« French Hostages | Main | Ah. Cat out of bag. »

August 30, 2004

Comments

My paper had it estimated at half a million by the protesting organization, and 120k by the authorities.

and 120k by the authorities.

Which authorities? The NYPD do not offer official counts. From the NYT article cited above:

The Police Department, as is customary, offered no official estimate, but one officer in touch with the police command center at Madison Square Garden agreed that the crowd appeared to be close to a half-million.

on the front page of NY Times: "UP&J, estimated the crowd at 500,000, rivaling a 1982 anti-nuclear rally in Central Park, and double the number it had predicted. It was, at best, a rough estimate. The police department, as is customary, offered no official estimate, but one officer in touch with the police command center at MSG agreed that the crowd appeared to be close to a half-million.

Police gave no official crowd estimate, though one law-enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, put the crowd at 120,000; organizers claimed it was about 400,000.

Weird, the WaPo just says, "More than 200,000 demonstraters, according to a police estimate, packed dozens of blocks along Seventh Avenue and snaked down side streets."

The article, by the way, is right above a headline reading "Ralph Reed says he took fees from casino lobbyist." Always nice to see another moralist brought low.

The Ralph Reed article was nice, although I was surprised Dennis Hastert's suggestion that George Soros was being funded by drug cartels didn't make the front page.

I missed that one, Jade. Link?

Let's see:
One says gay rights supporters are like Nazis
Another says George Soros is funded by drug cartels
Ralph Reed and Bill Bennett are living "The Book of Virtues" through the looking glass
the list goes on and gets darker...

What a crew to throw a party! Hope the press gives us the real credentials of the hosts.

There's always a difference of opinion on the attendance...we normally split the difference, when we actually care. You can get a sense of the success of the event by the mood the people are in. Generally everyone was in a very upbeat mood. Although I did see this one maniac (who looked like a drill sargeant) running back and forth, both middle fingers raised toward MSG, shouting at anyone who would listen that we had to get Bush out of there. It really seemed he thought his life depended on it.

No, I don't think the exact count is important; 100k protestors is a LOT of people, and would be enough of a message for me, were I tuned to that frequency. I just thought that estimates might be a wee bit closer to each other than half an order of magnitude.

Hastert comments:

LOOSE-TONGUED SPEAKER? Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert - having already enraged some New Yorkers with his remarks about local office-holders' "unseemly scramble" for federal money after 9/11 - yesterday opened a second front. On "Fox News Sunday," the Illinois Republican insinuated that billionaire financier George Soros, who's funding an independent media campaign to dislodge President Bush, is getting his big bucks from shady sources. "You know, I don't know where George Soros gets his money. I don't know where - if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from," Hastert mused. An astonished Chris Wallace asked: "Excuse me?" The Speaker went on: "Well, that's what he's been for a number years - George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he's got a lot of ancillary interests out there." Wallace: "You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?" Hastert: "I'm saying I don't know where groups - could be people who support this type of thing. I'm saying we don't know."

I completely agree with Kevin Drum's comment on this:

And I think maybe George Bush got tossed out of the National Guard because he crashed a plane while he was high on coke and then spent the next five months in Alabama in a rehab center. I mean, we just don't know, do we?

For the record, I'd like to note that Hastert is not an overweight filmmaker or an anonymous blogger. He's the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the third highest ranking Republican official in the country. This is what the leadership of the Republican party has become.

If Hastert did in fact say that, he might have to be forcibly party-changed into a Larouche Libertarian.

Oh, good grief. Another large-caliber hole in the foot for Hastert. Thanks, hilzoy.

Hastert's comments, if actual, don't surprise me. What was once left to those "unaffiliated" groups to do in terms of dirty work, eventually makes it way into more "polite" company's repetoire.

There's an interview with Laura Bush in Time, where she refuses to denounce the Swift Boat Vets' ads:

Do I think they're unfair? Not really. There have been millions of terrible ads against my husband.

This in direct contrast to her previous statement however:

TIME
Critics throw out so many charges against the President. Is there any one that you found the most unfair?

BUSH
I think they're all very unfair. [Laughter.] I really do.

So only the ads against her husband (and ALL of them, mind you) are "unfair."

Either she's playing the same game as Hastert or she's just not that bright. I'm sure she's bright, so...

I don't think you're drawing a logical conclusion from this, Edward. Attacks ads are unfair. Some balance in attack ads is...more fair. Not saying this is how Laura sees it, but it's certainly a possible interpretation. Laura's not a politician.

As for Hastert, it's entirely possible that his remarks were ill-considered, unthinking political idiocy, as opposed to deliberately scheming political idiocy.

Is that 500,000 people who support "Support the Iraqi Resistance. US Troops out of the Middle East"? I'll assume not.

As someone (and I don't remember who) recently suggested, this isn't the MLK, Jr. rally where everyone could be expected to be marching for the civil rights act. This is pretty much a 'bleh I hate Republicans' march.

Laura Bush is not a politician? Then maybe she should stop making headlines when she says we should stop stem cell research because we don't even know if it will help people.

Then maybe she should stop making headlines when she says we should stop stem cell research because we don't even know if it will help people.

Someone evidently doesn't understand how the media works. See, barry, the newspapers decide what to put in the headlines.

Seb: This is pretty much a 'bleh I hate Republicans' march.

I disagree, even though I'm not there. If I were there, I'd be marching, and yet I personally don't hate Republicans.

I suspect that there may be a significant numbers in the crowd who don't think that Bush is fit to lead the country though.

How about John McCain instead? He seems to be an honourable, intelligent, and likeable fellow.

Laura doesn't get to have it both ways. She's not a politician, but they put her out there to give speeches on stem cell research? I don't think so.

If the march was anything it looked like an anti-war march. I saw plenty of people with soldier relatives, including one woman I spoke to who was part of the 1000 Coffins Project. She was wearing a photo of her cousin killed last month.

So did anyone else hear about the pipe bomb at a stem cell research bomb in Boston last week? I only heard about it today:

http://abcnews.go.com/wire/SciTech/reuters20040827_189.html

Slarti, I've been on demonstrations (and served as a steward) and I can tell you that a difference of half an order of magnitude is not uncommon - it depends when a reporter asks and who a reporter asks. The nearest cop might well shrug and say "About 120K, but don't say you got it from me" where the demonstration organizers, counting, might have 400K - and be out by 25%. Crowd estimation is really not easy. The best solution if you really need an accurate number is to take photos from a helicopter and do a square-by-square estimate. But most newspapers will go for the "report two numbers and let people figure it out" because it's easiest and it's not wrong to report what other people said.

Sorry to hear the Protest Warriors only managed 25 people. ;-) I'd say I was sorry about the hurled insults, but they probably got a satisfactory glow of martyrdom out of it.

Laura doesn't get to have it both ways.

Who says she's trying to have it both ways?

She's not a politician, but they put her out there to give speeches on stem cell research?

Who's "they"? If getting mainstream press makes Laura Bush a politician, does it make Michael Moore a politician?

If we are going to quote Laura Bush let's atleast lay out what was said exactly how it was said. Flipping the order does give one an entirely different impression.

http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101040906/lauraqa.html?cnn=yes

Critics throw out so many charges against the President. Is there any one that you found the most unfair?

BUSH
I think they're all very unfair. [Laughter.] I really do.

TIME
Do you think these swift-boat ads are unfair to John Kerry?

BUSH
Do I think they're unfair? Not really. There have been millions of terrible ads against my husband.


She is clearly speaking about fairness in terms of the number of adds that have targeted her husband versus how many have targeted Kerry. No where does she imply that what is in the add is true.

I would think that the left would understand the nuance, since they have so much practice at it.

Context and nuance only seem to count if one is for Kerry not Bush...

If we are going to quote Laura Bush let's atleast lay out what was said exactly how it was said. Flipping the order does give one an entirely different impression.

http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101040906/lauraqa.html?cnn=yes

Critics throw out so many charges against the President. Is there any one that you found the most unfair?

BUSH
I think they're all very unfair. [Laughter.] I really do.

TIME
Do you think these swift-boat ads are unfair to John Kerry?

BUSH
Do I think they're unfair? Not really. There have been millions of terrible ads against my husband.


She is clearly speaking about fairness in terms of the number of adds that have targeted her husband versus how many have targeted Kerry. No where does she imply that what is in the add is true.

I would think that the left would understand the nuance, since they have so much practice at it.

Context and nuance only seem to count if one is for Kerry not Bush...

Context and nuance only seem to count if one is for Kerry not Bush...

That's a stretch in this context, Blue, and you know it.

I fully acknowledged I took those comments out of order.

You're mind reading to get your conclusion, however. The question was about the content of the ads not the quantity. (I do like the hyperbole in Laura's statement..."millions" of ads against her husband...why moveon.org must be insanely busy these days.)

Is that 500,000 people who support "Support the Iraqi Resistance. US Troops out of the Middle East"? I'll assume not.

Correct assumption.

Edward,

"Context and nuance only seem to count if one is for Kerry not Bush..."

I wasn't directing that comment at you. I had another thread here in mind when I made that comment... it was a discussion involving Bond from the NAACP whose smearing of Bush is acceptable because his comments were "metaphorical"... Hillary's comment about the "War on Children" that Bush is waging and so on.

I do disagree with you about the context. I think she was saying, "Hey, there have been millions of ads (she was probably thinking $60,000,000 worth of ads) against my husband. This Swift Boat adds are nothing compared to what we've been thru."

And no where in the question the interviewer asked does he specify if she thinks the charges in the ads are true. How can the running of one ad be unfair in comparison to all the negative attack ads against Bush?

I agree with Laura... when compared to all the ads against Bush... it really isn't that unfair... that doesn't mean either one of us endorsing what is in the ad


Slarti
"Who's "they"?"
You know darn well that the people who put Mrs. Bush out there are the Committee to Re-Elect. They are the "they".
The spotlight is a cruel mistress (or something like that).

I agree with Laura... when compared to all the ads against Bush... it really isn't that unfair... that doesn't mean either one of us endorsing what is in the ad

I'm not buying it. Marshall's been on the kick lately, asking Bush supporters to find one ad against Bush that contains lies of the magnitude the Swift Boat Vet's ads contain. He's still waiting I believe.

Fairness is not always determined by quantity...in this case it's content. The SBV ads are dishonest and distasteful. Bush should denounce them specifically and so should Laura.

Blue: once again:

(a) there is a difference between ads that are flatly false and ads that criticize someone. I have not yet heard you say which claim made in a MoveOn ad is false, nor did Laura Bush say either. To equate the MoveOn ads to the SwiftVets ads one must either (a) be unaware of the evidence that the latter said things that are just plain false, (b) be prepared to point to some MoveOn ad's false claim, or (c) think that what makes an ad unfair is not whether it's true or false, but just whether it's negative.

(b) as the person who talked about metaphor yesterday: I still maintain that there is a huge difference between metaphor and falsehood. People use metaphor and hyperbole in contexts that make it clear that what they say is not to be taken literally. To use a completely non-political example, when Romeo says "It is the east, and Juliet is the sun", he was not demonstrating his complete ignorance of astronomy, or saying that Juliet was, in fact, a flaming ball of gasses. It was a metaphor, and what it meant was something like: it is Juliet who gives me life and warmth, in whose light I can truly see, who makes things within me grow, by whom I orient myself. This is not a lie, despite the fact that, obviously, Juliet is not in fact the sun.

Likewise, when Hillary Clinton said that Bush had "declared war on poor children" (note: I haven't checked the source on this; I'm taking your word for it), she was surely not saying that Bush had introduced a declaration of war on poor children into the Senate, had it passed, and proceeded to deploy America's military might against them. She is saying: he is doing things that greatly harm poor children, and doing it so consistently that it's hard to read as just a series of disconnected policy choices which all happen to have harming poor children among their consequences. We can argue about Bush's record vis a vis poor children, but until we do so, you can't just point to it and say that it is not true, as though no metaphor were involved.

Edward,

"one ad against Bush that contains lies of the magnitude the Swift Boat Vet's ads contain"

Well, that is quite a challenge since it seems to me that the Swiftie's main charges are turning out to be true... I guess that would make the ad okay then.

Blue: "the Swiftie's main charges are turning out to be true"

Evidence?

since it seems to me that the Swiftie's main charges are turning out to be true...

Piffle. Each and every claim by the Swifties has turned out to be false or misleading or contradicted by their own previous words. I mean, how seriously can you take a group led by a guy who claimed you couldn't get to Cambodia by river, then claimed we never operated within 50 miles of Cambodia, then claimed anyone who went to Cambodia would be court-martialed; then we find out that he told President Nixon he was in Cambodia on a Swift Boat?

Even judging solely on quantity, Laura Bush is either ignorant or just dishonest. Bush's negative ads have far outstripped Kerry's:

Three-quarters of the ads aired by Bush's campaign have been attacks on Kerry. Bush so far has aired 49,050 negative ads in the top 100 markets, or 75 percent of his advertising. Kerry has run 13,336 negative ads -- or 27 percent of his total. The figures were compiled by The Washington Post using data from the Campaign Media Analysis Group of the top 100 U.S. markets. Both campaigns said the figures are accurate.

That was as of May 31st. Figuring in summer ads doesn't even out those numbers much, especially given the fact that Kerry has barely mentioned Bush at all in his ads.

Media exposure is another factor. The Swiftvets ad has never aired in my state, but I've seen it many times because it's gotten a month of free press on cable and network news. No other ad this cycle has been given this much attention, becoming a campaign event unto itself. The group's ads - whose claims, lest we forget, have been demonstrated to be groundless time and again - were given the weight of a hundred ads by a hungry and frankly irresponsible media.

I'm almost embarassed to say that I haven't seen one of the SwiftVet commercials. Could someone please point me to a transcript and/or tell me which flatly false?

I don't know of the specific language of the charges, but my (perhaps misinformed) impression was that they questioned the circumstances under which Kerry got some of his medals and that they specifically questioned the truthfulness of Kerry's 'Christmas in Cambodia' story.

Kerry's team isn't even defending the 'Christmas in Cambodia' story anymore. Last I heard they had retreated to 'near Cambodia' and 'may have gone into Cambodia at other times'. Doesn't sound flatly false.

Kerry's team seems to be admitting that his first Purple Heart injury may have been a very superficial, self-inflicted, not during the heat of combat wound. Doesn't sound flatly false.

hilzoy
Blue keeps referencing an unnamed op/ed in the NY Post as evidence of Swifter truth. He won't shake despite evidence of changing stories etc.

Here's a nice little tidbit:
"Questions raised by Hibbard about Kerry's first Purple Heart were first reported in ''John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography," written by reporters for the Globe earlier this year. Schachte declined to be interviewed for the book. But in an April 2003 Globe interview, Schachte described the action as a ''firefight" and said of Kerry: ''He got hit." Schachte described it as ''not a very serious wound at all."


Hmmm.

carsick: Since Blue is invoking the NY Post as his source of political gospel, am I to take it that he also believes that Dick Gephardt is currently the Democratic nominee for Vice-President?

So let me get this straight...

Swiftie claim Kerry wasn't in Cambodia on Christmas Eve of 1968.

No one here is willing to acknowledge that Kerry's claim of being in Cambodia was false.

How can one support a position that even his own campaign is no longer supporting?


Sebastian:

The Brinkley book constantly cited by Kerry critics as evidence of his absence from Cambodia puts him on or near the border taking fire from enemy VC and allied South Vietnamese alike. Even taking the Instapundit interpretation of Brinkley, we end up with a Kerry who WAS sent to Cambodia on secret missions, but was off in his recollections by a couple weeks when relating the story a decade-plus later. It's kind of a thin reed to hang onto for those looking for "Kerry's a liar" fodder.

Dr. Louis Letson claims that he treated Kerry for the wound for which Kerry got his first Purple Heart. Only problem with this claim is that there's no documentary evidence that Letson is telling the truth - none. The medical report was signed by someone else. Grant Hibbard claims that Kerry "applied for a Purple Heart", but he's later backed off on this. (cite)

'Christmas in Cambodia'? Here the SBVFL vets appear

To be honest, it would appear that if the SBVFT want to call Kerry's first Purple Heart into question, they are also calling into question a lot of veteran's Purple Hearts - it would appear, apart from Letson and Hibbard's stories (which are not backed up by any contemporary documentary evidence, and which appear to be of recent invention) that any number of Vietnam veterans got Purple Hearts under similar circumstances. So, score one for the Bush/Cheney campaign against Vietnam veterans: this may be aimed at Kerry, but it's sliming everyone concerned.

Christmas in Cambodia? Here the SBVTL appear to be on slightly more solid ground: Kerry probably wasn't in Cambodia on Christmas day in 1968, he was most likely there in January 1969. There is no documentary evidence to prove he was ever there at all, but considerable evidence that he was damned close to the border and that Swift boats were at times ordered over it. It's more solid ground simply because there is no solid evidence against them - but none for their claims, either. (Unless you really consider it important whether Kerry was in Cambodia in December or in January.) I suspect the reason the Kerry campaign isn't bothering about this is because - why bother? Defending a story Kerry told many years ago and many years after the event, that Kerry can't prove is true but that the SBVFL can't prove is false... well, with all the other targets in the SB ads, why bother?

Van Odell (and Larry Thurlow) both claim that Kerry didn't deserve his Bronze Star for his rescue of James Rassmann, because Kerry is lying about there being small arms fire directed at the US boats when Kerry turned his boat back to fish Rassmann out. Only problem with this claim is that other eyewitnesses, both on Kerry's boat and on another boat, not to mention Rassmann himself, all say there was enemy fire - as does Thurlow's own citation for the Bronze Star for the same situation. (cite) Again, there's no contemporary documentary evidence that supports Van Odell's claim: Thurlow is the only eyewitness to agree with Van Odell's version, and Thurlow is also a member of SBVFL. Also, if he's telling the truth now, he hung on to a Bronze Star for 35 years that he knew at the time he didn't deserve because it was based on a lie.

O'Neill and Thurlow claim that the Bronze Stars were awarded based on a report Kerry himself wrote. But there isn't any evidence for this either (cite): indeed, the only evidence that this is so is Thurlow's own claims.

What it works out to is that you can believe that a small group of people funded and supported by people with extremely close ties to the Bush/Cheney campaign have just happened to decide to tell the truth about Kerry after thirty-five years of spinning a different story.

But to do so you have to believe that the US Navy was in the habit of awarding medals in Vietnam without ever checking anyone's version of events except the recipients: you have to believe that official Navy records can easily be doctored by an ambitious Lieutenant: that all the eyewitnesses who support the official version of events are lying: in short, you have to be really determined not to believe anything good about Kerry, no matter who else gets slimed in the process.

Determination by the media to appear "even-handed" hasn't altered the basic fact that the SBVFLs do appear simply to have invented their smears out of whole cloth. They don't have any proof of what they're saying: many of them weren't eyewitnesses to events they have claimed they did witness; they go against contemporary records and, in some cases, their own earlier version of events before Kerry became Bush's opponent; they surfaced with these stories only when Kerry became the front-runner Democratic candidate. There is no reason to believe them - unless you are determined to believe that bad things said about John Kerry must be true.

Blue, you are apparently referring to this:

Kerry has defended his war record, though his campaign has acknowledged that he may not have crossed into Cambodia on December 24, 1968, as he previously has stated.

"They were in a firefight, so that's why it sticks out in his mind. They were on the border. There were no clear markings of which side of the border they were on, so it's uncertain," said campaign spokesman Michael Meehan.

What you don't seem to be addressing is that the campaign says:

1. He WAS IN FACT ON THE BORDER on Christmas Eve of '68,
2. Neither he nor they are certain whether Kerry passed into Cambodia. But they are certainly not denying that he went into Cambodia, either.
3. The notes that John O'Neill claimed to Nixon that he went into Cambodia - along the border, as did Kerry - while today he claims that such a thing would be "impossible."
4. A major source being cited by Glenn Reynolds and a host of other Kerry critics indicates that Kerry DID in fact go into Cambodia just a few weeks later.

Any thoughts on these at all? Should I give you a few moments to consult your talking points?

1. On/near the border isn't at all the same as across the border when your whole point is to talk about crossing the border INTO a neutral country.

2. Why is this a bullet point? Are you saying that if Kerry's camp isn't currently saying whether or not he went into Cambodia that we should take that as affirmative evidence that he went into Cambodia?

3. John O'Neill was claiming he went into Cambodia in a different type of boat while assigned to a different type of unit. That isn't anymore of a contradiction that saying that it was impossible for a helicopter to fly over the USSR when the speaker has done it in an SR-71.

4. A few weeks later isn't the same as 'Christmas Eve', and most Americans (even at war) don't misremember Christmas Eve into a few months later. I think Instapundit relies on him on the Christmas in Cambodia matter in an 'even the Kerry-supporting so-and-so' kind of way.

CJM,

How can I respond... let me check my talking points...

You got me I am using my talking points to discuss a topic with alot of informed and intelligent people who many of completely disagree with my position hoping to convince them to vote for Bush. I am doing this because I think Edward, Carsick, Hilzoy and Jade just need a little more convincing before pulling the lever for Bush. ; -)

(CJM, please keep this a secret. I know I almost have them won over.)


1. He WAS IN FACT ON THE BORDER on Christmas Eve of '68,

That is not the claim he made over and over again.

2. Neither he nor they are certain whether Kerry passed into Cambodia. But they are certainly not denying that he went into Cambodia, either.

Kerry Campaign Advisor Jeh Johnson had this to say to the show's co-host Brian Kilmeade:
JOHNSON: John Kerry has said on the record that he had a mistaken recollection earlier. He talked about a combat situation on Christmas Eve 1968 which at one point he said occurred in Cambodia. He has since corrected the recorded to say it was some place on a river near Cambodia and he is certain that at some point subsequent to that he was in Cambodia. My understanding is that he is not certain about that date.

It seems they are denying he was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968.

3. The notes that John O'Neill claimed to Nixon that he went into Cambodia - along the border, as did Kerry - while today he claims that such a thing would be "impossible."

Other than the fact that you only present part of the story there is some truth in this comment.

"
O'Neill said no one could cross the border by river and he claimed in an audio tape that his publicist played to CNN that he, himself, had never been to Cambodia either. But in 1971, O'Neill said precisely the opposite to then President Richard Nixon.

O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.

NIXON: In a swift boat?

O'NEILL: Yes, sir."


And then recently:

Look, this issue of Cambodia, you said, on George Stephanopoulos' show over the weekend that you knew that Kerry was not in Cambodia, that you could not have been in Cambodia on a swift boat, that he didn't go north of Sadak. They just didn't go that far. You were 15 miles away.

There's a tape of you, as you now know, in the Oval Office, saying you were in Cambodia, you said to Richard Nixon. You worked along the border or you were in Cambodia.

That seems very different than being 15 miles away and saying the swift boats didn't go to Cambodia. So they can't both be true.

O'NEILL: Alan, yes, they are, Alan. It's two different places, Alan. One place is along the Mekong River, right in the heart of the delta. The second place is on the west coast of Cambodia at a place called Ha Tien, where the boundary is right along that border.

Where Kerry was in Christmas of 1968 was on this river, the Mekong River. We got about 40 or 50 miles from the border. That's as close as we ran.

Later, Kerry went, and I went, to a place called Bernique's Creek — that was our nickname for it — at Ha Tien. That was a canal system that ran close to the border, but that wasn't at Christmas for Kerry. That was later for him.

So it's two separate places, Alan, and the story is correct.

COLMES: All right. Well, either you were in Cambodia or Kerry was in Cambodia and you claim he wasn't in Cambodia. You claimed at one point you weren't and then you claimed you were. This is very confusing to people.

O'NEILL: Well, it shouldn't be confused. I was never in Cambodia and Kerry lied when he said he was in Cambodia.

COLMES: You said to Richard Nixon you were in Cambodia.

O'NEILL: And it was the turning point of his life.

COLMES: You said to Richard Nixon, "I was in Cambodia, sir."

HANNITY: On the border.

COLMES: There's a tape of you saying that to Richard Nixon.

O'NEILL: What's the next sentence? I was along the Cambodian border. That's exactly right. What I told Nixon and was trying to tell him in this meeting was I was along the Cambodian border. As Sean clearly read...

COLMES: "I was in Cambodia," Those are your words.

O'NEILL: Yes, but you missed the next sentence. You're not reading the next sentence, Alan.

COLMES: Yes, along the border. But you're in Cambodia or you're not in Cambodia.

O'NEILL: Well, I'm sorry, Alan. I was talking in a conversation. And the first thing, by the way, I told him in the conversation, as you know, was that I was a Democrat and I voted for Hubert Humphrey.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,130048,00.html


Blue: Then O'Neill meant he was in Vietnam, right? Not in Cambodia like he said.

Sorry, it doesn't pass the smell test. O'Neill stated he was IN Cambodia.

BTW, on previous occasions, O'Neill has said it was impossible to get to Cambodia via river. Of course, he's also said riverine craft never operated within 50 miles of Cambodia.

O'Neill's original statement on the Nixon tapes has him claiming (1) he was in Cambodia and (2) he was along the border. The only reasonable conclusion to make from this is that O'Neill was telling Nixon he was on the Cambodian side of the Vietnam/Cambodian border.

Now, in 2004, he insists he never crossed that border. Either he lied to Nixon then, or he's lying to us now.

Jade,

Like Colmes you aren't reading the entire sentence. It was a conversation with the President of the United States.

O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.


" on previous occasions, O'Neill has said it was impossible to get to Cambodia via river"

I think what he actually said was in that particular part you couldn't.


He obviously clarifies his meaning.

On/near the border isn't at all the same as across the border when your whole point is to talk about crossing the border INTO a neutral country

It was February 1969 when Nixon authorized the first major bombing campaign against Cambodia. According to most versions of events, certainly by December 1968 the US did not regard Cambodia as a neutral country.

Why is this a bullet point? Are you saying that if Kerry's camp isn't currently saying whether or not he went into Cambodia that we should take that as affirmative evidence that he went into Cambodia?

We should certainly not take the "testimony" of the SBVFL as any kind of evidence at all, one way or the other. You yourself used as an argument that as Kerry's team "isn't even defending" the Christmas in Cambodia story any more that might mean it's false... which suggests that you're prepared to take what Kerry's campaign do or say as evidence so long as you see it as negative evidence.

3. John O'Neill was claiming he went into Cambodia in a different type of boat while assigned to a different type of unit. That isn't anymore of a contradiction that saying that it was impossible for a helicopter to fly over the USSR when the speaker has done it in an SR-71.

So, what are your reasons for thinking that O'Neill lied to Nixon in 1971 when he said he'd been across the border into Cambodia in a Swift boat?

O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.
NIXON: In a Swift boat?
O'NEILL: Yes, sir."

4. A few weeks later isn't the same as 'Christmas Eve', and most Americans (even at war) don't misremember Christmas Eve into a few months later.

Kerry's first mention of spending Christmas Eve in Cambodia was in 1979, ten years after the events. It's now admitted by Kerry's biographer, Brinkley, that Kerry's recollection had muddled one event with another: Kerry took part in several missions into Cambodia in January and February (which is not "a few months later" by any definition of "a few months" - perhaps you meant to say "a few weeks"?). Frankly, when recollecting events ten years after the fact, I'd be inclined to forgive confusing one mission that took place on Christmas Eve with another that took place in mid-January or even mid-February. In any case, the important point is - was Kerry in Cambodia at that time? Yes, most likely he was, and certainly no evidence has been offered to show that he wasn't. Was he in Cambodia on Christmas Eve? No, apparently not, though he was serving close to the border at the time. Is the difference between late December and January an important point? No, not at all, and I wish someone could explain to me why so many people seem to think it is.

Why in God's name has this thread degenerated into yet another round of Swiftie BS? Seriously...

Two can play that game:

Mr. President, I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia.

Kerry's original statement on the Senate floor has him claiming:

1) It was Christmas Eve 1968
2) He was on a gunboat in Cambodia
3) He was shot at by Vietnamese
4) He was shot at by Khmer Rouge
5) He was shot at by Cambodians
6) And the President of the U.S. was telling
people "I WAS NOT THERE"

The only reasonable conclusion to make from this is that Kerry was telling the Senate he was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968 and Nixon was denying it.

Anarch,

Agreed... no more from me.

Um, Slarti?

"Dr. Louis Letson" ain't the guy who signed Kerry's medical report. He says he "treated" Kerry, but no one has come forward to confirm this beyond a scintilla of doubt and there is no paperwork to confirm his claim.

So in what way, exactly, did he provide medical assistance to Kerry?

I'd say I was sorry about the hurled insults, but they probably got a satisfactory glow of martyrdom out of it.

(Opening mouth, inhaling to speak)

(pause)

(considering)

(pause)

Yeaahhh. I'm going to have to agree with you on that one.

;)

Moe

Anarch:

Because what happened thirty years ago in Southeast Asia is more important in determining who to vote for than what's happened in Iraq over the last seventeen months, or what's happened in America over the last four years, for that matter.

Mr. President, I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia.


Kerry's original statement on the Senate floor has him claiming:


1) It was Christmas Eve 1968

Just to be pedantic:

1) "Christmas" is not "Christmas Eve." Either you've transcribed this particular quote incorrectly or are adding a word that isn't there. Many people refer to the entire month of December as "The Christmas season" or simply "Christmastime." I'm not claiming that that's what Kerry's done here, but the word "Eve" doesn't appear in your quote, so you can't just put it there.

2) The verbal construction, "I remember X. I remember Y" does not in any way imply that X and Y were concurrent events.

Phil,

Eve was the mistake not the quote.

I couldn't agree more with your second point. That was partly my point due to what CJM concluded upthread. You can't deconstruct what someone says so easily. You have to take the whole context to understand what they mean and their intent.

Moe: Yeaahhh. I'm going to have to agree with you on that one.

Yeah, can you imagine their disappointment if they'd turned up to protest and found all the people they were protesting against behaving like Edward? ;-)

*snerk*

Um, Slarti?

Yes? Were you about to ask me a question about some off-topic point I haven't been engaged in?

Incidentally, I was at the big pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong in June. The government estimated its size at around 100,000; the protest organizers said it was more like half a million and, based on my back-of-the-envelope calculation and exposure to other Hong Kong rallies, that sounds about right to me. I'm not sure about the rate of flow of the NYC protest, so this is quite hand-wavey, but given its physical length, duration and density, 120k sounds ridiculously low to me. [We get about that many on the streets in Madison for Halloween; that's roughly the size of a large Big Ten stadium crowd (Michigan's seating capacity is about 110k); and either of those events would have been dwarfed by the NYC protest.] I was guessing 300k - 400k; 500k is certainly plausible.

As a slight tangent: quoth my dad, the historian, the general rule of thumb in SE Asian politics is that the protest supervisors will always overestimate the number involved in the protest (ballpark 10-30% increase) and the government will woefully underestimate the number (ballpark 50-80% decrease). I don't know if this holds true in the US or not.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad