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Kerry Takes Up $1M ‘Swift Boat Challenge’

From the New York Post:

$1M SWIFT BOAST

04 LOSER KERRY: PROVE IT OR LOSE IT

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

November 17, 2007 — Three years after his presidential aspirations were sunk by the Swift Boat Veterans, Democratic former White House hopeful Sen. John Kerry is taking a $1 million challenge from a Texas oilman to anyone who can disprove the group’s claims.

The Massachusetts lawmaker made the pitch in a letter to T. Boone Pickens, a Republican who helped bankroll with $3 million the Swift Boat Veterans during the campaign.

The group that seized on Kerry’s Vietnam military record and turned it into a negative issue by calling his service into question.

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,” wrote Kerry, who saw his Navy service and medals called into question and was privately criticized by some of his allies for not fighting back hard enough.

“I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt,” he added, saying he would deal directly with Pickens and would donate the money to the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Pickens threw down the gauntlet during a gala event earlier this month in Washington for American Spectator magazine.

“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,” Kerry wrote.

In a response letter faxed to Kerry, Pickens wrote that he was “intrigued” by the senator’s proposal and “open to your challenge.”

To disprove the accuracy of the Swift Boat ads the Texan said he would require the journal Kerry maintained during his service in Vietnam, and his military record – “specifically your service record for the years 1971-1978, and copies of all movies and tapes made during your service.”

And Pickens ends his letter with another challenge: “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.”

The Swift Boat group made its allegations in a book called “Unfit for Command,” which was followed by TV ads that called into question the way in which Kerry was awarded military commendations.

They suggested he altered reports, was never really wounded, and never went into Cambodia.

Kerry was slow to respond to the attacks, afraid of giving them credibility, but they took off and became a major distraction for him down the stretch in the 2004 campaign.

After denying access to his records while the charges flew, Kerry did an about-face in May 2005 and made them available.

I am saddened at the amount of misinformation in this report from the New York Post.

The Swift Boat group made its allegations in a book called “Unfit for Command,” which was followed by TV ads that called into question the way in which Kerry was awarded military commendations.

The allegations came up and ads were made long before that book was ever considered. And not all of the Swift Boat Veterans were involved in the book.

They suggested he altered reports, was never really wounded, and never went into Cambodia.

The Swift Boat Veterans claimed Kerry may have written some of the reports, including some for which he was honored with medals.

They challenged the extent of his wounds, which were often minor, and on one occasion, probably self-inflicted. And whether they were deserving of Purple Hearts.

Kerry was slow to respond to the attacks, afraid of giving them credibility, but they took off and became a major distraction for him down the stretch in the 2004 campaign.

Mr. Kerry was not slow to responding to the attacks because he was afraid of giving them credibility. He could not respond because he could not prove them to be untrue.

And, in the years since, he has still be unable to prove them untrue.

After denying access to his records while the charges flew, Kerry did an about-face in May 2005 and made them available.

No he did not. After publicly promising on “Meet The Press” to release his military records (form SF-180) Kerry delayed their release for months, and then only released them to two or three of his closest allies in the media.

They have not been made available at all.

How could any reporter be so oblivious to such well-known facts?

But all that aside, it will be entertaining to see how Mr. Kerry will try to talk his way out of this one.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, November 17th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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