Skip to comments.Truth bound to come out on Kerry's military duty
Posted on 08/10/2004 4:40:23 AM PDT by KeyLargo
Truth bound to come out on Kerry's military duty
August 10, 2004
BY JOHN O'SULLIVAN
When Sen. John Kerry saluted and announced that he was "reporting for duty" at last month's Democratic Convention, he made his military record a legitimate subject of political attack and journalistic investigation. That moment was the culmination of the powerful "Vietnam theme" that has distinguished the Kerry presidential campaign from almost all recent Democratic campaigns.
He had turned around a failing primary season in Iowa with the filmed testimony of the sailor whose life he saved when he pulled him back into the swift boat in which they served. He had taken former swift boat veterans along with him on the campaign trail. And in Boston he filled the podium with these veterans and retired senior military officers to hammer home the message that the Democrats under John Kerry are safe on security. Kerry has done everything possible to reassure the voters -- and thereby to neutralize a long-standing Republican advantage -- on national security.
It was always, however, a risky strategy. After all, Kerry had first come to public prominence as a passionate anti-war protester who in congressional hearings and on television programs had accused the U.S. armed forces in Vietnam of regularly and habitually committing war crimes. There was a serious clash of narratives here: How could he both maintain the truth of his charges and take pride in his war service -- even citing it as a reason to vote for him? And if he did both, was he not asking the American people to elect a war criminal as their chief executive?
Earlier this year Kerry tried to finesse the issue by apologizing for possible exaggerations but not quite withdrawing the accusation either. But that made matters worse -- for a reason that in retrospect seems obvious but that none of the seasoned campaign professionals around Kerry apparently foresaw.
For some years many Vietnam veterans had quietly seethed at Kerry for profiting politically from his attacks on their service. Now that Kerry was in the running to become president -- while maintaining his accusations, however half-heartedly -- they were provoked into responding. The results are the book Unfit for Service, co-authored by John O'Neill, who succeeded Kerry as the swift boat captain in Vietnam, and a television ad from "Swift Boat Veterans For Truth" (www.swiftvets,com) in which former veterans who served with Kerry in Vietnam attack his record. More than 250 such veterans are claimed in support of these attacks.
These allegations against Kerry in Unfit to Serve and in supporting statements by the veterans are as numerous, specific, detailed and shameful (well, almost as shameful) as the allegations he leveled against the U.S. armed forces in the early 1970s. They include that Kerry repeatedly claimed to have fought in Cambodia on Christmas Day 1968 when all his commanding officers deny the claim; that he received a medal for a wound that was accidentally self-inflicted, and that he first left the fight before returning to save the vet whose rescue earned Kerry another medal.
These allegations are both more serious and better supported by evidence than, for instance, the claim that George W. Bush shirked his duty in the National Guard. They are exactly the kind of charges that would set off a firestorm of controversy in normal circumstances. Yet a strange nervous silence, broken only by a handful of stories and commentaries, has settled over the story.
The Kerry campaign, for very obvious reasons, is seeking to suppress the story, sending out lawyer's letters to television stations warning them against running the ad. The Bush campaign, nervous that the story will backfire, is quietly dissociating itself. Sen. John McCain is running interference for Kerry, partly out of habit, and partly because one of the financial backers of the ad also supported a dubious campaign against him in the 2004 South Carolina primary. The public understandably does not like to be told that heroes have feet of clay. And the media . . . ah, the media.
As the recent Pew poll demonstrated, there really is liberal media bias. Only 7 percent of the national press describe themselves as conservative. Establishment journalists would almost certainly prefer the swift boat allegations simply go away. But the matter is not that simple. To begin with, the press has an obligation to follow its own rules. A major story needs two sources to justify publication. These stories have more than 250 sources; they are retired senior officers; and they are not skulking in the shadows but putting their names and reputations behind the allegations.
Even if the major media decided to bury this story, they would probably not succeed -- and they know as much. The "blogosphere" -- that voluntary society of unpaid free-lance journalists -- is following the story avidly, correcting errors, producing original documents, sifting through different accounts. Some bloggers are for Kerry, some against, but all are together advancing the story by winnowing truth from falsehood. Unless the bloggers conclusively acquit Kerry before the story migrates outwards, the mainstream media will eventually be forced to devote serious resources to it.
What will they find? Until some further digging is done, no one can be sure. Kerry may indeed be fully acquitted. For what it's worth, my own view is that Kerry went out to Vietnam hoping to get a warrior's medals and credentials as the basis for a political career. He behaved bravely in some circumstances and exaggerated his bravery in others. He even took a film camera along to re-enact his heroic exploits for later campaign commercials.
He returned home, however, to find that the war had become deeply unpopular. Nothing daunted, he re-invented himself as an anti-war veteran, and prospered on that basis. In 2004, however, he was running for president in a political climate that had changed yet again -- one in which his Vietnam heroics might be usefully exploited to win patriotic marks. Where were those old medals he hadn't thrown away. . .
The press is like a dog that has just crapped on your rug. You have to drag it back to the turd, pissing all of the way, and then rub it's nose in it to teach it a lesson. Only THEN can it learn.
They aren't even going where the most damning allegation is. Kerry met with the North Vietnamese peace talk delegates in Paris. This was strictly on his own. He was not discharged from his naval duties until 1978.
He was talking with the enemy, while he was an inactive duty naval officer, giving them advice.
The first was the betrayal of Vietnamese who trusted our word, as graphically symbolized in images of desperate loyalists clinging to the skids of departing helicopters as Saigon fell in 1975.
The second was the election of a president who deliberately evaded military service in time of war. It was, at the time, a shock requiring deep introspective analysis of previously unquestioned core beliefs. The irrefutable rules of life taught us as children -- duty, honor, country -- were suddenly negotiable. The nation conducted a referendum in 1992 and declared evasion acceptable.
The third humiliation would be to allow Kerry to frame the nation's Vietnam perspective. ***
No chance. Even sKerry's handlers are on record saying that the mainstream press is in their corner, on this and many other topics.
The story will continue to be suppressed with minor lip service paid by the whores accompanying sKerry, disquised as journalists, and buried between pages A15 through B27.
Truer words were never spoke.
I don't have as much faith as the writer of this piece that bloggers will help bring this story out into the mainstream media. If the media wants it buried, it will stayed buried. Do you remember sandy berger? Seems like it was only yesterday he was caught plundering the National Archives. The media will suggest nothing new has developed in that story so there is no need to report it. Yet the same could be said for Abu Ghraib but somehow they manage to fill the airwaves with 24/7 coverage of those poor men forced to wear women's panties on their heads. Still in all, I hope this writer is correct and this story does get examined in full.
What do you do when the disgusting thing smells to them like something deliscious to eat?
I think the chances of this are slim and none, and Slim just died.
Even the Kerry staff is confident - did you read the thread from the American Spectator?
The mainstream press will report it if and when they know that he is going to lose. They will be forced to just to save face.
Ask yourself "Why is JFK running on a 35 year old record that is fishy?"
Maybe because while his service record stinks, it is not as bad as his record in the Senate.
my own view is that Kerry went out to Vietnam hoping to get a warrior's medals and credentials as the basis for a political career. He behaved bravely in some circumstances and exaggerated his bravery in others. He even took a film camera along to re-enact his heroic exploits for later campaign commercials.
He returned home, however, to find that the war had become deeply unpopular. Nothing daunted, he re-invented himself as an anti-war veteran, and prospered on that basis. ...
By Kerry's own account, Kerry sought out non-combat assignments. He did not go with the idea of "performing with bravery in the face of hostile action." Sullivan understates the depths of Kerry's fraud.
Not if Kerry can help it, it won't!
WSJ ran an op ed column by Rassmann today: Shame on the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush -- John Kerry saved my life. Now his heroism is being questioned.. Maybe someone will post it. I don't like to post anything I couldn't make myself read all the way through.
I think the chances of this are slim and none, and Slim just died.
I have to agree.
This is a story that veterans of all wars can fully understand.
The story cannot be left to die as those 40+ thousand on the Wall in Wash DC did and whose memory of has been trashed by Kerry.
I have a similar analogy. The Democrats are like the OWNER of a dog on a leash. As they approach each cause (lawn)- and then make a total disaster of it (a real steamer) - they look up and away, refusing to address it even as you stare at them ("That's in the past, man"). They then stroll over to befoul another area.
The press, like the dog, are idiots on a leash. They don't know any better. It is the owner that needs to have his nose mashed into the messes they leave.
I read it and didn't want to post it either. Wish someone would check this guy out. Something doesn't ring true about him.
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