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Kos-ola and the “Screw Them” Quote.

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Geraghty and Kaus are on the case. (HT: Instapundit.)

Kos may remain the best lefty blogger money can buy, but he continues to receive a pass from MSM. Appearing on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources,” Kos was at least asked by Howard Kurtz about his deplorable “screw ’em” dismissal of the death of four American contractors at the hands of terrorists in Fallujah in 2004:

KURTZ: Now as you know, “National Review’s” Byron York resurrected a quote from you, this was after four American contractors were killed in Iraq in 2004. The quote was, [“]I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries. They are there to wage war for profits, screw them.[“] You dealt with this at the time and you expressed regret. My question is, are you prepared for the extra scrutiny that comes with this higher profile you have, whether you particularly want to be out there as the symbol of the blogging movement or not?

MOULITSAS: Absolutely. To me in a way it’s funny that they have not updated their talking points in two years. And so they want to keep resurrecting an old quote, there’s nothing I can do about it. What I can do is I can say the fact is the reason, the context for that quote was solidarity with my brothers and sisters in arms, Marines and soldiers. I wore combat boots. I served during the first Gulf war and people are making a choice between private armies and mercenaries. I make my choice. I stand behind our men and women in uniform and I’m not going to apologize for that. But they’re going to keep resurrecting that and that’s fine. That’s what they do. They smear, they attack, they don’t like the fact that people are getting engaged in politics, that people are getting involved. There are too many turf to protect so they’ll keep doing that and that’s fine. I can fight back.

KURTZ: Now speaking of getting involved in politics, you appear in a recent ad for Ned Lamont. He’s a Democrat who’s challenging Senator Joe Lieberman in Connecticut in a primary. Let’s take a little look at a little bit of that.

Kos dodged the question and to my knowledge has never apologized for this disgusting remark which revealed more about him than a thousand posts. What Kurtz did not point out is that four “contractors” that Kos slandered were accomplished American combat veterans: Stephen “Scott” Helvenston, Mike Teague, Jerko Zovko and Wesley Batalona. The Nation, in an article covering the wrongful death action brought by their survivors against their employer Blackwater, provided a thumbnail bio of one of the men Kos deemed a “mercenary”:

Scott Helvenston was a walking ad for the military. He came from a proud family of Republicans; his great-great-uncle, Elihu Root, was once US Secretary of War and the 1912 Nobel Peace Prize-winner. Scott was tall, tan and chiseled and, by all accounts, a model soldier and athlete. At 17 he made history by becoming the youngest person ever to complete the rigorous Navy SEAL program. He spent twelve years in the SEALs, four of them as an instructor, and then tried his luck with Hollywood. He trained Demi Moore for her film G.I. Jane and did a few stints on reality television. In one, Man vs. Beast, he was the only contestant to defeat the beast, outmaneuvering a chimpanzee in an obstacle course. Once the cover boy on a Navy calendar, he also had several workout videos.

It isn’t difficult to discover the stories of the other veterans.

Michael Teague, 38, was a former soldier with the Army’s elite ”Night Stalkers” at Fort Campbell. He is remembered at this site. Teague was awarded a bronze star for his service in Afghanistan.

Jerko Zovko had been a Ranger. In one story on him, his motive for being in Iraq was made clear:

In August 2003, Zovko returned to Cleveland to visit his family. He was taking a job with Vinnell in Iraq to help train the new army.

They were skeptical. Why do you want to go to Iraq?

Zovko was adamant. This was a historic opportunity. The Iraqis need a professional army, not the one Saddam Hussein created. And the sooner the army was ready, the sooner U.S. soldiers could come home.

Westley Batalova spent 20 years in the Army, most of them as a Ranger. He is profiled here.

All four of the murdered men were great Americans, and deserve the respect their service earned.

So when Kos next attempts to explain away his despicable and callous remark from 2004 by asserting he was demonstrating “solidarity” with his “brothers and sisters in arms,” the follow-up question should not focus on Kos’ own military service, but on the service of those four American veterans murdered in Fallujah.


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