Thursday, September 16, 2004

20 questions

Well, actually it's 40. Peter Kirsanow has some questions he'd like John Kerry to ansewr. The first 10 are,

1. You've repeatedly demanded Donald Rumsfeld's resignation over Abu Ghraib prison abuse. In light of such demand, please respond to the following:

a. Given your confession that you committed atrocities in Vietnam, including burning villages and using 50-caliber machine guns on people, shouldn't you, then, withdraw from presidential consideration?

b. If your answer is "no," please explain why a secretary of Defense should be held to a higher standard than an aspiring president who personally committed atrocities objectively more horrific than the abuses for which you hold Rumsfeld accountable.

2. You now state that Iraq was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time," yet just a few weeks ago you stated that knowing what you know now you'd still authorize the war. Why would you still vote for a war that is wrong?

a. If the war was wrong, do you maintain Saddam should still be in power? If not, how would you remove him?

b. Which of the following is your primary objection to the Iraq war:

(1) that it shouldn't have been fought?
(2) that it was in the wrong location?
(3) that the timing was bad?

c. If your answer's either (2) or (3) above, where should the war have been fought and when?

3. During your eight-year tenure on the Senate Intelligence Committee, you missed more than three-fourths of its public meetings. You refuse to release your attendance reports for the committee's closed classified briefings. Why shouldn't voters infer that disclosure of these attendance reports would reveal that you neglected to attend numerous classified briefings?

a. If you did miss any classified briefings, what duties were you tending to that were more important than attending the briefings?

4. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the president lied about the reasons for going into Iraq. Presumably, this means that the intelligence data didn't support the reasons given by the president. You had the same intelligence data on Iraq as the president, yet you voted to authorize the war. Why, then, did you knowingly vote for a lie?

a. By doing so, didn't you also lie to the American people?

b. If so, will you, therefore, urge your supporters to stop running ads declaring that "Bush Lied"?

c. If you maintain that you didn't lie, is it because you neglected to read the intelligence reports prior to the vote?

5. Assuming your definition of a lie is the same as Webster's, i.e., a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive, please specifically identify which of the following statements in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address are lies:

a. Saddam aids and protects terrorists;

b. Saddam has used weapons of mass destruction;

c. Saddam deceived weapons inspectors;

d. Saddam sought uranium from Africa;

e. Saddam has pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

6. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment as lt. governor to Michael Dukakis?

7. You've criticized the president for acting "unilaterally." As president, would you have gone into Afghanistan without France's approval?

a. Would you have gone into Afghanistan without the approval of France, Germany, and Russia?

b. Please describe your criteria for going to war.

8. You've stated you would appoint only pro-choice judges to the federal bench. Would you agree that, even if it's not your intent, such a litmus test could disproportionately disqualify Catholic nominees?

a. What would you do to ensure that your abortion litmus test wouldn't have a disparate impact against Catholics?

9. Do you think there's waste in the federal government? If so, could you kindly identify ten wasteful government programs that you'd eliminate and why?

10. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment during your nearly 20 years as a senator?

The remainder can be found here and here.

All good questions I think deserve an answer. How much would you like to bet they never get answered?