Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, top Democrat on the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee and a former Marine who served in Vietnam, said he had learned through conversations with Pentagon officials that beginning in November, "the Bush administration plans to call up large numbers of the military Guard and Reserves, to include plans that they previously had put off to call up the Individual Ready Reserve."
Other Democrats joined Kerry in a chorus trying to drown out Bush's message on Iraq.
"It's clear that this administration didn't know what it was getting into, or else they grossly misrepresented the facts to the American people," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. "In either case, staying the course is not an option."
Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, campaigning for Kerry in Pennsylvania, said that in spite of bleak national intelligence estimates on Iraq, Bush still "goes out misrepresenting and distorting the progress that's being made over there."
Kerry said the president was avoiding hard truths about casualties, new insurgencies and troop shortages. "He won't tell us that, day by day, we're running out of soldiers and that we're now resorted to a backdoor draft of our reservists and our National Guard."
The Bush campaign denied the assertion about secret plans.
In other news
GOP Mailing Warns Liberals Will Ban Bibles
WASHINGTON - Campaign mail with a return address of the Republican National Committee warns West Virginia voters that the Bible will be prohibited and men will marry men if liberals win in November.
The literature shows a Bible with the word "BANNED" across it and a photo of a man, on his knees, placing a ring on the hand of another man with the word "ALLOWED." The mailing tells West Virginians to "vote Republican to protect our families" and defeat the "liberal agenda."
In other news
Kerry campaign takes offense at Armitage remarks
Asked whether insurgents were working on behalf of Kerry, Armitage said: "I didn't say that. What I said was that they were trying to influence the election against President Bush. That's all I said."
Armitage's comments were included in an official transcript of his remarks released by the US embassy in Warsaw but they were later edited out of the transcript on the grounds that they were not made during the formal portion of his press conference.
David Wade, the national press secretary for Kerry, denounced the comments in a statement released during a campaign stop by Kerry in this southwestern US state.
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