Barnes and Noble can’t keep up with the demand for Unfit for Command. Apparently copies are flying off the shelves, no doubt to much dismay from the Kerry campaign.
Meanwhile, Joshua Muravchik of the American Enterprise Institute has a good summary piece of Kerry’s fictional exploits in Cambodia. As he notes:
Now a new official statement from the campaign undercuts Brinkley. It offers a minimal (thus harder to impeach) claim: that Kerry “on one occasion crossed into Cambodia,” on an unspecified date. But at least two of the shipmates who are supporting Kerry’s campaign (and one who is not) deny their boat ever crossed the border, and their testimony on this score is corroborated by Kerry’s own journal, kept while on duty. One passage reproduced in Brinkley’s book says: “The banks of the [Rach Giang Thanh River] whistled by as we churned out mile after mile at full speed. On my left were occasional open fields that allowed us a clear view into Cambodia. At some points, the border was only fifty yards away and it then would meander out to several hundred or even as much as a thousand yards away, always making one wonder what lay on the other side.” His curiosity was never satisfied, because this entry was from Kerry’s final mission.
Now, a war story that’s been embellished over the years is one thing. But an outright lie on the floor of the United States Senate designed to influence the policy of the United States is another. Kerry used his supposed time in Cambodia to argue against assistance to the Nicaraguan contras fighting against the Marxist guerillas that were threatening that country. Yet it is now clear that Kerry was not in Cambodia, and his entire argument was predicated on an utter falsehood.
This is more than just a political pissing match. The Democrats want to argue that Bush “lied” us into war. (A charge that a bipartisan Senate panel investigating the evidence found to be baseless.) They want to argue that they have more credibility – yet their campaign is not only based on events that occurred nearly four decades ago, but also on events that have been deliberately distorted.
Challenging the record of any political candidate is always fair game, no matter if they’re a veteran or not. Kerry said “bring it on” to his critics – and when they did he’s hiding behind lawsuits and cowardly attempts to ban book that are critical of him.
There’s the old saying that “patriotism is the refuge of scoundrels.” With Kerry’s attempts to use Old Glory as a shield, he’s sadly proving it true.