Skip to comments.ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!!
Posted on 07/17/2003 6:44:55 PM PDT by DTA
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH -- (House of Representatives - July 16, 2003)
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gingrey). The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Weldon) is recognized for 40 minutes.
Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, enough is enough. I sat in my office last night and listened to Member after Member on the other side rail about President Bush and whether or not we could trust him in the Iraqi situation. I have listened to my colleagues tonight. Enough is enough. Mr. Speaker, this is just outrageous.
So what I have done is I have got a whole file here, and I am going to remind my colleagues on the other side of the aisle about their President for the previous 8 years, and I am going to cite articles and claims and I am going to cite the justification for the invasion of Yugoslavia as outlined by President Clinton.
Where were these voices, where were these petitions, where were these outcries when President Clinton told us about the Balkans mass deaths to justify NATO's invasion into the Balkans? The Clinton administration claimed that ethnic cleansing had killed hundreds of thousands of people, and I will include the articles from the papers in the Congressional Record.
The Clinton administration was later criticized, and I have newspaper articles here to back it up by the press for grossly exaggerating the number of victims of ethnic cleansing, the mass graves. President Clinton told us we would find 100,000 people that were murdered and that was his justification for using NATO for the only time ever to invade a non-NATO country in order to justify a war against Slobodan Milosevic where U.S. citizens, where U.S. troops, and where innocent Serbs were killed. That is the first example.
And how about when President Clinton, to justify preservation of the outdated ABM treaty and to resist congressional pressure to deploy national missile defense asserted that the U.S. would not face an ICBM threat from rogue states for decades? In fact, in 1995 the Clinton administration took the unprecedented step of releasing a classified national intelligence estimate in an effort to sway public opinion because he had vetoed the defense bill. The notorious NIE-95-19 was widely criticized by experts, including the Clinton administration's own director of the CIA, Jim Woolsey, because he said that the President was exaggerating the facts. Just 3 years later in August of 1998, North Korea exposed the Clinton administration lie when it tested an ICBM missile, the Taepo Dong-1 missile. But the Clinton administration used the CIA to mislead this Congress. His own CIA director, Jim Woolsey, on the public record said so.
Let us talk about the agreed-upon framework. It was the Clinton administration that credited itself with stopping the emergence of a nuclear-armed North Korea when it concluded the agreed-framework with Pyongyang in 1994. Critics pointed out that North Korea had already built one or two atomic bombs and was continuing its nuclear weapons program, cheating on the agreed framework. Among these critics was the North Korea advisory group of this body and we stated in November 1999 that North Korea was developing atomic weapons despite the agreed framework. And what did the administration do? They said it was not happening.
Recently, North Korea exposed the Clinton administration lie when Pyongyang admitted that for the past several years it had been cheating on the agreed framework.
How about the most famous Clinton administration distortion, the grand lie? On over 100 occasions, including two State of the Union speeches, President Clinton credited himself with making America's children safe from the threat of nuclear war through the Moscow declaration of 1994 that supposedly removed the U.S. as a target from the guidance systems of Russian missiles. Less than 1 month after detargeting was supposed to take effect, during a major Russian strategic forces exercise held on June 22, 1994, Russian missile launches simulated strikes on the U.S., but President Clinton in the State of the Union speech on two occasions said you can sleep well tonight, America, because we have reassured the children of America that there is no fear of an offensive missile attack from Russia because we have detargeted those missiles.
High-ranking Russian officials contradicted the Clinton administration. In fact, Anton Surikov, a senior adviser to the Russian Ministry of Defense, acknowledged in a March 1995 interview, and this is after the State of the Union speech, when it was decided to detarget missiles, the decision was mostly of a political, propaganda character. And yet our President was at that podium telling the American people in two State of the Union speeches, you have nothing to worry about.
Where were my colleagues on the other side? Were they asleep? Where were their petition gatherings? Where were their demands for the honesty of the White House? Where were their outcries for the neck of the President? Where was their righteous indignation that we have been hearing on this floor tonight from my colleagues and last night from my colleagues? The silence is deafening because it is all partisan rhetoric. It is nothing but partisan rhetoric with no basis of substance.
President Clinton's former Director of CIA in testimony before Congress on February 12, 1998, said that the detargeting agreement was unverifiable, quickly reversible, and characterized as misleading.
Mr. Speaker, that was not a Republican talking; that was Jim Woolsey, CIA Director under Bill Clinton, calling his own President, who appointed him, misleading.
Where were the outcries from the other side? Where were the liberal groups across America demanding that President Clinton be held accountable? Where were they? All of a sudden today, this righteous indignation ringing out from our Democratic colleagues is sickening and disgusting.
Let us talk about M-11 missiles in Pakistan. The Clinton administration credited itself with greatly improving relations with China and achieving an understanding with Beijing on nonproliferation of technologies for missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Yet compelling evidence soon emerged that China was exporting M-11 missiles to Pakistan in direct violation of its understanding with the Clinton administration and the Missile Technology Control Regime.
The Clinton administration resisted congressional pressure to impose sanctions on China even though that is what should have been done for violating its commitments because it wanted to protect the administration's foreign policy record and public standing in the polls.
Consequently, despite overwhelming evidence that China was exporting missiles to Pakistan, the Clinton administration pretended that those missiles did not exist.
Mr. Speaker, in one night, in one day, I have listed five times of major significance that the leader of the party of the other side, these righteous, indignant people who have railed and whined and cried on the floor of this body said nothing about lies to the American people.
Mr. Speaker, some would say, well, these did not involve death of American citizens or war, and I would remind my colleagues, the justification that President Clinton used to take this country into war in Yugoslavia was basically a bunch of false information. In fact, it was the USA Today in July of 1999, an article that said, ``As the allied forces take control in Kosovo, many of the figures used by the Clinton administration and NATO were greatly exaggerated. Six hundred thousand ethnic Albanian men were not trapped within Kosovo or buried in mass graves, as President Clinton told a veterans group. Instead of 100,000 ethnic Albanian men feared murdered, officials now estimate about 10,000; and we think the confirmed number was 3,000.''
Mr. Speaker, that was from USA Today in 1999.
Let us go to the Little Rock newspapers. They did an investigative story on January 16, 2000, after the Clinton administration had made these outrageous claims of ethnic cleansing. Why did they say these things, Mr. Speaker? Because they wanted the Congress and they wanted the American people to support his war to get Milosevic out of power.
Let us read some of the quotes from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, January 16, 2000:
``Of 500 potential grave sites, 150 have been opened and, no, we have not found the 100,000 missing declared by President Clinton, or the lower but probably equally preposterous figure of 10,000 advanced by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and repeated by the BBC.''
This was not the Republican Party. This was the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on January 16, 2000, saying that all the justification that Clinton used to go to war in Yugoslavia was false, it was erroneous.
Where was the outcry by these liberal groups in this country? Where was the outcry by the Democrats we have seen running down to the well complaining that this President needs to be investigated? Where was the consistency of the principled position of my colleagues on the other side?
Let us go on, Mr. Speaker, with the Arkansas Democrat Gazette article of January 16, 2000: ``We have more than 10,000 photographs of graves, sites and bodies, and more than 300 hours of video, and we share all our evidence with the war crimes tribunal. From survivors who are giving us testimonies, we calculate there were 6,000 Kosovo Albanians killed in the 3 months of the war,'' not before the war, in the 3 months of the war which President Clinton led, ``and perhaps 2,000 still in Serbian prisons.''
Listen to this, Mr. Speaker. In the previous 12 months before the war, there were 1,000 killed. So 1,000 were killed in the previous months, 6,000 were killed in the immediate 3 months of the war itself by the bombs of the U.S., France and Germany and the other NATO countries.
``But then the figures become a little vague. The total of dead and missing becomes 7,000 rather than 8,000; the figure of prewar killings rises from 1,000 to 2,000.'' Mr. Speaker, the information leading up to President Clinton's decision to go to war in Yugoslavia is filled with gross, not just information distorted, gross distortions of fact, lies.
Where are my colleagues? What were they saying?
Let us go on, Mr. Speaker, to some other examples.
Here is an article from the Washington Post, March 26, 2000. The headline, Was It a Mistake? We Were Suckers for the KLA was the headline of this article written by Christopher Layne and Benjamin Schwartz. Let us go through some of the claims.
``Clinton's assertion,'' and I am quoting here, Mr. Speaker, ``at a June 25, 1999, postwar news conference that the bombing was a way to stop, quote, deliberate, systematic efforts at genocide,'' he called it genocide in Kosovo. It goes on to say, ``was either disingenuous or ignorant. Before the start of NATO's bombing on March 24, 1999, almost 2,000 civilians, overwhelmingly ethnic Albanians but also Serbs, had been killed in 15 months of bitter warfare. Up to that point, there had been no genocide or ethnic cleansing.'' The genocide and ethnic cleansing started when Bill Clinton and Jacques Chirac started the war against Milosevic.
I will go on, Mr. Speaker, this same article, Washington Post, March 26, 2000:
``Not only did the forced removal of civilians result from the NATO bombing, but administration claims of mass killings, made to rally popular support for the war, turn out to have been exaggerated. Clinton defended the intervention on the grounds that the Yugoslavs had slaughtered tens of thousands.'' President Clinton said tens of thousands, Mr. Speaker. It never turned out to be true. All lies. Secretary of Defense William Cohen termed it a, quote, horrific slaughter. The numbers we now have, according to this article in the Post, disprove those claims. U.N. numbers and U.S. numbers and Allied numbers say the information provided to Congress was wrong.
Let us go on to a story in the Contra Costa Times, March 4, 2000. ``We became involved in Kosovo after being bombarded with exorbitant claims of ethnic cleansing, subsequently proven exaggerated and largely committed after NATO started bombing.''
Another newspaper, Mr. Speaker. I do not remember my colleagues quoting from these papers. I do not remember my colleagues coming to the floor and demanding an investigation of Bill Clinton for distorting things. Not only were these distortions, they were outright, outright lies.
We will go on with that Contra Costa story of March 4, 2000:
``As a result of false and misleading news reports, Americans were led to believe tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians were killed by the Serbs and buried in mass graves. Many are still under that impression.
``According to U.N. investigators who have been scouring the area since the bombing stopped, the total number of ethnic Albanians killed by the Serbs is closer to 2,000, far fewer than the number of civilians killed by NATO bombers.''
Let me repeat that statement again, Mr. Speaker. Listen to this, please, quoted from the Contra Costa Times, March 4, 2000: ``According to U.N. investigators who scoured the area since the bombing stopped, the total number of ethnic Albanians killed by the Serbs is closer to 2,000, far fewer than the total number of civilians killed by NATO bombers.''
Let us go on to some additional articles, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the distortions of the other side are outrageous. I did not want to get up and do this. But I, Mr. Speaker, was sick and tired of sitting in my office listening to Members parade down here, 1-hour special orders, talking about how they were misled. What a crock, Mr. Speaker.
First of all, if any Member of Congress was misled by President Bush's State of the Union speech, then there has got to be something wrong with them, because the vote to give the President the use of force was in October of last year. What did they do, read the speech 3 months before it occurred? The vote did not come after the President's speech. These Members on the other side who voted to give the President the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein voted in the fall of last year, 3 months before President Bush made the State of the Union speech here.
Mr. Speaker, it is all partisan rhetoric, and I am sick of it. I am sick of it because it has no place. It has no place in this body on such a serious issue as our effort to fight the war on terrorism.
We saw the same thing with the agreed-upon framework, the lies about how we had stopped the nuclear program, and we found out just last summer that the North Koreans publicly admitted that they now had a highly enriched uranium program, were building nuclear bombs, reprocessing rods and could have cared less about an agreement signed in 1994. Yet the Clinton administration told us all along, don't worry.
Mr. Speaker, the North Korean advisory committee that issued a report to this body in 1999 had all of that documentation contained inside of it.
And, Mr. Speaker, I mentioned before the President's most famous line in the nineties, President Clinton's most famous line, that he did two times from that podium, was to stand up to the American people, look in the camera and bite his lip and say, you know, tonight the American people can sleep well because their children are protected, because no longer are Russian missiles pointed at America's children.
Mr. Speaker, that was a lie. It was a lie because the leader that I quoted from the Russian media said it, that it was purely for political purposes.
Jim Woolsey, who was Clinton's CIA Director, repeatedly said he wished the President would stop making those statements because there was no way to verify a detargeting practice. Did I hear my colleagues stand up and say what are they doing? Let us have an investigation of the President? Let us ask for an inquiry about what he is saying? Did I hear one Member on that side besides Jim Woolsey stand up publicly and say that Bill Clinton was misleading the American people? All of a sudden now it is election time, and they are attempting to tear George Bush down.
Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely sickening. It is disgusting, and I am not going to let it stand. If I have to get up here every night and repeat this information and ask my colleagues where they were during the 1990s, then I will do that.
On February 12, 1998, President Clinton's former CIA Director, Jim Woolsey, in testimony before Congress, strongly condemned as ``misleading'' the President's repeated claims that missile detargeting had reduced the Russian nuclear threat.
Let me read what Jim Woolsey said, Mr. Speaker. This is what Jim Woolsey, Bill Clinton's hand-appointed CIA Director said about the President: ``I wish he (President Clinton) would not continue to make that statement (about Russian missile detargeting) because though it may be technically correct ..... it is misleading ..... These missiles, (based upon) everything I have known about them over the years, could be retargeted'' in a manner of minutes or seconds. ``It is almost like saying ..... if I had a revolver here in my pocket and I took it out and pointed it at the ceiling, saying I am not targeting'' it, ``it is true. I would not be ..... I am pointing it at the ceiling. But if I lowered it,'' within a matter of seconds, ``I would be. It just takes a few seconds.''
In fact, Mr. Speaker, in an article written by Michael Waller for the American Foreign Policy Council about this whole issue of detargeting, it was actually not an article but it was testimony before the House Committee on Armed Services, he said about President Clinton's claim: ``This is a very serious claim. Yet technical experts say that the claim is impossible to make truthfully because the detargeting agreement is inherently impossible to verify.''
Mr. Speaker, I could go on and on. I did the research in 1 day. I could have gone on and probably spent weeks and weeks getting tons of additional information about the misstatements, about the denial of the missiles that were sent to Pakistan, about the misleading information leading up to the war in Kosovo. Yet we never heard one peep out of the other body. I raise all of these facts, Mr. Speaker, only as a defensive response to my colleagues on the other side. They have made such outrageous claims, and I heard it in 5-minute speeches tonight. I heard it in 1-hour Special Orders last night. I heard it right before I spoke here tonight like somehow this is not going to go refuted and, Mr. Speaker, I cannot do that. George Bush had the decency and honesty to say that when he made the State of the Union speech from that podium, perhaps that information given him, even though today he maintains it is still factually correct, should not have been included in the State of the Union speech. He was honest.
Where was the honesty of the previous President? Where was the other party that was down here railing about Bush and demanding a retraction? Where were these interest groups on the Internet demanding that we have accountability through petition drives? Where were they? They did not exist because they are a part of the Democrat machine that did not care what Bill Clinton said, did not care about distortions, did not care about out-and-out lies.
Mr. Speaker, I cannot put this entire statement in the RECORD because it would not be acceptable. I am going to put the major thrust of it in the RECORD, and I am going to ask that the quotations that I have outlined be highlighted for my colleagues to read tomorrow and for the American people to see.
Mr. Speaker, the vote on supporting the use of force for President Bush was not taken after the President's State of the Union speech. The vote by my colleagues, and they claim they were affected by what he said. I do not know how they could have been affected because that vote was taken last October, 3 months before President Bush spoke here; and what is interesting, Mr.
Speaker, is the vote was not close. Colleagues on both sides of the aisle overwhelmingly supported giving the President the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Why did we do that? Because Saddam Hussein for 10 years had denied the demands of the unified world community. Everyone knew he had weapons of mass destruction. He used them on his own people. In a previous floor speech, I gave the numbers of the amount of innocent Iraqi people and Kurdish people that were killed. But what amazes me, Mr. Speaker, is this rhetoric coming from the other side.
I heard one of my colleagues stand up and say never has a President used force to remove someone from office for human rights violations. And I remember who the speaker was, Mr. Speaker; but I am not going to name him tonight, but I know the gentleman and if I get pressed on it, I will name him and I will pull his comments out of the Congressional Record. Where was that gentleman, who happens to be a Democrat, when President Clinton justified the use of our military to remove Slobodan Milosevic from power because of human rights violations? Where are my colleagues? In fact, that is exactly what happened.
I think the administration made some mistakes in leading up to the Iraqi war. I remember being on this floor, Mr. Speaker, when Secretary of State Colin Powell was giving us a briefing, and he was talking about weapons of mass destruction. I had a chance to ask him a question. I said, Mr. Secretary, you need to talk more about the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein, which the American people can relate to. After all, it was Bill Clinton who justified the use of force to remove Milosevic from power for human rights violations, and everyone in the world from the U.N. to Amnesty
International admits publicly that Saddam Hussein is far worse than Milosevic ever was. So why do you not bring out the human rights violations of Saddam Hussein?
Why would my colleagues on the other side think it was okay to support President Clinton in using military force to remove Milosevic from power, and, by the way, they did not go to the U.N. for that vote because France knew Russia would veto a U.N. resolution? How could they support that military action, but then question President Bush when he uses military action to remove the worst human rights violator since Adolph Hitler from power just this year? And that claim of Saddam Hussein's being the worst human rights violator since Adolph Hitler does not come from me. It comes from the U.N. Special Rappateur for human rights when he was comparing the human rights record of Saddam Hussein.
Mr. Speaker, enough is enough. Members of the other side have whined. They have cried. They have screamed. They have been absolutely outrageously loud in saying that George Bush needs to be held accountable. Mr. Speaker, George Bush is accountable. The U.S. Congress supported the President in his actions against Saddam. Almost 50 nations of the world supported George Bush in our actions against Saddam. Many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle supported George Bush in his actions against Saddam. And they did not do that because of any speech made here. They did it because of the facts. And for my colleagues to run around this city, for the contenders for the Presidency on the Democrat side to go to a national forum and declare that George Bush has misled the American people is garbage. It is poppycock. There has been no misleading. If my colleagues on the other side and if the nine candidates for the Presidential nomination of the other party want to take and look at some misleading statements, I invite them to get the Congressional Record from tonight.
Look at the facts, Mr. Speaker. Look at the facts on the Balkan mass death claims, those hundreds of thousands of people that Bill Clinton said were murdered that justified our use of military action. Look at the President's statements about new missile threats and how the national intelligence estimate in 1995 was politicized, the only national intelligence estimate ever changed by the CIA because of the Rumsfeld Commission, 3 years after Bill Clinton vetoed our defense bill based on his misstatements; the agreed-upon framework with North Korea where the Clinton administration, until it left office, said that it was in fact successful in accomplishing the objective of eliminating the North Korean nuclear program. Lies and distortions. The detargeting agreement, President Clinton's famous statement of over 100 times. In fact, we used to have a contract to keep track of him.
It got up to 135 times, that we could count, that President Clinton's speeches made the same statement he made twice here from this pulpit, distorting the facts to the American people for his political benefit, or the story about the M-11 missiles not being in Pakistan, when everyone knew they were there. These are just a few, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I will make this commitment to my colleagues. If this partisan rhetoric continues on the floor, I will be back here every night and I will refute it, and I will bring out more of the gross Clinton lies and distortions which that side remained silent on year after year after year. I challenge them to end this garbage. Enough is enough, Mr. Speaker.
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It is in the breaking news sidebar!
(I think he said it all)
Instead, they're playing this silly defensive game and handing the initiative to the Democrats. Is Karl Rove on vacation or something? I can't for the life of me understand the Administration's strategy here, unless they simply don't have one.
Bill Clinton, Meet the Press, February 17, 1996:
"Now, let's imagine the future. What if he [Saddam] fails to comply and we fail to act or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And someday, some way, I guarantee you, he will use the arsenal."
Freep & Roll!
Pres. Bush and his cabinet gave this claim all the attention it deserved last weekend, imho.
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