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Swift boat group weighs next step
The Hill.com ^ | 11/24/04 | Peter Savodnik

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 Kerry’s 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 haven’t made any firm decisions. We feel that our primary mission has been accomplished.”

John E. O’Neill, a co-founder of the group, sees the Swiftvets moving from political activity to veteran services. O’Neill, 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 Bush’s 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 group’s 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 O’Neill 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 Virginia’s Center for Politics.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: johnkerry; johnoneill; kerrydefeat; next; sabato; swiftboatveterans; swiftvets
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The Swiftees staying in business would be great news.
1 posted on 11/23/2004 5:48:42 PM PST by freespirited
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To: freespirited

establish a headquarters in massachusetts, prevent his next senate re-election.


2 posted on 11/23/2004 5:49:55 PM PST by isom35
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I am alone is sensing an anti-SBVT bias in this piece?


3 posted on 11/23/2004 5:51:50 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: freespirited

I disagree. I'm tired of industrial activism. They did their job. They did it well. I think its time for them to take a rest. Their views will have little relevance for most of the future challenges we face and contributing to the defeat of Kerry won't win them much grace on those fronts.


4 posted on 11/23/2004 5:52:00 PM PST by Cornpone ((Aging Warrior))
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To: freespirited
I would love to see the Swiftees come here to Massghanistan and help us send John Forbe sKerry packing for Pittsburgh in 2008.

{Yeah, I know, we need to get rid of Uncle Teddy first, but...}

5 posted on 11/23/2004 5:52:22 PM PST by Lunkhead_01
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To: freespirited

I get chillbumps when I think about what these men accomplished in 2004. And they thought their hero days were over.


6 posted on 11/23/2004 5:52:23 PM PST by gitmo (Thanks, Mel. I needed that.)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: freespirited
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 Virginia’s Center for Politics.

Try your best Larry!

8 posted on 11/23/2004 5:54:33 PM PST by rocksblues (No more Kerry, no more polls!)
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To: freespirited

I agree. I don't think being a veteran should make you immune from criticism, but a lot of vets have every right to believe that they still have some old scores to settle. And there should be no statute of limitations on the truth.


9 posted on 11/23/2004 5:56:02 PM PST by dr_who_2
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To: Texas_Jarhead

You are not alone.


10 posted on 11/23/2004 5:56:50 PM PST by Patriotic Bostonian
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To: Cornpone
Well, don't disband them yet. See Members believe Kerry preparing for 2008 run. The SBVfT's primary mission is not complete. They did do a great job but let them rest on Individual Ready Reserve if they must rest. But the job isn't done until the one-eight-oh is signed.
11 posted on 11/23/2004 5:57:31 PM PST by NonValueAdded ("We are in the process of allowing them to self-actualise" LtC. Rainey, Fallujah, 11/04)
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To: freespirited
Well this "discredited and despicable Republican smear group caught doing George Bush’s dirty work" is the finest bunch of Americans that I can think of. Their post card of thanks for a nominal contribution is a prized possession. Whenever they need financial support to continue their work, they can count on us.

Thanks Swiftees,

az

12 posted on 11/23/2004 5:57:46 PM PST by Arizona
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To: Cornpone

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.


13 posted on 11/23/2004 5:58:05 PM PST by AndyJackson
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To: dr_who_2
Amen.

These vets have endured enough unjustified criticism for several lifetimes.

They served their country again but the debt to them can never be repaid.

Many went to their deaths never knowing that 'help was on the way'.

14 posted on 11/23/2004 5:59:05 PM PST by OldFriend (PRAY FOR MAJ. TAMMY DUCKWORTH)
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To: freespirited

O'Neill and the Swiftees should sue Lawrence O'Donnell and MSNBC.

I hope the Swiftees will keep the pressure on the Traitor.
The Traitor should be run out of office. PERIOD!

Semper Fi,
Kelly


15 posted on 11/23/2004 5:59:42 PM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: Cornpone

I think I have to agree. I'm very proud of the Swift Boat Veterans and thank them so much for not only for serving their country during Vietnam, but for serving it equally as well this past year without compensation.

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.

Personally, I would like to see the group stay together, but not try to take to active of a role in politics, unless Kerry rears his ugly head again.

However, I can't say that I wouldn't love to see John O'Neill run for office. Anything available down in Texas for him? Attorney General perhaps? Or, better yet, if Senator Hutchison runs for Governor, perhaps he could be appointed to the Senate? Wouldn't you love to see floor debates between him and Kerry? lol


16 posted on 11/23/2004 5:59:53 PM PST by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: freespirited
The Swiftees staying in business would be great news.

Yes, and we could certainly use them again if Kerry decides to run in 2008.

17 posted on 11/23/2004 5:59:55 PM PST by Jorge
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To: rocksblues

See Larry run....run, Larry, run....catch that bandwagon....


18 posted on 11/23/2004 6:00:46 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: freespirited

People wonder why Bush does not show his appreciation to the swifties...They must not realize that this group was not formed by Republicans to help Bush but to prevent this fraud,Kerry, from being CIC and President.

They must remain separate..They are a 527..Some people WANT to tie them to the campaign to discredit them..

God bless the swifties and all vets who helped keep Kerry from becoming President!


19 posted on 11/23/2004 6:00:48 PM PST by MEG33 ( Congratulations President Bush!..Thank you God. Four More Years!)
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To: Baynative

The POW fiasco would be the best project for them to tackle. I still believe that JFK left a lot of our boys in Vietnam to die when he shut down the investigation.


20 posted on 11/23/2004 6:01:14 PM PST by WVNan
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To: freespirited

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.


21 posted on 11/23/2004 6:01:50 PM PST by papadoc1945
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

Sadly John O'Neill is a democrat.


22 posted on 11/23/2004 6:02:20 PM PST by MEG33 ( Congratulations President Bush!..Thank you God. Four More Years!)
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To: gitmo

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!


23 posted on 11/23/2004 6:03:04 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: NonValueAdded
I doubt JK will run again in 2008. He'd be insane if he did as would Hillary. But if he does, let the SBVfTs come to the rescue again...like the ghosts from the past. But for the time being, I say let them be. The guy that ran the press release, if I understand it, is now an unemployed consultant...what better to do but try to keep milking the cow. With all due respect, I figure these guys are about as old and tired as I am and they've done their duty for now. Besides their views won't cut much mustard with Kyoto and other issues. They're like a special purpose weapon. If the need arises, beg their forgiveness, dust them off, and fire them one more time.
24 posted on 11/23/2004 6:04:25 PM PST by Cornpone ((Aging Warrior))
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To: Arizona
>>>Well this "discredited and despicable Republican smear group caught doing George Bush’s dirty work" is the finest bunch of Americans that I can think of. Their post card of thanks for a nominal contribution is a prized possession. Whenever they need financial support to continue their work, they can count on us. Thanks Swiftees, <<<

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.

25 posted on 11/23/2004 6:04:32 PM PST by HardStarboard (Surrounded by Kerry/Edwards Signs in Washington State)
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To: Cornpone
"I disagree. I'm tired of industrial activism. They did their job. They did it well. I think its time for them to take a rest. Their views will have little relevance for most of the future challenges we face and contributing to the defeat of Kerry won't win them much grace on those fronts."

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.

26 posted on 11/23/2004 6:04:38 PM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: dr_who_2
There SHOULD be no statute of limitations on these vets suing Jean-Fraude for slander.

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.

27 posted on 11/23/2004 6:05:26 PM PST by Ed_in_NJ (Who killed Suzanne Coleman?)
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To: freespirited
The controversial veterans group that trashed the war record of Democratic Sen. John Kerry

WRONG-OHHHHHH

Kerry trashed his record. The Swift Boat Vets just reported it. And we decided whom to believe.

28 posted on 11/23/2004 6:06:24 PM PST by GretchenM (Pray for President Bush)
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To: MEG33

Are we sure that couldn't be a temporary condition?


29 posted on 11/23/2004 6:06:29 PM PST by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

"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.


30 posted on 11/23/2004 6:06:30 PM PST by Cornpone ((Aging Warrior))
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To: MEG33
Sadly John O'Neill is a democrat.

I don't think so. I believe he is an independent.

31 posted on 11/23/2004 6:07:33 PM PST by freespirited (Kerry ravaged the reputation of Vietnam vets in a manner reminiscent of a creepy liar.)
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To: freespirited

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.


32 posted on 11/23/2004 6:08:47 PM PST by putupjob
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To: dr_who_2
And there should be no statute of limitations on the truth.

Indeed..and no S-O-L for exposing treasonous scum either.

33 posted on 11/23/2004 6:10:14 PM PST by evad (DUmmie FUnnies and Pookie Toons-the start of a nice day)
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To: freespirited

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.


34 posted on 11/23/2004 6:11:54 PM PST by OrioleFan (Republicans believe every day is July 4th, DemocRATs believe every day is April 15th. - Reagan)
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To: freespirited

Well..he isn't a Republican,then.


35 posted on 11/23/2004 6:11:57 PM PST by MEG33 ( Congratulations President Bush!..Thank you God. Four More Years!)
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

I was corrected..Independent..


36 posted on 11/23/2004 6:13:01 PM PST by MEG33 ( Congratulations President Bush!..Thank you God. Four More Years!)
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To: isom35

DITTO!


37 posted on 11/23/2004 6:13:43 PM PST by hiredhand ( "Pudge the Indestructible Kitty" lives at - http://www.justonemorefarm.com)
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To: Cornpone
"They did their job. They did it well. I think its time for them to take a rest."

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.

38 posted on 11/23/2004 6:13:46 PM PST by Eastbound ("Neither a Scrooge nor a Patsy be")
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To: AndyJackson

"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.


39 posted on 11/23/2004 6:13:53 PM PST by matchwood
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To: Wonder Warthog

Ping to my reply # 38.


40 posted on 11/23/2004 6:16:17 PM PST by Eastbound ("Neither a Scrooge nor a Patsy be")
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To: Arizona
Their post card of thanks for a nominal contribution is a prized possession

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!

41 posted on 11/23/2004 6:16:43 PM PST by rocksblues (No more Kerry, no more polls!)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Seen this?


42 posted on 11/23/2004 6:17:12 PM PST by NYTexan
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

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.


43 posted on 11/23/2004 6:20:51 PM PST by pickrell (Old dog, new trick...sort of)
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To: isom35

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.


44 posted on 11/23/2004 6:21:29 PM PST by ridesthemiles (ridesthemiles)
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To: NYTexan; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Kudos, Tonk.


45 posted on 11/23/2004 6:21:41 PM PST by Eastbound ("Neither a Scrooge nor a Patsy be")
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To: freespirited

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!


46 posted on 11/23/2004 6:22:51 PM PST by Rightfootforward
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To: Rightfootforward

Pardon me. Meant to write, "...and for that I will always be GRATEFUL." Not, greatful. Sheesh!


47 posted on 11/23/2004 6:24:24 PM PST by Rightfootforward
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To: freespirited
Until John Kerry retires from office, I see no reason why these men should not keep holding his feet to the fire, should they wish to do so. If he sailed off into the sunset on the Scaramouche, then maybe I'd feel different. But not only hasn't JF-in'K sailed off, he still hasn't resolved questions about medals, discharges, Paris, Kansas City, POW/MIAs...

If those men want to help to get all the aforementioned cleared up, more power to them. If not, it is their call.

48 posted on 11/23/2004 6:24:39 PM PST by niteowl77 (No more NBC or MSNBC... ever.)
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To: freespirited
They were “scorned by real heroes like Max Cleland and John McCain,” Wade added.

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.

49 posted on 11/23/2004 6:26:02 PM PST by jackbill
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To: freespirited
The Swiftees staying in business would be great news.

Indeed it would. And one way they could stay in business would be to continue to pursue the truth regarding John F'in Kerry's collaboration with the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong via Madame Binh on his liddle "honeymoon" (yeah, right) visit to Paris after he returned from his four month tour of Vietnam.

Kerry went to Paris, met with the Communists, and he returned to the U.S. parroting the so-called 'Peoples Peace Plan' which was nothing but Viet Cong propaganda calling for a unilateral U.S. pullout.

Kerry proceeded to incite rebellion and sedition with the subversive group VVAW, of which one member (Scott Camill) had advocated the assassination of pro-Vietnam war effort Senators. Upon learning of the scheme, Kerry did nothing whatsoever, didn't even notify the authorities of such a grotesque plot. But Kerry didn't forget about Camill, who worked for the Kerry campaign in Florida during the DemocRAT primary season.

There is still plenty of work for the Swifties to do, and I hope they'll get to do it.
50 posted on 11/23/2004 6:26:19 PM PST by Mad Mammoth
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