Skip to comments.Interview Transcript of Swifty Steve Gardner by H. Hewitt
Posted on 08/10/2004 9:56:37 PM PDT by socal_parrot
Interview from 8-10-4 edition of the Hugh Hewitt Radio program.
I interviewed Steve Gardner today. He served two tours in Vietnam, including two months and two weeks of John Kerry's swift boat service--on John Kerry's swift boat-- from November 1968 through January 1969:
HH: Mr. Gardner, welcome to the Hugh Hewittt Show, it is an honor to talk to you.
SG: I am glad to be here Hugh.
HH: Thanks for your service.
SG: Thank you again, I really appreciate you're allowing me to come aboard.
HH: Now let me start with some basics. I said you served two tours in Vietnam. Can you tell me what years those were?
SG: 1966 to 1967 and then in 1968 and 1969, when I served with Kerry.
HH: What months did you serve with Senator Kerry?
SG: November through January. Here's what I did. I served two months and two weeks of his four month, 12 day tour.
HH: Alright. Why did you leave off in january. What happened in January?
SG: That was my rotation time.
HH: OK. When you were on the boat, did you ever go into Cambodian waters?
SG: Absolutely not. That was a physical impossibility to go inside Cambodian waters.
SG: They had four or five, at all times, boats, plus they had it wired with wire, they had concrete pylons down so that thee only time they could get through it was at high tide, and that was just so the sampans and the people that trafficked back and forth could get through.
HH: Now you served with him on Christmas Eve 1968, correct?
SG: That is correct.
HH: What did you do on Christmas Eve 1968?
SG: Well, I damn sure wasn't in Cambodia, I'll tell you that.
HH: (Laughter) Do you remember?
SG: We were basically just down in the lower part of the Sa Dec. just patrolling.
HH: All right. Were you looking for Bob Hope that night?
SG: No, (laughter) this was just how bad this guy is. People get a whiff of this and get a hold of it. Because you are just getting the edge of what drives John Kerry.
HH: What is that Steve Gardner?
SG: He is an opportunist, number one. But he is a self-seeking opportunist who used the laws that were designed to help the honest men who were over there in Vietnam who had gotten wounded three times to get them back out of it. He knew the rules well, and he used that to get out of there early.
HH: Last night on the Daily Show on Comedy Central, Jon Stewart, the host, said this about the book that is coming about by John O'Neill: There are powerful indictments, or rather it would be had any of those guys served on Kerry's boat,. By saying 'with him' they mean they were in Vietnam at the same time. Kind of the same way Snoopy served with the Red Baron. How do you respond to that?
SG: Well, on any movement we would do, we are talking four or five boats going in on an engagement, we were always within 50 or 75 yards of each other. And to be perfectly honest about it, if you were to look at an overview, if your were looking for an overview of a situation, you were better off being on another boat and looking at the rest of the other boats.
HH: OK, well put. Now, Steve Gardner, John Kerry has also been discovered to have been telling a story that he took a CIA man at least one CIA man into Cambodia and that he kept his hat. When you were on the boat with John Kerry, for your two months and two weeks of the tour that he served, did you ever have a CIA man on board?
SG: Number one, no.
HH: Did you ever take anyone to Cambodia and drop them off?
SG: Categorically no.
HH: Did you get near Cambodia and drop anybody off?
SG: The closest we can get to Cambodia, and that's a long swim, is 50 miles.
HH: Alright. Let me ask you about other people on the boat. Could John Kerry have just misunderstood someone on the boat was CIA when it wasn't CIA? Did you ever have any strangers on the boat?
SG: Nope. We always would have an interpreter, or something like that with us, or we would take others and take them in to areas in the Mekong Delta where they would be doing surveillance, but never did we have anybody that we would take close or could take close to Cambodia.
HH: Is it possible that you would drop them off a few miles away from Cambodia and they would walk in?''
SG: Fifty miles away is a long walk, let me tell you.
HH: If such a mission had been undertaken, would it have been undertaken by a swift boat?
HH: What kind of boat would it have been undertaken by?
SG: If something was going to be done, it would have had to have been done by a PBR.
HH: What's a PBR?
SG: That's one of the smaller boats that they used in Vietnam, that were water driven motors.
HH: When you read these stories about John Kerry and his CIA agents, how do you react? Does he believe it himself, do you think?
SG: No. It is laughable. John Kerry, number one, we were never, we were never made privy to anything. Even if that were so, even if there was some reason to believe that that had transpired, we would not have been made privy to that.
HH: You mean that John Kerry wouldn't have known who was on the boat?
SG: Number one, no. That would have been such a top secret operation, and a positioning, that that guy would have killed himself before he told anybody he was going to Cambodia. It didn't happen. Like I said, to get into Cambodia, you were over 50 miles away from the border.
HH: Is that the closest you think you came, 50 miles?
SG: I know it is, categorically. You couldn't go any farther.
HH: Could it have happened once you left the boat?
SG: No, you still couldn't get through that same creek.
HH: Will any of the guys who have endorsed John Kerry, who served on the boat with you, will they back him up on the CIA agent story, or the Christmas Eve story?
HH: Well they can't now.
SG: Well they all know that that didn't transpire. John Kerry has already said that from what I understand.
HH: What he said, eh, what his staff has been saying is that they think he said he was close to Cambodia, but not in it, but in 1986 he stood on the floor of the Senate and said he was in Cambodia.
SG: That's correct, and that's an absolute categorical lie.
Didn't I also hear DFU on the show??? How could you leave him out?
Doug was there and plugged is children's book about Kerry. A fine job as always.
Leave Doug out of this. He's just a troublemaker. :)
Hugh has one of the best show's these past couple of weeks dealing with Kerry's record in Vietnam.
Gee, thanks. If Jim lets me get away with a plug for the book as a news item, I'll put it up tomorrow. I pick it up from the printer tomorrow. It is something I really think will make people laugh and it's only 6 bucks plus postage for FReepers. Plus, there is a good discount for multiple orders. It is a book that looks like it is for children, and can be, but it is really a political slapdown on Kerry for adults from a kid's perspective.
Throw a thread up. With all of the troll activity in the last few days, I think you'll pass under the radar. It's not as if your a newbie trying to pimp a website.
I have only recently become a regular Hugh Hewitt listener, he does a great job.
Sent to my email list.
Here is somebody who did serve with you,
on your boat in Dec 68
OK dims and media types!
So Kerry, lets get your other crew members together
and they can tell America how you and
they were in Cambodia on Dec 24 and 25 1968,
under Nixon's orders even though Nixon
wasn't Commander-in-Chief until Jan 20 1969
You and your crew were there.
They can verify this? Correct?
Odd, I was in Vietnam on Dec 24 and 25 1968
and Johnson was my Commander-in-Chief
Exhibit 25, Congressional Record - Senate of March 27, 1986, page 3594.
"Mr. President, I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia.
I have that memory which is seared -- seared -- in me . . . ."
By way of further example, Kerry wrote an article for the Boston Herald on October 14, 1979:
"I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real."
See Exhibit 26.
bump to read in the morning
"I went to Cambodia with the CIA and all I got was a hat"
Cambodia is the entry point. Its not about questioning someone's valor or service. Its straight up about truthfulness and this guy was ON THE BOAT.
Leave Doug out of this. He's just a troublemaker.
Not only that but I've heard rumor from highly placed sources that he uses the wrong fork for his salad.
To: mcg1969As he told the Boston Herald in 1979, "I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real."
--Mark Steyn's Nuanced column
Here's what Kerry will do to get out of this. He'll say that he didn't actually state that Nixon was the president when he was in Cambodia, but that he had actually said, "...in which President Nixon [later] claimed there were no American troops..." and then claim that some SOB at the Boston Herald took his quote down and failed to include that word "later."
I mean, he blamed his speechwriters for things that he said, right? How long will it take for him to blame the Boston Herald writer or editor? I hope for two things:
1. For him to come up with something like this and
2. For the Boston Herald to have a tape recording of his statement in which no "later" appears.
I hit the ceiling! He didn't mis-speak. He LIED!!!!!
Just once, I want to hear some of the media who were screaming that Bush lied to admit that Kerry lied ... and Kerry has done it over and over and over.
Did you see this?
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