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Wednesday, October 20, 2004 3:46:50 AM

Re: ergo sum post# 75056

Post# of 495952
Christmas in Cambodia



The core of the Christmas in Cambodia story as told by John Kerry contained an obvious lie from which there was no immediate recovery. According to John Kerry, President Nixon had ordered his Swift Boat into Cambodia in Christmas 1968, while Nixon was at the same time denying to the world that any U.S. military forces were engaged in Cambodia.

This, as Kerry told the story, was “seared, seared” into his memory, a key experience which caused him to realize the Vietnam war was immoral and hence his Vietnam protesting justified

The problem was that Nixon was not president until January 20, 1969. No one in the mainstream press had ever noticed this obvious fabrication in the over thirty years John Kerry had told multiple versions of the story, all predicated on Nixon’s supposed duplicity.

Once John Kerry’s obvious lie was brought to light, his campaign had little option but to obscure the edges of the story. Perhaps he had just wandered into Cambodia as a mistake. Impossible, answered the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The U.S. Navy heavily guarded the river entry into Cambodia, preventing accidental drifting into Cambodian waters.

Then Kerry’s supporters suggested that he was near Cambodia, if not actually in Cambodia. John Hurley, Kerry’s national director of veterans, was quoted as saying: “I don’t know that anyone can actually say whether or not they were in Cambodia. It’s a very watery area. There’s no sign that says welcome to Cambodia. It is obviously dusk and getting darker, and so they were in those waters.” There were suggestions that Kerry was in Cambodia on a different mission, one with Navy Seals, but he couldn’t provide any dates. Hurley again tried to come to the rescue:” “He was five miles into Cambodia, but what’s happened is these two stories have gotten confused.” Or, again, in yet another attempt to explain the problem away, Hurley offered this: “I think he knows that he was under fire in Cambodia. I think the date is what’s inaccurate, that it was just not Christmas Eve Day.” 27

Then Steve Gardner, the Kerry crewmember who joined Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, said he was never in Cambodia with Kerry. None of the crewmembers who support Kerry’s campaign came forward to support his Christmas in Cambodia story. The Kerry camp was reduced to claiming that the mission was so secret that no one but Kerry knew about it. Then, Kerry surrogates just decided to abandon the issue altogether. Kerry supporters tried to maintain that the story was not important, so what if Kerry got this thirty-four year-old story wrong?

Finally, Kerry himself may have revealed the truth in his journal in the following passage he wrote while on his final mission, quoted in Tour of Duty: “The banks of the [Rach Giang Thanh River] whistled by as we churned out mile after mile at full speed. On my left were occasional open fields that allowed us a clear view into Cambodia. At some points, the border was only fifty yards away and it then would meander out to several hundred or even as much as a thousand yards away, always making one wonder what lay on the other side.”

Kerry described his Christmas in Cambodia pivotal to his coming to the conclusion that the Vietnam War was immoral. As the story unraveled, so did a key pillar for Kerry’s explanation of why he became an anti-war activist. With this, Kerry’s credibility also collapsed.

Advantage, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.


1. If you were in Cambodia, where in Cambodia? When was it? How did you get there? Who was with you?

2. If you had already been to Cambodia, why did you write in your diary that you were curious about what lay “on the other side”?



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