Swiftboat'd
May 30, 2006 7:52 PM   Subscribe

 
Oh, who cares anymore. It's over. This is a guy losing an argument and coming back 2 years later saying, "and another thing..."

Let it drop. It didn't work in 04 and it won't work now. Kerry is less relevant to history than Adlai Stevenson.
posted by nyxxxx at 7:55 PM on May 30, 2006


He has the hat.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:57 PM on May 30, 2006


Boy. He sure has great timing.
posted by mondo dentro at 7:58 PM on May 30, 2006


Hey. Don't knock my man Adlai.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:03 PM on May 30, 2006


The time to fight the Swift Boat liars (and win) has long past. But at least it reminds a few voters of the immense price all American citizens have paid for allowing these lies.
posted by Mr. Six at 8:07 PM on May 30, 2006


You know, they may be factually lies, but they feel true.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:09 PM on May 30, 2006


translation : John Kerry hopes to run for office again
posted by Afroblanco at 8:10 PM on May 30, 2006


Yeah, who cares if a presidential candidate was unfairly slandered, who cares if Bush was wearing a wire in the debates against Kerry, who cares if bush didn't actually win the popular vote in 2000. it's not like anything would be different.

Anyway, the swift boat group is suing Kerry, so they are the ones that started this fight not Kerry. He has the right to defend himself against defamation. People like nyxxxx are why bush is in office.
posted by afu at 8:10 PM on May 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Mr. Kerry, accused even by Democrats of failing to respond to the charges during the campaign, is now fighting back hard.

Yeah, well, if he'd run his boat like he ran his campaign, I'd never have heard of him. He'd just be some pictures and medals on his moma's wall.

Some mother is hanging up what she's got as we type...

Nix, not for anything before; but for a totally crappy campaign in 2004. What? Did he throw it?
posted by taosbat at 8:15 PM on May 30, 2006


Oh, who cares anymore.

Vietnam vets care, as do the people who care about them.

That the American invasions of Cambodia and Laos is something we can now talk about at so high a level is pretty new, at least. Part of the reason Kerry may not have wanted to talk about it during the campaign is because according to alot of the senior military brass still serving it simply didn't happen.
posted by ChasFile at 8:16 PM on May 30, 2006


Of course he's sore - he allowed the election to be fought on the basis of who was most heroic in 'Nam, and lost out to Bush. That's got to hurt.
posted by nowonmai at 8:18 PM on May 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


You know, they may be factually lies, but they feel true.

Fake but accurate, like Dan Rather's memos.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:24 PM on May 30, 2006


a "Mission Accomplished" celebration at Disney World.?????swifties of the Caribbean
posted by hortense at 8:26 PM on May 30, 2006


I suspect Karl Rove put slow-motion pills in Kerry's juice or something because dude should have been on this the instant they slandered him. Years later he responds? Is this 1776?

Maybe he's on glacial time?

I don't get it and he certainly doesn't get my friggin' vote this time. I will write in Howdy Doody before I vote for John Effin' Kerry again. He had the war chest to fight that lame ass election chicanery and he sat on his thumbs and said "Let's wait it out". Screw him and his slow-ass.

I'll expect his response to this "slander" in 2009 or thereabouts.
posted by fenriq at 8:32 PM on May 30, 2006


"Let it drop. It didn't work in 04 and it won't work now.

Like hell. That cocksucker O'Neill and his swiftboating fuckfaces deserve to be exposed for the shameless malcontents that they are.

And anyone who supports their sorry, cowardly asses deserves the same.
posted by rougy at 8:35 PM on May 30, 2006


The longer Kerry stays on this the more he hurts himself. He still doesn't get it.
posted by TetrisKid at 8:38 PM on May 30, 2006




yawn

This was on Drudge a week ago.
posted by bukharin at 8:39 PM on May 30, 2006


What happens now determines what will happen in twenty-thirty-forty years when a decorated veteran of the Iraq war considers a run for high political office in the US. If all they face is seeing their military record torn to shreds in front of the world by people who weren't there, funded by people who weren't even in the war, why should they bother?

As the man said, every country gets the government it deserves.
posted by Hogshead at 8:47 PM on May 30, 2006


Fake but accurate, like Dan Rather's memos.

I'm just saying that they are truthy.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:48 PM on May 30, 2006


So what bukharin? Drudge. Whatever.
posted by zeoslap at 8:49 PM on May 30, 2006


The US are a strange country:
  • you have to be a millionaire to run for president,
  • you have to make lots of promises to companies and lobby groups that fund you, which boils down to companies being more influential than the people
  • slander campaigns are completely normal.
"In the land of the free" indeed.
posted by jouke at 8:49 PM on May 30, 2006


Fake but accurate, like Dan Rather's memos.

While the provenance of the Killian documents is still in question, their content was factually true: Bush was indeed AWOL, no matter how the issue is recast. No such level of truth can be demonstrably provided for the Swift Boat lies, though it is pretty obvious with whom the responsibility of both smear campaigns lies.
posted by Mr. Six at 8:52 PM on May 30, 2006


Kerry should have fought this when he was running. He didn't. For whatever reason he let Bush and company walk all over him.

It hardly matters. Bush and Kerry both went to the same college, were in the same fraternity, are both members of the same oligarchical Ivy League ruling class that has ruined this country.

For all I know Kerry threw the election...he took a dive for an old frat buddy.

Do any of you really think things would be different if he had won?

It's time to get rid of all of these incumbent idiots and find some honest people, if there are any left in the world.

But you damn sure aren't going to find them by searching the rolls of skull and bones.
posted by nyxxxx at 9:00 PM on May 30, 2006


Old news. Aspiring swiftboaters are targeting John Murtha now.
posted by homunculus at 9:00 PM on May 30, 2006



nah I know, zeoslap. but if anyone else had posted this, delmoi would have made somesuch asshole remark about how it's not worthy of a FPP. I could care less.
posted by bukharin at 9:00 PM on May 30, 2006


He should have fought the lies this hard during the campaign, and then promptly pointed out that Bush was busy getting high and racking up DUIs instead of defending his country.

Unfortunately, he decided to take the "high road" (also known as the "political loser road") and we all have to live with 2.5 more years of the cowardly, incomptent yutz.
posted by bshort at 9:03 PM on May 30, 2006


Aspiring swiftboaters are targeting John Murtha now

It's already happened. They have no sense of shame.
posted by Mr. Six at 9:04 PM on May 30, 2006


The longer Kerry stays on this the more he hurts himself. He still doesn't get it.

That seems like a strange thing to say. How does he hurt himself more? It seems unlikely that he'd ever run for president again, and certainly won't get the democratic nomination. In that frame, how is he hurting himself?

And what is this "it" that he hasn't gotten? That it's okay and normal for people to viciously lie and slander you in public, to simply make shit up whole of the cloth in order to prevent you from becoming president?

The swift boaters were one of the most craven political operators of our time. They were just making shit up and dragging the guy through the mud. And, they were committing slander and libel. Those are torts, and why shouldn't John Kerry take advantage of his legal rights? (In this case, the swift boaters are actually suing him)
posted by delmoi at 9:05 PM on May 30, 2006


Why didn't Kerry stand up for himself when it counted? Why now?

He didn't defend himself then and that's why people believed the swift boaters lies.

If he really wanted to do something for this country he would be calling for the impeachment of Bush, Cheney and all the other liars and theives.

Why isn't he?
posted by nyxxxx at 9:08 PM on May 30, 2006


"Do any of you really think things would be different if he had won?"

So, then, you voted for him? Knowing that he was actually a battle-experienced vet and not an AWOL coke head?

I'm impressed.

It's not often people admit something like that.

What difference indeed?
posted by rougy at 9:16 PM on May 30, 2006


Do any of you really think things would be different if he had won?

Nope. Things would be exactly the same. We'd have the same people on the Supreme Court, the rest of the world would still have an ever-dropping opinion of us, the Iranians and Palestinians would all still have elected reactionary governments, the rich would still be getting extra tax cuts, etc., etc.

You sir are a moron if you think the outcome of the last election was irrelevant. Whether you like current events as they are or not.
posted by drpynchon at 9:18 PM on May 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I don't get it and he certainly doesn't get my friggin' vote this time. I will write in Howdy Doody before I vote for John Effin' Kerry again. He had the war chest to fight that lame ass election chicanery and he sat on his thumbs and said "Let's wait it out". Screw him and his slow-ass.

Totally. Who was advising him not to respond back then, and are they working for anyone now for 06 or 08? Fire them immediately.
Kerry should just go back and do ineffectual things in the Senate (like that horribly half-assed attempt at filibustering), or just retire or something--he's sad. Why was he the nominee anyway, if not for his record?
posted by amberglow at 9:21 PM on May 30, 2006


"That certainly makes a lot of sense, TetrisKid. Go take a real U.S. history class sometime."

Ha. And what exactly is it I should be learning?

"The swift boaters were one of the most craven political operators of our time. They were just making shit up and dragging the guy through the mud. And, they were committing slander and libel."

Sort of like Kerry did years earlier testifying that soldiers were 'raping, cutting off limbs, etc'? The accusations cut both ways,. I can see how veterans might take offense to those charges even 30+ years later. I don't think they should just keep quiet and let their accuser get a free pass just because he's in a powerful position.

The knee-jerk dismissal and even hatred of these veterans is pretty disgusting. They served and just because most didn't parley that service into a successful political career doesn't mean they should be silenced.
posted by TetrisKid at 9:21 PM on May 30, 2006


Aspiring swiftboaters are targeting John Murtha now

It's already happened. They have no sense of shame.


And it's escalting.
posted by homunculus at 9:22 PM on May 30, 2006


"I can see how veterans might take offense to those charges even 30+ years later."

I can't see it - especially since any veteran of any real metal would have known the accusations were true.

The only people who took offense to that were the guys out on the air craft carriers or the geeks manning the typewriters at HQ.
posted by rougy at 9:25 PM on May 30, 2006


So, then, you voted for him?

Yup. And I kept the 'Vet for Kerry' sign on my fence even after he punked out. It got embarassing but I kept it up. I took it down first thing after the election and threw it in the trash.
posted by taosbat at 9:26 PM on May 30, 2006


The knee-jerk dismissal and even hatred of these veterans is pretty disgusting.

When the factual substance of the claims are politically motivated by connections between Rove and Perry — and, more importantly, are shown to have no bearing on reality — "knee-jerk dismissal" is a poor choice of words. (Unless, perhaps, Republican senator John McCain is filled with knee-jerk hatred for veterans.)
posted by Mr. Six at 9:29 PM on May 30, 2006


"Yup. And I kept the 'Vet for Kerry' sign on my fence even after he punked out.

I voted for him, too. Held my nose while I did it, but it was a lesser of two evils election...again.

I agree with Amberglow and many here actually that he was the wrong candidate - but I'm not going to begrudge the man for going after the swift-boar liars.

Crushing those pernicious pip-squeaks might be the only good thing to come of it all.
posted by rougy at 9:34 PM on May 30, 2006


Sort of like Kerry did years earlier testifying that soldiers were 'raping, cutting off limbs, etc'

Hmm, do you have any evidence that Kerry was actually lying? There's a big difference between accusing a single person of things they didn't do, and making general statements about the atrocities happening in a war.

We know what happened at Abu Ghraib, and Haditha. Do you think that the solders serving in Iraq are just that much worse then the ones who fought in Vietnam? It seems to me that they would have been similar, and we do know about specific atrocities that happened in Vietnam.

Kerry wasn't saying anything that wasn't true, as far as I know. And the fact that he hurt your feelings decades ago by making a true statement about someone else does not mean that it's OK to lie about that person specifically. That's not what "cutting both ways" means, that's simple and dishonest vengeance.
posted by delmoi at 9:36 PM on May 30, 2006


I love how the very first comment in this thread is the predictable "just forget what happened, 'cause it doesnt matter" comment. Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it — and who is it who keeps urging people not to learn from their mistakes?
posted by hattifattener at 9:38 PM on May 30, 2006


I'm still just baffled that slightly more than half the country believed that John Kerry went to Vietnam just to pad his resume.
posted by fungible at 9:41 PM on May 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


rougy: He can diddle around with his rep all day long and I hope it does some good; but, I'm done with him.

I held my nose too...my son sent in his ballot from Baghdad marked 'No Good Choices.'

I'm over the dude. If he didn't throw the election, he's at his Peter Princple Peak.
posted by taosbat at 9:42 PM on May 30, 2006


The knee-jerk dismissal and even hatred of these veterans is pretty disgusting. They served and just because most didn't parley that service into a successful political career doesn't mean they should be silenced.

This is absurd, of course. No one is attacking their service the way they attacked Kerry's. People are attacking their lies, and that's what their statements were.here is a list of some of O'Neils untrue statements, and if you'd read the linked NYT article, you'd see that there is other evidence that what Kerry is saying is true, and what they are saying is false.

By the way, you still never explained the "it" that Kerry doesn’t "get".
posted by delmoi at 9:44 PM on May 30, 2006


By the way, I'm not saying I was a huge fan of Kerry or anything, although I do think we would have been a lot better if he'd won. It's likely that we might have gotten some sort of universal health care system (assuming that the republicans were willing to go along with it), like most of the developed countries in the world, which would have been fantastic for poor and lower class Americans. We certainly would not have had the Supreme Court nominations that we've had.
posted by delmoi at 9:48 PM on May 30, 2006


A man tries to clear his name against the a vile pack of liars and some folks say "Yeah, whatever, let it go man! We're tired of hearing about it. You're only hurting yourself."

::Lady Justice cries::
posted by moonbiter at 9:54 PM on May 30, 2006


Wow. That stuff about Murtha is rock-solid. Two guys (who both lost major elections to him) are saying that he told them that they were the real heroes. End of story.

If people keep buying, they'll keep selling, I guess. Fucking spammers.
posted by hoborg at 9:56 PM on May 30, 2006


Kerry should very well continue to fight them now. Wouldn't you fight if there was an organized attempt to claim your military service was a sham? He should fight it whether he's running for President or not.
posted by JHarris at 10:28 PM on May 30, 2006


This was on Drudge a week ago.

Let's be fair. It was four days ago.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:38 PM on May 30, 2006


Yeah, well, if he'd run his boat like he ran his campaign, I'd never have heard of him. He'd just be some pictures and medals on his moma's wall.

I feel like I shouldn't laugh at that, for some reason, but it's pretty fucking funny.
posted by blacklite at 10:45 PM on May 30, 2006


moonbiter, no, by all means, clear your name, go after those bastard Swift Boat Liars. But how much do you want to bet that Kerry's doing it to set himself up for another run at the White House? This isn't about clearing his name, its about clearing the decks for him to stumble down the plank again. He had 2004, he had it and he let it get taken away from him. But yes, silence the Swift Boaters. And regain tarnished honor. And then go retire.

You know what, scratch Howdy Doody, I'm writing in Howard Dean next time unless someone else actually stands up.
posted by fenriq at 10:48 PM on May 30, 2006


Kerry has every right to clear his war record from the smears of the chickenhawks, Jonah Goldbergs, Swiftboaters, Roves, etc. But it's sad that he's going to run for the nomination--it's a bad idea, but then again, if the election were held today he'd win, and that's pretty much where he's coming from--most votes garnered by a Dem for POTUS evar. Horseshoes and hand-grenades, but still. It'd be nice if he'd get behind Feingold or Schweitzer or Richardson early though. I think he'd make a good NSA director or some high-level diplomacy job eventually.

And yes, things would be different. Perfect? No, but c'mon--even a third grader could have planned a better invasion and occupation of Iraq than Rumsfeld and co.
posted by bardic at 10:52 PM on May 30, 2006


"I think it would have been a very positive thing to do in terms of the many thousands of people who survived Vietnam and felt that was very hurtful."- John O'Neill

"He said bad awful things and I fell down the stairs and my shoes fell off and I feel very hurt about this...very very hurt...and my head was bashed apart."- Saul Rosenburg

This affects everyone who legitimately has a purple heart.
This affects everyone who could have their honorable service questioned by a bunch of politically motivated lying rats.
Yeah, it's happening now to Murtha.
"Are you sureyou EARNED those purple hearts?"

Screw what happened during the election.The fight is worth it any time. If only to deprive these idiots of their antiseptic "heroes" without the context of war. If only so people don't say "well it's over now" and give a shit, because it's not over if it keeps happening again and again.
If only so I don't bust into someone house and put some bullets into them and ask them if that hurts enough to get them a purple heart.

I am never, as long as I live, going to forget this:

posted by Smedleyman at 11:08 PM on May 30, 2006


I'm sure the Swift Boat Vets had some political ties but to say they just made shit up for the election is a stretch. They've been on Kerry's case since Vietnam.

I never paid much attention to the story when it was ongoing but always found it absurd that so much credence was put into what happened 35-40 years ago. I think we should vote for who the guy is today, not who he was back then.
posted by b_thinky at 11:50 PM on May 30, 2006


TetriskidSort of like Kerry did years earlier testifying that soldiers were 'raping, cutting off limbs, etc'? The accusations cut both ways,. I can see how veterans might take offense to those charges even 30+ years later. I don't think they should just keep quiet and let their accuser get a free pass just because he's in a powerful position.

"From May through November of 1967, the Blade reported, the Tiger Force, while operating in and around Quang Ngai province, in South Vietnam’s fiercely contested Central Highlands, murdered hundreds of noncombatant men, women, and children. Some victims were tortured and mutilated. Some were shot while begging for their lives. Some, hiding in bunkers, were killed by hand grenades flung inside. Soldiers collected ears as souvenirs, along with a few scalps and gold teeth. ..... The only soldier to be officially punished was a sergeant who had triggered the investigation by reporting that a member of the Tiger Force had decapitated an infant."

From here, also here,
here,and about a zillion other places.

Are you willfully misinformed, stupid, trolling, or all three?
posted by Rumple at 12:04 AM on May 31, 2006


b_thinky, can you cite references? I was unaware there was a "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" before the 2004 campaigns ramped up.
posted by Dunwitty at 12:04 AM on May 31, 2006


b_thinky, as I am sure you know, the leader (O'Neill) of the Swift boat scumbags was basically an agent of Richard Nixon sent to discredit the anti-war movement and especially to discredit Vietnam Vets Against the War. So your point boils down to,"the Swift boat people were lying bastard then and still are lying bastards now."
posted by Rumple at 12:08 AM on May 31, 2006


Adlai in '08!!!!
posted by Tlogmer at 12:20 AM on May 31, 2006


That said, it's nice to see the Swiftboats' smears countered fully.
posted by Tlogmer at 12:25 AM on May 31, 2006


"Wha?? Where am I? Oh, John Kerry and the Swiftboaters?? Oh, phew, I just had the most terrible dream. I dreamed that-- Alito, and-- a renewed nuclear weapons program and-- Iran, and-- I dreamed I was in the future."

"Oh, now, now, don't worry. You're safe and sound, back in good old 2006."

"2006!?!"
posted by salvia at 12:31 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ok, Tlogmer, I'm sorry I slandered Adlai...him I might actually vote for.

That being said there used to be an Adlai Stevenson bridge in Biloxi MS, but I think it was blown down by Katrina.
posted by nyxxxx at 12:42 AM on May 31, 2006


I say, good on Kerry. I don't like him especially, certainly didn't vote for him in the primary. But I say, we got to take off the gloves and go after these scum-sucking right wing liars anywhere and everywhere they spread their filth. Whether swift boat vets or talking head shills or government officials.

In the big picture, the pattern of lies become seriously damaging to the democratic process, and hence, to our nation. Their 'truthiness' becomes 'treasony'.
posted by Goofyy at 12:42 AM on May 31, 2006


But how much do you want to bet that Kerry's doing it to set himself up for another run at the White House?

Although I do not know the man's mind, I'd take that bet. While it's plausible he's doing this for a potential 2008 run, it seems to me just as plausible he's doing this because, well, he's pissed off that sonsofbitches like these can slander a man's service and get away with it. the man's a politician, sure, but he's also a veteran.

The fact of the matter is it would be pretty much impossible for him to pursue this and not have it show up in a newspaper. The New York Times lives for stories like this.
posted by moonbiter at 12:45 AM on May 31, 2006


The original swifties were hired helpers of the Nixon Cheny Rumsfeld regime, to discredit Kerry,who was asking all the hard questions at the senate armed services committee meetings, the senators thinking it would be better to have Kerry pissing out of the tent,rather than pissing in,next thing you know Kerry is a senator.
posted by hortense at 12:54 AM on May 31, 2006


Well, they didn't start calling themselves SBVFT untill 2004 or so.
posted by delmoi at 1:22 AM on May 31, 2006


What the fuck? Mefites will waste nary a second pouncing on some blogger who rips off Dave Eggers, yet when it comes to those who derailed an election they blame the victim?

Skewed justice, indeed.
posted by sourwookie at 1:27 AM on May 31, 2006


the purple band-aids are by far the most shameful moment in American electoral politics since, appropriately, McCarthyism. gems like LBJ's daisy ad, Nixon's treasonous deal to derail the peace talks in '68 and the Willie Horton klukker's delight are nothing in comparison -- as Smedleyman said, the SB Liars by smearing Kerry smeared every serviceman who ever got a purple heart.

but then, the GOP draft dodgers will smear and mock you even if you lost two legs and an arm in Vietnam, as we have recently seen.
posted by matteo at 1:38 AM on May 31, 2006


The Republicans are pro-war, but anti-military. But they don't let their anti-military side show to the military. The image of those purple heart stickers didn't make it out as widely as they should have - why didn't the Democrats send those images to every base-town, get it on every news channel that the Republicans have so much disrespect for their own country's medals?
posted by jb at 2:02 AM on May 31, 2006


The Republicans are pro-war, but anti-military.

War is Peace. Read 1984, in particular, the reason for the war against Eurasia Eastasia.
posted by eriko at 4:40 AM on May 31, 2006


Fake but accurate, like Dan Rather's memos.

Akin to Godwin's Law, I think we should establish a new theorum which dictates that as the time betwen the Memo scandal and the current time increases, the overall appearance of outright stupidity of whomever references them to suggest everything they don't like is untrue increases at an exponential level.

As for Kerry, good for him if it's what he wants to do. I didn't realize there was a time limit on exposing lying cowards like Jerome Corsi for who they are. The Swift Boat Liars need to be discredited and not allowed to remain any form of a viable wing of Republican campaign strategy.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:42 AM on May 31, 2006


I think we should vote for who the guy is today, not who he was back then.
posted by b_thinky at 11:50 PM PST on May 30


So if your grandpappie was playing footsie with the Nazis, old man was playing footsie with Iranians with arms/hostageses, reports of coke/mena, called your bosses plan stupid, then endorsed it when given the VP slot (trickle down economics), , your brother had to be bailed out during the S&L scandel, and you've has business deals done because your daddy was the pres (Soros comment), you make a comment that 'I'm an MBA and I want to run the country like a business' while having a business track record of failue....you want to IGNORE the past?

Kerry MAY have done a piss poor job of boat'n. But he did a worse job of challenging the charges and the election.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:44 AM on May 31, 2006


The thing with Kerry is, it is impossible to take him seriously once you've heard him described as looking like a haunted tree. I'd provide a link to said description, but the Guardian shamefully pulled it because the same column jokingly asked 'John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?' and some Republicans got upset.
posted by jack_mo at 5:03 AM on May 31, 2006


I'm sure this is nothing new to Americans, but it was something new to me as a Canadian. When I was living in Mexico, I got to know a lot of Vets who were living there as well, and they had a deep and personal hatred of Kerry that to me seemed closest to the wound of betrayal from a close friend or partner.

A number of them were even Democrats, and pretty much said to me "I'd vote in the Devil before I'd vote in Kerry."

Now, to me that says that Kerry was put in to guarantee a loss and the bizarre handling and timing of his records releases says "Skull and Bones" really does call the shots, but either way, it was surprising to me the level of deep and highly personal animosity people felt against him... But hell, I have no doubt that the current PR machine could demonize Smedley Butler.
posted by glider at 5:35 AM on May 31, 2006


it's not that he shouldn't fight them; it's that he should have fought them then, not now.

glider, i hear that's because he went public in a giant way against Vietnam, and used his testimony and stuff to start his political career--many vets are still angry that he helped delegitimize their actions and the entire war (even tho, like Iraq, it was never legitimate nor fought right). He became a really visible turncoat in many eyes--visible enough that Nixon had to get that Swift Boat guy out in the public to counter Kerry's effects.

They really do try to demonize everyone, but Kerry let them do it during a presidential campaign with enormously high stakes--his weakness at fighting them then makes many of us angry still.
posted by amberglow at 6:24 AM on May 31, 2006


I dunno... Why does stuff like this seem to "stick" to Democratic candidates so much better than Republicans? I mean, Clinton was nearly sunk during his first campaign due to allegations that he used to smoke weed. Weed!! The best he could do was "I didn't inhale." (Please.) But talk about GWB's coke habit and alcohol abuse (including a documented DUI), and nobody cares. In the end, Clinton was impeached for something that would seem quaint and silly by GWB's standards.

Similarly, nobody seems to care that GWB went AWOL from his cushy stateside National Guard gig. But gather up a some vets to tell a buncha lies about Kerry, and he still can't shake it.

So why is that "I'm not going to discuss that" works fine for Reps, but is a pussy-loser move for Dems?
posted by LordSludge at 6:38 AM on May 31, 2006


Jim Malone: "You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?"
posted by Stuart_R at 6:41 AM on May 31, 2006


LordSludge: The reason is simple. The right-wing echo chamber is vast and complex, includes media and all kinds of organizations with names designed to sound wholesome and good.

The vote isn't controlled by logic and issues. It's controlled by perception. Those perceptions are carefully manipulated. They have 'gamed' the system.
posted by Goofyy at 7:23 AM on May 31, 2006


You know what? Good for him.

I reallly hated the guy when he showed up in fatigues and played the stupid 'Reporting for duty' bullshit. He really sank to the level of monkey-boy there.

But these pricks are lying scumbags who:

"...served and just because most didn't parley that service into a successful political career doesn't mean they should be silenced."

Which is horseshit, because only one of these holes served with Kerry and he wasn't there for the events that led to the purple heart. Furthermore John O'Neil did parley his service into a political career. With Nixon. So he picked a losing horse. He's a lying scumbag who has associated with lying scumbags his whole life.

I hope he gets the crap sued out of him.
posted by lumpenprole at 8:10 AM on May 31, 2006


The Republican Military Myth Revealed-- ... In recent years, the patriotic proselytizing and down right defaming of 9/11 by George W. Bush, all in the name of the "war on terror," has opened a window on to the truth. It has led to the revelatory public discovery that Republican vile for real veterans, especially those who stand up and speak out against their world view, is foundational. It is woven into the very thread of neoconservatism, which uses the troops as a means to their own ends. That's one reason the recent mutiny by retired military men is so important and elicited such vitriol. It strips naked the Republican military myth once and for all.

It's not the Republicans who have 55 veterans running for office this year, which is a record. It's the Democratic Party. There is a reason and it begins with Iraq, but it's deeper than just one war. ...

posted by amberglow at 9:13 AM on May 31, 2006


amberglow, you're right that some veterans feel Kerry devalued their service with his antiwar activities. A lot of other vets who shared his feelings about the war were and are disgusted with his transparent ambition. Even back in 1971, members of VVAW told me that his primary interest seemed to be getting into elected office. They didn't like him for that. His ambition has obviously overwhelmed whatever principles his antiwar stand was based on.

I do hope he manages to gut O'Neill &company. He ought to be able to; he was an assistant county DA.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:42 AM on May 31, 2006


He should sue them all, sue them hard, expose their _real_ identities and make an example of those who would lie in such an outrageous manner.


The Swift boat group continues to spend money on Washington consultants, according to public records, and last fall it gave $100,000 to a group that promptly sued Mr. Kerry, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, for allegedly interfering with the release of a film that was critical of him.


Christ sakes, these people are still pressing their lies and agenda, isn't that reason enough? Not to mention yeah, the message that just because you serve honorably for your nation, doesn't mean we can't lie about you later in life blacken your name. Forgive me, I'm an idealist. I'd like to think we strive for things to be fair, even if it's difficult to achieve.
posted by eatdonuts at 9:56 AM on May 31, 2006


Not liking Kerry /= not favoring this effort.

I don’t much care for the man, I didn’t vote for him, and I think there are better ways to present the topic of war crimes committed by troops, (and I hear personally he’s an arrogant pompus ass), what pisses me off is how he parleyed his whole acrimonius anti-war thing into personal gain - very much unlike, say, Ron Kovic. I suppose it’s Kerry’s sanctimony that pisses people off, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t equate into a denial of the truth of what happened.
If anything it adds to the ‘anti’ end of ‘anti-war.’
Much like the recent issue with the squad of Marines (allegedly) killing a family. It doesn’t harm the military or the country to bring that out. Covering it up does more harm to the men who served honorably. The flip side of that coin is that an incident should not be used to indict an entire class or group of people - in this case military folks, vets, etc. - which Kerry comes off as doing while scoring ‘fame’ and ‘righteousness’ points.
So I dislike the guy for that (among other things - not just the lefty drivel, any drivel, e.g. I dislike Jim Gibbons), but despite how he says it, he should say it. The truth should come out. And not wanting to hear about it does not justify further dishonoring the men who serve by elevating war to some glory filled bunting strewn flag waving self-congratulatory event where the objective isn’t to kill people.
+ what Kirth Gerson sed

“...many vets are still angry that he helped delegitimize their actions...”- amberglow

I think they’re pissed because they were told he deligitimized their actions. Honor cannot be taken away by someone else, only by your personal actions. If you offer your service to your country and it is abused in an unjust war that does not besmirch the honor of your service. If you kill an unarmed child - that does.
I think the folks who spit on Kovic at Nixon’s shindig are the same kind of folks who think and were telling vets that if Vietnam wasn’t some noble cause, their service was meaningless. Which is just them trying to rub some honor off servicemen onto themselves for being part of whatever.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:03 AM on May 31, 2006


jack_mo:
The thing with Kerry is, it is impossible to take him seriously once you've heard him described as looking like a haunted tree.


priceless.
posted by Rumple at 12:46 PM on May 31, 2006


Anyone with a third-of-a-brain can tell that the Swifties are a far right political brigade that were so upset that Kerry spoke out against Vietnam that they were hell bent on 'paying him back.'

To the Swifties telling the horrible truth about what some American soldiers did in Vietnam is much worse than being quiet about it or lying. Or in this case lying about Kerry's service.

I'm sure the same thing will happen in 20 years when some Democratic Iraq war veteran makes a similar observation.

The lesson here: What happens in the military stays in the military...or else.
posted by Rashomon at 1:56 PM on May 31, 2006


Kerry = OldNewsFilter
posted by VulcanMike at 2:45 PM on May 31, 2006


The thing with Kerry is, it is impossible to take him seriously once you've heard him described as looking like a haunted tree.
not a haunted tree---melted Lurch. ; >

smedley, i don't know how much has been told them, and how much they witnessed themselves. he was on tv a lot and testified and everything--he was very visible back then, and did use it to get into Congress. I think people might forget just how much anger there was back then--on and from all sides, towards all the other sides...we're polarized now, but in some ways back then was much angrier and much worse--the draft, of course, had a lot to do with it--military service wasn't some abstract thing at all, like it is now for many.
posted by amberglow at 4:15 PM on May 31, 2006


as the time betwen the Memo scandal and the current time increases, the overall appearance of outright stupidity of whomever references them...increases at an exponential level.

As for Kerry, good for him if it's what he wants to do.


Ah, so this temporal factor should only be considered for the opposing side. Sometimes I wonder how this sort of cognitive dissonance manages to fit in your head, but then I recall you tried to fill a Zippo with butane.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:34 PM on May 31, 2006


the draft, of course, had a lot to do with it--military service wasn't some abstract thing at all, like it is now for many.

I know some of you lived through it (and if you did, I will happily grant your view on this more weight than mine,) but wasn't the draft-net for the most part catching the same people who we now say feel compelled to join the army because of their socioeconomic circumstances? Meaning: the poor, minorities, etc.?

I understand how the compulsion to serve is contentious (and this site that Vidiot posted on his blog made my brain really reflect on how I feel about that,) but we're still basically talking about the same group of people, aren't we? Isn't the disengagement more because that even the just-slightly-middle-class can feel secure in knowing they don't have to serve if they don't want to?
posted by Cyrano at 5:08 PM on May 31, 2006


amberglow - true
posted by Smedleyman at 6:32 PM on May 31, 2006


...To the extent that the Swift Boat Liars were effective -- and that's in dispute -- it wasn't just because of their spending on ads. It was because the media amplified those charges for days and days, if not weeks, without examining them critically. When the press did get around to debunking the charges whatever damage there was had already been done. The media tried to shift blame for this to Kerry by arguing that he'd failed to respond aggressively. But here's the point: The press shouldn't have had to wait for Kerry to start hitting back before it started to report critically on what the Swift Boat Liars were saying. The simple fact that the media was amplifying the charges should alone have obligated them to take a critical look at them -- immediately.
... a big problem with political reporting today is that its practitioners simply refuse to acknowledge their own role in shaping public perceptions. Thus it is that this Times piece can blithely observe that "the charges stuck" as if this happened by magic, when in fact the real reason this happened is that the media simply failed to be skeptical and aggressive at an absolutely critical moment. ...

posted by amberglow at 7:51 AM on June 1, 2006


Cyrano, it did hit minorities and the poor more than others, but everyone had draft cards and lottery numbers, and had to hustle or pull strings and stuff to ensure staying out (see Cheney's multiple deferments and others, and he wasn't poverty-stricken at all, for just one tiny example)...i was just a kid, but it was a real threat to all middle class guys in the country, and many many many more of them than in today's conflicts actually ended up going to Vietnam. It also went on for ages, and seemed endless.

related: Military Service of Key Democrats, Republicans & Right-Wing Cheerleaders (all of those that age range who didn't serve had to actually DO something to ensure they stayed out--whether it was get pregnant (Cheney), stay in college, pull strings, or what)
posted by amberglow at 8:03 AM on June 1, 2006


Cyrano, yes, then no. Up until (I think) 1968, there were student deferments. By the time those kids were out of school, they'd mostly figured out some other dodge for avoiding the draft. (There were several other deferments available - Dick Cheney could probably tell you about them.) When student deferments were eliminated, the SSS instituted a lottery, where they drew dates from a bowl. If you were born on one of the first dates drawn, you got drafted (unless you were deferred under one of the remaining dodges). I was drafted under the first system, but would not have done better with the lottery.

Lower-income kids were drafted at a higher rate than middle-class kids, but a lot of the latter did wind up in the military, either drafted into the Army or Marines (!), or enlisted in the Air Force or Navy to avoid the draft. Upper-income kids like Cheney and Bush could always buy their way out somehow. The big difference from today was that kids from better-off families, who were not gung-ho, were being forced to serve. This made the Vietnam war more politically costly, because those middle-class families had more clout, and because those reluctant warriors were writing home about the crap they saw.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:07 AM on June 1, 2006


anyway, tho: ... Even if you could somehow pass a law that would bring a truly diverse and demographically representative cross-section of the population to the gate of the US military and force them to serve (and I would argue you cannot), they will be entering the most structured racist, classist and sexist institution in the society. Their placement, job assignments, rank and treatment will reflect the biases of the greater society in an even more dramatic way. The front lines of Vietnam were predominantly Black and Hispanic with a few white officers. This has not changed substantially, though women and white troops make up more of the combat support ranks nowadays.
Fearing the same response that the Vietnam war brought from troops of color near its end, GI's massed at the border of Kuwait during the first Gulf war were never issued live rounds for their weapons until they day they actually engaged into Kuwait to fight the Iraq forces. The educated, well to do sons and daughters of Congress will not be serving on the front lines of combat, but would be afforded jobs in intelligence and other work far from actual war zones. The ASVAB test used to determine every enlisted member's MOS (military occupation specialty) has been evaluated by educational testing experts who say it is both race and gender biased. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:28 AM on June 1, 2006


Meanwhile, an Iraq-war veteran is suing Michael Moore. Coincidence, or is this the new Rethug tactic?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:02 AM on June 1, 2006


Maybe Kerry should be more concerned about Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s claim that in the 2004 election, Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.
posted by homunculus at 1:44 PM on June 1, 2006


Is the US army/military racist? Sexist maybe, homophobic absolutely, but racist doesn't make sense. I have no experience, and I agree that there are more visible minorities serving proportionally than in the population, but my friend who studies military culture tells me about how the US military de-segregated sometime before US society did (they were segregated in WW2, but desegregated shortly after). And it seems that the military brass is just about the most multicultural elite in the entire US, compared to elected government, non-profits or business. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a much higher proportion of black officers in the military than black professors or lecturers in universities.

Reading the letter, I can understand the problems this very well informed man talks about -- but the question is: are they worse than the rest of American society? If the military is racist and classist, is it still less systemically racist and classist than most of society?

on the draft: the only "fair" draft (and I don't like compulsive service) would be mandatory military service for all citizens, without regard to sex and without educational deferment (happening between university and highschool, for example). It would also have a place for concientious objectors - doing work for the Peace Corps, for example - and for the disabled (doing non-combat work) who are currently not allowed to serve at all in the Canadian military. Germany seems to have come up with a good compromise - you do 1 year military or 2 years community service, your choice.
posted by jb at 5:12 AM on June 2, 2006


Tell us of all the minority generals and stuff--i never ever see em, except for Powell...show us one black general in charge in Iraq, Afghanistan, or in some other important role. How many hispanic generals? How many female generals? How many non-Christian generals?
posted by amberglow at 3:41 PM on June 2, 2006


(it doesn't have to be general--how about middle-management or above?)
posted by amberglow at 3:43 PM on June 2, 2006


Does Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez count? He was commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq . . .
posted by JekPorkins at 3:49 PM on June 2, 2006


That's one. We have hundreds of thousands of minorities serving in low levels in all branches of the service. I'll need many more.
posted by amberglow at 6:46 PM on June 2, 2006


The general in charge of New Orleans on the Friday after the hurricane is black. I don't know if he is regular army or National Guard. I should remember his name, because he is an impressive man - the National Guard were in late, but he did a lot of good on that day.

I don't know the proportions - I'm just saying that from news conferences and stuff, I see more black men in power in the military than any other sector of society, except the NAACP.

That doesn't mean there is not racism; my friend is a military historian, and has just been telling me about how in the 1970s the Navy claimed there was no racism in the ranks, but there was a caucus of black officers who begged to differ. But it is interesting is that there was a caucus of black officers in the 1970s.

My friend has spent some time with military officers from several different countries, and says that while he cannot speak as someone from inside or as a visible minority, he would say that, anecdotally, the military is no more and likely slightly less racist than other areas of society.

Discrimination against people who aren't Christian? That is rampant, but it's worse in Commonwealth countries than in the US Military.

But before we decide the military is racist, we should think about it in context with the rest of society. What the letter writer says about the proportions of white and black soldiers being discharged dishonourably, and the problems faced after discharge, is very worrying. It makes me think that the issue needs more study (is income or race the significant factor? both?) -- but it is a big leap to go from there to saying that the military, an institution with a strong emphasis on personal merit, the "most structured racist, classist and sexist institution in the society", a claim which is not supported by the evidence and which instead seeks to work on the biased view which many liberal people hold against the military, an institution which is not well understood outside. This is partly because military officers are heavily restricted on what they are allowed to say publically, especially about politics - something which is essential (you don't want the guys with the guns backing certain politicians or policies), but also problematic.
posted by jb at 4:10 AM on June 3, 2006


This is partly because military officers are heavily restricted on what they are allowed to say publically, especially about politics - something which is essential (you don't want the guys with the guns backing certain politicians or policies), but also problematic.

Actually, that part is to all intents and purposes not true anymore under this administration. And they're not restricted on specific religious speech either it seems--look at the AF and Congress.
posted by amberglow at 9:05 AM on June 3, 2006


Exactly, he's getting in trouble for it because he went too far. Defense Department rules bar an active duty member of the military from getting involved in a political campaign, Weinstein said. The man running for the campaign is retired - and the man involved in the court case is an Air Force academy graduate, but does not appear to be serving. And the only active duty officer in the article is being investigated.

Active duty military for barred from speaking on politics much more widely than just getting involved in campaigns. That's why those generals had to retire to tell the media that Rumsfeld's strategy is incompetent. Military personel and civilian experts have known for years about the huge mistakes made (not going to phase 4, having no plans for making the opposition work). But none of the military personel could speak about it publically before they had resigned, some before their career had reached its natural peak, to speak as their consciences dictated. (As for the civilian experts -- I have no idea why the media never interviewed any competent people. Everything the retired generals are now saying, I was told a year ago by a graduate student in naval history, who would never be called by the media because he is too junior. But most professors who specialise in war and conflict are not military strategists or military experts - they are diplomatic and political historians. Many don't understand the military very well at all, including one very famous Cold War expert who is often cited here.)

That's actually an example of where the policy may not ideal - the people who knew were barred from telling the truth - but it's done so that there is protection from cases such as what you cite - an active duty officer trying to get involved in politics and using his power (whether moral or physical) to support it.
posted by jb at 2:59 AM on June 4, 2006


Religious speech is not political. I have no idea what the regulations would say there. I know it has been recently politicised, but I would think that it would be a very bad idea to prevent religious speech, because that's such a basic right. Would you want to ban members of minority religions, for example, from talking about their religion and any discrimination it receives within the military?

What I'm trying to say here is to condemn the military for what they get wrong. Go and campaign against the discrimination against non-Christians. End the banning of gays from the military. Prosecute sexual assault within the military.

But don't villify it, based on not understanding it. The military is an institution in society like any other, with strengths and weaknesses. It is sometimes more sexist than most, it is definitely more homophobic, but it is not more racist and it is less politically active. Maybe if it were politically active, the Republicans would not get away with claiming to be the party of the military while doing everything they can to hurt the military and veterans, as they have been for decades.
posted by jb at 3:07 AM on June 4, 2006


It's more that they're not at all getting punished, on the whole.
The Pentagon's top investigator has cleared a general of the most serious accusations concerning his addresses to church groups in which he invoked Christianity in the war against Islamist terrorists, but did find the officer committed minor infractions of military regulations.
The Pentagon inspector general did not substantiate complaints that Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin misused his Army uniform, violated travel regulations or used improper speech when he addressed 23 church groups on his views on faith and warfare. Investigators also found Gen. Boykin did not improperly accept speaking fees.
...
Gen. Boykin, a legendary figure in the special operations community, is now the Pentagon's deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence. The former Delta Force commander's hard-charging style in the war on terror has made him a favorite among Pentagon policy-makers, who came to his defense yesterday.
One official, who asked not to be named, said the disclaimer violation was nit-picking because the topic of his speeches was his faith, not Pentagon policy. And, the rule on getting after-hours speeches approved beforehand by public affairs is so obscure that officials could not remember the last time such a case arose.
The source said military regulations are not clear on the issue of when personnel may, or may not, wear their uniforms when talking to public groups after hours.
The report also does not directly criticize Gen. Boykin for the remarks he made. ...


from a DOD briefing: ...General Pace -- or General Myers, I should say, spoke to that to some extent when this first came out, that this is a gray area, so it's worth getting clarification about the gray area. And General Boykin feels that that would be useful, and we agree.
Q In other words, is he going to check whether these comments might not have just been injudicious, but might have actually violated federal law or --
MR. DIRITA: No, no, no, no. It's what is the -- what are the rules appropriate to this kind of activity, the rules in this -- the chairman spoke -- and I would simply refer you to what the chairman said. The chairman did speak to this on the first day about, you know, it's not a --when you're doing these kinds of speeches, and military officers doing these kinds of things, it gets down to a question very often of just the judgment of the individual officer, and not so much is it allowed. ...


and this, from PBS: ...Well, you know, it's interesting. This administration is being hoisted on its own petard. They encouraged generals to endorse President Bush in the 2000 campaign, and all kinds of people, and were going around saying things about the military that were not true. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:00 AM on June 4, 2006


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