Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Every Member of Congress must answer the following questions

Iraq - Questions That Need Answering

November 15, 2005

Events in recent weeks, including the indictment of Scooter Libby, have brought increased attention to the issue of pre-war intelligence. In a speech in Alaska yesterday, President Bush accused his war critics of "playing politics with this issue and ... sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy." Progressive leaders, including former Senator John Edwards, Senator John Kerry and others are taking responsibility for their vote on the war. However, progressives aren't the only ones with an obligation to speak honestly about their actions regarding Iraq. Every member of Congress has an obligation to be straight with the American people about their view of the past and their vision of the future.

  • The American people deserve to know if their leaders feel intelligence was exaggerated, manipulated or misused. President Bush has made it clear that he does not believe any mistakes were made with regards to intelligence, nor does he believe it was manipulated in any way. All members of Congress should tell their constituents whether they agree with President Bush. The American people have a right to know what their member's standard for military action will be in the future.

  • The American people have a right to know what Congress's strategy for success in Iraq is. While members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns about Iraq, few have offered a clear strategy for turning the tide. All members should go on record as to whether or not they support the stay-the-course policies of President Bush. For those looking for another way, American Progress has a progressive exit strategy called "strategic redeployment."

  • Given all that we now know regarding Iraq, the American people deserve to know if Congress still would have authorized war. President Bush has made it clear that, knowing what he knows now, he would still invade Iraq. However, the administration's weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, made clear that continuing sanctions would have prevented Iraq from obtaining WMD. Sens. Kerry and Edwards both stated that knowing what they know now, their vote would have changed. The question remains - what does the rest of Congress think?


Daily Talking Points is a product of the American Progress Action Fund.


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