ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

If the Washington Post has FOIAd one of the Swifties, the Post has probably FOIAd many of them . . . so this is just the tip of the proverbial spear.

Michael Dobbs: "In newspaper interviews and a best-selling book, Larry Thurlow, who commanded a Navy Swift boat alongside Kerry in Vietnam, has strongly disputed Kerry's claim that the Massachusetts Democrat's boat came under fire during a mission in Viet Cong-controlled territory on March 13, 1969. Kerry won a Bronze Star for his actions that day." LINK

"But Thurlow's military records, portions of which were released yesterday to The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, contain several references to 'enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire' directed at 'all units' of the five-boat flotilla. Thurlow won his own Bronze Star that day, and the citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged Swift boat 'despite enemy bullets flying about him.'"

One of the repetitious claims of "Unit for Command" is that Kerry himself manufactured the gunfire when recording the moment for posterity and for his own medals. Kerry had nothing to do with Thurlow's citation, so even if the gunfire is still a fiction, as Thurlow continues to insist, the allegation that Kerry made up the event has acquired a flimsiness almost unworthy of further discussion.

We still haven't heard why Adrian Lonsdale decided to laud Kerry in 1996 and attack him in 2004.

And why Capt. George Elliott has changed his tune at least five times — singing Kerry's praises Kerry in Vietnam, then apparently turning against him after; praising him in 1996; criticizing him in the Swift Boat add in 2004; then changing his mind to Michael Kranish; then signing an affidavit repudiating his repudiation.

More than the generic "who's funding them" — which, by its very nature leaves the Democratic 527/Kerry campaign nexus off the hook, we have these questions:

Who brought these folks together? Who put them in touch with their publisher? Who else attends these "strategy sessions" in Arlington we hear about? And why the New York Post never even looked at the dope sheet for the "poll" they cited yesterday about independents and the swift boat ad?

Read an excerpt, courtesy of the adoring Washington Times : LINK

Writes the Wall Street Journal 's editorial board: "We wish this Presidential election had nothing at all to do with Vietnam. There were good people who served and good people who didn't, good people who supported the war and good people who protested it. What happened really shouldn't be an issue more than 30 years later unless you lie about it. So why do the Democrats keep bringing Vietnam up, and to their own detriment?"

The New York Times ed board weighs in too. LINK

McGreevey: what's next:

Ending a week full of speculation, early last evening Sen. Jon Corzine released a statement after a phone conversation with Gov. James McGreevey earlier in the day:

"Today I spoke to Governor McGreevey to express my concerns about this difficult time for his family, the Governor himself, and most importantly, the people of New Jersey. The Governor made clear in our conversation his absolute intent to serve until November 15, 2004. I accept that decision as final," Corzine said.

Shortly thereafter, McGreevey released his own short statement: "I appreciate Senator Corzine's decision and his consideration for my position and for the well-being of my family."

Coverage of the Corzine decision:

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