Saturday 14 August 2004

Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia

It will come as news to a lot of readers, but there has been a fairly bitter controversy about Kerry's military service recently.

I say that it will come as news, because the mainstream media, Reuters, AFP, and so on, haven't reported it.

Kerry salutingIt's important because Kerry has made as *the* cornerstone of his campaign, his war-service record in Vietnam and Cambodia. A quick examination of his less-than-spectacular senate record will show you why. He's voted to cut, cut, and cut all miilitary and intelligence spending on every occasion (no disadvantage pre-9/11, but post...), never in a quarter-century sponsoring a single piece of important legislation, etc.

Go over to The Command Post for a precis of what it's about. I'll wait.

Here's a quote, which also says what it's about:
ROBERTSON: What do you think about the other people who are veterans? It seemed like the number of veterans who are going for him, his own men who were on that boat, seem to swear by him. Has he somehow twisted their minds on that?

O'NEILL: They were, first of all, out of all the veterans in our unit, a very small number. Seven or eight people who served directly with him, out of about 10. And then, another small number of other people supported him from our unit. But there are 250-plus that signed the letter that can be found on A list of all their names, running from vice-admiral down to seaman, are contained in my book "Unfit for Command." The truth is, there are a very small number of people who support him. You'll find that some of those people were with him for as short a period of time as two days. The officers who served with him, 25 of them, two are dead. Out of the 23 living survivors who served with John Kerry day after day, operation after operation, 17 of them have condemned him. Seventeen of them indicated he was unfit to be the president of the United States. That's the truth, Pat.

ROBERTSON: You are being attacked for this book, I'm sure. I think there is a complaint before the FEC (Federal Election Commission) that this book was somehow funded contrary to the Campaign Finance Law. What are you going to do about that?

O'NEILL: They have so far had two large law firms send letters to 20 stations threatening suit if they carry our ad. Three different Kerry-related organizations filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission. None of that is going to silence us, Pat. We have 60 people who received the Purple Heart in Vietnam and nine who received the Silver Star. We bought that with blood and service in Vietnam, and when affairs of our unit are being discussed, it is integral to the First Amendment and integral to the ability of people to gain the truth, that we have the right to speak. One thing they can't do yet, Pat, is burn a book. They won't be able to burn this book.
The legal and other attempts to stifle this book, and harass the authors, have been both well-funded and well-organised. That in itself should be major news.

If you want to follow the various stories that Senator kerry has told over the years, have a look over at another article on The Command Post, which catalogues them (the Cambodian stuff is in the 'continue reading' section, and is fairly long). The trouble is, the last update to that article is several days old, and at least two new official Kerry versions have appeared since then. One saying he was misquoted, it was actually "near" Cambodia, within 50 miles anyway, the next saying that he was in Cambodia several times, but in January not December.

None of these stories have impressed the media. Look in the New York Times for a story, or the Washington Post, and there's nothing. The London Telegraph at least reports that a debate exists. The New York Post likewise. But in the main, the media is giving the strong impression of supressing the story until a believable explanation is forthcoming. Meanwhile, the book by Kerry's Comrades-in-Arms that is so damning of him is sailing up the Amazon hit parade. Though both the Barnes and Noble and Amazon sites have had their pages either 'hacked' from the inside, or with fake 'editorial reviews' inserted. The smear campaign against Kerry's critics, which include his entire Chain-of-Command, has been beyond all precedent. Yet the Silence is Deafening.

No comments: