Source: dailyKOS [Link]
Mon Jan 17th, 2005 at 20:34:53 PST
DavidNYC and I had the chance to talk to California Senator Barbara Boxer this afternoon in a discussion that concentrated on her plans for tomorrow's Senate hearings regarding the nomination of National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleeza Rice for Secretary of State, but included such topics as the Social Security plan of President Bush, the Gonzales nomination, the Weldon Amendment that would restrict the right to choose and other topics. We hope the transcript of the discussion will be available tomorrow.
On tomorrow's hearings, Sen. Boxer told us it is her intention to hold Dr. Rice to account for her performance as National Security Advisor -- from the failed performance in the fight against terrorist threats by the Bush Administration prior to 9/11 to the Bush Administration's failing Iraq policy and the HARM done by that Debacle to the fight against al Qaida and the terrorist threat to our Nation.
When we asked Senator Boxer for her thoughts on today's New York Times article by Todd Purdom on Dr. Rice and the argument forwarded by Bush Chief of Staff Andy Card that 'Rice will be different' as a Secretary of State, Senator Boxer expressed incredulity. In strong terms, Senator Boxer condemned this public relations strategy as more of the Bush Administration's failure to take responsibility for ANY of its actions and failures - the Bush Culture of No Accountability, we call it.
Senator Boxer was emphatic in her determination to hold Dr. Rice to account for her actions, her statements to the Congress and to the Media, and her decisionmaking. The question of Dr. Rice's forthrightness will be squarely confronted Senator Boxer assured us.
In addition, Senator Boxer stated that she will put specific questions to Dr. Rice concerning her role in the formulation of Bush Administration policy regarding torture.
Here is a snippet of Senator Boxer's prepared Opening Statement for the hearing:
It is my hope that today, we will have a candid discussion, Dr. Rice, because I believe it is crucial that a Secretary of State speak openly and honestly with the American people and with Congress. Frankly, this issue of candor is where my concern lies.Senator Boxer has a petition drive asking for support for "Holding Condoleeza Rice Accountable." Over 32,000 have signed it. If so inclined take a look and see what you think.
Since 9/11, we have been engaged in a just fight against terrorism. I voted to use force against Osama bin Laden and the terrorists in Afghanistan, and I assumed that we would focus on that challenge, not stopping until we got bin Laden, dead or alive, and broke the back of al Qaeda.
However, instead, with you in a lead role Dr. Rice, we went into Iraq. I want to read you one paragraph that best expresses my views, and the views of millions of Californians, on the impact of the Iraqi war on the war against terrorism. It was written by one of the world's experts on terrorism and foreign policy, Peter Bergen, five months ago.
"What we have done in Iraq is what bin Laden could not have hoped for in his wildest dreams: We invaded an oil-rich Muslim nation in the heart of the Middle East, the very type of imperial adventure that bin Laden has long predicted was the United States' long-term goal in the region. We deposed the secular socialist Saddam, whom bin Laden has long despised, ignited Sunni and Shia fundamentalist fervor in Iraq, and have now provoked a "defensive" jihad that has galvanized jihad-minded Muslims around the world. It's hard to imagine a set of policies better designed to sabotage the war on terrorism."
This conclusion was reiterated last Thursday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA Director's think tank, which released a report saying that Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists. NIC Chairman Robert L. Hutchings said that Iraq is "a magnet for international terrorist activity."
These quotations are significant to this hearing, Dr. Rice, because as a major proponent and spokesperson for the war in Iraq, and as someone who was asked by the President to make the case for this war to the American people, and as the person in charge of the reconstruction effort- you have many questions to answer to the American people.
This war was sold to the American people- as Chief of Staff to President Bush, Andy Card said-like a "new product." You rolled out the idea and then you had to convince the people, and as you made your case, I personally believe that your loyalty to the mission you were given overwhelmed your respect for the truth. That was a great disservice to the American people.
But worse than that, our young men and women are dying. So far, 1342 American troops have been killed in Iraq. More than 25 percent of those troops were from California. More than 10,000 have been wounded. I don't want their families to think for a minute that their lives and bodies were given in vain. Because when your commander in chief asks you to sacrifice yourself for your country, it is noble to answer the call. I am giving their families all the support that they want and need, but I will also not shrink from questioning a war that was not built on the truth.
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Source: CSPAN [Link]