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Old 04-27-2004, 06:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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More Bush Distortions of Kerry Defense Record

The actual link has the text of the ads in question and a list of sources for the facts in the article.

The bottom line: Kerry was opposed to many of the same weapons programs that Cheney was, and in balance was more supportive of weapons programs than the Bush Administration themselves. McCain even weighs in saying that the ads go too far.




http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=177#

Quote:
Bush ads released April 26 recycle some distortions of Kerry's voting record on military hardware. We've de-bunked these half-truths before but the Bush campaign persists.

The ads -- many targeted to specific states -- repeat the claim that Kerry opposed a list of mainstream weapons including Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Apache helicopters, and also repeat the claim that he voted against body armor for frontline troops in Iraq. In fact, Kerry voted against a few large Pentagon money bills, of which Bradleys, Apaches and body armor were small parts, but not against those items specifically.

Analysis

On April 26 the Bush campaign released a total of 10 ads, all repeating claims that Kerry opposed a list of mainstream military hardware "vital to winning the war on terror."

Misleading Claims

The claims are misleading, as we've pointed out before in articles we posted on Feb. 26 and March 16. The Bush campaign bases its claim mainly on Kerry's votes against overall Pentagon money bills in 1990, 1995 and 1996, but these were not votes against specific weapons. And in fact, Kerry voted for Pentagon authorization bills in 16 of the 19 years he's been in the Senate. So even by the Bush campaign's twisted logic, Kerry should -- on balance -- be called a supporter of the "vital" weapons, more so than an opponent.

The claim that Kerry voted against body armor is based similarly on Kerry's vote last year against an $87 billion emergency supplemental appropriation bill to finance military operations and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It included $300 million for the latest, ceramic-plate type of body armor for troops who had been sent to war without it. The body-armor funds amounted to about 1/3 of one percent of the total.

Missing Context

It is true that when Kerry first ran for the Senate in 1984 he did call specifically for canceling the AH-64 Apache helicopter. What the ad lacks is the historic context: the Cold War was ending and the Apache was designed principally as a weapon to be used against Soviet tanks. And in fact, even Richard Cheney himself, who is now Vice President but who then was Secretary of Defense, also proposed canceling the Apache helicopter program five years after Kerry did. As Cheney told the House Armed Services Committee on Aug. 13, 1989:

Cheney: The Army, as I indicated in my earlier testimony, recommended to me that we keep a robust Apache helicopter program going forward, AH-64; . . . I forced the Army to make choices. I said, "You can't have all three. We don't have the money for all three." So I recommended that we cancel the AH-64 program two years out. That would save $1.6 billion in procurement and $200 million in spares over the next five years.

Two years later Cheney's Pentagon budget also proposed elimination of further production of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle as well. It was among 81 Pentagon programs targeted for termination, including the F-14 and F-16 aircraft. "Cheney decided the military already has enough of these weapons," the Boston Globe reported at the time.

Does that make Cheney an opponent of "weapons vital to winning the war on terror?" Of course not. But by the Bush campaign's logic, Cheney himself would be vulnerable to just such a charge, and so would Bush's father, who was president at the time.

McCain Defends Kerry, Criticizes "Bitter" Rhetoric

Kerry's voting record on military spending was defended March 18 by Republican Sen. John McCain. He said on CBS's "The Early Show:"

McCain: No, I do not believe that he is, quote, weak on defense. He's responsible for his voting record, as we are all responsible for our records, and he'll have to explain it. But, no, I do not believe that he is necessarily weak on defense.

McCain also criticized "bitter and partisan" attacks by both sides, saying, " This kind of rhetoric, I think, is not helpful in educating and helping the American people make a choice."

McCain is heading Bush's re-election efforts in Arizona. And speaking of Arizona, it was among nine states targeted by different versions of the same Bush ad.

Targeting Arizona

The state ads made mention of specific weapons -- supposedly opposed by Kerry -- manufactured in those states. The Arizona version mentioned Apache helicopters, Tomahawk cruise missiles and F-18 aircraft "all built here in Arizona."

The other ads were aimed at Arkansas, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania. All added a similar pork-barrel appeal to the basic attack on Kerry for undermining the "war on terror." And all gave an equally false impression of Kerry's actual voting record.
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Old 04-27-2004, 06:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i agree that it is misleading for the ads to imply that kerry deliberately voted against these systems by themselves.

but...

the article cites these instances as evidence that kerry isn't as weak on defense as the ads would have you believe. not necessarily true.

so kerry didn't specifically vote against the equipment? fine. but it doesn't make it any better that he voted against the equipment plus everything else the bill was intended to support.

sure, it reveals a potentially misleading part of the ad... but it does nothing to disprove the idea that kerry's record on defense spending hasn't been adequate.
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Old 04-27-2004, 06:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
sure, it reveals a potentially misleading part of the ad... but it does nothing to disprove the idea that kerry's record on defense spending hasn't been adequate.
Did you even read the article? Kerry voted for 16 of 19 pentagon bills. The armor in question was 1/3 of one percent of the bill he voted against, and the Apache was cancelled by CHENEY.

Jeez, and when Clinton said "I did not have sex with that woman" people got all up in arms. I guess what he said was technically true, so it should be ok.
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Old 04-27-2004, 06:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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uhh... you're sorely mistaken if you think there were only 19 "pentagon bills." those are only authorization bills... nearly every single senator votes yes for those. you should know that in kerry's career in congress he has had more than 19 votes pertaining to defense.

and yes, i suppose the apache specifically was killed, in part, by cheney. ok... did you expect someone to argue that point?

overall, kerry's record on defense spending is less enthusiastic than his peers.
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Old 04-27-2004, 07:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
overall, kerry's record on defense spending is less enthusiastic than his peers.
I'm waiting on your evidence of that.
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Old 04-27-2004, 07:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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::sighs::


Perhaps the reason why Kerry's campaign claims that Kerry's voting record is up to snuff is because the defense proposals he makes are too weak to make it to a vote.

S. 1290, Introduced 9/29/95: Proposed bill to cut 1.5 Billion from Intelligence budget between years 1996-2000. Tried to find a sponsor... no luck. Never made it to the floor.

1997: Kerry Questioned Growth Of Intelligence Community After Cold War. "Now that that [Cold War] struggle is over, why is it that our vast intelligence apparatus continues to grow even as Government resources for new and essential priorities fall far short of what is necessary?" (Senator John Kerry Agreeing
That Critic's Concerns Be Addressed, Congressional Record, 5/1/97, p. S3891)

Yeah, good call Senator... but here is the coup' de grace

12 Days After 9/11: "And the tragedy is, at the moment, that the single most important weapon for the United States of America is intelligence. And we are weakest, frankly, in that particular area. So its going to take us time to be able to build up here to do this
properly." (CBSs Face The Nation, 9/23/01)

Beautiful Senator... just wonderful.


S. 1580, Introduced 2/29/96: Plans to cut 1.6 Billion from Defense budget. Again, no sponsor found... never brought to a vote.

*************************************

But since we're just talking about votes here...

1993 = S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #73
1992 = S. Con. Res. 106, CQ Vote #73
1991 = H.R. 2707, CQ Vote # 182
1991 = S. Con. Res. 29, CQ Vote #49

This was the result of a quick google search. the information is out there.
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Old 04-27-2004, 07:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
::sighs::

*snip*
Right off the RNC website... You can do a little better than that, can't you?
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Old 04-27-2004, 08:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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haven't visited the RNC website in my life. i'd swear that on a stack of bibles. nope, got those somewhere else... but i won't guarantee you that those sources didn't take them from there as that is certainly possible. again, i won't deny they are there... but i really wouldn't have any idea about the matter either way. good thinking though, i'll have to check that out sometime.

those votes and proposals are part of the public record. they're stored in the national archives. the quotes are true, available to anyone who wants to verify their veracity.

the public archives are what they are. no matter where they are referenced... they exist outside of partisan spin. so, no... if the congressional record isn't good enough then i quite honestly cannot do any better.
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Last edited by irateplatypus; 04-27-2004 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 04-27-2004, 08:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
the public archives are what they are. no matter where they are referenced... they exist outside of partisan spin. so, no... if the congressional record isn't good enough then i quite honestly cannot do any better.
I think you're forgetting the original post here. Everything can be spun. Frankly, you aren't very credible with me after siding with the terrible republican spin in those ads. So, I'm looking at your "evidence" posted straight from the opposition web site and I'm wondering what else they might be hiding.

Again, did you read the text of the ads? The ads blame Kerry for the demise of the Apache program, something which Cheney had more to do with than Kerry. Even though the "facts" of the ad are true, they are incredibly misleading about the truth of the matter.
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Old 04-27-2004, 09:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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if you'll read the first line of my first post on this thread you'll see that i acknowledge the spin of the facts in the ad... but maintain that kerry is still weak on defense independant of those characterizations.

to be honest, i prefer not to carry credibility with someone who cites something like that recent howard zinn editorial. i know that sounds aweful when read, but it is an honest opinion delivered without malice.

i just said that i had never been to the RNC website... i looked for the first time after reading your post and couldn't find it. and if it's there... yay, whoopee, neato. i don't care. the same bare facts are in the national archives. you wonder what else they're hiding? good, me to. when you find something be sure to let us all know about it. seriously.

please stop asking me if i have been reading this or if i understand that. if you've paid any attention to my posts you'll see that i have. it is entirely possible for me to carefully read the same thing you do and come to a different conclusion. i'm sorry if this sounds rude... but i really tire of repeating the same things over and over. i know it is my fault for getting sucked into it, but ignoring someone's post and demanding they restate their case doesn't add to the TFP.

if there is no researched rebuttal, then i'll cheerfully leave this thread and let you hack it out with whoever else shows up.

again, no malice... but a bit of frustration.
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Last edited by irateplatypus; 04-27-2004 at 09:14 PM..
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Old 04-27-2004, 09:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I posted this once before, but it is appropriate again. Irateplatypus, please note the section about the $1.5 billion cut in intelligence spending and by the way I truly hope you haven't visited the RNC site it is a total waste of time.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2096127

John Kerry's Defense Defense
Setting his voting record straight.

By Fred Kaplan

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2004, at 3:41 PM PT

Before George W. Bush's political operatives started pounding on John Kerry for voting against certain weapons systems during his years in the Senate, they should have taken a look at this quotation:

After completing 20 planes for which we have begun procurement, we will shut down further production of the B-2 bomber. We will cancel the small ICBM program. We will cease production of new warheads for our sea-based ballistic missiles. We will stop all new production of the Peacekeeper [MX] missile. And we will not purchase any more advanced cruise missiles. … The reductions I have approved will save us an additional $50 billion over the next five years. By 1997 we will have cut defense by 30 percent since I took office.

The speaker was President George H.W. Bush, the current president's father, in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, 1992.

They should also have looked up some testimony by Dick Cheney, the first President Bush's secretary of defense (and now vice president), three days later, boasting of similar slashings before the Senate Armed Services Committee:

Overall, since I've been Secretary, we will have taken the five-year defense program down by well over $300 billion. That's the peace dividend. … And now we're adding to that another $50 billion … of so-called peace dividend.

Cheney proceeded to lay into the then-Democratically controlled Congress for refusing to cut more weapons systems.
Congress has let me cancel a few programs. But you've squabbled and sometimes bickered and horse-traded and ended up forcing me to spend money on weapons that don't fill a vital need in these times of tight budgets and new requirements. … You've directed me to buy more M-1s, F-14s, and F-16s—all great systems … but we have enough of them.

The Republican operatives might also have noticed Gen. Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the same hearings, testifying about plans to cut Army divisions by one-third, Navy aircraft carriers by one-fifth, and active armed forces by half a million men and women, to say noting of "major reductions" in fighter wings and strategic bombers.

Granted, these reductions were made in the wake of the Soviet Union's dissolution and the Cold War's demise. But that's just the point: Proposed cuts must be examined in context. A vote against a particular weapons system doesn't necessarily indicate indifference toward national defense.

Looking at the weapons that the RNC says Kerry voted to cut, a good case could be made, certainly at the time, that some of them (the B-2 bomber and President Reagan's "Star Wars" missile-defense program) should have been cut. As for the others (the M-1 tank and the F-14, F-15, and F-16 fighter planes, among others), Kerry didn't really vote to cut them.

The claim about these votes was made in the Republican National Committee "Research Briefing" of Feb. 22. The report lists 13 weapons systems that Kerry voted to cut—the ones cited above, as well as Patriot air-defense missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and AH64 Apache helicopters, among others.

It is instructive, however, to look at the footnotes. Almost all of them cite Kerry's vote on Senate bill S. 3189 (CQ Vote No. 273) on Oct. 15, 1990. Do a Google search, and you will learn that S. 3189 was the Fiscal Year 1991 Defense Appropriations Act, and CQ Vote No. 273 was a vote on the entire bill. There was no vote on those weapons systems specifically.

On a couple of the weapons, the RNC report cites H.R. 5803 and H.R. 2126. Look those up. They turn out to be votes on the House-Senate conference committee reports for the defense appropriations bills in October 1990 (the same year as S. 3189) and September 1995.

In other words, Kerry was one of 16 senators (including five Republicans) to vote against a defense appropriations bill 14 years ago. He was also one of an unspecified number of senators to vote against a conference report on a defense bill nine years ago. The RNC takes these facts and extrapolates from them that he voted against a dozen weapons systems that were in those bills. The Republicans could have claimed, with equal logic, that Kerry voted to abolish the entire U.S. armed forces, but that might have raised suspicions. Claiming that he opposed a list of specific weapons systems has an air of plausibility. On close examination, though, it reeks of rank dishonesty.

Another bit of dishonesty is RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie's claim, at a news conference today, that in 1995, Kerry voted to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget. John Pike, who runs the invaluable globalsecurity.org Web site, told me what that cut was about: The Air Force's National Reconnaissance Office had appropriated that much money to operate a spy satellite that, as things turned out, it never launched. So the Senate passed an amendment rescinding the money—not to cancel a program, but to get a refund on a program that the NRO had canceled. Kerry voted for the amendment, as did a majority of his colleagues.

An examination of Kerry's real voting record during his 20 years in the Senate indicates that he did vote to restrict or cut certain weapons systems. From 1989-92, he supported amendments to halt production of the B-2 stealth bomber. (In 1992, George H.W. Bush halted it himself.) It is true that the B-2 came in handy during the recent war in Iraq—but for reasons having nothing to do with its original rationale.

The B-2 came into being as an airplane that would drop nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union. The program was very controversial at the time. It was extremely expensive. Its stealth technology had serious technical bugs. More to the point, a grand debate was raging in defense circles at the time over whether, in an age of intercontinental ballistic missiles and long-range cruise missiles, the United States needed any new bomber that would fly into the Soviet Union's heavily defended airspace. The debate was not just between hawks and doves; advocates and critics could be found among both.

In the latest war, B-2s—modified to carry conventional munitions—were among the planes that dropped smart bombs on Iraq. But that was like hopping in the Lincoln stretch limo to drop Grandma off at church. As for the other stealth plane used in both Iraq wars—the F-117, which was designed for non-nuclear missions—there is no indication that Kerry ever opposed it.

The RNC doesn't mention it, but Kerry also supported amendments to limit (but not kill) funding for President Reagan's fanciful (and eventually much-altered) "Star Wars" missile-defense system. Kerry sponsored amendments to ban tests of anti-satellite weapons, as long as the Soviet Union also refrained from testing. In retrospect, trying to limit the vulnerability of satellites was a very good idea since many of our smart bombs are guided to their targets by signals from satellites.

Kerry also voted for amendments to restrict the deployment of the MX missile (Reagan changed its deployment plan several times, and Bush finally stopped the program altogether) and to ban the production of nerve-gas weapons.

At the same time, in 1991, Kerry opposed an amendment to impose an arbitrary 2 percent cut in the military budget. In 1992, he opposed an amendment to cut Pentagon intelligence programs by $1 billion. In 1994, he voted against a motion to cut $30.5 billion from the defense budget over the next five years and to redistribute the money to programs for education and the disabled. That same year, he opposed an amendment to postpone construction of a new aircraft carrier. In 1996, he opposed a motion to cut six F-18 jet fighters from the budget. In 1999, he voted against a motion to terminate the Trident II missile. (Interestingly, the F-18 and Trident II are among the weapons systems that the RNC claims Kerry opposed.)

Are there votes in Kerry's 20-year record as a senator that might look embarrassing in retrospect? Probably. But these are not the ones.


Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate.

Photograph of John Kerry by Jim Bourg/Reuters
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Old 04-27-2004, 10:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
if you'll read the first line of my first post on this thread you'll see that i acknowledge the spin of the facts in the ad... but maintain that kerry is still weak on defense independant of those characterizations.
No, actually you said:
Quote:
so kerry didn't specifically vote against the equipment? fine. but it doesn't make it any better that he voted against the equipment plus everything else the bill was intended to support.
So you were saying that the facts in the ad *were* true, even though, for example, the apache program was cancelled by Cheney, not Kerry, and the armor program was 1/3 of 1 percent of a huge spending bill that Kerry opposed.

I think mml has given you some facts to chew on.
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Old 04-27-2004, 10:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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mml, thanks for the kaplan article. i read that also while doing my research, he is usually very sober in his analysis.

i'm really not sure why he cited the reason for the 1.5 billion dollar reduction as a consequence for a canceled program. the article talks of amendments, but the bill was never amended. it was read twice on the floor and killed in committee. the national guard reconnaisance program certainly isn't cited in the bill. it simply requires that discretionary spending on intelligence be cut 300 million a year for 5 years. in just this bill alone there are plenty of defense cuts included. that's fine, i'm sure some of them were warranted... but apparently there were too many for this bill to find a sponsor, much less voting support.

Lifted directly from the text of the bill at actual senate records site:

(2) Terminate production of Trident D5 submarine launched ballistic missiles after 1996.

(3) Phase out over five years the equivalent of two Army light divisions.

(4) Deny unemployment compensation to service members who voluntarily leave the service.

(5) Close the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, with the last class admitted in 1995 and all activities halted on that class' graduation in 1999.

(7) Reduce the Intelligence budget by $300 million in each of fiscal years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000.

(11) Cancel the Army's Tank Upgrade Program and lay-away production facilities, deactivating but preserving the Government-owned tank manufacturing facilities.

(15) Limit the mission of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization to Theater Missile Defense and Terminate its other projects.

(16) Terminate the National Aerospace Plane Program.

****************************************
you can get the full text of the bill we're discussing at:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c104:S.1290.IS:

is there any way to reconcile the text of the bill and the congressional record w/the editorial from slate?
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Old 04-27-2004, 10:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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harmlessrabbit,

uhh... cheney was the secretary of defense at the time, kerry was a legislator. a secretary cannot cancel a program w/out congress' consent because all budgets for these programs must be approved/rejected by congress. the secretary (cheney) did recommend that the apache be canceled, apparently the senator from massachussetts agreed with him. neither man "killed" the bill singlehandedly... that just isn't how our government works.

is it hypocritical to say that kerry voted against the apache while someone in Bush's administration did the same? yeah, i think so. you were saying that cheney killed the apache therefore excluding kerry from responsibility (which isn't true), so hypocrisy really isn't the heart of your contention.
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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hypocrisy is how the world turns round and round
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
is it hypocritical to say that kerry voted against the apache while someone in Bush's administration did the same? yeah, i think so. you were saying that cheney killed the apache therefore excluding kerry from responsibility (which isn't true), so hypocrisy really isn't the heart of your contention.
it is hypocrisy to say:
Quote:
Bush: I’m George W. Bush and I approve this message.

Announcer: As our troops defend

America in the War on Terror, they must have what it takes to win. Yet, John Kerry has repeatedly opposed weapons vital to winning the War on Terror: Apache Helicopters, Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, and components of F-18 Fighter Jets all built here in Arizona.

Kerry even voted against body armor for our troops on the front line of the War on Terror. John Kerry’s record on national security: Troubling.
without mentioning that your own administration supported the same.

The apache NEEDED to be killed, what a boondoggle. That's not my point.
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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hypocritical... agreed.

but it isn't as if President Bush recommended the Apache be killed, someone in his administration did. if kerry were running against cheney, i could see how this would be a huge deal. since he's not... it is just another run-of-the-mill example of campaign spin (however unfortunate that may be).

but i'm going to stick you on this one...

you criticized me for saying that kerry killed the apache and voted against body armor were true. both are true. what isn't provided is the context in which those actions were taken. underhanded political attacks, but not erroneous as you contended.

even with the real situation of kerry's support of these programs brought to light, i still maintain that he has not provided the support to the intelligence/military necessary to our defense.
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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This editorial summed up my feelings better than I could, and further expands on this double standard the media has regarding President Bush that has been around since he was Governor.

Quote:
In the course of the past week an odd double standard has emerged in the presidential campaign. Every sentence and gesture of the young John Kerry has been scrutinized -- and often deliberately misinterpreted -- for signs of insincerity, self-promotion, lack of patriotism and fledgling Francophilia.

The sentences and gestures of the young George W. Bush, on the other hand, remain shrouded in obscurity. You don't build a record if you don't show up, and that's exactly what Bush did during the Vietnam War.

The Republicans have subjected Kerry's time in Vietnam to the kind of going-over normally accorded war criminals. Did he really deserve that third Purple Heart? How big, exactly, was that piece of shrapnel that had to be removed from his left arm?

We could, I suppose, ask an equivalent question of Bush, but only if they awarded Purple Hearts for paper cuts incurred in the campaign headquarters of the Republican Senate candidate for whom Bush worked during the year he was supposed to be serving with the Air National Guard in Alabama.

Kerry's leadership of Vietnam veterans who opposed the war has also come under attack. Last week a gang of Republican congressmen took to the House floor to charge that Kerry had undermined the war effort and betrayed his comrades in arms. "What he did was nothing short of aiding and abetting the enemy," said Texas Rep. Sam Johnson, who then took to calling Kerry "Hanoi John."

What Kerry did, in actuality, was provide a forceful voice and prudent guidance to a movement of angry men who had sacrificed for their country in a war that, by 1971, no longer had a plausible purpose but nonetheless continued to rage. By the time Kerry appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and posed his memorable question -- "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- it was plain that no one in the Nixon administration really believed that the war could be won.

The war not only dragged on, however, but Nixon expanded it to Cambodia (a decision that predictably destabilized the regime of Prince Norodom Sihanouk and in turn helped bring the Khmer Rouge to power). A number of antiwar activists, veterans among them, responded with a kind of crazed desperation, proposing increasingly confrontational actions. Like many antiwar leaders of the time, Kerry was fighting a two-front war: against the administration in the court of public opinion but also against those of his comrades who wanted to direct the movement into self-destructive spasms of rage.

It was precisely because Kerry's impulses were so mainstream that the Nixon White House feared him. Nixon didn't sit around with his goon squad of Bob Haldeman and Chuck Colson plotting against Kerry because they thought Kerry was Hanoi John. On the contrary, Kerry had to be taken down because his patriotism was so glaringly obvious.

He had, after all, joined the service despite the grave doubts -- to which he gave voice in his Yale class oration in the spring of 1966 -- he harbored about the war. He had thrown himself in harm's way repeatedly while skippering "swift boats" in the Mekong Delta. He had worked to build an effective, law-abiding antiwar movement. Such men were dangerous.

There are days in this campaign when Kerry must think he's still up against Nixon and his thugs. The same slanders that Dick and his boys cooked up then -- Kerry as dangerous radical, Kerry as inauthentic liberal -- are being served up now by Nixon's ethical heirs.

Did Kerry make mistakes during his years in the antiwar movement? Sure he did, beginning with his studied (but clumsy) ambiguity about the fate of his medals and ribbons. But what is the standard we judge him by? When Kerry was fighting in Vietnam, and then fighting to change a disastrous policy at home, Bush had become the invisible man to his fellow aviators in the National Guard; Dick Cheney had, by his own admission, "other priorities" than the war and picked up four separate draft deferments, and junior exterminator Tom DeLay was risking life and limb in a daily battle against termites. Bush, in his own words, was "young and irresponsible," and Kerry all but reeked of responsibility. Bush was Prince Hal and Kerry King Henry and, when it comes to maturity of judgment, they remain so to this day.
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Old 04-28-2004, 01:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
(7) Reduce the Intelligence budget by $300 million in each of fiscal years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000.
I read about that. I also read that the proposed reduction to the intelligence budget before this one was a republican (broadly) sponsored bill and was a substantially larger cut than 300 million.
Kerry's 300 million was a compromise number.
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Old 04-28-2004, 01:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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oh my, we're really grasping for straws now.

if that's true (and i'm really not certain that it is) then i hope for the relevance of the post that the senator was somehow acting on behalf of the governor of texas. The first contention in this thread was that Kerry never made those types of cuts... then it switched to Kerry have an unverifiable good reason for those cuts, an idea that stands in opposition to the actual text of the bill... now the argument is that an unnamed senator, representing an unknown number of other senators, was going to make steeper cuts but Kerry made a compromise? I'm open to new factual information, but I'm not buying any of it right now.
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Old 04-28-2004, 01:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Intelligence agencies; in particular the NRO, were being mismanaged.
The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency in charge of the nation’s spy satellites, was embroiled in controversy because of a $300 million land deal. According to the Washington Post, The NRO “bought almost 14 acres more than needed for its controversial new $ 304 million, four-building headquarters complex in the Westfields development near Dulles International Airport …. NRO, which designs, procures and manages intelligence satellites, planned to use the surplus Westfields acreage to build two additional office buildings that could be sold or leased to its contractors. The only way the NRO could buy the land it wanted was to purchase additional land, so the developers who owned it could get the profit they wanted. … [A] CIA-Pentagon investigation begun in August found that the NRO had failed to disclose the cost of the headquarters to Congress and found it was 30 percent bigger than the organization needed for its 2,190 employees and nearly 1,000 contractor personnel. The Westfields developer got NRO to purchase roughly eight additional acres because the spy satellite agency planners insisted they had to build and own the complex themselves. They refused to allow the developer to construct and rent the buildings to NRO under a long-term lease. Therefore, selling the land was the only way the developer would make money from the NRO deal.” [Washington Post, November 9, 1994]

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In September of 1995, a secret billion dollar slush fund was found in the intelligence budget which served as a full employment opportunity for defense contractors.
The White House said yesterday it was "inexcusable" that the top secret agency that manages U.S. spy satellites had reportedly hoarded $ 1 billion in unspent funds. Chief of Staff Leon E. Panetta said John M. Deutch, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, had ordered an investigation into how the National Reconnaissance Office managed to stash away so much money without informing supervisors at the Pentagon or Congress. … The unspent funds were discovered after the Senate intelligence committee questioned a luxurious $ 300 million headquarters the NRO was building in a Washington suburb. [Washington Post, September 25, 1995]

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Old 04-28-2004, 02:34 PM   #22 (permalink)
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gosh, there are certainly multiple accounts of what this issue is about...

Taken from the Slate.com article cited above:

"John Pike, who runs the invaluable globalsecurity.org Web site, told me what that cut was about : The Air Force's National Reconnaissance Office had appropriated that much money to operate a spy satellite that, as things turned out, it never launched. So the Senate passed an amendment rescinding the money—not to cancel a program, but to get a refund on a program that the NRO had canceled. Kerry voted for the amendment, as did a majority of his colleagues."

No mention of the headquarters or slush fund there... but the Washington Post is certainly a quotable source as well.

This article also references an amendment to the proposed bill that isn't listed in the congressional record.

Kerry submitted his proposal in late september, only four days after the news about this supposed broke in papers. Taking into account the work necessary in drafting legislation coupled with the very recent discovery of this potential mismanagement. This leads me to believe that the cuts proposed by Kerry were unaffected by this development. His remarks on the senate floor a year and a half later about the state of our intelligence budget solidifies that hypothesis.

So what are we to do about conflicting accounts from 3 sources (globalsecurity/slate, congressional records, washington post)?

i will take the congressional record, a document that makes no mention of amendments, no mention of specific overspending, no mention of the NRO and submitted within days of a seemingly related news story.


if kerry sought to single out the NRO for their poor spending, then i believe he would've noted that in his bill rather than making cuts to the general discretionary fund of the overall intelligence budget.

*********************************
addendum:
the slate article referenced the NRO as part of the Air Force's apparatus when in fact it is a separate entity... a peer of the AF's intelligence gathering organization.

http://www.intelligence.gov/1-members.shtml

when you check these things out... it is amazing what inconsistencies are found. wow...
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Old 04-28-2004, 03:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
Kerry submitted his proposal in late september, only four days after the news about this supposed broke in papers. Taking into account the work necessary in drafting legislation coupled with the very recent discovery of this potential mismanagement. This leads me to believe that the cuts proposed by Kerry were unaffected by this development. His remarks on the senate floor a year and a half later about the state of our intelligence budget solidifies that hypothesis.
This is pure speculation on your part. How many term papers did you pull all nighter to write in college? It doesn't seem implausable to write a bill in 4 days. Maybe Kerry had information *before* the news broke in the papers. Senators know a lot of things before they are released to the general public.

irateplatypus, you and Superbelt are arguing about the ins and outs of a bill that was voted on over a decade ago. Though the congressional record is good, it isn't the whole story. There's lots of wheeling and dealing that goes on behind the scenes that never makes it to the congressional record. That's why there's value in having analysis. It seems to me that this kind of speculation is mostly pointless unless you're an expert in that particular feild and time period, which I doubt anyone here is.

The Bush campaign has engaged in disingenuously distorting Kerry's voting record, I thought we'd all agreed to the premise of the thread.

Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
i agree that it is misleading for the ads to imply that kerry deliberately voted against these systems by themselves.
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Old 04-28-2004, 03:52 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wax_off
Maybe Kerry had information *before* the news broke in the papers.
this is pure speculation on your part. that is part of what we (and you) do on these internet boards... speculate. i'm not, and didn't, say it was impossible for kerry to write a budget bill in 4 days... i just said it seemed unlikely that his cut was a direct reaction to a money management problem that is described differently by two different reliable sources.

yes, there has been agreement that the original at was misleading but there are still things unresolved. there have been several posts on this thread that have added new information to the discussion, you've done nothing but add redundancy to this already technical and thick subject.

and if superbelt and myself want to discuss this bill in a very technical sense... i don't see why it is a concern of yours. you have the choice to either give your own input or post elsewhere. i'm sure we all agree that you're welcome to do either one.
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:03 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The Bush campaign has engaged in disingenuously distorting Kerry's voting record, I thought we'd all agreed to the premise of the thread.
..such is politics. The premise of this thread was that Bush is alone in his tactics. The homepage of where this article originated suggests suggests otherwise. Why is anyone surprised? In some recent thread people were complaining about nickle and diming and talking about what really mattered (something to do with Kerry's medals).........ditto.
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Old 04-30-2004, 10:00 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Does Kerry have a different opinion on defense spending than most of the GOP - ahhh Yes, he's a Democrat. Has he voted for reduction of defense and intelligence spending over the years - Yes. Has he voted for increases in defense and intelligence spending - Yes. Has he made some very astute and perceptive votes in regards to needed defense cuts - Yes. Has he made some errors - Yes. Is he weak on national defense because Bush and the GOP continually say he is - No. Is he, in fact, weak on defense - No.

There are going to be votes that Kerry has made during his many years in public office that I do not agree with, but there are a vast majority with which I do agree. In regards to defense spending, when you look at his overall record, I agree with the majority and do not believe it actually paints a picture of someone who is weak on national security.
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:22 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I wish to return to a small point on the distortions which have come about because of advertising.

From the same source as the first post is this http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=176

All I wish to prove by this is that lies in advertising exist on both sides. =(
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Old 05-02-2004, 01:45 PM   #28 (permalink)
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It still amazes me that people pay any credence whatsoever to campaign adds. All they EVER amount to is a 30 second soundbyte grossly exaggerating the canidates acheivements and the opponents mistakes. I cant say Ive seen a campaign add without at least one blatant misrepresentation of the truth. And yet people still act suprised, shocked, and appaled when they find a factual discrepency with information in a campaign add. I dont get it.
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