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Wade Sanders on the Continuing Fixation of the Swift Liars Against Kerry

by Pamela Leavey

Wade Sanders wrote about the continuing fixation of the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (“Lies”)” on Military.com on Tuesday. Sanders echoed a feeling that many of share, in his post…

When faced with the continuing attacks on Senator John Kerry’s honorable military service, those of us who have taken the time and extended the effort to educate ourselves as to all the evidence concerning that service, including the official Navy record, have often felt as though we were, like Alice in Wonderland, living in a world of half-truths and flights of fancy. It has become crystal clear that those fixated on the destruction of John Kerry at all cost continue to live in parallel universe: a universe where up is down and down is up and everything is nonsense.

Sanders’ post, to be expected brought out the Swift Liars defenders, including Tom Maguire on JustOneMinute, who once again claimed that John Kerry has “never signed the military form known as an SF Form-180.” But, Kerry did sign the SF Form-180 and his records were released a year ago. I wrote about this on the old LightUpTheDarkness Blog (the archives are gone, but I saved my posts as documents), and I debunked Maguire’s similar claims then on this topic. Since Maguire felt it neccessary to revist this topic and whine today (again) about my two pieces on Swift Liar Thomas Lipscomb’s false claim about being nominated for a Pulitizer (here and here), let’s look back at what I wrote last year about the release of Kerry’s SF Form-180:

Kerry Calls Swift Boat Liars Bluff, Will They Come Clean?

John Kerry’s newly released Form 180 records revealed yesterday that there were no deep, dark secrets hiding in Kerry’s previously unreleased military records as the Swift Boat Liars had claimed. The Boston Globe noted that these newly released records prove what the Kerry campaign ascertained all along, that all of Kerry’s records were made available in April 2004. It does appear that the conspiracy theories have been disproved, yet again.

Of course, the vitriol from the right-wing continues in wake of the release of Kerry’s records, including a call from one blog for the Boston Globe to release all the records on their website as a PDF and another who has written the Globe’s ombudsman asking for verification of what is in the records. What we have not seen from the right-wing or the Swift Boat Liars is any sort of acknowledgement that they were wrong. Not that we expected that we would.

The right-wing The Disinformation Society is hard at work spinning more spew over this issue.

Aside from the media’s attention yesterday on the “grades” story further examples of the right-wing spin can be found here (including a statement from Kerry nemesis John O’Neill), here, here, here and here.

So tight is the Republican hold on the spin that the reality is, as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said in his Vanity Fair article in May 2005 – The Disinformation Society, “No matter who the Democratic nominee was, this machinery had the capacity to discredit and destroy him.”

The Swift Boat Liars have never had anything solid on John Kerry, nor has the right-wing for that matter. In lieu of real dirt, the next best alternative of course is to sling synthetic mud. And when that does not stick, sling more synthetic mud. Now they are slipping and sliding in their own nasty mess, like a bunch of sorry mud wrestlers and they cannot come clean on this with out a whole mess of lye soap. Not even lye soap will wash away the fact that a few men saw fit to besmirch the military record of American war hero, a candidate for president, a seated senator of the United States. It is the Swift Boat Liars, who are covered in dirt here, not John Kerry.

As a Kerry spokesperson pointed out yesterday morning, off the record, now Kerry has “called the Swift Boat Liars’ bluff and let’s see if they will come clean about THEIR records.”

One would think by now that these fools would be tired of going round and round with this. Lies spun six ways to Sunday, are still – LIES. As Wade Sanders points out in his latest post, the “lack of respect for the facts” from these liars, “is reminiscent of the tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings of the early 50′s.”

When confronted with his vicious and dishonest attack of an innocent man, the Army’s attorney-general, Judge Joseph Welch decried McCarthy’s “reckless cruelty” and concluded: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

I would put the same question to all who engage in personal attacks without having taken the time to review the totality of the available records and the facts: let’s not assassinate Senator Kerry further. You’ve done more than enough. And, truly, have you left no sense of decency or respect for accurate reporting and the facts?

The end is not justified by the means. Senator John McCain’s description of the attacks mounted by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and their allies, as “dishonest and dishonorable,” is a characterization that each of them have richly earned. And, I would say this to these dishonest and dishonorable men and women: do you not realize that by attacking John Kerry and his Vietnam service, you are also attacking all those who served beside and with him and whose courage was rewarded for the very same actions?

Regrettably, it would appear, for those who continue to reside in Wonderland, it is all about getting what you want, no matter how you get it.

25 Responses to “Wade Sanders on the Continuing Fixation of the Swift Liars Against Kerry”

  1. Oh for heaven’s sake – I am perfectly well aware that Kerry signed a limited distributuiin 180, and said so – do you really think your readers are too lame to follow the links?

    What I wrote:

    As I am sure Reid Wilson and Wade Sanders are aware, John Kerry has never signed the military form known as an SF-180 in a way that would allow full public access to his military records. Kerry claims to have signed an SF-180 designating certain friendly newspapers to look at his records, but that is not at all the same – Kerry’s critics still have not had a look at these records. But we’d like to!

    Clear? I tried to be.

    Re “Thomas Lipscomb’s false claim about being nominated for a Pulitizer” – again, do you think your own readers don’t follow links?

    Here is what *you* wrote in your follow-up, after you had actually done a bit of research:

    …this appears to be a complete fabrication as to claim Lipscomb was a prestigious “nominee” appears to only mean that someone — anyone can fill out an entry form and sent it to Pulitzer, per documents off the official Pulitzer web site…

    So in fact, he may very well be a nominee, “complete fabrication” notwithstanding.

    As to the significance of that claim, I agree that if his mother nominated him it does not mean much (although I am sending the nominating forms to *my* mother…)

    But what sparked me is that Leslie Cauley, who broke the USA Today story about the NSA database, claims in her on-line bio (hosted by the presumably reputable Siman and Schuster) to be a three-time nominee. Yet she never won, or even became a nominated finalist.

    Possible explanations:

    (A) she is a liar and a hack. I discount this possibility.

    (B) The USA Today Editors (or a former employer) nominated her, and she properly considered this to be an honor.

    Since Lipscomb published a lot of his 2004 work in the Chicago Sun Times, it is entirely possible that the editors of a major newspaper nominated him.

    Or maybe Richard Scaife did – I don’t know.

    So how do *you* know his claim is false?

    Or why say it is meaningless – do you care to argue that in the whole wide world only Lipscomb and Cauley tout this false credential? I bet you are wrong, but walk that road if you like – I haven’t researched it, yet, but one of us is bound to look foolish.

    As to the Swift topic, your post is white bread Dem talking points – repeated assertions that Kerry’s critics are liars, with no attempt to engage the argument.

    Let me repeat a point I made which you failed to note – Wade Sanders asked Kerry’s critics to examine the available evidence, learn the facts, and pipe down.

    I asked for access to Kerry’s war diary, which Douglas Brinkley used for “Tour oif Duty”.

    Do you support the release of that diary? Does Sanders?

    If not, why not – didn’t Sanders call for an examination of the available record?

    And as an aside, what is your motivation? *IF* Kerry runs again, don’t you think some other Dem candidate will torpedo him with this anyway?

    Or do you suppose the Dems look forward to Swift Boat II?

    Have a nice weekend.

  2. Tom Maguire

    Our readers are Kerry supporters. They don’t question that John Kerry has served this country with honor.

    Wade Sanders and John Kerry have been friends for about 40 years, they served together in Vietnam. Sanders does not question that Kerry has served this country with honor, as Wade Sanders himself has.

    The Swiftboating of John Kerry is not an isolated incident. The Republicans have done this to John McCain – one of their own, Max Cleland, and most recently John Murtha and now they are going after Robert Menendez.

    You don’t have a problem with this? Questioning a person’s patriotism, their service to our country?

    Where are Bush’s records for the Guard? Not all of Bush’s records were released.

    How about Bush’s buried records about his DUI? Where are those?

    Perhaps we should demand to see every person’s records who have ever served in the military. Let’s question everyone – not just a few for partisan purposes.

    There are records including the SF Form 180 that have been released. Those records are what Wade Sanders is referring to. Contact the Navy – request the records through the Freedom of Information Act. John Kerry doesn’t have to turn over his records, nor his personal diaries to some random bloggers on a quest to back up a group of proven liars.

    And *IF* John Kerry runs again, I highly doubt that ANY Democrat will question his military record.

    What sort of thrill do you get from this Tom?

    How would you feel if a whole group of people slandered you, your past and demanded to see your records, you personal diaries?

    At what point to we move past this ugly sort of politics and talk about the issues?

    I met most of the men who served with Kerry in Vietnam during the campaign. I met Jim Rassman, I met Wade Sanders. These men are all honest and honorable men, who believe in John Kerry. So do I.

    I have no intention of engaging the Swift Liars argument nor do I have any reason to doubt John Kerry. I wrote for his campaign blog from August 03 through the election. I’ve had many occassions to meet and talk with John Kerry. He’s an honest and sincere man who would make this country a far better place than it is under the Bush administration.

    What ever your issues are with Kerry, they appear to based on the same partisan BS that the Swift liars issues are. But they are your issues, and not mine.

    You have a nice weekend too.

  3. As Mr. Maguire knows full well, the issue re Thomas Lipscomb is the false claim that he was a Pulitzer Nominee, a claim that Lipscomb has now retracted in his bio. To fill out an entry form is not the same as being a Nominee, in much the same sense that having a member of AMPAS vote for you is the same as being an Oscar nominee.

    Concerning Ms. Cauley, her former employer (the Wall Street Journal) has been a Nominated Finalist during her tenure there, so she could more plausibly claim to have “earned” that honor if she had contributed to one of the articles that were honored (even though technically the newspaper, not the individual reporters, received the Nomination).

  4. Steve

    Thanks for the tip – I hadn’t seen that Lipscomb changed his bio. I posted about it.

  5. Tom Maguire parsed:

    >>>Let me repeat a point I made which you failed to note – Wade Sanders asked Kerry’s critics to examine the available evidence, learn the facts, and pipe down.

    I asked for access to Kerry’s war diary, which Douglas Brinkley used for “Tour oif Duty”.

  6. Cont’d, re Tom Maguire’s complaint:

    Uhm, the operative term here being “available evidence.”

    You impugn Sanders because you can’t have evidence that isn’t generally “available.”

    Wish all you want that you could have access to Kerry’s diary, Jack Chenowith’s diary, George Elliott’s letters home, Roy Hoffmann’s records, whatever. But the evidence that IS available shows Hoffmann’s boys to be liars.

  7. Sounds like they are on a fishing expedition. First they claimed that if Kerry released his records it would resolve this. Kerry released them but it wasn’t good enough for them.

    With all the public evidence, including testimony of most actual witnesses, supporting Kerry there is no need for Kerry to release his private diary. Considering the propensity of the Swift Boat liars to twist everything making his diary public would just be asking for trouble as they would find ways to twist and misquote things to make a case.

  8. >>>>Steve Smythe Says:

    As Mr. Maguire knows full well, the issue re Thomas Lipscomb is the false claim that he was a Pulitzer Nominee, a claim that Lipscomb has now retracted in his bio. To fill out an entry form is not the same as being a Nominee, in much the same sense that having a member of AMPAS vote for you is the same as being an Oscar nominee.

    Concerning Ms. Cauley, her former employer (the Wall Street Journal) has been a Nominated Finalist during her tenure there, so she could more plausibly claim to have “earned” that honor if she had contributed to one of the articles that were honored (even though technically the newspaper, not the individual reporters, received the Nomination).

  9. To Steve Smith (sp!), cont’d:

    As you point out, Maguire per usual works off his own flawed assumptions. The assumption in this case that being entered is being “nominated.” Thus, he was really nominated, just not a nominated finalist.

    Ironically, he asks if Pamela’s readers follow links – but quite evidently has not bothered to follow anyone’s links the Pulitzer website. You know, the part where it says that ONLY the three nominated finalists are nominees?

    Read and repeat, Tom: being entered along with 1400 others is not being nominated.

    So, in fact, he never was a nominee, your circle dance notwithstanding.

    Re Leslie Cauley, according to the Pulitzer archives, the “Staff of the Wall Street Journal” was a nominated finalist for a journalism award on five different occasions between 1985 and 2004.

    Also according to the Pulitzer website, when more than three individuals are nominated for a journalism prize, the prize is awarded to the newspaper, though the individuals may be cited in the award.

    http://www.pulitzer.org

    Thus, while Ms. Cauley really shouldn’t imply that she was personally nominated for a Pulitzer, she could quite accurately say she contributed to a Pulitzer nominated series, or even that she was among the staff nominated for the prize – or even that her name appeared on the citation. Heck, she could even claim to be responsible for the nomination and still be neither a hack nor a liar.

    Lipscomb, on the other hand, can claim none of these things.

    By the way, Carlton Sherwood has a bit of the same problem. Except….Gannett News Service won the Pulitzer public service award, not the staff of GNS. Sherwood couldn’t have won it even if he’d been the only reporter working on the series (he wasn’t). That’s because the public service award is always awarded to the paper, not the individual.

    And unlike the journalism award, the paper is awarded the public service prize for meritorious public service in the use of its resources.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/7/2/165515/6874

  10. Military Brat

    It doesn’t serve their purpose to be honest, and forthright or apologize. There’s been no response from Tom Maguire since my last post on Lipscomb’s bio being changed, I doubt there will be – but they won’t stop with the lies. We all know that.

  11. Possibly Lipscomb is silent out of embarrassment, hoping it will blow over.

    Maguire on the other hand, seems to hope the basic falacy of his argument will be lost in sheer verbiage.

    I did think it was funny that he harrumphed about your readers not reading links.

  12. Military Brat

    I was thinking the same about Lipscomb. It was nice of Tom Maguire to make an issue of my posts about Lipscomb.. he drove us some traffic! ;)

    Somewhere on the blog we have other Lipscomb defenders too – what is up with these people?

  13. Lipscomb seems to be all they’ve got. Never mind that he is sloppy and ill informed, as long as his stuff saw the light of day in newsprint (or even virtual newsprint) that is authority enough for them.

    I take it you saw the DKos posting about his inflated “publishing” resume as well.

  14. Dear Mr. Bear -

    If you are reading this thread, I left you a note in the “Lipscomb alters bio” thread, in response to your rather silly claims.

  15. A link to the aforementioned thread:

    http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=3196

  16. Military Brat,

    “that is authority enough for them.”

    Of course they don’t care about the reliability of a source. They will ignore all the legitimate evidence and run with anything, no matter how weak, which seems to support their lies.

  17. Ron Chusid said:

    “Of course they don’t care about the reliability of a source. They will ignore all the legitimate evidence and run with anything, no matter how weak, which seems to support their lies.”

    And then they repeat it and repeat it, which in the RW echo chamber passes for validation.

  18. Wade Sanders contacted me last week and Googling his name brought me to this site. I wish I had known of this discussion of the SF-180 nonsense and other claims of Tom Lipscomb who I have directly dueled on more than one occasion. If anyone would like the document I prepared election-eve in 2004 for the Honorable Ambassador and former Secretary of the Navy, just write me at madcolonel@yahoo.com and I will be glad to send it to you.

    Roger Helbig

    I also have used the SF-180 approach to obtain records on others such as Douglas Lind Rokke who has made a number of false claims in his war on depleted uranium.

  19. Roger

    I think I have seen your doc, from back in the days after the election when I was on the Yahoo Kerry Groups. Sorry you did not know we were here, still fighting the Kerry fight.

  20. I guess what I’m wondering is…..Did Kerry really come clean with his method of disclosure?

    Did he indeed authorize the release of all his records to the general public? I can’t see how anything less is acceptable.

    If not, why not?

    If so, what’s the problem, swiftees?

  21. Edward

    Kerry released all of his records.

  22. Where can I access them? I would like to see them in their entirety.

  23. Edward

    I don’t know where they are available at this time. Contact the Navy I suppose.

  24. Are you saying that the Navy would give me all of JK’s military records if I ask them, and maybe pay an administrative fee?

    I’m really curious about this, because I remember something about him releasing his records, but perhaps not really releasing his records.

    What I’m thinking is that surely if he really did release his records that they’d be readily available on the Internet somewhere.

  25. Edward

    Check with the Navy or search the internet. We don’t have them here.