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August 13, 2004
Cambodian Christmas Flops -- In San Francisco

With his campaign being pounded by the very "band of brothers" that John Kerry invoked time and again on the stump, his advisors have been working overtime on two tracks: discredit the veterans he once presumed would wholeheartedly support him and keep the story out of the mainstream press. While the Kerry/Edwards camp has had some limited success in smearing a couple of the Swiftvets, the dam is about to burst on the second front, and the latest leak springs from San Francisco -- normally as safe as any area in the country for Kerry. The San Francisco Examiner published an op-ed by Kathleen Antrim today that challenges Kerry to open the records or admit he's lied:

John F. Kerry's campaign for president is imploding. And he knows it.

The anti-war candidate went public as a pro-war candidate this week, and the members of his beloved "Band of Brothers" are exposing a whole book's worth of ugly lies. And they've got details, evidence, footnotes, signed affidavits and witnesses who back up their claims.

Kerry himself bestowed immense credibility on his "Band of Brothers" when he used a picture of some of them in his campaign ad titled "Lifetime."

Essentially, Kerry made Vietnam, and these men, the centerpiece of his campaign. Of course, that was when he thought they'd support his candidacy. No matter that he'd never bothered to ask their permission to use them to promote his political career.

Now, however, the Kerry campaign is on a search-and-destroy mission to attack the credibility of these same men -- calling them liars, all 60 of them, and saying they didn't serve in the military with him. Really? Then why'd Kerry use their pictures in his ad campaign?

People may have forgotten in the intervening months that the Swiftvets did not just spring forth from nothingness, like Minerva from the mind of Zeus. They first organized when John Kerry suddenly began using their likenesses in a strategic blunder early in the primary season in order to boost his credentials as the "electable" candidate. Their outrage over being used as political tools by a man they detested for his post-war slanders on their service and character inspired them to form Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth in order to answer Kerry's foolish assumption of their endorsement.

Antrim then notes the curious but utterly predictable reaction from the Left and the Kerry campaign whenever hit by heavy criticism, especially that for which they have no good response: character assassination and attempts at intimidation through lawsuits. For a campaign that has had no qualms about charging the current administration of running roughshod on American liberties, Kerry/Edwards also had no hesitation in trying to squelch the Swiftvets' political speech, an egregious moment considering the price these men paid to uphold those rights. Antrim says:

With accusations flying, Kerry's version of free speech has shrunk down to only one veteran: himself. All others must be silenced.

This is called "damage control," folks, and it's in high gear because Kerry knows he's in trouble here. Big trouble.

Of course, this whole matter could be cleared up if Kerry would release his Vietnam records and his personal journal. It's a simple matter to release these records, requiring only a standard Form 180.

Surely the Kerry campaign knows what a Form 180 is -- they pestered George Bush into signing one by calling him a deserter for months. In fact, even after Bush signed it and released his records showing he fulfilled his service, they still call him that. So why doesn't Kerry do the same? Why are Bush's records germane when Bush didn't even make his service part of his campaign, while Kerry's are off-limits even though he's based his whole campaign on those four months?

Sign the 180, Senator! Until you do and we see these records, all of the mumbling about CIA/SEAL/Green Beret missions and faulty yet seared memories only emphasize your lack of courage and the Swiftvets' credibility.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 13, 2004 5:45 PM

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» Cracks and Fissures start to appear in the wall the Press has tried to build between the truth and Kerry's campaign! Thank God from The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill
Maybe my worries in this post were overblown! I certainly hope so since it was scary to imagine that the Press was so partisan that they would attempt such a coverup for any political figure. [Read More]

Tracked on August 13, 2004 9:18 PM

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