With characteristic intellectual dishonesty, leftist Jane Hamsher (along with the rest of the Left Blogosphere) is accusing T. Boone Pickens of reneging on a pledge made November 6th at the American Spectator 40th Anniversary Dinner.
RedState.com reports Pickens to have offered to bet $1 million that John Kerry could not prove “anything the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth said in 2004 was false.”
Clarice Feldman, at American Thinker, in reporting on the events of the evening, also wrote:
T. Boone Pickens responded to John F. Kerry’s latest whining about his having been “swiftboated” by offering a million dollars to anyone who could prove wrong anything the Swiftboat Veterans charged about Kerry.
Pickens offered a $1 million bet that any of the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth’s charges cannot be disproved by John Kerry. Now, John Kerry, and his friends on the Left generally, want to collect that million dollars and claim vindication for John Kerry, if Kerry can simply make his own choice of any single proposition, and deliver a persuasive counterargument.
All arguments with the American Left descend quickly to the school yard level, don’t they?
I remember the 2004 election very well. John Kerry, in what seemed like a bizarre choice, chose to try running for president as a war hero. Since John Kerry’s political career was founded on his leftwing antiwar activities, and since he had already been an opponent of the War in Vietnam at Yale (before he enlisted in the Navy in order to avoid being drafted), there was more than a little incongruity in Kerry’s attempting to combine two completely incompatible stances.
The Swift Boat Veterans For Truth did devastating injury to Kerry’s claims to military glory with a book and a series of political ads. If John Kerry was really in a position to refute their charges, the time for him to have done so was really back during the Campaign of 2004 when the presidency was at stake.
Once the election was concluded, Kerry and his allies in the establishment media began trying to turn the tables, making “swiftboating” into a term of abuse, and depicting John Kerry as some sort of injured innocent.
Long after the votes had been counted, in June of 2005, Kerry released (some? all?) of his Navy Records only to the Boston Globe, a reliably liberal and democrat paper. The Globe dutifully obfuscated by carefully overlooking any and all of the controversial aspects of Kerry’s military record and producing a distracting and meaningless exposÃ© of Kerry’s grades at Yale.
According to Kerry’s supporters in the MSM, that release of records to the Globe “definitively proved the baselessness of smears by the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”
In 2005, a group of unpublished and unreported records released to a single partisan newspaper supposedly sufficed to refute all the charges against John Kerry.
Now, in November of 2007, according to the Left, all John Kerry needs to do is to go carefully through John E. O’Neill’s Unfit for Command and the Swift Boat Veterans’ ads with a fine-toothed comb to find one single contention, one individual detail, one specific item in a very long bill of charges which he can decisively refute, and voilÃ¡! Kerry wins, Pickens and the Swifties lose.
Sorry, lefties, a million dollars is a serious amount of money, and the issues at stake here are serious issues, Kerry and the Left cannot really hope to win this one by a clever little last-tag children’s-game maneuver, or by skillful lawyering, or by the grace and favor of the MSM.
T. Boone Pickens responded yesterday:
DALLAS, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is a copy of a letter mailed by T. Boone Pickens in response to a letter from U.S. Senator John Kerry regarding the Senator’s military record and ads in the 2004 presidential election by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
U.S. Senator John Kerry
304 Russell Building
Washington DC 20510
Dear Senator Kerry:
So glad to hear from you regarding the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth political ad campaign, and an offer I made public at an American Spectator dinner in Washington, D.C. last week. I am intrigued by your letter, and am certainly open to your challenge.
My concern at the Spectator Dinner was, and continues to be, that you and other political figures were and are maligning the Swift Boat Veterans, and I want to prevent this important part of American history from being unfairly portrayed.
In order to disprove the accuracy of the Swift Boat ads, I will ultimately need you to provide the following:
1) The journal you maintained during your service in Vietnam.
2) Your military record, specifically your service records for the years 1971-1978, and copies of all movies and tapes made during your service.
When you have done so, if you can then prove anything in the ads was materially untrue, I will gladly award $1 million. As you know, I have been a long and proud supporter of the American military and veterans’ causes. I now challenge you to make this commitment: If you cannot prove anything in the Swift Boat ads to be untrue, that you will make a $1 million gift to the charity I am choosing — the Medal of Honor Foundation.
T. Boone Pickens
Sounds fair to me.
I’d say John Kerry has made another mistake in trying to play this game. And all the nonsense the left Blogosphere can post will not save him. If Kerry thinks he can refute the Swift Boat Veterans’ charges, he is going to have to release his personal and official records, to the entire press corps, not just to a pet hometown paper. If he refuses to do so, he may not have to pay $1 million, but he will clearly have lost this particular bet.