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Bush should disavow ads

IT IS disappointing to see ads on TV ostensibly released by "swift boat veterans" attacking Senator Kerry's Vietnam record. When Republican Senator John McCain denounces the ads as "dishonest and dishonorable" (Page A1, Aug. 6), that says a lot. No one who appeared in the ads was on the boat with Kerry, and some were not even in Vietnam. But the men who were on the boat defend Kerry, and I believe them.

Why doesn't the president distance himself from these ads? I think the answer lies in the fact that this is familiar territory for this candidate and his handlers. Think of the trashing of another veteran, Max Cleland, in the Senate race in Georgia, and of McCain himself during the 2000 presidential race.

Bush should do the honorable thing and ask that the ads be withdrawn.


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