Christmas in Cambodia?

By Geraldine Sealey
Published August 24, 2004 6:50PM (EDT)

Fred Kaplan takes on one of the Swift Boat tales that has yet to be widely debunked in the media -- about whether Kerry's boat was actually in Cambodia on Christmas Eve in 1968.

"It is a twisted state of affairs that George W. Bush's most avid surrogates are trying to make this election turn on the question of whether Lieut. John Kerry was or was not in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968. Having pretty much failed at their efforts to disprove the official U.S. Navy account of Kerry's valor in battle as skipper of a 'Swift boat' patrolling the Mekong Delta, the veterans against Kerry have moved to discredit his more obscure claim -- made a few times over the years, in interviews and Senate floor speeches -- that, on Dec. 24, he took CIA or special ops forces across the border into Cambodia, even while Washington claimed no American troops were there."

"  One thing is for sure: Lieut. Kerry did not spend that Christmas Eve just lying around, dreaming of sugarplums and roasted chestnuts. He had plenty of time to cover the 40 miles from the Cambodian border to the safety of Sa Dec (he did command a swift boat, after all). More to the point, the evidence indicates he did cover those 40 miles: He was near (or in?) Cambodia in the morning, in Sa Dec that night."

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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