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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Alfred French Lied in his Affadavit

I haven't commented too much about the slimey swiftboat veteran ads. One after another of the stories by the 13 men appearing in those ads have been completely discredited and I haven't had much to add to that.

However, I saw this today, from

The swift boat critics signed an affidavit that said this:
"I am able to swear, as I do hereby swear, that all facts and statements contained in this affidavit are true and correct and within my personal knowledge and belief."

It goes on to say that "Kerry has wildly exaggerated and lied about his record in Vietnam" and that he received his Purple Heart medals "in the absence of hostile fire."
Pretty damning stuff, at least potentially.

One of the men appearing in the ad, however, now faces his own political troubles. He's a prosecutor, and probably shouldn't have been swearing to events that he did not personally witness.
Alfred French of the Clackamas County district attorney's office appears in the ad sponsored by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. In the spot, French says: "I served with John Kerry. ... He is lying about his record."

In an interview The Oregonian newspaper last week, French said he relied on the accounts of three other veterans in making the statement about Kerry and did not personally witness the events.
Bottom line: Alfred French's account is based almost entirely on hearsay evidence. Heck, here's the quote from French:
"I was not a witness to these events but my friends were," said French.
Personally, I never saw George Bush drink or use drugs, see where this kind of crap can go?

The Oregon county prosecutor's affadavit is quite detailed considering he wasn't even there:
French wrote in his affidavit that two of Kerry's Purple Hearts were obtained under "false pretenses from negligently self-inflicted grenade wounds in the absence of hostile fire."
By way of contrast, here's the first-hand account of Jim Rassmann, the guy Kerry pulled out of the water:
"I don't know if you were ever shot at," said Rassmann, who also appears in a new TV commercial for Kerry, ". . . but it tends to focus the mind wonderfully, and you will never forget it. When you have bullets hitting the water around your head and torso, you know exactly what they are."
These attacks are the lowest form of politics and George W. Bush should be held accountable for them.

Update: I found this in the section on "professionalism" in Oregon Bar Association's rules (adopted October 1990):
1.11 We will avoid unjust and improper criticism and personal attacks on opponents, judges, and others and will refrain from asserting untenable positions.

4.3 We will avoid advertising that is not fair, factual, informative, sensitive to the recipients, or beneficial to the public.
Note too this:
Compliance with high standards of professionalism depends primarily upon understanding the value to clients, the legal system, the public, and lawyers of adhering to the voluntary standards. Secondarily, compliance depends upon reinforcement by peer pressure and public opinion, and finally, when necessary, by enforcement by the courts through their powers and rules already in existence.
This is FYI:

Contacting the Discipline Department
Oregon State Bar
Disciplinary Counsel’s Office
P.O. Box 1689
Lake Oswego, OR 97035-0889

503-620-0222 or toll free in Oregon 800-452-8260

For more information, contact Jeff Sapiro, Disciplinary Counsel, by e-mail at, or by telephone at extension 319.

If you make contact, be nice...and specific.

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