Aug 22, 2004

The Story of Lt. Jr. Grade William Rood graces the Sunday Editions of many of the nation's newspapers today with the article by JOE GALLOWAY - the only reporter to be awarded the Bronze Star found HERE Military Records Support John Kerry against critics These two additions to the definitive takedown of the shiftyvets for gutter politics by the NYT staff should once and for all put the "we're only in it for the money and revenge against the Veterans Against the War" "dishonest and dishonorable" shiftyboat liars; should put this dastardly Bush backed below the belt attack on the war record of Volunteer Vietnam Veteran Kerry in it's well deserved place - the bottom of the political sewer.

But beyound that this account shows the creativity and cunning that makes John Kerry a great leader with ample courage.
There were three swift boats on the river that day in Vietnam more than 35 years ago--three officers and 15 crew members. Only two of those officers remain to talk about what happened on February 28, 1969.

One is John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who won a Silver Star for what happened on that date. I am the other.

I was part of the operation that led to Kerry's Silver Star.

On Feb. 28, 1969, I was officer in charge of PCF-23, one of three swift boats--including Kerry's PCF-94 and Lt. j.g. Donald Droz's PCF-43--that carried Vietnamese regional and Popular Force troops and a Navy demolition team up the Dong Cung, a narrow tributary of the Bay Hap River, to conduct a sweep in the area.

The approach of the noisy 50-foot aluminum boats, each driven by two huge 12-cylinder diesels and loaded down with six crew members, troops and gear, was no secret.

Ambushes were a virtual certainty, and that day was no exception.

Instructions from Kerry

The difference was that Kerry, who had tactical command of that particular operation, had talked to Droz and me beforehand about not responding the way the boats usually did to an ambush.

We agreed that if we were not crippled by the initial volley and had a clear fix on the location of the ambush, we would turn directly into it, focusing the boats' twin .50-caliber machine guns on the attackers and beaching the boats. We told our crews about the plan.

The Viet Cong in the area had come to expect that the heavily loaded boats would lumber on past an ambush, firing at the entrenched attackers, beaching upstream and putting troops ashore to sweep back down on the ambush site. Often, they were long gone by the time the troops got there.

The first time we took fire--the usual rockets and automatic weapons--Kerry ordered a "turn 90" and the three boats roared in on the ambush. It worked. We routed the ambush, killing three of the attackers. The troops, led by an Army adviser, jumped off the boats and began a sweep, which killed another half dozen VC, wounded or captured others and found weapons, blast masks and other supplies used to stage ambushes.

Meanwhile, Kerry ordered our boat to head upstream with his, leaving Droz's boat at the first site.

It happened again, another ambush. And again, Kerry ordered the turn maneuver, and again it worked. As we headed for the riverbank, I remember seeing a loaded B-40 launcher pointed at the boats. It wasn't fired as two men jumped up from their spider holes.

We called Droz's boat up to assist us, and Kerry, followed by one member of his crew, jumped ashore and chased a VC behind a hooch--a thatched hut--maybe 15 yards inland from the ambush site. Some who were there that day recall the man being wounded as he ran. Neither I nor Jerry Leeds, our boat's leading petty officer with whom I've checked my recollection of all these events, recalls that, which is no surprise. Recollections of those who go through experiences like that frequently differ.

With our troops involved in the sweep of the first ambush site, Richard Lamberson, a member of my crew, and I also went ashore to search the area. I was checking out the inside of the hooch when I heard gunfire nearby.

Not long after that, Kerry returned, reporting that he had killed the man he chased behind the hooch. He also had picked up a loaded B-40 rocket launcher, which we took back to our base in An Thoi after the operation.

In "Unfit for Command," John O’Neill and Jerome Corsi wrote that the attack on the Viet Cong ambush displayed “stupidity, not courage.”

John O'Neill, describes the man Kerry chased as a "teenager" in a "loincloth." I have no idea how old the gunner Kerry chased that day was, but both Leeds and I recall that he was a grown man, dressed in the kind of garb the VC usually wore.

The man Kerry chased was not the "lone" attacker at that site, as O'Neill suggests. There were others who fled. There was also firing from the tree line well behind the spider holes and at one point, from the opposite riverbank as well. It was not the work of just one attacker.
Hoffmann has become a leading critic of Kerry's and now says that what the boats did on that day demonstrated Kerry's inclination to be impulsive to a fault.
Our initial reports of the day's action caused an immediate response from our task force headquarters in Cam Ranh Bay.
Known over radio circuits by the call sign "Latch," then-Capt. and now retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffmann, the task force commander, fired off a message congratulating the three swift boats, saying at one point that the tactic of charging the ambushes was a "shining example of completely overwhelming the enemy" and that it "may be the most efficacious method of dealing with small numbers of ambushers."
Our decision to use that tactic under the right circumstances was not impulsive but was the result of discussions well beforehand and a mutual agreement of all three boat officers.

It was also well within the aggressive tradition that was embraced by the late Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, then commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam.

The decision sent a clear message, underscored repeatedly by Hoffmann's congratulatory messages, that aggressive patrolling was expected.

What we did on Feb. 28, 1969, was well in line with the tone set by our top commanders.

Zumwalt made that clear when he flew down to our base at An Thoi off the southern tip of Vietnam to pin the Silver Star on Kerry and assorted Bronze Stars and commendation medals on the rest of us.
It is all here - the shiftyboat liars are frauds - the actual crews and men under Kerry's command along with Kerry were validly decorated Veterans who served where Bush & Cheney would not.

That is the end of this story. The Bush Cheney negative smear tactics have failed. Kerry IS the VOLUNTEER VIETNAM VETERAN and LEADER.

Aug 12, 2004

This will take some reading but the evidence is inescapable.

Bush was AWOL: Bush absent without leave while others went to their deaths aWol Payroll Records Jedi Master Paul Lukasiak—the kind of guy who figures out what the holes in the punchcards mean in the AF's 60s-style payroll system—has revised his site, and the introduction is, um, rather pointed. In fact, it's napalm for Sunday morning:
On February 10. 2004, the White House released a number of documents related to George W. Bush’s military service in the Texas Air National Guard. (TXANG). The White House claimed repeatedly (twelve time in fact, see box) that these documents proved that Bush had fulfilled his duty.

On Friday, February 13, 2004, the White House released what it described as all the documents in Bush’s personnel files. Most accurately described as a “document dump” the hundreds of pages were thoroughly disorganized and filled with scores of duplicate pages.

The mainstream press was confronted with this massive amount of information to sift through, and had no expertise with which to evaluate the information contained in the documents. As a result, virtually no real reporting was done on the documents, other than to state that there was “no smoking gun” found, apparently because none of the documents announced in bold type “BUSH WAS AWOL”.

But the records released by the White House contained more than a “smoking gun”. They contained a whole arsenal of documents that, if you know the context in which they were written, establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that “Bush was AWOL.”
(via The aWol Project)[/quote]Go read the whole thing. The devil, as always, is in the details. The Bush "document dump" strategy assumes that nobody will read the documents. Of course, the wussy SCLM didn't, but now we have the blogosphere, and Paul Lukasiak did.

And the story is building up a head of steam. The Blue Lemur talked to Reagan administration DOD official Lawrence Korb, and got this response:
Lawrence J. Korb, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations and Logistics under Ronald Reagan from 1981-1985, confirmed the legal analysis of President Bush’s Guard Service in a telephone call Friday afternoon.

Given proof that Bush missed five months of Guard training sessions, he said that Bush would be considered AWOL.

“If you don’t show up, you’re absent without leave, by definition,” Korb said.

No more than ten percent of sessions could be missed without them being made up, he asserted. He added that President Bush should have been mandated to serve active duty if he missed even two months of service in a fiscal year – 24 months of active duty minus the amount of active duty already served.

“You would be put on active duty and sent wherever they needed you,” he said.

At the time Bush was serving in the Texas Air National Guard, Korb himself was serving in the Naval Reserve, the Navy’s equivalent of the National Guard, where he served from 1966 to 1985. He dismisses suggestions that the Guard was being lenient about service at the time.

“At that time they were very strict about fulfilling their obligations – and we don’t like to say it – because this was a way to avoid the draft and going to Vietnam."‘

He was unable to examine Bush’s payroll records at his home on Friday, but is expected to formally confirm that Bush had failed to complete his required duty in 1972, therefore rendering him AWOL, at his office Monday.

Korb currently serves as a Senior Analyst at the Center for Defense Information and a Senior Fellow at the progressive thinktank, the Center for American Progress.
(via The Blue Lemur)

(It shows how extreme the Bush agenda is, and how far the 6 winger billionaire families who control the VRWC (back) have pushed America to the right, that a Reaganite would serve at a liberal think thank.)

And just think! The AP suit to release all the records is still to come. Maybe that microfilm will tell us where the missing DD25[8|6] is. And we know Bush was grounded—pissing away the million bucks or so we paid to train him—for failure to take a medical exam, right after the Air Force initiated mandatory drug training; maybe the AP files will help there as well.

Bottom line, though: Fortunate son Bush was aWol. We have the evidence. All that remains is to make the story mainstream.

It really does come down to a question of character, doesn't it? Surely the nation is entitled to ask whether its "wartime President" was absent without leave while others went to their deaths?

Aug 11, 2004

Turning the corner or U-Turn?

Budget deficit hits record $395.8B

Treasury says July deficit was bigger than expected; final 2004 gap could set a new record.
August 11, 2004: 4:10 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. federal government ran a larger-than-expected budget deficit in July, bringing the year-to-date shortfall between receipts and spending to a record of nearly $400 billion, the Treasury Department said Wednesday.

In its monthly budget report, the Treasury said the July deficit was $69.16 billion, based on revenues of $134.42 billion and spending of $203.58 billion. That was above the $61 billion shortfall Wall Street economists had expected and wider than July 2003's $54.24 billion deficit.

With only August and September left in the 2004 federal budget year, the red ink through the first 10 months totaled $395.8 billion. That's ahead of the revised record budget gap in 2003 of $374.27 billion.

The final 2004 gap is widely expected to set a new record topping $400 billion. In its recent budget review, the Office of Management and Budget said it expects the deficit to be about $445 billion this year, while the Congressional Budget Office has projected a more conservative $422 billion.

While those estimates are lower than ones made at the beginning of the year, they have not insulated the White House from political attacks by Democrats.

Democrats have placed much of the blame for the return to annual deficits -- after surpluses seen from 1998 through 2001 -- on the Bush administration's tax cuts.

The gap has also helped prompt the administration to call, early this month, for an increase in the federal borrowing limit for the third time in four years. Without a hike, Treasury Secretary John Snow warned in a letter to Capitol Hill leaders, the government could run out of financing means in mid- to late-November. That could set the stage for a partisan struggle over raising the ceiling this fall.

Through July, the government had raised $1.535 trillion in revenues, up 4.0 percent from the same period in 2003. Spending, driven by a hefty gain in defense outlays, rose at a faster 7.2 percent clip, to $1.930 trillion through July.

Filmmaker Moore Quotes Goss on Lack of CIA Credentials
Wed Aug 11, 2004 06:40 PM ET
By David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Congressman Porter Goss, President Bush's nominee for CIA director, could be his own worst enemy when it comes to making the case that he deserves to lead the U.S. intelligence agency.

"I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified," the Florida Republican told documentary-maker Michael Moore's production company during the filming of the anti-Bush movie "Fahrenheit 9/11."

A day after Bush picked Goss for the top U.S. spy job, Moore on Wednesday released an excerpt from a March 3 interview in which the 65-year-old former House of Representatives intelligence chief recounts his lack of qualifications for employment as a modern CIA staffer.

"I don't have the language skills. I, you know, my language skills were romance languages and stuff. We're looking for Arabists today. I don't have the cultural background probably," Goss is quoted in an interview transcript.

"And I certainly don't have the technical skills, uh, as my children remind me every day: 'Dad you got to get better on your computer.' Uh, so, the things that you need to have, I don't have."

Goss, who served with the CIA clandestine services in Latin America and Europe in the 1960s, was not immediately available for comment.

He appears in Moore's film, the most financially successful documentary in history, during a segment devoted to the USA Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism measure.

Moore told Reuters that Goss, who until Tuesday was chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, granted an interview to two of his producers without first checking to see who they worked for.

"You'd think the person who was the head of the intelligence committee would ask a few more questions,"
said Moore.

"The reality is that Porter Goss was in charge of the oversight of the CIA during a time when the CIA didn't do its job, which in part resulted in the loss of lives of 3,000 people," he said via telephone from New York.

A White House spokesman declined to comment specifically on the Goss interview but described the lawmaker as "the most qualified man for the job."

Goss is expected to appear at confirmation hearings before the Senate intelligence committee next month.

Aug 10, 2004

The comic genius of Jerome Corsi from SALON War-room

Jerome Corsi's insightful description of Islam is today's quote of the day, but in truth it's really impossible to choose just one Corsi-ism to highlight. The co-author of the anti-Kerry book "Unfit for Command" is a regular poster -- and, to hear him tell it, a regular comedian -- over at under the handle jrcl.

Corsi has apologized if anyone is offended by his posts, and he has told the AP that he considered them "jokes." For a full load of Corsi's brand of humor you can check out the Media Matters report here and the collected works of jrcl here. But for a more abbreviated introduction to the man who is helping drive political debate in this country today, we offer a few highlights from Corsi's freerepublic posts.

Hillary Clinton: Corsi routinely refers to the junior senator from New York as "HELLary" and the "FAT HOG," as in, "Anybody ask why HELLary couldn't keep BJ Bill satisfied? Not lesbo or anything, is she?"

Islam: In March 2003, when a car bomb in Lebanon killed an Egyptian named Abu Mohammad al-Masri, Corsi gloated: "One more Mohammed al-Mohammed el-Mohammed Mohammed iced -- great. Ice all these boy buggering, woman hating, infidel killing terrorists."

Iraq: Thinking up a pretext for war even the Bush administration didn't try, Corsi suggested in January 2002 that the United States capture Osama bin Laden and move him to Iraq so that "we have an excuse to bring them the Holey Month of BOMB-adon. Iraq with Saddam sounds as good a place to park him as anywhere. Let's Roll!"

Sept. 11: When the infamous Aug. 6, 2001 PDB was released in April -- the one headlined "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." -- Corsi declared the story "DOA" and said that "the RATS" -- Corsi's shorthand for Democrats -- on the 9/11 commission should consider themselves "disgraced" for pursuing it.

The United Nations: Corsi calls the UN a "Communist, anti-American terror-ridden propaganda pulpit." But then, Corsi calls lots of things "communist." Hardball's Chris Matthews is "Communist Chris." Jimmy Carter is a "Total Communist." John Lennon is a "dead Communist guy." Katie Couric is "Little Katie Communist," and NBC is short for "Nothing But Communism."

John Kerry: He's a communist, too. When Corsi isn't calling the Democratic presidential nominee "Jean Francoise Kerrie" or "John Fonda Kerry," he refers to him as "John Commie Kerry." In April, Corsi predicted that Kerry's first act as president would be to "end" the war against terrorism. "Surrender America has been his constant theme. Raised in France, he has always thought as a hater of America. He is a disgrace."

In what appears to be his most recent post, Corsi finally appears to have gotten something right. On Saturday, he wrote: "The politically incorrect humor I posted on this site is evidently not funny to everyone."

Aug 9, 2004

George W. Bush sucker-punches a rugby opponent at Yale

As long as we're re-examining the 1960s, looking for signs of character, trying to decide if a man who volunteered for combat and was decorated five times was more or less courageous than a guy who didn't even show up for his own medical exam... here's George W. Bush during his college days, hitting a fellow sportsman in the face.

The above photo, credited to the Yale yearbook (the caption is in the original), appeared in yesterday's Los Angeles Times.

Incidentally, while rugby is a contact sport, every player knows that tackling above the shoulders is a foul. So is leaving your feet during a tackle. Either of these is serious enough that the other team is immediately awarded a penalty kick, often directly resulting in points for the other team.

So even without throwing a punch, Bush is already well outside fair play.

Grasping an opponent by the back of the head and punching him in the face is beyond the pale and will typically result in a player being immediately sent off.

I'm sure by next week Karl Rove will have a collection of rugby players claiming that John Kerry was even worse...

This from Jim Sleeper at the Los Angeles Times a friend e-mailed me a copy of the photo and story above.

He's Got the Bad-Boy Vote Sewed Up
I am looking at a photo of the George W. Bush that you've probably never seen before. It's a sports-action close-up of him at Yale, over a caption written prophetically by a fellow undergraduate more than 30 years ago: "George Bush delivers illegal, but gratifying right hook to opposing ball carrier."

Never mind that this is a rugby game, alien to most Americans, and that the caption writer's assessment wasn't political. I think it explains one reason why Bush hasn't slid in the polls since John Kerry reported for duty: He owes more than a little something to the "bad boy" vote that no pollster captures as well as this photo and caption do.

What I have in mind here isn't the bad guy in a detective story or the stand-up guy in "The Sopranos," or even some rock-band poseur. He may actually be a good guy most of the time, like millions of this country's mischievous frat boys who like getting away with things but who aren't that bad as long as they don't get into anything too far over their heads.

As president of his chapter of the DKE fraternity, Bush sounded a classic bad-boy note when he said he "didn't learn a damned thing" at Yale. "The reason was that he didn't try," Jacob Weisberg reported this spring in Yale Alumni Magazine. "One year, the star of the football team spotted him in the back row during [course-] shopping period. 'Hey, George Bush is in this class!' Calvin Hill, '69, shouted to his teammates. 'This is the one for us!' "

I was in that room that day. Bush gave them a grinning thumbs up and, I have to admit, everyone laughed. He had a certain charm about getting away with things, like DKE's custom of "branding" new members' on the butt, a less-than-noble tradition he managed to protect when it came under fire.

Being that kind of bad boy may be OK if you're cutting a history class or smirking behind your hand at some radical grad student leading your discussion section — but not when you're staging a commander in chief's flight-deck landing or a Thanksgiving Day pop-up in Baghdad.

Bad boys don't get that far very often, of course, and Bush would tell you that he's changed a lot since college. But I don't think the difference matters much to the bad boys he's left behind, including some classmates I know who are raising money for him, not to mention the up-and-comers I taught at Yale last year. Whether they cheered Bush's flight-deck landing or are reliving the joys of intramural rugby, they think he has shown them how to mess up yet still swagger off the field with an impish grin.

I am not being partisan here. This really is an apolitical, "guy" thing, like the thunderous welcome Bill Clinton got from a huge crowd of college boys, with their baseball caps on backward, at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus on Jan. 28, 1998, only days after rumors of his Monica Lewinsky affair surfaced. Just the day before, 120 million Americans had been riveted, watching him pull off a triumphal, almost defiant, State of the Union address.

"Yeah, Bi-i-i-i-lll!" the college boys roared lustily, and not because Al Gore had just warmed them up with news of Clinton's tuition loans, Hope scholarships and his plans to add slots for more AmeriCorps volunteers. Bad Boy Bill entered the hall to a booming rendition of the rock band Kansas' "Carry On My Wayward Son." He was greeted like a rock star, with no boos or catcalls.

Whoever wrote that caption under George's rugby photo would understand. What he shouldn't understand is how anyone could act as if Iraq were just rugby or a dalliance. A history lesson ignored might be more like it.