Saturday, August 07, 2004

Oh yeah, one more tidbit about John O'Neill...his "organization," Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace, was formed around him by Chuck Colson, the Watergate dirty trickster, working out of Nixon's office.

The link above quotes Colson as needing urgently to undercut Kerry's Vietnam Veterans Against the War, "He (Kerry) was a thorn in our flesh. He was very articulate, a credible leader of the opposition. He forced us to create a counterfoil. We found a vet named John O'Neill and formed a group called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. We had O'Neill meet the President, and we did everything we could do to boost his group."

Colson himself could be found a year later (1972) in Lowell, Massachusetts. Colson was busy spending Nixon money to create a furious last-minute campaign to derail John Kerry's campaign to be elected to Congress on an antiwar platform. Kerry was then opposed by two right-of-center candidates. Colson got one of them, Roger Durkin, to drop out of the race at the last minute. Interestingly, an SEC investigation into Durkin's business was dropped thereafter.

Kerry lost in a photo finish-- the last time Kerry was beaten.

Anyone thinking the dirty tricks have ended?

Here’s another member of the “527” campaign running the “Swiftvets” ad:

A member of the steering committee of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is John O’Neill, a man whose public career has been mainly distinguished by being the other side of a Dick Cavett Show debate with Kerry in 1971, which featured O’Neill and Kerry mano a mano in what clearly seemed a death match to O’Neill. Watch the debate rerun on C-SPAN sometime. O’Neill does an inadvertently good impression of Joe McCarthy as a young man.

O’Neill was also a Navy man, son of an Admiral, who claimed back then that Kerry was unpatriotic and treasonous for his strident opposition to the Vietnam conflict upon returning home to the States. Clearly incensed by Kerry personally, O’Neill was often trotted out to stalk the young ex-Lieutenant across the country when he’d appear on the media.

O’Neill was rewarded for his service to the war effort back home by his appointment to the President's National Advisory Counsel on Supplemental Services and Centers (whatever that was) under the post-Watergate Nixon Administration, just as he received his law degree from the University of Texas in 1973. Right after this post, Mr. O'Neill served as a law clerk to then new Nixon appointee Justice William H. Rehnquist.

After a career that since then has been about securities law in private practice, O’Neill reappeared this past year to resurrect the 1971 debate at every opportunity possible and has been written up as the Un-Kerry by the conservative National Review.

The real story will be the money behind the organization and it’s trail… stay tuned.

Who's behind Swiftvets? Among others, we know Bob J. Perry, a Texas developer who has a long history with, guess who, Karl Rove. Rove claims they haven't spoken in a year.

"Attention must be paid," as Willy Loman would have said, to an ad called "Swiftvets." It's being run now in battleground states. It's funded by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a "527," one of the soft money groups that are spending a lot of supposedly nonpartisan cash in this election on both sides. The ad features Vietnam-era swift boat veterans speaking over a background of black and white photos of John Kerry in Vietnam, and at antiwar protests of the Vietnam period.

In the ad, the veterans purport to have served "with" Kerry (directly- as in on his boat) and they claim that John Kerry "lied to get his Bronze Star." Turns out, these guys didn't serve with Kerry, but say they served on boats that were "near" his boat in Vietnam. How near, we really don't know. In the same war? Yes. Near enough to try to drown out every member of Kerry's own Navy swift boat, all of whom appeared with the former Lieutenant last week at his nomination in Boston? They hope so. As for the charge that Kerry is lying, these men were in no way part of the chain of command that reviewed Kerry's medals and have no documentary evidence to provide to back their claims.

In short, they're lying. On television in Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and all over the internet. Backed by serious cash.

This ad represents just the beginning of an election campaign that will be the dirtiest in American memory, including the 1988 campaign in which a serial rapist named Willie Horton was used as a virtual stand-in for Michael Dukakis, the Democratic nominee, in now infamous George H.W. Bush commercials.

Senator John McCain has attacked the ad and demanded it be withdrawn. The Bush campaign merely says it's being run by an independent group and they're "not responsible."

Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Three cheers for Jonathan Alter's analysis in the August 9 Newsweek. His column, "Only the Strong Will Survive," points to the complexities involved in real strength. Purging the cancer of Al Queda terrorism, like purging a malignant tissue, requires adept and light steps, not just dogged and straight-line thinking.

The Brits have bagged an "important" Queda leader, apparently involved in the planning of attacks here in the US. See the NY Times

Thursday, August 05, 2004

For anyone around New York City during the latest wave of terror alert, alert, alert, the Times
today says it all.

Today, trucks were again allowed on the bridges, tunnels, and many other traffic routes. Guess everything's OK now...???

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A good friend sent this excerpt and I recommend it to all of us who get wrapped up in the foreign policy and economic angles of the current election. Robert F. Kennedy Jr's "Crimes Against Nature" details the devastation our environment has endured during the current administration.

Kennedy's interview on the Leonard Lopate Show should be heard by anyone who thinks about environmental justice at all.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Apparently Nomar's disdain for and depression about playing for current management was so deep and visible in the clubhouse that it is now being written about openly (see Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe) at the instant of his departure. It is odd, given the Boston media's willingness to jump all over any potential Sox dissension story, that this take wasn't aired as fully in the leadup to the trade.

A little breath of fresh air that SS arrival Orlando Cabrera homered in his first at-bat today.

Red Sox Nation is reeling tonight. No more Nomaah...

Yes, we know we needed to shore up the defense, we know he'd be gone at the end of the season, but gone for two guys hitting under .250? Wow, let's hope this has a major upside impact in the field. Ouch.

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