Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Casey blasts Bush’s Iraq signing statement.

Posted on

"Casey blasts Bush’s Iraq signing statement."

Share:

google plus icon

Today on the Senate floor, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) sharply criticized President Bush’s signing statement on the Defense Authorization Act, which waives the ban on permanent bases in Iraq:

Every time a senior Administration official is asked about permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq, they contend that it is not their intention to construct such facilities. Yet this signing statement issued by the President yesterday is the clearest signal yet that the Administration wants to hold this option in reserve. Mr. President, that is exactly the wrong signal to send, both to the Iraqi government and its neighbors in the region.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/01/caseypermbp.320.240.flv]

Transcript:

In signing the DOD authorization bill into law, the President declared his right to ignore several important provisions, including the establishment of an important special commission to review wartime contracting. This provision was an initiative of the Senate Democratic freshmen class, led ably by Senators Webb and McCaskill. The President also declared his right to ignore a provision prohibiting funding for U.S. military bases or installations in Iraq that facilitate the “permanent stationing” of U.S. troops in Iraq. Let me translate that into plain language: this provision sought to prevent the United States from establishing permanent bases in Iraq.

Every time a senior Administration official is asked about permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq, they contend that it is not their intention to construct such facilities. Yet this signing statement issued by the President yesterday is the clearest signal yet that the Administration wants to hold this option in reserve. Mr. President, that is exactly the wrong signal to send, both to the Iraqi government and its neighbors in the region. Permanent U.S. military bases gives a blank check to an Iraqi government that has shown no evidence it is ready to step up and accept its responsibility to take the training wheels off and demonstrate real leadership and governance for the Iraqi people. Permanent U.S. military bases feeds the propaganda of our enemies, who argue that the U.S. invasion in 2003 was carried out only to secure access to Iraq’s oil and establish a strategic beachhead for the U.S. military in the region. Permanent U.S. military bases means that U.S. troops will be in Iraq for years to come, ensuring that the great strain on the U.S. military we see today will continue indefinitely.

Mr. President, we have a lot on our plate this year: injecting a badly needed boost for our economy, getting a handle on the subprime mortgage mess, and ensuring that our nation’s kids receive the health insurance they deserve. But the war in Iraq continues to be the central foreign policy challenge facing the President and the nation. When this President departs office after eight years, he should not — should not — commit our soldiers and our nation to ten more years, if not longer, and hundreds of billions of dollars more spent on the war in Iraq.

« »

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.