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By David Sirota, Huffington Post
When I worked on the House Appropriations Committee, I worked around Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) a lot. He's a really intimidating, no-nonsense kind of guy (he was the guy that I always worried would scream at me a la Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann in Full Metal Jacket if I screwed anything up).
And when it comes to defense-related issues, there literally is no member of Congress more informed and more pro-military than Murtha. That's why his announcement yesterday demanding an immediate withdrawal from Iraq was so important: because if someone like Murtha says its time for a withdrawal, then any Democrat in America should be able to say its time for a withdrawal.
By Mike Hersh, Progressive Democrats of America
Wednesday, November 15, 2005 / Washington, DC--When Rep. Maxine Waters closed the Out of Iraq Press Conference at the Longworth Office Building this morning, Progressive Democrats of America had come of age. This event was part of two days packed with activism, retrospectives, and planning, and confirmed that PDA has a new mission. Several members of the House Out of Iraq Caucus specifically charged us and other activists with leading the efforts to force a long-overdue discussion of Iraq policy in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Waters opened the press conference by offering best wishes for PDA National Advisory Board member Cindy Sheehan who was about to stand trial for civil disobedience at the federal courthouse a few blocks away. PDA Chair Mimi Kennedy, Executive Director Tim Carpenter, and Political Director Kevin Spidel dashed from a vigil with Cindy to attend the announcement this morning.
House Republicans will call for a vote on the pullout on Iraq this evening after a call from hawkish Democrat Jack Murtha (D-PA) for the U.S. to immediately begin removing troops from Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.
Unlike the resolution Murtha proposed, which called for the removal of troops to begin immediately, the Republican resolution calls for all troops to be pulled out at once. Democrats say this dramatically changes the nature of Murtha's original proposal.
The following email went out earlier from the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to members of her caucus. Democrats have now received a copy of the GOP resolution.
Senator Harry Reid
t r u t h o u t | Statement
Washington, DC - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid gave the following speech on the Senate Floor tonight.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Tonight the Vice President has come out of his bunker and is speaking at a gathering of Washington DC insiders, which is closed to the press.
Unfortunately, he brought his bunker mentality with him. He is repeating the same tired attacks we've heard from administration officials over the last two weeks.
In the last 24 hours, 10 of our brave soldiers have been killed in far off Iraq. On such a night, you would think Cheney would give a speech that honors the fallen and those still fighting by laying out a strategy for success.
House GOP Seeks Quick Vote on Iraq Pullout
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer
Friday, November 18, 2005
(11-18) 12:37 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --
House Republicans, sensing an opportunity for political advantage, maneuvered for a quick vote and swift rejection Friday of a Democratic lawmaker's call for an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq.
"We want to make sure that we support our troops that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. "We will not retreat."
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had no immediate reaction to the planned vote.
Kerry Demands End To "swift boating" of Jack Murtha
18 November 2005
Sandy, Light Up the Darkness
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Despite the overwhelmingly bipartisan “no confidence
Kerry on The Situation Room: I’d have us in a ‘different place’
Pamela Leavey, Democratic Daily
November 17, 2005
John Kerry made the rounds tonight (and last night) on both Hardball and CNN’s The Situation Room. He’s standing up and speaking his mind — and we’re liking it…
The transcript to from The Situation Room is below… video later…
Senator speaks on prewar intelligence, timetables, election plans
A top House Democrat called for a swift U.S. withdrawal from Iraq on Thursday amid a White House counter offensive against allegations that the Bush administration misled the country over prewar intelligence. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer spoke with Sen. John Kerry — the Massachusetts Democrat who lost to President Bush in last year’s election — beginning by asking about the president recently quoting Kerry’s prewar comments on Saddam Hussein.
Kerry On Hardball: Bush ‘misled America’
John Kerry was on Hardball tonight: Senator plays Hardball on intelligence leading up to Iraq war.
Pamela Leavey, Democratic Daily
Here’s the transcript from tonight’s Hardball… (emphasis and links - mine)… Video later.
Vice President Dick Cheney has attacked Democratic senators who voted for the war and are now opposed to it. One of those senators is John Kerry. MSNBC-TV’s Chris Matthews spoke with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) about those comments and the run-up to the war in Iraq. Kerry said, “there were a whole series of occasions where [the administration] took evidence, took the best light of the evidence only, kept the worst or alternatives from Congress and fed the American people with the imperative for war.
The Honorable John P. Murtha
War in Iraq
(Washington D.C.)- The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.
November 17, 2005
The Shifting Sands Of The Iraq War
Democracy Cell Project
As Iraq War hawk John Murtha spoke today, calling for the immediate scheduling of redeployment of US forces from Iraq, one could sense the shift in American attitude towards the War in Iraq.
The full text of the statement by the fifteen term veteran Democratic Congressman and 38-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps:
"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region."
Hagel Defends Criticisms of Iraq Policy
Administration Calls Statements by Democrats Harmful to War Effort, Troops
By Glenn Kessler (Ann Scott Tyson)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 16, 2005; A06
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) strongly criticized yesterday the White House's new line of attack against critics of its Iraq policy, saying that "the Bush administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them."
With President Bush leading the charge, administration officials have lashed out at Democrats who have accused the administration of manipulating intelligence to justify the war in Iraq. Bush has suggested that critics are hurting the war effort, telling U.S. troops in Alaska on Monday that critics "are sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. And that's irresponsible."
John Kerry Fires Back to Cheney’s Latest Personal Attacks and Lies
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Dick Cheney opened his mouth and spewed forth a mess of lies and attacks tonight at the Frontiers of Freedom Institute 2005 Ronald Reagan Gala. In his speech, Cheney accused Democratic senators who allege that the Bush administration distorted intelligence to justify the war in Iraq of engaging in “one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city.
By John Isaacs, Council for a Livable World
There were mixed views on the Senate votes Tuesday on Iraq. Many saw the votes as a watershed in Congressional criticism of the President’s Iraq policies and a clear vote of no confidence.
Others, however, after reading the actual language, wonder what is the big deal, especially the Warner-Frist language that was adopted 79 – 19 with most Democrats and Republicans voting "aye."
The skeptics are confusing substance with symbolism.
It is true that the adopted language does not remove a single soldier from Iraq; set a timetable for withdrawal; or cut off funds. That is the reality of the substance.
From Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Contact: Mikael Moore (202)225-2201
Washington, DC - Today, twenty members of the 'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus held a press conference to announce the beginning of a drive to secure 218 signatures for a discharge petition on H J Res 55, a bill authored by Congressman Neil Abercrombie (HI) and Congressman Walter Jones (NC). If passed by Congress, H J Res 55 would require the President to begin bringing US soldiers home from Iraq.
Attending the press conference were Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congressman William Delahunt, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Congressman Xavier Becerra, Congressman William Lacy Clay, Congressman Sam Farr, Congressman Barney Frank, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Congressman Jim McDermott, Congressman Jim McGovern, Congressman Major Owens, Congressman Jose Serrano, Congresswoman Hilda Solis, and Congresswoman Diane Watson.
For Immediate Release: October 25, 2005
Contact: Michael Mershon, (202) 225-6101
U.S. REP. JIM MCGOVERN TO INTRODUCE BILL ENDING FUNDING FOR IRAQ WAR
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.
From Congressman Jim McGovern
A War Begun with Lies and Deception
Requires that an Honorable Withdrawal Begin Now
Cosponsor H.R. 4232: The End the War in Iraq Act
I would like to bring to your attention the November 15th editorial by the New York Times that responds to the recent attacks by President Bush against critics of the war in Iraq. The United States is engaged in a war born out of deceit and lies - and it needs to be brought to an honorable end now. I urge you to join me as a cosponsor to H.R. 4232, the End the War in Iraq Act.
H.R. 4232 would end all funding for the deployment of U.S. troops in Iraq, but it would provide the defense funding needed to ensure a safe and orderly withdrawal of our uniformed men and women from Iraq. It would also provide defense funds to finance and equip the Iraqi security forces and for the consultation with other governments and international organizations - such as NATO and the United Nations - to create and deploy a transitional, international security force to provide for Iraqi security as the U.S. withdraws. Under H.R. 4232, the United States could also provide financial support and equipment to this international security force(s).
Reid snaps back at Cheney on Senate floor
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Washington, DC – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid gave the following speech on the Senate Floor tonight.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Tonight the Vice President has come out of his bunker and is speaking at a gathering of Washington DC insiders, which is closed to the press.
“Unfortunately, he brought his bunker mentality with him. He is repeating the same tired attacks we’ve heard from administration officials over the last two weeks.
By Congresswoman Waters
Washington, DC - Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35), Chair and Founder of the 'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus, announced that the 'Out of Iraq' Caucus has filed a discharge petition on H J Res 55, authored by Congressman Neil Abercrombie (HI-1) and Congressman Walter Jones (NC-3). If passed by Congress, H J Res 55 would require the President to begin bringing US troops home from Iraq.
A discharge petition is a House rule that permits members to bring to the floor for consideration a measure not reported from committee if 218 members sign the petition. The discharge petition, as drafted, provides 17 hours of debate and permits consideration of any germane amendments including amendments that would move up the date at which US troops would begin to return home. The discharge petition, which was filed on November 9th, takes seven legislative days to ripen.
GOP senator hits Bush for attacking war critics; Hints Congress endorsing another Vietnam by staying silent
Filed by RAW STORY
Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a Vietnam veteran and critic of Bush policy on Iraq, excoriated the Administration Tuesday in a speech to Council on Foreign Relations Tuesday, RAW STORY has learned.
Hagel blasted the Administration for going after Iraq war critics and turning the war into a political cause.
"The Iraq war should not be debated in the United States on a partisan political platform," the Nebraska senator remarked. "This debases our country, trivializes the seriousness of war and cheapens the service and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. War is not a Republican or Democrat issue. The casualties of war are from both parties. The Bush Administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them. Suggesting that to challenge or criticize policy is undermining and hurting our troops is not democracy nor what this country has stood for, for over 200 years. The Democrats have an obligation to challenge in a serious and responsible manner, offering solutions and alternatives to the Administration’s policies."
The following is the Original Letter by the Senate Select Committee on Intellegence to Senator Frist. Phase two is still being stonewalled and supressed by the majority party.
Thank you Think Progress.org for posting this letter.
"U.S. Foreign Policy and the Middle East"
by U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel
November 15th, 2005 - Delivered at the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC - Last year, I wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine that "a wise foreign policy recognizes that U.S. leadership is determined as much by our commitment to principle as by our exercise of power." For decades, the strength of U.S. leadership has brought together allies in common cause, addressing common challenges with common action. In February 2003, three weeks before the U.S. invaded Iraq, I said in a speech at Kansas State University:
Reid Statement on Iraq
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Washington, DC - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid delivered the following statement at a press conference today following the Senate's vote on Iraq amendments.
“Let me tell you the President’s strategy in Iraq - no plan and no end in sight. Our troops deserve better. That’s why Democrats forced Republicans to admit that “staying the course
Contact: John Isaacs (202) 543-4100 x.131
Washington, D.C. . . Council for a Livable World hailed today’s Senate votes on the Iraq war as an important milestone in a war that has now dragged on for two and a half years.
Today’s votes were the first in the Senate on the Iraq war since the October 2002 authorization to use force, and they marked a clear repudiation of President Bush’s “stay the course
Senators Reach Gitmo Detainees Compromise
By LIZ SIDOTI
The Associated Press
Monday, November 14, 2005; 10:26 PM
LINK TO ORIGINAL
WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of senators reached a compromise Monday that would allow detainees at Guantanamo Bay to appeal the rulings of military tribunals to the federal courts.
Under the agreement, detainees who receive a punishment of 10 years in prison to death would receive an automatic appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Lesser sentences would not receive automatic review, but detainees still could petition the court to hear their cases.
Kerry Takes Bush to Task on his Veteran’s Day Speech
LINK TO ORIGINAL
John Kerry took Bush to task on his Veteran’s Day Speech, on the Senate Floor today. In a fiery rhetoric, Kerry blasted Bush today, on the lies he spewed in his speech, last Friday —from the rush to war based based on faulty intelligence data, to the spin Bush put on Kerry’s own statements, John Kerry pinned Bush on the carpet.
The following is the text of John Kerry’s Floor Statement:
MR. PRESIDENT, Veterans Day is sacred - or it is supposed to be. Veterans Day is a day to honor veterans, not to play attack politics. The President, who is Commander in Chief, should know and respect this.
Reid Throws Down Democrats' Iraq Demands
by Hoffmania, Daily Kos
Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 02:28:28 PM PDT
LINK TO ORIGINAL
[Title revised for accuracy]
Senate Minority (Until 2006, anyway) Leader Harry Reid and Sens. Carl Levin and Dick Durbin held a press conference unveiling the Democratic plan for resolving Bush's Iraq shitstorm. Hey - SOMEONE had to come up with a friggin' plan...
Oh, this is good. This is VERY good. It paints Bush as a totally immature whining boob with no vision - and paints the Dems as the can-do truth tellers we've always been. We LIKE this, we LIKE this. And it's SOMETHING - which counters the White House's NOTHING.
By georgia10, dailykos
Bush calls me, a war critic, "irresponsible" and says I'm helping the terrorists and emboldening the enemy and doing everything short of strapping explosives to my chest. It may be the Johnnie Walker talking, but that still hurts.
I was sans computer for about five days, and come back to reality only to see that the punk ass president has resurfaced with the tired talking points and, on a side note, some of the tightest spandex I've seen in a while.
Pre-emptive striking didn't work in Iraq War, and it sure as hell won't work in the war of public opinion.
See, Bush is kicking up all this dust against the peace-lovin'-pinko-commie-koolaid-resistant masses in an effort to cloud the fact that it's just about deadline time, and the shit is about to hit the fan.
By Senator Russ Feingold, dailykos
On Veteran's Day, the President gave yet another speech trying to defend his Iraq policy. He uttered over 5800 words, but not once did he provide the American people any timeframe for our military mission in Iraq or any sense that he has a plan for bringing that mission to a successful end. Instead, he used the same platitudes and empty rhetoric that the American people have already made clear they don't buy. Rather than putting his efforts into a major media spin operation, the President should concentrate on getting our Iraq policy straight, and putting our nation's national security on track.
Reid Outlines Way Forward in Iraq, Previews Democrats Iraq Amendment
Washington, D.C. - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid delivered the following remarks at a press conference today with Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin and Senator Carl Levin.
"Our troops deserve a strategy in Iraq that is worthy of their sacrifice. That is why, for three years, Democrats have pushed the White House to lay out a plan for success.
"Unfortunately, the President has rejected our call, and instead, insisted America needs to "stay the course." With more than 2,050 Americans killed... more than $250 billion spent... and no end in sight after three years of war -- "staying the course" is no longer an option.