August 10, 2004
In 1996, I took the ride of my life, but I have no regrets about exposing Bill Clinton for the louse that he is. Blowing the whistle on a powerful politician was different from any activity I had ever undertaken, and I arrested people and dodged bullets for a living!
I thought I had seen it all, but I was wrong.
When I began my quest to surface the truth, I was an honest, independent, a-political FBI agent. But, when the establishment was finished with me, I was “aligned with the Dole campaign, Big Tobacco, shadowy right-wing financiers of various anti-Clinton cabals and conspiracies, and a friend of the NRA!” The “Left” attacked me while the “Right” ran and hid in the tall grass.
The truth did not matter – I was whatever the news media said I was. I’ve labored long and hard to regain my reputation and credibility, and to some degree I have succeeded. But for a lot of Americans, all they will ever remember about my attempt to tell the truth is that the president’s top advisor, George Stephanopoulos, called me a pathological liar.
So, my warning to the Swift Boat Vets is this: When you take on the establishment, be prepared to suffer serious assaults to your reputation, at least in the short run. Over time, you will be proven to be honest, as well as brave. Eventually, your reputations will be mostly restored, but nothing will ever be the same for you again. The mainstream media will work diligently to alter the population’s perception of you in ways that you could not possibly imagine.
They will demonize, and then marginalize you so that your impact on this coming election will be minimal.
Many have come before you and have suffered the same fate. When you become whistle-blowers and take on the establishment, you’ll find few friends within the establishment, right or left, to support you. The establishment does not want the truth; therefore, your real support will come from the grass roots.
You have already had some hint of this from the recent White House response to your Television ad. They said they didn’t like it. Your effective and moving testimony as Swift Boat veterans who really did know John Kerry blew his war-hero cover to bits.
If your 60-second ad were given honest exposure, the election would be all but over, and the people who have seen it know this. That’s why they will destroy you, then ignore you.
The establishment can’t stand people like you. Especially not now, not after the candidates have gone through the primary process and are coming down to the wire. There is much campaigning to come, and so much money to be spent. You just cannot have a circumstance where the people are given honest information that would alter the course of an election. It’s just not done, you see?
Besides, the mainstream media does not like George Bush, and they will do nothing to help him win re-election. Did you think for a minute that they would rush to cover your press conferences and report the news that the majority of Veterans cannot stand John Kerry? Did you actually believe you would be invited on “Sixty Minutes”? Even now, reporters are out looking for your dirty laundry and trying to poke holes in your stories. After they find out that your stories match, have the ring of truth, and that you’re decent folk just trying to do what’s right, they will simply close their notebooks and quietly walk away.
And don’t expect to speak at the GOP convention in New York City or sit in the president’s box, like Michael Moore did at the Democrats’ convention. The GOP establishment doesn’t like the ad – it makes them very nervous. For example, it upset Senator John McCain, who rushed to defend his senatorial pal when he heard about it.
Of course, Senator McCain wishes all grass-roots types and ordinary folk would just go away. He has been instrumental in silencing a lot of Americans with his campaign finance legislation. Senator McCain is part of the establishment now, and the establishment does not care for boat rockers.
You have served our country well, and your exploits were heroic. You received real wounds, some of you, and you earned honest to goodness Purple Hearts and other medals which you wear proudly. You faced death and you took life in a war, and then you came home to a nation that has failed to honor you properly. You have never forgotten that this dishonest man, John Kerry, and his friends in the mainstream media caused the scorn you experienced.
But you didn’t let that get you down. You blended back into society in various ways. You have become successes in the private sector, where you have labored for decades, minding your own business and mostly letting others charge the windmills of political protest.
But like whistle-blowers before you, you came to believe that you were in possession of significant information that the American people needed to know before an important election and as a nation. You stood up for the truth, and we owe you a debt of gratitude – again!
We are a nation that was attacked, and now we are at war. We’re trying to protect ourselves against future attacks, and because of what you know – first hand – you believe with all your hearts that Senator Kerry should not become commander in chief. At least, not right now – not at this time.
I believe Kerry will lose in a landslide, just like George McGovern in 1972. I believe the reason he will lose is, in part, because you had the courage to step forward and tell the American people the truth. The people will get the truth – they always do.
You will take hits and wounds of a different kind this time, but your solace may be found printed on a sign that once sat on the desk of a great president, Ronald Reagan. It read, “Great things can be accomplished as long as you don’t care about who gets the credit.”