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.
Their cheap post card sent to everybody that donated will be worth big bucks 30 years from now. After all the antiwar correspondents have died or retired.
I hope that I am still here to cash in!
Some good points have been made here. I think a number of people get an uncomfortable feeling when a champion prizefighter doesn't realize that he's just won the most important fight of his life. Since we love them, we are nervous that they will try to match a political performance that can't be matched, and fall short. They were there when they were most needed, but we don't want them to get overexposed and maybe devalued as a result. They are cast in bronze now.
It may be that their best contribution in the future will be to simply continue to draw the fire of the David Wades and the Simon Rosenbergs. I can see no better anti-advertsiement for the Democratic reputation that attacks upon a block of true heroes.
The more the Democrats try to disparage, the more pathetic they look.
I would like to see them push for an indictment of Treason against sKerry. Tie him to the 1971 meeting in Kansas City where he and others discussed killing US Senators.
May the Swiftvets expand their horizons and remain in the public eye. I'm convinced their efforts did an immeasurable amount of harm to skerry's campaign -- and for that I will always be greatful.
Long live John O'Neill, and long live the Swiftvets!
Pardon me. Meant to write, "...and for that I will always be GRATEFUL." Not, greatful. Sheesh!
If those men want to help to get all the aforementioned cleared up, more power to them. If not, it is their call.
First, McCain should have kept his mouth shut. He wasn't on Kerry's boat and he wasn't on any of the boats run by the Swifties.
Second, McCain said that the Swifties' charges of Kerry's 1971 testimony before the Senate were "fair game". The RATs and their media accomplises don't like to remember that.
ping if you arent already here
The DOJ needs to either try Kerry for treason or we need to repeal those parts of the Constitution that Kerry was in clear violation of or the US Constitution means nothing if it can simply be ignored to create the appearance of get-alongedness, you don't create unity be trashing these foundations.
This traitor sits on the Senate intelligence committee and he has a fetish for conspiring with enemies against the USA. Even the fact that he didn't show up for meetings too often makes me suspect that he was creating plausible deniability.
"prevent his next senate re-election"
Uncover his discharge records and get him disqualified for office and tossed out of the Senate NOW!!!!!!
We need these guys to remind of our heritage.
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.
Just as I predicted.
Hanoi Kerry lost so Dims now attack Viet Nam Vets, once again.
While 99 US Senators support Hanoi Kerry.
Come on Hanoi Kerry BRING IT ON!
EXPOSE HANOI KERRY!
Distribute these url's!
There is a backup site
if the 1st url is unavailable.
I don't think they should quit. They should continue research.
Then they should decommission this guy in Massachusetts.
He shouldn't be involved in any national decision making.
Kerry said he was 'weighing the option of litigation' against the Swiftvets.
Any intel on his current plans, or has he changed his mind on that?
I am alone is sensing an anti-SBVT bias in this piece?
Not at all, I feel it too.
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