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October 22, 2004

I'm Impressed With This Young Guy John Kerry

At the urging of Zeynep Toufe at Under the Same Sun, I read all of John Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony.

As Zeynep says, it's kind of amazing. Kerry doesn't just condemn the Vietnam war; he speaks of its origins in colonialism and American racism. No wonder it causes so many people's tiny monkey brains to overheat and call him a "traitor." As we know, calling Kerry a "traitor" is actually an accusation that he was "telling the truth."

But I was just as intrigued by Kerry's 1971 comments about government intelligence, where he was also completely right:

The intelligence missions themselves are based on very, very flimsy information... It is not reliable; everybody is feeding each other double intelligence, and I think that is what comes back to this country.

I think that the intelligence which finally reaches the White House does have serious problems with it... I have seen exactly what the response is up the echelon, the chain of command, and how things get distorted and people say to the man above him what is needed to be said, to keep everybody happy, and so I don't -- I think the entire thing is distorted.

Too bad that 32 years later, when he spoke before his vote on giving Bush the authority to invade Iraq, he'd completely forgotten about that:

In 1991, the world collectively made a judgment that [Saddam Hussein] should not have weapons of mass destruction. And we are here today in the year 2002 with an uninspected 4-year interval during which time we know through intelligence he not only has kept them, but he continues to grow them.
Posted at October 22, 2004 09:49 PM | TrackBack