John Kerry strongarms a vet

Our Northern Alliance colleague Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters has an excellent post following up on John Kerry’s VVAW Kansas City meeting at which the assassination of United States Senators was mulled over. Ed labels the mainstream media’s noncoverage of the Kerry VVAW Kansas City meeting a “whitewash.”
The original VVAW Kansas City meeting story belongs to Thomas H. Lipscomb of the New York Sun, who notes that the story comes straight from Kerry supporters. Lipscomb continues to advance the story. In a phone call with us this afternoon, Lipscomb seconded Morrissey’s point about the whitewash and indignantly ascribed the mainstream media’s lack of interest to pro-Kerry partisanship.
Lipscomb has kindly forwarded us the text of his page-one story from yesterday’s New York Sun: KERRY’S CAMPAIGN ASKED A VETERAN TO CHANGE STORY/KANSAS MEETING AT ISSUE:

A Vietnam veteran who said he remembers John Kerry participating in a 1971 Kansas City meeting at which an assassination plot was discussed says an official with the Kerry presidential campaign called him this month and pressured him to change his story.
The veteran, John Musgrave, says he was called twice by the head of Veterans for Kerry, John Hurley, while a reporter for the Kansas City Star worked on a follow-up piece to a New York Sun article about the November 1971 meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War at which a plot to kill U.S. senators was voted down. Asked by The New York Sun if he felt pressured, Mr. Musgrave said, “In the second call I did.” Mr. Musgrave said Mr. Hurley said Mr. Kerry had told him “he was definitely not in Kansas City.”
According to Mr. Musgrave, Mr. Hurley said, “Why don’t you refresh your memory and call that reporter back?”
A spokesman for Mr. Kerry’s presidential campaign, David Wade, last week issued a statement to the Sun, following a week of denials, that said “we accept” Mr. Kerry’s presence in Kansas City as a “historical footnote.”
By then, the recollections of six witnesses, along with minutes and FBI records, placed Mr. Kerry at the Kansas City meeting. But the news of the calls from the campaign to Mr. Musgrave may move the episode from what the campaign is describing as a “historical footnote” to a matter that involves the contemporary behavior of Mr. Kerry and his campaign.
Mr. Musgrave said he received three Purple Hearts in Vietnam. After the third Purple Heart for wounds by three 7.62 rounds, one to the jaw and two to the left chest, Mr. Musgrave refused the standard release from further service in the combat zone offered Marines with three Purple Hearts and tried to return to his unit, he said.
But because of the extent of his injuries he was retired from the Marines with full disability and sent home, he said. Mr. Musgrave said, “I told Hurley it was my first meeting as a state officer of the VVAW, and I remember John being there. I remember what I remember.”
When asked whom he is supporting in the presidential election, Mr. Musgrave replied, “I am undecided. But I am sure not voting for some guy who called me a liar.”
Mr. Hurley did not return calls for comment for this article.
Another related episode in which the Kerry campaign had to handle questions about Vietnam Veterans Against the War involves a statement byMr. Kerry himself.
At a Capitol Hill press conference on March 11, 2004, Mr. Kerry was asked by a reporter if he thought his credibility had been affected by his close association with Al Hubbard, a key VVAW colleague of Mr. Kerry’s who had appointed him to the leadership of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Mr. Hubbard claimed to be a wounded Air Force officer who had served at Danang during the Vietnam War. He appeared with Mr. Kerry many times, including the “Meet the Press” interview after Mr.Kerry’s Senate testimony about American “war crimes” in Vietnam.
But Mr. Hubbard was never in Vietnam, was never wounded, and was not an officer, as subsequent research and Mr. Kerry himself have pointed out. Mr. Kerry answered this month that he had not spoken to Mr. Hubbard since the week of April 19, 1971.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Lipscomb’s bigfoot journalistic competitors to follow up on this development, but please do feel free to spread the word.


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