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This morning Mark Kirk formally entered the Senate race. He's said he was running to "restore ethics and integrity to Illinois government." I guess by "ethics and integrity" he means lying better so you don't get caught. Mark has never had any political consequences for the false statements he made to convince his district that we needed to invade Iraq.

In a 2002 debate with opponent Hank Perritt, Kirk said to Prof. Perrit:

You don't support the war because you don't have the security to know about the photographs of the Weapons of Mass Destruction that I know about.

On October 8, 2002, Kirk spread more lies on the House floor in support of the invasion of Iraq. First, he spread a discredited report by Judith Miller about an attempted purchase of a nuclear centrifuge:

The New York Times recently reported Iraqi agents attempted to purchase 114,000 parts of a nuclear centrifuge to refine fissile material for a nuclear bomb.

He went on to spread this lie about Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri who was said to have reported on 20 WMD facilities:

Last year, Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri1, an Iraqi defector, reported that he visited 20 secret facilities dedicated to producing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. He supported his report with copies of Iraqi government contracts and technical specifications. It is clear that Iraq is advancing program to develop weapons of mass destruction in violation of its commitments imposed by the UN Security Council. [Kirk has finally scrubbed this old website with the entire speech, but I copied it a long time ago. Click on the link for the speech in it's entirety.]

We later learned that this was another one of those discredited Judith Miller reports.

Mark said that his position in Naval Intelligence gave him special access and knowledge and that he had personal knowledge that there were WMD in Iraq, but it seem that he was just reading a discredited columnist in the New York Times or as I've always wondered, maybe he fed her the mis-information, there is a line in the above link that she got it from "a military intelligence officer". In the end Miller revealed that her source was Scooter Libby, already scheduled to be the fall guy, but Kirk was certainly willing to spread the word. Last year, the Dan Seals campaign uncovered a little discussed piece in Congressional Quarterly that said that Kirk was one of nine republican congressmen chosen by Bush to sell the war in Congress:

Today, former Bush Administration Press Secretary Scott McClellan outlined how the Bush administration and its allies systematically misled the American people in the buildup to the war in Iraq. As Congressional Quarterly reported, Rep. Mark Kirk was one of nine House members handpicked by President Bush in 2002 to craft the language to go to war with Iraq.

If Kirk's participation in the sale of the Iraq war shows ethics and integrity, I need a copy of that new version of the dictionary.

It's likely that few will care about these old lies told by Mark Kirk to support war, but they speak volumes about his character and what he was willing to do to prop up Bush, Cheney and his old mentor Donald Rumsfeld.

Originally posted to ebgill on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 09:11 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Kirk running for the Senate is a positive (6+ / 0-)

    since we will get him out of Congress altogether (Giannoulias will beat him 54-46 or thereabouts), and IL-10 will more likely than not go blue.

    "I don't want the [GOP] to ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny-fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear." Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME)(1950)

    by Superribbie on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 09:27:12 AM PDT

    •  Don't be so quick (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philosophe Forum, agnostic, soms

      to count Kirk out. He has the press eating out of his hands. They hide any negative stories about him. He's a good fundraiser and will give Alexi a run for his money (no pun intended)>

      Using my free speech while I still have it.

      by ebgill on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 09:28:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cwholcomb, soms

        but it is really hard for a GOPer to win statewide in Illinois anymore, what with the ever-expanding Cook County share of the statewide vote and the ever-more even partisan distribution in the collar counties.  See Blagojevich v. Topinka 2006.  Even with dismal approval ratings, the strongest opponent the GOP had to offer, and a strong Green Party candidate, G-Rod basically coasted.  The last GOP non-incumbent to win anything statewide was in 1998, when Peter Fitzgerald was elected Senator and George Ryan governor.  Even in that election, the Dems picked up the open Secretary of State and Comptroller positions.  Since then, the Dems have won open seat races for Governor (2002), Attorney General (2002), U.S. Senate (2004), and Treasurer (2006), without losing anything.  In the end, Kirk's chances are akin to Michael Steele's in Maryland in 2006 or Harold Ford's in Tennessee that year--strong candidate, wrong party.

        "I don't want the [GOP] to ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny-fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear." Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME)(1950)

        by Superribbie on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 09:39:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kirk should not have been able to win in IL-10 (0+ / 0-)

          but he did.

          Using my free speech while I still have it.

          by ebgill on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 09:41:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure I agree with that. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cwholcomb

            It is a lot easier for the GOP to win a Congressional race outside of Cook County than a statewide race, and IL-10 is basically an even district with a slight Dem edge.  When Kirk won it in 2000, it narrowly went for Bush.  Since then, it has gone for Kerry and Obama, so there is some movement in the blue direction, but Kirk basically had to win a near 50-50 electorate.  And he did it as the sitting chief of staff of a very popular outgoing incumbent (John Porter) who threw his full weight behind him and faced an opponent (Lauren Beth Gash) who ran a lackluster campaign.  

            "I don't want the [GOP] to ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny-fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear." Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME)(1950)

            by Superribbie on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 09:45:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kirk got a lot of Dem votes he should not have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              madame defarge

              He gets the Jewish vote by threatening Jews with Israel's destruction, but he also gets underserved endorsements from groups like Planned Parenthood and League of Conservation voters and Sierra Club. AND do not forget that the local and Chicago papers will not print anything negative about him.

              Using my free speech while I still have it.

              by ebgill on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 09:50:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The question is, (0+ / 0-)

                do you think that that will happen in a high-profile Senate race against Giannoulias?  It is a lot easier to pick off endorsements as an incumbent than as an open seat contestant.  I am not disputing that he overperforms in the 10th, with the factors you identify being among the causes, but that is nowhere near enough in a statewide race unless there is a serious GOP national headwind.

                "I don't want the [GOP] to ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny-fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear." Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME)(1950)

                by Superribbie on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 09:57:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  The Repubs can't claim moral superiority (4+ / 0-)

    in Illinois -- not with the last Republican governor sitting in the slammer.  

    That being said, there is something effectively slick about Kirk -- he should never have won his district in 2008 but he did.  The good news:  the Democratic party is still better organized in IL, Blagojevich notwithstanding.  It will be a hard-fought race.  

    The good news:  Kirk's actual record.  Not what he says, but what he does.  His ability to vote once or twice against the Republicans isn't going to be as effective this time.  

    I hope.  Wish we'd had a decent incumbent.  Thanks, Blago.  

  •  What is Kirk's stand on abortion rights? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    One of the things I like about my state is that even when voters go with a Republican, it tends to be a moderate Republican (to the extent that any Republican can be called moderate.)
    Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar, Judy Baar Sinister Topinka.....all pro choice.
    Wingnuts don't do well here.

    Mark Sanford's mistress has access to a public health insurance option. Why can't I have one?

    by jazzmaniac on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 10:11:36 AM PDT

  •  Well, surprise, surprise. Kirk is "officially" in (4+ / 0-)

    to "restore ethics & integrity to Illinois..."

    The only way he can do that is to run for Senate for in another state.

    But at least we in IL-10 won't have Kirk to kick around anymore.

    Here's to a landslide victory for Alexi!

    "Freedom begins between the ears." ~ Edward Abbey

    by madame defarge on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 10:20:46 AM PDT

  •  Kirk announces with Jim Edgar at side. (0+ / 0-)

    Like, who else?  It's got to be someone from the JFK Hair cloning vat that breeds that kind of slim, white, evasive and characterless republican statewide candidate.

    For Republicans, the supreme court is the means by which they thwart majority rule for a generation.

    by Inland on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 06:12:32 PM PDT

  •  Mark Kirk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randall Sherman

    Though I thoroughly understand the nature of the average (vs typical) commentator on the daily kos, I must tell all of you that Mark Kirk will win the seat. And, though it may come as a complete surprise and shock to your combined upper west side Brie systems...he will govern with a steady, intellectual and independent hand. This guy has been brilliant in his representation of the 10th in Illinois. The far left and right dislike him, but the "People" love him. The five terms he won handily against massive outside district cash infusions were due to the People, from all walks of life, loving his style and commitment to them. His underdog to victor status was achieved in an open seat primary in 2000. Mark Kirk fended off a double digit contender field all with far more wealth than he. So you daily kos folks please keep thinking that all Republicans come off the short bus...as you get whacked by, well not Mark Kirk, bur maybe it will be...ah yes..."We The People"

    Have fun in 2009, it's all over come primary season.

  •  My take on Kirk's announcement. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebgill

    It seemed to me to have all the appearances of a house of cards.  Really, does he expect rural voters in Downstate Illinois to relate to an announcement coming from the richest suburb in the state (Kenilworth)?

    Also, now that Kirk is is moving to the big boy stage as a statewide candidate, enough of the news media will be able to sense that there is something worth uncovering about him.  Whether that turns out to be something personal (like the sordid matter that sank Jack Ryan in 2004) or another foot-in-mouth politcal statement (like his infamous coment to the Chinese govenment, telling them to ignore President Obama; whatever happenned to the saying that politics ends at the water's edge anyway?), you can be certain that it will be uncovered.

    When that happens, the house of cards that is the Mark Kirk campaign will quickly collapse.  The likelihood of that taking place is only enhanced by the fact that Kirk will be attacked from the Democrats on one side and conservative Republicans on the other.

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