Skip to comments.Swift boat group weighs next step
Posted on 11/23/2004 5:48:42 PM PST by freespirited
The controversial veterans group that trashed the war record of Democratic Sen. John Kerry during the presidential campaign and helped hand President Bush a second term will remain a potent force, according to an associate of the group.
Chris LaCivita, who was a paid political consultant to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the campaign but said he is no longer on the payroll, asserted that the organization, with 280 members nationwide, is pondering its next step.
patrick g. ryan An associate of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth says the group, known for attacking Sen. John Kerrys war record, will remain a powerful force.
One possibility is that the Swiftvets will become a full-time public-relations outfit for veterans, LaCivita said.
The Kerry-Edwards campaign filed a complaint against the Swiftvets with the Federal Election Commission, but LaCivita said many conservatives are disgusted with what they see as a left-wing caricature of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam as crazed hippies that went around mowing people down.
The Swiftvets would seek to counter negative impressions of veterans. Referring to U.S. soldiers in battle, LaCivita, a former Marine who fought in the first Gulf War, said: They endure a lot more, and they do a lot of good things people back home never hear about.
Retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffmann, who oversaw the Swift boat operation in Vietnam and founded the anti-Kerry group, said members would probably be interested in fighting a future Kerry bid for the White House, which some Democrats say is possible.
We have definitely an interest in continuing our work on the discharge and activities in regard to the POWs, said Hoffmann, who retired from the Navy in 1978. He added, At this point, we really havent made any firm decisions. We feel that our primary mission has been accomplished.
John E. ONeill, a co-founder of the group, sees the Swiftvets moving from political activity to veteran services. ONeill, who served as a lieutenant in Vietnam, said he is heading back to his law practice full time.
Hoffmann said his group was not tied to any political party and will stay independent. Democrats allege that the 527 group, a category of political groups that is named after a clause in the tax code, worked illegally in concert with the Bush campaign.
David Wade, national press secretary in the Kerry campaign, characterized the Swiftvets as a discredited and despicable Republican smear group caught doing George Bushs dirty work.
They were scorned by real heroes like Max Cleland and John McCain, Wade added.
Former Sen. Cleland (D-Ga.) lost three limbs in Vietnam, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) spent years there as a prisoner of war.
Simon Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network and a contender for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, disparaged the group for scandalous lies and underhanded campaign tactics and said the media was unbelievably irresponsible for not being, in his view, a better watchdog.
Mike Russell, a Swift Boat Veterans spokesman who works at Creative Response Concepts, a media-relations firm in Alexandria, Va., says none of the groups contentions about Kerry has been refuted.
Donations to the group had come from every state and sales of the book Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry by ONeill and Jerome Corsi, which helped propel the group to national attention and sold more than 800,000 copies, Russell added.
Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist, said Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had neutralized the image of Kerry as war hero. In viewing Kerry through that lens, the public saw a very different Kerry than they had just seen at the Democratic National Convention. It was not Lieutenant John Kerry reporting for duty. It was a scruffy, antiwar activist in fatigues dumping on his colleagues, Sabato said, referring to images, repeatedly shown on television during the campaign, of Kerry testifying before Congress.
Sabato said he plans to question LaCivita about suspected ties between the veterans group and the Bush campaign when LaCivita takes part in the seventh annual American Democracy Conference, Dec. 3 at the Hotel Washington. The conference is co-sponsored by The Hotline and the University of Virginias Center for Politics.
Almost all of the money we personally donated to political causes this year went to the Swifties. If they continue to hound Kerry to sign the 187, I'll send more money. I feel the Swifties were the difference in this election. The values that concerned ME included loyalty and honesty, demonstrably lacking in the'new JFK'. Thanks for putting the lie to him, Swifties. And thanks for helping VN vets explain who they really are... and who they really were.
Maybe someday we'll undwestand why the elected heroes like McCain made their peace with Kerry. Politics certainly made strange bedfellows here.
Sadly John O'Neill is a democrat.
So true. Even if the Swiftees themselves never spoke, the pictures and rolltape of Kerry in the hearing room were worth a million ads against him. But adding their outrage to it was priceless!
My sentiments exactly. There is still work to do. If Kerry recieved an "other than honorable discharge" at any point in his career, the American public needs to know. They will have my continued support in whatever do.
Disagree---as long as the facts of Kerry's discharge are unknown, they still have a job to do. Until the SwiftVets MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE for Kerry to run again, they need to stay organized. In fact, it would be REALLY NICE if they could drive him out of the Senate, as well.
They should also sue anyone that says their charges have been 'discredited' - not for the money, but to force a court hearing/trial (sworn testimony) to discredit the other side.
Kerry trashed his record. The Swift Boat Vets just reported it. And we decided whom to believe.
Are we sure that couldn't be a temporary condition?
"However, I'm afraid that if they try to remain relevant, they will either look ambitious or like a group of malcontents. I would hate to see either of those play out."
You hit the nail on the head. You gotta know when the game is up and when to retire...otherwise you just look like an idiot who never grew up.
I don't think so. I believe he is an independent.
Our thanks to the brave ones who sunk the Kerry campaign. We all know in our hearts that it was the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that destroyed the Kerry candidacy. After they published the truth about Kerry in August, the Kerry campaign never completely recovered.
Indeed..and no S-O-L for exposing treasonous scum either.
I hope Kerry sues the Swift Boat Vets. If he does he has to produce the records he is hiding during discovery. His is a lost case and if he sues the Swifties he's toast. I certainly hope the Swifties keep up the pressure on Senator "I have a plan", and I'll continue to contribute to them, if they stay the course.
Well..he isn't a Republican,then.
I was corrected..Independent..
I don't think they will rest until he's impeached and kicked out of congress. I think if they can get statement from the Harvard Law School admissions committee of 1973 concerning what they knew about the nature of Kerry's discharge, the process would be expedited considerably. That committee KNEW that Kerry had a 'less than honorable' discharge and refused to admit him on the grounds that he wouldn't be able to practice law or pass the bar anyway.
"These guys deserve our thanks for doing a great job. That said, having saved the Republic, they should return home. We don't need yet another permanently ensconced lobbying group."
I too thought the Swifties were extraordinarily effective in preventing Kerry from becoming President and made three contributions to them and I am also a Navy veteran.
They obviously will do whatever they decide to do however I do not think they would be as effective the next time even if Kerry plans to run again. The battle is over; it is time to hang the uniform up.
Ping to my reply # 38.
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