This is the second of three speeches given by Swift Boat Veterans at Restoration Weekend, on November 17, 2004. Click Here to return to the first speech. Click Here to proceed to the conclusion. Click Here to purchase a copy of the book Unfit for Command. See a preview of our forthcoming DVD.
David Horowitz: The next two people are going to be introduced by Jack Jacobs, who's a really good friend of mine. He's the Vice Chairman of the Medal of Honor Foundation and is a Medal of Honor recipient. Jack is also a member of our Board, and I wish I had more time to tell you about his heroics, but we did it a couple years ago.
Jack Jacobs is one of America's great heroes, and one of 129 living Medal of Honor recipients. Standing here is a man who received the Medal of Honor for doing the following: While his scalp was lying off and a piece of shrapnel was in his brain and in his eye, he, over a period of hours, saved 22 friendly South Vietnamese lives. This is an incredible accomplishment for a man who is 5'4" and weighs 120 pounds. So, Mr. Kerry, take that.
Jack Jacobs: I'll be short. I thought you'd like that.
I used to be 6'3" years ago, and the next man I'm going to introduce actually was 6'3" at one point. Jim Warner's bio doesn't begin to give a full picture of what a man he is, and I don't think any bio could.
He only had one tour in Vietnam, but that tour lasted five and a half years. After being shot down, hurt and captured, he carried his wounded comrade from the DMZ, where he was shot down, all the way to Hanoi. Now, it would be incredible if I did that, but when you see him he looks like he could clean and jerk a Buick.
He was an awful prisoner, which means that he was a great prisoner. The only thing that they managed to extract from him the whole time that he was there was blood. His reluctance to cooperate with his captors can partially be explained by his Scottish heritage. My wife, Sue, is Scottish, and she's a force from Aberdeen. I can tell you that if she's any indication, Jim Warner was absolutely impossible to live with in Hanoi. My guess is that when the war ended and he was repatriated, the Communists were just really pleased to see the back of him.
James Warner: Well, our 33-year mission objectives have been achieved. It’s time now for the Vietnam veterans to stand down from their mission, and military protocol calls for a debriefing. Now, at a debriefing you first give an account for your mission, but I don’t have to do that because you read in the papers what happened. Then you share with those who are about to relieve you what intelligence you’ve gathered. That’s the bad news.
Do you believe that we made a difference in this election? Well, that’s good, because the bad news is now the next mission is yours – because if the election cycle started today, this would not have happened. You would not have heard our story. The Federal Election Commission deferred action on certain aspects of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform law until after the election. We knew they were going to start regulating the 527s. I have not seen the regulations, but I’m told that they have posted and proposed regulations. I intend to read them on Monday when I get back to work.
Let me explain about McCain-Feingold. When this law came to the floor, it was amended by Senators [Olympia] Snowe and [Jim] Jeffords to explicitly exempt the regulation of entities that are organized under sections 501(c)4 and 527. Then Senator Paul Wellstone came to the floor and franticly gave this terrible, wrenching story of these unknown organizations where you don’t know who they are or where they come from. They come out with these made-up stories, and it’s poison that makes everybody think that they've got to stop it. So he was able to eliminate the exemption, and that was added to the law.
I told you what John Kerry did. I told you he got my mother involved in the Winter Soldier hearing, and I said I didn’t think that was an appropriate thing to do. Was that venomous? Was that vitriol?
Now, let me ask you a question: Did somebody make things up during this campaign?
Jim Warner: Was somebody venomous?
Jim Warner: Did somebody try to make up a fake story about stolen explosives a few days before the election?
Jim Warner: Well, you can’t do anything about that, and now they’re talking about expanding the regulation to not just cover 527s, but they want to cover all the new alternative media. That means when Dan Rather came up with a story that was fake but accurate, nobody could uncover it. That means we’re not going to enjoy this day again, because in the next election all the information that the voters get will come from Dan Rather. That’s your mission, and this has to be eliminated. Wellstone’s amendment has to be repealed.
What we are saying is that the information that you’ve just said made a difference in an election; this information is what the electorate needed to know in order to make an intelligent choice; this information, which nobody has said is inaccurate or false, would have been withheld from the American people, so that someone with an agenda could pump lies into their heads to affect the election. That’s not the way democracy is supposed to work.
You heard Natan Sharansky last night. He said, “Freedom is our most important weapon.” He’s right. This is the voice of experience, and I have seen the power of freedom. Freedom is not a fragile and flickering flame; it is a burning sword. When it is held aloft, it can shed light into the deepest and darkest dungeon, and when it is wielded it can cut through steel that no despot can possibly withstand.
Now, let’s look at what happened in this election. It isn’t just that we’re being threatened now with the 527s being shut down. This is what’s happening when our people win the election. The Left that complained bitterly when they thought John Ashcroft was going to find out what books they took out of the library, although there is no evidence he ever asked – that same Left said nothing at all when Terry McAuliffe sent lawyers to bookstores and threatened them by saying, “Don’t you dare sell John O’Neill’s book.” The Left thinks that nothing should be done to stop Planned Parenthood’s pornography being given to children, and they said nothing at all when Terry McAuliffe sent lawyers to television stations threatening them if they ever played any of the Swift Boat ads. Worst of all, on nationwide TV a representative of the Kerry campaign turned to Mark Hyman of Sinclair Broadcasting and said, and I quote, “You’d better hope we lose the election.”
If the Federal Election Commission is going to shut down what we know they’re going to shut down right now with a Republican administration, what are they going to shut down when Hillary is president and Terry McAuliffe is chairman of the FEC?
Let me give you a few stories from my personal experience about how the Left feels about the suppression of ideas, because, as you might suspect, I do have some experience in that. The communists did everything they could to keep us from communicating. They didn’t try to keep us from communicating political ideas; they tried to keep us from communicating anything at all. We spent all of our energy constantly defeating their attempts to keep us from communicating. There is an iron rule of socialism, this is why it failed: Whatever they try to do, it ain’t gonna happen. They would put up screens to keep us from seeing what was going on. They did everything they could to keep us from communicating, and we always found a way to communicate.
We had a tap code. We’d go out in the yard at the camp at Sangtae, which was later raided, and asked to break up bricks, and use the tap codes by breaking up these bricks. I spent two hours every day breaking these bricks, and I told the guys in the other building everything I could tell them about the people in our building. When we could see each other, somebody made up hand signals so we could then talk with our hands almost as fast as you could talk. So when one guy would tell a joke, the other guy would laugh with his hands. They were so determined to suppress our communication that it made them paranoid.
I’ll tell you an amusing story, and then I’ll finish. It’s amusing now, but you’ll see why it wouldn’t have been at the time. In the middle of 1969, May 5th to be exact, the communists thought I was trying to escape, and so they spent ten days interrogating me. That would mean until May the 15th of l969. I really got irritated by this, and I decided I was going to tell a lie so that the officer doing this, who I felt was really stupid, would report it to his superiors and they would realize that he was stupid, and then they would do to him what he was doing to me.
I asked myself what was the least likely way to escape. I said, “OK, I’ll confess to escaping, here’s the true means of escape. Steal an entrenching tool and chop a hole in the ceiling and go out through the roof at night.” He put me back in my cell and a couple days later he came early in the morning. A friend of mine, Charlie Boyd, who is now a retired Air Force four-star, once made the comment in prison that when flying missions and he saw all this stuff being shot up at him, he thought he was afraid, but then he realized after he became a prisoner that it was not fear but excitement. Fear is when you hear keys outside the door and it’s not time to eat.
They took me out. The first 24 hours they didn’t even ask any questions and then the officer comes in, and now it’s May 20th, he says, “You must tell me; how do you communicate with the criminals in another camp?” I said, “I don’t know what you mean.” He said: “Do not be surprised. How do you communicate with the criminals in another camp?” I said, “Well, to hell with it. If you’re not going to tell me what you mean, I’m not going to talk to you anymore.” So he spent the whole summer trying to find out how I communicated with the criminals in another camp, and I spent the whole summer trying to figure out what he was talking about. Finally, on September 3 Ho Chi Minh died, so they had to stop, because most of the torture stopped after the death of Ho Chi Minh.
Two years later, I discovered why they believed that I was communicating with the guys in another camp, because in another camp on May 10, remember that was midway between these two dates, two guys escaped in another camp about 20 miles away, and guess how they got out?
These anecdotes are only just to tell you how far the Left will go to suppress any communication. Terry McAuliffe has shown you that he is one of that crowd. He has shown you that he will take any method that he can use to suppress communication when he doesn’t have political power. What will they do with the Wellstone amendment if they ever get elected? Your first order of business has got to be to repeal the Wellstone amendment.
Unidentified Participant: You’ve gained my vote.
Jim Warner: Do that, too. You’ve got your mission, and we pass the sword to you. On behalf of the Vietnam veterans who brought about this victory, we stand relieved.
There was a story that Libby told about the early history of Rome. Now, most of these stories about the early republic that Libby tells are pretty likely to be fictitious. They are just myths, but they are myths that served a purpose. The purpose of this myth is to show the meaning of patriotism in the Roman republic.
In the early days, right after the expulsion of the last king, the last king got another king to declare war on Rome, and they marched against Rome. A young Roman noble was captured because he was trying to assassinate the king who was making war against Rome. They threatened to kill him, and he said, “Go ahead, 300 others have sworn to come out and kill you.” “Well, tell us the names.” “I won’t do it.” “I will torture until you tell the names.” So this man, his name was Mucius Scaevola, probably a mythical figure, stuck his clenched his right fist over the fire until it was burned off.
Now, the story is probably mythical, but the idea was to show what kind of devotion a patriot is supposed to have. I’ll say this for you: You are the people I would stick my hand in the fire for. You’ve got your mission. We wish you well, Godspeed and following winds. God bless you, and God bless America.
Click Here to return to the first speech. Click Here to proceed to the conclusion. Click Here to purchase a copy of the book Unfit for Command. See a preview of our forthcoming DVD.