Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bos. Globe & Swift Boat Veterans

Readers Note: The following is an email I’ve just sent to Boston Globe reporter Scott Helman concerning his Apr. 6 story, "'Soft money' battle brewing."


Dear Mr. Helman:

Your Arp 6 article ( “'Soft money' battle brewing” ) provided a good deal of interesting information and I thank you for it. But I believe a part of your article concerning the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is wide of the mark.

I want to tell you why I believe that and invite your response, which I’ll publish in full at my blog just as I’m publishing this letter.

You wrote:

The new GOP group is still in embryonic form, Republicans strategists say, but it is being led by operatives who ran the 2004 Republican group Progress for America, and will probably be funded at least partly by "alumni" of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that used TV ads four years ago to challenge Kerry's well-documented heroism in Vietnam. (emphasis mine)
The Swiftees never challenged “Kerry’s well-documented heroism in Vietnam.”

They challenged first, his failure to release to the public all his Navy service records, something he’d repeatedly promised to do. They did that at a May 4, 2004 news conference at the National Press Club. The Globe reported on it the following day. (See here )

Kerry has yet to fulfill his promise. Instead, just as Nixon offered to do with the Watergate tapes, Kerry has released selected portions of his record while withholding other portions.

The Swiftees also challenged the truth of things Kerry said concerning his Vietnam service. For example, that he’d been sent to Cambodia on a secret mission and spent a Christmas there.

In the ’04 campaign the Swiftees took a terrific pounding from Kerry’s MSM supporters, but I don’t think even Kerry himself now makes the “Christmas in Cambodia” claim.

I’m sure you know last year T. Boone Pickens pledged to give $1 million to a charity of Kerry’s choice if Kerry could verify one thing the Swift Boat Veterans charged that isn’t true.

Kerry wrote Pickens he’d do that promptly and Pickens had better be ready with the $1million.

But as far as I know, Kerry’s done nothing about it since. Do you know otherwise? If so, can you steer me to the source?

Sen. Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans deserve our respect and gratitude for their honorable and frequently heroic service.

But when someone runs for President and offers his or her military service as a key qualifier for office, the public is well served by those who point out the candidate is failing to release service records as promised and making claims about his/her service that are not true.

Your characterization of what the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth did in ’04 is very wide of the mark. I hope you’ll find some means of correcting what you wrote.

Once more, I’ll publish in full at my blog your response.


John in Carolina


Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Good job needling Scott Helman.

But you're assaulting the honor and solidarity of the MSM when it comes to the Swift Boat guys - the party line (heck, the Biblical chapter and verse) of MSM is that the Swifties were 'wrong' and their assertions MUST not be investitated before contradicting or (more usually) ignoring. And Mr. Helman is more likely to call his huff and leave in it, than to attempt to rebut your 'wide of the mark' charge with real evidence.

The MSM had a two-pronged attack in their attempt to overturn the Bush administration in 2004. One side was, of course, Dan Rather's fakelore 'expose' of Bush's TANG service. That was the offense.

The defense was to deflect the testimony of a large cohort of John Kerry's colleagues from his Swift Boat adventures. MSM went all-out to silence any discussion of their charges, by encompassing the whole issue in a bubble of vacuum, and by blatant refusal to investigate what were serious issues from credible Navy officers and enlisted personnel.

Confession: my own outrage at that blatant 'three wise monkeys' orientation of the MSM caused some serious (on my humble scale) donations to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and poisoned most of my remaining respect for 'news' pages who were vigorously touting one party over another in a national election.

Anonymous said...

John: I worked for Admiral William Schachte when he was Director of the Naval Investigative Service. I had several conversations with him concerning his experiences with John Kerry. This was well before Kerry was called out by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. I knew Bill Schachte as an honorable and truthful man; his recollections of Kerry was that Kerry was a privileged New England wimp who joined the Navy only because he felt his hide was going to be safer than if he had to be a grunt in the Army. He spent most of his very abbreviated tour of duty in 'Nam taking video shots of himself in "heroic" poses, and exaggerating his expoloits. I have never heard Kerry say one single credible word to disprove any of the charges made against him by his former comrades. Likewise, he has never offered one iota of evidence that his claims of US troops being worse than Ghengis Khan were anything other than bare-faced lies of a man attempting to put his train on a track to the U.S. Senate. He's made it to the Senate, but he's still a damned liar. I and many others are still waiting to see his records that he promised to realease some years ago.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Archer05 said...

Many people give a lot of credit to the Swift Boat Veterans for the defeat of John Kerry. The MSM tried to silence them by smear tactics, while they praised the likes of Michael Moore.

I think the American people saw through that easily enough. More and more people are becoming wise to the MSM and their biased news/smear game. That may be what saves the USA as we know it.

However, the corruption of the media is stunning, and saddening. The knowledge that someone like George Soros is trying to shape our policies scares me. Keep on, keeping on, John.