An organization that sought to discredit Senator John Kerry's military service in Vietnam by claiming that he committed cowardly acts and that his medals were not deserved. This group was supposedly comprised of veterans who had served in Vietnam at the same time and on the same type of missions.
Actually a front group for Republican operatives aiming to discredit their opponent, Swiftboat Veterans for Truth suddenly appeared during the presidential race. Their attacks were effective despite Kerry's record of combat service versus his opponent's stint in the National Guard away from combat. Kerry lost his election bid and the Swiftboat group disappeared immediately after George W. Bush was reelected.
The verb "to swiftboat someone" has since entered the American political lexicon as a synonym for an ad hominem attack which seeks to discredit a person, usually made by a thinly veiled front group of operatives.
Where have the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth gone? Here they were, instantly organized and running ads on TV as if they were well financed by the Republican National Committee or something, and now they have disbanded and faded into nothing more than a verb used to describe bearing false witness and attempting to discredit a political opponent.
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