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May 13th, 2004 - 1:21 am

Finally, Kerry says something very politically savvy:

“I think it’s sort of a panicked move to try to display to the Arab world and others that we are going to, you know, do things immediately,” Kerry said of impending hearings. “But I think you have to think of morale of the military and the chain of command.”

Forget morality and ethics for a moment, and look at Kerry’s statement as pure politics — because to look at anything as pure politics requires setting aside morality and ethics.

If adopted, what would Kerry’s recommendation lead to? It would draw out the (oh-so-necessary) courts martial well into summer, and maybe into the fall election campaign. And that would mean seemingly-endless months of bad headlines for the worst thing to hit George W since he was sworn into office.

And, I might add, he’s asking for the delay under the guise of protecting the morale of the US Armed Forces.

If — as I expect — the hearings and trials go on as scheduled, Kerry can claim to have been a voice for dispassionate reason. If Kerry manages to delay things indefinately, then he puts the Bush team on the defensive here until who knows when.

All morality and ethics aside, it’s a brilliant statement.

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