Kerry Takes One Million Dollar Challenge From T. Boone Pickens on Swift Boat Lies

There’s been increased mention of the Swift Boat Liars recently, especially with the report that Kerry has gathered further information to debunk their claims. The evidence against them was already overwhelming, making me wonder how much better Kerry’s current evidence is.

In the past the Swift Boat Liars and the Republicans who spread their lies acted with regard to the truth. Not only do they ignore all the evidence disputing the claims, but many continued to claim that Kerry hadn’t released his records even when they were posted on the internet for all to see. It also didn’t shut them up when the media reviewed the actual records and verified that they were no different from what was posted on line. AP now reports that Kerry is going on the offensive, taking up one of the backers of the Swift Boat Liars on their offer to pay $1 million to anyone who can dispute one of their claims. Kerry’s full letter on this offer has also been posted:

At an anniversary dinner event for the American Spectator magazine last week, Texas oil magnate and longtime funder of right-wing causes T. Boone Pickens opted to repeat a false claim in the form of a fresh challenge to re-brand old lies as the alleged truth.

Today Senator Kerry is taking him up on that challenge, and calling him out on his false claim.

Below is the text of a letter that Senator Kerry sent to Mr. Pickens this morning:

Mr. Pickens,

It has come to my attention through the accounts of individuals who were in attendance at the American Spectator’s Robert L. Bartley Dinner & 40th Anniversary Gala as well as through the public accounts, that you personally “staked one million dollars” that “no one” could “prove anything the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth said in 2004 was false” (RedState.Com) and offered “a million dollars to anyone who could prove wrong anything the Swiftboat Veterans charged about Kerry.” (

I welcome the opportunity to prove that you are a man of your word and that the so-called “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” lied. While I am prepared to show they lied on allegation after allegation, you have generously offered to pay one million dollars for just one thing that can be proven false. I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt.

I would request that your check be made payable to the Paralyzed Veterans of America which is doing incredible work every day to meet the needs of veterans returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan. My hope is that by sending this money to such a dedicated organization – founded for veterans, by veterans — some good can come out of the ugly smears and lies of the orchestrated campaign you bankrolled in 2004 in an attempt to discredit my military record and the record of the men who served alongside me on the Swift Boats of the Mekong Delta.

I would be more than happy to travel to Dallas to meet with you in a mutually agreed upon public forum, or would invite you to join me in Massachusetts for a public dialogue and then together we could visit the Paralyzed Veterans of America in Norwood and see firsthand how we can put your money to good work for our veterans.

I look forward to setting up a visit at the earliest possible, mutually convenient time. I trust that you are a man of your word, having made a very public challenge at a major Washington dinner, and look forward to taking you up on this challenge.

John F. Kerry
United States Senator

Update: Pickens knows he can’t win on this so he is reneging on the original offer. Hat tip to TBogg for trying to remind Pickens of his own principles:

Keep success as well as failure in perspective and, most importantly, always play by the rules: Never think you have to cheat to win; there’s no need to bend your principles. As in sports, cheating to win is a hollow victory, at best. But most of all, you won’t feel good about yourself.

Update II: T. Boone Chickens And The Swift Boat Liars

Be Sociable, Share!

No Comments

5 Trackbacks

Leave a comment