Swift Vets and POWs for "Truth" v. The Truth
[Formerly Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" v. The Truth]



Home Page Kerry Purple Heart 1 Kerry Bronze Star Kerry and Cambodia
Bush campaign and SBV Kerry Purple Heart 3 Kerry Silver Star Kerry - Other War Related
Who's behind SBV? Other Lies or B.S. SBV v. SBV Who served "with" Kerry? 
Appendix A: Republicans saved by Kerry  Appendix B: The Double-Standards Game
Appendix C: GOP Attack Dogs Inc.  Appendix D: The "He-Said, She-Said" Game



(For detailed proof, scroll down or click here)

  • This page lists the sheer litany of lies, misleading statements or just plain B.S. from SBV, especially it's star spokesman and Nixon-loving serial liar John O'Neill. Please scroll down to "enjoy" this collection.




1A. SBV claim on Kerry's ad

1B. SBV claims on Kerry's character and ability to be Commander-in-Chief

1C. SBV claim about swift boat commanders being "neutral"

1D. SBV claim on the number of veterans who signed anti-Kerry SBV letter


2A. O'Neill's claim about his television appearance

2B. O'Neill's claims about Kerry and his own service in "Kerry's" unit

2C. O'Neill's claim that SBV would have raised this storm even if Kerry had been a Republican

2D. O'Neill's claim that he has had "no serious involvement" in politics for over 32 years

2E. O'Neill's claim that half of the GOP campaign contributions attributed to him actually came from his law partner

2E1. O'Neill's claim that records show he has contributed more money to Democratic candidates than to Republican candidates

2F. O'Neill's claim that Kerry's courage is "millions of steps behind" that of most people including that of President Bush!

2G. O'Neill's claim that "more than 60 people that served with John Kerry that contributed to this book [Unfit for Command]"

2I. O'Neill's claim that his [book's] co-author is, get this, not really the co-author!

2J. O'Neill's claim that he is "not a Republican from Texas"

2K. O'Neill's claim that he was never in Cambodia

2K1. O'Neill's claim that he was never within 50 miles of the Cambodian border

2L. O'Neill's claim that SBV has "no partisan ties"

2M. O'Neill's claim that it was not true that he was Richard Nixon's stooge against Kerry

2N. O'Neill's claim that Kerry has told his Cambodia story over 50 times

2O. O'Neill's claim that Kerry was just "horsing around" when he blew up rice stacks in Vietnam

2O.1 O'Neill's claim that Kerry "admits" he "fabricated" the rice incident injury 

2P. O'Neill's claim that SBV is self-funded

2Q. O'Neill's claim that SBV member Hoffmann's conduct "sickens" him [Kerry] 

2AA. Gardner's claim about other Kerry crewmates' opinions of Kerry

2AB. Gardner's repeated claims about being qualified to evaluate Kerry's capabilities based on his working "with" Kerry 

2BB. Hoffmann's claim about Kerry having been in a "safe" place while in Vietnam [error corrected]

2BC. Hoffmann's claim of Kerry having served four months and 12 days

2BD. Hoffmann's claim that he is speaking up because he wanted to set the record straight

2CC. French's claim about having personal knowledge about Kerry's "lying"

2DD. Cordier's claim on not being part of the Bush campaign 

2EE. Schacte's claim that he is a "political independent who has voted for candidates of both parties"

2EF. Schacte's claim that "I don't know that I know anybody in his [Bush's] campaign"

2FF. Spaeth's claim of not having visited the White House since 2002




[via CNN]: A group of Vietnam veterans opposed to John Kerry's presidential campaign demanded Tuesday that he remove a photograph that appears in one of his television advertisements.

In Tuesday's "cease and desist" letter, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth called on Kerry's campaign to stop what it said was the unauthorized use of the images of some of them in a 60-second biographical spot titled "Lifetime." The ad began running nationwide in early May.

Of course, SBV decided that they could somehow use the same picture on an ad without Kerry's permission!

Jesse Taylor (Pandagon):

I did love this bit from the Kerry campaign, which points out that in the group's political campaign, they used the exact same image:

A Kerry spokesman dismissed the group's claim, noting the Swift Boat Veterans used an enlarged version of the same photo at a news conference announcing the anti-Kerry group's formation in early May.

"Somehow they didn't call to ask if they could use John Kerry's image," Michael Meehan said. "When it was useful for their politics they show a big blowup."



[Former Rear Admiral Roy Hoffman]: I do not believe John Kerry is fit to be Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the United States. This is not a political issue. It is a matter of his judgment, truthfulness, reliability, loyalty and trust -- all absolute tenets of command. His biography, 'Tour of Duty,' by Douglas Brinkley, is replete with gross exaggerations, distortions of fact, contradictions and slanderous lies. His contempt for the military and authority is evident by even a most casual review of this biography. He arrived in-country with a strong anti-Vietnam War bias and a self-serving determination to build a foundation for his political future. He was aggressive, but vain and prone to impulsive judgment, often with disregard for specific tactical assignments. He was a 'loose cannon.' In an abbreviated tour of four months and 12 days, and with his specious medals secure, Lt.(jg) Kerry bugged out and began his infamous betrayal of all United States forces in the Vietnam War.

[Adrian Lonsdale, via John Kerry.com]: He lacks the capacity to lead.

[Larry Thurlow, via John Kerry.com]: When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry.

Character judgments are to some extent subjective, although they can be objective when based on facts. Unfortunately, SBV members' claims of knowing so much about Sen. Kerry and their poor opinions of Sen. Kerry are contradicted by their past praise for Kerry and the views of other veterans, including Kerry's crewmates. This is substantiated also by swift boat commanders who recently came out to support Kerry; in particular, Rich Baker pointed out that
he recalled a 1995 reunion of Swift boat crews in Washington at which praise for Kerry's service in Vietnam was unanimous. 

Media Matters:

While the veterans attacking Kerry in the ad are veterans of the Vietnam War and may have served at the same time as Kerry, as The New York Times reported on August 5, the Kerry campaign noted that "none of the men had actually served on the Swift boats that Mr. Kerry commanded." Adm. Roy F. Hoffman, one of the veterans in the ad, has even "acknowledged he had no first-hand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims to valor," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on May 6, "and said that although Kerry was under his command, he really didn't know Kerry much personally."


Many of Kerry's Vietnam commanders and fellow officers also continue to speak positively of him:
Navy records, fitness reports by Kerry's commanders and scores of interviews with Swift boat officers and crewmen depict a model officer who fought aggressively in river ambushes and won the respect of many of his crewmates and commanders, even as his doubts about the war grew.

"I don't like what he said after the war," said Adrian Lonsdale, who commanded Kerry for three months in 1969. "But he was a good naval officer."2
How well all of these men knew John Kerry is questionable, and discrepancies between how some of them described Kerry thirty-five years ago and how they describe him today suggest that their opinions are largely based upon political differences rather than objective assessments of Kerry's military record. For example, Rear Admiral Roy Hoffman is quoted above, yet the Los Angeles Times reported:
. . . Hoffman and Kerry had few direct dealings in Vietnam. A Los Angeles Times examination of Navy archives found that Hoffman praised Kerry's performance in cabled messages after several river skirmishes.1

Milan Simonich, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via reader JL (bold text is eRiposte emphasis):

For 35 years, Rich Baker seldom talked about Vietnam, Swift boats or John Kerry's ability as a young naval officer.

But now, with Republican partisans challenging Kerry's wartime record, Baker said he feels compelled to strike back.

"Every Swift boat officer gave his all in Vietnam, but Kerry stood above the rest of us," said Baker, 61, of Scott, a former Navy lieutenant and Swift boat commander. "He was number one as far as courageousness and aggressiveness. He set the tone."

Campaign aides to Kerry, the Democratic candidate for president, yesterday asked Baker to speak out publicly to counter television ads attacking Kerry's military record.

Baker, who ran a bakery after coming home from Vietnam, complied. He granted a handful of interviews and agreed to appear today at a Pittsburgh news conference organized by the Kerry campaign.

A registered Democrat, Baker voted for Republican George W. Bush for president in 2000. But this time, Baker said, he is supporting Kerry for two reasons.

For one, Baker said, he considers Kerry better qualified than Bush to be commander in chief.

Second, Baker said, he is perturbed that Kerry is being criticized for his service in Vietnam while Bush's activities during wartime receive almost no scrutiny.

"George Bush has two silver dental fillings in his teeth to show what he did during the Vietnam War," Baker said. "John Kerry has a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts."

Bush was in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam era, an assignment that kept him stateside.

Baker, who grew up in Crafton, graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1965, then enlisted for Swift boat duty. He arrived in Vietnam in 1968, just before Kerry.

Kerry served about four months in Vietnam, and, Baker said, he made a habit of putting himself in harm's way.

"You wouldn't want to be there for four hours or four minutes," Baker said. "John Kerry went above and beyond the call of duty, sticking his nose into enemy fire. Not everybody liked that because some were just intent on survival. But until recently, nobody ever said he did not serve honorably."

Attacks on Kerry's war record have come from a group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans For Truth.

But, Baker said, these men never criticized Kerry until he became the Democratic presidential nominee. Baker specifically recalled a 1995 reunion of Swift boat crews in Washington at which praise for Kerry's service in Vietnam was unanimous. Kerry then was the pride of the group as a U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

Joe Conason, Salon.com:

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."

More information/examples catalogued at John Kerry.com:

Roy Hoffmann was NOT a crewmate of John Kerry's

"Hoffman acknowledged he had no first-hand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims to valor and said that although Kerry was under his command, he really didn't know Kerry much personally." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/7/04]

Hoffman's Boss Awarded Kerry Silver Star & Bronze Star: "Captain Roy Hoffman" was Admiral Zumwalt's "trusty aide."

This is What Zumwalt Said About Kerry: "KERRY's calmness, professionalism and great personal courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." [Kerry Bronze Star Citation; www.JohnKerry.com]

Former Senator Bob Kerrey Described Roy Hoffman as "The Classic Body Count Guy"
Hoffmann was a cigar-chomping officer who brandished an M-16 assault rifle and wore a revolver when he visited troops in the field. "He was the classic body-count guy," Kerrey says. "Bunkers destroyed, hooches destroyed, sort of scorekeeper." [New York Times Magazine, 4/29/01]

Hoffman Thought His Rules of Engagement in Vietnam Were "Too Restrictive"
In the summer of 1968, Hoffmann complained to his superiors in Pearl Harbor that the prevailing rules of engagement were too constrictive. "This was war," Hoffmann said in an interview last month. "This wasn't Sunday school." He made what he said was a pro forma request for looser rules, which was granted. Previously, Hoffmann said, military personnel had not been permitted to fire unless they were fired upon. Under the new rules, he said, they could attack if they felt threatened. "I told them you not only have authority, I damned well expect action," Hoffmann recalled. "If there were men there and they didn't kill them or capture them, you'd hear from me." [New York Times Magazine, 4/29/01]

Hoffman Described by Fellow Vets as "Hotheaded", "Bloodthirsty" and "Egomaniacal"
"Interviews with various Swift boat veterans turned up descriptions of Hoffman as 'hotheaded,' 'bloodthirsty,' and 'egomaniacal'." [Tour of Duty, Brinkley, 2004, p. 105]


Adrian Lonsdale was NOT a crewmate of John Kerry's

Adrian Lonsdale in 1996:
"As far as I was concerned, the war was won over there in that part for that period. And it was mainly won because of the bravado and the courage of the young officers that ran the boats, the SWIFT boats and the Coast Guard cutters and Senator Kerry was no exception." [Kerry for Senate Press Conference, 10/27/96]


Larry Thurlow was NOT a crewmate of John Kerry's


Larry Thurlow Even Praised Kerry Despite Coming From Different Backgrounds:
"John was sharp as a tack... But he came from a background most of us couldn't understand." [Tour of Duty, Brinkley, 2004 p. 300]


Although the men quoted above are often identified as "John Kerry's shipmates," only one of them, Steven Gardner, actually served under Lt. Kerry's command on a Swift boat. The other men who served under Kerry's command continue to speak positively of him:
"In 1969, I was Sen. Kerry's gun mate atop of the Swift boat in Vietnam. And I just wanted to let everyone know that, contrary to all the rumors that you might hear from the other side, Sen. Kerry's blood is red, not blue. I know, I've seen it.

"If it weren't for Sen. John Kerry, on the 28th of February 1969, the day he won the Silver Star . . . you and I would not be having this conversation. My name would be on a long, black wall in Washington, D.C. I saw this man save my life."3

— Fred Short

"I can still see him now, standing in the doorway of the pilothouse, firing his M-16, shouting orders through the smoke and chaos . . . Even wounded, or confronting sights no man should ever have to see, he never lost his cool.

I had to sit on my hands [after a firefight], I was shaking so hard . . . He went to every man on that boat and put his arm around them and asked them how they're doing. I've never had an officer do that before or since. That's the mettle of the man, John Kerry."3

— David Alston

"What I saw back then [in Vietnam] was a guy with genuine caring and leadership ability who was aggressive when he had to be. What I see now is a guy who's not afraid to tackle tough issues. And he knows what the consequences are of putting people's kids in harm's way."2

— James Wasser


TESTIMONIAL: I thought this was enlightening

Radarman Second Class James R.] Wasser was . . . sent to South Vietnam, in March 1968, and assigned to a succession of Swift boats. He earned a reputation for fearlessness under fire, an asset born of his fiercely passionate loathing of the Viet Cong and Communists in general. The pair of American flags tattooed on the back of his right shoulder attested to his political leanings, when tended toward the view that antiwar protesters, conscientious objectors, and rich kids who finagled cushy stateside assignments to fulfill their military service obligations were all 'chickenshit punks." His opinion of the draft dodgers who fled to Canada or europe is unprintable. Never one to mince words, Wasser simply could not comprehend ho true Americans, even pacifists, could not want to help their country in wartime. 'I still hate Jane Fonda's guts,' he proclaimed thirty-three years after he returned from South Vietnam and thirty-one years after the actress's controversial visit to North Vietnam. 'I wouldn't give her oxygen if she were dying.'


The die-hard conservative Democrat petty officer . . . got along fine with his liberal Democrat superior, [John Kerry]. 'You've got to understand Kerry was an extremely aggressive officer, and so was I,' Wasser avowed. 'I like that he took the fight to the enemy, that he was tough and gutsy -- not afraid to spill blood for his country. Some people were suspicious of him because he would take to himself into a tape recorder. And I didn't like his later antiwar attitude. But I'm talking straight: he always put his men's welfare first, and was tough, tough, tough. He was a great leader. Plus he served his time in-country and fought for the right to have his opinion.'"
Douglas L. Brinkley, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, at pps 156-158. (2004).

John Gonzales, Dallas Observer:

Among those who have been most vocal about Kerry – Hoffmann, Gardner, O'Neill and Thurlow – only Thurlow was portrayed kindly in Tour of Duty. Gardner is described as a hothead, O'Neill was written off as a Nixon flack, and Hoffmann, who was most vilified of all, was likened to the colonel from Apocalypse Now – the one who loves "the smell of napalm in the morning." All of which, in turn, makes many suspicious of the group's motives. Are their intentions genuine? Do they truly believe the aspersions they're casting upon Kerry? Or are they driven by revenge and a political agenda?

Maria L. La Ganga and Stephen Braun (Los Angeles Times):

During the war, Elliott gave Kerry high marks in fitness reports and recommended Kerry for the Silver Star and the Bronze Star. "John was one of 50 young officers who performed extremely well," Elliott said in an interview in May. "I wrote his fitness report, and I stand by that."


Almost forgot, Admiral Zumwalt actually recommended Kerry for the Navy Cross, but decided that the bureaucracy was too slow, so he personally pinned the Silver Star on kerry's chest.



[SBV]: The Kerry campaign has evidently persuaded formerly neutral Swift officers Rich McCann and Rich Baker to support John Kerry's candidacy

These "neutral" men were apparently not quite pleased on being portrayed as "neutral".

Lois Romano and Dana Milbank, Washington Post:

[Rich] McCann said he tried to stay out of politics, but that when he saw that the Swift boat group had identified him on its Web site as being "neutral" on Kerry without asking him, he was furious. Kerry's commendation record "has stood for 35 years, and suddenly you've got people coming forward saying, 'Well, I've had second thoughts about this,' " McCann said. "That is dishonoring not only (Kerry), it is dishonoring all veterans."

Media Matters:

COLMES: Mr. O'Neill, on your website at one point, you showed a photo of 19 officers from your division. The group -- you said that only one man in the picture that supported Kerry. A couple of others were neutral, you said. Two of those have come forward. Let me show you what they have said.

One of them said -- Rich McCann says, "I was never neutral about Kerry as president. If the question is whether John Kerry is fit to be commander in chief, my answer is absolutely."

Another guy named Rich Baker comes forward, and USA Today reports today that Baker says he was never contacted by your group. "Kerry is very well fit for command. He was one of the most courageous and aggressive swift boat captains in the division."

I know you've since took their pictures down. But why did you put them up in the first place if their stories don't confirm with what you say?

O'NEILL: We did exactly the right thing. We showed them as neutral. That was the best information they had. As soon as they announced for Kerry, we could.

The current count is of 23 officers there, there are 17 who condemn Kerry as unfit. There are four, by our count, that are for Kerry and indicate that he's fit. So the current count is about four and a half to one. And those guys are entitled to their opinion. But isn't it remarkable that when those few guys come out, they get a headline everywhere, whereas the 17 get no headlines anywhere?

COLMES: What I want to know, this is all about credibility, and you have put people up on your site who have since come forward. A number of people have changed their stories. Last time you were on, I confronted you with some of those people. And now more people come forward and say, "We were never contacted." Or "I'm not neutral about John Kerry," as your site suggests." So what does that say about the credibility of the Swift Boat Vets?



[Billings Gazette, via reader VM]: ...[Anderson's name was one of ] about 300 signed on a letter questioning Kerry's service...The letter, which was posted on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Web site, claims the Demo-cratic presidential candidate has "grossly and knowingly distorted the conduct of the American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen of that (Vietnam) war."

Several people whose names appear on the anti-Kerry letter from SBV have stepped forward to state that they never approved the use of their name in that letter and that they do not support SBV. One of them suggests up to 25% of the names on SBV's letter may have been fictitiously included. How unsurprising.

Linda Halsted-Acharya, Billings Gazette, via reader VM:

Swift boat veteran Bob Anderson of Columbus is ticked.

It bothers him that Sen. John Kerry's swift boat history has become such a political hot potato. But he's even more irritated that his name was included - without his permission - on a letter used to discredit Kerry.

"I'm pretty nonpolitical," the 56-year-old Anderson said Tuesday. So, when he found out last week that his name was one of about 300 signed on a letter questioning Kerry's service, he was "flabbergasted."

"It's kind of like stealing my identity," said Anderson, who spent a year on a swift boat as an engine man and gunner.

The letter, which was posted on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Web site, claims the Democratic presidential candidate has "grossly and knowingly distorted the conduct of the American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen of that (Vietnam) war."

The letter also criticizes Kerry for trying to change his image from a critic of the war to a war hero.

"After reading the letter," Anderson said, "it kind of got under my skin. I had never come across a situation where someone used my name without my support or approval. It's not a very comforting feeling."

What's worse, he said, he disagrees with the letter.

"Had they asked me to use my name, I wouldn't have allowed them to," he said.

Anderson, a 1966 graduate of Chinook High School, describes himself as a naive Montana kid who was smacked by the reality of war soon after arriving in Vietnam in 1967.

"It's not a very pleasant way to grow up," he said.

He served on a swift boat about the same time Kerry did. However, the first time he met Kerry was during a reunion of swift boat vets in Norfolk, Va., in March 2003.

Anderson said he cannot dispute or verify Kerry's experience. In fact, he's forgotten much of his own.

"You remember the simple things," he said. "The rest is what you don't want to remember."

He does, however, support Kerry's right to state his opinion.

"We say we're protecting democracy. That's why we go to war. As Americans, we can have our opinions, right?"

Anderson can vividly recall the last day of 1969, when his boat was attacked.

"The thing I remember before we got hit was the grass dragging on the sides of the boat - the canals were so narrow," he said. "I can also remember the smell of napalm."

Anderson's boat was about the fourth boat back in a string of 10. He describes the scene as an Armageddon. Fellow swift boat sailor Bob Wedge was so badly wounded, Anderson doubted he would survive.

"That boat was like a slaughterhouse that day," he said. "He (Wedge) just about bled to death before we got a tourniquet on him and the chopper got him."

Wedge, who lost a leg, was flown home. Thirty-four years passed before the two met again. Now they find themselves on the same side of another conflict.

Wedge, 60, of Mesquite, Nev., said his name, too, was on the list - and he's mad.

"This is the fourth or fifth time someone has called me or e-mailed me in regard to signing this damn letter," he wrote in an e-mail to Anderson. "I don't agree with it and want no part of it and especially don't want my name on it."

Both men have tried to contact the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to have their names removed from the list. Neither have had any success.

"I can't seem to get a response when I reply to their e-mail," Wedge said.

"They come back undeliverable."

Anderson said he first learned about the situation last week when he received an e-mail from a third party. The e-mail, from a Tom Pyle, said Pyle had contacted a dozen men whose names showed up on the list. Of the dozen, three said they had not given permission, Anderson said.

"That leads me to believe that as many as 25 percent of the names are fictitious supporters of that group," he said.

Anderson does not know how the Swift Boat Vets for Truth got his name, but it appears exactly as it has appeared on rosters at swift boat vet reunions. He suspects the list was pulled from the Swift Boat Sailors Association, a nonpolitical, not-for-profit organization linking swift boat veterans.

Wedge said he's known about the list for several months. Unlike Anderson, he remembers receiving an e-mail asking if he wanted to sign the letter in support.

He speculates that his name was automatically added to the list when he opened the e-mail.

Both men say they are angry that Kerry's swift boat service has dominated so much of the campaign. And they say both sides are at fault.

"You see it every campaign, there's dirty politics on every side," Anderson said. "If the politicians spent more time on issues than on this, we'd know more about them."

Anderson cites the economy as one of the issues most important to him - that and getting the nation out of Iraq. Wedge is more focused on Social Security, Medicare reform, prescription drugs and adequate funding for education.

Anderson describes himself as an independent, saying he has voted both sides of the ticket when it comes to presidential races. Neither he nor Wedge, a registered Democrat, say they know who they will vote for this election.

"I don't know enough about Kerry to say whether I will vote for him," Anderson said. "I know enough about Bush that I won't vote for him."

Regardless of political loyalty, Anderson said he has a message he'd like to pass along.

"Don't believe everything you read. All it tells me is there is some politics going on there."




[CNN's Wolf] Blitzer: "Why have you decided you want to speak out against John Kerry right now?"

O'Neill: "I have no choice, Wolf. I would far rather be home or on the other side of a TV camera than being on television. I haven't been on television in many, many years."

Not unexpectedly, O'Neill's claim is false.
Once a Nixon-loving compassionate conservative patsy, always a Nixon-loving compassionate conservative patsy.

Martin Lewis, Salon.com:

The trouble is, O'Neill had given an extensive interview for a TV show that had aired nationally on Sunday, March 28. The interview was prominently featured in C-Span's signature political show, "The Road to the White House." It followed a broadcast by C-Span of the entire original "Dick Cavett Show," featuring Kerry and O'Neill. Also interviewed for the new sequence was Cavett.

C-Span producer Richard Weinstein confirmed that he had interviewed O'Neill approximately 10 days before the March 28 air date. "We tracked down John O'Neill and told him that we were going to broadcast the entire 'Dick Cavett Show' from 1971 on which he appeared and asked if he would be interviewed for our show. We asked him to share his memories. He agreed to be interviewed."

I asked Weinstein if there could have been any possibility that O'Neill had been confused and not realized that his interview was going to be used on TV. "No," Weinstein said. "He spoke to us before and after the interview. He was fully aware. I feel confident that he knew exactly what he was doing. He was giving an interview for us to air on C-Span TV."

Repeated calls to O'Neill and his representatives have gone unanswered.

eRiposte note: Reader GCS points out that O'Neill appears to have been on C-SPAN on 4/21/04 as well. This search on C-SPAN has a link to the video.



I saw some war heroes ... John Kerry is not a war hero...He couldn't tie the shoes of some of the people in Coastal Division 11.

John O'Neill never served with John Kerry in Vietnam! He is in no position to make any judgment based on his personal experience with Kerry since he came to Vietnam's Coastal Division 2 (*) months after Kerry had already left Vietnam. Thus, any claims he has about knowing about Kerry's fitness or about facts relating to Kerry's war record are objectively speaking, fraudulent, or at best hearsay (being overly generous here!).
[* I had accidentally listed 11 here previously and this has been corrected to 2, as of 8/19/04. Apologies for the inadvertent error].


John O'Neill, a Houston lawyer who joined the Navy's Coastal Division 11 two months after the future senator left Vietnam...



We don't think that he'd be a very good president of the United States. And if he were running as a Republican, you'd have every one of these guys here in line.

With O'Neill or SBV or their other cronies having shown no interest in going after George W. Bush for his long track record of fabrications about his National Guard service, I say, yeah, right!
With the exception of Gardner, none of the other members of SBV actually served in Kerry's unit. John O'Neill certainly was not even in the unit when Kerry was. Even if you set aside the question of how he could possibly know what Kerry did, the point is this: if they believe lying about one's military service is grounds to expose someone running for President, why aren't these folks doing everything they can to expose the myriad lies from George W. Bush about his National Guard record. Surely, not having actually served under Bush in Bush's same unit cannot be a disqualifying criteria - because O'Neill clearly believes that is irrelevant! Bush's numerous fabrications about his record in 2000 were not challenged by these so called "truth-tellers". These folks have also shown no interest in Bush's continued fabrications about his record, as exposed systematically by Paul Lukasiak at GLCQ. So, how come these guys (or others) are not lining up?

For more readings on the garbage and lies from SBV, go here.



[On Crossfire, CNN]: I've had no serious involvement in politics of any kind in over 32 years.

[On Hardball, MSNBC]: I haven't voted for a Republican since 1988.

O'Neill has contributed over $14,000 solely to Republicans in various elections since 1990. Perhaps we have to act like sheep and pretend that this constitutes "no serious involvement".

Media Matters:

Moreover, since 1990, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, O'Neill has contributed $14,650 to federal candidates or national political organizations -- all Republicans:

  • 2004: $2,000 to Duane Sand (ND)

  • 1999: $1,000 to Peter Staub Wareing (TX)

  • 1998: $250 to Rudy Izzard (TX)

  • 1996: $1,000 to Brent Perry (TX)

  • 1994: $2,500 to Texas Republican Congressional Committee

  • 1993: $2,500 to Texas Republican Congressional Committee

  • 1992: $1,000 to Texas Republican Congressional Committee

  • 1992: $1,000 George H.W. Bush

  • 1992: $1,000 to Clark Kent Ervin (TX)

  • 1991: $1,000 to Clark Kent Ervin (TX)

  • 1990: $400 to Hugh Dunham Shine (TX)

  • 1990: $1,000 to A Tribute To Ronald Reagan

Media Matters:

Houston lawyer John O'Neill is a Republican -- as the Houston Chronicle noted the day after O'Neill's interview with Blitzer. According to the paper, O'Neill voted in the 1998 Republican state primary. But O'Neill's ties to the Republican Party extend far beyond party affiliation.



[via Media Matters]: Appearing on the August 17 edition of FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume, O'Neill claimed that half of the nearly $15,000 in contributions (first identified by Media Matters for America) were actually made by his "law partner who has almost the same name, Edward J. O'Neill"...

Mr. O'Neill, as usual was swift with the facts. Sorry, at least some of us don't work for the GOP's propaganda news channel where fact checking is done only when convenient.

Media Matters:

FOX News Channel managing editor and chief Washington correspondent Brit Hume asked O'Neill to respond to "allegations" that he had seen "on websites and so on -- that you [O'Neill] are a Republican activist and partisan ... who has given something on the order of $14,000 to Republican candidates." O'Neill said of MMFA's research, "that is not true"; of the nearly $15,000 in donations to Republicans, he said, "[a]ctually, about half of them were mine." When Hume asked about "the other $7,000," O'Neill claimed: "Those are actually funds, as nearly as I can tell, that were given my -- by some -- my law partner who has almost the same name, Edward J. O'Neill. I simply didn't give them. I would have been happy to give them. I just didn't."

But for each donation MMFA identified in our original summary of O'Neill's contributions, the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) database -- which uses data directly from the Federal Election Commission -- lists the contributor unambiguously as "John E. O'Neill."

The CRP database does contain records of political contributions by an Edward J. O'Neill, John E. O'Neill's partner at a Texas law firm. According to CRP, Edward J. O'Neill donated $1,000 to then-Texas Governor George W. Bush's campaign in 1999, $250 to former Democratic presidential candidate General Wesley K. Clark's primary campaign in 2003, and similar amounts to other candidates from both parties.

Though CRP records show that both Edward J. O'Neill and John E. O'Neill contributed to then-Texas Republican candidate for U.S. Congress Clark Kent Ervin in the early 1990s, the record of Edward J. O'Neill's July 1992 donation of $250 is distinct from the records of John E. O'Neill's two $1,000 donations to Ervin in 1991 and 1992. The names, dates, and amounts of these donations are all different, and the contributions are for different amounts.



[via Media Matters]: O'Neill has repeatedly declared himself nonpartisan. Yet during an August 17 appearance on FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume, he claimed that the "actual records" show that he has contributed "more money to Democratic candidates than to Republican candidates," including to Democratic Houston mayoral candidate Bill White. O'Neill said that he had "given in excess of $25,000 to Democrats over the same 15-year period. About three times as much [as he admitted having given to Republicans]."

Records show something quite different. No prizes for guessing the right answer.

Media Matters:

MMFA's review of White's campaign finance filings (filed with the City of Houston) confirmed (pdf) that, as O'Neill claimed, "John O'Neill" contributed $5,000 to White in 2003; but MMFA's review of the Texas Ethics Commission's (TEC) searchable database of campaign finance reports also found record of a Republican contribution beyond those previously noted by MMFA and beyond those previously acknowledged by O'Neill.

Records (pdf) show that "John E. O'Neil" [sic] of Houston contributed $5,000 to the campaign of Republican "Judge Elizabeth Ray for Texas Supreme Court." While the filing spells O'Neill's last name incorrectly, it lists his employer as the law firm "Clements, O'Neil, Pierce, Nickens & Wilson"; O'Neill is currently a partner in the Houston-based Clements, O'Neill, Pierce, Wilson & Fulkerson, L.L.P.

These are the state and local contributions MMFA was able to document. Records on local contributions in Texas are available through local filing authorities but must be searched by candidate rather than by contributor. The TEC database, which keeps records of all contributions to candidates for statewide office, dates back only to July 2000. Thus far, through federal, state, and local records, MMFA has documented $19,650 in contributions O'Neill has made to Republicans and $5,000 to a Democrat.



[via Media Matters] From the August 12 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: [I]f a man shows any courage in the battlefield, he's done more than most people do in this country. He's gone out and fought for his country and risked his life for his country and shot one of the enemy for his country. That puts him a step above most people, doesn't it?
O'NEILL: I think he is millions of steps behind, because he went over ...
MATTHEWS: Behind whom?
O'NEILL: Behind everybody.
MATTHEWS: Behind Bush? President Bush?
O'NEILL: Yes. I'm not going to speak to President Bush.

Does it even need to be stated that President Bush avoided the draft and went AWOL in the Air National Guard and lied repeatedly about his record - to put it mildly? Thus in Mr. O'Neill's compassionately conservative logic, avoiding the draft shows greater courage than volunteering to go to Vietnam. Mmmm-hmmmm.



[via Media Matters]: The anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claims 254 members, and O'Neill, the group's co-founder, claimed on the August 12 edition of CNN's Crossfire that there "are more than 60 people that served with John Kerry that contributed to this book [Unfit for Command]."

A grand total of 1 member of SBV actually served WITH Kerry on his boat - Steve Gardner. Gardner himself, after repeatedly lying, finally conceded that he had not actually served with Kerry at the time Kerry won his Purple Hearts, Bronze Star and Silver Star. The rest of the SBV members served at or before/after the time Kerry served and in other boats or duties. 

Media Matters:

On the August 12 edition of FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume, FOX News general assignment reporter Major Garrett distorted the truth about support for Senator John Kerry (D-MA) among veterans who served with Kerry in Vietnam. Garrett asserted that John E. O'Neill and Jerome R. Corsi, co-authors of Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, "correctly point out that, of those Navy personnel who served alongside Kerry or performed similar duties, more now questioned his war record than defend it."

The anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claims 254 members, and O'Neill, the group's co-founder, claimed on the August 12 edition of CNN's Crossfire that there "are more than 60 people that served with John Kerry that contributed to this book [Unfit for Command]." While the group's members are veterans of the Vietnam War and may have served at the same time as Kerry or even near Kerry, Steve Gardner is the only one of the men attacking Kerry to have actually served on the swift boats that Kerry commanded. Of those veterans who served under Kerry, the Kerry-Edwards '04 campaign has pointed out that 11 of the 12 support him, many of whom appeared with Kerry in Boston at the Democratic National Convention, according to an August 4 Scripps Howard News Service report.



[via Media Matters]: "Corsi acted as sort of an editor of our book. ... He simply helped us in editing the book," O'Neill said. When Blitzer returned, asking, "All right, but he's listed as the co-author of the book, isn't he?" O'Neill admitted that Corsi was listed as the book's co-author but again claimed that he performed only "a function in editing, in -- particularly in the second half of the book, in historical research, because he had done a great deal of research on the anti-war movement, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, but not in the Vietnam section of the book."

Oy. Flip-flop, flip-flop, lie here, lie there! Co-author, not co-author. 
Not to mention that one has ample reasons to doubt any "research" done by this "couple"

Media Matters:

The preface to Unfit contains three paragraphs: The first describes O'Neill; the second describes Corsi; and the third details their friendship -- which dates back 30 years to their college days, when "the two competed against each other in intercollegiate debate" -- and notes that O'Neill and Corsi "decided to work together to write this book."

The book's acknowledgements section is written in the plural, suggesting that both O'Neill and Corsi thank those who contributed to the book: "We particularly appreciate..."; "We recognize that..."; "We, as so many others, are indebted..." The acknowledgements section also refers to "our work" and "our words."

Contrary to O'Neill's assertion that Corsi only edited "particularly" "the second half of the book ... but not in the Vietnam section of the book," according to the book jacket (as well as Unfit's "BOOK DETAILS," which are posted on the Regnery website), O'Neill and "his coauthor" Corsi "interviewed dozens of veterans" and "meticulously documented" Kerry's record:

In this stunning new book, John O'Neill and his coauthor Dr. Jerome Corsi (an expert on the anti-Vietnam War movement) have interviewed dozens of veterans who served with Kerry and have meticulously documented a shameful record of betrayal and deception on the part of John Kerry.

The book jacket also includes brief profiles and photographs of both authors. Both also contributed dedications.



[via Media Matters]: During an August 12 appearance on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, O'Neill claimed, "I'm not a Republican from Texas. That's just not true."

Bwahahahaha. Oh, RIGHT - he must be a Fox News Democrat who only donates to Republican candidates and votes in Republican primaries and supports Presidents like Nixon, Bush etc! Tammy Bruce and Susan Estrich, move over! 

Media Matters:

O'Neill is, in fact, from Texas. And he has given more than $14,000 in federal contributions to Republican candidates and causes since 1990, including $1,000 to George H. W. Bush in 1992. And he hasn't made any federal contributions to Democratic candidates or causes during that time. And he voted in the 1998 Republican state primary.

Media Matters:

MMFA has previously noted O'Neill's close ties to the Nixon administration, including to the notorious Charles Colson; that O'Neill voted in the 1998 Republican primary in Texas, according to an April 21 Houston Chronicle examination of Harris County records; that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are backed by a longtime donor to President George W. Bush; and that the group's media contact is longtime Republican p.r. operative Merrie Spaeth, as Salon.com's Joe Conason reported in May.

FOOTNOTE: I regret the error in this section which has now been corrected. It stated previously that O'Neill claimed he was a Democrat. Actually he has claimed he *was* a Democrat, but his latest position is that he is "not a Republican".  



[O'Neill via Media Matters]: I was never in Cambodia, and Kerry lied when he said he was in Cambodia.

[O'Neill via Liberal Oasis]: O'Neill said Kerry would have been "court-martialed" for such an act. Further, that he did the same patrol two months after Kerry and it only ran "50 miles from Cambodia. There isn't any watery border."

Pants on fire, Mr. O'Neill. 

O'Neill had stated to then-President Richard Nixon that he was "in Cambodia" himself, in a swift boat and that he worked along the border on the water.

Media Matters:

As CNN congressional correspondent Joe Johns reported on the August 24 edition of CNN's NewsNight with Aaron Brown, "O'Neill said no one could cross the border by river, and he claimed in an audiotape that his publicist played to CNN that he himself had never been to Cambodia either. But in 1971, O'Neill said precisely the opposite to then-President Richard Nixon." CNN then aired the audiotape of O'Neill telling Nixon that he was, in fact, in Cambodia during the Vietnam War:

O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.

NIXON: In a swift boat?

O'NEILL: Yes, sir.

Although there was no response from O'Neill on CNN (O'Neill had "not returned CNN's calls," according to Johns), O'Neill was confronted on the issue by Alan Colmes, co-host of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes. The Cambodia issue was first raised on the program by co-host Sean Hannity, who attempted to dismiss it by asking O'Neill, "[D]o you want to even respond to this attack against you so they [the Kerry campaign] can distract from him [Kerry] never answering a question about the discrepancies in his life?" and then asserting that O'Neill's contradicting comments were "consistent statements." However, Colmes refused to let O'Neill -- who attempted to dismiss his lie by saying "I was talking in a conversation" -- off the hook for his false claim.

The Left Coaster (via reader PT) (bold text is eRiposte emphasis):

[quoting transcript of NewsNight with Aaron Brown]:

BROWN: And just quickly on the O'Neill thing, just for my edification here, Mr. O'Neill's publicist played for you a tape where Mr. O'Neill says what again?

JOHNS: Well, he says in the tape essentially that he did not go to Cambodia, plain and simple. He says that a couple times in fact in this little short interview that was played for me on the phone. Now, of course, as you listen to that conversation with Richard Nixon, he says something completely different or, at least, that's what it sounds like -- Aaron.

BROWN: It does. Thank you, Joe Johns in Philadelphia tonight.

Also see Matt Yglesias.



[Via Pandagon]: In an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week" O'Neill said: "Our boats didn't go north of, only slightly north of Sedek," which he said was about 50 miles from the Cambodian border.

As Atrios points out, it is unclear if O'Neill says anything that is truthful.

Pandagon, via Atrios:

In 1971, John O'Neill told the president that he was in Cambodia.

O'Neill said no one could cross the border by river and he claimed in an audio tape that his publicist played to CNN that he, himself, had never been to Cambodia either. But in 1971, O'Neill said precisely the opposite to then President Richard Nixon.

O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.

NIXON: In a swift boat?

O'NEILL: Yes, sir.

But the story doesn't stop there. O'Neill's been trying to explain why he told the president that he did something that supposedly couldn't have been done.

Well, it's because he wasn't actually in the country, obviously. Where was he?

In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, O'Neill did not dispute what he said to Nixon, but insisted he was never actually in Cambodia.

"I think I made it very clear that I was on the border, which is exactly where I was for three months. I was about 100 yards from Cambodia," O'Neill said in clarifying the June 16, 1971, conversation with Nixon.



[via Media Matters]: O'Neill said on CNN on August 11, "[T]he people in our organization have no partisan ties, we didn't campaign in the last four elections for Democrats, by and large we didn't campaign for anybody."

A fine Sean Hannity moment, er, blatant lie.

Media Matters:

That's a lie. The new Swift Boat Veterans for Truth advertisement, unveiled August 20, features Ken Cordier criticizing Kerry. Cordier is identified in the ad as "P.O.W., Dec. 1966 - Mar. 1973."

But Cordier isn't just a former prisoner of war. He was also a member of the Bush-Cheney '04 National Veterans Steering Committee until controversy over his dual role with the campaign and the SBVT led to his resignation. The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign website suddenly -- mysteriously -- omits Cordier's name from the list of Steering Committee members, presumably in an effort to hide ties between the campaign and this 527 advertising. But images from a cached copy of the page, as well as a list of committee members, prove his membership.

Cordier was also named to a Bush administration POW Advisory Committee.

Cordier's involvement with the Bush campaign is not a new development. In September 2000, Dick Cheney personally announced Cordier's selection as Vice-Chair of the Veterans for Bush-Cheney '00.

There's more here and here.



[via Media Matters]: After Chris Matthews said to O'Neill, "You go back to the Nixon era, when [former President Richard] Nixon was looking for someone. [Chuck] Colson and those guys were looking for somebody to debunk the Kerry record, because all the records show they were scared to death of this guy. And you played that role," O'Neill replied, "That's just not true."

Another fine Sean Hannity moment, er, blatant lie.

Media Matters:

O'Neill was lying.

Former Nixon special counsel Chuck Colson has said that Kerry was an "articulate" and "credible leader" of those veterans calling for an end to the Vietnam War and therefore "an immediate target of the Nixon administration." As such, the Nixon administration found it necessary to "create a counterfoil" to Kerry. Colson recounted, "We found a vet named John O'Neill and formed a group called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. We had O'Neill meet the President, and we did everything we could do to boost his group." Articles from the April 21 edition of the Houston Chronicle and the June 17, 2003, edition of The Boston Globe confirm close ties between O'Neill and the Nixon administration.

Details: http://mediamatters.org/items/200405040004 and http://mediamatters.org/items/200408130010

Photo, from left to right: John O'Neill, Richard Nixon, and Charles Colson.



[via Daily Howler]: O’NEILL (8/22/04): You asked about Cambodia...[Kerry's] told it over fifty times, George. That was on the floor of the Senate [in 1986].

False, even according to a right wing nut job from the AEI.

Daily Howler:

“He’s told the story over fifty times,” O’Neill said. But was O’Neill just showing his way with numbers again? In yesterday’s Post, Joshua Muravchik wrote a shaky op-ed piece trashing Kerry as a big liar (“Kerry’s Cambodia Whopper”). But Muravchik, a scholar from the American Enterprise Institute [AEI], seems to count differently than O’Neill does. He referred to Kerry’s “apparently fabricated claim that he fought in Cambodia:”
MURAVCHIK (8/24/04): It is an assertion he made first, insofar as the written record reveals, in 1979 in a letter to the Boston Herald. Since then he has repeated it on at least eight occasions during Senate debate or in news interviews, most recently to The Post this year (an interview posted on Kerry's Web site).
So which is it? Is it fifty times? Or more like eight? You’re never quite sure when O’Neill plays the numbers. After all, moments earlier he had told Stephanopoulos that “there's not a bullet hole anywhere” in the Bronze Star incident (a baldly false statement) and “we have every other officer on the scene that day, all of whom, four of them, who say there was no enemy fire” (also untrue). It seems O’Neill has a way with numbers. In fact, it seems that he just makes them up.



[via Media Matters]: On The Rush Limbaugh Show, O'Neill claimed that when Kerry blew up a cache of rice that was a source of food for the Viet Cong, "[h]e simply was playing around. He threw a grenade into some rice and got a tiny amount of rice and shrapnel in his fanny." Limbaugh asked, "Is there a strategic reason, like blowing up food stocks, to blow up rice, or was is just -- is it just a thing to pass time?" To which O'Neill responded, "I think it was just horsing around. Nobody would ever throw a grenade into rice to try and destroy it. It doesn't destroy it, Rush, as far as I can tell."

Another in a long line of lies from Mr. O'Neill. Rice stacks were routinely destroyed at that time because of the fear that they might serve as food supply to the enemy.

Media Matters:

However, Annenberg Political Fact Check has noted that "[a]ll agree that rice was being destroyed that day on the assumption that it otherwise might feed Viet Cong fighters." Even O'Neill's fellow Swift Boat Veterans for Truth member Larry Thurlow stated in his signed affidavit that Kerry was wounded by throwing a grenade "to destroy a rice supply." On August 22, The Washington Post reported the incident: "As they were heading back to the boat, Kerry and [fellow crewmate Jim] Rassmann decided to blow up a five-ton rice bin to deny food to the Vietcong."



[via Media Matters]: O'Neill...asserted on Limbaugh's program that Kerry "admits that the wound [resulting from the rice incident] was fabricated on the -- you know, this hip shrapnel wound"...

False as usual. 

Media Matters:

Kerry has said no such thing, and there is no evidence to support this claim. According to FactCheck.org, in Douglas Brinkley's book Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War (William Morrow, 2004), Kerry remarked of the incident: "I got a piece of small grenade in my ass from one of the rice-bin explosions." And the "personnel casualty report" (pdf) -- though mistakenly attributing the rice explosion injury to a combat incident later that day -- states that he "suffered shrapnel wounds in his left buttocks." The initials on the report are KJW. Kerry's initials are JFK (John Forbes Kerry). O'Neill has claimed the "KJW" initials appearing on the report prove that Kerry wrote it, according to the August 22 Washington Post article. But as the Post noted, "It is unclear why this should be so, as Kerry's initials are JFK. A review of other Swift boat after-action reports at the Naval Historical Center here reveals several that include the initials 'KJW' but describe incidents at which Kerry was not present."



[O'Neill via Media Matters]: We were set up with our own money.

False as usual. 

Media Matters:

In order to claim that "[t]he one group of all of them [the 527s] that has an independent right to speak is ours," O'Neill lied on Limbaugh's show by asserting, "We were set up with our own money." However, as MMFA has reported, FactCheck.org noted that $100,000 of the $158,750 the group had raised as of June came from prominent Texas Republican and Bush-Cheney '04 campaign contributor Bob Perry. The New York Times reported on August 20 that Perry has now given $200,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.



[via Daily Howler]: 
O’NEILL/CORSI (page 68-69): On March 15, 2004, Admiral Hoffmann’s phone rang again. Once again, the caller was John Kerry. Kerry had clinched the Democratic nomination, and he knew that Hoffmann was organizing Swiftees to bring out the truth about him...Kerry made the admiral an offer: If you will back off and drop your efforts, I will ensure that my biography, Tour of Duty, which I know is unfair to you, will be changed to make it accurate in a revised edition. Here is my secretary’s number—you can get me anytime.

The offer from the Democratic candidate was an attempt to flatter Hoffmann, a warrior whose coin is not power or wealth, but honor—an honored deeply impugned by Kerry’s book...

If Admiral Hoffmann were truly a butcher whose conduct “sickens” John Kerry to this day, an impression one could easily gain from reading Tour of Duty, then why did he call Hoffmann to seek his support?

Nowhere in "Tour of Duty" does Kerry say he was "sickened" by Hoffmann's conduct. Indeed, the person who does criticize Hoffmann in Tour of Duty is fellow SBV member Larry Thurlow!

Daily Howler:

The kooky “logic” of O’Neill’s book is on display in this passage. Also displayed is his grinding dishonesty, and the endless pity he feels for himself and for his poor abused Swiftees. How does Kerry feel about Hoffmann? The word “sickens” appears in quotations marks, almost as if Kerry actually said it. But no! You have to read more closely, friends! Kerry never said he was “sickened” by Hoffmann! It’s just “an impression one could easily gain” from Brinkley’s book—if, that is, you’re a total kook, and you read such works as O’Neill/Corsi do. After all, who is quoted in Tour of Duty saying nasty things about Hoffmann? No, Kerry doesn’t provide such quotes. But guess who does? That’s right—Larry Thurlow! A year later, Thurlow would attend that Virginia meeting and Hoffmann would “help him to see in hindsight what was really going on with Kerry.” But in Tour of Duty, it’s Thurlow, not Kerry, who trashes Hoffmann for his conduct in Nam. (So does another vet, Steve Hayes, and “many Swift Boat veterans under Hoffmann’s command” who only trashed him off the record. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/31/04). O’Neill, of course, knew all this.

Daily Howler:

WHO IS ROY HOFFMAN: According to standard Swift Boat Narrations, this inspiring movement got its start when Retired Admiral Roy Hoffmann read Doug Brinkley’s Tour of Duty. Hoffmann’s shorts flew into a wad over the way his own Vietnam service was portrayed. “Interviews with various Swift boat veterans turned up descriptions of Hoffman [sic] as ‘hotheaded,’ ‘blood-thirsty,’ and ‘egomaniacal,’” Brinkley writes (page 105). A bit later, he describes his interviews with some of those vets. “Decades later, many Swift boat veterans under Hoffman’s command would compare him with the rough-hewn colonel in Apocalypse Now who boasted that he ‘loved the smell of napalm in the morning’” (page 177). But it isn’t Kerry who’s making these comments, although he’s taken the brunt of Hoffmann’s wrath. Who was trashing Hoffmann so? A bit later, Brinkley quoted a skipper by name. Brinkley describes the anger felt when Don Droz was killed in one of the reckless missions required by Hoffmann’s Operation Sealords:

BRINKLEY (page 333): The death of Droz created a wave of angry sentiments from the Swift boat community. Lieutenant Larry Thurlow, for example, summed up the feeling many Swift boat officers had to Captain Hoffman: “That man wanted in the worst way to be admiral—that’s what Sealords was about.”

Omigod! It’s Kerry-hatin’ Larry Thurlow who is quoted trashing Hoffmann so roughly! Maybe Hoffmann should go after Thurlow instead of taking it out on Kerry! Or maybe he should go after another vet, who was upset by another risky mission:

BRINKLEY (pages 333-334): Lieutenant Stephen Hayes, for example, wrote extensively about the accident in his diary. A few days after the ambush he had gone on a mission past the “charred remains of the 43 boat.” The only word he could find to describe it was “grisly.” Frustrated at the carelessness of Operation Sealords, he took aim at Captain Hoffman with his pen. “Latch had the gall to call it a victory!!!” he wrote. “Such a tragedy that these operations are run by bunglers and hard core military men who apparently get some strange sense of satisfaction out of playing around with other men’s lives.”

By now, Kerry was already back in the States. According to Brinkley, “Kerry now felt duty-bound to denounce Operation Sealords raids like the ones in which Droz was killed and Galvin was wounded as ludicrous missions aimed at sacrificing the best Americans to satisfy a president’s geopolitical ambitions.”

More about Roy Hoffmann here.



[via Media Matters]: Wasser told me ... that he thought John Kerry was just as despicable as I thought he was for 35 years.
...all three [Wasser, Whitlow, and Hatch] felt the same way that I felt about John Kerry for the 35 years prior to them meeting him in his [Kerry's] office.

The known facts directly contradict Gardner's claim, not to mention Wasser, Whitlow and Hatch have refuted Gardner's claims.

Media Matters:

According to Gardner, Wasser told him that "all three [Wasser, Whitlow, and Hatch] felt the same way that I felt about John Kerry for the 35 years prior to them meeting him in his [Kerry's] office."

But according to a March 9 article in TIME magazine written by Kerry biographer Douglas Brinkley, James Wasser remembers the conversation that Gardner was apparently referring to differently.

From the article "The Tenth Brother" by Douglas Brinkley:

Jim Wasser telephoned me last week with the news that Gardner had "rung him up out-of-the-blue" to discuss their shared days together in Vietnam. "It was great," Wasser told me. "You know he fought bravely in Vietnam. He is still a brother. I miss him. I would like to see him." He then hesitated and went on. "But he has developed a strange, negative assessment of Lieutenant Kerry. It shocked me. His memory is dead wrong. He remembers things so differently. ... He has some kind of weird grudge against Lieutenant Kerry."

Steven Hatch and Drew Whitlow have also disputed Gardner's recollections of Kerry's service. When Gardner -- who described himself to Brinkley as someone who "had no trouble shooting gooks" in Vietnam -- asserted that Kerry "always tried to park it [the PCF-44 swift boat] away from the action and hide," Whitlow said Gardner's claim was "false"; Hatch called it "a falsehood." Hatch recently told a reporter that he joined the Kerry campaign "because people were saying things about him that we knew weren't true." Wasser, Hatch, and Whitlow all appeared onstage with Kerry when he accepted the Democratic nomination in Boston on July 29.


Stephen M. Gardner, according to Time, served with Kerry on Patrol Craft Fast 44 (PCF 44).

Kerry earned both his Silver Star and his Bronze Star while serving as the commander of PCF 94.
Therefore Gardner provides no direct contradiction for any of Kerry's heroism claims, so who cares what he thinks about Kerry's personality? In fact, Gardner even admits Kerry "changed" when he was no longer commanding PCF-44!



[via Media Matters]: Stephen Gardner has been touted by the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and by conservative hosts as a singularly authoritative critic with firsthand knowledge of Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) record in Vietnam because Gardner -- unlike all the other members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- actually served on a swift boat that Kerry commanded. Gardner has questioned Kerry's integrity; has claimed personal knowledge of the circumstances leading to Kerry's first Purple Heart; and has spoken with authority about the events leading to Kerry's Bronze Star. Fellow anti-Kerry Swift Boat Vets member Larry Thurlow has also cited Gardner as eyewitness support for his accusations against Kerry and against Kerry's first Purple Heart.

Steve Gardner, consummate liar, was not present on Kerry's boat during any of the incidents that led to Kerry's Purple Hearts, Bronze Star or Silver Star. 

Media Matters:

Yet while Gardner did serve as a gunner under Kerry's command on PCF (Patrol Craft Fast) 44, he has admitted that he -- just like the rest of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claiming that Kerry is lying about his medals -- was not present for the incidents leading to Kerry's receipt of any medals or any of Kerry's three Purple Hearts.

Gardner admitted that "he was not on the boat with Kerry during the incidents for which Kerry got his medals," reported The Columbus Dispatch on August 6. And as a guest on Michael Savage's radio show, Savage Nation, on August 2, Gardner said that of Kerry's three Purple Hearts, he could only attest to the first; Gardner later admitted to Savage that he was "not on the boat with him [Kerry]" when that injury occurred.

Yet in repeated media appearances, conservative hosts have presented Gardner as an eyewitness to key Kerry events. And in at least two interviews, Gardner has falsely claimed that he was present for the incidents leading to Kerry's receipt of awards. On Savage Nation on August 2, Savage introduced Gardner as an "expert coming on this show eventually to talk about the phony John Kerry and his swift boat." On FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor on August 9, host Bill O'Reilly identified Gardner as "the only one who served directly under him of the 3,500 ... an eyewitness." As a guest on the August 20 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, host and former U.S. Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL) introduced Gardner as "a vet who actually served on John Kerry's swift boat" who would provide "a firsthand account of what really happened in Vietnam." On that same edition of Scarborough Country, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan touted Gardner as the "first member who actually served aboard John Kerry's boat to speak since this controversy erupted," before he asked Gardner, "[W]ho is telling the truth?"

In an apparent attempt to substantiate his status as an eyewitness to key Kerry events, Gardner claimed on Scarborough Country, "[T]hat boat never left the dock that I wasn't aboard it with John Kerry, never. I was with that boat everywhere we went." Gardner went on to make assertions regarding the events that occurred on March 13, 1969, involving Kerry's rescue of Jim Rassmann, for which Kerry received the Bronze Star. Gardner claimed to know that Kerry fled the scene on the river that day while the other three boats stayed and that Kerry then "turned around and came all the way back to pick up Mr. Rassmann that he had thrown off his boat when he took off, when he fled down the canal." But later in the show, Gardner admitted to not being present that day. When Scarborough attempted to revisit the "March 13, 1969 incident," Gardner said, "I'm not going to deal with that. Because I wasn't there."

On the August 16 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Thurlow cited Gardner to substantiate his claim that Kerry's first Purple Heart "was fabricated and wasn't based on any factuality at all." According to Thurlow, Gardner said "that he [Kerry] received an injury due to a mistake he made when he fired an M-79 close aboard and was hit by his own shrapnel" and that "Kerry applied for a Purple Heart that he did not merit."

On the August 2 broadcast of Savage Nation, Gardner himself claimed that all of the wounds for which Kerry received Purple Hearts "were superficial wounds, and I mean very superficial, scratches. The very first one is the only one that I can actually attest to because I was there when that wound happened." But Gardner was not there when Kerry sustained that wound; as noted above, Gardner went on to admit: "I was not on the boat with him but I -- in the next three days following that, I was with him on the boat going to take our new position up down there on the seaward operations."

In addition, on the August 16 edition of the nationally syndicated radio show The Glenn Beck Program, Gardner falsely claimed that three of Kerry's other crewmates -- James Wasser, Drew Whitlow, and Steven Hatch -- "felt the same way that I felt about John Kerry" before they joined the Kerry campaign. As Media Matters for America previously reported, comments from Wasser in a March 9 article in TIME magazine written by Kerry biographer Douglas Brinkley directly contradict Gardner's claim.


Stephen M. Gardner, according to Time, served with Kerry on Patrol Craft Fast 44 (PCF 44).

Kerry earned both his Silver Star and his Bronze Star while serving as the commander of
PCF 94.
Therefore Gardner provides no direct contradiction for any of Kerry's heroism claims, so who cares what he thinks about Kerry's personality? In fact, Gardner even admits Kerry "changed" when he was no longer commanding PCF-44!



I apologize for an error in citation. The citation I initially thought was from Hoffmann was not from him. In fact, the citation was from a different Swift Vet and was not referring to Kerry (but to Hoffmann) - I accidentally misread the quote in the original article. I noticed this error as I was reviewing this page on 8/30/04. Once again, my apologies. 



In an abbreviated tour of four months and 12 days, and with his specious medals secure, Lt. j.g. (junior grade) Kerry bugged out of Vietnam.

False. Kerry enlisted with the U.S. Navy in Feb 1966 and was discharged honorably from the Navy in Jan 1970. In between, he requested to be sent to Vietnam and he served two tours, only one of which lasted over 4 months.

See Kerry's service timeline (compared to that of Bush) in Mother Jones and Democrats.com. Also see Campaign Desk.



His biography, 'Tour of Duty,' by Douglas Brinkley, is replete with gross exaggerations, distortions of fact, contradictions and slanderous lies.

Hoffmann was given an opportunity by Kerry to correct any so-called exaggerations, distortions, contradictions or lies in the book. Hoffmann had declined and decided to do what he is doing today. Not to mention, some current SBV members had unpleasant things to say about Hoffmann in the same book.

Major Garrett, Fox News (via Hesiod):

Hoffman told FOX News that the call came on March 15.

"I was somewhat flattered when he called me, but his mission was to get me to write down and submit what I thought was wrong in the [book] "Tour of Duty," his biography, where I thought there were mistakes," Hoffman said.
Hoffman and other swift boat veterans say "Tour of Duty" exaggerates Kerry's heroism, charges other swift boat crews with military recklessness and celebrates Kerry's anti-war Senate testimony in 1971. Hoffman said Kerry asked him if he was willing to end his swift boat activism if Kerry allowed him to help correct the record in "Tour of Duty."

"I told him that I wasn't going to cooperate — that I felt very bitter about his qualifications and particularly with how he betrayed us in 1971," Hoffman told FOX News.

Daily Howler:

According to standard Swift Boat Narrations, this inspiring movement got its start when Retired Admiral Roy Hoffmann read Doug Brinkley’s Tour of Duty. Hoffmann’s shorts flew into a wad over the way his own Vietnam service was portrayed. “Interviews with various Swift boat veterans turned up descriptions of Hoffman [sic] as ‘hotheaded,’ ‘blood-thirsty,’ and ‘egomaniacal,’” Brinkley writes (page 105). A bit later, he describes his interviews with some of those vets. “Decades later, many Swift boat veterans under Hoffman’s command would compare him with the rough-hewn colonel in Apocalypse Now who boasted that he ‘loved the smell of napalm in the morning’” (page 177). But it isn’t Kerry who’s making these comments, although he’s taken the brunt of Hoffmann’s wrath. Who was trashing Hoffmann so? A bit later, Brinkley quoted a skipper by name. Brinkley describes the anger felt when Don Droz was killed in one of the reckless missions required by Hoffmann’s Operation Sealords:

BRINKLEY (page 333): The death of Droz created a wave of angry sentiments from the Swift boat community. Lieutenant Larry Thurlow, for example, summed up the feeling many Swift boat officers had to Captain Hoffman: “That man wanted in the worst way to be admiral—that’s what Sealords was about.”
Omigod! It’s Kerry-hatin’ Larry Thurlow who is quoted trashing Hoffmann so roughly! Maybe Hoffmann should go after Thurlow instead of taking it out on Kerry! Or maybe he should go after another vet, who was upset by another risky mission:
BRINKLEY (pages 333-334): Lieutenant Stephen Hayes, for example, wrote extensively about the accident in his diary. A few days after the ambush he had gone on a mission past the “charred remains of the 43 boat.” The only word he could find to describe it was “grisly.” Frustrated at the carelessness of Operation Sealords, he took aim at Captain Hoffman with his pen. “Latch had the gall to call it a victory!!!” he wrote. “Such a tragedy that these operations are run by bunglers and hard core military men who apparently get some strange sense of satisfaction out of playing around with other men’s lives.”
By now, Kerry was already back in the States. According to Brinkley, “Kerry now felt duty-bound to denounce Operation Sealords raids like the ones in which Droz was killed and Galvin was wounded as ludicrous missions aimed at sacrificing the best Americans to satisfy a president’s geopolitical ambitions.”

At any rate, even Thurlow trashes the man who supposedly started the Swift Boat mission.



[The Oregonian via Media Matters and Hesiod]: 
The 60-second ad, which aired for seven days this month in Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, features 13 Vietnam veterans, including Alfred French, 58, a senior deputy district attorney in Clackamas County.
In the ad, French says: "I served with John Kerry. . . . He is lying about his record."

[ABC News via Atrios]: Before recording the ad, French signed an affidavit that said: "I am able to swear, as I do hereby swear, that all facts and statements contained in this affidavit are true and correct and within my personal knowledge and belief."
It goes on to say that "Kerry has wildly exaggerated and lied about his record in Vietnam" and that he received his Purple Heart medals "in the absence of hostile fire."

False, again. French never served with Kerry and he had no first hand knowledge about Kerry's record. Several Vietnam veterans in Oregon are therefore asking for his resignation, especially given that he is, get this, a District Attorney!

The latest development (8/27) is that French has admitted that he lied about a different matter to his boss and has been put on a 30-day leave pending an investigation.

The Oregonian via Media Matters and Hesiod: 

A Clackamas County prosecutor and decorated Vietnam veteran who appears in an ad attacking Democratic presidential contender John F. Kerry's war record said he did not witness the events in question and is relying on the accounts of his friends who served with the senator.
French said he is relying on the accounts of three other veterans who were friends of his at the time. A fourth veteran with whom French was acquainted corroborated their accounts.
"I was not a witness to these events but my friends were," said French, who was awarded two Bronze Stars during the war. "I believe these people. These are people I served with."

The Oregonian via Hesiod: 

The clash between Vietnam veterans over Sen. John Kerry and critics of his war record heated up several degrees Monday as a group of vets called on a Clackamas County deputy prosecutor to resign. 
"He's hurt a lot, a lot of people," Don Stewart, one of the organizers of a rally on the Main Street steps of the county courthouse, said of Alfred French. "It opens up a lot of wounds. . . . This is personal."
Stewart of Oregon City and Don Kirsch of Canby drew about 45 people to a rally to criticize French, a senior deputy district attorney who said in an affidavit that Kerry lied about his service record. French later admitted his sworn statements were based on the accounts of others.

[ABC News via Atrios]: 

Several Vietnam veterans are calling for an assistant district attorney to resign after questions were raised about his statement in a recent ad criticizing Democrat John Kerry's military service.

Alfred French of the Clackamas County district attorney's office appears in the ad sponsored by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. In the spot, French says: "I served with John Kerry. ... He is lying about his record."

A group of Vietnam veterans who protested outside the county courthouse Monday said French implied he had firsthand knowledge of Kerry's war actions when in fact he had heard about what Kerry did from friends.
"As a senior assistant district attorney, you know as well as we do that that kind of ridiculous statement would never pass muster in a court of law," veteran Terry Kirsch said of French's account.

"We question your fitness to serve as an enforcer of the law after swearing to facts in a legal affidavit that you do not know to be true," he said.

[The Oregonian via reader JL]: 

The Oregon State Bar has received several complaints about a Clackamas County prosecutor who said in a sworn affidavit that Sen. John Kerry lied about his Vietnam service, but then said he did not witness the events in question.
Some of the complaints to the Oregon State Bar accused French of violating legal ethics in signing the affidavit, in which he swore the facts were "within my personal knowledge or belief."

The secretary of state's Election Division also received a complaint about French. Both agencies are conducting investigations, but neither has determined whether the complaints are valid.
In a letter dated Tuesday, the bar gave French two weeks to explain his role in preparing the commercial and the affidavit.

Stephen Beaven, The Oregonian:

Clackamas County prosecutor Alfred French, who called Sen. John Kerry a liar in a political commercial, acknowledged Thursday that he lied to his boss when confronted about an extramarital affair with a colleague.

Hours later, the Clackamas County district attorney's office said French had been placed on a 30-day paid leave while it conducts an investigation into his conduct.

French's former boss, James O'Leary, said he asked French about the rumored affair with a secretary about 10 years ago, but French denied it. O'Leary said he would have fired French if he'd admitted the relationship because it violated office policy.
French admitted to The Oregonian that he had the affair and denied it to O'Leary. He declined to discuss details of the relationship, saying only that "it is an indiscretion that occurred during my employment."




[Washington Times]: The new ad [by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth] opens with testimony of Kerry before the Senate in 1971, repeating atrocity allegations. After each phrase, a POW or another vet comments:
John Kerry: " ... cut off limbs, blown up bodies ... "
Ken Cordier: "That was part of the torture, was, uh, to sign a statement that you had committed war crimes."
Cordier told UPI he is not part of the Bush campaign. (eRiposte emphasis)

Moreover, as reader Jules Siegel points out, why is Cordier being pushed as a Swift Boat Veteran when his biography shows he was in the Air Force and had no Swift Boat duty?

Biography of Ken Cordier

Col. Cordier volunteered to fly combat in Southeast Asia in 1965, and again in 1966, when he brought his combat record to 175 1/2 missions. On December 2, 1966, his aircraft took a direct hit from a surface to air missile, forcing him to eject. He was captured immediately and held in four different prisons in and around Hanoi until his release on March 4, 1973. Returning to active duty after convalescent leave, Col. Cordier requalified to fly jet aircraft and resumed his Air Force career. In 1974, he was assigned to Holloman AFB, NM, where he served as a Flight Commander and then Operations Officer. In 1976, Col. Cordier was assigned to USAFE Headquarters at Ramstein AB, Germany, where he was chief of the War Plans Division. He became Deputy Commander for Operations at Sembach AB, Germany in 1979, and in 1981 as Base Commander, was assigned to plan and execute the reactivation of Wiesbaden Air Base.

David Corn:

I learned from a reader ("francis_black” at comment number 15) about the Case of the Missing Vet.

As regular readers know, the Swift Vets–whose attacks on Kerry’s wartime service have been undermined by various records and news stories–have changed course to blast Kerry for having questioned the Vietnam War once he returned home. The latest ad produced by the anti-Kerry group assails Kerry for having accused American GIs of committing atrocities, even though Kerry was merely reporting what other soldiers had said they had done in Vietnam. It features former POWs denouncing Kerry for having essentially provided aid and comfort to the enemy. One of these POWs is Kenneth Cordier, a retired Air Force colonel who is a director of an organization called NAM-POWs. In the ad, Cordier says, Kerry “betrayed us in the past. How could we be loyal to him now?”

The ad does not, for some reason, identify Cordier as a member of the veterans steering committee of the Bush-Cheney campaign. “Francis_black” reports that as of August 19, Cordier was listed on the Bush campaign website as part of the campaign’s veterans committee. Thanks to the mega-cache maintained by Google, there is undeniable proof “francis_black” is correct. (See here.) But after the latest Swift Vets ad was released, Cordier no longer appeared on the list of veterans advising the Bush campaign. (See here.)


Update 8/21:

The cache has now updated to today. Here's a link to the screen capture of the August 19 page. Thousands of others have archived it as well. In fact, I'm reliably told that Olberman showed it on his show this evening. As Cokie Roberts memorably said "It's out there."

Nothing To See Here

I wonder if its appropriate for Ken Cordier, a member of the Veterans For Bush-Cheney '04 steering committee to appear in the new "unaffiliated" "independent" 527 Swift Boat Liars For Bush ad?

Of course you will only see his name if you google the cached version (linked above) of the page on the Bush-Cheney web site. Oddly, the current page doesn't list his name.

Now I'm certain this fine gentleman who has chosen to sell out his good name and reputation by joining a filthy smear operaton like Scumbag Liars For Bush would never coordinate with the campaign just because he also served as one of the Vice-Chairs Of Veterans For Bush-Cheney National Coalition in the 2000 camapign (pdf) and then was named to Bush's VA-POW advisory committee.

But some might think it doesn't look quite kosher. In fact, some might think it looks downright illegal.

Jeremy Pelofsky, Reuters (via DailyKos):

A Vietnam veteran who worked with President Bush's campaign has left over his appearance in a commercial by a group challenging Democratic candidate John Kerry's war record, a campaign spokesman said on Saturday.

Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said Ken Cordier was a Bush supporter during the 2000 election and served as a member of his a steering committee to help reach out to veterans during this election.

"Col. Cordier did not inform the campaign of his involvement in the advertisement being run by (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth)," Schmidt said. "Because of his involvement with this 527 (group), Col. Cordier will no longer participate" in the steering committee.

The disclosure of Cordier's involvement came one day after White House spokesman Scott McClellan and Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot denied the campaign coordinated with the group on the ads, which claim that Kerry lied about his Vietnam War service.

Kerry has called the ads inaccurate and accused the group of being a front for the Bush campaign. On Friday the Kerry campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission seeking to force the ads' withdrawal.
"There seems to be an increasing amount of evidence that the Bush campaign is behind this," Kerry campaign spokesman Phil Singer said. "So it's no surprise that the president refuses to condemn these scurrilous ads."

Kerry-Edwards News Release:


PARTISAN: Another Texas Republican Donor

CORDIER, KENNETH (DALLAS, TX 75208) US AIR FORCE/RETIRED COLONEL 3/2/2001: $1,000 -- Republican Party of Dallas County

CORDIER, KENNETHW MR (DALLAS, TX 75225) SELF EMPLOYED 2/27/2002: $238 -- RNC/Repub National State Elections Cmte

CORDIER, KENT (DALLAS, TX 75206) RETIRED 6/30/2000: $1,000 -- Hutchison, Kay Bailey



PARTISAN: "Despised" LBJ

"The procession ended just before the 1968 presidential election when the United States stopped its bombing campaign. 'I remember that was the worst day of my life' because the POWs' treatment worsened and they felt forgotten by their government, Col. Cordier said. He "despised" Lyndon Johnson for his war policies." (Dallas Morning News, 11/10/03)

PARTISAN: Bush Administration Ties

He is a member of a Bush administration advisory panel on veterans' issues. ("VA Announces Membership of POW Advisory Committee," PR Newswire, 4/17/02; http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=440 )

PARTISAN: Open About His Conservative Political Views

"Col. Cordier (pronounced core-dee-AY) still wears his conservatism on his sleeve and doesn't hold back in his appraisals of more liberal approaches "(Dallas Morning News, 11/10/03)

JUDGEMENT: Defending Abu Gharib Abuses?

"Inappropriate remarks: Last month, a lone bagpiper marched to the tune of "Amazing Grace" as silence fell over the distinguished guests, choir, color guard and the veterans and families who came to dedicate the Irving Veteran's Memorial Park honoring those who gave "the last full measure of devotion" to their nation. Unfortunately, one of the invested guests, retired Air Force Col. Ken Cordier, a decorated former Vietnam POW and experienced speaker, chose to politicize this solemn event. In an attempt at levity, he defended the pulling of ladies' panties over the faces of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. interrogators at Abu Ghraib as preferable to beheading. His inappropriate, Limbaughistic comments detracted from the reverence and purpose of this event. Richard A. Widener, Irving" (THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/13/04)

JUDGEMENT: Said Fellow POW Was "A Traitor"

Talking about POWs who were released early: "According to Cordier, Low 'is a traitor to the other prisoners of war" for accepting premature release on July 18, 1968.'" (Air Force Times, 11/3/03)

INCONSISTENCY: Doesn't Remember Kerry Being Invoked In Vietnam

"Cordier, now living in Texas, doesn't recall Kerry's name specifically being used in interrogations, propaganda broadcasts by Hanoi Hannah (Radio Vietnam) or during "attitude checks" -- political indoctrination sessions -- since Kerry was then not a household name. But he said he does remember the North Vietnamese using the so-called Winter Soldier investigations and photographs of war veterans, both real and imposters, throwing military medals over the White House fence." (UPI, 8/3/04)

PARTISAN: Questioned Normalization Under Clinton And Wished Bush Would Win

"Said he questioned the president's motives and the appropriateness of the visit at this time. He predicts that the next administration, which he presumes will be headed by Texas Gov. George W. Bush, will engage more in "carrot and stick diplomacy" with the Vietnamese government, offering "generous rewards" for concessions" (Dallas Morning News, 11/19/00)



[via Media Matters]: On August 26, syndicated columnist Robert Novak presented his interview with retired Rear Admiral William L. Schachte Jr....Novak wrote that Schachte "said he is a political independent who has voted for candidates of both parties"...

I guess it just slipped Schacte's busy mind to let Novak know that the great majority of financial contributions he has made has been to Republicans, including George W. Bush. Or that his new law partner is Chairman of the RNC's Committee on Arrangements for the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Media Matters

Schachte has a history of political contributions heavily weighted to Republicans, including $1,000 to George W. Bush's presidential campaigns in both 2000 and 2004.

Since 1997, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Schachte has contributed $8,500 to federal candidates or national political organizations. All but $1,750 of those donations have gone to Republican candidates or to the Republican Party:

$250 to Senator Charlie Condon (R-SC)
$1,000 to President George W. Bush (R)
$500 to Representative James W. Demint (R-SC)
$1,250 to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
$250 to Representative Joel Hefley (R-CO)
$250 to Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO)
$250 to Henry Brown (R-candidate in SC)
$250 to Republican Party of South Carolina
$750 to Henry Brown (R-candidate in SC)
$500 to Representative John M. Spratt (D-SC)
$1,000 to then-Governor George W. Bush (R)
$250 to H.B. "Buck" Limehouse (R-candidate in SC)
$500 to Senator John W. McCain (R-AZ), presidential candidate
$250 to Representative John M. Spratt (D-SC)
$1,000 to Representative Bob Inglis (R-SC)
$1,000 Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC)
$250 to Representative John M. Spratt (D-SC)

On August 27, writer and blogger Joshua Micah Marshall noted that Schachte is the new law partner of David A. Norcross at the law firm Blank Rome LLP. According to Blank Rome's website, Norcross "was recently appointed Chairman of the Republican National Convention's Committee on Arrangements for the 2004 Republican National Convention."



[via Joe Conason, Salon]: I don't know that I know anybody in his campaign.

Perhaps Mr. Schacte took great pains to carefully word his statement to allow for future change of heart when the truth came out (not the Swift Boat Veteran "truth" but the real truth).

Perhaps it was selective amnesia, as well, that prevented him from noting that he had urged veterans to vote for Bush and against McCain in 2000.

Joe Conason, Salon:

In his Aug. 27 exclusive interview with Lisa Myers of NBC News, Schachte carefully portrayed himself as an independent voter who had even voted for Bill Clinton. He acknowledged donating a couple of thousand dollars to George W. Bush but indignantly denied any contact with the president's campaign.

"I don't know that I know anybody in his campaign," Schachte told Myers.

His protestation of innocence suggests that Schachte knows nobody of consequence at Blank Rome, the powerhouse law and lobbying firm where he is presently "of counsel." Hard to believe, surely, but perhaps no one has ever introduced him to David Girard-di Carlo, the firm's well-known chairman, who maintains offices in both Philadelphia and Washington. That would be especially odd because both Girard-di Carlo and Schachte are registered lobbyists for FastShip, Inc., which recently received $40 million in federal funds from the White House and Congress to build a container terminal in Philadelphia. Girard-di Carlo also chairs the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign in Pennsylvania and serves as vice-chairman of the finance committee of the Republican Governors Association, which reflects his long and close association with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor.

Perhaps Schachte has never met David Norcross, the defense lobbyist who oversaw all the preparations for the GOP Convention in New York, and whose long political résumé includes stints as the party chairman in New Jersey and counsel to the Republican National Committee. (It would be strange if Schachte doesn't know Norcross, since they're both involved in defense lobbying for the same firm.)

Perhaps Schachte hasn't been introduced to Mark Holman or Carl M. Buchholz, two Blank Rome partners who have matched chairman Girard-di Carlo as "Pioneers," meaning that they raised at least $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign. Both Holman and Buchholz briefly worked for Ridge at the Department of Homeland Security, the same agency these great patriots now lobby on behalf of clients seeking contracts there. And Buchholz, who served as a "special assistant to the President" during his tenure at DHS, has also signed up as a legal counsel to the Bush-Cheney reelection effort.

Perhaps Schachte has yet to become acquainted with Barbara Comstock -- his most notoriously partisan colleague -- who left her job as an assistant to Attorney General John Ashcroft last year to join Blank Rome's Washington office. A few years ago, the Washington Post immortalized Comstock with a profile headlined "One-Woman Wrecking Crew Targets Democratic Leaders." That was back in 2001, when Comstock was still running opposition research for the Republican National Committee. Prior to that, she worked as an investigator for Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., the excitable Clinton opponent known for firing his gun at a watermelon to emphasize his suspicions about the Vince Foster case. While usually calm in demeanor, she was responsible for promoting various over-hyped "scandals" of the Clinton era -- and more recently for the "Gore file" used by conservatives to tarnish the vice president as a liar and exaggerator during the 2000 campaign.

Perhaps Schachte has no idea how greatly Blank Rome has prospered under the patronage of the Bush administration and its corporate supplicants. Its Washington office has grown from 25 attorneys to more than 70 during the past few years (in part by absorbing another firm where Schachte formerly worked). He may not realize that Blank Rome gives more money to Republican politicians than any other law firm in the country, and also holds the record as the second largest political donor of them all.

And finally, perhaps nobody at Blank Rome invited poor Bill Schachte to the lavish celebration the firm hosted for more than 500 guests on the second night of the Republican Convention at the legendary Chrysler Building in midtown Manhattan. If Schachte wasn't there to raise a glass of champagne, however, no doubt his partners toasted his "nonpartisan" and "patriotic" smear of John Kerry.

David Sirota:

SCHACHTE JUST SECURED A $40M CONTRACT FROM BUSH: According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Schachte has been a registered lobbyist for Fastship, Inc, which has been pushing for millions of federal dollars to develop is products. Schachte works at Blank Rome, LLP – a lawfirm that lobbies for Fastship. At Blank Rome, Schachte lists his specialty as “government contracts and defense contracts.” In February 2004, the Bush administration gave a massive $40 million contract to Schachte’s client Fastship.

SCHACHTE ORGANIZED VETS AGAINST MCCAIN FOR BUSH: In a 2000 letter to the editor in the Charleston Post and Courier, Schachte urged veterans to support George W. Bush (R) over Vietnam war hero Sen. John McCain (R) in the Republican presidential primary. [Source: Charleston Post & Courier, 2/17/2000]

SCHACHTE IS LONG-TIME FINANCIAL SUPPORTER OF BUSH: Schachte has given $1,000 to President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns. He has also donated generously to other Republican Party candidates.



[New York Times, via JohnKerry.com]: When asked if she had ever visited the White House during Mr. Bush's tenure, Ms. Spaeth initially said that she had been there only once, in 2002, when Kenneth Starr gave her a personal tour.

No wonder she is behind the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth". Selective amnesia, perhaps?

New York Times, via JohnKerry.com:

When asked if she had ever visited the White House during Mr. Bush's tenure, Ms. Spaeth initially said that she had been there only once, in 2002, when Kenneth Starr gave her a personal tour. But this week Ms. Spaeth acknowledged that she had spent an hour in the Old Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex, in the spring of 2003, giving Mr. Bush's chief economic adviser, Stephen Friedman, public speaking advice. Asked if it was possible that she had worked with other administration officials, Ms. Spaeth said, ‘The answer is “no,” unless you refresh my memory'."

eRiposte note: Ooh! How compassionate! Unless you "refresh *my* memory"!
























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