Skip to comments.Christmas In “Cambodia” (UNFIT FOR COMMAND)
Posted on 08/04/2004 11:25:23 PM PDT by Steven W.
Christmas In Cambodia
Vietnam, December 1968
JOHN KERRYS STORY
If there is one story told over and over again by John Kerry since his return from Vietnam, it is the heart-wrenching tale of how he spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day illegally in Cambodia. From the early 1970s, when he used the tale as part of his proof for war crimes in Cambodia, through the mid-1980s and the 1990s, Kerry has spoken and written again and again of how he was illegally ordered to enter Cambodia.
On the floor of the U.S. Senate on March 27, 1986, Kerry launched one of his many attacks against President Reaganthis time charging that President Reagans actions in Central America were leading the United States into yet another Vietnam, claiming that he could recognize the error of the administrations ways because he had experienced firsthand the duplicity of the Nixon administration in lying about American incursions into Cambodia during the Vietnam War.
Kerry charged that he had been illegally ordered into Cambodia during Christmas 1968:
I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is searedsearedin me.
Kerry also described, for example, for the Boston Herald his vivid memories of his Christmas Eve spent in Cambodia:
I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real.
As recently as July 7, 2004, Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe repeated Kerrys Christmas in Cambodia story on FOX News Channels Hannity & Colmes, indicating that it was a critical turning point in Kerrys life. Kranish had no knowledge, even after his extensive study of Kerry, that he was simply repeating a total fabrication by Kerry. And Kranish was right: Study of the Christmas in Cambodia story is central to understanding John Kerry.
The story is also in the pages of the 2004 biography written by Krahish and other Boston Globe reporters. As we have come to expect, the story is twisted at the end to provide justification for yet another of Kerrys political ruses, this time used to justify what Kerry portrays as his noble and continuing distrust of government pronouncements:
To top it off, Kerry said later that he had gone into Cambodia, despite President Nixons assurances to the American public that there was no combat action in this neutral territory. The young sailor began to develop a deep mistrust of the U.S. government pronouncements, he later recalled.
Even without minimal investigation, a critical press should have been able to spot the story as a total fabrication: Richard Nixon did not become president of the United States until twenty-six days after John Kerrys Christmas in Cambodia.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: CHRISTMAS IN VIETNAM
Despite the dramatic memories of his Christmas in Cambodia, Kerrys statements are complete lies. Kerry was never in Cambodia during Christmas 1968, or at all during the Vietnam War. In reality, during Christmas 1968, he was more than fifty miles away from Cambodia. Kerry was never ordered into Cambodia by anyone and would have been court-martialed had he gone there.
During Christmas 1968, Kerry was stationed at Coastal Division 13 in Cat Lo. Coastal Division 13s patrol areas extended to Sa Dec, about fifty-five miles from the Cambodian border. Areas closer than fifty-five miles to the Cambodian border in the area of the Mekong River were patrolled by PBRs, a small river patrol craft, and not by Swift Boats. Preventing border crossings was considered so important at the time that an LCU (a large, mechanized landing craft) and several PBRs were stationed to ensure that no one could cross the border.
A large sign at the border prohibited entry. Tom Anderson, Commander of River Division 531, who was in charge of the PBRs, confirmed that there were no Swifts anywhere in the area and that they would have been stopped had they appeared.
All the living commanders in Kerrys chain of commandJoe Streuhli (Commander of CosDiv 13), George Elliott (Commander of CosDiv 11), Adrian Lonsdale (Captain, USCG and Commander, Coastal Surveillance Center at An Thoi), Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann (Commander, Coastal Surveillance Force Vietnam, CTF 115), and Rear Admiral Art Price (Commander of River Patrol Force, CTF 116)deny that Kerry was ever ordered to Cambodia. They indicate that Kerry would have been seriously disciplined or court-martialed had he gone there. At least three of the five crewmen on Kerrys PCF 44 boatBill Zaldonis, Steven Hatch, and Steve Gardnerdeny that they or their boat were ever in Cambodia. The remaining two crewmen declined to be interviewed for this book. Gardner, in particular, will never forget those days in late December when he was wounded on PCF 44, not in Cambodia, but many miles away in Vietnam.
The Cambodia incursion story is not included in Tour of Duty.
Instead, Kerry replaces the story with a report about a mortar attack that occurred on Christmas Eve 1968 near the Cambodia border in a town called Sa Dec, some fifty-five miles from the Cambodian border.
Somehow, Kerrys secret illegal mission to Cambodia, which he recounted on the floor of the U.S. Senate in 1986, is now a firefight at Sa Dec and a Christmas day spent back at the base writing entries in his journal. The truth is that Kerry made up his secret mission into Cambodia.
Much like Kerrys many other lies relating to supposed war crimes committed by the U.S. military in Vietnam, the lie about the illegal Cambodian incursion painted his superiors up the chain of commandmen such as Commander Streuhli, Commander Elliott, Admiral Hoffmann, and Admiral Zumwalt, all distinguished Naval heroes and men of integrityas villains faced down by John Kerry, a solitary hero in grave and exotic danger and forced illegally and against his will into harms way.
The same sorts of lies were repeated over and over in Kerrys antiwar book, The New Soldier, a book filled with preposterous, false confessions of bogus war crimes committed by the participants (who were often not even real veterans) against their will and under orders from dishonest superiors. Kerrys Christmas in Cambodia typifies the sort of lie upon which Kerry has built a false persona and a political career.
The story of Christmas 1968 has one final chapter. When refueling his PCF near Dong Tam, Kerry and his crew were told that the Bob Hope USO show was at the Dong Tam base. So Kerry decided to leave his station on the river and go searching for the Bob Hope Christmas show. Unable to find the show, he risked boat and crew by unknowingly blundering into one of the most dangerous canals in Vietnam, a canal that to those who knew the area was notorious for Viet Cong ambushes. Given the easy navigation by radar and map of the rivers involvednot much more difficult than driving a carKerry had just performed a feat of reverse navigation worthy of Wrong Way Corrigan.
There is, of course, no record that Kerry ever informed anyone of what he did, where he was, or where he was goingall required by regulations for the safety of the boat and crew. He did, however, record the Bob Hope adventure in his journal so he could be sure to share it in Tour of Duty.
The scary thing is that we said the same thing about Clinton - TWICE!
The voters put him in, anyway.
How does this man continue to live with himself?
He was in Cambodia before he wasn't in Cambodia.
Bump for a later read.
The Kerry campaign immediately denounced the group, noting that none of the men had actually served on the Swift boats that Mr. Kerry commanded, like Gene Thorson, who told reporters, "These assertions are garbage; these people weren't there with John Kerry."
This can be proven or disproved by the vets military record. Where and when they served.
They wouldn't be taking this chance to do this if they weren't telling the truth. Especially the doctor who treated one of Kerry's purple heart boo boo's.
Mike Savage had a guy that "WAS" on his boat and he said the same thing !
The "wheels" are finally "fixin'" to come off the liars wagon. I hate lairs.
Ive heard of this before. Is there an official Senate transcript or record of him saying it? I tried looking all over the net for it before but couldnt find one. There must be something now.
That hit me like a meteor. The fact that Nixon was not inaugurated until January 1969 went right over my head. I'll have to start reading and listening more critically in the future.
It's easy to find out who's telling the truth and who is not. There are records.
If Kerry hides his, people will wonder why. After all, he's a proud hero, is he not? He has nothing to hide from the voters, right?
To disprove these guys, all he has to do is release his military medical records to "set the story straight." That's not too much to ask for, is it?
Bush released his military records, all of them, freely. There's no reason why a proud war hero should hide his, right?
Maybe all the killing, maiming and torture that Kerry talks about actually took place in and amongst the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Maybe he could work that into his story somehow. Or, he can just ask John Edwards to look into his crystal ball and come up with a new story.
I hate lairs.
Bump to that!
Not only describes John Kerry but also the gullible senators who were fed these lies and were only too happy to accept the Kerry babble for an unpopular war - regardless of the men still there. Some of those senators are still with us today vote them out of office.
First thing I thought of. Imagine if Bush said something so transperently false about his service. The media would be talking about nothing else for weeks.
I wonder if the NYT ever made public, the fact that MANY in Kerry's "American Vets Against the War" were NOT vets?
Kerry lied while men died.....
Forgive my ignorance, but why in the hell haven't we gotten to get Kerry to release his records? Don't we have a right to see them if he is running for a public office, let alone the PRESIDENT of the US!!!! It just makes my blood boil for him to get away with all these f-in lies!!
Nixon, president in 1968? I don't think so Mr. Kerry!!!
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