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Today's Chicago Sun-Times chronicles the aftermath of the election for the most notable of Kerry's Band of Brothers -- the one who openly campaigned against him. Mary Laney reports that Stephen Gardner now finds himself broke and unemployed as a result of speaking out against a man he finds "dangerous":
"They said I had a political agenda. I had no and have no political agenda whatsoever. I saw John Kerry on television saying he was running for the Democratic nomination for president, and I knew I couldn't ever see him as commander in chief -- not after what I saw in Vietnam, not after the lies I heard him tell about what he says he did and what he says others did."
Gardner explains he was sitting at home in Clover, S.C., when he first saw Kerry on television. It was before the primary races. For 35 years, Gardner says, he hadn't talked about his tour of duty in Vietnam. But when he saw Kerry talking about running, he says he got up, called the newspaper in town, called radio stations and "talked to anyone I could about why this man should never be president." Eventually he got a call from Adm. Roy Huffman, who had been in charge of the coastal division in Vietnam, reunited with other swift boat veterans, and the rest is, as they say, history.
That's not all that's history, either. Once Gardner starting making himself heard, the Kerry campaign swung into action. John Hurley, part of Kerry's veteran-outreach program, warned him that the campaign would "look into his finances" if he persisted. Douglas Brinkley interviewed him, falsely claiming to be fact-checking the next edition of Tour of Duty when in fact Brinkley used the interview to write a hit piece about him in Time magazine. All of this attention got him laid off by Millenium Information Services, via e-mail, twenty-four hours after Time published the article.
Now broke and unemployed, Gardner remains defiant about his efforts to tell what he saw as the truth about his former commanding officer:
"I'm broke. I've been hurt every way I can be hurt. I have no money in the bank but am doing little bits here and there to pay the bills," he said. ...
And, even though Gardner is broke and jobless for speaking out, the husband and father of three says he'd do it all over again. He says it wasn't for politics. It was for America.
Bill O'Reilly should be talking about how exercising his freedom of political speech allowed the Kerry campaign to ruin Stephen Gardner instead of issuing blanket smears in defending Dan Rather. We need to find a way to give Stephen Gardner some support, either by finding him a job or helping him sue his former employer for damages, or both. We cannot allow yet another Vietnam veteran get screwed for serving his country. (via Power Line)Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on November 29, 2004 1:27 PM
» Oh Really, O'Reilly? from Heard Here
I watch Bill O'Reilly and his "No Spin Zone" on Fox and have always had a love/hate thing going for the star pundit. I find myself agreeing with him on some things and yelling at the TV on others. My wife thinks it is silly to yell at personalities i... [Read More]
Tracked on November 29, 2004 3:05 PM
» It Ain't Good To Be A Dissenting Swiftie from Opinion Times
I guess Mr. Garnder had some more wounds to take for the war. I don't know what his true work record is--that's an unknown that often derails the validity of such stories. We'll have to find out more about that to be clear about the timing. But it su... [Read More]
Tracked on November 29, 2004 5:06 PM
» On SwiftBoat Members from http://teachersramblings.blogspot.com/
Via Captain’s Quarters. This is unfair on so many levels, one really doesn’t know what to say. Mind you, I’ve never been sure that the Kerry record in Vietnam should have been an issue, yet HE was the one who made it a centerpiece o... [Read More]
Tracked on November 29, 2004 5:14 PM
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