Monday, November 25, 2019

Never poke a bear with a stick . . . it might turn around and bite you

One thing that's struck me about the impeachment hearings in Congress over the past couple of weeks is the sheer mendacity of the proceedings.  So many people - witnesses, legal counsel and politicians - are lying, or "spinning" what's been said to suit their partisan purposes, that it's become very hard to sift through the dross to find the occasional nugget of truth.  That applies to both sides, of course.  There are honorable exceptions - for example, Rep. Elise Stefanik has been a breath of fresh air with her strictly fact-based analyses, and a joy to watch as she refuses to allow witnesses to obfuscate and bloviate - but they're few and far between.

However, many people with an agenda forget a time-honored truth:  if you're going to say that something isn't true, you'd better have something to back up your point, because if you don't, those who say it is true are going to nail your hide to the wall.  LtCol. Vindman, whose testimony has emerged as a critical element in the Democratic Party's plans to impeach President Trump (so much so that without it, their plans may fall apart), clearly forgot this.  He impugned the veracity of John Solomon, a reporter who has uncovered many of the facts about the Ukraine imbroglio despite official obfuscation.  So did other witnesses, leading to a review of Mr. Solomon's reporting by The Hill.  Now Mr. Solomon has responded, in forthright fashion.

I want to exercise my right to debate Lt. Col. Vindman about the testimony he gave about me. You see, under oath to Congress, he asserted all the factual elements in my columns at The Hill about Ukraine were false, except maybe my grammar.

. . .

Such testimony has been injurious to my reputation, one earned during 30 years of impactful reporting for news organizations that included The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Daily Beast/Newsweek.

And so Lt. Col. Vindman, here are the 28 primary factual elements in my Ukraine columns, complete with attribution and links to sourcing. Please tell me which, if any, was factually wrong.

. . .

Lt. Col. Vindman, if you have information that contradicts any of these 28 factual elements in my columns I ask that you make it publicly available. Your testimony did not.

If you don’t have evidence these 28 facts are wrong, I ask that you correct your testimony because any effort to call factually accurate reporting false only misleads America and chills the free debate our Constitutional framers so cherished to protect.

There's more at the link.

Mr. Solomon lists 28 points of fact, and provides supporting links for every single one of them.  I think he conclusively demonstrates that his reporting has been factual and accurate, and that those witnesses who have maintained otherwise are themselves lacking in veracity.  As a famous British expression has it, they're being "economical with the truth" - or just plain downright liars.  You can make up your own mind.

Sadly, the mainstream media have not bothered to defend Mr. Solomon's veracity.  That's probably because they're emoting rather than reporting.  His facts are incontrovertible.  They can be proven by anyone willing to follow up and prove them against the evidence.  That's precisely why the mainstream media, who've long since abandoned truth as a standard in favor of partisan political ideology, won't defend one of their own.  He makes them look very, very bad.

Personally, I'm grateful to Mr. Solomon for uncovering so much of what's been going on.  I'll be sure to take that into account when voting in future.



  1. There's a handful of real investigative journalists left in America, and John Solomon is among the best.

    Vindman's trail had better be extraordinarily clean if he's poking that bear. If there's dirt, John will find it.

  2. Yep, interesting approach to countering Vindman. And it looks to me like he owes Solomon a public apology!