Those pesky audio tapes, always coming to light at the most inappropriate times. Latest case in point: John E. O'Neill, co-founder of the Swift Vets, who has repeatedly accused John Kerry of lying about being in Cambodia -- an accusation based on O'Neill's oft-repeated insistence that neither he nor any other U.S. crewman was ever in Cambodia because it was impossible to enter the country by swift boat:
From "Unfit for Command": Kerry was never in Cambodia during Christmas 1968, or at all during the Vietnam War. ... Areas closer than 55 miles from the Cambodian border in the area of the Mekong River were patrolled by PBRs, a small river patrol craft, and not by Swift Boats. Preventing border crossings was considered so important at the time that an LCU (a large, mechanized landing craft) and several PBRs were stationed to ensure that no one could cross the border. [pp. 47-48]
O'Neill on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos": How do I know he's [Kerry] not in Cambodia? I was on the same river, George. I was there two months after him. Our patrol area ran to Sedek, it was 50 miles from Cambodia. There isn't any watery border. The Mekong River's like the Mississippi. There were gunboats stationed right up there to stop people from coming. And our boats didn't go north of, only slightly north of Sedek. So it was a made-up story. [8/22]
Oops. Turns out O'Neill made precisely the opposite claim -- on tape -- to some President named 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.
The whole sorry story is here. Particularly amusing is Sean Hannity's attempt to dismiss what's on the audio tape as "consistent" with O'Neill's later allegations.
Kudos to the essential mediamatters.org!