Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Kerry Torches Bush on Veterans Day Speech and Iraq

It is a thing of beauty to see Democrats coming out swinging. Two weeks ago, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid made Republican honcho Bill Frist cry like a colicky baby, when Reid shut down the Senate to demand answers about fictitious pre-war intelligence on Iraq.

Today, it was Senator John Kerry positively torching George W. Bush on the Senate floor after the president's despicable display on Veterans Day. Courtesy of Pamela Leavey of The Democratic Daily, we get the full transcript of a withering response in which Kerry first calls Bush on setting a sad presidential precedent by using a solemn day as a platform for partisan attacks.

"Veterans Day is sacred - or it is supposed to be. Veterans Day is a day to honor veterans, not to play attack politics," said Kerry on the Senate floor. "The President, who is Commander in Chief, should know and respect this."

"Veterans Day originally marked the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, when the guns of World War I, the war to end all wars, finally fell silent," continued the Massachusetts Senator. "Instead of honoring that moment, instead of laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, instead of laying out a clear plan for success in Iraq, the President laid into his critics with an 11th hour rhetorical assault that dishonored America’s veterans and those serving today, even as he continued to distort the truth about his war of choice."

Kerry then really opened up on the Chickenhawk-in-Chief on the real purpose of Bush's speech on Friday -- to shore up support for his failed Iraq policy and to silence the drumbeats of those demanding answers for the lies that led to that war and the loss of over 2,000 American military personnel.

"But that whole discussion is nothing more than an effort to distract attention from the issue that matters most and can be answered simply: did the Administration go beyond what even the flawed intelligence would support in making the case for war? Did they use obviously inaccurate intelligence despite being told clearly and repeatedly not to? Did they use the claims of known fabricators? The answer in each case is yes. And the only people who are trying to rewrite that history are the President and his Republican allies," Kerry said.

"There is no greater breach of the public trust than knowingly misleading the country into war. In a democracy, we simply cannot tolerate the abuse of this trust by the government. To the extent this occurred in the lead up to the war in Iraq, those responsible must be held accountable. That is why Democrats have been pushing the Senate Intelligence Committee to complete a thorough and balanced investigation into the issue."

Kerry then cuts to the chase in a way even a Republican could understand:

"The bottom line is that the President and his Administration did mislead America into war. In fact, the war in Iraq was and remains one of the great acts of misleading and deception in American history," said Kerry. "The facts are incontrovertible. The act of misleading was pretending to Americans that they hadn’t made a decision to go to war, and would seriously pursue inspections when the evidence strongly suggests that they had already decided to take out Saddam Hussein, were anxious to do it for ideological reasons, and hoped that inspections, which Vice President Cheney had opposed and tried to prevent, would not get in their way."

I could quote the good parts forever, but this was truly a fine speech and a timely response to Bush's disgraceful and misleading performance on Friday.

Please check it out at The Democratic Daily and send it to all your friends and family.