John Kerry has been running a campaign that seems hinged on the appearance of “being straight with the American people”. In fact, on several occasions, he has used that very statement to say that the President has been lying to us. While we could endlessly debate the WMD issue (the sad fact is that everyone including John Kerry was utterly convinced that Iraq possessed these weapons), it’s impossible to classify the statements as “lies”. (By the way, I happen to think we might still find a stockpile or two. If you think it would be hard to hide something in the desert, then you definitely need to read this story.) But I digress…
On the other hand, there have been several notable instances of Kerry blatantly either stretching the truth beyond elasticity or just flatly making things up. He told us he met with the U.N. Security Council. Turns out he didn’t. But the one that’s interesting to me is this:
On September 20th Kerry was at New York University where he delivered this comment:
“In the dark days of the Cuban missile crises, President Kennedy sent former Secretary of State Dean Acheson to Europe to build support. Acheson explained the situation to French President de Gaulle. Then he offered to show him highly classified satellite photos as proof. De Gaulle waved him away saying, “The word of the President of the United States is good enough for me.” How many world leaders have that same trust in America’s president today?”
What’s really interesting is that he made a statement like this that could be so easily verified. It leads me to think that he and his campaign either think most people are too stupid to check or too apathetic to care. The fact is, this meeting did take place, but that’s about the only “true” item in the whole statement.
Sherman Kent was the CIA official who actually carried the photos into de Gaulle’s office. And according to Kent, De Gaulle not only didn’t utter the trite, “if it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for me”, he examined them closely. He actually asked for a magnifying glass so he could get a better look at the photos.
And the purpose of Acheson’s trip was not to “build support.” It was to inform. De Gaulle’s biographer says that the very first thing de Gaulle said to Acheson was “I understand that you have not come to consult me, but to inform me.” Acheson replied “that’s correct.”
A Weekly Standard story details the incident and then goes on to provide the real kicker: De Gaulle expressed concerns that Kennedy might actually be trying too hard to cultivate European and world support for what he had to do with Fidel and the missiles.