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THE CHARGE Kerry lied about spending Christmas Eve 1968 in Cambodia. In 1979 and 1986, Kerry recounted a mission in which he and his crew boated into neutral Cambodia. The Pentagon said at the time that Vietnam's neighbor was off limits, and Kerry said his mission was proof of Richard Nixon's dishonesty. Steven Gardner, the sole member of Kerry's crew to join the SBVT, says their boat was 50 miles from the Cambodian border that day.
THE EVIDENCE Kerry has no proof he entered Cambodia, though other U.S. forces certainly did. Two crew members have said the boat was near the border. Records show that the boat was about 50 miles south of Cambodia that morning. Kerry and his crew headed upriver and could have been at the border in two hours. On Christmas Eve, Nixon was President-elect; he would not be in the White House for a month. A Kerry campaign spokesman now says that Kerry might not have been in Cambodia that night but that he definitely went there on a mission.