...After Cheney and Zell's RNC Lies (Yes, Lies!)
By Brad Friedman on 9/8/2004, 7:57pm PT  

Got a bit waylaid yesterday after Cheney told folks in Iowa that the United States would be devasted by an attack from al-Qaeda if American's made the mistake of voting John Kerry into office. After attempting to turn some of my rage into a rapid-response video, the result is, as they say, "Mission accomplished". For now.

And with the news cycles now spinning once every 3 minutes or so, there is much to catch up on. May take a few days.

One item, is a bit of clean-up work, hopefully for the last time (though somehow I doubt it) in regards to the lies at the RNC hatefest in NYC last week.

I just got around to Fred Kaplan's great article in Slate on the "Lies, Damned Lies and Convention Speeches" of Miller and Cheney.

He sets the record quite straight (again) on the nonsense that they suckered poor old Zell into saying out loud for them. And yet, since the Bushies --- which would include all of his sorry slash confused slash ignorant supporters out here in Americaville - don't much care about the difference between reality and fantasy, I guess the bare-knuckle truth needs repeating. Again.

Kaplan's piece is very straight forward (I suggest you read it in it's entirety so you can set your daft Bush Lovin' Brother-in-Law straight between now and Election Day) on the facts versus the fiction in both Zell and Cheney's speeches.

Here's one in regards to the weapons cuts nonsense from Zell's speech:

The main falsehood, we have gone over before (click here for the details), but it keeps getting repeated, so here we go again: It is the claim that John Kerry, during his 20 years in the Senate, voted to kill the M-1 tank, the Apache helicopter; the F-14, F-16, and F-18 jet fighters; and just about every other weapon system that has kept our nation free and strong.

Here, one more time, is the truth of the matter: Kerry did not vote to kill these weapons, in part because none of these weapons ever came up for a vote, either on the Senate floor or in any of Kerry's committees.

Instead, Kaplan explains, the references were to cherry-picked items out of omnibus defense appropriations bills back in 1990 and 1995. Back when Dick Cheney, as Secretary of Defense was advocating all sorts of reductions in defense spending!

What makes this dishonesty not merely a lie, but a damned lie, is that back when Kerry cast these votes, Dick Cheney—who was the secretary of defense for George W. Bush's father—was truly slashing the military budget. Here was Secretary Cheney, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Jan. 31, 1992:

Overall, since I've been Secretary, we will have taken the five-year defense program down by well over $300 billion. That's the peace dividend. … And now we're adding to that another $50 billion … of so-called peace dividend.

Cheney then lit into the Democratic-controlled Congress for not cutting weapons systems enough:

Congress has let me cancel a few programs. But you've squabbled and sometimes bickered and horse-traded and ended up forcing me to spend money on weapons that don't fill a vital need in these times of tight budgets and new requirements. … You've directed me to buy more M1s, F14s, and F16s—all great systems … but we have enough of them.

...

In other words, it's not just that Cheney and those around him are lying; it's not even just that they know they're lying; it's that they know—or at least Cheney knows—that the same lie could be said about him. That's what makes it a damned lie.

And one last comical note on one of the several "truly weird passages" from Zell's speech...

My favorite:

Today, at the same time young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of a Democrat's manic obsession to bring down our commander in chief.

A "manic obsession to bring down our commander in chief"? Most people call this a "presidential election." Someone should tell Zell they happen every four years; he can look it up in that same place where he did the research on Kerry's voting record ("I've got more documents," he said on CNN, waving two pieces of paper that he'd taken from his coat pocket, "than in the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library combined.")