With this entry, I’ll bring over some of my entries from Red State from earlier today.
Steve Gardner was one of the vocal critics of John Kerry during the 2004 campaign. As a member of Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth, Gardner was regularly on television and in the newspapers assailing John Kerry’s meetings with communist enemies, attacking the character of the troops, and lying about his Vietnam record (Cambodia anyone?). Gardner’s greatest distinction came from being the only one of Kerry’s so called “band of brothers” who refused to support him. Gardner served with Kerry on Kerry’s boat.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Gardner, after receiving many threats from Kerry henchmen during the campaign, has been fired from his job.
Gardner told this story and others to radio stations and he wrote a piece for the local paper. Then, he says, he received a phone call from John Hurley, the veterans organizer for Kerry’s campaign. Hurley, Gardner says, asked him to come out for Kerry. He told Hurley to leave him alone and that he’d never be for Kerry. It was then Gardner says, he was threatened with, “You better watch your step. We can look into your finances.”
Next, Gardner said he received a call from Douglas Brinkley, the author of Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War. Brinkley told Gardner he was calling only to “fact check” the book — which was already in print. “I told him that the guy in the book is not the same guy I served with. I told him Kerry was a coward. He would patrol the middle of the river. The canals were dangerous. He wouldn’t go there unless he had another boat pushing him.”
Days later, Brinkley called again, warning Gardner to expect some calls. It seems Brinkley had used the “fact checking” conversation to write an inflammatory article about Gardner for Time.com. The article, implying that Gardner was politically motivated, appeared under the headline “The 10th Brother.”
Twenty-four hours later, Gardner got an e-mail from his company, Millennium Information Services, informing him that his services would no longer be necessary. He was laid off in an e-mail — by the same man who only days before had congratulated him for his exemplary work in a territory which covered North and South Carolina. The e-mail stated that his position was being eliminated. Since then, he’s seen the company advertising for his old position. Gardner doesn’t have the money to sue to get the job back.
“I’m broke. I’ve been hurt every way I can be hurt. I have no money in the bank but am doing little bits here and there to pay the bills,” he said.
As is expected, the men of Powerline are running with the story and with information on helping Mr. Gardner.