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March 23, 2004


James Stephenson

Nicosia is a good man, sure he is supporting Kerry. But to say, that the truth is more important speaks volumes about this man's character.

Pat Curley

I've been following this story for awhile (the NY Sun broke it over a week ago), wondering why the rest of the blogosphere seemed to be ignoring it. My take is that the story is incredibly damaging to Kerry, and that the mainstream media will ignore it unless it's forced on them. Kerry could have limited the damage by saying something like "Yeah, that's why I quit the VVAW, because there were kooky proposals like that floating around." By denying it though, he's moved the issue into the present, because with proof that he attended, he cannot now say "Oh, THAT meeting where we discussed killing US senators? I had completely forgotten about it."


The NY Sun reported yesterday a vet's claim that he was pressured by the Kerry campaign to change his story on this.

Dog Peterson

What is amusing is that he will not be able to effectively contradict witnesses from the meeting. After all, he can't remember the meeting. The Sun article mentioned 6 or so individiuals who saw Kerry give a speech there.

Shannon Love

Regardless of how closely he was tied to the assassination talk, I think this episode really reveals that Kerry has a dark, pessimistic view of America. . The VVAW was an organization that thought the US was to blame for the war and that the Communist and their Soviet and Chinese backers were the good guys. That he associated himself with such an organization calls into to question his fundamental world view.

I think it telling that Kerry apparently lost an internal political struggle and was forced to resign in order to run for public office. That suggest the majority of the organization was at that to radical for a political aspirant to associate himself with. Such radicalism does not arise overnight. Kerry was willing to associate himself with VVAW until it appeared disadvantageous to do so. That does not speak well of his character.


Let's think this through; shall we; Dewey Canyon, the group's first effort, was named after a paramilitary incursion, in support of the Kurds/
Contras/Cubans of the day; the Laotian Hmong; clearly, they meant to do more than just talk.
Next, the Winter Soldier investigation, by their
very name; suggest continuing on such an aggresive
campaign; Ironically, if Mr. Camil, had gone through with his plan; the backlash would have
rather significant; or a neglible effect. After
all, do you think the 'executive action' against
Stennis, or Thurmond, would realy win people to
your cause


Let's see -- 1) John Kerry states that he knew of many war crimes committed by Americans in Vietnam. Although a Navy officer, he refused to report any of these many atrocities.

2) John Kerry, recognized as an officer and gentleman by the US senate, is at a meeting of an organization of which he is a leader, where consideration is given to murdering some of the same senators that voted him his commission a few years earlier. Does Kerry, who still had a Navy commission at that time, report any of these plans to the FBI? Not a chance.

It's sort of interesting. John Kerry can remember vivid details about some stray mute named "VC" this was his units pet in Vietnam. But he can't remember anything at all about a three day meeting of the group that he was one of the leaders of that discussed killing US senators!!

Yep. . . . he would make a great president!!


New York Sun, now there’s a legitimate news source. It also reported the following:

The two NFL teams that made it to the 2004 super bowl are the Carolina Panthers of North Carolina and the New England Patriots of Massachusetts. Is it mere coincidence that John Edwards is senator for North Carolina and John Kerry is senator for Massachusetts? Or, as one source whispered, “Is it a conspiracy?”

Abram Gemeinschaft, a former Ufologist who still wears aluminum foil hats and wets the bed, has told this reporter that Kerry and Edwards fixed the Super Bowl. “They fixed the Super Bowl”, Gemeinschaft said.

Another source, who chooses to remain nameless because he doesn’t really exist quipped, “John Edwards, a southerner, also planned the assassination of Lincoln in a previous life.”

So if they fixed the Super Bowl, could they be part of a Martian invasion? “It’s possible”, Dick Cheney, not-for-long vice-president admitted, “They could be an advance team of proto-humanoid homosexual terrorist-aliens sent here to destroy the fabric of our American way of life as a prelude to gutting our defense system and making us look like fools. They are an imminent threat to flaming heterosexuals like me and the president.”


NY Sun article

Pat Curley

Gotta love the lefties posting to this blog--desperately trying to change the subject.

Paul Zrimsek

The question America wants answered: Did Kerry vote for the assassination plan before he voted against it?



VVAW once upon a time

The KC Star article states that Joe Bangert as being at the Kansas City VVAW meeting in 1971, but guess what? He wasn't there. So don't believe half of what you read in a newspaper and none of what you see.

VVAW once upon a time

Niemand, der damals in der Nationalgarde von Alabama Dienst geschoben hat, kann sich an George Bush erinnern. Kein Dokument belegt die Teilnahme des damals 22-jährigen am Training der Piloten. "Wir nennen solche wie Bush Chickenhawks", sagt Joe Bangert, Vietnamveteran und Kerry-Unterstützer. "Diese Chickenhawks, die nie gedient haben, sind die ersten, die zum Krieg aufrufen. Die sind infiziert vom Militarismus. Und Bush ist außer Kontrolle, der muss raus aus dem Weißen Haus."

Fragged Vets Counterattack with 411

Smear Boat Veterans for Bush
The "swift boat" veterans attacking John Kerry's war record are led by veteran right-wing operatives using the same vicious techniques they used against John McCain four years ago.

By Joe Conason

May 4, 2004
The latest conservative outfit to fire an angry broadside against John Kerry's heroic war record is Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which today launches a campaign to brand the Democrat "unfit to serve as commander in chief." Billing itself as representing the "other 97 percent of veterans" from Kerry's Navy unit who don't support his presidential candidacy, the group insists that all presidential candidates must be "totally honest and forthcoming" about their military service.

These "swift boat vets" claim still to be furious about Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony against the war in which he spoke about atrocities in Indochina's "free fire zones." More than three decades later, facing the complicated truth about Vietnam remains difficult. But this group's political connections make clear that its agenda is to target the election of 2004.

Behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are veteran corporate media consultant and Texas Republican activist Merrie Spaeth, who is listed as the group's media contact; eternal Kerry antagonist and Houston attorney John E. O'Neill, law partner of Spaeth's late husband, Tex Lezar; and retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffman, a cigar-chomping former Vietnam commander once described as "the classic body-count guy" who "wanted hooches destroyed and people killed."

Spaeth told Salon that O'Neill first approached her last winter to discuss his "concerns about Sen. Kerry." O'Neill has been assailing Kerry since 1971, when the former Navy officer was selected for the role by Charles Colson, Richard Nixon's dirty-tricks aide. Spaeth heard O'Neill out, but told him, she says, that he "sounded like a crazed extremist" and should "button his lip" and avoid speaking with the press. But since Kerry clinched the Democratic nomination, Spaeth has changed her mind and decided to donate her public relations services on a "pro bono" basis to O'Neill's latest anti-Kerry effort. "About three weeks ago, four weeks ago," she said, the group's leaders "met in my office for about 12 hours" to prepare for their Washington debut.

Although not as well known as Karen Hughes, Spaeth is among the most experienced and best connected Republican communications executives. During the Reagan administration she served as director of the White House Office of Media Liaison, where she specialized in promoting "news" items that boosted President Reagan to TV stations around the country. While living in Washington she met and married Lezar, a Reagan Justice Department lawyer who ran for lieutenant governor of Texas in 1994 with George W. Bush, then the party's candidate for governor. (Lezar lost; Bush won.)

Through Lezar, who died of a heart attack last January, she met O'Neill, his law partner in Clements, O'Neill, Pierce, Wilson & Fulkerson, a Dallas firm. (It also includes Margaret Wilson, the former counsel to Gov. Bush who followed him to Washington, where she served for a time as a deputy counsel in the Department of Commerce.)

Spaeth's partisanship runs still deeper, as does her history of handling difficult P.R. cases for Republicans. In 1998, for example, she coached Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel, to prepare him for his testimony urging the impeachment of President Clinton before the House Judiciary Committee. She even reviewed videotapes of his previous television appearances to give him pointers about his delivery and demeanor. The man responsible for arranging her advice to Starr was another old friend of her late husband's, Theodore Olson, who was counsel to the right-wing American Spectator when it acted as a front for the dirty-tricks campaign against Clinton known as the Arkansas Project; he is now the solicitor general in the Bush Justice Department. (Olson also happens to be the godfather of Spaeth's daughter.)

In 2000, Spaeth participated in the most subterranean episode of the Republican primary contest when a shadowy group billed as "Republicans for Clean Air" produced television ads falsely attacking the environmental record of Sen. John McCain in California, New York and Ohio. While the identity of those funding the supposedly "independent" ads was carefully hidden, reporters soon learned that Republicans for Clean Air was simply Sam Wyly -- a big Bush contributor and beneficiary of Bush administration decisions in Texas -- and his brother, Charles, another Bush "Pioneer" contributor. (One of the Wyly family's private capital funds, Maverick Capital of Dallas, had been awarded a state contract to invest $90 million for the University of Texas endowment.)

When the secret emerged, spokeswoman Spaeth caught the flak for the Wylys, an experience she recalled to me as "horrible" and "awful." Her job was to assure reporters that there had been no illegal coordination between the Bush campaign and the Wyly brothers in arranging the McCain-trashing message. Not everyone believed her explanation, including the Arizona senator.

The veteran group's founder, Rear Adm. Roy Hoffmann, first gained notoriety in Vietnam as a strutting, cigar-chewing Navy captain. But it was O'Neill, by now a familiar figure on the Kerry-bashing circuit, who came to Spaeth for assistance.

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."

Arguments about the war in Vietnam seem destined to continue forever. For now, however, the lingering bitterness and ambiguity of those days provide smear material against an antiwar war hero with five medals on behalf of a privileged Guardsman with a dubious duty record. The president's Texas allies -- whose animus against his Democratic challenger dates back to the Nixon era -- are now deploying the same techniques and personnel they used to attack McCain's integrity four years ago. Bush's "independent" supporters would apparently rather talk about the Vietnam quagmire than about his deadly incompetence in Iraq.



Thanks, I hadn't felt like paying to read that.

First, I am faacinated that when Richard Clarke attacks Bush,and Republicans respond by questioning his credibility (what, for example,doid he do or say about Clinton's many long years in office?), Reps are accused of cowardly character assasination.

But when Joe Conason tells us that O'Neill and others "claim still to be furious", his clear implication is that they are liars. He also describes O'Neill as an "eternal Kerry antagonist", although the Boston Globe says they could not get a quote out of him during Kerry's many Senate campaigns. So who is smearing people now?

And the bit about their using Spaeth is a joke -does Salon seriously think a Dem consultant would help them?

Furtermore, let's maintain standards here - Conason says that in 2000, Spaeth "participated in the most subterranean episode of the Republican primary contest". We all know that he should be referring to the trashing of McCain in South Carolina with push polls, rumurs of illegitimate kids, and so on. But he is not.

And his conclusion is a joke - "Bush's "independent" supporters would apparently rather talk about the Vietnam quagmire than about his deadly incompetence in Iraq.

The folks Kerry accused of war crimes over thirty years ago would like to respond at a time when Kerry is campaigning on his Vietnam record and little else. The notion that it was the Bush people who brought up Vietnam is absurd.

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