ZIEGLER: Now that the sopranos have kicked in on The Inquisition, we can start today's show. This is Tim Ziegler with Scott Swett on Rightalk, and welcome to The Inquisition. Today we're interviewing former Navy captain Larry Bailey, who ran a website called KerryLied.com.

Scott, welcome to the site, welcome to the show. Mr. Bailey, welcome to The Inquisition.

BAILEY: Thanks for inviting me.

ZIEGLER: Oh, it's a pleasure.

We're looking at KerryLied.com on the web right now, and you have an extensive background in the Navy as a Navy 06, and also, true context - could you give us some of your background and tell us how - your experience in Vietnam and who you are and where you came from.

BAILEY: Okay. Larry Bailey, and I come from a dairy farm in East Texas. I went to a little state school in Nacogdoches, Texas, called Stephen F. Austin State College, went to Navy OCS, was on a destroyer for eight months, found out that I was not suited for destroyer duty. Then I decided to become a frogman.

ZIEGLER: From when to when?

BAILEY: I'm sorry?

ZIEGLER: You started in the Navy when?

BAILEY: In 1962.


BAILEY: And I got out of the Navy in 1990, and I spent 27 and a half years as a SEAL officer, which included a tour in Vietnam, one full tour and one partial tour, and had six months in the Philippines, and I had time in Scotland, Central South America. I've had a real geographically variegated Navy career.

ZIEGLER: Now, the Rung Sat special zone down where the Swift Boat Veterans were is - there were a lot of SEALS and EDT and frogmen down there, right?

BAILEY: That's right. Especially the Rung Sat. The West Coast SEAL team, SEAL Team 1, had primary responsibility for the Rung Sat, but they took - would take us down there sometimes to do some guest appearances when they were - when things were a little bit slow. They would bring the East Coast SEAL team down there to stir things up.

ZIEGLER: And were you with SEAL Team 1, then, or SEAL Team 2, or -

BAILEY: SEAL Team 2 at Little Creek, Virginia.

ZIEGLER: Okay. Haven't been there. That's just down the road from Scott.


ZIEGLER: Now, you met Scott with WinterSoldier.com when?

BAILEY: Oh, this year. Just before the campaign started I was flailing around trying to decide exactly what we wanted to do - "we" being a group of like-minded folks, Vietnam veterans - and linked up with Bob Hahn first and then with Scott and - you know, Scott's services come cheap. Buy him lunch and he'll do all sorts of things for you.

SWETT: Most of which I -

BAILEY: He got us off on the right foot, furnished us with a webmaster 'til we got our own, and I owe everything I am to Scott.

SWETT: Well, that overstates things by several orders of magnitude. I should point out to our listeners Bob Hahn was the technical half of WinterSoldier.com and also SwiftVets.com. Bob is better known to denizens of Free Republic as Nick Danger.

Larry, you mentioned growing up in Nacogdoches, and I thank you for the correct pronunciation of that which I otherwise never would have got right. That's a long way from the water. What possessed you to become nautical?

BAILEY: Well, I had - my favorite uncle was a Naval officer in World War II. He landed tanks on Iwo Jima. And from the time I was 12 or 13 years old, I decided I was going to be a Naval officer. So that was the way it went. I knew I didn't want to milk cows the rest of my life, so that's the way it went.

SWETT: Makes sense to me. One of the things that you did in your, as you mentioned, variegated Navy career, was that you were the commander of the SEAL training center, which strikes me as an extraordinarily interesting job. Could you talk a little bit about that.

BAILEY: Sure. It was a great three-year tour and filled with pressure because you were always expected to turn out more SEALS than you were physically capable of turning out. A typical class, you would graduate 25 percent. I was able, through doing some extraordinary things and getting my staff on board, we actually bumped up to over 50 percent for a couple of classes. And then I had an admiral who was trying to work his will, and he kind of screwed with the program, thinking he would do better, and we actually went back down to about 30 or 40 percent by the time I left there three years later.

But the most interesting thing about it was what you saw in these kids, how they were put together, what they were made of and what turned them on, what motivated them, what have you. We tried everything in the world to motivate them and to keep them in the training program. We'd do anything, apart from changing the program, to try to keep the kid in training, and some things worked, some things didn't. I can't tell you which ones worked the best, but in aggregate, a lot of things working together, it resulted in our doubling the graduation rate for about a one-year period.

SWETT: The entrance criteria for SEAL candidates must be pretty stringent if you're graduating that high, compared to other special forces.

BAILEY: No, they weren't.

SWETT: They weren't?

BAILEY: That's why the graduation rate was so low. We graduated 25 percent, failed out 75 percent.

SWETT: Uh-huh.

BAILEY: Or they quit. Maybe I didn't - maybe I wasn't clear in that, but - or got the two reversed, which I'm wont to do at times. But the entrance requirements at that time were very low.

In fact, up until about halfway through my tenure when the Navy finally got on board, the Navy's standard physical fitness test was harder than the test we administered to potential SEAL candidates. That was pretty stupid, and we did fix it, but it's still not a superman type of operation. It's more mental fitness that we're looking for rather than physical fitness. Of course, you have to be able to run and to swim and what have you.

SWETT: When you say mental fitness, what are you looking for?

BAILEY: We're looking for mental toughness. In fact, I started an award - there are two awards that are given out at the end of training. One is the Honor Man award, and the number one guy in their class, could be officer or enlisted, and the instructors are the ones who vote, and primarily enlisted instructors. So if an officer gets it, you know he's really good.

And the second award is called the Fire-in-the-Gut award, which I got started, and got it sponsored by Navy League out of Orange County, California, and this was given to the person who exhibited the most tenacity and the most guts in getting through training. Like a guy would get sick and roll back to a class and roll back to a second class, and he showed by bent of personal fortitude that he was exactly the type of guy we wanted.

SWETT: The Dogged Perseverance Award.

BAILEY: Exactly. That's a more civilized term for it. I prefer fire in the gut. Thank you very much.

SWETT: Larry, have you ever been politically active prior to this campaign, in national politics?

BAILEY: Not national politics at all. I was out of the Navy for a couple of years back in the '60s and became executive director of the Republican party in Ft. Worth, Texas, back when that was a thankless job, but from then on all I ever did was contribute to candidates.

ZIEGLER: Yeah, in the 1960s there were about 12 Republicans in Ft. Worth.

BAILEY: No, there were only 11, actually. The twelfth one died.

ZIEGLER: Well, that made him a Democrat so he could vote again.

BAILEY: Very good, very good.

ZIEGLER: The SEALS are famous for demanding leadership at all levels of the chain of command. They expect the sailors to perform at a level of leadership that most armies would expect from a much higher grade, and that identification of leadership and that knowledge of leadership traits and skills, I'm sure that played an impact in your decision to come out with KerryLied.com.

BAILEY: Yeah, I think so. It must have had something to do with it, but I just - you know, and for the last 10 years or so I've been involved with an ad-hoc group of guys, all SEALS, with one exception, who've taken it on themselves to expose people who claim to be SEALS but who are lying. And I think I put John Kerry into the category that I put phony SEALs in, and I just can't stand anybody who claims to be something he's not. I can't stand anybody who lies to get ahead in the world. And I realize I have an overly-developed sense of justice perhaps, but -

You know, I've got to tell you, I didn't volunteer for this job. I was drafted for it. We just had a group of guys swapping e-mails. We had about 50 or 60 guys on the address header, and one guy said, "Hey, we ought to get a few thousand people up on Capitol Hill," and everybody said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah" over a period of 24 hours, and then one of my good friends, a SEAL buddy, R.D. Russell out in Colorado, said, "I've got just the guy to be president. He's a retired Navy SEAL captain. He lives in Washington, D.C. and he knows politics. Larry Bailey, I nominate you." And everybody said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." So that's how I got to be - I certainly didn't volunteer, nor would I.

SWETT: So everybody else took one step back, in other words.

BAILEY: Exactly. "Not so fast there, McKowsky."

SWETT: I know that one.

At the core of KerryLied.com was the Kerry Lied Rally, which occurred on September 12th in Senate Park in the shadow of the Capitol Building. Probably five to seven thousand people attended. Three hours of speeches denouncing Kerry, and the specific focal point, in contrast to the Swift Vets, who were offering first-person testimony on what he did in Vietnam, Kerry Lied was almost entirely about Kerry's misinformation, his denigrating of America's soldiers and military in Vietnam. Is that accurate?

BAILEY: That's absolutely on point. That's accurate, and if we - unlike some of the other things, which fell into the category of allegations, anything we said about John Kerry was well outside that area, that categorization, because he was on record, both electronically and written form, as having said all those things that he said about us being throat slitters and baby killers and rapists and Genghis Khans - or, pardon me, Jenjis (phonetic spelling) Khan, as he said, the lookalikes, or -

SWETT: Right.

BAILEY: And so it was perfectly - it was great to have that documentation because anytime somebody queried us about did he really say that?

"Yes, ma'am."

"Yes, sir, he really did, and here it is. That's exactly what he said."

"Oh, I can't - well, I could never vote for somebody like that."

And that's why we were so effective, I think.

SWETT: Tell us a little bit about the rally itself, the planning that went into it, the lead up, the people that actually spoke there.

BAILEY: I'll tell you everything about the rally, about all of our fund-raising, about all the coordination that was done. Everything was done digitally, over the internet. Every single thing.

We didn't have a blog; all we had was a website, thanks to the Winter Soldier folks, Bob Hahn, and we just invited people, told people about it, asked them to forward to their e-mail address books, and that's what happened. If we'd have had any kind of money for an advertising budget at all, we would have probably had 50,000 people there just as easily as we had five to seven thousand.

And but, yeah, we put the word out to all the news media, the local printed media, and the national electronic media, and nobody picked up on it. Even Fox wouldn't give us the time of day. So all we did was to pass the word by e-mail, and we had 5,000 people on Capitol Hill, and they went home and they got active.

ZIEGLER: Did any major press organization, when you were dealing with this, Larry, did they contact you and say, you know, what got you guys started? Who are you? Where did you come from? Or did they just totally ignore you?

BAILEY: They ignored us. And we had a volunteer public relations guy who had never done that sort of thing in his life. Scott knows him. Jeff Epstein in Connecticut.

And Jeff just - what he lacked in experience, he made up in tenacity, and he was - he did get me hooked up with a couple of interviews, probably a dozen or so, but he never - Gordon Liddy was the only big-time interviewer who ever talked to me.

He was always working with Hannity and Colmes, but never quite made it. They said that they would do it, but it never happened.

So you know, that's an advantage of being an unknown, and in fact, you're the first one who's interviewed - y'all are the first ones who've interviewed me since the rally, I think.

ZIEGLER: It's an important note, the statistics came out in the last week about how the federal funds were - how the campaign funds were spent, and there is a huge discrepancy between the amount of money spent on 527s between the Republicans and the Democrats, but an even greater discrepancy in how the administrative funds were spent in the 527s.

BAILEY: Uh-huh.

ZIEGLER: And you guys were not supported in any way by the Republican Party or by the RNC or any other Republican...

BAILEY: Are you kidding? They wouldn't even talk to us. I mean, one time I wanted just to ask a question of them, not a coordination question, just ask a technical question, and the guy wouldn't even take my phone call, they were so scared down at Bush/Cheney headquarters.

So we realized this was something we had to do all by ourselves and what we didn't know already we had to learn on the job, and we learned it.

ZIEGLER: Here are the exact numbers. The Republicans raised 57.8 million in their 527s. The Democrats raised 177.8 million. But the administrative costs for the 527s in the Republicans was 1.1 million, so two percent of the monies raised. And the Democrats spend 67 and a half million.

BAILEY: Holy mackerel.

ZIEGLER: Thirty-eight percent of the total money raised by their 527s was spent on their own overhead.

BAILEY: Uh-huh.

ZIEGLER: So what that says to me is that the Republican 527s were very conservative grass-roots organizations.

BAILEY: Well, you're talking about the Republican organizations. We were not Republican at all, you might recall.

ZIEGLER: But what they did, they divided this by ideology, and you guys were incorporated in that number.

BAILEY: Well, we were not incorporated in that number because nobody ever asked me how much we made.


BAILEY: We brought in less than $150,000 and spent every penny of it on programs, and the only admin costs we had were a hired public relations guy, and that's not really admin, or just for the rally, and I think I spent $37 on postage.

SWETT: And of course buying me lunch.

BAILEY: Yeah, that - actually, I think that came out of my pocketbook.

SWETT: Oh really. Well -

ZIEGLER: We're going to get back to the show in a few minutes after we pay some bills. This is The Inquisition on Rightalk. You can find us at Rightalk.com, and after we pay some bills we'll come back and talk to Larry Bailey about his Kerry Lied rally. Please join us.

(Commercial break)

ZIEGLER: Welcome back to The Inquisition on Rightalk.com. This is the radio show with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler where we do our best to bring out little-known facts about various topics, and our topic of late has been the Kerry campaign and the veterans and Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth, their campaigns against John Kerry.

We're speaking today with Larry Bailey of KerryLied.com, and Larry, I was just looking at your website and your Operation Street Corner. Tell us a little bit about that.

BAILEY: Yeah, I'd be glad to. That's the most - that was more effective than the rally. The rally got people active and interested, but it was like - it was a build up - it was all a build up to Operation Street Corner. And that's just the way things turned out because the plan was and the budget was to raise $50,000, have a rally and go home.

But as it happened, I was trying to contact some of the Swift Boat guys whom I knew to be in town and I was told that I could find out where they were staying by meeting a guy named Tony Snesko who had a little table set up, a little display set up down at the mall.

So I went down there one day and found Tony Snesko, and when I looked at what he had, even before I met him, I said this is something phenomenal.

What he had was he had a wardrobe box that he got at U-Haul onto which he had pasted a bunch of articles and pictures and what have you about the things Kerry had said and done, and he was actually incorporating some of the Swift Boat information as well as our own.

And when I looked at that, I said, this is dynamite. It ought to be in every city and every state in the country. And before the campaign was over, we almost - we had - we were in 39 states. And what it was was a web-centered device that allowed people to download political information, pictures, photographs, eye candy if you will, and paste it onto a four-panel - a homemade four-panel display board, backed up by some yard signs, and they could set it up in their own front yards, on their street corner, or in a Wal-Mart parking lot, or anyplace they desired. And an individual, a single individual could become his own little miniature political campaign.

And it just absolutely floored us as to how effective it was because people would actually come up and read the things that John Kerry said about us Vietnam troopers in 1971, and once they realized that we had our act together and he really did say those things, in many cases they'd change their votes right on the spot.

SWETT: Tony Snesko, as you mentioned, was the prototype for Operation Street Corner. He spent every Saturday and Sunday on a corner very near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and he told me that on an average weekend, literally thousands of people would stop and spend time at his kiosk and that many people would spend 15, 20, 25 minutes reading everything on the display, and of course, there were several dozen articles, and the components of that display.

So what you did was you made available what Tony had prototyped, if you will, so that people could download this and create their own very inexpensively and go out to the street corner where they lived and become activists.

BAILEY: That's exactly what we did.

SWETT: Do you have any sense for how many people did this?

BAILEY: Several hundred. I don't know exactly. There's no way we can tell exactly. We had several hundred send in their $20 and we'd send them a kit, a start-up kit. But it wasn't - you know, we would tell them, you don't have to send us any money. Just download it and display it any way you like.

So we ran across, you know, any number of people running the program, the street-corner program, who had never formally signed up for anything because anybody could go on to our website, later the Street Corner website, and download all of this good information, and anybody can put glue on the back of a sheet of paper and paste it to a sheet of cardboard, and that's exactly what happened.

It was a phenomenon that I've never - I don't think its like has ever been on the American scene, and I'm going to continue to use it in the future if I have any guts about me.

SWETT: What kind of feedback did you get from the people that went out on the street? I'm assuming most of them had never done this sort of thing before, that they weren't political activists. You know, it's a bit of a shock to go out and present yourself to the public like that.

BAILEY: Well, there's a lady down in Ft. Worth, Texas, named Donita Gonder, and Danita is just a housewife. Just a housewife. I say that just because -

SWETT: Got ya.

BAILEY: - it's a common term. But Donita got so fired up by Street Corner - actually, she came to the rally, she and her husband who is a Vietnam veteran. But she was introduced to Tony Snesko at the rally. He had on a - he had his display set up.

And she went back to Ft. Worth and just absolutely tore up Tarrant County. She was out, she and her husband and friends were out every week, every weekend and sometimes during the week, and having little mini-rallies and what have you, and you know, that's the type of thing you can never measure.

You just can't quantify it, but in the aggregate it creates a collective psychological ambience, if you will, that enables folks to shift their political thinking a bit.

ZIEGLER: And doesn't it happen beneath the radar of the mainstream media? It's happening in a way that they really aren't capable of tracking - what they have been taught is to look at things from the big top-down perspective, and you guys are working it from the bottom up, and also because it doesn't fit their agenda. Didn't they just totally overlook?

BAILEY: Hey, this was a blessing for us because these people would go out in their own neighborhoods and they would talk to people whom they knew, in many cases.


BAILEY: And they had instant credibility. You know, we did get some small-town coverage, which is exactly the type of coverage you want.


BAILEY: And I had several people send me little articles that were printed in their home-town newspapers, and they were interviewed saying, "What caused you to do this?"

They said, "Well, I wanted to do something," and that was the key. I wanted to do something.

Most political campaigns leave that option closed to the average politically-minded person, but this enabled you know, Joe Benatz (phonetic spelling) or Izzy Schwartz, as my Marine Corps friends used to say, to set up their own display and do something, without even calling their next-door neighbor for help. They can do it all by themselves.

SWETT: I see that as a classic example of maximizing your bang for the buck, and it, to me, it resonates with a lot of other things that were occurring in the Vietnam vets' revolt against John Kerry.

We spoke to Bruce Kessler here two weeks ago, and he described how his e-mail list started - as just a way of forwarding interesting articles on the topic to a few friends, and he wound up with 5,000 people on that list and became really one of the information conduits for what was going on. And I see this kind of in the same light.

I'd like to take off a bit on Tim's beneath-the-radar comment. Of course, the media decides what's within and what's beneath their own radar, and agenda is a big part of it. If 20 people go out on a street corner to do something the media likes, then there's a microphone there.

So you had no national coverage for Operation Street Corner, but you had local press coverage. Did you have any local TV coverage?

BAILEY: Yeah. There was some minor TV coverage, actually down in central Florida, and curiously, in those five counties that were the focus of so many investigative articles. We had some TV coverage down there, some interviews. They weren't major stories, but they hit the local news and it got the word out just a little bit more.

SWETT: Another aspect of Kerry Lied was Operation Billboard. Could you tell us what that was supposed to be and how that worked.

BAILEY: Operation what?

SWETT: Billboard.

BAILEY: Oh, yeah. I'm sorry. I didn't understand the word.

What we did was, through some contacts in Florida it was brought to our attention that there were a lot of empty billboards in the state of Florida and that we might be able to raise enough money to put some signs up there. And once again, this was Tony Snesko's idea. I mean, I really give that guy a lot of credit because he's really an original thinker.

And at the rally in September someone went up to Tony's display and said, "Well, we're finally getting - this is the homecoming that we never had before." So Tony kind of refined that down, and I further refined it, and the lady who made the prototype of the billboard refined it even further, and we came up with, "Defeating John Kerry would be the homecoming Vietnam vets never had."

SWETT: Uh-huh.

BAILEY: And it was stark white on black background, like the God signs that have been so successful all over the country.

SWETT: Uh-huh.

BAILEY: And we bought 95 signs - 92 signs, I think, in Florida - these were full-size billboards - and six or eight in New Jersey. And we almost turned the tide - I mean in the Philadelphia market. We almost turned the tide in P-A. We won suburban Philadelphia, but - and to some degree, at least, it was because of those signs because they were very, very stark, very, very effective.

ZIEGLER: One of the things I noted during the campaign and since is the presence and the power of Vietnam veterans' families and how many of them were moved to vote based on their experience with their fathers or brothers or cousins, and you have a story on your website by a woman named Carol Crowley. Can you tell me about that.

BAILEY: Yeah, Carol Crowley was the daughter of Sergeant Jack Gell, G-E double L. Jack Gell was the prototype, was the model for the actor who, when he was dying in the movie "We Were Soldiers," when he was dying, he said, "Tell my wife I love her." And that really happened. He really did - those were his last words. Sergeant Jack Gell.

And Carol Crowley was his daughter, and he only knew her as an infant before he went to Vietnam and died. And she was one of our most riveting speakers at the rally.

We had like 10 speakers at the rally, and each one of them was absolutely outstanding in his or her own way.

And as you probably know, John O'Neill was one of our speakers and Jug Burkett, who wrote "Stolen Valor" was another, and Carol Crowley, and an Army nurse named Donna Rowe. Just had a star-studded platform full of speakers.

SWETT: One of the speakers at the Kerry Lied rally was a kind of late addition, as you're aware: Steve Pitkin, former member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, who went on the record just a week or two before the rally to say that he had been in essence coerced into giving false testimony at the Winter Soldier investigation personally by John Kerry, and he wanted to take the opportunity to apologize to his fellow Vietnam veterans for having described atrocities which never happened. What was your reaction to Steve and to what he had to say?

BAILEY: I'll tell you what: It almost made me cry up on the platform. You might remember that we hugged each other. It meant so much to me that a guy who had, even though it was against his will, had been coopted by those criminals in the Kerry crowd, the VVAW crowd, to say ugly things about me and my kindred over in Vietnam, would in public say, "I was wrong and I ask your forgiveness." I mean, how could you not be emotionally affected by that, a public admission to thousands of people at - electronically magnified so that all of Washington, D.C. could hear it. That's pretty public. And I tell you, I have more respect for Steve Pitkin than I can tell you about.

SWETT: I noticed you were a bit cautious about your introduction of him. You tried to, I think, kind of soften the blow that here is a guy from the VVAW coming up on the stage, and you cautioned the crowd to give him a chance, to listen to what he has to say. I think at that point probably nobody really knew what kind of response he would get, and I was also touched and impressed by how the Vietnam veterans accepted his apology and welcomed it.

BAILEY: Yeah, I was too, and I was certainly no little bit gratified that they did, but I didn't really - I didn't - that was why it was so important to me that the veterans hear what he had to say because I knew when they heard what he had to say in terms of an apology, it was really going to turn them on their ears, and that's exactly what happened.

SWETT: I think also a factor in their acceptance of Steve was that he had paid his dues. He certainly had to be the only member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War ever to go back into the military and get jump qualified. And of course, he served out a full career in the Coast Guard, retiring in the 1990s. So he had essentially put his lifetime where his mouth was.

BAILEY: He paid his dues.

SWETT: And I think also people recognized that he was personally taking a chance by coming out against Kerry in these circumstances and in this way, that he was going to get tremendous criticism, and in fact, he did.

ZIEGLER: Oh, at the time he came out was when the Kerry campaign - if I remember correctly, Scott, the Kerry campaign was saying, "Oh, he never - Kerry never said those things. He only reported on what his fellow Vietnam veterans had actually said."

BAILEY: Exactly, exactly.

ZIEGLER: And then Steve Pitkin just absolutely blew that out of the water -

BAILEY: Uh-huh.

ZIEGLER: - by stating that no, Kerry personally discussed with me exactly what my testimony should be and that it should be focused on this, atrocities.

BAILEY: Uh-huh.

SWETT: And that he was eliciting the testimony about atrocities.

BAILEY: Right.

SWETT: Even to the point of pressing people into giving that testimony that wasn't true. The key point being that Steve Pitkin actually was a combat vet and most of the other guys in the room were not.


BAILEY: In fact, some of them weren't even veterans.

SWETT: As we now know, Jug Burkett and other people have dug into that a bit and discovered that there were a number of phoneys in the VVAW, most notably, of course, the executive secretary, Al Hubbard, who had claimed to be an Air Force pilot, a captain shot down in a - I forget the exact mission. I think it was a supply mission. But the whole thing was nonsense. He had never been in Vietnam and he wasn't an officer and he'd never been a pilot. And even after that fact was exposed, he continued to be part of the leadership of the organization and Kerry continued to work right with him, so that didn't evidently bother John Kerry.

BAILEY: Kerry wasn't too choosey about who he had working with him. And another case in point was Scott Camil down in Gainesville, Florida, the guy who tried to organize assassinations of seven or eight U.S. Senators, and he was dead serious about it, and the FBI informants records are pretty clear to read, and yet that guy went to law school and he's practicing law and he's an agitator.

In fact, he got in the face of our guys who were putting on a mini-rally in Gainesville, Florida - Gainesville being the People's Republic of Gainesville, as you might know. And one of our guys, Mike Bradley, knew exactly who Scott Camil was, and he shook his finger in his face and he said, "Scott Camil, tell us what happened in St. Louis." And Scott Camil turned red and turned away and left.

SWETT: Kansas City.

BAILEY: Kansas City, yeah. I'm sorry. You're right. Kansas City.

SWETT: That's where the assassination summit was.

BAILEY: Exactly.

SWETT: Well yeah, that goes beyond not being choosy. It kind of boggles the imagination that somebody with political aspirations would, you know, sit still for a vote on whether you're going to assassinate United States senators, and then continue to represent the organization in public.

So that's the sort of information that Kerry Lied worked to get out that was not going out through the mainstream media with the single exception of Thomas Lipscomb and the New York Sun.

BAILEY: Uh-huh.

SWETT: What other aspects of Kerry's unsavory anti-war activities struck you that your organization focused on?

BAILEY: Well, what we were trying to do, perhaps unconsciously, was serve as a counterfoil to all the ridiculous charges that his people were making against - you know, we weren't working directly with John O'Neill, but we tried to establish his credibility in such ways as we could because he's a hero of mine, as I'm sure he is of yours.

SWETT: Yes, very much.

BAILEY: We were just trying to dull the assault, mitigate the assault, that Kerry's people were always making against us, whether it was on a television show or talk show or in the newspapers, and to put a truthful spin on the left-wing spin of the old media, as the term has evolved.

SWETT: To an extent your organization and most of the others that comprised the movement operated in the shadow of the Swift Vets. The Swift Vets, once they hit, they hit big and they dominated media coverage of all this stuff.

BAILEY: Uh-huh.

SWETT: How much of a problem was that?

BAILEY: That wasn't a problem at all. It's almost like hitting the proverbial mule with a two by four to get his attention. That's what the Swift Boat guys did, and then we went back around and handled the plow. You couldn't do it without having gotten the attention of the mule, but then again, you couldn't do without the hands on the plow, and I think that's a fair analogy.

SWETT: So you think that the Swift Vets opened a few minds to the possibility that what Kerry had said was untrue, and then you were able to provide more detailed information along those lines.

BAILEY: Yeah, we corroborated what they were saying.

ZIEGLER: Well, as you hear the music, this is The Inquisition on Rightalk.com. We're talking with Captain Larry Bailey, formerly of the U.S. Navy, with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler.

When we get back from this break, Larry, I want to talk about the future of Vietnam veterans in politics and what role more conservative veterans might have to play. We'll come back and then we'll talk about it on Rightalk.

(Commercial break)

ZIEGLER: The sopranos are back. This is The Inquisition with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler. We're interviewing former Navy captain Larry Bailey, SEAL and chairman of the organization called KerryLied.com.

Larry, it's just been great to have you. One of the things I want to talk about is by all accounts the major political impact that was made during this election cycle was by Vietnam veterans against John Kerry, and yet there are very few politicians from the Vietnam era that we can look at and say this guy stands on his Vietnam war record. I mean, Duke Cunningham may be one of the few.

BAILEY: Yeah. Duncan Hunter would be another.

ZIEGLER: Right. But is there a greater role for veterans and Vietnam veterans in the American political discourse?

BAILEY: You know, from my perspective, no. I think that Vietnam veterans are the - almost like - not to put too strange a twist on it - it's almost like a tsunami. What's really happening is happening 6,000 meters below the sea - below sea level, and you see it when the wave washes ashore every four years. That's a fair analogy. A little bit tragic these days, but I think that's absolutely an accurate analogy of how I, at least, see Vietnam veterans and veterans of all sorts.

We've got some Afghanistan and Iraqi veterans coming home who are also going to be part of our pool.

ZIEGLER: You bet.

BAILEY: These are natural allies. They've seen - they're told on a daily basis what they're doing that's wrong by the left-wing press, and they're going to come back here and I think be our natural allies.

SWETT: Let me add a point to that. They've also had the opportunity to see the difference between reality as they're living it and how their efforts are portrayed in a media that really wants their efforts to be stopped.

BAILEY: Excellent point, Scott.

SWETT: And I think that that makes them natural allies for people whose core point is that the image of Vietnam veterans in the media and in the popular culture was a lie, an intentionally manufactured lie, by leftists and such as Fonda and Kerry and all those that they worked with.

So how do you go about - so we have a generation-gap issue, I suppose, for one thing. One thing that you and your fellow Vietnam veterans can bring to that discussion is to say, we've been here before. We've seen this one. Here's how it was for us.

BAILEY: Uh-huh, and I think we're letting ourselves down if we fail to do that. In fact, I would like to see some sort of effort done to make sure that there's a direct connection between the Vietnam veterans and the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, even though they might be symbolical in nature.

But things that we could do - and I've really been derelict in not organizing something like this - is to have some Vietnam veterans go to Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital and coordinate visits to military hospitals across the country to go see our returning wounded Purple - real Purple Heart wounded earning veterans and establish that firm connection, and that wouldn't be hard to do at all.

ZIEGLER: That's an excellent idea. I think there's a direct connection between veterans of all eras and, ironically enough, the time in which I served was such an isolated time when nobody wanted to acknowledge we even had a military. The national media said they're all the Vietnam veteran baby killers, and those that are there now are probably just a continuation of that. It's just that we're not shooting at anybody. And that characterization they've tried to do in every war since.

BAILEY: Yeah, they really have.

ZIEGLER: And so now we have a scenario where we have a democratization of the media. There is a way around the three networks and the two big East Coast newspapers, and these veterans have a direct connection via e-mail from the battlefield to their families and friends.

So even now we're seeing letters and e-mails that are going out that are getting - the national media ignores the story, but are getting out to hundreds of thousands of people.

BAILEY: Tim, do you know the term "samizdat?"

ZIEGLER: Samizdat? Yeah, it's -

BAILEY: Samizdat was the underground press, the underground -


BAILEY: - media that was going on, that was being circulated during the last days of the Soviet Union, actually for the last 20 years of the Soviet Union.

And a guy who puts out a newsletter called "Remnant Review," a guy named Gary North, I remember reading in his newsletter probably 20 years ago that the internet - it was just - it was just kind of - it was probably on the 256's were the hottest thing going.

He predicted that the internet in its full development was going to be to the conservative movement what the samizdat was to the freedom-loving Soviet citizens, and that's exactly what's happened.


BAILEY: It is our samizdat, and boy are we using it well.

SWETT: Well, that's a tremendous analogy. I have always maintained that the leftists don't win on a level playing field, that they have to control the flow of information to succeed. They don't win elections. They don't win arguments.

BAILEY: They almost have to control both ends of the information spectrum. They try to control the audience as well as the medium.

SWETT: Yeah, well that's a good point.

BAILEY: Preaching to themselves, in other words.

SWETT: Each of those, of course, is increasingly difficult to do.

You mentioned coordination between Vietnam veterans and the veterans who are starting to come home from the current unpleasantnesses. Are you aware of the organization Veterans Against the Iraq War, which is essentially a spinoff of the VVAW?

BAILEY: I've heard of it, but I haven't seen any direct result of any of their effort.

SWETT: They're trying to do essentially the same thing on their side. It's notable how little traction they've got compared to the success experienced by their predecessors.

BAILEY: Uh-huh. Well, that's good. I'm glad to hear that.

SWETT: Yeah.

BAILEY: I'd hate to have to leave our vantage point on the 20th of January and go down and beat those people up.

SWETT: Let's talk about that a bit. The 20th of January a number of people, Vietnam veterans, are putting together an event called the John F. Kerry Un-augural - that's U-N dash augural - Celebration, which is described as honoring veterans who helped tell the truth about Kerry's record during the 2004 campaign.

The principals of this effort have obtained a large room at the National Press Club, of all places, and are making it available from 11 am to 4 pm during Inauguration Day.

You're involved in the organization of that effort. What are the goals of that?

BAILEY: Well, the goals are almost internal. We might get some media coverage out of it from the right-wing media, the conservative media, but more than anything else it's to recognize the efforts of folks who would not otherwise get recognized. A guy like - nobody in the audience will even know who I'm talking about probably, but a guy like Mike Bradley down in Florida or Denny Baum in Florida or Shirl Odella (phonetic spelling) in Ohio, people who have done so much to create the groundswell of psychological vote changing, so to speak, and who would never be recognized for what they've done in any other venue.

SWETT: Certainly Tony Snesko.

BAILEY: Oh my goodness. God bless Tony. My man.

SWETT: Some of the luminaries of the effort are apparently starting to sign up nonetheless. Carlton Sherwood, of course producer of "Stolen Honor," the suppressed and then very effective POW documentary, is going to be there. A couple of POWs.

What's the availability of tickets? Are you going to open this to the public? If so, to what extent?

BAILEY: Well, we're doing it in two or three stages.

First we invite specific people, people we really think should be there. Even though they might not have been that active in the campaigns, but just because of their stature in society and in the political spectrum, that they just ought to show up. We ought to have their money, in other words.

And then of course, we invite the people we want to honor. And then we start - we invite selected people from affiliated organizations or sister organizations. And then finally we throw it open to the public.

SWETT: This would be an opportunity to meet some of the people who were involved in the moving and shaking of what became the Vietnam veterans' rally against John Kerry.

BAILEY: Yes, exactly.

ZIEGLER: It sounds great, gentlemen.

This is Rightalk, The Inquisition with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler. We've been talking with Captain Larry Bailey of the U.S. Navy and we're looking forward to having him back and finishing the show up. We've got to sell some stuff to pay some bills. This is Rightalk.

(Commercial break)

SWETT: Welcome back to The Inquisition. This is Scott Swett with Tim Ziegler and you're listening to RighTalk radio. We have with us today Larry Bailey, Captain, retired, U.S. Navy, former SEAL, the organizer of KerryLied.com, the Kerry Lied rally on September 12 and related efforts that are organized at that website. Larry, we were starting to talk about what sorts of educational efforts Vietnam vets might use to capitalize on this wave of re-examination of Vietnam. What are your thoughts on that?

BAILEY: Well, I used the term samizdat to describe what the media, what the Internet has done for our political purposes, and that's almost an apt way, the term itself can be applied to what I view as an educational foundation. The left owns academia. There's no question about it. Front Page dot org, or dot com, whichever, they outline this in spades. In fact, I'm looking at a little handbook I got in the mail this morning that they put out called "Indoctrination or Education?" And since we don't have the professors on campus, what we can do along with people like David Horowitz and Front Page and some others, Joseph Farah, etc., and Tim Ziegler and Scott Swett, we can provide a resource, or a series of resources to enable students to find out the truth for themselves, because the students are beginning to learn that professors do not tell the truth in many, many cases. In fact, in the majority of cases.

And I hark back to what a very prominent Marxist professor said after the Soviet Union fell, within a few months after that. He said, "Communism is not dead - not as long as people like me still have our jobs on campus." He said there are 55,000 of us teaching in American colleges and universities, and we will continue to mold minds for the forseeable future. And that scares me to death - scared me then, scares me now. But now, we have a way of counteracting that thing by using the Internet and modern electronic media.

SWETT: Well, perhaps that's one of the most valuable lessons that anybody can learn in college is that what they tell you is not necessarily the truth. That's the message the left was trying to put out thirty or forty years ago, and that's our message today.

BAILEY: Exactly. I'll would just say that the first person with $100,000 to come to Scott Swett to set this network up, is going to be able to name it.

SWETT: How about the Scott Swett Foundation?

BAILEY: There you go. Kick in $100,000 and you can do it, Scott.

SWETT: Larry, it's been a great privilege to have you here with us today. We appreciate that you're in this for the long haul. This is Scott Swett with Tim Ziegler - this has been the fastest hour in radio: The Inquisition, here on RighTalk radio. See you in two weeks.

(End of transcript)

Last Updated Monday, November 05 2007 @ 08:59 AM MST|5,408 Hits