Right-wing radio host Michael Savage, on the May 14 edition of his radio show Savage Nation, said that Senator John Kerry implied “that it's the whole military” that violated the Geneva Convention and is responsible for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Savage's accusation echoed that of Bush-Cheney campaign chairman Marc Racicot, who -- just two days prior, according to a May 13 article in The Washington Post -- “told reporters that Kerry suggested that 150,000 or so U.S. troops are 'somehow universally responsible' for the misdeeds of a small number of American soldiers and contractors.”
Savage played a recording of Kerry saying, “I know, as a former combatant, that had I been captured, I would have wanted our moral high ground, with respect to those Geneva Conventions, to be in place” ; and then Savage said:
SAVAGE: Ah, shut up! You [Senator John Kerry] have no right to be President with that kind of crap when men are on the ground. You're saying what? Everyone in the military violated the Geneva Convention? This guy is a clear and present danger to the survival of our military. How could he claim that when he knows it was a few men, and that the minute they were found out, they were taken off the case and now they're being court-martialed? How dare Kerry imply that it's the whole military? He's not qualified to be the leader of this country, nor of the military. Not at all. Unbelievable to me how you people don't understand that.
Not only did Savage falsely accuse Kerry of blaming “the whole military” in the statement that Savage referenced, but, as The Washington Post reported on May 13, Bush-Cheney campaign chairman Marc Racicot made similar false accusations against Kerry on May 12:
Racicot, for instance, told reporters that Kerry suggested that 150,000 or so U.S. troops are “somehow universally responsible” for the misdeeds of a small number of American soldiers and contractors. Racicot made several variations of this charge. But Kerry never said this, or anything like it.
As evidence, Racicot pointed to the following quote Kerry made at a fundraiser on Tuesday: “What has happened is not just something that a few a privates or corporals or sergeants engaged in. This is something that comes out of an attitude about the rights of prisoners of war, it's an attitude that comes out of America's overall arrogance in its policy that is alienating countries all around the world.”
What Racicot did not mention was that Kerry preceded this remark by saying, “I know that what happened over there is not the behavior of 99.9 percent of our troops.”