Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Swiftboat 527 Flap

Kerry said back in 1971 in numerous interviews and testimony before Congress that all US Soldiers in Vietnam were war criminals. He won't retract this statement or apologize for it.

A lot of veterans are understandably upset about that.

Kerry's controversial past has come up in every campaign he has run. It's nothing new. However, the Bush campaign chose not to question his record. Why? Well, he did serve, he did fight, and he was not discharged in any dishonorable way. Does it have something to do with Bush's relative lack of service? Probably. Bush does not want to make it an issue.

But a whole lot of pissed off veterans do want to make it an issue. And in this country, they can. So they formed an organization, did the legal footwork to get it classified as a 527 or "soft money" group got funding for and created an ad campaing to air their disputes.

Kerry insists that the Bush campaign is behind it, citing that

  • there were SBVFT pamphlets passed around at a Bush campaign rally
  • one of the SBV's was a volunteer at the Bush campaign
  • a lawyer working for the Bush campaign also gave advice to SBVFT
  • SBVFT recieved a donation from a Texas Republican

Oooooh! Turn up the "sinister" music. Is it shocking that people who don't want Kerry for President would show up at a Bush rally -- and pass out information to get their message out? Is it shocking that someone who doesn't want Kerry in the White House would volunteer for the Bush campaign? If a lawyer working for the Bush campaign gives legal advice to an anti-Kerry 527 group, does that constitute control or even coordination with the Bush campaign? And finally, who did they expect to be donating money to this organization... the same folks funding MoveOn.Org?

Oh, the double-talk coming out of Kerry. He has pretty flatly accused the Bush campaign of being behind the ads without presenting a case that proves it. Bush could easily challenge the Kerry campaign with similar "evidence" of collusion with the anti-Bush ads that have been running for almost a year now from anti-Bush 527 groups. Kerry wants Bush to apologize for something that it appears he has nothing to do with, and at the same time he will not apologize for things he said that we can roll the tapes and watch him say.

Collusion indeed. Check out this graphic.

How can Bush condemn SBVFT's message? Kerry and a little over a dozen people who served with him say they're lies, over 250 others who, while they didn't serve on his boat, they served on boats next to his; say they're not. Bush doesn't know if they're lies or not. What if they're telling the truth? It's not Bush's message, he doesn't have the evidence necessary to condemn it.

The two people who had associations with both the Bush campaign and SBVFT have resigned from the Bush campaign. This is heralded as "proof" of collusion by Kerry supporters while to me they're going beyond what is called for to avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing. Where I come from, it's called the right thing to do.

Methinks Kerry protesteth too much. I hope he's shooting himself in the foot.

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