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August 10, 2004
Whither The Port Side Of The Blogosphere?

I was just on the Hugh Hewitt show, discussing the Christmas In Cambodia myth that just exploded in the Kerry/Edwards campaign's face. I joined Hugh and Roger Simon (hey, who says the blogosphere ain't cool?) in reviewing the latest developments in the story and trying to guess whether the mainstream media or the lefty bloggers would ever give this any play. We also discussed the moldy hat that Kerry toted around in his briefcase, informing anyone to whom he showed it that it was given to him by the CIA agent he took into Cambodia on his Swiftboat, as described by the Washington Post (via Power Line):

A close associate hints: There's a secret compartment in Kerry's briefcase. He carries the black attach everywhere. Asked about it on several occasions, Kerry brushed it aside. Finally, trapped in an interview, he exhaled and clicked open his case.

"Who told you?" he demanded as he reached inside. "My friends don't know about this."

The hat was a little mildewy. The green camouflage was fading, the seams fraying.

"My good luck hat," Kerry said, happy to see it. "Given to me by a CIA guy as we went in for a special mission in Cambodia."

Kerry put on the hat, pulling the brim over his forehead. His blue button-down shirt and tie clashed with the camouflage. He pointed his finger and raised his thumb, creating an imaginary gun. He looked silly, yet suddenly his campaign message was clear: Citizen-soldier. Linking patriotism to public service. It wasn't complex after all; it was Kerry.

He smiled and aimed his finger: "Pow."

Later in the day, Power Line also noted this interesting excerpt from Byron York at NRO, where he quotes Stephen Gardner -- one of Kerry's crew on the Swiftboat -- as categorically stating that it would have been impossible to traverse into Cambodia on the patrol craft:

"It was physically, totally, categorically, across-the-board impossible to get into the canal that went to Cambodia with a swift boat. There were concrete pilings that were put in the, the Navy kept patrol boats there to make sure nobody went in. When I was on the 44 boat, it was a physical impossibility to take a swift boat into Cambodian waters."

Beyond moving the story itself forward, though, Hugh wanted to talk about the response from the blogosphere and the media, as I mentioned. Neither Roger nor I would agree that the media would pick this up tomorrow, although we both thought they couldn't hold out too much longer. I predicted that it would only break through in the media as part of character attacks on the Swiftvets themselves and not on the merit of their claims, although that would follow -- and I also predicted that the Washington Post would be the first major to treat the story correctly. I wish I could claim prescience, but I had already seen this AP report about co-author Joe Corsi and the Left's desperate attempt to discredit him:

In chat room entry last year on, Corsi writes: "Islam is a peaceful religion just as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels are killed."

In another entry, he says: "So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the lawyers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that's probably about it."

Corsi, who described himself as a "devout Catholic," said the comments are being taken out of context. "I considered them a joke," said Corsi, who owns a financial services company and has written extensively on the anti-war movement.

In a March posting, Corsi discussed Kerry's faith, writing: "After he married TerRAHsa, didn't John Kerry begin practicing Judaism? He also has paternal grandparents that were Jewish. What religion is John Kerry?"

Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, are Catholic.

"I don't stand by any of those comments and I apologize if they offended anybody," Corsi said.

This set off the wingnuts over at Washington Monthly, the lefty blog hosted by Kevin Drum, who is more rational than most of his commenters. I found this only because I happened to look at my referral log and I found a number of visits from one of Kevin's posts. The comments were filled with triumphal glee at having pegged Corsi as a "freeper", and most of them acted as though the case had been solved. The Freeper did it!

The only problem is that the Freeper just wrote the book, not the testimony, even if you do discount people just for posting at the Free Republic. (I don't. YMMV.) The testimony comes from over 200 Swiftboat combat veterans who served in the same unit and area as John Kerry. However, WM's readership -- and I'll bet the same holds true at Eschaton and Talking Points Memo -- only want to talk about Corsi's association with FR and his terrible taste in posts. The Swifties themselves are sneered at as "insane", and I'm not kidding, that's the term they're using over there.

So much for valuing their service!

In fact, it reveals what I originally warned about last week. The Left doesn't talk about Kerry's Viet Nam service because they value it -- they talk about it because they despise the war. They only value it for the credibility it gives Kerry in despising the war as well, and his mythology as a man who ran illegal patrols into Cambodia while a corrupt President denied his existence just makes it easier for them to carry that banner into battle themselves. Finding out that he lied, and worse, that he co-opted their talking points to build a sham background in order to vault into the leadership of the anti-war movement -- and that just to leverage it into a political career -- would be such a tremendous betrayal that they'll never address it. Far better to talk about Corsi's freeperisms and the insanity of men who served in combat than to face that.

In short, they're cowards. They don't want to get the facts, so they just smear everyone involved and shade their eyes when viewing their icon. That might work for a few, but the scales are falling from the eyes of others, and Kerry will find himself very alone over the next few weeks.

Release the records, Senator. Release your complete military records, or suffer the humiliation that is a coward's due.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 10, 2004 6:14 PM

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» Confused About Cambodia from the Greater Nomadic Council
Via Captain's Quarters, I came across this Byron York article that tries to shed some light on whether Kerry was in Cambodia or not. First, quoting Steve Gardner, the SBVT member who served under Kerry, York writes: "It was physically,... [Read More]

Tracked on August 10, 2004 7:26 PM

» A talk radio virgin no longer from BeldarBlog
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