Just in time for 2008 — which is to say, two years too late for when it mattered — John Kerry says he has a plan for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. “I’m prepared to kick their ass from one end of America to the other,” Kerry tells Bill Sammons. “I am so confident of my abilities to address that and to demolish it and to even turn it into a positive.”
Sammons caught up with Kerry this week in New Hampshire, where he was campaigning for local Democrats but also, it seems, for himself. The junior senator from Massachusetts says he still thinks he’d be a “good president,” and he doesn’t “buy” the idea that Hillary Clinton has the Democratic nomination already locked up. “I don’t care what the dominant, conventional wisdom is today,” Kerry says. “It will not be the dominant, conventional wisdom in a year.”
For what it’s worth — not much — the latest CNN poll on Democrats’ preferences for 2008 shows Clinton leading with 37 percent, followed by Al Gore at 20 percent, Kerry and Edwards tied at 11 percent and Russ Feingold, Bill Richardson, Mark Warner, Evan Bayh, Joe Biden and Tom Vilsack all in the low single digits.
Senator Kerry is unfortunately a day late and a dollar short.
This is from Salon’s War Room:
The National Review’s Rich Lowry, last heard advocating an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, said earlier this week that he was “surprised” to see that Ron Suskind wasn’t “as critical” of George W. Bush’s speech on detainees last week as he’d expected him to be.
Maybe that’s because Lowry read just half of Alex Koppelman’s interview with Suskind in Salon. Lowry said that while Suskind had “plenty of criticisms of Bush, of course, and thinks he is guilty of ‘a bit of an overstatement’ in calling Abu Zubaydah a senior leader … he also thinks we got some things of value from him.” Lowry then quoted Suskind as telling Koppelman that the United States learned from Zubaydah that “Muktar,” or “the brain,” was Khalid Sheik Mohammed — and that Zubaydah gave up the not-as-scary-as-once-suggested Jose Padilla.
Which is all well and good, except for the part of the Salon interview Lowry didn’t mention, the part where Suskind said that the “real story of Zubaydah” is “more complicated than the administration would like, and maybe more complicated than the president at this point feels comfortable saying in an election season.”
“In the case of Zubaydah, when it comes to some of the harsh interrogation tactics he was put through, what occurred then was that he started to talk,” Suskind said. “He said, as people will, anything to make the pain stop. And we essentially followed every word, and various uniformed public servants of the United States went running all over the country to various places that Zubaydah said were targets, and were not. Ultimately, we tortured an insane man and ran screaming at every word he uttered.”
I chat with John Amato of Crooks and Liars today. One of things that we talk about is this song by Ricki Lee Jones. Check it out!