Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency (Updated)

Following the "reality" theme set by susanhu in her January 14, 2008, MyDD diary Reality: Why Obama Is Exploiting Racism, let's explore the "reality" of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)'s antiwar stance prior to his run for the U.S. Senate with a focus on the date of that much-touted October 2002 speech given in Chicago's Daley Plaza.

Obama's website BarackObama.com provides a copy of his speech entitled "Remarks of Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama Against Going to War with Iraq", dated October 2, 2002.

Elsewhere on the internet, however, the date for the speech delivered in Chicago is stated as October 26, 2002, including the text of the speech published at Wikisource and by The Network Journal (September 2004), for example.

On January 13, 2008, DemocraticUnderground forum commenter stillcool47 posted the speech dated October 26, 2002, with the source link cited as barackobama.com/pdf/warspeech.pdf. The date on the pdf document now reads October 2, 2002.

Alegre, a well-known blogger at The Daily Kos, as recently as January 11, 2008, hyperlinked to the October 26, 2002, speech at EnwikiSource.org. It is now an inactive link.

In February 2007, Obama supporters cited the date of the speech as October 26, 2002. In his February 12, 2007, post, Lawrence Jones included the text of the speech—dated October 26, 2002 on his Obama community page and, on February 13, 2007, an Obama diarist at SouthernDemocrats.us posted the text of the speech under the heading October 26, 2002.

Even the Wikipedia article Political positions of Barack Obama dates his speech to October 26, 2002. The date, cited in Footnote 52, originally linked to Obama's 2010 U.S. Senate re-election campaign webpage Obama2010.us/2002/10/26/iraq_war.php. When clicking on the link now, one is redirected to BarackObama.com.

Why is this important?

First, this inconsistency for the date of the Chicago speech cannot be a simple error or a coincidence that can easily be explained away, particularly since the source for the October 26, 2002, date was Obama's own web pages. So, in that context, the many bloggers linking to or referring to the date cannot be wrong.

Second, and perhaps most significantly, the date of Obama's speech plays into his current presidential campaign antiwar scenario.

If the date for the speech is October 2, 2002, then it shares the anniversary of Senate Joint Resolution 46,—commonly known as the Authorization for Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq—sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) (with 16 cosponsors, including then Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)) and introduced in the U.S. Senate on October 2, 2002.

If given on October 2, 2002, it would also predate House Joint Resolution 114, which was passed October 11, 2002, in the U.S. House of Representatives.

However, if the date of the speech was October 26, 2002, then it came fifteen days AFTER the joint resolution was passed in the House.

The earlier date would make the speech more prescient and the latter date would render the speech less potent coming after the fact, since the joint resolution had already been passed.

How do we explain this discrepancy in light of indications that the date of the speech has been changed on Obama's websites? Is it possible that Obama gave the same speech at two antiwar rallies in Chicago on two separate days—October 2, 2002, and October 26, 2002? And if so, why has it not been mentioned?

UPDATE: Thanks to the efforts of commenters below, it looks like we have come to the conclusion that Obama may have given his speech as early as October 2, 2002. What it doesn't answer, however, is the question as to why throughout the month of October 2002, when it appears that he may have given the speech a number of times, he never mentions the war authorization legislation either before or after it was passed.

Tags: antiwar, Barack Obama, WAR IN IRAQ (all tags)

Comments

32 Comments

Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

Tips .. and please be kind.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

If October 26th is the date why did he not condemn the Iraq resolution. If he felt the resolution was bad why did he not attack it 15 days after it was passed? Make no sense!!

by indydem99 2008-01-15 08:02AM | 0 recs
Talk about parsing

Who gives a crap.

by Moonwood 2008-01-15 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Talk about parsing

People who care about knowing the truth versus what's politically expedient.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Talk about parsing

Changing the date would speak to Senator Obama's veracity.

by hwc 2008-01-15 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

Seems to me the "politically expedient" approach was standing shoulder to shoulder with George Bush threatening to "disarm" Saddam, which is exactly what Hillary and Edwards were doing at the time.  

The primary reason, it seems to me, that Obama's speeches stating his position on the war are nitpicked and critized in various dishonest ways is that it allows Hillary supporters to talk about the war while not having to talk about her huge error in judgment in getting us into the war in the first place.  

by davey jones 2008-01-15 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

Your comment doesn't address the issue. Which date is correct? are they both correct? If the same identical speech was delivered on the two separate dates, why have the Obama web pages been changed and/or deleted to reflect the earlier date and not the latter? That's the question.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

A chicago tribune poll taken during that time had 59% people against the war. Dick durbin the senior senator from Illinois had no problems getting elected.  

by indydem99 2008-01-15 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

Exactly. In his local state senate situation, speechifying  against any war with Iraq was the SAFE thing to do. (Hillary and others who were being BI-PARTISAN by supporting Powell and Bush in negotiations with the UN, did not expect Bush to grab that bargaining chip and run with it.)

When the national media began calling Obama a viable candidate for US Senate, he took the famous speech off his website and didn't put it back up till a Black group pressured him too (and it became politically expedient again).

by 1950democrat 2008-01-15 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

Here's The Black Commentator's account of the Obama speech removal/restoration from the website in June 2003.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 11:44AM | 0 recs
Obama lies about date

The correct date for the rally in Chicago where Obama delivered his speech was Saturday October 26, 2002. Here is the link to the article abstract from the Chicago Tribune:

Link to article abstract

The October 2nd date was a Wednesday, which was not the date of the multiple rallies across the country.

It appears that Obama has lied about the date of the speech to make himself look better, part of a pattern of dissemination that includes liberties with the truth his his two semi-fictional autobiographies.

by hwc 2008-01-15 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama lies about date

Thank you hwc.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama lies about date

Here's a link about the October 26, 2002, nationwide antiwar rallies. (Key the music!).

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

I understand.  If I was a Hillary supporter, I'd want to talk about somebody else, too.

One other thing -- stop lying.  Please.

Six counties in 60 seconds
NEWS
[ Six counties in 60 seconds ]
195 words
3 October 2002
Chicago Daily Herald
All
8
English
(Copyright 2002)

300 attend rally against Iraq war:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson called on the Bush administration Wednesday to "lead the world, not rule it" at a downtown rally protesting plans for war against Iraq. State Sen. Barak Obama, a Chicago Democrat; the Rev. Paul Rutgers, chairman of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago; and former state Sen. Jesus Garcia of Chicago, among others, joined Jackson in urging the federal government to avoid a military strike against Iraq. "While we're looking at Saddam Hussein, we're taking attention away from our economic problems," Jackson said, pointing to the recent stock market plunge and the $2 billion national deficit. Obama, along with several of the speakers, acknowledged the necessity of war in some cases, but only as a last resort. "I don't oppose all war; I oppose dumb war," Obama said. He also said a war in Iraq based on passion and politics would provoke the worst impulses of the Arab world. Police estimated 300 people attended the event.

Document dhld000020021009dya30006q

http://goliath.ecnext.com/comsite5/bin/p dinventory.pl?pdlanding=1&referid=27 50&item_id=0199-2104008

by davey jones 2008-01-15 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

Thank you for that info. But how do we explain the double dates, especially since they originated with Obama's websites?

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

Sorry. In my haste to thank you I missed the fact that you're calling me a liar:

"One other thing -- stop lying.  Please."

Can you show me where the links and info I provided are lies? I didn't make them up.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

Sorry. In my haste to thank you I missed the fact that you're calling me a liar:

"One other thing -- stop lying.  Please."

Can you show me where the links and info I provided are lies? I didn't make them up.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

So you are claiming that Obama gave his now infamous speech at a little rinky-dink mid-week event on October 3rd, but failed to back up his "strong convictions" by appearing at the major October 26th rally?

Seriously, how hard would it be for someone in the media to ASK him where the hell he gave this speech? Or, are simple little questions like that unbecoming of a saint?

by hwc 2008-01-15 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

Infamous?  What's infamous about the speech?  The only thing that happened in October of 2002 that's infamous was Hillary's vote.

by davey jones 2008-01-15 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

Get over it. This post is not about Hillary but, rather, about trying to make sense out of something that didn't. If you want to Hillary-bash, this ain't the place.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

It wasn't addressed to you, it was addressed to HWC, who claimed that Obama lied about the date of the speech.

by davey jones 2008-01-15 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

This is from Barack's old website and it's dated October 26th.  If you want to find an old web site go to the InternetArchives, here's Obama's link:

barackforillinois.com

Obama: I'm not against wars but�

COLUMN FOR THE HYDE PARK HERALD FOR WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2002

by Senator Barack Obama, D-13

I do not have access to any archives nor do I see that the paper keeps an archive.

by johnk 2008-01-15 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

correcting the 23rd.

by johnk 2008-01-15 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

The October 23, 2002, news entry/speech from Obama's old website is here. The conclusion here is that this speech was delivered a number of times, during none of which is the Authorization mentioned.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

I was referring to the actual newspaper article, not the Obama link.  But yes, it does seem that he gave the speech multiple times.  The web site link seemed to be pointing out to a community that he visited for the speech.  It's definitely a good question that you raised.  I didn't see it as a Obama / Hillary bash session, more of trying to get the story.

by johnk 2008-01-15 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech

Where is there any evidence he gave the speech numerous times?

by Piuma 2008-01-15 11:06AM | 0 recs
it almost certainly was October 2, 2002

OK, you got my curiousity, so I spent the four bucks to access a Chicago Tribune article on the rally that was published on October 3, 2002.  An excerpt is provided below (I'd print the whole thing but it would be more of a gross copyright violation than I'm already committing).

The article does not note Obama's participation in the rally but he was a nobody at the time (it does describe Jesse Jackson's participation though).  

The confusion is that October 26, 2002 was a date of nationwide protests against the war and maybe some (even Obama staffers) have assumed that would be the date for the anti war rally in Chicago that Obama spoke at.  This 10/26 date then bounced around the internet- in error.  However, the speech almost certainly was given at Federal Plaza in Chicago by Obama was on October 2.  

Axelrod could only find a few seconds of Obama video from the rally (and they tried).  Here it is:

"Chicago Tribune Article

War protesters gentler, but passion still burns
[North Sports Final Edition]

Chicago Tribune - Chicago, Ill.
Author: Bill Glauber, Tribune staff reporter
Date: Oct 3, 2002
Section: News
Text Word Count: 1196

Document Text
IN CHICAGO.

They sang "Give Peace a Chance," waved tasteful "War Is Not An Option" placards and listened dutifully to speeches that echoed in the glass-and-steel canyon that is Federal Plaza Wednesday.

Some in the crowd of about 1,000 came straight off the college campus. Others were veterans of past protests to stop the Vietnam War. There were even a few second-generation activists following in the wake of parents radicalized by Vietnam.

Older and grayer, the 1960s anti-war vets were as passionate as ever to demonstrate against the Bush administration's preparations for war in Iraq.

Organizers pronounced themselves delighted with the rally's modest turnout, its content and its civility.

"Well, nobody misbehaves anymore. We're all too old," said Don Rose, a longtime social and political activist.

Despite the small turnout, the rally marked the first high- profile public disapproval in Chicago of the Bush administration's war against terrorism.

The rally wasn't a replay of the Days of Rage--it was more like a gentle call to arms for a nascent peace movement desperate to head off a new Gulf War. From savvy public relations experts, veteran political activists and religious leaders to a few scruffy anti- global campaigners, a loose coalition took shape in a Chicago square.

Organizers and speakers went to great lengths to emphasize that it's not all wars they oppose--just the prospect of a rush to war against Iraq."

...

And the article goes on from there.

by mboehm 2008-01-15 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: it almost certainly was October 2, 2002

Thank you for taking your time and money to find this.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: it almost certainly was October 2, 2002

You really should either update the title or publish a new diary correcting yourself.  The problem with the internet is so much mis or dis information is passed around people end up believing it.  If this was a newspaper with some standards and you came to them with an article about confusing dates they wouldn't publish it until you resolved it.  If you had been careful, you would have, and should have, done the leg work yourself before publishing this.

by Piuma 2008-01-15 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: it almost certainly was October 2, 2002

I added update to the title and highlighted the update in bold. Nothing stated within the text is inaccurate. The update is where any summary would be, at the end of the article.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-15 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: it almost certainly was October 2, 2002

It gives a false impression.  As does your update which claims the speech was given numerous times when there's no proof in the comments that being the case.  When else did he give it?

by Piuma 2008-01-15 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency

by 1950democrat 2008-01-15 11:59AM | 0 recs

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