Welcome! My name is Larry Bailey, and I am a retired Navy SEAL Captain. I was in Vietnam in 1967 and participated in the Dominican Republic invasion in 1965. I also commanded the SEAL school in Coronado, CA.
I am the President of an organization named Vietnam Vets for the Truth, LLC. Please note the similarity in names with a group much in the news, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth; I wish to emphasize that we are completely different and separate groups that were organized independent of one another. We do, however, support them completely.
We are an incorporated 527 PAC composed of Vietnam veterans opposed to John Kerry.
We will hold a rally we call “Kerry Lied . . . While Good Men Died” on Sunday, September 12, at 2 PM just north of the US Capitol building in the Upper Senate Park. Ten speakers will tell some of the true stories about the virtues of Vietnam veterans and contrast them with the lies told by John Kerry. We will identify those speakers in a few moments.
Much has been said by the news media about the Swiftees being a front for the Bush campaign. We know those guys, and we know that is not true. More importantly from our perspective, we have no connection whatever to the Bush administration or the Bush campaign. In fact, we never even TALK to anyone connected with either the Republican Party or the Bush/Cheny campaign. And regarding fundraising, the most any single donor has contributed is $1000.00, while the least is $2.50. We have raised about just a bit over $70,000, with the average contribution being just under $100.00.
I know this is hard for many reporters to understand or believe, but this is not a matter of politics. We would be doing this same thing if John Kerry were a Republican. And as much as we respect the office of the Presidency, if the President himself called and asked us to cease and desist, we could not do so. This is a matter of honor--a matter of Kerry’s betrayal, a matter of concern for our country. And it is also deeply personal.
The Swiftee officers knew Kerry in Vietnam; they ate with him, slept in the same quarters with him, and watched him on patrol. We will leave to them the comments about his actions in Vietnam, because they observed him there; we did not. Our quarrel with John Kerry is based solely on his actions when he returned from Vietnam. I want to summarize two of those things for you very briefly.
NUMBER 1 - John Kerry joined—no, he FORMED—VVAW, part of the radical left wing of the anti-war movement, and the things he said and did make him responsible, more than any other individual, for the false image of Vietnam veterans as babykillers or violent misfits prone to drug abuse.
John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971; he told America and the world; and most despicably, he told our wives, our parents, and our children that we were rapists, torturers and murderers. And he told other outrageous lies, as well.
He said America’s actions in Vietnam were criminal.
He said most troops in Vietnam were on drugs.
He said the Vietnamese people didn’t care whether their government was democratic or Communist.
He said America “murdered” over 200,000 Vietnamese every year.
He said he was ashamed of his service, which must have been a lie, because he now says he is proud of it.
These and other things Kerry said were a smear on the laudable service of a generation of young Americans in Vietnam. We have carried the stain of his lies for decades, but the smear on our dead brothers, whose names are carved on a black granite wall, is far worse.
NUMBER 2 - The insult to us and to our dead comrades is not the worst part of John Kerry’s action. The worst part is that he gave aid and comfort to our enemy while America’s sons were still dying. All the false things he said about us encouraged our enemy to be patient, even when their losses were devastating. We believe there are thousands of names on that black granite wall because of John Kerry and others like him.
Kerry went to Paris in 1970 to meet with our enemy’s representative, Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, in violation of US law, while hostilities were ongoing and while he was still a commissioned officer in the US Naval Reserve. Kerry returned to the US and publicly advocated the enemy’s position and decried our own.
Our POWs heard the words of John Kerry from their interrogators as they were pressured and threatened to confess to committing non-existent war crimes.
This is a story of betrayal. John Kerry betrayed us, he betrayed his country, and, because of his status as a Naval officer, we believe his betrayal was far worse than Jane Fonda’s.
But we have never forgiven, we have never forgotten, and America needs to face these facts before the November election.
My fellow Vietnam veteran, Terry Garlock, who first proposed the idea of the “Kerry Lied” Rally, will now share his observations. He will be followed by another “winner” of the Purple Heart, Attorney Dexter Lehtinen of Miami and by VVT’s volunteer Media Affairs Director, Jeff Epstein, who is NOT a veteran. But I’ll let him address that issue.
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Friday, June 30, 2006