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Vietnam Veterans Drop Suit Over 2004 Anti-Kerry Film

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  • ~mary~
    http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/103-07182006-685057.html Vietnam veterans drop suit over 2004 anti-Kerry film By: MARYCLAIRE DALE (Tue, Jul/18/2006)
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 18, 2006
      http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/103-07182006-685057.html  
       

      Vietnam veterans drop suit over 2004 anti-Kerry film

      By: MARYCLAIRE DALE (Tue, Jul/18/2006)

      PHILADELPHIA - Several Vietnam War veterans who sued over a documentary about Sen. John Kerry's anti-war activities have dropped their libel suits, leaving just one lawsuit pending over the controversial 2004 film.
      Filmmaker Carlton Sherwood says the outcome shows the suits were frivolous complaints filed by Kerry operatives to try to block the film's release in the final weeks of the presidential race.
      "We've always believed that Kerry controlled these lawsuits," Sherwood said Monday. He said the suits were dropped as depositions got under way. "We also felt we were getting a tad too close to the truth about Kerry."
      The 42-minute film, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," charges that Kerry's actions as an anti-war activist after his tour in Vietnam harmed American POWs, and questions the veracity of the U.S. atrocities that some veterans reported.
      Sherwood continues to press his defamation suit against Kerry and campaign aide John Podesta, which charges they conspired to block the film's release by labeling him a "disgraced journalist" and "Bush hack." The Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. canceled plans to air the full documentary on its stations before the November 2004 election.
      Lawyers for Kerry and 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.
      Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, this year created a defense fund to pay the legal costs related to Sherwood's suit, which was filed last year.
      One of the veterans who dropped his suit against Sherwood and the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation said depositions in the case threatened to take an unfair toll on family and friends. Kenneth Campbell, a University of Delaware professor who has taught a course on the Vietnam War, still believes the film maligns him.
      "They used my image and voice from an old film to go after Kerry. I thought they painted me as a fraud," Campbell said.
      Veteran Jon Bjornson also withdrew a libel suit over the film and veteran George Butler a copyright infringement suit, according to Sherwood's lawyer, Robert C. Clothier. The Legal Intelligencer of Philadelphia first reported that the suits had been withdrawn.
      Sherwood, an investigative journalist who lives near Harrisburg, worked in the administration of former Republican Gov. Tom Ridge.

       


      RESPECT LIFE:  From Womb to Tomb!   ~mary~
       
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