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Friday, August 06, 2004

Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia - His story doesn't add up

August 6, 2004
This is from Unfit for Command, the new book by John O'Neill, the man who took over John Kerry's Swift Boat, and co-author Jerome Corsi:

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."

Problem One: Nixon hadn't taken office yet.

Problem Two: "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 13’s patrol areas extended to Sa Dec, about fifty-five miles from the Cambodian border...

All the living commanders in Kerry’s chain of command—Joe 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...

At least three of the five crewmen on Kerry’s PCF 44 boat—Bill Zaldonis, Steven Hatch, and Steve Gardner—deny that they or their boat were ever in Cambodia. The remaining two crewmen declined to be interviewed for this book.

The Cambodia incursion story is not included in Tour of Duty [the book on Kerry's war years by Douglas Brinkley]. 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, Kerry’s 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.

Unless O'Neill and Corsi have made some major error in their reporting, this is pretty stunning. Either Kerry is a pathological liar, or every man in his chain of command is. FR Reprint.

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