Republican-funded Group Attacks Barack Obama's Gulf War Service Record

(Washington) A group funded by the biggest Republican campaign donor in Texas began running an attack ad February 12th. in which former Gulf war veterans claim Barack Obama lied about his actions during the The Battle of Khafji to get one of his two decorations for bravery and two of his three purple hearts.

But the veterans who accuse Obama are contradicted by Barack Obama’s former squad, and by Marine Corps records. One of the accusers says he was on another tank “a few yards” away during the incident which won Obama the Bronze Star, but the former Army lieutenant whom Obama pulled from a burning tank that day backs Obama’s account.

The Battle of Khafji was the first major ground engagement of the Gulf War. It took place in the Saudi Arabian city of Khafji, from January 29 to February 1, 1991.

The battle began when Iraqi troops unexpectedly invaded Khafji. Forces from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, backed by American artillery and air strikes, evicted Iraqi troops and tanks, and freed two trapped U.S. Marine reconnaissance teams.

In an Feb. 13 opinion piece in the conservative Wall Street Journal, Rassmann (a Republican himself) wrote that the ad was “launched by people without decency” who are “lying” and “should hang their heads in shame.”

And on Feb. 19, Marine records came to light also contradicting the accusers. One of the veterans who says Barack Obama wasn’t under fire was himself awarded a Bronze Star for aiding others “in the face of enemy fire” during the same incident.

“Gulf War Veterans for Truth” is a group formed February 13th after Obama wrapped up Super Duper Tuesday. It held a news conference denigrating Obama’s military record and his later anti-war pronouncements during 2004. The group began running an attack ad February . 15 in which 13 veterans variously say Barack Obama is “not being honest” and “is lying about his record.”

Although the word “Republican” does not appear in the ad, the group’s financing is highly partisan. The source of the Gulf War Veterans money wasn’t known when it first surfaced, but a report filed Later with the Internal Revenue Services now shows its initial funding came mainly from a Houston home builder, Bob R. Perry, who has also given millions to the Republican party and Republican candidates, mostly in Texas, including President Bush and Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay, whose district is near Houston

Perry gave $100,000 of the $158,750 received by the Gulf War Veterans for Truth through the end of Febuary, according to its disclosure report.