Sunday, August 08, 2004

Kerry Tales, Part XLIII--Holidays in Cambodia

Story updated here.

John Kerry's a serial liar. Especially about his service in Vietnam. On March 27, 1986, Senator Kerry discussed his experience in Vietnam on the Senate floor. See 132 Cong. Rec. S3594 (1986). Blogger Tom Maguire reprints the speech, which includes this:
Mr. President, I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by 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 seared--seared--in me, that says to me, before we send another generation into harm's way we have a responsibility in the U.S. Senate to go the last step, to make the best effort possible in order to avoid that kind of conflict.
Instapundit prints a photo of Kerry's quote in the Congressional record.

Powerline Blog also cites an article Kerry published the Boston Herald on October 14, 1979:
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 killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real.
The Kerry-friendly Globe repeated this claim as recently as mid-June.

Ignore the fact that Nixon wasn't President on December 25, 1968. The real scandal is that Kerry couldn't have been in Cambodia at that time. None of Kerry's crewmates remember Cambodia. American armed forces didn't enter Cambodia until Spring 1970, which prompted widespread protests and "four dead" at Kent State University--on May 4, 1970, not year-end 1968. Even the authorized hagiography of Kerry in Vietnam, Douglas Brinkley's Tour of Duty, says Kerry wasn't there, in Chapter 10, second paragraph:
Christmas eve, 1968, turned out to be memorable....the crew headed their Swift...only miles from the Cambodian border. Because they were only an hour from that country, Kerry began reading up on Cambodian history.
Brinkley's book says Kerry's boat stopped in the town of Sa Dec, Vietnam that day and Kerry's diary says he spent half the day in Sa Dec--which is about 60 miles away, closer to Vietnam's sea coast than to Cambodia. The official campaign website's no help--it includes some Navy records, but both the summary and the "Command History" begin in 1969. And Kerry couldn't have innocently mis-remembered the year--his Vietnam service ended by April 1969.

Kerry clearly lied. Should it matter? Were it only braggadocio, no. Some otherwise reliable vets tell tall tales. But Kerry's foreign policy platform is founded on lessons he learned in Vietnam. For example, Kerry used his mythical memory of Cambodia (quoted above) as evidence against Republican foreign policy:
Kerry attacked President Reagan's actions in Central America, charging they were leading the United States into another Vietnam. He claimed he could recognize the administration's errors because he had firsthand knowledge that the Nixon administration lied about American incursions into Cambodia.
Maguire also unearthed a 1992 AP article where Kerry further embellishes his tale to make a point about missing POWs/MIAs.

In sum, the Democrats nominated a long-standing liar with a worldview from wonderland. A man whose experiences, though "seared," are false. Someone who relies on his record of service, while withholding relevant service records.

Except among the partisan press--is the fact-checker union on strike?--diagnosing this Dem isn't difficult. In two seconds flat, we'd call Kerry crazy.


The always-delightful Mark Steyn, in today's Washington Times, takes Kerry's Vietnam meme to its logical conclusion:
[I]nsofar as I understand the rules of Campaign 2004, every time any member of the administration says anything about the present conflict, he is accused by Democrats of shamelessly "politicizing" it. Whereas every time John Kerry waxes nostalgic about those fragrant memories of the Mekong Delta, he should be allowed to take his unending stroll down memory lane unmolested. After all, as everyone from John Edwards to Max Cleland to Bill Clinton has assured us, being a Swift boat commander for four months is the indispensable qualification for being president. When Hillary runs in 2008, no doubt she'll be leaning heavily on her four months running a Swift boat up and down the Shatt al-Arab during the Iraq war.
(via Instapundit)

Still More

Tom Maguire dug up an article in the May 8, 2000, US News and World Reports. The opening sentence adds a new claim: "Sen. John Kerry made his first forays into Cambodia during the Vietnam War as a Navy lieutenant on clandestine missions to deliver weapons to anticommunist forces." Kerry's suggested this before. So, candidate Kerry (or your shipmates that Christmas eve): were you acting on secret orders to infiltrate Cambodia? Can Defense, State or CIA confirm?

Follow the story:

Updates here and here.


Anonymous said...

Is there anything Kerry won't lie about?

Anonymous said...

Is there anything Kerry won't lie about?Sure, he won't lie about how much he appreciate's Terrrezzza's money!

Anonymous said...

Hi -- thanks for a really great summary. You obviously put a lot of work into it and it is a great resource.

glenzo said...

Maybe saying it so many times makes it true.

@nooil4pacifists said...

Thanks, Anon #3! I'm trying to reach people who--though they may have temporarily forgotten events of years ago--appreciate the relevance of carefully documented (i.e., hyperlinked) history. And, like former NYC mayor Ed Koch, I appreciate feedback on "how I'm doing."

Anonymous said...

Yes, excellent summary. Thanks for the effort.

Anonymous said...

Nobody will care, and the media won't pick it up. Bill Clinton lied. George W. Bush lied. and now John Kerry. Who cares? Certainly not me.

Anonymous said...

I think you meant "Douglas" Brinkley, not "David"

Anonymous said...

The official campaign website DOES include a timeline from Feb 66 to Apr 70.

Oh I'm sure, just call up the CIA or whatever, & they'll confirm excursions into Cambodia were happening when the gov says they weren't happening.

Mentioning Nixon in that context doesn't mean he thought Nixon was pres then. In this context it means later on, when Nixon was pres, he claimed we didn't send soldiers into Cambodia.

I heard lots of soldiers talk about going into Laos & Cambodia long before we knew it here at home.

This is a load of crap.

demulcents said...

Opportunism at its worst. Character flaws. Lies about his Viet Nam experience in 1971 to become a darling of the Anti-war crowd in 1971. Different lies now about his Viet Nam Experience to become elected in 2004.

kendall said...

Nightline did a segment on it tonight: I was hopeful but they dodged most of the real substance.

John Kalitka said...

Wow. I bet JFK wishes he'd just gone to Oxford or something, instead of SE Asia, like Clinton. This guy really looks foolish and he's not fooling anyone. Even his supporters know he's a gasbag. Sadly, the delusional haters on the Left will continue to support JFK no matter what. This election would be a landslide in favor of President Bush if the cabal of media and Hollywood elites hadn't been pummeling him with lies and propaganda for the past two years....

May the truth prevail.

Anonymous said...

Serial liar is one explanation for the multiple stories you guys have managed to "prove" untrue. Or perhaps the stories are actually true. That would explain it as well. Kerry has said he took CIA operatives into Cambodia. Considering it was to be kept secret, using the boats was probably the best way to get them in. And Brinkley doesn't say he wasn't there that day. He just doesn't describe that part of the day. Here's the account from the Globe ( which puts it together for you.

So I guess Kerry could have been lying for years about his service and made up the Cambodia thing just for fun. Or he could be telling the truth. The latter seems more likely considering the sources of this stuff. John O'Neil and this Corsi clown who co-wrote it have been revealed as serial partisan hacks. I think you'd all be smart to listen to McCain on this one.

Anonymous said...

That would explain it as well. Kerry has said he took CIA operatives into Cambodia. Considering it was to be kept secret, using the boats was probably the best way to get them in.Yes, and if it was a "secret operation", he's doing a great job of keeping it secret, isn't he? I wonder at what point he was given clearance to talk about his super-duper secret missions? I mean, these must have been some pretty gonzo things he was entrusted with doing, seeing as how he'd been in Vietnam for less than 4 months, and yet he's being tasked with these great CIA missions!

Anonymous said...

You guys can't read, can you?

Kerry wrote in his own diary that he was in Sa Dec on Christmas Eve, with "visions of sugar plums danc[ing] through [his] head".

Or did he lie to his diary?

Anonymous said...

Kerry says he was there. We know U.S. operatives were in Cambodia at the time. We know Kerry drove a boat on a river that went into Cambodia. It seems logical that he may have taken someone in. And it is ridiculous to think that he needs to keep this a secret years after the fact, especially when his point after the war was to expose the lying of the government. Giving a ride to someone into Cambodia probably wasn't that big of a deal in a place and time as chaotic as the Vietnam War. Besides the serial lying thing seems even more far-fetched unless you really hate Kerry. I'll need more proof than this silly conjecture.

His diary did say he was Sa Dec on Christmas Eve and it also said he was traveling toward Cambodia that same day. In Vietnam you could be in more than one place on the same day. I think you can even do that here in America, especially with a vehicle of some sort.

And it is good to know that Janet from Tuscon has no knowledge of the Navy being in Cambodia at that time. That certainly puts that to rest.

Anonymous said...


Contention 1. Kerry on the floor of the Senate said he was ORDERED into Cambodia and in SECRET. The usually proferred statement from the 1986 Senate speech below. An instant glance shows that Kerry did not say he was "ordered" into Cambodia, secretly or otherwise. "Ordered into Cambodia" then is the first extraneous element proving the smear. The entire speech is available on several websites to see how it has been taken out of context.

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 seared—seared—in me.

Contention 2: John O'Neill also claims: "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" and quotes a PBR captain to this effect. HOWEVER just two weeks after Kerry arrived in Vietnam, the swift boat mission changed under Operation Sealord. Swift boats were charged with patrolling the narrow waterways of the Mekong Delta to draw fire and smoke out the enemy. It's also a fact that American soldiers and sailors often crossed into Cambodia without even knowing it, or believed they did when they hadn't.

Contention 3: Kerry is lying because he refers to a Nixon statement before Nixon took office. But in his 1986 floor statement Kerry is clearly reflecting on how Nixon's later statements did not reflect Kerry's own experience.

Contention 4: a 1992 AP article stating Kerry ferried CIA operatives into Cambodia. No one has yet posted the article itself (even as to whether it is Kerry claiming such), but an article still on Kerry's website refers to such activities (unless it is a joke):

The hat was a little mildewy. The green camouflage was fading, the seams fraying.

"My good luck hat," Kerry said, happy to see it. "Given to me by a CIA guy as we went in for a special mission in Cambodia."

In any event, in 1993 Kerry is quoted as saying "On Christmas Eve of 1968, I was on a gunboat in a firefight that wasn't supposed to be taking place." Kerry recalled. "I thought, if I'm killed here, what will my family be told?" Detractors have tried to link this to the so-called "black operation" but in fact the June 2003 Boston Globe story mentioned below states that Kerry's boat being fired upon was merely a violation of the Christmas Eve 1968 truce.

Contention 5: is the overall contention that Kerry has changed his story. The last is the contention that in the 2003 book Tour of Duty author Kranish states that the operation occurred "near Cambodia" but does not specifically say "in Cambodia". The book and the June 2003 Globe article are by the same author, Kranish. In both the book and the Globe article Kranish states the action took place "near Cambodia." Kranish leaves it up to a direct Kerry quote to bring in the "Cambodia incursion:"

To top it off, Kerry said, he had gone several miles inside Cambodia, which theoretically was off limits, prompting Kerry to send a sarcastic message to his superiors that he was writing from the Navy's "most inland" unit.

Kranish also referenced the event in a guest interview on July 7, 2004 on the Hannity & Colmes television show, so in fact the story has been consistently presented. As for Sa Dec, OF COURSE Kerry ended up there when his patrol was over.

Anonymous said...

Kerry is a pathological liar who has trouble keeping his tall tales straight. People have to start asking, what else is he lying about? Unfortunately for Kerry, the answer to that question is probably rather extensive.

The weak response from the Kerry camp today on this subject isn't going to cut it. For anyone hoping he is going to stick by his Christmas in Cambodia lie, too late, they are already trying to claim he only said he was "near" Cambodia (of course that was before he was confronted with his own words). It's good that they are backing away from the lie he was in Cambodia on Christmas, which can be corroborated that he wasn't, and Kerry now agrees he wasn't. But they still have to deal with his bald face lie on the senate floor, and the several versions of this lie he has told in the last 30 years. It will be interesting to see what line of BS the spin tommorrow.

Anonymous said...

In, Cambodia, near Cambodia. Oh the controversy! Oh the outrage!

Its not like he can't remember where he was for the entire year of 1972 for crying out loud. Its not like he was bravely ducking physicals in the National Guard, as was someone else we know too well.

The fact is that Kerry's worst case historical offenses pale compared to GWB's best case ones. All you are doing is trying to create controversy to hide that simple fact. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. President, I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by 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 seared--seared--in me"

--John Kerry LYIING on the senate floor about his Vietnam record for political gain.

Anonymous said...

Give J"F'ing"K a little time and he will state that he actually was in Cambodia before he wasn't in Cambodia.

Anonymous said...

The Nixon reference in namely from his 1979 Boston Herald interview. Of course in that version his Christmas Eve is spent 5 miles inside Cambodia, and not 60 miles away in Sa Dec where his own journal puts him that night. Also no Khmer Rouge or CIA operatives at this point...guess he hadn't made them up yet.

Anonymous said...

SOW the wind and reap a whirlwind.

Anonymous said...

I know! Let's ask him to release all service and medical records associated with his hitch in Vietnam. That should clear it all up for the delusionists.

Anonymous said...

Senator Kerry's ABB supporters "deconstruction" of what actual written records say are incomprehensible but obviously designed to obfuscate not enlighten. Try a little harder folks...or better yet look up "truth" in the dictionary and realize that you have no concept of what it is. But you don't care do you?

Anonymous said...

George Bush will have a much easier time in keeping his recollections of Viet Nam clear. He wasn't there.

So the subject of this controversy is whether or not Kerry was 60 miles from the Cambodian border, or 5 miles inside it? Oh my god! What a controversy. The man is a liar!

George Bush can't remember where he was for all of '72. I think I'll grant Kerry a little leeway about who was shooting at him or what border he was near while voluntarily serving our country. At least he wasn't cheezing it out in the National Guard. You guys are so forgiving of anyone who is a republican, and so critical of anyone who is a democrat, that the truth, when it confronts you, appears to be an abstraction that can be easily ignored.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous Kerry apologist above...

Please explain Kerry's own campaing website,

"And who is he, really?

A close associate hints: There's a secret compartment in Kerry's briefcase. He carries the black attaché everywhere. Asked about it on several occasions, Kerry brushed it aside. Finally, trapped in an interview, he exhaled and clicked open his case.

"Who told you?" he demanded as he reached inside. "My friends don't know about this."

The hat was a little mildewy. The green camouflage was fading, the seams fraying.

"My good luck hat," Kerry said, happy to see it. "Given to me by a CIA guy as we went in for a special mission in Cambodia."

Kerry put on the hat, pulling the brim over his forehead. His blue button-down shirt and tie clashed with the camouflage. He pointed his finger and raised his thumb, creating an imaginary gun. He looked silly, yet suddenly his campaign message was clear: Citizen-soldier. Linking patriotism to public service. It wasn't complex after all; it was Kerry.

He smiled and aimed his finger: "Pow."

Phil Gallagher said...

Let's have Kerry release his records. If it was good enough for Bush why not JFK? Let's see who signed reccomended him for his purple hearts since his commander has denied doing so.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Phil, Bush has released all of his service records--those that weren't destroyed...oops, wait, we found them--about four times already, dating back to 2000. It's really helped us get to the bottom of what he was doing during the war.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe anyone is ever going to "catsup" to the truth about Kerry. One could also say, he's an expert at "outsourcing" the truth, and Cambodia is just one more example.

@nooil4pacifists said...

Thanks for the tip about Brinkely's book; It's been corrected. And Proud Republican's link.

Most importantly, John Moreschi's comment is spot-on!

Anonymous said...

I think we should call Kerry the fantasy candidate not just based upon the "stories" of his experience in Cambodia but also on the basis of his Convention speech where he fantasized about being a "war president." As to the Cambodian story, three members of his crew have stated they were not in Cambodia and two have refused to answer. Did he go alone? These "stories" he wove are not just little white lies but full blown departures from reality. Is this the person we want as Commander in Chief?

Anonymous said...

Kerry makes it sound like his forays into Cambodia were etched into his eternal subconscience.

While I might forgive a misrecollection about Kerry's dining habits in 1968, it's hard to believe his memory would falter on such an important issue.

Who amongst us would make a mistake like this?

He seems to remember the events so vividly, as if they happened but yesterday.

I think I would remember being shot at by the Khmer Rouge on Christmas Eve while engaged in an illegal firefight.

It's obvious Kerry likes to "spice up" his military achievements. He likes a good yarn now and again. Unfortunately, he can't seem to reconcile his yarns with the truth.

Kerry's not the first Vet to augment his war stories. He's just the first to stand by his lies while he runs for President of the United States.

Anonymous said...

Yea yea Nixon was President-Elect in 68 , but was not the CIC till 69.

Google your facts right dude.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if Kerry lies. All Democrats lie. It's part of their nature. How can we blame Kerry if it's part of his DNA structure. Nobody expects him to tell the truth about his anti-war involvement ,his Senate votes, his wife's finances, his relationship to George Soro, much less four months in Vietnam.

He is content free. 100% no substance. His answer to all of today's problems from the common cold to nuclear weapon development in Iran is "I can do better than Bush". There is never any explanation on how he can make France love us, much less how he can give health care and balance the budget. He is a champion fence straddler. There has never been a political issue that he couldn't straddle. His positions have been mis-characterized as flip-flops. Those nasty Republicans are wrong, he takes every position and never changes. It works when major media acts as his campaigners. God save the Republic...

Anonymous said...

George Bush isn't running for President based on his service in Vietnam. John Kerry is. In fact, that's about ALL John Kerry is running on. There are people who "remember things differently" than the way John Kerry does - so significantly so that they bring John Kerry's mental stability and integrity into question. It would be extremely foolish for the American public to NOT take this information into consideration in electing our next president. Trying to change the subject - trying to force a comparison between John Kerry's experiences with President Bush's wartime experiences, for example - only prove that this is a serious issue that needs to be examined, and one the candidate (and his party) doesn't want addressed. If major portions of John Kerry's wartime record are false (or worse - based on fraud and deceit), it's absolutely essential that John Kerry address this issue, and show why we should elect someone with such a penchant for this type of gross embelishment. And before anybody takes any cheap shots at me, I am a Vietnam veteran - one who served his full one-year tour without getting a single Purple Heart (self-inflicted or otherwise).

Dr. Menlo said...

Ha ha, watch the wingnuts whip themselves up into an anti-Kerry frenzy about what Kerry did or did not do in Vietnam, while their chosen leader was doing lines and AWOL from the National Guard and his first lady was running over boyfriends with her car!

Anonymous said...

What Dr. said. You fuckers can whip yourselves in a frenzy over anything...Fact is that GWB didn't go to Vietnam, and you aren't in Iraq. So you both can fuck yourselves. Get half the courage that Kerry displayed and i won't say a word. They still need good, brave people like you in Iraq. C'mon. Get some, you fucking coward.

Anonymous said...

It finally dawned on me. Kerry is a typical Marxist. Why should we expect any logical thought coming out of his leftist dome?

Anonymous said...

Does this so called incursion into Cambodia to deliver a CIA operative onto Cambodian soil sound familiar? Straight out of the movie Apocalypse Now, on a PBR though not a Swift. Perhaps this is where he gets his tall tale. Wasn't the movie Apocalypse Now released in 1979?

Anonymous said...

Where does Kerry's journal say he spent half the day in Sa Dec?

I've pulled up the link you provided, and the only reference to Sa Dec is this:

You head back towards Sa Dec to make your report...While Kerry says he asks a crewmember to draft a report, nothing in the entry states that he was actually *in* Sa Dec on that day.

I can head to Sa Dec on foot right now myself, but I won't make it there by evening...

Anonymous said...

One further note, McCain says this is exactly the kind of libel which was spoken against him, and in fact, it turns out that the same folks are leading the challenge to Kerry's war record as suggested McCain collaborated with his Vietnamese captors when he was campaigning against Bush in 2000. Bush and his people will say anything to stay in power, and unless you believed them about McCain, I don't know why you'd accept their story about Kerry.

Bush's reality distortion field is the privilege of the megarich, who can afford to screw up again and again and not suffer for it; this is not the truth of real Americans.

Anonymous said...

Susan, the media certainly is biased: see this quote from Evan Thomas, the Asst. Managing Editor of Newsweek, on Inside Washington last month:

“There’s one other base here: the media. Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards -- I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox, but -- they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there’s going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.”

Robot Pirate Ninja said...

"Wasn't eight years of grief the country went through because a president parses words and is a know liar."

So let's see, a President lies about a blow job, the economy goes great and we are at peace. And we are a 'country in grief'.


A President lies to get us into a war, erases a multi-trillion dollar surplus, gets 1,000 soldiers killed, kills 10,000 civilians, lies about the $150,000,000,000 EXTRA cost of a health care system, but DOESN"T GET LAID, and you folks scream for 'Four More Years?'.


Oh yeah, and if some of those bullets that missed Kerry has been three or four inches to the left or to the right, he's just be another name on a wall.

That's why people call such actions 'Heroic'.

People who attack that kind of record are usually called traitors, but given their propensity to use that tactic (McCain, Cleland, Kerry), I think 'neo-cons' is a more accurate appelation for those that attack the patriotism, for political gain, of those who put their lives on the line, the front line, for the country.

Anonymous said...

If there was a believable answer to Kerry's Cambodian lies, the DNC war room would have broadcast it from here to Phnom Penh by now. What is their answer? Dead silence. The issue is only an issue because it is so central to Kerry's self-spun mythology. HE has made Vietnam the central issue of his campaign. Whatever George Bush was doing during that war is irrelevant; he is not running on his activities during that time. Kerry is. Personally, I would like to hear Kerry boast about his activities during his 20 years in the Senate, and what a friend of the military he was then.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous who posted that the half-day in Sa Doc wasn't in his diary should go and read it properly:

"A briefing with the Navy and another refueling and then away again. You have lost half the day just relaxing at Sa Doc, taking in the scene and basking in the security of your thoughts and the memories that today come steadily and quickly."

@nooil4pacifists said...

Susan--thanks for your intelligent and accurate comments. Your critics here should be ashamed, especially now that the Kerry campaign's conceded the point.

Anonymous said...

From Kerry's Fitness Report (page 24 of this PDF)

"LTJG Kerry was assigned to this division for only a short time but during that time exhibited all the traits desired of an officer in a combat environment. He frequently exhibited a high sense of imagination and judgement in planning operations against the enemy in the Mekong Delta. Involved in several enemy initiated fire fights, including an ambush during the Christmas truce, he effectively suppressed enemy fire and is unofficially credited with 20 enemy killed in action. Though relatively new to the PCF he is thoroughly knowledgeable of all aspects of his boat and PCF operations. He was instrumental in planning of highly successful Sea Lords Operations. He was cited for his performance during action against the enemy by Commander Task Force in his message 080807Z Jan 69."Note that "performance during action" doesn't sound like his only participation was "planning".

Now to add that "Sea Lords Operations" involved incursions into Cambodia:

As to whether it's implausible that a Swift boat might go into Cambodia and drop someone off there, see

"The fellow on the right was a freelance journalist and photographer that had caught a ride into Cambodia on a US Swift Boat. He asked to be dropped off on the shore to proceed on his own. It is hoped that he found what he was looking for and survived to tell about it."Sure doesn't sound like that was a "physical impossibility", as Steve Gardner claimed.

In fact, the Navy said Swift boats were involved in those Cambodian incursions:

"An acronym for 'Southeast Asia Lake, Ocean, River, Delta Strategy', SEALORDS started on October 18, 1968 when a Navy Swift boat (PCF) reconnoitered the entrance to the Cua Lon River on the Gulf of Thailand side of the Ca Mau Penisula. Following this mission, Swift boat crewmen conducted a series of incursions along the southern rivers and canals upsetting base camps and cutting Viet Cong supply and communication lines."So Gardner simply lied about it being a "physical impossibility" for a Swift boat to enter Cambodian waters.

Yet it was on the basis of Gardner's (now disproved) claim that Kerry was called a liar.

Since the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Vietnam said Swift boats were going into Cambodia starting in October 1968, and Kerry's Fitness Report says he was "instrumental" in that operation, it seems Kerry's story does have some official corroboration. But his accusers are now proved liars.

Kerry was based at Sa Dec at the time. This was a base for Navy river boats patrolling the Cambodian border and conducting incursions — in fact, it was later made the headquarters of Swift Boat Coastal Division 13 because of its advantageous position.

That is, it wasn't the Swift boats' "northernmost patrol area", but the place they went from to do patrols and incursions, and returned to afterwards.

The Fitness Report refers to "an ambush during the Christmas truce", which indicates that the attack happened in the field, on a mission or patrol, not "an attack on the base". So this had to have been at least toward Cambodia from Sa Dec, since missions & patrols from Sa Dec went either along or across the Cambodian border. In fact, Kerry's contemporaneous journal entry of that Christmas firefight refers to going back toward Sa Dec after the incident. If Sa Dec had been his "northernmost patrol area" and not his base, he'd have been going away from Sa Dec at the end of his patrol.

-- Raven

Anonymous said...

It's The Corruption, Stupid!!! Gov. McGreevey's gayness isn't the issue.

Anonymous said...

If it were a Republican challenger putting so much emphasis on a Swift Boat Career in Vietnam & so little on anything else that he has done in public life, "Saturday Night Live" would surely be doing a series of skits with the Republcan Challenger & his band of brothers going all over the world on their Swift Boat solving problems like Cartoon Action Heroes. They would start out with a scene similar to Kerry & his guys making a mock heroic landing at Boston Harbor, then cut to scenes where they are in the boat again being propelled onto dry land & into the mounainous Pakistan-Afghanistan border area. They swiftly ride in their boat through those mountains up to the mouth of a cave, then into it. They would jump out, Rambo-like, guns blazing, then they corner & capture a shaking & whimpering Bin Laden. That would be just one in a series of Action Hero skits they would be doing if Kerry were a Republican.

Anonymous said...

1. It was possible for a Swift Boat to enter Cambodia through the major routes but these were blocked.

2. Kerry and PCF-44 were based at Cat Lo, not Sa Dec. Their patrols did not go farther than the area around Sa Dec.

3. The Fitness Report referred to an ambush but not action inside Cambodia. Each OinC would have gotten at least the sort of generic remarks that Kerry got regarding Sealords.

4. The incursions mentioned were raids into VC-controlled areas within Vietnam, not into Cambodia.

5. Men who served on PCF-44 say they did not go into Cambodia. All told, their period of service covers all the time that Kerry was in charge of PCG-44.

6. A pro-Kerry Swiftee also does not recall going into Cambodia. Whether wandering aimlessly or on secret missions. This man, Medieros, served the entire time that Kerry was in charge of PCF-94.

7. Swift boats were not suited to steath missions. They wre limited to the deeper and larger routes which restricted options for entry. The Swiftees were not equipped nor trained for such missions. If there had been special forces inside Cambodia at that time, they did not hitch a ride with Kerry in a fifty-foot boat and its two diesel engines buzzing along shallow canals in the dark.

Anonymous said...

I was a crewmember on River Patrol boats PBR's in 1965 and NEVER saw a swift boat within 50 clicks north or south of SaDec for the 150 patrols I made.????????

Anonymous said...

John Kerry is so full of shit he is a danger to those around him. Should they light a cigerette they could be killed by a methane gas expolosion. Kerry is an acknowleded phony. When over 200 officers and men that served in his unit signed petitions that he is a phoney what more do you need?He is a disgrace to the US Navy Officers Corps.

Anonymous said...

Well, I hope you've finally figured this out after all these years.

Just to recap:

Kerry never said he was sent on any sort of secret mission to Cambodia on Christmas Eve, 1968. He said he was on a routine patrol that left Sa Dec and went up to the border. Read the long excerpt from his journal describing the patrol in Brinkley's book.

The patrol at the border was confirmed by at least two of his crewmembers.

The boat, along with the two PBRs they were with, were ambushed. Also described in Kerry's journal excerpt published by Brinkley, and mentioned in the Kranish book.

The ambush was documented by George Elliott in Kerry's fitness report.

Kerry told Kranish and implied to Brinkley that he thought he'd crossed the Cambodian border during the patrol and/or ambush.

Once again, he never claimed to have been sent by Nixon, Johnson, or anyone else on a secret mission to Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968.

He did say that he went on one or more missions in January and/or February 1969, on his next command, PCF 44. No one has ever disproved that.

Just thought a little good information after all this time wouldn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

Correction: Kerry's next command was PCF 94, not PCF 44.

@nooil4pacifists said...


You say "Kerry never said he was sent on any sort of secret mission to Cambodia on Christmas Eve, 1968." This is a quibble. In a later post, I make clear that Kerry claimed to have gone on a CIA/Special Ops mission to Cambodia another day--which has never been confirmed. And Kerry did claim to be on a mission in Cambodia on Christmas eve--which some, but not all, of his shipmates deny. Further, crewmates supporting Kerry tell inconsistent tales. BTW, my posts say PCF94 except where quoting.

Why still on the case?