Thursday, August 05, 2004

The usual suspects.

So, the usual suspects have aired lies about John Kerry, and the usual suspects are defending the lies.

The Swift Boat smear is easily dismissed. None of the men in the ad served on the same boat as John Kerry, so their assertions that they "served with" Kerry are problematic, at best. None of them voiced their concerns at the time, when the man they now label "unfit" may have placed others in harm's way. In fact, one wrote the following of Kerry:

Many Commanding Officer's of larger ships and craft are not faced with some of the problems encountered by a PCF OINC on a daily basis. This officer has had a most demanding job in combat. His experience will be most valuable, to the Navy and to the Officer in future Command billets.

Even a cursory examination of the accusations and the accusers would show them to be transparently political, motivated not by Kerry's service, but by his subsequent opposition to the war, mere assertions to the contrary notwithstanding.

But to the usual suspects, this is irrelevant. To them, Kerry's decision to showcase his Vietnam service opened him to any contradictory claim, no matter how baseless:

If Kerry hadn't built his whole campaign around Vietnam, that would be old news. But having made Vietnam the centerpiece, and having played it up at the convention to the point where even Democrats were complaining about the militaristic overtones of his acceptance speech and the surrounding pageantry, Kerry won't be able to dismiss this sort of thing as ancient history. He'll have to face it head-on.

But are the accusations true? The usual suspects don't care. "Kerry played right into this with all the stuff about Vietnam and medals," so any rebuttal - even if predicated on lies - is acceptable.

Well, maybe not to this guy:

Republican Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad criticizing John Kerry's military service "dishonest and dishonorable" and urged the White House on Thursday to condemn it as well.
The White House declined.
"It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me," McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press, comparing the anti-Kerry ad to tactics in his bitter Republican primary fight with President Bush.