“You know, Senator Chuck Hagel, when he was senator, Senator Chuck Hagel, now secretary of defense, and when I was a senator, we opposed the president’s decision to go into Iraq,” Secretary of State John Kerry recently announced in an interview with MSNBC, “but we know full well how that evidence was used to persuade all of us that authority ought to be given.”
Au, contraire! says the Washington Post, who awards the gaffetastic Secretary of State’s revisionist history with four Pinnochios.
Many politicians have a tendency to look back at their past statements with rose-colored glasses. But given that Kerry has now twice in recent months made the claim that he opposed the war in Iraq, this is clearly not a case of a momentary slip-up.
For Kerry, the uncomfortable fact remains that he voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq, he believed the intelligence that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and he said there was little choice but to launch an invasion to disarm him. Kerry may have been highly critical of Bush’s diplomatic efforts in advance of the invasion, but that is not the same thing as opposing the war when it started.
It’s time for the secretary to stop making this claim. In trying to make a distinction between his vote to authorize the war and his later dismay at how it turned out, Kerry earns Four Pinocchios.