Back on September 24, I blogged a short item from the Washington Times (via Drudge) about a 1997 Crossfire show in which John Kerry reportedly stumped for unilateral, preemptive war by saying:
"We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians," said Mr. Kerry. "We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest."
Now the Times says that its source for the quote, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who had appeared on the same show with Kerry, gave them bad 411:
In reference to a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding access to Iraqi weapons sites, Mr. Kerry actually said: "I think that's our great concern [-] where's the backbone of Russia, where's the backbone of France, where are they in expressing their condemnation of such clearly illegal activity [-] but in a sense, they're now climbing into a box and they will have enormous difficulty not following up on this if there is not compliance by Iraq."
Later, referring to French and Russian reservations on the use of force, Mr. Kerry said: "There's absolutely no statement that they have made or that they will make that will prevent the United States of America and this president or any president from acting in what they believe are the best interests of our country."
Whole thing here.
One question worth pursuing, re: the journalism angle of it all: Why didn't the Times actually check out the tape of show which it said exists? If you're supposed to check it out when your mother tells she you loves you, a similar level of scrutiny should apply to political sources telling you exactly what you want to hear.
[Props to reader John Evans and others for pointing to the correction.]