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Swift Boat Veterans for Truth launched its fifth ad today, titled “Dazed and Confused,” charging Kerry’s contradictory explanations of a 1971 protest in which he threw away war decorations is another reason not to trust him.
Kerry led Vietnam veterans in 1971 medal-toss protest.
The creator of the 30-second spot, Chris LaCivita, told WorldNetDaily the 527, or soft-money, group has a $310,000 TV buy in the battleground states of Nevada and New Mexico.
He anticipates the Kerry campaign will charge the fast-paced ad unfairly manipulates the candidate’s remarks.
“Obviously that spot is edited,” LaCivita said, “but I can assure you nothing is taken out of context. If you read the transcript of the “Good Morning America” interview, it all flows.”
At the end of the spot, LaCivita pieces together two Kerry phrases obviously designed to pack a punch with patriotic Americans, ” … we threw away the symbols of what our country gave us … and I’m proud of it.”
The group’s previous ad has a similar theme, asking, “How can the man who renounced his country’s symbols now be trusted?”
That ad ran for one week on CNN, CNN Headline News, the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and the History Channel, LaCivita said.
After WND first posted this story, ABC News issued a statement objecting to the ad’s use of the network’s footage.
“Today, a 527 group began airing a new political attack advertisement which employs footage from an interview conducted by Good Morning America anchor Charles Gibson with Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. The heavily edited material was taken from a much longer interview,” said ABC News Vice President Jeffrey Schneider. “ABC News did not grant permission for the use of this footage and objects to its use for political purposes. ABC News never licenses footage to any political groups for campaign advertising. ABC News has asked the creator of the ad to cease from using ABC News’ copyrighted material.”
WND was unable to reach LaCivita or a group spokesman for a response.
In a similar situation earlier this week, NBC News asked the Democratic National Committee to pull an excerpt from “Meet the Press” in a video about President Bush’s National Guard service.
The DNC contended its employment of the NBC footage conforms to fair-use standards but said it would consider the request.
The new swiftboat vets ad reads:
KERRY in 2004: I’ve been accurate about precisely what took place …
KERRY in 1971: … renounce the symbols …
2004: … I threw my ribbons over …
1971: … I threw back, I can’t remember, six …
2004: … ribbons …
1971: … seven, eight …
2004: … and took the ribbons …
1971: … nine …
2004: … I didn’t have my medals …
1971 … and that was the medals themselves.
2004: … that is absolutely incorrect … medals, ribbons … we threw away the symbols of what our country gave us … and I’m proud of it.
VOICE OVER: John Kerry, can you trust anything he says?
‘Charlie, you’re wrong’
In the 1971 interview with WRC, Kerry admitted throwing away his medals over a fence at the U.S. Capitol.
But earlier this year, Kerry told Gibson on “Good Morning America” he didn’t toss his medals, insisting he threw away ribbons, which he regarded as the same thing.
“I stood up in front of my nation and took the ribbons off my chest” and then threw them over the fence, Kerry said.
Back then, he emphasized, “ribbons, medals were absolutely interchangeable.”
Gibson said he was a witness of Kerry’s actions 33 years ago.
“I saw you throw medals over the fence, and we didn’t find out until later … that those were someone else’s medals,” Gibson said.
“Charlie, Charlie, you’re wrong,” Kerry interjected. “That is not what happened. I threw my ribbons across … .”
After interrupting several times, Kerry clarified that in addition to his own ribbons, he tossed two medals belonging to two veterans. Kerry’s campaign website says he “threw his ribbons and the medals of two veterans who could not attend the event.”
The Boston Globe quoted Kerry after the April 23, 1971 event, saying, “In a real sense, this administration forced us to return our medals because beyond the perversion of the war, these leaders themselves denied us the integrity those symbols supposedly gave our lives.”
But Kerry revealed during his first U.S. Senate run in 1984 he still had his medals, having invited a wary union official to his home to inspect his Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.
In an interview with the National Journal in 1988, Kerry clarified his statement again, declaring he threw out the ribbons awarded for his Purple Hearts, but not the medals.
In 1996, he told the Boston Globe he tossed his ribbons but not his medals because he “didn’t have time to go home [to New York] and get them.”
The swiftboat vets’ second ad, featuring POWs recounting the demoralizing impact of Kerry’s claim that U.S. soldiers systematically committed atrocities, has been run nationally with an $800,000 cable-TV buy.
In the group’s third ad, one of Kerry’s crew members accuses the presidential candidate of lying, charging he falsely claimed to have spent Christmas in Cambodia in 1968.
The first TV commercial quoted Kerry’s Vietnam comrades calling him a liar, questioning his honor, accusing him of misrepresenting his actions for medals and attacking his character.