John Yettaw, just back from his Burmese prison odyssey, explains how he unwittingly created an international diplomatic crisis.
How was a retired bus driver from Missouri able to make a flipper-clad, two-kilometer swim to the heavily guarded house of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi, one of the world's most famous dissidents? While John Yettaw languished in Burmese jail during his trial for "illegal swimming," all we could do is speculate. But now, in an exclusive interview with NEWSWEEK, Yettaw has offered an explanation: Burmese security officials let him. "I don't know why they didn't stop me," he says. "The man with the AK-47 shook my hand and let me in."
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