National Security Lawmakers Question Talent Rubberstamp on Iraq
Senators Joe Biden (D-DE) and Bob Graham (D-FL) Emphasize Need For A Strong And Independent Voice Like Claire McCaskill In the Senate
Over the past week, U.S. Senate Candidate Claire McCaskill was joined by Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) and former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), who discussed with dismay and disbelief Senator Jim Talent's blind support for the war in Iraq and his failure to provide oversight of the Bush administration. While Talent has rubberstamped the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq, even saying that he would still vote to go to Iraq today, McCaskill vowed to be a strong and independent voice for changing the course in Iraq when she goes to Washington.
In Kansas City last Wednesday, McCaskill and Senator Biden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, talked about the failed policies in Iraq that have cost over 2700 American lives and $350 billion dollars. McCaskill highlighted Senator Jim Talent's position that knowing what we know now, that there were no weapons of mass destruction and that reports indicate that we are less safe in the world as a result, he would still vote to invade Iraq.
"I have been advocating a different course in Iraq from the very beginning of this campaign," McCaskill said. "Senator Talent has stood not with steadfastness, but almost with stubbornness. He has said not only do we need to stay indefinitely in Iraq, not only do we not need to change anything, but that even knowing what we know today, even knowing that we're not making progress, even knowing that there were no weapons of mass destruction, it would still be a good idea to go down the same path all over again."
Senator Biden, one of the Senate's most respected leaders on national security, voted for the war in 2002, but would now vote differently seeing how the war has led to increased terrorism across the globe and served as a distraction in capturing Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks of 9-11. He criticized Senator Talent's refusal to question the decision to go to war and his blind support for the Bush administration's "stay the course" policy in Iraq.
"Can Senator Talent actually say that there is any reason to believe that ?staying the course' has any prospect whatsoever of meeting our objectives of trading a dictator for a stable nation and being able to responsibly bring American forces home?," Biden said. "It's pretty easy as far as I'm concerned. If people like the way things are going now, if they think the future of Iraq looks pretty bright, if they think the future of the Middle East looks pretty good, if they think the way we're handling North Korea and Iran seems sound, then they should vote for Claire's opponent. But I don't know anybody who thinks that."
Today, former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) joined McCaskill on a call with reporters, where he discussed the Bush administration's failure to lead effectively on the war in Iraq. Sen. Graham, the former chairman of the Select Senate Committee on Intelligence, discussed how we need real leadership on the war in Iraq, not the rubberstamping that we have seen out of Senator Jim Talent.
"If we want a stable Middle East, we need to change course in Iraq," Graham said. "This is about training the Iraqi security forces, rebuilding our diplomatic alliances, and recommitting to victory in the real war on terror in Afghanistan, and making sure Iran doesn't acquire nuclear weapons. We need someone like Claire McCaskill who will call for these changes in the U.S. Senate."