Reid: We Need Answers and a Way Forward
in Iraq, Not Another Cheney Attack Speech
Senator Harry Reid
t r u t h o u t | Statement
Wednesday 16 November 2005
Washington, DC - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid gave the following speech on the Senate Floor tonight.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Tonight the Vice President has come out of his bunker and is speaking at a gathering of Washington DC insiders, which is closed to the press.
Unfortunately, he brought his bunker mentality with him. He is repeating the same tired attacks we've heard from administration officials over the last two weeks.
In the last 24 hours, 10 of our brave soldiers have been killed in far off Iraq. On such a night, you would think Cheney would give a speech that honors the fallen and those still fighting by laying out a strategy for success.
Instead we have the Vice President of the United States playing politics like he's in the middle of a presidential campaign.
Yesterday, a bipartisan majority of the United States Senate gave the administration a vote of no confidence for its Iraq policy. We said the era of their "No Plan, No End" approach is over.
Apparently, the White House didn't get the message. The Vice President's speech tonight demonstrates once again that this Administration intends to "stay the course" and continue putting their political fortunes ahead of what this country needs - a plan for success.
Our troops and the American people deserve better.
The White House needs to understand that deceiving the American people is what got them into trouble. Now is the time to come clean, not to continue the pattern of deceit.
So again, I ask Vice President Cheney to make himself available and answer the American people's questions.
If he has time to talk to DC insiders... oil executives... and a discredited felon - Ahmad Chalabi - who is under investigation for giving this nation's most sensitive secrets to Iran, he has time to answer the questions of the American people.
The Vice President needs to stop stonewalling and hold a press conference.
Finally, I would urge the members of the Bush administration to stop trying to resurrect their political standing by lashing out at their critics. Instead, they need to focus on the job at hand - giving our troops a strategy for success in Iraq.
Just this week, we've seen Stephen Hadley... Donald Rumsfeld... President Bush... and Vice President Cheney lash out at their critics....yet they all remain silent when it comes to giving our troops and the American people a plan for success in Iraq.
Tired rhetoric and political attacks do nothing to get the job done in Iraq.
America can do better.
Fact Sheet Follows:
Tonight, it's Dick Cheney's turn to deliver the same old tired attacks.
Cheney Goes with the Same Old 'Same
"These are elected officials who had access to the intelligence, and were free to draw their own conclusions." [11/16/05]
But, members of Congress did NOT have access to the same intelligence. "Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than did lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material." [Washington Post, 11/13/05]
Cheney Goes with the Same Old
'Criticism Hurts the Troops' Fiction:
"The saddest part is that our people in uniform have been subjected to these cynical and pernicious falsehoods day in and day out." [11/16/05]
But, Senator Hagel says the delay in the Senate's investigation into the misuse of pre - war intelligence has been frustrating and that it's the Senate's responsibility to get answers. Hagel: I think the Democrats had a valid point," he said. "This has been frustrating. . . . There are very legitimate and critical questions that need to be answered. That is the responsibility of governance. That's part of leadership. And we don't have answers for all those things." [Omaha World - Herald, 11/11/05]
Cheney Goes with the Same Old 'They're
Trying to Rewrite History' Fiction:
"The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone - but we're not going to sit by and let them rewrite history." [11/16/05]
But, it's members of the Bush Administration who are trying to rewrite history. Here's Cheney in 2003. "And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." (Vice President Cheney, Meet the Press, 3/16/03)
Too bad America gets stuck with the same old Dick Cheney.