Monday, October 25, 2004

Kerry's patriotism and courage

John Kerry deserves to be the next President of the United States. While I fault him for voting to approve the war in Iraq, I believe he is the perfect person to lead this country at this time.

By way of example let me point to a story of John Kerry and his courage.

How John Kerry exposed the Contra-cocaine scandal

Derided by the mainstream press and taking on Reagan at the height of his popularity, the freshman senator battled to reveal one of America's ugliest foreign policy secrets.

By Robert Parry

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/10/25/contra/index.html

This is a story from the 1980's. Remember the fight in Nicaragua, with the Contra forces fighting to overthrow that government? The story that eventually became the Iran-Contra scandal?

In early 1986, the 42-year-old Massachusetts Democrat stood almost alone in the U.S. Senate demanding answers about the emerging evidence that CIA-backed Contras were filling their coffers by collaborating with drug traffickers then flooding U.S. borders with cocaine from South America.

Kerry assigned members of his personal Senate staff to pursue the allegations. He also persuaded the Republican majority on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to request information from the Reagan-Bush administration about the alleged Contra drug traffickers.

In taking on the inquiry, Kerry challenged President Ronald Reagan at the height of his power, at a time he was calling the Contras the "moral equals of the Founding Fathers." Kerry's questions represented a particular embarrassment to Vice President George H.W. Bush, whose responsibilities included overseeing U.S. drug-interdiction policies.

John Kerry broke that story, by having his own staff investigate it.

The Contra's were up to their eyeballs in aiding the drug trade, so that it would give them more money for their fight. Remember the anti-drug rhetoric of the time?

Apparently hypocrisy and lies are not new with this administration, but have been part of politics for awhile.

In 1984 Congress explicitly forbade aid to the Contras. Yet the Administration kept arranging for aid to the Contras, eventually leading to illegal arms sales to Iraq the profits from which were funneled to the Contras. Yes, we sold arms to Iraq and a few years later invaded Iraq. Somehow it's fitting that "1984" appears at the beginning of this paragraph.

I won't go into all the details - the author of the salon.com story as a journalist of that era was heavily involved in covering this same story, and since wrote a book giving all the details: Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth'

What I am wanting to say is how this is a perfect example of why John Kerry is the best man to be president at this time. He has several times over his life risked his career in publicly challenging the powers that be to stand for the truth.

Today we are suffering from the lies and mistakes of the powers that be. Today we need for those powers to be challenged.