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Wednesday, October 20, 2004 2:39:33 AM

Re: ergo sum post# 75056

Post# of 495952
E P I L O G U E

ADVANTAGE SWIFT VETS

John Kerry never saw them coming: not the book, the ads, or the 250 veterans of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. When the DRUDGE REPORT broke the story, an enraged spokesperson who was traveling with Kerry told DRUDGE, “They hired a goddamn private investigator to dig up trash!”1 The next day, Senator John McCain, without having ever studied the charges, called the Swiftees “dishonest and dishonorable.”2 Several days later, the New York Times declared the group to be a “shadow party” of the GOP.3

None of these unjustified attacks mattered to the Swiftees. They knew these attacks were not true. But more important, none of it mattered to the American people who wanted to find out the truth for themselves. In a few weeks, Unfit for Command was #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list, #1 on BarnesandNoble.com, and then #1 on the New York Times list for four weeks in a row. And even though in those early days when the Swift Boat vets could only afford to buy airtime in a handful of markets, polls showed that roughly half of Americans already saw or knew of the ads.

The truth was out
.


From Minor Annoyance to Full-Scale Attack

At first, the Kerry campaign tried to treat the book and the ads as an irritation. They ignored the charges; dodged questions. It didn’t work.

The Kerry camp then launched an orchestrated plan to discredit the Swift Boat vets. Television stations that aired the ads were threatened with lawsuits. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was accused of being run and funded by Republicans. The Kerry camp “googled” coauthor Jerry Corsi and used his statements in an Internet discussion forum to attack his character. They accused co-author John O’Neill of holding a thirty-year-plus vendetta against John Kerry. They demanded that Regnery, the book’s publisher, pull the book off the shelves.

None of it worked.

Now the Kerry campaign is engaged in an all-out effort to brand the vets as liars, even though they do not have any evidence that the vets lied about the charges. The Kerry camp is hoping that if they repeat it often enough, Americans will come to accept it
. But so far, this strategy hasn’t worked either. Indeed, it may already be too late.

We believe that truth has won.


The Liberal Media Falls in Step

The liberal mainstream media employed a parallel strategy. First, they ignored the Swift Boat vets, and then dismissed the charges. All the while, they gave tremendous play to those attacking President Bush.

The NBC Today Show, for example, gave Kitty Kelley’s anti-Bush book three straight mornings of airtime, but refused to interview the authors of Unfit for Command even once. NBC was more than willing to provide a forum for an author whose chief source denied the book’s account, but they ignored Unfit for Command even though the latter relied on documented evidence and multiple eyewitness accounts from veterans who had signed affidavits.

Then Dan Rather and CBS enjoyed a holiday from the truth. They proclaimed that they had documents criticizing President Bush’s National Guard service, charges that were accepted as fact by the mainstream media and widely reported. Even when it was quickly and universally concluded that the documents were forgeries, CBS stuck by their story for weeks. While CBS dismissed the meticulously documented Swift Boat charges, they continued to defend their fraudulent documents until poor ratings made it impossible to do so.

Perhaps the most telling example of the liberal media’s bias was the condescending manner in which they treated the Swift Boat veterans. Pat Oliphant’s cartoon depicting them as illiterate drunks 4 was an insult to veterans old and young. And yet, there was virtually no media outcry. On the NewsHour, Tom Oliphant declared that Unfit for Command was not up to journalistic standards.5 From what we’ve seen in the press, we believe the book’s standards are higher.

In this epilogue, our goal is to review the key arguments of the book that have been under attack and the statements the Kerry camp has made in response to the charges. There are still many unanswered questions. We are confident that after reviewing the summary and documentation, as well as Kerry’s statements, readers will conclude that the charges in the book are not a “pack of lies” as Kerry claimed.

Unfit for Command presents serious charges backed up with serious research. We intend for this epilogue to reinforce that conclusion.


Cont'd.....

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