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Friday, January 30, 2004

More attacks on Kerry 

Now, I really need to get back to work, but I found this on Tapped, and it's another example of these "Kerry slandered vets" attacks. It's about how the editor of the Washington Times (not a legitimate newspaper, and whose owner's political views dovetail perfectly with Hitlers--really) accused Kerry of slandering the troops in Vietnam. Anyway, this is the whole post :
PRUDEN PRUDENIZES HIMSELF. Wesley Pruden is allegedly a journalist. He is, in fact, editor-in-chief of the Washington Times, allegedly a newspaper. But after reading Pruden's latest column, I have my doubts on both counts. Towards the end of an otherwise unremarkable survey of the Democratic race, Pruden writes:
John Kerry's military record, lieutenant or not, has so far made him a sentimental favorite with many veterans, but it's a military record that won't withstand the scrutiny that's coming. His slander of the GIs he left behind in Vietnam is not yet well known.
"They ... raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power," he told a Senate committee in 1971 when he was just home from the war, and "cut off limbs, [blew] up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam."
Miserable lies, and he never produced evidence or repudiated the lies. Americans tolerate a lot of hyperbole in election season, but stuff like this will unhorse even a Botox man.

For the moment, leave aside the shameless insinuation that Kerry "left behind" his fellow troops in Vietnam. (Kerry served his four-year tour of duty in Vietnam, earning three Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, and the Navy's Silver Star, before being honorably discharged.) The only liar here is Pruden. Here is the complete section of Kerry's testimony -- delivered to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1971 -- with context, and shorn of Pruden's disingenuous elipses:
I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command. It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit -- the emotions in the room and the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.
They told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
Pathetic, and I really hope the media nips this in the bud, lest it enter the realm of the "fact-esque" along with "Democrats hate Bush" and "Al Gore said he invented the internet." Click through and read the whole post, because it ends with part of a CSPAN transcript where Pruden gets his ass handed to him by a caller.
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