I was taking a computer up to my mother's house yesterday and the only AM station I could find was Meet The Press with Tim Russert. He was interviewing Sen. Kennedy. I wasn't always paying attention to the SCOTUS nomination discussion but the subject turned to Iraq.
I had noticed previously how Kennedy is a season BS artist. I didn't agree with what he was saying but I did notice the complete and well-formed ideas of a pro on top of the game. That is how he handled the initial discussion on Iraq until Russert presented a quote as an example of the misuse of intelligence to sway public opinion before the Iraq invasion. I recognized whose quote it was and thought to myself that surely Russert wouldn't be baiting Kennedy. so let me quote the MSNBC transcript of the exchange and note Kennedy is sent mentally reeling and unable to come square center again for about three paragraphs:
"MR. RUSSERT: You talked about Iraq. There's a big debate now about whether or not the data, the intelligence data, was misleading and manipulated in order to encourage public opinion support for the war. Let me give you a statement that was talked about during the war. "We know [Iraq is] developing unmanned vehicles capable of delivering chemical and biological warfare agents...all U.S. intelligence experts agree they are seek nuclear weapons. There's little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop them. ... In the wake of September 11th, who among us can say with any certainty to anybody that those weapons might not be used against our troops, against allies in the region? Who can say that this master of miscalculation will not develop a weapon of mass destruction even greater--a nuclear weapon. ..."
Are those the statements that you're concerned about?
SEN. KENNEDY: Well, I am concerned about it, and that's why I believe that the actions that were taken by Harry Reid in the Senate last week when effectively he said that we are going to get to the bottom of this investigation, this had been kicked along by the Intelligence Committee, by Pat Roberts for over two years. And Harry Reid did more in two hours than that Intelligence Committee has done in two years. And the American people are going get this information.
And it's important that they get this information about how intelligence was misused because of the current situation. It's important to know where we've been, but it's important to know where we are today, because we're facing serious challenges over in Iran. We're facing serious challenges in North Korea. And we cannot have a government which is going to manipulate intelligence information. We've got to get to the bottom of it, and that is what the Democrats stood for on the floor of the United States Senate last week. That was a bold stroke, one that has the overwhelming support of the American people. It's about time they get the facts on it. They haven't got the facts to date. They deserve them, and they'll get them.
MR. RUSSERT: But, Senator, what the Democrats stood for on the floor of the Senate in 2002--let me show you who said what I just read: John Kerry, your candidate for president. He was talking about a nuclear threat from Saddam Hussein. Hillary Clinton voted for the war. John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry. Democrats said the same things about Saddam Hussein. You, yourself, said, "Saddam is dangerous. He's got dangerous weapons." It wasn't just the Bush White House.
( Watch the Seantor Stumble Here )
SEN. KENNEDY: The fact is--and I voted against the war, because every military--I'm in the Armed Services Committee, and every military leader highly decorated, military leader, said that it was foolish to have a military intervention at that. General Hoar, with the Marines--General Hoar, who has more Silver Stars than you could possibly count said if we go into Baghdad, it'll look like the last five minutes of "Private Ryan," so we know we had enough information to vote against it, I believe.
But the point about this is, we have the 9/11 that talked about the intelligence agencies. The failure of the FBI to talk to the CIA and the rest of it, but they also recommended that we find out how intelligence was manipulated. Now, we are--we had that committee set up under Pat Roberts. It has done virtually nothing. It has done--it's been dismissive. But Harry Reid is going to get them to tell the truth, and the American people will understand it. And then hopefully when we get a clean house in the White House and we get individuals that are going to help this president lead for an openness in government, we can avoid any kind of activity like that in the future."
Not a coherent paragraph after the revelation it was a John Kerry quote. If you can't dazzle them with brilliance...