Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » SBVFT Member Fired and Broke for Speaking Out

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: SBVFT Member Fired and Broke for Speaking Out
Daruma28
Member
Member # 1388

 - posted      Profile for Daruma28   Email Daruma28   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm sure some people here will be happy to hear this.....

From the Chicago Sun-Times

How Kerry whistleblower suffered for truth

November 29, 2004

BY MARY LANEY

This is the story of a military veteran whistleblower. He spoke out against someone he thought was dangerous for the nation, talked to local newspapers, and appeared on talk shows. In return, he was vilified by reporters, threatened by a political operative, fired by his company, and now he's broke.

His name is Steve Gardner. He's also known as "The 10th Brother," as in Band of Brothers. He's one of two members of Sen. John Kerry's 12 Vietnam swift boat crew members who refused to stand with Kerry at the Democratic Convention. The other man remained silent.

"They said I had a political agenda. I had no and have no political agenda whatsoever. I saw John Kerry on television saying he was running for the Democratic nomination for president, and I knew I couldn't ever see him as commander in chief -- not after what I saw in Vietnam, not after the lies I heard him tell about what he says he did and what he says others did."

Gardner explains he was sitting at home in Clover, S.C., when he first saw Kerry on television. It was before the primary races. For 35 years, Gardner says, he hadn't talked about his tour of duty in Vietnam. But when he saw Kerry talking about running, he says he got up, called the newspaper in town, called radio stations and "talked to anyone I could about why this man should never be president." Eventually he got a call from Adm. Roy Huffman, who had been in charge of the coastal division in Vietnam, reunited with other swift boat veterans, and the rest is, as they say, history.

Gardner's story is one that bears telling. He volunteered for the Navy, enlisting on his 18th birthday in February 1966. After training, he was shipped to Vietnam and served for two years as a gunner in the swift boat division. His superior, for four months, was none other than Lt. j.g. John F. Kerry.

"I had confrontations with him there. He nearly got us rammed by the VC one night because he wasn't watching the helm. I heard the motor coming close, turned on the spotlight, and the boat was only 90 feet away, coming fast. The VC was aiming an AK47 at us. I shot him out of the boat. We pulled a woman and a baby off the boat. Kerry wrote it up that we captured two VC and killed four more on the beach. None of that was true. The only thing true on Kerry's report was the date. The woman was catatonic and wouldn't call her baby VC and there were no VC on the beach. If we had seen that report before Kerry sent it up the chain of command, he would have been court-martialed and never allowed to run for office. And that's just the San Pan incident. There was much more. He is a self-aggrandizing bold-faced liar. I believe he caused the extension of that war."

Gardner told this story and others to radio stations and he wrote a piece for the local paper. Then, he says, he received a phone call from John Hurley, the veterans organizer for Kerry's campaign. Hurley, Gardner says, asked him to come out for Kerry. He told Hurley to leave him alone and that he'd never be for Kerry. It was then Gardner says, he was threatened with, "You better watch your step. We can look into your finances."

Next, 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'm broke. I've been hurt every way I can be hurt. I have no money in the bank but am doing little bits here and there to pay the bills," he said.

All the millions of dollars raised by Gardner and his fellow Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and all the proceeds from John O'Neill's book, Unfit for Command, go to families of veterans, POWs and MIAs.

And, even though Gardner is broke and jobless for speaking out, the husband and father of three says he'd do it all over again. He says it wasn't for politics. It was for America.

Posts: 7543 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
He should have no trouble finding a new boss who thinks he's a hero.
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfJoy
Member
Member # 157

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfJoy   Email LoverOfJoy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
This is the story of a military veteran whistleblower. He spoke out against someone he thought was dangerous for the nation, talked to local newspapers, and appeared on talk shows. In return, he was vilified by reporters, threatened by a political operative, fired by his company, and now he's broke.
hehe... when I first skimmed over this I thought it was referring to John Kerry.
Posts: 3639 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm sorry to hear about this. No one should ever suffer reprecussions for speaking out what he sincerely believes is the truth.

Hopefully, he will find a sympathetic employer soon.

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OhPuhLeez
Member
Member # 1597

 - posted      Profile for OhPuhLeez   Email OhPuhLeez   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I hate him, I hate his group, I hate everything they did and stood for.

He had every right to do it and I hope he sues his employer for wrongful termination - that is absolutely an outrage.

Posts: 1258 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
"They said I had a political agenda. I had no and have no political agenda whatsoever. I saw John Kerry on television saying he was running for the Democratic nomination for president, and I knew I couldn't ever see him as commander in chief ... "
Call me nuts, but wouldn't an agenda to influence the presidential election be a political agenda? D'oh!

quote:
Gardner doesn't have the money to sue to get the job back.
That's not how it works. If he had a case, he'd have his pick of numerous lawyers.

But he doesn't have a case. The Republicans are in charge, and they can't risk protecting political participation.

Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Daruma28
Member
Member # 1388

 - posted      Profile for Daruma28   Email Daruma28   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think his point Zyne is that he didn't speak out because he opposed Kerry on ideological grounds - i.e. he was a Republican and Kerry was a Democrat - but that it was his own personal experience with Kerry that motivated him to come forward. But than, that's just arguing semantics in legalese....

I do wonder about his inability to find a lawyer to sue on his behalf - that doesn't sound right.

Posts: 7543 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I suspect he's leaving something out if he can't find a lawyer. There ARE republican lawyers out there, as well as money grubbing lawyers who will take on any suit. Not that I think either of those are the majority, but...

Anyrate, if the story as presented is accurate, it really sucks to be him. A political voice shouldn't lead to one's life being wrecked. If the story as presented IS accurate, its a rather important case.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sadly, it is the case that, absent a contract to the contrary, you can be fired for your political participation. Remember the woman who got fired for having a Kerry bumper sticker on her car? I can see the argument where his high-profile involvement with SBVFT adversely affects his employer much more than I can with Lynne Gobbell's bumper sticker. Maybe things will work out for Gardner and a republican-minded firm will hire him on.
Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I sympathize with the guy, but the firm as a right to fire him, in a so-called right-to-work state. Zyne is absolutely correct that it's the Republicans you should blame for setting up the laws so that this guy has no legal remedy. Hopefully some of them will give this guy a job.

And hopefully the press won't drop the story before they do.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lewkowski
Member
Member # 2028

 - posted      Profile for Lewkowski   Email Lewkowski       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Firing someone because they are a democrat or a republican is ok. Heck you could fire someone becuase they won't buy your kids girl scout cookies.

This is true in every part of the country that has Employment at will.

No one has right to a job.

Posts: 890 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JoshuaD
Member
Member # 1420

 - posted      Profile for JoshuaD   Email JoshuaD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Are you allowed to fire someone for being white?

I know you can't fire any protected class because of their class-status, but whites aren't protected, so can you fire them?

Posts: 3742 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You can't -- race is a protected class.

I wonder, though, if a black person could be fired for not being "black enough" -- can you separate skin color from "race?"

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ATW
Member
Member # 1690

 - posted      Profile for ATW   Email ATW   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:

I do wonder about his inability to find a lawyer to sue on his behalf - that doesn't sound right.

Yeah, you'd think the ACLU would be all over this.


======

Zyne: "Sadly, it is the case that, absent a contract to the contrary, you can be fired for your political participation. Remember the woman who got fired for having a Kerry bumper sticker on her car? I can see the argument where his high-profile involvement with SBVFT adversely affects his employer much more than I can with Lynne Gobbell's bumper sticker."


The bumper sticker lady was displaying political advertising on someone else's private property and then was confrontational about it when told to stop.

I don't see any comparison at all to this other guy saying whatever he wants to politically on his own free time and not on his company's property.

YMMV

========

Pete at Home: "Zyne is absolutely correct that it's the Republicans you should blame"

ROFLMAO

Its been a democrat state almost without exception since the democrat party was formed in the early 1800's.

It was a democrat state during the struggle to legalize unions from the late 1800's through the 1930's.

Its a right to work state because decades of democrat governors and democrat state legislatures chose to make it that way even thought they had the option to do otherwise.

Posts: 575 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The bumper sticker lady was displaying political advertising on someone else's private property and then was confrontational about it when told to stop.
I was not aware of those facts. Yes; they do distinguish from "this other guy saying whatever he wants to politically on his own free time and not on his company's property."

quote:
Its a right to work state because decades of democrat governors and democrat state legislatures chose to make it that way even thought they had the option to do otherwise.
I stand corrected.
Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Daruma28
Member
Member # 1388

 - posted      Profile for Daruma28   Email Daruma28   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Gardner's former employer, Millenium, responds:

Millennium’s Response to the 11/29/04
Chicago Sun-Times Article about Steve Gardner
Millennium Information Services is a small business that has been wrongly stigmatized by the Chicago Sun-Times article about Steve Gardner. The article is clearly meant to create the impression that Steve Gardner’s layoff was politically motivated. That just simply isn’t true. It is also important to note that the Sun-Times reporter, Mary Laney, never contacted us regarding this article.

Here are some key facts that correct missing or inaccurate statements made in the Sun-Times article:

For purely financial reasons, we had to reduce management expenses. A decision was made to consolidate field management from five managers to three. The two affected field managers resided in
the areas where our business had the most significant decreases. Mr. Gardner was one of those managers. Two additional corporate managers were laid off on the same day. No one in the company’s management was even aware of Mr. Gardner’s connection to John Kerry.

To help offset the elimination of Mr. Gardner’s supervisory position, Millennium offered Mr.
Gardner other non-supervisory work, which he decided not to take. Since that time Millennium has offered Mr. Gardner additional work opportunities, which he has also declined.

The Sun-Times article states that Mr. Gardner was terminated via email. That is also incorrect. Mr. Gardner was informed of the layoff in a personal phone conversation with his supervisor. The email referenced in the article was simply a formal follow-up, not the primary means of informing Mr.
Gardner. The only reason he was not contacted face-to-face was because he was an out-of-state
employee.

In the Sun-Times article, Ms. Laney stated that Mr. Gardner had “seen the company advertising his old position.” A simple check of the facts would have shown that to be false. The advertisement placed by Millennium was for a non- supervisory position.

The Sun-Times article does not accurately reflect what occurred with Steve Gardner in regards to his
employment with Millennium. It creates an erroneous perception that he was singled out for his political involvement. That is false. Three other employees also lost their jobs on that day for the same economic reasons.

Millennium as a company does not endorse or support any political position or candidate. We leave those personal decisions to individuals.
We sincerely hope this helps to clarify the truth,

Steve Pietrzak
President and CEO
Millennium Information Services, Inc.

Posts: 7543 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Daruma28
Member
Member # 1388

 - posted      Profile for Daruma28   Email Daruma28   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
After re-reading the article, it is obvious the reporter took the implied and veiled threats of the Kerry advisors and implied that they were somehow related to Gardners firing.

This is some reporting ranking right up their with Rather's forged TANG documents.......

Too bad I can't change my thread title, as I don't think it applies. Gardner got fired legitimately.

However, I still think he has been unfairly protrayed/slandered by the media for publicly coming out against Kerry.

Posts: 7543 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfJoy
Member
Member # 157

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfJoy   Email LoverOfJoy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Boy, if he lied to the press about how he got fired, I wonder what else he lied about... [Wink] j/k
Posts: 3639 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Daruma28
Member
Member # 1388

 - posted      Profile for Daruma28   Email Daruma28   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
HE didn't lie...the reporter just implied in the story that he was fired because of the whole Kerry deal.
Posts: 7543 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfJoy
Member
Member # 157

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfJoy   Email LoverOfJoy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So why did the reporter note that he was terminated by email when he was terminated by phone? I guess it could have been a misunderstanding. The man may have told the reporter that he was terminated by phone and then sent an email confirmation and the reporter just ran with it...it just sounds odd.
Posts: 3639 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ivan
Member
Member # 1467

 - posted      Profile for Ivan   Email Ivan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well this is just another example of the Conservative bias in the press. It just shows you taht the MSM will slander anyone, even an innocent corporation, to pander to the right. Disgusting.

[/ [Wink] ]

Posts: 1710 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It is also important to note that the Sun-Times reporter, Mary Laney, never contacted us regarding this article.
I think that's about all the information we need on this one. She, and her bosses and editors, never even bothered to find out if there was another side, or what that side said. Gardner can speculate all he wants about how he got let go, but this reporter had an obligation to investigate before going to print.
Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul C
Member
Member # 1804

 - posted      Profile for Paul C   Email Paul C   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:
HE didn't lie...the reporter just implied in the story that he was fired because of the whole Kerry deal.

She didn't lie...It's just bad reporting. [Mad]

Paul C

Posts: 188 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1