Well, the nail is in the coffin. Nightline had a bright idea: go to Vietnam and ask the villagers who were there what actually happened in those battles where Kerry received a Silver Star. So they did. And the Vietnamese who were there back Kerry point for point:
That account is disputed by Swift boat veteran John O'Neill, author of "Unfit for Command," who maintains in his book that the statement "is simply false. There was little or no fire."
Villagers say this is what they saw: "Firing from over here. Firing from over there. Firing from the boat," Vo Thi Vi told Nightline. She was only a couple hundred yards away when a Swift boat turned and approached the shore, she said, adding that the boat was unleashing a barrage of gunfire as it approached.
But they have no problem remembering Ba Thang, the man who has been dismissed by Kerry's detractors as "a lone, wounded, fleeing, young Vietcong in a loincloth." (The description comes from "Unfit for Command," by Swift boat veteran John O'Neill.)
"No, this is not correct," Nguyen Thi Tuoi, 77, told ABC News. "He wore a black pajama. He was strong. He was big and strong. He was about 26 or 27."