Washington Post Fact Checker Calls Out Kerry’s Exaggerated Climate Change Claims

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The Washington Post Fact Checker thinks that Secretary of State John Kerry may have a Brian Williams problem when it comes to the facts about his role in the first climate hearings when he was a senator.

Last week, Kerry gave a speech to the Atlantic Council about climate change in which he said the following:

Climate change is an issue that is personal to me, and it has been since the 1980s, when we were organizing the very first climate hearings in the Senate…. Al Gore, Tim Wirth, and a group of us organized the first hearings in the Senate on this, 1988. We heard Jim Hansen sit in front of us and tell us it’s happening now, 1988.

According to the Fact Checker, this wasn’t the first time Kerry had made this claim:

In 2007, in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, he asserted, ‘I was privileged to be part of the first hearings that we held in the United States Congress on this subject, with Al Gore, on the Commerce Committee, where we sat together in 1987, 20 years ago.

In 2009, speaking at a Senate hearing at which Gore testified, Kerry said: ‘It’s well known that Al and I have a certain political experience in common. What is less well-known is that we also teamed up on the first-ever Senate hearing on climate change for the Commerce Committee back in 1988.’ (He also said something in yet another Council on Foreign Relations speech in 2009.)

In a 2010 article for The Huffington Post, Kerry wrote: ‘My bottom line: Al Gore and I held the Senate’s first climate change hearings in the Commerce Committee way back in 1988. Since then, precious little progress has been made and ground has been lost internationally, all while the science has grown more compelling.’

And, in a 2014 profile of Kerry in The Boston Globe, Andrew Holland of the American Security Project was quoted as saying Kerry ‘has had a personal interest in climate change going back to when he worked with Al Gore in 1988 on the first climate hearing on Capitol Hill.’ Holland told The Fact Checker that the source of this factoid was Kerry himself.

While Kerry is trying to claim credit for working with Gore on the “very first” Senate or Capitol Hill hearings on climate change, the facts are less clear according to Glenn Kessler, who writes the Fact Checker column.

Kessler tries to pinpoint when the first hearing actually did take place, by going back to the 1970s. He talked with some climate change experts and determined that the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on June 23, 1988, that Kerry has repeatedly referred to, was what brought climate change to the attention of the public.

There’s just one problem with Kerry’s statement. Neither he nor Gore were at that hearing because they weren’t on Wirth’s committee.

When questioned about this, Kerry spokesman Alec Gerlach issued the following statement:

Secretary Kerry rightly referred to the work he contributed to in the Senate along with Senators Gore and Wirth beginning in 1988 and 1989 on the issue of climate change, a cause he’s been committed to for his entire career. As the Secretary made clear, these hearings were a turning point: the first to point to new research that made clear the human impact on increasing greenhouse gasses was connected to climate change and a warming planet. No prior congressional discussions had made that critical connection. Without that link to a human impact, the case for this generation to act to curb emissions is dampened, but as Secretary Kerry made clear in his remarks, since those hearings: ‘the science has been screaming at us, warning us, trying to compel us to act.’

That’s all well and good, except that Kerry’s statements repeatedly refer to one, not multiple hearings.

The Pinocchio Test

To be fair to Kerry, he has been involved in the debate about climate change for many years, as a member of the Senate. He can certainly claim to have been passionate about the issue for a long time. While he may have been a junior member of the Senate in the late 1980s, his role on the issue certainly grew as he gained seniority.

But his pattern of exaggeration about the congressional hearings is disturbing. On repeated occasions, he has said or suggested that he and Gore were responsible for the first congressional hearing on climate change–and that he was one of the Senators who participated in the pivotal 1988 Hansen hearing organized by Wirth.

Gore might have bragging rights about organizing one of the first hearings, but not Kerry. Kerry was not even a participant in the most important hearing of that time; he simply spoke at a hearing that took place the following year. And yet, like Brian Williams claiming to have come under fire in Iraq, Kerry has repeatedly placed himself at the center of the action—and the narrative.

He earns Four Pinocchios.

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Mike Huckabee Destroys John Kerry’s Iran Position In This Brutal Letter

Flickr/Gage Skidmore

As he explained on his website, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee drafted a letter and sent it to Secretary of State John Kerry to air a number of grievances regarding his stance on Iran’s nuclear pursuits. Scroll down to read the entire letter.

Huckabee began by stating the same case made by 47 Republican senators who endorsed a previous letter explaining that any deal between Barack Obama and Iran that bypasses Congress would not survive the current administration. He then cited Kerry’s reference to the aforementioned senators’ action as “unconstitutional,” noting that their intent was to prevent the Obama administration from “once again deliberately bypassing Congress and exceeding its constitutional authority.”

Huckabee then made his critique more personal by bringing up an apparent hypocrisy from Kerry’s past.

“In 1985,” he wrote, “you did more than just send a letter to a foreign nation — you flew to Nicaragua to negotiate with Daniel Ortega and other Sandinistas despite express opposition from the Reagan Administration.”

He went on to disparage Kerry’s willingness to side with Iran over America’s closest Middle Eastern ally, Israel.

Though he acknowledged his “greatest respect” for Kerry’s service in the military and in the public sector, Huckabee concluded that he hopes the 2004 Democrat presidential nominee “will extend respect to those faithfully executing their oath of office in the U.S. Senate and to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who like you, want to stop terrorism worldwide.”

Read Hucakbee’s letter in its entirety below:

 

March 16, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry

United States Department of State

2201 C Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

I find your opposition to congressional oversight offensive and hypocritical and your posture towards Israel deeply disturbing.

Appearing on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” you described the letter forty-seven U.S. Senators signed and sent to Iranian officials regarding ongoing nuclear negotiations as “unconstitutional.” Congress has the constitutional responsibility to serve as a check-and-balance on the executive branch. As has been done with immigration, health care and many other issues, the Obama Administration is once again deliberately bypassing Congress and exceeding its constitutional authority.

Frankly, your criticisms are hypocritical. You launched yourself into the public spotlight by directly and publicly criticizing the executive branch in a Senate committee hearing forty-four years ago. In 1985, you did more than just send a letter to a foreign nation—you flew to Nicaragua to negotiate with Daniel Ortega and other Sandinistas despite express opposition from the Reagan Administration.

You describe the Senate letter as “unprecedented” and “wrong.” The fact is, your willingness to trust Iran and undermine Israel is what is unprecedented and wrong.

Moreover, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently came to Washington and explained how a deal with Iran would spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, threaten Israel’s existence and embolden terrorists around the world. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a Churchill in a world full of Chamberlains. Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East and Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism. As an American, I am embarrassed that you, Vice President Biden and other high-ranking administration officials boycotted Netanyahu’s address to Congress yet never miss an opportunity to visit with Iranian leaders.

I have the greatest respect for your long record of service to our country, beginning with combat in Vietnam. During those difficult years, you risked your life in a war that many Americans experienced only from afar. I also respect your role as Secretary of State. Hopefully, you will extend respect to those faithfully executing their oath of office in the U.S. Senate and to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who like you, want to stop terrorism worldwide.

Respectfully,

Governor Mike Huckabee

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

BOMBSHELL: See How Hillary’s Emailgate Scandal Could Snare Current Sec’y Of State John Kerry

Megyn Kelly & Clinton

One can only imagine how fast and furious is the behind-the-scenes scrambling now going on among lawyers and and story spinners at the U.S. State Department as Hillary Clinton’s emailgate scandal expands and intensifies.

Even as the former secretary of state tries to move on from the controversy over her use of a private email account to conduct official business, the country’s current chief diplomat, John Kerry, could find himself soiled by the whole dirty affair.

Here’s why…

Among the many questions being asked by an increasing number of media outlets is: Did Mrs. Clinton sign the required separation document when she left her post at State?

As National Review observes: “The form, OF-109, is critical to understanding whether Clinton violated the law by maintaining her own private e-mail account and server to conduct official business as Secretary.”

In nearly a week of fielding direct inquiries about Mrs. Clinton and form OF-109, the State Department has not been able, or willing, to answer what should be a simple “yes” or “no” question.

A big reason for the department’s reluctance, or refusal, to answer could be that Hillary Clinton would find herself in a load of legal trouble either way — facing possible charges that she stole government documents or committed perjury.

Plus, John Kerry could be snared by the controversy if he failed to make sure Mrs. Clinton complied with requirements that she make all her official records available to the government on a secure and timely basis when she left office.

Megyn Kelly of Fox News has been leading the charge to discover the truth about OF-109 as it pertains to the emailgate scandal. Monday night, on “The Kelly File,” she discussed the situation with Fox News’ Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano.

Judge Nap explained the significant legal jeopardy now facing Clinton as well as Kerry. You can watch the segment by clicking on the video above.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

The Real Story About Kerry’s “Man Of Wisdom” In Saudi Arabia

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King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia passed away last month after a long illness. Western leaders and media hurried to eulogize Abdullah and to laud his ‘life-time achievements’.

Secretary of State John Kerry called Abdullah “a man of wisdom and vision” and “a revered leader.”

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said Abdullah ”worked for peace and prosperity and strengthened understanding between faiths.” Former British PM Tony Blair joined the chorus of praise and claimed that the Saudi king was a “patient and skillful modernizer.”  Flags in England were flown at half-mast after the announcement of Abdullah’s death.

US President Obama spoke of a ”genuine and warm friendship” and cut short his official visit to India and flew to Riyadh to pay his respects. In an official statement, Obama praised the king’s efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Arab world. Obama was referring to the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 that was endorsed by the Arab League in 2002 and 2007.

Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, even announced a research and essay competition, to be run through National Defense University, to honor King Abdullah. “This is an important opportunity to honor the memory of the king, while also fostering scholarly research on the Arab-Muslim world,” Dempsey said in a statement. He characterized the king as a “man of remarkable character and courage.”

Israeli commentators sharply criticized these eulogies and ridiculed the ”sycophantic pilgrimage” to Riyadh by world leaders after Abdullah’s death.

These analysts mainly focused on the abysmal state of affairs of human rights in Saudi Arabia. Jerusalem Post editor Seth Franzman was one of the Israeli critics. He gave some examples of human rights abuses in the Saudi Kingdom.

Here’s what he wrote:

One wonders if Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek saw the great wisdom of Abdullah when she was dragged from a van by Saudi soldiers last year and executed publicly by a sword-wielding man in a white robe, as crowds looked on in pleasure. She was sentenced to death at the age of 17 in 2007 after her employers claimed she was responsible for the death of their child, that she was taking care of as part of her duties as a housemaid. A video posted online shows the gruesome ceremony, the result of the great wisdom Western leaders showed such fawning appreciation for.

Did Burmese maid Layla Bint Abdul Mutaleb Bassim share the “modern” vision of the king as she was dragged through the streets and then beheaded in public while being held by four soldiers on January 18 of this year? She pleaded for her life and declared her innocence. It is tradition in Saudi Arabia’s injustice system that executioners ask those they kill for forgiveness prior to beheading them. But the young Bassim shouted in the street, blindfolded and with her arms tied behind her back: “haram [forbidden], haram, haram, I did not kill, I do not forgive you, this is an injustice.” And then the sword of modernity, of progress, of “warm and genuine friendship,” fell on her neck – three times, as the executioner could not kill her in one stroke. The man who filmed the gruesome legal murder of Bassim was arrested.

Franzman ridiculed India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who called Abdullah “ an important voice which left a lasting impact on his country and a guiding voice.”

“Modi is right, in a sense. The Saudi king indeed left a ‘lasting impact': bloodstained streets and scarred backs. He made a lasting impact on thousands of poor people from families throughout Asia, such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, India and Burma, whose loved ones who were beheaded after working as semi-enslaved housekeepers in the kingdom. When the Times said Abdullah ‘re-shaped’ Saudi Arabia, it was correct; decapitating people is re-shaping them indeed,” Franzman wrote.

He concluded: “ It is time to wake up from the slumber of hypocrisy and moral relativism. Saudi Arabia is not a role model, and leaders who laud it as one deserve to be called onto the carpet.”

Another Israeli commentator criticized President Obama’s silence on human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia and compared that to his criticism of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.

Saudi Arabia beheaded 80 people last year, and it is one of several Arab countries in which Jews are forbidden to live.  The most recent State Department report on international religious freedom  contained the following comment on Saudi Arabia: “Freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and the government severely restricted it in practice,” and all practices of non-Muslim worship are illegal.

Apart from Obama’s silence on Saudi Arabia’s abysmal human rights record, there is another mind-boggling aspect to his attitudes towards Abdullah. We are not talking here about the fact that he bowed to the Saudi king during his first visit to Abdullah, but about his praise for the king’s contribution to peace between Israel and the Arab world. The fact of the matter is that the late king was never a promoter of peace in the region. On the contrary, Abdullah was part of a government that sponsored terrorism and refused to take Osama bin Laden into custody in 1996 and to arrest Hezbollah terror mastermind Imad Mugniyeh when he was in Saudi Arabia

As for the Arab Peace Initiative that Abdullah instigated, this was in fact nothing more than a restatement of the Arab interpretation of UNSC resolution 242 of November 22, 1967. That resolution called upon Israel “to withdraw from” territories occupied during the Six Day War in 1967 in exchange for peace–and not, as Abdullah’s initiative demanded, “all territories.” The Arab peace plan called also for a just solution for the Palestinian refugees, meaning that Israel should accept the influx of millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

These conditions for peace would in fact have meant that Israel committed suicide, and it was the main reason for the Israeli rejection of Abdullah’s “peace plan.”

But before that happened, however, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon offered to discuss the plan with the Arab League. When he didn’t receive an answer, Sharon directly invited Abdullah to Israel to discuss the plan. Abdullah didn’t respond either.

At the same time that the then-prince Abdullah wrote his peace initiative, the Saudi government was busy sponsoring Palestinian terror groups. During the Second Intifada, when the IDF launched Operation Protective Shield to stop the wave of suicide attacks on Israeli citizens, the Israeli army captured many documents showing that hundreds of thousands of dollars were being distributed to the families of terrorists by Saudi Arabia. Israel also released a Saudi spreadsheet that recorded a payment to the suicide bomber who detonated himself in a bus in Jerusalem on August 21, 1995. A press release from the Saudi embassy in Washington in January 2001 described the Saudi support for the Al-Aqsa Intifada and boasted that Saudi Arabia had distributed $33 million to the families of Palestinian ‘martyrs.’

The second reason why Obama was wrong when he branded Abdullah a peacemaker is the fact that he was part of the Saudi leadership that has been promoting the same Wahhabi ideology that has been adopted by Islamist groups that are now terrorizing large parts of the world.

One of these groups is Al-Qaeda, responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers in New York on 11 September 2011. Fifteen of the nineteen terrorists who were responsible for the death of almost 3000 Americans were Saudi citizens. Dick Ganon, the former head of the State Department’s Office of Counter-Terrorism, said at the time: “We’ve got information about who’s backing Bin Laden, and in lot of cases it goes back to the royal family.” According to the Sunday Times, the Saudis paid at least $300 million in “protection money” to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. This also explains why Al-Qaeda did not attack targets in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi monarchy also bankrolled programs that propagate the militant Wahhabi version of Islam. It is commonly known that Saudi Arabia funded Islamic schools and madrassas around the world.

But it didn’t stop there. For example, in the United States, the Middle East Studies centers in universities offered a curriculum that was paid for by the Saudis. These centers do not have scholars on Israel and are primarily inhabited by faculty hostile to Israel. Saudi Arabia also directly funded universities in the United States. More than $130 million was donated  between 1986 and 2007.  Harvard, for example, received a $20,000,000 donation from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Harvard Law received $5,000,000 from the King Fahd Fund for Islamic Shariah.

As a result, universities in the United States have become hotbeds of anti-Israel activity. Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh once said that on US university campuses, there is more sympathy for Hamas than there is in Ramallah.

The same goes for Britain. As long ago as 2008, the director-general of MI5, Jonathan Evans, said that the Saudi government’s multi-million dollar investments in British universities had led to a dangerous increase in the spread of extremism on leading university campuses.

This is the true story about King Abdullah and Saudi Arabia.

His successor, King Salman, will no doubt be hailed as a reformer and a modernizer too. During the first week of his reign, four people were beheaded; the media only reported about his ‘reforms.’ The new king decided to reshuffle the government and ordered the payment of two months of bonus salary to all government employees and to retired government workers. He also ordered payments to students and grants to all sorts of cultural institutions and sport clubs.

Reuters wrote that Salman’s handouts were related to the economy because the expected growth in GDP will be 3.2 percent this year, down from 3.6 percent in 2014.

In reality, Salman fears for the future of the Saudi monarchy now that Islamic State has announced that Saudi Arabia is the next target; and Iran-backed Houthi rebels are threatening the south of the country after taking over Yemen last week.

Despite Obama’s emollient words about that “genuine and warm friendship,” Salman knows he cannot rely on the US administration to secure his rule. That’s why he decided to buy the support of the Saudi population and to build a wall along the Iraqi border after the Islamic State attacked Saudi Arabia and killed three border guards last month.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

STUNNING VIDEO: Look How John Kerry Just Tried To Make Nice With France After Paris No-Show

WCJ images Kerry Taylor

By almost any standard, in virtually any context, this will no doubt rank in the minds of many as one of the more bizarre moments in U.S. diplomacy — not only bizarre but also eye-shielding awkward, even surreal.

A no-show at the recent Paris solidarity march to protect freedom of expression and to protest Islamic terrorism, Secretary of State John Kerry was in the French capital today to give our allies what had been billed as a “big hug“.

It was a kind of make-up gesture after the Obama administration came under heavy, sustained fire for not sending a high-level official to join some 40 other world leaders at the Paris rally.

In addition to Kerry’s words of support and solidarity for the French, America’s chief diplomat also brought live entertainment to the Paris stage. Singer James Taylor performed his 1970’s classic “You’ve Got A Friend” as Kerry stood by rather uncomfortably.

When you watch the stunning video, you’ll see that not only was the Secretary of State uncomfortable, but so was the music legend as he had to hunch over to sing into the microphone intended to pick up his guitar. Technicians scrambled to provide a vocal mic for Taylor.

The whole scene was reminiscent of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ill-conceived reset-button experience with the Russians.

Watching the poorly conceived, embarrassingly executed pop-song style of U.S. relations with a key European ally, one can reasonably ask if this memorable moment in terror-rattled Paris will come to represent the level of maturity and sophistication of Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

You can watch James Taylor try his best to deliver a worthy rendition of his hit song, “You’ve Got A Friend,” by clicking on the video above. You can also imagine how feverishly the comedy writers of “Saturday Night Live” are scrambling to rewrite this weekend’s show; or the satirical cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo rethinking their next cover.

 

H/T: The Daily Caller    Image Credit: youtube

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom