Fred Kaplan Is Lying

Slate’s Fred Kaplan makes an effort at defending John Kerry from Republican attacks on his Senate record, specifically, Kerry’s attempts to cut a number of major weapons systems over the years, including unimportant items like the F-14 and F-15 fighters, the B-2 bomber, AH-64 Apache helicopter, and Aegis cruisers.

Kaplan starts out with what he probably considers a clever ploy, quoting George H.W. Bush and Dick Cheney laying out defense cuts that were proposed in the early 1990’s. He then notes,

Granted, these reductions were made in the wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution and the Cold War’s demise. But that’s just the point: Proposed cuts must be examined in context. A vote against a particular weapons system doesn’t necessarily indicate indifference toward national defense.

Quite right, as far as it goes–but then Kaplan proceeds to obscure the point by charging that Kerry didn’t really “vote” to cancel all those systems, he just voted one way or another on different procedural and conference bills for one reason or another, and,

Kerry was one of 16 senators (including five Republicans) to vote against a defense appropriations bill 14 years ago. He was also one of an unspecified number of senators to vote against a conference report on a defense bill nine years ago. The RNC takes these facts and extrapolates from them that he voted against a dozen weapons systems that were in those bills. The Republicans could have claimed, with equal logic, that Kerry voted to abolish the entire U.S. armed forces, but that might have raised suspicions. Claiming that he opposed a list of specific weapons systems has an air of plausibility. On close examination, though, it reeks of rank dishonesty.

That’d be a nice argument, Fred, except that you didn’t bother to fact-check your own statements against the rest of the public record. Like, say, this 1984 Kerry memo, which Kerry’s campaign has admitted is genuine. It lays out, in Kerry’s own name, plans to “cancel” all of the above programs, plus several others.

In other words, Fred, you’re either completely misinformed, or you’re lying. Based on your previous “work” regarding defense issues, I might have given you the benefit of the doubt. You clearly don’t know a damn thing about how weapons systems are designed, tested, used, or bought (repeatedly quoting a fraud like John “I’m not an engineer, but I play one on TV” Pike doesn’t help your credibility), but since Mark Steyn has had that memo linked for the better part of a month, I’m inclined to think that you’re just ignoring it.

In other words, lying.