Pickens weasels out on Swift Boat challenge

After Kerry accepts his challenge, the Texas oilman changes the terms.

By Tim Grieve
November 19, 2007 6:58PM (UTC)
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Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens recently offered $1 million to anyone who could disprove any of the allegations the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth made about John Kerry's military service. As we reported Friday, Kerry has accepted the offer himself, inviting Pickens to meet him at a mutually agreeable location in Massachusetts or Texas -- and to bring a check made out to the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Pickens has now responded to Kerry's invitation, but not in the "bring it on" way you might expect of a man who's sure of his own righteousness. Pickens doesn't deny that he made the initial challenge, but now that Kerry has accepted, he apparently feels the need to add some conditions.


"In order to disprove the accuracy of the Swift Boat ads, I will ultimately need you to provide the following," he tells Kerry. "(1) The journal you maintained during your service in Vietnam, and (2) Your military record, specifically your service records for the years 1971-1978, and copies of all movies and tapes made during your service."

Oh, and one more thing. If Kerry "cannot prove anything in the Swift Boat ads to be untrue," he'll need to make a $1 million contribution himself to the Medal of Honor Foundation.

Tim Grieve

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

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