Readers Note: The following is an email I’ve just sent to Boston Globe reporter Scott Helman concerning his Apr. 6 story, "'Soft money' battle brewing."
Dear Mr. Helman:
Your Arp 6 article ( “'Soft money' battle brewing” ) provided a good deal of interesting information and I thank you for it. But I believe a part of your article concerning the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is wide of the mark.
I want to tell you why I believe that and invite your response, which I’ll publish in full at my blog just as I’m publishing this letter.
The new GOP group is still in embryonic form, Republicans strategists say, but it is being led by operatives who ran the 2004 Republican group Progress for America, and will probably be funded at least partly by "alumni" of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that used TV ads four years ago to challenge Kerry's well-documented heroism in Vietnam. (emphasis mine)The Swiftees never challenged “Kerry’s well-documented heroism in Vietnam.”
They challenged first, his failure to release to the public all his Navy service records, something he’d repeatedly promised to do. They did that at a May 4, 2004 news conference at the National Press Club. The Globe reported on it the following day. (See here )
Kerry has yet to fulfill his promise. Instead, just as Nixon offered to do with the Watergate tapes, Kerry has released selected portions of his record while withholding other portions.
The Swiftees also challenged the truth of things Kerry said concerning his Vietnam service. For example, that he’d been sent to Cambodia on a secret mission and spent a Christmas there.
In the ’04 campaign the Swiftees took a terrific pounding from Kerry’s MSM supporters, but I don’t think even Kerry himself now makes the “Christmas in Cambodia” claim.
I’m sure you know last year T. Boone Pickens pledged to give $1 million to a charity of Kerry’s choice if Kerry could verify one thing the Swift Boat Veterans charged that isn’t true.
Kerry wrote Pickens he’d do that promptly and Pickens had better be ready with the $1million.
But as far as I know, Kerry’s done nothing about it since. Do you know otherwise? If so, can you steer me to the source?
Sen. Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans deserve our respect and gratitude for their honorable and frequently heroic service.
But when someone runs for President and offers his or her military service as a key qualifier for office, the public is well served by those who point out the candidate is failing to release service records as promised and making claims about his/her service that are not true.
Your characterization of what the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth did in ’04 is very wide of the mark. I hope you’ll find some means of correcting what you wrote.
Once more, I’ll publish in full at my blog your response.
John in Carolina