Patterico's Pontifications

8/13/2004

Christmas in Cambodia Update

Filed under: 2004 Election,Media Bias — Patterico @ 5:56 pm

John Kerry’s biographer Douglas Brinkley has explained that Kerry was supposedly just mistaken about the date of his Christmas in Cambodia experience:

“On Christmas Eve he was near Cambodia; he was around 50 miles from the Cambodian border. There’s no indictment of Kerry to be made, but he was mistaken about Christmas in Cambodia,” said Douglas Brinkley, who has unique access to the candidate’s wartime journals.

But Mr Brinkley rejected accusations that the senator had never been to Cambodia, insisting he was telling the truth about running undisclosed “black” missions there at the height of the war.

He said: “Kerry went into Cambodian waters three or four times in January and February 1969 on clandestine missions. He had a run dropping off US Navy Seals, Green Berets and CIA guys.” The missions were not armed attacks on Cambodia, said Mr Brinkley, who did not include the clandestine missions in his wartime biography of Mr Kerry, Tour of Duty.

“He was a ferry master, a drop-off guy, but it was dangerous as hell. Kerry carries a hat he was given by one CIA operative. In a part of his journals which I didn’t use he writes about discussions with CIA guys he was dropping off.”

Some folks think that this explanation makes sense. Kevin Drum says: “The extent of Kerry’s malfeasance is that instead of doing it in December, he actually did it in January and February.”

Sorry, but there’s a little more to it than that. Why is the date significant? Captain Ed points out that Kerry’s previous versions of the story, in which he claimed that he was ordered into Cambodia on Christmas Eve,

included the assertion that Kerry was under friendly fire from friendly Vietnamese shooting weapons to celebrate Christmas, as well as hostile fire from Cambodians. Did the Vietnamese celebrate Christmas in January?

One Kevin Drum moonbat commenter says just that. Ignoring that Kerry said it was Christmas Eve, this moonbat says that some people celebrate all 12 days of Christmas, up until January 6. Captain Ed knocks that one out of the water:

Perhaps John Kerry meant the French celebration of Christmas, fete du roi, all along! The Feast of the King is January 6, but that won’t be the actual date, nor will “clarification” be the real reason. Stephen Gardner served with Kerry for two months on his swift boat, until the middle of January. Gardner has been outspoken about the fact that he never went into Cambodia, not with John Kerry or anyone else.

It’s a good thing we have folks like Captain Ed to explain the significance of all this, since many folks just don’t get it. For example, another Drum moonbat says that “in” commonly means “in or near” — so Kerry didn’t necessarily mean that he had been “in” Cambodia. I kid you not.

Of course, this completely misses the point. Kerry’s story makes sense only if he really meant “in.” Kerry told this story multiple times. (Kevin Drum claims it’s only twice, but three versions of the story are quoted in this post.) Each time, Kerry emphasized his alleged anger over President Nixon’s false claim that we were not in Cambodia. For example, Kerry once told the story this way:

I remember spending Christmas Day 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.

So it’s very important whether Kerry was five miles inside Cambodia, or 50 miles away.

As I’ve said before, the most amazing thing about all this is that the American mainstream media has not said a word about any of this. The major papers (in this country, at least) are completely silent on the issue. It is simply impossible to believe that this would be the case if the tables were turned, and President Bush faced well-documented charges of having fabricated a story about the turning point of his life, relating to a centerpiece of his campaign.

The embargo on this story can’t continue. The mainstream media can ignore a good story for only so long. Even the notorious oil-for-food scandal story, embargoed by the mainstream media for months, has finally broken in the New York Times. Sooner or later, this story will be printed as well.

Kerry’s “Christmas in Cambodia” Falsehood Still Being Ignored by the Mainstream Media

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:24 am

Instapundit says that the New York Times and Washington Post are still ignoring the fact that Kerry’s “Christmas in Cambodia” claim has been proven false.

Nothing in the L.A. Times, either.

More on the mainstream media’s neglect of the Swift Boat Vets’ allegations here, here, and here.

Dishonest Defenses of Affirmative Action

Filed under: Race — Patterico @ 6:17 am

David Bernstein has this unsurprising but illuminating post, warning readers against the false liberal claim that affirmative action in college admissions amounts to nothing more than a “tiebreaker” between equally qualified individuals.

I wonder what makes educated law professors tell such blatant falsehoods with a straight face? Probably the same willfully blind mindset that allows journalists to earnestly deny the existence of liberal bias in the mainstream media.

Rob Martinson: The Scumbag and Ex-Con Behind Spy Wiper

Filed under: Spy Wiper — Patterico @ 6:12 am

Via Suzi, a story about Rob Martinson, the scum behind Spy Wiper, a program that hijacked my computer and thousands more across the nation.

There’s even a photo of Martinson from when he was in prison! Here’s hoping he’s on his way back.

Council Winners — and Seat Up for Grabs

Filed under: Watcher's Council — Patterico @ 6:08 am

The Watcher’s Council has voted on its weekly contest for best posts of the week, and the results are here. Congratulations to Terrorism Unveiled for the winning Council post, The Black Widow Women: Female Terrorists, and to Cold Fury for the winning non-Council entry, Someday, Some Way.

Also: there’s another seat on the Council up for grabs. Go apply for it by clicking here.


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