Norma Sherry: Truth vs. Lies
Truth vs. Lies
By Norma Sherry
Separating truth from lies, or as the spinmeister's might refer to it as the new ''morality'', becomes more difficult with each new sunrise. Considering there is so much spinning going on, being passed around via email, and being picked up as truth by the so-called liberal media, I thought it was high time to set the record straight on just some of the issues.
I'll begin with the more trivial of these spins on truth. Teresa Heinz Kerry has been vilified as the rich witch who makes money on every bottle of Heinz ketchup, who supports supposed subversive groups, and that Heinz Ketchup label reads that it is made in Mexico, which through its outsourcing has thrown thousands of American workers out into the street.
Here's the truth, which by the way is available to anyone willing to check the facts. (Two excellent websites to verify facts are www.snopes.com and www.factcheck.org .)
"Teresa Heinz Kerry does not 'own the Heinz Corporation' - she has no involvement whatsoever with the management or operations of the H.J. Heinz Company, nor does she own anything close to a controlling interest of the company's stock. According to Heinz itself, the Heinz family trust, which Mrs. Kerry inherited, sold most of its shares of Heinz stock back in 1995, and currently holds less than a 4% interest in the company.
"Neither Mrs. Heinz Kerry nor Senator Kerry nor any of the Heinz trusts nor endowments - either individually or collectively - holds a significant percentage of shares of the H.J. Heinz Company.
" There is no connection between any philanthropic programs of the H.J. Heinz Company and its Foundation and the Heinz family interests (including the Howard Heinz Endowment, the Vira Heinz Endowment, and the Heinz Family Philanthropies).
"(A 4% stake in a company as large as Heinz still represents a considerable amount of money, but it isn't nearly large enough a share to give the holder any significant control or influence over the company's business decisions.)"
In addition, according to the Heinz products on the supermarket shelves, every jar clearly stated, "Made in America" with "Corporate offices in Pittsburgh, Pa."
Regarding Teresa Heinz Kerry's contributions, she's denounced for giving money to Ramsey Clark's International Action Center. Ramsey Clark, remember him, he was a beacon of consciousness when we were so devoid of it. Her detractors point and shout, "She's contributed to The National Lawyer's Guild." Perhaps it's considered despicable because the word, lawyers, is in its title. Oh, this shameless, unscrupulous woman supports the National Lawyers Guild. What a horrifying notion in a Nation whose foundation was built on laws, not men.
But, dismissing the more trivial for the really important issues, according to author's David Sirota, Christy Harvey, Judd Legum and Jonathan Baskin, in September's issue of Washington Monthly, the article puts to rest the distortions and downright lies that Senator Kerry did nothing to defeat terrorism.
The article superbly traces the senator's tireless investigation of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which at the time was one of the world's foremost terrorist-financing institutions. Kerry spearheaded an investigation in the face of considerable opposition from vested interests in both political parties. However, Kerry's tenacity and determination to do the right thing brought the bank (BCCI) down in the summer of 1991, which marked the end of a major threat to U.S. security. Years later it has been discovered that Osama bin Laden was served by BCCI and considered "the mother and father of terrorist financing operations."
According to the well-researched article, in 1987, you may recall BCCI helped finance a deal for the young oilman, George W. Bush. In those years, BCCI was considered a beacon in the financial world. Their connections to the high and mighty in Washington and around the world were impeccable. But all that was about to change.
In 1988, the young senator, John Kerry, was about to embark upon an investigation of the Latin American drug cartels. Immediately, the Bush and Reagan administrations and members of his own party began to elicit strong opposition to his investigation. But Kerry fought on.
In the end, he was victorious. "As Kerry's investigation revealed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, BCCI was interested in more than just enriching its clients--it had a fundamentally anti-Western mission. Among the stated goals of its Pakistani founder were to "fight the evil influence of the West," and finance Muslim terrorist organizations."
Now, the Bush camp is attempting to defame Kerry as a 'do-nothing' senator. They claim he knows nothing about terrorism or how to fight it, and in fact, they have diverted attention away from the truth and instead fill the news and news bites with claims of his lies about his service in Viet Nam over 35-years ago.
The aforementioned article is an important read for anyone seeking the truth. It traces the uphill fight Senator Kerry fought for the public interest with little regard for his continuing position in the Senate. The article clearly indicates that young Senator Kerry made many enemies in this dogged investigation. Enemies that remain today determined not to allow Senator Kerry to become President Kerry.
The spin propagated by the Bush camp immediately after Kerry became the Democratic presidential candidate was that he was the number one liberal in the senate and Edwards, number four. This is also a lie -- the truth is far different. The truth is ten current senators have a lifetime voting record more liberal than Kerry's. As for Edwards, his scoring puts him in the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party. In the year before he missed 22 votes due to campaigning, he numbered 40th most liberal senator.
The Bush spin that Kerry would weaken our defense is pure fantasy and dismisses his record entirely. Dick Cheney, while Secretary of Defense for the first George Bush slammed the then democratically controlled Congress for refusing to cut weapon's programs:
Congress has let me cancel a few programs. But you've squabbled and sometimes bickered and horse-traded and ended up forcing me to spend money on weapons that don't fill a vital need in these times of tight budgets and new requirements. .You've directed me to buy more M-1s, F-14s, and F-16s-all great systems . but we have enough of them.
The claims by the republican campaign that Kerry voted against defense appropriations are disingenuous at best and a flagrant distortion for sure. The facts are that 14 years ago Kerry, along with 5 republican senators, and 11 other democratic senators voted against a defense appropriations' bill. Nine years ago, he was one of an unspecified number of senators to vote against a conference report on a defense bill.
Another flagrant distortion of the truth is RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie's claim that Kerry voted to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget. As it turns out, the funds were appropriated for a spy satellite that never launched. The Senate passed an amendment rescinding the money. Kerry, along with the majority of congress voted for the amendment.
In February, Marc Racicot, accused Kerry of "voting against the weapons systems that are winning the War on Terror" and says Kerry was for "canceling or cutting funding for the B-2 Stealth Bomber, the B-1B, the F-15, the F-16, the M1 Abrams, the Patriot Missile, the AH-64 Apache Helicopter, the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, and the Aegis Air-Defense Cruiser." Another Bush campaign spokesman said Kerry has a "32-year history of voting to cut defense programs and cut defense systems", which is impossible since he has been in office less than 20 years.
The truth is Kerry has not voted against conventional weapons and equipment, but against strategic nuclear weapons including the B-2 bomber, Trident missile, and anti-missile items. Since 1997, he has consistently voted for military spending bills.
Finally, the Bush camp and conservative talk show and radio hosts sarcastically suggest that Kerry supposedly changed his mind about Saddam Hussein's weapons program. The truth is Kerry has consistently stated that President Bush "misled every one of us" about the intelligence presented to justify a war in Iraq. "That's one reason why I'm running to be president of the United States."
It is precisely this lie about non-existent WMD and the false pretenses to attack Iraq pre-emptively that alone should be the basis for returning George W. Bush to his farm in Crawford, Texas. We the people want more from our elected officials. Truth and honesty should be paramount in the leader of the free world, nothing less should be acceptable.
© Norma Sherry 2004Norma Sherry is co-founder of TogetherForeverChanging.org, an organization devoted to educating, stimulating personal responsibility particularly with regards to our diminishing civil liberties. She is also an award-winning writer/producer and host of television program, The Norma Sherry Show, on WQXT-TV, Florida.
Email Norma: email@example.com