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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Monday, October 25, 2004

Bombshell Without a Fuse

posted by Jazz at 10/25/2004 07:54:00 AM

NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.

This was the bombshell? All weekend long, the right winger blogs were abuzz about some devastating new "bombshell" that was going to be released on Monday which would bring the Kerry campaign to ruin. You'd have thought that CNN was going to reveal that Kerry had actually murdered Vince Foster. What we got instead was this story from the Washington Times. That's right... the Washington Times - not the Post, not CNN... the ink based mouthpiece for the Bush campaign. Their "bombshell" story in a nutshell: whether or not Kerry met with members of the UN Security council shortly before the enactment of resolution 1441 back in 2002.

Kerry has stated on multiple occasions that he traveled to the UN at that time to meet with members of the Security Council to discuss the amendment. The article cleverly tries to imply that Kerry stated he has some large, organized meeting with the entire council.

"An investigation by The Washington Times reveals that while the candidate did talk for an unspecified period to at least a few members of the panel, no such meeting, as described by Mr. Kerry on a number of occasions over the past year, ever occurred."

But in fact, Kerry never said that he had a large, formal meeting with all of the members at once. He only said that he "met with them" and talked about the resolution. This was two years ago or more, and a period of intense activity in the UN. People from all sides and around the world were coming and going. Keep that in mind as we look at the rest of this "bombshell."

Of the fifteen members of the Security Council, the Times claims they were only able to reach five of them. (Do these guys need to borrow a press pass from one of the real newspapers?) Of the five, three of them - Mexico, Columbia, and Bulgaria - said that either they hadn't met with Kerry or, in the words of the Mexican Ambassador, "at least not in my memory." ("I have no recollection of that, Senator.") A representative of a fourth nation also allegedly doesn't remember meeting with Kerry, but they refused to be named. Huh? Who on Earth would refuse to be named when making a statement about whether or not they remembered meeting with a junior Senator from Massachusetts two years ago to talk about a resolution? It's also interesting that these members with memory failure include some of Bush's staunchest supporters in the Iraq invasion.

Of the other twelve members of the fifteen member Security Council, even the Washington Times immediately admits that Kerry met with Singapore, Cameroon, France and Britain. Somehow they were unable to reach the others before rushing to press with this "bombshell."

What a dud. Kerry clearly met with most, if not all, the Security Council representatives. But in a clear indication of just how desperate the Bush Cheney team is getting as they watch the President's poll numbers continue to erode, they get their pet newspaper to desperately try to create a scandal out of this piece of syntax.

When something like this surfaces, it's always fun to see how the various blogosphere pundits are reacting. Let's take a peek.

Betsy Newmark does herself credit, being skeptical of this story: "Frankly, I'm underwhelmed with this as a powerful attack on Kerry's viability as a leader."

The Poor Man has a must-read HILARIOUS look at this story and another related Kerry "lie."

Digby, as always, tries to put the story in perspective, comparing it to other news ledes.

Bill, at INDC, obviously getting desperate as the U.S.S. BushCheney appears to founder, jumps all over it as a chance to say that Kerry is a "pathological liar."

Captain Ed offers no surprises, calling Kerry a "lightweight on the political stage" and taking this as yet another opportunity to get in some quick France-Bashing.

Our all time favorite right wingnut, Michelle Malkin, can't resist tying this into the Swiftboat Vets claims and "connecting the dots" about Kerry's foreign policy deceptions. (*sigh*)

Atrios applies some much needed common sense to this situation, and interprets Kerry's actual comments and talks about how he met with the permanent members of the security council, along with others.

TalkLeft chimes in with the two most common comments I've seen on this thus far. "Yawn" and "Bush must be desperate." (couldn't' have said it better myself.)