John Kerry’s Vietnam Pals Tell T Boone Pickens Show Us The Money

Last November Swift Boat Veterans For Truth financier/Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens’ offered to “pay $1 million to anyone who can disprove even a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” against John Kerry.

Kerry promptly responded to Picken’s challenge in a letter saying he was “willing to present his case directly to Pickens” and he  “would donate any proceeds” from disproving Pickens’ to the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Needless to say Pickens’ weaseled out.

Now some 7 months later, ten Vietnam veterans who actually “witnessed or served with John Kerry” have stepped forward to take Pickens up on “his challenge to prove false one element of that group’s attacks from the 2004 campaign.” Sam Stein reports on the HuffPo on the letter sent to Pickens from the veterans:

Dear Mr. Pickens,” the letter (pdf) begins, “We are the crew and individual servicemen who served on or with Patrol Craft Fast 94 in Vietnam in early 1969… Regrettably the lies of the SBVT, which you helped bankroll and apparently still defend, tarnished the sacrifices we made, called into question the medals we were awarded and challenged the very authenticity of our service… We have children and families who were deeply affected by these lies and we believe you and the SBVT whom you supported owe us and the American people an apology for the tactics you bankrolled.

“We are aware of media reports that at a dinner in Washington D.C. on November 6th, 2007, you made a public challenge that you would give a million dollars to anyone who could show that anything the SBVT said was false. We also know that Senator John Kerry, who was the skipper of the PCF-94, contacted you to take you up on that challenge. We are writing to you now as a group to accept your challenge and document how you funded lies and character assassination.”

What follows, aides to Kerry say, is one of the most comprehensive conglomerations of evidence disputing the SBVT attacks. Taking on the argument that, somehow, Kerry didn’t deserve his Silver Star, the signatories dispute ten “falsehoods,” including the claim that Kerry chased and killed a “young Viet Cong in loincloth” (it was an actually a “man of normal military age” carrying a B-40 rocket); that he only was in combat with this one individual (there were “multiple VC scrambling to get away”); and that Kerry made a tactical error in captaining his boat that day (“there was no ‘plan’ to charge the bank”). The letter concludes with perhaps the most poignant and currently relevant point.

“Finally, the continued insistence that Kerry has not released his full military record is refuted by the Navy, which has publicly certified he has, and by three newspapers which have independently received signed releases and reviewed those records.”

Whether the veteran’s receive a response from Pickens remains to be seen. Scott Lehigh of the Boston Globe also chimed in with an OP/ED directed to Pickens telling him:

T. BOONE Pickens, some angry Vietnam veterans would like a little of your time.

These are guys who served directly with John Kerry in Vietnam, and they have a T. bone to pick with you.

They’re upset that you helped smear Kerry – and pollute the political discourse – in 2004 by donating $2 million to the inaptly named Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

You need to sit down with them. And when you’re done, it’ll be time to reach for your checkbook once again – this time to give a cool million to the charity of their choice.

If you’re a man of your word, that is.

Frankly, I have my doubts.

The fact is this issue is very personal for the men that served with Kerry. Even 4 years after the ’04 election, these guys still want the record set straight. Kerry aide David Wade told Sam Stein: 

For some of these guys whose lives are not politics it has had a profound impact. When they saw the Pickens explanation in November they were pretty stunned by that… the crew said let us have a shot.”

And Scoot Lehigh adds on the personal aspect for the veterans:

[…] Crew member Fred Short tells me that after SBVT started running its ads, a work colleague asked him if he was worried he would go to jail, apparently thinking he might have helped Kerry concoct a false account of wartime events.

“My grandchildren will grow up and say, ‘Was grandpa a liar? What really happened?’ ” adds Del Sandusky.

The bottom line is, it’s time for T. Boone, as Lehigh says to “put your million where your mouth was,” because “Kerry’s crewmates have called your bluff.”

Come on T. BooneTime’s a wastin’

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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11 Responses to John Kerry’s Vietnam Pals Tell T Boone Pickens Show Us The Money

  1. john stone says:

    The Swift Boat Ads against John Kerry were a complete pack of lies! They have been proven wrong many times and were proven wrong during the 2004 Election. Still I will always believe that John Kerry did win, but there was massive voter fraud in Ohio, just like in Florida in 2000. John Kerry is a great man and would have been a great President. As for Pickens, Rove, and the rest of the gang I know what they are, but I can’t say it here. Of course at the top of the list is Bush and Cheney! The Bush Presidency will go down as the absolute worst in history and a everyone that has been a part of it should be ashamed, and I mean everyone!

  2. Darrell Prows says:

    Oh yeah, Pickens made his fortune in the oil patch. Can anyone say “BUSHCO stockholder”?

  3. beachmom says:

    I’m so glad that Kerry’s crewmates are doing this. I also don’t believe Pickens when he claims he won’t fund any 527 this election season. The oil baron is now buying up water rights in Texas, which as a Georgian living in drought conditions fills me with outrage. It seems apparent now that the reason he funded this smear group was because John Kerry had such an extraordinary environmental record. Isn’t that amazing? It wasn’t the Iraq War or the Vietnam War, it was Kerry’s environmental record. That is why he was swiftboated. It makes me sad, but it is also a piece of information to share with our Republican friends.

  4. Yes, it was all lies but unfortunately they worked. I hope that Senator Obama takes note!! They both stole the 2000 election AND lied about VP Gore. His words were distorted and taken out of context. As an example he never claimed that he invented the internet. Then in 2004, of course, there were again voting irregularties and more lies. (the swiftboating) To far right republicans the end always justifies the means. Thus, through a relentless PR machine, they changed John Kerry from a war hero to a traitor.
    Similar tactics are already being used against Obama. Fox News has claimed at different times that: Senator Obama was sworn in on the Koran rather than the Bible, that he is a Muslim, that he was an illegitimate child, and that he said he would meet and negotiate with our enemies with NO PRE-CONDITIONS. All lies, lies, lies! However Fox News (“Fair and Balanced”) and others, are experts at deception. Obama has consistetly shown that he is above this tyoe of gutter politics. However he must continue to watch his back and respond quickly with conviction and strength. We simply cannot permit the GOP (Greedy/Offensive/Petty) to fool us once again! Buzz

  5. James P. Carter says:

    John Kerry and his Vietnam pals had the perfect opportunity to put this matter to rest once and for all via any of the multiple Civil Suits (for Libel and/or Slander) they filed against the SBVT et al. For the sake of brevity suffice it for me to say that they had to withdraw each and every one of their lawsuits during pre-trial evidence disclosure hearings because John F. Kerry refused to allow his complete military records to be entered into evidence. The most poignant and only relevant point is that when it came time for Kerry and his Vietnam pals to put up or shut up in a court of law they had to shut up because they couldn’t put up. Case Closed. PERIOD. Over and Out!

  6. James P. Carter

    If you read the post above you would know that Kerry did release his complete medical records. Further more, there were no “multiple Civil Suits (for Libel and/or Slander)” that they — Kerry and his Vietnam pals, “filed against the SBVT et al.”

    However one of the SBVT did try to file one against Kerry and the fool, Carlton Sherwood , had his case thrown out.

  7. John Stone says:


    Thank you for setting the record straight on this!
    I have great respect for people that get their facts right.

  8. Darrell Prows says:

    Pamela: You forgot to look in to the alternative right wing reality. I’m sure that all kinds of nonsense is fully explained there. Kind of tough to link to, but I’m sure it’s there someplace.

  9. Darrell

    I’ve looked into all the alternate right wing reality and have even linked to some in the past.

  10. Darrell Prows says:

    Really! I though I was joking. You actually found something worth paying attention to?

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