Ponder maintains today that the person who truly shamed and offended him was John Kerry, whose fraudulent account of war crimes in Tour of Duty has led his own grandchildren to ask him, “Did you commit the war crimes John Kerry describes?” -“Unfit for Command,” Chapter three

Despite the attempted censorship by DNC and Kerry lawyers, and reporter Karnish’s clever editing attempt to magically create a retraction from one Veteran, the truth boat is still sailing.

When Ted Kennedy announced that, "Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam," which Iraqi 'Minuteman,' Al Sadr, repeated at a news conference hours later, I felt it was just another partisan attack. But now I'm not so sure. It might have actually been a conscious strategy from the start. The Democratic convention was like a twisted Vietnam Veterans Against the War rally in reverse. Where everyone praised and accentuated the service of the only Veteran that counts: John Kerry.

According to the analogy, Iraq is Vietnam, Bush is Nixon, and Kerry is... again using opposition to a war to advance himself politically, except this time he needs, "the power," of the Presidency to end a war that 'should have never happened in the first place'.

The book also quotes Kerry telling the Boston Herald the same story:
"I remember spending Christmas Eve 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."
Now some obvious things jump out here, including the fact that Nixon wasn't the president on Christmas Eve 1968, and that this tale doesn't show up in Douglas Brinkley's Tour of Duty. The new book concludes that "[d]espite the dramatic memories of his Christmas in Cambodia, Kerry's statements are complete lies. Kerry was never in Cambodia during Christmas 1968, or at all during the Vietnam War." If the book's conclusion is correct, and if it quotes Kerry correctly from the two sources, this is a major, major story, indicating that Kerry has lied in detail about a crucial part of his Vietnam biography. Such a sweeping -- indeed, almost pathological-- lie would undermine Kerry's credibility on all other aspects of his memories and recountings of his Vietnam experience. On the other hand, if the book's authors fabricated this section, the book's credibility is shot. One or the other is true: Someone is lying --either Kerry's critics or Kerry. And this should have been the lead today in many newspapers because the chapter was available yesterday.

Chapter Three of the Book, "Unfit for Command", is available at Human Events Online. And the book itself is available at

I'd like to know the truth about these allegations. When can we expect the press to start asking Kerry to explain some of these inconsistencies?

All the living commanders in Kerry's chain of command-Joe Streuhli (Commander of CosDiv 13), George Elliott (Commander of CosDiv 11), Adrian Lonsdale (Captain, USCG and Commander, Coastal Surveillance Center at An Thoi), Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann (Commander, Coastal Surveillance Force Vietnam, CTF 115), and Rear Admiral Art Price (Commander of River Patrol Force, CTF 116)-deny that Kerry was ever ordered to Cambodia. They indicate that Kerry would have been seriously disciplined or court-martialed had he gone there. At least three of the five crewmen on Kerry's PCF 44 boat-Bill Zaldonis, Steven Hatch, and Steve Gardner-deny that they or their boat were ever in Cambodia. The remaining two crewmen declined to be interviewed for this book. Gardner, in particular, will never forget those days in late December when he was wounded on PCF 44, not in Cambodia, but many miles away in Vietnam. The Cambodia incursion story is not included in Tour of Duty. Instead, Kerry replaces the story with a report about a mortar attack that occurred on Christmas Eve 1968 "near the Cambodia border" in a town called Sa Dec, some fifty-five miles from the Cambodian border. 23 Somehow, Kerry's secret illegal mission to Cambodia, which he recounted on the floor of the U.S. Senate in 1986, is now a firefight at Sa Dec and a Christmas day spent back at the base writing entries in his journal.

The truth is that Kerry made up his secret mission into Cambodia. Much like Kerry's many other lies relating to supposed "war crimes" committed by the U.S. military in Vietnam, the lie about the illegal Cambodian incursion painted his superiors up the chain of command-men such as Commander Streuhli, Commander Elliott, Admiral Hoffmann, and Admiral Zumwalt, all distinguished Naval heroes and men of integrity-as villains faced down by John Kerry, a solitary hero in grave and exotic danger and forced illegally and against his will into harm's way.

The same sorts of lies were repeated over and over in Kerry's antiwar book, The New Soldier, a book filled with preposterous, false confessions of bogus war crimes committed by the participants (who were often not even real veterans) against their will and under orders from dishonest superiors. Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia typifies the sort of lie upon which Kerry has built a false persona and a political career. -"Unfit for Command",

Posted by Eric Simonson at August 8, 2004 3:04 AM