Murtha introduces resolution seeking Rumsfeld's resignation
Deutsche Presse Agentur/RAW STORY
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Wednesday September 13, 2006
A key Democrat in the US House of Representatives introduced a resolution on Wednesday demanding Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resign over the conflict in Iraq. John Murtha, the ranking Democrat on the House panel for defence spending, accused Rumsfeld of misleading Americans about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, failing to properly develop post-war strategies for stabilizing the country and sending US troops into battle without proper equipment.
"For the good of the country, the United States of America must restore credibility both at home and abroad and that the first step" is "immediately effecting the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld," the proposed resolution says.
Rumsfeld has come under increasing pressure to step down as opposition Democrats hope to capitalize on weak public support for the conflict in Iraq in order to regain control of the House and Senate in November 7 congressional elections.
"Secretary Rumsfeld has failed in managing the military response to this threat and should be replaced with someone who is capable of not only recognizing the mistakes that have been made but addressing them head on for the good of our military and our great nation," Murtha wrote in a post featured at Huffington Post.
Full text of Murtha's resolution:
H. Con. Res. __
Expressing the Sense of Congress that the President should immediately replace the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 13, 2006
Mr. Murtha introduced the following resolution, which was referred to the committee on___
After 9/11, the United States government had unprecedented support from international allies as well as the American people for military action against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan
The initial phase of the war in Afghanistan was successful in dismantling al Qaeda operations, removing the Taliban authority which was harboring al Qaeda, and allowing for the Afghani people to establish a representative government
The Secretary of Defense imposed a cap on the number of ground forces in Afghanistan prior to the war in Iraq
The Bush administration concluded in April 2002 that Osama bin Laden was in Tora Bora, Afghanistan during the battle for Tora Bora in December of 2001 and that the failure to commit the sufficient number of ground forces directly resulted in the failure to capture him
A resurgence of Taliban influence and violence is now occurring in Afghanistan
In the months prior to the war in Iraq, The Secretary of Defense repeatedly and forcefully asserted to Congress and the American people that there was no question that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that they were a threat to the United States, which is now known to be false
The Secretary of Defense rejected estimates from top military commanders regarding the troop strength that would be required to secure Iraq, failed to anticipate the level of violent opposition among Iraqis to US occupation, and publicly doubted the war in Iraq would take [longer than] six months
The Secretary of Defense expressly forbade his staff to develop a plan for post-war Iraq and threatened to fire anyone who raised the issue
The Secretary of Defense failed to ensure that US troops had adequate protective gear for their mission at the start of the Iraq war, including a shortage of 40,000 protective body armor units, radio frequency jammers to thwart remote detonation of improvised explosive devices, and up-armored high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs)
Failure of the Secretary of Defense to anticipate the troop strength needed to secure Iraq or to develop a post-war plan resulted in foreign fighters entering the country who have incited attacks against US soldiers and fomented sectarian violence, the latter of which has precipitated a civil war between Sunni and Shia Iraqis
The Secretary of Defense asserted at the start of the Iraq war that Iraqi oil production would pay for the war yet US expenditures in Iraq now exceed $8 billion per month and Iraqi oil production is still below prewar levels
The Secretary of Defense failed to provide the necessary training, supervision, personnel and guidelines for the management of prisoners and detainees which directly led to the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, severely undermining US efforts to win hearts and minds of the Iraqi people critical to securing Iraq
The Secretary of Defense has failed to address the flagging readiness of US ground forces, in particular the US Army, whose preparedness for war has eroded to levels not witnessed by our country in decades, thus hindering the ability of the US to respond to other potential threats to national security
US armed forces cannot sustain the current operational tempo in Iraq and a large percentage of US troops have done over three tours in Iraq
With 130,000 troops, key measures of success in Iraq have not been met and in some cases are worsening, including: the level of employment; the level of oil production; the level of electricity production; the training of Iraqi security forces; and the number of violent incidents, which have increased from an average of 400 per week before the establishment of an interim Iraqi government in the spring of 2004 to almost 800 per week this year
The Secretary of Defense has failed to ensure adequate accounting of billions of dollars of expenditures of the Coalition Provisional Authority
At the time of the introduction of this resolution, 2,672 US service members have died in Iraq and 337 have died in Afghanistan, exceeding the number of people who died on 9/11; in addition, over 20,000 US service members have been wounded
Terrorism incidents around the world have increased since the US entered Iraq
A survey of 116 top national security experts indicates that eighty-seven percent of them believe the Iraq war has had a negative impact on the war on terrorism while ninety three percent of them believe that the war in Afghanistan has had a positive impact on the war on terrorism
Democrats and Republicans are united against terrorism; Democrats and Republicans are united for a strong military; Democrats and Republicans are united for a strong America
Therefore, be it resolved that --------
It is the sense of the Congress that, for the good of the country, the United States of America must restore credibility both at home and abroad and that the first step toward restoring that credibility must be to demonstrate accountability for the mistakes that have been made in prosecuting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by immediately effecting the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and replacing him with someone capable of leading the nation's military in a strategy to resolve our deployment in Iraq, prevent regression in Afghanistan, reconstitute our military readiness, and refocus on the threats to national security posed by diffuse and proliferating terrorist cells as well as belligerent states.
JOHN P. MURTHA
Member of Congress