Friday, March 02, 2007

Kerry and Swittboats, Again

The mainstream media is again giving John Kerry a pass on the thorny issue of his dissembling about his Vietnam War record.

An outstanding analysis can be found in the Democracy Project, in an article by Mediacrity contributor Bruce Kesler that I am replicating below:

Hardly anyone pays any serious attention to John Kerry anymore, having repeatedly demonstrated his buffoonery.

However, John Kerry is still a United States Senator, holding powerful committee positions for the Senate’s majority party. The liberal allies of his points of view in the media are still the dominant chroniclers and influencers of public views. Thus, Kerry still has substantial influence on current policies and opinions that will shape our future.

The latest example is the Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on the nomination of Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium. John Kerry demanded that Fox, who donated $50,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, renounce “the politics of personal destruction." According to the Associated Press report, “Kerry said the incident raised questions about Fox's fitness to serve as an ambassador.” The AP report continued:

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a presidential hopeful and chairman of Tuesday's hearing, said he found Fox's responses "unsatisfying." He said he would have preferred if Fox admitted it was a mistake to contribute to the Swift Boat group.

The AP reporter inserted his view that the Swiftee charges against Kerry’s military record in Vietnam were “unsubstantiated allegations.”

Kerry, Obama, and the AP reporter, thus, perpetuate one of the most egregious misrepresentations of history in modern journalism.

With extremely little exception, the major media refused to investigate the testimony and depositions by almost all of the veterans who served with Kerry in Vietnam. Despite certain Kerry claims, like his invented Cambodia excursion, being absolutely proven false, and substantial evidence that many of his other self-exaggerations were also false, the major media during the 2004 campaign and since have adopted the word “unsubstantiated” to describe the Swiftees’ charges and evidence.

Investigative columnist Thomas Lipscomb detailed much additional evidence substantiating the Swiftees’ charges. Lipscomb, who was also the founder of Times Books, which published the hardcover edition of the Pentagon Papers, brings an important perspective to this media malfeasance. In an interview with me, Lipscomb says:

When the New York Times published the Pentagon Papers, it cost the New York Times a fortune in running the complete records in newsprint and, subsequently, in a published book edition. The New York Times thought it in the best interests of the public to draw its own conclusions from the evidence the New York Times had compiled.

The strange case of the John Kerry military records, which he had promised to release publicly, is that three great news organizations conspired to withhold them from the public. Not only did Kerry not make his military records public as promised, but three of the largest news organizations in the world gave him protective coloration by withholding them. All the public received were summaries in the opinions of the three news organizations, which had already shown an appalling inability to analyze the Kerry military records.

There’s nothing more dangerous to the future and to history than the failure to reconcile the facts of the past.

In an age when it is practically free to publish on the Internet the records as given to the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe, it is even more disgraceful to withhold them, against every tenet of modern and transparent journalism.

The public still doesn’t know whether John Kerry released his complete military records. John Kerry has refused to release his Vietnam diary. John Kerry, rather than go into a court – if he believes himself slandered -- and be subject to discovery, just along with his allies in the media hide behind their unsubstantiated charge of “unsubstantiated” against the Swiftees who exposed Kerry’s lies and exaggerations.

As Instapundit’s law professor Glenn Reynolds recently wrote:

”Swiftboating" seems to mean the disclosure of truths that are, er, inconvenient for Democrats.

One might add, inconvenient to the history of defeatism that congressional Democrats are currently trying to write into our history, as they did in Vietnam.

Bruce Kesler
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