Tuesday, August 24, 2004

 

He Wasn't Even There

Atrios points to this story about on of those Swift Boat Vets.

Vets Protest Prosecutor in Anti-Kerry Ad
Oregon Vets Protest Assistant District Attorney's Statement in Ad That Kerry Lies About Record

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. Aug. 24, 2004 — Several Vietnam veterans are calling for an assistant district attorney to resign after questions were raised about his statement in a recent ad criticizing Democrat John Kerry's military service.
Alfred French of the Clackamas County district attorney's office appears in the ad sponsored by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. In the spot, French says: "I served with John Kerry. ... He is lying about his record."

A group of Vietnam veterans who protested outside the county courthouse Monday said French implied he had firsthand knowledge of Kerry's war actions when in fact he had heard about what Kerry did from friends.

In an interview with The Oregonian newspaper last week, French said he relied on the accounts of three other veterans in making the statement about Kerry and did not personally witness the events. French did not return two messages left at his office Monday.

"As a senior assistant district attorney, you know as well as we do that that kind of ridiculous statement would never pass muster in a court of law," veteran Terry Kirsch said of French's account.

"We question your fitness to serve as an enforcer of the law after swearing to facts in a legal affidavit that you do not know to be true," he said.

Before recording the ad, French signed an affidavit that said: "I am able to swear, as I do hereby swear, that all facts and statements contained in this affidavit are true and correct and within my personal knowledge and belief."

It goes on to say that "Kerry has wildly exaggerated and lied about his record in Vietnam" and that he received his Purple Heart medals "in the absence of hostile fire."

Kerry was awarded three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star as commander of a Navy swift boat in Vietnam.

District Attorney John Foote released a statement Monday chiding French for bringing unwanted publicity to the suburban county's office, but stood by his employee.

"I do not personally share the opinions expressed by our prosecutor," Foote wrote. "However, all of our employees have the right to their own opinions on these subjects and to express their opinions on their own time."


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