Friday, August 15, 2008

The Original Swift-Boater is Back
Posted on Aug 15, 2008

By Eugene Robinson

Here come the goons, right on schedule.

The “author,” and I use the term loosely, whose vicious lies damaged John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign has crawled back out from under his rock to spew vicious lies about Barack Obama. Right-wing radio talk-show hosts are dutifully transmitting this concocted venom. This presidential campaign has officially gotten ugly.

The “author” I’m talking about is a man named Jerome Corsi. In a book published last year, “The Late Great USA: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada,” Corsi claimed that George W. Bush was at the heart of a secret conspiracy to subsume the United States into a post-national, one-worldish North American Union. Corsi’s writings on far-right blogs have been even more paranoid and delusional. He has written that pedophilia, for which he used a more graphic term, “is OK with the Pope as long as it isn’t reported by the liberal press.” He has referred to Muslims as “ragheads.”

Corsi would be known as just another visitor from the outer fringe if he had not been the co-author of “Unfit for Command,” the book that slimed Kerry’s exemplary record as a Swift boat commander in Vietnam. The allegations in that book were discredited, but not before they had been amplified by the right-wing echo chamber to the point where they raised questions in some voters’ minds—perhaps enough to swing the election.

It was an abominable trick, but quite remarkable. Kerry’s opponent, George W. Bush, had avoided Vietnam by taking refuge in the Texas Air National Guard. Kerry was a decorated war hero, yet somehow his valor and sense of duty were turned into a political negative and used against him.

Now Corsi, in what he acknowledges is an attempt “to keep Obama from getting elected,” has come out with a book that similarly tries to turn one of Obama’s strengths—his compelling life story—into a liability... /


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