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 ...
SCARY THOUGHT! However, sKerry voluntarily, or even involuntarily, has an "accident" for the good of the party, Hitlary steps in... Thankfully, a MASSIVE majority of MEN hate that skanky bag of worms.
Kerry might have gotten away with all of his out-and-out lying 10 or 20 years ago, and probably did, even if he was a bush league liar compared to the whoppers The Bent One got away with unscathed, but we're in the internet age, and facts and the truth spring up almost in an instant.
A lot of South Vietnamese were Catholic.
Has anybody considered the possibility that Kerry was sent to Cambodia on a SUPER secret mission to terminate Colonel Kurtz without prejudice?
I am starting to wonder if Kerry might be pressured to resign before the election. God knows who might be drafted to replace Kerry. Hopefully Howard Dean. Not!
It is not just a melt down, the media is in denial. With the exception of Hanity, ALL the Television media is trying to explain why kerry lying about his "hero status" is not important.
I know a few people who have medals from viet nam. They do NOT parade their medals.
Media denial and refusal to investigate the actual facts fo the story speaks of betway disease and sloth.
It does not matter where the money for the ad has arrived, it does not make the truth of the facts any less factual. Kerry has not released his records, obviously he is hiding this information. IOW a mega media DUH.
Unfortunately the mainstream sup-press is doing everything it can to keep this out of the headlines. I have yet to see anything in the major newspapers other than criticism of the Swift Vet heroes for having the audacity to expose the truth about Mr. Kerry.
It's a shame that the American people and the world may not learn about Kerry lies and devious behaviour until it is too late.
I defer to your expertise. I've never been there, but I do know a lot of people are not aware of the high number of Catholics in Vietnam.
Maybe he was ferrying Captain Willard into Cambodia:
"Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice mission, and when it was over, I never wanted another."
Anyone get the feeling that Kerry was trying to leap onto the popularity of "Apocalypse Now?" Notice that his claims about ferrying a CIA agent (Capt. Willard?) into Cambodia happened AFTER that movie came out.
My sense watching O'Reilly last night was that BillO special pleaded this case for Kerry.
OReilly had Rassman on and sucked up to him real bad. BO keeps acting indignant that someone is saying Rassman is LYING....He doesn't get to the issue of Rassman BEING MISTAKEN. After all, if Rassman was in the water, then he couldn't have been aware of the course of the battle from that point on. Gardner is the one who says that Kerry's boat ran away and came back after the action in time to pick up Rassman. All stuff Rassman wouldn't have known being in the water.
With the Cambodia thing, OReilly was giving Kerry a pass as its being simply an inadvertent "mistake." Something like "Kerry thought he was there but wasn't" ???
I guess Kerry was map-challenged. But BillO was looking for a way out for Kerry on this one.
One other thing that really clued me in to how out of touch and party-line OReilly is on this issue: He thought RASSMAN was a crewman AND gunner on Kerry's boat. He repeated it a number of times until finally corrected by Rassman himself.
Consider that for a moment: He had Gardner on who was a gunner on Kerry's boat, and then he has Rassman on and thinks Rassman's also a gunner. He knows Rassman is Special Forces, Green Beret, but he thinks Rassman is a gunner on Kerry's boat....even though Rassman is ARMY!
That is so unbelievably ignorant of how the military works that it deserves an article all its own. OReilly is a military dunce.
But get this, HOW can O'Reilly pretend his vaunted, supposedly researched OPINION on the Swift Boats, when he has elementary stuff about how the military works SO SCREWED UP! What it indicates is a KNEE-JERK opinion on THIS SUBJECT by BillO for some reason.
In other words, O'Reilly had an INVESTMENT in countering the Swift Boats, so he shot from the hip. Why was BillO so intent on discrediting the SwiftBoats....why did he say to open the segment that "he's so glad this story is dying down????"
The Christians I knew in Viet Nam - very few I admit - seemed to take their religion more seriously than most do here.
In the Washington Post -- the cap? Well, he'll be chewing that hat for some time.
I think this is a plausible story to stick with. See, even though Nixon didn't become president until Jan. 20 1969, maybe they could find a secret agreement to allow him to become president in December 1968 when he sent Kerry into Cambodia. As the guy in Stalag 17 said, "I believe it. I BELIEVE IT!"
Try checking out the DUmmie forum.
Unfortunately, Ted Sampley was more than happy to engage in that battle and the Swifties Against Kerry topic was barely touched.
Well, that isn't in itself a very high standard!
The only issue is to what extent can the rabid-dog democrats pull back from the edge. Their attornies must realize that they are running a real risk of leaping over hte edge into a mult-hundred-million dollar slander lawsuit against the DNC/Kerry campaign. 245 vets x $1 Million+ per vet is a lot of money - especially for a party that is whining about getting back $20,000 from the Louisiana Congressman who turned pubbie.
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