O'Neill responds to Kerry


The Navy did not send Republicans or Democrats to the island of An Thoi. We are responding and dealing with something that is deeply personal - our own record and the record of our unit in Vietnam. These are issues Senator Kerry raised and we regret that he uses ad hominem attacks instead of dealing with the actual facts. He is doing that because he can't deal with the truth.

For example, for 35 years he said he claimed that one of the turning points of his life was spending Christmas Eve and Christmas illegally in Cambodia, libeling our commanders and our nation with accusations of war crimes. That is a totally false statement because he was no where near Cambodia on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. The Kerry campaign continues to flip flop on the Cambodia issue.

In addition, Senator Kerry closed the Democratic National Convention with a story in which he claimed that five of the boats fled on March 13 after a mine went off and he came back. His campaign is now admitting that he fled and the rest stayed.

Attacking our organization does not respond to the facts that occurred in Vietnam. Senator Kerry says that he has learned to charge into an ambush in connection with this, instead he is fleeing down the river from the facts.

Kerry and his mad dog supporters in the media are not used to someone like O'Neill standing up to them and not whitering under their assault. O'Neill is a very smart trial lawyer who graduated first in his calss at the University of Texas School of Law. He knows how to stand up to an adversary and make his case. Kerry and his media buddies find this very frustrating.

While they are directing ad hominum attacks toward the Swiftvets, they are not responding to the specific facts in any meaningful way. The Washington Post's attempt to play gotcha with Thurlow failed when Thurlow simply said the paperwork was wrong. The Post was further undermined becasue its reporter refused an offer to talk to seven eye witnesses to the events in question.

There is a larger point. Leadership. Kerry has made much of his ability to persuade "allies" to help us around the world. In fact, he cannot even persuade his fellow officers to help his campaign. What does it say about his leadership, that almost all of his fellow officers he served with believe he is untrustworth and not fit to be commander in chief.


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