The Democrats have reacted to the Swift boat vets with anguished and selective indignation. This assault was bankrolled by rich Bush supporters, they charge. No kidding. Where else would Swift boat vets get the money? With the exception of the romantic few who serially marry millionaire heiresses, Swift boaters are generally of modest means. Where are they going to get the cash to be heard? Harold Ickes?
The Democrats next charge that the very idea of attacking the military service of a heroic American is disgraceful. On this there are two points. The “heroic” part is precisely what is at issue here, and the Swift boat veterans who themselves served honorably have some questions about it.
More important, who brought up Kerry’s military record in the first place? If Kerry had not made his Vietnam service the very centerpiece of his campaign — “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty” — this attack on his record could more justly be deemed scurrilous mudslinging. But if you run as a war hero, your claims of heroism are fair game.
Here’s a very simple and direct quetion for you. The Swift Boaters for Bush have said that Kerry’s dramatic rescue of Jim Rassmann never happened. That Rassmann was not under fire. Rassmann, a life long Republican, wrote a lengthy first person account in the WSJ this week that explains exactly what happened, and states that he, Rassmann, nominated Kerry for the Silver Star, and believes that Kerry deserved the Silver Star even though he got the Bronze.
Do you believe that Rassman is a liar and has lied about this for 35 years?
If Rassmann isn’t a liar, then the Swift Boat vets are liars.
I know you won’t to focus on trivia, but answer the question, has Rassmann been lying about Kerry’s heroics for 35 years?
Some talking head said approximately the following re Kerry and his tortured memory about his war record. If, now, he is forced to admit that his recollection is untrue, it makes a mockery of over 30 years of his use of his war record. What does this say about his ability to lead? Moreover, how can he criticize George Bush for relying on faulty war intelligence when he has been willing to base policy on his own faulty recollection?
Oh, those poor swift boat hucksters!
Where on earth could they possibly get the cash to run to run a “nonpartisan” ad except from “the most prolific political donor in Texas. A homebuilder who … has helped bankroll the widespread success of Republican candidates here, has long-standing ties to many close associates of President Bush and has contributed to Bush’s last four campaigns.” (Los Angeles Times)
Yes, indeed, juice-boy. Your commentary is as insightful as always. It’s just a coincidence that a major Republican donor is behind this honest, fact-based, nonpartisan effort to set the record straight.
But thanks for another opportunity to share some fascinating insights on religious liberty and tolerance from swift-boat-author Jerome Corsi:
Got any more juicy balloons for us to pop?
Inasmuch as Rassmussen has told two different versions of the story, in a fundamental detail differs (i.e., which boat he was on) within the last year, his credibility is entirely suspect.
As for the fact that Republicans are funding the SBVT, Oregonian misses the point entirely (or else is being deliberately obtuse). How about this – try refuting the actual charges made by the SBVT, rather than crowing about the fact that Republicans are supporting them financially. Can you do that?
OK Josh — so your view is that Rassmann has been lying for 35 years about being rescued by Kerry. At least you’re willing to stand neck deep in the filth with the Swift Boat Liars.
If Rassmann’s memory on some details 35 years later aren’t perfect, doesn’t that sound, well, ordinary? Its his 1969 Silver Star recomendation that you have to establish was a lie. Why did he lie about that then?
But at least you answered the question that goes to the very heart of this Swift Boat smear. You are the first one I’ve ever had stand side by side with those liars on their central charge.
Oregonian- I thought you were a troll, but now I realize you are merely a moron.
Democrats bitch that Republicans are funding the Swift Vets.
Krauthammer states that of course Republicans are funding it- you expect Democrats to fund it?
And your genius response is:
“Republicans are funding the commerical.”
Which has never been an issue in contention.
Lay off the crack.
PJ- I dont think he is lying, but that does not mean he is in sole posession of capital-t truth. He was, after all, in a state of shock after being blown off a boat that hit a mine.
Was Rassmussen under fire when Kerry dragged him out of the water?
Hard to say, but one of the worst witnesses as to whether he was or not would have been Mr. Rassmussen.
He was in the water, after having been blown off another boat. He does not remember whether it was ahead or behind the one that Kerry commanded. Swift boat generate a *lot* of noise. Further, if Rassmussen *did* hear firing, it could easily have come from other Swift boats. He would not have known whether he was under fire or if the Swifts were firing.
Rassmussen got pulled out of the water by Kerry. Fine. I beleive that. But that does not make Rassmussen a reliable witness to every small detail — or even large details — going on around him. He may honestly believe he was under fire. That does not necessarily make it so. It does not make him a liar, either — just mistaken.
The Swift vets have charged a number of specific things. These are items that can be demonstrated one way or another *if* Mr. Kerry chose to release his records. Why are those who support Kerry attacking the messenger rather than the message?
If these guys are lying, it should be *easy* to show they are lying. If they are not lying, why does it matter who is paying to get their message out? Truth changes its value because of the paymaster? Don’t think so.
Wether the swift boat vets ad is true/false stands on the contents own merit, not on who paid for it.
Truth is eternal. Knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them. ~Madeleine L’Engle~
“The Swift Boaters for Bush have said that Kerry’s dramatic rescue of Jim Rassmann never happened.”
Your emotions are causing you to splutter. The Swiftees don’t deny the Kerry pulled Rassman from the river. They just say it *wasn’t* dramatic, because the flotilla/squadron/whatever was NOT under enemy fire.
Yes, but Swift Boat liar Thurlow got a bronze star for the same firefight, and has not produced his bronze star letter.
All of Navy records regarding this incident are of public record, and they 100% show that Kerry’s boat was under fire. Every person on the boat says it was under fire.
Rassmann says bullets were skipping around him and he thought he was a dead man.
The liars claim to have been a few yards away, but the Navy records put them more than 100 yards away.
All records support Rassmann and discredit the liars, who first told their version of events 35 years after the fact.
So several eyewitnesses give contemporaneous accounts that are recorded at the time, they all support one view. One guy who got a bronze star for the mission claims to have been nearby and there was no fire, but no records support him, and he first come up with this story 35 years after the fact.
Give me a break. There’s a special place in hell for the people telling this story — they are the lowest of the low.
Every charge from this liars has been soundly rebutted. I think a claim of actual malice could be easily proven here, which would subject them to liability for libel.
Here is the second paragraph from the end of the Krauthammer article you’re linking, quoted in full:
“The Swift boat campaign will not affect swing voters. People will believe what they believe about Kerry at war based on what they previously thought about Kerry. But by drawing attention to Kerry’s service, the anti-Kerry vets are playing precisely into his strong suit. If the issue becomes which of the two candidates went to the front in the Vietnam War, Kerry wins.”
This seems obviously correct to me, so it seems destined to backfire–to Kerry’s benefit.
Stephen M. St. Onge
So, you can’t criticize a heroic war veteran’s service, or question whether it was really as heroic as advertised? Gee, somebody tell George Herbert Walker Bush, whose heroism as a fighter pilot was questioned during his campaign.
Oh pardon me, I just remembered — you can’t criticize a Democrat for anything, but you can criticize a Republican for anything, including being alive. Never mind.
You can criticize all you want, but you can’t flat out lie like these Swift Boat Liars have done.
In the current version of the story Rassman gets blown off Kerry’s boat by a mine, then finds himself “alone”. Unfortunately the other boat lost two overboard at the same time, apparently sending both those men and their boat into hyperspace for the remainder of the incident, since they weren’t there to be “witnesses” or even get mentioned in Kerry and his crew’s recollection. Of course now it turns out that one of his “crewmen” couldn’t have even served on board his boat.
I wonder how those other guys got out of the water, under all that enemy fire and everthing, while even managing to hook up a tow (under all that enemy fire and everything) and lugging their swamped boat back out (under all that enemy fire and everything). Seems like someone on Kerry’s boat would’ve mentioned doing a hell of a lot of shooting the whole time. You think Rassman’s story would’ve had him immediately grabbing up a weapon and returning fire (against all that enemy fire and everything). Maybe even mentioning that they then rigged up the tow for the boat that hit the mine (under all that enemy fire and everything).
“If the issue becomes which of the two candidates went to the front in the Vietnam War, Kerry wins.”
Likewise, if the issue becomes who has the best hair, Kerry/Edwards wins.
But the issue is NOT who was in Vietnam 30 years ago. The issues are who is best suited now to protect us from current-day enemies who are hankering to blow up US cities.
It seems to me, PJ and Oregano, if you are reduced to arguing that the witnessing boats of the Rassman retrieval were at 100 yards, rather than 50 (in a dynamic situation) then you have already lost. The hat, the “seared, seared” Cambodia claims (tough claims to substantiate, considering the concrete barriers that prevented the Swift boats from getting into the shallower PBR territory), the 210-7 vote of non-confidence – your lyin’ candidate is in trouble. It doesn’t really matter of the money comes from a big Republican donor, or if it springs from the loins of St. George of Soros himself – a dirty, self-serving lie about one’s military service is still a dirty self-serving lie.
Just out of curiosity, how far are you guys willing to prostitute your values, in order to get the guy you prefer into office? Has it ever occurred to you, that perhaps your party might be served at some point by a principled, honest defeat? Or is regaining power the paramount concern? If it is, well then, we know what your party is, we’re just down to negotiating price, now.
It’s just a coincidence that a major Republican donor is behind this honest, fact-based, nonpartisan effort to set the record straight.
And then you link to “media matters”- Now that’s a non-partisan source.
Al — You’re the prostitute. Your attacking a guy who has three purple hearts, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star. Your saying the Navy is a fraud and gives out medals fraudulently, which is not just a bullshit insult to Kerry but to everyone who got a medal in Vietnam. My Dad got a bronze star in Vietnam, was that bullshit too? You also are backing guys who are proven liars. And the hast thing, Kerry’s contemporaneous journals prove the hat story.
Plus, everyone of these swiftboat liars who evaluated Kerry in 1968 and 1969 described him in the most glowing terms imaginable. When someone flips like that 35 years later, there is only one word to describe him — liar.
Your [sic] saying the Navy is a fraud and gives out medals fraudulently, which is not just a bullshit insult to Kerry but to everyone who got a medal in Vietnam.
How is this any different from people saying Bush got an honorable discharge from the National Guard after being AWOL? It seems to me to be the same claim: that a branch of the service hands out honorable discharges fraudulently.
I’m willing to stipulate that Kerry earned his medals if your side will shut up about Bush’s service in the National Guard.
If you do that, we can finally start talking about the real issues…..
Yes, the Navy does give out medals fraudulently at times. This happens a lot when the person in question has family, money or political pull. As a retired navy vet, I can attest to that one.
pj, you remind me of an old cliche: ‘My mind’s made up, don’t bother me with the facts!’
Kerry’s Cambodia claims have been debunked as lies, and he is now changing his story frantically. There is a way he could fix all this – by signing a form 180 and releasing all his information. When a proven liar won’t show his records, why should we believe him and his 6 buddies versus over 200 people who say different?
One is the WSJ op-ed by Rassman reprinted
The other is the official press release.
Both off the Kerry Websites
So which was it
I am trying to find out how J. Kerry got in the military. Was he in the ROTC, did he enllist? How did he get his commission? And why did he only serve 4 months?
I think people should know.