Thursday, August 05, 2004

Stupid Smear by Swiftboat Liars was debunked before it ran...


But we all knew this already- it was debunked on Air America by Joe Conason before the ad ran:

Another theme promoted by the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" is that Kerry somehow exaggerated the injuries that led to his Purple Heart awards, or may even have inflicted them on himself. Kerry's first wound occurred on Dec. 2, 1968, which was the very first night he went on a swift boat patrol. Although several witnesses who were present that night remember that Kerry's arm was creased during a firefight with National Liberation Front guerrillas, a former commander who wasn't there has claimed that there was no report of enemy fire.

Among the witnesses who does recall the firefight is Pat Runyon, a former crew member on Kerry's boat. He too spoke with Rupprath when the detective contacted him recently -- and told Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater that he was stunned to find serious inaccuracies in a version of the interview that Rupprath later sent to him. The most damning mistake, Runyon said, was an insinuation that Kerry's injury had been caused by a flare rather than a bullet.

Runyon isn't alone in suspecting that Rupprath may misuse his words, according to Wade Sanders, a former deputy assistant secretary of the Navy who served with Kerry in Vietnam and is publicly supporting the Democrat. Sanders said he has heard lately from a pair of other Navy veterans interviewed by the detective. "They told me that he sent them transcripts [of their interviews] and that they told him that his version was a misrepresentation of what they said."

Reached in Dallas, Rupprath referred all questions to Merrie Spaeth, the public relations executive and Republican activist who put together the "Swift Boat Veterans" group. Asked about the charges of distortion by Runyon and Sanders, the detective replied: "I want to just state that I am making no statement."

As Conason said on Al Franken's show, he could see the smear evolving.

Ho hum.

Another great gem by Conason features John Kerry's "CO" cut down to size by a conservative columnist:

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."

From page 1 on that article:

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.

So, it's just another Republican dirty trick.

Now, what about Bush's AWOL status? And "My Pet Goat???"

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