Anyone following the Swift Boat Veterans story has heard the supposedly conflicting stories told by retired Lt. Commander Elliott. Elliott signed an affidavit saying that Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star that he (Elliott) had recommended him for, and was one of the veterans featured in the Swift Boad Ad. Then, according to a story in the Boston Globe, he recanted. Here is how CNN tells the story:
On Friday, a member of that group who was one of Kerry's supervisors in Vietnam, George Elliott, appeared to back off an earlier affidavit in which he suggested Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star. In the affidavit, he said, "I was never informed that he had simply shot a wounded, fleeing Viet Cong in the back."
In Friday's Boston Globe, Elliott was quoted as saying: "It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here."
Elliott told the Globe Kerry did deserve the medal.
Here is the Boston Globe story in question, written by one Michael Kranish.
While the Swift Boat Veterans story got a lot of coverage, Elliott's supposed flip-flop was always mentioned, and was used by the "pro-Kerry" side of the debate to show that Elliott (and the whole Swift Boat Vets group, by implication) was less than credible and perhaps a bit flaky.
Well, now it turns out that Elliott is claiming that he was misquoted by the Boston Globe. He has signed a new affidavit, re-affirming the old and describing the Boston Globe story by Kanish as "extremely inaccurate":
Captain George Elliott describes an article appearing in today’s edition of the Boston Globe by Mike Kranish as extremely inaccurate and highly misstating his actual views. He reaffirms his statement in the current advertisement paid for by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Captain Elliott reaffirms his affidavit in support of that advertisement, and he reaffirms his request that the ad be played.
Human Events has both Elliott affidavits here.
So, who is telling the truth here, the Globe reporter Kranish, or Elliott? In answering that question, it might be useful to know that Kranish is not a neutral reporter, but has a strong connection to Kerry, that the Kerry camp is trying to cover up.
It seems that Kerry and Edwards had written the standard "aren't we wonderful" campaign book, "Our Plan for America". Drudge noted that the introduction for this puff piece had been written by none other than Mike Kranish. Of course, being paid to write an introduction by candidates you are supposed to be covering might be seen by some as a conflict of interest (heavy sarcasm here, for the slow of wit among you).
The Boston Globe issued a statement standing by its story, and saying that Mr. Kranish had no involvement in the Kerry/Edwards Campaign book, although he had worked on an earlier, unauthorized, autobiography. The Globe relied on a statement by the Kerry/Edward's book's publisher, Peter Osnos of PublicAffairs, that the only "malign intent" was that "someone" was spreading the story that Kranish was involved in the campaign book. Here is Osnos' statement, as reported by the Globe:
Peter Osnos, publisher of PublicAffairs, said both Drudge and Amazon, the online bookseller peddling the upcoming Kerry-Edwards book, had made a mistake in suggesting Kranish had written its introduction.
"As far as I can tell, if there's any malign intent here, it was someone making Drudge think Michael was somehow doing something for [Kerry's] campaign," Osnos said.
Well, Mr. Osnos of PublicAffairs and the Globe have been busted. According to the current PublicAffairs website, Kranish is not listed as having any involvement in the book. However Drudge has come up with a cached version of the same page (thank heaven for Google), where Kranish is repeatedly listed as having written the introduction. Here is a quote from the cached page:
In his introduction, the Boston Globe's Michael Kranish offers penetrating insight into the policies of a Kerry administration, and what they could mean for America.
So, the "someone" who was spreading the rumor that Kranish had written the introduction for the Kerry/Edwards book was the book's publisher, PublicAffairs. After Kranish's credibility became an important issue they, the Globe, and the Kerry campaign tried to clean this up, but were caught red-handed by a prior statement which survived on the internet.
Update: The Google cache has been replaced with the new page, which no longer shows Kranish's involvement. However I took a screen shot of the old page, which is here: