Patterico's Pontifications

11/16/2007

John Kerry takes $1M Bet over Swift Boat Claims (Updated)

Filed under: General,Politics — DRJ @ 1:54 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Johny Kerry says he has accepted a $1M bet offered by Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens to disprove one charge by the Swift Boat Vets:

“Sen. John Kerry, whose 2004 presidential campaign was torpedoed by critics of his Vietnam War record, said Friday he has personally accepted a Texas oilman’s offer to pay $1 million to anyone who can disprove even a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

In a letter to T. Boone Pickens, the Massachusetts Democrat wrote: “While I am prepared to show they lied on allegation after allegation, you have generously offered to pay one million dollars for just one thing that can be proven false. I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt.”

Kerry, a Navy veteran and former prosecutor, said he was willing to present his case directly to Pickens, who provided $3 million to bankroll the group during Kerry’s race against President Bush. Kerry said he would donate any proceeds to the Paralyzed Veterans of America.”

Pickens apparently made the offer earlier this month in Washington:

The senator said Pickens issued the challenge Nov. 6 in Washington, while serving as chairman of a 40th anniversary gala for American Spectator magazine.
***
In his letter to Pickens, the senator challenged the billionaire’s honor. “I trust that you are a man of your word, having made a very public challenge at a major Washington dinner, and look forward to taking you up on this challenge,” Kerry wrote.”

It sounds like Kerry thinks he has a sure winner on one charge. If so, he’ll likely use that as a hammer to claim all the charges were false. Pickens isn’t the type to back down from a challenge so this should be fun. Whatever the terms of the bet, I hope the process is public and adversarial.

Update (11/16/2007): Pickens’ has responded

“Pickens wrote Friday in a letter faxed to Kerry, “I am certainly open to your challenge,” but he said he would not pay Kerry unless the senator first provided him with copies of his wartime journals, as well as movies he shot while on patrol and his complete military records for 1971 to 1978.

Pickens said such documentation, which the group has previously sought, would be needed to disprove its ads.

“When you have done so, if you can then prove anything in the ads was materially untrue, I will gladly award $1 million. As you know, I have been a long and proud supporter of the American military and veterans’ causes,” Pickens wrote.

He also proposed a counter-challenge: “If you cannot prove anything in the Swift Boat ads to be untrue, that you will make a $1 million gift to the charity I am choosing — the (Congressional) Medal of Honor Foundation.”

Various liberal websites characterized Pickens’ response as reneging and weaseling out. It sounds to me like Pickens has renewed his offer provided the parties agree on the material terms – the rules – regarding how the winner will be determined.

— DRJ

62 Responses to “John Kerry takes $1M Bet over Swift Boat Claims (Updated)”

  1. He’s throwing himself into a briar patch unless he’s prepared to sign the form he said he would sign to release all his military records.

    To selectively issue a record or two to rebut one particular charge will only fire-up the blogosphere to hammer him for the other charges.

    The guy should have just gone away and been happy as the soon to be Senior Senator for Life from Mass.

    WLS (bafbcb)

  2. Did Pickens specify clearly the charges he’s talking about? Kerry and his supporters have been remarkably willing to wrongly attribute a whole slew of claims to the Swift Boat Vets.

    And what’s with Kerry’s “I’m prepared to”? If he’s got documents or affidavits, just release them. And why weren’t they available 3 years ago?

    PatHMV (0b955c)

  3. I predict a major weaslefest. I said, nuh-uh you said so I won, nuh-uh I won cuz…..

    EdWood (c2268a)

  4. I’m gonna end up wanting to buy this Texan a beer, aren’t I.

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  5. John Kerry may be ready to take on the Swift Boat Vets in the public arena and, if so, that will be fascinating. However, I have a feeling Kerry’s letter to Pickens specifies one-sided terms for satisfying the bet. E.g.: a non-public/confidential debate, limited records allowed, the bet covers a minor point, or Kerry will not agree to be confronted by adverse witnesses. If Kerry’s terms have too many conditions, Pickens might refuse and Kerry will forever claim that Pickens and the Swift Boat Vets backed down.

    Then again, Pickens might accept even if the terms are lousy. He’s that kind of guy on matters of principle, something Kerry may have underestimated.

    DRJ (9578af)

  6. I’m wondering if it’s going to be something like “You said I ran from the engagement on this day. In actuality, that engagement occurred two days later, so you’re wrong. Pay up.”

    Nugai (9910b6)

  7. “I add the condition that Kerry show me his military records and since he claims he already signed the SF-180, I’m sure he’ll have no problem with that.”

    That’s all Pickens has to say and his money will be safe. Otherwise, Kerry will just show that some detail was wrong in one of the minor accusations. If Kerry has found proof that Nixon was indeed in the White House on Christmas 1968, that would really be something.

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  8. John Kerry.

    That’s all you have to say.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  9. memo to j. kerry, when one finds oneself in a hole, put the friggin shovel DOWN man!!!

    james conrad (7cd809)

  10. Yeah watch Kerry wasel out of this bet, probably claiming he has all ready released his 180, although no one has seen his records. Brave, brave Sir Kerry, run away, run away, brave, brave Sir Kerry.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  11. “present his case directly to Pickens”

    I wonder if the judge will rule against himself.

    whitd (10527e)

  12. I hope he’s talked to Theresa about the bet, she has to front him the money.

    Capitalist Infidel (c1d390)

  13. I wonder if it will be the case with the magic hat?

    htom (412a17)

  14. One million dollars. How many bottles of ketchup is that?

    Jim Treacher (5e5b1e)

  15. One million dollars.

    Dr. Evil!

    Paul (ec9716)

  16. If Kerry gets to pick the fact, he wins.
    If I were Pickens, I’d preemptively spell out “my” fact by buying ads. Yesterday
    That way Kerry is cornered.

    SteveG (4e16fc)

  17. I. Can’t. Turn. Away. Like. Watching. a. Train-wreck.in.Slow.Motion.
    yeeeesh.

    p.s.
    Are there NO rational adults left in the Democratic Party? Cover Kerry with a towel and hustle his whack-job butt off stage. PLEASE!

    paul from fl (47918a)

  18. Unfortunately, unless he gets hit by a truck or suffers a massive M.I., we’re stuck with this clown for the next 35 years. He’ll out live us all while in office.

    dave (93d2e0)

  19. I’ll echo the rationale expressed above. Kerry can probably make a case on some small point and have his MSM minions inflate the meaning beyond any sense of proportionality. But this might be a Pandora’s box that he may regret opening.

    Popcorn and beer at the ready. Let the games begin.

    Bingo (747f20)

  20. The oilman made a classic blunder. The first of which, of course, is never get involved in a land war in Asia … and the second, of course, being never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line …

    But the third is: narrow your terms.

    Undoubtedly, Kerry can disprove one small facet of a far larger lie.

    Of course, Kerry being Kerry, he doesn’t realize that if he only disproves one small part of that big lie … he’s essentially acknowledging the far bigger truths.

    As others noted, Mr. Oilman should have laid out five or six of the main allegations – then challenged Heinz-Kerry to disprove any one of them.

    Now Kerry is going to prove that he “earned” his third Purple Heart on a Thursday instead of a Wednesday, and that he parted his hair on the right rather than the left that day. Or something equally Kerry-esque.

    What a douche.

    PB (df860b)

  21. Pickens is already weaseling on the terms. Say what you will about Kerry, but if you make an offer, be a man.

    fishbane (1f2790)

  22. Were I Pickens, I would demand my own independent verification of the disputed facts via a signed 180. Nothing short of that should be acceptable.

    JD (a71458)

  23. Kerry is used to battling other pompous egos in DC.
    Against Boone Pickens, I’m afraid, he is overmatched.
    I hope the Jr. Sen. fm MA has a good cut-man in his corner.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  24. Pickens made an offer. The stakes were clear. He’s now clearly being a weasel about it, because he won – Kerry narrowly lost the vote, and most folks think the silly agitprop is to blame, and so there’s no reason to make good on the deal.

    A stand-up person sticks to agreements, even when they get it wrong. A weasel attempts to redefine the terms, talk about lawyers, and generally hopes to get away with not following through by obfuscating.

    We’ll see what kind Pickens is soon, but so far, it isn’t looking good.

    fishbane (1f2790)

  25. I’d say the person that offers the money gets to define what fact he is willing to pay for.
    Kerry isn’t risking a million… it isn’t that kind of bet.

    I wonder if Boone has overreached, or if he is thinking two or three steps ahead for a “gotcha”.

    SteveG (4e16fc)

  26. I’d say the person that offers the money gets to define what fact he is willing to pay for.

    …yes, they get to define it when they make the offer. Changing the terms later just makes him look like a coward and a weasel.

    What noboby’s said yet is that this is clever on Kerry’s part, in terms of getting a Democrat elected. Jump the installed outrage generators and put them on the defensive early, so they’re busy fighting the last battle instead of attacking the next. It really is the first time in a while I’ve found Kerry to be interesting.

    fishbane (1f2790)

  27. Say what you will about Kerry, but if you make an offer, be a man.

    A stand-up person sticks to agreements, even when they get it wrong. A weasel attempts to redefine the terms, talk about lawyers, and generally hopes to get away with not following through by obfuscating.

    This wouldn’t be an interesting issue at all if Kerry had been a stand up guy and lived up to his agreement to sign the form 180 and release all of his military records to his critics, instead of attempt[ing] to redefine the terms, talk about lawyers, and generally hope[] to get away with not following through by obfuscating.

    MR. RUSSERT: Many people who’ve been criticizing you have said: Senator, if you would just do one thing and that is sign Form 180, which would allow historians and journalists complete access to all your military records. Thus far, you have gotten the records, released them through your campaign. They say you should not be the filter. Sign Form 180 and let the historians…

    SEN. KERRY: I’d be happy to put the records out. We put all the records out that I had been sent by the military. Then at the last moment, they sent some more stuff, which had some things that weren’t even relevant to the record. So when we get–I’m going to sit down with them and make sure that they are clear and I am clear as to what is in the record and what isn’t in the record and we’ll put it out. I have no problem with that.

    MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

    SEN. KERRY: But everything, Tim…

    MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

    SEN. KERRY: Yes, I will. But everything that we put in it, Tim–everything we put in–I mean, everything that was out was a full documentation of all of the medical records, all of the fitness reports. And I’d call on those who have challenged me, let’s see their records. I want to see the records of each of those people who have put up a challenge, because some of them have some serious questions in them, and it hasn’t been appropriate…

    I imagine that for a rich man like Pickens, a million dollars is a small price to pay to get Kerry to finally make good on his years-old promise to release his records.

    Shad (ed8abc)

  28. John Kerry claimed to to have been in Cambodia while Richard Nixon was President. Impossible. Kerry was never in Vietnam while Nixon was President.

    Kerry may be able to refut one charge. Kerry can not show that his not a liar.

    DavidL (40a64d)

  29. So basically, Pickens is as big as a liar as the rest of the SBVT. You know, the phrase ‘Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’ has a kind of soviet-era ring of propaganda to it. You kind of know that it means the opposite.

    sashal (5c2e15)

  30. Is this some kind of a joke? Calling someone who has challenged the weasel who met with the enemy, and adopted and promoted in the United States their positions against America, a weasel. There is still an Article III, Section III to the Constitution and it has no statue of limitations. John Kerry should be charged under it.

    pagar (ba389e)

  31. If Kerry has any evidence, why didn’t he put it out there prior to the election?

    Terry Addis (dec112)

  32. Pickens wants Kerry’s military records from 1971-1978 and that would include information on Kerry’s discharge. If in fact Kerry’s discharge was less than honorable, he’ll never give it up.

    Mystery Surrounds Kerry’s Discharge

    PC14 (f74534)

  33. As a former constituent of John Kerry I know what an honest, hard-working individual he is. He tried to run his campaign with honesty and integrity and avoid the mud-slinging tactics of the Bush weasel. Of course he could have long ago addressed the lies about his record but doesn’t need to… He was defending our country while George Bush, the deserter, was getting drunk in Alabama! Pickens knows he and his followers are liars or he would accept John Kerry’s offer.

    Chris Warden (385193)

  34. Haw haw haw, knew it. Big mouth weasles first, now Kerry will weasle letting his records go coz there are some not so complimentary things on them.
    Let the weasle fest continue!!!!

    EdWood (118003)

  35. Kerry’s gonna win, I mean he was in Combodia playing 007 with his magic hat. He was so well regarded that he came to the attention of the Commander of the Pacific Fleet, no mean feat, who considered him unsuitable as an officer. Can’t wait for the release of his 180.

    And he is hard working. Who else in the US Senate has been honored by the North Vietnamese for his efforts during the Vietnamese War?

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  36. Chris Warden: Jean Faux is on it now cause he finally has UN approval to set the record straight with the Bush weasel, right?

    PC14 (f74534)

  37. Pickens should live up to the terms of the challenge he made instead of trying to change the offer when he’s called on it. He’s showing he has as little honor as the Swiftboaters but then he did bankroll them didn’t he?

    The US Army is short 35,000 majors and captains even though it offers $35,000 bonuses to those who re-up these days. It has lowered it’s recruitment standards time and again over the last four years even with other huge bonuses for enlisted. Seems a lot of soldiers don’t want to die for the latest mistake. Kerry was right in 1972 and right in 2004. Sadly we’re still stuck with the clown who has been wrong about virtually everything.

    markg8 (5ea1db)

  38. Thanks for your input, Mark. It’s comforting to know there are other intelligent and reasonable people contributing comments who can actually visualize the truth!!

    Chris Warden (385193)

  39. Pickens should live up to the terms of the challenge

    What is it about the terms that terrifies you so much? It looked to me that he was just telling Kerry to get the necessary materials together that will be required for Kerry to make his case.

    How would Pickens know whether or not there is something in his record that contradicts his stated “proof” if he can’t see the record?

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  40. Somebody splain to j curtis how “disprove a single thing I said” is not the same as “I have to see the entire record about everything I said”

    EdWood (118003)

  41. EdWood,

    If Kerry challenges the Swift Boat Vets’ story about a specific date, shouldn’t Pickens be given access to Kerry’s records from that period in order to verify Kerry’s response?

    DRJ (42ad54)

  42. Hmm, we have an arbitrageur who made himself a billionaire by outsmarting the heads of billion-dollar corporations. And somebody who made himself a millionaire by marrying a rich woman and then divorcing her for a richer widow. I wonder who’ll get to keep his money?

    nk (09a321)

  43. DRJ – He should be allowed to see the records pertaining to the single thing that Kerry picks to disprove. Not Kerrys wartime journals, films, and several years worth of war records…..unless they pertain to the one fact that Kerry tries to disprove and are necessary in addition to the records that Kerry puts forth to prove his one fact.

    NK- the biggest weasle will win.

    EdWood (118003)

  44. Somebody splain to j curtis how “disprove a single thing I said” is not the same as “I have to see the entire record about everything I said”

    Kerry will not be able to point to a single accusation that the SBVs have made concerning his war record and say “this item here is untrue” and be able to prove it. The best Kerry would be able to do is find items with a contradiction and say “one of these items must be untrue” but he won’t be able to show which one it is unless he completely opens up all sources of information concerning his war record. He still wouldn’t be able to disprove the accusation, there is always the possibility that the record has been tampered with or there is some contradicting data that can’t be found, but he could make a good case for his claims that Pickens would be forced to concede. Once Pickens says “I can’t find a basis for the SBV accusation after examining all of the sources of information I requested but I did find data that seems to support Kerry’s version”…it’s game over and Pickens will have to cough up the mil.

    Pickens’ threshold of proof will be higher than yours.

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  45. #44 Exactly, the biggest weasle will win.

    Mr. Pickens will be shown to be an honorable bettor if, given good proof that something is wrong, he doesn’t immediately resort to “those records must have been altered”. Then he would be an extra weasle.

    Even if Kerry proves him wrong on one thing it doesn’t mean that everything he said was wrong, which means he only really stands to lose a million bucks but not his argument.

    EdWood (118003)

  46. And somebody who made himself a millionaire by marrying a rich woman and then divorcing her for a richer widow.

    nk, if you’re trying to say John Kerry hasn’t earned his wealth, point taken. But John Kerry and his first wife were divorced in the ’80s and Theresa Heinz wasn’t a widow until 1991. Senator John Heinz’ death in a plane crash was pretty big news around here.

    lc (1401be)

  47. #45

    It’s not “weasle” to insist on a thorough examination of the evidence, especially concerning John Kerry who already has a history of having contradicting entries in his journal and has released official documents signed by a Sec. of Navy who insists he’s never seen the document.

    With that in mind, is Pickens supposed to accept Kerry’s word that there is nothing somewhere in his complete record that contradicts the single item that he agrees to show? Would you accept Kerry’s word?

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  48. lc #46,

    I am duly corrected. I could weasel by saying that I was talking about the annulment of his first marriage, which is a divorce on steroids, but I wasn’t so I won’t. (8)

    nk (09a321)

  49. Various liberal websites characterized Pickens’ response as reneging and weaseling out. It sounds to me like Pickens has renewed his offer provided the parties agree on the material terms – the rules – regarding how the winner will be determined.

    Of course it sounds that way to you, because you’re an ideologue who distorts to fit your ideology.

    The liberal web sites are clearly correct.

    Pickens made the offer if one of the Swift Boat allegations is proven false – it had that nice ring of defiance for the dinner, not expecting to be called on it.

    The offer can be met by providing evidence directly relevant to the allegation being refuted.

    That does not necessarily need the additional info Pickens added, modifying his offer.

    It’s like a husband suspected of cheating saying if one bit of his story can be disproven, he’ll make concessions – and when the wife says she has the evidence, his saying that she has to provide her e-mail password for him to see anything she’s written as part of the deal.

    Her e-mails may be of interest to him, but they may also be entirely irrelevant to his offer to make concessions based on his own falsehoods. Kerry only need disprove one of the Swift Boat allegations to meet the original offer.

    Now, of course, when the swift boaters are simply liars, they’ll deny he has proven things even when the evidence can be obtained to resolve ‘he said/she said’ issues, even when it’s overwhelming, as when Nightline shamed the Swift Boaters by going to Vietnam and getting the facts.

    So, it’s expected that only some of the allegations may be ‘provably false’, but Pickens is clearly reneging on the bet by changing it from the deal to disprove one allegation, to instead providing other information.

    Craig234 (baffa3)

  50. Actually, Craig234, I was thinking about whether this transaction satisfies the requirements of a legal offer and acceptance. It’s not as simple as it may seem.

    DRJ (973069)

  51. He’s showing he has as little honor as the Swiftboaters but then he did bankroll them didn’t he?

    Which is still orders of magnitude more honor than Kerry has ever had.

    Pussed out and went Swiftboats, pussed out after a couple of months, pussed out and threw his medals at the White House, and pussed out infront of the cameras for congressional hearings.

    Yeah, honorable guy, that one…

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  52. Seems a lot of soldiers don’t want to die for the latest mistake.

    Or, as equally likely, they simply want to make more money in the private secter. An officer can easily make 2-3 times their military paycheck in the “real world”.

    But if you want to be retarded, far be it for me to disuade you…

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  53. Scott,

    Two to three times the salary is the rare exception and not the norm. If you are a pilot, scientist, or medical doctor this would be pretty accurate.
    For most other fields it is a pay cut to leave. The reason is that about one third of the pay a military person (who resides off base) receives is for housing and meal allowances and not taxable.
    One easy example: A captain with 8 years is making a base pay of 54000. Add roughly a third to that and they are in the low to mid seventies.
    150K+ jobs just aren’t that common.
    The main reason many folks are getting out is that the operations tempo (number of deployments) is negatively impacting their morale and time with family.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  54. ok, fine…

    They leave the service to make more.

    Better hours, too…

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  55. Seems a lot of soldiers don’t want to die for the latest mistake.

    Tell it to Spc. Christopher Hoyt. It makes me wonder why reenlistment rates are so high, especially in combat units. They probably didn’t do their homework and make an effort to be smart and do well in school. So now they got stuck in Iraq.

    Pablo (99243e)

  56. Two to three times the salary is the rare exception and not the norm.

    Unless you go right back to Iraq, in which case you’re a mercenary anyway, so you know, screw them.

    Pablo (99243e)

  57. Pablo,
    I’m disappointed you feel that way about the contractors that are over there. I’ve got a few friends out there doing the contractor thing.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  58. Swing and a miss for VoR…

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  59. Little thing called sarcasm, vor. It’s what’s for dinner!

    Pablo (99243e)

  60. Too bad you can’t recognize sarcasm as easily as you can dish it out…

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  61. He has a point Pablo…

    We should have know when he said he had friends…

    Dead give-away.

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  62. Now, now, Scott. Attacking physical attributes is uncalled for. No more remarks about the top of his head.

    Pablo (99243e)


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