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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

"Where's Kerry on DSM?" He got there first.

Well it seems there was some misinterpretation by a few bloggers, regarding Kerry's comments to a reporter last week that he would raise the issue of the Downing Street Minutes in Washington this week. Apparently some were expecting a floor speech (even though "raise the issue" does not necessarily equal "floor speech"); delivered on Monday (what Kerry said was "when I return to Washington on Monday", which to me meant loosely, this week, or at least while he's in Washington on this trip).

Now that Kennedy has released a statement on his website, which Raw Story (incorrectly?) characterizes as making him "the first senator to raise the issue in the Senate":
Sen. Kennedy speaks out on Downing Street Memo: 'Twisted intelligence; Distorted facts'

The following was released by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) on the Downing Street Minutes this morning. Kennedy becomes the first senator to raise the issue in the Senate, after earlier reports that Massachusetts' junior senator, John Kerry, would speak about the minutes in Washington.


The remainder of the Raw Story report consists only of the content of Kennedy's released statement.

Now, did Kennedy mention DSM in his floor speech today, or otherwise actually raise the issue "in the Senate"? Or did he just post his statement on his website and a few blogs? In any case, one of our unfriendly neighborhood quasi-liberal blogs, BellaCiao, has a story posted that "Kerry Wimped Out" and another "Sen. Kennedy speaks out on Downing Street Memo, but where is John Kerry?". The second one is a repost of the Raw Story article linked above, except with a more insulting headline. Note I won't link to Bella Ciao. If you can't find them, consider yourself lucky.

My responses to the "Where is John Kerry" question at Bella Ciao, for anyone reading this who is confused:
Kerry said on Wednesday (reported on Thursday in the Standard-Times) that he "would raise the issue" of the DSM when he returned to Washington this week ("on Monday" referred to him returning to Washington). "Raising the issue" could be done in a number of ways, not necessarily a floor speech.

With the attention garnered by his statement last Wednesday of intent to raise the issue, I’d say that DID raise the issue somewhat. Of course it was helped by the insane rabidity of the conservative sites claiming he was going to "push for impeachment" when in fact he said no such thing. (Of course it is interesting how they immediately assumed that raising the DSM = raising impeachment).

I wonder if Kennedy (and now also Feingold, btw) jumped the gun on Kerry or if they are working in concert. My understanding is that the two Senators from Mass. get along fine, so I don’t think Kennedy would have been trying to undermine Kerry.

Also note the press brought the issue up today, with CBS News, NBC, and Keith Olbermann all covering the press conference, where Mr. Bush got just a wee bit testy about the whole thing. Bush’s and Blair’s comments should be fodder for whatever Kerry is preparing.

I’m sure we’ll hear something from Kerry soon. Whether it will be in a floor speech, or a committee hearing, or the breakfast Wednesday morning with Blair, or some other kind of statement, remains to be seen.


And:

Senator Kennedy released a statement on his website and on dailykos. I listened to Kennedy’s Tuesday floor speech via the archive on dembloggers.com, and I did not hear him refer to the Downing Street Minutes (or Memo). Perhaps the archive was incomplete? However, Senators often release statements via media without necessarily giving a floor speech on it.

If that is the case in this instance, then it is not true to say that "Kennedy becomes the first senator to raise the issue in the Senate", because it would mean that Kennedy has not yet raised the issue "in the Senate" himself.

Keep in mind that it was Kerry’s statement last Wednesday that stirred the pot in the first place - not to take anything away from Conyers and the efforts of activists, but it was Kerry’s name and the resulting rabid right-wing response that turned up the heat heading into this week.


But when I say Kerry got there "first" of course I am saying first of the Senators - let's not forget that it's been John Conyers leading the charge on this since it came out.

Related Links

Video of Olbermann debunking of News Max "Kerry pushing Impeachment" story, courtesy DU.



Comments:
Excellent work setting the record straight!! Kerry's initial statement did indeed "stir the pot". I'd just add that anyone who knows Kerry would expect that he would be working hard behind the scenes and definitely in coordination with Kennedy (and probably Feingold as well). I true prosecutorial fashion he would be working to assemble the facts, which I imagine he's scrutinizing for signs of dis- or misinformation.

Have we already forgotten Rathergate and what happened only a week or so ago to Newsweek? Better be firm on the facts if you're gonna play this game, because even if you are they'll still try to turn you into vulture food.
 
Thanks, Diane.

Being firm on the facts...too bad so many who are ostensibly on our own side, don't bother to get the facts straight before they run off at the mouth (or the blog).

But if we keep posting the truth, hopefully we can make an impact in counteracting the spin.
 
How childish.
 
Teresa,

I assume you're referring to the folks who are running off at the blog without getting their facts straight!

;-)
 
Of course, MH. And making this a competition between Kennedy and Kerry.
My God. We just want these criminals dealt with however we can get that accomplished.
 
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