POLITICS: ISSUES : LEGAL ISSUES: The New Book Attacking Kerry's War Record: How It Defames the Candidate, and Why He Should Sue
- POLITICS: ISSUES : LEGAL ISSUES: The New Book Attacking Kerry's War
Record: How It Defames the Candidate, and Why He Should Sue
The New Book Attacking Kerry's War Record:
How It Defames the Candidate, and Why He Should Sue
By JOHN W. DEAN
Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004
Findlaw's Legal Commentary
Vietnam swift boat veteran John O'Neill has picked up just where he left
off in his 1971 debate with presidential candidate Senator John Kerry.
O'Neill has joined with some of his former Navy comrades to oppose Kerry's
candidacy. But this time, O'Neill is interested in a different kind of
debate. It is called mudslinging.
The Swiftees-- as these Navy veterans like to call themselves -- have
launched a series of vicious negative campaign television ads. The ads are
meant to complement O'Neill's book Unfit For Command: Swift Boat Veterans
Speak Out Against John Kerry.
O'Neill's coauthor is his old friend Jerome R. Corsi, an experienced mud
thrower whose prior targets have been the Pope, Jews and Muslims. In Unfit
For Command, they repeat many of the 1971 charges - and add more from
other Swiftees. To assert that these stories are biased, one-sided,
distorted, and incomplete would be overly kind.
Will the book do what its authors hope - and help George W. Bush in the
election? I doubt it. This is exactly the type of campaign activity that
turns off more voters than it turns on, as shown in Stephen Ansolabehere
and Shanto Iyengar's insightful book, Going Negative: How Political
Advertisements Shrink & Polarize the Electorate.
How should Kerry deal with the attacks? He should take a page from the
playbook of the last U.S. Senator to receive his party's presidential
nomination: Barry Goldwater, in 1964. Goldwater suffered the same type of
attack, and set a precedent as to how to counter it: Sue.
Never has a book been more deserving of a defamation lawsuit. And Kerry
has several reasons to sue. One is to put these false claims to rest
forever. The other is to deter future, similar claims.
The complete article may be read at the URL above.
(215) 204 - 4584
World Business Community Advisor