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July 14, 2004
He Was Against Reading It Before He Was For It

John Kerry challenged George Bush earlier today to reveal whether Bush had read an NIE intelligence estimate before basing his request for war authorization on it. Within hours, Kerry's aides had to admit that Kerry himself never read the document before voting to authorize the war in Iraq (via Drudge):

Democratic candidate John Kerry, whose campaign demanded to know on Wednesday whether President Bush read a key Iraq intelligence assessment, did not read the document himself before voting to give Bush the authority to go to war, aides acknowledged.

"Along with other senators, he was briefed on the contents of the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) by (then-CIA Director) George Tenet and other administration intelligence officials," said Kerry spokesman Phil Singer.

Kerry's campaign has challenged Bush to say whether he read the complete intelligence report before deciding to go to war, or whether he just read a one-page summary, which Democrats say gave him none of the dissenting views included in the full version. The Kerry campaign stepped up the attack on Wednesday, sending out an e-mail with the headline, "Did anyone in the White House read the full National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq?"

In a conference call organized by the campaign, Senate Intelligence Committee Democrat Richard Durbin said Bush should have read the 90-page report issued in October 2002. Asked if Kerry read it, Durbin responded, "I don't know."

Flip, meet flop. It sounds as though Kerry couldn't be bothered to personally read even the single-page summary of the NIE report, relying on aides to brief him on it instead. And yet he has the gall to challenge Bush on whether he used the same methodology that suited Kerry at the time. The Kerry hypocrisy knows no bounds, apparently.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 14, 2004 7:49 PM

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