Sen. John Kerry, whose 2004 presidential campaign was torpedoed by critics of his Vietnam War record, said Friday he has personally accepted Texas oilman T. Boone Pickensâ€™ offer of $1 million to anyone who can disprove even a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
Pickens, who provided $3 million to bankroll the group during Kerryâ€™s race against President Bush, responded by saying he wonâ€™t consider giving Kerry the reward unless he surrenders his combat films, additional military records and wartime journal.
“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,” Kerry wrote to Pickens. “I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt.”
The Massachusetts Democrat, a Navy veteran and former prosecutor, said he was willing to present his case directly to Pickens and would donate any proceeds to the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
In an interview, Kerry added: “Itâ€™s beyond me; itâ€™s important for all the vets who served with me, who cared about it, whose own records were lied about. The problem is, itâ€™s the way they operate on the other side, and we have to end swift-boating forever. The way to do that is to have this public accounting.”
Faced with the very real possibility of being publicly proven a liar, Mr. Pickens immediately reneges on his challenge…
In his response, Pickens wrote: “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.
That wasn’t the deal. The deal was that Pickens would pay one million dollars to “anyone who can disprove even a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”
“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.
Are you a man of your word, T. Boone Pickens? We shall see.