The greatest speech I've ever heard... This is the official transcript and not the delivered version of the speech, so the off the cuff remarks are not included, unfortunately, however, this is the first version I have found so I am gonna run with it. I have bolded my favorite sections.
Welcome to the capital of the World.
New York was the first capital of our great nation. It was here in 1789 in lower Manhattan that George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States.
It was here in 2001 in lower Manhattan that President George W. Bush stood amid the fallen towers of the World Trade Center and said to the barbaric terrorists who attacked us, "They will hear from us."
They have heard from us!
They heard from us in Afghanistan and we removed the Taliban.
They heard from us in Iraq and we ended Saddam Hussein's reign of terror.
They heard from us in Libya and without firing a shot Qadhafi abandoned weapons of mass destruction.
They are hearing from us in nations that are now more reluctant to sponsor terrorists.
So long as George Bush is President, is there any doubt they will continue to hear from us until we defeat global terrorism.
We owe that much and more to those loved ones and heroes we lost on September 11th.
The families of some of those we lost on September 11th are here with us. To them, and all those families affected by September 11th, we recognize the sacrifices your loved ones and you have made. You are in our prayers and we are in your debt.
This is the first Republican Convention ever held in New York City.
It makes a statement that New York City and America are open for business and stronger than ever.
We're not going to let the threat of terrorism stop us from leading our lives.
From the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, to President George W. Bush our party's great contribution is to expand freedom in our own land and all over the world.
And our party is at its best when it makes certain that we have a powerful national defense in a still very dangerous world.
I don't believe we're right about everything and Democrats are wrong about everything.
Neither party has a monopoly on virtue.
But I do believe that there are times in our history when our ideas are more necessary and important for what we are facing.
There are times when leadership is the most important.
On September 11, this city and our nation faced the worst attack in our history.
On that day, we had to confront reality. For me, standing below the north tower and looking up and seeing the flames of hell and then realizing that I was actually seeing a man a human being jumping from the 101st or 102nd floor drove home to me that we were facing something beyond anything we had ever faced before.
We had to concentrate all of our energy, faith and hope to get through those first hours and days.
And I will always remember that moment as we escaped the building we were trapped in at 75 Barclay Street and realized that things outside might be even worse than they were inside the building.
We did the best we could to communicate a message of calm and hope, as we stood on the pavement seeing a massive cloud rushing through the cavernous streets of lower Manhattan.
Our people were so brave in their response.
At the time, we believed we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, "Thank God George Bush is our President."
Rudy wasn't the only one who thought that on 9/11. I too thanked God that day that George Bush was our leader... when I wasn't praying for the safety of my family (my parents were flying across the country that fateful morning... They were safely grounded about halfway through their trip.)
And I say it again tonight, "Thank God George Bush is our President."
On September 11, George W. Bush had been President less than eight months. This new President, Vice President, and new administration were faced with the worst crisis in our history.
President Bush's response in keeping us unified and in turning the ship of state around from being solely on defense against terrorism to being on offense as well and for his holding us together.
For that and then his determined effort to defeat global terrorism, no matter what happens in this election, President George W. Bush already has earned a place in our history as a great American President.
But let's not wait for history to present the correct view of our President. Let us write our own history.
We need George Bush now more than ever.
The horror, the shock and the devastation of those attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and over the skies of Pennsylvania lifted a cloud from our eyes.
We stood face to face with those people and forces who hijacked not just airplanes but a religion and turned it into a creed of terrorism dedicated to eradicating us and our way of life.
Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years.
And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun.
The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government.
Action like this became the rule, not the exception.
Terrorists came to learn they could attack and often not face consequences.
In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer.
They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish.
Some of those terrorist were released and some of the remaining terrorists allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals.
So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was "accommodation, appeasement and compromise."
And worse the terrorists also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously, almost in direct proportion to the barbarity of the attack.
Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table.
How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace?
Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of the world much like our observing
Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate ourselves to peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union through mutually assured destruction.
President Bush decided that we could no longer be just on defense against global terrorism but we must also be on offense.
On September 20, 2001, President Bush stood before a joint session of Congress, a still grieving and shocked nation and a confused world and he did change the direction of our ship of state.
He dedicated America under his leadership to destroying global terrorism.
The President announced the Bush Doctrine when he said: "Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there.
It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
"Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."
And since September 11th President Bush has remained rock solid.
It doesn't matter how he is demonized.
It doesn't matter what the media does to ridicule him or misinterpret him or defeat him.
They ridiculed Winston Churchill. They belittled Ronald Reagan.
But like President Bush, they were optimists; leaders must be optimists. Their vision was beyond the present and set on a future of real peace and true freedom.
Some call it stubbornness. I call it principled leadership.
President Bush has the courage of his convictions.
In choosing a President, we really don't choose a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or liberal.
We choose a leader.
And in times of danger, as we are now in, Americans should put leadership at the core of their decision.
There are many qualities that make a great leader but having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader.
Winston Churchill saw the dangers of Hitler while his opponents characterized him as a war-mongering gadfly.
Ronald Reagan saw and described the Soviet Union as "the evil empire" while world opinion accepted it as inevitable and belittled Ronald Reagan's intelligence.
President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is.
This first section of the speech is the best case for Bush's re-election that I have heard anywhere. If anyone is qualified to talk about how 9/11 affected New York, it is Rudy Giuliani. So far, as far as I am concerned, no one has said it better... and this section lays out the case against John waffles Kerry...
John Kerry has no such clear, precise and consistent vision.
This is not a personal criticism of John Kerry.
I respect him for his service to our nation.
But it is important to see the contrast in approach between the two men;
President Bush, a leader who is willing to stick with difficult decisions even as public opinion shifts, and John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position often even on important issues.
When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, John Kerry voted against the Persian Gulf War.
This transcript does not include the crowd response... at this point in time the crowd started booing... Giuliani, off the cuff, added to his speech, "Ah but he must have heard your boos because..."
Later he said he actually supported the war.
Then in 2002, as he was calculating his run for President, he voted for the war in Iraq.
And then just 9 months later, he voted against an $87 billion supplemental budget to fund the war and support our troops.
He even, at one point, declared himself an anti-war candidate. Now, he says he's pro-war. At this rate, with 64 days left, he still has time to change his position at least three or four more times.
My point about John Kerry being inconsistent is best described in his own words when he said, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
Maybe this explains John Edwards' need for two Americas - - one where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against the same thing.
I laughed so hard when Giuliani said this that I think I woke up half the neighborhood...
Yes, people in public office at times do change their minds, I've done that, or they realize they are wrong or circumstances change.
But John Kerry has made it the rule to change his position, rather than the exception. In October, 2003, he told an Arab-American Institute in Detroit that a security barrier separating Israel from the Palestinian Territories was a "barrier to peace."
A few months later, he took exactly the opposite position. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post he said, "Israel's security fence is a legitimate act of self defense."
The contrasts are dramatic. They involve very different views of how to deal with terrorism.
President Bush will make certain that we are combatting terrorism at the source, beyond our shores, so we can reduce the risk of having to confront it in the streets of New York.
John Kerry's record of inconsistent positions on combatting terrorism gives us no confidence he'll pursue such a determined course.
President Bush will not allow countries that appear to have ignored the lessons of history and failed for over thirty years to stand up to terrorists, to dissuade us from what is necessary for our defense.
He will not let them set our agenda. Under President Bush, America will lead rather than follow.
John Kerry's claim that certain foreign leaders who opposed our removal of Saddam Hussein prefer him, raises the risk that he would accommodate his position to their viewpoint.
It would hardly be the first time he changed his position on matters of war and peace.
This next section again deals with how President Bush responded to the 9/11 attacks by bringing America together
I remember the days following September 11th when we were no longer Democrats or Republicans, but Americans determined to do all we could to help the victims, to rebuild our city and nation and to disable our enemies.
I remember President Bush coming here on September 14, 2001 and lifting the morale of our rescue workers by talking with them and embracing them and staying with them much longer than originally planned.
In fact, if you promise to keep it just between us so I don't get in trouble it was my opinion that the Secret Service was concerned about the President remaining so long in that area.
With buildings still unstable, with fires raging below ground of 2000 degrees or more, there was good reason for concern.
Well the President remained there and talked to everyone, the firefighters, the police officers, the healthcare workers, the clergy, but the people who spent the most time with him were our construction workers.
Now New York construction workers are very special people. I'm sure this is true all over but I know the ones here the best. They were real heroes along with many others that day, volunteering immediately. And they're big, real big. Their arms are bigger than my legs and their opinions are even bigger than their arms.
Now each one of them would engage the President and I imagine like his cabinet give him advice.
They were advising him in their own words on exactly what he should do with the terrorists. Of course I can't repeat their exact language.
But one of them really went into great detail and upon conclusion of his remarks President Bush said in a rather loud voice, "I agree."
At this point the guy just beamed and all his buddies turned toward him in amazement.
The guy just lost it.
So he reached over, embraced the President and began hugging him enthusiastically.
A Secret Service agent standing next to me looked at the President and the guy and instead of extracting the President from this bear hug, he turned toward me and put his finger in my face and said, "If this guy hurts the President, Giuliani you're finished."
Meekly, and this is the moral of the story, I responded, "but it would be out of love."
I also remember the heart wrenching visit President Bush made to the families of our firefighters and police officers at the Javits Center.
I remember receiving all the help, assistance and support from the President and even more than we asked.
For that I will be eternally grateful to President Bush.
And I remember the support being bi-partisan and actually standing hand in hand Republicans and Democrats, here in New York and all over the nation.
During a Boston Red Sox game there was a sign held up saying Boston loves New York.
I saw a Chicago police officer sent here by Mayor Daley directing traffic in Manhattan.
I'm not sure where he sent the cars, they are probably still riding around the Bronx, but it was very reassuring to know how much support we had.
The next section of the speech deals with how the president has wwaged his war on terror and why America has done the right thing...
And as we look beyond this election and elections do accentuate differences let's make sure we rekindle that spirit that we are one one America united to end the threat of global terrorism.
Certainly President Bush will keep us focused on that goal. When President Bush announced his commitment to ending global terrorism, he understood - - I understood, we all understood - - it was critical to remove the pillars of support for the global terrorist movement.
In any plan to destroy global terrorism, removing Saddam Hussein needed to be accomplished.
Frankly, I believed then and I believe now that Saddam Hussein, who supported global terrorism, slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own people, permitted horrific atrocities against women, and used weapons of mass destruction, was himself a weapon of mass destruction.
But the reasons for removing Saddam Hussein were based on issues even broader than just the presence of weapons of mass destruction.
To liberate people, give them a chance for accountable, decent government and rid the world of a pillar of support for global terrorism is something for which all those involved from President Bush to the brave men and women of our armed forces should be proud.
President Bush has also focused on the correct long-term answer for the violence and hatred emerging from the Middle East. The hatred and anger in the Middle East arises from the lack of accountable governments.
Rather than trying to grant more freedom, create more income, improve education and basic health care, these governments deflect their own failures by pointing to America and Israel and other external scapegoats.
But blaming these scapegoats does not improve the life of a single person in the Arab world. It does not relieve the plight of even one woman in Iran.
It does not give a decent living to a single soul in Syria. It certainly does not stop the slaughter of African Christians in the Sudan.
The changes necessary in the Middle East involve encouraging accountable, lawful governments that can be role models.
This has also been an important part of the Bush Doctrine and the President's vision for the future.
Have faith in the power of freedom.
People who live in freedom always prevail over people who live in oppression. That's the story of the Old Testament. That's the story of World War II and the Cold War.
That's the story of the firefighters and police officers and rescue workers who courageously saved thousands of lives on September 11, 2001.
President Bush is the leader we need for the next four years because he sees beyond today and tomorrow. He has a vision of a peaceful Middle East and, therefore, a safer world. We will see an end to global terrorism. I can see it. I believe it. I know it will happen.
It may seem a long way off. It may even seem idealistic.
But it may not be as far away and idealistic as it seems.
Look how quickly the Berlin Wall was torn down, the Iron Curtain ripped open and the Soviet Union disintegrated because of the power of the pent-up demand for freedom.
When it catches hold there is nothing more powerful than freedom. Give it some hope, and it will overwhelm dictators, and even defeat terrorists. That is what we have done and must continue to do in Iraq.
That is what the Republican Party does best when we are at our best, we extend freedom.
It's our mission. And it's the long-term answer to ending global terrorism. Governments that are free and accountable.
We have won many battles at home and abroad but as President Bush told us on September 20, 2001 it will take a long-term determined effort to prevail.
The war on terrorism will not be won in a single battle. There will be no dramatic surrender. There will be no crumbling of a massive wall.
But we will know it. We'll know it as accountable governments continue to develop in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
We'll know it as terrorist attacks throughout the world decrease and then end.
And then, God willing, we'll all be able on a future anniversary of September 11th.
To say to our fallen brothers and sisters. To our heroes of the worst attack in our history and to our heroes who have sacrificed their lives in the war on terror.
We will say to them we have done all that we could with our lives that were spared to make your sacrifices build a world of real peace and true freedom.
We will make certain in the words of President Bush that they have heard from us.
That they have heard from us a message of peace through free, accountable, lawful and decent governments giving people hope for a future for themselves and their children.
God bless each one we have lost, here and abroad, and their families.
God bless all those defending our freedom.
God bless America.
After this speech, I know I am not the only conservative thinking Giuliani in '08.
While doing my daily sift through the news, I came across an advertisement for the Washington Post's Best Blogs Politics and Elections.
I didn't think I'd be above nominating myself, but apparently I am... I just wouldn't feel right nominating myself; but if anyone who freequents Esoteric * Diatribe would like to nominate me, the link is right over here.
Esoteric * Diatribe is pretty small, compared to most blogs, and I wouldn't say I am anywhere close to the best in terms of Convention Coverage, Campaign Dirt, or outside the Beltway. Inside the Beltway and Best International don't even apply to E*D, but that does leave Best Rant, Class Clown, Most Original, and Most Likely To Last Beyond Election Day. I am still not sure I am worthy of any of those; but maybe a regular E*D goer will disagree and nominate me.
The Chicago Sun Times article I blogged about yesterday, pointing out that the Navy, as policy, does not give out a "V" (for Valor) pin with a Silver Star (because, apparently that would be redundant since a silver star is given out for valor while under fire), has reminded at least one reporter, Jim Geraghty for National Review Online , of the tragic suicide of Navy Admiral Mike Boorda in 1996.
Admiral Mike Boorda was the first enlisted man ever to become the Navy's CNO. I have attached the following two articles to give you an adequate background on Admiral Boorda... CNN Article and Cosmic Baseball (I fact checked Cosmic Baseball and it looks legit).
Apparently, following Boorda's suicide, Kerry is on the record as having said:
Is it wrong? Yes, it is very wrong. Sufficient to question his leadership position? The answer is yes, which he clearly understood.
The military is a rigorous culture that places a high premium on battlefield accomplishment....
In a sense, there's nothing that says more about your career than when you fought, where you fought and how you fought....
If you wind up being less than what you’re pretending to be, there is a major confrontation with value and self-esteem and your sense of how others view you....
When you are the chief of them all, it has to weigh even more heavily.
Less than what you are pretending to be? Does anyone else find Kerry's choice of words, if not odd, ironic? Anyway, check out the Full Story at NRO...
Ed Gillespie has a message that I would like to share with Visitors to E*D. Ed is the Chairman for the RNC.
We are only days away from the opening proceedings of what will be one of the most important political conventions in our country's history.
We are going to honor the courage of our nation, the compassion of our people and the promise of our future.
We will provide stark contrast in this election, while John Kerry continues to try and have it both ways.
Shadow groups formed for the expressed purpose of defeating President Bush and electing John Kerry have spent $63 million attacking the president, while John Kerry remained silent. But when anti-Kerry groups began to run ads against him, he thunders in righteous indignation.
John Kerry can't have it both ways.
He can't say that somebody in Swift Boat Veterans for Truth knowing somebody who knows Karl Rove is proof of illegal coordination--when his former campaign manager works for three of the 527s attacking the President; when an executive committee member of the Democratic National Committee heads The Media Fund; and when the chairman of the Democratic Convention also heads Moving America Forward, a pro-Kerry 527.
John Kerry can't have it both ways.
John Kerry can't say that Ben Ginsberg providing legal advice to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth while serving as outside counsel to the Bush-Cheney campaign is evidence of illegal coordination when Bob Bauer serves as legal counsel to both the Kerry campaign and America Coming Together, and Joe Sandler serves as General Counsel to the Democratic National Committee and to Moveon.org and Moving America Forward all at the same time.
Bob Bauer and Joe Sandler are not likely to resign any time soon, but I respect Ben for deciding to do so.
John Kerry can't have it both ways.
We are a party of ideas and our President has led in providing solutions to the challenges we face.
The American people recognize the President's commitment to getting results. In a Los Angeles Times poll released today, 52% of registered voters--not likely, but registered voters--approve of the job that President Bush is doing and has him now with a three-point lead over Senator Kerry as we go in to our convention.
The poll shows 15% of Democrats crossing party lines in support of President Bush. Senator Zell Miller will be giving voice to a lot of voters here Wednesday night.
In Boston, Senator Kerry missed an opportunity to outline his vision for the future choosing instead to look back. In New York, we won't spend all our time looking backward. We will talk about the new challenges we face as a nation and new policies to address them.
And we will win in November.
Yes indeed, Senator Kerry cannot have it both ways.
On another note, why isn't the ACLU making a fuss over a Senator, a representative of our federal legislature, and possible future commander in chief, who is trying to silence and intimidate ordinary citizens in what can only be described as a blatant attempt to infringe on their constitutional rights? For as much lipservice as the left gives to protecting civil liberties, and as many attacks as have been lodged at John Ashcroft and the Bush Administration for the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay, the left and their front group on civil liberties, the ACLU, have been awefully silent about Kerry's attempts to silence the Swift Vets.
As far as I am concerned there should be no infringements on any person or group's right to political speech, especially in the run up to an election. This is not to say that lies should not be dealt with, harshly even; but so long as the attacks (or positive ads) are true, then there should be no attempts by the government to limit this constitutionally protected speech.... but I'll save this for another post.
This story via Drudge. The Chicago Sun Times reports:
The Kerry campaign has repeatedly stated that the official naval records prove the truth of Kerry's assertions about his service.
But the official records on Kerry's Web site only add to the confusion. The DD214 form, an official Defense Department document summarizing Kerry's military career posted on johnkerry.com, includes a "Silver Star with combat V."
But according to a U.S. Navy spokesman, "Kerry's record is incorrect. The Navy has never issued a 'combat V' to anyone for a Silver Star."
Another excellent opinion piece by Mark Steyn is over at jpost.
That's what happened to John Kerry. For 25 years, he told The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, the United States Senate, and all manner of other well-known saps about his covert Yuletide operations inside Cambodia gun-running to anti-communists with his lucky CIA hat. To verify any of this would have required a trip to specialist reference libraries, looking up stuff on eye-straining microfiche, etc. So it was easier to let the old blowhard yak away and just nod occasionally.
Senator Kerry couldn't have foreseen that Al Gore would invent the Internet, and there'd be this Google thingy, and all you'd have to do is tap in a few words and a nanosecond later it would all be at your fingertips – veterans memoirs, Cambodian history, declassified Johnson administration documents, previous Kerry "stretchers" (as Mark Twain called them).
Birmingham talk show hosts Burt and Kurt served up breakfast D.C. style. Broadcasting live from The Heritage Foundation, the pair announced the debut of their latest project, Kerry Waffles.
Inspired by the listeners of their highly acclaimed conservative talk show, Kerry Waffles was a four month project the two created to counteract “Hollywood liberals” in a humorous and playful manner. The CD is a compilation of skits and songs that spoof well-known tunes and television shows.
Bush supporter Mark Alpers said he wanted to remind participants that Kerry has shortcomings, including a reputation for changing his views on policy issues. He carried a hand-made poster that read, "Whats for Breakfast Kerry? Waffles???"
About 40 local Republicans held a hastily formed "John Kerry Waffles" breakfast at their headquarters in Medford Wednesday, poking fun at the Democratic presidential candidate who will hold a rally at the Expo Center today.
The Democrats attracted a share of detractors, like the handful of high school students who waited for Kerry to arrive at a hotel in Eugene, Ore. They wore ``Go Bush'' shirts and waved waffles to display their belief that Kerry wavers in his convictions.
The Bush campaign characterizes Kerry's brooding methodical style as responsible for his flip-flops, split-hairs, straddles, waffles and doublespeak. He's squarely in the tradition of Hamlet, a man who can't make up his mind.
No one wants a hesitant leader who can't stand strong when the going gets tough and it's time for the tough to get going. No matter how many convoluted explanations John Kerry offers to defend why he voted for the war in Iraq and then voted against funding the troops, it sounds more like nonsense than nuance. When he felt the heat from Howard Dean in the primaries, he wilted.
Torpedoed by a barrage of attacks from the soldiers who served with him, John Kerry campaign is beginning to resemble a sinking ship; more specifically a sinking Swift Boat. Check out the Damage Report...
But the Kerry Campaign isn't taking on water solely from the Swift Vet's charges; Kerry is also being weighted down by Democrat Mayors, past and present, who are jumping ship.
Youngstown (OH) Mayor George M. McKelvey has said
Sen. Kerry reminds me of the traditional politician who will say anything you want to here to get elected. I fear that if I asked Sen. Kerry what he had for breakfast, he would ask me what I had, and then say, 'I had that too.' In my book when you stand for everything, you stand for nothing.
Former Mayor of New York City, Edward Koch has come out saying:
Now for the first time in my life, I am going to vote for a Republican candidate for President, the incumbent George W. Bush.
... I believe the issue of international terrorism trumps all other issues. I don't believe the Democratic Party has the stomach and commitment to deliver on this issue. I believe terrorism will be with us for many years to come. So long as Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd are considered major leaders of the Democratic Party, and so long as we have radical candidates like Howard Dean, whose radical-left supporters have been described by the press as "Deaniacs," the Democratic Party will be limited in its ability to serve the country well in times of crisis.
NEW YORK -- Retired Rear Adm. William L. Schachte Jr. said Thursday in his first on-the-record interview about the Swift boat veterans dispute that "I was absolutely in the skimmer" in the early morning on Dec. 2, 1968, when Lt. (j.g.) John Kerry was involved in an incident which led to his first Purple Heart.
"Kerry nicked himself with a M-79 (grenade launcher)," Schachte said...
Russ Vaugh sent this article to E*D, pointing out that two men who claimed to have been "alone with Kerry" may have been pressured into making that assertion by the Kerry camp. Is the Kerry camp having Kerry's band of brothers lie in order to prop up Kerry's glorified War Stories? hmmm...
Kerry Calls for Rumsfeld's Resignation John Kerry Calls for Donald Rumsfeld to Resign Over Iraq Prison Abuse Scandal, Seeks Probe The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA Aug. 25, 2004 ? Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry called Wednesday for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign and urged President Bush to appoint an independent investigation to provide reforms after a report faulted all levels of the military for abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.
"What is missing from all these reports is accountability from the senior civilian leaders in the Pentagon and in the White House," Kerry said. "From the bottom of the chain of command all the way to the top, there needs to be accountability. The Schlesinger report makes clear that Secretary Rumsfeld was responsible for setting a climate where these types of abuses could occur."
We are in the middle of a war on Terror; there is a high terrorist threat level preceding the elections, and John Kerry wants the Secretary of Defense to step down!?! Kerry is claiming Rumsfield is responsible for "setting a climate where these types of abuses could occur"... Well how about this: If Kerry hadn't voted to send our troops to war, then Rumsfield couldn't have created this climate. Kerry voted to create the climate in which these abuses took place, so why doesn't Kerry step down too? Kerry's vote created a climate in which these sort of abuses could occur... if the senate didn't authorize the President to invade, then our troops would never have had this opportunity to abuse inmates at Abu Ghraib...
I would love, I would just love if a single reporter would ask Kerry, "You blame Rumsfield for 'setting a climate where these types of abuses could occur,' but it was the vote of the Senate that gave the President the power to send troops over to Iraq; in effect, the Senate is as responsible for our troops being in Iraq as the President, and you, Senator Kerry, voted to send our troops there; will you now apologize for creating this situation in which our troops could abuse Iraqis? Will you now, finally, take responsibility for your actions which brought about this climate where such abuses could take place? The buck should not stop with the executive branch, will you now take responsibility for your actions?"
If a reporter would go after Kerry like they go after Bush, we would hear questions like this... questions which would force Kerry to put up or shut-up. Rumsfield is no more responsible for the actions of a few soldiers who acted in pure violation of US military policy than is Kerry, but Kerry thinks Rumsfield and Bush should take all the blame. If Kerry, in answer, were to use the logic that as a Senator, he could not foresee nor be culpable for the criminal actions of a soldier, then he would demonstrate the flawed logic of his attack against Rumsfield. This would allow the reporter to cry foul and scream hypocrite... but a reporter will never take Kerry to the task in this way because the American press is in Kerry's back pocket.
An Open Letter to Senator John McCain from a Vietnam Veteran
I begin this missive with an embrazo, as we call it here in Texas, for your service to our country, as a warrior, as a prisoner of war and as a United States Senator. You have served far better and endured far more in the service of America than most men will ever do. For that, this old sergeant salutes you.
That said, as a Vietnam ground combat veteran, I must take issue with you on the situation of John Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans. You have labeled these men "dishonest and dishonorable," and that, Sir, is nothing more than your opinion based on no direct knowledge of the events they dispute. For you to so condemn these men publicly, without any firsthand knowledge of John Kerry's performance in their midst and under their professional observation, is unfair to them and all veterans who share their view that John Kerry is unfit to command. Who was best qualified to evaluate you as a naval aviator, those senior officers who flew with you or the enlisted men who serviced your aircraft? Who had the experience, training and knowledge to make a professional military judgment of your performance in the air, the trained naval aviators on your wing or the enlisted flight crew back on the carrier? Certainly the enlisted men were vital in performing the mission but observing and rating your performance was not their role.
It is my understanding that you originally shared our animosity towards John Kerry, but during your senatorial service, you came to know John Kerry more personally and chose to forgive him for his labeling you a war criminal. That you are able to forgive a man even though he had denounced you and your fellow aviators as you languished in North Vietnamese prisons, with your captors using his testimony to try to break your will, is truly commendable. I admire you for your ability to turn the other cheek. However, I must point out that your forgiveness of John Kerry is purely personal and imposes not one iota of obligation to forgive him on those of us who still consider him contemptible.
You carry no mandate to speak for us. Your personal feelings are yours and yours alone; but, emphatically, you do not speak for us. You spoke up to defend your friend and your friend has turned your words into talking points. It is truly reprehensible how the Kerry campaign and the mainstream media are hiding so cynically behind your condemnation of the Swiftvets, using your statement as an excuse to dismiss their claims as baseless, smear politics. Honestly, Senator, did you really intend to provide this kind of cover for those who are so desperate to prevent the truth from coming out?
With all do respect, since you weren't there to observe John Kerry first hand as were these Swiftvets, may I humbly suggest that the honorable thing for you to do, is to stay out of this fight and allow them and us to have our voice. Moreover, there is one thing you could do to level the playing field: acknowledge that you have no true knowledge of events the Swiftvets describe and that your immediate condemnation of these men was premature. Call on the mainstream media to investigate all parties fairly and determine whose version of events is true. I understand John Kerry is your friend, but that places him neither beyond accountability nor above the truth. You have a unique ability at this moment in America's history to make a difference. You have long been a dutiful warrior and servant of the people.
The message of the Swiftvets was all but entirely ignored prior to their running television ads and releasing the new mega hit book, Unfit for Command. I've blogged about Winter Soldier back in April, blogged about the Swift Vets in July (late only because NewsMax either lied or misled me to believe I couldn't post the full quotes of the Swiftees), and have opened my blog up to any Vietnam Veteran with something to say about Kerry. As soon as the Swift Vets Ads started running, a lot of alarm and complaints have been registered about 527s. Funny how the press was silent about 527s when they were only targetting Bush, even comparing Bush to Hitler...
Looks like blogger ate this post... I spent about 5 hours on it... these few lines are all that seem to have been salvaged. Very odd. I went on to talk about the top 10 contributors to 527s being almost exclusively liberals, and point out the disparity in money spent on democrat 527s and GOP 527s. I also pointed out how little the swiftvets have brought in compared to the millions spent on ACT, JVC2000, Moveon.org, etc. I finished by saying that Kerry may be right on this issue... that getting rid of 527s might be a good thing ('cause the left is by far the group capitalizing on them, and in the long run it might work to the right's advantage). Anyway, I will likely rewrite the post when I become so inclined, but in the mean time this note will stay up until i have the ambition to give it another go.
While doing my daily reasearch on Kerry I came across this piece by Mark Steyn
I said a couple of weeks back that John Kerry was too strange to be President, and a week or two earlier that he was too stuck-up to be President. Since I'm on an alliterative roll, let me add that he's too stupid to be President. What sort of idiot would make the centrepiece of his presidential campaign four months of proud service in a war he's best known for opposing?
Those Brits don't hold back. I would like to have posted more of the article, but I want to at least try to respect other's copyrights every now and then. I strongly urge site goers to check out the whole story.
***NOTE*** For some reason, my posts have been appearing out of order and I have had to manually alter the official post times/placement of the posts.... grrr...
Some interesting quotes from a NRO article. Enjoy...
...after having made his political debut as an anti-Vietnam War activist, Kerry is now playing the hero, pointing to his Vietnam service as the reason he should be president, and campaigning with his "band of brothers." This is hypocrisy of the highest order
... It has been my own experience that those who talk the most about "the 'Nam" were farthest from the action.
...each episode of the HBO series Band of Brothers, begins with a voiceover in which the narrator says of the World War II soldiers portrayed in the program: "I was not a hero, but I was surrounded by heroes." In contrast, what John Kerry is saying in essence about his "band of brothers" is that "in Vietnam, I was a hero, but I was surrounded by war criminals."
The new Kerry-Edwards ad is titled "Issues" and can be downloaded at waffles place. I have procured the text of this ad.
Type: 30 sec TV
John Kerry: "I'm John Kerry and I approve this message."
Narrator: "American soldiers are fighting in Iraq."
Well I am glad we cleared that up... no wait, what did that clear up? We toppled Saddam's government in a matter of weeks. President Bush declared an end to major operations months ago. We have handed over soverignty in Iraq and are present in Iraq only to maintain stability (yes, outside of a few pockets of resistance in Iraq, much of the country is relatively safe) and we are there now in accordance with the wishes of Iraq's interim government... not in opposition to their wishes. We are only fighting because Iran and Syria have been trying to keep democracy from taking hold in the Middle East. So yes, our soldiers are fighting in Iraq.
Narrator: "Families struggle to afford health care."
Well I guess we can thank John Edwards for using junk science to deceive jury's into awarding unreasonable verdicts, raising the cost of heath care for everyone, and ultimately putting it beyond the reach of many Americans
Narrator: "Jobs heading overseas."
Liberal Democrat controlled Unions have far more to do with this phenomena than greedy business owners or the President's economic policy. A free market in a world economy is going to force Unions to either make occasional concessions or risk pushing businesses away. Liberal Democrat politicians have also done much to force industries to leave America. Unreasonable taxation and regulation make it nearly impossible for some industries to stay competitive. If you want more private business, then we must ease taxes and regulations a little. Is Kerry going to do this? NO! He wants to raise taxes across the board, and then offer "tax incentives" to select companies... most likely the ones which donate to his candidacy.
Narrator: "Instead of solutions, George Bush's campaign supports a front group attacking John Kerry's military record. Attacks called smears, lies. Sen. McCain calls them dishonest."
This is in part false and totally misleading. Neither the President nor anyone in his campaign acting in their official respective capacities organized, funded, or coordinated the allegations made by the swiftvets. Any such actions by Bush or his campaign would be a direct violation of McCain-Feingold... all 527s muct be privately funded and distanced from the campaigns. The entire crux of Kerry's assertion that Bush is behind the Swiftvets is that a single John Kerry volunteer/supporter has alleged that a Bush campaign quarters in Florida passed out literature about the Swiftvets in a single solitary isolated incident. The truth of the matter is this: the alleged event transpired in "GOP offices used by Bush-Cheney volunteers." The Kerry volunteer claims he went to the GOP offices and picked up a flier promoting a weekend rally sponsored by "Swift Boat Vets for Truth" and other groups from a pile of literature on a table in the GOP offices. The Kerry volunteer then passed the info on to the Kerry campaign, which responded by emailing the flyer to various media outlets claiming the Bush-Cheney campaign was "busted" for coordinating "in their smear campaign against John Kerry." So the allegation of a Kerry supporter that a single Republican office, which is sometimes used by Bush volunteers, had a flyer promoting a rally at which the swiftvets would appear is, according to Kerry, proof of coordination between President Bush and the Swiftvets... I am NOT making this up... this is the basis for Kerry's assertion. Does this not boggle the mind?
In a way, this all sort of makes sense... you see, John Kerry has publicly declared that he participated in war attrocities, in violation of the Geneva Conventions, during his 4 month stint in Vietnam. Kerry also claims that these war attrocities were committed systemically with the full knowledge of the entire chain of command. Of course we know these claims are at least partially false; however, Kerry seems to have a history of believing that the actions of a lowly foot soldier are always done in full accordance with the wishes of everyone up the chain of command... which may be why he believed that his superiors knew of his self admitted war attrocities, and could explain why Kerry would believe that the alleged passing out of literature promoting a 527 group in a GOP office would occur with the full knowledge and approval of everyone up the chain of command in the GOP... all the way to the President. Needless to say, you would have to be a bit psychotic to buy into this line of thinking, but this kind of thinking isn't all that uncommon from John Kerry. On with the Ad...
Narrator: "Bush smeared John McCain four years ago. Now, he's doing it to John Kerry."
Again, the logic by Kerry is based on the belief that anyone supporting Bush (or just opposing Bush's opponent) with something bad to say about an opponent of Bush, is somehow in allegience with Bush and is therefor acting on behalf of Bush, with Bush's knowledge and approval of their every action...
Narrator: "George Bush: Denounce the smear. Get back to the issues. America deserves better."
Bush denounced ALL 527s and reminded the press that a few hundred have been actively targeting him as well. Kerry made his service one of the issues in this campaign, not Bush... besides, Bush hasn't attacked Kerry's war record, so he can't get off the topic that he never got on in the first place; and finally, yes! America deserves better.... but not from George W. Bush!
Judicial Watch Calls For Investigation Into Kerry’s Medals, Anti-War Actions
Formal Complaint Filed Over Senator’s Vietnam Awards, Post-Service Activities
(Washington, D.C.) – Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today filed a request with the U.S. Navy and the Defense Department for an investigation into the awards granted to Sen. John Kerry during his service with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. Judicial Watch also requested that military authorities investigate Kerry’s anti-war activities, including his meeting with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations in Paris, while a member of the Naval Reserve.
Basing its requests on a recently published book, Unfit for Command, by former Navy officer John E. O’Neill and Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D, and on news media interviews of other officers and sailors who served with Kerry, Judicial Watch notes that unresolved allegations against Kerry include: false official reports and statements; dishonorable conduct; aiding the enemy; dereliction of duty; misuse and abuse of U.S. government equipment and property; war crimes; and multiple violations of U.S. Navy regulations and directives, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the U.S. Code.
Kerry was awarded three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for “wounds” received and actions in Vietnam, but eyewitnesses refute his version of a number of the events that were the basis for receiving the commendations. Judicial Watch is asking the Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy, including its Department Board of Decorations and Medals, to look into the circumstances surrounding Kerry’s awards.
Judicial Watch also is requesting an investigation of Kerry’s anti-war activities. After he was released from active duty but while he was a commissioned officer in the inactive Naval Reserve, Kerry joined the anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War and traveled to Paris to meet with delegations from North Vietnam and the Communist Viet Cong. He held a press conference in Washington, D.C., following the meeting and advocated the “peace proposal,” which included war damage reparations, put forth by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong.
“The allegations concerning Kerry’s conduct during the Vietnam War are credible, serious and shocking,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The sooner an investigation begins, the better.”
I First Loved the War, Then I Hated It, then I Loved It...
Another Russ Vaugh submission:
I First Loved the War, Then I Hated It, then I Loved It, and now I Hate It Again
In his war-protesting Senate testimony, John Kerry confessed to committing war crimes and violating the Geneva Conventions of War many times during his rather abbreviated tour of duty in Vietnam. As a presidential candidate, he now surrounds himself with the very boat crew, who, in the discharge of their military duties, carried out his orders, and by necessity were, if not perpetrators of war crimes themselves, then certainly by virtue of their immediate proximity, witnesses to his own.
John Kerry's actions in combat were not that of a single person but that of the commissioned leader of an enlisted crew. One way or the other, those men are either participants in war crimes as originally admitted to by their commanding officer, or they are witnesses to his war crimes and failed to report them to higher authority. Either position is subject to prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
So, which is it? Is he asking us to believe that he single-handedly committed atrocities while his crewmates dozed in the midst of all that mayhem? Or did he routinely violate the Geneva Convention while they watched and did nothing to stop him? Or, worst case, were they complicit in his crimes?
Know what I think? I think John Kerry's crewmate are guilty of nothing more serious than being dupes, that's right, dupes, nothing more than being malleable foils for his clever campaign staff to manipulate and maneuver into positions of advantage for his election. But then, for John Kerry, that's really all they've ever been, isn't it, just eight millimeter props for his bravado performances, for his entrée into the world of national politics. So I don't buy it. I don't buy into his account of systematic violations endorsed by command authority. No war crimes were committed, not by John Kerry, not by his crew and not by the vast majority of us who served there. And that is just what the Swiftvets have been saying.
The men who were best able to observe and judge John Kerry's performance in combat were the men who had the same level of training and expertise that he did; and those are the young officers and noncommissioned officers who commanded the boats operating in close proximity to his, young men whose very lives depended on the coordinated action of all units participating in any particular mission. Successful riverine combat maneuvers require inordinate observational skills. So were these officers and NCO's, all of them skilled observers, asleep at the wheel while some pillaging preppie ravished the countryside unbeknownst to all but himself?
Well, if you will but listen to them, no, they weren't. These men, these Swiftvets, several dozens of them, who ate, slept and fought with John Kerry will tell you that, no, they were quite aware of what was going on around them, and that their recollection of events is far different from those attested to in Congress by their onetime comrade in arms. They are as befuddled as the rest of us that a man who launched his political career on claims of being duped into committing war crimes in an unjust war wants to now use his service in that war as the foundation of his campaign for the presidency.
Think about this: John Kerry had to know that his fabrications were ultimately unsustainable and that the men he falsely condemned would not remain silent were he to run for the presidency. Yet he has ignored that reality and attempted to build his whole campaign on his wartime service and his questionable awards. It would be interesting to hear what a psychiatrist might conclude from such bifurcated reasoning. Which brings us, unavoidably, to this question:
Does this sound like the kind of judgment we want in a Commander in Chief in this time of terror?
Statement on Military Service - Integrity is Everything
The following comes via our good friend Russ Vaughn. I'm not sure where he picked this up from, but I will post the origins of this post ASAP.
When news of the Swift Boat Veteran's actions first ran you can imagine my interest. I decided to read everything I could on the Internet. I watched the Democratic National Convention every night and saw the emphasis on Senator Kerry's military service. I have tried to look at both sides of this very important issue, who should be the next President of our great nation.
When I reviewed the experiences of the men who served with Kerry, on his boat and his squadron, I had flash backs of all of the officers I served with that I thought were terrible leaders. Yes there are bad leaders in the U.S. Marine Corps. Leadership is a skill that must be developed and respect must be earned.
When I reviewed what Senator Kerry did in Vietnam and how he conducted himself, I cannot put into words the disgust I felt.
Honor, integrity, courage, and self respect are tangible and measurable and cannot be compromised - ever. Death before dishonor is not a macho phrase. I only judge an individual by their actions. When you lead enough men for long enough you can see the indicators of their core moral values and strengths, just like a good Doctor conducts a medical diagnosis. Additionally, I believe that an officer should always put the needs of his subordinates above his own and should always set the example. With all of this said, lets look at one specific dishonorable act on Kerry's part - explain why Kerry would video tape the reenactment of killing an enemy combatant?
I cannot imagine that the vast majority of American citizens would feel comfortable enough about taking a human life that they would go back to where it occurred and video tape a reenactment. I had to sleep among body parts in Kuwait and I remember the smell. In my head I still hear the screams of men dying if I do not focus on good things or keep busy. I know how fragile and precious life is. How can killing someone be treated like bagging a Deer or catching a fish. It is only possible when you do not have the moral fiber, self discipline, self respect, faith, values, honor, courage, etc. to see that this kind of conduct is wrong. Combat and morality are not mutually exclusive and combat is not an excuse for immorality. Such an act can only serve one purpose, Kerry's own personal gain.
Now lets look at the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). I could charge John Kerry with breaking several articles that would result in a prison term. Remember that Kerry is a "boat" commander, not a SEAL, Soldier or Marine. Under what authority did Kerry conduct operations ashore away from his boat? How can Kerry justify putting his own men in harms way to make his films? Note that he was re-enacting combat, did the enemy leave so he could do the filming. How much time did he have for this activity and what duties did he avoid or neglect? What example was he setting as an Officer? He was on the taxpayer's payroll consuming military resources during these personal activities.
Worse than all of the above was how premeditated this had to have been. What was he thinking when he bought the camera and the film before he went into Vietnam. He had to have been calculating the value of video taping the destruction of human life. Kerry's 4 months in Vietnam was the equivalent of an African Safari big game hunt.
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps called me last month, I am still on the reserve recall list. I would gladly go to Iraq again. However, I want President Bush in office. President Bush has earned my confidence through his actions. No combat military service, a DUI, rich, a father with connections, or whatever other superfluous point you want to make about President Bush, you cannot produce a single objective example that he lacks honor, courage, or integrity. In four months, Kerry produced several examples. Additionally, why does Bush's lack of service matter if it did not matter for President Clinton. What matters most is the candidate's core value system.
For those who believe President Bush lied about the Iraq war, take that issue up with Senators like Kerry who voted for the action and are responsible for maintaining the checks and balances necessary for making correct strategic decisions. Bush acts on the information he is given, just like Kerry's commanders in Vietnam acted on the information they received. Bad information, bad decisions. The Senators and Congressmen who voted for the war had the same information. Since everyone claims our intelligence was bad, ask SENATOR KERRY why he did nothing at all in 20 years to solve this critical issue. While Bush was honorably acting as the Governor of the State of Texas, Senator John Kerry was changing wives and missing critical intelligence meetings.
In Kuwait I was in the back of a truck escorting several Iraqi prisoners to a holding camp. One of my Corporals, angered over a rumor that a captured female U.S. Soldier was gang raped and had her hands and feet cut off, tried to throw a prisoner off of the truck, which was going 60 MPH. I had to physically stop him. At our destination we off loaded the prisoners. The Iraqi prisoner came directly at me so he could look me in the eyes, and in perfect English, he thanked me for saving his life. He said he graduated from Harvard and had lived in America. He said he was forced to fight or they would kill his family!
Many Americans probably cannot comprehend the implication or significance of this because they live in a nation so free that they have not witnessed true evil. No amount of rhetoric, negotiations, promises, money, valuables, kindness, education, or sensitivity will stop the extremism that has been growing in the Arab world over the past few decades. President Bush lead a war that destroyed the most powerful military force in the Arab world. Now we have a vastly more difficult fight to establish the seed of democracy in the region. Democracy displaces Islamic extremism by empowering individual freedom. However, it will take many more American lives to achieve a goal that is critical for our nations continued long term prosperity. The Iraq war was and still is the right thing to do - for this reason alone.
John Kerry does not have the value system necessary to lead a sustained fight against Islamic extremism.
For years we have said as we've watched and read,
That the Media is liberally left leaning.
When news only we sought, what we usually got
Was some coiffed commentator's "true" meaning.
Just seeking the news, we instead got their views
And too much Peter Jennings-like preening.
We are fair they declare and your charge is unfair
Everything we put out is uncanted.
Then they snidely deride any charges they've lied
Though it's clear where their left feet are planted.
They deny overmuch liberal leanings and such
While it's plain they're all Rather slanted.
What they call reporting we see as distorting
So obvious that it does appall us.
But they think we're all sheep, unthinking, asleep,
And care less if their bias does gall us.
As Sunday eves dreadful they feed us a headful
Of that oh so impartial Mike Wallace.
And as for the press, what a self-righteous mess,
Intoning our right to know all.
While the grand New York Times, dismisses and slimes
Those, who for the truth, loudly call.
And the Washington Post sets it columnist host
To impugning these men, one and all.
So election year's here and it's crystalline clear
That John Kerry's the media's hero.
They praise him in war and completely ignore
Those brave men who rate him a zero.
With utter disdain for truth in the main
This Media's fiddling like Nero.
At some future date, when it's far, far too late,
To ever atone for their bias,
Finally faced with their fate that they carry no weight,
All those talking heads will be so pious,
As without any shame they will loudly declaim
How on earth did that phony get by us?
If Russ keeps this up I think he could write a whole book of poems... if nothing else he ought to try to sell printing rights to conservative magazines/newspapers (as long as he works into the contract exclusive internet rights to E*D... heh, like that would happen).
Kerry has come out today attacking Bush's plan to withdraw troops from several bases throughout Europe and Asia. Kerry's main contention is that Bush's plan to withdraw troops will threaten national security.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday that President Bush might hinder the war on terror and other aspects of national security with his proposal to recall as many as 70,000 troops from Cold War-era bases in Europe and Asia.
Why? Because Kerry is now officially waffling on Cambodia and lying to boot.
From today's Boston Globe:
Kerry disputes allegations on Cambodia By Michael Kranish, Boston Globe
Senator John F. Kerry is disputing an allegation made by a group of veterans opposed to his presidential candidacy that he never operated inside Cambodia during the Vietnam War.
In a just-published book, "Unfit for Command," the veterans said that "Kerry was never in Cambodia during Christmas 1968, or at all during the Vietnam War" and that he "would have been court-martialed had he gone there."
But the Kerry campaign said that the group, which calls itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is wrong and that Kerry was inside Cambodia to drop off special forces on one mission and was at the border on other occasions.
"During John Kerry's service in Vietnam, many times he was on or near the Cambodian border and on one occasion crossed into Cambodia at the request of members of a special operations group operating out of Ha Tien," Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan said in a statement. The statement did not say when the cross-border mission took place.
For years, Kerry has said he was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968....
The anti-Kerry veterans have said Kerry's recollection does not make sense because Nixon was not inaugurated until January 1969. But Kerry campaign spokesman Meehan said Kerry was referring to a range of time that included when Nixon was president-elect and president....
A range of time? He sounded pretty specefic to me... Christmas Eve holds a range of 24 hours, and Nixon wasn't in charge during those 24 hours. Are we really supposed to believe that Nixon was running the war in Vietnam before he took office?
Meehan, in his statement issued last week, described the incident this way:
"On December 24, 1968, Lieutenant John Kerry and his crew were on patrol in the watery borders between Vietnam and Cambodia deep in enemy territory. In the early afternoon, Kerry's boat, PCF-44, was at Sa Dec and then headed north to the Cambodian border. There, Kerry and his crew along with two other boats were ambushed, taking fire from both sides of the river, and after the firefight were fired upon again. Later that evening during their night patrol they came under friendly fire."
I thought Kerry said he was in Cambodia, not near Cambodia, on a secret mission with the CIA. This statement makes no mention of the CIA. Hrm looks like someone is backing off an assertion a little.
One thing that does stick out as being odd is that John Kerry is not actually making this statement himself. He is having a spokesperson for his campaign make the statement... Why can't John Kerry come out, look the American people in the eye, and tell the truth about Cambodia?
Honestly, look at the Kerry Campaign's track record... they can't even tell the difference between John Kerry and Bob Kerrey. From the AP
John Kerry, Bob Kerrey. It's easy to get confused.
At least that's how the Kerry campaign is explaining claims that Kerry — the Democratic presidential candidate — served as vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Oops. Make that Bob Kerrey — the former Democratic senator from Nebraska who did serve as the panel's vice chairman.
In news releases and postings on Kerry's campaign Web site as recently as last Friday, the Massachusetts senator is touted as the panel's former vice chairman. However, according to the Senate Historical Office, Kerry never had the seniority to hold a leadership position on the committee — though he was a member from 1993 until 2001.
"John Kerry, Bob Kerrey — similar names," said Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan, adding that any reference to Kerry as vice chairman was an error.
Looks like John "waffles" Kerry is back in the top spot in a search for waffles on google. Weird that we fell off the radar for the DNC, and then have come back up. I haven't seen an increase in participants (and I haven't done a good job of keeping track, either). More interesting is the fact that we have never fallen out of first on ANY other seach engine (to my knowledge). All during the DNC we didn't have him in the top spot on Google only, but now we are back on top on most of the top search engines.
All this time I had wondered if the left google bombed all the other top searches but it sees this is unlikely since we have moved back on top. I wonder who was behind the changes in the rankings... Quoting the Mercury News, "Google conspiracy theorists, start your engines"
An Interesting Look at How New York Times Reporters View Polls
This article came to my attention by way of the Rush Limbaugh radio program. Esoteric * Diatribe tries to avoid covering stories that have already been picked up by the big fish, preferring instead to *try* to stay ahead of the curve, which we have, on occasion, been able to do; but this story is too remarkable not to cover.
A New York Times reporter, in an interview with a Yale Economics Professor, provided a fascinating insight into what reporters are really interested in... and it may or might not surprise you to know that the truth is not their primary concern. Let's take a look at some of the article:
Bush Landslide (in Theory)! Interview by Deborah Solomon, Questions for Ray C. Fair
August 15, 2004
Q. As a professor of economics at Yale, you are known for creating an econometric equation that has predicted presidential elections with relative accuracy.
A. My latest prediction shows that Bush will receive 57.5 percent of the two-party votes.
Q. The polls are suggesting a much closer race.
Is this a question?
A. Polls are notoriously flaky this far ahead of the election, and there is a limit to how much you want to trust polls.
Q. Why should we trust your equation, which seems unusually reductive?
Why shouldn't we trust the equation? Just because it puts President Bush ahead? How exactly is it unusually reductive, unless of course we are only focused on how this might affect Kerry...
A. It has done well historically. The average mistake of the equation is about 2.5 percentage points.
Not the answer the reporter wanted, time to change the subject...
Q. In your book ''Predicting Presidential Elections and Other Things,'' you claim that economic growth and inflation are the only variables that matter in a presidential race. Are you saying that the war in Iraq will have no influence on the election?
*Note* Not the war on Terror, not 9/11 or the war in Afghanistan... this reporter only thinks the War in Iraq is important to emphasize.
A. Historically, issues like war haven't swamped the economics. If the equation is correctly specified, then the chances that Bush loses are very small.
Again, you can just tell by the way the questions are being asked the reporter does not like the answer. Look at the follow up question:
Q. But the country hasn't been this polarized since the 60's, and voters seem genuinely engaged by social issues like gay marriage and the overall question of a more just society.
Give me a break! Why is it that these libs just can't let the 60's go? And to compare the political strife of the 1960's, which saw the rise and fall of two Kennedy's, the civil rights movement -run by MLK, who like the Kennedy's was also assassinated - the feminist movement and sexual revolution, the arms race, the cold war, not to mention a war - Vietnam - that cannot in any fair way be compared to the war in Iraq... how can we say the country today in any way resembles the 1960s? Maybe this really IS just like the 1960s, except for the drugs, counter cultures, civil rights crusades, drafts, riots, and political mobilization of the youth. Let's face it, the only people protesting the war in Iraq are the same crowd that protested the war in Vietnam (and sometimes their kids). There are not hordes of young Americans shouting out to be heard, mostly just their parents showing up in hordes to relive the good ole days. In fact, the young adults in America today are actually protesting the protestors... and the media completely misses this fact because they are reliving the good old days themselves... but I digress.
A. We throw all those into what we call the error term. In the past, all that stuff that you think should count averages about 2.5 percent, and that is pretty small.
A. It saddens me that you teach this to students at Yale, who could be thinking about society in complex and meaningful ways.
It saddens me that this reporter thinks this is a question. It saddens me that this reporter thinks this is unbiased reporting. This reporter is basically saying that teaching anything that libs don't want to hear somehow detracts from a student's ability to think about society in complex and meaningful ways... Well howabout we just teach students the truth? Is that ok with the NYT's? How about we tell it like it is and leave the fairytales for the NYT's to report.
A. I will be teaching econometrics next year to undergraduates. Econometrics is a huge deal, because it is applied to all kinds of things.
Q. Yes, I know one of your studies used the econometric method to predict who is most likely to have an extramarital affair.
Another thought provoking question... oh wait, there haven't been many questions at all, mostly just comments about how the reporter feels about the complex and meaningful intricacies of society.
A.In that case, the key economic question was whether high-wage people are more or less likely to engage in an affair. They are slightly more likely to have an affair. But the economic theory is ambiguous because if your wage is really high, that tends to make you work more, and that would cut down on how much time you want to spend in an affair.
Finally, the reporter cannot take it anymore. Angered and saddened by this Yale professor's research, the NYT's reporter finally breaks down and asks:
Q. Are you a Republican?
I can just imagine the revulsion in the reporter's voice while she said the dreaded R-word.
A. I can't credibly answer that question. Using game theory in economics, you are not going to believe me when I tell you my political affiliation because I know that you know that I could be behaving strategically. If I tell you I am a Kerry supporter, how do you know that I am not lying or behaving strategically to try to put more weight on the predictions and help the Republicans?
Careful now, she is only a reporter for the NYT's. You might confuse her.
A. I don't want to do game theory. I just want to know if you are a Kerry supporter.
Woah! I thought you wanted to know if he was a - ghasp - Republican! Now she, rather impatiently it seems, just wants to know if he supports Kerry. And so he answers:
A. Backing away from game theory, which is kind of cute, I am a Kerry supporter.
That is unfortunate, as Kerry is a waffler, a liar, and a fraud, but I would have been far more surprised to learn there was a Bush supporter teaching at Yale... I think they have some sort of litmus test for their professors (not that I would have any first hand knowledge).
Here comes the most shocking piece of the entire article:
Q. I believe you entirely, although I'm a little surprised, because your predictions implicitly lend support to Bush.
A. I am not attempting to be an advocate for one party or another. I am attempting to be a social scientist trying to explain voting behavior.
Q. But in the process you are shaping opinion. Predictions can be self-confirming, because wishy-washy voters might go with the candidate who is perceived to be more successful.
A. It could work the other way. If Kerry supporters see that I have made this big prediction for Bush, more of them could turn out just to prove an economist wrong.
Q. Perhaps you could create an equation that would calculate how important the forecasts of economists are.
Absolutely amazing! AMAZING! A - M - A - Z - I - N - G! A New York Times Reporter is surprised that a fellow Kerry supporter would make a prediction that might hurt their candidate. She, perhaps unwittingly, let's us in on how polling predictions can "be self-confirming, because wishy-washy voters might go with the candidate who is perceived to be more successful." She is telling us how the NYT's and its reporters use polling data as a political instrument, and she is genuinely surprised that a Kerry supporter wouldn't try to use this tool in order to make their candidate appear to be more successful. Un-be-lievable! Is this how the NYT's operates? Are newspapers reporting that Kerry is doing better than he actually is in order to try to give their candidate an edge? Is the NYTs actively attempting to shape public opinion instead of educate the public so that they can make their own opinion? Are we looking at another possible Mondale or McGovern?
I've come across an interesting National Review Article this morning, Kerry’s Brief Brotherhood, by NR collumnist Byron York. The article addresses a recent internet rumour that that David Alston, one of the "band of brothers" who served on board Kerry's Swift Boat, did not actually serve with Kerry at all. Apparently Alston has made extensive public statements about his time with Kerry, but his time actual time with Kerry is currently undergoing some tough scrutiny. Byron York writes:
[I]t appears that while Alston was in fact on board PCF-94 when Kerry was in command, his total time of service under Kerry was quite brief — perhaps as little as seven days. According to records of Kerry's service posted on his campaign's website, it appears the two men were in actual combat together on two of those days.
Well, as far as I am concerned, a single day's service with Kerry, especially a day of combat, puts that rumour to rest, right? I mean this guy is certainly qualified to speak about those two days he served with Kerry, is't he? Well... the article continues:
Whatever the exact dates, Hurley confirmed that Alston was not on board PCF-94 on February 28, 1969, the day Kerry earned a Silver Star for an engagement in which he beached his Swift Boat and chased down and killed a Viet Cong guerilla armed with a rocket launcher.
In light of the timeline and interviews with the participants, it seems likely that Alston's time with Kerry was at most two weeks, and, if Short's recollection is correct, as little as one week. Given that, it is possible that some of Alston's public statements might have left audiences with the impression that he and Kerry were together for a longer period of time.
... Alston has on at least one occasion seemed to give the impression that he was present for Kerry's Silver Star-winning actions on February 28. "I know when John Kerry told [crew member Del Sandusky] to beach that damn boat, this was a brand-new ball game," Alston told ABC's Nightline on June 22. "We wasn't running. We took it to Charlie."
For his part, Kerry has sometimes left the impression that he was present when Alston was wounded. Paying tribute to Alston's service during a speech before a South Carolina veterans' group in May 2002, Kerry said, according to an account in The New Republic, "He [Alston] sat up in a turret above my head in the pilot house — firing twin fifty-calibers to suppress enemy fire from ambushes. We were extremely exposed — always shot at first.... On one occasion in an ambush his turret was riddled with almost one hundred bullets penetrating the aluminum skin. This gunman kept firing even though he was wounded — one bullet going through his helmet, grazing his head and another hitting his arm...."
That description sounds precisely like the incident on January 29, 1969 in which Alston was wounded. But Lt. Peck, and not Kerry, was in command of PCF-94 that day.
Hrm... So they are telling first hand stories about incidents they had not personally witnissed... caught in another lie, it seems. The article concludes:
According to a report in the Boston Globe, the Kerry campaign website has in the past listed Kerry as being the skipper of PCF-94 at the time of Alston's wounding. When Kerry's military records were first posted on the site, according to the Globe, "the campaign summarize[d] action that took place on Jan. 29, 1969, this way: 'While Kerry's boat and another (PCF-72) were probing a canal along the river, Kerry's boat came under heavy fire and was hit by a B-40 rocket in the cabin area. One member of Kerry's crew Forward Gunner David Alston suffered shrapnel wounds in his head....'" The campaign website also listed two other incidents that took place prior to January 29 as having occurred under Kerry's leadership.
Peck, who would later sign a letter to Kerry written by the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, protested. "Those are definitely mine," he told the Globe. "There is no doubt about it." The campaign later removed the January 29 reference from the website.
Ah yes, caught in a lie, and they just take it down as if it had never been there. These guys have been rewriting and revising Kerry's past for months now. Never once have the printed a retraction or an appology for LYING to America, they just take it down as if it had never been there at all.
So to sum things up. Alston served with Kerry, but not as much as he may have allowed people to believe, and Kerry lied about time spent with Alston. I can't say I am all that much surprised.
This story has recently been brought to my attention. Some people would call this a flip flop, but at E*D, we prefer waffles. It seems John waffles Kerry may have taken both sides of another issue.
John Kerry took time in Nevada this week to criticize President Bush's decision to use Yucca Mountain as the national repository for nuclear waste. Kerry said the decision was based on politics, not science. Yet in 1999, Kerry encouraged speeding up the timing of making Yucca Mountain ready to accept nuclear waste.
If we look to an AP Article from Aug 13th 2004, we can see Kerry's criticisms of the President included the following:
"It's about promises kept and promises broken,"
"When John Kerry is president, there is going to be no nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. Period."
Now to be completely honest, I am not entirely 100% convinced this is a waffle. Kerry's letter says "any comprehensive nuclear waste legislation" and "any such legislation" not, as Human Events reads into the letter, "[the Yucca Bill]." So if there were another bill floating around at that time that didn't intend to use the Yucca Mountain, then there could be a pretty good explanation for Kerry on this.
I like crisp, clear waffles - and Kerry has plenty of them - so I'd like to know if Kerry really was referring to the Yucca bill. Was Kerry trying to ship Mass.'s nuclear waste to Yucca specefically? Well maybe the next story can put this question to rest:
As Democrats signaled strong opposition to a plan to bury the nation's nuclear waste in Southern Nevada, the state's Republicans criticized Sen. John Kerry last week as being disingenuous about his voting record on Yucca Mountain.
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., issued a list of seven "pro-Yucca" votes that he said Kerry has taken since 1987, including one on a bill that included an infamous "Screw Nevada'' provision limiting studies for a potential dumpsite to Nye County's Yucca Mountain. The provision was part of a massive $17.6 billion budget package.
"The people of Nevada have been led to believe that John Kerry is some sort of savior in our battle against the Yucca Mountain project," Ensign said. "Kerry's voting record shows just the opposite."
Besides the so-called "Screw Nevada" amendment, Kerry voted in 1997 to table an amendment that would have required gubernatorial approval before any nuclear waste could be transported through a state, Ensign said.
"John Kerry is trying to take the moral high ground, and he cannot occupy that moral high ground because of his record," Ensign said.
Democrats have trumpeted Kerry's votes against the project in 2000 and 2002...
... Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., said it was important for Nevadans to hear about Kerry's voting record.
"He didn't come clean. He didn't tell us the truth," Porter said. "People are going to look at consistency and leadership, and this is one more example where John Kerry is flip-flopping.
Well, that just about clears it up. 7 votes authorizing nuclear waste to Yucca versus 2 votes opposing it. Clearly both sides of the Yucca issue, with his recent view of keeping nuclear waste away from Yucca coming within the past 4 years (when he already knew he planned on running for office). Consistantly inconsistant. Another waffle for John Kerry's stack of waffles.