WWW Opinion Times

Monday, November 29, 2004

It Ain't Good To Be A Dissenting Swiftie

It turns out that one of John Kerry's shipmates who refused to join Kerry's "Band of Brothers" has suffered some consequences. His name is Steve Gardner from South Carolina. He received a call asking him to join the other 12 shipmates of Kerry, but he refused in the strongest of terms because he feld Kerry was a "coward" in Vietnam. Then this is what happened:

Chicago Sun Times: 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 guess Mr. Garnder had some more wounds to take for the war. I don't know what his true work record is--that's an unknown that often derails the validity of such stories. We'll have to find out more about that to be clear about the timing. But it sure seems more that coincidental.

One thing that is certain, though: heroism is not a one time event. It is the result of consistent behavior which has its origins in the heart of a man.

So does treachery.
Captain's Quarters adds more to this and tells Bill O'Reilly what for! Bravo!