AP Article on Edwards and ‘War on Terror’ Ignores Candidate’s Past

The Associated Press ran a story Wednesday entitled “Edwards Calls ‘War on Terror’ an Ideological Doctrine” (h/t LGF).

Unfortunately, the author chose not to look into former Sen. John Edwards’ (D-North Carolina) past to see whether the presidential candidate had either referred to or supported this “ideological doctrine” himself.

Had the AP done some homework, it would have found that not only did the former senator tell Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly in October 2001, “I think that we will be united with the President throughout this war on terrorism," (Allah has video here), but also that he and Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) both referred to this war in their respective acceptance speeches at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

To set this up, Wednesday’s AP piece began (emphasis added):

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Wednesday repudiated the notion that there is a "global war on terror," calling it an ideological doctrine advanced by the Bush administration that has strained American military resources and emboldened terrorists.

In a defense policy speech he planned to deliver at the Council on Foreign Relations, Edwards called the war on terror a "bumper sticker" slogan President George W. Bush has used to justify everything from abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad to the invasion of Iraq.

Hmmm. So, if this phrase is just a bumper sticker slogan, why was it in John Kerry’s acceptance speech for presidential nomination at the 2004 DNC:

We will double our Special Forces to conduct terrorist operations, anti-terrorist operations, and we will provide our troops with the newest weapons and technology to save their lives and win the battle. And we will end the backdoor draft of the National Guard and reservists.

[…]

As president, I will fight a smarter, more effective war on terror

The AP must have forgotten this, or certainly it would have reported the apparent hypocrisy. And how about what Edwards said the night before when he accepted the Democrats’ nomination for vice president:

None of us will ever forget where we were on September the 11th. We all share the same terrible images, the towers falling in New York, the Pentagon in flames, a smoldering field in Pennsylvania. We share a profound sadness for the nearly 3,000 lives that were lost.

And as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I know that we have to do more to fight the war on terrorism and keep the American people safe. We can do that.

[…]

We will always use our military might to keep the American people safe.

And we, John and I, we will have one clear unmistakable message for Al Qaida and these terrorists: You cannot run. You cannot hide. We will destroy you.

Sounds like Edwards was behind this “ideological doctrine” when he was a Senator and a vice presidential candidate, doesn’t it? Yet, now that he’s a presidential candidate, are the press just going to let him make statements today which contradict those he made in the past?

Of course, that last question was rhetorical, although you probably guessed that.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.