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The Swiftboaters Are Back in the Water and John O’Neill Threatens Patriot Project with Lawsuit

by Pamela Leavey

Dave Johnson of SeeingTheForest wrote a brilliant expose of the Swiftboaters today for the Patriot Project. Johnson says, “If you thought the tactic of “swiftboating” ended when John Kerry conceded the 2004 election, or perhaps when report after report and article after article after article refuted the “facts” or discredited those involved, you were wrong.” In fact, they’ve never gone away

Last October, as I reported here, “Carlton Sherwood and his band of twisted cohorts who defamed John Kerry, are suing John Kerry and a former campaign staffer, claiming that they defamed him.” Then there’s Thomas Lipscomb, who after some recent stories on Kerry fighting back against the Swiftboaters, started in with a whole new round of smears. Some research here, proved that Lipscomb wasn’t being straight about his Pulitzer nomination, and Lipscomb subsequently pulled the claim from his bio.

The ties of the Swiftboaters to the Republican party, the Bush administration and the Bush family run deep. Dave Johnson has done an amazing job researching it all and laying out the details on the Patriot Project — here’s a peak at what he’s uncovered:

You can read Dave’s full expose here.

James Boyce of the Patriot Project has posted on the Huffington Post a few days ago questioning the “motives of some of the veterans involved in the Swift Boating of John Kerry in 2004″ and alerting readers to Dave Johnson’s pending project:

In response, a site called the Democracy Project called John O’Neill directly and quickly posted his rebuttal. He said the Patriot Project was approaching “actionable libel.”

This is quite an interesting response when someone is merely repeating information that is publicly available. For example, if you were to go to www.campaignmoney.com and search 527 groups and see the records for the Swift Boat Veterans And POWs For Truth, you can see all the donations to the group, and all the expenditures from the group.

Expenditures, I might add, that include an August 31, 2004 payment of $50,000 to John O’Neill for “reimburse media training.”

So, now it seems that John O’Neill is up to his old tricks with his threat to the Patriot Project. As Taylor Marsh said in her post about this, “Come on, make our day. Do it, baby.”

Lastly, on the note of the Swiftboaters who never went away, the Boston Globe reports today, that Vietnam veterans who were persuing lawsuits over Carlton Sherwood’s “documentary” about John Kerry have “dropped their libel suits,” with one citing that the case would take “an unfair toll on family and friends.” Sherwood’s case against Kerry, mentioned above, is the remaining lawsuit over the film.

The AP writer who reported on the lawsuits did a bang up job of sucking up to Sherwood, repeating his claims and ignoring the fact that Sherwood and his Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation, which “wasn’t even in existence during the ’04 election cycle (Their website states they were launched on “05/05/2005.),” are indeed “Bush hack’s.”

Sherwood “worked in the administration of former Republican Gov. Tom Ridge,” who went on to be the first Secretary of DHS under the Bush administration. While Ridge was Secretary of the DHS, “the Bush administration… selected Sherwood to create and manage a new federal website aimed at first responders.”

Lawyers for John Kerry and John Podesta have asked a judge to “toss Sherwood’s suit, arguing their actions amounted to protected political speech.”

Presidential campaigns are not for the faint of heart,” Kerry’s lawyers wrote earlier this year, in a motion asking U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam to dismiss the suit. Fullam has not ruled on the motion.

In the meantime, we need to continue to fight back, as Dave Johnson says by “exposing the swiftboaters.”

Last month in the wake of the latest round of smears against John Kerry, Ron posted a series of articles here, re-visiting the truth about John Kerry, his military service in Vietnam, and the swiftboat smears, there’s a wealth of links to that series here and here.

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