Saturday, March 03, 2007


Slander at the LA Times

MILBLOGGER Jason Van Steenwyk asks whether the LA Times bothers to fact check their Op Ed pieces, in a scathing critique of partisan contributor Rosa Brooks.

Contrary to Brooks conflation of Medal of Honor recipient Bud Day with the Swift Boat Veterans for Peace, Steenwyk notes that Day is not technically a Swift Boat Veteran, although he did appear in one of their ads.

Who is Bud Day, and why is Steenwyk so outraged? Here’s a bit of biographical data on Day from the US Air Force, courtesy of Steenwyk:
George E. "Bud" Day is the nation’s most highly decorated soldier since General Douglas MacArthur. In a military career spanning 34 years and 3 wars, Day received nearly 70 decorations and awards of which more than 50 are for combat. Most notable of his decorations is our nation’s highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, presented to him by President Gerald Ford.

Day was born 24 February 1925 in Sioux City, Iowa, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942, and served 30 months in the South Pacific during World War II. Returning home, he entered law school and passed the Bar exam in 1949. The following year he was commissioned in the Iowa National Guard. In 1951 he was called to active duty to enter pilot training from which he served two tours as a fighter-bomber pilot during the Korean War flying the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. Day entered the Vietnam War when he was assigned to the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Tuy Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, in April 1967. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Phu Cat Air Base where he organized and became the commander of the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, the first "Misty Super FAC" unit flying the North American F-100 Super Sabre. On 26 August 1967, Day’s accumulation of over 5000 flying hours came to an abrupt halt when he was shot down over North Vietnam and immediately captured by the North Vietnamese following his ejection. Despite serious injury, he managed to escape and evade across the Demilitarized Zone back into South Vietnam, earning the distinction of being the only prisoner to escape from North Vietnam. Within two miles of freedom and after two weeks of evading, he was re-captured by the Viet Cong. Thus began his 67-month imprisonment that would end only upon his release on 14 March 1973. Three days later Day was reunited with his wife and four children at March AFB, California. After a short recuperative period, Day was returned to active flying status. Colonel Day retired from active duty in 1977. Following his retirement, Day wrote an autobiography, Return with Honor, detailing his suffering as a captive in Vietnam. Day graduated the University of South Dakota Law School in 1949 and currently has a thriving law firm in Fort Walton Beach. On 14 March 1997, the new Survival School Building at Fairchild AFB was named in his honor. Day’s most recent accomplishment came in February 2001 when he won a major victory for World War II and Korean retirees in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. The court acknowledged the government had breached its contract to provide retirees and their spouses free lifetime medical care. Day lives with his wife Doris in Shalimar, Florida.
In short, Day is a hero, not a lunatic.

Who’s Brooks, that the LA Times would invite her to opine on the subject of George "Bud" Day, Mary Jane McManus and Carlton Sherwood appearing at the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)?

A Commenter at Steenwyk’s blog notes that Rosa Brooks was part of the Kerry campaign and a member of the George Soros funded Open Society Institute.

As the final statement of fact in Brooks’ slanderous Op Ed, she relates that the three appeared on a panel titled "The Left's Repeated Campaign Against the American Soldier." What a surprise. Individuals with first hand experience with the duplicity and deceitfulness of the anti-military Left are asked to sit on a panel of the same topic organized by a Conservative organization.

How come when Republicans suggest those on the Left are unhinged are Wingnuts, but when Leftists characterize mainstream Conservatives as the Lunatic Right, they’e invited to contribute to the LA Times editorial page?

I share Steenwyk’s outrage, but he only scratched the offensive surface of this partisan hit piece by Brooks.

Brooks refers to the “old myths” that “the antiwar left spits on returning troops and gives aid and comfort to the enemy.” How come every time Leftists and other anti-war apologists bring these old controversies up, somehow it’s the fault of Conservatives for doing so? If I had one really nasty, smelly old corpse in my closet, I don’t think I’d keep bringing it up every time one of my political opponents got me ticked off.

And that’s what Brooks does here, just as it was Kerry who went out of his way to exaggerate and inflate and draw undue attention to one of the thinnest combat records in history, with still unrevealed military unrevealed military records. What the strident critics of the Swift Boat Veteran never understand is that it was never about a political vendetta. It was that Kerry abandoned his fellow soldiers, dishonored and slandered them in his Winter Soldier testimony and related treasonous activities. In later years, when military service was viewed with greater honor and respect, carry wanted to take back the honorable mantle of the veteran status he tossed away as he tossed away his medals.

MILBLOGGERS can recount hundreds of incidents of antiwar spitting, then and now, and have documented primary sources beyond the necessity to reiterate here. Lefitsts like Brooks may wish to pretend that their cohorts never behaved so disgracefully, but they will never escape their shameful history.

I suppose it’s inevitable that, just as the situation in Iraq is showing such obvious improvements that even the mainstream media (MSM) is noticing, that career antiwar types will pull out all the stops to misrepresent military attitudes as they distort the situation in Iraq:
Polls show the American public — and the troops themselves — to be deeply critical of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq and concerned about the war's devastating effect on the American military. We've watched the situation in Iraq go from bad to worse, from worse to worst and then from worst to unthinkably awful, as "insecurity" morphed into "sectarian violence," then into chaos and civil war.
The only part of this paragraph that is accurate is the fact that the American Public has been deeply critical of the Bush Administration’s handling of Iraq, but even that is misleading. The American people want the US military (and the US) to win in Iraq. The rest is pure antiwar, Leftist trope BS.

Some military are critical of specific civilian and military decision-making in Iraq, but the “troops” themselves are far more critical of ignorant pacifists and antiwar partisans such as Brooks and her Majority friends in Congress. The situation in Iraq has never been as bad as either the Media or the Democrats have portrayed it in their cartoonish imaginings. Things did worsen, violence grew, particularly Sectarian, but to describe the level of violence in Iraq as a Civil War is naïve and reveals a profound lack of appreciation for the very real civil wars around the world.

Leftists, antiwar types, MSM journalists and Democrats take as sacred gospel a thoroughly distorted view of how the war in Iraq started, how it has been conducted, who are our real enemies, and how well our military has done. But God forbid anyone from the military make any effort to educate these rubes in facts or reality. If we support the war, we are George Bush’s automatons. If a few military leaders criticize the Pentagon or the President, then the antiwar coalition is all over their words. The moment they say what most other military say, and speak positively of our efforts in Iraq or the War on Terror, then they go back in the lunatic fringe. Soldiers. Only worth listening to when they say what they want to hear.

The fact that what sectarian violence there was is abating only makes the theological canon of these people all the more absurd and idiotic.

If Brooks hadn’t already completely discredited her military bona fides, she does so with this:
We've seen the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq roughly tripled since the 2004 election. We've seen the war in Iraq fuel anti-U.S. sentiment worldwide; we've seen copycat suicide bombings increase in Afghanistan; we've seen the Iraq conflict further inflame tensions with Iran and throughout the Middle East; we've seen hostile states around the globe emboldened by the image of the U.S. caught in a quagmire; we've seen Al Qaeda regroup; we've seen Iraq become a top training ground for aspiring terrorists from all over.
Let’s see. In November 2004, the war in Iraq had been going on some 18 months or so. Then some 30 months later, the number of US dead had roughly tripled! If you look at the math, that’s a pretty steady rate of deaths, and since the war is still ongoing, that kind of would be a logical consequence, wouldn’t it?

I know Brooks is likely one of these Leftists, mal-educated in American Liberal Arts colleges, but Americans have been despised, envied and reviled the world over since shortly after World War Two. It’s a cottage industry of sorts, with the pretend Nation State of the UN one of the primary promoter of that antipathy. And I know deep thinkers like Brooks think Diplomacy the cure for war, but we’ve been in talks with Iran for nearly 30 years, about the same length of time they’ve been committing acts of aggression against the US, our citizens, and our interests. And the image of us “caught in a quagmire” is the product of the MSM who have pulled out all the stops, manufactured or purchased propaganda to create that very impression. I’d also say more hostile states have been scared into better behavior than emboldened to attack the US. As to Al Qaeda regrouping, it’s clear AQ’s 3rd and 4th tier leaders would like us to believe that, but their private, intercepted communiqués tell the opposite.

Note to Brooks: the reason the Swift Boat Veterans were able to counteract Kerry’s gross exaggerations and distortions to his own war and antiwar records so effectively is because their accusations sprang from truth, not fantasy. Kerry dishonorable antiwar behavior was shocking to an American people who weren’t paying too much attention to how those hippie antiwar agitators were in the 70s. But what Kerry said an did then was on the record. His prior military service was on the record, too, but John Kerry to this day won’t release his records. That fact, more than any other, allowed the Swift Boat Veterans to challenge Kerry for the fraud he was and is, not because John Kerry was slow to fight back.

You have to take what the boss tells you with just a little grain of salt, Rosa. This is John Kerry, after all.

(Via Instapundit)

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