John Kerry got a little justice this week.
Seems President Bush had the temerity to nominate Sam Fox, 77-year-old Missourian and founder of the Harbour Group, to the post of ambassador to Belgium. Fox, as the AP notes in its coverage of his confirmation hearing, is 'one of the nation's most generous contributors to Republican candidates and causes.'
Turns out that among those causes was the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth committee of 2004 fame. You know, the people who trashed Kerry's reputation as a war hero.
Never mind that Sen. John McCain and Gen. Tommy Franks came to Kerry's defense. Never mind that the Wall Street Journal ran an OpEd at the time in which the author excoriated the Swift Boat travesty. The mendacious and mean-spirited media campaign cost Kerry dearly.
The great 20th-century philosopher and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, author of The Irony of American History, would have loved this 2007 moment.
The man who contributed $50,000 toward the attack on Kerry had to answer -- or try to -- for himself. Kerry's questioning reminds us that he was once a prosecutor and well knows how to smooth the way with easy questions that lead inevitably to the zingers.
By the time he was done, Fox was caught out saying that in his view 'two wrongs make a right' and then squirming to extricate himself from the corner in which he was painted.
About Kerry's Vietnam service, Fox volunteered "Senator, you're a hero" -- what a difference a nomination makes!
Will Fox be confirmed as ambassador? Stay tuned.
Transcript of the nomination hearing: "Kerry Versus Swift Boat Benefactor"
- NY Times: "Kerry Getting Some Payback for Swift Boat Campaign of ’04"
- Fox News: "Kerry Grills Belgium Ambassador Nominee Over Swift Boat Donation"
Fact-checking the Swift Boat Attack:
- FactCheck.org: "Republican-funded Group Attacks Kerry's War Record" -- With links to copies of the original affidavits on Kerry's medal.
- MediaMatters: "The lies of John O'Neill: Swift Boat Vets founder's repeated untruths about himself, Swift Boat Vets, Unfit for Command"
- SourceWatch: "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth"
Sam Fox's Political Contributions:
- Bush Pioneers (2000): "Sam Fox, Bush Pioneer"
- CampaignMoney.com: "Sam Fox: Contributions for the 2006 Elections"
- Mother Jones Donor Profile: "Sam Fox (with Marilyn)"
- Newsmeat: "Sam Fox's Political Contributions"
-- Dan Damon
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