Ethics
August 20, 2004 9:50 AM   Subscribe

The NYT's investigation into the birth and background of the anti Kerry ad about his Vietnam service record.
posted by semmi (158 comments total)
 
don't, don't, don't let's start.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:18 AM on August 20, 2004


I successfully fought the urge to post this when I found it last night. Not because it isn't worth reading -- it absolutely is -- but because of the imminent "newsfilter" argument that will result.

BTW, if you don't have time to read the article, at least check out the accompanying graphic.

Once again, George Bush benefits from other people coming to his aid by doing the dirty work. And his press secretary changes the subject to "all these shadowy 527 groups" whenever he's asked to criticize it. But the point is, this one's NOT shadowy: Bush knows well some of the people involved. I want more press attention on these people.

It's breathtaking, the depths the Bushies will sink to in order to win a political campaign. They did it in 2000, and they're doing it again. It's just aggravating how many people fall for their innuendo and misleading characterizations.

But he's a good Christian man. My ass.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:30 AM on August 20, 2004


that chart and list is excellent, and way, way overdue. Newspapers should be doing that for every single claim and counterclaim during this election.

Have the polls been moving at all in response to all this Swift Boat Liars stuff? (and related: Chris Matthews tore Michelle Malkin a new one on Hardball last night after she claimed Kerry self-inflicted his wounds.) I don't think it's working for Bush--Rove's really sucking and failing to connect this year.
posted by amberglow at 10:33 AM on August 20, 2004


If I were Bush, I'd just step up and be a mensch and say "the SwifT Boat Crew should back off---John Kerry chose to serve and that was 30 years ago, so it's irrelevant. Let's talk about my plans for the future." It would be so easy for him to look vigorous, moral, and organized. But he can't even grasp the simulacrum of all that!
It's awesome. I really think this could help JFK.
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:42 AM on August 20, 2004


I still can't fathom how they thought inviting a comparison of Kerry and Bush's service records could end up being a positive for Bush. Unless they lie about it, of course.
posted by 2sheets at 10:52 AM on August 20, 2004


Polls show it's working.
It worked against McCain in 2000 too.


They also have a sequel upcoming.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:00 AM on August 20, 2004


Chris Matthews tore Michelle Malkin a new one on Hardball last night after she claimed Kerry self-inflicted his wounds.

Oliver Willis has the video, and here's MSNBC's transcript, and her recap.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:02 AM on August 20, 2004


It's been working, but I think the tide is turning and it will backfire eventually.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:05 AM on August 20, 2004


The state by state polls had, until late July, showed Kerry with a lot of strong support. However, since then, Kerry support has weakened substantially. He currently carries the fewest strong supporters since the race started. (This is partly to do with the most recent Survey USA poll in California which puts California in the weak Kerry column, while previous polls had him ahead by about ten percent.)

Joshua Marshall has seen, but not linked to, data that indicates the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads are effective with indpendants. It's my opinion that the ads are not intended to stick with most voters, but instead to fill the political discourse with enough fluff that the critical issues of the campaign are marginalized. If that is the intended effect, it's working.
posted by sequential at 11:12 AM on August 20, 2004


Because, you know, there are no more important issues facing American than unverifiable charges regarding a war that ended 30 years ago.
posted by kgasmart at 11:13 AM on August 20, 2004


From the latest CBS poll:

The appearance of his fellow Vietnam veterans at the Democratic convention helped John Kerry’s support among veterans, but the recent attacks on his Vietnam service may have moved veterans’ support back toward George W. Bush now. Kerry is running well behind his opponent among veterans; now, 55 percent of veterans back Bush, and 37 percent back Kerry. A few weeks ago, both candidates were tied among veterans.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:27 AM on August 20, 2004


I read it already, and I thought it was a good read, but not worthy of FPP, IMHO.
and it does seem a bit late, but welcome nonetheless...
posted by Busithoth at 11:48 AM on August 20, 2004


I am, 48 hours after first seeing it, still amazed that not a single reporter responded to McClellan's "well we should ban all 527s" line by saying "umm, you do realize that's quite possibly the worst ducking of a question in the history of American politics, right?"

I know I'm partisan and all, but man, can Bush supporters really defend that? Bush won't condemn the Swift Boat ads. What a pussy.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:48 AM on August 20, 2004


Once again, Dubya aWol Bush lets someone else do his fighting for him.

Yellow bellied coward. Be a man Georgie, do your own fighting for once.
Daddy can't bail you out the rest of your life. You gotta grow up!
[/snark]
posted by nofundy at 11:52 AM on August 20, 2004


I'm still kind of shocked as to how much they will wreck in order to put their boy on top. I mean, one shouldn't be too surprised, given the whole Iraq mess, but in order to buy this story, you have to basically say that the Navy deliberately lied and gave several medals to someone they know didn't deserve it. You have to say that your own military doesn't work.

What's really sad about all this is that by making his Vietnam service the centerpiece of his "Democrats can be as tough as Dubya" national-security campaign, Kerry is not focusing on the real issues -- job loss, a faltering economy, the lack of health care, the environment, etc. There are a thousand sins George Bush has committed in office, and by attacking him on his central pillar -- that only Dubya can protect us from Syrian musicians -- Kerry ignores everything else going around. Pandering is hard work.
posted by solistrato at 11:56 AM on August 20, 2004


also, kirkaracha, willis' link is to mediamatters.org, which carries the clip (I couldn't get it to play from his site, but could download it handily from them)
posted by Busithoth at 12:00 PM on August 20, 2004


Once again, George Bush benefits from other people coming to his aid by doing the dirty work.

Once again, Dubya aWol Bush lets someone else do his fighting for him.

Yellow bellied coward. Be a man Georgie, do your own fighting for once.
Daddy can't bail you out the rest of your life. You gotta grow up!
[/snark]



Ummm MoveOnPAC anyone?

So somehow it is beyond the pale that a Right Leaning 527's takes out ads on Kerry, but Left Leaning 527's can take out all the ads they want on Bush? Talk about being blinded by partisanship.

Oh, and I'm still waiting on the front page New York Times article on where MoveOn's funding comes from.... Fair & Balanced.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:00 PM on August 20, 2004


Someone should tell Michael Moore, George Soros and MoveOn.org what a big Rambo war hero John Kerry is and let him take care of himself, right nofundy?
posted by techgnollogic at 12:03 PM on August 20, 2004


Tomorrow, the New York Times will publish its expected hit piece on the Swift Boat Vets. The article accomplishes something that I would have thought impossible just two days ago. It makes the L.A. Times's coverage of the Swift Boat Vets look (almost) like responsible journalism.

To be sure, the New York Times takes a page from the L.A. Times playbook: prejudice the reader against the Vets before breathing a word of their actual accusations. But the New York paper takes this strategy to a new level.

I don't think I have ever seen such a partisan hit piece in my life.

posted by techgnollogic at 12:05 PM on August 20, 2004


None of this news matters or will impact any of us in a positive way,
because Republicans can't read.
posted by Peter H at 12:13 PM on August 20, 2004


I don't think I have ever seen such a partisan hit piece in my life.

Must not watch Fox News, I'd say.

Oh, and I'm still waiting on the front page New York Times article on where MoveOn's funding comes from.... Fair & Balanced.

Do you really want to have this argument, Steve? Then pick up the current issue of Harper's, read allllll about how the Olin Foundation and the Scaife Foundations and a whole host of other right-wing money machines have thrown all sorts of cash at various conservative causes over the past few decades, and we'll talk.
posted by kgasmart at 12:20 PM on August 20, 2004


Owillis' video link doesn't seem to work. Is there an alternate?
posted by dhoyt at 12:25 PM on August 20, 2004


What kgasmart said. Lapham's article is great (and so is the title.)

Someone should tell Michael Moore, George Soros and MoveOn.org what a big Rambo war hero John Kerry is and let him take care of himself, right nofundy?

Know the difference between publishing truth and lies?
Wanna talk to McCain about how the Bushies treated him in South Carolina?
Are you defending the lies and smears and Bushco's avoidance of responsibility?
Are you saying they are NOT connected?
Can you make the same close connections to Kerry from MoveON that I can to Swift Boat Liars and Bushco?

I would dearly love to see Bushco's service record publically compared to Kerry's.
Like Kerry said, bring it on.
And I say that to all the yellow bellied chickenhawk Bushwhackers.
You want to talk about military records, fine.
But let's not pretend that aWol Bush is above and disconnected from this smear job. It has the Rove signature all over it.
posted by nofundy at 12:31 PM on August 20, 2004


So somehow it is beyond the pale that a Right Leaning 527's takes out ads on Kerry, but Left Leaning 527's can take out all the ads they want on Bush? Talk about being blinded by partisanship.

There are BIG TIME differences, specifically that SBVFT is being funded very openly and directly by CLOSE friends of Bush, his family and Karl Rove [see previously linked chart from NYT article]. One cannot directly link MoveOn with such people in the Kerry campaign. Another big difference is that Senator Kerry denounced the MoveOn ad which claimed that Bush got out of Vietnam through his daddy's connections. Junior has refused to do the same concerning the SBVFT.

BIG differences.
posted by terrapin at 12:39 PM on August 20, 2004


Oh, and I'm still waiting on the front page New York Times article on where MoveOn's funding comes from.... Fair & Balanced.
Do a search--you'll find that it's not Kerry's lawyer or attorney general or major fundraisers (like it is for Bush), nor is it old Johnson/Carter/Clinton hitmen, like the Swift Boat Nixon(!) guy O'Neill. (Who, if he's going to be on tv, should at least buy a toupee that cost more than 10 bucks. And who reminds older voters of the Nixon era--not a comparison Bush people/friends should be making, i don't think.)
posted by amberglow at 12:47 PM on August 20, 2004


While I think the SBVFT is a dirty, dirty, mud-slinging operation, I gotta agree with Steve here that they're a 527 just like MoveOn is. Sure, the Swift Boat morons are pushing the boundaries about as far as you can go, and they're closer to the Bush admin than MoveOn is to the Kerry team, in the end they're both 527s that we should consider doing something about. As much as I dislike the attack ads, legally speaking both groups are pushing their agenda in a way that's barely legal.

The money-in-politics situation sucks, and although McCain-Feingold tried to close some holes, it opened up tons of giant ones like this.
posted by mathowie at 1:07 PM on August 20, 2004


Steve_at_Linnwood, I believe the Washington Post, among other papers, has mentioned the funding of MoveOn on various occasions. This wiki entry seems to back that up.

I think it's a little disingenuous that neither MoveOn nor the Swift Boat group wear their allegiances on their sleeves (MoveOn to a Democat President? Republican Swift Boat Veterans for Electiontime Bickering?), it's a little more damning when no one in the SBV group has admitted to being a democrat yet disliking Kerry. There seem to be quite a few people who will vouch for Kerry who are republicans.
posted by mikeh at 1:10 PM on August 20, 2004


So somehow it is beyond the pale that a Right Leaning 527's takes out ads on Kerry, but Left Leaning 527's can take out all the ads they want on Bush? Talk about being blinded by partisanship.

Steve's point is a good one. MoveOn and the Swifties are similar partisan entities -- not quite officially aligned with the candidates, but fighting dirty for their champion. But there are thee very important differences to note:

First, Like the Swifties, MoveOn has been extremely and predictably partisan its attacks, but unlike MoveOn, the Swift Boat guys flat-out lied -- which has been proven over the past two days beyond any reasonable person's doubt by the Times' and the Washington Post pieces. (yes, yes, go ahead and whine about how liberal rags like the Times and the Post have it in for the Swifties and therefore can't be trusted, but the military records and the Swift Boat guys' past contradictory comments speak very plainly for themselves. End of story.)

Second, when MoveOn struck particularly low blows in an ad, Kerry was asked to condemn the ad, and he did. President Bush has yet to take similar actions against the Swifties.

Third, The Times and The Post tackled the Swift Boat allegations because they were having much more of an impact on the campaign than MoveOn has had. That, combined with the overwhelming evidence that the Swifties have repeatedly lied to further their cause, makes their ad and book campaign much more newsworthy. A group that is making a national impact on a presidential election by lying is much more newsworthy than a group that is making a marginal impact on a presidential election by stretching the truth.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 1:11 PM on August 20, 2004


One more point I'd like to raise: As long as Bush refuses to outright condemn the Swift Boat ads, the presidential debate will continue to (unfortunately) focus on Vietnam War service. And when you remove the lunatic fringe, this is a debate that Bush can't possibly hope to win. Like it or not, Kerry was a highly decorated combat veteran, and like it or not, Bush's own Vietnam-era service was less than heroic. Is this something the president wants the nation to continue to focus on? Does Karl Rove know something I don't?
posted by TBoneMcCool at 1:23 PM on August 20, 2004


Looks like even SBVFT is ready to move on... to Kerry's illustrious return from Vietnam.
posted by techgnollogic at 1:59 PM on August 20, 2004


I just watched the new SBVFT ad, and it's a doozie (and a slow 8.8 mb download). It's got Kerry in his own words testifying before congress.

I think it will have a big impact among veterans -- and that's the strategy. Forget about everyone else; the only target of SBVFT is to bring (home) veterans to the Bush campaign. Bush was leaking support among vets and this ad, more than the last, will bring them in droves.
posted by zpousman at 2:16 PM on August 20, 2004


As long as Bush refuses to outright condemn the Swift Boat ads, the presidential debate will continue to (unfortunately) focus on Vietnam War service. And when you remove the lunatic fringe, this is a debate that Bush can't possibly hope to win.
I think they think they're winning if no one talks about the jobs lost, or the horrible failures in Iraq, or the failures in Afghanistan, or the failure to catch Osama and break Al Qaeda, or the tax breaks that helped the rich, or the medicare thing that seniors are angry about, or the stoploss orders......
posted by amberglow at 2:17 PM on August 20, 2004


One point i'd like to raise is that MoveOn existed before Kerry was the candidate. Swift Boat Liars didn't. Whose idea was it? Who called who? It's illegal for coordination to occur between 527s and campaigns. (although illegality is not surprising when it's the Bush campaign)
posted by amberglow at 2:19 PM on August 20, 2004


CNN is already reporting how the new add stretches the truth. To whit:
The latest ad from the swift boat group selects quotes from Kerry's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971 about fellow soldiers. He is seen saying, "They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads," "randomly shot at civilians," and "razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Kahn."

Not shown on the ad is Kerry's preface to those comments, in which he said he is reporting what others said at a conference of Vietnam veterans in Detroit. Instead, a member of the Swift Boat group refers to the statements as "the accusations that John Kerry made against the veterans who served in Vietnam."

A Swift Boat member says, referring to captives in Vietnam, "That was part of the torture, was to sign a statement that you had committed war crimes" and says Kerry "betrayed us" by his comments upon his return.

Another says Kerry "gave the enemy for free what I, and many of my comrades in North Vietnam, in the prison camps, took torture to avoid saying. It demoralized us."

An official transcript of Kerry's testimony shows he was referring to the meeting in Detroit, part of what was called the Winter Soldier investigation. He told the Senate committee that at that meeting "many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia" and relived the "absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do."

"They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."
Forgive the lengthy excerpt, but I think it is important to demonstrate exactly how the truth is being distorted by this new ad.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:20 PM on August 20, 2004


I meant "new ad," of course. Erg.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:21 PM on August 20, 2004


PersonalAnecdoteFilter: I heard about the run-up to the SBVFT ads nearly six months ago -- that is, nearly three months before SBVFT went public -- from a close friend who works at the Pentagon (we grew up together; he's a career military officer, decorated for seeing serious action in the Balkans, has advised the Joint Chiefs, lost a colleague on 9/11, etc.). He told me there was already discussion -- which he angrily characterized as "enough to make Nixon's dirty tricks look amateur" -- of exactly how to smear Kerry's Vietnam record after he got the nomination (this was during the primaries when he was emerging as the presumptive nominee).

I vividly recall him raging, "men who never saw a single day of action are throwing around words like 'sedition' and 'treason' regarding an officer who served honorably, and it makes me fucking sick."

I kind of brushed it off initially, saying something along the lines of, "oh, of course they're going to raise the whole issue of him tossing his medals when he became an antiwar activist, blah blah" -- but he stressed that the smear would be regarding his service during the war itself. "They're going to claim that Kerry's medals weren't properly earned in the first place," he said.

His analysis was that obviously, Bush can't win the debate of military service on its own merits (plus his support among military families has declined re: Iraq, cuts in vet benefits, etc.), so the strategy was A) to twist the terms of the debate itself simply as distraction; B) try to get the charge to stick among at least some voters that Kerry lied or even perpetrated a hoax to get his medals; which would then C) paint Kerry's antiwar work as having been done in bad faith (i.e., if he lied about his record, his opposition to the war could not have possibly been legitimate).

And amberglow is right: especially because it's coming directly from other veterans and not out of Bush's mouth, this is designed solely to rein the military vote back in by making Kerry look worse than Bush on the question of Vietnam. In other words, Rove and Co. are essentially trying to set up a choice between lesser evils: a little ol' Air Guard fella with some missing service records, thereby hurting no one vs. a liar who got his medals under false pretenses, thereby delivering a slap in the face to all other decorated veterans.

Yeah, it's hearsay, and it's not normally the kind of stuff I'd post here... but all I know is what he told me. Not that the connection between Rove/Bush and the SBVFT shouldn't already be blindingly self-evident.
posted by scody at 2:46 PM on August 20, 2004


Sincere question: Do you MeFi US Americans believe your fellow citizens will eventually start to look beyond the shallow histrionics of the television and print campaigning, and start digging into the real meat of the issues, attitudes, and morals of your presidential candidates?
posted by five fresh fish at 2:53 PM on August 20, 2004


The Daily Show debunked the original swift boat vet ad in its usual hilarious fashion (mirror).
posted by funkbrain at 2:57 PM on August 20, 2004


fish: You think that problem is exclusive to U.S. politics?
posted by jca at 2:58 PM on August 20, 2004


scody: i hope Kerry has people to tell him about that.

I'm of 2 minds about Kerry fighting back hard on this. On the one hand, it's slanderous lies being propagated by a group Bush/Rove created, and is getting too much airtime to the detriment of real issues, so it should be stopped. On the other hand, it's up to the media to stop giving the issue so much airtime--the ads are being shown for free many more times than the very few paid timeslots. It smells of Willie Horton and Dukakis in a tank. On the third hand, there aren't that many voters being swayed by them, compared to the energized base of Kerry supporters/Dems. If veterans go back to voting for Bush, that's not really a loss because they haven't been voting Democratic in the past, and our base is bigger to begin with. I also think it's counteracted by the military families angry at Bush for various reasons. I've also been reading about how Bush hasn't succeeded in getting us Jews, or Hispanics, or college kids, and has lost many Muslims.

and fff: Nope, unfortunately. We take what we're fed by the media for the most part.
posted by amberglow at 2:59 PM on August 20, 2004


"Unfit for Remainder" has made me realize just how venomous some people can be. At my store, where we didn't receive copies today, patrons verbally insulted employees, threw books and have commited childish acts (for example- hiding books that disagree with their view points).

The most frustrating thing is that even the election probably won't end this.
posted by drezdn at 3:02 PM on August 20, 2004


commited childish acts

Like libel?
posted by scody at 3:04 PM on August 20, 2004


I'm sorry, drezdn, that may have come off as far snarkier towards you than I intended.
posted by scody at 3:07 PM on August 20, 2004


Gotta say, it is reeeeeeeeeally funny to see Kerry complaining about third party attack ads. It just is.
posted by MidasMulligan at 3:39 PM on August 20, 2004


I second Amberglow's comments about this being a bad area of debate for Kerry. The more Kerry, and more importantly the media, are talkinga bout Vietnam, the better Bush looks. It doesn't matter if Bush's personal record doesn't stand up to Kerry's. I don't think the Kerry camp really considered his service record a foundation point for his campaign in the beginning. It was just a an extra stick they could hit Bush with because of the Texas National Guard bit. If you really start thinking about underlying emotions, this becomes about appealing to that drive for nationalist imperialism nestled in the subconscious of so many of us. Bush wants to stomp on the rest of the world. Kerry wants whatever.
posted by MetalDog at 3:39 PM on August 20, 2004


commited childish acts

Like libel?


I believe it's childish to throw books at people, to verbally abuse people for things that are not their responsibility, or to try to hide things one disagrees with.
posted by drezdn at 4:40 PM on August 20, 2004


This is the most vile, disgusting presidential election campaign ever. Who else is proud to be an American right now? I weep for our children.
posted by psmealey at 4:45 PM on August 20, 2004


...and they'll weep for theirs, and they'll weep for theirs. There's no bottom to this kind of thing, and we've haven't yet seen anything close (This even pales, for instance, in comparison to what Bush did to McCain in the south in 2000. And that truly was vile and disgusting.)
posted by amberglow at 4:52 PM on August 20, 2004


Yet McCain is pulling out stops to back Bush. WTF kind of Faustian bargain did he sign to do this? And did the last man in the GOP with any integrity just sell out?
posted by psmealey at 4:56 PM on August 20, 2004


I still think he's getting Cheney's job at some point. (There's that saying about a boot repeatedly stomping on a face, forever--i think of that when i see McCain with Bush--or else it's Stockholm syndrome.)
posted by amberglow at 5:00 PM on August 20, 2004





I think they think they're winning if no one talks about the jobs lost, or the horrible failures in Iraq...


Bingo Amber. When the debate is about the economy or the war or health care etc - kitchen table issues - Kerry's poll numbers rise. When the debate is about larger cultural controversies - abortion, gay marriage, Vietnam - Bush's numbers rise.
This is a very canny distraction.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:14 PM on August 20, 2004


Then the next really really important thing is to somehow make the media stop harping on this shit, and talk about the things that really matter. Any ideas? (and i'm looking at some of you.)
posted by amberglow at 5:21 PM on August 20, 2004


Gotta say, it is reeeeeeeeeally funny to see Kerry complaining about third party attack ads.

And if it was actually third party, you might have a point, smartass.

Do you MeFi US Americans believe your fellow citizens will eventually start to look beyond the shallow histrionics of the television and print campaigning, and start digging into the real meat of the issues, attitudes, and morals of your presidential candidates?

I don't. As I see it, US Americans break down into multiple issue voters and single issue voters. The Repugnican'ts have done a terrific job of mobilizing the single issue folks. First it was taxes (Tax and spend Democrats ... anybody ever heard that?). Then it was gun control and/or abortion. Nowadays, its all about terror. That's the issue that the one-issue voters will focus on. This election will not be decided by the mystical creature "Undecided Voter". It will be decided by those who buy (or don't) the Bush bullshit about being tough on terror.

That's why these SwiftBoat Veterans for Misguided Sophistry ads work, and will continue to work. That's why Michelle Malkin can insinuate utter crap, and get sympathy from otherwise reasonable people. That's why Bloomberg can dodge being roasted for calling free assembly a privilege instead of a Constitutional right. And that's why I call bullshit on the Rupugnican't pundits for claiming that John Kerry has made this election about his service in the Vietnam War. No, he didn't. They did, just as much as the Kerry campaign has. It's the only issue they have, and sadly, it may be all they need.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:26 PM on August 20, 2004


Bush Campaign Busted Passing Out “Swift Boat Veterans for Bush” Flyer

fold_and_mutilate, I hate to be a pooper on your party, but until some legal authority, or the press make this an issue, nobody has been busted for nothin'. The DU can wail and moan; the Kerry campaign can publish release after release; but this is certainly one case where its not a crime if you get away with it. And the Bushies are, and will continue to do so. Just ask Midas ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:36 PM on August 20, 2004


I might be wrong, but I think foldy is more likely backing up the idea that there's a direct link between the Bush campaign and the
Swift Boat guys.
posted by drezdn at 5:58 PM on August 20, 2004




The thing is, I am not a Democrat. Indeed, I lean libertarian on most issues (much to my own surprise). That being said, My dad flew in Vietnam. The more of these Swift Boat Veterans ads I read, the more I am driven towards voting for Kerry just to spite these fricken liars.

You don't piss on a man's heroism in war. Scody, I hope your friend is willing to go public with the statement her shared with you. If you still have contact with him, I would be thrilled if you encouraged him to share his story.

In the meantime, Media Matters has a bunch of related stories. This whole situation makes me sick. I hate being in a position where I am compelled to defend - and even vote for - John Kerry. Not that one vote matters, but if I do vote for him in November (instead of Badarnick) the total lack of ethics symbolized by this SBVT situation will be a major reason why.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:37 PM on August 20, 2004


Gotta say, it is reeeeeeeeeally funny to see Kerry complaining about third party attack ads.

And if it was actually third party, you might have a point, smartass.


As much of a third party as Michael Moore or George Soros or MoveOn.

Tell me, when do you suppose we'll see a NYT expose of the interrelationships between MoveOn organizers and the Kerry campaign? When will we see an investigation of the communications between Soros' people and the DNC? (Anybody actually believe that these people aren't communicating at all?) When will we see the links between the various non-profits that get funding from the Heinz foundation and the attack dogs that go after Bush daily? (For that matter, when will we see Theresa's tax returns?).

When will the NYT publish a "connections and contradictions" graphic about Michael Moore and the DNC? (Oh yeah, that one is quite unecessary, as his big fat ass was sitting center stage, with rock star status, on TV, at the Democratic convention). Oddly, he's a "third party" when he attacks Bush at every opportunity, but actual Vietnam vets - when they attack Kerry - aren't.

I repeat, it is reeeeeally funny to see Kerry complaining about this. And at the tactical level, I suspect his complaints will likely backfire amongst the undecideds.

Obviously, the ABB crowd will come up with all manner of justifications that will somehow show that the Swift boat folks are evil minions of Bush and Rove, while the tens of millions of dollars of nasty anti-Bush attacks ads were just, like, totally unrelated things that Kerry and the DNC is not even remotely connected to. But I'll bet mainstream America may take a slightly different view.

Personally, I can't wait for the Republican convention. I hope the radicals badly disrupt it. Huge marches! Massive (delibrately caused) arrests! Public disruption of even the most bland business dinners of delegates! Naturally, this will all be "third party" theatrics - totally unrelated to Kerry and the DNC. Yep. Kerry's complaints about "third party" folks participating in the election are going to appear more and more ludicrous as time goes on.

Bush has remained quiet while multiple millions of "third party" dollars have hammered at him for months now. Kerry told him to "bring it on". Well, he's brinin' it - at a level far less nasty than the liberals have been, but quite effectively nonetheless. Problem is, Kerry didn;'t actually want it "brought", he only wanted to use that mindless slogan. Now that it is getting brought, Kerry is ... whining about how "unfair" it is that third parties are fronting for Bush.

Well booo fucking hooo ... didja y'all think you get away with the utter nastiniess of the relentless (and often wildly false) charges against Bush? The perpetual publication of all manner of facts taken out of context? Didja think comparing Bush to fucking Hitler was just going to go unanswered?

Kerry is now feeling only a fraction of what he deserves. And if y'all what to puff your chests out and yell "bring it on", I'd suggest you stop whining when it starts to get brought. Your side set the tone for this battle. If you wanna throw big handfulls of mud, don't complain when you get hit in the face.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:12 PM on August 20, 2004


Midas, any and all MoveOn ads, even now, were and are unconnected to the talking points that the Democrats are making on tv (or trying to, since only RNC talking points get airtime). MoveOn existed before Kerry was the nominee, and the Swift Boat Liars didn't. MoveOn's contest was not anything they produced--they just presented the winners. MoveOn was not invented by any Democratic bigwigs, unlike Swift Boat Liars. Try again. Did you even read scody's comment?

Boofuckinghoo, indeed. You lie down with dogs, you get rabies. Who's rabid now? (and your thin veneer of rationality has somehow slipped--better work on that if you want to be listened to.)
posted by amberglow at 7:21 PM on August 20, 2004


....at a level far less nasty than the liberals have been, but quite effectively nonetheless.
This line was just laughable. Liberals doesn't equal the Kerry campaign--while Swift Boat Liars do equal the Bush campaign, as they created them, digging up Nixon's old attack dog to boot. Or haven't you been paying attention?
posted by amberglow at 7:32 PM on August 20, 2004


I don't think the USA has any living liberals. Both parties are very conservative.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:35 PM on August 20, 2004


And if y'all what to puff your chests out and yell "bring it on", I'd suggest you stop whining when it starts to get brought. Your side set the tone for this battle.

As much as it galls me to admit this, Midas is right. (Though, not about the hitler thing, he's all wet there... these jokers on the right still won't own up on the fact that that ad was produced by some independent crank and was immediately rejected by MoveOn). The current tone of this battle started with the accusations about George's Alabama Nat'l Guard service. Point taken that we all knew this was going to be rough, and we shouldn't act shocked when the lowlifes on the right start throwing elbows.

Having said that, a thinking person might concede that the Bush people had some payback coming to them for years of this kind of nasty bullshit (McCain in SC, Max Cleland, exaggerated charges of Gore's exaggerations, etc), and that the Nat'l Guard thing was simply the left doing the job the media should have done in 2000... but if you're going to remove all historical context from this, the "Left" is the one to blame for coarsening this current debate and slinging mud. Right. And Lee Atwater was a fucking Democrat.
posted by psmealey at 7:46 PM on August 20, 2004


And at the tactical level, I suspect his complaints will likely backfire amongst the undecided.

I don't know, Midas. Technically, I am one of those "undecided" and the swift boat ads piss me off so much that (as I said) I am now swinging Kerry. It isn't that they are a vicious smear that is bothering me (since those are par for the course for both major parties) so much as the fact that it is a vicious smear on a sailor's service for his country - and that it is a repeat of the equally (perhaps more) infuriating campaign against McCain from 2000.

There are plenty of other reasons to attack Kerry. Attacking his service to the country? Even if Rove isn't behind it, it is despicable. If this is the sort of thing that Bush's supporters think is acceptable, it is a reflection (IMO) on Bush and, thus, a major reason to get him out of office - even if it means voting for Kerry.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:50 PM on August 20, 2004


I don't think many people are shocked at all--it was talked about endlessly early in the primary season (and quite often here), and how everyone wanted someone that would fight back when it got nasty. (when, not if). After what was done to McCain in 2000, (and with the hiring of thugs to stop the count in Florida too, etc etc etc) everyone with a brain knew they fought dirty.

and on preview: Joey's not alone in thinking that. Moderates especially (and more casual and swing voters) are very turned off by this kind of stuff, no matter who it comes from.
posted by amberglow at 7:52 PM on August 20, 2004


since only RNC talking points get airtime

How's the weather on whatever alien planet you're living on?

I also love this criticism of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, that they didn't exist until John Kerry was the presumptive nominee... Like they had any reason to exist, or any need to convince the United States that John Kerry was unfit for command, before John Kerry became the contender for President of the United States. You think these 200+ Swift Boat Veterans' opinions are illegitimate because they didn't organize themselves and go about attacking John Kerry when he was just an ineffectual Senator from Massachusetts? As if someone who founded an organization critical of Bush after seeing what Bush did in office could be criticized for not existing before Bush did the things they organized in order to protest? That's fucking retarded.

I also love the "These Swift Boat guys piss me off and make me lean towards Kerry, so they should shut up" line of thought. The fact that you don't agree with them, and don't think they're succeeding in their aims, means they should stop expressing their views? Huh? Michael Moore pisses me off, and doesn't make me not want to vote for Bush, so does that mean he should shut up before he does any more damage to his cause? I think not.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:09 PM on August 20, 2004


techgno, name one DNC talking point that's made it on the air and into circulation since the terror warning right after the convention. Name 5 that were in circulation before the convention. Now try that with the RNC talking points.

Their views are documented lies. Saying so is the right thing to do, no matter who you're planning on voting for.
posted by amberglow at 8:16 PM on August 20, 2004


You are doomed, America. It's fun, in a nasty way, watching you thrash around in the pool of your own filth.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:24 PM on August 20, 2004


The fact that you don't agree with them, and don't think they're succeeding in their aims, means they should stop expressing their views?

Their views are lies, distortion and out of context misrepresented hearsay. Also, your opinions are wrong.
posted by psmealey at 8:25 PM on August 20, 2004


don't enjoy it too much, stav--we're all moving in with you when the end comes ; >
posted by amberglow at 8:28 PM on August 20, 2004


I'm sure the foregoing had been proposed as a tagline already, but if not, and if it's not inappropriate to quote one's self in doing so, I offer it here.

Metafilter: Your Opinions Are Wrong
posted by psmealey at 8:28 PM on August 20, 2004


Are you arguing that there have been no Democrats on tv since the convention, or they just don't know what they're doing?
posted by techgnollogic at 8:30 PM on August 20, 2004


Their views are documented lies.

Could you source that for me, ag?
posted by techgnollogic at 8:52 PM on August 20, 2004



Are you arguing that there have been no Democrats on tv since the convention, or they just don't know what they're doing?


I think there's no question that the Democratic operation is pretty incompetent in responding to the Republican juggernaut. The Daily Howler chronicles their derilection of duty every weekday. It's good that Kerry is fighting back, although it's doubtful how helpful that will be.
posted by calwatch at 8:58 PM on August 20, 2004


Do you MeFi US Americans believe your fellow citizens will eventually start to look beyond the shallow histrionics of the television and print campaigning, and start digging into the real meat of the issues, attitudes, and morals of your presidential candidates?

fff: The general absorption of the irrational nature of "postmodern" thinking that presents all versions, obvious truths and obvious lies, as merely different points of views with equal truth value makes rational analysis passé. Add to this the authority of TV anchors with their manufactured dignity presenting all politicians equally idiotic, and you get a public whose opinions are manipulated at will.
posted by semmi at 9:01 PM on August 20, 2004


Well done, Midas. To counter all the facts brought to bare in this thread ... you bluster with arrogantly posed innuendo, as if you've a grasp of facts you're too pompous (or frightened) to present. Asking questions isn't proof. Suggesting a possibility isn't proof. Michelle Malkin found that out. You're obviously no better learned than her.

Any cred you had just went down the sewer.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:09 PM on August 20, 2004


Navy Records Contradict Kerry Accuser; Citation Says Accuser Also Was Under Enemy Fire (Annenberg Center Political Fact Check) 8/19

Republican-funded Group Attacks Kerry's War Record: Ad features vets who claim Kerry "lied" to get Vietnam medals. But other witnesses disagree -- and so do Navy records. 8/6--original article from there.

Anti-Kerry vets say 'lies' drove them to act (USA Today, 8/8, includes how the record is different from what they're saying, like the doctor who says he treated Kerry, yet he's not the doctor that signed the forms, etc.....)

Fact Check--Truth and Consequences (CampaignDesk.org, from Columbia, 8/20, a rundown)
Perhaps if the press corps had been as aggressive in reporting out this story months ago when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth held its initial press conference, rather than simply printing he said/she said accounts that highlighted the controversy and not the facts, Americans wouldn't be quite so confused as to which version of the story has more credibility based on official records and previous oral accounts.
In a campaign season where the candidates have demonstrated a willingness (even eagerness) to misinform voters, it's the responsibility of the press to inform the public about who's enlightening us with fact and who's misleading us with fiction.


There are hundreds if not thousands of articles like these, proving that these people a)changed their stories, sometimes more than once and b) are saying things that are not backed up anywhere, and are contradicted by official reports.
posted by amberglow at 9:18 PM on August 20, 2004


Could you source that for me, ag?

From Kevin Drum, for starts, quoting the Times:

First, there's an account from one of Kerry's former crewmates about SBVT's "neutral" investigation:
Patrick Runyon, who served on a mission with Mr. Kerry, said he initially thought the caller was from a pro-Kerry group, and happily gave a statement about the night Mr. Kerry won his first Purple Heart. The investigator said he would send it to him by e-mail for his signature. Mr. Runyon said the edited version was stripped of all references to enemy combat, making it look like just another night in the Mekong Delta.

"It made it sound like I didn't believe we got any returned fire," he said. "He made it sound like it was a normal operation. It was the scariest night of my life."
And then there's the story of Kerry's first Purple Heart:
The group also offers the account of William L. Schachte Jr., a retired rear admiral who says in the book that he had been on the small skimmer on which Mr. Kerry was injured that night in December 1968. He contends that Mr. Kerry wounded himself while firing a grenade.

But the two other men who acknowledged that they had been with Mr. Kerry, Bill Zaladonis and Mr. Runyon, say they cannot recall a third crew member. "Me and Bill aren't the smartest, but we can count to three," Mr. Runyon said in an interview. And even Dr. Letson said he had not recalled Mr. Schachte until he had a conversation with another veteran earlier this year and received a subsequent phone call from Mr. Schachte himself.
In addition, there's all the usual stuff about Roy Hoffman, George Elliott, and Adrian Lonsdale, who used to say nice things about Kerry and have suddenly changed their minds; Dr. Louis Letson's trick memory about who he treated and who he didn't; Larry Thurlow's amnesia about his own Bronze Star citation; Jerome Corsi's bigoted outbursts on right wing websites; and the creepy conservative network funding the whole operation. (Too much about that, in fact.)

posted by y2karl at 9:27 PM on August 20, 2004


And did the last man in the GOP with any integrity just sell out?

Yeah, I can't figure the McCain thing out either. That's just freaking weird. Like Colin Powell being a lackey to this administration, weird. Things that make you say "W.T.F.?"

I kinda wish that McCain had grown a pair and run against George in this election. Now that would have been a free-for-all political cage match. McCain could probably have gotten a lot of the swing votes and a fair amount of the non-neo-con Republican vote. He probably could have swayed a lot of the nominal and right leaning Democrats. McCain could have taken the country....I'd be willing to bet that he has much more voter appeal than either of the major candidates...and oodles more than poor Ralph.

I don't think the USA has any living liberals. Both parties are very conservative.

I'll grant you that I regularly call a pox on both the houses of the primary parties in this country...but I assure you that many Americans who consider ourselves libertarians are about as "liberal" as you can get...in the true sense of the word. But it is also the case that a 3rd party has had very little inroad into breaking into the country club that is the American party system. (Which won't stop us from trying mind you...but it has been a bit sysyphian...)

Point being, before I wander off into EB's word count turf - Liberals...you bet...loads of em. Libertarians...more than you'd think. Percentage of those people in public office: Next to nothing. But, there's a big ol difference between the people who train and are raised to be politicos, and those who are the regular citizens of the USA.
posted by dejah420 at 9:29 PM on August 20, 2004


midas ... you know what's really disturbing about your post? ... it's not which third parties are in bed with which candidates ... it's not who you accuse of what ... it's that you revel in an increasing atmosphere of dirty politics, demogogery and social fractiousness ... you want to see all hell break loose in nyc and never mind what it's going to do for our country ... is this your view of what america should become?

stravos ... it's so sad ... but you are right
posted by pyramid termite at 9:35 PM on August 20, 2004




hey! i just posted that link a minute ago!

jinx! : >
posted by amberglow at 9:55 PM on August 20, 2004


Well booo fucking hooo ... didja y'all think you get away with the utter nastiniess of the relentless (and often wildly false) charges against Bush? The perpetual publication of all manner of facts taken out of context? Didja think comparing Bush to fucking Hitler was just going to go unanswered?

Sometimes fervor can go too far. When that happens, no good results.

Those who agreed with MidasMulligan will likely think 'I understand the frustration that he's feeeling, and the trouble he's having expressing his outrage regarding the following issues: __________"

Those who disagree with MidasMulligan will likely think 'Midas Mulligan diisagrees with me regarding: ______ and is unwilling to engage in a rational discussion about it"

Those who are undecided are likely to think: "I fucking hate elections."

This type of debate is good for nobody. If you believe in a particular candidate's plan for america, then stop showing me that belief by smearing the other guy. Please don't support mud-slinging, no matter how much you dislike the policies of the man who is getting hit

This attack ad culture is pervasive, bipartisan, and it needs to be reigned in.
posted by mosch at 10:00 PM on August 20, 2004


Oops--missed your post of that above there, amberglow!

Well, from the New Republic, here's Frontal Assault:

More critical to going forward with a case, from what we know about the two central factual claims made in the ad, we can say more definitively that they are false.

First, Medical Officer Lewis Letson states that: "I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury." Letson offers no proof for his assertion, just details about the dates and places surrounding the injury that are readily available. More damning is that according to official Navy records, Kerry was treated by another medical officer; Letson was not the medical professional who signed Kerry's "sick call sheet."

Second, Gunner's Mate Van O'Dell says that: "John Kerry lied to get his Bronze Star. I know, I was there, I saw what happened." O'Dell did not serve on Kerry's boat, but was on another boat in his division. O'Dell claims to have witnessed the entire incident in which Kerry won his Bronze Star. Yet, his account does not show up in any official Naval documents--from the spot reports filed immediately after the incident that detail damage to two boats, including Kerry's, and Kerry's injury report to the eyewitness accounts of Jim Rassman, the man who Kerry pulled out of the river. Either O'Dell is right, and Rassman, Kerry, and the US Navy are wrong--or O'Dell has a big legal problem on his hands.


*squints* I don't see that anywhere here...
posted by y2karl at 10:00 PM on August 20, 2004


I love that many of the swift boat vets refuse to release their military records or talk to the press. I guess they don't want to face questions like: "So, were you lying for the past 30 years or are you lying now?"

Also, AP story about the GOP/Swift Boat flyer.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:37 PM on August 20, 2004


Do you MeFi US Americans believe your fellow citizens will eventually start to look beyond the shallow histrionics of the television and print campaigning, and start digging into the real meat of the issues, attitudes, and morals of your presidential candidates?

No. Which is why Kerry is going to lose.

And MidasMulligan? You really DO express some repugnant ethical positions. You are more than free to do so, it goes without saying, but your lack of basic decency is really stomach-turning.
posted by rushmc at 10:41 PM on August 20, 2004


I'm disappointed in you, Midas. I used to think of you as a rational, non-shrill conservative who was good to debate with. Now I see you (well, judging from your most recent comment, that is) as just another raver with poor argument skills.
posted by Vidiot at 10:45 PM on August 20, 2004


MidasMulligan - Gotta say, it is reeeeeeeeeally funny to see Kerry complaining about third party attack ads. It just is.

How so, Midas? What made it funny when Kerry denounced the 527 ad from MoveOn attacking George Bush's military record?

Maybe it was the contrast between Kerry standing up versus Bush's refusal to do the same regarding the SBVFT ad? Is that contrast between action and personal responsibility on Kerry's side and hiding and having others do the dirty work on Bush's behalf what made it funny to you?

I'm not sure I'd call that funny. What makes that funny to you, MidasMulligan?
posted by NortonDC at 10:46 PM on August 20, 2004


Kerry files FEC complaint over ads

Also, still more evidence emerges - from a FOIA request to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis - that the official accounts, not the SBV's, are the ones that are accurate.
posted by soyjoy at 11:21 PM on August 20, 2004


By the way, if Bush hates these 527 groups so much, then why'd he sign the law that created them?
posted by Vidiot at 12:21 AM on August 21, 2004


Techngollogic: I reread what I wrote, and am not sure how it can be interpreted as me saying that they shouldn't have a right to free speech. However, perhaps I was not clear, so let me clarify my thoughts.

Of course they have a right to speak freely. But does the right to speaking freely mean that they should not be held accountable if they are telling lies? They are making widely publicized statements that could potentially effect an election and, I am sure you agree, need to be accountable - as should Moore, Franken, Limbaugh, O'Reilly or anyone making possibly false statements.

At least according to what I'm reading (in a wide variety of sources) most of them are refusing to back up their claims - many of which go directly against naval records and, in quite a few cases, their own earlier statements.

If a source is providing false information, we should point it out regardless of the source's political affiliation.

I believe that most of the veterans involved in this story (including the Swift Boat veterans) honorably served the USA during the Vietnam war. However, either Kerry and all the men who served with him on his boat and the Navy records are telling lies, or the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - again, many of whom have said things that supported Kerry's account in the past - are telling lies. Based on their own past accounts - and on the fact that the people who are funding this are the same ones who smeared McCain in 2000 - I tend to believe the Navy Records.

Thus, I am inclined to believe that supporters of Bush are paying for ads that slander Kerry's military service. Hey, they can do that if they want, but it is (again in my opinion) despicable, I am infuriated by it, and it makes me angry enough to push me towards Kerry instead of Badarnick. I hope that this clarifies my position.

Also - and this is important - the Metafilter spell check believes that the closest correct word to McCain is moccasin.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:59 AM on August 21, 2004


Well booo fucking hooo ... didja y'all think you get away with the utter nastiniess of the relentless (and often wildly false) charges against Bush? The perpetual publication of all manner of facts taken out of context? Didja think comparing Bush to fucking Hitler was just going to go unanswered?

Eat shit and die.

No wait, what I meant to say was what the hell are you talking about? Nasty would be impeachment for dropping the nation's trousers while raping its resources and apportioning its economy to your cronies.

No wait, that'd only be holding one accountable for their (in)actions.

Bush is benefiting greatly already by having the war he led us into without a plan put on the back burner (it's so monotonous anyway, what, with the death and instability and hemorrhaging of funds). Pay no attention to the troops dying behind the curtain!
Kerry's tried to let this play out amongst the media (as it worked for Bush in 1999, when a questionable accusatory book came out lambasting him) but it seems like that 'liberal' media only likes to savage democrats. Go figure.

This begs the question: I've met enough pissed off people here in NYC to produce an ad against Bush which would qualify as nasty. Shall we produce it? We could make any claim we like, apparently.
posted by Busithoth at 5:37 AM on August 21, 2004


This WaPo article shows some motivation for the lying, while pointing it out: But while the group appears to be rooted in Republican politics and big money, several veterans who signed the letter said in interviews yesterday that they are casually into politics and generally are not convinced that Kerry is lying, but they do not like the candidate because of his polarizing speeches in the 1970s.
James Zumwalt, who attended the group's first news conference in May, said he joined the group solely to set the record straight about the allegations of war crimes included in "Tour of Duty," a Douglas Brinkley book about Kerry's Vietnam service. Now, Zumwalt says, "I kind of have mixed feelings" about the tone of the group's attacks. "I would not try to question the awards given to him or his service."


go for it Busithoth, but unless you're being bankrolled by Bush's friends, it won't be played endlessly over and over for free, like the Swift Boat Liars things are.
posted by amberglow at 8:41 AM on August 21, 2004


and someone else comes out about all this: The commander of a Navy swift boat who served alongside Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry during the Vietnam War stepped forward Saturday to dispute attacks challenging Kerry's integrity and war record.
William Rood, an editor on the Chicago Tribune's metropolitan desk, said he broke 35 years of silence about the Feb. 28, 1969, mission that resulted in Kerry's receiving a Silver Star because recent portrayals of Kerry's actions published in the best-selling book "Unfit for Command" are wrong and smear the reputations of veterans who served with Kerry.
Shame on the media for giving these people a platform. Shame on the media for allowing dishonest men to dishonor honest men who served honorably. Shame on you for pretending this was a "he said/he said" situation, ignoring official Navy records and the testimony of everyone who was actually in a position to know. Most of all, shame on all the chickenbloggers who, 30 years from now, will do the same thing to some Iraq war veteran who went home and wondered out loud who will be the last American soldier to die for a lie.
posted by amberglow at 8:53 AM on August 21, 2004


By the way, if Bush hates these 527 groups so much, then why'd he sign the law that created them?

Because he's a flip-flopper.
posted by drezdn at 9:03 AM on August 21, 2004


from the Chicago Tribune story itself: this was ironic, to say the least: The two debated the war on the Dick Cavett television show in 1971, with O'Neill accusing Kerry of the "attempted murder of the reputations of 2½ million" Vietnam veterans.
posted by amberglow at 9:26 AM on August 21, 2004


Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?
posted by NortonDC at 10:21 AM on August 21, 2004


here's another: A Clackamas County prosecutor and decorated Vietnam veteran who appears in an ad attacking Democratic presidential contender John F. Kerry's war record said he did not witness the events in question and is relying on the accounts of his friends who served with the senator.
The 60-second ad, which aired for seven days this month in Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, features 13 Vietnam veterans, including Alfred French, 58, a senior deputy district attorney in Clackamas County.
In the ad, French says: "I served with John Kerry. . . . He is lying about his record."

posted by amberglow at 10:25 AM on August 21, 2004


This incident crystallizes the epistemological issue at play in the larger controversy: Whom does it make sense to believe, the men who served and fought in close company with Kerry and who back his Navy-certified record? Or the veterans who didn't actually serve under Kerry and who, admittedly angry over his subsequent antiwar activities, are now trying to discredit him? To ask that question is to answer it.-- from Boston Globe
posted by amberglow at 10:28 AM on August 21, 2004


didja y'all think you get away with the utter nastiniess of the relentless (and often wildly false) charges against Bush?

One would think that in a rational situation "false charges" would be met with facts to disprove them rather then countering with another set of false charges. But politics of late have been running on what is believed, and existential facts made to appear as irrelevant to the unfolding future.
posted by semmi at 10:43 AM on August 21, 2004


(i could do this all day) : >

Republican Jesus weighs in too
posted by amberglow at 10:52 AM on August 21, 2004


And guess what? A guy who appears in the new SBVT ad was a member of the "Veterans for Bush/Cheney '04" steering committee...as late as Thursday.

God bless the Google cache.
posted by Vidiot at 2:16 PM on August 21, 2004


who wants to bet they issue a terror alert by the end of next week, especially if any or all of this debunking gets aired?
posted by amberglow at 2:42 PM on August 21, 2004


The debunking has been aired; nearly every major newspaper that has done a story on this has thoroughly debunked the Swift Boat liars.

But it doesn't matter.

Because by legitimizing this as part of the public discourse, it then gets splashed all over every newspaper and TV news program in America. I just saw it on my local yokel TV station.

Kerry made a grave, grave mistake dignifying all of this with any sort of answer. For nearly two weeks, the Kerry campaign ignored it and it flew largely beneath the radar. Conservatives were crying that major news outlets were ignoring it, and they were indeed doing so, with good reason: It is obvious, painfully obvious, that this is nothing but a partisan hatchet job, so blatant that it made editors and producers nauseous.

But then Kerry starts talking about it - and that legitimizes it as a story. Wound up on the front page of my local newspaper today, in fact. First time since it all broke.

So the damage is now done, and unless the Kerry campaign and the Democratic "surrogates" are smart enough to open a second front on Bush - I recommend investigating his cocaine use in the '70s - they will continue to find themselves on the defensive, not a good place to be. It angers me - but the campaign should have seen this coming by a mile and been prepared for it. They weren't, and it makes me think they're not ready to play in the big leagues.

And Midas, I see you conviently ignored my question to Steve way up in this thread. But of course; of course you don't really want to get into the financing of the left vs. right; because the truth is that conservatives have thrown untold millions at their causes for years, in fact creating an entire framework whereby conservative ideologies might be propagated.

And you have the nerve to bitch about MoveOn?
posted by kgasmart at 3:28 PM on August 21, 2004


but it's been the top story on CNN and MSNBC (and i guess FOX) all week long, even before Kerry responded.
posted by amberglow at 3:31 PM on August 21, 2004


but it's been the top story on CNN and MSNBC (and i guess FOX) all week long, even before Kerry responded.

But it was going nowhere; it hadn't filtered down to the local media outlets. And conservatives were bitching that the media was "ignoring" the story. They were - until Kerry legitimized it by responding to it.
posted by kgasmart at 4:52 PM on August 21, 2004


How so, Midas? What made it funny when Kerry denounced the 527 ad from MoveOn attacking George Bush's military record?

For Kerry to demand that Bush denounce an ad, he needed to first do the same himself. And lo! MoveOn.org came through. How convenient.

From what I gather, if you are an associate of an associate, or a friend of a friend, of George Bush, then your 1st Amendment rights go out the window.

No President has any business telling any political group to stop running ads. It's scary to think that Kerry believes governmental strong-arming is appropriate.
posted by Ayn Marx at 5:25 PM on August 21, 2004


No President has any business telling any political group to stop running ads. It's scary to think that Kerry believes governmental strong-arming is appropriate.

Bush signed the fuckin' bill that allows them to do so, and then claims that all 527s should just shut up, you idiot. Kerry isn't the preznit ... Bush is. Care to waffle some more, twit?
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:36 PM on August 21, 2004


I don't think anyone wants the ads to quit running.

They want the lying to stop.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:03 PM on August 21, 2004


No President has any business telling any political group to stop running ads. It's scary to think that Kerry believes governmental strong-arming is appropriate.

Oh good fucking lord. ONE OF THEM WAS WORKING FOR BUSH, FOR FUCK'S SAKE. This is illegal. That's why he decided he needs to leave the Bush campaign- amazingly, AFTER HE WAS CAUGHT.

This is simply un-fucking believable. They've lying. There are over a half-dozen instances of members of this group lying and having proven to be wrong about their "truths." There are, including this recent outing of a Bush insider, at least three instances of coordinations between the group and the Bush campaign. They are selling the fucking book on official GOP websites.

With every ounce of patience for the very concept that there is an excuse for this completely exhausted, I will divert the question of what the fuck is wrong with Bush, and ask what the fuck is wrong with you?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:32 PM on August 21, 2004


Bush signed the fuckin' bill that allows them to do so, and then claims that all 527s should just shut up, you idiot.

Gees; calm down, kid. Just point me to a quote of Bush (and not one of his minions) saying that all 527s should just shut up, you idiot.

Kerry isn't the preznit ... Bush is. Care to waffle some more, twit?

Keep up those ESL classes, Wulfgar. You're doing great. Let us know when you pass the GED.
posted by Ayn Marx at 8:46 PM on August 21, 2004


I don't think anyone wants the ads to quit running.

They want the lying to stop.

That would be a good thing. Best approach: publish a counter argument with the truth. Kerry may be 100% correct in his 'Nam claims, but his reaction to all this make him appear to be a skittish whiner.

Bush campaign broke the law? Lay out the facts and take the fuckers to court.

Swift vets guilty of slander and/or libel? Sue them and bankrupt them.

But don't have your pals at moveon.org run an ad just so you can denounce it, and then try to claim the moral high ground. It just gives those baby-killing vets more publicity, which is sort of counter productive. (Well, unless you prefer to have people focus on this rather than actual campaign issues.)
posted by Ayn Marx at 8:56 PM on August 21, 2004


I read it already, and I thought it was a good read, but not worthy of FPP, IMHO.
posted by Busithoth at 2:48 PM EST on August 20


I'd like to retract that, after noticing the posts have hit 111...

As far as the progress of this story goes: unbelievable.
It's as if the Bush administration were conducting the biggest poll ever of vietnam vets, "Kerry: Scumbag or not?"

I still don't see how this is going to benefit Bush come election-time.

and I'd like to second five fresh fish's comment.
issues and truth, would that be so horrible?
posted by Busithoth at 9:02 PM on August 21, 2004


But don't have your pals at moveon.org run an ad just so you can denounce it, and then try to claim the moral high ground.
No one had Moveon run anything, except for Moveon. Kerry denounced it because it went over the line, as these ads most certainly do. Bush needs to be a man and specifically denounce these ads, unless he prefers to have people focus on this rather than actual campaign issues.
Moveon doesn't work or exist for Kerry's benefit. I think you need to back up a statement like yours with some sort of proof, Ayn.
posted by amberglow at 9:07 PM on August 21, 2004


You sincerely believe that the Kerry campaign asked move-on to run the BU$HITLER ad?

You're a loon, you are.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:08 PM on August 21, 2004


But don't have your pals at moveon.org run an ad just so you can denounce it, and then try to claim the moral high ground.

And if you had the remotest shred of a segment of a fraction of a minutae of a portion of a scintilla of a tidbit of evidence to support that accusation, that might be a credible statement.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:30 PM on August 21, 2004


even the Weekly Standard, a Republican magazine, is wise to the fact that this whole thing is shit: Republicans have no such luck this time, and so they scramble to reassure themselves that they nevertheless are doing the right thing, voting against a war hero. The simplest way to do this is to convince themselves that the war hero isn't really a war hero. If sufficient doubt about Kerry's record can be raised, we can vote for Bush without remorse. But the calculations are transparently desperate. Reading some of the anti-Kerry attacks over the last several weeks, you might conclude that this is the new conservative position: A veteran who volunteered for combat duty, spent four months under fire in Vietnam, and then exaggerated a bit so he could go home early is the inferior, morally and otherwise, of a man who had his father pull strings so he wouldn't have to go to Vietnam in the first place.
Needless to say, the proposition will be a hard sell in those dim and tiny reaches of the electorate where voters have yet to make up their minds. Indeed, it's far more likely that moderates and fence-sitters will be disgusted by the lengths to which partisans will go to discredit a rival. But this anti-Kerry campaign is not designed to win undecided votes. It's designed to reassure uneasy minds.

posted by amberglow at 9:32 PM on August 21, 2004


Gees; calm down, kid. Just point me to a quote of Bush (and not one of his minions) saying that all 527s should just shut up, you idiot.

And McClellan works for whom, you idiot? If McClellan says it, Bush says it. White House press secretary. That's kinda the way it works, moron.

Keep up those ESL classes, Wulfgar. You're doing great. Let us know when you pass the GED.

I have multiple college degrees. So what? You can't defend anything, can you, Ayn? You really are stupid aren't you? Prove one thing. and you might have credibility, but I'm thinking ... NOT!!!
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:36 PM on August 21, 2004


what's funniest about Ayn's unsupported statement is that Moveon actually picketed Kerry's offices in 2002: Boston Globe, MA: "Antiwar Protesters Picket Kerry's Office"
August 31, 2002
"Carrying signs of "Say No to War" and "Attack Iraq - NO," about 80 demonstrators crowded the sidewalk and handed out fliers arguing against a US invasion against Saddam Hussein. They called for more weapons inspections and said a unilateral move by the United States would have devastating effects in the Middle East. "There's no evidence that Saddam Hussein is an imminent danger," said Mike Tannert, a retired GTE employee and a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should "focus on homeland security, like protecting our nuclear plants from being attacked," Tannert added."


They've been around since 1998, unlike the Swift Boat Liars.
posted by amberglow at 9:50 PM on August 21, 2004


don't have your pals at moveon.org run an ad just so you can denounce it, and then try to claim the moral high ground.

I'd just like to say that casting aspersions on someone's seemingly honorable conduct is kind of telling. It's simply inconceivable that he's doing the honorable thing. Why would an honorable man run for the presidency?

Hey, Bush/Kerry team: keep thinking your boat's afloat. After all, you're the optimists, right?
posted by Busithoth at 9:50 PM on August 21, 2004


Just point me to a quote of Bush (and not one of his minions) saying that all 527s should just shut up, you idiot.

Thanks for addressing this one, Wulfgar!. It's easily one of the most idiotic comments I've seen here in quite a while.

"Ayn," do you really not grasp on the most basic level what Scott McClellan's job is? Amazing.
posted by soyjoy at 9:52 PM on August 21, 2004


This begs the question: I've met enough pissed off people here in NYC to produce an ad against Bush which would qualify as nasty. Shall we produce it? We could make any claim we like, apparently.

You know what would be funny? An ad with all the people George got drunk and did blow with during the years when he went awol instead of taking a drug test.

Hell, I know some people that were old enough to have done drugs in the 70's. Using the SBV "relational" logic, those people I know were technically in the 70's with George Bush. You could just go get random film of stoned hippies and run it behind cutouts of george's cheerleading days....sweet little cheerleader voices chanting "georgie, georgie! He's our man! If he can't dodge the draft, no one can!"

How all of the veterans in the Republican side of the house are able to stand by and watch this campaign of chickenhawks attack the military record of another decorated soldier...and say nothing, is beyond me. How much koolaid do you have to drink?
posted by dejah420 at 10:09 PM on August 21, 2004


...all of the veterans in the Republican side of the house...
one of the blogs (kos, atrios, ???) just had a list of all the leadership on both sides--in the Senate and House, and journalists, and other govt. officials, and their service or lack thereof. Many of the Repubs hadn't served.
posted by amberglow at 10:15 PM on August 21, 2004


Using the SBV "relational" logic, those people I know were technically in the 70's with George Bush.

Heh. I loved the Daily Show line: These men "served with" John Kerry sort of the way Snoopy "served with" the Red Baron.
posted by soyjoy at 10:25 PM on August 21, 2004


very good op-ed on the failure of the press this time, as compared to the last time O'Neill was used against Kerry. The big difference between what did and did not happen in 1971 and what is happening today involves the press. With no evidence that could withstand a laugh test, there was no point 33 years ago in spreading a smear. Today, thanks to the emergence of cable TV and a decline in standards, it is much easier to put muck in play, which is what has happened with Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace's 2004 counterpart, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
posted by amberglow at 9:50 AM on August 22, 2004


And McClellan works for whom, you idiot? If McClellan says it, Bush says it. White House press secretary. That's kinda the way it works, moron.

Well, thanks for provding a specifc link and not stooping to name calling.

I admire your maturity. You'll grow into a fine adult one day.

Actually, I admire how easy it is to get people foaming at the mouth, ruining potentially valuable posts with grade-school name calling.

Yeah, I found some quotes from McClellan, and maybe "shut up" is how some slower folks might paraphrase him. I don't see that as an accurate summary, though, and to claim that Bush & Co.said that "527s should shut up" is a bit misleading. Sort of like the Swift boat ads I suppose.

As for proof that Team Kerry is in cahoots with moveon.org? None. I'm making shit up to provoke a reaction. Like those claiming that the Swift boat vets are a front for Bush's inner circle.

Sorry for the disruption. Still, it's worth it just to see the amount of purile venom people toss back at the first provocation. Must be a HumourFilter in effect.

But cheer up: Hope is on the way.
posted by Ayn Marx at 11:47 AM on August 22, 2004


None. I'm making shit up to provoke a reaction. Like those claiming that the Swift boat vets are a front for Bush's inner circle.

Like the New York Times and Washington Post (and others) did in their articles? Are you accusing them of making shit up too? Really?
posted by amberglow at 12:01 PM on August 22, 2004


And if y'all what to puff your chests out and yell "bring it on", I'd suggest you stop whining when it starts to get brought.

Bold words, bitch, from someone who doesn't dare provide a real name or email contact. But not surprising. I wouldn't want my name attached to the gang of cowards, liars, and pedos who surround this administration, if I were you, either--however much I aped their behavior.

None. I'm making shit up to provoke a reaction.

Hoping to be the next Mad Michelle Malkin, Ayn? You've got the lying down, sweetheart. Now work on those bulgy eyes, do anal, and don't charge more than 5 bucks an hour.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:19 PM on August 22, 2004


I'm making shit up to provoke a reaction. Like those claiming that the Swift boat vets are a front for Bush's inner circle.

Bullshit. We (and the NYT, and the WaPo, and the Boston Globe) show you a web of connections, and that's "making shit up"?

We point to a Google cache of one of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth members' names as part of a "Steering Committee" on the Bush campaign website. That's not part of his inner circle?

We point out that the spokeswoman for SBVT served in the Reagan White House's press office, was a consultant to Kenneth Starr during the Clinton impeachment, her child's godfather is US Solicitor General Theodore Olson, and her late husband ran for Texas lieutenant governor...on Bush's ticket. And that's not tied closely to Bush, to say nothing of his inner circle?

We point out that the Bush Administration is claiming to be able to "put an end to" the Swift Boat ads. And that means they're completely independent of the White House or the Bush/Cheney campaign?

And no, McClellan didn't say -- quote -- "527s should shut up." Are you familiar with paraphrase? Here's what he said:
Terry, the President thinks that we should get rid of all of this unregulated soft money activity by these shadowy groups. It's not known who is contributing to these groups. The President believes that there ought to be full disclosure and rapid disclosure of contributions. He's called for that previously. He has set an example by doing that himself [. . .]

Q Well, the charge, though, has been made not just in advertisements, but it has now been made directly to the President.

MR. McCLELLAN: And there have been a lot of false, negative charges made against the President by these shadowy groups. So if he would join us, we could get rid of all of this unregulated soft money activity.

Q Let me ask it this way: The President has said and believes that John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam, right?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, he's made that very clear. We've made it very clear that we will not make his -- will never raise questions about his service. We haven't, and we won't.

Q This advertisement raises questions about his service, and in fact concludes that he served dishonorably. So the President thinks this ad is false, right?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the issue here is these unregulated soft money groups that exist. The campaign finance reforms were passed in order to get rid of this kind of activity. Yet there is a loophole in the law, and the FEC has refused to address it. We think that all of this activity should be stopped.
My emphasis added above. Note the use of "the President thinks"...McClellan is the President's spokesman. That means he speaks for the president. What word don't you understand, Ayn Marx?

Oh, and don't forget that Bush signed the law that made 527s possible. You'd think that if he was that upset with the contents, he wouldn't sign it. But rather, he's content to let the "shadowy group" on his side run ads chock-full of lies designed to smear his opponent, while clucking disapprovingly about "loopholes in the law" when called on it.

And I guess that's just more "liberal media" or "making shit up", right?

(It's kind of funny that you're calling someone "purile", Ayn Marx. (Pot? It's the kettle for you. Line one.) And I don't usually correct others' spelling online, but it's "puerile.")

As amberglow pointed out above, you still have some proof to produce for your wild statements. We've shown you the proof, in spades.

It's your turn now, sunshine.
posted by Vidiot at 2:20 PM on August 22, 2004


...
...
...
we're still waiting, sunshine!
posted by quonsar at 3:06 PM on August 22, 2004


Well, thanks for provding a specifc link and not stooping to name calling.

This thread is chock full of specific links. If you can't read them, or won't, don't blame me for your willful ignorance. And if I insult you ... too bad. I've had it up to here with idiots like you who refuse to accept the obvious. I'm well over your sophistry, which denegrates the brave service of an American in wartime, just to defend your pet chickenhawk coward in the White House. Even worse your blindness, and that of those like you, devalues the military as a whole, prefering partisan claptrap and lies over the military record of the time, men and place. You've already decided, against all evidence and reason, that Bush will be a better safeguard as Commander in Chief, and the only way you can justify that decision is by spitting on the service of a decorated veteran. The esteem with which you regard American service personel speaks volumes; loathsome, stinking, leperous volumes. You are a poor American, and that makes me sick. Be thankful I only called you a moron, because I can't find a word strong enough to describe the poison that freely drips from your rotting grey matter, Ayn.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:35 PM on August 22, 2004


I don't think anyone wants the ads to quit running.

I do.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:25 PM on August 22, 2004


They run those in Korea, stav?

(I snark.)

I thought this take, from Atrios, was interesting:
Why are the Swift Boat Liars and Move On "two sides of the same coin." Move On is an established organization which has been around for years and which has a very large small donor base (and, a few large donors as well). Swift Boat Liars came into being just recently to lie about John Kerry's record.

Why are the Swift Boat Liar ads and Move On's ads equivalent? On one hand we have proven liars contradicting existing Navy records and 35 years of public comment, and on the other hand we have legitimate questions, raised by many prominent news organizations, about whether George Bush bothered to show up for national guard service as he was required. There are many legitimate questions about Bush's failure to fulfill his duty, including his failure to take a required flight physical, as well as the fact that Bush lied about his military record in his autobiography. Kerry has Navy records to back up his claims, Bush does not.

Why is Move On a "far left" organization? Can you point to these extreme positions they've taken on some issues? Any issue?

... and, one more thing. If they're "the same," why are the swift boat liars on every news show and Move On people are not?
posted by Vidiot at 4:37 PM on August 22, 2004


we're still waiting, sunshine!

Shhhhhhh. "Ayn" is still busy trying to fathom the concept of a daily press briefing that's available to everybody via the Internet. What an insult "her" username is to both namesakes.

And cheers to Atrios for helping to articulate what others here have pointed out - trying to draw any kind of equivalency between Move On and the SBVT is complete bullshit which only happens because the mainstream media is obsessed with staying "right down the middle."
posted by soyjoy at 6:47 PM on August 22, 2004


Even Bob Dole has sunk to questioning Kerry's war record. Josh Marshall points out the irony, given that Dole himself once described one of his own wounds as "the sort of injury the Army patched up with Mercurochrome and a Purple Heart."

We'll be waiting for you to return that Purple Heart, Senator, since by your current standards you don't deserve it.
posted by pmurray63 at 7:07 PM on August 22, 2004


you should have seen Elizabeth on TV the other day, parroting talking points like there was no tomorrow.
posted by amberglow at 7:28 PM on August 22, 2004


No, Bob Dole never made a single off-the-wall comment regarding war over the years. Bob Dole never called the war he fought in one of those Democratic wars. He's just a nice old war hero who does ads for Viagara.
posted by raysmj at 8:06 PM on August 22, 2004


Excuse me, Viagra.
posted by raysmj at 8:07 PM on August 22, 2004


And stuff.
posted by homunculus at 8:15 PM on August 22, 2004


It's time for McCain (I think that's the guy) to grow some balls and bash hell out of his party's dishonest politicking.

If McCain were to savage his party in such a way that he maintained his honesty, dignity, and honour, I suspect the republican party would fail to win this election, but would also be forced to restructure and rethink its role in politics, and would arise from the ashes a stronger, better party.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:20 AM on August 23, 2004


I think they'd throw McCain to the curb in a heartbeat if he ever did anything like that. (They already tried to establish that he was psycho in 2000.) They get to have it both ways now--he mildly protests and denounces things, but still campaigns for Bush. The party doesn't care about being a better party--they care about staying in power.
posted by amberglow at 9:57 AM on August 23, 2004




Its about fricken' time!
posted by Wulfgar! at 12:35 PM on August 23, 2004


Anti-Kerry vets won't pull attack ads

posted by Otis at 12:59 PM on August 23, 2004


Notice how Bush didn't specifically condemn the ad?

Rove will call them and they'll stop, as soon as he feels they've exhausted this issue (which they haven't as of now). I bet they ride this for at least a few more weeks.
posted by amberglow at 1:09 PM on August 23, 2004


Bush said exactly what he's been saying (through McClellan, Ayn Marx) for a while, which is calling for an end to all 527s. The only real difference is that he said it himself this time.
posted by Vidiot at 1:26 PM on August 23, 2004


Maybe he was reading this thread and was concerned people like Ayn didn't understand that he was personally calling for the 527s to shut up. Of course, he still didn't actually say, "527s should shut up," so there's still that loophole.
posted by soyjoy at 1:52 PM on August 23, 2004


Here's an excerpt of what Bush said today:
BUSH: I'm denouncing all the stuff being on TV, all the 527s. That's what I've said.

I said this kind of unregulated soft money is wrong for the process. And I asked Senator Kerry to join me in getting rid of all that kind of soft money, not only on TV, but to use for other purposes as well.

I, frankly, thought we'd gotten rid of that when I signed the McCain-Feingold bill. I thought we were going to once and for all get rid of a system where people could just pour tons of money in and not be held to account for the advertising. . .

I don't think we ought to have 527s. I can't be more plain about it. And I wish -- I hope my opponent joins me in saying, condemning these activities of the 527s. It's the -- I think they're bad for the system. That's why I signed the bill, McCain-Feingold.
Shouldn't he be aware of the contents of the bill he signed into law? The one that created 527s?
posted by Vidiot at 1:56 PM on August 23, 2004


Oops. Corrected:

...what Bush said today.
posted by Vidiot at 2:08 PM on August 23, 2004


Bush signed a bill that made this sort of thing possible, thinking that it was making it impossible?

Geez. That about says it all. What a boob!
posted by five fresh fish at 3:32 PM on August 23, 2004


good thing at Tapped on Bush's 527 connections: ...that the campaign finance law the president signed just a few years ago deliberately avoided closing the 527 loophole; that Bush beat Sen. John McCain (R-Ari.) during the 2000 primary in part with the help of a 527 run by his supporter Sam Wylie; that Bush's own campaign manager, campaign counsel, and political guru (Ken Melhman, Ben Ginsburg, and Karl Rove, respectively) have attended fundraising and organizational events for Progress for America, a 527 founded by Bush's political director from the 2000 campaign, Tony Feather; that GOP chairman Ed Gillespie and Bush campaign chairman Mark Racicot recently issued a statement designating PFA and yet another GOP 527, the Leadership Forum, as a good place for Republicans to give money to; and that the second-biggest 527 in the U.S. is the Republican Governors Association, a group spun off by the Republican National Committee two years ago specifically to collect and harness soft money for state and local GOP candidates.

If President Bush is opposed to 527s, somebody better tell his senior campaign staff, and quick.

posted by amberglow at 3:47 PM on August 23, 2004


A lawyer for President Bush's re-election campaign disclosed Tuesday that he has been providing legal advice for a veterans group that is challenging Democratic Sen. John Kerry 's account of his Vietnam War service.
Benjamin Ginsberg's acknowledgment marks the second time in days that an individual associated with the Bush-Cheney campaign has been connected to the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which Kerry accuses of being a front for the Republican incumbent's re-election effort.
The Bush campaign and the veterans' group say there is no coordination.
posted by amberglow at 7:59 PM on August 24, 2004


(amberglow, just as I was surfing over here to post the same thing, I thought I'd probably see you 'round these parts right now! We gotta hang out sometime and have a beer.)
posted by scody at 8:05 PM on August 24, 2004


scody (sure!) : >
posted by amberglow at 9:15 PM on August 24, 2004


Also, Atrios has this from the Head Liar:

O'Neill: How do I know he's not in Cambodia? I was on the same river, George. I was there two months after him. Our patrol area ran to Sedek, it was 50 miles from Cambodia. There isn't any watery border.

...and yet...

O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.
NIXON: In a swift boat?
O'NEILL: Yes, sir.
posted by soyjoy at 9:31 PM on August 24, 2004


O'Neill hasn't said one word of truth in this whole thing, from lying about supporting and voting Republican all these years, on...

Bush-Cheney Campaign Violated Soft Money Disclosure Law: The recount fund created by the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign evaded a soft money campaign finance disclosure law for 18 months and did not file required forms until the last day of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) "amnesty" program for out-of-compliance groups, Public Citizen has discovered.
The Bush-Cheney 2000, Inc-Recount Fund, a 527 political group created shortly after the November 2000 election to pay for the legal and political activities in Florida and other contested areas, apparently did not file at least four – and perhaps as many as six – required disclosure forms until 3:25 p.m. on July 15, 2002 – meeting the deadline to avoid millions of dollars in potential fines by less than nine hours.

posted by amberglow at 5:46 AM on August 25, 2004


Perhaps it would be appropriate to add the Aug. 25 NYT Editorial on the subject.
posted by semmi at 6:03 PM on August 25, 2004


Wulfgar!, Vidiot... you have singlehandedly (well, doublehandedly) made this old cynic respect MetaFilter again.
posted by Ezrael at 8:44 PM on August 30, 2004


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