Kerry v. Pickens: Fool And His Money… Etcetera…

Today’s Globe is running a page one story by Sasha Issenberg on the dust-up between Senator John Kerry and Texas financier T. Boone Pickens, who provided some of the funding for the Swift Boat ads in the 2004 election.

The ads were despicable, as was Kerry’s two-week failure to respond to them, a failure that likely cost him the election.

Despite the fact that the claims the ads made were ultimately shown to be false, Pickens recently offered one million dollars to anyone “who could prove that any of the group’s assertions were wrong.”

Kerry, seeing a chance to pick up a quick million to donate to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, has taken up the challenge.

Pickens, who may be either a fool or a person utterly lacking in honor and integrity, or possibly a fool lacking honor and integrity – a fool for believing this nonsense despite the evidence, and lacking honor and integrity for funding the lies – now is waffling.

But the original dispute lives on for Kerry. After Pickens announced his $1 million offer at a Washington banquet, Kerry declared last week that he wanted to meet in a “mutually agreed upon public forum” to present evidence disproving the Swift Boat group’s assertions. Pickens responded by demanding that Kerry release his tapes and videos taken while in the war zone, and his “journal,” believed to be a collection of letters Kerry wrote home during the war. Pickens said the new material was necessary to assess the accuracy of the original ads.

Nonsense. Much of the ads’ attacks were based on a book by someone named Jeremy Corsi. And if The Lion recalls correctly Corsi’s work was shown to be false.

In a legitimate argument, the person making the claim must prove his claim. The Swift Boaters did not prove their claim.

Unfortunately, in America today it’s enough to tell a lie to destroy someone’s reputation, career, or life. The lie counts as truth to a citizenry that can’t tell one from the other and to a news universe that failed the critical thinking and the integrity classes back in journalism school and does little more than snicker and snigger.

All Kerry has to do is demonstrate the lie in any one claim to lay waste the entire set of claims, and then claim Pickens’ million. That work’s already been done for him.

Pickens, naturally, is seeking to weasel out of the offer. That’s why he’s asking Kerry to release more material. Kerry would be an idiot to do that. Corsi et al made the claims based on material they gathered, one way or another. That’s the material in question, and that’s what Pickens must rely on. It’s a complete dodge to claim new material is needed.

And given the shallow and nasty disposition of the people who attacked Kerry in 2004, does it make any sense to give them more things to distort and lie about? 

Pickens put his money on a fight that’s already been won, and he’s choosing now to back the loser. He should pay up. Or shut up and go back to Texas, which seems to produce an inordinate number of crapheads determined to destroy this country. (The Lion thinks it would be good for America to give Texas back to the Mexicans.)

Of course that’s not the end of the story, in more than one way. Kerry and Pickens will keep sniping at each other, much to the joy of our addled press corps. But there’s a local angle, and it’s ugly too.

Kerry is running for re-election next year. Here’s what his competitors are saying:

“I hope this is never addressed. John Kerry has a congressional record that we need to focus on completely,” said Kevin Scott, a former selectman in Wakefield. “If I am the nominee, I would steer this completely away from the Swift Boat issue.”

“I do not plan on attacking Kerry’s military service or anyone else’s who took the oath to defend our country and who was honorably discharged,” Jeff Beatty, a national-security consultant and Harwich resident, said in a statement.

“It goes to his credibility,” said Ed O’Reilly, a Gloucester lawyer mounting a challenge to Kerry in the Democratic primary. “It needs to be cleared up.”

Scott makes sure he mentions ‘Swift Boat’ and Kerry in the same statement. Beatty damns with faint praise. O’Reilly as much as insists that Kerry lied about his record.

None of them condemn the Swift Boat ads or the methods of the Swift Boaters. Not these upstanding examples of honor and integrity and truth who are salivating to get into the Senate, no matter how much they have to lie and twist and distort the truth. Just what we need in the Senate – more people who not only are ethically challenged, but have no ethics to challenge.

It’s just lies and bullshit all the way down.

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One Response

  1. […] post by Ric This was written by . Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007, at 8:15 am. Filed under […]

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