I stayed up late last night and read from cover to cover the book "Unfit for Command -- Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry." An impartial reader (if there is still such a beast in this election season) would have to conclude that either the book is a pack of lies, or John Kerry is in fact a reckless, lying man who misrepresented the facts in order to receive medals he didn't deserve, and is indeed unfit to command even a tugboat, let alone the United States military as president.
The book appears to be meticulously researched and reported. It is replete with copious footnotes, a detailed index and two appendices. Firsthand witnesses are named and quoted verbatim to support each specific, shocking charge. Each charge of false heroics is logically presented. The authors quote the official Navy citation and then present the purported eyewitness testimony that refutes the official finding. The witnesses who are summoned forth are officers and men who served simultaneously with Kerry in Coastal Division 11 and purport to be eyewitnesses to the events in question.
And yet, there is another group of men, the sailors who served directly under John Kerry on the same boat with him -- his band of brothers. They have traveled around the country with Mr. Kerry and have vouched for his description of his heroic, able and selfless service to our country.
One of these groups of men are lying through their teeth. This is not a case of failed memories. In a few instances, it could be a case of honest differences of perception of events. But considering all the testimony and evidence, John Kerry is either Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. As of this moment there is about a 50-50 chance that we will elect, in the person of John Kerry, either a very fine man or a truly despicable man president of the United States.
Either group of men, if we knew nothing else, would seem to be credible, reliable witnesses. Both groups served honorably in Vietnam, gained many medals and have apparently lived respectable lives since then. Few, if any of them, have been politically active in the last 30 years.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.