March 16, 2004

Keeping up with the Kerry blog
Posted by Jon Henke

More blatant misrepresentations at the Kerry blog. I'll discuss a few, for posterities sake....


2. There was “no doubt” Iraq had “reconstituted” nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction
As discussed yesterday, the administration didn't claim Iraq had "reconstituted nuclear weapons".....the quote Kerry refers to is a mis-speak, which when viewed in context, was clearly a reference to a "program", not a weapon.

In fact, I'd argue that nobody has done more to tell the American people of an Iraqi nuclear "weapon" than the administration critics, who constantly unearth this quote while leaving context buried. The Kerry campaign knows better, but they're guilty of doing the same thing they accuse the Bush administration of doing....they "will say anything or do anything to achieve their political ends".

3. Iraq was an “imminent” or “uniquely urgent” threat to the U.S.
We all know by now that the administration never said it was an imminent threat. Spinsanity dealt with this.
5. Telling the American people in the State of the Union that Iraq had gotten nuclear material from Africa.
Lie. No exuses, that's a willful and intentional lie. In fact, the quote is: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Kerry knows as well as any of us the difference between "sought" and "had gotten".

6. That an operational tie existed between Al Qaeda and Iraq
Specifically, the claim was that "Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda". Kerry moves the line between the "links" that were claimd and virtually everybody concedes existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda....and actual "operational ties", which were speculated, but not claimed.
10. Bush said that Iraq’s possessed missiles posed as serious threat to U.S. allies in the Middle and Near East, but UN weapons inspectors found that the missiles Iraq possessed could travel less than 200 miles.
Here's a partial list of our (to one degree or another) allies within 200 miles of Iraq: Turkey; Kuwait; Saudi Arabia. Israel would be close to that line.
11. Brookings Institution Fellow Ivo Daalder said that assertions made by Bush administration officials that the coalition of the willing (2003 coalition of countries supporting the war in Iraq) was larger than the coalition in the 1991 war “a bald-faced lie.” Daalder, a former Clinton administration official, said, “Even our great allies Spain, Italy and Bulgaria are not providing troops.”
The 1991 coalition included 32 nations. The current Iraqi coalition numbers 49 nations. The remark about Spain and Italy not providing soldiers is especially tactless, considering the Spanish and Italian soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq.

But John Kerry says Bush lied, and John Kerry is an honorable man. Right?

UPDATE: Welcome. Check around for more good fact-checking. It's what we do. Blogroll, know the routine.



One would think that if you were accusing someone else of not just being inaccurate, but outright lying, you'd get the facts straight.

And not make up stories about foreign leaders telling you to your face that you need to win an election when you haven't seen a foreign leader face to face since you became a candidate.

But then if the press lets you have another chance at a soundbite or takes the blame for "mishearing" you, why the hell not just make stuff up as you go?

Posted by: Kevin "fun" Murphy at March 16, 2004 12:29 PM

Very nice, but why is it you saying this instead of the Bush campaign?

Posted by: ManFromPorlock at March 16, 2004 02:51 PM

Give them time. I have a feeling this will be a bigger issue than the "foreign leaders" gaffe.

Hard to base a canidacy on "Bush lied" when you cant go a week without your campaign doing in repeatedly.

Hard to be a Democrat nowadays.

Posted by: PJ at March 16, 2004 03:26 PM

There's some good stuff in Kerry's Meet the Press interview last August, like this quote from Kerry's October 2002 floor speech on the war resolution:

According to the CIA’s report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that they are seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop them.

In the wake of September 11, who among us can say with any certainty to anybody that the weapons might not be used against our troops or against allies in the region? Who can say that this master of miscalculation will not develop a weapon of mass destruction even greater, a nuclear weapon?

Posted by: Crank at March 16, 2004 03:43 PM

Maybe the information is surfacing here because the Bush Campaign would be accused of "negative campaigning" if it was to break the news that, yes, John Kerry is a liar at the head of a whole phalanx of liars.

Posted by: Steve at March 16, 2004 03:47 PM

I still think Cheney should be taken off the ticket for his outright misstatements and ties to Halliburton. I know Halliburton is the evil catchphrase of the day, but there are some legitimate conflicts of interest.

Bush/Rice would thump Kerry in a heartbeat.

Posted by: PJ at March 16, 2004 04:31 PM

I like Bush/Rice too.. but this would be fun to watch...

Posted by: Kate at March 16, 2004 05:02 PM

Funny stuff.

I sure hope you're right and this campagin revolves around who's been telling bigger lies.

Posted by: Z at March 16, 2004 05:19 PM

Think about this: Bush/Rice would win- thus guaranteeing the first black female President in 2008. What could the Dems do, except draft Hillary onto the ticket. Would THAT be a dream debate!!

Posted by: Phil Winsor at March 16, 2004 05:20 PM

Good stuff Z. Too bad I only see 13 comments by Bush on that page, none of which mention "imminent threat", and one quote not mentioned in the State of the Union address which specifically debunks that claim.

Maybe we can compare misstatements from Kerry's campaign, Democratic leadership and party supporters.

If you want to compare who is telling the bigger lies, I guarantee you the Democratic side will be far worse. As a Democrat, it is tough to say, embarassing actually, but it is true.

Posted by: PJ at March 16, 2004 07:26 PM

"Bush said that Iraq’s possessed missiles posed as serious threat to U.S. allies in the Middle and Near East, but UN weapons inspectors found that the missiles Iraq possessed could travel less than 200 miles."

Am I misremembering, or was the standard set out by UN resolutions after the 1991 war about 90 miles? I seem to recall that Iraq was prohibited, by binding UN Security Council resolutions, from possessing missiles that could fly more than about 90 miles. Last time I checked, 200 miles was a bit longer than 90 miles.

Technically, the al Samoud 2 *alone* was sufficient legal cause for war.

Posted by: Jeff Harrell at March 16, 2004 07:58 PM

I think the Bush administration's (Powell, Scott McClellan, even Bush himself...) latest comments about Kerry and foreign-leader-gate are simply a primer for more attacks on Kerry's honesty.

Kerry served the administration with a juicy grapefruit right down the middle. Once Kerry is defined as a man who is loose with the truth, revelations of less blatant lies will have a greater effect. And the public thinks "There he goes again..."

Posted by: Bryan at March 16, 2004 09:29 PM

Z, PJ is right. There is a difference between "threat" and "imminent threat." Otherwise, the word "imminent" would be surplusage. Speaking of useless wastes of textual space, only a few of those quotes even hinted at imminence. And I can't help thinking that those are out of context (i.e., the imminence is to allies in the region, not the US, which was true).
The other side of the coin is that the public probably didn't see 99% of these quotes. Anyone who cares probably did see the SOTU. Any rational American who doesn't dissect all of McClellan's and Rummy's comments couldn't think, on the basis of what Bush said, that Iraq was an imminent threat to the US.

Posted by: Adam at March 17, 2004 01:21 AM

Sorry, I should have just given this link, which affirms my context concerns (but I read it after posting).

Posted by: Adam at March 17, 2004 01:25 AM

BUSH answer;

Saddam president July 16, 1979 – April 9, 2003:
(The following numbers are conservative estimates, and are the “low-middle” average of all numbers available from multiple sources.)
Iran-Iraq war 80’ – 88’
Iraq – 300,000 killed (could be as high as 750,000)
Iran – 450,000 killed (could be as high as 1,000,000)

Kuwait invasion
1000 Kuwaitis killed

Kurdish revolution
50,000 Kurdish killed (could be as high as 250,000)

Marsh Arabs
200,000 killed (could be as high as 350,000)

Mass Graves
300,000 killed (very low estimate here, new graves being found constantly, my personal estimate is over 1,000,000)

24 years of rule
~8760 days
~1,301,000 deaths directly attributed to his regime
~148.5 deaths per day

I would vote for Bush considering this ALONE.

Posted by: Jim G. at March 17, 2004 09:28 AM

I was arguing last month that 1. the fact that there are so few uses of the word "imminent" shows that the administration had a policy of not using it and 2. a lot of leftists don't know what the word means. Click on my name below to see the post.

Posted by: Doc Rampage at March 17, 2004 11:59 AM