"The first and most fundamental mistake was the president's failure to tell the truth to the American people." John Kerry
"The president also failed to level with the American people about what it would take to prevail in Iraq." John Kerry
This is how John Kerry calls President Bush a liar.
But he's wrong -- in fact, since he knows the truth, it looks like Mr. Kerry is lying.
The truth Kerry thinks should have been told to the American people wasn't known as a truth at the time, and is questionable even today. From the time the President went to the UN for help in ousting Hussein to the day of the invasion, Hussein had plenty of time to move weapons to Syria or Iran. Just because we haven't found them (although we did find the portable labs and the fuselages of airplanes where terrorists were trained) doesn't mean they didn't exist. After all, Hussein used them on his own people and fired scuds into Israel in the 1980s-1990s.
Kerry himself told the American people the exact same things the President did. In 1997, speaking on CNN, John Kerry said, "We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians. We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest." That's just one of the many statements he made along those lines in the 1990s and early 2000s. And he voted to give the President the power to go to war without the UN. According to the way he is defining lying, Kerry lied when he said that.
Then there's the charge that the President didn't "level" with the people about what it would take to prevail in Iraq. But he did...again and again President Bush has said this would be a long war and that it will take courage to "stay the course" as he puts it. Of course he didn't give specifics. No one knew what those specifics would be, and at the very beginning the President told us that. The only thing we knew when we went to war is that it would be hard. And that we would persist until we won.
In his speech to a joint session of Congress in 2001, President Bush said, "This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.
"Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism." That's about as honest as you can be about war.
Kerry said today (Sept. 24)"I will finish the war in Iraq.” He doesn't say he will finish the job we started in Iraq; that he will see that the lives already lost will not have been lost in vain. Kerry is a quitter. He demonstrated that in Viet Nam and when he came home from the war.
Merriam Webster defines a lie as "an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive." It's clear that the President believed every word he said about Iraq. The secondary definition is the one Kerry relies on, and that is "something that misleads or deceives," This definition ignores intent and also doesn't consider when the deception occurs. Kerry assumes that any fact or statement that was believed when it was first presented is a lie if new information that fact or statement is determined to be inaccurate later. I don't think that's the traditional understanding of lying. If so, there are an awful lot of liars -- from scientists to teachers. That secondary definition clearly speaks to intent.
Therefore it is painfully clear that Mr. Kerry's strategy of accusing the President of lying is, in itself, a lie.