Skip to comments.Countering Kerry's Orwellian History: FReeper Review of To Set the Record Straight
Posted on 01/16/2008 11:34:59 AM PST by Fedora
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I didn't know that some of the documents referenced in To Set The Record Straight are being removed from the internet and library databases.I noticed that mainly with some recent online articles dealing with Iraq-related stuffstuff relating to Haditha, Massey, Durbin, Murtha etc. I would guess that some of that might be libel/lawsuit-related. What struck me was that in some cases it was even being removed from the Wayback Machine.
Brazen. Have you readBut in enough cases the originals were still around on FR or other news-clipping sites, or I had clipped them myself when they were originally posted, so I could document what was removed.
But are they actually pruning the wayback machine! How do they expect to escape universal condemnation for that! It certainly sounds like anyone on the Internet should be able to verify your claim. Why don't you document it, posting an original article that you have a copy of and challenging people to find that article now? Best reference of all, perhaps, would be an article which still exists on the Wayback Machine version of FR but has been clipped from the wayback machine version of the original source. That would demonstrate that FR hadn't somehow jiggered its database to fabricate the article in question after the fact. I think you have a big story if you do that.
I also find "Orwellian" the MSM morphing "swiftboating" into a term meaning exactly the opposite of what the Swiftees actually did. The Swiftees were the truth tellers, God Bless 'em!
Absolutely. In fact, Newspeak abounds in our political discourse for the simple reason that we have a monopolistic Big Journalism establishment controlling the way terms are used and coined.
The bias of journalism is that journalism is all-important. To be all-important, journalism must be objective. Therefore (in Newspeak logic), journalism is objective. "Objective journalism" is one (Newspeak) word. In Newspeak there are several words for "good." "Objective" is one, but "objective" as I noted is part of the Newspeak word "objective journalism" and is not to be used to describe anyone (no matter how much they agree with journalism's perspective) not actually employed as a journalist. Indeed, if a journalist does not project the perspective of Big Journalism - well, strike that sentence because in Newspeak it is as illogical as speaking of dry water. Whoever does not project the perspective of Big Journalism is "not a journalist, not objective."
Other Newspeak words meaning "good" in Newspeak include, "liberal," "progressive," and "moderate." A person perfectly in accord with the perspective of Big Journalism but not employed as a journalist is accorded any Newspeak word for "good" which suits him - anything except "objective," that is. But let that same person - George Stephaopolis, for example - be hired as a journalist, and Shazam! Boom! Instant objectivity.
Just as the Newspeak word for "good" is not "good," the Newspeak word for bad is not "bad" - nor even, as Orwell had it, "ungood." Newspeak words for "bad" are "conservative" and "right wing." Or, for that matter, "Swift Boating."
Conservatives as FR knows and loves them are a strange breed of "conservative." They want to conserve - keep going - a revolution. In contrast to the French or Russian revolutions, the American revolution enshrined a plan for a continuous revolution. The American Revolution was about freedom - and freedom makes change inevitable. The conservative element in the American Revolution is the Constitution, and its definition of the ground rules which are to regulate change and, in a very real sense, maximize progress.
What it pleases Big Journalism to call "progressive" is in fact reactionary against the change which the American Revolution, operating through its rules enshrined in the Constitution, has unleashed. Environmentalism and its extreme form, regulation of the generation of a gas we all exhale, is patently a reaction against the development and the human expansion unleashed by American "conservatism."
I subscribe to Barzun's theory that the left and right have switched places. The left doggedly defends the status quo, statism and socialism lite, and advocates for more of it. It's the right that stands for real reform and change these days.
Definitely. I think it’s very important to remember these things and keep an eye out for history repeating itself.
As soon as the Rathergate forgeries got exposed, my next thought was, I bet the forgers will remember how they caught this time and hone their methods so they don’t get caught the same way next time. Keeping a step ahead of them is going to be a challenge.
Is that Evans book out yet? I’ve been waiting for it to come out for a while now, but the publication date kept getting pushed back. His articles that I’ve read look good. He picked up on a few things I’ve noticed in my own research that I haven’t seen anyone else cover, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing what he comes up with in the full-length treatment.
I’ve inferred that the Wayback Machine seems to have a policy that they will remove access to things under certain circumstances if the copyright owner or a party in a libel suit or other interested party requests it, because I’ve noticed them remove things on other occasions as well. In some cases there may be legitimate reasons for removing things, so I don’t assume there’s something amiss in all instances, but in this case I was surprised how frequently articles on the aforementioned group of topics were being placed out of access.
Oh, good, I just looked at your link and it looks like it is out! Thanks for the update on that, I’ve been wanting to get that for a while! :-)
Thanks for the ping and both your posts c_I_c. Outstanding review, fedora. Thanks so much for all of your work, research, posts.
As MMFA has previously documented, conservative historian Guenter Lewy claimed in his 1978 book, America in Vietnam, that a Naval Investigative Service report into the Winter Soldier allegations had discredited many of the witnesses and accounts, and in some cases impostors had assumed the identities of real veterans who were not present at the investigation. But Naval Criminal Investigative Service public affairs specialist Paul O'Donnell told (registration required) the Chicago Tribune: "We have not been able to confirm the existence of this report, but it's also possible that such records could have been destroyed or misplaced." And Lewy himself admitted to The Baltimore Sun that "he does not recall if he saw a copy of the naval investigative report or was briefed on its contents." Apart from Lewy's allegations, a search by MMFA turned up no other reports of evidence that any Winter Soldier witness was an impostor.
The site above loves Kerry and wants to discredit the Swift Vets and wintersoldier.com, but I think they have this one detail correct - no NCIS report available so far.
I looked into this before, and the quote from Paul O'Donnell is real. I ran it by "Interesting Times" (Scott Swett: wintersoldier.com), and he didn't deny it, defending Lewy as a respected historian.
But respected or not, no one other than Lewy has claimed to have seen the report, and Lewy later said he couldn't even remember whether he saw the report or was just told of its conclusions by someone.
I welcome updating and correction. Perhaps the NCIS report as surfaced by now.
I have no doubt that Lewy accurately reported the contents of the NCIS report, regardless of whether he read it or was briefed. MMFA is just blowing smoke and casting aspersions, which is the purpose for which the organization was formed. Most archived NCIS material from the Vietnam era appears to have been destroyed after 25 years. Even if the report escaped that fate because of its political importance, there are still the Sandy Burgers of the world to consider...
The NCIS report may have been "Burgerized", but for whatever reason, only Lewy claims to have seen it. It would have had to have been destroyed after Lewy saw it or was briefed on its contents, yet no one else, including the investigators, has stepped forward to support Lewy.
As to the destruction of archived NCIS material, why do they do that? O'Donnell has cited that as a possible reason that NCIS can't find it.
How incredible that this wasn't a matter of intense national attention, from the moment Hatfield called for an investigation!
We disagree as to the emphasis that should be given to Lewy's memory.
But kudos again to you for wintersoldier.com.
You and some veterans have, without the NCIS report, thrown the WSI into serious question. I'm thinking first and foremost of "witness" Joe Bangert.
Thanks for the comments!
You’re aware that Lewy wrote “America in Vietnam” in 1977, right? It’s not a question of whether he remembers the report accurately after all these years.
Thanks for providing the quote. I had not seen that. I wanted to see whether it said they are denying the report or saying they cannot locate it today, which are two different things with different implications. It is not uncommon for government documents to get misplaced, I’ve seen this happen with World War II records that got filed in some obscure location and didn’t turn up for decades, for instance. Lewy is indeed a respected historian, but he wrote his book in 1978, so it is not surprising if today he does not remember whether his summary was based on seeing the report or an oral briefing. Saying his memory today is hazy is different than saying it was hazy when he recorded his original summary in 1978. The latter is what would be at issue here, but there is no reason to suspect the latter. I see nothing in the quoted statements here which would cast doubt on the accuracy of Lewy’s original summary, as Kerry’s defenders were apparently spinning it. Lewy is indeed a respected historian, and he had researched the Army report at the time he wrote his book, there is no reason to suspect he would concoct a corresponding Naval report out of thin air merely for the sake of mentioning it in passing, and indeed, it would be quite strange if the Army had investigated that and the Navy had not, which would require an explanation in itself. In contrast to Lewy’s credibility, Kerry and the VVAW have a track record of habitual fabrication, ranging from Kerry’s own well-known flip-flops to Al Hubbard’s fraudulent credentials to the holes in the Winter Soldier testimony which are at a minimum documented in the Army’s investigation. Clearly, if we are evaluating the matter from a historian’s perspective, Lewy’s professional historical opinion is more weighty testimony than the claims of the VVAW and Kerry’s defenders. Nonetheless, it would of course strengthen the case considerably if the NCIS report could be located today. It might be worthwhile to track down some of the investigative personnel from the time who would have had responsibility for the investigation to get some assistance locating the document and/or to get some oral history pertinent to the investigation for the record.
PS: I’ll be putting Lewy’s original quotes up on the thread in a few days, unless someone wants to beat me to it. I don’t have a copy handy tonight but I put an order in for it, should get it by Monday or so. I did check into Lewy’s background before I wrote the review but did not copy the original quote, as I was not aware it had been disputed.
Its not a question of Lewy’s memory, ultimately, but whether the disputed NCIS report surfaces. Citing it without mentioning the current Lewy limitation provides a “gotcha” moment for the WSI believers.
I expect that Lewy would agree.
Anybody who believes these tall tales is awfully gullible. Bangert worked for a light observation squadron - very little combat. The men worked like coolies, often 16 hours a day 7 days a week, servicing planes, refueling, rearming, preparing, cleaning, maintaining. Usually they did not fly. They did not get to wander off on secret CIA missions. They did not participate in the CAP program - these were separate small units who lived permanently in villages, protecting the villages from the VC. They did not get to wander around Quang Tri looking at deformed kids. He states on his first day he sees a bunch of kids murdered on Route 1 -- this the main thoroughfare through the area, not some remote area. Can you imagine the press coverage? He says the press saw the crucified bodies, but were wooed with booze and did not report on this. Come on, get real.
The real investigation has begun at wintersoldier.com.
The unqualified citation of an undocumented NCIS report detracts from that work, IMHO.
The level of detail indicates that Professor Lewy had a good understating of what was in the report at that time he published. The only alternative is that Lewy made up his summary, complete with quotes, and falsified the footnote. That is simply not credible, no matter what Media Matters would like to believe.
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