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Friday, November 18, 2005
Some Liberals Still Trying to Rescue Christmas in Cambodia

Unfortunately, they don't seem to have done the homework.

Do you also, Dear Reader, remember all the challenges to Kerry's claim? As I remember it, there were three basic challenges:

1. None of Kerry's shipmates would confirm his tale
2. The United States was not in Cambodia
3. Kerry's campaign later conceded that his memory was "faulty" on this account

Today we learn that one of these three 'facts' is actually incorrect. Documents from the Nixon White House released yesterday show that in fact, there were U.S. forces in Cambodia, that President Nixon knew it, that the president issued a carte blanche concerning Cambodia, and finally that he engaged in a deliberate effort to cover up the activites of the U.S. in Cambodia.

First, obviously when the Kerry campaign acknowledged Kerry's "faulty memory", the challenge was over. The second item on the list is simply a canard; it was well-known that the United States was in Cambodia by mid-1970 and that Nixon had lied about that issue. And anyway, as our buddy RiverRat notes in the comments, Nixon was not the president as of Christmas 1968 anyway.

The key item in that list is the first one. Remember, all but one (Stephen Gardner) of Kerry's crews supported Kerry's run for president. Douglas Brinkley, who talked to all those shipmates, did not include Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia tale.

Was the Kerry campaign retracting his statements about Cambodia becuase they couldn't be independently verified? One can imagine the dilemma that his Cambodia assertions would present to the 2004 campaign, and the calculus used to make a decision: on the one hand, without some outside verification, opponents could have easily turned the entire election into a fight over whether or not Kerry's statements were true, a fight the Kerry camp would have lost. On the other hand, a retraction would have a much smaller political cost, and do less damage to the campaign. The Kerry camp seemed to have initially used exactly this caculus in dealing with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, until it became clear that a policy of ignoring the attacks was going to backfire. It is not difficult to imagine why others would be reluctant to speak up about official U.S. secrets.

This is pretty easy. The Kerry campaign acknowledge Kerry's "faulty memory" because they were caught. The members of Kerry's Swift Boat crews, while supporting his run for president, were unwilling to lie for him.


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Contact Me: pcurley (at) cdwebs (dot) com

Brainster in the Media

Howard Kurtz's Media Notes: May 27, 2005

Slate Today's Blogs:

March 16, 2005

May 9, 2005

June 3, 2005

Cited for Breaking the Christmas in Cambodia story (at Kerry Haters):

Hugh Hewitt: KerryHaters was on this story a long time ago. How could the elite media not have asked these questions before now?

Ankle-Biting Pundits: Our friends Pat and Kitty at Kerry Haters deserve the blog equivalent of a Pulitzer for their coverage of Kerry's intricate web of lies regarding Vietnam.

The Weekly Standard

Les Kinsolving

Greatest Hits

What If the Rest of the Fantastic Four Were Peaceniks?

Lefty Bloggers on Gay Witchhunt (linked by 16 blogs including Instapundit)

Kitty Myers Breaks Christmas in Cambodia

Brainster Shows Brinkley Says No Christmas in Cambodia

Explanation of the Blog's Name

Power Ratings Explained

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