Eric Greitens Rebuffs Sick Political Attacks with the Truth

Eric Greitens

By B.W. Durham

Eric Greitens, the Republican candidate for Missouri governor who is a former Navy Seal, Rhodes Scholar and best-selling author, is under attack by sleazy politicians and well-funded political action committees for a very simple reason:

Greitens is a threat to career politicians and the way things are in the Missouri legislature.

Missouri’s governing body is shaped by political insiders and self-serving politicians who maximize their personal gain, yet often fail to serve with integrity because they are busy cultivating donors so they can stay in office and collect a paycheck until retiring with a state pension we pay for.

But Greitens is a natural born leader with a new vision of reform that clearly is scaring his opposition.

He is a man who wants to change how Missouri’s legislature conducts itself — for the better — while instilling the governing body with more integrity and higher ethical standards.

He wants to limit campaign donation dollar amounts and apply term limits for political office holders. He wants to forbid politicians from keeping campaign funds if they leave office or stop campaigning.

And he wants to fight for more transparency among every legislator in Missouri government.

So, why is his opposition so scared? Because if elected, Greitens has the fortitude to see it through.

In 2013 Time Magazine named Greitens one of the 100 most influential people in the world. And Fortune Magazine named him one of the 50 greatest leaders in the world.

That’s because he received nine decorations for valor, including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Award, for service as a Navy Seal commander. And it’s because when he left active duty he served as a White House Fellow, working on important issues in the federal government.

He also founded and led The Mission Continues, a nonprofit national organization tohelp veterans adjust after they return home by serving as community leaders. And Greitens wrote two best-selling books: “The Heart and the Fist” and “Resilience: “Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life.”

Tough, smart, fearless and compassionate, Greitens is a conservative Republican whose message and vision inspires voters. No wonder he is under attack by people and organizations that are too cowardly to reveal their own identities.

Those anonymous people and organizations are hiding behind big money from political action committees to fund attack ads, fraudulent videos and venomous, anti-Greitens websites. They are afraid that Greitens will win the primaries and become Missouri’s next governor.

The result: Missouri’s political insiders and Greitens’ Republican opposition are scared and desperate.

As Greitens says, “Insiders have a lot to lose, and so they set out to assassinate the personal lives and reputations of good people who want to serve. If they believe that some internet video full of lies and innuendos will intimidate me, well, it’s further proof they don’t know me.”

Recently, a group purported to be former Navy Seals — but none of whom identified themselves by name — posted a fraudulent video online full of lies about Greitens’ distinguished military record.

Within hours of the video posting, people across the nation reached out to Greitens with endorsements and testimonials to set the record straight. Here’s one from U.S. Congressman Ryan Zinke, a former Navy Seal:

“Eric has earned my strongest possible endorsement. He is a highly decorated combat veteran with a proven record of leading from the front. He never quits nor shies away from toughest missions. His highly decorated career is one of service above self and sacrifice for others. Absurd attacks against anyone who has fought for his country are shameless. America needs leadership that is committed to defending the Constitution and fighting for the values that have made this Country great. The Great State of Missouri would be well served by sending a SEAL leader to serve as Governor.”

Within days, Greitens posted his own online video — it’s called “Here’s the Truth” — to set the record straight. And he posted a statement on his website called “Correcting the Record on False Attacks about My Military Service.” That statement reads, in part:

“As a young officer I once had to make a hard call, and confront an officer senior to me and other SEALs who were using cocaine and ecstasy and selling drugs to young sailors. It was the right thing to do. Some of my colleagues have never forgiven me for that. It adversely affected members of the SEAL community who were their friends. They blame me for that. And a few of them have continued to trash my service ever since. If that’s the price for doing what is right, so be it. I believed then, and still believe today, that it was the right thing to do.” Greitens also published his service records and has military documents associated with that unfortunate situation affirming that he did exactly the right thing. Another former Navy SEAL officer, Carter Gaffney, shared his own insights about that situation:

“I was a Lieutenant for SEAL Team One in 2004. I was present in Thailand when Eric, a fellow Navy SEAL, had the fortitude to stand up to another SEAL Officer — senior to him — who was using drugs and selling drugs to young sailors. Doing so earned Eric a few bitter enemies, but it was the right thing to do. Eric’s actions were morally courageous and made the Navy and the SEAL Teams better. His military record is both distinguished and honorable. Anyone saying otherwise is not being truthful.”

So…Greitens blew the whistle on a few Navy Seals who were using and selling drugs 12 years ago and he made enemies when he did it.

Yet, unlike Greitens, Missouri politicians are not known for policing each other, but for protecting each other with legislative loopholes and lax ethical standards. Some are known for sex scandals with young female legislative interns, like the sex scandals that forced two Missouri legislators — House Speaker John Diehl and Senator Paul LeVota — to resign in disgrace last year. And Representative Don Gosen, who is married with three daughters, abruptly resigned last week after allegedly having a sexual affair with a woman from southeastern Missouri.

The reality? When an honest, ethical, well-educated military hero such as Greitens, who is also a Senior Fellow at the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri, begins running for elected office on a platform of reform, sleazy politicians start to worry.

It’s true: Right now, Eric Greitens is a lightning rod for political attacks. And that is because he is a beacon of light in a murky political world of lies and deception.