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Inside the Beltway
By John McCaslin
Kerry out attack
During a 1997 debate on CNN's "Crossfire," Sen. John Kerry, now the Democratic presidential nominee, made the case for launching a pre-emptive attack against Iraq.
So reveals Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, who appeared with Mr. Kerry on the program.
Mr. King says the U.N. Security Council had just adopted a resolution against Iraq that was watered down at the behest of the French and the Russians. Yet the candidate who now criticizes President Bush for ignoring French and Russian objections to the Iraq war blasted the two countries, claiming that they were compromised by their business dealings with Baghdad.
"We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians," said Mr. Kerry. "We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest."
While no "Crossfire" transcripts from 1997 are available, Mr. King in recent days produced a tape of the show, sharing it with New York radio host Monica Crowley for broadcast, and this Inside the Beltway column for publication. Stay tuned.