Sinking in Their Own Sea of Lies
William D. McTavish – Capitol Hill Blue August 20, 2004
That gurgling sound you hear is the ever-increasing number of leaks in the credibility of the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
Yes, the Swift Boats are sinking in their own sea of lies, sunk by a fusillade of reality that exposed the bitter old Vietnam Veterans as just another Republican led and funded shill operation for the Presidential campaign of George W. Bush.
Those who know how politics really work in Washington saw SBVT for what they really were but that didn’t stop them from getting gobs of play from the right-wing ring of the media circus and the ultra-conservative bulletin boards where lonely Midwestern housewives and gullible retirees post hate-filled screeds against anything that doesn’t fit into their narrow view of the world.
SBVT’s public leader is John E. O’Neill, a longtime GOP operative but he’s been in the middle of these things before. Back in 1971, O’Neill claimed to have formed a group called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace, a bunch of pro-war veterans sent out to counter the antiwar activities of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, led by one John F. Kerry.
But, like SBVT, Vietnam Veterans for Just Peace was a shill, a creation of President Richard M. Nixon’s chief counsel (and hatchet man) Charles Colson.
"We found a vet named John O'Neill and formed a group called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. We had O'Neill meet the President, and we did everything we could do to boost his group," Colson admitted to reporter Joe Klein in a January 5 interview published in The New Yorker magazine.
O’Neill is a documented liar. He tells interviewers that he is “neither a Democrat nor a Republican,” but Federal Election Commission records show he contributes only to Republican candidates. He claims he has never been active politically, but newspaper articles in his hometown of Houston, Texas carry numerous accounts of his political activities on behalf of the Republican Party.
He claims SBVT has raised $450,000 “mainly from small contributors” but the IRS filings of the group show at least $300,000 has come from two Texas millionaires with strong ties to President Bush.
O’Neill co-authored the anti-Kerry diatribe called <>Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry<>, with Harvard PhD Jerome Corsi, a virulent, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, homophobic right-wing author who posts venom-filled attacks on conservative bulletin boards, calling Kerry “John Fx%*!!g Commie Kerry” and Senator Hillary Clinton a “fat hog.”
They based their book, and an accompanying attack television ad, on accounts by Swift Boat vets who did not serve directly with Kerry and several of whom have changed their stories or been caught in lies of their own.
· Larry Thurlow, commander of another Swift Boat at the same time as Kerry who claims the Presidential nominee lied about being “under fire” when he earned a Bronze Star for rescuing a Green Beret. Turns out Thurlow also received a Bronze Star for the same action and his citation talks about being “under heavy small arms fire.” Turlow claims he never read the citation and it was wrong. The Green Beret Kerry rescued tells a different story, saying he was under fire and sure he was gonna die.
· George Elliott, a former Navy Lt. Commander who claimed Kerry lied about his Vietnam activities, then recanted that story in an interview with the Boston Globe, then recanted his recent. Elliott also appeared at a rally in support of Kerry during one of his Senate campaigns.
· Retired Admiral Roy Hoffman, on May 6, told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Steve Schultze he had “no first-hand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims to valor” and said that although Kerry was under his command, he really didn't know Kerry much personally.” On August 5, however, Hoffman told Sean Hannity on his ABC radio show that "I knew him (Kerry) well, because I operated very closely with him and, uh, many of the operations, uh, most of the operations were-were conducted with multiple boats.”
“This smear campaign has been launched by people without decency," says Jim Rassmann, the former Green Beret Kerry rescued under fire. “Their charges are false; their stories are fabricated, made up by people who did not serve with Kerry in Vietnam.”
Rassman, by the way, says he is “a Republican, and for more than 30 years I have largely voted for Republicans.” He is also a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
There’s an old rule in combat. Trust the guys who serve with you, fight along side with you and face death with you. Four of the five guys who served with Kerry in his Swift Boat say the SBVT guys are full of crap.
When it comes to who to believe about what happened in a long-ago war in a far-away place, I’ll trust the guys who served with John Kerry long before I’ll listen to a pack of documented liars with a proven partisan agenda.
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are anything but and their hypocrisy and deception are now exposed for all to see.
© Copyright 2004 Capitol Hill Blue
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Last updated 22/08/2004