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Rarely if ever have I read an editorial which managed to pack more intellectual dishonesty and partisan spin as the one that the Boston Globe runs in today's edition. The Globe attempts to take the position that everyone should drop the talk about what happened thirty years ago, but then betrays its own position as an anatgonist in that particular catfight. Each paragraph is chock-filled with Terry McAuliffe spin and ignorance in equal measure:
UNLESS THE documents used by "60 Minutes" in a broadcast on President Bush's National Guard service were fabricated by a campaign operative, they are part of a story relating to the news judgment at CBS and have little to do with presidential politics.
Well, it wouldn't, except that the Kerry campaign, McAuliffe, Tom Harkin, Tom Daschle, and a slew of Democrats rushed to jump onto the story and demand "answers" to the allegations that arose from the use of the forged memos. In fact, some still think that Bush owes them an answer based on false documentation!
Even if they are genuine, the documents don't add much to what is known. While some of the details remain uncertain, it is clear that during the Vietnam War, President Bush took advantage of his family connections to obtain a slot in the Texas Air National Guard, became certified as a jet pilot, later missed a number of meetings and other obligations, lost his National Guard pilot's license, and was honorably discharged.
Whew! Where to start? No, it hasn't been established by anyone other than mega-donor Ben Barnes that anyone pulled strings (for a Congressman?) to get W into the Guard. On the other hand, a number of Guard officers at the time continue to point out that there were plenty of openings available for anyone willing to sign a six-year commitment to be a pilot. The rolls were wide open for that. No one needed to pull strings to get into the Guard. All you had to do is qualify, which Bush did on his own.
Nor did he miss his other obligations. His released documentation shows he earned the necesary points for his obligations in each review year.
With Senator John Kerry, while some details are also in dispute, abundant documentation makes it clear that Kerry volunteered for hazardous duty in Vietnam, returned after an abbreviated tour in which he was wounded three times, and performed with true heroism twice, earning the Silver Star and Bronze Star he was awarded.
No, it's not clear that all of that took place. First, it's not clear he volunteered for hazardous duty; by his own 1996 account, he only volunteered for Swift-boat duty because he thought they would continue to patrol only off the coast of Vietnam. By other accounts, he grew surly and rebellious when the program shifted to the rivers, which made the PCFs more vulnerable to attack. Nor does is the Bronze Star incident free of controversy, as we have recounted on this blog in detail. However, what is clear is that Kerry served under combat, and was the only Swift Boat officer ever to serve a truncated tour without being seriously injured.
To the extent that this 30-year-old history matters to any voters, these are the facts. But this election should focus on more-immediate issues. We hope strongly that the campaign turns to the wide differences of policy and vision that separate the candidates. Let's get on with it.
The sooner papers like the Boston Globe start printing the truth rather than Terry McAuliffe's conspiracy theories, the sooner that will be. Had the Democrats focused on current issues rather than slandering Bush's service starting in February -- as the Globe does today -- then we wouldn't have to read dim-bulb editorials like this one.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Well, it's under the heading, "CBS Documents," which one would think would be an article that questions the credibility of CBS, but somehow The Globe (and AP) manage to twist this back on the President. Isn't it the press's job... [Read More]
Tracked on September 19, 2004 8:35 AM
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