Skip to comments.Sen. John Kerry's SWIFT meltdown: Hugh Hewitt on why Dem's campaign, lib pundits are floundering
Posted on 08/11/2004 2:31:04 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Kerry's SWIFT meltdown
Posted: August 11, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Hugh Hewitt
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
At this writing, the Kerry campaign has not yet responded to the media meltdown that is occurring around John Kerry's four decades of stories built on his secret, illegal missions into Cambodia during the four months he skippered a SWIFT boat.
It is impossible to stonewall a story that broke out of the blogosphere and into the major media on Monday night and Tuesday morning, so eventually John Kerry is going to have to stand by his wildly implausible tales of cross-border excellent adventures, or he's going to have to apologize for inventing personal history.
Here are the facts. Not long after returning from Vietnam, John Kerry began telling people he had been sent into Cambodia on an illegal patrol on Christmas Eve 1968. He repeated that story on the floor of the Senate in 1986, to an AP reporter in 1992, and as recently as June 2003 was regaling a Washington Post reporter with a story of how he had ferried a CIA man secretly into Cambodia, and how he'd kept the man's hat as a reminder of that journey.
The Christmas-Eve-in-Cambodia story has already been completely shredded by the SWIFT boat vet critics of Kerry, and it is hard to imagine how Kerry is going to defend the CIA man who was never there, given independent testimony from Navy vets that the SWIFT boats never went into Cambodian waters. If Kerry was sent on a secret drop-off mission, he's going to have to come up with some proof, especially with the Christmas Eve narrative now so discredited.
The blogosphere pushed this story forward, with an early flare going up at KerryHaters on May 21, and then a gang tackle of the facts by Instapundit, RogerLSimon, JustOneMinute, Powerline, CaptainsQuarters and, of course, me.
We teed it up after the publisher of "Unfit for Command" released a sample chapter from the new book which brought the Cambodian myth to light. I spent all day Thursday, Friday and Monday on the story on my radio program, and Monday night Carl Cameron ran with a story on "Special Report" with Brit Hume, followed by an "O'Reilly Factor" segment with Steve Gardener, a SWIFT boat vet who served on Kerry's boat. Gardener denied ever having been to Cambodia. The Kerry campaign first denied that Kerry had ever claimed to have been in Cambodia, and then recanted upon being shown the 1986 Congressional record, promising to get back to Fox News with an explanation.
No explanation has shown up more than 12 hours later. In the interim, the New York Post has run a story, as has the London Telegraph, and the Washington Times' editors have produced a powerful editorial on the subject.
Why all the attention? Simply put, if John Kerry can be conclusively demonstrated to have lied about aspects of his Vietnam service, the media has to ask what else has he been lying about. The voters have to ask if he can be trusted. In short: Free fall.
The lefty bloggers and talking heads are stunned into silence, and have gotten no help from the Kerry people. It's hard to spin a story that hasn't been spun by the campaign since Kerry could elect to go in completely different directions. If he hangs tough on the Christmas Eve and CIA man stories, his allies will know to hang tough as well. But they can't do that without a clear signal, because if Kerry comes out and apologizes for a tall tale, the commentators are cut off at the knees.
A nasty dilemma. Perhaps the lefty pundits should try sticking with the truth: It looks very bad for Kerry. It looks like he's been lying and padding his Vietnam resume for decades and that the elite media was so in love with the story they didn't bother to check it out. It looks like Kerry's selective release of his military and health records was smoke, and that the big-time journalists at the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post fell for it.
Now we get to see if there's any pride left in the newsroom. Do any of these writers, reporters and producers resent getting played by Kerry? If so, payback will be stiff. Too early to tell whether Bush-hatred trumps anger at getting suckered. More to follow ...
WHY was Rassman on one of the boats?
HOW did Rassman get there? (The Why is a short answer, I think, the How, I'd bet, is more interesting.)
WHEN did Rassman first meet Kerry?
WHERE did Rassman fisrt meet Kerry?
WHAT did they do together?
WHO ELSE was involved, with Rassman at the time? Contemporaneous witnesses as to what Rassman was all about then.
You're right, Ted Sampley was snookered and took the bait and made a fool of on national TV.
I mean, the story was out there, the testimonials were out there, I posted them on another forum weeks before it became a big media issue. Didn't the media see this coming? Amazing.
I truly believe that the DIMS are in love with Hitlary and see her as their salvation. Fortunately for US, she is a hated icon and has a HUGE amount of baggage for Bush to thrash on come the debates, Oct, etc.
Very much like the "I did not have sex with that woman" issued by the Toon, maybe there's a stain on Kerry's hat?
"The voters have to ask if he can be trusted. In short: Free fall."
Well, you would think so, but there is another tried and true RAT strategy and I expect that's the one he will use. Ignore the story except to launch attacks on those who "repeat" it, using the challenge to prove how "mean and nasty" his opponents are. He may even accuse THEM of lying.
"and how he'd kept the man's hat as a reminder of that journey."
So he steals, too?
And it is a hatred that is so completely groundless and irrational.
If you have never seen hatred like this before, you never saw the vilification of Richard Nixon.
They don'r fall; they comply.
EXACTLY! When the Kommissar commands, the little hacks fall right into line.
Reminds of a DEM saying "Haha .. those are very serious charges, if true. They will never be proven."
The bar will move, higher if the goal is to jump over it, lower if the object is to get over it yourself.
Well, you have to admit, that's one thing Kerry is good at.
They have an agenda to further in case we hadn't realized.
I do not beieve it is hatred of Bush, but that he represents the conservatives of America. And the world Socialists are sinking unless they can get a hold on the US. So their hatred of Conseratives and what we stand for.
you assume polls are not manufactured for kerry...
In a TV interview conducted by Greta Van Susteren earlier this year with Michael Kranish and Nina Eason of the Boston Globe, the following interchange occurred, which mentioned Kerry's oft stated contention that he spent XMAS Eve in Cambodia in 1968:
VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, did he cooperate at all with this or participate or sit down for interviews?
MICHAEL KRANISH, KERRY BIOGRAPHER: Well, sure. We did a series last year. It was a seven part series that ran 14 pages in the newspaper and he sat down for about ten hours of interviews for this series.
The book was written during the time when he was still running for the nomination right at the height of the Super Tuesday primaries and so forth, so our material for interviews was from the series.
To go back to your question you asked Nina, you know, he's also a skeptic of government. So, you ask why does he go, some people say flip- flop, other people would say why does he question things the way that he does?
A very short anecdote, he was in Vietnam and he was in Cambodia as part of a mission. I don't know if he intended to go but that's where he was but the government that was running the war knew that troops were in Cambodia but Nixon, President Nixon at the time was telling the American public, "We're not in Cambodia."
So, from a very early time, John Kerry is skeptical of government and he came back to protest the war that he participated in, so this is where some of this inner belief comes from. He does -- he did serve but he also questioned.
In a 1992 interview with John Diamond of the AP Kerry again makes the statement that he was sent to Cambodia. Here is an excerpt:
"But for Kerry, who spent six violent months commanding a patrol boat on the Mekong River, there's always been a ring of truth to allegations of abandoned Americans. By Christmas 1968, part of Kerry's patrol extended across the border of South Vietnam into Cambodia.
"We were told, `Just go up there and do your patrol. Everybody was over there (in Cambodia). Nobody thought twice about it," Kerry said. One of the missions, which Kerry, at the time, was ordered not to discuss, involved taking CIA operatives into Cambodia to search for enemy enclaves.
"I can remember wondering, `If you're going to go, what happens to you,"' Kerry said.
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