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An Open Letter to Teresa Heinz
By Steve Cobble
Ms. Heinz, let me be blunt. It's time for justice.
I'm going to suggest an idea that Bush/Cheney/Rove will hate. That alone should make this post worth reading, shouldn't it?
One year ago tomorrow, August 5th, the sleazy Swift Boat crowd ran their first attack ad on your husband.
Without benefit of fact or first-hand knowledge, and despite the protests of the men who actually served on John Kerry's boat, these sleazeballs took one of the proudest moments of your husband's life and turned it into a smear, a negative, a lie.
That, of course, was their goal. They were running point for the White House, the lead blockers, the mudslingers hoping that if they threw enough pond scum around, something would stick. It worked.
Bush/Cheney gained ground. Kerry/Edwards dropped. That one ad may well have won the election, distortions, lies, and all.
It was one of the lowest moments in American politics. And the elite media, the gatekeepers, just sat and watched, as if it were all just entertainment, a big show, a staged wrestling match between the Rock and Jesse Ventura.
Which means if you want justice, you're going to have to do it yourself.
I know what I would do if my spouse was lied about and smeared. I'd spend part of my vast fortune fighting back. And while my vast fortune is not quite in the same league (same universe!) as yours, doesn't that actually make it even more reasonable a suggestion? (Granted, it's totally unfair that I, who don't even know you, make any comment at all--but that doesn't make this a bad idea.)
After all, 10% of your fortune would buy a huge ad campaign; yet it still leaves you with a decent reserve.
So here's my idea. Take $100M and run the biggest newspaper/radio/TV ad campaign anyone has ever seen. Focus it on all the lies that took us to war. Focus it on the lies highlighted in the 7/23/02 Downing Street Minutes, which most Americans have never seen, because our media elites have never told them the story on the front pages or in the nightly news.
You could run newspaper ads with the key phrases highlighted:
**"The Attorney General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action."
**"...the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
**"There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."
**"The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime."
**"But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."
**"secret and strictly personal--UK eyes only"
**"This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents."
That would be us, the American people. We had a genuine need to know, but it was never shown to us.
You could change that, Ms. Heinz. If you're at all interested, go to our web site, www.afterdowningstreet.org , and take a look. There's a lot of good stuff there, documents, testimony, investigative journalism from the U.K.--but hardly any of it has been laid out for Americans to see, except on the internet.
You could take it to the papers, the radio, the TV. In a big way.
Bush would hate it. Cheney would hate it. That whole Swift Boat crowd who smeared your husband would hate it.
Start it all later this month, in honor of the one-year anniversary of the Swift Boat sleazeballs. When they ask why you're doing it, just smile and tell them to ask the chicken hawks in the White House.
Call it justice. And remember, it's best served cold.