Beldar notes that John F. Kerry let his opportunity to sue the Swift Vets for defamation close, despite Beldar's reminder. He's not surprised, nor should you be.
But as I noted then, Sen. Kerry's home state of Massachusetts has a very unusual, extremely generous and pro-plaintiff three-year limitations period for defamation claims. Massachusetts' three-year statute of limitations for defamation claims made it the very last feasible venue in which Sen. Kerry conceivably could file suit and gain his public vindication, if the SwiftVets' allegations about him were false. Those claims were certainly, indeed deliberately, injurious to his reputation; his damages arguably include the loss of the 2004 presidential election, however that might be valued in dollars and cents; and if John Kerry could hope to find a home-town advantage anywhere, surely it would be there. But now he's let the incredibly generous Massachusetts statute of limitations run out, too. [snip]
So let's drop the snark and call a spade a spade: The very last thing John Kerry wants is to ever give the SwiftVets the legal tools they'd need to conclusively document their claims, because truth is, of course, a complete defense to defamation claims. Kerry doesn't deserve vindication, and he knows he could never get it in court. In court, there would be compulsory discovery of witnesses and documents, followed by a fair and disciplined adversary process, followed by a definitive determination of the truth or falsity of the SwiftVets' charges - a determination that he damn well knows would go against him. Instead, the haze of time and the near-universal bluster of his mainstream media allies (who continue to insist that the SwiftVets' claims were "debunked" and that Kerry was victimized) has given him a far better result than he could ever get in court.
He adds if he's wrong, Kerry can sue him for defamation and offers some very generous terms.
h/t Dan CollinsUpdate:
James Stepan writes us noting that Kerry could not have lacked for expert legal help. His brother Cameron is a partner in Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, a 450 lawyer Boston firm, and specialist in litigation. Cameron Kerry seems devoted enough to his brother, according to this press account:
On Sept. 18, 1972, the evening before the primary election during his second attempt for Congress, Kerry's brother Cameron and one Thomas Vallely, both part of his current campaign team, were arrested by Lowell police at 1:40 a.m. and charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit larceny. The two were apprehended in the basement of a building whose door had been forced open, police said. It housed the headquarters of candidate DiFruscia. The Watergate scandal was making headlines at this time, and it was called the Lowell Watergate.
"They wanted to sever my telephone lines," DiFruscia said recently. Had those lines been cut, Kerry's opponent would not have been able to telephone supporters on Election Day to get out the vote and coordinate poll watchers, vital roles in a close election. "I do not know if they wanted to break into my office," says DiFruscia today. At the time he said, "All my IBM cards and the list of my voter identification in the greater Lowell area are in my headquarters."
Cameron and Vallely, along with David Thorne, who was Kerry's campaign manager at the time and has been close to him since they attended Yale together, did not deny the two entered the building in which they were captured. They said at the time they were in the cellar of the building to check their own telephone lines because they had received an anonymous call warning they would be cut.