View Full Version : Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

05-04-2004, 06:56 AM
Surely this is not the thousands of Veterans that stand behind Kerry.

"What is going to happen on Tuesday is an event that is really historical in dimension," John O'Neill, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy as a PCF (Patrol Craft Fast) boat commander, told CNSNews.com. The event, expected to draw about 25 of the letter-signers, is being organized by a newly formed group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

"We have 19 of 23 officers who served with [Kerry]. We have every commanding officer he ever had in Vietnam. They all signed a letter that says he is unfit to be commander in chief," O'Neill said. <hr /></blockquote> I am just wondering if the left will question these guys patriotism? This questioning of patriotism is a quite a joke, however Kerry was the one who came back from war (while all these guys were still fighting) and labled them as murderers, rapists, etc. I guess if anyone knows about Kerry and his military career (is that the right word for a few month stint?) these guys would have first hand knowledge. Maybe this is just some lynching and Kerry can play the martyr?

Ooops, almost forgot...Here is the link (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/5/3/92240.shtml) to the rest of the story.

I still find it odd that Kerry is running on this platform declaring the great war hero he was, and he was only around for a couple months. He took his first get out of jail free card and fled, only to bad mouth those that were still over there fighting for their country. He turned his backs on all the soldiers and called them murderers and rapists, why would they believe in him now. What, in Kerry's past, would give any evidence that he could do a better job as President than what is being done now?


05-04-2004, 07:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr>What, in Kerry's past, would give any evidence that he could do a better job as President than what is being done now?

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>
I'll help you out with that one, nothing. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

05-04-2004, 10:40 AM
May 4, 2004 |

The latest conservative outfit to fire an angry broadside against John Kerry's heroic war record is Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which today launches a campaign to brand the Democrat "unfit to serve as commander in chief." Billing itself as representing the "other 97 percent of veterans" from Kerry's Navy unit who don't support his presidential candidacy, the group insists that all presidential candidates must be "totally honest and forthcoming" about their military service.

These "swift boat vets" claim still to be furious about Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony against the war in which he spoke about atrocities in Indochina's "free fire zones." More than three decades later, facing the complicated truth about Vietnam remains difficult. But this group's political connections make clear that its agenda is to target the election of 2004.

Behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are veteran corporate media consultant and Texas Republican activist Merrie Spaeth, who is listed as the group's media contact; eternal Kerry antagonist and Houston attorney John E. O'Neill, law partner of Spaeth's late husband, Tex Lezar; and retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffman, a cigar-chomping former Vietnam commander once described as "the classic body-count guy" who "wanted hooches destroyed and people killed."

Spaeth told Salon that O'Neill first approached her last winter to discuss his "concerns about Sen. Kerry." O'Neill has been assailing Kerry since 1971, when the former Navy officer was selected for the role by Charles Colson, Richard Nixon's dirty-tricks aide. Spaeth heard O'Neill out, but told him, she says, that he "sounded like a crazed extremist" and should "button his lip" and avoid speaking with the press. But since Kerry clinched the Democratic nomination, Spaeth has changed her mind and decided to donate her public relations services on a "pro bono" basis to O'Neill's latest anti-Kerry effort. "About three weeks ago, four weeks ago," she said, the group's leaders "met in my office for about 12 hours" to prepare for their Washington debut.

Although not as well known as Karen Hughes, Spaeth is among the most experienced and best connected Republican communications executives. During the Reagan administration she served as director of the White House Office of Media Liaison, where she specialized in promoting "news" items that boosted President Reagan to TV stations around the country. While living in Washington she met and married Lezar, a Reagan Justice Department lawyer who ran for lieutenant governor of Texas in 1994 with George W. Bush, then the party's candidate for governor. (Lezar lost; Bush won.)

Through Lezar, who died of a heart attack last January, she met O'Neill, his law partner in Clements, O'Neill, Pierce, Wilson &amp; Fulkerson, a Dallas firm. (It also includes Margaret Wilson, the former counsel to Gov. Bush who followed him to Washington, where she served for a time as a deputy counsel in the Department of Commerce.)

05-04-2004, 10:44 AM
part two...

Spaeth's partisanship runs still deeper, as does her history of handling difficult P.R. cases for Republicans. In 1998, for example, she coached Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel, to prepare him for his testimony urging the impeachment of President Clinton before the House Judiciary Committee. She even reviewed videotapes of his previous television appearances to give him pointers about his delivery and demeanor. The man responsible for arranging her advice to Starr was another old friend of her late husband's, Theodore Olson, who was counsel to the right-wing American Spectator when it acted as a front for the dirty-tricks campaign against Clinton known as the Arkansas Project; he is now the solicitor general in the Bush Justice Department. (Olson also happens to be the godfather of Spaeth's daughter.)

In 2000, Spaeth participated in the most subterranean episode of the Republican primary contest when a shadowy group billed as "Republicans for Clean Air" produced television ads falsely attacking the environmental record of Sen. John McCain in California, New York and Ohio. While the identity of those funding the supposedly "independent" ads was carefully hidden, reporters soon learned that Republicans for Clean Air was simply Sam Wyly -- a big Bush contributor and beneficiary of Bush administration decisions in Texas -- and his brother, Charles, another Bush "Pioneer" contributor. (One of the Wyly family's private capital funds, Maverick Capital of Dallas, had been awarded a state contract to invest $90 million for the University of Texas endowment.)

When the secret emerged, spokeswoman Spaeth caught the flak for the Wylys, an experience she recalled to me as "horrible" and "awful." Her job was to assure reporters that there had been no illegal coordination between the Bush campaign and the Wyly brothers in arranging the McCain-trashing message. Not everyone believed her explanation, including the Arizona senator.

The veteran group's founder, Rear Adm. Roy Hoffmann, first gained notoriety in Vietnam as a strutting, cigar-chewing Navy captain. But it was O'Neill, by now a familiar figure on the Kerry-bashing circuit, who came to Spaeth for assistance.

Until now, Hoffmann has been best known as the commanding officer whose obsession with body counts and "scorekeeping" may have provoked the February 1969 massacre of Vietnamese civilians at Thanh Phong by a unit led by Bob Kerrey -- the Medal of Honor winner who lost a leg in Nam, became a U.S. senator from Nebraska and now sits on the 9/11 commission.

After journalist Gregory Vistica exposed the Thanh Phong massacre and the surrounding circumstances in the New York Times magazine three years ago, conservative columnist Christopher Caldwell took particular note of the cameo role played by Kerrey's C.O., who had warned his men not to return from missions without enough kills. "One of the myths due to die as a result of Vistica's article is that which holds the war could have been won sensibly and cleanly if the 'suits' back in Washington had merely left the military men to their own devices," Caldwell wrote. "In this light, one of the great merits of Vistica's article is its portrait of the Kurtz-like psychopath who commanded Kerrey's Navy task force, Capt. Roy Hoffmann."

Arguments about the war in Vietnam seem destined to continue forever. For now, however, the lingering bitterness and ambiguity of those days provide smear material against an antiwar war hero with five medals on behalf of a privileged Guardsman with a dubious duty record. The president's Texas allies -- whose animus against his Democratic challenger dates back to the Nixon era -- are now deploying the same techniques and personnel they used to attack McCain's integrity four years ago. Bush's "independent" supporters would apparently rather talk about the Vietnam quagmire than about his deadly incompetence in Iraq.

05-04-2004, 10:54 AM
NBC: Worst Abuse at Al Ghraib Done by Iraqi Recruits

Tuesday, May. 4, 2004 10:35 AM EDT

Some of the worst abuse in the Al Ghraib prison scandal was reportedly perpetrated by Iraqi guards recruited by the U.S. military and brought into to the jail to help maintain control of the growing population of Iraqi detainees.

And while most of the allegations against U.S. military police involve harassment and intimidation tactics that did not cause physical harm, the Iraqi recruits allegedly raped several detainees.

"The Iraqi guards apparently engaged in rape of female prisoners and perhaps some young boys," reported NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski on Tuesday.

Miklaszewski told radio host Don Imus that the Iraqi guards had been recruited "in an effort to control the Iraqis inside the prison. The American military invited Iraqis - they trained them up ever so briefly and put them into the prison."

Miklaszewski described another case where "one of these Iraqi guards smuggled in knives and a gun to one of the prisoners and there was a shoot-out in the cell. He was shot to death, an MP was wounded."

Until now, press reports have made no mention of the role played by Iraqi guards in some of worst aspects of the prison abuse scandal. Extensive quotes by the New Yorker Magazine and the Los Angeles Times from a preliminary military report on the abuse scandal failed to note any involvement by Iraqi guards.

Previously, the worst allegation to emerge from the prison abuse scandal was the charge that one of the detainees had been sodomized with a light bulb or a broomstick. But the military report as excerpted by the Los Angeles Times did not specifically identify the perpetrator as American.

05-04-2004, 10:57 AM
lol I heard a prisoner complain that being stripped naked in front of a woman was worse then being tortured by Saddam or something like that. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

05-04-2004, 11:00 AM
That prisoner must not be gifted in "that" area. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif