Monday, August 30, 2004

Swift Clarification

I've gotten some emails challenging my earlier claim that I don't think there is any credibility to the claims of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. That statement refers to their efforts to undermine Kerry's medals. Yes, the SBVT'ers have pointed to some inconsistencies in the various accounts, but given the fog of war and the passage of 30 years, this is to be expected and none of these inconsistencies has done anything to undermine Kerry's record. Also, the awarding of medals is a sometimes arbitrary process. Some receive them for little reason, while others who display greater bravery or leadership, do not. Is John Kerry the Sargeant York or Audie Murphy of the Mekong? No. But his medals are clearly justified given the testimony of the men on his boat and by the official Navy records.

I do, however, think that Kerry can be challenged on his statements after coming home from Vietnam. At the time, Kerry publicly advocated a particular course of action and made predictions about what would happen if that action were taken. I see no problem in holding public figures accountable for the statements they make, even after 30 years. On the other hand, what people don't say should also be scrutinized. For good or for ill, John Kerry was speaking out and attempting to influence policy on the most pressing public issue of the day. What was George Bush doing?

6 comments:

Palooka said...

Are you living in a bubble? Do you not know that:

1) Kerry has withdrawn his assertion he was in Cambodia in Christmas 1968 (repeated some 30 times publicy, including on the floor of the Senate).

2) Not one of Kerry's crewmates, even his supporters, ever attests to being in Cambodia.

3) Kerry's campaign has conceded that his first purple heart could have been self-inflicted. That means, of course, that he didn't deserve the purple heart. Now, that wouldn't really be a big deal.

You don't think it's relevant that he may have lied and/or falsified records to obtain his medals?

You don't think it's relevant that he repeatedly recited a patently false Cambodia fantasy?

It's clear you haven't spent the time to validate or refut the Swift Vets, so why don't you just not comment on it?

Anonymous said...

Palooka seems to really have a thing for Cambodia. Has there ever been an official recognition that we sent troops there?

It is not relevant whether Kerry lied/falsified his military records. Why? BECAUSE IT'S NOT TRUE. The ONLY verifiable claim that the SBVT have put out there is that they all were once in a picture with John Kerry.

Get off your soapbox. Join us here in the real world were the truth is relevant and your La Rouche like conspiracy theories that John Kerry was a 24 year old evil genius are bollocks. If you want to beat him, beat him on substance. Don't mug him and then call it a victory.

Anonymous said...

2) Not one of Kerry's crewmates, even his supporters, ever attests to being in Cambodia.You must have missed the Nixon tape in which Paul O'Neill, the liar who's the source of the smear on this point, attests in conversation with Richard Nixon to being in Cambodia on a Swift boat. Now, O'Neill wasn't, admittedly, a crewmate of Kerry's, but considering that the only basis for the accusation that Kerry is a liar on this point is O'Neill's claim that he knew, as a Swift boat commander immediately following Kerry, that the Swift boats never entered Cambodia, his contemporaneous contrary testimony is relevant -- to say the least.

Rafe said...

As far as Kerry's first Purple Heart goes, whether a wound was inflicted by enemy fire or friendly fire is irrelevant. If you're wounded in combat, you get a Purple Heart.

Palooka said...

If there's no enemy fire, it's not combat, genius. If you are injured in combat by your own fire, and there isn't gross negligence, you may qualify for a purple heart. Kerry's OWN DIARY says he hadn't been under fire when he had received his first purple heart.

The Kerry campaign has folded on one of the purple heart charges, yet you imbeciles still stick to the Democratic talking points.

O'neill said he was in Cambodia? 1) He isn't one of Kerry's crewmates. Secondly, he said he was along the Cambodian border. Maybe he was in Cambodia and lied, maybe he wasn't. I don't care. Two facts you have ALL failed to refute:

1) Kerry has withdrawn his lie about being in Cambodia in Christmas of 1968.

2) Not a SINGLE crewamte, even his supporters, EVER ATTESTS TO BEING IN CAMBODIA--EVER!!!!

I know you Kerry turds are having trouble with these facts, but don't lose your intellectual credibility in the process.

Kerry has changed his story regarding two of the Swift vets' charges. You can deal with the facts or you can continue pulling a Chris Matthews--huffing and puffing and evading the facts.

Palooka said...

Beat him on substance? Maybe someobody should have given him the subtance speech before he decided to run on his Vietnam record...

Believe me, I am more than willing to see Kerry actually take on the issues--heck, I just want him to pick freaking sides on the issues. But these allegations ARE relevant with respect to his credibility and character.

Keep on ignoring the mounting evidence that he lied and falsfied records to acheive his medals. That goes to character, and it's especially salient considering Kerry himself has touted his service as the principal reason he's fit to be commander in chief.