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Swiftboating of Obama Grows Closer

Speak of the devil and who should appear. Why it's the Republicans bearing lies, and hiding behind their smearing 527s:

A newly formed Arizona political group is challenging Barack Obama's presidential bid.

Swift Boat Obama, based in Gilbert, [Arizona] is raising money to oppose the Illinois Democrat's White House bid.

The Arizona group's name is similar to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which criticized 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's Vietnam War record.

The local group contends Obama, a first-term U.S. senator who previously was a law professor and Illinois state senator, lacks the experience to be president.

The Gilbert group is a 527 tax-exempt group formed to engage in political activities. Records show a Gilbert man, Eric Hurley, as its head.

A slew of such groups -- including some representing labor unions, business interests and ideological interests -- are being established as the presidential battle between Obama and U.S. Sen. John McCain heats up.

From the Swift Boat Obama website:

The mission of Swift Boat Obama is simple, we believe the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth successfully presented factual information on Sen. John Kerry in 2004 to help show the American public how he was unfit to be President. That is why we have decided to use the name Swift Boat Obama, we believe that there is enough information on Senator Obama to prove that he is unfit to be President of the United States. We will make sure that we check the validity of all our claims, we want to wage a campaign against Senator Obama based on true and factual information rather than hollow claims. We want to make sure that in the end nobody can say that we smeared the Senator or played dirty political tricks, ultimately we want to make sure the public has the facts they need to make their decision on election day.

It should come as no surprise that their first order of business, the creation of a mission statement, finds the Swift Boat Obama folks already spreading lies.

"...we believe the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth successfully presented factual information on Sen. John Kerry in 2004 to help show the American public how he was unfit to be President."

In fact, the claims made by the Kerry Swift Boaters were found to be largely fabricated and misleading at best, and far from 'factual'. Many will correctly call them outright lies. This August 6, 2004 article from the independent, non-partisan website factcheck.org exposed the lies promulgated by Republican swift boaters in the 2004 election:

A group funded by the biggest Republican campaign donor in Texas began running an attack ad Aug. 5 in which former Swift Boat veterans claim Kerry lied to get one of his two decorations for bravery and two of his three purple hearts.

But the veterans who accuse Kerry are contradicted by Kerry's former crewmen, and by Navy records.

One of the accusers says he was on another boat "a few yards" away during the incident which won Kerry the Bronze Star, but the former Army lieutenant whom Kerry plucked from the water that day backs Kerry's account. In an Aug. 10 opinion piece in the conservative Wall Street Journal, Rassmann (a Republican himself) wrote that the ad was "launched by people without decency" who are "lying" and "should hang their heads in shame."

And on Aug. 19, Navy records came to light also contradicting the accusers. One of the veterans who says Kerry wasn't under fire was himself awarded a Bronze Star for aiding others "in the face of enemy fire" during the same incident.

Republicans firmly believe that a lie, if repeated enough, becomes 'fact' - we only need to review George Bush's term of office as President for tons of proof in that regard, so it comes as no surprise that the liars on the right should adopt the same old strategy they've employed against Kerry in their attempts to stop Obama. In fact, they've already been busily lying for months now, using stealth email campaigns in an attempt to smear Obama.

But the Obama campaign is ready to deal with the lying right wingers, unlike John Kerry - who waited weeks before responding to the attacks back in 2004. Not surprisingly, in the case of the 2004 attacks against Kerry ties were found that linked the 527s directly back to the Bush campaign:

Records show that the group received the bulk of its initial financing from two men with ties to the president and his family -- one a longtime political associate of Mr. Rove's, the other a trustee of the foundation for Mr. Bush's father's presidential library. A Texas publicist who once helped prepare Mr. Bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president provided them with strategic advice. And the group's television commercial was produced by the same team that made the devastating ad mocking Michael S. Dukakis in an oversized tank helmet when he and Mr. Bush's father faced off in the 1988 presidential election.

The strategy the veterans devised would ultimately paint John Kerry the war hero as John Kerry the ''baby killer'' and the fabricator of the events that resulted in his war medals. But on close examination, the accounts of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' prove to be riddled with inconsistencies. In many cases, material offered as proof by these veterans is undercut by official Navy records and the men's own statements.

Obama is prepared:

The Obama campaign launched a website to fight back against the right wing smear machine, aptly titled "Fight the Smears". At the top of their list today is the right wing meme, pushed hard on our sister site "Wizbang" (see here, here and here), which claims Michelle Obama used the term "Whitey" repeatedly in a videotape that was just minutes away from being released on the internet...

This rumor, which was picked up and spread like wildfire by the boogie men and women on the right (lol), turned out to a total fabrication.

At this point, the only way John McCain will get elected is if the Republicans can lie and smear their way into the White House. Since that's their only option, we can expect them to fully exercise that option between now and November.


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (12)

I don't think the Obama campaign can get too involved in these smears because then that's all the public hears -- negative stuff on Obama.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

They're fighting it head on - see their "Fight the Smears" site linked above - which is the best policy in my view.

Kerry did nothing for weeks and allowed the lies to spread unchallenged, and quite possibly lost the election because of it.

Bingo:

This August 6, 2004 article from the independent, non-partisan website factcheck.org exposed the lies promulgated by Republican swift boaters in the 2004 election:...

It's amusing that those who take refuge in FactCheck.Org's incredibly biased commentary (just look at the "sources") invariably fail to make note of Fact Check's concluding (and, perhaps, face-saving) observation...

At this point, 35 years later and half a world away, we see no way to resolve which of these versions of reality is closer to the truth.

I'll let you wrestle with the implications of that conclusion.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Lert's look at what Factcheck.org is referring to.

First, they were clear as could be about the lies told by the Swift Boaters... they were very clear about that.

Rassmann (a Republican himself) wrote that the ad was "launched by people without decency" who are "lying" and "should hang their heads in shame."

and

...the veterans who accuse Kerry are contradicted by Kerry's former crewmen, and by Navy records.

and

...on Aug. 19, Navy records came to light also contradicting the accusers. One of the veterans who says Kerry wasn't under fire was himself awarded a Bronze Star for aiding others "in the face of enemy fire" during the same incident.

The lies were proven out to be lies, and the liars were proven out to be liars.

But Bingo's selective parsing of a quote from FactCheck.org proves him to be a little swift-boat batty himself... here's the full quote and context -- note the parts that Bingo left out of his selective cut and paste:

McCain Speaks Up

Sen. John McCain -- who has publicly endorsed Bush and even appealed for donations to the President's campaign -- came to Kerry's defense on this. McCain didn't witness the events in question, of course. But he told the Associated Press in an August 5 interview:

McCain : "I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crewmates have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam."

At this point, 35 years later and half a world away, we see no way to resolve which of these versions of reality is closer to the truth.

John McCain said the swift boat ad was dishonest and dishonorable -- but Bingo doesn't want you to know that.

Bingo:

But Bingo's selective parsing of a quote from FactCheck.org proves him to be a little swift-boat batty himself... here's the full quote and context -- note the parts that Bingo left out of his selective cut and paste:...

I can empathize with your quandary.

So let's assume that I am, indeed, guilty of "parsing", "quoting out of context" or whatever rhetorical euphemism you wish to apply.

The FactCheck conclusion certainly relates to SOMETHING contained in the commentary. Are you suggesting that FactCheck's comment relates only to the "McCain Speaks Up" section and believes John McCain's "version of reality" inre his "dishonest and dishonorable" observation might be less than indefensible in it's veracity?

Good luck.

Bingo:

correction...

...might be less than defensible in it's veracity?

Senator Obama is NOT a Dirty Muslim!

"What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge," says Mr. Obama, while denouncing statements of him being a Muslim as a smear. Why is the presidential candidate who claims to be religiously inclusive is treating the word "Muslim" as an insult? Apparently, it is OK for Mr. Obama to be associated with terrorists like William Ayers or racists like Jeremiah Wright, but God forbid somebody would call him a Muslim! No, he won't stand for that kind of smear! We admit that most terrorists are Muslims, but most Muslims are not terrorists and the statement on Mr. Obama's website is insulting to hundreds of millions of people.

How could a man who discards his family heritage in favor of political expediency be even considered for presidency of the United States? Where are all the so-called "Islamic civil rights groups" like CAIR, MPAC, ISNA, MAS, etc. who are quick to defend every Islamic terrorist, but are silent when Muslims in general are being denigrated? Would Mr. Obama have the same reaction if someone claimed that he was raised as a Jew? We sincerely doubt that.

"In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." Barack Obama, "The Audacity of Hope", page 261.

Well, the political winds did shift in an ugly direction. Is equating "Muslim" with "smear" Obama's idea of "stand[ing] with [Muslims]?

Muslims Against Sharia demand immediate removal of "SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Muslim" statement from the official Barack Obama's website as well as an apology for giving the word "Muslim" a negative connotation.

http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/06/senator-obama-is-not-dirty-muslim.html

Update:
Obama changes "SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Muslim" to "SMEAR: Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim" as well as removes his pledge not to use religion as a wedge from site's header.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"Senator Obama is NOT a Dirty Muslim!"

"What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge," says Mr. Obama, while denouncing statements of him being a Muslim as a smear."

If Obama was labeled as a homosexual that would be a smear, but that doesn't mean Obama feels homosexuals are not worthy or second-class citizens.

"Is equating "Muslim" with "smear" Obama's idea of "stand[ing] with [Muslims]?"

It's equated with smear because of typical prejudices that exist in America already. What Obama said is a problem only in Karl Rove's addled, smearing mind, and apparently a few other of Rove's little Obama-smearing helpers.

Nice try for a right wing wedgie though -- keep it up.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"So let's assume that I am, indeed, guilty of "parsing", "quoting out of context" or whatever rhetorical euphemism you wish to apply."

"Dishonest" sums it up nicely. You selectively excluded McCain's statement because in that statement we have the 2008 Republican Presidential candidate calling the Swift Boat ad "dishonest" -- and obviously that cuts against the agenda, now doesn't it.

Or should be not believe John McCain?

Should we not trust that John McCain told the truth?

Good luck...

Bingo:

Your evasion and reticence to address FactCheck's concluding statement is hardly unexpected.

Frankly, the crickets I was hearing while you were scratching your noggin' trying to compose a credible rebuttal were eminently more entertaining than the nonsense you just posted above.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

FactCheck said they can't prove it one way or the other because it happened 30 year ago.

That doesn't detract from their conclusions that the Swift Boat Vets are lying slime - even John McCain acknowledges that, but yes - the only defense you have is that (1) it happened 30 years ago and (2) none of us were there.

All of which (1) proves the swift boaters lied in the opinion of FactCheck.org and John McCain, and (2) you can't prove anything to the contrary because it happened 30 years ago.

Those crickets you're hearing occupy that large empty space between your ears, Bingo -- but you're my favorite dog, so I'll keep you around.

good boy!

Denise:

Sure the Swiftboaters were liars - that's why Kerry sued them for defamation......


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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