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Congressman Charles Rangel and Congressman Michael McNulty have signed onto the Resolution of Inquiry into the White House Iraq Group.
Has YOUR Congress Member done so?
By John Nichols, www.thenation.com
Remarkable as it may sound, there is reason to believe that Congressional Democrats may finally be waking from their long slumber and stirring into a functional opposition party.
The United States Senate went back into session Tuesday for the first time since Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, I. Lewis Libby, was indicted for lying to FBI agents and a federal grand jury looking into whether the White House deliberately set out to destroy the reputation of former Ambassador Joe Wilson after he revealed that the Administration's case for war in Iraq relied on a deliberate misreading of intelligence information. But it was not business as usual. Instead, Democrats used a rare procedural move to force the Republican-controlled Senate into a closed session to discuss the status of a promised investigation into the Administration's use and misuse of intelligence prior to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
From the Yahoo.com articles: Senate Emerges From Closed Session on Iraq and US Senate secret session focuses on Iraq, spy scandal (make sure to rate these articles highly so other Yahoo readers will see them)
In a day of political drama, Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session Tuesday, questioning intelligence that President Bush used in the run-up to the war in Iraq and accusing Republicans of ignoring the issue...
Taken by surprise, Republicans derided the move as a political stunt but agreed two hours later to a bipartisan review of the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into prewar intelligence...
By Steve Clemons
RULE 21 CLOSED DOOR SENATE SESSION: Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's Stock Moves Strongly Up
Senator Harry Reid, in a motion seconded by Senator Richard Durbin, just called for a very rare closed door executive session of the Senate. This motion is called "Rule 21" so that Senators can discuss "secret matters."
I'm impressed. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is currently on C-Span lambasting Reid and his leadership for this move, which Frist is calling sneaky and underhanded.
Frist actually just said that he will be "unable to trust Senator Reid for the next year and half of this Congressional session." Frist said that the Democrats have gone into the gutter to fight.
By David Sirota
Give-'Em-Hell Harry Reid today did a great service to America today by standing up, shutting down the Senate and demanding answers about how and why the Bush administration lied to America about the Iraq "threat" in the lead up to the war. This gutsy move by the Senate Minority Leader should be applauded, but the question now is, what's next? What do we want to really know from the Bush administration? What specific questions does America deserve answers to?
The questions - still unanswered nearly 4 years after the war started - can be found in an article my former Center for American Progress colleague Christy Harvey and I wrote back in 2004 called They Knew. It was an article that took forever to write because it meticulously and chronologically documented how the Bush administration was selling the country a false bill of goods when it came to Iraq - and how they clearly KNEW they were selling America a false bill of goods. There's been many attempts to deflect attention from this core fact by conservatives - they want the public to believe that the Bush administration may have gotten the facts wrong about Iraq, but that the Bush administration didn't actually KNOW it was getting its facts wrong. But as the article shows, the cold, hard evidence shows that THEY KNEW.
Senate Democrats Force Closed Session on Intelligence (Update1)
Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Democrats forced a closed session of the U.S. Senate today to call for an investigation into the Bush administration's use of intelligence about Iraq, a maneuver Republicans dismissed as a political ``stunt.''
Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid invoked a rule that requires a closed session on the Senate floor in which the galleries are cleared of visitors. Democrats threatened to use the tactic daily until Republicans convene hearings into the administration's use of intelligence surrounding the war in which more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers have died.
By Josh Marshall
Sen. Reid just took the senate into closed session to discuss the body's failure to pursue 'phase two' of the senate intel investigation into the Iraq WMD intel failure.
Below the fold are his remarks, as prepared for delivery, before taking the senate into closed session.
"This past weekend, we witnessed the indictment of I. Lewis Libby, the Vice President's Chief of Staff and a senior Advisor to President Bush. Libby is the first sitting White House staffer to be indicted in 135 years.
By Sen. Edward M. Kennedy
Last Friday was an ominous day for the country, a new low since Watergate in terms of openness and honesty in our government.
The indictment of presidential advisor 'Scooter' Libby is far more than an indictment of one individual. It's an indictment of the lengths to which administration officials were willing to go to cover up their failed intelligence. It's an indictment of their distortions about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and their serious blunders taking us to war and their vindictive efforts to discredit anyone who challenges their misrepresentations.
Friday, October 28, 2005 -- Rep. Waxman asks for congressional hearings to examine (1) who should be held accountable for the leak of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, (2) why the White House failed to meet its obligations to revoke the security clearances of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Karl Rove, and (3) how the leak relates to the broader issue of whether the President and his top advisors used misleading intelligence to launch an unnecessary war in Iraq.
Letter to Chairman Davis PDF
CONGRESSMAN JERROLD NADLER
8th Congressional District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Reid Cherlin
October 31, 2005 202-225-5635
Letter to Chairman Sensenbrenner calls for committee investigation into
whether Administration deliberately and illegally misled Congress in order
to make a case for war
"The question now before the Committee is whether the CIA leak itself was
part of an effort to cover up a broader conspiracy to mislead Congress
into authorizing a war."
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jerrold Nadler today demanded the House
Judiciary Committee investigate whether White House officials deliberately
This afternoon Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV), ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, put out the following statement ...
“It is a terrible day for all Americans when a top White House official is accused of lying and obstructing justice, made all the worse when it’s about a national security matter.
“Revealing the identity of a covert agent is the type of leak that gets people killed. Not only does it end the person’s career, and whatever assignments they may have been working on, it puts that person in grave personal danger as well as their colleagues and all the people they have had contact with over the years.
Posted on Citizen.org:
Today’s indictment of a top Bush administration official shines a bright light on the moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy of this White House. President Bush’s cronies went to unprecedented lengths to twist the truth about the reasons for invading Iraq and then threatened national security simply to punish a respected public servant who dared to expose the sham. These arrogant officials thought they could smear their opponents and leave no fingerprints. Fortunately for the country, this time, they have been caught. This ethically deprived administration has sunk into a morass of its own lies.
By John Isaacs
Council for a Livable World
IN AFTERMATH OF 2,000 AMERICAN DEATHS IN IRAQ: CONGRESSIONAL RHETORIC STRONGER; SENATE LEGISLATIVE FOLLOW-THROUGH STILL ABSENT; MORE HOUSE PROPOSALS
Sen. Robert Byrd (D‑WV)
The American people seek an end, they seek an end, they want an end to this ongoing bloody war in Iraq, not new conflicts in neighboring countries.
Senate floor statement ‑ October 25, 2005
Sen. Dick Durbin (D‑IL)
Each step the Iraqis take toward the successful establishment of self‑governance should bring our troops a step closer to home . . . The choice we face in Iraq is not a choice between resolve or retreat. The men and women in our military and their loved ones deserve a clear path to stability in Iraq so they can come home as soon as humanly possible.
Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
Contact: Dena Graziano 202-226-6888
Conyers asks: What Did the President and Vice President Know and When Did They Know It?
Directs Judiciary Committee Staff to Conduct Full and Comprehensive Investigation into Treasongate, Downing Street, Pre-War and Other Deceptions
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement regarding Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's decisions to indict Scooter Libby:
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D‑MA) - Senate floor statement ‑ October 25, 2005
The Real Cost of the Iraq War to American Taxpayers‑‑$195 Million per Day
For the cost of fighting the war in Iraq for one day, we could .....
One day in Iraq could provide 3.97 million households with an emergency readiness kit.
One day in Iraq could close the financing gap for interoperable communications in 41 small cities, 36 mid‑sized cities, or 6 large cities so that Federal, State and local first responders can talk to one another during an emergency.
By Senator Barbara Boxer
Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, today is a very somber day. The U.S.military death toll reached 2,000 in Iraq, a figure that I -- and every American -- hoped we would never reach. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.
I pray for these young Americans, may they rest in peace; and I pray for their families, may they heal.
Let us honor their lives and their memory.
And let us honor the lives of those who continue to serve by developing a credible plan for Iraq. It is time for this Administration to level with the American people and provide a strategy for success.
October 26, 2005
The Honorable Alberto Gonzales
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Dear Mr. Attorney General,
I am in receipt of your response to my May 20, 2004 request for a special counsel signed by myself and 14 other members to investigate the role of senior officials in the abuse of detainees. Dated July 11, 2005, your response took 14 months to craft and failed to explain why your office refuses to appoint an independent investigator to determine whether criminal charges are warranted against members of the Bush Administration. I respectfully submit that your response is inadequate and unacceptable.
By Congressman John Conyers
Cross-posted at Huffington
As the Fitzgerald investigation nears its conclusion, I am becoming increasingly concerned that Bush will prevent the exposure of wrongdoing in Treasongate by pardoning any indicted members of his administration before trial. I wrote a letter in July asking the President to pledge not to pardon these persons. I have yet to receive an answer so I have organized a letter writing campaign demanding an answer. Over 4,000 people have already signed so I'd like to generate at least 10,000 letters to Bush.
By Rep Brad Miller
Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 03:32:03 PM PDT
I know I said when I posted my floor speech on Katrina relief that I would not make it a habit to post floor speeches here as diaries. Does twice a habit make?
This evening David Price, who represents an adjoining district in North Carolina, and I will introduce a resolution calling on the President to set forth what remains to be done before we can bring our folks home from Iraq, and to present a plan for withdrawing from Iraq, including "the expected time for completing the withdrawal." In other words, it calls for an exit strategy and a timeline.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mikael Moore (202) 225-2201
Washington, DC - Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) issued the following statement following the Associated Press report that the 2,000th US soldier has died while serving in Iraq. According the Associated Press, 2,000 US soldiers have died and more than 15,000 have been injured since the war began in March 2003.
"Today, we received distressing news: a US soldier, Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr., died today which brings the US death toll in Iraq to 2,000 soldiers. While I mourn the loss of every soldier, this milestone is yet another reminder that this war is unfolding in a dramatically different manner than described by the President, Vice-President and other Administration officials."
The War in Iraq
Following is Sen. Patrick Leahy's address on Iraq, delivered Tuesday morning on the Senate floor. Leahy (D-Vt.) is the ranking member of the Appropriations panel that handles the Senate's work in funding the State Department and US foreign operations and aid, and he also is a senior member of the Appropriations panel with jurisdiction over the annual defense budget bill. Leahy was one of 23 senators who voted against the resolution that authorized the invasion of Iraq.
Mr. Leahy: Three years ago when the Congress and the country debated the resolution to give President Bush the authority to launch a preemptive war against Iraq, reference was often made to the lessons of Vietnam.
For Immediate Release: October 25, 2005
Contact: Michael Mershon (202) 225-6101
As the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq reaches 2,000, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) this week will introduce legislation to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to deploy United States Armed Forces to Iraq. The bill will allow funds to be used for the safe and orderly withdrawal of our troops; for transitional security provided by other countries – including international organizations like NATO and the United Nations; and for continued support for Iraqi security forces and international forces in Iraq – as well as funding for reconstruction efforts.
A Timetable Will Encourage Iraqis to Take Ownership of Their Political Process and Their Country’s Future
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold today, in the fourth in a series of speeches he has given on our nation’s national security and the Administration’s flawed policy in Iraq, spoke from the Senate floor on the need to develop a flexible timetable and strategy to finish the military mission in Iraq.
In June, Feingold introduced a resolution, the first of its kind in the Senate, that calls for the President to clarify the military mission in Iraq, lay out a plan and timeframe for accomplishing that mission, and publicly articulate a plan to withdraw American troops from Iraq. In August, Feingold again jumpstarted the discussion about Iraq by becoming the first member of the U.S. Senate to propose a target date to finish the military mission in Iraq – December 31, 2006. Because of the Administration’s conflicting signals about the duration of U.S. troop deployments, Feingold said he felt obligated to propose a specific goal for bringing U.S. forces home from Iraq.
Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. released the following statement tonight
on the death of Rosa Parks:
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of one of our national treasurers, Rosa
Parks. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.
"Rosa Parks became the 'Mother of the Civil Rights Movement' because 50
years ago she sat down, and inspired a modern Civil Rights Movement to stand
up. She took the 1954 Brown decision's principle of 'equal protection under
the law' to public transportation. That major step led us to the 1964 Civil
By Congressman John Conyers
As if spin and character attacks were a viable justification for a massive breach of national security, Republicans have already decided to smear Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald rather than take responsibility for their own misdeeds. Prevailing wisdom expects grand jury indictments to be issued this week. Any criminal charges will likely reach deep into the White House.
Over the weekend, the GOP spin machine gave us a preview of what we can expect from the Republican Party when we finally learn who outed CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.
San Francisco Chronicle
By Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey
The Iraq war has accentuated sharp ideological differences among our elected officials and among citizens. But there has been virtual unanimity on one point: A deep respect and gratitude for the young Americans who are risking life and limb both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, I traveled to Iraq where I received extensive briefings from military commanders and toured our state-of-the-art facilities. But nothing was more informative than sitting down to meals with enlisted soldiers from California.
Many of these soldiers are on their second or third tour of duty. I talked to fathers who have babies back home they have never seen. There were mothers who deployed mere months after giving birth. To a person, they are thoughtful, intelligent and loyal -- to their country, their mission and each other. They were respectful, but also unafraid to ask me pointed questions. They understood that my vocal anti-war activism is in no way inconsistent with my support of them. These are genuine heroes, whose courage and resolve is greater than any accolades can possibly convey.
By Congressman Michael E. Capuano
I recently returned from Iraq. Although I have opposed our presence there, it is important that elected officials review conditions firsthand.
While in Iraq I met with people from every level of the U.S. military, the State Department, the United Nations, various U.S. nonprofit agencies and Iraqi officials. We had many conversations, including assessments of conditions leading to the Oct. 15 constitutional referendum. It is impossible to understate the importance of this event, although entirely possible to miss the most significant aspects.
Kucinich Uses Resolution Of Inquiry To Demand Documents From White House Group That Developed Strategy To "Sell" War
VOTE WILL BE AT 10:30 a.m. ET on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH, 2005.
One-page text of Resolution: PDF.
Print, copy, and distribute this flyer: PDF.
Use these Talking Points.
Email Your Congress member.
Or phone, toll-free, (888) 818-6641.
We need volunteer organizers during the next week to help pass H. Res 505.
Contact Sophie, Field Coordinator, at 415-789-8469 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Thursday, October 20, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing - " Iraq and U.S. Foreign Policy"
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
The following is a transcript of the exchange between Senator Russ Feingold and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
FEINGOLD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Welcome, Secretary Rice. We always appreciate your presence here. And I will join the chorus and say we really do hope it will be more often.
The title of this hearing is "Iraq and U.S. Foreign Policy." And that strikes me as a good start because we need to make sure that our Iraq policy is advancing our foreign policy and national security goals, not obstructing them as it seems to me to be the case currently.