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Rep. Dennis Kucinich Stands Alone Opposed to Sept. 11 Commemoration Resolution,2933,296430,00.html

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

WASHINGTON — Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Democratic presidential candidate and no stranger to contrarian views, was the sole congressman Tuesday to vote against the House's Sept. 11 commemoration resolution.

Tuesday's nonbinding resolution was a relatively short document. It had 12 "whereas" clauses — stating things like what happened the day of the terrorist attacks, who was affected and how terrorists have been targeted since then — and six resolution paragraphs establishing Sept. 11 as a day of remembrance, extending sympathies to families of victims who died and honoring those who have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"It is important that Congress wake up to the truth and exercise its obligation under the Constitution to save our nation from being destroyed from the lies that took us into Iraq, the lies that keep us there, the lies that are being used to set the stage for war against Iran and the lies that have undermined our basic civil liberties here at home," Kucinich said in a statement.

"The September 11 resolution that Congress considers today should have made reference to those matters. It does not, so I cannot support it," Kucinich said, also calling for a halt for further war funding and the troops to be brought home.

He was outvoted 334-1. Ninety-eight members weren't present; for the most part, they were either attending Sept. 11 commemorations or the out-of-town memorial service for Ohio Rep. Paul Gillmor, or they had departed town early for the Jewish holidays.

Click here to see how your representative voted for the resolution.

The Ohio Democrat's statement mirrored remarks he's made along the campaign trail, as well as those in a recent interview on Syrian television. The interview followed a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad during a Middle East tour.

"The fact of the matter is we are all being weakened by continuing a war that's based on a lie. This war was based on lies. Iraq didn't have the weapons of mass destruction. It wasn't connected to 9/11. It had nothing to do with Al Qaeda's role in 9/11," Kucinich said.

In the Sept. 2 interview in Syria, Kucinich — casting off State Department calls last month for White House contenders to stay out of international politics as well as conventions of U.S. politicians not criticizing each other beyond U.S. borders — described a positive meeting meeting with Assad. He then criticized the war effort and President Bush's handling of it.

Kucinich said it "was a very good meeting. It was a meeting where President Assad showed a real desire to play a role in helping to create a peaceful settlement of the conditions in Iraq, as well as a grander approach towards creating peace. So it was a very important meeting, and I felt honored to have the chance to speak with him."

Kucinich then suggested that the United States should pay war reparations to Iraqis. "The United States must take steps to repair the damage that has been done to the lives of the people of Iraq for the people who have lost their lives," he said, adding that the debate on the Iraq war has been skewed by false information.

Asked if he thought Bush would apply the same thinking in Lebanon — which borders Syria — as he has with respect to Iraq, Kucinich responded: "I think it's probably true, and of course this is part of the tragedy that our president is not understanding the mountain of evidence which indicates what a failure the policy in Iraq has been."

Kucinich said he memorials those who died in the attacks as well as troops in the field, but opposed the wording of the resolution.

"I honor the memory of those who died on September 11 and extend sympathies to their family members and to those who lost their lives trying to save lives. I support the troops," Kucinich said in the statement he issued before casting his vote.

Kucinich votes against 9/11 anniversary resolution
Posted by Sabrina Eaton September 11, 2007 11:20AM

Cleveland Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich was the only member of Congress on Monday night to vote against a symbolic resolution to recognize September 11 as a day of remembrance, extend sympathies to those who lost their lives and their families and honor emergency workers and the U.S. armed forces.

Kucinich issued a press release before the vote, criticizing the resolution as "incomplete," and saying that Congress needs to "wake up to the truth and exercise its obligation under the Constitution to save our nation from being destroyed from the lies that took us into Iraq, the lies that keep us there, the lies that are being used to set the stage for war against Iran and the lies that have undermined our basic civil liberties here at home."

"The September 11 resolution that Congress considers today should have made reference to those matters," he continued. "It does not, so I cannot support it."

Kucinich's presidential campaign sent an e-mail this morning to supporters titled "Remembering 9/11" that urged America to "regain the moral high ground in our efforts to recover from 9/11."
"We need to call those who used 9/11 to take us into war against Iraq to an accounting under the U.S. Constitution, U.S. law and international law," Kucinich said in the e-mail.

Yesterday, the U.S. officer in charge of military operations in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, testified before the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees. Kucinich says Petraeus attempted to mislead Congress, however, and the Cleveland congressman issued a press release that demanded withdrawal of all U.S. troops.

Kucinich was taking heat from right-wing bloggers this morning after distribution of a Syrian television interview in which he blasts U.S. foreign policy. On a trip to the Middle East earlier this month, Kucinich visited camps for Iraqi refugees in Syria, and met with the presidents of Syria and Lebanon. He told the Associated Press that he didn't visit Iraq because "I don't want to bless that occupation with my presence."

In an interview conducted after Kucinich returned from the trip, MSNBC commentator Tucker Carlson asked Kucinich whether he was "uncomfortable" attacking his own country in the presence of one of its sworn enemies, and whether he recognized Syria might use his visit for propaganda purposes.

"I don't embrace any nation's foreign policy wholesale," Kucinich replied. "But I do want to see for myself. The president of Iraq did not ask me to go see the refugees. I asked to see the refugees."

An e-mail that Kucinich sent his presidential supporters about the trip said Kucinich and his wife "traveled to a troubled, dangerous region of the world to meet with heads of state and other political leaders to find ways to solve the problems, mitigate the dangers, and find common ground for diplomatic cooperation - and PEACE."

"While the other leading candidates for the Presidency were spending the Labor Day weekend campaigning at picnics, barbeques, state and county fairs and parading in front of the cameras, YOUR candidate, Dennis Kucinich, without fanfare, was quietly traveling throughout the troubled Middle East in search of real-world solutions to monumental global challenges," the e-mail began.

Kucinich will be visiting North Dakota and Hawaii later this week, newspapers in those states report. Kucinich was one of the few Democratic presidential candidates that wasn't invited to Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's yearly steak fry this weekend, and it's not because he's a vegan. Harkin's aides told the New York Times that Kucinich and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel weren't invited "because neither has established an active campaign organization in Iowa."

Kucinich Scolds US On Syrian TV
September 11, 2007

Dennis Kucinich: There are many good-hearted people in the United States. I love my country.

Interviewer: You're one of them.

Dennis Kucinich: Thank you. But I love my country, and I want my country to be loved by the world.

Interviewer: Which is not happening at the moment.

Dennis Kucinich: I know that, and that hurts me. It hurts my heart to know how America is seen in places around the world right now. But in my own way I am trying to change that, and the best way that we can change that is by telling the truth. The truth is the war was wrong. The truth is that great damage has been done to the Iraqi people. The truth is that we have to find a way to heal that. The truth is that we have to reach out to the world to get help. And so all those things are what I try to do to follow the path of the truth, and I think that as America shows its goodness once again we can cause the world to love America once again. And that's what I'm about.

The fact of the matter is we are all being weakened by continuing a war that's based on a lie. This war was based on lies. Iraq didn't have the weapons of mass destruction. It wasn't connected to 9/11.

It had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda's role in 9/11. What are we there for?

So I have stood up repeatedly and said: "Look, stop the war." Once the war started: "Here's the plan to get out and stop funding the war." And so we've had many opportunities now and I think it's very clear that we now have to focus on a peace plan, reach out to the world community, and that can only happen with those of us who are involved in the process meeting with people to see if there is an interest.

And I'll tell you, President Assad, today, indicated a very strong interest in playing a role to help bring about stability in Iraq, and the fact of the matter is - whether the Bush administration wants to admit it or not – that President Assad is actually helping by providing a sanctuary in which Iraqi refugees can come.

This is a great humanitarian crisis that's been created by this war. And Syria is one of the few countries in the world who has opened its arms to the Iraqi refugees, who have come here, with only the clothes on their back, and are looking for a way to survive. It is an extraordinary gesture on the part of the Syrian government that they would provide an opportunity for people to save their lives.

And so this is something that I think needs to be recognized. And it also shows that here is a man, President Assad, who should be respected and appreciated for the role that he has played. And so it is important for the United States to take that gesture as a sign, a very powerful demonstration, of the willingness to try to achieve peace. And I think we need to move forward with that understanding.

Interviewer: So does George Bush actually not see himself as having failed in Iraq? Does he think that he has done something right?

Dennis Kucinich: I would expect that he probably believes that he's doing the right thing.

Interviewer: So he would continue using the same rhetoric in Lebanon as well - this is with Syria in mind.

Dennis Kucinich: I think that's probably true. And of course, this is part of the tragedy - that our president is not understanding the mountain of evidence which indicates what a failure the policy in Iraq has been.

Not only failure, but how totally wrong it was from the beginning. Because you can talk about something being a failure, and perhaps the cause may have been correct. But in this case, the cause was wrong from the beginning.

In the Christian Bible, there is a phrase that says: "That which is crooked cannot be made straight." The effort against Iraq was dishonest, or crooked, from the beginning, and nothing good can come of it, except: The international community is needed to become involved to put together a peace-keeping and security force that can move in as the U.S. determines that it must end the occupation, close the bases, bring the troops home. That's the direction we must take. But we have to understand that the policy was based on a lie.

View video HERE

Update: Rep. Dennis Kucinich Stands Alone Opposed to Sept. 11 Commemoration Resolution

Combat Vet Becomes Kucinich Campaign Manager
Posted : Wed, 12 Sep 2007 13:09:45 GMT
Author : Kucinich for President 2008
Category : PressRelease
News Alerts by Email click here ),176276.shtml

Democratic candidate for president and member of Congress Dennis Kucinich has issued a statement calling a recent court ruling that struck down key elements of the Patriot Act: "A major victory for the U.S. constitution and the civil liberties of Americans, and a stunning rebuke of the Bush Administration's abuse of power and of the Congress that permitted and reauthorized such abuses."

As a member of Congress Kucinich has been an outspoke opponent of the Patriot Act since the Act's inception in 2001. According a statement issued by his campaign, Kucinich is the only Democratic candidate seeking the presidency that voted against the original Patriot Act and also voted against last year's reauthorization of the Act by congress.

Kucinich was quoted as saying that the ruling proved that no government official or agency is above the law. New York U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero struck down parts of the Patriot Act related to controversial "national security letters" that ordered telephone and Internet companies to turn over private customer information without notifying the customers in question.

The use of these letters required no court approval. The Patriot Act also made it illegal for the companies to even acknowledge receiving a national security letter.

Kucinich used the opportunity to point out that some of the other Democratic candidates had voted for the Patriot Act. "Congress passed an unconstitutional and unconscionable law in 2001, and then, failing to recognize its mistake, re-authorized the law last year," he said. "What makes this situation even more dumbfounding is that five Democrats who voted in the U.S. Senate to support that unconstitutional law are now asking to be elected President.

If my colleagues had made the right decision in 2001 and in 2006, they would be in a better position today to claim they have the leadership, experience, and wisdom to be President. Their records, however, on this and other issues, such as the war in Iraq, tell a very different story."Civil rights groups across the nation also celebrated the verdict.

The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement praising the decision. ACLU staff attorney Melissa Goodman has this to day about the case: ""As the court recognized, there must be real, meaningful judicial checks on the exercise of executive power. Without oversight, there is nothing to stop the government from engaging in broad fishing expeditions, or targeting people for the wrong reasons, and then gagging Americans from ever speaking out against potential abuses of this intrusive surveillance power."

More from last night's Dem debateMSNBC - Sep 10, 2007

On Iraq, all of the candidates called for a troop withdrawal -- with Kucinich being the first, and he received a large applause from the audience. ...Kucinich, Democrats talk Iraq, immigration in Univision debate WTOLDems Agree on Iraq, Immigration The Associated PressLatinos Big Winners in Univision Candidate Debate New California MediaNew York Timesall 546 news articles »

All summer, Republicans have used the so-called "Petraeus Report" to delay dealing with growing anti-war sentiment.

In June, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said:

"I think everybody anticipates that there's going to be a new strategy in the fall. I don't think we'll have the same level of troops, in all likelihood, that we have now. The Iraqis will have to step up, not only on the political side, but on the military side, to a greater extent. We're not there forever. I think they understand that, and the time to properly evaluate that, it strikes me, is in September."

And in July, President Bush said,

"I welcome a good, honest debate about the consequences of failure, the consequences of success in this war. But I believe that it's in this nation's interests to give the commander a chance to fully implement his operations. I believe Congress ought to wait for Gen. Petraeus to come back and give his assessment of the strategy that he's putting in place before they make any decisions."

This week, General Petraeus testified before Congress, asking for more time. He wants to wait until March to make recommendations about bringing our troops home.

Tell them that the time to make those decisions is right now -- just as they've been saying all summer.

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