Prosecute the torture.

August 24, 2008

Jack Kelly Sunday

In this week's column, Jack Kelly swiftboats.

It's amazing to watch. One wonders what planet Jack inhabits. Certainly not the planet I inhabit. But perhaps that says more about me than about him.

Jack's opening:

Democrats begin their national convention with a queasy feeling in the pits of their stomachs. Barack Obama has plunged in the polls, falling into a statistical tie with John McCain. The election that was supposed to be in the bag isn't.

Democrats blame the plunge on negative ads. They plan to respond in kind. The first few days of their convention will feature nonstop assaults on the presumptive GOP nominee.

I guess it depends on what the definition of "plunge" is. There's no doubt that the race in the national polls is tightening. This is what the picture looks like according to pollster.com.

By my eye, it looks like Obama has "plunged" about 4 points over about a month and a half while McCain has "jumped" 2 (or maybe 3) over the same period. "Plunge" is a matter of opinion, I guess.

On the other hand, using the same polling data, pollster.com has a state-by-state chart which then awards those states electoral votes according to that data. The result? If the poll numbers are accurate and if people were to actually vote today the same way that the poll numbers suggest Obama would walk away with at least 260 electoral votes. Only 270 are needed for a win (fewer if you're a republican and can convince your dad's friends on the Supreme Court to stop the vote count - but I digress).

Jack continues the analysis. This is where it gets fun for me:

The Democrats' strategy is driven by what they think happened to John Kerry in 2004. His plans to run as a war hero came a cropper when 15 of the 23 officers who served with him in Vietnam declared him "Unfit for Command." Democrats believe Sen. Kerry's sluggish response to their charges is what cost him the presidency. Sen. Obama has declared he will not be "swift-boated."

Actually (and this is surprising) I'd have to agree with part of this. Kerry's tepid response probably DID do some damage to his campaign. When the charges hit, he was off windsurfing. My guess is that Kerry figured that the GOP would never stoop so low as to smear a war hero's war record. Something to understand about the current crop of wingnut republicans: if ever you think, "Oh I'm certain they wouldn't go that low." Rest assured, you're almost certainly wrong. They probably will and they probably already have. Oh and Obama DID say he won't be swift-boated.

A paragraph or so later Kelly delivers the goods:

The Swifties' charges hit home because they were credible and came from a credible source.

Credible? Both the charges AND the source? Really? Now Jack's credibility is on the line. Does Jack really want to defend Kerry's swiftboating? Especially when McCain is on record condemning their first ad as "dishonest and deplorable" and "very, very wrong." He also told the AP:

As it is, none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crew have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam.

Does Jack Kelly really think the charges are credible when the REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE DOESN'T? But perhaps McCain was wrong (wouldn't be the first time for a man who has no idea how many houses he owns). Isn't there anyplace on the web questioning the credibility of the swiftboaters' charges?

Why yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

New York Times:

The strategy the veterans devised would ultimately paint John Kerry the war hero as John Kerry the "baby killer" and the fabricator of the events that resulted in his war medals. But on close examination, the accounts of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' prove to be riddled with inconsistencies. In many cases, material offered as proof by these veterans is undercut by official Navy records and the men's own statements.

FactCheck.org:

A group funded by the biggest Republican campaign donor in Texas began running an attack ad Aug. 5 in which former Swift Boat veterans claim Kerry lied to get one of his two decorations for bravery and two of his three purple hearts.

But the veterans who accuse Kerry are contradicted by Kerry's former crewmen, and by Navy records.

Maybe there's something wrong with the Navy. Oh if only some high ranking Naval officer were asked to look them over to see if there's anything funny about the procedures used to award Kerry the medals.

Wait a tic - there was one. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, an Admiral DID take a look at the records. His response? Take a look:

In accordance with our established review procedures, we carefully examined the process by which Senator Kerry was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts in 1968 and 1969. We found that existing documentation regarding his medals indicates the awards approval process was properly followed. In particular, the senior officers who authorized the medals were properly delegated authority to do so. In addition, we found that they correctly followed the procedures in place at the time for approving these awards.

And then a paragraph later:

Our review also considered the fact that Senator Kerry's post-active duty activities were public and that military and civilian officials were aware of his actions at the time. For these reasons, I have determined that Senator Kerry's awards were properly approved and will take no further action in this matter. [emphasis added]

The penultimate part is important. You'd think that, considering Senator Kerry's "post-active duty activities" were known to all the folks who could have reviewed the process more or less as it took place, someone someplace would have said something back in, oh, 1970 or something. The fact that they didn't tells us there's no there there.

The conclusion is inescapable. The medals were properly awarded. Senator John Kerry was a war hero. The Swiftboaters' charges are not credible.

And neither is Jack Kelly.

A few after thoughts. Jack spins things here:

Whining isn't toughness, either. After Sen. McCain bested their man at Pastor Rick Warren's presidential forum last weekend, Sen. Obama staffers told reporters the old white guy must have cheated. Mr. Obama complained, falsely, to the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Tuesday that Mr. McCain has been questioning his patriotism.

We've written about Rick Warren's presidential forum here. Jack's completely out of it denying McCain questioning Obama's patriotism. Oh really? When McCain mancrush Joe Lieberman questioned Obama's patriotism the McCain campaign endorsed it. From the New York Times:

One of the McCain campaign’s new themes, that Senator John McCain has always put his country first, has been seen by some analysts as a subtle suggestion that his opponent, Senator Barack Obama, has not.

But as he introduced Mr. McCain at a campaign event here on Tuesday, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut made the attack a lot more explicit, calling the election a choice “between one candidate, John McCain, who has always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not.’’

Then there's the whole, "he rather win a election than win the war." stuff. What's not just questioning his patriotism, that's accusing him of treason.

Sad to see the once (though I still doubt that) "straight talker" being so reduced to such obvious puddle of muddy lies.

3 comments:

Heir to the Throne said...

Lets not forget that John Kerry signed a form 180 and released all of his military records.
Oh wait he didn't.
Of course lets not forget "Christmas in Cambodia" and

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

Infinonymous said...

Hey, Heir . . . does your disdain for decorated American combat veterans travel far enough to include criticizing John McCain for signing an anti-American propoganda statement?

Or do you only disparage decorated American combat veterans (who volunteered for service in Vietnam) and are Democrats?

My guess is that your disdain for John Kerry's service is coupled with deadender support for a draft-dodging, service commitment-skating, incompetent chickenhawk like George W. Bush.

Please be sure to alert us when your appetite for pointless deaths of American soldiers in a vain effort to redeem discredited conservative ideology has been sated, Heir.

John K. said...

John K: I really like the Kerry being in Cambodia for Christmas at the behest of Nixon.  Didn't he get a medal for that?  And you left wingers are aware that his biography was revised twice by Brinkley.  Twice?  Swiftboats told the truth and the left hates that.