August 27, 2004

Somebody Owes Thurlow An Apology

If you'll remember, (and you probably will because for some reason this is the part of the story that the press decided to cover) Larry Thurlow was the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth member whose claims that there was no enemy fire the day that John Kerry got his bronze star were supposedly refuted by Thurlow's own medal citation. The cry went out from Kerry supporters everywhere--"Aha!" they said, "we've debunked him!" But unlike the Kerry camp, which backpedals like a unicyclist on a tightrope every time some blogger logs into Lexis-Nexis, Thurlow stood by his version of events. His answer? Of course the paperwork backed Kerry's version--Kerry wrote it. Yet the media made it look like he was ducking.

Was he?

Thanks to Talking Issues Forum (via antimedia), we can now enjoy the text of John Kerry's 1971 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

Kerry told the committee on April 22, 1971, "...I can recall often sending in the spot reports hich we made after each mission..."

So by his own testimony, we know that Kerry "often" submitted spot reports, like the one the citations would have been based on. Still, that doesn't necessarily mean they are unreliable, right?

When asked about the reliability of military sources, such as those spot reports, Kerry had this to say:
"I had direct experience with that. Senator, I had direct experience with that and I can recall often sending in the spot reports which we made after each mission; and including the GDA, gunfire damage assessments, in which we would say, maybe 15 sampans sunk or whatever it was. And I often read about my own missions in the Stars and Stripes and the very mission we had been on had been doubled in figures and tripled in figures.

Kerry later added, "I also think men in the military, sir, as do men in many other things, have a tendency to report what they want to report and see what they want to see."

And refresh my memory...just who were those men "often" reporting what they want to report?

Thurlow stood by his version, and now--at least in my mind--he looks all the better for it.

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