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Unmasking John Kerry
by Andy Obermann
18 February 2004

John Kerry in 1997:  “Now that [the Cold War] is over, why is it that our vast intelligence apparatus continues to grow…?”

Several days ago, a story broke that I thought would lead to the demise of John Kerry, and I’m not talking about his alleged Clintonian affair with a woman half his age.  No, I’m talking about an old interview the Senator gave in 1970. 

In this interview, which appeared in the Harvard Crimson, Kerry makes some serious statements in regard to our intelligence gathering apparatus and our military -- our National Defense mechanism.  According to the interview, Kerry hoped “to almost eliminate CIA activity,” and claimed that he was an, “Internationalist, [who] would like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.” 

Kerry’s CIA statement is perhaps the most haunting in our post-9/11 world.  His actions as a Senator seem to demonstrate that his position on the issue hasn’t changed much either. 

For example, in 1994, Kerry proposed a bill to slash the budget of our intelligence agencies by more than $1 billion -- and freeze spending at that level for the next several years.  Luckily, some of Kerry’s comrades in the Senate thought otherwise.  The bill failed by a 3 to 1 margin.  A year later, Kerry proposed a similar bill set to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget.  Kerry stated that, “[the bill] will reduce the Intelligence budget by $300 million in each of the fiscal years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000.”  Kerry was the only Senator to sponsor the bill, which never made it to the floor.

Want more proof?  OK, in 1997, Kerry was still rattling for reduced intelligence budgets.  When addressing the Senate, he questioned the wisdom of our then-current intelligence apparatus after the Cold War.  “Now that that struggle is over, why is it that our vast intelligence apparatus continues to grow…?”  This is the same John Kerry that questioned the quality, effectiveness, and scope of our intelligence agencies after September 11.  Hypocritical to say the least.

Of course, his campaign has explanations for all of this, but actions speak louder than words.  Kerry’s actions are making my ears bleed.  More recent events, however, ring with even more volume.

A seemingly overlooked aspect of a Kerry White House would be his position in regards to our chief enemy throughout the world—terrorists.  You see President Kerry would not go to war with terrorists.  In fact, to President Kerry, this isn’t even a war.  It is a law enforcement issue, a policing problem.  To him, we don’t need to use the military to annihilate terrorists and those who support them; we need only to arrest terrorists, put them on trial, and hope for the best.  Kerry stated, “[The War on Terror] will involve the military now and then, but will primarily be an intelligence gathering, law enforcement operation.” 

Is this man actually so naive?  I remember trying this for eight years, under Bill Clinton, and what did it get us?  Three thousand dead Americans, that’s what it got us. We failed to respond to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, where thousands were injured.  We failed to respond to the Khobar Towers attack in 1996.  The 1998 Embassy attacks in Nairobi, Kenya, and Tanzania, and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole also went without a major military response as well.  All of these attacks were credited to al Qaeda, and they were all treated as a policing problem—and it did nothing more than embolden Osama bin Laden to reach for the stars, and succeed on 9/11.

Kerry claimed that the War on Terror should be “a great big manhunt,” like we’re playing cops and robbers here or something.  Wake up!  These people want to kill us.  They will stop only when America is in shambles and we the people are six feet under.  The only effective way to defeat terrorists is to put them on the defensive.  We have to take the fight to them!  Why do you think we haven’t been attacked again since 9/11?  It’s not because they don’t want to and it’s definitely not because they’re afraid of being arrested.  It’s because we have brought the war to them—and have, in large part, been successful in dismantling their organizations and facilitating their extinction.

Barry Goldwater once stated, “If an enemy power is bent on conquering you, and proposed to turn all of his resources to that end, he is at war with you; and you—unless you contemplate surrender—are at war with him.”  I’m damn sure not surrendering and I’m grateful that we have a President that isn’t either.  I’m not so sure about John Kerry, though.

Andy Obermann is majoring in History and Secondary Education at Missouri Valley College

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