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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:24 PM
Original message
John Kerry gets tough with Swift Boats liars...
Kerry Vows Tougher Stance on Texas Group

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., lashed out Sunday against a group that campaigned against him during his last run at the White House.

Kerry said he is concerned that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is again resorting to "the politics of fear and smear."

The group, financed by Texas conservatives, ran commercials questioning his Vietnam record - the centerpiece of his presidential campaign in 2004. Those same conservatives have formed another group this year - Economic Freedom Fund - to campaign against Democrats across the country.

"We're not going to give them an ounce of daylight," said Kerry, who is considering another run at the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/K/KERRY_SWIFT_BOAT...

when the going gets tough, the tough get going (about three years too late.)
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Great, but wouldn't this stance have been more useful two years ago...?
:shrug:
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YDogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yes. Too little, too late.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. He did.
There are still videos up at C-Span that prove it. However, the media did not report on this. Check out the speech to the Firefighters Convention in August of '04, that was a complete and fiery rebuttal of the SBVT lies. The Sept speech at Pace Univ in NYC was a complete calling out of Bush on his IRaq war stance.

Didn't hear about it? Hmmmmm, perhaps when people in DU complain about the media, they have a point. Perhaps they even had a point in '04 and that the Presidential race had slanted coverage.
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lyonn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Kerry does seem to admit he didn't hit back hard enough
He could have used those Swift Boat accusations to his advantage by getting air time denouncing the bs. He is saying now that you don't give them an inch before trying to broadsiding them!
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. He thought he WAS getting airtime at his Firefighters Convention speech
when he attacked the swifts personally - strangely, though, no news networks decided to cover the speech and barely reported it occurred, and this was the first Firefighters Endorsement for President in a post9-11 election that SHOULD have gotten extensive coverage - and we do know WHY.....the corpmedia could not allow Kerry to be seen on such a large scale with the Firefighters in this way, let alone addressing the swiftvets.

BTW - did you ever notice that Bush never personally answered any of the TRUTH about his service record? That's what the RW message machine was for. How did the left machine do?
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #12
29. He was on Bill Mahr Friday night and admitted he
screwed up by not responding to the Swifties.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #29
68. yep, he did
But I was hoping he'd say something about election fraud. Maher did later in the show, and astoundingly Chris Matthews seems thoroughly unconvinced it is a problem. Yikes.
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
32. He needed to call CNN during their interviews with the SBLiars
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 01:54 PM by KurtNYC
and demand that they put him on the air to question them. Needed to respond to the same audience that saw the lies.


Edit: Cindy Sheehan did that with the smear campaign against her. They let the smear people ramble then they told them Cindy was on the phone and they put her on.
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. My. Thoughts. Exactly.
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 12:41 PM by demwing
Did Kerry just wake up from a 2 year nap?

Kerry would have been a great President, but I was disconcerted that he wasn't more agressive. This is why, IMO, Governors make batter candidates than Senators. Different leadership styles.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. Ever check what really occurred? Research Forum has an illuminatin rundown

April 14, 2004 - The website for SBVT was registered under the name of Lewis Waterman, the information technology manager for Gannon International, a St. Louis company that has diversified interests, including in Vietnam. (1) (note - Gannon International does not appear to have any relationship to Jeff Gannon/Guckert, the fake reporter.)

May 3, 2004 - "Kerry campaign announced a major advertising push to introduce 'John Kerry's lifetime of service and strength to the American people.' Kerry's four month Vietnam experience figures prominently in the ads." (2)

May 4, 2004 - The Swift Liars, beginning their lies by calling themselves "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth", went public at a news conference organized by Merrie Spaeth at the National Press Club. (1)

May 4, 2004 - "The Kerry campaign held a press conference directly after the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" event...The campaign provided an information package which raised significant questions about 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.' " (3)


May 4, 2004 - Aug. 5, 2004 - No public activity by Swift Liars (?) Wikipedia entry (7) notes "When the press conference garnered little attention, the organization decided to produce television advertisements." (Ed. note - were there any public info or announcements, other than talk on blogs? Was there anything going on publicly? Did the campaign have reason to foresee what was coming - note that they must have, see the reactions to each ad).

Jul. 26, 2004 - Jul. 29, 2004 - Democratic National Convention held in Boston. John Kerry's military experience is highlighted.

Aug. 5, 2004 - The Swift Liars' first television ad began airing a one-minute television spot in three states. (7)

Aug. 5, 2004 - "the General Counsels to the DNC and the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign faxed a letter to station managers at the relevant stations stating that the ad is 'an inflammatory, outrageous lie" and requesting that they "act immediately to prevent broadcast of this advertisement and deny any future sale of time. " ' " (4)

Aug. 10, 2004 - Democracy 21, The Campaign Legal Center and The Center for Responsive Politics filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that the Swift Liars were illegally raising and spending soft money on ads to influence the 2004 presidential elections. (4)

Aug. 17, 2004 - the campaign held a press conference at which Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.), Adm. Stansfield Turner (ret.), and several swift boat veterans rebutted the charges. (4)

Aug. 19, 2004 - the Kerry-Edwards campaign announced its own ad "Rassmann." (4)

Aug. 20, 2004 - The Swift Liars' second television ad began airing. This ad selectively excerpted Kerry's statements to the SFRC on 4/22/1971. (7)

Aug. 22, 2004 - the Kerry-Edwards campaign announced another ad "Issues" which addressed the Swift Boat group's attacks.

Aug. 25, 2004 - The Kerry-Edwards campaign ... dispatched former Sen. Max Cleland and Jim Rassmann, to Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas to deliver to the President a letter signed by Democratic Senators who are veterans. (The letter was not accepted.) (4)

Aug. 26, 2004 - The Swift Liars' third television ad began airing. This ad attacked Kerry's claim to have been in Cambodia in 1968. (7)

August 26, 2004 - Mary Beth Cahill sends letter to Ken Mehlman detailing the "Web of Connections" between the Swift Liars and the Bush Administration, and demanding that Bush denounce the smear campaign. (5)

August 26, 2004 - Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) submits FOIA request "with the White House asking it to detail its contacts with individuals connected to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT)." (6)

Aug. 27, 2004 - The DNC ran a full page ad in the Aug. 27, 2004 New York Times terming the Swift Boat campaign a smear. (4)

Aug. 31, 2004 - - The Swift Liars' fourth television ad began airing. This ad attacked Kerry's participation in the medal-throwing protest on 4/23/1971. (7)

References:
* (1) SourceWatch article on SBVT

* (2) (2004) Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman, Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman

* (3) (2004) Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: Kerry Campaign Response

* (4) (Sept. 8, 2004) Eric M. Appleman (apparently) Some Responses to the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" Ad

* (5) August 26, 2004 letter from Mary Beth Cahill to Ken Mehlman

* (6) Press Release (US Newswire): CREW FOIAs White House Contacts with Swift Boat Veterans Group

* (7) Wikipedia entry, Swift Vets and POWs for Truth



MH1 - This topic is to create a timeline of the response of the K/E04 campaign to the Swift Liars' smears. There is an RW-encouraged myth that K/E04 "didn't respond." As the timeline, once completed, will show, that is not true. Effectiveness of the response may be debated - that is subjective - the purpose of this thread is to collect the facts of the events.




On Aug. 19, 2004 Kerry himself responded directly in a speech to the International Association of Firefighters' Convention in Boston. (from prepared remarks)
...And more than thirty years ago, I learned an important lessonwhen you're under attack, the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attacker. That's what I intend to do today.

Over the last week or so, a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been attacking me. Of course, this group isnt interested in the truth and they're not telling the truth. They didn't even exist until I won the nomination for president.

But here's what you really need to know about them. They're funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They're a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the President won't denounce what theyre up to tells you everything you need to knowhe wants them to do his dirty work.

Thirty years ago, official Navy reports documented my service in Vietnam and awarded me the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. It still is. And I still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in Vietnam.

As firefighters you risk your lives everyday. You know what its like to see the truth in the moment. You're proud of what youve doneand so am I.

Of course, the President keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: "Bring it on."

I'm not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending Americathen, now, or ever. And I'm not going to let anyone attack the sacrifice and courage of the men who saw battle with me.

And let me make this commitment today: their lies about my record will not stop me from fighting for jobs, health care, and our security the issues that really matter to the American people...



Kerry defends war record
Aug. 19: John Kerry responds directly to attacks on his Vietnam military service Thursday, accusing President Bush of relying on front groups to challenge his war record.

http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=40a0d9b1-0386-41ef-bc ...



May 4, 2004. The Kerry campaign held a press conference directly after the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" event. (Above are, r-l, Wade Sanders, Del Sandusky and Drew Whitlow). Senior Advisor Michael Meehan said, "The Nixon White House attempted to do this to Kerry, and the Bush folks are following the same plan." "We're not going to let them make false claims about Kerry and go unanswered," Meehan said. He said his first instinct was to hold a press conference with an empty room where veterans could testify to their time spent in the military with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

The campaign provided an information package which raised significant questions about "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." Spaeth Communications, which hosted the event, "is a Republican headed firm from Texas which has contributed to Bush's campaign and has very close ties to the Bush Administration." Lead organizer John O'Neill, a Republican from Texas, "was a pawn of the Nixon White House in 1971." Further some of the people now speaking against Kerry had praised him in their evaluation reports in Vietnam.

John Dibble, who served on a swift boat in 1970, after Kerry had left, was one of the veterans at the Kerry event. He said of Kerry's anti-war activities that at the time, "I didn't like what he was doing." In retrospect, however, Dibble said, "I probably should have been doing the same thing...probably more of us should have been doing that." He said that might have meant fewer names on the Vietnam Memorial and that Kerry's anti-war activities were "a very gutsy thing to do."

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/interestg/swift050404c ....



Kerry campaign's quick response to Swift boat vets
By Marie Horrigan
UPI Deputy Americas Editor
Washington, DC, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The campaign for Democratic Party presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts issued an exhaustively researched and extensively sourced 36-page refutation Thursday of allegations Kerry lied about events during his service in Vietnam, including how and why he received medals, and had fled the scene of a battle.

http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040805-012143 ...



Kerry: Bush lets attack ads do 'dirty work'
McClellan points out criticism by anti-Bush group
Friday, August 20, 2004 Posted: 2:37 PM EDT (1837 GMT)
BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry accused President Bush on Thursday of letting front groups "do his dirty work" in questioning his military service during the Vietnam War.

"The president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that," Kerry told a firefighters' union conference in his hometown of Boston.

"Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: Bring it on."

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/19/kerry.attacka ... /


http://www.johnkerry.com/petition/oldtricks.php




August 5, 2004

VIA FACSIMILE

Re: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

Dear Station Manager:

We are counsel to the Democratic National Committee and John Kerry, respectively. It has been brought to our attention that a group calling itself "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" has bought time, or may seek to buy time, on your station to air an advertisement that attacks Senator Kerry. The advertisement contains statements by men who purport to have served on Senator Kerry's SWIFT Boat in Vietnam, and one statement by a man pretending to be the doctor who treated Senator Kerry for one of his injuries. In fact, not a single one of the men who pretend to have served with Senator Kerry was actually a crewmate of Senator Kerry's and the man pretending to be his doctor was not. The entire advertisement, therefore is an inflammatory, outrageous lie.

"Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" styles itself as a group of individuals who personally served with John Kerry in the United States Navy in the Vietnam War. In truth the group is a sham organization spearheaded by a Texas corporate media consultant. It has been financed largely with funds from a Houston homebuilder. See Slater, Dallas Morning News, July 23, 2004.

In this group's advertisement, twelve men appear to make statements about Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam. Not a single one of these men served on either of Senator Kerry's two SWIFT Boats (PCF 44 & PCF94).

Further, the "doctor" who appears in the ad, Louis Letson, was not a crewmate of Senator Kerry's and was not the doctor who actually signed Senator Kerry's sick call sheet. In fact, another physician actually signed Senator Kerry's sick call sheet. Letson is not listed on any document as having treated Senator Kerry after the December 2, 1968 firefight. Moreover, according to news accounts, Letson did not record his "memories" of that incident until after Senator Kerry became a candidate for President in 2003. (National Review Online, May 4, 2004).

The statements made by the phony "crewmates" and "doctor" who appear in the advertisement are also totally, demonstrably and unequivocally false, and libelous. In parrticular, the advertisement charges that Senator Kerry "lied to get his Bronze Star." Just as falsely, it states that "he lied before the Senate." These are serious allegations of actual crimes -- specifically, of lying to the United States Government in the conduct of its official business. The events for which the Senator was awarded the Bronze Star have been documented repeatedly and in detail and are set out in the official citation signed by the Secretary of the Navy and the Commander of U.S. Forces in Vietnam. And yet these reckless charges of criminal conduct are offered without support or authentication, by fake "witnesses" speaking on behalf of a phony organization.

Your station is not obligated to accept this advertisement for broadcast nor is it required to account in any way for its decision to reject such an advertisement. Columbia Broadcasting System v. Democratic National Committee, 412 U.S. 94 (1973), You Can't Afford Dodd Committee, 81 FCC2d 579 (1980). The so-called "Swift Boat Veterans" organization is not a federal candidate or candidate committee. Repeated efforts by organizations that are not candidate committees to obtain a private right of access have been consistently rejected by the FCC. See e.g., National Conservative Political Action Committee, 89 FCC2d 626 (1982).

Thus, your station my freely refuse this advertisement. Because your station has this freedom, and because it is not a "use" of your facilities by a clearly identified candidate, your station is responsible for the false and libelous charges made by this sponsor.

Moreover, as a licensee, you have an overriding duty "to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising." Licensee Responsibility With Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 F.C.D.2d 623 (1961). Your station normally must take "reasonable steps" to satisfy itself "as to the reliability and reputation of every prospective advertiser." In re Complaint by Consumers Assocation of District of Columbia, 32 F.C.C.2d 400, 405 (1971).

Under these circumstances, your station may not responsibly air this advertisement. We request that your station act immmediately to prevent broadcasts of this advertisement and deny andy future sale of time. Knowing that the advertisement is false, and possessing the legal authority to refuse to run it, your station should exercise that authority in the public interest.


Please contact us promptly at either of the phone numbers below to advise us regarding the status of this advertisement.

Sincerely yours,
Marc Elias
Perkins Coie
607 14th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005


General Counsel
Kerry-Edwards 2004 Joseph Sandler
Sandler, Reiff & Young
50 E Street, S.E. #300
Washington, D.C. 20003


General Counsel
Democratic National Committee


http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/ads04/dem080504ltrswift ...




From the transcript of the Aug. 5, 2004 White House Press Briefing with Scott McClellan:

Q Do you -- does the President repudiate this 527 ad that calls Kerry a liar on Vietnam?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President deplores all the unregulated soft money activity. We have been very clear in stating that, you know, we will not -- and we have not and we will not question Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam. I think that this is another example of the problem with the unregulated soft money activity that is going on. The President thought he put an end -- or the President thought he got rid of this kind of unregulated soft money when he signed the bipartisan campaign finance reforms into law. And, you know, the President has been on the receiving end of more than $62 million in negative attacks from shadowy groups.

* * *

In the days after the release of the ad a host of major newspapers published editorials condemning it including the Arizona Republic ("Campaign Non-Starter," August 6), Los Angeles Times ("It's Not All Fair Game," August 6), Plain Dealer ("Ad Says Kerry Lied; Record Says Otherwise," August 8), St. Petersburg Times ("An Ugly Attack," August 9), Las Vegas Sun ("Ad's Smear Should Be Condemned," August 9), Oregonian ("Now It Gets Nasty," August 11), and Washington Post ("Swift Boat Smears," August 12).

* * *

On Aug. 10, 2004 Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and the Center for Responsive Politics filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is illegally raising and spending soft money on ads to influence the 2004 presidential elections.

* * *

From the transcript of Bush's Aug. 12, 2004 appearance on CNN'S Larry King Live:


KING: In view of that, do you think that it's fair, for the record, John Kerry's service record, to be an issue at all? I know that Senator McCain...
G. BUSH: You know, I think it is an issue, because he views it as honorable service, and so do I. I mean...
KING: Oh, so it is. But, I mean, Senator McCain has asked to be condemned, the attack on his service. What do you say to that?
G. BUSH: Well, I say they ought to get rid of all those 527s, independent expenditures that have flooded the airwaves.
There have been millions of dollars spent up until this point in time. I signed a law that I thought would get rid of
those, and I called on the senator to -- let's just get anybody who feels like they got to run to not do so.
KING: Do you condemn the statements made about his...
G. BUSH: Well, I haven't seen the ad, but what I do condemn is these unregulated, soft-money expenditures by very wealthy people, and they've said some bad things about me. I guess they're saying bad things about him. And what I think we ought to do is not have them on the air. I think there ought to be full disclosure. The campaign funding law I signed I thought was going to get rid of that. But evidently the Federal Election Commission had a different view...

Kerry spokesman Chad Clanton's response to Bush's Aug. 12, 2004 appearance:
"Tonight President Bush called Kerry's service in Vietnam 'noble.' But in the same breath refused to heed Senator McCain's call to condemn the dirty work being done by the 'Swift Boat Vets for Bush.' Once again, the President side-stepped responsibility and refused to do the right thing. His credibility is running out as fast as his time in the White House."

* * *

On Aug. 17, 2004 the campaign held a press conference at which Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.), Adm. Stansfield Turner (ret.), and several swift boat veterans rebutted the charges.

* * *

DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued a statement on Aug. 18, 2004:

"By saying nothing at all George W. Bush is a complicit contributor to the slanderous, lie-filled attack ads that have been launched on John Kerry on Bush's behalf. Instead of stepping up and taking the high road, George Bush's response has been evasion, avoidance, everything but disavowal.

"Larry King asked George Bush to 'condemn' it. He refused. Reporters asked the President's Press Secretary if he'd 'repudiate' it. He ducked. They can try to blame it on the rules or whoever else they want, but the blame belongs squarely on the Republicans. They wrote it. They produced it. They placed it. They paid for it. And now it is time for George W. Bush to stand up and say, 'enough.'

"This is not debate, Mr. President, and this unfounded attack on Senator Kerry has crossed the line of decency. I call on you today to condemn this ad, the men who put their lies behind it, and the donors who paid for it. It's time."

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/ads04/swiftadresponse.h ...



Altercation Book Club: Lapdogs by Eric Boehlert
Relatively early on in the August coverage of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth story, ABC's Nightline devoted an entire episode to the allegations and reported, "The Kerry campaign calls the charges wrong, offensive and politically motivated. And points to Naval records that seemingly contradict the charges." (Emphasis added.) Seemingly? A more accurate phrasing would have been that Navy records "completely" or "thoroughly" contradicted the Swifty. In late August, CNN's scrawl across the bottom of the screen read, "Several Vietnam veterans are backing Kerry's version of events." Again, a more factual phrasing would have been "Crewmembers have always backed Kerry's version of events." But that would have meant not only having to stand up a well-funded Republican campaign attack machine, but also casting doubt on television news' hottest political story of the summer.

When the discussion did occasionally turn to the facts behind the Swift Boat allegations, reporters and pundits seemed too spooked to address the obviousthat the charges made no sense and there was little credible evidence to support them.. Substituting as host of "Meet the Press," Andrea Mitchell on Aug. 15 pressed Boston Globe reporter Anne Kornblut about the facts surrounding Kerry's combat service: "Well, Anne, you've covered him for many years, John Kerry. What is the truth of his record?" Instead of mentioning some of the glaring inconsistencies in the Swifties' allegation, such as George Elliott and Adrian Lonsdale 's embarrassing flip-flops, Kornblut ducked the question, suggesting the truth was "subjective": "The truth of his record, the criticism that's coming from the Swift Boat ads, is that he betrayed his fellow veterans. Well, that's a subjective question, that he came back from the war and then protested it. So, I mean, that is truly something that's subjective." Ten days later Kornblut scored a sit-down interview with O'Neill. In her 1,200-word story she politely declined to press O'Neill about a single factual inconsistency surrounding the Swifties' allegations, thereby keeping her Globe readers in the dark about the Swift Boat farce. (It was not until Bush was safely re-elected that that Kornblut, appearing on MSNBC, conceded the Swift Boast ads were clearly inaccurate.)

Hosting an Aug. 28 discussion on CNBC with Newsweek's Jon Meacham and Time's Jay Carney, NBC's Tim Russert finally, after weeks of overheated Swifty coverage, got around to asking the pertinent question: "Based on everything you have heard, seen, reported, in terms of the actual charges, the content of the book, is there any validity to any of it?" Carney conceded the charges did not have any validity, but did it oh, so gently: "I think it's hard to say that any one of them is by any standard that we measure these things has been substantiated." Apparently Carney forgot to pass the word along to editors at Time magazine, which is read by significantly more news consumers than Russert's weekly cable chat show on CNBC. Because it wasn't until its Sept. 20 2004 issue, well after the Swift Boat controversy had peaked, that the Time news team managed enough courage to tentatively announce the charges levied against Kerry and his combat service were "reckless and unfair." (Better late than never; Time's competitor Newsweek waited until after the election to report the Swift Boat charges were "misleading," but "very effective.") But even then, Time didn't hold the Swifties responsible for their "reckless and unfair" charges. Instead, Time celebrated them. Typing up an election postscript in November, Time toasted the Swift Boat's O'Neill as one of the campaign's "Winners," while remaining dutifully silent about the group's fraudulent charges.

That kind of Beltway media group self-censorship was evident throughout the Swift Boat story, as the perimeters of acceptable reporting were quickly established. Witness the MSM reaction to Wayne Langhofer, Jim Russell and Robert Lambert. All three men served with Kerry in Vietnam and all three men were witnesses to the disputed March 13, 1969 event in which Kerry rescued Green Beret Jim Rassmann, winning a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart. The Swifties, after 35 years of silence, insisted Kerry did nothing special that day, and that he certainly did not come under enemy fire when he plucked Rassmann out of the drink. Therefore, Kerry did not deserve his honors.

It's true every person on Kerry's boat, along with the thankful Rassmann, insisted they were under fire, and so did the official Navy citation for Kerry's Bronze Star. Still, Swifties held to their unlikely story, and the press pretended to be confused about the stand-off. Then during the last week in August three more eyewitnesses, all backing the Navy's version of events that there had been hostile gun fire, stepped forward. They were Langhofer, Russell and Lambert.

Russell wrote an indignant letter to his local Telluride Daily Planet to dispute the Swifties' claim: "Forever pictured in my mind since that day over 30 years ago John Kerry bending over his boat picking up one of the rangers that we were ferrying from out of the water. All the time we were taking small arms fire from the beach; although because of our fusillade into the jungle, I don't think it was very accurate, thank God. Anyone who doesn't think that we were being fired upon must have been on a different river."

The number of times Russell was subsequently mentioned on CNN: 1. On Fox News: 1. MSNBC: 0. ABC: 1. On CBS: 0. On NBC: 0.

Like Russell, Langhofer also remembered strong enemy gunfire that day. An Aug. 22 article in the Washington Post laid out the details: "Until now, eyewitness evidence supporting Kerry's version had come only from his own crewmen. But yesterday, The Post independently contacted a participant who has not spoken out so far in favor of either camp who remembers coming under enemy fire. There was a lot of firing going on, and it came from both sides of the river, said Wayne D. Langhofer, who manned a machine gun aboard PCF-43, the boat that was directly behind Kerrys. Langhofer said he distinctly remembered the clack, clack, clack of enemy AK-47s, as well as muzzle flashes from the riverbanks." (For some strange reason the Post buried its Langhofer scoop in the 50th paragraph of the story.)

The number of times Langhofer was subsequently mentioned on CNN: 0. On Fox News: 0. On MSNBC: 0. On ABC: 0. CBS: 0. NBC: 0.

As for Lambert, The Nation magazine uncovered the official citation for the Bronze Medal he won that same day and it too reported the flotilla of five U.S. boats "came under small-arms and automatic weapons fire from the river banks."

The number of times Lambert was mentioned on. On Fox News: 1. On CNN: 0. On MSNBC: 0. ABC: 1 On CBS: 0. On NBC: 0.

Additionally, the Washington Post's Michael Dobbs, who served as the paper's point person on the Swifty scandal, was asked during an Aug. 30, 2004, online chat with readers why the paper hadn't reported more aggressively on the public statements of Langhofer, Russell and Lambert. Dobbs insisted, "I hope to return to this subject at some point to update readers." But he never did. Post readers, who were deluged with Swifty reporting, received just the sketchiest of facts about Langhofer, Russell and Lambert.

If that doesn't represent a concerted effort by the press to look the other way, than what does?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12799378/#060518



Please use this information as a guideline for 2006 and 2008 campaigns. What the media edits out of our campaigns is CRUCIAL to public perception.

Even many Democrats are unaware of the real fight that occurred in 2004 and are buying wholesale the corporate media spin which conveniently protects the corporate media who failed to give honest coverage of Kerry's defense against the lies of the swift vets and their Republican handlers.

Not recognizing the extent of the corporate media's duplicity is a danger for all Democratic candidates in 2006 and 2008.

This can and WILL happen to any Democratic candidate.

This CAN and WILL happen to ANY Democratic candidate. FIGHT THE MYTHS. Stay tough KNOWING the media is aligned with these liars.

The battle with the people really behind this group will never end. But there are veterans coming forth with a book of their own that will unmask the swifts for the lying GOP operatives they are.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #23
77. IMO, this wasn't enough
The Kerry camp should've had the Rassmann ad in the drawer and ready to air within 24 hours of the Swift Boat Ads airing. Cahill and Shrum sat on it for two weeks in hopes that the public was smart enough to recognize that the ads were false and that they wouldn't have to spend any money on ads to deal with them. This is also partly the fault of the DNC for being stupid enough to have the convention over a month before the Republicans instead of a week or two before so that the GOP would have longer to raise unlimited money than the Democrats. Also, when Bush refused to denounce the swift boat liars specifically, the DNC (or at least a 527 group in their place) should've started running ads about his cocaine usage and his lack of military service.

I admit that the Wes Clark and Rasmann press conference as well as the Cleland delivering the letter to Bush was extremely underplayed in the media, but the Kerry camp still made a crucial error in judgement.
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longship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Only took him two years.
Maybe there's hope for Senator Kerry. He certainly seems to have gained a backbone recently. Go John, Go.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
20. I doubt you can name a lawmaker who's used their backbone more than Kerry
has throughout his public life.

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longship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #20
48. I know.
Unfortunately, he didn't use it when it was needed the most. :cry:

Water under the bridge. Kerry got some very bad advice in 2004.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #48
64. No. Kerry was stuck with the weakest Dem party infrastructure in memory
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 03:43 PM by blm
And infrastructure is where the votes get stolen or counted. Kerry WON and likely beat Bush by at least 5 million votes. Too bad the Dem PARTY couldn't get those votes counted.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. A lawsuit 2 years ago would've been getting tough
And might have slowed some of the copycatting we have seen since.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
25. Actually, the cottage industry built smearing Dems was developed in 1990s
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 01:33 PM by blm
and resulted in Clinton being impeached.

And then Gore was impeachmented.

Then Clinton was further impeachmented when between 2001-2005 MANY books came out blaming him for 9-11. He just recently lashed back on that.

Then Dan Rather was impeachmented.

Then Kerry was impeachmented.

So - how do you believe the Dem party infrastructure handled these smear tactics? And did you EVER hear Bush personally counter the attacks against his service?
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grytpype Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. He was a surprisingly weak candidate.
He wouldn't attack Bush or defend himself, while Bush and the Swift Liars and everyone else was attacking him.

He shouldn't run again after screwing up so badly, we need to nominate winners.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. That's pure revisionism - read the debate transcripts. Or every campaign
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 01:07 PM by blm
speech.

Cripe - Kerry kicked Bush's ass from here to eternity on North Korea, but media decided to ignore that entire issue and refused to discuss the asskicking.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. !
:applause:
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Ohio Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. Thats true
I work with a guy that was a big bush supporter in 04 and even he admitted that Kerry handed him his ass in all of the debates.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. No one who watched the debates thought that Bush won
Well, except for the carefully chosen "neutral" focus groups aired by the networks, most of whom were surprisingly impressed with Bush's performance despite the fact that it was pitiful from start to finish.

BLM is correct that the media were/are complicit in the portrayal of Kerry as a non-viable candidate.

My only objection is that Kerry (or his campaign managers) should have known that going into the election, but it appears that they did not.

And here we are two years later under the worst regime in US history...
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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
7. I hope he yells at someone.
He needs to yell.
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samsingh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. isn't this fing 2 years too late?
what was kerry doing in 2004? all smiles and high road.

i like Kerry, but come on!
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Sensitivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. It's hard for truly honorable men to deal with slander. This was a
campaign strategy failure. They should have let loose the dogs of war against the swift-liars.
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
11. Better Late than Never.... Stand up against
these liars, whether it should of been 2 years ago or not... Time to put them down....
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meti57b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. In this instance, better late than never is the same as never.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
26. It never DID happen according to the media - here's what they didn't show

April 14, 2004 - The website for SBVT was registered under the name of Lewis Waterman, the information technology manager for Gannon International, a St. Louis company that has diversified interests, including in Vietnam. (1) (note - Gannon International does not appear to have any relationship to Jeff Gannon/Guckert, the fake reporter.)

May 3, 2004 - "Kerry campaign announced a major advertising push to introduce 'John Kerry's lifetime of service and strength to the American people.' Kerry's four month Vietnam experience figures prominently in the ads." (2)

May 4, 2004 - The Swift Liars, beginning their lies by calling themselves "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth", went public at a news conference organized by Merrie Spaeth at the National Press Club. (1)

May 4, 2004 - "The Kerry campaign held a press conference directly after the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" event...The campaign provided an information package which raised significant questions about 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.' " (3)


May 4, 2004 - Aug. 5, 2004 - No public activity by Swift Liars (?) Wikipedia entry (7) notes "When the press conference garnered little attention, the organization decided to produce television advertisements." (Ed. note - were there any public info or announcements, other than talk on blogs? Was there anything going on publicly? Did the campaign have reason to foresee what was coming - note that they must have, see the reactions to each ad).

Jul. 26, 2004 - Jul. 29, 2004 - Democratic National Convention held in Boston. John Kerry's military experience is highlighted.

Aug. 5, 2004 - The Swift Liars' first television ad began airing a one-minute television spot in three states. (7)

Aug. 5, 2004 - "the General Counsels to the DNC and the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign faxed a letter to station managers at the relevant stations stating that the ad is 'an inflammatory, outrageous lie" and requesting that they "act immediately to prevent broadcast of this advertisement and deny any future sale of time. " ' " (4)

Aug. 10, 2004 - Democracy 21, The Campaign Legal Center and The Center for Responsive Politics filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that the Swift Liars were illegally raising and spending soft money on ads to influence the 2004 presidential elections. (4)

Aug. 17, 2004 - the campaign held a press conference at which Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.), Adm. Stansfield Turner (ret.), and several swift boat veterans rebutted the charges. (4)

Aug. 19, 2004 - the Kerry-Edwards campaign announced its own ad "Rassmann." (4)

Aug. 20, 2004 - The Swift Liars' second television ad began airing. This ad selectively excerpted Kerry's statements to the SFRC on 4/22/1971. (7)

Aug. 22, 2004 - the Kerry-Edwards campaign announced another ad "Issues" which addressed the Swift Boat group's attacks.

Aug. 25, 2004 - The Kerry-Edwards campaign ... dispatched former Sen. Max Cleland and Jim Rassmann, to Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas to deliver to the President a letter signed by Democratic Senators who are veterans. (The letter was not accepted.) (4)

Aug. 26, 2004 - The Swift Liars' third television ad began airing. This ad attacked Kerry's claim to have been in Cambodia in 1968. (7)

August 26, 2004 - Mary Beth Cahill sends letter to Ken Mehlman detailing the "Web of Connections" between the Swift Liars and the Bush Administration, and demanding that Bush denounce the smear campaign. (5)

August 26, 2004 - Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) submits FOIA request "with the White House asking it to detail its contacts with individuals connected to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT)." (6)

Aug. 27, 2004 - The DNC ran a full page ad in the Aug. 27, 2004 New York Times terming the Swift Boat campaign a smear. (4)

Aug. 31, 2004 - - The Swift Liars' fourth television ad began airing. This ad attacked Kerry's participation in the medal-throwing protest on 4/23/1971. (7)

References:
* (1) SourceWatch article on SBVT

* (2) (2004) Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman, Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman

* (3) (2004) Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: Kerry Campaign Response

* (4) (Sept. 8, 2004) Eric M. Appleman (apparently) Some Responses to the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" Ad

* (5) August 26, 2004 letter from Mary Beth Cahill to Ken Mehlman

* (6) Press Release (US Newswire): CREW FOIAs White House Contacts with Swift Boat Veterans Group

* (7) Wikipedia entry, Swift Vets and POWs for Truth



MH1 - This topic is to create a timeline of the response of the K/E04 campaign to the Swift Liars' smears. There is an RW-encouraged myth that K/E04 "didn't respond." As the timeline, once completed, will show, that is not true. Effectiveness of the response may be debated - that is subjective - the purpose of this thread is to collect the facts of the events.




On Aug. 19, 2004 Kerry himself responded directly in a speech to the International Association of Firefighters' Convention in Boston. (from prepared remarks)
...And more than thirty years ago, I learned an important lessonwhen you're under attack, the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attacker. That's what I intend to do today.

Over the last week or so, a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been attacking me. Of course, this group isnt interested in the truth and they're not telling the truth. They didn't even exist until I won the nomination for president.

But here's what you really need to know about them. They're funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They're a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the President won't denounce what theyre up to tells you everything you need to knowhe wants them to do his dirty work.

Thirty years ago, official Navy reports documented my service in Vietnam and awarded me the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. It still is. And I still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in Vietnam.

As firefighters you risk your lives everyday. You know what its like to see the truth in the moment. You're proud of what youve doneand so am I.

Of course, the President keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: "Bring it on."

I'm not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending Americathen, now, or ever. And I'm not going to let anyone attack the sacrifice and courage of the men who saw battle with me.

And let me make this commitment today: their lies about my record will not stop me from fighting for jobs, health care, and our security the issues that really matter to the American people...



Kerry defends war record
Aug. 19: John Kerry responds directly to attacks on his Vietnam military service Thursday, accusing President Bush of relying on front groups to challenge his war record.

http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=40a0d9b1-0386-41ef-bc ...



May 4, 2004. The Kerry campaign held a press conference directly after the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" event. (Above are, r-l, Wade Sanders, Del Sandusky and Drew Whitlow). Senior Advisor Michael Meehan said, "The Nixon White House attempted to do this to Kerry, and the Bush folks are following the same plan." "We're not going to let them make false claims about Kerry and go unanswered," Meehan said. He said his first instinct was to hold a press conference with an empty room where veterans could testify to their time spent in the military with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

The campaign provided an information package which raised significant questions about "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." Spaeth Communications, which hosted the event, "is a Republican headed firm from Texas which has contributed to Bush's campaign and has very close ties to the Bush Administration." Lead organizer John O'Neill, a Republican from Texas, "was a pawn of the Nixon White House in 1971." Further some of the people now speaking against Kerry had praised him in their evaluation reports in Vietnam.

John Dibble, who served on a swift boat in 1970, after Kerry had left, was one of the veterans at the Kerry event. He said of Kerry's anti-war activities that at the time, "I didn't like what he was doing." In retrospect, however, Dibble said, "I probably should have been doing the same thing...probably more of us should have been doing that." He said that might have meant fewer names on the Vietnam Memorial and that Kerry's anti-war activities were "a very gutsy thing to do."

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/interestg/swift050404c ....



Kerry campaign's quick response to Swift boat vets
By Marie Horrigan
UPI Deputy Americas Editor
Washington, DC, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The campaign for Democratic Party presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts issued an exhaustively researched and extensively sourced 36-page refutation Thursday of allegations Kerry lied about events during his service in Vietnam, including how and why he received medals, and had fled the scene of a battle.

http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040805-012143 ...



Kerry: Bush lets attack ads do 'dirty work'
McClellan points out criticism by anti-Bush group
Friday, August 20, 2004 Posted: 2:37 PM EDT (1837 GMT)
BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry accused President Bush on Thursday of letting front groups "do his dirty work" in questioning his military service during the Vietnam War.

"The president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that," Kerry told a firefighters' union conference in his hometown of Boston.

"Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: Bring it on."

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/19/kerry.attacka ... /


http://www.johnkerry.com/petition/oldtricks.php




August 5, 2004

VIA FACSIMILE

Re: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

Dear Station Manager:

We are counsel to the Democratic National Committee and John Kerry, respectively. It has been brought to our attention that a group calling itself "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" has bought time, or may seek to buy time, on your station to air an advertisement that attacks Senator Kerry. The advertisement contains statements by men who purport to have served on Senator Kerry's SWIFT Boat in Vietnam, and one statement by a man pretending to be the doctor who treated Senator Kerry for one of his injuries. In fact, not a single one of the men who pretend to have served with Senator Kerry was actually a crewmate of Senator Kerry's and the man pretending to be his doctor was not. The entire advertisement, therefore is an inflammatory, outrageous lie.

"Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" styles itself as a group of individuals who personally served with John Kerry in the United States Navy in the Vietnam War. In truth the group is a sham organization spearheaded by a Texas corporate media consultant. It has been financed largely with funds from a Houston homebuilder. See Slater, Dallas Morning News, July 23, 2004.

In this group's advertisement, twelve men appear to make statements about Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam. Not a single one of these men served on either of Senator Kerry's two SWIFT Boats (PCF 44 & PCF94).

Further, the "doctor" who appears in the ad, Louis Letson, was not a crewmate of Senator Kerry's and was not the doctor who actually signed Senator Kerry's sick call sheet. In fact, another physician actually signed Senator Kerry's sick call sheet. Letson is not listed on any document as having treated Senator Kerry after the December 2, 1968 firefight. Moreover, according to news accounts, Letson did not record his "memories" of that incident until after Senator Kerry became a candidate for President in 2003. (National Review Online, May 4, 2004).

The statements made by the phony "crewmates" and "doctor" who appear in the advertisement are also totally, demonstrably and unequivocally false, and libelous. In parrticular, the advertisement charges that Senator Kerry "lied to get his Bronze Star." Just as falsely, it states that "he lied before the Senate." These are serious allegations of actual crimes -- specifically, of lying to the United States Government in the conduct of its official business. The events for which the Senator was awarded the Bronze Star have been documented repeatedly and in detail and are set out in the official citation signed by the Secretary of the Navy and the Commander of U.S. Forces in Vietnam. And yet these reckless charges of criminal conduct are offered without support or authentication, by fake "witnesses" speaking on behalf of a phony organization.

Your station is not obligated to accept this advertisement for broadcast nor is it required to account in any way for its decision to reject such an advertisement. Columbia Broadcasting System v. Democratic National Committee, 412 U.S. 94 (1973), You Can't Afford Dodd Committee, 81 FCC2d 579 (1980). The so-called "Swift Boat Veterans" organization is not a federal candidate or candidate committee. Repeated efforts by organizations that are not candidate committees to obtain a private right of access have been consistently rejected by the FCC. See e.g., National Conservative Political Action Committee, 89 FCC2d 626 (1982).

Thus, your station my freely refuse this advertisement. Because your station has this freedom, and because it is not a "use" of your facilities by a clearly identified candidate, your station is responsible for the false and libelous charges made by this sponsor.

Moreover, as a licensee, you have an overriding duty "to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising." Licensee Responsibility With Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 F.C.D.2d 623 (1961). Your station normally must take "reasonable steps" to satisfy itself "as to the reliability and reputation of every prospective advertiser." In re Complaint by Consumers Assocation of District of Columbia, 32 F.C.C.2d 400, 405 (1971).

Under these circumstances, your station may not responsibly air this advertisement. We request that your station act immmediately to prevent broadcasts of this advertisement and deny andy future sale of time. Knowing that the advertisement is false, and possessing the legal authority to refuse to run it, your station should exercise that authority in the public interest.


Please contact us promptly at either of the phone numbers below to advise us regarding the status of this advertisement.

Sincerely yours,
Marc Elias
Perkins Coie
607 14th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005


General Counsel
Kerry-Edwards 2004 Joseph Sandler
Sandler, Reiff & Young
50 E Street, S.E. #300
Washington, D.C. 20003


General Counsel
Democratic National Committee


http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/ads04/dem080504ltrswift ...




From the transcript of the Aug. 5, 2004 White House Press Briefing with Scott McClellan:

Q Do you -- does the President repudiate this 527 ad that calls Kerry a liar on Vietnam?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President deplores all the unregulated soft money activity. We have been very clear in stating that, you know, we will not -- and we have not and we will not question Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam. I think that this is another example of the problem with the unregulated soft money activity that is going on. The President thought he put an end -- or the President thought he got rid of this kind of unregulated soft money when he signed the bipartisan campaign finance reforms into law. And, you know, the President has been on the receiving end of more than $62 million in negative attacks from shadowy groups.

* * *

In the days after the release of the ad a host of major newspapers published editorials condemning it including the Arizona Republic ("Campaign Non-Starter," August 6), Los Angeles Times ("It's Not All Fair Game," August 6), Plain Dealer ("Ad Says Kerry Lied; Record Says Otherwise," August 8), St. Petersburg Times ("An Ugly Attack," August 9), Las Vegas Sun ("Ad's Smear Should Be Condemned," August 9), Oregonian ("Now It Gets Nasty," August 11), and Washington Post ("Swift Boat Smears," August 12).

* * *

On Aug. 10, 2004 Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and the Center for Responsive Politics filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is illegally raising and spending soft money on ads to influence the 2004 presidential elections.

* * *

From the transcript of Bush's Aug. 12, 2004 appearance on CNN'S Larry King Live:


KING: In view of that, do you think that it's fair, for the record, John Kerry's service record, to be an issue at all? I know that Senator McCain...
G. BUSH: You know, I think it is an issue, because he views it as honorable service, and so do I. I mean...
KING: Oh, so it is. But, I mean, Senator McCain has asked to be condemned, the attack on his service. What do you say to that?
G. BUSH: Well, I say they ought to get rid of all those 527s, independent expenditures that have flooded the airwaves.
There have been millions of dollars spent up until this point in time. I signed a law that I thought would get rid of
those, and I called on the senator to -- let's just get anybody who feels like they got to run to not do so.
KING: Do you condemn the statements made about his...
G. BUSH: Well, I haven't seen the ad, but what I do condemn is these unregulated, soft-money expenditures by very wealthy people, and they've said some bad things about me. I guess they're saying bad things about him. And what I think we ought to do is not have them on the air. I think there ought to be full disclosure. The campaign funding law I signed I thought was going to get rid of that. But evidently the Federal Election Commission had a different view...

Kerry spokesman Chad Clanton's response to Bush's Aug. 12, 2004 appearance:
"Tonight President Bush called Kerry's service in Vietnam 'noble.' But in the same breath refused to heed Senator McCain's call to condemn the dirty work being done by the 'Swift Boat Vets for Bush.' Once again, the President side-stepped responsibility and refused to do the right thing. His credibility is running out as fast as his time in the White House."

* * *

On Aug. 17, 2004 the campaign held a press conference at which Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.), Adm. Stansfield Turner (ret.), and several swift boat veterans rebutted the charges.

* * *

DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued a statement on Aug. 18, 2004:

"By saying nothing at all George W. Bush is a complicit contributor to the slanderous, lie-filled attack ads that have been launched on John Kerry on Bush's behalf. Instead of stepping up and taking the high road, George Bush's response has been evasion, avoidance, everything but disavowal.

"Larry King asked George Bush to 'condemn' it. He refused. Reporters asked the President's Press Secretary if he'd 'repudiate' it. He ducked. They can try to blame it on the rules or whoever else they want, but the blame belongs squarely on the Republicans. They wrote it. They produced it. They placed it. They paid for it. And now it is time for George W. Bush to stand up and say, 'enough.'

"This is not debate, Mr. President, and this unfounded attack on Senator Kerry has crossed the line of decency. I call on you today to condemn this ad, the men who put their lies behind it, and the donors who paid for it. It's time."

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/ads04/swiftadresponse.h ...



Altercation Book Club: Lapdogs by Eric Boehlert
Relatively early on in the August coverage of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth story, ABC's Nightline devoted an entire episode to the allegations and reported, "The Kerry campaign calls the charges wrong, offensive and politically motivated. And points to Naval records that seemingly contradict the charges." (Emphasis added.) Seemingly? A more accurate phrasing would have been that Navy records "completely" or "thoroughly" contradicted the Swifty. In late August, CNN's scrawl across the bottom of the screen read, "Several Vietnam veterans are backing Kerry's version of events." Again, a more factual phrasing would have been "Crewmembers have always backed Kerry's version of events." But that would have meant not only having to stand up a well-funded Republican campaign attack machine, but also casting doubt on television news' hottest political story of the summer.

When the discussion did occasionally turn to the facts behind the Swift Boat allegations, reporters and pundits seemed too spooked to address the obviousthat the charges made no sense and there was little credible evidence to support them.. Substituting as host of "Meet the Press," Andrea Mitchell on Aug. 15 pressed Boston Globe reporter Anne Kornblut about the facts surrounding Kerry's combat service: "Well, Anne, you've covered him for many years, John Kerry. What is the truth of his record?" Instead of mentioning some of the glaring inconsistencies in the Swifties' allegation, such as George Elliott and Adrian Lonsdale 's embarrassing flip-flops, Kornblut ducked the question, suggesting the truth was "subjective": "The truth of his record, the criticism that's coming from the Swift Boat ads, is that he betrayed his fellow veterans. Well, that's a subjective question, that he came back from the war and then protested it. So, I mean, that is truly something that's subjective." Ten days later Kornblut scored a sit-down interview with O'Neill. In her 1,200-word story she politely declined to press O'Neill about a single factual inconsistency surrounding the Swifties' allegations, thereby keeping her Globe readers in the dark about the Swift Boat farce. (It was not until Bush was safely re-elected that that Kornblut, appearing on MSNBC, conceded the Swift Boast ads were clearly inaccurate.)

Hosting an Aug. 28 discussion on CNBC with Newsweek's Jon Meacham and Time's Jay Carney, NBC's Tim Russert finally, after weeks of overheated Swifty coverage, got around to asking the pertinent question: "Based on everything you have heard, seen, reported, in terms of the actual charges, the content of the book, is there any validity to any of it?" Carney conceded the charges did not have any validity, but did it oh, so gently: "I think it's hard to say that any one of them is by any standard that we measure these things has been substantiated." Apparently Carney forgot to pass the word along to editors at Time magazine, which is read by significantly more news consumers than Russert's weekly cable chat show on CNBC. Because it wasn't until its Sept. 20 2004 issue, well after the Swift Boat controversy had peaked, that the Time news team managed enough courage to tentatively announce the charges levied against Kerry and his combat service were "reckless and unfair." (Better late than never; Time's competitor Newsweek waited until after the election to report the Swift Boat charges were "misleading," but "very effective.") But even then, Time didn't hold the Swifties responsible for their "reckless and unfair" charges. Instead, Time celebrated them. Typing up an election postscript in November, Time toasted the Swift Boat's O'Neill as one of the campaign's "Winners," while remaining dutifully silent about the group's fraudulent charges.

That kind of Beltway media group self-censorship was evident throughout the Swift Boat story, as the perimeters of acceptable reporting were quickly established. Witness the MSM reaction to Wayne Langhofer, Jim Russell and Robert Lambert. All three men served with Kerry in Vietnam and all three men were witnesses to the disputed March 13, 1969 event in which Kerry rescued Green Beret Jim Rassmann, winning a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart. The Swifties, after 35 years of silence, insisted Kerry did nothing special that day, and that he certainly did not come under enemy fire when he plucked Rassmann out of the drink. Therefore, Kerry did not deserve his honors.

It's true every person on Kerry's boat, along with the thankful Rassmann, insisted they were under fire, and so did the official Navy citation for Kerry's Bronze Star. Still, Swifties held to their unlikely story, and the press pretended to be confused about the stand-off. Then during the last week in August three more eyewitnesses, all backing the Navy's version of events that there had been hostile gun fire, stepped forward. They were Langhofer, Russell and Lambert.

Russell wrote an indignant letter to his local Telluride Daily Planet to dispute the Swifties' claim: "Forever pictured in my mind since that day over 30 years ago John Kerry bending over his boat picking up one of the rangers that we were ferrying from out of the water. All the time we were taking small arms fire from the beach; although because of our fusillade into the jungle, I don't think it was very accurate, thank God. Anyone who doesn't think that we were being fired upon must have been on a different river."

The number of times Russell was subsequently mentioned on CNN: 1. On Fox News: 1. MSNBC: 0. ABC: 1. On CBS: 0. On NBC: 0.

Like Russell, Langhofer also remembered strong enemy gunfire that day. An Aug. 22 article in the Washington Post laid out the details: "Until now, eyewitness evidence supporting Kerry's version had come only from his own crewmen. But yesterday, The Post independently contacted a participant who has not spoken out so far in favor of either camp who remembers coming under enemy fire. There was a lot of firing going on, and it came from both sides of the river, said Wayne D. Langhofer, who manned a machine gun aboard PCF-43, the boat that was directly behind Kerrys. Langhofer said he distinctly remembered the clack, clack, clack of enemy AK-47s, as well as muzzle flashes from the riverbanks." (For some strange reason the Post buried its Langhofer scoop in the 50th paragraph of the story.)

The number of times Langhofer was subsequently mentioned on CNN: 0. On Fox News: 0. On MSNBC: 0. On ABC: 0. CBS: 0. NBC: 0.

As for Lambert, The Nation magazine uncovered the official citation for the Bronze Medal he won that same day and it too reported the flotilla of five U.S. boats "came under small-arms and automatic weapons fire from the river banks."

The number of times Lambert was mentioned on. On Fox News: 1. On CNN: 0. On MSNBC: 0. ABC: 1 On CBS: 0. On NBC: 0.

Additionally, the Washington Post's Michael Dobbs, who served as the paper's point person on the Swifty scandal, was asked during an Aug. 30, 2004, online chat with readers why the paper hadn't reported more aggressively on the public statements of Langhofer, Russell and Lambert. Dobbs insisted, "I hope to return to this subject at some point to update readers." But he never did. Post readers, who were deluged with Swifty reporting, received just the sketchiest of facts about Langhofer, Russell and Lambert.

If that doesn't represent a concerted effort by the press to look the other way, than what does?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12799378/#060518



Please use this information as a guideline for 2006 and 2008 campaigns. What the media edits out of our campaigns is CRUCIAL to public perception.

Even many Democrats are unaware of the real fight that occurred in 2004 and are buying wholesale the corporate media spin which conveniently protects the corporate media who failed to give honest coverage of Kerry's defense against the lies of the swift vets and their Republican handlers.

Not recognizing the extent of the corporate media's duplicity is a danger for all Democratic candidates in 2006 and 2008.

This can and WILL happen to any Democratic candidate.

This CAN and WILL happen to ANY Democratic candidate. FIGHT THE MYTHS. Stay tough KNOWING the media is aligned with these liars.

The battle with the people really behind this group will never end. But there are veterans coming forth with a book of their own that will unmask the swifts for the lying GOP operatives they are.
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #26
44. I wish I could recommend your post.
:applause:
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Red Right and BLUE Donating Member (774 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #26
62. This needs tobe a post of its own.
I'm tired of people screaming about how Kerry did nothing.

I myself didn't even know how much he had really done about it, until your post.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. Thanks - and this is why our battle must be with the CORPMEDIA - they act
as the front line of defense and offense for BushInc.
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
13. Bless his heart. nt
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
15. In other news, Napoleon vows tough stance against Wellington
Film at eleven.

:eyes:
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
27. Lol... and Custer develops new strategy...
:rofl:
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. Funny - and neatly distracts from the FACTS - OUR media is COMPLICIT

April 14, 2004 - The website for SBVT was registered under the name of Lewis Waterman, the information technology manager for Gannon International, a St. Louis company that has diversified interests, including in Vietnam. (1) (note - Gannon International does not appear to have any relationship to Jeff Gannon/Guckert, the fake reporter.)

May 3, 2004 - "Kerry campaign announced a major advertising push to introduce 'John Kerry's lifetime of service and strength to the American people.' Kerry's four month Vietnam experience figures prominently in the ads." (2)

May 4, 2004 - The Swift Liars, beginning their lies by calling themselves "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth", went public at a news conference organized by Merrie Spaeth at the National Press Club. (1)

May 4, 2004 - "The Kerry campaign held a press conference directly after the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" event...The campaign provided an information package which raised significant questions about 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.' " (3)


May 4, 2004 - Aug. 5, 2004 - No public activity by Swift Liars (?) Wikipedia entry (7) notes "When the press conference garnered little attention, the organization decided to produce television advertisements." (Ed. note - were there any public info or announcements, other than talk on blogs? Was there anything going on publicly? Did the campaign have reason to foresee what was coming - note that they must have, see the reactions to each ad).

Jul. 26, 2004 - Jul. 29, 2004 - Democratic National Convention held in Boston. John Kerry's military experience is highlighted.

Aug. 5, 2004 - The Swift Liars' first television ad began airing a one-minute television spot in three states. (7)

Aug. 5, 2004 - "the General Counsels to the DNC and the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign faxed a letter to station managers at the relevant stations stating that the ad is 'an inflammatory, outrageous lie" and requesting that they "act immediately to prevent broadcast of this advertisement and deny any future sale of time. " ' " (4)

Aug. 10, 2004 - Democracy 21, The Campaign Legal Center and The Center for Responsive Politics filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that the Swift Liars were illegally raising and spending soft money on ads to influence the 2004 presidential elections. (4)

Aug. 17, 2004 - the campaign held a press conference at which Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.), Adm. Stansfield Turner (ret.), and several swift boat veterans rebutted the charges. (4)

Aug. 19, 2004 - the Kerry-Edwards campaign announced its own ad "Rassmann." (4)

Aug. 20, 2004 - The Swift Liars' second television ad began airing. This ad selectively excerpted Kerry's statements to the SFRC on 4/22/1971. (7)

Aug. 22, 2004 - the Kerry-Edwards campaign announced another ad "Issues" which addressed the Swift Boat group's attacks.

Aug. 25, 2004 - The Kerry-Edwards campaign ... dispatched former Sen. Max Cleland and Jim Rassmann, to Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas to deliver to the President a letter signed by Democratic Senators who are veterans. (The letter was not accepted.) (4)

Aug. 26, 2004 - The Swift Liars' third television ad began airing. This ad attacked Kerry's claim to have been in Cambodia in 1968. (7)

August 26, 2004 - Mary Beth Cahill sends letter to Ken Mehlman detailing the "Web of Connections" between the Swift Liars and the Bush Administration, and demanding that Bush denounce the smear campaign. (5)

August 26, 2004 - Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) submits FOIA request "with the White House asking it to detail its contacts with individuals connected to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT)." (6)

Aug. 27, 2004 - The DNC ran a full page ad in the Aug. 27, 2004 New York Times terming the Swift Boat campaign a smear. (4)

Aug. 31, 2004 - - The Swift Liars' fourth television ad began airing. This ad attacked Kerry's participation in the medal-throwing protest on 4/23/1971. (7)

References:
* (1) SourceWatch article on SBVT

* (2) (2004) Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman, Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman

* (3) (2004) Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: Kerry Campaign Response

* (4) (Sept. 8, 2004) Eric M. Appleman (apparently) Some Responses to the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" Ad

* (5) August 26, 2004 letter from Mary Beth Cahill to Ken Mehlman

* (6) Press Release (US Newswire): CREW FOIAs White House Contacts with Swift Boat Veterans Group

* (7) Wikipedia entry, Swift Vets and POWs for Truth



MH1 - This topic is to create a timeline of the response of the K/E04 campaign to the Swift Liars' smears. There is an RW-encouraged myth that K/E04 "didn't respond." As the timeline, once completed, will show, that is not true. Effectiveness of the response may be debated - that is subjective - the purpose of this thread is to collect the facts of the events.




On Aug. 19, 2004 Kerry himself responded directly in a speech to the International Association of Firefighters' Convention in Boston. (from prepared remarks)
...And more than thirty years ago, I learned an important lessonwhen you're under attack, the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attacker. That's what I intend to do today.

Over the last week or so, a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been attacking me. Of course, this group isnt interested in the truth and they're not telling the truth. They didn't even exist until I won the nomination for president.

But here's what you really need to know about them. They're funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They're a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the President won't denounce what theyre up to tells you everything you need to knowhe wants them to do his dirty work.

Thirty years ago, official Navy reports documented my service in Vietnam and awarded me the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. It still is. And I still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in Vietnam.

As firefighters you risk your lives everyday. You know what its like to see the truth in the moment. You're proud of what youve doneand so am I.

Of course, the President keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: "Bring it on."

I'm not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending Americathen, now, or ever. And I'm not going to let anyone attack the sacrifice and courage of the men who saw battle with me.

And let me make this commitment today: their lies about my record will not stop me from fighting for jobs, health care, and our security the issues that really matter to the American people...



Kerry defends war record
Aug. 19: John Kerry responds directly to attacks on his Vietnam military service Thursday, accusing President Bush of relying on front groups to challenge his war record.

http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=40a0d9b1-0386-41ef-bc ...



May 4, 2004. The Kerry campaign held a press conference directly after the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" event. (Above are, r-l, Wade Sanders, Del Sandusky and Drew Whitlow). Senior Advisor Michael Meehan said, "The Nixon White House attempted to do this to Kerry, and the Bush folks are following the same plan." "We're not going to let them make false claims about Kerry and go unanswered," Meehan said. He said his first instinct was to hold a press conference with an empty room where veterans could testify to their time spent in the military with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

The campaign provided an information package which raised significant questions about "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." Spaeth Communications, which hosted the event, "is a Republican headed firm from Texas which has contributed to Bush's campaign and has very close ties to the Bush Administration." Lead organizer John O'Neill, a Republican from Texas, "was a pawn of the Nixon White House in 1971." Further some of the people now speaking against Kerry had praised him in their evaluation reports in Vietnam.

John Dibble, who served on a swift boat in 1970, after Kerry had left, was one of the veterans at the Kerry event. He said of Kerry's anti-war activities that at the time, "I didn't like what he was doing." In retrospect, however, Dibble said, "I probably should have been doing the same thing...probably more of us should have been doing that." He said that might have meant fewer names on the Vietnam Memorial and that Kerry's anti-war activities were "a very gutsy thing to do."

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/interestg/swift050404c ....



Kerry campaign's quick response to Swift boat vets
By Marie Horrigan
UPI Deputy Americas Editor
Washington, DC, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The campaign for Democratic Party presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts issued an exhaustively researched and extensively sourced 36-page refutation Thursday of allegations Kerry lied about events during his service in Vietnam, including how and why he received medals, and had fled the scene of a battle.

http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040805-012143 ...



Kerry: Bush lets attack ads do 'dirty work'
McClellan points out criticism by anti-Bush group
Friday, August 20, 2004 Posted: 2:37 PM EDT (1837 GMT)
BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry accused President Bush on Thursday of letting front groups "do his dirty work" in questioning his military service during the Vietnam War.

"The president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that," Kerry told a firefighters' union conference in his hometown of Boston.

"Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: Bring it on."

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/19/kerry.attacka ... /


http://www.johnkerry.com/petition/oldtricks.php




August 5, 2004

VIA FACSIMILE

Re: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

Dear Station Manager:

We are counsel to the Democratic National Committee and John Kerry, respectively. It has been brought to our attention that a group calling itself "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" has bought time, or may seek to buy time, on your station to air an advertisement that attacks Senator Kerry. The advertisement contains statements by men who purport to have served on Senator Kerry's SWIFT Boat in Vietnam, and one statement by a man pretending to be the doctor who treated Senator Kerry for one of his injuries. In fact, not a single one of the men who pretend to have served with Senator Kerry was actually a crewmate of Senator Kerry's and the man pretending to be his doctor was not. The entire advertisement, therefore is an inflammatory, outrageous lie.

"Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" styles itself as a group of individuals who personally served with John Kerry in the United States Navy in the Vietnam War. In truth the group is a sham organization spearheaded by a Texas corporate media consultant. It has been financed largely with funds from a Houston homebuilder. See Slater, Dallas Morning News, July 23, 2004.

In this group's advertisement, twelve men appear to make statements about Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam. Not a single one of these men served on either of Senator Kerry's two SWIFT Boats (PCF 44 & PCF94).

Further, the "doctor" who appears in the ad, Louis Letson, was not a crewmate of Senator Kerry's and was not the doctor who actually signed Senator Kerry's sick call sheet. In fact, another physician actually signed Senator Kerry's sick call sheet. Letson is not listed on any document as having treated Senator Kerry after the December 2, 1968 firefight. Moreover, according to news accounts, Letson did not record his "memories" of that incident until after Senator Kerry became a candidate for President in 2003. (National Review Online, May 4, 2004).

The statements made by the phony "crewmates" and "doctor" who appear in the advertisement are also totally, demonstrably and unequivocally false, and libelous. In parrticular, the advertisement charges that Senator Kerry "lied to get his Bronze Star." Just as falsely, it states that "he lied before the Senate." These are serious allegations of actual crimes -- specifically, of lying to the United States Government in the conduct of its official business. The events for which the Senator was awarded the Bronze Star have been documented repeatedly and in detail and are set out in the official citation signed by the Secretary of the Navy and the Commander of U.S. Forces in Vietnam. And yet these reckless charges of criminal conduct are offered without support or authentication, by fake "witnesses" speaking on behalf of a phony organization.

Your station is not obligated to accept this advertisement for broadcast nor is it required to account in any way for its decision to reject such an advertisement. Columbia Broadcasting System v. Democratic National Committee, 412 U.S. 94 (1973), You Can't Afford Dodd Committee, 81 FCC2d 579 (1980). The so-called "Swift Boat Veterans" organization is not a federal candidate or candidate committee. Repeated efforts by organizations that are not candidate committees to obtain a private right of access have been consistently rejected by the FCC. See e.g., National Conservative Political Action Committee, 89 FCC2d 626 (1982).

Thus, your station my freely refuse this advertisement. Because your station has this freedom, and because it is not a "use" of your facilities by a clearly identified candidate, your station is responsible for the false and libelous charges made by this sponsor.

Moreover, as a licensee, you have an overriding duty "to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising." Licensee Responsibility With Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 F.C.D.2d 623 (1961). Your station normally must take "reasonable steps" to satisfy itself "as to the reliability and reputation of every prospective advertiser." In re Complaint by Consumers Assocation of District of Columbia, 32 F.C.C.2d 400, 405 (1971).

Under these circumstances, your station may not responsibly air this advertisement. We request that your station act immmediately to prevent broadcasts of this advertisement and deny andy future sale of time. Knowing that the advertisement is false, and possessing the legal authority to refuse to run it, your station should exercise that authority in the public interest.


Please contact us promptly at either of the phone numbers below to advise us regarding the status of this advertisement.

Sincerely yours,
Marc Elias
Perkins Coie
607 14th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005


General Counsel
Kerry-Edwards 2004 Joseph Sandler
Sandler, Reiff & Young
50 E Street, S.E. #300
Washington, D.C. 20003


General Counsel
Democratic National Committee


http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/ads04/dem080504ltrswift ...




From the transcript of the Aug. 5, 2004 White House Press Briefing with Scott McClellan:

Q Do you -- does the President repudiate this 527 ad that calls Kerry a liar on Vietnam?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President deplores all the unregulated soft money activity. We have been very clear in stating that, you know, we will not -- and we have not and we will not question Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam. I think that this is another example of the problem with the unregulated soft money activity that is going on. The President thought he put an end -- or the President thought he got rid of this kind of unregulated soft money when he signed the bipartisan campaign finance reforms into law. And, you know, the President has been on the receiving end of more than $62 million in negative attacks from shadowy groups.

* * *

In the days after the release of the ad a host of major newspapers published editorials condemning it including the Arizona Republic ("Campaign Non-Starter," August 6), Los Angeles Times ("It's Not All Fair Game," August 6), Plain Dealer ("Ad Says Kerry Lied; Record Says Otherwise," August 8), St. Petersburg Times ("An Ugly Attack," August 9), Las Vegas Sun ("Ad's Smear Should Be Condemned," August 9), Oregonian ("Now It Gets Nasty," August 11), and Washington Post ("Swift Boat Smears," August 12).

* * *

On Aug. 10, 2004 Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and the Center for Responsive Politics filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is illegally raising and spending soft money on ads to influence the 2004 presidential elections.

* * *

From the transcript of Bush's Aug. 12, 2004 appearance on CNN'S Larry King Live:


KING: In view of that, do you think that it's fair, for the record, John Kerry's service record, to be an issue at all? I know that Senator McCain...
G. BUSH: You know, I think it is an issue, because he views it as honorable service, and so do I. I mean...
KING: Oh, so it is. But, I mean, Senator McCain has asked to be condemned, the attack on his service. What do you say to that?
G. BUSH: Well, I say they ought to get rid of all those 527s, independent expenditures that have flooded the airwaves.
There have been millions of dollars spent up until this point in time. I signed a law that I thought would get rid of
those, and I called on the senator to -- let's just get anybody who feels like they got to run to not do so.
KING: Do you condemn the statements made about his...
G. BUSH: Well, I haven't seen the ad, but what I do condemn is these unregulated, soft-money expenditures by very wealthy people, and they've said some bad things about me. I guess they're saying bad things about him. And what I think we ought to do is not have them on the air. I think there ought to be full disclosure. The campaign funding law I signed I thought was going to get rid of that. But evidently the Federal Election Commission had a different view...

Kerry spokesman Chad Clanton's response to Bush's Aug. 12, 2004 appearance:
"Tonight President Bush called Kerry's service in Vietnam 'noble.' But in the same breath refused to heed Senator McCain's call to condemn the dirty work being done by the 'Swift Boat Vets for Bush.' Once again, the President side-stepped responsibility and refused to do the right thing. His credibility is running out as fast as his time in the White House."

* * *

On Aug. 17, 2004 the campaign held a press conference at which Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.), Adm. Stansfield Turner (ret.), and several swift boat veterans rebutted the charges.

* * *

DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued a statement on Aug. 18, 2004:

"By saying nothing at all George W. Bush is a complicit contributor to the slanderous, lie-filled attack ads that have been launched on John Kerry on Bush's behalf. Instead of stepping up and taking the high road, George Bush's response has been evasion, avoidance, everything but disavowal.

"Larry King asked George Bush to 'condemn' it. He refused. Reporters asked the President's Press Secretary if he'd 'repudiate' it. He ducked. They can try to blame it on the rules or whoever else they want, but the blame belongs squarely on the Republicans. They wrote it. They produced it. They placed it. They paid for it. And now it is time for George W. Bush to stand up and say, 'enough.'

"This is not debate, Mr. President, and this unfounded attack on Senator Kerry has crossed the line of decency. I call on you today to condemn this ad, the men who put their lies behind it, and the donors who paid for it. It's time."

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/ads04/swiftadresponse.h ...



Altercation Book Club: Lapdogs by Eric Boehlert
Relatively early on in the August coverage of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth story, ABC's Nightline devoted an entire episode to the allegations and reported, "The Kerry campaign calls the charges wrong, offensive and politically motivated. And points to Naval records that seemingly contradict the charges." (Emphasis added.) Seemingly? A more accurate phrasing would have been that Navy records "completely" or "thoroughly" contradicted the Swifty. In late August, CNN's scrawl across the bottom of the screen read, "Several Vietnam veterans are backing Kerry's version of events." Again, a more factual phrasing would have been "Crewmembers have always backed Kerry's version of events." But that would have meant not only having to stand up a well-funded Republican campaign attack machine, but also casting doubt on television news' hottest political story of the summer.

When the discussion did occasionally turn to the facts behind the Swift Boat allegations, reporters and pundits seemed too spooked to address the obviousthat the charges made no sense and there was little credible evidence to support them.. Substituting as host of "Meet the Press," Andrea Mitchell on Aug. 15 pressed Boston Globe reporter Anne Kornblut about the facts surrounding Kerry's combat service: "Well, Anne, you've covered him for many years, John Kerry. What is the truth of his record?" Instead of mentioning some of the glaring inconsistencies in the Swifties' allegation, such as George Elliott and Adrian Lonsdale 's embarrassing flip-flops, Kornblut ducked the question, suggesting the truth was "subjective": "The truth of his record, the criticism that's coming from the Swift Boat ads, is that he betrayed his fellow veterans. Well, that's a subjective question, that he came back from the war and then protested it. So, I mean, that is truly something that's subjective." Ten days later Kornblut scored a sit-down interview with O'Neill. In her 1,200-word story she politely declined to press O'Neill about a single factual inconsistency surrounding the Swifties' allegations, thereby keeping her Globe readers in the dark about the Swift Boat farce. (It was not until Bush was safely re-elected that that Kornblut, appearing on MSNBC, conceded the Swift Boast ads were clearly inaccurate.)

Hosting an Aug. 28 discussion on CNBC with Newsweek's Jon Meacham and Time's Jay Carney, NBC's Tim Russert finally, after weeks of overheated Swifty coverage, got around to asking the pertinent question: "Based on everything you have heard, seen, reported, in terms of the actual charges, the content of the book, is there any validity to any of it?" Carney conceded the charges did not have any validity, but did it oh, so gently: "I think it's hard to say that any one of them is by any standard that we measure these things has been substantiated." Apparently Carney forgot to pass the word along to editors at Time magazine, which is read by significantly more news consumers than Russert's weekly cable chat show on CNBC. Because it wasn't until its Sept. 20 2004 issue, well after the Swift Boat controversy had peaked, that the Time news team managed enough courage to tentatively announce the charges levied against Kerry and his combat service were "reckless and unfair." (Better late than never; Time's competitor Newsweek waited until after the election to report the Swift Boat charges were "misleading," but "very effective.") But even then, Time didn't hold the Swifties responsible for their "reckless and unfair" charges. Instead, Time celebrated them. Typing up an election postscript in November, Time toasted the Swift Boat's O'Neill as one of the campaign's "Winners," while remaining dutifully silent about the group's fraudulent charges.

That kind of Beltway media group self-censorship was evident throughout the Swift Boat story, as the perimeters of acceptable reporting were quickly established. Witness the MSM reaction to Wayne Langhofer, Jim Russell and Robert Lambert. All three men served with Kerry in Vietnam and all three men were witnesses to the disputed March 13, 1969 event in which Kerry rescued Green Beret Jim Rassmann, winning a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart. The Swifties, after 35 years of silence, insisted Kerry did nothing special that day, and that he certainly did not come under enemy fire when he plucked Rassmann out of the drink. Therefore, Kerry did not deserve his honors.

It's true every person on Kerry's boat, along with the thankful Rassmann, insisted they were under fire, and so did the official Navy citation for Kerry's Bronze Star. Still, Swifties held to their unlikely story, and the press pretended to be confused about the stand-off. Then during the last week in August three more eyewitnesses, all backing the Navy's version of events that there had been hostile gun fire, stepped forward. They were Langhofer, Russell and Lambert.

Russell wrote an indignant letter to his local Telluride Daily Planet to dispute the Swifties' claim: "Forever pictured in my mind since that day over 30 years ago John Kerry bending over his boat picking up one of the rangers that we were ferrying from out of the water. All the time we were taking small arms fire from the beach; although because of our fusillade into the jungle, I don't think it was very accurate, thank God. Anyone who doesn't think that we were being fired upon must have been on a different river."

The number of times Russell was subsequently mentioned on CNN: 1. On Fox News: 1. MSNBC: 0. ABC: 1. On CBS: 0. On NBC: 0.

Like Russell, Langhofer also remembered strong enemy gunfire that day. An Aug. 22 article in the Washington Post laid out the details: "Until now, eyewitness evidence supporting Kerry's version had come only from his own crewmen. But yesterday, The Post independently contacted a participant who has not spoken out so far in favor of either camp who remembers coming under enemy fire. There was a lot of firing going on, and it came from both sides of the river, said Wayne D. Langhofer, who manned a machine gun aboard PCF-43, the boat that was directly behind Kerrys. Langhofer said he distinctly remembered the clack, clack, clack of enemy AK-47s, as well as muzzle flashes from the riverbanks." (For some strange reason the Post buried its Langhofer scoop in the 50th paragraph of the story.)

The number of times Langhofer was subsequently mentioned on CNN: 0. On Fox News: 0. On MSNBC: 0. On ABC: 0. CBS: 0. NBC: 0.

As for Lambert, The Nation magazine uncovered the official citation for the Bronze Medal he won that same day and it too reported the flotilla of five U.S. boats "came under small-arms and automatic weapons fire from the river banks."

The number of times Lambert was mentioned on. On Fox News: 1. On CNN: 0. On MSNBC: 0. ABC: 1 On CBS: 0. On NBC: 0.

Additionally, the Washington Post's Michael Dobbs, who served as the paper's point person on the Swifty scandal, was asked during an Aug. 30, 2004, online chat with readers why the paper hadn't reported more aggressively on the public statements of Langhofer, Russell and Lambert. Dobbs insisted, "I hope to return to this subject at some point to update readers." But he never did. Post readers, who were deluged with Swifty reporting, received just the sketchiest of facts about Langhofer, Russell and Lambert.

If that doesn't represent a concerted effort by the press to look the other way, than what does?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12799378/#060518



Please use this information as a guideline for 2006 and 2008 campaigns. What the media edits out of our campaigns is CRUCIAL to public perception.

Even many Democrats are unaware of the real fight that occurred in 2004 and are buying wholesale the corporate media spin which conveniently protects the corporate media who failed to give honest coverage of Kerry's defense against the lies of the swift vets and their Republican handlers.

Not recognizing the extent of the corporate media's duplicity is a danger for all Democratic candidates in 2006 and 2008.

This can and WILL happen to any Democratic candidate.

This CAN and WILL happen to ANY Democratic candidate. FIGHT THE MYTHS. Stay tough KNOWING the media is aligned with these liars.

The battle with the people really behind this group will never end. But there are veterans coming forth with a book of their own that will unmask the swifts for the lying GOP operatives they are.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. That post was longer than all the rest of DU combined
But here's the problem:

If Kerry was cheated (I believe that he was) and if the media was totally biased against him (I believe that it was), then the time to attack was in summer of 2004. Autumn of 2006 is when we should be sitting around toasting the first two successful years of President Kerry's term, but instead we're stuck with that fuckwit in the Oval Office.

Sorry, but all of this "Kerry makes a strong stand" chatter that's going on now is far too little far too late. And heaven help us if he seriously considers a run in 2008.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Did you even READ Aug19 Firefighters Convention speech attacking swifts?
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 02:01 PM by blm
The national media should have had broadcast it in its entirety and given full reporting coverage of that speech - no news networks showed up.

After 9-11 and all the focus on Firefighters and their first post9-11 endorsement of a president and NO MEDIA SHOWS UP? You think that decision just happened? You think if any other Democrat had made a speech under the same circumstances, the result would have been different or is it just Kerry?

Heck - Boehlert's book details how one swift recanted, said they lied to him to get his support, and then changed his support to Kerry - he had access to news shows when he was a swift and cut off completely when he admitted they lied.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. August 19 2004? What have you done for me lately, Kerry?
Sorry, but a big unaired speech two years ago is exactly that, even if we agree that it's the media's fault.

There is no excuse for going into a modern election without planning in advance to have to deal with the exact sorts of attack that Bushco mounted against Kerry. None.

And to make a big noise about it twenty six months later is pretty close to irrelevant.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Did Bush attack or did his RNC machine attack FOR him? How did the DNC
machine do? How effective is the left media against the RW message machine?

Kerry WON - he didn't lose to the swifts - he won - the Dem party infrastructure was too collapsed and too weak in crucial states to secure the election process for the entire four years they were charged with countering the RNC operatives working to suppress votes, purge voter rolls, and gain control of the input and output of the vote count.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. I'm not sure what you're asking
I've asserted at least once in this thread that I believe that Kerry won. For that matter, Gore clearly won in 2000, but so what?

And clearly the RNC, with its pet media outlets, is better at clogging the discourse. This, too, should be recognized in advance by anyone serious about mounting a Presidential campaign.

Kerry made the mistake of conceding on the morning after the elections. Everything else thereafter is meaningless, at least in terms of the 2004 election. If his efforts now, such as they are, improve the integrity of future elections, well that's clearly a noble goal.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Kerry won because he ran a solid campaign and ran a better, more-informed
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 02:29 PM by blm
race than Bush.

Pointing at the swifts is more distraction and a media creation meant to misdirect, because tthe swifts is not where the race was lost.

It was lost at the STATE level and precinct level where the DNC and its Office of Voter Integrity dropped the ball for FOUR YEARS and failed to secure the election process. AFTER the election was TOO LATE, as machines that are rigged are set up for onetime use and then left untraceable.

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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. I don't dispute the elector problems at the local level
But it's false to say that Kerry ran a strong campaign.

He performed extremely well in the debates, but by that time he'd already been seen in the Oompa Loompa cleansuit, windsurfing, and skiing, all of which--rightly or wrongly--made him look ridiculous in the eyes of the electorate. His campaign managers had a long time to plan his public image and still failed to control it.

The DNC et al can be faulted for screwing up at the polls; Kerry et al can be faulted for screwing up at the top.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. In the eyes of the electorate he blew past Bush by about 5million votes
No campaign is perfect - Bush's wasn't. You think Bush ran a better race than Kerry or did the RNC drag him through while the DNC failed miserably in its duties?

The weak Dem infrastructure that dealt with the election process lost the election for Gore, too. There should have never been any dispute to begin with.

After the 2001 hearings on election fraud, the DNC assured us they would work for four years countering the rNC's tactics - - how did they do? They are all now blaming Kerry, as well, which conveniently lets them off the hook for failing to secure our votes.

Dean has to woek his ass off just to reconstruct what had been left to collapse for 3 prior election cycles.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #31
69. and unfortunately for America, by his own admission,
it wasn't enough.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #69
73. So, what's your point? The media had more money! n/t
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. What's funny is that you felt the need to post this twice
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 02:07 PM by walldude
considering that Kerry admitted on Bill Mahr friday night that he screwed up in not defending himself against the Swifties. I guess he just forgot what a great job he did... :eyes:

on edit: Kerry had many opportunities to express himself when the media did show up and he didn't. While I agree the media was complacent I also think Kerry screwed the pooch.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. No - in hindsight any leader would say they should have done more.
And what is REALLY sad is that some even some Democrats will IGNORE facts so many times it forces the need to keep repeating the facts.
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #37
45. Pssst....you are on DU, there is no need to keep repeating the
facts here. We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I'm not ignoring the facts, I just think Kerry tried to take the high road(which is commendable) and it bit him in the ass. He apparently agrees with me, hindsight or not.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #45
55. Maybe you think wrong
And if you can keep repeating your LOL Custer bullshit, BLM can keep repeating the facts. What's wrong with that??

I don't think John Kerry ever took any high road, that was actually shit that came out of the blog which I didn't think was right at the time.

He did two things. One, he set the record straight, numerous people who served that day corrected the record and more people in the military stood by him as this was done. Two, he exposed the Rovian smear tactics by pointing to McCain and Cleland, who both joined him in calling for the tactic to stop. Max Cleland went to Crawford, way before Cindy, to draw attention to the smear tactic.

He coudn't crawl down in the gutter while attempting to expose the gutter tactics of Rove. That's not taking the high road.

Unfortunatey, the shit slingers don't understand anything except shit, which says more about them than it does John Kerry. And true to form, that's what they did, just slung shit any direction they could. Some even went so far as to suggest the swiftboaters were telling the truth. These supposedly loyal Dems were the problem in 2000 when they bought into Al Bore the fabricator. They were the problem in 2004 with the swiftboaters. Fighting them about every stupid-ass thing they believe about the election is a complete waste of time and he knows it.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #55
70. the fact is --- it wasn't enough
by his own admission
period
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Beelzebud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
18. This make me cringe... Two years too late...
Kerry lost to the WORST PRESIDENT EVER.

He does not deserve another chance.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Kerry won despite most RW media and WEAKEST Dem party infrastructure ever.
.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
72. the infrastructure was weak - not the candidate ???
apologist in action
okeedokee
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #72
76. Kerry won. RFK figures it by about 5mil votes - the most votes cast ever
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 04:35 PM by blm
so yeah - too sad about that party infrastructure who failed to secure the lection process for the voters and the candidates.
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VOX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
22. I appreciate his efforts, but I would have appreciated them more in 2004..
The Republican smear-machine will take on many guises, of which the Swiftboat Vets are only one. Kerry's right, they shouldn't be allowed "an ounce of daylight."

But it's not anything new, and anyone who knows a dollop of politics knew that a major-league smearing would occur in 2004, which it did.

I have great respect and admiration for Kerry, but the Swifties should have been countered in 24 hours or less when they opened their can of false accusations back in 2004. Kerry should have gone on the offensive right then, vocally and repeatedly and with conviction (and as often as necessary) to counter their lies.

As the all-too-true cliche says, "Hindsight is 20/20."

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. You mean he should have acted like this?

April 14, 2004 - The website for SBVT was registered under the name of Lewis Waterman, the information technology manager for Gannon International, a St. Louis company that has diversified interests, including in Vietnam. (1) (note - Gannon International does not appear to have any relationship to Jeff Gannon/Guckert, the fake reporter.)

May 3, 2004 - "Kerry campaign announced a major advertising push to introduce 'John Kerry's lifetime of service and strength to the American people.' Kerry's four month Vietnam experience figures prominently in the ads." (2)

May 4, 2004 - The Swift Liars, beginning their lies by calling themselves "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth", went public at a news conference organized by Merrie Spaeth at the National Press Club. (1)

May 4, 2004 - "The Kerry campaign held a press conference directly after the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" event...The campaign provided an information package which raised significant questions about 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.' " (3)


May 4, 2004 - Aug. 5, 2004 - No public activity by Swift Liars (?) Wikipedia entry (7) notes "When the press conference garnered little attention, the organization decided to produce television advertisements." (Ed. note - were there any public info or announcements, other than talk on blogs? Was there anything going on publicly? Did the campaign have reason to foresee what was coming - note that they must have, see the reactions to each ad).

Jul. 26, 2004 - Jul. 29, 2004 - Democratic National Convention held in Boston. John Kerry's military experience is highlighted.

Aug. 5, 2004 - The Swift Liars' first television ad began airing a one-minute television spot in three states. (7)

Aug. 5, 2004 - "the General Counsels to the DNC and the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign faxed a letter to station managers at the relevant stations stating that the ad is 'an inflammatory, outrageous lie" and requesting that they "act immediately to prevent broadcast of this advertisement and deny any future sale of time. " ' " (4)

Aug. 10, 2004 - Democracy 21, The Campaign Legal Center and The Center for Responsive Politics filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that the Swift Liars were illegally raising and spending soft money on ads to influence the 2004 presidential elections. (4)

Aug. 17, 2004 - the campaign held a press conference at which Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.), Adm. Stansfield Turner (ret.), and several swift boat veterans rebutted the charges. (4)

Aug. 19, 2004 - the Kerry-Edwards campaign announced its own ad "Rassmann." (4)

Aug. 20, 2004 - The Swift Liars' second television ad began airing. This ad selectively excerpted Kerry's statements to the SFRC on 4/22/1971. (7)

Aug. 22, 2004 - the Kerry-Edwards campaign announced another ad "Issues" which addressed the Swift Boat group's attacks.

Aug. 25, 2004 - The Kerry-Edwards campaign ... dispatched former Sen. Max Cleland and Jim Rassmann, to Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas to deliver to the President a letter signed by Democratic Senators who are veterans. (The letter was not accepted.) (4)

Aug. 26, 2004 - The Swift Liars' third television ad began airing. This ad attacked Kerry's claim to have been in Cambodia in 1968. (7)

August 26, 2004 - Mary Beth Cahill sends letter to Ken Mehlman detailing the "Web of Connections" between the Swift Liars and the Bush Administration, and demanding that Bush denounce the smear campaign. (5)

August 26, 2004 - Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) submits FOIA request "with the White House asking it to detail its contacts with individuals connected to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT)." (6)

Aug. 27, 2004 - The DNC ran a full page ad in the Aug. 27, 2004 New York Times terming the Swift Boat campaign a smear. (4)

Aug. 31, 2004 - - The Swift Liars' fourth television ad began airing. This ad attacked Kerry's participation in the medal-throwing protest on 4/23/1971. (7)

References:
* (1) SourceWatch article on SBVT

* (2) (2004) Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman, Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman

* (3) (2004) Democracy in Action / Eric M. Appleman, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: Kerry Campaign Response

* (4) (Sept. 8, 2004) Eric M. Appleman (apparently) Some Responses to the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" Ad

* (5) August 26, 2004 letter from Mary Beth Cahill to Ken Mehlman

* (6) Press Release (US Newswire): CREW FOIAs White House Contacts with Swift Boat Veterans Group

* (7) Wikipedia entry, Swift Vets and POWs for Truth



MH1 - This topic is to create a timeline of the response of the K/E04 campaign to the Swift Liars' smears. There is an RW-encouraged myth that K/E04 "didn't respond." As the timeline, once completed, will show, that is not true. Effectiveness of the response may be debated - that is subjective - the purpose of this thread is to collect the facts of the events.




On Aug. 19, 2004 Kerry himself responded directly in a speech to the International Association of Firefighters' Convention in Boston. (from prepared remarks)
...And more than thirty years ago, I learned an important lessonwhen you're under attack, the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attacker. That's what I intend to do today.

Over the last week or so, a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been attacking me. Of course, this group isnt interested in the truth and they're not telling the truth. They didn't even exist until I won the nomination for president.

But here's what you really need to know about them. They're funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They're a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the President won't denounce what theyre up to tells you everything you need to knowhe wants them to do his dirty work.

Thirty years ago, official Navy reports documented my service in Vietnam and awarded me the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. It still is. And I still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in Vietnam.

As firefighters you risk your lives everyday. You know what its like to see the truth in the moment. You're proud of what youve doneand so am I.

Of course, the President keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: "Bring it on."

I'm not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending Americathen, now, or ever. And I'm not going to let anyone attack the sacrifice and courage of the men who saw battle with me.

And let me make this commitment today: their lies about my record will not stop me from fighting for jobs, health care, and our security the issues that really matter to the American people...



Kerry defends war record
Aug. 19: John Kerry responds directly to attacks on his Vietnam military service Thursday, accusing President Bush of relying on front groups to challenge his war record.

http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=40a0d9b1-0386-41ef-bc ...



May 4, 2004. The Kerry campaign held a press conference directly after the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" event. (Above are, r-l, Wade Sanders, Del Sandusky and Drew Whitlow). Senior Advisor Michael Meehan said, "The Nixon White House attempted to do this to Kerry, and the Bush folks are following the same plan." "We're not going to let them make false claims about Kerry and go unanswered," Meehan said. He said his first instinct was to hold a press conference with an empty room where veterans could testify to their time spent in the military with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

The campaign provided an information package which raised significant questions about "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." Spaeth Communications, which hosted the event, "is a Republican headed firm from Texas which has contributed to Bush's campaign and has very close ties to the Bush Administration." Lead organizer John O'Neill, a Republican from Texas, "was a pawn of the Nixon White House in 1971." Further some of the people now speaking against Kerry had praised him in their evaluation reports in Vietnam.

John Dibble, who served on a swift boat in 1970, after Kerry had left, was one of the veterans at the Kerry event. He said of Kerry's anti-war activities that at the time, "I didn't like what he was doing." In retrospect, however, Dibble said, "I probably should have been doing the same thing...probably more of us should have been doing that." He said that might have meant fewer names on the Vietnam Memorial and that Kerry's anti-war activities were "a very gutsy thing to do."

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/interestg/swift050404c ....



Kerry campaign's quick response to Swift boat vets
By Marie Horrigan
UPI Deputy Americas Editor
Washington, DC, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The campaign for Democratic Party presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts issued an exhaustively researched and extensively sourced 36-page refutation Thursday of allegations Kerry lied about events during his service in Vietnam, including how and why he received medals, and had fled the scene of a battle.

http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040805-012143 ...



Kerry: Bush lets attack ads do 'dirty work'
McClellan points out criticism by anti-Bush group
Friday, August 20, 2004 Posted: 2:37 PM EDT (1837 GMT)
BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry accused President Bush on Thursday of letting front groups "do his dirty work" in questioning his military service during the Vietnam War.

"The president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that," Kerry told a firefighters' union conference in his hometown of Boston.

"Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: Bring it on."

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/19/kerry.attacka ... /


http://www.johnkerry.com/petition/oldtricks.php




August 5, 2004

VIA FACSIMILE

Re: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

Dear Station Manager:

We are counsel to the Democratic National Committee and John Kerry, respectively. It has been brought to our attention that a group calling itself "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" has bought time, or may seek to buy time, on your station to air an advertisement that attacks Senator Kerry. The advertisement contains statements by men who purport to have served on Senator Kerry's SWIFT Boat in Vietnam, and one statement by a man pretending to be the doctor who treated Senator Kerry for one of his injuries. In fact, not a single one of the men who pretend to have served with Senator Kerry was actually a crewmate of Senator Kerry's and the man pretending to be his doctor was not. The entire advertisement, therefore is an inflammatory, outrageous lie.

"Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" styles itself as a group of individuals who personally served with John Kerry in the United States Navy in the Vietnam War. In truth the group is a sham organization spearheaded by a Texas corporate media consultant. It has been financed largely with funds from a Houston homebuilder. See Slater, Dallas Morning News, July 23, 2004.

In this group's advertisement, twelve men appear to make statements about Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam. Not a single one of these men served on either of Senator Kerry's two SWIFT Boats (PCF 44 & PCF94).

Further, the "doctor" who appears in the ad, Louis Letson, was not a crewmate of Senator Kerry's and was not the doctor who actually signed Senator Kerry's sick call sheet. In fact, another physician actually signed Senator Kerry's sick call sheet. Letson is not listed on any document as having treated Senator Kerry after the December 2, 1968 firefight. Moreover, according to news accounts, Letson did not record his "memories" of that incident until after Senator Kerry became a candidate for President in 2003. (National Review Online, May 4, 2004).

The statements made by the phony "crewmates" and "doctor" who appear in the advertisement are also totally, demonstrably and unequivocally false, and libelous. In parrticular, the advertisement charges that Senator Kerry "lied to get his Bronze Star." Just as falsely, it states that "he lied before the Senate." These are serious allegations of actual crimes -- specifically, of lying to the United States Government in the conduct of its official business. The events for which the Senator was awarded the Bronze Star have been documented repeatedly and in detail and are set out in the official citation signed by the Secretary of the Navy and the Commander of U.S. Forces in Vietnam. And yet these reckless charges of criminal conduct are offered without support or authentication, by fake "witnesses" speaking on behalf of a phony organization.

Your station is not obligated to accept this advertisement for broadcast nor is it required to account in any way for its decision to reject such an advertisement. Columbia Broadcasting System v. Democratic National Committee, 412 U.S. 94 (1973), You Can't Afford Dodd Committee, 81 FCC2d 579 (1980). The so-called "Swift Boat Veterans" organization is not a federal candidate or candidate committee. Repeated efforts by organizations that are not candidate committees to obtain a private right of access have been consistently rejected by the FCC. See e.g., National Conservative Political Action Committee, 89 FCC2d 626 (1982).

Thus, your station my freely refuse this advertisement. Because your station has this freedom, and because it is not a "use" of your facilities by a clearly identified candidate, your station is responsible for the false and libelous charges made by this sponsor.

Moreover, as a licensee, you have an overriding duty "to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising." Licensee Responsibility With Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 F.C.D.2d 623 (1961). Your station normally must take "reasonable steps" to satisfy itself "as to the reliability and reputation of every prospective advertiser." In re Complaint by Consumers Assocation of District of Columbia, 32 F.C.C.2d 400, 405 (1971).

Under these circumstances, your station may not responsibly air this advertisement. We request that your station act immmediately to prevent broadcasts of this advertisement and deny andy future sale of time. Knowing that the advertisement is false, and possessing the legal authority to refuse to run it, your station should exercise that authority in the public interest.


Please contact us promptly at either of the phone numbers below to advise us regarding the status of this advertisement.

Sincerely yours,
Marc Elias
Perkins Coie
607 14th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005


General Counsel
Kerry-Edwards 2004 Joseph Sandler
Sandler, Reiff & Young
50 E Street, S.E. #300
Washington, D.C. 20003


General Counsel
Democratic National Committee


http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/ads04/dem080504ltrswift ...




From the transcript of the Aug. 5, 2004 White House Press Briefing with Scott McClellan:

Q Do you -- does the President repudiate this 527 ad that calls Kerry a liar on Vietnam?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President deplores all the unregulated soft money activity. We have been very clear in stating that, you know, we will not -- and we have not and we will not question Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam. I think that this is another example of the problem with the unregulated soft money activity that is going on. The President thought he put an end -- or the President thought he got rid of this kind of unregulated soft money when he signed the bipartisan campaign finance reforms into law. And, you know, the President has been on the receiving end of more than $62 million in negative attacks from shadowy groups.

* * *

In the days after the release of the ad a host of major newspapers published editorials condemning it including the Arizona Republic ("Campaign Non-Starter," August 6), Los Angeles Times ("It's Not All Fair Game," August 6), Plain Dealer ("Ad Says Kerry Lied; Record Says Otherwise," August 8), St. Petersburg Times ("An Ugly Attack," August 9), Las Vegas Sun ("Ad's Smear Should Be Condemned," August 9), Oregonian ("Now It Gets Nasty," August 11), and Washington Post ("Swift Boat Smears," August 12).

* * *

On Aug. 10, 2004 Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and the Center for Responsive Politics filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is illegally raising and spending soft money on ads to influence the 2004 presidential elections.

* * *

From the transcript of Bush's Aug. 12, 2004 appearance on CNN'S Larry King Live:


KING: In view of that, do you think that it's fair, for the record, John Kerry's service record, to be an issue at all? I know that Senator McCain...
G. BUSH: You know, I think it is an issue, because he views it as honorable service, and so do I. I mean...
KING: Oh, so it is. But, I mean, Senator McCain has asked to be condemned, the attack on his service. What do you say to that?
G. BUSH: Well, I say they ought to get rid of all those 527s, independent expenditures that have flooded the airwaves.
There have been millions of dollars spent up until this point in time. I signed a law that I thought would get rid of
those, and I called on the senator to -- let's just get anybody who feels like they got to run to not do so.
KING: Do you condemn the statements made about his...
G. BUSH: Well, I haven't seen the ad, but what I do condemn is these unregulated, soft-money expenditures by very wealthy people, and they've said some bad things about me. I guess they're saying bad things about him. And what I think we ought to do is not have them on the air. I think there ought to be full disclosure. The campaign funding law I signed I thought was going to get rid of that. But evidently the Federal Election Commission had a different view...

Kerry spokesman Chad Clanton's response to Bush's Aug. 12, 2004 appearance:
"Tonight President Bush called Kerry's service in Vietnam 'noble.' But in the same breath refused to heed Senator McCain's call to condemn the dirty work being done by the 'Swift Boat Vets for Bush.' Once again, the President side-stepped responsibility and refused to do the right thing. His credibility is running out as fast as his time in the White House."

* * *

On Aug. 17, 2004 the campaign held a press conference at which Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.), Adm. Stansfield Turner (ret.), and several swift boat veterans rebutted the charges.

* * *

DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued a statement on Aug. 18, 2004:

"By saying nothing at all George W. Bush is a complicit contributor to the slanderous, lie-filled attack ads that have been launched on John Kerry on Bush's behalf. Instead of stepping up and taking the high road, George Bush's response has been evasion, avoidance, everything but disavowal.

"Larry King asked George Bush to 'condemn' it. He refused. Reporters asked the President's Press Secretary if he'd 'repudiate' it. He ducked. They can try to blame it on the rules or whoever else they want, but the blame belongs squarely on the Republicans. They wrote it. They produced it. They placed it. They paid for it. And now it is time for George W. Bush to stand up and say, 'enough.'

"This is not debate, Mr. President, and this unfounded attack on Senator Kerry has crossed the line of decency. I call on you today to condemn this ad, the men who put their lies behind it, and the donors who paid for it. It's time."

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/ads04/swiftadresponse.h ...



Altercation Book Club: Lapdogs by Eric Boehlert
Relatively early on in the August coverage of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth story, ABC's Nightline devoted an entire episode to the allegations and reported, "The Kerry campaign calls the charges wrong, offensive and politically motivated. And points to Naval records that seemingly contradict the charges." (Emphasis added.) Seemingly? A more accurate phrasing would have been that Navy records "completely" or "thoroughly" contradicted the Swifty. In late August, CNN's scrawl across the bottom of the screen read, "Several Vietnam veterans are backing Kerry's version of events." Again, a more factual phrasing would have been "Crewmembers have always backed Kerry's version of events." But that would have meant not only having to stand up a well-funded Republican campaign attack machine, but also casting doubt on television news' hottest political story of the summer.

When the discussion did occasionally turn to the facts behind the Swift Boat allegations, reporters and pundits seemed too spooked to address the obviousthat the charges made no sense and there was little credible evidence to support them.. Substituting as host of "Meet the Press," Andrea Mitchell on Aug. 15 pressed Boston Globe reporter Anne Kornblut about the facts surrounding Kerry's combat service: "Well, Anne, you've covered him for many years, John Kerry. What is the truth of his record?" Instead of mentioning some of the glaring inconsistencies in the Swifties' allegation, such as George Elliott and Adrian Lonsdale 's embarrassing flip-flops, Kornblut ducked the question, suggesting the truth was "subjective": "The truth of his record, the criticism that's coming from the Swift Boat ads, is that he betrayed his fellow veterans. Well, that's a subjective question, that he came back from the war and then protested it. So, I mean, that is truly something that's subjective." Ten days later Kornblut scored a sit-down interview with O'Neill. In her 1,200-word story she politely declined to press O'Neill about a single factual inconsistency surrounding the Swifties' allegations, thereby keeping her Globe readers in the dark about the Swift Boat farce. (It was not until Bush was safely re-elected that that Kornblut, appearing on MSNBC, conceded the Swift Boast ads were clearly inaccurate.)

Hosting an Aug. 28 discussion on CNBC with Newsweek's Jon Meacham and Time's Jay Carney, NBC's Tim Russert finally, after weeks of overheated Swifty coverage, got around to asking the pertinent question: "Based on everything you have heard, seen, reported, in terms of the actual charges, the content of the book, is there any validity to any of it?" Carney conceded the charges did not have any validity, but did it oh, so gently: "I think it's hard to say that any one of them is by any standard that we measure these things has been substantiated." Apparently Carney forgot to pass the word along to editors at Time magazine, which is read by significantly more news consumers than Russert's weekly cable chat show on CNBC. Because it wasn't until its Sept. 20 2004 issue, well after the Swift Boat controversy had peaked, that the Time news team managed enough courage to tentatively announce the charges levied against Kerry and his combat service were "reckless and unfair." (Better late than never; Time's competitor Newsweek waited until after the election to report the Swift Boat charges were "misleading," but "very effective.") But even then, Time didn't hold the Swifties responsible for their "reckless and unfair" charges. Instead, Time celebrated them. Typing up an election postscript in November, Time toasted the Swift Boat's O'Neill as one of the campaign's "Winners," while remaining dutifully silent about the group's fraudulent charges.

That kind of Beltway media group self-censorship was evident throughout the Swift Boat story, as the perimeters of acceptable reporting were quickly established. Witness the MSM reaction to Wayne Langhofer, Jim Russell and Robert Lambert. All three men served with Kerry in Vietnam and all three men were witnesses to the disputed March 13, 1969 event in which Kerry rescued Green Beret Jim Rassmann, winning a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart. The Swifties, after 35 years of silence, insisted Kerry did nothing special that day, and that he certainly did not come under enemy fire when he plucked Rassmann out of the drink. Therefore, Kerry did not deserve his honors.

It's true every person on Kerry's boat, along with the thankful Rassmann, insisted they were under fire, and so did the official Navy citation for Kerry's Bronze Star. Still, Swifties held to their unlikely story, and the press pretended to be confused about the stand-off. Then during the last week in August three more eyewitnesses, all backing the Navy's version of events that there had been hostile gun fire, stepped forward. They were Langhofer, Russell and Lambert.

Russell wrote an indignant letter to his local Telluride Daily Planet to dispute the Swifties' claim: "Forever pictured in my mind since that day over 30 years ago John Kerry bending over his boat picking up one of the rangers that we were ferrying from out of the water. All the time we were taking small arms fire from the beach; although because of our fusillade into the jungle, I don't think it was very accurate, thank God. Anyone who doesn't think that we were being fired upon must have been on a different river."

The number of times Russell was subsequently mentioned on CNN: 1. On Fox News: 1. MSNBC: 0. ABC: 1. On CBS: 0. On NBC: 0.

Like Russell, Langhofer also remembered strong enemy gunfire that day. An Aug. 22 article in the Washington Post laid out the details: "Until now, eyewitness evidence supporting Kerry's version had come only from his own crewmen. But yesterday, The Post independently contacted a participant who has not spoken out so far in favor of either camp who remembers coming under enemy fire. There was a lot of firing going on, and it came from both sides of the river, said Wayne D. Langhofer, who manned a machine gun aboard PCF-43, the boat that was directly behind Kerrys. Langhofer said he distinctly remembered the clack, clack, clack of enemy AK-47s, as well as muzzle flashes from the riverbanks." (For some strange reason the Post buried its Langhofer scoop in the 50th paragraph of the story.)

The number of times Langhofer was subsequently mentioned on CNN: 0. On Fox News: 0. On MSNBC: 0. On ABC: 0. CBS: 0. NBC: 0.

As for Lambert, The Nation magazine uncovered the official citation for the Bronze Medal he won that same day and it too reported the flotilla of five U.S. boats "came under small-arms and automatic weapons fire from the river banks."

The number of times Lambert was mentioned on. On Fox News: 1. On CNN: 0. On MSNBC: 0. ABC: 1 On CBS: 0. On NBC: 0.

Additionally, the Washington Post's Michael Dobbs, who served as the paper's point person on the Swifty scandal, was asked during an Aug. 30, 2004, online chat with readers why the paper hadn't reported more aggressively on the public statements of Langhofer, Russell and Lambert. Dobbs insisted, "I hope to return to this subject at some point to update readers." But he never did. Post readers, who were deluged with Swifty reporting, received just the sketchiest of facts about Langhofer, Russell and Lambert.

If that doesn't represent a concerted effort by the press to look the other way, than what does?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12799378/#060518



Please use this information as a guideline for 2006 and 2008 campaigns. What the media edits out of our campaigns is CRUCIAL to public perception.

Even many Democrats are unaware of the real fight that occurred in 2004 and are buying wholesale the corporate media spin which conveniently protects the corporate media who failed to give honest coverage of Kerry's defense against the lies of the swift vets and their Republican handlers.

Not recognizing the extent of the corporate media's duplicity is a danger for all Democratic candidates in 2006 and 2008.

This can and WILL happen to any Democratic candidate.

This CAN and WILL happen to ANY Democratic candidate. FIGHT THE MYTHS. Stay tough KNOWING the media is aligned with these liars.

The battle with the people really behind this group will never end. But there are veterans coming forth with a book of their own that will unmask the swifts for the lying GOP operatives they are.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #24
42. Thank you BLM
It's absolutely astonishing the number of people who came out against these swiftboaters that never made it into the mainstream media. I remember that half of DU was screaming at JK and wouldn't help spread the statements of these folks when they were posted.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
40. This thread is like GD 2004
A bunch of people sitting around whining about him instead of standing up with him and Rasmussen, Rood, Medeiros, Short, Wasser, Sandusky, Barker and just a whole host of people who told the truth about Vietnam.

This thread is the reason the media got away with smearing Kerry, they can't do it unless the people are buying into the lies.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #40
46. Screw that--Kerry conceded on the morning after the election
He didn't stand up for himself, so why should we stand up for him?

If we here on DU are "buying into the lies," then surely you must agree that Kerry himself bought into them when he conceded instead of fighting to validate every last stolen vote.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #46
49. Concession is about MATH. The MATH gave him no window to contest.
The Dem party NUMBERCRUNCHERS said there was no math to mount a challenge and the Dem party team of election lawyers said there was no legal evidence to take a case to court.

Rigged machines leave no trace. They need securing BEFORE the election. I don't see any anger in your posts for those who were ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE for securing the vote count for Democratic voters and for Democratic candidates all over the country.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. Start that thread, and you'll see my anger there
This thread is about Kerry's current too-late statements and his inability to control his campaign while it was still viable.

Even on the night of the election, it was clear that massive fraud had occurred in Ohio and elsewhere, stretching far beyond the invisible fiddling with Diebold machines. Kerry should have taken a stand that night and demanded that every vote be counted and verified. But did he? Nope.

He didn't even make his big stink about the eVoting fraud until about a year after he'd lost. Again, too little, too late.

I don't know what we're even disagreeing about here. Clearly the DNC has fumbled in at least two elections, but do you really think that Kerry went into it ignorant of that fact? If anyone should have known what he was up against at the time, it's Kerry. But he (and his campaign managers) above all others seemed to understand it the least.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #51
63. Yes - I do believe they ALL went into it ignorant of the fact. The party
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 04:24 PM by blm
pointmen on the election issues DIDN'T believe in machine fraud - and especially Chris Dodd who handled that aspect of HAVA for Dems. The DNC had no plan for machine fraud because it wasn't REAL to them

You are mad that Kerry did his job and won and didn't dalso take on McAuliffe and Brazille's jobs for them. Brazille was in charge of Voter Intergity office and she only JUST came round on machine fraud, even after the DNC report post 2004 where she never emphasized it.

Chris Dodd has just RECENTLY come around on that and is pushing emergency ballot issue with Boxer, Feingold and Kerry.

So good stuff is happening now, but there was no structure in place that dealt with it then, especially from those in charge of that aspect of the 2004 election.

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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #63
67. Now *that's* an interesting argument
You are mad that Kerry did his job and won and didn't dalso take on McAuliffe and Brazille's jobs for them. Brazille was in charge of Voter Intergity office and she only JUST came round on machine fraud, even after the DNC report post 2004 where she never emphasized it.


You know, maybe that's a lot of it.

Kerry's image problems, media-generated though they may have been, were predictable, and a savvy campaign manager would have been able to combat them more effectively.

I maintain that it would be suicidal to field Kerry as a candidate in 08, if only because every mention of him in the press would begin "John Kerry, defeated in the 2004 election, said today that..." He would be competing against his opponent and also against a much tougher foe: his own lingering media portrayal.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #67
75. or, John Kerry the 2004 candidate who has been proven right REPEATEDLY....
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 04:40 PM by blm
heh

Hell - even George Will wrote a column about Kerry being right about how to fight terrorism. Now THAT is worthy of an ad campaign, and something no other candidate could tap.

And when it comes right down to it, it's not going to be you and me who tell Democrats how to vote - Most Dems decide during the series of debates - and I will BET that Kerry's chops are superior to most of the other mentioned candidates, and that the next best debater will turn out to be Wesley Clark.

Both of them have complete control of their chops at this point - and both traveled the country nonstop for the last 4 years and can now pinpoint where the party infrastructure is a problem. I also see both of them working WELL with Dean on those issues.

BTW - nods to you for a tough and fair exchange.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #46
52. Where's the criminals??
If there's all these people who stole the election, why aren't they in jail??

The Greens contested the election too. They looked into every precinct and have mountains of complaints about supposed illegal election antics.

Where's the arrests?? :shrug:

If everybody else is so much better and smarter, why haven't they cracked the election fraud case??

What would be different at all if he had conceded 3 days or 5 days or 50 days later???
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. What would be different is that he wouldn't have quit
Here's the timeline:

Pre-election: Kerry gets endlessly battered by the Bush-friendly media. Though Kerry mops the floor with Bush in the debates, he gets no credit for this and is still portrayed as a weak candidate with no message and no "stay the course" charisma

Election Day: Massive fraud and disenfranchisement are visible at a glance, even in real time. The Kerry campaign sits back and lets it happen (as does the DNC, I agree, but that's a separate issue)

Post-Election: The very first chance he gets, Kerry concedes. Anyone fighting on Kerry's behalf is rhetorically castrated. All subsequent argument degernates into feeble after-the-fact griping. And even if Kerry had pushed for investigations on Day E+1, he'd have been portrayed as "flip-flopping" yet again.

Sorry, but once Kerry threw in the towel, the fight was over, as was any hope of cracking open the election fraud scandal in time to correct the 04 election.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #53
56. He joined the lawsuits
If there were any evidence of criminality that could be used to convict, his lawyers would have found it. They didn't.

Sorry, but without informants or whistleblowers, there was no way any evidence of election fraud was going to be uncovered. After all this time, it still hasn't been uncovered.

This is just the damn stupidest complaint ever and is just another in a long line of concocted complaints against Kerry by a bunch of primary dead-enders.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #56
58. Right, right. I'm stupid, but you're a genius for stumping for the loser
And when you're standing around in Nov 08 wondering why Kerry lost yet again, you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that he was a super-duper candidate who actually won despite all evidence to the contrary.

Good luck with that.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #58
61. I didn't say you were stupid, but you did insult me
And I'm damn sick and tired of that bullshit tactic on DU so I'm not participating in discussions with people who do that anymore.

One last note though, you're mad because he didn't stand up against a stolen election - but also claim it's delusional to believe he won "despite all evidence to the contrary". :crazy:

Me thinks your intentions are less than honorable.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #61
66. Uh, what?
When did I insult you, exactly? Unless you're referring to the "rhetorically castrated" bit, but that's an insult of Kerry, rather than to you.

And believing a thing despite all evidence to the contrary isn't delusional unless all evidence to the contrary is all of the evidence. If that still makes you uncomfortable, then change "all evidence to the contrary" to "the body of evidence to the contrary."

Hell, the weight of statistical improbability is, all by itself, plenty of evidence that something was rotten in the state of Ohio (and elsewhere). But it's tough to advocate on behalf of someone who doesn't advocate for himself (on the day after the election).
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #66
74. they confuse insults
with not supporting their candidate of choice and then retaliate to the imagined insults in spades.

Is it primary season already?
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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #40
50. AMEN
You know the hypocrisy drives me nuts. Yes John Kerry thought that Americans wanted to hear truth to power, and that was what he campaigned on. He didn't think that Americans would go so low and believe hacks disparage the character of a combat veteran.

You would think that Kerry never spoke out against these sleazy slimey jerks, but he did earlier in his career and in the spring of '04 when the sleazeballs first came out and got put back in hole they crawled out of. What happened after the convention and when Kerry was 5 weeks at a disadvantage in money spending due to federal election finance laws, was the slimiest of slime Karl Rove maneuver.

I am sick and tired of some here that give credit to such slime and discredit one of their own. It is despicable.

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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #50
71. nobody said he did nothing -- by his own admission it wasn't enough
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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #71
79. oops
must have hit a nerve.

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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. just pointing out you employ exaggeration to punctuate a point
oops
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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. just pointing out
you don't read all of a post, if you had you wouldn't have minced my words.

Give it a break. We need to get Dems elected in '06, why don't you focus on that instead of insulting good Dems.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #81
82. agreed
peace
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Sugarcoated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
54. He wasn't and isn't gonna be
the best candidate. IMO his politicl instincts aren't sharp enough.
Every person I've ever talked about Kerry since the election, I'm sorry, they
just don't have alot of respect for him. I worked hard for him but I won't a
second time. He's free to run, but this whole 'I'm gonna kick their ass this time'
is just laughable.
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
57. Democrats need to zero in on Bob Perry of Perry Homes who finances it all
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #57
59. Exactly - instead it all degenerates into something else as if GOP never
pulled this crap before.

Hell - the RW machine gained their message control with their well-funded cottage industry that smeared Clinton nonstop for 16 years. And Clinton never lifted a finger to stop their growth until last month.
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Sydnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. Any chance those FEMA trailers that are rotting in the gulf coast
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 03:34 PM by Sydnie
were built by Perry Homes? I seem to remember some connection between Perry Homes and FEMA and DPW ports deal. Could it be that Carlye is involved once removed with Perry Homes? I'll have to go track that down now ....

edit typo
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Sensitivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
78. Kerry F*up, OK. But he is still the best man (or woman) standing for 08.
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