Senator John Kerry says he - in fact "every one of
us" - was misled by
President Bush concerning Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. And he
says the deception is one reason he is running for President
Here are links to the Globe and BBC reports on Kerry's realization that he
had been lied to and his determination that he will not let President Bush
"off the hook."
If John Kerry had been interested in the truth, why did he refuse to meet
with his Western Mass constituents before voting for the war resolution?
Why did he close his Springfield office on October 11 - shutting out his
constituents - in the aftermath of his vote in favor of war?
Before his vote, on September 30, a group of his constituents, including
this writer, met with his foreign policy aide, as part of a national effort
organized by the Education for Peace in Iraq Center with Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom, Peace Action, Sisters of St.
Joseph, and others. This joint effort worked to bring important resources
and constituent concerns about the war directly to their Members of
Congress. 140 citizens from 23 states fanned out and had meetings in 102
Congressional Offices, primarily meetings with Senate foreign policy aides.
The intellectual core of the resources presented were from the UK.
1) The 'Counter-Dossier' - http://traprockpeace.org/counter-dossier.html -
written by Glen Rangwala, Lecturer in Politics at the University of
Cambridge and Alan Simpson, Labour MP) was written to counter the notorious
Blair dossier released on September 24, 2002 to Parliament and
2) 'Counter-Dossier II' -
a more technical treatment of the weapons of mass destruction claims.
(Traprock had published these papers in the US on the internet and in
booklet form with the cooperation of Glen Rangwala. Mr. Rangwala updated and
replaced Counter-Dossier II as the lead-up to war progressed - see
(As a prelude to the citizens' lobbying, Traprock Peace Center visited 31
Senate offices on September 24, distributing the Counter-Dossier and meeting
with some Senate aides, and WILPF followed up by bringing it to House
members the next day.
In October, 2002, 23 Senators and 133 Representatives voted against the Bush
Administration's war resolution. John Kerry voted for it. What did 156
Members of Congress know that Kerry did not know? Hundreds, perhaps
thousands, of his constituents had called him, urging him to vote against
war. After he voted for war, over 20,000 constituents wrote in the name of
Randall Forsberg, who ran against him in a last minute write-in anti-war
campaign in November.
During the lead up to war, much came to light in terms of US and UK
deceptions concerning the weapons of mass destruction allegations. Surely,
Senator Kerry took note of these developments.
A few examples:
1) Colin Powell made a case for war to the UN Security Council on February
5th. (See Glen Rangwala's analysis at the time -
http://traprockpeace.org/firstresponse.html ) Powell referred to a British
intelligence report, at the UN and as a follow-up before Congress. Glen
Rangwala broke the story to the British press that the British
'Intelligence' report was largely a plagiarized and out-dated paper by a
postgraduate student. http://traprockpeace.org/britishdossier.html
Per the Observer (UK) "the finished document appeared to have been cobbled
together not by Middle East experts, but by the secretary of Alastair
Campbell, the Government's chief spin doctor, and some gofers."
2) Newsweek reported that the UN Inspectors had hidden the full interview
Gen. Hussein Kamel, who had been in charge of Iraq's weapons programme
before Gulf War I. He defected in 1995 and provided details of Iraq's
programme, but said Iraq destroyed its WMD's. The US Administration heavily
replied in its public statements on the parts of the Kamel interview that it
liked, while neglecting the sticky parts - such as his assertions that the
WMD's had been destroyed. Conveniently, the UNSCOM kept the interview under
wraps. The CIA re-buffed Newsweek's story, saying "It is incorrect, bogus,
wrong, untrue." (see http://traprockpeace.org/kamelcoverage.html for a
chronology of media coverage). Then, Glen Rangwala showed the CIA was
'misinformed' when he published the original transcript of the interview.
See his briefing (with a link to the full transcript) at
3) The so-called evidence that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Niger - a
major reason that Kerry says he supported the war - were widely reported by
March 8 to be fraudulent (Chicago Tribune - "Knowledgeable sources familiar
with the forgery investigation described the faked evidence as a series of
letters between Iraqi agents and officials in the central African nation of
Niger. The documents had been given to the UN inspectors by Britain and
reviewed extensively by U.S. intelligence."
Further, on March 16 the Tribune reported that the US had relied on the
faked evidence. "At one point, the Niger letters were seen as key evidence
in the U.S. case against Iraq. In December, the State Department said Iraq's
declaration to the United Nations regarding its weapons program omitted
numerous items. Among them, the State Department said, were "efforts to
procure uranium from Niger.'"
See also "The Status of Nuclear Inspections in Iraq: An Update" by IAEA
Director General Dr. Monhamed ElBaradei, March 7, 2003:
The report states: "Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded, with
the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents - which formed the
basis for the reports of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger
- are in fact not authentic. We have therefore concluded that these specific
allegations are unfounded. However, we will continue to follow up any
additional evidence, if it emerges, relevant to efforts by Iraq to illicitly
import nuclear materials."
John Kerry had ample opportunities to discern the truth, before he voted for
the war resolution in October, 2002 and during the build up to the invasion.
He says that the Bush administration misled everyone. 156 of his colleagues
in Congress would disagree; they voted against war. And, thousands of his
constituents would disagree - they called his office or voted for his
write-in opponent in November. After the deaths of between 5567 and 7240
civilians in Iraq as of this date (per the Iraq Body Count Project -
http://www.iraqbodycount.net/ ) with almost daily shooting deaths of both US
soldiers and Iraqi during the occupation (not to mention the thousands of
Iraqis who will die due to destructions of infrastructure and health care
systems, continuing violence and exposure to the hundreds of tons of
depleted uranium residue left in Iraq from US and UK munitions), Senator
Kerry speaks out.
He says was misled. Perhaps he was not as sharp as his 156 colleagues and
thousands of constituents. Could there be a darker possibility? Could he
have realized the truth and for political reasons went along, knowing that
he could claim later - after things had started to go badly - that he had
been misled, along with "every one of us."
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