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.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. BigFire says:

    I would say that John Kerry is a serial-(phrase replaced)-exaggerator. He know that he hasn’t done much (paper-thin prosecuting and Senate record). That’s why he has this need to exaggerate to cover that shortfall (Christmas in Cambodia and the magical hat from the covert-opt member).

  2. vdibart says:

    Nice summary James. Certainly not Kerry’s proudest moment I’m sure, but not the worst gaffe from either side of the aisle in this campaign.

  3. … 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.

    You’re a bit off on this; it is entirely plausable that Cheney simply did not remember meeting an insignificant Senator who rarely shows up to work. John Kerry is alleging that he actively sought out and met with the world’s top diplomats.

    It’s omission vs. comission.

  4. NONAME says:

    It’s pretty clear that for Kerry, France is the be all and end all. If the French aren’t involved, no one is; if you speak to the French about something, you’ve covered everyone who’s important.

    Kerry is running for President of the wrong country.

  5. McGehee says:

    If Kerry wins, he’ll be the wrong president in the wrong place at the wrong time.