Thursday, March 03, 2005

He's Hoping Nobody Noticed?

Watchdog Asks Kerry To Keep His Word To American Public

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 2, 2005 – Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today asked Sen. John F. Kerry to keep his word to the American public and sign a Standard Form 180 (SF 180), “Request Pertaining to Military Records.” On Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005, during an appearance on the NBC News show “Meet the Press,” moderator Tim Russert asked Sen. Kerry (three times) if he would sign an SF 180 and release all of his military records. On the third attempt Sen. Kerry answered Mr. Russert plainly:

MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

SEN. KERRY: Yes, I will.

In a letter hand delivered to Sen. Kerry’s Capitol Hill office, Judicial Watch asked him to execute the SF 180 immediately and thereby put to rest the controversies surrounding his service as a U.S. Navy officer.

Judicial Watch requested Aug. 2, 2004, release of Sen. Kerry’s military service records under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Navy Personnel Command withheld 31 pages of documents because Sen. Kerry refused to sign an SF 180, releasing them to the public. The records pertained to: “Personnel service jackets and service records; and correspondence and records in both automated and non-automated form concerning classification, assignment, distribution, promotion, advancement, performance, recruiting, retention, reenlistment, separation, training, education, morale, personal affairs, benefits, entitlements, discipline and administration of naval personnel.”

Much of the information concerning Sen. Kerry’s questionable awards for valor and allegations concerning his actions both on active duty and as an inactive Naval Reserve officer was detailed in the best-selling book Unfit for Command, by John E. O’Neill and Jerome R. Corsi, PhD.

“Sen. Kerry has yet to come clean with the American people,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We hope he will finally keep his promise to release his military records.”

[To read the "Meet the Press" transcript, click here. To view the letter from Judicial Watch, click here (for html version, click here).]

Judicial Watch is a non-partisan, educational foundation that advocates transparency, integrity and accountability in all aspects of government, politics and the law.



John Kerry for President, Inc. Failed to Report Contribution of Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against John Kerry for President, Inc. for failing to report a campaign contribution that appears to be in excess of legal limits.

A review of the reports John Kerry for President, Inc. (the Committee) submitted to the FEC indicates that the Committee received $850,000 in unsecured loans from the candidate, including $100,000 identified as personal funds. The Committee also reports receiving $5,539,965.80 from the candidate in proceeds from secured loans.

A loan guarantor is considered a contributor, subject to campaign contribution limits, until the loan is repaid. (See: 11 C.F.R. 100.52.) This regulation applies to a spouse as well as any other related or unrelated individual. A Boston Herald news article published on February 25, 2004, reports that the official City of Boston property assessment value of the home John Kerry shares with his wife is $6.6 million as of January 1, 2003. The Committee received $5,539,965.80 in loans secured at least in part by the value of the Kerry family home, of which Mr. Kerry could at best have an undivided interest of approximately $3.3 million, depending on the form in which the property is held.

This evidence suggests the Committee failed to report a campaign contribution from Mr. Kerry�s spouse, Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry, to the extent that her property rights in the Kerry family home or any other jointly held property are pledged as collateral for any or all of the secured loans received by the Committee. It also suggests that her contribution is in excess of the $2,000 maximum aggregate campaign allowed by law.

Quite simply, Senator Kerry's loan raises questions and the FEC needs to investigate, stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

A copy of the complaint is available by clicking here (Adobe Acrobate Reader Required)

Applause in the Airport?

Beyond the Beer Commercial

By Matt Friedeman, PhD
February 10, 2005

(AgapePress) - Rick from Winona, Mississippi, called my state-wide talk radio program this week. Sometimes, you get a phone call that ought to be read in the broader market.

On the program that day we were discussing the report that some Europeans were disgusted with the Super Bowl commercial of American soldiers getting applause in an airport. The critics thought it too extreme in its patriotism and a possible incitement to further war.

At any rate, Rick (he asked us not to use his full name) called to talk about his experience coming back recently from the fields of war. His words (and they are worth your time reading, only lightly edited):

"I heard you talking about the Super Bowl commercial. I'm a Marine, a re-con Marine. I just got back from overseas, the second week of December, actually. I was injured overseas, so that's why I'm home now.

"But the whole time I was [there, in recovery] we watched the news to see what's going on. And we saw the protests, and we saw what the media was saying about what's going on, and we were worried about what we were actually going to face when we came home. We didn't know what to expect, to be honest with you. From the news media we were seeing, the whole country was basically telling us we're a bunch of jerks.

"I thank God that the troops that are there don't see the news coverage. I thank God every day, because there'd be ten times the number getting killed, just because it would so un-motivate [sic] them.

"Back to the story: there were seven other soldiers that came home with me that day. We flew into JFK, and we were talking on the way back: What's going to happen? What will we be facing? Is it going to be like the Vietnam era, are there going to be people spitting at us?

"We didn't know. We had that much trepidation about it.

"We get into JFK, we step out of the breezeway into the main terminal, and directly in front of us was an elderly gentleman carrying a bag. And he immediately stopped, set his bag down, and the first thing we all thought was, 'Oh, Lord, here we go already.' He just stopped and looked at us for a second, and then tears came to his eyes and he saluted us.

"And -- I'm breaking up now [editor's note: with tears] -- every one of us just started crying like babies. Everybody in the terminal -- I kid you not, at least two to three hundred people -- just started clapping, spontaneously. To me, it was so much worth what we were doing, to realize that people over here actually get what we were doing. We weren't over there because it's fun. We're over there doing a job.

"When I saw the Super Bowl commercial, I just started bawling like a baby again because that was something totally unexpected. We had no idea that people actually appreciated what we're doing, from what we see on the news. We thought we were going to come back and get eggs thrown at us. It was so refreshing to know that what we were seeing on the news is just a bunch of garbage that's being concocted by the media, that 99.9 percent of the country doesn't believe that way.

"I have a couple of more months of recovery. I got hit with a concussion and have some internal damage, but I'm feeling up, doing well, and hopefully I can get back over there with my boys."

It caused some tears in this talk show host's eyes to know there were tears in his. Appreciation, smiles, handclaps -- they can go a long way when a nation is at war, regardless of what the media and some Europeans might think.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

From Alaa, an Iraqi blogger

"Finally, we heard the speech of President Bush Loud and clear. He, and the American people and their British and other valiant allies have much to do with this event. All I can say is that this man has all the essential traits of character that distinguishes the great men of history; the insistence and utter conviction and the perseverance and steadfastness in the face of all doubters and detractors. This was no ordinary election, and it was not simply to elect a constituent assembly. It was the answer of the people, what they really thought about the liberation, what they really thought of the ideas preached by the president. This was a message by the Iraqi people to the American people and their great president. It was the heart of Iraq answering the heart of America that voted to give the President the mandate to finish the task; it was the answer that the common people of Iraq gave by braving danger and exposing their life and that of their children and families to death, this was their way to make their voice heard.

Well, thank you Mr. President, we heard you; and I am sure you also heard us."