Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 15, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

SWIFT BOAT LIES....Like most bloggers, I have my beefs with the mainstream media. But you know what? They produce an awful lot of damn fine original reporting.

Case in point. In August the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth charged that John Kerry had lied about the events that led to his Silver Star. In order to figure out if the SBVT account was true, Nightline sent a crew to Vietnam, where they visited the hamlets of Tran Thoi and Nha Vi and interviewed the local villagers to get their recollections of what really happened 35 years ago. You can read the resulting story yourself, but it's summarized pretty easily: Kerry was right and SBVT honcho John O'Neill wasn't.

But there was also this:

Back in Tran Thoi, villager Nguyen Van Khoai said that about six months ago he was visited by an American who described himself as a Swift boat veteran and told him another American from the Swift boats was running for president of the United States. Nguyen said the man was accompanied by a cameraman.

"They say he didn't do anything to deserve the medal," Nguyen said. "The other day, they came and asked me the questions and I said that the recognition for the medal is up to the U.S.A."

He said that, after they met, the Swift Boat veteran and the cameraman turned around and went back down the river. Nightline has not been able to identify the men.

NOTE: the rest of this post was originally speculation (and outrage) based on the assumption that the "Swift boat veteran" in question was a member of SBVT, visiting Vietnam to dig up dirt on Kerry.

However, I've deleted this since it now appears that SBVT had nothing to do with this. Details here.

Kevin Drum 12:44 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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