John O’Neill, co-author of the best-selling “Unfit for Command,” the book that accuses John Kerry of falsifying his Vietnam record, challenged the presidential candidate to sue him if he’s wrong about any of his claims.
O’Neill made the challenge on Monica Crowley’s radio show on WABC in New York last night.
“If he was actually in Cambodia on Christmas Eve in 1968, he should sue me,” said O’Neill. “If, in fact those other five boats on March 13th, 1969, if they all fled like he did instead of staying like he knows they did, he should sue me.”
Kerry’s campaign has been threatening to sue television stations that broadcast ads by O’Neill’s Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The campaign has also threatened to sue Regnery Books, the company that published “Unfit for Command.” The campaign has also filed complaints with the Federal Elections Commission trying to subvert the efforts of the independent swift boats group.
“If he didn’t wound himself with a grenade, causing a rice fanny wound, and then reported it to the Navy as a water mine – if he didn’t do that on March 13th he should sue me,” O’Neill continued. “(The point is) on our first ad he (Kerry) had two huge law firms send letters to every station, threatening to sue the stations themselves (if they ran the ad). Then he challenged the book’s publisher (Regnery) indicating he would sue them if they had continued printing the book.”
“You can’t tell a whole group of veterans they don’t have a right to speak out,” said Jerome Corsi, O’Neill’s co-author. “The swiftboat vets have earned the right to speak with their blood.
“What’s wrong with his answering the charges in the book?”
The latest ad, to be aired in selected battleground states, is the second issued this month by the group of 254 vets who served with Kerry and have signed a letter contending he is unfit to be commander in chief.
“This is not a campaign to elect George Bush,” said Corsi. “It’s a campaign to say John Kerry is unfit for command, period.”
Kerry’s campaign also is calling on Regnery Publishing to withdraw “Unfit for Command” from bookstores, describing it as a book with “proven falsehoods” meant “to smear the military service of an American veteran.”
The new ad begins with audio and photographs from Kerry’s dramatic testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 1971 in which he charged Americans serving in Vietnam “had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”