For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Ten Years After Iraq War Vote: Will Biden and Ryan be Asked About Yes Votes and False Statements on WMDs?
WASHINGTON - This week marks 10 years since Congress passed the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq.” Among those who voted for it were Rep. Paul Ryan and then-head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden; see statements below. The two will meet at a Presidential Debate Commission debate this Thursday, Oct. 11 — exactly 10 years after the Senate voted for war.
The following are available for a limited number of interviews:
PHIL DONAHUE [email]
Among Donahue’s many media credits is executive producer for the 2007 feature documentary film, “Body of War.” He said today: “Over 4,000 Americans died in Iraq and over 2,000 Americans have already died in Afghanistan. Both vice presidential candidates voted for the Iraq invasion — neither they nor the men at the top of their respective tickets will even raise the issue of this massive American blunder. The silence continues as American/NATO military trainers are murdered by their own Afghan trainees. Watch your back, Soldier! The other guy in the fox hole may shoot you in the head. And here at home our pundits are debating the fate of Big Bird.” See trailer for “Body of War.”
Rep. DENNIS KUCINICH, via Nathan White [email]
Congressman Kucinich recently wrote the piece “Iraq: Ten Years, a Million Lives and Trillions of Dollars Later,” which states: “It was clear from information publicly available at the time that Iraq did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction, that Iraq had no connection to 9/11, and that Iraq was not a threat to the United States. Anyone who wanted to look could have seen the same information that I did. Yet some of America’s top political leaders bought into the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld drumbeat of war. Two leading Democrats were among those taken in by the White House hype and the WMD argument:
“‘I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people … [I]ntelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists including Al Qaeda members.’ Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), October 10, 2002. [video]
“‘September 11 was the ultimate wake-up call. We must now do everything in our power to prevent further terrorist attacks and ensure that an attack with a weapon of mass destruction cannot happen. … the first candidate we must worry about is Iraq… [Saddam Hussein] continues to develop weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear devices.’ Leader of the Democratic Caucus in the House, Richard Gephardt (D-MO), October 10, 2002.”
Kucinich also recently wrote the piece “Imagine: America Trillions Richer, Our Sons and Daughters Returned to Us, America at Peace in the Middle East with Moral Standing to Lead the World.”
Rep. Paul Ryan (Oct 8, 2002): “This tyrant [Saddam Hussein] has amassed a large cache of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction and is aggressively seeking nuclear weapons.”
Video [at 15:05:00]
Ryan recently touted his Iraq war vote, stating that his foreign relations credentials were enhanced because “I voted to send people to war.”
Sen. Biden in his remarks rebuffed Sen. Byrd — who is featured in Donahue’s “Body of War” — and stated: (Oct 10, 2002): “What we have here, I argue, as the rationale for going after Saddam, is that he signed a cease-fire agreement. The condition for his continuing in power was the elimination of his weapons of mass destruction, and the permission to have inspectors in to make sure he had eliminated them. He expelled those inspectors.” [Video at 3:30:30]
In fact, the inspectors were withdrawn by UNSCOM head Richard Butler (and were allowed by Iraq to return) — see FAIR on the myth of the “expelled inspectors.”
At the time, former weapons inspector Scott Ritter said: “Sen. Joe Biden is running a sham hearing. It is clear that Biden and most of the Congressional leadership have pre-ordained a conclusion that seeks to remove Saddam Hussein from power regardless of the facts, and are using these hearings to provide political cover for a massive military attack on Iraq.”
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