T. Boone Pickens Says No Deal on Swift Boat Bounty

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T. Boone Pickens is not giving up his million dollars.

That’s how much he had offered to pay anyone who could disprove any of the accusations the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth made against Senator John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election – attacks Mr. Pickens, the billionaire Texas oilman, helped finance.

A group of Swift boat veterans sympathetic to Mr. Kerry sent Mr. Pickens a letter last week taking him up on the challenge. In 12 pages, plus a 42-page attachment of military records and other documents, they identified not just one but ten lies in the group’s campaign against Mr. Kerry. They offered to meet with him to provide Mr. Kerry’s journals and videotapes from Vietnam and a copy of his full military record certified by the Navy – a key demand of Mr. Pickens and veterans who believe Mr. Kerry lied about his service to win his military decorations.

Mr. Pickens replied with a one-page letter, thanking the veterans for their research and their service, but politely saying there had been a misunderstanding. “Key aspects of my offer of $1 million have not been accurately reported,” he wrote.

When he offered the reward at an American Spectator dinner in November, blogs sympathetic to Mr. Pickens reported that he challenged anyone to disprove “anything” the Swift boat group said.

In his letter, Mr. Pickens explained that his bet actually applied to only the television ads the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth bought, and not to their bestselling book or the media interviews that generated more attention than the ads themselves.

“In reviewing your material, none of the information you provide speaks specifically to the issues contained in the ads,” he wrote, “and, as a result, does not qualify for the $1 million.”

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Randll Reese Besch - 7/2/2008

One of them even state that there was nothing to what they said in the way of proof.

John Olerud - 7/1/2008

John Kerry made numerous mistakes in his testimony before Congress in 1971. Those mistakes made the accusations of the Swift Boat veterans easier for Americans to believe in 2004.