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September 09, 2004

Bad day for good targets

Which is, of course a good day for the Republic. The American Prospect catches Cheney in his lies about Kerry being soft on defense:

In March of this year, Cheney attacked Kerry for having “repeatedly voted against weapons systems for the military,” hammering the senator for voting “against the Apache helicopter, against the Tomahawk cruise missile, against even the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.” He said this record has “given us ample doubts about [Kerry’s] judgment and the attitude he brings to bear on vital issues of national security.”

What Cheney leaves out of his stump speeches is the ironic fact that almost all of the cuts Kerry voted for were endorsed or originally proposed by Cheney himself. At issue is not the cuts themselves, but the hypocrisy of Cheney attacking an opponent who merely followed his lead.

Cheney accuses Kerry of calling for “major reductions or outright cancellations of many of our most important weapons systems”; Bush ads attack the senator for voting “against 13 weapons systems for our troops” over 20 years. But it was Defense Secretary Cheney who gloated that he had “put an end to more than 100 systems” in less than three years. In December 1991, he bragged to the Washington Post that he was setting “an all-time record as Defense Secretary for canceling or stopping production” of weapons and equipment.

And Cheney has gotten specific. He regularly attacks Kerry’s vote against the B-2 stealth bomber in October 1990. But seven months earlier, Cheney had put forth the proposal to cut the B-2 bomber program. Cheney cites Kerry’s vote against the AH-64 Apache helicopter. But it was Cheney who told Congress in 1989, “I forced the Army to make choices . . . I recommended that we cancel the AH-64 program two years out.”

Cheney slams Kerry’s vote against the F-14 aircraft in October 1990; according to the Post, Cheney “asked Congress to kill” the F-14 in 1991 and had been “skeptical" of a proposal to continue production of the planes as early as 1990. Cheney hammers Kerry for voting against the F-16 aircraft and the Trident submarine, yet Kerry was merely endorsing cancellations proposed by Cheney -- who, according to The Boston Globe, had “decided the military already [had] enough” of those weapons. Cheney accuses Kerry of voting against “even the Bradley Fighting Vehicle." But in 1991 it was Cheney’s Pentagon that said it wanted “to terminate such Gulf War veterans as the . . . Bradley Fighting Vehicle.”

At one point, Cheney told the Post he had terminated “the F-14, F-15 and F-16 fighters, the A-6, A-12, AV-8B and P-3 Navy and Marine planes, and the Army's Apache helicopter and M-1A1 tank.” Five of these weapons systems are listed by the Bush campaign in its attempts to chastise Kerry for his anti-defense votes. Cheney was so successful at cutting weapons that The Boston Globe worried “The Army's cupboard is left particularly bare . . . [it] will soon have virtually no major weapons in production.”

Cheney has even gotten specific about dates, condemning Kerry for supposedly calling for defense cuts “in 1984, in the middle of the Cold War.” But it was near the end of 1984, at the height of Cold War tensions, that Cheney told the Washington Post that President Reagan needed to “take a whack” at defense if he wanted to be a credible commander-in-chief. If Reagan “doesn't really cut defense,” Cheney told the Post, “he becomes the No. 1 special pleader in town.”

Huhn. This, coupled with the embarrassing explosion of evidence the White House tried to hide about Bush's disobeying a direct order while slithering out of his National Guard service, makes me downright gleeful.

The only thing that could be better? Hearing that Chimpy snorted coke at Camp David while Poppy was president. Oh, wait--that's exactly what Kitty Kelley says Bush's former sister-in-law told her. Sharon Bush is now backing off, but Kelley is a celebrity dirt muckraker-- but there is no way her publishers would have printed such a charge without backup. Clearly, Bush would sue them... if it were false.

Posted by jay at September 9, 2004 12:07 PM | TrackBack
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Ah, all good news, but until this kind of thing makes it onto the nightly news and CNN, I don't see it being of much use. Still not seeing anything about Bush covering up the Saudi involvement in 9/11 on CNN or ABC News or the NYtimes even, and the story about Bush's service isn't even on CNN's front page, though they do have a headline about a dog shooting his owner.

Posted by: paulette on September 9, 2004 12:54 PM
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