Kerry Was Right Before Nader

Mike Amato writes on the Huffington Post today that “Ralph Nader Was Right… Again” on 9/11 and Bin Laden. Amato links to my post here from a few days that includes a video of Lawrence O’Donnell claiming “Kerry Was Right About Everything,” and he makes the claim that Nader was “right” on how to do with terrorism, before Kerry was: 

Democrats are now cheering the vindication of Senator John Kerry for saying in 2004 that the war on terror was “primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world,” even though he enabled the Bush Doctrine. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell did a thorough piece on the prescience of 2004 John Kerry. Even George Will credited Kerry five years ago on this.

Kerry had it right, but Nader had it first.

Amato is wrong on his assertion that “Nader had it first.”

As Matt Bai reported in an October 2004 piece, Kerry has held his beliefs on how to deal with terrorism and has been publicized on them since the late 80’s and in 1997 he turned his work from the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations in a book on global crime, “The New War”:

Kerry came to his worldview over the course of a Senate career that has been, by any legislative standard, a quiet affair. Beginning in the late 80’s, Kerry’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations investigated and exposed connections between Latin American drug dealers and BCCI, the international bank that was helping to launder drug money. That led to more investigations of arms dealers, money laundering and terrorist financing.

Kerry turned his work on the committee into a book on global crime, titled ”The New War,” published in 1997. He readily admitted to me that the book ”wasn’t exclusively on Al Qaeda”; in fact, it barely mentioned the rise of Islamic extremism. But when I spoke to Kerry in August, he said that many of the interdiction tactics that cripple drug lords, including governments working jointly to share intelligence, patrol borders and force banks to identify suspicious customers, can also be some of the most useful tools in the war on terror.

I hope this puts to rest now the idea that Mike Amato is selling in the HuffPo today that Ralph Nader was right before John Kerry. He wasn’t.

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