Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 22, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

THEN AND NOW....I've mentioned before that one of the reasons you shouldn't trust the SwiftVets group is that until recently a lot of them said nice things about John Kerry and then suddenly refreshed their memories early this year. Some of those nice things were said to reporters during the past few years, some were said in official reports 36 years ago, while in other cases official documents directly contradict what they're saying today.

This probably isn't a complete list, but here's a quick recap of why nobody with a brain should trust a word they say:

Roy Hoffman, today: "John Kerry has not been honest."
Roy Hoffman, 2003: "I am not going to say anything negative about him he's a good man."

Adrian Lonsdale, today: "He lacks the capacity to lead."
Adrian Lonsdale, 1996: "He was among the finest of those Swift boat drivers."

George Elliot, today: "John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam."
George Elliot, 1996: "The fact that he chased an armed enemy down is something not to be looked down upon, but it was an act of courage."

Larry Thurlow, today: "...there was no hostile enemy fire directed at my boat or at any of the five boats operating on the river that day."
Larry Thurlow's Bronze Star citation, 1969: "...all units began receiving enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire from the river banks."

Dr. Louis Letson, today: "I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury."
Medical records, 1968: "Dr. Letson's name does not appear on any of the medical records for Mr. Kerry. Under 'person administering treatment' for the injury, the form is signed by a medic, J. C. Carreon, who died several years ago."

Grant Hibbard, today: "He betrayed all his shipmates. He lied before the Senate."
Hibbard's evaluation of Kerry, 1968: "Mr. Hibbard gave Mr. Kerry the highest rating of 'one of the top few' in three categoriesinitiative, cooperation and personal behavior. He gave Mr. Kerry the second-best rating, 'above the majority,' in military bearing."

They were either lying then or they're lying now. Take your pick. But either way, since there's no documentary evidence to back up their stories, the only thing going for them is their own personal credibility.

And that seems pretty thin, doesn't it?

Kevin Drum 12:09 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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