Evidently there seems to be a contradiction between John Kerry's personal war diary and his approved war biography by Douglas Brinkley, as reported recently by Art Moore in WorldNetDaily.com. Nine days after Kerry claims to have received his Purple Heart as a result of enemy fire, he wrote in his diary that he had not "been shot at yet."
Brinkley's book, "Tour of Duty", which includes information from Kerry's diary, validates the date contradiction. This also seems to confirm claims made by the Swift Boat Vets for Truth in "Unfit for Command", a book written by John O'Neill who took over the command of Kerry's boat, that the wound was caused by Kerry firing a grenade launcher too close versus from enemy fire.
So, is this a big deal? Are conservatives and the Swift Boat Vets for Truth making a mountain out of a mole hill? Do we care? If we do, then how do we sort through all the claims to find the truth? Original records.
Sure, we can be gracious and say anyone can forget exact dates, but beyond the dates, are the records of what happened. That's how we (should) judge all candidates. Not by what they say, but by what they do. Voting records, House and Senate floor speeches, what is put in writing, etc, - original records.
Last winter in a speech I gave at a California Eagle Forum education conference I spoke about the nature of propaganda. The word itself is pretty powerful, but so is the definition. In the broadest sense propaganda is information that serves a particular agenda, which could be true or false. If true, it may be one-sided and fail to paint a complete picture.
In Latin, propaganda means "propagating." In the narrower and more common use, the term refers to deliberately false or misleading deceptive information that supports a political cause or the interests of those in power in any institution.
A propagandist seeks to change the way people understand an issue or a situation for the purpose of changing their actions and expectations in ways that are desirable to the propagandist. It includes censorship in which the same purpose is achieved, not by filling people's minds with false information, but by preventing people from knowing true information.
What sets propaganda apart from other forms of advocacy is the willingness of the propagandist to change people's understanding through deception and confusion, rather than persuasion and understanding.
We have to be discerning, and original records help us see through the power of emotional persuasion.
John Adams said it best…”Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
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