The father of USS Cole sailor Gary G. Swenchonis, Jr.
, who was killed at the hands of al-Qaeda
terrorists in Yemen, has written an open letter to Yemeni President Saleh.
In the letter Gary G. Swenchonis, Sr. blasts the president of Yemen for obstructing the investigation and not expressing any remorse at all for the attack that killed his son and 16 others on October 12, 2000. On the contrary, the president of Yemen stood by as the apprehended terrorists convictions were reduced and then received pardons!
Being a Navy vet myself, the attack on the USS Cole was disturbing and was one of the first warnings of things to come. There were no repercussions for al-Qaeda after that attack and the government of Yemen has continued to be a friendly nation to terrorists within it.
Below is an excerpt. Please read the full letter which was received by Jane Novak and posted at Jawa Report. For further continuous coverage and commentary on Yemen, there is none better on the Internet than Jane's website Armies of Liberation.
It has been over seven years now since our son and his mates were brutally murdered in your country on October 12, 2000 when terrorists attacked the USS Cole and murdered 17 innocent young sailors and injured 39 more. Let me begin by thanking all the Yemenis who called us at our home and sent letters of condolence. The kindness, compassion, warmth and sympathy expressed in those calls and letters comforted us and gave us a strength that we carry with us today. Unfortunately we never received a letter of condolence from you or your government sir.
You never even denounced that horrible tragedy, nor did anyone in your government. On the contrary, your government hindered the investigation at every turn. ...
When the trials were held in Yemen, the resulting sentences were a mockery of justice considering the heinous crime and multiple loss of life. Then those sentences were reduced upon appeal. Now it is my understanding that one or more of the killers recently received a conditional pardon from you. This is despicable sir!
(Bolding is mine)
Please read the whole thing. These were American citizens out there defending you in a foreign land! Do not forget them and do not forget their families who have never received justice!
We have not forgotten you Gary!