Patterico's Pontifications

5/28/2006

Swift Vets . . . Again

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am



The New York Times has an article about John Kerry and the Swift Vets. No, you haven’t entered a time machine. It’s just that John Kerry is bringing it up again, for some reason.

The article says:

Mr. Kerry has signed forms authorizing the Navy to release his record — something he resisted during the campaign — and hired a researcher to comb the naval archives in Washington for records that could pinpoint his whereabouts during dates of the incidents in dispute.

He has “signed forms authorizing the Navy to release his record” — but to whom? Himself? As I noted in June 2005, when Kerry previously signed the Form 180, all of the records first passed through Kerry’s office. From there, they went into the hands of friendly journalists — journalists who then claimed that the records were now complete, even though they had made the same claim earlier, during the campaign.

Tom Maguire points to at least a couple of items that you’d think would be found in a complete set of records — yet still appear to be missing:

(1) Show us Kerry’s diary, aka the “War Notes”. Surely his first combat and first medal merited a contemporaneous account, yes? But that has never been made public, and Brinkley does not refer to Kerry’s notes for that portion of his Kerry biography.

(2) Show us the paperwork backing the first Purple Heart – it should include a witness statement of the circumstances surrounding his wound; Kerry never released that during the campaign.

The New York Times article also claims:

Naval records and accounts from other sailors contradicted almost every claim [the Swift Vets] made, and some members of the group who had earlier praised Mr. Kerry’s heroism contradicted themselves.

I’ll spot the Times the latter part of that statement. But I don’t agree that naval records contradicted “almost every claim they made.” I have previously observed that the people who make this claim are often the ones with a very tenuous grasp of the facts of the claims — such as the New York Times‘s own Nick Kristof. And when the L.A. Times made a similar claim, in an editorial about the Swift Vets titled “These Charges Are False,” I asked this question:

[W]hich charges are they talking about, anyway? The ones about John Kerry claiming he was in Cambodia in Christmas 1968? The claim that John Kerry initially sought a deferment to avoid the Vietnam war? The claim that he joined the Naval Reserves, rather than the Navy, at a time when men his age who believed they would be drafted anyway often chose the Naval Reserves as a safer route? The claim that, when Kerry initially volunteered for Swift boat service, it was considered relatively safe? The claim that John Kerry knew that three Purple Hearts would get him an expedited ticket home? The claim that his wounds were all relatively minor? The claim that he managed to use those minor wounds to shave about 8 months off the expected length of his tour of duty?

And Beldar once posed this challenge to the New York Times and others:

Can you identify even one specific and material SwiftVets allegation that you believe to have been fully “debunked” or fully proven to be “unsubstantiated”?

I am not aware that anyone ever met the challenge, though many tried. Read through his comments for some examples.

If anything is going to raise Beldar from his blogging slumber, this is it. I have sent him an e-mail with a link to the Times story. I hope to hear from him soon.

P.S. One other point from the Times article that I can’t let slide:

Another photograph provides evidence for Mr. Kerry’s version of how he won the Bronze Star. And original reports pulled from the naval archives contradict the charge that he drafted his own accounts of various incidents — which left room, the Swift boat group had argued, to embellish them.

Yet Tom Maguire (link above), who has followed this closely, says:

The Washington Post took a good look at one incident (Kerry’s Bronze Star), ran a pro-Kerry headline, and concluded that they could not sort it out. The WaPo did not research the possibility (really, a high probability) that Kerry himself wrote the report on which the Navy records are based.

The last information I had about this, I told you about here. It was a pretty convincing analysis that strongly supported the conclusion that John Kerry wrote the after-action report for the Bronze Star incident in which he pulled James Rassmann out of the water. If there is something new debunking this analysis, I haven’t heard about it, and neither has Tom Maguire. If it’s out there, I’m sure someone will let me know.

But I’m not trusting that something is true just because I read it in the New York Times. Quite the opposite, in fact.

P.P.S. The editors of the American Federalist Journal note this passage from the story:

The Swift boat group insisted that no boats had gone to Cambodia. But Mr. Kerry’s researcher, using Vietnam-era military maps and spot reports from the naval archives showing coordinates for his boat, traced his path from Ha Tien toward Cambodia on a mission that records say was to insert Navy Seals.

They respond:

You see, some records indicating that his boat went toward Cambodia at some point prove he was in Cambodia at Christmas-time in 1968.

One time, we drove from Los Angeles north towards Sacramento. This proves we were in Oregon in 1968.

Good point.

UPDATE: Unlike the records released to Stephen Braun, which were released by Kerry’s Senate office (see link above), the records released to the Boston Globe‘s Michael Kranish were apparently released to the paper directly from the Navy. (Thanks to Psyberian for the pointer.) But without Kerry releasing them to the public, this means nothing to me, because I don’t trust Kranish. To see why, read this post and the links cited therein.

UPDATE x2 [9-14-06]: Apparently all of the Form 180s called for the documents to be sent to the journalists themselves; you can see them here. Braun simply worded the story poorly, leaving the impression that they had been released though Kerry’s office.

111 Responses to “Swift Vets . . . Again”

  1. Great job, Patterico.

    Kerry is likely considering running for the ’08 nomination, and needs to shore up financial contributors with this effort to ‘prove to them’ (cough !) that ‘he’s not the liar which he lies about not being.’

    The funny thing is that if ONE former military guy such as John Murtha says anything to support an anti-Iraq war position, the mainstream media all tout the credibility of the statement by pointing to Murtha’s military credentials.

    Yet you can have SEVERAL HUNDRED former military guys whom signed AFFADIVITS in support of the criticism directed toward John Kerry—including many whom served with him—and the mainstream media dismiss them immediately.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  2. Not Again!
    Kerry abandoned his command after 16 weeks and spent the rest of his “tour of duty” as an admiral’s aid in New Jersey and somehow emerged as the only American hero from the Vietnam era.

    Perfect Sense (024110)

  3. The Magic Hat Returns

    Oh for heaven's sake. John Kerry is "reluctantly" participating in an effort to discredit the Swift Boat Veteran's group. By giving a two-hour interview to the New York Times.
    He moves on to the photographs: his boat leaving…

    Blue Crab Boulevard (a177fd)

  4. This is one of those stories that has run its course: the people who want to believe the best of Senator Kerry believe that the Swift Boat Veterans have been attacking him unjustly, while the people who wish to believe the worst of Senator Kerry think that he is lying through his scummy teeth. There’s just no place to go from here.

    And it doesn’t even matter: Senator Kerry might seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, but they won’t give it to him. He won it in 2004, because he was purported to be the Democrat with the best chance of defeating President Bush — and he didn’t do that. When your résumé is based on being the man with the best chance of winning, and you still lose, you have nothing left.

    Dana (71415b)

  5. /agree with Dana.

    I find it interesting that almost all the recent 2008 buzz on the Dem side centers around Kerry and Gore. In the modern political era the parties have given up giving the nod to previous losers. I’m not sure who the last repeat candidate was but I think it might have been Nixon (1960 then again in 1968).

    So I am sincerely, deeply skeptical of the idea that Gore or Kerry are possibles for 2008.

    In any case one has to wonder why Kerry would be doing this – and by ‘doing this’ I mean him blabbing to the NYTimes about his efforts to shore up this story. It does him no good whatsoever, and regardless of whatever the facts are of his service and this or that award what was absolutely devastating were the ads with old Vietnam vets and their wives in tears talking about his betraying them and the pain it has caused them over the years – not the specifics of this or that purple heart award.

    What would be a good story for Kerry would be a report on how he has been seeking meetings to work out his issues with these guys and their loved ones – succeed or fail, he’d be trying to take the high ground. I’ve thought from the beginning Kerry’s big mistake was throwing mud on this rather than trying to appear to take the high ground. It just didn’t work to call crying widows and 70 year old vets a bunch of liars – and guess what it isn’t going to work now either.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  6. Speaking of Beldar, I sure miss his comments on law, politics and everything else. What happened to him? He hasn’t posted since his Astros got skunked in the Series, and not even a national championship for the Longhorns brought him out to gloat.

    diffus (ad86f1)

  7. There could be a simpler explanation that Kerry gearing up for a run again in 2008. At some point he has to run for his seat in the Senate. Were I someone going up against him in his home state, I would certainly be bringing up his service record and his form 180.

    A good attempt could be made to unseat him using his televised appearance before Congress in the ’70’s. He is either a complete liar or a self-confessed war criminal. Take your pick, either way combine this with his abysmal attendance record, his voting record, his flip-flops.

    If his initial DD-214 (one page summary of military service) were to be found to contain an DD (Dishonorable Discharge) for his anti-war activities it might be all over but the shouting.

    Mike Boelter (e540d2)

  8. Mike, the probability that Senator Kerry would be defeated for reelection to his Senate seat is just about the same as hearing Senatrix Clinton praise President Bush for his leadership.

    Heck, the good voters of Massachusetts have regularly returned a man who left an innocent girl to drown to the Senate; what makes anyone think that they would care if the Swifties had Jesus Christ return to earth and vouch for their story?

    Dana (a90377)

  9. […] More mockery: Riehl World View JustOneMinute Red State Patterico Outside the Beltway posted by: The Editors @ 7:06 pm May 27, 2006 […]

    The Unalienable Right » NY Times and John Kerry still waging losing campaign (7644ea)

  10. Patterico, in your litany of Swiftboat criticisms of Kerry — written at the height of the ’04 Presidential campaign — you include:

    …The claim that he joined the Naval Reserves, rather than the Navy, at a time when men his age who believed they would be drafted anyway often chose the Naval Reserves as a safer route?…

    Or when all the National Guard slots are taken?

    Dennis Mosher (3c120f)

  11. #9 Dennis-

    That (the whole Bush was a draft dodger national guard poseur while Kerry was a serving hero) line might be a valid path of argument if it were 1) true and 2) if Kerry hadn’t run around claiming to be a hero and 3) if Bush had used his national guard service in some similar way.

    The whole reason this was a problem for Kerry was bceause of Kerry’s choices and nothing else.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  12. It’s just that John Kerry is bringing it up again, for some reason. – Patterico

    Unless you’re just being a partisan, I don’t understand why you want to assume that Kerry has no sense of integrity to protect.

    Dwilkers, Bush did use his fly-boy service in a similar way. You missed the whole “Mission Accomplished” photo-op where he flew his plane in? Staying safe here in the states while others were over there fighting and then putting on the uniform for a staged media event like that, as if he were some kind of war hero, is deceptive and hideous.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  13. Kerry still fighting the Swift Boat Veterans

    You’re still here? It’s over. Go home.

    QandO (9541d1)

  14. Double Whopper, with ketchup and French Fries:

    Double talking politicians who refuse to learn from the past are consequently highly motivated to rewrite the embarrassing parts, while at the same time suppressing any inconveniently contradictory contemporaneous accounts. John Kerry in particular, and Senators from Massachusetts in general, seem to typify the humiliating results of trying to claim unearned honors while simultaneously avoiding personal responsibility for their misbehavior.

    John Kerry, who served in Vietnam, has seared, seared, himself in our memories as a phony war hero, liar, stuffed shirt, and duplicitous poseur, and he’s a perfect choice for Dems in 2008.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  15. […] You don’t need a poll to tell you how terrible he is, though. Some of the righty blogosphere’s heaviest hitters are reacting this morning to news that Kerry wants a rematch with the Swift Vets. Captain Ed, Patterico, Tom Maguire, and Jon Henke are incredulous. […]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Weekend poll fun: RINOs abandon Bush in droves (d4224a)

  16. Sorry psyberian, Bush flying out to the carrier doesn’t equate.

    Kerry made his Vietnam service the centerpiece of his campaign – mentioning it everywhere he went, ‘reporting for duty’ at the convention with a salute, etcetera. It became a running joke. Remember all the ‘who by the way served in Vietnam’ jokes? Bush never went there. If anything he down played his Nat Guard service with his ‘mis-spent youth’ schtich.

    Furthermore Dems were attacking Bush over his service (whatever is true about it) way back in the early 1990’s here in Texas when he was gearing up for his first Gov run. And they did it every single time he ran for any office, over and over and over again even to the point of forging up some documents, remember?

    That combined with the way Kerry played this makes complaints about Kerry’s treatment ring pretty hollow.

    But whatever. Like I said although it may make good blog comment argument material in the end its irrelevant. He’s not going to be the Dem nominee in any case. He had his chance and he lost.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  17. Psy wrote:

    Unless you’re just being a partisan, I don’t understand why you want to assume that Kerry has no sense of integrity to protect.

    It’s hard (chortle) to believe (snicker) that anyone (laughing under my breath), even jmaharry, could (laughing out loud) write anything (I can’t stand it!) that is that much of a set-up. (Rolling on the floor laughing uncontrolably, with tears coming out of my eyes!)

    Dana (71415b)

  18. Well, Kerry went and I didn’t. And I bless President Nixon’s memory for my not going because I know guys as little as four months older than I am who did go. True, Kerry stuck his neck out with his military record (which BTW was also an implicit attack on President Bush’s) and the Swift Boat vets pulled it out a little farther and tied a pretty pink[o] ribbon on it. But one of his biggest detractors asks rhetorically (one of thirty questions) whether at all times while in VietNam Kerry displayed physical courage and aswers, “Indisputably”.

    Personally, I never saw much relevance between a 25-year Navy lieutenant in VietNam and a 60-year old President in the White House. Whatever puffery Kerry may have engaged in about his service record, the Breck Girl’s bringing up of Mary Cheney’s sexual orientation, in a debate with her father, is slimier to the infinite degree. Kerry deserved to lose just for his choice of running mate.

    nk (47858f)

  19. dude, give it a rest! this blogpost is so 2004. that election is over, and i for one have moved on. kerry isn’t going to be the nominee ever again.
    kerry actually went to vietnam. what he did there, i don’t know, the war ended just in time to spare me the decision.
    bush and cheney didn’t go to vietnam. bush took leave from the texas national guard to assist a senate campaign in alabama, where he undoubtedly coked, whored and golfed his way through the most difficult enemy actions.
    cheney had several deferments, including one for married men. when the selective service administration announced that this deferment would no longer be available for childless married men, cheney got busy.
    his first child was born nine months and two days after the policy change announcement, and he got a new deferment when his wife was in her first trimester of pregnancy. don’t anybody ever tell me that sex can’t save your life!

    assistant devil's advocate (622c7d)

  20. I think Kerry thinks he will be the nominee. Otherwise, why spend 2 hours talking to the NYT about something he didn’t really bother to address during the campaign?

    Sure, personal honor. And he didn’t have a concern about that during the campaign?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  21. The Blogosphere Full Employment Act Of 2006*

    John Kerry is back. And he has a hat! (* Not to be confused with The Blogosphere Full Employment Act Of 2004.)…

    Ed Driscoll.com (47121e)

  22. Kerry made it clear ‘Nam to him was a political springboard. His account was surgically formatted, if not embellished.

    No one questioned Bob Dole’s first Purple Heart, which he described in a 1988 campaign biography as “the sort of injury the Army patched up with Mercurochrome and a Purple Heart.”

    Regarding Cambodia, it seems everyone was there:

    “I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border,” said John E. O’Neill (leader of the Swift Boat group and co-author of Unfit for Command) in a conversation that was taped by the former president’s (Nixon) secret recording system.

    I thought I read Lt. Larry Thurlow’s claim Swiftboats were not under fire from the shoreline when Kerry made the famous Rassmann rescue has been debunked. Thurlow claimed Kerry’s medal was undeserving for that reason. He swore in an affidavit that Kerry was “not under fire,” — while his own Bronze Star citation that day mentions “enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire” directed at the five-boat flotilla.

    Challenging the accuser’s motives – as with CBS’s Memogate and the LAT’s ‘Arnold the Groper’ smear – are where these debates invariably lead. Essential facts are comfortably ambiguous.

    All we know is Kerry was in war and in the line of fire, he “smelled the smoke.” There are a half-dozen reasons I’d never vote for him. Blog hearsay isn’t among them.

    steve (d3d265)

  23. Oh, please, let the nominee be Kerry or Algore. If there’s anything that assures a wipeout by the Republicans, it’s that. What a couple of total doofuses they are.

    I’m very worried about the Republicans until I look at 2 of the leading lights of the Democrats. As bad as our loons are, theirs are far worse.

    Peg C. (5907f4)

  24. Tangentially related?

    Dems know that to have any real chances in the midterms and in 2008 they must toughen their stance on national security issues. That partly explains why John Kerry is raising the issue of his Vietnam experience, and it could also be part of a more broadly based PR campaign to recast Dems as cold war stalwarts. After all, if Hillary can run from her socialist roots and pose as a centrist, why can’t Dem surrender monkeys pretend to be tough on terrorists?

    Possibly related is Jacob Heilbrunn’s LAT Op-Ed, “Neocons in the Democratic Party,” sub headed, “Like Kennedy and Truman, Democratic neocons want to beef up the military and won’t run from a fight” (There is, however, no mention in the article of Kennedy looking the other way at the Bay of Pigs, or of Truman as he backed down in North Korea.)

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-heilbrunn28may28,0,6411415.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  25. Disclaimer: I loathe John Fonda. I think he is a character deficient charlatan who deep sixed every Vet who served in Viet Nam. (USMC, 3rd Recon Bn, Quang Tri, ’68-’69)

    That being said, Kerry controls the narrative on this issue. If he so desires to clear up any (cough) misunderstandings (cough) all he has to do is release all of his service records unconditionally and provide his personal journal (redacting obvious personal info) to support his side.

    His continued failure to do so tells you all you need to know about this issue.

    RLS (0516f0)

  26. “as if he were some kind of war hero, is deceptive and hideous.”

    Psy,

    You may not know this, but President Bush was never deceitful about his military service. President Bush volunteered and was trained to fly the F-102 Delta Dagger. This was a Interceptor that was used in Vietnam, but was also used to fly Combat Air Patrols over the Gulf Coast and other areas during the 70’s as a front line defense to possible bomber attacks during the cold war. Remember, during the Cold War there were constant drills and CAP’s over the US.

    “George W. Bush’s military service began in 1968 when he enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University. The aircraft that he was ultimately trained to fly was the F-102 Delta Dagger. The F-102 may have been old but was far from useless, and it continued to serve proudly with both Air Force and Air National Guard units well into the 1970s. Furthermore, the F-102 was deployed to Vietnam throughout most of the conflict, and the aircraft proved its value early by deterring North Vietnamese pilots from straying across the border. Perhaps more importantly, the F-102 and its Air National Guard pilots performed a vital role in defending the continental United States from nuclear attack.”

    “One of the primary ANG units to receive the F-102 was the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS) at Ellington Air National Guard Station, which operated the aircraft from 1960 through 1974. These planes were given responsibility for patrolling the Gulf Coast and intercepting Soviet aircraft based in Cuba that regularly flew off the US shore to test American defenses. The 111th was and still is part of the 147th Fighter Wing in Houston, Texas. It was here that George W. Bush was stationed following his enlistment in May 1968.”

    “Ellington, where Bush was stationed, has remained a National Guard air defense base until the present day. In the early 1970s, however, the facility also took on a secondary duty as the only training base for all F-102 pilots in the ANG, including some 15 or so squadrons at the time. Lt. Bush remained in the Texas ANG as a certified F-102 pilot who participated in frequent drills and alerts through April of 1972. It appears that he remained on air defense alert since he did not meet the minimum of 1,000 flying hours needed to become an F-102 pilot instructor. Bush had over 600 flight hours when he left the Guard, but only 278 of these were aboard the F-102 and TF-102.”
    http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/history/q0185.shtml

    President Bush may not have served in Vietnam, but he was trained to protect the US from possible air attacks. I would say that President Bush served his country well.

    Ray (be81f9)

  27. Ray wrote:

    President Bush may not have served in Vietnam, but he was trained to protect the US from possible air attacks. I would say that President Bush served his country well.

    Doesn’t matter; since he didn’t go to Vietnam when he could have gone to Vietnam, in the eyes of those who don’t like him, he was a draft dodger — not that there was anything wrong with being a draft dodger to the very same people, during the 1992 or 1996 campaigns.

    Dana (dd8e7e)

  28. I really do have to laugh about the hypocrisy of the Democrats: in 1992 and 1996, the Democratic nominee was an out and out draft dodger, running against men who had been shot at, shot down in one case and seriously wounded in the other, and they didn’t see one damned thing wrong with being a draft dodger.

    Come 2000, the few months REMF service of Al Gore was just so much better than George Bush’s F-102 training, and four years later, why John Kerry was an absolute war hero — the same type of person the Democrats thought deserved no special consideration during the 1990s.

    Dana (dd8e7e)

  29. The Democrats are just falling back to a pack of lies they think they can get the voters to accept since nothing else has worked.

    Kerry is a liar, if not a Traitor.

    PCD (a7f9a0)

  30. Patterico, as I said in Beldar’s comments the claim that the initials KJW on the after action report meant it had been written by Kerry has been debunked.

    As for Kerry’s war record I don’t believe it was as good as Kerry would have us believe or as bad as the SVFT would have us believe. It is a little bizarre that Kerry is bringing it up again now.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  31. Patterico, as I said in Beldar’s comments the claim that the initials KJW on the after action report meant it had been written by Kerry has been debunked.

    James, you’re kind of a fan of making assertions without links.

    Your comment on Beldar’s site is from Sept. 2004. The Lipscomb piece I link in the post is from Oct. 2004, and, as I said, makes a pretty good case. If you want to claim it’s wrong, you’ll have to do better than a bald assertion made the month before the Lipscomb piece was published.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  32. steve,

    No one questioned Bob Dole’s first Purple Heart, which he described in a 1988 campaign biography as “the sort of injury the Army patched up with Mercurochrome and a Purple Heart.”

    1) He joked about it. 2) He was genuinely injured during the war. So what would be the point of questioning one of his Purple Hearts? Anyone who did so would instantly look like an idiot.

    I thought I read Lt. Larry Thurlow’s claim Swiftboats were not under fire from the shoreline when Kerry made the famous Rassmann rescue has been debunked. Thurlow claimed Kerry’s medal was undeserving for that reason. He swore in an affidavit that Kerry was “not under fire,” — while his own Bronze Star citation that day mentions “enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire” directed at the five-boat flotilla.

    I’m sure you *read* that the claim has been debunked, but that doesn’t mean it *has been*, just that some newspapers have made that claim. It doesn’t debunk Larry Thurlow’s words today to compare them to someone else’s words (which he says are John Kerry’s) on his Bronze Star citation. And, as I say, the words on the citation are likely to be the same as on the report — which (as I just got through explaining to James Shearer) may well have been written by Kerry himself. This all hardly amounts to a “debunking,” unless you’re a leftist journalist.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  33. “I’m sure you *read* that the claim has been debunked, but that doesn’t mean it *has been*, just that some newspapers have made that claim.” – Patterico

    Kerry says there was enemy fire. So does Rassmann, a Republican, whose life Kerry saved. So do the crew members of Kerry’s own Swift boat. So does Kerry’s citation. So does Thurlow’s citation. Thurlow swore in an affidavit that Kerry and the entire flotilla was “not under fire.”

    His citation noted Thurlow’s actions “took place under constant enemy small arms fire which LTJG THURLOW completely ignored in providing immediate assistance to the disabled boat and its crew.” All other units in the flotilla also came under fire, according to the citation.

    Thurlow would never have accepted a Bronze Star based on “totally fabricated” events. Would he?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A13267-2004Aug18.html

    steve (f8c5a5)

  34. According to Beldar, Thurlow thought his Bronze Star was awarded for coming to the rescue of a mined boat and not for action under fire.

    DRJ (60b1d3)

  35. The incredibly dense John Kerry….

    ….has decided to take on the Swift Vets again. Not content with getting his butt kicked in 2004, Kerry has decided to “set the record straight” this time. Unfortuna…

    Media Lies (f03b36)

  36. “He [Dole] was genuinely injured during the war. So what would be the point of questioning one of his Purple Hearts? Anyone who did so would instantly look like an idiot.” – Patterico

    Never bothered blogs taking after triple-amputee Max Cleland.

    Yes, Dole was gravely wounded by enemy shrapnel while trying to drag his wounded radioman into a shell hole.

    Dole’s first Purple Heart was self-inflicted. And like Kerry, he was able to lead another patrol.

    “As we approached the enemy, there was a brief exchange of gunfire. I took a grenade in hand, pulled the pin, and tossed it in the direction of the farmhouse. It wasn’t a very good pitch (remember, I was used to catching passes, not throwing them). In the darkness, the grenade must have struck a tree and bounced off. It exploded nearby, sending a sliver of metal into my leg — the sort of injury the Army patched up with Mercurochrome and a Purple Heart.” — ‘Unlimited Partners: Our American Story,’ [page 59].

    steve (f8c5a5)

  37. Patterico, Kerry may have written the after action report but the specific claim by the SVFT that the initials KJW on the report show this, has been debunked. Note Lipscomb does not mention the initials. I don’t believe it is in dispute that the initials were added by the officer receiving the report. Saying that this false claim does not matter if Kerry actually wrote the report is the same fake but accurate nonsense that has been applied to CBS’s forged Bush memos.

    James B. Shearer (57f86f)

  38. The best thing about the whole swiftboat smear was watching the john o’neill / kerry debate from the early 70’s. You really felt sorry for this Oneill character. He’s just been a hound dog after Kerry his whole life. And looked real poor in that debate.

    actus (6234ee)

  39. actus, by the time the thread gets down to comment #37, there’s an expectation that a commenter has something new to add to the party.

    But you’re the guy who always yells “happy New Year !” at 12:05, aren’t you ?

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  40. Never bothered blogs taking after triple-amputee Max Cleland.

    You a newspaper guy, steve? Good. Then every stupid thing any newspaper ever did is attributable to you. Hint: there’s a lot of them.

    I never mocked Cleland’s injuries.

    And, btw, this isn’t about “blog hearsay,” but rather the facts.

    Thurlow’s case has been argued and reargued. If I recall correctly, he received the Bronze Star after he got back to the States, and under your theory was obligated to proofread it and send it back due to the inaccuracies.

    The link I cite above suggests that Kerry wrote the report, and thus the language that appeared in the citation. The article says:

    After all, the report completely leaves out how Kerry’s own boat, PCF-94, ran down river leaving James Rassmann overboard and the other three boats to deal with the ambush and the sinking PCF-3. All of the living boat commanders on that mission are in firm agreement on that action by Kerry and agree that the report is a fraudulent misrepresentation of an action they remember well.

    My view is that there is evidence there on both sides, but nothing has been “debunked.”

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  41. Patterico, Kerry may have written the after action report but the specific claim by the SVFT that the initials KJW on the report show this, has been debunked.

    I’ll assume, even with your usual lack of links, that you are correct. That doesn’t make it a “material” claim. The material claim is that Kerry wrote the report. Perhaps one argument in favor of that has been shown wrong; I don’t know. But the NYT claims that the basic claim has been shown false, and I don’t think it has been.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  42. “Never bothered blogs taking after triple-amputee Max Cleland.”

    I was unaware that sustaining injury made you immune from criticism. Most of the blog reaction to Cleland (at least those comments I’ve seen) were in response to statements Cleland had made, unrelated to his war injuries, which to those bloggers seemed like demagoguery.

    John Barrett Jr. (0bd716)

  43. I still find it fascinating that Republican Veterans backed a draft dodger who used his name and family influence to avoid combat in Vietnam, while stabbing a real combat Veteran in the back.

    It just goes to show how corrosive modern Republicanism has become…there really are no values for this crowd; no honor.

    Ghost Dansing (86da81)

  44. My father was a 21-yr military vet who had his ass shot at in 3 wars last century. My father-in-law spent the 1960s producing 3 children (one of whom is my husband) to avoid going to Vietnam. My question for whoever sneered that Dick Cheney used various deferrments to avoid Vietnam is, so what? There were plenty of people who didn’t want to go, but that was 40 years ago. There were also lily-livers like John Kerry, pretty boys who got the best jobs, who went to Vietnam to film their own war exploits while my dad was the one doing the scary, dirty work. I have far less respect for the latter than the former. At least making babies to avoid the draft was productive.

    sharon (fecb65)

  45. “My view is that there is evidence there on both sides, but nothing has been ‘debunked.'” – Patterico

    Selective memory is everyone’s’ secret enemy.

    If you choose to believe Larry Thurlow never read his Bronze Star citation or knew its contents, so be it. That he “hated paperwork” looms as the damning evidence for saying Kerry, not Thurlow – the mission commander – conceived the after-action.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/veterans_citation.pdf

    steve (f8c5a5)

  46. Beldar had a good point about Thurlow:

    In evidentiary terms that lawyers would use in a courtroom, the citation for Thurlow’s Bronze Star couldn’t be used to impeach Thurlow’s testimony because it’s not a prior inconsistent statement by him. It’s a prior inconsistent statement by someone else — and we don’t know who that someone else is, much less whether that someone else was the same person who wrote up Kerry’s citation, or whether that someone may have been relying on a common source who did have first-hand knowledge of the incident. If I were to try to use this kind of evidence in court, the judge would say, “You can’t impeach Mr. Thurlow’s credibility with someone else’s statement. And you can’t use someone else’s statement to prove a different version of events than Mr. Thurlow has testified to unless you can show us — at a minimum — who made that statement, and what basis he had for making it. Objection sustained!”

    Read his whole post. He cites the statements from other people present that day who say definitively that there was no enemy fire.

    What’s that about selective memory, steve?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  47. Sure, personal honor. And he didn’t have a concern about that during the campaign? – Patterico

    What? Are you just pulling this claim out of thin air (or perhaps a darker place)?

    This article is dated August 21, 2004:

    The Kerry presidential campaign filed a complaint Friday with the Federal Election Commission, alleging that ads from an anti-Kerry veterans’ group are inaccurate and “illegally coordinated” with Republicans and the Bush-Cheney campaign.

    This Republican front group for Bush is out of credibility after being caught in lie after lie day after day,” Kerry campaign spokesman David Wade said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/20/kerry.swiftboat/

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  48. Are you suggesting that Kerry really took the Swifties head-on during the campaign? He sat on it for weeks hoping it would go away. His honor took a back seat to his poor political instincts.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  49. So the anonymous “ghost dansing” (sic) refers to people who join the National Guard as “draft dodgers.” Aren’t you aware that making an insane statement like that renders any argument you might be trying to make as useless? After you take today’s meds, look up the actual meaning of “draft dodger”…..it’s right under the picture of Bill Clinton.

    Bill Schumm (33ab73)

  50. Patterico, maybe Kerry should have taken them more seriously from the start, but to imply that he did nothing during that time frame is inaccurate.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  51. How about this headline and story:

    Kerry campaign’s quick response to Swift boat vets
    http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040805-012143-5349r.htm

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  52. Sorry, Psy. He didn’t do “nothing,” but it’s clear that he did too little too late. Your article notwithstanding. If he had been worried about his honor more and his ambitions less, perhaps it would have been different.

    Unless, of course, he didn’t really want to have this fight at a time when the country was truly paying attention . . .

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  53. Psy,

    All Kerry had to do, if he was (is) confident that the records accurately depict his service was (is) to unconditionally release all of his service records and his journal (diary) that he kept.

    Absent that, his protestations ring hollow. The “slam dunk” defense would simply be the official records that he still refuses to release.

    Can you think of any reason that he hasn’t done this?

    I can.

    RLS (0516f0)

  54. All Kerry had to do, if he was (is) confident that the records accurately depict his service was (is) to unconditionally release all of his service records and his journal (diary) that he kept.

    Because records are accurately depicted in political campaigns. I’d say if they were released mid campaign they’d just be used to confuse the issue, rather than clarify it

    actus (6234ee)

  55. Because records are accurately depicted in political campaigns. I’d say if they were released mid campaign they’d just be used to confuse the issue, rather than clarify it

    acthole…you are an idiot. No campaign going on now, even if your missive made any sense to any rational, sane individual.

    RLS (0516f0)

  56. According to this article RLS, Kerry has released the records:

    Kerry allows Navy release of military, medical records
    Show numerous commendations
    By Michael Kranish, Globe Staff | June 7, 2005
    WASHINGTON — Senator John F. Kerry, ending at least two years of refusal, has waived privacy restrictions and authorized the release of his full military and medical records
    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/06/07/kerry_allows_navy_release_of_military_medical_records/

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  57. “The Kerry presidential campaign filed a complaint Friday with the Federal Election Commission, alleging that ads from an anti-Kerry veterans’ group are inaccurate and “illegally coordinated” with Republicans and the Bush-Cheney campaign.”

    Psy,

    What happend to Kerry’s case?

    “A search of public records confirms the Swift Boat Vets has not been incorporated, therefore the Commission found there was no reason to believe the respondents violated the Act.”
    http://www.fec.gov/press/press2005/20050414murs.html

    Much ado about nothing!

    Ray (be81f9)

  58. Incidentally, this same article (in #55 above) has a quote from Kerry explaining why he didn’t release the records sooner:

    ‘The call for me to sign a 180 form came from the same partisan operatives who were lying about my record on a daily basis on the Web and in the right-wing media. Even though the media was discrediting them, they continued to lie. I felt strongly that we shouldn’t kowtow to them and their attempts to drag their lies out.’

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  59. acthole…you are an idiot. No campaign going on now, even if your missive made any sense to any rational, sane individua

    You said was. And asked for any reason. I gave you one. Another would be that there are things in his record that he doesn’t want to explain. There things in my life I don’t want to explain, and if someone challenges somthing else about my life, I don’t feel like I have to give them everything.

    actus (6234ee)

  60. According to this article RLS, Kerry has released the records:

    Psy,
    Who does that article say those records were released to? And who has access to those records? And how is it determined if those records are complete?

    I think you know the answer to those questions. If you will reread my post you will note that I said unconditionally and all records. Kerry has not done that – and that is all he needs to do.

    acthole – what part of (is) do you not understand? Just keep being an idiot.

    RLS (0516f0)

  61. RLS, if you read the article, it says that all of the records were released to the Globe. But I don’t think that the Globe kept them all to themselves. For example, you can read all about them here: http://news.findlaw.com/legalnews/lit/election2004/docs.html
    What more do you want, anyway?

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  62. Psy,

    Not you or anyone else, even Kerry, has actually proven that people have lied about him. If Kerry was slandered, and lying about someone in TV ads IS slander, why hasn’t Kerry sued these people? According to Kerry, “these people lied and lied and lied” during Kerry’s campaign thus affecting his chances. That could be proven in court as to causing harm to Kerry and if so, Kerry SHOULD sue! But he hasn’t. Instead he keeps repeating the same thing: They lie about me!

    Perhaps Kerry is afraid of what the Swift Boat lawyers will discover during the course of the trial? Perhaps Kerry KNOWS that he’ll lose? Who’s to tell? Until it is proven that people have lied, and proven it to a jury (which is the ONLY LEGAL proof there is), this is all conjecture and it doesn’t really matter, other than as talking points and news stories.

    Face it Psy, Kerry lost, and by a huge margin. A majority of people didn’t want him as President, they wanted Bush. You better learn how to deal with that!

    Ray (be81f9)

  63. What more do you want, anyway?

    Psy…see if you can get all of the records that the Globe supposedly has. Then get back to me. There have been numerous requests of the Globe to release the records, all such requests have been referred to Kerry who has denied access.

    Go ahead….try to get them to release them to you or to anyone else for that matter.

    To succintly answer your question, I want Kerry to unconditionally release all of his records to the public.

    RLS (0516f0)

  64. In Kerry’s mind Ray, according to the quote above, he thought that the anti-Kerry veterans had been discredited. Also, he didn’t want to give them any more of his time and “kowtow” to them. A court battle like that would be a long, drown out process and he probably thinks that he can make better use of his time and energy.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  65. And I might add, the fact that he has not, as of this date, done so, is telling. For a man that so wants to defend his “integrity” and supposedly has the tools under his control to do so, I can fathom only one reason that he refuses.

    RLS (0516f0)

  66. Bravery under fire should be a key factor in assessing the character of any political candidate, especially one who aspires to be Commander-in-Chief. An electorate that focuses on the hard evidence backing up wartime claims of heroism is exercising a crucial and proper function. By focusing on such criteria, an informed electorate will insure that the democratic process yields a leader whose character has been forged in the crucible of battle, who will earn the respect of the armed forces of the nation. This respect is essential when the Commander-in-Chief must lead the nation in armed struggle against its enemies.

    There was such a leader, during the past century. He served his nation with honor at the front lines, and though his formal rank was low, he was decorated for his extraordinary bravery. No wartime comrade of his ever came forth to question his valor or his patriotism.

    When the time later came for his nation to call upon his leadership, he was prepared, and led his people in a mighty struggle against their sworn enemies. And though he was defeated, and the evidence was overwhelming that his nation was once again stabbed in the back by those who know nothing of honor or the glory of self-sacrifice under fire, his name still lives on in the memory of millions.

    And when the time comes again to rise up against the enemy — this time in the final struggle whose outcome will not be left to chance — his name will again be invoked, and his heroism under fire will again be commemorated. For the Brotherhood of Valor knows no bounds of time or nationality.

    dont_feed_the_liberals (1fb755)

  67. Has Dubya released all of his military records to everyone, RLS? Of course not, apparently the most controversial ones were destroyed. Lucky for him, huh?

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  68. Has Dubya released all of his military records to everyone, RLS? Of course not, apparently the most controversial ones were destroyed. Lucky for him, huh?

    Of course he has. He has signed a “blanket” 180 to release all of his military records to anyone that requests them…you…me…any part of the media. And what more controversial ones are you talking about? The forged ones that CBS touted?

    And what does any of that have to do with Kerry? Kerry is keeping this in the forefront by stonewalling the release. I reiterate: If he reallllly believes that the records will support his narrative, and that of his “band of brothers” then why would he not release them?

    If he unconditionally releases all of this records and they support him and prove the SBVT wrong, I will defend him.

    RLS (0516f0)

  69. RLS, I don’t know what types of information are in all of his military records. There may be personal information that he doesn’t want to disclose in them which have nothing to do with his military service. But you continue your “guilty until proven innocent” thinking… None of this changes the most important fact that Kerry actually put himself in the line of enemy fire for our country, and Dubya did not.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  70. None of this changes the most important fact that Kerry actually put himself in the line of enemy fire for our country, and Dubya did not.

    If being shot at in combat is a presidential qualification, Bill Clinton had no business being president over Bush 41 or Bob Dole.

    Paul (c169e9)

  71. Poetic justice?

    Interesting that the Rathergate network has just lost a couple of its own in Iraq. Maybe if the head honchos of the “Tiffany Network” had not undermined the President for all these years the situation there would not have been so perilous for their intrepid reporters.

    What goes around comes around, no?

    dont_feed_the_liberals (1fb755)

  72. Psy,

    Keep those goal posts moving…….Now we have come full circle to the quasi “chickenhawk” meme. Bush served honorably and admirably as did my brother in law who was in the NG, and many others who elected to serve in the ANG.

    I guess the “personal information” in Bush’s records would have been sufficient reason to not sign the release. Sure. And the “innocent until proven guilty” statement is another dodge. Just as any accusation or allegation is lodged against any other person who claims that the charges are “untrue”, Kerry has the opporturnity to refute those charges with facts. That he has those “facts” under his control and refuses to release them is tantamount to someone claiming to have an alibi at the time of the incident but refusing to divulge it.

    You go ahead and believe what you want about Kerry. I served in Nam at the same time as Kerry (68-69) and came home about the same time. I remember seeing and hearing him at the Senate hearings trashing all of the Vets. In my opinion, Kerry is a character deficient charlatan who trod all over the honorable men and women who served in order to enhance his political fortunes. That he is a member of the US Senate is enough of an insult, let alone him being the CinC.

    RLS (0516f0)

  73. And what more controversial ones are you talking about? – RLS

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/23/politics/main631547.shtml

    I guess the “personal information” in Bush’s records would have been sufficient reason to not sign the release. – RLS

    But Bush had friends in high places. It wouldn’t surprise me that his record was scrubbed of all the personal and embarrassing information – I can play the “guilty until proven innocent” game too.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  74. Psy,

    I have updated the post to reflect the Kranish article, which (I now recall) does indeed assert that the complete set of records were provided to Kranish directly from the Navy. But read the whole update, and all the links. I wouldn’t trust Kranish further than I could throw him.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  75. But Bush had friends in high places. It wouldn’t surprise me that his record was scrubbed of all the personal and embarrassing information –

    And Kerry didn’t have “friends in high places”? The rest of that statement could very well be referencing Kerry too.

    I guess that damage to the microfilm in 1996 and 1997 means that BushCo was positioning for a Presidential run in 2000 and wanted to “cleanse the records”, eh? Nice try. Bush made available, to anyone that wanted them, all of his records. But, I digress. I thought we were discussing the lack of such disclosure by Kerry. Oh….yeah..I remember now….the goalpost move…still moving….still moving…..

    RLS (0516f0)

  76. Maybe if the head honchos of the “Tiffany Network” had not undermined the President for all these years the situation there would not have been so perilous for their intrepid reporters.

    Dear god you’re a moron.

    actus (6234ee)

  77. Kerry, and anyone else not influenced by the Bushbots, knows that the Swift Boat Liars are just that..resentful liars that are angry at him since Vietnam.

    We should look at what awards the military gave to him and not what some group, tied to a draft dodging drunken son of a wealthy man who became President through the mud throwing and hate mongering of Carl Rove and the complicity of the Supreme Court, has to say.

    It is a testimony to the right wing slime machine that a decorated hero of Vietnam is smeared while a gutless man of no character or substance, whose military record reflects the results of privilege and aristocracy, is given the Presidency which he uses to launch a war based on lies, deception and his deluded belief that God is directing him!

    Charlie (e16458)

  78. Kerry, and anyone else not influenced by the Bushbots, knows that the Swift Boat Liars are just that..resentful liars that are angry at him since Vietnam.

    Charlie…get back on your meds. No one. I repeat, NO.ONE. has disproven one material fact from the SBVT. Now back to your meds. You are foaming at the mouth again. Don’t let the rest of the kids see.

    RLS (0516f0)

  79. “But without Kerry releasing them to the public, this means nothing to me, because I don’t trust [Boston Globe’s Michael] Kranish.” – Patterico

    Yet, a blog source gets default cred.:

    http://www.patterico.com/2004/08/20/thurlow-will-sign-the-180

    8/20/2004
    THURLOW WILL SIGN THE 180
    Filed under: Election 2004 — Patterico @ 12:54 am

    Larry Thurlow has now said he’ll sign Form 180, allowing the release of his military records.

    The ball’s in John Kerry’s court.

    [link]http://humaneventsonline.com.edgesuite.net/he_akamai_swiftvetrebuts.html

    What happened with that release, anyway?

    steve (f8c5a5)

  80. Well thank you Patterico. I think that’s a first for me here.

    But I’m not sure why I got caught up in this so much because, as Dana said, no one is going to change their minds about this much anyway.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  81. Michael Kranish doesn’t get “default cred” because he has given us all reason to distrust him.

    Look, I have always been a little disturbed that Thurlow didn’t object to the language in his citation, and I said so at the time. But this doesn’t amount to a “debunking,” and I have been consistent about that as well.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  82. God…I hate to be in agreement with acthole about anything….but I certainly hope that there is no one else, right or left side, that has the same sentiments as don’t feed the liberals.

    The institution of CBS may certainly deserve criticism for its slanted reportage…but those two that were killed were two people going about making a living in a dangerous environment.

    I feel for their families.

    RLS (0516f0)

  83. “And you can’t use someone else’s statement to prove a different version of events than Mr. Thurlow has testified to unless you can show us — at a minimum — who made that statement, and what basis he had for making it.” – Beldar

    Robert E. Lambert, the third man to win a Bronze Star that day was a witness on Thurlow’s citation and credited with saving Thurlow’s life. He kept boat damage pictures:

    “Everybody was shooting back,” he said. “After my boat officer (Thurlow) jumped on the 3 boat, he was looking at people (the crew). His boat hit a sandbar and he was knocked overboard. So we went in and got him out.”

    Lambert, who reached down to help Thurlow aboard, was awarded the Bronze Star for his “courage under fire,” according to his citation.

    http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2004/0826/local/stories/01local.htm

    steve (f8c5a5)

  84. Ha, I gotta bring this up – some of the swifties that were praising him earlier now claim he was a no-good so-and-so (in so many words): From Kevin Drum (who else?):

    Kerry’s refusal to release his records probably didn’t directly hurt him that badly, but I’ll bet it did hurt him with the press corps, which naturally assumed there must be some dirt there if he was being so dogged about keeping it under wraps. That undoubtedly colored some of their coverage, especially of the Swift Boat affair. Conversely, seeing those commendations from the same guys who were now calling him a liar and a coward would have deflected some of the press heat away from him and back toward the Swifties.
    It’s all very perplexing, and Kerry’s explanation for his refusal is obviously bogus. It’s a strange coda to a strange campaign.
    [bold mine]
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_06/006445.php

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  85. RLS no one or ever will prove TO YOU A BUSHBOT that the SBV liars..never mind that they have even changed their stories

    Charlie (e16458)

  86. Charlie,

    You know nothing about my politics and what I think of Bush. But what I know about you is evident by your rantings. And I will say it again, NO.ONE. has ever disproved one material fact presented by the SBVT.

    Now when you come back here with proof, I’ll grant you some credibility other than your certified credentials as a raving BDS sufferer.

    You’re foaming at the mouth again.

    RLS (0516f0)

  87. This is from Tom Mcguire, at Just One Minute

    http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/

    Did The Band of Brothers Change Their Tune?

    “Did two of John Kerry’s “Band of Brothers” change their story about the circumstances under which John Kerry won his first Purple Heart? If so, were they lying before, or are they lying now?…

    Emphasis added. The two “former veterans” (sic) are Messrs. Zaladonis and Runyon, who gave this version in 2004 to the Boston Globe reporters preparing their biography of Kerry:

    Zaldonis and Runyon both said they were too busy to notice how Kerry was hit.
    “I assume they fired back,” Zaldonis said. “If you can picture me holding an M-60 machine gun and firing it — what do I see? Nothing. If they were firing at us, it was hard for me to tell.”
    Runyon said he assumed the suspected Viet Cong fired back because Kerry was hit by a piece of shrapnel.
    “I can’t say for sure that we got return fire or how [Kerry] got nicked,” Runyon told the Globe. “I know he did get nicked, a scrape on the arm.”

    Two years ago, it was “what do I see? Nothing” and “I can’t say for sure that we got return fire”; now it is “a hail of enemy fire”.

    Well. If their story has changed this dramatically, one might almost wonder about their credibility.”

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  88. Its so nice to read of the concern for truth by the Bush Bots. I wonder why you dont apply that same standard to G Bush whose lies and half truths and blatant manipulation have resulted in tens of thousands being killed??

    As for the Swift Boat Liars go look up the info yourself..there is plenty of it on the net. Its like someone asking me one more time to show them evidence that Bush is a liar and lied us into this war. I do all the work and show them but they just ignore it..

    I am only here at the request of a friend who asked me to write a few words. Im done. Dont feel like wasting time on such a nice day. Do your own research.

    And your right RLS I dont know your politics so perhaps you can tell me what you think of the Iraq war and if you agree with me that Bush is a liar??

    Charlie (e16458)

  89. RLS, if the same guys who criticized Kerry wrote commendations for him, that should make you wonder about their credibility. If not, you are just a Bushbot like Charlie says.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  90. RLS:

    Going soft on us old boy? Sure, those CBS’ers were ‘just doing their jobs.’ But reflect on the fact that every time they got a paycheck they were taking blood money from a network that has systematically done everything in its power to undermine our country, which is engaged in a fight for its very survival against an enemy that does not play by the rules. The flagship personality of said network, Mr. Rather, knowingly lied and abused the sacred trust of his audience, and willingly participated in a consipiracy involving forged documents — presented to the nation as authentic on the eve of the election — to discredit the man who is protecting us from ruthless terrorists.

    There is a name for this kind of conduct: it starts with a ‘t’ and in most nations throughout history the punishment for it was death.

    Am I sorry when employees of such an organization are killed by the very terrorists their employer has worked to enable? No more sorry than I am for the al Qaeda operatives who died on 9/11. They are all of a piece, and those who do not understand this are part of the problem.

    dont_feed_the_liberals (1fb755)

  91. As for the Swift Boat Liars go look up the info yourself..there is plenty of it on the net.

    Charlie, surely you can get just one for me. You see, I don’t know that there is plenty of it on the net….because there isn’t plenty of it on the net.

    Do I think Bush has lied? No. But you could also, if you feel up to it, include just one lie that Bush has told. Before you do that though, I think you should look up the word in the dictionary. I think you will find it does not mean what you think it means.

    Bush has done many things that I disagree with, I think for most of his domestic policies, he is at best, an average President, and at worst a below average President. I give him good marks in the WOT and national defense. Had Lieberman been nominated in 2004, I would have voted for him. I voted for Bush as the “lesser of two evils” simply because Kerry was the “evil of two lessers”

    Sorry to not be a “BushBot”.

    RLS (0516f0)

  92. As for the CBS correspondent, Ms. Dozier got her degree from Wellesley College in something called “Human Rights,” see http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/19/broadcasts/main574141.shtml.

    People who frequent this web site should do a little digging on this woman to fill in the details on her predictable politics. Does such an educational pedigree not scream “northeastern liberal”?

    I wonder what her undergrad thesis was about? Protecting the civil rights of criminals or abortionists or terrorists?

    And what the hell was she doing standing outside her armored vehicle outside the Green Zone, drawing fire on herself, and her camera and sound man? I guess they never taught defensive combat tactics in her Human Rights major at Wellesley.

    These three should be pushed to the top of the list for the 2006 Darwin Awards.

    The poor simp should have stayed home in Taxachussetts doing puff pieces on the Senior Senator…

    dont_feed_the_liberals (1fb755)

  93. “Charlie, surely you can get just one for me.” – RLS

    Three Navy men won Bronze Stars for their actions March 13, 1969, on the Bay Hap River: Kerry, Thurlow, and radarman first class Robert Eugene Lambert, a petty officer in the boat captained by Thurlow.

    RLS, you have the statement from the witness on Thurlow’s citation, Robert Lambert, who kept boat damage pictures and whose own Bronze Star relates enemy fire. That’s Lambert, Kerry and Rassmann, plus Kerry boatmates.

    Thurlow never fulfilled a 2004 pledge to release his records.

    He improbably said he never saw or knew the contents of his own Bronze Star citation. Nor has he demanded it be revised.

    steve (f8c5a5)

  94. steve,
    I don’t have it handy but IIRC, SWVT went over this in detail in O’Neil’s book. I used to have all of the info ready at hand but deep-sixed it after the election. I’ll have to look at the book this evening and refresh my memory. But I distinctly recall the “bullet holes” in Kerry’s boat were a result of earlier action, not at Bay Hap.

    I thought that Thurlow had signed a SF-180, if not, he should or remove his voice from the debate. As Patterico has said, I don’t see this as a “debunking” of the SBVT.

    RLS (0516f0)

  95. I have to leave you now. I need to take a little trip to a Vet’s marker and set some decorations.

    Remember a Vet today! Actually remember all of them.

    RLS (0516f0)

  96. RLS:

    Good for you, heading out today to decorate a marker.

    dont_feed_the_liberals (1fb755)

  97. Patterico, since you like links, here is the claim that the initials kjw identified the report as written by Kerry, here is a nyt story quoting a defense department official as saying that the initials are of the person who received the report and here is a purported refutation of the Lipscomb article.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  98. Psy,

    If “in Kerry’s mind”, as you put it, “he didn’t want to give them any more of his time and “kowtow” to them”, then why the sudden change and “kowtow” to them now by giving another interview about this? Perhaps he feels that there really is something to the claims by the Swift Boat people and he thinks it will affect any future presidential campaign of his? I ask you this, as you seem to have an insight into Kerry’s mind.

    Ray (be81f9)

  99. Psy,

    You don’t seem to understand how the record storage system works when you stated “apparently the most controversial ones were destroyed”. All military records were copied to microfiche as part of the military record storage system, including all records from Bush’s enlistment. It is impossible to destroy these records as each microfiche record contains thousands of microphotographs of the physical documents, some of which is related to Bush, but most of which is not. To selectively destroy any Bush documents is impossible. One would need to destroy the microfiche file containing the documents in question which would destroy thousands of unrelated documents as well. The microfiche file itself would be missing and a search of the records would show this. Since this has not occurred, it is impossible to logically assert that some of Bush’s records were destroyed while others were not.

    Ray (be81f9)

  100. The magic hat has always struck me as the least plausible of Kerry’s Viet-nam stories. This CIA-guy is going into a foreign country and hostile territory on foot. I can only imagine that he packed very, very carefully for this trip. That means that he only brought things that he absolutely needed. I just can’t see him giving away any possessions on the boat ride to the border. Either he needed the hat, or he would leave it at home, but he just doesn’t have souvenirs to give away to sailors at the beginning of his mission.

    Mike S (d3f5fd)

  101. “Great job, Patterico.”

    Great job indeed! Your OP has generated a lot of discussion without a lot of incivilities by the posters. This is a great discussion and I tip my hat to you Patterico, and all the rest that has posted comments here. Keep up the good work!

    Ray (be81f9)

  102. Psy, I don’t know why you bother. These people still thinking the Swifties have any trace of integrity, and the name swift boating has become synonymous with lying/smearing and these Neandrathals still don’t know. Absolutely amazing and disgusting.Nothing will allow their calcified neouro-pathways any synaptic activity other than the FAUX signal coming by way of the many proven Charlatan/shills the repugnant/Reptile party has been come to be known as, like Limbaugh, O’Rielly, and the many well-paid spinners. The whole movement is shrinking into a puddle of vomit. The last of the morons are still brain dead and cheering on the Propagander n Thief, and the unjustified war which makes Bush and the whole administration war criminal, not to mention torture, depleted uranium, white phosphorous, suspension of habeous corpus. Why even try having civil discourse with folks supporting war crimes. Then, the issue is whether the records of Kerry which have been exposed, is credible about a honors he got. Gee, how relevant in the face of a dry drunken, violator of the Constitution that lies as easily and as often as he breathes. F**k Bush and f**k his supporters. These people are nuts.

    blubonnet (86405d)

  103. blubonnet –

    My goodness! Did that make you feel better now? It should have. If nothing else, it should have reduced your lower abdominal pressure.

    Now, be a good conspiracy theorist and get back on your meds.

    jim (a9ab88)

  104. Blu, Your detailed analysis was just brilliant. And you only used F*** twice!

    Stu707 (18fdc8)

  105. Blu, there are actually a lot of reasons I persistently pester Patterico and his pals here. I like to argue and these guys are normally civil, for one thing. I don’t like echo chambers either.

    One major reason is that I believe that liberals like us sit on the sidelines in silence too often. But you can’t win a debate that way. I can understand why there are a lot of liberals who don’t want to speak up. Liberals shy away from dogma (even their own), since in our history dogma has all too often been wrong.

    But republicans, on the other hand, more often embrace their convictions and use it to their own political advantage since most people will listen to someone who has confidence, takes a firm stand, and proclaims that they have The Keys to the Ultimate Truth – even when these self-proclaimed soothsayers are wrong.

    In part, I’m here to remind them that their dogma is, and will always be, fallible. Just like ours.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  106. Thank you Psy, I have tried, and am so fed up with their inability to use objectivity. It doesn’t matter who brings the knowledge, or what the crediblity in substance of the matter is, it’s blindness. It is just so revolting they are here cheering on the unjust war. There is no doubt in my mind that they would be standing behind Adolf Hitler, because it is “unpatriotic” in a time of war. Facts? Good luck conveying them.

    They are living in a cartoon world. The Pubs are the Popeyes and the Libs are the Brutuses. They all need to go to Disneyworld and stay there.

    This country is going down in flames because of a theft of the United States by vile criminal corporatists, and the Pubs are oblivious.

    This is from Alex Carey: “The twentieth century has been characterized by three developements of great political importance…the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propanda as a means of protecting corporate power aainst democracy.”

    Jim Hightower: “The corporations don’t have to lobby the government anymore, they are the government”.

    blubonnet (86405d)

  107. kookoo

    Angry Clam (fa7fff)

  108. Not that I’m taking any credit for this of course, but every once in a while, evidence pops up that republicans are beginning to change their thinking Blu.

    For example, I think that NK considers himself a republican. He’s a blogger and frequent commenter here who just yesterday came out against Michelle Malkin’s bigotry: http://krites.blogspot.com/2006/05/michelle-malkin-is-bigoted-creep.html.

    John Cole, the main writer at Balloon Juice, has given up on republicans altogether.

    Of course, I’m sure that there are examples of the opposite happening. But I think that the majority are turning away from the more radical republican ideas – especially the Bushy policies that are not even really conservative.

    The popularity of political parties runs in cycles. I believe that the republicans have finally past their apex for this phase.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  109. Thank you, Psyberian.

    blubonnet (1c39de)

  110. […] UPDATE: For specifics on the strength of the Swift Vets’ claims, and more on what has been missing from the documents produced by Kerry to date, go to this post of mine from May. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » John Kerry Will Kick Your Ass (421107)

  111. Getting Beldar back! I vote for that!

    Leon (0c3dc5)


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