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August 9, 2004
Christmas In Cambodia, Part V: Close Enough For Government Work

Instapundit reports this evening that the Kerry campaign is now backing away from three decades of Kerry assertions that the young lieutenant took part in illegal military operations in Cambodia:

Via the show, I heard a Carl Cameron story on the Kerry/Cambodia issue that ran last hour. It sounded devastating, and the Kerry campaign sounded disorganized and un-credible. They're now saying that Kerry was "near" Cambodia (58 miles away), but can't explain why he repeatedly said he was actually in Cambodia.

If indeed the Kerry/Edwards campaign has retreated on this point -- and I don't have the Carl Cameron story on Fox to review -- then the effect will be staggering. The entire narrative of Kerry's transition from eager young lieutenant to disillusioned veteran supposedly began on that Cambodian Christmas Eve, when under fire in a country on which we had not declared war, he heard his President deny that any American servicemen operated anywhere except Viet Nam. That experience, supposedly "seared" into his memory (as he told the Senate in 1986), propelled Kerry to testify to atrocities and war crimes committed by his "band of brothers" and lead Vietnam Veterans Against The War.

Now that more of the record has come out and his band of brothers has decided to give testimony to Kerry's actual experience, Kerry appears to be backtracking back to Vietnam on Christmas Eve, saying that he was "near" the border, but that won't help a bit. His entire narrative has been exposed as a house of cards built on a lie, and not just any old lie, either. The illegal incursions into Cambodia energized the anti-war movement, and claiming (falsely) to have participated in them would have given Kerry tremendous credibility to those activists, as well as to the Senators in 1971.

He stole the story to puff himself up in 1971. He kept repeating the story, even on the floor of the Senate, in order to puff up his credibility there as well, this time on Nicaragua -- where his unerring instinct for picking the losing side showed again. And now we see that in the bout for credibility, the 200+ band of Swiftvets has beaten the narcissist by a knockout.

After having retracted his three-decade-old story, what other lies has Kerry told about Viet Nam? Lies about his Purple Hearts? Lies about his Bronze Star? Lies about American atrocities so widespread that all units and the entire leadership took part in them?

The Swiftvets deserve their day of reckoning with John Kerry, and we deserve to see his complete military records, just as Terry McAuliffe and Kerry himself demanded -- and got -- from George Bush, who wasn't making his military service the centerpiece of his campaign. Call Kerry's campaign headquarters and demand that he release the records!

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 9, 2004 7:33 PM

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