Swiftboating is a term used to describe the campaign waged by a group named "Swiftvets and POW's for Truth" against presidential candidate John F. Kerry. A swiftboat is a navy craft with a shallow draft used in the Vietnam war (PCF - Patrol Craft - Fast); It is armed with machine guns, usually from two fixed points. It is the type of craft that Kerry served on in the Vietnam war.
Many (not all) of the swiftvets served with John Kerry and didn't believe he was presidential material. They went public with their beliefs. Among their claims was that Kerry gamed the system by receiving Purple Heart Medals for minor injuries in an effort to end his tour of duty. Kerry received three Purple Hearts in four months and shows no debilitating injury; which is most unusual. Moreover, he will not release his service medical records. The intersection of this data strongly suggests that the claims of the swiftboaters has a good foundation.
The petition from the Swiftboat Vets makes, among others, this claim against John Kerry:
". . .Upon your return from Vietnam, you betrayed your fellow veterans by accusing them of engaging in horrendous war crimes. Through your post-war activities, and during Senate testimony viewed by the entire nation, you created and nurtured the myth that American soldiers in Vietnam were involved in such crimes on a daily basis, and that such activity was sanctioned by our commanding officers. Specifically, you stated that we: "had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, and
razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan."
The above is a matter of record.
But, this is the political arena. Swiftboating is defined by some as the unwarranted trashing of a good person's reputation. Those are the people who like Kerry. Others will define it as truth coming forward about a person's character.
In the end, a person can fight a swiftboating claim against them by making all their records available for public viewing. For swiftboating to work, it must be stonewalled and the truth hidden. That's what Kerry did.
The claims against this Senator with a sterling reputation are nothing but another form of swiftboating.
The Senator refuses to disclose records concerning his duty, dismissing it as "swiftboating."