The NY Times is trying to re-frame Kerry's "Christmas in Cambodia" story. Instead of addressing the question of whether Kerry was in in Cambodia at Christmas in an incident that Kerry said in a Senate floor speech was 'seared in his memory', the Times would prefer to ponder the question of whether Kerry was ever in Cambodia.
I would urge my bloggers not to play along with this re-framing. For example, Kerry has been mocked for claiming to have a hat given to him by a CIA guy whom Kerry was taking to Cambodia. Well, Kerry may very well have a hat, and he may very well have been taking CIA guys up near the border - let's not re-frame this so that, if Kerry can produce the hat and the CIA guy, he wins.
Was Kerry in Cambodia at Christmas? That is the question. I don't care if he has a hat from the CIA or Abercrombie and Fitch, and I don't care if he was in Cambodia for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, or the Chinese New Year. Christmas is "seared in his memory" so let's focus on that.
MORE: I assume that no investigative journalist for the Times will take this up but a real story may be hidden in the odd circumstances under which Zaladonis and Runyon emerged in April 2004 to vouch for Kerry's first Purple Heart - it *appears* that Zaladonis forgot to regale Doug Brinkley with this tale of his first encounter with Kerry when Brinkley interviewed him for "Tour of Duty". In any case, Brinkley does not identify Zaladonis as being with Kerry on that dramatic night. This is especially odd because Zaladonis sailed with Kerry for two months beginning four days later - how did both Kerry and Zaladonis forget?
Could there be a Faux Brother here bearing a bit of false witness? we are not exactly thinking the unthinkable, since Alston did exactly that, claiming to have been a witness to Kerry's Silver Star incident when medical records show he was not there.
Well - this might be cleared up quickly if Douglas Brinkley could be taxed to produce his interview notes with Zaladonis and Kerry's wartime diary. As if.
MORE: Going back through my archives, I see questions that still have not been answered (and are rarely asked), to wit - the news that we were violating the Cambodian border made headlines when it broke in 1973. So why was Kerry so shy in his 1971 Senate appearance? If he had been to Camodia, why not break that news to the Senate, along with the Ghengis Khan allegations and what-not? What, was he afraid it might turn them against the war?