(Washington, DC) -
Statement from the House Floor
By Rep. Cynthia McKinney
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to join my colleague, Congressman Owens, in commending Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey for her consistent and strong voice in opposition to the war in Iraq, something that is needed in this Congress. She utters words and takes positions that we need to hear in this Congress, and those positions reflect the positions of the American people and the people in her district. I've had the opportunity to actually visit her district, and I know that Lynn speaks well with respect to the issues and their positions on this war.
I would like to talk about another aspect of President Bush's Middle East Policy that I think could be problematic for us if the interpretation is one along the lines of the interpretation of information that was received that led us into the war in Iraq. And what I'm talking about is the April 26th National Emergency that was declared by President Bush. On that day, he issued an Executive Order to freeze the assets of those suspected to have been involved in the October 1, 2004 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others.
On the face of it, this might look like a straightforward attempt to bring justice to the perpetrators of a heinous act of terrorism. But I decided that I would not just rest with the Speaker's announcement, the Clerk's announcement and that I would actually read the document. And I read the document, and then I re-read the document and then I read it for a third time. And when we examine the language of the document, we have to ask ourselves: are there some other motives involved in the issuance of this executive order?
The reason I say that is because of the language that's used in the executive order. It says that this executive order applies to persons involved in:
"any other bombing that implicates the Government of Syria or its officers or agents."
Now, the key word is "implicate," because that means that you're talking about bringing into intimate or incriminating connection. Well, I remember (I wasn't in this body in 2003), but the President chose to invade Iraq in 2003 because we were told that Iraq was implicated in possessing weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq was implicated in the tragic events of September 11th. We now know that both of those implications were false.
But that is after nearly 2,500 young men and women from these shores have been killed, countless thousands others have either mangled bodies or addled minds as a result of the shock and the shell shock and the presence in the theater of war. How many tens of thousands of Iraqis are now dead as a result of the implications that the American people were told and then action taken on those implications?
Now, once again, the president is implicating an Arab regime and taking action that pre-empts a conclusive investigation into the facts. This administration has already made ominous utterances about the need for regime change in both Syria and Iran, and I would just ask this Congress, before it relinquishes any more power, please examine the facts before we plunge ourselves into another military disaster in the Middle East. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.