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And this plan is very similar to the type of thing that Senator Kerry and I actually proposed in the United States Senate this week. You wanted a time certain for all troops out. You would be completely out. And the fact is our amendment does not call for the complete elimination of all troops.
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We allow exceptions to protect American facilities, to conduct anti-terrorist activities, and to help in a limited way in terms of training the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police. So the fact is, we do provide the flexibility that General Casey needs. Of course, the Congress would also listen. The question is, do we just keep making the same mistake over and over again?
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Do we just stay in Iraq so that Cheney and Bush can say that, that they were right? That appears to be the only logical reason to stay in a situation that is draining our military, that is hurting our recruiting, that is allowing Osama bin Laden to have us exactly where he wants us. Tim, the Iraq invasion has played into the hand of al-Qaeda.
If we withdraw prematurely, risking all-out civil war, we will have done precisely that. I can hardly imagine that any U. Our military mission should be over. I agree with John McCain.
We need to support them economically. We need to help them militarily in terms of helping their military stand up, in terms of training. We need to make sure that we are engaged in that country and not abandon them. Our number one responsibility is to protect the American people from being killed by terrorists. Iraq has very little to do with that at this point.
You know, Tim, today it was announced that, that a guy named Hassan Dahir Aweys is now the head of the government that has taken over in Mogadishu, in Somalia. He is known as an al-Qaeda operative or somebody that is connected with al-Qaeda. I asked Ambassador Crumpton at a hearing the other day, how many people in our federal government are working full time on the problem in Somalia. He said one full-time person.
This is insanity, if you think about what the priorities are in terms of those who have attacked us and who are likely to attack us in the future. Senator Hillary Clinton, your fellow Democrat, had this to say on Wednesday. CLINTON: I simply do not believe it is a strategy or a solution for the president to continue declaring an open-ended and unconditional commitment. Nor do I believe it is a solution or a strategy to set a date certain for withdrawal without regard to the consequences.
If all those things happen. This parade of horribles about things that might happen? So this idea that if we leave, things will get worse, is not clear. So I do agree with much of her statement, which is first of all, the idea of an open-ended commitment is the worst-case scenario.
Our amendment very carefully outlines some of the ways in which we would have flexibility if necessary. My guess is that things would not get worse. My guess is that when the so-called American occupation, which the terrorists like to call it, ends, that the interest of the international terrorist community in Iraq is not so focused there anymore. It would allow us to pursue them and be on the offensive. He said it just yesterday, apparently. That is a situation that we have got to prevail in, and we have lost ground in Afghanistan because our resources have been diverted to Iraq.
That is well known, that our ability to succeed in Afghanistan has been hampered by the bad decision to go into Iraq. I think people should say what they truly believe. If they truly believe it was a good idea and that their vote was right, they should say so. If they think they made a mistake, they should say so.
Because the White House has done a terrible job of running the fight against terrorism. This election could turn on this Iraq issue, in fact, the election, and maybe even The party that says we have a reasonable plan to bring the troops home by, by this date and to refocus on the anti-terrorism issue is the party that will win. And I believe that my political instincts tell me And I have been all over Wisconsin, all 72 counties, to 12 different states.
They do want a timetable for bringing home the troops. I saw two or three polls, Tim, in the last week that showed that a majority of the American people favor a timetable. So it is to our—you know, we lost in , we lost in , we lost in But you did say that Saddam possessed weapons that were capable of unimaginable destruction. Why were you so wrong about that description of Saddam?
If you, if you look at the whole speech, of course, I concluded that the imminence of any threat of that kind was not there. I thought three things had to be true for us to go into Iraq, and I said it at the time.
Number one:. Did he really have weapons of mass destruction? Secondly, he had to have the ability to deliver those weapons;. I thought the case on that was very weak. And the weakest of all was the third thing: Would he do it? Was that the analysis of Saddam Hussein? Of course we should deal with weapons of mass destruction, but in intervening, invading, when we had this whole other issue of fighting al-Qaeda and the terrorists, it was one of the worst mistakes in American foreign policy, and I have been percent consistent in opposition to the idea of intervention over there.
And so the whole idea was, was bizarre. I can just, under Article 2 of the Constitution as the commander in chief, make up whatever law I want. This is our system of government to have checks and balances. The Congress is supposed to make the law and the president is supposed to follow the law. I support wiretapping people we think are terrorists, but it should be done under the law. I mean, you could debate that if you want. But I think the claim—and although Nixon made some, some similar claims, the extreme claim that under Article 2 of the Constitution the president can make up whatever laws he wants is one of the greatest threats to our system of government.
I even heard George Will describe it as monarchical at one point. So I do think it is the greatest threat to our republic. I think it would be disruptive to America to have an impeachment proceeding. President, you broke the law. Of course, we We should not have an illegal program, it should be brought within the law.courdepegi.tk
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So I, I think this is a very simple thing. The president—see, he has to give up the—his goal here, which is, which is not consistent with the interests of the American people. His goal should be to go after the terrorists, not to try to broaden the power of the president beyond all reason. And this is how the American people came down on that question: Believe it is right, 35 percent; using for political advantage, 56 percent.
Do you agree with that analysis? That same poll, Tim, showed that a very substantial number of Americans supported the censure resolution, regardless of what they thought my motives are. I believe this is an historical affront to the Constitution. I guarantee you, that is the reason I proposed it; that is what I believe. Where were the congressmen, where were the senators when the president of the United States made a power grab that was almost unprecedented in American history?
RUSSERT: Another threat to our nation potentially may be North Korea and its developing of not only nuclear weapons, which they have, but the long-range delivery systems. I actually agree, believe it or not, with Henry Kissinger on this rather than William Perry, who seemed to feel that this was a—when I saw him interviewed the other day—that this was not a great idea.
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There are issues about how effective it would be. There are dangers involved. But I do think the North Koreans have to understand that, in the end, all options are on the table. We need to get back to an aggressive approach to bring the North Koreans into active participation in the multilateral talks.