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Swift Boat Funder T. Boone Pickens Reneges On John Kerry Million Dollar Offer

1624480_4de1c2abdc.jpgRich Texas bastard T. Boone Pickens boasted that he would give $1 million to anyone who can disprove “even a single charge” leveled by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who he funded to the tune of $3 milion. Kerry offered to meet with Pickens and do so, with the million dollars going to veterans’ charities.

But now Pickens is reneging:

Pickens, who provided $3 million to bankroll the group during Kerry’s race against President Bush, responded by saying he won’t consider giving Kerry the reward unless he surrenders his combat films, additional military records and wartime journal.

In other words, Pickens was full of bravado when he made the offer in a keynote address in front of a bunch of friendly right wingers at an American Spectator dinner, but when Kerry took him up on it, he was a bit too cowardly to back it up:

“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.”

“Just one thing” has turned into more records than George Bush has willingly surrendered under government subpoena:

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.

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.

“A proud supporter of the American military” — not to the point of actually, you know, enlisting or anything. More of the “yellow elephant” variety one would expect from a big Rudy Giuliani fundraiser.

He then goes for a Rovian jujitsu move: saying that if Kerry “cannot prove anything in the Swift Boat ads to be untrue,” Kerry should agree to give a million dollars to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.

I’m assuming Pickens would appoint himself arbiter of such a deal, and show as much integrity with regard to the decision as he did when he made his original offer. Kerry ought to keep his hands on his wallet, but he seems to be aware of that:

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.

Yeah, Pickens’ word and a buck twenty-five will get you a bad cup of coffee at the 7-11.

(Photo by NikiSublime)

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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