Will Swift Boat Vets resurface to protest a Kerry Cabinet nomination?

Swiftboat Vets for Truth co-founder John O'Neill weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 15, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEN. JOHN KERRY, D-MASS.: And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to go into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women --


SEAN HANNITY, HOST: That was Senator John Kerry -- who is rumored to be a candidate for defense secretary -- trash-talking our troops in 2005. But that wasn't the first time that he has done that.

Now listen to what he said back in 1971 while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the Vietnam War.


KERRY: They relive the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do. They told the stories of times that they had personally raped, cut off the ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Kahn, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam, in addition to the normal ravage of war.


HANNITY: Joining me now with reaction is the co-founder of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, John O'Neill. John, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.


HANNITY: Go ahead?

O'NEILL: Sean, the -- you know, the Kerry quote you put out is typical of Kerry. He was quoting people, many of whom were later proved never to have been in Vietnam or in the military. You know, Sean, we lost 58,000 people in Vietnam. I knew a fair number of them, a lot of them from my class at the naval academy. They were the best people we ever had. To describe them as the army of Genghis Khan for political advancement is typical of Kerry's whole career and it didn't stop.

As you know in 1972, Kerry wrote a book called "The New Soldier" that I beg everybody to read, it's right on the Internet. It starts with a caricature of the Marines on Iwo Jima, raising the flag, describes what Kerry hopes the military will be. It's a frightening picture, Sean.

Remember 2006 when, you -- you know, when he said, if you didn't study hard you would end up stuck in Iraq, right when our troops were fighting. He was a hawk in Iraq and a surrender guy at the end, as he has been over and over again. He would be much better at hauling a white flag than a secretary of defense, anywhere.

HANNITY: Well, it's amazing, even in 2005, after he had been through all of this, was accusing our troops on Bob Schieffer's program of going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing children and kids and women.

Let me ask this, if in fact, Barack Obama wants to nominate him for secretary of defense or state, will the Swift Boat Vets for Truth come back?

O'NEILL: We will do the very best we can, Sean. I was contacted today, I spoke today with three people that won the Congressional Medal of Honor, who will do the very best we can. We've got kids -- heck, I mean, we have hundreds of thousands of kids who have been engaged in combat or in the armed forces, can you imagine them counting on John Kerry to protect their back? We've already got a problem.

HANNITY: I know with the left, they give and you your fellow veterans -- by the way, war heroes, people who served their country honorably that challenged lies he told about other Vietnam vets -- they use it as a pejorative. But this ad that you guys ran was very effective.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They served their country with courage and distinction. They're the men who served with John Kerry in Vietnam. They're his entire chain of command. Most of the officers in Kerry's unit, even the gunner from his own boat and the men who spent years in North Vietnamese prison camps, tortured for refusing to confess what John Kerry accused them of, of being war criminals.

They were also decorated, many very highly, but they kept their medals. Today, they are teachers, farmers, businessmen, ministers and community leaders. And of course, fathers and grandfathers.

With nothing to gain for themselves, except the satisfaction that comes with telling the truth, they have come forward to talk about the John Kerry they know. Because to them, honesty and character still matter, especially in a time of war.


HANNITY: That was pretty powerful. So you would do this again?

O'NEILL: Can I tell -- let me tell you the story about that ad, Sean. We decided to make the ad. In Houston, there was a fellow who had been a prisoner of war, Air Force Academy graduate, a prisoner of war for eight years of the North Vietnamese.He was dying of pancreatic cancer, Sean. We didn't call him to be in the ad. He called me on the telephone and he said, John, why didn't you call me to be this in ad? I said, we knew you were really, really sick. He flew himself at his own expense up there, was in the ad, he died about a month later, Sean.

That's how strongly all of us felt, what he did was unbelievable, in '71, '72. It was unbelievable what he did to our own troops in the war in Iraq. To make him it is secretary of defense or the secretary of state would be a disaster for our national security. It really would be a total forfeiture of the loyalty that we owe the troops in the field.

HANNITY: John, we will continue to follow the story. I know the left is having a collective meltdown at this moment. Too bad they don't like to hear John Kerry in his own words. It's a stark reminder for the American people. Thank you for being with us.

O'NEILL: Thank you, my friend.

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