Stolen Honor, This Time By The AP

The Associated Press reports the Stolen Honor story, in its inimitable style:

Former U.S. prisoners of war who blamed their years of captivity in Vietnam on activists such as John Kerry are the only voices in a documentary that Sinclair Broadcasting has decided not to air in its entirety.
The 42-minute film, titled, “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal,” is a one-sided view of Kerry’s anti-war activities. It consists mostly of interviews with U.S. prisoners of war who survived imprisonment and torture in Hanoi, and emerged enraged at Kerry and others for suggesting they had suffered for an unjust cause.
No one opposed to the war or supportive of Kerry is interviewed in the film.

That could be compared to, say, Fahrenheit 9/11, in which no one supportive of President Bush is interviewed.

No historians are questioned about the documentary’s premise that Kerry, then a little-known activist, single-handedly extended the fighting in Vietnam by two years and delayed the return of American prisoners by telling Congress in 1971 that U.S. forces had committed human rights violations.

Gosh, I think I see a straw man here. Does anyone in the documentary really say that John Kerry single-handedly prolonged the war? I doubt it. Was Kerry a prominent leader of the movement that prolonged the war? Yes, I think he was.

Dr. Ernest Bolt, a history professor at the University of Richmond, said it was unlikely that Kerry’s testimony directly affected how long the POWs were held, or how long the war lasted. He said Kerry’s importance in the anti-war movement has been exaggerated since he began running for president.

This is a delicious irony. Kerry’s supposed pre-eminence as an antiwar leader was the basis for his entire political career. Now that he is on the brink of achieving the ultimate prize, his importance is being “exaggerated.”

“Stolen Honor” was produced and narrated by Carlton Sherwood, a former journalist who worked in the administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, now secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in the Bush administration.

This is a consistent theme of MSM criticism of conservative polemics. If a person–here, Carlton Sherwood–has had any association with a Republican adminstration of any sort, he is inherently suspect. Is this a two-way street? Well, sure. Just think with what derision the media have treated partisan commentary by Robert Rubin, Jimmy Carter, Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson, etc.

Kerry never accused the POWs of committing war crimes and spoke only in general about the conduct of U.S. troops. The film also falsely implies that Kerry either committed atrocities himself or personally witnessed them. Kerry told Congress he was summarizing accusations made by other servicemen at an earlier event, and not relaying personal experiences.

Every word of this paragraph is untrue. Kerry did accuse his fellow soldiers of committing war crimes in his testimony before the U.S. Senate, and on many other occasions. Kerry told the United States Senate, supposedly of his own knowledge, that American troops were “murdering” 200,000 Vietnamese a year.
The AP’s claim that the documentary “falsely” implies that Kerry committed atrocities is also untrue. While Kerry did not confess to such atrocities in his Senate testimony, he has said in other interviews that he himself committed atrocities.
This is just one more example of how the mainstream media run interference for Democratic candidates. I haven’t seen Stolen Honor, but from everything I know about John Kerry’s career, the allegations it makes are credible. But most people won’t see the documentary. They’ll only see dismissive newspaper articles based on the Associated Press’s disingenuous analysis.

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