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Author Topic: SBVFT lay out case for factual basis of ad
WarrsawPact
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400 posts. Wow.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
As for Ryan - what Ryan did is also no-one's particular busines,
That's why I pestered you last month when you justified the opening of those records.

quote:
but it's infinitely more embarrasing than a catholic finagling an annulment
More embarrassing, perhaps, in some circules. I'm talking about horrifying here. I actually can't think offhand of hearing of anything in fact or in fiction, more disrespecful towards marriage than annulling an 18 year marriage that produced 2 daughters. And that includes chapter 1 of the Mayor of Castorbridge (sp?).


quote:
from a mentally disturbed wife, from whom he's been separated for a while.
Mentally disturbed? I had not heard that part. I thought that the info was kept under wraps?

quote:
He couldn't divorce her, remember? Not if he wanted to re-marry as a catholic.
And he could not go home from Vietnam without 3 purple hearts. Some say that if you don't qualify, then you don't qualify. There are plenty of good Catholics, who find themselves in positions where they can't remarry as Catholics. Very few indulge in an act of fraud, bribery, or whatever it takes to get a judge to annul an 18-year marriage that produced 2 kids, and then to seal the records to cover it up.

With Ryan, it was just a speck on his record. With Kerry, this begins to fit into a pattern.

Ever hear the ditty about stones and glass houses? Not smart for a party to play games that it doesn't want the other party to play. Monkey see, monkey do.

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ATW
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Abotu Kerry's multiple citations on that Silver Star

http://www.suntimes.com/output/elect/cst-nws-lips28.html

Former Navy Secretary John Lehman has no idea where a Silver Star citation displayed on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's campaign Web site came from, he said Friday. The citation appears over Lehman's signature.

"It is a total mystery to me. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me," he said.

The additional language varied from the two previous citations, signed first by Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and then Adm. John Hyland, which themselves differ. The new material added in the Lehman citation reads in part: "By his brave actions, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty, Lieutenant (jg) Kerry reflected great credit upon himself...."

Asked how the citation could have been executed over his signature without his knowledge, Lehman said: "I have no idea. I can only imagine they were signed by an autopen." The autopen is a device often used in the routine execution of executive documents in government.

Kerry senior adviser Michael Meehan could not be reached for comment on Kerry's records.

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velcro
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Pete,

You are correct, and I was mistaken. I sincerely apologize, and retract my statement that either Bush is lying or SBVT are lying. However my error was not in logic, merely definition. I now agree with your definition that in order to be lying you must 1) KNOW the truth, and 2) try to convince people of something besides that truth.

I can not prove that President Bush KNOWS the truth, so I can not prove that he meets the definition. I can’t prove he knows the truth, because with (IMO) conflicting evidence, we can not prove what the truth is in the first place.

There are those who claim to have facts that prove that Kerry lied about his medals. I think it is reasonable to assume that the President has access to the same facts as them, and if they indeed constitute proof, he would know the truth, i.e. Kerry lied. So, if you clearly prove Kerry lied, you have proven that Bush lied as well. He knows the truth (from the same facts used to prove it here) and he tried to convince people otherwise by saying Kerry served with honor.

A personal note: I do not try to PROVE Kerry is telling the truth. I point out that the SBVT have not PROVEN that Kerry lied. Casting doubt on truth is not the same as proving a lie.

Having said that, lets return to my original statement. President Bush says Kerry served with honor. SBVT says Kerry did not serve with honor. Since the two statements are logically opposite, one of them must be WRONG. (You might argue that he served part of his time with honor, and part without, but if the SBVT accusations are true, they wipe out any honor he may have earned otherwise, unless you want to get into serious waffle territory)

But right or wrong, the President must believe that Kerry served with honor, otherwise he is lying.

So Bush believes that the SBVT ads are wrong, yet refuses to condemn them based on their content. Now some may argue that the President should not tell people what to say or not say based on his opinion of what is right and wrong.
Pete wrote
quote:
Anyone that demands that the President of the United States declare that 64 veterans are liars, without any sort of formal hearing, has no respect whatsoever for the rule of law, and could not possibly be expected to uphold the constitution.
But telling people what to do based on his opinion is exactly what Bush does. He tells international organizations not to even mention abortion, otherwise they lose US federal funding, because he believes abortion is wrong. He tells gay people they should not be able to get married, because he believes gay marriage is wrong. He is not forcing these people to stop, but he is clearly telling them they should stop. If he believes the SBVT are wrong, and given that he knows the ads are hurting Kerry, he should tell SBVT to stop. Not call them liars, but tell them to stop. By not condemning something that he believes is wrong but benefits him personally, Bush is showing serious lack of integrity.

Some may argue that I have made a no-win situation for Bush. The winning response for the President in this situation would be:

“I do not know the facts of this case for certain, so I will withhold judgement on the validity of the statements. However, this is clearly a personal attack against Senator Kerry, and my campaign will condemn any personal attack against any candidate, once it has been brought to my attention.”

Which is pretty much what Kerry did with the MoveOn ad accusing Bush of jumping the line in the Guard. He may even have gone so far as to (gasp!) say the ad was false! Without a congressional investigation! How can we elect such an impetuous man!


Sorry for the convoluted (but valid) logic earlier. My point is this:

Anyone who claims to have proven that Kerry lied about his medals must also admit that Bush is lying. I have no problem with claims to cast doubt on Kerry’s honesty. But as I have said over and over,

If anyone can PROVE that Kerry lied about his medals, please step forward.

I do not consider conflicting eyewitness testimony to be proof.

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velcro
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Gary,

Do you admit that the "so many versions" line is a bunch of baloney? That the only evidence of lying is that Letson(sp?) said Kerry claimed to have been fired on? That other than that evidence, Kerry has been completely consistent?

My comment about the pdf reflects the extent of your evidence, which is a PDF of an affidavit from Letson about what he heard someone say 30 years ago.

I believe I originally said that Letson heard from someone that Kerry claimed to have been shot at. I do not recall if someone told him what Kerry said, or if he claims Kerry told him. It doesn't change the fact of one 30 year old memory, but I want to avoid any inconsistencies in my posts.

I had read that an injury obtained while destroying property or equipment useful to the enemy makes you eligible for the Purple Heart. I will try and track down that link.

But even if enemy fire is required, that means that the medal awarding procedure is so incredibly sloppy as to question all medals. This is in direct contradiction to the statements of some SBVT members.

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velcro
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From http://www.purpleheart.org/Awd_of_PH.htm

Sec 571 2-8 b 6 b

b) Individuals wounded or killed as a result of "friendly fire" in the "heat of battle" will be awarded the Purple Heart as long as the "friendly" projectile or agent was released with the full intent of inflicting damage or destroying enemy troops or equipment.

"Friendly fire" may include your own fire.

Even if you don't consider Kerry's wound to be in the "heat of battle", your claim that enemy fire is required is false. Unless of course you mean that enemy fire is required for "heat of battle". But that does not seem to be your point.

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Gary
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velcro, I was looking at the same web site, Sec 571 2-8 b 5 -- Examples of injuries or wounds which clearly do not qualify for award of the Purple Heart are as follows:
(g) Accidents, to include explosive, aircraft, vehicular, and other accidental wounding not related to or caused by enemy action.

(h) Self-inflicted wounds, except when in the heat of battle, and not involving gross negligence.

(g) applies since there was no enemy action at the time. (h) applies since this was a self-inflicted wound (accidental but self-inflicted nonetheless). A case could also be made for gross negligence.

Kerry's versions may have remained relatively consistent (well, except for Cambodia), it's the versions of those supporting him that cause my confusion.

ATW's post provides yet further evidence that Kerry records are fraudulent. In fact, a case for forgery could be made now. It's becoming more apparent that Kerry's records have been falsified and thus cannot be released for fear of prosecution.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
There are those who claim to have facts that prove that Kerry lied about his medals.
And I have stated my own belief that they are mistaken. I have yet to hear any evidence that *proves* that Kerry lied about his medals.


quote:
I point out that the SBVT have not PROVEN that Kerry lied.
And I, (and President Bush) agree with you!


quote:
Having said that, lets return to my original statement. President Bush says Kerry served with honor. SBVT says Kerry did not serve with honor. Since the two statements are logically opposite, one of them must be WRONG.
Here again, President Bush and I agree with you!


quote:
He tells international organizations not to even mention abortion, otherwise they lose US federal funding, because he believes abortion is wrong.
That is within a president's authority, Velcro. In America, it is unconstitutional for a president to simply declare someone guilty of a crime. The swifties aren't just telling their account, they have SWORN it in an affadavit. Calling them liars is calling them perjurers -- criminals. In America, such a declaration requires an investigation and a trial. Perhaps you've heard of "innocent until proven guilty?

President Bush swore an oath to uphold the constitution. You and Kerry are asking him to violate that oath, and to abuse his presidential power as president in violation of the constitution, and for what? For the convenience of Kerry's PR campaign?

All Bush can do under the constitution, is what he has done: state his BELIEF that the Swift vets are saying something that is not accurate. To CONDEMN them would violate his presidential oath to uphold the constitution.

quote:
If he believes the SBVT are wrong, and given that he knows the ads are hurting Kerry, he should tell SBVT to stop. Not call them liars, but tell them to stop.
Ah, well if that's what you meant, then you should have said that. Instead you said "condemn." And that's what Kerry asked for as well.

Trouble is that what you ask for is as unconstitutional as what Kerry asked for. For a Commander in chief to order veterans to shut up and stop telling their story, when no military secrets are involved, would violate free speech. And to tell one 527 to shut up, without telling other 527s to shut up, would violate the 14th amendment's equal protection clause.

So that argument basically criticizes Bush for keeping his oath to uphold the constitution of the United States, while trying as best he can within those constitutional constraints to see that his opponent has a fair chance to beat him in the election.


quote:
“I do not know the facts of this case for certain, so I will withhold judgement on the validity of the statements. However, this is clearly a personal attack against Senator Kerry, and my campaign will condemn any personal attack against any candidate, once it has been brought to my attention.”
Excellent! I'm very impressed with that "my campaign will condemn wording! I had not thought of that. Saying "my campaign will condemn" rather than "I will condemn" completely eliminates the constitutional problems inherent to your earlier requests. Good job.

Trouble is, now you are asking Bush to order his campaign to violate the laws that were passed in the McCain-Feingold bill. GWB's campaign is not allowed to communicate any sort of instructions to the anti-Kerry 527s. Unlike the Kerry Campaign, the Bush campaign has so far rigidly kept the McCain-Feingold laws, even to the point of kicking out anyone on the Bush campaign team who communicates with the anti-Kerry 527s. If Bush did what you said, then he'd have to kick the staff members who obeyed his orders off the campaign, for illegally communicating his instructions to the Swifties.


quote:
I think it is reasonable to assume that the President has access to the same facts as them, and if they indeed constitute proof, he would know the truth, i.e. Kerry lied.
That's three assumptions you are making, not one. The first assumption is correct, the second is clearly incorrect, and the third assumption is very, very doubtful. All three of your assumptions need to be true in order for your argument to be valid.

Your first (correct) assumption is that the President has the power to access to the military facts regarding Kerry.

Your second (incorrect) assumption is that having the power to access to the information is the same as having the info at your fingertips, or being aware of the information. My understanding is (correct me if I am wrong) that if Bush were to use his power to open Kerry's records and investigate this matter, that this investigation could leak out. Using his presidential authority to investigate Kerry's military records, could be seen as an abuse of presidential power to influence an election. So unless Kerry, or someone with authority actually asks him to investigate, Bush's hands are ethically tied, because he has a conflict of interest.

Your third (doubtful) assumption is that the info in the military records actually proves whether John Kerry is telling the truth, or not.

Bush does not have the information at his fingertips, and accessing it without a request from Kerry would constitute an abuse of his power. Furthermore, it is doubtful that the information actually proves anything one way or the other. Therefore you are mistaken to say that "Anyone who claims to have proven that Kerry lied about his medals must also admit that Bush is lying."

quote:
If anyone can PROVE that Kerry lied about his medals, please step forward.
[Pete takes two steps backwards]

I'm not the only Democrat that feels this way, either:

quote:
WALLACE: Let's talk about John Kerry. You introduced the senator at a big dinner in Georgia in 2001, and let's take a look at some of what you said there.

"My job is an easy one: to present to you one of the nation's authentic heroes."

Question: Anything that you've heard over the last few weeks in the Swift Boat controversy make you change your mind about whether John Kerry is an authentic hero?

[SENATOR Z. MILLER]: No, I think he's a hero. This is a man who volunteered, who volunteered for combat, who volunteered to go to Vietnam. I think anyone who did that is a hero.

I think that these Swift Boat people on both sides are heroes. And I think that they both have the right to be heard. I think that the American people will listen to them and will sort it out.
They'll make the right decision.

I agree that there is a time and place for a president to break the law, and perhaps even to violate the constitution, in order to protect the country. But I do not believe that this quarrel over something that happened decades ago, is worth violating freedom of speech, equal protection, or even the McCain-Feingold Act.

I believe that most Americans are like me in that they'd rather not call anyone a liar. All Kerry needs to do is swear that his story is true, have his band of brothers do the same, and hypothesize that perhaps the Swifties perceived some things incorrectly, and that time and bitterness have distorted their memories. THANK President Bush for defending his honor. Take it like a man, and stop whining about everything, and stop demanding that everyone break the law in order to protect him from the opinions of others. Most Americans dig that sort of leader.

That's why so many of us love George W. Bush.

If Kerry is man enough to do that, then he might win the election. If he doesn't, losing this election will be a self-inflicted injury that he won't receive a purple heart for.

[ August 29, 2004, 06:30 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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velcro
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Pete,

I see your point, and I agree, sort of. Where we disagree is this. If President Bush says "I think this negative ad should stop", you think he is officially, in his Constitutional capacity as Chief of the Executive Branch, commanding all government entities under his control to stifle and prevent free speech.

I think he is a human being saying - this is not fair, and it "should" stop. No executive orders, no commands to the FBI to shut someone down. Just his opinion. If that has the effect of shutting them down, well that is just because people value his opinion.

I never said Bush should use his official powers to do anything, especially look into Kerry's records. My point is that some on Ornery claim to have proven that Kerry lied. Whatever information they have is publicly available. All Bush would have to do is read this thread and be convinced by the proof, if they had really proven it.

If I ran an ad with someone swearing that Bush took cocaine 30 years ago, and Bush denied it, would he be abusing his Constitutional authority in the same way?

Gary,

Do you think you have proven that Kerry is a liar?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
If President Bush says "I think this negative ad should stop", you think he is officially, in his Constitutional capacity as Chief of the Executive Branch, commanding all government entities under his control to stifle and prevent free speech.

I think he is a human being saying - this is not fair, and it "should" stop.

I agree with you. But didn't GWB say that already?

What Kerry asked for was Bush to "condemn" the ads which auggests the official presidential capacity. When Bush gave his opinion that the ads should stop, Kerry said that wasn't enough, because it was mere opinion rather than "condemnation."

quote:
I never said Bush should use his official powers to do anything, especially look into Kerry's records. ... My point is that some on Ornery claim to have proven that Kerry lied. Whatever information they have is publicly available. All Bush would have to do is read this thread and be convinced by the proof, if they had really proven it.
Ah. OK ... so you are assuming for sake of argument that what they say is true. OK. Sorry for misunderstanding you, and thank you for clarifying.

quote:
If I ran an ad with someone swearing that Bush took cocaine 30 years ago, and Bush denied it, would he be abusing his Constitutional authority in the same way?
Remember my repeated emphasis that Bush can't make a definitive statement, because he was not there? What I mean by that is that if Bush had been on the Swift Boat with Kerry, it would not be abuse of Bush's presidential power for Bush to state that the Swifties were wrong. So to answer your hypothetical question, Bush could speak from personal experience, rather than judging based on his opinion of the testimony of others. Therefore this would not be abuse of power.


(Incidentally , hasn't Bush basically admitted that he took Cocaine 30 years ago?)

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Gary
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quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
Gary,

Do you think you have proven that Kerry is a liar?

He certainly is regarding the Christmas in Cambodia story. Having repeated this several times over the years, it's proven that Kerry has a willingness to lie.

The considerable irregularities surrounding his citations, conflicting eyewitness accounts and refusal to release records that would prove Kerry's honesty are very good evidence that Kerry is not telling the truth now. Without the records release, the evidence is primarily circumstantial but it is reasonable to conclude he's lying about these events.

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ATW
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The president, the highest official in the land, telling some person or some group to shut up would create a chilling effect.

A Chilling Effect refers to a situation where speech is stifled or limited by an individual's or group's fear of punishment.

Typically, liberal groups would be blasting anything which would act in any way to stifle free speech. I know this is one of the ACLU's prime areas of concern and they help people bring suit against officials who are trying to intimidate people into shutting up.

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WarrsawPact
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quote:
(Incidentally , hasn't Bush basically admitted that he took Cocaine 30 years ago?)
Enough so that anyone with a brain picked up on it upon hearing his specific remark, yes.
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ATW
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Bush during his first run for governor refused to answer the question whether he had ever taken cocaine or not citing privacy concerns. A lot of furor over that and its resurfaced a couple of times in campaigns since then.

I've not read any admission by Bush that he took cocaine. As far as I know from living in Texas through each of Bush's political campaigns, there's never been any evidence against him. Though I'm perfectly winning to read news artcles anyone brings here saying otherwise

Refusing to answer questions and put things to rest is stupid politically but its not incriminating and certainly not the same thing as admitting guilt. Unless they changed the rules in this country since I woke up this morning.

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Everard
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"He certainly is regarding the Christmas in Cambodia story."

No, its been established his memories are WRONG.

Thats a far cry from proving he has LIED. There is a huge difference, and it hasn't been established that he stated something untrue, since he was talking about his memories, and you have no evidence about what his memories are, otehr then his statements.

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Gary
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
"He certainly is regarding the Christmas in Cambodia story."

No, its been established his memories are WRONG.

Thats a far cry from proving he has LIED. There is a huge difference, and it hasn't been established that he stated something untrue, since he was talking about his memories, and you have no evidence about what his memories are, otehr then his statements.

Let's check what Kerry said:
quote:
"I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared -- seared -- in me."
This 'seared' memory (first expressed in a 1979 letter to the Boston Herald and repeated on at least eight occasions during Senate debate or in news interviews,) is simply wrong? Well, I guess it could be. Seared memories leading to great personal epiphanies such as these could fade in only 10 years. [Roll Eyes]

Fortunately, we don't have to rely on memories alone. Kerry kept a journal during his tour - here's the report on it. Kerry's very clear about heading torward Cambodia and extremely clear about the Christmas Eve part. With such a detailed journal to consult, I find it hard to believe such a 'searing' memory could fade.

As this lie unraveled, one campaign aide explained that Kerry had patrolled the Mekong Delta somewhere "between" Cambodia and Vietnam. But there is no between; there is a border. Then another spokesman told reporters that Kerry had been "near Cambodia."

Next, the campaign leaked a new version (version 4 for those that are keeping count) through Douglas Brinkley, author of "Tour of Duty". Brinkley told the London Telegraph that while Kerry had been 50 miles from the border on Christmas, he "went into Cambodian waters three or four times in January and February 1969 on clandestine missions." Oddly, though, while Brinkley devotes nearly 100 pages of his book to Kerry's activities that January and February, pinpointing the locations of various battles and often placing Kerry near Cambodia, he nowhere mentions Kerry's crossing into Cambodia, an inconceivable omission if it were true.

The latest official statement from the campaign undercuts Brinkley. It (version 5 now!)offers a minimal (thus harder to impeach) claim: that Kerry "on one occasion crossed into Cambodia," on an unspecified date. (BTW, using Washington Post for my source )

Kerry has repeated his Cambodia tale throughout his adult life. He has claimed that the epiphany he had that Christmas of 1968 was about truthfulness. Ironic isn't it?

You've called others a liar with much less to work with than this. For someone who enjoys calling others a liar, you sure are willing to give Kerry a pass on this.

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velcro
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GWB did not say the ads should stop because of their content--ever.

Pete wrote
quote:
What Kerry asked for was Bush to "condemn" the ads which auggests the official presidential capacity.
I disagree. Condemn can be in a personal capacity. Kerry condemned the anti-Bush ads, but not as President, or even as Senator, only as candidate. Regular people condemn things all the time.
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RickyB
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Just bercause a memory is "seared" doesn't mean it's true. False memories are by no means necessarily vaguer than true ones.

As for Kerry's very presence in Cambodia: Those were COVERT missions. Even many years after, some things have simply not been technically cleared for release. And since Brinkley was not attempting to make the point that Americans were in Cambodia at the time, he saw no reason to piss anyonme off by including technically secret info.

Let me get this straight: Do you deny that CIA and special forces personnel were crossing into Cambodia at that time?

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javelin
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RickyB - I deny that Kerry was telling the truth when he said he was in Cambodia that Christmas, listening to Nixon. What more do you need? Why are you trying to redirect to the "Do you deny" something totally irrelevant, as if it matters?
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Everard
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More importantly, javelin, he said he REMEMBERED being in cambodia listening to nixon. Was he telling the truth when he said THAT?

Despite Gary's attempts to redirect away from that point, only 25% of us remember where we were when 9/11 happened, and 95% of us or more have "Seared" into our memories where we were and what we were doing.

He very well could have been telling the truth that he remembered being in cambodia, and have a false memory.

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ATW
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Do you deny that CIA and special forces personnel were crossing into Cambodia at that time?

During Johnson's presidency when Kerry first said he entered Cambodia, yes I deny that.

Did forces cross into Cambodia after Nixon was elected?

Helicopters, yes. Swift boats, no.

Helicopters can go anywhere. Swift boats were stuck on that one strip of water which was patrolled by the Cambodians and the enemy.

Everyone in the southern coalition was trying to avoid border incidents with Cambodia. The one time a US boat wandered into Cambodia by mistake, it caused an international furor.

Why would anyone choose to cross the border on a river patrolled by the cambodians for a secret mission when they could have walked across the border at any point for a hundred miles in either direction? Even if you believe Kerry's story, he's not saying they penetrated Cambodia any significant distance. The soldiers could have hiked the distance and have been much safer and more secret.

Or they could have been taken in by helicopter and avoided all the patrols.

As badly run as some portions of the vietnam war were, I don't think the CIA and special forces were stupid enough to not understand the huge drawbacks of river travel when inserting covert teams.

Despite Gary's attempts to redirect away from that point, only 25% of us remember where we were when 9/11 happened, and 95% of us or more have "Seared" into our memories where we were and what we were doing.

Might I inquire where you got that 25% figure?

It happened during work time on a week day. I'd expect more than 25% of people were at work.

[ September 01, 2004, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: ATW ]

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Everard
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I short-cutted, sorry...

25% of people remember correctly the circumstances they were in, and 95% THINK we do. Thats from a couple studies, one by a college proffessor who happened to be giving his students a quiz when it happened, and asked them to write down the class they were in, what room, etc. It was a two semester class, and the following semester, he asked them to remember 9/11... and 75% of them said they were in the wrong class, or the wrong room, or the wrong building, or not even on campus, etc. About the same thing with more rigoruous studies.

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Gary
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
He very well could have been telling the truth that he remembered being in cambodia, and have a false memory.

Then how do you explain his journal entry?

It's astonishing the contortions you guys will go through to make Kerry honest.

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Everard
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Gary-
That journal entry could VERY WELL prove that he was in cambodai, dude. It mentions TWICE heading for cambodia, on christmas day, and then receiving fire 3 minutes after the start of the christmas eve truce, and then drafting a sarcastic message to his commanders about being the most inland unit... an obvious reference to being in cambodia, or on or near the border. If the memory was WRONG and he wasn't in cambodia, that journal entry would not disabuse him of the memory in any way. If the memory is accurate, that journal entry would reinforce the memory.

Its amazing the contortions you guys will go through to make Kerry dishonest.

[ September 01, 2004, 12:17 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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Gary
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
Gary-
That journal entry could VERY WELL prove that he was in cambodai, dude.

Dude, Kerry already admitted he was not in Cambodia on Christmas Eve. Seriously, dude - the whole thing was a lie. To maintain otherwise is a bizarre state of denial. Kerry has admitted the story is false (and floated 4 differenet versions as damage control); you need to have the courage to accept that.
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Redskullvw
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So after 11 pages of post we are still entertained. And that is what is the most serious problem about the issue of Kerry's military and immediate post military conduct. Frankly Kerry is more than the contributions his military service made to who and what he is now. And it is indeed a 30 year old fogged issue.

You cannot and will not ever reach a point of clarification that results in a difinative version of what Kerry did, or even who he was 30 years ago. It was absolutely poor political and personal judgement on Kerry's part to centerpice his combat service as direct evidence of his suitability to serve as commander in chief. Even though many American voters were not even alive or aware of Vietnam, enough voters were alive at the time of the war to have conflicted oppinions about the war in general, and Kerry's post war activism in particular. Younger voters are unaware of the lingering animosity that eisist and wonder why people are questioning Kerry's record.

What is interesting is that because young voters are largely ignorant of the social and political implications attached to actions taken by many public figures during the Vietnam war, they are surprised when their parents react with either unconditional support for Kerry's actions, or unconditional suspicion of Kerry's actions. What is disappointing is that again people are questioning the Democratic Party's top canidate's ability to tell the truth.

We as a country have develped so many shades of grey definitions about what a lie is, that voters have relieved themselves of the responsibility to determine what constitutes a lie. Partisanship polarizes this even further leaving political support for a canidate based only on party affiliation and unquestioned suspicion concerning the opposing political party's claims and arguments. Because we have choosen to do this collectively, we are insulated from having to demand substance from our canidates and instead engage in a constant tilting at windmills over political molehills.

Meanwhile, neither canidate has had to explain what electing them as a president would mean for the country in the next four years, except in the most nebulous of terms. We instead concentrate on a non-issue.

Frankly Kerry's service is a function of the social and political atmosphere that was in existance during the Vietnam War. It is as contradictory as the entire war was. It should concern us that as a canidate, Kerry has choosen to use his war service as the basis of his political qualifications to be President, while ignoring his senatorial leadership. We should also be concerned that Bush, as a canidate, has simply repeated that he should continue to be president because of his response to the terror attacks, his liberation of 50 million people, and an economy that recovered because of tax cuts. It might seem to be a better reson for qualification than Kerry's, but if you look closer Bush has done the exact same thing as Kerry in that he has yet to explain what he plans for us as president for the next four years.

No offense, but the people who continue to be entertained by the political non issue of Kerry's service, deserve the bread and circus treatment. Because in the end this little show has removed from both canidates the responsibility to map out officially what their plans are. In short the voters have allowed this election to become a proxy vote on a 30 year old Baby Boomer dead issue. Lets face facts South Vietnam collapsed long ago, Vietnam hasn't had much to do with us economicly, diplomaticly, or politicaly, and our current geopolitical and economic reality is not likely to depend at all on what our leaders were doing concerning Vietnam 30 years ago.

The longer this issue dominates the political debate, the more convinced I am that we will continue to drive off effective and qualified political canidates and intensify partisanship to the point where effective and moderated government becomes impossible.

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Everard
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Gary-
You can spin it as " Kerry already admitted he was not in Cambodia on Christmas Eve. Seriously, dude - the whole thing was a lie. To maintain otherwise is a bizarre state of denial. Kerry has admitted the story is false (and floated 4 differenet versions as damage control); you need to have the courage to accept that." if you want, but thats all it is... spin.

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Everard
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"You've called others a liar with much less to work with than this. For someone who enjoys calling others a liar, you sure are willing to give Kerry a pass on this."

You know, I finally noticed that...and its rather offensive.

Where have I called anyone outside of this board a liar? Links and direct quotes please.

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Redskullvw
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Kerry made a statement

The statement was proven false

Kerry restated the original statement four times.

Kerry did not retract orignal statement, but simply modified.

It is up to the individual to determine if the issue is that Kerry lied in the first statement, unintentionally made a mistake in the original statement, clarrified the original stetement with honest intentions, or clarrified it intentionally in an evasive way.

Or you could give him the benefit of a doubt and assume what he stated was from his own personal memory and as susceptible to error as anyone elses.

I think it is the latter. But I suspect it could also be that his recollection in the statement was a combination of a 30 year old memory, political expediancy, editorial management over his biography's content, and a desire to solidly represent his military service without compromising his post war actions. Either way, its as frustrating to democrats as it is in the case of claims Bush lied about WMD's concerning what was factualy assumed before and after the war.

If Kerry lied, its so old its pointless. If Kerry didn't lie intentionally, it means he is as failible as Bush is when it comes to post statement investigation. IE its pretty damn pointless whether he lied or not.

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Gary
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quote:
Originally posted by Redskullvw:
If Kerry lied, its so old its pointless.

I disagree. If this had been a lie he floated 20 or 30 years ago, I might agree that's it's relatively pointless. However, this is a lie he's floated repeatedly and recently. He uses this lie as part of the foundation of his campaign - as proof that he will be a good leader.

Kerry tells us this is an example of the leadership we can expect of a Kerry administration. That makes it relevant and extremely important.

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Everard
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Again, Gary, do you have ANY evidence he's lying and not simply sharing a memory that doesn't match actual events?
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Redskullvw
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Ev

Frankly his statements are very problematic, and Kerry is evasive on the issue. But the fact is we are focussed on where he spent Xmass. Thats a red herring. If he is telling a truth or lie in this instance it simply has no material effect.

If we are interested in truth or lie issues, a more fertile ground for investigate would be whether Kerry was telling the truth to Congress in 1971, and did indeed commit self described war crimes; or he was telling a lie and made up the story of commiting war crimes for personal political gain at the expense of the truth and in difiance of being sworn to tell truthful testimony to Congress.

If he was truthful in 1971...hes a self admited war criminal in violation of the Geneva convention and stated so to the Congress under oath.

If he was telling a lie to Congress in 1971, then he is guilty of purgery, one of those "high crimes and misdomeanors" that got Nixon in trouble for and Clinton impeached.

Either outcome regarding his testimony to Congress in 1971 results in a serious smudge on Kerry's charchter. Either hes a war criminal, or a purgerer. Last time I checked that was more important than deciding if he was or was not in Cambodia for Xmass.

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Everard
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His statements aren't problematic. They are all mutually consistent. This is the problem I'm having... People who dislike Kerry for other reasons are using statements made by people (the swiftvets) that are documents to be false, and who have changed their mind in the last couple years about Kerry's character, to bismirch Kerry, to call him a liar, and thus try to persuade people not to vote for him... on the grounds that people who are changing their stories, and have no ducuments to back their claims, have made statements that Kerry is a liar. The swiftvets are an extremely problematic source, and should be combatted, because THIS issue will persuade people not to vote for Kerry... even though there isn't any reason to believe the swiftvets, and many reasons NOT to believe them.

I agree that Kerry's statements before congress are more interesting then his cambodia statements... but I disagree about how important they are. Vietnam was a mess, and if we start rounding up all the people who did commit the same sorts of actions as Kerry, a good chunk of our veterans will be held for questioning for violating geneva. But the problem was, as you should be familar with since I know you are familiar with that war, is that distinguishing combatants from non-combatants, and legitimate targets of war from illegitimate targets of war, was well nigh impossible, during the course of combat in Vietnam. Would Kerry be feeling guilty for what he did in Vietnam? Yup, but so were almost all of the Veterans who came back. Did the orders he received, and carried out, possibly make sense from the context of the war? Very possibly. If we hold Kerry accountable for war crimes committed in Vietnam, we have to charge every senior officer from that time with war crimes, along with thousands of junior officers and enlisted men.

This is a very simplistic first look at that question. If you wish to start a thread, I'd be glad to go into more detail on that particular issue.

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Ron Lambert
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There is still the question of who filed that form DD215 only a few years ago that revised Kerry's form DD214 and added four campaign stars to his Vietnam Service Medal, when he was barely there long enough to qualify for two (if that). If it is proven Kerry filed this fraudulent form DD215, he could go to jail for it. Others have recently gone to jail for falsifying their military awards.

And then there is the question of what he is doing with a "Combat V" (for valor) attached to his silver star, when the Navy never, ever awards Combat V's with silver stars, and all other cases of silver stars with combat V's so far have proven to be fraudulent, according to B. G. Burkett, who has made a career of investigating military awards.

If either of these irregularities are tracked back to Kerry, he will go to jail.

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Gary
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
Again, Gary, do you have ANY evidence he's lying and not simply sharing a memory that doesn't match actual events?

There are 5 different versions of the story offered by Kerry and his staff. I'll list them here for convenience:

1. The original "seared" memory.
2. Only somewhere between Cambodia and Vietnam.
3. Just near Cambodia.
4. 50 miles from the border on Christmas, but went into Cambodian waters 3 or 4 times in Jan and Feb 1969 on clandestine missions.
5. Kerry on one occasion crossed into Cambodia on an unspecified date.

Which one do you think is the true story?

If you intend to support the Christmas in Cambodia story (version 1), then how do you account for the other four versions subsequently floated by Kerry and his staff?

If I posted on this forum 5 different versions of a story claiming each was true, would you accept that?

quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
There is still the question of who filed that form DD215 only a few years ago that revised Kerry's form DD214 ... If either of these irregularities are tracked back to Kerry, he will go to jail.

Which is why we will never see the release.
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SwampJedi
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It seems that Kerry's journal entries would have been written near the time of the orignal events, neh? Can memories be corrupted in just a few days? [Confused] Years, I can see. Even months.

That's my take on it, at least.

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Pete at Home
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Red, I agree with you. But Kerry's folks refused repeatedly to discuss any matters of substance, and insisted that the entire matter of whether we should elect Bush or Kerry, boils down to who did what during the Vietnam era.

After months of resisting this game, and trying to talk specifics about the war and about social issues, while Kerry plays dodgeball, the pro-Bushies have finally agreed to play on the Kerryite terms.

Kerry named the game, when he said that he remembered like yesterday how he was in Cambodia on Christmas eve hearing a president (who wasn't president yet) saying that the US wasn't in Cambodia yet. Normally we'd let him get away with this. But Kerry was only using that false anecdote, in order to smear Bush as the worst sort of liar. The message is like this:

1. to lie about a war is the worst sort of lie.
2. Bush was wrong about WMD, so he "lied" about the war.
3. Therefore Bush is the worst sort of liar.

Trouble is, when Kerry is caught in a lie about a war, he's hoisted on his own petard.

Sure it's irrelevant. Sure this discussion is bread and circuses stuff.

But the Kerryites sent the rules here. The game is "see who can catch whom in what appears to be a lie." Since Kerry refuses to define his stance on the more material issues of the war and ssm, and since it's a complete waste of time to debate his disciples who simply imagine that Kerry represents their position even though his position is deliberately vague on the subject, we might as well play the game, if only to make the Kerryites more willing to debate substantive issues, even if it is only to escape an argument that has become as embarrassing to them as it is pointless to everyone.

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WmLambert
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One point that is seldom brought out is that Kerry volunteered to join the Naval reserves - not the Navy and was turned down. he also applied for OCS for the Reserves, not the Navy. The Navy was considered a safe billet during the Vietnam war because they were strictly servicing the Naval aviators. When Kerry volunteered for Swift Boat duty, it's obvious that he had PT-109 visions in his mind and Swift Boats were strictly used on coastal waterways. It is only after he got his assignment that the Naval ventured into Brown water patrols and he protested to anyone who could hear him.

There are a few pieces of data that lead one to conclude that Kerry is not a good leader. Until he explains Song Be Do River and his own single-handed acts of atrocity there he has no business condemning his chain of command, he has over and over again claimed Free-fire zones were evil and ordered soldiers to fire at anything that moved, when in fact, all a Free-fire zone does is allow an OIC to decide to open fire if, in his opinion, doing so is necessary to protect his soldiers and himself. Even so, he will have to answer for his decision.

The Swift Boat Vets attested that except for Kerry, they never indiscriminately acted in such a way. In Song Be Do, Kerry grounded his Swift Boat (against direct orders) when he saw the inhabitants of 3 or 4 grass huts in a small hamlet run into the woods at the approach of his boats. There were no flags or insignia of any kind, and no hostile action. He ordered his gunners to kill all the pigs and chickens and then personally used his zippo lighter to set fire to the huts. The other Boats were aghast at his actions and all stated the correct decision was to leave the Hamlet alone and move on.

There is no chain of command order that he can hide behind for what he did. His I.D. was "Boston Strangler" and he was so reckless and abusive in his command, that another Swift Boat Captain said he would never allow Kerry in one of his patrols. The records show Kerry was transferred out of his area soon after.

One of the reasons the 256 Swift Boat vets are so set against Kerry is his unfitness to command - not just his anti-war rhetoric.

Al Hibbert's statement that Kerry was denied the Purple Heart that he later received by going around channels and applying through a different chain of command still stands. If that Purple Heart is returned, then Kerry still owes over 240 days of active service and is technically AWOL.

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nyani
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I'd gathered that the Swift Vets' concerns were almost less with whether Kerry had earned his medals than with the way he represented the vets themselves to congress and the media when he got home from Vietnam. He charges himself and his own men of doing all sorts of war atrocities, which they themselves adamantly say they didn't commit. So the questions the vets are posing is this: Was Kerry lying aby saying he was involved in committing atrocities, at the expense of his men? Or did he actually burn villages, like he says he did (which would make him a war criminal)? I don't know the answer, or if these are the right questions, but it's a compelling argument.
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Daruma28
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I don't believe how long-lived this thread has been....I think it shows the relevance of the SBVFT has been to this campaign and Kerry's credibility.

What gets me is how the Kerry supporters have tried so hard to paint them as nothing more than paid GOP attack dogs.

It's even more amusing to see that they fail to recognize what they really are - when you consider that they have a large contingent of their constiuency based on the same premise...

SBVFT really are nothing more than a manifestation of the "Anybody But [candidate's name]" phenomena - ABK, if you will.

You'd think the Dems and Kerry supporters would recognize that since they have had so much support from the ABB crowd.

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