|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FEBRUARY 23, 2005
|CONTACT: Ralph Nader
Kevin Zeese, 301-996-6582
Nader Announces Democracy Rising 'Stop the War' Campaign
Highlights "Institutionalization of Corruption and Secrecy"; Calls for End to Bush Family War Profiteering and Urges Iraq Commission to Open Its' Findings
WASHINGTON -- February 23 --
WHAT: Press Conference announcing: Democracy Rising 'Stop the War' Campaign
WHERE: National Press Club, Zenger Room, 529 14th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
WHEN: Noon, Thursday, Feb. 24
For Further Information: Kevin Zeese, 301-996-6582
In announcing the 'Stop the War' Campaign of Democracy Rising, Ralph Nader today urged more public and Congressional focus on the "institutionalization of corruption and secrecy that is taking hold in Washington, D.C., particularly in the military budget and its corporate contractors, as a result of the Iraq War."
Nader made this point at the announcement of a new project the 'Stop the War' campaign being conducted by Democracy Rising. ( See http://www.DemocracyRising.US. ) Kevin Zeese, who is directing the project, said: "The goal of our campaign is the responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops and corporate interests from Iraq. We want to bring the troops home safely, as soon as possible." The website includes their three point plan for a responsible withdrawal from Iraq.
Nader pointed to the insider deals that are profiting Bush family members and their long-term political allies. Nader urged the media and Congress to "investigate what may be the biggest war profiteering First Family in history." A report on Bush family members and their close associates unethically profiting from the war and occupation of Iraq will be provided at the event.
Nader also pointed to the Iraq Commission criticizing its secrecy. This Commission was created by President Bush in response to David Kay's search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Kay reported to Congress the failure of his 1,500 person inspection team to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and flatly asserted "we got it wrong," in response President Bush created an independent commission to study Iraq intelligence failures.
Thus far, the Commission which includes Sen. McCain of 'plain talk express' fame has said its' report will not be made public. "The institutionalization of secrecy is damaging to a democratic society already depleted by Bush secrecy and Bush assaults. How can the public officially know how and when its' leaders misled the nation into war -- the most important decision a president can make -- when the Commission appointed to examine the matter has operated in complete secrecy and will be reporting in complete secrecy," said Nader. "The American people deserve to know how and when intelligence on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was manipulated or distorted by the President and his top advisors in order to plunge the nation into war." Presidential commissions in the past have made their reports public -- that has been their raison d'etre -- to inform the American people on matters of public importance.
Regarding the institutionalization of corruption, the 'Stop the War' Campaign Web site documents the widespread corruption related to the Iraq War and occupation in "Iraq War Facts" a compilation of key facts, reports and statistics on the Iraq War. Included with the press materials will be: "The Institutionalization of Corruption: A Hidden Cost of the Iraq War and Occupation."