S.O.S. — Presidential Campaign Overboard!

Hat tip to the fine folks at Cox & Forkum for coming up with this one =D

*** Update #1 ***: The Kerry campaign has tried every trick under the sun to deal with the Swift Boat Vets for Truth short of actually dealing with their very credible and damaging claims in any sort of substantial and serious matter (which incidentally is why they’re not going to be able to make the story go away). Well today, Kerry dispatched Jim Rassman & Max Cleland to Bush’s Crawford ranch in an effort to get favorable publicity get Bush to condemn the Swift Boat ads.

Well, it backfired, because for the first time, Team W. fired back at Kerry on what he did AFTER VIETNAM which will only help keep the Swift Boat Vets story alive (not that it needed any help). Just take a look at this

“Dear Senator Kerry,

We are pleased to welcome your campaign representatives to Texas today. We honor all our veterans, all whom have worn the uniform and served our country. We also honor the military and National Guard troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan today. We are very proud of all of them and believe they deserve our full support.

That’s why so many veterans are troubled by your vote AGAINST funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, after you voted FOR sending them into battle. And that’s why we are so concerned about the comments you made AFTER you came home from Vietnam. You accused your fellow veterans of terrible atrocities – and, to this day, you have never apologized. Even last night, you claimed to be proud of your post-war condemnation of our actions.

We’re proud of our service in Vietnam. We served honorably in Vietnam and we were deeply hurt and offended by your comments when you came home.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t build your convention and much of your campaign around your service in Vietnam, and then try to say that only those veterans who agree with you have a right to speak up. There is no double standard for our right to free speech. We all earned it.

You said in 1992 “we do not need to divide America over who served and how.” Yet you and your surrogates continue to criticize President Bush for his service as a fighter pilot in the National Guard.

We are veterans too – and proud to support President Bush. He’s been a strong leader, with a record of outstanding support for our veterans and for our troops in combat. He’s made sure that our troops in combat have the equipment and support they need to accomplish their mission.

He has increased the VA health care budget more than 40% since 2001 – in fact, during his four years in office, President Bush has increased veterans funding twice as much as the previous administration did in eight years ($22 billion over 4 years compared to $10 billion over 8.) And he’s praised the service of all who served our country, including your service in Vietnam.

We urge you to condemn the double standard that you and your campaign have enforced regarding a veteran’s right to openly express their feelings about your activities on return from Vietnam.

Sincerely,

Texas State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson
Rep. Duke Cunningham
Rep. Duncan Hunter
Rep. Sam Johnson
Lt. General David Palmer
Robert O’Malley, Medal of Honor Recipient
James Fleming, Medal of Honor Recipient
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Castle (Ret.)”

That letter struck a PERFECT tone in so many ways. It nailed Kerry on what he did as a Senator & criticized what he did AFTER VIETNAM while praising his service, emphasizing how Bush is looking after soldiers, and supporting the right of the Swift Boat Vets for Truth to have their say.

But, if you think that letter stung, if you think Kerry has had it tough so far, just wait until this goes live…

“As controversy over John Kerry’s Vietnam service holds center stage in the presidential campaign, a war veteran is about to release a television documentary with devastating testimony by former POWs of the demoralizing impact of the senators’ war-crimes accusations more than 30 years ago.

The production is scheduled to air in two weeks on the heels of a television ad by Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth, which charges Kerry with betrayal for accusing them of war atrocities during his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.

A source involved in the production, who said its makers are not prepared yet to release their names, told WorldNetDaily its title will be “Stolen Honor.”

The documentary has no official connection to the swiftboats group, the source said, but one of the POWs the film features is Paul Galanti, who appears in the group’s second ad, released this week.

Galanti, who spent more than six years in prison after being shot down south of Hanoi, says he first heard Kerry’s testimony in late 1971 when it was broadcast by his Vietnamese captors over the public address system in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”

Jerome Corsi, co-author of the swiftboat vets’ book, “Unfit for Command,” said he has seen some of the taped interviews used in the documentary.

“They are very, very powerful,” he told WND.

Corsi said the POWs in the new production tell how Kerry’s April 22, 1971, testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was “thrown in their faces.”

Just imagine what this is probably going to be like folks. Just look at this Paul Galanti quote from the Swift Boat Vets ad…

“In the 30-second TV spot, Galanti says Kerry “gave the enemy for free what I and many of my comrades in North Vietnam, in the prison camps, took torture to avoid saying. … It demoralized us.”

Just imagine a whole documentary filled with POWs giving quotes like that, their voices cracking with emotion, talking about being beaten & tortured in a Vietnamese prison camp while their captors accused them of the most horrible atrocities imaginable and played John Kerry’s Senate testimony as evidence.

It’s going to be brutal — and you know what? Kerry ran as a war hero after lying about his war record & acting like Jane Fonda after the Vietnam war. That’s why this whole Swift Boat Vets for Truth thing is nothing but karma coming back to bite Kerry in the behind and I just love it…

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