Security Council Members Deny Meeting Kerry
Security Council members deny meeting Kerry (Washington Times)
U.N. ambassadors from several nations are disputing assertions by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry that he met for hours with all members of the U.N. Security Council just a week before voting in October 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq. An investigation by The Washington Times reveals that while the candidate did talk for an unspecified period to at least a few members of the panel, no such meeting, as described by Mr. Kerry on a number of occasions over the past year, ever occurred.
At the second presidential debate earlier this month, Mr. Kerry said he was more attuned to international concerns on Iraq than President Bush, citing his meeting with the entire Security Council. “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,” Mr. Kerry said of the Iraqi dictator. Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in December 2003, Mr. Kerry explained that he understood the “real readiness” of the United Nations to “take this seriously” because he met “with the entire Security Council, and we spent a couple of hours talking about what they saw as the path to a united front in order to be able to deal with Saddam Hussein.”
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 former ambassadors who said on the record they had never met Mr. Kerry included the representatives of Mexico, Colombia and Bulgaria. The ambassador of a fourth country gave a similar account on the condition that his country not be identified.
The piece notes that Kerry did meet with the French ambassador and several other delegates. I can’t imagine this will matter much in the campaign. As mistatements go, this is only slightly more aggregious than, say, Vice President Cheney’s claim to have never met John Edwards before their debate when, in fact, they had run into one another two or three times before. Still, it’s another example of Kerry being less than honest on a matter that, if true, would not have been particularly helpful. Any American who thinks the opinions of the non-permanent members of the Security Council should be a major factor in deciding whether to go to war are going to vote for Kerry anyway.