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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Monday, August 09, 2004

How to Lie, by the Swift Boat Vets for The Truth

Step one: find one of Kerry's former commanding officers from Vietnam and have him sign an affidavit saying the Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star he was awarded:

From George Elliott, Captain, USN, retired:

"When Kerry came back to the United States, he lied about what occurred in Vietnam...in connection with his Silver Star, I was never informed he had simply shot a wounded, fleeing Viet Cong in the back...had I known the facts, I would have not recommended Kerry for the Silver Star for simply pursuing, and dispatching a single wounded, fleeing Viet Cong."

Pretty strong stuff.

Also, in writing a book where you describe incidents about another person, it helps to obtain testimony from someone directly involved. Not surprisingly, the Swift Boats group attempting to smear Kerry does not have amongst its group anyone that actually served under John Kerry.

Back to Captain Elliott. Perhaps he remembered defending Kerry in 1996 from a column that called into question actions Kerry took in 1969 to prevent his boat from being hit with a RPG? He signed the initial affidavit on July 21 where he stated he didn't think Kerry deserved the Silver Star. Now, just a couple of weeks later, he's changed his mind. Contacted by the Boston Globe on August 6, Elliott said, "I still don't think he shot the guy in the back...it was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here."

Whoops. Elliott went on to say that he felt "time pressure" by the authors of the book Unfit for Command: "That's no excuse...I knew it was wrong . . . In a hurry I signed it and faxed it back. That was a mistake."

Ah, now the truth emerges. Swift Boat vets for the truth...indeed. If "truth" is defined as "we're going on second-hand information here," the book should be filled with "truth."

Of course, the book was given a shot of publicity by Matt Drudge, and right-wingers everywhere, typically, ate up the charges that Kerry shot a fleeing Viet Cong in the back. Which his CO says never happened. We'll chalk that up as Big Lie #1. I'm sure more lies will emerge over the next few weeks.

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