Wednesday, August 11, 2004

More Christmas Stories

James Lileks:
Hugh Hewitt interviewed a shipmate of John Kerry’s on his show today; the transcript is here. Why this happens on a radio show and not in the Washington Post is a question I’ll let you decide. It’s not like these guys live in the Fortress of Solitude, accessible only by messages relayed by carrier pigeon.
Actually, it's more like the Wicked Witch of the West's castle in Oz.
It has to do with Christmas in Cambodia – the only aspect of the SwiftVets story I care to comment on, for reasons I think I stated before. If Kerry’s story is a lie, it’s significant, but not because we have a gotcha moment – gee, a politician reworked the truth to his advantage, big surprise. This is much larger than that. This is like Bush insisting that he flew an intercept mission with the Texas Air National Guard to repel Soviet bombers based in Cuba, and later stating that this event was “seared in his memory – seared” because it taught him the necessity of standing up against evil governments, such as the ones we face today. In other words, it would not only be a lie, but one that eroded the political persona he was relying upon in the election. Kerry has made Vietnam central to his campaign. If he’s making crap up, it matters. But the story of the CIA agent he ferried into the Heart of Darkness gives the gotcha a curious twist; as lawyers say on TV courtroom dramas, it goes to state of mind. What sort of man bedecked with genuine decorations feels compelled to manufacture a story like this one?
Maybe the kind who bought a movie camera to film re-enactments of his "exploits" and gamed the system for his medals?

Lileks has more as does the Instapundit.