27 April 2014

The Republicans have posted a "Debate Facts" section on their website. As is shown below, there is nothing factual about their claims.



1. Kerry On The Threat Posed By Saddam Hussein



Republicans charge that Kerry once supported and is now critical of the decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein and Iraq. This, in their minds, is a flip flop.



RESPONSE: A huge amount of information has been uncovered since 2002, including a great deal of evidence that the intelligence Bush used to the war was incorrect or even forged. Kerry and the rest of Congress voted on Bush’s bad information. Now that we know the justification for the war was invalid, it is by definition a mistake. As a Senator and as a Presidential candidate, it is Kerry's duty to use this information to improve our government's global policy -- to correct a mistake propagated by Bush and his cabinet.



2. Kerry Flip Flop On Iraq



RESPONSE: See point 1.



3. Breaking Debate Fact: Kerry Said President Has Lost Support Among Military Officials



Defending against this statement the Republicans publish nothing more than a list of names of Flag Officers.



RESPONSE: The list does not refute Kerry’s charge, it simply illustrates that Bush has the support of 250 officers. Bush has, in fact, lost support among military officials, many of whom are speaking out against what is happening and has happened in Iraq.



4. Breaking Debate Fact: Kerry Said It



SENATOR KERRY: “The President and I have always agreed on that, and from the beginning, I did vote to give the authority because I thought Saddam Hussein was a threat.” (Sen. John Kerry, First Presidential Debate, Miami, FL, 9/30/04)



RESPONSE: See point 1.



5. Breaking Debate Fact: Voted Against the $87 Billion



Kerry's False Statement:
In response to question #4 John Kerry said, "My message to the troops is also thank you for what they're doing but it's also help is on the way. I believe those troops deserve better than what they are getting today." (Sen. John Kerry, First Presidential Debate, Miami, FL, 9/30/04)



To illustrate that Kerry’s point was “false,” Republicans state that Kerry voted against the $87 billion supplemental budget and indicate that Kerry has taken up multiple positions on that budget.



RESPONSE: Voting against a supplementary budget does not mean that Kerry doesn’t want the troops to be treated better than they are today, it means that he doesn’t want to write a massive blank check to the companies who have bilked our nation’s taxpayers out of billions; it means that he wants accountable government and efficient private contractors; it means that the some of the lines in the budget were deplorable. There are many reasons to vote for or against any budget, as reflected in Kerry’s statements on the war and the budget itself. To argue that support or dismissal of these complex documents can be adequately summarized in one sentence is ludicrous.



6. Breaking Debate Fact: They Said It



The Republicans post the following statements:



PRESIDENT BUSH: War On Terror "Noble And Worthy." "I think about Missy Johnson's fantastic young lady I met -- met in Charlotte, North Carolina. She and her son Brian came to see me. Her husband, P.J., got killed. Been in Afghanistan, went to Iraq. It's hard work to try to love her as best as I can, knowing full well that the decision I made caused her loved one to be in harm's way. I told her after we prayed and teared up and laughed some that I thought her husband's sacrifice was noble and worthy. Because I understand the stakes of this War on Terror." (President George W. Bush, First Presidential Debate, Miami, FL, 9/30/04)



SENATOR KERRY On Whether The Iraq War Was Worth It: “It Depends On The Outcome.” DIANE SAWYER: “Was the war in Iraq worth it?” KERRY: “We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today.” SAWYER: “So it was not worth it?” KERRY: “We should not - it depends on the outcome ultimately, and that depends on the leadership.” (ABC’s “Good Morning America,” 9/29/04)



RESPONSE: Although it’s difficult to determine a message from these two unrelated statements, what the Republicans appear to be arguing here is that Kerry only believes the “War on Iraq” is justified if Iraq ends successfully while Bush thinks that a soldier’s sacrifice in the “War on Terror” is honorable. First off, realize that President’s statement is on the “War on Terror” and the statement with which Republicans have chosen to represent Kerry is about the war in Iraq – two different topics – another intentional distortion. Secondly, a soldier’s ultimate sacrifice has nothing to do if the war in Iraq is worth it. Kerry states that the war in Iraq will be worth it if it is successful, not that a soldier’s sacrifice isn’t honorable. Kerry has often stated that he respects the servicepeople in Iraq and recognizes the selflessness with which they serve the U.S.



7. Breaking Debate Fact: Kerry Claimed He’s “Never, Ever” Used Word “Lying” in Reference to President Bush on Iraq



The Republicans state:



Kerry's False Statement:

In response to question #9 John Kerry claimed he’s “never, ever” used word “lying” in reference to President Bush on Iraq. JIM LEHRER: “New question, Senator Kerry. Two minutes. You’ve repeatedly accused President Bush, not here tonight but elsewhere before, of not telling the truth about Iraq. Essentially, of lying to the American people about Iraq. Give us some examples of what you consider to be his not telling the truth.” SEN. KERRY: “Well, I’ve never, ever used the harshest word as you just did.” (Sen. John Kerry, First Presidential Debate, Miami, FL, 9/30/04)



The Real Record:

FACT: In September 2003, Kerry Said Bush Administration “Lied” And “Misled.” “This administration has lied to us. They have misled us. And they have broken their promises to us. The president promised to the people and the Congress that he would build an international coalition, respect the United Nations’ process and only go to war as a last resort. I will tell you that from my war fighting experience, I believe there is a test for a president as to how you go to war. And that test is whether or not you can look in the eyes of parents and say to them, ‘I did everything possible to avoid the loss of your son and daughter, but we had no other choice in order to protect the security of our nation,’ and I know this president fails that test in Iraq.” (Sen. John Kerry, Campaign Event, Claremont, NH, 9/20/03



RESPONSE: The statement the Republicans post does not support their claim. Lehrer’s question was for Kerry to provide examples of how Bush has not told the truth about Iraq. In the statement the Republicans post Kerry talks about Bush lying and misleading the American people by not building an international coalition, not exhausting the full UN processes, and only going to war as a last result. These are not statements about Bush lying about Iraq, they are statements about Bush lying what he would do in preparation for a potential war with Iraq.



8. Tonight's Flip:



The Republicans state:



In response to question #13 John Kerry said, "The President always has the right, and always has had the right for preemptive strike.” (Sen. John Kerry, First Presidential Debate, Miami, FL, 9/30/04)



Yesterday's Flop:

In 2003 Boston Globe Guest Commentary, Kerry Denounced "The Threat Of Military Preemption Against Terrorist Organizations." "It is troubling that this administration's approach to the menace of loose nuclear materials is long on rhetoric but short on execution. It relies unwisely on the threat of military preemption against terrorist organizations, which can be defeated if they are found but will not be deterred by our military might." (John Kerry, Op-Ed, "Moscow Treaty Is Full Of Holes, The Boston Globe, 3/5/03)



Kerry Criticizes President Bush's "Doctrine Of Preemption." GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "(Off Camera) ... you would have your own doctrine of preemption, then?" SENATOR JOHN KERRY: "George, every president from the beginning, uh, of time, has had a sufficient doctrine of preemption. Throughout the Cold War, the entire first strike doctrine was based on a doctrine of preemption. But that's very different from the Bush doctrine of preemption. I don't subscribe to the George Bush doctrine as he has described it, which is very different. It's a preemptive war for the purpose of removing, simply removing the dictator." (ABC's "This Week," 2/22/04)
(Democrats, A One-Two Punch," The [Albany] Times-Union, 2/28/04)



RESPONSE: The statements the Republicans provide do not indicate a change in position. In neither statement does Kerry say that the president doesn’t have the right to preemption, he simply says that the Bush has used it “unwisely.” In fact, he supports the president’s right to preemption in the latter statement.



9. Breaking Debate Fact: Kerry On Those Denying Saddam's Capture Makes America More Secure



The Republicans state:



In Tonight’s Debate, President Bush Said:



“My opponent looked at the same intelligence I looked at and declared, in 2002, that Saddam Hussein was a grave threat. He also said, in December of 2003, that anyone who doubts that the world is safer without Saddam Hussein does not have the judgment to be president. I agree with him. The world is better off without Saddam Hussein.” (President George W. Bush, First Presidential Debate, Miami, FL, 9/30/04)



Kerry On Those Denying Saddam's Capture Makes America More Secure



During The Primaries, Kerry Questioned The Judgment Of Those Claiming Saddam's Capture Doesn't Help American Security. "Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president." (Anne Q. Hoy, "Dean Faces More Criticism," [New York] Newsday, 12/17/03)



RESPONSE: As stated in point 1 above, a lot of evidence has surfaced between Kerry’s first statement and today that has proven Bush’s initial information about Saddam Hussein false. While Bush remains inflexible and ignorant on Iraq, Kerry has the good judgment to reevaluate his position in light of the fact that Bush was wrong about concerns like WMDs in Iraq.



9. Breaking Debate Fact: Setting the Record Straight on Multinational Force To Help Secure A Free Iraq



The Republicans state:



In response to question # 9 John Kerry said, “The United Nations, Kofi Annan, offered help after Baghdad fell and we never picked them up on that and did what was necessary to transfer authority and to transfer reconstruction. It was always American run. Secondly, when we went in, there were three countries: Great Britain, Australia and the United States. That's not a grand coalition. We can do better.” (Sen. John Kerry, First Presidential Debate, Miami, FL, 9/30/04)



The Real Record:



A Multinational Force Of Some 30 Nations Continues To Help Secure A Free Iraq. PRESIDENT BUSH: "The multinational force of some 30 nations continues to help secure a free Iraq, and we are grateful for the service and sacrifice of all." (President's Radio Address, 9/25/04)



In Addition to the United States, Other Coalition Members Are Providing Approximately 25,000 Troops To Assist Our Efforts In Iraq. (Robert Burns, "U.S. Offensive Hinges on Iraq Elections," The Associated Press, 9/29/04)



RESPONSE: First, the reports the Republicans use to support their “contradiction” are about what is currently happening in Iraq with an unspecified starting point. Kerry is talking about the invasion of Iraq. Secondly, the overwhelming majority of assistance the U.S. has received in Iraq has been from Great Britain and Australia. A coalition of equal partners has not been established.




THE VERDICT: Not one of Bush's Republicans' statements is valid. They are determined to mislead the people of the United States. Educate yourself and protect yourself from such feeble arguments.