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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

SwiftVets update website photo, but leave honest footprints

When the SwiftVets first got started up, one of their complaints was that the Kerry campaign was giving a misimpression about the number of his fellow Swiftee officers who now support Kerry by widely republishing a photograph showing Kerry among his "band of brothers."  The index page of the SwiftVets' website contained the photograph, and when viewers rolled their mouse cursors over it, it greyed out both the officers who'd explicitly refused to support Kerry for Commander in Chief and those who'd refused comment — at that time, all but one of the officers next to Kerry in the photo.

Since then, within the last couple of days, a couple of officers who'd previously refused comment have spoken up to say they support Kerry.  In response, the SwiftVets promptly changed their website graphic:

Moreover, they've not just made the change, they've expressly acknowledged it on their website (boldface in original):

August 23 update: The Kerry campaign has evidently persuaded formerly neutral Swift officers Rich McCann and Rich Baker to support John Kerry's candidacy. We have adjusted our graphic display and text to reflect this change.

Only 3 of John Kerry's 23 fellow Swift boat commanders from Coastal Division 11 supports his candidacy today.

Compare this to the Kerry campaign's website, from which whole pages of claims and documents are routinely "disappeared" on a regular basis, usually without acknowledgement or explanation.

The SwiftVets' full name is "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" — and this small episode is perfectly emblematic of how seriously they take those last two words, and how much those last two words frighten the subject of their project.

Posted by Beldar at 09:25 PM in Politics (2006 & earlier), SwiftVets | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to SwiftVets update website photo, but leave honest footprints and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) Chris made the following comment | Aug 24, 2004 10:45:37 PM | Permalink

This counts as proof that the SwiftVets are telling the truth? Feels like the end is near.

How about this to buttress Mr. O'Neill (from Hannity & Colmes, a quote from the Nixon tapes):

O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.

NIXON: In a swift boat?

O'NEILL: Yes, sir.

Gosh, it really makes it tough to seem honest when you paint everything black and white like that. O'Neill should really watch what he says 35 years ago.

(2) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 24, 2004 10:52:53 PM | Permalink


You heard that on CNN didn't you? If you watched Hannity and Colmes, you would have gotten the complete picture. O'Niell was quoted out of context.

(3) Chris made the following comment | Aug 24, 2004 10:54:07 PM | Permalink

Polaris, reread my post. I was making a nuanced point, which you helped prove.

(4) Polaris made the following comment | Aug 24, 2004 11:27:55 PM | Permalink


Right back at you. O'Neill made his position perfectly clear. What the media did was snip two sentences out. That was dishonest of them...and once the full tape comes to light the story dies.

OTOH, the swiftvets are doing everything they can to be honest. They have a lot of discipline in this regard. I can not say the same for the Kerry campaign....or for that matter for Kerry himself. He is prone to making a nuance to far....

(5) Chris made the following comment | Aug 24, 2004 11:46:30 PM | Permalink

Polaris: Try again. Think real hard. Here's a hint: I acknowledged in my post that O'Neill was being taken out of context.

(6) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 25, 2004 2:09:47 AM | Permalink

Chris, you're being too nuanced for me to follow.

My point in making the post was that the SwiftVets have modified their website to keep it accurate when new facts have come into existence that would have made something previously on their website inaccurate on a going-foward basis. And they left tracks to acknowledge what they'd changed and why. But the Kerry website, and the Kerry campaign, don't do that. When they got caught displaying 20 pages of Ted Peck's war experiences that they'd claimed as Kerry's, they just deleted the pages — never apologized, never explained, just "vanished" the proof that they'd put something up as truth that wasn't true (and that they should have known wasn't true — it wasn't even a case of new facts developing, as was the case with the SwiftVets' picture).

So your nuanced point is .... ?

(7) ed made the following comment | Aug 25, 2004 8:12:15 AM | Permalink


@Chris: "Polaris, reread my post. I was making a nuanced point, which you helped prove."

Ahhh. "nuanced". Just another word for "lie".

Got it. thanks.

(8) Mark made the following comment | Aug 25, 2004 8:14:11 AM | Permalink


I believe Chris is attempting to draw a parallel between Kerry's comments on the Cavett [sp?] show in 1971 and O'Neil's comments to President Nixon on the tapes.

Like most parallels, it's flawed but I'll leave that as an exercise to Chris. After all, why clearly make your point? Sheesh.

(9) Chris made the following comment | Aug 25, 2004 8:19:37 AM | Permalink

My point is a simple one. The defense of O'Neill when his comments are taken out of context is immediate, yet the SBV take Kerry's words out of context constantly--most notably in a television advertisement that represents Kerry's recollection of another soldier's account as Kerry's own--and there is no similar defense. Saying this is a partisan exercise doesn't begin to explain it.

(10) Chris made the following comment | Aug 25, 2004 8:21:04 AM | Permalink

Ed: Grow up, get a dictionary, or both.

(11) John Bigenwald made the following comment | Aug 25, 2004 9:29:42 AM | Permalink


So if I go in front of a Congressional Committee and say many highly decorated police officers saw you "personally committing murder, cutting off heads and acting in a manner reminiscent of Ghengis Khan", you wouldn't have a problem with me?? Putting the "other people say" disclaimer gets him off the hook? I'm afraid that's a bit too nuanced for most...

(12) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 25, 2004 10:24:00 AM | Permalink

Chris, I've blogged at length on whether Kerry's speech to the Fulbright Committee has been taken out of context by the second SwiftVets ad, with extended quotes directly from the Congressional Record. Perhaps you could take a look at that. My conclusion is that the extended context actually makes Kerry look worse than the second SwiftVets ad did. But feel free to argue the contrary case — with citations to text, please.

(13) ed made the following comment | Aug 25, 2004 8:16:43 PM | Permalink


"Ed: Grow up, get a dictionary, or both."

lol. Considering the weak arguments you make, that's really amusing.

(14) RP made the following comment | Aug 25, 2004 10:00:10 PM | Permalink

Once more into the breach!

Dear Beldar:

I continue to enjoy your website. However, just as I have had to stuggle with each of the Swiftboat points rather than dismiss them out of hand, I sense that you are beginning to swallow the Hugh Hewitt/ Cap'n Ed party line too much.

As I noted ealier, while Cap'n Ed disputed Kerry's first Purple Heart on the basis of his parsing of Kerry's diary, he ignored the bigger conflict of clear Runyon/Zeledonis testimony that the Swiftboat "witness" Admiral Schacte was not on the mission. I know you contend that O'Neill may wheel him out in Act III, but have you considered that your hero may have made an intentional misrepresentation?

Then Hugh Hewitt categorically stated on his website that O'Neill said that Kerry could have never have gone into Cambodia and that he personally had never gone to Cambodia By way of additional proof, Hewitt made what in my estimation was a incredibly weak link to "Froggy Ruminations" to "prove" ( I believe he used the word devastating") that Swiftboats did not go to Cambodia and that Swiftboats never worked with SEALs. Only, Hugh forgot to look at the comments section to see the posts from other veterans that contradicted his assertion, including one with a cite to a book on the Vietnam War by the Zunwalts.

Hugh and the Cap'n have both avoided commenting about O'Neill's Nixon transcript. The irony is of course ripe. From Hugh's World Net Daily article:

"The big advantage is in research skills, of course, and in an eye for inconsistencies which make or break cases and arguments. Lawyers turned amateur journalists are going to be much better at it than time-serving scribblers, and even non-lawyer bloggers with superior research skills – think Captain Ed, Tom McGuire and Polipundit – are going to run rings around "pros" who aren't in a hurry to bring down their favored candidate"

I might add in Hugh's case "their favored veteran". I hope you will avoid the one sided approach that Hewitt and Cap's have adopted and try to flesh out the positives and negatives of both sides so your hypothecial jury can make up its own mind.

Again, I know I have not proved Kerry went to Cambodia, but I think the possibility remains and it has not been effectively rebuted by Hewitt, the Cap'n or you. Just as you are waiting on what O'Neill has up his sleeve, wait till we see what Brinkley has up his sleeve.

Keep up the good work.


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