Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Report on Representative John Murtha's Appearance in Miami Saturday

A Report on Representative John Murtha's Appearance in Miami Saturday

The Question:
"What can an ordinary citizen do?"
was answered... at Florida International University's Biscayne Bay Campus.

Saturday, June 24th Rep. Carey & Kendrick Meek and Acting Provost Dr. Ronald Berkman
welcome featured speaker Rep. John Murtha of PA former chair and ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee and subcommittee on defense.

Starting an hour late due to powerful south Florida thunderstorms, a Townhall Meeting was held entitled: THE WAR ON IRAQ. The meeting started with a round of introductions. A welcoming speech by Acting Provost Dr. Berkman was followed with an introduction of Congressperson Kendrick Meeks.

Congressman Meeks then explained, that he received his call to service as a young man,
hearing from so many of his mothers supporters, how much she had accomplished.
The he introduced his mother, retired Congressperson Carrie Meeks. She made a few comments and introduced Congressman Murtha.

Rep Murtha and Meek agreed, that getting the word out, writing senators and representatives; ink and paper, voice, fax, and email is the best way for citizens to have a solid impact on policy. There is a way to actually make a difference and help end the bloodshed and get the WAR PROFITEERS off the back of the American taxpayers.

He said while public opinion may have been bouncing off the TIN EAR of this administration,
Congress listens closer. Make them HEAR YOU! - WRITE/CALL/FAX Congress.

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Copies of a Congressman Murtha's House Resolution 73
[To: redeploy US Forces from Iraq] - were available.

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This resolution urges that the American Troops be redeployed from Iraq and this international and regional problem be undertaken not by one nation standing alone, facing all the losses and all the costs. The IRAQ problem is not an "AMERICA ONLY" PROBLEM.

When asked what can be done to change the current war plan - Rep. Murtha said simply;
Tell somebody, tell everybody, tell your Representatives, the Senators, and the White House;
what you think about REDEPLOYMENT. The problem of IRAQ, the costs, the rebuilding,
the development of governmental and economic infrastructure should be internationalized.
These costs should not be the burden of the American people alone.

Some of the administration's missteps were discussed, such as, the shortchanging of the troops,
the lower troop counts, the lack of preparation, the missing body armor among others.
Congressman Murtha discussed the reasoning of Bush 1, explaining why he had chosen not to invade and conquer Iraq. He also explained that when the current President Bush asked for authorization to get international sanctions and complete the inspections, while promising diplomacy, he substituted WAR. What had been unanimous international support after 9-11 has become a situation where even our allies have said we are more dangerous than IRAN or North Korea.

He removed support for the Afghanistan invasion, only to redirect American resources
toward the unnecessary War on Iraq. The president dismissed the international inspectors,
turned away International support, only to reduce American foreign policy to a bullies' taunts and jeers. The fact is that the majority of the worlds' nations now view our government as more dangerous than Iran or N. Korea. We have created more terrorists, in Iraq than we have killed.

Retired Congressperson Carrie Meek lamented the fact that, since America has not been
supportive of the U.N., We have with our insults and slights blunted the effectiveness of the UN.
It is regularly attacked in Congress. Some in Congress have worked to avoid and postpone
paying our UN dues.

We spend over $8 billion borrowed dollars per month in Iraq.

Questions were taken from the audiences, and several were discussed.
Here are three of the questions asked:

1. We didn't abandon or ignore the Bill of Rights when we fought Russia or the Axis powers
during the cold war, nor World War II. Why when fighting a few thousand medieval fanatics
must we jettison The Bill of Rights, The Constitution and International Law?

2. How can the Presidents "War Party" continue to keep the costs of the Iraq War -
"OFF THE BOOKS"? Who is tallying the full costs the equipment, the veterans costs, the recruitment costs, and the cost in lives as well as taxes from the American people? And why no prosecutions of the Known War Profiteers?

3. What do we say to our Veterans and our POWs about Guantanamo, Abu Gharib, Bhaghram and RENDITION? The question of the recent arrests of terrorist suspects in Liberty City, was also raised. This very very televised bust followed closely by a series of Talk Show appearances by Administration Mouthpieces, sounded more than suspicious to many of those in attendance. Comments from the panel reflected doubts about misguided young men, with no weapons, no explosives and the only suspicious photos they had, had been taken with the help of a federal agents camera and vehicle.

Congressman Meek described his thoughts this way, as he reported a conversation with a Justice Department Official:

"I said, " if what we've heard, is all there is, then congratulations. You have taken dangerous men off the street, and I offer you, my congratulations, But if they are not who, we are told they are; then we all better be watchful, because they will be pulling some serious tricks between now and election time."

Shuddering looks were passed around.

One more quote from Congressman Murtha is illuminating, regarding a discussion
he had with George Tenant former director of the CIA, who lost a turf battle to the Rumsfeld-Cheney gang, but was presented with a medal of freedom, by the president for his "SLAM DUNK" at the CIA.

Congressman Murtha reports this exchange... He described sitting in George Tenant's office at the CIA and asking, "George what do you have on the president, that he gave you, the Medal of Freedom?"

Tenant's reply was to glance around at his office, and say, "let's step outside to talk."


RW Spisak
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