The lies of John O'Neill: An MMFA analysis; Swift Boat Vets' founder has told repeated untruths about himself, Swift Boat Vets, Unfit for Command


For the past several weeks, John E. O'Neill has lied repeatedly about himself, his organization, and his book. He's lied about being a Republican from Texas, lied about his political involvement, lied about his ties to the Nixon White House, lied about his campaign contributions, lied about his co-author, and lied about the makeup of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT), the anti-Kerry group he founded.

O'Neill lied when he said Swift Boat Vets "have no partisan ties"; member in new ad was Bush-Cheney campaign official

O'Neill said on CNN on August 11, "[T]he people in our organization have no partisan ties, we didn't campaign in the last four elections for Democrats, by and large we didn't campaign for anybody."

That's a lie. The new Swift Boat Veterans for Truth advertisement, unveiled August 20, features Ken Cordier criticizing Kerry. Cordier is identified in the ad as "P.O.W., Dec. 1966 - Mar. 1973."

But Cordier isn't just a former prisoner of war. He was also a member of the Bush-Cheney '04 National Veterans Steering Committee until controversy over his dual role with the campaign and the SBVT led to his resignation. The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign website suddenly -- mysteriously -- omits Cordier's name from the list of Steering Committee members, presumably in an effort to hide ties between the campaign and this 527 advertising. But images from a cached copy of the page, as well as a list of committee members, prove his membership.

Cordier was also named to a Bush administration POW Advisory Committee.

Cordier's involvement with the Bush campaign is not a new development. In September 2000, Dick Cheney personally announced Cordier's selection as Vice-Chair of the Veterans for Bush-Cheney '00.

O'Neill lied about being a "Republican from Texas"

During an August 12 appearance on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, O'Neill claimed, "I'm not a Republican from Texas. That's just not true."

O'Neill is, in fact, from Texas. And he has given more than $14,000 in federal contributions to Republican candidates and causes since 1990, including $1,000 to George H. W. Bush in 1992. And he hasn't made any federal contributions to Democratic candidates or causes during that time. And he voted in the 1998 Republican state primary.

O'Neill lied about his political involvement

On the August 12 edition of CNN's Crossfire, O'Neill claimed he has had "no serious involvement in politics of any kind in over 32 years."

In fact, O'Neill has made more than $14,000 in federal contributions to Republican candidates and causes since 1990; most people would consider giving $14,000 a "serious" involvement.

O'Neill denied making thousands of dollars in contributions to GOP; FEC records contradict him

When FOX News Channel managing editor and chief Washington correspondent Brit Hume asked O'Neill to respond to "allegations" that he has made more than $14,000 in federal contributions to Republican candidates and causes since 1990, O'Neill responded by saying "that is not true. ... Actually, about half of them were mine." When Hume asked about "the other $7,000," O'Neill claimed: "Those are actually funds, as nearly as I can tell, that were given my -- by some -- my law partner who has almost the same name, Edward J. O'Neill. I simply didn't give them. I would have been happy to give them. I just didn't."

O'Neill's claim that "Edward J. O'Neill," not he, made the contributions, is contradicted by Federal Election Commission records, which clearly list the contributor as John O'Neill, not Edward O'Neill. Edward O'Neill made his own contributions, which are listed under his name.

It's worth remembering that if Edward O'Neill actually made the contributions in his law partner's name, it would be a violation of federal election law.

O'Neill lied about ties to Nixon White House

After Chris Matthews said to O'Neill, "You go back to the Nixon era, when [former President Richard] Nixon was looking for someone. [Chuck] Colson and those guys were looking for somebody to debunk the Kerry record, because all the records show they were scared to death of this guy. And you played that role," O'Neill replied, "That's just not true."

O'Neill was lying.

Former Nixon special counsel Chuck Colson has said that Kerry was an "articulate" and "credible leader" of those veterans calling for an end to the Vietnam War and therefore "an immediate target of the Nixon administration." As such, the Nixon administration found it necessary to "create a counterfoil" to Kerry. Colson recounted, "We found a vet named John O'Neill and formed a group called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. We had O'Neill meet the President, and we did everything we could do to boost his group." Articles from the April 21 edition of the Houston Chronicle and the June 17, 2003, edition of The Boston Globe confirm close ties between O'Neill and the Nixon administration.

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Photo, from left to right: John O'Neill, Richard Nixon, and Charles Colson:

O'Neill lied about how many vets who served "with" Kerry contributed to Unfit for Command

On Crossfire, O'Neill claimed that there "are more than 60 people that served with John Kerry that contributed to this book."

In fact, only one man who served on John Kerry's boat, Stephen Gardner, is involved with Swift Boat Vets or Unfit for Command. While the group's members are veterans of the Vietnam War and may have served at the same time as Kerry or even on boats near Kerry's, only one man who served on John Kerry's boat, Stephen Gardner, is involved with Swift Boat Vets or Unfit for Command. And Gardner was not present for the events that led to any of Kerry's medals or any of Kerry's three Purple Hearts.


O'Neill lied about Jerome Corsi's role in Unfit for Command

O'Neill claimed on MSNBC's Scarborough Country that Jerome Corsi was "simply an editor and not really any sort of co-author."

But Corsi is listed on the book jacket as an author. His photo and profile appear in the book. A dedication from Corsi appears in the book, and the book's acknowledgments section is written in the plural form, making clear that the book was very much a joint O'Neill-Corsi effort. The book's preface notes that Corsi and O'Neill's friendship dates back 30 years and says, "After reconnecting, they decided to work together to write this book." Promotional materials for the book note that "John O'Neill and his coauthor Dr. Jerome Corsi (an expert on the anti-Vietnam War movement) have interviewed dozens of veterans who served with Kerry and have meticulously documented a shameful record of betrayal and deception on the part of John Kerry."

Perhaps O'Neill was simply embarrassed that his co-author and friend of 30 years is a raving bigot who has written that "ragheads" are "boy buggers"; called Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) a "Fat Hog"; referred to "Chubby Chelsie [sic]" Clinton; called Katie Couric "Little Katie Communist"; suggested Kerry was "practicing Judaism"; and suggested that the "senile" Pope John Paul II thinks "boy buggering" is "okay."

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John O'Neill
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, 2004 Elections
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