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Senators Challenge Bush Administration’s Claim That Sudan Is ‘A Strong Partner In War On Terror’

By Faiz Shakir on May 4, 2007 at 5:21 pm

"Senators Challenge Bush Administration’s Claim That Sudan Is ‘A Strong Partner In War On Terror’"

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bushLast week, the State Department released its 2006 terrorism report, which included this judgment about Sudan: “The Sudanese government was a strong partner in the War on Terror and aggressively pursued terrorist operations directly involving threats to U.S. interests and personnel in Sudan.”

But Sudan remains on the State Department’s list as a state sponsor of terror. And as a result of state-sponsored genocide, hundreds of thousands of people have died in Darfur and 2.5 million more have been forced to flee their homes. On April 18 in a speech at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, President Bush criticized the Sudanese government:

Sudan’s government has moved arms to Darfur, conducted bombing raids on villages, they’ve used military vehicles and aircraft that are painted white — which makes them look like those deployed by humanitarian agencies and peacekeeping forces.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Olympia Snow (R-ME), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) wrote a letter today to National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell questioning the basis for the administration’s claim that Sudan “is a strong partner in the war on terror.” Feingold issued the following statement:

The Administration needs to explain why its recent terrorism report described the government of Sudan, a state sponsor of terrorism which has been behind the genocide in Darfur, as a “strong partner in the War on Terror.” As we seek to stop the genocide, it is critical that Congress have all necessary information related to this administration’s policies and priorities in Sudan.

In November 2001, Bush said partners in the war against terror networks would be put to a simple test: “You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.” But today, when asked about the discrepancy in its Sudan policy, White House spokesman Tony Fratto replied: “Look, the situation in Sudan is complicated.”

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