Veterans Who Served With Kerry Take On Swift Boat Lies

Back in November T. Boone Pickens offered $1 million to anyone who could dispute the claims of the Swift Boat Liars who he helped finance during the 2004 election. Kerry took him up on the offer, but Pickens reneged. Kerry issued this response, and the Chicago Sun-Times posted this recap.

Ten veterans who have served with Kerry or witnessed his actions have written to Pickens again trying to take him up on the challenge. Sam Stein reports on the letter they sent along with evidence:

“Dear Mr. Pickens,” the letter (pdf) begins, “We are the crew and individual servicemen who served on or with Patrol Craft Fast 94 in Vietnam in early 1969… Regrettably the lies of the SBVT, which you helped bankroll and apparently still defend, tarnished the sacrifices we made, called into question the medals we were awarded and challenged the very authenticity of our service… We have children and families who were deeply affected by these lies and we believe you and the SBVT whom you supported owe us and the American people an apology for the tactics you bankrolled.

“We are aware of media reports that at a dinner in Washington D.C. on November 6th, 2007, you made a public challenge that you would give a million dollars to anyone who could show that anything the SBVT said was false. We also know that Senator John Kerry, who was the skipper of the PCF-94, contacted you to take you up on that challenge. We are writing to you now as a group to accept your challenge and document how you funded lies and character assassination.”

What follows, aides to Kerry say, is one of the most comprehensive conglomerations of evidence disputing the SBVT attacks. Taking on the argument that, somehow, Kerry didn’t deserve his Silver Star, the signatories dispute ten “falsehoods,” including the claim that Kerry chased and killed a “young Viet Cong in loincloth” (it was an actually a “man of normal military age” carrying a B-40 rocket); that he only was in combat with this one individual (there were “multiple VC scrambling to get away”); and that Kerry made a tactical error in captaining his boat that day (“there was no ‘plan’ to charge the bank”). The letter concludes with perhaps the most poignant and currently relevant point.

“Finally, the continued insistence that Kerry has not released his full military record is refuted by the Navy, which has publicly certified he has, and by three newspapers which have independently received signed releases and reviewed those records.”

Indeed, it is important to remember that in 2004, Kerry posted military records on his campaign’s website and allowed selected reporters access to his military medical records. After the campaign, he signed a 180 waiver, authorizing the release of his complete file to three publications.

It is amusing that many right wing blogs continue to post false claims that Kerry refused to release his military records even though they have been posted on line and reviewed by the media. They don’t care about the facts any more than Pickens does. Any doubt that he will once again renege on his challenge?

Update: Scot Lehigh challenges Pickens to put his money where is mouth is.

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  1. 1
    beachmom says:

    Excellent, although I wouldn’t mind seeing those Kerry war journals myself.  Why only Chicken Pickens?  🙂

  2. 2
    Jerry says:

    I just read a report that Pickens is not going to be supporting any such attacks this cycle. Maybe he’s learned a hard lesson? If so, he should apologize and honor his promise to pay the $1M. That would NOT repair the damage Bush has done to the country in the last nearly 4 years, but might help the families of the vets he helped denigrate.

  3. 3
    Cass says:

    It is clear from the content of the swift boat attacks that these right wing zealots have no intellectual integrity; the end always justifies the means.  Should anyone be surprised that they will welch on the bet?

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