Friday, January 16, 2004

Kennedy: "'There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud,' the Massachusetts Democrat told the AP. He said Bush officials employed 'distortion, misrepresentation, a selection of intelligence' to justify the war. As for the administration's current policy in Iraq, Kennedy called it 'adrift.' He said Bush officials had failed to account for $1.5 billion of the $4 billion the war costs each month, citing a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office. 'My belief is this money is being shuffled all around to these political leaders in all parts of the world, bribing them to send in troops,' he told the AP."

"The senator's comments reflect the tired old soft-on-defense attitude of the Democratic Party," [a] Republican official told CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity."

Kennedy's remarks are devastating and the point about an unaccounted $1.5b per month and possible bribery is especially important. The Republican response is a classic illustration of Goering's maxim "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." What other response could they use?

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