When I just a child, my father warned me not to lie. "Besides being wrong," he explained, "It's just plain stupid. You'll have to cover it with more lies and always remember your stories to keep them straight."
"But sooner or later, you'll still end up getting caught. The truth will get out, it always does."
John Kerry should have learned that lesson. But maybe his dad never taught him that one.
It began, of course, with Michael Moore, the Democrats' pit bull of the year. The malicious film maker loudly claims he is not a Democrat, not is he working for Kerry, and Kerry's team officially, and loudly, declares that there is no connection between Kerry and Moore. Of course, Moore's ability to keep his stories straight is self-defeating: Moore said flatly that he is "on a singular mission - and that is to remove George W. Bush."
In his money-rich but fact-poor movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore taunted President Bush for waiting seven minutes after learning that a second plane had struck the WTC, before leaving the school. It has been a popular talking point for Democrats, ignoring the fact that FDR took no action, did not even make any statements on the day of December 7, 1941, when the enemy was clearly known and the danger clear. It ignores that President Kennedy took no action for almost two days after learning the Soviets were building a Cuban missile complex in 1962. And a Pittsburgh columnist observed that not reacting in panic to a threat, was once the hallmark of courage and cool resolve. But of course, neither Moore nor Kerry has any intention of admitting President Bush might have acted with resolve and steady nerves.
On August 6, Senator Kerry gave in to temptation and played the Moore card in a conference with minority journalists.
``Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whisper in my ear that America is under attack, I would have told those kids very nicely and politely that the president of the United States has something that he needed to attend to,'' Kerry said. ``And I would have attended to it.''
Perhaps a good example of Kerry's true response may be taken from his own words about 9/11, what he actually did that day.
On July 8, Kerry had an interview with Larry King, where he made a number of revealing statements. First, when asked about new Al Qaeda plans, Kerry explained
"Well, I haven't been briefed yet, Larry. They have offered to brief me; I just haven't had time. But all Americans are united in our efforts to defeat terrorism."
Kerry has yet to explain how, in his insistence that he is better qualified to protect America than the President, he has failed to attend briefings on security threats. But the interview had a bigger, if hidden, revelation, when King asked Kerry to describe his personal recollection of 9/11:
"I was in the Capitol. We'd just had a meeting -- we'd just come into a leadership meeting in Tom Daschle's office, looking out at the Capitol. And as I came in, Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid were standing there, and we watched the second plane come in to the building. And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table and then we just realized nobody could think, and then boom, right behind us, we saw the cloud of explosion at the Pentagon. And then word came from the White House, they were evacuating, and we were to evacuate, and so we immediately began the evacuation."
OK, got that? Kerry is watching TV at Daschle's office, and they see the second plane hit. Kerry says "nobody could think", and they wake up to things when another plane hits the Pentagon.
From CNN's Timeline:
8:45 EDT: American Airlines Flight 11 hits WTC.
9:03 EDT: United Airlines Flight 175 hits WTC.
9:03 EDT: President Bush is informed that a second plane has struck the WTC. Senator Kerry witnesses the second plane hit the WTC.
9:10 EDT: President Bush leaves the school in Sarasota, Florida.
9:17 EDT: On Presidential orders, the FAA orders all New York-area airports shut down.
9:40 EDT: On Presidential orders, the FAA halts all flight operations in the United States.
9:43 EDT: American Airlines Flight 77 strikes the Pentagon.
9:45 EDT: The White House orders the evacuation of the White House and Congress. Kerry and his colleagues depart their offices at this time.
It should also be noted, that after his capture, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed revealed that a second wave of Al Qaeda suicide attacks by hijacked aircraft were intended, either later that day or that week. President Bush's orders to halt all air traffic in the U.S. unquestionably saved many lives.
So, from this, we can reasonably say the following:
At 9:10, 7 minutes after the second plane hit the WTC, President Bush is up and moving, and seven minutes after that is ordering air traffic shut down in New York, then at 9:40 across the country, a smart and unexpected move which definitely saved lives. At 9:45, Kerry is still watching TV, not sure what to do. And to this day, he has never mentioned a single specific action he would have taken, were he in the President's place.
His claim now, that Kerry would have moved with better and swifter decision than President Bush, is plainly disproven by his own words and actions in the actual event.
Doug has reminded me to check my math. President Bush was up and moving at 9:10, and had issued decisive orders by 9:17, so he was moving 7 minutes after the impact, and giving orders no more than 14 minutes after the event, while Senator Kerry continued to stare at the TV.