Monday, August 16, 2004

One thing that I've noticed about David Alston's DNC speech is that he sure does seem to appropriate other people's memories and/or words. It has already been noted how his description of Kerry "standing in the doorway of the pilothouse, firing his M-16, shouting orders through the smoke and chaos" was remarkably similar to language used in David Brinkley's book. Unfortunately, Brinkley was describing Alston's commander on Jan 29, 1969, not Kerry:

"And the VC took advantage of it; suddenly there was a booming explosion that literally lifted PCF-94 off the water. Peck was standing in the pilothouse doorway with an M-16 at the ready to start strafing the jungle."

And now I've noticed another, perhaps more blatent rip-off. Later in his DNC speech Alston descibes another memory of Kerry:

"And when the shooting stopped, he was always there too, with a caring hand on my shoulder asking, "Gunner, are you OK?" I was only 21, running on fear and adrenaline."

But let's look at what another of Kerry's "band of brothers" has spoken about. Fred Short, who was ironically Alston's replacement is quoted on Kerry's own site as saying:

"His concern for us was overwhelming," says Fred Short, a PCF-94 gunner's mate who would get the shakes when the adrenaline of battle wore off. "He would come around then and put his hand on your shoulder and ask if you're all right," says Short, 56, of North Little Rock "I never had another officer do that."

While I could certainly imagine Kerry showing concern for his crewmembers in similar (or even nearly exact) ways, I don't find it very plausible that they would find such similar ways to describe it without plagerism or coaching. Either one of them stole the words of the other, or they are both reading from the same playbook.

Alston has already been established - BY THE KERRY CAMPAIGN - as not being on PCF-94 on Feb 28th, when the incidents for which Kerry was awarded his Silver Star occurred, in spite of Alston's statements indicating that WAS there. If he is lying about being there....