Skip to comments.Sen. John Kerry's SWIFT meltdown: Hugh Hewitt on why Dem's campaign, lib pundits are floundering
Posted on 08/11/2004 2:31:04 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Kerry's SWIFT meltdown
Posted: August 11, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Hugh Hewitt
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
At this writing, the Kerry campaign has not yet responded to the media meltdown that is occurring around John Kerry's four decades of stories built on his secret, illegal missions into Cambodia during the four months he skippered a SWIFT boat.
It is impossible to stonewall a story that broke out of the blogosphere and into the major media on Monday night and Tuesday morning, so eventually John Kerry is going to have to stand by his wildly implausible tales of cross-border excellent adventures, or he's going to have to apologize for inventing personal history.
Here are the facts. Not long after returning from Vietnam, John Kerry began telling people he had been sent into Cambodia on an illegal patrol on Christmas Eve 1968. He repeated that story on the floor of the Senate in 1986, to an AP reporter in 1992, and as recently as June 2003 was regaling a Washington Post reporter with a story of how he had ferried a CIA man secretly into Cambodia, and how he'd kept the man's hat as a reminder of that journey.
The Christmas-Eve-in-Cambodia story has already been completely shredded by the SWIFT boat vet critics of Kerry, and it is hard to imagine how Kerry is going to defend the CIA man who was never there, given independent testimony from Navy vets that the SWIFT boats never went into Cambodian waters. If Kerry was sent on a secret drop-off mission, he's going to have to come up with some proof, especially with the Christmas Eve narrative now so discredited.
The blogosphere pushed this story forward, with an early flare going up at KerryHaters on May 21, and then a gang tackle of the facts by Instapundit, RogerLSimon, JustOneMinute, Powerline, CaptainsQuarters and, of course, me.
We teed it up after the publisher of "Unfit for Command" released a sample chapter from the new book which brought the Cambodian myth to light. I spent all day Thursday, Friday and Monday on the story on my radio program, and Monday night Carl Cameron ran with a story on "Special Report" with Brit Hume, followed by an "O'Reilly Factor" segment with Steve Gardener, a SWIFT boat vet who served on Kerry's boat. Gardener denied ever having been to Cambodia. The Kerry campaign first denied that Kerry had ever claimed to have been in Cambodia, and then recanted upon being shown the 1986 Congressional record, promising to get back to Fox News with an explanation.
No explanation has shown up more than 12 hours later. In the interim, the New York Post has run a story, as has the London Telegraph, and the Washington Times' editors have produced a powerful editorial on the subject.
Why all the attention? Simply put, if John Kerry can be conclusively demonstrated to have lied about aspects of his Vietnam service, the media has to ask what else has he been lying about. The voters have to ask if he can be trusted. In short: Free fall.
The lefty bloggers and talking heads are stunned into silence, and have gotten no help from the Kerry people. It's hard to spin a story that hasn't been spun by the campaign since Kerry could elect to go in completely different directions. If he hangs tough on the Christmas Eve and CIA man stories, his allies will know to hang tough as well. But they can't do that without a clear signal, because if Kerry comes out and apologizes for a tall tale, the commentators are cut off at the knees.
A nasty dilemma. Perhaps the lefty pundits should try sticking with the truth: It looks very bad for Kerry. It looks like he's been lying and padding his Vietnam resume for decades and that the elite media was so in love with the story they didn't bother to check it out. It looks like Kerry's selective release of his military and health records was smoke, and that the big-time journalists at the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post fell for it.
Now we get to see if there's any pride left in the newsroom. Do any of these writers, reporters and producers resent getting played by Kerry? If so, payback will be stiff. Too early to tell whether Bush-hatred trumps anger at getting suckered. More to follow ...
FOX has gone to great lengths to assure everyone that they (a) believe Rassman, (b) are in awe of JFK for having been anywhere near Vietnam, (c) and that they consider the book embarrasing.
This morning's free political message (Jeh Johnson) didn't spin facts so much as recreate the language to fit their purpose:
'eye witness' becomes 'third hand' just as 'served with' must equal 'served under the command of'. Johnson's final comment, following the Christmas in Cambodia mis-rememberance, was that he was sure JFK was in Cambodia some time afterward...he just does not remember the date.
I'm sorry, but I feel all the beneath-the-skin loathing that the left had for Vietnam and Vietnam vets returning in their tactics. They made up their own 'war hero' to make it look like the lefties are the true heros and now the same people they marginalized for decades are crass enough to stand up against them.
I'm afraid that the real result of the Swift Boat Veteran's effort will be to divert Kerry campaign attention into grinding them up.
[It's long been my belief that the left is powered by guilt, and it's my observation that no one defends their position as rabidly as does someone who knows that position is wrong]
Nope, they will never give up.
I saw Johnson's commentary this morning and I couldn't figure out what he was talking about when he said Kerry had corrected his mistaken recollection about being in Cambodia on Christmas day. I guess he means the book "Tour of Duty", which didn't address the contradiction but instead just offered up another version.
There is still the detail of him "remembering" the drunken Christmas revelers shooting at him. If it didn't happen on Christmas day, why were they celebrating Christmas? It just doesn't make sense.
The only way Kerry can salvage any shred of credibility is to just admit that he was exagerrating to try and make Nixon and the war look bad. He can say it was a white lie for a greater good--isn't that what Democrats do all the time anyway?
Enquiring minds might wonder if JF'nK regrets tossing something a bit lighter and compact, like his ribbons, over
the WH fence.
Assuming they were his ribbons.
OTOH, disposing of what he appears to have acquired by, if not outright dishonesty, at least questionable circumstances, doesn't
seem to have brought him any relief or benefit.
Unless their internal polls show Dubya can't be beaten, then they will substitute someone like Gephardt.
I read that and meant to comment, however I must have gotten distracted. Not hard for a mind like mine.;)
A rather well earned, and descriptive anology.
It's sad that such a poor candidate is running even or ahead of Bush. Forget the politics, Kerry is the worst dem candidate in the last 30 years, maybe longer. And he seems to be winning at this point. I hope and pray that all these polls are wrong, but even I am starting to become worried. This election, I am not so worried about taxes and social issues. I am very concerned about the future safety of our nation if Kerry is elected. Bush has the right strategy to be on the offense and take the battle to the enemy's home, not ours. Terrorist can attack us here just about anytime. There is NO WAY to prevent most of these attacks. You can't play defense. It is so sad that the MSM, Dems, and the left don't see that. Maybe they do, but all of this is just a ploy to get Bush defeated. But I am worried. Very worried.
Kerry is finally submitting evidence to prove he was in Cambodia with the CIA, just like he said.
That hair reminds me of the cowboy movies when I was a kid. They never lost their hats. Kerry's hair never gets messed up. ;)
bump to read more comments later.
Unfortunately, it's true about a lot of SV were Catholics, and they would be the ones who would be trusted to be in their Service.
Other than that, it's a great coup, good post.
Thanks for the ping!
"About time, all the media ran with the "hero" lies without checking."
Yep for about 4 decades, the mediots in Boston, DC and NYC allowed their Poster Boy Liar to get by lie after lie about his Nam service and what he said when he returned.
Where was O'Reilly in 1969?
He's about draftable age, so what was the deal with him? Did his number ever come up, and if so, did he defer it?
It's obvious he didn't go National Guard....he couldn't be such a military dunce if he had.
I'm not saying what either man did was dishonorable.
I AM saying that neither man, for whatever reasons, is comfortable with what he did. The details may never be known.
"Now we get to see if there's any pride left in the newsroom. Do any of these writers, reporters and producers resent getting played by Kerry? If so, payback will be stiff. Too early to tell whether Bush-hatred trumps anger at getting suckered. More to follow ... "
Give me a break! Would everyone please realize that the media doesn't give a DAMN about reporting facts, being objective, promoting the bottom line of whatever company they're with, etc. They only care about beating George Bush. Period, end of story. If they reported that John Kerry said the sun would rise in West tomorrow, and it then rose in the East, they would just comment on prison scandals and blame George Bush. The only thing these people will take pride in is John Kerry in the White House.
We are winning ~ the bad guys are losing ~ trolls, terrorists, democrats and the mainstream media are sad ~ very sad!
"...The blogosphere pushed this story forward, with an early flare going up at KerryHaters on May 21, and then a gang tackle of the facts by Instapundit, RogerLSimon, JustOneMinute, Powerline, CaptainsQuarters and, of course, me.See also THESE related threads:
We teed it up after the publisher of "Unfit for Command" released a sample chapter from the new book which brought the Cambodian myth to light. I spent all day Thursday, Friday and Monday on the story on my radio program... - Hugh Hewitt
Interview Transcript of Swifty Steve Gardner by H. Hewitt
Posted by socal_parrot
On News/Activism 08/10/2004 9:56:37 PM PDT · 28 replies
hughhewitt.com ^ | 8-10-4 | Hugh Hewitt
Steve Gardener of Swift Boat Vets will be on Hugh Hewitt next hour.
Posted by NavySEAL F-16
On News/Activism 08/10/2004 3:25:16 PM PDT · 62 replies
Hugh Hewitt ^ | 10 August 2004 | Hugh Hewitt
Hugh Hewitt on SwiftVets and "Christmas in Cambodia"
Posted by Steven W.
On News/Activism 08/06/2004 2:57:40 PM PDT · 61 replies · 1,178+ views
Hugh Hewitt ^ | 8/6/04 | Hugh Hewitt
(If you want OFF - or ON - my "Hugh Hewitt PING list" - please let me know)
What if no one is surprised by the lies, and no one really cares that he's a liar? We all assume that exposing the knave will destroy him. I'm hoping that it works that way.
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