From the New York Sun:



One questioner in a college auditorium in Keene, who identified himself as a war veteran, told Mr.Kerry that he was “horrified” that the senator supported the war, and questioned how he could be “conned by the administration. …”


“I believe I voted correctly to protect the security of our nation,” responded Mr.Kerry, who then criticized the Clinton administration for failing to act against the former dictator sooner.


…Mr. Kerry said that in 1998, he and two Republicans, Senator McCain of Arizona and Senator Hagel of Nebraska, suggested to President Clinton, “that he should have gone to the U.N. That he should have had the capacity to have the threat, the force, to get inspectors back in there to make Saddam Hussein to live up to the only thing that had left him in power–his obligation to disarm. “So, George Bush brings a legitimate security issue before the Congress in 2002. Am I supposed to turn away and ignore what I said in 1998, what I thought Clinton should have done? Do we ignore the fact that the last time we had inspectors there we had weapons that had not yet been destroyed? And our intelligence is telling us there are weapons?” he asked the audience.


Just in case you were worried:



Mr. Kerry then made his standard stump speech statement that he voted not in favor of a war, but in favor of a “process promised by the president.” He said Mr. Bush should have taken more time to allow inspectors to search for weapons in Iraq, and should have built a broader international coalition through the U.N.

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