Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Nixon, Westmoreland, and Rust

General William Westmoreland passed away on Monday. Most of what I know about him is from the media. At an Army Reserve course in 1990, I met a Vietnam vet named Jose who referred to Westmoreland as a hero. That was good enough for me. Jose showed us how to tuck our caps into our rolled up sleeves just like the heroic general. I was cured of that habit at a Reserve course the following year. A drill sergeant for the recruits in the nearby intelligence school called me "John Wayne." Ordinarily, that means you should button the chin strap on your helmet, but I got the message.

General Westmoreland's grandson was in my basic training battalion. We also had a guy named Nixon (no relation). The younger Westmoreland was a staff sergeant in the Special Forces as recently as 1998. The proud tradition continues.

The last of my memories (such as they are) involves his lawsuit against CBS. In response to a discovery document request (kind of like a subpoena) in the litigation, CBS buried the Westmoreland camp with every scrap of paper they could find. A company called Rust Consulting helped Westmoreland index the mountain of documents. Blogger Last of Nine spent part of his law school days working for this company -- long after the CBS suit had been settled.

I have always wondered how the CBS smear of Westmoreland would have fared in the era of talk radio and bloggers. The case was long before the discredited CNN Tailwind report and the 60 Minutes II forged document scandal. General Westmoreland was brave to take on journalists at that time. But then he demonstrated bravery throughout his life.

UPDATE: John J. Miller has more details on the case at National Review Online.


Post a Comment

<< Home