The scorecard: Swiftees vs. Kerry

By David Limbaugh

Despite the partisan media’s claims to the contrary, John Kerry has not successfully refuted “almost all the Swiftees’ charges.” Though he has attempted to dodge the bullets, he has been deeply wounded by them.

Instead of responding factually to the charges, Kerry and his defenders have:

  • personally attacked the Swiftees and reportedly hired private investigators to look for dirt on them;

  • mischaracterized Swiftee John O’Neill as a Nixon dirty trickster;

  • reiterated their lies about President Bush’s Air National Guard service;

  • filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission to muzzle the Swiftees;

  • pressured media outlets not to run the Swiftees’ ads;

  • whined about coordination between the Swiftees and the Bush campaign because attorney Ben Ginsberg advised both;

  • gloated when Ginsberg resigned from representing the Bush campaign, saying it proved there had been coordination all along, though Ginsberg denies any coordination;

  • refused to insist that their similarly situated lawyers or operatives Robert Bauer, Jim Jordan, Joe Sandler and Zack Exley – sever their ties as well;

  • theatrically dispatched former Sen. Max Cleland to the Bush ranch with a letter imploring the president to urge the Swiftees, over whom the president genuinely has no control, to cease and desist.

  • called other veterans to pressure them into supporting Kerry;

  • invoked the only sacred Republican name among Democrats, John McCain. (Bob Dole lost similar status this week when nobly standing up for the Swiftees.)

  • suppressed John Kerry’s shameful, America-trashing book “The New Soldier,” refusing to allow it to be reprinted;

  • said, dishonestly, that the Swiftees keep changing their stories;

  • repeatedly changed Kerry’s story on Christmas in Cambodia. The reasons it was “seared, seared” in Kerry’s memory were that it was during Christmas time (people associate events with the sentimentality of Christmas) and President Richard Nixon had supposedly ordered Kerry into Cambodia illegally – which outraged Kerry. Turns out Nixon wasn’t in office yet. How can people brush this off as inconsequential? This lie really mattered at the time, and, obviously still does today in terms of the negativity it generated against America;

  • dramatically backtracked on the first Purple Heart account, being forced to all but admit that Kerry wasn’t injured by enemy fire – which means, if nothing else, that he wasn’t entitled to that Purple Heart nor his early out after four months;

  • watched as their enabling mainstream media – the Democrats’ most powerful and unregulated “527” group – have systematically tried to discredit the Swiftees’ claims by masquerading as objective, investigative journalists. In fact, they’ve combed records to catch the Swiftees in supposed inconsistencies and painted a fantastic picture trying to connect absurdly remote dots tying the Swiftees to President Bush. All the while they’ve ignored the mountains of factual evidence against Kerry and even mindlessly repeated the dismissive conclusion that almost all of Kerry’s stories have held up to scrutiny.

    Never has the liberal bias of the partisan media been so conspicuous. On Aug. 25, the twin print media goliaths – the New York Times and the Washington Post – sang a propaganda duet dismissing the Swiftees’ claims. WP: “Many of the charges have been rebutted by veterans who served with Kerry and by military records.” NYT: “the Swift Boat group, almost all of whose challenges to Mr. Kerry and his war record have been contradicted by official war records and even some of its members’ own past statements.” Makes you wonder whether these two media outlets are recipients or authors of Democratic talking points.

  • peddled the lie that the Swiftees “weren’t there” because most weren’t on Kerry’s boat, ignoring that they were in adjacent boats within witnessing distance;

  • avoided Kerry media appearances – he doesn’t want to have to answer even the obligatory questions the partisan media might lob at him. And you can be sure there’ll be no second or third Kerry-O’Neill debates – no thrilla in Manila. Even Don King couldn’t get Kerry to step back into the ring for a rematch with O’Neill, who knocked Kerry cold in the first fight;

  • with the media’s help, held up Kerry’s “heroism” as sacrosanct and unchallengeable while simultaneously disrespecting the heroism of Kerry’s some 254 accusers;

  • with the media’s help, held up official Navy records as sacrosanct and unchallengeable, ignoring the compelling Swiftee claim that Kerry manufactured false records;

  • refused to release Kerry’s complete military and medical records and diary;

  • complained about the campaign’s focus on Kerry’s long-ago record, when they brought it up in the first place.

I’m just warming up, but I’m already out of space.