Wednesday, March 28, 2007

IRAQ and U.S. Attorney Scandal


KEY POINT: Here's what America needs to know: The supplemental appropriations bill makes America more secure and makes it more likely that we will succeed in Iraq. The Democratic-controlled Congress is listening to the American people and fighting to give our troops the resources they need and a strategy in Iraq worthy of their sacrifices. We have crafted a defense supplemental bill that provides our men and women in uniform the resources they need going into combat and the care and treatment they deserve when they come home. We also offer our troops something that this Administration and Senate Republicans refuse: a plan to change course in Iraq in order to increase America's security, more effectively fight terrorism and bring our troops out of the middle of a civil war.

Support for our troops does not stop at funding. We must ensure that they have a strategy for success.

Democrats are proposing that we change course in Iraq in order to increase America's security, more effectively fight the war on terror and bring our troops home from a civil war.

Thus far President Bush has only offered a flawed policy to escalate the war, and Republicans have offered nothing at all other than support for the President.

Republicans must decide between keeping our troops mired in an open ended civil war or voting with Democrats and the American people to give our troops a strategy for success

This bill addresses some of our country's most urgent needs. Democrats are funding priorities that Republicans have long ignored:
$96 billion in war funds to ensure troops have the resources they need
$4.3 billion to ensure that returning troops receive the health care they deserve
$2 billion in port, mass transit and airport security
$6.7 billion to help rebuild the Gulf Coast and put people back to work


KEY POINT: The Bush Administration manipulated the criminal justice system for its own political gain. They ruined the careers of good prosecutors, interfered in the criminal justice process and then tried to cover it up when they got caught. As always, Bush Administration officials refuse to be held accountable for their actions. Democrats must stand up to the White House until the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth emerges.

Administration officials involved in the firings must openly testify, publicly and on the record. The only reason to refuse public testimony is if the administration has something to hide.

Calling this a partisan witch hunt is a distraction tactic that will not work. This is about accountability. The American people have a right to know whether its justice system acted unjustly and whether its leaders manipulated the criminal justice system for political gain.

All presidents have the right to nominate their own U.S. Attorneys. But they do not have the right to fire prosecutors for pursuing corruption cases on the merits or for other improper partisan motives.

Such political manipulation would cause Americans to lose faith in the justice system. The preservation of an independent judicial system depends on a full investigation of the facts.

The Administration was given ample opportunity to tell the truth. No one forced this Administration to mislead Congress and the American people.

But they repeatedly changed their stories about why these U.S. Attorneys were fired. They have long since lost the benefit of the doubt. Testifying on the record is the only way accurate and complete statements can be collected.

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