Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Twisted Truth

Attacks on candidates and their supporters are standard fare in political campaigns. Sometimes these attacks are downright lies, and sometimes there is truth in them. It's often hard to know what's true and what isn't, or what's factual but so twisted that it becomes a de facto lie.

Here's just one example:

A surprise Thanksgiving visit by the president to the troops turned out to feature a "show" turkey supplied by Halliburton.

This comes from an October 31 opinion column by Frank Rich in the New York Times. It was also published in the International Herald Tribune, where I read it.

Most fair observers, including John Kerry and other Democratic presidential contenders, praised the President's visit to the troops in Iraq during Thanksgiving. He's the Commander-in-Chief, after all, and this is what's expected of good commanders.

But not the liberal Mr. Rich. His lack of respect for the President, perhaps even his hatred, drove him to take something uplifting and turn it into a snide, sneering slap in the face. Let's analyze what he said and then look at the truth:

The President was photographed holding a nicely trimmed turkey on a platter, with proud soldiers surrounding him. Mr. Rich intended to indicate that the fact that this particular turkey wasn't going to be eaten proves that the President is a fake, perpetrating a fraud on both the troops and the public for cheap publicity.

The "show" turkey was supplied by Halliburton. The use of the word "Halliburton" by liberals, in virtually any context, is a code word. Its use is intended to indicate cynicism and corruption on the part of the Vice President, and through him the President, who according to liberals is no more than his dull-witted stooge.

Everything Mr. Rich said is true. The turkey was for show only, and it was prepared by subcontractors of KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton, which operates the dining facility. But this truth is twisted into a lie, and Mr. Rich knows it.

Here's the real truth: Most military dining facilities (we used to call them "mess halls") prepare a turkey and surround it with typical Thanksgiving items on a large tray or platter. It's displayed prominently as part of the holiday decorations in the dining facility, just like in some restaurants. The turkey is not intended to be eaten, but it looks great. I've seen many of them. That was the so-called "show" turkey the President was photographed with.

Yes, the Vice President was once CEO of Halliburton. But when he left the company to become a candidate, he legally and properly separated his financial affairs and himself from Halliburton. No one has ever been able to show otherwise. And yes, Halliburton and its subsidiaries have gotten contracts in Iraq with little or no competition. It's one of the few companies in the world, much less in the U.S., with the experience, depth, and ability to handle the massive amount of work required. All of the contracting done with Halliburton was proper and legal, and again, no one has been able to show otherwise.

So, the truth is that the President's visit to Iraq for Thanksgiving was a great move, and it did wonders for the morale of our soldiers, including the majority who weren't able to attend the dinner in person. Twisting that truth into a nasty attack on the President and the Vice President qualifies the liberal Mr. Rich as a damn liar.

If you want details of the real truth, read this account. If it doesn't bring tears to your eyes, there's something wrong with you.


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