Fact or Fiction?
Let's take a look at some of the points that our President made during last night's debate and see what exactly is fact or fiction.
“Of course, we're after Saddam Hussein — I mean, bin Laden. He's isolated. Seventy-five percent of his people have been brought to justice.” [Bush, First Presidential Debate, 9/30/04]
FACT: 19 of The Top 22 al Qaeda Operatives Remain at Large. “Efforts to ensnare the original list of Al Qaeda's most-wanted men are also going slowly. Of 22 top terrorists listed by America in October 2001, only three have been captured or killed…” [Economist, 8/14/04]
“We'll give you all the equipment you need, and we'll get you home as soon as the mission's done, because this is a vital mission.” [Bush, First Presidential Debate, 9/30/04]
FACT: Soldiers Lacked Armored Vehicles, Still Buying Their Own Equipment as Late as This Year. In late March 2004, the AP reported, “Soldiers headed for Iraq are still buying their own body armor - and in many cases, their families are buying it for them - despite assurances from the military that the gear will be in hand before they're in harm's way. The Portland Press Herald wrote that “In early March, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, questioned Acting Secretary of the Army Les Brownlee about the shortage of body armor and fortified Humvees for troops serving in Iraq. Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said after a visit to Iraq in mid-June that U.S. forces still need better armored equipment. Of the 15,000 Humvees in Iraq, about 1,500 to 2,000 are armored, according to the Army.” [Associated Press, 3/26/04; Portland Press Herald, 7/2/04]
“If America shows uncertainty or weakness in this decade the world will drift toward tragedy.” [Bush, First Presidential Debate, 9/30/04]
FACT: Bush and Rumsfeld Send Mixed Messages In Winning the War on Terror.
Bush says we can’t win the war on terror: When asked ‘Can we win?’ the war on terror, Bush said, “I don’t think you can win it.” [New York Times, 8/31/04]
Rumsfeld doubts the U.S. has a long term plan to win the War on Terror. “With respect to global terrorism, the record since September 11th seems to be … We are having mixed results with Al Qaida… Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?.” [Internal DoD Memo, “Global War on Terrorism,” Rumsfeld, 10/16/03; Reprinted in USA Today, 10/22/03]
On funding for First Responders: “We are doing our duty to provide the funding.” [Bush, First Presidential Debate, 9/30/04]
FACT: Bush Has Cut Funding For First Responders. Bush Cuts Funding for State and Local Homeland Security Grants by $800 Million and training funding in half. Bush cut funding to the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Domestic Preparedness, which supplies a variety of first-responder grants to state and local governments, by $800 million, to $3.6 billion in 2005 from $4.4 billion in 2004. Bush cut state and local grant funding for first responder training, exercise, and technical assistance by nearly half, from $320 million in 2004 to $178 million in 2005. [Department of Homeland Security, 2005 Budget in Brief, www.dhs.gov; www.omb.gov]
“Well, actually, he forgot Poland.” [Bush, First Presidential Debate, 9/30/04]
FACT: Actually, Polish Troops Were Not Part Of The Initial Invasion Of Iraq. "Except for a few commandos, Polish troops were not part of the original ground invasion." [Washington Post, 10/1/04]That's just a few. I could go on but it would take up too much space.
FACT: President Of Poland Says He Was Misled About WMD In Iraq. Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski told a group of European reporters “But naturally I also feel uncomfortable due to the fact that we were misled with the information on weapons of mass destruction.” [CBS News.com, 3/18/04]