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President Bush spoke tonight and his silence was deafening. If anyone was surprised... if anyone was shocked to see their Commander-In-Chief so divorced from reality, they really haven't been paying much attention.  But day by day more Americans are seeing the light.

Each day they see the news...  More casualties.  More wounded.  Billions of dollars lost or wasted.  Congress cutting off veterans benefits. New memos discovered detailing White House plans to invade Iraq using manipulated or manufactured evidence. The list goes on and on.

Its no surprise that more than 50% of Americans now believe they were lied to in the run to war. Its also no surprise that more than 50% of Americans no longer support the war in Iraq and want our troops home.

The time has come for Congress to pass H.J.Res. 55 which calls on the President to develop and implement a plan for the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq.

Read on in the extended entry...

So while we work hard to sign up more co-sponsors in the House for H.J.Res. 55 (become a citizen co-sponsor), we must also work hard to seek accountability for what has already happened in Iraq.

During World War II, Harry Truman established what became known as the Truman Commission. The Commission consisted of a group of dedicated public servants who were committed to examining all financial and military transactions related to the war effort. Their work served to expose and eliminate any waste, mismanagement, or corruption which could have detracted from the effectiveness of Allied troops or the pockets of taxpayers.

http://www.IraqAudit.com

Today, we are deeply involved in another war. It is a different kind of war, one which has been divisive and has strained our nation and our Congress.

Our reconstruction efforts in Iraq are saddled with blights - not by any fault of our troops, but by the refusal of our government to reign in and properly manage those in charge. Numerous private contractors were given huge contracts following the war to carry out a variety of tasks in Iraq - to rebuild its water and electrical grids for example - and billions of dollars have been earmarked to be spent on restarting Iraq's economy and civil society. And yet, our Congress has never acted to ensure that the companies hired have been trustworthy, or that the billions and billions of dollars in reconstruction funds thus far spent have been used in responsible ways. No equivalent of the historic Truman commission has ever been created by our leaders.

What has been the result? Sadly, it has been all too predictable. In 2004, the American public became aware that Halliburton - the company with perhaps more ties to the White House than any other and a recipient of billions of dollars worth of reconstruction contracts - had been overcharging the Army for gasoline, inflating its profits at the expense of our troops. Then, earlier this year, the Special Inspector General for the Iraqi Reconstruction released a study stating that nothing less than $9 billion dollars in reconstruction money - nearly 5 percent of the total amount of money spent on the War - could not be accounted for. And just last month, new reports revealed that approximately $100 million theoretically spent on small yet vital building projects between 2003 and 2004 has simply disappeared, most likely into a black hole of unchecked fraud and incompetence.

Every dollar which is lost in Iraq is a dollar which could have been used to stabilize the country and protect out troops. It is a dollar which could have been used to help our soldiers to complete their mission so that they can come home sooner. Indeed, every dollar wasted is a dollar spent fighting against, rather than for, our men and women in uniform.

Long recognizing that massive gaps in accountability exist regarding the reconstruction effort, I and my Democratic colleagues have on numerous occasions called for the creation of a modern-day Truman Commission, a body tasked with monitoring post-war U.S. government activities in Iraq and making sure that money and resources go where they are supposed to go - not into the pockets of a corrupt contractor or into the black hole of confusion produced by the fog of war, but to the Iraqis and American soldiers who need them.

http://www.IraqAudit.com

But no such commission has been created, solely because the Republican majority in Congress has consistently opposed any amendment which would lead to its creation. What could explain this seemingly incomprehensible lack of interest in protecting our troops and helping them to win the war they are in? Republican legislators have never explained their intransigence, but I suspect it is the product of their inherent fear of being held accountable for their actions.

Democrats in the House have seen this fear in action for years now, as the Republican majority has done everything it can to stand in the way of transparent and responsible governance.

Republicans have sought to hide the shameful lapses in judgment and accountability which have dogged our troops in Iraq rather than addressing and correcting them. This time, the consequences of their actions could not be more severe. By refusing to monitor post-war events in Iraq with a truly concerned eye, our soldiers have been directly endangered, left to struggle against the whims of unregulated companies and the irregularities of chance.

Our troops have been fighting two wars at once: one against a vicious insurgency which seeks to see them fail, and one against a self-interested party which seeks above all else to see itself escape being held accountable for its own mistakes and lapses in judgment.

The time has come for us to bring decency and accountability back to the House. Let us reconstitute a new Truman Commission dedicated to eliminating the corruption and waste plaguing American conduct in Iraq, and more broadly, reconstitute our commitment to honest and open government.

I know many will doubt our ability to create the change we seek... but if we all do our part... If we all join together... If we speak out, tell our friends and write our Members of Congress, even those who stand against us cannot stop us.

I encourage you to sign our petition demanding an Audit in Iraq in the form of a Truman Commission.  By signing the petition you will be making your voice heard and we will be able to contact you directly when specific action is needed.

http://www.IraqAudit.com

Together we can make the implausible a reality.

-LMS

Originally posted to Rep Louise Slaughter on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:44 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent Rep Slaughter! (4.00)
    Way to go!

    Phillybits "Censoring torture stories doesn't help the troops."

    by Stand Strong on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:45:56 PM PDT

    •  another strong response.... (none)
      Pleased to see that both you and Rep. Conyers are speaking out, and that our minority leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, is doing such a great job debunking Bush's remarks.

      The speech was crap. There was nothing there. I hope Bush gives more and more of these speeches. Every time he gives one, it becomes apparent to more and more people that he's disconnected from reality. Their policy is fluff about freedom and defense, with no substance or realism.

      And they're having trouble propping it up. The bubble of the strict father frame is popping on a lot of people. Without an opponent to demonize, Bush stands on his own record - and the American people do not like what they see.

  •  Ms. Slaughter (4.00)
    You're getting scary good at this.  Too bad our Commander-in-Chief wasn't as responsive to the 9-11 threats.  Keep up the good work!

    "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

    by RichM on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:47:30 PM PDT

    •  agreed (4.00)
      there's more substance in your title than the chimp's whole speech.

      was it me or did you guys notice how poor his facial expressions were for the first 15 minutes of the speech.

      eyebrows pointing up, almost meeting.  4-5 wrinkles on his forehead entire time (i swear he only had 2 in 2000)....

      he genuinely had trouble starting up & i wonder how much the lack of opening introduction applause & overall silence did to him.

      may be over reading.  anyone else?

      not very good tv facial impressions.  some one send him back to school.

  •  Thank you (none)
    I am so glad you hale from my neck of the woods, even if I have to be represented by that GOP good little soldier Walsh.  You are a blessing Representative Slaughter.  I only wish you were our Senator.

    It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.

    by Steven D on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:49:35 PM PDT

    •  Thanks again , Rep. Slaughter;energy task force (none)
      Thanks for helping keep ethics and accountability on the map and in the conversation of our leadership.

      The energy task force documents  are the prestext for war profiteering. There is an unconventional approach to unpaid debts, unfunded mandates, and  noncompetetive bids and the language and wording of the energy task force documents proves so.

      So in regards to audits this is very relevant and a full take on this audit should include Paul O'Neil's testimony and  the Archival Energy Task Force minutes.

      Thanks again,
      Chris H

  •  Nancy Pelosi is deconstructing ... (4.00)
    ...the Preznit's speech right now on NPR.

    **

    Writing dialog George Lucas so terrible at is. --Yoda

    Visit The Next Hurrah

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:49:57 PM PDT

  •  Deconstruct AOL Poll -- President's speech (4.00)
    http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20050628021309990014

    99,250 voters so far.

    More than 50% think speech was 'poor' while 29% said excellent, and about 20% didn't find it all that exciting.

    At least 75% are 'very concerned' about Iraq.

    Could this be another sign this old fighter pilot trainee is in a tailspin with self-inflicted wounds?

    "I'd rather be ruled by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian." -Martin Luther.

    by antirove on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 07:36:51 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  182,737 at 10:30 pm PDT (4.00)
      52% say Poor
      28% say Excellent (tip of the hat to Mr. Burns)

      Other two choices are fair and good. Now that makes no sense. The opposite of fair or good is poor and the opposite of excellent is not a choice. So in essence he either gets an A+, a B, a C or a D.

      What no F? Yeah, I know, its What "the" F.

      Actually this poll works to our advantage as they cannot separate the "I-hate-the-cretin vote" from the "moderately-displeased-that-this-man-is-our President" vote.

      Concern is at 74%. So 26% of the voters say, "yawn" non-story. Hmmmm. That is very close to the Excellent vote.

      Oooh. I wish I could run a poll, "Downing Street Minutes--Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor. Heres a stretch...same respondents and the Poor gets 28% and the, "yawn" non-story is about 26%.

  •  Bush vs. Bush (4.00)
    Bush, 4/99 - "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is."

    Bush, 6/99 - "I think it's also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn."

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/28/124159/152

    --------

    Hey Bush. Quit your BS-ing. Even you wouldn't buy your own words.

  •  Thank you Rep. Slaughter (4.00)
    We love you Rep. Slaughter!

    Give 'em hell!

    I'm so disgusted after watching Bush once again LIE to the American people and exploit 9/11.

    As a person who was a few blocks from the Trade towers on 9/11, I am so disgusted this president used this speech to lie about a linkage between Iraq and 9/11 for politcal gain.

    Bush is shameful. He disgusts me!

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds - Albert Einstein.

    by GregNYC on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:51:31 PM PDT

  •  Rep. Slaughter,... (4.00)
    ...Thanks for your remarks and for remaining vigilant.  It is truly appreciated.    

    Be the creature. (But not a Republican.) blogomni

    by boran2 on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:52:02 PM PDT

  •  Awesome account. (none)
    I wonder how much of our tax dollars have also gone to enrich the new Iraqi regime.

    Thanks for posting this and laying it out in a very clear and succint way.

  •  Find your voice my progressive/liberal friends (4.00)
    Start asking these questions of the president.

    How can we maintain the war on terror if we don't start paying our bills?

    How can we maintian the war on terror while Halliburton scams the american citizen via the US Gov't?

    How can we maintain the war on terror when the president continues to sell this war ans a War without Sacrifice.

    What has the president asked us to do other then be patient with him?  Trust him?????

    How can we maintain the war on terrorism when the cloud of suspicion hovers over so many domestic issues.  Judges, Schiavo, Social Security, Medicaid?

    A vote for Bush is a vote for torture

    by Gator on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:53:21 PM PDT

  •  Between 8:24pm and 8:29pm (4.00)
    he tongue-licked his lips 18 times, produced two "nucular"s, and innumerable uncomfortable rapid eyeblinks -- all mixed in amongst his terrible, terrible phrasing.  This poor man can't even READ very well.
  •  What kind of jail time (none)
    do you think Bush and his cronies could get?

    The GOP betrayed us all.

    by lubarsh on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 06:00:04 PM PDT

  •  A separate reality (4.00)
    certainly exists between the people and our leadership. I have watched the downward trend since returning from Nam in 1971.
    Thank-you Rep Louise Slaughter for your stand on accountability and forming a new Truman Commission.
    I stand with you in support of clarity in all goverment dealings, these leaders must answer for their actions.
    Indeed this is a huge dream, but I see a light!
  •  Thank you, Rep. Slaughter (none)
    Too bad my rep, Sweeney, is not involved with reality as well.

    Please - keep fighting for us and the rest of America.

    "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

    by adigal on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 06:12:00 PM PDT

  •  Not for the death penalty in any shape or form. (none)
    Just long, hard, unpleasant, questioning one's sexual orientation, jail time.  

    The GOP betrayed us all.

    by lubarsh on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 06:13:08 PM PDT

  •  You've got a friend in Seattle (none)
    Thank you very much! I have never been as proud of any politician as when our beloved Jim McDermott marched at the head of the protest against starting this invasion/occupation in the first place.

    So many of us knew exactly what would happen if we started this violence, and I hope there is a price to pay for those that made it happen.

    Bob Dylan nailed it the last time:

    how many times must the cannon balls fly
    Before they're forever banned?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
    The answer is blowin' in the wind.

  •  Thank you (none)
    for posting here so often.

    I tipped my congressman, Jim McGovern, to Kos a while ago, but he's not shown up.  

    If you see him, remind him, eh?  

    You are a true patriot.  

  •  Great job Rep Slaughter (4.00)
    I think you summed it up perfectly with,

    "Our troops have been fighting two wars at once: one against a vicious insurgency which seeks to see them fail, and one against a self-interested party which seeks above all else to see itself escape being held accountable for its own mistakes and lapses in judgment."

    http://downingstreetminutes.com

  •  Thank you Rep Slaughter, signed and sent (none)
    ...here is my comment on the petition.

    During WW2, our leaders were adamant to the military industrial complex, that their number one job was giving our troops what they need to win the war, not making massive amounts of money off the backs of the American people. I find it odd that the GOP likes to compare the War against Terrorism to World War Two, yet it only appears in their rhetoric, never in their actions.

    The time has arrived for the Republicans to join the Democrats and demand accountability for this administrations poor management of the war effort. Our troops deserve it and anything less can be considered an act of criminal negligence when so much money has been wasted and our troops still don't have the armor they need or the care they were promised.

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 06:33:46 PM PDT

    •  You were nicer and more eloquent than I was (none)
      I simply called them all crooks and liars and told them I know there will be a special place in Hell for them but, in the meantime impeachment and imprisonment will do.  
  •  Look people (4.00)
    there's money to be made in Iraq.

    So until the heat is put on the fraud and waste and missapropriation of funds through private contractors, private industry and defense contractors, Bush isn't going to change course.

    Stagnation in Iraq is tollerable. Failure is an option for Bush, provided his base get to keep all the money they made (stole) off this war.

    Asking for a change in course is useless. Following up on Bush's accounting pracitces, war-profiteering and fiscal accountibility is the only way to end this travesty of a "foreign policy."

    If you can read this, then you hate freedom.

    by NeoconSemanticist on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 06:39:49 PM PDT

    •  Excellent points. (none)
      But, hard to accomplish these responsible oversights.

      Congress is the first place to start. Supposedly, they control the pursestrings.

      Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshall

      by bronte17 on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 08:43:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed 100% (none)
        But I wish someone would open an investigation into the purse strings.

        Probably too many guilty hands on both sides of the political aisle for that to truely happen.

        Democrats in office is a good first step. It is just that, a first step. Next is to hold their feet to the fire. After that...

        If you can read this, then you hate freedom.

        by NeoconSemanticist on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 10:37:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Rep. Slaughter. (none)
    For being steadfast. For doing your job. For your courage. For your competance. For your honesty.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 06:56:11 PM PDT

  •  Benchmarks (none)
    benchmarks, benchmarks, benchmarks.    As in assuming your excutive branch can actually execute.

    Nice ring to it "benchmarks." :)

    Hey hey, ho ho, irresponsible corporatism and social intolerance have got to go! Hey hey, ho ho!

    by kfractal on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 06:57:37 PM PDT

  •  Bush conveniently forgets (none)
    that the Iraqis want us out of there, as expressed in the purple finger election: aka a mandate
    From the Nation:
    The election results are in: Iraqis voted overwhelmingly to throw out the US-installed government of Iyad Allawi, who refused to ask the United States to leave. A decisive majority voted for the United Iraqi Alliance; the second plank in the UIA platform calls for "a timetable for the
    withdrawal of the multinational forces from Iraq."

    Washington Post is losing 2,000 subscribers a month, wonder why?

    by seesdifferent on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 07:06:46 PM PDT

    •  Freepers can't process this (none)
      Understand that this sort of thinking is high treason to Freepers.  Anyone advocating the exit of US troops is portrayed as giving in to the terrorists.  Read their postings if you can stomach heavy doses of vitriolic verbal venom.

      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1431904/posts

      A very real and noxious problem is that the longer we stay there (troops plus the many mercenary forces), the more we are breeding and training generations of terrorists and giving them years of motivational experience to draw upon.  Lots of blood to avenge--probably 100's of thousands of Iraqi lives.

      I am getting the impression the Iraqi 'insurgents' are targeting the mercenary forces in greater proportion than regular troops.  Can this impression be confirmed with statistical facts released by our goverment or from other sources?  

      Perhaps this is like Bosnia where our own troops were initially welcomed but the swelling ranks of private security forces caused problems for the locals which eroded away all good will for people American.  Something about the mercenary forces using excessive force, taking young women as sex slaves, dealing in contraband, and other noxious practices discrediting these 'forces'.

      "I'd rather be ruled by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian." -Martin Luther.

      by antirove on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 08:00:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a scam! (none)
      Bush has an easy way of getting our troops out of Iraq and because of all the free money it is giving to his friends he refuses to take it.

      If Bush simply said that he is getting the troops out of Iraq because the new Iraqi government has asked us to leave, he would have a good reason to leave the Iraqis to deal with their own country and affairs. And to save uncounted lives.

      Didn't Bush say he was bringing democracy and self
      government to the people of Iraq? If they ask us to leave, we should leave.

      "The lunatics have overtaken the asylum." And the asylum is burning.

      by Skylor on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 11:46:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time to stop (none)
    asking and to start demanding. Democrats should take some drastic meassures. For example, what would happen if all Democrats in the house  (and why not the senate :-) ) had a strike until ALL Humbees are armored, until Irak's audit is a reallity?

    Just like this administration has to change its course of action in Irak, so do the Democrats have to change their course of action in the Congress.
     

    If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your corporations to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

    by cruz del sur on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 07:17:11 PM PDT

  •  Truman commission (none)
    Your efforts at eliminating war profiteering is greatly appreciated. You are my hero.

    The news is disease in disguise, pretending to be information .Vanna Bonta

    by demnow on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 07:20:06 PM PDT

  •  Please Louise (none)
    Will you consider running for a higher office? I sure hope you're gearing up for it.

    Senate or Gov. would be... the right NEXT step....

    I bet you'd have lots of endorsements from this site alone :)

    I'd be one of them :)

  •  Badly needed. (none)
    For instance, there was a recommended diary earlier today in which Halliburton's people were eating all the good food and giving all the rotten food to the troops. And an Al-Jazeera article today reported that it will take $15 billion to fix Iraq's broken water system.
  •  God Bless you, Rep. Slaughter... (none)
    ...I feel so SO proud to be a new (just this month!) official New York resident in your district; I just closed escrow on my California place and thanks to you, will not be going through the serious Barbara Boxer withdrawal my psychiatrist predicted.

    My fiancee (of my same political beliefs and outrages, but not an activist kind of guy) came running downstairs after the Bush speech (if that's what you could call it) and said, "Isn't AOL usually very conservative?"  I told him yes, of course...and he showed me the SHOCKING anti-Bush numbers on the post-speech poll - from AOL, of all places!  I can only imagine what the other polls are saying!

    The tide is turning, Dear Ms. Slaughter.  We are ALL behind you!  PLEASE, don't drop the ball!  Help us take back America!  Help us drive the lying, stealing, murdering neocons into the dark corners with the cockroaches, where they belong!

    (Not that I'm partisan or anything - actually, I'm registered Independent...but I've only voted for 1 Republican in my life and almost became Catholic again to ask forgiveness for it!)

    Thanks for everything... and me and my ENORMOUS family and extensive group of friends, well,  we've all got your back!

    "People do terrible things to each other, but it's worse when everyone is kept in the dark." - Tom Stoppard, "Night and Day"

    by hopesprings on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 08:20:59 PM PDT

  •  Forgive Me, But (none)
    "Together we can make the implausible a reality"?

    That sounds a lot more like their slogan than ours.

    "The use of federal dollars to destroy life is something I simply do not support" -- George W. Bush

    by Irfo on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 08:22:53 PM PDT

  •  One question, my fellow Americans.... (none)
    Why is Bu$h not already in prison?

    Peace.

    http://www.missionnotaccomplished.us

  •  While you're at it , Louise, (none)
    you might take a look at the $1.5 billion dollar US embassy deal in Iraq.

    I'm an architect with a really outrageous international design firm. I know the cost of high design and I know the talk of "terrorist-proof" design, but I gotta tell ya. This one makes no sense at all. The next largest state department expenditure is for the new embassy in Beijing at approx $480 million.

    Unless this embassy is hitting 1,000,000 square feet (the UN Secretariat building in NYC is 500,000SF), the cost is absurd. Last I checked, we had bombed enough of Iraq to find a nice "building-free" site where you could bury the thing underground if need be (and save an the air conditioning at the same time).

    But maybe Haliburton or its subsidaries will get the contract so money's no object.

    And then I wonder how much armor for the troops that "extra" $1 billion could buy.

    This administration is not only financially bankrupt, it is morally bankrupt as well.

    Go get 'em. Please.

  •  I have a serious/sincere question (none)
    My opposition to the invasion of Iraq was early and sustained.  I travelled to D.C. to march for peace before the war, and have ranted continuously to anyone who would listen about Bush & Co.'s plans for war profiteering, oil siphoning, and jingoistic politics. I've been as anti-war as anyone I know, and still oppose it.  

    But many people (Biden, even Dean, e.g.) are now cautioning about leaving Iraq, apparently buying the Pottery Barn (you break it, you own it) stance.  

    What would happen if the U.S. military withdrew over the next few months?  Could it be much, much worse?  

    Realistically, what are the options, now that we "broke" Iraq?  Do we need to help put the pieces back together?  If yes, how can this be accomplished?  

    And is this what the Bush administration was counting on anyway?  That if it did fall apart, the U.S. would be "forced" to stay ... oh, and we happened to build permanent bases anyway, how convenient for us.  

    If the Dems suddenly controlled the WH, would the U.S. pull out of Iraq?  I suspect not.  

    Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL)

    May all beings be free from fear.

    by shakti on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 09:35:24 PM PDT

    •  Yes. It could be worse. (none)
      Right now, US military troops currently help to support the local forces in attempting to maintain order.  I won't say they accomplish this goal, or even approach the goal.  They do have an influence however.  The country would, by the estimate of experts, fall into an overt and bitter civil war without the influence of an external peace-keeping force.  The Kurds, Shi'ite, and Sunni factions have plenty of reason to hate each other.  Please follow http://www.juancole.com/ and/or his peers to keep up on the best available analysis of the politics, culture, and influences in the region.

      "How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!" -- Samuel Clemens

      by nepolon on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 11:40:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, if what you say is true ... (none)
        ... then a quick departure is out of the question, right?  How can the left (liberal Democrats, for instance) speak with one voice about this, when you have some clamouring to "bring them home now" and others (like Dean) who now appear to be going back on their earlier anti-war stance by admitting that we can't leave yet.  

        This seems like a a very challenging policy issue for the Dems, frankly.  

        May all beings be free from fear.

        by shakti on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 08:08:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well.... (none)
      Realistically, what are the options, now that we "broke" Iraq?  Do we need to help put the pieces back together?  If yes, how can this be accomplished?  

      Yes, you do need to put the pieces back together. Otherwise you both compound the crime already committed and create another one.

      But, you must leave.  The insurgency will not stop until you do.  It will not stop.  Read your history of the place.  Only an utter fool would have gone in there.

      The solution?  You have to pay the bills.  By moral law and international law (which your house and senate ratified).

      You can't fix it.  You have to pay someone else to do it (and they had better not be American or it won't work).

      Trouble is, America is bankrupt.  Dunno where you are going to find the money.  I suppose you could eliminate all welfare, pensions and education in the USA.  That might cover it.

       Your only real way out is an income tax rate of 90% on all those who earn more than enough to eat.   And you will not be willing to do that.

      I think you should recover some money from the bush family, Cheney, Halliburton etc by invoking the RICO act and conviscating their entire fortunes but that is going to be nowhere near enough.

      There is simply no way that the USA can escape this without further dishonour.  You will not be willing to pay the price of honour...

      Truckle the Uncivil, Nullus Anxietas Sanguinae

      by Truckle on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 12:16:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A Must Sign (none)
    An awful lot of big snakes are under this rock.  
  •  Thank you, Congresswoman Slaughter, (none)
    for thinking enough of us to post here.  We will do everything we can!
  •  The Democratic Party's Silence Is Deafening (none)
    I didn't hear a single Democrat who was actually opposed to the war. All I've heard from Democrats is "stay the course only more efficiently."

    Maybe I missed something. I'm fairly certain there isn't a single Senate Democrat who has actually opposed the war. How many House Democrats have actually come out in opposition to the war instead of just asking for an exit strategy?

    Extremism in defense of NPR is no vice!

    by JollyBuddah on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 10:38:34 PM PDT

  •  Senate Democrats flop on Iraq (none)
    Kerry got nine Democrats to sign a letter to ask " the Select Committee on Intelligence "to accelerate to completion the work of the so-called 'Phase II' effort to assess how policy makers used the intelligence they received" after they "completed the first phase of a two-phased effort to review the pre-war intelligence on Iraq. Phase I -- begun in the summer of 2003 and completed in the summer of 2004 -- examined the performance of the American intelligence community in the collection and analysis of intelligence prior to the war..."

    Tonight Kerry told Costas that Iraq was not a quagmire yet.

    Feingold introduced a resolution, S. Res. 171, earlier this month -- the first resolution of its kind in the Senate -- that calls on the President to create a timetable for achieving clear goals and bringing American troops home from Iraq. That's pretty bold for a Democrat, but almost as limp wristed as Kerry's letter.

    Maybe I missed something from Boxer. Has the only Democratic Senator with balls said anything about Bush's speech?

    I don't see many signs that The Backbone Campaign is gaining any traction in the Senate. The black Congressional caucus is furnishing the backbone in the House.

    Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam

    by JollyBuddah on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 10:53:39 PM PDT

  •  Rep. Slaughter.... (4.00)
    an area that gravely concerns me is the continuation of "the big lie"... that iraq was tied to the 9/11 attacks.  tonite the analysts are beginning to claim that the linkage between the two is justified now that al qaeda is operating in iraq.

    it is critical that these two events not be historically linked.  it is imperative that bush not be allowed to delude americans into believing that iraq was in any manner associated with the attacks upon the trade center and the pentagon.

    i ask respectfully that you and other members of congress who so desparately seek to unveil the truth about iraq keep this fact in the forefront - and do so at every opportunity.

    the current republican strategy seems to be that if they repeat "the big lie" often enough, it will be accepted into public belief.  we must, for the credibility of our nation, underscore that osama bin laden and saddam hussein were not allies - and that the invasion into iraq was unrelated to the attack on our nation.

    please, rep. slaughter, PLEASE stress to those members of congress and the democratic party that we, as americans, MUST acknowledge that iraq and 9/11 are independent and unrelated events.  we MUST do this if this nation is ever to regain credibility in the world community.  we cannot allow america to become a nation of self-deluded people willing to justify an illegal international action based on a thinly disguised grab for power of another sovereign nation.  we, as americans, have always stood for truth, freedom and liberty - we cannot allow the bush legacy be the destruction of the very principles upon which this country was founded.

    thank you for all your work to save this nation - from those in a position of power who would destroy us and for those of us who would allow it to happen.

    you and your colleagues exhibit true profiles in courage - and we commend you!

    thank you.

    War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

    by edrie on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 11:27:42 PM PDT

  •  good diary (none)
    but we can do better.  cite the basis for your position.  always.  

    if bush is below 50%, link to the poll.  this is what the web is about.

    "How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!" -- Samuel Clemens

    by nepolon on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 11:34:25 PM PDT

  •  Bush bought two more years (none)
    Gergen nailed it. (Approximate quote):

    "As offensive as linking 9/11 to Iraq was, it probably bought him six months to two years to try and get Iraq right."

    As long as Kerry, Biden, Bayh, Clinton and the rest of the "stay the course" Democrats keep playing pussyfoot with Bush, they will continue to be perceived as weak. Bush just played the same card Rove played. Democrats are unpatriotic, weak and they hate American soldiers.

    "Stay the course" means Bush and Karl Rove are right. Democrats need to go after Bush the same way they went after Karl Rove.

    Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam

    by JollyBuddah on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 12:08:48 AM PDT

  •  Will the Democrats will make Nixon's mistake? (none)
    The "stay the course" Democrats are on track to make the same mistake Nixon made when he turned LBJ's war into Nixon's war.

    Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam

    by JollyBuddah on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 12:15:35 AM PDT

  •  Rep. Slaughter: (none)
    I cannot support this bill. I believe that setting a timetable and pulling out unilaterally is probably the worst thing we could do at this point.

    Instead, why don't you focus on lifting don't ask don't tell so I and others like me can enlist?

  •  Thank you Congresswoman Slaughter (none)
    You and Conyers are really incredible Representatives.  The vileness of these contractors is just amazing.  Randi Rhodes did a show the other day about a Democratic Senate hearing with Whistleblowers from Kellogg, Root & Brown (sub. Haliburton) and other companies.  Evidently KBR is feeding our troops SPOILED food! and overcharges the Taxpayer for spoiled food while the managers get the good food for "office parties" at Camp Anaconda...

    That's outragrous and it's treason, and those companies must be stopped from doing this.  This is how the Republicans "support the troops" -- feed them garbage!  This is how Republicans show they "love America".

    Someone on Daily Kos wrote about it too.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/28/54049/8781

    I'm completely incensed about this. My concern is that these contractors don't face any penalty for anything they do because of Executive order 13303  -- how do we repeal an Executive order?

    I already signed your auditiraq.com site, but thanks for continuing the fight.  You are a Goddess in the Senate, with a Kentucky accent ;)

  •  Why don't you (none)
    just push for articles of Impeachment?  Surely there is sufficient evidence of this?  If sperm stains on a dress were enough to impeach Clinton how come everything Bush has done is insufficient?
    •  I believe (none)
      That those articles have already been drawn up, but the problem is, they can do that every day of the week, until Republicans no longer have control of the House, or until they finally get a conscience (sputter), it won't make any difference.  The Resolution of Inquiry, which Conyers and many other Reps. including Rep Slaughter, have asked for is the first step in the process.  Isn't that right, Ms. Slaughter?
  •  INVESTIGATE THE CBS PAPERS!! (none)
    Dear Representative Slaughter
    I have posted this demand before and I am going to keep coming back and posting this information on every diary you majke untill you get the idea: DEMAND A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION OF THE CBS PAPERS!!
    THEY ARE FEDERAL DOCUMENTS!!!
    Why have you and all the rest of the Democratic leadership allowed the  Bush Administration to pull off the greatest hoax in American history?? Getting the CBS papers declared false WITHOUT ANY OFFICIAL INVESTIGATION AT ALL!!
    HELLLLOOOOOOO????!!!! Do we still run under the rule of law in this country or have you abdicated that responsiblity to conservative bloggers completely?? Because they are the only ones who have delared the CBS papers false!!!The Republicans won the whole shooting match about this WITHOUT EVER PROVING A THING!!!
    And youre letting them get away with it!!!
    MAKE THEM PROVE OR DISPROVE THESE PAPERS OFFICIALLY!! The LAWFUL way, not the Karl Rove way! Its your DUTY!! Its the duty of the whole federal government to maintain the integrity of its documents!!

    The Republicans have NEVER proven theses papers false ALTHOUGH THEY CONTROL THE WHOLE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!!! Don't you think they would have--if they could have?? Why have they refused to investigate allegedly forged goevernment documents that, if forged, libel the President and several other USAF officers??

    The CBS papers prove a conspiracy to alter USAF documents and defraud the government ("I will backdate but not rate..." Col Jerry Killian)
    GET OFF YOUR CHAIR AND DEMAND A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION OF THESE FEDERAL DOCUMENTS!!!
    The Bush dministration will never investigate the CBS papers because it will reveal all the crimes Bush's superiors committed in getting him out of the TANG with an "honorable" discharge.

    Representative Slaughter, you have the power to turn this around TODAY!! DEMAND A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION OF THES CBS PAPERS!! TODAY!!!THEY ARE FEDERAL DOCUMENTS!! And the whole federal government is shirking their duty to investigate these papers
    Here is a copy of a demand I sent for a federal investigation to the DoD and USAF inspector generals and the USAF OSI! Why don't you do your duty and sent one just like it??? I'm just one little guy trying to help my country and I need your help!!Don't you even want to know if these papers are real or not? I sure do--and I want to to hear it from the people who are SUPPOSED to investigate these things(the USAf OSI and the FBI)--NOT conservative bloggers!!
    America needs to know the truth about these documents!!
    STAND UP FOR AMERICA AND DEMAND A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION OF THE CBS PAPERS!! THEY ARE FEDERAL DOCUMENTS!!Make the Republicans prove or disprove them officially!! Like they should have done last September!!
    Do it for AMERICA!!!Do it for your party!!! Or just do it because its the legal, moral law abiding...the RIGHT thing to do!!

    Inspector General, Department of Defense
    Inspector General, US Air Force
    Air Force Office of Special Investigations
    Dear Sirs:
         I am writing to inquire on your treatment of an important national question and to file a formal complaint if appropriate. I am specifically referring to the crimes inherent in these documents: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-09-09bushdocs.pdf
    These are all US Air Force documents, written by the commander of a US Air Force unit. Three of them have the letterhead of a US Air Force unit, the 111th F.I.S, they contain official US Air Force business and they are signed or initialed by the commander of the US Air Force unit, the 111th, in performance of his duties as commander of that unit.
         They are, in every sense, by any conceivable interpretation, US Air Force documents and their only significance is as US Air Force documents. Although they have been called "private documents" in the media, they are, in fact, official US Air Force documents and it is the duty of the Department of Defense, the US Air Force and the entire federal government to  maintain their integrity and investigate any allegations of falsity. This has not been done, over 9 months after their emergence. America needs to know the truth about these documents--and you are the ones charged with that duty. You have all the forensic and investigative capabilities necessary  to see if official US air Force documents are authentic or not--and you have not done so.
     These documents are  alleged to be forged. Here are the specific allegations: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1213508/posts  There are over 50 allegations that these papers are false on this webpage and others but surprisingly the US Air Force, and the federal government in it's entirety, have not investigated these papers to determine if they actually are false and if false, to prosecute any crimes that may be revealed from such an investigation. If these papers are false, they are forged and forging US Air Force documents is a serious federal crime
    Conversely, if the papers are authentic they describe a conspiracy to defraud the government: to falsify official US Air Force documents (i.e.: "I will backdate but not rate..." Col Jerry Killian) on behalf of a man who was suspended from flying for refusing to take his physical, after being ordered to do so. If the documents are proven real, the US Air Force must investigate the circumstances of their creation. There are serious allegations that the subject of these papers was paid fraudulently and discharged fraudulently that have never been answered. (http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/opinion/lechliter.pdf ) I have more information concerning falsification of  Air Force documents in this case that I want to submit to an official investigation.
    These are serious national issues of great import. Crimes have been committed: either forging important US Air Force documents or falsifying documents to defraud the government, yet the US Air Force and the entire Department of Defense has let the whole issue go uninvestigated.
    Why are you shirking your duty in this matter? It is the duty of the US Air Force and the whole federal government to maintain the integrity of its documents and to investigate any wrongdoing but your agencies, surprisingly, have ignored these critically important documents of great national significance. This is amazing seeing as how it is your Commander in Chief who's service record is insulted and libeled by these papers, if forged. And whose honorable discharge is fraudulent if the papers are real.
    Are the US Air Force and the entire federal government going to allow these crimes of national significance to be committed right under your noses, with no investigation on your part at all? Is the US Air Force "good to go" about someone typing the letterhead of a USAF unit on a paper, falsifying information about a USAF officer and then forging the signature of the unit's commander on it? That is outrageous!! A serious federal crime!! Why haven't you investigated this yet? Are you waiting for a formal complaint to be signed?
    I will do it and you can consider this to be a formal complaint. I am a US Army veteran  and I think it is outrageous that you have ignored your duty to investigate these important national papers: US Air Force documents that are alleged to be forged.The American people have the right and the need to know the truth about these papers, they are part of the Public Record. If there is some other form that must be filled out then send it to me and I will complete it.
    You must investigate these allegedly forged US Air Force documents immediately and reveal the truth about them to the American people. It is your duty, it is your mission and it is the law!
    I await your response and the investigation.

    signed, my real name and address

    I have complete information proving George Bush and his superiors falsified his books and defrauded the government! Anybody wanting more information about this can email me at chichesterclam@hotmail.com

    •  agreed, it is of interest (none)
      his former ghostwriter has him admitting as much on tape

      let's just say the documents are false, then the person claiming they are real has abetted a felony and the FBI should be given investigation authority

      Bush has someone falsifying military documents

      perhaps the same person who did the WMD lies

      this could perhaps secure subpoenas regarding key DSM material and archives

      make them have to prove the documents are real to avoid jail time

      the devil's advocate, revisited

  •  Being rude wouldn't be prudent (none)
    Digby wonders why Democrats can't be as critical of Bush as David Gergen, Same Old Same Old:

    Is anybody watching Joe Biden saying that the president has leveled with the American people tonight (as opposed to Cheney and Rummy) and he hopes that it has bought him some time? Nice.

    Paula Zahn has been very skeptical of the speech, particularly all the 9/11 talk, but Joe very helpfully told her that Bush really did a pretty good job and that hopefully he'll now have the time to fix the problems in Iraq. He was actually more supportive than David Gergen who was personally "offended" by the evocation of 9/11 but made the political judgment that it would work.

    Begala says he made progress on the question of credibility. But by the same token it was probably not so good to evoke 9/11 so much since it had nothing to do with Iraq. It's a good thing for Democrats to support our commander in chief, though. But we do have a few questions.

    Democrats are so helpful to the president. They're still stinking traitors and all, but they are very nice people. They've managed to convince Blitzer and Zahn that their own reactions to the speech were too harsh.


    Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam

    by JollyBuddah on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 07:20:42 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, Rep. Slaughter. (none)
    I appreciate your coming to Kos and keeping us updated, and letting us know what we can do to help. I signed on to support to Iraq Audit and am standing with you.
  •  With a little help from my friends (none)
    I've rewritten this letter to the editor a number of times.

    I request assistance to make it better.

    What points resonate? What falls flat? What else should be included? At what points are the transitions rough?

    Thanks!

        In his Ft. Bragg speech, did President Bush take responsibility for anything?

    •    The no-win situation in Iraq?
    •    Instability in Afghanistan?
    •    Failure to neutralize al Qaeda?
        Bush seemed indifferent to strategy and misled Americans about the known details.
        Bush used rhetorical tricks to link the Iraqis resisting occupation forces to the non-Iraqis that attacked on September 11, 2001. This is absurd.
        Before Bush invaded, Iraq was one of the few countries in the region that did not allow al Qaeda to operate. Now al Qaeda has expanded there. Because of Bush's policies al Qaeda's range and influence are increasing, and Bush has the chutzpah to claim the evidence of failure is really evidence of success.
        Osama bin Laden remains at large. Al Qaeda remains a viable organization. Afghanistan has not been stabilized and could revert to a haven for al Qaeda. Bush has destabilized Iraq, inviting al Qaeda to operate there.
        In the face of this astounding record of failure Bush used clever words to imply the problem is a lack of support from the American people.
        You're lying, Mr. President. Grow-up and take responsibility. Your policies failed, and it's not "blaming the troops" to say this.
        Bush needs to replace his sycophants and bamboozlers with advisors that will tell him the truth. To Bush it feels natural be surrounded by people that protect him from the negative consequences of his actions. That's the way he's lived his entire life.
         President Bush is leading the country to disaster. It's time for the media and Republican voters to stop enabling irresponsible leadership by pretending Bush's fantasy reality has merit.

    Bloggin Blagojevich's Blunders: do you want to see Roddy B challenged in the Dem Primary?

    by Carl Nyberg on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 10:53:35 AM PDT

    •  Version III (none)
      Needs to be just a little shorter.

          Is President Bush is a flimflam man?  
      In his Ft. Bragg speech the President of the United States refused to assume responsibility for his policy failures.

      •    In Iraq
      •    In Afghanistan
      •    Against al Qaeda
           A polished con artist Bush glossed over strategy and substance and in favor of making misleading emotional appeals. Subtly he blamed the victim of the scam: the American people.
          Bush used rhetorical tricks to link the Iraqis resisting occupation to the non-Iraqi Arabs that attacked on September 11, 2001. Just because al Qaeda and the Iraqi insurgents are Arabs that use "terrorist" tactics doesn't mean they are the same group of people.
          Before Bush invaded, Iraq was one of the few Arab countries that did not allow al Qaeda to operate. Now al Qaeda has expanded there. Bush caused al Qaeda's range and influence to increase; and Bush has the chutzpah to claim the evidence of failure is really evidence of success.
          Osama bin Laden remains at large. Al Qaeda remains a viable organization. Afghanistan has not been stabilized and could revert to a haven for al Qaeda. Bush has destabilized Iraq, inviting al Qaeda to operate there.
          In the face of this astounding record of failure Bush used clever words to imply the problem is a lack of support from the American people. He talked about "testing America resolve" to imply Americans that don't support Bush lack determination or strength. The con man implied people are weak for not giving the shyster what he wants.
          The media needs to stop pretending the Bush version of events is on par with reality, like the con game may be true.
          Media coverage of Bush policy seems like covering Nigerian Internet scams and considering it possible the deceased oil minister's estate really will send millions of dollars if the mark plays along by providing financial information.

      Bloggin Blagojevich's Blunders: do you want to see Roddy B challenged in the Dem Primary?

      by Carl Nyberg on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 12:13:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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