Thursday, September 23, 2004

A Logic Puzzle from the Left

TBogg takes issue with InstaPundit, who characterizes Kerry's private discussions with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong in 1971 as secret. First, TBogg quotes InstaPundit:
September 22, 2004

OUCH: "It would be like an American today meeting with the heads of al Qaeda."

UPDATE: Heck, even Chris Matthews saw this one coming.

ANOTHER UPDATE: But it wasn't secret -- well, it may have been when it happened, but not later.
TBogg next quotes from the WaPo article linked in InstaPundit's "Another Update":
The meeting, however, was not a secret. Kerry, a leading antiwar activist at the time, mentioned it in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April of that year. "I have been to Paris," he testified. "I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and Provisional Revolutionary Government," the latter a South Vietnamese communist group with ties to the Viet Cong.
TBogg then does a silly riff on what an 11-year old InstaPundit might have been asking his mother about the whereabouts of John Kerry in 1971.

But TBogg fails to get the point, which the WaPo article clearly establishes: Kerry'a private discussions with the North Vietnamese were secret at the time he conducted them. He told Congress about the negotiations after the fact. Not only that, but the discussions may have been illegal. According to the same WaPo article, the Kerry campaign has come close to admitting it:
Kerry's campaign said earlier this year that he met on the trip with Nguyen Thi Binh, then foreign minister of the PRG and a top negotiator at the talks. Kerry acknowledged in that testimony that even going to the peace talks as a private citizen was at the "borderline" of what was permissible under U.S. law, which forbids citizens from negotiating treaties with foreign governments. But his campaign said he never engaged in negotiations or attended any formal sessions of the talks.
No, he just went to Paris to practice his French.