If A Candidate Lies About Cambodia, But Nobody Reports It, Did It Actually Happen?

As noted elsewhere, searches at the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, and LA Times reveal no mention of the word “Cambodia” in any stories about Democratic nominee John Kerry. Kerry spokesweasel Michael Meehan offered up a lame excuse that Kerry was “near” Cambodia, but a cursory review of the map indicates Meehan’s claim is laughably false.

There’ve been lots of ad-hominem attacks against the Swift Vets over the last couple of days (some of them are–gasp!–Republicans! Definitely can’t be trusted!), but so far, no serious investigation into whether they’re actually telling the truth.

Looks like that American Spectator blurb from a couple of days ago was accurate: beyond Fox News, the press is in full cover-up mode for Kerry on this one.

Yo, Media: Your candidate has apparently lied, repeatedly, over the last 30 years. He did so to embellish his credentials, and in the pursuit of various political ends. His campaign is putting out false spin that doesn’t pass the laugh test. Does this say anything at all about his fitness for higher office?

Aren’t you interested?

UPDATE: Via Instapundit, Craig Henry nails it:

Kerry’s use of his war record has been masterful and it continues to help him with critical swing voters and the press. His focus on his biography was never intended to win the veteran vote. Rather, it works to reassure moderate voters about his stance on national defense. He also used it to neutralize questions about his record in Congress and to frame stories for the press.

Did Kerry vote against key weapon programs? How dare you question the patriotism of a man with three Purple Hearts. Is he too willing to defer to France and the United Nations? How dare you doubt the loyalty of a man with a Silver Star. Faced with this, does the press write about the voting record or about the “hard ball tactics” of the GOP?

Kerry didn’t just use his Vietnam experience to enhance his stature as a man or leader. His campaign used it to shut down debate on his Senate record. They made the biography the issue.

Exactly. That’s why this is important–and why the press’s silence would be inexplicable, if we didn’t already know that they’ve taken sides in the election.


57 Responses to “If A Candidate Lies About Cambodia, But Nobody Reports It, Did It Actually Happen?”

  1. Ian Wood Says:

    “Mmrrgh. Me get headache. How can someone not Bush tell lie?”

    –Big Media

  2. Andy Says:

    “So What?” it’s not REAL news

    “Nobody Cares” it happened long ago and far away

    “Everybody Does it” all politicians lie. Everyone embellishes and tries to look bigger and better than they are.

    Sound familiar? It’s the Clinton Defense Mantra perfected by Carville and spun daily and in heavy doses every Sunday for many years.

    It works. Say it often enough, loud enough, and repeatedly it becomes truth. The Media and Professional Journalists are trained to respond like Pavlov’s puppies. A decade of corruption and compromise is almost half-a-career. Who will jeopardize a career? Afterall, a retirement check and 3 classes a day at the local community college is better than being a pariah on the altar of Journalist Ethics or “The Peoples Right To Know”

    No wonder blogs grow in popularity and volume every day. Media betrays our curiousity and intellect every day. It’s not a conversation with the audience of peers. It’s preaching polemics to the ignorant and easily led.

  3. chthus Says:

    The Post does at least bring up the swift boat subject in an editorial (no mention of cambodia though), only to dismiss the subject as crossing the line.

    I’ve been doing google news searches for “Kerry Cambodia” this week, and while the number of hits has increased to 152 today, they are almost entirely from publications normally described as right wing.

    By comparison, “Moore Goss” is up over 1600.

    Getting it free on the internet isn’t the only reason I rarely ever buy print media anymore. Their skivies are showing.

  4. Pogo Says:

    Dear Will,

    OK, so he’s a liar. But he’s our liar.
    Plus, he’s NotBush.
    And the trump card? The NYT and WaPo want him to win.

    Neener neener neener.

    From, the Dems

  5. Marvin Thulenberg Says:

    My friends would be astounded to know I am thinking about voting for Bush this year. But reading Afeka’s comment on another thread brought home to me how frequently we live in denial regarding our candidates.

    It is becoming rather clear that Kerry is a pompous prevaricator. I am beginning to feel pronounced aversion to the sight of him on television, or the sound of his voice. And yet as a lifetime democrat, what am I to do?

    One thing–I will read more blogs, and start viewing the NYT and WP with extreme skepticism.

  6. jack Says:

    We don’t know who will win the presidential race yet. We do know the two who have lost the most:

    1. Academicians in general, and Douglas Brinkley in particular. Although the left-wing proclivities of the mainstream press have been pretty well known for some time, the same has not been true of history professors who shape our perceptions of politicians and elected officials. The SBVT have exposed Brinkley and his TOUR OF DUTY as a shill and deceptive piece of campaign advertising. Coming on the heels of other left-leaning historians who have been busted in recent years for plagiarism, they are now among the discredited elite.

    2. The Establishment press. While this is obvious, they seem to have acknowledged they will now be to the left-wing what cable television and talk radio is to the right. Although left-leaning newspapers such as the New York Daily News have pushed the story, they still are considered second tier by their peers.

    The winner that has emerged from this is the Blogosphere, which is the new New Media.

    By the time of the 2008 election cycle, it won’t be nearly as signficant what the New York Times and Washington Post print as it is now–and our fixation on when they move the story won’t be nearly as great, either. We can still use the Times and Post to tell what is really damaging. Their silence on Christmas in Cambodia reveals how destructive this story has been to the Kerry campaign. At least they continue to serve some function.

  7. Mike M Says:

    I disagree with Henry that Kerry has made “masterful” use of his record.

    By refusing to release his service records or give a straight story about his actions (or whereabouts) in Vietnam, Kerry looks indecisive on yet another issue, and turns what was a minor advantage (his active duty service versus Bush’s Guard service) into a wash by drawing it into a political dogfight that’s as likely to hurt him as it is to help. It also becomes an eye-roller as he blames yet another problem on the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

    If this is some kind of rearguard action to delay the debate on his Senate record, it’s a bad strategy. The media was never going to bring it up anyways, and the Bush campaign has been slowly but steadily working to define Kerry as a liberal with a voting record unfriendly to families and the military. The less opportunity Kerry has to respond and try to moderate the impression of his record, the worse it is for him. A complicated, nuanced candidate needs time to lay out his arguments (and explain away the flip-flops)…and Kerry won’t have it if he is going to try and explain his entire policy strategy in the last month of the campaign.

    Kerry lost this election when he went wobbly during the primaries and failed to reconcile his position in his convention speech. The Dems may have pined for an anti-war candidate like Dean but even they realized that he never would have won (remember “electability”?). Kerry didn’t need to contradict Bush’s Iraq strategy, he could have taken credit for it! And by invoking Clinton’s policy decisions in the 90’s, have had an airtight argument that was also perfectly consistent with his prior statements.

    Making the case that he would complete the vision and policy started by Clinton and started in good faith but mishandled by Bush would have made a powerful message. One that be made more powerful with modest invocation of his own service, and the impression that Bush was right to go to war but botched it (as opposed to the “Bush lied” meme which automatically turns off a large group of voters) that the media is all too willing to play in to.

    Kerry could have owned Iraq, avoided the flip-flops, and not have had to use his military service as cannon fodder for the debate. He blew it the minute he raised his arm in that limp salute and guaranteed that he could never maintain a consistent position on the war.

  8. SallyVee Says:

    Love your headline. 100 proof.

    Form 180. Release the records.

  9. Another Thought Says:

    The media coverup for Kerry is startling; they really are usurping an unhealthy amount of power and influence in our society.

    Let’s face it…this election could be decided by the media. If that happens, we really don’t have a functional democracy any longer.

    We must overturn (in a peaceful way) the liberal media in this country. They are trying to decide our lives for us.

  10. Another Thought Says:

    The story now is easily as much about the media as about Kerry.

    The media is actively working to engineer an outcome to a major election in this country…indeed, the most major election. This is a scandal in and of itself.

    What do we need…another Boston Tea Party to overthrow the media?

  11. The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill Says:

    Tales from Behind Enemy Lines or How to Not to Answer a Scandal

    Here is a copy of a letter being sent around to Democrats. Pretty short on answers and long on personal attacks but we knew that was coming and we all understand now we need to support those Swift Boat Vets with all of our might.

  12. Harold Says:

    This is not new. The media did the same thing with Bush I. They deliberately ignored stories damaging to Clinton, while interviewing every unemployed and/or homeless person in the country. This during the first three quarters of a big economic boom.

    I vividly recall, onle a few days after the election, Dan Rather facing the cameras and telling everyone how amazed he was that there was so much good economic news now. Subtext: it must be Clinton.

    Study history.

  13. Bostonian Says:

    Form 180.

    And Another Thought, you’re right on. This *is* just as much about the media as it is about Kerry. (Note that our drop-in Kerry fan even made a taunt that the NYT and WaPo are rooting for Kerry.)

    This is so disgusting.

  14. Anonymous Coward Says:


    Which is sadder? The entire left wing press trying to swing this election their way… or the entire left wing press trying to swing this election their way AND FAILING?

    We don’t need to throw their presses into Boston Harbor, we just need to see them for who they really are, and ignore them. I think the Blogosphere might help at least a little bit in doing that.

  15. The Short Strange Trip Says:

    Earning a “G” for effort

    ABCNEWS.com : ABC News’ The Note: First Source for Political News From today’s Note: Let’s face it: there is something…

  16. rosignol Says:

    I don’t want to throw the presses into Boston harbor, I want to throw the reporters, editors, publishers, and owners into Boston harbor.

  17. The Flying Space Monkey Chronicles Says:


    To paraphrase Tom Hanks, ‘There’s no Kerry in Cambodia!’. There’s also no Kerry in/not in Cambodia coverage in big media. The blogosphere is all over ‘Kerry not in Cambodia.’ Yet the mediasphere is playing shutmouth on Cambodia. Yes, this is…

  18. The Key Monk Says:

    Telegraphing Kerry’s Changing Stories

    Ultimately, this whole story is fundamentally dishonest in ways that cut to the core of who John Kerry is and what he is about. If the underlying core “facts” that are the basis for Kerry’s politics are false, what does that say about Kerry’s politics …

  19. kj Says:

    I see you guys are setting up the media as the fall guy when Bush loses. The media did it. If it wasn’t for them Bush would have won by 8 instead of losing by 8.

    As for the Cambodia-gate, I think you may have caught him (although it’s not inconceivable that he was there considering U.S. action in Cambodia). He obviously thought he was in Cambodia probably melding Acopolypse Now into his own experience and his rage over the senseless Vietnam War. What a dummy if he was never actually there. The reason the mainstream media is very cautious about picking this up has to do with the sources of the information. O’Neill and Corsi are about the worst sources for this info that the Republicans could hope to come up with. You will notice that the front page media didn’t pick up on Michael Moore’s reported connections between Saudi Arabia and the Bushies or spend any prominent time on those famous 7 minutes. Their judgment is that all of it is conspiratorial and proves little. Moore got plenty of coverage on his impact but very little on the substance. You’ll see the same with the Swift Vets.

    Also, they’ve chosen to attack Kerry on basically every medal he was awarded. That’s stupid. The Rassman rescue is the most ridiculous as their claims are pretty goofy and countered by the soldiers on Kerry’s boat, Rassman, and the after-action report. And why does that Medic guy remember treating Kerry 35 years later for a minor wound. Who the hell remembers that?! And where are the journals or letters home mentioning this cowardly, overly ambitious liar that seemed to stand out in so many peoples minds. I’m very skeptical of these 35 year old memories made by people obviously mad at Kerry for testifying after he returned. They should be discarded and not reported by any normal standard.

    Christmas in Cambodia is another story however and should receive some play. Although I’m not sure it is a front page story as it really is conjecture. Proof is not possible. The U.S. ran secret missions into Cambodia that aren’t going to be documented. Someone had to be involved. Although unlikely, Kerry might have been recruited to give a ride. More likely he is simply confused. Definitely a stupid mistake but why is it worse than Bush lying in his debate with Gore that he supported Texas’s Patients’ Bill of Rights when he obviously didn’t (he vetoed it twice), or when he lied about never being arrested after 1968, or saying he flew for several years in the air national guard when he flew for less than two years. Is Kerry’s probable mis-memory, perhaps lie, of Cambodia measurably worse? I’m curious what you all think.

  20. Larry J Says:

    There have been recent reports that several newspapers have inflated their readership figures. This should be investigated as fraud. First, those fraudulent circulation figures were used as justification when setting advertising rates, defrauding the advertisors. Second, those circulation figures would’ve had the same effect on their stock prices as when companies inflated their profitability. The 1st Amendment doesn’t protect them from fraud charges.

    I doubt this will ever happen, though. They’re “special”, so ordinary laws don’t apply to them.

    Fine, then we can do the next best thing. We can stop buying their products (their readership is already declining) and watching their programs. Some papers have already had to lay off staff. Perhaps rendering them irrelevant and unemployed is our best response for their lack of professionalism.

  21. spacemonkey Says:

    There’s enough solid human waste washing up on the east coast as it is.

  22. kj Says:

    I had to comment on this media conspiracy thing some more. Get a grip. Remember the 2000 election. Gore got blasted by the media repeating his serial lies that basically all turned out not to be actual lies. He never said he invented the internet, he never said he was the model for “Love Story”, he never said he discovered Love Canal. But these were huge in painting the guy as a liar that basically everyone, including myself to an extent, believed. And then there was the Iraq war. Check out the Post today to see how they suppressed news that WMDs didn’t actually exist and were not skeptical of Bush’s push of the war.

    Those are two examples that stand out for liberals so don’t think conservatives have a monopoly on the media not doing their job. And besides you guys have way more, more listened to, obviously biased right-wing commentators than we liberals do. So stop whining about what appears to me to be a slighly conservative weighted media. Besides you guys are better at taking advantage of the media than the liberals who are hopelessly disorganized and more concerned with thinking they are right than winning the language wars.

  23. kj Says:

    So Larry J,

    Where are you going to get your news? From right wing blogs? You’ll certainly end up more informed then.


  24. Mike M Says:

    Oh, kj…I certainly hope you’re not going to try and push the “conservative media” here.

    Mr. Green isn’t one to pull punches, and you’ll find yourself the victim of a full frontal fisking for all to see (and comment on).

    By the way: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet” – the words of one Al Gore, March 9th, 1999.

    Consider that your warning shot. Anything that happens to you after this is your responsibility.

  25. kj Says:

    Mike M,

    Sorry. I have realized that people do seem to hate trolls, but I love them. When I comment on a Liberal blog I’m most interested in the Conservative responses, which seem to be much more thoughtful when posting where they need to be more on their game. I only seek debate with those who disagree with me. I don’t understand the point of singing and listening to the choir. It bores me and makes me stupid.

    And as for your quote of Gore. Notice he doesn’t use the word invent. Here are the actual inventors of the internet backing Gore up on his comment:
    http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200009/msg00052.html and

    But I suppose that is left-wing media garbage.

    If you really want me to leave I will.


  26. B Says:


    Your comments remind me of one of my favorite lines in one of my favorite movies…”Are you stupid or something?” Please don’t take it personally but to compair the “Big Fish” woppers that Kerry has been using for most of his Senate races and for the pres., to a couple of minor Bush issues that are not issues he is running on, is laughable. Kerry is a joke and I can’t believe he thinks he diserves to be president after what he has done to and in this country. The SBV that have come out(60 in the book and some 200 total) are doing it because they believe he is unfit to be president. There not saying vote for Bush, there saying this guy is bad news and a danger to the country if he becomes president, esp in this time.(war)America! our VETS are warning us about this guy, pay attention. The “band of brothers”(only 9 i understand) that he puts out on evey stop and at the convention are boat mates that were on his boat, but the longest any of them served with him was like 2 weeks three days or something close to that(Kerry had many many guys under his command on his boat – 4 or 5 at a time). And the guy he saved was a special forces guy who was only with Kerry maybe 2 days tops. BTW, SBV don’t claim Kerry didn’t save this guy, they claim the story is a “Big Whopper” and Kerry made it that way to get a Silver Star(which the Navy downgraded to a Broonze) and his third Purple heart to go home. These guys slept in the same room with him, went to the same breifings with him, trained with him, They knew the real LT. Kerry. The last thing we need in a pres. is someone who does’nt have honor and self-worth(if he had it, the stories would not be talked about, like most war vets. You can always pick out a fake, they talk about themselves instead of the guys they served with) or who waffels or flip-flops on decisions and has created a false personna that he has used as his political base. I do agree, most politicians are not honest and fothright, but Kerry is a new animal. The man has no core values, what he values is being able to appeal to everyone on anything, we see that in his everyday speeches now while he is running. “I voted for it before I didn’t vote for it.” Where-ever he is, decides what he will say and what position he has. I mean this guy could not even pass an FBI background check to get a gov’t job and we are thinking he might be a good pres. WHAT? He has got gov’t access only because he is an elected official, not because he could get approval. Bottom line, this guy is bad news at this time in our history and I hope Americans see that. Bush has his moments, but when I hear or see Kerry, now that I have read allot of background on him, I get a weird vide in my stomach…very telling…go with your gut! expericence over BS! – W’04

  27. yank Says:

    KJ, you have a point, the media did harp on Gore and his ‘lies’ during the 2000 campaign. I would suggest that they thought Gore would win in a landslide (incumbant, economy was seen as solid still) either way so such sniping was harmless and made them look fair.

    They are not taking that chance again this time.

  28. Balafon Says:

    What Liberal Bias?

    Just a few months ago, George W. Bush’s National Guard service record was all over the news, even the CBC. Based on the statement of the commanding officer of the airbase in question that he didn’t recall seeing Bush there,…

  29. Neil Ferguson Says:

    Should we be skeptical of the accuracy of the 35 year old memories of SBV’s? Maybe, but a lot of the veterans probably saw or heard about Kerry’s treacherous testimony to the senate just 3 years after his Vietnam tour. Memories were a lot fresher then and were probably “seared” into many minds by the anger and resentment that testimony caused.

  30. B Says:

    kj, Don’t leave, we love converting the the blind. I also enjoy the debate. Very hard to find any takers that don’t get mad a cry and leave when faced with common sence and the facts.

  31. B Says:

    Neil, great point! one I have worried over all through this. But after looking closer, the SBV’s have not wavered in that 35 yrs, there stories have always been the same. Can’t say that for Kerry. And I think the SBV’s war stories are apart from the post war stories Kerry has told. check out Wintersoldier.com, that story is comming and it is bigger than this one. Kerry will not survive. but watching him campain with his pants on fire…priceless!

  32. kj Says:

    Three years later their memories were seared in about Kerry when he testified. I believe that. They hated him for that and undoubtedly their memories were affected by that hate. That’s natural. Just like Rassman’s memory of Kerry was probably seared in him about 2 seconds after he saved his life. I’d probably expect more searing memories from those who served on Kerry’s boat than those who served near Kerry’s boat as well. So I’ll give you 3 years for some of the SBVs but you have to admit that, forgetting any bias either way, those on his boat are in a better position to remember John Kerry and his actions.

    And it is misleading to say that Kerry served only weeks or days with his band of brothers. Months comes closer to the reality. And 60 may have collaborated on the book and over 200 may be against Kerry but that doesn’t mean that they were there to witness anything that pertains to Kerry’s medal and Cambodia adventures. A few were but the vast majority weren’t. They are simply mad at him for testifying.

    As for Bush lies versus Kerry lies. The only Kerry lie currently with anything close to good evidence is the Cambodia fib. That’s a pretty big whopper but so is Bush’s administration lying about the Medicare bill cost. But I guess you could say that wasn’t Bush. I would argue that Bush lying about supporting the Patient’s Bill of Rights in Texas in front of millions during a debate was as bad. That strikes me as completely mispresenting your policy views to pander to a popular issue. He does it quite a bit. And check out this site for 25 Bush Flip-Flops: http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=42263

    This is what is funny about political debate. For every Kerry lie there is a Bush lie and vice versa. I think Bush lies way more but obviously you guys see it differently. Personally I think we should hold politicians to a higher standard and I think blogs do a pretty good job of doing that. I support you all going after Kerry on the Cambodia thing, but the rest of the stuff about the medals seems really slim and I think using that will be a wash politically at best. Considering the Vendetta the SBVs have over testifying, the 35 year time span, the fact that the Navy gave him the medals, and the idiotic partisanship of the book’s authors, everything except Cambodia is very easy to refute and make fun of (Watch the Daily Show for good examples).

    And by the way, there is an easy way to get this on the front page. Get Bush to bring it up in a speech. It will shoot to every front page. It would be fun to see what happened. I’m not sure who it would harm more.


  33. M. Simon Says:


    I’m going with Kerry is not a liar. I believe he comitted war crimes as he testified before the Senate.

    What is the War Hero Afraid of?

    Form 180. Release the records.

  34. M. Simon Says:


    If it is done at all it will be done in the last few minutes of the campaign.

  35. Dan Says:

    We need to crush this notion that ‘the guys on the boat are in a better position to judge’.

    First, they were enlisted men. That means they were not at the officer’s meetings, didn’t attend the same after-action debriefings, etc. Depending on how the base was set up, they might not have had much interaction with Kerry at all off the boat.

    Also, they don’t have officer training and don’t necessarily understand the mission in th same way the officer’s do. If you’re a gunner, you take your post and do your job. Other details of running the boat do not interest you. Depending on what your job is on the boat, you may not even be in a position to observe the commander and what he’s doing.

    The officers, on the other hand, know precisely what the mission is. They coordinate and train with each other. They leave base together, and cruise a few yards from each other. They have a catbird seat in seeing what the other boats are doing. They are trained in proper procedures, and know when they are not being followed. Etc.

    Here’s an analogy – let’s say two fighter-bombers take off on a mission together. One of the pilots screws something up. Navigates badly, stops short of the target, violates procedures in some way. Who would you expect to have a better understanding of what happened: The tail gunner in the back of the plane, or guy’s wingman flying next to him? Especially since after they land the tail gunner goes off to the enlisted mess and forgets abou the mission, while the wingman heads off with the pilot in question for the officer’s debriefing?

    I’m not saying that the other Swift Boat captains HAVE to have a better perspective, and the pilot analogy is a little strained to make a point. But the point is, it’s not a given that the guys on the boat are in a better position to judge. It’s not even the default position. The question of who is a better judge of Kerry’s behaviour depends on the types of missions and how the unit operates. Never having been in the Navy, I don’t know the answers to that.

    And neither do the talking heads claiming that the only valid eyewitnesses were the ones on the boat.

  36. M. Simon Says:
  37. Toryhere Says:

    For all kj’s huffing and puffing, the interesting point is still that the msm in the US is trying to suppress an important story that reflects really badly on their man.

    Sitting here in sunny Australia, the perspective we get is that the media can’t help attacking George Bush and that he doesn’t seem to give a damn. He just goes on doing what he thinks is right, whilst the spineless lefties in the msm get their knickers in a twist. He has been right on just about every issue so far, and that has driven the pseudo-intellectual lefties to despair.
    The same thing happenned in our last general election in Oz. All the idiotarians kept telling us how evil the Government was for refusing to take illegal immigrants. The voters then rewarded the pundits by giving the Government an increased majority in Parliament.

  38. arlo Says:

    No matter how much things change, they always stay the same.

    The same bastards who jumped on the VN vets when they came home are calling them liars now.

  39. Mike M Says:

    “I only seek debate with those who disagree with me.”

    No problem there, kj. And I hope you don’t leave. Skewering trolls on rightwingnews.com is a favorite pasttime of mine. I just hope you realize that this is a forum with a low tolerance for trolling, and Green won’t hesitate to rip you a new one if you persist in making ridiculous arguments that go against one of his primary themes.

    Oh, your link to the Bush Flip-Flop site was cute. I especially liked the one where the “flip-flop” was demonstrated with dueling quotes from CBS and ABC news (9/11 Commission). That proves a lot (snicker). You don’t have to be Michael Moore to chop up and edit someone’s words (and quotes and blurbs from about a dozen different sources) to make them fit your adgenda.

  40. Mr. Bingley Says:


    bush is not basing his campaign on lies from 30 years ago; kerry is.

  41. TomGomes Says:

    Why should 35 year old memories be that feint? In the military, it is not the norm for a person to apply for an award that he doesn’t deserve.

    I’ve known many more soldiers who have not accepted Purple Hearts that they did deserve than I have frauds who’ve applied for these awards. It’s one of those man bites dog things.

    The routine conversations between the Dr. who treated him, the commander who would recommend his award and the shipmates who would verify the circumstances surrounding the action suggest that this might well have been an issue that was the scuttlebut. This is one of those things that could make one a laughing stock – and very memorable.

    What I would really like to see, because this medal thing is kind of tedious, is a full accounting of his Officer Efficiency Reports. They could be very revealing about his routine aptitude.

    Those should be in play when Kerry’s lawyers file their suit. In other words, we’ll never see them because it would be too revelatory and impeaching.

  42. Reid Says:

    The problem with Kerry’s lies vis a vis national defense is that he is clearly trying to sell himself as something he is not, to fool the gullible middle into voting for him.

    Kerry is NOT a pro-military, hard-nosed CINC who will take the fight to the enemy and dispatch him with Patton-esque flair and resolution. He is a peacenik bugger-outer who, no matter what he may or may not have done in Vietnam, skedaddled after 4 months and ran home to sabotage the war effort.

    If Kerry fights Al Qaeda for four months and then retreats, leaving the Middle East in as big a mess as we left SE Asia, we are doomed.

  43. jay Says:

    If the latest on Drudge is true, Kerry sycophant and historian Douglas Brinkley is pounding out a “clarification” of what the good senator has said low these three decades about Cambodia.

    It wasn’t Christmas in Cambodia, you see. It was January. Now that settles it. Or as Jon Lovitz used to say, “now that’s the ticket.”

    Maybe it wasn’t seared but medium rare?

  44. Frank Martin Says:

    Swift boats arent operated by one individual but by a team sailors and Swift boats dont travel alone but in pairs or larger groupings.

    It’s not whether “Kerry the individual” was in Cambodia at Christmas or January, but where is the crew that can collaborate or the other Swift boat captains that can also say that there were on that fateful christmas sortie that Kerry has “seared” into his memory. The only crew member thats talking that was a member of his crew is steve garland at the time, and hes says “Aint So Joe”, we were NEVER in Cambodia.

    Is Kerry the only living survivor of an undercover clandestine river expedition with MASH’s Col.Flagg ala “Apocalypse Now”, or was he just a normal guy trying to tie the publics newly discovered images of war from Francis Ford Coppolla into a visual narrative that he could use for his political purposes.

    My advice to you is to use occams razor to discover the most likely answer. My advice to the Kerry campaign is that once you are in a hole and you want to get out, stop digging. The more we talk about John Kerry and his imaginary friend Col. Flagg its just bonus points for GWB. Theres no “A-HA” moment for the Kerry campaign on this. Change the subject, distract and move along, or as Captain Willard once said “Never get out of the damn boat”.

    Kerry of course can clear this all by releasing his records which he promisied to do back in April, yet they mustve fallen into the water back in ‘nam because they havent made an appearance anywhere yet.

    Did Kerry get training on PBRs? Did he ever say he was near large rubber boats of any kind? Because if he didnt, theres no way Kerry got past the border barriers on the river entries into Cambodia with a big aluminum boat like the Swift.

  45. Bernie Says:

    A lot has been made of the SBV who “served with” Senetor Kerry and the men who were on his boat. I believe I understand why their veiws differ. I am in the Navy and a lot of junior officers make the mistake of doing what is best for their immediate subordinates instead of what is best for the ship, command, or the Navy. These officers are often highly regarded by the men under them and immensly disliked by the rest of the command. Doing some un-glorious jobs, and unpleasent tasks are required for a ship to be sucessful, the lower ranks hate these jobs and enjoy complaining about them. Junior Officers without leadership skills will agree with them, encorages those complaints and many will even bad-mouth their command. They will also do what they can to protect their men at the expence of others on the ship. This seems to fit the current debate that the men directly under him are highly supportive while everyone else who served in that unit believes that Senator Kerry does not veiw the big picture, puts personal issues above the good of the unit and as they say is Unfit for Command.

  46. Nahanni Says:

    why is anyone suprised that this is not getting any coverage? Do the name switch test, swap Bush for Kerry and it would be 24/7 coverage, expanded Nightlines, Primetime specials, etc.

    No. The fix is in as far as the media is concerned. With the rare exception (Fox) they are getting their marching orders and talking points straight from the DNC. They think they are in control, but they are not. They pooh-pooh the blogosphere and that will lead to their eventual ruin. Why? Because they need money to operate and they are losing viewers/readers in droves. I am an example of this.

    For the past year I can’t think of a time where I did not get my news from radio, internet or from Fox on the TV. I used to buy alot of newspapers and news magazines but I find what they call news is increasingly becoming little more then thinly veiled propaganda. Same thing for TV news-I simply can not stomach the outright lies, half truths, spin til you hurl and glaring omissions. Last time I watched a Nightline at a friends house I was literally screaming “LIARS” at the TV. I then proceeded to totally debunk what was said on that Nightline and show the bias involved to my friends within 5 minutes on the internet using what they (and most of the liberal set) would consider “legitimate newssources” such as the BBC. They now do that as a nightly thing-watch “Nightlying” (as they now call it) and proceed to Fisk it.

    But for me it has gotten to the point of no return. I wrote my satellite TV provider and cc’ed the letter to the major networks/newspaper/magazines, their owners, major advertising companies, major TV business magazines. In that letter I told them I was cancelling my subscription. That I found that I could no longer support the corporations that own the MSM with the money that they receive from my payments. I was no longer going to consciously enable them to spew their lies, innuendos and outright propaganda with my money. That also meant that I would not be able to view local stations because I live in an apartment and can not receive them without some form of antenna on the roof. I also informed them that I would no longer be purchasing any magazines or newspapers either for the same reasons. If I need local news and information I can get that from the radio or internet. If I need entertainment I have a library of books, movies and other programming on tape/DVD. From now on any product I buy I will take into consideration who owns the company. If I am buying a CD or DVD I will be taking ownership of the studio and the views of the artists involved into consideration. Yup, that means I won’t be seeing any movies with Sean Penn or his ilk in them. Nor will I be purchasing any Linda Ronstadt or her ilks CD’s in future. YES! They DO have the right to freedom of speech. And I have the right not to support them in any way, shape or form.

  47. Rush Instacracker Says:

    Dear Swift Boat F***Heads and True Believers,

    Here’s what John Kerry’s documented service record looks like for his tours in Vietnam…from the “employment of command” portion of his FITREPs aboard USS Gridley (DLG-21) for the periods:

    8 June 67 to 31 August 67 (he reported aboard 8 June): LV(leave)/UPK (Upkeep)/RAV in Long Beach (LBCH) [I’m not sure what the acronym RAV is, anyone know?]

    1 September 67 to 22 March 68: UPK/RAV LBCH; UPK/OPS SOCAL (26 Sep-8 Oct); FLTEX 3-67 (9-17 Oct); UPK/OPS SOCAL (18 Oct-27 Nov); FLTEX 5-67 (28 Nov-4 Dec); UPK LBCH (5 Dec 67-4 Jan 68); STRIKEX 1-68 (5-12 JAN 68); OPS/UPK SOCAL (13 Jan-8 Feb); ENR AND WESTPAC COMBAT OPS (9 Feb-22 Mar)

    23 March to 20 July 68: Seventh Fleet TF Ops Gulf of Tonkin: CVA Task Group Ops Gulf of Tonkin (23-27 Mar); Enr and Upk Subic (27-31 Mar); Enr and SAR Ops Gulf of Tonkin (1 Apr-5 May); Enr and Inport Subic (5-9 May); Enr and at Wellington NZ (Coral Sea Celebration) (10-27 May); Enr CONUS (27 May-7 June); LV/UPK LBCH (7 June-20 July)

    Then after a school in the states, he went to the Swift Boats, where his CO, LCDR George Elliot wrote the following comments in his FITREPS:

    “In a combat environment often requiring independant, decisive action LTJG Kerry was unsurpassed. He consistently reviewed tactics and lessons learned in river operations and applied his experience at every opportunity. On one occaision while in tactical command of a three boat operation his units were taken under fire from ambush. LTJG Kerry rapidly assessed the situation and ordered his units to turn directly into the ambush. This decision resulted in routing the attackers with several enemy KIA.
    LTJG Kerry emerges as the acknowledged leader in his peer group. His bearing and appearance are above reproach. He has of his own volition learned the Vietnamese language and is instrumental in the successful Vietnamese training program.
    During the period of this report LTJG Kerry has been awarded the Silver Star medal, the Bronze Star medal, the Purple Heart medal (2nd and 3rd awards).

    The next FITREP from a different reporting senior (whose name is illegible) but was signed concurrently by LCDR Elliott says:

    “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.”

    Contrast that to one of the few fitness reports available for Fearless Leader:

    LT Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of this report. A civilian occupation made it necessary for him to move to Montgomery, Alabama. He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non-flying status with the 187 TAC Recon Gp, Dannely ANG Base, Alabama.

  48. Mike M Says:

    Well great, instacracker. Then maybe you can explain to us why Kerry won’t release his service records or tell a straight story about where he was or what he was doing in Vietnam?

    And thanks for reminding us that Bush fulfilled all his duties as a mebmer of the National Guard, as well as fully disclosing all related documentation.

  49. Honest Abe Says:

    This is not being reported because it is not an interesting story. Weak stories like this tend to be picked up by right-wing fruitcake media eschewed by most normal people.

    Anyway, if Kerry was on a top secret mission to Cambodia (and there’s a good chance he was, as Cambodia were harboring VC) nobody can verify it anyway. It’s much less likely overall that we DIDN’T have secret missions to Cambodia.

  50. Abigail Adams Says:

    Citizens For Honest Fighter Pilots Call On Bush To Explain His Military Record

    Questions about Bush’s military service would likely be history if not for the new attacks on Kerry’s war record by the latest Republican hit squad of “Truthful Vets.” But, by the way it looks now, we will be comparing the military records of the candidates right up to election day.

    Therefore, my newly formed group, “Citizens For Honest Fighter Pilots,” hereby calls on Bush to explain his whereabouts and activities for the period of time he was AWOL, and for him to repay the quarter of a million tax dollars wasted on his fighter pilot training.

    As a member of “Citizens for Honest Fighter Pilots,” I want to remind voters that while Kerry was in Vietnam, doing whatever it was that the “Truthful Vets” imply he was doing over there, Bush was an AWOL, suspended fighter pilot, roaming around somewhere in between Alabama and Texas.

    Nobody seems to know which State of the Union Bush was in or what shape he was in. Also, not one of the 700 members at the Alabama unit where he claims he served, remembers serving with him.

    As for Kerry’s whereabouts, we at least have him pinned down to a certain river in a jungle in Vietnam, and according to “Truthful Vets,” he was in pretty good shape. Everyone remembers seeing him there, too.

    Bush’s records on the other hand, contain no explanation for his bizarre behavior during the last 18 months he was in the Guard, when he failed to show up for a yearly physical, got suspended from flying, and went for five months without attending a single drill.

    While Bush swears he attended drills in Alabama, nobody has produced a single record to document his attendance.

    Kerry is definitely the smartest of the two candidates, because, according to the “Truthful Vets,” he somehow conned the military into awarding him five medals for bravery. And despite being in the swamps of Vietnam, Kerry’s records show exactly where he was on any given date.

    Somehow I don’t think Kerry volunteered to go to Vietnam because he heard it was a fun place to party. He went and served in that hell-hole at a time when other young men looked for every way on earth not to. That fact alone makes John Kerry a war hero.

  51. JAG Says:


    Originally Kerry sought a deferment to study in France. When that was denied he chose the Navy to join (avoiding being drafted into the Army). All well and good and to his credit but, obviously, anyone serving in the Navy (unless a Marine) was less likely to face direct combat.
    He served for a while, uneventfully, on a ship in Vietnam. He volunteered for the Swift Boats, yes, but even he admits that, at the time he joined them, they were doing fairly innocuous patrol duties. Their mission was changed to going up river and became dramatically more dangerous, for sure, but asserting he somehow sought out what became dangerous duty is ridiculous considering his own statements about joining the swift boats.
    Did he serve in a dangerous capacity? Yes, to his credit. However, only someone willfully blind would not see some problems with the stories associated with his Purple Hearts.
    Real “Heros” don’t go for paltry decorations of minor events, do you think? Kerry missed not a moment of service due to these “wounds”. With all due respect to his service, I would be much more impressed with a serviceman who, despite being “wounded” in a technical sense, declined an award for clearly minor injuries. Frankly, it would seem quite dishonorable for someone to construct some kind of legally acceptible semantic case to justify getting an award of this kind. Did he “technically” deserve the medals? Wow, if you have to get down to that detail about an event it would seem to embarass most people. Not JFK however.

    Last, the Cambodian story is clearly questionable.
    Solution? Find a Swift Boat commander who says he also says he went on missions to Cambodia. Certainly Kerry was not the only one called upon to break the official policy. Find those guys and shut the other veterans up.
    Provide all the records relating to his service. Wouldn’t a real “hero” do that? I mean, if a lying, wimp, coward like Bush was able to release unflattering records why can’t a man with a “heroic” service record manage it?

  52. B Says:

    “Anyway, if Kerry was on a top secret mission to Cambodia (and there’s a good chance he was, as Cambodia were harboring VC)”

    What? You have got to be kidding? You mean you actually think that JFK, a jr. Lt. on a swiftboat, stationed 50 or so miles from the Cambodian boarder was asked to take CIA and green berets and special forces in to Cambodia? Wow! that would be a great movie! o yea, FF. Coppola has all ready made it. Hmm, maybe, it was based on JFK, heck it has to be, cause Kerry would not lie about something like this. Don’t worry about the details, they will come out when he rights his next book(JFK – MY, no sorry, other peoples LIFE I adapted to my own!) and get to travel the country again on other peoples money.

    Oh my, keep drinking the coolaid! you deserve it! and it seems to be working.

    JFK on secret missions! wow, the wopper is upgraded! You Dems never stop amazing me.

  53. Raven Says:

    From Kerry\’s Fitness Report, 28 Jan 1969 (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, note:

    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 getting a Swift boat into Cambodia 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.

  54. Anissa Says:

    We all need to do our share to spread the word about Kerry. As a Veteran who doesn

  55. JAG Says:


    If it is as easy to prove as you say, why have the Kerry spokespeople focused on attacking the Swift Boat Veterans and not simply pointing out these “facts”?

    Seems like an incredible waste of time and energy to have Lanny Davis scream at guys like O’Neil. Somehow I don’t see things being as simply explained as you do since its obvious Kerry would use it. Besides, if all of this is true, why won’t Kerry release his records? Forget all of this controversy exists at all, why wouldn’t a “hero” be ok with all his records being open….since DAY ONE?
    Something smelss here and, as Mike Dukakis once stated “the fish rots from the head”.
    Explain why Kerry has never released his records and all of this will go away.

  56. The Pensive Elf Says:

    Frankly, I think JF (wannabe Kennedy) Kerry would have been more effective if he had downplayed his service in Vietnam instead of trying to portray himself as a war hero. Being a draft dodger didn’t stop Bill Clinton from being elected. Being a “war hero” shouldn’t really play a role in Kerry’s being elected.

    What really gets me is…when I visit his website, there is very little said about his anti-Vietnam war protesting days. In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think he had played only a modest role in the anti-war movement. No mention is made of his throwing his 3 purple hearts away, or of his accusing his fellow soldiers of atrocities. That period of his life is brushed over.

    The second thing that I have never heard anyone mention: When I first logged onto his website a couple of months ago, there was a section on his plans for the military. This was before the Swiftvets controversy. In this page, he claimed he would increase our troops by 40,000, and special forces by around 3,500, which begged the question: where were they coming from? I can’t prove this. Unfortunately, I didn’t save the page, because it never occurred to me that it would be removed. But now it’s gone, and I can’t help but wonder why?

    Oh well, there is a saying that a man reaps what he sows…and it seems like all those seeds he planted years ago, are coming back to bite him now.

    The Pensive Elf

  57. no loss for words Says:

    A Compare & Contrast of my own

    And this, my friends, is what we call moving the goalposts.

    On August 14, Will Collier, guestblogging (I think) at Vodkapundit, wrote this about John Kerry’s service in Vietnam and Kerry’s use of that service in his campaign:

    It looks like Kerr…

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