The good news at that least they’re trying to show some respect to the Blogosphere. The bad news is the paper is so skewed to the left that they couldn’t even find a remotely balanced list of blogs to link to.
August 26, 2004
Methinks this Snopes entry on John Kerry’s service in Vietnam could stand a leetle updating.
UPDATE: Make that a lot.
UPDATE x2: This entry is much more recent, but not much better. Between this, their hatchet job on Annie Jacobsen and their curious spinning of Al Gore’s infamous claim to have
invented created the Internet, I’m beginning to think the Mikkelsons may have jumped the snope.
August 25, 2004
Jesse Walker of Reason has a good, comprehensive review of the Kerry/Swiftboat controversy.
On a typical day, a visit to the Dog Trainer’s letters to the editor page offers plenty of fisking fodder. Not so today. In the first section, Letter writers David H. Dolson of Valencia and Joe Stevens of Marina del Rey were not impressed by Michael Sokolove’s recent sob story about his favorite criminal, Carl Q. Jones, whom Mr. Sokolove presumably trusts will remain nowhere near Bethseda, Maryland if released as a result of Proposition 666. [I'll bet someone else from Marina del Rey wasn't too pleased about that whinepiece, either.] In the next, Minor Collinsworth of Claremont argues that unlimited immigration is not necessarily a good thing, and Doris Waterman of Marina del Rey [!] takes the Trainer to task for implying that George Bush is to blame for low unemployment rates abroad. The third and last letter is lame, but not outrageously so. Switching gears to foreign policy, Rich Siegel of Culver City writes a letter that initially sounds moonbatty for effect, but which turns out to be anything but that. Sam Hamod, retired director of the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., writes a fairly thoughtful letter expressing concerns over the specific tactics currently being employed in Najaf and Fallujah. No one writes about Bush lying, people dying, America “going it alone,” or any of the usual tripe.
Only now, after considerable digging, did I manage to come across one utterly ignorant, knee-jerk letter worthy of the Times. That letter was written by Rica Burton, a small business owner from North Hollywood. Burton’s letter warns Arnold Schwarzenegger (who’s surely shaking in his boots as a restul) against considering the very concept of energy deregulation for the the problems caused by Steve Peace’s poorly drafted 1996 “deregulation” regulation, for the problems that were neither caused nor solved by it, and even for the fact that Gov. Grayout panicked and signed long-term contracts at exhorbitantly high prices. Burton’s reasoning appears to be that if Steve Peace can make one bad energy deregulation law, all forms of energy deregulation must be bad. By the same reasoning, if Steve Peace can makein one bad movie, all movies must be bad.
John Kerry still needs to come clean about what did or didn’t happen with his Christmas in Cambodia / Epiphany on the Cambodian border / Tet anniversary within 50 miles of Cambodia / I’m sure I went to Cambodia sometime story. Nevertheless, he’s not the only one who has some explaining to do right now. Apparently his top critic, John O’Neill, admitted in 1971 (h/t: Uncle) that he himself had been in Cambodia, on a Swift boat, presumably the same one Kerry himself had previously commanded during his own famously short tour of duty. Ouch.
Unfortunately, the tape has O’Neill saying very little, aside from stating that he had been “in Cambodia” inthe sense that he “worked along the border on the water.” To me, that sounds like O’Neill was “in Cambodia” in the same sense that I was “in East Germany” in August, 1987, when I rode with a group of classmates to a border area and stuck my foot over a ditch, but maybe there’s more to it than that. Also unstated – though probably stated in the original interview – was the timing of O’Neill’s duties along the border, and whether or not they give rise to a reasonable inference that Kerry had also been there.
Given the lack of details, this snippet could be the end of SBVT as credible political force, or it could be a blip on the screen. At one extreme, it could be the smoking gun that shows proves that Kerry’s “Christmas in Cambodia” story was mostly true, aside from the relatively unimportant detail of it not being Christmas. If so, it would completely sink the credibility of every Swift Vet who claimed Kerry never went to Cambodia, along with that of every Republican who didn’t condemn the Swift Vets as quickly or decisively as Crybaby McCain did. At the other extreme, this could be the non-smoking non-gun to prove once and for all that John O’Neill’s memory is less than 100% perfect, and that there really were some Swift Boats on the waters at the border – technically “in” Cambodia, but not penetrating the country on a secret mission, as Kerry has claimed – long after Kerry had left the scene.
In short, this tape either proves everything, or it proves nothing, or maybe it proves something in between. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: LeanLeft offers a brand-spanking new Kerry lie. It seems that not only did President-elect Nixon illegally usurp the powers of lame duck President Johnson by sending Kerry to Cambodia, he also sent him to Iraq, of all places. Cool! UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: the reference to Iraq is now gone. Too bad. It looks like Tgirsch managed to confuse the soft spot he has in his heart for communist mass murderers, on the one hand, with the different soft spot he has for Islamofascist terrorist states, on the other.
UPDATE x2: Apparently, the whole thing is a non-issue based on Kerryspin (h/t: Jody Neel, in a comment) O’Neill’s tenure in Vietnam, unlike Kerry’s, coincided with the Cambodia incursion of 1970, about which no bones were made by Richard Nixon (who was actually President at that time, unlike John Kerry’s excellent adventure / bogus journey to Cambodia in 1968). So the possibility that John O’Neill was in one part of Cambodia in early 1970 adds zero credibility to the notion that Kerry was there anytime between November, 1968 and March, 1969. Presumably the Kerry people knew this when they raised this bogus issue in the first place. Advantage: Swift Boat Veterans Whose Last Names Aren’t Kerry.
UPDATE x3: I finally got around to watching Tuesday’s Hannity and Colmes interview on my DVR. O’Neill didn’t bring up the Cambodian Incursion or claim to have penetrated the country, as Kerry had done, nor did he say (he wasn’t asked) when exactly he had gone. What he did say is that he had patrolled the border at one point, as he said to Nixon on that tape. He also claimed he had been saying this all along, which I don’t know first hand but have little reason to doubt. Apparently, O’Neill’s Big Lie consists of having used the preposition in on some occasions, and near on others, to describe his position along a watery border. Excuse me while I yawn.
UPDATE x4: Spoons disagrees. I guess that to some, using a different preposition to the recount the same story on separate occasions is every bit as dishonest as making a story up out of whole cloth.
FINAL UPDATE: The Pink Flamingo isn’t impressed by Spoons’s “O’Neill is a Lying Liar” theory, either, nor with his apparent eagerness to diss a vet. Frankly, I have to agree. Spoons has put out many excellent posts over the years. These two are not among them.
If you’re a beer drinking male in the greater L.A. area between the ages of 21 and 45, and would like to make $100 for three hours of your time tomorrow night, go here. If you’re not, don’t.
August 24, 2004
Michelle Malkin is gloating just a leetle, and rightly so. Less than a week has passed since Chris Matthews kicked her off Hardball for suggesting that the wound that gave rise to John Kerry’s first
enemy marksmanship award Purple Heart may have been self-inflicted, and now the Kerry camp is conceding that it may be true. Matthews isn’t admitting he’s wrong, of course; rather, he’s sticking to the words he put in Malkin’s mouth to claim that she claimed Kerry had deliberately “shot himself” (with a grenade?!). That charge is indeed “without merit and baseless,” as Matthews rightly claims. It’s also a figment of Matthews’s imagination. Pat Buchanan attempted to make this point in a more recent show. After being interrupted four times (by Matthews, who else?), Buchanan finally made his point, which was that Malkin was simply pointing out that Kerry’s first injury may have been self-inflicted, by a grenade that had hit the rocks in front of him. To which Matthews responded:
I’m tempted to stop right there, seeing as Matthews has just expressed every bit as much assent for Pat Buchanan’s agreement that Malkin as Malkin herself had appeared to endorse for Matthews’s strawman, despite the fact that Matthews, unlike Malkin, was not bullied into expressing it. Much as I’d love to dowdify Dowd or give Matthews the Matthews treatment, I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’ll be more gracious to Matthews that Matthews is to his own guests, and allow him to finish his statement:
Of course we all know that kind of thing happens in war. The question is, was it purposely—did he purposefully shoot himself or not? That was the question that was being suggested by that discussion.
That was indeed the phony issue Matthews himself kept bringing up out of nowhere, but it is not the issue raised by the the Swift Vets, nor was it an issue Malkin was attempting to raise while he repeatedly interrupted her. The non-issue of whether or not Kerry deliberately shot himself, or whether it is even possible to “shoot” oneself with a grenade, is purely a figment of Matthews’s imagination. Had he taken the time to read the book, or even allowed Malkin to get a word in edgewise, he’d know that the real issue is whether or not Kerry earned his first Purple Heart. If he was wounded by enemy fire, or even by friendly fire in a combat situation, he did. If his wounds were self-inflicted during a non-combat situation – purposely, accidentally, or otherwise – he didn’t. The end.
Clearly, the story about Kerry’s allegedly self-inflicted wounds has more legs than Matthews thought when he ambushed Malkin. At this stage, he has only two credible options. One is to apologize profusely for his inexcusable behavior, both in baiting and switching Malkin into discussing the topic she had not originally come to discuss, and for browbeating her into apparently endorsing a strawman rather than discussing the real issue at hand. The other is to stick to his guns, and continue to kick off all guests – Kerry campaigners included – who continue to advance the notion that any of Kerry’s wounds may have been self-inflicted. Personally, I hope he takes the latter option. If he does, soon his show will have even fewer guests than viewers.
August 23, 2004
It used to be a defense attorney’s job to help you get away with the crimes you’ve already committed, not to help you plan the next one. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be true anymore. Between telling drug smugglers which borders to avoid and linking favorably to a site telling criminals who to kill, I think Jeralyn may be taking her blog’s byline a tad too literally. Watch for the American Criminal Liberties Union to follow suit any day now.
August 22, 2004
August 21, 2004
But the New York Times, a wholly owned subsidary of the Democratic National Committee, does. Patterico has the scoop.