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Friday, August 27, 2004

Coordination between Bush and SwiftVets?

From Friday's New York Times:

Mr. Bush did not hesitate when asked about the central charge issued by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the veterans' group that has leveled unsubstantiated attacks against Mr. Kerry's record in Vietnam. "I think Senator Kerry should be proud of his record,'' Mr. Bush said. "No, I don't think he lied.''

And from Friday's Wall Street Journal op-ed by SwiftVets spokesman John O'Neill:

We formed Swift Boat Veterans For Truth for one purpose: to present to the American public our conclusion that John Kerry is not fit to be commander in chief. We are organized as a "527 group" with Adm. Roy Hoffmann at the helm, our leader today as he was some 35 years ago when we served under him in Coastal Squadron One in Vietnam. Our membership is transparent and shown on our Web site, www.swiftvets.com, currently including more than 250 Swiftees. We have 17 of the 23 officers who served with Mr. Kerry, most of his chain of command, and most sailors. We have more than 60 winners of real Purple Hearts. No one has a better right than we do to speak to the matters involving our unit....

We do not take direction from the White House or the president's re-election committee, and our efforts would continue even if President Bush were to ask us directly to stop.

If the SwiftVets and BushCheney04 were the carefully coordinated ballroom dance partners that the Kerry campaign would have you believe they are, I think this would pretty much disqualify both contestants.  Not even Karl Rove is cunning enough to plot to win a dance competition by having two partners stomp on each other's feet. 

Posted by Beldar at 12:54 AM in Politics (2006 & earlier), SwiftVets | Permalink


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Tracked on Aug 27, 2004 3:37:08 PM


(1) Mike Ruiz made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 1:27:13 AM | Permalink

I must not be very nuanced, and I'm sure I have no future as a political strategist:

Why does President Bush say he thinks Kerry didn't lie? Maybe the President is being gracious, and maybe he really believes it, but in either case it does nothing to inspire confidence in the likes of me.

If President Bush is just being gracious, I cringe at the notion that political niceties are enough to give cover to someone who, if he did lie, has engaged in a deception of a magnitude that truly makes him unfit for command.

On the other hand, if the President really believes that Kerry went to Cambodia on a secret mission, or that the dog VC took his flying lessons from Mary Poppins, or that the mutually-exclusive versions of Kerry's stories, which in different iterations feature the magic SWIFT boat PCF 94 flying two feet out of the water or running a gauntlet of supersonic lead without suffering any damage, or that it's true but an incredible coincidence that Kerry got a fragment in his butt in the morning in the rice incident and, whaddayaknow, he got a fragment in the butt in the afternoon while rescuing Rassmann from the enemy fire that might have been there or might have not--but that in any case was a/w or s/a fire and unlikely to have wounded him with a fragment instead of a whole chunk of 7.62x39 ammo, then maybe President Bush is more gullible than I thought.

Of course, maybe the President is just a better politican than I am (see first sentence above), but in any case, pilgrims, the least I would expect is that charges of this magnitude, with the implication that a Presidential candidate is a fraud and a pathological liar, would be investigated thoroughly and honestly, without being dismissed summarily by George W. Bush.

(2) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 1:43:22 AM | Permalink


While I see your point, I think that President Bush has studiously avoided even seeing the ads or making an opinion of any kind. He (and his advisors) are quite clever enough to know that this isn't his fight and getting involved would be explosive. So the president is giving Kerry the "benefit of the doubt".

As for the SBVT, I suggest that everyone go to their site and lurk through the forums. If you do, you will quickly find that they are intensely Anti-Kerry rather than pro-Bush.

(3) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 1:44:43 AM | Permalink

Bush is giving Kerry the benefit of the doubt and refusing to look behind Kerry's medals and honorable discharge. I think it's just that simple.

A significant portion of the public will do the same.

I continue to believe that it's smart politics for Bush to do so, for a variety of different reasons.

I started out with the same presumption, but in my case, it was what lawyers would call a "rebuttable presumption."

(4) Dafydd ab Hugh made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 2:51:39 AM | Permalink

>Of course, maybe the President is just a better
>politican than I am....

Bingo. Got it in one.

If Bush were to play dogpile and try to leap on Kerry, the public would immediately assume it was all a Bush smear. The credibility of the Swifties would drop to zero in the minds of everyone but you and me, and Bush would plummet in the polls.

...Which would make it infintely more likely that Kerry would be the next Commander in Chief.

Remember the Gulf War? Remember when Gen. Schwartzkopf told a number of mainstream media reporters his "secret plan" to land a huge expeditionary force in that big bay near al Jahrah, swearing each reporter to secrecy?

When the reporters immediately published the plan, the Iraqi occupiers swallowed the bait right up to the sinker, shifting a huge portion of their forces up north -- while the Coalition armor divisions charged up the western spine of Kuwait, catching the Republican Guard with its pants down.

Yep, the general lied. He lied to the press and the American people... for the larger strategic goal of winning the war.

I think I can forgive Bush for pretending not to believe the Swiftvets' ad: it won't hurt the Swifties, and doing the opposite might hand the election to Kerry.


(5) GT made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 6:11:26 AM | Permalink

It took him time but I'm glad Bsuh finally got it right.

(6) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 9:02:11 AM | Permalink

"It took him time but I'm glad Bsuh finally got it right."

High praise, indeed.

(7) Warthog made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 9:53:28 AM | Permalink

the veterans' group that has leveled unsubstantiated attacks against Mr. Kerry's record in Vietnam

Eye witness testimony is unsubstantiated?

I think W made the right move if he can take away the Kerry as victim con by embarrassing the MSM into covering the heavy Democratic connection with Soros and Moveon.Org et al.

The blogosphere was way ahead of the MSM on the overachieving impact of the Swifties and I suspect they're in the same place on this issue. At some point in time the NYT editorial board has to come to grips that slavaging their own preeminence is more important than propping up a clear loser.

(8) M. Simon made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 10:33:24 AM | Permalink

Bush is a liar. I believe John Kerry when he said he was never in Cambodia. I believe him when he says Rassman fell off his boat in a sharp turn.

Hope that helped yer case GT. Kerry needs all the help he can get.


There is a big difference between William Calley and John Kerry. William Calley is a proven war criminal. For John Kerry we only have his word as an officer and a gentleman.

What is the War Hero Afraid of?
Form 180. Release ALL the records.

The Ads: Video links

(9) Narniaman made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 10:48:14 AM | Permalink

If you are delusional, and you tell a story about your delusion that's not factual, is it lying?

For example -- if you think you are the Archangel Gabriel, and you tell a story about how you provided personal protection for Columbus during his 1492 voyage -- are you lying?

Or are you just displaying the symptoms of your disease?

How about if you make up a story about being sent on a secret mission to Cambodia on Christmas Eve in 1968 while Nixon was President to insert secret agent men into the country, and you believe it so much that you keep a old hat that you picked up somewhere for years and tell friends that it was the secret agent man's hat. . . . .

If that didn't happen, are you lying? Or are you delusional?

(10) M. Simon made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 11:07:06 AM | Permalink


Kerry have a genetic brain disorder?

Kerry brain disorder?


There is a big difference between William Calley and John Kerry. William Calley is a proven war criminal. For John Kerry we only have his word as an officer and a gentleman.

What is the War Hero Afraid of?
Form 180. Release ALL the records.

The Ads: Video links

(11) Chris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 12:27:18 PM | Permalink

"Kerry have a genetic brain disorder?"

This just in: massive overanalysis of miniscule, unrelated details leads to implausible conjecture.

(12) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 1:06:33 PM | Permalink


No. The evidence is all related. You just don't like the conclusion.

(13) Chris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 2:53:01 PM | Permalink

No offense Polaris, but you're actually defending that? Did you read it? It's laughable politically-driven conjecture. If you want to stand up there next to that article, you go right ahead and do so. But then you lose the right to be angered by all those Bush-haters out there who paint him as simultaneously clueless and scheming.

(14) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 3:10:58 PM | Permalink


Offense taken. If you look at the data objectively, Kerry has been caught not once but multiple times in verbal misteps and even outright lies.

Christmas in Cambodia
The first purple heart
The Hap Bay Incident...he has already changed his story at least twice

You also conveniently forget that the forensics support the SBVT not Kerry and his eye witnesses are not that convincing.

Chris, I suggest you try to be objective.

(15) Chris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 3:14:32 PM | Permalink

Hello? Polaris? Anyone home? My comment was clearly in response to M. Simon's link to nutjob article suggesting that Kerry has a brain disorder.

(16) Todd made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 3:54:38 PM | Permalink

Once again, I think that Bush is skillfully boxing Kerry in. Specifically, it's pretty clear that Kerry thinks that 527s which attack him should be prevented from doing so, but that 527 which attack Bush and, inter alia, compare Bush to Hitler are just dandy.

Personally, I think the 527s are great, real democracy in action. The problem for Kerry is that moveon.org and their ilk have spent $63 million thus far and have little to show for it as most voters whose opinions can be swayed can see through their rantings. On the other hand, the Swiftees have a real weakness to exploit, and are doing so with marvelous skill. No wonder Kerry is scared.

(17) Chris made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 4:32:27 PM | Permalink


No ad comparing Bush to Hitler was ever aired except by conservative talk shows. It was part of a contest, was created by an individual, and it didn't even receive very many votes.

Name ONE 527 that has attacked Bush. (And remember, MoveOn is not a 527.)

(18) ed made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 4:59:15 PM | Permalink


1. A brain disorder might not be wrong. Howard Dean certainly acted a little off his rocker.

2. "Name ONE 527 that has attacked Bush. (And remember, MoveOn is not a 527.)"

Ummm. MoveOn.org IS a 527. It's also a PAC. It's also a 501(c)(4).


"The MoveOn family of organizations consists of three entities. MoveOn.org, a 501(c)(4) organization, primarily focuses on education and advocacy on important national issues. MoveOn PAC, a federal PAC, primarily helps members elect candidates who reflect our values. And MoveOn.org Voter Fund, a 527 organization, primarily educates voters on the positions, records, views, and qualifications of candidates for public office."

Then there's ACT (America Coming Together). Actually there's a whole list of them. I don't have that list handy, but it's easily available if you go google it.

(19) Todd made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 5:13:48 PM | Permalink

Chris, here's an article on the subject from National Review. It references, among other things, counterpunch.org. [I deleted most of the article to save space and because I was having trouble posting the link. You can dig it up easily enough at National Review online.]

I thought that was a 527. If it's not, then I was mistaken specifically, but not generally. "Bush is Hitler" is a staple of the far left nut jobs. And that's fine with me. As moveon.org says, it's democracy in action.

September 4, 2003, 9:45 a.m.
Annals of Bush-Hating
Have you seen what’s out there? And do the media care?

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article appears in the September 1, 2003, issue of National Review.

Are you aware of the murderous history of George W. Bush — indeed, of the entire Bush family? Are you aware of the president's Nazi sympathies? His crimes against humanity? And do you know, by the way, that George W. Bush is a certifiable moron?

* * *

And it's not just doctored photos. There is a lot of writing, much of it quite serious, claiming similarities between Bush and Hitler. "It's going a bit far to compare the Bush of 2003 to the Hitler of 1933," writes Dave Lindorff in "Bush and Hitler: The Strategy of Fear," which appeared in February on the far-left site Counterpunch.org. "Bush simply is not the orator that Hitler was. But comparisons of the Bush administration's fear-mongering tactics to those practiced so successfully and with such terrible results by Hitler and Goebbels . . . are not at all out of line."

Lindorff is not an obscure, solitary blogger. The author of Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, he has contributed to The Nation and Salon, and has appeared on National Public Radio. And Counterpunch is not an obscure website. It is edited by the leftist journalist Alexander Cockburn, features writing by Edward Said and Philip Agee, and claims to attract 60,000 visitors each day. Nor was Lindorff's Bush/Hitler reference an aberration at Counterpunch. The day before Lindorff's article appeared, another author, Wayne Madsen, wrote that Bush is "borrowing liberally from Hitler's play book." The FŸhrer, Lindorff said, "would be proud that an American president is emulating him in so many ways."

(20) Stephen M. St. Onge made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 9:26:40 PM | Permalink

    I disagree with Beldar.

    If I were secretly co-ordinating the "SwiftVets" and the White House, I'd do about what the President has done.  Give Kerry some compliments for his wartime service, refuse to comment on the ads directly, ask him to join me in ending all 527 ads.  It gets Bush out from under the issue with the average person, it doesn't immediately stop the ads, and if all 527s are stopped, that probably is a net plus for W.

    I don't by any means believe Bush is behind the organization, but I'd advise Bush to do pretty much exactly what he's doing, so the behavior isn't evidence either way.

(21) Stephen M. St. Onge made the following comment | Aug 27, 2004 9:33:04 PM | Permalink

    On the bed front, Kerry may well have a sleep disorder -- I have two myself.  Certainly the symptoms are consistent with Kerry's known behavior.  But the possibility is not going to effect many people's votes.

    As for Kerry's medical records, forget it.  The well established rule of USAmerican politics is that only Republicans need to make their medical records public.  Kerry is not a Republican, therefore the public has absolutely no right to see his records and anyone who raises the issue is a Nazi.

(22) ed made the following comment | Aug 28, 2004 1:25:59 PM | Permalink


Ummm. Hello "chris"?


"chris". This is where you reply now.


You ok?


(23) Todd made the following comment | Aug 28, 2004 2:32:34 PM | Permalink

I think that Chris wiped the floor with us so badly that he's probably allowing us to just lick our wounds and recuperate before he comes back to deliver a devastating blow.

Moveon.org not a 527. LOL.

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