My Photo

« Watch that Prosecutor | Main | Creating a Progressive Infrastructure »

August 05, 2004

Comments

Double post.

Von,

So you would have supported Bush's lawyers suing any theaters who might show Fahrenheit 9/11?

Would theaters do well to not risk a defamatory charge without at least some assurance -- in the form of evidence -- supporting the Fatboy's version of events?

Fixed. Sorry if I lost any comments.

So you would have supported Bush's lawyers suing any theaters who might show Fahrenheit 9/11?

Yay! More F9/11! And that "Fatboy" comment -- gold, pure gold.

Would theaters do well to not risk a defamatory charge without at least some assurance -- in the form of evidence -- supporting the Fatboy's version of events?

I'm fairly certain that the majority of chains carrying Moore's F9/11 either sought indemnity from the distributors or made some assessment of their risks. So, on the broad point, yes.

So, on the broad point, yes.

Would you think it political smart on Bush's part to pursue aggressive legal action against theater owners?

What was it in F9/11 that was actionable?

Would you think it political smart on Bush's part to pursue aggressive legal action against theater owners?

Nope, I think Bush shoulda made a joke of it. (As I noted on the relevant Tacitus.org thread.) Perhaps Kerry should take the same approach here -- he still has plenty of time to do so.

Sending an initial letter like this one, however, has the immediate effect of putting the SwiftVets on the defensive. Their credibility becomes a much larger part of the story. It's a good first-news-cycle move b/c you can't make a joke about them until you've engendered some degree of skepticism regarding their motivations and charges. (In my view, properly so.)

Agreed. And Mac, weird that your focus is on whether the legal move is a good tactic -- with a Michael Moore is Fat detour -- rather than the gist of Von's post. "Let's have these honorable men support their charges."

Included the linked charge.

You never struck me as the crushing dissent type. Oh well...

;-)

I'd agree that Kerry should have treated this lightly. It's a little late now after having a paper trail of your campaign staff and your lawyers calling them all liars. The problem with the swiftvet ad is that I don't think you should attack people over their service, but responding in kind by the Kerry people is just as stupid. They're also insuring that this will get more free news cycle time by trying to smother it before it airs, because that only makes the story hotter. The aggressive push back is only going to make the choir happy, and turn off swing voters. It is an overreaction. Now let's see if the Bush camp handles it properly.

Von wrote:

"Sending an initial letter like this one, however, has the immediate effect of putting the SwiftVets on the defensive. Their credibility becomes a much larger part of the story."

No kidding.

Captain Adrian Lonsdale, in the SBVFT ad: "And he [Kerry] lacks the capacity to lead."

Captain Adrian Lonsdale, quoted in the November 4, 1996, issue of South Coast Today: (http://www.s-t.com/daily/11-96/11-04-96/d01lo120.htm):

"Adrian Lonsdale remembers a young John F. Kerry as a naval officer who was a good debater, even back in his days in Vietnam. "'He and I and others used to have long discussions at the officers club,' said Mr. Lonsdale of Mattapoisett, a former Coast Guard officer who commanded a division in which the Massachusetts senator was attached back in 1969. 'They were very spirited discussions about the war and the politics back home.' "'He was opposed to the war but it didn't make any difference in his performance,' said the former owner and still instructor at Northeast Maritime Institute in New Bedford. 'He was a very good officer.' "Capt. Lonsdale was among a group of former Vietnam veterans the Massachusetts Democrat brought to the Charlestown navy yard recently to rebut a Boston Globe column that raised questions about Sen. Kerry's Vietnam service, particularly the Silver Star he won.'"

So, Lonsdale said Kerry's performance wasn't affected by his called him a "very good officer", and even *flew to Boston to support Kerry* in a 1996 senate campaign where similar allegations were made to the ones made by Swift Boat Veterans for Pravda now. And now he says the opposite. It's bizarre. (I believe another member of SBVFT also flew in for Kerry's 1996 campaign).

Others on the anti-Kerry side are placing their faith in O'Neill's character, which seems odd given his being picked by Nixon to (unsuccessfully) take down Kerry in 1971: this may be easy to be framed as an old grudge match/envy on the part of O'Neill (whose political career stalled) towards Kerry.

Von wrote:

"Sending an initial letter like this one, however, has the immediate effect of putting the SwiftVets on the defensive. Their credibility becomes a much larger part of the story."

No kidding.

Captain Adrian Lonsdale, in the SBVFT ad: "And he [Kerry] lacks the capacity to lead."

Captain Adrian Lonsdale, quoted in the November 4, 1996, issue of South Coast Today: (http://www.s-t.com/daily/11-96/11-04-96/d01lo120.htm):

"Adrian Lonsdale remembers a young John F. Kerry as a naval officer who was a good debater, even back in his days in Vietnam. "'He and I and others used to have long discussions at the officers club,' said Mr. Lonsdale of Mattapoisett, a former Coast Guard officer who commanded a division in which the Massachusetts senator was attached back in 1969. 'They were very spirited discussions about the war and the politics back home.' "'He was opposed to the war but it didn't make any difference in his performance,' said the former owner and still instructor at Northeast Maritime Institute in New Bedford. 'He was a very good officer.' "Capt. Lonsdale was among a group of former Vietnam veterans the Massachusetts Democrat brought to the Charlestown navy yard recently to rebut a Boston Globe column that raised questions about Sen. Kerry's Vietnam service, particularly the Silver Star he won.'"

So, Lonsdale said Kerry's performance wasn't affected by his politics, called him a "very good officer", and even *flew to Boston to support Kerry* in a 1996 senate campaign where similar allegations were made to the ones made by Swift Boat Veterans for Pravda now. And now he says the opposite. It's bizarre. (I believe another member of SBVFT also flew in for Kerry's 1996 campaign).

Others on the anti-Kerry side are placing their faith in O'Neill's character, which seems odd given his being picked by Nixon to (unsuccessfully) take down Kerry in 1971: this may be easy to be framed as an old grudge match/envy on the part of O'Neill (whose political career stalled) towards Kerry.

Jesus F'in Christ. Another F9/11 thread.

Yes, there's a ton of innuendo in the Saudi Arabia/Carlisle Group section of Moore's movie. He urges the audience to connect a lot of dots - too many, in fact. But Moore's innuendos, suggestive edits, and connect-the-dotwork are just that: suggestions which point in the direction of unproven theories. If read on its face, the first half of Moore's movie makes the argument that it's bad to elect presidents whose finances and fundings are deeply intwined with the Saudi oil machine, nothing more.

The "Swift Boats" people aren't pointing broadly to conspiratorial ideas based on bits of information here and there laid out in a suggestive fashion. They're lying, plain and simple. They make numerous factual statements which are flatly contradicted by an overwhelming mass of evidence. If read on their face, their statements make the argument that John Kerry, his supporters, his fellow officers, and the United States military have all lied to turn a treacherous and vile man into a war hero.

Sorry for double post.

Nothing weird about Harley. He initiated the conversation (see his update) try to follow it okay?

Well, if nothing else, it's good to know there's nothing weird about me. Tho' the Lovely Deanna might disagree.

Leaving out the "it" does wonders...

And it made half of your comment true! :)

As you all might have predicted, I've got an especially long time constant on this one. IOW, waiting and seeing...

I'd agree that Kerry should have treated this lightly. It's a little late now after having a paper trail of your campaign staff and your lawyers calling them all liars.

I think that this story's going to be around for a bit, so, from a purely strategic perspective, I'm less concerned about Kerry keeping them in the news for another day. In a week, his lawyers will be forgotten and Kerry will have his chance at the graceful dismissal (which Bush, frankly, shoulda done with F9-11).

That said, I don't like purely personal attacks -- and this is one. (F9-11 is, largely, another. BTW, I don't like the "Bush lied" or the "No oil for blood" memes.) If you make a serious charge such as those (or this), you'd better have the smoking gun. If you don't have a smoking gun -- or even smoke or gun -- well, you'd better at least have something more than your say so. So, again: Give us the evidence, Swiftvets. You sat down at the table. Ante up.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/9330404.htm?1c

Any reason why McCain's comments aren't being brought up? They are surely worth mentioning.

As are the White House comments.

"The president deplores all the unregulated soft money activity," he said, calling the ad "another example of the problem with the unregulated soft money activity that is going on."

"We hope the Kerry campaign will join us in calling for an end to all this kind of activity,"

Anyone want to take bets on whether Kerry will join Bush?

Mac writes:
"As are the White House comments."

ooohh. Nice piece of ju-jitsu there. God, Rove *is* smart isn't he? If only Rove had used his superpowers for good, instead of evil.

(Personally, I'd have thought he'd have left the story out there for a few more days to neutralize the "Kerry served" meme before quashing it. I think even us Democrats would like to hear something more that "he's a veteran, he got kewl medals" tape-loop.)

(Personally, I'd have thought he'd have left the story out there for a few more days to neutralize the "Kerry served" meme before quashing it.

They could not with McCain reacting the way he did... One news cycle with it sitting out there that the White House had ignored or rejected McCain would have been deadly... The Non Denial Denial type of response allows some headlines to balance off the request for a response and they will sit back as these slurs are pushed, prodded and screamed by the RNC spinners and Media attack squad...

It really is a sad day...

Tommyd....

Mac
I haven't seen an attack ad (meaning one that fabricates the past) yet from the Kerry campaign but if I do I expect the Bush campaign will defend against it. With McCain involved and O'Neil's record I'm fairly sure how this is going to play out on the old credibility meter.

On this thread you seem to be condemning Kerry for the assertions in the ad and then condemning him again for defending himself against the ad.
How convenient.
I think we can be certain that he won't have your vote in November.

Ironlungfish
The truth is: members of the military, including senior members in the pentagon, decided (after they had seen the original 'Manchurian Candidate') that John Kerry was their man so they BRAINWASHED him and LIED to get him military medals - all in preparation for him running for president 32 years later.
Cat's out of the bag now I guess.
Damn those insightful swift boat captains! Curses!

Mac --

I get your point.

I haven't seen an attack ad (meaning one that fabricates the past) yet from the Kerry campaign but if I do I expect the Bush campaign will defend against it.

This ad isn't from the Bush campaign so I'm not sure I follow your point.

With McCain involved and O'Neil's record I'm fairly sure how this is going to play out on the old credibility meter.

Well, given that the Bush campaign just turned this into a referendum on 527s and soft money, I think McCain's involvement is terrific… gosh, if I didn't know better I'd say it looks almost orchestrated. Kerry's credibility is now dependent on how situational his ethics are regarding 3rd party crap.

On this thread you seem to be condemning Kerry for the assertions in the ad and then condemning him again for defending himself against the ad.
How convenient.

Huh? I mean…huh?

Slartibartfast wrote:

As you all might have predicted, I've got an especially long time constant on this one. IOW, waiting and seeing...

That would seem to be the most prudent course of action and I am glad that the Bush administration continued its policy of not bothering to question or second-guess John Kerry's four months of combat duty in Vietnam some thirty odd years ago. SBVFT has a book coming out in about ten days and it remains to be seen how well they develop the charges they’ve levied against Kerry and with what they use to substantiate them. There’s one chapter on Kerry’s first purple heart available online. The book (at least this chapter) alleges that Kerry’s first purple heart was as the result of a self-inflicted wound for firing a grenade launcher too close and that there was in fact no actual combat at the time he discharged his weapon. They do offer this little bit of “evidence” (or rather the lack of “evidence”) which does raise an interesting question:
There was no hostile fire of any kind, nor did Kerry on the way back mention to PCF OinC Mike Voss, who commanded the PCF that had towed the skimmer, that he was wounded. There was no report of any hostile fire that day (as would be required), nor do the records at Cam Ranh Bay reveal any such hostile fire. No other records reflect any hostile fire. There is also no casualty report, as would have been required had there actually been a casualty.

I have no idea what military protocol is (or should I say was) in a situation like this. If there was no hostile fire report filed or records of hostile fire, then it seems unlikely (again speaking as a layperson) whether there was in fact any hostile fire or perhaps an over (albeit understandable) reaction on the part of US servicemen. While I can understand discharging a weapon in such a circumstance, I wonder if someone who self-inflicted a wound (as Kerry is alleged to have done) when there was no hostile fire, would be eligible for or deserving of a purple heart. Requesting a purple heart three months after the incident and having to nominate yourself does seem a little suspicious* IMO but I’m willing to consider any (informed) arguments that this is (was) a standard and acceptable practice.


Again this is a non-issue but an interesting one since this is about all that John Kerry has offered up to support his candidacy (since he has nothing good to show for his nineteen years in the Senate or his time as Michael Dukakis’ Lt. Governor). Since Kerry has decided to make his four months of combat service (which we should honor unless or until proven otherwise) his primary qualification in this campaign, then it’s going to come under a microscope.


* Then again, so does buying a camera in order to make video footage of reenactments of your supposed “exploits.” But I’m willing to entertain informed arguments that this too is a perfectly normal and respectable practice in the armed forces and welcomed by other servicemen.

Macallan wrote:

Well, given that the Bush campaign just turned this into a referendum on 527s and soft money, I think McCain's involvement is terrific… gosh, if I didn't know better I'd say it looks almost orchestrated. Kerry's credibility is now dependent on how situational his ethics are regarding 3rd party crap.

Good point, Kevin Drum has already relegated himself to Hack City after spending months trying to keep alive the “Bush AWOL” fable while not even looking into the charges made here. Bush has just maneuvered Kerry into an untenable situation of either (a) failing to join Bush in condemning 527’s and thereby forfeit the high ground for the rest of the campaign or (b) joining him and thereby alienate the 527’s which post-McCain-Feingold are becoming an increasingly important part of the Democratic coalition.


I still think McCain-Feingold is a bad law and arguing over who did or did not do what during Vietnam is generally meaningless. But since the other side demanded we do both, it’s poetic justice to see it blow up in their faces.

Mac
I said:
"On this thread you seem to be condemning Kerry for the assertions in the ad and then condemning him again for defending himself against the ad.
How convenient. "

And you said:
"Huh? I mean…huh?"

Perhaps you didn't write "responding in kind by the Kerry people is just as stupid." but I interpret that as calling Kerry, or more specifically his "people," "stupid" for responding.
Please clarify because otherwise someone seems to be posting with your identity and you seem to be at a loss for words in reaction to their posts.

Kerry's credibility is now dependent on how situational his ethics are regarding 3rd party crap.

Well, in condemning Kerry's credibility, let's not forget to condemn the Swiftvets. Who will need to provide evidence to back their charges. Sooner rather than later, preferrably. (I know, I know, they have a book to sell . . . .)

"Kerry's credibility is now dependent on how situational his ethics are regarding 3rd party crap."

It seems to me the "third party crap" will be judged FIRST for credibility. Then the "third party" will be judged. And if all that pans out then Kerry will have to deal with it.

Tempest in a teapot crap is what it is. Gone by next week.

Mac
So very clever:
"This ad isn't from the Bush campaign so I'm not sure I follow your point."

Perhaps I should hire a sign language interpreter.

"I haven't seen an attack ad (meaning one that fabricates the past) yet [about Bush] but if I do I expect the Bush campaign will defend against it."

There. Now don't that make you feel a whole lot better?


Please clarify

You left off the part where I said the problem with the Swiftvets ad is that you shouldn't be questioning anyone's service. For the Kerry camp to turn around and call other vets liars is stupid, because they become guilty of doing the same thing. If you want to inoculate yourself as vet, you don't do it by dissing other vets. There are more adept ways of handling this without being such hypocrites.

"I still think McCain-Feingold is a bad law and arguing over who did or did not do what during Vietnam is generally meaningless. But since the other side demanded we do both, it’s poetic justice to see it blow up in their faces."

So you think the charges are inappropriate and Bush's response baseless, but it doesn't matter because you don't like Democrats.

Noted.

You left off the part where I said the problem with the Swiftvets ad is that you shouldn't be questioning anyone's service. For the Kerry camp to turn around and call other vets liars is stupid, because they become guilty of doing the same thing.

So, Macallan, your position is that it's wrong for the Swiftvets to challenge Kerry's service. But it's equally wrong for people who have personal experience of serving with Kerry (which the Swiftvets, I gather, don't) to challenge the facts presented by the Swiftvets...

PS Thorley, if you have an intelligent challenge to make to the evidence that Bush went AWOL, I implore you to go make that challenge over on Political Animal. The threads following Kevin Drum's cogent posts on the topic are riddled with the nuttier kind of right-winger who can't present an intelligent challenge on anything. Someone actually presenting a logical, fact-based case for Bush's defense* would be a breath of fresh air, believe me.

*which I assume you have to hand, since you appear to have dismissed all the facts presented to prove the point about Bush going AWOL in 1972.

Got an error message from the Typepad server: just checking to see if this posts...

Elliot, the commander who approved Silver Star for Kerry... Quoted in Ad now regrets signing afidavit used by the group to question the validity of the medal being awarded to John Kerry...
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/08/06/veteran_retracts_criticism_of_kerry?mode=PF

.... Elliott is quoted as saying that Kerry ''lied about what occurred in Vietnam . . . for example, in connection with his Silver Star, I was never informed that he had simply shot a wounded, fleeing Viet Cong in the back."

The statement refers to an episode in which Kerry killed a Viet Cong soldier who had been carrying a rocket launcher, part of a chain of events that formed the basis of his Silver Star. Over time, some Kerry critics have questioned whether the soldier posed a danger to Kerry's crew. Crew members have said Kerry's actions saved their lives.

Yesterday, reached at his home, Elliott said he regretted signing the affidavit and said he still thinks Kerry deserved the Silver Star.

''I still don't think he shot the guy in the back," Elliott said. ''It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here."

Elliott said he was no under personal or political pressure to sign the statement, but he did feel ''time pressure" from those involved in the book. ''That's no excuse," Elliott said. ''I knew it was wrong . . . In a hurry I signed it and faxed it back. That was a mistake." "....

Kerry should have little trouble dealing with these charges with a full release of his records.

Kerry should have little trouble dealing with these charges with a full release of his records.

Which records do you have in mind, Timmy? And do you feel that Bush ought to reciprocally release all of his records - or at least, catch up with Kerry and release all the records that Kerry's already released? If not, why not?

And do you feel that Bush ought to reciprocally release all of his records - or at least, catch up with Kerry and release all the records that Kerry's already released?

Which records do you think Bush has not released? And what records has Kerry released at all? I honestly don't know; I've heard he's released some information, but that's not the same as records.

And do you feel that Bush ought to reciprocally release all of his records - or at least, catch up with Kerry and release all the records that Kerry's already released?

Which records do you think Bush has not released? And what records has Kerry released at all? I honestly don't know; I've heard he's released some information, but that's not the same as records.

Sidereal wrote:

So you think the charges are inappropriate and Bush's response baseless, but it doesn't matter because you don't like Democrats.
I of course said no such thing but thanks for playing.

One of the Swift Boat Veterans has retracted his statement about Kerry's Silver Star.

John Kerry's military records are available on his website.

Not so fast hilzoy, John Kerry's incomplete military records are available. Kerry's execution of Standard Form 180 would put the records into the public domain which is where they belong.

Using the logic of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Pat Tillman cannot be considered a war hero because he was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan--not enemy fire.

The same kind of smear tactics have been used against John McCain and Max Clelland. It's disgusting.

Tiger wrote:

Using the logic of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Pat Tillman cannot be considered a war hero because he was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan--not enemy fire.

Untrue, the SBVFT are arguing that Kerry did not deserve his first purple heart because his (apparently minor) wound was self-inflicted because he mishandled his weapon which is different than being wounded by fire from a fellow soldier (such as Max Clelland losing his limbs because a fellow soldier dropped a grenade).

The same kind of smear tactics have been used against John McCain and Max Clelland.

No they aren’t, they are however similar to the kind of smear tactics John Kerry engaged in against his fellow veterans during his anti-war days – except for the fact that SBVFT seem (assuming that the book being released is comparable to the chapter on Kerry’s first purple heart) willing to actually go on the record and make specific accusations against individuals. However if the charges turn out to be true (I’m reserving judgment until I’ve seen the evidence and heard from people who can answer the questions I’ve raised earlier), then unlike some of Kerry’s statements, they may not be “smears” at all.

Of course 'the back' or 'the front' is simply too imprecise, and in order for us Americans to know whether to worship or spit on Kerry, we must know whether the facing of the enemy soldier relative to the vector of Kerry's line of sight. Less than 30 degrees? Hero. Greater than 60? Communist. Oliver Stone will have to be called in, I'm afraid.

Nah.

It wouldn't matter to Ollie Stone one or the other, in all cases the american guy is never the hero. Unless of course he's the american fighting an american consipiracy.

Thorley, you skirted the Clelland and McCain issues. Max Clelland WAS attacked because his injuries were not sustained in combat. That's part of the truth as well...

Tiger wrote:

Thorley, you skirted the Clelland and McCain issues. Max Clelland WAS attacked because his injuries were not sustained in combat. That's part of the truth as well...

I have seen nothing to support this supposed “truth” nor have you provided any evidence to support it.

Here's a nice summary of the story, Thorley. One minute on Google; there's a hell of a lot more out there on this if you want to do some more serious digging.

As something of an aside, can I ask those who support the "'Bush AWOL' Fable" theory cited by Macallan above to explain why they believe this to be a fable? I'm particularly interested in responses that take into account the new analysis by Paul Lukasiak, summarized here.

Here's a nice summary of the story, Thorley. One minute on Google; there's a hell of a lot more out there on this if you want to do some more serious digging.

Responding to myself preemptively: you should be familiar with this link, of course, because you posted repeatedly on that thread. Which makes your post utterly bewildering...

Timmy: Kerry's execution of Standard Form 180 would put the records into the public domain which is where they belong.

And where is Bush's execution of Standard Form 180, which would put his records into the public domain - which is presumably where you think they belong?

Yes? No?

Woof?


The comments to this entry are closed.