Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Swiftboat Smears?

The Toronto Star has finally acknowledged the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth and leads with this by-line:

A Swift Boat smear campaign-Attack ad labels war-hero Kerry a liar and coward -But why would Bush supporters mention Vietnam?

I am really quite fed up with the bias in the media in respect to George W. Bush. I realize that as a public figure his words and deeds are open season by the media as it should be. But what I have a hard time stomaching is the double standard and bias that permeates the news media in relationship to him and the pass that is generally given to John Kerry, Democratic Candidate for the Presidency.

We had the AWOL scandal and the media hounding George W. Bush of over his service in the Texas National Guard. The media dogged the president to release his records which he in fact did release – all the records that were still available after 30 years – we even got copies of his dental records. Still that wasn’t enough. John Kerry has yet to release all his records, records that are still available, records that would answer some of the charges that the Swiftboat Veterans assert. Where is the media call for John Kerry to release all his records? One of the things we need to see is; who authorized the awarding of his first purple heart, and when was it approved? What has silenced the media hound dogs for a full release of John Kerry’s service records?

Instead, what I hear and read are articles that are attempting to smear the Swiftboat Veterans by the media. I do not know if the Swiftboat Veterans are telling the truth, but what I do need to know is if there is any basis for their charges. Whoever is donating to their organization is really irrelevant unless their charges are false. So far, I have not seen any evidence that their charges are false. It is only a smear if the allegations are false, truth cannot be a smear.

If anything, one of the charges leveled against John Kerry has proven to have some weight – the Christmas in Cambodia story that is "seared – seared" in John Kerry’s memory. Talk about selected and nuanced memory. Too bad that John Kerry commanded a swiftboat without anyone being able to come forward out of his band of brothers to say, "Yes, John Kerry commanded a Swiftboat into Cambodia, I know, I was there."

That point was not even mentioned in the Toronto Star article nor was there a reference made to Kerry’s "lucky hat" given to him by a secret operative that he ferried in Cambodia. Though if I was a "secret operative" being sent into Cambodia in 1968/69, I really do not think that I would give up any article or clothing – it is not like I could just present myself to the nearest quartermaster stationed in the jungles of Cambodia for replacement.

But what I do hear and read is George Bush’s service contrasted with John Kerry’s. What I do not see or read is an acknowledgement that when George Bush signed on to learn to fly F-102’s those pilots were being deployed in Vietnam. Just learning to fly a F-102 was a dangerous assignment. When John Kerry signed on to pilot a swiftboat, it was considered a safe assignment.

Let’s get one thing straight; learning to be fighter pilot is an elite assignment. The forces do not waste time and money attempting to train pilots that are slow, stupid or lack critical/creative thinking ability. Many are called but few are chosen is the guiding mentality in choosing who the forces will train to be a fighter pilot. Again, I have not heard that fact be acknowledged by the media.

Much is made of the fact that not one of the Swiftboat Veterans for truth served on John Kerry’s actual boat. The Swiftboat Veterans openly acknowledge that they were not his subordinates, but they were his peers and they served beside him and above him. And out of that band of subordinate brothers, not all are supporting him.

I really have to wonder about the character of a man who takes a 8mm camera into Vietnam and re-enacts his battle scenes in his down time or formally requests a purple heart for a tiny piece of metal that did not even require one single stitch. Anyone know if John Kerry re-enacted and filmed that engagement? The bottomline is, if that were George Bush, do you really think that media would give him a pass?

1 comment:

Glenn said...

You have some interesting information about the candidates that I've never heard.