Monday, October 25, 2004

The Job

There's been some talk about John Kerry's supposedly lackluster record in the Senate, but here at Boring Diatribe, that's made us more suspicious of lazy journalists than Kerry's record. Salon has an excellent piece today about how John Kerry, as a freshman senator, connected the dots to show how Reagan's contras were financed with money and materials from cocaine traffickers:
The Reagan administration did everything it could to thwart Kerry's investigation, including attempting to discredit witnesses, stonewalling the Senate when it requested evidence and assigning the CIA to monitor Kerry's probe. But it couldn't stop Kerry and his investigators from discovering the explosive truth: that the Contra war was permeated with drug traffickers who gave the Contras money, weapons and equipment in exchange for help in smuggling cocaine into the United States. Even more damningly, Kerry found that U.S. government agencies knew about the Contra-drug connection, but turned a blind eye to the evidence in order to avoid undermining a top Reagan-Bush foreign policy initiative.
Perhaps this isn't quite as damning as selling weapons to a mortal enemy to finance your proxy war but -- oh, wait, the Reagan administration did that too. But I digress.

Some senators use their staffs to explore burning questions such as whether UFOs are connected to the Second Coming, but others, like Henry Waxman and John Kerry, use taxpayer dollars to make sure that the executive branch is doing its job. That's called oversight, and it's the job of Congress, but only some senators feel a need to take this function seriously, and Kerry's one of them.

This isn't the only major investigation to Kerry's credit. If you don't remember the scandal surrounding the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, it's because the bank's dealings were too intricate for most of the aforementioned lazy journalists to follow, but, in essence, John Kerry, again in the face of institutional inertia and resistance, managed to unravel a massive international money-laundering operation whose clients were drug traffickers, terrorists and -- hold on to your hats, kids -- Saddam Hussein, back when he was our thug in Iraq.

Why doesn't Kerry talk about these accomplishments? Maybe because no hero thinks he deserves the title. As far as he's concerned, he was just doing his job.


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