Dishonest and dishonorable.August 9 2004 at 8:38 AM
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from IP address 184.108.40.206
Response to Back to Kerry's war record...
Robert Novak, prince of the valerie plame outing and oh so famous for refusing to cooperate on an issue of clear national secuirity concerns. Steyn, yer mentor, and yo7u, chicken little. Hey,k maybe you should write a letter to that goober who paying for the smear campaign, you got the right stuff for something low life petty like that.
Yer a dishonest and dishonorable token.
'Dishonest and dishonorable'
McCain is right to condemn anti-Kerry ad
The presidential campaign reached a despicable new low with a new advertisement and book attacking Democratic nominee John Kerry's service in Vietnam.
The advertisement and book come from a conservative veterans group set up and funded by conservative activists -- though the group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, claims to be nonpartisan.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has decried the ad, which features veterans accusing Kerry of lying about his war record.
"I deplore this kind of politics," McCain said. "I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is, none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crew have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam."
Specifically, the ad claims that Kerry lied about the actions that led to his Bronze Star. Former Green Beret and lifelong Republican Jim Rassman, though, says Kerry saved his life that day. Rassman called the ad "pure fabrication."
Twelve of the 13 men whom Kerry commanded actively support his candidacy.
The group's book is even more inflammatory than the ad. It accuses Kerry of, among other things, burning down a Vietnamese hamlet and earning his Silver Star by "killing a lone, fleeing, teenage Viet Cong in a loincloth."
Kerry's crewmen say that the enemy had a rocket launcher, and that if Kerry hadn't shot him they would have been killed.
A closer look at those behind Swift Boat Veterans for Truth calls into question the motives of the organization.
The group was founded by John E. O'Neill, a Vietnam veteran who was tapped by the Nixon administration to counter Kerry's anti-war activism in 1971.
The group's chief financial backers are longtime Republican donors from Texas. One, Houston home builder Bob J. Perry, has donated more than $5 million in the past four years to conservative candidates and causes. Even the group's Web site was put up by a businessman with strong Republican ties.
McCain is right: The smears against Kerry are deplorable. These allegations against a decorated war veteran represent a new low in political mudslinging.
An ugly attack
A Times Editorial
Published August 9, 2004
John Kerry, who has spent his adult life as a prosecutor, lieutenant governor and four-term U.S. senator, may be fairly accused of overemphasizing his Vietnam War experience in his campaign for president. But the latest attack from a Republican-backed political committee seeking to discredit Kerry's Vietnam service is dishonest and indecent.
Kerry earned a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts commanding a swift boat in Vietnam, but the so-called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" challenge the very notion that Kerry served his country honorably. The group, which is funded in large part by a Houston homebuilder who gives generously to Republicans, has released a commercial featuring Vietnam veterans who claim in the absence of any verifiable proof that Kerry "is no war hero" and "lied to get his Bronze Star." Many members of Kerry's former crew have attested to his bravery and are supporting his campaign. None of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" served on Kerry's boat.
This isn't the first time that such gutter tactics have been directed at a political opponent of George W. Bush. The passionate response the anti-Kerry ad evoked from Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain is a reminder of the pattern here. Four years ago, McCain was campaigning against Bush for the Republican presidential nomination only to see Bush appear on a South Carolina stage with a discredited former Green Beret who accused McCain of "stabbing veterans in the back." Other supposedly independent groups spread even more despicable rumors about McCain, who spent 5 1/2 years in a Hanoi prison. Two years ago, Max Cleland, a U.S. senator from Georgia who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam, found himself on the receiving end of a Republican commercial that pictured Osama bin Laden and claimed Cleland lacked the "courage to lead."
On a campaign stop last week in support of Bush, McCain asked the president to condemn the Kerry commercial. But the closest White House press secretary Scott McClellan would venture was to offer this disingenuous rejoinder: "The president deplores all the unregulated soft money activity."
McCain was more direct. He called the ad "dishonest and dishonorable" and told the Associated Press, "I deplore this kind of politics."
Whether Kerry is the better candidate for president is an issue that deserves vigorous debate. Whether he, like McCain, was a genuine combat hero who risked his life in service to his country is beyond dispute. If the president can't distance himself from such political filth, then he brings dishonor upon his own campaign.