Time Magazine, Thursday, Jun. 12, 2008 By MICHAEL KINSLEY
Michael Kinsley remarks early in his article that “Swift-boat is shorthand for the brilliant, despicable Republican campaign strategy in 2004 that turned John Kerry's honorable service in Vietnam into a negative factor in his campaign. “
Then Kinsley dismisses any arguments about the merits of Kerry’s service:
If you remember the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign and don't see anything wrong with it--or if you believe it was the work of "independent" operatives unconnected to George W. Bush's campaign--I'm not going to waste precious space on the back page of a national newsmagazine arguing with you.
I for one remember the Swift-Boat campaign – it is seared, seared in my memory.
Just like John Kerry’s memory of Christmas 1968 in Cambodia.
"I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared -- seared -- in me."
This was the version of his Swift Boat exploits that John Kerry gave on the floor of the Senate in 1986 in a “carefully prepared 20-minute oration against aid to the Nicaraguan contras.”
(Kerry’s Cambodia Whopper, Washington Post, By Joshua Muravchik, Tuesday, August 24, 2004; Page A17)
The president he referred to, Richard Nixon, would not take office for another month. The Khmer Rouge were a couple of years away. None of Kerry’s supporters corroborated his searing memories of any Cambodian incursions.
I don’t see anything wrong with Swift-Boat veterans or anyone else making an issue of Kerry’s truthfulness about his Christmas in Cambodia claims, do you, Mr. Kinsley?
If you do, Mr. Kinsley, are you opposed to seeking out truth, or only opposed when a Democrat is challenged? Do you think Kerry told the truth about his 1968 Christmas in Cambodia?
We soon learned that there was no way a Swift Boat would have gone unnoticed into Cambodia. One, the border was well marked and patrolled; you just didn’t stumble across it, because the Mekong flows directly out of Cambodia into Vietnam. Two, a Swift Boat is large and extremely noisy; only a fool or a Democrat would even conceive of one being used for clandestine activities.
But enough of beating on a deserved loser for the lies he told repeatedly over a period of three decades.
Is it fair that Michael Kinsley gives Republicans sole credit for a campaign strategy in 2004 that turned a man’s honorable military service into a negative factor in his campaign?
If you think the answer is yes, then I'm not going to waste precious time in this fascinating blog arguing with you.
Like Hell I’m not!
There was an organized effort by Democrats in 2004 – and before – to denigrate George W. Bush’s service as a fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard. This effort was despicable at many levels.
The first is that at the time George Bush and John Kerry volunteered for duty, serving as a National Guard fighter pilot, even in peacetime, was far more dangerous than Swift Boat service. George Bush went through hazardous pilot training, and then was assigned to fly aircraft intercept missions, often in all weather conditions and at night.
The critics of his service must not have ever served in the military to be so ignorant of the dangers of flying fighter aircraft intercept missions at night and in foul weather.
In contrast, when Kerry chose Swift Boats, their mission was coastal, and only later were Swift Boats assigned riverine warfare duties. Even then, the threat from the Viet Cong was minimal, since they had no ships or guns that posed credible threats to the fast, armored and well-armed Swift Boats.
The cause célèbre of the Democrat’s attack on George Bush’s military service was the forged Texas Air National Guard (TANG) letters that CBS News and Dan Rather rushed before the American public. Unfortunately for CBS News and Dan Rather, the American viewing public included both computer and military experts. The computer experts immediately identified features in the letters that could not have been produced by the typewriters used by squadron military administrative assistants at the time they were purportedly written, and the military experts identified the use of Army terminology instead of Air Force.
Now only Dan Rather, and probably Michael Kinsley, believe that the TANG letters were genuine. And probably only Mr. Kinsley believes that they were the work of "independent" operatives unconnected to John F. Kerry's campaign.
So, Mr. Kinsley, what’s the score?
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth exposed obvious Kerry lies.
On the other hand, Democrats engaged in a campaign to smear George Bush’s military service that ignored the inherent dangers of flying fighter aircraft, and attempted to pass off forged documents to discredit his service.
Isn’t it odd that you are offended by the one, and not the other?
Are you a seeker of truth, or just another Democrat tool?