Limbaugh Makes His Case, by Byron York at National Review Online:
On Monday evening, September 24, Rush Limbaugh was struck by a story that appeared on ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson. “A closer look tonight at phony heroes,” Gibson said in his introduction to the report, which was about men who claim to be veterans but are not. In the story, reporter Brian Ross discussed two men who claimed to have served in wartime, possibly to receive free veterans’ hospital and other benefits.In trying to divert attention from the full page "Betray Us" ad that their ardent supporters at MoveOn ran in the New York Times, the Dems have been pontificating, laughably, on the floor of the Senate about how Rush Limbaugh gave deadly insult to our troops. Harry Reid persuaded all but 10 Senate Democrats to sign a letter demanding Limbaugh apologize for a 2 words taken out of context by Clinton/Soros apparatchiks. The good news here is that there are 9 Democrats aside from Joe Lieberman who are smarter than a bag of hammers.
And then this: “Authorities say the most disturbing case involves this man, 23 year-old Jesse Macbeth,” Ross continued. “In a YouTube video seen around the world, Macbeth became a rallying point for anti-war groups, as he talked of the Purple Heart he received in Iraq and described how he and other U.S. Army Rangers killed innocent civilians at a Baghdad mosque.” Ross played video of Macbeth saying, “Women and men, you know — while in their prayer, we started slaughtering them.”
As it turns out, none of that happened. Macbeth was in the Army for just six weeks, was discharged before completing basic training, and was never in Iraq. “Last week in federal court in Seattle,” Ross concluded, “Macbeth offered an apology for defaming the real American heroes as he admitted to lying about his service record and his supposed atrocities.” Ross’ story was headlined “Phony War Vets” on the ABC News website.
Given the facts, what these 41 Democrats are saying is that they support phony soldiers like Jesse Macbeth. Who'da thunk it? Well, I might have, they nominated one to run for President. But, what about Democrat stalwarts beyond John "reporting for duty" Kerry?
Hillary Clinton said to General Petraeus that his report to Congress on Iraq required a "willing suspension of disbelief." Harry Reid has told the world "the war is lost," and then had the gall to misrepresent General Petraeus' words in defense of that gaffe. Jack Murtha called several Marines, since acquitted, bloodthirsty murderers over an incident in Haditha. Barack Obama claims we are conducting air raids on civilians in Afghanistan. Nancy Pelosi couldn't find the time to attend a Petraeus briefing in April on the major issue she claims to have been elected to address. Coming full circle, John Kerry spoke of our soldiers in Iraq "terrorizing women and children in the dead of night," adding to the legacy of lies about the military he began in 1972 after his 6 week tour in Vietnam.
These same Democrats routinely threaten to cut off funding for the war. Because they never actually do it, they have another problem with their loony-left base. So they hope attacking Rush Limbaugh based on a twisted report from the far left Media Matters, an organization of which Hillary Clinton is a proud founder, will turn attention elsewhere.
In addition to its ties to major Democratic donors and to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Media Matters is a deeply politicized organization down to its lowest levels. In the past few days, it has posted eleven stories on the Limbaugh matter. Those postings were written by, among others, Julie Millican, a veteran of the Kerry campaign, MoveOn.org, and the Democratic turnout organization America Coming Together; Sarah Pavlus, formerly of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Andrew Ironside, who worked for the Howard Dean campaign; Adam Shah, a lawyer who worked for the Alliance for Justice, the organization best known for opposing President Bush’s judicial nominees; Jeremy Schulman, a former spokesman for Colorado Democratic congressional candidate Dave Thomas; and Matthew Gertz, former deputy campaign manager for Connecticut Democratic congressional candidate Diane Farrell, as well as intern for New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer.This faux eruption of Democrat sensibility is carefully orchestrated to make people forget to ask how it is, exactly, that Democrats "support the troops." And since Democrat public disrespect for the military is not enough to placate the puling pseudo-pacifists who are their main support, they've got a "combat" veteran, Senator Tom Harkin, making ad-hominem attacks on the floor of "the greatest deliberative body in the world:"
Well, I don’t know. Maybe [Limbaugh] was just high on his drugs again. I don’t know whether he was or not. If so, he ought to let us know. But that shouldn’t be an excuse.Senator Harkin is less a phony soldier than Jesse Macbeth only in degree:
While running for his Senate seat in 1984, and again while running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992, Harkin has faced criticism for claiming that he had flown combat missions over North Vietnam. In a 1979 round table discussion with other Congressional Veterans, Harkin said of his service as a Navy pilot: “One year was in Vietnam. I was flying F-4s and F-8s on combat air patrols and photo-reconnaissance support missions”. These comments were later published in a 1981 book by David Broder. After subsequent inquiries by Barry Goldwater and The Wall Street Journal, Harkin clarified that that he had been stationed in Japan and sometimes flew recently repaired aircraft on test missions over Vietnam. His service flying F-4s and F-8s was later, while he was stationed in Cuba.  References to this controversy were deleted from Wikipedia by staffers from Harkin's senate office.Like Jesse Macbeth, Harkin supports the troops by pretending to have been in combat. He then contrives to deliberately misunderstand the plain language of someone who has always clearly supported the military. So it goes among the hypocrite party.
Better the Democrats would have had John Kerry deliver Harkin's lines. At least we know that Kerry directly witnessed combat, even if there's some speculation regarding degree of participation.
But, back to Senator Harkin's record:
...What he did while on active duty is even more confusing. In 1979, Mr. Harkin, then a congressman, participated in a round-table discussion arranged by the Congressional Vietnam Veterans' Caucus. "I spent five years as a Navy pilot, starting in November of 1962," Mr. Harkin said at that meeting, in words that were later quoted in a book, Changing of the Guard, by Washington Post political writer David Broder. "One year was in Vietnam. I was flying F-4s and F-8s on combat air patrols and photo-reconnaissance support missions. I did no bombing."That last is certainly true. It's never bothered him. And it is indicative of what doesn't bother the Democrats in general.
That clearly is not an accurate picture of his Navy service. Though Mr. Harkin stresses he is proud of his Navy record--"I put my ass on the line day after day"--he concedes now he never flew combat air patrols in Vietnam.
He was stationed at the U.S. Naval Air Station at Atsugi, Japan. Damaged aircraft were flown into Atsugi for repairs or sometimes flown out of Atsugi to the Philippines for more substantial work. Mr. Harkin says he and three other Navy pilots flew these ferry flights. And, when the planes had been repaired, he and his fellow pilots took them up on test flights. "I had always wanted to be a test pilot," he says. "It was damned demanding work."
How much time did he actually spend in Vietnam? "I wouldn't really know," he says. He estimates that over a period of about 12 months he flew in and out of Vietnam "a dozen times, maybe 10 times."
But what about those combat air patrols and the photo-reconnaissance support missions? He says he did fly combat air patrols, in Cuba, in 1965 and 1966. He was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. base, "and we were on frigging alert for 18 months, the whole time I was there." He would take off whenever a U-2 American spy plane flew by, in case Cuban dictator Fidel Castro scrambled his fighters to intercept it. And he says he flew photo-reconnaissance missions too, out of Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, D.C., while he was serving in the ready reserve.
In explaining his Vietnam experience at that congressional round-table in 1979, Sen. Harkin says that in retrospect "maybe I didn't say it right."
The round-table wasn't the only time he talked about extensive Vietnam service. In April of 1981, Mr. Harkin told Harold E. Roberts, publisher of the Creston, Iowa, News Advertiser, that in Japan he was assigned to a squadron where "we flew many missions to Vietnam and the Philippines." And in a short April 1, 1980, statement in the Congressional Record attacking the Veterans Administration for the way it was handling claims related to the herbicide Agent Orange, Mr. Harkin said that "as a Vietnam veteran in Congress, I feel particularly responsible for seeing that this issue continues to command our attention." Mr. Harkin says he always refers to himself as a "Vietnam-era veteran," and thinks the statement in the Congressional Record might be a misprint.
Mr. Harkin's Navy record shows his only decoration is the National Defense Service Medal, awarded to everyone on active service during those years. He did not receive either the Vietnam Service medal or the Vietnam Campaign medal, the decorations given to everyone who served in the Southeast Asia theater. "We didn't get them for what we did," Mr. Harkin says. "It's never bothered me."