GOP Begins Attempt To Smear Kerry's War Record With Usual Suspects
As some of you have noted in the Open Thread comments, the expected right-wing smear campaign against Kerry’s military service record in Vietnam has begun. A group funded in large part by a major Bush donor from Houston, homebuilder Robert Parry, has begun running $500,000 in ads in three key battleground states to claim that Kerry is lying about his record. The group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is headed by former Nixon White House staffer John O’Neill, who himself never served with Kerry. And it should be noted that a PR consultant paid by the group to coordinate attacks against Kerry herself was involved in the effort by Bush in 2000 to smear John McCain in South Carolina.
A doctor who claims to have treated Kerry for one of his wounds, Louis Letson, says that Kerry’s wound was very small, yet Dr. Letson wasn’t the doctor who signed Kerry’s treatment record that was the basis for the Purple Heart.
Two of the men in the new ads attacking Kerry came to Massachusetts to campaign for Kerry in 1996.
As noted by the Los Angeles Times, little corroboration has been provided to date for the charges made in the ad, except for what may come out in an upcoming book by O’Neill, who didn’t serve with Kerry and who got his start in politics by working for Chuck Colson in the Nixon White House. O’Neill has ties to both Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Bush’s attorneys in Houston.
These various veterans, including a retired admiral, profess that Kerry is unfit to be commander in chief because he lied about his war record, even though in order to get these medals, a few folks up the chain of command would have had to sign off on the commendations. And it goes without saying that these folks have such a problem with Kerry, but don’t seem to have a problem with the integrity of a president who has never come clean about his avoidance of combat stateside, or why that president has sent nearly a thousand men and women in uniform to their deaths for a war of choice based on lies.