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Thread: An Interesting Look at a Conservative Claim

  1. #1
    [u][b]Weapon Killer[/b][/u]

    Claim: [u]Senator John Kerry "voted to kill every military appropriation for the development and deployment of every weapons systems since 1988."[/u]

    Status: [color=red][u][b]False.[/b][/u][/color]

    Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

    [quote][b]Sen. John Kerry

    Democrat from Massachusetts
    HE says he is strongest
    Presidential Candidate on National Defense!

    He said Check the Record..
    We Did !

    Here is what we learned.

    He voted to kill the B-1 Bomber
    He voted to kill the B-2 Stealth Bomber
    He voted to kill the F-14
    He voted to kill the F-15 Strike Eagle
    He voted to kill the F-16
    He voted to kill the AV-8B Harrier Vertical Takeoff and Landing Jet Fighter
    He voted to kill the AH-64 Apache Helicopter
    He voted to kill the Patriot Anti-Missile System
    He voted to kill the Aegis Anti-Aircraft System
    He voted to kill the Trident Missile System
    He voted to kill the M-1 Abrams Tank
    He voted to kill the Bradley Fighting Vehicle
    He voted to kill the Tomahawk Cruise Missile

    In short, he voted to kill every military appropriation for the development and deployment of every weapons systems since 1988 to include the battle armor for our troops. With Kerry as president our Army will be made up of naked men running around with sticks and clubs. [/b][/quote]


    [u][b]Origins:[/b][/u] Numerous variants of this message claiming that Senator John Kerry of Masschusetts "voted to kill every military appropriation for the development and deployment of every weapons systems since 1988" have been circulating since at least February 2004. The message's implication that Senator Kerry distinctly and specifically voted to kill upwards of a dozen different weapons systems is inaccurate and grossly misleading, however.

    A 22 February 2004 Republican National Committee (RNC) research briefing includes the list of weapons systems found in this message and citations that purportedly support the claim that Senator Kerry voted to kill each one. But all the citations stem from votes on three Congressional bills, none of which were about a specific weapons system or group of weapons systems.

    The three votes cited regarding S. 3189 (1990), H.R. 5803 (1990), and H.R. 2126 (1995) were bills covering fiscal year Department of Defense appropriations, all of which Senator Kerry voted against. (Two of those three votes were not technically on defense appropriations per se, but on House-Senate conference committee reports for defense appropriations bills.) As the text of a typical defense appropriations bill shows, such bills cover the entire governmental expenditures for defense in a given fiscal year and encompass thousands of items totalling hundreds of billions of dollars including everything from the cost of developing, testing, purchasing, and maintaining weapons and other equipment to personnel expenses (salaries, medical benefits, tuition assistance, reenlistment bonuses), medical research, hazardous waste cleanup, facilities maintenance, and a whole host of other disbursements. Members of Congress ultimately vote "yea" or "nay" on an entire appropriations bill; they don't pick and choose to approve some items and reject others.

    Senators and Representatives might vote against a defense appropriations bill for any numbers of reasons because they object to the presence or absence of a particular item, because they feel that the government is proposing to spend too much or too little money on defense, or anything in-between. Maintaining, as is the case here, that a Senator who voted "nay" on one year's defense appropriations bill therefore voted to "kill" a variety of specific weapons systems is like claiming that any Congressman who has ever voted against a defense appropriations bill has therefore also voted to abolish the U.S. military.

    The inclusion of some of the items listed here is all the more ridiculous given that they were weapons systems that a previous Republican administration advocated eliminating. For example, it was Dick Cheney himself, in his capacity as Secretary of Defense under President George H.W. Bush, who testified before the House Armed Services Committee on 13 August 1989 that he had recommended cancelling the AH-64 Apache Helicopter program:

    "The Army, as I indicated in my earlier testimony, recommended to me that we keep a robust Apache helicopter program going forward. AH-64 . . . forced the Army to make choices. I said, "You can't have all three. We don't have the money for all three." So I recommended that we cancel the AH-64 program two years out. That would save $1.6 billion in procurement and $200 million in spares over the next five years.
    (Note that this testimony took place over six years before Senator Kerry supposedly voted to "kill" the AH-64.) "

    Likewise, on 1 February 1992, Secretary of Defense Cheney complained to the Senate Armed Services Committee that he was being "forced" to spend money on unneeded weapons such as the M-1, the F-14, and the F-16:

    "Congress has let me cancel a few programs. But you've squabbled and sometimes bickered and horse-traded and ended up forcing me to spend money on weapons that don't fill a vital need in these times of tight budgets and new requirements . . . You've directed me to buy more M-1s, F-14s, and F-16s all great systems . . . but we have enough of them. "

    And President Bush noted in his 1992 State of the Union address that he was phasing out several weapons systems, including the B-2, to "reflect the changes of the new era":

    "Two years ago, I began planning cuts in military spending that reflected the changes of the new era. But now, this year, with imperial communism gone, that process can be accelerated. Tonight I can tell you of dramatic changes in our strategic nuclear force. These are actions we are taking on our own because they are the right thing to do. After completing 20 planes for which we have begun procurement, we will shut down further production of the B-2 bombers. We will cancel the small ICBM program. We will cease production of new warheads for our sea-based ballistic missiles. We will stop all new production of the Peacekeeper missile. And we will not purchase any more advanced cruise missiles. "

  2. #2
    Jets Insider VIP
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    Even the Press says he's the most Liberal Senator in Congress..
    Hey this must be the 99% Conservative Warfish posting again??
    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  3. #3
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    So I see, his vote against the money to develop, test and support those weapons systems is not actually a vote against them.

    Congress doesn't vote on specific systems, they vote on the funding for them. Do you think these weapons are developed and tested for free?

    If you honestly believe that the most liberal senator in the country, a massachussetts liberal, will foster a stronger military than under GWB, then you vote for him. Osama and co. are counting on it.

  4. #4
    Put simply, the issue Sav posted earlier (Which Snopes debunks as inaccurate) is just slightly more complex than you make it sound Weeb.

    I.e. There are dozens of reasons why any senator would vote against a particular funding bill, and those reasons could be unrelated to any specific weapons system amaking up a tiny portion of the overall budget item. And voting against a Multi-funding bill (like the Defense Appropriations Bill is) does not mean the voter was against ALL of the bill at all. He or she may only be against some of it.

    In addition, as the provided Bush and Cheney quotes show, the Republican leadership was just as happy to kill some of the weapons Kerry is derided (inaccurately) for voting against, and often make statements promoting the death of said weapon ssytems well before Kerry voted against that bill. You cannot IMO blast a Lib for being against the same weapons your own Pres/VP were against, can you?

    Snopes puts it best here: "Maintaining, as is the case here, that a Senator who voted "nay" on one year's defense appropriations bill therefore voted to "kill" a variety of specific weapons systems is like claiming that any Congressman who has ever voted against a defense appropriations bill has therefore also voted to abolish the U.S. military."

    I do not disagree that Kerry is a worse choice for President, and is weaker on defense than Bush, but I do take issue with blatant outright dishonesty, as Sav's posting of this in another thread clearly was.

    And Sav......I'll make it alot easier for you. I am an Independent with many Libertarian views. The major exception is Immigration, in which I hold a traditionally conservative view (I say traditional because current Republican leadership is just as bad as Democratic leadership on this issue). Does that make it better? Can you pigeonhole me as an enemy of the Cause now, as opposed to a dishonest Lib claiming to be a Con?

  5. #5
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    Kerri actually voted kill every military appropriation for the development and deployment of every weapons systems since 1988 before voting not to kill them.

  6. #6
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish[/i]@Jul 28 2004, 10:16 AM
    [b] Put simply, the issue Sav posted earlier (Which Snopes debunks as inaccurate) is just slightly more complex than you make it sound Weeb.

    I.e. There are dozens of reasons why any senator would vote against a particular funding bill, and those reasons could be unrelated to any specific weapons system amaking up a tiny portion of the overall budget item. And voting against a Multi-funding bill (like the Defense Appropriations Bill is) does not mean the voter was against ALL of the bill at all. He or she may only be against some of it.

    [/b][/quote]
    So actually it wasn't proven to be false, just that it was more complex than a sound bite indicated.

    Proving it to be false would have been citing information that Kerry actually supported some or all of the initiatives cited, not that he voted them down with other stuff.

    So basically, the 'proof' you cited proves nothing. Simply that Kerry didn't vote specifically against the items noted and nothing else at that time.

    Big deal. Anyone who's spent 15 minutes studying anything about congress know that most appropriations are done in lumps.

  7. #7
    before the war I thought Rummy was doing a good job

    it's true the military is bloated - we are talking about reduncant conventional weapons systems in a world where everyone who's anyone has a tactical nuke.

    No one is saying our military needs to have anything but the best technology - the problem is that CC ongressmen, Generals and Armed forces get attached get attached to certain projects and it becomes a personal matter.

    We can't kill the XX-11 toilet seat cause they make it in my district? cmon. There is bloat in the military big time. In this world of terror they should be fighting with assassination squads and satellites... not JDams blowing up bridges that Cheney's ginormous corporate conglomerate has to rebuild 3 months later.

  8. #8
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish[/i]@Jul 28 2004, 10:16 AM
    [b] And Sav......I'll make it alot easier for you. I am an Independent with many Libertarian views. The major exception is Immigration, in which I hold a traditionally conservative view (I say traditional because current Republican leadership is just as bad as Democratic leadership on this issue). Does that make it better? Can you pigeonhole me as an enemy of the Cause now, as opposed to a dishonest Lib claiming to be a Con? [/b][/quote]
    See that wasn't hard was it?? Your the one that said you were 99%
    Conservative.. :lol: Hell I'm not 99% either! And the only cause I have
    right now is for the Jets to win the Bowl!! ;)

  9. #9
    [quote][b]And the only cause I have right now is for the Jets to win the Bowl!![/b][/quote]

    [color=green][SIZE=4][u][b]AGREED!!!![/b][/u][/color][/SIZE]

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