Your Daily Fisking

Smijer in the comments pointed to some Questions For The Swift Boat Liars Honorable Veterans:

1) Throughout the campaign, all of the men who were on John Kerry’s swift boat have spoken out about his bravery during Vietnam. If John Kerry is lying, does this mean all these men are also lying?

Not at all. They saw bravery from the viewpoint of a subordinate. There are lots of things that seem heroic to someone who is not trained in a job that seems ordinary or even incompetent to a peer.

In this case, Kerry’s peers have spoken loudly and clearly. As his peers, they saw him as a glory-hound, a loose cannon, and a danger to his men and those boats operating in coordination with him.

2) In order to win his Bronze Star, John Kerry turned around his swift boat and endured heavy fire to save Jim Rassmann’s life. If Kerry didn’t deserve this medal, does this mean that Jim Rassmann and George Elliott (who recommended Kerry for the medal) are liars too?

George Elliot has spoken on this point. In a nutshell, Kerry lied to him. Jim Rassmann has a compromised viewpoint — he was in a life-threatening situation. I would question his judgment if he was against Kerry. If I was locked in a burning house, and a fireman used an axe to cut the door open, that firemen would be a hero to me. He would be my personal savior.

To most any other fireman, that would be all in a day’s work, and would be a serious black mark has he failed to do that. It is a matter of perspective.

3) In the swift boat ad, Louis Letson claims “I know John Kerry is lying about his first purple heart, because I treated him for that injury.” Does this mean that J.C. Carreon, the man who signed John Kerry’s medical report for that injury, is a liar?

No. He just signed a report like corpsmen do. This has to be the most ludicrous charge. Letson was the only doctor available. Who else treated Kerry? If it wasn’t Letson after all, then his wounds were so minor that they weren’t even worth having a doctor look at. Either way, Kerry goldbricked his way to that Purple Heart (as is evidenced by the initial rejection of that Purple Heart and subsequent reapplication by Kerry).

4) Also in the ad, George Elliott says “John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam”, but in 1996 he campaigned alongside Kerry saying “I ended up writing it up for a Silver Star, which is well deserved, and I have no regrets or second thoughts at all about that”. Does this mean Elliott is a liar too?

No. It means that Elliot was lied to. I’m amazed at how the left side of the aisle has twisted the definition of the word “lie.”

5) What was the reason for the men who served on Kerry’s boat, the man whose life he saved, the man who treated his injury, and the commanding officer who recommended him for the Bronze and Silver Stars to lie in the late 60’s? Why should their accounts, which couldn’t have had a partisan motivation 35 years ago, be dismissed in favor of the accounts of men who didn’t serve directly with Kerry and chose to keep their complaints to themselves until the Kerry chose to run for president?

Check your assumptions. “What was the reason for the men… to lie” is based on the false assumption that they did lie.

There are a million holes in these complaints, but the rudderless media loves a good controversy. So they’ll continue to give these guys a platform to stand on in the interests of covering “both sides of an issue”. I just wish that every hack who had a politically-motivated and meritless attack on George Bush was afforded as much credibility as these liars.

“Richard Clarke” and “Joseph Wilson” come to mind.


  1. Alex says:

    I don’t think anyone’s lying. To me, it seems to be a massive disagreement.

    While 17 of the 24 veterans in Kerry’s division may have deemed him “unfit for command,” 7 others don’t speak out against him.

    What about compelling arguments in favor of Kerry, like this one?

    ” ‘I more or less broke John Kerry in on his first boat,” Wasser said. “John Kerry, for the time I was with him, never made a bad command decision…’

    …Although the wounded or kill rate was 78 percent, Kerry never lost a man.”

    It’s a matter of perspective. The same events happened to all 24 people in Kerry’s division, each rendering his own judgement. The situation remains the same today — one event, multiple thoughts.

    I may have my disagreements, but this was still a good post. Guys who think accusing the other side of lying will get them anywhere need to be taught a lesson.

  2. Phelps says:

    See my “subordinates vs peers” argument.

    The wounded or kill rate was 78%. Kerry, by his own claims, was wounded three times on his watch.

    Even at that, if the other boats are losing men and Kerry isn’t, that suggests to me that Kerry is being overcautious (or even cowardly). I can’t accept that the other captains are all reckless and Kerry is the one shrewd skipper.

  3. Just your low budget basic cable-channel “journalism”…

    The Word for the Day is: “Desperate ground” “Thanks to science, we now live longer, understand our world better, and can watch the next village burning down in widescreen…” – Mr Hell Heh. I’m glad I finished that ark earlier…