And, true to form, Blogging Tory Jonathan Strong proves once again that there's nothing so dishonest and reprehensible that he won't regurgitate it faithfully:
Ann Coulter at Her Best
... Max Cleland was a war hero who lost his limbs as a result of Viet Cong grenades, giving him the stature to gleefully taunt George Bush and Dick Cheney. "Where the hell were you in the Vietnam War?" Cleland responded to Cheney. "If you had gone to Vietnam like the rest of us, maybe you would have learned something about war."
Then we learned Cleland was a victim only of his own clumsiness and had dropped the grenade on himself in Vietnam after stopping for a beer.
Really, Jonathan? Is that how it happened? I think not:
Thank you Chris. I did not have the links to this, but Max called me about it in case I needed to tell the real truth should someone want to know. This Ann Coulter has written real slime. Only in America. Our service men and women fight and die to defend your right to a free press. The press needs to be aware of their responsibility to use this democratic tool in a responsibility way.
The 2nd of the 12th Cavalry was engaged in a combat operation at the time of this incident. Max Cleland was with the Battalion Forward Command Post in heavy combat involving the attack of the 1st Cavalry Division up the valley to relieve the Marines who were besieged and surrounded at the Khe Shan Firebase. The whole surrounding area was an active combat zone (some might call the entire country of Vietnam a combat zone). (Is Iraq a combat zone?) Max, the Battalion Signal Officer, was engaged in a combat mission I personally ordered to increase the effectiveness of communications between the battalion combat forward and rear support elements: e.g. Erect a radio relay antenna on a mountain top. By the way, at one point the battalion rear elements came under enemy artillery fire so everyone was in harms way.
As they were getting off the helicopter, Max saw the grenade on the ground and he instinctively went for it. Soldiers in combat don't leave grenades lying around on the ground. Later, in the hospital, he said he thought it was his own but I doubt the concept of "ownership" went through his mind in the split seconds involved in reaching for the grenade. Nearly two decades later another soldier came forward and admitted it was actually his grenade. Does ownership of the grenade really matter? It does not.
Battalion Executive Officer
2d/12th Cavalry Battalion
1st Air Cavalry Division
During the assault on Khe Shan
A retraction and apology from Mr. Strong would be nice, but I expect to see pigs flying long before then. They don't call him "Steno Boy" for nothing.
AFTERSNARK: While it won't make any difference to that gullible dimwit and right-wing hack Jonathan Strong, it's worth pointing out that even Coulter is inconsistent about whether Cleland "dropped the grenade on himself." Witness Coulter's own words from a 2004 article (obvious emphasis added):
It is simply a fact that Max Cleland was not injured by enemy fire in Vietnam. He was not in combat, he was not — as Al Hunt claimed — on a reconnaissance mission, and he was not in the battle of Khe Sanh, as many others have implied. He picked up an American grenade on a routine noncombat mission and the grenade exploded.
Note well how Coulter, as far back as 2004, correctly describes how Cleland "picked up an American grenade." And just to make sure there's no ambiguity here, let's read Ann quoting approvingly one Jill Zuckman, who describes in detail what happened that day:
"Finally, the battle at Khe Sanh was over. Cleland, 25 years old, and two members of his team were now ordered to set up a radio relay station at the division assembly area, 15 miles away. The three gathered antennas, radios and a generator and made the 15-minute helicopter trip east. After unloading the equipment, Cleland climbed back into the helicopter for the ride back. But at the last minute, he decided to stay and have a beer with some friends. As the helicopter was lifting off, he shouted to the pilot that he was staying behind and jumped several feet to the ground.
"Cleland hunched over to avoid the whirring blades and ran. Turning to face the helicopter, he caught sight of a grenade on the ground where the chopper had perched. It must be mine, he thought, moving toward it. He reached for it with his right arm just as it exploded, slamming him back and irreparably altering his plans for a bright, shining future."
And just to put the finishing touches on this, let's observe that Coulter's admission of what really happened that day occurred a good five years after it was determined that that grenade did, in fact, belong to someone else:
It was widely believed that Cleland was injured by his own grenade, but in fact it was found in 1999 to have been another soldier's grenade.
In short, it was someone else's grenade and Ann Coulter knew this and admitted it years ago, yet here we are in 2007, with Coulter now fraudulently claiming that Cleland dropped his own grenade on himself. And Jonathan Strong slavishly wanking off to pics of Coulter and reprinting whatever dishonest rubbish she chooses to spew in her latest column.
This is why I don't treat those folks with civility. They're lying assholes. Do you really need a better reason than that?