It was almost exactly 12 years ago when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth published its book-length smear-campaign against John Kerry, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, during the 2004 general election. Before then, the Kerry-Edwards ticket had endeavored to brand the Democratic nominee using his Vietnam War service record and commendations as evidence of his fighting spirit. He even kicked off his convention speech with the words, "I'm John Kerry, reporting for duty." 

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