Kerry Accuses Bush of Hiding Troops Plan
Democratic Sen. John Kerry on Friday accused the Bush administration of hiding a plan to mobilize more National Guard and reserve troops after the election while glossing over a worsening conflict in Iraq. “He won’t tell us what congressional leaders are now saying, that this administration is planning yet another substantial call-up of reservists and guard units immediately after the election,” Kerry said. “Hide it from people through the election, then make the move.”
The Democratic presidential candidate listed examples where he sees Bush misleading voters about Iraq, seeking to turn the conflict into a liability for Bush even as the president polishes his credentials as the best candidate to deter terrorists and protect the nation. Kerry portrayed the president as out of touch with a serious and dangerous situation. “With all due respect to the president, has he turned on the evening news lately? Does he read the newspapers?” Kerry said. “Does he really know what’s happening? Is he talking about the same war that the rest of us are talking about?”
Matt Drudge also has this:
STATEMENT FROM REP JOHN P. MURTHA [D-PA]:
I have learned through conversations with officials at the Pentagon that at the beginning of November, 2004, the Bush Administration plans to call up large numbers of the military guard and reserves, to include plans that they previously put off to call up the Individual Ready Reserve.
I have said publicly and privately that our forces are inadequate to support our current worldwide tempo of operations. On November 21, 2003, a bipartisan group of 135 members of the House of Representatives wrote to the President urging an increase in the active duty army troop levels and expressed concern that our Armed Forces are over-extended and that we are relying too heavily on the Guard and Reserve.
We didn’t get a reply until February 2004, and now as the situation in Iraq is deteriorating, it seems that the Administration will resort to calling up additional guard and reservists, again with inadequate notice.
It certainly appears if the Democrats are getting frantic over Kerry’s poor showing in the polls, willing to say or do just about anything to see if it helps. The sheer desperation–and it’s only mid September–is amazing.