June 9, 2005
KERRY'S BIG SECRET REVISITED:
I may have been too quick and too generous in giving John Kerry
the benefit of the doubt about the full and complete release of
his military records, as reported by the Boston
on Tuesday. As Thomas
Lipscomb details in today's Chicago Sun-Times, some
questions and confusion remain.
details will most likely get sorted out in time, but just for
the moment let's consider the one aspect of this story that we
know for sure: Kerry released his records exclusively to The
Boston Globe. This is an odd decision for someone seeking
end speculation regarding the whole affair, and it's also a perfect
example of why the issue of Kerry's military record continues
to plague him.
Michael Kranish's motives or his ability as a reporter, it's fair
to point out that privately funneling documents through a single
source from your hometown paper and then declaring the story "dead"
and "over" is hardly the epitome of full public
disclosure. John Kerry would never accept this type of standard
from his political opponents or this administration. Why he thinks
the public should accept it now from him is beyond me.
an issue of fairness and bias in the press. When rumors and questions
about George Bush's Texas Air National Guard service were recycled
in early 2004, the press reacted like a pack of rabid animals,
rushing to file FOIA requests and beating Scott McClellan bloody
day after day with demands to see all relevant documents (Meanwhile,
John Kerry's campaign took advantage of the media frenzy to send
Terry McAuliffe and his minions out to denounce President Bush
in public as having been AWOL). The press would have gone into
high dudgeon if Bush had given documents to the Washington
Times and then told everyone else to go take a hike.
when questions were raised about Kerry's service record there
was no media frenzy and no assault on Kerry by the press demanding
full disclosure. Instead the press attacked Kerry's accusers,
trying to dismiss and discredit the hundreds of veterans who came
forward from all walks of life to go on the record with their
complaints about Kerry.
the Swift Boat Vets existed at all was the big story of the year
(unprecedented in modern political history, I believe), and one
that the mainstream press did their best to ignore. Is there any
question what the press would have done if a similar group of
a hundred (or even ten, for that matter) of George Bush's fellow
Guardsmen had come forward to challenge his service, truthfulness
enough, this was all happening right around the time Mary Mapes
was phoning the Kerry campaign on behalf of Bill Burkett as part
of a deal to get her hands on phony military records to put on
air to damage President Bush.
SOLDIER RESPONDS: To my
post on Tuesday about military recruitment with a colorful
testament to the quality of the young men and women who continue
to join our Armed Forces:
writing from overseas, in Kosovo, on an 18-month mobilization
as an Army major. Let me tell you about the kids I work with.
They're every bit the equal of their fathers and grandfathers
at Khe Sanh and Normandy -- and their great-great-grandfathers
You've probably heard about our great guys in Iraq and Afghanistan
- well, the vast majority are teenagers or in their early 20's.
Here in Kosovo, we do peacekeeping, though this is still a hostile
fire zone. We have 21-year old sergeants interacting with the
local populace so successfully that not only is the killing
long over, but American flags fly off local buildings and local
folks tell us how they hope Kosovo can someday be the 51st state...and
they are serious.
These kids are cowards? Couch potatoes? Hey, these are the same
folks who skateboard themselves into a pulp for laughs; they
aren't afraid of a few scratches. And they study too - I'm teaching
a college course for them in my off time, a pretty tough one.
I'm not surprised that high schoolers plan to step up to the
plate when their country needs them - not one bit. Sure, there
are cowards out there, and brainwashed kids who hate their country.
I pity them. They have to live in fear of catching a glimpse
of their faces in the mirror and knowing that they just aren't
worthy. This recruiting dip will pass; note how few people write
about how our retention - folks re-upping - is doing fine.
The kids today know the emptiness of the 60's generation that
bred them. They have incredible BS detectors - ones that light
up like Christmas trees when somebody starts blowing his horn
about how he bravely "dissented" by ducking off to
Canada while someone else had to take his place on the line
in Vietnam. They aren't buying that paradigm - they're finding
theirs in a tradition that will be 230 years old on 14 June,
the Army's birthday.
I'm not worried; since the integrity of my behind depends on
these kids, that ought to mean something.
T. Bevan 4:35 pm Link
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