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Friday, February 20, 2004
Splitting hairs with the queen of split-ends
Le skank doesn't like being called a liar:
Liberals are hopping mad about last week's column. Amid angry insinuations that I "lied" about Sen. Max Cleland, I was attacked on the Senate floor by Sen. Jack Reed, Molly Ivins called my column "error-ridden," and Al Hunt called it a "lie." Joe Klein said I was the reason liberals were being hysterical about George Bush's National Guard service.
I would have left it at one column, but apparently Democrats want to go another round. With their Clintonesque formulations, my detractors make it a little difficult to know what "lie" I'm supposed to be contesting, but they are clearly implying – without stating – that Cleland lost his limbs in combat.
Let's go to the tape:
Bush's National Guard service is the most thoroughly investigated event since the Kennedy assassination.
Besides Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Tower Commission, and a little 60 million dollar investigation into a blowjob (when Ann knows perfectly well that they can be had for $5 and a Happy Meal). Verdict: Lie.
Thirty years ago, Bush was granted an honorable discharge from the National Guard, which would seem to put the matter to rest.
Well, not really:
Perhaps more striking is how often serious questions of misconduct have been flat-out ignored. John Allen Muhammad, convicted last November for his participation in the D.C. sniper shootings, served in the Louisiana National Guard from 1978-1985, where he faced two summary courts-martial. In 1983, he was charged with striking an officer, stealing a tape measure, and going AWOL. Sentenced to seven days in the brig, he received an honorable discharge in 1985.
We'll chalk that one up to stupidity instead of lying.
Ann: To put this in perspective, by 1973, John Kerry had already accused American soldiers of committing war crimes in Vietnam,
Reality: I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command....
They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
We call this investigation the "Winter Soldier Investigation." The term "Winter Soldier" is a play on words of Thomas Paine in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriot and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough. Kerry was relating other's testimony making Coulter's claim...a lie.
Ann: Cleland wore the uniform, he was in Vietnam, and he has shown courage by going on to lead a productive life. But he didn't "give his limbs for his country," or leave them "on the battlefield." There was no bravery involved in dropping a grenade on himself with no enemy troops in sight.
We'll leave aside the statement about Cleland "dropping a grenade on himself" which we know is a lie that Ann could have cleared up by doing more than her usual five minutes of research. But there was bravery in what Cleland did in Vietnam;
During his service in uniform, Max received the Silver Star Medal, one of the highest awards that can be given for gallantry in action. Listen to this citation:
“Captain Cleland distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous action on 4 April 1968 … during an enemy attack near Khe Sanh.
“When the battalion command post came under a heavy enemy rocket and mortar attack, Captain Cleland, disregarding his own safety, exposed himself to the rocket barrage as he left his covered position to administer first aid to his wounded comrades. He then assisted in moving the injured personnel to covered positions.
“Continuing to expose himself, Captain Cleland organized his men into a work party to repair the battalion communications equipment, which had been damaged by enemy fire.
“His gallant action is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.”
Those are not my words. That’s Uncle Sam talking.
And four days after that incident that earned him the Silver Star came the grenade explosion that so grievously wounded him. --Zell Miller
You see Cleland earned his Silver Star for bravery in the field, and not for losing his limbs picking up someone else's grenade. He was already a hero years before Bush jumped to the top of the TANG list and hid out in the National Guard prior to going AWOL.
Equating Max Cleland's service with George Bush's lack of the same isn't a lie. It's idiocy.