Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Monday, August 23, 2004

The Swift Boat ad - a pattern of deceit

A web site that finds fault with both Democrat and Republican political claims recently did an analysis of the ad attacking Kerry’s war record. On the day I found it their lead story was on false claims made by the Democratic Party about Bush’s record. Another one says 'Pro-Kerry group’s ad claims “Bush says he's going to help companies outsource jobs.” But Bush never said that.' So they can be trusted more than sources which support one candidate over the other. Here is the link to the analysis of the ad attacking Kerry’s war record it is entitled “Republican-funded Group Attacks Kerry's War Record” in case the link has changed by the time you look at this:

Since that article was written more has come to light about the ad. One of the vets who appeared on the ad, Alfred French, now admits that he did not witness the battle he claims to on the ad.
Here is the article from his local paper

That article is from the Oregon vet’s local paper. Instead he was relying on the account of a friend, Larry Thurlow. 35 years ago Mr. Thurlow reported that all 5 Swift Boats were under enemy fire, but today says there was no enemy fire. Both Thurlow and French are active members of the Republican Party. Now, some others who support Kerry’s and the official record of the day’s events are also life long Republicans. As is Mr. Rassmann, the ex-Green Beret Special Forces officer rescued from the river. But the ones accusing Kerry say that they are angry with Kerry for his anti-war stance after serving his tour of duty in Vietnam, whereas those who support Kerry’s account are by and large not holding such a grudge.

Another vet who appears on the anti-Kerry ad has been working for the Bush/Cheney campaign. The Bush/Cheney campaign said they had no idea that one of their people had appeared on the ad (which is a violation of law, by the way -- the campaigns aren't to have any connection with these "independent" “527” political groups) and he has been dismissed. The Bush/Cheney campaign says that this was an honest mistake, but one of their top donators gave the start up money, $200,000.00, to the group that created the ad. Again there is to be no connection between these or else someone is supposed to go to jail. A Florida newspaper reports that a member of the group that has run ads attacking John Kerry's Vietnam War record had to pull out of an anti-Kerry rally over the weekend after it was learned that it was promoted by President Bush's campaign. Had he showed up the Bush campaign would have been in big trouble. Bush's campaign says that this was another harmless oversight. There is a pattern emerging here.

A number of vets approached by “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” the group that produced the anti-Kerry ad and who refused to make the claims the group asked them to are now coming forward to tell what really happened. Every day more vets who served in the actions depicted in the anti-Kerry ad are coming to the fore to say that the ad is wrong in its claims. They have wanted to forget Vietnam and put that behind them, but many are now feeling forced to set the record straight even though it brings back painful memories.

Thurlow (mentioned above) received a Bronze Star for his actions in that battle in which today he says there was no enemy fire. Kerry says there was enemy fire. So does Rassmann, the Republican, whose life Kerry saved. So do the crew members of Kerry's own Swift boat. So does Kerry's citation. So does Thurlow's citation. Both citations were signed by Lt. Commander George Elliott (a supporter of Swift Boat Veterans who has issued conflicting statements about Kerry's wartime actions sometimes saying he deserved his medals sometimes saying he did not). There were other officers who received medals for that battle and their citations also say that there was enemy fire. No one disputed this until Kerry ran for president against President Bush.
Back in 2000 a similar pro-Bush “independent” group aired ads against Republican Sen. John McCain about his service in Vietnam. That was when Bush was running against McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary. McCain lost. In 2002 another group aired ads attacking another Vietnam vet who had lost 3 limbs in Vietnam comparing him to Saddam and Osama. That vet lost. Here today the same thing is happening again. There is a clear pattern emerging here.

Here is an article from a Texas newspaper, The Huston Chronicle, on who is funding the anti-Kerry ads: The money trail leads to Bush’s political campaign donors.


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