Kerry takes on the Swift Boat Veterans

Maybe it's three years too late, but there's $1 million on the line.

Published November 16, 2007 8:47PM (EST)

We interrupt this presidential campaign to bring you a blast from the not-so-distant past.

At a recent gala dinner for the American Spectator, Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, a major contributor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, apparently offered $1 million to anyone who could disprove any of the Swifties' claims about John Kerry's service in Vietnam.

In a letter sent to Pickens today, Kerry has accepted the challenge himself. "I welcome the opportunity to prove that you are a man of your word and that the so-called 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' lied," Kerry says in his letter. "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. I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt."

Kerry proposes that he and Pickens meet at some mutually agreeable public forum in either Texas or Massachusetts to settle the score. The senator, who doesn't exactly need the $1 million himself, suggests that the oilman come prepared with a check made out to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, an organization that helps veterans with spinal cord injuries and diseases.

War Room Bonus Fact: Evidence of Pickens' offer comes via a post at by Ben Domenech, whose name we last heard when he was resigning as a right-wing blogger for amid revelations that he'd engaged in numerous acts of plagiarism.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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