Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Published on: October 8, 2011

Updated on:  

“Frankly, I don’t mind not being president. I just mind that someone else is” – at Washington Gridiron Club dinner, March 1986.

“Well, here I don’t go again” – on not running for president in 1988.

“Ulster is becoming Britain’s Vietnam” – on The Troubles in Northern Ireland, October 1971

“My brother need not be idealised or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it” – eulogy for brother Robert Kennedy, June 1968.

“I regard as indefensible the fact that I did not report the accident to the police immediately” – during a televised statement after he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident in regards to the Chappaquiddick incident, July 1969

“What we have in the United States is not so much a health-care system as a disease-care system” – on health care reform for which he campaigned throughout his life, 1994

“With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion. With Barack Obama we will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, and straight against gay” – endorsing Barack Obama for president, January 2008.

It’s now clear that from the very moment President Bush took office, Iraq was his highest priority as unfinished business from the first Bush Administration. His agenda was clear: find a rationale to get rid of Saddam.

– Senator Edward Kennedy

There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.

– Senator Edward Kennedy

Thus, the controversy about the Moral Majority arises not only from its views, but from its name – which, in the minds of many, seems to imply that only one set of public policies is moral and only one majority can possibly be right.

– Senator Edward Kennedy

We want to support our troops because they didn’t make the decision to go there… but I don’t think it should be open-ended. We ought to have a benchmark where the administration has to come back and give us a report.

– Senator Edward Kennedy

We have lost the respect of other nations in the world.

Where do we go to get our respect back? How do we

re-establish the working relationships we need with other countries to win the war on terrorism and advance the ideals we share? How can we possibly expect President Bush to do that? He’s the problem, not the solution. Iraq is George Bush’s Vietnam, and this country needs a new President.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy

“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at

segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, school children could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of government, and the doors

of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of

millions of citizens of whom the judiciary is — and is

often the only — protector of the individual rights that are at the heart of our

democracy.”

Edward Kennedy

“The Constitution does not just protect those whose views we share; it also protects those with whose views we disagree.”

Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA)

Integrity is the lifeblood of democracy. Deceit is a poison in its veins.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy

“The contents of the Downing Street Minutes confirm that the Bush Administration was determined to go to war in Iraq, regardless of whether there was any credible justification for doing so. The Administration distorted and misrepresented the intelligence in its attempt to link Saddam Hussein with the terrorists of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden, and with weapons of mass destruction that Iraq did not have.

“In addition, the Downing Street Minutes also confirm what has long been obvious – that the timing of the war was linked to the 2002 Congressional elections, and that the Administration’s planning for post-war Iraq was incompetent in all its aspects. The current continuing crisis is a direct result of that incompetence.

Many of you have worked hard for the American people, the media and those in government to speak out about the Downing Street Minutes and the Iraq war. You can join me in speaking out as well. “The policy of “shoot first, ask questions later” took us into an unjustified war, and without a clear concept of what “winning the war” actually means.

“President Bush constantly talks about the “progress” that is being made in Iraq against the insurgency, but he’s looking for good news with a microscope. All anyone can see is “Mission Mis-accomplished” and the continuing losses of

American lives, the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis,

the torture scandal, and the ominous decline in our

nation’s moral authority in the world community.

We know the Administration had been planning to invade Iraq

for many months before the invasion actually began. We know

the Administration twisted the intelligence to make the facts fit their plan. We know that the Administration never really intended to give the U.N. weapons inspectors a

reasonable chance to succeed. The Downing Street Minutes demonstrate that the Administration knew their case for war was paper thin, and that in order to go into war with the support of our allies, we had to demonstrate some

willingness to go along with the UN inspection process. But the Administration continued to misuse its intelligence, distort the facts and pay only lip-service to the UN’s role in disarming Iraq.”We never should have gone to war for ideological reasons driven by politics and based on

manipulated intelligence. The Downing Street Minutes provide even more proof that this is exactly what happened on Iraq. The Administration’s dishonesty, lack of candor, and lack of planning have brought us to where we are today, with American soldiers dying, Iraqi civilians living in constant fear, and with no clearer picture of our strategy for victory in Iraq than when we started.”

Edward Kennedy


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