Wednesday :: Aug 25, 2004

More Swifty Lies Debunked: There Goes The Cambodia Smear


by Steve

I know that some of you are tiring of all the focus here on the lies and deceits of the Bush campaign and that of the Swifties. But it is important to stomp on these guys for their lack of integrity and their outright lies so that it can be established clearly that any further coverage of them, their comments, and the comments of those who support them should be ignored.

The latest examples of Swifties’ lies came last night from two sources, David Brock’s Media Matters for America, and a piece CNN (of all folks) ran on Aaron Brown’s show that clearly shows the lack of truthfulness of John O’Neill, one of the major forces behind the Swifties and a Kerry nemesis for three decades.

First, Brock’s MediaMatters.org outfit has compiled a list of O’Neill’s lies, including his statements that he isn’t a Texas Republican and hasn’t given to Republicans.

Second, you have heard that the Swifties and their supporters want to make a big deal over John Kerry’s comments on his adventures in Cambodia. One of their claims is that it wasn’t possible to run a swift boat to Cambodia, and no one went to Cambodia. We now know that this Swifties line of attack is bogus too, as Fred Kaplan of Slate has noted. How do we know?

Because John O’Neill himself did it, as he told none other than Richard Nixon as recorded in White House tapes in 1971.

JOHNS: Behind the scenes, Kerry's aides were fighting the swift boat charges with unusual ferocity. They say they have evidence one of the top members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is an outright liar.

The co-author of the book "Unfit for Command," former swift boat commander John O'Neill said Kerry made up a story about being in Cambodia beyond the legal borders of the Vietnam War in 1968.

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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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.

(snip)

BROWN: And just quickly on the O'Neill thing, just for my edification here, Mr. O'Neill's publicist played for you a tape where Mr. O'Neill says what again?

JOHNS: Well, he says in the tape essentially that he did not go to Cambodia, plain and simple. He says that a couple times in fact in this little short interview that was played for me on the phone. Now, of course, as you listen to that conversation with Richard Nixon, he says something completely different or, at least, that's what it sounds like -- Aaron.

BROWN: It does. Thank you, Joe Johns in Philadelphia tonight.

This hasn’t stopped the conservative pundits from accepting what the Swifties say as the gospel truth and calling Kerry a liar, as Media Matters has noted. But what is really going on here is that these conservative pundits, the Swifties themselves, and their supporters who insist that Kerry is a liar are themselves guilty of what they trash Kerry with.

Steve :: 1:51 PM :: Comments (19) :: Spotlight :: Digg It!