Kerry and the CIA

KERRY AND THE CIA….I’m out of town this weekend, so I’ve been a little out of the loop, but I’m glad to see that the Bush campaign is living up to expectations. When I first saw their new “Wolves” ad, I thought it was kind of derivative and amateurish, but basically within the normal bounds of political truth stretching. But via Fred Kaplan, I see that I wasn’t paying nearly enough attention:

  • John Kerry voted to reduce intelligence spending after our “first terrorist attack”? Sure, as long as you realize that this refers to 1993, not 9/11. Needless to say, the admakers do their best not to make this clear.

  • Kerry was actually trying to get the National Reconnaissance Office to return money it had fraudulently failed to spend. That’s not a cut, it’s good governance. Good conservative governance, in fact.

  • Another Kerry bill did propose overall spending cuts as part of a deficit reduction package, including about a billion dollars a year in intelligence spending. It never went anywhere, though, and in any case Republican Porter Goss proposed bigger and more specific cuts the very next year. But that apparently didn’t make Goss too wishy washy on terror to be President Bush’s nominee to head the CIA this year, so it’s a little hard to see why it speaks poorly of Kerry.

If Kerry were genuinely weak in the war against terrorism, the Bush campaign would be able to come up with something a lot better than this. The fact that this is the best they can do probably says more about Kerry’s strength than anything the Democrats could say for themselves.