Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Republicans Still Lying About New Ford Ad

The Republicans just can't tell the truth.

Late last week, the Republican Party began a full fledged assault on Congressman Harold Ford Jr. by demanding he take down his new Iraq ad, which they said falsely claimed Iraq wanted amnesty for terrorists who kill American troops.

However, the facts indeed show that Iraq does want to grant amnesty to those who kill American troops.

Iraq Government Supports Amnesty For Those Who Kill Americans

"Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday proposed a limited amnesty to help end the Sunni Arab insurgency as part of a national reconciliation plan that Maliki said would be released within days. The plan is likely to include pardons for those who had attacked only U.S. troops, a top adviser said." -- The Washington Post 6/14/06

"Another Maliki aide, asked whether the amnesty being considered by the government was likely to apply to those who had attacked US forces, said Maliki had been ``clear, saying those whose hands weren't stained with Iraqi blood" may be eligible for any amnesty." -- Botson Globe 6/16/06

"The Iraqi government has explicitly refused to rule amnesty out and the Maliki aide who resigned has stuck with his story, saying, "The prime minister himself has said that he is ready to give amnesty to the so-called resistance, provided they have not been involved in killing Iraqis." -- Baltimore Sun 6/18/06

"According to a new report out today, the Iraqi government will release a national reconciliation plan on Sunday that will include amnesty for insurgents. Moreover, several reports earlier this week confirmed that a “far reaching” amnesty plan was, indeed, still on the table. “The main thing,” said Haidar Abadi, a leader of Prime Minister Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party, is that the reconciliation plan doesn't rule out participation of “the bloody-handed people in the political process.” -- AP 6/23/06 (taken from press release)

"But Maliki was quoted in The Washington Post at a news conference last week as stating that amnesty could be offered for those "who weren't involved in the shedding of Iraqi blood." -- The Tennessean 6/24/06

Bush Team And Republicans Support The Proposal

PRESIDENT BUSH SAYS HE WILL SUPPORT PRIME MINISTER MALIKI'S EFFORTS: "Yes -- I talked to the Prime Minister about -- his question is, possible amnesty. The Prime Minister I think would say "reconciliation." This is an issue that is on the minds of a lot of the folks there in Iraq. In other words, they're trying to figure out how to reconcile an ugly past with a hopeful future. And part of that is reconciliation.


One of the things I was looking for was -- first of all, I'm convinced this government will succeed. And one of the reasons I am is because there is a sense of hopefulness. If you're a person stuck in the past, you tend to be bitter and look for ways to seek revenge."

"Prime Minister Maliki is promoting reconciliation among the Iraqi people. And during my discussions with his cabinet and others, the concept of reconciliation kept coming up. People know they've got to reconcile the past in order to have a bright future. He told us he's going to soon appoint a reconciliation committee that will focus on resolving specific concerns of different Iraqi communities. We will support his efforts to bring the Iraqis together by encouraging leaders from countries like South Africa to share their experiences with this new government, to help them reconcile the past."

SENATOR TED STEVENS COMPARES TERRORISTS TO AMERICA’S FOUNDING FATHERS: “I really believe we ought to try to find some way to encourage that country to demonstrate to those people who have been opposed to what we're trying to do, that it's worthwhile for them and their children to come forward and support this democracy. And if that's amnesty, I'm for it. I'd be for it. And if those people who are, come forward… if they bore arms against our people, what's the difference between those people that bore arms against the Union in the War between the States? What’s the difference between the Germans and Japanese and all the people we’ve forgiven?”

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL SUGGESTED A RESOLUTION COMMENDING IRAQIS FOR GIVING TERRORISTS AMNESTY. “…might it not just be as useful an exercise to be trying to pass a resolution commending the Iraqi government for the position that they’ve taken today with regard to this discussion of Amnesty?”

SENATOR LAMAR ALEXANDER COMPARED IRAQI AMNESTY FOR TERRORISTS TO NELSON MANDELA’S PEACE EFFORTS. “Is it not true that Nelson Mandela's courage and his ability to create a process of reconciliation and forgiveness was a major factor in what has been a political miracle in Africa…Did not Nelson Mandela, win a - the co-winner of - a noble Nobel Peace Prize just for this sort of gesture?”

SENATOR JOHN CORNYN: IRAQI AMNESTY DEBATE IS “A DISTRACTION.” “It makes no sense for the United States Senate to shake its finger at the new government of Iraq and to criticize them… it really is a distraction from the debate that I think the American people would want us to have.”

SENATOR SAXBY CHAMBLISS: AMNESTY IS OK FOR EX-INSURGENTS AS LONG AS THEY ARE ON OUR SIDE NOW. “Is it not true today that we have Iraqis who are fighting the war against the insurgents, who at one time fought against American troops and other coalition troops as they were marching to Baghdad, who have now come over to our side and are doing one heck of a job of fighting along, side by side, with Americans and coalition forces, attacking and killing insurgents on a daily basis?”

Iraqi War Veterans Call Proposal 'Slap In The Face'

"The other day I read a newspaper article that filled me with rage and contempt. It was about the "reconciliation" that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki plans to offer the Sunni armed factions in Iraq. Al-Maliki is reportedly considering granting a limited amnesty to Iraqi insurgents who have killed "only" Americans but no Iraqis.

To a soldier who has been deployed to this country twice already, and has been out on the street fighting insurgents, this is an outrage. I take personal offense to al-Maliki's proposition to grant any kind of amnesty, limited or unlimited, to any insurgent who has been involved in terrorism against the United States. It seems to me as though al-Maliki has slapped all the families of wounded or dead soldiers in the face."
-- Lincoln Lease, an Army specialist serving in Baghdad, has been deployed in Iraq twice for a total of 18 months

The Republicans should be ashamed of themselves on for continuing to lie about Congressman Ford and this proposal. The facts clearly speak for themselves.

Further, the Republicans should really be ashamed for supporting this horrendous proposal, which does damage to our men and women in harm's way.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. has came out against this terrible proposal. That is the kind of judgement and leadership I want in my next U.S. Senator.

Watch Congressman Ford's new television ad here!

Listen to Congressman Ford's new radio ad here!

175 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!