Last week on the Huffington Post, I asked a legitimate question: were the actions of the Swift Boat veterans who attacked John Kerry influenced by the substantial monetary payments they received? I think it's important for everyone to understand that men like Roy Hoffman and John O'Neill received compensation either to them, or in Roy Hoffman's case, to his foundation. There is clear public information that list the payments from the Swift Boaters own records.
I received quite a response - especially from a gentleman who claims to have been a friend of John O'Neill's since 1971 - perhaps Richard Nixon introduced them when he tapped John O'Neill to help stop John Kerry - who knows, just a question.
The first claim was that "the Huffington Post has blinked at Boyce's irresponsible innuendos and pulled his post from its website."
From Ms. Huffington herself.
"Just to confirm - we did not at any time remove your post from The Huffington Post. It was actually an important post that asks legitimate questions about the motives behind the actions of public figures. "
Wow. Freedom of speech. What a concept. Here's the original post right here. Still alive and kicking.
Next, the gentleman called me on The Patriot Project claim that John O'Neill stated that The Patriot Project was approaching "actionable libel."
I believed this to be the case because in a blog post on http://www.democracy-project.com that quoted John O'Neill, there was also a quote from "A very experienced attorney with deep knowledge of the details tells me that the defend John Kerry organization, Patriot Project, may be approaching "actionable libel." John O'Neill is a very experienced attorney with deep knowledge of the details, so I put two and two together. Evidently, I shouldn't have. (Math was never my strong suit.)
Today, the poster at the same site says that I put his words in John O'Neill's mouth. It took me a minute to grasp what he was saying. The well respected attorney is not John O'Neill but the person writing the post. Ergo, the writing of the post was talking to himself and told himself that the Patriot Project was approaching "libel."
Next, regarding my bringing up the fact that John O'Neill himself received $50,000 on August 31, 2004 for "reimburse media training." A fact's a fact, $50,000 is a lot of money. John O'Neill got that check. That's my point. These guys are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts or the depth of their convictions alone. There's a lot of money involved in this swiftboating business.
What about the $100,000 paid to Admiral Roy Hoffman's Foundation? It was reported that this was paid back to the Swift Boaters. Hmm. Perhaps there's another $100,000 payment/donation I don't know about. I was referring to this one in the IRS records from THIS YEAR.
Notice that there are no contributions listed but plenty of money still flowing out, specifically $100,000 to Roy Hoffman's Foundation on February 8, 2006.
Next, the Patriot Project is attacked for asking for donations. Well, the Patriot Project needs money. While the Swift Boaters received million dollar checks on a regular basis from people like Bob Perry and Harold Simmons, the Patriot Project has not yet received that kind of support. (We would gladly accept it I might add.) But be warned, some people feel that to do so would be to "throw more money down a rathole for a punk." (That's me.)
Throw away. Throw $5. Throw $10. Throw us a million. We will use it to defend anyone who is attacked.
Another blogger attacked Taylor Marsh as a "moonbat" and a "he." Well, everyone makes mistakes but if you look at a picture of Taylor, it's fairly clear that "he's" a "she." This is not a gray area of conjecture but another one of those pesky facts that just keeps getting in the way of things.
Finally, and very importantly.
The right wing bloggers love to jump on The Patriot Project as John Kerry's Patriot Project. It's not.
The Patriot Project is a remarkable collection of people who came together because they have had enough of veterans and other Americans being attacked because they exercise their right to free speech and dissent.
Do I know John Kerry and his family? Absolutely.
Did I volunteer for his campaign? Absolutely.
Did I serve a single day in Vietnam with John Kerry? Nope. But then again, neither did John O'Neill.
But I have never ever had a single conversation, traded a single email or in any way shape or form communicated with John Kerry about The Patriot Project. Not one single time. Ever. Clear enough?
In fact, as much as I respect John Kerry and his service, my decision to work with and for the Patriot Project came from my deep admiration and respect for the man I consider to be perhaps the greatest American I know, Max Cleland.
It irritates, frustrates and galls me that a man who gave so much for his country got so little in return. Max Cleland should be a Senator for life. End of story.
I am not going to stand one more American getting destroyed politically and personally because of a group of highly-paid media consultants and Republican chicken-hawks attack and attack and lie and attack.
Everyone who watched the 2004 Election knows that there needs to be a group that stands up to the attacks that doomed Max Cleland, John McCain and John Kerry. That group is The Patriot Project.
And that's not just me. It's everyone from our remarkable board members that range from Judith Droz Keyes, whose first husband was killed in Vietnam to Captain Jonathan Powers, who served in Iraq. It means our Executive Director Mike Lyon, a veteran, and everyone who has donated to us or supported us so far on our quest.
I'm going to end on a personal note and a promise. Maybe John O'Neill will call me a "weasel" for this as well.
God bless you Max. Nothing like what happened to you will ever happen again.