Monday, January 31, 2005


Speaking of war criminals: John Kerry in Cambodia

John Kerry was on "Meet the Press" yesterday. At one point Tim Russert was asking him about the Swift Boat Veterans' allegation that he was not in Cambodia on Christmas Eve of '68.

While allowing that he may have gotten the exact day confused, he made this astonishing remark—

RUSSERT: And you have a hat that a CIA agent gave you?

KERRY: I still have the hat that he gave me, and I hope the guy would come out of the woodwork and say, "I'm the guy who went up with John Kerry. We delivered weapons to the Khmer Rouge on the coastline of Cambodia. We went out of Ha Tien, which is right in Vietnam. We went north up into the border." And I have some photographs of that. And that's what we did. [emphasis added]

When it comes to killing their own people the Khmer Rouge made Saddam Hussein look like Jimmy Carter.

I can't find any other comment that Kerry has made on exactly what the CIA was doing. During the Swift Boat brouhaha, Jim Kaplan at Slate gave this quote from the Washington Post

There's a secret compartment in Kerry's briefcase. He carries the black attache everywhere. Asked about it on several occasions, Kerry brushed it aside. Finally, trapped in an interview, he exhaled and clicked open his case.

"Who told you?" he demanded as he reached inside. "My friends don't know about this."

The hat was a little mildewy. The green camouflage was fading, the seams fraying.

"My good luck hat," Kerry said, happy to see it. "Given to me by a CIA guy as we went in for a special mission in Cambodia."

Kaplan notes that—
It is certain that by this time [Christmas 1968], the United States had long been making secret incursions across the border. This is from Page 24 of William Shawcross' 1979 book, Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia:
Since May 1967, when the U.S. Military Command in Saigon became concerned at the way the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were evading American "search and destroy" and air attacks in Vietnam by making more use of bases in Laos and Cambodia, the U.S. Special Forces had been running special, highly classified missions into the two countries. Their code name was Daniel Boone.

The circumstances at least suggest that Kerry was indeed involved in a "black" mission, even if he had never explicitly made that claim. And why would he make such claims if he hadn't been? It was neither a glamorous nor a particularly admirable mission—certainly nothing to boast of. [emphasis added]

I guess not. It's unfortunate that there weren't any reporters on "Meet the Press" to ask about this.

Follow-up post
Comments from an idiot II—Can you tell which is which?

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