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News: September 28, 2004

The Draft, Scare Tactics and Hoaxes (and yes, more from CBS)

One of Sen. John Kerry's political strategies is to scare the public by asserting, among other things, that President Bush will establish a military draft (see John Kerry Raises Possibility That Military Draft May Return if President Bush Is Re-Elected, ABC News, Sept. 22). In the same breath Kerry comments, "He's driving seniors right out of the middle class." Both of these are obvious scare tactics designed to characterize Pres. Bush through a fabricated future scenario that runs contrary to Bush's stated position and record.

Enter CBS' latest news story: Reviving the Draft. The substance of the report is testimony from a mother (Beverly Cocco) who "has spent most of her life protecting children in Philadelphia."

Beverly is petrified about a military draft – and she's not alone. There's an undercurrent of anxiety; mass e-mails are circulating among parents worried their kids could be called up.


There hasn't been a draft since 1973, but that's not much comfort to Beverly Cocco. So she is keeping a sharp eye on the political traffic. She's a Bush supporter today, but if she doesn't like what she hears between now and November, she could easily cross over.

Ratherbiased (hat tip: Evangelical Outpost) reveals that Dan Rather's CBS Evening News used widely distributed emails that prophesy a draft. Of course these have been been debunked as hoaxes. In addition, CBS conveniently failed to disclose that the worried mother is also Chapter President of a special interest group called People Against the Draft. Fine reporting by CBS, I might add. At least the network is consistent. Update: Without noting previous error, CBS News slips in mention of Beverly Cocco's partisan connections to Parents Against the Draft [Ace of Space].

Although the story lacked substance, one could postulate that a secret unnamed unimpeachable confidential CBS source exists that can authenticate the accuracy of the fake story. In fact, as I've mentioned above, through an incredible series of coincidences a certain U.S. Senator with three purple hearts revealed his hand by subtlety playing the Draft Card days before the CBS story aired. Could this be a secret source? If he is, CBS will again be the last ones to be disappointed by their source's lack of credibility.

In a Townhall column by Jonah Goldberg, Kerry's strategy is compared with Nixonian politics.

The most Nixonian of Kerry's traits is his obsession with secrecy and conspiracies. In August, Kerry announced he had a secret plan to get America out of Iraq. When George Stephanopoulos said it sounded like Nixon's secret plan, Kerry responded with Nixonian combativeness: "I don't care what it sounds like. It's truth. I don't care what it sounds like." . . .

Kerry has accused Bush of having secret plans to privatize Social Security, slash social services, wage nuclear war, fix oil prices at the Saudis' behest, cut VA Benefits, cut education funding, send jobs abroad and, of course, bring back the draft. On Monday the Associated Press reported, "John Kerry told voters in America's Dairyland... that President Bush had a secret plan that would hurt milk producers after the election."

Because Kerry Syndrome can cause dementia, it's not always clear whether Kerry thinks he's running as Nixon or against Nixon.

While attacking Bush on the basis of "the draft" is underhanded, Powerlineblog correctly surmises that from a strictly political standpoint Iraq is the only issue with leverage for Kerry. "Iraq is the only issue perceived as vital for which Kerry has tangible evidence that Bush's policies have failed. Without attacking Bush on Iraq, Kerry has no potentially compelling basis for asking the country to change its leadership". Even in this, Kerry's position is weak and his use of a hoax as part of his message will only work against him. Its predicatable but unfortunate that CBS chose to follow Kerry's lead.


Posted by tim at September 28, 2004 10:00 PM

Articles Related to News:


"It scares me how dumb you are."
- A quote from Happy Bunny

Everyone likes to talk about Bush' record and say he is not hurting the middle class.

Let's look at G. W. Bush' record.
He ran three oil companies. All three went bankrupt or failed. He was governor in Texas and took the state from a surplus budget to a deficit. He stopped the child insurance program and later said he supported it in 2000. He gave a tax break for stock investments and corporations that takes money we put into companies (purchasing their products) and puts it into the pockets of the richest part of the nation (heavy investors and corporate elites) and they gain this benefit tax-free. He also changed tax laws to benefit companies when they outsource jobs and relocate to the islands to avoid taxes even though their customer and worker base is in the states.

How can we say this person, who has failed at every task he tried prior to becoming Governor (and all the people responsible for his election ion Texas are being arraigned for criminal charges with Republican finances as we speak). How can we say he knows what he is doing and that Kerry is using scare tactics? Stating facts and truths that are scary are needed. You don't avoid a car-wreck by closing your eyes.

Look around and see the devastation Bush has caused. Look at unemployment, gas prices, increasing hostilities and losses in Iraq, and every other indicator in our world.

We need to put on the brakes and re-evaluate what is happening.

Posted by: s33ker at October 1, 2004 2:57 PM

My article was on the illegitimate and speculative use of the “Draft Card” to scare U.S. citizens from voting for Bush and the misrepresentation of sources by CBS. While your post does heavily criticize Bush according to standard liberal dogma, it fails to provide any substantial contribution to the subject at hand. Just because you believe that Bush is a failure, despite being one of the few to salvage something out of an oil company during the Texas oil bust and despite elections as Texas Governor and United States President, it does not mean that a legitimate criticism of his presidency is that he has a secret plan to draft young Americans. You may believe that Bush caused the economic down turn that began before his presidency and the sudden jump in unemployment that occurred following Sept. 11, 2001 (note that unemployment is presently trending down - at 5.4% it is not the "devastation"). Even if your beliefs were to be true, they still do not justify any form of Bush-bashing. The CBS memos are said by the network to be fake but true. This story (the topic of my original post), also published by CBS, appears to be fake but useful in furthering an anti-Bush political agenda.

Posted by: tim at October 3, 2004 2:07 AM


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