Saturday, March 03, 2007

Los Angeles Times Smears Medal of Honor Winner 
An ignorant hack.

That's all I can think of to say about the author of this Los Angeles Times column, The Lunatic Right Returns, excoriating conservatives for adhering to "discredited swift-boaters" like George "Bud" Day.

Remember Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the right-wing goon squad whose defamatory insinuations helped sink John Kerry's presidential campaign? They're back! This afternoon, key Swift boaters George "Bud" Day, Mary Jane McManus and Carlton Sherwood are holding a little reunion, in the guise of a panel discussion at the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference. The panel topic? "The Left's Repeated Campaign Against the American Soldier."

Amazing. Here's the Los Angeles Times' vaunted layers of vetting and fact-checking at work for you: Bud Day's not even a swift boater*

Of course, the Los Angeles Times can't be bothered to tell the reader who Bud Day is, and what he's actually done.

So I will.

Via the U.S. Air Force:

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.

This is the man who LA Times columnist Rosa Brooks calls an "unprincipled, right-wing extremist."

The willful blindness, the failure to conduct due diligence, or the sheer ignorance required to write this entire article without once mentioning Bud Day's military record is nothing short of astounding.

Is this the level of reporting chops it takes to get hired on as a columnist at the LA Times, these days?


It's not hard to visualize the right-wing talking points that will emerge from this. The Swift boaters will be dusting off their 2004 scripts and reaching back still further to dredge up their Vietnam-era notes. Expect to see all the old myths revived: The antiwar left spits on returning troops and gives aid and comfort to the enemy. Oh, John Murtha, why do you hate our brave troops?

Again, this lazy-assed nonthinker doesn't bother to buttress her reckless assertions with facts. For example, the attempt by the left to cover up spitting incidents and dismiss them as 'urban legend' has already been quite handily dispatched.

But hey, kids...don't worry if you flunk out of freshman composition class - you can just get hired as a columnist by the LA Times!!!

Oh, and I can't say that John Murtha hates our troops. He just wants them to lose, by stripping them of needed funding in the heat of battle - funding which translates to such minor items as equipment, ammunition, reinforcements, reserves, and food.

Rosa Brooks is nothing but a small-minded runt of a writer, who, in the process of disparaging a panel entitled "The Left's Repeated Campaign Against the American Soldier" manages to serve up - drumroll, please - an ignorant smear campaign against America's most decorated living serviceman.

And shame on the editorial page directors who let this tripe slip by.

The Los Angeles Times should publish a retraction and apology to Bud Day.

Splash, out


*This is not a huge factual error, as Day DID appear in a Swift Boat ad during the 2004 election. Day also heads an organization called The Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation that a lot of the swiftboaters joined. They didn't join because not because Day was a lunatic, though. They joined because he's Bud Day.

You won't find anyone more respected among veterans - real veterans - and advocates for veterans, than Bud Day. Anywhere.

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Right on target. This is outrageous, thanks for taking the LA Times on. A retraction and personal apology is more than warranted.

Keep up the good work.

Makes me wish I was a LAT subscriber.

So I could cancel it.
Let alone, I don't recall the Swift Boaters ever being found wrong.
I remember an ABC "interview" in which they travelled to Vietnam and found a "witness" who contradicted one point in the SB book. When confronted, O'Neill of the SBs opened his book, a John Kerry book and Brinkley's bio of Kerry and showed that all 3 agreed (and all 3 disagreed with the "witness").
Some refutation.
Yeah, I made a conscious decision not to deal with the issue of whether the Swifties had, indeed, been discredited, as the author asserts (but makes no attempt to demonstrate.)

I thought it better to stick with Bud Day, rather than start a back-and-forth that would allow Times Defenders to nitpick on red herrings.
Would you folks please stop trying to match the Left's hyperbole? It makes it hard to tell the difference between the two of you.
I'm not using hyperbole.
Bud Day gave material support to a lying organization - SB

so just as Gitmo holds those who supported Taliban

Day is despicable person.
What's not mentioned in the LA Times piece (I googled her name) is that she was part of the Kerry campaign and a member of the George Soros funded Open Society Institute. George Soros spent 25 million dollars to try to defeat George Bush. I hardly think this qualifies Rosa Parks as an objective observer. But do you think the LA Times would point out this conflict of interest?
Maybe a full disclosure statement at the bottom of the article.
Rosa Parks!?!?!?! Don't tell me she's in on it too! :D
When the LA Times makes a factual error, even in the op-ed page, they correct it. I wrote them about a factual error in a Rosa Brooks column (she said that 5% of Americans were in prison, she had a decimal point wrong) and they corrected it.

There isn't a factual error here, as you admitted in the footnote. She called Bud Day a Swiftboater, and he appeared in Swift boat ads.
It's not a lottery, it is a decoration for valor. Accordingly, COL Day is not a Medal of Honor "winner", but "recipient".
Ok. Point taken. But what about Purple Hearts? Frags tend to be randomly distributed, so you could say there's a lottery there.

Don't be obtuse. I was willing to cut slack on the basis of Day having appeared in ads. But don't you think it's kinda stretching it, calling someone a "swift boater" who's never set foot on a swift boat?

I mean, by definition?

Was Day even formally a member? Or did he just appear in the ads?

There are two populations of people we're talking about, and they're distinct. One population objected based on their knowledge of Kerry gained as Swift Boat colleagues, based on his service while in Viet Nam.

I've never taken a position on that one way or the other. (It's not unheard of for good officers to be popular - and the more I read about George Washington, for example, the more I learn what a pompous ass he must have been as a young man.)

The other population is the POWs, whom Day represents. His objections were based on Kerry's behavior AFTER leaving Viet Nam (The winter soldier stuff, etc.), and the consequences the POWs suffered as an indirect result of Kerry's actions.

No, I'm not drawing too direct a cause-and-effect relationship, because it's important to keep the accountability for the brutality in North Vietnam where it belongs - with the North Vietnamese, and their Cuban and Chinese Igors.
Rosa Brooks is nothing but a small-minded runt

I would have used a different word that rhymes with "runt"... =)
First of all - take a good look at the three people on this panel at CPAC. Bud Day, a Vietnam POW; Mary Jane McManus, the wife if a former POW and Carlton Shewood, a former Veitnam Marine and journalist who produced a documentary entitled, "Stolen Honor".

I blogged more on this article today and even sent a link to Brooks for her comments. But here is the fun part - Day was in the Air Force so he can't be a SB Vet, obviously McManus being female wasn't either (her husband was also USAF)and Sherwood was a Marine. So, the SB Vet connection was nothing more than a teaser for the headline. Fortunately, we are not as stupid as Brooks hoped.
The common definition of SB in the political campaign is not one who was on a SB! It is one who supports materially the SB liars.
But don't you think it's kinda stretching it, calling someone a "swift boater" who's never set foot on a swift boat?

FYI: a swift-boater can be one who engages in character assassination against Kerry in the '04 election with the Swift Boat 527, or more generally one who engages in slimy political assassination.

See here.
I don't think there was anything slimy about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Kerry told the Democratic National Convention he was "reporting for duty."

His Viet Nam record is absolutely fair game.

There was nothing slimy about the Swift Boaters or Bud Day. They just told the truth as they saw it, and you think it's slimy.

You might want to refrain from nominating slimy candidates next time, and you won't have as much of a problem.

Notice none of Bud Day's colleagues in Viet Nam are speaking out against him.

Nor are McCain's.

Nor are the soldiers I've worked with, though I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

But what an Alice-in-Wonderland world you must live in, where a word means exactly what you want it to mean.

A Swift Boater means one who mans a Swift Boat. In this context it may also mean a member of that organization.

But if you pathetic twits want to stake out your argument on the grounds that America's most decorated living veteran, and de facto leader of our PoWs in Viet Nam, is a right wing lunatic and a despicable human being - despite his MoH and stellar 34 years in service to his country, to say nothing of his service to the veteran community in the decades since, as an attorney and as an ESGR ombudsman, then be my guest.

That tells me a lot more about your own moral blinkeredness and spitting, snarling, rabid resentment than it tells me about Bud Day.

Feh. No wonder democrats lose elections.
Nice CYA attempt folks but she starts off her piece with,

IF YOU HATED IT the first time, you might like the sequel better.

Remember Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the right-wing goon squad whose defamatory insinuations helped sink John Kerry's presidential campaign? They're back!

There is no mention of "swiftboating", she is directly referencing the SBVs. Claiming that they are guising themselves as something else.... Her Kerry connection is too close for this to be anything else but an attempt to put all those against Kerry under one umbrella. And I have to ask if Kerry was even mentioned in their panel discussion (aside from a possible reference to his recent flap about being uneducated and ending up in Iraq).
Sorry anonymouse.

You're wrong. Always will be wrong.

And John Kerry is a dishonorable skunk for protesting the VietNam War after fighting it for 3 months, and then claiming the Men he served with were murderers and liars. You are dishonorable for claiming COL Day and members of the Swift Boat Veterans are lying when you have no proof they are. Defenders of those who disparage America without reason or cause disgust me. You ain't worth my spit.

Have a crappy day.

Re the LA Times, Rosa Brooks and Bud Day: Isn't this yellow rag also the alma mater of that epitome of rational discourse, Keith Olbermann? OH, how I wish for a dozen parakeets - then I'd have a use for the LAT and Ms. Brooks. And - after Kerry's sliming all of us in 1971, the Swifties were both correct and justified in their accurate and timely recounting of the facts of Kerry's abbreviated safari (notice I don't say "service") in Vietnam.
FYI: a swift-boater can be one who engages in character assassination against Kerry in the '04 election with the Swift Boat 527, or more generally one who engages in slimy political assassination.

So Dan Rather's a swift-boater? Or is it OK to engage in political assassination as long as the targets are not members of the Democrat Party?

How about the Kerry supporters that dug up and leaked personal dirt on Al French, the Swifty who is an assistant DA in Portland Oregon?

You know that right now there are Democrat Party supporters like our Ms.Brooks out there trying to dig up whatever personal dirt they can on anyone that opposes The Party and its leaders. Watch for more hit pieces like this to appear in major newspapers across America.
How about the Kerry supporters that dug up and leaked personal dirt on Al French, the Swifty who is an assistant DA in Portland Oregon?

What personal dirt? French lied on an affadavit. It's bad enough when a citizen lies on an affadavit but a DA?

Frankly, folks like Day and the Swiftboaters dishonor themselves and are embarrassments to the uniform.
Anyone critical of a hero like Bud Day is a real jerk.
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