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Citizens must fact check smear ads

I picked up the BG News Thursday, and as usual, began to read the Opinion pages. “Democrats need to look in the mirror” stared at me as I stared right back. Now, I usually don’t read articles which inspire me to write. However, I’m now writing this in response to Mr. Brian Meyers’ letter to the editor. I have to ask him, did he really do his research?

George W. Bush, while never fully endorsing the ad with the typical “I approve this message” is still, I believe, supportive of the ads. Let’s look at all the underlying factors.

President Bush is well known for his use of outside investors. His oil companies are a good example of this. So why is this important? Well, President Bush is not a stupid man, and is in fact quite educated (despite the argument of quite a few Democrats) — why would he jeopardize his campaign by putting his approval on such a smearing ad? He wouldn’t. He’d get someone else to do it for him.

Ok, so an outside source funded and ran the ad. So why is it linked so closely to President Bush? Well let’s face it, this is not the first time he’s attacked a veteran’s record on the “race to the White House.” John McCain in fact even confronted him, asking for a public apology for the disrespectful comments Bush made about his record. Guess what? He never got his apology.

And why hasn’t President Bush come out and denounced the ad, said he had nothing to do with it, or apologized that something so wrong is synonymous with his name? If he did that, don’t you think people would attack the group who made the ad instead of him? He hasn’t done that, linking him even closer to the attacks on John Kerry’s record.

So Bush has a history of discrediting Vietnam Veterans. But what about the men who claimed to have served under John Kerry in these ads? Well, to uncover their stories, I went to: http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=231.

We, by going to this reliable and nonpartisan source, find out that in fact Kerry’s claims to heroism are true. But looking at his service record and documents could tell us that. What’s more interesting is that these men, speaking out against John Kerry, have told stories that are, indeed, a bit fabricated.

As an example, Larry Thurlow has records that indicate that yes, in fact, there was heavy gun fire at the scene where John Kerry earned his Bronze Star. Not only that, but Thurlow himself received a Bronze Star for dodging those bullets. But that is not the story he’s told the media. He’s told the media that there was no heavy gunfire. He said there was no gunfire at all!

Another example is Louis Letson. He claims that John Kerry lied to get his first Purple Heart — Letson knows because he treated him in the hospital! Well, this also, is a fabrication. In fact, if you look at the hospital records, Letson was never even assigned to Kerry. J.C. Carreon was the man who treated Kerry in that hospital, so how would Letson know?

So, who do we believe? Well, I personally recommend that everyone does research on personal time, and make his or her decision on who’s lying and the right candidate for you. However, don’t call for things that aren’t there and call them facts or choose your side by hearsay alone.

As for me? Well, I guess you could say that I’m ready for a change.

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