Yet more Navy records support Kerry, according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, John O'Neill -- Mr. uber-Swift, he wrote the book, etc. -- has been going on all the shows for weeks saying that John Kerry never could have been in Cambodia on a black mission. It was impossible because there were all sorts of precautions in place to prevent any border crossings and that he would have been "court-martialed" had he done so (see this column for excerpts from his book and his appearance on ABC's This Week program last Sunday.)
Now CNN has come up with tapes of O'Neill telling Richard Nixon in 1971 that he himself had been on missions inside Cambodia. From last night's Aaron Brown show ...
O'Neill said no one could cross the border by river and he claimed in an audio tape that his publicist played to CNN that he, himself, had never been to Cambodia either. But in 1971, O'Neill said precisely the opposite to then President Richard Nixon.
O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.
NIXON: In a swift boat?
O'NEILL: Yes, sir.
JOHNS: Now, O'Neill may have an explanation for this but he has not returned CNN's calls. What does seem clear is that a top member of the swift boat group is now being held to the same standard of literal accuracy they've tried to impose on John Kerry -- Aaron.
So there you go. It really seems like O'Neill has been going on all these shows lying right through his teeth. Not misremembering some date, not having a conflicting recollection of some battle action, but telling everyone that none of the Swift Boats crossed into Cambodia when, in fact, he himself appears to have done so routinely.
Of course, the underyling facts here aren't in dispute. As Fred Kaplan points out here
and many others have as well, it is well known that the US military -- and Swift Boats in particular -- made covert ventures into Cambodia.
But, again, right from O'Neill's own mouth -- Mr. Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth.
And all of this raises the question, though it's not precisely the right analogy, what exactly is the statute of limitations on these guys? How many times do they have to get caught making false claims, unsubstantiated assertions or putting forward witnesses who weren't there, before they cease to have any credibility and get treated as such in the media?
At the moment the standard seems to be, "Okay, on your first nineteen claims, it seems like you were lying to us, but send along number twenty and we'll run that one up the flag pole too."