Kerry is a serial exaggerator

Deborah Orin:

THERE'S now some real angst in Democratic circles be cause of the growing evidence that Democrat John Kerry's claim to have a memory "seared in me" of spending Christmas 1968 in Cambodia was false — and just didn't happen.

But what worries some pro-Kerry Democrats is the fear that Kerry has, as one put it, "an Al Gore problem" — that he's a serial exaggerator. (Remember how Gore claimed to have invented the Internet and inspired the novel "Love Story"?)

Remember Kerry's claim that "I've met foreign leaders" who told him he had to beat Bush? Turned out he hadn't met any foreign leaders in years.

Kerry's campaign Web site claimed credit for Vietnam missions when another man, Tedd Peck, was the skipper (that was removed when he protested) and last week was claiming credit for former Sen. Bob Kerrey's service as Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman.

"John Kerry, Bob Kerrey — similar names," blithely explained Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan, as if Kerry didn't know his own bio.

Not one of Kerry's Swift boat crewmates, even the ones backing his candidacy, recalls being in Cambodia in Christmas 1968 — and anti-Kerry Swift boat veterans cite a host of evidence that he was 50 miles away in Vietnam.

Why does it matter? Because Kerry has said the Cambodia incident — of being sent on a covert mission to "a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops" was "seared" in his mind and changed his view of America.

Team Kerry's excuse is that maybe he accidentally crossed the border or his time frame was fuzzy, but that just won't square with his passionate 1986 claim, on the Senate floor, that the Christmas memory was "seared — seared — in me."

Unlike the conflicts over Kerry's medals, this isn't a he said/he said dispute — Kerry either was or wasn't in Cambodia. Eventually a reporter will ask him point-blank if he still claims he was in Cambodia that Christmas — yes or no.

For sure, as the anti-Kerry Swift vets pointed out — thus embarrassing every reporter who missed it for over a decade — Kerry's statements were clearly false, since Nixon wasn't yet president in Christmas 1968. But adding Nixon sure embellishes the tale.


On Web sites like,, hugh- and, skeptical veterans are trading details on Kerry's service and raising intricate questions about his veracity based on their own experience.

Their online dialogue is punctuated with questions about why the "mainstream media" have been mostly ignoring this story — and why the 13 pro-Kerry vets are automatically assumed to have more credibility than 264 anti-Kerry vets.

Just imagine the coverage if 264 vets who served with Bush in the Texas Air National Guard made similar charges. For those bloggers, this story has become a test of the mainstream media's credibility — and its liberal anti-Bush bias.

How could she leave out PrairiePundit?


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