Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: Kerry Campaign Response      ...3 of 4 >>
May 4, 2004.  The Kerry campaign held a press conference directly after the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" event.  (Above are, r-l, Wade Sanders, Del Sandusky and Drew Whitlow).  Senior Advisor Michael Meehan said, "The Nixon White House attempted to do this to Kerry, and the Bush folks are following the same plan."  "We're not going to let them make false claims about Kerry and go unanswered," Meehan said.  He said his first instinct was to hold a press conference with an empty room where veterans could testify to their time spent in the military with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. 

The campaign provided an information package which raised significant questions about "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."  Spaeth Communications, which hosted the event, "is a Republican headed firm from Texas which has contributed to Bush's campaign and has very close ties to the Bush Administration."  Lead organizer John O'Neill, a Republican from Texas, "was a pawn of the Nixon White House in 1971."  Further some of the people now speaking against Kerry had praised him in their evaluation reports in Vietnam. 

John Dibble, who served on a swift boat in 1970, after Kerry had left, was one of the veterans at the Kerry event.  He said of Kerry's anti-war activities that at the time, "I didn't like what he was doing."  In retrospect, however, Dibble said, "I probably should have been doing the same thing...probably more of us should have been doing that."  He said that might have meant fewer names on the Vietnam Memorial and that Kerry's anti-war activities were "a very gutsy thing to do."

Copyright © 2004 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.