[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.