Clintonism breaks out in Swifty fight.

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Aug. 23 2004 3:04 AM

Clintonism Breaks Out

The Kerry eyewitnesses' fuzzy phrasing ...

(Continued from Page 1)

Saturday, August 21, 2004

I actually think the "web of connections" between Kerry and the Dem 527s is a lot denser than this. Where's Chris Lehane, for example? But it's a start. ... 8:01 P.M.

William Rood's eyewitness account of the Silver Star incident has now been published. It's quite convincing, and the Swifty response (in the Tribune, at least) is weak. ... P.S.: But we could do without the "purple martins." They make the whole piece seem speech-written (and therefore suspect). ... 5:43 P.M.

Friday, August 20, 2004

kf Alert: Watch out for a big Sunday paper** pro-Kerry eyewitness hit (on the Silver Star incident--that's the one with the beached boat and the fleeing VC) ... Timed to vindicate Kerry right before the Republican convention. ... P.S.: Even more reason to have a press conference! ... **Update:Chicago Tribune, where the eyewitness works.... More: But Michael Dobbs' big Sunday WaPo account  of the Bronze Star incident (that's the one where Kerry fished Rassmann out of the water) is mixed. It's considerably more sympathetic to Kerry critic Thurlow than Dobbs' Friday anti-Thurlow hit piece and not very sympathetic to Kerry's pet historian, Douglas Brinkley. On the other hand, the Post found a non-Band-of-Brothers eyewitness who says the boats did come under fire. [But see this very useful Fray post on the other, hotly-contested Bronze-Star issue: injury conflation!] ... The impression is forming: Kerry behaved honorably and capably in battle, but he was a hero in the write ups! [Update: That may be unfair, at least for the Silver Star incident, if William Rood's now-published account is accurate. Kerry comes off as innovative and brave--worthy of commendation. But see this. And on second read Rood doesn't quite say turning the boats into the enemy fire was Kerry's idea, does he? He only says Kerry "had talked to Droz and me beforehand about not responding the way the boats usually did to an ambush." Maybe this ambiguity is unintentional. Or maybe Rood's piece is very carefully written.]

The WaPo piece also features this graf:

Although Kerry campaign officials insist that they have published Kerry's full military records on their Web site (with the exception of medical records shown briefly to reporters earlier this year), they have not permitted independent access to his original Navy records. A Freedom of Information Act request by The Post for Kerry's records produced six pages of information. A spokesman for the Navy Personnel Command, Mike McClellan, said he was not authorized to release the full file, which consists of at least a hundred pages.

Bring them on! ... 6:13 P.M.

Here's the sort of calm factual rebuttal--as opposed to, say,  conspiracy-minded, process-oriented base-pleasing paranoia about a "web of connections"!--that might actually do Kerry some good against the Swifties. ... P.S.: I agree with RCP in that I don't quite see how--as Kerry's campaign manager boasted--the recent Kerry push-back "marks the end" of the Swifties, let alone turns the story into a positive for Kerry. ... Doesn't Kerry now need to hold a big, Ferraro-like press conference? People will pay attention. If he handles it well, the Swifties' story will be dead and he'll jump 5 points in the polls. If he doesn't handle it well... hmm ... what's Senator Lautenberg doing next month anyway? ... 12:55 P.M.

I don't understand how even Iraqi forces  are going to clear out Sadr from the holy shrine in Najaf without a propaganda disaster if the place is wired with explosives, as some TV reports have it. ... How do you say "Waco" in Arabic? 3:39 A.M.

Kf'sLong-OverduePush-Back!This has undoubtedly been blogged, but I couldn't help noticing that what The Note called Michael Kranish's  " long-overdue, point-by-point push-back from the Kerry campaign" on the charge that he didn't take his Swift boat into Cambodia during Christmas of 1968 containedno evidence of any sort--beyond the Kerry campaign's own assertions--that Kerry was ever in Cambodia. Instead,Kranish gave us the testimony of three Swift boat crewmen.

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