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CAMBODIA GENOCIDE CONTROVERSY FILE 1.0

21/ Kiernan replies to The Australian


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The Australian, 15 Aug 1995

Ben Kiernan answers Stephen Morris

 

"Stephen Morris's comments on my leadership of the US Gov.-funded Cambodian Genocide Program (The Australian, 8 Aug) are deliberately unfair and packed with falsehoods. Morris calls me the "Denier of the crime" of genocide committed by the Pol Pot regime... I have published more information about them than anyone else, in seven books and two dozen scholarly articles... I have advocated an international trial of the Pol Pot regime since 1980.


..[Morris's] claimed career "find" - an alleged Russian document on US POWs in VN - was quickly shown to be full of errors (FEER May 6, 1993) and was reported to be a CIA fake (Susan Katz Keating, Prisoners of Hope, 1994).


(TP's note - the "find" also occurred at an extremely convenient moment, delaying the impending lifting of the economic embargo against VN by several months.)


...In 1975, Morris left Australia to study in the US... For 20 years Morris has not held a faculty position at any university. He has a "research assistantship" and is described by the director of his program as "loosely attached to Harvard"."


Kiernan also accused Morris of past support for the Khmer Rouge-dominated government in exile and of having opposed bringing the Khmer Rouge to trial for fear that it would appear to support the VN-backed government in Phnom Penh.


Three letters to the editor on the same day supported Kiernan and dismissed Morris. One quoted Morris as having estimated in 1975 that the communist takeover of SVN would result in the killing of 1 to 3 million people. Another was by Dr Helen James of the University of New South Wales. The third was by Dr John Hirshman, Convenor, Cambodian Support Committee.


Ben Kiernan is associate professor of History at Yale University.

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