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Statement from John O'Neil about ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel Oct 14 [read last paragraph] ^ | Oct 15, 2004 | John O'Neil

Posted on 10/15/2004 4:59:25 AM PDT by Mike Fieschko

The following statement from John O'Neil, member of Swift Boat Veterans and POW's for Truth, concerns a news segment that aired on October 14th on ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel.

"While I have a tremendous amount of respect for Ted Koppel and ABC News I was appalled to learn that ABC News would go to the lengths of traveling to Vietnam to interview three Viet Cong communists in yet a third attempt by ABC to corroborate John Kerry's version of the events that took place on February 28th, 1969.

"I would only ask the American people: 'Who do you trust more, three members of a communist regime that tortured and killed our American troops or a group of more than 280 highly decorated American veterans, who proudly served their country and are now responsible members of their respective communities.

"The number of veterans who support John Kerry's accounts of his military service would not fill one Swift Boat. But instead of sitting down to interview some of the 280 plus members of our Swift Boat organization, ABC News chose to travel to Vietnam taking extraordinary and highly suspect steps to find someone to corroborate John Kerry's story.

"ABC News Nightline has now dedicated three seperate programs to this one incident while ignoring John Kerry's now discredited Senate testimony that he spent Christmas in Cambodia, his receiving a purple heart after all three of the officers required to approve such an issuance rejected his application, or his constantly changing account of the circumstances surrounding his remaining medal, a bronze star.

"Further, one has to wonder why ABC News will not address the serious questions as to why John Kerry only received an honorable discharge through the act of then President Carter, seven years after his discharge, and had to have all of his military citations reissued, on the same day, when he became a United States Senator in 1985. And, finally, why has Nightline found it of no interest to permit any POWs to come on their program to explain why they believe John Kerry betrayed their nation, caused them to be incarcerated for an additional two years and caused them tremendous additional hardship and suffering."

TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2004electionbias; 229; abcdisney; abcdisneynews; abcnews; boycottabcdisney; boycottdisney; communist; dnctalkingpoints; goebbelswouldbeproud; johnoneil; johnoneill; johnoneilonnightline; kerry; koppel; mediabias; nightlie; nightline; oneil; oneill; pows; procommunist; sbvft; swiftboat; swiftboatveterans; swiftboatvets; swifties; swiftvets; tedfloppel; tedkoppel; thebiglie; vietcong; vietnam; waltsrotatingcorpse
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The last paragraph is very interesting. Wonder what O'Neil knows that he isn't yet saying.

Boy do I hope I have to eat the words I've typed here, discouraging freepers from running with the John Kerry 'bad paper' rumors.
1 posted on 10/15/2004 4:59:26 AM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: Mike Fieschko

The MSM really does think the American people are stupid. Of course, I never watch them so I didn't see the show. BUT one has to wonder why the MSM can't see that we out here in the good Ole' USA know that they are biased. They want to get rid of George Bush (or any other Republican) so bad that they will do anything. Sickening!! They need to read the first amendment! They certainly aren't doing their job.

2 posted on 10/15/2004 5:03:54 AM PDT by Cricket24
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To: Mike Fieschko
Why? Why?

Halperin Memo Dated Friday October 8, 2004

"It goes without saying that the stakes are getting very high
for the country and the campaigns - and our responsibilities become quite grave
I do not want to set off (sp?) and endless colloquy that none of us have time for today
- nor do I want to stifle one.
Please respond if you feel you can advance the discussion.
The New York Times (Nagourney/Stevenson) and Howard Fineman
on the web both make the same point today: the current Bush attacks
on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way
that goes beyond what Kerry has done."
"Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his (ed. ABC-supported) efforts to win.
We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest,
but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides
"equally" accountable when the facts don't warrant that.
I'm sure many of you have this week felt the stepped up Bush efforts
to complain about our coverage.
This is all part of their efforts to get away with as
much as possible with the stepped up, renewed efforts
to win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions.

It's up to Kerry to defend himself, of course.
But as one of the few news organizations with the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the
candidates are saying to serve the public interest.
Now is the time for all of us to step up and do that right".

3 posted on 10/15/2004 5:04:46 AM PDT by Diogenesis (Cuius rei demonstrationem mirabilem sane detexi hanc marginis exiguitas non caperet.)
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To: Mike Fieschko

"'Who do you trust more, three members of a communist regime that tortured and killed our American troops or a group of more than 280 highly decorated American veterans, who proudly served their country and are now responsible members of their respective communities?"

I guess we have ABC & Koppel's answer

4 posted on 10/15/2004 5:05:02 AM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: Tacis; Goat Locker Freeper

Read the last paragraph. Request you prepare a hat for me to eat, Mister.

5 posted on 10/15/2004 5:05:02 AM PDT by Mike Fieschko (Stop or I shall be forced to say stop again.)
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To: Mike Fieschko

hmmm. Have been following this for some time. Don't know what to think. But the fact that the pres has simply repeated, again and again that he is proud of his service and received an honourable discharge, takes on a certain meaning in this context.

6 posted on 10/15/2004 5:07:20 AM PDT by Kay Syrah (the difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad))
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To: Mike Fieschko


7 posted on 10/15/2004 5:07:59 AM PDT by Zechariah11
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To: Mike Fieschko

We can't let this issue be swept under the rug. If Kerry received a Dishonorable Discharge, the public has a right to know!

8 posted on 10/15/2004 5:10:44 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (The Swiftboat Vets - Patriotic Americans STILL serving their country!)
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To: Mike Fieschko
Ted Koppel wants to believe the forged witnesses badly.
9 posted on 10/15/2004 5:15:33 AM PDT by Isara (We Will Win With W)
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To: nuconvert
I guess we have ABC & Koppel's answer

Dunno. I think it's more a case of sacrificing the truth for "the cause."

10 posted on 10/15/2004 5:16:37 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Kay Syrah

So...what I'm seeing here is an attempt on the part of ABC to knock CBS out of first place as the liberal and nuanced network of record.

11 posted on 10/15/2004 5:16:47 AM PDT by SE Mom
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To: Mike Fieschko

Along with the rest of the "wondering" that's going on, I wonder why it's never mentioned that John O'Neill is a lawyer similar to John Edwards and graduated at the top of his class at Texas. And why it's never mentioned that O'Neill has given more than twice as much money to democrats as republicans (can anyone say 'Sheila Jackson-Lee'?). And why it's not mentioned that O'Neill has said he WOULD have voted for John Edwards for president.

This whole issue is about Kerry's behavior in Viet Nam and how he sold out this country...and he'll do it again if elected. Just watch!

12 posted on 10/15/2004 5:17:17 AM PDT by Maria S
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To: Mike Fieschko
It's amazing to me that no positive pieces of Kerry's military record have ever been installed by the original convening authorities. They've always been put there by people who had no direct knowledge of the situation-- including an honorable discharge by President Carter.
13 posted on 10/15/2004 5:17:32 AM PDT by Egon (If Kerry had been right about screwed-up returning vets, he wouldn't have lived to see 1975!)
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To: Mike Fieschko
Thought it might be of interest to post the transcript, at least of the interview portion of the show:
Nightline, 14 OCT 2004, 2nd segment, interview with John O'Neill
Ted Koppel (:00): John O'Neill served in the US Navy, from 1967 to 1971. He took over command of John Kerry's Swift boat in 1969 when Kerry left Vietnam. He is a leader of the group, Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, and the author of, Unfit for Command; a book that calls John Kerry's record in Vietnam into question.
As I mentioned to you, before the broadcast . . uh . . Mr. O'Neill, we're just going to have time to focus on the one issue that we have . . uh . . looked at, tonight, that is the Silver Star issue. And if . . if I can just . .
John O'Neill: That's . . that's . .
Koppel: Yeah, go ahead.
O'Neill (:37): May I-may I say Ted, that's-that's a read shame. It's a shame that you focused only on the one minor accomplishment of John Kerry and refuse to ever cover the sampan incident, where the small family was killed, the two times he fled that are described in the book, and the like . .
Koppel: Mr. . . Mr. O'Neill
O'Neill: . . or the time where he visited the North Vietnamese.
Koppel (:55): Mr. O'Neill . . uh . . maybe we're going to be able to do something more. This was the place that we were brought to.
O'Neill: I-I invite you to, sir.
Koppel: This is the place we found. Let me go, just for this evening, and ask you . .
O'Neill: It's the third time you've covered it.
Koppel (1:08): Let me ask you to focus on the issue at hand. And . . and the first question I have is this sort of intriguing question about who that Swift boat veteran was, who talked to that one Vietnamese . . uh . . former Viet Cong that we heard from, this evening . . uh . . who said he raised some questions about John Kerry . . said this guy was running for President . . uh . . said he had . . he had won awards that he did not deserve. Do you know who that was?
O'Neill (1:33): It was no one from our group, Ted. And if anybody implies that is was, it isn't the truth. [holds up Unfit for Command, open to plate] Ted, John Kerry is in the North Vietnamese war museum as a hero. He's honored by them as one of the heroes who caused them to win the war in Vietnam.
Koppel: Mr. O'Neill, I understand . .
O'Neill: You can find it right inside . .
Koppel (1:50): Forgive me for interrupting you. I understand . .
O'Neill: Sir, excuse me, I don't believe . .
Koppel: If you'll be good enough just to . . If we can just address . .
O'Neill: I did answer your question.
Koppel: . . the questions first. You say you don't know is it.
O'Neill (2:00): Your report is unreliable.
Koppel: Well! it . . a . .
O'Neill: You went to a country where all the elections are 100% elections. And you relied on . . uh . . people that were enemies of the United States, in a closed society, instead of getting the information that was easily available from us and from the record. And as a result, you've produced a report that is truly pathetic.
Koppel: Mr. O'Neill!
O'Neill: That's the truth, Ted, and not worthy of you.
Koppel (2:19): Mr. O'Neill . . uh . . I don't think you can complain about not having received enough coverage, over these past few months. You've received a ton of it.
O'Neill: Not on Nightline, Ted.
Koppel: My . . my . . my question has to do with what eyewitnesses to the event . . I mean, you can-you can impugn them anyway you want to. And I have-I have no way of vouching for their motives or their interest in either supporting John Kerry or doing damage to . . uh . . a group that, like your own, that I'm sure they've never heard of.
O'Neill (2:47): That's the problem, Ted.
Koppel: Uh . . but why . . why . . is it that you are so reluctant to at least address the substance of what they say? In other words, you make it clear in your . .
O'Neill: I'm thrilled to address the substance, Ted.
Koppel: Then . . then . .
O'Neill: Let's go right to the substance.
Koppel: Let's get to it.
O'Niell (3:01): This is the book, Ted, [holds up cover of Kranish, et al, book] published by the Boston Globe. This is their autobiography of John Kerry, with his assistance. [opens to page and shows it to camera] Ted, in their autobiography, they describe on page 101 a single teenager in a loincloth, Ted. They weren't trying to make it up. This is-this is . . uh . . [briefly shows cover] John Kerry's own approved biography, Tour of Duty. On page 290 . . uh . . six of that book [holds page open to camera] John Kerry says, boy, he's glad there was only a single person there and not more.
What you've done is go into a closed society instead of interviewing, direct witnesses . .
Koppel (3:38): Mr. O'Neill!
O'Neill: . . and produced a story that isn't even the story in his biography . .
Koppel: Mr. O'Neill.
O'Neill: . . or that of the Boston Globe.
Koppel: We-we have other pieces of evidence, including the after-action report and, of course, the citation for the Silver Star, itself, which talks precisely! about a superior enemy force. You're the one who raised questions about the superior enemy force. It appears, from the recollections of the Vietnamese, who were on-hand at the time, they recall a [O'Neill holds open same page from Kranish, et al] superior enemy [sic] force. Twelve soldiers from . . eh . . forgive me, if you'll put the book down . .
O'Neill: Ted, they'll recover [?] . .
Koppel: We can't read it, anyway! So . .
O'Neill (4:11): Ted, this is the Boston Globe . .
Koppel: All you're doing is reflecting white light back . . [spoken over O'Neill]
O'Neill: . . biography.
Koppel: Yes. So?
O'Neill: Ted, this is the biography by the hometown newspaper of John Kerry. It says there was a single Viet Cong teenager in a loincloth.
Koppel: I . . I heard you . .
O'Neill: I asked the author of it, Michael Kranish.
Koppel: I heard you the first . . I heard . . I heard you the first time. [spoken over O'Neill]
O'Neill: I said, how did you get that information?
Koppel: Yes:
O'Neill (4:28): And he said, I got it because that's what everyone told me. It's the same information I got. [holding up Tour of Duty] In John Kerry's autobiography, the same information appears . .
Koppel: Mr. O'Neill.
O'Neill: . . except that they don't give the age.
Koppel: You're being-you're being . .
O'Neill: Now, really.
Koppel: . . repetitive. I am referring to what you wrote . .
O'Neill: Oh, c'mon.
Koppel: . . in your book and asking you . .
O'Neill: Yeah.
Koppel: . . to respond to what you have just heard from a bunch of [O'Neill holds up Unfit for Command] people who do not seem to have . . yo, no. We got the title - Unfit for Command. Uh . . you know, just do me a favor. Stop picking up books and let's see if you and I can, more or less, look at one another and just get a few questions and answers back and forth. You wrote . .
O'Neill: Sure.
Koppel (5:04): You wrote . .
O'Neill: Ted . .
Koppel: . . that there was only . .
O'Neill: Alright.
Koppel: . . one man. And, in fact, you didn't describe him as a man. You described him as a kid. You described him as a . .
O'Neill: I described him as . .
Koppel: . . kid in a loincloth.
O'Neill: That's not true, Ted.
Koppel: It turns out he was 26 or 27 years old, was sent by provincial headquarters, was a leader of a twelve man Viet Cong unit that was sent to that place, and I am simply giving to you what the folks on the scene described, in order to ambush American Swift boats. Why do you have trouble accepting it?
O'Neill (5:34): Ted . . I have a lot of trouble, Ted. Because you went to a country that is a closed society. You ignored every single report. [holds up Kranish book] You've ignored the written biography of John Kerry by the Boston Globe that concludes exactly what we did; Michael Kranish, who interviewed American after American, including Kerry's crewmen. You ignored [briefly holds up Tour of Duty] Kerry's own autobiography, Tour of Duty, in which he says there was-there was . . he was glad there was only single . . uh . . gunman. Ker . . uh . . let me suggest that when we have a choice between Kerry's creman and our crewmen, all saying there was a single person - the people you never interviewed; our guys, of course - but his people and ours saying there was a single guy popping up, and a group of Vietnamese who were opponents in the war, living in a closed society, you've made a very change . . strange choice to go all the way there and pick them. You've particularly made a strange choice because it's the same as . .
Koppel (6:23): Do me a favor. Just . . just explain to me [spoken over O'Neill] . .
Just explain-just explain to me, if you can, why do you think it is that a bunch of peasants in a truly remote part of southern Vietnam would have an interest in making up stories that would somehow benefit John Kerry and raise questions about your version of that particular incident. What motive could they possibly have?
O'Neill (6:50): The first . . uh . . thing I can tell you for sure, Ted, is that their story is totally different than Kerry's story. It's totally different than [unintelligible] story. It's even totally different . .
Koppel: Yes, you've mentioned that. But I mean, try and answer . . try and answer, my [spoken over O'Neill]
Try and answer my question.
O'Neill (7:02): Now, this marvelous new . .
Koppel: I've heard you say that three times, now. [speaking over O'Neill, and smiling]
O'Niell . . discovery . . The marvelous new discovery in Vietnam occurs in a closed society in a country that has honored John Kerry himself as a hero in their war museum who helped them win the war. You could see the government personnel directly with him. I guess, if I have a choice, Ted, between relying as a I did on the Boston Globe autobiography, on Kerry's own autobiography, on his crewman, on your prior show that you had in July which said essentially the same thing, and on the recollection of the guys that we had that were there, or a group of people coming up with a totally new story in a closed society, I choose to rely on Kerry's books, Kerry's crewmen, our crewmen, and the other sources. I don't think it was worthy of you all to go and . . and . . go and interview these people and try and impeach me without bothering to look at the Boston Globe autobiography, [or] at Kerry's own book.
The-the story is ridiculous, first of all. Kerry didn't go in-in the first assault. Everyone says that the initial two boats went in. Kerry milled around. And then a rocket was fired at Kerry. Kerry's boats turned in towards the shore. And we have said that Kerry's action involves some courage, and that he deserves some medal. But the fact of the matter is when he turned in, Ted, only a single Viet Cong popped out of that hole. He was wounded in the legs by machine gun. That's what Kerry says. And Kerry chased him.
Koppel (8:25): Mr. O'Neil. I've been . . I've been . . I've been. [speaking over O'Neill at "machine gun"]
I've been very patient listening to you give the same rendition of the same story three or four times, now. The one thing you have not . .
O'Neill: It's in everybody's book, Ted.
Koppel: I understand which books it's in [agitated tone]. It's also in his citation for bravery for which he won the Silver Star. It is also . .
O'Neill: Actually, it was his . .
Koppel: It is also in the after-action report, Mr. O'Neill.
O'Neill (8:51): It only his third citation.
Koppel: So it's not as though . . it's not [speaking over O'Neill]
The only thing that I find really fascinating about this is that you seem so reluctant to admit that it is possible for a bunch of peasants in-in South Vietnam, who've never heard of this man before, to independently, in somewhat varying forms, to confirm the essence of what John Kerry claimed about the incidents that led to his Silver Star.
O'Neill (9:15): That's not true, John . . uh . . Ted. We accepted John Kerry's version of the Silver Star. We just pointed out that his version, which is a single guy popping up out of a hole being shot in the legs, is not a numerically superior force. It cannot be. And that's what happened.
Koppel: Nor is that what-nor is that what [speaking over O'Neill, after "force"] we suggested, tonight. We're saying that the single guy popping up out of the hole who was wounded, who may or may not have been killed by John Kerry, was not the end of that battle; that there were twenty other Viet Cong on the scene, according to the eyewitnesses . . who kept up . . who kept up . .
O'Neill: Well, what John Kerry says is, Ted . . [speaking over Koppel, after "eyewitnesses"]
Koppel: . . heavy fire. You've-you've already mentioned the books.
O'Neill (9:50): Ted, John Kerry says, "I could not help wondering what would have happened if, instead of one Viet Cong with the B-40, what if there had been three, or five, or ten? He knew the answer, of course." So John Kerry's story is that there was one, Ted. And that was the same story that the Boston Globe reporters had. You've been had, Ted. You've been had in a Communist country.
Koppel: Mr. O'Neill. [speaking after, "had, Ted."]
O'Neill: You should have stuck, honestly, to the Kerry people, to our people, and the like. That's all there was. It was one guy!
Koppel: We're starting to . . uh . . we're starting to meet ourselves [speaking over O'Neill, after "the like"] coming around again, Mr. O'Neill. So I thank you for your patience.
O'Neill: I'm sorry, Ted. All-all I can do is read the documents.
Koppel: I thank you for your courtesy in [speaking over O'Neill] coming here, this evening. Thank you, sir.
O'Neill: Uh . . I thank you, Ted, for your courtesy. And I hope you'll cover the sampan and the other incidents and let our guys go on the show.
Koppel: Very good, sir. I'll be back with a closing thought.
[closing thought]
Koppel: One of our own producers, this morning, raised a question that I suspect a number of you may have on your mind. Why, just when the Presidential candidates are starting to focus on real, substantive issues devote yet another program to what John Kerry did or didn't do in Vietnam?
Here's why. Questions have been raised about John Kerry's character and honesty. We were offered the chance to set the record straight on one, discreet chapter in Mr. Kerry's war record. We didn't know what we were going to find when our crew went into Vietnam. You have the right to expect that we would have reported it, either way. And we would. Because not reporting something you know can be just as much of a political statement as reporting it. Imagine how outraged supporters of Mr. Kerry would have been if we had concealed what we found!
Our interviews don't prove that John Kerry deserved his Silver Star. But they are consistent with the after-action report and his citation for bravery. Finally, once we've checked things as thoroughly as we can, we're in the business of reporting what we learned, not concealing it.
That's our report for tonight. I'm Ted Koppel, in Washington. For all of us here at ABC News . . . good night.
Commercial immediately following, announcer: This is ABC News! Accurate! and credible! And election night, as America chooses its next President, Americans will again turn to Peter Jennings and the people of ABC News! [concluding fanfare]

14 posted on 10/15/2004 5:18:34 AM PDT by sevry
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To: Kay Syrah
Has there been any word on the indictment, that was suppose to be handed down on the 12? has anyone heard anything? Boy talk about a cover up, one must wonder what all these people in the media have to gain.........or lose in this Presidential election.

I also read the reference in the Constitution that clearly states Kerry is ineligible for the Senate, never mind the Presidency. This reeks of Clinton and the rest of the DNC cover-up tactics! Glad so far anyway, Sinclair is not backing down, even though MSM is doing everything and everything to discredit the SB guys beforehand.
15 posted on 10/15/2004 5:18:56 AM PDT by gidget7 (God Bless America, and our President George W. Bush)
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To: sevry

Brinkley is on Fox right now.

16 posted on 10/15/2004 5:19:11 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Mike Fieschko

ABC's interviewing North Vietnamese communists (partisans) to support Kerry's account is equal to Dan Rather relying on unauthenticated (forged) documents provided by an anti-Bush partisan. An analysis (similar to that of the CBS documents) needs to be made of what the Vietnamese "villagers" were actually asked, who did the asking, what did they say in their native language in response, and how was it translated. Also, to what extent does it appear that their answers were previously prepared rather than spontaneous (after all they were being "asked" to recall events from 35 years ago). To the extent that the tapes used by ABC can be reviewed along these lines would be very helpful.

17 posted on 10/15/2004 5:20:39 AM PDT by Pharlap
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To: Mike Fieschko; JohnHuang2; Travis McGee; Squantos; joanie-f; Bob J; Grampa Dave; The Shrew
ABC News will not address the serious questions as to why John Kerry only received an honorable discharge through the act of then President Carter, seven years after his discharge, and had to have all of his military citations reissued, on the same day, when he became a United States Senator in 1985.

The answer to this question is obvious. The implications are obvious. This should be the October surprise...late by over 20 years!

If it were Bush, then it would be trumpeted all over the country...newspapers, television news programs, tv digests, cable, name it. That it is not even investigated by these MSM organization tells you how dire the circumstances are for our liberty at tis point in our history. I am sorry to say that in today's America IMHO the MSM is more insidious than Pravda was.

18 posted on 10/15/2004 5:20:47 AM PDT by Jeff Head (
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To: Maria S
This whole issue is about Kerry's behavior in Viet Nam and how he sold out this country...and he'll do it again if elected. Just watch!

He's in the process of selling out the country now, just to get in power.

19 posted on 10/15/2004 5:21:01 AM PDT by meyer (Need some wood?)
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To: Mike Fieschko
ABC = Always-Believe-Communists and their Communist minders. I watched the Nightline hit-piece and it didn't pass the smell test. Ted CERTAINLY read Mark's memo.

There is more to the story that needs to see the light of day.

Ted should be equally inquisitive as to why the re-instatement of all medals and citations just before Kerry took office in 1985. Come on Ted, aren't you the least bit curious? Curious enough to send some young producer up the treacherous and battle-weary Potomac River to find long-lost answers to nagging questions?
20 posted on 10/15/2004 5:21:27 AM PDT by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all.....)
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