Bush accused Kerry of sponsoring a bill in 1995 that would have cut $1.5 billion from funding for intelligence agencies. The Kerry campaign countered that the bill was aimed at eliminating over $1 billion in unspent funds that a spy satellite agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, accumulated as part of an undisclosed and controversial real estate deal.Atrios says "Bring it on!" Seems Ashcroft was determined to slash counter-terrorism programs just before 9/11 - AFTER the Clinton administration made increases knowing bin Laden was up to something (which was a few years after 1995 anyway).
"Once again, Sen. Kerry is trying to have it both ways. He's for good intelligence, yet he was willing to gut the intelligence services. And that is no way to lead a nation in a time of war," Bush told donors at a fundraiser in Dallas.
Incidentally, the story points to a reprint of a NY Times article at a site I wasn't aware of, "Remember John" - a tribute site to John O'Neill. There's some pretty astounding pre- and post-9/11 reading to be done there.