web counter Media Lies: August 2004

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

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Another op-ed takes on Kerry's antiwar record

I'm not sure where all this will end up. I personally think Kerry will withdraw from the Presidential campaign in disgrace. Time will tell. It's certain that he has much to answer for, and right now Kerry isn't answering anything. In this op-ed in the San Francisco Examiner Kathleen Antrim wonders if all the charges against Kerry could result in "serious consquences". With the Navy examining his records, Judicial Watch filing suit against him and the Swiftvets hounding him about his service in Vietnam and his antiwar activities, I don't blame Kerry for hiding. I would have left the country by now.

Sooner or later, however, he'll have to answer the charges one way or another. Having learned a great deal about Kerry over the past few weeks, I can't say I'd be surprised to see him trying to hang on until the end, but surely some of the saner heads in the Democratic party have to be talking to him about graceful exits and the like. If so, the sooner the move is made, the better chance the Democrats would have of making a race out of the election.

My assumption is that John Edwards would become the Presidential nominee, and the Democrats would enlist someone (Dick Gephardt? the much maligned [undeservedly so] Joe Lieberman?) to assume the Vice Presidential spot. They certainly couldn't replace Kerry with Howard Dean. I don't think Dennis Kuchinich is a likely candidate either.

The longer they wait, the more their chances of winning the White House in 2004 slip away.


Working through the morass

Beldar has been plowing through Tour of Duty. (I have to confess, I stopped. I found it so ponderous it's been really difficult to pick it back up and work on it some more.) In doing so, Beldar has uncovered more inconsistencies and some that damn Brinkley specifically. As my readers know, I've discussed Brinkley's stunning inadequacies in earlier posts. Beldar puts another nail in the coffin, proving that Brinkley had to know what he was doing and therefore chose to ignore the glaring inconsistencies in Kerry's story.

For those of us who have been pursuing this story it's not really news, but the constant drumbeat of more and more lies has to wear down the resistance of the MSM sooner or later. They can't really ignore this story forever, can they?


A must read

If you have any questions why John Kerry is unfit for command, you need to read Adam Yoshida's essay. You can't get any more morally clear than this:
Regardless of the veracity of individual charges made by the Swift Boat Veterans from Truth, there is one single and utterly verifiable fact which convincingly proves their overall case that John Kerry is unfit for command. To put it simply: John Kerry's actions in supporting our enemies during the Vietnam War constitute a betrayal of the nation and its warriors that is simply unforgivable, either in this life or the next. As much as any other single individual, John Forbes Kerry contributed to the ultimate defeat in the Vietnam War. In this, the American Dolchstoss, John Kerry wielded a knife. Like Brutus, John Kerry may not have been the first to thrust the knife (and whatever actions he took may have come too late to decisively influence events) but he did participate: and for that he is condemned.
That's how Adam begins. He then goes one to discuss how our abandonment of Vietnam cost the people of that land dearly, a mark of shame for our nation that we can never erase.

What we can erase is the stain of betrayal that John Kerry smeared on our military.

Adam goes on to define precisely what the problem is:
The Vietnam experience has lasting relevance because it legitimized treason. Individuals, people like Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, and John Kerry were allowed to push the bounds of acceptable political discourse. I venture no prediction as to the exact fate of someone running around New York City waving a Nazi Flag during the Second World War, but I feel on safe ground in suggesting that it would be decidedly unpleasant (for them, at least). Today, on the other hand, people are free to advocate the victory of our enemies with impunity. Michael Moore calls terrorists who kill Americans the "new Minutemen" and he releases a $100 million movie. Protestors in New York City wave the flags of our enemies without repercussion. Because Fonda and Kerry got away with their treason, it has made it seemingly impossible to punish the treason of others today.
Now that's moral clarity!


Monday, August 30, 2004

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Letter to the editor - Boston Globe

On August 20th, you published an op-ed piece entitled "KERRY COMRADES HAVE CREDIBILITY ON THEIR SIDE" in which the writer argued that Bill Zaladonis and Patrick Runyon are the ones who have credibility on their side in the ruckus over Kerry's first Purple Heart. The writer closes with this, "...until there is clear and compelling evidence to the contrary, any fair-minded person has to credit the account offered by Zaladonis and Runyon."

If the Boston Globe isn't willing to look for "clear and compelling evidence", then how does the Globe expect to find it?

I have done extensive research on the Swiftvets' claims, and I am convinced that Bill Zaladonis was not on the Boston whaler that night. Zaladonis, according to military records, was stationed in An Thoi at the time of the incident, not in Cam Ranh Bay where Kerry and Runyon were stationed and where the incident took place.

How really difficult would it be for the Globe to ask Zaladonis for a record of his service? Having not done that, all the Globe is doing is taking Zaladonis' word for his presence. Why is Zaladonis' word more weighty than RADM Schachte's word? Is it not good journalism to investigate and resolve conflicts in witnesses testimonies?

Or is good journalism not something that interests the Globe?


Was George Bush in Alabama?

Personally I find the attacks on George Bush's service in the Guard reprehensible. To besmirch the reputation of thousands of Americans simply to attack one seems to me to be beyond the pale. Therefore I haven't spent any time "defending" Bush. He was honorably discharged from the Guard. That was good enough for me. As I've written before, I despise attacking veterans, and I'm angry that Kerry and the Democrats have forced this battle on the American public.

I never would have questioned Kerry's service either, had it not been for the Swiftvets' charges. It seemed to me that when your own shipmates are questioning your service, it ought to at least be fairly investigated and proven either true or false. (We all know what the result of that investigation has been.) Of course the MSM has chosen a different tack. Their "investigation" has been designed to discredit the Swiftees rather than discover the truth.

The Democrats and liberals have constantly screamed that Bush was "AWOL" or "a deserter", and even John Kerry's own campaign website challenges Bush's record, despite the fact that he has released literally hundreds of documents proving his service.

So I will post just two links that deal with this issue in a factual manner; Byron York's article in National Review online, which is a detailed look at the record and Winston Groom's article (the author of Forrest Gump) in the Mobile Register. Groom is an eyewitness to the fact that Bush was in Mobile at the time that he said he was, and he carefully reviews the facts regarding Bush's service in the Guard.

If these two articles are not satisfactory, then perhaps three more eyewitnesses to Bush's service in the Guard in Alabama would be convincing. Read what Col. William Campenni, Lt. Col. John Calhoun, and Emily Curtis have to say about whether or not Bush "showed up", and then look at Aerospaceweb.org to see what his service was like.

Unlike John Kerry, Bush has spoken very little about his Guard service and has certainly not made it the centerpiece of his campaign. I think it's time for the Democrats to admit that their witch hunt turned up nothing because there was nothing there to turn up.


Can bloggers be accused of piling on?

It's gotten to the point where it's next to impossible to read a Kerry story without doubting its veracity and researching it to see if it's true. I know I can't keep up with them all, so I've chosen to focus on the Swiftvets' charges to the exclusion of much else.

Now there's this from Thoughtsonline (by way of Beldar's comments section) that adds to the mountain of evidence proving that Kerry invented a persona for later use.

What really stuns me is that a guy could be this calculating this far in advance. When I was in my mid-twenties, I had no idea what I would be when I grew up. Kerry, on the other hand, knew exactly what he wanted to be, and it appears that everything that he did was calculated to build the precise image that he thought would carry him to victory in his Presidential quest.

I'm not sure what best describes that sort of single-minded prevarication - Creepy? Scary? Obscene?


Another political cartoon

You'll want to see this. When political cartoons reach this point, it's bad news for a candidate.


Research trumps rhetoric

Look what happens when you actually look at the numbers, you discover that the Bush tax cuts have been good for....all taxpayers. In fact, the burden has shifted slightly to the highest income earners. Kerry says this proves that "Over the last four years, the burden of taxes has shifted from the wealthy to the middle class."

Well, no, the burden has shifted to the top 20%.

Hat tip to Glenn at Instapundit, who must be an insatiable reader.


Interesting piece on journalists

The Chicago Tribune (not known for its conservative bent) published an article by Mary Schmich in which she agonizes over the the appearance of journalists schmoozing with the wealthy, stuffing themselves at the free food fests and taking advantage of such luxuries as free cigars, lattes and hair cuts. She wonders how the public cannot help but see them as being influenced by the largesse.

Many of her colleagues slough it off as much ado about nothing, as if nothing could sway their opinions. (Given that it's the Republican convention they're covering, I suppose they're probably right in this case. Nothing the Republicans do can influence their left-leaning philosophies.) They do so at their own peril.

Mary is right to worry about the influence. It's just as diminishing to journalists as it is to lobbyists and politicians. The trouble is, no one seems to have the strength of character to do anything about it. It's a sad commentary on our times. Celebrity and "freebies" are more important than personal integrity. Who you're with is more important than who you are.

There is hope, however. The new journalism of the internet is much like non-professional sports. It's done for the pleasure of it, or because one is driven by a desire to be heard or have influence. I do worry, however, that the bloggers that accept money for writing will fall in to the same trap eventually. I hope not.

I first started this blog because the Dallas Morning News wouldn't print my letters to the editor, and I felt I had something to say that others needed to hear. I vacillated between thinking it was too egotistical an endeavor to continue and being frustrated that my voice wasn't being heard.

It has become a search for the truth, a sifting through the confusion of the media for the facts. It's demanding. It takes a great deal of my time. My compensation is the satisfaction that I've been able to express my thoughts and concerns and perhaps bring clarity to some of the issues that confront us.

If anyone enjoys reading my blog that is icing on the cake.


Hilarious story from Beldar

You really have to read this to understand how far from reality John Kerry was/is. This is from Beldar, and I quote it in its entirety, but you really should go read the rest.
From biographer Douglas Brinkley's Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, we get this powerful portrait of young John Kerry's anguish, quoting a lengthy letter he wrote to his sweetheart (pp. 82-83; boldface mine):
Judy Darling,

There are so many ways this letter could become a bitter diatribe and go rumbling off into irrational nothings.... I feel so bitter and angry and everywhere around me there is nothing but violence and war and gross insensitivity. I am really very frightened to be honest because when the news [of the combat death of his college friend, Dick Pershing] sunk in I had no alternatives but to carry on in the face of trivia that forced me to build a horrible protective screen around myself....

The world I'm a part of out there is so very different from anything you, I, or our close friends can imagine. It's fitted with primitive survial, with destruction of an endless dying seemingly pointless nature and forces one to grow up in a fast -- no holds barred fashion. In the small time I have been gone, does it seem strange to say that I feel as though I have seen several years experience go by.... No matter [where] one is -- no matter what job -- you do not and cannot forget that you are at war and that the enemy is ever present -- that anyone could at some time for the same stupid irrational something that stole Persh be gone tomorrow.
You can practically hear the mortar rounds shriek overhead Kerry's foxhole, can't you? Everything around him "is nothing but violence and war" -- "endless dying," the enemy "ever present."

Except that this letter was written in Febuary 1968, while Kerry was an ensign aboard the missile cruiser U.S.S. Gridley as it plied the dangerous waters of war-torn Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. The Gridley was still almost 6000 miles and many weeks away from the waters offshore of Vietnam. Certainly Kerry already knew that once there, he would remain aboard that large ship, on which his own risk of death or injury through combat would be essentially nill. (During its entire service, the Gridley had only one combat fatality, Petty Officer William J. Duggan, who was killed while aboard a helicopter flying a search and rescue mission in 1967. Kerry flew no such missions.)
If you can keep a straight face reading this, you have no sense of humor.

With Instapundit, Ed Morrissey, Hugh Hewitt and others, I am going to start calling Brinkley "Kerry's hagiographer". Biographer simply doesn't describe what Brinkley has done here, and historian isn't an apt title either. You'd think he'd cross check dates and question some of the entries, wouldn't you? Isn't that what historians do?


Sunday, August 29, 2004

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Healing the scars of war

Another blogger tipped me off to this site, Vietnamdogtags.com. A wonderful young woman named Stacey is trying to reunite families with the dog tags of their loved ones. In her own way, Stacy is offering healing to those who still bear the scars of that awful war. I hope you'll take the time to visit her site, read her story, and if you can help, please do so. You never know how one small gesture can change the course of someone's life.

And "Dead Serious", thanks for the tip. It's heartening to see the positive response to us old vets. Maybe there's hope for this country yet.


More questioning of Kerry's Silver Star "with V"

The Washington Times published an op-ed today questioning the "V" on Kerry's Silver Star and pointing out that claiming one on a Silver Star is illegal and can result in imprisonment
This is more serious than one would think. In Title 19, U.S. Code, Section 1001, the law states: "Whoever, in any manner within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the United States, knowingly and willfully ... makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years or both." As Mr. Lipscomb reports, a complaint filed by Mr. Burkett actually led to the sentencing of Navy Capt. Roger D. Edwards to 115 days in the brig for falsification of his records.
This cannot be explained away by "foggy memories" or "conflicting accounts" as the writer points out.

I have to wonder how much more of this can go on before the MSM gives up and begins really investigating the Swiftvets' charges.


Want to know why vets are so pissed?

Someone has posted a summary of news articles from the period when John Kerry testified before Congress - know as Dewey Canyon III - and it shows clearly when we Vietnam vets are still pissed. For example, "At the Foreign Relations Committee hearing, the veterans gave a standing ovation to McGovern when he accused all American forces in Indochina of war crimes."

This is a US Senator accusing all American troops of war crimes! You don't get over something like that easily. No vet that I know of who served in Vietnam has ever argued that there were no atrocities committed. War itself is an atrocity. But to argue that all in-theatre troops committed atrocities is just a bit over the top, don't you think?

We've had to live with this stain for 30 years. Now John Kerry has stirred it up, bringing it back to the surface, and vets want him to pay for his lies. Here's what John said in 1971
"Guilty as Lieutenant Calley may have been of the actual act of murder," he said, "the verdict does not single out the real criminal. Those of us who have served in Vietnam know that the real guilty party is the United States of America."
The United States, he said, "finds some men guilty and some men innocent of the very same charges" and tries to "ease its conscience by scapegoating one man."
Now he's a war hero who is "sorry if he's offended anyone".


Coincidental? Or deliberate? You decide.

A small group of us have been researching Kerry's record for some time now over at "Bandit's Hideout". Today, a side by side comparison of the three versions of Kerry's Silver Star citations reveals some very telling changes in the citations. It's too complex for me to summarize here, so read through it yourself. Then you can judge whether or not Kerry's citations were deliberately changed over the years. (I know what I think.)

There's speculation (at that site) that Wade Sanders, who was and is a good buddy of Kerry's, may be behind the last version, which was done while he was working as the Undersecretary of the Navy for Reserve Affairs. Time and more research may justify that speculation.


Saturday, August 28, 2004

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"Old" media gets skewered

In a fascinating article about the Swiftvets story, The Not-So-Swift Mainstream Media, published in The Weekly Standard, Jonathan Last examines the way that the "new" media (blogs, talk radio and cable tv) forced the "old" media (broadcast TV, newspapers, magazines) to cover the Swiftvets story against their will. He also shows, using statistics from the Media Research Center, that the old media hardly bothered to cover the story at all until Kerry "went on the offensive". He also points out that the old media still hasn't bothered to do any fact checking but has chosen to attack the messengers instead.

Considering how aggressively the old media went after the "George Bush went AWOL" story without having any of the facts confirmed, it's especially delicious to hear Thomas Oliphant whining.
"The standard of clear and convincing evidence--and it's easy when you leave out the exculpatory stuff--is what keeps this story in the tabloids," the Boston Globe columnist sputtered, "because it does not meet basic standards."....'Almost conclusive' doesn't cut it in the parts of journalism where I live," Oliphant lectured O'Neill, who graduated first in a class of 554 from the University of Texas Law School and clerked for U.S. Supreme Court justice William Rehnquist. "You haven't come within a country mile of meeting first-grade journalistic standards for accuracy."
I assume that would be the standard the old media used for Abu Ghraib then? For the coverage of George Bush's National Guard service? The 9/11 Commission report? For vetting Jayson Blair?

Need I go on?

The old media's hypocrisy has never been more on display than in the Swiftvets story, and they know it. That's why they've reacted so viscerally and instinctively lashed out at the messengers. They can't do the proper research to vet the story now. That would be admitting that the new media beat them to the punch and embarassed them, and they're not about to do that.

All they have left is the howling of a dog that's been caught in a trap.


This sums it up

An Army Major who spent five years in Vietnam and was a POW has written a letter which puts in to words what a lot of veterans feel about what John Kerry did when he returned from Vietnam and of the medals that he has. (I will not use the word earned, knowing what I know now.) It's lengthy, but you should read the entire letter.

There's an interesting postscript.
P.S. Rassman, don't send me another message telling me to "zip it." You belittle yourself with such statements. If you choose to support John it is alright with us. But to try and silence those who disagree is childish and absurd. You are not the keeper of the flame on honor and courage in that. Besides, a one legged Airborne Ranger called "Raider" might take umbrage with it.
There's another war going on right here in the US, between those who served honorably in Vietnam and the pretenders - those who claim they served honorably but did not - those who claim they served and never did - and those who betrayed their brothers with lies when they returned to the US.

These are trying times, but the sentiment that I detect at the Swiftvets discussion forum is that Vietnam vets are no longer going to sit and take it any more. They are prepared to fight again, this time for their honor and to correct the record of what took place in Vietnam, where most men served honorably and resent the label of "baby killer" that John Kerry attached to all of them. This battle may well go on past the election. The anger and resentment is deep, Kerry has brought it into full display, and many will not be satisfied with just his defeat at the polls.


More bad news for Kerry

The Chicago Sun-Times, which is doing yeoman work investigating John Kerry's records, reports that SecNav Lehman did not sign Kerry's Silver Star citation and did not write the additional language in it. Furthermore, he has no idea how his signature came to be on that document.

"It is a total mystery to me. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me,"

No surpise here. Every other rock we turned over had a snake under it.

UPDATE: And then there's this from Mark Steyn.

As the Swedish like to say (my maternal grandparents were Swedish immigrants), "Oof dah!"


Friday, August 27, 2004

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What's wrong with the media?

No background research. No preparation. Just go out there and do the show. It's news, and we need to get our piece of the action --- This transcript of Deborah Norville's show last night shows it clearly.
NORVILLE: Our question tonight: Why is the Vietnam war such a lightning rod in the 2004 presidential election? Joining me to talk about this, Steve Gardner, who was on Senator Kerry's swift boat back in 1969. Also with us, his fellow Vietnam veteran, Larry Thurlow, who commanded another swift boat alongside John Kerry and his comrades on the day in question. Both men have appeared in the ads attacking Mr. Kerry's war record. Also part of our discussion tonight, Robert Sam Anson. He covered the Vietnam war for "Time" magazine and was captured by the North Vietnamese. He now covers politics for "The New York Observer." Thank you all for being with us.

And Mr. Gardner, I want to start with you first. What do you specifically remember about that day in March of 1969?

STEVE GARDNER, SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH: I wasn't on the boat in March of 1969.

NORVILLE: You were a part of John Kerry's team, were you not?

GARDNER: I was a crew on the PCF-44 boat.

NORVILLE: And what do you remember about the day that has been so hotly debated in these ads? It was February. Forgive me.

GARDNER: Again, when you're talking--if you want to talk about Christmas in Cambodia, we've already proven John Kerry to be a liar about that. If you want to talk about the sampan incident that he was involved in, that he was a liar about that. And we've already proven that on his first Purple Heart, he lied.

NORVILLE: Mr. Gardner, I'm trying to find out, were on the swift boat commanded by John Kerry? You were not?

GARDNER: I absolutely was, yes. I was on the PCF-44 for two months and two weeks of his tour of duty.

NORVILLE: But it was not the time of the incident that is so hotly debated right now?

GARDNER: If you're talking about the Bronze Star incident, no. Larry Thurlow is the man.

NORVILLE: And you talk about the Christmas in Cambodia, 1968. That is the one question mark that seems to continue to be one that's dogging Senator Kerry. He has said that he was on the Cambodian border on Christmas of 1968. He also said that President Nixon was president at that time. Lyndon Johnson would have been at that time. Were you all anywhere close to Cambodia?

GARDNER: Well, let's clarify what you just said. John Kerry had already admitted that he was not in Cambodia when he was--on Christmas of 1968. He was setting in the city of Sa Dec, which is a small town 50-some miles from the Cambodian border. Now, that's in his words out of his diary.

NORVILLE: There's an ad that just came out on the Internet today that talks about this. Let's take a look at it.
Norville obviously has not done her homework. If she had, she would have known that Gardner served on the first of Kerry's boats and the second boat was the one involved in the 13 Mar 69 incident.

Even when Gardner tells her when he served - "I was a crew on the PCF-44 boat" - Norville doesn't listen. Just moments later she asks - "Mr. Gardner, I'm trying to find out, were on the swift boat commanded by John Kerry? You were not?" He just told her he was, but because she hasn't done her homework and she isn't even paying attention to the answers he's giving, she asks the question again.

This is what passes for journalism in America today.

So what is Norville's purpose in having these folks on her show? If you read the entire transcript, it's obvious. This story is news. She and MSNBC want to be a part of it - to "cover it" if you will. So they're going to have guests on and they're going to ask questions, but the answers don't matter. What matters is that lots of people are interested in this story. That translates into viewers and that translates into advertising revenues, so they're going to "cover" the story.

News coverage doesn't occur on cable TV shows. Talking points do. Each side gets their points in, but nothing is resolved because there's no investigation going on. News is not the point. Truth is not the point. Ratings and the hype are the point. If you want to investigate Kerry's lies, you'll have to look elsewhere - blogs, for example. The same thing is true with regard to Iraq, the UN oil-for-food scandal, terrorism, and every other worthwhile story.

Is it any wonder that the MSM is losing credibility and viewers?


And the lies just keep on coming

The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that Kerry's DD-214 is fraudulent.
In the midst of the controversy between the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and Kerry campaign representatives about Kerry's service in Vietnam, new questions have arisen.

The Kerry campaign has repeatedly stated that the official naval records prove the truth of Kerry's assertions about his service.

But the official records on Kerry's Web site only add to the confusion. The DD214 form, an official Defense Department document summarizing Kerry's military career posted on johnkerry.com, includes a "Silver Star with combat V."

But according to a U.S. Navy spokesman, "Kerry's record is incorrect. The Navy has never issued a 'combat V' to anyone for a Silver Star."

Naval regulations do not allow for the use of a "combat V" for the Silver Star, the third-highest decoration the Navy awards. None of the other services has ever granted a Silver Star "combat V," either.
The depth and breadth of the lies that Kerry has told about his service is breathtaking. I should be inured to it by now, but I still find myself shocked by each new revelation.

What in God's name is Kerry thinking?

UPDATE: National Review Online came up with this statement by Kerry, who was asked for a comment about Admiral Boorda's suicide when it was discovered that he had worn a "V" on a Silver Star
"Is it wrong? Yes, it is very wrong. Sufficient to question his leadership position? The answer is yes, which he clearly understood," said Sen. John Kerry, a Navy combat veteran who served in Vietnam.
and this
The military is a rigorous culture that places a high premium on battlefield accomplishment," said Sen. John F. Kerry, who received numerous decorations, including a Bronze Star with a "V" pin, as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam.

"In a sense, there's nothing that says more about your career than when you fought, where you fought and how you fought," Kerry said.

"If you wind up being less than what you're pretending to be, there is a major confrontation with value and self-esteem and your sense of how others view you."

Of Boorda and his apparent violation, Kerry said: "When you are the chief of them all, it has to weigh even more heavily."
I don't really need to comment on this, do I?


Rear Admiral Schachte breaks his silence

Robert Novak interviewed Rear Adm. Schachte who said in reference to the Swiftvets, "I didn't want to get involved." He changed his mind when his integrity was challenged by Democrats.
"I was astonished by Kerry's version" (in his book, "Tour of Duty") of what happened Dec. 2, Schachte said Thursday. When asked to support the Kerry critics in the Swift boat controversy, Schachte said, "I didn't want to get involved." But he said he gradually began to change his mind when he saw his own involvement and credibility challenged, starting with Lanny Davis on CNN's "Crossfire" Aug. 12.
There is a startling revelation in Schachte's recollection of events.
Schachte, who also was then a lieutenant junior grade, said he was in command of the small Boston whaler or skimmer, with Kerry aboard in his first combat mission in the Vietnam War. The third crew member was an enlisted man whose name Schachte did not remember.
If there were only three men on that boat, and Schachte and Kerry were two of them, then either Patrick Runyon or Bill Zaladonis (or both) is lying about being there that night. This is astounding news!

Schachte was the originator of the "Boston whaler" technique.
....two other former officers interviewed Thursday confirmed that Schachte was the originator of the technique and always was aboard the Boston whaler for these missions.

Grant Hibbard, who as a lieutenant commander was Schachte's superior officer, confirmed that Schachte always went on these skimmer missions and "I don't think he (Kerry) was alone" on his first assignment. Hibbard said he had told Kerry to "forget it" when he asked for a Purple Heart.
Tedd Peck confirms Schachte's recollection.
Ted Peck, another Swift boat commander, said, "I remember Bill (Schachte) telling me it didn't happen" -- that is, Kerry getting an enemy-inflicted wound. He said it would be "impossible" for Kerry to have been in the skimmer without Schachte.
At this point, if the press really cared about the truth, both Pat Runyon and Bill Zaladonis would be questioned about their statements. One or the other has to be lying unless Schachte simply doesn't remember the second enlisted man (which would be amazing on a 14 foot boat.)

The truth is closing in on Kerry like a vise. This is astounding - history in the making.

UPDATE: Rear Adm. Schachte was interviewed by Lisa Myers this evening, and we learned more of the details of the night of 2 Dec 68. It is now obvious that Bill Zaladonis is lying about being on the skimmer that night. Schachte said, "The boats were manned by two officers and one enlisted person." and "We always had two officers in the boat that night--  in the boat when we did those operations, and an enlisted man on the motor."

Furthermore, Schachte states, "I got into the boat.  My weapon was forward – the M-60 machine gun.  John got in the boat.  I don't remember who the enlisted person was."

Zaladonis has claimed that he was manning the M-60 in the bow. This cannot be possible if there were always two officers on the boat and Schachte was manning the M-60. Both Runyon and Zaladonis were enginemen, so either one could have been manning the outboard motor. However, both also place Runyon on the motor and Zaladonis in the bow.

Zaladonis has to be lying about being on the boat that night. (And yes, I give full credit to the Admiral's version and none to Zaladonis. The facts all fit the Admiral's version - no after action report, both he and his CO refused Kerry's request for a Purple Heart, the attending physician testifies that Kerry had a piece of shrapnel that appeared to be from an M-79 grenade, Schachte, Hibbard and Peck all say that Schachte went on every "skimmer ops" mission, both Zaladonis and Runyon have changed their stories over time.)

UPDATE 2: RADM Schachte has now released a statement as well.

UPDATE 3: If you're wondering what RADM Schachte's qualifications are, you can read a brief resume here. Suffice it to say he's an internationally recognized expert in the law of the sea.


John O'Neill responds

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed written by John O'Neill in which he clearly and simply explains the Swiftvets' purpose and asks John Kerry to release all his records. (Subscription required.)


Thursday, August 26, 2004

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If you think the Swiftvets are mad at Kerry.....

.....read how the Vietnamese-Americans feel about him.
On the street in Little Saigon, people take a blunter view, and refer to Kerry as a communist sympathizer.
Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark!

Why are Vietnamese-Americans so angry with John Kerry?
AS FOR KERRY'S HANDLING of the 2001 Vietnam Human Rights Act, Nguyen says it further emboldened the communist government. "We accept democratic debate. We won almost unanimously in the House. When Kerry used his influence to squash the bill in the Senate, it was like he was thumbing his nose at us and making a mockery of the process." He says that the communist government has used Senator Kerry to make a point at home. "They make fun of America and its 'process.' They know that all they need to do is get one Senator to get what they want."

Nguyen says that the government has used the bill's defeat to enact a new crackdown on religious freedom in Vietnam. On the street in Little Saigon, people take a blunter view, and refer to Kerry as a communist sympathizer. To make it even more interesting, the community doesn't hold all its ire for Kerry. Although John McCain wasn't technically linked to Kerry or the legislation, locals suspect that he had a role in its fate, and want him to fess up.
When Tran says "almost unanimously", he is referring to the 410-1 vote in favor in the House.

The anger toward Senator McCain is interesting. He served with Kerry on the POW/MIA committee, and some of the stain from Kerry seems to have rubbed off. I'm sure his recent stand for his friend hasn't helped his popularity with this group either.

The synergy between angry American veterans and angry, first generation Vietnamese-Americans is interesting. I don't see how Kerry can get out of this mess. To suppress the Swiftvets' message he has to either directly address the charges (which my readers would know he cannot possibly succeed doing) or he has to smear the vets sufficiently to discredit them (which cannot help but anger fence-sitting vets enough to join the anti-Kerry vote), and all the while he has to try and suppress the discussion of his anti-war days, which both groups have to be salivating to bring to the fore.

This is not at all an enviable position to be in, but Kerry has no one but himself to blame. Had he been honest and stood on his anti-war record and minimized his service in Vietnam, he probably would have had an excellent chance of defeating Bush. He certainly would have energized the base of the Democratic party, and anyone he alienated wouldn't have voted for him to begin with. In typical Kerry fashion, however, he tried to be all things to all men, selling his "nuance" as wisdom.

In the end, he may be nothing but the retired husband of a wealthy socialite.


OK, now it's getting silly

ABC News is reporting that John Kerry defends his record. Of course, like all the MSM "reporters", they can't even pay attention, much less think logically. Here's what Kerry said:
A revved up Kerry addressed Vietnam first retorting, "All the guys who were with me on my boat absolutely document what I've said...you're now hearing about the lie. I am absolutely telling you the God's honest truth with regard to what happened over there."
I can excuse Kerry for defending his record. After all, at this point what else can he do? (The honorable thing to do would be to withdraw from the race, but Kerry is not an honorable man.) But when he outright lies, you would expect that real journalists would know that and call him on it.

Steve Gardner was the tub gunner on PCF-44, Kerry's first boat, and as anyone who has been paying attention at all to this controversy knows, Gardner has been front and center in the media representing the Swiftvets. How could the media miss this? Easy. They just ignore it. It doesn't "push" their story. The pro-Kerry crowd will crow about this, I'm sure. If the Swiftvets are smart (and so far they have been very smart), this statement by Kerry will show up in their next ad - right before Gardner saying, "I served with John Kerry, and I know he was a poor leader. I sat just feet above him, in the tub gunner position, and observed him longer than any other vet that served with him."

In another AP story "proving" that the Swiftvets are lying, a "new" vet has been interviewed. Robert Lambert, who was a radarman on Thurlow's boat (and thus directly behind PCF-3 when the mine exploded) stated, "I thought we were under fire, I believed we were under fire,", which is not exactly the same thing as "We were under fire", but no matter. The AP will milk this tenative statement for all it's worth.

Later in the same article we read:
Rassmann, who is retired and lives in Florence, Ore., has said repeatedly that the boats were under fire, as have other witnesses. Lambert didn't see that rescue because Kerry was farther down the river and "I was busy pulling my own boat officer (Thurlow) out of the water."
...and also this...
Lambert retired in 1978 as a chief petty officer with 22 years of service and three tours in Vietnam. He does not remember ever meeting Kerry.
There are several points of interest here.

First, Lambert's recollection doesn't refute the Swiftvets' testimony about enemy fire, irregardless of the headline and main thrust of the AP article. Lambert simply says he "thought" and "believed" they were under enemy fire. O'Dell's testimony is much more compelling since he was sitting in the tub gun able to survey 360 degrees of the scene, and he says, directly, repeatedly and convincingly, "There was no enemy fire."

Second, Lambert doesn't even remember "meeting Kerry". Apparently Kerry's actions that day weren't even memorable enough for Lambert to recall him. How does that square with Kerry's heroic account of saving a man while braving "heavy automatic weapons and small arms fire"?

Finally, Lambert confirms the Swiftvets' version that Kerry fled the scene. He "didn't see [Rassmann's] rescue because Kerry was farther down the river". This damns Kerry completely. If he was farther down the river he could not know if the other boats were under fire or not and he could not have any knowledge of what was going on far behind him. Nor could any of his "band of brothers". Nor could Rassmann.

Furthermore, Lambert confirms that Kerry left the scene when his comrades-in-arms were in trouble, injured and in danger of drowning. There can be no greater condemnation of a brother-in-arms than that, when the chips were down and men were in trouble, he abandoned them. This is the worst kind of cowardice.

This is the man who says he should be President because he is a war hero.

UPDATE: There's a much more complete account of Lambert's interview here. With regard to the issue of enemy fire, they report:
"He and another officer now say we weren't under fire at that time," Lambert said Wednesday afternoon. "Well, I sure was under the impression we were."
So Lambert still isn't saying there was enemy fire - just that he thought there was.

We also learn that he was in the pilot house, therefore not in the best position to know if there was enemy fire.

Then there's this:
Anytime you are blown out of the water like that, they always follow that up with small arms fire," he said.
So Lambert was expecting enemy fire. This makes it much more likely that he would "think" or "believe" or have the "impression" there was enemy fire when there wasn't.


Kerry admits writing the after action reports

In 1971, in testimony before Congress, John Kerry revealed that he wrote "spot reports" (which is what the after action reports were called) during his time in Vietnam.
Kerry told the committee on April 22, 1971, "...I can recall often sending in the spot reports which we made after each mission..."

Kerry also said that many in the military had "a tendency to report what they want to report and see what they want to see.".....

Kerry later added, "I also think men in the military, sir, as do men in many other things, have a tendency to report what they want to report and see what they want to see."
Bloggers and Swiftvets already knew that Kerry wrote the reports, but it's still interesting to see Kerry admitting to it himself.

Frankly, the guy just can't keep his mouth shut or his lies straight.

Hat tip to the Talking Issues Forum.


Dole pulls no punches

Bob Dole appeared on Scarborough Country and bluntly criticized the media. Here's a small part of what he said:
President Bush is going to go out and rebut this, for the most part, with paid advertising. He doesn’t have “The New York Times” every day. if you added up the value of all “The New York Times” propaganda, it would probably be $3 or $4 million.
You go, Bob!


Did John O'Neill lie?

The AP has released a story entitled Swift Boat writer lied on Cambodia claim. (CBS News also carried the story as a small entry in a page with a number of political items.)

AP reports
"I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border," said John E. O'Neill in a conversation that was taped by the former president's secret recording system. The tape is stored at the National Archives in College Park, Md.
That's it. That's the proof of the "lie".

If ever there was a distorted headline, this is it. First of all, John O'Neill served on Swift boats from 1969 to 1970. In 1970, if you will recall, we invaded Cambodia. So the fact that O'Neill may have been in Cambodia is not exactly a revelation.

Furthermore, what John O'Neill may or may not have done in Cambodia is immaterial to the charge the Swiftvets have made against Kerry - namely that he lied about being ordered into Cambodia on Christmas eve of 1968 - two years before we invaded Cambodia.

This is what is known as grasping at straws. Unfortunately, far too many people will read the headline, accept it as "truth" and write off O'Neill as a liar. O'Neill has already responded to the charge. In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, O'Neill did not dispute what he said to Nixon, but insisted he was never actually in Cambodia.
"I think I made it very clear that I was on the border, which is exactly where I was for three months. I was about 100 yards from Cambodia," O'Neill said in clarifying the June 16, 1971, conversation with Nixon.
Fortunately for the Swiftvets, there are 263 other veterans who are also claiming Kerry lied. It's going to be really tough for the media and the Kerry camp to call them all liars.

If this is the best the MSM can do, the battle is over. Kerry has lost.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
Please adjust your bookmarks.

I hate to do this, but.....

I've been thinking about this for a while. I despise attacking veterans. This whole Kerry affair irritates me to no end. It should not have to be this way. If Kerry had any honor at all, he would simply resign and enjoy his pampered private life. But Kerry is so despicable that not only will he "soldier on" despite the mounting evidence that he is a prevaricator of the highest order. He shamelessly uses Max Cleland to do his dirty work for him, playing on the sympathies of Americans, who love vets, especially those who have been horribly wounded in battle.

So it's with great pain in my heart that I feel compelled to set the record straight. I'm not going to go into great detail. Frontpage Magazine has already done that. You need to read the entire article to understand the depths to which Kerry will stoop. All I will say here, for those who won't bother to read the article, is that Max Cleland is not who the Democrats portray him to be.

John Kerry says that Cleland "is a guy who lost three limbs in Vietnam, left them on the battlefield."

That is a lie. Max Cleland lost two legs and an arm in Vietnam, but it wasn't on the battlefield. He was dismounting from a helicopter to go have some beer with his buddies when he spotted a hand grenade on the ground in front of him. Thinking it was his and he had dropped it, he reached down to pick it up. It went off, changing his life forever.

Cleland himself admits this in his autobiography.
In the 1986 edition of his autobiography "Strong at the Broken Places", Cleland wrote of his receiving the Soldier's Medal "for allegedly shielding my men from the grenade blast and the Silver Star for allegedly coming to the aid of wounded troops....."

"There were no heroics on which to base the Soldier's Medal," wrote Cleland on page 87. "And it had been my men who took care of the wounded during the rocket attack, not me. Some compassionate military men had obviously recommended me for the Silver Star, but I didn't deserve it." (Emphasis added.) Two pages later he added: "I was not entitled to the Purple Heart either, since I was not wounded by enemy action." (Emphasis added.)
Like many of the vets who support Kerry, Cleland is a carefully constructed fraud.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has much more to say about Cleland's behavior.


The REAL Swiftvets story

I've been thinking about this for days.

The Swiftvets story is a big deal, but the real story is the bypassing of the mainstream media (MSM) filters. If you're still not certain that the media has a bias that directs what they report, listen to MSM representatives, speaking in this piece from Editor and Publisher.
Alison Mitchell, deputy national editor for The New York Times, points to the changing media landscape and its impact on what newspapers choose to cover. "I'm not sure that in an era of no-cable television we would even have looked into it," she said. ... James O'Shea, managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, agreed. But he said the critical approach may have been a bit late, considering that the Swift Boat Veterans ads came out two weeks ago. "I don't think there has been enough scrutiny until now," he said. "Prior to this, we weren't giving it enough attention." ...

"There are too many places for people to get information," O'Shea said. "I don't think newspapers can be the gatekeepers anymore -- to say this is wrong and we will ignore it. Now we have to say this is wrong, and here is why."
Note that there is no question in the minds of the MSM that the Swiftvets story is "wrong". Without ever having read the book, without questioning a single Swiftvet, without even reading Tour of Duty, the MSM has already decided that the Swiftvets story is "wrong" and that you shouldn't have to be bothered with such nonsense. (And they wonder why they're called "elite"!)

Still not convinced?
But Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. said newspapers can still drive their own agenda. "I don't think we are lessening at all our judgment of the news," he told E&P. "There is much more media, but we still judge for ourselves which facts we report in The Washington Post."
And you thought they wanted to report the news!

Oh, but there's much more, my naive news junkie.
"Kerry has made his Vietnam service a centerpiece of the Democratic National Convention and the Swift Boat Veterans came out right after that," said Lee Horwich, politics editor at USA Today, which ran a story about the veterans group, and inconsistencies in its accounts, on Aug. 16. "There has been doubt cast on some of their charges and we have reported it. I think scrutiny of the accuracy of the charges has been the thrust of the coverage."
You see? The MSM isn't even interested in whether or not the story has merit. Their only goal is to question the accuracy of the charges.

If they really question the charges they will be exposing Kerry's lies. They recognize this problem, but aren't quite sure how to handle it.
But O'Shea also pointed out that giving the anti-Kerry veterans too much attention, in an attempt to hold them accountable, creates a situation of ignoring other issues. He said this may be an instance of a growing problem for newspapers in the expanding media world -- being forced to follow a story they might not consider worthwhile because other news outlets (in this case, Fox News and talk radio) have made it an issue.
Fox News and talk radio? I wonder how many years it will be before the MSM even bothers to recognzie that it's bloggers who have driven this story from the beginning, bloggers who have uncovered the problems with Kerry's statements, bloggers who have pushed the story into talk radio and Fox News and bloggers who continue to drive the story forward.

No matter. Bloggers don't need credit so long as the story gets out.

Hat tip to Wretchard.


Busy day

Today was a busy day. Max Cleland and James Rassmann flew to President Bush's Crawford, TX ranch to present him with a letter asking him to put a stop to the Swiftvet ads, claiming that "..if one veteran's record is called into question, the service of all American veterans is questioned." (Max Cleland lost both legs and an arm because he picked up a live grenade and it went off. Cleland didn't even get a Purple Heart because there was no battle with an enemy occuring at the time - hear that John Kerry?)

One wonders if any of the signatories recognize the hypocrisy of this statement. John Kerry's anti-war efforts in 1971 specifically condemned not only all enlisted military but the entire chain of command. Furthermore, it would be illegal for Bush to attempt to stop the ads.

Fully prepared for this pusillanimous photo op, Republican veterans handed Max Cleland a letter signed by, among others, two Medal of Honor winners, which read in part, "You can't have it both ways. You can't build your convention and much of your campaign around your service in Vietnam, and then try to say that only those veterans who agree with you have a right to speak up. There is no double standard for our right to free speech. We all earned it."

In related news, the Swiftvets' attorney, Benjamin Ginsberg, resigned from the Bush campaign, because he has been giving legal advice to the Swiftvets. Ginsberg's resignation letter to Bush stated that "while his actions were completely legal and no different than what Democratic lawyers have done for anti-Bush organizations, the imbroglio is taking too much focus away from substantial campaign issues." Even Democrats conceded that there was nothing wrong with an attorney serving in both roles. (They would have to admit that or ask all of theirs to resign as well, wouldn't they.)

The Swiftvets' book, Unfit For Command has been flying off the shelves so fast that the publishers can't keep up, and Kerry is seeing his support erode in many places, including Arizona, where independents seem to be deserting Kerry in large numbers.

Kerry may whine and complain, but the Swiftvets aren't going away and neither is the ample evidence of his lies.


Media finally picks up on diary entry

The Washington Times published an article today that discusses Kerry's diary entry of December 11. Predictably, the Kerry campaign has an answer that defies logic.
A Kerry campaign official, speaking on background, told The Washington Times yesterday that the "we" in the passage from Mr. Kerry's journal refers to "the crew on Kerry's first swift boat, operating as a crew" rather than Mr. Kerry himself.
"John Kerry didn't yet have his own boat or crew on December 2," according to the aide. "Other members of the crew had been in Vietnam for some time and had been shot at and Kerry knew that at the time. However, the crew had not yet been fired on while they served together on PCF 44 under Lieutenant Kerry."
And I've got some land I'll sell you.

If there's one thing that I've learned about John Kerry, it's that he wasn't thinking of other people when he made journal entries and when he told his war stories. Just look at the after action report for 13 Mar 69. He doesn't even mention the injured men on PCF-3, the rescue of the two men who fell of PFC-3, Larry Thurlow's efforts to save PCF-3 and its crew. The entire focus of the after action report is John Kerry.

Kerry's campaign can say anything they want, but that diary entry indicts Kerry as clearly as a signed affidavit.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey reveals more of the inconsistencies in this story.


OMG - Yet MORE Lies by Kerry!

Michelle Malkin has posted intact a letter to the editor from a vet who can attest to yet more of Kerry's lies - this time about an incident in Tour of Duty that has nothing to do with Kerry's "valor" - just a stupid incident that Kerry uses to illustrate his overarching point that the war was wrong, and which, like many others, he creates out of thin air. The breadth of his lies is incredible. Here's a sample:
A photo caption in Kerry's book states; "A Swift boat convoy heading up the Bo De River." If Kerry had spent more than four months in Vietnam, he may have known the picture was actually a column of "PBR's" (Patrol Boat, River), not his swift boats.
What can I say? Ah forget it. I'm out of adjectives. Here's another
On page 179, there is a reference to an incident that occurred on October 14th. Page 181 begins with; "Only a few weeks later, Kerry, on a PCF-44 patrol, observed four troop battalions from the Ninth Infantry Division at Dong Tam and five Mobile Riverine Force squadrons staging an assault for the benefit of Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird. "To facilitate putting on a good show, an area was picked out for the landing where the chance of guerilla contact was minimal." Kerry sneered. "Nothing was to mess up the show for the secretary of defense." I was with River Assault Squadron 13 during this time period. Melvin Laird was the secretary of defense from January 22, 1969 to January 29, 1973. At the high point, there were only four squadrons of the Mobile Riverine Force. The four squadrons were split into two larger groups; "Group Alpha" and "Group Bravo", in early summer, of 1968, spread out over different parts of the Mekong Delta. All four squadrons were never pulled together to put on a show for Melvin Laird.
As the writer points out, Laird wasn't SecDef until 1969 making it impossible for him to have observed this in October 1968!

"A few weeks later" from October 14th would not place this event in a time frame when Laird was SecDef. Kerry took over PCF-44 on 5 Dec 68, but he was in COSDIV 11 for one week. Then he was transferred to COSDIV13 until 5 Jan 69 when he returned to COSDIV 11.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep up with Kerry's lies!


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
Please adjust your bookmarks.

Kerry's USS Gridley shipmates speak up

Before Kerry became a Swift boat commander, he served aboard the USS Gridley. Some of his shipmates have decided to comment on his service on the boat, his anti-war activities and his version of events portrayed in Tour of Duty. Apparently Kerry exaggerated just a bit regarding his service on the Gridley as well.


Emotionally powerful ads

A reader posted this link in the comments. View it. Pass it on to your friends. Pass it on to everyone you know.

Thanks, kitkat. You made my day. :)


The Kerry Files

The purpose of this post is to provide a permanent link to all of my posts on Kerry for those who want to review my research. I've added a semi-permanent link in the side navbar.

Swiftvets, MoveOn.Org and 527 orgs - Aug 5, 2004

Kerry story gets more bizarre by the minute - Aug 6, 2004

Swiftvet never retracted his statement - Aug 6, 2004

Congressional Record, 8/11/1986, John Kerry's speech - Aug 7, 2004

More from the congressional record - Aug 7, 2004

Kerry's comments on the POW/MIA issue - Aug 7, 2004

Swiftvet story being blogged to death - Aug 8, 2004

Beware the Internet - Aug 8, 2004

And so it begins.... - Aug 9, 2004

Question about a post - Aug 9, 2004

It just keeps getting worse! - Aug 9, 2004

Tour of Duty refutes Kerry's Cambodia story - Aug 10, 2004

Questions about Kerry's vets - Aug 11, 2004

John Kerry's "band of brothers" - Aug 12, 2004

What????? - Aug 12, 2004

John Kerry admits he committed fraud - Aug 13, 2004

Kerry's war record - bravery or braggadocio? - Aug 14, 2004

Media taking heat for biased coverage - Aug 14, 2004

More on Kerry's "band of brothers" - Aug 14, 2004

Kerry's Vietnam timeline - Aug 14, 2004

Another Kerry lie - Aug 15, 2004

Hugh Hewitt covers the Christmas story - Aug 15, 2004

Rassmann fisking Kerry's Rassmann story - Aug 15, 2004

More news on the David Alston story - Aug 16, 2004

The dam is breaking - Aug 16, 2004

I take back waht I said about Kerry - Aug 17, 2004

Another fraud by Kerry - Aug 17, 2004

Another blatant lie by Kerry - Aug 18, 2004

Kerry's fraudulent Purple Heart - Aug 18, 2004

Thurlow confirms Rassmann's location - Aug 19, 2004

Interview with Tedd Peck - Aug 19, 2004

Brinkley and Tour of Duty - Aug 19, 2004

NY Times Fires A Salvo - Aug 19, 2004

Phone conversation with Joe Muharsky - Aug 20, 2004

More clarity on Kerry's "exploits" - Aug 22, 2004

Not a bad start - Aug 23, 2004

Newsweek article exposes media - Aug 23, 2004

Swiftvets impact the national debate - Aug 23, 2004

Naval Intelligence Officer Debunks "No Man Left Behind" - Aug 23, 2004

Fisking Brinkley again - Aug 23, 2004

Thorough analysis of 3/13/69 - Aug 24, 2004

Breaking news and desperation - Aug 24, 2004

When WaPo does this, you know it's over - Aug 24, 2004

Kerry's USS Gridley shipmates speak up - Aug 24, 2004

OMG - Yet MORE Lies by Kerry - Aug 25, 2004

Media finally picks up on diary entry - Aug 25, 2004

Busy day - Aug 25, 2004

The REAL Swiftvets story - Aug 25, 2004

I hate to do this, but.... - Aug 25, 2004

Did John O'Neill lie? - Aug 26, 2004

Dole pulls no punches - Aug 26, 2004

Kerry admits writing the after action reports - Aug 26, 2004

OK, now it's getting silly - Aug 26, 2004

If you think the Swiftvets are mad at Kerry..... - Aug 26, 2004

John O'Neill responds - Aug 27, 2004

Rear Admiral Schachte breaks his silence - Aug 27, 2004

And the lies just keep on coming - Aug 27, 2004

More bad news for Kerry - Aug 28, 2004

This sums it up - Aug 28, 2004

Coincidental? Or deliberate? You decide. - Aug 29, 2004

Want to know why vets are so pissed? - Aug 29, 2004

More questioning of Kerry's Silver Star "with V" - Aug 29, 2004

Hilarious story from Beldar - Aug 30, 2004

Another political cartoon - Aug 30, 2004

Can bloggers be accused of piling on? - Aug 30, 2004

Letter to the editor - Boston Globe - Aug 30, 2004

A must read - Aug 31, 2004

Working through the morass - Aug 31, 2004

Another op-ed takes on Kerry's antiwar record - Aug 31, 2004

Was Kerry Dishonorably discharged? - Oct 13, 2004


DMN Swiftvets editorial

The Dallas Morning News published an editorial entitled Clear the Decks: Swift boats throw a fog over real priorities today. In the editorial they ask, "Who's telling the truth...." (Kerry or the Swiftvets) and conclude "We may never know..". Perhaps the News should pay closer attention to this story. Senator Kerry has now admitted that his "Christmas eve in Cambodia" story was fabricated and his first Purple Heart really was self-inflicted. Score so far -- Swiftvets 2, Kerry 0.

The real story behind the Swiftvets controversy is the abject failure of the mainstream media to do what they're paid to do -- report the facts. The News quotes a 1979 statement of Kerry's, "I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies. ... The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real.",

Kerry repeated the story numerous times including on the record, before Congress, in 1986 when he was contesting the Reagan administration's efforts to aid the Contras. Yet not one of the major media questioned the statement. Not ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, the Washington Post or even the Dallas Morning News. No one in the mainstream media ever wondered why Kerry would make a statement that placed Richard Nixon in the White House almost a month before his inauguration.

Now the media is failing again. Failing to cover the biggest story in years -- the collapse of a Presidential campaign exposed by Internet bloggers while the mainstream media sleeps. For example, I reported on this blog, on Friday, August 13, that Kerry's diary entry proves that his first Purple Heart was fraudulent. Six days later Worldnet Daily News reported the story, and today the Drudgereport briefly published a note about it. Yet neither the News nor any other mainstream media outlet seems even to be aware of the story.

What should we think of professional journalists who can be outdone by amatuers with an Internet connection and the desire to find the truth?

The News editorial closes with this
Frankly, we care less about what John Kerry did in a war 35 years ago – and what George W. Bush did not do there – than we care about what both men would do in the war America's fighting today. Each day spent disputing Vietnam is a day not spent talking about the countries that matter most to America's present and immediate future: Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
Apparently the News is blissfully unaware that the story of what John Kerry did 35 years ago and how he is handling the Swiftvets controversy today is precisely the point.

If Kerry will lie in Congress to advance his political agenda and collapse under pressure when those lies are challenged, doesn't that tell us precisely what we need to know about what kind of President he would be?


When WaPo does this, you know it's over

It's a mere formality now. WaPo has published an op-ed entitled "Kerry's Cambodia Whopper". It closes with these words, "If -- as seems almost surely the case -- Kerry himself has lied about what he did in Vietnam, and has done so not merely to spice his biography but to influence national policy, then he is surely not the kind of man we want as our president."

Mark this day on your calendars, folks. The Kerry campaign just collapsed.


Breaking news and desperation

Drudge is reporting that Kerry contacted a Swift vet after Bob Dole spoke out against him on Sunday. Kerry tried to get the vet, Robert Brant, to understand his position, but Brant told him "You should know what you said when you came back, the impact it had on the young sailors and how it was disrespectful of our guys that were killed over there."

Kerry's response is outlandish - "When we dedicated swift boat one in '92, I said to all the swift guys that I wasn't talking about the swifties, I was talking about all the rest of the veterans."

Oh, so you only meant to disparage 2.898 million vets instead of 2.899 million! (Of course, this isn't what Kerry has said earlier this year when he claimed he was cricitizing the command structure and not the "grunts".) His shifting positions are laughable, to put it charitably.

Drudge is also reporting the story of Kerry's journal entry that I first exposed on August 13th - "In Kerry's own journal written 9 days later, he writes he and his crew, quote, 'hadn't been shot at yet'... Developing...."

The wheels have come off....

And in a sign of complete desperation, John Hurley, Kerry's Veterans coordinator tells Fox News
"This is a Republican smear campaign. ... The United States Navy awarded John Kerry a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Every single man who served under his command, when he won those awards, supports John Kerry," Hurley told "FOX News Sunday," adding that all the members of the Swift Boat group except for one never met Kerry in Vietnam.
Not surprisingly, Fox doesn't bother to correct Hurley's obvious lie. Steve Gardner served directly under Kerry for over two months, and he is opposed to Kerry. Robert Brant, whom Kerry contacted Sunday evening, is reported to have "put Kerry to bed" when he was sleepwalking! Furthermore, it's completely laughable to claim that the Swift vets never met Kerry in Vietnam when he reported to several of them who were his commanding officers!

Why does the press report this stuff without any commentary? When they know a statement is false, don't they have a duty to correct it in the story?


Thorough analysis of 3/13/69

This is rather long, but you simply cannot do a thorough analysis of an incident like "No Man Left Behind" without taking quite a few words to do it. This one seems quite well done to me, and addresses the issues fairly and carefully. Needless to say, it isn't flattering to Kerry. Not much of late has been.


Monday, August 23, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
Please adjust your bookmarks.

Fisking Brinkley again

I've written before about the problems with Brinkley's research, but this takes the cake!

Brinkley published an article in American History that was posted on the web today. The title of the article is John Kerry's Final Mission in Vietnam. It deals with the much discussed "No Man Left Behind" incident of March 13, 1969.

If you think Jim Rassmann has his facts confused, read this narrative:
Almost casually, the Swifts formed up and headed out from the village. The five boats had gone about half a mile when the blast came. Right where they had been hit on an earlier mission, a mine exploded directly beneath Lieutenant James Rassman's PCF-3 near Kerry's port side. Rassman's Swift lifted about two feet up out of the water, engulfed in mud and spray, then settled, rocking so hard from side to side that the boat started zigzagging from the banks to the middle of the river. Everybody on board PCF-3 was wounded. "At the same moment, we came under a hail of small-arms fire from both banks," Kerry recorded in his journal. "I turned the boat into the fire on the left with the intention of trying to get the troops ashore on the outskirts of the ambush, but Sandusky, who was driving the boat and who had his eyes glued on the crippled 3 boat, pointed out to me how badly hit they had been. We veered back toward her then and tried to provide cover from the engaged side. Suddenly another explosion went off right beside us, and the concussion threw me violently against the bulkhead on the door, and I smashed my arm. At the same instant, Jim Rassman was blown overboard, although nobody knew it. But we continued sidling up to the 3, and as we came closer I could see that her twin-.50 mount over the pilothouse had been completely blown out of its stand and had landed on the gunner. No one was moving on the stern. [PCF-3 crewman] Ken Tryner, on his first real river expedition, was kneeling dazed in the doorway with a small trickle of blood down his face, aimlessly firing his M-79."
In one paragraph Brinkley manages to place Jim Rassmann on PCF-3 which was "Rassmann's Swift" and where "everybody on board....was wounded" and then on Kerry's boat, where he was blown off by a second explosion.

This is insane. Brinkley is supposed to be an historian. Historians, by nature, are supposed to be careful researchers who sift through contradictory accounts and discern the "truthful" account. Brinkley can't even sift through one paragraph! Whatever the University of New Orleans is paying him, it's way too much! I would flunk Freshman papers with this level of sloppiness!

How can we possibly trust anything that Brinkley has written in Tour of Duty?


Naval Intelligence Officer Debunks "No Man Left Behind"

In an absolutely devastating analysis of the 13 Mar 69 "No Man Left Behind" incident, a former Naval intelligence officer who worked with Senator Kerry's POW/MIA committee for four years has proven that Kerry wrote the after action report and influenced the medical report that led to his Bronze Star as well as his third Purple Heart. His analysis shows that Kerry fraudulently obtained both the Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart.

We now have only two medals that Kerry can possibly legitimately claim to have earned. His shrapnel thigh wound from 20 Feb 69 and his Silver Star from 28 Feb 69, and the Silver Star is shaky. It's astounding how rapidly the entire facade that Kerry built has collapsed and left him naked and exposed.


Swiftvets impact the national debate

An op-ed on MSNBC provides convincing evidence that the Swiftvets are having a significant impact on the national election despite the mainstream press' reluctance to cover the issue in an unbiased manner. Entitled "Why Kerry's War Record Matters", the writer concludes with this --
Might a Johnson who was less keen to gild his reputation as a man of action been more wary of Indochina's swamp? Might he have thought twice about misrepresenting what happened -- or rather, didn't happen -- in the Gulf of Tonkin as his excuse to escalate a war that should never have been fought?

The world will never know. But with the benefit of hindsight, people can be absolutely sure that, then as now, one truth really does matter in Presidential politics: Boasts and a talent for self-serving fiction are no recommendations for a lease on the Oval Office.
This strikes at the heart of the argument that a Kerry Presidency, as a former warrior, would be wiser about sending troops in to war. While the argument may be true (and given Winston Churchill's and Franklin Roosevelt's handling of WWII that's far from settled), what may be even truer is that a President who exaggerates and outright falsifies his war record may be even more prone to send troops in to harm's way.

I've argued before that the purpose of our military is to die on our behalf, and I stand by that. However, I would never want our military to die for the glorification of a President or to prove a political point. Their lives are far too precious for us to waste them on meaningless deaths.

Only freedom is a cause worth dying for.


Fantastic op-ed in the NY Times

The NY Times has published an op-ed by a Marine helicopter pilot now serving in Iraq. (Hat tip to Instapundit.) It's lengthy, but you should read every word. I'll be honest. As a vet, his words made me cry. He represents the greatness of what our military is and what our veterans have sacrificed their lives for. With men like him standing watch, my cousin Donald's death in Vietnam will not have been in vain.

I'll quote one part here, but you really need to read his entire piece for yourself. Turn off the TV. Tell everyone to be quiet for a minute, and read the words of an American soldier.
Michael Moore recently asked Bill O'Reilly if he would sacrifice his son for Falluja. A clever rhetorical device, but it's the wrong question: this war is about Des Moines, not Falluja. This country is breeding and attracting militants who are all eager to grab box cutters, dirty bombs, suicide vests or biological weapons, and then come fight us in Chicago, Santa Monica or Long Island. Falluja, in fact, was very close to becoming a city our forces could have controlled, and then given new schools and sewers and hospitals, before we pulled back in the spring. Now, essentially ignored, it has become a Taliban-like state of Islamic extremism, a terrorist safe haven. We must not let the same fate befall Najaf or Ramadi or the rest of Iraq.

No, I would not sacrifice myself, my parents would not sacrifice me, and President Bush would not sacrifice a single marine or soldier simply for Falluja. Rather, that symbolic city is but one step toward a free and democratic Iraq, which is one step closer to a more safe and secure America.

I miss my family, my friends and my country, but right now there is nowhere else I'd rather be. I am a United States Marine.
Semper Fi.


Newsweek article exposes media

Newsweek is an article (already on the Internet) in their Aug 30 edition that addresses the Swift boat controversy. The article loses with this line: "Trying to figure out whether any of these attacks are, in fact, coordinated by the campaigns may be as difficult as sorting out what really happened on the waterways of the Mekong Delta in the Vietnam War."

Readers of my blog are aware (and have been for weeks) of provably false statements that Kerry has made about his Vietnam service. The most eggregious and obvious one is his 11 Dec 68 journal entry (page 189 of Tour of Duty for any reporters that are having a hard time finding it) where he admits to not having experienced enemy fire nine days after the "Boston whaler" incident for which he received a Purple Heart. Not one major media outlet has carried the story!

Is the press really this stupid? Is it incompetence? Do they not have anyone on staff who knows how to read? Use a web browser for crying out loud? More than anything else in recent memory, the Swift boat controversy has exposed the media for all to see. Flatulent, indolent, incompetent, obsessed with things that don't matter (Laci Petersen, Oprah serving jury duty fer cryin' out loud! - this is national news??) and completely oblivious to things that really do matter, the press has become an arm of the political party that it supports, which in most cases is the Democratic party.

The real culprit? Journalism schools. You don't get to where we are today without a consistent long term failure to teach the basics so that graduates become newmen instead of pr flacks.


Not a bad start

WaPo published the results of their research into the Swiftvets vs. Kerry controversy today. All I can say, that's a good start. Now get to work. You've got quite a way to go to catch me and a lot of other bloggers, and all we have is a web browser and an internet connection. You guys have guys on the payroll to do research, and you'll still behind. Pitiful.

WaPo did uncover one interesting fact.
Although Kerry campaign officials insist that they have published Kerry's full military records on their Web site (with the exception of medical records shown briefly to reporters earlier this year), they have not permitted independent access to his original Navy records. A Freedom of Information Act request by The Post for Kerry's records produced six pages of information. A spokesman for the Navy Personnel Command, Mike McClellan, said he was not authorized to release the full file, which consists of at least a hundred pages.
Release the records, Senator Kerry. If you have nothing to hide, if the stories you've told are true, the records will support you and this controversy will be behing you.

Sign the Form 180 now!


Sunday, August 22, 2004

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More clarity on Kerry's "exploits"

John O'Neill was interviewed by Human Events Online on Friday, and he provided a great deal more clarity about what the Swift vets know and what they have documented. There were several very interesting revelations in O'Neill's account, including a hint that Rear Admiral Schachte will be speaking publicly at some point in the future. Another interesting revelation was this -- "There is confusion as to which of those two guys were on the boat. It is clear that John Kerry was on the boat. It is clear that Admiral Schachte was on the boat. As to [whether both Zaldonis and Runyon were on the boat] there is confusion as to that point."

Now that's a new twist to the story of Kerry's first Purple Heart. I haven't seen any speculation that one of either Zaladonis or Runyon were not on the boat that night. O'Neill clearly is saying that it's at least no proveable that both were. It makes me very curious to know what more the Swiftvets know that they're not yet telling. So far they seem to have handled the controversy quite ably - first with the April press conference to make their presence known, then with the release of the first ad, followed closely by the release of the book and then the second ad.

A betting man would say they have not yet played their full hand [b]and[/b] they have saved the trump card for last. I think Kerry is in [b]serious[/b] trouble, and I suspect this election has already been won by Bush. It's simply a matter of time because the voting doesn't occur until November 2nd. Veterans' minds are being made up right now, and they aren't deciding to vote for Kerry.


Friday, August 20, 2004

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Phone conversation with Joe Muharsky

This evening I called and spoke with Joe Muharsky. Joe was a crewmate on PCF 94 during the time that Kerry was in Vietnam, but he did not serve under Kerry. I called him because I wanted to understand how he could have served on the same boat yet never served under Kerry.

Although his memory of events is faded, Joe was able to fill in some details that helped me to understand better how things worked back then. He explained that the boats had multiple crews and the crews used different boats when their assigned boat was in for repairs. While one crew was resting, the other crew would be patrolling, and when the boat was in for repairs, they used a different boat. If you read Joe's compelling Flag Day story, the fateful days in early March '68 were spent on PCF 5, because the 94 boat was in for repairs.

Joe did fill in some interesting details. When they patrolled in the ocean, they would sometimes sleep on the boat, but when they patrolled in the rivers, they slept on Coast Guard cutters back at An Thoi. When they were in the rivers, they just tried to stay alive. Joe's recollection squares with what I know from my time in the Navy. Men were rotated in and out as needed, but the equipment kept running all the time unless it was down for repairs.

Joe also told me that when he was at Ha Tien, there was only a couple of huts there and no signs to tell you where the border was. The Swifts could have easily been in Cambodia and not realized it. However, he had no recollection of any covert ops involving swift boats.

We talked briefly about politics, and Joe told me that he supports Kerry. I told him that I support Bush. When I asked him why he supports Kerry he said he was concerned about his children and grandchildren going to war, and he wanted a President who knew what war was like.

Joe impressed me as a typical vet, a man who served his country proudly and still does and doesn't make a big deal out of it. I thanked him for his service, and we said our goodbyes.


Thursday, August 19, 2004

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NY Times Fires A Salvo

I'm not going to comment much on this, because I'm certain the blogosphere will fisk it to death. I thought I'd mention it because readers of my blog should be well aware of the careful research I've done into the Swiftees claims, my objections to 527 orgs, my initial reluctance to pursue the story, my concerns as the story developed and my conversion as fact after fact overwhelmed my reticence. Suffice it to say that the Times article doesn't open any new ground, focuses mainly on the funding of the Swiftvets and doesn't do much to disprove their claims.

Perhaps I'll get irritated enough later to say more about it, but I doubt it. If the Times spends five pages and thousands of words on each of the stories of MoveOn.org, George Soros, Joseph Wilson's lies and Richard Clarke's deceipt, then I might give them some credit for being fair-minded.

But that's not going to happen and you know it.


Brinkley and Tour of Duty

Both Captain's Quarters and Hugh Hewitt have called Brinkley on his role in Tour of Duty, accusing him of incompetence and being a Kerry sycophant (my words.) I have to agree. Reading Tour this evening, I came upon this on page 190 --
John Kerry's war jounals about his command of PCF-44 may provide the best documentation of the activities of any Swift boat in Vietnam. Some thiry-five hundred American sailors served on Swifts during the Vietnam War, but what each of them did cannot be ascertained, as no deck logs were kept on the boats. Only commissioned U.S. Navy vessels -- ships with names, such as battleships and destroyers -- keep books. Or at least only those books are kept by the U.S. Navy, which discarded the reports PCF officers in charge were required to file with their division commanders after every river mission in Vietnam.
Setting aside the pompous nature of this statement, which I suspect reflects Kerry's thinking not Brinkley's, the claim is preposterous, as a simple scan of the records on Kerry's own website will show.

What Brinkley refers to here are the after action reports. Whether Brinkley got the idea that they didn't exist from Kerry or assumed it himself, the fact remains that he should have checked. That he didn't now haunts the Kerry campaign, which has to deal with the stark reality of documents that clearly contradict the Senator's own inflated accounts of his heroics.