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Rep. Joseph Crowley of Long Island, NY on Yesterday's ROI Votes
By Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
On a day when more than 150 people were killed in Iraq, the White House was given a free pass to continue hiding information in regard to the Downing Street Memo.
The Memo, which was leaked to reporters a few months ago, outlines the specific concerns the British government has in regard to the post-Iraq planning of the United States.
The tragedy is that the American public will never know what really happened because this decision was made during a meeting of the International Relations Committee when members voted along largely partisan lines to kill three pieces of legislation that would have required the White House to release the documents that led to the Downing Street Memo.
I joined many of my colleagues Democrats and Republicans in voting for the War in Iraq almost two years ago. I have done my best to support what I can of the agenda, but I also recognize the importance of questioning the Administration when we are in a state of chaos.
It is important to be forthcoming that Congress and the American people were misled about the reasons to invade Iraq by the President and his Administration.
It is also important to note that if the British government had doubts about post-Iraq planning, clearly there were holes in the strategy.
As was the case after September 11th and will be the case following Katrina, it is impossible to move forward without looking at past mistakes. The constant cover-ups and unwillingness to share information does nothing to help the issue of creating stability in Iraq.
With all we have learned over the past two years the President and his team did not take into account the risks of the post invasion and the need for diplomacy instead of the go it alone approach.
It is time for the President to do something he has yet to do, which is to stand up in front of the country to tell the truth and finally provide a transparent and fully accountable disclosure of the information that led us to this war and the deaths of more than 1800 US troops, countless Iraqi citizens and the aid and humanitarian workers trying to bring basic services to the people of Iraq.
What members of Congress need to do is hold this Administration accountable and take back our oversight role. The American public needs to know that these fights are being fought, but that we will not know the truth until partisanship can be put aside in favor of the best interests of the American people.