Friday, August 06, 2004

Paid to hate

The year is 1970, and on the Dick Cavett Show are two young, recently returned Vietnam veterans - John Kerry, the charismatic, well-spoken patrician, and John O'Neill, the Republican attack dog, Kerry's very first character assassin.

I've seen this interview on C-SPAN, from which the picture above is taken (I couldn't find one of both Kerry and O'Neill), and it consisted of Kerry denouncing the activities and motives surrounding the Vietnam war, and O'Neill attacking Kerry's patriotism. Apparently things haven't changed much in the past 34 years...

There is a new television ad in swing states by "Swift Boat Veterans For Truth", a group of men who neither met, nor served with John Kerry, but happened to be in the same general vicinity of him during the time Kerry served in Vietnam. Nevermind the fact that the men whose lives Kerry literally saved during the war speak nothing but good of John Kerry... these swift boat veterans hate him. Why? They're told to. Told to by a very influential Republican by the name of John O'Neill.

Maybe he's still sore over the reception he got from the crowd that night on the Dick Cavett Show (he was booed while Kerry was cheered), or the fact that his biggest political mentor and benefactor, Richard Nixon, was impeached. No matter what the case, O'Neill is now head of this swift boat veteran coalition, and stopping at nothing to attack Kerry's character. How about a couple soundbytes?
I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is, none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crew have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam ... I can't believe the president would pull such a cheap stunt
-John McCain, (R) Arizona

His account of what happened, and what actually happened, are the difference between night and day
-Jack Chenoweth, Lieutenant J.G., in the ad against Kerry

John Kerry saved my life
-Jim Rassman, Army Green Beret, who Kerry jumped into the water in the line of fire to pull back aboard the swift boat

It appears as if even now, after 30+ years, John O'Neill is still on the Republican payroll, carrying out their dirty work.