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October 24, 2004
Kerry Lied About UN Meeting

John Kerry recently asserted that he would handle foreign relations much more effectively than George Bush and used as an example a meeting he claimed to have held with representatives from every country on the entire UN Security Council before voting to authorize the use of force against Iraq in 2002. The meeting, which Kerry claimed lasted "hours", also offered Kerry an out for his supporting vote for the war among his base. However, the Washington Times' Joel Mowbray reports in tomorrow's edition that the meeting never took place:

U.N. ambassadors from several nations are disputing assertions by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry that he met for hours with all members of the U.N. Security Council just a week before voting in October 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

An investigation by The Washington Times reveals that while the candidate did talk for an unspecified period to at least a few members of the panel, no such meeting, as described by Mr. Kerry on a number of occasions over the past year, ever occurred.

Kerry actually made this claim a number of times. He originally told the Council on Foreign Relations in December 2003 that he had met with the entire Security Council to help forge a united front against Saddam Hussein, a strange thing for a senator with no portfolio from the White House to do. The unusual nature of Kerry's assertion was not challenged at the time, probably in part because Kerry at the time still publicly defended the war in Iraq. However, Kerry also pulled this story out during the second presidential debate two weeks ago, this time to argue against the war in Iraq.

Now Mowbray has done what the press should have done last December -- he asked the people with whom Kerry claimed to meet, and a number of them denied ever having met with the Massachusetts Senator at all:

But of the five ambassadors on the Security Council in 2002 who were reached directly for comment, four said they had never met Mr. Kerry. The four also said that no one who worked for their countries' U.N. missions had met with Mr. Kerry either. The former ambassadors who said on the record they had never met Mr. Kerry included the representatives of Mexico, Colombia and Bulgaria. The ambassador of a fourth country gave a similar account on the condition that his country not be identified.

Ambassador Andres Franco, the permanent deputy representative from Colombia during its Security Council membership from 2001 to 2002, said, "I never heard of anything." Although Mr. Franco was quick to note that Mr. Kerry could have met some members of the panel, he also said that "everything can be heard in the corridors."

Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, Mexico's then-ambassador to the United Nations, said: "There was no meeting with John Kerry before Resolution 1441, or at least not in my memory."

So who did Kerry meet with before the resolution was adopted? Mowbray can only confirm meetings with Singapore, Cameroon ... and France. The French representative, now Ambassador to the US Jean-David Levitte, also thinks that Kerry met with the British representative, although Mowbray could not confirm that.

In other words, we have yet another wild exaggeration by John Kerry in a key component of the credentials he says qualifies him to be president. Just like his Christmas in Cambodia and his lucky hat, Kerry's prevarications once again demonstrate that he will say anything to puff himself up and make himself more important than he is.

But the reality of his paltry and meaningless diplomacy also shows what a lightweight Kerry is on the world stage. He went to the UN to meet with diplomats about Iraq, and who did he choose? Singapore, Cameroon, and France: two countries that could have no earthly effect on enforcing the UN resolutions, and one that Saddam had bribed into submission. He didn't bother with Bulgaria, one of the nations that Bush convinced to support the liberation of Iraq and one with troops on the ground helping to support its democratization.

It appears that Kerry won't even try to put America's actions to a "global test": he'll just ask a couple of minor nations (one just a city-state) and France before knuckling under. This episode underscores Kerry's odd personality deficits of self-aggrandizement, exaggeration, and defeatism. In any other campaign, his lies would bury him, but I suspect that this will only cost him a couple of points in the final week. Hopefully, that will be enough.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 24, 2004 10:37 PM

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