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8/27/2004

O'Neill and "I was in Cambodia."

Just a simple note.

In Nixon's Oval Office, John O'Neill, a leader of the SBVfT, says "I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water." He had previously maintained that it was impossible to enter Cambodia.

His explanation is that "I was in Cambodia" meant "I was near the border." That could just be weird Repbulican attack dog speech, a coded language I'm not privy too. But certain conservatives that might want to be a little less instant and a little more careful say: "works for me." You think it'd "work for him" if Kerry gave the same explanation?

Here's the exchange, where Milquetoast Colmes challenged O'Neill about the quote:

Fox News 8/25/04: 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 swift boat 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. 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 Ha Tien, 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 Creek — that was our nickname for it — at Ha Tien. 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 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.

 

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