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Friday, October 01, 2004

Fact-checking the debates 1.0

The following notes are culled from the Los Angeles Times:

• Kerry... seeking to portray the war as reckless, asserted flatly that Bush had 'no plan' for the aftermath. In fact, the administration had elaborate sets of plans for handling the various crises that officials anticipated, such as oil-well fires and huge refugee flows. The problem they later confronted was that the assumptions behind the plans proved wildly wrong.

• In seeking to show international support for the U.S. effort, the president cited an upcoming meeting this month in Tokyo to discuss $14 billion in aid pledged to the rebuilding effort. He failed to mention that many donors had yet to fulfill their pledges 12 months after they made a commitment to do so.

• Outlining his administration's progress against nuclear proliferation, [Bush] asserted that the network of Pakistani physicist Abdul Qadeer Khan had been 'busted' and 'brought to justice.'

However, Khan himself was pardoned by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in February, and of 11 staff members at the top-secret Khan Research Laboratories near Islamabad originally believed to be involved in the nuclear trafficking, none has been charged after lengthy detentions and interrogations.

• Bush said there were currently a 'hundred thousand troops trained' — close to the 96,681 trained police and military forces cited in a Sept. 22 statement by the Defense Department... Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage acknowledged last Friday to Congress that some of the forces were "shake-and-bake" trainees, with three weeks of training or less.


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