August 24, 2004 - Benjamin Ginsberg is a lawyer for the President’s re-election campaign. He is also the lawyer for the famous 527 organization, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Air Force Col. Ken Cordier was a member of President Bush’s Veterans Steering Committee with his name prominently displayed on the Bush campaign web-site. While a member of the steering committee Cordier privately taped a comment for inclusion in the latest ad run by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. When someone called attention to his very public membership on the Bush committee, he very publicly resigned – after the ad made its debut.
Of course neither President Bush nor his campaign has any connection to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Certainly niether the President nor his campaign is coordinating activities with the 527 organization and especially not its attack dog ads. Why, such coordination would be illegal. Indeed the Swift Boater’s independence was demonstrated when the organization refused the President’s call to pull its ads – citing the organization’s First Amendment rights. It is only a coincidence that Mr. Ginsberg says that the Swiftees "came to me and said, 'We have a point of view we want to get into the First Amendment debate right now. There's a new law. It's very complicated. We want to comply with the law, will you keep us in the bounds of the law?' I said yes, absolutely, as I would do for anyone."
Of course that is not “coordination”. It is just coincidence that the money men behind the organization are close personal friends of the Bush family and reliable contributors to their political endeavors. It is just a coincidence that the leader of the Swiftees is the same person selected by Charles Colson to meet with President Nixon to outline an attack on young John Kerry. It is just a coincidence that the organization’s communications director is the same person who placed the 1988 Willy Horton ads; who coordinated the 2000 ad campaign claiming that Senator McCain had left the better part of his mind in the Hanoi Hilton. All that coincidence is not illegal coordination.
Far be it for the President and his re-election campaign to interfere with a 527 organization’s First Amendment Right to pepper the electorate with lies, half-truths and distortions. Of course not. Even though the President can’t directly ask Swift Boat Veteran’s for Truth to pull their ads because that request would be illegal coordination he did ask all 527 organizations to pull their ads. The Swiftees said no, proving that there was no coordination.
When the cat denied that he had swallowed the canary he hoped nobody would notice the yellow feathers hanging out of his mouth. Just coincidence, I guess.
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