But a funny thing has happened- I am starting to believe [the Swift Boat Vets]- at least some of the claims. The Democrats response of attack, retreat, sue, intimidate, malign has been unimpressive. The cripple stunts with Max Cleland have been uninspiring and seem like they are straight out of South Park. The worst has been the reaction of the press and other Kerry supporters (does Douglas Brinkley have any credibility left, whatsoever?), who have behaved like there is something to hide.
At any rate, the Democrats have given it all they have, and the Vets have held up. Meanwhile, I have learned the following:
– Kerry did not volunteer, per se. He tried for a deferment, but was turned down. Then he was given the option to volunteer for the Navy over the Army.
– Despite his campaign continuing to lie about it, Swift Boats were not as dangerous as they turned out to be when he volunteered to be on them.
– We have learned that Kerry clearly lied about Cambodia, including during SENATE TESTIMONY, in which the lie was used to INFLUENCE NATIONAL POLICY.
– Kerry has admitted the first purple heart was from a self-inflicted wound, and it is pretty clear that he gamed the system to get that first one (mind you- I don’t begrudge him- how many others would have done the same thing- it was a fucked up war).
– We know that he has three different citations for his Silver Star, each one more glowing than the other, each written after Kerry became moreand more influential in Washington.
– We know that his Silver Star information on his DD 214 is incorrect or falsified.
– We know that in 2001, his record was again amended, this time adding 4 bronze stars for campaign service, when according to Navy Spokesmen he does not deserve two of them.
– We know that his records are inaccurate, and that he has only displayed certain records- cherrypicking, if you will, and refusing to release others.
– I know that his campaign lied about numerous aspects of the Swift Vets relationship with Kerry, including the ridiculous ‘they weren’t on the boat’ meme.
Some of the things the Swift Vets for Truth have said haven’t been shown to be true, a good number of them however certainly appear to be true and the Democrats’ continued attempts to smear the vets rather than argue what really happened doesn’t help their case.
You want to show that the Swift Vets are nutjobs? Simply walking up to a camera, mic, or keyboard and screaming “THEY’RE NUTJOBS EXECUTING A SMEAR CAMPAIGN” doesn’t cut it. Whining about nonexistent collaboration with the Bush campaign isn’t going to cut it . You want to make them out as nutjobs? Show that Kerry was in Cambodia, or that he never claimed he was. Show that the first Purple Heart wasn’t self-inflicted. Release all of Kerry’s records. Show that Kerry hasn’t played up his war record, that he was the war hero his convention made him out to be.
But it seems they’re either unable or unwilling to do that. And that leaves many people no choice but to give the Swift Vets’ stories some weight.