ZIEGLER: Howdy out there in webcast radio land. This is The Inquisition with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler. How're you doing, Scott? Scott, are you out there?

SWETT: Yeah, I'm here. Can you hear me?

ZIEGLER: Yeah, I can hear you great.

So welcome to The Inquisition. We decided to do this show because the screaming-heads shows were just not enough. We had to get started with a real inquiry into the sources and causes of all the trial and tribulation in this world, and so what better way to do it than to hold an inquest.

SWETT: Well, we at The Inquisition feel that you can never have enough screaming heads. Unfortunately, many of our implements of persuasion have not really be uncrated yet. As I look around us I see a number of boxes. Off to my left is a very nice custom-made rack, mahogany inlay. Regrettably, some assembly is required, and it won't be available for this show. I'm not even sure we have a working set of thumb screws. We do however have the guest chair prepared with a couple of inches cut off the front legs so that he has to lean forward, and I have a 5,000-watt spotlight to shine into his eyes, but that's the best we're going to be able to do today.

ZIEGLER: Well, you know, since we're going to be interviewing Dr. Jerry Corsi and we're going to be talking about his book, "Unfit for Command," which he co-authored with John O'Neill -

Dr. Corsi, welcome to The Inquisition.

CORSI: Thank you, Tim. Pleasure to be with you. At least I'm thinking it's going to be a pleasure. I don't know. I'm listening to Scott here. I'm getting scared.

SWETT: Are you comfortable, Dr. Corsi?

CORSI: I hesitate to say yes.

SWETT: We'll do what we can.

ZIEGLER: What we're really trying to accomplish is we want to ask the questions that the mainstream media just doesn't tend to ask, and we want to get to the root of some of the issues. Scott and I are both conservatives by nature and by education and process, and we really want to learn what is happening out there and what the truth is. You and Scott met - how did you guys meet?

CORSI: I first saw Wintersoldier.com back around, I guess, March, February or March, when it became clear that John Kerry was going to be the candidate of the Democratic party for president after Dean exited himself from the campaign.

I started looking around and decided I was going to do some writing on John Kerry, and I found Wintersoldier.com and I thought it was a tremendous resource. It's got it put together. And I just started to e-mail, and eventually I called Scott and we started talking, because I had done so much research in my life on John Kerry and the Vietnam Vets Against the War that I felt a tremendous need, almost overwhelming, to get the information out to the public, and I was looking for sources that I could use to get the word out. And that's how I got in touch with Scott and we started working together.

SWETT: By way of presenting his credentials, Dr. Corsi sent me about a 1,000-page research paper that he had written investigating the activities of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War during the Democratic and Republican conventions of 1972, a very scholarly work, very detailed. Some people send a business card; Dr. Corsi sends a thousand-page document.

CORSI: The worst part about it is I remember all those thousand pages, having written them, and I knew there was a great deal of detail in there on the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Miami Beach and the extreme protests that were being done by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

ZIEGLER: So you've been studying, Dr. Corsi, for decades - I mean John Kerry for decades. You've been into this - you're a historian trained by profession and education, and essentially the book "Unfit for Command" is a continuation of a historical analysis.

CORSI: Yeah Tim, I'm a political scientist. I got my Ph.D. at Harvard in 1972, and I have always been fascinated with and studied political violence, political protests.

The very first things I wrote were even before I went to Harvard. I wrote some things on political - racial violence, on race riots. "Shootout in Cleveland" I was co-author of, and that ended up being one of the task-force reports to the Eisenhower Commission on the causes and prevention of violence. That was in 1969 it was published.

I always had an intuitive understanding of political protests and political violence. I got a top-secret clearance from the government in 1981 after I published a computer model that predicted the outcome of terrorist events. I published that in a journal at Yale in 1981, and then I started getting requests all over the world from intelligence agencies for that paper, and I got contacted by the Agency for International Development to help them on hostage survival when the Reagan administration just came in.

So I've been at this for a long time. I stopped doing the work on political violence - it kind of burned me out for a while - and I changed careers. I left universities and I went into financial services. I've been an innovator bring annuities, selling insurance in banks. That was really my claim to fame in financial services. I created four companies doing that that were all very successful.

It was John Kerry running for president that got me to feel an enormous urge that I just had to get out and tell the public what I had known. I kind of always felt, even back in the 1970s, that if this guy ever decided to run for president, I was going to speak out against him because I knew in detail the radical nature of his anti-war activities.

SWETT: Dr. Corsi, you knew and debated against John O'Neill back in the early 1970s. How did you come to re-establish contact with him? Maybe you could tell us a little bit about what led to the decision to write the book "Unfit for Command."

CORSI: Yeah, it's interesting, Scott. When I was in college, I was in Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, and John O'Neill was at Annapolis. We were intercollegiate debaters. And we knew each other quite well. I had been very successful in intercollegiate debate. In fact, my partner and I won the Georgetown tournament. I believe it was 1966. And Bob Shrum was organizing and he was the head of that tournament at that time because he was working in debate at Georgetown University.

SWETT: Small world.

CORSI: It's a small world because that was well before - just as he was getting into Democratic party politics. Of course, now he's played a major role in Kerry's campaign.

When I saw John O'Neill debate with John Kerry rebroadcast, the Dick Cavett show.

ZIEGLER: On the Dick Cavett show.

CORSI: The Dick Cavett show. When C-Span rebroadcast that - I guess that was about March, the same time when I was contacting Scott - I really decided I had to go get in touch with John O'Neill.

In fact, when that debate was being rebroadcast I went on Freerepublic.com and I was looking at the live thread, and some of the posters were saying, "We've got to find John O'Neill. Why doesn't John O'Neill come on back? He was so great against Kerry in '71. Is he still around?"

I thought those were good questions, and I knew John so well. I just decided I'd pick up the phone and find him. I went to the directory of attorneys. Attorneys are pretty easy to find if they're still alive and practicing. It took me three or four days to get through to John, and then we spoke on the phone.

It was like nothing - no time had ever passed. Maybe it was 36, 37 years since we'd spoken, but we just went right back to the basis of friendship we had as young men and were able to re-establish that working relationship very quickly.

The decision on the book, it started out, I started out saying to John, why don't we do some writing because that's always - I'll tell you why I wanted to do writing. I'll come back to that in a minute. But I said to John, "We've got to get something out." I said, "Let's write an editorial for the Wall Street Journal."

Now John at the time wasn't even very convinced that that was going to be effective or something he ought to do. I was a little bit of a nuisance to him, actually, to get it done.

But it was another strange circumstance because the editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page is Dan Henninger, and Dan sat next to me for two years in high school at St. Ignatius in Cleveland. In fact, he drove me on my first double date.

And I started e-mailing Dan. Dan started to come back and say, "Oh, we don't want this opposition research," you know. "You're just going to waste our time." And I said, "Well Dan, maybe we ought to have John O'Neill write an editorial." And so Dan immediately changed his mind and we wrote it. I helped John put that together, and the editorial appeared on May 4th, the same day that the press conference was held in Washington, D. C.

SWETT: Both of which were roundly ignored.

CORSI: Yeah.

ZIEGLER: The press conference you're discussing is the one held by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

CORSI: Right.

ZIEGLER: At the National Press Club.

CORSI: Exactly. Actually I think the Wall Street Journal article probably got more attention in the press. I mean, the editorial that John put in was reprinted all over the internet, was widely circulated, and John suddenly saw the value of writing.

And so then I said to John, "Well John, let's do a book." I found out that John and I could write together. You don't always know that about everybody. It's hard to have a co-author. But when I -

ZIEGLER: That's why Scott and I do a radio show together, because we can't write together.

CORSI: Well, there are certain advantages to that, Tim, 'cause you know, writing is a hard thing to do in any case, and then to do it with somebody can complicate it. Maybe it never gets written at all.

But after we did that editorial, I felt comfortable writing with John, and so we put together a proposal, and then we actively went to search for a publisher.

Regnery, I had some good access to Regnery, and they read it and they asked us to come in. They accepted the book about three days after they got it. In fact, Harry Crocker, the editor there, called me on the phone, and I was doing something else at the time and I put Harry on hold and went back to doing what I was doing, and I thought, wait a minute. I said, "Harry, what can I do for you?" And Harry said, "Well, we're going to accept your book." I thought well here I put the guy on hold. He's calling me to accept the book. I said, that was a pretty dumb thing to do.

ZIEGLER: No, that was perfect. People want what they cannot have.

CORSI: Well, so Harry called us in and we had the meeting at Regnery in Washington, and then we wrote the book in three weeks.

ZIEGLER: Three weeks?

CORSI: Three weeks.

ZIEGLER: This is not your first published effort. When I looked your name up on Amazon, you've got, what, eight published books that list there?

CORSI: They listed eight. I've got more like about 13. There were some they didn't get.


CORSI: But I published since I was a kid. I was a writer kind of by nature when I was growing up. I was a very early reader. I read all my dad's college books when I was in grade school. I was one of those kind of kids. Couldn't do much playing baseball, but just give me a book.

SWETT: Dr. Corsi, I should point out to our audience that - most of them are aware that "Unfit for Command" breaks into the Swift Vets' side of the book, which describes Kerry's activities in Vietnam and what they really were as opposed to the myth he created for himself. And then the side that you covered was the anti-war research and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War side. So while the Swift Vets had the 60 or 70 guys who were writing chunks of it and funneling it all through John O'Neill and getting it all pulled together, basically on your side it was you working 14, 16 hours a day for three weeks.

CORSI: Yeah. And what I also did, Scott, was John outlined his section and then I wrote it entirely, and then I sent it back to John and then John corrected it and filled it in and changed it as he was doing more interviews and getting it right from military terminology, because I'm also - I never was in the military.

So when I had my draft physical - I have an Irish body, I guess. I'm half Irish and half Italian. I've had eczema all my life, and I had such bad eczema at the time that the Army thought my skin was too bad to kill Viet Cong, so they sent me home. And then I got to do more books, and I went to Harvard and did more writing. It was fine with me, but I guess my service was the work I did on the anti-war movement.

While I was at Harvard I also worked at the Lemberg Center for the Study of Violence at Brandeis, which was headed by John Speigel at the time, and he was very famous in studying political violence, and I showed up there and said I'd like to work for him. And I did that while I was going to Harvard. I did the two of them together. And in fact, the studies I did on the Vietnam Veterans Against the War both were published at the Lemberg Center for the Study of Violence at Brandeis.

SWETT: we might in a minute want to ask you to go into a little bit about whether you think the current political situation is conducive possibly to violence or whether it reminds you of things you've seen before in that regard. vCORSI: Well I've been concerned. I think the Left is so insane right now. I mean, I watch with great concern these reports of breaking into Republican party offices and campaign offices around the country, and I've watched the Left. I think they're just getting unglued. And if it becomes clear to the Left that they're going to lose, I don't think there's any limit to what some on the Left would do. So I'd say that there is a legitimate concern that there could be more violent activities from the Left going berserk. And that does concern me.

One of the things I was going to mention - it's interesting also - my dad was very involved in the labor movement, and part of growing up I knew - and as a young man I knew many of the people who were involved in the McClellan committee hearings. If you recall, that was the investigation by Senator McClellan. Jack Kennedy was on that committee. In fact, Jack and Bobby had organized that committee to be a springboard for Jack into the presidency. My dad was very involved in it and I knew the people involved in it. Now, I learned about the importance of writing a book actually from the Kennedys because it was something they knew.

ZIEGLER: You bet.

CORSI: When Jack wanted to promote his career, he wrote "Profiles in Courage." And then you will recall, it was a book that was out while he was running for president. Bobby Kennedy had a best seller, "The Enemy Within," which was the story of the McClellan committee hearings. And that I remember being discussed in the '50s at the time.

It was a very conscious effort because they knew, the Kennedys knew, the power of a book, so that it would be out there, the American people would read it, and it would be a statement that would make a bigger impact than a television appearance or even a radio appearance or anything they could do because that book would be in every book store in America.

ZIEGLER: Well, Gary Hart did the same thing in the '80s, and now John Kerry with "Tour of Duty." He was just following the mold.

CORSI: Yes -

SWETT: The Kennedys, of course, took it that one step further in that they also had their kind of in-house pet historian in Ted Sorenson, and I think that's what Senator Kerry's campaign attempted to model with Brinkley's book.

CORSI: The one thing they missed - and I remember it being discussed by the Kennedy people and my dad at the time - was that their - the one standard they held to was that everything in their books had to be accurate, had to be real, had to be documented.

I mean, if you know "Profiles in Courage," the research that went into the stories and the investigation of the careers of the politicians that Jack profiled was extensive, and it was very well written, and those stories were true and had a major impact when you did read them.

The same with "Enemy Within." It was based on the testimony in the senate hearings. It was extensively researched and footnoted. It was an authoritative book.

The difference with John Kerry's "Tour of Duty," you know, it's just his private journals, and it was all of his lies and exaggerations, and when the people read it, it doesn't have the same impact. In fact, anybody who knows the truth, it just makes them mad, like Admiral Hoffman.

ZIEGLER: I think that's a really good point. I don't know that the average citizen understands that it was the publishment of "Tour of Duty" that got the Swift Boat Vets involved in the campaign.

SWETT: Well even before that, it got them in touch with each other. They started calling to compare notes and say, "Have you read this," you know, "Were you there for this." I mean, they kind of had already created an informal web of communications to try and, you know, figure out what had really happened in contrast to what was in the book, even before Kerry became the nominee.

CORSI: That's exactly right. In fact, I remember sitting with many of the Swift Boat Vets at different times, and they were going over stories, like the Rassman event, the no man left behind, when he falls off Kerry's boat. And they'd all heard Kerry tell these stories on the campaign trail or they'd read it in the book, and they didn't realize it was the incident that they were involved in because Kerry's version of it was so dramatically removed from truth, it didn't sound like anything they knew about. And yet they were there.

SWETT: Like Larry Thurlow and -

CORSI: Yeah.

(Cross talk)

ZIEGLER: Well, we're heading into a break. This is The Inquisition with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler. We're interviewing Dr. Jerry Corsi, co-author of "Unfit for Command." We're going to head into a break and pay some bills. Then we'll come back and we'll talk to Dr. Corsi about the media and its influence on his book and his career.

(Commercial break)

ZIEGLER: Howdy. We're back. This is The Inquisition - Scott Swett, Tim Ziegler - and we're interviewing Dr. Jerry Corsi, co-author of "Unfit for Command."

Dr. Corsi, you've been doing a lot of radio interviews lately. How many of those are little backwater radio stations and webcasts like us, and how many of them are comparable to, I don't know, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, the big shows?

CORSI: Well, I've done the whole mix. I mean, I've been on shows that have been national. I've been on Hannity a couple of times. I was on Hannity recently. I was just driving back from Washington, and I called in. They were talking about this report that there was a film showing Kerry burning a flag, and I listened to that, and I just picked up - I just called on my cell phone to talk to his producer and tell them that no such film existed to the best of my knowledge, and I didn't want the book associated with it because "Unfit for Command" was based entirely on things we could document. And they put me on the radio show nationally. They just plugged me in to say that. And you know, I've gotten to be known in the radio circles, and have been on just hundreds of shows, doing four today. Yours is one of the four. My days are filled up like that, and I intend to do it all the way through to the election.

ZIEGLER: That demonstrates that this isn't an anti-Kerry vendetta for you. I mean, if it's not true, you're not going to tell about it.

CORSI: Oh exactly. I mean, our whole argument against Kerry is based on the record, based on what he actually did. That's why the book, I think, you know, has the impact that it has. Same way as - everybody said, well the Kennedys have this vendetta against Hoffa. Well, maybe Bobby worked himself up into that frenzy, but the truth was that they were opposed to Hoffa because he was bringing organized crime into the Teamsters and they were opposed to organized crime. It had nothing to do with they just didn't like Hoffa. It had to do with the fact that he was engaged in activities that they considered detrimental to the union movement.

SWETT: Then again, maybe they just didn't like his suits.

CORSI: Didn't like his suits. (laughs)

SWETT: Yeah, I think the point you're making that credibility is a key throughout all of this has served both you and John O'Neill well in terms of the book and also the SwiftVets in general in terms of their own efforts and claims. One of the things that Fred Barnes said a couple of nights ago at a gathering of Swift Vets in Washington D.C. is that Fox News really took a very hands-off approach to this whole veterans' anti-Kerry movement until a point in time at which Brit Hume read "Unfit for Command." He then called a meeting and told his entire staff, "you've got to read this book. This is fairly documented; this is not hearsay; this is not just a campaign effort. This is something we've got to take seriously as an organization." I think that the fact that you did such a scholarly job in detailing everything is an underlying reason that that happened.

CORSI: Well you know, it's very important because it - when you go down to making these kinds of charges, it's got to be examined in the light of documentation, affidavits, footnotes, otherwise the people aren't going to believe it. If you remember, almost the very first thing that was written about "Unfit for Command," Bob Novak wrote a column before it was even in the book stores, and Novak said that Kerry had better take this book seriously because the charges in it are serious, they're well documented, and they can't just be dismissed. And if he doesn't take it seriously, it's going to hurt Kerry. That's what Bob Novak wrote around about August 10th. Now that turned out to be true.

The other thing, Scott, that I was wanting to do in writing the book was to make it easy to read. I wanted a book that was under 250 pages that you could look at and you could say, you know, this is not like taking home a 500-page thing that's going to become a paperweight. You could get through it in an evening. And then when somebody started reading it, I wanted it to be entertaining, to have stories because people like stories, and they could get their minds around something that they could visualize.

ZIEGLER: I think in this interview we've stumbled across something very important, and that is that as a historian, you're talking about documentation and research and presenting factual case, and Mr. Novak displays that in his analysis of the book. But in looking back in the testimony of the Swift Boat Veterans, isn't it increasingly clear that Kerry understood this in 1960-something and then he's the one who wrote the history?

CORSI: Well, he thought he would write the history. Kerry took with him a typewriter and a movie camera to Vietnam, and he was staging all of his exploits on this movie camera, and he was writing about them in his journal. He wouldn't show his journal to anyone except to Douglas Brinkley, who was going to write a hagiography, a favorable campaign biography.

SWETT: I love that term.

CORSI: And the whole deal was that Kerry was going to try to invent this myth of himself as a war hero, and then when he got home he was going to save the world by telling America we were involved in an immoral war, and getting us out of this mistake, and he was going to capture the history by the way he wanted to tell it. Well, the only problem was that reality is he wasn't a war hero. He never bled for any of his three purple hearts and he abandoned and betrayed the guys who were there by leaving after only four months, not even a full tour in Vietnam. And when he came home he was protesting, wanting the communists to win. I mean, we had the documents in the '70s that the Vietnam Veterans Against the War were infiltrated by the communist party and being paid for, many of them, by the communist party, and they weren't really veterans. We knew that in the '70s.

SWETT: That leads us into one of the more interesting aspects of what's happened over the last few months, which is the battle of the old media versus the new media. It's clear that the Kerry campaign counted on the Democratic dominance of the old media structure to tell his story and to suppress any attempts by people like the Swift Vets to claim that what he was saying about his own heroic service was not true. He also expected to be able to suppress the more unsavory aspects of his Vietnam Veterans Against the War activities, including but not limited to the fact that Vietnam Veterans Against the War considered political assassinations at one point.

CORSI: Yeah. Well, it's very interesting. My dad got into the union movement. He was a writer, and he first wrote the union paper. When I grew up in that era in the '50s, newspapers were revered because they were supposed to be, you know, champions of the truth. Investigative reporters were supposed to dig and find out facts.

ZIEGLER: And most towns had two to three newspapers.

CORSI: Right.

ZIEGLER: So there was almost always an opposing point of view.

CORSI: Exactly. And today the mission of the media seems to be to be a - you know, to champion their view of truth so that it's almost like propaganda. It's like you could take the New York Times and call it Pravda, and it would be - Pravda, I think, means truth in Russian. Well, the truth for a communist is to make sure that everything is filtered through those lenses so you get the story right.

SWETT: Yeah, the old communist pun was there is no truth in Pravda.

CORSI: Right, exactly, and I mean, you know, that's what the New York Times and the Washington Post have become is apologists for the liberal extreme left wing of the Democratic party, and they don't have standards anymore. If they have to make up memos or print stories from journalists who never interviewed the people or were there where they said they were -

ZIEGLER: No, I think the most glaring thing that the old media does now is they kill stories by lies of omission.

SWETT: Yeah, the memory hole.

ZIEGLER: If you never see it, it didn't happen.

CORSI: Well, you're right. They don't go to cover press conferences like the Swift Boats. They say that "Unfit for Command" is discredited, and so that means it is discredited even though they don't prove anything to be wrong in the book.

SWETT: Yeah, it's much easier to say it's discredited than to actually go to the work of taking on the point-by-point argument.

CORSI: Yeah. I mean, you could reduce the New York Times to talking points because it's hard to tell the difference between Susan Estrich and the New York Times. All they're doing is they're presenting their spin on everything and they want you to view that as the truth.

SWETT: Susan Estrich might be considered a bit more calm and reasonable than many of the writers at the Times.

CORSI: (laughs) Well yeah, you may have a point, Scott. But to me it's so -

ZIEGLER: It's a scary, scary thought.

CORSI: It's a scary thought. It's so far removed from any standard of objective reality or two sides to a debate or to go out and dig to find out the reality of a story, and good, hard investigative skills. I mean, when I was - when I grew up, the closest analogy I could think to a newspaper person would be, you know, an investigator, a cop, a police guy.

ZIEGLER: Yeah, exactly. They walked a beat. They were hard working. They worked 12 to 14 hours a day. They interviewed. They were on the street and they were digging to get the basis of the story.

CORSI: Right. Today my closest analogy to -

ZIEGLER: - were working class roots.

CORSI: Yeah, exactly. They were working class guys; they were working class heroes, you know, and today the closest analogy for a newspaper reporter I can think of is a political operative, a -

SWETT: Yeah, that's true. They've become elites. You know, if you think about somebody like Mike Royko, who was, you know, the great writer in Chicago -

CORSI: Right.

SWETT: He was the very essence of the blue collar guy who's going to try to find the truth and tell the world. That function seems to have now migrated to the internet, with people like Freerepublic.com and the Bloggers who combined to do such astonishing instant analysis of the phony CBS memos and put large holes in what remains of the credibility of CBS News.

CORSI: Right. I mean, you know, in fact, the internet has the dynamic of it of expertise and, you know, the ability to really dig into something. I mean, looking at the Dan Rather, I was surprised to find a guy who was running a web site, and his web site is - his archives knows every type font ever used on IBM electric typewriters since they were first made, and he's archived them all and he studies them. That's all he does.

Or my favorite example is a guy who got fascinated by payphones, and he's got listed every payphone he could find in America. He goes and photographs it, gives you its number, tells you where it's located. You can see a picture of the payphone, and its number, you can dial it up through his web site.

Now, why you'd ever want to do that, I don't know, but it's been used in many cases where somebody needed to reach somebody or needed to get something in part of some distant corner of America where they could only reach by calling a payphone there.

So it has its uses, and the internet's got tons of expertise on every angle, and people can get plugged in and just get involved and become the investigative reporter themselves.

ZIEGLER: And that expertise can exceed that of a 26-year-old assistant producer whose got a bachelor's degree in journalism and just worked background within the station ethic and has this cursory view of any single story because they're working on five to a dozen stories at a time and don't have the opportunity to achieve expertise in fonts.

CORSI: Well, that's a good point, Tim, and you know, in my own life I've gone through kind of a cycle. When I was a kid I used to read newspapers all the time because they were the best source I could find for news. Then television came along and I quickly gravitated to watching TV news because you could see it and it was instant, more instant. It came on and it was live and I watched live events like the early conventions that were broadcast or the senate hearings that were broadcast when I was a kid.

Now I've gravitated to the internet. I don't even bother - I've not watched television news in 10 years, except for cable. I mean, I've not watched the Dan Rather show in 10 years, and I don't read newspapers hardly at all.

ZIEGLER: I have to admit I'm exactly the same way. When I saw Dan Rather, I was shocked at how old he all of a sudden was to me.

CORSI: Me too, and Tom Brokaw and all the rest of these guys, I don't even know who's on the nightly news anymore. They're not relevant to me.

SWETT: If you think Dan Rather looks bad, you should see the portrait he has up in his attic.

CORSI: It's not only that their news is old, it's also biased, so why bother with it.

SWETT: It's a bad combination.

ZIEGLER: This is Rightalk Radio interviewing Dr. Jerry Corsi. We're going to take another quick break, pay some bills, and we'll be back.

SWETT: Don't touch that mouse.

(Commercial break)

ZIEGLER: Howdy, we're back, and this is The Inquisition. We're going to have to get some more Inquisition-like music. We're going to have to find some Spanish Torquemada type tune that definitely gets the real nature of our show.

Scott Swett, Tim Ziegler interviewing Dr. Jerry Corsi of "Unfit for Command."

Off air we were just discussing the old media and how Walter Cronkite's sign-off line used to be, "And that's the way it is, 11 October 2004." But it ain't the way it is anymore, is it, gentlemen?

CORSI: You're right. You know, Tim, you've made a good point. The old media was one directional. It was the newspaper telling you what to think or Dan Rather telling you what to think, and there was no interactivity to it. You couldn't go back and forth; you couldn't ask questions.

Now, talk radio and the internet have just broken that apart because on the internet you go back and forth in an instant. You can get an issue posted on Freerepublic.com and within 15 minutes you've got expert analysis from wherever people are in the world.

You know, when the planes hit the Trade Center, if you look back at that thread, it was only about five minutes into the event and the Freepers had it down that it was Osama Bin Laden.

SWETT: I remember that one.

CORSI: It was unbelievable the expertise and attention that can be drawn interactively on something.

Or like your show here, the ability to go back and forth, take some time and contribute to the thinking is really a dialogue, and that's something, I think, that people very much want to participate in.

It's like, you know, I used to hate going to college. I hated school all my life. I was constantly a truant. The more school I went to, the less I attended. I ran away from kindergarten because I couldn't sit - I couldn't figure out why I was going to sit there for eight hours, or whatever time it was, and listen to somebody talk to me, when if I just asked a few questions, I could know what it is I wanted to know and I could get to it and we'd go back and forth on it and I'd be interested and involved. But to have to sit there and listen to them go on to get to the point, I'd rather go read it in a book.

SWETT: It's really the difference between a top-down and an evolutionary approach.

But one of the interesting aspects of the expertise that's available online is the way it seems to be self-selecting.

When we had the Dan Rather blow-up, you know, we had people just step forward who had a deep understanding of fonts and kerning and the various things which distinguish a word processing system from a typesetting system.

Those people were - you couldn't have laid hands on them, you know, quickly enough to do that if you had tried to do it as a command-and-control operation, but because it's a spontaneous self selection, the people that have knowledge relevant to the topic at hand now step up and make their expertise known, and I think that's an extremely powerful thing.

CORSI: Well, that's exactly right, Scott. You know, I came to the "Unfit for Command" story first through your site, Wintersoldier.com. I volunteered myself over the internet because I had expertise.

SWETT: Exactly. Great example.

CORSI: And then when I wrote the book, one of the points I was thinking of consciously was how people are out there who are going to read the book and how it was going to enter into the internet debate.

So you know, with Rassman's event where, you know, Kerry says he was in 5,000 meters of fire, but yet the boat doesn't have a hole in it, and the other boats came to the aid of the three boat when it was blown up in that incident, and Kerry skedaddled. He got out of Dodge. I knew that telling that story was going to capture the imaginations of the American public and the internet and there were guys who were going to debate that story, you know, men and women across the country wherever they were going to get into it and parse out those stories to see if they made any sense, and you were going to have people come forward with great military expertise who could talk about, you know, what a swift boat was and how it was to be in one, and if that incident could have happened the way Kerry said it did.

So I set up the book thinking that it was going to invite a great internet debate and that that was another part of the seeking of the truth.

You know, we, rather than want to write it so everybody believes that Kerry's a great hero - you've got this - Butler out there telling everybody what to think about Kerry in this film that he's done on - "Going Upriver," which, by the way I hear is subtitled "Going Upriver Without a Paddle." That's been the subtitle I've heard on Kerry's film.

SWETT: "Going underwater."

CORSI: Yeah. But you know, when we did "Unfit for Command," it was that okay, we're going to get these stories out there and then they're going to be parsed, digested, picked apart on the internet, and that was going to carry the debate. "Unfit for Command" broke in when Drudge carried it.

Drudge gets a great deal of the credit for "Unfit for Command" being a success, because he ran the cover of that book on his headline over and over again, and he broke the stories that were in it to the world, starting with Kerry's eight-millimeter camera.

If you recall, that was really the first story that broke. And at the time of the Democratic convention they were going to show that film of Kerry with him in Vietnam, and we broke it through "Unfit for Command" on Drudge. Drudge picked it up.

SWETT: And that it was largely a re-enactment as opposed to original footage?

CORSI: Exactly, that he carried his camera around and he was making this stuff up to, you know, make himself look more heroic. Drudge picked that up.

Then we put out the first chapter on the internet. You know, Humaneventsonline.com gave away the chapter that had in it Christmas in Cambodia, and of course, that got picked up instantly. That chapter appeared around about the 10th of August, 10th or 11th, and by the end of that day on Freerepublic.com people had posted reprints and given links to the 50 times Kerry had told the story. They went to the congressional record -

SWETT: That's the story -

CORSI: - and it developed on the internet, validating the story.

SWETT: Even earlier than that, I actually received, a couple of months before that, a letter at Wintersoldier.com outlining the - you know, some of the basic disconnects of Kerry's claim to have been in Cambodia, had his quote from 1992 in front of the senate about how the event was seared, seared into his memory, so I forwarded that to John O'Neill, who came back and said, "Nah, he was in Sa Dec." You know, "we've got his diary. It's in the "Tour of Duty" book. There's no way he was in Cambodia Christmas of 1968. Thank you very much. We'll take it from here."

CORSI: Well, that connects something for me I hadn't known because I wondered -

SWETT: There it went.

CORSI: I wondered how John got that story because John called me up and said, "You won't believe it, but Kerry's been telling a story he was in Cambodia, and we knew he was in Sa Dec. It's a lie."

SWETT: Uh-huh.

CORSI: And John said, "What do you think about that?" And I was laughing because I was saying, well you know, Richard Nixon wasn't even president 'til January 20th, 1969.

SWETT: Yeah, that was a nice touch.

CORSI: You know, I mean, nobody noticed that in all the times he was telling the story?

ZIEGLER: He was telling it to a friendly audience.


ZIEGLER: And why would a sycophantic press ask, you know, one of the Democratic senators, Kennedy's protégé, to clarify when Nixon was president?

CORSI: Well see, there's also the other part of this. The internet, is - it's got a great humor to it. In other words, the internet -

ZIEGLER: Sardonic.

CORSI: Sardonic. It reminds me, going back to those beat reporters. You know, when I grew up as a kid, the press reporters smoked heavily, drank heavily, and they'd end up at the end of the day in the bar after they'd filed their stories, and they'd laugh themselves silly over the stories they found.

ZIEGLER: Uh-huh.

CORSI: Now, over the internet, you know, this Christmas in Cambodia got reduced to some cartoons which were just hilarious. And then you'd say, you know, Richard Nixon comes in. First thing he does, "Give me that phone. I'm going to get Lt. John Kerry. I'm going to send him to Cambodia and clear up this mess" from the Oval Office.

SWETT: Well of course, Saul Alinsky said that ridicule is the most potent force in politics, and -

CORSI: Yeah.

SWETT: - he may well have been right.

CORSI: Yeah.

ZIEGLER: I can't believe we're coming up on our last segment. This is Rightalk, The Inquisition with Scott Swett, Tim Ziegler, and Dr. Jerry Corsi. It's been a very fast hour of radio and we'll try to finish it up here in a couple of minutes.

Let's pay some bills, and we'll get back to you in a minute, Dr. Corsi.

CORSI: Super. Thank you.

(Commercial break)

ZIEGLER: Howdy. Enough of that music. We're back. This is The Inquisition. Scott Swett, Tim Ziegler, and we're with Dr. Jerry Corsi. We've done a very fast hour of radio, and want to talk about and finish up with some of the strong points about "Unfit for Command" and Wintersoldier.com, the new media, the interactivity of the internet.

Dr. Corsi, what's the most important thing that you've gained out of this experience?

CORSI: Well, the most important thing was the ability to connect with people, I mean, in so many different dimensions.

Wait 'til you see this next ad the Swift Boat guys are going to run. They have over 90 of them standing there, and they're filmed across as a group. You know, these men, some of them, you know, extremely well decorated. Colonel Bud Day, Medal of Honor winner, joined. The POWs came in: Paul Galanti, Ken Cordier. These men are all standing there as a group, Admiral Hoffman at the center, and they're saying, you know, John Kerry is not fit to be our Commander in Chief.

Now, this ad is going to make a huge impact on the American public. Just seeing these men, you know, war heroes - true war heroes, not phony war - not some ersatz, you know, rhinestone cowboy war hero like John Kerry. But these guys standing there saying he's not fit for command.

The connecting with the people, the learning how to, in working with the internet. You know, so many things in "Unfit for Command" got started on Freerepublic.com. My posting on it, which of course, got me into some trouble, but even then the proofing out of what's true.

It's like - Tim, I was saying to you they called me an anti-Catholic because I wrote some harsh things about the Catholic church and the pedophilia crisis going on, but I am Catholic.

And as soon as that got proofed out on the internet, they said well how can this guy be anti-Catholic. And then they started looking at what I had said. I got more e-mails from people telling me they thought I was right, except for my mother. She said I shouldn't be talking about the Pope like that.

ZIEGLER: Moms have a way of (unintelligible).

CORSI: Yeah.

ZIEGLER: Sorry, Mom.

It's been great having you onboard. "Unfit for Command" available on Amazon, available at your bookstores in behind a multitude of Democrat books.

SWETT: Usually up in the attic where you have to ask for it.

CORSI: Yeah, well -

ZIEGLER: The New York Times bestseller list anyway.

Really appreciate you being here with us today.

CORSI: It's been an honor to be on your show. I think you've got a great success here. This is going to be a great format. I think it moves really quickly and gives everybody a chance to ask questions and get into a dialogue. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

ZIEGLER: Thank you for joining us. Now, the only thing we really want you to do now, we want you to post on Freerepublic.com again. We miss you there.

CORSI: I'll give it some thought.

ZIEGLER: Thank you, Dr. Corsi.

CORSI: Pleasure. Thank you.


SWETT: Take care.

(End of transcript)

Last Updated Monday, November 05 2007 @ 08:03 AM MST|4,599 Hits