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Like a bad penny.  This time I found him on my doorstep. He's written an op-ed for the Florida Times Union, the major paper in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, pretending to be a movie reviewer and touting something put together by Dinesh D'Souza:

The author and co-director is Dinesh D’Souza, an intellectual; a distinguished author and journalist; a conservative; and an honest man in every respect.
Right. And, in typical conservative fashion, Swindle touts his own "credentials" in support of what would seem to be a hatchet job on the President of the United States, of  whose supporters he writes:
If you watched the convention speakers, you have seen them denigrating the country I love; the religion I grew up with; the hard work, the traditions and history I treasure; the independence and freedom that have been America; and the honor of those who sacrificed so much for us.
Orson Swindle III does not like us.  But, that's not why we should take note of him turning up on the political stage again.

The first time I ran across Orson Swindle was in 2003, before John Kerry was even the Democratic nominee, when he and his buddy William E. Franke were organizing something that was to become known as the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth on behalf of John McCain, whose career Swindle had been promoting ever since they were prisoners together of the North Vietnamese -- an endeavor made necessary by the fact that there were some prisoners who insisted that, contrary to the myth propounded by Swindle, McCain and the North Vietnamese, McCain had enjoyed a privileged status and hadn't suffered at the hands of his captors as he claimed.

In other words, Swindle was in preemptive mode to insure that the reputation of his friend would not be marred by smears from disaffected military folk. Then, when George W. Bush got the nomination and McCain threw him his support, the Swiftboat guy just happened to be in place to go after John Kerry's war record with a generous infusion of money from some Texas friends. It was the success of those efforts which allowed McCain to claim in 2008, when it was his turn to be the Republican nominee, that he'd done "everything I could" to get George W. Bush elected. The Swiftboating of Kerry took the spotlight off Bush's poor showing. Though, in his case, I would argue that the AWOL actually stood for Absent With Official Leave. Since he kept getting lost flying over Mexico, the National Guard was probably glad to have him grounded.

In any case, while Swindle and Franke were orchestrating the Swiftboaters and making presentations all over the country, it just so happened that Franke's Gannon Technologies Group had come up with a unique computer operating system which they had sold to the Ohio Secretary of State to run the election servers. Remember this was 2004 when the totals in Ohio, rather than Florida, were crucial and John Kerry ended up conceeding before the recount was complete. Was the proprietary OS significant? Nobody knows.  According to latest reports, Gannon Technologies is on its last legs. Which should not come as a surprise because, after all, Franke got his start in real estate by scamming the government and stiffing his wife in a divorce.

Although going after John Kerry may have been an inadvertent opportunity, there may well have been some personal interest on Franke's part, considering his business interests in Vietnam, which were similar to those of John Kerry's brother, as well as the interests of Cindy McCain, the beer business heiress. There was keen interest in the commercial exploitation of Vietnam. However, if the reports are correct, things haven't been going too well, lately.

Greene's first legal skirmish with his ex-boss date back to earlier this year when he and another former Gannon executive, Walter Blocker, sued Franke in St. Louis County Court regarding a Vietnam business deal gone bad. Greene and Blocker, who ran Gannon's Southeast Asia operations, say Franke promised them an ownership percentage in Gannon's Vietnam holdings. According to the suit filed in May, Gannon and Franke are now seeking Vietnamese governmental approval to sell a milk factory in the Asian county to Nestle for $10 million without paying Greene and Blocker any proceeds from the sale. The men believe they're owed $1.5 million and $3 million, respectively.
Perhaps McCain's recent attacks on President Obama's foreign policy positions reflects some dissatisfaction on the part of his friends that their business interests in the far East aren't being sufficiently protected from the competition being offered by the region's entrepreneurs.  After all, American enterprise has gotten used to having our military at its back and not just in dealing with pirates off the coast of Africa.

Or maybe it's just a matter of some people being too full of themselves.  Perhaps Swindle is just in a personal funk and that's why he proclaims,

We must defeat Obama, and, I say again, my tolerance for his supporters has ceased to exist, as likely will a few friendships. But, that is OK.

Wake up, America. It is almost too late.

Since he's only 75, he may turn up again. I sure hope not. But, what we should note is that not all subversive politics can be laid at Karl Rove's feet. The acolytes of Whitaker and Baxter, the inventers of deceptive political advertising, as described by Jill Lepore in the current New Yorker, are multitudinous.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 10:50:39 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the reference to LePore's article (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hannah, 2thanks

    in the New Yorker.

    Fascinating (and indispensible) reading for anyone who in concerned with the way politics is practiced currently in the US.  All it takes for even the most outlandish policies/candidates to succeed its lots of cash coupled with skilled manipulators with NO scruples.

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity." --W. B. Yeats

    by Pragmatus on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 11:09:11 AM PDT

    •  Yes, I thought it was interesting that Baxter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      supposedly recognized the need for ethics, but seemed to have displayed none herself.
      I think that's characteristic of the self-centered.  They suss out their own characteristics in others, but don't recognize them in themselves. No self-knowledge, but lots of instinct.

      We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 11:17:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  regarding D'Souza and the litany of his (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hannah, Pragmatus

    credentials, my daddy always told me you can't cheat an honest man and a greedy man will always cheat himself, so why cheat?  Orson could learn from this homily.

    Another truism my grandfather left me was that always beware of a man touting his or another's credentials.  If a man is so renowned, then there is no reason to cite his bona fides.  It is only the man who lacks any credibility who feels the need to cite his CV.  Experts are well known on their accomplishments while con men are recognized by how famous they claim they are.  Again, Orson needs to learn that either D'Souza needs no introduction because of his many accomplishments or maybe the man is not as accomplished as some would have us believe.  To steal from Shakespeare, a hack is still a hack by any other name  

  •  Wasn't Orson Swindle campaign manager (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hannah, Davidsfr

    for H. Ross Perot?  The name strikes an off-key chord of memory.

    Fox News is to the truth as a flaming bag of dog shit is to a packed lunch. --MinistryOfTruth

    by snazzzybird on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 11:28:54 AM PDT

    •  You're right. He was a spokesperson for Perot. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snazzzybird, Pragmatus

      Apparently, McCain had it in for Bush the Elder because he'd wanted to be VP and the kid from Indiana, who was actually born in Arizona got picked intstead. Dan Quaile grew up down the street from Barry Goldwater, so his selection over the interloper McCain was sort of a social snub. Even though his father was an Admiral, McCain somehow never got social standing on his own merits. He milked the prisoner of war thing for everything he could, but to advance he had to marry money.  So, he dumped his first wife.
      There's a whole bunch of these guys who can't make it on their own and keep looking for the perfect wife.

      We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 11:49:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly, and he was a swine then too! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Swindle was a POW in Vietnam for 7 years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lina, snazzzybird

      Swindle was a Marine Corps pilot in Vietnam, shot down in 1966, remained a prisoner of war in Hanoi for seven years, until the end of the war in January 1973.

      Perot did a lot for the POW wives and families -- helping them out financially, flying them to/from DC for meetings with Defense officials, flying some of them to Paris to lobby the North Vietnamese during peace negotiations with Kissinger, etc.

      As a result, a lot of the returned POW's maintained close ties with Perot.  When Perot ran for president in 1992, Admiral Jim Stockdale -- the senior US POW in Hanoi -- was his running mate.  

      Here's the Wikipedia take on Swindle:

      Swindle served as executive director of United We Stand America and spokesman for Ross Perot's 1992 presidential campaign.[2]

      From late 2005 until August, 2009, Swindle served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP in Washington, D.C.[3] His specific charge was within the firm’s Center for Information Policy Leadership, which was founded to “develop innovative, pragmatic approaches to privacy and information security issues from a business-process perspective while respecting the privacy interests of individuals.” The Center has approximately 40 corporate members including American Express, Eli Lilly, GE, Microsoft, IBM, Procter & Gamble, and Wal-Mart.

      Swindle serves on the board of Citizens Against Government Waste[4] (CAGW), an independent political advocacy group that seeks to eliminate waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government. Throughout its history, CAGW has been accused of fronting lobbying efforts of corporations to give them the appearance of "grassroots" support.[5] In part, this is because CAGW has accepted donations from Phillip Morris, the Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, Microsoft, Merrill-Lynch, and Exxon-Mobil. CAGW also has ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.[6] While CAGW describes itself as non-partisan, it has endorsed John McCain[7] for president and donated $11,000 to his campaign or groups controlled by him.

      On September 2, 2008, he gave the opening speech on the second day of the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota, during which he introduced veterans and fellow prisoners of war in the crowd. He also introduced President George H. W. Bush, who ran against Swindle's candidate Perot in the 1992 presidential election.[8]

  •  I Guess I Show My Age (0+ / 0-)

    when I say I remember Orson Swindle as the main spokesman for the Ross Perot campaign way back in 1992.  

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