Swift Boater on McCain’s Truth Squad
John McCain’s Truth Squad, formed a few months ago in order to respond to charges by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth clone Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain, is prominently featuring an actual member of the Swifties as a spokesman, CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand reports.
One of the members of John McCain’s new Truth Squad — which his campaign says was launched to respond to unfair attacks on his record of military service —- was a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and appeared in an attack ad for the group in 2004. The group was created to attack 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry’s military service record.
“How can you expect our sons and daughters to follow you when you condemned their fathers and grandfathers?” asked former Air Force Col. Bud Day, who was a prisoner of war with McCain in Vietnam, in a 2004 Swift Boat Vets spot.
McCain has said that he opposed the group’s efforts.
Politico‘s Ben Smith asked Day about the seeming inconsistency.
“The Swift Boat ‘attacks’ were simply revelation of the truth,” said Day, a former prisoner of war and Medal of Honor recipient who served I the Air Force. “The similarity does not exist here.”
“What the Swift Boat campaign was about was to lay out John Kerry’s record. John Kerry has never produced any evidence to deny that,” he said. In contrast, he said, he and others on the call had produced “evidence pointing out that [Clark’s] remarks were completely inaccurate.” “One was about laying out the truth. This one is about attempting to cast a new shadow on John McCain,” he said of the salvos at the two military men.
To the extent that Day’s attacks were limited to criticism of Kerry’s postwar accusations against his fellow veterans, rather than the business about whether Kerry truly “earned” his Vietnam medals, I’d agree that the equivalence is dubious. And, certainly Bud Day has earned quite a bit of latitude.
The truth/not truth argument, however, is an amusing one.