Historian Doug Brinkley (author of John Kerry, Warrior God) was quick and anxious to dismiss the Swiftboat vets last night on The O’Reilly Factor. Here’s Bill O’Reilly & Doug Brinkley:
O’REILLY: ….Now in “The Wall Street Journal” today, there was a devastating article, anti-Kerry article by a naval commander who served with Kerry in Vietnam, did the same thing that he did on the boats, on the Mekong River.
And he basically said that Kerry hurt all the U.S. soldiers over there by — and his opinion, this guy who wrote it, O’Neill I think his name was, was that Kerry was an opportunist and used the war to promote himself back home. Now that’s going to be seized upon, I believe, by a lot of the anti-Kerry forces.
BRINKLEY: Well, look, there’s a division there among Vietnam veterans. And it’s — that event today is a highly politicized thing. Mr. O’Neill used to work on behest of Richard Nixon to go after John Kerry in ‘71. He has come back. Space Communications is behind the O’Neill, you know, flare-up today. It’s just politics.
O’REILLY: O’Neill denies that. O’Neill says he has no agenda. He’s just coming forward as a veteran.
BRINKLEY: Well, he came — he’s a long time anti-Kerry force, who was hired by, you know, the Nixon White House to go after Kerry back then. And I don’t disagree with the fact that he has problems with John Kerry, but I think they’re more about the politics of today and holding Kerry responsible for that testimony of April 23, ‘71, which is that whole Vietnam Veterans Against the War, which is, as you know, a lightning rod issue this year.