Sunday, September 26, 2004

Kerry "Sr. Advisor" Tad Devine, in talking about the three battleground states of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota says, "Now, we'll have to throw a lot at them to win, particularly Iowa and Wisconsin, but that's fine. The president is going to have to devote a lot of resources to compete for them. I'd prefer we play on our turf."

He'd prefer to play on his own turf? As Bugs Bunny would say, "What a maroon." I'm sure Bush would be happy to play on Democratic turf exclusively. Do you think that could be arranged?

It's looking more and more like Bush might even be able to lose Florida or Ohio and still prevail. And of course, the chances of losing either have grown considerably smaller over the last couple of months.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

I have added a motto, "usefully paranoid", bestowed by Mickey Kaus (unfortunately his blog doesn't seem to have perma-links). It's perfect.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Hugh Hewitt is wrong when he makes this observation:

John Kerry ought not to have been hurt by the Rathergate scandal. There is no evidence that any Kerry operative arranged for the forgeries to surface or helped persuade Rather et al to run with the doctored docs.

But the scandal has indeed hurt him, badly, and not just as some talking heads suggested by denying him even the possibility of traction with the electorate at a moment when his campaign is foundering.

The forged docs have hurt Rather and CBS because he and it ought to have seen through them. They shouldn't have been fooled because they were so obviously inauthentic.

The problem here is that John Kerry and John Edwards have, for months, been trying to tie President Bush to the SBVFT with no basis in facts. They've been trying this entire time to characterize the ads as a "Republican smear machine" orchestrated by Bush and Rove.

Now we have an obvious dirty trick which was FAR beyond the pale, brought to us by Dan Rather and CBS (with known Democratic leanings), trumpeted by DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe, even to the extent of a commercial based on the forgeries. Not only that, but CBS is actually standing behind the obvious forgeries, and refusing to name the source.

By the (lack of) standards advocated by John Kerry earlier this year, there is so much evidence that these originated from his campaign that it practically amounts to a video tape of Kerry himself typing them up and then handing them to Rather.

Kerry is being hurt by the CBS forgeries scandal because he is being judged as he wanted Bush to be judged.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Bandit (via ) finds a smoking gun oped written by Bill Burkett on AUG 25:

George W. Bush, you may be the president [sic]. But I know that you lied.

I know from your files that we have now reassembled, the fact that you did not fulfill your oath, taken when you were commissioned to "obey the orders of the officers appointed over you". I know that you not only lied to the American people in 1994, but have lied consistently since then. Mr. Bush, not every serviceman except you is incompetent. When you failed to show up as ordered for duty, they simply recorded the truth. And the truth was, they didn't think you were especially important enough to jeopardize their own careers to cover for your absence by fraudulently counting you as present in any piece of documentation when you clearly were not present.

Now Mr. Bush, we have finally confirmed the truth concerning your failure to complete your minimum satisfactory drill participation in 1972 and 1973. Yes, you did receive an honorable discharge, and, for whatever reason, someone in Texas did cover your "six" on that one. And someone in June of 1997 also tried to cover your "six" by making sure that the counseling statements and other files, which explained the reason you were grounded, did not survive a records scrub.

It sounds like Burkett had "reassembled" the exact forgeries that CBS and USA Today ran with just weeks later, doesn't it?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Pew Research is blatantly and obviously spinning it's poll in an attempt to favor John Kerry.

The news that Pew's poll had the race as a virtual "dead heat" was widely reported today, for example at Yahoo News:

The first of two national polls by Pew, done Sept. 8-10, reflected the president's post-convention bounce. Bush was ahead of Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites) 52-40 among registered voters and by an even wider margin, 54-39, among likely voters, a narrower group.

By the second poll, done Sept. 11-14, the Bush lead had evaporated. In that poll, Bush and Kerry were knotted at 46 percent among registered voters. Among likely voters, Bush was at 47 percent and Kerry at 46 percent.

Pew's contention is that within a space of 3 days, with the 9/11 ceremonies going on, Rathergate erupting, and Kerry talking in favor of gun control, Bush lost 12 points to registered voters, and 14 points with likely voters??? Are they nuts?

Every poll has the potential to be an "outlier", or a poll which through random bad luck has an unrepresentative sample. The larger the sample, the more these things even out. The smaller the sample, the more volatility. Obviously, larger samples are more reliable than smaller samples.

With this Pew poll, I guess you could ask the question as to whether it was the 1st sample that had such a problem or whether it was the 2nd. Another, perhaps more reasonable thought struck me though - what if they were each unrepresentative? The first biased toward Bush, the 2nd toward Kerry.

If these errors were roughly equal, this would result in a "true" picture over a SIX day poll, of a 6 point Bush lead among registered voters, and a 8 point lead among likely voters. Quite a difference from a "dead heat", don't you agree?

Now's the really interesting part - I got to thinking, why would Pew do 2 three day polls one right after the other? Why didn't they combine them to make a larger, more reliable sample? It's not like they are trying to do a "rolling poll" like Rassmusen does. So what made them do this? Is this what they always do?

The answer is a resounding NO! As these pages at shows, Pew has been doing Presidential polls pretty much monthly from at least February of this year. And each of these polls has been over a period of at least 6 days.

Here is the relevant information from August's poll:

Results for the August 2004 New Interest Index survey are based on telephone interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a nationwide sample of 1,512 adults, 18 years of age or older, during the period August 5-10, 2004.

Strangely enough, in August they didn't see the need to split the 6 day poll into two "waves" like they did this month.

In July, the same story:

Results for the July 2004 Foreign Policy and Party Images survey are based on telephone interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a nationwide sample of 2,009 adults, 18 years of age or older, during the period July 8-18, 2004.

No "waves" in July either.

The same story holds for the June poll, the May poll, and the March poll (They seem to have skipped polling in April.)

These polls were all consistent:

They have been a month or more apart
They have been taken over a period of at least 6 days.
None of them talked about "waves".

The only Pew poll this year that deviates from this pattern (other than this month's, of course) was in February. This seems to be the first month that they began doing polls between Bush and Kerry (which makes sense). What is really interesting here, though, is that they conducted two polls during the month. They were EACH taken over 6 days, and they were seperated in time by about two weeks. So how were they reported? They were combined!

So given this established history, and the increased variability inherent in smaller sample sizes, why would Pew suddenly decide to commission two polls right in a row, with half the time and sample size (notice that the "2nd wave" poll of 9/11-14 has a mere 725 registered voters compared to August's 1166 and July's 1568, and June's 1426) of all the other polls this year?

The answer - they didn't. They commissioned their regular monthly 6 day poll, but saw their chance to manipulate the reporting of the data to show an incredible (both meanings intended) boost to Kerry's support.

After Dan Rather and CBS, the AP's "boos" fiasco, etc., I'm not even surprised anymore.

UPDATE: I noticed that the 725 figure for the recent "3 day" Pew poll was actually likely voters. They had 1002 registered voters, with an additional 970 for the 9/8-10 period.

They interviewed 2494 adults this month (all six days), 1512 last month, 2009 in July, and 1806 in June. I don't know if this increase is due to more calls this month, or if they simply had an abnormally high response rate.

UPDATE 2: Welcome to Musil and Kausfile readers.

Via a David Hoberg thread on polls comes this page at Pew. It certainly raises certain problems with the contention that there were two polls instead of one. For instance in the header is this gem:


and this:

SEPTEMBER 8 - 13, 2004 TOTAL N=2003; RV N=1580

Note that it says survey in the singular, not plural.

And finally, the true results of the September poll, which they were so determined to avoid reporting (sorry for the formatting, or lack thereof):


Bush/Lean Bush Kerry/Lean Kerry Nader/Lean Nader/
Only Only Don't
Total Strongly Mod. DK Total Strongly Mod. DK Nader Know
September, 2004 49 33 15 1 43 22 20 1 1 7=100

In other words, there was a 49 to 43 Bush lead for September's Pew Survey.
I noted earlier that Gary Killian's son had supposedly claimed on Hannity and Colmes that he had been contacted by CBS BEFORE the story aired, and that he had not only stated that he didn't believe the memos to be genuine, but that he had also given them additional people to contact for further information. Well, I finally negotiated through's website to find a transcript, and that is exactly what he said:

HANNITY: Your father liked George Bush. Your step mom even went as far as to say that he thought he was an excellent aviator, an excellent person, happy to have served with him, and have him serve under him. Is that true?

KILLIAN: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Yes. And now, you told this to a CBS producer for this piece prior to the "60 Minutes" piece airing. Is that correct, sir?

KILLIAN: That's right, Sean. In fact, even gave her other names of folks that he flew with, including his primary instructor and a fellow that he flew with and actually roomed with.

In fact, Sean, as you know, I sent you an e-mail to that effect.

HANNITY: Yes, and "60 Minutes" excluded both you and your step mom, told them specifically about what your father had said to both of you about George W. Bush, the good words you had to say that you relayed to "60 Minutes" about what your father had said about him.

KILLIAN: That's true.

HANNITY: They ignored what you said, correct?

KILLIAN: That's true. And apparently, they ignored testimony from other officers within the unit that knew him and flew with him.

HANNITY: Now, this is — this is an amazing development here, because CBS issued a statement and what they said tonight, they interviewed people familiar with you and your father and had worked with them, and that supported their documents, Gary.

But they interviewed you and your mother, and both of you told them the documents were likely not to have been written by your father and that clearly they ignored that and they ignored what your father directly told both of you about him.

KILLIAN: That's a fact.

HANNITY: That is an amazing development here. Now, what about these other people that you also advised "60 Minutes" that they could — they could go to? They had favorable accounts about your father's service — about George Bush's service?

KILLIAN: The people I spoke to at "60 Minutes?"

HANNITY: Yes, sir.

KILLIAN: OK. I spoke to a Mary Maddox (ph), who works out of their Dallas office.

HANNITY: But in other words, you recommended other people that would have confirmed your father's account, which was George Bush served honorably?

KILLIAN: That's correct.

HANNITY: And they ignored those — they ignored those accounts, as well?

KILLIAN: That's right. I named a couple of other officers specifically. Maurice Eudell, who was Bush's primary instructor and there to basically watch over him as he progressed as a pilot, as well as a — a Major Dean Rome (ph), who was somebody that often flew with Lieutenant Bush. And in fact, they shared an apartment together.

HANNITY: Has Dan Rather called you since this time? Has anybody tried to get corroboration from you since this time?


HANNITY: And what about your mother or your sister?

KILLIAN: Well, I think they were all contacted by "60 Minutes" prior to the release of the documents. I don't believe that anybody has been contacted or re-contacted since.

HANNITY: Did you see this — Dan Rather's piece tonight?


HANNITY: All right. But you.

KILLIAN: Sorry to say.

HANNITY: All right, but you've read it here.

Do you think that this was an effort by "60 Minutes" and CBS - now, based on your firsthand knowledge of speaking with this producer, do you think this was an effort that they were trying to engage in to use your father's name to smear George W. Bush?

KILLIAN: Sean, I'd rather just give it the benefit of the doubt and say they didn't do their homework.

HANNITY: Seems that if they didn't include your statement or your mother's statements — your step mom's statements.


HANNITY: . and they purposely ignored the people that you knew that would corroborate your father's good feelings for George W. Bush, seems like they were setting up the president, to me.


HANNITY: I'm guessing here.

KILLIAN: I guess you can draw that conclusion. I'd rather be generous and say that somebody didn't do their homework.

UPDATE: Minuteman came up with a one-liner I wish I had thought of: CBS must have considered Gary Killian, Udell, etc. "authentic but inaccurate".

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Newsweek "buries the lead"

From this Newsweek article, we learn that CBS's source for the Bush forgeries was none other than discredited crank Bill Burkett. For some reason they bury the news in the middle of the article, but the relevant portion states:

A principal source for CBS's story was Bill Burkett, a disgruntled former Guard officer who lives in Baird, Texas, who says he was present at Guard headquarters in Austin in 1997, when a top aide to the then Governor Bush ordered records sanitized to protect the Boss.

This is the same Bill Burkett who has been pushing this story for years. Now he "suddenly" remembers about these "personal memos" from Killian that he's had laying around the house for 30 years, and CBS actually buys it???

Here is a little insight into the mind of Bill Burkett:

The Israeli intelligence network Mossad dispatched two agents to Washington to hand over evidence of the threat of 9-11, and even gave a timeline within the week of 9-11. Instead of saying, "We Blew it, America, and it won't happen again," we have again chosen denial and excuse.

"The sun got in my eyes" is an old little league excuse. It seems on par with our official reaction from the President and all of the executive agencies and the Congress.

Only one Democrat chose to step forward and openly place blame, which was deserved, squarely on the shoulders of high-paid professionals who were armed with every advantage other nations would die for. She was castigated and called every named. She is now ostracized from her own party as well as the party of the President. Where were her defenders? More important, where were the defenders of the Constitution and this nation?

And who was this "noble Democrat" willing to "tell the truth" about Bush? The only candidate I can think of is Cynthia McKinney.

And here, from the Boston Globe no less, is the story of Burkett's earlier complete discrediting:

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Bill Burkett, who has been pressing his charges in the national news media this week, says he even heard one high-ranking officer issue a 1997 order to sanitize the Bush file, and later saw another officer poring over the records and discovered that some had been discarded.

But a key witness to some of the events described by Burkett has told the Globe that the central elements of his story are false.


Conn says he never saw anyone combing through the Bush file or discarding records.

"I have no recall of that," Conn said. "I have no recall of that whatsoever. None. Zip. Nada."


Burkett says he told Conn, over dinner that same night, what he had overheard. But Conn says that, although Burkett told him he worried that the Bush record would be sanitized, he never mentioned overhearing the conversation between Allbaugh and General Daniel James III.


Burkett said that he overheard the conversation, conducted over James's speaker phone, while standing outside the open door of James's office, and that he was so troubled he told Conn about it that evening.

But Conn, now a civilian government employee working with the US Army in Germany, said Burkett never told him of the conversation. And Allbaugh, a Washington consultant and lobbyist, said, "I would never be so stupid as do something like that."

Allbaugh said he discussed Bush's file with Guard officials but only because Bush wanted to review it, and had never seen it.


Conn contradicts most of Burkett's rendition. He said that he remembers introducing Burkett to Scribner at the museum but that Scribner never said he was going over the Bush file. "If he had said he was going through George W. Bush's records I would have dropped my teeth. Wow," Conn said. "I would definitely have remembered that. I don't recall that at all."

Burkett also says that, before the encounter with Scribner, he was standing with a group of Guard officers, and heard a ranking officer order Scribner to review the Bush file and remove any documents that might be embarrassing to the then-governor.

But Scribner told the Globe yesterday that no such thing occurred. "It didn't happen. I wasn't even there," Scribner said.

Burkett has, in the past, raised his allegations about the Bush records as part of his personal struggle with the Guard over medical benefits.
When I was a child in the 70's, one of the first movies I can recall seeing was "Serpico". That movie was a dramatisation of a real person and event, one brave cop who exposed the corruption inside the NYPD of the 1960's. Dirty cops was a popular theme of the time (indeed, this theme continues to this day), and one of the big issues was about how the vast majority of even the honest cops would refuse to "rat" out the dishonest ones. They even had a term for it, "the blue wall of silence".

These movies usually followed the Serpico storyline: the protagonist was the one cop honest enough to tell the truth - ON THE RECORD - about the bad apples in the police force.

So my question is, when will the news media's Serpico emerge? I don't think that Bernie Goldberg qualifies, though I appreciate what he did.

When will Powerline's anonymous source about the AP's "booing" fiasco come forward publically to accuse Scott Lindlaw of his misdeeds?

When will someone like the Daily Telegraph's Toby Harnden actually name names regarding the blatant bias shown by some mysterious "American magazine journalist of serious accomplishment and impeccable liberal credentials."

Or is it too much to ask of the NYT' John Burns' otherwise excellent piece on Big Media corruption to NAME THE REPORTER here:

In one case, a correspondent actually went to the Internet Center at the Al-Rashid Hotel and printed out copies of his and other people's stories -- mine included -- specifically in order to be able to show the difference between himself and the others. He wanted to show what a good boy he was compared to this enemy of the state. He was with a major American newspaper. . . .

Look at the fear that these reporters labor under if they should break the "newsman's wall of silence":

I work as a freelancer for a major national publication, and was talking to my editor as we were closing a piece last week. It was Thursday, and the reports were coming out of Pakistan that we might have Ayman al-Zawahiri surrounded. I passed this news on to the editor, who was crestfallen: "Oh, no. I don't want anything good to happen for Bush before the election," was the reaction (P.S., this editor does not edit foreign or political stories).

It was a sickening moment. This is a man responsible for thousands of American deaths. So while I have no desire to see Bush re-elected, and I disagree with our attack on Iraq, to hope for our failure in capturing one of the deadliest people in the world is a moral blindspot.

This was followed up with:

A word of thanks for leaving my name out of that post.

Realized after I sent the email that if my name were posted it might easily make its way back to the editor. I'm barely making enough money at the journalism thing as it is... the last thing I need is to be blacklisted.

Isn't there any reporter who has the integrity to come forward, and name names? A reporters' very JOB is to report the truth as best they are able. Serpico was willing to risk his life to tell the truth. And what are they risking? In that last case, just a job that barely pays the bills.

Yet the "Newsman's Wall of Silence" stands undisturbed.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Everybody and their cousin has been having fun blowing gaping holes into CBS's credibility with regard to the fake memos that, incredibly, CBS still stands behind. I thought it might be interesting to take a different tack, and instead post the current status of CBS's attempted affirmative defense of the fakes.

1. Chain of custody.

CBS - We won't address this, you'll just have to trust us.

Yeah, right.

2. Authentication

CBS - We had several experts authenticate the memos in a variety of ways. However, the only one that we will identify is Marcel Matley. He assures us that they are genuine.

Unfortunately for CBS, Matley himself only says that he can "authenticate" ONE of the four memos. This is because his only expertise is in handwriting analysis, and only one memo bears a signature. Unfortunately for Matley, he is on record as saying that a photocopy cannot be used to authenticate a signature. A copy can only be used to make a determination "that the unseen original is false."

Why can they not identify the other experts that they claim to have consulted? Why do they have to rely on the - misreported - statements of "Phillip Broussard" (real name Dr. Bouffard) as (intentionally?) misquoted by the Boston Globe?

I have to say that I don't believe that CBS consulted anyone other than Matley, who by his own words was in no position to authenticate anything.

In addition, a handwriting analyst consulted by the Washington Times has stated that "my limited opinion [is] that Killian did not sign those documents". Remember, according to CBS's own expert, a copy can only be used to determine that a signature is a forgery.

CBS - We also consulted several people close to Killian who verified that these memos were in fact written by Killian. We won't say how many, but we will release the names of two of them: Major General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the time, and Robert Strong.

However, General Hodges has since made public statements not only repudiating what CBS says he said, but states that from what he has seen in the last couple of days he believes the memos to be forgeries. Let me emphasize this - one of CBS's "authenticators" instead believes them to be forgeries.

And all Strong seemed to have gone on record to say was that the fake memos seemed to reflect "the man that I remember Jerry Killian being." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of authenticity. To add insult to injury, the NYT is reporting that Strong now says, "I'm skeptical that Killian was working on that".

Also, although Rather hasn't mentioned it, other individuals that were contacted by CBS have come forward of their own accord. Unsurprisingly, they also contest the memos' accuracy - AND THEY SAID THE SAME TO CBS prior to the piece running.

Finally, yet another person familiar with Killian has come forward to also say that the memos did not appear authentic to him:

The personnel chief in Killian's unit at the time also said he believes the documents are fake.

"They looked to me like forgeries," Rufus Martin said. "I don't think Killian would do that, and I knew him for 17 years."

Why didn't CBS mention that they had uncovered people who had reservations about the memos' accuracy when the 60 Minutes piece ran? Why did they pretend that there was no question on that count? Hell, why do they STILL pretend that there is no real question?

CBS - We have also consulted an anti-Bush writer, Jim Moore, who assures us that these memos must be genuine.

Desperate much? Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel - this is amateur hour. For a snapshot into Moore's thought process, I especially liked his contention here:

...except for a lone Associated Press story that appeared in the back pages of the pro-GOP news section of the New York Times...

To quote Instapundit, "heh". I think that the "pro-GOP news section" of the NYT got eliminated in a cost-cutting measure before I was born.

To sum up, to date CBS hasn't offered a single item to support their contention of the document's validity that has been able to withstand even cursory inspection.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I remember just a few days ago the thought being mentioned that Democrats were essentially giving up on Kerry's candidacy and trying to get him to simply limit the damage.


I wonder how many seats in the Senate and House the Republicans will pick up now.
People have noted that the left's silence on the matter of these forgeries is deafening. However, Sullivan links to a thread on Daily Kos which does attempt to answer some of the charges, though it falls woefully short.

First off, they completely ignore the voluminous problems with the believability of the content and/or it's format (a small sampling of these problems is listed here), and instead concentrate soley on the typography. These criticisms (or should they be termed "defenses"?) fall into three broad categories:

1. They maintain that the font is not Times New Roman. The experts which I have seen quoted have stated that they cannot determine exactly which font is being used, but that it APPEARS to be Times New Roman. Interesting that the true experts cannot make a final determination from what they have available, yet the "experts" on this thread claim that they can.

2. Typewriters did exist at the time which could have produced the documents in question. I have no expertise in this area, but I'll defer to the numerous acknowledged experts who have gone on the record with statements to the contrary.

3. They point to an indisputably valid Bush document of the time perios which they state has a superscripted TH. However, the document in question, posted at Kos here, or in a format in which you can examine it better at page three here, simply does not have a superscript.

A superscript is defined as:

1. [n] a character or symbol set or printed or written above and immediately to one side of another character
2. [adj] (printing) written or printed above and to one side of another character

This document simply does not have a superscript, and you would think that one of the "experts" at Kos would know this. It does certainly look to be a special character added to perform the same function. However the top of the "th" is roughly level with the top of the "111 "which preceeds it, and the bottom of the "th" is barely above the bottom of the "111".

Contrast this with the actual example of a superscript on the forged documents here. It is not only ABOVE and to the side but it is roughly half the height of the preceeding numbers, in this case "187".

Therefore, even if there was a typewriter in use at the TANG of the period which had a special character for the "th", it did not produce superscripts, and it most definitely did not produce the fake documents in question.
The news that CBS is refusing to launch an investigation into the forgeries that they launched two days ago shocks me almost as much as the fact of the forgeries themselves. Are they dinosaurs or ostriches?
Is it just me, or, given the revelations from the Spectator, does the giving of the forgeries to CBS and the Boston Globe have Kerry's infamous hitman John Sasso's fingerprints all over it?

If you don't know about Sasso, here is the Boston Globe's own take on him less than a week ago.

The general election campaign is underway, and John F. Kerry has figured out how to blunt Republican charges that he cannot be trusted, that he will say or do anything to win. He's reportedly going to lean more heavily for advice on one of the least trustworthy Democratic strategists to come out of Boston.

If Karl Rove and company can turn Kerry's distinguished military service and principled opposition to the Vietnam War into big negatives, imagine what they will do with the high-minded political tactics employed by John Sasso.

No doubt, this thought has not occurred to party insiders in Massachusetts. They have been toasting Sasso as a political genius for so long that they might have overlooked how his idea of good, clean fun will play in the heartland, where so many of those battleground states are to be found. It won't. His is exactly the wrong voice to be whispering in Kerry's ear now that America is back from the beach and paying attention to presidential politics.


The problem with soliciting contributions to end the "smug and arrogant tactics of misinformation" that Sasso's letter rightly attributes to Republicans is that it only works when the purveyor holds the moral high ground. That would not be Sasso, he of the attack video that torpedoed the presidential campaign of Democratic Senator Joseph R. Biden of Delaware in 1987, he of the audiotape that ridiculed the physical disabilities of the wife of Edward King, Michael Dukakis's gubernatorial primary opponent in 1982.
I wonder if anyone has asked Tom Oliphant about the big pile of dung that the "objective" Boston Globe stepped into and the "standards of evidence" that they seem to have completely ignored.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

I will return to Kaplan's hit piece, but it will be another day or so....
Josh Marshall notes approvingly Kevin Drum's statement:

This story [the infamous CBS memos] is a perfect demonstration of the difference between the Swift Boat controversy and the National Guard controversy. Both are tales from long ago and both are related to Vietnam, but the documentary evidence in the two cases is like night and day. In the Swift Boat case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence indicates that Kerry's accusers are lying. Conversely, in the National Guard case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence provides additional confirmation that the charges against Bush are true.

Of course, the "documentary evidence" he refers to regarding Bush's service are obvious forgeries. And then let us further consider that Kerry, unlike Bush, is refusing to release all the documents pertaining to his military service.

You would think that an honest person would wonder what Kerry was hiding. They might acknowledge that Kerry has had to backtrack continuously on various aspects of his story. They might take note that Kerry has refused to be interviewed for over a month - amazingly enough, since just about the time of the first Swiftboat ads. But then again, I'm not talking about honest people, am I?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Professor Bainbridge links to the increasingly tendentious Fred Kaplan's piece accusing Zell Miller of lying during the RNC.

Not counting his rather pathetic insult regarding Miller's intelligence, which I'll get to later, Kaplan's first (and presumably most important/damning) charge is:

Still, it is worth setting the record straight. The main falsehood, we have gone over before (click here for the details), but it keeps getting repeated, so here we go again: It is the claim that John Kerry, during his 20 years in the Senate, voted to kill the M-1 tank, the Apache helicopter; the F-14, F-16, and F-18 jet fighters; and just about every other weapon system that has kept our nation free and strong.

Here, one more time, is the truth of the matter: Kerry did not vote to kill these weapons, in part because none of these weapons ever came up for a vote, either on the Senate floor or in any of Kerry's committees.

However, if you read Miller's speech, he never claimed that Kerry voted against any of those programs. He stated, again, and again, and again, that Kerry OPPOSED them, not that he voted against them:

Together, Kennedy/Kerry have opposed the very weapons system that won the Cold War and that is now winning the War on Terror.

Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security but Americans need to know the facts.

The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40 percent of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in Iraq.

The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down Khadifi's Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra. The modernized F-14D, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.

The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War (news - web sites). The F-15 Eagles, that Senator Kerry opposed, flew cover over our Nation's Capital and this very city after 9/11.

I could go on and on and on: against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s scud missiles over Israel; against the Aegis air-defense cruiser; against the Strategic Defense Initiative; against the Trident missile; against, against, against.

Do you see a single claim that Kerry voted against any of these weapons systems? No, because it didn't happen. Uh, Fred, let's talk about lies and distortions... In truth, there is ample proof that Kerry DID in fact oppose all those weapons sytems. Professor Bainbridge was kind enough to dig through the records to establish the facts as far as the B-2 bomber. Powerline has a 1984 Kerry press release which establishes his opposition to many more. They don't seem completely conviced of it's veracity, but the RNC has it as well. He opposed and wanted to cancel the MX missile system, the B-1 bomber, Star Wars, the Sparrow missile, the F-15, the F-14a, the F-14d, etc. etc. etc. JUST AS MILLER STATED.

Miller DOES go on to immediately after his recitation of the weapons programs that Kerry has opposed to accuse him of 20 years of poor votes. Does this work to create the wrong impression? Sure, though mildly. If you oppose a program, then what difference does that make if you don't get a chance to vote against it? You are still against it, aren't you? And if you vote FOR a program that you are against, what does that indicate? Either way, Kerry is in the wrong. In the one case, he just never had the opportunity to vote against these programs but would have done so. If the other case, he voted against his beliefs. Where is Kaplan's beef?

In any event, this is all just politics. NORMAL politics. How many people have falsely claimed that Kerry "volunteered for combat"? How many have disingenously claimed that Kerry "volunteered for dangerous swift boat duty" - while failing to note that when Kerry requested swiftboat duty they were patrolling the coast instead of the rivers, and it was then not particularly hazardous? When will Kaplan call attention to THESE "lies, damn lies" and "distortions"? Don't hold your breath. They are normal, everyday politics.

Here is the section where Kaplan is clearly lying himself:

This myth took hold last February in a press release put out by the RNC. Those who bothered to look up the fine-print footnotes discovered that they referred to votes on two defense appropriations bills, one in 1990, the other in 1995. Kerry voted against both bills, as did 15 other senators, including five Republicans. The RNC took those bills, cherry-picked some of the weapons systems contained therein, and implied that Kerry voted against those weapons.

However, if you will compare the weapons systems that Miller mentioned with those on Kerry's own 1984 press release, you will find almost all of them there - with Kerry trumpeting his opposition to them. Miller (and the RNC) are "lying" when they rely on Kerry's own press releases??? There are only two systems which Miller listed which aren't listed on Kerry's own press release - the B-2 and the trident missile. Professor Bainbridge has done yeoman's work proving that Kerry did in fact not only oppose the B-2 but actually at least one time VOTED AGAINST IT:

I did, however, find on Nexis a July 20, 2000 Cox News Service report that Kerry opposed SDI, voted to cancel 2 B-2 bombers and opposed authorizing the first Persian Gulf War.

Does anyone truly doubt that Kerry also opposed the trident?

I'll get into the rest of Kaplan's piece in a later post.

UPDATE: I just noticed that Kaplan was setting up an embarassingly obvious strawman. He put words into Millers mouth that obviously never crossed it - Kaplan DOESN'T EVEN GET THE WEAPONS SYSTEMS RIGHT. Miller didn't say a single word about the M-1 or the F-16 or the F-18.

UPDATE2: Here is proof from his hometown paper, the Boston Globe, that Kerry opposed the trident in addition to the other systems that I have been talking about:

These weapons became conversation topics at American dinner tables during the Iraq war, but candidate Kerry in 1984 said he would have voted to cancel many of them -- the B-1 bomber, B-2 stealth bomber, AH-64 Apache helicopter, Patriot missile, the F-15, F-14A and F-14D jets, the AV-8B Harrier jet, the Aegis air-defense cruiser, and the Trident missile system.