Pallone Calls for Secretary Rumsfeld's Resignation
"Mr. Speaker, the Iraq War has been an utter failure. Since the very beginning, with its refusal to truly internationalize the war, the Bush administration has shown nothing but arrogance towards anyone outside its inner circle----whether that be Congress or the International Community. Unfortunately, the administration is now paying the price and our U.S. troops in Iraq are paying with their lives.
"There seems to be a sense from Republicans here in Congress that anyone who questions the actions of the Bush administration is not supporting our troops.
"Mr. Speaker, when are Congressional Republicans going to realize that President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld have absolutely no idea what they're doing?
"How many more months should we sit by silently enduring the kind of month we had in April? How many more months can we ignore the fact that the miniscule amount of international support we once had in Iraq continues to shrink? How many more months are we supposed to sit by silently and not question the Bush administration on why it did not develop a post-Saddam plan before going to war?
"It's time that someone is held accountable in this administration. It's time for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign.
"Mr. Speaker, on the issue of Iraq, Republicans here in the House of Representatives passively obey President Bush, refusing to ever question any action taken by the Bush administration.
"And now with the unveiling of these deplorable and disgusting pictures of abuse from Iraq, House Republicans once again obediently follow their leader, President Bush. Today, House Democrats called on this House to oversee the Bush administration and investigate these awful actions.
"In the other chamber, Secretary Rumsfeld is scheduled to testify tomorrow on his role in the horrific abuses committed by a few American interrogators. I would imagine my colleagues over in the other chamber will ask Secretary Rumsfeld why he never mentioned these pictures during a visit to Capitol Hill last week, hours before they would appear on a CBS News magazine. I would imagine my colleagues over there will ask Secretary Rumsfeld why he never bothered to read the Taguba report, even though it had been on his desk for more than a month, before these outrageous instances of abuse finally came to light on CBS News?
"Mr. Speaker, those are valid questions and they should not only be asked in the U.S. Senate. It's time Congressional House Republicans take their oversight responsibility seriously and call on Secretary Rumsfeld to come up here and answer these questions.
"Earlier this week, when Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay was asked whether or not he'd call for an investigation into the abuse of prisoners in Iraq, DeLay responded: 'A full-fledged investigation, that's like saying we need hearings on every case of police brutality. I don't think they're warranted.'
"For the Majority Leader to minimize the horrific abuses committed in Iraq, does nothing to help our troops in Iraq. The U.S. Congress must show the Arab world that it takes this issue seriously so we can save the lives of American troops in the future.
"Mr. Speaker, if we truly want to support our troops in combat, the U.S. House of Representatives must truly oversee the actions of the Bush administration. Failing that, we're truly failing our troops."