Monday, June 07, 2004

An email from Representative Henry Waxman

Earlier I posted on my blog the letter I emailed to my congressional representatives expressing my outrage at the Abu Ghraib torture (and murder) cases.

Today, Representative Waxman wrote me back. I've edited his email slightly and inserted his hyperlinks.

* * * * *

June 7, 2004

Dear Mr. Axton:

Thank you for contacting me about the deplorable situation created by the Bush Administration in Iraq. I'm glad to know we are in substantial agreement on this matter of crucial importance.

The abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners by members of the United States military, as well as civilian contractors, is unconscionable. I've called for the resignation or dismissal of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld because it is clear to me that the source of the misconduct extends beyond the seven soldiers facing court martial.

While I share your outrage about these abuses, I voted against H.Res. 627, a resolution condemning the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib, because it did not go far enough. I hope you will take a moment to read my statement in the Congressional Record, which explains my thinking on this issue in greater detail. The statement is available on my [website].

From the bad intelligence and misleading statements that were used to justify this war; to the no-bid process and conflicts of interest in issuing contracts for rebuilding; to the revelations of prison abuses and the Administration's disregard for the Geneva Conventions; to the poor understanding of what would be needed for post-war planning, this Administration has failed the military, the American people, the Iraqi people, and the international community. It has consistently refused to acknowledge failures, let alone accept any responsibility to rectify them.

Last year I introduced legislation to establish an Independent Commission on Intelligence about Iraq (H.R. 2625). I have also compiled a searchable database called "Iraq on the Record," a collection of the more than 230 specific misleading statements made about the Iraq threat by the President, Vice President, and other officials at the highest levels of the Administration. You may review the database [here].

You can be sure that I will continue my efforts to hold the Bush administration accountable for its policies in Iraq. To learn more about these efforts, please visit my website at

Thank you again for writing and please keep in touch on
issues of concern.

With kind regards, I am


Henry A. Waxman
Member of Congress

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