It seems Mr. O'Neill wouldn't talk to CNN, but he did show up in the friendlier waters of Hannity and Colmes last night. And here's how he tried to spin the exchange with President Nixon about his making forays into Cambodia ...
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Mr. O'Neill, just in the interest of time, look, there are so many inconsistencies here, in my view, in the swiftboat story.
I thank you for being on the show, and again, as you know, I admire your service, as I do all those who served their country, although we may disagree on this issue.
Look, this issue of Cambodia, you said, on George Stephanopoulos' show over the weekend that you knew that Kerry was not in Cambodia, that you could not have been in Cambodia on a swift boat, that he didn't go north of Sadak (ph). They just didn't go that far. You were 15 miles away.
There's a tape of you, as you now know, in the Oval Office, saying you were in Cambodia, you said to Richard Nixon. You worked along the border, or you were in Cambodia.
That seems very different than being 15 miles away and saying the swift boats didn't go to Cambodia. So they can't both be true.
O'NEILL: Alan, yes, they are, Alan. It's two different places, Alan. One place is along the Mekong River, right in the heart of the delta. The second place is on the west coast of Cambodia at a place called Hatien (ph), where the boundary is right along that border.
Where Kerry was in Christmas of 1968 was on this river, the Mekong River. We got about 40 or 50 miles from the border. That's as close as we ran.
Later, Kerry went, and I went to a place called Bernique's (ph) Creek -- that was our nickname for it -- at Hatien (ph). That was a canal system that ran close to the border, but that wasn't at Christmas for Kerry. That was later for him.
So it's two separate places, Alan, and the story is correct.
COLMES: All right. Well, either you were in Cambodia or Kerry was in Cambodia and you claim he wasn't in Cambodia. You claimed at one point you weren't and then you claimed you were. This is very confusing to people.
O'NEILL: Well, it shouldn't be confused. I was never in Cambodia, and Kerry lied when he said he was in Cambodia.
COLMES: You said to Richard Nixon you were in Cambodia.
O'NEILL: And it was the turning point of his life.
COLMES: You said to Richard Nixon, "I was in Cambodia, sir."
HANNITY: On the border.
COLMES: There's a tape of you saying that to Richard Nixon.
O'NEILL: What's the next sentence? I was along the Cambodian border. That's exactly right. What I told Nixon and was trying to tell him in this meeting was I was along the Cambodian border. As Sean clearly read...
COLMES: "I was in Cambodia," Those are your words.
O'NEILL: Yes, but you missed the next sentence. You're not reading the next sentence, Alan.
COLMES: Yes, along the border. But you're in Cambodia or you're not in Cambodia.
O'NEILL: Well, I'm sorry, Alan. I wasn't -- I was talking in a conversation. And the first thing, by the way, I told him in the conversation, as you know, was that I was a Democrat and I voted for Hubert Humphrey.
Hey, did I mention I voted for Hubert <$Ad$>Humphrey?
Anyway, the deck is stacked on that show and Hannity's there barking in the background. But, that notwithstanding, O'Neill's line is that sentence number two is a correction of sentence number one.
In other words, "Hey, I was in Cambodia. No, scratch that. I was on the Vietnamese side of the Cambodian border."
That's sorta like all the fellas who've patrolled the DMZ in Korea who say, "Yeah, I was in North Korea. I worked along the DMZ."
Again, let's review what he actually said ...
O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.
NIXON: In a swift boat?
O'NEILL: Yes, sir.
As the reader who alerted me to the transcript said in his email, the pretty clear meaning of O'Neill's words is that he worked along the border and made occasional forays across the border into Cambodia.
How far into Cambodia? Who knows? But then O'Neill's the guy running around saying John Kerry is a liar for saying he was in Cambodia.
Of course, we know how assiduous young Mr. Kerry was in covering up his misdeeds. So we should hold open the possibility that after returning from his measly four month tour in Vietnam he edited the Nixon tapes to render them more in line with his self-serving version of what happened.