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August 6, 2004

The Dishonorable Veterans' Smear Campaign

Posted by Phil on August 6, 2004 9:41 AM

This is getting play everywhere, including the LinkLog on your right, but I thought I'd summarize it here as well. These Karl Rove tactics are so effective because the smell hangs around even after the smear is wiped off. Every open window helps.

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are now in mid-stream in their attack on John Kerry's Vietnam War record. A book due next week is being successfully championed by the Drudge Report.

* None of the so-called veterans for truth actually served on Kerry's boat.

* Of the six men who served on Kerry's boat, five now personally endorse him for president, and one is deceased.

* Kerry's commanding officer now regrets signing an affidavit alleging that a dishonest account of events led to Kerry's receipt of a Silver Star.

* The group's leader, John O'Neill, was recruited by the Nixon administration to combat Kerry, who was proving to be an effective, anti-war thorn in their side.

* The Bush campaign coyly declares that it will not attack Sen. Kerry or his war record, but declines to pointedly condemn the Swift Boat Veterans' new attack ad.

So where does the group get the wherewithall? Joe Conason at Salon has more:

The Republican orientation of the Swift Boat Veterans organization is transparently obvious, despite the inclination of some journalists to pretend otherwise. From stern to bow, they're strictly GOP.

As previously noted in this space, the group was organized last spring with the assistance of Merrie Spaeth, a Republican public relations executive from Houston whose late husband, Tex Lezar, ran for Texas lieutenant governor on George W. Bush's ticket in 1994.

Its guiding spirit is John E. O'Neill, a partner in Lezar's law firm and an early protege of Nixon-era dirty trickster Charles Colson. Its Web site was put up courtesy of William Franke, a St. Louis businessman with longstanding ties to Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Missouri Republican Party. Its chief financiers, according to the group's last quarterly IRS filing, are Houston builder Bob J. Perry and the Crow family, both major Republican donors from Texas.

Last November, the Dallas Morning News profiled Perry*. During the past four years, he has given more than $5 million to candidates and causes, nearly all of them Republican and extremely conservative. The article didn't say whether Perry himself ever served in the military.

The Crow family, a clan of megadevelopers based in Dallas, are close Bush friends as well as generous backers. Harlan Crow is also a trustee of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation.

In short, the financial supporters of the Swift Boat Vets are not exactly strangers to George W. Bush and Karl Rove.

*Boston Globe, 8/6/04: 'The Associated Press reported yesterday that Houston home-builder Bob J. Perry, a major Republican donor, gave at least $100,000 to the organization sponsoring the ad, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.'

*AP report, 8/5/04: 'Perry's June donation accounted for most of the $158,750 that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, founded in April, reported raising as of June 30.'

It's an irony and an insult that Bush's supporters think so little of the American voter that they would attack the veracity of his opponent's war stories, when the only stories their man has are the ones to cover his ass when it was AWOL.


Did you know that G.W.Bush is not a born Texan, that is right he is a carpetbagger from New Haven Conn. his daddy bought his metals for him with the help from some well off Texans and Washington Congressmen.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 28, 2004 3:47 PM