web counter Media Lies: Did John O'Neill lie?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

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Did John O'Neill lie?

The AP has released a story entitled Swift Boat writer lied on Cambodia claim. (CBS News also carried the story as a small entry in a page with a number of political items.)

AP reports
"I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border," said John E. O'Neill in a conversation that was taped by the former president's secret recording system. The tape is stored at the National Archives in College Park, Md.
That's it. That's the proof of the "lie".

If ever there was a distorted headline, this is it. First of all, John O'Neill served on Swift boats from 1969 to 1970. In 1970, if you will recall, we invaded Cambodia. So the fact that O'Neill may have been in Cambodia is not exactly a revelation.

Furthermore, what John O'Neill may or may not have done in Cambodia is immaterial to the charge the Swiftvets have made against Kerry - namely that he lied about being ordered into Cambodia on Christmas eve of 1968 - two years before we invaded Cambodia.

This is what is known as grasping at straws. Unfortunately, far too many people will read the headline, accept it as "truth" and write off O'Neill as a liar. O'Neill has already responded to the charge. In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, O'Neill did not dispute what he said to Nixon, but insisted he was never actually in Cambodia.
"I think I made it very clear that I was on the border, which is exactly where I was for three months. I was about 100 yards from Cambodia," O'Neill said in clarifying the June 16, 1971, conversation with Nixon.
Fortunately for the Swiftvets, there are 263 other veterans who are also claiming Kerry lied. It's going to be really tough for the media and the Kerry camp to call them all liars.

If this is the best the MSM can do, the battle is over. Kerry has lost.