The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Criticizing Kerry a Mistake? (read an Aug. 9, 2004 update on this article)
John Kerry's former commanding officer George Elliott, who joined a number of Vietnam swift boat veterans in criticizing Kerry's war record in a new campaign ad, was quoted in the Boston Globe as saying that his accusation that Kerry "has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam" was a mistake.
But later today, Elliot released an affidavit saying he was misquoted by the Globe and reaffirming his belief that Kerry has not been honest about what happened back then. Elliot had recommended Kerry for a Silver Star during the war ... but reaffirmed today that he didn't know all the facts ... and would never would have made the recommendation had he known Kerry only pursued and killed one wounded, fleeing enemy soldier.
Elliott told the Boston Globe that criticizing Kerry now, after recommending him for medals in 1969 and supporting him as recently as 1996, "makes me look kind of silly, to be perfectly honest." But he says he sided with Kerry's critics because he can't believe they would all lie in concert, adding that he, "absolutely does not know first hand" what happened.
Meanwhile, lawyers for John Kerry and the Democratic National Committee are asking TV stations across the country not to run the anti-Kerry ad. A letter to station managers across the country, signed by the general counsel for the Kerry Campaign and the DNC, calls the ad an "inflammatory, outrageous lie."
The Lawyers say the veterans, "purport to have served on Senator Kerry's Swift Boat," but in fact, the veterans merely say they served with Kerry in Vietnam. The participants in the ad all served on swift boats in Kerry's group.
The director of Religious Outreach for the Democratic National Committee has resigned after less than 2 weeks on the job. Critics attacked Reverend Brenda Bartella Peterson because she was supporting the removal of the words "Under God" from the pledge of allegiance.
Reverend Peterson said the criticism from conservative groups made it impossible for her to do her job. Peterson's most vocal critic, the conservative Catholic League, called her a, "Left-wing activist" ... for filing an amicus brief supporting atheist Michael Newdow in his court challenge to the pledge two years ago.
It was a bad week in Memphis for a group of Iraqi community leaders visiting the United States to witness American democracy in action. When the seven-member delegation visited Memphis City Hall, City Council chairman Joe Brown shut them out, saying the group could pose a security threat.
Adding injury to insult, two of the Iraqis were robbed at gunpoint the very next day in broad daylight on a city street. After all that, a spokesperson for the Iraqis still praised the citizens of Memphis for being — "warm and caring people."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report