The potential bomb the blogosphere has been abuzz with has landed.
Suddenly in question is this quote, made by Kerry in the second presidential debate:
“This president hasn’t listened. I went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted. I went to New York. I talked to all of them, to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable.”
Joel Mowbray, in a special to the Washington Times, writes:
“But of the five ambassadors on the Security Council in 2002 who were reached directly for comment, four said they had never met Mr. Kerry. The four also said that no one who worked for their countries’ U.N. missions had met with Mr. Kerry either.”
The strength of Mowbray’s revelation is significantly weakened, however, by the admission by the (then) French UN Representative Jean-David Levitte that Kerry met with him and the British UN Rep. If Mowbray’s research is correct, then at most Kerry met with a “few” ambassadors on the Security Council and those in one-on-one meetings.
Two things to watch for:
1) It’s presumable (by virtue of the nature of the story) that the blog-world won’t be able to have the sort of “fact-checking” power or effect like they did with Rathergate. Rather, their influence will be limited to debating the effects of the revelation and parsing the statements by the various “players.”
2) This is going to be a blow to Kerry, even if it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) fly. I’m not convinced the charge (in this case) does. Kerry doesn’t claim (in the quote above) that he met them all at once. His claim that he did meet them “all” could be explained as a sort of “rhetorical overstatement” (the word for this, again, escapes me) of the sort that might be permissable in debates. If not permissable, it’s at the least traditional. Regardless, it will reinforce the shadows that hang over Kerry in a new way and give people something else to wonder about. Psychologically, the shadows that hang over Kerry will give this greater force in the voters mind.
At any rate, watch the blogosphere explode. My hope? Timid claims from the right. Mowbray’s article doesn’t demonstrate that Kerry was lying, but it does cast more doubt on his credibility. I doubt we will limit our claims to this, but one can hope.