Thursday, September 30, 2004

I have been posting for some time now that I believed that CBS is merely an arm of the DNC and kerry campaign propaganda machine. Paul Rodriguez comes to the same conclution in this article. - Sailor

Another Black Eye for CBS
Posted September 29, 2004

Media Credit: Jim Bradford

Question: What will it take for CBS to play the news straight?

Answer: I have no clue. But I know this: Until CBS cleans shop, I don't think anyone can fix what's wrong.

What brings this to mind is a report September 28 by Richard Schlesinger involving Internet speculation about resumption of a military draft. I knew the story was flawed but did not learn of the apparent egregious nature of the flaws until I scanned numerous websites the next day where the story was dissected - as was done on the now-infamous Dan Rather story about the Texas Air National Guard and George W. Bush.

Frankly, I'm beginning to wonder if CBS News is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee - or at least a satellite office for John Kerry's campaign committee.

I was begrudgingly sticking with my beliefs that despite the screw-ups by Rather and his bosses over the apparently fake ANG documents, CBS newsmen (and even the network's anchor and managing editor) still could be solid journalists. So to speak, I thought the debacle (and ongoing internal/external probe) would actually spur a higher ethical standard at the Tiffany Network.

Brother, was I wrong. And I'm now wondering whether other CBS stories aired over the years also contained flaws, errors, bad judgment and perhaps even purposeful deceit. As a consumer of news I should never harbor such thoughts. But now I do...because of CBS.

I'm not alone in such worries as colleagues, friends and acquaintances at CBS and the other networks, not to mention magazines and newspapers are wondering the same thing. And also wondering whether news reports they carry will now be suspect and subjected to closer scrutiny - including stories previously aired, broadcast or printed.Like before with Rather on the Bush story, the CBS reporter not only engaged in sloppy journalism and innuendo based on false facts, the story lacked context that a reasonable person can only assume was purposeful and meant to harm President Bush.

How else to explain Schlesinger's story that failed to mention that it was Democrats in Congress, including Charlie Rangel (D-NY) who have introduced legislation to revive the draft? How else to explain the failure to tell viewers that a reportedly worried mother interviewed is a well-known anti-draft and anti-war organizer obviously with an agenda?

How else to explain the failure put context on comments by the acting director of the Selective Service System who was quoted as saying he could mount a draft in six month ... but, as he's said in the past and the agency says on its website, only if that's what Congress and the president want to do?

How else to explain that despite Internet rumors about a draft being reinstated, numerous debunking sites have unveiled the gossip as false and yet, Schlesinger didn't mention this and he did not point out that the Defense Department and White House said it's not true?

It's one thing to screw up the facts or get wrong facts. It's quite another to invent a story and hype it with biased reporting that fails to put the issue into context. And in this case, there neither was a story nor an issue - other than perhaps a story on why Democrats like Rangel think it's a good idea to revive the military draft. But that would not have dinged the Republicans and more pointedly, smeared President Bush.

We've said this many times over many years - we don't care if newsmen have bias and prejudices so long as they don't allow such personal feelings to overshadow the integrity of a news report that provides accurate information and puts that information into context.The story CBS News should have aired - if any had to be aired - is who is behind the Internet hoax on the draft and/or why are Democrats so interested in bringing back the draft. Exploring this coupled with rejection of such an idea by Bush, Republicans and the military might have been interesting. I don't know.

But I know this: At least it would have been an honest report, not one fabricated and filled with false and mis-leading information that can only be attributed to political motivations by those at CBS.

Dan Rather rightly is in hot water over his disingenuous antics on the ANG story and follow up interviews. And no doubt he will be soundly criticized once the outside investigators brought in by CBS bosses finish their probe about what went wrong.

Schlesinger now also must be investigated by these hired guns - and CBS has no choice but to launch an expanded internal probe into the judgments, motivations and management of its evening news anchor who runs the same department where Schlesinger reportedly works and one has to assume reports directly to ... guess who? Dan Rather, the managing editor of CBS News.

Contrary to what most press outlets have been reporting after Rather said he was "sorry" about the Texas ANG fiasco, neither he nor CBS has actually apologized to the American public, the family of the now-deceased ANG commander, and to President Bush.

To paraphrase Riley - What a revolting development this is!

email the author

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Dubya vs. Hanoi John--Some Friendly Debating Advice

Doc weighs in on the Presidential debates with some advice to all invovled. I like the idea of the President having Form 180 ready for kerry to sign. - Sailor

Dubya vs. Hanoi John--Some Friendly Debating Advice
Written by Doc Farmer
Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Well, we're just a day away from round one of a three-round, no-holds-barred, unmitigated mudslinging fest of almost biblical proportions. Two men will be locked in the political version of mortal combat, separated by 10 feet of space and light years of philosophy.

We have one guy who has been commander in chief for just over three-and-a-half years, and another guy who wants to be. We have one guy with two decades of experience in the Senate, and another guy with no legislative background. We have two men who
served in the military, and two men who have had their service questioned over and over--one by the press, and the other by the folks he served with.

They've been kvetching at each other for months now. Oh, Dubya’s been a bit more genteel about it, and a bit funnier besides, but the political knives are out and everybody knows it. There have been attack ads against Dubya since last year from 527 committees, and attack ads against Kerry since he became frontrunner for the lib/dem/soc/commies. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been pumped into both campaigns and into all of these soft-money groups. We hear political analysis almost everywhere we go, on news shows, radio shows, newspaper analyses, even--believe it or not--on sports fans. There's a group out there called ''Football Fans for Truth'' which is complaining that Kerry’s not sports-minded enough.

Now, we distill all that angst, anger, and frustration into 270 minutes of political badminton. Instead of a
shuttlecock, however, Bush and Kerry will thwack a live grenade back and forth between them.

The two candidates are sequestered now, being greased up by their handlers in their respective locker rooms. Dubya's in Crawford, taking it a bit easy, getting his talking points honed to a fine point by his staff. Kerry's resting his throat after an apparent bout of laryngitis, and he's also being coached on what to say, how to say it, what to wear, and what hand gestures and points of nuance to make.

I hope, however, that Kerry gets away from that quick-tanning cream he's been using. Have you seen that photo of him on Drudge from Monday? He looks like the world's tallest Oompa-Loompa.

But I digress...

Before the first debate, I'd like to offer my services to the candidates and the folks who are actually running these debates--a little advice to hopefully make things go smoother for the president and the senator, and to make things a bit more informative and
interesting to the American people.

For the Debate Operators

  • First of all, drop CBS from any and all involvement in the debates. In fact, you might want to drop the feed to CBS and ban them from airing the event entirely. Cowboy Dan should not be invited to this roundup.

  • Without question, you should drop Bob Schieffer as a moderator of Debate #2. As a replacement, and in order to balance out the left-leaning of the other two moderators, I suggest you choose one the following –

    • Rush Limbaugh

    • Ann Coulter (Hubba! Hubba!)

    • Sean Hannity

    • CarrotTop (to attract the younger crowd)

  • Throw away that 37-page, carefully crafted agreement between the candidates. It was crafted by a bunch of (bleeping) lawyers anyway, so you know you'll be hard pressed to get any truth squeezed out of it.

  • Make the first debate a formal affair (suit and tie). The second one should be more casual, with slacks and perhaps Hawaiian shirts the order of the day. The last one should be jeans and ''wife-beater'' t-shirts. Please note that I'm speaking of the dress code for the moderators. The candidates should wear whatever feels comfortable.

  • Wire up both candidates to lie detector machines and voice stress analyzers. Keep a running tally of when they fib. Same goes for the moderator.

  • Considering the history of the administration previous to this one, perhaps it would be best to use see-through podiums.

  • Make sure the moderators' questions don't take longer to ask than it does for the candidates to answer.

For President Bush

  • Please have someone in your staff type out a Standard Form 180, with all of Senator Kerry's details on it. Take it with you. Ask him to sign it. If Kerry wants to be commander in chief, he should be willing to put his record up to the light of full disclosure.

  • Be willing to call a spade a spade. If Kerry is lying, don't dance around it, just say so. If Kerry said one thing and now says another, call him indecisive or just plain wrong.

  • When you walk up to Senator Kerry at the beginning of the debate, tell him that his fly is open. It always helps to break the ice. Whatever you do, however, don’t insult his hair--that'll just make him mad!

  • If you get a question you can't answer, just say that you don't know but you'll make sure to find out. Do not, under any circumstances, ask to phone your lifeline. Cheney's busy getting ready for his debate, after all.

  • If the moderator's question turns into a monologue, ask if he’s got a time limit.

  • During Senator Kerry's answers, only ask for No-Dôz if it is absolutely necessary.

For Senator Kerry

  • Try to stick to one position per question. You may call it nuance, but in the heartland of America, we refer to it as male bovine excrement.

  • Skip that $500 wash and trim you normally get, and go to SuperCuts. Don't forget to use lots of Brylcreem.

  • Avoid answering questions about your time in the Senate. Not as a senator, mind you, but as an anti-war protester giving aid and comfort to the enemy. On second thought, you probably want to avoid the Senator subject as well. Not too much there for you to crow about in that respect.

  • If you get stuck for an answer, don't you call your lifeline either. Paris is six hours ahead of New York, and Jacques Chiraq needs his beauty sleep. Actually, he could probably use a beauty coma, come to think of it.

  • Wear your formal flip-flops – it is a special occasion, after all.

  • And for pity's sake, please find out who in your staff hired Tammy Faye Bakker as your makeup artist and have both of them shot.

About the Writer: Doc Farmer is a writer and humorist who is also a moderator on ChronWatch's Forum. He formerly lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but now resides in Indiana. Doc receives e-mail at

This Article Was First Published In ChronWatch At:

Monday, September 27, 2004

Stolen Honor

This says it all about how kerry gave aid and comfort to the enemy. Same thing he is doing right now. - Sailor

Stolen Honor
By Roberta Leguizamon

September 27, 2004

The new documentary “Stolen Honor” documents how a young John Kerry jumpstarted his political career by denouncing American soldiers -- and how the Vietnamese used his actions to torture, demoralize and threaten American Prisoners of War. In production before the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth splashed onto the scene, the documentary’s producers say “Stolen Honor” juxtaposes Kerry’s work with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War with the words of veterans who were still in Vietnam when Kerry was leading the antiwar movement.

Retired Captain James H. Warner -- a Marine who was held in North Vietnam for five years, five months -- is a recipient of the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, 11 Air Medals and the Navy Commendation Medal.[1] Warner gives some of the most powerful testimony of how John Kerry’s words were used against POWs in “Stolen Honor:”

In the Spring of 1971, I was taken with 35 others to a camp outside of Hanoi. All of us were put in solitary confinement, and we were told this was a camp for punishment guys who were misbehaving. From the moment we were on the ground we were constantly fed propaganda, and the propaganda from home was always about the antiwar movement. After we had talked for quite some time, the interrogator showed me a transcript of testimony that my mother had given at something called the Winter Soldier hearings. I had no idea what these were. I read her testimony and it wasn’t damning, but then I saw some of the other stuff that had gone on at this Winter Soldier hearing, I wondered how did somebody get my mother persuaded to appear at something like this.

Shortly thereafter he showed me some statements from John Kerry. He said that John Kerry had helped organize the Winter Soldier hearings because he was so motivated because he had been an American officer, served in the U.S. Navy. And then he started reading some of the statements that John Kerry had made. I’m sorry I can’t quote them, but essentially he accused all of us in Vietnam of being criminals, that everything we had done was criminal. The North Vietnamese had told us from the time that we got their hands on us that we were criminals, that we were not covered by the Geneva Convention, so It was okay for them to do whatever they wanted to do to us. And they told us that they were going to put us on trial and some of us would be executed.

One of the things I remember being told that Kerry had said was that he demanded an immediate unilateral withdrawl of U.S. troops from Vietnam. Well, the only reason they were keeping us alive at all was to use as a bargaining chip to get U.S. troops out of Vietnam. It looked as though there’s rising pressure in the States for this [and] if the government gave in to that pressure and unilaterally withdrew the troops, what would be the purpose in keeping us alive? They would have executed us.

The interrogator went through all of these statements from John Kerry. He starts pounding on the table see, “Here, this naval officer, he admits that you are a criminal, and you deserve punishment”...I dind’t know what was going to come next. And for the rest of the time that we were in that camp I was very ill at ease...

[John Kerry] abandoned his comrades. He burned up his “Band of Brothers” membership card when he did that.

Retired Colonel Leo K. Thorsness -- a Vietnam Air Force veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor, Silver Star, six Distinguished Flying Crosses, 10 Air Medals, two Purple Hearts and the Good Conduct Medal -- spent five years and 19 days as a POW. In “Stolen Honor” he reports:
A measure of patriotism is his loyalty to those still in uniform. That’s totally contrary to what he did. That makes him totally unpatriotic or loyal. He was over there fighting, he came home and there were still people he knew over there fighting, and he starts talking about war crimes and the atrocities we’re committing. He’s putting them in dire jeopardy. Every military combat guy I’ve talked to from Vietnam said their greatest fear was not being killed; it was becoming a POW. As you know, there were people captured in South Vietnam who were literally skinned alive…And Kerry’s giving the captors ammunition to treat people like that if they’re captured. And these are people he knew. Where in the world is his loyalty to the people in the military?
Thorsness says Kerry's actions caused them to be imprisoned -- and tortured -- longer than they would otherwise have been. He also mentions the (successful) North Vietnamese strategy to drag out the war in hopes that the antiwar movement would cause America to defeat itself:

Without question, we were held captives longer, because of the antiwar people, from the Kerrys to Fonda and Hayden...They encouraged the enemy to hang on. And the enemy would have hung on to us forever had not a man by the name of Richard Nixon gone in there with B-52s in December of 1972 and said enough is enough. They understood force, but they were experts at the PR.

Air Force Veteran Retired Lt. Colonel Thomas S. Pyle echoed Thorsness:

It’s come out since the war, you read what the Vietnamese have said about the war, what they’ve written about the war, their strategy was they recognized that they could not win the war militarily. The only way they could win the war was to destroy the will of the American people to support the war. And that was the strategy all along. They knew they would have to suffer horrendous losses to be able to do that and they were willing to do it, that was part of their plan up front.

Pyle earned two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, the Legion of Merit, Air Medal and Meritorious Service Medal. He spent six-and-a-half years in the Hanoi Hilton.

Retired Air Force veteran Captain Kevin McManus -- who received the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Distinguished flying Cross, Air Medal and Purple Heart -- spent five years and eight months in the prison camps. He says:

The first knowledge of John Kerry, really, that I can recall now was after we came back, he had made apparently some statements that essentially said that all the Americans over there were war criminals and committed atrocious acts. I had a big problem with that, not so much for me...but thousands of guys who died had no chance to hold their own against Kerry. So essentially he desecrated all the war dead and their families, with no chance of them ever replying.

Retired Lt. Ralph E. Gaither, U.S. Air Force veteran and author of With God in a POW Camp, spent more than seven years as a POW. He reports in the documentary that Kerry's antiwar action proved deadly to his colleagues:

We didn’t realize how powerful the movement was until toward the end of the war. I dedicated the book I wrote to John Frederick – he died 6 months before we came home. John would probably have been alive had the antiwar movement not been doing what they were doing. The Vietnamese grew great relish in the movement in support for their cause. I’m convinced that they held on to the war until after Nixon was reelected. They felt Nixon would not be re-elected, that the antiwar movement would be strong enough to get him out of office.

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robinson Risner, who fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, won two Air Force Crosses, Distinguished Service Medal, two Silver Stars, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and eight Air Medals. Risner remembers how the anti-American demonstrators gladdened his captors' hearts during his seven years, four months as a POW in Vietnam:

I was in pain a lot of the time. I was being treated inhumanely… I know we had more than one person come to Vietnam, who the Vietnamese told me [were helping them win] the war in the streets of America. I certainly didn’t approve of that. I didn’t think it was right for an American to come over and bolster the Vietnamese morale.

The Swift Vets have used much of the same information and footage from Kerry’s testimony in their television advertisements against the Democratic presidential nominee, which seem to be having a significant impact on Kerry’s campaign. On Aug. 26, Noelle Straub reported in the Boston Herald, “although Kerry has stayed roughly even in national polls, his support among veterans -- a significant voting bloc -- has dropped significantly since the group launched its first ad.”

While there is no official connection between “Stolen Honor” and the Swift Vets, former Vietnam POW Paul Galianti, who spent seven years in the Hanoi Hilton, has participated in both projects. He is seen in the Swift Vets second advertisement, stating, “John Kerry gave the enemy for free what I and many of my comrades in North Vietnam, in the prison camps, took torture to avoid saying.”

Galianti was held in the same prison camp as Arizona Senator John McCain. Carl Limbacher at reported on Aug. 5, 2004, that although McCain has criticized the Swift Boat Vets recently, he himself spoke out against John Kerry and other antiwar protestors in a 1973 US News and World Report article.

In a piece he wrote for the May 14, 1973, issue of U.S. News & World Report, the POW-turned-senator charged that testimony by Kerry and others before J. William Fulbright's Senate Foreign Relations Committee was "the most effective propaganda [my North Vietnamese captors] had to use against us…

“All through this period,” McCain told U.S. News, his captors were “bombarding us with anti-war quotes from people in high places back in Washington. This was the most effective propaganda they had to use against us.”
Texas Representative Sam Johnson has also explained how the Vietnamese used Kerry’s words against prisoners like himself in Vietnam. During an interview with’s Limbacher in May, 2004, Johnson said:
“[Kerry] let the veterans down. When you're in a war you don't go out there badmouthing your fellow soldiers,” he noted, referring to Kerry's 1971 speech. “You know, that's a disservice to the veterans.”
“Anybody who comes back and works against the best interests of the United States, in my view, doesn't deserve to be president of the United States,” he said.
“Stolen Honor” is produced by decorated Vietnam veteran Carton Sherwood, who served as a Marine in Vietnam's De-Militarized Zone. Sherwood, who has won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Peabody Award, covered John Kerry’s role in the antiwar movement. It is a project of Carlton’s Red White and Blue Productions, Inc.The documentary's promotional material summarizes:
“Little did the American prisoners of war imagine that half a world away events were conspiring to make their precarious situation even more desperate, that an American Naval Lieutenant after a 4-month tour of duty in Vietnam was meeting secretly in an undisclosed location in Paris with a top enemy diplomat. That this same lieutenant would later join forces with Jane Fonda to form an antiwar group of so-called Vietnam veterans, some of whom would be later discovered as frauds, who never set foot on a battlefield. All this culminating in John Kerry’s Senate testimony that would be blared over loud speakers to convince our prisoners that back home they were being accused and abandoned. Enemy propagandists had found a new and willing accomplice…”

“The war, [Kerry] said, was a criminal endeavor driven by a ‘policy of atrocities.’ The 2.5 million men who served in Vietnam were akin to ‘Genghis Khan’s barbaric hordes,’ thugs and psychopathic war criminals who wantonly plundered the Vietnam countryside, murdering, raping and bombing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians - old men, women and children -- each and every day. Lt. Kerry's widely televised statements were dramatic and persuasive, made all the more credible by the fact he had been there, said he had witnessed many of these same atrocities...It also permanently branded in the American psyche the image of Vietnam veterans as murderous ‘baby killers’ and ‘drugged out losers,’ a perception that persists today, one deeply embedded in our history.”

Kerry still has yet to offer any real answers or explain his own contradictory statements about his service in Vietnam, which are detailed in the John O'Neill's and Jerome Corsi’s Unfit for Command, settling only on denouncing his fellow Vietnam veterans as a front group for the Bush campaign. The American Legion Convention's tepid response to Kerry further shows his low popularity among veterans. On Sept. 1., Charles Hurt of the Washington Times reported, “John Kerry was politely received.” Hurt reported a number of veterans actually walked out as Kerry began speaking, and that a group of anti-Kerry veterans passed out buttons and fliers sporting an advertisement run by them in Nashville’s Tennesseean last week. The ad also criticized Kerry for “wounds inflicted by John Kerry on millions of veterans,” Hurt said.Of course, Kerry's cool reception isn't surprising. In his 1971 book, The New Soldier, which sports a parody of the famous Iwo Jima flag raising, in which a group of scruffy soldiers are planting a flag upside down on the cover, Kerry said, “We will not quickly join those who march on Veterans’ Day waving small flags, calling to memory those thousands who died for the 'greater glory of the United States.’ We will not readily join the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.”Now, it seems many, many veterans will not readily join John Kerry at the polls in November.


1. In the interests of full disclosure, the Honorable James H. Warner is also a frequent contributor to Front Page Magazine.

There Is No Spoon

Looks like Danny Rather is done. In the process, he may just have put the final nails in the poodles Presidential hopes. - Sailor

There Is No Spoon
By Stephen Green

Tech Central Station

Watching Dan Rather twist in the breeze this last week was like watching the creepy little bald boy in The Matrix assure Neo: "There is no spoon." And reading Rather's defenders, you get the feeling they share Neo's quizzical incomprehension -- not to mention that blank doe-eyed look.

The DNC's Terry McAuliffe takes what might be the most desperate tack. Sure, the documents were forged, but the story is still somehow true. He assures us that "we learned that George Bush did not earn enough points to qualify for an honorable discharge and that he has given three different explanations for why he missed his physical."

Except we also know that the Air National Guard, during the post-Vietnam Reduction In Force (RIF) was letting go lots of pilots they no longer needed, no matter how many points they'd earned. Now, I don't know how many excuses Bush has for the missed physical, but the only time he was ever ordered to take one, was in a forged document. "There is no spoon", McAuliffe tells you, so "you can bend it with your mind. And look at how well a bent one still holds soup!"

Time magazine's Nancy Gibbs asks, "Which world did you watch last week? " Gibbs, apparently, watches the world where a bald child in Asian robes who speaks with a British accent can bend spoons with his mind. Read:

"Red Truth holds that Rather has at last taken his place alongside other disgraced liberal icons, who have recklessly disregarded the standards of journalism to try to bring this President down. Blue Truth sees Rathergate as a sideshow; the problem with the mainstream media is not that they are biased but that they are lazy and have given Bush a free pass from the start. Red Truth looks at Bush and sees a savior; Blue Truth sees a zealot who must be stopped. In both worlds there are no accidents, only conspiracies, and facts have value only to the extent that they support the Truth."

Say it with me now: There is no spoon. The forged memos mean nothing. What matters is that wishes can make the spoon bend.

Well, maybe there is a spoon -- but, look quick, here's a shiny fork:

"A group financially bankrolled by Bush money men run ads smearing the military record of Kerry. An apparently inauthentic version of Bush's national guard documents is used to sandbag CBS in an effort to both distract attention from the substance of the story and make it appear as if the Kerry campaign is engaged in dirty tricks."

That's from the popular left-wing blog, Daily Kos -- and it's the last item in a list of reputed Republican "dirty tricks."

Never mind the Swift Boat Vets ads or who financed them. Does Daily Kos think the Vets were going to get money (and they didn't get very much) from the Kerry campaign, or from the First National Bank of Questionable Advertising? Of course not. Yet people still get all breathless because Republicans financed an anti-Democrat ad. Gracious me, next we'll find out that well-heeled Democrat George Soros is funding a bunch of anti-Republican 527 groups.

Never mind the forgeries, too. The "substance" of the story has been gone over since Bush first ran for governor of Texas. Yet it never gained traction until there were documents to back it up. Only, well, the documents were fakes. Take those away, and all you have are the same charges Bush has been deflecting for a decade now.

Never mind the dirty tricks, too. Bush suffered one in the 2000 election when, by some miracle, somebody just happened to come across his old DUI conviction just in time for the last news cycle before Election Day. Don't fault the Gore campaign for that -- it was smart politics. That, sadly, is the way campaigns are fought -- and always have been.

Never mind -- there is no spoon. Except that there is, and all this talk is nothing more than a distraction from the single sterling fact that CBS News failed in its mission. Its mission is to gather the facts, check them thoroughly, and report them to us. Instead, CBS and Dan Rather went forward with transparently false story, and then wasted a week and their good reputations trying to assure us that there is no spoon. They tried to back up their claims using an interview with an 86-year-old former secretary and current partisan Democrat. Only when that failed did CBS finally admit that there might just be a spoon, after all.

Maybe the creepy little kid was right, after all. Maybe there really is no spoon. But there's certainly a fork -- and it's sticking in Dan Rather.

He's done.

The author is a TCS contributor. He recently wrote about The Big Angry. Find more of his writing here.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Battling for Iraq

Are you paying attention, johnny boy? You think you can trry and make the General out to be a liar as well? Read this and learn some thing. This is NOT Vietnam and you are no hero. What you are is a politcal opportunist, trying to cash in on your traitorous past. You disgust me. - Sailor

Battling for Iraq

By David H. Petraeus
Washington Post
Sunday, September 26, 2004; Page B07

BAGHDAD -- Helping organize, train and equip nearly a quarter-million of Iraq's security forces is a daunting task. Doing so in the middle of a tough insurgency increases the challenge enormously, making the mission akin to repairing an aircraft while in flight -- and while being shot at. Now, however, 18 months after entering Iraq, I see tangible progress. Iraqi security elements are being rebuilt from the ground up.

The institutions that oversee them are being reestablished from the top down. And Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country and their security forces courageously in the face of an enemy that has shown a willingness to do anything to disrupt the establishment of the new Iraq.

In recent months, I have observed thousands of Iraqis in training and then watched as they have conducted numerous operations. Although there have been reverses -- not to mention horrific terrorist attacks -- there has been progress in the effort to enable Iraqis to shoulder more of the load for their own security, something they are keen to do. The future undoubtedly will be full of difficulties, especially in places such as Fallujah. We must expect setbacks and recognize that not every soldier or policeman we help train will be equal to the challenges ahead.

Nonetheless, there are reasons for optimism. Today approximately 164,000 Iraqi police and soldiers (of which about 100,000 are trained and equipped) and an additional 74,000 facility protection forces are performing a wide variety of security missions. Equipment is being delivered. Training is on track and increasing in capacity. Infrastructure is being repaired. Command and control structures and institutions are being reestablished.

Most important, Iraqi security forces are in the fight -- so much so that they are suffering substantial casualties as they take on more and more of the burdens to achieve security in their country. Since Jan. 1 more than 700 Iraqi security force members have been killed, and hundreds of Iraqis seeking to volunteer for the police and military have been killed as well.

Six battalions of the Iraqi regular army and the Iraqi Intervention Force are now conducting operations. Two of these battalions, along with the Iraqi commando battalion, the counterterrorist force, two Iraqi National Guard battalions and thousands of policemen recently contributed to successful operations in Najaf. Their readiness to enter and clear the Imam Ali shrine was undoubtedly a key factor in enabling Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani to persuade members of the Mahdi militia to lay down their arms and leave the shrine.

In another highly successful operation several days ago, the Iraqi counterterrorist force conducted early-morning raids in Najaf that resulted in the capture of several senior lieutenants and 40 other members of that militia, and the seizure of enough weapons to fill nearly four 7 1/2-ton dump trucks.

Within the next 60 days, six more regular army and six additional Intervention Force battalions will become operational. Nine more regular army battalions will complete training in January, in time to help with security missions during the Iraqi elections at the end of that month.

Iraqi National Guard battalions have also been active in recent months. Some 40 of the 45 existing battalions -- generally all except those in the Fallujah-Ramadi area -- are conducting operations on a daily basis, most alongside coalition forces, but many independently. Progress has also been made in police training. In the past week alone, some 1,100 graduated from the basic policing course and five specialty courses. By early spring, nine academies in Iraq and one in Jordan will be graduating a total of 5,000 police each month from the eight-week course, which stresses patrolling and investigative skills, substantive and procedural legal knowledge, and proper use of force and weaponry, as well as pride in the profession and adherence to the police code of conduct.

Iraq's borders are long, stretching more than 2,200 miles. Reducing the flow of extremists and their resources across the borders is critical to success in the counterinsurgency. As a result, with support from the Department of Homeland Security, specialized training for Iraq's border enforcement elements began earlier this month in Jordan.

Regional academies in Iraq have begun training as well, and more will come online soon. In the months ahead, the 16,000-strong border force will expand to 24,000 and then 32,000. In addition, these forces will be provided with modern technology, including vehicle X-ray machines, explosive-detection devices and ground sensors.

Outfitting hundreds of thousands of new Iraqi security forces is difficult and complex, and many of the units are not yet fully equipped. But equipment has begun flowing. Since July 1, for example, more than 39,000 weapons and 22 million rounds of ammunition have been delivered to Iraqi forces, in addition to 42,000 sets of body armor, 4,400 vehicles, 16,000 radios and more than 235,000 uniforms.

Considerable progress is also being made in the reconstruction and refurbishing of infrastructure for Iraq's security forces. Some $1 billion in construction to support this effort has been completed or is underway, and five Iraqi bases are already occupied by entire infantry brigades.

Numbers alone cannot convey the full story. The human dimension of this effort is crucial. The enemies of Iraq recognize how much is at stake as Iraq reestablishes its security forces. Insurgents and foreign fighters continue to mount barbaric attacks against police stations, recruiting centers and military installations, even though the vast majority of the population deplores such attacks. Yet despite the sensational attacks, there is no shortage of qualified recruits volunteering to join Iraqi security forces. In the past couple of months, more than 7,500 Iraqi men have signed up for the army and are preparing to report for basic training to fill out the final nine battalions of the Iraqi regular army. Some 3,500 new police recruits just reported for training in various locations. And two days after the recent bombing on a street outside a police recruiting location in Baghdad, hundreds of Iraqis were once again lined up inside the force protection walls at another location -- where they were greeted by interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

I meet with Iraqi security force leaders every day. Though some have given in to acts of intimidation, many are displaying courage and resilience in the face of repeated threats and attacks on them, their families and their comrades. I have seen their determination and their desire to assume the full burden of security tasks for Iraq.
There will be more tough times, frustration and disappointment along the way. It is likely that insurgent attacks will escalate as Iraq's elections approach. Iraq's security forces are, however, developing steadily and they are in the fight. Momentum has gathered in recent months. With strong Iraqi leaders out front and with continued coalition -- and now NATO -- support, this trend will continue. It will not be easy, but few worthwhile things are.

The writer, an Army lieutenant general, commands the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq. He previously commanded the 101st Airborne Division, which was deployed in Iraq from March 2003 until February 2004.

Allawi KO’s Kerry

Like the elitist snob he is, kerry thinks only he and his puppies know what is going on Iraq. Even more then the Iraqi PM Allawi. - Sailor

Allawi KO’s KerryDoug Giles
September 25, 2004

It must have been tough for Kerry to watch his Democratic buddies give Iraq's Prime Minister Allawi standing ovations as he spoke to a joint session of Congress, Wednesday. Think of the anguish JFK, too, must have gone through seeing his liberal colleagues indirectly congratulate George Bush.

Reporters covering the Kerry campaign may have heard the Senator’s ulcers growl, each time his Congressional colleagues gave the Iraqi PM an overwhelming ovation. Watching the guys supposedly standing behind him in the campaign, vociferously applaud the noble Iraqi leader and ally of Bush and the rest of America, must have been galling.

Maybe it’s payback for taking off his uniform and standing with the enemy against every American who fought in Vietnam during his meretricious mendacity before the Fulbright Committee, on national TV and on two Paris trips to meet with the North Vietnamese enemy.

It was awesome to hear Allawi -- who Saddam tried to assassinate, who is actually there in Baghdad risking his life 24/7 -- as he gave Bush, America and the Coalition troops kudos for shredding Saddam and now getting rid of the ragweed extremists who want to keep Iraq enslaved. Thank you, Prime Minister, for thanking us and giving us an eye-witnessed, favorable report. We sure aren’t getting either gratitude or an unbiased picture from CBS, NBC or ABC.

These three nutworks, TV’s Axis of Drivel, run negative reports on Abu Ghraib prison cruelty, on American soldiers’ death tolls, on terrorist beheadings of relief workers and on the insurgents in just three of Iraq’s 18 provinces. Then, they’ll do an interview with a Muslim mendicant breathing murderous threats, and never cover the massive forward strides to freedom and democratic government in this once tyrannized nation.

Think about it, skeptics: Iraq will have free elections for the first time in its history. For more than 80 years there was been no such thing as a free vote. Sitting at Starbuck’s drinking our skinny no foam mocha latte, sweetened only with three shots of Splenda, it is hard to comprehend not having free elections, much less the brutal slavery in which 28 million Iraqis have lived.

For nearly 30 years Saddam was the only person on the ballot … and you voted, if you valued your life. The last time he “ran” for President, a couple of years ago, Saddam received 99.6% of the vote. Believe it or not, it was much worse than Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties combined.

During his reign of terror if you spoke out against Saddam, you could count on being sodomized, having your tongue cut off or watching your teenaged daughter gang raped by Udai and Qusai … or perhaps a combination of the above. Now, that’s not a problem, with Saddam festering in jail and his boys roasting in hell.

It was refreshing to get Allawi’s take on the insurgencies in Iraq. He views the terrorists’ flurry of activity not as a sign of strength, but of desperation. They are upping their attacks in a few provinces to derail the coming elections in the US and later in Iraq … kind of like John Kerry trying anything and everything as he tries to salvage his shipwrecked campaign.

That is why we should solidly step up our military attacks -- not back down an inch -- and stomp the bathetic Ba’athist bong resin and the imported Iranian irregulars into snail slime, so freedom can truly ring in the long-oppressed, messed-up Middle East. We must show the rag headed rabble we won’t be intimidated and that we are willing to pay the cost and go the distance, because freedom for Iraq shows long suffering citizens in other terror-tantalizing lands they can break out of the devastating, dictatorial, declining state of their societies.

We need to demonstrate to the terrorists – and to the backsliders in France and Germany -- that we believe in fighting and dying for a noble cause like liberty. Watching a grateful Allawi cheered on by the entire membership of our Congress warmed my belly and made me proud to be an American.

Not so for the DNC’s presidential wannabe. With tight-pursed lips, mock civility and a clenched jaw, Kerry relieved himself like a drunken alley cat on everything Allawi said. At Carville’s command, Kerry would have us believe the Iraqi patriot is a Bush administration puppet, going so far as to imply that Allawi was lying, deceiving the world about the true state of Iraq. For Kerry to accuse Allawi of lying is similar to Michael Jackson calling William Buckley freaky.

My ClashPoint is this: call me naïf, but I believe Allawi’s report that Iraq is better off, and I believe the world is better off with the offing of Saddam and company. Even though this war has taken somewhat longer than most microwave Americans and Europeans would like, Allawi reports the overwhelming majority of Iraqis are very grateful for the Coalition’s military intervention and liberation.

This is not taking too long, morons…. It’s a war, Spanky, and wars are not a fluff and fold situation. Establishing democracy despite extremist Muslim lunacy is not accomplished in a week and, yes, we’ll have to pay retail to see it established.

But some things are worth paying full price for … establishing a free and just society in a nation surrounded by fellows of a bizarre and baser sort is not something we can buy at Costco. If we can set a beacon for democracy beaming in Baghdad, it will have a huge and positive impact on every country in the region, and materially diminish the attraction of terrorism to currently hopeless millions.

Sometimes we have to show love by laying our lives down for our friends. In doing so, we can be sure that we will be rewarded many, many times over.

Doug Giles' provocative weekly one-hour radio program, 'The Clash', has re-launched with several new features. Go to and hit 'listen live.'

Where's the outrage -- at CBS?

Pat Buchanan and this Sailor have had more then a few disagreements over the years. This time, Pat is right on target. There is much more going on between CBS, Dan Rayher, et al and the kerry campaign. - Sailor

Where's the outrage -- at CBS?
Pat Buchanan

September 26, 2004

Something remains puzzling about the Rathergate scandal.

Where is the outrage? Where is the righteous rage of Dan Rather at the forgers of faked military records of George W. Bush, who played him for a fool?

Something is fishy here. And, indeed, the inexplicable absence of outrage suggests that there is more, much more, to this story

To understand, imagine this situation. Detectives come to the home of John Q. Citizen to inform him he has been the victim of a fraud. The hundred-dollar bills he used as a down payment on his new Cadillac all turned out to be counterfeit. The detectives then politely ask John Q. where he might have gotten the counterfeit bills.

John Q. goes back into the house for a while, and emerges to declare defiantly: "I do not believe those hundred-dollar bills were counterfeit. I stand by them. And I will not give up my source!"

If the detectives conclude that John Q. was probably not a victim of counterfeiters, but an accomplice, could you blame them?

And so it is with Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, the producer of "60 Minutes." Both are today material witnesses to a felony, the enablers of a criminal conspiracy to bring down a president through the creation and dissemination of forged U.S. government documents.

Yet, rather than acting like innocent parties of a vicious plot to destroy a president, Rather and Mapes are acting like a pair of co-conspirators, with grudging admissions and insincere apologies.

How should CBS behave, if it is innocent of any criminality or malice? Quite simple. Rather should go on camera and read, on behalf of CBS News, a statement something like this:

"We have discovered and concluded that the documents we used to assert that President Bush was an insubordinate officer in the Texas Air National Guard who used political influence to avoid being disciplined were forgeries. We were irresponsible in airing these documents. We now have no evidence and no credible witness to make such a charge. We hereby retract the charge and apologize to President Bush for any damage we have done to him. And we will do our best to repair that damage."

Why have we not heard this? The answer suggests itself.

While CBS probably did not know the documents it used were blatant forgeries, it is guilty of having aired a bigoted, misleading attack ad on George Bush masquerading as an investigative report.

Consider what Rather left out of this "60 Minutes" story.

He did not tell his audience that family members of Col. Jerry Killian and CBS' own document examiners had raised questions about the authenticity of the memos he was using to indict the president. He did not tell his audience that the source of the memos was an eccentric and an inveterate Bush-basher. He did not tell the CBS audience that Ben Barnes, the ex-lieutenant governor of Texas who claimed to have used his influence to get Bush into the Air National Guard, had earlier denied under oath that he had done any such thing.

Had Rather done an honest piece of journalism and let the CBS audience know there were questions about both the witnesses he had brought in to accuse Bush and the documentary evidence he had put forward to convict Bush, CBS' audience could have made an informed judgment. But Rather did not want that. For Rather was conducting a show trial. He was a prosecutor hiding from the defense all the exculpatory evidence in his briefcase. And prosecutors who engage in such unethical behavior usually end up being disbarred.

Another reason Rather and CBS are stonewalling may be that there was collusion and orchestration between CBS' source Bill Burkett, the "60 Minutes" staff, the Kerry campaign and the DNC's Terry MacAuliffe -- collusion that could make it appear that CBS News has become the clandestine TV production arm of

For it is now known that Mary Mapes, Rather's producer, called Joe Lockhart of the Kerry campaign to alert him that the attack on Bush was imminent and to steer him to Burkett. Lockhart called Burkett, but claims they did not discuss the impending explosive Guard story. Hard to believe. Burkett says he also talked to former Sen. Max Cleland, Kerry's liaison to veterans.

Also, the DNC had an attack ad campaign called "Fortunate Son" ready to hammer George Bush on his Guard service that was launched on the heels of the "60 Minutes" report. Coincidence?

Then, there is the issue of why Ben Barnes changed his story. Did he inform the candidate for whom he has raised thousands of dollars, John Kerry, so that Kerry's campaign could coordinate its strikes with "60 Minutes"?

Yes, indeed, there is much more to this story. We are going to find out whether Dan Rather and CBS have been hauling contraband for the Kerry campaign, while flying under a false flag of neutrality.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Are We Safer?

Bottom line here is that this election will be decided by how people perceive who is best at keeping the US safe and who is the better leader. By far and away, polls show the American people see the President as the better leader. - Sailor

Are We Safer?

By James K. Glassman Published 09/23/2004
Tech Central Station

Forget the polls. The electronic market maintained by the University of Iowa's College of Business, which makes you put your money where your opinions are, was showing Sunday that George W. Bush had become a 3-2 favorite to beat John Kerry. In other words, to win a dollar if you're right on Nov. 2, you have to put up 60 cents today for a bet on Bush but just 40 cents for Kerry.

That's the biggest gap, by far, since the market started offering the wager in early June. The Iowa market (check it out at isn't infallible, but academic research shows it has a better track record than public opinion surveys, and it tends to be far more stable -- which is why the latest numbers are so shocking and significant.

What's going on? First, a re-election campaign, as the political scientists tell us, is traditionally a referendum on the incumbent: Bush, yes or no. But the Bush strategists have brilliantly managed to make the 2004 race, in large measure, a referendum on the challenger, and, so far, Kerry has not measured up.

Yes, the first of three debates is set for next Thursday. But can Kerry change enough minds in little over a month? Second, and more important, Bush has been running on a powerful implicit slogan. It is never flat-out stated by the campaign, or by anyone else, but it is there, nonetheless, in every voter's mind. The slogan is this: "He Kept Us Safe." You won't find it on a bumper sticker because we all know that safety can be transitory, and we don't want to tempt fate (or goad the terrorists themselves).

For the past three years, the ABC News/Washington Post survey has asked Americans, "How concerned are you about the possibility there will be more terrorist attacks in the United States?" Two weeks after 9/11, the proportion answering "a great deal" or "somewhat" was 82 percent. The figure had declined a year later to 72 percent, and it has stayed in that range ever since.

Three-quarters of Americans are concerned about terrorism here, and they should be.

But look a little deeper. Another survey, by CBS News and the New York Times, found a month after 9/11 that half of Americans thought that another terrorist attack "within the next few months" was "very likely." Within six months, the proportion had dropped to about one-third, where it stayed, with some ups and downs, through February 2003. Then, as the Iraq war was starting, the fears started declining. The latest poll, last month, showed only 17 percent thought an attack on our soil was imminent.

Despite the contention of Democrats, Americans apparently see the actions the United States has taken in Afghanistan and Iraq as making us safer.

Now the clincher. CBS asked in August: "Do you think the policies of the Bush administration have made the United States safer from terrorism?" Those who answered, "yes, safer," outnumbered those who said, "no, less" safe by a margin of 51 percent to 24 percent.

Pundits who say that outsourcing or health care or gay marriage or the deficit are the main issues in this campaign are kidding themselves. What people really care about is their safety. In October 2001, Gallup found that one-fourth of Americans were "very worried" that they or members of their families would become victims of terrorism. Today, the figure is 11 percent.

Right or wrong, most voters believe that Bush gets credit for making them safer. He took the battle to the enemy.

Have there been costs? Certainly, in terms of troops killed and wounded, money spent, inconvenience suffered, personal freedom abridged and the enmity of other nations aroused. But most voters, I suspect, see those costs are worth paying. Try this thought experiment: What would you pay, in dollars, to lift the threat of terrorism from your family? My guess is that the number would be a very high one, that it would dwarf any savings you think you might get if Kerry's health plan is most efficient than Bush's (which it is not, by the way).

Of course, Bush has not lifted the threat of terrorism entirely. But he's done enough, in his response to 9/11, to merit that bumper sticker.

More Trouble for the poodle

More troubles for kerry. Even CNN is saying the poodle's ship is listing badly and about to capsize and sink. The final blow may come mid October. Watch this space as details become available! - Sailor


CNN's polling shows that George Bush has a grip on 301 Electoral College votes based on state-by-state polling, with John Kerry fading in the Midwest and his chances of unseating the incumbent fading fast:

President Bush this week reached a symbolic milestone, overtaking Democratic challenger John Kerry in New Hampshire and Iowa to claim more than 300 electoral votes in CNN's weekly Electoral College scorecard.

If the election were held today, Bush would receive 301 electoral votes to Kerry's 237, according to a CNN survey based on state polling as well as interviews with campaign aides and independent analysts. ...

Bush currently leads in 33 states, including the country's entire southern rim (except California) and the mountain and plains regions. Kerry leads in the District of Columbia and the remaining 17 states, including all of the West Coast and most of the Northeast. The two candidates continue to battle for control of the industrial Midwest.

One Democratic strategist gave an interesting analysis: the candidate who controls the Mississippi controls America, a proverb going back to the Civil War. Right now, that candidate is George Bush, who leads in almost every state that borders on the river. Kerry gave up yesterday on Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri, and have always led in most other river states. Only Illinois has been solidly Democratic, although recent returns there have indicated it might be back in play, even given the disastrous candidacy of Alan Keyes for the open Senate seat. Wisconsin has turned into an almost certain win for Bush, and Minnesota -- which hasn't gone GOP for thirty-two years -- is a dead heat.

Take a look at this sea of red:

And this assumes that Kerry takes Pennsylvania, which has begun to look more reddish-purple than bluish-purple of late. Minnesota and Maryland have trended GOP the past month as well, and even New York may be within the margin of error. Kerry is in deep trouble.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Kerry's Grand Deception

Admiral Hoffman lays out the kerry deception, clearly and without the bullshit and usual officer mumbo jumbo. After reading what the good Admiral has to say, it is any wonder that kerry would stoop to colluding with the liberal 527's and CBS? - Sailor.

Kerry's Grand Deception
By Rear Admiral Roy F. Hoffmann (ret.)
Richmond Times-Dispatch
September 23, 2004

The widely repeated myth of "John Kerry, the Vietnam Navy Hero" is one of the most dishonorable and dangerous deceptions ever perpetrated upon the American public.

John Kerry is not a hero. He built this facade with unabashed personal promotion, aided and abetted by a supportive liberal media ready and willing to repeat in print his gross exaggerations, distortions of fact, and outright lies about his abbreviated four-month, 12-day tour of duty in Vietnam.
Until the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth spoke up in press conferences, television ads, and with the now best-selling book, Unfit for Command, no one - not even the conservative media - seriously or effectively challenged the veracity of John Kerry's self-aggrandizement. Only now is his war-hero facade beginning to peel away.

Kerry arrived in Vietnam on November 17, 1968, with a strong anti-war bias and a self-serving determination to build a foundation for a future political career. Even a most casual review of his biography, Tour of Duty by Douglas Brinkley, will reveal that Kerry entered the Naval Reserve as a "vain intellectual" with contempt for military authority.

Stooped to Achieve Goal

In hindsight, his obvious objective was to emulate his idol, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, serve as short a time as possible, and escape Vietnam unscathed but with sufficient credentials and decorations to portray himself in heroic terms. To achieve his goal, Kerry stooped to scamming an after-combat reporting system that was based on trust, promoting himself for a handful of medals regardless of their dubious merits, so he could "bug out" of the war zone early.

His propensity for gross exaggeration and lying was legend to those who knew him, even early on at Cam Rahn Bay, his first duty station in Vietnam. In Tour of Duty, Kerry recounts the story of the seas being so rough during the monsoon season that sailors came in "pissing red and that several people have broken bones" - a ridiculous story that was totally unsubstantiated.

Or consider the story of how Kerry, according to Brinkley, stated, "A sampan navigating in the shroud of darkness was assumed to be Viet Cong and would be fired on" - a breach of the U.S. Navy's rules of engagement. That is an outright defamatory lie. The South Vietnamese National Government had established and promulgated well-defined coastal-control zones to facilitate surveillance, illegal activity, and infiltration of enemy arms from seaward. Although our Swift Boats and Coast Guard cutters did diligently enforce the restricted areas, a boat or ship violating a restricted zone would not be fired upon unless attempting to escape inspection, and only after proper warning in accordance with U.S. Navy strict rules of engagement.

Kerry repeatedly embellishes this lie by referring to "U.S. designated free-fire zones," implying that such zones authorized indiscriminate killing, in order to portray the U.S. military as unwanted, brutish conquerors in Vietnam. In truth, free-fire zones fell within the normal rules of engagement and authorized not an order to fire but discretion to fire first if threatened by, or when confronting, enemy forces.

Kerry's First Purple Heart

Another troubling sequence involves Kerry's first Purple Heart. Exactly two weeks after arrival in Vietnam, Kerry was involved in a scenario in which he was "wounded" by a small fragment, about the size of a rose thorn - a self-inflicted wound resulting from the careless use of his own M-79 grenade launcher. According to the testimony of the attending physician, Dr. Louis Letson, the fragment barely penetrated the skin of his right arm and was easily removed with tweezers and dressed with a Band-Aid. Despite the minor nature of the injury, Kerry still requested a Purple Heart from Division Commander Grant Hibbard. Commander Hibbard denied, noting that there was no hostile fire involved in the incident, no casualty report, and no after-action report - all requisites for a Purple Heart medal.

Still, somehow Kerry circumvented the system and somehow was awarded the Purple Heart some three months after Lt. Commander Hibbard denied the award. Who initiated the award remains a mystery and will remain so until Kerry authorizes the full release of his military and medical records, complete and unaltered. Although Kerry continues to imply that he was the officer in charge of this "Boston Whaler" operation, he fails to mention that he was under the training supervision of Lt. William Schachte, the actual officer in charge and aboard the small craft with Kerry.

Another example of Kerry's lies about his Vietnam "war hero" status involves the now infamous secret mission into Cambodia on Christmas Day, 1968, a fabrication now disclaimed by Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan and Kerry's campaign biographer Douglas Brinkley.

On March 27, 1986, the then-Senator Kerry on the floor of the U.S. Senate claimed he was on Navy duty in Cambodia in Christmas, 1968, at a time when President Nixon was lying to the public, saying there were no U.S. forces in Cambodia at that time. The Congressional Record reports Kerry as saying, "I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have the memory which is seared - seared - in me."

Not even a good lie. President Nixon did not take office until January 20, 1969. Moreover, how does one differentiate the ethnic and political distinctions of the unseen foes shooting at you? As one lie begets another, Kerry's own biographer, Douglas Brinkley, writes in Tour of Duty that Kerry's private Vietnam journal places him on the Bassac River near the city of Sa Dec, Vietnam, 50 miles from the Cambodian border.
Further, the U.S. Army had placed on 24-hour surveillance a manned landing craft blocking passage into Cambodian waters, along with a huge sign designed to prevent entrance, accidental or otherwise, into Cambodian waters. The U.S. Navy also had two river patrol boats patrolling the area for the same reason, making it almost impossible for a U.S. craft to enter Cambodian waters.

Lt. (jg.) Kerry's third Purple Heart is as questionable as the first. On March 13, 1969, Kerry's boat, PCF-94, with provincial troops embarked was engaged in an infantry sweep of a known Viet Cong sanctuary on the Dong Cong canal, in An Xuyen province. During this operation, the troops blew up some huge bins of rice. According to Kerry's biography, "I got a piece of small grenade in my [rear] from one of the rice bin explosions." Kerry would later the same day claim this accidental and minor injury was a result of a mine explosion near his boat that threw him into a bulkhead, smashing his arm.
The truth is that there was only one explosion, and that this single explosion severely damaged PCF-3 near the opposite bank of the Bay Hop River. There was no damage to any other of the five Swift Boats in that formation.

Claims of Making Rescue

Based on the after-action report filed by Lt. (jg.) Kerry, he was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds resulting from a mine explosion and a Bronze Star with a "V" for rescuing Lt. Rassmann, U.S. Army, who fell overboard when Kerry's PCF-94 abruptly fled the scene of action.

Contrary to the false after-action report citing automatic weapons and rifle fire from both banks for 3.1 miles, there were six on-scene witnesses who have stated that there was no enemy fire from either bank. Kerry did return to the scene and pick up Rassmann after it was evident that there was no hostile fire. There was nothing heroic about rescuing Rassmann, who was about to be picked up by another PCF. Had the truth been known, Kerry would have been disqualified from being awarded the Bronze Star.

Medical records also report Kerry's injuries from the March 13, 1968, incident involved only a minor bruise on his right arm and minor shrapnel wounds on his buttocks. Since there was no hostile fire, and only one mine explosion, with no structural effect on PCF-94, there was no justification for the Purple Heart award.

John Kerry was the only man in the entire Task Force of 3,600 men - officers and enlisted - to request transfer out of country based on three Purple Hearts. Particularly galling to his shipmates was the fact that not one of his minor nicks was debilitating nor resulted in one lost day of duty.

Nevertheless, with his three specious Purple Hearts, John Kerry shamelessly invoked an obscure Navy directive allowing him to "jump ship" and return home, there to begin his infamous betrayal of all those U.S. soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, and POWs who served honorably in the Vietnam War - more than 2 million Americans who deserved Kerry's respect.

Kerry's leadership within the fraudulent and contemptible Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) and his testimony before Senator William Fulbright's Committee in 1971 charging us with unspeakable atrocities remain even today an unspecified and undocumented dishonor to the men and women who dutifully and courageously stayed the course.

Meeting With Madame Binh

Kerry's meeting with Madame Binh representing the Viet Cong and with other members of the Vietnamese Communist delegations to the Paris Peace Conference in 1970, while he was yet a Naval Reserve officer, constitute meeting with the enemy during time of war. His subsequent press conference in July, 1971, urging President Nixon to accept Madame Binh's proposal for the return of our POWs , was a major propaganda victory for the Communist regime. His illegal and traitorous activities with the VVAW and the ilk of Jane Fonda unquestionably had a seriously demoralizing impact on our POWs and probably extended their imprisonment by at least two years.

Kerry is not a hero. He betrayed his comrades-in-arms in time of war. He is a chronic liar and a fraud. This is not about politics; it's about truthfulness, reliability, loyalty, and trust - all absolute tenets of command. John Forbes Kerry is not fit to be Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

Roy Hoffmann, a retired Navy Rear Admiral and the founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is a resident of Chesterfield. As the commander of the Coastal Surveillance Force Vietnam in 1968-1969, Admiral Hoffman was the overall commander of U.S. Swift Boats during the period of Kerry's Vietnam coastal service.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Sign Form 180 & Help The Press Do The Job It Won't

Come one Johnny boy, sign the 180 and let the voters see what you are trying to hide. - Sailor

Sign Form 180 & Help The Press Do The Job It Won't
Posted September 22, 2004
By Paul M. Rodriguez

Bias? What Bias?

If the press (in general) and the public at large have learned anything from the latest debacle over at CBS and with its anchor/managing editor Dan Rather, then certainly it must be that standards are important.

For example: Whatever story is being pursued then thatstandard must be applied evenly which, concerning George W. Bush and John F. Kerry, certainly is not happening.

The result, not just among Republicans but so too among a growing number of Democrats, is that the press is distrusted. And this is troubling to me both as a newsman and as a consumer of news.

Nostalgia aside about the "good old days" of bare-knuckled journalism, the truth is that since the waning days of Vietnam and post the Watergate era, news operations in this country moved light years forward ... for a time. That's not to say that all the news was "fit for print" during those heady times - or even today amidst the plague of 24/7 instantaneous news feeds.

Rather (no pun intended), the push for hard news and the elevation of journalists and news outlets as arbiters of political, social and cultural ethics and norms certainly took on a more vigorous purpose.

So too the now beaten to death moniker of objective journalism and investigative news. Politicians and institutions were to be held accountable on behalf of the great masses, which for a time seemed to appreciate that someone other than they were fighting city hall, exposing corruption and generally holding elected leaders accountable.

The reality, of course, was both then and now this wasn't quite so. But as a newsman during the past 30 or so years, the esprit de corps amongst us certainly was buoyed by our own senses of doing a public service in the best traditions of our mythical heroes - either from the good old days or more current as celebrities emerged within the tribe, especially with the advent of expanded news feeds, magazine talk shows, radio and cable.

Notwithstanding expanding news holes and technological advances, not to mention a growing appetite for more gotcha journalism and racy news, there seems to have occurred a loss of some basic tenants in our profession - and I think this shows clearly in declining readerships and audiences and the advent of the Internet. People generally have more places to get their news and, equally important, to fact check news stories and to discuss the importance of news unfiltered by the so-called mainstream press.

What once were considered to be fringe publications or news outlets now churn out stories by the thousands on a daily basis in direct competition with the traditional news outlets. And to counteract some if not the tide of such competition, main-stream news organizations feel the pressure to put a fresh face on a story, provide breaking news throughout the day and, frankly, to puff up stories through repetition that makes unimportant and fleeting "stories" larger or more important than deserved.

For a while I thought that the result of such marketplace competition actually would bolster the value of newspapers and magazines because the very mechanics of being daily or weekly print products would provide a safe haven for thoughtful, concise, more in-depth and better-reported stories. Even analysis stories to help make sense of often confusing and contradictory news bombarding us all, not to mention snippets of "news" populating the Internet every day.

I thought all these things - and still cling to this bias - because I firmly believe in the value of my tradecraft and that honed by many a skilled newsman over many years trained to ask simple hard questions and then to report the context.

I've been a firm believer for a long time that rather than rely on objectivity, a good newsman accepts his bias but then works hard to assemble the facts as they emerge and then through good reporting, put context to the facts.

One measure for gauging the success of a newsman (or a news organization) is whether he (or it) applies what I call the "Old Hickory Bat" approach. For example, if it's good enough to swat Bush on his Air National Guard service records then it should be good enough to smack Kerry on his Navy records.

Believe it or not, it's not just Bush who has gaps in his service records but that's hard to figure out in so many news reports - such as those aired by CBS. But it's not just CBS - it's virtually all of the traditional press that seems to omit references to Kerry when reporting on questions about Bush. This is dishonest. And it's bad journalism.

I've spent much time trolling the Internet in recent weeks and visited many a blog, as well as speaking to a lot of people. And I've concluded that my tribe has failed badly to do its job - at least the job many claim to work at hard. To wit: Fairness and balance.

Whether one is Republican or Democrat (and I said this during the tenure of Bill Clinton), whatever the story at hand needs to be focused on a discernable and even-handed standard in news reporting - the "OHB" standard.

Bush has ordered the release of all his military and related medical records (along with his tax records). Sure, the process of digging out old records from government archives has been ugly from the perspective that it seems every month or so yet more records are found. At least they are being found and then released to the public and the press.

In the seemingly endless stories about the Bush records, however, seldom is there mention of the "missing" Kerry records - and controversy around some known and batches yet unknown. To put context on any story involving Bush requires -- at least -- a sentence or paragraph pointing out that Kerry hasn't answered "all" the questions about his time in the Navy, including failure to release all his records.

Kerry has said he has released everything that the Navy gave him. And, supposedly, these are some of the ones found on his campaign website. But what Kerry has failed to be truthful about - and the press has played along with this game - is that he has not signed a necessary Form 180 authorizing the Navy and Pentagon archives to scour their files and then release anything found.

Reportedly, for example, there are between 30 and 100 pages being withheld by the Navy because Kerry has not authorized their release.

Then there are records allegedly out of his control that Kerry says are covered by a contract with the author of his autobiography - a contract the author himself has said does not preclude Kerry from making any and all "secret" documents available to the press. Kerry has been disingenuous on this matter but the press has not tagged him for it.

Then there are medical records stored in separate government archives, along with affiliated Navy records not held directly by the Navy that still have not been unearthed that, just as with critics of Bush claim may exist to answer some of their questions, critics of Kerry also say may exist to answer their questions about the senator.

There also appear to be FBI records on Kerry's anti-war protest activities, as well as other DOD investigative files - if not even CIA files - that might answer a variety of questions about the young reservist in the Navy in the early to mid-1970's. Ditto old Justice Department files and records in other government repositories not yet known.

Kerry easily could help the press do its job by signing the required Form 180 and waiving any Privacy Act restrictions to other records being held by the government.

But he has not - and the press has said virtually nothing at the same time that, for example, the Associated Press went to court (and properly won, I say) a Freedom of Information Act demand for Bush's records. (Of course, the reality was and is that DOD has continued to look for records and making them public when found. But the way the AP FOIA case was reported generally failed to mention such facts thus leaving the public with an impression that Bush et al were stonewalling the release of records.)

That said and unless I've missed something, the AP and other press outlets have not gone to court on FOIA requests for similar Kerry records. And they certainly have not sought to challenge Kerry and his campaign (and supporters) to cough up such records, as they demand of Bush et al.

Were it not such a hot political topic made hotter by Kerry's own supporters who accuse Bush of lying and hiding the truth (and much worse) - and the press' breathless reporting on Bush's service records - then perhaps all of this would amount to nothing but a hill of beans.

But the fact is that Kerry has made this an issue. The fact is that Kerry's supporters have made this an issue. The fact is that the press has made this an issue.

Well, if it's an issue then it needs to be an issue that applies equally to both Bush and to Kerry. And to apply an uneven standard undercuts a prime directive we in the press claim: To inform the public and let the chips fall where they fall.

But CBS apparently doesn't think so - or didn't. And the majority (if not all) of the other traditional press must not think it's important either - to apply an even standard in reporting on such matters. Otherwise there would be a hue and cry and "controversies" over Kerry records (and failures to make them public) as there is with Bush.

Raising questions about Bush - even questions raised by vile and despicable sources - is okay. But not so on Kerry when, for example, a couple of hundred former Swift Boat vets ask similar questions?

While the public must watch the ritual of the press being aghast over the CBS and Dan Rather debacle - which is both very real and very sad - the rest of the press also must be held accountable for its own failures to do its job.

I'm not advocating actually whipping up newsies and their bosses with real baseball bats. But I certainly advocate that folks write in, protest and keep blogging away and use the "OHB" standard to beat the hell out of press and media outlets for shirking their responsibilities and thus further erode what little trust remains of an otherwise noble craft called journalism.

A Death Blow To Kerry's Campaign

Once again, kerry making his Vietnam service one of the pillars of his campaign comes back to bite him in the ass. - Sailor

A Death Blow To Kerry's Campaign
Posted September 22, 2004
By Adam Yoshida

I think that many people who have seen the sixth ad being put out by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth will agree with me when say that the ad, entitled "Friends" had the potential to do as much damage to the Kerry campaign as the entire Rathergate/Danron fiasco. Don't believe me? Watch the ad yourself. And, in case you can't see it, here's a transcript.

The beauty of this ad is that it is simple, verifiably true, and
utterly devastating. We know that John Kerry met with the Vietnamese Communists because he admitted it to us. We know that, as American boys fought and died in the muck of Vietnam, John Kerry sat with their perfumed diplomats in Europe and conspired to hand victory in the war to the Communists. We know this to be true. We know it because John Kerry told it to us.

Let me quote him exactly, because it's important to get this right. Kerry said, "I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government." His words, ladies and gentlemen. While the United States was at war, John Kerry went to Paris and spoke with the enemies of the Republic.

People say that what happened thirty-plus years ago doesn't matter, shouldn't matter in this campaign. Perhaps, in most cases, that should be true. But in this case it certainly does matter. Does any sane person really believe that whether or not George W. Bush showed up for a week's worth of drills in Alabama thirty-three years ago is somehow more consequential than the admitted fact that Senator Kerry, as a nearly thirty year-old politician, travelled to a foreign nation to meet with the enemies of this country while the nation was at war and then returned in order to advocate that the United States accept peace on the terms of the communist Vietnamese (or, in other words, surrender)?

If this gets out (and since the Swift Vets are reportedly set to spend $2 million running this ad, it will) how does the Kerry campaign respond to it in a credible fashion? In essence, they're left with a handful of options, all of them bad.

They can ignore the accusations altogether, but I don't think they'll try that one again, seeing as it worked so well with the first Swift Vet assault.

Attempting to deflect attention by attacking Bush on his National
Guard service is out now since, thanks to CBS (and probably the DNC too), pretty much anything to do with Bush's guard service is going to be radioactive for the rest of the campaign.

Perhaps they can trot Senator Kerry out to, in the mother of all flip-flops, apologize for some of his anti-war activism.

Alternately, they can act outraged that anyone would, "question
Senator Kerry's patriotism." This, in all probability, is the course that they'll take in the coming days.

And they'll be right: it is an attack on Senator Kerry's patriotism. But, much more importantly than that, it is an accurate attack on his patriotism. Worse still (for Kerry's dwindling legions) is that it feeds into perceptions of how Senator Kerry would behave as President.

The most obvious point that must be taken from his claims as to
Vietnamese intentions at the time is that either Kerry is a liar or he is an extremely gullible man (or perhaps both). Also in his Senate testimony in 1971, John Kerry told the American people that, at the most, the lives of perhaps two thousand to three thousand South Vietnamese would be at risk if the United States withdrew from Vietnam. As we would later see, the numbers would be substantially higher.

This, of course, was not a surprise to anyone with a lick of common sense. He entire world had already seen the crimes of communism in Russia, in Eastern Europe, in China and, indeed, in North Vietnam. Only a very easily deceived person could have believed that the pattern would not repeat the moment the Vietnamese Communists gripped the South within their claws.

Even worse, this wasn't the only time that Senator Kerry allowed
himself to be deceived by foreign enemies of the United States, nor was it the only time that Kerry was used to deliver the demands of an enemy of the United States to the American government and people.

In 1985, the newly-elected Senator Kerry took a trip to Nicaragua,
where he met with the communist dictator of that country. When he
returned to the United States from that trip, the Senator had brought something with him: the Sandinistas' offer for peace with the United States. Once more John Forbes Kerry voluntarily conveyed the demands of a hostile foreign power to his own government. Yet again John Kerry called upon the President of the United States to accept, in whole, the terms offered by an enemy of the Republic.

Once the American people know this history, once they've taken it all in, they'll be left with the same frightful question that I've carried with me for nine months: what happens if the person receiving that
offer is no longer Lieutenant Kerry or Senator Kerry, but President Kerry? What happens if there's no one higher on up for Kerry to call upon to accept the enemy's terms: what if Kerry himself is in a position to accept the enemy's terms?

This is significant because the John Kerry of 2004 shows every sign of being every bit as gullible as the John Kerry of 1985 and the John Kerry of 1971. He's claimed that foreign leaders are eager to see him become President. I'll bet they are.

All of this takes on even greater importance since Kerry proposes to, as President, base his entire foreign policy upon seeking negotiated solutions to the world's problems and since Senator Kerry apparently believes that "negotiating" means "accepting uncritically whatever those sophisticated foreigners tell me" this means that a President Kerry would almost certainly have a foreign policy revolving around the calculated sale of America's national interest.

Kerry pretends to talk tough on North Korea, but then he says things like, "We must be prepared to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that addresses the full range ofÇF? North Korea's concerns about security and economic development." It doesn't take a genius to figure out what Senator Kerry really means. When he accuses the Bush Administration of "not paying enough attention" to North Korea he really means, "Being insufficiently slavish in appeasing Kim Jong Il."

The same is true on Iran. Senator Kerry talks about getting tough, and yet his core proposal for dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions involves giving nuclear fuel to the Ayatollahs. No, I didn't make that up. Here's Senator Kerry himself, "We should call their bluff, and organize a group of states that will offer the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they can't divert it to build a weapon." He's so trusting (or stupid) that he's almost cute.

But, in truth, there's nothing cute about the fact that virtually
every time that Senator Kerry has dealt with an enemy of the United States (or offered a proposal for dealing with an enemy) in the field of diplomacy, his response has been to become an advocate of proposals favourable to that enemy.

In 1971, John Kerry wanted the US to unilaterally begin withdrawing from Vietnam and trust the North Vietnamese Communists to return US POW's of their own volition.

In 2004, John Kerry wants to give "nuclear fuel" to Iran and trust that they won't do anything bad with it, won't divert any portion of it, and will give it all back just as they're supposed to.

John Kerry may trust the enemies of America but the American people just can't trust John Kerry.

War Blog 22 September 2004

War Blog

By FrontPage September 22, 2004


John Kerry has just delivered his "lengthy, detailed address" on Iraq. This is how the "USA Today" summarizes the Kerry Doctrine on Iraq:

"Kerry said the United States should:

- Get more help from other nations.
- Provide better training for Iraqi security forces.
- Provide benefits to the Iraqi people.
- Ensure that democratic elections can be held next year as promised.

"All nice and worthy sentiments, but:

1) It's hard to get more help from other nations when your own sister is telling allies like Australia that their participation in the war in Iraq has made them more of a terrorist target, with an unspoken conclusion being that the Australians should therefore get out. If the Kerry camp thinks that some other nations would make better helpers in Iraq than the current Coalition members, they should name them. In a somewhat related news, France has announced that it won't be sending troops to Iraq even if John Kerry is elected president. So much for John Kerry's Fraudulent Coalition of the Unwilling.In the speech, Kerry also says:

"Last spring, after too many months of resistance and delay, the president finally went back to the UN which passed Resolution 1546... That resolution calls on UN members to help in Iraq by providing troops, trainers for Iraq's security forces, a special brigade to protect the UN mission, more financial assistance and real debt relief. Three months later, not a single country has answered that call... The president should convene a summit meeting of the world's major powers and Iraq's neighbours, this week, in New York, where many leaders will attend the UN General Assembly. He should insist that they make good on that UN resolution." From sublime to utterly ridiculous. John Kerry admits there is an UN resolution in place, which is being ignored by everyone concerned, and he's calling on the President to force other countries to comply. This is exactly what the US was trying to do with another UN resolution in the run up to war and it didn't work then either. Talk about persistently pursuing a losing Iraq strategy. Kerry might call it multilateralism, others will call it a diplomatic quagmire.
2) The Coalition is already training considerable numbers of Iraqi police and security forces - see the last few editions of my "Good news from Iraq" (you can start with number 10). See also this article from the Strategy Page (scroll down): despite terrorist attacks, the police recruitment and activity are up throughout Iraq.
3) No one disagrees that reconstruction should be progressing faster; alas Kerry offers little by way of specifics on how to achieve that, except for the call to cut the red tape; always an amusing proposition coming from the Party of Regulation.
4) Maybe the news escaped John Kerry, but both the Bush Administration and the interim Iraqi government are trying their darnest to make sure that the election proceeds as planned in January - may I note, against the chorus of John Kerry's own cheerleaders in the media and the international community who are already arguing that the election won't be legit and therefore shouldn't be held if the security situation throughout Iraq remains precarious. And Kerry's Axis of Absenteeism has now said there's no chance they will be sending any troops to Iraq before the January election, which of course is precisely the time when they would be of most use.

In another highlight of his speech, John Kerry had this to say about George Bush:

"By one count, the president offered 23 different rationales for this war... If his purpose was to confuse and mislead the American people, he succeeded." This is pretty rich coming from a guy who offered 23 different positions on the war.

Meanwhile, according the latest CBS/New York Times poll:
"Sixty percent of respondents said they did not have confidence in Mr. Kerry to deal wisely with an international crisis; that is a jump from 52 percent in June. By contrast, 48 percent said they were uneasy with Mr. Bush's ability to manage a foreign crisis... The percentage of Americans who said Mr. Kerry had exhibited strong leadership qualities dropped eight points since summer to 50 percent; by contrast, 63 percent said Mr. Bush had exhibited strong qualities of leadership."So who's confused and misled?Update: The Republican National Committee has counted 14 flip-flops in John Kerry's Iraq speech. The only consistent thing about Kerry seems to be his inconsistency.


Ali at Iraq the Model rips into Robert Novak's latest piece, in which Novak claims the Bush Administration (if re-elected) is intending to cut and run from Iraq after November. Ali takes a particular offence to Novak's conclusion that the idea of democratising Iraq was just a beautiful American dream, but a dream nevertheless:
"I look at such theory and then I watch TV and it seems convincing. Only I want freedom and democracy and so do most of my friends and relatives, and the vast majority of Iraqis I’ve known all my life. So do hundreds of thousands of IP, ING members, hundreds of political organizations and millions of Iraqis who are defending the American administration’s dream (you know, because we can’t have a dream!), and who wait anxiously for the upcoming elections. Are we not Arabs and Muslims? Or were we brainwashed by the American propaganda to believe that their dream was ours?"NO Mr. Novak, you are WRONG and I’m being very nice here. This is not an adventure and this is not a neo-conservative dream. This is OUR dream. The dream of millions of oppressed Iraqis who saw what dictatorship can do and who were dying to witness a moment of freedom, to live a peaceful life, a life that carries hope and make dreams not that impossible, a life similar to yours, or is it too much to hope for? We had this dream before anyone heard about neo -conservatives."I don’t believe what you say about the American administration Mr. Novak, but even if you were right, you can give up on your dream. We won’t give up on ours, and may God help us."Instapundit and Belgravia Dispatch have more analysis of Novak's piece. Update: And while on this topic, Pacetown has an interesting letter from a Marine Major who tells it like he sees it from his perspective on the ground in Iraq. Tuesday, September 21, 2004

From FoxNews: Bush Blasts Kerry for Iraq Waffling.

President Bush accused his Democratic rival Monday of a pattern of waffling and leaving behind a trail of contradictory of positions on the war in Iraq.

"Today my opponent continued his pattern of twisting in the wind," Bush said at a rally in New Hampshire "He apparently woke up this morning and has now decided, no, we should not have invaded Iraq, after just last month saying he would have voted for force even knowing everything we know today."

John Kerry, a four-term Massachusetts senator, voted to give Bush authority to wage the war; the presidential hopeful said in August he would have voted that way even had he known there were no banned weapons in Iraq.
"Incredibly, he now believes our national security would be stronger with Saddam Hussein in power and not in prison," Bush said. "He's saying he prefers the stability of a dictatorship to the hope and security of democracy.
"I couldn't disagree more, and not so long ago, so did my opponent," Bush added, quoting Kerry as saying recently, "Those who believe we are not safer with his capture don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president." Monday, September 20, 2004

The latest ad from the Swift Boat Vets, hot off the press, is here

Like the others, it's nuclear. Only this time the Vets have money. And it makes the Dems' counterattack on President Bush's National Guard service look very small indeed. The KO punch: "Jane Fonda eventually apologized for her actions, but John Kerry never has." Wednesday, September 22, 2004


With six weeks left before the election, what can we expect from here on in? Barring major unexpected external developments or a disaster by one of the candidates in the debate, I think there's a fairly good chance that the race will tighten, but not a very good chance that Kerry will win.

The Kerry campaign and its MSM backers seem finally to have figured out what issue to focus on, and that of course is Iraq. The issue has this virtue: there is "a there, there." The president did take us into the war based on claims about WMD that have not been substantiated by events. We have encountered serious resistance that doesn't seem to diminishing and may be increasing. And, of course, the issue is vitally important. Another virtue is that the MSM can run with the issue. If CBS tells us it has a memo proving that Bush was a disgraceful Guardsman, that claim can be shot down. If it tells us that we're "losing the peace in Iraq," that claim can't be disproved, and it will gain credibility as long as there are explosions and American casualties in Iraq.
Kerry does have a slight problem, though. He has failed to hold to a consistent position on Iraq, so that every time he opens his mouth he contradicts a prior position. Even USA Today has remarked on the problem, and was able to muster only one cheer for Kerry's latest major address on Iraq. Moreover, if Kerry finally settles on a position, it's likely to involve getting French support, etc., and therefore unlikely to resonate.

With Bush so clearly leading, however, I think the spotlight will be on him for a while, so that, regardless of what they think of Kerry, voters may have second thoughts as they re-focus on Iraq in the context of credible reports of deterioration. Thus, the race may well tighten. But if it does, the focus will return to Kerry, and his negatives are so high that he'll likely have major trouble "closing the deal."

In sum, I see at least a 50 percent chance that the race will become close again, but significantly less than a 50 percent chance that, if this does happen, Kerry will prevail.


This is the question being asked on cable news shows, as defenders of the MSM tout the eight (give or take a few) different levels of checks that allegedly take place before an MSM story sees the light of day. Here's one answer.

A story that we run can be checked, in the first instance, against its sources, which we cite and, if possible, link to. Next, it is checked by our readers. They are quick to correct us because they don't want us left hanging out to dry, and we can't thank them enough for this. You can see part of this process at work in the Sixty-first Minute story. Notice, for example, Update 3 in which a reader takes issue with the notion that the documents couldn't have been produced on an electric typewriter available to the military.

The next level of review comes from other conservative blogs. Conservative bloggers perform a great service by gently pointing out possible weaknesses in stories that are making the rounds, or at least warning folks not to get too enthusiastic too soon. For example, this weekend AllahPundit created a time-line under which the Kerry campaign would have had to have had the Burkett information before CBS did. But INDC cautioned that the time-line depended on the complete accuracy of reports from several different newspapers. AllahPundit quickly posted this caveat.

If the conservative side of the blogosphere falls down on the job, there's always the liberal side. We don't spend much time arguing with our liberal counter-parts -- life is too short. But on a story as big as the CBS one, we had to respond to the inevitable liberal counter-attack. Rocket Man did so here in "The Daily Kos Strikes Out."
Finally, on a story like this, the MSM comes into play. In order to remain credible, our version had to stand up to the document examiners and other experts used by the MSM, including CBS. In addition, it had to withstand the scrutiny of their investigative reporters.

It is true, of course, that these levels of review occur after we have already blogged. At CBS, the alleged scrutiny occurs before the story appears. But remember that virtually no one believes a highly controversial story based solely on the fact that it is posted on a blog; to have an impact our work must pass all of the tests listed above. By contrast, until recently at least, millions of people probably would believe such a story just by virtue of its airing by CBS.

If CBS really cares about getting things right, it should welcome the post-publication review that the blogosphere provides. But we can't provide that review if we are required to hire bureaucrats to check our stories before we post them. That's known as a barrier to entry. CBS apparently would like such barriers to be erected but, as I hope I've shown, there's no need for them. Ultimately, the blogosphere (along with its individual practitioners) will be be judged by its track record. Right now that record looks pretty good. Tuesday, September 21, 2004



Reuters’ global managing editor has openly acknowledged that Arab intimidation influences his agency’s news coverage. HonestReporting has the story: Reuters Admits Appeasing Terrorists.

As Islamic terror continues to spread worldwide, one major news outlet decided that enough is enough—it’s time to call terrorism by its name. CanWest, owners of Canada’s largest newspaper chain, recently implemented a new editorial policy to use the ‘T-word’ in reports on brutal terrorist acts and groups.

So when CanWest’s National Post published a Reuters report on Sept. 14, they exercised their right to change this Reuters line that whitewashes Palestinian terror:

... the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which has been involved in a four-year-old revolt against Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank. (Jeffrey Heller, 9/13 ‘Sharon Faces Netanyahu Challenge’)
to this, more accurate line:

... the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terrorist group that has been involved in a four-year-old campaign of violence against Israel.

Reuters didn’t like the adjustment, and took the unusual step of officially informing CanWest that if it intended to continue this practice, CanWest should remove Reuters’ name from the byline. Why? The New York Times reported (emphasis added):

“Our editorial policy is that we don’t use emotive words when labeling someone,” said David A. Schlesinger, Reuters’ global managing editor. “Any paper can change copy and do whatever they want. But if a paper wants to change our copy that way, we would be more comfortable if they remove the byline.”

Mr. Schlesinger said he was concerned that changes like those made at CanWest could lead to “confusion” about what Reuters is reporting and possibly endanger its reporters in volatile areas or situations.
“My goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity,” he said.

[Schlesinger repeated this statement in a recent radio interview with CBC, when he described the ‘serious consequences’ if certain ‘people in the Mideast’ were to believe Reuters called such men ‘terrorists.’]

This is a stunning admission—Reuters’ top international editor openly acknowledges that one of the main reasons his agency refuses to call terrorists ‘terrorists’ has nothing to do with editorial pursuit of objectivity, but rather is a response to intimidation from thugs and their supporters.


ABC News says that Mary Mapes, the CBS News producer responsible for trying to influence a Presidential election with forged documents, is on thin ice.

John Carlson, a former commentator at KIRO-TV who is host of a conservative radio talk show in Seattle, remembers Mapes as a talented producer with whom he often argued politics in the newsroom.
Mapes was “quite liberal” and disliked the current President Bush’s father, he said.

“She definitely was someone who was motivated by what she cared about and definitely went into journalism to make a difference,” Carlson said. “She’s not the sort of person who went into journalism to report the news and offer an array of commentary.”

Carlson spoke with Mapes about the National Guard story a week ago, and said that he believes she “put so much time into it that she wanted something to come of it.”

“This was a woman with a good reputation,” he said. “The mistakes she made were so obvious. This was a story that was rushed because they clearly believed it was true. They wanted it to be true.”


The family of the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian is justifiably angry at CBS: Commander’s family calls for CBS apology for flawed report.

FORT WORTH, Texas - (KRT) - The son of a late commander in the Texas Air National Guard said Monday that CBS owes his family an apology for airing documents - now believed to be false - that purportedly were of his father criticizing President Bush’s service as a young man in the Guard.
“I’m not surprised,” said Gary Killian of Houston. Earlier in the day, CBS issued a statement saying it was a “mistake, which we deeply regret,” to use four memos that allegedly came from Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, a Guard commander over Bush in the early 1970s.

CBS News President Andrew Heyward said in a statement: “Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic ... .”

The network also named Bill Burkett, a rancher who lives near Baird, in West Texas, as their source for the memos.

Neither Burkett, a former commander in the Guard, nor his lawyer, David Van Os of San Antonio, returned repeated phone calls Monday. But Burkett acknowledged in an interview with CBS News anchor Dan Rather on Monday night that he misled the network about the source of the documents; he nevertheless defended the truthfulness of the information.

Gary Killian, a Houston businessman who once served in the Guard with his father, said he initially questioned the validity of parts of the memos, then later became convinced they were all fakes.

Killian said he is angry with both CBS and Burkett.

“Do I take it personally? Yes,” he said, adding: “I think, first of all, CBS and Dan Rather owe my deceased father and my family an apology.”

Jerry Killian died of heart failure in 1984.
The younger Killian said CBS should go further that simply calling its reporting flawed. “I don’t accept that this was an innocent mistake. I think it confirms what a lot of people already think: that there is a hidden agenda among some of the media,” Killian said. Tuesday, September 21, 2004


To finish Wednesday's War Blog, click here.