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Questions for Bush and Kerry keep coming in (mostly for Bush)


Web site readers have offbeat queries.

Readers continue to send Nieman Watchdog tough questions for President Bush and Senator Kerry, who are to have their third debate Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Often the questions are a little offbeat, such as one from a Lee R. Golden who asks of Bush, "Why do you believe that juries are perfect in death penalty cases and ridicule the verdicts from the same jury pool in civil cases?"

The Oct. 13 debate is to focus on domestic issues but people are still doing a lot of thinking about international events, as evidenced by the emails coming to www.niemanwatchdog.org.

Here is a question from a Richard Applin that touches both on overseas issues and Bush's religious views: "Mr. President, the Bible teaches that there must be a great war in the Middle East before Jesus will return. Do you believe this teaching of the Bible, and, if so, how does your belief affect your foreign policy decisions?"

From the outset, the preponderance of the more than 200 questions coming in have been aimed at Bush, and the same appears true of hundreds more questions sent in to other Web sites. Often they are rhetorical darts, expressing a harsh opinion at least as much as soliciting an answer. Kerry sometimes gets the same treatment, but to a much lesser extent. For those who have gotten in touch with us, it seems fair to say, this election is mostly about George W. Bush.

(You can read the entire list here; and you can read our "top ten" foreign policy questions for the first debate here.)

Intelligence Gap
Posted by Chris Waddle - Nieman Fellow
10/12/2004, 03:45 PM

The nation had strategic warning that "something big and bad" was
about to break as it did on 9/11. What we lacked was tactical warning of time and place and means of attack, although seeds of that information were buried
in our domestic and overseas spy bureaucracies. Mr. President, how would you close our Intelligence Gap with the
speed needed to counter today's plotters? You have declined to own up to shortcomings, after all, and your own spymasters remain divided on ways to improve intelligence-gathering. Sen. Kerry, how would you gain the needed momentum in our information war against terrorism if your party remains out of control of Congress?

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