Cambodia Christmas Controversy For Beginners

Ken AshfordElection 2004Leave a Comment

Matt Yglesius has the definitive post on Kerry’s Christmas in Cambodia, to wit:

This much we know to be true:

(1) John Kerry was in Vietnam serving in the vicinity of the Cambodian border

(2) John Kerry has said repeatedly that he crossed into Cambodia

(3) Some U.S. forces were crossing into Cambodia during the period in question

(4) During the period in question it was being officially denied that U.S. forces crossed into Cambodia

(5) The disjoint between (3) and (4) was the point of the story John Kerry has told

(6) Official records seem to deny that Kerry crossed into Cambodia.

So, either Kerry made this up, or else the official records we’ve seen to date reflect the contemporaneous official lie that no one was in Cambodia, or else it’s somehow in between (like Kerry was immediately adjacent to Cambodia supporting a cross-border incursion and misrepresented his precise location in order to make the point). Which is true? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, the usual suspects on the right have lept to the conclusion (a) that Kerry was definitely lying, and — even more preposterously — that (b) voters choosing on the honesty factor would be well-advised to vote for George W. Bush, a man who has never — ever — sold a policy initiative without misleading the American public about the nature of the initiative.

The remarkable thing to me — and everyone glosses over this — is that even if Kerry WAS bolstering his own story, the UNBOLSTERED version still beats Bush, who was several thousands miles from Cambodia AND Vietnam on Christmas Eve 1968.