Bush-Cheney Ad Fact Check Intel
"Within weeks of saying he had too much good to say to be negative, George Bush has resumed his misleading negative campaign. He lacks a plan or a vision of where the nation needs to go, so he's resorted once again to the politics of fear and distortion. America can do better." - Kerry campaign spokesman, Chad Clanton.
AD TITLE: Intel
TYPE: 30sec TV
REASON FOR THE NEW ATTACK AD FROM BUSH-CHENEY
Bush Campaign Steps Up Attacks as Kerry Gains in Polls
Republicans on Thursday leveled some of their most aggressive attacks yet against Sen. John F. Kerry, as a series of polls suggested the Democratic presidential nominee had gained slight leads in some battleground states and the economy continued to weigh on President Bush's prospects. [LA Times, 8/13/04]
BUSH-CHENEY CREDIBILITY GAP
Narrator: John Kerry promises I will immediately reform the intelligence system. Oh really? As a member of the intelligence committee, Senator Kerry was absent for 76% of the committees hearings.
Kerry Pledges to Reform Intelligence System I will immediately reform the intelligence system - so policy is guided by facts and facts are never distorted by politics, Mr. Kerry said. [Financial Times, 7/30/04]
Kerry Calls to Extend Mandate of 9/11 Commission Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry called Tuesday for extending the mandate of the bipartisan commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, saying it should keep working for an additional 18 months to help ensure that its recommendations are implemented. [Washington Post, 7/27/04]
Kerry repeats call for National Intelligence Director Senator John Kerry says there's something more important than the nomination of Republican Congressman Porter Goss of Florida as C-I-A director -- and that's the creation of a national intelligence chief. Kerry today repeated his support for the Nine-Eleven commission's recommendations. He said the super-spy chief should also control the budgets and personnel. He called for bipartisan confirmation hearings on Goss' nomination that President Bush announced today. Kerry said, "This is a key position in fighting the war on terror and should not be left vacant. [AP, 8/10/04; WQAD News 8]
FUZZY MATH AND BAD STATS MISLEAD ON KERRYS RECORD
Ad Text: As a member of the intelligence committee, Senator Kerry was absent for 76% of the committees hearings.
Selective math and sketchy methods:
The Bush-Cheney Campaign is using misleading numbers and cannot pretend to have the facts. They rely only on whether Sen. Kerry made statements in one of a small number of open hearings. For example from 1993-1998 the Select Intelligence Committee held more than 329 meetings, hearings and markups. Just 65 of these were open meetings. [Senate Report 104-1; Senate Report 105-1; Senate Report 106-3]
Ad Text: In the year after the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Kerry was absent for every single one.
Fuzzy Math Again:
Again, the Bush-Cheney Campaign is using misleading numbers and cannot pretend to have the facts. They rely only on whether Sen. Kerry made statements in one of seven open hearings. All in all, during the 103rd Congress, the Committee held a total of 103 on-the-record meetings and hearings. There were seventy (70) oversight hearings and seven (7) business meetings. Twelve (12) hearings were held on the budget including the Conference sessions with the House. Hearings on specific legislation totaled nine (9) and nomination hearings totaled one (1). [Senate Report 104-1: Oversight Over Intelligence Activities in the 103rd Congress].
The following Republican members also failed to speak at a public hearing that year: John Chaffee; Malcom Wallop, Ted Stevens, Slade Gorton, John Danforth
Kerry was part of the most significant counterintelligence legislation ever. According to Republican Chair and Bush Campaign Co-Chair Arlen Specter: The Committee pioneered the most significant counterintelligence legislation ever passed in the Congress. The legislation addressed intelligence problems uncovered by the Committees investigation of the Aldrich Ames case, including the failure of the FBI and CIA to coordinate on counterintelligence. [Senate Report 104-1: Oversight Over Intelligence Activities in the 103rd Congress].
EVEN AFTER 9-11, BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS WEAK ON INTELLIGENCE REFORM
Bush Opposed 9/11 Commission to Figure Out Better Terrorism Prevention. Bush often has resisted outside inquiries, at least at the outset. He initially opposed a joint House-Senate inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, as well as creation of the independent bipartisan panel to look into the attacks, but eventually acquiesced. He also balked at naming the Iraq panel but eventually adopted the concept in the face of political pressure from Capitol Hill. Bush portrayed his effort Friday as an attempt to get to the bottom of a dispute that has gained momentum since U.S. weapons hunters failed to find the weapons of mass destruction alleged by the White House as justification for going to war 11 months ago. [ Detroit Free Press, 2/7/04]
Bush Failed To Create National Intel Director With Real Power. The Sept. 11 commission also said the [national intelligence director] should have the power to hire and fire the heads of the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI intelligence office and other agencies. Bushs plan, however, simply envisions giving the director a say in those decisions. [AP, 8/5/04]
BUSH ADMINISTRATION MARGINALIZED FIGHTING TERRORISM
Despite Warnings Of "Imminent" Al Qaeda Attack, Rumsfeld Made No Changes. According to reports released by the 9/11 commission, "intelligence reports in 2001 had warned of an imminent attack by Al Qaeda, and that Mr. Rumsfeld had not ordered any new preparation against Al Qaeda or the Taliban from the time he took over the Pentagon to the 9/11 attacks." [New York Times, 3/24/04]
Even After 9/11, Administration Cut Counterterrorism Funds. In the early days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Bush White House cut by nearly two-thirds an emergency request for counterterrorism funds by the FBI, an internal administration budget document shows. The document, dated Oct. 12, 2001, shows that the FBI requested $1.5 billion in additional funds to enhance its counterterrorism efforts with the creation of 2,024 positions. But the White House Office of Management and Budget cut that request to $531 million. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, working within the White House limits, cut the FBI's request for items such as computer networking and foreign language intercepts by half, cut a cyber-security request by three quarters and eliminated entirely a request for "collaborative capabilities." [Washington Post, 3/22/04]
Ashcroft Resisted FBI Requests For More Counterterrorism Funding. The papers show that Ashcroft ranked counterterrorism efforts as a lower priority than his predecessor did, and that he resisted FBI requests for more counterterrorism funding before and immediately after the attacks. [Washington Post, 3/22/04]
Ashcroft Did Not Rank Fighting Terrorism Even in Top Seven Goals. Other documents indicate that before Sept. 11, Ashcroft did not give terrorism top billing in his strategic plans for the Justice Department, which includes the FBI. A draft of Ashcroft's "Strategic Plan" from Aug. 9, 2001, does not put fighting terrorism as one of the department's seven goals, ranking it as a sub-goal beneath gun violence and drugs. After the attacks, fighting terrorism became the department's primary goal. By contrast, in April 2000, Ashcroft's predecessor, Janet Reno, called terrorism "the most challenging threat in the criminal justice area." [Washington Post, 3/22/04]
BUSH-CHENEY CREDIBILITY GAP
Narrator: In the year after the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Kerry was absent for every single one. That same year he proposed slashing Americas intelligence budget by $6 billion. Theres what Kerry says, and then theres what Kerry does.
John Kerry is an Experienced Leader in the Intelligence Field John Kerry served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for 8 years and is the former Vice Chairman of the Committee. Kerry joined the Committee in early 1993 and served until early 2001. Among the areas closely investigated by John Kerry and the Intelligence Committee include global terrorism, world wide threats to U.S. national security, international espionage, weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking, arms trafficking and nuclear security. John Kerry is also the former Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations and conducted several high profile Intelligence and International Security investigations. Additionally, Kerry is the author of the 1997 book The New War which addressed the challenges of global terrorism and has served on the Foreign Relations Committee for more than eighteen years. One observer of Kerry wrote that, Kerry plunged himself into the study of international crime and its implications for America. In fact, the Kerry Commission uncovered the drug smuggling and arms trading in the Oliver North, Iran Contra scandal. As chairman and then ranking Democrat on the Senate subcommittee on terrorism, narcotics, and international operations, John Kerry has been out front in pushing three presidential administrations to take seriously what is going on in the international underworld. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/6/96, 7/20/97; Boston Globe 6/28/97; The Guardian, 6/19/96]
Kerry Strongly Supports Increased Intelligence Funding Including $250 Billion in the Previous 8 Years A 50% Increase Since 1996 John Kerry, a former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has strongly supported recent increases in Intelligence funding, and, in the wake of 9/11, has supported the bipartisan call for an even larger increase in intelligence funding. According to a report issued by the Center for Defense Information entitled Intelligence Funding and the War on Terror John Kerry has supported approximately $250 billion in Intelligence funding over the past eight years alone. The report concludes that Kerry has supported a 50% increase in intelligence funding since 1996. Recently, Kerry stressed the need for greater intelligence in order to protect the country from terrorism: "The best single defense we have today, the most important weapon in the war against terrorism, is intelligence, good intelligence. We're way behind the curve in terms of human intelligence-gathering capacity as well as mutual legal-assistance efforts. You've got to know who they are, where they are what their plans are and hit them before they hit you. That's intelligence." [Senate Intelligence Authorization Funding voice votes 9/25/02, 12/13/01, 12/6/00, 11/19/1999, 10/8/98 & 9/25/96; 1997, Senate Roll Call vote # 109; Jewish News Bulletin of Northern California, 4/5/02]
KERRY DID NOT SLASH THE INTELLIGENCE BUDGET
Ad Text: That same year he proposed slashing Americas intelligence budget by $6 billion.
Bush Campaign Co-Chair Mark Hatfield Voted With Kerry On This Issue: Congressman Greg Walden, who is serving his 3rd term representing the 2nd district in the United States House of Representatives, will serve as Co-Chair and former Governor Vic Atiyeh and Senator Mark Hatfield will serve as Honorary Co-Chairman. Mark Hatfield voted with Kerry in 1994. [www.georgewbush.com/News/Read.aspx?ID=2072; Senate Roll Call Vote 1994 # 39]
This was not a proposal aimed solely at intelligence funding; but was a broad-based attempt to reduce the deficit
Like his 1995 plan that has been the subject of false Republican Attacks, John Kerry proposed a broad-based deficit reduction plan that would have cut $45 billion from the deficit over five years.
The intelligence portion would have:
Rescinded $1 billion from intelligence funding in FY1994
Capped funds at $1 billion less than 1994 levels (approx 27B) for next 4 years
Actual amounts approved by Republicans and Democrats over the next two years were BELOW the level they would have been under Kerrys Amendment.
In fact, the funding levels in FY1997 and FY1998, both approved by Republican Congresses were BELOW the levels that John Kerry proposed in 1994.
Intelligence funding was ripe for cuts at the time.
Surveillance of USSR comprised 58 percent of Cold War budget.
In a letter dated September 16, 1992, CIA Director Gates states:
In 1980, when we were at the height of our commitment to the cold war, only 58 percent of the intelligence resources were dedicated to the U.S.S.R. -- a far smaller share than many may suppose. Today, the Commonwealth of Independent States accounts for only 34 percent of the President's amended fiscal year 1993 budget.
Waste, Fraud and Abuse in the Intelligence Community. On September 25, 1995, the New York Times reported the existence of an NRO slush fund in the amount of $1.5 billion.
Five days before Kerry introduced his legislation, The Washington Post reported that the NRO had hoarded $1 billion to $1.7 billion of unspent funds without informing the CIA or the Pentagon. Months earlier, the CIA had launched an inquiry into the NRO's funding after complaints by lawmakers that the agency had used more than $300 million of unspent classified funds to build a Virginia headquarters for the organization a year earlier. [Washington Post, 3/12/2004]
Under a plan approved in late 1995, about $1.9 billion was taken from NRO reserve funds through 1997, and another $1.9 billion over the following two years, according to a senior intelligence official familiar with the NRO's activities. [Washington Post, 3/12/2004]
BUSH IGNORED TERRORISM WARNINGS
Bush Went Golfing Day After Getting Report, Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S. As dawn broke over the rolling hills of central Texas, an 18-car motorcade roared past fields of grazing black Angus cattle, carrying George W. Bush and his presidential retinue from his ranch near Crawford to a morning round of golf. The day was Aug. 7, 2001, and the sun, glowing orange as it crested the dark treeline, was already hot. Bush, sporting a maroon-and-gold Polo shirt, was upbeat as he arrived at the Ridgewood Country Club, and he teased reporters about the weather. "I know a lot of you wish you were in the East Coast, lounging on the beaches, suckin' in the salt air," he said. He, by contrast, welcomed a chance to work and play in the 100-degree Texas heat. I find that to be a good part of keeping me a balanced person, he said. If Bush was rattled by a daily intelligence briefing he had received the day before, titled Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US, he didn't show it. He spread his arms wide and told reporters, I'm enjoying myself. [Newhouse News Service, 4/19/04]
2001 State Department Terrorism Report Left Out Bin Laden. The State Department officially released its annual terrorism report just a little more than an hour ago, but unlike last year, there's no extensive mention of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. A senior State Department official tells CNN the U.S. government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden and 'personalizing terrorism. [CNN, 4/30/01]
Principals in Bush Administration Didnt Even Meet on Al Qaeda Until Sept. 4th. [Commissioner] ROEMER: Were there principal meetings on al Qaeda and terrorism before September the 4th?
RUMSFELD: Well, there were certainly principals meetings where it was discussed. Whether it was the sole topic or not, you have those records and you would know. I left out...
ROEMER: Our records say no, that the first principals meeting on terrorism...
RUMSFELD: Just solely on that topic?
ROEMER: ... until September 4th. [testimony 3/23/04]
Bush transition did not discuss Bin Laden. In his new book, Clarke recounts how on Jan. 24, 2001, he recommended that the new president's national-security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, convene the president's top advisers to discuss the Qaeda threat. One week later, Bush did. But according to Clarke, the meeting had nothing to do with bin Laden. The topic was how to get rid of Saddam Hussein. "What does that tell you?" Clarke remarked to Newsweek. "They thought there was something more urgent. It was Iraq. They came in there with their agenda, and [Al Qaeda] was not on it." [Newsweek, 3/21/2004]
Bush ignored terrorism for months. Richard A. Clarke, who served in counterterrorism posts at the White House until February 2003, also said in an interview to be broadcast tonight on CBS's "60 Minutes" that President Bush has "done a terrible job on the war against terrorism" by failing to capture Osama bin Laden or focus more aggressively on the al Qaeda network. "Frankly, I find it outrageous that the president is running for reelection on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism," Clarke said, according to a CBS transcript. "He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We'll never know." [Washington Post, 3/21/2004]
After Told Second Tower Hit, But Before Pentagon Hit, Bush Stayed in Classroom. Just after 9 a.m., Mr. Bush took a seat in front of students, most of them from a poor neighborhood. He listened as teacher Sandra K. Daniels pointed to an easel, and the second-graders read aloud lists of words. Then, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card strode into the classroom, leaned down and whispered in the president's ear, "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack," Mr. Card has recounted. Both Republican and Democratic commissioners have said they are focusing closely on what happened next -- and whether mere minutes could have affected the outcome on Sept. 11. The panel's investigators are looking at questions such as the timeliness of presidential orders about intercepting the jet that at 9:37 a.m. plowed into the Pentagon. [Wall Street Journal, 3/22/04]
Officials Had Said Bush Rushed Out Right Away, But Tape Shows He Waited Seven MinutesNo Need to Pull Bush Away. But uncut videotape of the classroom visit obtained from the local cable-TV station director who shot it, and interviews with the teacher and principal, show that Mr. Bush remained in the classroom not for mere seconds, but for at least seven additional minutes. He followed along for five minutes as children read aloud a story about a pet goat. Then he stayed for at least another two minutes, asking the children questions and explaining to Ms. Rigell that he would have to leave more quickly than planned. Mr. Bartlett confirmed in an interview that the president stayed in the classroom for at least seven minutes. The spokesman said that as the president's staff was trying to learn more about the plane crashes, there was no need to talk to Mr. Bush or pull him away. [Wall Street Journal, 3/22/04]