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Redefining "Swiftboating"
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, April 20, 2008

Somehow the left redefined it to mean, essentially, a baseless attack - a smear - used to undermine the candidacy of a politician (sort of like the ANG/AWOL thing with Bush). In this case the term comes from the Swiftboats both John Kerry and those who "swiftboated" him served on in Vietnam.

As an answer to that, a new book has been published which answers those claims from the left that the attacks on Kerry were untrue smears. "To Set the Record Straight, How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs, and the New Media Defeated John Kerry" is written by Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler.

As Henry Wickham Jr. points out:
The word means, or should mean, the exposure of a fraudulent autobiography of one seeking political office or public influence. It is the correction of a personal and professional record that has been selectively and dishonestly compiled, as the Swift Vets did so effectively to that of John Kerry.
After looking deeply into the claims of the Swift Boat vets, doing extra research and deciphering reports and the like from the era in which Kerry served and the units he served with, I came to the inescapable conclusion that most of what the SBVT compiled as an argument against Kerry's claims was true. So I'll be interested to pick up this book and see what these two have compiled.

However I'm more interested in seeing the term "Swiftboating" cleared of the connotations the left has hung on it in the meantime:
The Left is now redefining and, therefore, misusing the term swiftboating, and this misuse has become one of the many notable aspects of the 2008 presidential campaign. Democratic candidates and their partisans in the blogosphere use this word to mean smearing their candidates for public office with lies and innuendo. For some blog sites, the word is now synonymous with "screeds," the "politics of smear and fear," and "character assassination of proven effectiveness." Recently, some candidates have angrily declared that they will not be swiftboated.
Although I can certainly see why (and how) the left would like to believe that to be true of what the SBVT did, if, as I noted, you took to time to really research their claims (and it is amazing how much can be found on the 'net in that regard, which helps clarify and put into context the arguments of the SBVT), you can't help but come away much more impressed by their argument than the contradictions found in Kerry's.

Not that it matters much now that Kerry isn't a player anymore, but it does irk me to see the term being misused to describe something that, in my opinion, was never true about the SBVT attack on Kerry. While there were certainly areas in which one could argue because they were based on opinion (was he an "excellent" officer or a "mediocre" one) there was much that was factually presented and backed by records that were, frankly, pretty undeniable. Other Kerry claims were refuted because they were simply impossible or highly improbable. Of course to know that, you had to know something about the military, the area, the era and the players. Most who claimed it was a smear had knowledge of none of that and made no real effort to seek it out (and you'll be treated to seeing them show up here soon). Thus, they are very happy, based on their own erroneous conclusions, to adopt the new meaning of "swiftboating" as a smear.
 
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And to prove it, I understand that Kerry is going to release his military records any day now...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I’ve always thought swiftboating had one more element to it: the source must be different from the official opponent, and therefore (putatively) not necessarily as responsible as it should be in handling the facts.

To illustrate: in a possible McCain Obama contest this fall, Moveon.org might try to swiftboat McCain, but the Obama campaign could not.
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
I’ll read the book and take it seriously, because I’m so open minded about the issues, and I look at all sides. Then I’ll come back and tell you how it doesn’t prove anything because the Swift Boat guys are all liars and Kerry is a noble politician who would never lie about anything. After all, the best people at Wikipedia have already done the intensive and unbiased research necessary to prove that.
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
The information I paid attention to in the ’04 SBVT stuff came from this blog, so I’ll admit that it may be biased as I hadn’t really looked at multiple sources. However, the information presented was well-reasoned and thorough. When I see SBVT pop up now and then, they are characterized as "wholly refuted". I’m a bit perplexed, as I’ve never seen where anything was actually refuted. Sure there are the subjective measures that you’ve mentioned (excellent vs. mediocre), but I’ve yet to see evidence that the SBVT were factually wrong*. The "swiftboating" misnomer has irked me a bit too. Was I missing something big?

*Googling wasn’t very helpful — mostly opinion and very little info.
 
Written By: ck
URL: http://
Was I missing something big?
I first saw the Swiftboat veterans on C-SPAN coverage of a meeting they had fairly early in ’04 (March?) before they became well-known.

They were so plainly the most ordinary of men, who had in common that they had served together, if not at the same time then at one time or another in the Swiftboat command in Vietnam.

Their first complaint about Kerry was his accusations against them and Vietnam veterans in general, which he had made before a Senate committee when he returned stateside and which he repeated elsewhere.

This complaint was reiterated, with anger, by each member of the group who spoke at the meeting, or just about every member.

On top of that came the doubts about Kerry’s service. In the past some of the members of the chain of command had defended Kerry, in the spirit of bygones, but that was for something other than a run for the commander-in-chief position (hence, "Unfit for Command").

One of the defenses used against the Swiftboat vets by the Kerry campaign was that most of the "men who served" with Kerry in his boat, were supporting him. But Kerry did not serve only with the men in his boat. He served with his fellow Swiftboat officers, of whom the vast majority were decidedly opposed to Kerry. Those were the fellow officers who were his peers, who knew him as an officer, who commanded the boats that fought alongside his, and with whom Kerry presumably dined and socialized. They most definitely did not like or admire him, but it went a stretch further than not liking or admiring, to the point where they decided that he was unqualified, by their observation of his conduct during his service, to be president.

They did not forget. And while you might think that a squad of vets would be generally supportive of someone with whom they had served, or who was an officer from their command, that was certainly not the case with the Swiftboat vets vis a vis Kerry.

Combing through all of the individual observations and charges continues to raise questions about Kerry, who was using his Vietnam service as a selling point, not about the Swiftboat vets.

But the numbers, I think, say it all: the number of very ordinary men who were Swiftboat vets who came forward to say "no" to Kerry.

I have no use for Kerry, and wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire.

But I continue to be impressed by how many like him, and worse, the Democratic Party has. They have an incredibly deep bench of a******s.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I think we "owe" the Swift Boat vet’s a great debt...in part, by their actions the current regime was perpetuated in power and the disaster, no debacle in the words of Bush’s own Defense University study, that is Iraq continues to this day!

This is the debte we owe the Swift Boat Vet’s for "Truth!"

Remember...QUAGMITE...DOOM...DECLINE...RETREAT.

ALL threads are about Iraq, because it’s not Black Fly Season in Maine.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Ahh Joe, isn’t it amazing? "Even a blind pig...."
What could possibly have been worse than a continuation of the Bush Administration? This post more than adequately answers that question, doesn’t it?
Thanks for finally making sense.
 
Written By: Greybeard
URL: http://pitchpull.blogspot.com/
What could possibly have been worse than a continuation of the Bush Administration?
Oh the Kerry administration, increased taxes, retreat from Iraq, I could think of more.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Somehow the left redefined it to mean, essentially, a baseless attack - a smear
That’s what it was, and that’s what it means, no matter how much time the dishonest swiftboat folk try to make up evidence supporting them. I think the fact one of their top people embezzled, while another said it was impossible to be in Cambodia even though he told Nixon he was...no, Kerry is vindicated — a war hero — the swiftboaters are the gutter of American politics and thankfully the term is correctly defined, no matter how much whining comes from the gutter.

Of course, sufferers of KDS can blindly pretend that those attacks were accurate, stewing about how the "left" somehow managed to "redefine" a word (note: the definition has always been what it is, the correct definition, a political hack job, a dishonest smear, full of lies). It’s even part of college courses on campaign tactics.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Erb,
Was John Kerry in Cambodia at Christmas of 1968 as he has said numerous times including on the floor of the Senate?
 
Written By: anonymous
URL: http://
So Scott, you’re not even open to the possibility that what they say is true (when they actually served) because what? John Kerry said so?

Really?

Yea, there’s that intellectual honesty I see the University of Maine looks for in ALL it’s Poli Sci professors!
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Somehow the left redefined it to mean, essentially, a baseless attack - a smear
That’s what we wise leftists determined that it was, and that’s what we wise leftists kept repeating until the definition got embedded into the left mindset. No matter how much time the dishonest swiftboat folk try to make up evidence supporting them, we’ll just ignore it. Our post-modern training allows us to do that. Facts are exactly what we say they are, because in post-modernism a fact is really a type of opinion, and the opinion that counts is the one from left. You dense righties are just going to have to get used to that.

I think the fact one of their top people embezzled, while another said it was impossible to be in Cambodia even though he told Nixon he was... I mean, that just blows their whole case out of the water, doesn’t it, so we don’t have to look at any of the dozens of quite plausible charges or the hundreds of pages of evidence in their book. Oh, no! It’s been debunked! I decree it! Stop laughing!

So I never, ever have to answer the bleating of you other commenters who put forth your so-called facts, when the very fact that you don’t accept post-modernist thinking shows that you are not worth arguing with. So you might as well give it up. I’m never going to answer your so-called charges against Kerry, and it’s not because I’m too cowardly. No, it’s because we wise post-modern leftists have determined that Kerry is vindicated — a war hero — the swiftboaters are the gutter of American politics, and none of you get a vote because you’re not worthy. Thankfully the term is correctly defined to it’s leftist meaning, and our leftist colleagues in the press have backed us on this as they always do, no matter how much whining comes from the gutter.

Of course, sufferers of KDS (don’t you love how I turned the BDS tag against you, even though no one else in the world uses the term "KDS", that doesn’t matter because we on the left get to define the terminology as I said earlier) can blindly pretend that those attacks were accurate, stewing about how the "left" somehow managed to "redefine" a word. As if you guys that don’t understand post modernism could even understand what redefinition is! (note: the definition has always been what it is because that’s the way wise leftists defined it. I decree it. Here’s how it works. The definition is correct because the swift boats guys were liars, and I never have to prove that they are liars because our meaning "swift boating" is the correct definition. And that’s not circular reasoning. I mean, it might look like it is, but that’s just an illusion that’s due to your insufficient understanding of post modernism and your lack of godlike powers of political science like mine. I’m telling you, swift boating is a political hack job, a dishonest smear, full of lies). It’s even part of college courses on campaign tactics. And we wise leftists have managed to make our side of it the only part that gets presented, so you foolish righties might as well stop trying to defend those swift boat guys.

But never forget that I look at all sides, and objectively consider the evidence, and I’m always willing to change my opinion if new evidence contradicts me. Ha! You fell for it again, didn’t you? I can say that as many times as I want, and there’s always some dense righting around here who thinks "Maybe he actually will listen to us and change his mind about something." Not a chance. You’re not wise leftists, so there’s nothing to learn from you. Just accept that we’ve got a monopoly on truth. The swift boat guys are liars, Kerry is a stainless hero, Jimmy Carter is a brilliant and great man and not an anti-American bitter old man, Iraq is an irredeemable failure, and nobody cares about Obama’s preacher or terrorist friends. Man, I do so love being right all the time!
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
You know, Scott, some times you can come across as very reasonable and intelligent, interested in passionate discussion with those with whom you disagree. This time, you missed that mark, and a bit widely at that.

First, KDS??? Oh, please. There are a lot of people who dislike John Kerry for perfectly rational reasons (like the whole Winter Soldier thing), and others who are simply of the opinion that he is slime. That is a far, far cry from the equivalence you are trying to create with the KDS acronym. That is to say, you cannot equate "some people do not like John Kerry and believe him to be unpatriotic and probably a liar" to "some people think that George Bush is Evil, and the source of all bad that does happen and all good that does not happen, either by his action or his inaction." That’s not to say that KDS would not have developed had Kerry been elected (there was certainly an odd fringe during Clinton’s administration that was deranged about his (very real) misbehaviors).

Second, I would have thought you to be above ad hominem attacks. At the very least, I hope that you will realize the logical fallacy, and address the arguments that SBVT made, rather than the people who made the arguments. Then again, if wishes were horses....

Third, I don’t know a lot about what SBVT alleged about Kerry; I had already made up my mind against him by the time that they came out with their allegations. I do know that John Kerry made a number of manifestly false statements, and then tried to weasel out of them later, that SBVT called him on, including the Christmas in Cambodia bit, and throwing "his" medals over the White House fence. I am not aware of any factual accusations made by SBVT that were rebutted, or even called into serious doubt. Perhaps you could point me to some evidence that falsifies their charges?

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Perhaps you could point me to some evidence that falsifies their charges?
Jeff, I’d urge you to watch the follow-up (or lack thereof) on this one very carefully. It might be an eye-opening experience for you.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I would love to see McQ and Erb get into a full debate on the Swift Boat Veterans. I know Erb doesn’t have the intellectual honesty to admit it when McQ (or anyone else) has him nailed; it would nevertheless be instructive to all of us here.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
What I don’t get is why Bush was considered fit to serve? When in my experience, the likes of him during the Vietnam war was considered the scum of the earth. I can’t speak for officers, though.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://hathor-sekhmet.blogspot.com
The media, as I remember, created the term "swiftboating." That they chose to define and use it dishonestly is not surprising, nor does that in itself discredit the Swift Boat veterans.

That a college or university should use it with the media’s definition in a course about campaign tactics says a great deal about those institutions of higher learning, however.
 
Written By: Scott Crawford
URL: http://
Well, it’s not like the left here in America and abroad have any experience in changing the definition of words. Right?

Because we all know that the socialist and advocates of statism that the Nazi’s and Fascist’s were, who held many if not most of the beliefs that the left hold dear were actually from the right.

And now patriotism means calling for defeat and surrender while engaged in combat with the enemy.
 
Written By: matterson
URL: http://
"What I don’t get is why Bush was considered fit to serve?"
The fact that he qualified in single-seat single-engine fighter jets probably has something to do with it.

Do you have any serious idea what that’s all about?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Those who use a word implicitly get to define it. The right does not wield the term "swiftboating" at the moment. If righties start to use it with qando’s meaning, then there could be a real argument, but otherwise, this battle is lost.

Can anyone out there swiftboat Obama? Are they willing to use the word to describe what they do? That’s the test.

Words sometimes do change their meaning...
 
Written By: Larry
URL: http://
... the likes of him ...
Which would be what, exactly? And on what evidence do you base your assessment?
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
The media, as I remember, created the term "swiftboating."
Well, the media didn’t so much as they allowed it to be defined by the Dem pundits they repeatedly give the airwaves over to. The James Carvilles and the Paul Begalas of the media set know that if they repeat the lie enough, it becomes truth. Carville is the master and his cohorts have done a remarkable job. Of course, when CNNBCBSMSNBC gives you that much face time, it sets itself up for you. They can make almost any statement they want and it goes unchecked.
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
I would love to see McQ and Erb get into a full debate ... it would nevertheless be instructive to all of us here.
Does anyone here really need this at this point? I think OttScerb breaks it down amiably enough if you’re at all confused as to Erbie’s mindset.
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
I would love to see McQ and Erb get into a full debate on the Swift Boat Veterans. I know Erb doesn’t have the intellectual honesty to admit it when McQ (or anyone else) has him nailed; it would nevertheless be instructive to all of us here.
Have you not heard the old Southern expression on such "debates"? If you mud-wrestle with a pig, you both get filthy dirty. The difference between you and the pig is that the pig likes it.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
A case of AGW being "SwiftBoat"-ed
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
No amount of whining and commandeering of connotations on the part of the Left changes the fact that, in the contest between John F. Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, John F. Kerry went down.

However much they are still smarting from that, and however much they’d like to somehow repay the favor by making “swiftboating” synonymous with smearing and being unfair, the Left should realize that what most people associate with the word is the delivery of a thumping defeat.

Plus, the various common meanings and associations of the word “swift” range, affectively, from pleasant to thrilling. Like it or not, it’s just unsuited to use as – or in – a pejorative.

The Left would do well just to drop it, but you know how they are.

I’ll take this opportunity to say that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth impressed me as honorable men who had every right and reason to come forward and present information that had real bearing on the assessment of Kerry’s credibility and fitness for the presidency. I believe they saw it as their duty to set the record straight and I’m glad they accepted the challenge because I think their actions, more than any other single factor, spared us a Kerry administration.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Didn’t, before he got sidetracked by T. Boone Pickens, John Kerry claim he was preparing to "forcefully refute" the claims of the SwiftBoat Veterans for Truth ?

MIA again.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Achillea,
"the likes of him" the National Guard

Billy Beck,
I was speaking of the atmosphere at the time, what you did in the guard or if you were even present had nothing to do with their disdain. This feeling was from both volunteers and draftees. I don’t imagine every soldier felt as this, but I was speaking of what I heard first person. That is why I was taken back by the questioning of Kerry’s service and Bush’s brushed off. However, I did understand why veterans were pissed by Kerry’s testimony to congress.

I thought I had posted an answer before.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://hathor-sekhmet.blogspot.com
VRB, Dubya did not "Report for duty" he ran for and then accepted his party’s nomination for a second term.

VRB, Dubya did not make his Vietnam service and the "lessons" he learned from it the center-piece of his campaign, Kerry did.

To speak for Dubya, I doubt he’d consider his service any where near Kerry’s, much less McCain’s...but he never tried to do so. He said, "I served and was discharged honorably." No more, no less...Much akin to my father, he served, he was a veteran...he told jokes about his service. He was proud of it yes, but he knew that being a warrant officer in a combat service support unit, far behind the lines did not make him, in any way, a "hero." He never attempted to make it the centre-piece of his professional life or a reason for advancement or preferment.

And unlike John Kerry, neither Dubya nor my father, then proceeded to testify to Congress concerning the supposed "war crimes" of the men and womyn with they served. Neither went to Paris or Tokyo and consulted with the enemy during the peace talks taking place between the US and the enemy.

And whilst both Dubya and my father, no doubt, could be persuaded to tell "war stories" of their service-the veracity of which might be questionable-neither of them have given speeches about Christmas’ in Cambodia and "Lucky hats" and other things being "Seared into their memories."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And whilst both Dubya and my father, no doubt, could be persuaded to tell "war stories" of their service-the veracity of which might be questionable-neither of them have given speeches about Christmas’ in Cambodia and "Lucky hats" and other things being "Seared into their memories."
But Kerry is the kind of man the Left reveres as a Hero. Just ask Erb! Kerry is a hero. But not for anything he did on the field of battle.

This is a semantic kind of issue. The Soviet Union, in its heyday, talked emphatically about their desire for peace. We in the west could not understand their position because they continually fomented conflict around the world. How could they be for peace. But it was true - they did desire Peace. But how they defined it was the true difference. To the Soviet Union Peace could only be attained when the entire world was dominated by Communism. Until then there could be no Peace and they were doing their best to attain that perfect, peaceful world.

Kerry is a hero to the left in the same manner. In just the same way that Quisling was a hero - it just depends on how the term is defined.
Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling was a Norwegian army officer and fascist politician who served as Minister President of German-occupied Norway during World War II from 1942 to 1945. During this time, he claimed to be the head of government while the constitutional government was exiled in London. After the war, Quisling was convicted of high treason and executed by firing squad. His surname has become an eponym for "traitor", especially a collaborationist.
To the Germans, Quisling was a hero. Kerry lied to Congress and conspired with the North Vietnamese negotiators. To the Left, he is a hero. He worked to end the war - rightly or wrongly, lies and distortions condoned - the ends justify the means to the Left and the end of that war allowed for any and all justifications. (Just ask William Ayres.) So, whenever you hear Erb or anyone else from the Left describe Kerry as a hero - it has nothing to do with anything but semantics.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
still waiting.

Oh, and Jeff: Ad Hominum, Straw Man, and Circular Logic are Erb’s best friends
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Notice how his cackles went up when you dared to impugn JFK, the war hero? I thought he was above all that.

Sorry about the noise. My sarcasm meter just pegged.
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
Joe,
I was aware during Bush’s campaign. It was just curious about the seemingly change of opinion of veterans, even before Bush ran against Kerry.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://hathor-sekhmet.blogspot.com
Jeff Medcalf:
You know, Scott, sometimes you can come across as very reasonable and intelligent, interested in passionate discussion with those with whom you disagree.
Boris can go a couple of rounds, here and there, doing a reasonable impersonation of reasonable and intelligent. Then you press him a little, back him up a few steps, undermine his premise, and out comes the sample case of Erbotic tonics and lotions.

But the problem with those is that he hasn’t sold any of them in so long they’ve all gathered dust and gone rancid.

Hence the nature of his presence these days, such as it is.

There is, however, a mission of mercy involved in fixing his attention here: Less time for him to annoy and frustrate his students.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
What I don’t get is why Bush was considered fit to serve? When in my experience, the likes of him during the Vietnam war was considered the scum of the earth. I can’t speak for officers, though.
You mean fighter pilots? You mean those guys flying that generation of F-century series that had a 25% chance of dying in a 20 year career?

I didn’t realize that AR and NG service made you "Scum of the earth", by anyone...but I wasn’t hip to the whole scene, man.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I think the fact one of their top people embezzled, while another said it was impossible to be in Cambodia even though he told Nixon he was...no, Kerry is vindicated
What does "embezzled" have to do with it? You are just smearming, like you always accuse others of doing. That makes you a hypocrit, BTW.

I read the John O’Neill quote to Nixon, and it could be interpreted a number of ways, and even if we accept your leftist interpretation, it doesn’t change the fact that Kerry never went to Cambodia, and that he lied about it multiple times for political gain.

You see Scott, it isn’t what O’Neill said that shows that Kerry was lying, it was the fact that no one else on his boat thinks they went to Cambodia, they were never ordered there, their leaders never heard of them being there, and there is no evidience they were there. And the fact that Kerry’s story was still changing during the 2004 election (his biographer had one story, several months later his campaign manager had another).

Kerry lied, pure and simple.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"I was speaking of the atmosphere at the time, what you did in the guard or if you were even present had nothing to do with their disdain."
Whose "disdain"? For god’s sake, man: write English for me and I might be able to work with you.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
I was laughing as I made the post, realizing I was about to unleash a fury of activity. As with global warming, you guys look at one side of the story and then defend that "side," rather than look at all evidence. It’s funny. And here, well, the word is defined accurately, even if you don’t like it.
Was John Kerry in Cambodia at Christmas of 1968 as he has said numerous times including on the floor of the Senate?
He has said that it may not have been Christmas, that he wasn’t aware of the date. That’s pretty minor. If that’s the best one has on him — perhaps getting a date wrong — then that’s nothing.

But carry on, you all can have the last word(s).

 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
He has said that it may not have been Christmas, that he wasn’t aware of the date. That’s pretty minor. If that’s the best one has on him — perhaps getting a date wrong — then that’s nothing.
He wasn’t there. All the other guys on his boat agree: he wasn’t there.

His biographer claimed that, based upon Kerry’s log, Kerry went a number of times, just not on Xmas. However, he also didn’t tell us what exactly in Kerry’s log indicated this, or the actual dates or pages.

The same year, his campaign manager said Kerry went only once. Just not on Xmas. That was in 2004, not long after the biographer said it.

Kerry has never provided supporting evidence. The men who were there with him, both on his boat, on other boats, as well as giving him orders, none of them, not one, support this story.

The simple fact is that Kerry never went to Cambodia during the war.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
He has said that it may not have been Christmas, that he wasn’t aware of the date. That’s pretty minor.
Minor enough to make it into a speech given on the Senate floor twice. You either are or are not pregnant - and HE IS A LIAR. And he did so for political gain. He wasn’t trading war stories at the bar, He wasn’t schmoozing with his buddies down at the VFW. (Now that is a picture I would like to see!!) If he embellished the truth, stretched it a little, that would be one thing - we all do it. But you don’t do it in that arena and afterward claim you misspoke.

And that gets into the other part of the Kerry Fables. He has never apologized for his lies - I would call them exagerations but I won’t, they were lies. The most he has ever said was he may have gotten the date wrong. So much for his SEARED memory, huh?
But carry on, you all can have the last word(s).
Now there is the punch line. The American public had the last word when they declared at the polls that an unpopular President leading an unpopular war is preferrable to Kerry.


 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
I could give a hoot about whether he was in Cambodia or not. I’ll agree it’s a secondary issue. What kills me is getting a Super 8 camera to reenact your PT-109 moment, ostensibly to cash in on your war "heroism". Talk about delusions of grandeur! Audie Murphy, he ain’t! It’s funny he still gets the resident Left’s bestowment of street cred following these follies... gosh, it’s almost as if they’ve overlooked these things!
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
My problem here is that I don’t know, for the life of me, why someone would even try to defend Kerry. He was in Vietnam for 3.5 months. He took a few nicks, God bless him, got three Purple Hearts and rode them out of the theatre. Good for him. I don’t necessarily think that anyone would blame him for that.

But when he tried to sell that and a couple of medals as "war hero for president" the other officers and the chain of command and a good number of men who were there stepped forward and said "no dice, a**wipe, we know you for what you are."

End of story. The Swiftboat boys said "NO."

Why would anyone take Kerry’s word over theirs? What did they have to gain by so vehemently protesting the very possibility of one of their own becoming president?

This wasn’t like Harry Truman saying he didn’t like Ike because the two men had butted heads at the end of and after the war.

This was the band of brothers saying Brother Kerry was a creep, as if anyone needed help in figuring that out.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I was laughing as I made the post, realizing I was about to unleash a fury of activity. I usually hide the fact that I’m trolling better than that, but I was in a hurry today.

As with global warming, you guys look at one side of the story and then defend that "side," rather than look at all evidence. It’s funny. And, of course, we wise leftists never do that. For example, my fervent defence of Jimmy Carter would never in a million years be in that same category. Nor my defense of that noble hero John Kerry, or my certainty that those swift boat fellows are inveterate liars, all fifty of them.

And here, well, the word is defined accurately, even if you don’t like it. I decree it. You don’t get a vote. Suck on it, righties.
Was John Kerry in Cambodia at Christmas of 1968 as he has said numerous times including on the floor of the Senate?
He has said that it may not have been Christmas, that he wasn’t aware of the date. That’s pretty minor. You see, anything that contradicts the position of we wise leftists is "pretty minor," while anything that contradicts the position of the right is a fatal flaw. That’s just the way post-modernist political thought works, and it continually surprises me that you dense righties don’t understand and accept it.

If that’s the best one has on him — perhaps getting a date wrong — then that’s nothing. That’s right. He’s not a liar for getting it wrong a dozen times and talking about how it’s seared into his memory. Nope. Pretty minor. I decree it.

But carry on, you all can have the last word(s). Besides, if I used the "pretty minor" defense against the dozens of other accusations against Kerry, you righties would bleat about how I’m intellectually dishonest or something. So I’m bailing before you can do that. And it’s not because I’m too cowardly to defend my position. It’s just to keep from frustrating you dense righties any further. Stop laughing!
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
From the Washington Post:
However seared he was, Kerry’s spokesmen now say his memory was faulty. When the Swift boat veterans who oppose Kerry presented statements from his commanders and members of his unit denying that his boat entered Cambodia, none of Kerry’s shipmates came forward, as they had on other issues, to corroborate his account. Two weeks ago Kerry’s spokesmen began to backtrack. First, one campaign aide explained that Kerry had patrolled the Mekong Delta somewhere "between" Cambodia and Vietnam. But there is no between; there is a border. Then another spokesman told reporters that Kerry had been "near Cambodia." But the point of Kerry’s 1986 speech was that he personally had taken part in a secret and illegal war in a neutral country. That was only true if he was "in Cambodia," as he had often said he was. If he was merely "near," then his deliberate misstatement falsified the entire speech.

Next, the campaign leaked a new version through the medium of historian Douglas Brinkley, author of "Tour of Duty," a laudatory book on Kerry’s military service. Last week Brinkley told the London Telegraph that while Kerry had been 50 miles from the border on Christmas, he "went into Cambodian waters three or four times in January and February 1969 on clandestine missions." Oddly, though, while Brinkley devotes nearly 100 pages of his book to Kerry’s activities that January and February, pinpointing the locations of various battles and often placing Kerry near Cambodia, he nowhere mentions Kerry’s crossing into Cambodia, an inconceivable omission if it were true.

Now a new official statement from the campaign undercuts Brinkley. It offers a minimal (thus harder to impeach) claim: that Kerry "on one occasion crossed into Cambodia," on an unspecified date. But at least two of the shipmates who are supporting Kerry’s campaign (and one who is not) deny their boat ever crossed the border, and their testimony on this score is corroborated by Kerry’s own journal, kept while on duty. One passage reproduced in Brinkley’s book says: "The banks of the [Rach Giang Thanh River] whistled by as we churned out mile after mile at full speed. On my left were occasional open fields that allowed us a clear view into Cambodia. At some points, the border was only fifty yards away and it then would meander out to several hundred or even as much as a thousand yards away, always making one wonder what lay on the other side." His curiosity was never satisfied, because this entry was from Kerry’s final mission.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Should have bolded this in my last post:

But at least two of the shipmates who are supporting Kerry’s campaign (and one who is not) deny their boat ever crossed the border, and their testimony on this score is corroborated by Kerry’s own journal, kept while on duty.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Erb:
He has said that it may not have been Christmas, that he wasn’t aware of the date. That’s pretty minor. If that’s the best one has on him — perhaps getting a date wrong — then that’s nothing.
What Kerry said:
SEN. KERRY: We were right on the border, Tim. What I explained to people and I told this any number of times, did I go into Cambodia on a mission? Yes, I did go into Cambodia on a mission. Was it on that night? No, it was not on that night. But we were right on the Cambodian border that night. We were ambushed there, as a matter of fact. And that is a matter of record, and we went into the rec— you know, it’s part of the Navy records. It’s been documented by the other guys who were on my boat. And Steve Gardner, frankly, doesn’t know where we were. It wasn’t his job, and, you know, he wasn’t involved in that. But we did go five miles into Cambodia. It was on another day. I jumbled the two together, but we were five miles into Cambodia. We went up on a mission with CIA agents—I believe they were CIA agents—CIA Special Ops guys. I even have some photographs of it, and I can document it. And it has been documented.
And:
SEN. KERRY: I still have the hat that he gave me, and I hope the guy would come out of the woodwork and say, "I’m the guy who went up with John Kerry. We delivered weapons to the Khmer Rouge on the coastline of Cambodia."

So Kerry says he went there at some other date, and what was his mission?
Running guns to the Khmer Rouge...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6886726/
 
Written By: anonymous
URL: http://
So Kerry says he went there at some other date, and what was his mission?
Running guns to the Khmer Rouge...
So he’s claiming he was working for the other side?

From wiki:
In 1968, the Khmer Rouge forces launched a national insurgency across Cambodia (see also Cambodian Civil War). Though North Vietnam had not been informed of the decision, its forces provided shelter and weapons to the Khmer Rouge after the insurgency started. Vietnamese support for the insurgency made it impossible for the Cambodian military to effectively counter it. For the next two years the insurgency grew as Sihanouk did very little to stop it. As the insurgency grew stronger, the party finally openly declared itself to be the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK).
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Exactly.
When ever he opens his mouth on the subject, he inserts his foot.
But Erb will no doubt defend it (just minor mistake).
 
Written By: anonymous
URL: http://
"We delivered weapons to the Khmer Rouge on the coastline of Cambodia."

That was a bit out of his area of operations, wasn’t it?


"He has said that it may not have been Christmas, that he wasn’t aware of the date."

I defy anyone to find someone who doesn’t remember where he or she was on their Xmas in VietNam, or when that Xmas occurred. Some things are actually seared into the memory, and where you spent Xmas in a combat zone, and what you were doing at the time, is generally one of them.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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