Monday, August 23, 2004

As usual, wise words from Josh Marshall concerning the Washington Post article on the SBVT controversy:

If you wade through the article, it's easy to lose track of this. But what does the article itself say? Kerry says one thing, he's critics say another. But are Kerry and O'Neil really equal in this?

The military records all back up Kerry. Back in the old days -- i.e., last month --official military records use to be considered at least presumptively accurate. Now, everyone knows or should know that every after-action report or medal citation isn't necessarily the product of an exhaustive investigation. Yet, they're not meaningless. At a minimum one would assume that the burden of proof would lie with those who dispute their veracity.

So, as I say, all the Navy records support Kerry's account. On top of that, all the people who were in Kerry's boat support his version of events.

Think about that for a minute. All the people in Kerry's boat means all the people closest to the action in question support Kerry's account. Others who were tens or hundreds of yards away, or not even present, contradict his account. Is it really so hard to distinguish between the quality of evidence and testimony that both sides are bringing to the table?

He makes a wonderful point. The supposed liberal Post is bending over backwards to make this out to be a real tough-to-decipher issue. It's not, at least if you consider the evidence on both sides and then utilize the kind of thinking journalists were once encouraged to exercise. As Josh says, "If this were a civil suit, and this was accusers' evidence, it wouldn't even pass the laugh test."

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