Editor's note: Col. George E. "Bud" Day is the most decorated officer since Gen. Douglas MacArthur and was Sen. John McCain's cellmate in the Hanoi Hilton. The following is a letter to Joe Scarborough and John O'Neil from Medal of Honor Recipient and former POW Colonel Bud Day.
The major issue in the Swiftboat stories is, and always has been, what John Kerry did in 1971 after he returned from Vietnam. Kerry cast a long dark shadow over all Vietnam veterans with his outright perjury before the Senate concerning atrocities in Vietnam. His stories to the Senate committee were absolute lies, fabrications, perjury and fantasies with NO substance. That dark shadow has defamed the entire Vietnam War veteran population, and gave aid and comfort to our enemies - the Vietnamese Communists. Kerry's stories were outright fabrications and were intended for political gain with the radical left - McGovern, Teddy and Bobby Kennedy followers, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden and the radical left who fantasized that George McGovern was going to be elected in 1972. Little wonder that returning soldiers from Vietnam were spit upon and castigated as "baby killers."
A returned war hero said so. Kerry cut a dashing figure as a war hero, lots of medals, and returned home because of multiple war wounds, even a Silver Star. His Senate testimony confirmed what every hippie had been chanting on the streets, "Hey, hey LBJ, How many kids did you kill today?" He obviously was running for political office in 1971.
Until Lt. John O' Neil, himself a Swiftboat commander, spoke out before the 1972 elections against Kerry's outright deceptions, there was no one from the Swiftboat scene who could contradict Kerry's self-serving lies.
I was a prisoner of war of the Vietnamese in Hanoi in 1971, and I am aware that the testimony of John Kerry, the actions of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, and the radical left all caused the Commies to conclude that if they hung on, they would win. North Vietnamese Gen. Bui Tin commented that every day the Communist leadership listened to world news over the radio to follow the growth of the anti-war movement. Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clark gave them confidence to hold in the face of battlefield reverses. The guts of it was that propaganda from the anti-war group was part of their combat strategy.
While the Commies were hanging on, innumerable U.S. soldiers, sailors, marines and Air Force members were being killed in combat. Every battle wound to Americans after Kerry's misdirected testimony is related to Kerry's untruthfulness. John Kerry contributed to every one of these deaths with his lies about U.S. atrocities in Vietnam. He likewise defamed the U.S. with our allies and supporters. His conduct also extended the imprisonment of the Vietnam prisoners of war, of which I was one. I am certain of at least one POW death after his testimony, which might have been prevented with an earlier release of the POWs.
My friend and roommate Sen. John S. McCain denounced the Swiftboat video by John O'Neil. I have a different take on the Swiftboat tape and disagree with my good friend John.
John Kerry opened up his character as a war hero reporting for duty to the country, with a hand salute, and his band of brothers, of which he was the chief hero. Most of his convention speech was about John Kerry, Vietnam hero, and his band of brothers. John Kerry's character is not only fair game, it is the primary issue. He wants to use Bill Clinton's "is" as an answer to his lack of character.
The issue is trust. Can anyone trust John Kerry?? "Never lie, cheat or steal" is the West Point motto. When a witness perjures himself at trial, the judge notes that his testimony lacks credibility. Should we elect a known proven liar to lead us in wartime?
I draw a direct comparison of Gen. Benedict Arnold of the Revolutionary War to Lt. John Kerry. Both went off to war, fought and then turned against their country. General Arnold crossed over to the British for money and position. John Kerry crossed over to the Vietnamese with his assistance to the anti-war movement, and his direct liaison with the Vietnamese diplomats in Paris. His reward? Political gain. Senator - United States. His record as a senator for 20 years has been pitiful. Conjure up, if you will, one major bill that he has sponsored.
John Kerry for President? Ridiculous. Unthinkable. Unbelievable. Outrageous.
Col. George "Bud" Day,
Medal of Honor,
Vietnam POW 1967- 1973,
USMC- USA- USAF- Attorney 1949-2004