He provides a link to the relevant book excerpt, and after reading its almost laughable assertions, I'm amazed Balta felt the need to spend almost 2000 words refuting it.
Kerry couldn't have gone into Cambodia because:
- There were US boats patrolling the Mekong river.
- There was a large sign at the border "prohibiting" entry. ("Foils! That sign is far too big for us to ignore!")
- Some swiftee commanders say Kerry would have been severely disciplined if he'd ventured into Cambodia, because of course the US wasn't operating in "neutral" Cambodia. That would have been a crime. (This is part and parcel with their argument that no atrocities were perpetrated by the US in Vietnam--which ties in with their true beef with Kerry--that he blew the whistle on returning to the US.)
- Documents suggest Kerry was "based" 55 miles away from the border, and Kerry was supposedly at base on Christmas.
Balta does do a painstaking job of parsing and refuting the swiftee arguments, and if you are really concerned about this issue, go read his well-documented points. But here's a shorter Balta:
Kerry could too have been in Cambodia because:
- The US boats patrolling the Mekong River couldn't possibly have effectively patrolled all the side channels and byways that the river takes around the border (he has maps).
- Balta doesn't address the serious sign issue, so I will. There is almost no evidence at all that in 1968 the US had the technology necessary to erect a force field (using a power source hidden by the really big sign) preventing border crossing.
- The US was indeed operating in Cambodia by 1969 (he has historical links), deemed necessary by the fact that the VietCong were using Cambodia already, and they were killing us.
- Both the range and speed of swift boats (a detail you might actually expect a swiftee to know) make it quite possible that Kerry's boat could have been both in Cambodia and at base within a 12-hour period.
Yeah, I guess you could say I'm ticked. Because these kinds of tactics drag down the potential of the entire country.