Parsing Kerryspeak

Our radio hero Hugh Hewitt has staked out a journalistic beat that involves paying attention to the words uttered by (or on behalf of) John Kerry in various settings and trying to make sense of them. It’s tough work, and few of us have a high enough pain threshold to do it with the kind of meticulous attention to detail that Hugh brings to it.
In his Standard Online column today Hugh attends to Kerry’s Softball appearance with Democratic hack Chris Matthews earlier this week: “We may yet find them.” Hugh asks why Kerry concedes that Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction may yet be found and congratulates him for lapsing momentarily, in his own peculiar way, into the truth.
Hugh quotes this characterstic Kerry exchange with Matthews:

MATTHEWS: If there was an exaggeration of WMD, exaggeration of the danger, exaggeration implicitly of the connection to al Qaeda and 9/11, what’s the motive for this, what’s the “why?” Why did Bush and Cheney and the ideologues around take us to war? Why do you think they did it?
KERRY: It appears, as they peel away the weapons of mass destruction issue, and–we may yet find them, Chris. Look, I want to make it clear: Who knows if a month from now, you find some weapons. You may. But you certainly didn’t find them where they said they were, and you certainly didn’t find them in the quantities that they said they were. And they weren’t found, and I have talked to some soldiers who have come back who trained against the potential of artillery delivery, because artillery was the way they had previously delivered and it was the only way they knew they could deliver. Now we found nothing that is evidence of that kind of delivery, so the fact is that as you peel it away I think it comes down to this larger ideological and neocon concept of fundamental change in the region and who knows whether there are other motives with respect to Saddam Hussein, but they did it because they thought they could, and because they misjudged exactly what the reaction would be and what they could get away with.

What’s goin’ on? Could it be that Kerry has been briefed on the latest events in Jorda, spelled out in today’s Wall Street Journal editorial? The editorial is: “Al Qaeda’s poison gas.” Al Qaeda’s foiled poison gas attack connects a number of the dots on which the Bush administration predicated the war on Saddam Hussein, although you almost have to be a master of the blogosphere to know it.
Jeff Jacoby rivals Hugh in his ability to parse Kerry’s words. In his Boston Globe column today Jacoby does a masterful job recapping medalgate: “The Kerry medals mystery.” Given the venue of Jacoby column, I hope he puts Hugh’s column together with today’s Journal editorial and turns his spotlight on the Kerry WMD mystery.


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