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Security Council members deny meeting Kerry

Old 10-25-04, 12:51 PM
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Security Council members deny meeting Kerry

http://washingtontimes.com/national/...0609-9428r.htm

By Joel Mowbray
SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

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.
At the second presidential debate earlier this month, Mr. Kerry said he was more attuned to international concerns on Iraq than President Bush, citing his meeting with the entire Security Council.
"This president hasn't listened. I went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted. I went to New York. I talked to all of them, to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable," Mr. Kerry said of the Iraqi dictator.

Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in December 2003, Mr. Kerry explained that he understood the "real readiness" of the United Nations to "take this seriously" because he met "with the entire Security Council, and we spent a couple of hours talking about what they saw as the path to a united front in order to be able to deal with Saddam Hussein."
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."
All had vivid recollections of the time frame when Mr. Kerry traveled to New York, as it was shortly before the Nov. 7, 2002, enactment of Resolution 1441, which said Iraq was in "material breach" of earlier disarmament resolutions and warned Baghdad of "serious consequences as a result of its continued violations."
Stefan Tafrov, Bulgaria's ambassador at the time, said he remembers the period well because it "was a very contentious time."
After conversations with ambassadors from five members of the Security Council in 2002 and calls to all the missions of the countries then on the panel, The Times was only able to confirm directly that Mr. Kerry had met with representatives of France, Singapore and Cameroon.
In addition, second-hand accounts have Mr. Kerry meeting with representatives of Britain.
When reached for comment last week, an official with the Kerry campaign stood by the candidate's previous claims that he had met with the entire Security Council.
But after being told late yesterday of the results of The Times investigation, the Kerry campaign issued a statement that read in part, "It was a closed meeting and a private discussion."
A Kerry aide refused to identify who participated in the meeting.
The statement did not repeat Mr. Kerry's claims of a lengthy meeting with the entire 15-member Security Council, instead saying the candidate "met with a group of representatives of countries sitting on the Security Council."
Asked whether the international body had any records of Mr. Kerry sitting down with the whole council, a U.N. spokesman said that "our office does not have any record of this meeting."
A U.S. official with intimate knowledge of the Security Council's actions in fall of 2002 said that he was not aware of any meeting Mr. Kerry had with members of the panel.
An official at the U.S. mission to the United Nations remarked: "We were as surprised as anyone when Kerry started talking about a meeting with the Security Council."
Jean-David Levitte, then France's chief U.N. representative and now his country's ambassador to the United States, said through a spokeswoman that Mr. Kerry did not have a single group meeting as the senator has described, but rather several one-on-one or small-group encounters.
He added that Mr. Kerry did not meet with every member of the Security Council, only "some" of them. Mr. Levitte could only name himself and Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of Britain as the Security Council members with whom Mr. Kerry had met.

One diplomat who met with Mr. Kerry in 2002 said on the condition of anonymity that the candidate talked to "a few" ambassadors on the Security Council.
The revelation that Mr. Kerry never met with the entire U.N. Security Council could be problematic for the Massachusetts senator, as it clashes with one of his central foreign-policy campaign themes — honesty.
At a New Mexico rally last month, Mr. Kerry said Mr. Bush will "do anything he can to cover up the truth." At what campaign aides billed as a major foreign-policy address, Mr. Kerry said at New York University last month that "the first and most fundamental mistake was the president's failure to tell the truth to the American people."
In recent months, Mr. Kerry has faced numerous charges of dishonesty from Vietnam veterans over his war record, and his campaign has backtracked before from previous statements about Mr. Kerry's foreign diplomacy.
For example, in March, Mr. Kerry told reporters in Florida that he'd met with foreign leaders who privately endorsed him.
"I've met with foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly," he said. "But, boy, they look at you and say: 'You've got to win this. You've got to beat this guy. We need a new policy.' "
But the senator refused to document his claim and a review by The Times showed that Mr. Kerry had made no official foreign trips since the start of 2002, according to Senate records and his own published schedules. An extensive review of Mr. Kerry's domestic travel schedule revealed only one opportunity for him to have met foreign leaders here.
After a week of bad press, Kerry foreign-policy adviser Rand Beers said the candidate "does not seek, and will not accept, any such endorsements."
The Democrat has also made his own veracity a centerpiece of his campaign, calling truthfulness "the fundamental test of leadership."
Mr. Kerry closed the final debate by recounting what his mother told him from her hospital bed, "Remember: integrity, integrity, integrity."
In an interview published in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Mr. Kerry was asked what he would want people to remember about his presidency. He responded, "That it always told the truth to the American people."
Leave it to a mother to know her son's biggest character flaw.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:02 PM
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Oopsie, I reckon that the meetings were fake but the intent was genuine?
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Old 10-25-04, 01:02 PM
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Just For strikes again.



Or is this some type of nuanced position taking that Bush supporters can't understand?
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Old 10-25-04, 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
"It was a closed meeting and a private discussion."
A Kerry aide refused to identify who participated in the meeting.
I thought he promised us there wouldn't be any closed door meetings.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:11 PM
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Unfortunately, the LSM in their quest to get Kerry an extra 15 points will not cover or investigate this.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
Unfortunately, the LSM in their quest to get Kerry an extra 15 points will not cover or investigate this.
<i>Mod note: chess if you don't have something to say about the topic at hand don't open the thread and certainly don't post. Aka please stop other threads.

thanks
nemein
</i>

Last edited by nemein; 10-25-04 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by chess
right, because it's so newsworthy. much more newsworthy than say...

360 tons of unguarded explosives.
its not newsworthy that a presidential candidate lied? there isn't enough room in our media to cover both stories?
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Old 10-25-04, 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by chess
right, because it's so newsworthy. much more newsworthy than say...

360 tons of unguarded explosives.


In the scope of news for news sake, no it is not as newsworthy.

However, in the realm of the Presidential race, in the realm of citizens of the United States attempting to ascertain who they feel could better handle the job of Commander in Chief, then yes, this is very newsworthy.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:21 PM
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I'm completely failing to see how my direct response to another post is any less on topic than anything else in this thread.

but i will most assuredly stop.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:22 PM
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That's okay. Cheney claims to have never met any of them either.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:26 PM
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However, in the realm of the Presidential race, in the realm of citizens of the United States attempting to ascertain who they feel could better handle the job of Commander in Chief, then yes, this is very newsworthy.
Especially when the one who accuses the other of lying and not being honest with the american people is the one caught in it.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:55 PM
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I'm not sure how the Security Council works. This is probably a really stupid question but are the ambassadors on the council or are they just representatives of the members?

I realize this is really supposed to be an anti-Kerry thread but it's strange he would lie about something so easily verifiable. Which leads me to my question: did this come from Council members or from "aides?"

Also, meeting with all the members separately is the same as meeting with them together, but I'm sure that's just me.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by Draven
I'm not sure how the Security Council works. This is probably a really stupid question but are the ambassadors on the council or are they just representatives of the members?

I realize this is really supposed to be an anti-Kerry thread but it's strange he would lie about something so easily verifiable. Which leads me to my question: did this come from Council members or from "aides?"

Also, meeting with all the members separately is the same as meeting with them together, but I'm sure that's just me.

The ambassadors sit on the council.

I would also think this is strange, but if we believe the article, he did indeed lie. Of course, that is the question, at least to some.


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.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:10 PM
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Hey, if the French is involve, it's news.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
The ambassadors sit on the council.

I would also think this is strange, but if we believe the article, he did indeed lie. Of course, that is the question, at least to some.
Thanks for the clarification.

Still doesn't make much sense. Seems a strange thing to lie about.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:12 PM
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Seems a strange thing to lie about.
Not if you base your foreign policy on getting other countries to help.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by Draven
Thanks for the clarification.

Still doesn't make much sense. Seems a strange thing to lie about.

I am willing to bet that there is some truth behind what he stated, though he embellished it a bit. Still, silly to do.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:19 PM
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I think the press does a pretty poor job of actually reporting any of the distortions (and outright lies) from the debates, so I guess this doesn't suprise me.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
I am willing to bet that there is some truth behind what he stated, though he embellished it a bit. Still, silly to do.
Agreed.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
I am willing to bet that there is some truth behind what he stated, though he embellished it a bit. Still, silly to do.
From the article
The Times was only able to confirm directly that Mr. Kerry had met with representatives of France, Singapore and Cameroon.
In addition, second-hand accounts have Mr. Kerry meeting with representatives of Britain.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:37 PM
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So my choices are:

1. Kerry's an idiot (i.e., he doesn't/didn't know who all the members of the Security Council are/were);

2. Kerry's a liar (he only met with a few of them, and said he met with all 15.)

I'm so glad I'd already decided not to vote for him.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:47 PM
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3. Kerry misspoke in an extemporaneous setting. It's undisputed that he went to New York and met with members of the Security Council. His use of the phrase "all of them" in this context was probably meant to mean he spoke with all of the members who he met with. Its an awkward, clumsy, inaccurate way to describe who he met with, but it seems overblown to make this into a modern day Watergate.

Besides, Bush lied about owning a lumber mill.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:53 PM
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So, he appears to have met with four. Another four deny meeting him with him, and the other seven are "undecided." That's not "all", is it? Oops.
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Old 10-25-04, 03:08 PM
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Originally posted by JasonF
3. Kerry misspoke in an extemporaneous setting. It's undisputed that he went to New York and met with members of the Security Council. His use of the phrase "all of them" in this context was probably meant to mean he spoke with all of the members who he met with. Its an awkward, clumsy, inaccurate way to describe who he met with, but it seems overblown to make this into a modern day Watergate.
Well, I'm not. This is hardly worth getting upset over at all, but it speaks to a pattern of communication coming from the Kerry camp that he's more atuned to the European sensibility, that an undiclosed number of foreign heads of government prefer him to Bush, etc. All this may or may not be true (I personally don't care; Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder have no more sway over my ballot than random Guardian readers), but IMO it's a serious tactical error - trying to impress voters with these sorts of things is only going to work with people who already support Kerry. I can't imagine this matters much to undecideds, and if it does, it's probably doing more harm to Kerry than good.
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Old 10-25-04, 03:26 PM
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• JasonF •

Besides, Bush lied about owning a lumber mill.
[Bad Bush Impression]"You think any of those Security Council members would like to buy some <i>timber</i>? *snicker* From my lumber yard? *snicker*"[/BBI]

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