T Nation

Swift Boat Vets - 3 Years Too Late!

The group “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” challenged Sen. John Kerry’s Vietnam War record during the 2004 presidential campaign. Almost all of those who served closest to Kerry defended his heroism and the multiple medals he received, but others who patrolled the Mekong Delta in the Navy patrol boats said he exaggerated his record. Earlier this month, Texas oil man T. Boone Pickens said he would pay $1 million to anyone who could disprove any of the claims made by the Kerry critics. In an exchange of letters Friday, Kerry took up the challenge and Pickens responded in kind. – Jim Rainey


From Sen. John Kerry to T.Boone Pickens 8117 Preston Rd Dallas TX 75225

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.” (AmericanThinker.com)

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.

Sincerely,

John F. Kerry United States Senator


From T. Boone Pickens to

U.S. Senator John Kerry 304 Russell Building Third Floor Washington DC 20510

Dear Senator Kerry:

So glad to hear from you regarding the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth political ad campaign, and an offer I made public at an American Spectator dinner in Washington, D.C. last week. I am intrigued by your letter, and am certainly open to your challenge.

My concern at the Spectator Dinner was, and continues to be, that you and other political figures were and are maligning the Swift Boat Veterans, and I want to prevent this important part of American history from being unfairly portrayed.

In order to disprove the accuracy of the Swift Boat ads, I will ultimately need you to provide the following:

  1. The journal you maintained during your service in Vietnam. 2) Your military record, specifically your service records for the years 1971-1978, and copies of all movies and tapes made during your service.

When you have done so, if you can then prove anything in the ads was materially untrue, I will gladly award $1 million. As you know, I have been a long and proud supporter of the American military and veterans’ causes. I now challenge you to make this commitment: If you cannot prove anything in the Swift Boat ads to be untrue, that you will make a $1 million gift to the charity I am choosing – the Medal of Honor Foundation.

Sincerely,

T. Boone Pickens

Dear Mr. Pickens,

Thank you for your response to my acceptance of your challenge.

I�??m grateful that you are prepared to make good on your word and fulfill the offer you made publicly at the American Spectator Dinner in Washington, D.C. on November 6th.

I must remind you, however, that this was and is your �??challenge,�?? not mine. You are, after all, the one who said explicitly at the dinner �?? in a way that was calculated to challenge any naysayer �?? that you would give one million dollars �??to anyone who could show that anything the SBVT said was false.�?? (RedState.Com) These were your words �?? and nowhere did you ever suggest, as you are now trying to, that your challenge referred specifically and exclusively to any advertising by the SBVT.

As you know, the lies of the SBVT were not confined just to their ads; they were a constant barrage of television, radio, Internet, speeches, and forums in which �?? significantly bankrolled by you �?? they launched and repeated lie after lie. Your challenge expressly stood behind all of their allegations.

It is disturbing that in reaffirming the challenge you issued, your parsing and backtracking seems eerily reminiscent of the entire approach of the SBVT �?? say one thing, put out an allegation, then duck and weave, hedge and bob when your words catch up with you. I want to believe that this was not your intent because I am told that you are a man of your word, not �??all hat and no cattle.�??

Honor and duty, which you purport to defend, demand that you not selectively back away from your original challenge. Your offer clearly said �?? boldly, unequivocally �?? to an audience of your friends and supporters �?? that you would give �??a million dollars to anyone who could prove wrong anything the Swiftboat Veterans charged about Kerry.�?? (AmericanThinker.com) In my letter, that is the offer which I accepted.

I was interested to read in your response that you don�??t want to see the SBVT �??maligned,�?? and that you aim �??to prevent this important part of American history from being unfairly portrayed.�?? I accepted your offer precisely because I want to prevent the honorable records of the courageous men who served with me from being maligned by the repeated lies of this organization. I want to see the word �??Swiftboat�?? restored to its original meaning �?? synonymous with honorable service to country, not political lies aimed to distort and divide. I would hope that your interests should also be in protecting the record of all those who served our country.

As I�??ve said to you before, I am prepared to prove the lie and marshal all the evidence, the question is whether you are prepared to fulfill your obligation �?? no variations, no back pedaling, no retreat, no new bets, no changing the subject.

The only thing remaining now is to set the date for our meeting in an appropriate forum, after which I look forward to you keeping your word and writing a check for one million dollars payable to the Paralyzed Veterans of America so that we can put your money to good work for veterans who have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sincerely,

John F. Kerry
United States Senator

Wow, sounds like he finally grew a sack.

I know a Swifty and he truly hates John Kerry with an absolute passion. The man is a retired Master Chief, equivalent to a Master Sergeant, who did 30 years of service. He did 3 tours in Vietnam on the very same Mekong where Kerry was. If he calls John Kerry a ‘no good son of a bitch’ (his words), I believe him.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
I know a Swifty and he truly hates John Kerry with an absolute passion. The man is a retired Master Chief, equivalent to a Master Sergeant, who did 30 years of service. He did 3 tours in Vietnam on the very same Mekong where Kerry was. If he calls John Kerry a ‘no good son of a bitch’ (his words), I believe him.[/quote]

Does being a ‘no good son of a bitch’ mean his military record is a lie, or just that he is unfit for office?

This has nothing to do with whether veterans support or dislike him, but whether they lied about him.

And where were Kerry’s testicles back in 2004? They just now drop?

He should’ve stayed at home, safely hidden on a National Guard base, away from harm.

THEN he’d be grade-A president material.

[quote]pookie wrote:
He should’ve stayed at home, safely hidden on a National Guard base, away from harm.

THEN he’d be grade-A president material. [/quote]

Well, we don’t chose our parents, now do we?

Newsflash:

There were MANY reasons not to vote for john “pay my parking tickets, bitch” kerry.

The swiftboaters just highlighted the guys’ irritating attention whore habits.

JeffR

[quote]JeffR wrote:

There were MANY reasons not to vote for john “pay my parking tickets, bitch” kerry.
[/quote]

That has nothing to do with anything, although I agree whole heartedly with your anti-Kerry sentiment. The issue isn’t whether he was apt for the position or not, but whether he was attacked by a campaign of lies (SBVT), and if so what to do about it - if anything. I say good job to Kerry on calling the guy on his bullshit, although I don’t like Kerry’s politics or personality (better sleep aid than golf), it’s good to see him actually confront the guy (albeit a few years late) on the lies. More politicians need to pull stunts like this and go after the liars in campaigns - if more did there’d be a chance of cleaning up elections (wishful thinking probably) and making them about the actual political philosophies and records instead of who did what in the 60s.

At least TRY to talk about the actual topic please.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
I know a Swifty and he truly hates John Kerry with an absolute passion. The man is a retired Master Chief, equivalent to a Master Sergeant, who did 30 years of service. He did 3 tours in Vietnam on the very same Mekong where Kerry was. If he calls John Kerry a ‘no good son of a bitch’ (his words), I believe him.[/quote]

May I ask if he ever met, talked to or interacted with John Kerry? Did he hate him while he was still in Vietnam? Or did he just have a feeling that that John kid was gonna grow into a “no good son of a bitch” someday?

My guess, and I’ll admit I didn’t follow the Swift Boat deal closely, is that a lot of veterans, probably including Headhunter’s friend, hate Kerry because of what he did right after his service, when he came home, joined the anti-war movement, and told Congress that American troops committed war crimes in Vietnam.

As for his war record, from what little I know, he got a Purple Heart for a minor wound, but so did a lot of guys then. He may or may not have been worthy of a Silver Star, but he jumped ashore and chased down and killed an enemy guerrilla armed with a rocket launcher. Around the same time, George W. Bush was in hanging out in the Air National Guard, because as he said in 1995, he didn’t want to go to Vietnam and didn’t want to flee to Canada. The fact that Kerry’s war record, not Bush’s, was a big deal in 2004 is idiotic.

Kerry would have been a bad president. In hindsight, maybe not as monumentally bad as the Bush second term though.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
I know a Swifty and he truly hates John Kerry with an absolute passion. The man is a retired Master Chief, equivalent to a Master Sergeant, who did 30 years of service. He did 3 tours in Vietnam on the very same Mekong where Kerry was. If he calls John Kerry a ‘no good son of a bitch’ (his words), I believe him.

May I ask if he ever met, talked to or interacted with John Kerry? Did he hate him while he was still in Vietnam? Or did he just have a feeling that that John kid was gonna grow into a “no good son of a bitch” someday?[/quote]

In a group this size, word about who is a dickweed who you wouldn’t want on your vessel spreads pretty quickly.

What gets me is that the numbers don’t add up. Kerry was in country for 4 months and got all those medals. Most (none?) guys didn’t accumulate that many awards in 2 and 3 YEAR tours. Someone was feeding Kerry all these medals, for a payoff later most likely.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
I know a Swifty and he truly hates John Kerry with an absolute passion. The man is a retired Master Chief, equivalent to a Master Sergeant, who did 30 years of service. He did 3 tours in Vietnam on the very same Mekong where Kerry was. If he calls John Kerry a ‘no good son of a bitch’ (his words), I believe him.

May I ask if he ever met, talked to or interacted with John Kerry? Did he hate him while he was still in Vietnam? Or did he just have a feeling that that John kid was gonna grow into a “no good son of a bitch” someday?

In a group this size, word about who is a dickweed who you wouldn’t want on your vessel spreads pretty quickly.

What gets me is that the numbers don’t add up. Kerry was in country for 4 months and got all those medals. Most (none?) guys didn’t accumulate that many awards in 2 and 3 YEAR tours. Someone was feeding Kerry all these medals, for a payoff later most likely.

[/quote]

Or he’s a hero. You have no proof either way. And you didn’t answer any of my questions. You just made assumptions.

It’s still better than draft dodging, wouldn’t you say?

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
I know a Swifty and he truly hates John Kerry with an absolute passion. The man is a retired Master Chief, equivalent to a Master Sergeant, who did 30 years of service. He did 3 tours in Vietnam on the very same Mekong where Kerry was. If he calls John Kerry a ‘no good son of a bitch’ (his words), I believe him.

May I ask if he ever met, talked to or interacted with John Kerry? Did he hate him while he was still in Vietnam? Or did he just have a feeling that that John kid was gonna grow into a “no good son of a bitch” someday?

In a group this size, word about who is a dickweed who you wouldn’t want on your vessel spreads pretty quickly.

What gets me is that the numbers don’t add up. Kerry was in country for 4 months and got all those medals. Most (none?) guys didn’t accumulate that many awards in 2 and 3 YEAR tours. Someone was feeding Kerry all these medals, for a payoff later most likely.

Or he’s a hero. You have no proof either way. And you didn’t answer any of my questions. You just made assumptions.

It’s still better than draft dodging, wouldn’t you say?
[/quote]

Yes but it didn’t hurt Clinton.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
I know a Swifty and he truly hates John Kerry with an absolute passion. The man is a retired Master Chief, equivalent to a Master Sergeant, who did 30 years of service. He did 3 tours in Vietnam on the very same Mekong where Kerry was. If he calls John Kerry a ‘no good son of a bitch’ (his words), I believe him.

May I ask if he ever met, talked to or interacted with John Kerry? Did he hate him while he was still in Vietnam? Or did he just have a feeling that that John kid was gonna grow into a “no good son of a bitch” someday?

In a group this size, word about who is a dickweed who you wouldn’t want on your vessel spreads pretty quickly.

What gets me is that the numbers don’t add up. Kerry was in country for 4 months and got all those medals. Most (none?) guys didn’t accumulate that many awards in 2 and 3 YEAR tours. Someone was feeding Kerry all these medals, for a payoff later most likely.

Or he’s a hero. You have no proof either way. And you didn’t answer any of my questions. You just made assumptions.

It’s still better than draft dodging, wouldn’t you say?

Yes but it didn’t hurt Clinton.[/quote]

But Clinton did not stuff his pants and pranced around on an aircraft carrier.

He als admitted that he dodged the draft on purpose (skilled and reasonable and at that age) and got stoned in GB instead of fighting a war he did not believe in.

Clinton is a slick manipulative bastard but he never pretended otherwise.

[quote]orion wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
I know a Swifty and he truly hates John Kerry with an absolute passion. The man is a retired Master Chief, equivalent to a Master Sergeant, who did 30 years of service. He did 3 tours in Vietnam on the very same Mekong where Kerry was. If he calls John Kerry a ‘no good son of a bitch’ (his words), I believe him.

May I ask if he ever met, talked to or interacted with John Kerry? Did he hate him while he was still in Vietnam? Or did he just have a feeling that that John kid was gonna grow into a “no good son of a bitch” someday?

In a group this size, word about who is a dickweed who you wouldn’t want on your vessel spreads pretty quickly.

What gets me is that the numbers don’t add up. Kerry was in country for 4 months and got all those medals. Most (none?) guys didn’t accumulate that many awards in 2 and 3 YEAR tours. Someone was feeding Kerry all these medals, for a payoff later most likely.

Or he’s a hero. You have no proof either way. And you didn’t answer any of my questions. You just made assumptions.

It’s still better than draft dodging, wouldn’t you say?

Yes but it didn’t hurt Clinton.

But Clinton did not stuff his pants and pranced around on an aircraft carrier.

[/quote]

Clinton got his buddy Sandy ‘Burgler’ to stuff HIS pants at the National Archives.

When did Clinton hire some goons to tar the war record of another politician?

That’s pretty ridiculous. The “offer” was obviously hyperbole, and Kerry knows as a lawyer there’s no contract there.

So Kerry calls the bluff - but then Pickens responds by putting together an actual offer to which Kerry could respond and get the $1 M. He limits it to actual ads - thus stuff Pickens probably knows about, which would seemingly be a fair limitation. Did he really think Pickens was offering $1 M to anyone who could disprove any internet rumor attributed to any Swift Boat Veteran for Truth? And as a caveat, demands Kerry turn over the info he refused to disclose relating to his military service.

And then Kerry backs down. He could have counter-proposed for a broader base of statements, if he had any evidence he wanted to publicize: for example, all official public statements by the organization, including ads, or public statements by the organizations officers. But he didn’t. The third letter is clearly backing off and trying to focus on the original hyperbole.

Also: I wonder why Kerry didn’t just release his proof of lying publicly and clear his good name?

ADDENDUM: And why doesn’t Kerry identify the lie to which he is referring?

[quote]Magnate wrote:
JeffR wrote:

There were MANY reasons not to vote for john “pay my parking tickets, bitch” kerry.

That has nothing to do with anything, although I agree whole heartedly with your anti-Kerry sentiment. The issue isn’t whether he was apt for the position or not, but whether he was attacked by a campaign of lies (SBVT), and if so what to do about it - if anything. I say good job to Kerry on calling the guy on his bullshit, although I don’t like Kerry’s politics or personality (better sleep aid than golf), it’s good to see him actually confront the guy (albeit a few years late) on the lies. More politicians need to pull stunts like this and go after the liars in campaigns - if more did there’d be a chance of cleaning up elections (wishful thinking probably) and making them about the actual political philosophies and records instead of who did what in the 60s.

At least TRY to talk about the actual topic please.[/quote]

mag,

I apologize for missing this gem.

First of all, you have no idea whether they were “lies” or not. You weren’t there.

Second, I’m so accustomed to arguing with bitter democrats that I can guess what they are thinking. I read their brains. It’s very light reading.

They are thinking that the swift boat campaign sank kerry. That’s their excuse. They say “lies” as if they aren’t the consumate liars.

It’s something along the lines of, “Bush won only through lying.”

Therefore, I skipped a step. I pointed out that the real issue was, of course, john “I’ve got the lawyer filled plane revved up and ready to go to Ohio” kerry.

See how that works?

My comment about john “Reporting for duty” kerry, was not only on topic, HE IS THE TOPIC.

JeffR

[quote]orion wrote:

But Clinton did not stuff his pants and pranced around on an aircraft carrier.

He als admitted that he dodged the draft on purpose (skilled and reasonable and at that age) and got stoned in GB instead of fighting a war he did not believe in.

Clinton is a slick manipulative bastard but he never pretended otherwise.

[/quote]

bota,

As we’ve established, you have a hard enough time with recent austrian history (Seems like a relatively straightforward subject–nazi’s invade friendly austria. austria committs mass murders. America saves austria. Troops in austria to keep them peaceful. America leaves. austria goes into massive denial) without trying to discuss ours.

As usual, you are way off.

bill “I was against the Iraq War from the beginning” clinton was CALLED TO DUTY. He wrote a letter from England REFUSING TO SERVE.

Big difference between that and flying fighter jets.

Man, I should get paid to educate you.

JeffR

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
That’s pretty ridiculous. The “offer” was obviously hyperbole, and Kerry knows as a lawyer there’s no contract there.

So Kerry calls the bluff - but then Pickens responds by putting together an actual offer to which Kerry could respond and get the $1 M. He limits it to actual ads - thus stuff Pickens probably knows about, which would seemingly be a fair limitation. Did he really think Pickens was offering $1 M to anyone who could disprove any internet rumor attributed to any Swift Boat Veteran for Truth? And as a caveat, demands Kerry turn over the info he refused to disclose relating to his military service.

And then Kerry backs down. He could have counter-proposed for a broader base of statements, if he had any evidence he wanted to publicize: for example, all official public statements by the organization, including ads, or public statements by the organizations officers. But he didn’t. The third letter is clearly backing off and trying to focus on the original hyperbole.

Also: I wonder why Kerry didn’t just release his proof of lying publicly and clear his good name?

ADDENDUM: And why doesn’t Kerry identify the lie to which he is referring?[/quote]

This is not a legal seminar on how to form a binding contract.

It is about opposing bullshitters and watch them sqirm.