party and Republican candidates, mostly in Texas, including President Bush and Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay, whose district is near Houston.

    Tom Delay.

    The squeaky clean exemplar of integrity and clean politicking himself. Good friend and associate of that other fine upstanding American Jack Abramoff. These two boy scouts would never, ever have anything to do with a racket or corruption, or destruction of ones enemies, or even criminal behavior. I mean actually a character assassination campaign or two is probably a bit prosaic for these two geniuses. At the height of their powers they could probably destroy someone’s reputation and life in their sleep, or at least before they even had coffee in the morning.

    And of course the two men with the most to gain from the swift-boat campaign (other than Nixon operative John O’Neil) Bush and Rove certainly had nothing to do with it either.

    Also why did T. Boone Pickens renege on his $1 Million dollar prize challenge payable to anyone who could prove any lie in the SBVT, when a group of veterans came to him with a 60 book proving multiple lies and distortions, in the book by John O’Neil book Unfit for Command? You say O’Neil should be admired for persistence over 33 years, yet one cannot deny that being in the service of T. Boone Pickens, Bob J. Perry and having a book published by Regnery almost certainly brought him a handsome pay day. Yet, I’m sure, as you suggest, his motivations were purely noble and selfless and he had just cause: Country first and all that, from an ex-tricky dick political henchman/patriot.

    Seems to me, that when it looked like Kerry was going to be the Democratic Nominee in 2004, Mr. O’Neil’s ship finally sailed in and he made the most of it. Perfect character assassination project effecting the election of the President of the United States and a bestseller bought by a conservative book publisher soon (surprise, surprise) unveiling a similar swift-boat, I mean character assassination book about Barack Obama. It’s a lucrative mini-industry, character assassination is, for the right-wing. Good money to be made for sure.

    One final point: I don’t think it was the SBVT campaign that ultimately did in Kerry, as much as it was his response to it. A sign of guilt? Who knows what really took place. Warzones are insane places, are you up to judging the man? It seems that you think you do. In spite of the decades of public service. This is what the right focuses on and to elect…George W. Bush, a half-assed, I would say part-time, but I don’t even think he would qualify for part-time, Texas National Air Guard pilot.

    One things for sure. Kerry asked to be reassigned into a combat zone and took fire, saved some lives and served his country. No matter that he hasn’t released any records.

    As for John McCain, he has yet to release his full military records, a mere 19 pages were released by the Navy on May 5, 2008. With no full Navy performance records (how many jets did he crash?) and no POW/MIA records. Why is this? And what is he hiding? Perhaps we’ll find out soon. If it turns out he was cowardly or traitorous in what he revealed to the VC as a POW when he was being tortured will you still vote for him? Even if it’s in official Navy or Pentagon files?

    The interesting courtship of John MCCain and the SBVT.

    On Aug. 5th 2004 (link in comment #124), John McCain in an interview to the AP, stated that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were being ”dishonest and dishonorable”, and further that: As it is none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crewmates have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam.

    Yet in June of this year, he did a 180 Flip-Flop, and now speaks warmly and glowingly of group and they’ve assembled under his circus tent for more wackiness and mayhem, only as can be delieverd by the rascally Swift Boat Vets for Truth (I hear you can hire them for parties now. They’ll say and do anything you want them too as long as the price right. It’s swift-boating to go. Easy and fun for the whole family). So lots of hi-jinx and fun is promised as they take on the mantle of being defenders of McCain’s Military reputation (Why would McCain need defenders of his sterling and perfect Military career as a Navy Pilot and POW?). Recently, SBVT Col. Bud Day sternly rebutted Wesley Clark, when Clark made the remark that McCain’s experience as a Navy flier and POW doesn’t impart any special qualification to be President. You can imagine the indignation and up-in-arms fuming. JM wouldn’t even entertain the possibility of a reporter requiring an answer to that preposterous question. I guess we just have to trust him on it as he’s above having to answer that, even if I and many other people feel it is an entirely valid and worthy question. There’s nothing disrespectful about it.

    But back to the SBVT, could it be that McCain couldn’t risk alienating powerful RNC backers like Bob J. Perry and T. Boone Pickens? What kind of mettle does that show in the man in yet another sign of how far he’s fallen as a “hero” and a “maverick” and how desperate he is to be the President. Why most he pander to the far right so enthusiastically and lose all that made him an interesting and unique Senator? Like his soul.

    Let’s look at how veterans groups rate McCain’s veteran voting record. (Established patterns of behavior Apogee. It works like a charm every time as an good indicator of future behavior):

    IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America) – John McCain “D”

    Vietnam Veterans Of America (Click Votes Tab) He voted against 16 out of 25 scored votes

    DAV (Disabled American Veterans) John McCain has a 20% rating out of a 100%.

    Obama’s Veterans Ratings:

    IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America) – Barack Obama “B+”

    Vietnam Veterans of America (click “Vote” tab) – He voted for them all but 1 time.

    (Disabled American Veterans) (Click Vote Tab)– Barack Obama has an 80% rating

    I rest my case in that matter. If you want to debate those numbers I suggest you take it up with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America, the Vietnam Veterans of America, or the Disabled American Veterans organizations respectively.

    And we’ve been paid off as HalliBushCo’s minions in exchange for the right to stab helpless baby kittens in the moonlight wearing scary silk robes.

    I added that last part. But sometimes your rhetoric makes it seem like it could have been added by you, Peter.

    Look, Apogee, I know a little wink-wink nudge-nudge belittlement and hamming it up at my expense, for the entertainment of the home crowd is fun, and who am I to take away what glory you have in your life, but c’mon grow up already.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  130. Peter #128 – No. I’m comparing the logic of your arguments to those of creationists, who also create an all or nothing fallacy.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  131. You established that fallacy. Without nuance, qualification or proof you said SBVT was true.

    When I provided the links to Factcheck and Snopes you changed your answer to:

    Snopes says true and false portions

    You focus on the true aspects and see damning factors, I look at the “true” aspects and I see anecdotal testimonials from unknown Vets, with unknown motives and character assassination.
    If the objective of the SBVT ad is to prove: Kerry is unfit to be President. Looking at all the evidence I find that to be a false and arrogant conclusion. If the objective is to prove that there are questions outstanding that need to be answered I would say that’s true. But overall SBVT is essentially false in their premise and fail at proving judging Kerry’s fitfulness for office. At best they raise questions, at worst the destroy a man’s political ambitions for the ambitions of another. It would be great to see what happened to the bank accounts of these honorable vets after their involvement in SBVT.

    So my statement stands: Confirming the quality of that which is “true” in the SBVT ads as using a similar logic as that of the theory of evolution, is beyond laughable. To compare a political ad, produced by an organization and individuals with questionable stories (although a very clear goal), and suspicious financing to a rigorously established scientific theory that is the bedrock of a whole massive area of science with results and findings that have been confirmed and duplicated and documented by thousands of highly trained scientists over two centuries is basically just too stupid for words.

    The condescension and arrogance in even using that analogy, makes me think you’re either not serious or untrustworthy.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  132. “Looking at all the evidence I find that to be a false and arrogant conclusion.”

    Given Peter’s awesome knowledge, logic and credibility, that certainly settles it for me. Heh. Game, set, match Apogee.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  133. Peter, you have spittle flecked on your lips. You cannot make points without resorting to misstating the opposition, applying hackneyed insults and a bad guy/good guy meme that renders your end comment to me to “grow up” telling.

    You are a master of projection, and continue to exercise several simplistic fallacies put forth as arguments.
    1) When I point out your inconsistencies, your response is to accuse me of making them.
    2) Everything’s a conspiracy by evildoers, and I say evildoers because your descriptions of their motivations, absent any evidence, wouldn’t qualify for a freshman writing class.
    3) Your definition of ‘evidence’ consists solely of pre-defined notions of behavior based on party affiliation, wealth, and what can only be described as hallucinations.
    4) You are trapped in a world of all or nothing false choices, and you reinforce that confused worldview by lashing out at the aforementioned perceived conspirators, again absent any real evidence, with anger and vitriol so out-of-scale with your personal experience to these people that one has to wonder about your stability.

    First, lets get the simple mischaracterization out of the way. You attempt, again, to misstate my comment. I don’t know if you can’t understand this, Peter, or if you just don’t want to. You write:
    To compare a political ad, produced by an organization and individuals with questionable stories (although a very clear goal), and suspicious financing to a rigorously established scientific theory that is the bedrock of a whole massive area of science with results and findings that have been confirmed and duplicated and documented by thousands of highly trained scientists over two centuries is basically just too stupid for words.

    You don’t seem to get it, which is understandable.
    One more time.
    Slowly.

    I was not comparing the SWBVT ad and the theory of evolution. Got it? Not comparing the two. I was comparing the logic of your argument, Peter, to that of the creationists. Got it? Peter’s logic = Creationist’s logic. Ok? Their arguments are an all or nothing logical fallacy, and that is since everything about evolution isn’t proven to their insistence, then the entire theory must have holes, and thereby can be dismissed as ‘unproven’. That is exactly what you were saying when you wrote:
    The swift-boating of Kerry in 2004, is not based on the full story or all the facts. It’s a story based on something that looks like the truth and might even have elements of the truth in it, but is ultimately the anecdotal testimony of people with questionable motives taken and framed into a very specific narrative by some very cunning and operatives
    All or nothing. Check.
    Conspiracy. Check.
    pre-defined notions of behavior. Check
    You did manage to keep the lashing out under control. The meds must work periodically.

    Let’s go through your diatribe and show it for what it is. A proof of my arguments.
    This is what happens when the ethical framework gets sullied and weakened by unethical dirty operatives and personal destruction/character assassination. Proof of my assertion that your fantasy grudges allow untoward behavior on your part.

    If you think Swift-boating, real or imagined, is in danger of neutralizing proper debate or investigation into the character of a presidential candidate, you only have the Right to blame for brandishing it so destructively and cynically in 2004.
    I don’t. I think the accusation of ‘Swift Boating’ is an attempt to neutralize proper debate. You do too, as you admit Kerry was curiously unable to answer the ads, even though you’ll give him a pass for not releasing his records. That’s what victim status awards – incompetence.

    The RNC/Rove/Bush/ The Texas millionaires and a Nixon gold digger, of all things, by the name of John O’Neil pissed in the water and stunk it to high heaven and now you have the nerve to blame the Democrats and call them guilty of a “victim” mentality?
    Yes, because they’re complaining that they’ve been smeared, not that they’re doing the smearing. That’s a victim mentality, even if you (tellingly) can’t recognize it.
    Conspiracy. Check.
    Funny how you never seem to want to discuss Kerrys completely trashed ‘Winter Soldier’ testimony, which was the real “piss in the water”. Nothing to see here, please move-on. Oops, there’s your friend Soros again. Conspiracy. Check.

    So let’s follow the money, shall we:

    No. let’s not, because all you’ve proven is that the people you’ve smeared have a political affiliation, and no illegal behavior. You might want to check up on your law books, but disliking Kerry because you see him as a proven liar who is unfit to lead this country isn’t illegal. Neither is giving to 527 organizations that feel the same way. You seem to know character assassination well. In fact, reading your comments, it’s about all you know. There’s that projection again. Check.

    I don’t think it was the SBVT campaign that ultimately did in Kerry, as much as it was his response to it.
    What response? Again, unfit to lead.

    Yet, I’m sure, as you suggest, his motivations were purely noble and selfless
    I didn’t suggest that. I said that might be a possibility. A possibility that you cannot fathom existing, because of your pre-determined bias.
    All or nothing. Check.
    Conspiracy. Check.

    It’s a lucrative mini-industry, character assassination
    Yes it is, and if you practice harder, you might make money from it, like at the Enquirer. They demand a little evidence, however, beyond ‘hey, everybody knows’.
    Industry. Conspiracy. Check.

    Kerry asked to be reassigned into a combat zone and took fire, saved some lives and served his country. Yes he did, and for that he deserves commendation. For the lies later, not so much.
    All or nothing. Check.

    No matter that he [Kerry] hasn’t released any records.

    As for John McCain, he has yet to release his full military records, a mere 19 pages were released by the Navy on May 5, 2008.
    You do realize that you wrote those two sentences right after each other, don’t you? Nobody seems to be calling for McCain’s records, as that might not work so well for Obama, who has none. I hate to break it to you, but McCain’s not running against Kerry.
    Inconsistencies. Check.

    If it turns out he was cowardly or traitorous in what he revealed to the VC as a POW when he was being tortured
    Did you really write that?
    Really?
    Just so you know – If I was being tortured, I’d give a pretty good bet that I’d say whatever they wanted me to, as it’s torture and all. It’s good to know, Peter, that you hold yourself to a higher capability. I hope you never have to test it.
    Hallucinations. Check.

    Aug. 5th 2004 (link in comment #124), John McCain in an interview to the AP, stated that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were being ”dishonest and dishonorable”, and further that: As it is none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded.
    McCain was wrong both times.
    You seem to think that I’m shilling for McCain. I’m not. Don’t like him. I just think Obama’s a lightweight and a leftist. His statement about raising Capital Gains being ok even if it brought in less revenue was shockingly naive.

    Recently, SBVT Col. Bud Day sternly rebutted Wesley Clark, when Clark made the remark that McCain’s experience as a Navy flier and POW doesn’t impart any special qualification to be President.

    And what did Clark say in 2004 about John Kerry?
    John Kerry fought a war and came home to fight for peace – his combination of physical courage and moral values is my definition of what we need in a Commander-in-Chief…John Kerry knows that the power of America is our values and ideals. John Kerry knows that our soldiers embody the best of America’s values: Service. Sacrifice. Courage. Compassion.
    Not exactly consistent, Clark. Not well liked by the military, either. Oh, but I guess Clark answered the question himself, just 4 years earlier.

    could it be that McCain couldn’t risk alienating powerful RNC backers like Bob J. Perry and T. Boone Pickens?
    Yeah, it could. Any proof? Until you show some interest in the funds of the Obama campaign, you’ll just come off as a partisan.
    Conspiracy. Henchmen. Check.

    Why most he [McCain] pander to the far right so enthusiastically

    He’s not. It just looks that way to you. He’s actually pandering to the ‘center’.

    Let’s look at how veterans groups rate McCain’s veteran voting record.
    Hey, did you happen to check out your own link to Factcheck.org?:
    However, he is correct in that McCain doesn’t have a perfect score with DAV (Disabled American Veterans), a group of 1.3 million disabled veterans that supports more funding for veterans health care. McCain has a 20 percent record of voting the way DAV would like him to in 2006. The group is nonpartisan, but its 100 percent rankings disproportionately go to Democrats: 207 Democrats in Congress and only 13 Republicans received scores of 100 percent in 2006.
    Even Factcheck seems to think they’re kind of a partisan non-partisan group.
    Why did you leave out the VFW? You do know that McCain ‘won the 1995 Congressional Award from the VFW and that is the only award the group specifically gives to legislators.’ But maybe they’re not the right kind of veterans. Or maybe they are. Conspiracy. Check.
    Let’s see where else your links lead. Hmm. Seems like they gave “we’ve already lost” Harry Reid an A-. Seems to me that Reid wasn’t so popular with the actual soldiers last time somebody checked.

    belittlement and hamming it up at my expense, for the entertainment of the home crowd

    No. That just occurs naturally.

    And your #131
    You established that fallacy. Without nuance, qualification or proof you said SBVT was true.
    Accusing me of your inconsistencies? Check. Your recent comments are all about how the SWBVT was a smear campaign, and when I pointed out to you that your own link showed dispute to that, you try and accuse me of dishonesty.

    Looking at all the evidence I find that to be a false and arrogant conclusion. The vets weren’t unknown, and their motives were simple – they believed John Kerry to be a liar. Check out that right wing rag Washington Post’s (the one you referenced with All the President’s Men) article called Kerry’s Cambodia Whopper. How about this evidence that Kerry’s a liar.

    You and Kerry have something in common:
    False? Check.
    Arrogant? Check.
    Evidence? Nope.

    Check. And mate. Game over.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  134. Ding, ding, ding !!!! Ladies and gentleman. The winner, by tap-out after 32 seconds in the first round … Apogee !!!!!!!!!!

    JD (712926)

  135. Now we have to set up a bout between Apogee and an opponent who is actually a challenge unlike Peter.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  136. #133 Apogee

    Check out that right wing rag Washington Post’s (the one you referenced with All the President’s Men) article called Kerry’s Cambodia Whopper. How about this evidence that Kerry’s a liar.

    I see, a Washington Post article written by a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. The Neoconservative think tank responsible for orchestrating so many of the failed Bush domestic and foreign policies. Not exactly the most objective of think tanks. About on par now with the Church of Scientology as the butt of jokes.

    Also, it’s funny that John O’Neill said Kerry lied about being in Cambodia. Especially since there’s an audiotape of John O’Neill and Richard Nixon discussing that very subject in regards to O’Neill himself:


    O’NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.

    NIXON: In a swift boat?

    O’NEILL: Yes, sir.

    It was aired on CNN August 2004: Full transcript here. And here.

    Full John O’Neill lies archive from Media Matters

    -Character assassination puff piece from laughably partisan AEI Neocon hack: Check.
    -Yet more proof that the SBVT campaign is full of glaring inconsistencies and has less to do with Kerry’s as it does with revenge for Kerry’s “betrayal” of the troops: Check.

    -Link to transcript that proves beyond question that O’Neill is a Nixon operative and a pathological liar. Check.

    Apogee’s head exploding: Priceless

    You were saying something about Check and Mate?

    My work here is done.

    (and wipe that egg off your face.)

    (Don’t you just love that tricky Dick and his handy dandy tape machines?)

    Peter (e70d1c)

  137. Peter #136 – Yes, just keep pretending you won. Your entire worldview is apparently linked to your self aggrandizing hallucination. Your lies and fantasies are becoming more and more desperate and pathetic.

    First, rather than try to refute the facts of the Whopper article, you attack the messenger. I understand that you and your echo chamber friends trade assumptions based on political affiliation as facts, but anyone with an education doesn’t. Of course, you might have an education, but it doesn’t show.
    Guilt by association fallacy. Check.

    John O’Neill said Kerry lied about being in Cambodia.
    Yes, he said that. And O’Neill was correct that Kerry is a liar. My head’s not exploding Peter, you’ve proven nothing other than your own ignorance.
    Kerry said he was in Cambodia on Christmas of 1968, – “I have that memory which is seared-seared-in me. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia.”

    Was Kerry just relating position data from his Swift Boat days? Nope. He was lying that he had been involved in firefights with Cambodians. Why do we think he’s lying? Well, none of Kerry’s crewmates have confirmed ever being sent to Cambodia (and these are the people you say support him), and no official documentation of any accidental or other incursion by either of Kerry’s boats has been discovered.

    Kerry has made his Vietnam journals and diaries available to his biographer, historian Douglas Brinkley, but has not made them otherwise publicly available. Why not? It’s not a secret, and when you’ve been called on something, you might want to refute it. But Kerry doesn’t need to, as he has people like you, Peter.

    There’s another problem with Kerry’s statement, you see, as Nixon was the one who ordered incursions into Cambodia, and he wasn’t even in office in 1968, unless you want to pretend that he was ‘secretly’ pulling the strings before inaguration. Otherwise, you have to blame Johnson, a Democrat. But then all the spittle from ‘tricky dicky’ doesn’t make sense. Just like your argument.

    In fact, Nixon only ordered hostilities against Cambodia on March 18th, 1969, and that was B-52 bombing of the PAVN/NLF base in the fishhook portion of Cambodia. People talk about ‘secret’ missions and SOG incursions, but when you do the actual research, you find that they used C-130’s and helicopters for incursion and excursion. Why? Because the river into Cambodia was blocked by American and Cambodian patrol boats. There even were American prisoners that had been captured by the Cambodian Patrols earlier in the year, and were held hostage.

    But for you, I can see a conspiracy is all too easy to believe, because facts aren’t necessary for you to form opinions, and ‘everybody knows’ anyway.

    So, yes, O’Neill could have been in Cambodia on a Swift Boat, because O’Neill was in charge of Kerry’s boat until ’70, long after Nixon had ordered incursions into Cambodia. But try as you might, this isn’t about O’Neill. It’s about Kerry, and you still haven’t explained the Winter Soldier lies at all, because they can actually explain the anger of O’Neill for smears against him and all the other vets in order to gain political points.

    No egg here. You don’t seem to know when it’s over, and I expect you to continue, and I expect you to continue to lie.

    It’s all you have.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  138. After having previously tapped out, the ever game Peter charged at Apogee throwing a wild hook, most certainly from the Left. Apogee deftly avoided same, stepped to the side, and caught Peter in an arm bar, resulting in yet another tap-out.

    And the winner, for the second time in the last 48 second, as a result of yet another tap out …. Apogee !!!!!!!!

    </Turn off the voice of Bruce Buffer.

    JD (75f5c3)

  139. I think Peter’s wearing Kerry’s Magic Hat.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  140. Was Kerry just relating position data from his Swift Boat days? Nope. He was lying that he had been involved in firefights with Cambodians. Why do we think he’s lying? Well, none of Kerry’s crewmates have confirmed ever being sent to Cambodia (and these are the people you say support him), and no official documentation of any accidental or other incursion by either of Kerry’s boats has been discovered.

    Not to mention that the kind of boats Kerry was serving on had a draft that was too deep to negotiate the river that Kerry said he was on. But who needs silly little things like facts when you have a wonderful conspiracy to point to?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  141. Peter peter substitutes canards, memes, and assertions for actual argument.

    JD (75f5c3)

  142. #137 Apogee and his ever faithful peanut gallery full of pom-pom waving male cheerleaders return.

    First off thank you for the very thorough bit of Vietnam history. Your grasp of it is impressive.

    That being said you, seem unable to parse your own words and contradict yourself repeatedly in an effort to spin this up into the murk and doubt, required to retain the viability and credibility of Mr. O’Neill’s lies. Nice.

    There’s another problem with Kerry’s statement, you see, as Nixon was the one who ordered incursions into Cambodia, and he wasn’t even in office in 1968, unless you want to pretend that he was ’secretly’ pulling the strings before inaguration. Otherwise, you have to blame Johnson, a Democrat.

    Blame? Well, why not? The truth is the truth and, unlike you, I have no over-riding partisan agenda to justify the words of sociopaths and liars. But you took that cross to bear and now you’re showing signs of weariness. Observe:

    According to William Shawcross’ history Sideshow:

    SHAWCROSS (page 24): Since May 1967, when the U.S. Military Command in Saigon became concerned at the way the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were evading American “search and destroy” and air attacks in Vietnam by making more use of bases in Laos and Cambodia, the U.S. Special Forces had been running special, highly classified missions into the two countries. Their code name was Daniel Boone.

    The Daniel Boone teams entered Cambodia all along its 500-mile frontier with South Vietnam from the lonely, craggy, impenetrable mountain forests in the north, down to the well-populated and thickly reeded waterways along the Mekong River.

    There were clearly missions into Cambodia, by the American military. Under Johnson. In 1967.

    Yes, just keep pretending you won. Your entire worldview is apparently linked to your self aggrandizing hallucination. Your lies and fantasies are becoming more and more desperate and pathetic.

    You have the nerve to link to an AEI hit piece, (no matter that it’s in the WashPo). Is that supreme stupidity or supreme arrogance? You should know better.

    Again: O’Neill gets nailed in his own lie, to Richard Nixon on tape and documented:

    O’NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.

    NIXON: In a swift boat?

    O’NEILL: Yes, sir.

    Was he or was he not in Cambodia? If he was, why was he in Cambodia when even as you say:

    the river into Cambodia was blocked by American and Cambodian patrol boats.

    Okay, maybe he was there after 1979 as you say but then why say to Colmes in a transcript that he was never in Cambodia, but on the border. Could it be the border area was generally considered Cambodis, especially if VC forces were launching operations from there?

    Smell a rat yet? That’s a rhetorical question, your olfactory senses are most likely too acclimated to the offal and rot of the O’Neill and the SBVT, and you have much riding on it to say you do.

    So O’Neill refuses to go on CNN in August 2004 and clarify what he meant in the Nixon tape, but un surprisingly he does make an appearance on Hannity and Colmes. Where Right wing and Neocon figures always end up so that they can give the illusion of “fair and balanced”, but can always count on Hannity (he has the final word after all. It IS his show) to make sure they don’t get too hammered by their own murk and lies:

    COLMES: All right. Well, either you were in Cambodia or Kerry was in Cambodia and you claim he wasn’t in Cambodia. You claimed at one point you weren’t and then you claimed you were. This is very confusing to people.

    O’NEILL: Well, it shouldn’t be confused. I was never in Cambodia, and Kerry lied when he said he was in Cambodia.

    COLMES: You said to Richard Nixon you were in Cambodia.

    O’NEILL: And it was the turning point of his life.

    COLMES: You said to Richard Nixon, “I was in Cambodia, sir.”

    HANNITY: On the border.

    COLMES: There’s a tape of you saying that to Richard Nixon.

    O’NEILL: What’s the next sentence? I was along the Cambodian border. That’s exactly right. What I told Nixon and was trying to tell him in this meeting was I was along the Cambodian border. As Sean clearly read…

    COLMES: “I was in Cambodia,” Those are your words.

    O’NEILL: Yes, but you missed the next sentence. You’re not reading the next sentence, Alan.

    COLMES: Yes, along the border. But you’re in Cambodia or you’re not in Cambodia.

    O’NEILL: Well, I’m sorry, Alan. I wasn’t — I was talking in a conversation. And the first thing, by the way, I told him in the conversation, as you know, was that I was a Democrat and I voted for Hubert Humphrey.

    So glad he was a Humphrey Democrat. That obviously gives him credibility.

    So which was it? Why can Kerry be raked over the fires, when it would be obvious to anyone with half a brain that the Swift boats were taking and returning fire with Cambodians, and as I pointed out above there was a very real operation in Cambodia under Johnson in 1967.

    This is what it comes down to Apogee. You see a very real valid reason for Kerry not being President , yet you allow this inconsistency by O’Neill.

    Regarding Winter Soldier: Kerry had a speechwriter who used to work for a Kennedy. So what. If you were giving testimony in front of Congress for a cause you believed in passionately and knew you had a limited time frame within which to make your point, you’d be a fool not to find the best speechwriter you could.

    Kerry kept his medals and threw someone elses over the fence. Not the classiest move, but not a reason to be denied becoming POTUS. As I said above his response was what did him in adn what I mean by that is is tepid and non-response and willingness to think the whole thing would blow over for the clear character assassination job it was.

    You cannot deny that O’Neill either lied to Nixon or he lied to Hannity and Colmes and that he lied about knowing w/o a doubt if Kerry was in Cambodia or not. SOunds like he’s not sure where he, himself was.

    And then you link to Blackfive…another wonderfully objective site: Who pushed a bogus email by Capt. Jeffrey S. Porter, a documented liar and sleazejob at Bagram, whose statements were called by the Spokesperson at Bagram Lt. Col. Rumi Nelson-Green. False and incorrect.

    Again, I wonder what your motivation is, and I’m going to stop with the snarky comments, if not towards these public figures that at least towards you (which you disrespectfully began and continue). It gets tiresome and honestly I don’t feel right to insulting people who I pity.

    When you get your worldview from Blackfive, the AEI, the SBVT, Regnery publishing, the McCain camp, the RNC, the Bush WH and lord knows who else, (Rush? O’Reilly? The John Birch and Heritage Societies?) I’d say that’s someone worthy of pity.

    If you opened up yourself to other sources it would only benefit your arguments and make them stronger and more credible. Reading beyond the dictates of the far right institution’s won’t turn you into an instant Marxist/Communist/ peacenik weakling or even a homosexual, no matter what they tell you.

    lastly Apogee, No I am not Hallucinating or wearing a Tinfoil hat as much as you need to believe that. But you keep on preening for your cheering section go right ahead. It funny.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  143. #140

    Not to mention that the kind of boats Kerry was serving on had a draft that was too deep to negotiate the river that Kerry said he was on.

    Now that’s a cool fact, but would said draft prevent his boat from trading fire with Cambodians in or VC soldiers who came out of Cambodia to launch attacks. What about O’Neills boat. Was it the same? But didn’t he tell Nixon he was in Cambodia? C’mon Mr. Navy man. Give up the damned facts!!

    Peter (e70d1c)

  144. It funny. Or better it teh funny.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  145. Preening self-lefteousness is so amusing.

    JD (5f0e11)

  146. What, you think all river patrol teams in Nam used the same kind of boat? Try looking for the facts, dimwit.

    Despite the dramatic memories of his Christmas in Cambodia, Kerry’s statements are complete lies. Kerry was never in Cambodia during Christmas 1968, or at all during the Vietnam War. In reality, during Christmas 1968, he was more than fifty miles away from Cambodia. Kerry was never ordered into Cambodia by anyone and would have been court-martialed had he gone there.

    During Christmas 1968, Kerry was stationed at Coastal Division 13 in Cat Lo. Coastal Division 13’s patrol areas extended to Sa Dec, about fifty-five miles from the Cambodian border. Areas closer than fifty-five miles to the Cambodian border in the area of the Mekong River were patrolled by PBRs, a small river patrol craft, and not by Swift Boats. Preventing border crossings was considered so important at the time that an LCU (a large, mechanized landing craft) and several PBRs were stationed to ensure that no one could cross the border.

    A large sign at the border prohibited entry. Tom Anderson, Commander of River Division 531, who was in charge of the PBRs, confirmed that there were no Swifts anywhere in the area and that they would have been stopped had they appeared.

    All the living commanders in Kerry’s chain of command—Joe Streuhli (Commander of CosDiv 13), George Elliott (Commander of CosDiv 11), Adrian Lonsdale (Captain, USCG and Commander, Coastal Surveillance Center at An Thoi), Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann (Commander, Coastal Surveillance Force Vietnam, CTF 115), and Rear Admiral Art Price (Commander of River Patrol Force, CTF 116)—deny that Kerry was ever ordered to Cambodia. They indicate that Kerry would have been seriously disciplined or court-martialed had he gone there. At least three of the five crewmen on Kerry’s PCF 44 boat—Bill Zaldonis, Steven Hatch, and Steve Gardner—deny that they or their boat were ever in Cambodia. The remaining two crewmen declined to be interviewed for this book. Gardner, in particular, will never forget those days in late December when he was wounded on PCF 44, not in Cambodia, but many miles away in Vietnam.

    From “Unfit To Command”, emphasis mine.

    You really ARE a moron in idiot’s clothing, aren’t you?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  147. From Kerry’s homeboys at his hometown paper – substantial doubt:

    Kerry disputes allegations on Cambodia
    By Michael Kranish, Globe Staff | August 18, 2004

    WASHINGTON — Senator John F. Kerry is disputing an allegation made by a group of veterans opposed to his presidential candidacy that he never operated inside Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

    In a just-published book, “Unfit for Command,” the veterans said that “Kerry was never in Cambodia during Christmas 1968, or at all during the Vietnam War” and that he “would have been court-martialed had he gone there.”

    But the Kerry campaign said that the group, which calls itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is wrong and that Kerry was inside Cambodia to drop off special forces on one mission and was at the border on other occasions.

    “During John Kerry’s service in Vietnam, many times he was on or near the Cambodian border and on one occasion crossed into Cambodia at the request of members of a special operations group operating out of Ha Tien,” Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan said in a statement. The statement did not say when the cross-border mission took place.

    At the time of Kerry’s service, the official policy was that US forces were supposed to respect the territorial integrity of Cambodia, but they occasionally went inside Cambodia either secretly or in pursuit of the enemy.

    For years, Kerry has said he was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968. He gave a detailed view of that experience in an article he wrote for the Boston Herald in 1979. “I remember spending Christmas Eve five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas,” Kerry wrote. “The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real.” A similar recollection by Kerry was mentioned in a Globe biography of the Massachusetts senator published earlier this year.

    The anti-Kerry veterans have said Kerry’s recollection does not make sense because Nixon was not inaugurated until January 1969. But Kerry campaign spokesman Meehan said Kerry was referring to a range of time that included when Nixon was president-elect and president. During the 1968 presidential campaign, Nixon opposed a change in US policy that would allow “hot pursuit” of enemy forces into Cambodia; in March 1969 he authorized the secret bombing of Cambodia, which was followed by the 1970 invasion of Cambodia.

    Kerry said in a 2003 interview that after the Christmas Eve 1968 engagement, he asked his crew to write a caustic telegram to the chief of naval forces in Vietnam, Elmo Zumwalt Jr., to wish him “Merry Christmas from the troops that weren’t in Cambodia, which was us. We were.”

    Meehan, in his statement issued last week, described the incident this way:

    “On December 24, 1968, Lieutenant John Kerry and his crew were on patrol in the watery borders between Vietnam and Cambodia deep in enemy territory. In the early afternoon, Kerry’s boat, PCF-44, was at Sa Dec and then headed north to the Cambodian border. There, Kerry and his crew along with two other boats were ambushed, taking fire from both sides of the river, and after the firefight were fired upon again. Later that evening during their night patrol they came under friendly fire.”

    James Wasser, who accompanied Kerry on that mission aboard patrol boat No. 44 and who supports Kerry’s candidacy, said that while he believes they were “very, very close” to Cambodia, he did not think they entered Cambodia on that mission. Yet he added: “It is very hard to tell. There are no signs.”

    Another crewmate who said he was with Kerry on Christmas Eve, Steven Gardner — who is a member of the veterans group opposing Kerry’s candidacy — said Kerry was 50 miles from Cambodia at the time. He accused Kerry of lying about being in Cambodia or by the border. “Never happened,” Gardner said.

    Separately, according to Meehan’s statement, Kerry crossed into Cambodia on a covert mission to drop off special operations forces. In an interview, Meehan said there was no paperwork for such missions and he could not supply a date. That makes it hard to ascertain or confirm what happened. Kerry served on two swift boats, the No. 44 in December 1968 and January 1969, and the No. 94, from February to March 1969.

    Michael Medeiros, who served aboard the No. 94 with Kerry and appeared with him at the Democratic National Convention, vividly recalled an occasion on which Kerry and the crew chased an enemy to the Cambodian border but did not go beyond the border. Yet Medeiros said he could not recall dropping off special forces in Cambodia or going inside Cambodia with Kerry.

    © Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  148. Drumwaster and daleyrocks, thanks for the research. Well done. However, Peter’s not all that great at listening, to others or to himself.

    Example:
    I’m going to stop with the snarky comments, if not towards these public figures that at least towards you

    Cut to 5 lines later:
    you keep on preening for your cheering section go right ahead.
    No, it’s not profanity, but it would probably pass as snark. Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Barney trades a 5 minute AA chip for a beer.

    The following is preening on my part for my male cheerleaders:
    Despite what it may seem, I’m not doing this to ‘win’ an argument with Peter about John Kerry being a liar. I don’t need to. John Kerry’s fate was sealed four years ago. He lost. So much so that nobody bothered to contest the numbers. No serious persons claimed the ’04 election was stolen. He will not get another chance for the Presidency, and most Americans (including Democrats) understand it to be a fitting result.

    I’m more interested in why Peter thinks the way he does – the conspiracies, the demonization, the pre-disposed good vs. evil meme, the projection, the continued use of fallacies, and on and on.

    Or Round and Round, as DRJ so eloquently put it when she titled this post. I would intrinsically say that these comments are off topic, but I don’t think so anymore. There’s a repeated set of behavioral ‘touchstones’ that are exhibited by extraordinarily partisan individuals like Peter. And by no means only on the Left. The Left, however, does seem to inhabit a certain type of partisanship that mixes what would be called incomplete scholarship with certain fallacious modes of thinking. I’ve wondered why academia is so loaded with left-leaning partisans who are otherwise open to different ideas, while at the same time fairly devoid of right-leaning partisans. It seems contradictory that the atmosphere would be conducive to only one type of partisan, and not the other, if partisanship were truly a description of a type of thought process that can be ascribed to all ends of the spectrum. (I said ‘all ends’ because I believe in a two-axis spectrum)

    Now back to our regularly scheduled vivisection of Peter and his arguments.

    Peter, in my last comment when I said this isn’t about John O’Neill, this is about John Kerry, I probably wasn’t as specific as I needed to be.

    What I should have said is the truth or falsity of John O’Neill’s comment to Nixon in 1971 has no bearing whatsoever on whether John Kerry’s statements are true or false. If John O’Neill were the only person contesting John Kerry’s statements, then an overall investigation into his credibility might be in order. But he is only one of many people to go on record challenging Kerry’s veracity. It is inconsistent to believe that showing O’Neill to have lied in one circumstance invalidates any of the accusations and evidence against Kerry.

    Peter, they could both be liars. Understand? It is the illogical nature of the false choice that either Kerry or O’Neill is ‘the good guy’ that forms much of the foundation of your thought. This is what I was speaking of in respect to your worldview, and why I described it as desperate. Holding this nonsense in your head forces you to take increasingly drastic measures to try and insure the preservation of what is really a fantasy. To the point of the demonization and de-humanification of anyone you see as an opponent. They must become sub-human, as this renders the contrast between the parasitic bottom-feeders and the valiant defenders of freedom so elementary as to not necessitate examination. When someone else conducts this examination and places it before you, the preservation instinct rears its ugly head and attempts to bat away the cognitive dissonance before a rupture occurs.

    For example, your comparisons are skewed:
    You see a very real valid reason for Kerry not being President , yet you allow this inconsistency by O’Neill.
    That is because O’Neill was not running for President. As I said before, O’Neill’s comment to Nixon has no bearing on the veracity of Kerry. What does have bearing, however, is Kerry’s conduct with his medals which you point out. Classless, yes, but also cowardly, as it proves that his ‘passion’ to which you allude in the Winter Soldier testimony is revealed to be mere political calculation, with the caveat that he is all about image, and not about ‘duty’ to anyone or anything except his own ego. Not so far off from the Swift Boat Vets accusations.
    Oh, and John O’Neill had nothing to do with the medals – Kerry did that all on his own.

    Yes, by itself, the medal incident was perhaps forgivable (we’ve all been a jackass at some point), but when paired with the other character questions raised by the SBVT ads, along with his comments about Cambodia and the Winter Soldier testimony, it becomes difficult to deny that Kerry is a self-aggrandizing blowhard who will fabricate misinformation for political gain. Misinformation that is damaging to the reputations of others he claims to support and care about. He is unfit to lead because he has not only lied repeatedly, he has been caught at it repeatedly. That is a very valid reason for him to not be President. Exposure of lying carries the same negatives for the office of the President, regardless of whether it’s Nixon or a candidate like Kerry.

    You write:
    Regarding Winter Soldier: Kerry had a speechwriter who used to work for a Kennedy. So what.
    Nice attempt at distraction from the entire reason that not only O’Neill, but thousands of Vietnam Vets correctly loathe Kerry. I didn’t imply that the Winter Soldier testimony by Kerry was a conspiracy, so the only person to hold accountable for the words spoken that day is John Kerry, because he spoke them. If he was incapable of writing a speech about something which he feigned passion, you would expect a great leader to be able to at least recognize damaging and untrue passages in a speech written by someone else. Apparently Kerry either couldn’t or didn’t care. Unfit.

    As to your refusal to acknowledge the gross lies and smears of that testimony, you are showing true my warning regarding the allowance of atrocities on the part of ‘your’ team in order to further the ‘goal’.

    I find it interesting that you give no thought to the possibility that Kerry could have given a speech regarding the Vietnam War that could convey the very real problems of fighting that conflict the way the US was without resorting to manufactured horror stories and gross distortions. Not the sign of a great leader.

    As for the ex Kennedy employee being a ‘great speechwriter’, I think the subsequent investigation regarding the monstrous lies and smears put forth by Kerry that exposed the Winter Soldier scam would qualify it as a ‘torpedo’ instead of the great speech you seem to think it was.

    Your repeated need to skip over this formative point in Kerry’s political career only helps to reinforce my earlier statement regarding your defense of the fantasy, at all costs to reason. You don’t have any serious friends who consider the Winter Soldier moment anything other than a stain on Kerry’s record. A stain with which O’Neill and all the other imagined conspirators had nothing to do. It does explain, however, why O’Neill and the SBVT came together, as they explain in the first paragraph of the website.

    Willfully ignoring such important and relevant information could be termed a conspiracy to distract from the truth, even if the conspiracy is only in the head of one person.
    I guess that’s a conspiracy to which you are a part.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  149. I’m more interested in why Peter thinks the way he does – the conspiracies, the demonization, the pre-disposed good vs. evil meme, the projection, the continued use of fallacies, and on and on.

    I say the same, regarding your thoughts and opinions. You seem bright, articulate, a good writer. Where is the disconnect? I know I’m willing to question my beliefs and notions. Are you? Being on this site shows that I’m seeking out opinions very different than my own. Are you?

    I’m asking that respectfully. There is no attempt to put you down or be snarky. Answer in kind, please.

    I’m willing to let history work out the truth or fallacies of not only the SBVT situation, but the larger issue of what happened in this nation these last eight years. The SBVT is just one part of something much larger and important that needs to be unraveled . A synecdoche, if you will, and if it seems curious for me to use a literary term that’s because I’m approaching these issues as a writer, I’m looking at the facts and the impressions they create and my intuition to derive meaning and connect the dots. And my intuition is usually good. I think it’s a higher form of truth. I don’t know what you’re background is, but I would venture you’re more analytical, or at least view yourself as such, but that doesn’t mean that, you too, to some extent aren’t ruled by impressions, emotions, intuition and any number of elements that cannot be quantified.

    I think we’ll get much more clarity on just what has happened these eight years after the present administration comes to an end.

    As for demonization. The term “liberal” has been rendered a dirty word by the RNC, the Right-wing pundits and this administration. who will forever be known for squelching debate after 911 with the famous line: “You’re either with us or your against us.” With the clear suggestion that: “You’re aiding and abiding the terrorists and are in fact yourself un-American, unpatriotic and a de-facto terrorist.” Can you not see, the anger and rage that might create in a group of people who’re none of those things? Yet, are castigated and reviled for daring to question, or present an alternative view?

    Yet, you see it the other way. A dangerous counter-interpretation and appropriation of what you see as a viable and necessary element in the arsenal free speech. I think free speech is paramount. You know that Voltaire quote: Even if I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. And the SBVT and John O’Neill have right to say anything they want, but I don’t have to agree, or believe, or support anyone I don’t agree with. And if they cross the line of civility, then that party had best be ready to receive just as good as it gives.

    But it’s a strange POV. It’s like saying that the SBVT has a right to free speech, but they should be protected from others who dont agree with them, by not allowing them to use the terms “swift-boating” as euphemism for lies and political destruction and character assassination? I can never agree with this and as I mentioned above, this is the danger of introducing such a virulent winning at all costs strategy into the slippery slop of the political arena. Greater and greater antibodies are produced in response and the dialogue gets utterly destroyed. More virulent strains need to be developed and on and on and on…

    When a group orchestrates the questionable and destructive innuendo employed by the RNC and SBVT, they’re destroying a political adversary at the cost of destroying the political framework itself. Everyone loses.

    I’m in in NYC and witnessed the towers fall (hell I walked by Guiliani, as I was leaving a B & N yesterday afternoon. Suit, flag pin and the whole deal. Looks older than I thought. Over-rated as a mayor, But I digress.) and went through that day with friends and family. This city, predominantly democratic and liberal embraced Bush after those events and gave him our faith and support 100%. AQ had to be stopped and destroyed. And we thought he was the President of everyone. It quickly became apparent that he wasn’t the President of all the people, but the President of the Right and the far Right at that. And ideology trumped, getting the people who terrorized the bejesus out of this city that day. It seemed no problem foreign or domestic could be dealt with with clarity or purpose, but had to be viewed through an aggressive ideological solution that was more weighed on ideology then on productive results. In essence, 911 became something to be milked for political capital. Every time the warning level went up in this country it was a big BIG deal in NYC. So, if I seem a bit touchy and give the impression of “conspiracy”, you’re mistaking that and dismissing it as a “James Bond villain” evil master plan to take over the world or something equally cartoon-ish. But it’s something more nefarious and stealthy and even passive in it’s institution: and that is an all pervasive ideological fog that made it okay to dehumanize and justify actions against the spirit of the most deeply ingrained principles this country was founded on: Balance of powers, Habeaus Corpus (the natural rights of MAN are the natural rights of ALL MEN, or the rights of Americans mean nothing and this country is then founded on a lie made so by the actions of the present government. Strange how oppressed people, like those in America had a natural and intuitive understanding of that in the late 1700s), government transparency, Cruel and unusual punishment etc….

    I used to wonder how nations and civilizations became sick and dysfunctional. I don’t wonder how that happens anymore. Because I know. And that’s why the laws have to become more important then ever because as long as a sick or blind man (this country at present) has some map he can hold onto he has a chance to get himself back on track. This country needs to come out of this place it’s been these eight years, a place not so much dominated by the best of what a people are capable of, but some of the worst and maybe it was even a necessary step. I like to think the founding fathers built in self corrective elements into our system of govt, that would’ve righted itself anyway eventually. But the country needs a new approach and a new lease, and the political pendulum that has ruled the country be allowed to find it’s new, if you’ll pardon the pun, apogee at the other end of the political spectrum then where it’s been for the last eight or 12 years. Depending how you look at it.

    It is inconsistent to believe that showing O’Neill to have lied in one circumstance invalidates any of the accusations and evidence against Kerry.
    Peter, they could both be liars. Understand? It is the illogical nature of the false choice that either Kerry or O’Neill is ‘the good guy’ that forms much of the foundation of your thought.

    First off you assume I think Kerry is a good guy. I did at one time. I even thought he was hero, but I lost a good deal of the respect I had for him after he folded to the SBVT attacks like a house of cards, and on top of it conceded the election so quickly, without even requesting a recount. I don’t know what the hell happened to the guy. It’s simplistic to think that he simply was shamed into that sort of behavior. I don’t think anyone knows what he truly went through in Vietnam. Whatever it was I’m sure it was a level of danger and horror that most people should thank their lucky stars, to never experience. But he needed to respond. Quicker, harder. IN an efficient and effective manner not only to SBVT, but to the election results.

    But, here’s the thing. Kerry was on a Navy boat far from the fighting, and requested a transfer to a FPB or swift boat in a warzone. Bio. And please dont’tell me he didn’t think he’d end up in a warzone. Let’s not be naive, he took his chances and accepted his assignment. He wanted to emulate the courage and duty of his hero: JFK. Can he be allowed that small noble act, at the very least? Because if he can’t, if Kerry is this one dimensional dishonorable caricature, it puts everything the SBVT and O’Neill, the RNC and the right-wing pundits, into stark relief as something not entirely pure or honorable, in its intentions. Be careful of anyone, who makes anyone out to be such a one dimensional human being. They’re usually lying. You wouldn’t believe a villain in a story who was so one dimensional. I’m sure you’d think it was silly. Kid-stuff etc…

    And I ask this rhetorically because we both know the answer, but did George W. Bush request to be put into battle?

    Personally I’ll take my chances with the slightly pompous, stiff,aristocratic guy whose hero is JFK, who not only serves, fulltime, but requests a reassignment knowing full well he might end up under fire, then the fortunate son, with the golden spoon in his mouth, who spent his time getting drunk and partying, who knows not what it means to put soldiers in harms way or the smallest thing of what real fear is and overcoming that fear and surviving.

    Please do not insult my intelligence with the argument, I’ve heard here that he was a valuable target due to his father’s position and had to be put in a “safe” zone. That did not stop McCain did it?

    Anyhow, speaking of caricatures, sometimes the stereotype that is put out there about progressives and liberals is so far out of whack, I have a second where I think to myslef, wait am I wrong in calling myself a progressive liberal? And I think not. It’s just the the image created by the Right (Pundits, RNC etc…) is so alienating, even to liberals progs it has little to do with truth. In essence, it’s simply the Right specialty, now in progress with Obama of more witch-hunting, more straw man arguments, more fear and manipulation, more justifications of unethical behavior, appealing to the basest gut issues and bleeding a political opponent by a thousand cuts. Ten thousand, if necessary.

    I mean sure, there is such a thing as the PC academics and the annoyingly aristocratic subtext of “the university.” and it’s a yolk I’ve pushed against many times, as well, and made waves and and been misunderstood etc…

    But I think most on the Right, would be surprised how different most liberals and progressives, especially those in the classical working class sense (no, not libertarianism) are from the caricature. I’m sure some of the caricatures created by the left are equally whacked and insulting. But the Left and Right in this country have more in common, then difference and necessary and unfettered free speech aside, those that would exploit and deepen those divisions and caricatures for self gain ($$$)and to turn it into the equivalent of mud-wrestling or the WWF should not be trusted.

    The problems come when the dialogue is cut.

    Anyhow, I’m going to be curtailing my activities on this site in the next few weeks, so thanks for the debate and good luck with your endeavors.

    Peter (e70d1c)


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