John O’Neill

With a hat tip to KLo, during Vietnam John Kerry debated a guy named John O’Neill on the “Dick Cavett Show.” Mr. O’Neill was interviewed on Wolf Blitzer’s show tonight. The whole transcript is here. You have to scroll down a bit to get to it, but it is worth reading the whole thing. Here is an excerpt:

BLITZER: Today, John O’Neill is an attorney. He’s turned down Republican overtures to speak out during John Kerry’s previous campaigns. This year, he has not given any interviews until now.

John O’Neill is joining us now live from Houston.

Mr. O’Neill, thanks very much for joining us.

Why have you decided you want to speak out against John Kerry right now?

O’NEILL: I have no choice, Wolf. I would far rather be home or on the other side of a TV camera than being on television.

I haven’t been on television in many, many years, had very little involvement in politics. But I was in Coastal Division 11 with John Kerry. I arrived about two months after he left and I had the same small boat he did. His allegations that people committed war crimes in that unit and throughout Vietnam were lies. He knew they were lies when he said them. And they were very damaging lies.

That speech you played for example in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was broadcast for POWs when they were actually being held in Hanoi. The admiral, Admiral Zumwalt, whose son was my closest friend who gave him that medal in the picture you showed, that was one of the people that John Kerry was claiming was a war criminal. Admiral Zumwalt was one of the greatest heroes in the Navy. He was a man that introduced women to the Naval Academy, who stood and saved ships in World War II by himself. And, finally, I had no choice but to come forward.

BLITZER: He did say on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that some of the words he used were probably inappropriate. He says he wouldn’t use those words today, but he was young and he was passionate and he was anti- — very anti-war. Can you forgive him for that?

O’NEILL: Actually, what he said was — or at least the part I got was that it was a little bit excessive. It’s really not a matter of forgiveness. It’s a matter of fitness to be the commander and chief of all U.S. forces.

There’s a book that he published, it’s a book called “The New Soldier.” And I hope you can see this book. It costs $1,700 to buy the book now that he published because they won’t permit the reprinting of the book because they don’t want the American people to see the book. He’s the author of the book “The New Soldier.” And every American should take a look at this book. It begins with a caricature making fun of the raising of the American flag on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima.

My father was on Iwo Jima. The damaging lies that he told about war criminals have haunted people’s entire lives. So it’s just a little bit late in the course of a presidential campaign to say it’s a bit excessive after, you know, coming forward with lies for a period of more than 30 years.

Seriously, go read the whole thing.

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Erick Erickson

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