August 11, 2004


Who’s the military man with the lucky hat and the invisible gun? Why, none other than John Kerry, on a special mission in Cambodia:

There's a secret compartment in Kerry's briefcase. He carries the black attaché 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."

Kerry put on the hat, pulling the brim over his forehead. His blue button-down shirt and tie clashed with the camouflage. He pointed his finger and raised his thumb, creating an imaginary gun. He looked silly, yet suddenly his campaign message was clear: Citizen-soldier. Linking patriotism to public service. It wasn't complex after all; it was Kerry.

He smiled and aimed his finger: "Pow."

That year-old Washington Post profile appears at Kerry’s campaign website, so presumably it’s an Officially Approved version of the Kerry-in-Cambodia story. It also contains this stirring line: "I'm running for president of the United States because I really believe it is time for this country to ask again, 'Why not?'"

(Byron York has more on Kerry’s secret agent career, while Instapundit is rounding up all the blogger coverage – including this excellent Kerry/Cambodia primer. Oh, and Mark Steyn has a must-read column, too.)

Posted by Tim Blair at August 11, 2004 10:25 AM

ah, so he's pretending to shoot journalists now...the man is unhinged.

did you know he served in vietnam?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at August 11, 2004 at 10:30 AM

Good Lord, that's the silliest thing I ever read.

- If it's a "secret compartment," how did the reporter know to ask about it? Obviously Kerry and/or his staff have been spreading the word.

- Why would Kerry feel the need to carry a souvenir around 30 years later anyway?

That's the most obvious attempt at grandstanding I've ever seen. He comes off looking like a kid playing soldier. And this is the guy who's supposed to have a nuanced approach toward fighting a war?

Posted by: Dr Alice at August 11, 2004 at 10:31 AM

Jeebus. So was the CIA guy on a mission to kill Col. Kurtz?

Saigon. I can't believe Kerry is still in Saigon.

And he's never getting off the boat, man!

Posted by: Dave S. at August 11, 2004 at 10:36 AM

Kerry/Cambodia Primer link needs fixing.

Posted by: TimT at August 11, 2004 at 10:42 AM

Wow, Kerry's life is turning into a "Weird War" comic book. Invulnerable acrobatic superdogs. Disappearing and reappearing ribbons. Daring undercover missions deep into enemy territory. Secret compartments with nostalgic souveniers from his Howling Commando days. I'm starting to wonder if the man's memory is entirely reliable.

On the other hand, I think we've just found out what's inside that mysterious briefcase in Pulp Fiction.

Posted by: Bryan Cq at August 11, 2004 at 11:37 AM

Roger L. Simon has been all over this...

Check out the stories. Kerry is way past unhinged, Either he can't tell where his real life ends and the videos he rents begins, or he honestly thinks no one else in the world saw Apocalypse Now.

And if you want proof the Swift Boat veterans are telling the truth, three of the Democrats pet advocacy groups have just filed a complaint against them with the FEC... what more do you need to know? When the Democrats sue you, you're know you're right...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 11, 2004 at 11:57 AM

I smell at least two more lies in the story: sneaking into East Berlin and grabbing a bull's horns after being trampled in Pamplona.

Posted by: WV.Hillbilly at August 11, 2004 at 12:09 PM

HEY! Kerry took my hat! I had one of those, and it's been missing for years......

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 11, 2004 at 12:34 PM

Bahahahahahahahaha. Thank you Tim, that was hilarious.

Posted by: Karol at August 11, 2004 at 12:52 PM

How scary is this that Capt. Willard-Kerry has claimed on record to have been a CIA assassin on a secret mission behind enemy lines? How does he shrug this tale off as a false memory or bar room bragging? Kerry can't be a little pregnant on this one. Is he a pathological liar or suffering from psychotic delusions?

Maybe the close alliance between Hollywood and the Dems has finally gone clinical. We have a West Wing Sheen who half believes he's Prez and a born-to-the-West-Wing candidate who thinks he's Sheen.

Posted by: c at August 11, 2004 at 01:21 PM

For all ya'll wanting to get your hands on tomorrow's winning lottery ticket, let this be a lesson to ya: this is what comes of having too much damn money!

Kerry's stories have out-creeped anything I've heard in American politics for 34+ years... what the hell is it with demeaucrats and serial liars, anyway? This guy is just-plain-spooky. At least with Bubba, one could understand his unquaffable sexual urges and stuff...

Wotta party we'll have come the evening of 2 Nov.

Posted by: geezer at August 11, 2004 at 01:21 PM

There was more than one CIA Agent involved; Nelson
Fox and Niccolo Toscani (future Chicago police detective) Re; Above the Law; a cinematic representation of Sen Kerry's witchhunting star
chamber, which included an Idealistic young Senator investigating conspiracies in Central America; who the hero Toscanni tells his story
to; but not before the CIA baddies try to kill
the Senator

Posted by: narciso at August 11, 2004 at 01:41 PM

Seared in Walter Kerry's memory is the grim pocketa-pocketa-pocketa of the enemy flamethrowers...

Posted by: Dave S. at August 11, 2004 at 01:48 PM

The more you think about this, the more you have to laugh. JK's story has two components:
1. He dropped a Black Ops guy into a "neutral" country--a very big no no--in A US MILITARY SHIP, REPLETE WITH CREW,MARKINGS AND ARMAMENT. Er, No. That did not happen.

2. Said CIA guy, who happily broke long standing protocol, not only identified himself as a spook, but GAVE HIM A FUCKING SOUVENIR.

of course it happened that way John My Boy. If you need it to, it happened.

Posted by: rod at August 11, 2004 at 01:49 PM

I went to Cambodia, before I decided I dreampt it.

Posted by: Brent at August 11, 2004 at 02:08 PM

He really ought to watch his imaginary hand gun safety.

Posted by: Andjam at August 11, 2004 at 02:16 PM

As you surf around the web following the claims and counter-claims regarding Kerry's 4 month long Vietnam service, be careful not to have a mouthful of liquid (or else put plastic on your keyboard). A common talking point being used to discredit the Swift Boat Vets (aka Swifties) is to question why the Swifties, those who are debunking Kerry's claims, are so obsessed about Vietnam.

The first time I encountered the 'anti-Kerry Swifties are bizarrely obsessed' argument I almost spewed coffee over my keyboard. (I've since seen this argument used enough to believe someone must have suggested it as a talking point.) But it took me by surprise when I first saw it.

How *anyone* in their right mind could try and suggest the Swifties have an unhealthy obsession with Vietnam when Kerry has made Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign is quite beyond me. It seems OK for Kerry to dredge up his 4 months in Vietnam and obsess about it, but somehow if anyone who is anti-Kerry brings up Vietnam they are accused of having an unhealthy obsession.

I wonder how many of the anti-Kerry Swifties carries a 30 yr. old hat around with them?

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 11, 2004 at 05:42 PM

So was the CIA guy on a mission to kill Col. Kurtz?

Nah. Colonel Klink.

Posted by: Robert Crawford at August 11, 2004 at 10:52 PM

Post Traumatic Television and Movies Syndrome

Or something like that, it was Duckman, In the Nam Of the Father.

Posted by: JBB at August 12, 2004 at 12:29 AM

Don't forget to check out Lileks today. He nails the whole underlying implausibility of the story.

Plus, he points out the utter gullibility of the reporter, who claims that "[Kerry] carries the black attache everywhere." Ever seen a picture of him carrying a briefcase. Me neither. If you find one, post a link.

Posted by: R C Dean at August 12, 2004 at 12:54 AM

You just can't make this stuff up. If Kerry wins the Presidency, political comedians will be out of a job because they won't be able to top him.

Posted by: Rebecca at August 12, 2004 at 01:28 AM

All of this attention to Kerry's service in Vietnam/Cambodia/Whatever is playing perfectly into his gameplan.

As long as the country's attention is focused on this claptrap, there's no attention being paid to his abysmal Senate record. The man has done NOTHING for 20 years, but is getting a pass as long as what he did 30-odd years ago is in the media.

Posted by: Bill in Boston at August 12, 2004 at 03:04 AM

Bill, that's next in the cycle of, never ending stories of his lengthy career in the service of himself.

Posted by: Mike H. at August 12, 2004 at 06:02 AM

The title of this post gives me a thought: At every Kerry appearance, could we get a brave band of RWDB's to chant "Show us the hat!" over and over?

Damn but that would be funny.

Posted by: TomK at August 12, 2004 at 06:39 AM

I'm beginning to suspect, Kerry had not served in the army. He was in a lunatic asylum and the lunatic escaped.

Posted by: d at August 12, 2004 at 09:54 AM

Maybe Theresa has John in some sort of a Manchurian Candidate warp. Does she play alot of solitaire, is she enamoured with the face cards?

Posted by: Timothy Lang at August 12, 2004 at 01:46 PM

Power Line posted a snapshot of what they believe to be a good candidate for the hat. I agree, but insist that it's the same hat I posted a picture of on my own blog, just rotated to keep Kerry's field of vision unobstructed.

Posted by: Beldar at August 12, 2004 at 04:34 PM

Dave S. - LOL. Haven't seen that film in ages.

Posted by: Reid at August 12, 2004 at 04:37 PM

This could finish Kerry.What happens to the Dems then,does Edwards step up?A new contender?

Posted by: Larado at August 12, 2004 at 05:08 PM

Cambodia is apparently so important to Kerry that he puts it in the source of his website:

[TITLE]John Kerry for President - John Kerry in Vietnam[/ TITLE]
[meta name= target content="military record, cambodia, vietnam, military service" ] "

Posted by: Quentin George at August 12, 2004 at 05:49 PM

What position on Cambodia?He keeps changing them.Not having a go,just want to know what positions we are talking about.

Posted by: Larado at August 12, 2004 at 06:07 PM

But no bias in the media, right? (I swear, I work in the media and one of my best friends here tells me she can prove -- PROVE! -- that the media is biased toward conservatives.)

But a Lexis search of US Newspapers and Wires in the past week for "Kerry" "Cambodia" and "Hat" yields exactly one hit -- from yesterday's New York Sun, the only conservative daily in the East Coast.

Posted by: Mark from Monroe at August 13, 2004 at 12:18 AM

Except for the Moonie-owned Washington Times, that is.

Posted by: Mark from Monroe at August 13, 2004 at 02:04 AM