"Vietnam Veterans for Truth" Rally:

It's on C-SPAN now.You can watch if you're so inclined. I'll live blog it for a bit. Quotes are as best as I can transcribe, but perfect accuracy is not guaranteed. I'll try to demark the ones I am sure of with full quotes, and the ones I'm doing my best with with half-quotes.

Right now Jim Warner is on to talk about what it was to be tortured by the Communists, and to have Kerry's words thrown in his face.

Warner, five and a half years a prisoner, began his statement by saying, "Semper Fi," and then said that he wanted to thank his country for the chance to fight in Vietnam. He spoke about the justness of the cause, and the harm caused not only to Vietnam and the Vietnamese, but to the people of Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia by the withdrawal.

Then he launched into a discussion of interrogation sessions in which Winter Soldier and John Kerry's words were used against him. He said, 'John Kerry said this was official policy... I remember my in-country briefing, where they said that these were all the things we weren't allowed to do.' He then went on and said, 'The Vietcong were defeated utterly at Tet... we were all they had left to bargain with... they said, "Your own naval officer says you deserve to be punished!"'

He says, "Everyone knew we were being tortured." 'Nobody had any way of knowing that we would not get hurt. But they did have a way of knowing that, if they said things like that, it could cause us to be hurt.'

Now he's talking about studies of military history. 'The first thing you need is a commander with sound judgment and steadfast character.... John Kerry made a famous statement, I'm told, "Don't be the last man to die in a lost cause." How is Communism doing now? Whose cause is lost now, John Kerry? It wasn't ours.'" That's a misquote of Kerry, I'll note (Kerry said not 'lost cause' but 'mistake'), but the point is valid.

Now he's wrapping up. He says he has something he wants us to take away, "Seared, seared! into your memory." This is it: "Here is a test you can apply universally every time someone wants to be your commander, or your leader... you'll know he has good judgement if he knows the best way to stop a war against an evil enemy is to win it. God bless you, God bless America, and Semper Fi."

Next speaker is now being introduced. He's a Swifty: John O'Neill, it turns out. The introduction contained the line, "Did you notice Dan Rather was more polite to Saddam Hussein than he was to the Swift Boat Vets?"

O'Neill begins: 'I'm no hero, but I served in a unit with a lot of heroes in it.' How many times have I heard that formula, from veterans from many wars? And never from John Kerry.

O'Neill digs at Kerry for hiding for 43 days (and counting) from the press, since the Swifties started raising their charges.

"When has there ever been an American presidential candiate who met with the enemy in time of war?"

He's not backing off of anything the Swifties have charged. Lots of applause from the assembled vets.

Talking about Arlington, 'across the river that divides life from death.' 'They were not the army of Genghis Khan. In fact, they were the greatest people I've ever known.'

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