August 15, 2006

"They are not Swift boating us on security."

Says Nancy Pelosi, implying that the disparagement of Democrats on national security is just some underhanded trick. Note the second bird killed with that stone: the "Swift boating" verb embeds the assumption that the issues raised by the Swift boat veterans against John Kerry were illegitimate.


George said...

Man goes to war, gets medals. Then, immediately upon returning home, man tells world that his brothers-in-arms were sadistic war criminals. Years later, many of those who served with him say some of his medals were undeserved. Man continues to refuse to release his military records.

New war arises. Man supports, does not support, supports new war. Yesiree, that's the man (and his party) I want serving as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

BrianOfAtlanta said...

The Swiftboaters were successful only because some, if not most, of what they said was true, or at least highly plausible. People looked at Kerry's record on the Vietnam war and said "Yeah, I can see him doing something like that." Pelosi has the exact same problem with trying to defend herself and her party (in general) as strong on defense.

J said...

Did Karl Rove produce this? Things that stand out:

1. Re the $2B "cut from law enforcement": to the public, the term "cut" means "actual reduction in spending", not "failure to comply with a budget request for a gigantic increase in spending". If the Dems are going to run this one, they'd better be able to show an actual reduction in spending, and I seriously doubt they can. And tying anti-terror efforts too closely to law enforcement could be dangerous in itself; Americans want terrorists hunted down and killed, not arrested and prosecuted.

2. In the "not a path the Democrats want to go down" category, the commercial not only mentions Iran developing nukes; incredibly, it talks about North Korea's growing nuke collection too.

3. One of the problems with being a leftist who doesn't know anybody in the military is that you oversimplify military issues because you don't understand them. Like many, I was outraged at the lack of body armor and armored humvees for our troops, until a buddy of mine who spent a year over there in a Marine unit explained why he didn't want extra armor on his body or his vehicle that restricted his ability to maneuver, and thus remain alive.

4. Those terrorist attacks that occurred in 2005 occurred in countries that...handle terrorism exactly the way the Dems want to.

I don't see the Repubs shaking in their boots over this one. What did the Swift Boat guys say about John Kerry that wasn't true?

Pogo said...

There, in a nutshell, is what's wrong with the Democrats as currently configured.

Pelosi is stuck on Lakoff's advice on better 'framing' things, not changing things. To the Democrats, the refusal to recognize that we are at war with jihadis isn't the problem, it's the message that they're weak on defense that's the problem.

Pelosi even mis-interprets what 'Swift-boating' actually meant to us fly-overs. She means those vets were liars. I believed them over Kerry, including versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.

sparky said...

i thought the google post answered this question nicely. (usage tuesday?) but i see we're off to the races already. too bad.

Simon said...

Notice how Pelosi declines to actually disprove the charge. Ipse dixit wrapped in a pithy soundbite will have to suffice.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If I were trying to sell voters on the idea that Islamic radicals wouldn't be trying to attack us if not for Iraq, I think I'd keep dead quiet about Osama.

The Drill SGT said...

My biggest chuckles were the parts about illegal immigration. I don't see how Pelosi can complain in one place that all the GOP wants to do is build a big ass wall and throw those illegals out, then in this spot complain that the GOP is soft on illegals threfore terrorim. Frankly the DEM plan on illegals is to legalize all of them and solve the problem... till the next 20 million.

wonder if Nancy actually knows anybody in the military?

(note to self: sound less xenophobic next time)

mark said...

Still with "Swiftboating"? Kerry did not call anyone a sadistic war criminal. He was making a statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on "an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia." Kerry went on to say, " we call this investigation the Winter Soldier Investigation. The term Winter Soldier is a play on words of Thomas Paine's in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriots and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough." Plenty of Sunshine Patriots around these days.

Sloanasaurus said...

The opposition party used to also want to defend America - to the point that they were willing to go on the offensive which is generally the best means of defense. How can a party continue to exist if they are unwilling to aggressively defend the country.

The Drill SGT said...

George and Pace,

You left off the part about,

...while an officer of the US military, Kerry, on his own, traveled to a foreign country to meet secretly with the officials of foreign powers with which the US was effectively at war.

Meade said...

"(note to self: sound less xenophobic next time)"

Right, Drill Sgt. Don't let yourself be Nancy Pelosied.

paulfrommpls said...

You just noticed this, Ann? The way it has become part of the basic worldview of the left, that absolutely everything the Swift Boaters said was a patent lie - and in fact proof that when Karl Rove wishes, he can summon 150 Republicans from the heartland to do his bidding?

You probaly didn't just notice it, of course.

It really is amazing, what this belief implies about Republicans: that they are simply robots without minds of their own, pliable to the extreme. Unbelievable. But this attitude about the Swift boaters is probably Perception #1 concerning the last election on the left. It's really destructive to our politics.

The way party leaders like Pelosi parrot it constantly amounts to a self-conscious lie.

DaveG said...

"an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't a large number of them turn out to be frauds? And didn't 254 "honorably discharged, and very highly decorated veterans" of both political partys comprise the Swiftboat Vets?

mark said...

daveg: you can easily check into this yourself. As per a Wikipedia entry: "Although military documentation was provided [for those soldiers making the report], some media organizations such as the Detroit News made further inquiries into the hearings by questioning the authenticity of the testifying veterans. Discharge papers were closely examined; military records were checked against the Pentagon records; after all their digging, not one fraudulent veteran was found."

Bissage said...

"They are not Swift boating us on security."

Why does that sound so familiar?

Could it be?

Yes, it could.

As God is my witness, we’ll never be Swift boated again!

Richardson said...

Can you imagine the media frenzy that would have occurred if 95% of the officers who served with George Bush in the Texas Air Guard had signed a petition declaring him "Unfit for Command"? The "F-102 Vets" would have been bigger heroes than Cindy Sheehan, and Nancy Pelosi would believe that "F-102ing" a Republican political candidate was the height of patriotism.

RogerA said...

This is what John Kerry said in his testimony: "They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country." The "They to whom he was referring were the 150 or so former soldiers with him during the event.

David said...

Pelosi and her ilk can now add 'MURTHA'd' to their list of new verbs that describe frauds and those who prejudge for political gain or any other reason.

There is no sin greater than turning on your brothers-in-arms.

Of course what do you expect from a group who's only plan for anything is "BDS"

JorgXMcKie said...

wikipedia as an authoritative source? Ahhhh-hahahahahaahahahahahahaha!! Gasp, wheeze.

Several pointed and fact-supported charges were made against Kerry which could have been defended against (if not necessarily disproved) if he would only release ALL his service records to the public. To date, despite multiple promises, this has happened. Gee, I wonder why?

I suppose also wasn't really at that meeting where assassinating Senators was discussed, hmmm?

I begin to believe that 'Swift-boating' has now come to mean 'to make highly credibly charges which are answered by unsupported claims that there is evidence to the contrary, yet said evidence is never produced.'

As a Viet Era vet myself I knew not one single vet who believed Kerry's stories about his medals, even among the vanishingly small number who claimed they would vote for him.

JorgXMcKie said...

Whoops. PIMF. "to date has *not* happened."

Henry said...

When Harold Ford complains that CIA restructuring has "dismantled the very infrastructure that is responsible for catching those terrorists" I would say, given the patent dishonesty of such rhetoric, that the Democrats are Swiftboating themselves.

(whatever "Swiftboating" means, I think it's not something you want to happen to you or your party)

I hear this kind of BS and I think "you are not serious people." As pointed out above, Democrat complaints about immigration policy are so hypocritical as to begger belief.

Bush Administration bungling certainly offers opportunity for the Democrats to attack, but they had better have some serious counterproposals to go with the rhetoric.

alkali said...

jorgxmckie says:

Several pointed and fact-supported charges were made against Kerry which could have been defended against (if not necessarily disproved) if he would only release ALL his service records to the public. To date, despite multiple promises, this has [not] happened. Gee, I wonder why?

It actually happened more than a year ago. (I agree that why Kerry waited until after the election was over is mysterious, but that's a separate question which may have more to do with Kerry's political skills.)

Tom C said...

Here's what she actually means: 1) We will not allow a perceived strength to be attacked with impunity, sometimes scurrilously, without a massive response; 2) We will learn.

So, the proper response would be to run a sophisticated multi-pronged ad campaign attacking their strengths: for example, how few republican leaders' family members are in the armed services would be ripe. It has nothing to do with anything, but has an emotional push button that can't miss with the base, and will make the center think a while. How do you do it? File a military draft law that only applies to family members of congress and political appointees in the federal government...pointing out how unlikely they are to vote for this. Since it would never pass in a billion years, it's also safe!

Every mom and dad of someone in Iraq will think, "Well, come they'll send my kid and not their own?" Which leads to the obvious answer, doesn't it?

DaveG said...

It actually happened more than a year ago.

Arguably, at best:

On May 20, Kerry signed a document called Standard Form 180, authorizing the Navy to send an ''undeleted" copy of his ''complete military service record and medical record" to the Globe.

I believe that releasing the records to a media outlet is not the same thing as a complete and transparent release. The appearance is that there's still something to hide.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Every mom and dad of someone in Iraq will think, "Well, come they'll send my kid and not their own?" Which leads to the obvious answer, doesn't it?

I assume the answer you have in mind is: "Wait a minute, they didn't send my kid; he volunteered."

Note to alkali: "the Boston Globe" is not the same thing as "the public". Not that Kerry's service records matter terribly at this point.

vnjagvet said...


The records were not released to the general public. They were released to Kerry's designee, the Boston Globe, who then dutifully reported, "nothing to see here, move along".

The problem you folks have, Alkali, with this is the Vietnam Veterans are of two minds about the Swift Boat affair.

A small minority of us (some 3 million served, so in absolute numbers, a minority is not insignificant) agreed with Kerry's activities after his Vietnam service. They supported his presidency.

The vast majority of us did not agree with those activities and vehemently opposed his "report for duty". We influenced a large group of our friends and family as well because of the emotional impact of the Vietnam experience on our lives.

The "Swift Boat" symbol thus cuts
both ways. Unfortunately for your side, Alkali, the numbers do not favor your team. You would be well advised to drop it. But I fear your team has not learned its lesson and will continue to your detriment.

paulfrommpls said...

alkali -

I forget why and I'm not gonna go find out why; but my memory is that for real afficionados of the issue, even that release had some problems with it.

Was it something to do with the issue of whether he'd written some of these reports himself? Maybe. I forget.

Did you know that Kerry was the only Swift boat sailor during the war to be transfererd out because of three Purple Hearts?

That may be evidence of extreme courage or valor; but given the undeniably small nature of the wounds, that's not the automatic conclusion for me.

Did you know that Kerry acknowledged in his mid-80's autobiography that he signed up for the Swift boats thinking they would be limited to relatively safe offshore duty, and then their mission was changed?

Which is fine, I would have done the same thing. But as a wag said, you can't fight as Yossarian, come back to run as General Dreedle, and not expect some grief.

PatCA said...

The first paragraph is the story is unintentinally hilarious: "and are working to cast President Bush as having diminished the nation’s safety."

LOL! So the new boss is same as the old boss--no plan, no strategy, nothing but ankle biting.

"Swift boating" implies there are facts to vett. I guess they will avoid swift boating by refusing, once more, to state any concrete fact or plan on how to keep the country safe.

alkali said...

In response to various commentors: it appears that Kerry released his records to the Boston Globe, the AP, and the Los Angeles Times. I don't know what the basis would be for insinuating a cover-up. Politicians frequently release their medical and financial records for review by media outlets in lieu of a complete public release.

The "Swift Boat" allegations seemed to me to be a mix of (A) allegations about Kerry's actual conduct during the war based on innuendo, half-truth and rumor and (B) unserious criticism of Kerry's post-Vietnam conduct.

As for (A), all of it was stupid and offensive, and pretty much of a piece with the "McCain is a brainwashed tool of the Red Chinese" line of commentary. (Paulfrommpls: if you can't even remember the rumors you are passing along, why bother to repeat them?)

As for (B), I see no reason why people can't criticize Kerry for his post-Vietnam conduct -- "Winter Soldier" and all that -- because it's part of his public record. However, a lot of the criticism was of the form of "People should never ever ever criticize how a war is being conducted, or suggest that war crimes are occurring," which is not a serious criticism. Other criticism was of the form, "Kerry once stood next to someone who later said or did some outrageous thing," which also is not a serious criticism. (By contrast, arguing -- for example -- that Kerry overstated what was really a minor and non-systematic issue is certainly fair comment.)

Ernst Blofeld said...

Multiple people at the "Winter Soldier" hearings were documented as frauds. It irritates me deeply that any credence whatsoever is given to the testimony at that sham.


"Many of those who did permit interviews turned out never to have been in combat. Some of the most gruesome claims came from men who were imposters using the names of real Vietnam veterans. One Marine who had been in combat eventually told investigators that a member of the Nation of Islam had helped prepare his statement, and admitted that he had never witnessed any of the atrocities he had testified to in Detroit. In the end, the Navy was unable to verify any of the hundreds of war crimes alleged by the Winter Soldier Investigation. Neither has anyone else during the 33 years since, including journalists, historians, and military and Congressional investigators."

alkali said...

ernst blofeld writes:

Multiple people at the "Winter Soldier" hearings were documented as frauds.

The reference for this is a web page which cites a book by a historian who claims to have seen a Navy report that no one else has apparently ever seen. The Chicago Tribune reported:

"The men that participated in the pseudo-atrocity hearings in Detroit will be checked out to ascertain if they are genuine Viet Nam combat veterans," White House counsel Charles Colson wrote in a memo.

But in the end, authorities offered no public challenge to the veracity of the allegations.

It was not until seven years later that the testimony was challenged, in conservative writer Guenter Lewy's 1978 book "America in Vietnam."

Lewy wrote that he had examined a Naval Investigative Service file that seriously discredited several of the Detroit veterans. Some were revealed by Navy investigators to have falsified their identities and weren't even in Vietnam, Lewy wrote.

Government officials today cannot verify that Naval Investigative Service report's existence.

"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," said Naval Criminal Investigative Service public affairs specialist Paul O'Donnell.

Personally, I'm sure it's possible that some people at the Winter Soldier "hearing" testified falsely. The last day of the hearing was essentially an open mike for anyone who wanted to make a statement; I'm sure some of them were nutjobs.

vnjagvet said...


I think we have it. You think "Swift Boating" is bad.

Count up the number of your converts.


On this thread it will not be many.

Kirk Parker said...


Your Marine buddy is right about armor, but it goes deeper than that. Even if the troops all did want more body armor and up-armored humvees, those items are more expensive and thus we'd have, at any given moment of time, fewer of them than the standard ones. Just like a soldier with a heavier load, those up-armored humvees have a smaller payload, shorter range, and break down more often.

I find it all-too-frequently astounding that folks who, in general, think economics is a zero-sum game rush to the other extreme whenever the subject is military affairs.

JorgXMcKie said...

alkali, I can't believe that you think any serious-minded person would take your postings as useful. Kerry promised a public release of his records. Now you and others can play the game of "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" but any normal, sane human being takes 'public release' as being made available to the public. Releasing the records to two friendly newspapers (and I think only to a limited number there [fewer than 5?]) is hardly making the records available to the public.

Just one more example of John Kerry at his best. And his supporters can't discern why he so disliked by so many veterans.

Tell you what, you find and link or print out and pdf and post or something, Kerry's records and I'll admit they're public. Otherwise, it might be wise to quit digging while that hole is not a total crater.

And "a mix of (A) allegations about Kerry's actual conduct during the war based on innuendo, half-truth and rumor and (B) unserious criticism of Kerry's post-Vietnam conduct". So? Many of the 'allegations' were based on eye-witness testimony. Kerry could have countered many of these by . . .wait for it . . . RELEASING ALL HIS MILITARY RECORDS!! Imagine that. Wonder why it never happened.

And who gets to decide the criticism is 'unserious'? Personally, my brother, who served in-country and many of my friends who did the same were less than pleased with Kerry's comparing them the 'Jinjis Khan' and his Horde. They took it pretty damn seriously.

Perhaps you could just toddle on over to those 'publicly released records' and pull out the parts that disprove the charges, huh? I'll wait. Maybe how the charges seemed to you was not so important as how they seemed to those with more first hand knowledge of the military.

The Drill SGT said...


Fair or not, John Kerry and Jane Fonda (who I think is a good actor) are forever stigmatized in the minds of some/most of us that served. It may not be fair, but it is fact.

you can't go the the enemy capital, joke with his soldiers, trash our POWS while there and not be remembered

you can't ...while an officer of the US military, Kerry, on his own, traveled to a foreign country to meet secretly with the officials of foreign powers with which the US was effectively at war...and not be remembered

Let's move along now, nothing more to see here.

vnjagvet said...

Jorge and Drill:

Thanks, guys.

"I love the smell of napalm in the morning...[it] smells like victory."

Kilgore said to Lance......

Wade_Garrett said...

Of course it was illegitimate. Does anybody really think it was legitimate? None of the people in those advertisements actually served with John Kerry; they were political operatives who served in Vietnam at the same time as him, even if they were hundreds of miles away. Furthermore, everything you can say about Kerry you can say about Bush, who "doesn't remember" what he did during big periods of the Vietnam War, and whose father made a deal with the military to let him out of his service so that he could work on a partisan political campaign when he was supposed to be serving the country.

For what its worth, the recent arrests in London prove that Kerry was right about the war on terror: it is a law-enforcement and intelligence matter in which military force is occasionally going to be necessary, particularly special forces and commando units. The intelligence used to arrest those terrorists wasn't obtained by torture and it wasn't obtained through bribery. On the other hand, Bush's old-fashioned conventional war in Iraq is creating more terrorists than it is killing and costing the U.S. billions of dollars per year. I hope those swift boat guys are happy; perhaps they could take out another tv ad to explain to my friends who're about to leave for Iraq why they felt that Bush's approach to foreign policy was so much better than John Kerry's.

The Drill SGT said...

It was a bad movie. I saw it in 79 when it came out. Some good spots though. The air cav assault (not the ground action which was more like winter warrior testimony) brought back memories. As did the USO show.

Guess it made me like Wagner. :)

The Drill SGT said...


Terry said...
Of course it was illegitimate. Does anybody really think it was legitimate? None of the people in those advertisements actually served with John Kerry; they were political operatives who served in Vietnam at the same time as him, even if they were hundreds of miles away.
Like Kerry's commander's? the senior officers who trained him? LOL

The intelligence used to arrest those terrorists wasn't obtained by torture and it wasn't obtained through bribery.,,1844559,00.html

LOL "Reports from Pakistan suggest that much of the intelligence that led to the raids came from that country and that some of it may have been obtained in ways entirely unacceptable here. In particular Rashid Rauf, a British citizen said to be a prime source of information leading to last week's arrests, has been held without access to full consular or legal assistance. Disturbing reports in Pakistani papers that he had "broken" under interrogation have been echoed by local human rights bodies.

Wade_Garrett said...

Drill Sgt - they weren't his commanders and they weren't the people who trained him. That's the only thing wrong with what you just said.

vnjagvet said...


I am afraid your team already lost that battle for the reasons we discussed above.

The election of 2004 proved that and the majority of Vietnam vets remain convinced that Kerry's after-war shenanigans made him a poor choice for CIC.

And neither Kerry nor you is right that the terror issue is a "law enforcement issue".

The success last week was because of successful counterterrorism and intelligence operations (spying) not of ordinary law enforcement.

This involves programs like those instituted and strengthened in the Patriot Act as well as techniques used like the the NSA program so loudly decried by the NYT and others.

C'mon, Terry. Don't try to peddle that stuff here.

Wade_Garrett said...

Vnjagvet - Oh, I'm sorry, is this your blog? If not then don't tell me to go away.

Yes, the data was obtained through spying. That's what Kerry advocated -- better intelligence and law enforcement. These terrorists were arrested by police officers and put in handcuffs. They weren't shot by uniformed military soldiers and they weren't caught in Iraq or Afghanistan. Before they were arrested they had been under surveillance for a long time. Have you read anything about this, or have you just been listening to talk radio?

The Drill SGT said...


Like Brian said, I can't verify it, but here is FAQ from the Swift www site;

1. If most of Kerry's fellow Swift veterans don't support him, then who were all those guys with him at the Democratic Convention?

They made it appear that Kerry has the complete support of his "Band of Brothers" from Vietnam.
John Kerry has been able to convince about 13 men who served on Swift boats in the Mekong Delta to support him, 7 or 8 of whom were at various times crew members on his own 6-man boat. Those are the men the Kerry campaign so prominently featured at the Democratic Convention. The photograph we have posted at shows Kerry with 19 of his fellow Swift boat OICs (Officers In Charge) in Coastal Division 11. Four OICs were not present for the photograph. Only three of his 23 fellow OICs from Coastal Division 11 support John Kerry.

Overall, more than 250 Swift boat veterans are on the record questioning Kerry's fitness to serve as Commander-in-Chief. That list includes his entire chain of command -- every single officer Kerry served under in Vietnam. The Kerry game plan is to ignore all this and pretend that the 13 veterans his campaign jets around the country and puts up in 5-star hotels really represent the truth about his short, controversial combat tour.

The Swift boats fought in groups, so the other OICs who fought alongside Kerry know him well and can accurately describe what he did and did not do. In many cases Kerry's fellow OICs had a better perspective than his own crew members, since the latter had no way to determine whether he was following orders and how well he worked with his peers.

Pogo said...


The Brits had the local al Qaeda leader arrested without charge, held without charge for a month, and he will likely be held without charges for many months. The Dems opposed that procedure in Gitmo.

As noted above, other info was gotten through torture.

And the Democratic house organ, NY Times, revealed secrets about how we were spying, allowing terrorists to change their behavior.

Please excuse me if I don't accept your claim that 'this was what Kerry wanted'. Bullocks. It's about as convincing as Gore inventing the Internet.

Wade_Garrett said...

The Swift boat veterans included people from Kerry's unit, but many of them did not arrive in Vietnam until Kerry already left. Others were in the same unit at the same time as Kerry, but were not on his boat. Nobody who took and returned fire with Kerry was in those advertisements.

Ann, Pelosi was not arguing that attacking the Democrats' position on security was illegitimate. Rather, having unaccountable third-party proxies do your dirty work is illegitimate. Bush could pretend to take the high road as long as proxy groups like the Swift Boat guys attacked Kerry on security. If the Republicans want to attack the Democrats on security, let them do it face to face, in a debate or on a live tv show, where they actually have to face tough questions and think on their feet. That's legitimate.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Shame on the Swift Boat Vets for refusing Kerry's challenge to a face-to-face debate!

And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free-fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals. -- John Kerry on Meet the Press, 4/18/04

Paul Zrimsek said...

As for what last week's arrests showed, surely one of them was the importance to a terrorist organization of having a secure base with a friendly government that doesn't do things like rat out its operatives to British Intelligence.

vnjagvet said...

Touchy, Terry? No one told you to leave -- only to quit peddling bs.

The bs includes your implication that tools like the Patriot Act and the NSA surveillance programs are unnecssary and overkill in the battle against Islamic jihadists who, in the name of their avowed concept of Allah, are planning attacks against unsuspecting tourists and the travelling or commuting public.

It also includes your specific point that the Swift Boat Veterans (a number of whom I know personally) were somehow illegitimate because they didn't actually "serve" with Kerry and were "political operatives".

Drill Sergeant has adequately answered the canard about who "served".

I know two of the original Swift Boat skippers who participated Admiral Hoffman in organizing the group. Neither is or was a "political operative" or a Republican.

Wade_Garrett said...

Paul - Are you claiming that Lt. Calley DIDN'T commit a war crime? The U.S. military agrees with Senator Kerry on that one.

vnjagvet - as long as you're assigning points of view to me, why don't you just go the full monty and say that I hate freedom, then go on vacation for the month of August.

paulfrommpls said...

You know, we haven't even brought up the Cambodia stuff. As far as I know, none of even his Swift boat supporters have backed his claim of having been ordered there.

And the "lucky hat," barring further evidence, ostensibly given to him by a CIA guy he was ostensibly ferrying into Cambodia, seems to be simply a bizarre fabrication.

(To pre-defend a point that will be brought up: Kerry's frequent story through the years was that he was ordered into Cambodia, and he remembers the one Christmas Eve vividly. That quickly morphed in 2004 under the glare of doubts into, well, maybe the boat got near to Cambodia, and it might not have been Christmas Eve, but a little after, and what's the big deal about that?

(The timing is not the point. The 'being ordered' is the point. That's what gave his story drama, and it really seems not to have happened. Accidentally drifting near does not replace it.

(I'm not claiming there were no incursions into Cambodia at the time. There were. But what the episode tells me is Kerry is a weirdo, pure and simple.

(He made up a story a long time back about having been one of those ordered in, to give himself a little more street cred or something; and he wasn't. There's absolutely no evidence for it, no corroboration. And then more recently he makes up a story about a "lucky hat" to give it some credibility. It's just weird, and that's something I want to know about a guy wanting to be my president.)

Tom C said...

ok, so here's what I've learned from this thread...that everything thrown at Kerry, Murtha, etc. was all completely legitimate and true.

As I said, we are learning, every day. Just like the Republicans learned to stack the judiciary (bad thing they learned the hard way).

When this happens to your side, you will not like it. But, hey, it'll be hard for you to complain, won't it? All of these posts can be retrieved and thrown back at you!

paulfrommpls said...

Tom -

Rather than refuting, you simply imply that we've all been taken in.

Refute it. Take the Cambodia thing and refute it. Explain why I misunderstand. I'm listening.

I've been a Democrat all my life, Tom.

vnjagvet said...

I guess my reading glasses aren't working too well, Terry. I could have sworn you were the one who posted this:

"The intelligence used to arrest those terrorists wasn't obtained by torture and it wasn't obtained through bribery."

Maybe I read too much into that, but I inferred from it that you were criticizing the Patriot Act and the NSA surveillance.

Sorry if I misread your intent.

paulfrommpls said...

Here's my general take, by the way: These guys were sincere, and were not automaton tools of Rove: I see that as a logical impossibility. And I see that belief on the Dems' part as evidence of something odd in their brains: evidence of the total power they assume about Rove, and evidence of how little respect they have for Republicans as individuals.

Not everything the Swift baoters said was accurate; but the injury stuff was more arguable than the Democrats want us to believe. At risk of offending Alkali, I'll just say that at the time I looked into it, quite throughly, and read the few neutral assessments that were out there, like the WaPo's, and there was enough to make me go "hm."

And the following does strike me as very telling circumstantial evidence:

By his own admission he was only on the Swift boats reluctantly, and this following at least one other Nam-era assignment that was an attempt to serve "in Viet Nam" but painlessly. The desire may have been as a precursor to a political career; who can say. His immediate jump into politics thereafter does give one reason to wonder.

And: he was the only Swift Boater in the war to get out because of three Purple Hearts, for injuries that were minor, there's no argument there.

On the other hand, however it came to be, he did serve in a dangerous situation and risked his life. Does that excuse him from criticism like the Swift Boaters'?

Arguably, but the argument melts away pretty well when he makes this valorous service the symbolic centerpiece of his campaign.

A campaign which, by the way, in my opinion, was focused largely on a dishonest critique of the Iraq war, for which there was available an honest critique that didn't slam the country and the war quite as much as he evidently wanted to.

And I've covered the Cambodia stuff.

paulfrommpls said...

By the way, this disagreement is between two groups of people, each who see the other as having beeen taken in, and played for fools.

The interesting thing is that one side (not my side)is generally not aware of the possibility of having been played for fools.

This situation transfers to most issues these days.

J said...

"as long as you're assigning points of view to me, why don't you just go the full monty and say that I hate freedom, then go on vacation for the month of August"

Where do I sign up for the month of vacation?

"Hard work never killed anybody, but it is illegal osme places"

Dr. E.L. Kersten


madawaskan said...


Where do I sign up for the month of vacation?


PS-I think the Democratic Presidential Primary is getting Pelosied {Meade!} Looks like Nancy may be carving the field up for Wesley Clark...

Who else do they have on their bench on foreign policy and security?

They might have to thaw out Gore. Moynihan is D-E-A-D-where did any of his prodigy go? Lieberman they cannibalized.

If Kennedy came back they'd call him gasp!- a hawk.

madawaskan said...


I swear I wrote that before following your link. Too funny.

JorgXMcKie said...

I just loved the idea that the Swift Boat Veterans didn't serve with Kerry since they weren't on his boat.

This is like saying that crews who fly in a bomber wing aren't serving together because they're on separate planes.

In the case of Kerry's third medal was it, there were other boats in the same water within yards of him. I know this is hard for some to understand, but I was generally regarded as serving with all the guys in my squadron even though we weren't all in the same shirt and trousers. We knew quite a lot about each other. We observed one another and we knew things in common.

I find it funniest that some are still trying to defend that which Kerry himself can't or won't defend.

Revenant said...

It is pretty dippy for the Democrats to say that they are being "swift boated", given that roughly as many people believe the SBVT allegations as disbelieve them -- and the people who disbelieve them are already largely convinced that Republicans are liars and crooks anyway. So what does Pelosi gain by saying that?

The Drill SGT said...

Revenant said...
So what does Pelosi gain by saying that

It is effectively a code word to the MSM, so they call all get on the same page for today's screed.

Revenant said...

It is effectively a code word to the MSM, so they call all get on the same page for today's screed.

The MSM needs code words for that? They're pretty much all Democrats to begin with.

Kev said...

""Hard work never killed anybody, but it is illegal osme places"

Dr. E.L. Kersten


J--thanks for that; there's nothing like a Despair quote to brighten up a dark thread, and it's interesting how this month's calendar theme is appropriate here. (Full disclosure: My brother-in-law runs Despair along with Dr. Kersten--they're CEO and COO respectively.)

Synova said...

The "thing" about Kerry's military service is that if it qualifies him to be president, ya'all may as well vote for me because I'm qualified too.

Which is primarily why veterans weren't buying the BS.

I watched the swift vets interviews and I didn't see a single one of them that were willing to call Kerry anything but brave. They really *didn't* denigrate his service or bravery, particularly, but the standards to which a 20-some year old young man is held are entirely different than the standards to which a man running for president is held. Anyone who's been in the military has worked with a self-promoter at least once. If he or she does the job the self-promotion gets a sniff and a "putz" but not much more.

Who cares about Cambodia? Who even *really* cares about the Purple Hearts for wounds that didn't involve missed duty? That'd be a bit like caring that the NG has been known to be flexible about attendance from time to time.

I care he threw his ribbons or medals away. I care that he lent his uniform to the anti-war movement. I care even *MORE* that he claimed he didn't throw *his* medals but threw away someone *elses* medals away. What a scum sucking a**h**e. If he'd thrown a buddy's and his at the same time it would at least display principle... but he kept his so he could use them later to impress the Democratic primary voters with his military creds.

Some people have suggested that the problem with his military records is that he was dishonorably discharged. Baloney. I'm psychic (heh) and I'll tell you why... ALL of his records would have included an officers intelligence evaluation (Bush had one, which is public). An incredible investment had/has been made portraying Bush as too stupid to live. I'd put money on the bet that Kerry's scores were *lower* than Bush.

And how embarassing would that be?

dave said...

we're really still arguing about Swift Boats and John Kerry? I'd rather argue about Tilden and Hayes.

my real concern here - as a voter who leans left on more issues than not - is that for 40+ years, the American conservative movement has been full of vision and passion, and there hasn't been an equivalent on the right.

i always feel like if the game was close enough for you to complain about how the refs blew it for you, then you weren't good enough to win. having a slight edge is nothing compared to showing up on gameday. it's time for the left to build a movement, and i'm not sure than the partisan hackery of Kos et al will do the trick.