Friday, July 30, 2004

Smears Debunked

Since the lib-ruhl media will give currency to absolutely any crackpot rumor about John Kerry, at least for a few minutes, let's take a short time-out and investigate one of them (which, thankfully, the convention will have diffused).

As is widely known, in 1971, after returning from Vietnam, John Kerry testified before the Senate that soldiers were committing atrocities and war crimes in Vietnam and that the nation's civilian and military leadership was aware of this. An incensed Nixon administration found a creature by the name of John O'Neill, another Vietnam veteran, to publicly attack Kerry's credibility (they also put him on the enemies list and had the FBI go after him). Kerry and O'Neill debated one another on the Dick Cavett show, and O'Neill let loose with a crazy, choleric rant, which Kerry smoothly and calmly rebutted like the Ivy League debating champion that he was.

O'Neill had been humiliated, and has spent 30 years nursing something that is more of an infected, fermenting sore than a grudge. With Kerry emerging as the Democratic nominee, O'Neill's life once again had a purpose. He founded a front group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and has set about defaming Kerry's war record at every opportunity. O'Neill's lies are collected in a "book" called Unfit for Command [I'm not going to dignify it with italics--ed.]. Among them are the baseless assertion that Kerry manipulated the system in order to win his medals, that Kerry was an unexemplary soldier, and that Kerry staged and filmed reenactments of his combat experience to be used in future political campaigns. The first two are belied by all the combat records and relevant documents from Kerry's commanding officers, a couple of whom (partisan Republicans, natch) have joined O'Neill's outfit and contradicted their earlier glowing reports. (You can decide for yourself whether they were more likely telling the truth in 1969 or in 2004). As for the last piece of slander, about staged footage, this was effectively debunked two years ago by Bill Keller in the pages of the New York Times:
For the next 40 minutes, Mr. Kerry and I
fast-forwarded through silent, washed-out-color
footage of mangrove-choked rivers, sleepy villages and
sailors skinny-dipping, disturbingly interrupted on
occasion by a Vietcong corpse or one of Mr. Kerry's
crewmen torching a thatched hut during a
search-and-destroy mission.

The first thing to be said is that the senator's
movies are not self-aggrandizing. Mr. Kerry is hardly
in the film, and never strikes so much as a heroic
These are the souvenirs of a 25-year-old guy
sent to an exotic place on an otherworldly mission,
who bought an 8-millimeter camera in the PX and shot a
few hours of travelogue, most of it pretty boring if
you didn't live through it
. [Emphasis mine--ed.]
Case fucking closed.


Post a Comment

<< Home

  • E-mail me: Dan Koffler
  • My YDN Column: Smashing Idols
  • The Reasonsphere
  • Hit & Run
  • Matt Welch
  • Julian Sanchez
  • Jesse Walker
  • Virginia Postrel
  • Tim Cavanaugh
  • Ringers
  • Andrew Sullivan
  • Josh Marshall
  • Crooked Timber
  • Matthew Yglesias
  • Kevin Drum
  • John Cole
  • Leiter Reports
  • Pharyngula
  • Gregory Djerjian
  • Atrios
  • Mickey Kaus
  • Jim Henley
  • Radley Balko
  • TNR's Plank
  • Balkinization
  • Glenn Greenwald
  • Thomas Knapp
  • Justin Logan
  • Laura Rozen
  • Mark Kleiman
  • Print Culture
  • Arthur Silber
  • Tom Tomorrow
  • James Wolcott
  • OxBlog
  • Eric Muller
  • Majikthise
  • Pandagon
  • The American Scene
  • Daniel Drezner
  • Will Wilkinson
  • The Volokh Conspiracy
  • Intel Dump
  • Prequels
  • Johan Ugander
  • Dan Munz
  • Josh Eidelson
  • Future Less Vivid
  • Sequels
  • (not)Delino Deshields
  • Actual God
  • Hidden Hand
  • I am justice
  • Death/Media Incarnate
  • (not)Marquis Grissom
  • Yanqui At Cambridge
  • Beneficent Allah
  • Mr. Wrongway
  • The Hippolytic
  • Discourse Decision
  • Tight Toy Night
  • Mulatto Jesus
  • Sago Boulevard
  • Immortalized Stillicide
  • Nick's Corner
  • Dead Trees
  • Reason
  • Dissent
  • The New Republic
  • The New Yorker
  • The Atlantic Monthly
  • The American Prospect
  • Arts & Letters Daily
  • The Economist
  • The Nation
  • Yale Daily News
  • Virtual Reality
  • Wikipedia
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Symbolic Logic into HTML
  • Slate
  • Salon
  • The Huffington Post
  • Crooks and Liars
  • The Smoking Gun
  • The Smoking Gun: Bill O'Reilly
  • Romenesko
  • The Christopher Hitchens Web
  • Draft Russ
  •'s Library
  • Urban Dictionary
  • Homestar Runner
  • Planet Rugby
  • Flex Online
  • Card Player Magazine
  • Gawker & Such
  • News
  • Politics
  • Gambling
  • Gossip (NY edition)
  • Gossip (LA edition)
  • Cool Shit
  • Cars
  • Video Games
  • Photoshop Fun &c.
  • Travel
  • MacGuyver Yourself
  • Porn
  • Prepare For The Worst
  • Bull Moose Blog
  • The Corner
  • Instapundit
  • Reel Blogs
  • BathTubYoga
  • More TK
  • R.I.P.
  • Jamie Kirchick
  • That Girl