Friday, August 20, 2004

Checking the Facts

Fortunately for those of us with little time, there exists a reputable organization that checks the facts, the Annenberg Political Factcheck (

"A Bush-Cheney '04 ad released Aug. 13 accuses Kerry of being absent for 76% of the Senate Intelligence Committee's public hearings during the time he served there. The Kerry campaign calls the ad "misleading," so we checked, and Bush is right.
Official records show Kerry not present for at least 76% of public hearings held during his eight years on the panel, and possibly 78% (the record of one hearing is ambiguous).
Kerry points out that most meetings of the Intelligence Committee are closed and attendance records of those meetings aren't public, hinting that his attendance might have been better at the non-public proceedings. But Kerry could ask that his attendance records be made public, and hasn't.

Aides also claimed repeatedly that Kerry had been vice chairman of the intelligence committee, but that was Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, not John Kerry.

Kerry often touts his eight years on the Senate Intelligence Committee as a prime qualification for office. The Bush ad takes that on, describing Kerry as a no-show for most of the committee's public meetings. If anything, the ad understates Kerry's lack of attendance."

How could anyone mistake himself for someone else? Kerry's aides claimed that the "similarity in names" --Kerrey vs Kerry---confused them. Perhaps the similarity in geography confused Kerry about Cambodia; or the similarity between "under fire" and "not under fire" ? If Kerry would release ALL of his Vietnam records (including the medical records) then perhaps this non-partisan organization would evaluate some of the allegations made by the Swift Boat Veterans?

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