Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007: Today, we sadly find ourselves at the very point in Iraq I feared most when I opposed giving the President the open-ended authority to wage this war in 2002 – an occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences in the midst of a country torn by civil war.
We have waited and we have been patient. We have given chance after chance for a resolution that has not come, and, more importantly, watched with horror and grief the tragic loss of thousands of brave young Americans.
The time for waiting in Iraq is over. The days of our open-ended commitment must come to a close. And the need to bring this war to an end is here.
That is why today, I’m introducing the Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007. This plan would not only place a cap on the number of troops in Iraq and stop the escalation, it would begin a phased redeployment of U.S. forces with the goal of removing of all U.S. combat forces from Iraq by March 31st, 2008 – consistent with the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that the President ignored.
The redeployment of troops to the United States , Afghanistan , and elsewhere in the region would begin no later than May 1st of this year, toward the end of the timeframe I first proposed in a speech more than two months ago. In a civil war where no military solution exists, this redeployment remains our best leverage to pressure the Iraqi government to achieve the political settlement between its warring factions that can slow the bloodshed and promote stability.
The U.S. military has performed valiantly and brilliantly in Iraq . Our troops have done all we have asked them to do and more. But no amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else’s civil war, nor settle the grievances in the hearts of the combatants.
When it comes to the war in Iraq, the time for promises and assurances, for waiting and patience, is over. Too many lives have been lost and too many billions have been spent for us to trust the President on another tried and failed policy opposed by generals and experts, Democrats and Republicans, Americans and even the Iraqis themselves.
It is time to change our policy.
It is time to give Iraqis their country back.
And it is time to refocus America ’s efforts on the challenges we face at home and the wider struggle against terror yet to be won.
U.S. Senator Barack Obama
Sounds like a plan worth investigating. We especially need to deploy more troops to Afghanistan - which we can actually attach to involvement in US terrorism and that actually wants us there.
Gonzales: ‘There Is No Express Grant of Habeas Corpus In The Constitution’
Yesterday, during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claimed there is no express right to habeas corpus in the U.S. Constitution. Gonzales was debating Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) about whether the Supreme Court’s ruling on Guantanamo detainees last year cited the constitutional right to habeas corpus. Gonzales claimed the Court did not cite such a right, then added, “There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.”
Specter pushed back. “Wait a minute. The constitution says you can’t take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus, unless there is an invasion or rebellion?” Specter told Gonzales, “You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.”
As McJoan (from The Daily Kos) noted, the right of habeas corpus is clear in Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 of the Contitution: “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”
"... I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America — there’s the United States of America.
There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.
The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats.
But I’ve got news for them, too.
We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States.
We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States.
There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it.
We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."